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Sample records for abiotic environmental gradients

  1. Toxic hydrogen sulfide and dark caves: phenotypic and genetic divergence across two abiotic environmental gradients in Poecilia mexicana.

    PubMed

    Tobler, Michael; Dewitt, Thomas J; Schlupp, Ingo; García de León, Francisco J; Herrmann, Roger; Feulner, Philine G D; Tiedemann, Ralph; Plath, Martin

    2008-10-01

    Divergent natural selection drives evolutionary diversification. It creates phenotypic diversity by favoring developmental plasticity within populations or genetic differentiation and local adaptation among populations. We investigated phenotypic and genetic divergence in the livebearing fish Poecilia mexicana along two abiotic environmental gradients. These fish typically inhabit nonsulfidic surface rivers, but also colonized sulfidic and cave habitats. We assessed phenotypic variation among a factorial combination of habitat types using geometric and traditional morphometrics, and genetic divergence using quantitative and molecular genetic analyses. Fish in caves (sulfidic or not) exhibited reduced eyes and slender bodies. Fish from sulfidic habitats (surface or cave) exhibited larger heads and longer gill filaments. Common-garden rearing suggested that these morphological differences are partly heritable. Population genetic analyses using microsatellites as well as cytochrome b gene sequences indicate high population differentiation over small spatial scale and very low rates of gene flow, especially among different habitat types. This suggests that divergent environmental conditions constitute barriers to gene flow. Strong molecular divergence over short distances as well as phenotypic and quantitative genetic divergence across habitats in directions classic to fish ecomorphology suggest that divergent selection is structuring phenotypic variation in this system. PMID:18637957

  2. Distribution of vascular epiphytes along a tropical elevational gradient: disentangling abiotic and biotic determinants.

    PubMed

    Ding, Yi; Liu, Guangfu; Zang, Runguo; Zhang, Jian; Lu, Xinghui; Huang, Jihong

    2016-01-01

    Epiphytic vascular plants are common species in humid tropical forests. Epiphytes are influenced by abiotic and biotic variables, but little is known about the relative importance of direct and indirect effects on epiphyte distribution. We surveyed 70 transects (10 m × 50 m) along an elevation gradient (180 m-1521 m) and sampled all vascular epiphytes and trees in a typical tropical forest on Hainan Island, south China. The direct and indirect effects of abiotic factors (climatic and edaphic) and tree community characteristics on epiphytes species diversity were examined. The abundance and richness of vascular epiphytes generally showed a unimodal curve with elevation and reached maximum value at ca. 1300 m. The species composition in transects from high elevation (above 1200 m) showed a more similar assemblage. Climate explained the most variation in epiphytes species diversity followed by tree community characteristics and soil features. Overall, climate (relative humidity) and tree community characteristics (tree size represented by basal area) had the strongest direct effects on epiphyte diversity while soil variables (soil water content and available phosphorus) mainly had indirect effects. Our study suggests that air humidity is the most important abiotic while stand basal area is the most important biotic determinants of epiphyte diversity along the tropical elevational gradient. PMID:26796667

  3. Distribution of vascular epiphytes along a tropical elevational gradient: disentangling abiotic and biotic determinants

    PubMed Central

    Ding, Yi; Liu, Guangfu; Zang, Runguo; Zhang, Jian; Lu, Xinghui; Huang, Jihong

    2016-01-01

    Epiphytic vascular plants are common species in humid tropical forests. Epiphytes are influenced by abiotic and biotic variables, but little is known about the relative importance of direct and indirect effects on epiphyte distribution. We surveyed 70 transects (10 m × 50 m) along an elevation gradient (180 m–1521 m) and sampled all vascular epiphytes and trees in a typical tropical forest on Hainan Island, south China. The direct and indirect effects of abiotic factors (climatic and edaphic) and tree community characteristics on epiphytes species diversity were examined. The abundance and richness of vascular epiphytes generally showed a unimodal curve with elevation and reached maximum value at ca. 1300 m. The species composition in transects from high elevation (above 1200 m) showed a more similar assemblage. Climate explained the most variation in epiphytes species diversity followed by tree community characteristics and soil features. Overall, climate (relative humidity) and tree community characteristics (tree size represented by basal area) had the strongest direct effects on epiphyte diversity while soil variables (soil water content and available phosphorus) mainly had indirect effects. Our study suggests that air humidity is the most important abiotic while stand basal area is the most important biotic determinants of epiphyte diversity along the tropical elevational gradient. PMID:26796667

  4. Abiotic constraints eclipse biotic resistance in determining invasibility along experimental vernal pool gradients.

    PubMed

    Gerhardt, Fritz; Collinge, Sharon K

    2007-04-01

    Effective management of invasive species requires that we understand the mechanisms determining community invasibility. Successful invaders must tolerate abiotic conditions and overcome resistance from native species in invaded habitats. Biotic resistance to invasions may reflect the diversity, abundance, or identity of species in a community. Few studies, however, have examined the relative importance of abiotic and biotic factors determining community invasibility. In a greenhouse experiment, we simulated the abiotic and biotic gradients typically found in vernal pools to better understand their impacts on invasibility. Specifically, we invaded plant communities differing in richness, identity, and abundance of native plants (the "plant neighborhood") and depth of inundation to measure their effects on growth, reproduction, and survival of five exotic plant species. Inundation reduced growth, reproduction, and survival of the five exotic species more than did plant neighborhood. Inundation reduced survival of three species and growth and reproduction of all five species. Neighboring plants reduced growth and reproduction of three species but generally did not affect survival. Brassica rapa, Centaurea solstitialis, and Vicia villosa all suffered high mortality due to inundation but were generally unaffected by neighboring plants. In contrast, Hordeum marinum and Lolium multiflorum, whose survival was unaffected by inundation, were more impacted by neighboring plants. However, the four measures describing plant neighborhood differed in their effects. Neighbor abundance impacted growth and reproduction more than did neighbor richness or identity, with growth and reproduction generally decreasing with increasing density and mass of neighbors. Collectively, these results suggest that abiotic constraints play the dominant role in determining invasibility along vernal pool and similar gradients. By reducing survival, abiotic constraints allow only species with the

  5. Are pine plantations valid tools for restoring Mediterranean forests? An assessment along abiotic and biotic gradients.

    PubMed

    Gómez-Aparicio, Lorena; Zavala, Miguel A; Bonet, Francisco J; Zamora, Regino

    2009-12-01

    The ecological impacts of forest plantations are a focus of intense debate, from studies that consider plantations as "biological deserts" to studies showing positive effects on plant diversity and dynamics. This lack of consensus might be influenced by the scarcity of studies that examine how the ecological characteristics of plantations vary along abiotic and biotic gradients. Here we conducted a large-scale assessment of plant regeneration and diversity in plantations of southern Spain. Tree seedling and sapling density, plant species richness, and Shannon's (H') diversity index were analyzed in 442 pine plantation plots covering a wide gradient of climatic conditions, stand density, and distance to natural forests that act as seed sources. Pronounced variation in regeneration and diversity was found in plantation understories along the gradients explored. Low- to mid-altitude plantations showed a diverse and abundant seedling bank dominated by Quercus ilex, whereas high-altitude plantations showed a virtually monospecific seeding bank of Pinus sylvestris. Regeneration was null in plantations with stand densities exceeding 1500 pines/ha. Moderate plantation densities (500-1000 pines/ha) promoted recruitment in comparison to low or null canopy cover, suggesting the existence of facilitative interactions. Quercus ilex recruitment diminished exponentially with distance to the nearest Q. ilex forest. Richness and H' index values showed a hump-shaped distribution along the altitudinal and radiation gradients and decreased monotonically along the stand density gradient. From a management perspective, different strategies will be necessary depending on where a plantation lies along the gradients explored. Active management will be required in high-density plantations with arrested succession and low diversity. Thinning could redirect plantations toward more natural densities where facilitation predominates. Passive management might be recommended for low- to moderate

  6. Structure of trophic and mutualistic networks across broad environmental gradients

    PubMed Central

    Welti, Ellen A R; Joern, Anthony

    2015-01-01

    This study aims to understand how inherent ecological network structures of nestedness and modularity vary over large geographic scales with implications for community stability. Bipartite networks from previous research from 68 locations globally were analyzed. Using a meta-analysis approach, we examine relationships between the structure of 22 trophic and 46 mutualistic bipartite networks in response to extensive gradients of temperature and precipitation. Network structures varied significantly across temperature gradients. Trophic networks showed decreasing modularity with increasing variation in temperature within years. Nestedness of mutualistic networks decreased with increasing temperature variability between years. Mean annual precipitation and variability of precipitation were not found to have significant influence on the structure of either trophic or mutualistic networks. By examining changes in ecological networks across large-scale abiotic gradients, this study identifies temperature variability as a potential environmental mediator of community stability. Understanding these relationships contributes to our ability to predict responses of biodiversity to climate change at the community level. PMID:25691960

  7. The Role of Abiotic Environmental Conditions and Herbivory in Shaping Bacterial Community Composition in Floral Nectar

    PubMed Central

    Samuni-Blank, Michal; Izhaki, Ido; Laviad, Sivan; Bar-Massada, Avi; Gerchman, Yoram; Halpern, Malka

    2014-01-01

    Identifying the processes that drive community assembly has long been a central theme in ecology. For microorganisms, a traditional prevailing hypothesis states that “everything is everywhere, but the environment selects”. Although the bacterial community in floral nectar may be affected by both atmosphere (air-borne bacteria) and animals as dispersal vectors, the environmental and geographic factors that shape microbial communities in floral nectar are unknown. We studied culturable bacterial communities in Asphodelus aestivus floral nectar and in its typical herbivorous bug Capsodes infuscatus, along an aridity gradient. Bacteria were sampled from floral nectar and bugs at four sites, spanning a geographical range of 200 km from Mediterranean to semi-arid conditions, under open and bagged flower treatments. In agreement with the niche assembly hypothesis, the differences in bacterial community compositions were explained by differences in abiotic environmental conditions. These results suggest that microbial model systems are useful for addressing macro-ecological questions. In addition, similar bacterial communities were found in the nectar and on the surface of the bugs that were documented visiting the flowers. These similarities imply that floral nectar bacteria dispersal is shaped not only by air borne bacteria and nectar consumers as previously reported, but also by visiting vectors like the mirid bugs. PMID:24922317

  8. Allometric Scaling Across Environmental Gradients

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duncanson, L.; Dubayah, R.

    2014-12-01

    Developing a better understanding of the controls on biomass allocation in forested systems and the consequences for carbon stocks and fluxes is required for improved ecosystem and climate modeling. A simple model, based largely on resource distribution networks, was presented by West, Brown and Enquist (1999). Their model predicts that the exponents of allometric relationships between many forest structural and functional properties will be constants, irrespective of environment or species. In this research we assess the validity of model predictions across the United States and examine their independence with respect to environment. We focus on two relationships with particular importance to biomass: Ht ∝ DBH2/3 nDBH ∝ DBH-2 where Ht is height, DBH is Diameter at Breast Height, and nDBH is the number of trees in a given DBH size class. We obtained DBH and height data from the U.S. Forest Inventory Analysis (FIA) dataset, and fit an exponent to each relationship for every FIA plot across the US. We extracted environmental data from the FIA plots (forest maximum height, species type, age, topography) and the North American Regional Reassessment dataset (precipitation, temperature, PAR) and performed random forest regression to estimate observed exponents as a function of environment. We found that forest height, age, and forest type were the most important drivers of allometry, explaining about 40% of observed variability. We found that for both relationships, as forest height and age increase, exponents constrain to the theoretical predictions presented by WBE. This suggests that WBE predictions are valid and may be useful constraints in biomass mapping and ecosystem flux models. However, they deviate from predictions in younger, shorter stands where forests have not had time to develop a complex size structure. Additionally, there is a significant difference in both relationships between conifer and deciduous-dominated stands, suggesting that species type

  9. Assessing Utilization and Environmental Risks of Important Genes in Plant Abiotic Stress Tolerance.

    PubMed

    Khan, Mohammad S; Khan, Muhammad A; Ahmad, Dawood

    2016-01-01

    Transgenic plants with improved salt and drought stress tolerance have been developed with a large number of abiotic stress-related genes. Among these, the most extensively used genes are the glycine betaine biosynthetic codA, the DREB transcription factors, and vacuolar membrane Na(+)/H(+) antiporters. The use of codA, DREBs, and Na(+)/H(+) antiporters in transgenic plants has conferred stress tolerance and improved plant phenotype. However, the future deployment and commercialization of these plants depend on their safety to the environment. Addressing environmental risk assessment is challenging since mechanisms governing abiotic stress tolerance are much more complex than that of insect resistance and herbicide tolerance traits, which have been considered to date. Therefore, questions arise, whether abiotic stress tolerance genes need additional considerations and new measurements in risk assessment and, whether these genes would have effects on weediness and invasiveness potential of transgenic plants? While considering these concerns, the environmental risk assessment of abiotic stress tolerance genes would need to focus on the magnitude of stress tolerance, plant phenotype and characteristics of the potential receiving environment. In the present review, we discuss environmental concerns and likelihood of concerns associated with the use of abiotic stress tolerance genes. Based on our analysis, we conclude that the uses of these genes in domesticated crop plants are safe for the environment. Risk assessment, however, should be carefully conducted on biofeedstocks and perennial plants taking into account plant phenotype and the potential receiving environment. PMID:27446095

  10. Assessing Utilization and Environmental Risks of Important Genes in Plant Abiotic Stress Tolerance

    PubMed Central

    Khan, Mohammad S.; Khan, Muhammad A.; Ahmad, Dawood

    2016-01-01

    Transgenic plants with improved salt and drought stress tolerance have been developed with a large number of abiotic stress-related genes. Among these, the most extensively used genes are the glycine betaine biosynthetic codA, the DREB transcription factors, and vacuolar membrane Na+/H+ antiporters. The use of codA, DREBs, and Na+/H+ antiporters in transgenic plants has conferred stress tolerance and improved plant phenotype. However, the future deployment and commercialization of these plants depend on their safety to the environment. Addressing environmental risk assessment is challenging since mechanisms governing abiotic stress tolerance are much more complex than that of insect resistance and herbicide tolerance traits, which have been considered to date. Therefore, questions arise, whether abiotic stress tolerance genes need additional considerations and new measurements in risk assessment and, whether these genes would have effects on weediness and invasiveness potential of transgenic plants? While considering these concerns, the environmental risk assessment of abiotic stress tolerance genes would need to focus on the magnitude of stress tolerance, plant phenotype and characteristics of the potential receiving environment. In the present review, we discuss environmental concerns and likelihood of concerns associated with the use of abiotic stress tolerance genes. Based on our analysis, we conclude that the uses of these genes in domesticated crop plants are safe for the environment. Risk assessment, however, should be carefully conducted on biofeedstocks and perennial plants taking into account plant phenotype and the potential receiving environment. PMID:27446095

  11. Abiotic environmental factors influencing blowfly colonisation patterns in the field.

    PubMed

    George, Kelly A; Archer, Melanie S; Toop, Tes

    2013-06-10

    The accuracy of minimum post-mortem interval (mPMI) estimates usually hinges upon the ability of forensic entomologists to predict the conditions under which calliphorids will colonise bodies. However, there can be delays between death and colonisation due to poorly understood abiotic and biotic factors, hence the need for a mPMI. To quantify the importance of various meteorological and light-level factors, beef liver baits were placed in the field (Victoria, Australia) on 88 randomly selected days over 3 years in all seasons and observed every 60-90 min for evidence of colonisation. Baits were exposed during daylight, and the following parameters were measured: barometric pressure, light intensity, wind speed, ambient temperature, relative humidity and rainfall. Collected data were analysed using backward LR logistic regression to produce an equation of colonisation probability. This type of analysis removes factors with the least influence on colonisation in successive steps until all remaining variables significantly increase the accuracy of predicting colonisation presence or absence. Ambient temperature was a positive predictor variable (an increase in temperature increased the probability of calliphorid colonisation). Relative humidity was a negative predictor variable (an increase in humidity decreased the probability of calliphorid colonisation). Barometric pressure, light intensity, wind speed and rainfall did not enhance the accuracy of the probability model; however, analysis of species activity patterns suggests that heavy rainfall and strong wind speeds inhibit calliphorid colonisation. PMID:23683914

  12. Environmentally Regulated Abiotic Release of Volatile Pheromones from the Sugar-based Oral Secretions of Caribflies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We report an abiotic mechanism for the emission of volatile insect pheromones that is controlled by environmentally-induced change in the physicochemical properties of the sugar-based release matrix. Male Anastrepha suspensa [Loew] (caribflies) mark mating sites on leaf surfaces by depositing oral ...

  13. Disentangling the relative importance of host tree community, abiotic environment and spatial factors on ectomycorrhizal fungal assemblages along an elevation gradient.

    PubMed

    Matsuoka, Shunsuke; Mori, Akira S; Kawaguchi, Eri; Hobara, Satoru; Osono, Takashi

    2016-05-01

    Recent studies have shown that changes in community compositions of ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi along elevation gradients are mainly affected by changes in host tree communities and/or in abiotic environments. However, few studies have taken the effects of processes related to fungal dispersal (i.e. spatial processes) into account and distinguished the effects of host community, abiotic environment and spatial processes on community composition along elevation gradients. This has left unclear the relative importance of these factors in structuring the ECM community assemblages. To address this, we investigated the community composition of ECM fungi along an elevation gradient in northern Japan with 454 meta-barcoding. We found that the community composition of ECM fungi changed along the elevation and that all three factors jointly affected the compositional changes. We separated the magnitude of importance of the three factors in structuring ECM fungal communities and found that most of the spatial variation in ECM fungal community was explained by host communities and abiotic environments. Our results suggest that while biotic and/or abiotic environments can be important factors in determining the ECM fungal community composition along an elevation gradient, spatial processes may also be a primary determinant. PMID:26917782

  14. Environmental causes for plant biodiversity gradients.

    PubMed Central

    Davies, T Jonathan; Barraclough, Timothy G; Savolainen, Vincent; Chase, Mark W

    2004-01-01

    One of the most pervasive patterns observed in biodiversity studies is the tendency for species richness to decline towards the poles. One possible explanation is that high levels of environmental energy promote higher species richness nearer the equator. Energy input may set a limit to the number of species that can coexist in an area or alternatively may influence evolutionary rates. Within flowering plants (angiosperms), families exposed to a high energy load tend to be both more species rich and possess faster evolutionary rates, although there is no evidence that one drives the other. Specific environmental effects are likely to vary among lineages, reflecting the interaction between biological traits and environmental conditions in which they are found. One example of this is demonstrated by the high species richness of the iris family (Iridaceae) in the Cape of South Africa, a likely product of biological traits associated with reproductive isolation and the steep ecological and climatic gradients of the region. Within any set of conditions some lineages will tend to be favoured over others; however, the identity of these lineages will fluctuate with a changing environment, explaining the highly labile nature of diversification rates observed among major lineages of flowering plants. PMID:15519979

  15. Effects of biotic and abiotic factors on the distribution of trout and salmon along a longitudinal stream gradient

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    De La, Hoz, Franco, E. A.; Budy, P.

    2005-01-01

    We examined the influence of biotic and abiotic factors on the distribution, abundance, and condition of salmonid fishes along a stream gradient. We observed a longitudinal change in fish distribution with native cutthroat trout, Oncorhynchus clarki utah, and introduced brown trout, Salmo trutta, demonstrating a distinct pattern of allopatry. Cutthroat trout dominated high elevation reaches, while reaches at lower elevations were dominated by brown trout. A transition zone between these populations was associated with lower total trout abundance, consistent changes in temperature and discharge, and differences in dietary preference. Variation in cutthroat trout abundance was best explained by a model including the abundance of brown trout and diel temperature, whereas variation in brown trout abundance was best explained by a model including the abundance of cutthroat trout and discharge. These results suggest the potential for condition-mediated competition between the two species. The results from our study can aid biologists in prioritizing conservation activities and in developing robust management strategies for cutthroat trout. ?? Springer 2005.

  16. Limits to adaptation along environmental gradients.

    PubMed

    Polechová, Jitka; Barton, Nicholas H

    2015-05-19

    Why do species not adapt to ever-wider ranges of conditions, gradually expanding their ecological niche and geographic range? Gene flow across environments has two conflicting effects: although it increases genetic variation, which is a prerequisite for adaptation, gene flow may swamp adaptation to local conditions. In 1956, Haldane proposed that, when the environment varies across space, "swamping" by gene flow creates a positive feedback between low population size and maladaptation, leading to a sharp range margin. However, current deterministic theory shows that, when variance can evolve, there is no such limit. Using simple analytical tools and simulations, we show that genetic drift can generate a sharp margin to a species' range, by reducing genetic variance below the level needed for adaptation to spatially variable conditions. Aided by separation of ecological and evolutionary timescales, the identified effective dimensionless parameters reveal a simple threshold that predicts when adaptation at the range margin fails. Two observable parameters determine the threshold: (i) the effective environmental gradient, which can be measured by the loss of fitness due to dispersal to a different environment; and (ii) the efficacy of selection relative to genetic drift. The theory predicts sharp range margins even in the absence of abrupt changes in the environment. Furthermore, it implies that gradual worsening of conditions across a species' habitat may lead to a sudden range fragmentation, when adaptation to a wide span of conditions within a single species becomes impossible. PMID:25941385

  17. Functional strategies drive community assembly of stream fishes along environmental gradients and across spatial scales.

    PubMed

    Troia, Matthew J; Gido, Keith B

    2015-02-01

    Trade-offs among functional traits produce multi-trait strategies that shape species' interactions with the environment and drive the assembly of local communities from regional species pools. Stream fish communities vary along stream size gradients and among hierarchically structured habitat patches, but little is known about how the dispersion of strategies varies along environmental gradients and across spatial scales. We used null models to quantify the dispersion of reproductive life history, feeding, and locomotion strategies in communities sampled at three spatial scales in a prairie stream network in Kansas, USA. Strategies were generally underdispersed at all spatial scales, corroborating the longstanding notion of abiotic filtering in stream fish communities. We tested for variation in strategy dispersion along a gradient of stream size and between headwater streams draining different ecoregions. Reproductive life history strategies became increasingly underdispersed moving from downstream to upstream, suggesting that abiotic filtering is stronger in headwaters. This pattern was stronger among reaches compared to mesohabitats, supporting the premise that differences in hydrologic regime among reaches filter reproductive life history strategies. Feeding strategies became increasingly underdispersed moving from upstream to downstream, indicating that environmental filters associated with stream size affect the dispersion of feeding and reproductive life history in opposing ways. Weak differences in strategy dispersion were detected between ecoregions, suggesting that different abiotic filters or strategies drive community differences between ecoregions. Given the pervasiveness of multi-trait strategies in plant and animal communities, we conclude that the assessment of strategy dispersion offers a comprehensive approach for elucidating mechanisms of community assembly. PMID:25502608

  18. Assembly Processes under Severe Abiotic Filtering: Adaptation Mechanisms of Weed Vegetation to the Gradient of Soil Constraints

    PubMed Central

    Nikolic, Nina; Böcker, Reinhard; Kostic-Kravljanac, Ljiljana; Nikolic, Miroslav

    2014-01-01

    Questions Effects of soil on vegetation patterns are commonly obscured by other environmental factors; clear and general relationships are difficult to find. How would community assembly processes be affected by a substantial change in soil characteristics when all other relevant factors are held constant? In particular, can we identify some functional adaptations which would underpin such soil-induced vegetation response? Location Eastern Serbia: fields partially damaged by long-term and large-scale fluvial deposition of sulphidic waste from a Cu mine; subcontinental/submediterranean climate. Methods We analysed the multivariate response of cereal weed assemblages (including biomass and foliar analyses) to a strong man-made soil gradient (from highly calcareous to highly acidic, nutrient-poor soils) over short distances (field scale). Results The soil gradient favoured a substitution of calcicoles by calcifuges, and an increase in abundance of pseudometallophytes, with preferences for Atlantic climate, broad geographical distribution, hemicryptophytic life form, adapted to low-nutrient and acidic soils, with lower concentrations of Ca, and very narrow range of Cu concentrations in leaves. The trends of abundance of the different ecological groups of indicator species along the soil gradient were systematically reflected in the maintenance of leaf P concentrations, and strong homeostasis in biomass N:P ratio. Conclusion Using annual weed vegetation at the field scale as a fairly simple model, we demonstrated links between gradients in soil properties (pH, nutrient availability) and floristic composition that are normally encountered over large geographic distances. We showed that leaf nutrient status, in particular the maintenance of leaf P concentrations and strong homeostasis of biomass N:P ratio, underpinned a clear functional response of vegetation to mineral stress. These findings can help to understand assembly processes leading to unusual, novel combinations

  19. Maternal, social and abiotic environmental effects on growth vary across life stages in a cooperative mammal.

    PubMed

    English, Sinead; Bateman, Andrew W; Mares, Rafael; Ozgul, Arpat; Clutton-Brock, Tim H

    2014-03-01

    Resource availability plays a key role in driving variation in somatic growth and body condition, and the factors determining access to resources vary considerably across life stages. Parents and carers may exert important influences in early life, when individuals are nutritionally dependent, with abiotic environmental effects having stronger influences later in development as individuals forage independently. Most studies have measured specific factors influencing growth across development or have compared relative influences of different factors within specific life stages. Such studies may not capture whether early-life factors continue to have delayed effects at later stages, or whether social factors change when individuals become nutritionally independent and adults become competitors for, rather than providers of, food. Here, we examined variation in the influence of the abiotic, social and maternal environment on growth across life stages in a wild population of cooperatively breeding meerkats. Cooperatively breeding vertebrates are ideal for investigating environmental influences on growth. In addition to experiencing highly variable abiotic conditions, cooperative breeders are typified by heterogeneity both among breeders, with mothers varying in age and social status, and in the number of carers present. Recent rainfall had a consistently marked effect on growth across life stages, yet other seasonal terms only influenced growth during stages when individuals were growing fastest. Group size and maternal dominance status had positive effects on growth during the period of nutritional dependence on carers, but did not influence mass at emergence (at 1 month) or growth at independent stages (>4 months). Pups born to older mothers were lighter at 1 month of age and subsequently grew faster as subadults. Males grew faster than females during the juvenile and subadult stage only. Our findings demonstrate the complex ways in which the external environment

  20. Developing standards for environmental toxicants: the need to consider abiotic environmental factors and microbe-mediated ecologic processes.

    PubMed Central

    Babich, H; Stotzky, G

    1983-01-01

    This article suggests and discusses two novel aspects for the formulation of standards for environmental toxicants. First, uniform national standards for each pollutant will be underprotective for some ecosystems and overprotective for others, inasmuch as the toxicity of a pollutant to the indigenous biota is dependent on the physicochemical properties of the recipient environment. As the number of chemicals that need regulation is immense and as microbes appear to respond similarly to pollutant-abiotic factor interactions as do plants and animals, it is suggested that microbial assays be used initially to identify those abiotic factors that most influence the toxicity of specific pollutants. Thereafter, additional studies using plants and animals can focus on these pollutant-abiotic factor interactions, and more meaningful standards can then be formulated more rapidly and inexpensively. Second, it is suggested that the response to pollutants of microbe-mediated ecologic processes be used to quantitate the sensitivity of different ecosystems to various toxicants. Such a quantification, expressed in terms of an "ecological dose 50%" (EcD50), could be easily incorporated into the methodologies currently used to set water quality criteria and would also be applicable to setting criteria for terrestrial ecosystems. PMID:6339225

  1. Environmental Selenium Transformations: Distinguishing Abiotic and Biotic Factors Influencing Se Redox Transformations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosenfeld, C.; Kenyon, J.; James, B. R.; Santelli, C. M.

    2014-12-01

    Worldwide, selenium (Se) is proving to be a significant environmental concern, with many anthropogenic activities (e.g. coal mining and combustion, phosphate mining and agricultural irrigation) releasing potentially hazardous concentrations into surface and subsurface ecosystems. The US EPA is currently considering aquatic Se regulations, however no guidelines exist for excess soil Se, despite its ability to act as a persistent Se source. Various abiotic and biological processes mediate Se oxidation/reduction (redox) transformations in soils, thus influencing its solubility and bioavailability. In this research we assess (1) the ability of metal-transforming fungal species to aerobically reduce Se (Se (IV and/or VI) to Se(0)), and (2) the relative contribution of biotic and abiotic pathways for aerobic Se transformation. The primary objective of this research is to determine what abiotic and biotic factors enhance or restrict Se bioavailability. Results indicate that fungal-mediated Se reduction may be quite widespread, with at least 7 out of 10 species of known Mn(II)-oxidizing fungi isolated from metal impacted environments also identified as capable of aerobically reducing Se(IV) and/or Se(VI) to Se(0). Increasing concentrations of selenite (SeO32-; Se(IV)) and selenate (SeO42-; Se(VI)) generally reduced fungal growth rates, although selenate was more likely to inhibit fungal growth than selenite. To study oxidation, Se(0) was combined with Mn(III/IV) (hydr)oxides (henceforth referred to as Mn oxides), Se-transforming fungi (Alternaria alternata), and oxalic acid to mimic Se biogeochemistry at the plant-soil interface. Increased pH in the presence of fungi (7.2 with fungi, 6.8 without fungi after 24 days) was observed. Additionally, a slight decrease in redox potential was measured for incubations without Mn oxides (236 mV with Mn oxides, 205 mV without Mn oxides after 24 days), indicating that Mn oxides may enhance Se oxidation. Elemental Se oxidation rates to

  2. Connecting RNA Processing to Abiotic Environmental Response in Arabidopsis: the role of a polyadenylation factor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Q. Q.; Xu, R.; Hunt, A. G.; Falcone, D. L.

    Plants are constantly challenged by numerous environmental stresses both biotic and abiotic It is clear that plants have evolved to counter these stresses using all but limited means We recently discovered the potential role of a messenger RNA processing factor namely the Arabidopsis cleavage and polyadenylation specificity factor 30 kDa subunit AtCPSF30 when a mutant deficient in this factor displayed altered responses to an array of abiotic stresses This AtCPSF30 mutant named oxt6 exhibited an elevated tolerance to oxidative stress Microarray experiments of oxt6 and its complemented lines revealed an altered gene expression profile among which were antioxidative defense genes Interestingly the same gene encoding AtCPSF30 can also be transcribed into a large transcript that codes for a potential splicing factor Both protein products have a domain for RNA binding and a calmodulin binding domain activities of which have been confirmed by biochemical assays Surprisingly binding of AtCPSF30 to calmodulin inhibits the RNA-binding activity of the protein Mutational analysis shows that a small part of the protein is responsible for calmodulin binding and point mutations in this region abolished both RNA binding activity and the inhibition of this activity by calmodulin Analyses of the potential splicing factor are on going and the results will be presented The interesting possibilities for both the interplay between splicing and polyadenylation and the regulation of these processes by stimuli that act through

  3. Establishing Functional Relationships between Abiotic Environment, Macrophyte Coverage, Resource Gradients and the Distribution of Mytilus trossulus in a Brackish Non-Tidal Environment.

    PubMed

    Kotta, Jonne; Oganjan, Katarina; Lauringson, Velda; Pärnoja, Merli; Kaasik, Ants; Rohtla, Liisa; Kotta, Ilmar; Orav-Kotta, Helen

    2015-01-01

    Benthic suspension feeding mussels are an important functional guild in coastal and estuarine ecosystems. To date we lack information on how various environmental gradients and biotic interactions separately and interactively shape the distribution patterns of mussels in non-tidal environments. Opposing to tidal environments, mussels inhabit solely subtidal zone in non-tidal waterbodies and, thereby, driving factors for mussel populations are expected to differ from the tidal areas. In the present study, we used the boosted regression tree modelling (BRT), an ensemble method for statistical techniques and machine learning, in order to explain the distribution and biomass of the suspension feeding mussel Mytilus trossulus in the non-tidal Baltic Sea. BRT models suggested that (1) distribution patterns of M. trossulus are largely driven by separate effects of direct environmental gradients and partly by interactive effects of resource gradients with direct environmental gradients. (2) Within its suitable habitat range, however, resource gradients had an important role in shaping the biomass distribution of M. trossulus. (3) Contrary to tidal areas, mussels were not competitively superior over macrophytes with patterns indicating either facilitative interactions between mussels and macrophytes or co-variance due to common stressor. To conclude, direct environmental gradients seem to define the distribution pattern of M. trossulus, and within the favourable distribution range, resource gradients in interaction with direct environmental gradients are expected to set the biomass level of mussels. PMID:26317668

  4. Establishing Functional Relationships between Abiotic Environment, Macrophyte Coverage, Resource Gradients and the Distribution of Mytilus trossulus in a Brackish Non-Tidal Environment

    PubMed Central

    Kotta, Jonne; Oganjan, Katarina; Lauringson, Velda; Pärnoja, Merli; Kaasik, Ants; Rohtla, Liisa; Kotta, Ilmar; Orav-Kotta, Helen

    2015-01-01

    Benthic suspension feeding mussels are an important functional guild in coastal and estuarine ecosystems. To date we lack information on how various environmental gradients and biotic interactions separately and interactively shape the distribution patterns of mussels in non-tidal environments. Opposing to tidal environments, mussels inhabit solely subtidal zone in non-tidal waterbodies and, thereby, driving factors for mussel populations are expected to differ from the tidal areas. In the present study, we used the boosted regression tree modelling (BRT), an ensemble method for statistical techniques and machine learning, in order to explain the distribution and biomass of the suspension feeding mussel Mytilus trossulus in the non-tidal Baltic Sea. BRT models suggested that (1) distribution patterns of M. trossulus are largely driven by separate effects of direct environmental gradients and partly by interactive effects of resource gradients with direct environmental gradients. (2) Within its suitable habitat range, however, resource gradients had an important role in shaping the biomass distribution of M. trossulus. (3) Contrary to tidal areas, mussels were not competitively superior over macrophytes with patterns indicating either facilitative interactions between mussels and macrophytes or co-variance due to common stressor. To conclude, direct environmental gradients seem to define the distribution pattern of M. trossulus, and within the favourable distribution range, resource gradients in interaction with direct environmental gradients are expected to set the biomass level of mussels. PMID:26317668

  5. Community structure influences species' abundance along environmental gradients.

    PubMed

    Eloranta, Antti P; Helland, Ingeborg P; Sandlund, Odd T; Hesthagen, Trygve; Ugedal, Ola; Finstad, Anders G

    2016-01-01

    Species' response to abiotic environmental variation can be influenced by local community structure and interspecific interactions, particularly in restricted habitats such as islands and lakes. In temperate lakes, future increase in water temperature and run-off of terrestrial (allochthonous) dissolved organic carbon (DOC) are predicted to alter community composition and the overall ecosystem productivity. However, little is known about how the present community structure and abiotic environmental variation interact to affect the abundance of native fish populations. We used a space-for-time approach to study how local community structure interact with lake morphometric and climatic characteristics (i.e. temperature and catchment productivity) to affect brown trout (Salmo trutta L.) yield in 283 Norwegian lakes located in different biogeographical regions. Brown trout yield (based on data from standardized survey gill net fishing; g 100 m(-2) gill net night(-1)) was generally lower in lakes where other fish species were present than in lakes with brown trout only. The yield showed an overall negative relationship with increasing temperature and a positive relationship with lake shoreline complexity. Brown trout yield was also negatively correlated with DOC load (measured using Normalized Difference Vegetation Index as a proxy) and lake size and depth (measured using terrain slope as a proxy), but only in lakes where other fish species were present. The observed negative response of brown trout yield to increasing DOC load and proportion of the pelagic open-water area is likely due to restricted (littoral) niche availability and competitive dominance of more pelagic fishes such as Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus (L.)). Our study highlights that, through competitive interactions, the local community structure can influence the response of a species' abundance to variation in abiotic conditions. Changes in biomass and niche use of top predators (such as the brown

  6. Plant species distributions along environmental gradients: do belowground interactions with fungi matter?

    PubMed Central

    Pellissier, Loïc; Pinto-Figueroa, Eric; Niculita-Hirzel, Hélène; Moora, Mari; Villard, Lucas; Goudet, Jérome; Guex, Nicolas; Pagni, Marco; Xenarios, Ioannis; Sanders, Ian; Guisan, Antoine

    2013-01-01

    The distribution of plants along environmental gradients is constrained by abiotic and biotic factors. Cumulative evidence attests of the impact of biotic factors on plant distributions, but only few studies discuss the role of belowground communities. Soil fungi, in particular, are thought to play an important role in how plant species assemble locally into communities. We first review existing evidence, and then test the effect of the number of soil fungal operational taxonomic units (OTUs) on plant species distributions using a recently collected dataset of plant and metagenomic information on soil fungi in the Western Swiss Alps. Using species distribution models (SDMs), we investigated whether the distribution of individual plant species is correlated to the number of OTUs of two important soil fungal classes known to interact with plants: the Glomeromycetes, that are obligatory symbionts of plants, and the Agaricomycetes, that may be facultative plant symbionts, pathogens, or wood decayers. We show that including the fungal richness information in the models of plant species distributions improves predictive accuracy. Number of fungal OTUs is especially correlated to the distribution of high elevation plant species. We suggest that high elevation soil show greater variation in fungal assemblages that may in turn impact plant turnover among communities. We finally discuss how to move beyond correlative analyses, through the design of field experiments manipulating plant and fungal communities along environmental gradients. PMID:24339830

  7. Urban-to-Rural Environmental Gradients in Houston Metropolitan Area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gramann, J.; Schade, G. W.; Barta, C.

    2011-12-01

    The Houston Metropolitan area composes an extensive urban heat island and is the largest emitter of atmospheric pollutants in Texas, affecting regional air quality far beyond its borders. Three self-powered weather stations that include carbon dioxide (CO2) and ozone (O3) analyzers were set up to evaluate urban to rural environmental gradients in support of an NSF project investigating isoprene emissions and corresponding oak tree physiology. One station was installed at a participating high school in downtown Houston, one at a junior high school in The Woodlands, a forested suburban community about 40 km from downtown, and the third near the ranger station in Sam Houston National Forest (SHNF) 90 km from downtown. As a consequence of the sea breeze and typical summer wind patterns, these locations are often in line with the Houston urban pollution plume, allowing us to observe the development of ozone concentrations as winds move ozone precursors emitted in Houston toward the north. Here, we analyze the urban to rural gradients for the 2011 ozone season, a period of extreme high temperatures and exceptional drought. Night time (0:00-5:00 LT) temperatures indicated a 2°C gradient between downtown and SHNF; however, this gradient was not mirrored in daytime (10:00-18:00LT) temperatures, which were instead strongly influenced by the sea breeze typically arriving at the downtown station around 13:45 local time (LT), and in The Woodlands around 15:00 LT. Vapor pressure values also showed a gradient between downtown and SHNF with Houston being the more humid, as would be expected with its closer proximity to the Gulf of Mexico. O3 tended to be lowest in downtown for all time periods: night, morning (10:00-13:00 LT), and afternoon (13:00-18:00 LT). The largest O3 gradient, 9 ppb, occurred between downtown Houston and the Woodlands during the afternoon. CO2 gradients were detected as well with lowest daytime values at SHNF, and highest night time values in The Woodlands

  8. Diversity of Eastern North American Ant Communities along Environmental Gradients

    PubMed Central

    Del Toro, Israel

    2013-01-01

    Studies of species diversity patterns across regional environmental gradients seldom consider the impact of habitat type on within-site (alpha) and between-site (beta) diversity. This study is designed to identify the influence of habitat type across geographic and environmental space, on local patterns of species richness and regional turnover patterns of ant diversity in the northeastern United States. Specifically, I aim to 1) compare local species richness in paired open and forested transects and identify the environmental variables that best correlate with richness; and 2) document patterns of beta diversity throughout the region in both open and forested habitat. I systematically sampled ants at 67 sites from May to August 2010, spanning 10 degrees of latitude, and 1000 meters of elevation. Patterns of alpha and beta diversity across the region and along environmental gradients differed between forested and open habitats. Local species richness was higher in the low elevation and warmest sites and was always higher in open habitat than in forest habitat transects. Richness decreased as temperature decreased or elevation increased. Forested transects show strong patterns of decreasing dissimilarity in species composition between sites along the temperature gradient but open habitat transects did not. Maximum temperature of the warmest month better predicted species richness than either latitude or elevation. I find that using environmental variables as key predictors of richness yields more biologically relevant results, and produces simpler macroecological models than commonly used models which use only latitude and elevation as predictors of richness and diversity patterns. This study contributes to the understanding of mechanisms that structure the communities of important terrestrial arthropods which are likely to be influenced by climatic change. PMID:23874479

  9. Environmental hazard assessment of chemicals and products. Part VI. Abiotic degradation in the troposphere.

    PubMed

    Klöpffer, W

    1996-09-01

    The atmosphere constitutes an important sink for many volatile and semivolatile organic compounds (Part II). Even non-volatile compounds may enter the troposphere due to incomplete burning of fuel and industrial, agricultural and traffic-related processes. Depending on vapour pressure, temperature and content of aerosol particles, chemicals prefer the free gas phase, the surface of the particles, or both compartments. Polar compounds (low Henry-coefficient) may dissolve in cloud- and fog droplets. Clearly, the prefered compartment influences the dominant abiotic degradation path. In this paper, a survey is given about the distribution and degradation pathways of chemicals in the troposphere. In the free gas phase of the troposphere, the reaction with OH-radicals is the dominant degradation path. In addition, the reactions with ozone and nitrate-radicals, and direct photochemical reactions also play a role in abiotic degradation. PMID:8784998

  10. Limiting similarity and functional diversity along environmental gradients

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schwilk, D.W.; Ackerly, D.D.

    2005-01-01

    Recent developments in community models emphasize the importance of incorporating stochastic processes (e.g. ecological drift) in models of niche-structured community assembly. We constructed a finite, spatially explicit, lottery model to simulate the distribution of species in a one-dimensional landscape with an underlying gradient in environmental conditions. Our framework combines the potential for ecological drift with environmentally-mediated competition for space in a heterogeneous environment. We examined the influence of niche breadth, dispersal distances, community size (total number of individuals) and the breadth of the environmental gradient on levels of species and functional trait diversity (i.e. differences in niche optima). Three novel results emerge from this model: (1) niche differences between adjacent species (e.g. limiting similarity) increase in smaller communities, because of the interaction of competitive effects and finite population sizes; (2) immigration from a regional species pool, stochasticity and niche-assembly generate a bimodal distribution of species residence times ('transient' and 'resident') under a heterogeneous environment; and (3) the magnitude of environmental heterogeneity has a U-shaped effect on diversity, because of shifts in species richness of resident vs. transient species. These predictions illustrate the potential importance of stochastic (although not necessarily neutral) processes in community assembly. ??2005 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  11. Synergistic interactions of biotic and abiotic environmental stressors on gene expression.

    PubMed

    Altshuler, Ianina; McLeod, Anne M; Colbourne, John K; Yan, Norman D; Cristescu, Melania E

    2015-03-01

    Understanding the response of organisms to multiple stressors is critical for predicting if populations can adapt to rapid environmental change. Natural and anthropogenic stressors often interact, complicating general predictions. In this study, we examined the interactive and cumulative effects of two common environmental stressors, lowered calcium concentration, an anthropogenic stressor, and predator presence, a natural stressor, on the water flea Daphnia pulex. We analyzed expression changes of five genes involved in calcium homeostasis - cuticle proteins (Cutie, Icp2), calbindin (Calb), and calcium pump and channel (Serca and Ip3R) - using real-time quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) in a full factorial experiment. We observed strong synergistic interactions between low calcium concentration and predator presence. While the Ip3R gene was not affected by the stressors, the other four genes were affected in their transcriptional levels by the combination of the stressors. Transcriptional patterns of genes that code for cuticle proteins (Cutie and Icp2) and a sarcoplasmic calcium pump (Serca) only responded to the combination of stressors, changing their relative expression levels in a synergistic response, while a calcium-binding protein (Calb) responded to low calcium stress and the combination of both stressors. The expression pattern of these genes (Cutie, Icp2, and Serca) were nonlinear, yet they were dose dependent across the calcium gradient. Multiple stressors can have complex, often unexpected effects on ecosystems. This study demonstrates that the dominant interaction for the set of tested genes appears to be synergism. We argue that gene expression patterns can be used to understand and predict the type of interaction expected when organisms are exposed simultaneously to natural and anthropogenic stressors. PMID:26158383

  12. Fine-Scale Habitat Associations of a Terrestrial Salamander: The Role of Environmental Gradients and Implications for Population Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Peterman, William E.; Semlitsch, Raymond D.

    2013-01-01

    Environmental gradients are instrumental in shaping the distribution and local abundance of species because at the most fundamental level, an organism’s performance is constrained by the environment it inhabits. In topographically complex landscapes, slope, aspect, and vegetative cover interact to affect solar exposure, creating temperature-moisture gradients and unique microclimates. The significance of the interaction of abiotic gradients and biotic factors such as competition, movement, or physiology has long been recognized, but the scale at which these factors vary on the landscape has generally precluded their inclusion in spatial abundance models. We used fine-scale spatial data relating to surface-soil moisture, temperature, and canopy cover to describe the spatial distribution of abundance of a terrestrial salamander, Plethodon albagula, across the landscape. Abundance was greatest in dense-canopy ravine habitats with high moisture and low solar exposure, resulting in a patchy distribution of abundance. We hypothesize that these patterns reflect the physiological constraints of Plethodontid salamanders. Furthermore, demographic cohorts were not uniformly distributed among occupied plots on the landscape. The probability of gravid female occurrence was nearly uniform among occupied plots, but juveniles were much more likely to occur on plots with lower surface temperatures. The disconnect between reproductive effort and recruitment suggests that survival differs across the landscape and that local population dynamics vary spatially. Our study demonstrates a connection between abundance, fine-scale environmental gradients, and population dynamics, providing a foundation for future research concerning movement, population connectivity, and physiology. PMID:23671586

  13. Fine-scale habitat associations of a terrestrial salamander: the role of environmental gradients and implications for population dynamics.

    PubMed

    Peterman, William E; Semlitsch, Raymond D

    2013-01-01

    Environmental gradients are instrumental in shaping the distribution and local abundance of species because at the most fundamental level, an organism's performance is constrained by the environment it inhabits. In topographically complex landscapes, slope, aspect, and vegetative cover interact to affect solar exposure, creating temperature-moisture gradients and unique microclimates. The significance of the interaction of abiotic gradients and biotic factors such as competition, movement, or physiology has long been recognized, but the scale at which these factors vary on the landscape has generally precluded their inclusion in spatial abundance models. We used fine-scale spatial data relating to surface-soil moisture, temperature, and canopy cover to describe the spatial distribution of abundance of a terrestrial salamander, Plethodon albagula, across the landscape. Abundance was greatest in dense-canopy ravine habitats with high moisture and low solar exposure, resulting in a patchy distribution of abundance. We hypothesize that these patterns reflect the physiological constraints of Plethodontid salamanders. Furthermore, demographic cohorts were not uniformly distributed among occupied plots on the landscape. The probability of gravid female occurrence was nearly uniform among occupied plots, but juveniles were much more likely to occur on plots with lower surface temperatures. The disconnect between reproductive effort and recruitment suggests that survival differs across the landscape and that local population dynamics vary spatially. Our study demonstrates a connection between abundance, fine-scale environmental gradients, and population dynamics, providing a foundation for future research concerning movement, population connectivity, and physiology. PMID:23671586

  14. The effect of environmental heterogeneity on species richness depends on community position along the environmental gradient.

    PubMed

    Yang, Zhiyong; Liu, Xueqi; Zhou, Mohua; Ai, Dexiecuo; Wang, Gang; Wang, Youshi; Chu, Chengjin; Lundholm, Jeremy T

    2015-01-01

    Environmental heterogeneity is among the most important factors governing community structure. Besides the widespread evidence supporting positive relationships between richness and environmental heterogeneity, negative and unimodal relationships have also been reported. However, few studies have attempted to test the role of the heterogeneity on species richness after removing the confounding effect of resource availability or environmental severity. Here we constructed an individual-based spatially explicit model incorporating a long-recognized tradeoff between competitive ability and stress-tolerance ability of species. We explored the impact of the level of resource availability (i.e. the position of the community along a gradient of environmental severity) on the heterogeneity-diversity relationship (HDR). The results indicate that the shape of HDR depends on the community position along the environmental gradient: at either end of the gradient of environmental severity, a positive HDR occurred, whereas at the intermediate levels of the gradient, a unimodal HDR emerged. Our exploration demonstrates that resource availability/environmental severity should be considered as a potential factor influencing the shape of the HDR. Our theoretical predictions represent hypotheses in need of further empirical study. PMID:26508413

  15. Adaptations between ecotypes and along environmental gradients in Panicum virgatum.

    PubMed

    Lowry, David B; Behrman, Kathrine D; Grabowski, Paul; Morris, Geoffrey P; Kiniry, James R; Juenger, Thomas E

    2014-05-01

    Determining the patterns and mechanisms of natural selection in the wild is of fundamental importance to understanding the differentiation of populations and the evolution of new species. However, it is often unknown the extent to which adaptive genetic variation is distributed among ecotypes between distinct habitats versus along large-scale geographic environmental gradients, such as those that track latitude. Classic studies of selection in the wild in switchgrass, Panicum virgatum, tested for adaptation at both of these levels of natural variation. Here we review what these field experiments and modern agronomic field trials have taught us about natural variation and selection at both the ecotype and environmental gradient levels in P. virgatum. With recent genome sequencing efforts in P. virgatum, it is poised to become an excellent system for understanding the adaptation of grassland species across the eastern half of North America. The identification of genetic loci involved in different types of adaptations will help to understand the evolutionary mechanisms of diversification within P. virgatum and provide useful information for the breeding of high-yielding cultivars for different ecoregions. PMID:24739200

  16. Environmental drivers of microbial community shifts in the giant barrel sponge, Xestospongia muta, over a shallow to mesophotic depth gradient.

    PubMed

    Morrow, Kathleen M; Fiore, Cara L; Lesser, Michael P

    2016-06-01

    The giant barrel sponge, Xestospongia muta, is a high microbial abundance sponge found on Caribbean coral reefs along shallow to mesophotic depth gradients where multiple abiotic factors change with depth. Sponges were collected along a depth gradient at Little Cayman (LC) and Lee Stocking Island (LSI), and the microbiome of these samples was analysed using 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing. Statistically significant shifts in community structure and dissimilarity (∼ 40%) were detected from 10 to 90 m in LC sponges, but a similar shift was not identified in sponges from 10 to 60 m at LSI (only 17% dissimilar). Additionally, inorganic nutrient levels steadily increased with depth at LSI but not at LC. Based on bulk stable isotopic variability, sponges collected from LC were generally more enriched in (15) N and less enriched in (13) C as depth increased, suggesting a transition from dependency on photoautotrophy to heterotrophy as depth increased. Patterns of stable isotopic enrichment were largely invariant at LSI, which is also reflected in the more stable microbial community along the depth gradient. It appears that environmental factors that change with depth may contribute to differences in X. muta microbial assemblages, demonstrating the importance of contemporaneous environmental sampling in studies of the microbiome of sponges. PMID:26769079

  17. Environmental Association Analyses Identify Candidates for Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Glycine soja, the Wild Progenitor of Cultivated Soybeans.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Justin E; Kono, Thomas J Y; Stupar, Robert M; Kantar, Michael B; Morrell, Peter L

    2016-01-01

    Natural populations across a species range demonstrate population structure owing to neutral processes such as localized origins of mutations and migration limitations. Selection also acts on a subset of loci, contributing to local adaptation. An understanding of the genetic basis of adaptation to local environmental conditions is a fundamental goal in basic biological research. When applied to crop wild relatives, this same research provides the opportunity to identify adaptive genetic variation that may be used to breed for crops better adapted to novel or changing environments. The present study explores an ex situ conservation collection, the USDA germplasm collection, genotyped at 32,416 SNPs to identify population structure and test for associations with bioclimatic and biophysical variables in Glycine soja, the wild progenitor of Glycine max (soybean). Candidate loci were detected that putatively contribute to adaptation to abiotic stresses. The identification of potentially adaptive variants in this ex situ collection may permit a more targeted use of germplasm collections. PMID:26818076

  18. Environmental Association Analyses Identify Candidates for Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Glycine soja, the Wild Progenitor of Cultivated Soybeans

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Justin E.; Kono, Thomas J. Y.; Stupar, Robert M.; Kantar, Michael B.; Morrell, Peter L.

    2016-01-01

    Natural populations across a species range demonstrate population structure owing to neutral processes such as localized origins of mutations and migration limitations. Selection also acts on a subset of loci, contributing to local adaptation. An understanding of the genetic basis of adaptation to local environmental conditions is a fundamental goal in basic biological research. When applied to crop wild relatives, this same research provides the opportunity to identify adaptive genetic variation that may be used to breed for crops better adapted to novel or changing environments. The present study explores an ex situ conservation collection, the USDA germplasm collection, genotyped at 32,416 SNPs to identify population structure and test for associations with bioclimatic and biophysical variables in Glycine soja, the wild progenitor of Glycine max (soybean). Candidate loci were detected that putatively contribute to adaptation to abiotic stresses. The identification of potentially adaptive variants in this ex situ collection may permit a more targeted use of germplasm collections. PMID:26818076

  19. Disentangling Diversity Patterns in Sandy Beaches along Environmental Gradients

    PubMed Central

    Barboza, Francisco R.; Gómez, Julio; Lercari, Diego; Defeo, Omar

    2012-01-01

    Species richness in sandy beaches is strongly affected by concurrent variations in morphodynamics and salinity. However, as in other ecosystems, different groups of species may exhibit contrasting patterns in response to these environmental variables, which would be obscured if only aggregate richness is considered. Deconstructing biodiversity, i.e. considering richness patterns separately for different groups of species according to their taxonomic affiliation, dispersal mode or mobility, could provide a more complete understanding about factors that drive species richness patterns. This study analyzed macroscale variations in species richness at 16 Uruguayan sandy beaches with different morphodynamics, distributed along the estuarine gradient generated by the Rio de la Plata over a 2 year period. Species richness estimates were deconstructed to discriminate among taxonomic groups, supralittoral and intertidal forms, and groups with different feeding habits and development modes. Species richness was lowest at intermediate salinities, increasing towards oceanic and inner estuarine conditions, mainly following the patterns shown for intertidal forms. Moreover, there was a differential tolerance to salinity changes according to the habitat occupied and development mode, which determines the degree of sensitivity of faunal groups to osmotic stress. Generalized (additive and linear) mixed models showed a clear increase of species richness towards dissipative beaches. All taxonomic categories exhibited the same trend, even though responses to grain size and beach slope were less marked for crustaceans and insects than for molluscs or polychaetes. However, supralittoral crustaceans exhibited the opposite trend. Feeding groups decreased from dissipative to reflective systems, deposit feeders being virtually absent in the latter. This deconstructive approach highlights the relevance of life history strategies in structuring communities, highlighting the relative

  20. Disentangling diversity patterns in sandy beaches along environmental gradients.

    PubMed

    Barboza, Francisco R; Gómez, Julio; Lercari, Diego; Defeo, Omar

    2012-01-01

    Species richness in sandy beaches is strongly affected by concurrent variations in morphodynamics and salinity. However, as in other ecosystems, different groups of species may exhibit contrasting patterns in response to these environmental variables, which would be obscured if only aggregate richness is considered. Deconstructing biodiversity, i.e. considering richness patterns separately for different groups of species according to their taxonomic affiliation, dispersal mode or mobility, could provide a more complete understanding about factors that drive species richness patterns. This study analyzed macroscale variations in species richness at 16 Uruguayan sandy beaches with different morphodynamics, distributed along the estuarine gradient generated by the Rio de la Plata over a 2 year period. Species richness estimates were deconstructed to discriminate among taxonomic groups, supralittoral and intertidal forms, and groups with different feeding habits and development modes. Species richness was lowest at intermediate salinities, increasing towards oceanic and inner estuarine conditions, mainly following the patterns shown for intertidal forms. Moreover, there was a differential tolerance to salinity changes according to the habitat occupied and development mode, which determines the degree of sensitivity of faunal groups to osmotic stress. Generalized (additive and linear) mixed models showed a clear increase of species richness towards dissipative beaches. All taxonomic categories exhibited the same trend, even though responses to grain size and beach slope were less marked for crustaceans and insects than for molluscs or polychaetes. However, supralittoral crustaceans exhibited the opposite trend. Feeding groups decreased from dissipative to reflective systems, deposit feeders being virtually absent in the latter. This deconstructive approach highlights the relevance of life history strategies in structuring communities, highlighting the relative

  1. Interactions of biotic and abiotic environmental factors in an ectomycorrhizal symbiosis, and the potential for selection mosaics

    PubMed Central

    Piculell, Bridget J; Hoeksema, Jason D; Thompson, John N

    2008-01-01

    Background Geographic selection mosaics, in which species exert different evolutionary impacts on each other in different environments, may drive diversification in coevolving species. We studied the potential for geographic selection mosaics in plant-mycorrhizal interactions by testing whether the interaction between bishop pine (Pinus muricata D. Don) and one of its common ectomycorrhizal fungi (Rhizopogon occidentalis Zeller and Dodge) varies in outcome, when different combinations of plant and fungal genotypes are tested under a range of different abiotic and biotic conditions. Results We used a 2 × 2 × 2 × 2 factorial experiment to test the main and interactive effects of plant lineage (two maternal seed families), fungal lineage (two spore collections), soil type (lab mix or field soil), and non-mycorrhizal microbes (with or without) on the performance of plants and fungi. Ecological outcomes, as assessed by plant and fungal performance, varied widely across experimental environments, including interactions between plant or fungal lineages and soil environmental factors. Conclusion These results show the potential for selection mosaics in plant-mycorrhizal interactions, and indicate that these interactions are likely to coevolve in different ways in different environments, even when initially the genotypes of the interacting species are the same across all environments. Hence, selection mosaics may be equally as effective as genetic differences among populations in driving divergent coevolution among populations of interacting species. PMID:18507825

  2. Mechanisms and Dynamics of Abiotic and Biotic Interactions at Environmental Interfaces

    SciTech Connect

    Roso, Kevin M.

    2006-06-01

    The Stanford EMSI (SEMSI) was established in 2004 through joint funding by the National Science Foundation and the OBER-ERSD. It encompasses a number of universities and national laboratories. The PNNL component of the SEMSI is funded by ERSD and is the focus of this report. This component has the objective of providing theory support to the SEMSI by bringing computational capabilities and expertise to bear on important electron transfer problems at mineral/water and mineral/microbe interfaces. PNNL staff member Dr. Kevin Rosso, who is also ''matrixed'' into the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL) at PNNL, is a co-PI on the SEMSI project and the PNNL lead. The EMSL computational facilities being applied to the SEMSI project include the 11.8 teraflop massively-parallel supercomputer. Science goals of this EMSL/SEMSI partnership include advancing our understanding of: (1) The kinetics of U(VI) and Cr(VI) reduction by aqueous and solid-phase Fe(II), (2) The structure of mineral surfaces in equilibrium with solution, and (3) Mechanisms of bacterial electron transfer to iron oxide surfaces via outer-membrane cytochromes.

  3. [Analysis of environmental gradient and community of forest-swamp ecotone in Changbai mountains].

    PubMed

    Mu, C; Han, S; Luo, J; Wang, X

    2001-02-01

    This paper discussed the change pattern between environmental gradients and community structure, productivity and plant diversity of forest-swamp ecotones, and the mechanism forming those community's traits, which could supply a theoretical basis for conserving and managing the biological resources of ecotonal communities. By setting up sample belts along the environmental gradients on three kinds of ecotones between forests and swamps in Changbai Mountains and through investigating initial data and establishing regression models, the authors studied the dynamic pattern of species composition, diameter class and age class of dominant species, plant diversity, community productivity of forest-swamp ecotone communities with environmental gradients. The results showed that the distribution patterns of community structure characteristics, plant diversity and community productivity were consistent with the changes of environmental gradients of forest-swamp ecotones. Along the environmental gradient from swamp to forest, the displace of dominant species happened, and the species number increased by positive exponent. The diameter distribution of trees decreased by inverse curve, and the age class of trees was suited to cubic distribution. The plant diversity increased by quadratic, and the community biomass increased by cubic power curve along the environmental gradients. The above-mentioned results suggested that the relationships between communities and environmental gradients were closely related. PMID:11813409

  4. Thermomechanical and Environmental Durability of Environmental Barrier Coated Ceramic Matrix Composites Under Thermal Gradients

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zhu, Dongming; Bhatt, Ramakrishna T.; Harder, Bryan

    2016-01-01

    This paper presents the developments of thermo-mechanical testing approaches and durability performance of environmental barrier coatings (EBCs) and EBC coated SiCSiC ceramic matrix composites (CMCs). Critical testing aspects of the CMCs will be described, including state of the art instrumentations such as temperature, thermal gradient, and full field strain measurements; materials thermal conductivity evolutions and thermal stress resistance; NDE methods; thermo-mechanical stress and environment interactions associated damage accumulations. Examples are also given for testing ceramic matrix composite sub-elements and small airfoils to help better understand the critical and complex CMC and EBC properties in engine relevant testing environments.

  5. Environmentally relevant impacts of nano-TiO2 on abiotic degradation of bisphenol A under sunlight irradiation.

    PubMed

    Wu, Wei; Shan, Guoqiang; Wang, Shanfeng; Zhu, Lingyan; Yue, Longfei; Xiang, Qian; Zhang, Yinqing; Li, Zhuo

    2016-09-01

    Understanding the effects of nano-TiO2 particles on the environmental behaviors of organic pollutants in natural aquatic environments is of paramount importance considering that large amount of nano-TiO2 is being released in the environment. In this study, the effect of nano-TiO2 on the degradation of bisphenol A (BPA) in water was investigated under simulated solar light irradiation. The results indicated that nano-TiO2 at environmentally relevant concentration (1 mg/L) could significantly facilitate the abiotic degradation of BPA (also at low concentration) under mild solar light irradiation, with the pseudo first-order rate constant (kobs) for BPA degradation raised by 1-2 orders of magnitude. As reflected by the inhibition experiments, hydroxyl radicals (OHs) and superoxide radical species were the predominant active species responsible for BPA degradation. The reaction was affected by water pH, and the degradation rate was higher at acidic or alkaline conditions than that at neutral condition. Humic acid (HA) also affected the reaction rate, depending on its concentration. At lower concentration (the mass ratio of HA/nano-TiO2 was 0.1:1), HA improved the dispersion and stability of nano-TiO2 in aquatic environment. As a result, the yield of OHs by nano-TiO2 under sunlight irradiation increased and BPA degradation was facilitated. When the HA concentration increased, a coating of HA formed on the surface of nano-TiO2. Although nano-TiO2 became more stable, the light absorption by nano-TiO2 was significantly reduced due to the strong light absorption of the HA coated on the surface. As a consequence, the yield of OH decreased and BPA degradation was depressed. The results imply that nano-TiO2 at low concentration may distinctly mediate BPA degradation, and can contribute to the natural attenuation of some organic pollutants in aquatic environment with low level of HA. However, this process would be significantly reduced in the presence of high level of HA. PMID

  6. Abiotic Gradients and Climate-Growth Relationships in Douglas-fir: Water Limits Tree Growth in Mountain Ecosystems from Stand to Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Littell, J. S.; Peterson, D. L.; McKenzie, D.

    2006-12-01

    Elevation is often used as sampling gradient because it integrates factors influencing climate-mediated biophysical processes. However, in terms of mechanistic attribution of cause and effect in mountain ecosystems, elevation is essentially qualitative because it is a surrogate for the water and energy variables that affect ecological response. In this study, we develop a gradient sampling strategy that considers continentality, physiography, and topography as non-climatic factors that could influence the relationship between tree-growth and regional climate. We developed a network of 124 Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) tree-ring chronologies from the western Olympic Peninsula in Washington to the eastern Rocky Mountain Front in Montana. Growth-climate correlations across the sampled gradients consider two different scales of climate variables as potential controlling factors on tree growth. Gradients of sensitivity to growth limiting climate variables emerged: most plots were significantly limited by water supply, while a few were limited by low temperature and/or snowpack. The sampled Douglas-fir population's sensitivity to summer water balance deficit indicates that increases in April to September temperature without increases in summer precipitation or soil moisture reserves are likely to cause decreases in growth over much of the sampled area, especially east of the Cascade crest. In contrast, Douglas-fir at some higher elevation sites where seasonal photosynthesis is currently limited by growing season length or low growing season temperature may exhibit increases in growth. By focusing less on elevation gradients and more on a complete set of biophysical variables, we were able to quantify the growth-climate relationships across a substantial fraction of the species niche in terms of limiting climatic factors.

  7. Environmental gradients structure Daphnia pulex × pulicaria clonal distribution.

    PubMed

    Pantel, J H; Juenger, T E; Leibold, M A

    2011-04-01

    The rarity of eukaryotic asexual reproduction is frequently attributed to the disadvantage of reduced genetic variation relative to sexual reproduction. However, parthenogenetic lineages that evolved repeatedly from sexual ancestors can generate regional pools of phenotypically diverse clones. Various theories to explain the maintenance of this genetic diversity as a result of environmental and spatial heterogeneity [frozen niche variation (FNV), general-purpose genotype] are conceptually similar to community ecological explanations for the maintenance of regional species diversity. We employed multivariate statistics common in community ecological research to study population genetic structure in the freshwater crustacean, Daphnia pulex × pulicaria. This parthenogenetic hybrid arose repeatedly from sexual ancestors. Daphnia pulex × pulicaria populations harboured substantial genetic variation among populations and the clonal composition at each pond corresponded to nutrient levels and invertebrate predator densities. The interclonal selection process described by the FNV hypothesis likely structured our D. pulex × pulicaria populations. PMID:21288271

  8. Review of Microbial Responses to Abiotic Environmental Factors in the Context of the Proposed Yucca Mountain Repository

    SciTech Connect

    Meike, A.; Stroes-Gascoyne, S.

    2000-08-01

    A workshop on Microbial Activities at Yucca Mountain (May 1995, Lafayette, CA) was held with the intention to compile information on all pertinent aspects of microbial activity for application to a potential repository at Yucca Mountain. The findings of this workshop set off a number of efforts intended to eventually incorporate the impacts of microbial behavior into performance assessment models. One effort was to expand an existing modeling approach to include the distinctive characteristics of a repository at Yucca Mountain (e.g., unsaturated conditions and a significant thermal load). At the same time, a number of experimental studies were initiated as well as a compilation of relevant literature to more thoroughly study the physical, chemical and biological parameters that would affect microbial activity under Yucca Mountain-like conditions. This literature search (completed in 1996) is the subject of the present document. The collected literature can be divided into four categories: (1) abiotic factors, (2) community dynamics and in-situ considerations, (3) nutrient considerations and (4) transport of radionuclides. The complete bibliography represents a considerable resource, but is too large to be discussed in one document. Therefore, the present report focuses on the first category, abiotic factors, and a discussion of these factors in order to facilitate the development of a model for Yucca Mountain.

  9. Integrated biomarker responses of the invasive species Corbicula fluminea in relation to environmental abiotic conditions: a potential indicator of the likelihood of clam's summer mortality syndrome.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, Cristiana; Vilares, Pedro; Guilhermino, Lúcia

    2015-04-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the variation of several biomarkers in wild populations of Corbicula fluminea in relation to abiotic condition changes to identify environmental factors associated with increased stress in this species potentially leading to massive mortality events. The study was carried out from July to October in the freshwater tidal areas of the estuaries of Minho and Lima Rivers (NW Iberian Peninsula). Monthly, 7 biomarkers (biotransformation, energy production, anti-oxidant defenses and lipid peroxidation damages) were determined in C. fluminea and 17 abiotic parameters were determined in water or sediments in 4 sampling sites: M1, M2 and M3 in Minho (up=> downstream); and L in Lima estuaries. The results of biomarkers were integrated using the Integrated Biomarker Response (IBR), Index and also analysed in relation to environmental parameters by Redundancy Analysis (RDA). Overall, the findings of the present study indicate that July and August are particularly stressful months for the studied C. fluminea populations, especially at downstream sites; the increase of nutrients and ammonium water concentrations, water temperature and conductivity are major contributors for this increased stress; the biomarkers indicated that in July/August C. fluminea is exposed to oxidative stress inducers, environmental chemical contaminants biotransformed by esterases and glutathione S-transferase enzymes, and that organisms need additional energy to cope with the chemical and/or thermally-induced stress. The findings of the present study stress the importance of biomonitoring the health condition of C. fluminea because it may allow determining the likelihood of summer/post summer mortality syndrome in this species. PMID:25499240

  10. Niche Construction on Environmental Gradients: The Formation of Fitness Valley and Stratified Genotypic Distributions

    PubMed Central

    Han, Xiaozhuo; Hui, Cang

    2014-01-01

    The process of niche construction can alter the trajectory of natural selection through organism-environment feedback. As such, the mechanism and impact of niche construction can be better investigated along environmental gradients. Here we investigate how the process of niche construction affects the distribution of genotypes and fitness landscape along an environmental gradient under three selection regimes, namely heterozygote superiority, genetic loci which dictates niche construction ability being either selectively neutral or non-neutral. Using a spatially explicit cellular automaton, we show that niche construction can stratify genetic diversity by forming band-like distributions consisting of different genotypic compositions and promote reproduction isolation by forming a divide with reduced average fitness along the gradients, termed a fitness valley. The band structure and the presence of a fitness valley depend on heterogeneous environments, resource-dependent fitness and the selection acting on the gene loci affecting the niche-constructing ability. Our work adds to the growing body of evidence on criticizing species distribution models which assume that the environment alone can determine species distributions. Based on the results, we argue that conservation planning should target preserving or restoring environmental gradients. PMID:24915290

  11. Modified Whole Effluent Toxicity Test to Assess and Decouple Wastewater Effects from Environmental Gradients

    PubMed Central

    Sauco, Sebastián; Gómez, Julio; Barboza, Francisco R.; Lercari, Diego; Defeo, Omar

    2013-01-01

    Environmental gradients and wastewater discharges produce aggregated effects on marine populations, obscuring the detection of human impact. Classical assessment methods do not include environmental effects in toxicity tests designs, which could lead to incorrect conclusions. We proposed a modified Whole Effluent Toxicity test (mWET) that includes environmental gradients in addition to effluent dilutions, together with the application of Generalized Linear Mixed Models (GLMM) to assess and decouple those effects. We tested this approach, analyzing the lethal effects of wastewater on a marine sandy beach bivalve affected by an artificial canal freshwater discharge used for rice crops irrigation. To this end, we compared bivalve mortality between canal water dilutions (CWd) and salinity controls (SC: without canal water). CWd were prepared by diluting the water effluent (sampled during the pesticide application period) with artificial marine water. The salinity gradient was included in the design by achieving the same final salinities in both CWd and SC, allowing us to account for the effects of salinity by including this variable as a random factor in the GLMM. Our approach detected significantly higher mortalities in CWd, indicating potential toxic effects of the effluent discharge. mWET represents an improvement over the internationally standardized WET tests, since it considers environmental variability and uses appropriate statistical analyses. PMID:23755304

  12. Constraining the role of iron in environmental nitrogen transformations: Dual stable isotope systematics of abiotic NO2- reduction by Fe(II) and its production of N2O

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buchwald, Carolyn; Grabb, Kalina; Hansel, Colleen M.; Wankel, Scott D.

    2016-08-01

    Despite mounting evidence for biogeochemical interactions between iron and nitrogen, our understanding of their environmental importance remains limited. Here we present an investigation of abiotic nitrite (NO2-) reduction by Fe(II) or 'chemodenitrification', and its relevance to the production of nitrous oxide (N2O), specifically focusing on dual (N and O) isotope systematics under a variety of environmental conditions. We observe a range of kinetic isotope effects that are regulated by reaction rates, with faster rates at higher pH (∼8), higher concentrations of Fe(II) and in the presence of mineral surfaces. A clear non-linear relationship between rate constant and kinetic isotope effects of NO2- reduction was evident (with larger isotope effects at slower rates) and is interpreted as reflecting the dynamics of Fe(II)-N reaction intermediates. N and O isotopic composition of product N2O also suggests a complex network of parallel and/or competing pathways. Our findings suggest that NO2- reduction by Fe(II) may represent an important abiotic source of environmental N2O, especially in iron-rich environments experiencing dynamic redox variations. This study provides a multi-compound, multi-isotope framework for evaluating the environmental occurrence of abiotic NO2- reduction and N2O formation, helping future studies constrain the relative roles of abiotic and biological N2O production pathways.

  13. Structure of marine predator and prey communities along environmental gradients in a glaciated fjord

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Renner, Martin; Arimitsu, Mayumi L.; Piatt, John F.

    2012-01-01

    Spatial patterns of marine predator communities are influenced to varying degrees by prey distribution and environmental gradients. We examined physical and biological attributes of an estuarine fjord with strong glacier influence to determine the factors that most influence the structure of predator and prey communities. Our results suggest that some species, such as walleye pollock (Theragra chalcogramma), black-legged kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla), and glaucous-winged gull (Larus glaucescens), were widely distributed across environmental gradients, indicating less specialization, whereas species such as capelin (Mallotus villosus), harbor seal (Phoca vitulina), and Kittlitz's murrelet (Brachyramphus brevirostris) appeared to have more specialized habitat requirements related to glacial influence. We found that upper trophic level communities were well correlated with their mid trophic level prey community, but strong physical gradients in photic depth, temperature, and nutrients played an important role in community structure as well. Mid-trophic level forage fish communities were correlated with the physical gradients more closely than upper trophic levels were, and they showed strong affinity to tidewater glaciers. Silica was closely correlated with the distribution of fish communities, the mechanisms of which deserve further study.

  14. Adaptive Genetic Divergence along Narrow Environmental Gradients in Four Stream Insects

    PubMed Central

    Watanabe, Kozo; Kazama, So; Omura, Tatsuo; Monaghan, Michael T.

    2014-01-01

    A central question linking ecology with evolutionary biology is how environmental heterogeneity can drive adaptive genetic divergence among populations. We examined adaptive divergence of four stream insects from six adjacent catchments in Japan by combining field measures of habitat and resource components with genome scans of non-neutral Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism (AFLP) loci. Neutral genetic variation was used to measure gene flow and non-neutral genetic variation was used to test for adaptive divergence. We identified the environmental characteristics contributing to divergence by comparing genetic distances at non-neutral loci between sites with Euclidean distances for each of 15 environmental variables. Comparisons were made using partial Mantel tests to control for geographic distance. In all four species, we found strong evidence for non-neutral divergence along environmental gradients at between 6 and 21 loci per species. The relative contribution of these environmental variables to each species' ecological niche was quantified as the specialization index, S, based on ecological data. In each species, the variable most significantly correlated with genetic distance at non-neutral loci was the same variable along which each species was most narrowly distributed (i.e., highest S). These were gradients of elevation (two species), chlorophyll-a, and ammonia-nitrogen. This adaptive divergence occurred in the face of ongoing gene flow (Fst = 0.01–0.04), indicating that selection was strong enough to overcome homogenization at the landscape scale. Our results suggest that adaptive divergence is pronounced, occurs along different environmental gradients for different species, and may consistently occur along the narrowest components of species' niche. PMID:24681871

  15. Ecological impacts of invasive alien species along temperature gradients: testing the role of environmental matching.

    PubMed

    Iacarella, Josephine C; Dick, Jaimie T A; Alexander, Mhairi E; Ricciardi, Anthony

    2015-04-01

    Invasive alien species (IAS) can cause substantive ecological impacts, and the role of temperature in mediating these impacts may become increasingly significant in a changing climate. Habitat conditions and physiological optima offer predictive information for IAS impacts in novel environments. Here, using meta-analysis and laboratory experiments, we tested the hypothesis that the impacts of IAS in the field are inversely correlated with the difference in their ambient and optimal temperatures. A meta-analysis of 29 studies of consumptive impacts of IAS in inland waters revealed that the impacts of fishes and crustaceans are higher at temperatures that more closely match their thermal growth optima. In particular, the maximum impact potential was constrained by increased differences between ambient and optimal temperatures, as indicated by the steeper slope of a quantile regression on the upper 25th percentile of impact data compared to that of a weighted linear regression on all data with measured variances. We complemented this study with an experimental analysis of the functional response (the relationship between predation rate and prey supply) of two invasive predators (freshwater mysid shrimp, Hemimysis anomala and Mysis diluviana) across. relevant temperature gradients; both of these species have previously been found to exert strong community-level impacts that are corroborated by their functional responses to different prey items. The functional response experiments showed that maximum feeding rates of H. anomala and M. diluviana have distinct peaks near their respective thermal optima. Although variation in impacts may be caused by numerous abiotic or biotic habitat characteristics, both our analyses point to temperature as a key mediator of IAS impact levels in inland waters and suggest that IAS management should prioritize habitats in the invaded range that more closely match the thermal optima of targeted invaders. PMID:26214916

  16. Microecology: Using Fast-Growing Filamentous Fungi to Study the Effects of Environmental Gradients on the Growth Patterns of Hyphae

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Delpech, Roger

    2004-01-01

    This paper describes some simple and rapid techniques for examining the growth responses of fungal hyphae cultivated on environmental gradients. The creation of such gradients using agar-based growth media in petri dishes is explained, along with recommendations for quantitative macroscopic and microscopic measurements. The intention is to provide…

  17. The Effect of Positive Interactions on Temporal Turnover of Community Composition along an Environmental Gradient

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Youshi; Yang, Zhiyong; Zhou, Shurong; Soininen, Janne; Ai, Dexiecuo; Li, Yali; Chu, Chengjin

    2013-01-01

    It has been demonstrated that the interplay between negative and positive interactions simultaneously shapes community structure and composition. However, few studies have attempted to examine the effect of facilitation on compositional changes in communities through time. Additionally, due to the difficulties in collecting the long-term data, it would be useful to indicate the rate of temporal turnover using a readily obtainable metric. Using an individual-based model incorporating plant strategies, we examined the role of facilitation on the temporal turnover of communities located at different positions along an environmental gradient for three model scenarios: CM without facilitation; CFM-U, a unimodal relationship between facilitation and environmental severity; and CFM-L, a positively linear relationship between facilitation and environmental severity. Our results demonstrated that facilitation could increase, decrease or have no remarkable effect on temporal turnover. The specific outcome depended on the location of the focal community across the environmental gradient and the model employed. Compared with CM, the inclusion of positive interactions (i.e. CFM-U and CFM-L), at intermediate environmental stress levels (such as S = 0.7 and 0.8) resulted in lower Bray-Curtis similarity values; at other severity levels, facilitation slowed down (such as S = 0.3 and 0.4 at low to medium stress levels, and S = 0.9 at high stress levels) or had only a subtle effect (such as at S = 0.1) on temporal turnover. We also found that the coefficient of variation (CV) in species abundances and the rate of temporal variability showed a significant quadratic relationship. Our theoretical analysis contributes to the understanding of factors driving temporal turnover in biotic communities, and presents a potential metric (i.e. CV in species abundances) assessing the consequences of ongoing environmental change on community structure. PMID:24265708

  18. Dung Beetles along a Tropical Altitudinal Gradient: Environmental Filtering on Taxonomic and Functional Diversity.

    PubMed

    Nunes, Cássio Alencar; Braga, Rodrigo Fagundes; Figueira, José Eugênio Cortes; Neves, Frederico de Siqueira; Fernandes, G Wilson

    2016-01-01

    Mountains provide an interesting context in which to study the many facets of biodiversity in response to macroclimate, since environmental conditions change rapidly due to elevation. Although the decrease in biodiversity with increasing elevation is generally accepted, our understanding of the variation of functional diversity along altitudinal gradients is still poorly known. The partitioning of diversity into spatial components can help to understand the processes that influence the distribution of species, and these studies are urgently needed in face of the increasing threats to mountain environments throughout the world. We describe the distribution of dung beetle diversity along an altitudinal gradient on a tropical mountain in southeastern Brazil, including the spatial partitioning of taxonomic and functional diversities. The altitudinal gradient ranged from 800 up to 1400 m a.s.l. and we collected dung beetles at every 100 m of altitude. We used the Rao Index to calculate γ, α and β diversity for taxonomic and functional diversity of dung beetles. Climatic, soil and vegetation variables were used to explain variation in community attributes along the altitudinal gradient. Dung beetle richness declined with altitude and was related to climatic and vegetation variables, but functional diversity did not follow the same pattern. Over 50% of γ taxonomic diversity was caused by among altitudes diversity (β), while almost 100% of functional diversity was due to the α component. Contrasting β taxonomic with β functional diversity, we suggest that there is ecological redundancy among communities and that the environment is filtering species in terms of the Grinnellian niche, rather than the Eltonian niche. β taxonomic diversity is caused mainly by the turnover component, reinforcing the hypothesis of environmental filtering. Global warming may have strong effects on mountain communities due to upslope range shifts and extinctions, and these events will

  19. Dung Beetles along a Tropical Altitudinal Gradient: Environmental Filtering on Taxonomic and Functional Diversity

    PubMed Central

    Nunes, Cássio Alencar; Braga, Rodrigo Fagundes; Figueira, José Eugênio Cortes; Neves, Frederico de Siqueira; Fernandes, G. Wilson

    2016-01-01

    Mountains provide an interesting context in which to study the many facets of biodiversity in response to macroclimate, since environmental conditions change rapidly due to elevation. Although the decrease in biodiversity with increasing elevation is generally accepted, our understanding of the variation of functional diversity along altitudinal gradients is still poorly known. The partitioning of diversity into spatial components can help to understand the processes that influence the distribution of species, and these studies are urgently needed in face of the increasing threats to mountain environments throughout the world. We describe the distribution of dung beetle diversity along an altitudinal gradient on a tropical mountain in southeastern Brazil, including the spatial partitioning of taxonomic and functional diversities. The altitudinal gradient ranged from 800 up to 1400 m a.s.l. and we collected dung beetles at every 100 m of altitude. We used the Rao Index to calculate γ, α and β diversity for taxonomic and functional diversity of dung beetles. Climatic, soil and vegetation variables were used to explain variation in community attributes along the altitudinal gradient. Dung beetle richness declined with altitude and was related to climatic and vegetation variables, but functional diversity did not follow the same pattern. Over 50% of γ taxonomic diversity was caused by among altitudes diversity (β), while almost 100% of functional diversity was due to the α component. Contrasting β taxonomic with β functional diversity, we suggest that there is ecological redundancy among communities and that the environment is filtering species in terms of the Grinnellian niche, rather than the Eltonian niche. β taxonomic diversity is caused mainly by the turnover component, reinforcing the hypothesis of environmental filtering. Global warming may have strong effects on mountain communities due to upslope range shifts and extinctions, and these events will

  20. Plant biomass and species composition along an environmental gradient in montane riparian meadows.

    PubMed

    Dwire, Kathleen A; Kauffman, J Boone; Brookshire, E N Jack; Baham, John E

    2004-04-01

    In riparian meadows, narrow zonation of the dominant vegetation frequently occurs along the elevational gradient from the stream edge to the floodplain terrace. We measured plant species composition and above- and belowground biomass in three riparian plant communities-a priori defined as wet, moist, and dry meadow-along short streamside topographic gradients in two montane meadows in northeast Oregon. The objectives were to: (1). compare above- and belowground biomass in the three meadow communities; (2). examine relations among plant species richness, biomass distribution, water table depth, and soil redox potential along the streamside elevational gradients. We installed wells and platinum electrodes along transects (perpendicular to the stream; n=5 per site) through the three plant communities, and monitored water table depth and soil redox potential (10 and 25 cm depth) from July 1997 to August 1999. Mean water table depth and soil redox potential differed significantly along the transects, and characterized a strong environmental gradient. Community differences in plant species composition were reflected in biomass distribution. Highest total biomass (live+dead) occurred in the sedge-dominated wet meadows (4311+/-289 g/m(2)), intermediate biomass (2236+/-221 g/m(2)) was seen in the moist meadow communities, dominated by grasses and sedges, and lowest biomass (1403+/-113 g/m(2)) was observed in the more diverse dry meadows, dominated by grasses and forbs. In the wet and moist communities, belowground biomass (live+dead) comprised 68-81% of the totals. Rhizome-to-root ratios and distinctive vertical profiles of belowground biomass reflected characteristics of the dominant graminoid species within each community. Total biomass was positively correlated with mean water table depth, and negatively correlated with mean redox potential (10 cm and 25 cm depths; P <0.01) and species richness ( P <0.05), indicating that the distribution of biomass coincided with the

  1. Parallel structure among environmental gradients and three trophic levels in a subarctic estuary

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Speckman, S.G.; Piatt, J.F.; Minte-Vera, C. V.; Parrish, J.K.

    2005-01-01

    We assessed spatial and temporal variability in the physical environment of a subarctic estuary, and examined concurrent patterns of chlorophyll α abundance (fluorescence), and zooplankton and forage fish community structure. Surveys were conducted in lower Cook Inlet, Alaska, during late July and early August from 1997 through 1999. Principle components analysis (PCA) revealed that spatial heterogeneity in the physical oceanographic environment of lower Cook Inlet could be modeled as three marine-estuarine gradients characterized by temperature, salinity, bottom depth, and turbidity. The gradients persisted from 1997 through 1999, and PCA explained 68% to 92% of the variance in physical oceanography for each gradient-year combination. Correlations between chlorophyll α abundance and distribution and the PCA axes were weak. Chlorophyll was reduced by turbidity, and low levels occurred in areas with high levels of suspended sediments. Detrended correspondence analysis (DCA) was used to order the sample sites based on species composition and to order the zooplankton and forage fish taxa based on similarities among sample sites for each gradient-year. Correlations between the structure of the physical environment (PCA axis 1) and zooplankton community structure (DCA axis 1) were strong (r = 0.43-0.86) in all years for the three marine-estuarine gradients, suggesting that zooplankton community composition was structured by the physical environment. The physical environment (PCA) and forage fish community structure (DCA) were weakly correlated in all years along Gradient 2, defined by halocline intensity and surface temperature and salinity, even though these physical variables were more important for defining zooplankton habitats. However, the physical environment (PCA) and forage fish community structure (DCA) were strongly correlated along the primary marine-estuarine gradient (#1) in 1997 (r = 0.87) and 1998 (r = 0.82). The correlation was poor (r = 0.32) in

  2. Microgeographic Patterns of Genetic Divergence and Adaptation across Environmental Gradients in Boechera stricta (Brassicaceae).

    PubMed

    Anderson, Jill T; Perera, Nadeesha; Chowdhury, Bashira; Mitchell-Olds, Thomas

    2015-10-01

    Abiotic and biotic conditions often vary continuously across the landscape, imposing divergent selection on local populations. We used a provenance trial approach to examine microgeographic variation in local adaptation in Boechera stricta (Brassicaceae), a perennial forb native to the Rocky Mountains. In montane ecosystems, environmental conditions change considerably over short spatial scales, such that neighboring populations can be subject to different selective pressures. Using accessions from southern (Colorado) and northern (Idaho) populations, we characterized spatial variation in genetic similarity via microsatellite markers. We then transplanted genotypes from multiple local populations into common gardens in both regions. Continuous variation in local adaptation emerged for several components of fitness. In Idaho, genotypes from warmer environments (low-elevation or south-facing sites) were poorly adapted to the north-facing garden. In high- and low-elevation Colorado gardens, susceptibility to insect herbivory increased with source elevation. In the high-elevation Colorado garden, germination success peaked for genotypes that evolved at elevations similar to that of the garden and decreased for genotypes from higher and lower elevations. We also found evidence for local maladaptation in survival and fecundity components of fitness in the low-elevation Colorado garden. This approach is a first step in predicting how global change could affect evolutionary dynamics. PMID:26656218

  3. Ontogenetic resource-use strategies in a rare long-lived cycad along environmental gradients

    PubMed Central

    Álvarez-Yépiz, Juan C.; Cueva, Alejandro; Dovčiak, Martin; Teece, Mark; Yepez, Enrico A.

    2014-01-01

    Functional traits can drive plant responses to short- and long-term stressful conditions, with potential effects on species persistence in local habitats, changes in population size and structure, and potential species range shifts in changing environments. We investigated whether ecophysiological traits in a rare cycad vary along environmental gradients and with ontogeny to understand intra-specific resource-use variation (e.g. symbiotic nitrogen fixation, nitrogen- and water-use efficiency) and possible species adaptations for different environments. Environmental gradients were characterized with 14 soil and topographic variables. Nitrogen- and water-use efficiency improved with ontogeny (from seedling to juvenile and adult stages) but declined as soil fertility decreased with increasing elevation. Conversely, reliance on symbiotic nitrogen fixation increased with elevation and varied slightly with ontogeny. Improved water-use efficiency at lower elevation and nitrogen fixation at higher elevation may represent key functional strategies for maintaining the lower and upper altitudinal species range limits, especially in arid environments where stressful conditions are intensifying due to climatic and land-use changes. In addition to facilitation linked to the regeneration niche, improved resource-use efficiency linked to the adult niche may strongly influence cycad distribution and persistence in contemporary environments. A functional approach to conservation of rare or endangered plant species may be needed in order to target the most sensitive stages to changing environmental conditions and to better understand potential range shifts and adaptive responses to global land-use and climate changes. PMID:27293655

  4. Ontogenetic resource-use strategies in a rare long-lived cycad along environmental gradients.

    PubMed

    Álvarez-Yépiz, Juan C; Cueva, Alejandro; Dovčiak, Martin; Teece, Mark; Yepez, Enrico A

    2014-01-01

    Functional traits can drive plant responses to short- and long-term stressful conditions, with potential effects on species persistence in local habitats, changes in population size and structure, and potential species range shifts in changing environments. We investigated whether ecophysiological traits in a rare cycad vary along environmental gradients and with ontogeny to understand intra-specific resource-use variation (e.g. symbiotic nitrogen fixation, nitrogen- and water-use efficiency) and possible species adaptations for different environments. Environmental gradients were characterized with 14 soil and topographic variables. Nitrogen- and water-use efficiency improved with ontogeny (from seedling to juvenile and adult stages) but declined as soil fertility decreased with increasing elevation. Conversely, reliance on symbiotic nitrogen fixation increased with elevation and varied slightly with ontogeny. Improved water-use efficiency at lower elevation and nitrogen fixation at higher elevation may represent key functional strategies for maintaining the lower and upper altitudinal species range limits, especially in arid environments where stressful conditions are intensifying due to climatic and land-use changes. In addition to facilitation linked to the regeneration niche, improved resource-use efficiency linked to the adult niche may strongly influence cycad distribution and persistence in contemporary environments. A functional approach to conservation of rare or endangered plant species may be needed in order to target the most sensitive stages to changing environmental conditions and to better understand potential range shifts and adaptive responses to global land-use and climate changes. PMID:27293655

  5. Environmental Gradient Favours Functionally Diverse Macrobenthic Community in a Placer Rich Tropical Bay

    PubMed Central

    Sivadas, S. K.; Ingole, B. S.; Fernandes, C. E. G.

    2013-01-01

    The present paper examines the functional diversity-environment relation in a placer rich tropical bay. Understanding the environmental variables that determine the biodiversity pattern will help in the effective conservation plans of coastal habitat. However, few studies have been carried out on the biodiversity-environment relation from the diverse tropical coastal ecosystem. The geographic location of Kalbadevi Bay along the west coast of India provides an opportunity to study the functional diversity pattern of macrofauna along an environmental gradient. Additionally, the area is also a potential placer mining site. Seasonal sampling was carried out for macrofauna and environmental variables. Macrofaunal functional diversity showed significant temporal variation related to the environmental parameters. The most important environmental variables were organic matter and sediment texture. Filter feeders dominated during postmonsoon which is a period when the water column is enriched with sinking detritus. The deposit feeders which rapidly ingest the settled detritus and also transport it to deeper sediment for the subsurface deposit feeders dominated during premonsoon. Abundance of carnivores was high during premonsoon, a response to increase in food in terms of deposit feeders. The result thus indicates that the temporal environmental variation influenced the macrofaunal functional diversity pattern in the Kalbadevi Bay. PMID:23853540

  6. Distribution of functional traits in subtropical trees across environmental and forest use gradients

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blundo, Cecilia; Malizia, Lucio R.; González-Espinosa, Mario

    2015-11-01

    The relationship between functional traits and environmental factors contribute to understanding community structure and predicting which species will be able to elude environmental filters in different habitats. We selected 10 functional traits related to morphology, demography and regeneration niche in 54 subtropical premontane tree species to describe their main axes of functional differentiation. We derived species traits, environmental variables and species abundance data from 20 1-ha permanent plots established in a seasonal subtropical premontane forest in northwestern Argentina. We analyzed the relationship between species functional traits and environmental factors through RLQ and fourth-corner analyzes. We found an axis of structural differentiation that segregates understory from canopy species, and an axis of functional differentiation that segregates species that maximize resource acquisition from those that promote resource conservation. Environmental and forest use gradients operate hierarchically over subtropical premontane tree species influencing the distribution of demographic and morphological traits. The interaction between climatic and topographic factors influences the distribution of species functional traits at the regional scale. In addition, the history of forest use seems to operate at the landscape scale and explains the distribution of species traits reflecting a trade-off between resource acquisition and resource conservation strategies in secondary forests across different successional stages. Our results support the idea that functional traits may be used to analyze community structure and dynamics through niche differentiation and environmental filtering processes.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Regime Shifts and Weakened Environmental Gradients in Open Oak and Pine Ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Hanberry, Brice B.; Dey, Dan C.; He, Hong S.

    2012-01-01

    Fire suppression allows tree species that are intolerant of fire stress to increase their distribution, potentially resulting in disruption of historical species-environmental relationships. To measure changes between historical General Land Office surveys (1815 to 1850) and current USDA Forest Inventory and Assessment surveys (2004 to 2008), we compared composition, distribution, and site factors of 21 tree species or species groups in the Missouri Ozarks. We used 24 environmental variables and random forests as a classification method to model distributions. Eastern redcedar, elms, maples, and other fire-sensitive species have increased in dominance in oak forests, with concurrent reductions by oak species; specific changes varied by ecological subsection. Ordinations displayed loss of separation between formerly distinctive oak and fire-sensitive tree species groups. Distribution maps showed decreased presence of disturbance-dependent oak and pine species and increased presence of fire-sensitive species that generally expanded from subsections protected from fire along rivers to upland areas, except for eastern redcedar, which expanded into these subsections. Large scale differences in spatial gradients between past and present communities paralleled reduced influence of local topographic gradients in the varied relief of the Missouri Ozarks, as fire-sensitive species have moved to higher, drier, and sunnier sites away from riverine corridors. Due to changes in land use, landscapes in the Missouri Ozarks, eastern United States, and world-wide are changing from open oak and pine-dominated ecosystems to novel oak-mixed species forests, although at fine scales, forests are becoming more diverse in tree species today. Fire suppression weakened the influence by environmental gradients over species dominance, allowing succession from disturbance-dependent oaks to an alternative state of fire-sensitive species. Current and future research and conservation that rely on

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Multimode gradient high performance liquid chromatography mass spectrometry method applicable to metabolomics and environmental monitoring.

    PubMed

    Ammann, Adrian A; Suter, Marc J-F

    2016-07-22

    Metabolomics or environmental investigations generate samples containing very large numbers of small molecular weight analytes. A single mode chromatographic separation excludes a substantial part of such complex analyte mixtures. For instance, a reversed-phase separation would not retain ionic species, resulting in a correspondingly huge front peak. To address this problem, we used two commercially available mixed-mode ion-exchange reversed-phase columns (WAX-1 and WCX-1) in sequence in a novel multimode separation method. After trapping hydrophobics on a C18-trap in loop position, hydrophilics passing the trap are separated by a simultaneous gradient for HILIC, anion and cation exchange chromatography. This gradient ends in a washout phase with a high percentage of water, the correct starting conditions for a reversed-phase gradient eluting hydrophobics from the trap in a second step of the run. Amino acids (9), organic acids (2), sugars (8), fatty acid derived compounds (11), antioxidants (4), miscellanea (6) and xenobiotics (4) were analyzed. Compounds were separated after a single sample injection during a 50min run. Lipids derived small fatty acids up to a chain length of 12 carbons were also accessible within this run time. PMID:27324626

  11. Using gradient-based ray and candidate shadow maps for environmental illumination distribution estimation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eem, Changkyoung; Kim, Iksu; Hong, Hyunki

    2015-07-01

    A method to estimate the environmental illumination distribution of a scene with gradient-based ray and candidate shadow maps is presented. In the shadow segmentation stage, we apply a Canny edge detector to the shadowed image by using a three-dimensional (3-D) augmented reality (AR) marker of a known size and shape. Then the hierarchical tree of the connected edge components representing the topological relation is constructed, and the connected components are merged, taking their hierarchical structures into consideration. A gradient-based ray that is perpendicular to the gradient of the edge pixel in the shadow image can be used to extract the shadow regions. In the light source detection stage, shadow regions with both a 3-D AR marker and the light sources are partitioned into candidate shadow maps. A simple logic operation between each candidate shadow map and the segmented shadow is used to efficiently compute the area ratio between them. The proposed method successively extracts the main light sources according to their relative contributions on the segmented shadows. The proposed method can reduce unwanted effects due to the sampling positions in the shadow region and the threshold values in the shadow edge detection.

  12. Creep and Environmental Durability of EBC/CMCs Under Imposed Thermal Gradient Conditions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Appleby, Matthew; Morscher, Gregory N.; Zhu, Dongming

    2013-01-01

    Interest in SiC fiber-reinforced SiC ceramic matrix composite (CMC) environmental barrier coating (EBC) systems for use in high temperature structural applications has prompted the need for characterization of material strength and creep performance under complex aerospace turbine engine environments. Stress-rupture tests have been performed on SiC/SiC composites systems, with varying fiber types and coating schemes to demonstrate material behavior under isothermal conditions. Further testing was conducted under exposure to thermal stress gradients to determine the effect on creep resistance and material durability. In order to understand the associated damage mechanisms, emphasis is placed on experimental techniques as well as implementation of non-destructive evaluation; including electrical resistivity monitoring. The influence of environmental and loading conditions on life-limiting material properties is shown.

  13. Physiological community ecology: variation in metabolic activity of ecologically important rocky intertidal invertebrates along environmental gradients.

    PubMed

    Dahlhoff, Elizabeth P; Stillman, Jonathon H; Menge, Bruce A

    2002-08-01

    Rocky intertidal invertebrates live in heterogeneous habitats characterized by steep gradients in wave activity, tidal flux, temperature, food quality and food availability. These environmental factors impact metabolic activity via changes in energy input and stress-induced alteration of energetic demands. For keystone species, small environmentally induced shifts in metabolic activity may lead to disproportionately large impacts on community structure via changes in growth or survival of these key species. Here we use biochemical indicators to assess how natural differences in wave exposure, temperature and food availability may affect metabolic activity of mussels, barnacles, whelks and sea stars living at rocky intertidal sites with different physical and oceanographic characteristics. We show that oxygen consumption rate is correlated with the activity of key metabolic enzymes (e.g., citrate synthase and malate dehydrogenase) for some intertidal species, and concentrations of these enzymes in certain tissues are lower for starved individuals than for those that are well fed. We also show that the ratio of RNA to DNA (an index of protein synthetic capacity) is highly variable in nature and correlates with short-term changes in food availability. We also observed striking patterns in enzyme activity and RNA/DNA in nature, which are related to differences in rocky intertidal community structure. Differences among species and habitats are most pronounced in summer and are linked to high nearshore productivity at sites favored by suspension feeders and to exposure to stressful low-tide air temperatures in areas of low wave splash. These studies illustrate the great promise of using biochemical indicators to test ecological models, which predict changes in community structure along environmental gradients. Our results also suggest that biochemical indices must be carefully validated with laboratory studies, so that the indicator selected is likely to respond to the

  14. Strong species-environment feedback shapes plant community assembly along environmental gradients

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jiang, Jiang; DeAngelis, Donald L.

    2013-01-01

    An aim of community ecology is to understand the patterns of competing species assembly along environmental gradients. All species interact with their environments. However, theories of community assembly have seldom taken into account the effects of species that are able to engineer the environment. In this modeling study, we integrate the species' engineering trait together with processes of immigration and local dispersal into a theory of community assembly. We quantify the species' engineering trait as the degree to which it can move the local environment away from its baseline state towards the optimum state of the species (species-environment feedback). We find that, in the presence of immigration from a regional pool, strong feedback can increase local species richness; however, in the absence of continual immigration, species richness is a declining function of the strength of species-environment feedback. This shift from a negative effect of engineering strength on species richness to a positive effect, as immigration rate increases, is clearer when there is spatial heterogeneity in the form of a gradient in environmental conditions than when the environment is homogeneous or it is randomly heterogeneous. Increasing the scale over which local dispersal occurs can facilitate species richness when there is no species-environment feedback or when the feedback is weak. However, increases in the spatial scale of dispersal can reduce species richness when the species-environment feedback is strong. These results expand the theoretical basis for understanding the effects of the strength of species-environment feedback on community assembly.

  15. Constraining the role of iron in environmental nitrogen transformations. Dual stable isotope systematics of abiotic NO2- reduction by Fe(II) and its production of N2O

    SciTech Connect

    Johnston, David; Wankel, Scott David; Buchwald, Carolyn; Hansel, Colleen

    2015-09-16

    Redox reactions involving nitrogen and iron have been shown to have important implications for mobilization of priority contaminants. Thus, an understanding of the linkages between their biogeochemical cycling is critical for predicting subsurface mobilization of radionuclides such as uranium. Despite mounting evidence for biogeochemical interactions between iron and nitrogen, our understanding of their environmental importance remains limited. Here we present an investigation of abiotic nitrite (NO2-) reduction by Fe(II) or ‘chemodenitrification,’ and its relevance to the production of nitrous oxide (N2O), specifically focusing on dual (N and O) isotope systematics under a variety of environmentally relevant conditions. We observe a range of kinetic isotope effects that are regulated by reaction rates, with faster rates at higher pH (~8), higher concentrations of Fe(II) and in the presence of mineral surfaces. A clear non-linear relationship between rate constant and kinetic isotope effects of NO2- reduction was evident (with larger isotope effects at slower rates) and is interpreted as reflecting the dynamics of Fe(II)-N reaction intermediates. N and O isotopic composition of product N2O also suggests a complex network of parallel and/or competing pathways. Our findings suggest that NO2- reduction by Fe(II) may represent an important abiotic source of environmental N2O, especially in iron-rich environments experiencing dynamic redox variations. This study provides a multi-compound, multi-isotope framework for evaluating the environmental occurrence of abiotic NO2- reduction and N2O formation, helping future studies constrain the relative roles of abiotic and biological N2O production pathways.

  16. Beta diversity along environmental gradients: implications of habitat specialization in tropical montane landscapes.

    PubMed

    Jankowski, Jill E; Ciecka, Anna L; Meyer, Nola Y; Rabenold, Kerry N

    2009-03-01

    1. Understanding how species in a diverse regional pool are spatially distributed with respect to habitat types is a longstanding problem in ecology. Tropical species are expected to be specialists along environmental gradients, and this should result in rapid compositional change (high beta diversity) across landscapes, particularly when alpha diversity is a small fraction of regional diversity. Corollary challenges are then to identify controlling environmental variables and to ask whether species cluster into discrete community types along a gradient. 2. We investigated patterns of avian species' distributions in the Tilarán mountains of Costa Rica between 1000 m and 1700 m elevation where a strong moisture gradient exists. High beta diversity was found with both auditory counts adjusted for detectability and extensive capture data, revealing nearly complete change in community composition over a few kilometres on the Pacific slope. As predicted, this beta diversity was roughly twice as high as on temperate mountainsides. 3. Partial Mantel analyses and canonical correspondence analysis indicate that change in species composition is highly correlated with change in moisture (and correlated epiphyte cover) at different distances from the continental divide on the Pacific slope. Altitude was not a good predictor of change in species composition, as species composition varies substantially among sites at the same elevation. 4. Detrended correspondence analysis and cluster analysis revealed a zone of rapid transition separating a distinct cloud forest community from rainshadow forest. On the Caribbean slope, where a shallower moisture gradient was predicted to result in lower beta diversity, we found lower rates of compositional change and more continuous species turnover. 5. Results suggest that habitat specialization of birds is likely a strong ecological force generating high beta diversity in montane landscapes. Despite overall rapid rates of species turnover

  17. Influential environmental gradients and spatiotemporal patterns of fish assemblages in the unimpounded Upper Mississippi River

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Barko, V.A.; Palmer, M.W.; Herzog, D.P.; Ickes, B.S.

    2004-01-01

    We investigated variation of fish assemblages in response to environmental factors using Long Term Resource Monitoring Program data. Data were collected from 1993 to 2000 from five physical habitats in the unimpounded upper Mississippi River. We captured 89 species composing 18 families. Of these, 26% were fluvial specialists, 25% were fluvial dependent and 49% were generalists. The numerically dominant component of the adult fish assemblage (species accounting for >10% of total catch) accounted for 50% of the assemblage and was comprised of only three species: gizzard shad (Dorosoma cepedianum; 25%), common carp (Cyprinus carpio, 15%) and channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus, 10%). The dominant component of the YOY fish assemblage was comprised of only two species, which accounted for 76% of the total catch: freshwater drum (Aplodinotus grunniens; 39%) and gizzard shad (37%). We used a cross-validation multivariate approach to explore how adult and young-of-the-year (YOY) assemblages varied with respect. to physical habitat and environmental gradients. Furthermore, we were interested how the fish assemblages changed over time. Partial canonical correspondence analyses (pCCA) demonstrated significant effects of physical habitats. Such effects differed between young-of-the-year and adult fishes. The four main environmental gradients influencing overall assemblage structure for both age groups were river elevation, water velocity, conductivity, and depth of gear deployment. Morisita's index revealed similar adult assemblage structure over time. However, the YOY assemblage present in 1995 was dissimilar from assemblages present during the other years. We speculate this is a lag effect from the backwater spawning episodes (floodpulse) that occurred with the 500-y flood in 1993. Shannon-Weiner diversity and Camargo's evenness indices were low, but stable across years for the adult assemblage, but varied across years for the YOY assemblage.

  18. Ordination of breeding birds in relation to environmental gradients in three southeastern United States floodplain forests

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wakeley, J.S.; Guilfoyle, M.P.; Antrobus, T.J.; Fischer, R.A.; Barrow, W.C., Jr.; Hamel, P.B.

    2007-01-01

    We used an ordination approach to identify factors important to the organization of breeding bird communities in three floodplains: Cache River, Arkansas (AR), Iatt Creek, Louisiana (LA), and the Coosawhatchie River, South Carolina (SC), USA. We used 5-min point counts to sample birds in each study area each spring from 1995 to 1998, and measured ground-surface elevations and a suite of other habitat variables to investigate bird distributions and community characteristics in relation to important environmental gradients. In both AR and SC, the average number of Neotropical migrant species detected was lowest in semipermanently flooded Nyssa aquatica Linnaeus habitats and greatest in the highest elevation floodplain zone. Melanerpes carolinus Linnaeus, Protonotaria citrea Boddaert, Quiscalus quiscula Linnaeus, and other species were more abundant in N. aquatica habitats, whereas Wilsonia citrina Boddaert, Oporornis formosus Wilson, Vireo griseus Boddaert, and others were more abundant in drier floodplain zones. In LA, there were no significant differences in community metrics or bird species abundances among forest types. Canonical correspondence analyses revealed that structural development of understory vegetation was the most important factor affecting bird distributions in all three study areas; however, potential causes of these structural gradients differed. In AR and SC, differences in habitat structure were related to the hydrologic gradient, as indexed by ground-surface elevation. In LA, structural variations were related mainly to the frequency of canopy gaps. Thus, bird communities in all three areas appeared to be organized primarily in response to repeated localized disturbance. Our results suggest that regular disturbance due to flooding plays an important role in structuring breeding bird communities in floodplains subject to prolonged inundation, whereas other agents of disturbance (e.g., canopy gaps) may be more important in headwater systems

  19. Bacterial community structure across environmental gradients in permafrost thaw ponds: methanotroph-rich ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Crevecoeur, Sophie; Vincent, Warwick F.; Comte, Jérôme; Lovejoy, Connie

    2015-01-01

    Permafrost thawing leads to the formation of thermokarst ponds that potentially emit CO2 and CH4 to the atmosphere. In the Nunavik subarctic region (northern Québec, Canada), these numerous, shallow ponds become well-stratified during summer. This creates a physico-chemical gradient of temperature and oxygen, with an upper oxic layer and a bottom low oxygen or anoxic layer. Our objective was to determine the influence of stratification and related limnological and landscape properties on the community structure of potentially active bacteria in these waters. Samples for RNA analysis were taken from ponds in three contrasting valleys across a gradient of permafrost degradation. A total of 1296 operational taxonomic units were identified by high throughput amplicon sequencing, targeting bacterial 16S rRNA that was reverse transcribed to cDNA. β-proteobacteria were the dominant group in all ponds, with highest representation by the genera Variovorax and Polynucleobacter. Methanotrophs were also among the most abundant sequences at most sites. They accounted for up to 27% of the total sequences (median of 4.9% for all samples), indicating the importance of methane as a bacterial energy source in these waters. Both oxygenic (cyanobacteria) and anoxygenic (Chlorobi) phototrophs were also well-represented, the latter in the low oxygen bottom waters. Ordination analyses showed that the communities clustered according to valley and depth, with significant effects attributed to dissolved oxygen, pH, dissolved organic carbon, and total suspended solids. These results indicate that the bacterial assemblages of permafrost thaw ponds are filtered by environmental gradients, and are complex consortia of functionally diverse taxa that likely affect the composition as well as magnitude of greenhouse gas emissions from these abundant waters. PMID:25926816

  20. Beyond Precipitation: Physiographic Gradients Dictate the Relative Importance of Environmental Drivers on Savanna Vegetation

    PubMed Central

    Campo-Bescós, Miguel A.; Muñoz-Carpena, Rafael; Kaplan, David A.; Southworth, Jane; Zhu, Likai; Waylen, Peter R.

    2013-01-01

    Background Understanding the drivers of large-scale vegetation change is critical to managing landscapes and key to predicting how projected climate and land use changes will affect regional vegetation patterns. This study aimed to improve our understanding of the role, magnitude and spatial distribution of the key environmental factors driving vegetation change in southern African savanna, and how they vary across physiographic gradients. Methodology/Principal Findings We applied Dynamic Factor Analysis (DFA), a multivariate times series dimension reduction technique to ten years of monthly remote sensing data (MODIS-derived normalized difference vegetation index, NDVI) and a suite of environmental covariates: precipitation, mean and maximum temperature, soil moisture, relative humidity, fire and potential evapotranspiration. Monthly NDVI was described by cyclic seasonal variation with distinct spatiotemporal patterns in different physiographic regions. Results support existing work emphasizing the importance of precipitation, soil moisture and fire on NDVI, but also reveal overlooked effects of temperature and evapotranspiration, particularly in regions with higher mean annual precipitation. Critically, spatial distributions of the weights of environmental covariates point to a transition in the importance of precipitation and soil moisture (strongest in grass-dominated regions with precipitation<750 mm) to fire, potential evapotranspiration, and temperature (strongest in tree-dominated regions with precipitation>950 mm). Conclusions/Significance We quantified the combined spatiotemporal effects of an available suite of environmental drivers on NDVI across a large and diverse savanna region. The analysis supports known drivers of savanna vegetation but also uncovers important roles of temperature and evapotranspiration. Results highlight the utility of applying the DFA approach to remote sensing products for regional analyses of landscape change in the context of

  1. Cyclic Failure Mechanisms of Thermal and Environmental Barrier Coating Systems Under Thermal Gradient Test Conditions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zhu, Dongming; Lee, Kang N.; Miller, Robert A.

    2002-01-01

    Plasma-sprayed ZrO2-8wt%Y2O3 and mullite+BSAS/Si multilayer thermal and environmental barrier coating (TBC-EBC) systems on SiC/SiC ceramic matrix composite (CMC) substrates were thermally cyclic tested under high thermal gradients using a laser high-heat-flux rig in conjunction with furnace exposure in water-vapor environments. Coating sintering and interface damage were assessed by monitoring the real-time thermal conductivity changes during the laser heat-flux tests and by examining the microstructural changes after exposure. Sintering kinetics of the coating systems were also independently characterized using a dilatometer. It was found that the coating failure involved both the time-temperature dependent sintering and the cycle frequency dependent cyclic fatigue processes. The water vapor environments not only facilitated the initial coating conductivity increases due to enhanced sintering and interface reaction, but also promoted later conductivity reductions due to the accelerated coating cracking and delamination. The failure mechanisms of the coating systems are also discussed based on the cyclic test results and are correlated to the sintering and thermal stress behavior under the thermal gradient test conditions.

  2. Linking the patterns of change in composition and function in bacterioplankton successions along environmental gradients.

    PubMed

    Comte, Jérôme; del Giorgio, Paul A

    2010-05-01

    The connections that exist between the composition of bacterial communities and their functional attributes are still a matter of intense debate, despite over a decade of intense studies. Here we explored three different facets of the links that may exist between bacterioplankton compositional and functional successions that occurred along the water flow path in a complex watershed in southern Quebec. We analyzed the correlation between composition and function in terms of their absolute patterns, and in terms of their rates of change relative to transit time in environmental transitions, and relative to shifts in resources along the same transitions. Our results showed that the absolute patterns in bacterial community composition (BCC, using DGGE [denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis] profiles) and functional capacities (FC, using BIOLOG profiles) were not correlated, but that the rates of change in BCC and FC along the transitions were strongly correlated to each other. Further, we observed that the strength and shape of the relationship between the changes in BCC and FC varied relative to the type and intensity of gradient considered. Collectively, these results showed that BCC and FC are strongly related but in a very dynamic manner, such that their absolute patterns do not appear to be connected. This in turn suggests a high level of functional redundancy that occurs both within the existing community and in the meta-community from which phylotypes are selected to occupy the new niches that are created along the transitions. PMID:20503878

  3. Failure Mechanisms and Life Prediction of Thermal and Environmental Barrier Coatings under Thermal Gradients

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zju, Dongming; Ghosn, Louis J.; Miller, Robert A.

    2008-01-01

    Ceramic thermal and environmental barrier coatings (TEBCs) will play an increasingly important role in gas turbine engines because of their ability to further raise engine temperatures. However, the issue of coating durability is of major concern under high-heat-flux conditions. In particular, the accelerated coating delamination crack growth under the engine high heat-flux conditions is not well understood. In this paper, a laser heat flux technique is used to investigate the coating delamination crack propagation under realistic temperature-stress gradients and thermal cyclic conditions. The coating delamination mechanisms are investigated under various thermal loading conditions, and are correlated with coating dynamic fatigue, sintering and interfacial adhesion test results. A coating life prediction framework may be realized by examining the crack initiation and propagation driving forces for coating failure under high-heat-flux test conditions.

  4. Environmental Gradients Explain Species Richness and Community Composition of Coastal Breeding Birds in the Baltic Sea

    PubMed Central

    Nord, Maria; Forslund, Pär

    2015-01-01

    Scientifically-based systematic conservation planning for reserve design requires knowledge of species richness patterns and how these are related to environmental gradients. In this study, we explore a large inventory of coastal breeding birds, in total 48 species, sampled in 4646 1 km2 squares which covered a large archipelago in the Baltic Sea on the east coast of Sweden. We analysed how species richness (α diversity) and community composition (β diversity) of two groups of coastal breeding birds (specialists, i.e. obligate coastal breeders; generalists, i.e. facultative coastal breeders) were affected by distance to open sea, land area, shoreline length and archipelago width. The total number of species per square increased with increasing shoreline length, but increasing land area counteracted this effect in specialists. The number of specialist bird species per square increased with decreasing distance to open sea, while the opposite was true for the generalists. Differences in community composition between squares were associated with differences in land area and distance to open sea, both when considering all species pooled and each group separately. Fourteen species were nationally red-listed, and showed similar relationships to the environmental gradients as did all species, specialists and generalists. We suggest that availability of suitable breeding habitats, and probably also proximity to feeding areas, explain much of the observed spatial distributions of coastal birds in this study. Our findings have important implications for systematic conservation planning of coastal breeding birds. In particular, we provide information on where coastal breeding birds occur and which environments they seem to prefer. Small land areas with long shorelines are highly valuable both in general and for red-listed species. Thus, such areas should be prioritized for protection against human disturbance and used by management in reserve selection. PMID:25714432

  5. Succession in stream biofilms is an environmentally driven gradient of stress tolerance.

    PubMed

    Passy, Sophia I; Larson, Chad A

    2011-08-01

    The century-long research on succession has bestowed us with a number of theories, but little agreement on what causes species replacements through time. The majority of studies has explored the temporal trends of individual species in plant and much less so in microbial communities, arguing that interspecific interactions, especially competition, play a key role in community organization throughout succession. In this experimental investigation of periphytic succession in re-circulating laboratory streams, we examined the density and the relative abundance of diatoms and soft algae for 35 days across gradients of low to high nutrient supply (nitrogen + phosphorus) and low to intermediate current velocity (10 vs. 30 cm·s(-1)). All algal species were classified into trophic groups and morphological guilds, both of which responded more strongly to nutrient than current velocity manipulations, as shown by regression analyses. We concluded that within the manipulated environmental ranges: (1) Succession was a gradient of stress tolerance, driven primarily by nutrient supply and secondarily, by current velocity. Nutrient supply had a qualitative effect in determining whether the contribution of species tolerant vs. sensitive to nutrient limitation would increase through time, while current velocity had a quantitative influence and affected only the rate of this increase. (2) The mechanism of algal succession at a functional level was a neutral coexistence, whereby the tolerant low profile guild maintained high density when overgrown by sensitive species, while sensitive species, constituting mostly the motile and high profile guilds, were neither facilitated nor inhibited by tolerant species but controlled by the environment. It is suggested that the mechanism of succession may depend on the level of biological organization with interspecific interactions giving way to neutral coexistence along the hierarchy from species to functional groups. Considering that the

  6. Strong species-environment feedback shapes plant community assembly along environmental gradients

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Jiang; DeAngelis, Donald L

    2013-01-01

    An aim of community ecology is to understand the patterns of competing species assembly along environmental gradients. All species interact with their environments. However, theories of community assembly have seldom taken into account the effects of species that are able to engineer the environment. In this modeling study, we integrate the species' engineering trait together with processes of immigration and local dispersal into a theory of community assembly. We quantify the species' engineering trait as the degree to which it can move the local environment away from its baseline state towards the optimum state of the species (species-environment feedback). We find that, in the presence of immigration from a regional pool, strong feedback can increase local species richness; however, in the absence of continual immigration, species richness is a declining function of the strength of species-environment feedback. This shift from a negative effect of engineering strength on species richness to a positive effect, as immigration rate increases, is clearer when there is spatial heterogeneity in the form of a gradient in environmental conditions than when the environment is homogeneous or it is randomly heterogeneous. Increasing the scale over which local dispersal occurs can facilitate species richness when there is no species-environment feedback or when the feedback is weak. However, increases in the spatial scale of dispersal can reduce species richness when the species-environment feedback is strong. These results expand the theoretical basis for understanding the effects of the strength of species-environment feedback on community assembly. PMID:24324863

  7. Response of benthic algae to environmental gradients in an agriculturally dominated landscape

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Munn, M.D.; Black, R.W.; Gruber, S.J.

    2002-01-01

    Benthic algal communities were assessed in an agriculturally dominated landscape in the Central Columbia Plateau, Washington, to determine which environmental variables best explained species distributions, and whether algae species optima models were useful in predicting specific water-quality parameters. Land uses in the study area included forest, range, urban, and agriculture. Most of the streams in this region can be characterized as open-channel systems influenced by intensive dryland (nonirrigated) and irrigated agriculture. Algal communities in forested streams were dominated by blue-green algae, with communities in urban and range streams dominated by diatoms. The predominance of either blue-greens or diatoms in agricultural streams varied greatly depending on the specific site. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) indicated a strong gradient effect of several key environmental variables on benthic algal community composition. Conductivity and % agriculture were the dominant explanatory variables when all sites (n = 24) were included in the CCA; water velocity replaced conductivity when the CCA included only agricultural and urban sites. Other significant explanatory variables included dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN), orthophosphate (OP), discharge, and precipitation. Regression and calibration models accurately predicted conductivity based on benthic algal communities, with OP having slightly lower predictability. The model for DIN was poor, and therefore may be less useful in this system. Thirty-four algal taxa were identified as potential indicators of conductivity and nutrient conditions, with most indicators being diatoms except for the blue-greens Anabaenasp. and Lyngbya sp.

  8. Assessing sandy beach macrofaunal patterns along large-scale environmental gradients: A Fuzzy Naïve Bayes approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bozzeda, Fabio; Zangrilli, Maria Paola; Defeo, Omar

    2016-06-01

    A Fuzzy Naïve Bayes (FNB) classifier was developed to assess large-scale variations in abundance, species richness and diversity of the macrofauna inhabiting fifteen Uruguayan sandy beaches affected by the effects of beach morphodynamics and the estuarine gradient generated by Rio de la Plata. Information from six beaches was used to estimate FNB parameters, while abiotic data of the remaining nine beaches were used to forecast abundance, species richness and diversity. FNB simulations reproduced the general increasing trend of target variables from inner estuarine reflective beaches to marine dissipative ones. The FNB model also identified a threshold value of salinity range beyond which diversity markedly increased towards marine beaches. Salinity range is suggested as an ecological master factor governing distributional patterns in sandy beach macrofauna. However, the model: 1) underestimated abundance and species richness at the innermost estuarine beach, with the lowest salinity, and 2) overestimated species richness in marine beaches with a reflective morphodynamic state, which is strongly linked to low abundance, species richness and diversity. Therefore, future modeling efforts should be refined by giving a dissimilar weigh to the gradients defined by estuarine (estuarine beaches) and morphodynamic (marine beaches) variables, which could improve predictions of target variables. Our modeling approach could be applied to a wide spectrum of issues, ranging from basic ecology to social-ecological systems. This approach seems relevant, given the current challenge to develop predictive methodologies to assess the simultaneous and nonlinear effects of anthropogenic and natural impacts in coastal ecosystems.

  9. Environmental and historical imprints on beta diversity: insights from variation in rates of species turnover along gradients

    PubMed Central

    Fitzpatrick, Matthew C.; Sanders, Nathan J.; Normand, Signe; Svenning, Jens-Christian; Ferrier, Simon; Gove, Aaron D.; Dunn, Robert R.

    2013-01-01

    A common approach for analysing geographical variation in biodiversity involves using linear models to determine the rate at which species similarity declines with geographical or environmental distance and comparing this rate among regions, taxa or communities. Implicit in this approach are weakly justified assumptions that the rate of species turnover remains constant along gradients and that this rate can therefore serve as a means to compare ecological systems. We use generalized dissimilarity modelling, a novel method that accommodates variation in rates of species turnover along gradients and between different gradients, to compare environmental and spatial controls on the floras of two regions with contrasting evolutionary and climatic histories: southwest Australia and northern Europe. We find stronger signals of climate history in the northern European flora and demonstrate that variation in rates of species turnover is persistent across regions, taxa and different gradients. Such variation may represent an important but often overlooked component of biodiversity that complicates comparisons of distance–decay relationships and underscores the importance of using methods that accommodate the curvilinear relationships expected when modelling beta diversity. Determining how rates of species turnover vary along and between gradients is relevant to understanding the sensitivity of ecological systems to environmental change. PMID:23926147

  10. Microbial diversity and community structure across environmental gradients in Bransfield Strait, Western Antarctic Peninsula.

    PubMed

    Signori, Camila N; Thomas, François; Enrich-Prast, Alex; Pollery, Ricardo C G; Sievert, Stefan M

    2014-01-01

    The Southern Ocean is currently subject to intense investigations, mainly related to its importance for global biogeochemical cycles and its alarming rate of warming in response to climate change. Microbes play an essential role in the functioning of this ecosystem and are the main drivers of the biogeochemical cycling of elements. Yet, the diversity and abundance of microorganisms in this system remain poorly studied, in particular with regards to changes along environmental gradients. Here, we used amplicon sequencing of 16S rRNA gene tags using primers covering both Bacteria and Archaea to assess the composition and diversity of the microbial communities from four sampling depths (surface, the maximum and minimum of the oxygen concentration, and near the seafloor) at 10 oceanographic stations located in Bransfield Strait [northwest of the Antarctic Peninsula (AP)] and near the sea ice edge (north of the AP). Samples collected near the seafloor and at the oxygen minimum exhibited a higher diversity than those from the surface and oxygen maximum for both bacterial and archaeal communities. The main taxonomic groups identified below 100 m were Thaumarchaeota, Euryarchaeota and Proteobacteria (Gamma-, Delta-, Beta-, and Alphaproteobacteria), whereas in the mixed layer above 100 m Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria (mainly Alpha- and Gammaproteobacteria) were found to be dominant. A combination of environmental factors seems to influence the microbial community composition. Our results help to understand how the dynamic seascape of the Southern Ocean shapes the microbial community composition and set a baseline for upcoming studies to evaluate the response of this ecosystem to future changes. PMID:25566198

  11. Spatial Configuration of Drought Disturbance and Forest Gap Creation across Environmental Gradients

    PubMed Central

    Andrew, Margaret E.; Ruthrof, Katinka X.; Matusick, George; Hardy, Giles E. St. J.

    2016-01-01

    Climate change is increasing the risk of drought to forested ecosystems. Although drought impacts are often anecdotally noted to occur in discrete patches of high canopy mortality, the landscape effects of drought disturbances have received virtually no study. This study characterized the landscape configuration of drought impact patches and investigated the relationships between patch characteristics, as indicators of drought impact intensity, and environmental gradients related to water availability to determine factors influencing drought vulnerability. Drought impact patches were delineated from aerial surveys following an extreme drought in 2011 in southwestern Australia, which led to patchy canopy dieback of the Northern Jarrah Forest, a Mediterranean forest ecosystem. On average, forest gaps produced by drought-induced dieback were moderate in size (6.6 ± 9.7 ha, max = 85.7 ha), compact in shape, and relatively isolated from each other at the scale of several kilometers. However, there was considerable spatial variation in the size, shape, and clustering of forest gaps. Drought impact patches were larger and more densely clustered in xeric areas, with significant relationships observed with topographic wetness index, meteorological variables, and stand height. Drought impact patch clustering was more strongly associated with the environmental factors assessed (R2 = 0.32) than was patch size (R2 = 0.21); variation in patch shape remained largely unexplained (R2 = 0.02). There is evidence that the xeric areas with more intense drought impacts are ‘chronic disturbance patches’ susceptible to recurrent drought disturbance. The spatial configuration of drought disturbances is likely to influence ecological processes including forest recovery and interacting disturbances such as fire. Regime shifts to an alternate, non-forested ecosystem may occur preferentially in areas with large or clustered drought impact patches. Improved understanding of drought impacts

  12. Non-Random Variability in Functional Composition of Coral Reef Fish Communities along an Environmental Gradient.

    PubMed

    Plass-Johnson, Jeremiah G; Taylor, Marc H; Husain, Aidah A A; Teichberg, Mirta C; Ferse, Sebastian C A

    2016-01-01

    Changes in the coral reef complex can affect predator-prey relationships, resource availability and niche utilisation in the associated fish community, which may be reflected in decreased stability of the functional traits present in a community. This is because particular traits may be favoured by a changing environment, or by habitat degradation. Furthermore, other traits can be selected against because degradation can relax the association between fishes and benthic habitat. We characterised six important ecological traits for fish species occurring at seven sites across a disturbed coral reef archipelago in Indonesia, where reefs have been exposed to eutrophication and destructive fishing practices for decades. Functional diversity was assessed using two complementary indices (FRic and RaoQ) and correlated to important environmental factors (live coral cover and rugosity, representing local reef health, and distance from shore, representing a cross-shelf environmental gradient). Indices were examined for both a change in their mean, as well as temporal (short-term; hours) and spatial (cross-shelf) variability, to assess whether fish-habitat association became relaxed along with habitat degradation. Furthermore, variability in individual traits was examined to identify the traits that are most affected by habitat change. Increases in the general reef health indicators, live coral cover and rugosity (correlated with distance from the mainland), were associated with decreases in the variability of functional diversity and with community-level changes in the abundance of several traits (notably home range size, maximum length, microalgae, detritus and small invertebrate feeding and reproductive turnover). A decrease in coral cover increased variability of RaoQ while rugosity and distance both inversely affected variability of FRic; however, averages for these indices did not reveal patterns associated with the environment. These results suggest that increased

  13. Microbial diversity and community structure across environmental gradients in Bransfield Strait, Western Antarctic Peninsula

    PubMed Central

    Signori, Camila N.; Thomas, François; Enrich-Prast, Alex; Pollery, Ricardo C. G.; Sievert, Stefan M.

    2014-01-01

    The Southern Ocean is currently subject to intense investigations, mainly related to its importance for global biogeochemical cycles and its alarming rate of warming in response to climate change. Microbes play an essential role in the functioning of this ecosystem and are the main drivers of the biogeochemical cycling of elements. Yet, the diversity and abundance of microorganisms in this system remain poorly studied, in particular with regards to changes along environmental gradients. Here, we used amplicon sequencing of 16S rRNA gene tags using primers covering both Bacteria and Archaea to assess the composition and diversity of the microbial communities from four sampling depths (surface, the maximum and minimum of the oxygen concentration, and near the seafloor) at 10 oceanographic stations located in Bransfield Strait [northwest of the Antarctic Peninsula (AP)] and near the sea ice edge (north of the AP). Samples collected near the seafloor and at the oxygen minimum exhibited a higher diversity than those from the surface and oxygen maximum for both bacterial and archaeal communities. The main taxonomic groups identified below 100 m were Thaumarchaeota, Euryarchaeota and Proteobacteria (Gamma-, Delta-, Beta-, and Alphaproteobacteria), whereas in the mixed layer above 100 m Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria (mainly Alpha- and Gammaproteobacteria) were found to be dominant. A combination of environmental factors seems to influence the microbial community composition. Our results help to understand how the dynamic seascape of the Southern Ocean shapes the microbial community composition and set a baseline for upcoming studies to evaluate the response of this ecosystem to future changes. PMID:25566198

  14. Non-Random Variability in Functional Composition of Coral Reef Fish Communities along an Environmental Gradient

    PubMed Central

    Plass-Johnson, Jeremiah G.; Taylor, Marc H.; Husain, Aidah A. A.; Teichberg, Mirta C.; Ferse, Sebastian C. A.

    2016-01-01

    Changes in the coral reef complex can affect predator-prey relationships, resource availability and niche utilisation in the associated fish community, which may be reflected in decreased stability of the functional traits present in a community. This is because particular traits may be favoured by a changing environment, or by habitat degradation. Furthermore, other traits can be selected against because degradation can relax the association between fishes and benthic habitat. We characterised six important ecological traits for fish species occurring at seven sites across a disturbed coral reef archipelago in Indonesia, where reefs have been exposed to eutrophication and destructive fishing practices for decades. Functional diversity was assessed using two complementary indices (FRic and RaoQ) and correlated to important environmental factors (live coral cover and rugosity, representing local reef health, and distance from shore, representing a cross-shelf environmental gradient). Indices were examined for both a change in their mean, as well as temporal (short-term; hours) and spatial (cross-shelf) variability, to assess whether fish-habitat association became relaxed along with habitat degradation. Furthermore, variability in individual traits was examined to identify the traits that are most affected by habitat change. Increases in the general reef health indicators, live coral cover and rugosity (correlated with distance from the mainland), were associated with decreases in the variability of functional diversity and with community-level changes in the abundance of several traits (notably home range size, maximum length, microalgae, detritus and small invertebrate feeding and reproductive turnover). A decrease in coral cover increased variability of RaoQ while rugosity and distance both inversely affected variability of FRic; however, averages for these indices did not reveal patterns associated with the environment. These results suggest that increased

  15. Revealing patterns of local species richness along environmental gradients with a novel network tool.

    PubMed

    Baudena, Mara; Sánchez, Angel; Georg, Co-Pierre; Ruiz-Benito, Paloma; Rodríguez, Miguel Á; Zavala, Miguel A; Rietkerk, Max

    2015-01-01

    How species richness relates to environmental gradients at large extents is commonly investigated aggregating local site data to coarser grains. However, such relationships often change with the grain of analysis, potentially hiding the local signal. Here we show that a novel network technique, the "method of reflections", could unveil the relationships between species richness and climate without such drawbacks. We introduced a new index related to potential species richness, which revealed large scale patterns by including at the local community level information about species distribution throughout the dataset (i.e., the network). The method effectively removed noise, identifying how far site richness was from potential. When applying it to study woody species richness patterns in Spain, we observed that annual precipitation and mean annual temperature explained large parts of the variance of the newly defined species richness, highlighting that, at the local scale, communities in drier and warmer areas were potentially the species richest. Our method went far beyond what geographical upscaling of the data could unfold, and the insights obtained strongly suggested that it is a powerful instrument to detect key factors underlying species richness patterns, and that it could have numerous applications in ecology and other fields. PMID:26109495

  16. Hydrothermal vent community zonation along environmental gradients at the Lau back-arc spreading center

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Stacy; Hammerstrom, Kamille

    2012-04-01

    The Lau back-arc spreading center exhibits gradients in hydrothermal vent habitat characteristics from north to south. Biological zonation within a few meters of vents has been described as temperature driven. We constructed georeferenced photomosaics of the seafloor out to tens of meters beyond vents to describe peripheral zonation and explore correlations between environmental conditions and the biological community. Cluster analysis separated northern sites from southern sites, corresponding to a break in substrate from basalt in the north to andesite in the south. Northern sites were dominated by anemones, and southern by sponges. A previous suggestion that dominants may be dependent on friability of the substrate was not supported; when visually distinguishable, individual species within taxa showed different patterns. Northern sites hosted proportionally more suspension feeding species. Sulfide that can support microbial food sources is at higher concentrations at these sites, though bathymetry that may enhance bottom currents is less rugged. Northern sites had higher diversity that may result from the overall northwards flow, which would generally permit easier dispersal downcurrent, though we observed no difference in dispersal strategies at different sites.

  17. Adaptive divergence along environmental gradients in a climate-change-sensitive mammal

    PubMed Central

    Henry, P; Russello, M A

    2013-01-01

    In the face of predicted climate change, a broader understanding of biotic responses to varying environments has become increasingly important within the context of biodiversity conservation. Local adaptation is one potential option, yet remarkably few studies have harnessed genomic tools to evaluate the efficacy of this response within natural populations. Here, we show evidence of selection driving divergence of a climate-change-sensitive mammal, the American pika (Ochotona princeps), distributed along elevation gradients at its northern range margin in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia (BC), Canada. We employed amplified-fragment-length-polymorphism-based genomic scans to conduct genomewide searches for candidate loci among populations inhabiting varying environments from sea level to 1500 m. Using several independent approaches to outlier locus detection, we identified 68 candidate loci putatively under selection (out of a total 1509 screened), 15 of which displayed significant associations with environmental variables including annual precipitation and maximum summer temperature. These candidate loci may represent important targets for predicting pika responses to climate change and informing novel approaches to wildlife conservation in a changing world. PMID:24198948

  18. Revealing patterns of local species richness along environmental gradients with a novel network tool

    PubMed Central

    Baudena, Mara; Sánchez, Angel; Georg, Co-Pierre; Ruiz-Benito, Paloma; Rodríguez, Miguel Á.; Zavala, Miguel A.; Rietkerk, Max

    2015-01-01

    How species richness relates to environmental gradients at large extents is commonly investigated aggregating local site data to coarser grains. However, such relationships often change with the grain of analysis, potentially hiding the local signal. Here we show that a novel network technique, the “method of reflections”, could unveil the relationships between species richness and climate without such drawbacks. We introduced a new index related to potential species richness, which revealed large scale patterns by including at the local community level information about species distribution throughout the dataset (i.e., the network). The method effectively removed noise, identifying how far site richness was from potential. When applying it to study woody species richness patterns in Spain, we observed that annual precipitation and mean annual temperature explained large parts of the variance of the newly defined species richness, highlighting that, at the local scale, communities in drier and warmer areas were potentially the species richest. Our method went far beyond what geographical upscaling of the data could unfold, and the insights obtained strongly suggested that it is a powerful instrument to detect key factors underlying species richness patterns, and that it could have numerous applications in ecology and other fields. PMID:26109495

  19. Effect of environmental gradient in coastal vegetation on communities of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi associated with Ixeris repens (Asteraceae).

    PubMed

    Yamato, Masahide; Yagame, Takahiro; Yoshimura, Yuko; Iwase, Koji

    2012-11-01

    The community structure of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi associated with Ixeris repens was studied in coastal vegetation near the Tottori sand dunes in Japan. I. repens produces roots from a subterranean stem growing near the soil surface which provides an opportunity to examine the effects of an environmental gradient related to distance from the sea on AM fungal communities at a regular soil depth. Based on partial sequences of the nuclear large subunit ribosomal RNA gene, AM fungi in root samples were divided into 17 phylotypes. Among these, five AM fungal phylotypes in Glomus and Diversispora were dominant near the seaward forefront of the vegetation. Redundancy analysis of the AM fungal community showed significant relationships between the distribution of phylotypes and environmental variables such as distance from the sea, water-soluble sodium in soil, and some coexisting plant species. These results suggest that environmental gradients in the coastal vegetation can be determinants of the AM fungal community. PMID:22476581

  20. Population Differentiation and Species Formation in the Deep Sea: The Potential Role of Environmental Gradients and Depth

    PubMed Central

    Jennings, Robert M.; Etter, Ron J.; Ficarra, Lynn

    2013-01-01

    Ecological speciation probably plays a more prominent role in diversification than previously thought, particularly in marine ecosystems where dispersal potential is great and where few obvious barriers to gene flow exist. This may be especially true in the deep sea where allopatric speciation seems insufficient to account for the rich and largely endemic fauna. Ecologically driven population differentiation and speciation are likely to be most prevalent along environmental gradients, such as those attending changes in depth. We quantified patterns of genetic variation along a depth gradient (1600-3800m) in the western North Atlantic for a protobranch bivalve (Nuculaatacellana) to test for population divergence. Multilocus analyses indicated a sharp discontinuity across a narrow depth range, with extremely low gene flow inferred between shallow and deep populations for thousands of generations. Phylogeographical discordance occurred between nuclear and mitochondrial loci as might be expected during the early stages of species formation. Because the geographic distance between divergent populations is small and no obvious dispersal barriers exist in this region, we suggest the divergence might reflect ecologically driven selection mediated by environmental correlates of the depth gradient. As inferred for numerous shallow-water species, environmental gradients that parallel changes in depth may play a key role in the genesis and adaptive radiation of the deep-water fauna. PMID:24098590

  1. Diagnosing Abiotic Degradation

    EPA Science Inventory

    The abiotic degradation of chlorinated solvents in ground water can be difficult to diagnose. Under current practice, most of the “evidence” is negative; specifically the apparent disappearance of chlorinated solvents with an accumulation of vinyl chloride, ethane, ethylene, or ...

  2. Woodland recovery following drought-induced tree mortality across an environmental stress gradient.

    PubMed

    Redmond, Miranda D; Cobb, Neil S; Clifford, Michael J; Barger, Nichole N

    2015-10-01

    Recent droughts and increasing temperatures have resulted in extensive tree mortality across the globe. Understanding the environmental controls on tree regeneration following these drought events will allow for better predictions of how these ecosystems may shift under a warmer, drier climate. Within the widely distributed piñon-juniper woodlands of the southwestern USA, a multiyear drought in 2002-2004 resulted in extensive adult piñon mortality and shifted adult woodland composition to a juniper-dominated, more savannah-type ecosystem. Here, we used pre- (1998-2001) and 10-year post- (2014) drought stand structure data of individually mapped trees at 42 sites to assess the effects of this drought on tree regeneration across a gradient of environmental stress. We found declines in piñon juvenile densities since the multiyear drought due to limited new recruitment and high (>50%) juvenile mortality. This is in contrast to juniper juvenile densities, which increased over this time period. Across the landscape, piñon recruitment was positively associated with live adult piñon densities and soil available water capacity, likely due to their respective effects on seed and water availability. Juvenile piñon survival was strongly facilitated by certain types of nurse trees and shrubs. These nurse plants also moderated the effects of environmental stress on piñon survival: Survival of interspace piñon juveniles was positively associated with soil available water capacity, whereas survival of nursed piñon juveniles was negatively associated with perennial grass cover. Thus, nurse plants had a greater facilitative effect on survival at sites with higher soil available water capacity and perennial grass cover. Notably, mean annual climatic water deficit and elevation were not associated with piñon recruitment or survival across the landscape. Our findings reveal a clear shift in successional trajectories toward a more juniper-dominated woodland and highlight the

  3. Temperature Regimes Impact Coral Assemblages along Environmental Gradients on Lagoonal Reefs in Belize.

    PubMed

    Baumann, Justin H; Townsend, Joseph E; Courtney, Travis A; Aichelman, Hannah E; Davies, Sarah W; Lima, Fernando P; Castillo, Karl D

    2016-01-01

    Coral reefs are increasingly threatened by global and local anthropogenic stressors such as rising seawater temperature, nutrient enrichment, sedimentation, and overfishing. Although many studies have investigated the impacts of local and global stressors on coral reefs, we still do not fully understand how these stressors influence coral community structure, particularly across environmental gradients on a reef system. Here, we investigate coral community composition across three different temperature and productivity regimes along a nearshore-offshore gradient on lagoonal reefs of the Belize Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System (MBRS). A novel metric was developed using ultra-high-resolution satellite-derived estimates of sea surface temperatures (SST) to classify reefs as exposed to low (lowTP), moderate (modTP), or high (highTP) temperature parameters over 10 years (2003 to 2012). Coral species richness, abundance, diversity, density, and percent cover were lower at highTP sites relative to lowTP and modTP sites, but these coral community traits did not differ significantly between lowTP and modTP sites. Analysis of coral life history strategies revealed that highTP sites were dominated by hardy stress-tolerant and fast-growing weedy coral species, while lowTP and modTP sites consisted of competitive, generalist, weedy, and stress-tolerant coral species. Satellite-derived estimates of Chlorophyll-a (chl-a) were obtained for 13-years (2003-2015) as a proxy for primary production. Chl-a concentrations were highest at highTP sites, medial at modTP sites, and lowest at lowTP sites. Notably, thermal parameters correlated better with coral community traits between site types than productivity, suggesting that temperature (specifically number of days above the thermal bleaching threshold) played a greater role in defining coral community structure than productivity on the MBRS. Dominance of weedy and stress-tolerant genera at highTP sites suggests that corals utilizing

  4. The Effects of Urbanization and Other Environmental Gradients on Algal Assemblages in Nine Metropolitan Areas across the United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Coles, James F.; Bell, Amanda H.; Scudder, Barbara C.; Carpenter, Kurt D.

    2009-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey conducted studies from 2000 to 2004 to determine the effects of urbanization on stream ecosystems in nine major metropolitan study areas across the United States. Biological, chemical, and physical components of streams were assessed at 28 to 30 sites in each study area. Benthic algae were sampled to compare the degree to which algal assemblages correlated to urbanization, as characterized by an urban intensity index (UII), relative to other environmental gradients that function at either the watershed or reach scales. Ordination site scores were derived from principal components analyses of the environmental data to define environmental gradients at two spatial scales: (1) watershed-scale gradients that summarized (a) landscape modifications and (b) socioeconomic factors, and (2) reach-scale gradients that characterized (a) physical habitat and (b) water chemistry. Algal response was initially quantified by site scores derived from nonmetric multi-dimensional scaling ordinations of the algal assemblage data. The site scores were then correlated with a set of algal metrics of structure and function to help select specific indicators that would best represent changes in the algal assemblages and would infer ecological condition. The selected metrics were correlated to the UII and other environmental gradients. The results indicated that diatom-taxa in the assemblages were distinctly different across the nine study areas, likely due to physiographic differences across the country, but nevertheless, some algal metrics were applicable to all areas. Overall, the study results indicated that although the UII represented various landscape changes associated with urbanization across the country, the algal response was more strongly related to more specific factors generally associated with water quality measured within the stream reach.

  5. Orchid Species Richness along Elevational and Environmental Gradients in Yunnan, China.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Shi-Bao; Chen, Wen-Yun; Huang, Jia-Lin; Bi, Ying-Feng; Yang, Xue-Fei

    2015-01-01

    The family Orchidaceae is not only one of the most diverse families of flowering plants, but also one of the most endangered plant taxa. Therefore, understanding how its species richness varies along geographical and environmental gradients is essential for conservation efforts. However, such knowledge is rarely available, especially on a large scale. We used a database extracted from herbarium records to investigate the relationships between orchid species richness and elevation, and to examine how elevational diversity in Yunnan Province, China, might be explained by mid-domain effect (MDE), species-area relationship (SAR), water-energy dynamics (WED), Rapoport's Rule, and climatic variables. This particular location was selected because it is one of the primary centers of distribution for orchids. We recorded 691 species that span 127 genera and account for 88.59% of all confirmed orchid species in Yunnan. Species richness, estimated at 200-m intervals along a slope, was closely correlated with elevation, peaking at 1395 to 1723 m. The elevational pattern of orchid richness was considerably shaped by MDE, SAR, WED, and climate. Among those four predictors, climate was the strongest while MDE was the weakest for predicting the elevational pattern of orchid richness. Species richness showed parabolic responses to mean annual temperature (MAT) and mean annual precipitation (MAP), with maximum richness values recorded at 13.7 to 17.7°C for MAT and 1237 to 1414 mm for MAP. Rapoport's Rule also helped to explain the elevational pattern of species richness in Yunnan, but those influences were not entirely uniform across all methods. These results suggested that the elevational pattern of orchid species richness in Yunnan is collectively shaped by several mechanisms related to geometric constraints, size of the land area, and environments. Because of the dominant role of climate in determining orchid richness, our findings may contribute to a better understanding of

  6. Global Gradients of Coral Exposure to Environmental Stresses and Implications for Local Management

    PubMed Central

    Maina, Joseph; McClanahan, Tim R.; Venus, Valentijn; Ateweberhan, Mebrahtu; Madin, Joshua

    2011-01-01

    Background The decline of coral reefs globally underscores the need for a spatial assessment of their exposure to multiple environmental stressors to estimate vulnerability and evaluate potential counter-measures. Methodology/Principal Findings This study combined global spatial gradients of coral exposure to radiation stress factors (temperature, UV light and doldrums), stress-reinforcing factors (sedimentation and eutrophication), and stress-reducing factors (temperature variability and tidal amplitude) to produce a global map of coral exposure and identify areas where exposure depends on factors that can be locally managed. A systems analytical approach was used to define interactions between radiation stress variables, stress reinforcing variables and stress reducing variables. Fuzzy logic and spatial ordinations were employed to quantify coral exposure to these stressors. Globally, corals are exposed to radiation and reinforcing stress, albeit with high spatial variability within regions. Based on ordination of exposure grades, regions group into two clusters. The first cluster was composed of severely exposed regions with high radiation and low reducing stress scores (South East Asia, Micronesia, Eastern Pacific and the central Indian Ocean) or alternatively high reinforcing stress scores (the Middle East and the Western Australia). The second cluster was composed of moderately to highly exposed regions with moderate to high scores in both radiation and reducing factors (Caribbean, Great Barrier Reef (GBR), Central Pacific, Polynesia and the western Indian Ocean) where the GBR was strongly associated with reinforcing stress. Conclusions/Significance Despite radiation stress being the most dominant stressor, the exposure of coral reefs could be reduced by locally managing chronic human impacts that act to reinforce radiation stress. Future research and management efforts should focus on incorporating the factors that mitigate the effect of coral stressors

  7. Detecting the influence of secondary environmental gradients on chironomid-inferred paleotemperature reconstructions in northern North America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Medeiros, A. S.; Gajewski, K.; Porinchu, D. F.; Vermaire, J. C.; Wolfe, B. B.

    2015-09-01

    We examine the influence of multiple environmental factors on quantitative reconstructions of past climate that are based on conventional transfer function approaches using subfossil midge remains preserved in lake sediments. Chironomid assemblages from the uppermost sediments of 366 lakes spanning northern North America were compared to environmental parameters using direct gradient analysis. While temperature expectedly explained the largest amount of variation in the chironomid assemblages, dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and total Kjeldahl nitrogen (TKN) accounted for significant amounts of the remaining variance. By constraining chironomid assemblages to mean-July air temperature (JulyT), we found a cluster of 70 lakes that were orthogonal to the primary temperature gradient in ordination. These lakes tended to be cold with higher DOC and TKN concentrations, yet had chironomid assemblages that were similar to the assemblages found in less productive, warmer lakes. In order to examine how secondary gradients affected paleotemperature reconstructions, three chironomid-based transfer function models were generated: a full dataset model (all 366 lakes), a reduced temperature-constrained model (296 lakes), and a reduced secondary-constrained model (70 lakes). Application of these models to four previously published Holocene paleotemperature reconstructions were used to distinguish the influence of temperature versus secondary-gradient effects. While unproductive Arctic lake paleotemperature reconstructions were found to be robust, reconstructions for two lakes in the boreal-tundra ecotone suggest secondary gradients influenced parts of their records. We recommend that passive core trajectory analysis upon our expansive surface-sediment calibration set provides a means to assess the veracity of paleotemperature reconstructions and potential influence of secondary gradients.

  8. Imprints of Natural Selection Along Environmental Gradients in Phenology-Related Genes of Quercus petraea

    PubMed Central

    Alberto, Florian J.; Derory, Jérémy; Boury, Christophe; Frigerio, Jean-Marc; Zimmermann, Niklaus E.; Kremer, Antoine

    2013-01-01

    We explored single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) variation in candidate genes for bud burst from Quercus petraea populations sampled along gradients of latitude and altitude in Western Europe. SNP diversity was monitored for 106 candidate genes, in 758 individuals from 32 natural populations. We investigated whether SNP variation reflected the clinal pattern of bud burst observed in common garden experiments. We used different methods to detect imprints of natural selection (FST outlier, clinal variation at allelic frequencies, association tests) and compared the results obtained for the two gradients. FST outlier SNPs were found in 15 genes, 5 of which were common to both gradients. The type of selection differed between the two gradients (directional or balancing) for 3 of these 5. Clinal variations were observed for six SNPs, and one cline was conserved across both gradients. Association tests between the phenotypic or breeding values of trees and SNP genotypes identified 14 significant associations, involving 12 genes. The results of outlier detection on the basis of population differentiation or clinal variation were not very consistent with the results of association tests. The discrepancies between these approaches may reflect the different hierarchical levels of selection considered (inter- and intrapopulation selection). Finally, we obtained evidence for convergent selection (similar for gradients) and clinal variation for a few genes, suggesting that comparisons between parallel gradients could be used to screen for major candidate genes responding to natural selection in trees. PMID:23934884

  9. Abiotic origin of biopolymers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oro, J.; Stephen-Sherwood, E.

    1976-01-01

    A variety of methods have been investigated in different laboratories for the polymerization of amino acids and nucleotides under abiotic conditions. They include (1) thermal polymerization; (2) direct polymerization of certain amino acid nitriles, amides, or esters; (3) polymerization using polyphosphate esters; (4) polymerization under aqueous or drying conditions at moderate temperatures using a variety of simple catalysts or condensing agents like cyanamide, dicyandiamide, or imidazole; and (5) polymerization under similar mild conditions but employing activated monomers or abiotically synthesized high-energy compounds such as adenosine 5'-triphosphate (ATP). The role and significance of these methods for the synthesis of oligopeptides and oligonucleotides under possible primitive-earth conditions is evaluated. It is concluded that the more recent approach involving chemical processes similar to those used by contemporary living organisms appears to offer a reasonable solution to the prebiotic synthesis of these biopolymers.

  10. Diversity differs among three variations of the stress gradients hypothesis in two representations of niche space.

    PubMed

    Malanson, George P

    2015-11-01

    How does the stress-gradient hypothesis affect coexistence in relation to established theory? For two orthogonal stress gradients, a spatially explicit agent based simulation is used to project diversity for simple competitive and facilitative interactions and for three variations of the stress-gradient hypothesis: intraspecific and interspecific competitive and facilitative interactions are a function of the abiotic environment; interactions are relative to species-specific fitness along gradients; or interaction is fixed by species regardless of the abiotic environment. Simulations are run with two orthogonal environmental gradients for two representations of niche. Facilitation can increase diversity by maintaining larger source populations and thus higher establishment rates and sink populations. With species hierarchically related in niche space, the simulations show that positive interactions and changing interactions along a stress gradient maintain greater diversity through intraspecific competition that is effective where dominance would occur and through facilitation where stress is high. A changing environment that favors some species and harms others decreases diversity in the hierarchical cases, where poor competitors most likely subject to interspecific interaction respond most strongly. Diversity outcomes differ among the three stress gradient variations because the intensity of interactions differs across the environmental gradients, not because of change in the environment. PMID:26327277

  11. Interactions between Canopy Structure and Herbaceous Biomass along Environmental Gradients in Moist Forest and Dry Miombo Woodland of Tanzania

    PubMed Central

    Shirima, Deo D.; Pfeifer, Marion; Platts, Philip J.; Totland, Ørjan; Moe, Stein R.

    2015-01-01

    We have limited understanding of how tropical canopy foliage varies along environmental gradients, and how this may in turn affect forest processes and functions. Here, we analyse the relationships between canopy leaf area index (LAI) and above ground herbaceous biomass (AGBH) along environmental gradients in a moist forest and miombo woodland in Tanzania. We recorded canopy structure and herbaceous biomass in 100 permanent vegetation plots (20 m × 40 m), stratified by elevation. We quantified tree species richness, evenness, Shannon diversity and predominant height as measures of structural variability, and disturbance (tree stumps), soil nutrients and elevation as indicators of environmental variability. Moist forest and miombo woodland differed substantially with respect to nearly all variables tested. Both structural and environmental variables were found to affect LAI and AGBH, the latter being additionally dependent on LAI in moist forest but not in miombo, where other factors are limiting. Combining structural and environmental predictors yielded the most powerful models. In moist forest, they explained 76% and 25% of deviance in LAI and AGBH, respectively. In miombo woodland, they explained 82% and 45% of deviance in LAI and AGBH. In moist forest, LAI increased non-linearly with predominant height and linearly with tree richness, and decreased with soil nitrogen except under high disturbance. Miombo woodland LAI increased linearly with stem density, soil phosphorous and nitrogen, and decreased linearly with tree species evenness. AGBH in moist forest decreased with LAI at lower elevations whilst increasing slightly at higher elevations. AGBH in miombo woodland increased linearly with soil nitrogen and soil pH. Overall, moist forest plots had denser canopies and lower AGBH compared with miombo plots. Further field studies are encouraged, to disentangle the direct influence of LAI on AGBH from complex interrelationships between stand structure, environmental

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  13. Orchid Species Richness along Elevational and Environmental Gradients in Yunnan, China

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Shi-Bao; Chen, Wen-Yun; Huang, Jia-Lin; Bi, Ying-Feng; Yang, Xue-Fei

    2015-01-01

    The family Orchidaceae is not only one of the most diverse families of flowering plants, but also one of the most endangered plant taxa. Therefore, understanding how its species richness varies along geographical and environmental gradients is essential for conservation efforts. However, such knowledge is rarely available, especially on a large scale. We used a database extracted from herbarium records to investigate the relationships between orchid species richness and elevation, and to examine how elevational diversity in Yunnan Province, China, might be explained by mid-domain effect (MDE), species–area relationship (SAR), water–energy dynamics (WED), Rapoport’s Rule, and climatic variables. This particular location was selected because it is one of the primary centers of distribution for orchids. We recorded 691 species that span 127 genera and account for 88.59% of all confirmed orchid species in Yunnan. Species richness, estimated at 200-m intervals along a slope, was closely correlated with elevation, peaking at 1395 to 1723 m. The elevational pattern of orchid richness was considerably shaped by MDE, SAR, WED, and climate. Among those four predictors, climate was the strongest while MDE was the weakest for predicting the elevational pattern of orchid richness. Species richness showed parabolic responses to mean annual temperature (MAT) and mean annual precipitation (MAP), with maximum richness values recorded at 13.7 to 17.7°C for MAT and 1237 to 1414 mm for MAP. Rapoport’s Rule also helped to explain the elevational pattern of species richness in Yunnan, but those influences were not entirely uniform across all methods. These results suggested that the elevational pattern of orchid species richness in Yunnan is collectively shaped by several mechanisms related to geometric constraints, size of the land area, and environments. Because of the dominant role of climate in determining orchid richness, our findings may contribute to a better

  14. Influence of environmental gradients on the distribution of benthic resources available for shorebirds on intertidal mudflats of Yves Bay, France

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Philippe, Anne S.; Pinaud, David; Cayatte, Marie-Laure; Goulevant, Cyril; Lachaussée, Nicolas; Pineau, Philippe; Karpytchev, Mikhail; Bocher, Pierrick

    2016-06-01

    The case study of Yves Bay (Pertuis Charentais, France) highlighted links between environmental gradients (i.e. sediment characteristics and emersion time) and prey distribution and availability for the two most numerous shorebird species overwintering in Yves Bay: the red knot Calidris canutus and the dunlin Calidris alpina. Two hundred and fifty-two stations were sampled on a predetermined 250 m regular grid covering the intertidal mudflats of this major wintering site in France for east-Atlantic migratory shorebirds. The distribution of principal benthic species abundance and biomass was modelled along two environmental gradients: sediment structure (particularly pronounced north-south sand-mud gradient) and emersion time. The effect of emersion time combined with sedimentary structure strongly explained abundances and biomasses of the main prey for C. canutus and C. alpina in the bay (Cerastoderma edule, Hydrobia ulvae, Macoma balthica, Scrobicularia plana, and Nephtys hombergii). This study highlighted prey species-specific spatial segregation/overlapping as well as spatial interferences in the trophic niche of the two shorebirds.

  15. Influence of environmental gradients on the distribution of benthic resources available for shorebirds on intertidal mudflats of Yves Bay, France

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Philippe, Anne S.; Pinaud, David; Cayatte, Marie-Laure; Goulevant, Cyril; Lachaussée, Nicolas; Pineau, Philippe; Karpytchev, Mikhail; Bocher, Pierrick

    2016-06-01

    The case study of Yves Bay (Pertuis Charentais, France) highlighted links between environmental gradients (i.e. sediment characteristics and emersion time) and prey distribution and availability for the two most numerous shorebird species overwintering in Yves Bay: the red knot Calidris canutus and the dunlin Calidris alpina. Two hundred and fifty-two stations were sampled on a predetermined 250 m regular grid covering the intertidal mudflats of this major wintering site in France for east-Atlantic migratory shorebirds. The distribution of principal benthic species abundance and biomass was modelled along two environmental gradients: sediment structure (particularly pronounced north-south sand-mud gradient) and emersion time. The effect of emersion time combined with sedimentary structure strongly explained abundances and biomasses of the main prey for C. canutus and C. alpina in the bay (Cerastoderma edule, Hydrobia ulvae, Macoma balthica, Scrobicularia plana, and Nephtys hombergii). This study highlighted prey species-specific spatial segregation/overlapping as well as spatial interferences in the trophic niche of the two shorebirds.

  16. Can environmental conditions affect smallholders' climate change perception? Evidence from an aridity gradient in the Gobi desert.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rueff, Henri

    2016-04-01

    There is a growing interest in smallholders' climate change perception (CCP). Understanding what people perceive in relation to the climate they endure supports national climate change adaptation policy especially relevant to uncertain and resource-scarce environments. Most research so far focused on the accuracy of CCP compared to observed climatic data. However, the potential effect of factors influencing peoples' perceptions remains largely unstudied. This research tests two hypotheses in a desert environment; first, that CCP varies along an aridity gradient, and, second, that respondents are more consistent (answers less far apart) in their CCP when facing more climate shocks, which supports the first hypothesis. A semi-structured survey was conducted among nomadic (Mongolia) (n=180) and semi-nomadic (Inner Mongolia-China) (n=180) herders, to analyse perception along an aridity gradient (proxied by Normalised Difference Vegetation Index) covering an array of climate change issues in the Gobi. Results suggests that environmental conditions have a significant effect on CCP but only in terms of experienced climate shocks. The CCP for other climatic variables (rain, season length) is more diffused and can poorly be predicted by the surrounding environment smallholders live in. Institutional contrasts between China and Mongolia explain marginally differences of perception. Further research is needed to validate these results among smallholders on other environmental gradient types, for examples along altitudinal biome stratification in mountain environments.

  17. The endemic headwater stream amphibians of the American Northwest: Associations with environmental gradients in a large forested preserve

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Adams, M.J.; Bury, R.B.

    2002-01-01

    We used a large forested preserve (Olympic National Park, USA) to examine the habitat associations of a unique and environmentally sensitive stream amphibian fauna: Ascaphus truei Stegneger, Rhyacotriton olympicus (Gaige) and Dicamptodon copei Nussbaum. We quantified the relative abundance of stream amphibians and compared them to physical, topographic, climatic and landscape variables. All three species were associated with the south-west to north-east climate gradient, tending to be most abundant in the south-west. Although a habitat generalist relative to the other two species, Dicamptodon copei was absent from the north-eastern portion of the park. Ascaphus truei and Rhyacotriton olympicus were both associated with coarse substrates and steep gradients. Unlike studies in harvested forests, all stream amphibians were common in waters with unconsolidated surface geology (e.g. marine sediments that erode easily). Studies of ecological preserves can provide an important baseline for evaluating species associations with environmental gradients and can reveal patterns not evident in more disturbed landscapes.

  18. The Plant Communities and Environmental Gradients of Pitcairn Island: The Significance of Invasive Species and the Need for Conservation Management

    PubMed Central

    KINGSTON, N.; WALDREN, S.

    2003-01-01

    Quantitative surveys of the vegetation of south‐east Polynesian Islands are rarely undertaken owing to time and logistical restrictions; however they are fundamental in determining the conservation status of fragile island ecosystems. The aim of the research was to document quantitatively the vegetation of Pitcairn Island by investigating whether clearly definable plant communities existed on the island, and the underlying environmental gradients influencing these communities. Initially, 10 × 10 m quadrats were taken from all areas of the island, with environmental parameters recorded for each quadrat. The vegetation was then mapped from high altitude vantage points. Two‐way indicator species analysis was used to identify distinct plant communities, and canonical correspondence analysis was used to determine the underlying environmental gradients. The vegetation consists of 14 plant communities: four coastal, six forest, two fernland and two scrub communities. Large areas are covered by non‐native scrub vegetation, and by monospecific Syzygium jambos (rose‐apple) plantations. Less than 30 % of the island is covered by native forest, and these areas are limited to remote valleys. Fernlands also cover large areas, including both eroding areas and ridge tops. Coastal vegetation comprises rock and cliff communities with limited strand vegetation. The major environmental gradient affecting the composition of the plant communities is altitude, but anthropogenic influences also have a large effect, owing to forest clearance and introduced species. The light environment is affected by the canopy species, and determines what ground flora can develop. Identification of distinct plant communities has allowed for a system of nature reserves to be suggested, which conserve all of these plant communities and a significant proportion of the threatened plant species. PMID:12824069

  19. Patterns in temporal variability of temperature, oxygen and pH along an environmental gradient in a coral reef.

    PubMed

    Guadayol, Òscar; Silbiger, Nyssa J; Donahue, Megan J; Thomas, Florence I M

    2014-01-01

    Spatial and temporal environmental variability are important drivers of ecological processes at all scales. As new tools allow the in situ exploration of individual responses to fluctuations, ecologically meaningful ways of characterizing environmental variability at organism scales are needed. We investigated the fine-scale spatial heterogeneity of high-frequency temporal variability in temperature, dissolved oxygen concentration, and pH experienced by benthic organisms in a shallow coastal coral reef. We used a spatio-temporal sampling design, consisting of 21 short-term time-series located along a reef flat-to-reef slope transect, coupled to a long-term station monitoring water column changes. Spectral analyses revealed sharp gradients in variance decomposed by frequency, as well as differences between physically-driven and biologically-reactive parameters. These results highlight the importance of environmental variance at organismal scales and present a new sampling scheme for exploring this variability in situ. PMID:24416364

  20. Recent Molecular Advances on Downstream Plant Responses to Abiotic Stress

    PubMed Central

    dos Reis, Sávio Pinho; Lima, Aline Medeiros; de Souza, Cláudia Regina Batista

    2012-01-01

    Abiotic stresses such as extremes of temperature and pH, high salinity and drought, comprise some of the major factors causing extensive losses to crop production worldwide. Understanding how plants respond and adapt at cellular and molecular levels to continuous environmental changes is a pre-requisite for the generation of resistant or tolerant plants to abiotic stresses. In this review we aimed to present the recent advances on mechanisms of downstream plant responses to abiotic stresses and the use of stress-related genes in the development of genetically engineered crops. PMID:22942725

  1. Circadian regulation of abiotic stress tolerance in plants

    PubMed Central

    Grundy, Jack; Stoker, Claire; Carré, Isabelle A.

    2015-01-01

    Extremes of temperatures, drought and salinity cause widespread crop losses throughout the world and impose severe limitations on the amount of land that can be used for agricultural purposes. Hence, there is an urgent need to develop crops that perform better under such abiotic stress conditions. Here, we discuss intriguing, recent evidence that circadian clock contributes to plants’ ability to tolerate different types of environmental stress, and to acclimate to them. The clock controls expression of a large fraction of abiotic stress-responsive genes, as well as biosynthesis and signaling downstream of stress response hormones. Conversely, abiotic stress results in altered expression and differential splicing of the clock genes, leading to altered oscillations of downstream stress-response pathways. We propose a range of mechanisms by which this intimate coupling between the circadian clock and environmental stress-response pathways may contribute to plant growth and survival under abiotic stress. PMID:26379680

  2. Roles of melatonin in abiotic stress resistance in plants.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Na; Sun, Qianqian; Zhang, Haijun; Cao, Yunyun; Weeda, Sarah; Ren, Shuxin; Guo, Yang-Dong

    2015-02-01

    In recent years melatonin has emerged as a research highlight in plant studies. Melatonin has different functions in many aspects of plant growth and development. The most frequently mentioned functions of melatonin are related to abiotic stresses such as drought, radiation, extreme temperature, and chemical stresses. This review mainly focuses on the regulatory effects of melatonin when plants face harsh environmental conditions. Evidence indicates that environmental stress can increase the level of endogenous melatonin in plants. Overexpression of the melatonin biosynthetic genes elevates melatonin levels in transgenic plants. The transgenic plants show enhanced tolerance to abiotic stresses. Exogenously applied melatonin can also improve the ability of plants to tolerate abiotic stresses. The mechanisms by which melatonin alleviates abiotic stresses are discussed. PMID:25124318

  3. Great influence of geographic isolation on the genetic differentiation of Myriophyllum spicatum under a steep environmental gradient

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Zhigang; Yu, Dan; Wang, Zhong; Li, Xing; Xu, Xinwei

    2015-01-01

    Understanding how natural processes affect population genetic structures is an important issue in evolutionary biology. One effective method is to assess the relative importance of environmental and geographical factors in the genetic structure of populations. In this study, we examined the spatial genetic variation of thirteen Myriophyllum spicatum populations from the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP) and adjacent highlands (Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau, YGP) by using microsatellite loci and environmental and geographical factors. Bioclim layers, hydrological properties and elevation were considered as environmental variables and reduced by principal component analysis. The genetic isolation by geographic distance (IBD) was tested by Mantel tests and the relative importance of environmental variables on population genetic differentiation was determined by a partial Mantel test and multiple matrix regression with randomization (MMRR). Two genetic clusters corresponding to the QTP and YGP were identified. Both tests and MMRR revealed a significant and strong correlation between genetic divergence and geographic isolation under the influence of environmental heterogeneity at the overall and finer spatial scales. Our findings suggested the dominant role of geography on the evolution of M. spicatum under a steep environmental gradient in the alpine landscape as a result of dispersal limitation and genetic drift. PMID:26494202

  4. Possible use of environmental gradients in orientation by homing wood mice, Apodemus sylvaticus.

    PubMed

    Jamon, M; Bovet, P

    1987-08-01

    51 wood mice, Apodemus sylvaticus, tagged with chemoluminescent bulbs, were visually tracked in a series of night homing experiments. The mice did not go straight towards home, but wandered around the release area and covered distances equal to twice the radial lengths recorded. In the course of their walk, they orientated preferentially towards landscapes which resembled their usual habitat, irrespective of where their actual homeward direction lay. In spite of the randomness of their paths, homing success was good, but detailed analysis of homing time showed that the homing performances of the mice depended on the direction in which they vanished in the course of the observation period. The good fit of observed orientations with those obtained by computer simulation of klinokinesis along an axial gradient, and field observation of a vegetational gradient in the study area, are both consistent with the hypothesis that homing may have resulted from wandering, locally biased by a klinokinetic effect. PMID:24925488

  5. Relationships of sedimented diatom species (Bacillariophyceae) to environmental gradients in dilute northern New England lakes

    SciTech Connect

    Anderson, D.S.; Davis, R.B. ); Ford, M.S. )

    1993-06-01

    Limnological gradients of small, oligotrophic, and low conductance lakes in northern New England were defined by principal components analysis; relationships of sedimented diatom species to the gradients were investigated by correlation analysis. Diatom distributions were most strongly related to the gradient of pH and alkalinity and the covarying variables, conductance, Mg, Ca, total Al, and exchangeable Al. Weaker relationships to lake morphology, dissolved organic carbon and water color, altitude and marine aerosol inputs, and the distinctive water chemistry of some New Hampshire lakes were also present. Results for 16 taxa of importance in the authors' studies of lake acidity are given in detail and are compared to results from other regions of eastern North America. Planktonic taxa were absent below pH 5.5, with the exception of the long form of Asterionella ralfsii var. americana Korn. The two forms of this taxon differed ecologically: the long form ([ge] 45 [mu]m) had an abundance weighted mean (AWM) pH 5.53 and occurred mostly in lakes that were deep relative to transparency; the short form (< 45 [mu]m) had an AWM pH 4.90 and occurred in lakes that were shallow relative to transparency. The ecological advantage of a [open quotes]splitter[close quotes] approach to diatom taxonomy was demonstrated by examination of other taxa as well, including Tabellaria flocculosa (Roth) Kuetz. These results have important implications for paleolimnological interpretations. 66 refs., 6 figs., 4 tabs.

  6. Environmental gradients and identification of wetlands in north-central Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Davis, M.M.; Sprecher, S.W.; Wakeley, J.S.; Best, G.R.

    1996-01-01

    Vegetation composition, soil morphology, and hydrology were characterized along wetland-to-upland gradients at six forested sites in north-central Florida to compare results of Federal wetland delineation methods with 3–5 yr of hydrologic data. Wetland and non-wetland identifications were supported by hydrology data in eight of nine plant communities. Lack of hydric soil indicators and hydrophytic vegetation in two upland communities (scrub and mixed mesic hardwoods) agreed with a deep water table. Six wetland communities (cypress dome, cypress strand, bayhead, cypress/bayhead, red maple/oak swamp, and cedar swamp) with field indicators of wetland hydrology, hydrophytic vegetation, and hydric soils were inundated or had water tables at or near the ground surface at least 5% of the growing season in most years., Flatwoods communities, however, occurred at intermediate positions on the moisture gradient and could not be consistently identified as wetland or upland communities. Identification of flatwoods as wetlands depended on wetland delineation method and was not usually supported by hydrologic measurements. In the flatwoods community, soil properties and vegetation composition were correlated with the mean and standard deviation of water-table depths, as well as the depth continuously exceeded by the water table at least 5% of the growing season in most years. Various hydrologic parameters need to be considered in addition to the 5% exceedence level currently used in Federal wetland delineation guidance when characterizing wetland conditions in low-gradient areas such as flatwoods.

  7. Colony size-frequency distribution of pocilloporid juvenile corals along a natural environmental gradient in the Red Sea.

    PubMed

    Lozano-Cortés, Diego F; Berumen, Michael L

    2016-04-30

    Coral colony size-frequency distributions can be used to assess population responses to local environmental conditions and disturbances. In this study, we surveyed juvenile pocilloporids, herbivorous fish densities, and algal cover in the central and southern Saudi Arabian Red Sea. We sampled nine reefs with different disturbance histories along a north-south natural gradient of physicochemical conditions (higher salinity and wider temperature fluctuations in the north, and higher turbidity and productivity in the south). Since coral populations with negatively skewed size-frequency distributions have been associated with unfavorable environmental conditions, we expected to find more negative distributions in the southern Red Sea, where corals are potentially experiencing suboptimal conditions. Although juvenile coral and parrotfish densities differed significantly between the two regions, mean colony size and size-frequency distributions did not. Results suggest that pocilloporid colony size-frequency distribution may not be an accurate indicator of differences in biological or oceanographic conditions in the Red Sea. PMID:26520210

  8. Environmental drivers of carbon and nitrogen isotopic signatures in peatland vascular plants along an altitude gradient.

    PubMed

    Gavazov, Konstantin; Hagedorn, Frank; Buttler, Alexandre; Siegwolf, Rolf; Bragazza, Luca

    2016-01-01

    Peatlands are important sinks of atmospheric carbon (C) that, in response to climate warming, are undergoing dynamic vegetation succession. Here we examined the hypothesis that the uptake of nutrients by different plant growth forms (PGFs) is one key mechanism driving changes in species abundance in peatlands. Along an altitude gradient representing a natural climate experiment, we compared the variability of the stable C isotope composition (δ(13)C) and stable nitrogen (N) isotope composition (δ(15)N) in current-year leaves of two major PGFs, i.e. ericoids and graminoids. The climate gradient was associated with a gradient of vascular plant cover, which was parallelled by different concentrations of organic and inorganic N as well as the fungal/bacterial ratio in peat. In both PGFs the (13)C natural abundance showed a marginal spatial decrease with altitude and a temporal decrease with progression of the growing season. Our data highlight a primary physical control of foliar δ(13)C signature, which is independent from the PGFs. Natural abundance of foliar (15)N did not show any seasonal pattern and only in the ericoids showed depletion at lower elevation. This decreasing δ(15)N pattern was primarily controlled by the higher relative availability of organic versus inorganic N and, only for the ericoids, by an increased proportion of fungi to bacteria in soil. Our space-for-time approach demonstrates that a change in abundance of PGFs is associated with a different strategy of nutrient acquisition (i.e. transfer via mycorrhizal symbiosis versus direct fine-root uptake), which could likely promote observed and predicted dwarf shrub expansion under climate change. PMID:26433961

  9. Regulation of Photosynthesis during Abiotic Stress-Induced Photoinhibition.

    PubMed

    Gururani, Mayank Anand; Venkatesh, Jelli; Tran, Lam Son Phan

    2015-09-01

    Plants as sessile organisms are continuously exposed to abiotic stress conditions that impose numerous detrimental effects and cause tremendous loss of yield. Abiotic stresses, including high sunlight, confer serious damage on the photosynthetic machinery of plants. Photosystem II (PSII) is one of the most susceptible components of the photosynthetic machinery that bears the brunt of abiotic stress. In addition to the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by abiotic stress, ROS can also result from the absorption of excessive sunlight by the light-harvesting complex. ROS can damage the photosynthetic apparatus, particularly PSII, resulting in photoinhibition due to an imbalance in the photosynthetic redox signaling pathways and the inhibition of PSII repair. Designing plants with improved abiotic stress tolerance will require a comprehensive understanding of ROS signaling and the regulatory functions of various components, including protein kinases, transcription factors, and phytohormones, in the responses of photosynthetic machinery to abiotic stress. Bioenergetics approaches, such as chlorophyll a transient kinetics analysis, have facilitated our understanding of plant vitality and the assessment of PSII efficiency under adverse environmental conditions. This review discusses the current understanding and indicates potential areas of further studies on the regulation of the photosynthetic machinery under abiotic stress. PMID:25997389

  10. Untangling human and environmental effects on geographical gradients of mammal species richness: a global and regional evaluation.

    PubMed

    Torres-Romero, Erik Joaquín; Olalla-Tárraga, Miguel Á

    2015-05-01

    Different hypotheses (geographical, ecological, evolutionary or a combination of them) have been suggested to account for the spatial variation in species richness. However, the relative importance of environment and human impacts in explaining these patterns, either globally or at the biogeographical region level, remains largely unexplored. Here, we jointly evaluate how current environmental conditions and human impacts shape global and regional gradients of species richness in terrestrial mammals. We processed IUCN global distributional data for 3939 mammal species and a set of seven environmental and two human impact variables at a spatial resolution of 96.5 × 96.5 km. We used simple, multiple and partial regression techniques to evaluate environmental and human effects on species richness. Actual evapotranspiration (AET) is the main driver of mammal species richness globally. Together with our results at the biogeographical realm level, this lends strong support for the water-energy hypothesis (i.e. global diversity gradients are best explained by the interaction of water and energy, with a latitudinal shift in the relative importance of ambient energy vs. water availability as we move from the poles to the equator). While human effects on species richness are not easily detected at a global scale due to the large proportion of shared variance with the environment, these effects significantly emerge at the regional level. In the Nearctic, Palearctic and Oriental regions, the independent contribution of human impacts is almost as important as current environmental conditions in explaining richness patterns. The intersection of human impacts with climate drives the geographical variation in mammal species richness in the Palearctic, Nearctic and Oriental regions. Using a human accessibility variable, we show, for the first time, that the zones most accessible to humans are often those where we find lower mammal species richness. PMID:25355656

  11. Assessment of Acacia koa forest health across environmental gradients in Hawai'i using fine resolution remote sensing and GIS.

    PubMed

    Morales, Rodolfo Martinez; Idol, Travis; Friday, James B

    2011-01-01

    Koa (Acacia koa) forests are found across broad environmental gradients in the Hawai'ian Islands. Previous studies have identified koa forest health problems and dieback at the plot level, but landscape level patterns remain unstudied. The availability of high-resolution satellite images from the new GeoEye1 satellite offers the opportunity to conduct landscape-level assessments of forest health. The goal of this study was to develop integrated remote sensing and geographic information systems (GIS) methodologies to characterize the health of koa forests and model the spatial distribution and variability of koa forest dieback patterns across an elevation range of 600-1,000 m asl in the island of Kaua'i, which correspond to gradients of temperature and rainfall ranging from 17-20 °C mean annual temperature and 750-1,500 mm mean annual precipitation. GeoEye1 satellite imagery of koa stands was analyzed using supervised classification techniques based on the analysis of 0.5-m pixel multispectral bands. There was clear differentiation of native koa forest from areas dominated by introduced tree species and differentiation of healthy koa stands from those exhibiting dieback symptoms. The area ratio of healthy koa to koa dieback corresponded linearly to changes in temperature across the environmental gradient, with koa dieback at higher relative abundance in warmer areas. A landscape-scale map of healthy koa forest and dieback distribution demonstrated both the general trend with elevation and the small-scale heterogeneity that exists within particular elevations. The application of these classification techniques with fine spatial resolution imagery can improve the accuracy of koa forest inventory and mapping across the islands of Hawai'i. Such findings should also improve ecological restoration, conservation and silviculture of this important native tree species. PMID:22163920

  12. 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.

  13. Influence of Environmental Gradients on the Abundance and Distribution of Mycobacterium spp. in a Coastal Lagoon Estuary▿

    PubMed Central

    Jacobs, John; Rhodes, Matt; Sturgis, Brian; Wood, Bob

    2009-01-01

    Environmental mycobacteria are of increasing concern in terms of the diseases they cause in both humans and animals. Although they are considered to be ubiquitous in aquatic environments, few studies have examined their ecology, and no ecological studies of coastal marine systems have been conducted. This study uses indirect gradient analysis to illustrate the strong relationships that exists between coastal water quality and the abundance of Mycobacterium spp. within a U.S. mid-Atlantic embayment. Mycobacterium species abundance and water quality conditions (based on 16 physical and chemical variables) were examined simultaneously in monthly samples obtained at 18 Maryland and Virginia coastal bay stations from August 2005 to November 2006 (n = 212). A quantitative molecular assay for Mycobacterium spp. was evaluated and applied, allowing for rapid, direct enumeration. By using indirect gradient analysis (environmental principal-components analysis), a strong linkage between eutrophic conditions, characterized by low dissolved-oxygen levels and elevated nutrient concentrations, and mycobacteria was determined. More specifically, a strong nutrient response was noted, with all nitrogen components and turbidity measurements correlating positively with abundance (r values of >0.30; P values of <0.001), while dissolved oxygen showed a strong negative relationship (r = −0.38; P = 0.01). Logistic regression models developed using salinity, dissolved oxygen, and total nitrogen showed a high degree of concordance (83%). These results suggest that coastal restoration and management strategies designed to reduce eutrophication may also reduce total mycobacteria in coastal waters. PMID:19801457

  14. Abiotic immobilization/detoxification of recalcitrant organics

    SciTech Connect

    Whelan, G. ); Sims, R.C. )

    1990-11-01

    In contrast to many remedial techniques that simply transfer hazardous wastes from one part of the environment to another (e.g., off-site landfilling), in situ restoration may offer a safe and cost-effective solution through transformation (to less hazardous products) or destruction of recalcitrant organics. Currently, the US Environmental Protection Agency and US Department of Energy are encouraging research that addresses the development of innovative alternatives for hazardous-waste control. One such alternative is biotic and abiotic immobilization and detoxification of polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PNAs) as associated with the soil humification process. This paper discusses (1) the possibility of using abiotic catalysis (with manganese dioxide) to polymerize organic substances; (2) aspects associated with the thermodynamics and kinetics of the process, and (3) a simple model upon which analyses may be based. 36 refs., 7 figs., 3 tabs.

  15. ANALYSIS OF MACROINVERTEBRATE ASSEMBLAGES IN RELATION TO ENVIRONMENTAL GRADIENTS AMONG LOTIC HABITATS OF CALIFORNIA'S CENTRAL VALLEY

    EPA Science Inventory

    We analyzed relationships between environmental characteristics and macroinvertebrate assemblages in lotic habitats of California's Central Valley with community metric and multivariate statistical approaches. Using canonical ordination analyses, we contrasted results when asse...

  16. ANALYSIS OF MACROINVERTEBRATE ASSEMBLAGES IN RELATION TO ENVIRONMENTAL GRADIENTS IN ROCKY MOUNTAIN STREAMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Using redundancy analysis (RDA) and canonical correspondence analysis (CCA), we assessed relationships among chemical and physical characteristics and macroinvertebrate assemblages at stream sites sampled by the Regional Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (R-EMAP) in...

  17. The structure of Mediterranean rocky reef ecosystems across environmental and human gradients, and conservation implications

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sala, Enric; Ballesteros, Enric; Dendrinos, Panagiotis; Di Franco, Antonio; Ferretti, Francesco; Foley, David; Fraschetti, Simonetta; Friedlander, Alan M.; Garrabou, Joaquim; Guclusoy, Harun; Guidetti, Paolo; Halpern, Benjamin S.; Hereu, Bernat; Karamanlidis, Alexandros A.; Kizilkaya, Zafer; Macpherson, Enrique; Mangialajo, Luisa; Mariani, Simone; Micheli, Fiorenza; Pais, Antonio; Riser, Kristin; Rosenberg, Andrew A.; Sales, Marta; Selkoe, Kimberly A.; Starr, Rick; Tomas, Fiona; Zabala, Mikel

    2012-01-01

    Historical exploitation of the Mediterranean Sea and the absence of rigorous baselines makes it difficult to evaluate the current health of the marine ecosystems and the efficacy of conservation actions at the ecosystem level. Here we establish the first current baseline and gradient of ecosystem structure of nearshore rocky reefs at the Mediterranean scale. We conducted underwater surveys in 14 marine protected areas and 18 open access sites across the Mediterranean, and across a 31-fold range of fish biomass (from 3.8 to 118 g m-2). Our data showed remarkable variation in the structure of rocky reef ecosystems. Multivariate analysis showed three alternative community states: (1) large fish biomass and reefs dominated by non-canopy algae, (2) lower fish biomass but abundant native algal canopies and suspension feeders, and (3) low fish biomass and extensive barrens, with areas covered by turf algae. Our results suggest that the healthiest shallow rocky reef ecosystems in the Mediterranean have both large fish and algal biomass. Protection level and primary production were the only variables significantly correlated to community biomass structure. Fish biomass was significantly larger in well-enforced no-take marine reserves, but there were no significant differences between multi-use marine protected areas (which allow some fishing) and open access areas at the regional scale. The gradients reported here represent a trajectory of degradation that can be used to assess the health of any similar habitat in the Mediterranean, and to evaluate the efficacy of marine protected areas.

  18. The Structure of Mediterranean Rocky Reef Ecosystems across Environmental and Human Gradients, and Conservation Implications

    PubMed Central

    Sala, Enric; Ballesteros, Enric; Dendrinos, Panagiotis; Di Franco, Antonio; Ferretti, Francesco; Foley, David; Fraschetti, Simonetta; Friedlander, Alan; Garrabou, Joaquim; Güçlüsoy, Harun; Guidetti, Paolo; Halpern, Benjamin S.; Hereu, Bernat; Karamanlidis, Alexandros A.; Kizilkaya, Zafer; Macpherson, Enrique; Mangialajo, Luisa; Mariani, Simone; Micheli, Fiorenza; Pais, Antonio; Riser, Kristin; Rosenberg, Andrew A.; Sales, Marta; Selkoe, Kimberly A.; Starr, Rick; Tomas, Fiona; Zabala, Mikel

    2012-01-01

    Historical exploitation of the Mediterranean Sea and the absence of rigorous baselines makes it difficult to evaluate the current health of the marine ecosystems and the efficacy of conservation actions at the ecosystem level. Here we establish the first current baseline and gradient of ecosystem structure of nearshore rocky reefs at the Mediterranean scale. We conducted underwater surveys in 14 marine protected areas and 18 open access sites across the Mediterranean, and across a 31-fold range of fish biomass (from 3.8 to 118 g m−2). Our data showed remarkable variation in the structure of rocky reef ecosystems. Multivariate analysis showed three alternative community states: (1) large fish biomass and reefs dominated by non-canopy algae, (2) lower fish biomass but abundant native algal canopies and suspension feeders, and (3) low fish biomass and extensive barrens, with areas covered by turf algae. Our results suggest that the healthiest shallow rocky reef ecosystems in the Mediterranean have both large fish and algal biomass. Protection level and primary production were the only variables significantly correlated to community biomass structure. Fish biomass was significantly larger in well-enforced no-take marine reserves, but there were no significant differences between multi-use marine protected areas (which allow some fishing) and open access areas at the regional scale. The gradients reported here represent a trajectory of degradation that can be used to assess the health of any similar habitat in the Mediterranean, and to evaluate the efficacy of marine protected areas. PMID:22393445

  19. Chironomid assemblages along environmental gradients in New York City's drinking water tributaries, New York, USA.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kratzer, E. B.; Jackson, J. K.; Arscott, D. B.; Aufdenkampe, A. K.; Dow, C. L.; Kaplan, L. A.; Newbold, J. D.; Sweeney, B. W.

    2005-05-01

    Chironomidae are diverse and abundant in streams and rivers and are often included in water quality and pollution evaluations. We examined distribution patterns of chironomid genera from 60 sites in the 2 regions (East and West of the Hudson River) that are the source of New York City's drinking water. These watersheds range from forested to urbanized. Average midge density ranged from 3320-68813/m2 across all sites, and a total of 75 genera were identified over 3 years. Orthocladius and Cricotopus were the most abundant genera in both regions. Tanytarsus and Sublettea were also abundant in the West whereas Micropsectra and Eukiefferiella were abundant in the East. Multivariate analyses suggest that midge assemblages differed along land cover gradients. Nonmetric Multidimensional Scaling explained 73% of the spatial variation in chironomid assemblages from the western region, and 86% of the spatial variation from the eastern region. Western axes were correlated with population density and total roads in the watershed, percent cropland and farmsteads, and numerous other variables associated with agriculture and development. Eastern axes were correlated with wastewater treatment plant discharge, chlorophyll, total roads, and transportation land cover. Some genera-specific abundance responses were associated with certain land cover gradients.

  20. Abiotic stress responses in plant roots: a proteomics perspective

    PubMed Central

    Ghosh, Dipanjana; Xu, Jian

    2014-01-01

    Abiotic stress conditions adversely affect plant growth, resulting in significant decline in crop productivity. To mitigate and recover from the damaging effects of such adverse environmental conditions, plants have evolved various adaptive strategies at cellular and metabolic levels. Most of these strategies involve dynamic changes in protein abundance that can be best explored through proteomics. This review summarizes comparative proteomic studies conducted with roots of various plant species subjected to different abiotic stresses especially drought, salinity, flood, and cold. The main purpose of this article is to highlight and classify the protein level changes in abiotic stress response pathways specifically in plant roots. Shared as well as stressor-specific proteome signatures and adaptive mechanism(s) are simultaneously described. Such a comprehensive account will facilitate the design of genetic engineering strategies that enable the development of broad-spectrum abiotic stress-tolerant crops. PMID:24478786

  1. Use of Plant Hydraulic Theory to Predict Ecosystem Fluxes Across Mountainous Gradients in Environmental Controls and Insect Disturbances

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ewers, B. E.; Pendall, E.; Reed, D. E.; Barnard, H. R.; Whitehouse, F.; Frank, J. M.; Massman, W. J.; Brooks, P. D.; Biederman, J. A.; Harpold, A. A.; Naithani, K. J.; Mitra, B.; Mackay, D. S.; Norton, U.; Borkhuu, B.

    2011-12-01

    While mountainous areas are critical for providing numerous ecosystem benefits at the regional scale, the strong gradients in environmental controls make predictions difficult. A key part of the problem is quantifying and predicting the feedback between mountain gradients and plant function which then controls ecosystem cycling. The emerging theory of plant hydraulics provides a rigorous yet simple platform from which to generate testable hypotheses and predictions of ecosystem pools and fluxes. Plant hydraulic theory predicts that plant controls over carbon, water, energy and nutrient fluxes can be derived from the limitation of plant water transport from the soil through xylem and out of stomata. In addition, the limit to plant water transport can be predicted by combining plant structure (e.g. xylem diameters or root-to-shoot ratios) and plant function (response of stomatal conductance to vapor pressure deficit or root vulnerability to cavitation). We evaluate the predictions of the plant hydraulic theory by testing it against data from a mountain gradient encompassing sagebrush steppe through subalpine forests (2700 to 3400 m). We further test the theory by predicting the carbon, water and nutrient exchanges from several coniferous trees in the same gradient that are dying from xylem dysfunction caused by blue-stain fungi carried by bark beetles. The common theme of both of these data sets is a change in water limitation caused by either changing precipitation along the mountainous gradient or lack of access to soil water from xylem-occluding fungi. Across all of the data sets which range in scale from individual plants to hillslopes, the data fit the predictions of plant hydraulic theory. Namely, there was a proportional tradeoff between the reference canopy stomatal conductance to water vapor and the sensitivity of that conductance to vapor pressure deficit that quantitatively fits the predictions of plant hydraulic theory. Incorporating this result into

  2. Abiotic Buildup of Ozone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Domagal-Goldman, S. D.; Meadows, V. S.

    2010-10-01

    Two of the best biosignature gases for remote detection of life on extrasolar planets are oxygen (O2) and its photochemical byproduct, ozone (O3). The main reason for their prominence as biosignatures is that large abiotic fluxes of O2 and O3 are not considered sustainable on geological and astronomical timescales. We show here how buildup of O3 can occur on planets orbiting M stars, even in the absence of the large biological fluxes. This is possible because the destruction of O2 and O3 is driven by UV photochemistry. This chemistry is much slower on planets around these stars, due to the smaller incident UV flux. Because the destruction of these gases is slower, O3 can build up to detectable levels even if the O3 source is small. We will present atmospheric profiles of these gases for planets around AD Leo (an M dwarf) as well as spectra that show the implications for missions such as Darwin and the Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF).

  3. Latitudinal gradients in ecosystem engineering by oysters vary across habitats.

    PubMed

    McAfee, Dominic; Cole, Victoria J; Bishop, Melanie J

    2016-04-01

    Ecological theory predicts that positive interactions among organisms will increase across gradients of increasing abiotic stress or consumer pressure. This theory has been supported by empirical studies examining the magnitude of ecosystem engineering across environmental gradients and between habitat settings at local scale. Predictions that habitat setting, by modifying both biotic and abiotic factors, will determine large-scale gradients in ecosystem engineering have not been tested, however. A combination of manipulative experiments and field surveys assessed whether along the east Australian coastline: (1) facilitation of invertebrates by the oyster Saccostrea glomerata increased across a latitudinal gradient in temperature; and (2) the magnitude of this effect varied between intertidal rocky shores and mangrove forests. It was expected that on rocky shores, where oysters are the primary ecosystem engineer, they would play a greater role in ameliorating latitudinal gradients in temperature than in mangroves, where they are a secondary ecosystem engineer living under the mangrove canopy. On rocky shores, the enhancement of invertebrate abundance in oysters as compared to bare microhabitat decreased with latitude, as the maximum temperatures experienced by intertidal organisms diminished. By contrast, in mangrove forests, where the mangrove canopy resulted in maximum temperatures that were cooler and of greater humidity than on rocky shores, we found no evidence of latitudinal gradients of oyster effects on invertebrate abundance. Contrary to predictions, the magnitude by which oysters enhanced biodiversity was in many instances similar between mangroves and rocky shores. Whether habitat-context modifies patterns of spatial variation in the effects of ecosystem engineers on community structure will depend, in part, on the extent to which the environmental amelioration provided by an ecosystem engineer replicates that of other co-occurring ecosystem engineers

  4. Nitrogen availability is a primary determinant of conifer mycorrhizas across complex environmental gradients.

    PubMed

    Cox, Filipa; Barsoum, Nadia; Lilleskov, Erik A; Bidartondo, Martin I

    2010-09-01

    Global environmental change has serious implications for functional biodiversity in temperate and boreal forests. Trees depend on mycorrhizal fungi for nutrient uptake, but predicted increases in nitrogen availability may alter fungal communities. To address a knowledge gap regarding the effects of nitrogen availability on mycorrhizal communities at large scales, we examine the relationship between nitrogen and ectomycorrhizas in part of a European biomonitoring network of pine forest plots. Our analyses show that increased nitrogen reduces fungal diversity and causes shifts in mycorrhizal community composition across plots, but we do not find strong evidence that within-plot differences in nitrogen availability affect ectomycorrhizal communities. We also carry out exploratory analyses to determine the relative importance of other environmental variables in structuring mycorrhizal communities, and discuss the potential use of indicator species to predict nitrogen-induced shifts in fungal communities. PMID:20545731

  5. Calcium-Magnesium-Aluminosilicate (CMAS) Infiltration and Cyclic Degradations of Thermal and Environmental Barrier Coatings in Thermal Gradients

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zhu, Dongming; Harder, Bryan; Smialek, Jim; Miller, Robert A.

    2014-01-01

    In a continuing effort to develop higher temperature capable turbine thermal barrier and environmental barrier coating systems, Calcium-Magnesium-Aluminosilicate (CMAS) resistance of the advanced coating systems needs to be evaluated and improved. This paper highlights some of NASA past high heat flux testing approaches for turbine thermal and environmental barrier coatings assessments in CMAS environments. One of our current emphases has been focused on the thermal barrier - environmental barrier coating composition and testing developments. The effort has included the CMAS infiltrations in high temperature and high heat flux turbine engine like conditions using advanced laser high heat flux rigs, and subsequently degradation studies in laser heat flux thermal gradient cyclic and isothermal furnace cyclic testing conditions. These heat flux CMAS infiltration and related coating durability testing are essential where appropriate CMAS melting, infiltration and coating-substrate temperature exposure temperature controls can be achieved, thus helping quantify the CMAS-coating interaction and degradation mechanisms. The CMAS work is also playing a critical role in advanced coating developments, by developing laboratory coating durability assessment methodologies in simulated turbine engine conditions and helping establish CMAS test standards in laboratory environments.

  6. Identification of outliers in a genomic scan for selection along environmental gradients in the bamboo locust, Ceracris kiangsu.

    PubMed

    Feng, Xiao-Jing; Jiang, Guo-Fang; Fan, Zhou

    2015-01-01

    Identification of loci under divergent selection is a key step in understanding the evolutionary process because those loci are responsible for the genetic variations that affect fitness in different environments. Understanding how environmental forces give rise to adaptive genetic variation is a challenge in pest control. Here, we performed an amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) genome scan in populations of the bamboo locust, Ceracris kiangsu, to search for candidate loci that are influenced by selection along an environmental gradient in southern China. In outlier locus detection, loci that demonstrate significantly higher or lower among-population genetic differentiation than expected under neutrality are identified as outliers. We used several outlier detection methods to study the features of C. kiangsu, including method DFDIST, BayeScan, and logistic regression. A total of 97 outlier loci were detected in the C. kiangsu genome with very high statistical supports. Moreover, the results suggested that divergent selection arising from environmental variation has been driven by differences in temperature, precipitation, humidity and sunshine. These findings illustrate that divergent selection and potential local adaptation are prevalent in locusts despite seemingly high levels of gene flow. Thus, we propose that native environments in each population may induce divergent natural selection. PMID:26333424

  7. Food-Web Structure in Relation to Environmental Gradients and Predator-Prey Ratios in Tank-Bromeliad Ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Dézerald, Olivier; Leroy, Céline; Corbara, Bruno; Carrias, Jean-François; Pélozuelo, Laurent; Dejean, Alain; Céréghino, Régis

    2013-01-01

    Little is known of how linkage patterns between species change along environmental gradients. The small, spatially discrete food webs inhabiting tank-bromeliads provide an excellent opportunity to analyse patterns of community diversity and food-web topology (connectance, linkage density, nestedness) in relation to key environmental variables (habitat size, detrital resource, incident radiation) and predators:prey ratios. We sampled 365 bromeliads in a wide range of understorey environments in French Guiana and used gut contents of invertebrates to draw the corresponding 365 connectance webs. At the bromeliad scale, habitat size (water volume) determined the number of species that constitute food-web nodes, the proportion of predators, and food-web topology. The number of species as well as the proportion of predators within bromeliads declined from open to forested habitats, where the volume of water collected by bromeliads was generally lower because of rainfall interception by the canopy. A core group of microorganisms and generalist detritivores remained relatively constant across environments. This suggests that (i) a highly-connected core ensures food-web stability and key ecosystem functions across environments, and (ii) larger deviations in food-web structures can be expected following disturbance if detritivores share traits that determine responses to environmental changes. While linkage density and nestedness were lower in bromeliads in the forest than in open areas, experiments are needed to confirm a trend for lower food-web stability in the understorey of primary forests. PMID:23977128

  8. Food-web structure in relation to environmental gradients and predator-prey ratios in tank-bromeliad ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Dézerald, Olivier; Leroy, Céline; Corbara, Bruno; Carrias, Jean-François; Pélozuelo, Laurent; Dejean, Alain; Céréghino, Régis

    2013-01-01

    Little is known of how linkage patterns between species change along environmental gradients. The small, spatially discrete food webs inhabiting tank-bromeliads provide an excellent opportunity to analyse patterns of community diversity and food-web topology (connectance, linkage density, nestedness) in relation to key environmental variables (habitat size, detrital resource, incident radiation) and predators:prey ratios. We sampled 365 bromeliads in a wide range of understorey environments in French Guiana and used gut contents of invertebrates to draw the corresponding 365 connectance webs. At the bromeliad scale, habitat size (water volume) determined the number of species that constitute food-web nodes, the proportion of predators, and food-web topology. The number of species as well as the proportion of predators within bromeliads declined from open to forested habitats, where the volume of water collected by bromeliads was generally lower because of rainfall interception by the canopy. A core group of microorganisms and generalist detritivores remained relatively constant across environments. This suggests that (i) a highly-connected core ensures food-web stability and key ecosystem functions across environments, and (ii) larger deviations in food-web structures can be expected following disturbance if detritivores share traits that determine responses to environmental changes. While linkage density and nestedness were lower in bromeliads in the forest than in open areas, experiments are needed to confirm a trend for lower food-web stability in the understorey of primary forests. PMID:23977128

  9. Identification of outliers in a genomic scan for selection along environmental gradients in the bamboo locust, Ceracris kiangsu

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Xiao-Jing; Jiang, Guo-Fang; Fan, Zhou

    2015-01-01

    Identification of loci under divergent selection is a key step in understanding the evolutionary process because those loci are responsible for the genetic variations that affect fitness in different environments. Understanding how environmental forces give rise to adaptive genetic variation is a challenge in pest control. Here, we performed an amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) genome scan in populations of the bamboo locust, Ceracris kiangsu, to search for candidate loci that are influenced by selection along an environmental gradient in southern China. In outlier locus detection, loci that demonstrate significantly higher or lower among-population genetic differentiation than expected under neutrality are identified as outliers. We used several outlier detection methods to study the features of C. kiangsu, including method DFDIST, BayeScan, and logistic regression. A total of 97 outlier loci were detected in the C. kiangsu genome with very high statistical supports. Moreover, the results suggested that divergent selection arising from environmental variation has been driven by differences in temperature, precipitation, humidity and sunshine. These findings illustrate that divergent selection and potential local adaptation are prevalent in locusts despite seemingly high levels of gene flow. Thus, we propose that native environments in each population may induce divergent natural selection. PMID:26333424

  10. Determinants of Regional Variability in Litter Production of Forests in the Southern Yucatan: Environmental Gradients or Human Legacy?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lawrence, D.; Lawrence, D.; Foster, D. R.

    2001-05-01

    The Southern Yucatan is the deforestation frontier for the largest block of dry tropical forest north of Brazil. Our goal was to assess how human disturbance alters patterns of productivity driven by natural gradients of precipitation and soil fertility. We sampled litter production and soils in three regions (rainfall 890-1420 mm yr-1). We studied 8-10 stands 2-25 yrs old plus 2-3 mature forest stands per region (36 in total). Litter was collected monthly from four 1-m2 traps within a 500-m2 area, and summed for 1999. Soil chemical and physical properties varied little across the region, but organic matter increased (10.9-13.3% soils 0-15 cm deep) with annual precipitation. Annual litter production was analyzed as a function of region, forest age, number of previous cycles of shifting cultivation, and total number of years in corn production. Region had no significant effect on production, though there was a trend toward higher production in the wettest region. Litterfall increased with age, and production in old secondary forests was not significantly different from that in mature forests. Land-use intensity was negatively correlated with litter production, which declined as a function of both number of cycles and total number of years in corn. In stepwise regression models, age and number of years in corn were the only significant predictors of litter production. Human history, rather than environmental gradients, seems to determine regional variation in productivity in the Yucatan.

  11. Pre-exposure of Arabidopsis to the abiotic or biotic environmental stimuli “chilling” or “insect eggs” exhibits different transcriptomic responses to herbivory

    PubMed Central

    Firtzlaff, Vivien; Oberländer, Jana; Geiselhardt, Sven; Hilker, Monika; Kunze, Reinhard

    2016-01-01

    Plants can retain information about environmental stress and thus, prepare themselves for impending stress. In nature, it happens that environmental stimuli like ‘cold’ and ‘insect egg deposition’ precede insect herbivory. Both these stimuli are known to elicit transcriptomic changes in Arabidposis thaliana. It is unknown, however, whether they affect the plant’s anti-herbivore defence and feeding-induced transcriptome when they end prior to herbivory. Here we investigated the transcriptomic response of Arabidopsis to feeding by Pieris brassicae larvae after prior exposure to cold or oviposition. The transcriptome of plants that experienced a five-day-chilling period (4 °C) was not fully reset to the pre-chilling state after deacclimation (20 °C) for one day and responded differently to herbivory than that of chilling-inexperienced plants. In contrast, when after a five-day-lasting oviposition period the eggs were removed, one day later the transcriptome and, consistently, also its response to herbivory resembled that of egg-free plants. Larval performance was unaffected by previous exposure of plants to cold and to eggs, thus indicating P. brassicae tolerance to cold-mediated plant transcriptomic changes. Our results show strong differences in the persistence of the plant’s transcriptomic state after removal of different environmental cues, and consequently differential effects on the transcriptomic response to later herbivory. PMID:27329974

  12. Pre-exposure of Arabidopsis to the abiotic or biotic environmental stimuli "chilling" or "insect eggs" exhibits different transcriptomic responses to herbivory.

    PubMed

    Firtzlaff, Vivien; Oberländer, Jana; Geiselhardt, Sven; Hilker, Monika; Kunze, Reinhard

    2016-01-01

    Plants can retain information about environmental stress and thus, prepare themselves for impending stress. In nature, it happens that environmental stimuli like 'cold' and 'insect egg deposition' precede insect herbivory. Both these stimuli are known to elicit transcriptomic changes in Arabidposis thaliana. It is unknown, however, whether they affect the plant's anti-herbivore defence and feeding-induced transcriptome when they end prior to herbivory. Here we investigated the transcriptomic response of Arabidopsis to feeding by Pieris brassicae larvae after prior exposure to cold or oviposition. The transcriptome of plants that experienced a five-day-chilling period (4 °C) was not fully reset to the pre-chilling state after deacclimation (20 °C) for one day and responded differently to herbivory than that of chilling-inexperienced plants. In contrast, when after a five-day-lasting oviposition period the eggs were removed, one day later the transcriptome and, consistently, also its response to herbivory resembled that of egg-free plants. Larval performance was unaffected by previous exposure of plants to cold and to eggs, thus indicating P. brassicae tolerance to cold-mediated plant transcriptomic changes. Our results show strong differences in the persistence of the plant's transcriptomic state after removal of different environmental cues, and consequently differential effects on the transcriptomic response to later herbivory. PMID:27329974

  13. Magnitude and regulation of bacterioplankton respiratory quotient across freshwater environmental gradients.

    PubMed

    Berggren, Martin; Lapierre, Jean-François; del Giorgio, Paul A

    2012-05-01

    Bacterioplankton respiration (BR) may represent the largest single sink of organic carbon in the biosphere and constitutes an important driver of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO(2)) emissions from freshwaters. Complete understanding of BR is precluded by the fact that most studies need to assume a respiratory quotient (RQ; mole of CO(2) produced per mole of O(2) consumed) to calculate rates of BR. Many studies have, without clear support, assumed a fixed RQ around 1. Here we present 72 direct measurements of bacterioplankton RQ that we carried out in epilimnetic samples of 52 freshwater sites in Québec (Canada), using O(2) and CO(2) optic sensors. The RQs tended to converge around 1.2, but showed large variability (s.d.=0.45) and significant correlations with major gradients of ecosystem-level, substrate-level and bacterial community-level characteristics. Experiments with natural bacterioplankton using different single substrates suggested that RQ is intimately linked to the elemental composition of the respired compounds. RQs were on average low in net autotrophic systems, where bacteria likely were utilizing mainly reduced substrates, whereas we found evidence that the dominance of highly oxidized substrates, for example, organic acids formed by photo-chemical processes, led to high RQ in the more heterotrophic systems. Further, we suggest that BR contributes to a substantially larger share of freshwater CO(2) emissions than presently believed based on the assumption that RQ is ∼1. Our study demonstrates that bacterioplankton RQ is not only a practical aspect of BR determination, but also a major ecosystem state variable that provides unique information about aquatic ecosystem functioning. PMID:22094347

  14. Biodiversity and Environmental Gradients Across the Tropical Pacific Islands: A New Strategy for Research and Conservation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mueller-Dombois, Dieter

    The theory of island biogeography of MacArthur and Wilson (1967) represents a first attempt at developing a unifying concept for biodiversity research across islands and fragmented biomes. It uses two physical parameters, distance (or isolation) and size of area to define species equilibria. This contribution expands on the theory by adding a third physical parameter, elevation (or topography), to focus on biodiversity relationships. This third parameter allows island ecosystems to be connected horizontally across Pacific-wide biomes. It also permits the establishment of ecological gradients across the Pacific to study and compare the structure and function of enriched versus impoverished biodiversities in similar habitats. In combination with this horizontal approach, a vertical approach is suggested for interdisciplinary research. For this, the fresh-water flow or hydrology is seen as the unifying parameter that links several ecosystems in an upland/lowland relationship. The two approaches represent a new strategy for biodiversity research and conservation in the Pacific area. A biodiversity transect with ILTER (International Long-Term Ecological Research) sites forming a network from Eastern and Northern Polynesia to Borneo, and including the oceanic archipelagoes near the American continents, is currently envisioned by the PSA (Pacific Science Association) Task Force on Biodiversity (Kitayama and Mueller-Dombois 1997). This new program, which has evolved from a first synthesis of Pacific island vegetation and landscapes (Mueller-Dombois and Fosberg 1998) is to become a contribution to the DIVERSITAS program launched in 1994 under the auspices of the IUBS (International Union of Biological Sciences) and the International Council of Scientific Unions in Paris, and by DIWPA (Diversitas in Western Pacific and Asia in Kyoto).

  15. Magnitude and regulation of bacterioplankton respiratory quotient across freshwater environmental gradients

    PubMed Central

    Berggren, Martin; Lapierre, Jean-François; del Giorgio, Paul A

    2012-01-01

    Bacterioplankton respiration (BR) may represent the largest single sink of organic carbon in the biosphere and constitutes an important driver of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from freshwaters. Complete understanding of BR is precluded by the fact that most studies need to assume a respiratory quotient (RQ; mole of CO2 produced per mole of O2 consumed) to calculate rates of BR. Many studies have, without clear support, assumed a fixed RQ around 1. Here we present 72 direct measurements of bacterioplankton RQ that we carried out in epilimnetic samples of 52 freshwater sites in Québec (Canada), using O2 and CO2 optic sensors. The RQs tended to converge around 1.2, but showed large variability (s.d.=0.45) and significant correlations with major gradients of ecosystem-level, substrate-level and bacterial community-level characteristics. Experiments with natural bacterioplankton using different single substrates suggested that RQ is intimately linked to the elemental composition of the respired compounds. RQs were on average low in net autotrophic systems, where bacteria likely were utilizing mainly reduced substrates, whereas we found evidence that the dominance of highly oxidized substrates, for example, organic acids formed by photo-chemical processes, led to high RQ in the more heterotrophic systems. Further, we suggest that BR contributes to a substantially larger share of freshwater CO2 emissions than presently believed based on the assumption that RQ is ∼1. Our study demonstrates that bacterioplankton RQ is not only a practical aspect of BR determination, but also a major ecosystem state variable that provides unique information about aquatic ecosystem functioning. PMID:22094347

  16. Variation in hippocampal morphology along an environmental gradient: controlling for the effects of day length

    PubMed Central

    Roth, Timothy C.; LaDage, Lara D.; Pravosudov, Vladimir V.

    2011-01-01

    Environmental conditions may create increased demands for memory, which in turn may affect specific brain regions responsible for memory function. This may occur either via phenotypic plasticity or selection for individuals with enhanced cognitive abilities. For food-caching animals, in particular, spatial memory appears to be important because it may have a direct effect on fitness via their ability to accurately retrieve food caches. Our previous studies have shown that caching animals living in more harsh environments (characterized by low temperatures, high snow cover and short day lengths) possess more neurons within a larger hippocampus (Hp), a part of the brain involved in spatial memory. However, the relative role of each of these environmental features in the relationship is unknown. Here, we dissociate the effects of one theoretically important factor (day length) within the environmental severity/Hp relationship by examining food-caching birds (black-capped chickadee, Poecile atricapillus) selected at locations along the same latitude, but with very different climatic regimes. There was a significant difference in Hp attributes among populations along the same latitude with very different climatic features. Birds from the climatically mild location had significantly smaller Hp volumes and fewer Hp neurons than birds from the more harsh populations, even though all populations experienced similar day lengths. These results suggest that variables such as temperature and snow cover seem to be important even without the compounding effect of reduced day length at higher latitudes and suggest that low temperature and snow cover alone may be sufficient to generate high demands for memory and the hippocampus. Our data further confirmed that the association between harsh environment and the hippocampus in food-caching animals is robust across a large geographical area and across years. PMID:21288947

  17. Species-specific trends in the reproductive output of corals across environmental gradients and bleaching histories.

    PubMed

    Howells, Emily J; Ketchum, Remi N; Bauman, Andrew G; Mustafa, Yasmine; Watkins, Kristina D; Burt, John A

    2016-04-30

    Coral populations in the Persian Gulf have a reputation for being some of the toughest in the world yet little is known about the energetic constraints of living under temperature and salinity extremes. Energy allocation for sexual reproduction in Gulf corals was evaluated relative to conspecifics living under milder environmental conditions in the Oman Sea. Fecundity was depressed at Gulf sites in two Indo-Pacific merulinid species (Cyphastrea microphthalma and Platygyra daedalea) but not in a regionally endemic acroporid (Acropora downingi). Gulf populations of each species experienced high temperature bleaching at the onset of gametogenesis in the study but fecundity was only negatively impacted in P. daedalea and A. downingi. Large population sizes of C. microphthalma and P. daedalea in the Gulf are expected to buffer reductions on colony-level fecundity. However, depleted population sizes of A. downingi at some Gulf sites equate to low reef-wide fecundity and likely impede outcrossing success. PMID:26608503

  18. Environmental tolerances of rare and common mangroves along light and salinity gradients.

    PubMed

    Dangremond, Emily M; Feller, Ilka C; Sousa, Wayne P

    2015-12-01

    Although mangroves possess a variety of morphological and physiological adaptations for life in a stressful habitat, interspecific differences in survival and growth under different environmental conditions can shape their local and geographic distributions. Soil salinity and light are known to affect mangrove performance, often in an interactive fashion. It has also been hypothesized that mangroves are intrinsically shade intolerant due to the high physiological cost of coping with saline flooded soils. To evaluate the relationship between stress tolerance and species distributions, we compared responses of seedlings of three widespread mangrove species and one narrow endemic mangrove species in a factorial array of light levels and soil salinities in an outdoor laboratory experiment. The more narrowly distributed species was expected to exhibit a lower tolerance of potentially stressful conditions. Two of the widespread species, Avicennia germinans and Lumnitzera racemosa, survived and grew well at low-medium salinity, regardless of light level, but performed poorly at high salinity, particularly under high light. The third widespread species, Rhizophora mangle, responded less to variation in light and salinity. However, at high salinity, its relative growth rate was low at every light level and none of these plants flushed leaves. As predicted, the rare species, Pelliciera rhizophorae, was the most sensitive to environmental stressors, suffering especially high mortality and reduced growth and quantum yield under the combined conditions of high light and medium-high salinity. That it only thrives under shaded conditions represents an important exception to the prevailing belief that halophytes are intrinsically constrained to be shade intolerant. PMID:26267403

  19. Impact of Environmental and Disturbance Variables on Avian Community Structure along a Gradient of Urbanization in Jamshedpur, India.

    PubMed

    Verma, Sushant Kumar; Murmu, Thakur Das

    2015-01-01

    Gradient pattern analysis was used to investigate the impact of environmental and disturbance variables on species richness, species diversity, abundance and seasonal variation of birds in and around Jamshedpur, which is one of the fastest growing cities of India. It was observed that avian community structure is highly influenced by the vegetation habitat variables, food availability and human-related disturbance variables. A total of 61 species belonging to 33 families were recorded from the suburban area. 55 species belonging to 32 families were observed in nearby wildland habitat consisting of natural vegetation whereas only 26 species belonging to 18 families were observed in urban area. Results indicated that the suburban habitat had more complex bird community structure in terms of higher species richness, higher species diversity and higher evenness in comparison to urban and wildland habitat. Bird species richness and diversity varied across seasons. Maximum species richness and diversity was observed during spring season in all type of habitat. Most of the birds observed in urban areas were found to belong to either rare or irregular category on the basis of their abundance. The observed pattern of avian community structure is due to combined effect of both environmental and human related disturbance variables. PMID:26218583

  20. Impact of Environmental and Disturbance Variables on Avian Community Structure along a Gradient of Urbanization in Jamshedpur, India

    PubMed Central

    Verma, Sushant Kumar; Murmu, Thakur Das

    2015-01-01

    Gradient pattern analysis was used to investigate the impact of environmental and disturbance variables on species richness, species diversity, abundance and seasonal variation of birds in and around Jamshedpur, which is one of the fastest growing cities of India. It was observed that avian community structure is highly influenced by the vegetation habitat variables, food availability and human-related disturbance variables. A total of 61 species belonging to 33 families were recorded from the suburban area. 55 species belonging to 32 families were observed in nearby wildland habitat consisting of natural vegetation whereas only 26 species belonging to 18 families were observed in urban area. Results indicated that the suburban habitat had more complex bird community structure in terms of higher species richness, higher species diversity and higher evenness in comparison to urban and wildland habitat. Bird species richness and diversity varied across seasons. Maximum species richness and diversity was observed during spring season in all type of habitat. Most of the birds observed in urban areas were found to belong to either rare or irregular category on the basis of their abundance. The observed pattern of avian community structure is due to combined effect of both environmental and human related disturbance variables. PMID:26218583

  1. Plant-insect interactions from Middle Triassic (late Ladinian) of Monte Agnello (Dolomites, N-Italy)-initial pattern and response to abiotic environmental perturbations.

    PubMed

    Wappler, Torsten; Kustatscher, Evelyn; Dellantonio, Elio

    2015-01-01

    The Paleozoic-Mesozoic transition is characterized by the most massive extinction of the Phanerozoic. Nevertheless, an impressive adaptive radiation of herbivorous insects occurred on gymnosperm-dominated floras not earlier than during the Middle to Late Triassic, penecontemporaneous with similar events worldwide, all which exhibit parallel expansions of generalized and mostly specialized insect herbivory on plants, expressed as insect damage on a various plant organs and tissues. The flora from Monte Agnello is distinctive, due to its preservation in subaerially deposited pyroclastic layers with exceptionally preserved details. Thus, the para-autochthonous assemblage provides insights into environmental disturbances, caused by volcanic activity, and how they profoundly affected the structure and composition of herbivory patterns. These diverse Middle Triassic biota supply extensive evidence for insect herbivore colonization, resulting in specific and complex herbivory patterns involving the frequency and diversity of 20 distinctive damage types (DTs). These DT patterns show that external foliage feeders, piercer-and-suckers, leaf miners, gallers, and oviposition culprits were intricately using almost all tissue types from the dominant host plants of voltzialean conifers (e.g., Voltzia), horsetails, ferns (e.g., Neuropteridium, Phlebopteris, Cladophlebis and Thaumatopteris), seed ferns (e.g., Scytophyllum), and cycadophytes (e.g., Bjuvia and Nilssonia). PMID:25945313

  2. Plant–insect interactions from Middle Triassic (late Ladinian) of Monte Agnello (Dolomites, N-Italy)—initial pattern and response to abiotic environmental perturbations

    PubMed Central

    Kustatscher, Evelyn; Dellantonio, Elio

    2015-01-01

    The Paleozoic–Mesozoic transition is characterized by the most massive extinction of the Phanerozoic. Nevertheless, an impressive adaptive radiation of herbivorous insects occurred on gymnosperm-dominated floras not earlier than during the Middle to Late Triassic, penecontemporaneous with similar events worldwide, all which exhibit parallel expansions of generalized and mostly specialized insect herbivory on plants, expressed as insect damage on a various plant organs and tissues. The flora from Monte Agnello is distinctive, due to its preservation in subaerially deposited pyroclastic layers with exceptionally preserved details. Thus, the para-autochthonous assemblage provides insights into environmental disturbances, caused by volcanic activity, and how they profoundly affected the structure and composition of herbivory patterns. These diverse Middle Triassic biota supply extensive evidence for insect herbivore colonization, resulting in specific and complex herbivory patterns involving the frequency and diversity of 20 distinctive damage types (DTs). These DT patterns show that external foliage feeders, piercer-and-suckers, leaf miners, gallers, and oviposition culprits were intricately using almost all tissue types from the dominant host plants of voltzialean conifers (e.g., Voltzia), horsetails, ferns (e.g., Neuropteridium, Phlebopteris, Cladophlebis and Thaumatopteris), seed ferns (e.g., Scytophyllum), and cycadophytes (e.g., Bjuvia and Nilssonia). PMID:25945313

  3. Global change impacts on wheat production along an environmental gradient in south Australia.

    PubMed

    Reyenga, P J; Howden, S M; Meinke, H; Hall, W B

    2001-09-01

    Crop production is likely to change in the future as a result of global changes in CO2 levels in the atmosphere and climate. APSIM, a cropping system model, was used to investigate the potential impact of these changes on the distribution of cropping along an environmental transect in south Australia. The effects of several global change scenarios were studied, including: (1) historical climate and CO2 levels, (2) historic climate with elevated CO2 (700 ppm), (3) warmer climate (+2.4 degrees C) +700 ppm CO2, (4) drier climate (-15% summer, -20% winter rainfall) +2.4 degrees C +700 ppm CO2, (5) wetter climate (+10% summer rainfall) +2.4 degrees C +700 ppm CO2 and (6) most likely climate changes (+1.8 degrees C, -8% annual rainfall) +700 ppm CO2. Based on an analysis of the current cropping boundary, a criterion of 1 t/ha was used to assess potential changes in the boundary under global change. Under most scenarios, the cropping boundary moved northwards with a further 240,000 ha potentially being available for cropping. The exception was the reduced rainfall scenario (4), which resulted in a small retreat of cropping from its current extent. However, the impact of this scenario may only be small (in the order of 10,000-20,000 ha reduction in cropping area). Increases in CO2 levels over the current climate record have resulted in small but significant increases in simulated yields. Model limitations are discussed. PMID:11697669

  4. The urban environmental gradient: Anthropogenic influences on the spatial and temporal distributions of lead and zinc in sediments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Callender, E.; Rice, K.C.

    2000-01-01

    Urban settings are a focal point for environmental contamination due to emissions from industrial and municipal activities and the widespread use of motor vehicles. As part of the National Water-Quality Assessment Program of the U.S. Geological Survey, streambed-sediment and dated reservoir-sediment samples were collected from the Chattahoochee River Basin and analyzed for total lead (Pb) and zinc (Zn) concentrations. The sampling transect extends from northern Georgia, through Atlanta, to the Gulf of Mexico and reflects a steep gradient in population density from nearly 1000 people/km2 in the Atlanta Metropolitan Area to fewer than 50 people/km2 in rural areas of southern Georgia and northern Florida. Correlations among population density, traffic density, and total and anthropogenic Pb and Zn concentrations indicate that population density is strongly related to traffic density and is a predictor of Pb and Zn concentrations in the environment derived from anthropogenic activities. Differences in the distributions of total Pb and Zn concentrations along the urban-suburban-rural gradient from Atlanta to the Florida Panhandle are related to temporal and spatial processes. That is, with the removal of leaded gasoline starting in the late 1970s, peak Pb concentrations have decreased to the present. Conversely, increased vehicular usage has kept Zn concentrations elevated in runoff from population centers, which is reflected in the continued enrichment of Zn in aquatic sediments. Sediments from rural areas also contain elevated concentrations of Zn, possibly in response to substantial power plant emissions for the region, as well as vehicular traffic.

  5. The urban environmental gradient: Anthropogenic influences on the spatial and temporal distributions of lead and zinc in sediments

    SciTech Connect

    Callender, E.; Rice, K.C.

    2000-01-15

    Urban settings are a focal point for environmental contamination due to emissions from industrial and municipal activities and the widespread use of motor vehicles. As part of the National Water-Quality Assessment Program of the US Geological Survey, streamed-sediment and dated reservoir-sediment samples were collected from the Chattahoochee River Basin and analyzed for total lead (Pb) and zinc (Zn) concentrations. The sampling transect extends from northern Georgia, through Atlanta, to the Gulf of Mexico and reflects a steep gradient in population density from nearly 1,000 people/km{sup 2} in the Atlanta Metropolitan Area to fewer than 50 people/km{sup 2} in rural areas of southern Georgia and northern Florida. Correlations among population density, traffic density, and total and anthropogenic Pb and Zn concentrations indicate that population density is strongly related to traffic density and is a predictor o Pb and Zn concentrations in the environment derived from anthropogenic activities. Differences in the distributions of total Pb and Zn concentrations along the urban-suburban-rural gradient from Atlanta to the Florida Panhandle are related to temporal and spatial processes. That is, with the removal of leaded gasoline starting in the late 1970s, peak Pb concentrations have decreased to the present. Conversely, increased vehicular usage has kept Zn concentrations elevated in runoff from populated centers, which is reflected in the continued enrichment of Zn in aquatic sediments. Sediments from rural areas also contain elevated concentrations of Zn, possibly in response to substantial power plant emissions for the region, as well as vehicular traffic.

  6. The occurrence and depth penetration of macroalgae along environmental gradients in the northern Baltic Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rinne, Henna; Salovius-Laurén, Sonja; Mattila, Johanna

    2011-08-01

    Eutrophication is known to affect the community structure of macroalgae by e.g. decreasing the depth penetration of species and by shifting dominance from perennial to annual species. However, there is substantial lack of knowledge in the Baltic Sea regarding the distribution of many of the macroalgal species, how natural environmental factors affect their occurrence and how they respond to eutrophication. As macroalgae are used as indicators of the quality of the sea areas in the EU legislation (Water Framework Directive, Marine Strategy Framework Directive), this kind of knowledge is essential. The aim of this study was to determine which variables were related to variation in species occurrence and their lower limit of occurrence in the Finnish marine area. The study was carried out on data from five study areas along the Finnish coastline and included about 30 taxa. Our results showed that both the macroalgal communities and the occurrence (presence/absence) of most of the species differed between the study areas and that the differences were mainly related to salinity and exposure, although also eutrophication related factors played a role. Of the perennial species, eutrophied conditions seemed to favour only the occurrence of Sphacelaria arctica and Polysiphonia fucoides. Secchi depth was important in determining the lower limit of occurrence of brown and red algal species. However, Secchi depth was rarely the only factor causing variation in the lower limit of occurrence as also exposure, salinity and slope of the shore affected it. We conclude that in the northern Baltic Sea, the taxonomic composition of the macroalgal communities is not a very useful indicator of eutrophication as perennial species seem to tolerate rather eutrophied conditions, when suitable substrate is available. The lower limit of occurrence of many of the brown and red algal species is a good indicator of eutrophication but due to lack of suitable substrate in more eutrophied areas

  7. Trait-Based Community Assembly along an Elevational Gradient in Subalpine Forests: Quantifying the Roles of Environmental Factors in Inter- and Intraspecific Variability.

    PubMed

    Luo, Ya-Huang; Liu, Jie; Tan, Shao-Lin; Cadotte, Marc William; Wang, Yue-Hua; Xu, Kun; Li, De-Zhu; Gao, Lian-Ming

    2016-01-01

    Understanding how communities respond to environmental variation is a central goal in ecology. Plant communities respond to environmental gradients via intraspecific and/or interspecific variation in plant functional traits. However, the relative contribution of these two responses to environmental factors remains poorly tested. We measured six functional traits (height, leaf thickness, specific leaf area (SLA), leaf carbon concentration (LCC), leaf nitrogen concentration (LNC) and leaf phosphorus concentration (LPC)) for 55 tree species occurring at five elevations across a 1200 m elevational gradient of subalpine forests in Yulong Mountain, Southwest China. We examined the relative contribution of interspecific and intraspecific traits variability based on community weighted mean trait values and functional diversity, and tested how different components of trait variation respond to different environmental axes (climate and soil variables). Species turnover explained the largest amount of variation in leaf morphological traits (leaf thickness and SLA) across the elevational gradient. However, intraspecific variability explained a large amount of variation (49.3%-76.3%) in three other traits (height, LNC and LPC) despite high levels of species turnover. The detection of limiting similarity in community assembly was improved when accounting for both intraspecific and interspecific variability. Different components of trait variation respond to different environmental axes, especially soil water content and climatic variables. Our results indicate that intraspecific variation is critical for understanding community assembly and evaluating community response to environmental change. PMID:27191402

  8. Trait-Based Community Assembly along an Elevational Gradient in Subalpine Forests: Quantifying the Roles of Environmental Factors in Inter- and Intraspecific Variability

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Ya-Huang; Liu, Jie; Tan, Shao-Lin; Cadotte, Marc William; Wang, Yue-Hua; Xu, Kun; Li, De-Zhu; Gao, Lian-Ming

    2016-01-01

    Understanding how communities respond to environmental variation is a central goal in ecology. Plant communities respond to environmental gradients via intraspecific and/or interspecific variation in plant functional traits. However, the relative contribution of these two responses to environmental factors remains poorly tested. We measured six functional traits (height, leaf thickness, specific leaf area (SLA), leaf carbon concentration (LCC), leaf nitrogen concentration (LNC) and leaf phosphorus concentration (LPC)) for 55 tree species occurring at five elevations across a 1200 m elevational gradient of subalpine forests in Yulong Mountain, Southwest China. We examined the relative contribution of interspecific and intraspecific traits variability based on community weighted mean trait values and functional diversity, and tested how different components of trait variation respond to different environmental axes (climate and soil variables). Species turnover explained the largest amount of variation in leaf morphological traits (leaf thickness and SLA) across the elevational gradient. However, intraspecific variability explained a large amount of variation (49.3%–76.3%) in three other traits (height, LNC and LPC) despite high levels of species turnover. The detection of limiting similarity in community assembly was improved when accounting for both intraspecific and interspecific variability. Different components of trait variation respond to different environmental axes, especially soil water content and climatic variables. Our results indicate that intraspecific variation is critical for understanding community assembly and evaluating community response to environmental change. PMID:27191402

  9. ABIOTIC TRANSFORMATION PATHWAYS OF ORGANIC CHEMICALS IN AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Information is presented for assessing the potential of an organic chemical to undergo abiotic transformation in aquatic ecosystems. hen predicting the environmental fate of an organic chemical, two primary questions must be addressed. irst, what are the reaction kinetics for the...

  10. Seascape genetics along environmental gradients in the Arabian Peninsula: insights from ddRAD sequencing of anemonefishes.

    PubMed

    Saenz-Agudelo, Pablo; Dibattista, Joseph D; Piatek, Marek J; Gaither, Michelle R; Harrison, Hugo B; Nanninga, Gerrit B; Berumen, Michael L

    2015-12-01

    Understanding the processes that shape patterns of genetic structure across space is a central aim of landscape genetics. However, it remains unclear how geographical features and environmental variables shape gene flow, particularly for marine species in large complex seascapes. Here, we evaluated the genomic composition of the two-band anemonefish Amphiprion bicinctus across its entire geographical range in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, as well as its close relative, Amphiprion omanensis endemic to the southern coast of Oman. Both the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea are complex and environmentally heterogeneous marine systems that provide an ideal scenario to address these questions. Our findings confirm the presence of two genetic clusters previously reported for A. bicinctus in the Red Sea. Genetic structure analyses suggest a complex seascape configuration, with evidence of both isolation by distance (IBD) and isolation by environment (IBE). In addition to IBD and IBE, genetic structure among sites was best explained when two barriers to gene flow were also accounted for. One of these coincides with a strong oligotrophic-eutrophic gradient at around 16-20˚N in the Red Sea. The other agrees with a historical bathymetric barrier at the straight of Bab al Mandab. Finally, these data support the presence of interspecific hybrids at an intermediate suture zone at Socotra and indicate complex patterns of genomic admixture in the Gulf of Aden with evidence of introgression between species. Our findings highlight the power of recent genomic approaches to resolve subtle patterns of gene flow in marine seascapes. PMID:26577830

  11. Programmed improvements of the alternating gradient synchrotron complex at Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, New York. Environmental assessment

    SciTech Connect

    1994-03-01

    The purpose and need for DOE to undertake the actions described in this document are to improve the efficiency of the Alternating Gradient Synchrotron (AGS) complex. Benefits would include optimization of the AGS scientific program, increased high-energy and nuclear physics experimentation, improved health and safety conditions for workers and users, reduced impact on the environment and the general public, energy conservation, decreased generation of hazardous and radioactive wastes, and completion of actions required to permit the AGS to be the injector to the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC)., Improved efficiency is defined as increasing the AGS`s capabilities to capture and accelerate the proton intensity transferred to the AGS from the AGS booster. Improved capture of beam intensity would reduce the beam losses which equate to lost scientific opportunity for study and increased potential for radiation doses to workers and the general public. The action would also refurbish magnets used in the transfer tunnel which connects the AGS complex to RHIC to permit smooth injection of beam into the RHIC accelerator. These magnets were previously used to direct beam to fixed targets for high energy physics studies but have hot received proper maintenance to be reliable as injectors to RHIC. The document describes alternative actions, the affected environment, and environmental impacts.

  12. Polyamines and abiotic stress in plants: a complex relationship.

    PubMed

    Minocha, Rakesh; Majumdar, Rajtilak; Minocha, Subhash C

    2014-01-01

    The physiological relationship between abiotic stress in plants and polyamines was reported more than 40 years ago. Ever since there has been a debate as to whether increased polyamines protect plants against abiotic stress (e.g., due to their ability to deal with oxidative radicals) or cause damage to them (perhaps due to hydrogen peroxide produced by their catabolism). The observation that cellular polyamines are typically elevated in plants under both short-term as well as long-term abiotic stress conditions is consistent with the possibility of their dual effects, i.e., being protectors from as well as perpetrators of stress damage to the cells. The observed increase in tolerance of plants to abiotic stress when their cellular contents are elevated by either exogenous treatment with polyamines or through genetic engineering with genes encoding polyamine biosynthetic enzymes is indicative of a protective role for them. However, through their catabolic production of hydrogen peroxide and acrolein, both strong oxidizers, they can potentially be the cause of cellular harm during stress. In fact, somewhat enigmatic but strong positive relationship between abiotic stress and foliar polyamines has been proposed as a potential biochemical marker of persistent environmental stress in forest trees in which phenotypic symptoms of stress are not yet visible. Such markers may help forewarn forest managers to undertake amelioration strategies before the appearance of visual symptoms of stress and damage at which stage it is often too late for implementing strategies for stress remediation and reversal of damage. This review provides a comprehensive and critical evaluation of the published literature on interactions between abiotic stress and polyamines in plants, and examines the experimental strategies used to understand the functional significance of this relationship with the aim of improving plant productivity, especially under conditions of abiotic stress. PMID:24847338

  13. Polyamines and abiotic stress in plants: a complex relationship1

    PubMed Central

    Minocha, Rakesh; Majumdar, Rajtilak; Minocha, Subhash C.

    2014-01-01

    The physiological relationship between abiotic stress in plants and polyamines was reported more than 40 years ago. Ever since there has been a debate as to whether increased polyamines protect plants against abiotic stress (e.g., due to their ability to deal with oxidative radicals) or cause damage to them (perhaps due to hydrogen peroxide produced by their catabolism). The observation that cellular polyamines are typically elevated in plants under both short-term as well as long-term abiotic stress conditions is consistent with the possibility of their dual effects, i.e., being protectors from as well as perpetrators of stress damage to the cells. The observed increase in tolerance of plants to abiotic stress when their cellular contents are elevated by either exogenous treatment with polyamines or through genetic engineering with genes encoding polyamine biosynthetic enzymes is indicative of a protective role for them. However, through their catabolic production of hydrogen peroxide and acrolein, both strong oxidizers, they can potentially be the cause of cellular harm during stress. In fact, somewhat enigmatic but strong positive relationship between abiotic stress and foliar polyamines has been proposed as a potential biochemical marker of persistent environmental stress in forest trees in which phenotypic symptoms of stress are not yet visible. Such markers may help forewarn forest managers to undertake amelioration strategies before the appearance of visual symptoms of stress and damage at which stage it is often too late for implementing strategies for stress remediation and reversal of damage. This review provides a comprehensive and critical evaluation of the published literature on interactions between abiotic stress and polyamines in plants, and examines the experimental strategies used to understand the functional significance of this relationship with the aim of improving plant productivity, especially under conditions of abiotic stress. PMID:24847338

  14. Current perspectives in proteomic analysis of abiotic stress in Grapevines

    PubMed Central

    George, Iniga S.; Haynes, Paul A.

    2014-01-01

    Grapes are an important crop plant which forms the basis of a globally important industry. Grape and wine production is particularly vulnerable to environmental and climatic fluctuations, which makes it essential for us to develop a greater understanding of the molecular level responses of grape plants to various abiotic stresses. The completion of the initial grape genome sequence in 2007 has led to a significant increase in research on grapes using proteomics approaches. In this article, we discuss some of the current research on abiotic stress in grapevines, in the context of abiotic stress research in other plant species. We also highlight some of the current limitations in grapevine proteomics and identify areas with promising scope for potential future research. PMID:25538720

  15. ROS Regulation During Abiotic Stress Responses in Crop Plants

    PubMed Central

    You, Jun; Chan, Zhulong

    2015-01-01

    Abiotic stresses such as drought, cold, salt and heat cause reduction of plant growth and loss of crop yield worldwide. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) including hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), superoxide anions (O2•-), hydroxyl radical (OH•) and singlet oxygen (1O2) are by-products of physiological metabolisms, and are precisely controlled by enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidant defense systems. ROS are significantly accumulated under abiotic stress conditions, which cause oxidative damage and eventually resulting in cell death. Recently, ROS have been also recognized as key players in the complex signaling network of plants stress responses. The involvement of ROS in signal transduction implies that there must be coordinated function of regulation networks to maintain ROS at non-toxic levels in a delicate balancing act between ROS production, involving ROS generating enzymes and the unavoidable production of ROS during basic cellular metabolism, and ROS-scavenging pathways. Increasing evidence showed that ROS play crucial roles in abiotic stress responses of crop plants for the activation of stress-response and defense pathways. More importantly, manipulating ROS levels provides an opportunity to enhance stress tolerances of crop plants under a variety of unfavorable environmental conditions. This review presents an overview of current knowledge about homeostasis regulation of ROS in crop plants. In particular, we summarize the essential proteins that are involved in abiotic stress tolerance of crop plants through ROS regulation. Finally, the challenges toward the improvement of abiotic stress tolerance through ROS regulation in crops are discussed. PMID:26697045

  16. The Use of Chemical Probes for the Characterization of the Predominant Abiotic Reductants in Anaerobic Sediments

    EPA Science Inventory

    Identifying the predominant chemical reductants and pathways for electron transfer in anaerobic systems is paramount to the development of environmental fate models that incorporate pathways for abiotic reductive transformations. Currently, such models do not exist. In this chapt...

  17. Consistent Richness-Biomass Relationship across Environmental Gradients in a Marine Macroalgal-Dominated Subtidal Community on the Western Antarctic Peninsula

    PubMed Central

    Valdivia, Nelson; Díaz, María José; Garrido, Ignacio; Gómez, Iván

    2015-01-01

    Biodiversity loss has spurred the biodiversity-ecosystem functioning research over a range of ecosystems. In Antarctica, however, the relationship of taxonomic and functional diversity with ecosystem properties (e.g., community biomass) has received less attention, despite the presence of sharp and dynamic environmental stress gradients that might modulate these properties. Here, we investigated whether the richness-biomass relationship in macrobenthic subtidal communities is still apparent after accounting for environmental stress gradients in Fildes Bay, King George Island, Antarctica. Measurements of biomass of mobile and sessile macrobenthic taxa were conducted in the austral summer 2013/4 across two environmental stress gradients: distance from nearest glaciers and subtidal depth (from 5 to 30 m). In general, community biomass increased with distance from glaciers and water depth. However, generalised additive models showed that distance from glaciers and depth accounted for negligible proportions of variation in the number of functional groups (i.e., functional richness) and community biomass when compared to taxonomic richness. Functional richness and community biomass were positive and saturating functions of taxonomic richness. Large endemic, canopy-forming brown algae of the order Desmarestiales dominated the community biomass across both gradients. Accordingly, differences in the composition of taxa accounted for a significant and large proportion (51%) of variation in community biomass in comparison with functional richness (10%). Our results suggest that the environmental factors here analysed may be less important than biodiversity in shaping mesoscale (several km) biomass patterns in this Antarctic system. We suggest that further manipulative, hypothesis-driven research should address the role of biodiversity and species’ functional traits in the responses of Antarctic subtidal communities to environmental variation. PMID:26381149

  18. Consistent Richness-Biomass Relationship across Environmental Gradients in a Marine Macroalgal-Dominated Subtidal Community on the Western Antarctic Peninsula.

    PubMed

    Valdivia, Nelson; Díaz, María José; Garrido, Ignacio; Gómez, Iván

    2015-01-01

    Biodiversity loss has spurred the biodiversity-ecosystem functioning research over a range of ecosystems. In Antarctica, however, the relationship of taxonomic and functional diversity with ecosystem properties (e.g., community biomass) has received less attention, despite the presence of sharp and dynamic environmental stress gradients that might modulate these properties. Here, we investigated whether the richness-biomass relationship in macrobenthic subtidal communities is still apparent after accounting for environmental stress gradients in Fildes Bay, King George Island, Antarctica. Measurements of biomass of mobile and sessile macrobenthic taxa were conducted in the austral summer 2013/4 across two environmental stress gradients: distance from nearest glaciers and subtidal depth (from 5 to 30 m). In general, community biomass increased with distance from glaciers and water depth. However, generalised additive models showed that distance from glaciers and depth accounted for negligible proportions of variation in the number of functional groups (i.e., functional richness) and community biomass when compared to taxonomic richness. Functional richness and community biomass were positive and saturating functions of taxonomic richness. Large endemic, canopy-forming brown algae of the order Desmarestiales dominated the community biomass across both gradients. Accordingly, differences in the composition of taxa accounted for a significant and large proportion (51%) of variation in community biomass in comparison with functional richness (10%). Our results suggest that the environmental factors here analysed may be less important than biodiversity in shaping mesoscale (several km) biomass patterns in this Antarctic system. We suggest that further manipulative, hypothesis-driven research should address the role of biodiversity and species' functional traits in the responses of Antarctic subtidal communities to environmental variation. PMID:26381149

  19. Patterns in Abundance, Cell Size and Pigment Content of Aerobic Anoxygenic Phototrophic Bacteria along Environmental Gradients in Northern Lakes

    PubMed Central

    Fauteux, Lisa; Cottrell, Matthew T.; Kirchman, David L.; Borrego, Carles M.; Garcia-Chaves, Maria Carolina; del Giorgio, Paul A.

    2015-01-01

    There is now evidence that aerobic anoxygenic phototrophic (AAP) bacteria are widespread across aquatic systems, yet the factors that determine their abundance and activity are still not well understood, particularly in freshwaters. Here we describe the patterns in AAP abundance, cell size and pigment content across wide environmental gradients in 43 temperate and boreal lakes of Québec. AAP bacterial abundance varied from 1.51 to 5.49 x 105 cells mL-1, representing <1 to 37% of total bacterial abundance. AAP bacteria were present year-round, including the ice-cover period, but their abundance relative to total bacterial abundance was significantly lower in winter than in summer (2.6% and 7.7%, respectively). AAP bacterial cells were on average two-fold larger than the average bacterial cell size, thus AAP cells made a greater relative contribution to biomass than to abundance. Bacteriochlorophyll a (BChla) concentration varied widely across lakes, and was not related to AAP bacterial abundance, suggesting a large intrinsic variability in the cellular pigment content. Absolute and relative AAP bacterial abundance increased with dissolved organic carbon (DOC), whereas cell-specific BChla content was negatively related to chlorophyll a (Chla). As a result, both the contribution of AAP bacteria to total prokaryotic abundance, and the cell-specific BChla pigment content were positively correlated with the DOC:Chla ratio, both peaking in highly colored, low-chlorophyll lakes. Our results suggest that photoheterotrophy might represent a significant ecological advantage in highly colored, low-chlorophyll lakes, where DOC pool is chemically and structurally more complex. PMID:25927833

  20. Environmental regulation of carbon isotope composition and crassulacean acid metabolism in three plant communities along a water availability gradient

    PubMed Central

    Ricalde, M. Fernanda; Durán, Rafael; Dupuy, Juan Manuel; Simá, J. Luis; Us-Santamaría, Roberth; Santiago, Louis S.

    2010-01-01

    Expression of crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) is characterized by extreme variability within and between taxa and its sensitivity to environmental variation. In this study, we determined seasonal fluctuations in CAM photosynthesis with measurements of nocturnal tissue acidification and carbon isotopic composition (δ13C) of bulk tissue and extracted sugars in three plant communities along a precipitation gradient (500, 700, and 1,000 mm year−1) on the Yucatan Peninsula. We also related the degree of CAM to light habitat and relative abundance of species in the three sites. For all species, the greatest tissue acid accumulation occurred during the rainy season. In the 500 mm site, tissue acidification was greater for the species growing at 30% of daily total photon flux density (PFD) than species growing at 80% PFD. Whereas in the two wetter sites, the species growing at 80% total PFD had greater tissue acidification. All species had values of bulk tissue δ13C less negative than −20‰, indicating strong CAM activity. The bulk tissue δ13C values in plants from the 500 mm site were 2‰ less negative than in plants from the wetter sites, and the only species growing in the three communities, Acanthocereus tetragonus (Cactaceae), showed a significant negative relationship between both bulk tissue and sugar δ13C values and annual rainfall, consistent with greater CO2 assimilation through the CAM pathway with decreasing water availability. Overall, variation in the use of CAM photosynthesis was related to water and light availability and CAM appeared to be more ecologically important in the tropical dry forests than in the coastal dune. PMID:20652592

  1. Diversity and distribution of autotrophic microbial community along environmental gradients in grassland soils on the Tibetan Plateau.

    PubMed

    Guo, Guangxia; Kong, Weidong; Liu, Jinbo; Zhao, Jingxue; Du, Haodong; Zhang, Xianzhou; Xia, Pinhua

    2015-10-01

    Soil microbial autotrophs play a significant role in CO2 fixation in terrestrial ecosystem, particularly in vegetation-constrained ecosystems with environmental stresses, such as the Tibetan Plateau characterized by low temperature and high UV. However, soil microbial autotrophic communities and their driving factors remain less appreciated. We investigated the structure and shift of microbial autotrophic communities and their driving factors along an elevation gradient (4400-5100 m above sea level) in alpine grassland soils on the Tibetan Plateau. The autotrophic microbial communities were characterized by quantitative PCR, terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP), and cloning/sequencing of cbbL genes, encoding the large subunit for the CO2 fixation protein ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (RubisCO). High cbbL gene abundance and high RubisCO enzyme activity were observed and both significantly increased with increasing elevations. Path analysis identified that soil RubisCO enzyme causally originated from microbial autotrophs, and its activity was indirectly driven by soil water content, temperature, and NH4 (+) content. Soil autotrophic microbial community structure dramatically shifted along the elevation and was jointly driven by soil temperature, water content, nutrients, and plant types. The autotrophic microbial communities were dominated by bacterial autotrophs, which were affiliated with Rhizobiales, Burkholderiales, and Actinomycetales. These autotrophs have been well documented to degrade organic matters; thus, metabolic versatility could be a key strategy for microbial autotrophs to survive in the harsh environments. Our results demonstrated high abundance of microbial autotrophs and high CO2 fixation potential in alpine grassland soils and provided a novel model to identify dominant drivers of soil microbial communities and their ecological functions. PMID:26084890

  2. A quantitative analysis of phenotypic variations of Metrosideros polymorpha within and across populations along environmental gradients on Mauna Loa, Hawaii.

    PubMed

    Tsujii, Yuki; Onoda, Yusuke; Izuno, Ayako; Isagi, Yuji; Kitayama, Kanehiro

    2016-04-01

    Metrosideros polymorpha, a dominant tree species in the Hawaiian Islands, shows an extreme phenotypic polymorphism both across gradients of climatic/edaphic conditions and within populations, making it a potentially useful model species for evolutionary study. In order to understand how the phenotypic diversity is maintained within populations as well as across populations, we examined the diversities of several leaf and stem functional traits across five elevations and two soil substrates on the volcanic mountain of Mauna Loa, on the island of Hawaii. Leaf dry mass per area (LMA), a key leaf functional trait, was particularly focused on and analyzed in relation to its underlying components-namely, tissue LMA and trichome LMA (LMA = tissue LMA + trichome LMA). Across populations, tissue LMA increased linearly with elevation while trichome LMA showed unimodal patterns with elevation, which were better correlated with temperature and rainfall, respectively. Substantial phenotypic variations were also found within populations. Interestingly, the variations of tissue LMA were often negatively correlated to trichome LMA within populations, which contrasts with the cross-populations pattern, where a strong positive correlation between tissue LMA and trichome LMA was found. This suggests that phenotypic variations within populations were substantially influenced by local ecological processes. Soil depth (an indicator of local water availability) and tree size (an indicator of colonized timing) modestly explained the within-population variations, implying other local environmental factors and/or random processes are also important in local phenotypic diversity. This study provides an insight about how phenotypic diversity of plant species is maintained from local to landscape levels. PMID:26260167

  3. Environmental regulation of carbon isotope composition and crassulacean acid metabolism in three plant communities along a water availability gradient.

    PubMed

    Ricalde, M Fernanda; Andrade, José Luis; Durán, Rafael; Dupuy, Juan Manuel; Simá, J Luis; Us-Santamaría, Roberth; Santiago, Louis S

    2010-12-01

    Expression of crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) is characterized by extreme variability within and between taxa and its sensitivity to environmental variation. In this study, we determined seasonal fluctuations in CAM photosynthesis with measurements of nocturnal tissue acidification and carbon isotopic composition (δ(13)C) of bulk tissue and extracted sugars in three plant communities along a precipitation gradient (500, 700, and 1,000 mm year(-1)) on the Yucatan Peninsula. We also related the degree of CAM to light habitat and relative abundance of species in the three sites. For all species, the greatest tissue acid accumulation occurred during the rainy season. In the 500 mm site, tissue acidification was greater for the species growing at 30% of daily total photon flux density (PFD) than species growing at 80% PFD. Whereas in the two wetter sites, the species growing at 80% total PFD had greater tissue acidification. All species had values of bulk tissue δ(13)C less negative than -20‰, indicating strong CAM activity. The bulk tissue δ(13)C values in plants from the 500 mm site were 2‰ less negative than in plants from the wetter sites, and the only species growing in the three communities, Acanthocereus tetragonus (Cactaceae), showed a significant negative relationship between both bulk tissue and sugar δ(13)C values and annual rainfall, consistent with greater CO(2) assimilation through the CAM pathway with decreasing water availability. Overall, variation in the use of CAM photosynthesis was related to water and light availability and CAM appeared to be more ecologically important in the tropical dry forests than in the coastal dune. PMID:20652592

  4. Polyamines and abiotic stress tolerance in plants

    PubMed Central

    Gill, Sarvajeet Singh

    2010-01-01

    Environmental stresses including climate change, especially global warming, are severely affecting plant growth and productivity worldwide. It has been estimated that two-thirds of the yield potential of major crops are routinely lost due to the unfavorable environmental factors. On the other hand, the world population is estimated to reach about 10 billion by 2050, which will witness serious food shortages. Therefore, crops with enhanced vigour and high tolerance to various environmental factors should be developed to feed the increasing world population. Maintaining crop yields under adverse environmental stresses is probably the major challenge facing modern agriculture where polyamines can play important role. Polyamines (PAs)(putrescine, spermidine and spermine) are group of phytohormone-like aliphatic amine natural compounds with aliphatic nitrogen structure and present in almost all living organisms including plants. Evidences showed that polyamines are involved in many physiological processes, such as cell growth and development and respond to stress tolerance to various environmental factors. In many cases the relationship of plant stress tolerance was noted with the production of conjugated and bound polyamines as well as stimulation of polyamine oxidation. Therefore, genetic manipulation of crop plants with genes encoding enzymes of polyamine biosynthetic pathways may provide better stress tolerance to crop plants. Furthermore, the exogenous application of PAs is also another option for increasing the stress tolerance potential in plants. Here, we have described the synthesis and role of various polyamines in abiotic stress tolerance in plants. PMID:20592804

  5. The effects of biotic and abiotic factors on the spatial heterogeneity of alpine grassland vegetation at a small scale on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (QTP), China.

    PubMed

    Wen, Lu; Dong, Shi Kui; Li, Yuan Yuan; Sherman, Ruth; Shi, Jian Jun; Liu, De Mei; Wang, Yan Long; Ma, Yu Shou; Zhu, Lei

    2013-10-01

    Understanding the complex effects of biotic and abiotic factors on the composition of vegetation is very important for developing and implementing strategies for promoting sustainable grassland development. The vegetation-disturbance-environment relationship was examined in degraded alpine grasslands in the headwater areas of three rivers on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in this study. The investigated hypotheses were that (1) the heterogeneity of the vegetation of the alpine grassland is due to a combination of biotic and abiotic factors and that (2) at a small scale, biotic factors are more important for the distribution of alpine vegetation. On this basis, four transects were set along altitudinal gradients from 3,770 to 3,890 m on a sunny slope, and four parallel transects were set along altitudinal gradients on a shady slope in alpine grasslands in Guoluo Prefecture of Qinghai Province, China. It was found that biological disturbances were the major forces driving the spatial heterogeneity of the alpine grassland vegetation and abiotic factors were of secondary importance. Heavy grazing and intensive rat activity resulted in increases in unpalatable and poisonous weeds and decreased fine forages in the form of sedges, forbs, and grasses in the vegetation composition. Habitat degradation associated with biological disturbances significantly affected the spatial variation of the alpine grassland vegetation, i.e., more pioneer plants of poisonous or unpalatable weed species, such as Ligularia virgaurea and Euphorbia fischeriana, were found in bare patches. Environmental/abiotic factors were less important than biological disturbances in affecting the spatial distribution of the alpine grassland vegetation at a small scale. It was concluded that rat control and light grazing should be applied first in implementing restoration strategies. The primary vegetation in lightly grazed and less rat-damaged sites should be regarded as a reference for devising vegetation

  6. Geomorphic controls on elevational gradients of species richness.

    PubMed

    Bertuzzo, Enrico; Carrara, Francesco; Mari, Lorenzo; Altermatt, Florian; Rodriguez-Iturbe, Ignacio; Rinaldo, Andrea

    2016-02-16

    Elevational gradients of biodiversity have been widely investigated, and yet a clear interpretation of the biotic and abiotic factors that determine how species richness varies with elevation is still elusive. In mountainous landscapes, habitats at different elevations are characterized by different areal extent and connectivity properties, key drivers of biodiversity, as predicted by metacommunity theory. However, most previous studies directly correlated species richness to elevational gradients of potential drivers, thus neglecting the interplay between such gradients and the environmental matrix. Here, we investigate the role of geomorphology in shaping patterns of species richness. We develop a spatially explicit zero-sum metacommunity model where species have an elevation-dependent fitness and otherwise neutral traits. Results show that ecological dynamics over complex terrains lead to the null expectation of a hump-shaped elevational gradient of species richness, a pattern widely observed empirically. Local species richness is found to be related to the landscape elevational connectivity, as quantified by a newly proposed metric that applies tools of complex network theory to measure the closeness of a site to others with similar habitat. Our theoretical results suggest clear geomorphic controls on elevational gradients of species richness and support the use of the landscape elevational connectivity as a null model for the analysis of the distribution of biodiversity. PMID:26831107

  7. Geomorphic controls on elevational gradients of species richness

    PubMed Central

    Bertuzzo, Enrico; Carrara, Francesco; Mari, Lorenzo; Altermatt, Florian; Rodriguez-Iturbe, Ignacio; Rinaldo, Andrea

    2016-01-01

    Elevational gradients of biodiversity have been widely investigated, and yet a clear interpretation of the biotic and abiotic factors that determine how species richness varies with elevation is still elusive. In mountainous landscapes, habitats at different elevations are characterized by different areal extent and connectivity properties, key drivers of biodiversity, as predicted by metacommunity theory. However, most previous studies directly correlated species richness to elevational gradients of potential drivers, thus neglecting the interplay between such gradients and the environmental matrix. Here, we investigate the role of geomorphology in shaping patterns of species richness. We develop a spatially explicit zero-sum metacommunity model where species have an elevation-dependent fitness and otherwise neutral traits. Results show that ecological dynamics over complex terrains lead to the null expectation of a hump-shaped elevational gradient of species richness, a pattern widely observed empirically. Local species richness is found to be related to the landscape elevational connectivity, as quantified by a newly proposed metric that applies tools of complex network theory to measure the closeness of a site to others with similar habitat. Our theoretical results suggest clear geomorphic controls on elevational gradients of species richness and support the use of the landscape elevational connectivity as a null model for the analysis of the distribution of biodiversity. PMID:26831107

  8. Transcriptome sequencing reveals population differentiation in gene expression linked to functional traits and environmental gradients in the South African shrub Protea repens.

    PubMed

    Akman, Melis; Carlson, Jane E; Holsinger, Kent E; Latimer, Andrew M

    2016-04-01

    Understanding the environmental and genetic mechanisms underlying locally adaptive trait variation across the ranges of species is a major focus of evolutionary biology. Combining transcriptome sequencing with common garden experiments on populations spanning geographical and environmental gradients holds promise for identifying such mechanisms. The South African shrub Protea repens displays diverse phenotypes in the wild along drought and temperature gradients. We grew plants from seeds collected at 19 populations spanning this species' range, and sequenced the transcriptomes of these plants to reveal gene pathways associated with adaptive trait variation. We related expression in co-expressed gene networks to trait phenotypes measured in the common garden and to source population climate. We found that expression in gene networks correlated with source-population environment and with plant traits. In particular, the activity of gene networks enriched for growth related pathways correlated strongly with source site minimum winter temperature and with leaf size, stem diameter and height in the garden. Other gene networks with enrichments for photosynthesis related genes showed associations with precipitation. Our results strongly suggest that this species displays population-level differences in gene expression that have been shaped by source population site climate, and that are reflected in trait variation along environmental gradients. PMID:26618926

  9. Environmental rather than spatial factors structure bacterioplankton communities in shallow lakes along a > 6000 km latitudinal gradient in South America.

    PubMed

    Souffreau, Caroline; Van der Gucht, Katleen; van Gremberghe, Ineke; Kosten, Sarian; Lacerot, Gissell; Lobão, Lúcia Meirelles; de Moraes Huszar, Vera Lúcia; Roland, Fabio; Jeppesen, Erik; Vyverman, Wim; De Meester, Luc

    2015-07-01

    Metacommunity studies on lake bacterioplankton indicate the importance of environmental factors in structuring communities. Yet most of these studies cover relatively small spatial scales. We assessed the relative importance of environmental and spatial factors in shaping bacterioplankton communities across a > 6000 km latitudinal range, studying 48 shallow lowland lakes in the tropical, tropicali (isothermal subzone of the tropics) and tundra climate regions of South America using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis. Bacterioplankton community composition (BCC) differed significantly across regions. Although a large fraction of the variation in BCC remained unexplained, the results supported a consistent significant contribution of local environmental variables and to a lesser extent spatial variables, irrespective of spatial scale. Upon correction for space, mainly biotic environmental factors significantly explained the variation in BCC. The abundance of pelagic cladocerans remained particularly significant, suggesting grazer effects on bacterioplankton communities in the studied lakes. These results confirm that bacterioplankton communities are predominantly structured by environmental factors, even over a large-scale latitudinal gradient (6026 km), and stress the importance of including biotic variables in studies that aim to understand patterns in BCC. PMID:25471233

  10. Local richness along gradients in the Siskiyou herb flora: R. H. Whittaker revisited.

    PubMed

    Grace, James B; Harrison, Susan; Damschen, Ellen I

    2011-01-01

    In his classic study in the Siskiyou Mountains (Oregon, USA), one of the most botanically rich forested regions in North America, R. H. Whittaker (1960) foreshadowed many modern ideas on the multivariate control of local species richness along environmental gradients related to productivity. Using a structural equation model to analyze his data, which were never previously statistically analyzed, we demonstrate that Whittaker was remarkably accurate in concluding that local herb richness in these late-seral forests is explained to a large extent by three major abiotic gradients (soils, topography, and elevation), and in turn, by the effects of these gradients on tree densities and the numbers of individual herbs. However, while Whittaker also clearly appreciated the significance of large-scale evolutionary and biogeographic influences on community composition, he did not fully articulate the more recent concept that variation in the species richness of local communities could be explained in part by variation in the sizes of regional species pools. Our model of his data is among the first to use estimates of regional species pool size to explain variation in local community richness along productivity-related gradients. We find that regional pool size, combined with a modest number of other interacting abiotic and biotic factors, explains most of the variation in local herb richness in the Siskiyou biodiversity hotspot. PMID:21560681

  11. Local richness along gradients in the Siskiyou herb flora: R.H. Whittaker revisited

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grace, James B.; Harrison, Susan; Damschen, Ellen Ingman

    2011-01-01

    In his classic study in the Siskiyou Mountains (Oregon, USA), one of the most botanically rich forested regions in North America, R. H. Whittaker (1960) foreshadowed many modern ideas on the multivariate control of local species richness along environmental gradients related to productivity. Using a structural equation model to analyze his data, which were never previously statistically analyzed, we demonstrate that Whittaker was remarkably accurate in concluding that local herb richness in these late-seral forests is explained to a large extent by three major abiotic gradients (soils, topography, and elevation), and in turn, by the effects of these gradients on tree densities and the numbers of individual herbs. However, while Whittaker also clearly appreciated the significance of large-scale evolutionary and biogeographic influences on community composition, he did not fully articulate the more recent concept that variation in the species richness of local communities could be explained in part by variation in the sizes of regional species pools. Our model of his data is among the first to use estimates of regional species pool size to explain variation in local community richness along productivity-related gradients. We find that regional pool size, combined with a modest number of other interacting abiotic and biotic factors, explains most of the variation in local herb richness in the Siskiyou biodiversity hotspot.

  12. Abiotic, biotic, and evolutionary control of the distribution of C and N isotopes in food webs.

    PubMed

    Laiolo, Paola; Illera, Juan Carlos; Meléndez, Leandro; Segura, Amalia; Obeso, José Ramón

    2015-02-01

    Ecosystem functioning depends on nutrient cycles and their responses to abiotic and biotic determinants, with the influence of evolutionary legacies being generally overlooked in ecosystem ecology. Along a broad elevation gradient characterized by shifting climatic and grazing environments, we addressed clines of plant N and C∶N content and of δ(13)C and δ(15)N in producers (herbs) and in primary (grasshoppers) and secondary (birds) consumers, both within and between species in phylogenetically controlled scenarios. We found parallel and significant intra- and interspecific trends of isotopic variation with elevation in the three groups. In primary producers, nutrient and isotope distributions had a detectable phylogenetic signal that constrained their variation along the environmental gradient. The influence of the environment could not be ascribed to any single factor, and both grazing and climate had an effect on leaf stoichiometry and, thus, on the resources available to consumers. Trends in consumers matched those in plants but often became nonsignificant after controlling for isotopic values of their direct resources, revealing direct bottom-up control and little phylogenetic dependence. By integrating ecosystem and mechanistic perspectives, we found that nutrient dynamics in food webs are governed at the base by the complex interaction between local determinants and evolutionary factors. PMID:25616137

  13. The Influence of Natural and Anthropic Environmental Variables on the Structure and Spatial Distribution Along Longitudinal Gradient of Macroinvertebrate Communities in Southern Brazilian Streams

    PubMed Central

    Salvarrey, Andrea Vanessa Batalla; Kotzian, Carla Bender; Spies, Márcia Regina; Braun, Bruna

    2014-01-01

    Southern Brazilian rivers and streams have been intensively affected by human activities, especially agriculture and the release of untreated domestic sewage. However, data about the aquatic macroinvertebrates in these streams are scarce and limited to only certain groups. In addition, studies focusing on the structure and spatial distribution of these communities are lacking. This study analyzed the effects of natural and anthropic variables on the community structure of macroinvertebrates along a longitudinal gradient in three microbasins located in a region of landscape transition in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Sampling was conducted in the Vacacaí-Mirim River (August 2008) and in the Ibicuí-Mirim and Tororaipí rivers (August 2009) following an environmental gradient including 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th order segments. Local natural factors that were analyzed include water temperature, pH, electrical conductivity, dissolved oxygen, substrate granulometry, and the presence of aquatic vegetation. Anthropic variables that were analyzed include including bank erosion, land use, urbanization, riparian deforestation, and fine sediments input. A total of 42 families and 129 taxa were found, with predominance of environmentally tolerant taxa. Geological context (landscape transition and large hydrographic basins) tended to influence natural environmental factors along the rivers' longitudinal gradients. However, changes in anthropic variables were not affected by these geological differences and therefore did not correlate with patterns of spatial distribution in macroinvertebrate communities. Only 1st order stream segments showed a community composition with high richness of taxa intolerant to anthropic disturbance. Richness as a whole tended to be higher in 3rd to 4th order set of segments, but this trend was a result of local anthropic environmental disturbances. Future inventories conducted in similar landscape transition regions of Brazil, for

  14. The influence of natural and anthropic environmental variables on the structure and spatial distribution along longitudinal gradient of macroinvertebrate communities in southern Brazilian streams.

    PubMed

    Salvarrey, Andrea Vanessa Batalla; Kotzian, Carla Bender; Spies, Márcia Regina; Braun, Bruna

    2014-01-01

    Southern Brazilian rivers and streams have been intensively affected by human activities, especially agriculture and the release of untreated domestic sewage. However, data about the aquatic macroinvertebrates in these streams are scarce and limited to only certain groups. In addition, studies focusing on the structure and spatial distribution of these communities are lacking. This study analyzed the effects of natural and anthropic variables on the community structure of macroinvertebrates along a longitudinal gradient in three microbasins located in a region of landscape transition in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Sampling was conducted in the Vacacaí-Mirim River (August 2008) and in the Ibicuí-Mirim and Tororaipí rivers (August 2009) following an environmental gradient including 1(st), 2(nd), 3(rd), and 4(th) order segments. Local natural factors that were analyzed include water temperature, pH, electrical conductivity, dissolved oxygen, substrate granulometry, and the presence of aquatic vegetation. Anthropic variables that were analyzed include including bank erosion, land use, urbanization, riparian deforestation, and fine sediments input. A total of 42 families and 129 taxa were found, with predominance of environmentally tolerant taxa. Geological context (landscape transition and large hydrographic basins) tended to influence natural environmental factors along the rivers' longitudinal gradients. However, changes in anthropic variables were not affected by these geological differences and therefore did not correlate with patterns of spatial distribution in macroinvertebrate communities. Only 1(st) order stream segments showed a community composition with high richness of taxa intolerant to anthropic disturbance. Richness as a whole tended to be higher in 3(rd) to 4(th) order set of segments, but this trend was a result of local anthropic environmental disturbances. Future inventories conducted in similar landscape transition regions of Brazil

  15. The Ecological Response of Carex lasiocarpa Community in the Riparian Wetlands to the Environmental Gradient of Water Depth in Sanjiang Plain, Northeast China

    PubMed Central

    Luan, Zhaoqing; Wang, Zhongxin; Yan, Dandan; Liu, Guihua; Xu, Yingying

    2013-01-01

    The response of Carex lasiocarpa in riparian wetlands in Sanjiang Plain to the environmental gradient of water depth was analyzed by using the Gaussian Model based on the biomass and average height data, and the ecological water-depth amplitude of Carex lasiocarpa was derived. The results indicated that the optimum ecological water-depth amplitude of Carex lasiocarpa based on biomass was [13.45 cm, 29.78 cm], while the optimum ecological water-depth amplitude of Carex lasiocarpa based on average height was [2.31 cm, 40.11 cm]. The intersection of the ecological water-depth amplitudes based on biomass and height confirmed that the optimum ecological water-depth amplitude of Carex lasiocarpa was [13.45 cm, 29.78 cm] and the optimist growing water-depth of Carex lasiocarpa was 21.4 cm. The TWINSPAN, a polythetic and divisive classification tool, was used to classify the wetland ecological series into 6 associations. Result of TWINSPAN matrix classification reflected an obvious environmental gradient in these associations: water-depth gradient. The relation of biodiversity of Carex lasiocarpa community and water depth was determined by calculating the diversity index of each association. PMID:24065874

  16. Noctuid moth diversity along a temperate elevational gradient: testing the role of environmental factors, MDE, and Rapoport's rule

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Many factors, including climate, area, and habitat diversity likely influence spatial variation in species diversity along elevational gradients. In this study, we test the relative influence of energy availability, habitat diversity, mid-domain effects, and area on the diversity of noctuid moths i...

  17. Relationships between growth, population dynamics, and environmental parameters in the solitary non-zooxanthellate scleractinian coral Caryophyllia inornata along a latitudinal gradient in the Mediterranean Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caroselli, E.; Ricci, F.; Brambilla, V.; Mattioli, G.; Levy, O.; Falini, G.; Dubinsky, Z.; Goffredo, S.

    2016-06-01

    The ecology of scleractinian corals may be understood through comparisons between population demographic data and environmental parameters. Growth (growth constant and maximum size) and demographic parameters (population structure stability, instantaneous mortality rate, average age of individuals, percentage of immature individuals, age at maximum biomass, and average age of biomass) of the solitary, non-zooxanthellate, and temperate coral Caryophyllia inornata were investigated at six sites along an 8° latitudinal gradient of temperature and solar radiation (SR) on the western Italian coasts. Growth parameters were homogeneous among populations across the investigated latitudinal range. While demographic parameters were not correlated with depth temperature, populations were progressively less stable and showed a deficiency of young individuals with increasing SR, likely as a result of the lowered energetic resources due to reduced zooplankton availability. These results contrast with data from another Mediterranean non-zooxanthellate solitary coral, Leptopsammia pruvoti, investigated along the same gradient, which shows no correlation between population demography and temperature or SR.

  18. Thermal Gradient Cyclic Behavior of a Thermal/Environmental Barrier Coating System on SiC/SiC Ceramic Matrix Composites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zhu, Dongming; Lee, Kang N.; Miller, Robert A.

    2002-01-01

    Thermal barrier and environmental barrier coatings (TBCs and EBCs) will play a crucial role in future advanced gas turbine engines because of their ability to significantly extend the temperature capability of the ceramic matrix composite (CMC) engine components in harsh combustion environments. In order to develop high performance, robust coating systems for effective thermal and environmental protection of the engine components, appropriate test approaches for evaluating the critical coating properties must be established. In this paper, a laser high-heat-flux, thermal gradient approach for testing the coatings will be described. Thermal cyclic behavior of plasma-sprayed coating systems, consisting of ZrO2-8wt%Y2O3 thermal barrier and NASA Enabling Propulsion Materials (EPM) Program developed mullite+BSAS/Si type environmental barrier coatings on SiC/SiC ceramic matrix composites, was investigated under thermal gradients using the laser heat-flux rig in conjunction with the furnace thermal cyclic tests in water-vapor environments. The coating sintering and interface damage were assessed by monitoring the real-time thermal conductivity changes during the laser heat-flux tests and by examining the microstructural changes after the tests. The coating failure mechanisms are discussed based on the cyclic test results and are correlated to the sintering, creep, and thermal stress behavior under simulated engine temperature and heat flux conditions.

  19. Integrating omic approaches for abiotic stress tolerance in soybean

    PubMed Central

    Deshmukh, Rupesh; Sonah, Humira; Patil, Gunvant; Chen, Wei; Prince, Silvas; Mutava, Raymond; Vuong, Tri; Valliyodan, Babu; Nguyen, Henry T.

    2014-01-01

    Soybean production is greatly influenced by abiotic stresses imposed by environmental factors such as drought, water submergence, salt, and heavy metals. A thorough understanding of plant response to abiotic stress at the molecular level is a prerequisite for its effective management. The molecular mechanism of stress tolerance is complex and requires information at the omic level to understand it effectively. In this regard, enormous progress has been made in the omics field in the areas of genomics, transcriptomics, and proteomics. The emerging field of ionomics is also being employed for investigating abiotic stress tolerance in soybean. Omic approaches generate a huge amount of data, and adequate advancements in computational tools have been achieved for effective analysis. However, the integration of omic-scale information to address complex genetics and physiological questions is still a challenge. In this review, we have described advances in omic tools in the view of conventional and modern approaches being used to dissect abiotic stress tolerance in soybean. Emphasis was given to approaches such as quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping, genome-wide association studies (GWAS), and genomic selection (GS). Comparative genomics and candidate gene approaches are also discussed considering identification of potential genomic loci, genes, and biochemical pathways involved in stress tolerance mechanism in soybean. This review also provides a comprehensive catalog of available online omic resources for soybean and its effective utilization. We have also addressed the significance of phenomics in the integrated approaches and recognized high-throughput multi-dimensional phenotyping as a major limiting factor for the improvement of abiotic stress tolerance in soybean. PMID:24917870

  20. Bioengineer effects on understory species richness, diversity, and composition change along an environmental stress gradient: Experimental and mensurative evidence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watt, Cortney A.; Scrosati, Ricardo A.

    2013-05-01

    Canopy-forming bioengineer species are commonly assumed to increase local species richness and diversity. We tested this notion by investigating the effects of fucoid seaweed canopies on understory communities along rocky intertidal elevation gradients in Atlantic Canada. Such gradients exhibit increasing thermal extremes and variation from low to high elevations, and are broadly used in stress gradient studies. A manipulative experiment created canopy and no-canopy treatments at the low, middle, and high intertidal zones, eliminating all species (except fucoid canopies) from replicate quadrats. After recolonization, overall richness and diversity (considering all primary producers and consumers) were higher under canopies than uncovered by canopies at the high and middle zones, but no effects occurred at the low zone. Similarly, species composition was affected by canopies at the high and middle zones, but not at the low zone. A mensurative study that surveyed the full range of canopy cover (0-100%) using nearly five times more quadrats from pristine areas yielded the same results: richness and diversity increased with canopy cover at the high and middle zones (approaching stabilization toward high cover values), but no effects occurred at the low zone. Lack of canopy effects at low elevations is related to mild habitat conditions, which canopies are unable to modify, while positive effects at higher elevations relate to the capacity of canopies to ameliorate harsh conditions. This is the first time that a combined experimental and mensurative approach shows that the same bioengineer species affect overall species richness, diversity, and composition differently along a stress gradient. Overall, protecting canopy-forming bioengineers to preserve local biodiversity should be most effective in stressful environments.

  1. Adaptation to abiotic conditions drives local adaptation in bacteria and viruses coevolving in heterogeneous environments

    PubMed Central

    Scanlan, Pauline D.; Buckling, Angus

    2016-01-01

    Parasite local adaptation, the greater performance of parasites on their local compared with foreign hosts, has important consequences for the maintenance of diversity and epidemiology. While the abiotic environment may significantly affect local adaptation, most studies to date have failed either to incorporate the effects of the abiotic environment, or to separate them from those of the biotic environment. Here, we tease apart biotic and abiotic components of local adaptation using the bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens and its viral parasite bacteriophage Φ2. We coevolved replicate populations of bacteria and phages at three different temperatures, and determined their performance against coevolutionary partners from the same and different temperatures. Crucially, we measured performance at different assay temperatures, which allowed us to disentangle adaptation to biotic and abiotic habitat components. Our results show that bacteria and phages are more resistant and infectious, respectively, at the temperature at which they previously coevolved, confirming that local adaptation to abiotic conditions can play a crucial role in determining parasite infectivity and host resistance. Our work underlines the need to assess host–parasite interactions across multiple relevant abiotic environments, and suggests that microbial adaption to local temperatures can create ecological barriers to dispersal across temperature gradients. PMID:26888914

  2. Genetic diversity in pollen abiotic stress tolerance

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Genetic diversity in reproductive abiotic stress tolerance has been investigated by cotton breeders throughout the public and private sectors. The primary focus of these studies has been the evaluation of abiotic stress responses during the development of the flower prior to anthesis. Sterility in...

  3. Genetic Diversity in Pollen Abiotic Stress Tolerance

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Genetic diversity in reproductive abiotic stress tolerance has been investigated by cotton breeders throughout the public and private sectors. The primary focus of these studies has been the evaluation of abiotic stress responses during the development of the flower prior to anthesis. Sterility in...

  4. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal responses to abiotic stresses: A review.

    PubMed

    Lenoir, Ingrid; Fontaine, Joël; Lounès-Hadj Sahraoui, Anissa

    2016-03-01

    The majority of plants live in close collaboration with a diversity of soil organisms among which arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) play an essential role. Mycorrhizal symbioses contribute to plant growth and plant protection against various environmental stresses. Whereas the resistance mechanisms induced in mycorrhizal plants after exposure to abiotic stresses, such as drought, salinity and pollution, are well documented, the knowledge about the stress tolerance mechanisms implemented by the AMF themselves is limited. This review provides an overview of the impacts of various abiotic stresses (pollution, salinity, drought, extreme temperatures, CO2, calcareous, acidity) on biodiversity, abundance and development of AMF and examines the morphological, biochemical and molecular mechanisms implemented by AMF to survive in the presence of these stresses. PMID:26803396

  5. From details to large scale: the representation of environmental positions follows a granularity gradient along the human hippocampal and entorhinal anterior-posterior axis.

    PubMed

    Evensmoen, Hallvard Røe; Ladstein, Jarle; Hansen, Tor Ivar; Møller, Jarle Alexander; Witter, Menno P; Nadel, Lynn; Håberg, Asta K

    2015-01-01

    In rodents representations of environmental positions follow a granularity gradient along the hippocampal and entorhinal anterior-posterior axis; with fine-grained representations most posteriorly. To investigate if such a gradient exists in humans, functional magnetic resonance imaging data were acquired during virtual environmental learning of the objects' positions and the association between the objects and room geometry. The Objects-room geometry binding led to increased activation throughout the hippocampus and in the posterior entorhinal cortex. Within subject comparisons related specifically to the level of spatial granularity of the object position encoding showed that activation in the posterior and intermediate hippocampus was highest for fine-grained and medium-grained representations, respectively. In addition, the level of fine granularity in the objects' positions encoded between subjects correlated with posterior hippocampal activation. For the anterior hippocampus increased activation was observed for coarse-grained representations as compared to failed encoding. Activation in anterior hippocampus correlated with the number of environments in which the objects positions were remembered when permitting a coarse representation of positions. In the entorhinal cortex, activation in the posterior part correlated with level of fine granularity for the objects' positions encoded between subjects, and activation in the posterior and intermediate entorhinal cortex increased for medium-grained representations. This demonstrates directly that positional granularity is represented in a graded manner along the anterior-posterior axis of the human hippocampus, and to some extent entorhinal cortex, with most fine-grained positional representations posteriorly. PMID:25155295

  6. Sub-cellular partitioning of essential and non-essential metals in a freshwater mollusc, Pyganodon grandis, collected in the field along a polymetallic environmental gradient

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonneris, E.; Giguère, A.; Masson, S.; Campbell, P. G. C.

    2003-05-01

    The cellular alterations normally induced by metals at high concentrations can be prevented by detoxification processes [1] such as sequestration into cellular compartments (calcium concretions, lysosomes, etc.) or their binding to specifie cellular ligands like metallothionein [2]. The aim of this project was to study and compare the subcellular partitioning of three metals (Cd, Cu, Zn) in gills of a freshwater mollusc, Pyganodon grandis, collected along a polymetallic environmental gradient (nine lakes in the Rouyn-Noranda area, Abitibi, QC, Canada). Differential centrifugation was used to partition metals among different subcellular fractions. In the gills, along the environmental metal gradient, total tissue metal concentrations were positively correlated with concentrations in the granule fraction; gill tissues contained high amounts of calcium concretions, which acted as preferential sites for sequestration of the three metals. An increase in Cd concentration was observed in the heat stable proteins fraction (including metallothionein), but not in the heat-denatured proteins fraction, suggesting that Cd-induced cell injury could be prevented by the involement of multiple cellular compartments in a protective role.

  7. Forest gradient response in Sierran landscapes: The physical template

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Urban, D.L.; Miller, C.; Halpin, P.N.; Stephenson, N.L.

    2000-01-01

    Vegetation pattern on landscapes is the manifestation of physical gradients, biotic response to these gradients, and disturbances. Here we focus on the physical template as it governs the distribution of mixed-conifer forests in California's Sierra Nevada. We extended a forest simulation model to examine montane environmental gradients, emphasizing factors affecting the water balance in these summer-dry landscapes. The model simulates the soil moisture regime in terms of the interaction of water supply and demand: supply depends on precipitation and water storage, while evapotranspirational demand varies with solar radiation and temperature. The forest cover itself can affect the water balance via canopy interception and evapotranspiration. We simulated Sierran forests as slope facets, defined as gridded stands of homogeneous topographic exposure, and verified simulated gradient response against sample quadrats distributed across Sequoia National Park. We then performed a modified sensitivity analysis of abiotic factors governing the physical gradient. Importantly, the model's sensitivity to temperature, precipitation, and soil depth varies considerably over the physical template, particularly relative to elevation. The physical drivers of the water balance have characteristic spatial scales that differ by orders of magnitude. Across large spatial extents, temperature and precipitation as defined by elevation primarily govern the location of the mixed conifer zone. If the analysis is constrained to elevations within the mixed-conifer zone, local topography comes into play as it influences drainage. Soil depth varies considerably at all measured scales, and is especially dominant at fine (within-stand) scales. Physical site variables can influence soil moisture deficit either by affecting water supply or water demand; these effects have qualitatively different implications for forest response. These results have clear implications about purely inferential approaches

  8. EFFECTS OF SEDIMENT CONTAMINANTS AND ENVIRONMENTAL GRADIENTS ON MACROBENTHIC COMMUNITY TROPHIC STRUCTURE IN GULF OF MEXICO ESTUARIES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Macrobenthic communities from estuaries throughout the northern Gulf of Mexico were studied to assess the influence of sediment contaminants and natural environmental factors on macrobenthic community trophic structure. Community trophic data were also used to evaluate whether re...

  9. Variation in piñon pine growth responses to climate across gradients of environmental stress using an individual-based approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Redmond, M. D.; Kelsey, K.; Urza, A.; Barger, N. N.

    2015-12-01

    Forest and woodland ecosystems play a crucial role in the global carbon cycle and may be strongly affected by changing climate. Here we use an individual-based approach to model piñon pine (Pinus edulis) radial growth responses to climate across gradients of environmental stress. We sampled piñon pine trees at 24 sites across southwestern Colorado that varied in soil available water capacity, elevation, and latitude, obtaining a total of 552 pinon pine tree ring series. We used linear mixed effect models to assess piñon pine growth responses to climate and site-level environmental stress (mean annual climatic water deficit and soil available water capacity). Using a similar modeling approach, we also determined long-term growth trends across our gradients of environmental stress. Piñon pine growth was strongly positively associated with winter precipitation and strongly negatively associated with summer vapor pressure deficit. However, the strength of the relationship between winter precipitation and piñon pine growth was affected by site-level environmental stress. Trees at sites with greater climatic water deficit (i.e. hotter, drier sites) were more sensitive to winter precipitation. Interestingly, trees at sites with greater soil available water capacity were also more sensitive to winter precipitation, as these trees had much higher growth rates during years of high precipitation. We found weak evidence of long-term declines in piñon growth rates over the past century within our study area. Growth trends overtime did vary across our soil available water capacity gradient: trees growing at sites with higher soil available water capacity responded more positively to the cool, wet climate conditions of the 1910s and 1980s, whereas tree growth rates at sites with lower soil available water capacity declined more linearly over the last century. Our findings suggest that the sensitivity of woodland ecosystems to changing climate will vary across the landscape

  10. A review of selection-based tests of abiotic surrogates for species representation.

    PubMed

    Beier, Paul; Sutcliffe, Patricia; Hjort, Jan; Faith, Daniel P; Pressey, Robert L; Albuquerque, Fabio

    2015-06-01

    Because conservation planners typically lack data on where species occur, environmental surrogates--including geophysical settings and climate types--have been used to prioritize sites within a planning area. We reviewed 622 evaluations of the effectiveness of abiotic surrogates in representing species in 19 study areas. Sites selected using abiotic surrogates represented more species than an equal number of randomly selected sites in 43% of tests (55% for plants) and on average improved on random selection of sites by about 8% (21% for plants). Environmental diversity (ED) (42% median improvement on random selection) and biotically informed clusters showed promising results and merit additional testing. We suggest 4 ways to improve performance of abiotic surrogates. First, analysts should consider a broad spectrum of candidate variables to define surrogates, including rarely used variables related to geographic separation, distance from coast, hydrology, and within-site abiotic diversity. Second, abiotic surrogates should be defined at fine thematic resolution. Third, sites (the landscape units prioritized within a planning area) should be small enough to ensure that surrogates reflect species' environments and to produce prioritizations that match the spatial resolution of conservation decisions. Fourth, if species inventories are available for some planning units, planners should define surrogates based on the abiotic variables that most influence species turnover in the planning area. Although species inventories increase the cost of using abiotic surrogates, a modest number of inventories could provide the data needed to select variables and evaluate surrogates. Additional tests of nonclimate abiotic surrogates are needed to evaluate the utility of conserving nature's stage as a strategy for conservation planning in the face of climate change. PMID:25923191

  11. Lipid signalling in plant responses to abiotic stress.

    PubMed

    Hou, Quancan; Ufer, Guido; Bartels, Dorothea

    2016-05-01

    Lipids are one of the major components of biological membranes including the plasma membrane, which is the interface between the cell and the environment. It has become clear that membrane lipids also serve as substrates for the generation of numerous signalling lipids such as phosphatidic acid, phosphoinositides, sphingolipids, lysophospholipids, oxylipins, N-acylethanolamines, free fatty acids and others. The enzymatic production and metabolism of these signalling molecules are tightly regulated and can rapidly be activated upon abiotic stress signals. Abiotic stress like water deficit and temperature stress triggers lipid-dependent signalling cascades, which control the expression of gene clusters and activate plant adaptation processes. Signalling lipids are able to recruit protein targets transiently to the membrane and thus affect conformation and activity of intracellular proteins and metabolites. In plants, knowledge is still scarce of lipid signalling targets and their physiological consequences. This review focuses on the generation of signalling lipids and their involvement in response to abiotic stress. We describe lipid-binding proteins in the context of changing environmental conditions and compare different approaches to determine lipid-protein interactions, crucial for deciphering the signalling cascades. PMID:26510494

  12. Abscisic Acid and Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Crop Plants

    PubMed Central

    Sah, Saroj K.; Reddy, Kambham R.; Li, Jiaxu

    2016-01-01

    Abiotic stress is a primary threat to fulfill the demand of agricultural production to feed the world in coming decades. Plants reduce growth and development process during stress conditions, which ultimately affect the yield. In stress conditions, plants develop various stress mechanism to face the magnitude of stress challenges, although that is not enough to protect them. Therefore, many strategies have been used to produce abiotic stress tolerance crop plants, among them, abscisic acid (ABA) phytohormone engineering could be one of the methods of choice. ABA is an isoprenoid phytohormone, which regulates various physiological processes ranging from stomatal opening to protein storage and provides adaptation to many stresses like drought, salt, and cold stresses. ABA is also called an important messenger that acts as the signaling mediator for regulating the adaptive response of plants to different environmental stress conditions. In this review, we will discuss the role of ABA in response to abiotic stress at the molecular level and ABA signaling. The review also deals with the effect of ABA in respect to gene expression. PMID:27200044

  13. A Screening-Level Approach for Comparing Risks Affecting Aquatic Ecosystem Services over Socio-Environmental Gradients

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harmon, T. C.; Conde, D.; Villamizar, S. R.; Reid, B.; Escobar, J.; Rusak, J.; Hoyos, N.; Scordo, F.; Perillo, G. M.; Piccolo, M. C.; Zilio, M.; Velez, M.

    2015-12-01

    Assessing risks to aquatic ecosystems services (ES) is challenging and time-consuming, and effective strategies for prioritizing more detailed assessment efforts are needed. We propose a screening-level risk analysis (SRA) approach that scales ES risk using socioeconomic and environmental indices to capture anthropic and climatic pressures, as well as the capacity for institutional responses to those pressures. The method considers ES within a watershed context, and uses expert input to prioritize key services and the associated pressures that threaten them. The SRA approach focuses on estimating ES risk affect factors, which are the sum of the intensity factors for all hazards or pressures affecting the ES. We estimate the pressure intensity factors in a novel manner, basing them on the nation's (i) human development (proxied by Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index, IHDI), (ii) environmental regulatory and monitoring state (Environmental Performance Index, EPI) and (iii) the current level of water stress in the watershed (baseline water stress, BWS). Anthropic intensity factors for future conditions are derived from the baseline values based on the nation's 10-year trend in IHDI and EPI; ES risks in nations with stronger records of change are rewarded more/penalized less in estimates for good/poor future management scenarios. Future climatic intensity factors are tied to water stress estimates based on two general circulation model (GCM) outcomes. We demonstrate the method for an international array of six sites representing a wide range of socio-environmental settings. The outcomes illustrate novel consequences of the scaling scheme. Risk affect factors may be greater in a highly developed region under intense climatic pressure, or in less well-developed regions due to human factors (e.g., poor environmental records). As a screening-level tool, the SRA approach offers considerable promise for ES risk comparisons among watersheds and regions so that

  14. Abiotic vs. biotic influences on habitat selection of coexisting species: Climate change impacts?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Martin, T.E.

    2001-01-01

    Species are commonly segregated along gradients of microclimate and vegetation. I explore the question of whether segregation is the result of microhabitat partitioning (biotic effects) or choice of differing microclimates (abiotic effects). I explored this question for four ground-nesting bird species that are segregated along a microclimate and vegetation gradient in Arizona. Birds shifted position of their nests on the microhabitat and microclimate gradient in response to changing precipitation over nine years. Similarly, annual bird abundance varied with precipitation across 12 yr. Those shifts in abundance and nesting microhabitat with changing precipitation demonstrate the importance of abiotic influences on bird distributions and habitat choice. However, nest-site shifts and microhabitat use also appear to be influenced by interactions among coexisting species. Moreover, shifts in habitat use by all species caused nest predation (i.e., biotic) costs that increased with increasing distance along the microclimate gradient. These results indicate that abiotic and biotic costs can strongly interact to influence microhabitat choice and abundances of coexisting species. Global climate change impacts have been considered largely in terms of simple distributional shifts, but these results indicate that shifts can also increase biotic costs when species move into habitat types for which they are poorly adapted or that create new biotic interactions.

  15. Structure and interactions within the pelagic microbial food web (from viruses to microplankton) across environmental gradients in the Mediterranean Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Di Poi, E.; Blason, C.; Corinaldesi, C.; Danovaro, R.; Malisana, E.; Fonda-Umani, S.

    2013-12-01

    We have investigated here the structure of the pelagic microbial food web and quantified the carbon fluxes from viruses to microplankton along trophic gradients in the Mediterranean Sea. To explore the complex trophic pathways of the pelagic food web, we conducted independent and replicated experiments to measure (i) predation on prokaryotes by microzooplankton, (ii) predation on prokaryotes by heterotrophic nanoflagellates, (iii) virus-induced prokaryotic mortality, and (iv) microzooplankton grazing on nanoplankton and microphytoplankton. Our study covered more than 5000 km, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Levantine basin, and from conditions of high primary production and nutrient availability to ultraoligotrophic and phosphate-limited waters. Microphytoplankton abundance and biomass were typically scarce across the entire Mediterranean basin, with almost negligible levels in the eastern part. Also, nanoplankton biomass was typically low. Conversely, prokaryotes, and particularly the heterotrophic components, were abundant and represented the only significant food source for both nanoplankton and microplankton grazers. Viral infections were not the primary agents of prokaryotic mortality, but in some areas, such as the Ligurian Sea, they had a key role in prokaryotic dynamics. The scenario depicted in this study in summer reveals the pivotal role of microzooplankton in the pelagic food web of the Mediterranean Sea, with a key role in the potential transfer of biomass to higher trophic levels. We also show that converse to theoretical expectations, the microbial food web was relatively complex under the mesotrophic conditions (Atlantic and western Mediterranean) and was much more simplified in the ultraoligotrophic conditions of the eastern Mediterranean.

  16. Multi-targeted metagenetic analysis of the influence of climate and environmental parameters on soil microbial communities along an elevational gradient.

    PubMed

    Lanzén, Anders; Epelde, Lur; Blanco, Fernando; Martín, Iker; Artetxe, Unai; Garbisu, Carlos

    2016-01-01

    Mountain elevation gradients are invaluable sites for understanding the effects of climate change on ecosystem function, community structure and distribution. However, relatively little is known about the impact on soil microbial communities, in spite of their importance for the functioning of the soil ecosystem. Previous studies of microbial diversity along elevational gradients were often limited by confounding variables such as vegetation, pH, and nutrients. Here, we utilised a transect in the Pyrenees established to minimise variation in such parameters, to examine prokaryotic, fungal, protist and metazoan communities throughout three consecutive years. We aimed to determine the influences of climate and environmental parameters on soil microbial community structure; as well as on the relationships between those microbial communities. Further, functional diversity of heterotrophic bacteria was determined using Biolog. Prokaryotic and fungal community structure, but not alpha-diversity, correlated significantly with elevation. However, carbon-to-nitrogen ratio and pH appeared to affect prokaryotic and protist communities more strongly. Both community structure and physicochemical parameters varied considerably between years, illustrating the value of long-term monitoring of the dynamic processes controlling the soil ecosystem. Our study also illustrates both the challenges and strengths of using microbial communities as indicators of potential impacts of climate change. PMID:27321429

  17. Multi-targeted metagenetic analysis of the influence of climate and environmental parameters on soil microbial communities along an elevational gradient

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lanzén, Anders; Epelde, Lur; Blanco, Fernando; Martín, Iker; Artetxe, Unai; Garbisu, Carlos

    2016-06-01

    Mountain elevation gradients are invaluable sites for understanding the effects of climate change on ecosystem function, community structure and distribution. However, relatively little is known about the impact on soil microbial communities, in spite of their importance for the functioning of the soil ecosystem. Previous studies of microbial diversity along elevational gradients were often limited by confounding variables such as vegetation, pH, and nutrients. Here, we utilised a transect in the Pyrenees established to minimise variation in such parameters, to examine prokaryotic, fungal, protist and metazoan communities throughout three consecutive years. We aimed to determine the influences of climate and environmental parameters on soil microbial community structure; as well as on the relationships between those microbial communities. Further, functional diversity of heterotrophic bacteria was determined using Biolog. Prokaryotic and fungal community structure, but not alpha-diversity, correlated significantly with elevation. However, carbon-to-nitrogen ratio and pH appeared to affect prokaryotic and protist communities more strongly. Both community structure and physicochemical parameters varied considerably between years, illustrating the value of long-term monitoring of the dynamic processes controlling the soil ecosystem. Our study also illustrates both the challenges and strengths of using microbial communities as indicators of potential impacts of climate change.

  18. Multi-targeted metagenetic analysis of the influence of climate and environmental parameters on soil microbial communities along an elevational gradient

    PubMed Central

    Lanzén, Anders; Epelde, Lur; Blanco, Fernando; Martín, Iker; Artetxe, Unai; Garbisu, Carlos

    2016-01-01

    Mountain elevation gradients are invaluable sites for understanding the effects of climate change on ecosystem function, community structure and distribution. However, relatively little is known about the impact on soil microbial communities, in spite of their importance for the functioning of the soil ecosystem. Previous studies of microbial diversity along elevational gradients were often limited by confounding variables such as vegetation, pH, and nutrients. Here, we utilised a transect in the Pyrenees established to minimise variation in such parameters, to examine prokaryotic, fungal, protist and metazoan communities throughout three consecutive years. We aimed to determine the influences of climate and environmental parameters on soil microbial community structure; as well as on the relationships between those microbial communities. Further, functional diversity of heterotrophic bacteria was determined using Biolog. Prokaryotic and fungal community structure, but not alpha-diversity, correlated significantly with elevation. However, carbon-to-nitrogen ratio and pH appeared to affect prokaryotic and protist communities more strongly. Both community structure and physicochemical parameters varied considerably between years, illustrating the value of long-term monitoring of the dynamic processes controlling the soil ecosystem. Our study also illustrates both the challenges and strengths of using microbial communities as indicators of potential impacts of climate change. PMID:27321429

  19. Large Scale Patterns of Antimicrofouling Defenses in the Hard Coral Pocillopora verrucosa in an Environmental Gradient along the Saudi Arabian Coast of the Red Sea

    PubMed Central

    Wahl, Martin; Al Sofyani, Abdulmohsin; Saha, Mahasweta; Kruse, Inken; Lenz, Mark; Sawall, Yvonne

    2014-01-01

    Large scale patterns of ecologically relevant traits may help identify drivers of their variability and conditions beneficial or adverse to the expression of these traits. Antimicrofouling defenses in scleractinian corals regulate the establishment of the associated biofilm as well as the risks of infection. The Saudi Arabian Red Sea coast features a pronounced thermal and nutritional gradient including regions and seasons with potentially stressful conditions to corals. Assessing the patterns of antimicrofouling defenses across the Red Sea may hint at the susceptibility of corals to global change. We investigated microfouling pressure as well as the relative strength of 2 alternative antimicrofouling defenses (chemical antisettlement activity, mucus release) along the pronounced environmental gradient along the Saudi Arabian Red Sea coast in 2 successive years. Microfouling pressure was exceptionally low along most of the coast but sharply increased at the southernmost sites. Mucus release correlated with temperature. Chemical defense tended to anti-correlate with mucus release. As a result, the combined action of mucus release and chemical antimicrofouling defense seemed to warrant sufficient defense against microbes along the entire coast. In the future, however, we expect enhanced energetic strain on corals when warming and/or eutrophication lead to higher bacterial fouling pressure and a shift towards putatively more costly defense by mucus release. PMID:25485603

  20. Large scale patterns of antimicrofouling defenses in the hard coral Pocillopora verrucosa in an environmental gradient along the Saudi Arabian coast of the Red Sea.

    PubMed

    Wahl, Martin; Al Sofyani, Abdulmohsin; Saha, Mahasweta; Kruse, Inken; Lenz, Mark; Sawall, Yvonne

    2014-01-01

    Large scale patterns of ecologically relevant traits may help identify drivers of their variability and conditions beneficial or adverse to the expression of these traits. Antimicrofouling defenses in scleractinian corals regulate the establishment of the associated biofilm as well as the risks of infection. The Saudi Arabian Red Sea coast features a pronounced thermal and nutritional gradient including regions and seasons with potentially stressful conditions to corals. Assessing the patterns of antimicrofouling defenses across the Red Sea may hint at the susceptibility of corals to global change. We investigated microfouling pressure as well as the relative strength of 2 alternative antimicrofouling defenses (chemical antisettlement activity, mucus release) along the pronounced environmental gradient along the Saudi Arabian Red Sea coast in 2 successive years. Microfouling pressure was exceptionally low along most of the coast but sharply increased at the southernmost sites. Mucus release correlated with temperature. Chemical defense tended to anti-correlate with mucus release. As a result, the combined action of mucus release and chemical antimicrofouling defense seemed to warrant sufficient defense against microbes along the entire coast. In the future, however, we expect enhanced energetic strain on corals when warming and/or eutrophication lead to higher bacterial fouling pressure and a shift towards putatively more costly defense by mucus release. PMID:25485603

  1. Effects of Abiotic Factors on the Phylogenetic Diversity of Bacterial Communities in Acidic Thermal Springs▿

    PubMed Central

    Mathur, Jayanti; Bizzoco, Richard W.; Ellis, Dean G.; Lipson, David A.; Poole, Alexander W.; Levine, Richard; Kelley, Scott T.

    2007-01-01

    Acidic thermal springs offer ideal environments for studying processes underlying extremophile microbial diversity. We used a carefully designed comparative analysis of acidic thermal springs in Yellowstone National Park to determine how abiotic factors (chemistry and temperature) shape acidophile microbial communities. Small-subunit rRNA gene sequences were PCR amplified, cloned, and sequenced, by using evolutionarily conserved bacterium-specific primers, directly from environmental DNA extracted from Amphitheater Springs and Roaring Mountain sediment samples. Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, and colorimetric assays were used to analyze sediment chemistry, while an optical emission spectrometer was used to evaluate water chemistry and electronic probes were used to measure the pH, temperature, and Eh of the spring waters. Phylogenetic-statistical analyses found exceptionally strong correlations between bacterial community composition and sediment mineral chemistry, followed by weaker but significant correlations with temperature gradients. For example, sulfur-rich sediment samples contained a high diversity of uncultured organisms related to Hydrogenobaculum spp., while iron-rich sediments were dominated by uncultured organisms related to a diverse array of gram-positive iron oxidizers. A detailed analysis of redox chemistry indicated that the available energy sources and electron acceptors were sufficient to support the metabolic potential of Hydrogenobaculum spp. and iron oxidizers, respectively. Principal-component analysis found that two factors explained 95% of the genetic diversity, with most of the variance attributable to mineral chemistry and a smaller fraction attributable to temperature. PMID:17220248

  2. Effects of abiotic factors on the phylogenetic diversity of bacterial communities in acidic thermal springs.

    PubMed

    Mathur, Jayanti; Bizzoco, Richard W; Ellis, Dean G; Lipson, David A; Poole, Alexander W; Levine, Richard; Kelley, Scott T

    2007-04-01

    Acidic thermal springs offer ideal environments for studying processes underlying extremophile microbial diversity. We used a carefully designed comparative analysis of acidic thermal springs in Yellowstone National Park to determine how abiotic factors (chemistry and temperature) shape acidophile microbial communities. Small-subunit rRNA gene sequences were PCR amplified, cloned, and sequenced, by using evolutionarily conserved bacterium-specific primers, directly from environmental DNA extracted from Amphitheater Springs and Roaring Mountain sediment samples. Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, and colorimetric assays were used to analyze sediment chemistry, while an optical emission spectrometer was used to evaluate water chemistry and electronic probes were used to measure the pH, temperature, and E(h) of the spring waters. Phylogenetic-statistical analyses found exceptionally strong correlations between bacterial community composition and sediment mineral chemistry, followed by weaker but significant correlations with temperature gradients. For example, sulfur-rich sediment samples contained a high diversity of uncultured organisms related to Hydrogenobaculum spp., while iron-rich sediments were dominated by uncultured organisms related to a diverse array of gram-positive iron oxidizers. A detailed analysis of redox chemistry indicated that the available energy sources and electron acceptors were sufficient to support the metabolic potential of Hydrogenobaculum spp. and iron oxidizers, respectively. Principal-component analysis found that two factors explained 95% of the genetic diversity, with most of the variance attributable to mineral chemistry and a smaller fraction attributable to temperature. PMID:17220248

  3. Assessing the effects of abiotic stress and livestock grazing disturbance on an alpine grassland with CSR model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Jun; Luo, Peng; Mou, Chengxiang; Yang, Hao; Mo, Li; Luo, Chuan; Kattge, Jens

    2016-04-01

    How the abiotic factors represented by cold environment and biotic factors represented by livestock grazing will affect the vegetation structure of alpine grassland is a core issue in understanding the cause of biodiversity change on Tibetan Plateau. Past studies on changes of floristic composition, growth forms did not adequately answer question. Given the fact that the response of plant to environment change depend on its life strategy, a synthetical method that based on plant life strategy may deepen our understanding of the mechanism. Using Grime's concept of CSR plant classification, we carried out a vegetation survey along a gradient (three levels) of graze intensity on the south-east of Tibet Plateau, in order to evaluate the role and mechanism of abiotic stress and grazing disturbance in driving plant diversity change, by analyzing the plant life strategy compositions in each of the community and by comparing the characteristic of the strategy compositions along the graze gradient. When the graze intensity was relative low, the dominant plant life strategy gathered in the stress tolerance corner, which conformed the theory of environmental filter, indicating that the ideal top plant community may be dominated by the species with stress tolerant strategy. We also found that the response of strategy dominance to graze intensity increase is positively correlated with the competitive capacity (R 2=0.671; P<0.001) and negatively correlated with the capacity of tolerating stress (R 2=0.378; P=0.011), but is not affected by the ruderal strategy (R 2=0.047; P=0.42). This reflected a general shift of plant strategy from stress tolerant to competitive (rather than ruderal as expected) and suggested that the mechanism of graze to affect plant community is different from that of other disturbance like fire, clipping, till, etc. The particular selective foraging and escaping from feces may provide more opportunities for competitive than ruderal strategy to dominant the

  4. Insights into the biological source and environmental gradients shaping the distribution of H-shaped glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers in Yellowstone National Park geothermal springs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jia, C.; Xie, W.; Wang, J.; Boyd, E. S.; Zhang, C.

    2013-12-01

    Archaea are ubiquitous in natural environments. The unique tetraether lipids in archaeal membranes enable the maintenance of ion permeability across broad environmental gradients. H-shaped isoprenoid glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (H-GDGTs), in which the two biphytanyl carbon skeletons are covalently bound by a carbon-carbon bond, have been recently identified in both marine and geothermal environments. Here we report the core H-GDGTs (C-H-GDGTs) and polar H-GDGTs (P-H-GDGTs) associated with sediments sampled from geothermal springs in Yellowstone National Park and investigate their abundance in relation to environmental gradients. The abundance of C- and P-H-GDGTs exhibit strong and negative correlation with pH (P = 0.007), suggesting that H-shaped GDGTs help to maintain cell membrane fluidity in acidic environments. Reanalysis of archaeal 16S rRNA gene pyrotags published previously from (Boyd E. Hamilton T. L., Wang J., He L., Zhang C. L. 2013. The role of tetraether lipid composition in the adaptation of thermophilic archaea to acidity. Frontiers in Terrestrial Microbiology. 4: doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2013.00062) indicates that these H-GDGTs are associated with environments dominanted by Thermoplasmatales, which are thermoacidiphiles. Two equations were established to define the relationships between the abundance of H-GDGTs, the abundance of archaeal taxa based on 16S rRNA gene phylogenetic affiliations, and pH. Both equations have high predictive capacity in predicting the distribution of archaeal lipids in the geothermal system. These observations provide new insight into the biological source of H-GDGTs and suggest a prominent role for these lipids in the diversification of archaea into or out of acidic high temperature environments.

  5. Spatial Heterogeneity of Bacterial Populations along an Environmental Gradient at a Shallow Submarine Hydrothermal Vent near Milos Island (Greece)

    PubMed Central

    Sievert, Stefan M.; Brinkhoff, Thorsten; Muyzer, Gerard; Ziebis, Wiebke; Kuever, Jan

    1999-01-01

    The spatial heterogeneity of bacterial populations at a shallow-water hydrothermal vent in the Aegean Sea close to the island of Milos (Greece) was examined at two different times by using acridine orange staining for total cell counts, cultivation-based techniques, and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) analysis of PCR-amplified 16S rRNA gene fragments. Concurrent with measurements of geochemical parameters, samples were taken along a transect from the center of the vent to the surrounding area. Most-probable-number (MPN) counts of metabolically defined subpopulations generally constituted a minor fraction of the total cell counts; both counting procedures revealed the highest cell numbers in a transition zone from the strongly hydrothermally influenced sediments to normal sedimentary conditions. Total cell counts ranged from 3.2 × 105 cells ml−1 in the water overlying the sediments to 6.4 × 108 cells g (wet weight) of sediment−1. MPN counts of chemolithoautotrophic sulfur-oxidizing bacteria varied between undetectable and 1.4 × 106 cells g−1. MPN counts for sulfate-reducing bacteria and dissimilatory iron-reducing bacteria ranged from 8 to 1.4 × 105 cells g−1 and from undetectable to 1.4 × 106 cells g−1, respectively. DGGE revealed a trend from a diverse range of bacterial populations which were present in approximately equal abundance in the transition zone to a community dominated by few populations close to the center of the vent. Temperature was found to be an important parameter in determining this trend. However, at one sampling time this trend was not discernible, possibly due to storm-induced disturbance of the upper sediment layers. PMID:10473383

  6. Ion Transporters and Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Plants

    PubMed Central

    Brini, Faïçal; Masmoudi, Khaled

    2012-01-01

    Adaptation of plants to salt stress requires cellular ion homeostasis involving net intracellular Na+ and Cl− uptake and subsequent vacuolar compartmentalization without toxic ion accumulation in the cytosol. Sodium ions can enter the cell through several low- and high-affinity K+ carriers. Some members of the HKT family function as sodium transporter and contribute to Na+ removal from the ascending xylem sap and recirculation from the leaves to the roots via the phloem vasculature. Na+ sequestration into the vacuole depends on expression and activity of Na+/H+ antiporter that is driven by electrochemical gradient of protons generated by the vacuolar H+-ATPase and the H+-pyrophosphatase. Sodium extrusion at the root-soil interface is presumed to be of critical importance for the salt tolerance. Thus, a very rapid efflux of Na+ from roots must occur to control net rates of influx. The Na+/H+ antiporter SOS1 localized to the plasma membrane is the only Na+ efflux protein from plants characterized so far. In this paper, we analyze available data related to ion transporters and plant abiotic stress responses in order to enhance our understanding about how salinity and other abiotic stresses affect the most fundamental processes of cellular function which have a substantial impact on plant growth development. PMID:27398240

  7. Mercury contamination of the fish community of a semi-arid and arid river system: spatial variation and the influence of environmental gradients.

    PubMed

    Smith, Alexandra; Abuzeineh, Alisa A; Chumchal, Matthew M; Bonner, Timothy H; Nowlin, Weston H

    2010-08-01

    Mercury (Hg) contamination of aquatic ecosystems is a global environmental problem. Data are abundant on Hg contamination and factors that affect its bioaccumulation in lake communities, but comparatively little information on riverine ecosystems exists. The present study examines fish Hg concentrations of the Lower Rio Grande/Rio Bravo del Norte drainage, Texas, USA and several of its major tributaries in order to assess whether spatial variation occurs in fish Hg concentrations in the drainage and if patterns of Hg contamination of fish are related to gradients in environmental factors thought to affect Hg concentrations in fish communities. Fish, invertebrates, sediments, and water quality parameters were sampled at 12 sites along the lower Rio Grande/Rio Bravo del Norte drainage multiple times over a one-year period. Spatial variation was significant in fish Hg concentrations when fish were grouped by literature-defined trophic guilds or as stable isotope-defined trophic levels, with highest concentrations found in the Big Bend region of the drainage. Mercury in fish in most trophic guilds and trophic levels were positively related to environmental factors thought to affect Hg in fish, including water column dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and sediment Hg concentrations. It is likely that fish Hg concentrations in the Big Bend region are relatively high because this section of the river has abundant geologic Hg sources and environmental conditions which may make it sensitive to Hg inputs (i.e., high DOC, variable water levels). Results from the present study indicate that Hg contamination of the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo del Norte has substantial implications for management and protection of native small-bodied obligate riverine fish, many of which are imperiled. PMID:20821630

  8. Diversity of culturable thermo-resistant aquatic bacteria along an environmental gradient in Cuatro Ciénegas, Coahuila, México.

    PubMed

    Cerritos, René; Eguiarte, Luis E; Avitia, Morena; Siefert, Janet; Travisano, Michael; Rodríguez-Verdugo, Alejandra; Souza, Valeria

    2011-02-01

    At the desert oasis of Cuatro Ciénegas in Coahuila, México, more than 300 oligotrophic pools can be found and a large number of endemic species of plants and animals. The most divergent taxa of diatoms, snail and fishes are located in the Churince hydrological system, where we analyzed the local diversification of cultivable Firmicutes and Actinobacteria. The Churince hydrological system is surrounded by gypsum dunes and has a strong gradient for salinity, temperature, pH and dissolved oxygen. In August 2003, surface water samples were taken in 10 sites along the Churince system together with the respective environmental measurements. 417 thermo-resistant bacteria were isolated and DNA was extracted to obtain their BOX-PCR fingerprints, revealing 55 different patterns. In order to identify similarities and differences in the diversity of the various sampling sites, an Ordination Analysis was applied using Principal Component Analysis. This analysis showed that conductivity is the environmental factor that explains the distribution of most of the microbial diversity. Phylogenetic reconstruction from their 16S rRNA sequences was performed for a sample of 150 isolates. Only 17 sequences had a 100% match in the Gene Bank (NCBI), representing 10 well known cosmopolitan taxa. The rest of the sequences cluster in 22 clades for Firmicutes and another 22 clades for Actinobacteria, supporting the idea of high diversity and differentiation for this site. PMID:20711674

  9. Genetic diversity of Desulfovibrio spp. in environmental samples analyzed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis of [NiFe] hydrogenase gene fragments.

    PubMed Central

    Wawer, C; Muyzer, G

    1995-01-01

    The genetic diversity of Desulfovibrio species in environmental samples was determined by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) of PCR-amplified [NiFe] hydrogenase gene fragments. Five different PCR primers were designed after comparative analysis of [NiFe] hydrogenase gene sequences from three Desulfovibrio species. These primers were tested in different combinations on the genomic DNAs of a variety of hydrogenase-containing and hydrogenase-lacking bacteria. One primer pair was found to be specific for Desulfovibrio species only, while the others gave positive results with other bacteria also. By using this specific primer pair, we were able to amplify the [NiFe] hydrogenase genes of DNAs isolated from environmental samples and to detect the presence of Desulfovibrio species in these samples. However, only after DGGE analysis of these PCR products could the number of different Desulfovibrio species within the samples be determined. DGGE analysis of PCR products from different bioreactors demonstrated up to two bands, while at least five distinguishable bands were detected in a microbial mat sample. Because these bands most likely represent as many Desulfovibrio species present in these samples, we conclude that the genetic diversity of Desulfovibrio species in the natural microbial mat is far greater than that in the experimental bioreactors. PMID:7793940

  10. The influence of environmental factors on protistan microorganisms in grassland soils along a land-use gradient.

    PubMed

    Glaser, Karin; Kuppardt, Anke; Boenigk, Jens; Harms, Hauke; Fetzer, Ingo; Chatzinotas, Antonis

    2015-12-15

    In this study, we investigated the effect of land use intensity, soil parameters and vegetation on protistan communities in grassland soils. We performed qualitative (T-RFLP) and quantitative (qPCR) analyses using primers specifically targeting the 18S rRNA gene for all Eukarya and for two common flagellate groups, i.e. the Chrysophyceae and the Kinetoplastea. Both approaches were applied to extracted soil DNA and RNA, in order to distinguish between the potentially active protists (i.e. RNA pool) and the total protistan communities, including potentially inactive and encysted cells (i.e. DNA pool). Several environmental determinants such as site, soil parameters and vegetation had an impact on the T-RFLP community profiles and the abundance of the quantified 18S rRNA genes. Correlating factors often differed between quantitative (qPCR) and qualitative (T-RFLP) approaches. For instance the Chrysophyceae/Eukarya 18S rDNA ratio as determined by qPCR correlated with the C/N ratio, whereas the community composition based on T-RLFP analysis was not affected indicating that both methods taken together provide a more complete picture of the parameters driving protist diversity. Moreover, distinct T-RFs were obtained, which could serve as potential indicators for either active organisms or environmental conditions like water content. While site was the main determinant across all investigated exploratories, land use seemed to be of minor importance for structuring protist communities. The impact of other parameters differed between the target groups, e.g. Kinetoplastea reacted on changes to water content on all sites, whereas Chrysophyceae were only affected in the Schorfheide. Finally, in most cases different responses were observed on RNA- and DNA-level, respectively. Vegetation for instance influenced the two flagellate groups only at the DNA-level across all sites. Future studies should thus include different protistan groups and also distinguish between active and

  11. Identification of Arabidopsis Candidate Genes in Response to Biotic and Abiotic Stresses Using Comparative Microarrays

    PubMed Central

    Sham, Arjun; Moustafa, Khaled; Al-Ameri, Salma; Al-Azzawi, Ahmed; Iratni, Rabah; AbuQamar, Synan

    2015-01-01

    Plants have evolved with intricate mechanisms to cope with multiple environmental stresses. To adapt with biotic and abiotic stresses, plant responses involve changes at the cellular and molecular levels. The current study was designed to investigate the effects of combinations of different environmental stresses on the transcriptome level of Arabidopsis genome using public microarray databases. We investigated the role of cyclopentenones in mediating plant responses to environmental stress through TGA (TGACG motif-binding factor) transcription factor, independently from jasmonic acid. Candidate genes were identified by comparing plants inoculated with Botrytis cinerea or treated with heat, salt or osmotic stress with non-inoculated or non-treated tissues. About 2.5% heat-, 19% salinity- and 41% osmotic stress-induced genes were commonly upregulated by B. cinerea-treatment; and 7.6%, 19% and 48% of genes were commonly downregulated by B. cinerea-treatment, respectively. Our results indicate that plant responses to biotic and abiotic stresses are mediated by several common regulatory genes. Comparisons between transcriptome data from Arabidopsis stressed-plants support our hypothesis that some molecular and biological processes involved in biotic and abiotic stress response are conserved. Thirteen of the common regulated genes to abiotic and biotic stresses were studied in detail to determine their role in plant resistance to B. cinerea. Moreover, a T-DNA insertion mutant of the Responsive to Dehydration gene (rd20), encoding for a member of the caleosin (lipid surface protein) family, showed an enhanced sensitivity to B. cinerea infection and drought. Overall, the overlapping of plant responses to abiotic and biotic stresses, coupled with the sensitivity of the rd20 mutant, may provide new interesting programs for increased plant resistance to multiple environmental stresses, and ultimately increases its chances to survive. Future research directions towards a

  12. Identification of Arabidopsis candidate genes in response to biotic and abiotic stresses using comparative microarrays.

    PubMed

    Sham, Arjun; Moustafa, Khaled; Al-Ameri, Salma; Al-Azzawi, Ahmed; Iratni, Rabah; AbuQamar, Synan

    2015-01-01

    Plants have evolved with intricate mechanisms to cope with multiple environmental stresses. To adapt with biotic and abiotic stresses, plant responses involve changes at the cellular and molecular levels. The current study was designed to investigate the effects of combinations of different environmental stresses on the transcriptome level of Arabidopsis genome using public microarray databases. We investigated the role of cyclopentenones in mediating plant responses to environmental stress through TGA (TGACG motif-binding factor) transcription factor, independently from jasmonic acid. Candidate genes were identified by comparing plants inoculated with Botrytis cinerea or treated with heat, salt or osmotic stress with non-inoculated or non-treated tissues. About 2.5% heat-, 19% salinity- and 41% osmotic stress-induced genes were commonly upregulated by B. cinerea-treatment; and 7.6%, 19% and 48% of genes were commonly downregulated by B. cinerea-treatment, respectively. Our results indicate that plant responses to biotic and abiotic stresses are mediated by several common regulatory genes. Comparisons between transcriptome data from Arabidopsis stressed-plants support our hypothesis that some molecular and biological processes involved in biotic and abiotic stress response are conserved. Thirteen of the common regulated genes to abiotic and biotic stresses were studied in detail to determine their role in plant resistance to B. cinerea. Moreover, a T-DNA insertion mutant of the Responsive to Dehydration gene (rd20), encoding for a member of the caleosin (lipid surface protein) family, showed an enhanced sensitivity to B. cinerea infection and drought. Overall, the overlapping of plant responses to abiotic and biotic stresses, coupled with the sensitivity of the rd20 mutant, may provide new interesting programs for increased plant resistance to multiple environmental stresses, and ultimately increases its chances to survive. Future research directions towards a

  13. Anthropogenic effects on marine mollusks diversity and abundance; mangrove mollusks along an environmental gradient at Teyab, Persian gulf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Azarmanesh, H.; Javanshir, A.

    2009-04-01

    Management of coastal environments requires understanding of ecological relationships among different habitats and their biotas.. The mollusk diversity and density and sedimentological properties of mangrove (Avicennia marina) stands of two different seasons in Teyab have been compared. Pollutant area and cleaner area showed clear separation on the basis of environmental characteristics and benthic mollusks. Numbers of mollusks taxa were generally larger at cleaner sites, and numbers of individuals of several taxa were also larger at other sites. The total number of individuals was not different between the two seasons, largely due to the presence of large numbers of the Mud-living gastropod Cerithium cingulata at the pollutant sites. Differences in the Mollusks were coincident with differences in the nature of the sediment. Sediments in cleaner stands were more compacted and contained lesser organic matter and leaf litter.Analysis of sediment chemistry suggested that mangrove sediment in the Cleaner sites were able to take up more N and P than those in the other sites. Key Words: Sustainable development, Impact, Gastropods, Bivalves, Persian Gulf

  14. Occupational gradients in smoking behavior and exposure to workplace environmental tobacco smoke: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA)

    PubMed Central

    Fujishiro, Kaori; Stukovsky, Karen D Hinckley; Roux, Ana Diez; Landsbergis, Paul; Burchfiel, Cecil

    2012-01-01

    Objectives This study examines associations of occupation with smoking status, amount smoked among current- and former-smokers (number of cigarettes/day and lifetime cigarette consumption (pack-years)), and workplace exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) independent from income and education. Methods This is a cross-sectional analysis of data from a community sample (n=6355, age range: 45–84) using logistic and multinomial regression. All analyses were stratified by sex and adjusted for socio-demographic variables. Results Male blue-collar and sales/office workers had higher odds of having consumed >20 pack-years of cigarettes than managers/professionals. For both male and female current- or former-smokers, exposure to workplace ETS was consistently and strongly associated with heavy smoking and greater pack-years. Conclusions Blue-collar workplaces are associated with intense smoking and ETS exposure. Smoking must be addressed at both the individual- and workplace-levels especially in blue-collar workplaces. PMID:22261926

  15. Environmental controls on the distribution and diversity of lentic Chironomidae (Insecta: Diptera) across an altitudinal gradient in tropical South America.

    PubMed

    Matthews-Bird, Frazer; Gosling, William D; Coe, Angela L; Bush, Mark; Mayle, Francis E; Axford, Yarrow; Brooks, Stephen J

    2016-01-01

    To predict the response of aquatic ecosystems to future global climate change, data on the ecology and distribution of keystone groups in freshwater ecosystems are needed. In contrast to mid- and high-latitude zones, such data are scarce across tropical South America (Neotropics). We present the distribution and diversity of chironomid species using surface sediments of 59 lakes from the Andes to the Amazon (0.1-17°S and 64-78°W) within the Neotropics. We assess the spatial variation in community assemblages and identify the key variables influencing the distributional patterns. The relationships between environmental variables (pH, conductivity, depth, and sediment organic content), climatic data, and chironomid assemblages were assessed using multivariate statistics (detrended correspondence analysis and canonical correspondence analysis). Climatic parameters (temperature and precipitation) were most significant in describing the variance in chironomid assemblages. Temperature and precipitation are both predicted to change under future climate change scenarios in the tropical Andes. Our findings suggest taxa of Orthocladiinae, which show a preference to cold high-elevation oligotrophic lakes, will likely see range contraction under future anthropogenic-induced climate change. Taxa abundant in areas of high precipitation, such as Micropsectra and Phaenopsectra, will likely become restricted to the inner tropical Andes, as the outer tropical Andes become drier. The sensitivity of chironomids to climate parameters makes them important bio-indicators of regional climate change in the Neotropics. Furthermore, the distribution of chironomid taxa presented here is a vital first step toward providing urgently needed autecological data for interpreting fossil chironomid records of past ecological and climate change from the tropical Andes. PMID:26811777

  16. Examining variation in the leaf mass per area of dominant species across two contrasting tropical gradients in light of community assembly.

    PubMed

    Neyret, Margot; Bentley, Lisa Patrick; Oliveras, Imma; Marimon, Beatriz S; Marimon-Junior, Ben Hur; Almeida de Oliveira, Edmar; Barbosa Passos, Fábio; Castro Ccoscco, Rosa; Dos Santos, Josias; Matias Reis, Simone; Morandi, Paulo S; Rayme Paucar, Gloria; Robles Cáceres, Arturo; Valdez Tejeira, Yolvi; Yllanes Choque, Yovana; Salinas, Norma; Shenkin, Alexander; Asner, Gregory P; Díaz, Sandra; Enquist, Brian J; Malhi, Yadvinder

    2016-08-01

    Understanding variation in key functional traits across gradients in high diversity systems and the ecology of community changes along gradients in these systems is crucial in light of conservation and climate change. We examined inter- and intraspecific variation in leaf mass per area (LMA) of sun and shade leaves along a 3330-m elevation gradient in Peru, and in sun leaves across a forest-savanna vegetation gradient in Brazil. We also compared LMA variance ratios (T-statistics metrics) to null models to explore internal (i.e., abiotic) and environmental filtering on community structure along the gradients. Community-weighted LMA increased with decreasing forest cover in Brazil, likely due to increased light availability and water stress, and increased with elevation in Peru, consistent with the leaf economic spectrum strategy expected in colder, less productive environments. A very high species turnover was observed along both environmental gradients, and consequently, the first source of variation in LMA was species turnover. Variation in LMA at the genus or family levels was greater in Peru than in Brazil. Using dominant trees to examine possible filters on community assembly, we found that in Brazil, internal filtering was strongest in the forest, while environmental filtering was observed in the dry savanna. In Peru, internal filtering was observed along 80% of the gradient, perhaps due to variation in taxa or interspecific competition. Environmental filtering was observed at cloud zone edges and in lowlands, possibly due to water and nutrient availability, respectively. These results related to variation in LMA indicate that biodiversity in species rich tropical assemblages may be structured by differential niche-based processes. In the future, specific mechanisms generating these patterns of variation in leaf functional traits across tropical environmental gradients should be explored. PMID:27547346

  17. Adaptive divergence of the moor frog (Rana arvalis) along an acidification gradient

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Environmental stress can result in strong ecological and evolutionary effects on natural populations, but to what extent it drives adaptive divergence of natural populations is little explored. We used common garden experiments to study adaptive divergence in embryonic and larval fitness traits (embryonic survival, larval growth, and age and size at metamorphosis) in eight moor frog, Rana arvalis, populations inhabiting an acidification gradient (breeding pond pH 4.0 to 7.5) in southwestern Sweden. Embryos were raised until hatching at three (pH 4.0, 4.3 and 7.5) and larvae until metamorphosis at two (pH 4.3 and 7.5) pH treatments. To get insight into the putative selective agents along this environmental gradient, we measured relevant abiotic and biotic environmental variables from each breeding pond, and used linear models to test for phenotype-environment correlations. Results We found that acid origin populations had higher embryonic and larval acid tolerance (survival and larval period were less negatively affected by low pH), higher larval growth but slower larval development rates, and metamorphosed at a larger size. The phenotype-environment correlations revealed that divergence in embryonic acid tolerance and metamorphic size correlated most strongly with breeding pond pH, whereas divergence in larval period and larval growth correlated most strongly with latitude and predator density, respectively. Conclusion Our results suggest that R. arvalis has diverged in response to pH mediated selection along this acidification gradient. However, as latitude and pH were closely spatially correlated in this study, further studies are needed to disentangle the specific agents of natural selection along acidification gradients. Our study highlights the need to consider the multiple interacting selective forces that drive adaptive divergence of natural populations along environmental stress gradients. PMID:22182445

  18. Soil bacterial endemism and potential functional redundancy in natural broadleaf forest along a latitudinal gradient.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yuguang; Cong, Jing; Lu, Hui; Deng, Ye; Liu, Xiao; Zhou, Jizhong; Li, Diqiang

    2016-01-01

    Microorganisms play key roles in ecosystem processes and biogeochemical cycling, however, the relationship between soil microbial taxa diversity and their function in natural ecosystems is largely unknown. To determine how soil bacteria community and function are linked from the local to regional scale, we studied soil bacteria community composition, potential function and environmental conditions in natural and mature broadleaf forests along a latitudinal gradient in China, using the Illumina 16S rRNA sequencing and GeoChip technologies. The results showed strong biogeographic endemism pattern in soil bacteria were existed, and the spatial distance and climatic variables were the key controlling factors for this pattern. Therefore, dispersal limitation and environmental selection may represent two key processes in generating and maintaining the soil bacterial biogeographic pattern. By contrast, the soil bacterial potential function is highly convergent along the latitudinal gradient and there were highly differing bacterial community compositions, and the soil chemistry may include the main factors active in shaping the soil bacterial potential function. Therefore, the soil bacterial potential function may be affected by local gradients in resource availability, and predicting soil bacterial potential function requires knowledge of abiotic and biotic environmental factors. PMID:27357005

  19. Soil bacterial endemism and potential functional redundancy in natural broadleaf forest along a latitudinal gradient

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Yuguang; Cong, Jing; Lu, Hui; Deng, Ye; Liu, Xiao; Zhou, Jizhong; Li, Diqiang

    2016-06-01

    Microorganisms play key roles in ecosystem processes and biogeochemical cycling, however, the relationship between soil microbial taxa diversity and their function in natural ecosystems is largely unknown. To determine how soil bacteria community and function are linked from the local to regional scale, we studied soil bacteria community composition, potential function and environmental conditions in natural and mature broadleaf forests along a latitudinal gradient in China, using the Illumina 16S rRNA sequencing and GeoChip technologies. The results showed strong biogeographic endemism pattern in soil bacteria were existed, and the spatial distance and climatic variables were the key controlling factors for this pattern. Therefore, dispersal limitation and environmental selection may represent two key processes in generating and maintaining the soil bacterial biogeographic pattern. By contrast, the soil bacterial potential function is highly convergent along the latitudinal gradient and there were highly differing bacterial community compositions, and the soil chemistry may include the main factors active in shaping the soil bacterial potential function. Therefore, the soil bacterial potential function may be affected by local gradients in resource availability, and predicting soil bacterial potential function requires knowledge of abiotic and biotic environmental factors.

  20. Soil bacterial endemism and potential functional redundancy in natural broadleaf forest along a latitudinal gradient

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yuguang; Cong, Jing; Lu, Hui; Deng, Ye; Liu, Xiao; Zhou, Jizhong; Li, Diqiang

    2016-01-01

    Microorganisms play key roles in ecosystem processes and biogeochemical cycling, however, the relationship between soil microbial taxa diversity and their function in natural ecosystems is largely unknown. To determine how soil bacteria community and function are linked from the local to regional scale, we studied soil bacteria community composition, potential function and environmental conditions in natural and mature broadleaf forests along a latitudinal gradient in China, using the Illumina 16S rRNA sequencing and GeoChip technologies. The results showed strong biogeographic endemism pattern in soil bacteria were existed, and the spatial distance and climatic variables were the key controlling factors for this pattern. Therefore, dispersal limitation and environmental selection may represent two key processes in generating and maintaining the soil bacterial biogeographic pattern. By contrast, the soil bacterial potential function is highly convergent along the latitudinal gradient and there were highly differing bacterial community compositions, and the soil chemistry may include the main factors active in shaping the soil bacterial potential function. Therefore, the soil bacterial potential function may be affected by local gradients in resource availability, and predicting soil bacterial potential function requires knowledge of abiotic and biotic environmental factors. PMID:27357005

  1. Influence of abiotic stress signals on secondary metabolites in plants

    PubMed Central

    Ramakrishna, Akula; Ravishankar, Gokare Aswathanarayana

    2011-01-01

    Plant secondary metabolites are unique sources for pharmaceuticals, food additives, flavors, and industrially important biochemicals. Accumulation of such metabolites often occurs in plants subjected to stresses including various elicitors or signal molecules. Secondary metabolites play a major role in the adaptation of plants to the environment and in overcoming stress conditions. Environmental factors viz. temperature, humidity, light intensity, the supply of water, minerals, and CO2 influence the growth of a plant and secondary metabolite production. Drought, high salinity, and freezing temperatures are environmental conditions that cause adverse effects on the growth of plants and the productivity of crops. Plant cell culture technologies have been effective tools for both studying and producing plant secondary metabolites under in vitro conditions and for plant improvement. This brief review summarizes the influence of different abiotic factors include salt, drought, light, heavy metals, frost etc. on secondary metabolites in plants. The focus of the present review is the influence of abiotic factors on secondary metabolite production and some of important plant pharmaceuticals. Also, we describe the results of in vitro cultures and production of some important secondary metabolites obtained in our laboratory. PMID:22041989

  2. Abiotic factors influence plant storage lipid accumulation and composition.

    PubMed

    Singer, Stacy D; Zou, Jitao; Weselake, Randall J

    2016-02-01

    The demand for plant-derived oils has increased substantially over the last decade, and is sure to keep growing. While there has been a surge in research efforts to produce plants with improved oil content and quality, in most cases the enhancements have been small. To add further complexity to this situation, substantial differences in seed oil traits among years and field locations have indicated that plant lipid biosynthesis is also influenced to a large extent by multiple environmental factors such as temperature, drought, light availability and soil nutrients. On the molecular and biochemical levels, the expression and/or activities of fatty acid desaturases, as well as diacylglycerol acyltransferase 1, have been found to be affected by abiotic factors, suggesting that they play a role in the lipid content and compositional changes seen under abiotic stress conditions. Unfortunately, while only a very small number of strategies have been developed as of yet to minimize these environmental effects on the production of storage lipids, it is clear that this feat will be of the utmost importance for developing superior oil crops with the capability to perform in a consistent manner in field conditions in the future. PMID:26795146

  3. Biotic and abiotic drivers of phenotypic plasticity of wing dimorphism in Sclerodermus pupariae

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Wing phenotype polymorphism is commonly observed in insects, yet little is known about the influence of environmental cues on the development or expression of the alternative phenotypes. Here, we examined the effects of biotic and abiotic factors including temperature, photoperiod, light intensity,...

  4. Assessment of variations in taxonomic diversity, forest structure, and aboveground biomass using remote sensing along an altitudinal gradient in tropical montane forest of Costa Rica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robinson, C. M.; Saatchi, S. S.; Clark, D.; Fricker, G. A.; Wolf, J.; Gillespie, T. W.; Rovzar, C. M.; Andelman, S.

    2012-12-01

    This research sought to understand how alpha and beta diversity of plants vary and relate to the three-dimensional vegetation structure and aboveground biomass along environmental gradients in the tropical montane forests of Braulio Carrillo National Park in Costa Rica. There is growing evidence that ecosystem structure plays an important role in defining patterns of species diversity and along with abiotic factors (climate and edaphic) control the phenotypic and functional variations across landscapes. It is well documented that strong subdivisions at local and regional scales are found mainly on geologic or climate gradients. These general determinants of biodiversity are best demonstrated in regions with natural gradients such as tropical montane forests. Altitudinal gradients provide a landscape scale changes through variations in topography, climate, and edaphic conditions on which we tested several theoretical and biological hypotheses regarding drivers of biodiversity. The study was performed by using forest inventory and botanical data from nine 1-ha plots ranging from 100 m to 2800 m above sea level and remote sensing data from airborne lidar and radar sensors to quantify variations in forest structure. In this study we report on the effectiveness of relating patterns of tree taxonomic alpha diversity to three-dimensional structure of a tropical montane forest using lidar and radar observations of forest structure and biomass. We assessed alpha and beta diversity at the species, genus, and family levels utilizing datasets provided by the Terrestrial Ecology Assessment and Monitoring (TEAM) Network. Through the comparison to active remote sensing imagery, our results show that there is a strong relationship between forest 3D-structure, and alpha and beta diversity controlled by variations in abiotic factors along the altitudinal gradient. Using spatial analysis with the aid of remote sensing data, we find distinct patterns along the environmental gradients

  5. Hydrogen peroxide priming modulates abiotic oxidative stress tolerance: insights from ROS detoxification and scavenging

    PubMed Central

    Hossain, Mohammad A.; Bhattacharjee, Soumen; Armin, Saed-Moucheshi; Qian, Pingping; Xin, Wang; Li, Hong-Yu; Burritt, David J.; Fujita, Masayuki; Tran, Lam-Son P.

    2015-01-01

    Plants are constantly challenged by various abiotic stresses that negatively affect growth and productivity worldwide. During the course of their evolution, plants have developed sophisticated mechanisms to recognize external signals allowing them to respond appropriately to environmental conditions, although the degree of adjustability or tolerance to specific stresses differs from species to species. Overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS; hydrogen peroxide, H2O2; superoxide, O2⋅-; hydroxyl radical, OH⋅ and singlet oxygen, 1O2) is enhanced under abiotic and/or biotic stresses, which can cause oxidative damage to plant macromolecules and cell structures, leading to inhibition of plant growth and development, or to death. Among the various ROS, freely diffusible and relatively long-lived H2O2 acts as a central player in stress signal transduction pathways. These pathways can then activate multiple acclamatory responses that reinforce resistance to various abiotic and biotic stressors. To utilize H2O2 as a signaling molecule, non-toxic levels must be maintained in a delicate balancing act between H2O2 production and scavenging. Several recent studies have demonstrated that the H2O2-priming can enhance abiotic stress tolerance by modulating ROS detoxification and by regulating multiple stress-responsive pathways and gene expression. Despite the importance of the H2O2-priming, little is known about how this process improves the tolerance of plants to stress. Understanding the mechanisms of H2O2-priming-induced abiotic stress tolerance will be valuable for identifying biotechnological strategies to improve abiotic stress tolerance in crop plants. This review is an overview of our current knowledge of the possible mechanisms associated with H2O2-induced abiotic oxidative stress tolerance in plants, with special reference to antioxidant metabolism. PMID:26136756

  6. Endophytic fungi: resource for gibberellins and crop abiotic stress resistance.

    PubMed

    Khan, Abdul Latif; Hussain, Javid; Al-Harrasi, Ahmed; Al-Rawahi, Ahmed; Lee, In-Jung

    2015-03-01

    The beneficial effects of endophytes on plant growth are important for agricultural ecosystems because they reduce the need for fertilizers and decrease soil and water pollution while compensating for environmental perturbations. Endophytic fungi are a novel source of bioactive secondary metabolites; moreover, recently they have been found to produce physiologically active gibberellins as well. The symbiosis of gibberellins producing endophytic fungi with crops can be a promising strategy to overcome the adverse effects of abiotic stresses. The association of such endophytes has not only increased plant biomass but also ameliorated plant-growth during extreme environmental conditions. Endophytic fungi represent a trove of unexplored biodiversity and a frequently overlooked component of crop ecology. The present review describes the role of gibberellins producing endophytic fungi, suggests putative mechanisms involved in plant endophyte stress interactions and discusses future prospects in this field. PMID:23984800

  7. ABIOTIC ORGANIC REACTIONS AT MINERAL SURFACES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Abiotic organic reactions, such as hydrolysis, elimination, substitution, redox, and polymerization reactions, can be influenced by surfaces of clay and primary minerals, and of metal oxides. This influence is due to adsorption of the reactants to surface Lewis and Bronsted sites...

  8. Abiotic Bromination of Soil Organic Matter.

    PubMed

    Leri, Alessandra C; Ravel, Bruce

    2015-11-17

    Biogeochemical transformations of plant-derived soil organic matter (SOM) involve complex abiotic and microbially mediated reactions. One such reaction is halogenation, which occurs naturally in the soil environment and has been associated with enzymatic activity of decomposer organisms. Building on a recent finding that naturally produced organobromine is ubiquitous in SOM, we hypothesized that inorganic bromide could be subject to abiotic oxidations resulting in bromination of SOM. Through lab-based degradation treatments of plant material and soil humus, we have shown that abiotic bromination of particulate organic matter occurs in the presence of a range of inorganic oxidants, including hydrogen peroxide and assorted forms of ferric iron, producing both aliphatic and aromatic forms of organobromine. Bromination of oak and pine litter is limited primarily by bromide concentration. Fresh plant material is more susceptible to bromination than decayed litter and soil humus, due to a labile pool of mainly aliphatic compounds that break down during early stages of SOM formation. As the first evidence of abiotic bromination of particulate SOM, this study identifies a mechanistic source of the natural organobromine in humic substances and the soil organic horizon. Formation of organobromine through oxidative treatments of plant material also provides insights into the relative stability of aromatic and aliphatic components of SOM. PMID:26468620

  9. Soil moisture and chemistry influence diversity of ectomycorrhizal fungal communities associating with willow along an hydrologic gradient.

    PubMed

    Erlandson, Sonya R; Savage, Jessica A; Cavender-Bares, Jeannine M; Peay, Kabir G

    2016-01-01

    Influences of soil environment and willow host species on ectomycorrhizal fungi communities was studied across an hydrologic gradient in temperate North America. Soil moisture, organic matter and pH strongly predicted changes in fungal community composition. In contrast, increased fungal richness strongly correlated with higher plant-available phosphorus. The 93 willow trees sampled for ectomycorrhizal fungi included seven willow species. Host identity did not influence fungal richness or community composition, nor was there strong evidence of willow host preference for fungal species. Network analysis suggests that these mutualist interaction networks are not significantly nested or modular. Across a strong environmental gradient, fungal abiotic niche determined the fungal species available to associate with host plants within a habitat. PMID:26622067

  10. Moss stable isotopes (carbon-13, oxygen-18) and testate amoebae reflect environmental inputs and microclimate along a latitudinal gradient on the Antarctic Peninsula.

    PubMed

    Royles, Jessica; Amesbury, Matthew J; Roland, Thomas P; Jones, Glyn D; Convey, Peter; Griffiths, Howard; Hodgson, Dominic A; Charman, Dan J

    2016-07-01

    The stable isotope compositions of moss tissue water (δ(2)H and δ(18)O) and cellulose (δ(13)C and δ(18)O), and testate amoebae populations were sampled from 61 contemporary surface samples along a 600-km latitudinal gradient of the Antarctic Peninsula (AP) to provide a spatial record of environmental change. The isotopic composition of moss tissue water represented an annually integrated precipitation signal with the expected isotopic depletion with increasing latitude. There was a weak, but significant, relationship between cellulose δ(18)O and latitude, with predicted source water inputs isotopically enriched compared to measured precipitation. Cellulose δ(13)C values were dependent on moss species and water content, and may reflect site exposure to strong winds. Testate amoebae assemblages were characterised by low concentrations and taxonomic diversity, with Corythion dubium and Microcorycia radiata types the most cosmopolitan taxa. The similarity between the intra- and inter-site ranges measured in all proxies suggests that microclimate and micro-topographical conditions around the moss surface were important determinants of proxy values. Isotope and testate amoebae analyses have proven value as palaeoclimatic, temporal proxies of climate change, whereas this study demonstrates that variations in isotopic and amoeboid proxies between microsites can be beyond the bounds of the current spatial variability in AP climate. PMID:27003701

  11. Ubiquitination pathway as a target to develop abiotic stress tolerance in rice

    PubMed Central

    Dametto, Andressa; Buffon, Giseli; Dos Reis Blasi, Édina Aparecida; Sperotto, Raul Antonio

    2015-01-01

    Abiotic stresses may result in significant losses in rice grain productivity. Protein regulation by the ubiquitin/proteasome system has been studied as a target mechanism to optimize adaptation and survival strategies of plants to different environmental stresses. This article aimed at highlighting recent discoveries about the roles ubiquitination may play in the exposure of rice plants to different abiotic stresses, enabling the development of modified plants tolerant to stress. Responses provided by the ubiquitination process include the regulation of the stomatal opening, phytohormones levels, protein stabilization, cell membrane integrity, meristematic cell maintenance, as well as the regulation of reactive oxygen species and heavy metals levels. It is noticeable that ubiquitination is a potential means for developing abiotic stress tolerant plants, being an excellent alternative to rice (and other cultures) improvement programs. PMID:26236935

  12. Differential Abundance of Microbial Functional Groups along the Elevation Gradient from the Coast to the Luquillo Mountains

    EPA Science Inventory

    Microbial communities respond to multiple abiotic and biotic factors that change along elevation gradients. We compare changes in microbial community composition in soil and review previous research on differential abundance of microbial functional groups along an elevation gradi...

  13. Coupled Abiotic-Biotic Degradation of Bisphenol A

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Im, J.; Prevatte, C.; Campagna, S. R.; Loeffler, F.

    2014-12-01

    Bisphenol A (BPA) is a ubiquitous environmental contaminant with weak estrogenic activity. BPA is readily biodegradable with oxygen available, but is recalcitrant to microbial degradation under anoxic conditions. However, BPA is susceptible to abiotic transformation under anoxic conditions. To better understand the fate of BPA in anoxic environments, the kinetics of BPA transformation by manganese oxide (d-MnO2) were investigated. BPA was rapidly transformed by MnO2 with a pseudo-first-order rate constant of 0.413 min-1. NMR and LC-MS analyses identified 4-hydroxycumyl alcohol (HCA) as a major intermediate. Up to 64% of the initial amount of BPA was recovered as HCA within 5 min, but the conversion efficiency decreased with time, suggesting that HCA was further degraded by MnO2. Further experiments confirmed that HCA was also susceptible to transformation by MnO2, albeit at 5-fold lower rates than BPA transformation. Mass balance approaches suggested that HCA was the major BPA transformation intermediate, but other compounds may also be formed. The abiotic transformation of BPA by MnO2 was affected by pH, and 10-fold higher transformation rates were observed at pH 4.5 than at pH 10. Compared to BPA, HCA has a lower octanol-water partitioning coefficient (Log Kow) of 0.76 vs 2.76 for BPA and a higher aqueous solubility of 2.65 g L-1 vs 0.31 g L-1 for BPA, suggesting higher mobility of HCA in the environment. Microcosms established with freshwater sediment materials collected from four geographically distinct locations and amended with HCA demonstrated rapid HCA biodegradation under oxic, but not under anoxic conditions. These findings suggest that BPA is not inert under anoxic conditions and abiotic reactions with MnO2 generate HCA, which has increased mobility and is susceptible to aerobic degradation. Therefore, coupled abiotic-biotic processes can affect the fate and longevity of BPA in terrestrial environments.

  14. Reductive transformation of carbamazepine by abiotic and biotic processes.

    PubMed

    König, Anne; Weidauer, Cindy; Seiwert, Bettina; Reemtsma, Thorsten; Unger, Tina; Jekel, Martin

    2016-09-15

    The antiepileptic drug carbamazepine (CBZ) is ubiquitously present in the anthropogenic water cycle and is therefore of concern regarding the potable water supply. Despite of its persistent behavior in the aquatic environment, a redox dependent removal at bank filtration sites with anaerobic aquifer passage was reported repeatedly but not elucidated in detail yet. The reductive transformation of CBZ was studied, using abiotic systems (catalytic hydrogenation, electrochemistry) as well as biologically active systems (column systems, batch degradation tests). In catalytic hydrogenation CBZ is gradually hydrogenated and nine transformation products (TPs) were detected by liquid chromatography high-resolution mass spectrometry. 10,11-Dihydro-CBZ ((2H)-CBZ) was the major stable product in these abiotic, surface catalyzed reduction processes and turned out to be not a precursor of the more hydrogenated TPs. In the biotic reduction processes the formation of (2H)-CBZ alone could not explain the observed CBZ decline. There, also traces of (6H)-CBZ and (8H)-CBZ were formed by microbes under anaerobic conditions and four phase-II metabolites of reduced CBZ could be detected and tentatively identified. Thus, the spectrum of reduction products of CBZ is more diverse than previously thought. In environmental samples CBZ removal along an anaerobic soil passage was confirmed and (2H)-CBZ was determined at one of the sites. PMID:27267475

  15. Cross-tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses in plants: a focus on resistance to aphid infestation.

    PubMed

    Foyer, Christine H; Rasool, Brwa; Davey, Jack W; Hancock, Robert D

    2016-03-01

    Plants co-evolved with an enormous variety of microbial pathogens and insect herbivores under daily and seasonal variations in abiotic environmental conditions. Hence, plant cells display a high capacity to respond to diverse stresses through a flexible and finely balanced response network that involves components such as reduction-oxidation (redox) signalling pathways, stress hormones and growth regulators, as well as calcium and protein kinase cascades. Biotic and abiotic stress responses use common signals, pathways and triggers leading to cross-tolerance phenomena, whereby exposure to one type of stress can activate plant responses that facilitate tolerance to several different types of stress. While the acclimation mechanisms and adaptive responses that facilitate responses to single biotic and abiotic stresses have been extensively characterized, relatively little information is available on the dynamic aspects of combined biotic/abiotic stress response. In this review, we consider how the abiotic environment influences plant responses to attack by phloem-feeding aphids. Unravelling the signalling cascades that underpin cross-tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses will allow the identification of new targets for increasing environmental resilience in crops. PMID:26936830

  16. Reactive oxygen species in abiotic stress signaling.

    PubMed

    Jaspers, Pinja; Kangasjärvi, Jaakko

    2010-04-01

    Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are known to accumulate during abiotic stresses, and different cellular compartments respond to them by distinctive profiles of ROS formation. In contrast to earlier views, it is becoming increasingly evident that even during stress, ROS production is not necessarily a symptom of cellular dysfunction but might represent a necessary signal in adjusting the cellular machinery to the altered conditions. ROS can modulate many signal transduction pathways, such as mitogen-activated protein kinase cascades, and ultimately influence the activity of transcription factors. However, the picture of ROS-mediated signaling is still fragmentary and the issues of ROS perception as well as the signaling specificity remain open. Here, we review some of the recent advances in plant abiotic stress signaling with emphasis on processes known to be affected heavily by ROS. PMID:20028478

  17. Irradiance gradients

    SciTech Connect

    Ward, G.J. Ecole Polytechnique Federale, Lausanne ); Heckbert, P.S. . School of Computer Science Technische Hogeschool Delft . Dept. of Technical Mathematics and Informatics)

    1992-04-01

    A new method for improving the accuracy of a diffuse interreflection calculation is introduced in a ray tracing context. The information from a hemispherical sampling of the luminous environment is interpreted in a new way to predict the change in irradiance as a function of position and surface orientation. The additional computation involved is modest and the benefit is substantial. An improved interpolation of irradiance resulting from the gradient calculation produces smoother, more accurate renderings. This result is achieved through better utilization of ray samples rather than additional samples or alternate sampling strategies. Thus, the technique is applicable to a variety of global illumination algorithms that use hemicubes or Monte Carlo sampling techniques.

  18. Unraveling the role of fungal symbionts in plant abiotic stress tolerance

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Lamabam Peter

    2011-01-01

    Fungal symbionts have been found to be associated with every plant studied in the natural ecosystem, where they colonize and reside entirely or partially in the internal tissues of their host plant. Fungal endophytes can express/form a range of different lifestyle/relationships with different host including symbiotic, mutualistic, commensalistic and parasitic in response to host genotype and environmental factors. In mutualistic association fungal endophyte can enhance growth, increase reproductive success and confer biotic and abiotic stress tolerance to its host plant. Since abiotic stress such as, drought, high soil salinity, heat, cold, oxidative stress and heavy metal toxicity is the common adverse environmental conditions that affect and limit crop productivity worldwide. It may be a promising alternative strategy to exploit fungal endophytes to overcome the limitations to crop production brought by abiotic stress. There is an increasing interest in developing the potential biotechnological applications of fungal endophytes for improving plant stress tolerance and sustainable production of food crops. Here we have described the fungal symbioses, fungal symbionts and their role in abiotic stress tolerance. A putative mechanism of stress tolerance by symbionts has also been covered. PMID:21512319

  19. Biotic and Abiotic Degradation of CL-20 and RDX in Soils

    SciTech Connect

    Crocker, Fiona H.; Thompson, Karen T.; Szecsody, Jim E.; Fredrickson, Herbert L.

    2005-11-01

    The caged cyclic nitramine 2,4,6,8,10,12-hexanitro-2,4,6,8,10,12-hexaazaisowurtzitane (CL-20) is a new explosive that has the potential to replace existing military explosives, but little is known about its environmental toxicity, transport, and fate. We quantified and compared the aerobic environmental fate of CL-20 to the widely used cyclic nitramine explosive hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine (RDX) in surface and subsurface soil microcosms. Soil-free controls and biologically mediated processes. Both abiotic and biological processes significantly degraded CL-20 in all soils examined. Apparent abiotic, first-order degradation rates (k) for CL-20 were not significantly different between soil-free controls (0.018 < k < 0.030 d-1) and biologically attenuated soil controls (0.003 abiotic degradation rates of RDX were generally slower (0 < k < 0.032 d-1) than abiotic CL-20 degradation rates. In biologically active soil microcosms amended with glucose aerobic RDX degradation rates varied between 0.010 and 0.474 d-1. Biodegradation was a key factor in determining the environmental fate of RDX, while a combination of biotic and abiotic processes was important with CL-20. Our data suggest that CL-20 should be less recalcitrant than RDX in aerobic soils.

  20. Constraints on biotic and abiotic role in the formation of Fe-Si oxides from the PACMANUS hydrothermal field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Baoju; Zeng, Zhigang; Qi, Haiyan; Wang, Xiaoyuan; Ma, Yao; Rong, Kunbo

    2015-12-01

    Fe-Si oxide deposits were recovered from the PACMANUS (Papua New Guinea-Australia-Canada-Manus) hydrothermal field in Eastern Manus basin. Samples were loose and fragile. Optical and scanning electron microscopy showed that the samples had abundant rod-like or twisted filamentous and granular structures. Electron probe microanalysis revealed that these filaments and grains were mainly composed of Fe and Si. The presence of spherical grains on the surface of the filaments suggests the intergrowth of biotic and abiotic reactions. Biotic and abiotic kinetics competition always exists in the redox gradient. Based on the physico-chemical conditions of PACMANUS hydrothermal fluids, we calculated a strict abiotic oxidation rate of Fe2+ to Fe3+, which is approximately 0.0123 g/min. If the fluids had been erupting consistently and the concentration of Fe2+ was constant, 3.232 kg per year of Fe would be deposited in this vent. The amount of Fe oxides around the studied vent was larger than the amount determined by strict abiotic kinetic calculation. Bacteria may also play an important role in Fe oxidation. A mesh-like microenvironment constructed by biogenic filaments ensured adequate Fe2+ and low oxygen content for the growth of bacteria. Moreover, this structure promoted the deposition of abiotic Fe-Si oxides.

  1. Novel NAC Transcription Factor TaNAC67 Confers Enhanced Multi-Abiotic Stress Tolerances in Arabidopsis

    PubMed Central

    Mao, Xinguo; Chen, Shuangshuang; Li, Ang; Zhai, Chaochao; Jing, Ruilian

    2014-01-01

    Abiotic stresses are major environmental factors that affect agricultural productivity worldwide. NAC transcription factors play pivotal roles in abiotic stress signaling in plants. As a staple crop, wheat production is severely constrained by abiotic stresses whereas only a few NAC transcription factors have been characterized functionally. To promote the application of NAC genes in wheat improvement by biotechnology, a novel NAC gene designated TaNAC67 was characterized in common wheat. To determine its role, transgenic Arabidopsis overexpressing TaNAC67-GFP controlled by the CaMV-35S promoter was generated and subjected to various abiotic stresses for morphological and physiological assays. Gene expression showed that TaNAC67 was involved in response to drought, salt, cold and ABA treatments. Localization assays revealed that TaNAC67 localized in the nucleus. Morphological analysis indicated the transgenics had enhanced tolerances to drought, salt and freezing stresses, simultaneously supported by enhanced expression of multiple abiotic stress responsive genes and improved physiological traits, including strengthened cell membrane stability, retention of higher chlorophyll contents and Na+ efflux rates, improved photosynthetic potential, and enhanced water retention capability. Overexpression of TaNAC67 resulted in pronounced enhanced tolerances to drought, salt and freezing stresses, therefore it has potential for utilization in transgenic breeding to improve abiotic stress tolerance in crops. PMID:24427285

  2. Autophagy, a Conserved Mechanism for Protein Degradation, Responds to Heat, and Other Abiotic Stresses in Capsicum annuum L.

    PubMed Central

    Zhai, Yufei; Guo, Meng; Wang, Hu; Lu, Jinping; Liu, Jinhong; Zhang, Chong; Gong, Zhenhui; Lu, Minghui

    2016-01-01

    Abiotic stresses negatively affect plants growth and development by inducing protein denaturation, and autophagy degrades the damaged proteins to alleviate their toxicity, however, little is known about the involvement of autophagy in pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) tolerances to abiotic stresses. In this study, we identified autophagy-related gene (ATG) members in the whole genome of pepper by HMM method and analyzed their expression profiles in response to heat and other abiotic stresses by quantitative real-time PCR. The results showed that the CaATG contained 15 core ATG members including 29 ATG proteins with their respective conserved functional domains, involving the whole process of autophagy. Under normal environmental condition, the expression of CaATG genes showed tissue- and developmental stage-specific patterns, while under abiotic stresses of salt, drought, heat, cold and carbohydrate starvation, the accumulation of autophagosome punctate increased and the expression level of CaATG genes changed with stress type-dependent pattern, which indicates the linkage of autophagy in pepper response to abiotic stresses. After treated with heat stress, both the number of up-regulated CaATG genes and the increment of autophagosome punctate were higher in pepper thermotolerant line R9 than those in thermosensitive line B6, implying an association of autophagy with heat tolerance. In addition, CaATG6 was predicted to interact with CaHSP90 family members. Our study suggests that autophagy is connected to pepper tolerances to heat and other abiotic stresses. PMID:26904087

  3. Abiotic Formation of Methyl Halides in the Terrestrial Environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keppler, F.

    2011-12-01

    Methyl chloride and methyl bromide are the most abundant chlorine and bromine containing organic compounds in the atmosphere. Since both compounds have relatively long tropospheric lifetimes they can effectively transport halogen atoms from the Earth's surface, where they are released, to the stratosphere and following photolytic oxidation form reactive halogen gases that lead to the chemical destruction of ozone. Methyl chloride and methyl bromide account for more than 20% of the ozone-depleting halogens delivered to the stratosphere and are predicted to grow in importance as the chlorine contribution to the stratosphere from anthropogenic CFCs decline. Today methyl chloride and methyl bromide originate mainly from natural sources with only a minor fraction considered to be of anthropogenic origin. However, until as recently as 2000 most of the methyl chloride and methyl bromide input to the atmosphere was considered to originate from the oceans, but investigations in recent years have clearly demonstrated that terrestrial sources such as biomass burning, wood-rotting fungi, coastal salt marshes, tropical vegetation and organic matter degradation must dominate the atmospheric budgets of these trace gases. However, many uncertainties still exist regarding strengths of both sources and sinks, as well as the mechanisms of formation of these naturally occurring halogenated gases. A better understanding of the atmospheric budget of both methyl chloride and methyl bromide is therefore required for reliable prediction of future ozone depletion. Biotic and abiotic methylation processes of chloride and bromide ion are considered to be the dominant pathways of formation of these methyl halides in nature. In this presentation I will focus on abiotic formation processes in the terrestrial environment and the potential parameters that control their emissions. Recent advances in our understanding of the abiotic formation pathway of methyl halides will be discussed. This will

  4. Evolution and Adaptation of Wild Emmer Wheat Populations to Biotic and Abiotic Stresses.

    PubMed

    Huang, Lin; Raats, Dina; Sela, Hanan; Klymiuk, Valentina; Lidzbarsky, Gabriel; Feng, Lihua; Krugman, Tamar; Fahima, Tzion

    2016-08-01

    The genetic bottlenecks associated with plant domestication and subsequent selection in man-made agroecosystems have limited the genetic diversity of modern crops and increased their vulnerability to environmental stresses. Wild emmer wheat, the tetraploid progenitor of domesticated wheat, distributed along a wide range of ecogeographical conditions in the Fertile Crescent, has valuable "left behind" adaptive diversity to multiple diseases and environmental stresses. The biotic and abiotic stress responses are conferred by series of genes and quantitative trait loci (QTLs) that control complex resistance pathways. The study of genetic diversity, genomic organization, expression profiles, protein structure and function of biotic and abiotic stress-resistance genes, and QTLs could shed light on the evolutionary history and adaptation mechanisms of wild emmer populations for their natural habitats. The continuous evolution and adaptation of wild emmer to the changing environment provide novel solutions that can contribute to safeguarding food for the rapidly growing human population. PMID:27296141

  5. Biofilm formation and persistence on abiotic surfaces in the context of food and medical environments.

    PubMed

    Abdallah, Marwan; Benoliel, Corinne; Drider, Djamel; Dhulster, Pascal; Chihib, Nour-Eddine

    2014-07-01

    The biofilm formation on abiotic surfaces in food and medical sectors constitutes a great public health concerns. In fact, biofilms present a persistent source for pathogens, such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus, which lead to severe infections such as foodborne and nosocomial infections. Such biofilms are also a source of material deterioration and failure. The environmental conditions, commonly met in food and medical area, seem also to enhance the biofilm formation and their resistance to disinfectant agents. In this regard, this review highlights the effect of environmental conditions on bacterial adhesion and biofilm formation on abiotic surfaces in the context of food and medical environment. It also describes the current and emergent strategies used to study the biofilm formation and its eradication. The mechanisms of biofilm resistance to commercialized disinfectants are also discussed, since this phenomenon remains unclear to date. PMID:24744186

  6. Unveiling the Redox Control of Plant Reproductive Development during Abiotic Stress

    PubMed Central

    Zinta, Gaurav; Khan, Asif; AbdElgawad, Hamada; Verma, Vipasha; Srivastava, Ashish Kumar

    2016-01-01

    Plants being sessile in nature are often challenged to various abiotic stresses including temperature fluctuations, water supply, salinity, and nutrient availability. Exposure of plants to such environmental perturbations result in the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in cells. To scavenge ROS, enzymatic and molecular antioxidants are produced at a cellular level. ROS act as a signaling entity at lower concentrations maintaining normal growth and development, but if their levels increase beyond certain threshold, they produce toxic effects in plants. Some developmental stages, such as development of reproductive organs are more sensitive to abiotic stress than other stages of growth. As success of plant reproductive development is directly correlated with grain yield, stresses coinciding with reproductive phase results in the higher yield losses. In this article, we summarize the redox control of plant reproductive development, and elaborate how redox homeostasis is compromised during abiotic stress exposure. We highlight why more emphasis should be given to understand redox control of plant reproductive organ development during abiotic stress exposure96to engineer crops with better crop yield. We specifically discuss the role of ROS as a signaling molecule and its cross-talk with other signaling molecules such as hormones and sugars. PMID:27379102

  7. Unveiling the Redox Control of Plant Reproductive Development during Abiotic Stress.

    PubMed

    Zinta, Gaurav; Khan, Asif; AbdElgawad, Hamada; Verma, Vipasha; Srivastava, Ashish Kumar

    2016-01-01

    Plants being sessile in nature are often challenged to various abiotic stresses including temperature fluctuations, water supply, salinity, and nutrient availability. Exposure of plants to such environmental perturbations result in the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in cells. To scavenge ROS, enzymatic and molecular antioxidants are produced at a cellular level. ROS act as a signaling entity at lower concentrations maintaining normal growth and development, but if their levels increase beyond certain threshold, they produce toxic effects in plants. Some developmental stages, such as development of reproductive organs are more sensitive to abiotic stress than other stages of growth. As success of plant reproductive development is directly correlated with grain yield, stresses coinciding with reproductive phase results in the higher yield losses. In this article, we summarize the redox control of plant reproductive development, and elaborate how redox homeostasis is compromised during abiotic stress exposure. We highlight why more emphasis should be given to understand redox control of plant reproductive organ development during abiotic stress exposure96to engineer crops with better crop yield. We specifically discuss the role of ROS as a signaling molecule and its cross-talk with other signaling molecules such as hormones and sugars. PMID:27379102

  8. High light intensity plays a major role in emergence of population level variation in Arabidopsis thaliana along an altitudinal gradient.

    PubMed

    Tyagi, Antariksh; Yadav, Amrita; Tripathi, Abhinandan Mani; Roy, Sribash

    2016-01-01

    Environmental conditions play an important role in the emergence of genetic variations in natural populations. We identified genome-wide patterns of nucleotide variations in the coding regions of natural Arabidopsis thaliana populations. These populations originated from 700 m to 3400 m a.m.s.l. in the Western Himalaya. Using a pooled RNA-Seq approach, we identified the local and global level population-specific SNPs. The biological functions of the SNP-containing genes were primarily related to the high light intensity prevalent at high-altitude regions. The novel SNPs identified in these genes might have arisen de novo in these populations. In another approach, the FSTs of SNP-containing genes were correlated with the corresponding climatic factors. 'Radiation in the growing season' was the only environmental factor found to be strongly correlated with the gene-level FSTs. In both the approaches, the high light intensity was identified as the primary abiotic stress associated with the variations in these populations. The differential gene expression analysis between field and controlled condition grown plants also showed high light intensity as the primary abiotic stress, particularly for the high altitude populations. Our results provide a genome-wide perspective of nucleotide variations in populations along altitudinal gradient and their putative role in emergence of these variations. PMID:27211014

  9. High light intensity plays a major role in emergence of population level variation in Arabidopsis thaliana along an altitudinal gradient

    PubMed Central

    Tyagi, Antariksh; Yadav, Amrita; Tripathi, Abhinandan Mani; Roy, Sribash

    2016-01-01

    Environmental conditions play an important role in the emergence of genetic variations in natural populations. We identified genome-wide patterns of nucleotide variations in the coding regions of natural Arabidopsis thaliana populations. These populations originated from 700 m to 3400 m a.m.s.l. in the Western Himalaya. Using a pooled RNA-Seq approach, we identified the local and global level population-specific SNPs. The biological functions of the SNP-containing genes were primarily related to the high light intensity prevalent at high-altitude regions. The novel SNPs identified in these genes might have arisen de novo in these populations. In another approach, the FSTs of SNP-containing genes were correlated with the corresponding climatic factors. ‘Radiation in the growing season’ was the only environmental factor found to be strongly correlated with the gene-level FSTs. In both the approaches, the high light intensity was identified as the primary abiotic stress associated with the variations in these populations. The differential gene expression analysis between field and controlled condition grown plants also showed high light intensity as the primary abiotic stress, particularly for the high altitude populations. Our results provide a genome-wide perspective of nucleotide variations in populations along altitudinal gradient and their putative role in emergence of these variations. PMID:27211014

  10. Comparing Urban-to-Rural Environmental Gradients in the Houston Metropolitan Area between a drought (2011) and a normal year (2012)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gramann, J. H.; Barta, C.; Schade, G. W.

    2012-12-01

    As climate continues to change and weather events trend toward the more extreme, questions are raised about how this affects urban environments and regional atmospheric chemistry. The largest contributors to organic chemistry in the atmosphere are plants that emit biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs.) This project aims to use the urban-to-rural gradient north of Houston to study long term effects of different microclimates on oak trees growing under field conditions. To begin to do this, three weather station were placed along a gradient away from downtown Houston, at a participating high school, through a forested suburban community, at a junior high school in The Woodlands, to the ranger station in Sam Houston National Forest (SHNF), 90 km from downtown. We monitor weather, carbon dioxide, and ozone gradients. This data is supplemented by TCEQ and NCDC records. Temperature gradients from Houston to SHNF during the 2011 summer averaged 0.1°C during the day and 2.2°C at night; during the 2011-2012 winter they averaged 1.9°C during the day and 2.4°C at night; and during the 2012 summer gradients averaged 1.1°C during the day and 2.7°C at night. Additionally, field trips were made weekly throughout the spring, summer, and fall to take leaf level measurements using a CIRAS-II photosynthesis analyzer, which was augmented to sample emitted VOCs from the leaf using activated carbon packed tubes, later analyzed by gas chromatography. Differences between the sites and the ability of the trees at each site to acclimate are discussed using several case studies with respect to drought in 2011 and adequate rainfall in spring and summer 2012.

  11. Climate-Driven Variation in the Intensity of a Host-Symbiont Animal Interaction along a Broad Elevation Gradient

    PubMed Central

    Meléndez, Leandro; Laiolo, Paola; Mironov, Sergey; García, Mónica; Magaña, Oscar; Jovani, Roger

    2014-01-01

    Gradients of environmental stress may affect biotic interactions in unpredictable ways responding to climate variation, depending on the abiotic stress tolerance of interacting partners. Here, we study the effect of local climate on the intensity of feather mites in six mountain passerines along a 1400 m elevational gradient characterized by shifting temperature and rainfall. Although obligatory symbionts of warm-blooded organisms are assumed to live in mild and homeothermic environments, those inhabiting external, non-blood-irrigated body portions of the host organism, such as feather mites, are expected to endure exposure to the direct influence of a fluctuating climate. As expected, feather mite intensity declined with elevation in all bird species, a pattern that was also found in cold-adapted passerines that have typical alpine habits. The elevation cline was mainly explained by a positive effect of the average temperature upon mite intensity in five of the six species studied. Precipitation explained less variance in mite intensity than average temperature, and showed a negative correlation in half of the studied species. We found no climate-driven migration of mites along the wings of birds, no replacement of mite species along elevation gradients and no association with available food resources for mites (estimated by the size of the uropygial gland). This study suggests that ectosymbionts of warm-blooded animals may be highly sensitive to climatic variation and become less abundant under stressful environmental conditions, providing empirical evidence of the decline of specialized biotic interactions among animal species at high elevations. PMID:25025873

  12. Climate-driven variation in the intensity of a host-symbiont animal interaction along a broad elevation gradient.

    PubMed

    Meléndez, Leandro; Laiolo, Paola; Mironov, Sergey; García, Mónica; Magaña, Oscar; Jovani, Roger

    2014-01-01

    Gradients of environmental stress may affect biotic interactions in unpredictable ways responding to climate variation, depending on the abiotic stress tolerance of interacting partners. Here, we study the effect of local climate on the intensity of feather mites in six mountain passerines along a 1400 m elevational gradient characterized by shifting temperature and rainfall. Although obligatory symbionts of warm-blooded organisms are assumed to live in mild and homeothermic environments, those inhabiting external, non-blood-irrigated body portions of the host organism, such as feather mites, are expected to endure exposure to the direct influence of a fluctuating climate. As expected, feather mite intensity declined with elevation in all bird species, a pattern that was also found in cold-adapted passerines that have typical alpine habits. The elevation cline was mainly explained by a positive effect of the average temperature upon mite intensity in five of the six species studied. Precipitation explained less variance in mite intensity than average temperature, and showed a negative correlation in half of the studied species. We found no climate-driven migration of mites along the wings of birds, no replacement of mite species along elevation gradients and no association with available food resources for mites (estimated by the size of the uropygial gland). This study suggests that ectosymbionts of warm-blooded animals may be highly sensitive to climatic variation and become less abundant under stressful environmental conditions, providing empirical evidence of the decline of specialized biotic interactions among animal species at high elevations. PMID:25025873

  13. MicroRNAs As Potential Targets for Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Plants

    PubMed Central

    Shriram, Varsha; Kumar, Vinay; Devarumath, Rachayya M.; Khare, Tushar S.; Wani, Shabir H.

    2016-01-01

    The microRNAs (miRNAs) are small (20–24 nt) sized, non-coding, single stranded riboregulator RNAs abundant in higher organisms. Recent findings have established that plants assign miRNAs as critical post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression in sequence-specific manner to respond to numerous abiotic stresses they face during their growth cycle. These small RNAs regulate gene expression via translational inhibition. Usually, stress induced miRNAs downregulate their target mRNAs, whereas, their downregulation leads to accumulation and function of positive regulators. In the past decade, investigations were mainly aimed to identify plant miRNAs, responsive to individual or multiple environmental factors, profiling their expression patterns and recognizing their roles in stress responses and tolerance. Altered expressions of miRNAs implicated in plant growth and development have been reported in several plant species subjected to abiotic stress conditions such as drought, salinity, extreme temperatures, nutrient deprivation, and heavy metals. These findings indicate that miRNAs may hold the key as potential targets for genetic manipulations to engineer abiotic stress tolerance in crop plants. This review is aimed to provide recent updates on plant miRNAs, their biogenesis and functions, target prediction and identification, computational tools and databases available for plant miRNAs, and their roles in abiotic stress-responses and adaptive mechanisms in major crop plants. Besides, the recent case studies for overexpressing the selected miRNAs for miRNA-mediated enhanced abiotic stress tolerance of transgenic plants have been discussed. PMID:27379117

  14. Multifaceted roles of aquaporins as molecular conduits in plant responses to abiotic stresses.

    PubMed

    Srivastava, Ashish Kumar; Penna, Suprasanna; Nguyen, Dong Van; Tran, Lam-Son Phan

    2016-01-01

    Abiotic stress has become a challenge to food security due to occurrences of climate change and environmental degradation. Plants initiate molecular, cellular and physiological changes to respond and adapt to various types of abiotic stress. Understanding of plant response mechanisms will aid in strategies aimed at improving stress tolerance in crop plants. One of the most common and early symptoms associated with these stresses is the disturbance in plant-water homeostasis, which is regulated by a group of proteins called "aquaporins". Aquaporins constitute a small family of proteins which are classified further on the basis of their localization, such as plasma membrane intrinsic proteins, tonoplast intrinsic proteins, nodulin26-like intrinsic proteins (initially identified in symbiosomes of legumes but also found in the plasma membrane and endoplasmic reticulum), small basic intrinsic proteins localized in ER (endoplasmic reticulum) and X intrinsic proteins present in plasma membrane. Apart from water, aquaporins are also known to transport CO2, H2O2, urea, ammonia, silicic acid, arsenite and wide range of small uncharged solutes. Besides, aquaporins also function to modulate abiotic stress-induced signaling. Such kind of versatile functions has made aquaporins a suitable candidate for development of transgenic plants with increased tolerance toward different abiotic stress. Toward this endeavor, the present review describes the versatile functions of aquaporins in water uptake, nutrient balancing, long-distance signal transfer, nutrient/heavy metal acquisition and seed development. Various functional genomic studies showing the potential of specific aquaporin isoforms for enhancing plant abiotic stress tolerance are summarized and future research directions are given to design stress-tolerant crops. PMID:25430890

  15. MicroRNAs As Potential Targets for Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Plants.

    PubMed

    Shriram, Varsha; Kumar, Vinay; Devarumath, Rachayya M; Khare, Tushar S; Wani, Shabir H

    2016-01-01

    The microRNAs (miRNAs) are small (20-24 nt) sized, non-coding, single stranded riboregulator RNAs abundant in higher organisms. Recent findings have established that plants assign miRNAs as critical post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression in sequence-specific manner to respond to numerous abiotic stresses they face during their growth cycle. These small RNAs regulate gene expression via translational inhibition. Usually, stress induced miRNAs downregulate their target mRNAs, whereas, their downregulation leads to accumulation and function of positive regulators. In the past decade, investigations were mainly aimed to identify plant miRNAs, responsive to individual or multiple environmental factors, profiling their expression patterns and recognizing their roles in stress responses and tolerance. Altered expressions of miRNAs implicated in plant growth and development have been reported in several plant species subjected to abiotic stress conditions such as drought, salinity, extreme temperatures, nutrient deprivation, and heavy metals. These findings indicate that miRNAs may hold the key as potential targets for genetic manipulations to engineer abiotic stress tolerance in crop plants. This review is aimed to provide recent updates on plant miRNAs, their biogenesis and functions, target prediction and identification, computational tools and databases available for plant miRNAs, and their roles in abiotic stress-responses and adaptive mechanisms in major crop plants. Besides, the recent case studies for overexpressing the selected miRNAs for miRNA-mediated enhanced abiotic stress tolerance of transgenic plants have been discussed. PMID:27379117

  16. FATE OF FENTHION IN SALT-MARSH ENVIRONMENTS: 1. FACTORS AFFECTING BIOTIC AND ABIOTIC DEGRADATION RATES IN WATER AND SEDIMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    Fenthion (Baytex), an organophosphate insecticide, is frequently applied to salt-marsh environments to control mosquitoes. hake-flask tests were used to study rates of abiotic and biotic degradation of fenthion and the environmental parameters that affect these rates. Water or wa...

  17. Effects of biotic and abiotic factors on phenotypic partitioning of wing morphology and development in Sclerodermus pupariae (hymenoptera: bethylidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Wing phenotype polymorphism is commonly observed in insects, yet little is known about the influence of environmental cues on the development or expression of the alternative phenotypes. Here, we examined the effects of biotic and abiotic factors including temperature, photoperiod, light intensity,...

  18. Understanding molecular mechanism of higher plant plasticity under abiotic stress.

    PubMed

    Shao, Hong-Bo; Guo, Qing-Jie; Chu, Li-Ye; Zhao, Xi-Ning; Su, Zhong-Liang; Hu, Ya-Chen; Cheng, Jiang-Feng

    2007-01-15

    Higher plants play the most important role in keeping a stable environment on the earth, which regulate global circumstances in many ways in terms of different levels (molecular, individual, community, and so on), but the nature of the mechanism is gene expression and control temporally and spatially at the molecular level. In persistently changing environment, there are many adverse stress conditions such as cold, drought, salinity and UV-B (280-320 mm), which influence plant growth and crop production greatly. Plants differ from animals in many aspects, but the important may be that plants are more easily influenced by environment than animals. Plants have a series of fine mechanisms for responding to environmental changes, which has been established during their long-period evolution and artificial domestication. These mechanisms are involved in many aspects of anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, genetics, development, evolution and molecular biology, in which the adaptive machinery related to molecular biology is the most important. The elucidation of it will extremely and purposefully promote the sustainable utilization of plant resources and make the best use of its current potential under different scales. This molecular mechanism at least include environmental signal recognition (input), signal transduction (many cascade biochemical reactions are involved in this process), signal output, signal responses and phenotype realization, which is a multi-dimensional network system and contain many levels of gene expression and regulation. We will focus on the molecular adaptive machinery of higher plant plasticity under abiotic stresses. PMID:16914294

  19. Soluble sugars—Metabolism, sensing and abiotic stress

    PubMed Central

    Rosa, Mariana; Prado, Carolina; Podazza, Griselda; Interdonato, Roque; González, Juan A; Hilal, Mirna

    2009-01-01

    Plants are autotrophic and photosynthetic organisms that both produce and consume sugars. Soluble sugars are highly sensitive to environmental stresses, which act on the supply of carbohydrates from source organs to sink ones. Sucrose and hexoses both play dual functions in gene regulation as exemplified by the upregulation of growth-related genes and downregulation of stress-related genes. Although coordinately regulated by sugars, these growth- and stress-related genes are upregulated or downregulated through HXK-dependent and/or HXK-independent pathways. Sucrose-non-fermenting-1- (SNF1-) related protein pathway, analogue to the protein kinase (SNF-) yeast-signalling pathway, seems also involved in sugar sensing and transduction in plants. However, even if plants share with yeast some elements involved in sugar sensing, several aspects of sugar perception are likely to be peculiar to higher plants. In this paper, we have reviewed recent evidences how plants sense and respond to environmental factors through sugar-sensing mechanisms. However, we think that forward and reverse genetic analysis in combination with expression profiling must be continued to uncover many signalling components, and a full biochemical characterization of the signalling complexes will be required to determine specificity and cross-talk in abiotic stress signalling pathways. PMID:19816104

  20. Enhanced facilitation at the extreme end of the aridity gradient in the Atacama Desert: a community-level approach.

    PubMed

    López, Ramiro Pablo; Squeo, Francisco A; Armas, Cristina; Kelt, Douglas A; Gutiérrez, Julio R

    2016-06-01

    Plant facilitation is now recognized as an important process in severe environments. However, there is still no agreement on how facilitation changes as conditions become increasingly severe. The classic stress gradient hypothesis (SGH) predicts a monotonic increase in facilitation, which rises in frequency as conditions approach the extreme end of the environmental gradient. However, few studies have evaluated the validity of the SGH at the community level, the level at which it was formulated. Moreover, few studies have tested the SGH at either extreme of the gradient, and very few have excluded the effect of livestock on community response to stress. In line with the SGH, we hypothesized that several spatial pattern summary statistics would change monotonically from the least to the most arid sites, indicating increasingly aggregated patterns. In this study, we performed an evaluation of the SGH both within communities of shrub species and across a large portion of the Atacama Desert, and we isolated the abiotic component of the SGH. Our environmental gradient covered an extreme aridity gradient (< 20-130 mm annual precipitation). To perform point pattern analysis, we established 13 sites with environmental conditions representing four distinct levels of this gradient. Further, we conducted species co-occurrence analyses at 19 sites along the gradient. Both sets of analyses showed stronger positive spatial associations among plants at the most extreme end of the gradient. This was true regardless of whether we included all individuals, only small individuals located around large ones, or individuals in species pairs. Moreover, species tended to show greater co-occurrence as environmental severity increased. This increase in aggregation in the plant community seems to correlate with an increase in the strength of positive interspecific interactions, rather than greater clustering within each species. These monotonic increases in species co-occurrence and spatial

  1. Abiotic Methane Synthesis: Caveats and New Results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zou, R.; Sharma, A.

    2005-12-01

    The role of mineral interaction with geochemical fluids under hydrothermal conditions has invoked models of geochemical synthesis of organic molecules at deep crustal conditions. Since Thomas Gold's (1992) hypothesis of the possibility of an abiotic organic synthesis, there have been several reports of hydrocarbon formation under high pressure and temperature conditions. Several previous experimental studies have recognized that small amounts of methane (and other light HC compounds) can be synthesized via catalysis by transition metals: Fe, Ni (Horita and Berndt, 1999 Science) and Cr (Foustavous and Seyfried, 2004 Science). In light of these pioneering experiments, an investigation of the feasibility of abiotic methane synthesis at higher pressure conditions in deep geological setting and the possible role of catalysis warrants a closer look. We conducted three sets of experiments in hydrothermal diamond anvil cell using FeO nanopowder, CaCO 3 and water at 300° - 600° C and 0.5 - 5 GPa : (a) with stainless steel gasket, (b) gold-lined gasket, and (c) gold-lined gasket with added Fe and Ni nanopowder. The reactions were monitored in-situ using micro-Raman spectroscopy with 532nm and 632nm lasers. The solids phases were characterized in-situ using synchrotron X-ray diffraction at CHESS-Cornell and quenched products with an electron microprobe. Interestingly, a variable amount of hydrocarbon was observed only in runs with stainless steel gasket and with Fe, Ni nanoparticles. Experiments with gold-lined reactors did not show any hydrocarbon formation. Added high resolution microscopy of the products and their textural relationship within the diamond cell with Raman spectroscopy data show that the hydrocarbon (methane and other light fractions) synthesis is a direct result of transition metal catalysis, rather than wustite - calcium carbonate reaction as recently reported by Scott et al (2004, PNAS). The author will further present new results highlighting abiotic

  2. Generation of RNA in abiotic conditions.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    di Mauro, Ernesto

    Generation of RNA in abiotic conditions. Ernesto Di Mauro Dipartimento di Genetica Bi-ologia Molecolare, Universit` "Sapienza" Roma, Italy. a At least four conditions must be satisfied for the spontaneous generation of (pre)-genetic poly-mers: 1) availability of precursors that are activated enough to spontaneously polymerize. Preliminary studies showed that (a) nucleic bases and acyclonucleosides can be synthesized from formamide H2NCOH by simply heating with prebiotically available mineral catalysts [last reviewed in (1)], and that b) nucleic bases can be phosphorylated in every possible posi-tion [2'; 3'; 5'; cyclic 2',3'; cyclic 3',5' (2)]. The higher stability of the cyclic forms allows their accumulation. 2) A polymerization mechanism. A reaction showing the formation of RNA polymers starting from prebiotically plausible precursors (3',5' cyclic GMP and 3', 5'cyclic AMP) was recently reported (3). Polymerization in these conditions is thermodynamically up-hill and an equilibrium is attained that limits the maximum length of the polymer produced to about 40 nucleotides for polyG and 100 nucleotides for polyA. 3) Ligation of the synthesized oligomers. If this type of reaction could occur according to a terminal-joining mechanism and could generate canonical 3',5' phosphodiester bonds, exponential growth would be obtained of the generated oligomers. This type of reaction has been reported (4) , limited to homogeneous polyA sequences and leading to the production of polyA dimers and tetramers. What is still missing are: 4) mechanisms that provide the proof of principle for the generation of sequence complexity. We will show evidence for two mechanisms providing this proof of principle for simple complementary sequences. Namely: abiotic sequence complementary-driven terminal ligation and sequence-complementary terminal growth. In conclusion: all the steps leading to the generation of RNA in abiotic conditions are satisfied. (1) R Saladino, C Crestini, F

  3. Genetic Dissection of Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Sorghum

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Sorghum, the fifth most important cereal crop in the world is a highly versatile crop and an excellent model species due to its overall tolerance to a number of abiotic stress conditions. To gain a better understanding of the physiological and genetic basis of abiotic stress tolerance in sorghum w...

  4. Cell wall remodeling under abiotic stress

    PubMed Central

    Tenhaken, Raimund

    2015-01-01

    Plants exposed to abiotic stress respond to unfavorable conditions on multiple levels. One challenge under drought stress is to reduce shoot growth while maintaining root growth, a process requiring differential cell wall synthesis and remodeling. Key players in this process are the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and peroxidases, which initially cross-link phenolic compounds and glycoproteins of the cell walls causing stiffening. The function of ROS shifts after having converted all the peroxidase substrates in the cell wall. If ROS-levels remain high during prolonged stress, OH°-radicals are formed which lead to polymer cleavage. In concert with xyloglucan modifying enzymes and expansins, the resulting cell wall loosening allows further growth of stressed organs. PMID:25709610

  5. Abiotic Organic Chemistry in Hydrothermal Systems.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simoneit, B. R.; Rushdi, A. I.

    2004-12-01

    Abiotic organic chemistry in hydrothermal systems is of interest to biologists, geochemists and oceanographers. This chemistry consists of thermal alteration of organic matter and minor prebiotic synthesis of organic compounds. Thermal alteration has been extensively documented to yield petroleum and heavy bitumen products from contemporary organic detritus. Carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, ammonia and sulfur species have been used as precursors in prebiotic synthesis experiments to organic compounds. These inorganic species are common components of hot spring gases and marine hydrothermal systems. It is of interest to further test their reactivities in reductive aqueous thermolysis. We have synthesized organic compounds (lipids) in aqueous solutions of oxalic acid, and with carbon disulfide or ammonium bicarbonate at temperatures from 175-400° C. The synthetic lipids from oxalic acid solutions consisted of n-alkanols, n-alkanoic acids, n-alkyl formates, n-alkanones, n-alkenes and n-alkanes, typically to C30 with no carbon number preferences. The products from CS2 in acidic aqueous solutions yielded cyclic thioalkanes, alkyl polysulfides, and thioesters with other numerous minor compounds. The synthesis products from oxalic acid and ammonium bicarbonate solutions were homologous series of n-alkyl amides, n-alkyl amines, n-alkanes and n-alkanoic acids, also to C30 with no carbon number predominance. Condensation (dehydration) reactions also occur under elevated temperatures in aqueous medium as tested by model reactions to form amide, ester and nitrile bonds. It is concluded that the abiotic formation of aliphatic lipids, condensation products (amides, esters, nitriles, and CS2 derivatives (alkyl polysulfides, cyclic polysulfides) is possible under hydrothermal conditions and warrants further studies.

  6. Improved abiotic stress tolerance of bermudagrass by exogenous small molecules.

    PubMed

    Chan, Zhulong; Shi, Haitao

    2015-01-01

    As a widely used warm-season turfgrass in landscapes and golf courses, bermudagrass encounters multiple abiotic stresses during the growth and development. Physiology analysis indicated that abiotic stresses induced the accumulation of ROS and decline of photosynthesis, resulting in increased cell damage and inhibited growth. Proteomic and metabolomic approaches showed that antioxidant enzymes and osmoprotectant contents (sugar, sucrose, dehydrin, proline) were extensively changed under abiotic stress conditions. Exogenous application of small molecules, such as ABA, NO, CaCl2, H2S, polyamine and melatonin, could effectively alleviate damages caused by multiple abiotic stresses, including drought, salt, heat and cold. Based on high through-put RNA seq analysis, genes involved in ROS, transcription factors, hormones, and carbohydrate metabolisms were largely enriched. The data indicated that small molecules induced the accumulation of osmoprotectants and antioxidants, kept cell membrane integrity, increased photosynthesis and kept ion homeostasis, which protected bermudagrass from damages caused by abiotic stresses. PMID:25757363

  7. On gradient field theories: gradient magnetostatics and gradient elasticity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lazar, Markus

    2014-09-01

    In this work, the fundamentals of gradient field theories are presented and reviewed. In particular, the theories of gradient magnetostatics and gradient elasticity are investigated and compared. For gradient magnetostatics, non-singular expressions for the magnetic vector gauge potential, the Biot-Savart law, the Lorentz force and the mutual interaction energy of two electric current loops are derived and discussed. For gradient elasticity, non-singular forms of all dislocation key formulas (Burgers equation, Mura equation, Peach-Koehler stress equation, Peach-Koehler force equation, and mutual interaction energy of two dislocation loops) are presented. In addition, similarities between an electric current loop and a dislocation loop are pointed out. The obtained fields for both gradient theories are non-singular due to a straightforward and self-consistent regularization.

  8. A Focus on Natural Variation for Abiotic Constraints Response in the Model Species Arabidopsis thaliana

    PubMed Central

    Lefebvre, Valérie; Kiani, Seifollah Poormohammad; Durand-Tardif, Mylène

    2009-01-01

    Plants are particularly subject to environmental stress, as they cannot move from unfavourable surroundings. As a consequence they have to react in situ. In any case, plants have to sense the stress, then the signal has to be transduced to engage the appropriate response. Stress response is effected by regulating genes, by turning on molecular mechanisms to protect the whole organism and its components and/or to repair damage. Reactions vary depending on the type of stress and its intensity, but some are commonly turned on because some responses to different abiotic stresses are shared. In addition, there are multiple ways for plants to respond to environmental stress, depending on the species and life strategy, but also multiple ways within a species depending on plant variety or ecotype. It is regularly accepted that populations of a single species originating from diverse geographic origins and/or that have been subjected to different selective pressure, have evolved retaining the best alleles for completing their life cycle. Therefore, the study of natural variation in response to abiotic stress, can help unravel key genes and alleles for plants to cope with their unfavourable physical and chemical surroundings. This review is focusing on Arabidopsis thaliana which has been largely adopted by the global scientific community as a model organism. Also, tools and data that facilitate investigation of natural variation and abiotic stress encountered in the wild are set out. Characterization of accessions, QTLs detection and cloning of alleles responsible for variation are presented. PMID:20111677

  9. Integrated biomarker responses of an estuarine invertebrate to high abiotic stress and decreased metal contamination.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, Aurélie Pinto; Oliva-Teles, Teresa; Mesquita, Sofia Raquel; Delerue-Matos, Cristina; Guimarães, Laura

    2014-10-01

    An integrated chemical-biological effects monitoring was performed in 2010 and 2012 in two NW Iberian estuaries under different anthropogenic pressure. One is low impacted and the other is contaminated by metals. The aim was to verify the usefulness of a multibiomarker approach, using Carcinus maenas as bioindicator species, to reflect diminishing environmental contamination and improved health status under abiotic variation. Sampling sites were assessed for metal levels in sediments and C. maenas, water abiotic factors and biomarkers (neurotoxicity, energy metabolism, biotransformation, anti-oxidant defences, oxidative damage). High inter-annual and seasonal abiotic variation was observed. Metal levels in sediments and crab tissues were markedly higher in 2010 than in 2012 in the contaminated estuary. Biomarkers indicated differences between the study sites and seasons and an improvement of effects measured in C. maenas from the polluted estuary in 2012. Integrated Biomarker Response (IBR) index depicted sites with higher stress levels whereas Principal Component Analysis (PCA) showed associations between biomarker responses and environmental variables. The multibiomarker approach and integrated assessments proved to be useful to the early diagnosis of remediation measures in impacted sites. PMID:25314018

  10. Tissue specific and abiotic stress regulated transcription of histidine kinases in plants is also influenced by diurnal rhythm.

    PubMed

    Singh, Anupama; Kushwaha, Hemant R; Soni, Praveen; Gupta, Himanshu; Singla-Pareek, Sneh L; Pareek, Ashwani

    2015-01-01

    Two-component system (TCS) is one of the key signal sensing machinery which enables species to sense environmental stimuli. It essentially comprises of three major components, sensory histidine kinase proteins (HKs), histidine phosphotransfer proteins (Hpts), and response regulator proteins (RRs). The members of the TCS family have already been identified in Arabidopsis and rice but the knowledge about their functional indulgence during various abiotic stress conditions remains meager. Current study is an attempt to carry out comprehensive analysis of the expression of TCS members in response to various abiotic stress conditions and in various plant tissues in Arabidopsis and rice using MPSS and publicly available microarray data. The analysis suggests that despite having almost similar number of genes, rice expresses higher number of TCS members during various abiotic stress conditions than Arabidopsis. We found that the TCS machinery is regulated by not only various abiotic stresses, but also by the tissue specificity. Analysis of expression of some representative members of TCS gene family showed their regulation by the diurnal cycle in rice seedlings, thus bringing-in another level of their transcriptional control. Thus, we report a highly complex and tight regulatory network of TCS members, as influenced by the tissue, abiotic stress signal, and diurnal rhythm. The insights on the comparative expression analysis presented in this study may provide crucial leads toward dissection of diverse role(s) of the various TCS family members in Arabidopsis and rice. PMID:26442025

  11. Tissue specific and abiotic stress regulated transcription of histidine kinases in plants is also influenced by diurnal rhythm

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Anupama; Kushwaha, Hemant R.; Soni, Praveen; Gupta, Himanshu; Singla-Pareek, Sneh L.; Pareek, Ashwani

    2015-01-01

    Two-component system (TCS) is one of the key signal sensing machinery which enables species to sense environmental stimuli. It essentially comprises of three major components, sensory histidine kinase proteins (HKs), histidine phosphotransfer proteins (Hpts), and response regulator proteins (RRs). The members of the TCS family have already been identified in Arabidopsis and rice but the knowledge about their functional indulgence during various abiotic stress conditions remains meager. Current study is an attempt to carry out comprehensive analysis of the expression of TCS members in response to various abiotic stress conditions and in various plant tissues in Arabidopsis and rice using MPSS and publicly available microarray data. The analysis suggests that despite having almost similar number of genes, rice expresses higher number of TCS members during various abiotic stress conditions than Arabidopsis. We found that the TCS machinery is regulated by not only various abiotic stresses, but also by the tissue specificity. Analysis of expression of some representative members of TCS gene family showed their regulation by the diurnal cycle in rice seedlings, thus bringing-in another level of their transcriptional control. Thus, we report a highly complex and tight regulatory network of TCS members, as influenced by the tissue, abiotic stress signal, and diurnal rhythm. The insights on the comparative expression analysis presented in this study may provide crucial leads toward dissection of diverse role(s) of the various TCS family members in Arabidopsis and rice. PMID:26442025

  12. Wheat proteomics: proteome modulation and abiotic stress acclimation

    PubMed Central

    Komatsu, Setsuko; Kamal, Abu H. M.; Hossain, Zahed

    2014-01-01

    Cellular mechanisms of stress sensing and signaling represent the initial plant responses to adverse conditions. The development of high-throughput “Omics” techniques has initiated a new era of the study of plant molecular strategies for adapting to environmental changes. However, the elucidation of stress adaptation mechanisms in plants requires the accurate isolation and characterization of stress-responsive proteins. Because the functional part of the genome, namely the proteins and their post-translational modifications, are critical for plant stress responses, proteomic studies provide comprehensive information about the fine-tuning of cellular pathways that primarily involved in stress mitigation. This review summarizes the major proteomic findings related to alterations in the wheat proteomic profile in response to abiotic stresses. Moreover, the strengths and weaknesses of different sample preparation techniques, including subcellular protein extraction protocols, are discussed in detail. The continued development of proteomic approaches in combination with rapidly evolving bioinformatics tools and interactive databases will facilitate understanding of the plant mechanisms underlying stress tolerance. PMID:25538718

  13. Elevational and Latitudinal Gradient Sites Enable Phenology Controls and Climate Change Detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Losleben, M. V.; Weltzin, J. F.; Billick, I.; Jones, D.

    2008-12-01

    Phenology is the study of the timing of recurring biological phases, the causes of their timing with regard to biotic and abiotic forces, and the interrelation among phases of the same or different species. Although phenology is a far-reaching component of environmental science, it is poorly understood relative to other ecological patterns and processes. For example, it is unclear how climatic attributes affect the phenology of different organisms, and how those attributes vary in importance on different spatial and temporal scales. We know phenology affects the abundance and diversity of organisms, and their function and interactions in the environment, especially their effects on fluxes in water, energy, and chemical elements at various scales. With sufficient observations and understanding, phenology can be used as a predictor for other processes and variables of importance at local to global scales, and phenology could drive a variety of ecological forecast models with both scientific and practical applications. Integration of spatially-extensive phenological data and models with both short and long-term climatic forecasts offer a powerful agent for human adaptation to ongoing and future climate change. To fully utilize the value of phenology, not only more observations at more locations are needed, but also linkages between climatic factors and phenology must be more firmly established through linked direct observations and remotely sensed (Landscape Phenology or LSP) measurements with climatic factors. Sites along elevational gradients over a range of latitudes provide this opportunity. Elevational gradients present the phenological observational efficiency of compressed ecosystem transitions, and through climatic matching of sites, latitudinal range presents opportunities to control for additional abiotic factors such as day length, seasonal variability, storm track, and atmospheric chemistry. These sites also provide excellent platforms to advance new, and

  14. Chemical Priming of Plants Against Multiple Abiotic Stresses: Mission Possible?

    PubMed

    Savvides, Andreas; Ali, Shawkat; Tester, Mark; Fotopoulos, Vasileios

    2016-04-01

    Crop plants are subjected to multiple abiotic stresses during their lifespan that greatly reduce productivity and threaten global food security. Recent research suggests that plants can be primed by chemical compounds to better tolerate different abiotic stresses. Chemical priming is a promising field in plant stress physiology and crop stress management. We review here promising chemical agents such as sodium nitroprusside, hydrogen peroxide, sodium hydrosulfide, melatonin, and polyamines that can potentially confer enhanced tolerance when plants are exposed to multiple abiotic stresses. The challenges and opportunities of chemical priming are addressed, with the aim to boost future research towards effective application in crop stress management. PMID:26704665

  15. Abiotic uptake of gases by organic soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smagin, A. V.

    2007-12-01

    Methodological and experimental studies of the abiotic uptake of gaseous substances by organic soils were performed. The static adsorption method of closed vessels for assessing the interaction of gases with the solid and liquid soil phases and the dynamic method of determining the sorption isotherms of gases by soils were analyzed. The theoretical substantiation of the methods and their practical implementations on the basis of a PGA-7 portable gas analyzer (Russia) were considered. Good agreement between the equilibrium sorption isotherms of the gases and the Langmuir model was revealed; for the real ranges of natural gas concentrations, this model can be reduced to the linear Henry equation. The limit values of the gas sorption (Langmuir monolayer capacity) are typical for dry samples; they vary from 670 4000 g/m3 for methane and oxygen to 20 000 25 000 g/m3 for carbon dioxide. The linear distribution coefficients of gases between the solid and gas phases of organic soils (Henry constants) are 8 18 units for poorly sorbed gases (O2, CH4) and 40 60 units for CO2. The kinetics of the chemicophysical uptake of gases by the soil studied is linear in character and obeys the relaxation kinetic model of the first order with the corresponding relaxation constants, which vary from 1 h -1 in wet samples to 10 h -1 in dry samples.

  16. The abiotic degradation of soil organic matter to oxalic acid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Studenroth, Sabine; Huber, Stefan; Schöler, H. F.

    2010-05-01

    The abiotic degradation of soil organic matter to volatile organic compounds was studied intensely over the last years (Keppler et al., 2000; Huber et al., 2009). It was shown that soil organic matter is oxidised due to the presence of iron (III), hydrogen peroxide and chloride and thereby produces diverse alkyl halides, which are emitted into the atmosphere. The formation of polar halogenated compounds like chlorinated acetic acids which are relevant toxic environmental substances was also found in soils and sediments (Kilian et al., 2002). The investigation of the formation of other polar halogenated and non-halogenated compounds like diverse mono- and dicarboxylic acids is going to attain more and more importance. Due to its high acidity oxalic acid might have impacts on the environment e.g., nutrient leaching, plant diseases and negative influence on microbial growth. In this study, the abiotic formation of oxalic acid in soil is examined. For a better understanding of natural degradation processes mechanistic studies were conducted using the model compound catechol as representative for structural elements of the humic substances and its reaction with iron (III) and hydrogen peroxide. Iron is one of the most abundant elements on earth and hydrogen peroxide is produced by bacteria or through incomplete reduction of oxygen. To find suitable parameters for an optimal reaction and a qualitative and quantitative analysis method the following reaction parameters are varied: concentration of iron (III) and hydrogen peroxide, time dependence, pH-value and influence of chloride. Analysis of oxalic acid was performed employing an ion chromatograph equipped with a conductivity detector. The time dependent reaction shows a relatively fast formation of oxalic acid, the optimum yield is achieved after 60 minutes. Compared to the concentration of catechol an excess of hydrogen peroxide as well as a low concentration of iron (III) are required. In absence of chloride the

  17. Structure and composition of vegetation of longleaf pine plantations compared to natural stands occurring along an environmental gradient at the Savannah River Site.

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, Gregory, P.; Shelburne, Victor, B.; Walker, Joan, L.

    2001-12-30

    Study plots in 33-43 year old longleaf pine plantations were compared to remnant longleaf plots on the Savannah River Site in South Carolina. Within these stands, the structure and composition of primarily the herb layer relative to a presumed soil moisture or soil texture gradient was studied using the North Carolina Vegetation Survey methodology. Data were also collected on soils and landform variables. Based on ordination and cluster analyses, both plantation plots and natural stand plots were separated into three distinct site units (xeric, sub-xeric, and sub-mesic). Lack of a major compositional difference between xeric plantation and natural longleaf sites suggests that restoration of the herbaceous layer may not be as complex as once thought. This provides reasonable encouragement for the restoration of the longleaf pine ecosystem.

  18. Geographic variation in thermal physiological performance of the intertidal crab Petrolisthes violaceus along a latitudinal gradient.

    PubMed

    Gaitán-Espitia, Juan Diego; Bacigalupe, Leonardo D; Opitz, Tania; Lagos, Nelson A; Timmermann, Tania; Lardies, Marco A

    2014-12-15

    Environmental temperature has profound effects on the biological performance and biogeographical distribution of ectothermic species. Variation of this abiotic factor across geographic gradients is expected to produce physiological differentiation and local adaptation of natural populations depending on their thermal tolerances and physiological sensitivities. Here, we studied geographic variation in whole-organism thermal physiology of seven populations of the porcelain crab Petrolisthes violaceus across a latitudinal gradient of 3000 km, characterized by a cline of thermal conditions. Our study found that populations of P. violaceus show no differences in the limits of their thermal performance curves and demonstrate a negative correlation of their optimal temperatures with latitude. Additionally, our findings show that high-latitude populations of P. violaceus exhibit broader thermal tolerances, which is consistent with the climatic variability hypothesis. Interestingly, under a future scenario of warming oceans, the thermal safety margins of P. violaceus indicate that lower latitude populations can physiologically tolerate the ocean-warming scenarios projected by the IPCC for the end of the twenty-first century. PMID:25394627

  19. NAC transcription factors in plant multiple abiotic stress responses: progress and prospects

    PubMed Central

    Shao, Hongbo; Wang, Hongyan; Tang, Xiaoli

    2015-01-01

    Abiotic stresses adversely affect plant growth and agricultural productivity. According to the current climate prediction models, crop plants will face a greater number of environmental stresses, which are likely to occur simultaneously in the future. So it is very urgent to breed broad-spectrum tolerant crops in order to meet an increasing demand for food productivity due to global population increase. As one of the largest families of transcription factors (TFs) in plants, NAC TFs play vital roles in regulating plant growth and development processes including abiotic stress responses. Lots of studies indicated that many stress-responsive NAC TFs had been used to improve stress tolerance in crop plants by genetic engineering. In this review, the recent progress in NAC TFs was summarized, and the potential utilization of NAC TFs in breeding abiotic stress tolerant transgenic crops was also be discussed. In view of the complexity of field conditions and the specificity in multiple stress responses, we suggest that the NAC TFs commonly induced by multiple stresses should be promising candidates to produce plants with enhanced multiple stress tolerance. Furthermore, the field evaluation of transgenic crops harboring NAC genes, as well as the suitable promoters for minimizing the negative effects caused by over-expressing some NAC genes, should be considered. PMID:26579152

  20. Recent Advances in Utilizing Transcription Factors to Improve Plant Abiotic Stress Tolerance by Transgenic Technology

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Hongyan; Wang, Honglei; Shao, Hongbo; Tang, Xiaoli

    2016-01-01

    Agricultural production and quality are adversely affected by various abiotic stresses worldwide and this will be exacerbated by the deterioration of global climate. To feed a growing world population, it is very urgent to breed stress-tolerant crops with higher yields and improved qualities against multiple environmental stresses. Since conventional breeding approaches had marginal success due to the complexity of stress tolerance traits, the transgenic approach is now being popularly used to breed stress-tolerant crops. So identifying and characterizing the critical genes involved in plant stress responses is an essential prerequisite for engineering stress-tolerant crops. Far beyond the manipulation of single functional gene, engineering certain regulatory genes has emerged as an effective strategy now for controlling the expression of many stress-responsive genes. Transcription factors (TFs) are good candidates for genetic engineering to breed stress-tolerant crop because of their role as master regulators of many stress-responsive genes. Many TFs belonging to families AP2/EREBP, MYB, WRKY, NAC, bZIP have been found to be involved in various abiotic stresses and some TF genes have also been engineered to improve stress tolerance in model and crop plants. In this review, we take five large families of TFs as examples and review the recent progress of TFs involved in plant abiotic stress responses and their potential utilization to improve multiple stress tolerance of crops in the field conditions. PMID:26904044

  1. Olivine Weathering: Abiotic Versus Biotic Processes as Possible Biosignatures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Longazo, T. G.; Wentworth, S. J.; McKay, D. S.; Southam, G.; Clemett, S. J.

    2001-01-01

    A preliminary study to determine how abiotic versus biotic processes affect the weathering of olivine crystals. Perhaps the differences between these weathering processes could be used as biosignatures. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  2. Improved Tolerance to Various Abiotic Stresses in Transgenic Sweet Potato (Ipomoea batatas) Expressing Spinach Betaine Aldehyde Dehydrogenase

    PubMed Central

    Fan, Weijuan; Zhang, Min; Zhang, Hongxia; Zhang, Peng

    2012-01-01

    Abiotic stresses are critical delimiters for the increased productivity and cultivation expansion of sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas), a root crop with worldwide importance. The increased production of glycine betaine (GB) improves plant tolerance to various abiotic stresses without strong phenotypic changes, providing a feasible approach to improve stable yield production under unfavorable conditions. The gene encoding betaine aldehyde dehydrogenase (BADH) is involved in the biosynthesis of GB in plants, and the accumulation of GB by the heterologous overexpression of BADH improves abiotic stress tolerance in plants. This study is to improve sweet potato, a GB accumulator, resistant to multiple abiotic stresses by promoted GB biosynthesis. A chloroplastic BADH gene from Spinacia oleracea (SoBADH) was introduced into the sweet potato cultivar Sushu-2 via Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. The overexpression of SoBADH in the transgenic sweet potato improved tolerance to various abiotic stresses, including salt, oxidative stress, and low temperature. The increased BADH activity and GB accumulation in the transgenic plant lines under normal and multiple environmental stresses resulted in increased protection against cell damage through the maintenance of cell membrane integrity, stronger photosynthetic activity, reduced reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, and induction or activation of ROS scavenging by the increased activity of free radical-scavenging enzymes. The increased proline accumulation and systemic upregulation of many ROS-scavenging genes in stress-treated transgenic plants also indicated that GB accumulation might stimulate the ROS-scavenging system and proline biosynthesis via an integrative mechanism. This study demonstrates that the enhancement of GB biosynthesis in sweet potato is an effective and feasible approach to improve its tolerance to multiple abiotic stresses without causing phenotypic defects. This strategy for trait improvement in

  3. Biological Networks Underlying Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Temperate Crops—A Proteomic Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Kosová, Klára; Vítámvás, Pavel; Urban, Milan Oldřich; Klíma, Miroslav; Roy, Amitava; Prášil, Ilja Tom

    2015-01-01

    Abiotic stress factors, especially low temperatures, drought, and salinity, represent the major constraints limiting agricultural production in temperate climate. Under the conditions of global climate change, the risk of damaging effects of abiotic stresses on crop production increases. Plant stress response represents an active process aimed at an establishment of novel homeostasis under altered environmental conditions. Proteins play a crucial role in plant stress response since they are directly involved in shaping the final phenotype. In the review, results of proteomic studies focused on stress response of major crops grown in temperate climate including cereals: common wheat (Triticum aestivum), durum wheat (Triticum durum), barley (Hordeum vulgare), maize (Zea mays); leguminous plants: alfalfa (Medicago sativa), soybean (Glycine max), common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris), pea (Pisum sativum); oilseed rape (Brassica napus); potato (Solanum tuberosum); tobacco (Nicotiana tabaccum); tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum); and others, to a wide range of abiotic stresses (cold, drought, salinity, heat, imbalances in mineral nutrition and heavy metals) are summarized. The dynamics of changes in various protein functional groups including signaling and regulatory proteins, transcription factors, proteins involved in protein metabolism, amino acid metabolism, metabolism of several stress-related compounds, proteins with chaperone and protective functions as well as structural proteins (cell wall components, cytoskeleton) are briefly overviewed. Attention is paid to the differences found between differentially tolerant genotypes. In addition, proteomic studies aimed at proteomic investigation of multiple stress factors are discussed. In conclusion, contribution of proteomic studies to understanding the complexity of crop response to abiotic stresses as well as possibilities to identify and utilize protein markers in crop breeding processes are discussed. PMID:26340626

  4. Biological Networks Underlying Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Temperate Crops--A Proteomic Perspective.

    PubMed

    Kosová, Klára; Vítámvás, Pavel; Urban, Milan Oldřich; Klíma, Miroslav; Roy, Amitava; Prášil, Ilja Tom

    2015-01-01

    Abiotic stress factors, especially low temperatures, drought, and salinity, represent the major constraints limiting agricultural production in temperate climate. Under the conditions of global climate change, the risk of damaging effects of abiotic stresses on crop production increases. Plant stress response represents an active process aimed at an establishment of novel homeostasis under altered environmental conditions. Proteins play a crucial role in plant stress response since they are directly involved in shaping the final phenotype. In the review, results of proteomic studies focused on stress response of major crops grown in temperate climate including cereals: common wheat (Triticum aestivum), durum wheat (Triticum durum), barley (Hordeum vulgare), maize (Zea mays); leguminous plants: alfalfa (Medicago sativa), soybean (Glycine max), common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris), pea (Pisum sativum); oilseed rape (Brassica napus); potato (Solanum tuberosum); tobacco (Nicotiana tabaccum); tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum); and others, to a wide range of abiotic stresses (cold, drought, salinity, heat, imbalances in mineral nutrition and heavy metals) are summarized. The dynamics of changes in various protein functional groups including signaling and regulatory proteins, transcription factors, proteins involved in protein metabolism, amino acid metabolism, metabolism of several stress-related compounds, proteins with chaperone and protective functions as well as structural proteins (cell wall components, cytoskeleton) are briefly overviewed. Attention is paid to the differences found between differentially tolerant genotypes. In addition, proteomic studies aimed at proteomic investigation of multiple stress factors are discussed. In conclusion, contribution of proteomic studies to understanding the complexity of crop response to abiotic stresses as well as possibilities to identify and utilize protein markers in crop breeding processes are discussed. PMID:26340626

  5. Cytosine Methylation Alteration in Natural Populations of Leymus chinensis Induced by Multiple Abiotic Stresses

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Yingjie; Yang, Xuejiao; Wang, Huaying; Shi, Fengxue; Liu, Ying; Liu, Jushan; Li, Linfeng; Wang, Deli; Liu, Bao

    2013-01-01

    Background Human activity has a profound effect on the global environment and caused frequent occurrence of climatic fluctuations. To survive, plants need to adapt to the changing environmental conditions through altering their morphological and physiological traits. One known mechanism for phenotypic innovation to be achieved is environment-induced rapid yet inheritable epigenetic changes. Therefore, the use of molecular techniques to address the epigenetic mechanisms underpinning stress adaptation in plants is an important and challenging topic in biological research. In this study, we investigated the impact of warming, nitrogen (N) addition, and warming+nitrogen (N) addition stresses on the cytosine methylation status of Leymus chinensis Tzvel. at the population level by using the amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP), methylation-sensitive amplified polymorphism (MSAP) and retrotransposon based sequence-specific amplification polymorphism (SSAP) techniques. Methodology/Principal Findings Our results showed that, although the percentages of cytosine methylation changes in SSAP are significantly higher than those in MSAP, all the treatment groups showed similar alteration patterns of hypermethylation and hypomethylation. It meant that the abiotic stresses have induced the alterations in cytosine methylation patterns, and the levels of cytosine methylation changes around the transposable element are higher than the other genomic regions. In addition, the identification and analysis of differentially methylated loci (DML) indicated that the abiotic stresses have also caused targeted methylation changes at specific loci and these DML might have contributed to the capability of plants in adaptation to the abiotic stresses. Conclusions/Significance Our results demonstrated that abiotic stresses related to global warming and nitrogen deposition readily evoke alterations of cytosine methylation, and which may provide a molecular basis for rapid adaptation by

  6. Abiotic stress responses in plants: roles of calmodulin-regulated proteins

    PubMed Central

    Virdi, Amardeep S.; Singh, Supreet; Singh, Prabhjeet

    2015-01-01

    Intracellular changes in calcium ions (Ca2+) in response to different biotic and abiotic stimuli are detected by various sensor proteins in the plant cell. Calmodulin (CaM) is one of the most extensively studied Ca2+-sensing proteins and has been shown to be involved in transduction of Ca2+ signals. After interacting with Ca2+, CaM undergoes conformational change and influences the activities of a diverse range of CaM-binding proteins. A number of CaM-binding proteins have also been implicated in stress responses in plants, highlighting the central role played by CaM in adaptation to adverse environmental conditions. Stress adaptation in plants is a highly complex and multigenic response. Identification and characterization of CaM-modulated proteins in relation to different abiotic stresses could, therefore, prove to be essential for a deeper understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in abiotic stress tolerance in plants. Various studies have revealed involvement of CaM in regulation of metal ions uptake, generation of reactive oxygen species and modulation of transcription factors such as CAMTA3, GTL1, and WRKY39. Activities of several kinases and phosphatases have also been shown to be modulated by CaM, thus providing further versatility to stress-associated signal transduction pathways. The results obtained from contemporary studies are consistent with the proposed role of CaM as an integrator of different stress signaling pathways, which allows plants to maintain homeostasis between different cellular processes. In this review, we have attempted to present the current state of understanding of the role of CaM in modulating different stress-regulated proteins and its implications in augmenting abiotic stress tolerance in plants. PMID:26528296

  7. The impact of biotic/abiotic interfaces in mineral nutrient cycling: A study of soils of the Santa Cruz chronosequence, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    White, A.F.; Schulz, M.S.; Vivit, D.V.; Bullen, T.D.; Fitzpatrick, J.

    2012-01-01

    Biotic/abiotic interactions between soil mineral nutrients and annual grassland vegetation are characterized for five soils in a marine terrace chronosequence near Santa Cruz, California. A Mediterranean climate, with wet winters and dry summers, controls the annual cycle of plant growth and litter decomposition, resulting in net above-ground productivities of 280-600gm -2yr -1. The biotic/abiotic (A/B) interface separates seasonally reversible nutrient gradients, reflecting biological cycling in the shallower soils, from downward chemical weathering gradients in the deeper soils. The A/B interface is pedologically defined by argillic clay horizons centered at soil depths of about one meter which intensify with soil age. Below these horizons, elevated solute Na/Ca, Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca ratios reflect plagioclase and smectite weathering along pore water flow paths. Above the A/B interface, lower cation ratios denote temporal variability due to seasonal plant nutrient uptake and litter leaching. Potassium and Ca exhibit no seasonal variability beneath the A/B interface, indicating closed nutrient cycling within the root zone, whereas Mg variability below the A/B interface denotes downward leakage resulting from higher inputs of marine aerosols and lower plant nutrient requirements.The fraction of a mineral nutrient annually cycled through the plants, compared to that lost from pore water discharge, is defined their respective fluxes F j,plants=q j,plants/(q j,plants+q j,discharge) with average values for K and Ca (F K,plants=0.99; F Ca,plants=0.93) much higher than for Mg and Na (F Mg,plants 0.64; F Na,plants=0.28). The discrimination against Rb and Sr by plants is described by fractionation factors (K Sr/Ca=0.86; K Rb/K=0.83) which are used in Rayleigh fractionation-mixing calculations to fit seasonal patterns in solute K and Ca cycling. K Rb/K and K24Mg/22Mg values (derived from isotope data in the literature) fall within fractionation envelopes bounded by inputs from

  8. Precipitation thresholds and drought-induced tree die-off: insights from patterns of Pinus edulis mortality along an environmental stress gradient.

    PubMed

    Clifford, Michael J; Royer, Patrick D; Cobb, Neil S; Breshears, David D; Ford, Paulette L

    2013-10-01

    Recent regional tree die-off events appear to have been triggered by a combination of drought and heat - referred to as 'global-change-type drought'. To complement experiments focused on resolving mechanisms of drought-induced tree mortality, an evaluation of how patterns of tree die-off relate to highly spatially variable precipitation is needed. Here, we explore precipitation relationships with a die-off event of pinyon pine (Pinus edulis Engelm.) in southwestern North America during the 2002-2003 global-change-type drought. Pinyon die-off and its relationship with precipitation was quantified spatially along a precipitation gradient in north-central New Mexico with standard field plot measurements of die-off combined with canopy cover derived from normalized burn ratio (NBR) from Landsat imagery. Pinyon die-off patterns revealed threshold responses to precipitation (cumulative 2002-2003) and vapor pressure deficit (VPD), with little to no mortality (< 10%) above 600 mm and below warm season VPD of c. 1.7 kPa. [Correction added after online publication 17 June 2013; in the preceding sentence, the word 'below' has been inserted.] Our results refine how precipitation patterns within a region influence pinyon die-off, revealing a precipitation and VPD threshold for tree mortality and its uncertainty band where other factors probably come into play - a response type that influences stand demography and landscape heterogeneity and is of general interest, yet has not been documented. PMID:23772860

  9. Diversity, Abundance, and Spatial Distribution of Sediment Ammonia-Oxidizing Betaproteobacteria in Response to Environmental Gradients and Coastal Eutrophication in Jiaozhou Bay, China▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Dang, Hongyue; Li, Jing; Chen, Ruipeng; Wang, Lin; Guo, Lizhong; Zhang, Zhinan; Klotz, Martin G.

    2010-01-01

    Ongoing anthropogenic eutrophication of Jiaozhou Bay offers an opportunity to study the influence of human activity on bacterial communities that drive biogeochemical cycling. Nitrification in coastal waters appears to be a sensitive indicator of environmental change, suggesting that function and structure of the microbial nitrifying community may be associated closely with environmental conditions. In the current study, the amoA gene was used to unravel the relationship between sediment aerobic obligate ammonia-oxidizing Betaproteobacteria (Beta-AOB) and their environment in Jiaozhou Bay. Protein sequences deduced from amoA gene sequences grouped within four distinct clusters in the Nitrosomonas lineage, including a putative new cluster. In addition, AmoA sequences belonging to three newly defined clusters in the Nitrosospira lineage were also identified. Multivariate statistical analyses indicated that the studied Beta-AOB community structures correlated with environmental parameters, of which nitrite-N and sediment sand content had significant impact on the composition, structure, and distribution of the Beta-AOB community. Both amoA clone library and quantitative PCR (qPCR) analyses indicated that continental input from the nearby wastewater treatment plants and polluted rivers may have significant impact on the composition and abundance of the sediment Beta-AOB assemblages in Jiaozhou Bay. Our work is the first report of a direct link between a sedimentological parameter and the composition and distribution of the sediment Beta-AOB and indicates the potential for using the Beta-AOB community composition in general and individual isolates or environmental clones in the Nitrosomonas oligotropha lineage in particular as bioindicators and biotracers of pollution or freshwater or wastewater input in coastal environments. PMID:20511433

  10. Abiotic transformation of carbon tetrachloride at mineral surfaces. Final report, September 1990-September 1993

    SciTech Connect

    Kriegman-King, M.; Reinhard, M.

    1994-02-01

    The report addresses the ability of natural mineral surfaces to abiotically transform halogenated organic compounds in subsurface environments. The research focuses on carbon tetrachloride (CC14) as the halogenated organic and biotite, vermiculite, and pyrite as the mineral surfaces. The CCl4 transformation rates and products were quantified under different environmental conditions. The disappearance of CCl4 was significantly faster in the presence of mineral surfaces than in homogeneous solution. In systems containing the sheet silicates and HS-, the rate of reaction was dependent on the temperature, hydrogen sulfide ion concentration, surface concentration, and Fe(II) content in the minerals.

  11. Mycobacterium ulcerans dynamics in aquatic ecosystems are driven by a complex interplay of abiotic and biotic factors

    PubMed Central

    Garchitorena, Andrés; Guégan, Jean-François; Léger, Lucas; Eyangoh, Sara; Marsollier, Laurent; Roche, Benjamin

    2015-01-01

    Host–parasite interactions are often embedded within complex host communities and can be influenced by a variety of environmental factors, such as seasonal variations in climate or abiotic conditions in water and soil, which confounds our understanding of the main drivers of many multi-host pathogens. Here, we take advantage of a combination of large environmental data sets on Mycobacterium ulcerans (MU), an environmentally persistent microorganism associated to freshwater ecosystems and present in a large variety of aquatic hosts, to characterize abiotic and biotic factors driving the dynamics of this pathogen in two regions of Cameroon. We find that MU dynamics are largely driven by seasonal climatic factors and certain physico-chemical conditions in stagnant and slow-flowing ecosystems, with an important role of pH as limiting factor. Furthermore, water conditions can modify the effect of abundance and diversity of aquatic organisms on MU dynamics, which suggests a different contribution of two MU transmission routes for aquatic hosts (trophic vs environmental transmission) depending on local abiotic factors. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.07616.001 PMID:26216042

  12. Abiotic production of iodine molecules in irradiated ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choi, Wonyong; Kim, Kitae; Yabushita, Akihiro

    2015-04-01

    Reactive halogen species play an important role in Earth's environmental systems. Iodine compounds are related to ozone depletion event (ODE) during Antarctic spring, formation of CCN (cloud condensation nuclei), and controlling the atmospheric oxidizing capacity. However, the processes and mechanisms for abiotic formation of iodine compounds in polar region are still unclear. Although the chemical reactions taking place in ice are greatly different from those in aquatic environment, reaction processes of halogens in frozen condition have rarely studied compared to those in water. In this study, we investigated iodide oxidation to form triiodide (I3-) in ice phase under UV irradiation ( λ > 300 nm) and dark condition. The production of I3- through iodide oxidation, which is negligible in aqueous solution, was significantly accelerated in ice phase even in the absence of UV irradiation. The following release of gaseous iodine molecule (I2) to the atmosphere was also monitored by cavity ring-down spectroscopy (CRDS). We speculate that the markedly enhanced iodide oxidation in polycrystalline ice is due to the freeze concentration of iodides, protons, and dissolved oxygen in the ice crystal grain boundaries. The experiments conducted under ambient solar radiation of the Antarctic region (King George Island, 62°13'S 58°47'W, sea level) also confirmed that the generation of I3- via iodide oxidation process is enhanced when iodide is trapped in ice. The observed intrinsic oxidative transformation of iodide to generate I3-(aq) and I2(g) in frozen environment suggests a previously unknown pathway for the substantial release of reactive iodine species to the atmosphere.

  13. Coupling microbial catabolic actions with abiotic redox processes: a new recipe for persistent organic pollutant (POP) removal.

    PubMed

    Jeon, Jong-Rok; Murugesan, Kumarasamy; Nam, In-Hyun; Chang, Yoon-Seok

    2013-01-01

    The continuous release of toxic persistent organic pollutants (POPs) into the environment has raised a need for effective cleanup methods. The tremendous natural diversity of microbial catabolic mechanisms suggests that catabolic routes may be applied to the remediation of POP-contaminated fields. A large number of the recalcitrant xenobiotics have been shown to be removable via the natural catabolic mechanisms of microbes, and detailed biochemical studies of the catabolic methods, together with the development of sophisticated genetic engineering, have led to the use of synthetic microbes for the bioremediation of POPs. However, the steric effects of substituted halogen moieties, microbe toxicity, and the low bioavailability of POPs still deteriorate the efficiency of removal strategies based on natural and synthetic catabolic mechanisms. Recently, abiotic redox processes that induce rapid reductive dehalogenation, hydroxyl radical-based oxidation, or electron shuttling have been reasonably coupled with microbial catabolic actions, thereby compensating for the drawbacks of biotic processes in POP removal. In this review, we first compare the pros and cons of individual methodologies (i.e., the natural and synthetic catabolism of microbes and the abiotic processes involving zero-valent irons, advanced oxidation processes, and small organic stimulants) for POP removal. We then highlight recent trends in coupling the biotic-abiotic methodologies and discuss how the processes are both feasible and superior to individual methodologies for POP cleanup. Cost-effective and environmentally sustainable abiotic redox actions could enhance the microbial bioremediation potential for POPs. PMID:23153459

  14. Application of Spectroscopic Techniques (FT-IR, 13C NMR) to the analysis of humic substances in volcanic soils along an environmental gradient (Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodriguez Rodriguez, Antonio; María Armas Herrera, Cecilia; González Pérez, José Antonio; González-Vila, Francisco Javier; Arbelo Rodríguez, Carmen Dolores; Mora Hernández, Juan Luis; Polvillo Polo, Oliva

    2010-05-01

    Andosols and andic soils are considered as efficient C-sinks in terms of C sequestration. These soils are usually developed from volcanic materials, and are characterized by a predominance of short-range ordered minerals like allophanes, imogolite and other Fe and Al oxyhydroxides. Such materials occur commonly associated with organic compounds, thus generating highly stable organo-mineral complexes and leading to the accumulation of a high amount of organic carbon. Spectroscopic methods like FT-IR and 13C NMR are suitable for the analysis of the chemical structure of soil humic substances, and allow identifying distinct functional groups and protein, lipids, lignin, carbohydrate-derived fragments. In this work we study the structural features of four soils developed on Pleistocene basaltic lavae in Tenerife (Canary Island, Spain), distributed along an altitudinal climatic gradient. The soil sequence comprises soils with different degree of geochemical evolution and andic character, including a mineral ‘Hypersalic Solonchak' (Tabaibal de Rasca), a slightly vitric ‘Luvic Phaeozem' (Los Frailes), a degraded and shallow ‘Endoleptic, fulvic, silandic Andosol' (Siete Lomas), and a well-developed and deep ‘Fulvic, silandic, Andosol' (Ravelo). Samples of the raw soil and humic and fulvic acids isolated from the surface horizons were analyzed. The results show a low content of organic carbon in the mineral soil, the inherited humin predominating, and a very high content of humic and fulvic acids in Andosols. The FT-IR and 13C NMR spectra of the raw soil samples show a low resolution, related to interferences from mineral complexes signals, particularly in soils with lower organic carbon content. 13C NMR shows a predominance of O-alkyl carbon (derived of carbohydrates) in andic soils, whereas O-alkyl and aromatic fractions are most evident in the mineral soil. The humic acids spectra are characterized by a dominance of alkyl and aromatic fractions with a high degree

  15. Mechanical Properties and Real-Time Damage Evaluations of Environmental Barrier Coated SiC/SiC CMCs Subjected to Tensile Loading Under Thermal Gradients

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Appleby, Matthew; Zhu, Dongming; Morscher, Gregory

    2015-01-01

    SiC/SiC ceramic matrix composites (CMCs) require new state-of-the art environmental barrier coatings (EBCs) to withstand increased temperature requirements and high velocity combustion corrosive combustion gasses. The present work compares the response of coated and uncoated SiC/SiC CMC substrates subjected to simulated engine environments followed by high temperature mechanical testing to asses retained properties and damage mechanisms. Our focus is to explore the capabilities of electrical resistance (ER) measurements as an NDE technique for testing of retained properties under combined high heat-flux and mechanical loading conditions. Furthermore, Acoustic Emission (AE) measurements and Digital Image Correlation (DIC) were performed to determine material damage onset and accumulation.

  16. Mechanical Stress Induces Biotic and Abiotic Stress Responses via a Novel cis-Element

    PubMed Central

    Walley, Justin W; Coughlan, Sean; Hudson, Matthew E; Covington, Michael F; Kaspi, Roy; Banu, Gopalan; Harmer, Stacey L; Dehesh, Katayoon

    2007-01-01

    Plants are continuously exposed to a myriad of abiotic and biotic stresses. However, the molecular mechanisms by which these stress signals are perceived and transduced are poorly understood. To begin to identify primary stress signal transduction components, we have focused on genes that respond rapidly (within 5 min) to stress signals. Because it has been hypothesized that detection of physical stress is a mechanism common to mounting a response against a broad range of environmental stresses, we have utilized mechanical wounding as the stress stimulus and performed whole genome microarray analysis of Arabidopsis thaliana leaf tissue. This led to the identification of a number of rapid wound responsive (RWR) genes. Comparison of RWR genes with published abiotic and biotic stress microarray datasets demonstrates a large overlap across a wide range of environmental stresses. Interestingly, RWR genes also exhibit a striking level and pattern of circadian regulation, with induced and repressed genes displaying antiphasic rhythms. Using bioinformatic analysis, we identified a novel motif overrepresented in the promoters of RWR genes, herein designated as the Rapid Stress Response Element (RSRE). We demonstrate in transgenic plants that multimerized RSREs are sufficient to confer a rapid response to both biotic and abiotic stresses in vivo, thereby establishing the functional involvement of this motif in primary transcriptional stress responses. Collectively, our data provide evidence for a novel cis-element that is distributed across the promoters of an array of diverse stress-responsive genes, poised to respond immediately and coordinately to stress signals. This structure suggests that plants may have a transcriptional network resembling the general stress signaling pathway in yeast and that the RSRE element may provide the key to this coordinate regulation. PMID:17953483

  17. Evaluating reaction pathways of hydrothermal abiotic organic synthesis at elevated temperatures and pressures using carbon isotopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fu, Qi; Socki, Richard A.; Niles, Paul B.

    2015-04-01

    Experiments were performed to better understand the role of environmental factors on reaction pathways and corresponding carbon isotope fractionations during abiotic hydrothermal synthesis of organic compounds using piston cylinder apparatus at 750 °C and 5.5 kbars. Chemical compositions of experimental products and corresponding carbon isotopic values were obtained by a Pyrolysis-GC-MS-IRMS system. Alkanes (methane and ethane), straight-chain saturated alcohols (ethanol and n-butanol) and monocarboxylic acids (formic and acetic acids) were generated with ethanol being the only organic compound with higher δ13C than CO2. CO was not detected in experimental products owing to the favorable water-gas shift reaction under high water pressure conditions. The pattern of δ13C values of CO2, carboxylic acids and alkanes are consistent with their equilibrium isotope relationships: CO2 > carboxylic acids > alkanes, but the magnitude of the fractionation among them is higher than predicted isotope equilibrium values. In particular, the isotopic fractionation between CO2 and CH4 remained constant at ∼31‰, indicating a kinetic effect during CO2 reduction processes. No "isotope reversal" of δ13C values for alkanes or carboxylic acids was observed, which indicates a different reaction pathway than what is typically observed during Fischer-Tropsch synthesis under gas phase conditions. Under constraints imposed in experiments, the anomalous 13C isotope enrichment in ethanol suggests that hydroxymethylene is the organic intermediate, and that the generation of other organic compounds enriched in 12C were facilitated by subsequent Rayleigh fractionation of hydroxymethylene reacting with H2 and/or H2O. Carbon isotope fractionation data obtained in this study are instrumental in assessing the controlling factors on abiotic formation of organic compounds in hydrothermal systems. Knowledge on how environmental conditions affect reaction pathways of abiotic synthesis of organic

  18. Water relations and photosynthesis along an elevation gradient for Artemisia tridentata during an historic drought.

    PubMed

    Reed, Charlotte C; Loik, Michael E

    2016-05-01

    Quantifying the variation in plant-water relations and photosynthesis over environmental gradients and during unique events can provide a better understanding of vegetation patterns in a future climate. We evaluated the hypotheses that photosynthesis and plant water potential would correspond to gradients in precipitation and soil moisture during a lengthy drought, and that experimental water additions would increase photosynthesis for the widespread evergreen shrub Artemisia tridentata ssp. vaseyana. We quantified abiotic conditions and physiological characteristics for control and watered plants at 2135, 2315, and 2835 m near Mammoth Lakes, CA, USA, at the ecotone of the Sierra Nevada and Great Basin ecoregions. Snowfall, total precipitation, and soil moisture increased with elevation, but air temperature and soil N content did not. Plant water potential (Ψ), stomatal conductance (g s), maximum photosynthetic rate (A max), carboxylation rate (V cmax), and electron transport rate (J max) all significantly increased with elevations. Addition of water increased Ψ, g s, J max, and A max only at the lowest elevation; g s contributed about 30 % of the constraints on photosynthesis at the lowest elevation and 23 % at the other two elevations. The physiology of this foundational shrub species was quite resilient to this 1-in-1200 year drought. However, plant water potential and photosynthesis corresponded to differences in soil moisture across the gradient. Soil re-wetting in early summer increased water potential and photosynthesis at the lowest elevation. Effects on water relations and photosynthesis of this widespread, cold desert shrub species may be disproportionate at lower elevations as drought length increases in a future climate. PMID:26822944

  19. Diverse roles of jasmonates and ethylene in abiotic stress tolerance.

    PubMed

    Kazan, Kemal

    2015-04-01

    Jasmonates (JAs) and ethylene (ET), often acting cooperatively, play essential roles in regulating plant defense against pests and pathogens. Recent research reviewed here has revealed mechanistic new insights into the mode of action of these hormones in plant abiotic stress tolerance. During cold stress, JAs and ET differentially regulate the C-repeat binding factor (CBF) pathway. Major JA and ET signaling hubs such as JAZ proteins, CTR1, MYC2, components of the mediator complex, EIN2, EIN3, and several members of the AP2/ERF transcription factor gene family all have complex regulatory roles during abiotic stress adaptation. Better understanding the roles of these phytohormones in plant abiotic stress tolerance will contribute to the development of crop plants tolerant to a wide range of stressful environments. PMID:25731753

  20. Patterns of land-snail succession in Central Europe over the last 15,000 years: main changes along environmental, spatial and temporal gradients

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Juřičková, Lucie; Horsák, Michal; Horáčková, Jitka; Abraham, Vojtěch; Ložek, Vojen

    2014-06-01

    Land snail shell assemblages have been used since the pioneering days of palaeoecology to describe Quaternary environmental changes. Despite the many advantages of this proxy, it has recently been rather overlooked. There are more than 300 mollusc successions from localities throughout the Czech and Slovak Republics, making this a globally unique archive. We selected 91 of these successions for radiocarbon dating and further detailed processing. Based on analyses of 828 mollusc assemblages we found a significant increase in both total species richness and number of forest species since the Lateglacial, with a decrease in both after the Middle Holocene. In contrast, the opposite response was found for open-country species and the proportion of xerophilous species. The proportion of forest and open-country species reversed at the Pleistocene/Holocene transition (approx. 11,500 cal yrs BP). Changes in species richness were rather stable across the study area and at different elevation, contrary to changes in species composition. MDS ordination based on presence/absence data show four main patterns of species composition associated with the number of forest species in a sample, position of site along the west-east direction, the proportion of hygrophilous species and, finally, with the age of the mollusc assemblage. The number of forest species indicates the main pattern of changes in the composition of Central European land snail assemblages from the Lateglacial to the present. We confirmed the application and temporal stability of ecological groups of snails as a useful tool for reconstruction of the terrestrial palaeoenvironment.

  1. Response of plant tundra communities to changes in abiotic and biotic environments: Importance of the temporal dimension

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saccone, P.; Virtanen, R.

    2015-12-01

    Understanding of ecosystem response to changing environment have been improved by the convergence of observational and experimental approaches that allow disentangling mechanisms involved and large scale subsequent patterns. However, such approaches often face context-dependence of underlying processes, and a major challenge of community ecology is to deepen our understanding of this context-dependency for reliable upscaling. Here we used the results from several transplant experiments of heath communities in the Northern Fennoscandian during the last two decades to investigate the relative importance of abiotic and biotic drivers and the plant functional response. The plant community composition of blocks of heath vegetation from diverse origins transplanted in contrasted abiotic and biotic conditions was monitored from 6 to 23 years depending on the design. Considering both abiotic severity and biotic environment, the transplantation along altitudinal gradient constituted major habitat perturbation, in particular for communities from the mountain tundra vulnerable to strong functional shift. In addition, the joint effects of multiple drivers associated to grazing pressure and abiotic micro heterogeneity resulted in divergent community in the long-term. However, the different factors operated on different temporal scales. The vegetation depending on their origin and functional type also showed contrasted patterns from immediate and transient response to strong biological inertia. Our results reveal the potential for alternative response of plant communities depending on the interplay between the multiple drivers and the functional attributes of the vegetation. This interplay should drive plant communities toward divergent alternative states, but our ability to extrapolate longer-term trajectories from partial dynamics is challenged by the temporal differences in drivers pressure and plant response. The responses to manipulation appear as successional processes and

  2. δ 13C and δ 15N Values of Soil Organic Matter Over Drought and Non-drought Affected Elevation Gradients in Ethiopia: Calibrating for Environmental Reconstruction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Terwilliger, V. J.; Eshetu, Z.; Colman, A. S.; Fogel, M.

    2004-12-01

    Portions of Ethiopia today are experiencing increasing temperatures and drought frequencies. The longest known hominid record is in Ethiopia's Awash Basin. Reconstructing past environments in Ethiopia may, therefore, contribute both to understanding present day and past consequences of climate change. Studies suggest that at least 7000 years of environmental reconstruction may be possible from isotopic analyses of organic matter in some Ethiopian paleosols. We have measured δ 13C and δ 15N of organic matter from modern soils in Ethiopia to explore the climatic dependence of these signals and thus to determine the maximum resolution of climatic reconstruction possible by bulk isotopic analyses of soil organic matter (SOM). Surface soil samples were taken at elevations from 350 - 3500 m in drought affected regions and from 1050 - 3100 m in regions with no history of drought. Collections were made at an altitude resolution of better than 150 m. Deeper soil samples (max. 27 m) were also obtained at 22 elevations in sites of the Awash Basin that had already been studied using other paleoenvironmental proxies. Soils were sampled in grassland, shrubland, forest, and grass/sedge wetland. The δ 15N values of SOM decreased significantly with increase in elevation and were sensitive to both overlaying vegetation type and drought proclivity. Our results support hypotheses that δ 15N values vary with total nitrogen pools in soils which, in turn vary with humidity and associated microbial influences. The δ 13C values of SOM had a quadratic relationship to elevation that most likely reflected the relative compositions of C3 and C4 biomass in overlying vegetation. Exposure to drought could not be detected by δ 13C values. At sites in the Hadar region where depth profile measurements were made to 27 m, δ 13C values decreased with depth. This result conforms to inferences from other proxy that a cooler, wetter climate previously existed. Nitrogen contents of soils below 3 m

  3. Transcriptome Analysis Reveals Crosstalk of Responsive Genes to Multiple Abiotic Stresses in Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.)

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Ya-Na; Shi, Dong-Qiao; Ruan, Meng-Bin; Zhang, Li-Li; Meng, Zhao-Hong; Liu, Jie; Yang, Wei-Cai

    2013-01-01

    Abiotic stress is a major environmental factor that limits cotton growth and yield, moreover, this problem has become more and more serious recently, as multiple stresses often occur simultaneously due to the global climate change and environmental pollution. In this study, we sought to identify genes involved in diverse stresses including abscisic acid (ABA), cold, drought, salinity and alkalinity by comparative microarray analysis. Our result showed that 5790, 3067, 5608, 778 and 6148 transcripts, were differentially expressed in cotton seedlings under treatment of ABA (1μM ABA), cold (4°C), drought (200mM mannitol), salinity (200mM NaCl) and alkalinity (pH=11) respectively. Among the induced or suppressed genes, 126 transcripts were shared by all of the five kinds of abiotic stresses, with 64 up-regulated and 62 down-regulated. These common members are grouped as stress signal transduction, transcription factors (TFs), stress response/defense proteins, metabolism, transport facilitation, as well as cell wall/structure, according to the function annotation. We also noticed that large proportion of significant differentially expressed genes specifically regulated in response to different stress. Nine of the common transcripts of multiple stresses were selected for further validation with quantitative real time RT-PCR (qRT-PCR). Furthermore, several well characterized TF families, for example, WRKY, MYB, NAC, AP2/ERF and zinc finger were shown to be involved in different stresses. As an original report using comparative microarray to analyze transcriptome of cotton under five abiotic stresses, valuable information about functional genes and related pathways of anti-stress, and/or stress tolerance in cotton seedlings was unveiled in our result. Besides this, some important common factors were focused for detailed identification and characterization. According to our analysis, it suggested that there was crosstalk of responsive genes or pathways to multiple abiotic

  4. Transposable Elements Contribute to Activation of Maize Genes in Response to Abiotic Stress

    PubMed Central

    Makarevitch, Irina; Waters, Amanda J.; West, Patrick T.; Stitzer, Michelle; Hirsch, Candice N.; Ross-Ibarra, Jeffrey; Springer, Nathan M.

    2015-01-01

    Transposable elements (TEs) account for a large portion of the genome in many eukaryotic species. Despite their reputation as “junk” DNA or genomic parasites deleterious for the host, TEs have complex interactions with host genes and the potential to contribute to regulatory variation in gene expression. It has been hypothesized that TEs and genes they insert near may be transcriptionally activated in response to stress conditions. The maize genome, with many different types of TEs interspersed with genes, provides an ideal system to study the genome-wide influence of TEs on gene regulation. To analyze the magnitude of the TE effect on gene expression response to environmental changes, we profiled gene and TE transcript levels in maize seedlings exposed to a number of abiotic stresses. Many genes exhibit up- or down-regulation in response to these stress conditions. The analysis of TE families inserted within upstream regions of up-regulated genes revealed that between four and nine different TE families are associated with up-regulated gene expression in each of these stress conditions, affecting up to 20% of the genes up-regulated in response to abiotic stress, and as many as 33% of genes that are only expressed in response to stress. Expression of many of these same TE families also responds to the same stress conditions. The analysis of the stress-induced transcripts and proximity of the transposon to the gene suggests that these TEs may provide local enhancer activities that stimulate stress-responsive gene expression. Our data on allelic variation for insertions of several of these TEs show strong correlation between the presence of TE insertions and stress-responsive up-regulation of gene expression. Our findings suggest that TEs provide an important source of allelic regulatory variation in gene response to abiotic stress in maize. PMID:25569788

  5. miR408 is involved in abiotic stress responses in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Ma, Chao; Burd, Shaul; Lers, Amnon

    2015-10-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small RNAs that regulate the expression of target genes post-transcriptionally; they are known to play major roles in development and responses to abiotic stress. miR408 is a highly conserved miRNA in plants that responds to the availability of copper and targets genes encoding copper-containing proteins. It was recently recognized to be an important component of the HY5-SPL7 gene network that mediates a coordinated response to light and copper, illustrating its central role in the response of plants to the environment. Expression of miR408 is significantly affected by a variety of developmental and ‏environmental conditions; however, its biological function is ‏unknown. Involvement of miR408 in the abiotic stress response was investigated in Arabidopsis. Expression of miR408, as well as its target genes, was investigated in response to salinity, cold, oxidative stress, drought and osmotic stress. Analyses of transgenic plants with modulated miR408 expression revealed that higher miR408 expression leads to improved tolerance to salinity, cold and oxidative stress, but enhanced sensitivity to drought and osmotic stress. Cellular antioxidant capacity was enhanced in plants with elevated miR408 expression, as manifested by reduced levels of reactive oxygen species and induced expression of genes associated with antioxidative functions, including Cu/Zn superoxide dismutases (CSD1 and CSD2) and glutathione-S-transferase (GST-U25), as well as auxiliary genes: the copper chaperone CCS1 and the redox stress-associated gene SAP12. Overall, the results demonstrate significant involvement of miR408 in abiotic stress responses, emphasizing the central function of miR408 in plant survival. PMID:26312768

  6. Diverse expression pattern of wheat transcription factors against abiotic stresses in wheat species.

    PubMed

    Baloglu, Mehmet Cengiz; Inal, Behcet; Kavas, Musa; Unver, Turgay

    2014-10-15

    Abiotic stress including drought and salinity affects quality and yield of wheat varieties used for the production of both bread and pasta flour. bZIP, MBF1, WRKY, MYB and NAC transcription factor (TF) genes are the largest transcriptional regulators which are involved in growth, development, physiological processes, and biotic/abiotic stress responses in plants. Identification of expression profiling of these TFs plays a crucial role to understand the response of different wheat species against severe environmental changes. In the current study, expression analysis of TaWLIP19 (wheat version of bZIP), TaMBF1, TaWRKY10, TaMYB33 and TaNAC69 genes was examined under drought and salinity stress conditions in Triticum aestivum cv. (Yuregir-89), Triticum turgidum cv. (Kiziltan-91), and Triticum monococcum (Siyez). After drought stress application, all five selected genes in Kiziltan-91 were induced. However, TaMBF1 and TaWLIP19 were the only downregulated genes in Yuregir-89 and Siyez, respectively. Except TaMYB33 in Siyez, expression level of the remaining genes increased under salt stress condition in all Triticum species. For determination of drought response to selected TF members, publicly available RNA-seq data were also analyzed in this study. TaMBF1, TaWLIP19 and TaNAC69 transcripts were detected through in silico analysis. This comprehensive gene expression analysis provides valuable information for understanding the roles of these TFs under abiotic stresses in modern wheat cultivars and ancient einkorn wheat. In addition, selected TFs might be used for determination of drought or salinity-tolerant and susceptible cultivars for molecular breeding studies. PMID:25130909

  7. Molecular genetic perspectives on cross-talk and specificity in abiotic stress signalling in plants.

    PubMed

    Chinnusamy, Viswanathan; Schumaker, Karen; Zhu, Jian-Kang

    2004-01-01

    The perception of abiotic stresses and signal transduction to switch on adaptive responses are critical steps in determining the survival and reproduction of plants exposed to adverse environments. Plants have stress-specific adaptive responses as well as responses which protect the plants from more than one environmental stress. There are multiple stress perception and signalling pathways, some of which are specific, but others may cross-talk at various steps. Recently, progress has been made in identifying components of signalling pathways involved in salt, drought and cold stresses. Genetic analysis has defined the Salt-Overly-Sensitive (SOS) pathway, in which a salt stress-induced calcium signal is probably sensed by the calcium-binding protein SOS3 which then activates the protein kinase SOS2. The SOS3-SOS2 kinase complex regulates the expression and activity of ion transporters such as SOS1 to re-establish cellular ionic homeostasis under salinity. The ICE1 (Inducer of CBF Expression 1)-CBF (C-Repeat Binding Protein) pathway is critical for the regulation of the cold-responsive transcriptome and acquired freezing tolerance, although at present the signalling events that activate the ICE1 transcription factor during cold stress are not known. Both ABA-dependent and -independent signalling pathways appear to be involved in osmotic stress tolerance. Components of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascades may act as converging points of multiple abiotic as well as biotic stress signalling pathways. Forward and reverse genetic analysis in combination with expression profiling will continue to uncover many signalling components, and biochemical characterization of the signalling complexes will be required to determine specificity and cross-talk in abiotic stress signalling pathways. PMID:14673035

  8. Compatible Solute Engineering in Plants for Abiotic Stress Tolerance - Role of Glycine Betaine

    PubMed Central

    Wani, Shabir Hussain; Singh, Naorem Brajendra; Haribhushan, Athokpam; Mir, Javed Iqbal

    2013-01-01

    Abiotic stresses collectively are responsible for crop losses worldwide. Among these, drought and salinity are the most destructive. Different strategies have been proposed for management of these stresses. Being a complex trait, conventional breeding approaches have resulted in less success. Biotechnology has emerged as an additional and novel tool for deciphering the mechanism behind these stresses. The role of compatible solutes in abiotic stress tolerance has been studied extensively. Osmotic adjustment, at the physiological level, is an adaptive mechanism involved in drought or salinity tolerance, which permits the maintenance of turgor under conditions of water deficit, as it can counteract the effects of a rapid decline in leaf water potential. Increasing evidence from a series of in vivo and in vitro studies of the physiology, biochemistry, genetics, and molecular biology of plants suggest strongly that Glycine Betaine (GB) performs an important function in plants subjected to environmental stresses. It plays an adaptive role in mediating osmotic adjustment and protecting the sub-cellular structures in stressed plants, protection of the transcriptional and translational machineries and intervention as a molecular chaperone in the refolding of enzymes. Many important crops like rice do not accumulate glycinebetaine under stress conditions. Both the exogenous application of GB and the genetically engineered biosynthesis of GB in such crops is a promising strategy to increase stress tolerance. In this review we will discuss the importance of GB for abiotic stress tolerance in plants. Further, strategies like exogenic application and transgenic development of plants accumulating GB will be also be discussed. Work done on exogenic application and genetically engineered biosynthesis of GB will be listed and its advantages and limitations will be described. PMID:24179438

  9. ABIOTIC DEGRADATION OF TRICHLOROETHYLENE UNDER THERMAL REMEDIATION CONDITIONS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The degradation of TCE (C2HCl3) to carbon dioxide (CO2) and chloride (Cl-) has been reported to occur during thermal remediation of subsurface environments. The overall goal of this study was to evaluate abiotic degradation of TCE at el...

  10. ABIOTIC REDUCTION OF NITRO AROMATIC PESTICIDES IN ANAEROBIC LABORATORY SYSTEMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Rapid abiotic reduction of nitro aromatic pesticides occurs in homogeneous solutions of quinone redox couples, which were selected to model the redox-labile functianal groups in natural organic matter. he kinetics of methyl parathion disappearance are first order in methyl parath...

  11. Recent advances in polyamine metabolism and abiotic stress tolerance.

    PubMed

    Rangan, Parimalan; Subramani, Rajkumar; Kumar, Rajesh; Singh, Amit Kumar; Singh, Rakesh

    2014-01-01

    Global warming is an alarming problem in agriculture and its effect on yield loss has been estimated to be five per cent for every degree centigrade rise in temperature. Plants exhibit multiple mechanisms like optimizing signaling pathway, involvement of secondary messengers, production of biomolecules specifically in response to stress, modulation of various metabolic networks in accordance with stress, and so forth, in order to overcome abiotic stress factors. Many structural genes and networks of pathway were identified and reported in plant systems for abiotic stress tolerance. One such crucial metabolic pathway that is involved in normal physiological function and also gets modulated during stress to impart tolerance is polyamine metabolic pathway. Besides the role of structural genes, it is also important to know the mechanism by which these structural genes are regulated during stress. Present review highlights polyamine biosynthesis, catabolism, and its role in abiotic stress tolerance with special reference to plant systems. Additionally, a system based approach is discussed as a potential strategy to dissect the existing variation in crop species in unraveling the interacting regulatory components/genetic determinants related to PAs mediated abiotic stress tolerance. PMID:25136565

  12. Genetic Diversity In Abiotic Stress Tolerances Among Wheat Species

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Landraces and close related species of hexaploid wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) offer a vast reservoir of genetic resources for wheat improvement to production on abiotic stressed soils. In order to utilize the wheat landrace and close relative gene pools, the evaluation of wheat landrace and close r...

  13. Are karrikins involved in plant abiotic stress responses?

    PubMed

    Li, Weiqiang; Tran, Lam-Son Phan

    2015-09-01

    Recent reports have shown that strigolactones play a positive role in plant responses to drought and salt stress through MAX2 (More Axillary Growth 2). Increasing evidence suggests that MAX2 is also involved in karrikin signaling, raising the question whether karrikins play any role in plant adaptation to abiotic stresses. PMID:26255855

  14. A membraneless single compartment abiotic glucose fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Slaughter, Gymama; Sunday, Joshua

    2014-09-01

    A simple energy harvesting strategy has been developed to selectively catalyze glucose in the presence of oxygen in a glucose/O2 fuel cell. The anode consists of an abiotic catalyst Al/Au/ZnO, in which ZnO seed layer was deposited on the surface of Al/Au substrate using hydrothermal method. The cathode is constructed from a single rod of platinum with an outer diameter of 500 μm. The abiotic glucose fuel cell was studied in phosphate buffer solution (pH 7.4) containing 5 mM glucose at a temperature of 22 °C. The cell is characterized according to its open-circuit voltage, polarization profile, and power density plot. Under these conditions, the abiotic glucose fuel cell possesses an open-circuit voltage of 840 mV and delivered a maximum power density of 16.2 μW cm-2 at a cell voltage of 495 mV. These characteristics are comparable to biofuel cell utilizing a much more complex system design. Such low-cost lightweight abiotic catalyzed glucose fuel cells have a great promise to be optimized, miniaturized to power bio-implantable devices.

  15. Weighing Abiotic and Biotic Influences on Weed Seed Predation Rates

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Weed seed predation is an important ecosystem service supporting weed management in low-external-input agroecosystems. Current knowledge of weed seed predation focuses on biotic mechanisms, with less understood about the relative impact of abiotic variables. In order to quantify relative contributio...

  16. Weighing Abiotic and Biotic Influences on Weed Seed Predation Rates

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Weed seed predation is an important ecosystem service supporting weed management in low-external-input agroecosystems. Current knowledge of weed seed predation in arable systems focuses on biotic mechanisms, with less understood about the relative impact of abiotic variables on this process. In orde...

  17. Genetic mapping of abiotic stress responses in sorghum

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Due to rich genetic diversity for tolerance to various abiotic stress conditions, sorghum is an ideal system for genetic mapping and elucidation of genome regions that confer such response among cereal crops. Coupled with the development of DNA marker technologies and most recently the sequencing o...

  18. Plastid transformation for abiotic stress tolerance in plants.

    PubMed

    Bansal, K C; Singh, A K; Wani, S H

    2012-01-01

    Abiotic stresses such as drought, salinity, and extreme temperatures are major limiting factors in plant growth and development and pose serious threat to global agricultural production. Here we describe a procedure, using a tobacco plastid transformation vector, to generate transplastomic plants with an enhanced ability to tolerate abiotic stresses such as salinity, drought, or cold stress. The procedure involves biolistic delivery of a plastid transformation vector into explants, antibiotic selection procedures, and -identification of transplastomic lines. The plastid transformation vector contains an aadA gene that encodes resistance to spectinomycin as a selectable marker along with the gene of interest for developing transplastomic plants that are tolerant to abiotic stresses. Shoot buds appear over the surface of bombarded explants following spectinomycin selection. Transplastomic shoots are multiplied following several rounds of -spectinomycin selection. Homoplasmic transplastomic lines are confirmed by spectinomycin and streptomycin double selection over a period of 4-5 weeks. The available reports suggest that transplastomic technology is a useful tool for expressing genes in plastids or chloroplasts for enhancing abiotic stress tolerance in plants. PMID:22895771

  19. Recent Advances in Polyamine Metabolism and Abiotic Stress Tolerance

    PubMed Central

    Rangan, Parimalan; Subramani, Rajkumar; Singh, Amit Kumar

    2014-01-01

    Global warming is an alarming problem in agriculture and its effect on yield loss has been estimated to be five per cent for every degree centigrade rise in temperature. Plants exhibit multiple mechanisms like optimizing signaling pathway, involvement of secondary messengers, production of biomolecules specifically in response to stress, modulation of various metabolic networks in accordance with stress, and so forth, in order to overcome abiotic stress factors. Many structural genes and networks of pathway were identified and reported in plant systems for abiotic stress tolerance. One such crucial metabolic pathway that is involved in normal physiological function and also gets modulated during stress to impart tolerance is polyamine metabolic pathway. Besides the role of structural genes, it is also important to know the mechanism by which these structural genes are regulated during stress. Present review highlights polyamine biosynthesis, catabolism, and its role in abiotic stress tolerance with special reference to plant systems. Additionally, a system based approach is discussed as a potential strategy to dissect the existing variation in crop species in unraveling the interacting regulatory components/genetic determinants related to PAs mediated abiotic stress tolerance. PMID:25136565

  20. Resilience of Penicillium resedanum LK6 and exogenous gibberellin in improving Capsicum annuum growth under abiotic stresses.

    PubMed

    Khan, Abdul Latif; Waqas, Muhammad; Lee, In-Jung

    2015-03-01

    Understanding how endophytic fungi mitigate abiotic stresses in plants will be important in a changing global climate. A few endophytes can produce phytohormones, but their ability to induce physiological changes in host plants during extreme environmental conditions are largely unexplored. In the present study, we investigated the ability of Penicillium resedanum LK6 to produce gibberellins and its role in improving the growth of Capsicum annuum L. under salinity, drought, and heat stresses. These effects were compared with exogenous application of gibberellic acid (GA3). Endophyte treatment significantly increased shoot length, biomass, chlorophyll content, and the photosynthesis rate compared with the uninfected control during abiotic stresses. The endophyte and combined endophyte + GA3 treatments significantly ameliorated the negative effects of stresses compared with the control. Stress-responsive endogenous abscisic acid and its encoding genes, such as zeaxanthin epoxidase, 9-cis-epoxycarotenoid dioxygenase 3, and ABA aldehyde oxidase 3, were significantly reduced in endophyte-treated plants under stress. Conversely, salicylic acid and biosynthesis-related gene (isochorismate synthase) had constitutive expressions while pathogenesis related (PR1 and PR5) genes showed attenuated responses during endophyte treatment under abiotic stresses. The present findings suggest that endophytes have effects comparable to those of exogenous GA3; both can significantly increase plant growth and yield under changing environmental conditions by reprogramming the host plant's physiological responses. PMID:25537300

  1. Abiotic production of methylmercury by solar radiation.

    PubMed

    Siciliano, Steven D; O'Driscoll, Nelson J; Tordon, Robert; Hill, Jonathan; Beauchamp, Stephen; Lean, David R S

    2005-02-15

    Methylmercury [MeHg(I) in the aerobic surface water of lakes is thought to be rapidly degraded, but contrary to expectations, we show that MeHg(I) concentrations often increase during sunlight hours or remain relatively constant. We hypothesized that there were water column processes that generated MeHg(I) and that these processes were linked to dissolved organic matter (DOM) and solar radiation. A 2-day diurnal pattern of MeHg(I) in surface water with corresponding bottled controls was assessed for two contrasting lakes in Kejimikujik, Nova Scotia, Canada. Following this study, a tangential ultrafiltrator was used to size-fractionate and generate a concentration gradient of DOM from four different lakes located near Lac Berthelot, Quebec, Canada. The watersheds of two of these lakes were not substantially logged whereas the other two had been extensively logged. Different size fractions of DOM as well as different concentrations of DOM were exposed to sunlight for varying periods of time. We observed that, in Keiimikujik, the concentration of MeHg(I) in surface waters peaked in the early afternoon. Furthermore, this also occurred in bottled water for one of the lakes, Puzzle, eliminating the possibility that in-lake mixing played a role in this pattern. The formation of MeHg(I) was found to be dependent on the size fraction and amount of DOM present in the water. Specifically, DOM less than 5 kDa or between 30 and 300 kDa generated MeHg(I) when exposed to sunlight, but larger fractions did not. Furthermore, although data are limited, we found that water from lakes with logged watersheds generated MeHg(I) when exposed to sunlight, whereas water from lakes with low levels of logging in the undisturbed watersheds did not. Our results demonstrate that MeHg(I) can be formed in freshwaters of certain lakes in response to solar radiation. This photoproduction of MeHg(I) is dependent on DOM concentrations and type, with the importance of water chemistry not yet clear. The

  2. TRANSFORMATIONS OF HALOGENATED ALIPHATIC COMPOUNDS: OXIDATION, REDUCTION, SUBSTITUTION, AND DEHYDROHALOGENATION REACTIONS OCCUR ABIOTICALLY OR IN MICROBIAL AND MAMMALIAN SYSTEMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The current understanding of abiotic and biotic chemistry of halogenated aliphatic compounds is systematized and summarized. Knowledge of abiotic transformations can provide a conceptual framework for understanding biologically mediated transformations. Most abiotic transformatio...

  3. Influence of abiotic stress, flower morphology, and pollen dehydration sensitivity on cotton out-crossing potential

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Genetic diversity in reproductive abiotic stress tolerance has been reported for cotton [Gossypium hirsutum (L.)] based upon the percentage of anther dehiscence of mature pollen in adverse environments. This study investigated the abiotic stress tolerance of mature pollen and identified ...

  4. Autonomous pump against concentration gradient

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Zhi-Cheng; Zheng, Dong-Qin; Ai, Bao-Quan; Zhong, Wei-Rong

    2016-03-01

    Using non-equilibrium molecular dynamics and Monte Carlo methods, we have studied the molecular transport in asymmetric nanochannels. The efficiency of the molecular pump depends on the angle and apertures of the asymmetric channel, the environmental temperature and average concentration of the particles. The pumping effect can be explained as the competition between the molecular force field and the thermal disturbance. Our results provide a green approach for pumping fluid particles against the concentration gradient through asymmetric nanoscale thin films without any external forces. It indicates that pumping vacuum can be a spontaneous process.

  5. Autonomous pump against concentration gradient

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Zhi-cheng; Zheng, Dong-qin; Ai, Bao-quan; Zhong, Wei-rong

    2016-01-01

    Using non-equilibrium molecular dynamics and Monte Carlo methods, we have studied the molecular transport in asymmetric nanochannels. The efficiency of the molecular pump depends on the angle and apertures of the asymmetric channel, the environmental temperature and average concentration of the particles. The pumping effect can be explained as the competition between the molecular force field and the thermal disturbance. Our results provide a green approach for pumping fluid particles against the concentration gradient through asymmetric nanoscale thin films without any external forces. It indicates that pumping vacuum can be a spontaneous process. PMID:26996204

  6. Abiotic ozone and oxygen in atmospheres similar to prebiotic Earth

    SciTech Connect

    Domagal-Goldman, Shawn D.; Segura, Antígona; Claire, Mark W.; Robinson, Tyler D.; Meadows, Victoria S.

    2014-09-10

    The search for life on planets outside our solar system will use spectroscopic identification of atmospheric biosignatures. The most robust remotely detectable potential biosignature is considered to be the detection of oxygen (O{sub 2}) or ozone (O{sub 3}) simultaneous to methane (CH{sub 4}) at levels indicating fluxes from the planetary surface in excess of those that could be produced abiotically. Here we use an altitude-dependent photochemical model with the enhanced lower boundary conditions necessary to carefully explore abiotic O{sub 2} and O{sub 3} production on lifeless planets with a wide variety of volcanic gas fluxes and stellar energy distributions. On some of these worlds, we predict limited O{sub 2} and O{sub 3} buildup, caused by fast chemical production of these gases. This results in detectable abiotic O{sub 3} and CH{sub 4} features in the UV-visible, but no detectable abiotic O{sub 2} features. Thus, simultaneous detection of O{sub 3} and CH{sub 4} by a UV-visible mission is not a strong biosignature without proper contextual information. Discrimination between biological and abiotic sources of O{sub 2} and O{sub 3} is possible through analysis of the stellar and atmospheric context—particularly redox state and O atom inventory—of the planet in question. Specifically, understanding the spectral characteristics of the star and obtaining a broad wavelength range for planetary spectra should allow more robust identification of false positives for life. This highlights the importance of wide spectral coverage for future exoplanet characterization missions. Specifically, discrimination between true and false positives may require spectral observations that extend into infrared wavelengths and provide contextual information on the planet's atmospheric chemistry.

  7. Seasonal variation in microhabitat of salamanders: environmental variation or shift of habitat selection?

    PubMed

    Lunghi, Enrico; Manenti, Raoul; Ficetola, Gentile Francesco

    2015-01-01

    Relationships between species and their habitats are not always constant. Different processes may determine changes in species-habitat association: individuals may prefer different habitat typologies in different periods, or they may be forced to occupy a different habitat in order to follow the changing environment. The aim of our study was to assess whether cave salamanders change their habitat association pattern through the year, and to test whether such changes are determined by environmental changes or by changes in preferences. We monitored multiple caves in Central Italy through one year, and monthly measured biotic and abiotic features of microhabitat and recorded Italian cave salamanders distribution. We used mixed models and niche similarity tests to assess whether species-habitat relationships remain constant through the year. Microhabitat showed strong seasonal variation, with the highest variability in the superficial sectors. Salamanders were associated to relatively cold and humid sectors in summer, but not during winter. Such apparent shift in habitat preferences mostly occurred because the environmental gradient changed through the year, while individuals generally selected similar conditions. Nevertheless, juveniles were more tolerant to dry sectors during late winter, when food demand was highest. This suggests that tolerance for suboptimal abiotic conditions may change through time, depending on the required resources. Differences in habitat use are jointly determined by environmental variation through time, and by changes in the preferred habitat. The trade-offs between tolerance and resources requirement are major determinant of such variation. PMID:26290788

  8. Genome-wide identification, expression analysis of auxin-responsive GH3 family genes in maize (Zea mays L.) under abiotic stresses.

    PubMed

    Feng, Shangguo; Yue, Runqing; Tao, Sun; Yang, Yanjun; Zhang, Lei; Xu, Mingfeng; Wang, Huizhong; Shen, Chenjia

    2015-09-01

    Auxin is involved in different aspects of plant growth and development by regulating the expression of auxin-responsive family genes. As one of the three major auxin-responsive families, GH3 (Gretchen Hagen3) genes participate in auxin homeostasis by catalyzing auxin conjugation and bounding free indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) to amino acids. However, how GH3 genes function in responses to abiotic stresses and various hormones in maize is largely unknown. Here, the latest updated maize (Zea mays L.) reference genome sequence was used to characterize and analyze the ZmGH3 family genes from maize. The results showed that 13 ZmGH3 genes were mapped on five maize chromosomes (total 10 chromosomes). Highly diversified gene structures and tissue-specific expression patterns suggested the possibility of function diversification for these genes in response to environmental stresses and hormone stimuli. The expression patterns of ZmGH3 genes are responsive to several abiotic stresses (salt, drought and cadmium) and major stress-related hormones (abscisic acid, salicylic acid and jasmonic acid). Various environmental factors suppress auxin free IAA contents in maize roots suggesting that these abiotic stresses and hormones might alter GH3-mediated auxin levels. The responsiveness of ZmGH3 genes to a wide range of abiotic stresses and stress-related hormones suggested that ZmGH3s are involved in maize tolerance to environmental stresses. PMID:25557253

  9. ABA Inducible Rice Protein Phosphatase 2C Confers ABA Insensitivity and Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Arabidopsis

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Amarjeet; Jha, Saroj K.; Bagri, Jayram; Pandey, Girdhar K.

    2015-01-01

    Arabidopsis PP2C belonging to group A have been extensively worked out and known to negatively regulate ABA signaling. However, rice (Oryza sativa) orthologs of Arabidopsis group A PP2C are scarcely characterized functionally. We have identified a group A PP2C from rice (OsPP108), which is highly inducible under ABA, salt and drought stresses and localized predominantly in the nucleus. Genetic analysis revealed that Arabidopsis plants overexpressing OsPP108 are highly insensitive to ABA and tolerant to high salt and mannitol stresses during seed germination, root growth and overall seedling growth. At adult stage, OsPP108 overexpression leads to high tolerance to salt, mannitol and drought stresses with far better physiological parameters such as water loss, fresh weight, chlorophyll content and photosynthetic potential (Fv/Fm) in transgenic Arabidopsis plants. Expression profile of various stress marker genes in OsPP108 overexpressing plants revealed interplay of ABA dependent and independent pathway for abiotic stress tolerance. Overall, this study has identified a potential rice group A PP2C, which regulates ABA signaling negatively and abiotic stress signaling positively. Transgenic rice plants overexpressing this gene might provide an answer to the problem of low crop yield and productivity during adverse environmental conditions. PMID:25886365

  10. EXB1/WRKY71 transcription factor regulates both shoot branching and responses to abiotic stresses.

    PubMed

    Guo, Dongshu; Qin, Genji

    2016-03-01

    As the sessile organisms, plants evolve different strategies to survive in adverse environmental conditions. The elaborate regulation of shoot branching is an important strategy for plant morphological adaptation to various environments, while the regulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), salicylic acid (SA) and jasmonic acid (JA) is pivotal for plant responses to biotic and abiotic stresses. Recently, we have demonstrated that Arabidopsis EXB1, a WRKY transcription factor, is a positive regulator of shoot branching as a cover story in Plant Cell. Here we show that WRKY23, an EXB1 close member, has a redundant role in control of shoot branching. We further show that EXB1 is induced by H2O2, ABA or mannitol treatments, suggesting that EXB1 may also play roles in plant responses to abiotic stresses. RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) analysis using 4EnhpEXB1-EXB1GR inducible line indicates that the genes involved in oxidative stress, oxidation reduction, SA or JA signaling pathway are regulated by EXB1 induction in a short time. We suggest that EXB1/WRKY71 transcription factor may play pivotal roles in plant adaptation to environments by both morphological and physiological ways. PMID:26914912

  11. Microarray: gateway to unravel the mystery of abiotic stresses in plants.

    PubMed

    Gul, Ambreen; Ahad, Ammara; Akhtar, Sidra; Ahmad, Zarnab; Rashid, Bushra; Husnain, Tayyab

    2016-04-01

    Environmental factors, such as drought, salinity, extreme temperature, ozone poisoning, metal toxicity etc., significantly affect crops. To study these factors and to design a possible remedy, biological experimental data concerning these crops requires the quantification of gene expression and comparative analyses at high throughput level. Development of microarrays is the platform to study the differential expression profiling of the targeted genes. This technology can be applied to gene expression studies, ranging from individual genes to whole genome level. It is now possible to perform the quantification of the differential expression of genes on a glass slide in a single experiment. This review documents recently published reports on the use of microarrays for the identification of genes in different plant species playing their role in different cellular networks under abiotic stresses. The regulation pattern of differentially-expressed genes, individually or in group form, may help us to study different pathways and functions at the cellular and molecular level. These studies can provide us with a lot of useful information to unravel the mystery of abiotic stresses in important crop plants. PMID:26667130

  12. Transgenic Alfalfa Plants Expressing the Sweetpotato Orange Gene Exhibit Enhanced Abiotic Stress Tolerance

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Zhi; Ke, Qingbo; Kim, Myoung Duck; Kim, Sun Ha; Ji, Chang Yoon; Jeong, Jae Cheol; Lee, Haeng-Soon; Park, Woo Sung; Ahn, Mi-Jeong; Li, Hongbing; Xu, Bingcheng; Deng, Xiping; Lee, Sang-Hoon; Lim, Yong Pyo; Kwak, Sang-Soo

    2015-01-01

    Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.), a perennial forage crop with high nutritional content, is widely distributed in various environments worldwide. We recently demonstrated that the sweetpotato Orange gene (IbOr) is involved in increasing carotenoid accumulation and enhancing resistance to multiple abiotic stresses. In this study, in an effort to improve the nutritional quality and environmental stress tolerance of alfalfa, we transferred the IbOr gene into alfalfa (cv. Xinjiang Daye) under the control of an oxidative stress-inducible peroxidase (SWPA2) promoter through Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation. Among the 11 transgenic alfalfa lines (referred to as SOR plants), three lines (SOR2, SOR3, and SOR8) selected based on their IbOr transcript levels were examined for their tolerance to methyl viologen (MV)-induced oxidative stress in a leaf disc assay. The SOR plants exhibited less damage in response to MV-mediated oxidative stress and salt stress than non-transgenic plants. The SOR plants also exhibited enhanced tolerance to drought stress, along with higher total carotenoid levels. The results suggest that SOR alfalfa plants would be useful as forage crops with improved nutritional value and increased tolerance to multiple abiotic stresses, which would enhance the development of sustainable agriculture on marginal lands. PMID:25946429

  13. ABA inducible rice protein phosphatase 2C confers ABA insensitivity and abiotic stress tolerance in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Singh, Amarjeet; Jha, Saroj K; Bagri, Jayram; Pandey, Girdhar K

    2015-01-01

    Arabidopsis PP2C belonging to group A have been extensively worked out and known to negatively regulate ABA signaling. However, rice (Oryza sativa) orthologs of Arabidopsis group A PP2C are scarcely characterized functionally. We have identified a group A PP2C from rice (OsPP108), which is highly inducible under ABA, salt and drought stresses and localized predominantly in the nucleus. Genetic analysis revealed that Arabidopsis plants overexpressing OsPP108 are highly insensitive to ABA and tolerant to high salt and mannitol stresses during seed germination, root growth and overall seedling growth. At adult stage, OsPP108 overexpression leads to high tolerance to salt, mannitol and drought stresses with far better physiological parameters such as water loss, fresh weight, chlorophyll content and photosynthetic potential (Fv/Fm) in transgenic Arabidopsis plants. Expression profile of various stress marker genes in OsPP108 overexpressing plants revealed interplay of ABA dependent and independent pathway for abiotic stress tolerance. Overall, this study has identified a potential rice group A PP2C, which regulates ABA signaling negatively and abiotic stress signaling positively. Transgenic rice plants overexpressing this gene might provide an answer to the problem of low crop yield and productivity during adverse environmental conditions. PMID:25886365

  14. Gradient Driven Fluctuations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cannell, David

    2005-01-01

    We have worked with our collaborators at the University of Milan (Professor Marzio Giglio and his group-supported by ASI) to define the science required to measure gradient driven fluctuations in the microgravity environment. Such a study would provide an accurate test of the extent to which the theory of fluctuating hydrodynamics can be used to predict the properties of fluids maintained in a stressed, non-equilibrium state. As mentioned above, the results should also provide direct visual insight into the behavior of a variety of fluid systems containing gradients or interfaces, when placed in the microgravity environment. With support from the current grant, we have identified three key systems for detailed investigation. These three systems are: 1) A single-component fluid to be studied in the presence of a temperature gradient; 2) A mixture of two organic liquids to be studied both in the presence of a temperature gradient, which induces a steady-state concentration gradient, and with the temperature gradient removed, but while the concentration gradient is dying by means of diffusion; 3) Various pairs of liquids undergoing free diffusion, including a proteidbuffer solution and pairs of mixtures having different concentrations, to allow us to vary the differences in fluid properties in a controlled manner.

  15. ATLAS3D Stellar Population Gradients

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuntschner, Harald

    2015-04-01

    We present stellar population gradients of early-type galaxies from the ATLAS3D survey: a complete, volume-limited multi-wavelength survey of 260 early-type galaxies in the local 42 Mpc volume. Using emission-corrected spectra integrated within elliptical annuli we measure line-strength indices and apply single stellar population (SSP) models to derive SSP-equivalent values of stellar age, metallicity, and alpha enhancement as function of radius. For all galaxies we derive basic linear stellar population gradients versus radius logR/Re). These gradients are examined on their own and versus three mass-sensitive parameters: K-band luminosity MK, velocity dispersion within one effective radius log σe, and our dynamical mass MJAM. We find a correlation between positive age gradients (younger centre) and steeper negative metallicity gradients with a Spearman rank correlation coefficient of -0.46 and a significance of 7.65 × 10-15. Furthermore, we find a robustly estimated mean metallicity gradient of Δ[Z/H] = -0.37 +/- 0.01 for the sample with a significant trend for more massive galaxies to have shallower profiles. While there is no clear distinction between fast and slow rotators or signs of environmental influence, we do detect a significantly larger range of [Z/H]-gradients towards low mass galaxies.

  16. Evaluation of abiotic stresses of temperate estuaries by using resident zooplankton: A community vs. population approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paul, Sourav; Wooldridge, Tris; Perissinotto, Renzo

    2016-03-01

    By using permanently resident zooplankton, we assessed the ecological level (i.e. community and or population) that provides more in-depth indication of the stress related to salinity and temperature fluctuations in temperate estuaries. In the semi-arid warm temperate South Africa, the Gamtoos estuary experiences a full salinity gradient maintained by irregular but relatively frequent freshwater pulses, whereas the Kromme estuary is euhaline throughout its extent and receives only occasional freshwater inputs when the storage reservoir six km upstream overtops. Changes in the species evenness index of Pielou and the abundances of estuarine resident zooplankton species were modelled against salinity and temperature variations of respective estuaries. In the Gamtoos estuary, response of individual populations provided more in-depth information regarding zooplankton variability. However the most abundant resident zooplankton i.e. Acartia longipatella a copepod was not the best predictor of the salinity and temperature fluctuations. Conversely, the Kromme estuary study provided insights into the potential vulnerability of the resident estuarine zooplankton community to cold. Further, the population level study exposed responses of specific species against salinity changes. We discuss the pros and cons of designing ecological indicators of abiotic stress based on specific species, targeted to specific ecological level, and needs of considering the frequency and magnitude of fresh water inflow in an estuary. A suggestion is to use specific taxonomic group(s) (e.g. Copepods) to better understand the abiotic stress factors of specific set of estuaries (e.g. freshwater rich/starved) until a 'one size fits all' indicator is found for temperate estuaries.

  17. Pattern formation--A missing link in the study of ecosystem response to environmental changes.

    PubMed

    Meron, Ehud

    2016-01-01

    Environmental changes can affect the functioning of an ecosystem directly, through the response of individual life forms, or indirectly, through interspecific interactions and community dynamics. The feasibility of a community-level response has motivated numerous studies aimed at understanding the mutual relationships between three elements of ecosystem dynamics: the abiotic environment, biodiversity and ecosystem function. Since ecosystems are inherently nonlinear and spatially extended, environmental changes can also induce pattern-forming instabilities that result in spatial self-organization of life forms and resources. This, in turn, can affect the relationships between these three elements, and make the response of ecosystems to environmental changes far more complex. Responses of this kind can be expected in dryland ecosystems, which show a variety of self-organizing vegetation patterns along the rainfall gradient. This paper describes the progress that has been made in understanding vegetation patterning in dryland ecosystems, and the roles it plays in ecosystem response to environmental variability. The progress has been achieved by modeling pattern-forming feedbacks at small spatial scales and up-scaling their effects to large scales through model studies. This approach sets the basis for integrating pattern formation theory into the study of ecosystem dynamics and addressing ecologically significant questions such as the dynamics of desertification, restoration of degraded landscapes, biodiversity changes along environmental gradients, and shrubland-grassland transitions. PMID:26529391

  18. Urbanization Across Gradients: Testing Hypotheses on Effects of Land Change at Multiple Scales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grimm, N. B.; Foster, D.; Groffman, P.; Grove, M.; Hopkinson, C.; Nadelhoffer, K.; Pataki, D.; Peters, D.

    2008-12-01

    Urbanization alters both biotic and abiotic ecosystem properties within, surrounding and even at great distances from urban areas. Ecosystem responses to these land changes are complex and interacting as a consequence of connectivity of resources, energy, and information among social, physical and biological systems. Research on urban ecology has generally focused on studies within single urban ecosystems, but the time is ripe for synthesis and comparison. For understanding of urban ecosystems and associated environmental problems to advance, research must consider urban areas in the context of physicochemical, social, geographical, and other contexts. We present testable hypotheses on the effects of urbanization at multiple scales (local, regional, continental, and global). Comparative studies across gradients, as well as spatially continuous coverage of land change, contribute to an approach to test these hypotheses. We argue that such research will permit robust forecasts of how land change and human settlement patterns alter ecosystem services and resource utilization across the North American continent, and that these forecasts can be applied globally.

  19. Abiotic Nitrous Oxide Production in Natural and Artificial Seawater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ochoa, H.; Stanton, C. L.; Cavazos, A. R.; Ostrom, N. E.; Glass, J. B.

    2014-12-01

    The ocean contributes approximately one third of global sources of nitrous oxide (N2O) to the atmosphere. While nitrification is thought to be the dominant pathway for marine N2O production, mechanisms remain unresolved. Previous studies have carried the implicit assumption that marine N2O originates directly from enzymatic sources. However, abiotic production of N2O is possible via chemical reactions between nitrogenous intermediates and redox active trace metals in seawater. In this study, we investigated N2O production and isotopic composition in treatments with and without added hydroxylamine (NH2OH) and nitric oxide (NO), intermediates in microbial oxidation of ammonia to nitrite, and Fe(III). Addition of substrates to sterile artificial seawater was compared with filtered and unfiltered seawater from Sapelo Island, coastal Georgia, USA. N2O production was observed immediately after addition of Fe(III) in the presence of NH2OH at pH 8 in sterile artificial seawater. Highest N2O production was observed in the presence of Fe(III), NO, and NH2OH. The isotopomer site preference of abiotically produced N2O was consistent with previous studies (31 ± 2 ‰). Higher abiotic N2O production was observed in sterile artificial seawater (salinity: 35 ppt) than filtered Sapelo Island seawater (salinity: 25 ppt) whereas diluted sterile artificial seawater (18 ppt) showed lowest N2O production, suggesting that higher salinity promotes enhanced abiotic N2O production. Addition of Fe(III) to unfiltered Sapelo Island seawater stimulated N2O production. The presence of ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA), which lack known N2O producing enzymes, in Sapelo Island seawater was confirmed by successful amplification of the archaeal amoA gene, whereas ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB), which contain N2O-producing enzymes were undetected. Given the few Fe-containing proteins present in AOA, it is likely that Fe(III) addition promoted N2O production via an abiotic vs. enzymatic N2O mechanism

  20. Laser textured surface gradients

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ta, Van Duong; Dunn, Andrew; Wasley, Thomas J.; Li, Ji; Kay, Robert W.; Stringer, Jonathan; Smith, Patrick J.; Esenturk, Emre; Connaughton, Colm; Shephard, Jonathan D.

    2016-05-01

    This work demonstrates a novel technique for fabricating surfaces with roughness and wettability gradients and their subsequent applications for chemical sensors. Surface roughness gradients on brass sheets are obtained directly by nanosecond laser texturing. When these structured surfaces are exposed to air, their wettability decreases with time (up to 20 days) achieving both spatial and temporal wettability gradients. The surfaces are responsive to organic solvents. Contact angles of a series of dilute isopropanol solutions decay exponentially with concentration. In particular, a fall of 132° in contact angle is observed on a surface gradient, one order of magnitude higher than the 14° observed for the unprocessed surface, when the isopropanol concentration increased from 0 to 15.6 wt%. As the wettability changes gradually over the surface, contact angle also changes correspondingly. This effect offers multi-sensitivity at different zones on the surface and is useful for accurate measurement of chemical concentration.

  1. Demonstration of significant abiotic iron isotope fractionation in nature

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bullen, T.D.; White, A.F.; Childs, C.W.; Vivit, D.V.; Schultz, M.S.

    2001-01-01

    Field and laboratory studies reveal that the mineral ferrihydrite, formed as a result of abiotic oxidation of aqueous ferrous to ferric Fe, contains Fe that is isotopically heavy relative to coexisting aqueous Fe. Because the electron transfer step of the oxidation process at pH >5 is essentially irreversible and should favor the lighter Fe isotopes in the ferric iron product, this result suggests that relatively heavy Fe isotopes are preferentially partitioned into the readily oxidized Fe(II)(OH)x(aq) species or their transition complexes prior to oxidation. The apparent Fe isotope fractionation factor, ??ferrihydrite-water, depends primarily on the relative abundances of the Fe(II)(aq) species. This study demonstrates that abiotic processes can fractionate the Fe isotopes to the same extent as biotic processes, and thus Fe isotopes on their own do not provide an effective biosignature.

  2. Effects of abiotic stress on plants: a systems biology perspective

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    The natural environment for plants is composed of a complex set of abiotic stresses and biotic stresses. Plant responses to these stresses are equally complex. Systems biology approaches facilitate a multi-targeted approach by allowing one to identify regulatory hubs in complex networks. Systems biology takes the molecular parts (transcripts, proteins and metabolites) of an organism and attempts to fit them into functional networks or models designed to describe and predict the dynamic activities of that organism in different environments. In this review, research progress in plant responses to abiotic stresses is summarized from the physiological level to the molecular level. New insights obtained from the integration of omics datasets are highlighted. Gaps in our knowledge are identified, providing additional focus areas for crop improvement research in the future. PMID:22094046

  3. Abiotic mediation of a mutualism drives herbivore abundance.

    PubMed

    Mooney, Emily H; Phillips, Joseph S; Tillberg, Chadwick V; Sandrow, Cheryl; Nelson, Annika S; Mooney, Kailen A

    2016-01-01

    Species abundance is typically determined by the abiotic environment, but the extent to which such effects occur through the mediation of biotic interactions, including mutualisms, is unknown. We explored how light environment (open meadow vs. shaded understory) mediates the abundance and ant tending of the aphid Aphis helianthi feeding on the herb Ligusticum porteri. Yearly surveys consistently found aphids to be more than 17-fold more abundant on open meadow plants than on shaded understory plants. Manipulations demonstrated that this abundance pattern was not due to the direct effects of light environment on aphid performance, or indirectly through host plant quality or the effects of predators. Instead, open meadows had higher ant abundance and per capita rates of aphid tending and, accordingly, ants increased aphid population growth in meadow but not understory environments. The abiotic environment thus drives the abundance of this herbivore exclusively through the mediation of a protection mutualism. PMID:26563752

  4. Wheat EST resources for functional genomics of abiotic stress

    PubMed Central

    Houde, Mario; Belcaid, Mahdi; Ouellet, François; Danyluk, Jean; Monroy, Antonio F; Dryanova, Ani; Gulick, Patrick; Bergeron, Anne; Laroche, André; Links, Matthew G; MacCarthy, Luke; Crosby, William L; Sarhan, Fathey

    2006-01-01

    Background Wheat is an excellent species to study freezing tolerance and other abiotic stresses. However, the sequence of the wheat genome has not been completely characterized due to its complexity and large size. To circumvent this obstacle and identify genes involved in cold acclimation and associated stresses, a large scale EST sequencing approach was undertaken by the Functional Genomics of Abiotic Stress (FGAS) project. Results We generated 73,521 quality-filtered ESTs from eleven cDNA libraries constructed from wheat plants exposed to various abiotic stresses and at different developmental stages. In addition, 196,041 ESTs for which tracefiles were available from the National Science Foundation wheat EST sequencing program and DuPont were also quality-filtered and used in the analysis. Clustering of the combined ESTs with d2_cluster and TGICL yielded a few large clusters containing several thousand ESTs that were refractory to routine clustering techniques. To resolve this problem, the sequence proximity and "bridges" were identified by an e-value distance graph to manually break clusters into smaller groups. Assembly of the resolved ESTs generated a 75,488 unique sequence set (31,580 contigs and 43,908 singletons/singlets). Digital expression analyses indicated that the FGAS dataset is enriched in stress-regulated genes compared to the other public datasets. Over 43% of the unique sequence set was annotated and classified into functional categories according to Gene Ontology. Conclusion We have annotated 29,556 different sequences, an almost 5-fold increase in annotated sequences compared to the available wheat public databases. Digital expression analysis combined with gene annotation helped in the identification of several pathways associated with abiotic stress. The genomic resources and knowledge developed by this project will contribute to a better understanding of the different mechanisms that govern stress tolerance in wheat and other cereals. PMID

  5. Contrasting assembly processes in a bacterial metacommunity along a desiccation gradient

    PubMed Central

    Valverde, Angel; Makhalanyane, Thulani P.; Cowan, Don A.

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the relative influence of deterministic and stochastic processes in driving community assembly is a major goal in microbial ecology. Here, we have investigated the influence of these processes on bacterial community assembly in the lateral sediments of a salt pan along a desiccation gradient over a three-year period. We show that the role of deterministic processes increases in communities distant from the water line (shaped by drought), probably as a result of the interplay between abiotic and biotic factors. By contrast, the influence of stochastic processes on bacterial community assembly was higher in the sediments closest to the water line, more likely due to lower levels of abiotic stress. Our results demonstrate that both deterministic and stochastic processes influence bacterial community assembly in salt pan sediments, and that their relative influence varies along a desiccation gradient. PMID:25520714

  6. Abiotic carbonate dissolution traps carbon in a semiarid desert

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fa, Keyu; Liu, Zhen; Zhang, Yuqing; Qin, Shugao; Wu, Bin; Liu, Jiabin

    2016-03-01

    It is generally considered that desert ecosystems release CO2 to the atmosphere, but recent studies in drylands have shown that the soil can absorb CO2 abiotically. However, the mechanisms and exact location of abiotic carbon absorption remain unclear. Here, we used soil sterilization, 13CO2 addition, and detection methods to trace 13C in the soil of the Mu Us Desert, northern China. After 13CO2 addition, a large amount of 13CO2 was absorbed by the sterilised soil, and 13C was found enriched both in the soil gaseous phase and dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC). Further analysis indicated that about 79.45% of the total 13C absorbed by the soil was trapped in DIC, while the amount of 13C in the soil gaseous phase accounted for only 0.22% of the total absorbed 13C. However, about 20.33% of the total absorbed 13C remained undetected. Our results suggest that carbonate dissolution might occur predominately, and the soil liquid phase might trap the majority of abiotically absorbed carbon. It is possible that the trapped carbon in the soil liquid phase leaches into the groundwater; however, further studies are required to support this hypothesis.

  7. Biotic and abiotic mercury methylation and demethylation in sediments

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, L.; Planas, D. )

    1994-05-01

    Inorganic mercury (Hg(II)) methylation and methylmercury (MeHg) demethylation may occur in the water column, sediment-water interface and subsurficial sediment of aquatic ecosystems. These transformations involve mainly microbial mechanisms, although abiotic methylation may play a more important role in the water compartment. The relative importance of biotic versus abiotic mechanisms of methylation has not been determined however, and abiotic demethylation remains unknown. Little quantitative information is available on the role of bacterial activity in mercury transformations. It has been reported that at least 16 genera of aerobic and anaerobic microorganisms are able to methylate HG(II), and that a greater number are able to demethylate MeHg. Nevertheless, not all populations of these species are capable of methyl- and demethyl-transformations. The actual concentration of MeHg in the aquatic environment is regulated by the relative production and decomposition rates. This, in turn, depends on the availability of Hg(II), MeHg, and bacteria as well as on the physico-chemical properties of the sample. The objective of this study was to compare mercury methylation and demethylation rates in sediment samples with and without active bacterial populations. We therefore performed experiments to follow bacterial evolution during the course of Hg(II) methylation and MeHg demethylation in sediment slurries containing both sterile and non-sterile sediments.

  8. Abiotic Deposition of Fe Complexes onto Leptothrix Sheaths

    PubMed Central

    Kunoh, Tatsuki; Hashimoto, Hideki; McFarlane, Ian R.; Hayashi, Naoaki; Suzuki, Tomoko; Taketa, Eisuke; Tamura, Katsunori; Takano, Mikio; El-Naggar, Mohamed Y.; Kunoh, Hitoshi; Takada, Jun

    2016-01-01

    Bacteria classified in species of the genus Leptothrix produce extracellular, microtubular, Fe-encrusted sheaths. The encrustation has been previously linked to bacterial Fe oxidases, which oxidize Fe(II) to Fe(III) and/or active groups of bacterial exopolymers within sheaths to attract and bind aqueous-phase inorganics. When L. cholodnii SP-6 cells were cultured in media amended with high Fe(II) concentrations, Fe(III) precipitates visibly formed immediately after addition of Fe(II) to the medium, suggesting prompt abiotic oxidation of Fe(II) to Fe(III). Intriguingly, these precipitates were deposited onto the sheath surface of bacterial cells as the population was actively growing. When Fe(III) was added to the medium, similar precipitates formed in the medium first and were abiotically deposited onto the sheath surfaces. The precipitates in the Fe(II) medium were composed of assemblies of globular, amorphous particles (ca. 50 nm diameter), while those in the Fe(III) medium were composed of large, aggregated particles (≥3 µm diameter) with a similar amorphous structure. These precipitates also adhered to cell-free sheaths. We thus concluded that direct abiotic deposition of Fe complexes onto the sheath surface occurs independently of cellular activity in liquid media containing Fe salts, although it remains unclear how this deposition is associated with the previously proposed mechanisms (oxidation enzyme- and/or active group of organic components-involved) of Fe encrustation of the Leptothrix sheaths. PMID:27271677

  9. Abiotic Deposition of Fe Complexes onto Leptothrix Sheaths.

    PubMed

    Kunoh, Tatsuki; Hashimoto, Hideki; McFarlane, Ian R; Hayashi, Naoaki; Suzuki, Tomoko; Taketa, Eisuke; Tamura, Katsunori; Takano, Mikio; El-Naggar, Mohamed Y; Kunoh, Hitoshi; Takada, Jun

    2016-01-01

    Bacteria classified in species of the genus Leptothrix produce extracellular, microtubular, Fe-encrusted sheaths. The encrustation has been previously linked to bacterial Fe oxidases, which oxidize Fe(II) to Fe(III) and/or active groups of bacterial exopolymers within sheaths to attract and bind aqueous-phase inorganics. When L. cholodnii SP-6 cells were cultured in media amended with high Fe(II) concentrations, Fe(III) precipitates visibly formed immediately after addition of Fe(II) to the medium, suggesting prompt abiotic oxidation of Fe(II) to Fe(III). Intriguingly, these precipitates were deposited onto the sheath surface of bacterial cells as the population was actively growing. When Fe(III) was added to the medium, similar precipitates formed in the medium first and were abiotically deposited onto the sheath surfaces. The precipitates in the Fe(II) medium were composed of assemblies of globular, amorphous particles (ca. 50 nm diameter), while those in the Fe(III) medium were composed of large, aggregated particles (≥3 µm diameter) with a similar amorphous structure. These precipitates also adhered to cell-free sheaths. We thus concluded that direct abiotic deposition of Fe complexes onto the sheath surface occurs independently of cellular activity in liquid media containing Fe salts, although it remains unclear how this deposition is associated with the previously proposed mechanisms (oxidation enzyme- and/or active group of organic components-involved) of Fe encrustation of the Leptothrix sheaths. PMID:27271677

  10. Titania may produce abiotic oxygen atmospheres on habitable exoplanets.

    PubMed

    Narita, Norio; Enomoto, Takafumi; Masaoka, Shigeyuki; Kusakabe, Nobuhiko

    2015-01-01

    The search for habitable exoplanets in the Universe is actively ongoing in the field of astronomy. The biggest future milestone is to determine whether life exists on such habitable exoplanets. In that context, oxygen in the atmosphere has been considered strong evidence for the presence of photosynthetic organisms. In this paper, we show that a previously unconsidered photochemical mechanism by titanium (IV) oxide (titania) can produce abiotic oxygen from liquid water under near ultraviolet (NUV) lights on the surface of exoplanets. Titania works as a photocatalyst to dissociate liquid water in this process. This mechanism offers a different source of a possibility of abiotic oxygen in atmospheres of exoplanets from previously considered photodissociation of water vapor in upper atmospheres by extreme ultraviolet (XUV) light. Our order-of-magnitude estimation shows that possible amounts of oxygen produced by this abiotic mechanism can be comparable with or even more than that in the atmosphere of the current Earth, depending on the amount of active surface area for this mechanism. We conclude that titania may act as a potential source of false signs of life on habitable exoplanets. PMID:26354078

  11. Titania may produce abiotic oxygen atmospheres on habitable exoplanets

    PubMed Central

    Narita, Norio; Enomoto, Takafumi; Masaoka, Shigeyuki; Kusakabe, Nobuhiko

    2015-01-01

    The search for habitable exoplanets in the Universe is actively ongoing in the field of astronomy. The biggest future milestone is to determine whether life exists on such habitable exoplanets. In that context, oxygen in the atmosphere has been considered strong evidence for the presence of photosynthetic organisms. In this paper, we show that a previously unconsidered photochemical mechanism by titanium (IV) oxide (titania) can produce abiotic oxygen from liquid water under near ultraviolet (NUV) lights on the surface of exoplanets. Titania works as a photocatalyst to dissociate liquid water in this process. This mechanism offers a different source of a possibility of abiotic oxygen in atmospheres of exoplanets from previously considered photodissociation of water vapor in upper atmospheres by extreme ultraviolet (XUV) light. Our order-of-magnitude estimation shows that possible amounts of oxygen produced by this abiotic mechanism can be comparable with or even more than that in the atmosphere of the current Earth, depending on the amount of active surface area for this mechanism. We conclude that titania may act as a potential source of false signs of life on habitable exoplanets. PMID:26354078

  12. Abiotic carbonate dissolution traps carbon in a semiarid desert

    PubMed Central

    Fa, Keyu; Liu, Zhen; Zhang, Yuqing; Qin, Shugao; Wu, Bin; Liu, Jiabin

    2016-01-01

    It is generally considered that desert ecosystems release CO2 to the atmosphere, but recent studies in drylands have shown that the soil can absorb CO2 abiotically. However, the mechanisms and exact location of abiotic carbon absorption remain unclear. Here, we used soil sterilization, 13CO2 addition, and detection methods to trace 13C in the soil of the Mu Us Desert, northern China. After 13CO2 addition, a large amount of 13CO2 was absorbed by the sterilised soil, and 13C was found enriched both in the soil gaseous phase and dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC). Further analysis indicated that about 79.45% of the total 13C absorbed by the soil was trapped in DIC, while the amount of 13C in the soil gaseous phase accounted for only 0.22% of the total absorbed 13C. However, about 20.33% of the total absorbed 13C remained undetected. Our results suggest that carbonate dissolution might occur predominately, and the soil liquid phase might trap the majority of abiotically absorbed carbon. It is possible that the trapped carbon in the soil liquid phase leaches into the groundwater; however, further studies are required to support this hypothesis. PMID:27020762

  13. Abiotic Reductive Immobilization of U(VI) by Biogenic Mackinawite

    SciTech Connect

    Veeramani, Harish; Scheinost, Andreas; Monsegue, Niven; Qafoku, Nikolla; Kukkadapu, Ravi K.; Newville, Mathew; Lanzirotti, Anthony; Pruden, Amy; Murayama, Mitsuhiro; Hochella, Michael F.

    2013-03-01

    During subsurface bioremediation of uranium-contaminated sites, indigenous metal and sulfate-reducing bacteria may utilize a variety of electron acceptors, including ferric iron and sulfate that could lead to the formation of various biogenic minerals in-situ. Sulfides, as well as structural and adsorbed Fe(II) associated with biogenic Fe(II)-sulfide phases, can potentially catalyze abiotic U6+ reduction via direct electron transfer processes. In the present work, the propensity of biogenic mackinawite (Fe1+xS, x = 0 to 0.11) to reduce U6+ abiotically was investigated. The biogenic mackinawite produced by Shewanella putrefaciens strain CN32 was characterized by employing a suite of analytical techniques including TEM, SEM, XAS and Mössbauer analyses. Nanoscale and bulk analyses (microscopic and spectroscopic techniques, respectively) of biogenic mackinawite after exposure to U6+ indicate the formation of nanoparticulate UO2. This study suggests the relevance of Fe(II) and sulfide bearing biogenic minerals in mediating abiotic U6+ reduction, an alternative pathway in addition to direct enzymatic U6+ reduction.

  14. Titania may produce abiotic oxygen atmospheres on habitable exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Narita, Norio; Enomoto, Takafumi; Masaoka, Shigeyuki; Kusakabe, Nobuhiko

    2015-12-01

    The search for habitable exoplanets in the Universe is actively ongoing in the field of astronomy. The biggest future milestone is to determine whether life exists on such habitable exoplanets. In that context, oxygen in the atmosphere has been considered strong evidence for the presence of photosynthetic organisms. In this paper, we show that a previously unconsidered photochemical mechanism by titanium (IV) oxide (titania) can produce abiotic oxygen from liquid water under near ultraviolet (NUV) lights on the surface of exoplanets. Titania works as a photocatalyst to dissociate liquid water in this process. This mechanism offers a different source of a possibility of abiotic oxygen in atmospheres of exoplanets from previously considered photodissociation of water vapor in upper atmospheres by extreme ultraviolet (XUV) light. Our order-of-magnitude estimation shows that possible amounts of oxygen produced by this abiotic mechanism can be comparable with or even more than that in the atmosphere of the current Earth, depending on the amount of active surface area for this mechanism. We conclude that titania may act as a potential source of false signs of life on habitable exoplanets.Reference:Narita N. et al.,Scientific Reports 5, Article number: 13977 (2015)http://www.nature.com/articles/srep13977

  15. Cell Wall Metabolism in Response to Abiotic Stress

    PubMed Central

    Gall, Hyacinthe Le; Philippe, Florian; Domon, Jean-Marc; Gillet, Françoise; Pelloux, Jérôme; Rayon, Catherine

    2015-01-01

    This review focuses on the responses of the plant cell wall to several abiotic stresses including drought, flooding, heat, cold, salt, heavy metals, light, and air pollutants. The effects of stress on cell wall metabolism are discussed at the physiological (morphogenic), transcriptomic, proteomic and biochemical levels. The analysis of a large set of data shows that the plant response is highly complex. The overall effects of most abiotic stress are often dependent on the plant species, the genotype, the age of the plant, the timing of the stress application, and the intensity of this stress. This shows the difficulty of identifying a common pattern of stress response in cell wall architecture that could enable adaptation and/or resistance to abiotic stress. However, in most cases, two main mechanisms can be highlighted: (i) an increased level in xyloglucan endotransglucosylase/hydrolase (XTH) and expansin proteins, associated with an increase in the degree of rhamnogalacturonan I branching that maintains cell wall plasticity and (ii) an increased cell wall thickening by reinforcement of the secondary wall with hemicellulose and lignin deposition. Taken together, these results show the need to undertake large-scale analyses, using multidisciplinary approaches, to unravel the consequences of stress on the cell wall. This will help identify the key components that could be targeted to improve biomass production under stress conditions. PMID:27135320

  16. Cell Wall Metabolism in Response to Abiotic Stress.

    PubMed

    Le Gall, Hyacinthe; Philippe, Florian; Domon, Jean-Marc; Gillet, Françoise; Pelloux, Jérôme; Rayon, Catherine

    2015-01-01

    This review focuses on the responses of the plant cell wall to several abiotic stresses including drought, flooding, heat, cold, salt, heavy metals, light, and air pollutants. The effects of stress on cell wall metabolism are discussed at the physiological (morphogenic), transcriptomic, proteomic and biochemical levels. The analysis of a large set of data shows that the plant response is highly complex. The overall effects of most abiotic stress are often dependent on the plant species, the genotype, the age of the plant, the timing of the stress application, and the intensity of this stress. This shows the difficulty of identifying a common pattern of stress response in cell wall architecture that could enable adaptation and/or resistance to abiotic stress. However, in most cases, two main mechanisms can be highlighted: (i) an increased level in xyloglucan endotransglucosylase/hydrolase (XTH) and expansin proteins, associated with an increase in the degree of rhamnogalacturonan I branching that maintains cell wall plasticity and (ii) an increased cell wall thickening by reinforcement of the secondary wall with hemicellulose and lignin deposition. Taken together, these results show the need to undertake large-scale analyses, using multidisciplinary approaches, to unravel the consequences of stress on the cell wall. This will help identify the key components that could be targeted to improve biomass production under stress conditions. PMID:27135320

  17. Transcriptional Regulation of Cell Cycle Genes in Response to Abiotic Stresses Correlates with Dynamic Changes in Histone Modifications in Maize

    PubMed Central

    Hou, Haoli; Zhang, Hao; Wang, Yapei; Yan, Shihan; Huang, Yan; Li, Hui; Tan, Junjun; Hu, Ao; Gao, Fei; Zhang, Qi; Li, Yingnan; Zhou, Hong; Zhang, Wei; Li, Lijia

    2014-01-01

    The histone modification level has been shown to be related with gene activation and repression in stress-responsive process, but there is little information on the relationship between histone modification and cell cycle gene expression responsive to environmental cues. In this study, the function of histone modifications in mediating the transcriptional regulation of cell cycle genes under various types of stress was investigated in maize (Zea mays L.). Abiotic stresses all inhibit the growth of maize seedlings, and induce total acetylation level increase compared with the control group in maize roots. The positive and negative regulation of the expression of some cell cycle genes leads to perturbation of cell cycle progression in response to abiotic stresses. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis reveals that dynamic histone acetylation change in the promoter region of cell cycle genes is involved in the control of gene expression in response to external stress and different cell cycle genes have their own characteristic patterns for histone acetylation. The data also showed that the combinations of hyperacetylation and hypoacetylation states of specific lysine sites on the H3 and H4 tails on the promoter regions of cell cycle genes regulate specific cell cycle gene expression under abiotic stress conditions, thus resulting in prolonged cell cycle duration and an inhibitory effect on growth and development in maize seedlings. PMID:25171199

  18. TaNAC2, a NAC-type wheat transcription factor conferring enhanced multiple abiotic stress tolerances in Arabidopsis

    PubMed Central

    Mao, Xinguo; Zhang, Hongying; Qian, Xueya; Li, Ang; Zhao, Guangyao; Jing, Ruilian

    2012-01-01

    Environmental stresses such as drought, salinity, and cold are major factors that significantly limit agricultural productivity. NAC transcription factors play essential roles in response to various abiotic stresses. However, the paucity of wheat NAC members functionally characterized to date does not match the importance of this plant as a world staple crop. Here, the function of TaNAC2 was characterized in Arabidopsis thaliana. A fragment of TaNAC2 was obtained from suppression subtractive cDNA libraries of wheat treated with polyethylene glycol, and its full-length cDNA was obtained by searching a full-length wheat cDNA library. Gene expression profiles indicated that TaNAC2 was involved in response to drought, salt, cold, and abscisic acid treatment. To test its function, transgenic Arabidopsis lines overexpressing TaNAC2–GFP controlled by the cauliflower mosaic virus 35S promoter were generated. Overexpression of TaNAC2 resulted in enhanced tolerances to drought, salt, and freezing stresses in Arabidopsis, which were simultaneously demonstrated by enhanced expression of abiotic stress-response genes and several physiological indices. Therefore, TaNAC2 has potential for utilization in transgenic breeding to improve abiotic stress tolerances in crops. PMID:22330896

  19. Global weather and local butterflies: variable responses to a large-scale climate pattern along an elevational gradient.

    PubMed

    Pardikes, Nicholas A; Shapiro, Arthur M; Dyer, Lee A; Forister, Matthew L

    2015-11-01

    Understanding the spatial and temporal scales at which environmental variation affects populations of plants and animals is an important goal for modern population biology, especially in the context of shifting climatic conditions. The El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) generates climatic extremes of interannual variation, and has been shown to have significant effects on the diversity and abundance of a variety of terrestrial taxa. However, studies that have investigated the influence of such large-scale climate phenomena have often been limited in spatial and taxonomic scope. We used 23 years (1988-2010) of a long-term butterfly monitoring data set to explore associations between variation in population abundance of 28 butterfly species and variation in ENSO-derived sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTA) across 10 sites that encompass an elevational range of 2750 m in the Sierra Nevada mountain range of California. Our analysis detected a positive, regional effect of increased SSTA on butterfly abundance (wetter and warmer years predict more butterfly observations), yet the influence of SSTA on butterfly abundances varied along the elevational gradient, and also differed greatly among the 28 species. Migratory species had the strongest relationships with ENSO-derived SSTA, suggesting that large-scale climate indices are particularly valuable for understanding biotic-abiotic relationships of the most mobile species. In general, however, the ecological effects of large-scale climatic factors are context dependent between sites and species. Our results illustrate the power of long-term data sets for revealing pervasive yet subtle climatic effects, but also caution against expectations derived from exemplar species or single locations in the study of biotic-abiotic interactions. PMID:27070009

  20. Plant-hummingbird interactions in the West Indies: floral specialisation gradients associated with environment and hummingbird size.

    PubMed

    Dalsgaard, Bo; Martín González, Ana M; Olesen, Jens M; Ollerton, Jeff; Timmermann, Allan; Andersen, Laila H; Tossas, Adrianne G

    2009-04-01

    Floral phenotype and pollination system of a plant may be influenced by the abiotic environment and the local pollinator assemblage. This was investigated in seven plant-hummingbird assemblages on the West Indian islands of Grenada, Dominica and Puerto Rico. We report all hummingbird and insect pollinators of 49 hummingbird-pollinated plant species, as well as six quantitative and semi-quantitative floral characters that determine visitor restriction, attraction and reward. Using nonmetric multidimensional scaling analysis, we show that hummingbird-pollinated plants in the West Indies separate in floral phenotypic space into two gradients-one associated with the abiotic environment and another with hummingbird size. Plants pollinated by large, long-billed hummingbirds had flowers with long corolla tube, large amounts of nectar and showy orange-red colouration. These attracted few or no insect species, whereas plants pollinated by small, short-billed hummingbirds were frequently pollinated by insects, particularly lepidopterans. The separation of plants related to environmental factors showed that species in the wet and cold highlands produced large amounts of dilute nectar, possessed no or a weak odour, and were associated with few insects, particularly few hymenopterans, compared to plants in the dry and warm lowlands. The most specialised hummingbird-pollinated plants are found in the West Indian highlands where they are pollinated by mainly large, long-billed hummingbirds. At the other extreme, highly generalised plants growing in the dry and warm lowlands are pollinated by small, short-billed hummingbirds and numerous insect species. This illustrates that, even within the hummingbird-pollinated flora, pollination syndrome and the degree of specialisation may vary tremendously depending on pollinator morphology and environment. PMID:19132403

  1. Comprehensive Analysis and Expression Profiling of the OsLAX and OsABCB Auxin Transporter Gene Families in Rice (Oryza sativa) under Phytohormone Stimuli and Abiotic Stresses.

    PubMed

    Chai, Chenglin; Subudhi, Prasanta K

    2016-01-01

    The plant hormone auxin regulates many aspects of plant growth and developmental processes. Auxin gradient is formed in plant as a result of polar auxin transportation by three types of auxin transporters such as OsLAX, OsPIN, and OsABCB. We report here the analysis of two rice auxin transporter gene families, OsLAX and OsABCB, using bioinformatics tools, publicly accessible microarray data, and quantitative RT-PCR. There are 5 putative OsLAXs and 22 putative OsABCBs in rice genome, which were mapped on 8 chromosomes. The exon-intron structure of OsLAX genes and properties of deduced proteins were relatively conserved within grass family, while that of OsABCB genes varied greatly. Both constitutive and organ/tissue specific expression patterns were observed in OsLAXs and OsABCBs. Analysis of evolutionarily closely related "gene pairs" together with organ/tissue specific expression revealed possible "function gaining" and "function losing" events during rice evolution. Most OsLAX and OsABCB genes were regulated by drought and salt stress, as well as hormonal stimuli [auxin and Abscisic Acid (ABA)], which suggests extensive crosstalk between abiotic stresses and hormone signaling pathways. The existence of large number of auxin and stress related cis-regulatory elements in promoter regions might account for their massive responsiveness of these genes to these environmental stimuli, indicating complexity of regulatory networks involved in various developmental and physiological processes. The comprehensive analysis of OsLAX and OsABCB auxin transporter genes in this study would be helpful for understanding the biological significance of these gene families in hormone signaling and adaptation of rice plants to unfavorable environments. PMID:27200061

  2. Comprehensive Analysis and Expression Profiling of the OsLAX and OsABCB Auxin Transporter Gene Families in Rice (Oryza sativa) under Phytohormone Stimuli and Abiotic Stresses

    PubMed Central

    Chai, Chenglin; Subudhi, Prasanta K.

    2016-01-01

    The plant hormone auxin regulates many aspects of plant growth and developmental processes. Auxin gradient is formed in plant as a result of polar auxin transportation by three types of auxin transporters such as OsLAX, OsPIN, and OsABCB. We report here the analysis of two rice auxin transporter gene families, OsLAX and OsABCB, using bioinformatics tools, publicly accessible microarray data, and quantitative RT-PCR. There are 5 putative OsLAXs and 22 putative OsABCBs in rice genome, which were mapped on 8 chromosomes. The exon-intron structure of OsLAX genes and properties of deduced proteins were relatively conserved within grass family, while that of OsABCB genes varied greatly. Both constitutive and organ/tissue specific expression patterns were observed in OsLAXs and OsABCBs. Analysis of evolutionarily closely related “gene pairs” together with organ/tissue specific expression revealed possible “function gaining” and “function losing” events during rice evolution. Most OsLAX and OsABCB genes were regulated by drought and salt stress, as well as hormonal stimuli [auxin and Abscisic Acid (ABA)], which suggests extensive crosstalk between abiotic stresses and hormone signaling pathways. The existence of large number of auxin and stress related cis-regulatory elements in promoter regions might account for their massive responsiveness of these genes to these environmental stimuli, indicating complexity of regulatory networks involved in various developmental and physiological processes. The comprehensive analysis of OsLAX and OsABCB auxin transporter genes in this study would be helpful for understanding the biological significance of these gene families in hormone signaling and adaptation of rice plants to unfavorable environments. PMID:27200061

  3. Abiotic stressors and stress responses: What commonalities appear between species across biological organization levels?

    PubMed

    Sulmon, Cécile; van Baaren, Joan; Cabello-Hurtado, Francisco; Gouesbet, Gwenola; Hennion, Françoise; Mony, Cendrine; Renault, David; Bormans, Myriam; El Amrani, Abdelhak; Wiegand, Claudia; Gérard, Claudia

    2015-07-01

    Organisms are regularly subjected to abiotic stressors related to increasing anthropogenic activities, including chemicals and climatic changes that induce major stresses. Based on various key taxa involved in ecosystem functioning (photosynthetic microorganisms, plants, invertebrates), we review how organisms respond and adapt to chemical- and temperature-induced stresses from molecular to population level. Using field-realistic studies, our integrative analysis aims to compare i) how molecular and physiological mechanisms related to protection, repair and energy allocation can impact life history traits of stressed organisms, and ii) to what extent trait responses influence individual and population responses. Common response mechanisms are evident at molecular and cellular scales but become rather difficult to define at higher levels due to evolutionary distance and environmental complexity. We provide new insights into the understanding of the impact of molecular and cellular responses on individual and population dynamics and assess the potential related effects on communities and ecosystem functioning. PMID:25813422

  4. Abiotic/biotic coupling in the rhizosphere: a reactive transport modeling analysis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lawrence, Corey R.; Steefel, Carl; Maher, Kate

    2014-01-01

    A new generation of models is needed to adequately simulate patterns of soil biogeochemical cycling in response changing global environmental drivers. For example, predicting the influence of climate change on soil organic matter storage and stability requires models capable of addressing complex biotic/abiotic interactions of rhizosphere and weathering processes. Reactive transport modeling provides a powerful framework simulating these interactions and the resulting influence on soil physical and chemical characteristics. Incorporation of organic reactions in an existing reactive transport model framework has yielded novel insights into soil weathering and development but much more work is required to adequately capture root and microbial dynamics in the rhizosphere. This endeavor provides many advantages over traditional soil biogeochemical models but also many challenges.

  5. Abiotic systems for the catalytic treatment of solvent-contaminated water

    SciTech Connect

    Betterton, E.A.; Arnold, R.G.; Liu, Zhijie; Hollan, N.

    1996-12-31

    Three abiotic systems are described that catalyze the reductive dehalogenation of heavily halogenated environmental pollutants, including carbon tetrachloride, trichloroethene, and perchloroethene. These systems include (a) an electrolytic reactor in which the potential on the working electrode (cathode) is fixed by using a potentiostat, (b) a light-driven system consisting of a semiconductor and (covalently attached) macrocycle that can accept light transmitted via an optical fiber, and a light-driven, two-solvent (isopropanol/acetone) system that promotes dehalogenation reactions via an unknown mechanism. Each is capable of accelerating reductive dehalogenation reactions to very high rates under laboratory conditions. Typically, millimolar concentrations of aqueous-phase targets can be dehalogenated in minutes to hours. The description of each system includes the elements of reaction mechanism (to the extent known), typical kinetic data, and a discussion of the feasibility of applying this technology for the in situ destruction of hazardous compounds. 14 refs., 11 figs., 2 tabs.

  6. Protective function of nitric oxide on marine phytoplankton under abiotic stresses.

    PubMed

    Li, Peifeng; Liu, Chun-Ying; Liu, Huanhuan; Zhang, Qiang; Wang, Lili

    2013-09-01

    As an important signaling molecule, nitric oxide (NO) plays diverse physiological functions in plants, which has gained particular attention in recent years. We investigated the roles of NO in the growth of marine phytoplankton Platymonas subcordiforms and Skeletonema costatum under abiotic stresses. The growth of these two microalgae was obviously inhibited under non-metal stress (sodium selenium, Na2SeO3), heavy metal stress (lead nitrate, Pb(NO3)2), pesticide stress (methomyl) and UV radiation stress. After the addition of different low concentrations of exogenous NO (10(-10)-10(-8) mol L(-1)) twice each day during cultivation, the growth of these two microalgae was obviously promoted. Results showed that NO could relieve the oxidative stresses to protect the growth of the two microalgae. For different environmental stress, there is a different optimum NO concentration for marine phytoplankton. It is speculated that the protective effect of NO is related to its antioxidant ability. PMID:23810732

  7. Potential utilization of NAC transcription factors to enhance abiotic stress tolerance in plants by biotechnological approach.

    PubMed

    Tran, Lam-Son Phan; Nishiyama, Rie; Yamaguchi-Shinozaki, Kazuko; Shinozaki, Kazuo

    2010-01-01

    Abiotic stresses such as extreme temperature, drought, high salinity, cold and waterlogging often result in significant losses to the yields of economically important crops. Plants constantly exposed to capricious conditions have adapted at the molecular, cellular, physiological and biochemical level, enabling them to survive and cope with adverse environmental stresses. NAC (NAM, ATAF and CUC) transcription factors (TFs), which constitute one of the largest families of plant-specific TFs, have been reported to enhance tolerance against various stresses, such as drought, high salinity and cold, in a number of plants. In this review the NAC TF family will be described and the potential use of NAC TFs in development of improved stress tolerant transgenic crops will be discussed. PMID:21912210

  8. On the use of abiotic surrogates to describe marine benthic biodiversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McArthur, M. A.; Brooke, B. P.; Przeslawski, R.; Ryan, D. A.; Lucieer, V. L.; Nichol, S.; McCallum, A. W.; Mellin, C.; Cresswell, I. D.; Radke, L. C.

    2010-06-01

    A growing need to manage marine biodiversity sustainably at local, regional and global scales cannot be met by applying existing biological data. Abiotic surrogates of biodiversity are thus increasingly valuable in filling the gaps in our knowledge of biodiversity patterns, especially identification of hotspots, habitats needed by endangered or commercially valuable species and systems or processes important to the sustained provision of ecosystem services. This review examines the use of abiotic variables as surrogates for patterns in benthic biodiversity with particular regard to how variables are tied to processes affecting species richness and how easily those variables can be measured at scales relevant to resource management decisions. Direct gradient variables such as salinity, oxygen concentration and temperature can be strong predictive variables for larger systems, although local stability of water quality may prevent usefulness of these factors at fine spatial scales. Biological productivity has complex relationships with benthic biodiversity and although the development of local and regional models cannot accurately predict outside the range of their biological sampling, remote sensing may provide useful information. Indeed, interpolated values are available for much of the world's seas, and these are continually being refined by the collection of remote sensing and field data. Sediment variables often exhibit complex relationships with benthic biodiversity. The strength of the relationship between any one sediment variable and biodiversity may depend on the state of another sediment variable in that system. Percentage mud, percentage gravel, rugosity and compaction hold the strongest independent predictive power. Rugosity and the difference between gravel and finer sediments can be established using acoustic methods, but to quantify grain size and measure compaction, a sample is necessary. Pure spatial variables such as latitude, longitude and depth

  9. Mismatch in microbial food webs: predators but not prey perform better in their local biotic and abiotic conditions.

    PubMed

    Parain, Elodie C; Gravel, Dominique; Rohr, Rudolf P; Bersier, Louis-Félix; Gray, Sarah M

    2016-07-01

    Understanding how trophic levels respond to changes in abiotic and biotic conditions is key for predicting how food webs will react to environmental perturbations. Different trophic levels may respond disproportionately to change, with lower levels more likely to react faster, as they typically consist of smaller-bodied species with higher reproductive rates. This response could cause a mismatch between trophic levels, in which predators and prey will respond differently to changing abiotic or biotic conditions. This mismatch between trophic levels could result in altered top-down and bottom-up control and changes in interaction strength. To determine the possibility of a mismatch, we conducted a reciprocal-transplant experiment involving Sarracenia purpurea food webs consisting of bacterial communities as prey and a subset of six morphologically similar protozoans as predators. We used a factorial design with four temperatures, four bacteria and protozoan biogeographic origins, replicated four times. This design allowed us to determine how predator and prey dynamics were altered by abiotic (temperature) conditions and biotic (predators paired with prey from either their local or non-local biogeographic origin) conditions. We found that prey reached higher densities in warmer temperature regardless of their temperature of origin. Conversely, predators achieved higher densities in the temperature condition and with the prey from their origin. These results confirm that predators perform better in abiotic and biotic conditions of their origin while their prey do not. This mismatch between trophic levels may be especially significant under climate change, potentially disrupting ecosystem functioning by disproportionately affecting top-down and bottom-up control. PMID:27547320

  10. Homeologous genes involved in mannitol synthesis reveal unequal contributions in response to abiotic stress in Coffea arabica.

    PubMed

    de Carvalho, Kenia; Petkowicz, Carmen L O; Nagashima, Getulio T; Bespalhok Filho, João C; Vieira, Luiz G E; Pereira, Luiz F P; Domingues, Douglas S

    2014-10-01

    Polyploid plants can exhibit transcriptional modulation in homeologous genes in response to abiotic stresses. Coffea arabica, an allotetraploid, accounts for 75% of the world's coffee production. Extreme temperatures, salinity and drought limit crop productivity, which includes coffee plants. Mannitol is known to be involved in abiotic stress tolerance in higher plants. This study aimed to investigate the transcriptional responses of genes involved in mannitol biosynthesis and catabolism in C. arabica leaves under water deficit, salt stress and high temperature. Mannitol concentration was significantly increased in leaves of plants under drought and salinity, but reduced by heat stress. Fructose content followed the level of mannitol only in heat-stressed plants, suggesting the partitioning of the former into other metabolites during drought and salt stress conditions. Transcripts of the key enzymes involved in mannitol biosynthesis, CaM6PR, CaPMI and CaMTD, were modulated in distinct ways depending on the abiotic stress. Our data suggest that changes in mannitol accumulation during drought and salt stress in leaves of C. arabica are due, at least in part, to the increased expression of the key genes involved in mannitol biosynthesis. In addition, the homeologs of the Coffea canephora subgenome did not present the same pattern of overall transcriptional response, indicating differential regulation of these genes by the same stimulus. In this way, this study adds new information on the differential expression of C. arabica homeologous genes under adverse environmental conditions showing that abiotic stresses can influence the homeologous gene regulation pattern, in this case, mainly on those involved in mannitol pathway. PMID:24861101

  11. Abiotic stress modifies the synthesis of alpha-tocopherol and beta-carotene in phytoplankton species.

    PubMed

    Häubner, Norbert; Sylvander, Peter; Vuori, Kristiina; Snoeijs, Pauline

    2014-08-01

    We performed laboratory experiments to investi-gate whether the synthesis of the antioxidants α-tocopherol (vitamin E) and β-carotene in phytoplankton depends on changes in abiotic factors. Cultures of Nodularia spumigena, Phaeodactylum tricornutum, Skeletonema costatum, Dunaliella tertiolecta, Prorocentrum cordatum, and Rhodomonas salina were incubated at different tempe-ratures, photon flux densities and salinities for 48 h. We found that abiotic stress, within natural ecological ranges, affects the synthesis of the two antioxidants in different ways in different species. In most cases antioxidant production was stimulated by increased abiotic stress. In P. tricornutum KAC 37 and D. tertiolecta SCCAP K-0591, both good producers of this compound, α-tocopherol accumulation was negatively affected by environmentally induced higher photosystem II efficiency (Fv /Fm ). On the other hand, β-carotene accumulation was positively affected by higher Fv /Fm in N. spumigena KAC 7, P. tricornutum KAC 37, D. tertiolecta SCCAP K-0591 and R. salina SCCAP K-0294. These different patterns in the synthesis of the two compounds may be explained by their different locations and functions in the cell. While α-tocopherol is heavily involved in the protection of prevention of lipid peroxidation in membranes, β-carotene performs immediate photo-oxidative protection in the antennae complex of photosystem II. Overall, our results suggest a high variability in the antioxidant pool of natural aquatic ecosystems, which can be subject to short-term temperature, photon flux density and salinity fluctuations. The antioxidant levels in natural phytoplankton communities depend on species composition, the physiological condition of the species, and their respective strategies to deal with reactive oxygen species. Since α-tocopherol and β-carotene, as well as many other nonenzymatic antioxidants, are exclusively produced by photo-synthetic organisms, and are required by higher

  12. Landscape Patterns of Wood Density and Aboveground Biomass Along a Tropical Elevation Gradient in Costa Rica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robinson, C. M.

    2015-12-01

    This research sought to understand how tree wood density and taxonomic diversity relate to topography and three-dimensional vegetation structure in the tropical montane forest of Braulio Carrillo National Park in Costa Rica. The study utilized forest inventory and botanical data from twenty 1-ha plots ranging from 55 m to 2800 m above sea level and remote sensing data from an airborne lidar sensor (NASA's Land, Vegetation, and Ice Sensor [LVIS]) to quantify variations in forest structure. There is growing evidence that ecosystem structure may help to control the functional variations across landscapes. This study relates patterns of tree functional wood density and alpha diversity to three-dimensional structure using remote sensing observations of forest structure. We were able to test the effect of the gradient on wood density measured from collected tree cores and on the subsequent aboveground biomass estimations. We sought to determine if there was a significant pattern of wood density across the altitudinal gradient, which has implications for conservation of both ecosystem services and biodiversity. We also wanted to determine how many random individuals could be sampled to accurately estimate aboveground biomass in a one-hectare plot. Our results indicate that there is a strong relationship between LVIS-derived forest 3D-structure and alpha diversity, likely controlled by variations in abiotic factors and topography along the elevation. Using spatial analysis with the aid of remote sensing data, we found patterns along the environmental gradients defining species composition and forest structure. Wood density values were found to vary significantly from database values for the same species. This variation in tree growth has repercussions on overall forest structure, and subsequent carbon estimates extrapolated from field measurements. Because these wood density values are directly tied to biomass estimates, it is possible that carbon storage has been

  13. Biotic and abiotic controls of argentine ant invasion success at local and landscape scales

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Menke, S.B.; Fisher, R.N.; Jetz, W.; Holway, D.A.

    2007-01-01

    Although the ecological success of introduced species hinges on biotic interactions and physical conditions, few experimental studies - especially on animals - have simultaneously investigated the relative importance of both types of factors. The lack of such research may stem from the common assumption that native and introduced species exhibit similar environmental tolerances. Here we combine experimental and spatial modeling approaches (1) to determine the relative importance of biotic and abiotic controls of Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) invasion success, (2) to examine how the importance of these factors changes with spatial scale in southern California (USA), and (3) to assess how Argentine ants differ from native ants in their environmental tolerances. A factorial field experiment that combined native ant removal with irrigation revealed that Argentine ants failed to invade any dry plots (even those lacking native ants) but readily invaded all moist plots. Native ants slowed the spread of Argentine ants into irrigated plots but did not prevent invasion. In areas without Argentine ants, native ant species showed variable responses to irrigation. At the landscape scale, Argentine ant occurrence was positively correlated with minimum winter temperature (but not precipitation), whereas native ant diversity increased with precipitation and was negatively correlated with minimum winter temperature. These results are of interest for several reasons. First, they demonstrate that fine-scale differences in the physical environment can eclipse biotic resistance from native competitors in determining community susceptibility to invasion. Second, our results illustrate surprising complexities with respect to how the abiotic factors limiting invasion can change with spatial scale, and third, how native and invasive species can differ in their responses to the physical environment. Idiosyncratic and scale-dependent processes complicate attempts to forecast where

  14. Modelling Stream-Fish Functional Traits in Reference Conditions: Regional and Local Environmental Correlates

    PubMed Central

    Oliveira, João M.; Segurado, Pedro; Santos, José M.; Teixeira, Amílcar; Ferreira, Maria T.; Cortes, Rui V.

    2012-01-01

    Identifying the environmental gradients that control the functional structure of biological assemblages in reference conditions is fundamental to help river management and predict the consequences of anthropogenic stressors. Fish metrics (density of ecological guilds, and species richness) from 117 least disturbed stream reaches in several western Iberia river basins were modelled with generalized linear models in order to investigate the importance of regional- and local-scale abiotic gradients to variation in functional structure of fish assemblages. Functional patterns were primarily associated with regional features, such as catchment elevation and slope, rainfall, and drainage area. Spatial variations of fish guilds were thus associated with broad geographic gradients, showing (1) pronounced latitudinal patterns, affected mainly by climatic factors and topography, or (2) at the basin level, strong upstream-downstream patterns related to stream position in the longitudinal gradient. Maximum native species richness was observed in midsize streams in accordance with the river continuum concept. The findings of our study emphasized the need to use a multi-scale approach in order to fully assess the factors that govern the functional organization of biotic assemblages in ‘natural’ streams, as well as to improve biomonitoring and restoration of fluvial ecosystems. PMID:23029242

  15. Abiotic Versus Biotic Weathering Of Olivine As Possible Biosignatures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Longazo, Teresa G.; Wentworth, Susan J.; Clemett, Simon J.; Southam, Gordon; McKay, David S.

    2001-01-01

    We are investigating the weathering of silicate minerals by both purely inorganic, and biologically mediated processes using field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) and energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS). By resolving surface textures and chemical compositions of weathered surfaces at the sub-micron scale we hope to be able to distinguish abiotic from biotic weathering processes and so establish a new biosignature applicable to the study of astromaterials including but not limited to the Martian meteorites. Sterilized olivine grains (San Carlos, Arizona) no more than 1-2 mm in their longest dimension were optically assayed to be uniform in color and free of inclusions were selected as weathering subjects. Prior to all experiments surface morphologies and Fe/Mg ratios were determined for each grain using FE-SEM and EDS. Experiments were divided into two categories abiotic and biotic and were compared with "naturally" weathered samples. For the preliminary experiments, two trials (open and closed to the ambient laboratory environment) were performed under abiotic conditions, and three trials under biotic conditions (control, day 1 and day 2). The open system abiotic trials used sterile grains heated at 98 C and 200 C for both 24 and 48 hours in 1L double distilled de-ionized water. The closed system abiotic trials were conducted under the same conditions but in a sealed two layer steel/Teflon "bomb" apparatus. The biotic trials used sterile grains mounted in a flow-through device attached to a wellhead on the Columbia River aquifer. Several discolored, altered, grains were selected to document "natural" weathering surface textures for comparison with the experimental samples. Preliminary results indicate there are qualitative differences in weathered surface textures among all the designed experiments. The olivine grains in abiotic trials displayed etching, pitting, denticulate margins, dissolution and clay formation. The scale of the features

  16. Gradient enhanced spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Zijl, Peter C.; Hurd, Ralph E.

    2011-12-01

    This paper provides a brief overview of the personal recollections of the authors regarding their contributions to the introduction of shielded gradient technology into NMR spectroscopy during the late 1980s and early 1990s. It provides some background into early probe design and details some of the early technical progress with the use of shielded magnetic field gradients for coherence selection in high resolution NMR and describes the developments at General Electric, the National Institutes of Health, Georgetown University and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine that ultimately led to this technology becoming commonplace in modern NMR spectroscopy. Most of this early technical work was published in the Journal of Magnetic Resonance.

  17. High gradient superconducting quadrupoles

    SciTech Connect

    Lundy, R.A.; Brown, B.C.; Carson, J.A.; Fisk, H.E.; Hanft, R.H.; Mantsch, P.M.; McInturff, A.D.; Remsbottom, R.H.

    1987-07-01

    Prototype superconducting quadrupoles with a 5 cm aperture and gradient of 16 kG/cm have been built and tested as candidate magnets for the final focus at SLC. The magnets are made from NbTi Tevatron style cable with 10 inner and 14 outer turns per quadrant. Quench performance and multipole data are presented. Design and data for a low current, high gradient quadrupole, similar in cross section but wound with a cable consisting of five insulated conductors are also discussed.

  18. HIGH GRADIENT INDUCTION ACCELERATOR

    SciTech Connect

    Caporaso, G J; Sampayan, S; Chen, Y; Blackfield, D; Harris, J; Hawkins, S; Holmes, C; Krogh, M; Nelson, S; Nunnally, W; Paul, A; Poole, B; Rhodes, M; Sanders, D; Selenes, K; Sullivan, J; Wang, L; Watson, J

    2007-06-21

    A new type of compact induction accelerator is under development at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory that promises to increase the average accelerating gradient by at least an order of magnitude over that of existing induction machines. The machine is based on the use of high gradient vacuum insulators, advanced dielectric materials and switches and is stimulated by the desire for compact flash x-ray radiography sources. Research describing an extreme variant of this technology aimed at proton therapy for cancer will be described. Progress in applying this technology to several applications will be reviewed.

  19. Gradient tabu search.

    PubMed

    Stepanenko, Svetlana; Engels, Bernd

    2007-01-30

    This paper presents a modification of the tabu search called gradient tabu search (GTS). It uses analytical gradients for a fast minimization to the next local minimum and analytical diagonal elements of the Hessian to escape local minima. For an efficient blocking of already visited areas tabu regions and tabu directions are introduced into the tabu list (TL). Trials with various well-known test functions indicate that the GTS is a very promising approach to determine local and global minima of differentiable functions. Possible application areas could be optimization routines for force field parameters or conformational searches for large molecules. PMID:17186482

  20. Impact of Biotic and Abiotic Stresses on the Competitive Ability of Multiple Herbicide Resistant Wild Oat (Avena fatua)

    PubMed Central

    Lehnhoff, Erik A.; Keith, Barbara K.; Dyer, William E.; Menalled, Fabian D.

    2013-01-01

    Ecological theory predicts that fitness costs of herbicide resistance should lead to the reduced relative abundance of resistant populations upon the cessation of herbicide use. This greenhouse research investigated the potential fitness costs of two multiple herbicide resistant (MHR) wild oat (Avena fatua) populations, an economically important weed that affects cereal and pulse crop production in the Northern Great Plains of North America. We compared the competitive ability of two MHR and two herbicide susceptible (HS) A. fatua populations along a gradient of biotic and abiotic stresses The biotic stress was imposed by three levels of wheat (Triticum aestivum) competition (0, 4, and 8 individuals pot−1) and an abiotic stress by three nitrogen (N) fertilization rates (0, 50 and 100 kg N ha−1). Data were analyzed with linear mixed-effects models and results showed that the biomass of all A. fatua populations decreased with increasing T. aestivum competition at all N rates. Similarly, A. fatua relative growth rate (RGR) decreased with increasing T. aestivum competition at the medium and high N rates but there was no response with 0 N. There were no differences between the levels of biomass or RGR of HS and MHR populations in response to T. aestivum competition. Overall, the results indicate that MHR does not confer growth-related fitness costs in these A. fatua populations, and that their relative abundance will not be diminished with respect to HS populations in the absence of herbicide treatment. PMID:23696896

  1. Testing the Stress-Gradient Hypothesis at the Roof of the World: Effects of the Cushion Plant Thylacospermum caespitosum on Species Assemblages

    PubMed Central

    Dvorský, Miroslav; Doležal, Jiří; Kopecký, Martin; Chlumská, Zuzana; Janatková, Kateřina; Altman, Jan; de Bello, Francesco; Řeháková, Klára

    2013-01-01

    Many cushion plants ameliorate the harsh environment they inhabit in alpine ecosystems and act as nurse plants, with significantly more species growing within their canopy than outside. These facilitative interactions seem to increase with the abiotic stress, thus supporting the stress-gradient hypothesis. We tested this prediction by exploring the association pattern of vascular plants with the dominant cushion plant Thylacospermum caespitosum (Caryophyllaceae) in the arid Trans-Himalaya, where vascular plants occur at one of the highest worldwide elevational limits. We compared plant composition between 1112 pair-plots placed both inside cushions and in surrounding open areas, in communities from cold steppes to subnival zones along two elevational gradients (East Karakoram: 4850–5250 m and Little Tibet: 5350–5850 m). We used PERMANOVA to assess differences in species composition, Friedman-based permutation tests to determine individual species habitat preferences, species-area curves to assess whether interactions are size-dependent and competitive intensity and importance indices to evaluate plant-plant interactions. No indications for net facilitation were found along the elevation gradients. The open areas were not only richer in species, but not a single species preferred to grow exclusively inside cushions, while 39–60% of 56 species detected had a significant preference for the habitat outside cushions. Across the entire elevation range of T. caespitosum, the number and abundance of species were greater outside cushions, suggesting that competitive rather than facilitative interactions prevail. This was supported by lower soil nutrient contents inside cushions, indicating a resource preemption, and little thermal amelioration at the extreme end of the elevational gradient. We attribute the negative associations to competition for limited resources, a strong environmental filter in arid high-mountain environment selecting the stress-tolerant species

  2. Testing the stress-gradient hypothesis at the roof of the world: effects of the cushion plant Thylacospermum caespitosum on species assemblages.

    PubMed

    Dvorský, Miroslav; Doležal, Jiří; Kopecký, Martin; Chlumská, Zuzana; Janatková, Kateřina; Altman, Jan; de Bello, Francesco; Řeháková, Klára

    2013-01-01

    Many cushion plants ameliorate the harsh environment they inhabit in alpine ecosystems and act as nurse plants, with significantly more species growing within their canopy than outside. These facilitative interactions seem to increase with the abiotic stress, thus supporting the stress-gradient hypothesis. We tested this prediction by exploring the association pattern of vascular plants with the dominant cushion plant Thylacospermum caespitosum (Caryophyllaceae) in the arid Trans-Himalaya, where vascular plants occur at one of the highest worldwide elevational limits. We compared plant composition between 1112 pair-plots placed both inside cushions and in surrounding open areas, in communities from cold steppes to subnival zones along two elevational gradients (East Karakoram: 4850-5250 m and Little Tibet: 5350-5850 m). We used PERMANOVA to assess differences in species composition, Friedman-based permutation tests to determine individual species habitat preferences, species-area curves to assess whether interactions are size-dependent and competitive intensity and importance indices to evaluate plant-plant interactions. No indications for net facilitation were found along the elevation gradients. The open areas were not only richer in species, but not a single species preferred to grow exclusively inside cushions, while 39-60% of 56 species detected had a significant preference for the habitat outside cushions. Across the entire elevation range of T. caespitosum, the number and abundance of species were greater outside cushions, suggesting that competitive rather than facilitative interactions prevail. This was supported by lower soil nutrient contents inside cushions, indicating a resource preemption, and little thermal amelioration at the extreme end of the elevational gradient. We attribute the negative associations to competition for limited resources, a strong environmental filter in arid high-mountain environment selecting the stress-tolerant species that do

  3. Transgenic banana plants overexpressing a native plasma membrane aquaporin MusaPIP1;2 display high tolerance levels to different abiotic stresses.

    PubMed

    Sreedharan, Shareena; Shekhawat, Upendra K S; Ganapathi, Thumballi R

    2013-10-01

    Water transport across cellular membranes is regulated by a family of water channel proteins known as aquaporins (AQPs). As most abiotic stresses like suboptimal temperatures, drought or salinity result in cellular dehydration, it is imperative to study the cause-effect relationship between AQPs and the cellular consequences of abiotic stress stimuli. Although plant cells have a high isoform diversity of AQPs, the individual and integrated roles of individual AQPs in optimal and suboptimal physiological conditions remain unclear. Herein, we have identified a plasma membrane intrinsic protein gene (MusaPIP1;2) from banana and characterized it by overexpression in transgenic banana plants. Cellular localization assay performed using MusaPIP1;2::GFP fusion protein indicated that MusaPIP1;2 translocated to plasma membrane in transformed banana cells. Transgenic banana plants overexpressing MusaPIP1;2 constitutively displayed better abiotic stress survival characteristics. The transgenic lines had lower malondialdehyde levels, elevated proline and relative water content and higher photosynthetic efficiency as compared to equivalent controls under different abiotic stress conditions. Greenhouse-maintained hardened transgenic plants showed faster recovery towards normal growth and development after cessation of abiotic stress stimuli, thereby underlining the importance of these plants in actual environmental conditions wherein the stress stimuli is often transient but severe. Further, transgenic plants where the overexpression of MusaPIP1;2 was made conditional by tagging it with a stress-inducible native dehydrin promoter also showed similar stress tolerance characteristics in in vitro and in vivo assays. Plants developed in this study could potentially enable banana cultivation in areas where adverse environmental conditions hitherto preclude commercial banana cultivation. PMID:23745761

  4. The changing landscape: ecosystem responses to urbanization and pollution across climatic and societal gradients

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Urbanization alters both biotic and abiotic ecosystem properties within, surrounding and even at great distances from urban areas. This creates research challenges and environmental problems at local, regional, and global scales. Ecosystem responses to land changes are complex and interacting, occur...

  5. Gradient Refractive Index Lenses.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Morton, N.

    1984-01-01

    Describes the nature of gradient refractive index (GRIN) lenses, focusing on refraction in these materials, focal length of a thin Wood lens, and on manufacturing of such lenses. Indicates that GRIN lenses of small cross section are in limited production with applications suggested for optical communication and photocopying fields. (JN)

  6. Manipulating the Gradient

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gaze, Eric C.

    2005-01-01

    We introduce a cooperative learning, group lab for a Calculus III course to facilitate comprehension of the gradient vector and directional derivative concepts. The lab is a hands-on experience allowing students to manipulate a tangent plane and empirically measure the effect of partial derivatives on the direction of optimal ascent. (Contains 7…

  7. Pathways for abiotic organic synthesis at submarine hydrothermal fields

    PubMed Central

    McDermott, Jill M.; Seewald, Jeffrey S.; German, Christopher R.; Sylva, Sean P.

    2015-01-01

    Arguments for an abiotic origin of low-molecular weight organic compounds in deep-sea hot springs are compelling owing to implications for the sustenance of deep biosphere microbial communities and their potential role in the origin of life. Theory predicts that warm H2-rich fluids, like those emanating from serpentinizing hydrothermal systems, create a favorable thermodynamic drive for the abiotic generation of organic compounds from inorganic precursors. Here, we constrain two distinct reaction pathways for abiotic organic synthesis in the natural environment at the Von Damm hydrothermal field and delineate spatially where inorganic carbon is converted into bioavailable reduced carbon. We reveal that carbon transformation reactions in a single system can progress over hours, days, and up to thousands of years. Previous studies have suggested that CH4 and higher hydrocarbons in ultramafic hydrothermal systems were dependent on H2 generation during active serpentinization. Rather, our results indicate that CH4 found in vent fluids is formed in H2-rich fluid inclusions, and higher n-alkanes may likely be derived from the same source. This finding implies that, in contrast with current paradigms, these compounds may form independently of actively circulating serpentinizing fluids in ultramafic-influenced systems. Conversely, widespread production of formate by ΣCO2 reduction at Von Damm occurs rapidly during shallow subsurface mixing of the same fluids, which may support anaerobic methanogenesis. Our finding of abiogenic formate in deep-sea hot springs has significant implications for microbial life strategies in the present-day deep biosphere as well as early life on Earth and beyond. PMID:26056279

  8. Pathways for abiotic organic synthesis at submarine hydrothermal fields.

    PubMed

    McDermott, Jill M; Seewald, Jeffrey S; German, Christopher R; Sylva, Sean P

    2015-06-23

    Arguments for an abiotic origin of low-molecular weight organic compounds in deep-sea hot springs are compelling owing to implications for the sustenance of deep biosphere microbial communities and their potential role in the origin of life. Theory predicts that warm H2-rich fluids, like those emanating from serpentinizing hydrothermal systems, create a favorable thermodynamic drive for the abiotic generation of organic compounds from inorganic precursors. Here, we constrain two distinct reaction pathways for abiotic organic synthesis in the natural environment at the Von Damm hydrothermal field and delineate spatially where inorganic carbon is converted into bioavailable reduced carbon. We reveal that carbon transformation reactions in a single system can progress over hours, days, and up to thousands of years. Previous studies have suggested that CH4 and higher hydrocarbons in ultramafic hydrothermal systems were dependent on H2 generation during active serpentinization. Rather, our results indicate that CH4 found in vent fluids is formed in H2-rich fluid inclusions, and higher n-alkanes may likely be derived from the same source. This finding implies that, in contrast with current paradigms, these compounds may form independently of actively circulating serpentinizing fluids in ultramafic-influenced systems. Conversely, widespread production of formate by ΣCO2 reduction at Von Damm occurs rapidly during shallow subsurface mixing of the same fluids, which may support anaerobic methanogenesis. Our finding of abiogenic formate in deep-sea hot springs has significant implications for microbial life strategies in the present-day deep biosphere as well as early life on Earth and beyond. PMID:26056279

  9. Distinguishing Biotic from Abiotic Phosphate Oxygen Isotopic Signatures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blake, R.; Moyer, C.; Colman, A.; Liang, Y.; Dogru, D.

    2006-05-01

    On earth, phosphate has a strong biological oxygen isotope signature due to its concentration and intense cycling by living organisms as an essential nutrient. Phosphate does not undergo oxygen isotope exchange with water at low temperature without enzymatic catalysis, making the oxygen isotope ratio (18O/16O) of phosphate, δ18OP, an attractive biosignature in the search for early and extraterrestrial life. Recent laboratory and field studies have demonstrated that the δ18OP value of dissolved inorganic phosphate (PO4) records specific microbial activity and enzymatic reaction pathways in both laboratory cultures and natural waters/sediments (Blake et al., 2005; Colman et al 2005; Liang and Blake, 2005). Phosphate oxygen isotope biosignatures may be distinguished from abiotic signatures by: (1) evaluating the degree of temperature-dependent PO4-water oxygen isotope exchange in aqueous systems and deviation from equilibrium; and (2) evolution from an abiotic P reservoir signature towards a biotic P reservoir signature. Important abiotic processes potentially affecting phosphate δ18OP values include dissolution/precipitation, adsorption/desorption, recrystallization of PO4 mineral phases, diagenesis and metamorphism. For most of these processes, the recording, retention and alteration of δ18OP biosignatures have not been evaluated. Deep-sea hydrothermal vent fields are an ideal system in which to study the preservation and alteration of δ18OP biosignatures, as well as potential look-alikes produced by heat-promoted PO4 -water oxygen isotope exchange. Results from recent studies of δ18OP biosignatures in hydrothermal deposits near 9 and 21 degrees N. EPR and at Loihi seamount will be presented.

  10. Abiotic factors influencing the spatial and temporal variability of juvenile fish in Pamlico Sound, North Carolina

    SciTech Connect

    Pietrafesa, L.J.; Janowitz, G.S.; Miller, J.M.; Noble, E.B.; Ross, S.W.; Epperly, S.P.

    1985-07-01

    A 3-D, time dependent model of the circulation in Pamlico Sound, NC, is used to relate the direction and magnitude of winds to the number of juvenile fish sampled at specified estuarine nursery locations. NC marine sport fishes are known to be spawned in NC continental waters, and then make transit to an through barrier island inlets, into Pamlico Sound. The juveniles then move 40-70 kilometers across the Sound to the nurseries. It is hypothesized that wind driven, pressure gradient induced and topographically steered currents, all abiotic factors, provide the transport mechanisms, during the recruitment period February-April, necessary for the transect. Moreover, the inherent variability in the atmospherically derived physical factors and the influence of topographic irregularities such as a large shoal which laterally bisects the Sound and bifurcates the bottom currents are seen as sources of the temporal and spatial variation observed in the distribution of juvenile fish, while the influence of biological processes is viewed as providing fine-tuned structuring.

  11. ROS mediated MAPK signaling in abiotic and biotic stress- striking similarities and differences

    PubMed Central

    Jalmi, Siddhi K.; Sinha, Alok K.

    2015-01-01

    Plants encounter a number of environmental stresses throughout their life cycles, most of which activate mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway. The MAPKs show crosstalks at several points but the activation and the final response is known to be specific for particular stimuli that in-turn activates specific set of downstream targets. Interestingly, reactive oxygen species (ROS) is an important and common messenger produced in various environmental stresses and is known to activate many of the MAPKs. ROS activates a similar MAPK in different environmental stimuli, showing different downstream targets with different and specific responses. In animals and yeast, the mechanism behind the specific activation of MAPK by different concentration and species of ROS is elaborated, but in plants this aspect is still unclear. This review mainly focuses on the aspect of specificity of ROS mediated MAPK activation. Attempts have been made to review the involvement of ROS in abiotic stress mediated MAPK signaling and how it differentiates with that of biotic stress. PMID:26442079

  12. Calcium Sensors as Key Hubs in Plant Responses to Biotic and Abiotic Stresses

    PubMed Central

    Ranty, Benoît; Aldon, Didier; Cotelle, Valérie; Galaud, Jean-Philippe; Thuleau, Patrice; Mazars, Christian

    2016-01-01

    The Ca2+ ion is recognized as a crucial second messenger in signaling pathways coupling the perception of environmental stimuli to plant adaptive responses. Indeed, one of the earliest events following the perception of environmental changes (temperature, salt stress, drought, pathogen, or herbivore attack) is intracellular variation of free calcium concentrations. These calcium variations differ in their spatio-temporal characteristics (subcellular location, amplitude, kinetics) with the nature and strength of the stimulus and, for this reason, they are considered as signatures encrypting information from the initial stimulus. This information is believed to drive a specific response by decoding via calcium-binding proteins. Based on recent examples, we illustrate how individual calcium sensors from the calcium-dependent protein kinase and calmodulin-like protein families can integrate inputs from various environmental changes. Focusing on members of these two families, shown to be involved in plant responses to both abiotic and biotic stimuli, we discuss their role as key hubs and we put forward hypotheses explaining how they can drive the signaling pathways toward the appropriate plant responses. PMID:27014336

  13. Model Comparison for Abiotic versus Biotic Pollen Dispersal.

    PubMed

    Foster, Erich L; Chan, David M; Dyer, Rodney J

    2016-10-01

    An agent-based model with a correlated random walk is used to explore pollination within a forest. For abiotic dispersal, say via the wind, we use a purely random walk where there is no correlation between consecutive steps and for biotic dispersal, say via insect, we use a moderate or highly correlated random walk. In particular, we examine the differences in a number of biological measurement between a purely random walk and a correlated random walk in terms of gene dispersal in low and high plant densities. PMID:27550704

  14. May Cyclic Nucleotides Be a Source for Abiotic RNA Synthesis?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Costanzo, Giovanna; Pino, Samanta; Botta, Giorgia; Saladino, Raffaele; di Mauro, Ernesto

    2011-12-01

    Nucleic bases are obtained by heating formamide in the presence of various catalysts. Formamide chemistry also allows the formation of acyclonucleosides and the phosphorylation of nucleosides in every possible position, also affording 2',3' and 3',5' cyclic forms. We have reported that 3',5' cyclic GMP and 3',5' cyclic AMP polymerize in abiotic conditions yielding short oligonucleotides. The characterization of this reaction is being pursued, several of its parameters have been determined and experimental caveats are reported. The yield of non-enzymatic polymerization of cyclic purine nucleotides is very low. Polymerization is strongly enhanced by the presence of base-complementary RNA sequences.

  15. Abiotic gas formation drives nitrogen loss from a desert ecosystem.

    PubMed

    McCalley, Carmody K; Sparks, Jed P

    2009-11-01

    In arid environments such as deserts, nitrogen is often the most limiting nutrient for biological activity. The majority of the ecosystem nitrogen flux is typically thought to be driven by production and loss of reactive nitrogen species by microorganisms in the soil. We found that high soil-surface temperatures (greater than 50 degrees C), driven by solar radiation, are the primary cause of nitrogen loss in Mojave Desert soils. This abiotic pathway not only enables the balancing of arid ecosystem nitrogen budgets, but also changes our view of global nitrogen cycling and the predicted impact of climate change and increased temperatures on nitrogen bioavailability. PMID:19892980

  16. Physiological response of the Caribbean Coral O. annularis to Pollution Gradients

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murphy, E. L.; Sivaguru, M.; Fouke, B. W.

    2014-12-01

    Orbicella annularis is an abundant ecological cornerstone framework-building Scleractinian coral throughout the Caribbean Sea. The O. annularis holobiont (biotic and abiotic components of the coral) is negatively impacted by increased exposure to anthropogenic pollution. This is consistently evidenced by altered tissue cellular composition, and skeletal structure. The O. annularis' holobiont is weakened by increased exposure to sewage and ship bilge pollution. Pollution exposure is characterized by decreased skeletal growth, as well as decreased zooxanthellae and chromatophore tissue cell densities. Healthy colonies studied at five sites on the leeward coast of Curacao, along a systematically decreasing pollution concentration, were sampled from the back-reef depositional facies of a protected fringing reef tract. A unidirectional oceanographic current flows to the NW past the city of Willemstad, a large point source of human sewage and ship bilge. This setting creates an ideal natural laboratory for in situ experimentation that quantitatively tracks the impact to coral physiology along a gradient from unimpacted to polluted seawater. Our lab has established laser scanning microscopy for three-dimensional (3D) quantification of zooxanthellae, and chromatophore cellular tissue density. X-ray computed tomography (BioCT) was used for analysis of skeletal density. Zooxanthellae density decreased as pollution concentration increased. Chromatophore density showed no significant relationship with pollution concentration but varied dramatically within each site. This suggests zooxanthellae density is highly impacted by environmental stress while variation in chromatophore density is driven by genetic variation. These results will be used to create a new model for environmental impacts on coral physiology and skeletal growth.

  17. Abiotic stress-induced oscillations in steady-state transcript levels of Group 3 LEA protein genes in the moss, Physcomitrella patens.

    PubMed

    Shinde, Suhas; Shinde, Rupali; Downey, Frances; Ng, Carl K-Y

    2013-01-01

    The moss, Physcomitrella patens is a non-seed land plant belonging to early diverging lineages of land plants following colonization of land in the Ordovician period in Earth's history. Evidence suggests that mosses can be highly tolerant of abiotic stress. We showed previously that dehydration stress and abscisic acid treatments induced oscillations in steady-state levels of LEA (Late Embryogenesis Abundant) protein transcripts, and that removal of ABA resulted in rapid attenuation of oscillatory increases in transcript levels. Here, we show that other abiotic stresses like salt and osmotic stresses also induced oscillations in steady-state transcript levels and that the amplitudes of the oscillatory increases in steady-state transcript levels are reflective of the severity of the abiotic stress treatment. Together, our results suggest that oscillatory increases in transcript levels in response to abiotic stresses may be a general phenomenon in P. patens and that temporally dynamic increases in steady-state transcript levels may be important for adaptation to life in constantly fluctuating environmental conditions. PMID:23221763

  18. Small RNAs in Plant Responses to Abiotic Stresses: Regulatory Roles and Study Methods

    PubMed Central

    Ku, Yee-Shan; Wong, Johanna Wing-Hang; Mui, Zeta; Liu, Xuan; Hui, Jerome Ho-Lam; Chan, Ting-Fung; Lam, Hon-Ming

    2015-01-01

    To survive under abiotic stresses in the environment, plants trigger a reprogramming of gene expression, by transcriptional regulation or translational regulation, to turn on protective mechanisms. The current focus of research on how plants cope with abiotic stresses has transitioned from transcriptomic analyses to small RNA investigations. In this review, we have summarized and evaluated the current methodologies used in the identification and validation of small RNAs and their targets, in the context of plant responses to abiotic stresses. PMID:26501263

  19. Comparisons between abiotic nitration and biotransformation reactions of phenolic micropollutants in activated sludge.

    PubMed

    Jewell, Kevin S; Wick, Arne; Ternes, Thomas A

    2014-01-01

    The transformation of selected phenolic substances was investigated during biological wastewater treatment. A main emphasis was put on the relevance of abiotic processes leading to toxic nitrophenolic transformation products (TPs). Due to their environmental relevance, the antiseptic ortho-phenylphenol (OPP), the plastics additive bisphenol A (BPA) and the psychoactive drug dextrorphan have been studied. Batch experiments confirmed that nitro- and nitroso-phenolic TPs can be formed under acidic conditions when nitrite is present. HNO2, N2O3 and NO and NO2 radicals are likely involved in the abiotic process. It was found that the process was promoted by the freezing of water samples, since this can lead to an unexpected pH drop. However, under conditions present at wastewater treatment plants (neutral pH, low nitrite concentrations), the formation of appreciable concentrations is rather unlikely through this process, since HNO2 concentrations are extremely low and NO and NO2 radicals will also react with other wastewater constituents. Thus, the transformation of phenolic substances such as OPP and BPA is mainly caused by biotic transformation. In addition to hydroxylation as a common reaction under aerobic conditions, the formation of sulfate conjugates was detected with the original compounds as well as with nitrophenolic TPs. Therefore, even when nitro-phenolic substances are formed it is likely that they are further transformed to sulfate conjugates. In raw wastewater and WWTP effluent nitrated BPA and NO2-dextrorphan were not detected. Only nitro-OPP was found in the influent of a WWTP with 2.3 ng/L, but it was not identified in the WWTP effluents. The concentrations of dextrorphan increased slightly during WWTP passage, possibly due to the cleavage of the glucuronide-conjugate, its human metabolite form, or demethylation of the prodrug dextromethorphan. PMID:24238259

  20. Effects of abiotic stressors on lutein production in the green microalga Dunaliella salina

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Recent years have witnessed a rising trend in exploring microalgae for valuable carotenoid products as the demand for lutein and many other carotenoids in global markets has increased significantly. In green microalgae lutein is a major carotenoid protecting cellular components from damage incurred by reactive oxygen species under stress conditions. In this study, we investigated the effects of abiotic stressors on lutein accumulation in a strain of the marine microalga D. salina which had been selected for growth under stress conditions of combined blue and red lights by adaptive laboratory evolution. Results Nitrate concentration, salinity and light quality were selected as three representative influencing factors and their impact on lutein production in batch cultures of D. salina was evaluated using response surface analysis. D. salina was found to be more tolerant to hyper-osmotic stress than to hypo-osmotic stress which caused serious cell damage and death in a high proportion of cells while hyper-osmotic stress increased the average cell size of D. salina only slightly. Two models were developed to explain how lutein productivity depends on the stress factors and for predicting the optimal conditions for lutein productivity. Among the three stress variables for lutein production, stronger interactions were found between nitrate concentration and salinity than between light quality and the other two. The predicted optimal conditions for lutein production were close to the original conditions used for adaptive evolution of D. salina. This suggests that the conditions imposed during adaptive evolution may have selected for the growth optima arrived at. Conclusions This study shows that systematic evaluation of the relationship between abiotic environmental stresses and lutein biosynthesis can help to decipher the key parameters in obtaining high levels of lutein productivity in D. salina. This study may benefit future stress-driven adaptive

  1. Exophiala sp. LHL08 reprograms Cucumis sativus to higher growth under abiotic stresses.

    PubMed

    Khan, Abdul L; Hamayun, Muhammad; Ahmad, Nadeem; Waqas, Muhammad; Kang, Sang-Mo; Kim, Yoon-Ha; Lee, In-Jung

    2011-12-01

    Endophytic fungi are potential sources of secondary metabolites; however, they are little known for phytohormones secretion and amelioration of plant growth under abiotic stresses. We isolated a novel endophyte from the roots of Cucumis sativus and identified it as a strain of Exophiala sp. by sequencing internal transcribed spacer/large subunit rDNA and phylogenetic analysis. Prior to identification, culture filtrate (CF) of Exophiala sp. has shown significant growth promotion of Waito-C [a gibberellins (GAs)-deficient mutant cultivar] and Dongjin-byeo (normal GAs biosynthesis cultivar) rice seedlings. CF analysis of Exophiala sp. showed the presence of physiologically active GAs (GA₁, GA₃, GA₄ and GA₇) and inactive GAs (GA₅, GA₈, GA₉, GA₁₂ and GA₂₀). Exophiala sp. had higher GAs in its CF than wild-type strain of Gibberella fujikuroi except GA₃. Influence of Exophiala sp. was assessed on cucumber plant's growth and endogenous abscisic acid (ABA), salicylic acid (SA) and bioactive GAs under salinity and drought stresses. Exophiala sp.-treated plants have shown significantly higher growth and rescued the host plants from stress promulgated water deficit, osmotic and cellular damage. The altered levels of stress-responsive ABA showed low level of stress confined to endophyte-applied plants than control. Elevated levels of SA and bioactive GAs (GA₃ and GA₄) in endophyte-associated plants suggest stress-modulating response toward salinity and drought. In conclusion, symbiotic relations between Exophiala and cucumber have reprogrammed the host plant growth under abiotic stresses, thus indicating a possible threshold role of endophytic fungi in stress alleviation. This study could be extended for improving agricultural productivity under extreme environmental conditions. PMID:21883250

  2. Calcium-Mediated Abiotic Stress Signaling in Roots

    PubMed Central

    Wilkins, Katie A.; Matthus, Elsa; Swarbreck, Stéphanie M.; Davies, Julia M.

    2016-01-01

    Roots are subjected to a range of abiotic stresses as they forage for water and nutrients. Cytosolic free calcium is a common second messenger in the signaling of abiotic stress. In addition, roots take up calcium both as a nutrient and to stimulate exocytosis in growth. For calcium to fulfill its multiple roles must require strict spatio-temporal regulation of its uptake and efflux across the plasma membrane, its buffering in the cytosol and its sequestration or release from internal stores. This prompts the question of how specificity of signaling output can be achieved against the background of calcium’s other uses. Threats to agriculture such as salinity, water availability and hypoxia are signaled through calcium. Nutrient deficiency is also emerging as a stress that is signaled through cytosolic free calcium, with progress in potassium, nitrate and boron deficiency signaling now being made. Heavy metals have the capacity to trigger or modulate root calcium signaling depending on their dose and their capacity to catalyze production of hydroxyl radicals. Mechanical stress and cold stress can both trigger an increase in root cytosolic free calcium, with the possibility of membrane deformation playing a part in initiating the calcium signal. This review addresses progress in identifying the calcium transporting proteins (particularly channels such as annexins and cyclic nucleotide-gated channels) that effect stress-induced calcium increases in roots and explores links to reactive oxygen species, lipid signaling, and the unfolded protein response. PMID:27621742

  3. Abiotic transformation of dinitrophenols under sulfate-reducing conditions

    SciTech Connect

    Gui, L.; Bouwer, E.J.

    1996-10-01

    Dinitrophenols are hazardous chemicals commonly detected in the environment. Little is known about their fate under sulfate-reducing conditions (SRC) where H{sub 2}S level is elevated due to microbial activity. Dinitrophenols are susceptible to both biotic and abiotic transformation under SRC. The objectives of this research are to investigate dinitrophenol transformation using hydrogen sulfide as a reductant, and to determine factors that affect the abiotic transformation kinetics under SRC. Dinitrophenols studied were 2,4-dinitrophenol (DNP), 4,6-dinitro-o-cresol (DNOC), and 2-sec-butyl-4,6-dinitrophenol (dinoseb). All three dinitrophenols were transformed through an ortho-nitroreduction pathway. In the presence of H{sub 2}S as the bulk reductant and a small amount of trace metals (10{sup -6} to 10{sup -7} M), pseudo-first-order kinetics was observed. Addition of yeast extract (YE, 0.02%) enhanced dinoseb transformation rate significantly. An increase in HS concentration resulted in Michaelis-Menton type kinetics for dinoseb in the presence of trace metals and YE, suggesting that trace metals and YE functioned as electron mediators.

  4. Hexagonal Lyotropic Liquid Crystal from Simple "Abiotic" Foldamers.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yu; Zhao, Zhiqiang; Bian, Zheng; Jin, Rizhe; Kang, Chuanqing; Qiu, Xuepeng; Guo, Haiquan; Du, Zhijun; Gao, Lianxun

    2016-08-01

    The motivation of foldamer chemistry is to identify novel building blocks that have the potential to imitate natural species. Peptides and peptide mimetics can form stable helical conformations and further self-assemble into diverse aggregates in water, where it is difficult to isolate a single helix. In contrast, most "abiotic" foldamers may fold into helical structures in solution, but are difficult to assemble into tertiary ones. It remains a challenge to obtain "abiotic" species similar to peptides. In this paper, a novel foldamer scaffold, in which p-phenyleneethynylene units are linked by chiral carbon atoms, was designed and prepared. In very dilute solutions, these oligomers were random coils. The hexamer and octamers could form a hexagonal lyotropic liquid crystal (LC) in CH2Cl2 when the concentrations reached the critical values. The microscopic observations indicated that they could assemble into the nanofibers in the LC. Interestingly, after some LC phases were diluted at room temperature, the nanofibers could be preserved. The good stabilities of the assemblies are possibly attributed to a more compact backbone and more rigid side chains. PMID:27547649

  5. Calcium-Mediated Abiotic Stress Signaling in Roots.

    PubMed

    Wilkins, Katie A; Matthus, Elsa; Swarbreck, Stéphanie M; Davies, Julia M

    2016-01-01

    Roots are subjected to a range of abiotic stresses as they forage for water and nutrients. Cytosolic free calcium is a common second messenger in the signaling of abiotic stress. In addition, roots take up calcium both as a nutrient and to stimulate exocytosis in growth. For calcium to fulfill its multiple roles must require strict spatio-temporal regulation of its uptake and efflux across the plasma membrane, its buffering in the cytosol and its sequestration or release from internal stores. This prompts the question of how specificity of signaling output can be achieved against the background of calcium's other uses. Threats to agriculture such as salinity, water availability and hypoxia are signaled through calcium. Nutrient deficiency is also emerging as a stress that is signaled through cytosolic free calcium, with progress in potassium, nitrate and boron deficiency signaling now being made. Heavy metals have the capacity to trigger or modulate root calcium signaling depending on their dose and their capacity to catalyze production of hydroxyl radicals. Mechanical stress and cold stress can both trigger an increase in root cytosolic free calcium, with the possibility of membrane deformation playing a part in initiating the calcium signal. This review addresses progress in identifying the calcium transporting proteins (particularly channels such as annexins and cyclic nucleotide-gated channels) that effect stress-induced calcium increases in roots and explores links to reactive oxygen species, lipid signaling, and the unfolded protein response. PMID:27621742

  6. Bigravity from gradient expansion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamashita, Yasuho; Tanaka, Takahiro

    2016-05-01

    We discuss how the ghost-free bigravity coupled with a single scalar field can be derived from a braneworld setup. We consider DGP two-brane model without radion stabilization. The bulk configuration is solved for given boundary metrics, and it is substituted back into the action to obtain the effective four-dimensional action. In order to obtain the ghost-free bigravity, we consider the gradient expansion in which the brane separation is supposed to be sufficiently small so that two boundary metrics are almost identical. The obtained effective theory is shown to be ghost free as expected, however, the interaction between two gravitons takes the Fierz-Pauli form at the leading order of the gradient expansion, even though we do not use the approximation of linear perturbation. We also find that the radion remains as a scalar field in the four-dimensional effective theory, but its coupling to the metrics is non-trivial.

  7. Piecewise disassembly of a large-herbivore community across a rainfall gradient: the UHURU experiment.

    PubMed

    Goheen, Jacob R; Palmer, Todd M; Charles, Grace K; Helgen, Kristofer M; Kinyua, Stephen N; Maclean, Janet E; Turner, Benjamin L; Young, Hillary S; Pringle, Robert M

    2013-01-01

    Large mammalian herbivores (LMH) strongly influence plant communities, and these effects can propagate indirectly throughout food webs. Most existing large-scale manipulations of LMH presence/absence consist of a single exclusion treatment, and few are replicated across environmental gradients. Thus, important questions remain about the functional roles of different LMH, and how these roles depend on abiotic context. In September 2008, we constructed a series of 1-ha herbivore-exclusion plots across a 20-km rainfall gradient in central Kenya. Dubbed "UHURU" (Ungulate Herbivory Under Rainfall Uncertainty), this experiment aims to illuminate the ecological effects of three size classes of LMH, and how rainfall regimes shape the direction and magnitude of these effects. UHURU consists of four treatments: total-exclusion (all ungulate herbivores), mesoherbivore-exclusion (LMH >120-cm tall), megaherbivore-exclusion (elephants and giraffes), and unfenced open plots. Each treatment is replicated three times at three locations ("sites") along the rainfall gradient: low (440 mm/year), intermediate (580 mm/year), and high (640 mm/year). There was limited variation across sites in soil attributes and LMH activity levels. Understory-plant cover was greater in plots without mesoherbivores, but did not respond strongly to the exclusion of megaherbivores, or to the additional exclusion of dik-dik and warthog. Eleven of the thirteen understory plant species that responded significantly to exclusion treatment were more common in exclusion plots than open ones. Significant interactions between site and treatment on plant communities, although uncommon, suggested that differences between treatments may be greater at sites with lower rainfall. Browsers reduced densities of several common overstory species, along with growth rates of the three dominant Acacia species. Small-mammal densities were 2-3 times greater in total-exclusion than in open plots at all sites. Although we expect

  8. Piecewise Disassembly of a Large-Herbivore Community across a Rainfall Gradient: The UHURU Experiment

    PubMed Central

    Palmer, Todd M.; Charles, Grace K.; Helgen, Kristofer M.; Kinyua, Stephen N.; Maclean, Janet E.; Turner, Benjamin L.; Young, Hillary S.

    2013-01-01

    Large mammalian herbivores (LMH) strongly influence plant communities, and these effects can propagate indirectly throughout food webs. Most existing large-scale manipulations of LMH presence/absence consist of a single exclusion treatment, and few are replicated across environmental gradients. Thus, important questions remain about the functional roles of different LMH, and how these roles depend on abiotic context. In September 2008, we constructed a series of 1-ha herbivore-exclusion plots across a 20-km rainfall gradient in central Kenya. Dubbed "UHURU" (Ungulate Herbivory Under Rainfall Uncertainty), this experiment aims to illuminate the ecological effects of three size classes of LMH, and how rainfall regimes shape the direction and magnitude of these effects. UHURU consists of four treatments: total-exclusion (all ungulate herbivores), mesoherbivore-exclusion (LMH >120-cm tall), megaherbivore-exclusion (elephants and giraffes), and unfenced open plots. Each treatment is replicated three times at three locations (“sites”) along the rainfall gradient: low (440 mm/year), intermediate (580 mm/year), and high (640 mm/year). There was limited variation across sites in soil attributes and LMH activity levels. Understory-plant cover was greater in plots without mesoherbivores, but did not respond strongly to the exclusion of megaherbivores, or to the additional exclusion of dik-dik and warthog. Eleven of the thirteen understory plant species that responded significantly to exclusion treatment were more common in exclusion plots than open ones. Significant interactions between site and treatment on plant communities, although uncommon, suggested that differences between treatments may be greater at sites with lower rainfall. Browsers reduced densities of several common overstory species, along with growth rates of the three dominant Acacia species. Small-mammal densities were 2–3 times greater in total-exclusion than in open plots at all sites. Although we

  9. Effects of biotic and abiotic factors on phenotypic partitioning of wing morphology and development in Sclerodermus pupariae (Hymenoptera: Bethylidae).

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiaoyi; Wei, Ke; Yang, Zhongqi; Jennings, David E; Duan, Jian J

    2016-01-01

    Wing phenotype polymorphism is commonly observed in insects, yet little is known about the influence of environmental cues on the development or expression of the alternative phenotypes. Here, we report how both biotic and abiotic factors affect the wing morph differentiation of a bethylid parasitoid Sclerodermus pupariae. The percentage of winged female parasitoid progeny increased exponentially with temperature between 20 °C to 30 °C. Low intensity light and short-day photoperiod conditions also significantly induced the development of winged morphs. Interestingly, wingless maternal parasitoids produced more winged progeny. Furthermore, the degree of wing dimorphism was significantly influenced by the interactions between light intensity and maternal wing morphs. The percentage of winged female progeny was not significantly influenced by foundress densities, but increased significantly with parasitoid brood sizes. However, the percentage of male progeny increased significantly with the densities of maternal parasitoids. Our findings highlight the phenotypic partitioning of wing morphology and development in the parasitoid S. pupariae under varied environmental cues, and reveal the most favourable conditions for the production of winged females in this bethylid wasp. It is thus possible to increase winged female parasitoid production for the purposes of biological control by manipulation of biotic and abiotic conditions. PMID:27194095

  10. Effects of biotic and abiotic factors on phenotypic partitioning of wing morphology and development in Sclerodermus pupariae (Hymenoptera: Bethylidae)

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xiaoyi; Wei, Ke; Yang, Zhongqi; Jennings, David E.; Duan, Jian J.

    2016-01-01

    Wing phenotype polymorphism is commonly observed in insects, yet little is known about the influence of environmental cues on the development or expression of the alternative phenotypes. Here, we report how both biotic and abiotic factors affect the wing morph differentiation of a bethylid parasitoid Sclerodermus pupariae. The percentage of winged female parasitoid progeny increased exponentially with temperature between 20 °C to 30 °C. Low intensity light and short-day photoperiod conditions also significantly induced the development of winged morphs. Interestingly, wingless maternal parasitoids produced more winged progeny. Furthermore, the degree of wing dimorphism was significantly influenced by the interactions between light intensity and maternal wing morphs. The percentage of winged female progeny was not significantly influenced by foundress densities, but increased significantly with parasitoid brood sizes. However, the percentage of male progeny increased significantly with the densities of maternal parasitoids. Our findings highlight the phenotypic partitioning of wing morphology and development in the parasitoid S. pupariae under varied environmental cues, and reveal the most favourable conditions for the production of winged females in this bethylid wasp. It is thus possible to increase winged female parasitoid production for the purposes of biological control by manipulation of biotic and abiotic conditions. PMID:27194095

  11. Plant Survival in a Changing Environment: The Role of Nitric Oxide in Plant Responses to Abiotic Stress

    PubMed Central

    Simontacchi, Marcela; Galatro, Andrea; Ramos-Artuso, Facundo; Santa-María, Guillermo E.

    2015-01-01

    Nitric oxide in plants may originate endogenously or come from surrounding atmosphere and soil. Interestingly, this gaseous free radical is far from having a constant level and varies greatly among tissues depending on a given plant’s ontogeny and environmental fluctuations. Proper plant growth, vegetative development, and reproduction require the integration of plant hormonal activity with the antioxidant network, as well as the maintenance of concentration of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species within a narrow range. Plants are frequently faced with abiotic stress conditions such as low nutrient availability, salinity, drought, high ultraviolet (UV) radiation and extreme temperatures, which can influence developmental processes and lead to growth restriction making adaptive responses the plant’s priority. The ability of plants to respond and survive under environmental-stress conditions involves sensing and signaling events where nitric oxide becomes a critical component mediating hormonal actions, interacting with reactive oxygen species, and modulating gene expression and protein activity. This review focuses on the current knowledge of the role of nitric oxide in adaptive plant responses to some specific abiotic stress conditions, particularly low mineral nutrient supply, drought, salinity and high UV-B radiation. PMID:26617619

  12. Plant Survival in a Changing Environment: The Role of Nitric Oxide in Plant Responses to Abiotic Stress.

    PubMed

    Simontacchi, Marcela; Galatro, Andrea; Ramos-Artuso, Facundo; Santa-María, Guillermo E

    2015-01-01

    Nitric oxide in plants may originate endogenously or come from surrounding atmosphere and soil. Interestingly, this gaseous free radical is far from having a constant level and varies greatly among tissues depending on a given plant's ontogeny and environmental fluctuations. Proper plant growth, vegetative development, and reproduction require the integration of plant hormonal activity with the antioxidant network, as well as the maintenance of concentration of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species within a narrow range. Plants are frequently faced with abiotic stress conditions such as low nutrient availability, salinity, drought, high ultraviolet (UV) radiation and extreme temperatures, which can influence developmental processes and lead to growth restriction making adaptive responses the plant's priority. The ability of plants to respond and survive under environmental-stress conditions involves sensing and signaling events where nitric oxide becomes a critical component mediating hormonal actions, interacting with reactive oxygen species, and modulating gene expression and protein activity. This review focuses on the current knowledge of the role of nitric oxide in adaptive plant responses to some specific abiotic stress conditions, particularly low mineral nutrient supply, drought, salinity and high UV-B radiation. PMID:26617619

  13. An ATL78-Like RING-H2 Finger Protein Confers Abiotic Stress Tolerance through Interacting with RAV2 and CSN5B in Tomato.

    PubMed

    Song, Jianwen; Xing, Yali; Munir, Shoaib; Yu, Chuying; Song, Lulu; Li, Hanxia; Wang, Taotao; Ye, Zhibiao

    2016-01-01

    RING finger proteins play an important role in plant adaptation to abiotic stresses. In the present study, a wild tomato (Solanum habrochaites) cold-induced RING-H2 finger gene, ShATL78L, was isolated, which has been identified as an abiotic stress responsive gene in tomato. The results showed that ShATL78L was constitutively expressed in various tissues such as root, leaf, petiole, stem, flower, and fruit. Cold stress up-regulated ShATL78L in the cold-tolerant S. habrochaites compared to the susceptible cultivated tomato (S. lycopersicum). Furthermore, ShATL78L expression was also regulated under different stresses such as drought, salt, heat, wound, osmotic stress, and exogenous hormones. Functional characterization showed that cultivated tomato overexpressing ShATL78L had improved tolerance to cold, drought and oxidative stresses compared to the wild-type and the knockdown lines. To understand the underlying molecular mechanism of ShATL78L regulating abiotic stress responses, we performed yeast one-hybrid and two-hybrid assays and found that RAV2 could bind to the promoter of ShATL78L and activates/alters its transcription, and CSN5B could interact with ShATL78L to regulate abiotic stress responses. Taken together, these results show that ShATL78L plays an important role in regulating plant adaptation to abiotic stresses through bound by RAV2 and interacting with CSN5B. Highlight: RAV2 binds to the promoter of ShATL78L to activates/alters its transcription to adapt the environmental conditions; furthermore, ShATL78L interacts with CSN5B to regulate the stress tolerance. PMID:27621744

  14. An ATL78-Like RING-H2 Finger Protein Confers Abiotic Stress Tolerance through Interacting with RAV2 and CSN5B in Tomato

    PubMed Central

    Song, Jianwen; Xing, Yali; Munir, Shoaib; Yu, Chuying; Song, Lulu; Li, Hanxia; Wang, Taotao; Ye, Zhibiao

    2016-01-01

    RING finger proteins play an important role in plant adaptation to abiotic stresses. In the present study, a wild tomato (Solanum habrochaites) cold-induced RING-H2 finger gene, ShATL78L, was isolated, which has been identified as an abiotic stress responsive gene in tomato. The results showed that ShATL78L was constitutively expressed in various tissues such as root, leaf, petiole, stem, flower, and fruit. Cold stress up-regulated ShATL78L in the cold-tolerant S. habrochaites compared to the susceptible cultivated tomato (S. lycopersicum). Furthermore, ShATL78L expression was also regulated under different stresses such as drought, salt, heat, wound, osmotic stress, and exogenous hormones. Functional characterization showed that cultivated tomato overexpressing ShATL78L had improved tolerance to cold, drought and oxidative stresses compared to the wild-type and the knockdown lines. To understand the underlying molecular mechanism of ShATL78L regulating abiotic stress responses, we performed yeast one-hybrid and two-hybrid assays and found that RAV2 could bind to the promoter of ShATL78L and activates/alters its transcription, and CSN5B could interact with ShATL78L to regulate abiotic stress responses. Taken together, these results show that ShATL78L plays an important role in regulating plant adaptation to abiotic stresses through bound by RAV2 and interacting with CSN5B. Highlight: RAV2 binds to the promoter of ShATL78L to activates/alters its transcription to adapt the environmental conditions; furthermore, ShATL78L interacts with CSN5B to regulate the stress tolerance. PMID:27621744

  15. Building the crops of tomorrow: advantages of symbiont-based approaches to improving abiotic stress tolerance.

    PubMed

    Coleman-Derr, Devin; Tringe, Susannah G

    2014-01-01

    The exponential growth in world population is feeding a steadily increasing global need for arable farmland, a resource that is already in high demand. This trend has led to increased farming on subprime arid and semi-arid lands, where limited availability of water and a host of environmental stresses often severely reduce crop productivity. The conventional approach to mitigating the abiotic stresses associated with arid climes is to breed for stress-tolerant cultivars, a time and labor intensive venture that often neglects the complex ecological context of the soil environment in which the crop is grown. In recent years, studies have attempted to identify microbial symbionts capable of conferring the same stress-tolerance to their plant hosts, and new developments in genomic technologies have greatly facilitated such research. Here, we highlight many of the advantages of these symbiont-based approaches and argue in favor of the broader recognition of crop species as ecological niches for a diverse community of microorganisms that function in concert with their plant hosts and each other to thrive under fluctuating environmental conditions. PMID:24936202

  16. Mass spectrometry-based plant metabolomics: Metabolite responses to abiotic stress.

    PubMed

    Jorge, Tiago F; Rodrigues, João A; Caldana, Camila; Schmidt, Romy; van Dongen, Joost T; Thomas-Oates, Jane; António, Carla

    2016-09-01

    Metabolomics is one omics approach that can be used to acquire comprehensive information on the composition of a metabolite pool to provide a functional screen of the cellular state. Studies of the plant metabolome include analysis of a wide range of chemical species with diverse physical properties, from ionic inorganic compounds to biochemically derived hydrophilic carbohydrates, organic and amino acids, and a range of hydrophobic lipid-related compounds. This complexitiy brings huge challenges to the analytical technologies employed in current plant metabolomics programs, and powerful analytical tools are required for the separation and characterization of this extremely high compound diversity present in biological sample matrices. The use of mass spectrometry (MS)-based analytical platforms to profile stress-responsive metabolites that allow some plants to adapt to adverse environmental conditions is fundamental in current plant biotechnology research programs for the understanding and development of stress-tolerant plants. In this review, we describe recent applications of metabolomics and emphasize its increasing application to study plant responses to environmental (stress-) factors, including drought, salt, low oxygen caused by waterlogging or flooding of the soil, temperature, light and oxidative stress (or a combination of them). Advances in understanding the global changes occurring in plant metabolism under specific abiotic stress conditions are fundamental to enhance plant fitness and increase stress tolerance. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Mass Spec Rev 35:620-649, 2016. PMID:25589422

  17. Programmed cell death and adaptation: two different types of abiotic stress response in a unicellular chlorophyte.

    PubMed

    Zuppini, Anna; Gerotto, Caterina; Baldan, Barbara

    2010-06-01

    Eukaryotic microalgae are highly suitable biological indicators of environmental changes because they are exposed to extreme seasonal fluctuations. The biochemical and molecular targets and regulators of key proteins involved in the stress response in microalgae have yet to be elucidated. This study presents morphological and biochemical evidence of programmed cell death (PCD) in a low temperature strain of Chlorella saccharophila induced by exposure to NaCl stress. Morphological characteristics of PCD, including cell shrinkage, detachment of the plasma membrane from the cell wall, nuclear condensation and DNA fragmentation, were observed. Additionally, a significant production of H(2)O(2) and increase in caspase 3-like activity were detected. We demonstrated that singly applied environmental stresses such as warming or salt stress trigger a pathway of PCD. Intriguingly, the prior application of salt stress seems to reduce heat shock-induced cell death significantly, suggesting a combined effect which activates a defense mechanism in algal cells. These results suggest that C. saccharophila can undergo PCD under stress conditions, and that this PCD shares several features with metazoan PCD. Moreover, the simultaneous exposure of this unicellular chlorophyte to different abiotic stresses results in a tolerance mechanism. PMID:20457671

  18. Building the crops of tomorrow: advantages of symbiont-based approaches to improving abiotic stress tolerance

    PubMed Central

    Coleman-Derr, Devin; Tringe, Susannah G.

    2014-01-01

    The exponential growth in world population is feeding a steadily increasing global need for arable farmland, a resource that is already in high demand. This trend has led to increased farming on subprime arid and semi-arid lands, where limited availability of water and a host of environmental stresses often severely reduce crop productivity. The conventional approach to mitigating the abiotic stresses associated with arid climes is to breed for stress-tolerant cultivars, a time and labor intensive venture that often neglects the complex ecological context of the soil environment in which the crop is grown. In recent years, studies have attempted to identify microbial symbionts capable of conferring the same stress-tolerance to their plant hosts, and new developments in genomic technologies have greatly facilitated such research. Here, we highlight many of the advantages of these symbiont-based approaches and argue in favor of the broader recognition of crop species as ecological niches for a diverse community of microorganisms that function in concert with their plant hosts and each other to thrive under fluctuating environmental conditions. PMID:24936202

  19. Building the crops of tomorrow: advantages of symbiont-based approaches to improving abiotic stress tolerance

    SciTech Connect

    Coleman-Derr, Devin; Tringe, Susannah G.

    2014-06-06

    The exponential growth in world population is feeding a steadily increasing global need for arable farmland, a resource that is already in high demand. This trend has led to increased farming on subprime arid and semi-arid lands, where limited availability of water and a host of environmental stresses often severely reduce crop productivity. The conventional approach to mitigating the abiotic stresses associated with arid climes is to breed for stress-tolerant cultivars, a time and labor intensive venture that often neglects the complex ecological context of the soil environment in which the crop is grown. In recent years, studies have attempted to identify microbial symbionts capable of conferring the same stress-tolerance to their plant hosts, and new developments in genomic technologies have greatly facilitated such research. Here in this paper, we highlight many of the advantages of these symbiont-based approaches and argue in favor of the broader recognition of crop species as ecological niches for a diverse community of microorganisms that function in concert with their plant hosts and each other to thrive under fluctuating environmental conditions

  20. Nitrogen isotopic fractionation during abiotic synthesis of organic solid particles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuga, Maïa; Carrasco, Nathalie; Marty, Bernard; Marrocchi, Yves; Bernard, Sylvain; Rigaudier, Thomas; Fleury, Benjamin; Tissandier, Laurent

    2014-05-01

    The formation of organic compounds is generally assumed to result from abiotic processes in the Solar System, with the exception of biogenic organics on Earth. Nitrogen-bearing organics are of particular interest, notably for prebiotic perspectives but also for overall comprehension of organic formation in the young Solar System and in planetary atmospheres. We have investigated abiotic synthesis of organics upon plasma discharge, with special attention to N isotope fractionation. Organic aerosols were synthesized from N2-CH4 and N2-CO gaseous mixtures using low-pressure plasma discharge experiments, aimed at simulating chemistry occurring in Titan's atmosphere and in the protosolar nebula, respectively. The nitrogen content, the N speciation and the N isotopic composition were analyzed in the resulting organic aerosols. Nitrogen is efficiently incorporated into the synthesized solids, independently of the oxidation degree, of the N2 content of the starting gas mixture, and of the nitrogen speciation in the aerosols. The aerosols are depleted in 15N by 15-25‰ relative to the initial N2 gas, whatever the experimental setup is. Such an isotopic fractionation is attributed to mass-dependent kinetic effect(s). Nitrogen isotope fractionation upon electric discharge cannot account for the large N isotope variations observed among Solar System objects and reservoirs. Extreme N isotope signatures in the Solar System are more likely the result of self-shielding during N2 photodissociation, exotic effect during photodissociation of N2 and/or low temperature ion-molecule isotope exchange. Kinetic N isotope fractionation may play a significant role in the Titan's atmosphere. On the Titan's night side, 15N-depletion resulting from electron driven reactions may counterbalance photo-induced 15N enrichments occurring on the day's side. We also suggest that the low δ15N values of Archaean organic matter (Beaumont and Robert, 1999) are partly the result of abiotic synthesis of

  1. At limits of life: multidisciplinary insights reveal environmental constraints on biotic diversity in continental Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Magalhães, Catarina; Stevens, Mark I; Cary, S Craig; Ball, Becky A; Storey, Bryan C; Wall, Diana H; Türk, Roman; Ruprecht, Ulrike

    2012-01-01

    Multitrophic communities that maintain the functionality of the extreme Antarctic terrestrial ecosystems, while the simplest of any natural community, are still challenging our knowledge about the limits to life on earth. In this study, we describe and interpret the linkage between the diversity of different trophic level communities to the geological morphology and soil geochemistry in the remote Transantarctic Mountains (Darwin Mountains, 80°S). We examined the distribution and diversity of biota (bacteria, cyanobacteria, lichens, algae, invertebrates) with respect to elevation, age of glacial drift sheets, and soil physicochemistry. Results showed an abiotic spatial gradient with respect to the diversity of the organisms across different trophic levels. More complex communities, in terms of trophic level diversity, were related to the weakly developed younger drifts (Hatherton and Britannia) with higher soil C/N ratio and lower total soluble salts content (thus lower conductivity). Our results indicate that an increase of ion concentration from younger to older drift regions drives a succession of complex to more simple communities, in terms of number of trophic levels and diversity within each group of organisms analysed. This study revealed that integrating diversity across multi-trophic levels of biotic communities with abiotic spatial heterogeneity and geological history is fundamental to understand environmental constraints influencing biological distribution in Antarctic soil ecosystems. PMID:23028563

  2. An Abiotic Glass-Bead Collector Exhibiting Active Transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goto, Youhei; Kanda, Masato; Yamamoto, Daigo; Shioi, Akihisa

    2015-09-01

    Animals relocate objects as needed by active motion. Active transport is ubiquitous in living organisms but has been difficult to realize in abiotic systems. Here we show that a self-propelled droplet can gather scattered beads toward one place on a floor and sweep it clean. This is a biomimetic active transport with loadings and unloadings, because the transport was performed by a carrier and the motion of the carrier was maintained by the energy of the chemical reaction. The oil droplet produced fluctuation of the local number density of the beads on the floor, followed by its autocatalytic growth. This mechanism may inspire the technologies based on active transport wherein chemical and physical substances migrate as in living organisms.

  3. Temporal dynamics of biotic and abiotic drivers of litter decomposition.

    PubMed

    García-Palacios, Pablo; Shaw, E Ashley; Wall, Diana H; Hättenschwiler, Stephan

    2016-05-01

    Climate, litter quality and decomposers drive litter decomposition. However, little is known about whether their relative contribution changes at different decomposition stages. To fill this gap, we evaluated the relative importance of leaf litter polyphenols, decomposer communities and soil moisture for litter C and N loss at different stages throughout the decomposition process. Although both microbial and nematode communities regulated litter C and N loss in the early decomposition stages, soil moisture and legacy effects of initial differences in litter quality played a major role in the late stages of the process. Our results provide strong evidence for substantial shifts in how biotic and abiotic factors control litter C and N dynamics during decomposition. Taking into account such temporal dynamics will increase the predictive power of decomposition models that are currently limited by a single-pool approach applying control variables uniformly to the entire decay process. PMID:26947573

  4. Carbon isotope fractionation during abiotic reductive dehalogenation of trichloroethene (TCE).

    PubMed

    Bill, M; Schüth, C; Barth, J A; Kalin, R M

    2001-08-01

    Dehalogenation of trichloroethene (TCE) in the aqueous phase, either on palladium catalysts with hydrogen as the reductant or on metallic iron, was associated with strong changes in delta13C. In general, the delta13C of product phases were more negative than those of the parent compound and were enriched with time and fraction of TCE remaining. For dehalogenation with iron, the delta13C of TCE and products varied from -42/1000 to +5/1000. For the palladium experiments, the final product, ethane, reached the initial delta13C of TCE at completion of the dehalogenation reaction. During dehalogenation, the carbon isotope fractionation between TCE and product phases was not constant. The variation in delta13C of TCE and products offers a new monitoring tool that operates independently of the initial concentration of pollutants for abiotic degradation processes of TCE in the subsurface, and may be useful for evaluation of remediation efficiency. PMID:11513419

  5. Spectral induced polarization signatures of abiotic FeS precipitation

    SciTech Connect

    Ntarlagiannis, D.; Doherty, R.; Williams, K. H.

    2010-01-15

    In recent years, geophysical methods have been shown to be sensitive to microbial induced mineralization processes. The spectral induced polarization (SIP) method appears to be very promising for monitoring mineralization and microbial processes. With this work, we study the links of mineralization and SIP signals, in the absence of microbial activity. We recorded the SIP response during abiotic FeS precipitation. We show that the SIP signals are diagnostic of FeS mineralization and can be differentiated from SIP signals from bio-mineralization processes. More specifically the imaginary conductivity shows almost linear dependence on the amount of FeS precipitating out of solution, above the threshold value 0.006 gr under our experimental conditions. This research has direct implications for the use of the SIP method as a monitoring, and decision making, tool for sustainable remediation of metals in contaminated soils and groundwater.

  6. Continuous gravity gradient logging

    SciTech Connect

    Fitch, J.L.; Lyle, W.D. Jr.

    1986-07-29

    A method is described for conducting a gravimetry survey of an earth formation, comprising the steps of: (a) continuously traversing the earth formation with a gravity logging tool having a column of fluid within the tool, (b) measuring a first pressure difference along a first interval within the column of fluid, (c) measuring a second pressure difference along a second interval within the column of fluid, (d) differencing the first and second pressure differences to determine the gravity gradient along the earth formation between the first and second intervals.

  7. Oxidation of Black Carbon by Biotic and Abiotic Processes

    SciTech Connect

    Cheng, Chih-hsin; Lehmann, Johannes C.; Thies, Janice E.; Burton, Sarah D.; Engelhard, Mark H.

    2006-11-01

    The objectives of this study were to quantify the relative importance of either biotic or abiotic oxidation of biomass-derived black carbon (BC) and to characterize the surface properties and charge characteristics of oxidized particulate BC. We incubated BC and BC-soil mixtures at two different temperatures (30 C and 70 C) with and without microbial inoculation, nutrient additions, or manure amendments for four months. Abiotic processes were more important for oxidation of BC than biotic processes during this short-term incubation, as inoculation with microorganisms did not change any of the measured parameters. Black C incubated at both 30 C and 70 C without microbial activity showed dramatic decreases in pH (in water) from 5.4 to 5.2 and 3.4, as well as increases in cation exchange capacity (CEC at pH 7) by 53% and 538% and in oxygen (O) contents by 4% and 38%, respectively. Boehm titration and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy suggested that the formation of carboxylic functional groups was the reason for the enhanced CEC during oxidation. The analyses of BC surface properties by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) indicated that the oxidation of BC particles initiated on the surface. Incubation at 30 C only enhanced oxidation on particle surfaces, while oxidation during incubation at 70 C penetrated into the interior of particles. Such short-term oxidation of BC has great significance for the stability of BC in soils as well as for its effects on soil fertility and biogeochemistry.

  8. Kinetics of Abiotic Uranium(VI) Reduction by Sulfide

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hyun, S.; Davis, J. A.; Hayes, K. F.

    2010-12-01

    Uranium(VI) reduction is an important process affecting the radionuclide’s fate under sulfate reducing conditions. In this work, kinetics of abiotic U(VI) reduction by dissolved sulfide was studied using a batch reactor. The effects of solution pH, dissolved carbonate, Ca(II), U(VI), and S(-II) concentration on the reduction kinetics were tested. The ranges of these experimental variables were designed to cover the variation in groundwater chemistry observed at the Old Rifle uranium mill tailings site (Colorado, USA). Dissolved U concentration was monitored as a function of time using inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry to measure the rate of U(VI) reduction. Solid phase reduction products were identified using X-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy, and X-ray absorption spectroscopy. The results showed that changes in the experimental variables significantly affected U(VI) reduction kinetics by dissolved sulfide. U(VI) reduction occurred under circumneutral pH while no reduction was observed under alkaline conditions. The reduction rate was slowed by increased dissolved carbonate concentration. One solid phase reduction product was identified as nanoscale uraninite (UO2+x(s)). Thermodynamic modeling showed that the dissolved U(VI) aqueous species changed as a function of solution conditions correlated with the change in the reduction rate. These results show that U(VI) aqueous speciation is important in determining abiotic U(VI) reduction kinetics by dissolved sulfide. This study also illustrates the potential importance of dissolved sulfide in field-scale modeling of U reactive transport, and is expected to contribute to the understanding of long-term effects of biostimulation on U transport at the Rifle site.

  9. Formation of Intermediate Carbon Phases in Hydrothermal Abiotic Organic Synthesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fu, Q.; Foustoukos, D. I.; Seyfried, W. E.

    2005-12-01

    With high dissolved concentrations of methane and other hydrocarbon species revealed at the Rainbow and Logatchev vent systems on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, it is essential to better understand reaction pathways of abiotic organic synthesis in hydrothermal systems. Thus, we performed a hydrothermal carbon reduction experiment with 13C labeled carbon source at temperature and pressure conditions that approximate those inferred for ultramafic-hosted hydrothermal systems. Pentlandite, a common alteration mineral phase in subseafloor reaction zones, acted as a potential catalyst. Surface analysis techniques (XPS and ToF-SIMS) were used to characterize intermediate carbon species within this process. Time series dissolved H2 and H2S concentrations indicated thermodynamic equilibrium. Dissolved H2 and H2S concentrations of 13 and 2 mmol/kg, respectively, are approximately equivalent to measured values in Rainbow and Logatchev hydrothermal systems. Isotopically pure 13C methane and other alkane species (C2H6 and C3H8) were observed throughout the experiment, and attained steady state conditions. XPS analysis on mineral product surface indicated carbon enrichment on mineral surface following reaction. The majority of surface carbon involves species containing C-C or C-H bonds, such as alkyl or methylene groups. Alcohol and carboxyl groups in fewer amounts were also observed. ToF-SIMS analysis, which can offer isotope identification with high mass resolution, showed that most of these carbon species were 13C-labeled. Unlike gas phase Fischer-Tropsch synthesis, no carbide was observed on mineral product surface during the experiment. Therefore, a reaction pathway is proposed for formation of dissolved linear alkane species in hydrothermal abiotic organic synthesis, where oxygen-bearing organic compounds are expected to form in aqueous products by way of alcohol and carboxyl groups on mineral catalyst surface.

  10. Benefit of Shading by Nurse Plant Does Not Change along a Stress Gradient in a Coastal Dune

    PubMed Central

    Castanho, Camila de Toledo; Prado, Paulo Inácio

    2014-01-01

    The proximity of adult neighbors often increases the performance of woody seedlings under harsh environmental conditions but this nurse plant effect becomes less intense when abiotic stress is alleviated, as predicted by the stress gradient hypothesis (SGH). Although some studies have tested how the net nurse effect is changed by stress, few studies have tested how the mechanism that drives the facilitative effect of nurse responds to changes in stress. We conducted field experiments in a subtropical coastal dune to test if shading drives the known nurse effect of adults of the tree Guapira opposita on seedling performance of another tree species, Ternstroemia brasiliensis. We transplanted T. brasiliensis seedlings to three neighbor environments: under a G. opposita crown, under artificial shade and without neighbor as a control. Furthermore, assuming that proximity to the seashore correlates with stress intensity, we tested if the potential shade-driven facilitation became less intense as stress decreased. Regardless of the proximity to the seashore, after a year, the survival of T. brasiliensis seedlings was twice as high when the seedlings were under G. opposita or under artificial shade compared to the control, indicating that the nurse effect is driven by shade and that this facilitation mechanism is constant along the stress gradient. However, G. opposita and artificial shade had a negative effect on seedlings growth. Overall, our results showed that the facilitation mechanism behind the nurse effect did not wane as the stress was reduced. Furthermore, in spite of the potential costs in terms of biomass production, our study highlights the potential of nurse plants