Science.gov

Sample records for abiotic environmental gradients

  1. The Importance of Biotic vs. Abiotic Drivers of Local Plant Community Composition Along Regional Bioclimatic Gradients

    PubMed Central

    Klanderud, Kari; Vandvik, Vigdis; Goldberg, Deborah

    2015-01-01

    We assessed if the relative importance of biotic and abiotic factors for plant community composition differs along environmental gradients and between functional groups, and asked which implications this may have in a warmer and wetter future. The study location is a unique grid of sites spanning regional-scale temperature and precipitation gradients in boreal and alpine grasslands in southern Norway. Within each site we sampled vegetation and associated biotic and abiotic factors, and combined broad- and fine-scale ordination analyses to assess the relative explanatory power of these factors for species composition. Although the community responses to biotic and abiotic factors did not consistently change as predicted along the bioclimatic gradients, abiotic variables tended to explain a larger proportion of the variation in species composition towards colder sites, whereas biotic variables explained more towards warmer sites, supporting the stress gradient hypothesis. Significant interactions with precipitation suggest that biotic variables explained more towards wetter climates in the sub alpine and boreal sites, but more towards drier climates in the colder alpine. Thus, we predict that biotic interactions may become more important in alpine and boreal grasslands in a warmer future, although more winter precipitation may counteract this trend in oceanic alpine climates. Our results show that both local and regional scales analyses are needed to disentangle the local vegetation-environment relationships and their regional-scale drivers, and biotic interactions and precipitation must be included when predicting future species assemblages. PMID:26091266

  2. The Importance of Biotic vs. Abiotic Drivers of Local Plant Community Composition Along Regional Bioclimatic Gradients.

    PubMed

    Klanderud, Kari; Vandvik, Vigdis; Goldberg, Deborah

    2015-01-01

    We assessed if the relative importance of biotic and abiotic factors for plant community composition differs along environmental gradients and between functional groups, and asked which implications this may have in a warmer and wetter future. The study location is a unique grid of sites spanning regional-scale temperature and precipitation gradients in boreal and alpine grasslands in southern Norway. Within each site we sampled vegetation and associated biotic and abiotic factors, and combined broad- and fine-scale ordination analyses to assess the relative explanatory power of these factors for species composition. Although the community responses to biotic and abiotic factors did not consistently change as predicted along the bioclimatic gradients, abiotic variables tended to explain a larger proportion of the variation in species composition towards colder sites, whereas biotic variables explained more towards warmer sites, supporting the stress gradient hypothesis. Significant interactions with precipitation suggest that biotic variables explained more towards wetter climates in the sub alpine and boreal sites, but more towards drier climates in the colder alpine. Thus, we predict that biotic interactions may become more important in alpine and boreal grasslands in a warmer future, although more winter precipitation may counteract this trend in oceanic alpine climates. Our results show that both local and regional scales analyses are needed to disentangle the local vegetation-environment relationships and their regional-scale drivers, and biotic interactions and precipitation must be included when predicting future species assemblages.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Stream pH as an abiotic gradient influencing distributions of trout in Pennsylvania streams

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kocovsky, P.M.; Carline, R.F.

    2005-01-01

    Elevation and stream slope are abiotic gradients that limit upstream distributions of brook trout Salvelinus fontinalis and brown trout Salmo trutta in streams. We sought to determine whether another abiotic gradient, base-flow pH, may also affect distributions of these two species in eastern North America streams. We used historical data from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission's fisheries management database to explore the effects of reach elevation, slope, and base-flow pH on distributional limits to brook trout and brown trout in Pennsylvania streams in the Appalachian Plateaus and Ridge and Valley physiographic provinces. Discriminant function analysis (DFA) was used to calculate a canonical axis that separated allopatric brook trout populations from allopatric brown trout populations and allowed us to assess which of the three independent variables were important gradients along which communities graded from allopatric brook trout to allopatric brown trout. Canonical structure coefficients from DFA indicated that in both physiographic provinces, stream base-flow pH and slope were important factors in distributional limits; elevation was also an important factor in the Ridge and Valley Province but not the Appalachian Plateaus Province. Graphs of each variable against the proportion of brook trout in a community also identified apparent zones of allopatry for both species on the basis of pH and stream slope. We hypothesize that pH-mediated interspecific competition that favors brook trout in competition with brown trout at lower pH is the most plausible mechanism for segregation of these two species along pH gradients. Our discovery that trout distributions in Pennsylvania are related to stream base-flow pH has important implications for brook trout conservation in acidified regions. Carefully designed laboratory and field studies will be required to test our hypothesis and elucidate the mechanisms responsible for the partitioning of brook trout and

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Bacterioplankton community variation across river to ocean environmental gradients.

    PubMed

    Fortunato, Caroline S; Crump, Byron C

    2011-08-01

    Coastal zones encompass a complex spectrum of environmental gradients that each impact the composition of bacterioplankton communities. Few studies have attempted to address these gradients comprehensively. We generated a synoptic, 16S rRNA gene-based bacterioplankton community profile of a coastal zone by applying the fingerprinting technique denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis to water samples collected from the Columbia River, estuary, and plume, and along coastal transects covering 360 km of the Oregon and Washington coasts and extending to the deep ocean (>2,000 m). Communities were found to cluster into five distinct groups based on location in the system (ANOSIM, p < 0.003): estuary, plume, epipelagic, shelf bottom (depth < 150 m), and slope bottom (depth > 650 m). Across all environments, abiotic factors (salinity, temperature, depth) explained most of the community variability (ρ = 0.734). But within each coastal environment, biotic factors explained most of the variability. Thus, structuring physical factors in coastal zones, such as salinity and temperature, define the boundaries of many distinct microbial habitats, but within these habitats variability in microbial communities is explained by biological gradients in primary and secondary productivity.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. A General, Synthetic Model for Predicting Biodiversity Gradients from Environmental Geometry.

    PubMed

    Gross, Kevin; Snyder-Beattie, Andrew

    2016-10-01

    Latitudinal and elevational biodiversity gradients fascinate ecologists, and have inspired dozens of explanations. The geometry of the abiotic environment is sometimes thought to contribute to these gradients, yet evaluations of geometric explanations are limited by a fragmented understanding of the diversity patterns they predict. This article presents a mathematical model that synthesizes multiple pathways by which environmental geometry can drive diversity gradients. The model characterizes species ranges by their environmental niches and limits on range sizes and places those ranges onto the simplified geometries of a sphere or cone. The model predicts nuanced and realistic species-richness gradients, including latitudinal diversity gradients with tropical plateaus and mid-latitude inflection points and elevational diversity gradients with low-elevation diversity maxima. The model also illustrates the importance of a mid-environment effect that augments species richness at locations with intermediate environments. Model predictions match multiple empirical biodiversity gradients, depend on ecological traits in a testable fashion, and formally synthesize elements of several geometric models. Together, these results suggest that previous assessments of geometric hypotheses should be reconsidered and that environmental geometry may play a deeper role in driving biodiversity gradients than is currently appreciated.

  14. A General, Synthetic Model for Predicting Biodiversity Gradients from Environmental Geometry.

    PubMed

    Gross, Kevin; Snyder-Beattie, Andrew

    2016-10-01

    Latitudinal and elevational biodiversity gradients fascinate ecologists, and have inspired dozens of explanations. The geometry of the abiotic environment is sometimes thought to contribute to these gradients, yet evaluations of geometric explanations are limited by a fragmented understanding of the diversity patterns they predict. This article presents a mathematical model that synthesizes multiple pathways by which environmental geometry can drive diversity gradients. The model characterizes species ranges by their environmental niches and limits on range sizes and places those ranges onto the simplified geometries of a sphere or cone. The model predicts nuanced and realistic species-richness gradients, including latitudinal diversity gradients with tropical plateaus and mid-latitude inflection points and elevational diversity gradients with low-elevation diversity maxima. The model also illustrates the importance of a mid-environment effect that augments species richness at locations with intermediate environments. Model predictions match multiple empirical biodiversity gradients, depend on ecological traits in a testable fashion, and formally synthesize elements of several geometric models. Together, these results suggest that previous assessments of geometric hypotheses should be reconsidered and that environmental geometry may play a deeper role in driving biodiversity gradients than is currently appreciated. PMID:27622881

  15. 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.

  16. Opposing environmental gradients govern vegetation zonation in an intermountain playa

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sanderson, J.S.; Kotliar, N.B.; Steingraeber, D.A.

    2008-01-01

    Vegetation zonation was investigated at an intermountain playa wetland (Mishak Lakes) in the San Luis Valley (SLV) of southern Colorado. Plant composition and abiotic conditions were quantified in six vegetation zones. Reciprocal transplants were performed to test the importance of abiotic factors in governing zonation. Abiotic conditions differed among several vegetation zones. Prolonged inundation led to anaerobic soils in the Eleocharis palustris and the submerged aquatics zones, on the low end of the site's 1.25 m elevation gradient. On the high end of the gradient, soil salinity and sodicity (a measure of exchangeable sodium) were high in the Distichlis spicata zone (electrical conductivity, EC = 5.3 dS/m, sodium absorption ratio, SAR = 44.0) and extreme in the Sarcobatus vermiculatus zone (EC = 21 dS/m, SAR = 274). Transplanted species produced maximum biomass in the zone where they originated, not in any other higher or lower vegetation zone. The greatest overall transplant effect occurred for E. palustris, which experienced a ??? 77% decline in productivity when transplanted to other zones. This study provides evidence that physical factors are a major determinant of vegetation zone composition and distribution across the entire elevation gradient at Mishak Lakes. Patterns at Mishak Lakes arise from counter-directional stress gradients: a gradient from anaerobic to well-oxygenated from basin bottom to upland and a gradient from extremely high salinity to low salinity in the opposing direction. Because abiotic conditions dominate vegetation zonation, restoration of the altered hydrologic regime of this wetland to a natural hydrologic regime may be sufficient to re-establish many of the natural biodiversity functions provided by these wetlands. ?? 2008 The Society of Wetland Scientists.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. The distribution of positive and negative species interactions across environmental gradients on a dual-lattice model.

    PubMed

    Travis, J M J; Brooker, R W; Clark, E J; Dytham, C

    2006-08-21

    There has been considerable recent interest in understanding the role of positive inter-specific interactions within ecology, and significant progress has been made both empirically and theoretically. Similarly, considerable progress has been made in improving our understanding of the mechanisms that limit species' ranges. In this contribution, we seek to understand the setting of species' borders when some species within the assemblage exhibit positive inter-specific interactions. We use a spatially explicit dual-lattice simulation model to explore the distribution of different interactions across environmental gradients. We first simulate community dynamics when there is either a gradient in reproductive rate or in mortality. We then consider what happens when gradients in reproduction and mortality run in parallel or perpendicular to one another. If the stress gradient impacts on reproductive potential, positive interactions are found where there is high abiotic stress. In this instance, the mutualists are able to tolerate an environment that the cheaters cannot. However, when the stress gradient influences mortality, we find that the mutualists occur as a stripe surrounded by cheaters both towards the better and the harsher ends of the gradient. Previous theory and most empirical evidence tend to indicate that net positive interactions are likely to occur in environments characterized by high abiotic stress. However, evidence from some stress gradients suggests that the distribution of positive and negative interactions can be more complex, with the most stressful environments being occupied by individuals engaging in negative rather than positive interactions. Our results provide a potential theoretical explanation for these recent field observation, and highlight the need for further theoretical and empirical work to better our understanding of how positive and negative interactions act to determine the limits to species' ranges.

  11. Plant core environmental stress response genes are systemically coordinated during abiotic stresses.

    PubMed

    Hahn, Achim; Kilian, Joachim; Mohrholz, Anne; Ladwig, Friederike; Peschke, Florian; Dautel, Rebecca; Harter, Klaus; Berendzen, Kenneth W; Wanke, Dierk

    2013-01-01

    Studying plant stress responses is an important issue in a world threatened by global warming. Unfortunately, comparative analyses are hampered by varying experimental setups. In contrast, the AtGenExpress abiotic stress experiment displays intercomparability. Importantly, six of the nine stresses (wounding, genotoxic, oxidative, UV-B light, osmotic and salt) can be examined for their capacity to generate systemic signals between the shoot and root, which might be essential to regain homeostasis in Arabidopsis thaliana. We classified the systemic responses into two groups: genes that are regulated in the non-treated tissue only are defined as type I responsive and, accordingly, genes that react in both tissues are termed type II responsive. Analysis of type I and II systemic responses suggest distinct functionalities, but also significant overlap between different stresses. Comparison with salicylic acid (SA) and methyl-jasmonate (MeJA) responsive genes implies that MeJA is involved in the systemic stress response. Certain genes are predominantly responding in only one of the categories, e.g., WRKY genes respond mainly non-systemically. Instead, genes of the plant core environmental stress response (PCESR), e.g., ZAT10, ZAT12, ERD9 or MES9, are part of different response types. Moreover, several PCESR genes switch between the categories in a stress-specific manner.

  12. Abiotic Limits for Germination of Sugarcane Seed in Relation to Environmental Spread.

    PubMed

    Pierre, J S; Rae, A L; Bonnett, G D

    2014-01-01

    Sugarcane is a vegetatively propagated crop and hence the production of seed and its fate in the environment has not been studied. The recent development of genetically modified sugarcane, with the aim of commercial production, requires a research effort to understand sugarcane reproductive biology. This study contributes to this understanding by defining the abiotic limits for sugarcane seed germination. Using seed from multiple genetic crosses, germination was measured under different light regimes (light and dark), temperatures (from 18 °C to 42 °C) and water potentials (from 0 MPa to -1 MPa); cardinal temperatures and base water potential of germination were estimated based on the rates of germination. We found that sugarcane seed could germinate over a broad range of temperatures (from 11 °C to 42 °C) with optima ranging from 27 °C to 36 °C depending on source of seed. Water potentials below -0.5 MPa halved the proportion of seed that germinated. By comparing these limits to the environmental conditions in areas where sugarcane grows and has the potential to produce seed, water, but not temperature, will be the main limiting factor for germination. This new information can be taken into account when evaluating any risk of weediness during the assessment of GM sugarcane.

  13. 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

  14. Integrating physiological and biomechanical drivers of population growth over environmental gradients on coral reefs.

    PubMed

    Madin, Joshua S; Hoogenboom, Mia O; Connolly, Sean R

    2012-03-15

    Coral reefs exhibit marked spatial and temporal variability, and coral reef organisms exhibit trade-offs in functional traits that influence demographic performance under different combinations of abiotic environmental conditions. In many systems, trait trade-offs are modelled using an energy and/or nutrient allocation framework. However, on coral reefs, differences in biomechanical vulnerability have major demographic implications, and indeed are believed to play an essential role in mediating species coexistence because highly competitive growth forms are vulnerable to physical dislodgment events that occur with high frequency (e.g. annual summer storms). Therefore, an integrated energy allocation and biomechanics framework is required to understand the effect of physical environmental gradients on species' demographic performance. However, on coral reefs, as in most ecosystems, the effects of environmental conditions on organisms are measured in different currencies (e.g. lipid accumulation, survival and number of gametes), and thus the relative contributions of these effects to overall capacity for population growth are not readily apparent. A comprehensive assessment of links between the environment and the organism, including those mediated by biomechanical processes, must convert environmental effects on individual-level performance (e.g. survival, growth and reproduction) into a common currency that is relevant to the capacity to contribute to population growth. We outline such an approach by considering the population-level performance of scleractinian reef corals over a hydrodynamic gradient, with a focus on the integrating the biomechanical determinants of size-dependent coral colony dislodgment as a function of flow, with the effects of flow on photosynthetic energy acquisition and respiration.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. DISTRIBUTION OF ALGAL EPIPHYTES ACROSS ENVIRONMENTAL GRADIENTS AT DIFFERENT SCALES: INTERTIDAL ELEVATION, HOST CANOPIES, AND HOST FRONDS(1).

    PubMed

    Longtin, Caroline M; Scrosati, Ricardo A; Whalen, Gillian B; Garbary, David J

    2009-08-01

    Understanding epiphyte distribution in coastal communities is important because these organisms affect many others directly or indirectly. Yet, their distribution has been considerably less studied than that of their hosts and other primary-space holders. Identifying major sources of variation in epiphyte abundance is thus still a need. Environmental gradients help predict species distribution and are pervasive on marine shores. In this study, we test the notion that environmental gradients across intertidal elevation, throughout host canopies, and along host fronds explain a large variation in the abundance of sympatric epiphytes. Our model system was the assemblage of Ascophyllum nodosum (L.) Le Jol. and its epiphytes Vertebrata lanosa (L.) T. A. Chr. [= Polysiphonia lanosa (L.) Tandy], Elachista fucicola (Velley) Aresch., and Pylaiella littoralis (L.) Kjellm. On the coast of Nova Scotia (Canada), we found evidence of a spatial segregation among these species at almost all scales. While the red epiphyte V. lanosa was more common at high- and midintertidal elevations (peaking at midelevations) and on middle segments of host fronds, the brown epiphytes E. fucicola and P. littoralis were more common at low elevations and restricted to distal segments of host fronds. Canopy habitat affected abundance only for V. lanosa, which was more common within the host canopy than on its periphery at midelevations. Since the studied gradients are related to predictable changes in abiotic factors, the identification of likely causes behind the observed patterns was facilitated. Our study ends by proposing abiotic and biotic factors that deserve priority in the experimental testing of the forces structuring this assemblage. PMID:27034211

  20. Phylogenetic turnover along local environmental gradients in tropical forest communities.

    PubMed

    Baldeck, C A; Kembel, S W; Harms, K E; Yavitt, J B; John, R; Turner, B L; Madawala, S; Gunatilleke, N; Gunatilleke, S; Bunyavejchewin, S; Kiratiprayoon, S; Yaacob, A; Supardi, M N N; Valencia, R; Navarrete, H; Davies, S J; Chuyong, G B; Kenfack, D; Thomas, D W; Dalling, J W

    2016-10-01

    While the importance of local-scale habitat niches in shaping tree species turnover along environmental gradients in tropical forests is well appreciated, relatively little is known about the influence of phylogenetic signal in species' habitat niches in shaping local community structure. We used detailed maps of the soil resource and topographic variation within eight 24-50 ha tropical forest plots combined with species phylogenies created from the APG III phylogeny to examine how phylogenetic beta diversity (indicating the degree of phylogenetic similarity of two communities) was related to environmental gradients within tropical tree communities. Using distance-based redundancy analysis we found that phylogenetic beta diversity, expressed as either nearest neighbor distance or mean pairwise distance, was significantly related to both soil and topographic variation in all study sites. In general, more phylogenetic beta diversity within a forest plot was explained by environmental variables this was expressed as nearest neighbor distance versus mean pairwise distance (3.0-10.3 % and 0.4-8.8 % of variation explained among plots, respectively), and more variation was explained by soil resource variables than topographic variables using either phylogenetic beta diversity metric. We also found that patterns of phylogenetic beta diversity expressed as nearest neighbor distance were consistent with previously observed patterns of niche similarity among congeneric species pairs in these plots. These results indicate the importance of phylogenetic signal in local habitat niches in shaping the phylogenetic structure of tropical tree communities, especially at the level of close phylogenetic neighbors, where similarity in habitat niches is most strongly preserved.

  1. Phylogenetic turnover along local environmental gradients in tropical forest communities.

    PubMed

    Baldeck, C A; Kembel, S W; Harms, K E; Yavitt, J B; John, R; Turner, B L; Madawala, S; Gunatilleke, N; Gunatilleke, S; Bunyavejchewin, S; Kiratiprayoon, S; Yaacob, A; Supardi, M N N; Valencia, R; Navarrete, H; Davies, S J; Chuyong, G B; Kenfack, D; Thomas, D W; Dalling, J W

    2016-10-01

    While the importance of local-scale habitat niches in shaping tree species turnover along environmental gradients in tropical forests is well appreciated, relatively little is known about the influence of phylogenetic signal in species' habitat niches in shaping local community structure. We used detailed maps of the soil resource and topographic variation within eight 24-50 ha tropical forest plots combined with species phylogenies created from the APG III phylogeny to examine how phylogenetic beta diversity (indicating the degree of phylogenetic similarity of two communities) was related to environmental gradients within tropical tree communities. Using distance-based redundancy analysis we found that phylogenetic beta diversity, expressed as either nearest neighbor distance or mean pairwise distance, was significantly related to both soil and topographic variation in all study sites. In general, more phylogenetic beta diversity within a forest plot was explained by environmental variables this was expressed as nearest neighbor distance versus mean pairwise distance (3.0-10.3 % and 0.4-8.8 % of variation explained among plots, respectively), and more variation was explained by soil resource variables than topographic variables using either phylogenetic beta diversity metric. We also found that patterns of phylogenetic beta diversity expressed as nearest neighbor distance were consistent with previously observed patterns of niche similarity among congeneric species pairs in these plots. These results indicate the importance of phylogenetic signal in local habitat niches in shaping the phylogenetic structure of tropical tree communities, especially at the level of close phylogenetic neighbors, where similarity in habitat niches is most strongly preserved. PMID:27337965

  2. Adhesive properties of environmental Vibrio alginolyticus strains to biotic and abiotic surfaces.

    PubMed

    Snoussi, Mejdi; Noumi, Emira; Cheriaa, Jihane; Usai, Donatella; Sechi, Leonardo Antonio; Zanetti, Stefania; Bakhrouf, Amina

    2008-10-01

    The ability of Vibrio alginolyticus strains isolated from a bathing and fishing area (Khenis, Centre of Tunisia) to adhere to both biotic and abiotic surfaces was evaluated in the present work. The biochemical, physiological and enzymatic activities of all strains was also investigated. Three morphotypes of V. alginolyticus were obtained on Congo red agar and only 14 strains produced black colonies. The majority of strains were able to degrade the skin mucus of both Sparus aurata and Dicentrarchus labrax fishes while the fish mucus preparation of these two specimens exhibits a high level of anti-V. alginolyticus strains. Adhesive properties were observed in 37.5% of the analyzed V. alginolyticus strains to Hep-2 cells and 50% to Caco-2 cells. All strains were able to form a purple pellicule on glass tube when they were stained with Crystal violet. Fifteen percent of V. alginolyticus strains (16/32) were strongly adhesive to polystyrene with a values ranging from 3.04 to 18.25 at 595 nm and only four strains were weak biofilm forming. V. alginolyticus bacterium possess a strong adhesive power to both biotic and inertes surfaces. These proprieties may allow to these strains to persist in this biotope in planctonic state or attached to both biotic and abiotic surfaces.

  3. Breeding bird diversity in relation to environmental gradients in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qian, Hong; Wang, Silong; Li, Yuanliang; Wang, Xihua

    2009-11-01

    Geographic variation in species richness has been explained by different theories such as energy, productivity, energy-water balance, habitat heterogeneity, and freezing tolerance. This study determines which of these theories best account for gradients of breeding bird richness in China. In addition, we develop a best-fit model to account for the relationship between breeding bird richness and environment in China. Breeding bird species richness in 207 localities (3271 km 2 per locality on average) from across China was related to thirteen environmental variables after accounting for sampling area. The Akaike's information criterion (AIC) was used to evaluate model performance. We used Moran's I to determine the magnitude of spatial autocorrelation in model residuals, and used simultaneous autoregressive model to determine coefficients of determination and AIC of explanatory variables after accounting for residual spatial autocorrelation. Of all environmental variables examined, normalized difference vegetation index, a measure of plant productivity, is the best variable to explain the variance in breeding bird richness. We found that species richness of breeding birds at the scale examined is best predicted by a combination of plant productivity, elevation range, seasonal variation in potential evapotranspiration, and mean annual temperature. These variables explained 47.3% of the variance in breeding bird richness after accounting for sampling area; most of the explained variance in richness is attributable to the first two of the four variables.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

    2016-04-07

    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.

  9. Context-dependent effects of fishing: variation in trophic cascades across environmental gradients.

    PubMed

    Shears, Nick T; Babcock, Russell C; Salomon, Anne K

    2008-12-01

    Marine reserves provide a large-scale experimental framework to investigate the effects of fishing on food web dynamics and how they vary with environmental context. Because marine reserves promote the recovery of previously fished predators, spatial comparisons between reserve and fished sites are often made to infer such effects; however, alternative explanations for differences between reserve and fished sites are seldom tested (e.g., environmental variation among sites). We investigated the context dependency of the predator-urchin-kelp trophic cascade reported in northeastern New Zealand by comparing the abundance of herbivorous sea urchins (Evechinus chloroticus), the extent of urchin barrens habitat, and macroalgal biomass between reserve and fished sites within six locations that span an environmental gradient in wave exposure, sedimentation, and water clarity. At depths where differences in urchin abundance or macroalgal biomass were found between reserve and fished sites we used a model selection approach to identify which variables (fishing or environmental factors) best explained the variation among sites. Differences between reserve and fished sites were not ubiquitous across the locations examined and were highly depth specific. At sheltered locations, urchins were rare and barrens absent at both reserve and fished sites. At moderately exposed coastal locations, actively grazing urchins were most abundant at 4-6 m depth, and significant differences in macroalgal biomass between reserve and fished sites were observed. In contrast, at offshore island locations, urchins extended into deeper water, and differences between reserve and fished sites were found at 4-9 m depth. These differences could only be attributed to trophic cascades associated with protection from fishing in two of the six locations examined. In other cases, variation between reserve and fished sites was equally well explained by differences in sediment or wave exposure among sites

  10. [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

  11. 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.

  12. Alternative Approaches for Evaluating the Effects of Environmental Gradients on Stream Invertebrates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pollard, A. I.; Yuan, L. L.

    2005-05-01

    Taxonomic optima, i.e., the environmental conditions at which peak abundance is expected, are widely used to analyze assemblage response to environmental gradients. Typically analyses consider how the mean optima for an assemblage change over a gradient. In this study we consider how other characteristics of the assemblage vary. We ask two questions. First, how does variability in assemblage optima change over an environmental gradient? Second, is there a trade-off between environmental generalists, i.e., genera having a wide range of occurrence, and specialists, i.e., genera having a narrow range of occurrence, over these gradients? We use data collected in the U.S. EPA Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program for benthic invertebrate assemblage and stream characteristic information. Optima estimates for genera are derived from logistic regression models over environmental gradients in streams. Assemblage characteristics are based on the distribution of these optima for genera occurring at a site. These results suggest alternative approaches for evaluating the effects of environmental gradients on stream biota.

  13. Fish community comparisons along environmental gradients in lakes of France and north-east USA

    EPA Science Inventory

    To assess whether eight traits of fish communities (species richness, three reproductive traits and four trophic traits) respond similarly to environmental gradients, and consequently display convergence between the lakes of France and north-east USA (NEUSA). Location 75 Frenc...

  14. 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.

  15. An assessment of an environmental gradient using coral geochemical records, Whitsunday Islands, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Lewis, S E; Brodie, J E; McCulloch, M T; Mallela, J; Jupiter, S D; Williams, H Stuart; Lough, J M; Matson, E G

    2012-01-01

    Coral cores were collected along an environmental and water quality gradient through the Whitsunday Island group, Great Barrier Reef (Australia), for trace element and stable isotope analysis. The primary aim of the study was to examine if this gradient could be detected in coral records and, if so, whether the gradient has changed over time with changing land use in the adjacent river catchments. Y/Ca was the trace element ratio which varied spatially across the gradient, with concentrations progressively decreasing away from the river mouths. The Ba/Ca and Y/Ca ratios were the only indicators of change in the gradient through time, increasing shortly after European settlement. The Mn/Ca ratio responded to local disturbance related to the construction of tourism infrastructure. Nitrogen isotope ratios showed no apparent trend over time. This study highlights the importance of site selection when using coral records to record regional environmental signals. PMID:22030106

  16. An assessment of an environmental gradient using coral geochemical records, Whitsunday Islands, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

    PubMed

    Lewis, S E; Brodie, J E; McCulloch, M T; Mallela, J; Jupiter, S D; Williams, H Stuart; Lough, J M; Matson, E G

    2012-01-01

    Coral cores were collected along an environmental and water quality gradient through the Whitsunday Island group, Great Barrier Reef (Australia), for trace element and stable isotope analysis. The primary aim of the study was to examine if this gradient could be detected in coral records and, if so, whether the gradient has changed over time with changing land use in the adjacent river catchments. Y/Ca was the trace element ratio which varied spatially across the gradient, with concentrations progressively decreasing away from the river mouths. The Ba/Ca and Y/Ca ratios were the only indicators of change in the gradient through time, increasing shortly after European settlement. The Mn/Ca ratio responded to local disturbance related to the construction of tourism infrastructure. Nitrogen isotope ratios showed no apparent trend over time. This study highlights the importance of site selection when using coral records to record regional environmental signals.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. The effect of sterilizing diseases on host abundance and distribution along environmental gradients

    PubMed Central

    Antonovics, Janis

    2009-01-01

    This study analyses the effect of host-specific pathogens on range restriction of their hosts across environmental gradients at population margins. Sterilizing diseases can limit host range by causing large reductions in population size in what would otherwise be the central area of a species range. Diseases showing frequency-dependent transmission can also pull back a population from its disease-free margin. A wide range of disease prevalence versus abundance patterns emerge which often differ from the classical expectation of increasing prevalence with increasing abundance. Surprisingly, very few empirical studies have investigated the dynamics of disease across environmental gradients or at range limits. PMID:19324815

  1. Individual Cell Based Traits Obtained by Scanning Flow-Cytometry Show Selection by Biotic and Abiotic Environmental Factors during a Phytoplankton Spring Bloom

    PubMed Central

    Pomati, Francesco; Kraft, Nathan J. B.; Posch, Thomas; Eugster, Bettina; Jokela, Jukka; Ibelings, Bas W.

    2013-01-01

    In ecology and evolution, the primary challenge in understanding the processes that shape biodiversity is to assess the relationship between the phenotypic traits of organisms and the environment. Here we tested for selection on physio-morphological traits measured by scanning flow-cytometry at the individual level in phytoplankton communities under a temporally changing biotic and abiotic environment. Our aim was to study how high-frequency temporal changes in the environment influence biodiversity dynamics in a natural community. We focused on a spring bloom in Lake Zurich (Switzerland), characterized by rapid changes in phytoplankton, water conditions, nutrients and grazing (mainly mediated by herbivore ciliates). We described bloom dynamics in terms of taxonomic and trait-based diversity and found that diversity dynamics of trait-based groups were more pronounced than those of identified phytoplankton taxa. We characterized the linkage between measured phytoplankton traits, abiotic environmental factors and abundance of the main grazers and observed weak but significant correlations between changing abiotic and biotic conditions and measured size-related and fluorescence-related traits. We tested for deviations in observed community-wide distributions of focal traits from random patterns and found evidence for both clustering and even spacing of traits, occurring sporadically over the time series. Patterns were consistent with environmental filtering and phenotypic divergence under herbivore pressure, respectively. Size-related traits showed significant even spacing during the peak of herbivore abundance, suggesting that morphology-related traits were under selection from grazing. Pigment distribution within cells and colonies appeared instead to be associated with acclimation to temperature and water chemistry. We found support for trade-offs among grazing resistance and environmental tolerance traits, as well as for substantial periods of dynamics in which

  2. 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.

  3. Changes of AM Fungal Abundance along Environmental Gradients in the Arid and Semi-Arid Grasslands of Northern China

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Yajun; Rillig, Matthias C.; Xiang, Dan; Hao, Zhipeng; Chen, Baodong

    2013-01-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi are ubiquitous symbionts of higher plants in terrestrial ecosystems, while the occurrence of the AM symbiosis is influenced by a complex set of abiotic and biotic factors. To reveal the regional distribution pattern of AM fungi as driven by multiple environmental factors, and to understand the ecological importance of AM fungi in natural ecosystems, we conducted a field investigation on AM fungal abundance along environmental gradients in the arid and semi-arid grasslands of northern China. In addition to plant parameters recorded in situ, soil samples were collected, and soil chemo-physical and biological parameters were measured in the lab. Statistical analyses were performed to reveal the relative contribution of climatic, edaphic and vegetation factors to AM fungal abundance, especially for extraradical hyphal length density (HLD) in the soil. The results indicated that HLD were positively correlated with mean annual temperature (MAT), soil clay content and soil pH, but negatively correlated with both soil organic carbon (SOC) and soil available N. The multiple regressions and structural equation model showed that MAT was the key positive contributor and soil fertility was the key negative contributor to HLD. Furthermore, both the intraradical AM colonization (IMC) and relative abundance of AM fungi, which was quantified by real-time PCR assay, tended to decrease along the increasing SOC content. With regard to the obvious negative correlation between MAT and SOC in the research area, the positive correlation between MAT and HLD implied that AM fungi could potentially mitigate soil carbon losses especially in infertile soils under global warming. However, direct evidence from long-term experiments is still expected to support the AM fungal contribution to soil carbon pools. PMID:23451247

  4. Changes of AM fungal abundance along environmental gradients in the arid and semi-arid grasslands of northern China.

    PubMed

    Hu, Yajun; Rillig, Matthias C; Xiang, Dan; Hao, Zhipeng; Chen, Baodong

    2013-01-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi are ubiquitous symbionts of higher plants in terrestrial ecosystems, while the occurrence of the AM symbiosis is influenced by a complex set of abiotic and biotic factors. To reveal the regional distribution pattern of AM fungi as driven by multiple environmental factors, and to understand the ecological importance of AM fungi in natural ecosystems, we conducted a field investigation on AM fungal abundance along environmental gradients in the arid and semi-arid grasslands of northern China. In addition to plant parameters recorded in situ, soil samples were collected, and soil chemo-physical and biological parameters were measured in the lab. Statistical analyses were performed to reveal the relative contribution of climatic, edaphic and vegetation factors to AM fungal abundance, especially for extraradical hyphal length density (HLD) in the soil. The results indicated that HLD were positively correlated with mean annual temperature (MAT), soil clay content and soil pH, but negatively correlated with both soil organic carbon (SOC) and soil available N. The multiple regressions and structural equation model showed that MAT was the key positive contributor and soil fertility was the key negative contributor to HLD. Furthermore, both the intraradical AM colonization (IMC) and relative abundance of AM fungi, which was quantified by real-time PCR assay, tended to decrease along the increasing SOC content. With regard to the obvious negative correlation between MAT and SOC in the research area, the positive correlation between MAT and HLD implied that AM fungi could potentially mitigate soil carbon losses especially in infertile soils under global warming. However, direct evidence from long-term experiments is still expected to support the AM fungal contribution to soil carbon pools.

  5. Assembly of Active Bacterial and Fungal Communities Along a Natural Environmental Gradient.

    PubMed

    Mueller, Rebecca C; Gallegos-Graves, Laverne; Zak, Donald R; Kuske, Cheryl R

    2016-01-01

    Dormancy is thought to promote biodiversity within microbial communities, but how assembly of the active community responds to changes in environmental conditions is unclear. To measure the active and dormant communities of bacteria and fungi colonizing decomposing litter in maple forests, we targeted ribosomal genes and transcripts across a natural environmental gradient. Within bacterial and fungal communities, the active and dormant communities were phylogenetically distinct, but patterns of phylogenetic clustering varied. For bacteria, active communities were significantly more clustered than dormant communities, while the reverse was found for fungi. The proportion of operational taxonomic units (OTUs) classified as active and the degree of phylogenetic clustering of the active bacterial communities declined with increasing pH and decreasing C/N. No significant correlations were found for the fungal community. The opposing pattern of phylogenetic clustering in dormant and active communities and the differential response of active communities to environmental gradients suggest that dormancy differentially structures bacterial and fungal communities.

  6. Functional traits explain phytoplankton responses to environmental gradients across lakes of the United States.

    PubMed

    Edwards, Kyle F; Litchman, Elena; Klausmeier, Christopher A

    2013-07-01

    Ecological communities exhibit regular shifts in structure along environmental gradients, but it has proved difficult to dissect the mechanisms by which environmental conditions determine the relative success of species. Functional traits may provide a link between environmental drivers and mechanisms of community membership, but this has not been well tested for phytoplankton, which dominate primary production in many aquatic ecosystems. Here we test whether functional traits of phytoplankton can explain how species respond to gradients of light and phosphorus across U.S. lakes. We find that traits related to light utilization and maximum growth rate can predict species' differential responses to the relative availability of these resources. These results show that laboratory-measured traits are predictive of species' performance under natural conditions, that functional traits provide a mechanistic foundation for community ecology, and that variation in community structure is predictable in spite of the complexity of ecological communities.

  7. Temporal Dynamics of Abiotic and Biotic Factors on Leaf Litter of Three Plant Species in Relation to Decomposition Rate along a Subalpine Elevation Gradient

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Jianxiao; Yang, Wanqin; He, Xinhua

    2013-01-01

    Relationships between abiotic (soil temperature and number of freeze-thaw cycles) or biotic factors (chemical elements, microbial biomass, extracellular enzymes, and decomposer communities in litter) and litter decomposition rates were investigated over two years in subalpine forests close to the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in China. Litterbags with senescent birch, fir, and spruce leaves were placed on the forest floor at 2,704 m, 3,023 m, 3,298 m, and 3,582 m elevation. Results showed that the decomposition rate positively correlated with soil mean temperature during the plant growing season, and with the number of soil freeze-thaw cycles during the winter. Concentrations of soluble nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) had positive effects but C:N and lignin:N ratios had negative effects on the decomposition rate (k), especially during the winter. Meanwhile, microbial biomass carbon (MBC), N (MBN), and P (MBP) were positively correlated with k values during the first growing season. These biotic factors accounted for 60.0% and 56.4% of the variation in decomposition rate during the winter and the growing season in the first year, respectively. Specifically, litter chemistry (C, N, P, K, lignin, C:N and lignin:N ratio) independently explained 29.6% and 13.3%, and the microbe-related factors (MBC, MBN, MBP, bacterial and fungal biomass, sucrase and ACP activity) explained 22.9% and 34.9% during the first winter and the first growing season, respectively. We conclude that frequent freeze-thaw cycles and litter chemical properties determine the winter decomposition while microbe-related factors play more important roles in determining decomposition in the subsequent growing season. PMID:23620803

  8. Niche construction on environmental gradients: the formation of fitness valley and stratified genotypic distributions.

    PubMed

    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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  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. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Adaptive genetic divergence along narrow environmental gradients in four stream insects.

    PubMed

    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.

  15. 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

  16. Genetic and epigenetic differences associated with environmental gradients in replicate populations of two salt marsh perennials.

    PubMed

    Foust, C M; Preite, V; Schrey, A W; Alvarez, M; Robertson, M H; Verhoeven, K J F; Richards, C L

    2016-04-01

    While traits and trait plasticity are partly genetically based, investigating epigenetic mechanisms may provide more nuanced understanding of the mechanisms underlying response to environment. Using AFLP and methylation-sensitive AFLP, we tested the hypothesis that differentiation to habitats along natural salt marsh environmental gradients occurs at epigenetic, but not genetic loci in two salt marsh perennials. We detected significant genetic and epigenetic structure among populations and among subpopulations, but we found multilocus patterns of differentiation to habitat type only in epigenetic variation for both species. In addition, more epigenetic than genetic loci were correlated with habitat in both species. When we analysed genetic and epigenetic variation simultaneously with partial Mantel, we found no correlation between genetic variation and habitat and a significant correlation between epigenetic variation and habitat in Spartina alterniflora. In Borrichia frutescens, we found significant correlations between epigenetic and/or genetic variation and habitat in four of five populations when populations were analysed individually, but there was no significant correlation between genetic or epigenetic variation and habitat when analysed jointly across the five populations. These analyses suggest that epigenetic mechanisms are involved in the response to salt marsh habitats, but also that the relationships among genetic and epigenetic variation and habitat vary by species. Site-specific conditions may also cloud our ability to detect response in replicate populations with similar environmental gradients. Future studies analysing sequence data and the correlation between genetic variation and DNA methylation will be powerful to identify the contributions of genetic and epigenetic response to environmental gradients.

  17. Geographical Gradients in Argentinean Terrestrial Mammal Species Richness and Their Environmental Correlates

    PubMed Central

    Márquez, Ana L.; Real, Raimundo; Kin, Marta S.; Guerrero, José Carlos; Galván, Betina; Barbosa, A. Márcia; Olivero, Jesús; Palomo, L. Javier; Vargas, J. Mario; Justo, Enrique

    2012-01-01

    We analysed the main geographical trends of terrestrial mammal species richness (SR) in Argentina, assessing how broad-scale environmental variation (defined by climatic and topographic variables) and the spatial form of the country (defined by spatial filters based on spatial eigenvector mapping (SEVM)) influence the kinds and the numbers of mammal species along these geographical trends. We also evaluated if there are pure geographical trends not accounted for by the environmental or spatial factors. The environmental variables and spatial filters that simultaneously correlated with the geographical variables and SR were considered potential causes of the geographic trends. We performed partial correlations between SR and the geographical variables, maintaining the selected explanatory variables statistically constant, to determine if SR was fully explained by them or if a significant residual geographic pattern remained. All groups and subgroups presented a latitudinal gradient not attributable to the spatial form of the country. Most of these trends were not explained by climate. We used a variation partitioning procedure to quantify the pure geographic trend (PGT) that remained unaccounted for. The PGT was larger for latitudinal than for longitudinal gradients. This suggests that historical or purely geographical causes may also be relevant drivers of these geographical gradients in mammal diversity. PMID:23028254

  18. How to assess species richness along single environmental gradients? Implications of potential versus realized species distributions.

    PubMed

    van Goethem, Thomas M W J; Huijbregts, Mark A J; Wamelink, G W Wieger; Schipper, Aafke M

    2015-05-01

    Quantifying relationships between species richness and single environmental factors is challenging as species richness typically depends on multiple environmental factors. Recently, various methods have been proposed to tackle this challenge. Using a dataset comprising field observations of grassland vegetation and measured pH values, we compared three methods for deriving species richness response curves. One of the methods estimates species richness close to the maximum species richness observed at the sites, whereas the other two provide estimates of the potential species richness along the environmental gradient. Our response curves suggest that potential species richness of grasslands is slightly more sensitive to acidification than realized plant species richness. However, differences in corresponding environmental quality standards (EQS) for acidification were small compared to intrinsic spatial differences in natural soil pH, indicating that natural background values are more important to consider in the derivation of EQS for pH than methodological differences between the three approaches. PMID:25705854

  19. How to assess species richness along single environmental gradients? Implications of potential versus realized species distributions.

    PubMed

    van Goethem, Thomas M W J; Huijbregts, Mark A J; Wamelink, G W Wieger; Schipper, Aafke M

    2015-05-01

    Quantifying relationships between species richness and single environmental factors is challenging as species richness typically depends on multiple environmental factors. Recently, various methods have been proposed to tackle this challenge. Using a dataset comprising field observations of grassland vegetation and measured pH values, we compared three methods for deriving species richness response curves. One of the methods estimates species richness close to the maximum species richness observed at the sites, whereas the other two provide estimates of the potential species richness along the environmental gradient. Our response curves suggest that potential species richness of grasslands is slightly more sensitive to acidification than realized plant species richness. However, differences in corresponding environmental quality standards (EQS) for acidification were small compared to intrinsic spatial differences in natural soil pH, indicating that natural background values are more important to consider in the derivation of EQS for pH than methodological differences between the three approaches.

  20. [Niche characteristics of plants on four environmental gradients in middle reaches of Tarim River].

    PubMed

    Liu, Jiazhen; Chen, Yaning; Zhang, Yuanming

    2004-04-01

    Tarim River is the longest continental river in China. Along its either bank, the natural vegetation belts are composed of arbors, shrubs and grasses. In this paper, the niche breadths and overlaps of nineteen species on four environmental gradients in the middle reaches of Tarim River were calculated and analyzed. The results showed that the nineteen species could be divided into three groups, based on their average niche breadths. Group one included Populus euphratica, Tamarix ramosissima, T. hispida, Lycium ruthernicum, Alhagi sparsifolia and Phragmites australis, which were constructive species in Tarim River and their niche breadths were greater. Group two included T. leptostachys, Aeluropus pungens, Poacynum hendersonii, Cynanchum sibiricum, Karelinia caspica, Inula salsoloides, Taraxacum sp., and Hexinia polydichotoma, and their niche breadths were smaller than that of group one. Group three included Halimodendron halodendron, Glycyrrhiza inflata, Calamagrostis pseudophragmites, Salsola sp., and Sophora alapecuroides. Based on the niche overlaps matrix, the niche overlaps of the plant species pairs were generally smaller on all the four environmental gradients, because of their probable niche shift or the demand for different environmental resources. Soil moisture and soil salinity were the important environmental factors limiting the plant distribution in the middle reaches of Tarim River.

  1. Ectomycorrhizal fungal traits reflect environmental conditions along a coastal California edaphic gradient.

    PubMed

    Moeller, Holly V; Peay, Kabir G; Fukami, Tadashi

    2014-03-01

    Multispecies mutualisms, such as the association between trees and ectomycorrhizal fungi, are often shaped by environmental context. Here, we explored the functional mechanisms underlying this environmental filtering. Using a single population of Pinus muricata (Bishop pine) growing along a strong edaphic gradient, we examined how environmental stress affected ectomycorrhizal fungi. The gradient spans c. 400000 years of soil age, and reduced nutrient availability and increased water stress dwarf trees on older sites. Fungal community composition shifted with nutrient and water availability and with the stature of the P. muricata host trees. Not only did pygmy trees host a taxonomically different fungal subset as compared to nonpygmy trees, but associated fungal communities also differed in life history strategies: trees in more stressful conditions hosted fungi with more carbon-intensive foraging strategies. Our results indicate a link between environmental controls of host nutritional status and turnover in the ectomycorrhizal fungal community. The transition to more energy-intensive strategies under nutrient stress may allow for close recycling of recalcitrant nutrient pools within the root zone and facilitate transport of nutrients and water over long distances. These results highlight the value of life history data to understanding the mechanistic underpinnings of species distributions.

  2. Temporal variation of coastal surface sediment bacterial communities along an environmental pollution gradient.

    PubMed

    Thiyagarajan, V; Tsoi, M M Y; Zhang, W; Qian, P Y

    2010-07-01

    Terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis (T-RFLP) was used to track the changes of bacterial community compositions (BCC) in coastal surface sediments along an environmental pollution gradient between 2004 and 2006. BCC in the chronically contaminated sites showed the largest deviation from those in the adjacent sites. Surprisingly, BCC at two contrasting environments (oceanic vs. river-influenced) were more similar. Unexpectedly, the BCC did not recover (when compared to oceanic control site) even after 5 years of pollution abatement initiatives in Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong. On the other hand, disposal of treated sewage for 5 years in one of the sites did not significantly affect the BCC. A striking seasonal variation in the BCC was observed at only the polluted sites. Although factors other than pollution gradients may explain the observed BCC patterns, the information presented here can be useful in predicting long-term effects of pollution on BCC. Furthermore, this study suggests that BCC analysis using T-RFLP is a faster, reliable and easier approach to monitor microbenthic community response to environmental pollution gradient in coastal sediments. PMID:20359741

  3. The spatial patterns of soil respiration regulated by biological and environmental variables along a precipitation gradient

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, W.; Li, X.; Liu, W.; Li, L.; Hou, L.; Shi, H.; Xia, J.; Liu, D.; Zhang, H.; Chen, Y.; Cai, W.; Fu, Y.; Yuan, W.

    2015-12-01

    Precipitation is a key environmental factor in determining ecosystem structure and function. Knowledge of how soil respiration responds to climate change (precipitation etc.) and human activities (grazing, clipping etc.) is crucial for assessing the impacts of climate change on terrestrial ecosystems and for improving model simulations and predictions of future global C cycling in response to human activities. In this study, we examined the spatial patterns of soil respiration along a precipitation gradient from 176.7 mm to 398.1 mm. Our results showed that soil respiration increased linearly with increasing mean annual precipitation. The increasing trend was similar to the trends of shoot biomass, litter biomass and soil total C content along the precipitation gradient. Root biomass was described by quadratic curves along the increasing precipitation gradient and may result from the tradeoff of environmental regulation and carbon allocation. Our results indicated that precipitation was the primary controlling factor in determining the spatial pattern of soil respiration. The linear/nonlinear relationships in this study describing the variations of the ecosystem carbon process with precipitation could be useful for model development, parameterization and validation at the regional scale to improve predictions of how the carbon process in grasslands responds to climate change, land use and grassland management.

  4. Mesoscale variation in the photophysiology of the reef building coral Pocillopora damicornis along an environmental gradient

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cooper, Timothy F.; Ulstrup, Karin E.

    2009-06-01

    Spatial variation in the photophysiology of symbiotic dinoflagellates (zooxanthellae) of the scleractinian coral Pocillopora damicornis was examined along an environmental gradient in the Whitsunday Islands (Great Barrier Reef) at two depths (3 m and 6 m). Chlorophyll a fluorescence of photosystem II (PSII) and PAR-absorptivity measurements were conducted using an Imaging-PAM (pulse-amplitude-modulation) fluorometer. Most photophysiological parameters correlated with changes in environmental conditions quantified by differences in water quality along the gradient. For example, maximum quantum yield ( Fv/ Fm) increased and PAR-absorptivity decreased as water quality improved along the gradient from nearshore reefs (low irradiance, elevated nutrients and sediments) to outer islands (high irradiance, low nutrients and sediments). For apparent photosynthetic rate (PS max) and minimum saturating irradiance ( Ek), the direction of change differed depending on sampling depth, suggesting that different mechanisms of photo-acclimatisation operated between shallow and deep corals. Deep corals conformed to typical patterns of light/shade acclimatisation whereas shallow corals exhibited reduced PS max and Ek with improving water quality coinciding with greater heat dissipation (NPQ 241). Furthermore, deep corals on nearshore reefs exhibited elevated Q241 in comparison to outer islands possibly due to effects of sedimentation and/or pollutants rather than irradiance. These results highlight the importance of mesoscale sampling to obtain useful estimates of the variability of photophysiological parameters, particularly if such measures are to be used as bioindicators of the condition of coral reefs.

  5. 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…

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Translating environmental gradients into discontinuous reaction norms via hormone signalling in a polyphenic butterfly

    PubMed Central

    Oostra, Vicencio; de Jong, Maaike A.; Invergo, Brandon M.; Kesbeke, Fanja; Wende, Franziska; Brakefield, Paul M.; Zwaan, Bas J.

    2011-01-01

    Polyphenisms—the expression of discrete phenotypic morphs in response to environmental variation—are examples of phenotypic plasticity that may potentially be adaptive in the face of predictable environmental heterogeneity. In the butterfly Bicyclus anynana, we examine the hormonal regulation of phenotypic plasticity that involves divergent developmental trajectories into distinct adult morphs for a suite of traits as an adaptation to contrasting seasonal environments. This polyphenism is induced by temperature during development and mediated by ecdysteroid hormones. We reared larvae at separate temperatures spanning the natural range of seasonal environments and measured reaction norms for ecdysteroids, juvenile hormones (JHs) and adult fitness traits. Timing of peak ecdysteroid, but not JH titres, showed a binary response to the linear temperature gradient. Several adult traits (e.g. relative abdomen mass) responded in a similar, dimorphic manner, while others (e.g. wing pattern) showed a linear response. This study demonstrates that hormone dynamics can translate a linear environmental gradient into a discrete signal and, thus, that polyphenic differences between adult morphs can already be programmed at the stage of hormone signalling during development. The range of phenotypic responses observed within the suite of traits indicates both shared regulation and independent, trait-specific sensitivity to the hormone signal. PMID:20826484

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Microgeographic patterns of genetic divergence and adaptation across environmental gradients in Boechera stricta (Brassicaceae)

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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 similar elevations as the garden, and declined 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 necessary first step in predicting how global change could affect evolutionary dynamics. PMID:26656218

  20. 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

  1. Transition from Connected to Fragmented Vegetation across an Environmental Gradient: Scaling Laws in Ecotone Geometry.

    PubMed

    Gastner, Michael T; Oborny, Beata; Zimmermann, D K; Pruessner, Gunnar

    2009-07-01

    A change in the environmental conditions across space-for example, altitude or latitude-can cause significant changes in the density of a vegetation type and, consequently, in spatial connectivity. We use spatially explicit simulations to study the transition from connected to fragmented vegetation. A static (gradient percolation) model is compared to dynamic (gradient contact process) models. Connectivity is characterized from the perspective of various species that use this vegetation type for habitat and differ in dispersal or migration range, that is, "step length" across the landscape. The boundary of connected vegetation delineated by a particular step length is termed the " hull edge." We found that for every step length and for every gradient, the hull edge is a fractal with dimension 7/4. The result is the same for different spatial models, suggesting that there are universal laws in ecotone geometry. To demonstrate that the model is applicable to real data, a hull edge of fractal dimension 7/4 is shown on a satellite image of a piñon-juniper woodland on a hillside. We propose to use the hull edge to define the boundary of a vegetation type unambiguously. This offers a new tool for detecting a shift of the boundary due to a climate change.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Size and structure of bacterial, fungal and nematode communities along an Antarctic environmental gradient.

    PubMed

    Yergeau, Etienne; Bokhorst, Stef; Huiskes, Ad H L; Boschker, Henricus T S; Aerts, Rien; Kowalchuk, George A

    2007-02-01

    The unusually harsh environmental conditions of terrestrial Antarctic habitats result in ecosystems with simplified trophic structures, where microbial processes are especially dominant as drivers of soil-borne nutrient cycling. We examined soil-borne Antarctic communities (bacteria, fungi and nematodes) at five locations along a southern latitudinal gradient from the Falkland Islands (51 degrees S) to the base of the Antarctic Peninsula (72 degrees S), and compared principally vegetated vs. fell-field locations at three of these sites. Results of molecular (denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis, real-time PCR), biochemical (ergosterol, phospholipid fatty acids) and traditional microbiological (temperature- and medium-related CFU) analyses were related to key soil and environmental properties. Microbial abundance generally showed a significant positive relationship with vegetation and vegetation-associated soil factors (e.g. water content, organic C, total N). Microbial community structure was mainly related to latitude or location and latitude-dependent factors (e.g. mean temperature, NO3, pH). Furthermore, strong interactions between vegetation cover and location were observed, with the effects of vegetation cover being most pronounced in more extreme sites. These results provide insight into the main drivers of microbial community size and structure across a range of terrestrial Antarctic and sub-Antarctic habitats, potentially serving as a useful baseline to study the impact of predicted global warming on these unique and pristine ecosystems.

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Jiang, Jiang; Deangelis, Donald L

    2013-10-01

    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.

  9. Disentangling the environmental-heterogeneity--species-diversity relationship along a gradient of human footprint.

    PubMed

    Seiferling, Ian; Proulx, Raphaël; Wirth, Christian

    2014-08-01

    Decades of study have attempted to define a generalized environmental-heterogeneity-biodiversity (EH-BD) relationship, with the traditional MacArthurian niche-based hypothesis remaining as the dominant reference point; i.e., increasing heterogeneity promotes biodiversity by increasing resource opportunities. However, studies have frequently reported negative or nonsignificant relationships. In a vast majority of them, environmental heterogeneity was defined along a gradient of increasing randomness, toward complete disorder. A new conceptual framework could help to reconcile the array of observed relationships. Using an extensive literature review, we test a conceptual framework proposing that the direction of environmental-heterogeneity-biodiversity relationships is contingent on the level of human footprint to which an ecosystem is subjected (the anthropocline). The results reveal that highly modified and seminatural ecosystems are characterized by a dominance of positive and negative EH-BD relationships, respectively, whereas natural ecosystems show mixed responses. Out of this novel framework arises the revised perspective that natural ecosystems are typified, not by maximal or minimal, but by intermediate levels of environmental heterogeneity.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Environmental gradients predict the genetic population structure of a coral reef fish in the Red Sea.

    PubMed

    Nanninga, Gerrit B; Saenz-Agudelo, Pablo; Manica, Andrea; Berumen, Michael L

    2014-02-01

    The relatively recent fields of terrestrial landscape and marine seascape genetics seek to identify the influence of biophysical habitat features on the spatial genetic structure of populations or individuals. Over the last few years, there has been accumulating evidence for the effect of environmental heterogeneity on patterns of gene flow and connectivity in marine systems. Here, we investigate the population genetic patterns of an anemonefish, Amphiprion bicinctus, along the Saudi Arabian coast of the Red Sea. We collected nearly one thousand samples from 19 locations, spanning approximately 1500 km, and genotyped them at 38 microsatellite loci. Patterns of gene flow appeared to follow a stepping-stone model along the northern and central Red Sea, which was disrupted by a distinct genetic break at a latitude of approximately 19°N. The Red Sea is characterized by pronounced environmental gradients along its axis, roughly separating the northern and central from the southern basin. Using mean chlorophyll-a concentrations as a proxy for this gradient, we ran tests of isolation by distance (IBD, R(2) = 0.52) and isolation by environment (IBE, R(2) = 0.64), as well as combined models using partial Mantel tests and multiple matrix regression with randomization (MMRR). We found that genetic structure across our sampling sites may be best explained by a combined model of IBD and IBE (Mantel: R(2) = 0.71, MMRR: R(2) = 0.86). Our results highlight the potential key role of environmental patchiness in shaping patterns of gene flow in species with pelagic larval dispersal. We support growing calls for the integration of biophysical habitat characteristics into future studies of population genetic structure.

  13. 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.; 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

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  16. 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.

  17. Carbon isotope variations in a solar pond microbial mat: Role of environmental gradients as steering variables

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schidlowski, Manfred; Gorzawski, Hendrik; Dor, Inka

    1994-05-01

    A biogeochemical traverse is presented for a juvenile benthic mat covering the depth profile of an artificially stratified and eutrophicated hypersaline heliothermal pond with known gradients of temperature, salinity, pH, and light transmission. It can be shown that visual mat development depends primarily on temperature and salinity as main environmental steering variables whose increase with depth goes along with the attenuation and final disappearance of a visible microbial film in the pond's hypolimnic compartment. Recorded biogeochemical parameters (C org content, cell numbers, chlorophyll-a content) evidently reflect, as either biomass- or productivity-related index functions, the visually perceptible growth gradient of the microbial ecosystem along the pond slope. The observed coincidence of maxima in these index functions with maxima in δ13Corg clearly identifies high rates of primary productivity as the agent ultimately responsible for the generation of isotopically heavy ( 13C-enriched) biomass in these and related environments. Extreme demands placed on the local feeder pool of dissolved inorganic carbon by high rates of primary productivity entertained by the mat-forming microbenthos obviously give rise to severe CO 2 limitation, enforcing the operation of a diffusion-(supply-)limited assimilatory pathway with an isotopically indiscriminate metabolization of the available CO 2 resources.

  18. 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.

  19. Field Evidence for Optimal Acclimation of Leaf Nitrogen to Environmental Gradients

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dong, N.; Prentice, I. C. C.; Evans, B. J.; Retalic, S. C.; Lowe, A. J.; Wright, I. J.

    2015-12-01

    Nitrogen per unit leaf area (Narea) is a key variable in plant functional ecology and biogeochemistry. We hypothesized that Narea should be sum of a structural component proportional to leaf mass per area (LMA) and a metabolic component, predicted by optimality considerations to be proportional to irradiance while decreasing with air-to-leaf carbon dioxide drawdown (ci:ca) and temperature. The significant partial environmental and LMA effects on Narea that are both qualitatively and quantitatively supported this hypothesis by using LMA, leaf δ13C and Narea measurements on transcontinental transect in Australia. Trait gradient analysis revealed ci:ca to be perfectly plastic, while species turnover contributed about half the variation in LMA and Narea, consistent with a strong contribution of species turnover to the variation of these traits with environment. These findings motivate a hybrid leaf-economics approach to the prediction of Narea in ecosystem models.

  20. 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

  1. Environmental gradients explain species richness and community composition of coastal breeding birds in the Baltic Sea.

    PubMed

    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.

  2. Environmental gradients explain species richness and community composition of coastal breeding birds in the Baltic Sea.

    PubMed

    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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Non-random distribution of individual genetic diversity along an environmental gradient

    PubMed Central

    Porlier, Mélody; Bélisle, Marc; Garant, Dany

    2009-01-01

    Improving our knowledge of the links between ecology and evolution is especially critical in the actual context of global rapid environmental changes. A critical step in that direction is to quantify how variation in ecological factors linked to habitat modifications might shape observed levels of genetic variability in wild populations. Still, little is known on the factors affecting levels and distribution of genetic diversity at the individual level, despite its vital underlying role in evolutionary processes. In this study, we assessed the effects of habitat quality on population structure and individual genetic diversity of tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) breeding along a gradient of agricultural intensification in southern Québec, Canada. Using a landscape genetics approach, we found that individual genetic diversity was greater in poorer quality habitats. This counter-intuitive result was partly explained by the settlement patterns of tree swallows across the landscape. Individuals of higher genetic diversity arrived earlier on their breeding grounds and settled in the first available habitats, which correspond to intensive cultures. Our results highlight the importance of investigating the effects of environmental variability on individual genetic diversity, and of integrating information on landscape structure when conducting such studies. PMID:19414469

  7. DNA sequence variation of wild barley Hordeum spontaneum (L.) across environmental gradients in Israel.

    PubMed

    Bedada, G; Westerbergh, A; Nevo, E; Korol, A; Schmid, K J

    2014-06-01

    Wild barley Hordeum spontaneum (L.) shows a wide geographic distribution and ecological diversity. A key question concerns the spatial scale at which genetic differentiation occurs and to what extent it is driven by natural selection. The Levant region exhibits a strong ecological gradient along the North-South axis, with numerous small canyons in an East-West direction and with small-scale environmental gradients on the opposing North- and South-facing slopes. We sequenced 34 short genomic regions in 54 accessions of wild barley collected throughout Israel and from the opposing slopes of two canyons. The nucleotide diversity of the total sample is 0.0042, which is about two-thirds of a sample from the whole species range (0.0060). Thirty accessions collected at 'Evolution Canyon' (EC) at Nahal Oren, close to Haifa, have a nucleotide diversity of 0.0036, and therefore harbor a large proportion of the genetic diversity. There is a high level of genetic clustering throughout Israel and within EC, which roughly differentiates the slopes. Accessions from the hot and dry South-facing slope have significantly reduced genetic diversity and are genetically more distinct from accessions from the North-facing slope, which are more similar to accessions from other regions in Northern Israel. Statistical population models indicate that wild barley within the EC consist of three separate genetic clusters with substantial gene flow. The data indicate a high level of population structure at large and small geographic scales that shows isolation-by-distance, and is also consistent with ongoing natural selection contributing to genetic differentiation at a small geographic scale.

  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. Plant-plant interactions, environmental gradients and plant diversity: a global synthesis of community-level studies

    PubMed Central

    Soliveres, Santiago; Maestre, Fernando T.

    2015-01-01

    Previous syntheses on the effects of environmental conditions on the outcome of plant-plant interactions summarize results from pairwise studies. However, the upscaling to the community-level of such studies is problematic because of the existence of multiple species assemblages and species-specific responses to both the environmental conditions and the presence of neighbors. We conducted the first global synthesis of community-level studies from harsh environments, which included data from 71 alpine and 137 dryland communities. Here we: i) test how important are facilitative interactions as a driver of community structure, ii) evaluate whether the frequency of positive plant-plant interactions across differing environmental conditions and habitats is predictable, and iii) assess whether thresholds in the response of plant-plant interactions to environmental gradients exists between “moderate” and “extreme” stress levels. We also used those community-level studies performed across gradients of at least three points to evaluate how the average environmental conditions, the length of the gradient studied, and the number of points sampled across such gradient affect the form and strength of the facilitation-environment relationship. Over 25% of the species present were more spatially associated to nurse plants than expected by chance in both alpine and dryland areas, illustrating the high importance of positive plant-plant interactions for the maintenance of plant diversity. Facilitative interactions were more frequent, and more related to environmental conditions, in alpine than in dryland areas, perhaps because drylands are generally characterized by a larger variety of environmental stress factors and plant functional traits. The frequency of facilitative interactions in alpine communities peaked at 1000 mm of annual rainfall, and globally decreased with elevation. The frequency of positive interactions in dryland communities decreased globally with water

  10. Differences in prey capture in grass shrimp, Palaemonetes pugio, collected along an environmental impact gradient.

    PubMed

    Perez, M H; Wallace, W G

    2004-01-01

    The waterways and associated salt marshes along the western border of Staten Island, New York (Arthur Kill) have long been under environmental duress. Environmental threats include industrial and municipal discharges, oil spills, and possible leachate from landfills. These impacts are compounded due to the low flushing of this body of water. Grass shrimp, Palaemonetes pugio, inhabiting the Arthur Kill are, therefore, potentially at risk of exposure to metal and organic pollutants. Successful prey capture (of live brine shrimp, Artemia franciscana) was used to compare the relative health of shrimp collected from three sites along an environmental impact gradient. Study sites included a relatively unimpacted harbor (Great Kills Harbor, GK) and two creeks adjoining the Arthur Kill (Nassau Creek, NC, and Richmond Creek, RC). Shrimp originating from GK exhibited a rate of prey capture (6.3 prey h(-1)) that was about two times greater (p < 0.05) than that of shrimp originating from a creek behind a series of landfills (RC, 3.2 prey h(-1)). The rate of prey capture for shrimp collected from a creek impacted by historic smelting activities (NC) was intermediate (5.4 prey h(-1)). Laboratory studies with shrimp from a pristine site (Tuckerton, NJ) exposed to RC conditions (i.e., sediment and water) for eight weeks indicate that reduced prey capture can be induced in healthy shrimp. Finally, video analysis suggests that reduced prey capture in RC shrimp may not be the result of less effort, but rather the combination of (1) 80% fewer (p < 0.05) prey being captured with a lunge type of attack and (2) a greater reliance (p < 0.05) on a less efficient grab type of foraging behavior (64% success rate for RC versus 87% success rate for GK; p = 0.058). These results indicate that sublethal toxicity in environmentally impacted populations can occur and that prey capture may be used to assay the relative health of field specimens. Additionally, impaired prey capture may have

  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. 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

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

    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 and

  16. Maintaining microendemic primate species along an environmental gradient – parasites as drivers for species differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Sommer, Simone; Rakotondranary, Solofomalla Jacques; Ganzhorn, Jörg U

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the drivers of species adaptations to changing environments on the one hand and the limits for hybridization on the other hand is among the hottest questions in evolutionary biology. Parasites represent one of the major selective forces driving host evolution and at least those with free-living stages are at the same time dependent on the ecological conditions of their host's habitat. Local immunological adaptations of host species to varying parasite pressure are therefore expected and might represent the genetic basis for ecological speciation and the maintenance of recently diverged species. Madagascar provides one of the rare examples where two partially sympatric primate species (Microcebus griseorufus, M. murinus) and their hybrids, as well as an allopatric species (M. cf rufus) live in close proximity along a very steep environmental gradient ranging from southern dry spiny bush to gallery forest to evergreen eastern humid rain forest, thus mimicking the situation encountered during extensions and retreats of vegetation formations under changing climatic conditions. This system was used to study parasite infection and immune gene (MHC) adaptations to varying parasite pressure that might provide selective advantages to pure species over hybrids. Parasite burdens increased with increasing humidity. M. griseorufus, M. murinus, and their hybrids but not M. rufus shared the same MHC alleles, indicating either retention of ancestral polymorphism or recent gene flow. The hybrids had much higher prevalence of intestinal parasites than either of the parent species living under identical environmental conditions. The different representation of parasites can indicate a handicap for hybrids that maintains species identities. PMID:25558366

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

    PubMed

    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 and

  18. 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.

  19. Use of Geostatistics and Plant Hydraulics to Explain Spatial Patterns of Transpiration Across Environmental Gradients

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ewers, B. E.; Adelman, J. D.; Mackay, D. S.; Loranty, M.; Traver, E.; Kruger, E. L.

    2005-12-01

    As direct measurements of tree transpiration via sap flux have become routine, the sample size of sap flux studies has dramatically increased. These large sample sizes now provide sufficient data for geostatistical analyses when measurement points are spatially explicit. In this study we tested whether 1) center-of-stand approaches to sap flux measurements and scaling are sufficient for characterizing stand level transpiration and 2) geostatistical techniques provide the information necessary for quantifying important stand and landscape level gradients. To maximize the inferences from our tests, we compared two contrasting forests: one dominated by lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) in Wyoming and another dominated by trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides) in Wisconsin. The forest in Wyoming is characterized by low precipitation regimes dominated by snowfall while the forest in Wisconsin is characterized by moderate precipitation throughout the growing season. Analyses of the relationship between sample size and variance indicated an inflection point of 30 point pairs but the variance continued a shallow decline even at 100 point pairs. There was also evidence of species impacts on variance of transpiration that changed with environmental conditions. We used variogram analyses to quantify the spatial range of transpiration and found a variable spatial range across days with mean of approximately 30 m. The variability in spatial range could be partially explained by tree species' responses to soil moisture, vapor pressure deficit, and light based on current plant hydraulic knowledge. Our results confirm the utility of geostatistical techniques for quantifying and explaining transpiration in time and space.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

    2015-06-25

    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.

  4. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. The covariance between genetic and environmental influences across ecological gradients: reassessing the evolutionary significance of countergradient and cogradient variation.

    PubMed

    Conover, David O; Duffy, Tara A; Hice, Lyndie A

    2009-06-01

    Patterns of phenotypic change across environmental gradients (e.g., latitude, altitude) have long captivated the interest of evolutionary ecologists. The pattern and magnitude of phenotypic change is determined by the covariance between genetic and environmental influences across a gradient. Cogradient variation (CoGV) occurs when covariance is positive: that is, genetic and environmental influences on phenotypic expression are aligned and their joint influence accentuates the change in mean trait value across the gradient. Conversely, countergradient variation (CnGV) occurs when covariance is negative: that is, genetic and environmental influences on phenotypes oppose one another, thereby diminishing the change in mean trait expression across the gradient. CnGV has so far been found in at least 60 species, with most examples coming from fishes, amphibians, and insects across latitudinal or altitudinal gradients. Traits that display CnGV most often involve metabolic compensation, that is, the elevation of various physiological rates processes (development, growth, feeding, metabolism, activity) to counteract the dampening effect of reduced temperature, growing season length, or food supply. Far fewer examples of CoGV have been identified (11 species), and these most often involve morphological characters. Increased knowledge of spatial covariance patterns has furthered our understanding of Bergmann size clines, phenotypic plasticity, species range limits, tradeoffs in juvenile growth rate, and the design of conservation strategies for wild species. Moreover, temporal CnGV explains some cases of an apparent lack of phenotypic response to directional selection and provides a framework for predicting evolutionary responses to climate change. PMID:19566705

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Spatial gradients of OCPs in European butter--integrating environmental and exposure information.

    PubMed

    Weiss, Jana; Müller, Anne; Vives, Ingrid; Mariani, Giulio; Umlauf, Gunther

    2013-05-01

    The Stockholm Convention and the Global Monitoring Plan encourage the production of monitoring data to effectively evaluate the presence of the persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in all regions, in order to identify changes in levels over time, as well as to provide information on their regional and global environmental transport. Here, we report the first step of two to investigate whether butter is a feasible matrix to screen with the purpose to reflect regional ambient atmospheric air levels of POPs. The first step described here is to generate monitoring data; the second is to investigate the relationship between the two matrixes, i.e., POP concentrations in air and butter, which will be reported in another article published in this journal. Here, the 27 organochlorine pesticides listed under the Stockholm Convention have been analyzed in 75 butter samples from Europe. The general conclusions were as follows: Total organochlorine pesticide concentration is lower in butter from northern and central Europe. The spatial gradient of 1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-di(4-chlorophenyl)ethane and hexachlorocyclohexane is increasing in the eastern region of Europe (Romania, Bulgaria, and Ukraine), dieldrin towards France, and endosulfan levels were elevated on the Azores Island in the Atlantic Ocean. One butter sample from Romania exceeded the European Maximum Residue Limit value for lindane, but the other butter pesticide levels were all below the limit values. The dataset reported here can be used for the calibration of the air-grass-dairy products model, which would support the feasibility to use butter as biomonitor for measuring POP levels in ambient air.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Patterns in Temporal Variability of Temperature, Oxygen and pH along an Environmental Gradient in a Coral Reef

    PubMed Central

    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

  8. Natural variation in abiotic stress responsive gene expression and local adaptation to climate in Arabidopsis thaliana.

    PubMed

    Lasky, Jesse R; Des Marais, David L; Lowry, David B; Povolotskaya, Inna; McKay, John K; Richards, James H; Keitt, Timothy H; Juenger, Thomas E

    2014-09-01

    Gene expression varies widely in natural populations, yet the proximate and ultimate causes of this variation are poorly known. Understanding how variation in gene expression affects abiotic stress tolerance, fitness, and adaptation is central to the field of evolutionary genetics. We tested the hypothesis that genes with natural genetic variation in their expression responses to abiotic stress are likely to be involved in local adaptation to climate in Arabidopsis thaliana. Specifically, we compared genes with consistent expression responses to environmental stress (expression stress responsive, "eSR") to genes with genetically variable responses to abiotic stress (expression genotype-by-environment interaction, "eGEI"). We found that on average genes that exhibited eGEI in response to drought or cold had greater polymorphism in promoter regions and stronger associations with climate than those of eSR genes or genomic controls. We also found that transcription factor binding sites known to respond to environmental stressors, especially abscisic acid responsive elements, showed significantly higher polymorphism in drought eGEI genes in comparison to eSR genes. By contrast, eSR genes tended to exhibit relatively greater pairwise haplotype sharing, lower promoter diversity, and fewer nonsynonymous polymorphisms, suggesting purifying selection or selective sweeps. Our results indicate that cis-regulatory evolution and genetic variation in stress responsive gene expression may be important mechanisms of local adaptation to climatic selective gradients.

  9. Natural Variation in Abiotic Stress Responsive Gene Expression and Local Adaptation to Climate in Arabidopsis thaliana

    PubMed Central

    Lasky, Jesse R.; Des Marais, David L.; Lowry, David B.; Povolotskaya, Inna; McKay, John K.; Richards, James H.; Keitt, Timothy H.; Juenger, Thomas E.

    2014-01-01

    Gene expression varies widely in natural populations, yet the proximate and ultimate causes of this variation are poorly known. Understanding how variation in gene expression affects abiotic stress tolerance, fitness, and adaptation is central to the field of evolutionary genetics. We tested the hypothesis that genes with natural genetic variation in their expression responses to abiotic stress are likely to be involved in local adaptation to climate in Arabidopsis thaliana. Specifically, we compared genes with consistent expression responses to environmental stress (expression stress responsive, “eSR”) to genes with genetically variable responses to abiotic stress (expression genotype-by-environment interaction, “eGEI”). We found that on average genes that exhibited eGEI in response to drought or cold had greater polymorphism in promoter regions and stronger associations with climate than those of eSR genes or genomic controls. We also found that transcription factor binding sites known to respond to environmental stressors, especially abscisic acid responsive elements, showed significantly higher polymorphism in drought eGEI genes in comparison to eSR genes. By contrast, eSR genes tended to exhibit relatively greater pairwise haplotype sharing, lower promoter diversity, and fewer nonsynonymous polymorphisms, suggesting purifying selection or selective sweeps. Our results indicate that cis-regulatory evolution and genetic variation in stress responsive gene expression may be important mechanisms of local adaptation to climatic selective gradients. PMID:24850899

  10. Habitat specialization along a wetland moisture gradient differs between ammonia-oxidizing and denitrifying microorganisms.

    PubMed

    Peralta, Ariane L; Matthews, Jeffrey W; Kent, Angela D

    2014-08-01

    Gradients in abiotic parameters, such as soil moisture,can strongly influence microbial community structure and function. Denitrifying and ammonia-oxidizing microorganisms,in particular, have contrasting physiological responses to abiotic factors such as oxygen concentration and soil moisture. Identifying abiotic factors that govern the composition and activity of denitrifying and ammonia-oxidizing communities is critical for understanding the nitrogen cycle.The objectives of this study were to (i) examine denitrifier andarchaeal ammonia oxidizer community composition and (ii) assess the taxa occurring within each functional group related to soil conditions along an environmental gradient. Soil was sampled across four transects at four locations along a dry to saturated environmental gradient at a restored wetland. Soil pH and soil organic matter content increased from dry to saturated plots. Composition of soil denitrifier and ammonia oxidizer functional groups was assessed by terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) community analysis, and local soil factors were also characterized. Microbial community composition of denitrifiers and ammonia oxidizers differed along the moisture gradient (denitrifier:ANOSIM R = 0.739, P < 0.001; ammonia oxidizers: ANOSIMR = 0.760, P < 0.001). Individual denitrifier taxa were observed over a larger range of moisture levels than individual archaeal ammonia oxidizer taxa (Wilcoxon rank sum, W = 2413, P value = 0.0002). Together, our data suggest that variation in environmental tolerance of microbial taxa have potential to influence nitrogen cycling in terrestrial ecosystems.

  11. Wood specific gravity and anatomy of branches and roots in 113 Amazonian rainforest tree species across environmental gradients.

    PubMed

    Fortunel, Claire; Ruelle, Julien; Beauchêne, Jacques; Fine, Paul V A; Baraloto, Christopher

    2014-04-01

    Wood specific gravity (WSG) is a strong predictor of tree performance across environmental gradients. Yet it remains unclear how anatomical elements linked to different wood functions contribute to variation in WSG in branches and roots across tropical forests. We examined WSG and wood anatomy in white sand, clay terra firme and seasonally flooded forests in French Guiana, spanning broad environmental gradients found throughout Amazonia. We measured 15 traits relating to branches and small woody roots in 113 species representing the 15 most abundant species in each habitat and representative species from seven monophyletic lineages occurring in all habitats. Fiber traits appear to be major determinants of WSG, independent of vessel traits, in branches and roots. Fiber traits and branch and root WSG increased from seasonally flooded species to clay terra firme species and lastly to white sand species. Branch and root wood traits were strongly phylogenetically constrained. Lineages differed in wood design, but exhibited similar variation in wood structure across habitats. We conclude that tropical trees can invest differently in support and transport to respond to environmental conditions. Wind disturbance and drought stress represent significant filters driving tree distribution of Amazonian forests; hence we suggest that biophysical explanations should receive more attention.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Environmental modification and niche construction: developing O2 gradients drive the evolution of the Wrinkly Spreader.

    PubMed

    Koza, Anna; Moshynets, Olena; Otten, Wilfred; Spiers, Andrew J

    2011-04-01

    The evolutionary success of the novel Wrinkly Spreader (WS) genotypes in diversifying Pseudomonas fluorescens SBW25 populations in static liquid microcosms has been attributed to the greater availability of O(2) at the air-liquid (A-L) interface where the WS produces a physically cohesive-class biofilm. However, the importance of O(2) gradients in SBW25 adaptation has never been examined. We have explicitly tested the role of O(2) in evolving populations using microsensor profiling and experiments conducted under high and low O(2) conditions. Initial colonists of static microcosms were found to establish O(2) gradients before significant population growth had occurred, converting a previously homogenous environment into one containing a resource continuum with high and low O(2) regions. These gradients were found to persist for long periods by which time significant numbers of WS had appeared colonising the high O(2) niches. Growth was O(2) limited in static microcosms, but high O(2) conditions like those found near the A-L interface supported greater growth and favoured the emergence of WS-like genotypes. A fitness advantage to biofilm formation was seen under high but not low O(2) conditions, suggesting that the cost of biofilm production could only be offset when O(2) levels above the A-L interface were high. Profiling of mature WS biofilms showed that they also contained high and low O(2) regions. Niches within these may support further diversification and succession of the developing biofilm population. O(2) availability has been found to be a major factor underlying the evolutionary success of the WS genotype in static microcosms and illustrates the importance of this resource continuum in microbial diversification and adaptation.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Predictable variation of range-sizes across an extreme environmental gradient in a lizard adaptive radiation: evolutionary and ecological inferences.

    PubMed

    Pincheira-Donoso, Daniel

    2011-01-01

    Large-scale patterns of current species geographic range-size variation reflect historical dynamics of dispersal and provide insights into future consequences under changing environments. Evidence suggests that climate warming exerts major damage on high latitude and elevation organisms, where changes are more severe and available space to disperse tracking historical niches is more limited. Species with longer generations (slower adaptive responses), such as vertebrates, and with restricted distributions (lower genetic diversity, higher inbreeding) in these environments are expected to be particularly threatened by warming crises. However, a well-known macroecological generalization (Rapoport's rule) predicts that species range-sizes increase with increasing latitude-elevation, thus counterbalancing the impact of climate change. Here, I investigate geographic range-size variation across an extreme environmental gradient and as a function of body size, in the prominent Liolaemus lizard adaptive radiation. Conventional and phylogenetic analyses revealed that latitudinal (but not elevational) ranges significantly decrease with increasing latitude-elevation, while body size was unrelated to range-size. Evolutionarily, these results are insightful as they suggest a link between spatial environmental gradients and range-size evolution. However, ecologically, these results suggest that Liolaemus might be increasingly threatened if, as predicted by theory, ranges retract and contract continuously under persisting climate warming, potentially increasing extinction risks at high latitudes and elevations. PMID:22194953

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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

  9. 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

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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

  13. Ecology of mesophilic Aeromonas spp. in aquatic environments of a temperate region and relationship with some biotic and abiotic environmental parameters.

    PubMed

    Chowdhury, M A; Yamanaka, H; Miyoshi, S; Shinoda, S

    1990-10-01

    The Ecology of mesophilic Aeromonas species has been investigated since January 1988 to examine their occurrence and distribution in aquatic environments of Okayama Prefecture. Water and plankton samples were quantitatively as well as qualitatively analyzed throughout the seasons from five selected stations including fresh, brackish, and saline environments. Analysis of variance and correlation coefficients among the biotic and abiotic parameters were sought. The organisms were found in all the environs with high densities through all the seasons. Plankton samples yielded higher counts of Aeromonas than the water samples in all the environs. Water temperature seemed to play a significant role on their growth during the winter months, however, no significant seasonal variation nor any correlation with fecal pollution were observed in most of the environments. A reciprocal relationship was seen with salt concentration in the saline environment. Among the currently recognized mesophilic species; A. caviae, A. hydrophila, A. sobria, and A. media were isolated with the predominance of anaerobic biovar. The present study reveals that Aeromonas are widely distributed in fresh, brackish and saline environments of this region. The study also reveals that Aeromonas are autochthonous members in aquatic ecosystems and are indigenous to these environs. Aeromonas species isolated from our environments were found to exhibit drug resistance potential which differed from that of isolates from diverse geographical locales. The high incidence of clinically significant Aeromonas species in this aquatic region could be of public health significance for the inhabitants of this region, as well as a challenge to their dependence on aquatic resources.

  14. Archaeal and bacterial communities respond differently to environmental gradients in anoxic sediments of a California hypersaline lake, the Salton Sea.

    PubMed

    Swan, Brandon K; Ehrhardt, Christopher J; Reifel, Kristen M; Moreno, Lilliana I; Valentine, David L

    2010-02-01

    Sulfidic, anoxic sediments of the moderately hypersaline Salton Sea contain gradients in salinity and carbon that potentially structure the sedimentary microbial community. We investigated the abundance, community structure, and diversity of Bacteria and Archaea along these gradients to further distinguish the ecologies of these domains outside their established physiological range. Quantitative PCR was used to enumerate 16S rRNA gene abundances of Bacteria, Archaea, and Crenarchaeota. Community structure and diversity were evaluated by terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP), quantitative analysis of gene (16S rRNA) frequencies of dominant microorganisms, and cloning and sequencing of 16S rRNA. Archaea were numerically dominant at all depths and exhibited a lesser response to environmental gradients than that of Bacteria. The relative abundance of Crenarchaeota was low (0.4 to 22%) at all depths but increased with decreased carbon content and increased salinity. Salinity structured the bacterial community but exerted no significant control on archaeal community structure, which was weakly correlated with total carbon. Partial sequencing of archaeal 16S rRNA genes retrieved from three sediment depths revealed diverse communities of Euryarchaeota and Crenarchaeota, many of which were affiliated with groups previously described from marine sediments. The abundance of these groups across all depths suggests that many putative marine archaeal groups can tolerate elevated salinity (5.0 to 11.8% [wt/vol]) and persist under the anaerobic conditions present in Salton Sea sediments. The differential response of archaeal and bacterial communities to salinity and carbon patterns is consistent with the hypothesis that adaptations to energy stress and availability distinguish the ecologies of these domains. PMID:19948847

  15. Energy allocation strategy modifies growth-survival trade-offs in juvenile fish across ecological and environmental gradients.

    PubMed

    Mogensen, Stephanie; Post, John R

    2012-04-01

    In young temperate zone fishes, conflicting energy demands lead to variability in growing season and winter survival. Growing season survival is driven by size-dependent predation risk whereas winter survival is constrained by autumn body size, energy storage and winter duration. We developed a model of the seasonality of energetics coupled to empirical measures of resource availability, size-dependent predation and temperature seasonality for rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) in two sets of lakes in British Columbia, Canada, representing endpoints of a gradient of temperature, growing season duration and winter duration. This model was used to determine the energy allocation strategy which maximized first-year survival across these gradients. Survival was sensitive to the timing of the switch from somatic to storage strategies in cold, short growing season, low resource environments. A broader range of energy allocation strategies were viable in warmer, longer growing season and higher resource lakes. We used empirical observations of autumn energy storage and our modeled values for size-dependent minimal lipid levels needed to survive winter in each system to estimate winter survival for juvenile rainbow trout. Winter survival estimates were 6% in cold lakes with low resources, 82% in warm, lakes with low resources and 100% in warm lakes with high resources. Fish in warm lakes with ample resources allocated substantially more to storage than the minimum required to survive winter generated from our model, suggesting additional selection pressures for increased storage when there was ample surplus energy. We concluded that growth-survival trade-offs, modified by seasonality of the environment, influenced the growing season energy allocation strategies for young-of-the-year fish, and suggested this may be important for understanding population viability across environmental gradients.

  16. Environmental effects on molecular and phenotypic variation in populations of Eruca sativa across a steep climatic gradient

    PubMed Central

    Westberg, Erik; Ohali, Shachar; Shevelevich, Anatoly; Fine, Pinchas; Barazani, Oz

    2013-01-01

    Abstract In Israel Eruca sativa has a geographically narrow distribution across a steep climatic gradient that ranges from mesic Mediterranean to hot desert environments. These conditions offer an opportunity to study the influence of the environment on intraspecific genetic variation. For this, we combined an analysis of neutral genetic markers with a phenotypic evaluation in common-garden experiments, and environmental characterization of populations that included climatic and edaphic parameters, as well as geographic distribution. A Bayesian clustering of individuals from nine representative populations based on amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) divided the populations into a southern and a northern geographic cluster, with one admixed population at the geographic border between them. Linear mixed models, with cluster added as a grouping factor, revealed no clear effects of environment or geography on genetic distances, but this may be due to a strong association of geography and environment with genetic clusters. However, environmental factors accounted for part of the phenotypic variation observed in the common-garden experiments. In addition, candidate loci for selection were identified by association with environmental parameters and by two outlier methods. One locus, identified by all three methods, also showed an association with trichome density and herbivore damage, in net-house and field experiments, respectively. Accordingly, we propose that because trichomes are directly linked to defense against both herbivores and excess radiation, they could potentially be related to adaptive variation in these populations. These results demonstrate the value of combining environmental and phenotypic data with a detailed genetic survey when studying adaptation in plant populations. This article describes the use of several types of data to estimate the influence of the environment on intraspecific genetic variation in populations originating from a

  17. Environmental gradients and grassland trait variation: Insight into the effects of climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tardella, Federico M.; Piermarteri, Karina; Malatesta, Luca; Catorci, Andrea

    2016-10-01

    The research aim was to understand how variation of temperature and water availability drives trait assemblage of seminatural grasslands in sub-Mediterranean climate, where climate change is expected to intensify summer aridity. In the central Italy, we recorded species abundance and elevation, slope aspect and angle in 129 plots. The traits we analysed were life span, growth form, clonality, belowground organs, leaf traits, plant height, seed mass, and palatability. We used Ellenberg's indicators as a proxy to assess air temperature and soil moisture gradients. From productive to harsh conditions, we observed a shift from tolerance to avoidance strategies, and a change in resource allocation strategies to face competition and stress or that maximize exploitation of patchily distributed soil resource niches. In addition, we found that the increase of temperature and water scarcity leads to the establishment of regeneration strategies that enable plants to cope with the unpredictability of changes in stress intensity and duration. Since the dry habitats of higher elevations are also constrained by winter cold stress, we argue that, within the sub-Mediterranean bioclimate, climate change will likely lead to a variation in dominance inside plant communities rather than a shift upwards of species ranges. At higher elevations, drought-adaptive traits might become more abundant on south-facing slopes that are less stressed by winter low temperatures; traits related to productive conditions and cold stress would be replaced on north-facing slopes by those adapted to overcome both the drought and the cold stresses.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Circadian regulation of abiotic stress tolerance in plants.

    PubMed

    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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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).

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-09-01

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Patterns of prey capture and prey availability among populations of the carnivorous plant Pinguicula moranensis (Lentibulariaceae) along an environmental gradient.

    PubMed

    Alcalá, Raúl E; Domínguez, César A

    2003-09-01

    In this study we explored the effect of the physical environment and the availability of prey (biomass and taxonomic composition) on the patterns of prey capture and reproduction on five populations of Pinguicula moranensis (Lentibulariaceae) in areas ranging from pine-oak forests to desert scrublands. Environmental variation was summarized using principal factor analysis. Prey availability and prey capture increased toward the shadiest, most humid, and fertile population. The probability of reproduction and average bud production per population did not follow the same tendency because both fitness components peaked at the middle of the environmental gradient. These results suggest that the benefits derived from carnivory are maximized at sites fulfilling a trade-off between light, moisture, and prey availability. We also found that the taxonomic composition of both the available prey and that of the prey captured by plants varied among populations. The results also indicated that the prey captured by plants are not a random sample of prey available within populations. Overall, the results from this study revealed a marked amount of heterogeneity in the physical and biotic environment among the populations of P. moranensis, which has the potential to affect the outcome of the interaction between this carnivorous species and its prey.

  18. 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

  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. Flood disturbance and predator-prey effects on regional gradients in species diversity.

    PubMed

    Mori, Terutaka; Saitoh, Takashi

    2014-01-01

    The effects of both abiotic factors and biotic interactions among guilds (i.e., inter-guild effects) have been suggested to be important for understanding spatial variation in species diversity; however, compared to the abiotic effects, the processes by which the inter-guild effects are mediated have been little described. Hence, we investigated stream invertebrate assemblages on Hokkaido Island, Japan, and assessed how the processes of determining regional patterns in species diversity differed among guilds (collector-filterers, collector-gatherers/shredders, scrapers, and predators) by taking both inter-guild and abiotic effects into consideration using Bayesian networks. Collector-gatherers/shredders, collector-filterers, and predators exhibited significant regional gradients in taxonomic richness. Gradients in the former two guilds can be generated by variation in flood disturbance regardless of interactions with other guilds. The gradient in predator taxonomic richness was indirectly related to the disturbance and was directly generated by bottom-up effects through their prey (collector-gatherers/shredders and collector-filterers). We found that not only environmental factors, but also inter-guild effects may be essential for forming the regional gradient in predators, unlike those for collector-gatherers/shredders and collector-filterers. The processes underlying the regional variation in taxonomic richness of the three guilds are interpreted in terms of the "more individuals" hypothesis, facilitation, and predator-prey relationships.

  1. Environmental Drivers of Differences in Microbial Community Structure in Crude Oil Reservoirs across a Methanogenic Gradient

    PubMed Central

    Shelton, Jenna L.; Akob, Denise M.; McIntosh, Jennifer C.; Fierer, Noah; Spear, John R.; Warwick, Peter D.; McCray, John E.

    2016-01-01

    Stimulating in situ microbial communities in oil reservoirs to produce natural gas is a potentially viable strategy for recovering additional fossil fuel resources following traditional recovery operations. Little is known about what geochemical parameters drive microbial population dynamics in biodegraded, methanogenic oil reservoirs. We investigated if microbial community structure was significantly impacted by the extent of crude oil biodegradation, extent of biogenic methane production, and formation water chemistry. Twenty-two oil production wells from north central Louisiana, USA, were sampled for analysis of microbial community structure and fluid geochemistry. Archaea were the dominant microbial community in the majority of the wells sampled. Methanogens, including hydrogenotrophic and methylotrophic organisms, were numerically dominant in every well, accounting for, on average, over 98% of the total Archaea present. The dominant Bacteria groups were Pseudomonas, Acinetobacter, Enterobacteriaceae, and Clostridiales, which have also been identified in other microbially-altered oil reservoirs. Comparing microbial community structure to fluid (gas, water, and oil) geochemistry revealed that the relative extent of biodegradation, salinity, and spatial location were the major drivers of microbial diversity. Archaeal relative abundance was independent of the extent of methanogenesis, but closely correlated to the extent of crude oil biodegradation; therefore, microbial community structure is likely not a good sole predictor of methanogenic activity, but may predict the extent of crude oil biodegradation. However, when the shallow, highly biodegraded, low salinity wells were excluded from the statistical analysis, no environmental parameters could explain the differences in microbial community structure. This suggests that the microbial community structure of the 5 shallow, up-dip wells was different than the 17 deeper, down-dip wells. Also, the 17 down-dip wells

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  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.

  11. 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

  12. Environmental drivers defining linkages among life-history traits: mechanistic insights from a semiterrestrial amphipod subjected to macroscale gradients.

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

    Determining the existence of interconnected responses among life-history traits and identifying underlying environmental drivers are recognized as key goals for understanding the basis of phenotypic variability. We studied potentially interconnected responses among senescence, fecundity, embryos size, weight of brooding females, size at maturity and sex ratio in a semiterrestrial amphipod affected by macroscale gradients in beach morphodynamics and salinity. To this end, multiple modelling processes based on generalized additive mixed models were used to deal with the spatio-temporal structure of the data obtained at 10 beaches during 22 months. Salinity was the only nexus among life-history traits, suggesting that this physiological stressor influences the energy balance of organisms. Different salinity scenarios determined shifts in the weight of brooding females and size at maturity, having consequences in the number and size of embryos which in turn affected sex determination and sex ratio at the population level. Our work highlights the importance of analysing field data to find the variables and potential mechanisms that define concerted responses among traits, therefore defining life-history strategies. PMID:24198949

  13. Evaluation of dispersal volcanic products of recent events in lichens in environmental gradient, Nahuel Huapi National Park, Argentina.

    PubMed

    Bubach, Débora; Dufou, Leandro; Catán, Soledad Perez

    2014-08-01

    The atmospheric transport of volcanic products are subject to several variables, mainly the height of the eruption column and wind direction, thus elements associated with the ashes are deposited in major or lesser degree depending on variables as latitude, wind and humidity. The lichens are able to reflect the atmospheric fallout. The present work evaluated the correlation between meteorological parameters, geographic locations, sulphur and other element concentrations in lichens genus Usnea affected by Puyehue-Cordón Caulle complex (North Patagonia Andean Range) eruption of June 4, 2011. Semiquantitative analyses of biological elements by scanning electron microscope methods, sulphur (S) by LECO and other elements by instrumental neutron activation were evaluated by principal component analysis. Elements as antimony, arsenic, barium, bromine, calcium, caesium, potassium, rubidium, selenium, and uranium correlated with distance to volcano, also calcium and potassium with longitude while bromine, rubidium, and potassium with humidity. Those results indicate that Usnea sp. is a good bioindicator of the atmospheric volcanic emissions in relation to environmental gradient.

  14. Evaluation of dispersal volcanic products of recent events in lichens in environmental gradient, Nahuel Huapi National Park, Argentina.

    PubMed

    Bubach, Débora; Dufou, Leandro; Catán, Soledad Perez

    2014-08-01

    The atmospheric transport of volcanic products are subject to several variables, mainly the height of the eruption column and wind direction, thus elements associated with the ashes are deposited in major or lesser degree depending on variables as latitude, wind and humidity. The lichens are able to reflect the atmospheric fallout. The present work evaluated the correlation between meteorological parameters, geographic locations, sulphur and other element concentrations in lichens genus Usnea affected by Puyehue-Cordón Caulle complex (North Patagonia Andean Range) eruption of June 4, 2011. Semiquantitative analyses of biological elements by scanning electron microscope methods, sulphur (S) by LECO and other elements by instrumental neutron activation were evaluated by principal component analysis. Elements as antimony, arsenic, barium, bromine, calcium, caesium, potassium, rubidium, selenium, and uranium correlated with distance to volcano, also calcium and potassium with longitude while bromine, rubidium, and potassium with humidity. Those results indicate that Usnea sp. is a good bioindicator of the atmospheric volcanic emissions in relation to environmental gradient. PMID:24756413

  15. The evolution of body size under environmental gradients in ectotherms: why should Bergmann's rule apply to lizards?

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    Background The impact of environmental gradients on the evolution of life history traits is a central issue in macroecology and evolutionary biology. A number of hypotheses have been formulated to explain factors shaping patterns of variation in animal mass. One such example is Bergmann's rule, which predicts that body size will be positively correlated with latitude and elevation, and hence, with decreasing environmental temperatures. A generally accepted explanation for this phenotypic response is that as body mass increases, body surface area gets proportionally smaller, which contributes to reduced rates of heat-loss. Phylogenetic and non-phylogenetic evidence reveals that endotherms follow Bergmann's rule. In contrast, while previous non-phylogenetic studies supported this prediction in up to 75% of ectotherms, recent phylogenetic comparative analyses suggest that its validity for these organisms is controversial and less understood. Moreover, little attention has been paid to why some ectotherms conform to this rule, while others do not. Here, we investigate Bergmann's rule in the six main clades forming the Liolaemus genus, one of the largest and most environmentally diverse genera of terrestrial vertebrates. A recent study conducted on some species belonging to four of these six clades concluded that Liolaemus species follow Bergmann's rule, representing the only known phylogenetic support for this model in lizards. However, a later reassessment of this evidence, performed on one of the four analysed clades, produced contrasting conclusions. Results Our results fail to support Bergmann's rule in Liolaemus lizards. Non-phylogenetic and phylogenetic analyses showed that none of the studied clades experience increasing body size with increasing latitude and elevation. Conclusion Most physiological and behavioural processes in ectotherms depend directly upon their body temperature. In cold environments, adaptations to gain heat rapidly are under strong positive

  16. 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

  17. Abiotic self-replication.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Adam J; Ellefson, Jared W; Ellington, Andrew D

    2012-12-18

    functions (including the replication of nucleic acids) to more competent protein enzymes would complete the journey from an abiotic world to the molecular biology we see today. PMID:22891822

  18. Abiotic self-replication.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Adam J; Ellefson, Jared W; Ellington, Andrew D

    2012-12-18

    functions (including the replication of nucleic acids) to more competent protein enzymes would complete the journey from an abiotic world to the molecular biology we see today.

  19. The cladistic basis for the phylogenetic diversity (PD) measure links evolutionary features to environmental gradients and supports broad applications of microbial ecology's "phylogenetic beta diversity" framework.

    PubMed

    Faith, Daniel P; Lozupone, Catherine A; Nipperess, David; Knight, Rob

    2009-11-03

    The PD measure of phylogenetic diversity interprets branch lengths cladistically to make inferences about feature diversity. PD calculations extend conventional species-level ecological indices to the features level. The "phylogenetic beta diversity" framework developed by microbial ecologists calculates PD-dissimilarities between community localities. Interpretation of these PD-dissimilarities at the feature level explains the framework's success in producing ordinations revealing environmental gradients. An example gradients space using PD-dissimilarities illustrates how evolutionary features form unimodal response patterns to gradients. This features model supports new application of existing species-level methods that are robust to unimodal responses, plus novel applications relating to climate change, commercial products discovery, and community assembly.

  20. Understanding Plant Community Responses to Combinations of Biotic and Abiotic Factors in Different Phases of the Plant Growth Cycle

    PubMed Central

    Wood, Kevin A.; Stillman, Richard A.; Clarke, Ralph T.; Daunt, Francis; O’Hare, Matthew T.

    2012-01-01

    Understanding plant community responses to combinations of biotic and abiotic factors is critical for predicting ecosystem response to environmental change. However, studies of plant community regulation have seldom considered how responses to such factors vary with the different phases of the plant growth cycle. To address this deficit we studied an aquatic plant community in an ecosystem subject to gradients in mute swan (Cygnus olor) herbivory, riparian shading, water temperature and distance downstream of the river source. We quantified abundance, species richness, evenness, flowering and dominance in relation to biotic and abiotic factors during the growth-, peak-, and recession-phases of the plant growth cycle. We show that the relative importance of biotic and abiotic factors varied between plant community properties and between different phases of the plant growth cycle. Herbivory became more important during the later phases of peak abundance and recession due to an influx of swans from adjacent pasture fields. Shading by riparian vegetation also had a greater depressing effect on biomass in later seasons, probably due to increased leaf abundance reducing light intensity reaching the aquatic plants. The effect of temperature on community diversity varied between upstream and downstream sites by altering the relative competitiveness of species at these sites. These results highlight the importance of seasonal patterns in the regulation of plant community structure and function by multiple factors. PMID:23166777

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Abiotic and biotic controls on local spatial distribution and performance of Boechera stricta.

    PubMed

    Naithani, Kusum J; Ewers, Brent E; Adelman, Jonathan D; Siemens, David H

    2014-01-01

    This study investigates the relative influence of biotic and abiotic factors on community dynamics using an integrated approach and highlights the influence of space on genotypic and phenotypic traits in plant community structure. We examined the relative influence of topography, environment, spatial distance, and intra- and interspecific interactions on spatial distribution and performance of Boechera stricta (rockcress), a close perennial relative of model plant Arabidopsis. First, using Bayesian kriging, we mapped the topography and environmental gradients and explored the spatial distribution of naturally occurring rockcress plants and two neighbors, Taraxacum officinale (dandelion) and Solidago missouriensis (goldenrod) found in close proximity within a typical diverse meadow community across topographic and environmental gradients. We then evaluated direct and indirect relationships among variables using Mantel path analysis and developed a network displaying abiotic and biotic interactions in this community. We found significant spatial autocorrelation among rockcress individuals, either because of common microhabitats as displayed by high density of individuals at lower elevation and high soil moisture area, or limited dispersal as shown by significant spatial autocorrelation of naturally occurring inbred lines, or a combination of both. Goldenrod and dandelion density around rockcress does not show any direct relationship with rockcress fecundity, possibly due to spatial segregation of resources. However, dandelion density around rockcress shows an indirect negative influence on rockcress fecundity via herbivory, indicating interspecific competition. Overall, we suggest that common microhabitat preference and limited dispersal are the main drivers for spatial distribution. However, intra-specific interactions and insect herbivory are the main drivers of rockcress performance in the meadow community. PMID:25101102

  10. Relationships among nekton assemblage structure and abiotic conditions in three Texas tidal streams.

    PubMed

    Tolan, James M; Nelson, Janet M

    2009-12-01

    The objective of this study was to assess the effects of spatially and temporally varying abiotic conditions on the nekton residing in tidally influenced streams and determine the comparability of the assemblage response across the various gears needed to fully characterize the biota. Three tidal streams were sampled seasonally for 2 years for chemical (physiochemical profiles), physical (in-stream and riparian habitat classification), and biological (nekton sampled with bag seines, trawls, and gill nets) components of ecosystem integrity. Multiple sampling stations on each stream encompassed the transitional character of the tidally influenced ecosystem, from the freshwater of the river to the saltwater of the bay. Instead of characterizing the biota with traditional fish-based indexes of biotic integrity, analysis methodologies relying heavily on multivariate ordination techniques were used. This study showed that the temporal and spatial relationships among nekton assemblages and abiotic environmental conditions were quite gear dependent. The greatest degree of difference in indicators of ecosystem health all involved upstream-downstream gradients that appear to be driven by salinity structure. Based on the results of this study, dissolved oxygen concentration does not appear to be a major structuring factor in the physical, chemical, or biological component of ecosystem integrity.

  11. Local plant adaptation across a subarctic elevational gradient.

    PubMed

    Kardol, Paul; De Long, Jonathan R; Wardle, David A

    2014-11-01

    Predicting how plants will respond to global warming necessitates understanding of local plant adaptation to temperature. Temperature may exert selective effects on plants directly, and also indirectly through environmental factors that covary with temperature, notably soil properties. However, studies on the interactive effects of temperature and soil properties on plant adaptation are rare, and the role of abiotic versus biotic soil properties in plant adaptation to temperature remains untested. We performed two growth chamber experiments using soils and Bistorta vivipara bulbil ecotypes from a subarctic elevational gradient (temperature range: ±3(°)C) in northern Sweden to disentangle effects of local ecotype, temperature, and biotic and abiotic properties of soil origin on plant growth. We found partial evidence for local adaption to temperature. Although soil origin affected plant growth, we did not find support for local adaptation to either abiotic or biotic soil properties, and there were no interactive effects of soil origin with ecotype or temperature. Our results indicate that ecotypic variation can be an important driver of plant responses to the direct effects of increasing temperature, while responses to covariation in soil properties are of a phenotypic, rather than adaptive, nature. PMID:26064553

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Oxylipins and plant abiotic stress resistance.

    PubMed

    Savchenko, T V; Zastrijnaja, O M; Klimov, V V

    2014-04-01

    Oxylipins are signaling molecules formed enzymatically or spontaneously from unsaturated fatty acids in all aerobic organisms. Oxylipins regulate growth, development, and responses to environmental stimuli of organisms. The oxylipin biosynthesis pathway in plants includes a few parallel branches named after first enzyme of the corresponding branch as allene oxide synthase, hydroperoxide lyase, divinyl ether synthase, peroxygenase, epoxy alcohol synthase, and others in which various biologically active metabolites are produced. Oxylipins can be formed non-enzymatically as a result of oxygenation of fatty acids by free radicals and reactive oxygen species. Spontaneously formed oxylipins are called phytoprostanes. The role of oxylipins in biotic stress responses has been described in many published works. The role of oxylipins in plant adaptation to abiotic stress conditions is less studied; there is also obvious lack of available data compilation and analysis in this area of research. In this work we analyze data on oxylipins functions in plant adaptation to abiotic stress conditions, such as wounding, suboptimal light and temperature, dehydration and osmotic stress, and effects of ozone and heavy metals. Modern research articles elucidating the molecular mechanisms of oxylipins action by the methods of biochemistry, molecular biology, and genetics are reviewed here. Data on the role of oxylipins in stress signal transduction, stress-inducible gene expression regulation, and interaction of these metabolites with other signal transduction pathways in cells are described. In this review the general oxylipin-mediated mechanisms that help plants to adjust to a broad spectrum of stress factors are considered, followed by analysis of more specific responses regulated by oxylipins only under certain stress conditions. New approaches to improvement of plant resistance to abiotic stresses based on the induction of oxylipin-mediated processes are discussed.

  18. 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

  19. Variability of oxygen isotopes in water vapor, soil and leaf water and leaf cellulose along a steep environmental gradient in Hawaii

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kahmen, A.; Sachse, D.; Arndt, S.; Farrington, H.; Vitousek, P. M.; Dawson, T. E.

    2008-12-01

    The stable oxygen isotope ratio (δ18O) of plant organic mater (OM) has been shown to contain essential information on the ecophysiological performance of plants and for the understanding of water and carbon fluxes at the plant and ecosystem scales. The primary source of δ18O variability in plant OM is the isotopic composition of leaf water. In general, the isotopic composition of leaf water depends on the isotopic signature of the plant's source water, the isotopic composition of atmospheric vapor surrounding the leaf, the leaf to atmosphere vapor pressure gradient, the leaf's stomatal conductance and transpiration rates as well as leaf hydraulic properties. The combined influence of all these factors on isotopic leaf water enrichment clearly complicates the interpretation of plant δ18O signatures. However, significant recent improvements in mechanistic leaf water models have much advanced our understanding of the interplay of all these factors and their combined effects on isotopic leaf water enrichment. These models now give the theoretical background to constrain which of the multiple factors that potentially drive the isotopic enrichment of leaf water are finally recorded in plant OM. Along one of the steepest moisture gradients in the world - the eastern slope of the 4200 m volcano Mauna Loa (Hawaii) we tested the applicability of these models to constrain which environmental factors drive the isotopic variability in leaf water and OM of Metrosideros polymorpha, a tree species that inhabits the entire moisture gradient. On seven sites along the eastern slope of the 4200 m volcano Mauna Loa, we determined the isotopic signature of source water, leaf water and leaf cellulose. In addition, we also determined the diurnal isotopic enrichment of leaf water, the diurnal variability of the plant's stomatal conductance and transpiration rates and well as air temperature and humidity and the isotopic composition of atmospheric vapor on three core sites along the

  20. 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

  1. Integrated metabolomics for abiotic stress responses in plants.

    PubMed

    Nakabayashi, Ryo; Saito, Kazuki

    2015-04-01

    Plants are considered to biosynthesize specialized (traditionally called secondary) metabolites to adapt to environmental stresses such as biotic and abiotic stresses. The majority of specialized metabolites induced by abiotic stress characteristically exhibit antioxidative activity in vitro, but their function in vivo is largely yet to be experimentally confirmed. In this review, we highlight recent advances in the identification of the role of abiotic stress-responsive specialized metabolites with an emphasis on flavonoids. Integrated 'omics' analysis, centered on metabolomics with a series of plant resources differing in their flavonoid accumulation, showed experimentally that flavonoids play a major role in antioxidation in vivo. In addition, the results also suggest the role of flavonoids in the vacuole. To obtain more in-depth insights, chemical and biological challenges need to be addressed for the identification of unknown specialized metabolites and their in vivo functions.

  2. Trait-mediated environmental filtering drives assembly at biogeographic transition zones.

    PubMed

    Sommer, Brigitte; Harrison, Peter L; Beger, Maria; Pandolfi, John M

    2014-04-01

    Abiotic filtering is a major driver of gradients in the structure and functioning of ecosystems from the tropics to the poles. It is thus likely that environmental filtering is an important assembly process at the transition of biogeographical zones where many species occur at their range limits. Shifts in species abundances and association patterns along environmental gradients can be indicative of environmental filtering, which is predicted to be stronger in areas of high abiotic stress and to promote increased similarity of ecological characteristics among co-occurring species. Here we test these hypotheses for scleractinian corals along a broad latitudinal gradient in high-latitude eastern Australia, where corals occur at the margins of their ranges and environmental tolerances. We quantify variation in taxonomic, zoogeographic, and functional patterns combined with null model approaches and demonstrate systematic spatial variation in community structure and significant covariance of species abundance distributions and functional characteristics along the latitudinal gradient. We describe a strong biogeographic transition zone, consistent with patterns expected under abiotic filtering, whereby species are sorted along the latitudinal gradient according to their tolerances for marginal reef conditions. High-latitude coastal reefs are typified by widely distributed, generalist, stress-tolerant coral species with massive and horizontally spreading morphologies and by diminishing influence of tropical taxa at higher latitudes and closer to the mainland. Higher degree of ecological similarity among co-occurring species than expected by chance supports the environmental filtering hypothesis. Among individual traits, the structural traits corallite size and colony morphology were filtered most strongly, suggesting that characteristics linked to energy acquisition and physical stability may be particularly important for coral survival in high-latitude environments

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. The ecological response of Carex lasiocarpa community in the Riparian Wetlands to the environmental gradient of water depth in Sanjiang Plain, Northeast China.

    PubMed

    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.

  7. 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...

  8. Polyamines and abiotic stress tolerance in plants.

    PubMed

    Gill, Sarvajeet Singh; Tuteja, Narendra

    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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

  17. Relation of Environmental characteristics to the composition of aquatic assemblages along a gradient of urban land use in New Jersey, 1996-98

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kennen, Jonathan G.; Ayers, Mark A.

    2002-01-01

    Community data from 36 watersheds were used to evaluate the response of fish, invertebrate, and algal assemblages in New Jersey streams to environmental characteristics along a gradient of urban land use that ranged from 3 to 96 percent. Aquatic assemblages were sampled at 36 sites during 1996-98, and more than 400 environmental attributes at multiple spatial scales were summarized. Data matrices were reduced to 43, 170, and 103 species of fish, invertebrates, and algae, respectively, by means of a predetermined joint frequency and relative abundance approach. White sucker (Catostomus commersoni) and Tessellated darter (Etheostoma olmstedi) were the most abundant fishes, accounting for more than 20 and 17 percent, respectively, of the mean abundance. Net-spinning caddisflies (Hydropsychidae) were the most commonly occurring benthic invertebrates and were found at all but one of the 36 sampling sites. Blue-green (for example, Calothrix sp. and Oscillatoria sp.) and green (for example, Protoderma viride) algae were the most widely distrib-uted algae; however, more than 81 percent of the algal taxa collected were diatoms. Principal-component and correlation analyses were used to reduce the dimensionality of the environmental data. Multiple linear regression analysis of extracted ordination axes then was used to develop models that expressed effects of increasing urban land use on the structure of aquatic assemblages. Significant environmental variables identified by using multiple linear regression analysis then were included in a direct gradient analysis. Partial canonical correspondence analysis of relativized abundance data was used to restrict further the effects of residual natural variability, and to identify relations among the environmental variables and the structure of fish, invertebrate, and algal assemblages along an urban land-use gradient. Results of this approach, combined with the results of the multiple linear regression analyses, were used to

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Forest gradient response in Sierran landscapes: the physical template

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Urban, Dean L.; Miller, Carol; Halpin, Patrick N.; Stephenson, Nathan 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

  1. The role of transcriptional coactivator ADA2b in Arabidopsis abiotic stress responses

    PubMed Central

    Kaldis, Athanasios; Nikoloudi, Adriana; Tsementzi, Despoina

    2011-01-01

    Plant growth and crop production can be greatly affected by common environmental stresses such as drought, high salinity and low temperatures. Gene expression is affected by several abiotic stresses. Stress-inducible genes are regulated by transcription factors and epigenetic mechanisms such as histone modifications. In this mini-review, we have explored the role of transcriptional adaptor ADA2b in Arabidopsis responses to abiotic stress. ADA2b is required for the expression of genes involved in abiotic stress either by controlling H3 and H4 acetylation in the case of salt stress or affecting nucleosome occupancy in low temperatures response. PMID:21897124

  2. The role of transcriptional coactivator ADA2b in Arabidopsis abiotic stress responses.

    PubMed

    Vlachonasios, Konstantinos E; Kaldis, Athanasios; Nikoloudi, Adriana; Tsementzi, Despoina

    2011-10-01

    Plant growth and crop production can be greatly affected by common environmental stresses such as drought, high salinity and low temperatures. Gene expression is affected by several abiotic stresses. Stress-inducible genes are regulated by transcription factors and epigenetic mechanisms such as histone modifications. In this Mini-Review, we have explored the role of transcriptional adaptor ADA2b in Arabidopsis responses to abiotic stress. ADA2b is required for the expression of genes involved in abiotic stress either by controlling H3 and H4 acetylation in the case of salt stress or affecting nucleosome occupancy in low temperatures response.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Polyamines in response to abiotic stress tolerance through transgenic approaches

    PubMed Central

    Pathak, Malabika Roy; Teixeira da Silva, Jaime A; Wani, Shabir H

    2014-01-01

    The distribution, growth, development and productivity of crop plants are greatly affected by various abiotic stresses. Worldwide, sustainable crop productivity is facing major challenges caused by abiotic stresses by reducing the potential yield in crop plants by as much as 70%. Plants can generally adapt to one or more environmental stresses to some extent. Physiological and molecular studies at transcriptional, translational, and transgenic plant levels have shown the pronounced involvement of naturally occurring plant polyamines (PAs), in controlling, conferring, and modulating abiotic stress tolerance in plants. PAs are small, low molecular weight, non-protein polycations at physiological pH, that are present in all living organisms, and that have strong binding capacity to negatively charged DNA, RNA, and different protein molecules. They play an important role in plant growth and development by controlling the cell cycle, acting as cell signaling molecules in modulating plant tolerance to a variety of abiotic stresses. The commonly known PAs, putrescine, spermidine, and spermine tend to accumulate together accompanied by an increase in the activities of their biosynthetic enzymes under a range of environmental stresses. PAs help plants to combat stresses either directly or by mediating a signal transduction pathway, as shown by molecular cloning and expression studies of PA biosynthesis-related genes, knowledge of the functions of PAs, as demonstrated by developmental studies, and through the analysis of transgenic plants carrying PA genes. This review highlights how PAs in higher plants act during environmental stress and how transgenic strategies have improved our understanding of the molecular mechanisms at play. PMID:24710064

  6. Phenotypic diversification across an environmental gradient: a role for predators and resource availability on the evolution of life histories.

    PubMed

    Walsh, Matthew R; Reznick, David N

    2009-12-01

    Changes in age/size-specific mortality, due to such factors as predation, have potent evolutionary consequences. However, interactions with predators commonly impact prey growth rates and food availability and such indirect effects may also influence evolutionary change. We evaluated life-history differences in Trinidadian killifish, Rivulus hartii, across a gradient in predation. Rivulus are located in (1) "high predation" sites with large piscivores, (2) "Rivulus/guppy" sites with guppies, and (3) "Rivulus-only" sites with just Rivulus. Rivulus suffer higher mortality with large predators, and guppies may prey upon small/young Rivulus in Rivulus/guppy environments. In turn, population densities decline while growth rates increase in both localities compared to Rivulus-only sites. To explore how the direct and indirect effects of predators and guppies influence trait diversification in Rivulus, we examined life-history phenotypes across five rivers. High predation phenotypes exhibited a smaller size at reproduction, a greater number of eggs that were smaller, and increased reproductive allotment. Such changes are consistent with a direct response to predation. Rivulus from Rivulus/guppy sites were intermediate; they exhibited a smaller size at reproduction, increased fecundity, smaller eggs, and larger reproductive allotment than Rivulus-only fish. These changes are consistent with models that incorporate the impacts of growth and resources.

  7. Environmental correlates, plasticity, and repeatability of differences in performance among blacknose dace (Rhinichthys atratulus) populations across a gradient of urbanization.

    PubMed

    Nelson, Jay A; Gotwalt, Portia S; Simonetti, Christopher A; Snodgrass, Joel W

    2008-01-01

    Urbanization alters stream and watershed hydrology so that fish from urban stream systems are confronted with extreme flows during storms and runoff events. To test whether residence in urban streams is associated with altered swimming ability, we compared sprint and endurance swimming performances of eight populations of blacknose dace (Rhinichthys atratulus) from different watersheds along an urban/rural gradient. Watershed impervious surface cover, a measure of urbanization, was significantly correlated with sprint performance in dace from all stream types and endurance swimming performance (U(crit)) when only fish from urban streams were analyzed. Three estimators of water flow in a stream system, watershed area, mean annual discharge, and base-flow current speed, were all related to U(crit) in fish from nonurban streams. The U(crit) was significantly repeatable after 6 mo in the laboratory, but dace populations with exceptional U(crit) values lost ability under no-flow, "detraining" conditions. Sprint performance changed substantially in individual dace after 10 wk under no-flow conditions and was a significant function of the animal's original performance. Animals with high sprint performance tended to lose ability, whereas those with poor performance gained ability. Interpopulation differences in both sprint and endurance swimming were robust over multiple years of collection from the same sites. PMID:18040970

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Is intraspecific variation in diet and morphology related to environmental gradients? Exploring Liem's paradox in a cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Binning, Sandra A; Chapman, Lauren J

    2010-09-01

    Interspecific studies have demonstrated that trophic morphology and ecology are not always tightly matched: a phenomenon rarely reported at the intraspecific level. In the present study, we explored relationships among diet, morphology and the environment in a widespread cichlid fish, Astatoreochromis alluaudi (Pellegrin 1904), from 6 sites in southern Uganda to test for evidence of eco-morphological matching at the interdemic level. Previous studies of Astatoreochromis alluaudi have demonstrated developmental plasticity in trophic morphology in response to diet: a mollusk diet produces specimens with large pharyngeal jaws and muscles, whereas a soft-food diet produces smaller pharyngeal jaws and corresponding changes in musculature. Sites were chosen to maximize variability in environmental variables that might directly or indirectly affect trophic morphology. We found significant differences in pharyngeal jaw and muscle morphology among populations. Similarly, we found differences in diets among sites: mollusks were found in the stomachs of fish from only 2 populations sampled, despite the presence of mollusks in 5 of the 6 sites. Although trophic morphology did match the observed diet in 2 sites, diet did not correlate with either morphology or environmental variables across sites, nor were environmental variables correlated with morphological variation among sites. These results suggest that mismatch can occur among different populations of a single species for reasons such as seasonality in resources, developmental plasticity and/or complex indirect interactions. Intraspecific mechanisms should be further studied in order to better understand the complex relationships between morphological specialization and ecological generalization.

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

    PubMed

    Gorter, Florien A; Scanlan, Pauline D; Buckling, Angus

    2016-02-01

    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.

  16. 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.

  17. Ecotypes of an ecologically dominant prairie grass (Andropogon gerardii) exhibit genetic divergence across the U.S. Midwest grasslands' environmental gradient.

    PubMed

    Gray, Miranda M; St Amand, Paul; Bello, Nora M; Galliart, Matthew B; Knapp, Mary; Garrett, Karen A; Morgan, Theodore J; Baer, Sara G; Maricle, Brian R; Akhunov, Eduard D; Johnson, Loretta C

    2014-12-01

    Big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii) is an ecologically dominant grass with wide distribution across the environmental gradient of U.S. Midwest grasslands. This system offers an ideal natural laboratory to study population divergence and adaptation in spatially varying climates. Objectives were to: (i) characterize neutral genetic diversity and structure within and among three regional ecotypes derived from 11 prairies across the U.S. Midwest environmental gradient, (ii) distinguish between the relative roles of isolation by distance (IBD) vs. isolation by environment (IBE) on ecotype divergence, (iii) identify outlier loci under selection and (iv) assess the association between outlier loci and climate. Using two primer sets, we genotyped 378 plants at 384 polymorphic AFLP loci across regional ecotypes from central and eastern Kansas and Illinois. Neighbour-joining tree and PCoA revealed strong genetic differentiation between Kansas and Illinois ecotypes, which was better explained by IBE than IBD. We found high genetic variability within prairies (80%) and even fragmented Illinois prairies, surprisingly, contained high within-prairie genetic diversity (92%). Using Bayenv2, 14 top-ranked outlier loci among ecotypes were associated with temperature and precipitation variables. Six of seven BayeScanFST outliers were in common with Bayenv2 outliers. High genetic diversity may enable big bluestem populations to better withstand changing climates; however, population divergence supports the use of local ecotypes in grassland restoration. Knowledge of genetic variation in this ecological dominant and other grassland species will be critical to understanding grassland response and restoration challenges in the face of a changing climate.

  18. Principal processes within the estuarine salinity gradient: a review.

    PubMed

    Telesh, Irena V; Khlebovich, Vladislav V

    2010-01-01

    The salinity gradient is one of the main features characteristic of any estuarine ecosystem. Within this gradient in a critical salinity range of 5-8 PSU the major biotic and abiotic processes demonstrate non-linear dynamics of change in rates and directions. In estuaries, this salinity range acts as both external ecological factor and physiological characteristics of internal environment of aquatic organisms; it divides living conditions appropriate for freshwater and marine faunas, separates invertebrate communities with different osmotic regulation types, and defines the distribution range of high taxa. In this paper, the non-linearity of biotic processes within the estuarine salinity gradient is illustrated by the data on zooplankton from the Baltic estuaries. The non-tidal Baltic Sea provides a good demonstration of the above phenomena due to gradual changes of environmental factors and relatively stable isohalines. The non-linearity concept coupled with the ecosystem approach served the basis for a new definition of an estuary proposed by the authors. PMID:20304437

  19. Hormone balance and abiotic stress tolerance in crop plants.

    PubMed

    Peleg, Zvi; Blumwald, Eduardo

    2011-06-01

    Plant hormones play central roles in the ability of plants to adapt to changing environments, by mediating growth, development, nutrient allocation, and source/sink transitions. Although ABA is the most studied stress-responsive hormone, the role of cytokinins, brassinosteroids, and auxins during environmental stress is emerging. Recent evidence indicated that plant hormones are involved in multiple processes. Cross-talk between the different plant hormones results in synergetic or antagonic interactions that play crucial roles in response of plants to abiotic stress. The characterization of the molecular mechanisms regulating hormone synthesis, signaling, and action are facilitating the modification of hormone biosynthetic pathways for the generation of transgenic crop plants with enhanced abiotic stress tolerance.

  20. 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

  1. Topographic Control of Aboveground Carbon Pools Across an Environmental Gradient, Eastern Slope of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swetnam, T. L.; Brooks, P. D.; Gallo, E. L.; Barnard, H. R.; Harpold, A. A.

    2015-12-01

    Evaluating at high spatial-resolution the topographical and ecological structures of the critical zone (CZ) are now routine with aerial LiDAR. Here we evaluated the eco-hydrological differences of topographic metrics (the independent variables) versus individual tree and gridded aboveground carbon (AGC) pools (as dependent variables) at multiple length-scales across an elevation modified gradient of precipitation and temperature in the Boulder Creek CZ Observatory Watershed, Colorado USA. We describe the responses in AGC within the context of a three-zone eco-hydrological model, e.g. toe slope and valley bottoms (Zone 1), transitional hillslopes (Zone 2), and upper slopes to ridges (Zone 3). In a GIS we compared three separate zero-order basins: (1) the Betasso Preserve: 1,810-2,024 meters above mean sea level (m aμsl), area = 0.45 km2, n = 17,286 trees; (2) Upper and Lower Gordon Gulch: 2,446-2,737 m aμsl, area = 3.57 km2, n = 178,469 trees; and (3) Como Creek: 2,900m-3,560 m aμsl, area = 6.64 km2, n = 317,274 trees. In each of the three catchments Zone 1 held the greatest mean AGC (μ = 52.88-60.97 Mg C ha-1) and maximum AGC (99% confidence interval (CI, p = 0.01) = 152.95-184.95 Mg C ha-1) relative to Zone 2 (μ = 27.84-44.52 Mg C ha-1, 99% CI = 99.67-122.4 Mg C ha-1) and Zone 3 (μ = 12.63-30.33 Mg C ha-1, 99% CI = 62.16-92.65 Mg C ha-1). Topography with negative general curvatures (i.e. convergent shapes) had greater AGC (μ = 73.7-96.3 Mg C ha-1, 99% CI = 189.0-355.8 Mg C ha-1) than positive general curvatures (i.e. divergent shapes) (μ = 17.4-30.8 Mg C ha-1, 99% CI = 88.2-120.4 Mg C ha-1), but only when evaluated at longer length scales (<10 m). Larger AGC pools are postulated to be related to (1) increased soil depth which provides larger rooting zones and (2) access to groundwater along Zone 1, vs Zones 2 and 3 which have (a) shallower soils and (b) less or zero accessibility to groundwater.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Improvement of plant abiotic stress tolerance through modulation of the polyamine pathway.

    PubMed

    Shi, Haitao; Chan, Zhulong

    2014-02-01

    Polyamines (mainly putrescine (Put), spermidine (Spd), and spermine (Spm)) have been widely found in a range of physiological processes and in almost all diverse environmental stresses. In various plant species, abiotic stresses modulated the accumulation of polyamines and related gene expression. Studies using loss-of-function mutants and transgenic overexpression plants modulating polyamine metabolic pathways confirmed protective roles of polyamines during plant abiotic stress responses, and indicated the possibility to improve plant tolerance through genetic manipulation of the polyamine pathway. Additionally, putative mechanisms of polyamines involved in plant abiotic stress tolerance were thoroughly discussed and crosstalks among polyamine, abscisic acid, and nitric oxide in plant responses to abiotic stress were emphasized. Special attention was paid to the interaction between polyamine and reactive oxygen species, ion channels, amino acid and carbon metabolism, and other adaptive responses. Further studies are needed to elucidate the polyamine signaling pathway, especially polyamine-regulated downstream targets and the connections between polyamines and other stress responsive molecules.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Gradient networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toroczkai, Zoltán; Kozma, Balázs; Bassler, Kevin E.; Hengartner, N. W.; Korniss, G.

    2008-04-01

    Gradient networks are defined (Toroczkai and Bassler 2004 Nature 428 716) as directed graphs formed by local gradients of a scalar field distributed on the nodes of a substrate network G. We present the derivation for some of the general properties of gradient graphs and give an exact expression for the in-degree distribution R(l) of the gradient network when the substrate is a binomial (Erd{\\;\\kern -0.10em \\raise -0.35ex \\{{^{^{\\prime\\prime}}}}\\kern -0.57em \\o} s-Rényi) random graph, G_{N,p} , and the scalars are independent identically distributed (i.i.d.) random variables. We show that in the limit N \\to \\infty, p \\to 0, z = pN = \\mbox{const} \\gg 1, R(l)\\propto l^{-1} for l < l_c = z , i.e., gradient networks become scale-free graphs up to a cut-off degree. This paper presents the detailed derivation of the results announced in Toroczkai and Bassler (2004 Nature 428 716).

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Abscisic Acid and Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Crop Plants.

    PubMed

    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

  15. 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

  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. 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

  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. 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.

  1. Decreased competitive interactions drive a reverse species richness latitudinal gradient in subarctic forests.

    PubMed

    Marshall, Katie E; Baltzer, Jennifer L

    2015-02-01

    The tendency for species richness to decrease toward the poles is one of the best-characterized patterns in biogeography. The mechanisms behind this pattern have received much attention, yet very few studies have investigated very high-latitude communities. Here, using data from 134 permanent sample plots from 60 degrees to 68 degrees N, we show that boreal forest plant communities in northwestern Canada increase in richness toward the poles, despite a strong increase in climatic harshness. We hypothesized three possible explanations for this pattern: (1) historical biogeography, (2) reduced competition for light at high latitudes (biotic interactions), and (3) changes in soil characteristics with latitude. We used multidimensional scaling to investigate the community composition at each site and found no clustering of communities by latitude, suggesting that historical biogeography was not constraining site diversity. We then investigated the mechanisms behind this gradient using both abiotic (climate and soil) and biotic (tree stand characteristics) variables in a multiple factor analysis. We found that the best predictor of species richness is an environmental gradient that describes an inverse relationship between temperature and tree-stand density, suggesting that reduced competition for light due to reduced tree growth at low temperatures at higher latitudes allows greater species richness. This study shows that low energy availability and climatic harshness may not be limiting species richness toward the poles, rather, abiotic effects act instead on the strength of biotic interactions. PMID:26240867

  2. Decreased competitive interactions drive a reverse species richness latitudinal gradient in subarctic forests.

    PubMed

    Marshall, Katie E; Baltzer, Jennifer L

    2015-02-01

    The tendency for species richness to decrease toward the poles is one of the best-characterized patterns in biogeography. The mechanisms behind this pattern have received much attention, yet very few studies have investigated very high-latitude communities. Here, using data from 134 permanent sample plots from 60 degrees to 68 degrees N, we show that boreal forest plant communities in northwestern Canada increase in richness toward the poles, despite a strong increase in climatic harshness. We hypothesized three possible explanations for this pattern: (1) historical biogeography, (2) reduced competition for light at high latitudes (biotic interactions), and (3) changes in soil characteristics with latitude. We used multidimensional scaling to investigate the community composition at each site and found no clustering of communities by latitude, suggesting that historical biogeography was not constraining site diversity. We then investigated the mechanisms behind this gradient using both abiotic (climate and soil) and biotic (tree stand characteristics) variables in a multiple factor analysis. We found that the best predictor of species richness is an environmental gradient that describes an inverse relationship between temperature and tree-stand density, suggesting that reduced competition for light due to reduced tree growth at low temperatures at higher latitudes allows greater species richness. This study shows that low energy availability and climatic harshness may not be limiting species richness toward the poles, rather, abiotic effects act instead on the strength of biotic interactions.

  3. Linking environmental heavy metal concentrations and salinity gradients with metal accumulation and their effects: A case study in 3 mussel species of Vitória estuary and Espírito Santo bay, Southeast Brazil.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Vikas; Sinha, Amit Kumar; Rodrigues, Paulo Pinheiro; Mubiana, Valentine K; Blust, Ronny; De Boeck, Gudrun

    2015-08-01

    The present study was conducted to link the heavy metal load in three species of mussels (Perna perna, Mytella falcata and Mytella guyanensis) from the estuaries and bays around Vitória island, south-east of Brazil, with the salinity gradient and the heavy metal levels in the abiotic environment (including water, suspended particulate matter (SPM) and sediment). Primarily based on the salinity gradient, a total of 26 sites around Vitória Island were selected for sampling of water, SPM, sediments and organisms. Besides tissue metal levels, the condition index and energy stores (glycogen, lipid and protein) were quantified as an indicator of fitness in response to metal pollution. Dissolved metals in water indicate that Cd and Mn content was higher along Espírito Santo Bay, while Al, Co, Cu, Cr and Fe were elevated in the sites with low salinity such as river mouths, estuarine and sewage canals. Likewise, suspended matter sampled from low salinity sites showed a higher heavy metal load compared to moderate and high salinity sites. Though mussels were sampled from different sites, the contamination for Cd, Cu, Fe and Mn was higher in mussels inhabiting low salinity sites (M. guyanensis and M. falcata) compared to P. perna, a high saline water inhabitant. However, a higher Zn body burden was observed for P. perna compared to Mytella species. Tissue Fe accumulation (but not Mn and Zn) correlated with heavy metal levels in suspended material for all three species, and for M. falcata this correlation also existed for Cd and Cu. Energy store and condition index in all mussels varied depending on the sampling sites and correlated with salinity gradient rather than tissue metal concentration. Overall, metal concentration in mussels did not exceed the safe levels as per the international standards for metals, and would be of no risk for human consumption.

  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. Asymmetric coexistence: bidirectional abiotic and biotic effects between goose barnacles and mussels.

    PubMed

    Kawai, Takashi; Tokeshi, Mutsunori

    2006-07-01

    1. Species coexistence depends on the net effect of interacting species, representing the sum of multiple interaction components that may act simultaneously and vary independently depending on ambient environmental conditions. Consequently, for a comprehensive understanding of the compound nature of species interactions and coexistence, a mechanistic approach that allows a separate evaluation of each interaction component is required. 2. Two sessile filter-feeders, the goose barnacle Capitulum mitella and the mussel Septifer virgatus, coexist on moderately wave-exposed rocky shores in south-western Japan. In the upper intertidal, Capitulum positively influenced Septifer survivorship and growth through amelioration of thermal stress and of physical disturbance. On the other hand, these species are potential competitors as they have similar body sizes and modes of resource utilization. These opposite processes, facilitation and competition, are based on abiotic characteristics and biotic functions of the two species, respectively. 3. In order to quantify the bidirectional abiotic, biotic and net effects, a series of experimental manipulations was conducted involving the use of living neighbours with both abiotic and biotic effects, and artificial mimics to simulate abiotic effects without biotic effects. 4. Capitulum had strong positive abiotic effects on the mussel survivorship in most experimental periods, while the biotic effect was negligible or weakly negative, suggesting that the net effect of Capitulum on mussel survival was largely attributable to the abiotic effect. In contrast, a significantly negative biotic effect on the mussel growth rate was always present, though this was cancelled out by the larger, positive abiotic effect. In the case of Septifer, its abiotic and biotic effects on the survivorship of goose barnacles were negligible, while those on the growth rate showed temporal variation. 5. With respect to the relationship between species

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. The Cladistic Basis for the Phylogenetic Diversity (PD) Measure Links Evolutionary Features to Environmental Gradients and Supports Broad Applications of Microbial Ecology’s “Phylogenetic Beta Diversity” Framework

    PubMed Central

    Faith, Daniel P.; Lozupone, Catherine A.; Nipperess, David; Knight, Rob

    2009-01-01

    The PD measure of phylogenetic diversity interprets branch lengths cladistically to make inferences about feature diversity. PD calculations extend conventional species-level ecological indices to the features level. The “phylogenetic beta diversity” framework developed by microbial ecologists calculates PD-dissimilarities between community localities. Interpretation of these PD-dissimilarities at the feature level explains the framework’s success in producing ordinations revealing environmental gradients. An example gradients space using PD-dissimilarities illustrates how evolutionary features form unimodal response patterns to gradients. This features model supports new application of existing species-level methods that are robust to unimodal responses, plus novel applications relating to climate change, commercial products discovery, and community assembly. PMID:20087461

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

    Ramakrishna, Akula; Ravishankar, Gokare Aswathanarayana

    2011-11-01

    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.

  11. Glycinebetaine and abiotic stress tolerance in plants

    PubMed Central

    Giri, Jitender

    2011-01-01

    The accumulation of osmolytes like glycinebetaine (GB) in cell is known to protect organisms against abiotic stresses via osmoregulation or osmoprotection. Transgenic plants engineered to produce GB accumulate very low concentration of GB, which might not be sufficient for osmoregulation. Therefore, other roles of GB like cellular macromolecule protection and ROS detoxification have been suggested as mechanisms responsible for abiotic stress tolerance in transgenic plants. In addition, GB influences expression of several endogenous genes in transgenic plants. The new insights gained about the mechanism of stress tolerance in GB accumulating transgenic plants are discussed. PMID:22057338

  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. Biotic and abiotic degradation of CL-20 and RDX in soils.

    PubMed

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

    2005-01-01

    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 attenuated soil controls were used to separate abiotic processes from 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 < k < 0.277 d(-1)). The addition of glucose to biologically active soil microcosms significantly increased CL-20 degradation rates (0.068 < k < 1.22 d(-1)). Extents of mineralization of (14)C-CL-20 to (14)CO(2) in biologically active soil microcosms were 41.1 to 55.7%, indicating that the CL-20 cage was broken, since all carbons are part of the heterocyclic cage. Under aerobic conditions, 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. PMID:16275722

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Relevance of proteomic investigations in plant abiotic stress physiology.

    PubMed

    Hakeem, Khalid Rehman; Chandna, Ruby; Ahmad, Parvaiz; Iqbal, Muhammad; Ozturk, Munir

    2012-11-01

    Plant growth and productivity are influenced by various abiotic stresses. Stressful conditions may lead to delays in seed germination, reduced seedling growth, and decreased crop yields. Plants respond to environmental stresses via differential expression of a subset of genes, which results in changes in omic compositions, such as transcriptome, proteome, and metabolome. Since the development of modern biotechnology, various research projects have been carried out to understand the approaches that plants have adopted to overcome environmental stresses. Advancements in omics have made functional genomics easy to understand. Since the fundamentals of classical genomics were unable to clear up confusion related to the functional aspects of the metabolic processes taking place during stress conditions, new fields have been designed and are known as omics. Proteomics, the analysis of genomic complements of proteins, has caused a flurry of activity in the past few years. It defines protein functions in cells and explains how those protein functions respond to changing environmental conditions. The ability of crop plants to cope up with the variety of environmental stresses depends on a number of changes in their proteins, which may be up- and downregulated as a result of altered gene expression. Most of these molecules display an essential function, either in the regulation of the response (e.g., components of the signal transduction pathway), or in the adaptation process (e.g., enzymes involved in stress repair and degradation of damaged cellular contents), allowing plants to recover and survive the stress. Many of these proteins are constitutively expressed under normal conditions, but when under stress, they undergo a modification of their expression levels. This review will explain how proteomics can help in elucidating important plant processes in response to various abiotic stresses.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Soil abiotic factors influence interactions between belowground herbivores and plant roots.

    PubMed

    Erb, Matthias; Lu, Jing

    2013-03-01

    Root herbivores are important ecosystem drivers and agricultural pests, and, possibly as a consequence, plants protect their roots using a variety of defensive strategies. One aspect that distinguishes belowground from aboveground plant-insect interactions is that roots are constantly exposed to a set of soil-specific abiotic factors. These factors can profoundly influence root resistance, and, consequently, the outcome of the interaction with belowground feeders. In this review, we synthesize the current literature on the impact of soil moisture, nutrients, and texture on root-herbivore interactions. We show that soil abiotic factors influence the interaction by modulating herbivore abundance and behaviour, root growth and resistance, beneficial microorganisms, as well as natural enemies of the herbivores. We suggest that abiotic heterogeneity may explain the high variability that is often encountered in root-herbivore systems. We also propose that under abiotic stress, the relative fitness value of the roots and the potential negative impact of herbivory increases, which may lead to a higher defensive investment and an increased recruitment of beneficial microorganisms by the plant. At the same time, both root-feeding herbivores and natural enemies are likely to decrease in abundance under extreme environmental conditions, leading to a context- and species-specific impact on plant fitness. Only by using tightly controlled experiments that include soil abiotic heterogeneity will it be possible to understand the impact of root feeders on an ecosystem scale and to develop predictive models for pest occurrence and impact.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Arctic fungal communities associated with roots of Bistorta vivipara do not respond to the same fine-scale edaphic gradients as the aboveground vegetation.

    PubMed

    Mundra, Sunil; Halvorsen, Rune; Kauserud, Håvard; Müller, Eike; Vik, Unni; Eidesen, Pernille B

    2015-03-01

    Soil conditions and microclimate are important determinants of the fine-scale distribution of plant species in the Arctic, creating locally heterogeneous vegetation. We hypothesize that root-associated fungal (RAF) communities respond to the same fine-scale environmental gradients as the aboveground vegetation, creating a coherent pattern between aboveground vegetation and RAF. We explored how RAF communities of the ectomycorrhizal (ECM) plant Bistorta vivipara and aboveground vegetation structure of arctic plants were affected by biotic and abiotic variables at 0.3-3.0-m scales. RAF communities were determined using pyrosequencing. Composition and spatial structure of RAF and aboveground vegetation in relation to collected biotic and abiotic variables were analysed by ordination and semi-variance analyses. The vegetation was spatially structured along soil C and N gradients, whereas RAF lacked significant spatial structure. A weak relationship between RAF community composition and the cover of two ECM plants, B. vivipara and S. polaris, was found, and RAF richness increased with host root length and root weight. Results suggest that the fine-scale spatial structure of RAF communities of B. vivipara and the aboveground vegetation are driven by different factors. At fine spatial scales, neighbouring ECM plants may affect RAF community composition, whereas soil nutrients gradients structure the vegetation. PMID:25483568

  3. Arctic fungal communities associated with roots of Bistorta vivipara do not respond to the same fine-scale edaphic gradients as the aboveground vegetation.

    PubMed

    Mundra, Sunil; Halvorsen, Rune; Kauserud, Håvard; Müller, Eike; Vik, Unni; Eidesen, Pernille B

    2015-03-01

    Soil conditions and microclimate are important determinants of the fine-scale distribution of plant species in the Arctic, creating locally heterogeneous vegetation. We hypothesize that root-associated fungal (RAF) communities respond to the same fine-scale environmental gradients as the aboveground vegetation, creating a coherent pattern between aboveground vegetation and RAF. We explored how RAF communities of the ectomycorrhizal (ECM) plant Bistorta vivipara and aboveground vegetation structure of arctic plants were affected by biotic and abiotic variables at 0.3-3.0-m scales. RAF communities were determined using pyrosequencing. Composition and spatial structure of RAF and aboveground vegetation in relation to collected biotic and abiotic variables were analysed by ordination and semi-variance analyses. The vegetation was spatially structured along soil C and N gradients, whereas RAF lacked significant spatial structure. A weak relationship between RAF community composition and the cover of two ECM plants, B. vivipara and S. polaris, was found, and RAF richness increased with host root length and root weight. Results suggest that the fine-scale spatial structure of RAF communities of B. vivipara and the aboveground vegetation are driven by different factors. At fine spatial scales, neighbouring ECM plants may affect RAF community composition, whereas soil nutrients gradients structure the vegetation.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Environmental heterogeneity and interspecific interactions influence nest occupancy by key seed-dispersing ants.

    PubMed

    Warren, Robert J; Giladi, Itamar; Bradford, Mark A

    2012-06-01

    The complex interplay between species along environmental gradients ultimately shapes their distributions and additional community interactions. Ant-mediated seed dispersal fails in the wettest habitat of deciduous forest in eastern North America, and we examine whether this pattern corresponds with colony distributions for seed-dispersing ants and associated heterogeneity in abiotic and biotic variables. Specifically, we used spatial variation in soil moisture, temperature and diffuse light along natural habitat gradients and experimentally manipulated soil moisture gradients to examine ant habitat selection. We also examined niche segregation between effective (Aphaenogaster spp.) and ineffective (Lasius alienus Foerster) seed-dispersing ants across these environmental gradients. Whereas most research links ant foraging and nesting with temperature gradients, we find niche segregation between Aphaenogaster spp. and L. alienus by soil moisture along naturally occurring gradients and in experimentally irrigated upland habitat. The failure of Aphaenogaster spp. to occupy the wettest habitats, where L. alienus is present, is consistent with observed seed dispersal failure in these habitats. These results indicate that environmental heterogeneity drives niche segregation between effective (Aphaenogaster spp.) and ineffective (L. alienus) seed dispersers so each occupies distinct habitat. Most forest understory plants rely on ants for seed dispersal. Our research implies that climate-mediated interactions between effective and ineffective seed dispersing ant species may structure the microhabitat distributions for woodland herbs.

  7. Abiotic stress tolerance and competition-related traits underlie phylogenetic clustering in soil bacterial communities.

    PubMed

    Goberna, Marta; Navarro-Cano, Jose A; Valiente-Banuet, Alfonso; García, Carlos; Verdú, Miguel

    2014-10-01

    Soil bacteria typically coexist with close relatives generating widespread phylogenetic clustering. This has been ascribed to the abiotic filtering of organisms with shared ecological tolerances. Recent theoretical developments suggest that competition can also explain the phylogenetic similarity of coexisting organisms by excluding large low-competitive clades. We propose that combining the environmental patterns of traits associated with abiotic stress tolerances or competitive abilities with phylogeny and abundance data, can help discern between abiotic and biotic mechanisms underlying the coexistence of phylogenetically related bacteria. We applied this framework in a model system composed of interspersed habitats of highly contrasted productivity and comparatively dominated by biotic and abiotic processes, i.e. the plant patch-gap mosaic typical of drylands. We examined the distribution of 15 traits and 3290 bacterial taxa in 28 plots. Communities showed a marked functional response to the environment. Conserved traits related to environmental stress tolerance (e.g. desiccation, formation of resistant structures) were differentially selected in either habitat, while competition related traits (e.g. organic C consumption, formation of nutrient-scavenging structures) prevailed under high resource availability. Phylogenetic clustering was stronger in habitats dominated by biotic filtering, suggesting that competitive exclusion of large clades might underlie the ecological similarity of co-occurring soil bacteria.

  8. 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.

  9. Variation in repeat length and heteroplasmy of the mitochondrial DNA control region along a core-edge gradient in the eastern spadefoot toad (Pelobates syriacus).

    PubMed

    Munwes, Inbar; Geffen, Eli; Friedmann, Adam; Tikochinski, Yaron; Gafny, Sarig

    2011-07-01

    Peripheral populations are those situated at the distribution margins of a species and are often subjected to more extreme abiotic and biotic conditions than those at the core. Here, we hypothesized that shorter repeat length and fewer heteroplasmic mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) copies, which are associated with more efficient mitochondrial function, may be related to improved survival under extreme environmental conditions. We sampled eastern spadefoot toads (mostly as tadpoles) from 43 rain pools distributed along a 300-km gradient from core to edge of the species' distribution. We show that mean pool tandem repeat length and heteroplasmy increase from edge to core, even after controlling for body size. We evaluate several alternative hypotheses and propose the Fisher hypothesis as the most likely explanation. However, additional sequential sampling and experimental studies are required to determine whether selection under extreme conditions, or alternative mechanisms, could account for the gradient in heteroplasmy and repeat length in the mtDNA control region.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Breeding for abiotic stresses for sustainable agriculture.

    PubMed

    Witcombe, J R; Hollington, P A; Howarth, C J; Reader, S; Steele, K A

    2008-02-27

    Using cereal crops as examples, we review the breeding for tolerance to the abiotic stresses of low nitrogen, drought, salinity and aluminium toxicity. All are already important abiotic stress factors that cause large and widespread yield reductions. Drought will increase in importance with climate change, the area of irrigated land that is salinized continues to increase, and the cost of inorganic N is set to rise. There is good potential for directly breeding for adaptation to low N while retaining an ability to respond to high N conditions. Breeding for drought and salinity tolerance have proven to be difficult, and the complex mechanisms of tolerance are reviewed. Marker-assisted selection for component traits of drought in rice and pearl millet and salinity tolerance in wheat has produced some positive results and the pyramiding of stable quantitative trait locuses controlling component traits may provide a solution. New genomic technologies promise to make progress for breeding tolerance to these two stresses through a more fundamental understanding of underlying processes and identification of the genes responsible. In wheat, there is a great potential of breeding genetic resistance for salinity and aluminium tolerance through the contributions of wild relatives.

  4. Multiple abiotic stress responsive rice cyclophilin

    PubMed Central

    Trivedi, Dipesh Kumar; Ansari, Mohammad Wahid; Tuteja, Narendra

    2013-01-01

    Cyclophilins (CYP), a member of immunophillin group of proteins, are more often conserved in all genera including plants. Here, we report on the identification of a new cyclophilin gene OsCYP-25 (LOC_Os09 g39780) from rice which found to be upregulated in response to various abiotic stresses viz., salinity, cold, heat and drought. It has an ORF of 540 bp, encoding a protein of 179 amino acids, consisting of PPIase domain, which is highly conserved. The OsCYP-25 promoter analysis revealed that different cis-regulatory elements (e.g., MYBCORE, MYC, CBFHV, GT1GMSCAM4, DRECRTCOREAT, CCAATBOX1, WRKY71OS and WBOXATNPR1) are involved to mediate OsCYP-25 response under stress. We have also predicted interacting partners by STRING software. In interactome, protein partners includes WD domain containing protein, the 60S ribosome subunit biogenesis protein, the ribosomal protein L10, the DEAD-box helicase, the EIF-2α, YT521-B protein, the 60S ribosomal protein and the PPR repeat domain containing protein. The in silico analysis showed that OsCYP-25 interacts with different proteins involved in cell growth, differentiation, ribosome biogenesis, RNA metabolism, RNA editing, gene expression, signal transduction or stress response. These findings suggest that OsCYP-25 might perform an important function in mediating wide range of cellular response under multiple abiotic stresses. PMID:24265852

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. The abiotic litter decomposition in the drylands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, H.; Throop, H.; Rahn, T. A.

    2009-12-01

    The decomposition of litter is an important ecosystem function that controls carbon and nutrient cycling, which is well understood from the relationship between temperature and moisture. However, the decomposition in the arid and semiarid environments (hereafter drylands) is relatively poorly predicted due to several abiotic factors such as the effect of ultraviolet radiation and physical mixing of fallen litter with soil. The relative magnitude of these abiotic factors to ecosystem scale litter decomposition is still in debate. Here, we examine the effect of two major abiotic factors in the drylands litter decomposition by conducting a controlled laboratory study using plant litter and soil collected from Sonoran and Chihuahuan desert areas. The first part of the experiment focused on the effect of soil-litter mixing. We established a complete block design of three levels of soil and litter mixing (no mixing, light soil-litter mixing, and complete soil-litter mixing) in combination with three levels of soil moisture (1%, 2%, and 6% volumetric water content) using 2g of two most dominant species litter, grass and mesquite, and 50g of air-dried soils in 500ml mason jar and incubated them under 25C. We measured CO2 fluxes from these soil-litter incubations and harvested the soil and litter at 0, 1, 2, 4, 8, and 16 weeks and analyzed them of carbon and nitrogen content as well as the actual mass loss in the litter. The second part of the experiment focused on the effect of ultraviolet radiation. We established short-term litter incubation on a quartz chamber and used different temperature, moisture, and minerals to find the mechanism of photodegradation of litter. We measured CO2 fluxes from the litter incubation under ultraviolet radiation and also measured 13CO2 from these emissions. We were able to detect changes in the rate of carbon mineralization as a result of our treatments in the first week of soil-litter mixing experiment. The carbon mineralization rate was

  8. 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

  9. Autotrophic denitrification performance and bacterial community at biocathodes of bioelectrochemical systems with either abiotic or biotic anodes.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Van Khanh; Hong, Sungsug; Park, Younghyun; Jo, Kyungmin; Lee, Taeho

    2015-02-01

    Two-chamber bioelectrochemical systems (BESs) have recently been developed for nitrate removal from nitrate-contaminated water. In this study, we compared the nitrate removal performance of biocathodes of BESs when using abiotic and biotic anodes. Acetate was used as electron donor in BESs with biotic anode, whereas a direct current power supply was used as energy source in BESs with abiotic anode. The nitrogen removal efficiency increased from 18.1% to 43.0% when the voltage supplied to the BES with abiotic anode increased from 0.7 V to 0.9 V, whereas no higher removal efficiency was obtained at a higher supplied voltage (1.1 V). The highest efficiency (78.0%) of autotrophic nitrogen removal was achieved when electron transfer from the biotic anode chamber of BESs was used. Unexpectedly, control of the cathode potential did not enhance nitrate removal in BESs with biotic anode. Special attention was paid to elucidate the differences of bacterial communities catalysing autotrophic denitrification in the biocathodes of BESs with abiotic and biotic anodes. Data from denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and phylogenetic analysis suggested that denitrification in BESs with abiotic anode could be attributed to Nitratireductor sp., Shinella sp., and Dyella sp., whereas the dominant bacterial denitrifiers in BESs with biotic anode were found to be Pseudomonas sp., Curtobacterium sp., and Aeromonas sp. These results implied that biocathodes of BESs with biotic anode are more efficient than those of BESs with abiotic anode for nitrate removal from nitrate-contaminated water in practical applications.

  10. 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,...

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Linear free energy relationships for the biotic and abiotic reduction of nitroaromatic compounds.

    PubMed

    Luan, Fubo; Gorski, Christopher A; Burgos, William D

    2015-03-17

    Nitroaromatic compounds (NACs) are ubiquitous environmental contaminants that are susceptible to biological and abiotic reduction. Prior works have found that for the abiotic reduction of NACs, the logarithm of the NACs’ rate constants correlate with one-electron reduction potential values of the NACs (EH,NAC1) according to linear free energy relationships (LFERs). Here, we extend the application of LFERs to the bioreduction of NACs and to the abiotic reduction of NACs by bioreduced (and pasteurized) iron-bearing clay minerals. A linear correlation (R2=0.96) was found between the NACs’ bioreduction rate constants (kobs) and EH,NAC1 values. The LFER slope of log kobs versus EH,NAC1/(2.303RT/F) was close to one (0.97), which implied that the first electron transfer to the NAC was the rate-limiting step of bioreduction. LFERs were also established between NAC abiotic reduction rate constants by bioreduced iron-bearing clay minerals (montmorillonite SWy-2 and nontronite NAu-2). The second-order NAC reduction rate constants (k) by bioreduced SWy-2 and NAu-2 were well correlated to EH,NAC1 (R2=0.97 for both minerals), consistent with bioreduction results. However, the LFER slopes of log k versus EH,NAC1/(2.303RT/F) were significantly less than one (0.48–0.50) for both minerals, indicating that the first electron transfer to the NAC was not the rate-limiting step of abiotic reduction. Finally, we demonstrate that the rate of 4-acetylnitrobenzene reduction by bioreduced SWy-2 and NAu-2 correlated to the reduction potential of the clay (EH,clay, R2=0.95 for both minerals), indicating that the clay reduction potential also influences its reactivity.

  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. 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

  17. 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

  18. ABIOTIC IN SITU TECHNOLOGIES FOR GROUNDWATER REMEDIATION CONFERENCE: PROCEEDINGS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The USEPA conference on Abiotic In Situ Technologies for Groundwater Remediation was held in Dallas, TX, 8/31-9/2/99. The goal of the meeting was to disseminate current information on abiotic in situ groundwater treatment echnologies. Although much information is being provided a...

  19. 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

  20. Abiotic stresses induce different localizations of anthocyanins in Arabidopsis

    PubMed Central

    Kovinich, Nik; Kayanja, Gilbert; Chanoca, Alexandra; Otegui, Marisa S; Grotewold, Erich

    2015-01-01

    Anthocyanins are induced in plants in response to abiotic stresses such as drought, high salinity, excess light, and cold, where they often correlate with enhanced stress tolerance. Numerous roles have been proposed for anthocyanins induced during abiotic stresses including functioning as ROS scavengers, photoprotectants, and stress signals. We have recently found different profiles of anthocyanins in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) plants exposed to different abiotic stresses, suggesting that not all anthocyanins have the same function. Here, we discuss these findings in the context of other studies and show that anthocyanins induced in Arabidopsis in response to various abiotic stresses have different localizations at the organ and tissue levels. These studies provide a basis to clarify the role of particular anthocyanin species during abiotic stress. PMID:26179363

  1. Identification and prediction of abiotic stress responsive transcription factors involved in abiotic stress signaling in soybean.

    PubMed

    Tran, Lam-Son Phan; Mochida, Keiichi

    2010-03-01

    Abiotic stresses such as extreme temperature, drought, high salinity, cold and waterlogging often result in significant losses to the yields of economically important crops such as soybean (Glycine max L.). Transcription factors (TFs) which bind to DNA through specific cis-regulatory sequences either activate or repress gene transcription have been reported to act as control switches in stress signaling. Recent completion of the soybean genomic sequence has open wide opportunities for large-scale identification and annotations of regulatory TFs in soybean for functional studies. Within the soybean genome, we identified 5,035 TF models which grouped into 61 families. Detailed annotations of soybean TF genes can be accessed at SoybeanTFDB (soybeantfdb.psc.riken.jp). Moreover, we have reported a new idea of high throughput prediction and selection of abiotic stress responsive TFs based on the existence of known stress responsive cis-element(s) located in the promoter regions of respective TFs and GO annotations. We, therefore, have provided a basic platform for the genome-wide analysis of regulatory mechanisms underlying abiotic stress responses and a reliable tool for prediction and selection of stress responsive TFs for further functional studies and genetic engineering.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Plant sugars are crucial players in the oxidative challenge during abiotic stress: extending the traditional concept.

    PubMed

    Keunen, Els; Peshev, Darin; Vangronsveld, Jaco; Van Den Ende, Wim; Cuypers, Ann

    2013-07-01

    Plants suffering from abiotic stress are commonly facing an enhanced accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) with damaging as well as signalling effects at organellar and cellular levels. The outcome of an environmental challenge highly depends on the delicate balance between ROS production and scavenging by both enzymatic and metabolic antioxidants. However, this traditional classification is in need of renewal and reform, as it is becoming increasingly clear that soluble sugars such as disaccharides, raffinose family oligosaccharides and fructans--next to their associated metabolic enzymes--are strongly related to stress-induced ROS accumulation in plants. Therefore, this review aims at extending the current concept of antioxidants functioning during abiotic stress, with special focus on the emanate role of sugars as true ROS scavengers. Examples are given based on their cellular location, as different organelles seem to exploit distinct mechanisms. Moreover, the vacuole comes into the picture as important player in the ROS signalling network of plants. Elucidating the interplay between the mechanisms controlling ROS signalling during abiotic stress will facilitate the development of strategies to enhance crop tolerance to stressful environmental conditions.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Lidar and Ground Assessment of Diversity, Wood Density, and Aboveground Biomass Along an Elevation Gradient in Tropical Montane Forest of Costa Rica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robinson, C. M.; Saatchi, S. S.; Clark, D.; Andelman, S.; Gillespie, T.

    2013-12-01

    This research seeks to understand how tree diversity relates to three-dimensional vegetation structure along environmental gradients in the tropical montane forest of Braulio Carrillo National Park in Costa Rica. Elevation gradients along mountains provide landscape-size scales through which variations in topography and climatic conditions can be tested as drivers of biodiversity. In this study we report on the effectiveness of relating patterns of tree alpha diversity to three-dimensional structure of a tropical montane forest using remote sensing observations of forest structure. The study was utilized forest inventory and botanical data from nine 1-ha plots ranging from 100m-2800m 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. In addition to calculating alpha diversity, we report on the variations in wood density with elevation, important for biomass and carbon estimations. Tree cores were analyzed for wood density and compared to existing database values for the same species, often collected only in the lowlands. In this manner we were able to test the effect of the gradient on effective wood density. Through the comparison to the lidar, our results show that there is a strong relationship between forest 3D structure and alpha diversity controlled by variations in abiotic factors along the elevational gradient. Using spatial analysis with the aid of remote sensing data, we found distinct patterns along the environmental gradients defining species composition. Wood density values with elevation change were found to vary significantly from database values for the same species. These wood density values are directly tied to biomass estimates, and it is possible that carbon storage has been overestimated along this gradient using prior methods. This variation in individual tree growth has repercussions on overall forest structure, as well as

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. The physiological importance of glucosinolates on plant response to abiotic stress in Brassica.

    PubMed

    Del Carmen Martínez-Ballesta, María; Moreno, Diego A; Carvajal, Micaela

    2013-01-01

    Glucosinolates, a class of secondary metabolites, mainly found in Brassicaceae, are affected by the changing environment. This review is focusing on the physiological significance of glucosinolates and their hydrolysis products in the plant response to different abiotic stresses. Special attention is paid to the crosstalk between some of the physiological processes involved in stress response and glucosinolate metabolism, with the resulting connection between both pathways in which signaling mechanisms glucosinolate may act as signals themselves. The function of glucosinolates, further than in defense switching, is discussed in terms of alleviating pathogen attack under abiotic stress. The fact that the exogenous addition of glucosinolate hydrolysis products may alleviate certain stress conditions through its effect on specific proteins is described in light of the recent reports, but the molecular mechanisms involved in this response merit further research. Finally, the transient allocation and re-distribution of glucosinolates as a response to environmental changes is summarized.

  12. The Role of MAPK Modules and ABA during Abiotic Stress Signaling.

    PubMed

    de Zelicourt, Axel; Colcombet, Jean; Hirt, Heribert

    2016-08-01

    To respond to abiotic stresses, plants have developed specific mechanisms that allow them to rapidly perceive and respond to environmental changes. The phytohormone abscisic acid (ABA) was shown to be a pivotal regulator of abiotic stress responses in plants, triggering major changes in plant physiology. The ABA core signaling pathway largely relies on the activation of SnRK2 kinases to mediate several rapid responses, including gene regulation, stomatal closure, and plant growth modulation. Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) have also been implicated in ABA signaling, but an entire ABA-activated MAPK module was uncovered only recently. In this review, we discuss the evidence for a role of MAPK modules in the context of different plant ABA signaling pathways. PMID:27143288

  13. Variation in the composition of corals, fishes, sponges, echinoderms, ascidians, molluscs, foraminifera and macroalgae across a pronounced in-to-offshore environmental gradient in the Jakarta Bay-Thousand Islands coral reef complex.

    PubMed

    Cleary, D F R; Polónia, A R M; Renema, W; Hoeksema, B W; Rachello-Dolmen, P G; Moolenbeek, R G; Budiyanto, A; Yahmantoro; Tuti, Y; Giyanto; Draisma, S G A; Prud'homme van Reine, W F; Hariyanto, R; Gittenberger, A; Rikoh, M S; de Voogd, N J

    2016-09-30

    Substrate cover, water quality parameters and assemblages of corals, fishes, sponges, echinoderms, ascidians, molluscs, benthic foraminifera and macroalgae were sampled across a pronounced environmental gradient in the Jakarta Bay-Thousand Islands reef complex. Inshore sites mainly consisted of sand, rubble and turf algae with elevated temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH and chlorophyll concentrations and depauperate assemblages of all taxa. Live coral cover was very low inshore and mainly consisted of sparse massive coral heads and a few encrusting species. Faunal assemblages were more speciose and compositionally distinct mid- and offshore compared to inshore. There were, however, small-scale differences among taxa. Certain midshore sites, for example, housed assemblages resembling those typical of the inshore environment but this differed depending on the taxon. Substrate, water quality and spatial variables together explained from 31% (molluscs) to 72% (foraminifera) of the variation in composition. In general, satellite-derived parameters outperformed locally measured parameters.

  14. Potential role of phytohormones and plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria in abiotic stresses: consequences for changing environment.

    PubMed

    Fahad, Shah; Hussain, Saddam; Bano, Asghari; Saud, Shah; Hassan, Shah; Shan, Darakh; Khan, Faheem Ahmed; Khan, Fahad; Chen, Yutiao; Wu, Chao; Tabassum, Muhammad Adnan; Chun, Ma Xiao; Afzal, Muhammad; Jan, Amanullah; Jan, Mohammad Tariq; Huang, Jianliang

    2015-04-01

    Plants are sessile beings, so the need of mechanisms to flee from unfavorable circumstances has provided the development of unique and sophisticated responses to environmental stresses. Depending on the degree of plasticity, many morphological, cellular, anatomical, and physiological changes occur in plants in response to abiotic stress. Phytohormones are small molecules that play critical roles in regulating plant growth and development, as well as stress tolerance to promote survival and acclimatize to varying environments. To congregate the challenges of salinity, temperature extremes, and osmotic stress, plants use their genetic mechanism and different adaptive and biological approaches for survival and high production. In the present attempt, we review the potential role of different phytohormones and plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria in abiotic stresses and summarize the research progress in plant responses to abiotic stresses at physiological and molecular levels. We emphasized the regulatory circuits of abscisic acid, indole acetic acid, cytokinins, gibberellic acid, salicylic acid, brassinosteroids, jasmonates, ethylene, and triazole on exposure to abiotic stresses. Current progress is exemplified by the identification and validation of several significant genes that enhanced crop tolerance to stress in the field. These findings will make the modification of hormone biosynthetic pathways for the transgenic plant generation with augmented abiotic stress tolerance and boosting crop productivity in the coming decades possible.

  15. 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

  16. Unravelling the environmental drivers of deep-sea nematode biodiversity and its relation with carbon mineralisation along a longitudinal primary productivity gradient

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pape, E.; Bezerra, T. N.; Jones, D. O. B.; Vanreusel, A.

    2013-05-01

    Alongside a primary productivity gradient between the Galicia Bank region in the Northeast Atlantic and the more oligotrophic eastern Mediterranean Basin, we investigated the bathymetric (1200-3000 m) and longitudinal variation in several measures for nematode taxon (Shannon-Wiener genus diversity, expected genus richness and generic evenness) and functional diversity (trophic diversity, diversity of life history strategies, biomass diversity and phylogenetic diversity). Our goals were to establish the form of the relation between diversity and productivity (measured as seafloor particulate organic carbon or POC flux), and to verify the positive and negative effect of sediment particle size diversity (SED) and the seasonality in POC flux (SVI), respectively, on diversity, as observed for other oceanographic regions and taxa. In addition, we hypothesised that higher taxon diversity is associated with higher functional diversity, which in turn stimulates nematode carbon mineralisation rates (determined from biomass-dependent respiration estimates). Taxon diversity related positively to seafloor POC flux. Phylogenetic diversity (measured as average taxonomic distinctness) was affected negatively by the magnitude and variability in POC flux, and positively by SED. The latter also showed an inverse relation with trophic diversity. Accounting for differences in total biomass between samples, we observed a positive linear relation between taxon diversity and carbon mineralisation in nematode communities. We could, however, not identify the potential mechanism through which taxon diversity may promote this ecosystem function since none of the functional diversity indices related to both diversity and nematode respiration. The present results suggest potential effects of climate change on deep-sea ecosystem functioning, but further also emphasise the need for a better understanding of nematode functions and their response to evolutionary processes.

  17. Distribution of age-classes of striped weakfish ( Cynoscion guatucupa) along an estuarine-marine gradient: Correlations with the environmental parameters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jaureguizar, Andres J.; Ruarte, Claudio; Guerrero, Raúl A.

    2006-03-01

    The age-class distribution of the striped weakfish ( Cynoscion guatucupa) and its relationship with environmental factors were evaluated along the coast between Argentina and Uruguay, including the Río de la Plata estuary (36° S, 56° W). One hundred and seven stations were sampled between 2001 and 2003 during autumn, winter, and spring. Multivariate analyses (Cluster and MDS) were used to define sampling station groups, and a BIO-ENV procedure used to estimate the association of stations with environmental factors (depth, stratification, temperature and salinity of surface and bottom waters). The BIO-ENV procedure indicated that the salinity during autumn-winter and the temperature in spring had a significant influence on the spatial age-class pattern. The proportion of the youngest age-classes decreased from the estuarine area to the marine coastal area, except during spring where it showed the reverse pattern. The older age-classes inhabited the marine coastal area (more saline) toward the deepest zone, while the youngest individuals inhabited the outer estuarine area. Examination of the coastal circulation associated with the spatial distribution, and of the age-class frequency in the estuarine and marine coastal area, suggested that spawning took place in inshore coastal waters at very shallow depths.

  18. Genetic diversity and connectivity remain high in Holothuria polii (Delle Chiaje 1823) across a coastal lagoon-open sea environmental gradient.

    PubMed

    Vergara-Chen, Carlos; González-Wangüemert, Mercedes; Marcos, Concepción; Pérez-Ruzafa, Angel

    2010-08-01

    Coastal lagoons represent habitats with widely heterogeneous environmental conditions, particularly as regards salinity and temperature, which fluctuate in both space and time. These characteristics suggest that physical and ecological factors could contribute to the genetic divergence among populations occurring in coastal lagoon and open-coast environments. This study investigates the genetic structure of Holothuria polii at a micro-geographic scale across the Mar Menor coastal lagoon and nearby marine areas, estimating the mitochondrial DNA variation in two gene fragments, cytochrome oxidase I (COI) and 16S rRNA (16S). Dataset of mitochondrial sequences was also used to test the influence of environmental differences between coastal lagoon and marine waters on population genetic structure. All sampled locations exhibited high levels of haplotype diversity and low values of nucleotide diversity. Both genes showed contrasting signals of genetic differentiation (non-significant differences using COI and slight differences using 16S, which could due to different mutation rates or to differential number of exclusive haplotypes. We detected an excess of recent mutations and exclusive haplotypes, which can be generated as a result of population growth. However, selective processes can be also acting on the gene markers used; highly significant generalized additive models have been obtained considering genetic data from 16S gene and independent variables such as temperature and salinity.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Phenotyping for abiotic stress tolerance in maize.

    PubMed

    Masuka, Benhilda; Araus, Jose Luis; Das, Biswanath; Sonder, Kai; Cairns, Jill E

    2012-04-01

    The ability to quickly develop germplasm having tolerance to several complex polygenic inherited abiotic and biotic stresses combined is critical to the resilience of cropping systems in the face of climate change. Molecular breeding offers the tools to accelerate cereal breeding; however, suitable phenotyping protocols are essential to ensure that the much-anticipated benefits of molecular breeding can be realized. To facilitate the full potential of molecular tools, greater emphasis needs to be given to reducing the within-experimental site variability, application of stress and characterization of the environment and appropriate phenotyping tools. Yield is a function of many processes throughout the plant cycle, and thus integrative traits that encompass crop performance over time or organization level (i.e. canopy level) will provide a better alternative to instantaneous measurements which provide only a snapshot of a given plant process. Many new phenotyping tools based on remote sensing are now available including non-destructive measurements of growth-related parameters based on spectral reflectance and infrared thermometry to estimate plant water status. Here we describe key field phenotyping protocols for maize with emphasis on tolerance to drought and low nitrogen.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Abiotic reduction reactions of anthropogenic organic chemicals in anaerobic systems: A critical review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macalady, Donald L.; Tratnyek, Paul G.; Grundl, Timothy J.

    1986-02-01

    This review is predicated upon the need for a detailed process-level understanding of factors influencing the reduction of anthropogenic organic chemicals in natural aquatic systems. In particular, abiotic reductions of anthropogenic organic chemicals are reviewed. The most important reductive reaction is alkyl dehalogenation (replacement of chloride with hydrogen) which occurs in organisms, sediments, sewage sludge, and reduced iron porphyrin model systems. An abiotic mechanism involving a free radical intermediate has been proposed. The abstraction of vicinal dihalides (also termed dehalogenation) is another reduction that may have an abiotic component in natural systems. Reductive dehalogenation of aryl halides has recently been reported and further study of this reaction is needed. Several other degradation reactions of organohalides that occur in anaerobic environments are mentioned, the most important of which is dehydrohalogenation. The reduction of nitro groups to amines has also been thoroughly studied. The reactions can occur abiotically, and are affected by the redox conditions of the experimental system. However, a relationship between nitro-reduction rate and measured redox potential has not been clearly established. Reductive dealkylation of the N- and O-heteroatom of hydrocarbon pollutants has been observed but not investigated in detail. Azo compounds can be reduced to their hydrazo derivatives and a thorough study of this reaction indicates that it can be caused by extracellular electron transfer agents. Quinone-hydroquinone couples are important reactive groups in humic materials and similar structures in resazurin and indigo carmine make them useful as models for environmental redox conditions. The interconversion of sulfones, sulfoxides, and sulfides is a redox process and is implicated in the degradation of several pesticides though the reactions need more study. Two reductive heterocyclic cleavage reactions are also mentioned. Finally, several

  7. The impact of biotic/abiotic interfaces in mineral nutrient cycling: A study of soils of the Santa Cruz chronosequence, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, Art F.; Schulz, Marjorie S.; Vivit, Davison V.; Bullen, Tomas D.; Fitzpatrick, John

    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 280-600 g m-2 yr-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 Fj,plants = qj,plants/(qj,plants + qj,discharge) with average values for K and Ca (FK,plants = 0.99; FCa,plants = 0.93) much higher than for Mg and Na (FMg,plants 0.64; FNa,plants = 0.28). The discrimination against Rb and Sr by plants is described by fractionation factors (KSr/Ca = 0.86; KRb/K = 0.83) which are used in Rayleigh fractionation-mixing calculations to fit seasonal patterns in solute K and Ca cycling. KRb/K and K24Mg/22Mg values (derived from isotope data in the literature) fall within fractionation envelopes bounded by inputs

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  10. 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

  11. Expression partitioning between genes duplicated by polyploidy under abiotic stress and during organ development.

    PubMed

    Liu, Zhenlan; Adams, Keith L

    2007-10-01

    Allopolyploidy has been a prominent mode of speciation and a recurrent process during plant evolution and has contributed greatly to the large number of duplicated genes in plant genomes [1-4]. Polyploidy often leads to changes in genome organization and gene expression [5-9]. The expression of genes that are duplicated by polyploidy (termed homeologs) can be partitioned between the duplicates so that one copy is expressed and functions only in some organs and the other copy is expressed only in other organs, indicative of subfunctionalization [10]. To determine how homeologous-gene expression patterns change during organ development and in response to abiotic stress conditions, we have examined expression of the alcohol dehydrogenase gene AdhA in allopolyploid cotton (Gossypium hirsutum). Expression ratios of the two homeologs vary considerably during the development of organs from seedlings and fruits. Abiotic stress treatments, including cold, dark, and water submersion, altered homeologous-gene expression. Most notably, only one copy is expressed in hypocotyls during a water-submersion treatment, and only the other copy is expressed during cold stress. These results imply that subfunctionalization of genes duplicated by polyploidy has occurred in response to abiotic stress conditions. Partitioning of duplicate gene expression in response to environmental stress may lead to duplicate gene retention during subsequent evolution. PMID:17825563

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

    PubMed

    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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

    2015-09-01

    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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Improved tolerance to various abiotic stresses in transgenic sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) expressing spinach betaine aldehyde dehydrogenase.

    PubMed

    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

  1. 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

  2. Forest reproduction along a climatic gradient in the Sierra Nevada, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    van Mantgem, P.J.; Stephenson, N.L.; Keeley, J.E.

    2006-01-01

    To elucidate broad-scale environmental controls of coniferous forest reproduction in the Sierra Nevada, California, we monitored reproduction for 5 years in 47 plots arrayed across a steep elevational (climatic) gradient. We found that both absolute seedling densities (stems < 1.37 m) and seedling densities relative to overstory parent tree basal area declined sharply with elevation. Rates of seedling turnover (the average of birth and death rates) also declined with elevation. In contrast, seed production was not predicted by elevation and was highly variable from year to year. During a mast year of seed production, the intensity of masting was uneven among plots. Seedling densities were elevated only during the single year immediately following the mast year, suggesting reproduction in our forests may be primarily limited by abiotic factors such as the availability of suitable sites and weather. Disturbance also clearly affected reproduction; plots that had recently burned had significantly higher seedling to parent tree ratios for Abies species, suggesting that even though established Abies concolor may be relatively susceptible to fire, the species can recover rapidly through prolific reproduction. Since reproductive failures may be our earliest signal of changing forest conditions, seedling dynamics could provide a sensitive, if variable, indicator of environmental changes. ?? 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Searching for links in the biotic characteristics and abiotic parameters of nine different biogas plants

    PubMed Central

    Walter, Andreas; Knapp, Brigitte A.; Farbmacher, Theresa; Ebner, Christian; Insam, Heribert; Franke‐Whittle, Ingrid H.

    2012-01-01

    Summary To find links between the biotic characteristics and abiotic process parameters in anaerobic digestion systems, the microbial communities of nine full‐scale biogas plants in South Tyrol (Italy) and Vorarlberg (Austria) were investigated using molecular techniques and the physical and chemical properties were monitored. DNA from sludge samples was subjected to microarray hybridization with the ANAEROCHIP microarray and results indicated that sludge samples grouped into two main clusters, dominated either by Methanosarcina or by Methanosaeta, both aceticlastic methanogens. Hydrogenotrophic methanogens were hardly detected or if detected, gave low hybridization signals. Results obtained using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) supported the findings of microarray hybridization. Real‐time PCR targeting Methanosarcina and Methanosaeta was conducted to provide quantitative data on the dominating methanogens. Correlation analysis to determine any links between the microbial communities found by microarray analysis, and the physicochemical parameters investigated was conducted. It was shown that the sludge samples dominated by the genus Methanosarcina were positively correlated with higher concentrations of acetate, whereas sludge samples dominated by representatives of the genus Methanosaeta had lower acetate concentrations. No other correlations between biotic characteristics and abiotic parameters were found. Methanogenic communities in each reactor were highly stable and resilient over the whole year. PMID:22950603

  6. Mycobacterium ulcerans dynamics in aquatic ecosystems are driven by a complex interplay of abiotic and biotic factors.

    PubMed

    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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Abiotic Reduction of Selenite and Antimonate Under Controlled Oxygen Conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belzile, N.; Truong, H. T.; Polack, R.; Chen, Y.

    2008-12-01

    Laboratory and field studies have reported the oxidation of elemental Se to selenite or selenate or that of antimonite to antimonate but the reduction studies of the two elements, especially in absence of bacteria are more scarce. We have performed experiments on the abiotic reduction of Se(IV) and Sb(V) under controlled oxygen conditions in presence of naturally-encountered reducing agents such as Fe(II) and dissolved sulfide. In the case of selenite, the reduction by ferrous iron is barely detectable at very low concentrations of oxygen. However, at concentrations of 200 ± 50 ppmv in the controlled atmosphere glove box, more iron oxide particles were formed at a higher initial Fe(II) concentration in the system and with time. In the pellets collected after filtration, a significant amount of Se(0) was found. Our field geochemical studies on Se also showed the same phenomenon, i.e. a higher level of Se(0) in lake sediments was accompanied by a higher presence of iron oxides. In the case of antimony, the reduction of Sb(V) by dissolved sulfide was extensive and far more rapid at more acidic pH values. Half lives for Sb(V) in the presence of excess dissolved sulfide at pH values of 5 to 7 were calculated and the reaction was found to be first order with respect to all three of [Sb(V)], [dissolved sulfide] and [H+]. Metastibnite precipitated after reduction of Sb(V) in working experimental samples at buffered pH of 5 and 6. The oxidation product of dissolved sulfide was identified as elemental sulfur. This study has demonstrated the ability of dissolved sulfide to reduce Sb(V) under a variety of environmentally relevant concentrations and conditions.

  10. 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

  11. Plant cell organelle proteomics in response to abiotic stress.

    PubMed

    Hossain, Zahed; Nouri, Mohammad-Zaman; Komatsu, Setsuko

    2012-01-01

    Proteomics is one of the finest molecular techniques extensively being used for the study of protein profiling of a given plant species experiencing stressed conditions. Plants respond to a stress by alteration in the pattern of protein expression, either by up-regulating of the existing protein pool or by the synthesizing novel proteins primarily associated with plants antioxidative defense mechanism. Improved protein extraction protocols and advance techniques for identification of novel proteins have been standardized in different plant species at both cellular and whole plant level for better understanding of abiotic stress sensing and intracellular stress signal transduction mechanisms. In contrast, an in-depth proteome study of subcellular organelles could generate much detail information about the intrinsic mechanism of stress response as it correlates the possible relationship between the protein abundance and plant stress tolerance. Although a wealth of reviews devoted to plant proteomics are available, review articles dedicated to plant cell organelle proteins response under abiotic stress are very scanty. In the present review, an attempt has been made to summarize all significant contributions related to abiotic stresses and their impacts on organelle proteomes for better understanding of plants abiotic stress tolerance mechanism at protein level. This review will not only provide new insights into the plants stress response mechanisms, which are necessary for future development of genetically engineered stress tolerant crop plants for the benefit of humankind, but will also highlight the importance of studying changes in protein abundance within the cell organelles in response to abiotic stress.

  12. Methylglyoxal: An Emerging Signaling Molecule in Plant Abiotic Stress Responses and Tolerance

    PubMed Central

    Hoque, Tahsina S.; Hossain, Mohammad A.; Mostofa, Mohammad G.; Burritt, David J.; Fujita, Masayuki; Tran, Lam-Son P.

    2016-01-01

    The oxygenated short aldehyde methylglyoxal (MG) is produced in plants as a by-product of a number of metabolic reactions, including elimination of phosphate groups from glycolysis intermediates dihydroxyacetone phosphate and glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate. MG is mostly detoxified by the combined actions of the enzymes glyoxalase I and glyoxalase II that together with glutathione make up the glyoxalase system. Under normal growth conditions, basal levels of MG remain low in plants; however, when plants are exposed to abiotic stress, MG can accumulate to muc