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Sample records for affect ecosystem processes

  1. Soil biota can change after exotic plant invasion: Does this affect ecosystem processes?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Belnap, J.; Phillips, S.L.; Sherrod, S.K.; Moldenke, A.

    2005-01-01

    Invasion of the exotic annual grass Bromus tectorum into stands of the native perennial grass Hilaria jamesii significantly reduced the abundance of soil biota, especially microarthropods and nematodes. Effects of invasion on active and total bacterial and fungal biomass were variable, although populations generally increased after 50+ years of invasion. The invasion of Bromus also resulted in a decrease in richness and a species shift in plants, microarthropods, fungi, and nematodes. However, despite the depauperate soil fauna at the invaded sites, no effects were seen on cellulose decomposition rates, nitrogen mineralization rates, or vascular plant growth. When Hilaria was planted into soils from not-invaded, recently invaded, and historically invaded sites (all currently or once dominated by Hilaria), germination and survivorship were not affected. In contrast, aboveground Hilaria biomass was significantly greater in recently invaded soils than in the other two soils. We attributed the Hilaria response to differences in soil nutrients present before the invasion, especially soil nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, as these nutrients were elevated in the soils that produced the greatest Hilaria biomass. Our data suggest that it is not soil biotic richness per se that determines soil process rates or plant productivity, but instead that either (1) the presence of a few critical soil food web taxa can keep ecosystem function high, (2) nutrient loss is very slow in this ecosystem, and/or (3) these processes are microbially driven. However, the presence of Bromus may reduce key soil nutrients over time and thus may eventually suppress native plant success. ?? 2005 by the Ecological Society of America.

  2. Marine mammals' influence on ecosystem processes affecting fisheries in the Barents Sea is trivial.

    PubMed

    Corkeron, Peter J

    2009-04-23

    Some interpretations of ecosystem-based fishery management include culling marine mammals as an integral component. The current Norwegian policy on marine mammal management is one example. Scientific support for this policy includes the Scenario Barents Sea (SBS) models. These modelled interactions between cod, Gadus morhua, herring, Clupea harengus, capelin, Mallotus villosus and northern minke whales, Balaenoptera acutorostrata. Adding harp seals Phoca groenlandica into this top-down modelling approach resulted in unrealistic model outputs. Another set of models of the Barents Sea fish-fisheries system focused on interactions within and between the three fish populations, fisheries and climate. These model key processes of the system successfully. Continuing calls to support the SBS models despite their failure suggest a belief that marine mammal predation must be a problem for fisheries. The best available scientific evidence provides no justification for marine mammal culls as a primary component of an ecosystem-based approach to managing the fisheries of the Barents Sea. PMID:19126534

  3. Implications for Ecosystem Services of Watershed Processes that affect the Transport and Transformations of Mercury in an Adirondack Stream Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burns, D. A.; Riva-Murray, K.; Bradley, P. M.

    2012-12-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a potent neurotoxin that can affect the health of humans and wildlife through the ingestion of methyl Hg. Mercury contamination of ecosystems originates from human activities such as mining, coal burning and other industrial emissions, and the use of Hg-containing products. Natural sources such as volcanic and geothermal emissions and the weathering of Hg-bearing minerals also contribute to Hg contamination, but are believed to be minor sources in most ecosystems. Various ecosystem disturbances including fires, forest harvesting, and the submergence of land by impoundment may also contribute to Hg ecosystem contamination by mobilizing stores that have previously originated from the sources described above. Mercury from a mix of regional and global emissions sources is transported in the atmosphere to remote landscapes that are distant from local emissions sources. The Adirondacks of New York State is a forested, mountainous region characterized by abundant lakes and streams, and is distant from local emissions sources. Recreational fishing, wildlife viewing, hiking, and hunting are valued ecosystem services in this region. Here, we report on the relevance to ecosystem services of findings based on five years of Hg data collection of stream water, groundwater, invertebrates, and fish in the upper Hudson River basin in the central part of the Adirondack region. The New York State Dept. of Health has issued fish consumption advisories for the entire Adirondacks based on elevated levels previously measured in lakes and rivers of this region. Our work seeks improved understanding and models of the landscape sources and watershed processes that control the transformation of Hg to its methyl form (MeHg), the transport of MeHg to streams, and bioaccumulation of MeHg in aquatic food webs. Mean annual atmospheric Hg deposition was 6.3 μg/m2/yr during 2007-09, compared to mean annual filtered total Hg stream yields of 1.66 μg/m2/yr and filtered MeHg stream

  4. Ash in fire affected ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pereira, Paulo; Jordan, Antonio; Cerda, Artemi; Martin, Deborah

    2015-04-01

    Ash in fire affected ecosystems Ash lefts an important footprint in the ecosystems and has a key role in the immediate period after the fire (Bodi et al., 2014; Pereira et al., 2015). It is an important source of nutrients for plant recover (Pereira et al., 2014a), protects soil from erosion and controls soil hydrological process as runoff, infiltration and water repellency (Cerda and Doerr, 2008; Bodi et al., 2012, Pereira et al., 2014b). Despite the recognition of ash impact and contribution to ecosystems recuperation, it is assumed that we still have little knowledge about the implications of ash in fire affected areas. Regarding this situation we wanted to improve our knowledge in this field and understand the state of the research about fire ash around world. The special issue about "The role of ash in fire affected ecosystems" currently in publication in CATENA born from the necessity of joint efforts, identify research gaps, and discuss future cooperation in this interdisciplinary field. This is the first special issue about fire ash in the international literature. In total it will be published 10 papers focused in different aspects of the impacts of ash in fire affected ecosystems from several parts of the world: • Fire reconstruction using charcoal particles (Burjachs and Espositio, in press) • Ash slurries impact on rheological properties of Runoff (Burns and Gabet, in press) • Methods to analyse ash conductivity and sorbtivity in the laboratory and in the field (Balfour et al., in press) • Termogravimetric and hydrological properties of ash (Dlapa et al. in press) • Effects of ash cover in water infiltration (Leon et al., in press) • Impact of ash in volcanic soils (Dorta Almenar et al., in press; Escuday et al., in press) • Ash PAH and Chemical extracts (Silva et al., in press) • Microbiology (Barreiro et al., in press; Lombao et al., in press) We believe that this special issue will contribute importantly to the better understanding of

  5. Ash in fire affected ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pereira, Paulo; Jordan, Antonio; Cerda, Artemi; Martin, Deborah

    2015-04-01

    Ash in fire affected ecosystems Ash lefts an important footprint in the ecosystems and has a key role in the immediate period after the fire (Bodi et al., 2014; Pereira et al., 2015). It is an important source of nutrients for plant recover (Pereira et al., 2014a), protects soil from erosion and controls soil hydrological process as runoff, infiltration and water repellency (Cerda and Doerr, 2008; Bodi et al., 2012, Pereira et al., 2014b). Despite the recognition of ash impact and contribution to ecosystems recuperation, it is assumed that we still have little knowledge about the implications of ash in fire affected areas. Regarding this situation we wanted to improve our knowledge in this field and understand the state of the research about fire ash around world. The special issue about "The role of ash in fire affected ecosystems" currently in publication in CATENA born from the necessity of joint efforts, identify research gaps, and discuss future cooperation in this interdisciplinary field. This is the first special issue about fire ash in the international literature. In total it will be published 10 papers focused in different aspects of the impacts of ash in fire affected ecosystems from several parts of the world: • Fire reconstruction using charcoal particles (Burjachs and Espositio, in press) • Ash slurries impact on rheological properties of Runoff (Burns and Gabet, in press) • Methods to analyse ash conductivity and sorbtivity in the laboratory and in the field (Balfour et al., in press) • Termogravimetric and hydrological properties of ash (Dlapa et al. in press) • Effects of ash cover in water infiltration (Leon et al., in press) • Impact of ash in volcanic soils (Dorta Almenar et al., in press; Escuday et al., in press) • Ash PAH and Chemical extracts (Silva et al., in press) • Microbiology (Barreiro et al., in press; Lombao et al., in press) We believe that this special issue will contribute importantly to the better understanding of

  6. Oceanographic and behavioural processes affecting invertebrate larval dispersal and supply in the western Iberia upwelling ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Queiroga, Henrique; Cruz, Teresa; dos Santos, Antonina; Dubert, Jesus; González-Gordillo, Juan Ignácio; Paula, José; Peliz, Álvaro; Santos, A. Miguel P.

    2007-08-01

    The present review addresses recent findings made in the western Iberia ecosystem on the behavioural and physical interactions that regulate dispersal, supply to coastal habitats and settlement of invertebrate larvae. These studies used the barnacle Chthamalus spp. and the crab Carcinus maenas as model organisms. The observations made on the Iberian shelf showed extensive diel vertical migrations along the water column by representatives of both groups that have never been reported before. The interaction of the diel vertical migration with the two-layer flow structure of upwelling/downwelling circulation suggests a mechanism that may help to retain larvae in shelf waters during upwelling conditions. Measurements of daily supply of C. maenas megalopae to estuaries separated by 500 km disclosed a semilunar pattern, with highest supply around highest amplitude tides, indicating that supply of megalopae to estuaries is accomplished by selective tidal stream transport. Relaxation of equatorward winds also played a role in supply, by enhancing translocation of megalopae to the nearshore. Concerning Chthamalus larvae, the observations on daily settlement made at rocky shores also separated by 500 km showed unclear patterns between locations and years. The relationship of settlement with water temperature, tidal range and upwelling indices indicated that supply of barnacle cyprids may be controlled by multiple mechanisms, viz. upwelling/downwelling circulation, internal tidal bores and sea breezes.

  7. The light: nutrient ratio in lakes: the balance of energy and materials affects ecosystem structure and process.

    PubMed

    Sterner, R W; Elser, J J; Fee, E J; Guildford, S J; Chrzanowski, T H

    1997-12-01

    The amounts of solar energy and materials are two of the chief factors determining ecosystem structure and process. Here, we examine the relative balance of light and phosphorus in a set of freshwater pelagic ecosystems. We calculated a ratio of light: phosphorus by putting mixed-layer mean light in the numerator and total P concentration in the denominator. This light: phosphorus ratio was a good predictor of the C:P ratio of particulate matter (seston), with a positive correlation demonstrated between these two ratios. We argue that the balance between light and nutrients controls "nutrient use efficiency" at the base of the food web in lakes. Thus, when light energy is high relative to nutrient availability, the base of the food web is carbon rich and phosphorus poor. In the opposite case, where light is relatively less available compared to nutrients, the base of the food web is relatively P rich. The significance of this relationship lies in the fact that the composition of sestonic material is known to influence a large number of ecosystem processes such as secondary production, nutrient cycling, and (we hypothesize) the relative strength of microbial versus grazing processes. Using the central result of increased C:P ratio with an increased light: phosphorus ratio, we make specific predictions of how ecosystem structure and process should vary with light and nutrient balance. Among these predictions, we suggest that lake ecosystems with low light: phosphorus ratios should have several trophic levels simultaneously carbon or energy limited, while ecosystems with high light: phosphorus ratios should have several trophic levels simultaneously limited by phosphorus. Our results provide an alternative perspective to the question of what determines nutrient use efficiency in ecosystems. PMID:18811330

  8. Biogeochemical processes underpin ecosystem services

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Elemental cycling is critical to the function of ecosystems and delivery of key ecosystem services because many of these elements are essential nutrients or detrimental toxicants that directly affect the health of organisms and ecosystems. A team of authors from North Carolina State University and ...

  9. Subterranean ventilation: a key but poorly known process affecting the carbon balance of semi-arid ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    López Ballesteros, Ana; Sánchez Cañete, Enrique P.; Serrano Ortiz, Penélope; Kowalski, Andrew S.; Oyonarte, Cecilio; Domingo, Francisco

    2016-04-01

    Subterranean ventilation, conceived as the advective transport of CO2-rich air from the vadose zone to the atmosphere through a porous media (i.e. soil or snow; Sánchez-Cañete et al., 2013), has arisen as an important process contributing to the carbon (C) balance of Mediterranean ecosystems (Kowalski et al., 2008; Sánchez-Cañete et al., 2011; Serrano-Ortiz et al., 2014), apart from other well-known biotic processes (i.e. plant photosynthesis, autotrophic and heterotrophic respiration). Recent studies have linked this subterranean CO2 release to fluctuations in the friction velocity or wind speed under drought conditions when water-free soil pores enable air transport (Rey et al., 2012a, 2013), however, barometric pressure variations has been suggested as another important driver (Sánchez-Cañete et al., 2013). In this study, we investigate this process in newly studied semi-arid grassland located in SE Spain, as the ideal ecosystem to do so given the great length of the dry season and the slight biotic activity limited to the winter season. Preliminary results, based on unpublished analyzed eddy covariance data and subterranean CO2 molar fraction measurements, confirm the presence of ventilation events from May to October for seven years 2009-2015. During these events, increases in the friction velocity correlates with sizeable CO2 emissions of up to ca.10 μmol m‑2 s‑1, and CO2 molar fraction regularly drops 2000-3000 ppm just after the turbulence peak, at several depths below the soil surface (0.15 and 1.5 m). Additionally, during the driest period (July-August), the friction velocity explains from 37% to 57% of the net C emission variability. On the other hand, the model residuals do not show a significant relationship, neither with air pressure nor with soil water content. Overall, the results found in this newly monitored site demonstrate, as shown by past research, the relevance of subterranean ventilation as a key process in the C balance of

  10. Processes affecting oxygen isotope ratios of atmospheric and ecosystem sulfate in two contrasting forest catchments in Central Europe

    SciTech Connect

    Martin Novak; Myron J. Mitchell; Iva Jackova; Frantisek Buzek; Jana Schweigstillova; Lucie Erbanova; Richard Prikryl; Daniela Fottova

    2007-02-15

    Sulfate aerosols are harmful as respirable particles. They also play a role as cloud condensation nuclei and have radiative effects on global climate. A combination of {delta}{sup 18}O-SO{sub 4} data with catchment sulfur mass balances was used to constrain processes affecting S cycling in the atmosphere and spruce forests of the Czech Republic. Extremely high S fluxes via spruce throughfall and runoff were measured at Jezeri (49 and 80 kg S ha{sup -1} yr{sup -1}, respectively). The second catchment, Na Lizu, was 10 times less polluted. In both catchments, {delta}{sup 18}O-SO{sub 4} decreased in the following order: open-area precipitation {gt} throughfall {gt} runoff. The 180-SO{sub 4} values of throughfall exhibited a seasonal pattern at both sites, with maxima in summer and minima in winter. This seasonal pattern paralleled {delta}{sup 18}O-H{sub 2}O values, which were offset by -18{per_thousand}. Sulfate in throughfall was predominantly formed by heterogeneous (aqueous) oxidation of SO{sub 2}. Wet-deposited sulfate in an open area did not show systematic {delta}{sup 18}O-SO{sub 4} trends, suggesting formation by homogeneous (gaseous) oxidation and/or transport from large distances. The percentage of incoming S that is organically cycled in soil was similar under the high and the low pollution. High-temperature {sup 18}O-rich sulfate was not detected, which contrasts with North American industrial sites. 29 refs., 4 figs., 3 tabs.

  11. Fire as an ecosystem process: Chapter 3

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keeley, Jon E.; Safford, Hugh D.

    2016-01-01

    This long-anticipated reference and sourcebook for California’s remarkable ecological abundance provides an integrated assessment of each major ecosystem type—its distribution, structure, function, and management. A comprehensive synthesis of our knowledge about this biologically diverse state, Ecosystems of California covers the state from oceans to mountaintops using multiple lenses: past and present, flora and fauna, aquatic and terrestrial, natural and managed. Each chapter evaluates natural processes for a specific ecosystem, describes drivers of change, and discusses how that ecosystem may be altered in the future. This book also explores the drivers of California’s ecological patterns and the history of the state’s various ecosystems, outlining how the challenges of climate change and invasive species and opportunities for regulation and stewardship could potentially affect the state’s ecosystems. The text explicitly incorporates both human impacts and conservation and restoration efforts and shows how ecosystems support human well-being. Edited by two esteemed ecosystem ecologists and with overviews by leading experts on each ecosystem, this definitive work will be indispensable for natural resource management and conservation professionals as well as for undergraduate or graduate students of California’s environment and curious naturalists.

  12. ECOSYSTEM PROCESSES AND WATERSHED STRESSORS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The objective of the proposed study is to assess the responsiveness of indicators of ecosystem function to three intensities of watershed disturbance in four regions. An integrated assessment of abiotic and biotic condition of streams will be conducted to assess streams affected...

  13. Several scales of biodiversity affect ecosystem multifunctionality.

    PubMed

    Pasari, Jae R; Levi, Taal; Zavaleta, Erika S; Tilman, David

    2013-06-18

    Society values landscapes that reliably provide many ecosystem functions. As the study of ecosystem functioning expands to include more locations, time spans, and functions, the functional importance of individual species is becoming more apparent. However, the functional importance of individual species does not necessarily translate to the functional importance of biodiversity measured in whole communities of interacting species. Furthermore, ecological diversity at scales larger than neighborhood species richness could also influence the provision of multiple functions over extended time scales. We created experimental landscapes based on whole communities from the world's longest running biodiversity-functioning field experiment to investigate how local species richness (α diversity), distinctness among communities (β diversity), and larger scale species richness (γ diversity) affected eight ecosystem functions over 10 y. Using both threshold-based and unique multifunctionality metrics, we found that α diversity had strong positive effects on most individual functions and multifunctionality, and that positive effects of β and γ diversity emerged only when multiple functions were considered simultaneously. Higher β diversity also reduced the variability in multifunctionality. Thus, in addition to conserving important species, maintaining ecosystem multifunctionality will require diverse landscape mosaics of diverse communities. PMID:23733963

  14. Biogeochemical Processes in Microbial Ecosystems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    DesMarais, David J.

    2001-01-01

    The hierarchical organization of microbial ecosystems determines process rates that shape Earth's environment, create the biomarker sedimentary and atmospheric signatures of life, and define the stage upon which major evolutionary events occurred. In order to understand how microorganisms have shaped the global environment of Earth and, potentially, other worlds, we must develop an experimental paradigm that links biogeochemical processes with ever-changing temporal and spatial distributions of microbial populations and their metabolic properties. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  15. Affective processing requires awareness.

    PubMed

    Lähteenmäki, Mikko; Hyönä, Jukka; Koivisto, Mika; Nummenmaa, Lauri

    2015-04-01

    Studies using backward masked emotional stimuli suggest that affective processing may occur outside visual awareness and imply primacy of affective over semantic processing, yet these experiments have not strictly controlled for the participants' awareness of the stimuli. Here we directly compared the primacy of affective versus semantic categorization of biologically relevant stimuli in 5 experiments (n = 178) using explicit (semantic and affective discrimination; Experiments 1-3) and implicit (semantic and affective priming; Experiments 4-5) measures. The same stimuli were used in semantic and affective tasks. Visual awareness was manipulated by varying exposure duration of the masked stimuli, and subjective level of stimulus awareness was measured after each trial using a 4-point perceptual awareness scale. When participants reported no awareness of the stimuli, semantic and affective categorization were at chance level and priming scores did not differ from zero. When participants were even partially aware of the stimuli, (a) both semantic and affective categorization could be performed above chance level with equal accuracy, (b) semantic categorization was faster than affective categorization, and (c) both semantic and affective priming were observed. Affective categorization speed was linearly dependent on semantic categorization speed, suggesting dependence of affective processing on semantic recognition. Manipulations of affective and semantic categorization tasks revealed a hierarchy of categorization operations beginning with basic-level semantic categorization and ending with superordinate level affective categorization. We conclude that both implicit and explicit affective and semantic categorization is dependent on visual awareness, and that affective recognition follows semantic categorization. PMID:25559654

  16. Biogeochemical Processes in Microbial Ecosystems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    DesMarais, David J.; DeVincenzi, Donald L. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    The hierarchical organization of microbial ecosystems determines process rates that shape Earth's environment, create the biomarker sedimentary and atmospheric signatures of life and define the stage upon which major evolutionary events occurred. In order to understand how microorganisms have shaped the global environment of Earth and potentially, other worlds, we must develop an experimental paradigm that links biogeochemical processes with ever-changing temporal and spatial distributions of microbial population, and their metabolic properties. Photosynthetic microbial mats offer an opportunity to define holistic functionality at the millimeter scale. At the same time, their Biogeochemistry contributes to environmental processes on a planetary scale. These mats are possibly direct descendents of the most ancient biological communities; communities in which oxygenic photosynthesis might have been invented. Mats provide one of the best natural systems to study how microbial populations associate to control dynamic biogeochemical gradients. These are self-sustaining, complete ecosystems in which light energy absorbed over a diel (24 hour) cycle drives the synthesis of spatially-organized, diverse biomass. Tightly-coupled microorganisms in the mat have specialized metabolisms that catalyze transformations of carbon, nitrogen. sulfur, and a host of other elements.

  17. How will increases in rainfall intensity affect semiarid ecosystems?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siteur, Koen; Eppinga, Maarten B.; Karssenberg, Derek; Baudena, Mara; Bierkens, Marc F. P.; Rietkerk, Max

    2014-07-01

    Model studies suggest that semiarid ecosystems with patterned vegetation can respond in a nonlinear way to climate change. This means that gradual changes can result in a rapid transition to a desertified state. Previous model studies focused on the response of patterned semiarid ecosystems to changes in mean annual rainfall. The intensity of rain events, however, is projected to change as well in the coming decades. In this paper, we study the effect of changes in rainfall intensity on the functioning of patterned semiarid ecosystems with a spatially explicit model that captures rainwater partitioning and runoff-runon processes with simple event-based process descriptions. Analytical and numerical analyses of the model revealed that rainfall intensity is a key parameter in explaining patterning of vegetation in semiarid ecosystems as low mean rainfall intensities do not allow for vegetation patterning to occur. Surprisingly, we found that, for a constant annual rainfall rate, both an increase and a decrease in mean rainfall intensity can trigger desertification. An increase negatively affects productivity as a greater fraction of the rainwater is lost as runoff. This can result in a shift to a bare desert state only if the mean rainfall intensity exceeds the infiltration capacity of bare soil. On the other hand, a decrease in mean rainfall intensity leads to an increased fraction of rainwater infiltrating in bare soils, remaining unavailable to plants. Our findings suggest that considering rainfall intensity as a variable may help in assessing the proximity to regime shifts in patterned semiarid ecosystems and that monitoring losses of resource through runoff and bare soil infiltration could be used to determine ecosystem resilience.

  18. Process-Based Thinking in Ecosystem Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jordan, Rebecca C.; Gray, Steven A.; Brooks, Wesley R.; Honwad, Sameer; Hmelo-Silver, Cindy E.

    2013-01-01

    Understanding complex systems such as ecosystems is difficult for young K-12 students, and students' representations of ecosystems are often limited to nebulously defined relationships between macro-level structural components inherent to the ecosystem in focus (rainforest, desert, pond, etc.) instead of generalizing processes across ecosystems…

  19. Plant ecology. Anthropogenic environmental changes affect ecosystem stability via biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Hautier, Yann; Tilman, David; Isbell, Forest; Seabloom, Eric W; Borer, Elizabeth T; Reich, Peter B

    2015-04-17

    Human-driven environmental changes may simultaneously affect the biodiversity, productivity, and stability of Earth's ecosystems, but there is no consensus on the causal relationships linking these variables. Data from 12 multiyear experiments that manipulate important anthropogenic drivers, including plant diversity, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, fire, herbivory, and water, show that each driver influences ecosystem productivity. However, the stability of ecosystem productivity is only changed by those drivers that alter biodiversity, with a given decrease in plant species numbers leading to a quantitatively similar decrease in ecosystem stability regardless of which driver caused the biodiversity loss. These results suggest that changes in biodiversity caused by drivers of environmental change may be a major factor determining how global environmental changes affect ecosystem stability. PMID:25883357

  20. Linking ecosystem processes to sustainable wetland management

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Euliss, Ned H.; Smith, Loren M.; Wilcox, Douglas A.; Browne, Bryant A.

    2009-01-01

    As a result of concern over problems associated with the future of managed wetlands in North America, nearly two dozen wetland scientists and managers met in February 2006 at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico and discussed a sustainable approach to wetland management. This approach links science with management by focusing on underlying wetland processes. From that meeting, several papers were developed and published in Wetlands to address these concerns (Euliss et al. 2008, Smith et al. 2008, Wilcox 2008). This article summarizes our first paper, Euliss et al. (2008), and a future Newsletter article will summarize Smith et al. (2008). Realization of the role that complex interactions play in maintaining ecosystems, coupled with increasing demands of humans for ecosystem services, has prompted much interest in ecosystem management. Not surprisingly, sustainability of ecosystems has become an explicitly stated goal of many natural resource agencies and, in some cases, has been legislatively mandated to ensure provision of resources for future generations. However, examples of sustainable ecosystem management are uncommon because management goals often focus on specific deliverables rather than processes that sustain ecosystems. This paper has three sections: (1) perspectives in which we provide a bit of history, (2), ecological consequences of a static view, and (3) suggestions to aid wetland managers link management goals with critical ecosystem processes responsible for provision of wetland services.

  1. How Does Climate Change Affect the Bering Sea Ecosystem?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sigler, Michael F.; Harvey, H. Rodger; Ashjian, Carin J.; Lomas, Michael W.; Napp, Jeffrey M.; Stabeno, Phyllis J.; Van Pelt, Thomas I.

    2010-11-01

    The Bering Sea is one of the most productive marine ecosystems in the world, sustaining nearly half of U.S. annual commercial fish catches and providing food and cultural value to thousands of coastal and island residents. Fish and crab are abundant in the Bering Sea; whales, seals, and seabirds migrate there every year. In winter, the topography, latitude, atmosphere, and ocean circulation combine to produce a sea ice advance in the Bering Sea unmatched elsewhere in the Northern Hemisphere, and in spring the retreating ice; longer daylight hours; and nutrient-rich, deep-ocean waters forced up onto the broad continental shelf result in intense marine productivity (Figure 1). This seasonal ice cover is a major driver of Bering Sea ecology, making this ecosystem particularly sensitive to changes in climate. Predicted changes in ice cover in the coming decades have intensified concern about the future of this economically and culturally important region. In response, the North Pacific Research Board (NPRB) and the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) entered into a partnership in 2007 to support the Bering Sea Project, a comprehensive $52 million investigation to understand how climate change is affecting the Bering Sea ecosystem, ranging from lower trophic levels (e.g., plankton) to fish, seabirds, marine mammals, and, ultimately, humans. The project integrates two research programs, the NSF Bering Ecosystem Study (BEST) and the NPRB Bering Sea Integrated Ecosystem Research Program (BSIERP), with substantial in-kind contributions from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  2. Positive affect and psychobiological processes

    PubMed Central

    Dockray, Samantha; Steptoe, Andrew

    2010-01-01

    Positive affect has been associated with favourable health outcomes, and it is likely that several biological processes mediate the effects of positive mood on physical health. There is converging evidence that positive affect activates the neuroendocrine, autonomic and immune systems in distinct and functionally meaningful ways. Cortisol, both total output and the awakening response, has consistently been shown to be lower among individuals with higher levels of positive affect. The beneficial effects of positive mood on cardiovascular function, including heart rate and blood pressure, and the immune system have also been described. The influence of positive affect on these psychobiological processes are independent of negative affect, suggesting that positive affect may have characteristic biological correlates. The duration and conceptualisation of positive affect may be important considerations in understanding how different biological systems are activated in association with positive affect. The association of positive affect and psychobiological processes has been established, and these biological correlates may be partly responsible for the protective effects of positive affect on health outcomes. PMID:20097225

  3. Nonlinear effects of consumer density on multiple ecosystem processes.

    PubMed

    Klemmer, Amanda J; Wissinger, Scott A; Greig, Hamish S; Ostrofsky, Milton L

    2012-07-01

    1. In the face of human-induced declines in the abundance of common species, ecologists have become interested in quantifying how changes in density affect rates of biophysical processes, hence ecosystem function. We manipulated the density of a dominant detritivore (the cased caddisfly, Limnephilus externus) in subalpine ponds to measure effects on the release of detritus-bound nutrients and energy. 2. Detritus decay rates (k, mass loss) increased threefold, and the loss of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) from detrital substrates doubled across a range of historically observed caddisfly densities. Ammonium and total soluble phosphorus concentrations in the water column also increased with caddisfly density on some dates. Decay rates, nutrient release and the change in total detritivore biomass all exhibited threshold or declining responses at the highest densities. 3. We attributed these threshold responses in biophysical processes to intraspecific competition for limiting resources manifested at the population level, as density-dependent per-capita consumption, growth, development and case : body size in caddisflies was observed. Moreover, caddisflies increasingly grazed on algae at high densities, presumably in response to limiting detrital resources. 4. These results provide evidence that changes in population size of a common species will have nonlinear, threshold effects on the rates of biophysical processes at the ecosystem level. Given the ubiquity of negative density dependence in nature, nonlinear consumer density-ecosystem function relationships should be common across species and ecosystems. PMID:22339437

  4. Salvage logging, ecosystem processes, and biodiversity conservation.

    PubMed

    Lindenmayer, D B; Noss, R F

    2006-08-01

    We summarize the documented and potential impacts of salvage logging--a form of logging that removes trees and other biological material from sites after natural disturbance. Such operations may reduce or eliminate biological legacies, modify rare postdisturbance habitats, influence populations, alter community composition, impair natural vegetation recovery, facilitate the colonization of invasive species, alter soil properties and nutrient levels, increase erosion, modify hydrological regimes and aquatic ecosystems, and alter patterns of landscape heterogeneity These impacts can be assigned to three broad and interrelated effects: (1) altered stand structural complexity; (2) altered ecosystem processes and functions; and (3) altered populations of species and community composition. Some impacts may be different from or additional to the effects of traditional logging that is not preceded by a large natural disturbance because the conditions before, during, and after salvage logging may differ from those that characterize traditional timber harvesting. The potential impacts of salvage logging often have been overlooked, partly because the processes of ecosystem recovery after natural disturbance are still poorly understood and partly because potential cumulative effects of natural and human disturbance have not been well documented. Ecologically informed policies regarding salvage logging are needed prior to major natural disturbances so that when they occur ad hoc and crisis-mode decision making can be avoided. These policies should lead to salvage-exemption zones and limits on the amounts of disturbance-derived biological legacies (e.g., burned trees, logs) that are removed where salvage logging takes place. Finally, we believe new terminology is needed. The word salvage implies that something is being saved or recovered, whereas from an ecological perspective this is rarely the case. PMID:16922212

  5. Landsat Ecosystem Disturbance Adaptive Processing System (LEDAPS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Masek, Jeffrey G.

    2006-01-01

    The Landsat Ecosystem Disturbance Adaptive Processing System (LEDAPS) project is creating a record of forest disturbance and regrowth for North America from the Landsat satellite record, in support of the carbon modeling activities. LEDAPS relies on the decadal Landsat GeoCover data set supplemented by dense image time series for selected locations. Imagery is first atmospherically corrected to surface reflectance, and then change detection algorithms are used to extract disturbance area, type, and frequency. Reuse of the MODIS Land processing system (MODAPS) architecture allows rapid throughput of over 2200 MSS, TM, and ETM+ scenes. Initial ("Beta") surface reflectance products are currently available for testing, and initial continental disturbance products will be available by the middle of 2006.

  6. Pressure and Buoyancy in Aquatic Ecosystems. Physical Processes in Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems, Transport Processes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cowan, Christina E.

    This module is part of a series designed to be used by life science students for instruction in the application of physical theory to ecosystem operation. Most modules contain computer programs which are built around a particular application of a physical process. This module explores some of the characteristics of aquatic organisms which can be…

  7. Community history affects the predictability of microbial ecosystem development

    PubMed Central

    Pagaling, Eulyn; Strathdee, Fiona; Spears, Bryan M; Cates, Michael E; Allen, Rosalind J; Free, Andrew

    2014-01-01

    Microbial communities mediate crucial biogeochemical, biomedical and biotechnological processes, yet our understanding of their assembly, and our ability to control its outcome, remain poor. Existing evidence presents conflicting views on whether microbial ecosystem assembly is predictable, or inherently unpredictable. We address this issue using a well-controlled laboratory model system, in which source microbial communities colonize a pristine environment to form complex, nutrient-cycling ecosystems. When the source communities colonize a novel environment, final community composition and function (as measured by redox potential) are unpredictable, although a signature of the community's previous history is maintained. However, when the source communities are pre-conditioned to their new habitat, community development is more reproducible. This situation contrasts with some studies of communities of macro-organisms, where strong selection under novel environmental conditions leads to reproducible community structure, whereas communities under weaker selection show more variability. Our results suggest that the microbial rare biosphere may have an important role in the predictability of microbial community development, and that pre-conditioning may help to reduce unpredictability in the design of microbial communities for biotechnological applications. PMID:23985743

  8. Ecosystem carbon storage capacity as affected by disturbance regimes: A general theoretical model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weng, Ensheng; Luo, Yiqi; Wang, Weile; Wang, Han; Hayes, Daniel J.; McGuire, A. David; Hastings, Alan; Schimel, David S.

    2012-09-01

    Disturbances have been recognized as a key factor shaping terrestrial ecosystem states and dynamics. A general model that quantitatively describes the relationship between carbon storage and disturbance regime is critical for better understanding large scale terrestrial ecosystem carbon dynamics. We developed a model (REGIME) to quantify ecosystem carbon storage capacities (E[x]) under varying disturbance regimes with an analytical solution E[x] = U · τE · ?, where U is ecosystem carbon influx, τE is ecosystem carbon residence time, and τ1 is the residence time of the carbon pool affected by disturbances (biomass pool in this study). The disturbance regime is characterized by the mean disturbance interval (λ) and the mean disturbance severity (s). It is a Michaelis-Menten-type equation illustrating the saturation of carbon content with mean disturbance interval. This model analytically integrates the deterministic ecosystem carbon processes with stochastic disturbance events to reveal a general pattern of terrestrial carbon dynamics at large scales. The model allows us to get a sense of the sensitivity of ecosystems to future environmental changes just by a few calculations. According to the REGIME model, for example, approximately 1.8 Pg C will be lost in the high-latitude regions of North America (>45°N) if fire disturbance intensity increases around 5.7 time the current intensity to the end of the twenty-first century, which will require around 12% increases in net primary productivity (NPP) to maintain stable carbon stocks. If the residence time decreased 10% at the same time additional 12.5% increases in NPP are required to keep current C stocks. The REGIME model also lays the foundation for analytically modeling the interactions between deterministic biogeochemical processes and stochastic disturbance events.

  9. Ecosystem carbon storage capacity as affected by disturbance regimes: a general theoretical model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weng, E.; Luo, Y.; Wang, W.; Wang, H.; Hayes, D. J.; McGuire, A. D.; Hastings, A.; Schimel, D.

    2012-12-01

    Disturbances have been recognized as a key factor shaping terrestrial ecosystem states and dynamics. A general model that quantitatively describes the relationship between carbon storage and disturbance regime is critical for better understanding large scale terrestrial ecosystem carbon dynamics. We developed a model (REGIME) to quantify ecosystem carbon storage capacities (E[x]) under varying disturbance regimes with an analytical solution E[x]=UτE λ/(λ+sτ1) , where U is ecosystem carbon influx, τE is ecosystem carbon residence time, and τ1 is the residence time of the carbon pool affected by disturbances (biomass pool in this study). The disturbance regime is characterized by the mean disturbance interval (λ) and the mean disturbance severity (s). It is a Michaelis-Menten type equation illustrating the saturation of carbon content with mean disturbance interval. This model analytically integrates the deterministic ecosystem carbon processes with stochastic disturbance events to reveal a general pattern of terrestrial carbon dynamics at large scales. The model allows us to get a sense of the sensitivity of ecosystems to future environmental changes just by a few calculations. According to the REGIME model , for example, approximately 1.8 Pg C will be lost in the high latitude regions of North America (>45°N) if fire disturbance intensity increases around 5.7 time the current intensity to the end of 21st century, which will require around 12% increases in NPP to maintain stable carbon stocks. If the residence time decreased 10% at the same time additional 12.5% increases in NPP are required to keep current C stocks. The REGIME model also lays the foundation for analytically modeling the interactions between deterministic biogeochemical processes and stochastic disturbance events.

  10. Ecosystem carbon storage capacity as affected by disturbance regimes: A general theoretical model

    SciTech Connect

    Weng, Ensheng; Luo, Yiqi; Wang, Weile; Wang, Han; Hayes, Daniel J; McGuire, A. David; Hastings, Alan; Schimel, David

    2012-01-01

    Disturbances have been recognized as a key factor shaping terrestrial ecosystem states and dynamics. A general model that quantitatively describes the relationship between carbon storage and disturbance regime is critical for better understanding large scale terrestrial ecosystem carbon dynamics. We developed a model (REGIME) to quantify ecosystem carbon storage capacities (E[x]) under varying disturbance regimes with an analytical solution E[x] = U {center_dot} {tau}{sub E} {center_dot} {lambda}{lambda} + s {tau} 1, where U is ecosystem carbon influx, {tau}{sub E} is ecosystem carbon residence time, and {tau}{sub 1} is the residence time of the carbon pool affected by disturbances (biomass pool in this study). The disturbance regime is characterized by the mean disturbance interval ({lambda}) and the mean disturbance severity (s). It is a Michaelis-Menten-type equation illustrating the saturation of carbon content with mean disturbance interval. This model analytically integrates the deterministic ecosystem carbon processes with stochastic disturbance events to reveal a general pattern of terrestrial carbon dynamics at large scales. The model allows us to get a sense of the sensitivity of ecosystems to future environmental changes just by a few calculations. According to the REGIME model, for example, approximately 1.8 Pg C will be lost in the high-latitude regions of North America (>45{sup o} N) if fire disturbance intensity increases around 5.7 time the current intensity to the end of the twenty-first century, which will require around 12% increases in net primary productivity (NPP) to maintain stable carbon stocks. If the residence time decreased 10% at the same time additional 12.5% increases in NPP are required to keep current C stocks. The REGIME model also lays the foundation for analytically modeling the interactions between deterministic biogeochemical processes and stochastic disturbance events.

  11. Factors Affecting the Tutoring Process.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hartman, Hope J.

    1990-01-01

    Analyzes factors internal to the tutor and tutee (i.e., cognition, metacognition, and affect) and external to them (e.g., teacher/tutor background knowledge, educational environment, content to be learned, socioeconomic status, family background, and cultural forces) that influence the tutoring process. Suggests a theoretical framework for…

  12. Mammal population regulation, keystone processes and ecosystem dynamics.

    PubMed Central

    Sinclair, A R E

    2003-01-01

    The theory of regulation in animal populations is fundamental to understanding the dynamics of populations, the causes of mortality and how natural selection shapes the life history of species. In mammals, the great range in body size allows us to see how allometric relationships affect the mode of regulation. Resource limitation is the fundamental cause of regulation. Top-down limitation through predators is determined by four factors: (i). body size; (ii). the diversity of predators and prey in the system; (iii). whether prey are resident or migratory; and (iv). the presence of alternative prey for predators. Body size in mammals has two important consequences. First, mammals, particularly large species, can act as keystones that determine the diversity of an ecosystem. I show how keystone processes can, in principle, be measured using the example of the wildebeest in the Serengeti ecosystem. Second, mammals act as ecological landscapers by altering vegetation succession. Mammals alter physical structure, ecological function and species diversity in most terrestrial biomes. In general, there is a close interaction between allometry, population regulation, life history and ecosystem dynamics. These relationships are relevant to applied aspects of conservation and pest management. PMID:14561329

  13. Mangrove crabs as ecosystem engineers; with emphasis on sediment processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kristensen, Erik

    2008-02-01

    The benthic fauna in mangrove forests is usually dominated by burrowing sesarmid (Grapsidae) and fiddler crabs (Ocypodidae). They are herbivores that retain, bury, macerate and ingest litter and microalgal mats. Most species within these two groups actively dig and maintain burrows in the sediment as a refuge from predation and environmental extremes. Based on the current knowledge on the biology and ecology of these crabs, it seems obvious that their activities have considerable impact on ecosystem functioning. However, no convincing conceptual framework has yet been defined into which the role of these crabs can be identified and characterized. The attributes by which these abundant animals affect the microbial and biogeochemical functional diversity fit well into the concept of ecosystem engineering. The conceptualization of mangrove benthic communities within this framework is distinguished and documented by examples provided from the most recent literature on mangrove ecosystem functioning. It appears that the features and processes driving the engineering effects on distribution and activity of associated organisms operate differently for sesarmid and fiddler crabs. The most obvious and well-documented difference between engineering effects of the two types of crab seems to be associated with foraging. More attention must be devoted in the future to elucidate engineering aspects related to crab burrows in mangrove environments. Particularly comparative work on the burrow-dwelling life styles of the two types of crab is needed.

  14. CHEMICAL PROCESSES AND MODELING IN ECOSYSTEMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Trends in regulatory strategies require EPA to understand better chemical behavior in natural and impacted ecosystems and in biological systems to carry out the increasingly complex array of exposure and risk assessments needed to develop scientifically defensible regulations (GP...

  15. Biological Invasions Impact Ecosystem Properties and can Affect Climate Predictions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gonzalez-Meler, M.; Matamala, R.; Cook, D. R.; Graham, S.; Fan, Z.; Gomez-Casanovas, N.

    2012-12-01

    Climate change models vary widely in their predictions of the effects of climate forcing, in part because of difficulties in assigning sources of uncertainties and in simulating changes in the carbon source/sink status and climate-carbon cycle feedbacks of terrestrial ecosystems. We studied the impacts of vegetation and weather variations on carbon and energy fluxes at a restored tallgrass prairie in Illinois. The prairie was a strong carbon sink, despite a prolonged drought period and vegetation changes due to the presence of a non-native biennial plant. A model considering the combined effects of air temperature, precipitation, RH, incoming solar radiation, and vegetation was also developed and used to describe net ecosystem exchange for all years. The vegetation factor was represented in the model with summer albedo and/or NDVI. Results showed that the vegetation factor was more important than abiotic factors in describing changes in C and energy fluxes in ecosystems under disturbances. Changes from natives to a non-native forbs species had the strongest effect in reducing net ecosystem production and increasing sensible heat flux and albedo, which may result in positive feedbacks on warming. Here we show that non-native species invasions can alter the ecosystem sensitivity to climatic factors often construed in models.

  16. Affective Processes and Academic Achievement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Feshbach, Norma Deitch; Feshbach, Seymour

    1987-01-01

    Data indicate that for girls, affective dispositional factors (empathy, depressive affectivity, aggression, and self-concept) are intimately linked to cognitive development and academic achievement. (PCB)

  17. Asymmetric warming significantly affects net primary production, but not ecosystem carbon balances of forest and grassland ecosystems in northern China

    PubMed Central

    Su, Hongxin; Feng, Jinchao; Axmacher, Jan C.; Sang, Weiguo

    2015-01-01

    We combine the process-based ecosystem model (Biome-BGC) with climate change-scenarios based on both RegCM3 model outputs and historic observed trends to quantify differential effects of symmetric and asymmetric warming on ecosystem net primary productivity (NPP), heterotrophic respiration (Rh) and net ecosystem productivity (NEP) of six ecosystem types representing different climatic zones of northern China. Analysis of covariance shows that NPP is significant greater at most ecosystems under the various environmental change scenarios once temperature asymmetries are taken into consideration. However, these differences do not lead to significant differences in NEP, which indicates that asymmetry in climate change does not result in significant alterations of the overall carbon balance in the dominating forest or grassland ecosystems. Overall, NPP, Rh and NEP are regulated by highly interrelated effects of increases in temperature and atmospheric CO2 concentrations and precipitation changes, while the magnitude of these effects strongly varies across the six sites. Further studies underpinned by suitable experiments are nonetheless required to further improve the performance of ecosystem models and confirm the validity of these model predictions. This is crucial for a sound understanding of the mechanisms controlling the variability in asymmetric warming effects on ecosystem structure and functioning. PMID:25766381

  18. Asymmetric warming significantly affects net primary production, but not ecosystem carbon balances of forest and grassland ecosystems in northern China.

    PubMed

    Su, Hongxin; Feng, Jinchao; Axmacher, Jan C; Sang, Weiguo

    2015-01-01

    We combine the process-based ecosystem model (Biome-BGC) with climate change-scenarios based on both RegCM3 model outputs and historic observed trends to quantify differential effects of symmetric and asymmetric warming on ecosystem net primary productivity (NPP), heterotrophic respiration (Rh) and net ecosystem productivity (NEP) of six ecosystem types representing different climatic zones of northern China. Analysis of covariance shows that NPP is significant greater at most ecosystems under the various environmental change scenarios once temperature asymmetries are taken into consideration. However, these differences do not lead to significant differences in NEP, which indicates that asymmetry in climate change does not result in significant alterations of the overall carbon balance in the dominating forest or grassland ecosystems. Overall, NPP, Rh and NEP are regulated by highly interrelated effects of increases in temperature and atmospheric CO2 concentrations and precipitation changes, while the magnitude of these effects strongly varies across the six sites. Further studies underpinned by suitable experiments are nonetheless required to further improve the performance of ecosystem models and confirm the validity of these model predictions. This is crucial for a sound understanding of the mechanisms controlling the variability in asymmetric warming effects on ecosystem structure and functioning. PMID:25766381

  19. Asymmetric warming significantly affects net primary production, but not ecosystem carbon balances of forest and grassland ecosystems in northern China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Su, Hongxin; Feng, Jinchao; Axmacher, Jan C.; Sang, Weiguo

    2015-03-01

    We combine the process-based ecosystem model (Biome-BGC) with climate change-scenarios based on both RegCM3 model outputs and historic observed trends to quantify differential effects of symmetric and asymmetric warming on ecosystem net primary productivity (NPP), heterotrophic respiration (Rh) and net ecosystem productivity (NEP) of six ecosystem types representing different climatic zones of northern China. Analysis of covariance shows that NPP is significant greater at most ecosystems under the various environmental change scenarios once temperature asymmetries are taken into consideration. However, these differences do not lead to significant differences in NEP, which indicates that asymmetry in climate change does not result in significant alterations of the overall carbon balance in the dominating forest or grassland ecosystems. Overall, NPP, Rh and NEP are regulated by highly interrelated effects of increases in temperature and atmospheric CO2 concentrations and precipitation changes, while the magnitude of these effects strongly varies across the six sites. Further studies underpinned by suitable experiments are nonetheless required to further improve the performance of ecosystem models and confirm the validity of these model predictions. This is crucial for a sound understanding of the mechanisms controlling the variability in asymmetric warming effects on ecosystem structure and functioning.

  20. Biomass is the main driver of changes in ecosystem process rates during tropical forest succession.

    PubMed

    Lohbeck, Madelon; Poorter, Lourens; Martínez-Ramos, Miguel; Bongers, Frans

    2015-05-01

    Over half of the world's forests are disturbed, and the rate at which ecosystem processes recover after disturbance is important for the services these forests can provide. We analyze the drivers' underlying changes in rates of key ecosystem processes (biomass productivity, litter productivity, actual litter decomposition, and potential litter decomposition) during secondary succession after shifting cultivation in wet tropical forest of Mexico. We test the importance of three alternative drivers of ecosystem processes: vegetation biomass (vegetation quantity hypothesis), community-weighted trait mean (mass ratio hypothesis), and functional diversity (niche complementarity hypothesis) using structural equation modeling. This allows us to infer the relative importance of different mechanisms underlying ecosystem process recovery. Ecosystem process rates changed during succession, and the strongest driver was aboveground biomass for each of the processes. Productivity of aboveground stem biomass and leaf litter as well as actual litter decomposition increased with initial standing vegetation biomass, whereas potential litter decomposition decreased with standing biomass. Additionally, biomass productivity was positively affected by community-weighted mean of specific leaf area, and potential decomposition was positively affected by functional divergence, and negatively by community-weighted mean of leaf dry matter content. Our empirical results show that functional diversity and community-weighted means are of secondary importance for explaining changes in ecosystem process rates during tropical forest succession. Instead, simply, the amount of vegetation in a site is the major driver of changes, perhaps because there is a steep biomass buildup during succession that overrides more subtle effects of community functional properties on ecosystem processes. We recommend future studies in the field of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning to separate the effects of

  1. Ecosystem Warming Affects CO2 Flux in an Agricultural Soil

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Global warming seems likely based on present-day climate predictions. Our objective was to characterize and quantify the interactive effects of ecosystem warming (i.e., canopy temperature, TS), soil moisture content ('S) and microbial biomass (BM: bacteria, fungi) on the intra-row soil CO2 flux (FS)...

  2. How do land management practices affect net ecosystem CO2 exchange of an invasive plant infestation?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sonnentag, O.; Detto, M.; Runkle, B.; Kelly, M.; Baldocchi, D. D.

    2009-12-01

    Ecosystem gas and energy exchanges of invasive plant infestations under different land management practices have been subject of few studies and thus little is known. Our goal is to characterize seasonal changes in net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) through the processes of photosynthesis (GEP) and ecosystem respiration (Reco) of a grassland used as pasture yet infested by perennial pepperweed (Lepidium latifolium) in California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. We analyze eddy-covariance supported by environmental and canopy-scale hyperspectral reflectance measurements acquired in 2007-2009. Our study covers three summer drought periods with slightly different land management practices. Over the study period the site was subject to year-round grazing, and in 2008 the site was additionally mowed. Specific questions we address are a) how does pepperweed flowering affect GEP, b) does a mowing event affect NEE mainly through GEP or Reco, and c) can the combined effects of phenology and mowing on pepperweed NEE potentially be tracked using routinely applied remote sensing techniques? Preliminary results indicate that pepperweed flowering drastically decreases photosynthetic CO2 uptake due to shading by the dense arrangement of white flowers at the canopy top, causing the infestation to be almost CO2 neutral. In contrast, mowing causes the infestation to act as moderate net CO2 sink, mainly due to increased CO2 uptake during regrowth. We demonstrate that spectral regions other than commonly-used red and near-infrared might be more promising for pepperweed monitoring because of its spectral uniqueness during the flowering phase. Our results have important implications for land-use land-cover (LULC) change studies when biological invasions and their management alter ecosystem structure and functioning but not necessarily the respective LULC class.

  3. Regulation of ecosystem processes by arthropod communities

    SciTech Connect

    Seastedt, T.R.; Crossley, D.A. Jr.

    1983-09-01

    Arthropods or their activities regulate the amounts of forms of mass and nutrients in terrestrial ecosystems. Canopy arthropods have the largest impacts on mobile elements such as potassium, while soil detritivores control mineralization rates of less mobile elements such as nitrogen, phosphorus and calcium. Nominal (base-line) herbivory and detritivory combine to speed nutrient cycling and reduce standing crops of decaying plant materials. 42 references, 1 figure, 3 tables.

  4. Same pattern, different mechanism: Locking onto the role of key species in seafloor ecosystem process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woodin, Sarah Ann; Volkenborn, Nils; Pilditch, Conrad A.; Lohrer, Andrew M.; Wethey, David S.; Hewitt, Judi E.; Thrush, Simon F.

    2016-05-01

    Seafloor biodiversity is a key mediator of ecosystem functioning, but its role is often excluded from global budgets or simplified to black boxes in models. New techniques allow quantification of the behavior of animals living below the sediment surface and assessment of the ecosystem consequences of complex interactions, yielding a better understanding of the role of seafloor animals in affecting key processes like primary productivity. Combining predictions based on natural history, behavior of key benthic species and environmental context allow assessment of differences in functioning and process, even when the measured ecosystem property in different systems is similar. Data from three sedimentary systems in New Zealand illustrate this. Analysis of the behaviors of the infaunal ecosystem engineers in each system revealed three very different mechanisms driving ecosystem function: density and excretion, sediment turnover and surface rugosity, and hydraulic activities and porewater bioadvection. Integrative metrics of ecosystem function in some cases differentiate among the systems (gross primary production) and in others do not (photosynthetic efficiency). Analyses based on behaviors and activities revealed important ecosystem functional differences and can dramatically improve our ability to model the impact of stressors on ecosystem and global processes.

  5. Same pattern, different mechanism: Locking onto the role of key species in seafloor ecosystem process.

    PubMed

    Woodin, Sarah Ann; Volkenborn, Nils; Pilditch, Conrad A; Lohrer, Andrew M; Wethey, David S; Hewitt, Judi E; Thrush, Simon F

    2016-01-01

    Seafloor biodiversity is a key mediator of ecosystem functioning, but its role is often excluded from global budgets or simplified to black boxes in models. New techniques allow quantification of the behavior of animals living below the sediment surface and assessment of the ecosystem consequences of complex interactions, yielding a better understanding of the role of seafloor animals in affecting key processes like primary productivity. Combining predictions based on natural history, behavior of key benthic species and environmental context allow assessment of differences in functioning and process, even when the measured ecosystem property in different systems is similar. Data from three sedimentary systems in New Zealand illustrate this. Analysis of the behaviors of the infaunal ecosystem engineers in each system revealed three very different mechanisms driving ecosystem function: density and excretion, sediment turnover and surface rugosity, and hydraulic activities and porewater bioadvection. Integrative metrics of ecosystem function in some cases differentiate among the systems (gross primary production) and in others do not (photosynthetic efficiency). Analyses based on behaviors and activities revealed important ecosystem functional differences and can dramatically improve our ability to model the impact of stressors on ecosystem and global processes. PMID:27230562

  6. Same pattern, different mechanism: Locking onto the role of key species in seafloor ecosystem process

    PubMed Central

    Woodin, Sarah Ann; Volkenborn, Nils; Pilditch, Conrad A.; Lohrer, Andrew M.; Wethey, David S.; Hewitt, Judi E.; Thrush, Simon F.

    2016-01-01

    Seafloor biodiversity is a key mediator of ecosystem functioning, but its role is often excluded from global budgets or simplified to black boxes in models. New techniques allow quantification of the behavior of animals living below the sediment surface and assessment of the ecosystem consequences of complex interactions, yielding a better understanding of the role of seafloor animals in affecting key processes like primary productivity. Combining predictions based on natural history, behavior of key benthic species and environmental context allow assessment of differences in functioning and process, even when the measured ecosystem property in different systems is similar. Data from three sedimentary systems in New Zealand illustrate this. Analysis of the behaviors of the infaunal ecosystem engineers in each system revealed three very different mechanisms driving ecosystem function: density and excretion, sediment turnover and surface rugosity, and hydraulic activities and porewater bioadvection. Integrative metrics of ecosystem function in some cases differentiate among the systems (gross primary production) and in others do not (photosynthetic efficiency). Analyses based on behaviors and activities revealed important ecosystem functional differences and can dramatically improve our ability to model the impact of stressors on ecosystem and global processes. PMID:27230562

  7. The importance of plant genotype and contemporary evolution for terrestrial ecosystem processes.

    PubMed

    Fitzpatrick, Connor R; Agrawal, Anurag A; Basiliko, Nathan; Hastings, Amy P; Isaac, Marney E; Preston, Michael; Johnson, Marc T J

    2015-10-01

    Plant genetic variation and evolutionary dynamics are predicted to impact ecosystem processes but these effects are poorly understood. Here we test the hypothesis that plant genotype and contemporary evolution influence the flux of energy and nutrients through soil, which then feedback to affect seedling performance in subsequent generations. We conducted a multiyear field evolution experiment using the native biennial plant Oenothera biennis. This experiment was coupled with experimental assays to address our hypothesis and quantify the relative importance of evolutionary and ecological factors on multiple ecosystem processes. Plant genotype, contemporary evolution, spatial variation, and herbivory affected ecosystem processes (e.g., leaf decay, soil respiration, seedling performance, N cycling), but their relative importance varied between specific ecosystem variables. Insect herbivory and evolution also contributed to a feedback that affected seedling biomass of O. biennis in the next generation. Our results show that heritable variation among plant genotypes can be an important factor affecting local ecosystem processes, and while effects of contemporary evolution were detectable and sometimes strong, they were often contingent on other ecological, factors. PMID:26649385

  8. Local adaptation in Trinidadian guppies alters ecosystem processes.

    PubMed

    Bassar, Ronald D; Marshall, Michael C; López-Sepulcre, Andrés; Zandonà, Eugenia; Auer, Sonya K; Travis, Joseph; Pringle, Catherine M; Flecker, Alexander S; Thomas, Steven A; Fraser, Douglas F; Reznick, David N

    2010-02-23

    Theory suggests evolutionary change can significantly influence and act in tandem with ecological forces via ecological-evolutionary feedbacks. This theory assumes that significant evolutionary change occurs over ecologically relevant timescales and that phenotypes have differential effects on the environment. Here we test the hypothesis that local adaptation causes ecosystem structure and function to diverge. We demonstrate that populations of Trinidadian guppies (Poecilia reticulata), characterized by differences in phenotypic and population-level traits, differ in their impact on ecosystem properties. We report results from a replicated, common garden mesocosm experiment and show that differences between guppy phenotypes result in the divergence of ecosystem structure (algal, invertebrate, and detrital standing stocks) and function (gross primary productivity, leaf decomposition rates, and nutrient flux). These phenotypic effects are further modified by effects of guppy density. We evaluated the generality of these effects by replicating the experiment using guppies derived from two independent origins of the phenotype. Finally, we tested the ability of multiple guppy traits to explain observed differences in the mesocosms. Our findings demonstrate that evolution can significantly affect both ecosystem structure and function. The ecosystem differences reported here are consistent with patterns observed across natural streams and argue that guppies play a significant role in shaping these ecosystems. PMID:20133670

  9. Process-based Principles for Restoring Dynamic River Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pess, G. R.; Beechie, T. J.; Pollock, M. M.

    2006-12-01

    Process-based restoration focuses on re-establishing natural rates and magnitudes of geomorphological, hydrological, and biological processes that sustain biodiversity and biological productivity in dynamic river ecosystems. It contrasts with traditional restoration practices, which focus on creating specific habitat characteristics that meet perceived "good" or "minimum" habitat conditions or standards. Process-based restoration relies on the understanding that habitat-forming processes are dynamic and comprise a shifting mosaic of diverse habitats. Local animal populations or communities are adapted to this dynamic habitat mosaic. Fundamental principles underlying process-based restoration are: (1) restoration must address biophysical processes that drive ecosystem change, and (2) the scale of restoration must be relevant to the appropriate landscape and biological process scales. Restoration efforts that re-establish natural rates and magnitudes of system processes promote ecosystem recovery, and help avoid common pitfalls of traditional restoration practices such as creating habitats that are outside the range of a site's natural potential, fixing habitats in space and time, and building habitats that are ultimately overwhelmed by untreated or uncontrollable system drivers. Restoring such processes also allows dynamic riverine ecosystems to express their natural potential, which generates the natural range of habitat conditions to which biological communities are adapted. Non-point processes such as erosion often require restoration at the scale of watersheds to effectively restore river ecosystems, whereas reach-level processes such as the maintenance of connected floodplain habitats can be effective at smaller spatial scales. Flow restoration in regulated rivers should consider the full range of environmentally important flows (e.g., low flow to floods). Biological processes such as the life-history scales of migratory animals (e.g., anadromous salmon) may be

  10. The First Law of Thermodynamics for Ecosystems. Physical Processes in Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems, Thermodynamics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stevenson, R. D.

    These materials were designed to be used by life science students for instruction in the application of physical theory to ecosystem operation. Most modules contain computer programs which are built around a particular application of a physical process. This module and a comparison module are concerned with elementary concepts of thermodynamics as…

  11. Land use affects the net ecosystem CO2 exchange and its components in mountain grasslands

    PubMed Central

    Schmitt, M.; Bahn, M.; Wohlfahrt, G.; Tappeiner, U.; Cernusca, A.

    2011-01-01

    Changes in land use and management have been strongly affecting mountain grassland, however, their effects on the net ecosystem exchange of CO2 (NEE) and its components have not yet been well documented. We analysed chamber-based estimates of NEE, gross primary productivity (GPP), ecosystem respiration (R) and light use efficiency (LUE) of six mountain grasslands differing in land use and management, and thus site fertility, for the growing seasons of 2002 to 2008. The main findings of the study are that: (1) land use and management affected seasonal NEE, GPP and R, which all decreased from managed to unmanaged grasslands; (2) these changes were explained by differences in leaf area index (LAI), biomass and leaf-area-independent changes that were likely related to photosynthetic physiology; (3) diurnal variations of NEE were primarily controlled by photosynthetically active photon flux density and soil and air temperature; seasonal variations were associated with changes in LAI; (4) parameters of light response curves were generally closely related to each other, and the ratio of R at a reference temperature/ maximum GPP was nearly constant across the sites; (5) similarly to our study, maximum GPP and R for other grasslands on the globe decreased with decreasing land use intensity, while their ratio remained remarkably constant. We conclude that decreasing intensity of management and, in particular, abandonment of mountain grassland lead to a decrease in NEE and its component processes. While GPP and R are generally closely coupled during most of the growing season, GPP is more immediately and strongly affected by land management (mowing, grazing) and season. This suggests that management and growing season length, as well as their possible future changes, may play an important role for the annual C balance of mountain grassland. PMID:23293657

  12. Can plant phloem properties affect the link between ecosystem assimilation and respiration?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mencuccini, M.; Hölttä, T.; Sevanto, S.; Nikinmaa, E.

    2012-04-01

    Phloem transport of carbohydrates in plants under field conditions is currently not well understood. This is largely the result of the lack of techniques suitable for measuring phloem physiological properties continuously under field conditions. This lack of knowledge is currently hampering our efforts to link ecosystem-level processes of carbon fixation, allocation and use, especially belowground. On theoretical grounds, the properties of the transport pathway from canopy to roots must be important in affecting the link between carbon assimilation and respiration, but it is unclear whether their effect is partially or entirely masked by processes occurring in other parts of the ecosystem. One can also predict the characteristic time scales over which these effects should occur and, as consequence, predict whether the transfer of turgor and osmotic signals from the site of carbon assimilation to the sites of carbon use are likely to control respiration. We will present two sources of evidence suggesting that the properties of the phloem transport system may affect processes that are dependent on the supply of carbon substrate, such as root or soil respiration. Firstly, we will summarize the results of a literature survey on soil and ecosystem respiration where the speed of transfer of photosynthetic sugars from the plant canopy to the soil surface was determined. Estimates of the transfer speed could be grouped according to whether the study employed isotopic or canopy soil flux-based techniques. These two groups provided very different estimates of transfer times likely because transport of sucrose molecules, and pressure-concentration waves, in phloem differed. Secondly, we will argue that simultaneous measurements of bark and xylem diameters provide a novel tool to determine the continuous variations of phloem turgor in vivo in the field. We will present a model that interprets these changes in xylem and live bark diameters and present data testing the model

  13. Microbes as Engines of Ecosystem Function: When Does Community Structure Enhance Predictions of Ecosystem Processes?

    PubMed

    Graham, Emily B; Knelman, Joseph E; Schindlbacher, Andreas; Siciliano, Steven; Breulmann, Marc; Yannarell, Anthony; Beman, J M; Abell, Guy; Philippot, Laurent; Prosser, James; Foulquier, Arnaud; Yuste, Jorge C; Glanville, Helen C; Jones, Davey L; Angel, Roey; Salminen, Janne; Newton, Ryan J; Bürgmann, Helmut; Ingram, Lachlan J; Hamer, Ute; Siljanen, Henri M P; Peltoniemi, Krista; Potthast, Karin; Bañeras, Lluís; Hartmann, Martin; Banerjee, Samiran; Yu, Ri-Qing; Nogaro, Geraldine; Richter, Andreas; Koranda, Marianne; Castle, Sarah C; Goberna, Marta; Song, Bongkeun; Chatterjee, Amitava; Nunes, Olga C; Lopes, Ana R; Cao, Yiping; Kaisermann, Aurore; Hallin, Sara; Strickland, Michael S; Garcia-Pausas, Jordi; Barba, Josep; Kang, Hojeong; Isobe, Kazuo; Papaspyrou, Sokratis; Pastorelli, Roberta; Lagomarsino, Alessandra; Lindström, Eva S; Basiliko, Nathan; Nemergut, Diana R

    2016-01-01

    Microorganisms are vital in mediating the earth's biogeochemical cycles; yet, despite our rapidly increasing ability to explore complex environmental microbial communities, the relationship between microbial community structure and ecosystem processes remains poorly understood. Here, we address a fundamental and unanswered question in microbial ecology: 'When do we need to understand microbial community structure to accurately predict function?' We present a statistical analysis investigating the value of environmental data and microbial community structure independently and in combination for explaining rates of carbon and nitrogen cycling processes within 82 global datasets. Environmental variables were the strongest predictors of process rates but left 44% of variation unexplained on average, suggesting the potential for microbial data to increase model accuracy. Although only 29% of our datasets were significantly improved by adding information on microbial community structure, we observed improvement in models of processes mediated by narrow phylogenetic guilds via functional gene data, and conversely, improvement in models of facultative microbial processes via community diversity metrics. Our results also suggest that microbial diversity can strengthen predictions of respiration rates beyond microbial biomass parameters, as 53% of models were improved by incorporating both sets of predictors compared to 35% by microbial biomass alone. Our analysis represents the first comprehensive analysis of research examining links between microbial community structure and ecosystem function. Taken together, our results indicate that a greater understanding of microbial communities informed by ecological principles may enhance our ability to predict ecosystem process rates relative to assessments based on environmental variables and microbial physiology. PMID:26941732

  14. Nutrient Enrichment and Food Web Composition Affect Ecosystem Metabolism in an Experimental Seagrass Habitat

    PubMed Central

    Spivak, Amanda C.; Canuel, Elizabeth A.; Duffy, J. Emmett; Richardson, J. Paul

    2009-01-01

    Background Food web composition and resource levels can influence ecosystem properties such as productivity and elemental cycles. In particular, herbivores occupy a central place in food webs as the species richness and composition of this trophic level may simultaneously influence the transmission of resource and predator effects to higher and lower trophic levels, respectively. Yet, these interactions are poorly understood. Methodology/Principal Findings Using an experimental seagrass mesocosm system, we factorially manipulated water column nutrient concentrations, food chain length, and diversity of crustacean grazers to address two questions: (1) Does food web composition modulate the effects of nutrient enrichment on plant and grazer biomasses and stoichiometry? (2) Do ecosystem fluxes of dissolved oxygen and nutrients more closely reflect above-ground biomass and community structure or sediment processes? Nutrient enrichment and grazer presence generally had strong effects on biomass accumulation, stoichiometry, and ecosystem fluxes, whereas predator effects were weaker or absent. Nutrient enrichment had little effect on producer biomass or net ecosystem production but strongly increased seagrass nutrient content, ecosystem flux rates, and grazer secondary production, suggesting that enhanced production was efficiently transferred from producers to herbivores. Gross ecosystem production (oxygen evolution) correlated positively with above-ground plant biomass, whereas inorganic nutrient fluxes were unrelated to plant or grazer biomasses, suggesting dominance by sediment microbial processes. Finally, grazer richness significantly stabilized ecosystem processes, as predators decreased ecosystem production and respiration only in the zero- and one- species grazer treatments. Conclusions/Significance Overall, our results indicate that consumer presence and species composition strongly influence ecosystem responses to nutrient enrichment, and that increasing

  15. Forest Ecosystem Processes at the Watershed Scale: Ecosystem services, feedback and evolution in developing mountainous catchments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Band, Larry

    2010-05-01

    significant increase in population in the Southern Appalachians, with new building of second homes in steep headwaters, requiring significant expansion in high altitude roads, in contrast with traditional valley bottom development. With additional increases in hydrologic extremes (heavy precipitation and drought), and progressive changes in forest composition there has been increases in hazard from flash flooding, landslide activity and degraded water quality. The evaluation of integrated watershed impacts of the expected changes in climate and land management requires an interdisciplinary approach including direct feedbacks between ecological, hydrological, geomorphic and atmospheric processes within the framework of an adapting social system. Advances in this type of interdisciplinary research require a network of ecohydrologic observatories generating long term, multi-dimensional data, and a science community working across the interface of multiple fields. Adding individual and institutional behavior as an input or interactive component of watershed ecosystems remains a challenge that spans ecological, hydrological and social science.

  16. Carbon exchange between ecosystems and atmosphere in the Czech Republic is affected by climate factors.

    PubMed

    Marek, Michal V; Janouš, Dalibor; Taufarová, Klára; Havránková, Kateřina; Pavelka, Marian; Kaplan, Věroslav; Marková, Irena

    2011-05-01

    By comparing five ecosystem types in the Czech Republic over several years, we recorded the highest carbon sequestration potential in an evergreen Norway spruce forest (100%) and an agroecosystem (65%), followed by European beech forest (25%) and a wetland ecosystem (20%). Because of a massive ecosystem respiration, the final carbon gain of the grassland was negative. Climate was shown to be an important factor of carbon uptake by ecosystems: by varying the growing season length (a 22-d longer season in 2005 than in 2007 increased carbon sink by 13%) or by the effect of short- term synoptic situations (e.g. summer hot and dry days reduced net carbon storage by 58% relative to hot and wet days). Carbon uptake is strongly affected by the ontogeny and a production strategy which is demonstrated by the comparison of seasonal course of carbon uptake between coniferous (Norway spruce) and deciduous (European beech) stands. PMID:21345558

  17. Turbulence and Fluid Flow: Perspectives. Physical Processes in Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems, Transport Processes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Simpson, James R.

    This module is part of a series on Physical Processes in Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems. The materials were designed to be used by life science students for instruction in the application of physical theory to ecosystem operation. Most modules contain computer programs which are built around a particular application of a physical process.…

  18. Multiple dimensions of biodiversity and ecosystem processes: Exploring the joint influence of intraspecific, specific and interspecific diversity.

    PubMed

    Eduardo, Anderson A

    2016-09-01

    The positive influence of biodiversity on ecosystem processes was the focus of intense debate in ecology throughout the recent decades, becoming accepted and treated as a new paradigm in contemporary ecology. However, the available literature in this research field extensively explores species richness as an unidimensional measure for biodiversity. The present study explores how different components of biological diversity (number of genotypes, species, and functional groups) can influence an ecosystem process (biomass fixation). A mathematical model was employed and the simulation results showed that species richness per se does not affect the ecosystem productivity. Genotypic richness affected positively the ecosystem, but only if the genotypes are functionally complementary. The functional groups richness always affected positively the simulated ecosystem process. When together, richness at the different components of biological diversity showed stronger effect on ecosystem, and the scenarios with high species, genotypes and functional groups richness were the most productive ones. The results also allowed to observe that the ecosystems which are diverse in terms of functional groups and genotypes can be less susceptible to species loss. Finally, it is argued that a multiple dimension approach to biodiversity is relevant to advance the current knowledge on the relation between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. PMID:27287340

  19. Thermodynamics of Irreversible Processes. Physical Processes in Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems, Transport Processes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Levin, Michael; Gallucci, V. F.

    These materials were designed to be used by life science students for instruction in the application of physical theory to ecosystem operation. Most modules contain computer programs which are built around a particular application of a physical process. This module describes the application of irreversible thermodynamics to biology. It begins with…

  20. Geologic processes influence the effects of mining on aquatic ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schmidt, Travis S.; Clements, William H.; Wanty, Richard B.; Verplanck, Philip L.; Church, Stanley E.; San Juan, Carma A.; Fey, David L.; Rockwell, Barnaby W.; DeWitt, Ed H.; Klein, Terry L.

    2012-01-01

    Geologic processes strongly influence water and sediment quality in aquatic ecosystems but rarely are geologic principles incorporated into routine biomonitoring studies. We test if elevated concentrations of metals in water and sediment are restricted to streams downstream of mines or areas that may discharge mine wastes. We surveyed 198 catchments classified as “historically mined” or “unmined,” and based on mineral-deposit criteria, to determine whether water and sediment quality were influenced by naturally occurring mineralized rock, by historical mining, or by a combination of both. By accounting for different geologic sources of metals to the environment, we were able to distinguish aquatic ecosystems limited by metals derived from natural processes from those due to mining. Elevated concentrations of metals in water and sediment were not restricted to mined catchments; depauperate aquatic communities were found in unmined catchments. The type and intensity of hydrothermal alteration and the mineral deposit type were important determinants of water and sediment quality as well as the aquatic community in both mined and unmined catchments. This study distinguished the effects of different rock types and geologic sources of metals on ecosystems by incorporating basic geologic processes into reference and baseline site selection, resulting in a refined assessment. Our results indicate that biomonitoring studies should account for natural sources of metals in some geologic environments as contributors to the effect of mines on aquatic ecosystems, recognizing that in mining-impacted drainages there may have been high pre-mining background metal concentrations.

  1. Physical processes mediating climate impacts in shelf sea ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holt, Jason; Schrum, Corinna; Cannaby, Heather; Allen, Icarus; Artioli, Yuri; Butenschon, Momme; Daewel, Ute; Fach, Bettina; Pushpadas, Dhanya; Salihoglu, Baris; Wakelin, Sarah

    2013-04-01

    How global scale climate change might impact coastal and shelf seas is far from straightforward. A myriad of physical processes can potentially act as vectors transferring the larger scale oceanic and atmospheric variability and change to shelf sea physics, biogeochemistry and lower trophic level ecosystems. These act on a wide range of time scales, being strongly dependent on the prevailing conditions of an individual shelf sea basin. Examples of the physical processes include upper ocean warming, seasonal/permanent stratification, wind mixing, convective mixing, light climate, terrestrial input, circulation and ocean-shelf exchange. These potentially impact ecosystem processes such as primary production, plankton community structured, bloom timing, and mid-water production. However, different processes often act in a different sense and are not necessarily additive, leading to damping or amplification effects. During the MEECE project (www.meece.eu) we conducted a series of coordinated downscaled coupled physics-ecosystem model experiments to explore these issues. Here, we review the prevailing physical processes, contrasting five very different shelf sea regions: North Sea, Celtic seas, Baltic Sea, Black sea and Barents Sea, using results from three different model systems: POLCOMS-ERSEM, ECOSMO, BIMS-ECO. Using this ensemble of simulations, along with process sensitivity studies and multiple forcing studies, we are able to identify which physical processes are important in which region, and how they interact. This builds up a picture of contrasting vulnerability of these regions to different vectors of change.

  2. Plant Species and Functional Group Combinations Affect Green Roof Ecosystem Functions

    PubMed Central

    Lundholm, Jeremy; MacIvor, J. Scott; MacDougall, Zachary; Ranalli, Melissa

    2010-01-01

    Background Green roofs perform ecosystem services such as summer roof temperature reduction and stormwater capture that directly contribute to lower building energy use and potential economic savings. These services are in turn related to ecosystem functions performed by the vegetation layer such as radiation reflection and transpiration, but little work has examined the role of plant species composition and diversity in improving these functions. Methodology/Principal Findings We used a replicated modular extensive (shallow growing- medium) green roof system planted with monocultures or mixtures containing one, three or five life-forms, to quantify two ecosystem services: summer roof cooling and water capture. We also measured the related ecosystem properties/processes of albedo, evapotranspiration, and the mean and temporal variability of aboveground biomass over four months. Mixtures containing three or five life-form groups, simultaneously optimized several green roof ecosystem functions, outperforming monocultures and single life-form groups, but there was much variation in performance depending on which life-forms were present in the three life-form mixtures. Some mixtures outperformed the best monocultures for water capture, evapotranspiration, and an index combining both water capture and temperature reductions. Combinations of tall forbs, grasses and succulents simultaneously optimized a range of ecosystem performance measures, thus the main benefit of including all three groups was not to maximize any single process but to perform a variety of functions well. Conclusions/Significance Ecosystem services from green roofs can be improved by planting certain life-form groups in combination, directly contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies. The strong performance by certain mixtures of life-forms, especially tall forbs, grasses and succulents, warrants further investigation into niche complementarity or facilitation as mechanisms

  3. Small but powerful: top predator local extinction affects ecosystem structure and function in an intermittent stream.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Lozano, Pablo; Verkaik, Iraima; Rieradevall, Maria; Prat, Narcís

    2015-01-01

    Top predator loss is a major global problem, with a current trend in biodiversity loss towards high trophic levels that modifies most ecosystems worldwide. Most research in this area is focused on large-bodied predators, despite the high extinction risk of small-bodied freshwater fish that often act as apex consumers. Consequently, it remains unknown if intermittent streams are affected by the consequences of top-predators' extirpations. The aim of our research was to determine how this global problem affects intermittent streams and, in particular, if the loss of a small-bodied top predator (1) leads to a 'mesopredator release', affects primary consumers and changes whole community structures, and (2) triggers a cascade effect modifying the ecosystem function. To address these questions, we studied the top-down effects of a small endangered fish species, Barbus meridionalis (the Mediterranean barbel), conducting an enclosure/exclosure mesocosm experiment in an intermittent stream where B. meridionalis became locally extinct following a wildfire. We found that top predator absence led to 'mesopredator release', and also to 'prey release' despite intraguild predation, which contrasts with traditional food web theory. In addition, B. meridionalis extirpation changed whole macroinvertebrate community composition and increased total macroinvertebrate density. Regarding ecosystem function, periphyton primary production decreased in apex consumer absence. In this study, the apex consumer was functionally irreplaceable; its local extinction led to the loss of an important functional role that resulted in major changes to the ecosystem's structure and function. This study evidences that intermittent streams can be affected by the consequences of apex consumers' extinctions, and that the loss of small-bodied top predators can lead to large ecosystem changes. We recommend the reintroduction of small-bodied apex consumers to systems where they have been extirpated, to restore

  4. How does vineyard management intensity affect ecosystem services and disservices - insights from a meta-analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Winter, Silvia; Zaller, Johann G.; Kratschmer, Sophie; Pachinger, Bärbel; Strauss, Peter; Bauer, Thomas; Paredes, Daniel; Gómez, José A.; Guzmán, Gema; Landa, Blanca; Nicolai, Annegret; Burel, Francoise; Cluzeau, Daniel; Popescu, Daniela; Bunea, Claudiu-Ioan; Potthoff, Martin; Guernion, Muriel; Batáry, Péter

    2016-04-01

    Viticultural agro-ecosystems provide a range of different ecosystem services which are affected by management decisions of winegrowers. At the global scale, vineyards are often high intensity agricultural systems with bare soil or inter-row vegetation consisting of only a few plant species. These systems primarily aim at optimizing wine production by reducing competition for water and nutrients between grapevines and weeds and by preventing the outbreak of pests and diseases. At the same time, this kind of management is often associated with ecosystem disservices such as high rates of soil erosion, degradation of soil structure and fertility, contamination of groundwater and decline of biodiversity. Recently, several initiatives across the world tried to overcome detrimental effects of that management style by creating biodiversity friendly vineyards. The consequences of establishing divers cover crop mixes or tolerating spontaneous vegetation in vineyards for ecosystem services (including yield) overstretching local case studies has not been investigated yet. This meta-analysis will provide an overview of all published studies comparing the effects of different vineyard management practices on a range of different ecosystem services like biodiversity, pest control, pollination, soil conservation and carbon sequestration. The aggregated effect size will point out which management measures can provide the best overall net sum of ecosystem services. This meta-analysis is part of the transdisciplinary BiodivERsA project VineDivers and will ultimately lead into management and policy recommendations for various stakeholder groups engaged in viticulture.

  5. Microbes as Engines of Ecosystem Function: When Does Community Structure Enhance Predictions of Ecosystem Processes?

    PubMed Central

    Graham, Emily B.; Knelman, Joseph E.; Schindlbacher, Andreas; Siciliano, Steven; Breulmann, Marc; Yannarell, Anthony; Beman, J. M.; Abell, Guy; Philippot, Laurent; Prosser, James; Foulquier, Arnaud; Yuste, Jorge C.; Glanville, Helen C.; Jones, Davey L.; Angel, Roey; Salminen, Janne; Newton, Ryan J.; Bürgmann, Helmut; Ingram, Lachlan J.; Hamer, Ute; Siljanen, Henri M. P.; Peltoniemi, Krista; Potthast, Karin; Bañeras, Lluís; Hartmann, Martin; Banerjee, Samiran; Yu, Ri-Qing; Nogaro, Geraldine; Richter, Andreas; Koranda, Marianne; Castle, Sarah C.; Goberna, Marta; Song, Bongkeun; Chatterjee, Amitava; Nunes, Olga C.; Lopes, Ana R.; Cao, Yiping; Kaisermann, Aurore; Hallin, Sara; Strickland, Michael S.; Garcia-Pausas, Jordi; Barba, Josep; Kang, Hojeong; Isobe, Kazuo; Papaspyrou, Sokratis; Pastorelli, Roberta; Lagomarsino, Alessandra; Lindström, Eva S.; Basiliko, Nathan; Nemergut, Diana R.

    2016-01-01

    Microorganisms are vital in mediating the earth’s biogeochemical cycles; yet, despite our rapidly increasing ability to explore complex environmental microbial communities, the relationship between microbial community structure and ecosystem processes remains poorly understood. Here, we address a fundamental and unanswered question in microbial ecology: ‘When do we need to understand microbial community structure to accurately predict function?’ We present a statistical analysis investigating the value of environmental data and microbial community structure independently and in combination for explaining rates of carbon and nitrogen cycling processes within 82 global datasets. Environmental variables were the strongest predictors of process rates but left 44% of variation unexplained on average, suggesting the potential for microbial data to increase model accuracy. Although only 29% of our datasets were significantly improved by adding information on microbial community structure, we observed improvement in models of processes mediated by narrow phylogenetic guilds via functional gene data, and conversely, improvement in models of facultative microbial processes via community diversity metrics. Our results also suggest that microbial diversity can strengthen predictions of respiration rates beyond microbial biomass parameters, as 53% of models were improved by incorporating both sets of predictors compared to 35% by microbial biomass alone. Our analysis represents the first comprehensive analysis of research examining links between microbial community structure and ecosystem function. Taken together, our results indicate that a greater understanding of microbial communities informed by ecological principles may enhance our ability to predict ecosystem process rates relative to assessments based on environmental variables and microbial physiology. PMID:26941732

  6. Biotic Processes Regulating the Carbon Balance of Desert Ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    R. S. Nowak; J. Arnone; L. Fenstermaker; and S. D. Smith

    2005-07-26

    This project provided the funding to operate and maintain the Nevada Desert FACE Facility. This support funds the CO{sub 2}, system repairs and maintenance, basic physical and biological site information, and personnel that are essential for the experiment to continue. They have continued to assess the effects of elevated CO{sub 2} on three key processes: (1) leaf- to plant-level responses of desert vegetation to elevated atmospheric CO{sub 2}; (2) ecosystem-level responses; and (3) integration of plant and ecosystem processes to understand carbon balance of deserts. The focus is the seminal interactions among atmospheric CO{sub 2}, water, and nitrogen that drive desert responses to elevated CO{sub 2} and explicitly address processes that occur across scales (biological, spatial, and temporal).

  7. Microbes as engines of ecosystem function: When does community structure enhance predictions of ecosystem processes?

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Graham, Emily B.; Knelman, Joseph E.; Schindlbacher, Andreas; Siciliano, Steven; Breulmann, Marc; Yannarell, Anthony; Beman, J. M.; Abell, Guy; Philippot, Laurent; Prosser, James; et al

    2016-02-24

    In this study, microorganisms are vital in mediating the earth’s biogeochemical cycles; yet, despite our rapidly increasing ability to explore complex environmental microbial communities, the relationship between microbial community structure and ecosystem processes remains poorly understood. Here, we address a fundamental and unanswered question in microbial ecology: ‘When do we need to understand microbial community structure to accurately predict function?’ We present a statistical analysis investigating the value of environmental data and microbial community structure independently and in combination for explaining rates of carbon and nitrogen cycling processes within 82 global datasets. Environmental variables were the strongest predictors of processmore » rates but left 44% of variation unexplained on average, suggesting the potential for microbial data to increase model accuracy. Although only 29% of our datasets were significantly improved by adding information on microbial community structure, we observed improvement in models of processes mediated by narrow phylogenetic guilds via functional gene data, and conversely, improvement in models of facultative microbial processes via community diversity metrics. Our results also suggest that microbial diversity can strengthen predictions of respiration rates beyond microbial biomass parameters, as 53% of models were improved by incorporating both sets of predictors compared to 35% by microbial biomass alone. Our analysis represents the first comprehensive analysis of research examining links between microbial community structure and ecosystem function. Taken together, our results indicate that a greater understanding of microbial communities informed by ecological principles may enhance our ability to predict ecosystem process rates relative to assessments based on environmental variables and microbial physiology.« less

  8. Biological Production in Lakes. Physical Processes in Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems, Ecological Processes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Walters, R. A.; Carey, G. F.

    These materials were designed to be used by life science students for instruction in the application of physical theory to ecosystem operation. Most modules contain computer programs which are built around a particular application of a physical process. Primary production in aquatic ecosystems is carried out by phytoplankton, microscopic plants…

  9. Microbial communities, processes and functions in acid mine drainage ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Chen, Lin-Xing; Huang, Li-Nan; Méndez-García, Celia; Kuang, Jia-Liang; Hua, Zheng-Shuang; Liu, Jun; Shu, Wen-Sheng

    2016-04-01

    Acid mine drainage (AMD) is generated from the oxidative dissolution of metal sulfides when water and oxygen are available largely due to human mining activities. This process can be accelerated by indigenous microorganisms. In the last several decades, culture-dependent researches have uncovered and validated the roles of AMD microorganisms in metal sulfides oxidation and acid generation processes, and culture-independent studies have largely revealed the diversity and metabolic potentials and activities of AMD communities, leading towards a full understanding of the microbial diversity, functions and interactions in AMD ecosystems. This review describes the diversity of microorganisms and their functions in AMD ecosystems, and discusses their biotechnological applications in biomining and AMD bioremediation according to their capabilities. PMID:26921733

  10. Small but Powerful: Top Predator Local Extinction Affects Ecosystem Structure and Function in an Intermittent Stream

    PubMed Central

    Rodríguez-Lozano, Pablo; Verkaik, Iraima; Rieradevall, Maria; Prat, Narcís

    2015-01-01

    Top predator loss is a major global problem, with a current trend in biodiversity loss towards high trophic levels that modifies most ecosystems worldwide. Most research in this area is focused on large-bodied predators, despite the high extinction risk of small-bodied freshwater fish that often act as apex consumers. Consequently, it remains unknown if intermittent streams are affected by the consequences of top-predators’ extirpations. The aim of our research was to determine how this global problem affects intermittent streams and, in particular, if the loss of a small-bodied top predator (1) leads to a ‘mesopredator release’, affects primary consumers and changes whole community structures, and (2) triggers a cascade effect modifying the ecosystem function. To address these questions, we studied the top-down effects of a small endangered fish species, Barbus meridionalis (the Mediterranean barbel), conducting an enclosure/exclosure mesocosm experiment in an intermittent stream where B. meridionalis became locally extinct following a wildfire. We found that top predator absence led to ‘mesopredator release’, and also to ‘prey release’ despite intraguild predation, which contrasts with traditional food web theory. In addition, B. meridionalis extirpation changed whole macroinvertebrate community composition and increased total macroinvertebrate density. Regarding ecosystem function, periphyton primary production decreased in apex consumer absence. In this study, the apex consumer was functionally irreplaceable; its local extinction led to the loss of an important functional role that resulted in major changes to the ecosystem’s structure and function. This study evidences that intermittent streams can be affected by the consequences of apex consumers’ extinctions, and that the loss of small-bodied top predators can lead to large ecosystem changes. We recommend the reintroduction of small-bodied apex consumers to systems where they have been

  11. Climate Extremes and Land-Use Change: Effects on Ecosystem Processes and Services

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bahn, Michael; Erb, Karlheinz; Hasibeder, Roland; Mayr, Stefan; Niedertscheider, Maria; Oberhuber, Walter; Tappeiner, Ulrike; Tasser, Erich; Viovy, Nicolas; Wieser, Gerhard

    2016-04-01

    Extreme climatic events, in particular droughts and heatwaves, have significant impacts on ecosystem carbon and water cycles and a range of related ecosystem services. It is expected that in the coming decades the return intervals and severities of extreme droughts will increase substantially and may result in the passing of thresholds of ecosystem functioning, potentially causing legacy effects, which are so far poorly understood. Observational evidence suggests that different land cover types (forest, grassland) are differently influenced by extreme drought, but there is a lack of knowledge whether and how future, increasingly severe climate extremes will affect their concurrent and lagged responses, as well as land-use decisions determining future shifts in land cover. The ClimLUC project aims to understand how extreme summer drought affects carbon and water dynamics of mountain ecosystems under different land uses, and to analyse implications for ecosystem service provisioning. Overall, we hypothesize that land-use change alters the effects of extreme summer drought on ecosystem processes and the related services, grassland responding more rapidly and strongly but being more resilient to extreme drought than forest. To address the aims and hypotheses, we will 1) test experimentally how (a) a managed, (b) an abandoned mountain grassland and (c) an adjacent subalpine forest respond to a progressive extreme drought and will analyse threshold responses of carbon and water dynamics and their implications for ecosystem services (timber and fodder production, carbon sequestration, water provisioning); 2) quantify carry-over effects of the extreme event on ecosystem processes and services; 3) project and attribute future carbon and water cycle responses to extreme drought and related socio-economic changes, based on a process-based dynamic general vegetation model; 4) analyse the interrelation between land-use changes and the occurrence and severity of past and future

  12. Hydrology modifies ecosystem responses to warming through interactions between soil, leaf and canopy processes in a high Arctic ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maseyk, K. S.; Welker, J. M.; Lett, C.; Czimczik, C. I.; Lupascu, M.; Seibt, U. H.

    2013-12-01

    . Net carbon and water fluxes in the elevated temperature plots were similar to the control plots, as enhanced soil respiration offset the increased photosynthetic uptake. The T2 plants also had the highest leaf N content and specific leaf area (SLA), whereas watering, both in combination with higher temperatures and alone, reduced leaf SLA and leaf N relative to control plots. Warming increases soil N availability, but this is allocated differently depending on the precipitation regime. Where water limitation prevents increased canopy development the plants direct the N towards increasing the photosynthetic capacity of larger, thinner leaves, increasing leaf-level light use efficiency. However, with additional water, the distribution of N over a larger total leaf area results in overall greater productivity gains. Hydrology clearly modifies the response to warming in high Arctic ecosystems, through soil-plant interactions affecting both leaf and canopy scale processes. Our results provide a unique data set with which to parameterize and test models of ecosystem responses in the coming century.

  13. Scaling and predicting solute transport processes in riverine ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gonzalez-Pinzon, R.; Haggerty, R.; Camacho Botero, L. A.

    2012-12-01

    In the last three decades, research on solute transport and nutrient processing has revealed complex interactions between landscapes and stream ecosystems, and numerous attempts to scale and predict these processes have been primarily limited by the difficulty of measuring and extrapolating hydrodynamic and geomorphic characteristics. We hypothesize that there should be predictable patterns in the way that streams interact with their landscapes, because those interactions are in the form of energy, mass and momentum, which are conservative and interrelated properties. Therefore, despite local hydrogeomorphic characteristics define the actual extent of solute transport processes in a given riverine ecosystem, the physical imprints marked-up in breakthrough curves (BTCs) should have scaling properties. To evaluate our hypothesis we created an extensive database that includes 133 BTCs from conservative tracer experiments conducted under different hydrologic conditions (1 lt/s to 1197 m3/s), different experimental conditions (10s of meters to 10s of kilometers), different geographic positions (South and North America, Europe, Australia, Antarctica), and different types of lotic environments, i.e., urban manmade channels, forested headwater streams, desert-like streams, hyporheic wells, and major rivers. We investigated the existence of patterns in conservative solute transport using a model-independent approach, i.e., temporal moments of the histories of tracer experiments. Our results show that the normalized first absolute moment is correlated with the second and third moments with R2>0.99 for all riverine ecosystems. Most importantly, the first central temporal moment of the distributions (mean travel time) is correlated with the second (variance) with an R2>0.93, and the correlation between the second central moment and the third central moment (skewness) takes the form of the coefficient of skewness (CSK) with an R2>0.98, defining a statistically averaged CSK= 1

  14. Affective processing in bilingual speakers: disembodied cognition?

    PubMed

    Pavlenko, Aneta

    2012-01-01

    A recent study by Keysar, Hayakawa, and An (2012) suggests that "thinking in a foreign language" may reduce decision biases because a foreign language provides a greater emotional distance than a native tongue. The possibility of such "disembodied" cognition is of great interest for theories of affect and cognition and for many other areas of psychological theory and practice, from clinical and forensic psychology to marketing, but first this claim needs to be properly evaluated. The purpose of this review is to examine the findings of clinical, introspective, cognitive, psychophysiological, and neuroimaging studies of affective processing in bilingual speakers in order to identify converging patterns of results, to evaluate the claim about "disembodied cognition," and to outline directions for future inquiry. The findings to date reveal two interrelated processing effects. First-language (L1) advantage refers to increased automaticity of affective processing in the L1 and heightened electrodermal reactivity to L1 emotion-laden words. Second-language (L2) advantage refers to decreased automaticity of affective processing in the L2, which reduces interference effects and lowers electrodermal reactivity to negative emotional stimuli. The differences in L1 and L2 affective processing suggest that in some bilingual speakers, in particular late bilinguals and foreign language users, respective languages may be differentially embodied, with the later learned language processed semantically but not affectively. This difference accounts for the reduction of framing biases in L2 processing in the study by Keysar et al. (2012). The follow-up discussion identifies the limits of the findings to date in terms of participant populations, levels of processing, and types of stimuli, puts forth alternative explanations of the documented effects, and articulates predictions to be tested in future research. PMID:23163422

  15. Soil restoration with organic amendments: linking cellular functionality and ecosystem processes

    PubMed Central

    Bastida, F.; Selevsek, N.; Torres, I. F.; Hernández, T.; García, C.

    2015-01-01

    A hot topic in recent decades, the application of organic amendments to arid-degraded soils has been shown to benefit microbially-mediated processes. However, despite the importance of soils for global sustainability, a gap has not been addressed yet in soil science: is there any connection between ecosystem-community processes, cellular functionality, and microbial lifestyles (i.e. oligotrophy-copiotrophy) in restored soils? Together with classical ecosystem indicators (fatty-acids, extracellular-enzyme activities, basal respiration), state-of-the-art metaproteomics was applied to fill this gap in a model-restoration experiment initiated 10-years ago by the addition of sewage-sludge and compost. Organic amendment strongly impacted ecosystem processes. Furthermore, the type of material used induced differences in the cellular functionalities through variations in the percentages of proteins involved in translation, transcription, energy production and C-fixation. We conclude that the long-term impact of organic restoration goes beyond ecosystem processes and affects cellular functionalities and phyla-lifestyles coupled with differences in microbial-community structures. PMID:26503516

  16. Soil restoration with organic amendments: linking cellular functionality and ecosystem processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bastida, F.; Selevsek, N.; Torres, I. F.; Hernández, T.; García, C.

    2015-10-01

    A hot topic in recent decades, the application of organic amendments to arid-degraded soils has been shown to benefit microbially-mediated processes. However, despite the importance of soils for global sustainability, a gap has not been addressed yet in soil science: is there any connection between ecosystem-community processes, cellular functionality, and microbial lifestyles (i.e. oligotrophy-copiotrophy) in restored soils? Together with classical ecosystem indicators (fatty-acids, extracellular-enzyme activities, basal respiration), state-of-the-art metaproteomics was applied to fill this gap in a model-restoration experiment initiated 10-years ago by the addition of sewage-sludge and compost. Organic amendment strongly impacted ecosystem processes. Furthermore, the type of material used induced differences in the cellular functionalities through variations in the percentages of proteins involved in translation, transcription, energy production and C-fixation. We conclude that the long-term impact of organic restoration goes beyond ecosystem processes and affects cellular functionalities and phyla-lifestyles coupled with differences in microbial-community structures.

  17. Soil restoration with organic amendments: linking cellular functionality and ecosystem processes.

    PubMed

    Bastida, F; Selevsek, N; Torres, I F; Hernández, T; García, C

    2015-01-01

    A hot topic in recent decades, the application of organic amendments to arid-degraded soils has been shown to benefit microbially-mediated processes. However, despite the importance of soils for global sustainability, a gap has not been addressed yet in soil science: is there any connection between ecosystem-community processes, cellular functionality, and microbial lifestyles (i.e. oligotrophy-copiotrophy) in restored soils? Together with classical ecosystem indicators (fatty-acids, extracellular-enzyme activities, basal respiration), state-of-the-art metaproteomics was applied to fill this gap in a model-restoration experiment initiated 10-years ago by the addition of sewage-sludge and compost. Organic amendment strongly impacted ecosystem processes. Furthermore, the type of material used induced differences in the cellular functionalities through variations in the percentages of proteins involved in translation, transcription, energy production and C-fixation. We conclude that the long-term impact of organic restoration goes beyond ecosystem processes and affects cellular functionalities and phyla-lifestyles coupled with differences in microbial-community structures. PMID:26503516

  18. Ecohydrologic Modeling of Hillslope Scale Processes in Dryland Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Franz, T. E.; King, E. G.; Lester, A.; Caylor, K. K.; Nordbotten, J.; Celia, M. A.; Rodriguez-Iturbe, I.

    2008-12-01

    Dryland ecosystem processes are governed by complex interactions between the atmosphere, soil, and vegetation that are tightly coupled through the mass balance of water. At the scale of individual hillslopes, mass balance of water is dominated by mechanisms of water redistribution which require spatially explicit representation. Fully-resolved physical models of surface and subsurface processes require numerical routines that are not trivial to solve for the spatial (hillslope) and temporal (many plant generations) scales of ecohydrologic interest. In order to reduce model complexity, we have used small-scale field data to derive empirical surface flux terms for representative patches (bare soil, grass, and tree) in a dryland ecosystem of central Kenya. The model is coupled spatially in the subsurface by an analytical solution to the Boussinesq equation for a sloping slab. The semi-analytical model is spatially explicit driven by pulses of precipitation over a simulation period that represents many plant generations. By examining long-term model dynamics, we are able to investigate the principles of self-organization and optimization (maximization of plant water use and minimization of water lost to the system) of dryland ecosystems for various initial conditions and climatic variability. Precipitation records in central Kenya reveal a shift to more intense infrequent rain events with a constant annual total. The range of stable solutions of initial conditions and climatic variability are important to land management agencies for addressing current grazing practices and future policies. The model is a quantitative tool for addressing perturbations to the system and the overall sustainability of pastoralist activities in dryland ecosystems.

  19. Suppression of savanna ants alters invertebrate composition and influences key ecosystem processes.

    PubMed

    Parr, C L; Eggleton, P; Davies, A B; Evans, T A; Holdsworth, S

    2016-06-01

    In almost every ecosystem, ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) are the dominant terrestrial invertebrate group. Their functional value was highlighted by Wilson (1987) who famously declared that invertebrates are the "little things that run the world." However, while it is generally accepted that ants fulfil important functions, few studies have tested these assumptions and demonstrated what happens in their absence. We report on a novel large-scale field experiment in undisturbed savanna habitat where we examined how ants influence the abundance of other invertebrate taxa in the system, and affect the key processes of decomposition and herbivory. Our experiment demonstrated that ants suppressed the abundance and activity of beetles, millipedes, and termites, and also influenced decomposition rates and levels of herbivory. Our study is the first to show that top-down control of termites by ants can have important ecosystem consequences. Further studies are needed to elucidate the effects ant communities have on other aspects of the ecosystem (e.g., soils, nutrient cycling, the microbial community) and how their relative importance for ecosystem function varies among ecosystem types (e.g., savanna vs. forest). PMID:27459790

  20. Ecosystem change in the southern Benguela and the underlying processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blamey, Laura K.; Shannon, Lynne J.; Bolton, John J.; Crawford, Robert J. M.; Dufois, Francois; Evers-King, Hayley; Griffiths, Charles L.; Hutchings, Laurence; Jarre, Astrid; Rouault, Mathieu; Watermeyer, Katherine E.; Winker, Henning

    2015-04-01

    Overfishing and human-induced climate change are putting severe pressure on marine ecosystems. In the southern Benguela, most of South Africa's commercial fisheries have a long history of exploitation and this, coupled with spatio-temporal changes in key species over the last three decades has severely impacted some of South Africa's fisheries and ecosystems. This review summarizes these spatio-temporal changes and investigates possible drivers thereof. It incorporates both past and current research, with a large portion of the latter having formed part of the University of Cape Town's Ma-Re BASICS (Marine Research in the Benguela and Agulhas Systems for supporting Interdisciplinary Climate-change Science) 2010-2013 program. Almost all described changes involve a temporal decline or a spatial shift in species. Fishing seems to have played a role in many of the observed stock declines, for example through geographically disproportionate catches in relation to stock distribution. In some cases, changes in the physical environment seem to have played an additional role, e.g., rock lobsters on the west coast have been affected by fishing as well as changes in the physical environment. In almost all cases these changes have taken place since the 1980s/1990s, except for one or two resources, which have experienced declines since at least the mid 20th century. Spatial shifts in species have either involved an eastward expansion of cool-water species, including kelps, rock lobster and pelagic fish, or a retraction of warm-water species such as the brown mussel, suggesting a cooling of inshore waters along the south-west coast since the 1980s. This suggested cooling is revealed in ocean temperature (SST Pathfinder), wind and upwelling data for the Cape Peninsula and south-west coast region during the same period. The absence or inconsistency of long-term data is problematic when trying to identify drivers of ecosystem change, and actual ecosystem change itself. We discuss

  1. Macrofauna assemblage composition and soil moisture interact to affect soil ecosystem functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Collison, E. J.; Riutta, T.; Slade, E. M.

    2013-02-01

    Changing climatic conditions and habitat fragmentation are predicted to alter the soil moisture conditions of temperate forests. It is not well understood how the soil macrofauna community will respond to changes in soil moisture, and how changes to species diversity and community composition may affect ecosystem functions, such as litter decomposition and soil fluxes. Moreover, few studies have considered the interactions between the abiotic and biotic factors that regulate soil processes. Here we attempt to disentangle the interactive effects of two of the main factors that regulate soil processes at small scales - moisture and macrofauna assemblage composition. The response of assemblages of three common temperate soil invertebrates (Glomeris marginata Villers, Porcellio scaber Latreille and Philoscia muscorum Scopoli) to two contrasting soil moisture levels was examined in a series of laboratory mesocosm experiments. The contribution of the invertebrates to the leaf litter mass loss of two common temperate tree species of contrasting litter quality (easily decomposing Fraxinus excelsior L. and recalcitrant Quercus robur L.) and to soil CO2 fluxes were measured. Both moisture conditions and litter type influenced the functioning of the invertebrate assemblages, which was greater in high moisture conditions compared with low moisture conditions and on good quality vs. recalcitrant litter. In high moisture conditions, all macrofauna assemblages functioned at equal rates, whereas in low moisture conditions there were pronounced differences in litter mass loss among the assemblages. This indicates that species identity and assemblage composition are more important when moisture is limited. We suggest that complementarity between macrofauna species may mitigate the reduced functioning of some species, highlighting the importance of maintaining macrofauna species richness.

  2. Age, Marital Processes, and Depressed Affect

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bookwala, Jamila; Jacobs, Jamie

    2004-01-01

    Purpose: We examined age-cohort differences in the interrelationships among marital processes and depressed affect. Design and Methods: We used data from individuals in first marriages that participated in the National Survey of Families and Households (NSFH). The NSFH interviewed one adult per household of a nationally representative sample.…

  3. Cognitive and Affective Processes Underlying Career Change

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Muja, Naser; Appelbaum, Steven H.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: Aligning social identity and career identity has become increasingly complex due to growth in the pursuit of meaningful careers that offer very long-term personal satisfaction and stability. This paper aims to explore the complex cognitive and affective thought process involved in the conscious planning of voluntary career change.…

  4. Subsurface processes affecting cold season streamflow generation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The amount and timing of snowmelt-generated streamflow greatly affects the management of water resources in the western USA and Canada. Subsurface processes that deliver water to streams during snowmelt are somewhat different from those that occur during rainfall. In this study we document some of ...

  5. Landsat ecosystem disturbance adaptive processing system (LEDAPS) algorithm description

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schmidt, Gail; Jenkerson, Calli; Masek, Jeffrey; Vermote, Eric; Gao, Feng

    2013-01-01

    The Landsat Ecosystem Disturbance Adaptive Processing System (LEDAPS) software was originally developed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration–Goddard Space Flight Center and the University of Maryland to produce top-of-atmosphere reflectance from LandsatThematic Mapper and Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus Level 1 digital numbers and to apply atmospheric corrections to generate a surface-reflectance product.The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has adopted the LEDAPS algorithm for producing the Landsat Surface Reflectance Climate Data Record.This report discusses the LEDAPS algorithm, which was implemented by the USGS.

  6. Forest Fragmentation and Selective Logging Have Inconsistent Effects on Multiple Animal-Mediated Ecosystem Processes in a Tropical Forest

    PubMed Central

    Schleuning, Matthias; Farwig, Nina; Peters, Marcell K.; Bergsdorf, Thomas; Bleher, Bärbel; Brandl, Roland; Dalitz, Helmut; Fischer, Georg; Freund, Wolfram; Gikungu, Mary W.; Hagen, Melanie; Garcia, Francisco Hita; Kagezi, Godfrey H.; Kaib, Manfred; Kraemer, Manfred; Lung, Tobias; Schaab, Gertrud; Templin, Mathias; Uster, Dana; Wägele, J. Wolfgang; Böhning-Gaese, Katrin

    2011-01-01

    Forest fragmentation and selective logging are two main drivers of global environmental change and modify biodiversity and environmental conditions in many tropical forests. The consequences of these changes for the functioning of tropical forest ecosystems have rarely been explored in a comprehensive approach. In a Kenyan rainforest, we studied six animal-mediated ecosystem processes and recorded species richness and community composition of all animal taxa involved in these processes. We used linear models and a formal meta-analysis to test whether forest fragmentation and selective logging affected ecosystem processes and biodiversity and used structural equation models to disentangle direct from biodiversity-related indirect effects of human disturbance on multiple ecosystem processes. Fragmentation increased decomposition and reduced antbird predation, while selective logging consistently increased pollination, seed dispersal and army-ant raiding. Fragmentation modified species richness or community composition of five taxa, whereas selective logging did not affect any component of biodiversity. Changes in the abundance of functionally important species were related to lower predation by antbirds and higher decomposition rates in small forest fragments. The positive effects of selective logging on bee pollination, bird seed dispersal and army-ant raiding were direct, i.e. not related to changes in biodiversity, and were probably due to behavioural changes of these highly mobile animal taxa. We conclude that animal-mediated ecosystem processes respond in distinct ways to different types of human disturbance in Kakamega Forest. Our findings suggest that forest fragmentation affects ecosystem processes indirectly by changes in biodiversity, whereas selective logging influences processes directly by modifying local environmental conditions and resource distributions. The positive to neutral effects of selective logging on ecosystem processes show that the

  7. Hydrologically driven ecosystem processes determine the distribution and persistence of ecosystem-specialist predators under climate change.

    PubMed

    Carroll, Matthew J; Heinemeyer, Andreas; Pearce-Higgins, James W; Dennis, Peter; West, Chris; Holden, Joseph; Wallage, Zoe E; Thomas, Chris D

    2015-01-01

    Climate change has the capacity to alter physical and biological ecosystem processes, jeopardizing the survival of associated species. This is a particular concern in cool, wet northern peatlands that could experience warmer, drier conditions. Here we show that climate, ecosystem processes and food chains combine to influence the population performance of species in British blanket bogs. Our peatland process model accurately predicts water-table depth, which predicts abundance of craneflies (keystone invertebrates), which in turn predicts observed abundances and population persistence of three ecosystem-specialist bird species that feed on craneflies during the breeding season. Climate change projections suggest that falling water tables could cause 56-81% declines in cranefly abundance and, hence, 15-51% reductions in the abundances of these birds by 2051-2080. We conclude that physical (precipitation, temperature and topography), biophysical (evapotranspiration and desiccation of invertebrates) and ecological (food chains) processes combine to determine the distributions and survival of ecosystem-specialist predators. PMID:26227623

  8. Hydrologically driven ecosystem processes determine the distribution and persistence of ecosystem-specialist predators under climate change

    PubMed Central

    Carroll, Matthew J.; Heinemeyer, Andreas; Pearce-Higgins, James W.; Dennis, Peter; West, Chris; Holden, Joseph; Wallage, Zoe E.; Thomas, Chris D.

    2015-01-01

    Climate change has the capacity to alter physical and biological ecosystem processes, jeopardizing the survival of associated species. This is a particular concern in cool, wet northern peatlands that could experience warmer, drier conditions. Here we show that climate, ecosystem processes and food chains combine to influence the population performance of species in British blanket bogs. Our peatland process model accurately predicts water-table depth, which predicts abundance of craneflies (keystone invertebrates), which in turn predicts observed abundances and population persistence of three ecosystem-specialist bird species that feed on craneflies during the breeding season. Climate change projections suggest that falling water tables could cause 56–81% declines in cranefly abundance and, hence, 15–51% reductions in the abundances of these birds by 2051–2080. We conclude that physical (precipitation, temperature and topography), biophysical (evapotranspiration and desiccation of invertebrates) and ecological (food chains) processes combine to determine the distributions and survival of ecosystem-specialist predators. PMID:26227623

  9. Loss of rare fish species from tropical floodplain food webs affects community structure and ecosystem multifunctionality in a mesocosm experiment.

    PubMed

    Pendleton, Richard M; Hoeinghaus, David J; Gomes, Luiz C; Agostinho, Angelo A

    2014-01-01

    Experiments with realistic scenarios of species loss from multitrophic ecosystems may improve insight into how biodiversity affects ecosystem functioning. Using 1000 L mesocoms, we examined effects of nonrandom species loss on community structure and ecosystem functioning of experimental food webs based on multitrophic tropical floodplain lagoon ecosystems. Realistic biodiversity scenarios were developed based on long-term field surveys, and experimental assemblages replicated sequential loss of rare species which occurred across all trophic levels of these complex food webs. Response variables represented multiple components of ecosystem functioning, including nutrient cycling, primary and secondary production, organic matter accumulation and whole ecosystem metabolism. Species richness significantly affected ecosystem function, even after statistically controlling for potentially confounding factors such as total biomass and direct trophic interactions. Overall, loss of rare species was generally associated with lower nutrient concentrations, phytoplankton and zooplankton densities, and whole ecosystem metabolism when compared with more diverse assemblages. This pattern was also observed for overall ecosystem multifunctionality, a combined metric representing the ability of an ecosystem to simultaneously maintain multiple functions. One key exception was attributed to time-dependent effects of intraguild predation, which initially increased values for most ecosystem response variables, but resulted in decreases over time likely due to reduced nutrient remineralization by surviving predators. At the same time, loss of species did not result in strong trophic cascades, possibly a result of compensation and complexity of these multitrophic ecosystems along with a dominance of bottom-up effects. Our results indicate that although rare species may comprise minor components of communities, their loss can have profound ecosystem consequences across multiple trophic

  10. Loss of Rare Fish Species from Tropical Floodplain Food Webs Affects Community Structure and Ecosystem Multifunctionality in a Mesocosm Experiment

    PubMed Central

    Pendleton, Richard M.; Hoeinghaus, David J.; Gomes, Luiz C.; Agostinho, Angelo A.

    2014-01-01

    Experiments with realistic scenarios of species loss from multitrophic ecosystems may improve insight into how biodiversity affects ecosystem functioning. Using 1000 L mesocoms, we examined effects of nonrandom species loss on community structure and ecosystem functioning of experimental food webs based on multitrophic tropical floodplain lagoon ecosystems. Realistic biodiversity scenarios were developed based on long-term field surveys, and experimental assemblages replicated sequential loss of rare species which occurred across all trophic levels of these complex food webs. Response variables represented multiple components of ecosystem functioning, including nutrient cycling, primary and secondary production, organic matter accumulation and whole ecosystem metabolism. Species richness significantly affected ecosystem function, even after statistically controlling for potentially confounding factors such as total biomass and direct trophic interactions. Overall, loss of rare species was generally associated with lower nutrient concentrations, phytoplankton and zooplankton densities, and whole ecosystem metabolism when compared with more diverse assemblages. This pattern was also observed for overall ecosystem multifunctionality, a combined metric representing the ability of an ecosystem to simultaneously maintain multiple functions. One key exception was attributed to time-dependent effects of intraguild predation, which initially increased values for most ecosystem response variables, but resulted in decreases over time likely due to reduced nutrient remineralization by surviving predators. At the same time, loss of species did not result in strong trophic cascades, possibly a result of compensation and complexity of these multitrophic ecosystems along with a dominance of bottom-up effects. Our results indicate that although rare species may comprise minor components of communities, their loss can have profound ecosystem consequences across multiple trophic

  11. Microphysical Processes Affecting the Pinatubo Volcanic Plume

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hamill, Patrick; Houben, Howard; Young, Richard; Turco, Richard; Zhao, Jingxia

    1996-01-01

    In this paper we consider microphysical processes which affect the formation of sulfate particles and their size distribution in a dispersing cloud. A model for the dispersion of the Mt. Pinatubo volcanic cloud is described. We then consider a single point in the dispersing cloud and study the effects of nucleation, condensation and coagulation on the time evolution of the particle size distribution at that point.

  12. Quantifying Ecological Memory of Plant and Ecosystem Processes in Variable Environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ogle, K.; Barron-Gafford, G. A.; Bentley, L.; Cable, J.; Lucas, R.; Huxman, T. E.; Loik, M. E.; Smith, S. D.; Tissue, D.

    2010-12-01

    Precipitation, soil water, and other factors affect plant and ecosystem processes at multiple time scales. A common assumption is that water availability at a given time directly affects processes at that time. Recent work, especially in pulse-driven, semiarid systems, shows that antecedent water availability, averaged over several days to a couple weeks, can be just as or more important than current water status. Precipitation patterns of previous seasons or past years can also impact plant and ecosystem functioning in many systems. However, we lack an analytical framework for quantifying the importance of and time-scale over which past conditions affect current processes. This study explores the ecological memory of a variety of plant and ecosystem processes. We use memory as a metaphor to describe the time-scale over which antecedent conditions affect the current process. Existing approaches for incorporating antecedent effects arbitrarily select the antecedent integration period (e.g., the past 2 weeks) and the relative importance of past conditions (e.g., assign equal or linearly decreasing weights to past events). In contrast, we utilize a hierarchical Bayesian approach to integrate field data with process-based models, yielding posterior distributions for model parameters, including the duration of the ecological memory (integration period) and the relative importance of past events (weights) to this memory. We apply our approach to data spanning diverse temporal scales and four semiarid sites in the western US: leaf-level stomatal conductance (gs, sub-hourly scale), soil respiration (Rs, hourly to daily scale), and net primary productivity (NPP) and tree-ring widths (annual scale). For gs, antecedent factors (daily rainfall and temperature, hourly vapor pressure deficit) and current soil water explained up to 72% of the variation in gs in the Chihuahuan Desert, with a memory of 10 hours for a grass and 4 days for a shrub. Antecedent factors (past soil water

  13. [Affect processing in psychosomatic patients. I].

    PubMed

    Ahrens, S

    1984-01-01

    The present article reports the results of an empirical investigation concerned with specific characteristics of psychosomatic patients. Subjects suffering from ulcus duodeni or from colitis ulcerosa designated as psychosomatic patients. Controls were chosen from among neurotic patients and from among patients with only somatic illness. Against the background of the criticism with regard to the scientific approaches so far, our own approach was conceived as an experiment. Film episodes of two contrating (friendly versus unfriendly) interactions between physician and patient were offered to the test subjects as triggering situations. The contents of these film segments were organized in a manner calculated to produce an affective embarrassment in the psychosomatic patients. The reactions of the test subjects were inventoried on two levels. One of the levels of investigation was geared to cognitive processes by the application of Hofstätter's list of polarities (1955, 1973). In this case the psychosomatic patients distinguished themselves from the two control groups in that they misinterpreted the differences in the affective contents of both film sequences. On the other level of investigation subconscious processes were recorded by the application of Gottschalk's analysis of verbal contents. In this context all three groups in the investigation reacted in a similar manner to friendly connotations in the behaviour of the physician, namely with hidden aggressions. The results infer an affective resonance of the investigated psychosomatic patients on a subconscious level which, however, does not become evident on the conscious cognitive level. PMID:6485587

  14. Ecosystem Modeling of Biological Processes to Global Budgets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Christopher, Potter S.; Condon, Estelle (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    biosphere effects on atmospheric composition is the ecosystem level. These assumptions are the foundation for developing modern emission budgets for biogenic gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, carbon monoxide, isoprene, nitrous and nitric oxide, and ammonia. Such emission budgets commonly include information on seasonal flux patterns, typical diurnal profiles, and spatial resolution of at least one degree latitude/longitude for the globe. On the basis of these budgets, it is possible to compute 'base emission rates' for the major biogenic trace gases from both terrestrial and ocean sources, which may be useful benchmarks for defining the gas production rates of organisms, especially those from early Earth history, which are required to generate a detectable signal on a global atmosphere. This type of analysis is also the starting point for evaluation of the 'biological processes to global gas budget' extrapolation procedure described above for early Earth ecosystems.

  15. Light and Sound: Evolutionary Aspects. Physical Processes in Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems, Transport Processes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roseman, Leonard D.

    These materials were designed to be used by life science students for instruction in the application of physical theory to ecosystem operation. Most modules contain computer programs which are built around a particular application of a physical process. This module is concerned with the exchange of energy between an organism and its environment in…

  16. Fluid Dynamics Applied to Streams. Physical Processes in Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems, Transport Processes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cowan, Christina E.

    This module is part of a series designed to be used by life science students for instruction in the application of physical theory to ecosystem operation. Most modules contain computer programs which are built around a particular application of a physical process. This module deals specifically with concepts that are basic to fluid flow and…

  17. Transpiration and Leaf Temperature. Physical Processes in Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems, Transport Processes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gates, David M.

    These materials were designed to be used by life science students for instruction in the application of physical theory to ecosystem operation. Most modules contain computer programs which are built around a particular application of a physical process. This report introduces two models of the thermal energy budget of a leaf. Typical values for…

  18. Soil Heat Flow. Physical Processes in Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems, Transport Processes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Simpson, James R.

    These materials were designed to be used by life science students for instruction in the application of physical theory to ecosystem operation. Most modules contain computer programs which are built around a particular application of a physical process. Soil heat flow and the resulting soil temperature distributions have ecological consequences…

  19. Ecosystem structure, function, and composition in rangelands are negatively affected by livestock grazing.

    PubMed

    Eldridge, David J; Poore, Alistair G B; Ruiz-Colmenero, Marta; Letnic, Mike; Soliveres, Santiago

    2016-06-01

    Reports of positive or neutral effects of grazing on plant species richness have prompted calls for livestock grazing to be used as a tool for managing land for conservation. Grazing effects, however, are likely to vary among different response variables, types, and intensity of grazing, and across abiotic conditions. We aimed to examine how grazing affects ecosystem structure, function, and composition. We compiled a database of 7615 records reporting an effect of grazing by sheep and cattle on 278 biotic and abiotic response variables for published studies across Australia. Using these data, we derived three ecosystem measures based on structure, function, and composition, which were compared against six contrasts of grazing pressure, ranging from low to heavy, two different herbivores (sheep, cattle), and across three different climatic zones. Grazing reduced structure (by 35%), function (24%), and composition (10%). Structure and function (but not composition) declined more when grazed by sheep and cattle together than sheep alone. Grazing reduced plant biomass (40%), animal richness (15%), and plant and animal abundance, and plant and litter cover (25%), but had no effect on plant richness nor soil function. The negative effects of grazing on plant biomass, plant cover, and soil function were more pronounced in drier environments. Grazing effects on plant and animal richness and composition were constant, or even declined, with increasing aridity. Our study represents a comprehensive continental assessment of the implications of grazing for managing Australian rangelands. Grazing effects were largely negative, even at very low levels of grazing. Overall, our results suggest that livestock grazing in Australia is unlikely to produce positive outcomes for ecosystem structure, function, and composition or even as a blanket conservation tool unless reduction in specific response variables is an explicit management objective. PMID:27509764

  20. Current ecosystem processes in steppe near Lake Baikal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vanteeva, Julia

    2015-04-01

    The steppes and forest steppes complexes of Priol'khonie at the Lake Baikal (southern Siberia, Russia) were studied in this research. Recreational activity has a significant impact on the Priol'khonie region. During soviet time this area was actively used for agriculture. Nowadays, this territory is the part of Pribaikalskyi National Park and special protection is needed. As the landscapes satisfy different human demands there are many land-management conflicts. The specific climate and soil conditions and human activity lead to erosion processes on study area. Sediment loads are transferred into the Lake Baikal and cause water pollution. Consequently, vegetation cover and phytomass play an important role for regulating hydrological processes in the ecosystems. The process of phytomass formation and its proactive role playing on sedimentation and mitigate silt detaching by rill and inter-rill erosion are considered in the research as important indicators of the ecosystem functions for steppe landscapes. These indicators were studied for the different land cover types identified on the area because the study area has a large variety of steppe and forest steppe complexes, differing in the form of relief, soil types, vegetation species composition and degree of land degradation. The fieldwork was conducted in the study area in the July and August of 2013. Thirty-two experimental sites (10 x 10 m) which characterized different types of ecosystem were established. The level of landscape degradation was estimated. The method of clipping was used for the valuation of above-ground herbaceous phytomass. The phytomass of tree stands was calculated using the volume-conversion rates for forest-steppe complexes. For the quantification of transferred silt by inter-rill erosion in different conditions (vegetation, slope, soil type, anthropogenic load) a portable rainfall simulator was created with taking into account the characteristics of the study area. The aboveground

  1. Biophysical interactions in fluvial ecosystems: effects of submerged aquatic macrophytes on hydro-morphological processes and ecosystem functioning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cornacchia, Loreta; Davies, Grieg; Grabowski, Robert; van der Wal, Daphne; van de Koppel, Johan; Wharton, Geraldene; Bouma, Tjeerd

    2016-04-01

    Strong mutual interactions occur at the interface between biota and physical processes in biogeomorphic ecosystems, possibly resulting in self-organized spatial patterns. While these interactions and feedbacks have been increasingly studied in a wide range of landscapes previously, they are still poorly understood in lower energy fluvial systems. Consequently, their impact on the functioning of aquatic ecosystems is largely unknown. In this study we investigate the role of aquatic macrophytes as biological engineers of flow and sediment in lowland streams dominated by water crowfoot (Ranunculus spp.). Using field measurements from two annual growth cycles, we demonstrate that seasonally-changing macrophyte cover maintains relative constant flow rates, both within and between vegetation, despite temporal changes in channel flow discharge. By means of a mathematical model representing the interaction between hydrodynamics and vegetation dynamics, we reveal that scale-dependent feedbacks between plant growth and flow redistribution explain the influence of macrophytes on stabilizing flow rates. Our analysis reveals important implications for ecosystem functions. The creation of fast-flowing channels allows an adequate conveyance of water throughout the annual cycle; yet, patches also have a significant influence on sediment dynamics leading to heterogeneous habitats, thereby facilitating other species. As a last step we investigate the consequences on stream ecosystem functioning, by exploring the relationship between changes in macrophyte cover and the provision of different ecosystem functions (e.g. water conveyance, sediment trapping). Our results highlight that self-organization promotes the combination of multiple ecosystem functions through its effects on hydrological and morphological processes within biogeomorphic ecosystems.

  2. Foundation species loss affects vegetation structure more than ecosystem function in a northeastern USA forest

    PubMed Central

    Orwig, David A.; Barker Plotkin, Audrey A.; Davidson, Eric A.; Lux, Heidi; Savage, Kathleen E.

    2013-01-01

    Loss of foundation tree species rapidly alters ecological processes in forested ecosystems. Tsuga canadensis, an hypothesized foundation species of eastern North American forests, is declining throughout much of its range due to infestation by the nonnative insect Adelges tsugae and by removal through pre-emptive salvage logging. In replicate 0.81-ha plots, T. canadensis was cut and removed, or killed in place by girdling to simulate adelgid damage. Control plots included undisturbed hemlock and mid-successional hardwood stands that represent expected forest composition in 50–100 years. Vegetation richness, understory vegetation cover, soil carbon flux, and nitrogen cycling were measured for two years prior to, and five years following, application of experimental treatments. Litterfall and coarse woody debris (CWD), including snags, stumps, and fallen logs and branches, have been measured since treatments were applied. Overstory basal area was reduced 60%–70% in girdled and logged plots. Mean cover and richness did not change in hardwood or hemlock control plots but increased rapidly in girdled and logged plots. Following logging, litterfall immediately decreased then slowly increased, whereas in girdled plots, there was a short pulse of hemlock litterfall as trees died. CWD volume remained relatively constant throughout but was 3–4× higher in logged plots. Logging and girdling resulted in small, short-term changes in ecosystem dynamics due to rapid regrowth of vegetation but in general, interannual variability exceeded differences among treatments. Soil carbon flux in girdled plots showed the strongest response: 35% lower than controls after three years and slowly increasing thereafter. Ammonium availability increased immediately after logging and two years after girdling, due to increased light and soil temperatures and nutrient pulses from leaf-fall and reduced uptake following tree death. The results from this study illuminate ecological processes

  3. Foundation species loss affects vegetation structure more than ecosystem function in a northeastern USA forest.

    PubMed

    Orwig, David A; Barker Plotkin, Audrey A; Davidson, Eric A; Lux, Heidi; Savage, Kathleen E; Ellison, Aaron M

    2013-01-01

    Loss of foundation tree species rapidly alters ecological processes in forested ecosystems. Tsuga canadensis, an hypothesized foundation species of eastern North American forests, is declining throughout much of its range due to infestation by the nonnative insect Adelges tsugae and by removal through pre-emptive salvage logging. In replicate 0.81-ha plots, T. canadensis was cut and removed, or killed in place by girdling to simulate adelgid damage. Control plots included undisturbed hemlock and mid-successional hardwood stands that represent expected forest composition in 50-100 years. Vegetation richness, understory vegetation cover, soil carbon flux, and nitrogen cycling were measured for two years prior to, and five years following, application of experimental treatments. Litterfall and coarse woody debris (CWD), including snags, stumps, and fallen logs and branches, have been measured since treatments were applied. Overstory basal area was reduced 60%-70% in girdled and logged plots. Mean cover and richness did not change in hardwood or hemlock control plots but increased rapidly in girdled and logged plots. Following logging, litterfall immediately decreased then slowly increased, whereas in girdled plots, there was a short pulse of hemlock litterfall as trees died. CWD volume remained relatively constant throughout but was 3-4× higher in logged plots. Logging and girdling resulted in small, short-term changes in ecosystem dynamics due to rapid regrowth of vegetation but in general, interannual variability exceeded differences among treatments. Soil carbon flux in girdled plots showed the strongest response: 35% lower than controls after three years and slowly increasing thereafter. Ammonium availability increased immediately after logging and two years after girdling, due to increased light and soil temperatures and nutrient pulses from leaf-fall and reduced uptake following tree death. The results from this study illuminate ecological processes underlying

  4. Insights into the Processing of Carbon by Early Microbial Ecosystems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    DesMarais, D.; Bebout, B.; Carpenter, S.; Discipulo, S.; Londry, K.; Habicht, K.; Turk, K.

    2003-01-01

    Interactions between Earth and the biosphere that were crucial for early biological evolution also influenced substantially the processes that circulate C between its reservoirs in the atmosphere, ocean, crust and mantle. The C-13 C-12 values of crustal carbonates and organics have recorded changes both in biological discrimination and in the relative rates of burial of organics and carbonates. A full interpretation of these patterns needs further isotopic studies of microbial ecosystems and individual anaerobes. Thus we measured carbon isotope discrimination during autotrophic and heterotrophic growth of pure cultures of sulfate-reducing bacteria and archaea (SRB and SRA). Discrimination during CO2 assimilation is significantly larger than during heterotrophic growth on lactate or acetate. SRB grown lithoautotrophically consumed less than 3% of available CO2 and exhibited substantial discrimination, as follows: Desulfobacterium autotrophicum (alpha 1.0100 to 1.0123), Desulfobacter hydrogenophilus (alpha = 0.0138), and Desulfotomuculum acetoxidans (alpha = 1.0310). Mixotrophic growth of Desulfovibrio desulfuricans on acetate and CO2 resulted in biomass with delta C-13 composition intermediate to that of the substrates. We have recently extended these experiments to include the thermophilic SRA Archeoglobus spp. Ecological forces also influence isotopic discrimination. Accordingly, we quantified the flow of C and other constituents in modern marine cyanobacterial mats, whose ancestry extends back billions of years. Such ecosystem processes shaped the biosignatures that entered sediments and atmospheres. At Guerrero Negro, BCS, Mexico, we examined mats dominated by Microcoleus (subtidal) and Lyngbya (intertidal to supratidal) cyanobacteria. During 24 hour cycles, we observed the exchange of O2 and dissolved inorganic C (DIC) between mats and the overlying water. Microcoleus mats assimilated near-equal amounts of DIC during the day as they released at night, but

  5. Glyphosate herbicide affects belowground interactions between earthworms and symbiotic mycorrhizal fungi in a model ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Zaller, Johann G.; Heigl, Florian; Ruess, Liliane; Grabmaier, Andrea

    2014-01-01

    Herbicides containing glyphosate are widely used in agriculture and private gardens, however, surprisingly little is known on potential side effects on non-target soil organisms. In a greenhouse experiment with white clover we investigated, to what extent a globally-used glyphosate herbicide affects interactions between essential soil organisms such as earthworms and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). We found that herbicides significantly decreased root mycorrhization, soil AMF spore biomass, vesicles and propagules. Herbicide application and earthworms increased soil hyphal biomass and tended to reduce soil water infiltration after a simulated heavy rainfall. Herbicide application in interaction with AMF led to slightly heavier but less active earthworms. Leaching of glyphosate after a simulated rainfall was substantial and altered by earthworms and AMF. These sizeable changes provide impetus for more general attention to side-effects of glyphosate-based herbicides on key soil organisms and their associated ecosystem services. PMID:25005713

  6. Glyphosate herbicide affects belowground interactions between earthworms and symbiotic mycorrhizal fungi in a model ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zaller, Johann G.; Heigl, Florian; Ruess, Liliane; Grabmaier, Andrea

    2014-07-01

    Herbicides containing glyphosate are widely used in agriculture and private gardens, however, surprisingly little is known on potential side effects on non-target soil organisms. In a greenhouse experiment with white clover we investigated, to what extent a globally-used glyphosate herbicide affects interactions between essential soil organisms such as earthworms and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). We found that herbicides significantly decreased root mycorrhization, soil AMF spore biomass, vesicles and propagules. Herbicide application and earthworms increased soil hyphal biomass and tended to reduce soil water infiltration after a simulated heavy rainfall. Herbicide application in interaction with AMF led to slightly heavier but less active earthworms. Leaching of glyphosate after a simulated rainfall was substantial and altered by earthworms and AMF. These sizeable changes provide impetus for more general attention to side-effects of glyphosate-based herbicides on key soil organisms and their associated ecosystem services.

  7. Biogeochemical processes driving mercury cycling in estuarine ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schartup, A. T.

    2015-12-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a naturally occurring element that has been enriched in the environment through human activities, particularly in the coastal zone. Bioaccumulation of methylmercury (MeHg) in marine fishposes health risks for fish-consuming populations and is a worldwide health concern. A broader understanding of major environmental processes controlling Hg cycling and MeHg production and bioaccumulation in estuaries is therefore needed. Recent fieldwork and modeling show diverse sources of MeHg production in estuaries. We present geochemical modeling results for Hg and MeHg acrossmultiple estuaries with contrasting physical, chemical and biological characteristics. We report new measurements of water column and sediment mercury speciation and methylation data from the subarctic (Lake Melville, Labrador Canada) and temperate latitudes (Long Island Sound, Delaware Bay, Chesapeake Bay). We find that benthic sediment is a relatively small source of MeHg to the water column in all systems. Water column methylation drives MeHg levels in Lake Melville, whereas in more impacted shallow systems such as Chesapeake Bay and Long Island Sound, external inputs and sediment resuspension are more dominant. All systems are a net source of MeHg to the ocean through tidal exchange. In light of these inter-system differences, we will evaluate timescales of coastal ecosystem responses to changes in Hg loading that can help predict potential responses to future perturbations.

  8. Effects of Consumer Interactions on Benthic Resources and Ecosystem Processes in a Neotropical Stream

    PubMed Central

    Marshall, Michael C.; Binderup, Andrew J.; Zandonà, Eugenia; Goutte, Sandra; Bassar, Ronald D.; El-Sabaawi, Rana W.; Thomas, Steven A.; Flecker, Alexander S.; Kilham, Susan S.; Reznick, David N.; Pringle, Cathy M.

    2012-01-01

    The effect of consumers on their resources has been demonstrated in many systems but is often confounded by trophic interactions with other consumers. Consumers may also have behavioral and life history adaptations to each other and to co-occurring predators that may additionally modulate their particular roles in ecosystems. We experimentally excluded large consumers from tile periphyton, leaves and natural benthic substrata using submerged electrified frames in three stream reaches with overlapping consumer assemblages in Trinidad, West Indies. Concurrently, we assessed visits to (non-electrified) control frames by the three most common large consumers–primarily insectivorous killifish (Rivulus hartii), omnivorous guppies (Poecilia reticulata) and omnivorous crabs (Eudaniela garmani). Consumers caused the greatest decrease in final chlorophyll a biomass and accrual rates the most in the downstream reach containing all three focal consumers in the presence of fish predators. Consumers also caused the greatest increase in leaf decay rates in the upstream reach containing only killifish and crabs. In the downstream reach where guppies co-occur with predators, we found significantly lower benthic invertebrate biomass in control relative to exclosure treatments than the midstream reach where guppies occur in the absence of predators. These data suggest that differences in guppy foraging, potentially driven by differences in their life history phenotype, may affect ecosystem structure and processes as much as their presence or absence and that interactions among consumers may further mediate their effects in these stream ecosystems. PMID:23028865

  9. Effects of consumer interactions on benthic resources and ecosystem processes in a neotropical stream.

    PubMed

    Marshall, Michael C; Binderup, Andrew J; Zandonà, Eugenia; Goutte, Sandra; Bassar, Ronald D; El-Sabaawi, Rana W; Thomas, Steven A; Flecker, Alexander S; Kilham, Susan S; Reznick, David N; Pringle, Cathy M

    2012-01-01

    The effect of consumers on their resources has been demonstrated in many systems but is often confounded by trophic interactions with other consumers. Consumers may also have behavioral and life history adaptations to each other and to co-occurring predators that may additionally modulate their particular roles in ecosystems. We experimentally excluded large consumers from tile periphyton, leaves and natural benthic substrata using submerged electrified frames in three stream reaches with overlapping consumer assemblages in Trinidad, West Indies. Concurrently, we assessed visits to (non-electrified) control frames by the three most common large consumers-primarily insectivorous killifish (Rivulus hartii), omnivorous guppies (Poecilia reticulata) and omnivorous crabs (Eudaniela garmani). Consumers caused the greatest decrease in final chlorophyll a biomass and accrual rates the most in the downstream reach containing all three focal consumers in the presence of fish predators. Consumers also caused the greatest increase in leaf decay rates in the upstream reach containing only killifish and crabs. In the downstream reach where guppies co-occur with predators, we found significantly lower benthic invertebrate biomass in control relative to exclosure treatments than the midstream reach where guppies occur in the absence of predators. These data suggest that differences in guppy foraging, potentially driven by differences in their life history phenotype, may affect ecosystem structure and processes as much as their presence or absence and that interactions among consumers may further mediate their effects in these stream ecosystems. PMID:23028865

  10. Guidelines, processes and tools for coastal ecosystem restoration, with examples from the United States

    SciTech Connect

    Thom, Ronald M.; Diefenderfer, Heida L.; Adkins, Jeffery E.; Judd, Chaeli; Anderson, Michael G.; Buenau, Kate E.; Borde, Amy B.; Johnson, Gary E.

    2011-02-01

    This paper presents a systematic approach to coastal restoration projects in five phases: planning, implementation, performance assessment, adaptive management, and dissemination of results. Twenty features of the iterative planning process are synthesized. The planning process starts with a vision, a description of the ecosystem and landscape, and goals. A conceptual model and planning objectives are developed, a site is selected using prioritization techniques, and numerical models contribute to preliminary designs as needed. Performance criteria and reference sites are selected and the monitoring program is designed. The monitoring program is emphasized as a tool to assess project performance and identify problems affecting progression toward project goals, in an adaptive management framework. Key approaches to aspects of the monitoring program are reviewed and detailed with project examples. Within the planning process, cost analysis involves budgeting, scheduling, and financing. Finally, documentation is peer reviewed prior to making construction plans and final costing.

  11. Heat Transfer Processes for the Thermal Energy Balance of Organisms. Physical Processes in Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems, Transport Processes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stevenson, R. D.

    This module is part of a series designed to be used by life science students for instruction in the application of physical theory to ecosystem operation. Most modules contain computer programs which are built around a particular application of a physical process. This module describes heat transfer processes involved in the exchange of heat…

  12. Grazing-induced losses of biodiversity affect the transpiration of an arid ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Verón, Santiago R; Paruelo, José M; Oesterheld, Martín

    2011-02-01

    Degradation processes often lead to species loss. Such losses would impact on ecosystem functioning depending on the extinction order and the functional and structural aspects of species. For the Patagonian arid steppe, we used a simulation model to study the effects of species loss on the rate and variability (i.e. stability) of transpiration as a key attribute of ecosystem functioning. We addressed (1) the differences between the overgrazing extinction order and other potential orders, and (2) the role of biomass abundance, biomass distribution, and functional diversity on the effect of species loss due to overgrazing. We considered a community composed of ten species which were assigned an order of extinction due to overgrazing based on their preference by livestock. We performed four model simulations to test for overgrazing effects through different combinations of species loss, and reductions of biomass and functional diversity. In general, transpiration rate and variability were positively associated to species richness and remained fairly constant until half the species were lost by overgrazing. The extinction order by overgrazing was the most conservative of all possible orders. The amount of biomass was more important than functional diversity in accounting for the impacts of species richness on transpiration. Our results suggest that, to prevent Patagonian steppes from shifting to stable, low-production systems (by overgrazing), maintaining community biomass is more important than preserving species richness or species functional diversity. PMID:20865282

  13. Assessing simulated ecosystem processes for climate variability research at Glacier National Park, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    White, J.D.; Running, S.W.; Thornton, P.E.; Keane, R.E.; Ryan, K.C.; Fagre, D.B.; Key, C.H.

    1998-01-01

    Glacier National Park served as a test site for ecosystem analyses than involved a suite of integrated models embedded within a geographic information system. The goal of the exercise was to provide managers with maps that could illustrate probable shifts in vegetation, net primary production (NPP), and hydrologic responses associated with two selected climatic scenarios. The climatic scenarios were (a) a recent 12-yr record of weather data, and (b) a reconstituted set that sequentially introduced in repeated 3-yr intervals wetter-cooler, drier-warmer, and typical conditions. To extrapolate the implications of changes in ecosystem processes and resulting growth and distribution of vegetation and snowpack, the model incorporated geographic data. With underlying digital elevation maps, soil depth and texture, extrapolated climate, and current information on vegetation types and satellite-derived estimates of a leaf area indices, simulations were extended to envision how the park might look after 120 yr. The predictions of change included underlying processes affecting the availability of water and nitrogen. Considerable field data were acquired to compare with model predictions under current climatic conditions. In general, the integrated landscape models of ecosystem processes had good agreement with measured NPP, snowpack, and streamflow, but the exercise revealed the difficulty and necessity of averaging point measurements across landscapes to achieve comparable results with modeled values. Under the extremely variable climate scenario significant changes in vegetation composition and growth as well as hydrologic responses were predicted across the park. In particular, a general rise in both the upper and lower limits of treeline was predicted. These shifts would probably occur along with a variety of disturbances (fire, insect, and disease outbreaks) as predictions of physiological stress (water, nutrients, light) altered competitive relations and hydrologic

  14. Physical processes mediating climate change impacts on regional sea ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holt, J.; Schrum, C.; Cannaby, H.; Daewel, U.; Allen, I.; Artioli, Y.; Bopp, L.; Butenschon, M.; Fach, B. A.; Harle, J.; Pushpadas, D.; Salihoglu, B.; Wakelin, S.

    2014-02-01

    Regional seas are exceptionally vulnerable to climate change, yet are the most directly societally important regions of the marine environment. The combination of widely varying conditions of mixing, forcing, geography (coastline and bathymetry) and exposure to the open-ocean makes these seas subject to a wide range of physical processes that mediates how large scale climate change impacts on these seas' ecosystems. In this paper we explore these physical processes and their biophysical interactions, and the effects of atmospheric, oceanic and terrestrial change on them. Our aim is to elucidate the controlling dynamical processes and how these vary between and within regional seas. We focus on primary production and consider the potential climatic impacts: on long term changes in elemental budgets, on seasonal and mesoscale processes that control phytoplankton's exposure to light and nutrients, and briefly on direct temperature response. We draw examples from the MEECE FP7 project and five regional models systems using ECOSMO, POLCOMS-ERSEM and BIMS_ECO. These cover the Barents Sea, Black Sea, Baltic Sea, North Sea, Celtic Seas, and a region of the Northeast Atlantic, using a common global ocean-atmosphere model as forcing. We consider a common analysis approach, and a more detailed analysis of the POLCOMS-ERSEM model. Comparing projections for the end of the 21st century with mean present day conditions, these simulations generally show an increase in seasonal and permanent stratification (where present). However, the first order (low- and mid-latitude) effect in the open ocean projections of increased permanent stratification leading to reduced nutrient levels, and so to reduced primary production, is largely absent, except in the NE Atlantic. Instead, results show a highly heterogeneous picture of positive and negative change arising from the varying mixing and circulation conditions. Even in the two highly stratified, deep water seas (Black and Baltic Seas) the

  15. Microphysical processes affecting stratospheric aerosol particles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hamill, P.; Toon, O. B.; Kiang, C. S.

    1977-01-01

    Physical processes which affect stratospheric aerosol particles include nucleation, condensation, evaporation, coagulation and sedimentation. Quantitative studies of these mechanisms to determine if they can account for some of the observed properties of the aerosol are carried out. It is shown that the altitude range in which nucleation of sulfuric acid-water solution droplets can take place corresponds to that region of the stratosphere where the aerosol is generally found. Since heterogeneous nucleation is the dominant nucleation mechanism, the stratospheric solution droplets are mainly formed on particles which have been mixed up from the troposphere or injected into the stratosphere by volcanoes or meteorites. Particle growth by heteromolecular condensation can account for the observed increase in mixing ratio of large particles in the stratosphere. Coagulation is important in reducing the number of particles smaller than 0.05 micron radius. Growth by condensation, applied to the mixed nature of the particles, shows that available information is consistent with ammonium sulfate being formed by liquid phase chemical reactions in the aerosol particles. The upper altitude limit of the aerosol layer is probably due to the evaporation of sulfuric acid aerosol particles, while the lower limit is due to mixing across the tropopause.

  16. The Importance of Uncertainty and Sensitivity Analyses in Process-Based Models of Carbon and Nitrogen Cycling in Terrestrial Ecosystems with Particular Emphasis on Forest Ecosystems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Many process-based models of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycles have been developed for terrestrial ecosystems, including forest ecosystems. Existing models are sufficiently well advanced to help decision makers develop sustainable management policies and planning of terrestrial ecosystems, as they ...

  17. Linking Belowground Plant Traits With Ecosystem Processes: A Multi-Biome Perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iversen, C. M.; Norby, R. J.; Childs, J.; McCormack, M. L.; Walker, A. P.; Hanson, P. J.; Warren, J.; Sloan, V. L.; Sullivan, P. F.; Wullschleger, S.; Powell, A. S.

    2015-12-01

    Fine plant roots are short-lived, narrow-diameter roots that play an important role in ecosystem carbon, water, and nutrient cycling in biomes ranging from the tundra to the tropics. Root ecologists make measurements at a millimeter scale to answer a question with global implications: In response to a changing climate, how do fine roots modulate the exchange of carbon between soils and the atmosphere and how will this response affect our future climate? In a Free-Air CO2 Enrichment experiment in Oak Ridge, TN, elevated [CO2] caused fine roots to dive deeper into the soil profile in search of limiting nitrogen, which led to increased soil C storage in deep soils. In contrast, the fine roots of trees and shrubs in an ombrotrophic bog are constrained to nutrient-poor, oxic soils above the average summer water table depth, though this may change with warmer, drier conditions. Tundra plant species are similarly constrained to surface organic soils by permafrost or waterlogged soils, but have many adaptations that alter ecosystem C fluxes, including aerenchyma that oxygenate the rhizosphere but also allow direct methane flux to the atmosphere. FRED, a global root trait database, will allow terrestrial biosphere models to represent the complexity of root traits across the globe, informing both model representation of ecosystem C and nutrient fluxes, but also the gaps where measurements are needed on plant-soil interactions (for example, in the tropical biome). While the complexity of mm-scale measurements may never have a place in large-scale global models, close collaboration between empiricists and modelers can help to guide the scaling of important, yet small-scale, processes to quantify their important roles in larger-scale ecosystem fluxes.

  18. How stock of origin affects performance of individuals across a meta-ecosystem: an example from sockeye salmon.

    PubMed

    Griffiths, Jennifer R; Schindler, Daniel E; Seeb, Lisa W

    2013-01-01

    Connectivity among diverse habitats can buffer populations from adverse environmental conditions, influence the functioning of meta-ecosystems, and ultimately affect the reliability of ecosystem services. This stabilizing effect on populations is proposed to derive from complementarity in growth and survival conditions experienced by individuals in the different habitats that comprise meta-ecosystems. Here we use the fine scale differentiation of salmon populations between diverse lake habitats to assess how rearing habitat and stock of origin affect the body condition of juvenile sockeye salmon. We use genetic markers (single nucleotide polymorphisms) to assign individuals of unknown origin to stock group and in turn characterize ecologically relevant attributes across habitats and stocks. Our analyses show that the body condition of juvenile salmon is related to the productivity of alternative habitats across the watershed, irrespective of their stock of origin. Emigrants and residents with genetic origins in the high productivity lake were also differentiated by their body condition, poor and high respectively. These emigrants represented a substantial proportion of juvenile sockeye salmon rearing in the lower productivity lake habitat. Despite emigrants originating from the more productive lake, they did not differ in body condition from the individuals spawned in the lower productivity, recipient habitat. Genetic tools allowed us to assess the performance of different stocks groups across the diverse habitats comprising their meta-ecosystem. The ability to characterize the ecological consequences of meta-ecosystem connectivity can help develop strategies to protect and restore ecosystems and the services they provide to humans. PMID:23505539

  19. Linking trajectories of land change, land degradation processes and ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Smiraglia, D; Ceccarelli, T; Bajocco, S; Salvati, L; Perini, L

    2016-05-01

    Land Degradation (LD) is a complex phenomenon resulting in a progressive reduction in the capacity of providing ecosystem services (ES). Landscape transformations promoting an unsustainable use of land often reveal latent processes of LD. An evaluation carried out in respect to the different ecosystem services is nowadays regarded as the most appropriate approach for assessing the effects of LD. The aim of this study is to develop an evaluation framework for identifying the linkages between land changes, LD processes and ES and suggesting Sustainable Land Management (SLM) options suited to reverse (or mitigate) LD impact. A SWOT analysis was carried out with the aim to identify internal and external factors that are favorable (or unfavorable) to achieve the proposed SLM actions. The study areas are the Fortore valley and the Valpadana, in Italy. The main trajectory identified for the Fortore valley is related to land abandonment due to population aging and the progressive emigration started in the 1950s. The most relevant LD processes are soil erosion and geomorphological instability, affecting regulating services such as natural hazard and erosion control. SLM options should consider interventions to contrast geomorphological instability, the promotion of climate smart agriculture and of typical products, and an efficient water resources management. The main trajectories identified for Valpadana are related to urban expansion and farmland abandonment and, as a consequence, land take due to anthropogenic pressure and woodland expansion as the main LD process. The reduction of food production was identified as the most relevant provisioning service affected. SLM should envisage best practices finalized to water saving and soil consumption reduction: efficient irrigation solutions, climate smart agriculture and zero sealing practices. This study highlights the diagnostic value of the suggested approach where LD processes are elicited from land change trajectories

  20. [Effect of degradation succession process on the temperature sensitivity of ecosystem respiration in alpine Potentilla fruticosa scrub meadow].

    PubMed

    Li, Dong; Luo, Xu-Peng; Cao, Guang-Min; Wu, Qin; Hu, Qi-Wu; Zhuo, Ma-Cuo; Li, Hui-Mei

    2015-03-01

    Grazing is one of the main artificial driving forces for the degradation succession process of alpine meadow. In order to quantitatively study the temperature sensitivity of alpine meadow ecosystem respiration in different degradation stages, we conducted the research in Haibei Alpine Meadow Ecosystem Research Station, CAS from July 2003 to July 2004. The static chamber-chromatography methodology was used to observe the seasonal changes of alpine scrub ecosystem respiration flux during different degradation stages. The results showed that: (1) The seasonal changes of ecosystem respiration flux in different degradation stages of alpine shrub presented a unimodal curve. The maximum appeared in August and the minimum appeared during the period from October to next April. The degradation succession process significantly decreased the ecosystem respiratory CO2 release rate. The respiratory rate ranges of alpine Potentilla fruticosa scrub (GG), Kobresia capillifolia meadow (GC) and bare land (GL) were 34.21-1 168.23, 2.30-1 112.38 and 20.40-509.72 mg (m2 x h)(-1), respectively. The average respiration rate of GG was 1.29 and 2.56 times of that of GC and GL, respectively; (2) Temperature was the main factor that affected the ecosystem respiration rate, and contributed 25% - 79% of the variation of the ecosystem respiration. The degradation succession process significantly changed the correlation between ecosystem respiration rate and temperature. The correlation (R2) between ecosystem respiration rate and each temperature indicator (T(s), T(d) and T(a)) was reduced by 47.23%, 46.95% and 55.28%, respectively when the ground vegetation disappeared and the scrub was degraded into secondary bare land; (3) The difference of Q10 between warm and cool seasons was significant (P < 0.05), and the value of cold season was larger than that of warm season. Degradation succession process apparently changed the temperature sensitivity of ecosystem respiration. The Q10 values of GG, GC

  1. Discontinuity in the responses of ecosystem processes and multifunctionality to altered soil community composition

    PubMed Central

    Bradford, Mark A.; Wood, Stephen A.; Bardgett, Richard D.; Black, Helaina I. J.; Bonkowski, Michael; Eggers, Till; Grayston, Susan J.; Kandeler, Ellen; Manning, Peter; Setälä, Heikki; Jones, T. Hefin

    2014-01-01

    Ecosystem management policies increasingly emphasize provision of multiple, as opposed to single, ecosystem services. Management for such “multifunctionality” has stimulated research into the role that biodiversity plays in providing desired rates of multiple ecosystem processes. Positive effects of biodiversity on indices of multifunctionality are consistently found, primarily because species that are redundant for one ecosystem process under a given set of environmental conditions play a distinct role under different conditions or in the provision of another ecosystem process. Here we show that the positive effects of diversity (specifically community composition) on multifunctionality indices can also arise from a statistical fallacy analogous to Simpson’s paradox (where aggregating data obscures causal relationships). We manipulated soil faunal community composition in combination with nitrogen fertilization of model grassland ecosystems and repeatedly measured five ecosystem processes related to plant productivity, carbon storage, and nutrient turnover. We calculated three common multifunctionality indices based on these processes and found that the functional complexity of the soil communities had a consistent positive effect on the indices. However, only two of the five ecosystem processes also responded positively to increasing complexity, whereas the other three responded neutrally or negatively. Furthermore, none of the individual processes responded to both the complexity and the nitrogen manipulations in a manner consistent with the indices. Our data show that multifunctionality indices can obscure relationships that exist between communities and key ecosystem processes, leading us to question their use in advancing theoretical understanding—and in management decisions—about how biodiversity is related to the provision of multiple ecosystem services. PMID:25246582

  2. Ecosystem services: developing sustainable management paradigms based on wetland functions and processes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Euliss, Ned H.; Mushet, David M.; Smith, Loren M.; Conner, William H.; Burkett, Virginia R.; Wilcox, Douglas A.; Hester, Mark W.; Zheng, Haochi

    2013-01-01

    In the late nineteenth century and twentieth century, there was considerable interest and activity to develop the United States for agricultural, mining, and many other purposes to improve the quality of human life standards and prosperity. Most of the work to support this development was focused along disciplinary lines with little attention focused on ecosystem service trade-offs or synergisms, especially those that transcended boundaries of scientific disciplines and specific interest groups. Concurrently, human population size has increased substantially and its use of ecosystem services has increased more than five-fold over just the past century. Consequently, the contemporary landscape has been highly modified for human use, leaving behind a fragmented landscape where basic ecosystem functions and processes have been broadly altered. Over this period, climate change also interacted with other anthropogenic effects, resulting in modern environmental problems having a complexity that is without historical precedent. The challenge before the scientific community is to develop new science paradigms that integrate relevant scientific disciplines to properly frame and evaluate modern environmental problems in a systems-type approach to better inform the decision-making process. Wetland science is a relatively new discipline that grew out of the conservation movement of the early twentieth century. In the United States, most of the conservation attention in the earlier days was on wildlife, but a growing human awareness of the importance of the environment led to the passage of the National Environmental Policy Act in 1969. Concurrently, there was a broadening interest in conservation science, and the scientific study of wetlands gradually gained acceptance as a scientific discipline. Pioneering wetland scientists became formally organized when they formed The Society of Wetland Scientists in 1980 and established a publication outlet to share wetland research

  3. Building an Innovation Ecosystem: Process, Culture and Competencies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Kenneth R.

    2006-01-01

    For almost three decades we have optimized our organizations for efficiency and quality. We now look to innovation as the source of competitive advantage--for individuals, for organizations and for society. This paper examines the three components of an innovation ecosystem and their implications for corporations, universities and public policy.…

  4. Food web pathway determines how selenium affects aquatic ecosystems: a San Francisco Bay case study.

    PubMed

    Stewart, A Robin; Luoma, Samuel N; Schlekat, Christian E; Doblin, Martina A; Hieb, Kathryn A

    2004-09-01

    Chemical contaminants disrupt ecosystems, but specific effects may be under-appreciated when poorly known processes such as uptake mechanisms, uptake via diet, food preferences, and food web dynamics are influential. Here we show that a combination of food web structure and the physiology of trace element accumulation explain why some species in San Francisco Bay are threatened by a relatively low level of selenium contamination and some are not. Bivalves and crustacean zooplankton form the base of two dominant food webs in estuaries. The dominant bivalve Potamocorbula amurensis has a 10-fold slower rate constant of loss for selenium than do common crustaceans such as copepods and the mysid Neomysis mercedis (rate constant of loss, ke = 0.025, 0.155, and 0.25 d(-1), respectively). The result is much higher selenium concentrations in the bivalve than in the crustaceans. Stable isotope analyses show that this difference is propagated up the respective food webs in San Francisco Bay. Several predators of bivalves have tissue concentrations of selenium that exceed thresholds thought to be associated with teratogenesis or reproductive failure (liver Se >15 microg g(-1) dry weight). Deformities typical of selenium-induced teratogenesis were observed in one of these species. Concentrations of selenium in tissues of predators of zooplankton are less than the thresholds. Basic physiological and ecological processes can drive wide differences in exposure and effects among species, but such processes are rarely considered in traditional evaluations of contaminant impacts. PMID:15461158

  5. Food web pathway determines how selenium affects aquatic ecosystems: A San francisco Bay case study

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stewart, A.R.; Luoma, S.N.; Schlekat, C.E.; Doblin, M.A.; Hieb, K.A.

    2004-01-01

    Chemical contaminants disrupt ecosystems, but specific effects may be under-appreciated when poorly known processes such as uptake mechanisms, uptake via diet, food preferences, and food web dynamics are influential. Here we show that a combination of food web structure and the physiology of trace element accumulation explain why some species in San Francisco Bay are threatened by a relatively low level of selenium contamination and some are not. Bivalves and crustacean Zooplankton form the base of two dominant food webs in estuaries. The dominant bivalve Potamocorbula amurensis has a 10-fold slower rate constant of loss for selenium than do common crustaceans such as copepods and the mysid Neomysis mercedis (rate constant of loss, ke = 0.025, 0.155, and 0.25 d-1, respectively). The result is much higher selenium concentrations in the bivalve than in the crustaceans. Stable isotope analyses show that this difference is propagated up the respective food webs in San Francisco Bay. Several predators of bivalves have tissue concentrations of selenium that exceed thresholds thought to be associated with teratogenesis or reproductive failure (liver Se > 15 ??g g-1 dry weight). Deformities typical of selenium-induced teratogenesis were observed in one of these species. Concentrations of selenium in tissues of predators of Zooplankton are less than the thresholds. Basic physiological and ecological processes can drive wide differences in exposure and effects among species, but such processes are rarely considered in traditional evaluations of contaminant impacts.

  6. Next Generation Ecosystem Experiment: Quantification and prediction of coupled processes in the terrestrial Arctic system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hubbard, S. S.; Hinzman, L. D.; Graham, D. E.; Liang, L.; Norby, R.; Riley, W. J.; Rogers, A.; Rowland, J. C.; Thornton, P. E.; Torn, M. S.; Wilson, C. J.; Wullschleger, S. D.; NGEE Scientific Team

    2011-12-01

    Predicting the evolution of Arctic ecosystems to a changing climate is complicated by the many interactions and feedbacks that occur within and between components of the system. A new DOE Biological and Environmental Research project, called the Next-Generation Ecosystem Experiments (NGEE) is being initiated to address "how does permafrost degradation in a warming Arctic, and the associated changes in landscape evolution, hydrology, soil biogeochemical processes, and plant community succession, affect feedbacks to the climate system?". A multi-disciplinary team will use observations, experiments, and simulations carried out from the pore to the landscape scales to address these questions. We will combine field research (performed around thermokarst features in Alaska on the North Slope and Seward Peninsula), laboratory research using a variety of approaches and techniques, and remote sensing observations to improve modeling capabilities for high-latitude systems. Our research is organized into four interrelated 'Challenges' to quantify: (1) environmental controls on permafrost degradation and its influence on hydrological state, stocks, fluxes and pathways; (2) mechanisms that drive structural and functional responses of the tundra plant community to changing resource availability; (3) controls, mechanisms and rates driving biodegradation of soil organic matter; and (4) the impact of permafrost degradation on ecosystem albedo, energy partitioning and total climate forcing. Coordinated data acquisition will be performed using a variety of commonly-used terrestrial ecosystem characterization approaches as well as novel molecular microbiological, geophysical, isotopic and synchrotron techniques. These datasets will be used in parallel with models to identify the key controls on coupled geomechanical, hydrological, soil biogeochemical, vegetation and land-surface processes, as well as the manifestation of these coupled processes over a broad range of space and time

  7. Sensitivity analysis of a process-based ecosystem model: Pinpointing parameterization and structural issues

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pappas, Christoforos; Fatichi, Simone; Leuzinger, Sebastian; Wolf, Annett; Burlando, Paolo

    2013-06-01

    vegetation models have been widely used for analyzing ecosystem dynamics and their interactions with climate. Their performance has been tested extensively against observations and by model intercomparison studies. In the present analysis, Lund-Potsdam-Jena General Ecosystem Simulator (LPJ-GUESS), a state-of-the-art ecosystem model, was evaluated by performing a global sensitivity analysis. The study aims at examining potential model limitations, particularly with regard to long-term applications. A detailed sensitivity analysis based on variance decomposition is presented to investigate structural model assumptions and to highlight processes and parameters that cause the highest variability in the output. First- and total-order sensitivity indices were calculated for selected parameters using Sobol's methodology. In order to elucidate the role of climate on model sensitivity, different climate forcings were used based on observations from Switzerland. The results clearly indicate a very high sensitivity of LPJ-GUESS to photosynthetic parameters. Intrinsic quantum efficiency alone is able to explain about 60% of the variability in vegetation carbon fluxes and pools for a wide range of climate forcings. Processes related to light harvesting were also found to be important together with parameters affecting forest structure (growth, establishment, and mortality). The model shows minor sensitivity to hydrological and soil texture parameters, questioning its skills in representing spatial vegetation heterogeneity at regional or watershed scales. In the light of these results, we discuss the deficiencies of LPJ-GUESS and possibly that of other, structurally similar, dynamic vegetation models and we highlight potential directions for further model improvements.

  8. Municipal sludge metal contamination of old-field ecosystems: Do liming and tilling affect remediation

    SciTech Connect

    Benninger-Truax, M.; Taylor, D.H. . Dept. of Zoology)

    1993-10-01

    Mechanisms of ecosystem recovery following 11 years of sewage sludge disposal were addressed by examining the effects of tilling and/or liming on soil chemistry and the heavy metal (Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn) concentrations in soil, earthworms, vegetation, spiders, and crickets. In 1989 and 1990, subplots in each of three former 0.1-ha, long-term treatments (sludge, fertilizer, and control) were either unmanipulated or manipulated via tilling and/or liming. Liming significantly increased the pH of soil from the long-term sludge and fertilizer plots, and the combination of tilling and liming affected the heavy metal concentrations in earthworms, as lower concentrations of Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn were found in earthworms collected from subplots that had been both tilled and limed. However, most observed significant differences in heavy metal concentrations reflected the long-term treatments, as heavy metal concentrations tended to be greater in the soil and biota collected from sludge-treated plots. Thus, heavy metals remained in the soil in forms available to the biota, regardless of the cessation of sludge application or subplot manipulations (liming and/or tilling) for two years following cessation of sludge application.

  9. Quantifying causal mechanisms to determine how protected areas affect poverty through changes in ecosystem services and infrastructure.

    PubMed

    Ferraro, Paul J; Hanauer, Merlin M

    2014-03-18

    To develop effective environmental policies, we must understand the mechanisms through which the policies affect social and environmental outcomes. Unfortunately, empirical evidence about these mechanisms is limited, and little guidance for quantifying them exists. We develop an approach to quantifying the mechanisms through which protected areas affect poverty. We focus on three mechanisms: changes in tourism and recreational services; changes in infrastructure in the form of road networks, health clinics, and schools; and changes in regulating and provisioning ecosystem services and foregone production activities that arise from land-use restrictions. The contributions of ecotourism and other ecosystem services to poverty alleviation in the context of a real environmental program have not yet been empirically estimated. Nearly two-thirds of the poverty reduction associated with the establishment of Costa Rican protected areas is causally attributable to opportunities afforded by tourism. Although protected areas reduced deforestation and increased regrowth, these land cover changes neither reduced nor exacerbated poverty, on average. Protected areas did not, on average, affect our measures of infrastructure and thus did not contribute to poverty reduction through this mechanism. We attribute the remaining poverty reduction to unobserved dimensions of our mechanisms or to other mechanisms. Our study empirically estimates previously unidentified contributions of ecotourism and other ecosystem services to poverty alleviation in the context of a real environmental program. We demonstrate that, with existing data and appropriate empirical methods, conservation scientists and policymakers can begin to elucidate the mechanisms through which ecosystem conservation programs affect human welfare. PMID:24567397

  10. Quantifying causal mechanisms to determine how protected areas affect poverty through changes in ecosystem services and infrastructure

    PubMed Central

    Ferraro, Paul J.; Hanauer, Merlin M.

    2014-01-01

    To develop effective environmental policies, we must understand the mechanisms through which the policies affect social and environmental outcomes. Unfortunately, empirical evidence about these mechanisms is limited, and little guidance for quantifying them exists. We develop an approach to quantifying the mechanisms through which protected areas affect poverty. We focus on three mechanisms: changes in tourism and recreational services; changes in infrastructure in the form of road networks, health clinics, and schools; and changes in regulating and provisioning ecosystem services and foregone production activities that arise from land-use restrictions. The contributions of ecotourism and other ecosystem services to poverty alleviation in the context of a real environmental program have not yet been empirically estimated. Nearly two-thirds of the poverty reduction associated with the establishment of Costa Rican protected areas is causally attributable to opportunities afforded by tourism. Although protected areas reduced deforestation and increased regrowth, these land cover changes neither reduced nor exacerbated poverty, on average. Protected areas did not, on average, affect our measures of infrastructure and thus did not contribute to poverty reduction through this mechanism. We attribute the remaining poverty reduction to unobserved dimensions of our mechanisms or to other mechanisms. Our study empirically estimates previously unidentified contributions of ecotourism and other ecosystem services to poverty alleviation in the context of a real environmental program. We demonstrate that, with existing data and appropriate empirical methods, conservation scientists and policymakers can begin to elucidate the mechanisms through which ecosystem conservation programs affect human welfare. PMID:24567397

  11. Ecosystem regime shifts have not affected growth and survivorship of eastern Beaufort Sea belugas.

    PubMed

    Luque, Sebastián P; Ferguson, Steven H

    2009-05-01

    Large-scale ocean-atmosphere physical dynamics can have profound impacts on the structure and organization of marine ecosystems. These changes have been termed "regime shifts", and five different episodes have been detected in the North Pacific Ocean, with concurrent changes also occurring in the Bering and Beaufort Seas. Belugas from the Eastern Beaufort Sea (EBS) use the Bering Sea during winter and the Beaufort Sea during summer, yet the potential effects of regime shifts on belugas have not been assessed. We investigated whether body size and survivorship of EBS belugas harvested in the Mackenzie River delta region between 1993 and 2003 have been affected by previous purported regime shifts in the North Pacific. Residuals from the relationship between body length and age were calculated and compared among belugas born between 1932 and 1989. Residual body size was not significantly related to birth year for any regime, nor to the age group individuals belonged to during any regime. The percentage deviation in number of belugas born in any given year that survived to be included in the hunt (survivorship) did not show any significant trend within or between regimes. Accounting for lags of 1-5 years did not reveal any evidence of delayed effects. Furthermore, neither population index was significantly related to changes in major climatic variables that precede regime shifts. Our results suggest that EBS beluga body size and survivorship have not been affected by the major regime shifts of the North Pacific and the adjacent Bering and Beaufort Seas. EBS belugas may have been able to modify their diet without compromising their growth and survivorship. Diet and reproductive analyses over large and small time scales can help understand the mechanisms enabling belugas to avoid significant growth and reproductive effects of past regime shifts. PMID:19229560

  12. Nitrogen and carbon cycling in a grassland community ecosystem as affected by elevated atmospheric CO2

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Increasing global atmospheric CO2 concentration has led to concerns regarding its potential effects on terrestrial ecosystem and the long-term storage of C and N in soil. This study examined responses to elevated CO2 in a grass ecosystem invaded with a leguminous shrub Acacia farnesiana (L.) Willd (...

  13. Flexible control in processing affective and non-affective material predicts individual differences in trait resilience.

    PubMed

    Genet, Jessica J; Siemer, Matthias

    2011-02-01

    Trait resilience is a stable personality characteristic that involves the self-reported ability to flexibly adapt to emotional events and situations. The present study examined cognitive processes that may explain individual differences in trait resilience. Participants completed self-report measures of trait resilience, cognitive flexibility and working memory capacity tasks, and a novel affective task-switching paradigm that assesses the ability to flexibly switch between processing the affective versus non-affective qualities of affective stimuli (i.e., flexible affective processing). As hypothesised, cognitive flexibility and flexible affective processing were unique predictors of trait resilience. Working memory capacity was not predictive of trait resilience, indicating that trait resilience is tied to specific cognitive processes rather than overall better cognitive functioning. Cognitive flexibility and flexible affective processing were not associated with other trait measures, suggesting that these flexibility processes are unique to trait resilience. This study was among the first to investigate the cognitive abilities underlying trait resilience. PMID:21432680

  14. Predicted climate change alters the indirect effect of predators on an ecosystem process.

    PubMed

    Lensing, Janet R; Wise, David H

    2006-10-17

    Changes in rainfall predicted to occur with global climate change will likely alter rates of leaf-litter decomposition through direct effects on primary decomposers. In a field experiment replicated at two sites, we show that altered rainfall may also change how cascading trophic interactions initiated by arthropod predators in the leaf litter indirectly influence litter decomposition. On the drier site there was no interaction between rainfall and the indirect effect of predators on decomposition. In contrast, on the moister site spiders accelerated the disappearance rate of deciduous leaf litter under low rainfall, but had no, or possibly a negative, indirect effect under high rainfall. Thus, changes resulting from the more intense hydrological cycle expected to occur with climate change will likely influence how predators indirectly affect an essential ecosystem process. PMID:17023538

  15. The role of carrion in maintaining biodiversity and ecological processes in terrestrial ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Barton, Philip S; Cunningham, Saul A; Lindenmayer, David B; Manning, Adrian D

    2013-04-01

    Carrion provides a resource for a subset of animal species that deliver a critical ecosystem service by consuming dead animal matter and recycling its nutrients. A growing number of studies have also shown various effects of carrion on different plant and microbial communities. However, there has been no review of these studies to bring this information together and identify priority areas for future research. We review carrion ecology studies from the last two decades and summarise the range of spatial and temporal effects of carrion on soil nutrients, microbes, plants, arthropods, and vertebrates. We identify key knowledge gaps in carrion ecology, and discuss how closing these gaps can be achieved by focusing future research on the (1) different kinds of carrion resources, (2) interactions between different components of the carrion community, (3) the ways that ecosystem context can moderate carrion effects, and (4) considerations for carrion management. To guide this research, we outline a framework that builds on the 'ephemeral resource patch' concept, and helps to structure research questions that link localised effects of carrion with their consequences at landscape scales. This will enable improved characterisation of carrion as a unique resource pool, provide answers for land managers in a position to influence carrion availability, and establish the ways that carrion affects the dynamics of species diversity and ecological processes within landscapes. PMID:23007807

  16. Site variation in methane oxidation as affected by atmospheric deposition and type of temperate forest ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brumme, Rainer; Borken, Werner

    1999-06-01

    Factors controlling methane oxidation were analyzed along a soil acidity gradient (pH(H2O) 3.9 to 5.2) under beech and spruce forests in Germany. Mean annual methane oxidation ranged from 0.1 to 2.5 kg CH4 ha-1 yr-1 and was correlated with base saturation (r2 = 0.88), soil pH (r2 = 0.77), total nitrogen (r2 = 0.71), amount of the organic surface horizon (r2 = 0.49) and bulk density of the mineral soil (r2 = 0.43). At lower pHs the formation of an organic surface horizon was promoted. This horizon did not have any methane oxidation capacity and acted like a gas diffusion barrier, which decreased the methane oxidation capacity of the soil. In contrast, on sites at the higher end of the pH range, higher burrowing activity of earthworms increased macroporosity and thereby gas diffusivity and methane oxidation. Gas diffusivity was also affected by litter shape: broad beech leaves reduced methane oxidation more than spruce needles. An increase in methane oxidation of most soil samples following sieving indicates that diffusion is the main limiting factor for methane oxidation. However, this "sieving effect" was less in soils with a pH below 5 than in soils with a pH above 5, which we attribute to a direct effect of soil acidity. We discuss our results using a hierarchical concept for the "short-term" and "long-term" controls on methane oxidation in forest ecosystems.

  17. Do unconscious processes affect educational institutions?

    PubMed

    Hinshelwood, R D

    2009-10-01

    In this article I discuss the way that aspects of school and teaching have unconscious roots. Where anxiety about the process, for teachers and children, is high then there is the risk that unconscious defensive processes may occur resulting in institutionalized phenomena. These take the form of cultural attitudes and common practices which may not necessarily enhance the work and in some cases may actively interfere. PMID:19759069

  18. Biochemical processes in sagebrush ecosystems: Interactions with terrain

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Matson, P. (Principal Investigator); Reiners, W.; Strong, L.

    1985-01-01

    The objectives of a biogeochemical study of sagebrush ecosystems in Wyoming and their interactions with terrain are as follows: to describe the vegetational pattern on the landscape and elucidate controlling variables, to measure the soil properties and chemical cycling properties associated with the vegetation units, to associate soil properties with vegetation properties as measured on the ground, to develop remote sensing capabilities for vegetation and surface characteristics of the sagebrush landscape, to develop a system of sensing snow cover and indexing seasonal soil to moisture; and to develop relationships between temporal Thematic Mapper (TM) data and vegetation phenological state.

  19. Large-scale regional comparisons of ecosystem processes: Methods and approaches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Legendre, Louis; Niquil, Nathalie

    2013-01-01

    Large-scale regional marine ecosystems can be compared for various processes that include their structure and biodiversity, functioning, services, and effects on biogeochemical processes. The comparisons can proceed from data up, or from conceptual models down, or from a combination of models and data. This study proposes a typology of methods and approaches that are currently used, or could possibly be used for making large-scale ecosystem comparisons. The various methods and approaches are illustrated with examples drawn from the literature.

  20. How does wind-throw disturbance affect the carbon budget of an upland spruce forest ecosystem?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lindauer, Matthias; Schmid, Hans Peter; Grote, Rüdiger; Mauder, Matthias; Wolpert, Benjamin; Steinbrecher, Rainer

    2014-05-01

    Forests, especially in mid-latitudes are generally designated as large carbon sinks. However, stand-replacing disturbance events like fires, insect-infestations, or severe wind-storms can shift an ecosystem from carbon sink to carbon source within short time and keep it as this for a long time. In Addition, extreme weather situations which promote the occurrence of ecosystem disturbances are likely to increase in the future due to climate change. The development and competition of different vegetation types (spruce vs. grass) as well as soil organic matter (SOM), and their contribution to the net ecosystem exchange (NEE), in such disturbed forest ecosystems are largely unknown. In a large wind-throw area (ca. 600 m diameter, due to cyclone Kyrill in January 2007) within a mature upland spruce forest, where dead-wood has not been removed, in the Bavarian Forest National Park (Lackenberg, 1308 m a.s.l., Bavaria, Germany), fluxes of CO2, water vapor and energy have been measured with the Eddy Covariance (EC) method since 2009. Model simulations (MoBiLE) were used to estimate the GPP components from trees and grassland as well as to differentiate between soil and plant respiration, and to get an idea about the long term behavior of the ecosystems carbon exchange. For 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 estimates of annual Net Ecosystem Exchange (NEE) showed that the wind-throw was a marked carbon source. However, the few remaining trees and newly emerging vegetation (grass, sparse young spruce, etc.) lead to an already strong Gross Ecosystem Production (GEP). Model simulations conformed well with the measurements. To our knowledge, we present the worldwide first long-term measurements of NEE within a non-cleared wind-throw-disturbed forest ecosystem.

  1. Potential climate change impacts on temperate forest ecosystem processes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Peters, Emily B.; Wythers, Kirk R.; Zhang, Shuxia; Bradford, John B.; Reich, Peter B.

    2013-01-01

    Large changes in atmospheric CO2, temperature and precipitation are predicted by 2100, yet the long-term consequences for carbon, water, and nitrogen cycling in forests are poorly understood. We applied the PnET-CN ecosystem model to compare the long-term effects of changing climate and atmospheric CO2 on productivity, evapotranspiration, runoff, and net nitrogen mineralization in current Great Lakes forest types. We used two statistically downscaled climate projections, PCM B1 (warmer and wetter) and GFDL A1FI (hotter and drier), to represent two potential future climate and atmospheric CO2 scenarios. To separate the effects of climate and CO2, we ran PnET-CN including and excluding the CO2 routine. Our results suggest that, with rising CO2 and without changes in forest type, average regional productivity could increase from 67% to 142%, changes in evapotranspiration could range from –3% to +6%, runoff could increase from 2% to 22%, and net N mineralization could increase 10% to 12%. Ecosystem responses varied geographically and by forest type. Increased productivity was almost entirely driven by CO2 fertilization effects, rather than by temperature or precipitation (model runs holding CO2 constant showed stable or declining productivity). The relative importance of edaphic and climatic spatial drivers of productivity varied over time, suggesting that productivity in Great Lakes forests may switch from being temperature to water limited by the end of the century.

  2. Sound Affects the Speed of Visual Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Keetels, Mirjam; Vroomen, Jean

    2011-01-01

    The authors examined the effects of a task-irrelevant sound on visual processing. Participants were presented with revolving clocks at or around central fixation and reported the hand position of a target clock at the time an exogenous cue (1 clock turning red) or an endogenous cue (a line pointing toward 1 of the clocks) was presented. A…

  3. Dilution, Not Load, Affects Distractor Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilson, Daryl E.; Muroi, Miya; MacLeod, Colin M.

    2011-01-01

    Lavie and Tsal (1994) proposed that spare attentional capacity is allocated involuntarily to the processing of irrelevant stimuli, thereby enabling interference. Under this view, when task demands increase, spare capacity should decrease and distractor interference should decrease. In support, Lavie and Cox (1997) found that increasing perceptual…

  4. Auditory motion affects visual biological motion processing.

    PubMed

    Brooks, A; van der Zwan, R; Billard, A; Petreska, B; Clarke, S; Blanke, O

    2007-02-01

    The processing of biological motion is a critical, everyday task performed with remarkable efficiency by human sensory systems. Interest in this ability has focused to a large extent on biological motion processing in the visual modality (see, for example, Cutting, J. E., Moore, C., & Morrison, R. (1988). Masking the motions of human gait. Perception and Psychophysics, 44(4), 339-347). In naturalistic settings, however, it is often the case that biological motion is defined by input to more than one sensory modality. For this reason, here in a series of experiments we investigate behavioural correlates of multisensory, in particular audiovisual, integration in the processing of biological motion cues. More specifically, using a new psychophysical paradigm we investigate the effect of suprathreshold auditory motion on perceptions of visually defined biological motion. Unlike data from previous studies investigating audiovisual integration in linear motion processing [Meyer, G. F. & Wuerger, S. M. (2001). Cross-modal integration of auditory and visual motion signals. Neuroreport, 12(11), 2557-2560; Wuerger, S. M., Hofbauer, M., & Meyer, G. F. (2003). The integration of auditory and motion signals at threshold. Perception and Psychophysics, 65(8), 1188-1196; Alais, D. & Burr, D. (2004). No direction-specific bimodal facilitation for audiovisual motion detection. Cognitive Brain Research, 19, 185-194], we report the existence of direction-selective effects: relative to control (stationary) auditory conditions, auditory motion in the same direction as the visually defined biological motion target increased its detectability, whereas auditory motion in the opposite direction had the inverse effect. Our data suggest these effects do not arise through general shifts in visuo-spatial attention, but instead are a consequence of motion-sensitive, direction-tuned integration mechanisms that are, if not unique to biological visual motion, at least not common to all types of

  5. Structurally complex habitats provided by Acropora palmata influence ecosystem processes on a reef in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lemoine, N. P.; Valentine, J. F.

    2012-09-01

    The disappearance of Acropora palmata from reefs in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS) represents a significant loss in the amount of structurally complex habitat available for reef-associated species. The consequences of such a widespread loss of complex structure on ecosystem processes are still unclear. We sought to determine whether the disappearance of complex structure has adversely affected grazing and invertebrate predation rates on a shallow reef in the FKNMS. Surprisingly, we found grazing rates and invertebrate predation rates were lower in the structurally complex A. palmata branches than on the topographically simple degraded reefs. We attribute these results to high densities of aggressively territorial damselfish, Stegastes planifrons, living within A. palmata. Our study suggests the presence of agonistic damselfish can cause the realized spatial patterns of ecosystem processes to deviate from the expected patterns. Reef ecologists must therefore carefully consider the assemblage of associate fish communities when assessing how the mortality of A. palmata has affected coral reef ecosystem processes.

  6. Comparing soil biogeochemical processes in novel and natural boreal forest ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quideau, S. A.; Swallow, M. J. B.; Prescott, C. E.; Grayston, S. J.; Oh, S.-W.

    2013-08-01

    Emulating the variability that exists in the natural landscape prior to disturbance should be a goal of soil reconstruction and land reclamation efforts following resource extraction. Long-term ecosystem sustainability within reclaimed landscapes can only be achieved with the re-establishment of biogeochemical processes between reconstructed soils and plants. In this study, we assessed key soil biogeochemical attributes (nutrient availability, organic matter composition, and microbial communities) in reconstructed, novel, anthropogenic ecosystems, covering different reclamation treatments following open-cast mining for oil extraction. We compared the attributes to those present in a range of natural soils representative of mature boreal forest ecosystems in the same area of Northern Alberta. Soil nutrient availability was determined in situ with resin probes, organic matter composition was described with 13C nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and soil microbial community structure was characterized using phospholipid fatty acid analysis. Significant differences among natural ecosystems were apparent in nutrient availability and seemed more related to the dominant tree cover than to soil type. When analyzed together, all natural forests differed significantly from the novel ecosystems, in particular with respect to soil organic matter composition. However, there was some overlap between the reconstructed soils and some of the natural ecosystems in nutrient availability and microbial communities, but not in organic matter characteristics. Hence, our results illustrate the importance of considering the range of natural landscape variability and including several soil biogeochemical attributes when comparing novel, anthropogenic ecosystems to the mature ecosystems that constitute ecological targets.

  7. Comparing soil biogeochemical processes in novel and natural boreal forest ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quideau, S. A.; Swallow, M. J. B.; Prescott, C. E.; Grayston, S. J.; Oh, S.-W.

    2013-04-01

    Emulating the variability that exists in the natural landscape prior to disturbance should be a goal of soil reconstruction and land reclamation efforts following resource extraction. Long-term ecosystem sustainability within reclaimed landscapes can only be achieved with the re-establishment of biogeochemical processes between reconstructed soils and plants. In this study, we assessed key soil biogeochemical attributes (nutrient availability, organic matter composition, and microbial communities) in reconstructed, novel, anthropogenic ecosystems covering different reclamation treatments following open-cast mining for oil extraction. We compared the attributes to those present in a range of natural soils representative of mature boreal forest ecosystems in the same area of northern Alberta. Soil nutrient availability was determined in situ with resin probes, organic matter composition was described with 13C nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and soil microbial community structure was characterized using phospholipid fatty acid analysis. Significant differences among natural ecosystems were apparent in nutrient availability and seemed more related to the dominant tree cover than to soil type. When analyzed together, all natural forests differed significantly from the novel ecosystems, in particular with respect to soil organic matter composition. However, there was some overlap between the reconstructed soils and some of the natural ecosystems in nutrient availability and microbial communities, but not in organic matter characteristics. Hence, our results illustrate the importance of considering the range of natural landscape variability, and including several soil biogeochemical attributes when comparing novel, anthropogenic ecosystems to the mature ecosystems that constitute ecological targets.

  8. Factors Affecting Trophic Control of Community Structure and Ecosystem Functioning in Experimental Mesocosms of Seagrass (Zostera marina L.)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lefcheck, J.; Duffy, J.

    2008-12-01

    Nutrient loading of coastal and estuarine waters threatens seagrass communities by promoting the growth of micro- and macroalgae, which then reduce the availability of light and nutrients. However, populations of invertebrate mesograzers are able to mitigate the negative impact of eutrophication through top-down control. We performed a factorial mesocosm experiment to examine the interactive relationships between light, nutrients, and mesograzer presence in structuring experimental ecosystems of eelgrass (Zostera marina). We found that mesograzer presence strongly reduced epiphytic algal biomass in every case, which remains consistent with previous mesocosm studies. We also observed a synergistic light-by-nutrient interaction that enhanced both epiphyte biomass and mesograzer abundance. The timing of this relationship is suggestive of weaker bottom-up control. Unlike previous studies, we found that light alone rarely affected either epiphyte biomass or mesograzer abundance. We believe that this result may be due to a combination of macroalgal shading and persistent grazing. Further processing of primary and secondary producer biomasses and elemental ratios, as well as the completion of feeding assays to gauge mesograzer feeding rates on different types of algae, will serve to reinforce these conclusions and to better define the relationship between these factors.

  9. Low temperature alteration processes affecting ultramafic bodies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nesbitt, H.W.; Bricker, O.P.

    1978-01-01

    At low temperatures, in the presence of an aqueous solution, olivine and orthopyroxene are not stable relative to the hydrous phases brucite, serpentine and talc. Alteration of dunite and peridotite to serpentine or steatite bodies must therefore proceed via non-equilibrium processes. The compositions of natural solutions emanating from dunites and peridotites demonstrate that the dissolution of forsterite and/or enstatite is rapid compared with the precipitation of the hydrous phases; consequently, dissolution of anhydrous minerals controls the chemistry of such solutions. In the presence of an aqueous phase, precipitation of hydrous minerals is the rate-controlling step. Brucite-bearing and -deficient serpentinites alter at low temperature by non-equilibrium processes, as evidenced by the composition of natural solutions from these bodies. The solutions approach equilibrium with the least stable hydrous phase and, as a consequence, are supersaturated with other hydrous phases. Dissolution of the least stable phase is rapid compared to precipitation of other phases, so that the dissolving mineral controls the solution chemistry. Non-equilibrium alteration of anhydrous ultramafic bodies continues until at least one anhydrous phase equilibrates with brucite, chrysotile or talc. The lowest temperature (at a given pressure) at which this happens is defined by the reaction: 3H2O + 2Mg2SiO4 ??? Mg3Si2O5(OH)4 + Mg(OH)2 (Johannes, 1968, Contrib. Mineral. Petrol. 19, 309-315) so that non-equilibrium alteration may occur well into greenschist facies metamorphic conditions. ?? 1978.

  10. Characterizing Zinc Speciation in Soils from a Smelter-Affected Boreal Forest Ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Hamilton, Jordan G; Farrell, Richard E; Chen, Ning; Feng, Renfei; Reid, Joel; Peak, Derek

    2016-03-01

    HudBay Minerals, Inc., has mined and/or processed Zn and Cu ore in Flin Flon, MB, Canada, since the 1930s. The boreal forest ecosystem and soil surrounding these facilities have been severely impacted by mixed metal contamination and HSO deposition. Zinc is one of the most prevalent smelter-derived contaminants and has been identified as a key factor that may be limiting revegetation. Metal toxicity is related to both total concentrations and speciation; therefore, X-ray absorption spectroscopy and X-ray fluorescence mapping were used to characterize Zn speciation in soils throughout the most heavily contaminated areas of the landscape. Zinc speciation was linked to two distinct soil types. Group I soils consist of exposed soils in weathered positions of bedrock outcrops with Zn present primarily as franklinite, a (ZnFeO) spinel mineral. Group II soils are stabilized by an invasive metal-tolerant grass species, with Zn found as a mixture of octahedral (Fe oxides) and tetrahedral Mn oxides) adsorption complexes with a franklinite component. Soil erosion influences Zn speciation through the redistribution of Zn and soil particulates from Group I landscape positions to Group II soils. Despite Group II soils having the highest concentrations of CaCl-extractable Zn, they support metal-tolerant plant growth. The metal-tolerant plants are probably preferentially colonizing these areas due to better soil and nutrient conditions as a result of soil deposition from upslope Group I areas. Zinc concentration and speciation appears to not influence the colonization by metal-tolerant grasses, but the overall soil properties and erosion effects prevent the revegetation by native boreal forest species. PMID:27065416

  11. Estimating infiltration rates for intermittent streams in the semiarid southwest: implications for ecosystem processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nicholas, H. D.; Meixner, T.; Lohse, K. A.

    2011-12-01

    Directional climate change may lead to increased aridity and fewer precipitation events across the American southwest. Determining infiltration fluxes during monsoonal rainstorms may be the key to predicting how changing precipitation frequency will affect groundwater percolation and potential recharge. Our study focuses on the following research question: How much water infiltrates- and at what rates- during flow events in ephemeral streams? An additional topic we hope to address as the project processes progresses is the link between intermittent flow variably and its affecteffect on water availability as it applies to ecosystem processes, from vegetation growth and diversity to insect populations, etc. As water is the limiting factor for ecosystem health and dynamics in the semi-arid southwest, the value of measuring and modeling variably saturated porous media is incredibly high. In order to address these topics, twelve intermittent stream sections in southern Arizona have been chosen for infiltration flux analysis. These twelve locations have been instrumented with vertical profiles of iButton temperature sensors in the streambed subsurface along several transects per reach. The iButton sensors log temperature hourly at depths of 0, 10, and 30cm, or in some locations at depths of 10, 30, and 50cm where possible. Deployed in protective metal housings directly in the sediment, they represent more dynamic possibilities for accurate infiltration measurements compared to their predecessors which were deployed in PVC pipe in sediment. The vertical profile temperature recordings may be analyzed by observing the propagation of amplitude and phase shifts that occur in the presence of water as you move deeper into the soil profile. Using temperature as a proxy for water infiltration rates makes flux estimations more reasonable in these highly unpredictable variably saturated zones. Temperature data is paired with modified TidbiT data-loggers which record electrical

  12. Cloud Processed CCN Affect Cloud Microphysics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hudson, J. G.; Noble, S. R., Jr.; Tabor, S. S.

    2015-12-01

    Variations in the bimodality/monomodality of CCN spectra (Hudson et al. 2015) exert opposite effects on cloud microphysics in two aircraft field projects. The figure shows two examples, droplet concentration, Nc, and drizzle liquid water content, Ld, against classification of CCN spectral modality. Low ratings go to balanced separated bimodal spectra, high ratings go to single mode spectra, strictly monomodal 8. Intermediate ratings go merged modes, e.g., one mode a shoulder of another. Bimodality is caused by mass or hygroscopicity increases that go only to CCN that made activated cloud droplets. In the Ice in Clouds Experiment-Tropical (ICE-T) small cumuli with lower Nc, greater droplet mean diameters, MD, effective radii, re, spectral widths, σ, cloud liquid water contents, Lc, and Ld were closer to more bimodal (lower modal ratings) below cloud CCN spectra whereas clouds with higher Nc, smaller MD, re, σ, and Ld were closer to more monomodal CCN (higher modal ratings). In polluted stratus clouds of the MArine Stratus/Stratocumulus Experiment (MASE) clouds that had greater Nc, and smaller MD, re, σ, Lc, and Ld were closer to more bimodal CCN spectra whereas clouds with lower Nc, and greater MD, re, σ, Lc, and Ld were closer to more monomodal CCN. These relationships are opposite because the dominant ICE-T cloud processing was coalescence whereas chemical transformations (e.g., SO2 to SO4) were dominant in MASE. Coalescence reduces Nc and thus also CCN concentrations (NCCN) when droplets evaporate. In subsequent clouds the reduced competition increases MD and σ, which further enhance coalescence and drizzle. Chemical transformations do not change Nc but added sulfate enhances droplet and CCN solubility. Thus, lower critical supersaturation (S) CCN can produce more cloud droplets in subsequent cloud cycles, especially for the low W and effective S of stratus. The increased competition reduces MD, re, and σ, which inhibit coalescence and thus reduce drizzle

  13. An elevational gradient in snowpack chemical loading at Glacier National Park, Montana: implications for ecosystem processes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fagre, Daniel; Tonnessen, Kathy; Morris, Kristi; Ingersoll, George; McKeon, Lisa; Holzer, Karen

    2000-01-01

    The accumulation and melting of mountain snowpacks are major drivers of ecosystem processes in the Rocky Mountains. These include the influence of snow water equivalent (SWE) timing and amount of release on soil moisture for annual tree growth, and alpine stream discharge and temperature that control aquatic biota life histories. Snowfall also brings with it atmospheric deposition. Snowpacks will hold as much as 8 months of atmospheric deposition for release into mountain ecosystems during the spring melt. These pulses of chemicals influence soil microbiota and biogeochemical processes affecting mountain vegetation growth. Increased atmospheric nitrogen inputs recently have been documented in remote parts of Colorado's mountain systems but no baseline data exist for the Northern Rockies. We examined patterns of SWE and snow chemistry in an elevational gradient stretching from west to east over the continental divide in Glacier National Park in March 1999 and 2000. Sites ranged from 1080m to 2192m at Swiftcurrent Pass. At each site, two vertically-integrated columns of snow were sampled from snowpits up to 600cm deep and analyzed for major cations and anions. Minor differences in snow chemistry, on a volumetric basis, existed over the elvational gradient. Snowpack chemical loading estimates were calculated for NH4, SO4 and NO3 and closely followed elevational increases in SWE. NO3 (in microequivalents/square meter) ranged from 1,000 ueq/m2 at low elevation sites to 8,000+ ueq/m2 for high elevation sites. Western slopes received greater amounts of SWE and chemical loads for all tested compounds.

  14. Studies of dynamical processes affecting global climate

    SciTech Connect

    Keller, C.; Cooper, D.; Eichinger, W.

    1998-12-31

    This is the final report of a three-year, Laboratory Directed Research and Development project at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). The main objective was, by a combined theoretical and observational approach, to develop improved models of dynamic processes in the oceans and atmosphere and to incorporate them into large climate codes, chiefly in four main areas: numerical physics, chemistry, water vapor, and ocean-atmosphere interactions. Main areas of investigation included studies of: cloud parameterizations for global climate codes, Lidar and the planetary boundary layer, chemistry, climate variability using coupled ocean-atmospheric models, and numerical physical methods. This project employed a unique approach that included participation of a number of University of California faculty, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students who collaborated with Los Alamos research staff on specific tasks, thus greatly enhancing the research output. Overall accomplishments during the sensing of the atmospheric planetary were: (1) first two- and three-dimensional remote sensing of the atmospheric planetary boundary layer using Lidars, (2) modeling of 20-year cycle in both pressure and sea surface temperatures in North Pacific, (3) modeling of low frequency internal variability, (4) addition of aerosols to stratosphere to simulate Pinatubo effect on ozone, (5) development of fast, comprehensive chemistry in the troposphere for urban pollution studies, (6) new prognostic cloud parameterization in global atmospheric code remedied problems with North Pacific atmospheric circulation and excessive equatorial precipitation, (7) development of a unique aerosol analysis technique, the aerosol time-of-flight mass spectrometer (ATOFMS), which allows real-time analysis of the size and chemical composition of individual aerosol particles, and (8) numerical physics applying Approximate Inertial Manifolds to ocean circulation. 14 refs., 6 figs.

  15. Ecological Processes of Isolated Wetlands: Ecosystem Services and the Significant Nexus (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lengler, U.; De Lucia, M.; Kuehn, M.

    2011-12-01

    Geographically isolated wetlands occur throughout the US and are characterized by a wetland system completely surrounded by uplands. Examples include prairie potholes, woodland seasonal (i.e., vernal) pools, cypress domes, playas, and other such systems. Decisions by the US Supreme Court in 2001 and 2006 have affected the jurisdictional status of geographically isolated wetlands such that those failing to have a demonstrable 'significant nexus' to navigable waters may have no federal protection under the Clean Water Act. These systems are typically small and, as such, may be under-counted in assessments of area and abundance. Areal extent is a portion of the information required to characterize the functions associated with geographically isolated wetlands and understanding both site-specific and larger-scale processes are also required to better quantify those functions. In addition, quantifying anthropogenic effects on system processing informs our understanding of the contributions and the connectivity of geographically isolated wetlands to other waters. This presentation focuses on both efforts to quantify the contribution of geographically isolated wetlands to system-scale processes, focusing on nutrient assimilation and hydrologic storage, as well as concurrent research to identify their locations at multiple scales. Findings from this research may help elucidate the link between geographically isolated wetlands and other systems, and may inform discussions on ecosystem services provided by geographically isolated wetlands.

  16. Ecological Processes of Isolated Wetlands: Ecosystem Services and the Significant Nexus (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lane, C.; Autrey, B.; D'Amico, E.

    2013-12-01

    Geographically isolated wetlands occur throughout the US and are characterized by a wetland system completely surrounded by uplands. Examples include prairie potholes, woodland seasonal (i.e., vernal) pools, cypress domes, playas, and other such systems. Decisions by the US Supreme Court in 2001 and 2006 have affected the jurisdictional status of geographically isolated wetlands such that those failing to have a demonstrable 'significant nexus' to navigable waters may have no federal protection under the Clean Water Act. These systems are typically small and, as such, may be under-counted in assessments of area and abundance. Areal extent is a portion of the information required to characterize the functions associated with geographically isolated wetlands and understanding both site-specific and larger-scale processes are also required to better quantify those functions. In addition, quantifying anthropogenic effects on system processing informs our understanding of the contributions and the connectivity of geographically isolated wetlands to other waters. This presentation focuses on both efforts to quantify the contribution of geographically isolated wetlands to system-scale processes, focusing on nutrient assimilation and hydrologic storage, as well as concurrent research to identify their locations at multiple scales. Findings from this research may help elucidate the link between geographically isolated wetlands and other systems, and may inform discussions on ecosystem services provided by geographically isolated wetlands.

  17. How the origin of organic compounds affects vegetation patchiness and regime shifts in ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dekker, S. C.; Nierop, K. G. J.; Mao, J.

    2012-04-01

    Soil water repellency (SWR) is a common property of soils and has been reported from all inhabited continents. It can have negative consequences for plant growth due to stagnation of water infiltration. Recently, the understanding of SWR has increased, mainly for the soil physical mechanisms. Although it is known that SWR-causing compounds, so-called SWR-biomarkers, stem from organic matter, the types and their origin (leaf, root, microbial decomposed organic matter, algae), are largely unknown. At the ecosystem scale, positive feedbacks between vegetation and increased soil water due to increased infiltration lead to self-organization of vegetation patchiness and abrupt shifts in ecosystem for semi-arid regions (Rietkerk et al. 2004, Dekker et al. 2007). Organic matter can enhance infiltration capacity but can also interrupt water infiltration through SWR. In this research we hypothesize that biomarkers at the molecular level can explain spatial patterns of water infiltration while the origin of biomarkers determines whether they can trigger or halt regime shifts in patchy vegetation. Therefore, we analyze SWR-biomarkers found in soil and relate them to their origin and the extent of SWR for patchy vegetated sites. Vegetation-hydrology interactions at the ecosystem scale are unraveled by combining molecular level mechanisms of SWR with soil physical mechanisms at macro-level in spatial ecohydrological models. Our aim is to understand the effects of SWR at the molecular level and emerging consequences at ecosystem level.

  18. How a clogged canal affects ecological and human health in a tropical urban wetland ecosystem

    EPA Science Inventory

    The coastal city of San Juan, Puerto Rico is a tropical urban ecosystem woven among a series of interconnected bays, lagoons, drains, canals, and mangroves. As the city has expanded, infilling and urban development by the region’s poorest residents has choked an important c...

  19. Ecosystem processes and nitrogen export in northern U.S. watersheds.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stottlemyer, R.

    2001-01-01

    There is much interest in the relationship of atmospheric nitrogen (N) inputs to ecosystem outputs as an indicator of possible "nitrogen saturation" by human activity. Longer-term, ecosystem-level mass balance studies suggest that the relationship is not clear and that other ecosystem processes may dominate variation in N outputs. We have been studying small, forested watershed ecosystems in five northern watersheds for periods up to 35 years. Here I summarize the research on ecosystem processes and the N budget. During the past 2 decades, average wet-precipitation N inputs ranged from about 0.1 to 6 kg N ha(-1) year(-1) among sites. In general, sites with the lowest N inputs had the highest output-to-input ratios. In the Alaska watersheds, streamwater N output exceeded inputs by 70 to 250%. The ratio of mean monthly headwater nitrate (NO3-) concentration to precipitation NO3- concentration declined with increased precipitation concentration. A series of ecosystem processes have been studied and related to N outputs. The most important appear to be seasonal change in hydrologic flowpath, soil freezing, seasonal forest-floor inorganic N pools resulting from over-winter mineralization beneath the snowpack, spatial variation in watershed forest-floor inorganic N pools, the degree to which snowmelt percolates soils, and gross soil N mineralization rates.

  20. A trait-based framework for predicting when and where microbial adaptation to climate change will affect ecosystem functioning

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wallenstein, Matthew D.; Hall, Edward K.

    2012-01-01

    As the earth system changes in response to human activities, a critical objective is to predict how biogeochemical process rates (e.g. nitrification, decomposition) and ecosystem function (e.g. net ecosystem productivity) will change under future conditions. A particular challenge is that the microbial communities that drive many of these processes are capable of adapting to environmental change in ways that alter ecosystem functioning. Despite evidence that microbes can adapt to temperature, precipitation regimes, and redox fluctuations, microbial communities are typically not optimally adapted to their local environment. For example, temperature optima for growth and enzyme activity are often greater than in situ temperatures in their environment. Here we discuss fundamental constraints on microbial adaptation and suggest specific environments where microbial adaptation to climate change (or lack thereof) is most likely to alter ecosystem functioning. Our framework is based on two principal assumptions. First, there are fundamental ecological trade-offs in microbial community traits that occur across environmental gradients (in time and space). These trade-offs result in shifting of microbial function (e.g. ability to take up resources at low temperature) in response to adaptation of another trait (e.g. limiting maintenance respiration at high temperature). Second, the mechanism and level of microbial community adaptation to changing environmental parameters is a function of the potential rate of change in community composition relative to the rate of environmental change. Together, this framework provides a basis for developing testable predictions about how the rate and degree of microbial adaptation to climate change will alter biogeochemical processes in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems across the planet.

  1. Movement of radionuclides in terrestrial ecosystems by physical processes.

    PubMed

    Anspaugh, Lynn R; Simon, Steven L; Gordeev, Konstantin I; Likhtarev, Ilya A; Maxwell, Reed M; Shinkarev, Sergei M

    2002-05-01

    Physical processes that effect the movement of radionuclides in the temperate environments post-deposition are considered in this paper. The physical processes considered include the interception of radionuclides by vegetation, resuspension, and vertical migration in soil. United States and Russian results on the interception of radionuclides are reviewed and defined in terms of models that are currently undergoing evaluation and revision. New results on resuspension are evaluated, and a preliminary new model for the time-dependent resuspension factor is proposed. Chernobyl-related results on the movement of radionuclides into the soil column are presented, as is a revised model for this process based upon recent results from Ukraine. PMID:12003017

  2. Inferring Group Processes from Computer-Mediated Affective Text Analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Schryver, Jack C; Begoli, Edmon; Jose, Ajith; Griffin, Christopher

    2011-02-01

    Political communications in the form of unstructured text convey rich connotative meaning that can reveal underlying group social processes. Previous research has focused on sentiment analysis at the document level, but we extend this analysis to sub-document levels through a detailed analysis of affective relationships between entities extracted from a document. Instead of pure sentiment analysis, which is just positive or negative, we explore nuances of affective meaning in 22 affect categories. Our affect propagation algorithm automatically calculates and displays extracted affective relationships among entities in graphical form in our prototype (TEAMSTER), starting with seed lists of affect terms. Several useful metrics are defined to infer underlying group processes by aggregating affective relationships discovered in a text. Our approach has been validated with annotated documents from the MPQA corpus, achieving a performance gain of 74% over comparable random guessers.

  3. MONITORING REGIONAL-SCALE HYDROLOGIC PROCESSES IN THE SOUTH FLORIDA ECOSYSTEM

    EPA Science Inventory

    The overall goal of the research project is to develop new approaches to monitor and predict hydrologic processes in the South Florida ecosystem. The processes to be studied include: (1) the patterns of overland surface flow and freshwater estuarine inflow in southwestern Florida...

  4. The Humboldt Current System: Ecosystem components and processes, fisheries, and sediment studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montecino, Vivian; Lange, Carina B.

    2009-12-01

    In the Humboldt Current System (HCS), biological and non-biological components, ecosystem processes, and fisheries are known to be affected by multi-decadal, inter-annual, annual, and intra-seasonal scales. The interplay between atmospheric variability, the poleward undercurrent, the shallow oxygen minimum zone (OMZ), and the fertilizing effect of coastal upwelling and overall high primary production rates drive bio-physical interactions, the carbon biomass, and fluxes of gases and particulate and dissolved matter through the water column. Coastal upwelling (permanent and seasonally modulated off Peru and northern Chile, and markedly seasonal between 30°S and 40°S) is the key process responsible for the high biological productivity in the HCS. At present, the western coast of South America produces more fish per unit area than any other region in the world ocean (i.e. ∼7.5 × 10 6 t of anchoveta were landed in 2007). Climate changes on different temporal scales lead to alterations in the distribution ranges of anchoveta and sardine populations and shifts in their dominance throughout the HCS. The factors affecting the coastal marine ecosystem that reverberate in the fisheries are crucial from a social perspective, since the economic consequences of mismanagement can be severe. Fish remains are often well-preserved in sediment settings under the hypoxic conditions of the OMZ off Peru and Chile, and reveal multi-decadal variability and centennial-scale changes in fish populations. Sediment studies from the Chilean continental margin encompassing the last 20,000 years of deposition reveal changes in sub-surface conditions in the HCS during deglaciation, interpreted to include: a major reorganization of the OMZ; a deglacial increase in denitrification decoupled from local marine productivity; and higher deglacial and Holocene paleoproductivities compared to the Last Glacial Maximum in central-south Chile (35-37°S) while this scheme is reversed for north

  5. Implicit Processing of Visual Emotions Is Affected by Sound-Induced Affective States and Individual Affective Traits

    PubMed Central

    Quarto, Tiziana; Blasi, Giuseppe; Pallesen, Karen Johanne; Bertolino, Alessandro; Brattico, Elvira

    2014-01-01

    The ability to recognize emotions contained in facial expressions are affected by both affective traits and states and varies widely between individuals. While affective traits are stable in time, affective states can be regulated more rapidly by environmental stimuli, such as music, that indirectly modulate the brain state. Here, we tested whether a relaxing or irritating sound environment affects implicit processing of facial expressions. Moreover, we investigated whether and how individual traits of anxiety and emotional control interact with this process. 32 healthy subjects performed an implicit emotion processing task (presented to subjects as a gender discrimination task) while the sound environment was defined either by a) a therapeutic music sequence (MusiCure), b) a noise sequence or c) silence. Individual changes in mood were sampled before and after the task by a computerized questionnaire. Additionally, emotional control and trait anxiety were assessed in a separate session by paper and pencil questionnaires. Results showed a better mood after the MusiCure condition compared with the other experimental conditions and faster responses to happy faces during MusiCure compared with angry faces during Noise. Moreover, individuals with higher trait anxiety were faster in performing the implicit emotion processing task during MusiCure compared with Silence. These findings suggest that sound-induced affective states are associated with differential responses to angry and happy emotional faces at an implicit stage of processing, and that a relaxing sound environment facilitates the implicit emotional processing in anxious individuals. PMID:25072162

  6. Implicit processing of visual emotions is affected by sound-induced affective states and individual affective traits.

    PubMed

    Quarto, Tiziana; Blasi, Giuseppe; Pallesen, Karen Johanne; Bertolino, Alessandro; Brattico, Elvira

    2014-01-01

    The ability to recognize emotions contained in facial expressions are affected by both affective traits and states and varies widely between individuals. While affective traits are stable in time, affective states can be regulated more rapidly by environmental stimuli, such as music, that indirectly modulate the brain state. Here, we tested whether a relaxing or irritating sound environment affects implicit processing of facial expressions. Moreover, we investigated whether and how individual traits of anxiety and emotional control interact with this process. 32 healthy subjects performed an implicit emotion processing task (presented to subjects as a gender discrimination task) while the sound environment was defined either by a) a therapeutic music sequence (MusiCure), b) a noise sequence or c) silence. Individual changes in mood were sampled before and after the task by a computerized questionnaire. Additionally, emotional control and trait anxiety were assessed in a separate session by paper and pencil questionnaires. Results showed a better mood after the MusiCure condition compared with the other experimental conditions and faster responses to happy faces during MusiCure compared with angry faces during Noise. Moreover, individuals with higher trait anxiety were faster in performing the implicit emotion processing task during MusiCure compared with Silence. These findings suggest that sound-induced affective states are associated with differential responses to angry and happy emotional faces at an implicit stage of processing, and that a relaxing sound environment facilitates the implicit emotional processing in anxious individuals. PMID:25072162

  7. Unmasking the effect of a precipitation pulse on the biological processes composing Net Ecosystem Carbon Exchange

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lopez-Ballesteros, Ana; Sanchez-Cañete, Enrique P.; Serrano-Ortiz, Penelope; Oyonarte, Cecilio; Kowalski, Andrew S.; Perez-Priego, Oscar; Domingo, Francisco

    2015-04-01

    Drylands occupy 47.2% of the global terrestrial area and are key ecosystems that significantly determine the inter-annual variability of the global carbon balance. However, it is still necessary to delve into the functional behavior of arid and semiarid ecosystems due to the complexity of drivers and interactions between underpinning processes (whether biological or abiotic) that modulate net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE). In this context, water inputs are crucial to biological organisms survival in arid ecosystems and frequently arrive via rain events that are commonly stochastic and unpredictable (i.e. precipitation pulses) and strongly control arid land ecosystem structure and function. The eddy covariance technique can be used to investigate the effect of precipitation pulses on NEE, but provide limited understanding of what exactly happens after a rain event. The chief reasons are that, firstly, we cannot measure separately autotrophic and heterotrophic components, and secondly, the partitioning techniques widely utilized to separate Gross Primary Production and Total Ecosystem Respiration, do not work properly in these water-limited ecosystems, resulting in biased estimations of plant and soil processes. Consequently, it is essential to combine eddy covariance measurements with other techniques to disentangle the different biological processes composing NEE that are activated by a precipitation pulse. Accordingly, the main objectives of this work were: (i) to quantify the contribution of precipitation pulse events to annual NEE using the eddy covariance technique in a semiarid steppe located in Almería (Spain), and (ii) to simulate a realistic precipitation pulse in order to understand its effect on the ecosystem, soil and plant CO2 exchanges by using a transitory-state closed canopy chamber, soil respiration chambers and continuous monitoring CO2 sensors inserted in the subsoil. Preliminary results showed, as expected, a delay between soil and plant

  8. Unintentionality of affective attention across visual processing stages

    PubMed Central

    Uusberg, Andero; Uibo, Helen; Kreegipuu, Kairi; Tamm, Maria; Raidvee, Aire; Allik, Jüri

    2013-01-01

    Affective attention involves bottom-up perceptual selection that prioritizes motivationally significant stimuli. To clarify the extent to which this process is automatic, we investigated the dependence of affective attention on the intention to process emotional meaning. Affective attention was manipulated by presenting affective images with variable arousal and intentionality by requiring participants to make affective and non-affective evaluations. Polytomous rather than binary decisions were required from the participants in order to elicit relatively deep emotional processing. The temporal dynamics of prioritized processing were assessed using early posterior negativity (EPN, 175–300 ms) as well as P3-like (P3, 300–500 ms) and slow wave (SW, 500–1500 ms) portions of the late positive potential. All analyzed components were differentially sensitive to stimulus categories suggesting that they indeed reflect distinct stages of motivational significance encoding. The intention to perceive emotional meaning had no effect on EPN, an additive effect on P3, and an interactive effect on SW. We concluded that affective attention went from completely unintentional during the EPN to partially unintentional during P3 and SW where top-down signals, respectively, complemented and modulated bottom-up differences in stimulus prioritization. The findings were interpreted in light of two-stage models of visual perception by associating the EPN with large-capacity initial relevance detection and the P3 as well as SW with capacity-limited consolidation and elaboration of affective stimuli. PMID:24421772

  9. Is the Climate of Bering Sea Warming and Affecting the Ecosystem?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Overland, James E.; Stabeno, Phyllis J.

    2004-08-01

    Observations from the Bering Sea are good indicators of decadal shifts in climate, as the Bering is a transition region between the cold, dry Arctic air mass to the north, and the moist, relatively warm maritime air mass to the south. The Bering Sea is also a transition region between Arctic and sub-Arctic ecosystems; this boundary can be loosely identified with the extent of winter sea-ice cover. Like a similar transition zone in the eastern North Atlantic, the Bering Sea is experiencing a northward biogeographical shift in response to changing temperature and atmospheric forcing. If this shift continues over the next decade, it will have major impacts on commercial and subsistence harvests as Arctic species are displaced by sub-Arctic species. The stakes are enormous, as this rich and diverse ecosystem currently provides 47% of the U.S. fishery production by weight, and is home to 80% of the U.S. sea bird population, 95% of northern fur seals, and major populations of Steller sea lions, walrus, and whales.

  10. Ocean circulation off east Antarctica affects ecosystem structure and sea-ice extent.

    PubMed

    Nicol, S; Pauly, T; Bindoff, N L; Wright, S; Thiele, D; Hosie, G W; Strutton, P G; Woehler, E

    2000-08-01

    Sea ice and oceanic boundaries have a dominant effect in structuring Antarctic marine ecosystems. Satellite imagery and historical data have identified the southern boundary of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current as a site of enhanced biological productivity. Meso-scale surveys off the Antarctic peninsula have related the abundances of Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) and salps (Salpa thompsoni) to inter-annual variations in sea-ice extent. Here we have examined the ecosystem structure and oceanography spanning 3,500 km of the east Antarctic coastline, linking the scales of local surveys and global observations. Between 80 degrees and 150 degrees E there is a threefold variation in the extent of annual sea-ice cover, enabling us to examine the regional effects of sea ice and ocean circulation on biological productivity. Phytoplankton, primary productivity, Antarctic krill, whales and seabirds were concentrated where winter sea-ice extent is maximal, whereas salps were located where the sea-ice extent is minimal. We found enhanced biological activity south of the southern boundary of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current rather than in association with it. We propose that along this coastline ocean circulation determines both the sea-ice conditions and the level of biological productivity at all trophic levels. PMID:10952309

  11. Impacts of Bioturbation by Spawning Salmon on the Community Dynamics and Ecosystem Processes of Alaskan Streams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, J. W.; Schindler, D. E.

    2005-05-01

    Ecosystem processes and community dynamics are often controlled by a few dominant species. Species can have large impacts via trophic impacts, such as keystone predators, or via non-trophic impacts, such as ecosystem engineers. For example, it is widely recognized that migrations of Pacific salmon transport marine-derived nutrients and energy to coastal ecosystems. However, while Pacific salmon often spawn at high densities and dig large nests, the impacts of this ecosystem engineering are poorly understood. We collected data every two weeks for four summers on a suite of abiotic and biotic variables in six streams in southwestern Alaska that span a gradient of salmon densities. In streams and years with high densities of salmon, disturbance from spawning salmon impacted virtually all aspects of stream ecology. For example, disturbance by salmon leads to the export of silt and nutrients from streams. This bioturbation often exported more nutrients and matter than were imported by migrating salmon. In addition, there was a severe seasonal decline in periphyton and benthic invertebrate abundance associated with disturbance from salmon nest-digging. Thus, salmon nest-digging is an important component of stream disturbance regimes that controls benthic community dynamics and ecosystem processes of streams.

  12. Scorched earth: how will changes in ozone deposition caused by drought affect human health and ecosystems?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Emberson, L. D.; Kitwiroon, N.; Beevers, S.; Büker, P.; Cinderby, S.

    2012-10-01

    This unique study investigates the effect of ozone (O3) deposition on ground level O3 concentrations and subsequent human health and ecosystem risk under hot summer "heat wave" type meteorological events. Under such conditions, extended drought can effectively "turn off" the O3 vegetation sink leading to a substantial increase in ground level O3 concentrations. Two models that have been used for human health (the CMAQ chemical transport model) and ecosystem (the DO3SE O3 deposition model) risk assessment are combined to provide a powerful policy tool capable of novel integrated assessments of O3 risk using methods endorsed by the UNECE Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution. This study investigates 2006, a particularly hot and dry year during which a heat wave occurred during the summer across much of the UK and Europe. To understand the influence of variable O3 dry deposition three different simulations were investigated during June and July: (i) actual conditions in 2006; (ii) conditions that assume a perfect vegetation sink for O3 deposition and (iii) conditions that assume an extended drought period that reduces the vegetation sink to a minimum. The risk of O3 to human health, assessed by estimating the number of days during which running 8-h mean O3 concentrations exceeded 100 μg m-3, show that on average across the UK, there is a difference of 16 days exceedance of the threshold between the perfect sink and drought conditions. These average results hide local variation with exceedances reaching as high as 20 days in the East Midlands and Eastern UK. Estimates of acute exposure effects show that O3 removed from the atmosphere through dry deposition during the June and July period would have been responsible for approximately 460 premature deaths. Conversely, reduced O3 dry deposition will decrease the amount of O3 taken up by vegetation and, according to flux-based assessments of vegetation damage, will lead to protection from O3 across the UK

  13. Foundations of Physical Theory, I: Force and Energy. Physical Processes in Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems, Fundamentals.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pearson, Nolan E.

    This module is part of a series designed to be used by life science students for instruction in the application of physical theory to ecosystem operation. Most modules contain computer programs which are built around a particular application of a physical process. This module is one of two units on the foundations of physical theory and the…

  14. TRANSLOCATION OF NUTRIENTS BY FRESHWATER MUSSELS – ALTERATION OF ECOSYSTEM AND COMMUNITY PROCESSES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Nutrient demand and availability is a major driver of ecosystem processes. We examined the impact of freshwater mussels, a highly imperiled faunal group, on nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) cycling and storage in three Oklahoma streams. We found that filter-feeding by freshwater m...

  15. Calculus-Integration. Physical Processes in Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems, Applied Mathematics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hertzberg, Richard C.

    These materials were designed to be used by life science students for instruction in the application of physical theory to ecosystem operation. Most modules contain computer programs which are built around a particular application of a physical process. The module is directed toward intermediate undergraduate students of the ecological sciences…

  16. Applications of the First Law to Ecological Systems. Physical Processes in Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems, Thermodynamics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stevenson, R. D.

    These materials were designed to be used by life science students for instruction in the application of physical theory to ecosystem operation. Most modules contain computer programs which are built around a particular application of a physical process. This report describes concepts presented in another module called "The First Law of…

  17. Programmer's Guide for FFORM. Physical Processes in Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems, Computer Programs and Graphics Capabilities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Anderson, Lougenia; Gales, Larry

    This module is part of a series designed to be used by life science students for instruction in the application of physical theory to ecosystem operation. Most modules contain computer programs which are built around a particular application of a physical process. FFORM is a portable format-free input subroutine package written in ANSI Fortran IV…

  18. Calculus - Differentiation. Physical Processes in Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems, Applied Mathematics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hertzberg, Richard C.

    This module is part of a series designed to be used by life science students for instruction in the application of physical theory to ecosystem operation. Most modules contain computer programs which are built around a particular application of a physical process. This module is used to introduce the biology student to differential calculus, a…

  19. Effects of Tanglehead (Heteropogon contortus) invasion on ecosystem processes in the Texas Coastal Sandsheet

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    South Texas has experienced increases of several invasive grasses including tanglehead (Heteropogon contortus [L.] P. Beauv. ex Roem & Schult.). There is relatively little research concerning the effects of tanglehead on ecosystem processes such as energy cycling, nutrient cycling, and microbial soi...

  20. Modelling hydrological processes and analysing water-related ecosystem services of Western Siberian lowland basins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmalz, Britta; Kiesel, Jens; Kruse, Marion; Pfannerstill, Matthias; Sheludkov, Artyom; Khoroshavin, Vitaliy; Veshkurseva, Tatyana; Müller, Felix; Fohrer, Nicola

    2015-04-01

    For discussing and planning sustainable land management of river basins, stakeholders need suitable information on spatio-temporal patterns of hydrological components and ecosystem services. The ecosystem services concept, i.e., services provided by ecosystems that contribute to human welfare benefits, contributes comprehensive information for sustainable river management. This study shows an approach to use ecohydrological modelling results for quantifying and assessing water-related ecosystem services in three lowland river basins in Western Siberia, a region which is of global significance in terms of carbon sequestration, agricultural production and biodiversity preservation. Using the ecohydrological model SWAT, the three basins Pyschma (16762 km²), Vagai (3348 km²) and Loktinka (373 km²) were modelled following a gradient from the landscape units taiga, pre-taiga to forest steppe. For a correct representation of the Siberian lowland hydrology, the consideration of snow melt and retention of surface runoff as well as the implementation of a second groundwater aquifer was of great importance. Good to satisfying model performances were obtained for the extreme hydrological conditions. The simulated SWAT output variables of different hydrological processes were used as indicators for the two regulating services water flow and erosion regulation. The model results were translated into a relative ecosystem service valuation scale. The resulting ecosystem service maps show different spatial and seasonal patterns. Although the high resolution modelling results are averaged out within the aggregated relative valuation scale, seasonal differences can be depicted: during snowmelt, low relevant regulation can be determined, especially for water flow regulation, but a very high relevant regulation was calculated for the vegetation period during summer and for the winter period. The SWAT model serves as a suitable quantification method for the assessment of water

  1. Climatic Versus Biotic Constraints on Carbon and Water Fluxes in Seasonally Drought-affected Ponderosa Pine Ecosystems. Chapter 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schwarz, P. A.; Law, B. E.; Williams, M.; Irvine, J.; Kurpius, M.; Moore, D.

    2005-01-01

    We investigated the relative importance of climatic versus biotic controls on gross primary production (GPP) and water vapor fluxes in seasonally drought-affected ponderosa pine forests. The study was conducted in young (YS), mature (MS), and old stands (OS) over 4 years at the AmeriFlux Metolius sites. Model simulations showed that interannual variation of GPP did not follow the same trends as precipitation, and effects of climatic variation were smallest at the OS (50%), and intermediate at the YS (<20%). In the young, developing stand, interannual variation in leaf area has larger effects on fluxes than climate, although leaf area is a function of climate in that climate can interact with age-related shifts in carbon allocation and affect whole-tree hydraulic conductance. Older forests, with well-established root systems, appear to be better buffered from effects of seasonal drought and interannual climatic variation. Interannual variation of net ecosystem exchange (NEE) was also lowest at the OS, where NEE is controlled more by interannual variation of ecosystem respiration, 70% of which is from soil, than by the variation of GPP, whereas variation in GPP is the primary reason for interannual changes in NEE at the YS and MS. Across spatially heterogeneous landscapes with high frequency of younger stands resulting from natural and anthropogenic disturbances, interannual climatic variation and change in leaf area are likely to result in large interannual variation in GPP and NEE.

  2. Using nocturnal cold air drainage flow to monitor ecosystem processes in complex terrain.

    PubMed

    Pypker, Thomas G; Unsworth, Michael H; Mix, Alan C; Rugh, William; Ocheltree, Troy; Alstad, Karrin; Bond, Barbara J

    2007-04-01

    This paper presents initial investigations of a new approach to monitor ecosystem processes in complex terrain on large scales. Metabolic processes in mountainous ecosystems are poorly represented in current ecosystem monitoring campaigns because the methods used for monitoring metabolism at the ecosystem scale (e.g., eddy covariance) require flat study sites. Our goal was to investigate the potential for using nocturnal down-valley winds (cold air drainage) for monitoring ecosystem processes in mountainous terrain from two perspectives: measurements of the isotopic composition of ecosystem-respired CO2 (delta13C(ER)) and estimates of fluxes of CO2 transported in the drainage flow. To test if this approach is plausible, we monitored the wind patterns, CO2 concentrations, and the carbon isotopic composition of the air as it exited the base of a young (approximately 40 yr-old) and an old (>450 yr-old) steeply sided Douglas-fir watershed. Nocturnal cold air drainage within these watersheds was strong, deep, and occurred on more than 80% of summer nights. The depth of cold air drainage rapidly increased to tower height or greater when the net radiation at the top of the tower approached zero. The carbon isotope composition of CO2 in the drainage system holds promise as an indicator of variation in basin-scale physiological processes. Although there was little vertical variation in CO2 concentration at any point in time, we found that the range of CO2 concentration over a single evening was sufficient to estimate delta 13C(ER) from Keeling plot analyses. The seasonal variation in delta 13C(ER) followed expected trends: during the summer dry season delta 13C(ER) became less negative (more enriched in 13C), but once rain returned in the fall, delta 13C(ER) decreased. However, we found no correlation between recent weather (e.g., vapor pressure deficit) and delta 13C(ER) either concurrently or with up to a one-week lag. Preliminary estimates suggest that the nocturnal CO2

  3. Heat Balance of a Sheep in the Sun. Physical Processes in Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems, Transport Processes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hatheway, W. H.

    These materials were designed to be used by life science students for instruction in the application of physical theory to ecosystem operation. Most modules contain computer programs which are built around a particular application of a physical process. Specifically, this module develops a method for calculating the exchange of heat between an…

  4. Animal Thermoregulation and the Operative Environmental (Equivalent) Temperature. Physical Processes in Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems, Transport Process.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stevenson, R. D.

    These materials were designed to be used by life science students for instruction in the application of physical theory to ecosystem operation. Most modules contain computer programs which are built around a particular application of a physical process. Thermoregulation is defined as the ability of an organism to modify its body temperature. This…

  5. Water ecosystem service function assessment based on eco-hydrological process in Luanhe Basin,China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, C.; Hao, C.; Qin, T.; Wang, G.; Weng, B.

    2012-12-01

    At present, ecological water are mainly occupied by a rapid development of social economic and population explosion, which seriously threat the ecological security and water security in watershed and regional scale. Due to the lack of a unified standard of measuring the benefit of water resource, social economic and ecosystem, the water allocation can't take place in social economic and ecosystem. The function which provided by water in terrestrial, aquatic and social economic system can be addressed through water ecosystem service function research, and it can guide the water allocation in water resource management. The function which provided by water in terrestrial, aquatic and social economic system can be addressed through water ecosystem service function research, and it can guide the water allocation in water resource management. Throughout the researches of water ecosystem service, a clear identification of the connection of water ecosystem service function has not been established, and eco-economic approach can't meet the practical requirement of water allocation. Based on "nature-artificiality" dual water cycle theory and eco-hydrological process, this paper proposes a connection and indicator system of water ecosystem service function. In approach, this paper establishes an integrated assessment approach through prototype observation technology, numerical simulation, physical simulation and modern geographic information technology. The core content is to couple an eco-hydrological model, which involves the key processes of distributed hydrological model (WEP), ecological model (CLM-DGVM), in terms of eco-hydrological process. This paper systematically evaluates the eco-hydrological process and evolution of Luanhe Basin in terms of precipitation, ET, runoff, groundwater, ecosystem's scale, form and distribution. According to the results of eco-hydrological process, this paper assesses the direct and derived service function. The result indicates that the

  6. Non-Linear Interactions Determine the Impact of Sea-Level Rise on Estuarine Benthic Biodiversity and Ecosystem Processes

    PubMed Central

    Yamanaka, Tsuyuko; Raffaelli, David; White, Piran C. L.

    2013-01-01

    Sea-level rise induced by climate change may have significant impacts on the ecosystem functions and ecosystem services provided by intertidal sediment ecosystems. Accelerated sea-level rise is expected to lead to steeper beach slopes, coarser particle sizes and increased wave exposure, with consequent impacts on intertidal ecosystems. We examined the relationships between abundance, biomass, and community metabolism of benthic fauna with beach slope, particle size and exposure, using samples across a range of conditions from three different locations in the UK, to determine the significance of sediment particle size beach slope and wave exposure in affecting benthic fauna and ecosystem function in different ecological contexts. Our results show that abundance, biomass and oxygen consumption of intertidal macrofauna and meiofauna are affected significantly by interactions among sediment particle size, beach slope and wave exposure. For macrofauna on less sloping beaches, the effect of these physical constraints is mediated by the local context, although for meiofauna and for macrofauna on intermediate and steeper beaches, the effects of physical constraints dominate. Steeper beach slopes, coarser particle sizes and increased wave exposure generally result in decreases in abundance, biomass and oxygen consumption, but these relationships are complex and non-linear. Sea-level rise is likely to lead to changes in ecosystem structure with generally negative impacts on ecosystem functions and ecosystem services. However, the impacts of sea-level rise will also be affected by local ecological context, especially for less sloping beaches. PMID:23861863

  7. In the dark: A review of ecosystem processes during the Arctic polar night

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berge, Jørgen; Renaud, Paul E.; Darnis, Gerald; Cottier, Finlo; Last, Kim; Gabrielsen, Tove M.; Johnsen, Geir; Seuthe, Lena; Weslawski, Jan Marcin; Leu, Eva; Moline, Mark; Nahrgang, Jasmine; Søreide, Janne E.; Varpe, Øystein; Lønne, Ole Jørgen; Daase, Malin; Falk-Petersen, Stig

    2015-12-01

    Several recent lines of evidence indicate that the polar night is key to understanding Arctic marine ecosystems. First, the polar night is not a period void of biological activity even though primary production is close to zero, but is rather characterized by a number of processes and interactions yet to be fully understood, including unanticipated high levels of feeding and reproduction in a wide range of taxa and habitats. Second, as more knowledge emerges, it is evident that a coupled physical and biological perspective of the ecosystem will redefine seasonality beyond the "calendar perspective". Third, it appears that many organisms may exhibit endogenous rhythms that trigger fitness-maximizing activities in the absence of light-based cues. Indeed a common adaptation appears to be the ability to utilize the dark season for reproduction. This and other processes are most likely adaptations to current environmental conditions and community and trophic structures of the ecosystem, and may have implications for how Arctic ecosystems can change under continued climatic warming.

  8. Understanding system disturbance and ecosystem services in restored saltmarshes: Integrating physical and biogeochemical processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spencer, K. L.; Harvey, G. L.

    2012-06-01

    Coastal saltmarsh ecosystems occupy only a small percentage of Earth's land surface, yet contribute a wide range of ecosystem services that have significant global economic and societal value. These environments currently face significant challenges associated with climate change, sea level rise, development and water quality deterioration and are consequently the focus of a range of management schemes. Increasingly, soft engineering techniques such as managed realignment (MR) are being employed to restore and recreate these environments, driven primarily by the need for habitat (re)creation and sustainable coastal flood defence. Such restoration schemes also have the potential to provide additional ecosystem services including climate regulation and waste processing. However, these sites have frequently been physically impacted by their previous land use and there is a lack of understanding of how this 'disturbance' impacts the delivery of ecosystem services or of the complex linkages between ecological, physical and biogeochemical processes in restored systems. Through the exploration of current data this paper determines that hydrological, geomorphological and hydrodynamic functioning of restored sites may be significantly impaired with respects to natural 'undisturbed' systems and that links between morphology, sediment structure, hydrology and solute transfer are poorly understood. This has consequences for the delivery of seeds, the provision of abiotic conditions suitable for plant growth, the development of microhabitats and the cycling of nutrients/contaminants and may impact the delivery of ecosystem services including biodiversity, climate regulation and waste processing. This calls for a change in our approach to research in these environments with a need for integrated, interdisciplinary studies over a range of spatial and temporal scales incorporating both intensive and extensive research design.

  9. Phenology, Ecosystem Processes, and Climate Change: What We Are Learning from the Phenocam Network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richardson, A. D.

    2014-12-01

    Phenology has been shown to be a robust integrator of the effects of year-to-year climate variability and longer-term climate change on natural systems. At the level of organisms, phenology plays a critical role in processes related to growth, reproduction, and competition. At the level of ecosystems, phenology is important because of implications for productivity, carbon sequestration, nutrient cycling, and feedbacks to the climate system. At decadal-to-century time scales, climate change will indirectly cause additional shifts in ecosystem phenology via shifts in community composition and structure. There is a demonstrated need to better document biological responses to a changing world, and improved phenological monitoring will contribute to achieving this goal. In this talk, I will describe a collaborative research network called "PhenoCam" (http://phenocam.sr.unh.edu/). PhenoCam uses networked digital cameras - webcams - for phenological monitoring in a range of ecosystems (over 100 sites, and 300+ site-years of archived data) across the North American continent. These sites range from coastal wetlands of the southeast to mountain highlands of the northwest, and from the hot deserts of Arizona to the cold of arctic Alaska. Images are captured every 30 minutes, are uploaded to the PhenoCam server for display in real-time, and are then processed to yield measures of vegetation greenness. I will discuss how we are using data from PhenoCam (1) to improve understanding of the environmental controls on phenology at organism-to-ecosystem scales; (2) to relate ecosystem processes (e.g. carbon and water fluxes measured via eddy covariance) to phenology; and (3) to develop predictive models and forecast future climate change impacts on phenology.

  10. Managed island ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McEachern, Kathryn; Atwater, Tanya; Collins, Paul W.; Faulkner, Kate R.; Richards, Daniel V.

    2016-01-01

    This long-anticipated reference and sourcebook for California’s remarkable ecological abundance provides an integrated assessment of each major ecosystem type—its distribution, structure, function, and management. A comprehensive synthesis of our knowledge about this biologically diverse state, Ecosystems of California covers the state from oceans to mountaintops using multiple lenses: past and present, flora and fauna, aquatic and terrestrial, natural and managed. Each chapter evaluates natural processes for a specific ecosystem, describes drivers of change, and discusses how that ecosystem may be altered in the future. This book also explores the drivers of California’s ecological patterns and the history of the state’s various ecosystems, outlining how the challenges of climate change and invasive species and opportunities for regulation and stewardship could potentially affect the state’s ecosystems. The text explicitly incorporates both human impacts and conservation and restoration efforts and shows how ecosystems support human well-being. Edited by two esteemed ecosystem ecologists and with overviews by leading experts on each ecosystem, this definitive work will be indispensable for natural resource management and conservation professionals as well as for undergraduate or graduate students of California’s environment and curious naturalists.

  11. Higher biodiversity is required to sustain multiple ecosystem processes across temperature regimes

    PubMed Central

    Perkins, Daniel M; Bailey, R A; Dossena, Matteo; Gamfeldt, Lars; Reiss, Julia; Trimmer, Mark; Woodward, Guy

    2015-01-01

    Biodiversity loss is occurring rapidly worldwide, yet it is uncertain whether few or many species are required to sustain ecosystem functioning in the face of environmental change. The importance of biodiversity might be enhanced when multiple ecosystem processes (termed multifunctionality) and environmental contexts are considered, yet no studies have quantified this explicitly to date. We measured five key processes and their combined multifunctionality at three temperatures (5, 10 and 15 °C) in freshwater aquaria containing different animal assemblages (1–4 benthic macroinvertebrate species). For single processes, biodiversity effects were weak and were best predicted by additive-based models, i.e. polyculture performances represented the sum of their monoculture parts. There were, however, significant effects of biodiversity on multifunctionality at the low and the high (but not the intermediate) temperature. Variation in the contribution of species to processes across temperatures meant that greater biodiversity was required to sustain multifunctionality across different temperatures than was the case for single processes. This suggests that previous studies might have underestimated the importance of biodiversity in sustaining ecosystem functioning in a changing environment. PMID:25131335

  12. Are you in the mood? Therapist affect and psychotherapy process.

    PubMed

    Chui, Harold; Hill, Clara E; Kline, Kathryn; Kuo, Patty; Mohr, Jonathan J

    2016-07-01

    Studies on therapist factors have mostly focused on therapist traits rather than states such as affect. Research related to therapist affect has often looked at therapist baseline well-being or therapist reactions, but not both. Fifteen therapists and 51 clients rated pre- and postsession affect, as well as postsession working alliance and session quality, for 1,172 sessions of individual psychotherapy at a community clinic. Therapists' affect became more positive when clients were initially positive and when clients became more positive over the session, and became more negative when clients were initially negative and when clients became more negative over the session. Furthermore, when therapists were initially positive in affect and when therapists became more positive over the session, clients rated the session quality to be high. Conversely, when therapists were initially negative in affect and when therapists became more negative over the session, clients rated the session quality and working alliance low. On open-ended questions, therapists reported mood shifts in 67% of sessions (63% positive, 50% negative). Positive affect change was attributed to collaborating with the client, perceiving the client to be engaged, or being a good therapist. Negative affect change was attributed to having a difficult client, perceiving the client to be in distress, or being a poor therapist. Thus, therapist state affect at presession and change in affect across a session may independently contribute to the process and outcome of therapy sessions. The examination of within-therapist variables over the course of therapy may further our understanding of therapist factors. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:27177026

  13. Regional processes in mangrove ecosystems: Spatial scaling relationships, biomass, and turnover rates following catastrophic disturbance

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ward, G.A.; Smith, T. J., III; Whelan, K.R.T.; Doyle, T.W.

    2006-01-01

    Physiological processes and local-scale structural dynamics of mangroves are relatively well studied. Regional-scale processes, however, are not as well understood. Here we provide long-term data on trends in structure and forest turnover at a large scale, following hurricane damage in mangrove ecosystems of South Florida, U.S.A. Twelve mangrove vegetation plots were monitored at periodic intervals, between October 1992 and March 2005. Mangrove forests of this region are defined by a -1.5 scaling relationship between mean stem diameter and stem density, mirroring self-thinning theory for mono-specific stands. This relationship is reflected in tree size frequency scaling exponents which, through time, have exhibited trends toward a community average that is indicative of full spatial resource utilization. These trends, together with an asymptotic standing biomass accumulation, indicate that coastal mangrove ecosystems do adhere to size-structured organizing principles as described for upland tree communities. Regenerative dynamics are different between areas inside and outside of the primary wind-path of Hurricane Andrew which occurred in 1992. Forest dynamic turnover rates, however, are steady through time. This suggests that ecological, more-so than structural factors, control forest productivity. In agreement, the relative mean rate of biomass growth exhibits an inverse relationship with the seasonal range of porewater salinities. The ecosystem average in forest scaling relationships may provide a useful investigative tool of mangrove community biomass relationships, as well as offer a robust indicator of general ecosystem health for use in mangrove forest ecosystem management and restoration. ?? Springer 2006.

  14. fMRI Scanner Noise Interaction with Affective Neural Processes

    PubMed Central

    Skouras, Stavros; Gray, Marcus; Critchley, Hugo; Koelsch, Stefan

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of the present study was the investigation of interaction effects between functional MRI scanner noise and affective neural processes. Stimuli comprised of psychoacoustically balanced musical pieces, expressing three different emotions (fear, neutral, joy). Participants (N=34, 19 female) were split into two groups, one subjected to continuous scanning and another subjected to sparse temporal scanning that features decreased scanner noise. Tests for interaction effects between scanning group (sparse/quieter vs continuous/noisier) and emotion (fear, neutral, joy) were performed. Results revealed interactions between the affective expression of stimuli and scanning group localized in bilateral auditory cortex, insula and visual cortex (calcarine sulcus). Post-hoc comparisons revealed that during sparse scanning, but not during continuous scanning, BOLD signals were significantly stronger for joy than for fear, as well as stronger for fear than for neutral in bilateral auditory cortex. During continuous scanning, but not during sparse scanning, BOLD signals were significantly stronger for joy than for neutral in the left auditory cortex and for joy than for fear in the calcarine sulcus. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first study to show a statistical interaction effect between scanner noise and affective processes and extends evidence suggesting scanner noise to be an important factor in functional MRI research that can affect and distort affective brain processes. PMID:24260420

  15. Feedbacks between structures and processes during initial ecosystem development in an artificial catchment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaaf, Wolfgang; Elemer, Michael; Gerwin, Werner; Fischer, Anton; Zaplata, Markus; Neneov, Rossen

    2013-04-01

    We studied the role of strutures and processes and their feedbacks during initial ecosystem development in the artificial catchment Chicken Creek. During the first seven years, considerable changes within the catchment were observed. Both internal and external factors could be identified as driving forces for the formation of structures and patterns in the artificial catchment. Initial structures formed by the construction process and initial substrate characteristics were decisive for the distribution and flow of water. External factors like episodic events triggered erosion and dissection during this initial phase, promoted by the low vegetation cover and the unconsolidated sandy substrate. The transformation of the initial geo-system into areas with evolving terrestrial or aquatic characteristics and from a very episodic to a more permanent stream network and discharge, together with the observed vegetation dynamics increased site diversity and heterogeneity with respect to water and nutrient availability and transformation processes compared to the more homogenous conditions at point zero. The processes and feedback mechanisms in the initial development of a new landscape may deviate in rates, intensity and dominance from those known from mature ecosystems. It is therefore crucial to understand these early phases of ecosystem development and to disentangle the increasingly complex interactions between the evolving terrestrial and aquatic, biotic and abiotic compartments of the system. Artificially created catchments could be a suitable tool to study these initial developments at the landscape scale under known, designed and defined boundary conditions.

  16. Comparison of seasonal soil microbial process in snow-covered temperate ecosystems of northern China.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xinyue; Wang, Wei; Chen, Weile; Zhang, Naili; Zeng, Hui

    2014-01-01

    More than half of the earth's terrestrial surface currently experiences seasonal snow cover and soil frost. Winter compositional and functional investigations in soil microbial community are frequently conducted in alpine tundra and boreal forest ecosystems. However, little information on winter microbial biogeochemistry is known from seasonally snow-covered temperate ecosystems. As decomposer microbes may differ in their ability/strategy to efficiently use soil organic carbon (SOC) within different phases of the year, understanding seasonal microbial process will increase our knowledge of biogeochemical cycling from the aspect of decomposition rates and corresponding nutrient dynamics. In this study, we measured soil microbial biomass, community composition and potential SOC mineralization rates in winter and summer, from six temperate ecosystems in northern China. Our results showed a clear pattern of increased microbial biomass C to nitrogen (N) ratio in most winter soils. Concurrently, a shift in soil microbial community composition occurred with higher fungal to bacterial biomass ratio and gram negative (G-) to gram positive (G+) bacterial biomass ratio in winter than in summer. Furthermore, potential SOC mineralization rate was higher in winter than in summer. Our study demonstrated a distinct transition of microbial community structure and function from winter to summer in temperate snow-covered ecosystems. Microbial N immobilization in winter may not be the major contributor for plant growth in the following spring. PMID:24667929

  17. Affective picture processing: An integrative review of ERP findings

    PubMed Central

    Olofsson, Jonas K.; Nordin, Steven; Sequeira, Henrique; Polich, John

    2008-01-01

    The review summarizes and integrates findings from 40 years of event-related potential (ERP) studies using pictures that differ in valence (unpleasant-to-pleasant) and arousal (low-to-high) and that are used to elicit emotional processing. Affective stimulus factors primarily modulate ERP component amplitude, with little change in peak latency observed. Arousal effects are consistently obtained, and generally occur at longer latencies. Valence effects are inconsistently reported at several latency ranges, including very early components. Some affective ERP modulations vary with recording methodology, stimulus factors, as well as task-relevance and emotional state. Affective ERPs have been linked theoretically to attention orientation for unpleasant pictures at earlier components (< 300 ms). Enhanced stimulus processing has been associated with memory encoding for arousing pictures of assumed intrinsic motivational relevance, with task-induced differences contributing to emotional reactivity at later components (> 300 ms). Theoretical issues, stimulus factors, task demands, and individual differences are discussed. PMID:18164800

  18. PROCESSES AFFECTING SUBSURFACE TRANSPORT OF LEAKING UNDERGROUND STORAGE TANK FLUIDS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The document focuses solely on the process affecting migration of fluids from a leaking tank and their effects on monitoring methodologies. Based upon the reviews presented, soil heterogeneities and the potential for multiphase flow will lead to high monitoring uncertainties if l...

  19. Developing Worksheet Based on Science Process Skills: Factors Affecting Solubility

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Karsli, Fethiye; Sahin, Cigdem

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to develop a worksheet about the factors affecting solubility, which could be useful for the prospective science teachers (PST) to remind and regain their science process skills (SPS). The pilot study of the WS was carried out with 32 first grade PST during the 2007-2008 academic year in the education department at…

  20. Necker's smile: Immediate affective consequences of early perceptual processes.

    PubMed

    Topolinski, Sascha; Erle, Thorsten M; Reber, Rolf

    2015-07-01

    Current theories assume that perception and affect are separate realms of the mind. In contrast, we argue that affect is a genuine online-component of perception instantaneously mirroring the success of different perceptual stages. Consequently, we predicted that the success (failure) of even very early and cognitively encapsulated basic visual processing steps would trigger immediate positive (negative) affective responses. To test this assumption, simple visual stimuli that either allowed or obstructed early visual processing stages without participants being aware of this were presented briefly. Across 5 experiments, we found more positive affective responses to stimuli that allowed rather than obstructed Gestalt completion at certain early visual stages (Experiments 1-3; briefest presentation 100 ms with post-mask), and visual disambiguation in possible vs. impossible Necker cubes (Experiments 4 and 5; briefest presentation 100 ms with post-mask). This effect was observed both on verbal preference ratings (Experiments 1, 2, and 4) and as facial muscle responses occurring within 2-4 s after stimulus onset (zygomaticus activity; Experiments 3 and 7). For instance, in participants unaware of spatial possibility we found affective discrimination between possible and impossible Necker cubes (the famous Freemish Crate) for 100 ms presentation timings, although a conscious discrimination took more than 2000 ms (Experiment 4). PMID:25855534

  1. Hydrologic Connectivity as a Window into Pattern Conditions and Formation Processes in Aquatic Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larsen, L. G.; Choi, J.; Nungesser, M. K.; Harvey, J. W.

    2011-12-01

    Patterned aquatic ecosystems exhibit different types and degrees of hydrologic connectivity, from isolated open-water patches in some inland marshes, to cross-slope strings and flarks of striped fens, to along-slope ridges and sloughs of low-gradient subtropical wetlands, to dendritic channels of coastal marshes. The nature and degree of this connectivity are closely linked to landscape function. For example, hydrologic connectivity perpendicular to river channel thalwegs relates to the exchange of sediment and nutrients between channels and floodplains, whereas connectivity parallel to a dominant flow direction affects fish migration or the likelihood of contaminant transport. Characteristics of hydrologic connectivity reflect not only the results of landscape pattern but also the mechanisms responsible for pattern creation. Quantifying those connectivity characteristics provides a robust means to identify landscapes likely formed under a consistent set of processes or to compare the output of landscape simulation models to actual landscapes in order to determine whether the models capture the most relevant landscape formation processes. However, established methods for quantifying isotropic patch connectivity are often ill suited for strongly patterned landscapes or hydroscapes in which directional flow is important. Using graph theory principles, we developed two alternative indices of directional hydrologic connectivity: the maximum flow index (MFI) and directional connectivity index (DCI), which quantify the connectivity of flow paths along a particular axis of interest. The MFI is sensitive to the existence of any hydrologic connection along the direction of interest, whereas the DCI is sensitive to the linearity of connections along that direction. Curves of directional connectivity over a range of angular bearings provide a quantitative, information-dense representation of landscape structure that can be related to subtle differences in the physical

  2. Bark Beetle Impacts on Ecosystem Processes are Over Quickly and Muted Spatially

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ewers, B. E.; Norton, U.; Borkhuu, B.; Reed, D. E.; Peckham, S. D.; Biederman, J. A.; King, A.; Gochis, D. J.; Brooks, P. D.; Harpold, A. A.; Frank, J. M.; Massman, W. J.; Mackay, D. S.; Pendall, E. G.

    2013-12-01

    The recent epidemic of bark beetles across western North America has impacted conifers from low to high elevations from New Mexico to Yukon. The mechanism of mortality is clear, with both mountain pine and spruce beetles killing trees by introducing xylem occluding blue stain fungi which dramatically stops transpiration. The visual impact of this outbreak is stunning, with mortality of canopy trees over 90% in some stands. However, emerging work shows that the impact on ecosystem processes is not as dramatic. We hypothesize that increased soil water and nitrogen sets up rapid succession of plant communities, which quickly restores ecosystem processing of water, carbon and nitrogen, while spatial patchiness of mortality and belowground responses mutes the impact as spatial scale increases from stands to watersheds. In support of our hypothesis we found 1) Soil nitrogen and moisture increase within one growing season but decrease to the same as uninfested stands five years later. 2) Soil respiration is correlated with live tree basal area suggesting a large component of autotrophic respiration. 3) Once stands have more than 50% basal area mortality, seedling density increases up to five fold and total non-tree understory cover increased two fold both within five years after infestation. 4) Ecosystem scale estimates of water vapor fluxes do not decline as rapidly as overstory leaf area. 5) Stable isotopes of snow, soil and stream water suggest that increased below canopy evapotranspiration nearly compensates for reduced canopy transpiration. 6) Nested watershed data shows that precipitation variations are much more important in regulating streamflow than changes in canopies from bark beetle induced mortality. These results were tested in the Terrestrial Regional Ecosystem Exchange Simulator (TREES) model. TREES was able to predict annual changes in the carbon fluxes but had difficulty simulating soil moisture and annual water budgets likely due to inadequate abiotic

  3. Humans Process Dog and Human Facial Affect in Similar Ways

    PubMed Central

    Schirmer, Annett; Seow, Cui Shan; Penney, Trevor B.

    2013-01-01

    Humans share aspects of their facial affect with other species such as dogs. Here we asked whether untrained human observers with and without dog experience are sensitive to these aspects and recognize dog affect with better-than-chance accuracy. Additionally, we explored similarities in the way observers process dog and human expressions. The stimulus material comprised naturalistic facial expressions of pet dogs and human infants obtained through positive (i.e., play) and negative (i.e., social isolation) provocation. Affect recognition was assessed explicitly in a rating task using full face images and images cropped to reveal the eye region only. Additionally, affect recognition was assessed implicitly in a lexical decision task using full faces as primes and emotional words and pseudowords as targets. We found that untrained human observers rated full face dog expressions from the positive and negative condition more accurately than would be expected by chance. Although dog experience was unnecessary for this effect, it significantly facilitated performance. Additionally, we observed a range of similarities between human and dog face processing. First, the facial expressions of both species facilitated lexical decisions to affectively congruous target words suggesting that their processing was equally automatic. Second, both dog and human negative expressions were recognized from both full and cropped faces. Third, female observers were more sensitive to affective information than were male observers and this difference was comparable for dog and human expressions. Together, these results extend existing work on cross-species similarities in facial emotions and provide evidence that these similarities are naturally exploited when humans interact with dogs. PMID:24023954

  4. Affective recognition memory processing and event-related brain potentials

    PubMed Central

    Kaestner, Erik J.

    2011-01-01

    Recognition memory was examined for visual affective stimuli using behavioral and event-related brain potential (ERP) measures. Images from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS) that varied systematically in arousal level (low, high) and valence direction (unpleasant, pleasant) were first viewed passively. Then, during a response phase, the original images were intermixed with an equal number of new images and presented, and participants were instructed to press a button to indicate whether each stimulus picture was previously viewed (target) or new (foil). Participants were more sensitive to unpleasant- than to pleasant-valence stimuli and were biased to respond to high-arousal unpleasant stimuli as targets, whether the stimuli were previously viewed or new. Response times (RTs) to target stimuli were systematically affected by valence, whereas RTs to foil stimuli were influenced by arousal level. ERP component amplitudes were generally larger for high than for low arousal levels. The P300 (late positive component) amplitude was largest for high-arousal unpleasant target images. These and other amplitude effects suggest that high-arousal unpleasant stimuli engage a privileged memory-processing route during stimulus processing. Theoretical relationships between affective and memory processes are discussed. PMID:21384231

  5. Governing processes for reactive nitrogen compounds in the atmosphere in relation to ecosystem, climatic and human health impacts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hertel, O.; Skjøth, C. A.; Reis, S.; Bleeker, A.; Harrison, R.; Cape, J. N.; Fowler, D.; Skiba, U.; Simpson, D.; Jickells, T.; Kulmala, M.; Gyldenkærne, S.; Sørensen, L. L.; Erisman, J. W.; Sutton, M. A.

    2012-07-01

    Reactive nitrogen (Nr) compounds have different fates in the atmosphere due to differences in governing processes of physical transport, deposition and chemical transformation. Nr compounds addressed here include reduced nitrogen (NHx: ammonia (NH3) and its reaction product ammonium (NH4+)), oxidized nitrogen (NOy: nitrogen monoxide (NO) + nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and their reaction products) as well as organic nitrogen compounds (organic N). Pollution abatement strategies need to take into account these differences in the governing processes of these compounds when assessing their impact on ecosystem services, biodiversity, human health and climate. NOx (NO + NO2) emitted from traffic affects human health in urban areas where the presence of buildings increases the residence time in streets. In urban areas this leads to enhanced exposure of the population to NOx concentrations. NOx emissions have little impact on nearby ecosystems because of the small dry deposition rates of NOx. These compounds need to be converted into nitric acid (HNO3) before removal through deposition is efficient. HNO3 sticks quickly to any surface and is thereby either dry deposited or incorporated into aerosols as nitrate (NO3-). In contrast to NOx compounds, NH3 has potentially high impacts on ecosystems near the main agricultural sources of NH3 because of its large ground-level concentrations along with large dry deposition rates. Aerosol phase NH4+ and NO3- contribute significantly to background PM2.5 and PM10 (mass of aerosols with a diameter of less than 2.5 and 10 μm, respectively) with an impact on radiation balance as well as potentially on human health. Little is known quantitatively and qualitatively about organic N in the atmosphere, other than that it contributes a significant fraction of wet-deposited N, and is present in both gaseous and particulate forms in the atmosphere. Further studies are needed to characterize the sources, air chemistry and removal rates of organic N

  6. Belowground processes regulate ecosystem nitrogen retention during a multi-year forest dieback event

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nave, L. E.; Le Moine, J.; Gough, C. M.; Vogel, C.; Nadelhoffer, K. J.; Curtis, P.

    2013-12-01

    In the absence of disturbances, forests typically have strong retention capacity for nitrogen (N), which is internally recycled between soil, microbial and plant pools. However, disturbances that trigger senescence or mortality of forest vegetation may alter internal N cycling processes and lead to the loss of ecosystem N retention capacity. Here, we present an assessment of the role played by belowground processes in governing ecosystem N cycling and retention during an experimental disturbance that killed the dominant canopy taxa in a Great Lakes forest over a 4-year period. After applying stem girdling to hasten the age-related senescence of the dominant taxa (Populus and Betula spp.; ~35% of the basal area), we observed a 38% decrease in stand-level allocation of nonstructural carbohydrates to fine roots, which triggered a tenfold increase in the rate of fine root turnover and increased soil NH4+ and NO3- availability. Elevated soil N availability decreased mycorrhizal hyphal foraging and N uptake, effectively down-regulating the role of symbiotic fungi in the N nutrition of the residual (longer-lived) tree taxa. However, even as residual trees took up less N from mycorrhizal sources, their overall N uptake increased and served to offset the loss of the dominant taxa. The net result of this offset was that canopy N stocks remained constant through the disturbance period and there was no appreciable loss of ecosystem N stocks due to leaching or gaseous export. In sum, the cascade of changes in root, microbial, and soil processes during this experiment indicates that these interdependent components of the belowground system comprised a mechanism responsible for retention and redistribution of ecosystem N stocks during the disturbance period.

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

    PubMed

    Yelenik, S G; Levine, J M

    2010-04-01

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

  8. African dust carries microbes across the ocean: are they affecting human and ecosystem health?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kellogg, Christina A.; Griffin, Dale W.

    2003-01-01

    Atmospheric transport of dust from northwest Africa to the western Atlantic Ocean region may be responsible for a number of environmental hazards, including the demise of Caribbean corals; red tides; amphibian diseases; increased occurrence of asthma in humans; and oxygen depletion (eutrophication) in estuaries. Studies of satellite images suggest that hundreds of millions of tons of dust are trans-ported annually at relatively low altitudes across the Atlantic Ocean to the Caribbean Sea and southeastern United States. The dust emanates from the expanding Sahara/Sahel desert region in Africa and carries a wide variety of bacteria and fungi. The U.S. Geological Survey, in collaboration with the NASA/Goddard Spaceflight Center, is conducting a study to identify microbes--bacteria, fungi, viruses--transported across the Atlantic in African soil dust. Each year, millions of tons of desert dust blow off the west African coast and ride the trade winds across the ocean, affecting the entire Caribbean basin, as well as the southeastern United States. Of the dust reaching the U.S., Florida receives about 50 percent, while the rest may range as far north as Maine or as far west as Colorado. The dust storms can be tracked by satellite and take about one week to cross the Atlantic.

  9. Health Impact Assessment (HIA) and EnviroAtlas: Integrating Ecosystem Services into the Decision-Making Process-Guide

    EPA Science Inventory

    This document was created to highlight the many ways that the U.S. EPA EnviroAtlas suite of ecosystem services tools can be used to aid in the Health Impact Assessment (HIA) process. Ecosystems provide numerous services and benefits to individuals, communities, businesses, and ot...

  10. Groundwater-ocean interaction and its effects on coastal ecological processes - are there groundwater-dependant ecosystems in the coastal zone?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stieglitz, T. C.

    2013-05-01

    Hydrological land-ocean connectivity is an important driver of coastal ecosystems. Rivers are obvious and visible pathways for terrestrial runoff. The critical role of surface water discharge from rivers to coastal ecosystems has been well documented. Hidden from view, 'downstream' effects of coastal (supra-tidal, intertidal and submarine) groundwater discharge are far less well understood. Whilst hydrological and geochemical processes associated with coastal groundwater discharge have received an increasing amount of scientific attention over the past decade or so, the effects of groundwater flow on productivity, composition, diversity and functioning of coastal ecosystems along the world's shorelines have received little attention to date. Coastal groundwater discharge includes both terrestrial (fresh) groundwater fluxes and the recirculation of seawater through sediments, analogous to hyporheic flow in rivers. I will present an overview over relevant coastal hydrological processes, and will illustrate their ecological effects on examples from diverse tropical coastal ecosystems, e.g. (1) perennial fresh groundwater discharge from coastal sand dune systems permitting growth of freshwater-dependent vegetation in the intertidal zone of the Great Barrier Reef (Australia), (2) recirculation of seawater through mangrove forest floors directly affecting tree health and providing a pathway for carbon export from these ecosystems, (3) the local hydrology of groundwater-fed coastal inlets on Mexico's Yucatan peninsula affecting the movement behaviour of and habitat use by the queen conch Strombus gigas, an economically important species in the Caribbean region. These examples for hydrological-ecological coupling in the coastal zone invite the question if we should not consider these coastal ecosystems to be groundwater-dependent, in analogy to groundwater-dependency in freshwater aquatic systems.

  11. From neurons to epidemics: How trophic coherence affects spreading processes.

    PubMed

    Klaise, Janis; Johnson, Samuel

    2016-06-01

    Trophic coherence, a measure of the extent to which the nodes of a directed network are organised in levels, has recently been shown to be closely related to many structural and dynamical aspects of complex systems, including graph eigenspectra, the prevalence or absence of feedback cycles, and linear stability. Furthermore, non-trivial trophic structures have been observed in networks of neurons, species, genes, metabolites, cellular signalling, concatenated words, P2P users, and world trade. Here, we consider two simple yet apparently quite different dynamical models-one a susceptible-infected-susceptible epidemic model adapted to include complex contagion and the other an Amari-Hopfield neural network-and show that in both cases the related spreading processes are modulated in similar ways by the trophic coherence of the underlying networks. To do this, we propose a network assembly model which can generate structures with tunable trophic coherence, limiting in either perfectly stratified networks or random graphs. We find that trophic coherence can exert a qualitative change in spreading behaviour, determining whether a pulse of activity will percolate through the entire network or remain confined to a subset of nodes, and whether such activity will quickly die out or endure indefinitely. These results could be important for our understanding of phenomena such as epidemics, rumours, shocks to ecosystems, neuronal avalanches, and many other spreading processes. PMID:27368799

  12. From neurons to epidemics: How trophic coherence affects spreading processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klaise, Janis; Johnson, Samuel

    2016-06-01

    Trophic coherence, a measure of the extent to which the nodes of a directed network are organised in levels, has recently been shown to be closely related to many structural and dynamical aspects of complex systems, including graph eigenspectra, the prevalence or absence of feedback cycles, and linear stability. Furthermore, non-trivial trophic structures have been observed in networks of neurons, species, genes, metabolites, cellular signalling, concatenated words, P2P users, and world trade. Here, we consider two simple yet apparently quite different dynamical models—one a susceptible-infected-susceptible epidemic model adapted to include complex contagion and the other an Amari-Hopfield neural network—and show that in both cases the related spreading processes are modulated in similar ways by the trophic coherence of the underlying networks. To do this, we propose a network assembly model which can generate structures with tunable trophic coherence, limiting in either perfectly stratified networks or random graphs. We find that trophic coherence can exert a qualitative change in spreading behaviour, determining whether a pulse of activity will percolate through the entire network or remain confined to a subset of nodes, and whether such activity will quickly die out or endure indefinitely. These results could be important for our understanding of phenomena such as epidemics, rumours, shocks to ecosystems, neuronal avalanches, and many other spreading processes.

  13. Elaboration of a video processing platform to analyze the temporal dynamics of hydrothermal ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aron, M.; Sarrazin, J.; Sarradin, P.; Mercier, G.

    2010-12-01

    Located on oceanic ridges, hydrothermal ecosystems are characterized by strong physicochemical gradients and the presence of a unique fauna, sustained by microbial chemosynthesis. Several studies have shown that the spatial distribution and composition of vent faunal assemblages were strongly correlated to geological, physical and chemical processes at different spatial and temporal scales, but almost no data are available on the temporal dynamics of these peculiar ecosystems. The objective of our research is to develop a video processing platform to automatically extract the biological, physical and geological data from video imagery in order to study the dynamics of the fauna and its habitat in hydrothermal ecosystems. The video data was acquired from the Tempo-mini module deployed at 100m depth in the Saanich inlet (BC, Canada) and connected to the VENUS cable observatory (http://www.venus.uvic.ca/). This submarine color video-camera acquired four months of video footage, representing 487944 images of typical benthic habitat. A first manual extraction of the data allowed us to identify the key data available on a small subset of the video sequences. The objective of the new processing tool is to automatically extract these key data on the whole dataset, using unsupervized or lightly supervized image processing technique adapted to the specificity of submarines images. Firstly, all the moving objects in the video frames were segmented and labelled, allowing us to use statistical methods to process very large datasets. Secondly, computer vision techniques were used in order to get metric and 3D information from the images. For example, the speed of the moving objects and the image surface area were computed. The method implies the calibration of the camera with a calibration target, i.e. computing the projective geometric properties of the camera and the scene. Lastly, the developed tools will be integrated in a user-friendly processing platform that will be used

  14. Microbial processes in marine ecosystem models: state of the art and future prospective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Polimene, L.; Butenschon, M.; Blackford, J.; Allen, I.

    2012-12-01

    Heterotrophic bacteria play a key role in the marine biogeochemistry being the main consumer of dissolved organic matter (DOM) and the main producer of carbon dioxide (CO2) by respiration. Quantifying the carbon and energy fluxes within bacteria (i.e. production, respiration, overflow metabolism etc.) is therefore crucial for the assessment of the global ocean carbon and nutrient cycles. Consequently, the description of bacteria dynamic in ecosystem models is a key (although challenging) issue which cannot be overlooked if we want to properly simulate the marine environment. We present an overview of the microbial processes described in the European Sea Regional Ecosystem Model (ERSEM), a state of the art biogeochemical model resolving carbon and nutrient cycles (N, P, Si and Fe) within the low trophic levels (up to mesozooplankton) of the marine ecosystem. The description of the theoretical assumptions and philosophy underpinning the ERSEM bacteria sub-model will be followed by the presentation of some case studies highlighting the relevance of resolving microbial processes in the simulation of ecosystem dynamics at a local scale. Recent results concerning the implementation of ERSEM on a global ocean domain will be also presented. This latter exercise includes a comparison between simulations carried out with the full bacteria sub-model and simulations carried out with an implicit parameterization of bacterial activity. The results strongly underline the importance of explicitly resolved bacteria in the simulation of global carbon fluxes. Finally, a summary of the future developments along with issues still open on the topic will be presented and discussed.

  15. Processes affecting the oceanic distributions of dissolved calcium and alkalinity

    SciTech Connect

    Shiller, A.M.; Gieskes, J.M.

    1980-05-20

    Recent studies of the CO/sub 2/ system have suggested that chemical processes in addition to the dissolution and precipitation of calcium carbonate affect the oceanic calcium and alkalinity distributions. Calcium and alkalinity data from the North Pacific have been examined both by using the simple physical-chemical model of previous workers and by a study involving the broader oceanographic context of these data. The simple model is shown to be an inadequate basis for these studies. Although a proton flux associated with organic decomposition may affect the alkalinity, previously reported deviations of calcium-alkalinity correlations from expected trends appear to be related to boundary processes that have been neglected rather than to this proton flux. The distribution of calcium in the surface waters of the Pacific Ocean is examined.

  16. Modeling of hydroecological feedbacks predicts distinct classes of landscape pattern, process, and restoration potential in shallow aquatic ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Larsen, Laurel G.; Harvey, Judson W.

    2011-01-01

    In general, the stability of different wetland pattern types is most strongly related to factors controlling the erosion and deposition of sediment at vegetation patch edges, the magnitude of sediment redistribution by flow, patch elevation relative to water level, and the variability of erosion rates in vegetation patches with low flow-resistance. As we exemplify in our case-study of the Everglades ridge and slough landscape, feedback between flow and vegetation also causes hysteresis in landscape evolution trajectories that will affect the potential for landscape restoration. Namely, even if the hydrologic conditions that historically produced higher flows are restored, degraded portions of the ridge and slough landscape are unlikely to revert to their former patterning. As wetlands and floodplains worldwide become increasingly threatened by climate change and urbanization, the greater mechanistic understanding of landscape pattern and process that our analysis provides will improve our ability to forecast and manage the behavior of these ecosystems.

  17. 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

  18. Habitat complexity influences fine scale hydrological processes and the incidence of stormwater runoff in managed urban ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Ossola, Alessandro; Hahs, Amy Kristin; Livesley, Stephen John

    2015-08-15

    Urban ecosystems have traditionally been considered to be pervious features of our cities. Their hydrological properties have largely been investigated at the landscape scale and in comparison with other urban land use types. However, hydrological properties can vary at smaller scales depending upon changes in soil, surface litter and vegetation components. Management practices can directly and indirectly affect each of these components and the overall habitat complexity, ultimately affecting hydrological processes. This study aims to investigate the influence that habitat components and habitat complexity have upon key hydrological processes and the implications for urban habitat management. Using a network of urban parks and remnant nature reserves in Melbourne, Australia, replicate plots representing three types of habitat complexity were established: low-complexity parks, high-complexity parks, and high-complexity remnants. Saturated soil hydraulic conductivity in low-complexity parks was an order of magnitude lower than that measured in the more complex habitat types, due to fewer soil macropores. Conversely, soil water holding capacity in low-complexity parks was significantly higher compared to the two more complex habitat types. Low-complexity parks would generate runoff during modest precipitation events, whereas high-complexity parks and remnants would be able to absorb the vast majority of rainfall events without generating runoff. Litter layers on the soil surface would absorb most of precipitation events in high-complexity parks and high-complexity remnants. To minimize the incidence of stormwater runoff from urban ecosystems, land managers could incrementally increase the complexity of habitat patches, by increasing canopy density and volume, preserving surface litter and maintaining soil macropore structure. PMID:25989202

  19. Impacts of Environmental Nanoparticles on Chemical, Biological and Hydrological Processes in Terrestrial Ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Qafoku, Nikolla

    2012-01-01

    This chapter provides insights on nanoparticle (NP) influence or control on the extent and timescales of single or coupled physical, chemical, biological and hydrological reactions and processes that occur in terrestrial ecosystems. Examples taken from the literature that show how terrestrial NPs may determine the fate of the aqueous and sorbed (adsorbed or precipitated) chemical species of nutrients and contaminants, are also included in this chapter. Specifically, in the first section, chapter objectives, term definitions and discussions on size-dependent properties, the origin and occurrence of NP in terrestrial ecosystems and NP toxicity, are included. In the second section, the topic of the binary interactions of NPs of different sizes, shapes, concentrations and ages with the soil solution chemical species is covered, focusing on NP formation, stability, aggregation, ability to serve as sorbents, or surface-mediated precipitation catalysts, or electron donors and acceptors. In the third section, aspects of the interactions in the ternary systems composed of environmental NP, nutrient/contaminant chemical species, and the soil/sediment matrix are discussed, focusing on the inhibitory and catalytic effects of environmental NP on nutrient/contaminant advective mobility and mass transfer, adsorption and desorption, dissolution and precipitation and redox reactions that occur in terrestrial ecosystems. These three review sections are followed by a short summary of future research needs and directions, the acknowledgements, the list of the references, and the figures.

  20. Simulations of Ecosystem Hydrological Processes Using a Unified Multi-Scale Model

    SciTech Connect

    Yang, Xiaofan; Liu, Chongxuan; Fang, Yilin; Hinkle, Ross; Li, Hongyi; Bailey, Vanessa L.; Bond-Lamberty, Benjamin

    2015-01-24

    This paper presents a unified multi-scale model (UMSM) that we developed to simulate hydrological processes in an ecosystem containing both surface water and groundwater. The UMSM approach modifies the Navier–Stokes equation by adding a Darcy force term to formulate a single set of equations to describe fluid momentum and uses a generalized equation to describe fluid mass balance. The advantage of the approach is that the single set of the equations can describe hydrological processes in both surface water and groundwater where different models are traditionally required to simulate fluid flow. This feature of the UMSM significantly facilitates modelling of hydrological processes in ecosystems, especially at locations where soil/sediment may be frequently inundated and drained in response to precipitation, regional hydrological and climate changes. In this paper, the UMSM was benchmarked using WASH123D, a model commonly used for simulating coupled surface water and groundwater flow. Disney Wilderness Preserve (DWP) site at the Kissimmee, Florida, where active field monitoring and measurements are ongoing to understand hydrological and biogeochemical processes, was then used as an example to illustrate the UMSM modelling approach. The simulations results demonstrated that the DWP site is subject to the frequent changes in soil saturation, the geometry and volume of surface water bodies, and groundwater and surface water exchange. All the hydrological phenomena in surface water and groundwater components including inundation and draining, river bank flow, groundwater table change, soil saturation, hydrological interactions between groundwater and surface water, and the migration of surface water and groundwater interfaces can be simultaneously simulated using the UMSM. Overall, the UMSM offers a cross-scale approach that is particularly suitable to simulate coupled surface and ground water flow in ecosystems with strong surface water and groundwater interactions.

  1. Neural Correlates of Affect Processing and Aggression in Methamphetamine Dependence

    PubMed Central

    Payer, Doris E.; Lieberman, Matthew D.; London, Edythe D.

    2012-01-01

    Context Methamphetamine abuse is associated with high rates of aggression, but few studies have addressed the contributing neurobiological factors. Objective To quantify aggression, investigate function of the amygdala and prefrontal cortex, and assess relationships between brain function and behavior in methamphetamine-dependent individuals. Design In a case-control study, aggression and brain activation were compared between methamphetamine-dependent and control participants. Setting Participants were recruited from the general community to an academic research center. Participants Thirty-nine methamphetamine-dependent volunteers (16 women) who were abstinent for 7 to 10 days and 37 drug-free control volunteers (18 women) participated in the study; subsets completed self-report and behavioral measures. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was performed on 25 methamphetamine-dependent and 23 control participants. Main outcome measures We measured self-reported and perpetrated aggression, and self-reported alexithymia. Brain activation was assessed using fMRI during visual processing of facial affect (affect matching), and symbolic processing (affect labeling), the latter representing an incidental form of emotion regulation. Results Methamphetamine-dependent participants self-reported more aggression and alexithymia than control participants and escalated perpetrated aggression more following provocation. Alexithymia scores correlated with measures of aggression. During affect matching, fMRI showed no differences between groups in amygdala activation, but found lower activation in methamphetamine-dependent than control participants in bilateral ventral inferior frontal gyrus. During affect labeling, participants recruited dorsal inferior frontal gyrus and exhibited decreased amygdala activity, consistent with successful emotion regulation; there was no group difference in this effect. The magnitude of decrease in amygdala activity during affect labeling

  2. Effects of climate and lifeform on dry matter yield (epsilon) from simulations using BIOME BGC. [ecosystem process model for vegetation biomass production using daily absorbed photosynthetically active radiation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hunt, E. R., Jr.; Running, Steven W.

    1992-01-01

    An ecosystem process simulation model, BIOME-BGC, is used in a sensitivity analysis to determine the factors that may cause the dry matter yield (epsilon) and annual net primary production to vary for different ecosystems. At continental scales, epsilon is strongly correlated with annual precipitation. At a single location, year-to-year variation in net primary production (NPP) and epsilon is correlated with either annual precipitation or minimum air temperatures. Simulations indicate that forests have lower epsilon than grasslands. The most sensitive parameter affecting forest epsilon is the total amount of living woody biomass, which affects NPP by increasing carbon loss by maintenance respiration. A global map of woody biomass should significantly improve estimates of global NPP using remote sensing.

  3. Estimating California ecosystem carbon change using process model and land cover disturbance data: 1951-2000

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Liu, J.; Vogelmann, J.E.; Zhu, Z.; Key, C.H.; Sleeter, B.M.; Price, D.T.; Chen, J.M.; Cochrane, M.A.; Eidenshink, J.C.; Howard, S.M.; Bliss, N.B.; Jiang, H.

    2011-01-01

    Land use change, natural disturbance, and climate change directly alter ecosystem productivity and carbon stock level. The estimation of ecosystem carbon dynamics depends on the quality of land cover change data and the effectiveness of the ecosystem models that represent the vegetation growth processes and disturbance effects. We used the Integrated Biosphere Simulator (IBIS) and a set of 30- to 60-m resolution fire and land cover change data to examine the carbon changes of California's forests, shrublands, and grasslands. Simulation results indicate that during 1951-2000, the net primary productivity (NPP) increased by 7%, from 72.2 to 77.1TgCyr-1 (1 teragram=1012g), mainly due to CO2 fertilization, since the climate hardly changed during this period. Similarly, heterotrophic respiration increased by 5%, from 69.4 to 73.1TgCyr-1, mainly due to increased forest soil carbon and temperature. Net ecosystem production (NEP) was highly variable in the 50-year period but on average equalled 3.0TgCyr-1 (total of 149TgC). As with NEP, the net biome production (NBP) was also highly variable but averaged -0.55TgCyr-1 (total of -27.3TgC) because NBP in the 1980s was very low (-5.34TgCyr-1). During the study period, a total of 126Tg carbon were removed by logging and land use change, and 50Tg carbon were directly removed by wildland fires. For carbon pools, the estimated total living upper canopy (tree) biomass decreased from 928 to 834TgC, and the understory (including shrub and grass) biomass increased from 59 to 63TgC. Soil carbon and dead biomass carbon increased from 1136 to 1197TgC. Our analyses suggest that both natural and human processes have significant influence on the carbon change in California. During 1951-2000, climate interannual variability was the key driving force for the large interannual changes of ecosystem carbon source and sink at the state level, while logging and fire were the dominant driving forces for carbon balances in several specific

  4. Application of ultrasound processed images in space: assessing diffuse affectations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pérez-Poch, A.; Bru, C.; Nicolau, C.

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate diffuse affectations in the liver using texture image processing techniques. Ultrasound diagnose equipments are the election of choice to be used in space environments as they are free from hazardous effects on health. However, due to the need for highly trained radiologists to assess the images, this imaging method is mainly applied on focal lesions rather than on non-focal ones. We have conducted a clinical study on 72 patients with different degrees of chronic hepatopaties and a group of control of 18 individuals. All subjects' clinical reports and results of biopsies were compared to the degree of affectation calculated by our computer system , thus validating the method. Full statistical results are given in the present paper showing a good correlation (r=0.61) between pathologist's report and analysis of the heterogenicity of the processed images from the liver. This computer system to analyze diffuse affectations may be used in-situ or via telemedicine to the ground.

  5. Olfactory modulation of affective touch processing - A neurophysiological investigation.

    PubMed

    Croy, Ilona; Drechsler, Edda; Hamilton, Paul; Hummel, Thomas; Olausson, Håkan

    2016-07-15

    Touch can be highly emotional, and depending on the environment, it can be perceived as pleasant and comforting or disgusting and dangerous. Here, we studied the impact of context on the processing of tactile stimuli using a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) paradigm. This was achieved by embedding tactile stimulation in a variable olfactory environment. Twenty people were scanned with BOLD fMRI while receiving the following stimulus blocks: Slow stroking Touch, Civette odor (feces like), Rose odor, Touch+Civette, and Touch+Rose. Ratings of pleasantness and intensity of tactile stimuli and ratings of disgust and intensity of olfactory stimuli were collected. The impact of the olfactory context on the processing of touch was studied using covariance analyses. Coupling between olfactory processing and somatosensory processing areas was assessed with psychophysiological interaction analysis (PPI). A subjectively disgusting olfactory environment significantly reduced the perceived pleasantness of touch. The touch fMRI activation in the secondary somatosensory cortex, operculum 1 (OP1), was positively correlated with the disgust towards the odors. Decreased pleasantness of touch was related to decreased posterior insula activity. PPI analysis revealed a significant interaction between the OP1, posterior insula, and regions processing the disgust of odors (orbitofrontal cortex and amygdala). We conclude that the disgust evaluation of the olfactory environment moderates neural reactivity in somatosensory regions by upregulation of the OP1 and downregulation of the posterior insula. This adaptive regulation of affective touch processing may facilitate adaptive reaction to a potentially harmful stimulus. PMID:27138206

  6. Empirical Succession Mapping and Data Assimilation to Constrain Demographic Processes in an Ecosystem Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelly, R.; Andrews, T.; Dietze, M.

    2015-12-01

    Shifts in ecological communities in response to environmental change have implications for biodiversity, ecosystem function, and feedbacks to global climate change. Community composition is fundamentally the product of demography, but demographic processes are simplified or missing altogether in many ecosystem, Earth system, and species distribution models. This limitation arises in part because demographic data are noisy and difficult to synthesize. As a consequence, demographic processes are challenging to formulate in models in the first place, and to verify and constrain with data thereafter. Here, we used a novel analysis of the USFS Forest Inventory Analysis to improve the representation of demography in an ecosystem model. First, we created an Empirical Succession Mapping (ESM) based on ~1 million individual tree observations from the eastern U.S. to identify broad demographic patterns related to forest succession and disturbance. We used results from this analysis to guide reformulation of the Ecosystem Demography model (ED), an existing forest simulator with explicit tree demography. Results from the ESM reveal a coherent, cyclic pattern of change in temperate forest tree size and density over the eastern U.S. The ESM captures key ecological processes including succession, self-thinning, and gap-filling, and quantifies the typical trajectory of these processes as a function of tree size and stand density. Recruitment is most rapid in early-successional stands with low density and mean diameter, but slows as stand density increases; mean diameter increases until thinning promotes recruitment of small-diameter trees. Strikingly, the upper bound of size-density space that emerges in the ESM conforms closely to the self-thinning power law often observed in ecology. The ED model obeys this same overall size-density boundary, but overestimates plot-level growth, mortality, and fecundity rates, leading to unrealistic emergent demographic patterns. In particular

  7. Simulating the coupling between atmosphere ocean processes and the planktonic ecosystem during SERIES

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steiner, N.; Denman, K.; McFarlane, N.; Solheim, L.

    2006-10-01

    We have developed a 1-D atmosphere-ocean-biogeochemical model to investigate the coupling between atmosphere-ocean exchanges and the planktonic ecosystem during the Subarctic Ecosystem Response to Iron Enrichment Study (SERIES) in 2002. The atmospheric Single Column Model (SCM) is based on the Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis (CCCma) Atmospheric General Circulation Model (AGCM). The ocean component employs the General Ocean Turbulence Model (GOTM). A seven-component ecosystem model is embedded in GOTM, which includes nitrogen, organic and inorganic carbon, silica and oxygen cycling. We use observations from SERIES combined with atmospheric reanalysis data to initiate and force the coupled physical model. We found that atmospheric temperatures and humidities are higher and the stratification more stable if nudged to National Centre of Environmental Prediction (NCEP) rather than to European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) 40-yr reanalysis data. Doubling the vertical resolution in the atmosphere improved the representation of mixing and the thermal structure, affecting cloudiness and radiative fluxes at the ocean surface as well as planetary boundary layer heights and gas dispersion in the lower atmosphere. From observed ocean-surface dimethyl sulphide (DMS) concentrations (outside the patch) we simulated DMS dispersion in the atmospheric boundary layer by applying a first-order loss term, with turnover times ranging from 1 to 4 days. During SERIES, shallow boundary-layer heights that occurred when DMS production was highest prevented dispersion into the atmosphere beyond several 100 m. Finally, successive model runs with iron fertilization starting on June 25, July 10 and 25 showed that the general nature of the response to iron enrichment at OSP (SERIES) is robust, but the strength as well as length of the response depend strongly on short-term atmospheric conditions (wind and radiative fluxes).

  8. Processes affecting the remediation of chromium-contaminated sites.

    PubMed Central

    Palmer, C D; Wittbrodt, P R

    1991-01-01

    The remediation of chromium-contaminated sites requires knowledge of the processes that control the migration and transformation of chromium. Advection, dispersion, and diffusion are physical processes affecting the rate at which contaminants can migrate in the subsurface. Heterogeneity is an important factor that affects the contribution of each of these mechanisms to the migration of chromium-laden waters. Redox reactions, chemical speciation, adsorption/desorption phenomena, and precipitation/dissolution reactions control the transformation and mobility of chromium. The reduction of CrVI to CrIII can occur in the presence of ferrous iron in solution or in mineral phases, reduced sulfur compounds, or soil organic matter. At neutral to alkaline pH, the CrIII precipitates as amorphous hydroxides or forms complexes with organic matter. CrIII is oxidized by manganese dioxide, a common mineral found in many soils. Solid-phase precipitates of hexavalent chromium such as barium chromate can serve either as sources or sinks for CrVI. Adsorption of CrVI in soils increases with decreasing chromium concentration, making it more difficult to remove the chromium as the concentration decreases during pump-and-treat remediation. Knowledge of these chemical and physical processes is important in developing and selecting effective, cost-efficient remediation designs for chromium-contaminated sites. PMID:1935849

  9. Agricultural management affects evolutionary processes in a migratory songbird

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Perlut, N.G.; Freeman-Gallant, C. R.; Strong, A.M.; Donovan, T.M.; Kilpatrick, C.W.; Zalik, N.J.

    2008-01-01

    Hay harvests have detrimental ecological effects on breeding songbirds, as harvesting results in nest failure. Importantly, whether harvesting also affects evolutionary processes is not known. We explored how hay harvest affected social and genetic mating patterns, and thus, the overall opportunity for sexual selection and evolutionary processes for a ground-nesting songbird, the Savannah sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis). On an unharvested field, 55% of females were in polygynous associations, and social polygyny was associated with greater rates of extra-pair paternity (EPP). In this treatment, synchrony explained variation in EPP rates, as broods by more synchronous females had more EPP than broods by asynchronous females. In contrast, on a harvested field, simultaneous nest failure caused by haying dramatically decreased the overall incidence of EPP by increasing the occurrence of social monogamy and, apparently, the ability of polygynous males to maintain paternity in their own nests. Despite increased social and genetic monogamy, these haying-mediated changes in mating systems resulted in greater than twofold increase in the opportunity for sexual selection. This effect arose, in part, from a 30% increase in the variance associated with within-pair fertilization success, relative to the unharvested field. This effect was caused by a notable increase (+110%) in variance associated with the quality of social mates following simultaneous nest failure. Because up to 40% of regional habitat is harvested by early June, these data may demonstrate a strong population-level effect on mating systems, sexual selection, and consequently, evolutionary processes. ?? 2008 The Authors.

  10. Integration of coral reef ecosystem process studies and remote sensing: Chapter 5

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brook, John; Yates, Kimberly; Halley, Robert

    2006-01-01

    anthropogenic causes (Brown, 1988). Models of coral reef ecosystems, parameterized by process measurements and scaled in time-space using remote sensing, have the potential to address pressing research questions that are central to devising valid management strategies (Grigg el al., 1984; Hatcher, 1997b). To attain this goal, ecosystem-level models that integrate studies of physical and chemical forcing with observed biological and geological responses are required. This interdisciplinary approach to understanding reef biogeochemical dynamics can allow investigations that integrate the scales of time and space (Hatcher, 1997a), thereby enabling prediction of coral reef change (Andréfouët and Payri, 2001). In turn, prediction of holistic ecosystem function within various environmental focusing scenarios has substantial promise in mitigating future disturbance. Indeed, management of coral reefs at the ecosystem level has been suggested as the only meaningful approach to preserving coral reefs (Bohnsack and Ault, 1996; Christensen et al., 1996).

  11. Biogeochemical cycles of Chernobyl-born radionuclides in the contaminated forest ecosystems: long-term dynamics of the migration processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shcheglov, Alexey; Tsvetnova, Ol'ga; Klyashtorin, Alexey

    2013-04-01

    Biogeochemical migration is a dominant factor of the radionuclide transport through the biosphere. In the early XX century, V.I. Vernadskii, a Russian scientist known, noted about a special role living things play in transport and accumulation of natural radionuclide in various environments. The role of biogeochemical processes in migration and redistribution of technogenic radionuclides is not less important. In Russia, V. M. Klechkovskii and N.V. Timofeev-Ressovskii showed some important biogeochemical aspects of radionuclide migration by the example of global fallout and Kyshtym accident. Their followers, R.M. Alexakhin, M.A. Naryshkin, N.V. Kulikov, F.A. Tikhomirov, E.B. Tyuryukanova, and others also contributed a lot to biogeochemistry of radionuclides. In the post-Chernobyl period, this area of knowledge received a lot of data that allowed building the radioactive element balance and flux estimation in various biogeochemical cycles [Shcheglov et al., 1999]. Regrettably, many of recent radioecological studies are only focused on specific radionuclide fluxes or pursue some applied tasks, missing the holistic approach. Most of the studies consider biogeochemical fluxes of radioactive isotopes in terms of either dose estimation or radionuclide migration rates in various food chains. However, to get a comprehensive picture and develop a reliable forecast of environmental, ecological, and social consequences of radioactive pollution in a vast contaminated area, it is necessary to investigate all the radionuclide fluxes associated with the biogeochemical cycles in affected ecosystems. We believe such an integrated approach would be useful to study long-term environmental consequences of the Fukushima accident as well. In our long-term research, we tried to characterize the flux dynamics of the Chernobyl-born radionuclides in the contaminated forest ecosystems and landscapes as a part of the integrated biogeochemical process. Our field studies were started in June of

  12. Nutrient vectors and riparian nutrient processing in African semiarid savanna ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jacobs, Shayne M.; Bechtold, J.S.; Biggs, Harry C.; Grimm, N. B.; McClain, M.E.; Naiman, R.J.; Perakis, Steven S.; Pinay, G.; Scholes, M.C.

    2007-01-01

    This review article describes vectors for nitrogen and phosphorus delivery to riparian zones in semiarid African savannas, the processing of nutrients in the riparian zone and the effect of disturbance on these processes. Semiarid savannas exhibit sharp seasonality, complex hillslope hydrology and high spatial heterogeneity, all of which ultimately impact nutrient fluxes between riparian, upland and aquatic environments. Our review shows that strong environmental drivers such as fire and herbivory enhance nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment transport to lower slope positions by shaping vegetative patterns. These vectors differ significantly from other arid and semiarid ecosystems, and from mesic ecosystems where the impact of fire and herbivory are less pronounced and less predictable. Also unique is the presence of sodic soils in certain hillslopes, which substantially alters hydrological flowpaths and may act as a trap where nitrogen is immobilized while sediment and phosphorus transport is enhanced. Nutrients and sediments are also deposited in the riparian zone during seasonal, intermittent floods while, during the dry season, subsurface movement of water from the stream into riparian soils and vegetation further enrich riparian zones with nutrients. As is found in mesic ecosystems, nutrients are immobilized in semiarid riparian corridors through microbial and plant uptake, whereas dissimilatory processes such as denitrification may be important where labile nitrogen and carbon are in adequate supply and physical conditions are suitablea??such as in seeps, wallows created by animals, ephemeral wetlands and stream edges. Interaction between temporal hydrologic connectivity and spatial heterogeneity are disrupted by disturbances such as large floods and extended droughts, which may convert certain riparian patches from sinks to sources for nitrogen and phosphorus. In the face of increasing anthropogenic pressure, the scientific challenges are to provide a basic

  13. Methylmercury in Marine Ecosystems: Spatial Patterns and Processes of Production, Bioaccumulation, and Biomagnification

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Celia; Amirbahman, Aria; Fisher, Nicholas; Harding, Gareth; Lamborg, Carl; Nacci, Diane; Taylor, David

    2008-01-01

    The spatial variation of MeHg production, bioaccumulation and biomagnification in marine food webs is poorly characterized but critical to understanding the links between sources and higher trophic levels such as fish that are ultimately vectors of human and wildlife exposure. This paper discusses both large and local scale processes controlling Hg supply, methylation, bioaccumulation and transfer in marine ecosystems. While global estimates of Hg supply suggest important open ocean reservoirs of MeHg, only coastal processes and food webs are known sources of MeHg production, bioaccumulation, and bioadvection. The patterns observed to date suggest that not all sources and biotic receptors are spatially linked and that physical and ecological processes are important in transferring MeHg from source regions to bioaccumulation in marine food webs and from lower to higher trophic levels. PMID:19015919

  14. Optimizing Parameters of Process-Based Terrestrial Ecosystem Model with Particle Filter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ito, A.

    2014-12-01

    Present terrestrial ecosystem models still contain substantial uncertainties, as model intercomparison studies have shown, because of poor model constraint by observational data. So, development of advanced methodology of data-model fusion, or data-assimilation, is an important task to reduce the uncertainties and improve model predictability. In this study, I apply the Particle filter (or Sequential Monte Carlo filer) to optimize parameters of a process-based terrestrial ecosystem model (VISIT). The Particle filter is one of the data-assimilation methods, in which probability distribution of model state is approximated by many samples of parameter set (i.e., particle). This is a computationally intensive method and applicable to nonlinear systems; this is an advantage of the method in comparison with other techniques like Ensemble Kalman filter and variational method. At several sites, I used flux measurement data of atmosphere-ecosystem CO2 exchange in sequential and non-sequential manners. In the sequential data assimilation, a time-series data at 30-min or daily steps were used to optimize gas-exchange-related parameters; this method would be also effective to assimilate satellite observational data. On the other hand, in the non-sequential case, annual or long-term mean budget was adjusted to observations; this method would be also effective to assimilate carbon stock data. Although there remain technical issues (e.g., appropriate number of particles and likelihood function), I demonstrate that the Partile filter is an effective method of data-assimilation for process-based models, enhancing collaboration between field and model researchers.

  15. Pitch accent type affects the N400 during referential processing.

    PubMed

    Schumacher, Petra B; Baumann, Stefan

    2010-06-23

    Discourse processing depends on semantic memory as well as maintaining and updating of a mental model. Using event-related potentials, we investigated how a referent's information status (new, accessible, given) is processed in combination with three different prosodic realizations (an appropriate accent and two inappropriate accents). The data reveal a biphasic N400-late positivity pattern, indicating that prosodic information affects an early discourse linking stage, during which prominence information reflecting a referent's accessibility is computed (N400), and a later discourse updating stage, during which conflicts between prosodic information and a referent's actual information status are detected (late positivity). Crucially, the data show that the N400 is not only sensitive to lexico-semantic relations but also to discourse accessibility induced by prosodic cues. PMID:20489672

  16. Development of brain mechanisms for processing affective touch

    PubMed Central

    Björnsdotter, Malin; Gordon, Ilanit; Pelphrey, Kevin A.; Olausson, Håkan; Kaiser, Martha D.

    2014-01-01

    Affective tactile stimulation plays a key role in the maturation of neural circuits, but the development of brain mechanisms processing touch is poorly understood. We therefore used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study brain responses to soft brush stroking of both glabrous (palm) and hairy (forearm) skin in healthy children (5–13 years), adolescents (14–17 years), and adults (25–35 years). Adult-defined regions-of-interests in the primary somatosensory cortex (SI), secondary somatosensory cortex (SII), insular cortex and right posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS) were significantly and similarly activated in all age groups. Whole-brain analyses revealed that responses in the ipsilateral SII were positively correlated with age in both genders, and that responses in bilateral regions near the pSTS correlated significantly and strongly with age in females but not in males. These results suggest that brain mechanisms associated with both sensory-discriminative and affective-motivational aspects of touch are largely established in school-aged children, and that there is a general continuing maturation of SII and a female-specific increase in pSTS sensitivity with age. Our work establishes a groundwork for future comparative studies of tactile processing in developmental disorders characterized by disrupted social perception such as autism. PMID:24550800

  17. Towards Predictive Modeling of Information Processing in Microbial Ecosystems With Quorum-Sensing Interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yusufaly, Tahir; Boedicker, James

    Bacteria communicate using external chemical signals in a process known as quorum sensing. However, the efficiency of this communication is reduced by both limitations on the rate of diffusion over long distances and potential interference from neighboring strains. Therefore, having a framework to quantitatively predict how spatial structure and biodiversity shape information processing in bacterial colonies is important, both for understanding the evolutionary dynamics of natural microbial ecosystems, and for the rational design of synthetic ecosystems with desired computational properties. As a first step towards these goals, we implement a reaction-diffusion model to study the dynamics of a LuxI/LuxR quorum sensing circuit in a growing bacterial population. The spatiotemporal concentration profile of acyl-homoserine lactone (AHL) signaling molecules is analyzed, and used to define a measure of physical and functional signaling network connectivity. From this, we systematically investigate how different initial distributions of bacterial populations influence the subsequent efficiency of collective long-range signal propagation in the population. We compare our results with known experimental data, and discuss limitations and extensions to our modeling framework.-/abstract-

  18. A delay digestion process with application in a three-species ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yongzhen, Pei; Min, Guo; Changguo, Li

    2011-11-01

    In a natural ecosystem, specialist predators feed almost exclusively on one specific species of prey which may be possible for a parasitoid. But generalist predators feed on many types of species. It is also well known that the predation rate increases as prey density rises, but eventually levels off due to the predator's handling time. The response function, thereby, is often assumed to Holling II functional response. In addition, digestion processes of the predation often involve reactions with delays. In view of these facts, a three-species ecosystem with a delay digestion process and Holling functional response is formulated. By analyzing the corresponding characteristic equations, the stability of the equilibria is investigated. Furthermore, Hopf bifurcations occurring at the positive equilibrium under some conditions are demonstrated. The consequence of global stability of the positive equilibrium is that predation will not irreversibly change the system. That is, as long as preys are not made extinct by excessive predation of their predator, the system is able to recover. Numerical simulations are carried out to illustrate our theoretical results. Meanwhile, they indicate that time delay is harmless for permanence of populations even thought it has a tendency to produce oscillations.

  19. Major hydrogeochemical processes in an acid mine drainage affected estuary.

    PubMed

    Asta, Maria P; Calleja, Maria Ll; Pérez-López, Rafael; Auqué, Luis F

    2015-02-15

    This study provides geochemical data with the aim of identifying and quantifying the main processes occurring in an Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) affected estuary. With that purpose, water samples of the Huelva estuary were collected during a tidal half-cycle and ion-ion plots and geochemical modeling were performed to obtain a general conceptual model. Modeling results indicated that the main processes responsible for the hydrochemical evolution of the waters are: (i) the mixing of acid fluvial water with alkaline ocean water; (ii) precipitation of Fe oxyhydroxysulfates (schwertmannite) and hydroxides (ferrihydrite); (iii) precipitation of Al hydroxysulfates (jurbanite) and hydroxides (amorphous Al(OH)3); (iv) dissolution of calcite; and (v) dissolution of gypsum. All these processes, thermodynamically feasible in the light of their calculated saturation states, were quantified by mass-balance calculations and validated by reaction-path calculations. In addition, sorption processes were deduced by the non-conservative behavior of some elements (e.g., Cu and Zn). PMID:25530015

  20. The "Musical Emotional Bursts": a validated set of musical affect bursts to investigate auditory affective processing.

    PubMed

    Paquette, Sébastien; Peretz, Isabelle; Belin, Pascal

    2013-01-01

    The Musical Emotional Bursts (MEB) consist of 80 brief musical executions expressing basic emotional states (happiness, sadness and fear) and neutrality. These musical bursts were designed to be the musical analog of the Montreal Affective Voices (MAV)-a set of brief non-verbal affective vocalizations portraying different basic emotions. The MEB consist of short (mean duration: 1.6 s) improvisations on a given emotion or of imitations of a given MAV stimulus, played on a violin (10 stimuli × 4 [3 emotions + neutral]), or a clarinet (10 stimuli × 4 [3 emotions + neutral]). The MEB arguably represent a primitive form of music emotional expression, just like the MAV represent a primitive form of vocal, non-linguistic emotional expression. To create the MEB, stimuli were recorded from 10 violinists and 10 clarinetists, and then evaluated by 60 participants. Participants evaluated 240 stimuli [30 stimuli × 4 (3 emotions + neutral) × 2 instruments] by performing either a forced-choice emotion categorization task, a valence rating task or an arousal rating task (20 subjects per task); 40 MAVs were also used in the same session with similar task instructions. Recognition accuracy of emotional categories expressed by the MEB (n:80) was lower than for the MAVs but still very high with an average percent correct recognition score of 80.4%. Highest recognition accuracies were obtained for happy clarinet (92.0%) and fearful or sad violin (88.0% each) MEB stimuli. The MEB can be used to compare the cerebral processing of emotional expressions in music and vocal communication, or used for testing affective perception in patients with communication problems. PMID:23964255

  1. Can benthic community structure be used to predict the process of bioturbation in real ecosystems?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Queirós, Ana M.; Stephens, Nicholas; Cook, Richard; Ravaglioli, Chiara; Nunes, Joana; Dashfield, Sarah; Harris, Carolyn; Tilstone, Gavin H.; Fishwick, James; Braeckman, Ulrike; Somerfield, Paul J.; Widdicombe, Stephen

    2015-09-01

    Disentangling the roles of environmental change and natural environmental variability on biologically mediated ecosystem processes is paramount to predict future marine ecosystem functioning. Bioturbation, the biogenic mixing of sediments, has a regulating role in marine biogeochemical processes. However, our understanding of bioturbation as a community level process and of its environmental drivers is still limited by loose use of terminology, and a lack of consensus about what bioturbation is. To help resolve these challenges, this empirical study investigated the links between four different attributes of bioturbation (bioturbation depth, activity and distance, and biodiffusive transport); the ability of an index of bioturbation (BPc) to predict each of them; and their relation to seasonality, in a shallow coastal system - the Western Channel Observatory, UK. Bioturbation distance depended on changes in benthic community structure, while the other three attributes were more directly influenced by seasonality in food availability. In parallel, BPc successfully predicted bioturbation distance but not the other attributes of bioturbation. This study therefore highlights that community bioturbation results from this combination of processes responding to environmental variability at different time-scales. However, community level measurements of bioturbation across environmental variability are still scarce, and BPc is calculated using commonly available data on benthic community structure and the functional classification of invertebrates. Therefore, BPc could be used to support the growth of landscape scale bioturbation research, but future uses of the index need to consider which bioturbation attributes the index actually predicts. As BPc predicts bioturbation distance, estimated here using a random-walk model applicable to community settings, studies using either of the metrics should be directly comparable and contribute to a more integrated future for

  2. RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN CULTURABLE SOIL MICROBIAL POPULATIONS AND GROSS NITROGEN TRANSFORMATION PROCESSES IN A CLAY LOAM SOIL ACROSS ECOSYSTEMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The size and quality of soil organic matter (SOM) pool can vary between ecosystems and can affect many soil properties. The objective of this study was to examine the relationship between gross N transformation rates and microbial populations and to investigate the role that SOM...

  3. Insecticide use in hybrid onion seed production affects pre- and postpollination processes.

    PubMed

    Gillespie, Sandra; Long, Rachael; Seitz, Nicola; Williams, Neal

    2014-02-01

    Research on threats to pollination service in agro-ecosystems has focused primarily on the negative impacts of land use change and agricultural practices such as insecticide use on pollinator populations. Insecticide use could also affect the pollination process, through nonlethal impacts on pollinator attraction and postpollination processes such as pollen viability or pollen tube growth. Hybrid onion seed (Allium cepa L., Alliaceae) is an important pollinator-dependent crop that has suffered yield declines in California, concurrent with increased insecticide use. Field studies suggest that insecticide use reduces pollination service in this system. We conducted a field experiment manipulating insecticide use to examine the impacts of insecticides on 1) pollinator attraction, 2) pollen/stigma interactions, and 3) seed set and seed quality. Select insecticides had negative impacts on pollinator attraction and pollen/stigma interactions, with certain products dramatically reducing pollen germination and pollen tube growth. Decreased pollen germination was not associated with reduced seed set; however, reduced pollinator attraction was associated with lower seed set and seed quality, for one of the two female lines examined. Our results highlight the importance of pesticide effects on the pollination process. Overuse may lead to yield reductions through impacts on pollinator behavior and postpollination processes. Overall, in hybrid onion seed production, moderation in insecticide use is advised when controlling onion thrips, Thrips tabaci, on commercial fields. PMID:24665681

  4. Interactions between geomorphology and ecosystem processes in travertine streams: Implications for decommissioning a dam on Fossil Creek, Arizona

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marks, Jane C.; Parnell, Roderic; Carter, Cody; Dinger, Eric C.; Haden, G. Allen

    2006-07-01

    Travertine deposits of calcium carbonate can dominate channel geomorphology in streams where travertine deposition creates a distinct morphology characterized by travertine terraces, steep waterfalls, and large pools. Algae and microorganisms can facilitate travertine deposition, but how travertine affects material and energy flow in stream ecosystems is less well understood. Nearly a century of flow diversion for hydropower production has decimated the natural travertine formations in Fossil Creek, Arizona. The dam will be decommissioned in 2005. Returning carbonate-rich spring water to the natural stream channel should promote travertine deposition. How will the recovery of travertine affect the ecology of the creek? To address this question, we compared primary production, decomposition, and the abundance and diversity of invertebrates and fish in travertine and riffle/run reaches of Fossil Creek, Arizona. We found that travertine supports higher primary productivity, faster rates of leaf litter decomposition, and higher species richness of the native invertebrate assemblage. Observations from snorkeling in the stream indicate that fish density is also higher in the travertine reach. We postulate that restoring travertine to Fossil Creek will increase stream productivity, rates of litter processing, and energy flow up the food web. Higher aquatic productivity could fundamentally shift the nature of the stream from a sink to a source of energy for the surrounding terrestrial landscape.

  5. Processes of community development and responses of ecosystems to climate change

    SciTech Connect

    Redente, E.F.

    1989-05-26

    Our studies focus on attempting to understand the role of decomposer-primary producer linkages in successional dynamics. We are testing a series of hypotheses that relate changes in plant species composition during succession to changes in activity and structure of the soil microfloral and faunal community, dynamics of soil organic matter, and availability of soil nutrients. As these successional patterns are identified, they are being applied to understanding specific processes and mechanics involved in ecosystem development during recovery from moderate and severe disturbances. These findings are then being used in conjunction with simulation models to assess potential effects of climate change on ecosystems. Our research involves field studies in northwestern Colorado and southeastern Washington, laboratory studies, and simulation modeling. Ongoing projects include studies of response patterns of primary producer and soil microbial communities to nutrient additions (N, P, and sucrose), the function of mycorrhizal fungi in plant community development, and the dynamics of litter decomposition under semiarid conditions. New studies are being implemented to investigate the significance of nutrient transfers from VAM fungi to plants and plant-root exudate interactions, and to relate this to understanding their roles in succession.

  6. Hepatitis C virus mutation affects proteasomal epitope processing

    PubMed Central

    Seifert, Ulrike; Liermann, Heike; Racanelli, Vito; Halenius, Anne; Wiese, Manfred; Wedemeyer, Heiner; Ruppert, Thomas; Rispeter, Kay; Henklein, Peter; Sijts, Alice; Hengel, Hartmut; Kloetzel, Peter-M.; Rehermann, Barbara

    2004-01-01

    The high incidence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) persistence raises the question of how HCV interferes with host immune responses. Studying a single-source HCV outbreak, we identified an HCV mutation that impaired correct carboxyterminal cleavage of an immunodominant HLA-A2–restricted CD8 cell epitope that is frequently recognized by recovered patients. The mutation, a conservative HCV nonstructural protein 3 (NS3) tyrosine to phenylalanine substitution, was absent in 54 clones of the infectious source, but present in 15/21 (71%) HLA-A2–positive and in 11/24 (46%) HLA-A2–negative patients with chronic hepatitis C. In order to analyze whether the mutation affected the processing of the HLA-A2–restricted CD8 cell epitope, mutant and wild-type NS3 polypeptides were digested in vitro with 20S constitutive proteasomes and with immunoproteasomes. The presence of the mutation resulted in impaired carboxyterminal cleavage of the epitope. In order to analyze whether impaired epitope processing affected T cell priming in vivo, HLA-A2–transgenic mice were infected with vaccinia viruses encoding either wild-type or mutant HCV NS3. The mutant induced fewer epitope-specific, IFN-γ;–producing and fewer tetramer+ cells than the wild type. These data demonstrate how a conservative mutation in the flanking region of an HCV epitope impairs the induction of epitope-specific CD8+ T cells and reveal a mechanism that may contribute to viral sequence evolution in infected patients. PMID:15254592

  7. Processes Controlling Temporal Changes in Agriculturally-Affected Groundwater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burow, K. R.; Belitz, K.; Jurgens, B. C.

    2014-12-01

    The National Water Quality Assessment (NAWQA) program of the U.S. Geological Survey includes assessment of groundwater-quality changes with time. To better understand changes at a national scale, NAWQA has implemented smaller scale flow-path studies to evaluate the processes affecting these changes. Flow path studies are designed to sample groundwater of different ages. Wells are sampled for a suite of constituents, including tracers of groundwater age. In the 1990s, a 4.6 km transect of monitoring wells was installed near Fresno in the southern Central Valley of California. The region is dominated by intensive agriculture. The wells were sampled in 1994-95, 2003, and 2013 to provide data on changes in water quality and groundwater age. In 2013, the flow path was extended to a regional scale (30 km) by using existing production wells. Preliminary interpretation of the local-scale flow path indicates that nitrate concentrations in the upper 25 m of the aquifer are higher than the USEPA Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for drinking water and variably increase or decrease with time. At intermediate depths (25-40 m), nitrate concentrations are lower and show small to moderate increases. The legacy pesticide 1,2-dibromo-3-chloropropane (DBCP) is degrading at a half-life of about 4-6 years. DBCP is present above the MCL at intermediate depths even though it is has been banned from use for more than 30 years. Both nitrate and DBCP appear to be moving vertically downward through the aquifer. Whereas uranium concentrations are generally below the MCL in the local-scale flow path, concentrations increase along the regional transect, with concentrations nearly an order of magnitude above the MCL in some wells. Further evaluation of processes affecting these constituents (such as source, redox, and mobilization factors) will provide important insight that can be applied to other regions and will assist local water managers.

  8. Soil and sediments micromorphology: reconstruction of palaeoenvironments, anthropogenic processes, or more recent human impact on ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gérard, Martine; Trombino, Luca; Stoops, Georges

    2014-05-01

    Soils and sediments registered the environmental changes in time and space, but also display components inherited from human activities, both in archaeological and in modern times. Micromorphological investigations carried out on undisturbed samples of soil and sediments by microscopic and ultramicroscopic techniques, correlated with mineralogy, geochemistry or biology, allow us to interpret the processes behind the formation of regoliths, sediments and anthropogenic deposits, from which a relative chronology, specific environmental conditions and/or extent of human impact may be deduced. The traditional optical microscopy observations, carried on the thin section groundmass and pedofeatures, provide clues on the different processes behind soils and sediments genesis (weathering, supergene, low T hydrothermal, anthropogenic) and their impact on ecosystems or on palaeoenvironments. In more recent times, the improvements in electron microscope imaging technology permit to make detailed observations up to the nanoscale, opening a new domain of observations to micromorphologists, both as regard of the micromass and of the thinner pedofeatures. Moreover, the optimisation of the microgeochemical mapping techniques, with spatially resolved chemical, isotopic or mineralogical analyses, is another powerful tool to gain insight in chemical migration fronts: the limit of the original rock fabric disappearance may be bypassed. In order to illustrate micromorphological researches in natural and man-influenced ecosystems, and to combine researches at different scales, several optical and electronic images of soils and sediments groundmass, associated to their microgeochemical characteristics will be presented, with selected examples taken from the climatic record of paleosols, the impact of hydrothermal alteration on saprolites, the neo-formation of minerals related to weathering process evolution, the protosoil formation in natural and human waste deposits, and the forensic

  9. Radionuclide transfer in marine coastal ecosystems, a modelling study using metabolic processes and site data.

    PubMed

    Konovalenko, L; Bradshaw, C; Kumblad, L; Kautsky, U

    2014-07-01

    This study implements new site-specific data and improved process-based transport model for 26 elements (Ac, Ag, Am, Ca, Cl, Cm, Cs, Ho, I, Nb, Ni, Np, Pa, Pb, Pd, Po, Pu, Ra, Se, Sm, Sn, Sr, Tc, Th, U, Zr), and validates model predictions with site measurements and literature data. The model was applied in the safety assessment of a planned nuclear waste repository in Forsmark, Öregrundsgrepen (Baltic Sea). Radionuclide transport models are central in radiological risk assessments to predict radionuclide concentrations in biota and doses to humans. Usually concentration ratios (CRs), the ratio of the measured radionuclide concentration in an organism to the concentration in water, drive such models. However, CRs vary with space and time and CR estimates for many organisms are lacking. In the model used in this study, radionuclides were assumed to follow the circulation of organic matter in the ecosystem and regulated by radionuclide-specific mechanisms and metabolic rates of the organisms. Most input parameters were represented by log-normally distributed probability density functions (PDFs) to account for parameter uncertainty. Generally, modelled CRs for grazers, benthos, zooplankton and fish for the 26 elements were in good agreement with site-specific measurements. The uncertainty was reduced when the model was parameterized with site data, and modelled CRs were most similar to measured values for particle reactive elements and for primary consumers. This study clearly demonstrated that it is necessary to validate models with more than just a few elements (e.g. Cs, Sr) in order to make them robust. The use of PDFs as input parameters, rather than averages or best estimates, enabled the estimation of the probable range of modelled CR values for the organism groups, an improvement over models that only estimate means. Using a mechanistic model that is constrained by ecological processes enables (i) the evaluation of the relative importance of food and water

  10. Mapping ecological processes and ecosystem services for prioritizing restoration efforts in a semi-arid Mediterranean river basin.

    PubMed

    Trabucchi, Mattia; O'Farrell, Patrick J; Notivol, Eduardo; Comín, Francisco A

    2014-06-01

    Semi-arid Mediterranean regions are highly susceptible to desertification processes which can reduce the benefits that people obtain from healthy ecosystems and thus threaten human wellbeing. The European Union Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 recognizes the need to incorporate ecosystem services into land-use management, conservation, and restoration actions. The inclusion of ecosystem services into restoration actions and plans is an emerging area of research, and there are few documented approaches and guidelines on how to undertake such an exercise. This paper responds to this need, and we demonstrate an approach for identifying both key ecosystem services provisioning areas and the spatial relationship between ecological processes and services. A degraded semi-arid Mediterranean river basin in north east Spain was used as a case study area. We show that the quantification and mapping of services are the first step required for both optimizing and targeting of specific local areas for restoration. Additionally, we provide guidelines for restoration planning at a watershed scale; establishing priorities for improving the delivery of ecosystem services at this scale; and prioritizing the sub-watersheds for restoration based on their potential for delivering a combination of key ecosystem services for the entire basin. PMID:24728487

  11. Understanding processes contributing to the ecosystem flux of carbonyl sulfide and carbon dioxide in a mixed forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Commane, R.; Baker, I. T.; Berry, J. A.; Munger, J. W.; Wofsy, S. C.

    2014-12-01

    Carbonyl sulfide (OCS) has been proposed as a valuable new measurement for understanding ecosystem carbon fluxes. Net OCS uptake is thought to be a proxy for gross photosynthetic uptake (which can't be directly measured at large scales). However, our understanding of the OCS flux within forest ecosystems, and it's relationship to CO2, has been limited by a lack of long-term measurements of the OCS flux. Throughout 2011, the ecosystem flux of OCS was measured at a mid-latitude deciduous forest (Harvard Forest, MA, US), a site of long-term CO2 flux measurements. In order to understand the processes contributing to the seasonal ecosystem fluxes of OCS and CO2, we used the Simple Biosphere Model (SiB). This is an enzyme-kinetic model that couples the carbon cycle to the surface energy, water and radiation balance through stomatal regulation. The model has been extended to include a coupled representation of OCS uptake by leaves and soil. Here we test these parameterizations against the whole suite of ecosystem fluxes (including OCS flux) measured throughout the year. We also evaluate the effect of longer-term processes (such as phenology and soil moisture stress) on inter annual variation in ecosystem flux and OCS exchange.

  12. Mapping Ecological Processes and Ecosystem Services for Prioritizing Restoration Efforts in a Semi-arid Mediterranean River Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trabucchi, Mattia; O'Farrell, Patrick J.; Notivol, Eduardo; Comín, Francisco A.

    2014-06-01

    Semi-arid Mediterranean regions are highly susceptible to desertification processes which can reduce the benefits that people obtain from healthy ecosystems and thus threaten human wellbeing. The European Union Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 recognizes the need to incorporate ecosystem services into land-use management, conservation, and restoration actions. The inclusion of ecosystem services into restoration actions and plans is an emerging area of research, and there are few documented approaches and guidelines on how to undertake such an exercise. This paper responds to this need, and we demonstrate an approach for identifying both key ecosystem services provisioning areas and the spatial relationship between ecological processes and services. A degraded semi-arid Mediterranean river basin in north east Spain was used as a case study area. We show that the quantification and mapping of services are the first step required for both optimizing and targeting of specific local areas for restoration. Additionally, we provide guidelines for restoration planning at a watershed scale; establishing priorities for improving the delivery of ecosystem services at this scale; and prioritizing the sub-watersheds for restoration based on their potential for delivering a combination of key ecosystem services for the entire basin.

  13. How processing digital elevation models can affect simulated water budgets

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kuniansky, E.L.; Lowery, M.A.; Campbell, B.G.

    2009-01-01

    For regional models, the shallow water table surface is often used as a source/sink boundary condition, as model grid scale precludes simulation of the water table aquifer. This approach is appropriate when the water table surface is relatively stationary. Since water table surface maps are not readily available, the elevation of the water table used in model cells is estimated via a two-step process. First, a regression equation is developed using existing land and water table elevations from wells in the area. This equation is then used to predict the water table surface for each model cell using land surface elevation available from digital elevation models (DEM). Two methods of processing DEM for estimating the land surface for each cell are commonly used (value nearest the cell centroid or mean value in the cell). This article demonstrates how these two methods of DEM processing can affect the simulated water budget. For the example presented, approximately 20% more total flow through the aquifer system is simulated if the centroid value rather than the mean value is used. This is due to the one-third greater average ground water gradients associated with the centroid value than the mean value. The results will vary depending on the particular model area topography and cell size. The use of the mean DEM value in each model cell will result in a more conservative water budget and is more appropriate because the model cell water table value should be representative of the entire cell area, not the centroid of the model cell.

  14. Tropical forest carbon balance in a warmer world: a critical review spanning microbial- to ecosystem-scale processes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wood, Tana E.; Cavaleri, Molly A.; Reed, Sasha C.

    2012-01-01

    Tropical forests play a major role in regulating global carbon (C) fluxes and stocks, and even small changes to C cycling in this productive biome could dramatically affect atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations. Temperature is expected to increase over all land surfaces in the future, yet we have a surprisingly poor understanding of how tropical forests will respond to this significant climatic change. Here we present a contemporary synthesis of the existing data and what they suggest about how tropical forests will respond to increasing temperatures. Our goals were to: (i) determine whether there is enough evidence to support the conclusion that increased temperature will affect tropical forest C balance; (ii) if there is sufficient evidence, determine what direction this effect will take; and, (iii) establish what steps should to be taken to resolve the uncertainties surrounding tropical forest responses to increasing temperatures. We approach these questions from a mass-balance perspective and therefore focus primarily on the effects of temperature on inputs and outputs of C, spanning microbial- to ecosystem-scale responses. We found that, while there is the strong potential for temperature to affect processes related to C cycling and storage in tropical forests, a notable lack of data combined with the physical, biological and chemical diversity of the forests themselves make it difficult to resolve this issue with certainty. We suggest a variety of experimental approaches that could help elucidate how tropical forests will respond to warming, including large-scale in situ manipulation experiments, longer term field experiments, the incorporation of a range of scales in the investigation of warming effects (both spatial and temporal), as well as the inclusion of a diversity of tropical forest sites. Finally, we highlight areas of tropical forest research where notably few data are available, including temperature effects on: nutrient cycling

  15. Tropical forest carbon balance in a warmer world: a critical review spanning microbial- to ecosystem-scale processes.

    PubMed

    Wood, Tana E; Cavaleri, Molly A; Reed, Sasha C

    2012-11-01

    Tropical forests play a major role in regulating global carbon (C) fluxes and stocks, and even small changes to C cycling in this productive biome could dramatically affect atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO(2) ) concentrations. Temperature is expected to increase over all land surfaces in the future, yet we have a surprisingly poor understanding of how tropical forests will respond to this significant climatic change. Here we present a contemporary synthesis of the existing data and what they suggest about how tropical forests will respond to increasing temperatures. Our goals were to: (i) determine whether there is enough evidence to support the conclusion that increased temperature will affect tropical forest C balance; (ii) if there is sufficient evidence, determine what direction this effect will take; and, (iii) establish what steps should to be taken to resolve the uncertainties surrounding tropical forest responses to increasing temperatures. We approach these questions from a mass-balance perspective and therefore focus primarily on the effects of temperature on inputs and outputs of C, spanning microbial- to ecosystem-scale responses. We found that, while there is the strong potential for temperature to affect processes related to C cycling and storage in tropical forests, a notable lack of data combined with the physical, biological and chemical diversity of the forests themselves make it difficult to resolve this issue with certainty. We suggest a variety of experimental approaches that could help elucidate how tropical forests will respond to warming, including large-scale in situ manipulation experiments, longer term field experiments, the incorporation of a range of scales in the investigation of warming effects (both spatial and temporal), as well as the inclusion of a diversity of tropical forest sites. Finally, we highlight areas of tropical forest research where notably few data are available, including temperature effects on: nutrient cycling

  16. Similar local and landscape processes affect both a common and a rare newt species.

    PubMed

    Denoël, Mathieu; Perez, Amélie; Cornet, Yves; Ficetola, Gentile Francesco

    2013-01-01

    Although rare species are often the focus of conservation measures, more common species may experience similar decline and suffer from the same threatening processes. We tested this hypothesis by examining, through an information-theoretic approach, the importance of ecological processes at multiple scales in the great crested newt Triturus cristatus, regionally endangered and protected in Europe, and the more common smooth newt, Lissotriton vulgaris. Both species were similarly affected by the same processes, i.e. suitability of aquatic and terrestrial components of their habitat at different scales, connectivity among breeding sites, and the presence of introduced fish. T. cristatus depended more on water depth and aquatic vegetation than L. vulgaris. The results show that environmental pressures threaten both common and rare species, and therefore the more widespread species should not be neglected in conservation programs. Because environmental trends are leading to a deterioration of aquatic and terrestrial habitat features required by newt populations, populations of the common species may follow the fate of the rarest species. This could have substantial conservation implications because of the numerical importance of common species in ecosystems and because commonness could be a transient state moving towards rarity. On the other hand, in agreement with the umbrella species concept, targeting conservation efforts on the most demanding species would also protect part of the populations of the most common species. PMID:23658765

  17. Influences of alpine ecosystem degradation on soil temperature in the freezing-thawing process on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Hongchang; Wang, Genxu; Liu, Guangsheng; Li, Taibing; Ren, Dongxing; Wang, Yibo; Cheng, Huiyan; Wang, Junfeng

    2009-05-01

    The alpine ecosystem is very sensitive to environmental change due to global and local disturbances. The alpine ecosystem degradation, characterized by reducing vegetation coverage or biomass, has been occurring in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, which alters local energy balance, and water and biochemical cycles. However, detailed characterization of the ecosystem degradation effect is lack in literature. In this study, the impact of alpine ecosystem degradation on soil temperature for seasonal frozen soil and permafrost are examined. The vegetation coverage is used to indicate the degree of ecosystems degradation. Daily soil temperature is monitored at different depths for different vegetation coverage, for both permafrost and seasonal frozen soils. Results show that under the insulating effort of the vegetation, the freezing and thawing process become quicker and steeper, and the start of the freezing and thawing process moves up due to the insulating effort of the vegetation. The influence of vegetation coverage on the freezing process is more evident than the thawing process; with the decrease of vegetation coverage, the integral of frozen depth increases for seasonal frozen soil, but is vice versa for permafrost.

  18. Integrating the Affective Domain into the Instructional Design Process.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Main, Robert G.

    This study begins with a definition of the affective domain and its importance to learning, outlining its impact both in achieving affective behaviors and in facilitating cognitive and psychomotor objectives. The study then develops a model of instructional design that incorporates the affective domain as an integral component. The model combines…

  19. Variability of atmospheric greenhouse gases as a biogeochemical processing signal at regional scale in a karstic ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borràs, Sílvia; Vazquez, Eusebi; Morguí, Josep-Anton; Àgueda, Alba; Batet, Oscar; Cañas, Lídia; Curcoll, Roger; Grossi, Claudia; Nofuentes, Manel; Occhipinti, Paola; Rodó, Xavier

    2015-04-01

    The South-eastern area of the Iberian Peninsula is an area where climatic conditions reach extreme climatic conditions during the year, and is also heavily affected by the ENSO and NAO. The Natural Park of Cazorla, Segura de la Sierra and Las Villas is located in this region, and it is the largest protected natural area in Spain (209920 Ha). This area is characterized by important climatic and hydrologic contrasts: although the mean annual precipitation is 770 nm, the karstic soils are the main cause for water scarcity during the summer months, while on the other hand it is in this area where the two main rivers of Southern Spain, the Segura and the Guadalquivir, are born. The protected area comprises many forested landscapes, karstic areas and reservoirs like Tranco de Beas. The temperatures during summer are high, with over 40°C heatwaves occurring each year. But during the winter months, the land surface can be covered by snow for periods of time up until 30 days. The ENSO and NAO influences cause also an important inter annual climatic variability in this area. Under the ENSO, autumnal periods are more humid while the following spring is drier. In this area vegetal Mediterranean communities are dominant. But there are also a high number of endemic species and derelict species typical of temperate climate. Therefore it is a protected area with high specific diversity. Additionally, there is an important agricultural activity in the fringe areas of the Natural Park, mainly for olive production, while inside the Park this activity is focused on mountain wheat production. Therefore the diverse vegetal communities and landscapes can easily be under extreme climatic pressures, affecting in turn the biogeochemical processes at the regional scale. The constant, high-frequency monitoring of greenhouse gases (GHG) (CO2 and CH4) integrates the biogeochemical signal of changes in this area related to the carbon cycle at the regional scale, capturing the high diversity of

  20. Neural activities during affective processing in people with Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Lee, Tatia M C; Sun, Delin; Leung, Mei-Kei; Chu, Leung-Wing; Keysers, Christian

    2013-03-01

    This study examined brain activities in people with Alzheimer's disease when viewing happy, sad, and fearful facial expressions of others. A functional magnetic resonance imaging and a voxel-based morphometry methodology together with a passive viewing of emotional faces paradigm were employed to compare the affective processing in 12 people with mild Alzheimer's disease and 12 matched controls. The main finding was that the clinical participants showed reduced activations in regions associated with the motor simulation system (the ventral premotor cortex) and in regions associated with emotional simulation-empathy (the anterior insula and adjacent frontal operculum). This regional decline in blood oxygen level-dependent signals appeared to be lateralized in the left hemisphere and was not related to any structural degeneration in the clinical participants. Furthermore, the regions that showed changes in neural activity differed for the 3 emotional facial expressions studied. Findings of our study indicate that neural changes in regions associated with the motor and emotional simulation systems might play an important role in the development of Alzheimer's disease. PMID:22840336

  1. Brain Potentials During Affective Picture Processing in Children

    PubMed Central

    Hajcak, Greg; Dennis, Tracy A.

    2008-01-01

    In adults, emotional (e.g., both unpleasant and pleasant) compared to neutral pictures elicit an increase in the early posterior negativity (EPN) and the late positive potential (LPP); modulation of these ERP components are thought to reflect the facilitated processing of, and increased attention to, motivationally salient stimuli. To determine whether the EPN and LPP are sensitive to emotional content in children, high-density EEG was recorded from 18 children who were 5 to 8 years of age (mean age = 77 months, SD = 11 months) while they viewed developmentally appropriate pictures selected from the International Affective Picture System. Self-reported ratings of valence and arousal were also obtained. An EPN was not evident following emotional compared to neutral pictures; however, a positivity maximal at occipital-parietal recording sites was increased from 500 to 1,000 ms following pleasant pictures and from 500 to 1,500 ms following unpleasant pictures. Comparisons between the EPN and LPP observed in children and adults, and implications for developmental studies of emotion, are discussed. PMID:19103249

  2. Breathing and affective picture processing across the adult lifespan.

    PubMed

    Gomez, Patrick; Filippou, Dimitra; Pais, Bruno; von Gunten, Armin; Danuser, Brigitta

    2016-09-01

    The present study investigated differences between healthy younger, middle-aged, and older adults in their respiratory responses to pictures of different valence and arousal. Expiratory time shortened and end-tidal PCO2 decreased with increasing arousal in all age groups; yet, compared to younger adults, older adults' overall change from baseline was smaller for expiratory time and larger for end-tidal PCO2. Contrary to their younger counterparts, older adults' inspiratory time did not shorten with increasing arousal. Inspiratory duty cycle did not covary with affective ratings for younger adults, increased with unpleasantness for middle-aged adults, and increased with arousal for older adults. Thoracic breathing increased with increasing unpleasantness only among older adults. Age had no effects on mean inspiratory flow and minute ventilation, which both augmented as arousal increased. We discuss how age effects on respiratory response magnitude and pattern may depend on age-associated biological changes or reflect age-related differences in emotional processing. PMID:27417701

  3. Emotional Language Processing: How Mood Affects Integration Processes during Discourse Comprehension

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Egidi, Giovanna; Nusbaum, Howard C.

    2012-01-01

    This research tests whether mood affects semantic processing during discourse comprehension by facilitating integration of information congruent with moods' valence. Participants in happy, sad, or neutral moods listened to stories with positive or negative endings during EEG recording. N400 peak amplitudes showed mood congruence for happy and sad…

  4. Fish biodiversity sampling in stream ecosystems: a process for evaluating the appropriate types and amount of gear

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Smith, Joseph M.; Wells, Sarah P.; Mather, Martha E.; Muth, Robert M.

    2014-01-01

    When researchers and managers initiate sampling on a new stream or river system, they do not know how effective each gear type is and whether their sampling effort is adequate. Although the types and amount of gear may be different for other studies, systems, and research questions, the five-step process described here for making sampling decisions and evaluating sampling efficiency can be applied widely to any system to restore, manage, and conserve aquatic ecosystems. It is believed that incorporating this gear-evaluation process into a wide variety of studies and ecosystems will increase rigour within and across aquatic biodiversity studies.

  5. Snow Redistribution and Ablation in a Wyoming Alpine Treeline Environment: Implications for Understanding Ecosystem Processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hiemstra, C. A.; Liston, G. E.; Reiners, W. A.

    2001-12-01

    Heterogeneous snow distribution patterns, caused by interactions between wind, topography, vegetation, and snow have been well documented in Rocky Mountain alpine and treeline areas. This heterogeneity has lasting and complex effects on vegetation and biotic processes, principally by determining spatial patterns of water deposition and the length of the ensuing growing season. Since spatial patterns of snow deposition and snowmelt are so critical in determining ecosystem function and structure in treeline systems, it is necessary to be able to simulate these processes in a distributed manner. Historically, snow transport modeling work has been done at scales greater than 5 m and in treeless systems (Liston and Sturm 1998). Our study area, called Libby Flats, is a broad ridge at 3,300 m elevation in the Medicine Bow Mountains of Wyoming. It experiences frequent and high winter winds (averaging 10 m/s in winter) and continued snow accumulation from October to May with snow depths ranging from 0 to 7 m. It lies at the alpine treeline ecotone where patches of krummholz trees, ribbon forests, and tree islands occur. Using topography, tree heights, meteorological data, and the SnowTran-3D model (Liston and Sturm 1998), snow redistribution by wind was simulated at 5m of resolution for three snow seasons (1997-1998, 1998-1999, and 1999-2000) within a 6.25 km2 area. Modeled snow depths were validated using spatially referenced end-of-season snow depth measurements along snow courses within the study site. Results show that the modeled snow depths, while not exact, are realistic representations of snow depth trends. Snowmelt simulations were made using a distributed version of the Common Land Model to represent melting patterns on the landscape driven by end-of-winter snow depth, meteorological data, vegetation, and topographical influences. Meltwater flow and melting patterns were validated against continued observations of the snow-courses as ablation continued in the

  6. Incorporating Ecosystem Processes Controlling Carbon Balance Into Models of Coupled Human-Natural Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Currie, W.; Brown, D. G.; Brunner, A.; Fouladbash, L.; Hadzick, Z.; Hutchins, M.; Kiger, S. E.; Makino, Y.; Nassauer, J. I.; Robinson, D. T.; Riolo, R. L.; Sun, S.

    2012-12-01

    A key element in the study of coupled human-natural systems is the interactions of human populations with vegetation and soils. In human-dominated landscapes, vegetation production and change results from a combination of ecological processes and human decision-making and behavior. Vegetation is often dramatically altered, whether to produce food for humans and livestock, to harvest fiber for construction and other materials, to harvest fuel wood or feedstock for biofuels, or simply for cultural preferences as in the case of residential lawns with sparse trees in the exurban landscape. This alteration of vegetation and its management has a substantial impact on the landscape carbon balance. Models can be used to simulate scenarios in human-natural systems and to examine the integration of processes that determine future trajectories of carbon balance. However, most models of human-natural systems include little integration of the human alteration of vegetation with the ecosystem processes that regulate carbon balance. Here we illustrate a few case studies of pilot-study models that strive for this integration from our research across various types of landscapes. We focus greater detail on a fully developed research model linked to a field study of vegetation and soils in the exurban residential landscape of Southeastern Michigan, USA. The field study characterized vegetation and soil carbon storage in 5 types of ecological zones. Field-observed carbon storage in the vegetation in these zones ranged widely, from 150 g C/m2 in turfgrass zones, to 6,000 g C/m2 in zones defined as turfgrass with sparse woody vegetation, to 16,000 g C/m2 in a zone defined as dense trees and shrubs. Use of these zones facilitated the scaling of carbon pools to the landscape, where the areal mixtures of zone types had a significant impact on landscape C storage. Use of these zones also facilitated the use of the ecosystem process model Biome-BGC to simulate C trajectories and also

  7. Seasonal leaf dynamics for tropical evergreen forests in a process-based global ecosystem model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Weirdt, M.; Verbeeck, H.; Maignan, F.; Peylin, P.; Poulter, B.; Bonal, D.; Ciais, P.; Steppe, K.

    2012-09-01

    The influence of seasonal phenology on canopy photosynthesis in tropical evergreen forests remains poorly understood, and its representation in global ecosystem models is highly simplified, typically with no seasonal variation of canopy leaf properties taken into account. Including seasonal variation in leaf age and photosynthetic capacity could improve the correspondence of global vegetation model outputs with the wet-dry season CO2 patterns measured at flux tower sites in these forests. We introduced a leaf litterfall dynamics scheme in the global terrestrial ecosystem model ORCHIDEE based on seasonal variations in net primary production (NPP), resulting in higher leaf turnover in periods of high productivity. The modifications in the leaf litterfall scheme induce seasonal variation in leaf age distribution and photosynthetic capacity. We evaluated the results of the modification against seasonal patterns of three long-term in-situ leaf litterfall datasets of evergreen tropical forests in Panama, French Guiana and Brazil. In addition, we evaluated the impact of the model improvements on simulated latent heat (LE) and gross primary productivity (GPP) fluxes for the flux tower sites Guyaflux (French Guiana) and Tapajós (km 67, Brazil). The results show that the introduced seasonal leaf litterfall corresponds well with field inventory leaf litter data and times with its seasonality. Although the simulated litterfall improved substantially by the model modifications, the impact on the modelled fluxes remained limited. The seasonal pattern of GPP improved clearly for the Guyaflux site, but no significant improvement was obtained for the Tapajós site. The seasonal pattern of the modelled latent heat fluxes was hardly changed and remained consistent with the observed fluxes. We conclude that we introduced a realistic and generic litterfall dynamics scheme, but that other processes need to be improved in the model to achieve better simulations of GPP seasonal patterns

  8. Processes Affecting Nitrogen Speciation in a Karst Aquifer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahler, B. J.; Musgrove, M.; Wong, C. I.

    2011-12-01

    Like many karst aquifers, the Barton Springs segment of the Edwards aquifer, in central Texas, is in an area undergoing rapid growth in population, and there is concern as to how increased amounts of wastewater might affect groundwater quality. We measured concentrations and estimated loads of nitrogen (N) species in recharge to and discharge from the Barton Springs segment of the Edwards aquifer, central Texas, to evaluate processes affecting the transport and fate of N species in groundwater. Water samples were collected during 17 months (November 2008-March 2010) from five streams that contribute about 85% of recharge to the aquifer segment and from Barton Springs, the principal point of discharge from the segment. The sampling period spanned a range of climatic conditions from exceptional drought to above-normal rainfall. Samples were analyzed for N species (organic N + ammonia, ammonia, nitrate + nitrite, nitrite); loads of organic N and nitrate were estimated with LOADEST, a regression-based model that uses a time series of streamflow and measured constituent concentrations to estimate constituent loads. Concentrations of organic nitrogen and dissolved oxygen were higher and concentrations of nitrate were lower in surface water than in spring discharge, consistent with conversion of organic nitrogen to nitrate and associated consumption of dissolved oxygen in the aquifer. During the period of the study, the estimated load of organic N in recharge from streams (average daily load [adl] of 39 kg/d) was about 10 times that in Barton Springs discharge (adl of 9.4 kg/d), whereas the estimated load of nitrate in recharge from streams (adl of 123 kg/d) was slightly less than that in Barton Springs discharge (adl of 148 kg/d). The total average N load in recharge from streams and discharge from Barton Springs was not significantly different (adl of 162 and 157 kg/d, respectively), indicating that surface-water recharge can account for all of the N in Barton Springs

  9. Processes Affecting Carbon Fluxes of Grassland Ecosystems Under Elevated CO{sub 2}

    SciTech Connect

    Owensby, C.E.; Ham, J.M.; Rice, C.W.; Knapp, A.K.

    1998-03-14

    Final report of a project which exposed native tallgrass prairie to twice-ambient atmospheric CO{sub 2}. Improved water use efficiency increased biomass production and increased soil organic matter. Twice ambient CO{sub 2} decreased canopy evapotranspiration by 22%, but, maintained an increased net carbon sequestration.

  10. Effects of Nitrogen Deposition on Carbon Sequestration in China as Simulated by Process-Based Ecosystem Models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, C.; Tian, H.; Liu, M.; Zhang, C.; Ren, W.; Chen, G.; Xu, X.; Pan, S.; Kicklighter, D.; Melillo, J.; Mu, Q.; Running, S.; Zhao, M.

    2008-12-01

    During the past decades, nitrogen deposition in China has been substantially increased, with mean values higher than those in the United States and Europe. The elevated nitrogen input, as important part of global changes, has greatly altered ecosystem structure and functioning, and thus exerted significant impacts on carbon cycling. In this study, three process-based ecosystem models (BIOME-BGC, DLEM and TEM) are used to explore the effects of increased nitrogen deposition and its combination with other environmental factors on C dynamic of China's terrestrial ecosystems. To illustrate the interactive effects of N deposition with ecosystem components, our simulations also consider multiple changes in climate, CO2, O3 concentration and land use & land cover (LULC) patterns. The model results indicate that raised nitrogen deposition level has enhanced net primary productivity and carbon storage in China during the year 1961 to 2005. Over the past 45 years, nitrogen amendment in China plays a vital role to accumulate carbon into ecosystems, considerably offsetting C release through climatic extremes, LULC changes and increased O3 concentration. It is proved that N deposition and its interaction with other driving forces accelerate carbon sequestration as the greatest contributor, although there apparently exist large uncertainties due to model assumptions and reliability of input dataset. Model inter-comparisons also reveal that N amendment imposes greater impacts on vegetation carbon pool than that on soil carbon pool. Among the models, the net effect of elevated nitrogen deposition on annual NPP ranges from 0.1 to 0.5 Pg C/yr in China from the year 1961 to 2005, while total carbon storage of terrestrial ecosystems has been enhanced by an average of about 5 Pg C in the same period. Key words: nitrogen deposition, carbon sequestration, China, process-based ecosystem models, model inter- comparison

  11. Phylogenetic beta diversity in bacterial assemblages across ecosystems: deterministic versus stochastic processes

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Jianjun; Shen, Jianhaua; Wu, Yucheng; Tu, Chen; Soininen , Janne; Stegen, James C.; He, Jizheng; Liu, Xingqi; Zhang, Lu; Zhang, Enlou

    2013-02-28

    Increasing evidence emerged for non-random spatial distributions for microbes, but the underlying processes resulting in microbial assemblage variation among and within Earth’s ecosystems is still lacking. For instance, some studies showed that the deterministic processes by habitat specialization are important, while other studies hold that bacterial communities are assembled by neutral forces. Here we examine the relative importance of deterministic and stochastic processes for bacterial communities from subsurface environments, as well as stream biofilm, lake water, lake sediment and soil using pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA gene. We show that there is a general pattern in phylogenetic signal in species niches across recent evolutionary time for all studied habitats, enabling us to infer the influences of community assembly processes from patterns of phylogenetic turnover in community composition. The phylogenetic dissimilarities among habitat types were significantly higher than within them, and the communities were clustered according to their original habitat types. For communities within habitat types, the highest phylogenetic turnover rate through space was observed in subsurface environments, followed by stream biofilm on mountainsides, whereas the sediment assemblages across regional scales showed the lowest turnover rate. Quantifying phylogenetic turnover as the deviation from a null expectation suggested that measured environmental variables imposed strong selection on bacterial communities for nearly all sample groups, and for three sample groups, that spatial distance reflects unmeasured environmental variables that impose selection, as opposed to spatial isolation. Such characterization of spatial and environmental variables proved essential for proper interpretation of partial mantel results based on observed beta diversity metrics. In summary, our results clearly indicate a dominant role of deterministic processes on bacterial assemblages and

  12. Evolutionary processes driving spatial patterns of intraspecific genetic diversity in river ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Paz-Vinas, I; Loot, G; Stevens, V M; Blanchet, S

    2015-09-01

    Describing, understanding and predicting the spatial distribution of genetic diversity is a central issue in biological sciences. In river landscapes, it is generally predicted that neutral genetic diversity should increase downstream, but there have been few attempts to test and validate this assumption across taxonomic groups. Moreover, it is still unclear what are the evolutionary processes that may generate this apparent spatial pattern of diversity. Here, we quantitatively synthesized published results from diverse taxa living in river ecosystems, and we performed a meta-analysis to show that a downstream increase in intraspecific genetic diversity (DIGD) actually constitutes a general spatial pattern of biodiversity that is repeatable across taxa. We further demonstrated that DIGD was stronger for strictly waterborne dispersing than for overland dispersing species. However, for a restricted data set focusing on fishes, there was no evidence that DIGD was related to particular species traits. We then searched for general processes underlying DIGD by simulating genetic data in dendritic-like river systems. Simulations revealed that the three processes we considered (downstream-biased dispersal, increase in habitat availability downstream and upstream-directed colonization) might generate DIGD. Using random forest models, we identified from simulations a set of highly informative summary statistics allowing discriminating among the processes causing DIGD. Finally, combining these discriminant statistics and approximate Bayesian computations on a set of twelve empirical case studies, we hypothesized that DIGD were most likely due to the interaction of two of these three processes and that contrary to expectation, they were not solely caused by downstream-biased dispersal. PMID:26284462

  13. Addiction Motivation Reformulated: An Affective Processing Model of Negative Reinforcement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baker, Timothy B.; Piper, Megan E.; McCarthy, Danielle E.; Majeskie, Matthew R.; Fiore, Michael C.

    2004-01-01

    This article offers a reformulation of the negative reinforcement model of drug addiction and proposes that the escape and avoidance of negative affect is the prepotent motive for addictive drug use. The authors posit that negative affect is the motivational core of the withdrawal syndrome and argue that, through repeated cycles of drug use and…

  14. Sources and Processes Affecting Particulate Matter Pollution over North China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, L.; Shao, J.; Lu, X.; Zhao, Y.; Gong, S.; Henze, D. K.

    2015-12-01

    Severe fine particulate matter (PM2.5) pollution over North China has received broad attention worldwide in recent years. Better understanding the sources and processes controlling pollution over this region is of great importance with urgent implications for air quality policy. We will present a four-dimensional variational (4D-Var) data assimilation system using the GEOS-Chem chemical transport model and its adjoint model at 0.25° × 0.3125° horizontal resolution, and apply it to analyze the factors affecting PM2.5 concentrations over North China. Hourly surface observations of PM2.5 and sulfur dioxide (SO2) from the China National Environmental Monitoring Center (CNEMC) can be assimilated into the model to evaluate and constrain aerosol (primary and precursors) emissions. Application of the data assimilation system to the APEC period (the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit; 5-11 November 2014) shows that 46% of the PM2.5 pollution reduction during APEC ("The APEC Blue") can be attributed to meteorology conditions and the rest 54% to emission reductions due to strict emission controls. Ammonia emissions are shown to significantly contribute to PM2.5 over North China in the fall. By converting sulfuric acid and nitric acid to longer-lived ammonium sulfate and ammonium nitrate aerosols, ammonia plays an important role in promoting their regional transport influences. We will also discuss the pathways and mechanisms of external long-range transport influences to the PM2.5 pollution over North China.

  15. Modelling the impact of soil erosion on element transfer processes in agro-ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shi, Pu; Della Peruta, Raniero; Keller, Armin; Schulin, Rainer

    2014-05-01

    Soil erosion is the main cause for loss of soil fertility worldwide. It can lead to degradation of soil structure, pollution of water bodies, decrease in crop productivity, and excessive accumulation of nutrients and trace elements in locations where eroded sediments are re-deposited. Research into the element transfer in fields and landscapes associated with erosion has hitherto focused on the assessment of element mobilization and nutrient export into aquatic ecosystems. Less is known about the role of erosion in element redistribution within terrestrial environments. Hence, we are developing a GIS-linked model that describes and visualizes areal patterns of particle-bound element transfer processes at the field to catchment scale, adapting and combining existing process-based mechanistic models of soil erosion, soil hydrology, sediment transport, crop growth, soil nutrient turnover and soil pollutant dynamics. The model will be tested in a case study of selected catchment in the framework of the Swiss National Research Program 'Sustainable Use of Soil as a Resource' (NRP 68). The goal is to create a tool that can be used to aid monitoring nutrient and pollutant fluxes associated with erosion in agricultural landscapes, in particular to identify hot spots of excessive pollutant accumulation related to the deposition of eroded sediments on agricultural land for different scenarios of land use and climate change, and to support the evaluation of land management strategies aiming to control them.

  16. Gaining insight into river ecosystem processes from a large-scale flow experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harrison, L.; Pike, A.; Boughton, D. A.

    2015-12-01

    In rivers throughout the world, anthropogenic impacts related to large dams have altered or eliminated the habitat necessary for many aquatic organisms. Flow experiments, both planned and unplanned, provide unique opportunities to evaluate the extent to which alternative dam operations can provide downstream ecological benefits. Here we use an unanticipated, reservoir release on the Santa Ynez River in southern California to investigate how a large flood influenced river ecosystem processes. We directly measured the flood-induced, topographic changes over 80 km of the river and floodplain using two high-resolution field and remote sensing data sets that bracketed the flood event. DEM-differencing of the pre- and post-flood topography was used to calculate shifts in the active channel planform and the net volumetric fluxes in gravel storage along the channel and floodplain. LiDAR and image-based habitat mapping was conducted to quantify the proportion of different habitat units before and after the flood. Large-scale geomorphic changes were observed as a result of the flood, including lateral migration of the river channel, gravel bar formation and the development of off-channel chute habitat. Spatial patterns of gravel storage changed with distance from the dam, with the upper 20 km experiencing a net sediment deficit and the lower 60 km undergoing net deposition. The longitudinal trends in gravel transport and storage reflect differences in the channel gradient, valley confinement and density of floodplain vegetation. We found that the flood nearly doubled the extent of pool habitat, primarily by converting runs to pools and by incising new pools adjacent to valley walls and terraces. The increase in the number of pools was predicted to have positive impacts on steelhead habitat, by providing a broader range of water depths and micro-habitats utilized by different age classes. Results from this study highlight the value of using flow pulses as opportunities to

  17. Programmer's Guide for Subroutine PRNT3D. Physical Processes in Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems, Computer Programs and Graphics Capabilities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gales, Larry

    These materials were designed to be used by life science students for instruction in the application of physical theory to ecosystem operation. Most modules contain computer programs which are built around a particular application of a physical process. PRNT3D is a subroutine package which generates a variety of printed plot displays. The displays…

  18. User's Guide for Subroutine PLOT3D. Physical Processes in Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems, Computer Programs and Graphics Capabilities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gales, Larry

    This module is part of a series designed to be used by life science students for instruction in the application of physical theory to ecosystem operation. Most modules contain computer programs which are built around a particular application of a physical process. PLOT3D is a subroutine package which generates a variety of three dimensional hidden…

  19. Design Standards for Instructional Computer Programs. Physical Processes in Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems, Computer Programs and Graphics Capabilities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gales, Larry

    These materials were designed to be used by life science students for instruction in the application of physical theory to ecosystem operation. Most modules contain computer programs which are built around a particular application of a physical process. The report describes design standards for the computer programs. They are designed to be…

  20. User's Guide for Subroutine FFORM. Physical Processes in Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems, Computer Programs and Graphics Capabilities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gales, Larry; Anderson, Lougenia

    These materials were designed to be used by life science students for instruction in the application of physical theory to ecosystem operation. Most modules contain computer programs which are built around a particular application of a physical process. FFORM is a portable format-free input subroutine package which simplifies the input of values…

  1. Programmer's Guide for Subroutine PLOT3D. Physical Processes in Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems, Computer Programs and Graphics Capabilities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gales, Larry

    This module is part of a series designed to be used by life science students for instruction in the application of physical theory to ecosystem operation. Most modules contain computer programs which are built around a particular application of a physical process. PLOT3D is a subroutine package which generates a variety of three-dimensional hidden…

  2. Dimensional Methods: Dimensions, Units and the Principle of Dimensional Homogeneity. Physical Processes in Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems, Applied Mathematics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fletcher, R. Ian

    These materials were designed to be used by life science students for instruction in the application of physical theory to ecosystem operation. Most modules contain computer programs which are built around a particular application of a physical process. The module is concerned with conventional techniques such as concepts of measurement,…

  3. User's Guide for Subroutine PRNT3D. Physical Processes in Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems, Computer Programs and Graphics Capabilities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gales, Larry

    These materials were designed to be used by life science students for instruction in the application of physical theory to ecosystem operation. Most modules contain computer programs which are built around a particular application of a physical process. PRNT3D is a subroutine package which generates a variety of printer plot displays. The displays…

  4. Balancing Broad Ideas with Context: An Evaluation of Student Accuracy in Describing Ecosystem Processes after a System-Level Intervention

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jordan, Rebecca C.; Brooks, Wesley R.; Hmelo-Silver, Cindy; Eberbach, Catherine; Sinha, Suparna

    2014-01-01

    Promoting student understanding of ecosystem processes is critical to biological education. Yet, teaching complex life systems can be difficult because systems are dynamic and often behave in a non-linear manner. In this paper, we discuss assessment results from a middle school classroom intervention in which a conceptual representation framework…

  5. Disturbance mediated effects of fishes on stream ecosystem processes: concepts and results from highly variable prairie streams

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Stream fishes can have strong top-down and bottom-up effects on ecosystem processes. However, the dynamic nature of streams constrains our ability to generalize these effects across systems with different disturbance regimes and species composition. To evaluate the role of fishes following disturb...

  6. Modeling of hydroecological feedbacks predicts distinct classes of landscape pattern, process, and restoration potential in shallow aquatic ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larsen, Laurel G.; Harvey, Judson W.

    2011-03-01

    It is widely recognized that interactions between vegetation and flow cause the emergence of channel patterns that are distinct from the standard Schumm classification of river channels. Although landscape pattern is known to be linked to ecosystem services such as habitat provision, pollutant removal, and sustaining biodiversity, the mechanisms responsible for the development and stability of different landscape patterns in shallow, vegetated flows have remained poorly understood. Fortunately, recent advances have made possible large-scale models of flow through vegetated environments that can be run over a range of environmental variables and over timescales of millennia. We describe a new, quasi-3D cellular automata model that couples simulations of shallow-water flow, bed shear stresses, sediment transport, and vegetation dynamics in an efficient manner. That efficiency allowed us to apply the model widely in order to determine how different hydroecological feedbacks control landscape pattern and process in various types of wetlands and floodplains. Distinct classes of landscape pattern were uniquely associated with specific types of allogenic and autogenic drivers in wetland flows. Regular, anisotropically patterned wetlands were dominated by allogenic processes (i.e., processes driven by periodic high water levels and flow velocities that redistribute sediment), relative to autogenic processes (e.g., vegetation production, peat accretion, and gravitational erosion). These anistropically patterned wetlands are therefore particularly prone to hydrologic disturbance. Other classes of wetlands that emerged from simulated interactions included maze-patterned, amorphous, and topographically noisy marshes, open marsh with islands, banded string-pool sequences perpendicular to flow, parallel deep and narrow channels flanked by marsh, and ridge-and-slough patterned marsh oriented parallel to flow. Because vegetation both affects and responds to the balance between the

  7. Feedbacks between aeolian processes and ecosystem change in a degraded desert grassland in the southwestern US

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Junran

    2015-04-01

    The desert grassland in the southwestern US has undergone dramatic vegetation changes with many areas of grassland becoming shrublands in the last 150 years. A principle manifestation of such a land degradation is the wide distribution of fertile islands in once-homogenous landscapes, which changed soil resource redistributions through the movement of resources from plant interspaces to the area beneath plant canopies. A great deal of work has examined the role of water in nutrient reduction and enforcement of islands of fertility in the semiarid landscapes. However, little is known on the role of wind in the removal or redistribution of soil resources, and further the feedbacks between wind and ecosystem change in this area. In spring 2004, a vegetation removal experiment was established in the northern Chihuahuan Desert, southern New Mexico, where vegetation cover on the experimental plots were manually reduced to various levels to study the entire suite of aeolian processes, including erosion, transport, and deposition in creating and enforcing patchy distribution of vegetation. This experiment has been continually maintained for more than ten years, with the sampling and observation of vegetation cover, soil nutrients, sediment flux, topography, and plant physiology. The experimental results highlighted that the aeolian processes in the Chihuahuan Desert are able to change soil properties and community composition in as short as 3 three years. Further, the removal of grasses by 75% may trigger a very substantial increase of wind erosion and the removal of grass by 50% could cause significant amount of C and N loss due to wind erosion. Last but not least, the change of the spatial distribution of soil C and the micro-topography both point to the fact that aeolian processes contribute substantially to the dynamics of fertile islands in this desert grassland.

  8. Impact of photochemical processing of DOC on the bacterioplankton respiratory quotient in aquatic ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allesson, Lina; Ström, Lena; Berggren, Martin

    2016-07-01

    Many studies assume a respiratory quotient (RQ = molar ratio of CO2 produced to O2 consumed) close to 1 when calculating bacterioplankton respiration. However, evidence suggests that RQ depends on the chemical composition of the respired substrate pool that may be altered by photochemical production of oxygen-rich substrates, resulting in elevated RQs. Here we conducted a novel study of the impact of photochemical processing of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) on RQ. We monitored the bacterial RQ in bioassays of both ultraviolet light irradiated and nonirradiated humic lake water, using optic gas-pressure sensors. In the experimentally irradiated samples the average RQ value was significantly higher (3.4-3.5 [±0.4 standard error (SE)]) than that in the dark controls (1.3 [±0.1 SE]). Our results show that the RQ is systematically higher than 1 when the bacterial metabolism in large part is based on photoproducts. By assuming an RQ of 1, bacterioplankton respiration in freshwater ecosystems may be greatly underestimated.

  9. Aquatic ecosystems in Central Colorado are influenced by mineral forming processes and historical mining

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schmidt, T.S.; Church, S.E.; Clements, W.H.; Mitchell, K.A.; Fey, D. L.; Wanty, R.B.; Verplanck, P.L.; San, Juan C.A.; Klein, T.L.; deWitt, E.H.; Rockwell, B.W.

    2009-01-01

    Stream water and sediment toxicity to aquatic insects were quantified from central Colorado catchments to distinguish the effect of geologic processes which result in high background metals concentrations from historical mining. Our sampling design targeted small catchments underlain by rocks of a single lithology, which allowed the development of biological and geochemical baselines without the complication of multiple rock types exposed in the catchment. By accounting for geologic sources of metals to the environment, we were able to distinguish between the environmental effects caused by mining and the weathering of different mineralized areas. Elevated metal concentrations in water and sediment were not restricted to mined catchments. Impairment of aquatic communities also occurred in unmined catchments influenced by hydrothermal alteration. Hydrothermal alteration style, deposit type, and mining were important determinants of water and sediment quality and aquatic community structure. Weathering of unmined porphyry Cu-Mo occurrences resulted in water (median toxic unit (TU) = 108) and sediment quality (TU = 1.9) that exceeded concentrations thought to be safe for aquatic ecosystems (TU = 1). Metalsensitive aquatic insects were virtually absent from streams draining catchments with porphyry Cu-Mo occurrences (1.1 individuals/0.1 m2 ). However, water and sediment quality (TU = 0.1, 0.5 water and sediment, respectively) and presence of metalsensitive aquatic insects (204 individuals/0.1 m2 ) for unmined polymetallic vein occurrences were indistinguishable from that for unmined and unaltered streams (TU = 0.1, 0.5 water and sediment, respectively; 201 individuals/0.1 m2 ). In catchments with mined quartz-sericite-pyrite altered polymetallic vein deposits, water (TU = 8.4) and sediment quality (TU = 3.1) were degraded and more toxic to aquatic insects (36 individuals/0.1 m2 ) than water (TU = 0.4) and sediment quality (TU = 1.7) from mined propylitically altered

  10. THE EFFECTS OF ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION ON NITROGEN PROCESSING IN AN URBAN MID-ATLANTIC PIEDMONT STREAM

    EPA Science Inventory

    Elevated nitrate levels in streams and groundwater pose human and ecological threats. The US Environmental Protection Agency, US Geological Survey, Institute of Ecosystem Studies, and Baltimore County Dept. of Environmental Protection and Resource Management are collaborating on...

  11. A probabilistic process model for pelagic marine ecosystems informed by Bayesian inverse analysis

    EPA Science Inventory

    Marine ecosystems are complex systems with multiple pathways that produce feedback cycles, which may lead to unanticipated effects. Models abstract this complexity and allow us to predict, understand, and hypothesize. In ecological models, however, the paucity of empirical data...

  12. Do microbial processes regulate the stability of a coral atoll's enclosed pelagic ecosystem?

    EPA Science Inventory

    Complex marine ecosystems contain multiple feedback cycles that can cause unexpected responses to perturbations. To better predict these responses, complicated models are increasingly being developed to enable the study of feedback cycles. However, the sparseness of ecological da...

  13. [Ecosystem productivity process model for landscape based on remote sensing and surface data].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Na; Yu, Guirui; Zhao, Shidong; Yu, Zhenliang

    2003-05-01

    In this paper, the a ecosystem productivity process model for landscape (EPPML) reflecting carbon and water cycles of system was described and discussed. In EPPML, leaf area index (LAI) that greatly influenced vegetation productivity was received from remote sensing images, the spatial distribution and temporal dynamics of net primary productivity (NPP) and evapotranspiration were simulated. Geographical information system (GIS) was used to process, analyze, and display spatial data. Thus, the studies on physiological ecology could be extended, and converted from small scale to larger scale. Using EPPML, the vegetation productivity in Changbai Mountain Natural Reserve in 1995 was simulated. EPPML could well and truly simulate the NPP of main vegetations in the natural reserve. NPP was estimated to be 0.680 kg Cm.-2.yr.-1, mostly ranging from 0.105 to 1.241 kg C.m-2.yr.-1, accounting for 82.1%. The highest NPP (1.084 kg C.m-2.yr-1) appeared in mixed broad-leaved and Korean pine forests. The total NPP was estimated to be 1.332 x 10(6) t C.yr-1. The highest total NPP appeared in mixed broad-leaved and Korean pine forests and spruce-fir forest, which were 0.540 x 10(6) t C.yr.-1 and 0.428 x 10(6) t C.yr.-1, respectively. The seasonal variation of NPP appeared obvious single peak with peak value in July (6.13 g C.m-2.d-1). The most NPP accumulated in the summer, which was 0.465 kg C.m-2, secondly in the spring, and least in the winter. PMID:12924111

  14. Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Determinants of Performance: A Process Model.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dorfman, Peter W.; Stephan, Walter G.

    Literature from organizational and social psychology has suggested that three types of factors influence performance, i.e., cognitive, affective and behavioral. A model was developed to test a set of propositions concerning the relationship between the three kinds of factors, and included attributions, expectancies, general emotional responses to…

  15. Processing of Affective Speech Prosody Is Impaired in Asperger Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Korpilahti, Pirjo; Jansson-Verkasalo, Eira; Mattila, Marja-Leena; Kuusikko, Sanna; Suominen, Kalervo; Rytky, Seppo; Pauls, David L.; Moilanen, Irma

    2007-01-01

    Many people with the diagnosis of Asperger syndrome (AS) show poorly developed skills in understanding emotional messages. The present study addressed discrimination of speech prosody in children with AS at neurophysiological level. Detection of affective prosody was investigated in one-word utterances as indexed by the N1 and the mismatch…

  16. Changing Ecosystem Service Values Following Technological Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Honey-Rosés, Jordi; Schneider, Daniel W.; Brozović, Nicholas

    2014-06-01

    Research on ecosystem services has focused mostly on natural areas or remote places, with less attention given to urban ecosystem services and their relationship with technological change. However, recent work by urban ecologists and urban designers has more closely examined and appreciated the opportunities associated with integrating natural and built infrastructures. Nevertheless, a perception remains in the literature on ecosystem services that technology may easily and irreversibly substitute for services previously obtained from ecosystems, especially when the superiority of the engineered system motivated replacement in the first place. We emphasize that the expected tradeoff between natural and manufactured capital is false. Rather, as argued in other contexts, the adoption of new technologies is complementary to ecosystem management. The complementarity of ecosystem services and technology is illustrated with a case study in Barcelona, Spain where the installation of sophisticated water treatment technology increased the value of the ecosystem services found there. Interestingly, the complementarity between natural and built infrastructures may remain even for the very ecosystems that are affected by the technological change. This finding suggests that we can expect the value of ecosystem services to co-evolve with new technologies. Technological innovation can generate new opportunities to harness value from ecosystems, and the engineered structures found in cities may generate more reliance on ecosystem processes, not less.

  17. Genotypic variation in tomatoes affecting processing and antioxidant attributes.

    PubMed

    Siddiqui, Mohammed Wasim; Ayala-Zavala, J F; Dhua, R S

    2015-01-01

    Tomatoes are widely consumed either raw or after processing and can provide a significant proportion of the total antioxidants in the diet associated with beneficial health properties. Over the last two or three decades an increasing interest for processing and antioxidant attributes in tomatoes has arisen. The screening of processing attributes of tomatoes is subject of a large number of articles; however, special interest has been addressed to the biochemical composition. The postharvest and industrial processing of tomato in tomato-based products includes several steps. Processing and antioxidant characteristics of the raw fruit are important considering the processing steps and final product. To respond to consumer and industrial complaints, breeders should know the range of genetic variability available in tomato resources, including local genotypes, for improving the mentioned attributes. Characterization and conservation of traditional and modern varieties is a major goal for their preservation and utilization. The bioactive contents have an impact on the processed destines so their stability must be contemplated while selecting the tomato fruits for processing. The endeavor of this review was to examine comprehensively the variation in processing and antioxidant attributes among tomatoes. Role of tomato peel in terms of bioactive contents and information on high pigment (hp) tomato mutants are also touched to some extent. Probably, patterns of variation identified/discussed in this paper would give impetus for planning breeding strategies to develop and improve the new processing cultivars with good antioxidant status. PMID:24279355

  18. Technical Report: Investigation of Carbon Cycle Processes within a Managed Landscape: An Ecosystem Manipulation and Isotope Tracer Approach

    SciTech Connect

    Griffis, Timothy J; Baker, John M; Billmark, Kaycie

    2009-06-01

    The goal of this research is to provide a better scientific understanding of carbon cycle processes within an agricultural landscape characteristic of the Upper Midwest. This project recognizes the need to study processes at multiple spatial and temporal scales to reduce uncertainty in ecosystem and landscape-scale carbon budgets to provide a sound basis for shaping future policy related to carbon management. Specifically, this project has attempted to answer the following questions: 1. Would the use of cover crops result in a shift from carbon neutral to significant carbon gain in corn-soybean rotation ecosystems of the Upper Midwest? 2. Can stable carbon isotope analyses be used to partition ecosystem respiration into its autotrophic and heterotrophic components? 3. Can this partitioning be used to better understand the fate of crop residues to project changes in the soil carbon reservoir? 4. Are agricultural ecosystems of the Upper Midwest carbon neutral, sinks, or sources? Can the proposed measurement and modeling framework help address landscape-scale carbon budget uncertainties and help guide future carbon management policy?

  19. Non-equilbrium dynamics of ecosystem processes in a changing world

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reid, Joseph Pignatello

    The relatively mild and stable climate of the last 10,000 years betrays a history of environmental variability and rapid changes. Humans have recently accelerated global environmental change, ushering in the Anthropocene. Meeting accelerating demands for food, energy, and goods and services has accelerated species extinctions, shows of reactive nitrogen and phosphorus, and warming of the atmosphere. I address the over- arching question of how ecosystems will respond to changing and variable environments through several focused studies. Each study examines an ecosystem response to ex- pected environmental changes in the future. To address how the changing environment affects the sizes and turnover rates of slowly and quickly cycling soil carbon pools, I analyzed the responses of grassland soils to simulated species diversity loss, increased deposition of nitrogen and increased atmospheric CO2. I used a soil respiration experiment to fit models of soil carbon pool turnover to respired carbon dioxide. Species diversity, nitrogen deposition and atmospheric CO2 had no effect on the total soil carbon after 8 years of treatments. Although total soil carbon did not change, the rates of cycling in the fast and slow pools changed in response to elevated CO2 and diversity loss treatments. Nitrogen treatments increased the size of the slowly cycling carbon pool. Precipitation variability has increased around most of the world since the industrial revolution. I used plant mesocosms in a greenhouse experiment to manipulate rainfall variability and mycorrhizal associations. I hypothesized that 1) rewetting events re- sult in higher nitrogen uxes from dry soils than moist soils, 2) a repeated pattern of events caused by low-frequency simulated rainfall results in higher nitrogen uxes and 3) the better ability of ectomycorrhizal fungi relative to arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi to decompose and assimilate organic nitrogen reduces leaching losses of nitrogen caused by both rewetting

  20. Non-equilbrium dynamics of ecosystem processes in a changing world

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reid, Joseph Pignatello

    The relatively mild and stable climate of the last 10,000 years betrays a history of environmental variability and rapid changes. Humans have recently accelerated global environmental change, ushering in the Anthropocene. Meeting accelerating demands for food, energy, and goods and services has accelerated species extinctions, shows of reactive nitrogen and phosphorus, and warming of the atmosphere. I address the over- arching question of how ecosystems will respond to changing and variable environments through several focused studies. Each study examines an ecosystem response to ex- pected environmental changes in the future. To address how the changing environment affects the sizes and turnover rates of slowly and quickly cycling soil carbon pools, I analyzed the responses of grassland soils to simulated species diversity loss, increased deposition of nitrogen and increased atmospheric CO2. I used a soil respiration experiment to fit models of soil carbon pool turnover to respired carbon dioxide. Species diversity, nitrogen deposition and atmospheric CO2 had no effect on the total soil carbon after 8 years of treatments. Although total soil carbon did not change, the rates of cycling in the fast and slow pools changed in response to elevated CO2 and diversity loss treatments. Nitrogen treatments increased the size of the slowly cycling carbon pool. Precipitation variability has increased around most of the world since the industrial revolution. I used plant mesocosms in a greenhouse experiment to manipulate rainfall variability and mycorrhizal associations. I hypothesized that 1) rewetting events re- sult in higher nitrogen uxes from dry soils than moist soils, 2) a repeated pattern of events caused by low-frequency simulated rainfall results in higher nitrogen uxes and 3) the better ability of ectomycorrhizal fungi relative to arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi to decompose and assimilate organic nitrogen reduces leaching losses of nitrogen caused by both rewetting

  1. A multitrophic model to quantify the effects of marine viruses on microbial food webs and ecosystem processes

    PubMed Central

    Weitz, Joshua S; Stock, Charles A; Wilhelm, Steven W; Bourouiba, Lydia; Coleman, Maureen L; Buchan, Alison; Follows, Michael J; Fuhrman, Jed A; Jover, Luis F; Lennon, Jay T; Middelboe, Mathias; Sonderegger, Derek L; Suttle, Curtis A; Taylor, Bradford P; Frede Thingstad, T; Wilson, William H; Eric Wommack, K

    2015-01-01

    Viral lysis of microbial hosts releases organic matter that can then be assimilated by nontargeted microorganisms. Quantitative estimates of virus-mediated recycling of carbon in marine waters, first established in the late 1990s, were originally extrapolated from marine host and virus densities, host carbon content and inferred viral lysis rates. Yet, these estimates did not explicitly incorporate the cascade of complex feedbacks associated with virus-mediated lysis. To evaluate the role of viruses in shaping community structure and ecosystem functioning, we extend dynamic multitrophic ecosystem models to include a virus component, specifically parameterized for processes taking place in the ocean euphotic zone. Crucially, we are able to solve this model analytically, facilitating evaluation of model behavior under many alternative parameterizations. Analyses reveal that the addition of a virus component promotes the emergence of complex communities. In addition, biomass partitioning of the emergent multitrophic community is consistent with well-established empirical norms in the surface oceans. At steady state, ecosystem fluxes can be probed to characterize the effects that viruses have when compared with putative marine surface ecosystems without viruses. The model suggests that ecosystems with viruses will have (1) increased organic matter recycling, (2) reduced transfer to higher trophic levels and (3) increased net primary productivity. These model findings support hypotheses that viruses can have significant stimulatory effects across whole-ecosystem scales. We suggest that existing efforts to predict carbon and nutrient cycling without considering virus effects are likely to miss essential features of marine food webs that regulate global biogeochemical cycles. PMID:25635642

  2. How Word Frequency Affects Morphological Processing in Monolinguals and Bilinguals

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lehtonen, Minna; Laine, Matti

    2003-01-01

    The present study investigated processing of morphologically complex words in three different frequency ranges in monolingual Finnish speakers and Finnish-Swedish bilinguals. By employing a visual lexical decision task, we found a differential pattern of results in monolinguals vs. bilinguals. Monolingual Finns seemed to process low frequency and…

  3. Factors Affecting Location Decisions of Food Processing Plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turhan, Sule; Canan Ozbag, Basak; Cetin, Bahattin

    The main aim of this study is to examine the determinants of location choices for food processing plants using the results of 59 personal surveys. The 61.3% of the food processing plants that were interviewed are small scale plants, 9.1% are large scale plants and 29.6% are medium scale plants. Sixteen of the firms process vegetables, 12 process poultry, 12 process dairy and 9 process seafood products. Business climate factors are divided into six categories (market, infrastructure, raw material, labor, personal and environmental) and 17 specific location factors are considered. The survey responses are analyzed by types of raw materials processed and by plant size. 43.7, 55.3 and 42.2% of the respondents cited categories of Market, Raw Material and Infrastructure respectively as important, while 44.3, 50.7 and 74.4% of the respondents cited, labor, personal and environmental regulation categories of as not important. Thus survey findings indicate that plant location choices are mainly driven by market, raw material and infra structural factors. Environmental factors such as environmental regulations and permissions are relatively insignificant.

  4. Drying process strongly affects probiotics viability and functionalities.

    PubMed

    Iaconelli, Cyril; Lemetais, Guillaume; Kechaou, Noura; Chain, Florian; Bermúdez-Humarán, Luis G; Langella, Philippe; Gervais, Patrick; Beney, Laurent

    2015-11-20

    Probiotic formulations are widely used and are proposed to have a variety of beneficial effects, depending on the probiotic strains present in the product. The impact of drying processes on the viability of probiotics is well documented. However, the impact of these processes on probiotics functionality remains unclear. In this work, we investigated variations in seven different bacterial markers after various desiccation processes. Markers were composed of four different viability evaluation (combining two growth abilities and two cytometric measurements) and in three in vitro functionalities: stimulation of IL-10 and IL-12 production by PBMCs (immunomodulation) and bacterial adhesion to hexadecane. We measured the impact of three drying processes (air-drying, freeze-drying and spray-drying), without the use of protective agents, on three types of probiotic bacteria: Bifidobacterium bifidum, Lactobacillus plantarum and Lactobacillus zeae. Our results show that the bacteria respond differently to the three different drying processes, in terms of viability and functionality. Drying methods produce important variations in bacterial immunomodulation and hydrophobicity, which are correlated. We also show that adherence can be stimulated (air-drying) or inhibited (spray-drying) by drying processes. Results of a multivariate analysis show no direct correlation between bacterial survival and functionality, but do show a correlation between probiotic responses to desiccation-rewetting and the process used to dry the bacteria. PMID:26325197

  5. The Climate Space Concept: Analysis of the Steady State Heat Energy Budget of Animals. Physical Processes in Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems, Transport Processes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stevenson, R. D.

    These materials were designed to be used by life science students for instruction in the application of physical theory to ecosystem operation. Most modules contain computer programs which are built around a particular application of a physical process. Several modules in the thermodynamic series considered the application of the First Law to…

  6. Effects of acid precipitation and natural processes on cation leaching from four diverse forest ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, D.W.; Van Miegroet, H.; Cole, D.W.; Richter, D.D.

    1983-01-01

    Four forest ecosystems (two in eastern Tennessee and two in western Washington) with a history of intensive nutrient cycling research were selected for studies on the effects of acid precipitation and natural acid production processes on cation leaching rates. At the Tennessee sites, atmospheric acid input in bulk precipitation equaled or exceeded natural leaching by carbonic acid. At the less polluted Washington sites, natural leaching by carbonic acid was slightly larger than atmospheric acid input in the Douglas-fir soil. In the red alder soil, natural nitric acid formation far exceeded atmospheric acid inputs and appeared to have caused significant acidification of both soil and soil solution. The mobility of SO/sub 4//sup 2 -/ and NO/sub 3//sup -/ in these four soils was a major factor in their relative susceptibilities to leaching by H/sub 2/SO/sub 4/ and HNO/sub 3/ entering from the atmosphere. In two of the sites (chestnut oak in Tennessee and red alder in Washington), SO/sub 4//sup 2 -/ adsorption reduced the potential for sulfate-mediated leaching by H/sub 2/SO/sub 4/ by as much as one-half. Biological immobilization of NO/sub 3//sup -/ prevented leaching in all but the N-fixing red alder site. Both field and laboratory soil column studies involving artificial additions of SO/sub 4//sup 2 -/ and NO/sub 3//sup -/ verified the concept that cation leaching is controlled by the mobility of the associated anion.

  7. Developing a Data Driven Process-Based Model for Remote Sensing of Ecosystem Production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elmasri, B.; Rahman, A. F.

    2010-12-01

    Estimating ecosystem carbon fluxes at various spatial and temporal scales is essential for quantifying the global carbon cycle. Numerous models have been developed for this purpose using several environmental variables as well as vegetation indices derived from remotely sensed data. Here we present a data driven modeling approach for gross primary production (GPP) that is based on a process based model BIOME-BGC. The proposed model was run using available remote sensing data and it does not depend on look-up tables. Furthermore, this approach combines the merits of both empirical and process models, and empirical models were used to estimate certain input variables such as light use efficiency (LUE). This was achieved by using remotely sensed data to the mathematical equations that represent biophysical photosynthesis processes in the BIOME-BGC model. Moreover, a new spectral index for estimating maximum photosynthetic activity, maximum photosynthetic rate index (MPRI), is also developed and presented here. This new index is based on the ratio between the near infrared and the green bands (ρ858.5/ρ555). The model was tested and validated against MODIS GPP product and flux measurements from two eddy covariance flux towers located at Morgan Monroe State Forest (MMSF) in Indiana and Harvard Forest in Massachusetts. Satellite data acquired by the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E) and MODIS were used. The data driven model showed a strong correlation between the predicted and measured GPP at the two eddy covariance flux towers sites. This methodology produced better predictions of GPP than did the MODIS GPP product. Moreover, the proportion of error in the predicted GPP for MMSF and Harvard forest was dominated by unsystematic errors suggesting that the results are unbiased. The analysis indicated that maintenance respiration is one of the main factors that dominate the overall model outcome errors and improvement in maintenance respiration estimation

  8. Process Formulations And Curing Conditions That Affect Saltstone Properties

    SciTech Connect

    Reigel, M. M.; Pickenheim, B. R.; Daniel, W. E.

    2012-09-28

    The first objective of this study was to analyze saltstone fresh properties to determine the feasibility of reducing the formulation water to premix (w/p) ratio while varying the amount of extra water and admixtures used during processing at the Saltstone Production Facility (SPF). The second part of this study was to provide information for understanding the impact of curing conditions (cure temperature, relative humidity (RH)) and processing formulation on the performance properties of cured saltstone.

  9. DayCent-Chem Simulations of Ecological and Biogeochemical Processes of Eight Mountain Ecosystems in the United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hartman, Melannie D.; Baron, Jill S.; Clow, David W.; Creed, Irena F.; Driscoll, Charles T.; Ewing, Holly A.; Haines, Bruce D.; Knoepp, Jennifer; Lajtha, Kate; Ojima, Dennis S.; Parton, William J.; Renfro, Jim; Robinson, R. Bruce; Van Miegroet, Helga; Weathers, Kathleen C.; Williams, Mark W.

    2009-01-01

    deposition as a result of dry and fog inputs. The uncertainties related to weathering reactions, deposition, soil cation exchange capacity, and groundwater contributions influenced how well the simulated acid neutralizing capacity (ANC) and pH estimates compared to observed values. Daily discharge was well represented by the model for most sites. The chapters of this report describe the parameterization for each site and summarize model results for ecosystem variables, stream discharge, and stream chemistry. This intersite comparison exercise provided insight about important and possibly not well understood processes.

  10. The conservation of the Shahr-e-Zohak archaeological site (central Afghanistan): Geomorphological processes and ecosystem-based mitigation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Margottini, Claudio; Fidolini, Francesco; Iadanza, Carla; Trigila, Alessandro; Ubelmann, Yves

    2015-06-01

    The archaeological remains of Shahr-e Zohak are part of the Bamiyan valley, which has been recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage and is famous for hosting the main heritage of the Buddhist culture in Afghanistan. The site comprises the remains of the Zohak fortress, which is placed on a steep hill at the confluence of the Bamiyan and Kalu rivers. The fortress is protected by ramparts, built along the steep cliffs bounding the site, which are equipped with several watchtowers. The citadel is protected by three more orders of walls and is located on the topmost part of the hill. All the structures are made of mudbricks placed on top of stony foundations. Due to the prolonged exposure to weathering, the lack of conservation measures and the misuse during war periods, many constructions collapsed or are prone to collapse. A new topography (1 m contour lines) of the site was produced using drone-derived 3D photogrammetry combined with GPS data. Then a detailed geomorphological survey of the whole site was carried out in order to identify the main geomorphic processes acting on the land surface and structures. GIS analysis allowed defining the internal drainage system of the studied area. The site is affected by incised erosional phenomena on the eastern side, while the hilltop is mainly hit by diffuse erosion and soil mobilization during snowmelt. Monument deterioration is coupled with the lack of an adequate drainage system to collect runoff. Ramparts located on the steep hillslopes are severely affected by gully erosion and siphoning, which cause depressions infilled by eroded and weathered building material. The access path is locally eroded or buried by debris cones. The western margin of the plateau has been rapidly retreating due to collapses, while the citadel is in danger due to diffuse or gully erosional processes developed on all its sides. A mitigation strategy with low environmental impact (ecosystem-based approach) is proposed in order to adopt sustainable

  11. Psychometric Characteristics of the EEAA (Scale of Affective Strategies in the Learning Process)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Villardón-Gallego, Lourdes; Yániz, Concepción

    2014-01-01

    Introduction: Affective strategies for coping with affective states linked to the learning process may be oriented toward controlling emotions or toward controlling motivation. Both types affect performance, directly and indirectly. The objective of this research was to design an instrument for measuring the affective strategies used by university…

  12. Utilization of a saltwater-marsh ecosystem for the management of seafood-processing wastewater

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1986-10-01

    The report presents the results of a cooperative study that examined the potential for using a saltwater wetland to manage seafood-processing wastewater. An irregularly flooded black needlerush (Juncus roemerianus) marsh located at Point aux Pins in coastal Alabama was selected for the study. The study determined that the application of seafood-processing wastewater to the marsh affected a number of the marsh's water-quality characteristics in direct relation to the wastewater loading rate. However, monitoring of the marsh flora and fauna showed virtually no impact at any of the experimental loading rates. As a result of the study a number of design and loading criteria are suggested for any future projects involving wastewater discharges to saltwater wetlands.

  13. Wetlands serve as natural sources for improvement of stream ecosystem health in regions affected by acid deposition

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pound, Katrina L; Lawrence, Gregory B.; Passy, Sophia I.

    2013-01-01

    For over 40 years, acid deposition has been recognized as a serious international environmental problem, but efforts to restore acidified streams and biota have had limited success. The need to better understand the effects of different sources of acidity on streams has become more pressing with the recent increases in surface water organic acids, or 'brownification' associated with climate change and decreased inorganic acid deposition. Here, we carried out a large scale multi-seasonal investigation in the Adirondacks, one of the most acid-impacted regions in the United States, to assess how acid stream producers respond to local and watershed influences and whether these influences can be used in acidification remediation. We explored the pathways of wetland control on aluminum chemistry and diatom taxonomic and functional composition. We demonstrate that streams with larger watershed wetlands have higher organic content, lower concentrations of acidic anions, and lower ratios of inorganic to organic monomeric aluminum, all beneficial for diatom biodiversity and guilds producing high biomass. Although brownification has been viewed as a form of pollution, our results indicate that it may be a stimulating force for biofilm producers with potentially positive consequences for higher trophic levels. Our research also reveals that the mechanism of watershed control of local stream diatom biodiversity through wetland export of organic matter is universal in running waters, operating not only in hard streams, as previously reported, but also in acid streams. Our findings that the negative impacts of acid deposition on Adirondack stream chemistry and biota can be mitigated by wetlands have important implications for biodiversity conservation and stream ecosystem management. Future acidification research should focus on the potential for wetlands to improve stream ecosystem health in acid-impacted regions and their direct use in stream restoration, for example, through

  14. The British river of the future: how climate change and human activity might affect two contrasting river ecosystems in England.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Andrew C; Acreman, Mike C; Dunbar, Michael J; Feist, Stephen W; Giacomello, Anna Maria; Gozlan, Rodolph E; Hinsley, Shelley A; Ibbotson, Anton T; Jarvie, Helen P; Jones, J Iwan; Longshaw, Matt; Maberly, Stephen C; Marsh, Terry J; Neal, Colin; Newman, Jonathan R; Nunn, Miles A; Pickup, Roger W; Reynard, Nick S; Sullivan, Caroline A; Sumpter, John P; Williams, Richard J

    2009-08-15

    The possible effects of changing climate on a southern and a north-eastern English river (the Thames and the Yorkshire Ouse, respectively) were examined in relation to water and ecological quality throughout the food web. The CLASSIC hydrological model, driven by output from the Hadley Centre climate model (HadCM3), based on IPCC low and high CO(2) emission scenarios for 2080 were used as the basis for the analysis. Compared to current conditions, the CLASSIC model predicted lower flows for both rivers, in all seasons except winter. Such an outcome would lead to longer residence times (by up to a month in the Thames), with nutrient, organic and biological contaminant concentrations elevated by 70-100% pro-rata, assuming sewage treatment effectiveness remains unchanged. Greater opportunities for phytoplankton growth will arise, and this may be significant in the Thames. Warmer winters and milder springs will favour riverine birds and increase the recruitment of many coarse fish species. However, warm, slow-flowing, shallower water would increase the incidence of fish diseases. These changing conditions would make southern UK rivers in general a less favourable habitat for some species of fish, such as the Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). Accidental or deliberate, introductions of alien macrophytes and fish may change the range of species in the rivers. In some areas, it is possible that a concurrence of different pressures may give rise to the temporary loss of ecosystem services, such as providing acceptable quality water for humans and industry. An increasing demand for water in southern England due to an expanding population, a possibly reduced flow due to climate change, together with the Water Framework Directive obligation to maintain water quality, will put extreme pressure on river ecosystems, such as the Thames. PMID:19505713

  15. Modeling compensatory responses of ecosystem-scale water fluxes in forests affected by pine and spruce beetle mortality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Millar, D.; Ewers, B. E.; Peckham, S. D.; Mackay, D. S.; Frank, J. M.; Massman, W. J.; Reed, D. E.

    2015-12-01

    Mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) and spruce beetle (Dendroctonus rufipennis) epidemics have led to extensive mortality in lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) and Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii) forests in the Rocky Mountains of the western US. In both of these tree species, mortality results from hydraulic failure within the xylem, due to blue stain fungal infection associated with beetle attack. However, the impacts of these disturbances on ecosystem-scale water fluxes can be complex, owing to their variable and transient nature. In this work, xylem scaling factors that reduced whole-tree conductance were initially incorporated into a forest ecohydrological model (TREES) to simulate the impact of beetle mortality on evapotranspiration (ET) in both pine and spruce forests. For both forests, simulated ET was compared to observed ET fluxes recorded using eddy covariance techniques. Using xylem scaling factors, the model overestimated the impact of beetle mortality, and observed ET fluxes were approximately two-fold higher than model predictions in both forests. The discrepancy between simulated and observed ET following the onset of beetle mortality may be the result of spatial and temporal heterogeneity of plant communities within the foot prints of the eddy covariance towers. Since simulated ET fluxes following beetle mortality in both forests only accounted for approximately 50% of those observed in the field, it is possible that newly established understory vegetation in recently killed tree stands may play a role in stabilizing ecosystem ET fluxes. Here, we further investigate the unaccounted for ET fluxes in the model by breaking it down into multiple cohorts that represent live trees, dying trees, and understory vegetation that establishes following tree mortality.

  16. Wetlands serve as natural sources for improvement of stream ecosystem health in regions affected by acid deposition.

    PubMed

    Pound, Katrina L; Lawrence, Gregory B; Passy, Sophia I

    2013-09-01

    For over 40 years, acid deposition has been recognized as a serious international environmental problem, but efforts to restore acidified streams and biota have had limited success. The need to better understand the effects of different sources of acidity on streams has become more pressing with the recent increases in surface water organic acids, or 'brownification,' associated with climate change and decreased inorganic acid deposition. Here, we carried out a large scale multi-seasonal investigation in the Adirondacks, one of the most acid-impacted regions in the United States, to assess how acid stream producers respond to local and watershed influences and whether these influences can be used in acidification remediation. We explored the pathways of wetland control on aluminum chemistry and diatom taxonomic and functional composition. We demonstrate that streams with larger watershed wetlands have higher organic content, lower concentrations of acidic anions, and lower ratios of inorganic to organic monomeric aluminum, all beneficial for diatom biodiversity and guilds producing high biomass. Although brownification has been viewed as a form of pollution, our results indicate that it may be a stimulating force for biofilm producers with potentially positive consequences for higher trophic levels. Our research also reveals that the mechanism of watershed control of local stream diatom biodiversity through wetland export of organic matter is universal in running waters, operating not only in hard streams, as previously reported, but also in acid streams. Our findings that the negative impacts of acid deposition on Adirondack stream chemistry and biota can be mitigated by wetlands have important implications for biodiversity conservation and stream ecosystem management. Future acidification research should focus on the potential for wetlands to improve stream ecosystem health in acid-impacted regions and their direct use in stream restoration, for example, through

  17. Temporal factors affecting somatosensory–auditory interactions in speech processing

    PubMed Central

    Ito, Takayuki; Gracco, Vincent L.; Ostry, David J.

    2014-01-01

    Speech perception is known to rely on both auditory and visual information. However, sound-specific somatosensory input has been shown also to influence speech perceptual processing (Ito et al., 2009). In the present study, we addressed further the relationship between somatosensory information and speech perceptual processing by addressing the hypothesis that the temporal relationship between orofacial movement and sound processing contributes to somatosensory–auditory interaction in speech perception. We examined the changes in event-related potentials (ERPs) in response to multisensory synchronous (simultaneous) and asynchronous (90 ms lag and lead) somatosensory and auditory stimulation compared to individual unisensory auditory and somatosensory stimulation alone. We used a robotic device to apply facial skin somatosensory deformations that were similar in timing and duration to those experienced in speech production. Following synchronous multisensory stimulation the amplitude of the ERP was reliably different from the two unisensory potentials. More importantly, the magnitude of the ERP difference varied as a function of the relative timing of the somatosensory–auditory stimulation. Event-related activity change due to stimulus timing was seen between 160 and 220 ms following somatosensory onset, mostly around the parietal area. The results demonstrate a dynamic modulation of somatosensory–auditory convergence and suggest the contribution of somatosensory information for speech processing process is dependent on the specific temporal order of sensory inputs in speech production. PMID:25452733

  18. Centrifugal inhibitory processes affecting neurones in the cat cochlear nucleus

    PubMed Central

    Comis, S. D.

    1970-01-01

    1. Stimulation of the lateral part of the olivary S-segment in the cat inhibited neurones in the ipsilateral cochlear nucleus. A smaller number of neurones located in the ventral division of the cochlear nucleus were excited. 2. It is suggested that inhibition in the ipsilateral cochlear nucleus may be mediated directly by fibres making synaptic connexions on the cochlear nucleus neurones, or indirectly by inhibitory fibres acting at the cochlea. 3. The direct inhibitory process at the cochlear nucleus is unaffected by strychnine, whereas the inhibitory process at the cochlea is abolished by strychnine. 4. A cochlear nucleus neurone can be influenced simultaneously by excitatory and inhibitory processes. ImagesFig. 1 PMID:5499823

  19. Biotic Processes Regulating the Carbon Balance of Desert Ecosystems - Final Report

    SciTech Connect

    Nowak, Robert S; Smith, Stanley D; Evans, Dave; Ogle, Kiona; Fenstermaker, Lynn

    2012-12-13

    Our results from the 10-year elevated atmospheric CO{sub 2} concentration study at the Nevada Desert FACE (Free-air CO{sub 2} Enrichment) Facility (NDFF) indicate that the Mojave Desert is a dynamic ecosystem with the capacity to respond quickly to environmental changes. The Mojave Desert ecosystem is accumulating carbon (C), and over the 10-year experiment, C accumulation was significantly greater under elevated [CO{sub 2}] than under ambient, despite great fluctuations in C inputs from year to year and even apparent reversals in which [CO{sub 2}] treatment had greater C accumulations.

  20. An Ecosystem Model for the Simulation of Physical and Biological Oceanic Processes-IDAPAK User's Guide and Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McClain, Charles R.; Arrigo, Kevin; Murtugudde, Ragu; Signorini, Sergio R.; Tai, King-Sheng

    1998-01-01

    This TM describes the development, testing, and application of a 4-component (phytoplankton, zooplankton, nitrate, and ammonium) ecosystem model capable of simulating oceanic biological processes. It also reports and documents an in-house software package (Interactive Data Analysis Package - IDAPAK) for interactive data analysis of geophysical fields, including those related to the forcing, verification, and analysis of the ecosystem model. Two regions were studied in the Pacific: the Warm Pool (WP) in the Equatorial Pacific (165 deg. E at the equator) and at Ocean Weather Station P (OWS P) in the Northeast Pacific (50 deg. N, 145 deg. W). The WP results clearly indicate that the upwelling at 100 meters correlates well with surface blooms. The upwelling events in late 1987 and 1990 produced dramatic increases in the surface layer values of all 4 ecosystem components, whereas the spring-summer deep mixing events, do not seem to incur a significant response in any of the ecosystem quantities. The OWS P results show that the monthly profiles of temperature, the annual cycles of solar irradiance, and 0- to 50-m integrated nitrate accurately reproduce observed values. Annual primary production is 190 gC/m(exp 2)/yr, which is consistent with recent observations but is much greater than earlier estimates.

  1. Distal Prosodic Context Affects Word Segmentation and Lexical Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dilley, Laura C.; McAuley, J. Devin

    2008-01-01

    Three experiments investigated the role of distal (i.e., nonlocal) prosody in word segmentation and lexical processing. In Experiment 1, prosodic characteristics of the initial five syllables of eight-syllable sequences were manipulated; the final portions of these sequences were lexically ambiguous (e.g., "note bookworm", "notebook worm"). Distal…

  2. Does Welfare Affect Family Processes and Adolescent Adjustment?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kalil, Ariel; Eccles, Jacquelynne S.

    1998-01-01

    Investigated parenting behavior, parent/adolescent relationship, and adolescent attitudes and behaviors in three family types. Results showed minimal support for the hypothesis that welfare is negatively related to family processes and adolescent attitudes and behavior, although mothers receiving welfare reported fewer effective parent-management…

  3. Stimulus Characteristics Affect Humor Processing in Individuals with Asperger Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Samson, Andrea C.; Hegenloh, Michael

    2010-01-01

    The present paper aims to investigate whether individuals with Asperger syndrome (AS) show global humor processing deficits or whether humor comprehension and appreciation depends on stimulus characteristics. Non-verbal visual puns, semantic and Theory of Mind cartoons were rated on comprehension, funniness and the punchlines were explained. AS…

  4. Can Process Portfolios Affect Students' Writing Self-Efficacy?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nicolaidou, Iolie

    2012-01-01

    Can process portfolios that support students in goal setting, reflection, self-evaluation and feedback have a positive impact on students' writing self-efficacy? This article presents the findings of a yearlong study conducted in three 4th grade elementary classes in Cyprus where paper-based and web-based portfolios were implemented to help…

  5. Feedstock and Processes Affect Environmental Properties of Biochars

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Biochar, a byproduct of the pyrolysis process of biomass-to-energy conversion, can be used as a soil amendment to improve soil health, providing beneficial use for biochar. The quality of the biochar as soil amendment and its environmental impact are likely to depend on feedstock source and processi...

  6. Social Process Variables Affecting Reading Performance in Delayed Readers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lorton, Mary; Kukuk, Cristopher

    A study was conducted to determine the relationship between fourteen social process variables (relating to perinatal events, early language patterns, parental/home environment, and child behavior patterns) and the reading performance of retarded readers. The subjects were 180 children, aged seven through fifteen, randomly selected from among…

  7. Scorched Earth: how will changes in the strength of the vegetation sink to ozone deposition affect human health and ecosystems?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Emberson, L. D.; Kitwiroon, N.; Beevers, S.; Büker, P.; Cinderby, S.

    2013-07-01

    This study investigates the effect of ozone (O3) deposition on ground level O3 concentrations and subsequent human health and ecosystem risk under hot summer "heat wave" type meteorological events. Under such conditions, extended drought can effectively "turn off" the O3 vegetation sink leading to a substantial increase in ground level O3 concentrations. Two models that have been used for human health (the CMAQ chemical transport model) and ecosystem (the DO3SE O3 deposition model) risk assessment are combined to provide a powerful policy tool capable of novel integrated assessments of O3 risk using methods endorsed by the UNECE Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution. This study investigates 2006, a particularly hot and dry year during which a heat wave occurred over the summer across much of the UK and Europe. To understand the influence of variable O3 dry deposition three different simulations were investigated during June and July: (i) actual conditions in 2006, (ii) conditions that assume a perfect vegetation sink for O3 deposition and (iii) conditions that assume an extended drought period that reduces the vegetation sink to a minimum. The risks of O3 to human health, assessed by estimating the number of days during which running 8 h mean O3 concentrations exceeded 100 μg m-3, show that on average across the UK, there is a difference of 16 days exceedance of the threshold between the perfect sink and drought conditions. These average results hide local variation with exceedances between these two scenarios reaching as high as 20 days in the East Midlands and eastern UK. Estimates of acute exposure effects show that O3 removed from the atmosphere through dry deposition during the June and July period would have been responsible for approximately 460 premature deaths. Conversely, reduced O3 dry deposition will decrease the amount of O3 taken up by vegetation and, according to flux-based assessments of vegetation damage, will lead to a reduction in

  8. Integrating ecosystems measurements from multiple eddy-covariance sites to a simple model of ecosystem process - Are there possibilities for a uniform model calibration?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Minunno, Francesco; Peltoniemi, Mikko; Launiainen, Samuli; Mäkelä, Annikki

    2014-05-01

    Biogeochemical models quantify the material and energy flux exchanges between biosphere, atmosphere and soil, however there is still considerable uncertainty underpinning model structure and parametrization. The increasing availability of data from of multiple sources provides useful information for model calibration and validation at different space and time scales. We calibrated a simplified ecosystem process model PRELES to data from multiple sites. In this work we had the following objective: to compare a multi-site calibration and site-specific calibrations, in order to test if PRELES is a model of general applicability, and to test how well one parameterization can predict ecosystem fluxes. Model calibration and evaluation were carried out by the means of the Bayesian method; Bayesian calibration (BC) and Bayesian model comparison (BMC) were used to quantify the uncertainty in model parameters and model structure. Evapotranspiration (ET) and gross primary production (GPP) measurements collected in 9 sites of Finland and Sweden were used in the study; half dataset was used for model calibrations and half for the comparative analyses. 10 BCs were performed; the model was independently calibrated for each of the nine sites (site-specific calibrations) and a multi-site calibration was achieved using the data from all the sites in one BC. Then 9 BMCs were carried out, one for each site, using output from the multi-site and the site-specific versions of PRELES. Similar estimates were obtained for the parameters at which model outputs are most sensitive. Not surprisingly, the joint posterior distribution achieved through the multi-site calibration was characterized by lower uncertainty, because more data were involved in the calibration process. No significant differences were encountered in the prediction of the multi-site and site-specific versions of PRELES, and after BMC, we concluded that the model can be reliably used at regional scale to simulate carbon and

  9. Critical processes affecting Cryptosporidium oocyst survival in the environment.

    PubMed

    King, B J; Monis, P T

    2007-03-01

    Cryptosporidium are parasitic protozoans that cause gastrointestinal disease and represent a significant risk to public health. Cryptosporidium oocysts are prevalent in surface waters as a result of human, livestock and native animal faecal contamination. The resistance of oocysts to the concentrations of chlorine and monochloramine used to disinfect potable water increases the risk of waterborne transmission via drinking water. In addition to being resistant to commonly used disinfectants, it is thought that oocysts can persist in the environment and be readily mobilized by precipitation events. This paper will review the critical processes involved in the inactivation or removal of oocysts in the terrestrial and aquatic environments and consider how these processes will respond in the context of climate change. PMID:17096874

  10. Root dynamics in an artificially constructed regenerating longleaf pine ecosystem are affected by atmospheric CO(2) enrichment.

    PubMed

    Pritchard, S G.; Davis, M A.; Mitchell, R J.; Prior, S A.; Boykin, D L.; Rogers, H H.; Runion, G B.

    2001-08-01

    Differential responses to elevated atmospheric CO(2) concentration exhibited by different plant functional types may alter competition for above- and belowground resources in a higher CO(2) world. Because C allocation to roots is often favored over C allocation to shoots in plants grown with CO(2) enrichment, belowground function of forest ecosystems may change significantly. We established an outdoor facility to examine the effects of elevated CO(2) on root dynamics in artificially constructed communities of five early successional forest species: (1) a C(3) evergreen conifer (longleaf pine, Pinus palustris Mill.); (2) a C(4) monocotyledonous bunch grass (wiregrass, Aristida stricta Michx.); (3) a C(3) broadleaf tree (sand post oak, Quercus margaretta); (4) a C(3) perennial herbaceous legume (rattlebox, Crotalaria rotundifolia Walt. ex Gemel); and (5) an herbaceous C(3) dicotyledonous perennial (butterfly weed, Asclepias tuberosa L.). These species are common associates in early successional longleaf pine savannahs throughout the southeastern USA and represent species that differ in life-form, growth habit, physiology, and symbiotic relationships. A combination of minirhizotrons and soil coring was used to examine temporal and spatial rooting dynamics from October 1998 to October 1999. CO(2)-enriched plots exhibited 35% higher standing root crop length, 37% greater root length production per day, and 47% greater root length mortality per day. These variables, however, were enhanced by CO(2) enrichment only at the 10-30 cm depth. Relative root turnover (flux/standing crop) was unchanged by elevated CO(2). Sixteen months after planting, root biomass of pine was 62% higher in elevated compared to ambient CO(2) plots. Conversely, the combined biomass of rattlebox, wiregrass, and butterfly weed was 28% greater in ambient compared to high CO(2) plots. There was no difference in root biomass of oaks after 16 months of exposure to elevated CO(2). Using root and shoot

  11. Does welfare affect family processes and adolescent adjustment?

    PubMed

    Kalil, A; Eccles, J S

    1998-12-01

    Recent welfare reform legislation requires increased parental work effort and imposes time limits on the receipt of federal assistance. These changes were based in part on assumptions that parental welfare receipt may be negatively related to family processes and children's attitudes and behaviors. Currently, researchers know little about the effects of welfare by itself relative to the effects of related variables such as family demographic characteristics, economic strain, and neighborhood factors on processes among families with adolescent children. This study investigates parenting behaviors, parent-adolescent relationships, and adolescent attitudes and behaviors in three family types. Families of adolescents ages 11-15 who received income from Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) in the previous 12 months are compared with poor families who have not received AFDC in the last year and with families who are neither poor nor welfare dependent. We found minimal support for the hypothesis that welfare is negatively related to family processes and adolescent attitudes and behaviors, although mothers receiving welfare report fewer effective parent management practices than their poor non-welfare counterparts. Implications of the findings for current social policy debates are discussed. PMID:9914641

  12. Mutation of the Zinc-Binding Metalloprotease Motif Affects Bacteroides fragilis Toxin Activity but Does Not Affect Propeptide Processing

    PubMed Central

    Franco, Augusto A.; Buckwold, Simy L.; Shin, Jai W.; Ascon, Miguel; Sears, Cynthia L.

    2005-01-01

    To evaluate the role of the zinc-binding metalloprotease in Bacteroides fragilis toxin (BFT) processing and activity, the zinc-binding consensus sequences (H348, E349, H352, G355, H358, and M366) were mutated by site-directed-mutagenesis. Our results indicated that single point mutations in the zinc-binding metalloprotease motif do not affect BFT processing but do reduce or eliminate BFT biologic activity in vitro. PMID:16041055

  13. Ecosystem Research in EPA: Process Studies, Field Investigations, and Integrated Environmental Modeling

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Ecosystems Research Division (ERD) is located in Athens, GA, USA. The research goals of ERD is to assess and quantify pathways and transformations of contaminants in the environment and to determine how physical changes (e.g., development, mining roads, green infrastructure, ...

  14. THE EFFECTS OF ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION ON NITROGEN PROCESSING IN AN URBAN MID-ATLANTIC PIEDMONT STREAM

    EPA Science Inventory

    Elevated nitrate levels in streams and groundwater pose human and ecological threats. The US EPA, USGS, Institute of Ecosystem Studies, and Baltimore County Dept. of Environmental Protection are collaborating on a multi-year study of the impacts of stream restoration on nitrogen...

  15. Modeling of ecosystem processes on the Oregon shelf during the 2001 summer upwelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spitz, Y. H.; Allen, J. S.; Gan, J.

    2005-10-01

    Three-dimensional ecosystem response to wind forcing on the continental shelf off Oregon is studied using a five-component nitrogen-based ecosystem model coupled to a high-resolution circulation model. We investigate, in particular, the influence of time-dependent winds and alongshore variations in shelf topography for summer 2001 during the time period of the Coastal Ocean Advances in Shelf Transport (COAST) field experiment. Over summer 2001 the average southward, upwelling-favorable wind leads to the development of a southward coastal jet and upwelled cold nutrient-rich water over the shelf. A strong influence of the shelf topography is found in the observed and modeled nutrients and plankton, with significant spatial variability associated with interactions of the shelf flow with Heceta Bank. The model results show that the largest mean chlorophyll-a concentrations are located onshore of the coastal jet, while the largest mean zooplankton concentrations are found farther offshore, typically on the offshore side of the jet, except on Heceta Bank. During intermittent downwelling periods the largest concentrations of mean zooplankton and phytoplankton, however, are both inshore of the jet. The 20 day oscillations in the modeled nutrients and plankton, the time lags between the wind stress and these ecosystem components, and the decorrelation timescales of phytoplankton agree with those obtained from mooring and satellite measurements. A detailed analysis of the balance between biological and physical forcing helps to clarify the temporal and spatial response of the ecosystem.

  16. ECOSYSTEM GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    Thermodynamically, ecosystem growth and development is the process by which energy throughflow and stored biomass increase. Several proposed hypotheses describe the natural tendencies that occur as an ecosystem matures, and here, we consider five: minimum entropy production, maxi...

  17. Dopaminergic modulation of memory and affective processing in Parkinson depression.

    PubMed

    Blonder, Lee X; Slevin, John T; Kryscio, Richard J; Martin, Catherine A; Andersen, Anders H; Smith, Charles D; Schmitt, Frederick A

    2013-11-30

    Depression is common in Parkinson's disease and is associated with cognitive impairment. Dopaminergic medications are effective in treating the motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease; however, little is known regarding the effects of dopaminergic pharmacotherapy on cognitive function in depressed Parkinson patients. This study examines the neuropsychological effects of dopaminergic pharmacotherapy in Parkinsonian depression. We compared cognitive function in depressed and non-depressed Parkinson patients at two time-points: following overnight withdrawal and after the usual morning regimen of dopaminergic medications. A total of 28 non-demented, right-handed patients with mild to moderate idiopathic Parkinson's disease participated. Ten of these patients were depressed according to DSM IV criteria. Results revealed a statistically significant interaction between depression and medication status on three measures of verbal memory and a facial affect naming task. In all cases, depressed Parkinson's patients performed significantly more poorly while on dopaminergic medication than while off. The opposite pattern emerged for the non-depressed Parkinson's group. The administration of dopaminergic medication to depressed Parkinson patients may carry unintended risks. PMID:23838419

  18. Dopaminergic modulation of memory and affective processing in Parkinson depression

    PubMed Central

    Blonder, Lee X.; Slevin, John T.; Kryscio, Richard J.; Martin, Catherine A.; Andersen, Anders H.; Smith, Charles D.; Schmitt, Frederick A.

    2013-01-01

    Depression is common in Parkinson’s disease and is associated with cognitive impairment. Dopaminergic medications are effective in treating the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease; however, little is known regarding the effects of dopaminergic pharmacotherapy on cognitive function in depressed Parkinson patients. This study examines the neuropsychological effects of dopaminergic pharmacotherapy in Parkinsonian depression. We compared cognitive function in depressed and non-depressed Parkinson patients at two time-points: following overnight withdrawal and after the usual morning regimen of dopaminergic medications. A total of 28 non-demented, right-handed patients with mild to moderate idiopathic Parkinson’s disease participated. Ten of these patients were depressed according to DSM IV criteria. Results revealed a statistically significant interaction between depression and medication status on three measures of verbal memory and a facial affect naming task. In all cases, depressed Parkinson’s patients performed significantly more poorly while on dopaminergic medication than while off. The opposite pattern emerged for the non-depressed Parkinson’s group. The administration of dopaminergic medication to depressed Parkinson patients may carry unintended risks. PMID:23838419

  19. Understanding processes affecting mineral deposits in humid environments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Seal, Robert R., II; Ayuso, Robert A.

    2011-01-01

    Recent interdisciplinary studies by the U.S. Geological Survey have resulted in substantial progress toward understanding the influence that climate and hydrology have on the geochemical signatures of mineral deposits and the resulting mine wastes in the eastern United States. Specific areas of focus include the release, transport, and fate of acid, metals, and associated elements from inactive mines in temperate coastal areas and of metals from unmined mineral deposits in tropical to subtropical areas; the influence of climate, geology, and hydrology on remediation options for abandoned mines; and the application of radiogenic isotopes to uniquely apportion source contributions that distinguish natural from mining sources and extent of metal transport. The environmental effects of abandoned mines and unmined mineral deposits result from a complex interaction of a variety of chemical and physical factors. These include the geology of the mineral deposit, the hydrologic setting of the mineral deposit and associated mine wastes, the chemistry of waters interacting with the deposit and associated waste material, the engineering of a mine as it relates to the reactivity of mine wastes, and climate, which affects such factors as temperature and the amounts of precipitation and evapotranspiration; these factors, in turn, influence the environmental behavior of mineral deposits. The role of climate is becoming increasingly important in environmental investigations of mineral deposits because of the growing concerns about climate change.

  20. Effects of landcover, water redistribution, and temperature on ecosystem processes in the South Plate Basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Baron, J. S.; Hartman, M.D.; Kittel, T. G. F.; Band, L.E.; Ojima, D. S.; Lammers, R.B.

    1998-01-01

    Over one-third of the land area in the South Platte Basin of Colorado, Nebraska, and Wyoming, has been converted to croplands. Irrigated cropland now comprises 8% of the basin, while dry croplands make up 31%. We used the RHESSys model to compare the changes in plant productivity and vegetation-related hydrological processes that occurred as a result of either land cover alteration or directional temperature changes (−2°C, +4°C). Land cover change exerted more control over annual plant productivity and water fluxes for converted grasslands, while the effect of temperature changes on productivity and water fluxes was stronger in the mountain vegetation. Throughout the basin, land cover change increased the annual loss of water to the atmosphere by 114 mm via evaporation and transpiration, an increase of 37%. Both irrigated and nonirrigated grains became active earlier in the year than shortgrass steppe, leading to a seasonal shift in water losses to the atmosphere. Basin-wide photosynthesis increased by 80% due to grain production. In contrast, a 4°C warming scenario caused annual transpiration to increase by only 3% and annual evaporation to increase by 28%, for a total increase of 71 mm. Warming decreased basin-wide photosynthesis by 16%. There is a large elevational range from east to west in the South Platte Basin, which encompasses the western edge of the Great Plains and the eastern front of the Rocky Mountains. This elevational gain is accompanied by great changes in topographic complexity, vegetation type, and climate. Shortgrass steppe and crops found at elevations between 850 and 1800 m give way to coniferous forests and tundra between 1800 and 4000 m. Climate is increasingly dominated by winter snow precipitation with increasing elevation, and the timing of snowmelt influences tundra and forest ecosystem productivity, soil moisture, and downstream discharge. Mean annual precipitation of <500 mm on the plains below 1800 m is far less than potential

  1. Suprasegmental information affects processing of talking faces at birth.

    PubMed

    Guellai, Bahia; Mersad, Karima; Streri, Arlette

    2015-02-01

    From birth, newborns show a preference for faces talking a native language compared to silent faces. The present study addresses two questions that remained unanswered by previous research: (a) Does the familiarity with the language play a role in this process and (b) Are all the linguistic and paralinguistic cues necessary in this case? Experiment 1 extended newborns' preference for native speakers to non-native ones. Given that fetuses and newborns are sensitive to the prosodic characteristics of speech, Experiments 2 and 3 presented faces talking native and nonnative languages with the speech stream being low-pass filtered. Results showed that newborns preferred looking at a person who talked to them even when only the prosodic cues were provided for both languages. Nonetheless, a familiarity preference for the previously talking face is observed in the "normal speech" condition (i.e., Experiment 1) and a novelty preference in the "filtered speech" condition (Experiments 2 and 3). This asymmetry reveals that newborns process these two types of stimuli differently and that they may already be sensitive to a mismatch between the articulatory movements of the face and the corresponding speech sounds. PMID:25531944

  2. Does Signal Degradation Affect Top-Down Processing of Speech?

    PubMed

    Wagner, Anita; Pals, Carina; de Blecourt, Charlotte M; Sarampalis, Anastasios; Başkent, Deniz

    2016-01-01

    Speech perception is formed based on both the acoustic signal and listeners' knowledge of the world and semantic context. Access to semantic information can facilitate interpretation of degraded speech, such as speech in background noise or the speech signal transmitted via cochlear implants (CIs). This paper focuses on the latter, and investigates the time course of understanding words, and how sentential context reduces listeners' dependency on the acoustic signal for natural and degraded speech via an acoustic CI simulation.In an eye-tracking experiment we combined recordings of listeners' gaze fixations with pupillometry, to capture effects of semantic information on both the time course and effort of speech processing. Normal-hearing listeners were presented with sentences with or without a semantically constraining verb (e.g., crawl) preceding the target (baby), and their ocular responses were recorded to four pictures, including the target, a phonological (bay) competitor and a semantic (worm) and an unrelated distractor.The results show that in natural speech, listeners' gazes reflect their uptake of acoustic information, and integration of preceding semantic context. Degradation of the signal leads to a later disambiguation of phonologically similar words, and to a delay in integration of semantic information. Complementary to this, the pupil dilation data show that early semantic integration reduces the effort in disambiguating phonologically similar words. Processing degraded speech comes with increased effort due to the impoverished nature of the signal. Delayed integration of semantic information further constrains listeners' ability to compensate for inaudible signals. PMID:27080670

  3. Silicification of Thermophilic Biofilms: Do Aquificales Affect the Mineralisation Process?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Konhauser, K.; Lalonde, S.; Aguiar, P.; Reysenbach, A.

    2003-12-01

    In geothermal environments, biomineralisation is an inevitable consequence of microbes growing in solute-rich waters. The process of silicification is of particular interest due to (1) apparent discrepancies between natural and laboratory silicification rates and (2) siliceous microfossils currently serve as the earliest physical evidence for life on Earth. Although mesophilic microbe-silica interactions have been studied in great detail, there is a paucity of information on the role that thermophiles play in the silicification process, i.e., does their metabolism in any way facilitate silicification and do their cellular remains fossilise? To help resolve some of these uncertainties, a thermophilic, biofilm-forming member of the Aquificales order, Sulfurihydrogenobium azorense, was grown in the presence of various concentrations of silica, ranging from undersaturated to those extremely supersaturated with respect to amorphous silica. Since the chemolithoautotrophic Aquificales use of a wide range and combination of electron donors and acceptors, the bacteria cultured were grown in the presence of H2 with O2, S and Fe(III) as terminal electron acceptors. This study focused on the rates of pH-induced silica polymerisation during a 48 hour interval, when the soluble silica phase was at its most reactive stage, and when the greatest amount of silica immobilisation was likely to occur. S. azorense was found to have no detectable effect on the polymerisation rate of silica under any condition tested, nor did it cause silica to precipitate in undersaturated conditions. In addition, transmission electron microscopy showed that although silica did indeed precipitate from solution, there was no obvious association between solid-phase silica and the cells walls. This suggests that under high silica levels there is such a strong chemical driving force for silica polymerisation, homogeneous nucleation, and ultimately silica precipitation that there is no obvious need for

  4. Quantitative evolution of volcanic surfaces affected by erosional processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lahitte, Pierre; Boillot-Airaksinen, Kim; Germa, Aurélie; Lavigne, Franck

    2016-04-01

    Variations through time of erosion dynamics, a key point to investigate correlation between climates and landform evolution, still remains poorly documented. One of the main issue in this type of study is the difficulty in determining for how long the erosion has operated. For this purpose, volcanic contexts are particularly suitable for defining the temporal dynamics governing erosion since the age of volcanic activity also constrains the age of emplacement of the surface today eroded, and thus the erosion duration. Furthermore, quantitative analysis of river profiles offers the opportunity to discriminate, among the wide variety of geological phenomena influencing erosion, their respective influence. Quantification of erosion processes and constrain of their signature on reliefs can be addressed by a morphometric approach of river profiles in volcanic environment through the analysis of digital topography (DEM). Break in slope zones, the so-called knickpoints, are usually related to a retreat of the point between the relict channel, upstream, and the adjusted channel, downstream. They are induced by either a lithological contrast, a change in the base level, uplift or eustatism, or a rejuvenation of the age of the volcanic surface. The stream long-profile and its watershed is also investigated by their concavity and hypsometric indexes to determine for how long the complexity and its heterogeneity along the valley incision remain visible. The present study focusses on the erosion of volcanoes in the Lesser Antilles, Reunion Island and Lombok Island (Indonesia). All located in tropical environments, these volcanoes offer a wide diversity of age (30 - 0 Ma) and lithology for investigating the respective influence of geological processes that have induced a large variety of shapes and volcanic history that we try to correlate to geometry of river profiles.

  5. Environmental Impacts of the Use of Ecosystem Services: Case Study of Birdwatching

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kronenberg, Jakub

    2014-09-01

    The main reason for promoting the concept of ecosystem services lies in its potential to contribute to environmental conservation. Highlighting the benefits derived from ecosystems fosters an understanding of humans' dependence on nature, as users of ecosystem services. However, the act of using ecosystem services may not be environmentally neutral. As with the use of products and services generated within an economy, the use of ecosystem services may lead to unintended environmental consequences throughout the `ecosystem services supply chain.' This article puts forward a framework for analyzing environmental impacts related to the use of ecosystem services, indicating five categories of impact: (1) direct impacts (directly limiting the service's future availability); and four categories of indirect impacts, i.e., on broader ecosystem structures and processes, which can ultimately also affect the initial service: (2) impacts related to managing ecosystems to maximize the delivery of selected services (affecting ecosystems' capacity to provide other services); (3) impacts associated with accessing ecosystems to use their services (affecting other ecosystem components); (4) additional consumption of products, infrastructure or services required to use a selected ecosystem service, and their life-cycle environmental impacts; and (5) broader impacts on the society as a whole (environmental awareness of ecosystem service users and other stakeholders). To test the usefulness of this framework, the article uses the case study of birdwatching, which demonstrates all of the above categories of impacts. The article justifies the need for a broader consideration of environmental impacts related to the use of ecosystem services.

  6. Richness, biomass, and nutrient content of a wetland macrophyte community affect soil nitrogen cycling in a diversity-ecosystem functioning experiment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Korol, Alicia R.; Ahn, Changwoo; Noe, Gregory

    2016-01-01

    The development of soil nitrogen (N) cycling in created wetlands promotes the maturation of multiple biogeochemical cycles necessary for ecosystem functioning. This development proceeds from gradual changes in soil physicochemical properties and influential characteristics of the plant community, such as competitive behavior, phenology, productivity, and nutrient composition. In the context of a 2-year diversity experiment in freshwater mesocosms (0, 1, 2, 3, or 4 richness levels), we assessed the direct and indirect impacts of three plant community characteristics – species richness, total biomass, and tissue N concentration – on three processes in the soil N cycle – soil net ammonification, net nitrification, and denitrification potentials. Species richness had a positive effect on net ammonification potential (NAP) through higher redox potentials and likely faster microbial respiration. All NAP rates were negative, however, due to immobilization and high rates of ammonium removal. Net nitrification was inhibited at higher species richness without mediation from the measured soil properties. Higher species richness also inhibited denitrification potential through increased redox potential and decreased nitrification. Both lower biomass and/or higher tissue ratios of carbon to nitrogen, characteristics indicative of the two annual plants, were shown to have stimulatory effects on all three soil N processes. The two mediating physicochemical links between the young macrophyte community and microbial N processes were soil redox potential and temperature. Our results suggest that early-successional annual plant communities play an important role in the development of ecosystem N multifunctionality in newly created wetland soils.

  7. Early Social Experience Affects the Development of Eye Gaze Processing.

    PubMed

    Senju, Atsushi; Vernetti, Angélina; Ganea, Natasa; Hudry, Kristelle; Tucker, Leslie; Charman, Tony; Johnson, Mark H

    2015-12-01

    Eye gaze is a key channel of non-verbal communication in humans. Eye contact with others is present from birth, and eye gaze processing is crucial for social learning and adult-infant communication. However, little is known about the effect of selectively different experience of eye contact and gaze communication on early social and communicative development. To directly address this question, we assessed 14 sighted infants of blind parents (SIBPs) longitudinally at 6-10 and 12-16 months. Face scanning and gaze following were assessed using eye tracking. In addition, naturalistic observations were made when the infants were interacting with their blind parent and with an unfamiliar sighted adult. Established measures of emergent autistic-like behaviors and standardized tests of cognitive, motor, and linguistic development were also collected. These data were then compared with those obtained from a group of infants of sighted parents. Despite showing typical social skills development overall, infants of blind parents allocated less attention to adult eye movements and gaze direction, an effect that increased between 6-10 and 12-16 months of age. The results suggest that infants adjust their use of adults' eye gaze depending on gaze communication experience from early in life. The results highlight that human functional brain development shows selective experience-dependent plasticity adaptive to the individual's specific social environment. PMID:26752077

  8. Early Social Experience Affects the Development of Eye Gaze Processing

    PubMed Central

    Senju, Atsushi; Vernetti, Angélina; Ganea, Natasa; Hudry, Kristelle; Tucker, Leslie; Charman, Tony; Johnson, Mark H.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Eye gaze is a key channel of non-verbal communication in humans [1, 2, 3]. Eye contact with others is present from birth [4], and eye gaze processing is crucial for social learning and adult-infant communication [5, 6, 7]. However, little is known about the effect of selectively different experience of eye contact and gaze communication on early social and communicative development. To directly address this question, we assessed 14 sighted infants of blind parents (SIBPs) longitudinally at 6–10 and 12–16 months. Face scanning [8] and gaze following [7, 9] were assessed using eye tracking. In addition, naturalistic observations were made when the infants were interacting with their blind parent and with an unfamiliar sighted adult. Established measures of emergent autistic-like behaviors [10] and standardized tests of cognitive, motor, and linguistic development [11] were also collected. These data were then compared with those obtained from a group of infants of sighted parents. Despite showing typical social skills development overall, infants of blind parents allocated less attention to adult eye movements and gaze direction, an effect that increased between 6–10 and 12–16 months of age. The results suggest that infants adjust their use of adults’ eye gaze depending on gaze communication experience from early in life. The results highlight that human functional brain development shows selective experience-dependent plasticity adaptive to the individual’s specific social environment. PMID:26752077

  9. Volcano ecology at Chaiten, Chile: geophysical processes interact with forest ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swanson, F. J.; Crisafulli, C.; Jones, J. A.; Lara, A.

    2010-12-01

    The May 2008 eruption of Chaiten Volcano (Chile) offers many insights into volcano ecology -ecological responses to volcanic and associated hydrologic processes and ecosystem development in post-eruption landscapes. Varied intensities of pyroclastic density currents (PDC) and thickness of tephra fall deposits (to 50+ cm) created strong gradients of disturbance in several hundred square kilometers of native forest in a sector north to southeast from the volcano. A gradient from tree removal to toppled forest to standing, scorched forest extends 1.5 km northward from the caldera rim along the trajectory of a PDC. Close to the vent (e.g., 2 km NE from rim) a rain of ca. 10 cm of gravel tephra stripped foliage and twigs from tree canopies; farther away (23 km SE) 10 cm of fine tephra loaded the canopy, causing extensive fall of limbs >8 cm diameter. Even in the severely disturbed, north-flank PDC zone, surviving bamboo, ferns, and other herbs sprouted from pre-eruption soil and other refugia; sprouts of new foliage appeared on the boles and major limbs of several species of toppled and scorched, standing trees; animals including vertebrates (rodents and amphibians) and terrestrial invertebrates (e.g., insects and arachnids) either survived or quickly recolonized; and a diverse fungal community began decomposing the vast dead wood resource. During the second growing season we documented the presence of some plant species that had colonized by seed. Within two years after the eruption secondary ecological disturbances resulting from channel change and overbank deposition of fluvially transported tephra created new patches of damaged forest in riparian zones of streams draining the north flank and along the Rio Rayas and Rio Chaiten. These features parallel observations in the intensively-studied, post-1980-eruption landscape of Mount St. Helens over a similar time period. However, several aspects of ecological response to the two eruptions differ because of differences

  10. Process contributions of Australian ecosystems to interannual variations in the carbon cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haverd, Vanessa; Smith, Benjamin; Trudinger, Cathy

    2016-05-01

    New evidence is emerging that semi-arid ecosystems dominate interannual variability (IAV) of the global carbon cycle, largely via fluctuating water availability associated with El Niño/Southern Oscillation. Recent evidence from global terrestrial biosphere modelling and satellite-based inversion of atmospheric CO2 point to a large role of Australian ecosystems in global carbon cycle variability, including a large contribution from Australia to the record land sink of 2011. However the specific mechanisms governing this variability, and their bioclimatic distribution within Australia, have not been identified. Here we provide a regional assessment, based on best available observational data, of IAV in the Australian terrestrial carbon cycle and the role of Australia in the record land sink anomaly of 2011. We find that IAV in Australian net carbon uptake is dominated by semi-arid ecosystems in the east of the continent, whereas the 2011 anomaly was more uniformly spread across most of the continent. Further, and in contrast to global modelling results suggesting that IAV in Australian net carbon uptake is amplified by lags between production and decomposition, we find that, at continental scale, annual variations in production are dampened by annual variations in decomposition, with both fluxes responding positively to precipitation anomalies.

  11. The Role and Impact of Affect in the Process of Resistance to Persuasion.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pfau, Michael; Szabo, Erin Alison; Anderson, Jason; Morrill, Joshua; Zubric, Jessica; Wan, Hua-Hsin

    2001-01-01

    Deals with the role and impact of affect in the process of resistance among undergraduate students. Notes that initial results indicated that the cognitive, affective-anger, and affective-happiness inoculation treatments all conferred resistance to persuasive attacks. Indicates that greater receiver involvement was positively associated with…

  12. [Characteristics of terrestrial ecosystem primary productivity in East Asia based on remote sensing and process-based model].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Fang-Min; Ju, Wei-Min; Chen, Jing-Ming; Wang, Shao-Qiang; Yu, Gui-Rui; Han, Shi-Jie

    2012-02-01

    Based on the bi-linearly interpolated meteorological reanalysis data from National Centers for Environmental Prediction, USA and by using the leaf area index data derived from the GIMMS NDVI to run the process-based Boreal Ecosystems Productivity Simulator (BEPS) model, this paper simulated and analyzed the spatiotemporal characteristics of the terrestrial ecosystem gross primary productivity (GPP) and net primary productivity (NPP) in East Asia in 2000-2005. Before regional simulating and calculating, the observation GPP data of different terrestrial ecosystem in 15 experimental stations of AsiaFlux network and the inventory measurements of NPP at 1300 sampling sites were applied to validate the BEPS GPP and NPP. The results showed that BEPS could well simulate the changes in GPP and NPP of different terrestrial ecosystems, with the R2 ranging from 0.86 to 0.99 and the root mean square error (RMSE) from 0.2 to 1.2 g C x m(-2) x d(-1). The simulated values by BEPS could explain 78% of the changes in annual NPP, and the RMSE was 118 g C x m(-2) x a(-1). In 2000-2005, the averaged total GPP and total NPP of the terrestrial ecosystems in East Asia were 21.7 and 10.5 Pg C x a(-1), respectively, and the GPP and NPP exhibited similar spatial and temporal variation patterns. During the six years, the total NPP of the terrestrial ecosystems varied from 10.2 to 10.7 Pg C x a(-1), with a coefficient of variation being 2. 2%. High NPP (above 1000 g C x m(-2) x a(-1)) occurred in the southeast island countries, while low NPP (below 30 g C x m(-2) x a(-1)) occurred in the desert area of Northwest China. The spatial patterns of NPP were mainly attributed to the differences in the climatic variables across East Asia. The NPP per capita also varied greatly among different countries, which was the highest (70217 kg C x a(-1)) in Mongolia, far higher than that (1921 kg C x a(-1)) in China, and the lowest (757 kg C x a(-1)) in India. PMID:22586952

  13. Up-scaling Stream Ecosystem Processes to Predict the Effects of Land Cover Change at a Watershed Scale in the Atlantic Tropical Rainforest.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tromboni, F.; Feijó de Lima, R.; Silva-Júnior, E. F.; Lourenço-Amorim, C.; Zandoná, E.; Moulton, T. P.; Da Silva, B. S.; Silva-Araújo, M.; Thomas, S. A.

    2015-12-01

    Riparian land-cover change (LCC) causes a cascade of subsequent hierarchical effects that propagate through abiotic compartments until reaching the biota, altering stream ecosystem functioning. Due to the movement of water downstream, these lateral effects co-occur with longitudinal influences. We investigated both the lateral and longitudinal effects of deforestation in four streams in the Atlantic tropical rainforest of Brazil. We collected physical-chemical, geomorphic, hydrological data and samples of macroinvertebrates assemblages. We then categorized land cover at different scales (from different riparian and reach buffer sizes to sub and total watershed) using a SPOT-5 satellite image and ArcGIS. We also carried out a series of experiments along the streams to understand: 1) the mechanisms by which LCC affects periphyton and how these changes alter metabolism and nutrient uptake rates; 2) the downstream distance at which periphyton and the associated variables change in the transitions from one riparian category to the other. We used (i) a path analysis to test if our hypothesized land-cover cascade model described our data and (ii) non-linear models to describe the longitudinal effect on each variable. Our results showed that deforestation produced a range of physical changes at different spatial scale, longitudinally altering periphyton taxonomic composition (taxa depending on light), stoichiometry (nutritionally richer with increasing deforestation) and growth rates (greater in deforested). Macroinvertebrate assemblages behaved similarly to chlorophyll a in response to forest loss. Respiration rate increased with deforestation probably due to higher nutrient concentrations but primary production did not increase. Models were used to upscale LCC impacts on ecosystem processes from local scale experiments to landscape and our work has important implications for socio-economic decisions concerning ecosystem management and conservation.

  14. Science for managing ecosystem services: Beyond the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment

    PubMed Central

    Carpenter, Stephen R.; Mooney, Harold A.; Agard, John; Capistrano, Doris; DeFries, Ruth S.; Díaz, Sandra; Dietz, Thomas; Duraiappah, Anantha K.; Oteng-Yeboah, Alfred; Pereira, Henrique Miguel; Perrings, Charles; Reid, Walter V.; Sarukhan, José; Scholes, Robert J.; Whyte, Anne

    2009-01-01

    The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) introduced a new framework for analyzing social–ecological systems that has had wide influence in the policy and scientific communities. Studies after the MA are taking up new challenges in the basic science needed to assess, project, and manage flows of ecosystem services and effects on human well-being. Yet, our ability to draw general conclusions remains limited by focus on discipline-bound sectors of the full social–ecological system. At the same time, some polices and practices intended to improve ecosystem services and human well-being are based on untested assumptions and sparse information. The people who are affected and those who provide resources are increasingly asking for evidence that interventions improve ecosystem services and human well-being. New research is needed that considers the full ensemble of processes and feedbacks, for a range of biophysical and social systems, to better understand and manage the dynamics of the relationship between humans and the ecosystems on which they rely. Such research will expand the capacity to address fundamental questions about complex social–ecological systems while evaluating assumptions of policies and practices intended to advance human well-being through improved ecosystem services. PMID:19179280

  15. 43 CFR 2.4 - Does where you send your request affect its processing?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 43 Public Lands: Interior 1 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Does where you send your request affect its processing? 2.4 Section 2.4 Public Lands: Interior Office of the Secretary of the Interior FREEDOM... request affect its processing? (a) A request to a particular bureau component (for example, a...

  16. 43 CFR 2.4 - Does where you send your request affect its processing?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 43 Public Lands: Interior 1 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Does where you send your request affect its processing? 2.4 Section 2.4 Public Lands: Interior Office of the Secretary of the Interior FREEDOM... request affect its processing? (a) A request to a particular bureau component (for example, a...

  17. The constructed catchment 'Chicken Creek' - a landscape observatory to analyze processes and feedback mechanisms during initial ecosystem development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elmer, Michael; Schaaf, Wolfgang; Gerwin, Werner; Hinz, Christoph

    2014-05-01

    We investigated the initial development of the landscape observatory 'Chicken Creek', Germany, an artificial catchment with well known boundary conditions and inner structures (Gerwin et al., 2011). Over a period of nine years, we observed considerable changes within the site (Elmer et al., 2013). Both internal and external factors could be identified as driving forces for the formation of structures and patterns in the catchment. Over time, secondary structures and patterns evolved and became more and more important. Invading biota and vegetation succession initialized feedback mechanisms resulting in pattern and habitat formation as well as in increased differentiation, heterogeneity and complexity that are typical characteristics of ecosystems (Schaaf et al., 2013). The processes and feedback mechanisms in the initial development of a new landscape may deviate in rates, intensity, and dominance from those known from mature ecosystems. It is therefore crucial to understand these early phases of ecosystem development and to disentangle the increasingly complex interactions between the evolving terrestrial and aquatic, biotic, and abiotic compartments of the system. Elmer M, Gerwin W, Schaaf W, Zaplata MK, Hohberg K, Nenov R, Bens O, Hüttl RF (2013): Dynamics of initial ecosystem development at the artificial catchment Chicken Creek, Lusatia, Germany. Environ Earth Sci 69, 491-505. Gerwin W, Schaaf W, Biemelt D, Winter S, Fischer A, Veste M, Hüttl RF (2011): Overview and first results of ecological monitoring at the artificial watershed Chicken Creek (Germany). Phys Chem Earth 36, 61-73. Schaaf W, Elmer M, Fischer A, Gerwin W, Nenov R, Pretsch H, Seifert S, Winter S, Zaplata MK (2013): Monitoring the formation of structures and patterns during initial development of an artificial catchment. Environ Monit Assess 185, 5965-5986.

  18. Hydrologic, geomorphic and climatic processes controlling willow establishment in a montane ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cooper, David J.; Dickens, Joyce; Thompson Hobbs, N.; Christensen, Lindsey; Landrum, Laura

    2006-05-01

    Willow communities dominate mid-elevation riparian areas throughout the Rocky Mountains of North America. However, many willow stands are rapidly declining in aerial cover and individual plants in stature. A poor understanding of the processes that control willow establishment hinders identifying the causes of this decline. We analysed the processes that have facilitated or limited willow establishment over the last half of the 20th century on two large floodplains in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado by addressing two questions: (1) How does hydrologic regime control willow establishment on different fluvial landforms? (2) How might climate-driven variations in hydrologic regime affect future willow establishment? We precisely aged willows on the three most common fluvial landforms, stream point bars, drained beaver ponds, and abandoned channels, and statistically related establishment dates to patterns of annual stream peak flow. The role of peak flow on willow establishment varied significantly by landform. Willow recruitment had occurred nearly every year on point bars. In former beaver complexes, most willows had established following dam breaches, whereas willows had established on abandoned channels for several years following channel avulsion. Establishment on point bars and abandoned channels was driven by peak flows of 2- to 5-year return intervals, whereas in abandoned beaver ponds most establishment was associated with flow events of >5-year return interval. Models of climate change suggest that temperatures will increase and precipitation seasonality will shift over the coming decades in the Rocky Mountains, leading to earlier spring runoff, lower summer and fall flows, decreased snowpack and decreased soil moisture. Such changes are likely to diminish opportunities for willow establishment.

  19. Ecological perspectives on biosphere-atmosphere trace gas exchange: Viewing gases in the context of ecosystem processes

    SciTech Connect

    Matson, P.A.

    1995-06-01

    Predictions and control of global climate change and regional changes in air chemistry depend on knowledge of sources and sinks of trace gases and their responses to the suite of global changes. In the past decade, major advances in the understanding of trace gas sources and sinks have been made through collaborations among ecologists and atmospheric scientists. Ecologists have brought to this topic a wholly new perspective -- one that emphasizes the need to view trace gas fluxes in terms of the ecosystem and microbial processes that produce them, and in terms of the environmental and edaphic factors that in turn control the processes. One consequence of this viewpoint is the transition from single gas measurement campaigns to the simultaneous measurement of fluxes of multiple gases and their often interacting controlling processes within ecosystems. Case studies illustrating the benefits of such an approach, in terms both of process-level understanding and of atmospheric dynamics, will be presented for the combinations of nitrous oxide and nitric oxide, nitrous oxide and methane, and non-methane hydrocarbons and nitric oxide.

  20. Plant Host Species and Geographic Distance Affect the Structure of Aboveground Fungal Symbiont Communities, and Environmental Filtering Affects Belowground Communities in a Coastal Dune Ecosystem.

    PubMed

    David, Aaron S; Seabloom, Eric W; May, Georgiana

    2016-05-01

    Microbial symbionts inhabit tissues of all plants and animals. Their community composition depends largely on two ecological processes: (1) filtering by abiotic conditions and host species determining the environments that symbionts are able to colonize and (2) dispersal-limitation determining the pool of symbionts available to colonize a given host and community spatial structure. In plants, the above- and belowground tissues represent such distinct habitats for symbionts that we expect different effects of filtering and spatial structuring on their symbiont communities. In this study, we characterized above- and belowground communities of fungal endophytes--fungi living asymptomatically within plants--to understand the contributions of filtering and spatial structure to endophyte community composition. We used a culture-based approach to characterize endophytes growing in leaves and roots of three species of coastal beachgrasses in dunes of the USA Pacific Northwest. For leaves, endophyte isolation frequency and OTU richness depended primarily on plant host species. In comparison, for roots, both isolation frequency and OTU richness increased from the nutrient-poor front of the dune to the higher-nutrient backdune. Endophyte community composition in leaves exhibited a distance-decay relationship across the region. In a laboratory assay, faster growth rates and lower spore production were more often associated with leaf- than root-inhabiting endophytes. Overall, our results reveal a greater importance of biotic filtering by host species and dispersal-limitation over regional geographic distances for aboveground leaf endophyte communities and stronger effects of abiotic environmental filtering and locally patchy distributions for belowground root endophyte communities. PMID:26626912

  1. 76 FR 30509 - Court Orders and Legal Processes Affecting Thrift Savings Plan Accounts

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-05-26

    ... Part 1653 Court Orders and Legal Processes Affecting Thrift Savings Plan Accounts AGENCY: Federal... finalize the process by which TSP accounts may be garnished efficiently--consistent with law and regulation... is trying to process more than 7,000 child support orders. If the Agency processes these orders...

  2. Ecosystem change and stability over multiple decades in the Swedish subarctic: complex processes and multiple drivers

    PubMed Central

    Callaghan, Terry V; Jonasson, Christer; Thierfelder, Tomas; Yang, Zhenlin; Hedenås, Henrik; Johansson, Margareta; Molau, Ulf; Van Bogaert, Rik; Michelsen, Anders; Olofsson, Johan; Gwynn-Jones, Dylan; Bokhorst, Stef; Phoenix, Gareth; Bjerke, Jarle W.; Tømmervik, Hans; Christensen, Torben R.; Hanna, Edward; Koller, Eva K.; Sloan, Victoria L.

    2013-01-01

    The subarctic environment of northernmost Sweden has changed over the past century, particularly elements of climate and cryosphere. This paper presents a unique geo-referenced record of environmental and ecosystem observations from the area since 1913. Abiotic changes have been substantial. Vegetation changes include not only increases in growth and range extension but also counterintuitive decreases, and stability: all three possible responses. Changes in species composition within the major plant communities have ranged between almost no changes to almost a 50 per cent increase in the number of species. Changes in plant species abundance also vary with particularly large increases in trees and shrubs (up to 600%). There has been an increase in abundance of aspen and large changes in other plant communities responding to wetland area increases resulting from permafrost thaw. Populations of herbivores have responded to varying management practices and climate regimes, particularly changing snow conditions. While it is difficult to generalize and scale-up the site-specific changes in ecosystems, this very site-specificity, combined with projections of change, is of immediate relevance to local stakeholders who need to adapt to new opportunities and to respond to challenges. Furthermore, the relatively small area and its unique datasets are a microcosm of the complexity of Arctic landscapes in transition that remains to be documented. PMID:23836792

  3. Role of Boreal Vegetation in Controlling Ecosystem Processes and Feedbacks to Climate

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chapin, F. S., III; Hooper, D. U.; Hobbie, S. E.; Verville, J. H.

    1997-01-01

    In the field, dark respiration rates are greatest in cores from more northerly locations. This is due in part to greater amounts of dwarf shrub biomass in the more northerly cores, but also to differences in soil organic matter quality. Laboratory incubations of these soils under common conditions show some evidence for greater pools of available carbon in soils from more northerly tundra sites, although the most northerly site does not fit this pattern for reasons which are unclear at this time. While field measurements of cores transplanted among different vegetation types at the same location (Toolik Lake) show relatively small differences in whole ecosystem carbon flux, laboratory incubation of these same soils shows that there are large differences in soil respiration rates under common conditions. This is presumably due to differences in organic matter quality. Microenvironmental site factors (temperature, soil moisture, degree of anaerobiosis, etc.) may be responsible for evening out these differences in the field. These site factors, which differ with slope, aspect, and drainage within a given location along the latitudinal gradient, appear to exert at least as strong a control over carbon fluxes as do macroclimatic factors among sites across the latitudinal gradient. While our field measurements indicate that, in the short term, warming will tend to increase ecosystem losses Of CO2 via respiration more than they will increase plant gross assimilation, the degree to which different topographically-defined plant communities will respond is likely to vary.

  4. Integration of Measurements and Models Across Spatial Scales for Improved Process Understanding in Arctic and Boreal Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wullschleger, S. D.; Collier, N.; Kumar, J.; Painter, S. L.; Thornton, P. E.; Wilson, C. J.

    2014-12-01

    Characterizing the spatial variability of properties and processes in Arctic and boreal landscapes is critical for gaining an understanding of ecosystem functioning and for parameterizing process-rich models that simulate feedbacks to a changing climate. However, large-scale models are often poorly informed by process studies and new approaches are needed if we are to better link field and laboratory investigations to climate models. A fundamental goal of the Next-Generation Ecosystem Experiments (NGEE Arctic) project is to accelerate improvements in climate prediction through close integration of field, laboratory, and modeling activities. Geomorphological units, including thaw lakes, drained thaw lake basins, and ice-rich polygonal ground provide the organizing framework for our integrated framework for the coastal plains of the North Slope of Alaska. Process studies and observations of hydrology, geomorphology, biogeochemistry, vegetation patterns, and energy exchange and their couplings are being conducted across nested scales to populate a modeling framework and to achieve a broader goal of optimally informing process representations in global-scale models. We investigate the soil thermal regimes and their control on local scale hydrology for sites near Barrow, Alaska, through simulations at sub-meter scale resolution for low-centered, high-centered and transition polygons. We use high-resolution LiDAR and high-fidelity simulations using several models to couple surface-subsurface processes. A central focus of this challenge is to advance process understanding and predicting the evolution of permafrost thaw, degradation (i.e., thermokarst), and disturbance, and their impact on topography in a warming world and how these changes control the availability of water for biogeochemical, ecological, and physical feedbacks to the climate system.

  5. Glomalin-related soil protein in a Mediterranean ecosystem affected by a copper smelter and its contribution to Cu and Zn sequestration.

    PubMed

    Cornejo, Pablo; Meier, Sebastián; Borie, Gilda; Rillig, Matthias C; Borie, Fernando

    2008-11-15

    The amount of glomalin-related soil protein (GRSP), a glycoprotein produced by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), its contribution to the sequestering of Cu and Zn in the soil, and the microsite variation of other soil traits (pH, water-stable aggregates--[WSA], soil organic carbon--[SOC]) was studied in a semi-arid Mediterranean ecosystem near a copper smelter and affected by deposit of metal-rich particles since 1964. Rhizospheric (R) and non-rhizospheric (NR) soil of four representative plants (Argemone subfusiformis, Baccharis linearis, Oenothera affinis and Polypogon viridis) was analyzed. The results showed a strong variability in GRSP (6.6-36.8 mg g(-1)), Cu content (62-831 mg kg(-1) for the total Cu and 5.8-326 mg kg(-1) for the available Cu) and pH (4.2-5.5) in the different plant and rhizospheric zones analyzed. A strong relationship between the GRSP with the soil Cu and Zn contents was found (r=0.89 and 0.76 for Cu and Zn respectively, p<0.001). The GRSP-bound Cu ranged from 3.76 to 89.0 mg g(-1) soil and represents 1.44-27.5% of the total Cu content in soil. Moreover, the WSA reached 89% in P. viridis R. For this plant, the C contained in GRSP represented up to 89% of SOC, and this coincided with the most extreme conditions of soil degradation within the ecosystem (the highest content of heavy metals and low pH values). This study provides evidence on the role of the GRSP in Cu and Zn sequestration and suggests a highly efficient mechanism of AMF to mitigate stress leading to stabilization of soils highly polluted by mining activities. PMID:18762323

  6. Effects of acidic deposition on nutrient uptake, nutrient cycling and growth processes of vegetation in the spruce-fir ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    McLaughlin, S.B.; Garten, C.T.; Wullschleger, S.D.

    1996-10-16

    This report summarizes progress in three years of field research designed to evaluate biological and chemical indicators of the current and future health of the Southern Appalachian spruce-fir ecosystem. The emphasis of this research has been on the identification and understanding of mechanisms through which current levels of acidic deposition are impacting ecosystem processes. The identification of these principal mechanisms and key biological indicators of change was designed to improve our capabilities to detect, monitor, and assess the effects of air quality regulations and attendant future air quality changes on ecosystem response. Individual research tasks focused on the following research areas: (1) the significance of foliar uptake of atmospheric sources of nitrogen in relationship to plant utilization of N from available soil reserves; (2) linkages between atmospheric inputs to the soil surface, solution chemistry, and decomposition in the upper organic soil horizons; (3) effects of soil solution chemistry on uptake of cations and aluminum by fine roots; and (4) the effects of varying rates of calcium supply on carbon metabolism of Fraser fir and red spruce, and the relationship between calcium levels in wood cells and integrity of wood formed in bole and branches. Each of the individual tasks was designed to focus upon a mechanism or process that we consider critical to understanding chemical and biological linkages. These linkages will be important determinants in understanding the basis of past and potential future responses of the high elevation Southern Appalachian Forest to acidic deposition and other co-occurring environmental stresses. This report contains (1) background and rationale for the research undertaken in 1992-94; (2) a summary of principal research findings; (3) publications from this research; and (4) characterization of data sets produced by this research which will be the basis of future research, analyses and/or publications.

  7. Nutrient Limitation on Ecosystem Productivity and Processes of Mature and Old-Growth Subtropical Forests in China

    PubMed Central

    Hou, Enqing; Chen, Chengrong; McGroddy, Megan E.; Wen, Dazhi

    2012-01-01

    Nitrogen (N) is considered the dominant limiting nutrient in temperate regions, while phosphorus (P) limitation frequently occurs in tropical regions, but in subtropical regions nutrient limitation is poorly understood. In this study, we investigated N and P contents and N:P ratios of foliage, forest floors, fine roots and mineral soils, and their relationships with community biomass, litterfall C, N and P productions, forest floor turnover rate, and microbial processes in eight mature and old-growth subtropical forests (stand age >80 yr) at Dinghushan Biosphere Reserve, China. Average N:P ratios (mass based) in foliage, litter (L) layer and mixture of fermentation and humus (F/H) layer, and fine roots were 28.3, 42.3, 32.0 and 32.7, respectively. These values are higher than the critical N:P ratios for P limitation proposed (16–20 for foliage, ca. 25 for forest floors). The markedly high N:P ratios were mainly attributed to the high N concentrations of these plant materials. Community biomass, litterfall C, N and P productions, forest floor turnover rate and microbial properties were more strongly related to measures of P than N and frequently negatively related to the N:P ratios, suggesting a significant role of P availability in determining ecosystem production and productivity and nutrient cycling at all the study sites except for one prescribed disturbed site where N availability may also be important. We propose that N enrichment is probably a significant driver of the potential P limitation in the study area. Low P parent material may also contribute to the potential P limitation. In general, our results provided strong evidence supporting a significant role for P availability, rather than N availability, in determining ecosystem primary productivity and ecosystem processes in subtropical forests of China. PMID:23284873

  8. Potential for real-time understanding of coupled hydrologic and biogeochemical processes in stream ecosystems: Future integration of telemetered data with process models for glacial meltwater streams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKnight, Diane M.; Cozzetto, Karen; Cullis, James D. S.; Gooseff, Michael N.; Jaros, Christopher; Koch, Joshua C.; Lyons, W. Berry; Neupauer, Roseanna; Wlostowski, Adam

    2015-08-01

    While continuous monitoring of streamflow and temperature has been common for some time, there is great potential to expand continuous monitoring to include water quality parameters such as nutrients, turbidity, oxygen, and dissolved organic material. In many systems, distinguishing between watershed and stream ecosystem controls can be challenging. The usefulness of such monitoring can be enhanced by the application of quantitative models to interpret observed patterns in real time. Examples are discussed primarily from the glacial meltwater streams of the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica. Although the Dry Valley landscape is barren of plants, many streams harbor thriving cyanobacterial mats. Whereas a daily cycle of streamflow is controlled by the surface energy balance on the glaciers and the temporal pattern of solar exposure, the daily signal for biogeochemical processes controlling water quality is generated along the stream. These features result in an excellent outdoor laboratory for investigating fundamental ecosystem process and the development and validation of process-based models. As part of the McMurdo Dry Valleys Long-Term Ecological Research project, we have conducted field experiments and developed coupled biogeochemical transport models for the role of hyporheic exchange in controlling weathering reactions, microbial nitrogen cycling, and stream temperature regulation. We have adapted modeling approaches from sediment transport to understand mobilization of stream biomass with increasing flows. These models help to elucidate the role of in-stream processes in systems where watershed processes also contribute to observed patterns, and may serve as a test case for applying real-time stream ecosystem models.

  9. Wood phenology: from organ-scale processes to terrestrial ecosystem models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delpierre, Nicolas; Guillemot, Joannès

    2016-04-01

    In temperate and boreal trees, a dormancy period prevents organ development during adverse climatic conditions. Whereas the phenology of leaves and flowers has received considerable attention, to date, little is known regarding the phenology of other tree organs such as wood, fine roots, fruits and reserve compounds. In this presentation, we review both the role of environmental drivers in determining the phenology of wood and the models used to predict its phenology in temperate and boreal forest trees. Temperature is a key driver of the resumption of wood activity in spring. There is no such clear dominant environmental cue involved in the cessation of wood formation in autumn, but temperature and water stress appear as prominent factors. We show that wood phenology is a key driver of the interannual variability of wood growth in temperate tree species. Incorporating representations of wood phenology in a terrestrial ecosystem model substantially improved the simulation of wood growth under current climate.

  10. Study of individual and group affective processes in the crew of a simulated mission to Mars: Positive affectivity as a valuable indicator of changes in the crew affectivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poláčková Šolcová, Iva; Lačev, Alek; Šolcová, Iva

    2014-07-01

    The success of a long-duration space mission depends on various technical demands as well as on the psychological (cognitive, affective, and motivational) adaptation of crewmembers and the quality of interactions within the crew. We examined the ways crewmembers of a 520-day simulated spaceflight to Mars (held in the Institute for Biomedical Problems, in Moscow) experienced and regulated their moods and emotions. Results show that crewmembers experienced predominantly positive emotions throughout their 520-day isolation and the changes in mood of the crewmembers were asynchronous and balanced. The study suggests that during the simulation, crewmembers experienced and regulated their emotions differently than they usually do in their everyday life. In isolation, crewmembers preferred to suppress and neutralize their negative emotions and express overtly only emotions with positive valence. Although the affective processes were almost invariable throughout the simulation, two periods of time when the level of positive emotions declined were identified. Regarding the findings, the paper suggests that changes in positive affectivity could be a more valuable indicator of human experience in demanding but professional environments than changes in negative affectivity. Finally, the paper discusses the phenomenology of emotions during a real space mission.

  11. Ecosystem Processes at the Watershed Scale: Stability and Resilience of Catchment Spatial Structure and Function to Disturbance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Band, L. E.

    2015-12-01

    Ecohydrological systems evolve spontaneously in response to geologic, hydroclimate and biodiversity drivers. The stability and resilience of these systems to multiple disturbances can be addressed over specific temporal extents, potentially embedded within long term transience in response to geologic or climate change. The limits of ecohydrological resilience of system state in terms of vegetation canopy and soil catenae and the space/time distribution of water, carbon and nutrient cycling is determined by a set of critical feedbacks and potential substitutions of plant functional forms in response to disturbance. The ability of forest systems to return to states functionally similar to states prior to major disturbance, or combinations of multiple disturbances, is a critical question given increasing hydroclimate extremes, biological invasions, and human disturbance. Over the past century, forest landscape ecological patterns appear to have the ability to recover from significant disturbance and re-establish similar hydrological and ecological function in humid, biodiverse regions such as the southern Appalachians, and potentially drier forest ecosystems. Understanding and prediction of past and future long term dynamics requires explicit representation of spatial and temporal feedbacks and dependencies between hydrological, ecosystem and geomorphic processes, and the spatial pattern of species or plant functional type (PFT). Comprehensive models of watershed ecohydrological resilience requires careful balance between the level of process and parameter detail between the interacting components, relative to the structure, organization, space and time scales of the landscape.

  12. Ecosystem Processes at the Watershed Scale: Stability and Resilience of Catchment Spatial Structure and Function to Disturbance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baron, J.; Mast, A.; Clow, D. W.; Wetherbee, G. A.

    2014-12-01

    Ecohydrological systems evolve spontaneously in response to geologic, hydroclimate and biodiversity drivers. The stability and resilience of these systems to multiple disturbances can be addressed over specific temporal extents, potentially embedded within long term transience in response to geologic or climate change. The limits of ecohydrological resilience of system state in terms of vegetation canopy and soil catenae and the space/time distribution of water, carbon and nutrient cycling is determined by a set of critical feedbacks and potential substitutions of plant functional forms in response to disturbance. The ability of forest systems to return to states functionally similar to states prior to major disturbance, or combinations of multiple disturbances, is a critical question given increasing hydroclimate extremes, biological invasions, and human disturbance. Over the past century, forest landscape ecological patterns appear to have the ability to recover from significant disturbance and re-establish similar hydrological and ecological function in humid, biodiverse regions such as the southern Appalachians, and potentially drier forest ecosystems. Understanding and prediction of past and future long term dynamics requires explicit representation of spatial and temporal feedbacks and dependencies between hydrological, ecosystem and geomorphic processes, and the spatial pattern of species or plant functional type (PFT). Comprehensive models of watershed ecohydrological resilience requires careful balance between the level of process and parameter detail between the interacting components, relative to the structure, organization, space and time scales of the landscape.

  13. 10 years of BAWLing into affective and aesthetic processes in reading: what are the echoes?

    PubMed Central

    Jacobs, Arthur M.; Võ, Melissa L.-H.; Briesemeister, Benny B.; Conrad, Markus; Hofmann, Markus J.; Kuchinke, Lars; Lüdtke, Jana; Braun, Mario

    2015-01-01

    Reading is not only “cold” information processing, but involves affective and aesthetic processes that go far beyond what current models of word recognition, sentence processing, or text comprehension can explain. To investigate such “hot” reading processes, standardized instruments that quantify both psycholinguistic and emotional variables at the sublexical, lexical, inter-, and supralexical levels (e.g., phonological iconicity, word valence, arousal-span, or passage suspense) are necessary. One such instrument, the Berlin Affective Word List (BAWL) has been used in over 50 published studies demonstrating effects of lexical emotional variables on all relevant processing levels (experiential, behavioral, neuronal). In this paper, we first present new data from several BAWL studies. Together, these studies examine various views on affective effects in reading arising from dimensional (e.g., valence) and discrete emotion features (e.g., happiness), or embodied cognition features like smelling. Second, we extend our investigation of the complex issue of affective word processing to words characterized by a mixture of affects. These words entail positive and negative valence, and/or features making them beautiful or ugly. Finally, we discuss tentative neurocognitive models of affective word processing in the light of the present results, raising new issues for future studies. PMID:26089808

  14. 10 years of BAWLing into affective and aesthetic processes in reading: what are the echoes?

    PubMed

    Jacobs, Arthur M; Võ, Melissa L-H; Briesemeister, Benny B; Conrad, Markus; Hofmann, Markus J; Kuchinke, Lars; Lüdtke, Jana; Braun, Mario

    2015-01-01

    Reading is not only "cold" information processing, but involves affective and aesthetic processes that go far beyond what current models of word recognition, sentence processing, or text comprehension can explain. To investigate such "hot" reading processes, standardized instruments that quantify both psycholinguistic and emotional variables at the sublexical, lexical, inter-, and supralexical levels (e.g., phonological iconicity, word valence, arousal-span, or passage suspense) are necessary. One such instrument, the Berlin Affective Word List (BAWL) has been used in over 50 published studies demonstrating effects of lexical emotional variables on all relevant processing levels (experiential, behavioral, neuronal). In this paper, we first present new data from several BAWL studies. Together, these studies examine various views on affective effects in reading arising from dimensional (e.g., valence) and discrete emotion features (e.g., happiness), or embodied cognition features like smelling. Second, we extend our investigation of the complex issue of affective word processing to words characterized by a mixture of affects. These words entail positive and negative valence, and/or features making them beautiful or ugly. Finally, we discuss tentative neurocognitive models of affective word processing in the light of the present results, raising new issues for future studies. PMID:26089808

  15. Hotter Drought, Disturbance Process Thresholds, and Reorganization of Forest Ecosystems and Watersheds in the Southwestern USA, and Beyond

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allen, C. D.

    2015-12-01

    Extensive high-severity wildfires and drought-induced tree mortality (including drought-and-heat-related insect pest outbreaks), along with associated major alterations of watershed conditions and hydrological processes, have intensified over the last two decades in Southwest USA forests and woodlands—on a scale unseen regionally since at least pre-1900, and quite possibly not for millennia, based on diverse lines of paleo-ecological and geomorphic evidence. Historical land-use patterns, decadal-scale climate variability (e.g., drought linked to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation), and warming temperatures in recent decades (resulting in "hotter drought" conditions) have been important interactive drivers of observed nonlinear threshold changes in these forest disturbance processes. In response, Southwest forest landscapes have been rapidly transitioning toward more open and drought-tolerant ecosystems, with altered ecohydrological patterns. If regional temperatures increase as projected by climate models, multiple lines of evidence (experiments, observations, empirical models, process models) suggest that Southwest drought stress after ca. 2050 will increasingly exceed that of the most severe droughts in the past 1,000 years, putting current historical forests at grave risk—in particular the tallest (& often the oldest) trees and forests. These findings point toward the emergence of increasingly novel vegetation patterns over the course of this century. Forests globally exhibit great diversity in environmental drivers, histories, dominant ecological patterns and processes, biodiversity, etc., which are expected to produce diverse forest responses (and levels of resilience) to projected global changes in climate and human uses this century. Even given this planetary diversity of forests and expected global change responses, the observed reorganization of forests underway in the Southwest USA - driven by the convergence of changes in land use patterns, disturbance

  16. Modeling Elevation and Aspect Controls on Emerging Ecohydrologic Processes and Ecosystem Patterns Using the Component-based Landlab Framework

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nudurupati, S. S.; Istanbulluoglu, E.; Adams, J. M.; Hobley, D. E. J.; Gasparini, N. M.; Tucker, G. E.; Hutton, E. W. H.

    2014-12-01

    Topography plays a commanding role on the organization of ecohydrologic processes and resulting vegetation patterns. In southwestern United States, climate conditions lead to terrain aspect- and elevation-controlled ecosystems, with mesic north-facing and xeric south-facing vegetation types; and changes in biodiversity as a function of elevation from shrublands in low desert elevations, to mixed grass/shrublands in mid elevations, and forests at high elevations and ridge tops. These observed patterns have been attributed to differences in topography-mediated local soil moisture availability, micro-climatology, and life history processes of plants that control chances of plant establishment and survival. While ecohydrologic models represent local vegetation dynamics in sufficient detail up to sub-hourly time scales, plant life history and competition for space and resources has not been adequately represented in models. In this study we develop an ecohydrologic cellular automata model within the Landlab component-based modeling framework. This model couples local vegetation dynamics (biomass production, death) and plant establishment and competition processes for resources and space. This model is used to study the vegetation organization in a semiarid New Mexico catchment where elevation and hillslope aspect play a defining role on plant types. Processes that lead to observed plant types across the landscape are examined by initializing the domain with randomly assigned plant types and systematically changing model parameters that couple plant response with soil moisture dynamics. Climate perturbation experiments are conducted to examine the plant response in space and time. Understanding the inherently transient ecohydrologic systems is critical to improve predictions of climate change impacts on ecosystems.

  17. How do how internal and external processes affect the behaviors of coupled marsh mudflat systems; infill, stabilize, retreat, or drown?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carr, J. A.; Mariotti, G.; Wiberg, P.; Fagherazzi, S.; McGlathery, K.

    2013-12-01

    Intertidal coastal environments are prone to changes induced by sea level rise, increases in storminess, and anthropogenic disturbances. It is unclear how changes in external drivers may affect the dynamics of low energy coastal environments because their response is non-linear, and characterized by many thresholds and discontinuities. As such, process-based modeling of the ecogeomorphic processes underlying the dynamics of these ecosystems is useful, not only to predict their change through time, but also to generate new hypotheses and research questions. Here, a three-point dynamic model was developed to investigate how internal and external processes affect the behavior of coupled marsh mudflat systems. The model directly incorporates ecogeomorphological feedbacks between wind waves, salt marsh vegetation, allochthonous sediment loading, tidal flat vegetation and sea level rise. The model was applied to examine potential trajectories of salt marshes on the Eastern seaboard of the United States, including those in the Plum Island Ecosystems (PIE), Virginia Coast Reserve (VCR) and Georgia Coastal Ecosystems (GCE) long term ecological research (LTER) sites. While these sites are undergoing similar rates of relative sea level rise (RSLR), they have distinct differences in site specific environmental drivers including tides, wind waves, allochthonous sediment supply and the presence or absence of seagrass. These differences lead to the emergence of altered behaviors in the coupled salt marsh-tidal flat system. For marsh systems without seagrass or significant riverine sediment supply, conditions similar to those at PIE, results indicated that horizontal and vertical marsh evolution respond in opposing ways to wave induced processes. Marsh horizontal retreat is triggered by large mudflats and strong winds, whereas small mudflats and weak winds reduce the sediment supply to the salt marsh, decreasing its capability to keep pace with sea level rise. Marsh expansion and

  18. Disturbance Distance: Using a process based ecosystem model to estimate and map potential thresholds in disturbance rates that would give rise to fundamentally altered ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dolan, K. A.; Hurtt, G. C.; Fisk, J.; Flanagan, S.; LePage, Y.; Sahajpal, R.

    2014-12-01

    Disturbance plays a critical role in shaping the structure and function of forested ecosystems as well as the ecosystem services they provide, including but not limited to: carbon storage, biodiversity habitat, water quality and flow, and land atmosphere exchanges of energy and water. As recent studies highlight novel disturbance regimes resulting from pollution, invasive pests and climate change, there is a need to include these alterations in predictions of future forest function and structure. The Ecosystem Demography (ED) model is a mechanistic model of forest ecosystem dynamics in which individual-based forest dynamics can be efficiently implemented over regional to global scales due to advanced scaling methods. We utilize ED to characterize the sensitivity of potential vegetation structure and function to changes in rates of density independent mortality. Disturbance rate within ED can either be altered directly or through the development of sub-models. Disturbance sub-models in ED currently include fire, land use and hurricanes. We use a tiered approach to understand the sensitivity of North American ecosystems to changes in background density independent mortality. Our first analyses were conducted at half-degree spatial resolution with a constant rate of disturbance in space and time, which was altered between runs. Annual climate was held constant at the site level and the land use and fire sub-models were turned off. Results showed an ~ 30% increase in non-forest area across the US when disturbance rates were changed from 0.6% a year to 1.2% a year and a more than 3.5 fold increase in non-forest area when disturbance rates doubled again from 1.2% to 2.4%. Continued runs altered natural background disturbance rates with the existing fire and hurricane sub models turned on as well as historic and future land use. By quantify differences between model outputs that characterize ecosystem structure and function related to the carbon cycle across the US, we

  19. Inferring differential evolutionary processes of plant persistence traits in Northern Hemisphere Mediterranean fire-prone ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pausas, J.G.; Keeley, J.E.; Verdu, M.

    2006-01-01

    1 Resprouting capacity (R) and propagule-persistence (P) are traits that are often considered to have evolved where there are predictable crown fires. Because several indicators suggest a stronger selective pressure for such traits in California than in the Mediterranean Basin, we hypothesize that plant species should have evolved to become R+ and P+ more frequently in California than in the Mediterranean Basin. 2 To test this hypothesis we studied the phylogenetic association between R and P states in both California and the Mediterranean Basin using published molecular phylogenies. 3 The results suggest that R and P evolved differently in the two regions. The occurrence of the states differs significantly between regions for trait P, but not for trait R. The different patterns (towards R+ and P+ in California and towards R+ and P- in the Mediterranean Basin) are reflected in the higher abundance and the wider taxonomic distribution of species with both persistence traits (R+P+ species) in California. 4 The differential acquisition of fire persistence mechanisms at the propagule level (P+) supports the idea that fire selective pressures has been higher in California than in the Mediterranean Basin. 5 Our comparative phylogenetic-informed analysis contributes to an understanding of the differential role of the Quaternary climate in determining fire persistence traits in different Mediterranean-type ecosystems and, thus, to the debate on the evolutionary convergence of traits. ?? 2006 British Ecological Society.

  20. Positive Affect and Processes of Recovery among Treatment-Seeking Methamphetamine Users

    PubMed Central

    Carrico, Adam W.; Woods, William J.; Siever, Michael D.; Discepola, Michael V.; Dilwort, Samantha E.; Neilands, Torsten B.; Miller, Nicole; Moskowitz, Judith Tedlie

    2015-01-01

    Background Revised Stress and Coping Theory proposes that positive affect serves adaptive functions, independent of negative affect. However, scant research has examined whether, how, and under what circumstances positive affect is associated with decreased substance use. Methods Eighty-eight methamphetamine-using men who have sex with men (MSM) completed the baseline assessment for substance abuse treatment outcome study which included measures of positive and negative affect, cognitive-behavioral change processes (i.e., approach-oriented coping, self-efficacy for managing methamphetamine triggers, and abstinence-related action tendencies), abstinence-specific social support, and self-reported substance use. Participants also provided a urine sample for toxicology screening. Results After controlling for demographic characteristics and negative affect, higher positive affect was independently associated with greater approach-oriented coping, abstinence-related action tendencies, and abstinence-specific social support. Positive affect was also independently associated with greater self-efficacy for managing methamphetamine triggers, but only at lower levels of negative affect. Through these cognitive-behavioral and social pathways, positive affect was indirectly associated with lower frequency of stimulant use in the past 30 days, lower odds of reporting stimulant use two or more days in a row, and lower odds of providing a urine sample that was reactive for stimulant metabolites. On the other hand, negative affect was not indirectly associated with any measure of stimulant use. Conclusions Clinical research is needed to examine the pathways whereby positive affect may predict better substance abuse treatment outcomes. PMID:23684632

  1. Are Developmental Processes Affected by Immigration? Family Processes, Internalizing Behaviors, and Externalizing Behaviors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vazsonyi, Alexander T.; Trejos-Castillo, Elizabeth; Huang, Li

    2006-01-01

    The current study compared levels of family processes, internalizing behaviors, and externalizing behaviors as well as developmental processes, namely the associations among family processes and measures of internalizing or externalizing behaviors, in native Swiss, 2nd and 1st generation immigrant adolescents (N=3,540). Findings provided evidence…

  2. Processes of community development and responses of ecosystems to climate change. Progress report, September 28, 1988--September 27, 1989

    SciTech Connect

    Redente, E.F.

    1989-05-26

    Our studies focus on attempting to understand the role of decomposer-primary producer linkages in successional dynamics. We are testing a series of hypotheses that relate changes in plant species composition during succession to changes in activity and structure of the soil microfloral and faunal community, dynamics of soil organic matter, and availability of soil nutrients. As these successional patterns are identified, they are being applied to understanding specific processes and mechanics involved in ecosystem development during recovery from moderate and severe disturbances. These findings are then being used in conjunction with simulation models to assess potential effects of climate change on ecosystems. Our research involves field studies in northwestern Colorado and southeastern Washington, laboratory studies, and simulation modeling. Ongoing projects include studies of response patterns of primary producer and soil microbial communities to nutrient additions (N, P, and sucrose), the function of mycorrhizal fungi in plant community development, and the dynamics of litter decomposition under semiarid conditions. New studies are being implemented to investigate the significance of nutrient transfers from VAM fungi to plants and plant-root exudate interactions, and to relate this to understanding their roles in succession.

  3. The Impact of Affect on Out-Group Judgments Depends on Dominant Information-Processing Styles: Evidence From Incidental and Integral Affect Paradigms.

    PubMed

    Isbell, Linda M; Lair, Elicia C; Rovenpor, Daniel R

    2016-04-01

    Two studies tested the affect-as-cognitive-feedback model, in which positive and negative affective states are not uniquely associated with particular processing styles, but rather serve as feedback about currently accessible processing styles. The studies extend existing work by investigating (a) both incidental and integral affect, (b) out-group judgments, and (c) downstream consequences. We manipulated processing styles and either incidental (Study 1) or integral (Study 2) affect and measured perceptions of out-group homogeneity. Positive (relative to negative) affect increased out-group homogeneity judgments when global processing was primed, but under local priming, the effect reversed (Studies 1 and 2). A similar interactive effect emerged on attributions, which had downstream consequences for behavioral intentions (Study 2). These results demonstrate that both incidental and integral affect do not directly produce specific processing styles, but rather influence thinking by providing feedback about currently accessible processing styles. PMID:26984013

  4. Fishing for ecosystem services

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pope, Kevin L.; Pegg, Mark A.; Cole, Nicholas W.; Siddons, Stephen F.; Fedele, Alexis D.; Harmon, Brian S.; Ruskamp, Ryan L.; Turner, Dylan R.; Uerling, Caleb C.

    2016-01-01

    Ecosystems are commonly exploited and manipulated to maximize certain human benefits. Such changes can degrade systems, leading to cascading negative effects that may be initially undetected, yet ultimately result in a reduction, or complete loss, of certain valuable ecosystem services. Ecosystem-based management is intended to maintain ecosystem quality and minimize the risk of irreversible change to natural assemblages of species and to ecosystem processes while obtaining and maintaining long-term socioeconomic benefits. We discuss policy decisions in fishery management related to commonly manipulated environments with a focus on influences to ecosystem services. By focusing on broader scales, managing for ecosystem services, and taking a more proactive approach, we expect sustainable, quality fisheries that are resilient to future disturbances. To that end, we contend that: (1) management always involves tradeoffs; (2) explicit management of fisheries for ecosystem services could facilitate a transition from reactive to proactive management; and (3) adaptive co-management is a process that could enhance management for ecosystem services. We propose adaptive co-management with an ecosystem service framework where actions are implemented within ecosystem boundaries, rather than political boundaries, through strong interjurisdictional relationships.

  5. Combined use of isotopic and hydrometric data to conceptualize ecohydrological processes in a high-elevation tropical ecosystem

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mosquera, Giovanny M; Celleri, Rolando; Lazo, Patricio X; Vache, Kellie B; Perakis, Steven; Crespo, Patricio

    2016-01-01

    Few high-elevation tropical catchments worldwide are gauged and even fewer are studied using combined hydrometric and isotopic data. Consequently, we lack information needed to understand processes governing rainfall-runoff dynamics and to predict their influence on downstream ecosystem functioning. To address this need, we present a combination of hydrometric and water stable isotopic observations in the wet Andean páramo ecosystem of the Zhurucay Ecohydrological Observatory (7.53 km2). The catchment is located in the Andes of south Ecuador between 3400 and 3900 m a.s.l. Water samples for stable isotopic analysis were collected during 2 years (May 2011 – May 2013), while rainfall and runoff measurements were continuously recorded since late 2010. The isotopic data reveal that Andosol soils predominantly situated on hillslopes drain laterally to Histosols (Andean páramo wetlands) mainly located at the valley bottom. Histosols, in turn, feed water to creeks and small rivers throughout the year, establishing hydrologic connectivity between wetlands and the drainage network. Runoff is primarily comprised of pre-event water stored in the Histosols, which is replenished by rainfall that infiltrates through the Andosols. Contributions from the mineral horizon and the top of the fractured bedrock are small and only seem to influence discharge in small catchments during low flow generation (non-exceedance flows < Q35). Variations in source contributions are controlled by antecedent soil moisture, rainfall intensity, and duration of rainy periods. Saturated hydraulic conductivity of the soils, higher than the year-round low precipitation intensity, indicates that Hortonian overland flow rarely occurs during high intensity precipitation events. Deep groundwater contributions to discharge seem to be minimal. These results suggest that, in this high-elevation tropical ecosystem: 1) subsurface flow is a dominant hydrological process and 2) (Histosols) wetlands are the major

  6. Thinking Back about a Positive Event: The Impact of Processing Style on Positive Affect

    PubMed Central

    Nelis, Sabine; Holmes, Emily A.; Palmieri, Rosa; Bellelli, Guglielmo; Raes, Filip

    2015-01-01

    The manner in which individuals recall an autobiographical positive life event has affective consequences. Two studies addressed the processing styles during positive memory recall in a non-clinical sample. Participants retrieved a positive memory, which was self-generated (Study 1, n = 70) or experimenter-chosen (i.e., academic achievement, Study 2, n = 159), followed by the induction of one of three processing styles (between-subjects): in Study 1, a “concrete/imagery” vs. “abstract/verbal” processing style was compared. In Study 2, a “concrete/imagery,” “abstract/verbal,” and “comparative/verbal” processing style were compared. The processing of a personal memory in a concrete/imagery-based way led to a larger increase in positive affect compared to abstract/verbal processing in Study 1, as well as compared to comparative/verbal thinking in Study 2. Results of Study 2 further suggest that it is making unfavorable verbal comparisons that may hinder affective benefits to positive memories (rather than general abstract/verbal processing per se). The comparative/verbal thinking style failed to lead to improvements in positive affect, and with increasing levels of depressive symptoms it had a more negative impact on change in positive affect. We found no evidence that participant’s tendency to have dampening thoughts in response to positive affect in daily life contributed to the affective impact of positive memory recall. The results support the potential for current trainings in boosting positive memories and mental imagery, and underline the search for parameters that determine at times deleterious outcomes of abstract/verbal memory processing in the face of positive information. PMID:25806003

  7. Thinking Back about a Positive Event: The Impact of Processing Style on Positive Affect.

    PubMed

    Nelis, Sabine; Holmes, Emily A; Palmieri, Rosa; Bellelli, Guglielmo; Raes, Filip

    2015-01-01

    The manner in which individuals recall an autobiographical positive life event has affective consequences. Two studies addressed the processing styles during positive memory recall in a non-clinical sample. Participants retrieved a positive memory, which was self-generated (Study 1, n = 70) or experimenter-chosen (i.e., academic achievement, Study 2, n = 159), followed by the induction of one of three processing styles (between-subjects): in Study 1, a "concrete/imagery" vs. "abstract/verbal" processing style was compared. In Study 2, a "concrete/imagery," "abstract/verbal," and "comparative/verbal" processing style were compared. The processing of a personal memory in a concrete/imagery-based way led to a larger increase in positive affect compared to abstract/verbal processing in Study 1, as well as compared to comparative/verbal thinking in Study 2. Results of Study 2 further suggest that it is making unfavorable verbal comparisons that may hinder affective benefits to positive memories (rather than general abstract/verbal processing per se). The comparative/verbal thinking style failed to lead to improvements in positive affect, and with increasing levels of depressive symptoms it had a more negative impact on change in positive affect. We found no evidence that participant's tendency to have dampening thoughts in response to positive affect in daily life contributed to the affective impact of positive memory recall. The results support the potential for current trainings in boosting positive memories and mental imagery, and underline the search for parameters that determine at times deleterious outcomes of abstract/verbal memory processing in the face of positive information. PMID:25806003

  8. The “Musical Emotional Bursts”: a validated set of musical affect bursts to investigate auditory affective processing

    PubMed Central

    Paquette, Sébastien; Peretz, Isabelle; Belin, Pascal

    2013-01-01

    The Musical Emotional Bursts (MEB) consist of 80 brief musical executions expressing basic emotional states (happiness, sadness and fear) and neutrality. These musical bursts were designed to be the musical analog of the Montreal Affective Voices (MAV)—a set of brief non-verbal affective vocalizations portraying different basic emotions. The MEB consist of short (mean duration: 1.6 s) improvisations on a given emotion or of imitations of a given MAV stimulus, played on a violin (10 stimuli × 4 [3 emotions + neutral]), or a clarinet (10 stimuli × 4 [3 emotions + neutral]). The MEB arguably represent a primitive form of music emotional expression, just like the MAV represent a primitive form of vocal, non-linguistic emotional expression. To create the MEB, stimuli were recorded from 10 violinists and 10 clarinetists, and then evaluated by 60 participants. Participants evaluated 240 stimuli [30 stimuli × 4 (3 emotions + neutral) × 2 instruments] by performing either a forced-choice emotion categorization task, a valence rating task or an arousal rating task (20 subjects per task); 40 MAVs were also used in the same session with similar task instructions. Recognition accuracy of emotional categories expressed by the MEB (n:80) was lower than for the MAVs but still very high with an average percent correct recognition score of 80.4%. Highest recognition accuracies were obtained for happy clarinet (92.0%) and fearful or sad violin (88.0% each) MEB stimuli. The MEB can be used to compare the cerebral processing of emotional expressions in music and vocal communication, or used for testing affective perception in patients with communication problems. PMID:23964255

  9. Ecotoxicology of tropical marine ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Peters, E.C.; Gassman, N.J.; Firman, J.C.; Richmond, R.H.; Power, E.A.

    1997-01-01

    The negative effects of chemical contaminants on tropical marine ecosystems are of increasing concern as human populations expand adjacent to these communities. Watershed streams and ground water carry a variety of chemicals from agricultural, industrial, and domestic activities, while winds and currents transport pollutants from atmospheric and oceanic sources to these coastal ecosystems. The implications of the limited information available on impacts of chemical stressors on mangrove forests, seagrass meadows, and coral reefs are discussed in the context of ecosystem management and ecological risk assessment. Three classes of pollutants have received attention: heavy metals, petroleum, and synthetic organics. Heavy metals have been detected in all three ecosystems, causing physiological stress, reduced reproductive success, and outright mortality in associated invertebrates and fishes. Oil spills have been responsible for the destruction of entire coastal shallow-water communities, with recovery requiring years. Herbicides are particularly detrimental to mangroves and seagrasses and adversely affect the animal-algal symbioses in corals. Pesticides interfere with chemical cues responsible for key biological processes, including reproduction and recruitment of a variety of organisms. Information is lacking with regard to long-term recovery, indicator species, and biomarkers for tropical communities. Critical areas that are beginning to be addressed include the development of appropriate benchmarks for risk assessment, baseline monitoring criteria, and effective management strategies to protect tropical marine ecosystems in the face of mounting anthropogenic disturbance.

  10. Changing vegetation self organisation affecting eco-hydrological and geomorphological processes under invasion of blue bush in SE South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cammeraat, L. H.; Kakembo, V.

    2012-04-01

    In southeastern South Africa sub-humid grasslands on abandoned soils are spontaneously being invaded by the exotic shrub Pteronia incana (Blue bush) originating from the semi-arid and arid Karoo region. This results eventually in soil loss and rill and gully erosion and consequently loss in agricultural production affecting the local rural economy. Degradation of soils is occurring following replacement of grassland by unpalatable shrubs and altering the spatial organization of the vegetation. This in consequence is changing the eco-hydrological response of the hillslopes leading to a dramatic increase of runoff and erosion. However the reason for this spontaneous vegetation replacement is not clear. Various explanations have been proposed and discussed such as overgrazing, vegetation cover and rainfall, drought or climatic change or exposition. The study presented aims at quantifying the observed changes in the plant and bare spot patterns and which may help us unraveling vegetation self organisation processes in relation to environmental disturbances. We analyzed high resolution low altitude images of vegetation patterns in combination with high resolution digital terrain model analysis. We applied this procedure for different patterns reflecting a time series covering the observed changing patterns. These reflect changing interactions between the (re-) organization of the plant patterns during the bushy invasion and incorporated the interaction between vegetation, water redistribution and soil properties. By doing so we may be able to unravel critical processes as indicated by changes in vegetation patterns that might enable us to mitigate degradation of dryland ecosystems.

  11. Process coupling and control over the response of net ecosystem CO2 exchange to climate variability and insect disturbance in subalpine forests of the Western US

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monson, R. K.; Moore, D. J.; Trahan, N. A.; Scott-Denton, L.; Burns, S. P.; Hu, J.; Bowling, D. R.

    2011-12-01

    Following ten years of studies in subalpine forest ecosystems of the Western US, we have concluded that the tight coupling between gross primary productivity (GPP) and the autotrophic component of soil respiration (Ra) drives responses of net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) to climate variability and insect disturbance. This insight has been gained through long-term eddy flux observations, manipulative plot experiments, analyses of dynamics in the stable isotope compositions of CO2 and H2O, and chamber gas-exchange measurements. Using past observations from these studies, we deployed model-data assimilation techniques and forecast weather/climate modeling to estimate how the coupling between GPP and Ra is likely to affect future (Year 2100) dynamics in NEE. The amount of winter snow and its melting dynamics in the spring represents the dominant control over interannual variation in GPP. Using the SIPNET ecosystem process model, combined with knowledge about the stable isotope content of different water sources, we estimated that approximately 75% of growing season GPP is coupled to the use of snowmelt water, whereas approximately 25% is coupled to summer rain. The tight coupling between GPP and winter snow pack drives a similar tight coupling between soil respiration (Rs) and winter snow pack. Manipulation of snow pack on forest plots has shown that Rs increases with increased snow pack, and this effect disappears when trees are girdled, which stops the transfer of GPP to roots and the soil rhizosphere. Higher-than-normal winter snowpacks cause the carbon isotope ratios of soil-respired CO2 to be depleted in 13C, reflecting a signal of lower photosynthetic water-use efficiency in the GPP that is transferred to the soil rhizosphere. Large-scale forest disturbance due to catastrophic tree mortality from mountain pine beetle attack causes an initial (2-3 year) reduction in Rs, which is attributable to the loss of GPP and its effect on Ra. This near-term reduction in Rs

  12. Responsiveness and Affective Processes in the Interactive Construction of Understanding in Mathematics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Owens, Kay; Perry, Bob; Conroy, John; Howe, Peter; Geoghegan, Noel

    1998-01-01

    Reports on important learning processes that emerged during adult mathematics classes that used a teaching approach compatible with a social constructivist theory of knowing. Concludes that affective processes precipitated students' responsiveness, modifying the immediate learning context which influenced student thinking, creating a snowball…

  13. Ecological and Dynamical Study of the Creative Process and Affects of Scientific Students Working in Groups

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Peilloux, Aurélien; Botella, Marion

    2016-01-01

    Although creativity has drawn the attention of researchers during the past century, collaborative processes have barely been investigated. In this article, the collective dimension of a creative process is investigated, based on a dynamic and ecological approach that includes an affective component. "Dynamic" means that the creative…

  14. How Does Tele-Mental Health Affect Group Therapy Process? Secondary Analysis of a Noninferiority Trial

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greene, Carolyn J.; Morland, Leslie A.; Macdonald, Alexandra; Frueh, B. Christopher; Grubbs, Kathleen M.; Rosen, Craig S.

    2010-01-01

    Objective: Video teleconferencing (VTC) is used for mental health treatment delivery to geographically remote, underserved populations. However, few studies have examined how VTC affects individual or group psychotherapy processes. This study compares process variables such as therapeutic alliance and attrition among participants receiving anger…

  15. Reproducibility of Carbon and Water Cycle by an Ecosystem Process Based Model Using a Weather Generator and Effect of Temporal Concentration of Precipitation on Model Outputs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miyauchi, T.; Machimura, T.

    2014-12-01

    GCM is generally used to produce input weather data for the simulation of carbon and water cycle by ecosystem process based models under climate change however its temporal resolution is sometimes incompatible to requirement. A weather generator (WG) is used for temporal downscaling of input weather data for models, where the effect of WG algorithms on reproducibility of ecosystem model outputs must be assessed. In this study simulated carbon and water cycle by Biome-BGC model using weather data measured and generated by CLIMGEN weather generator were compared. The measured weather data (daily precipitation, maximum, minimum air temperature) at a few sites for 30 years was collected from NNDC Online weather data. The generated weather data was produced by CLIMGEN parameterized using the measured weather data. NPP, heterotrophic respiration (HR), NEE and water outflow were simulated by Biome-BGC using measured and generated weather data. In the case of deciduous broad leaf forest in Lushi, Henan Province, China, 30 years average monthly NPP by WG was 10% larger than that by measured weather in the growing season. HR by WG was larger than that by measured weather in all months by 15% in average. NEE by WG was more negative in winter and was close to that by measured weather in summer. These differences in carbon cycle were because the soil water content by WG was larger than that by measured weather. The difference between monthly water outflow by WG and by measured weather was large and variable, and annual outflow by WG was 50% of that by measured weather. The inconsistency in carbon and water cycle by WG and measured weather was suggested be affected by the difference in temporal concentration of precipitation, which was assessed.

  16. The Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dubayah, R.; Goetz, S. J.; Blair, J. B.; Fatoyinbo, T. E.; Hansen, M.; Healey, S. P.; Hofton, M. A.; Hurtt, G. C.; Kellner, J.; Luthcke, S. B.; Swatantran, A.

    2014-12-01

    Spaceborne lidar has been identified as a key technology by the international ecosystem science community because it enables accurate estimates of canopy structure and biomass and forms the basis for fusion approaches that extend the capabilities of existing and planned radar missions, such as the NASA-ISRO SAR and the ESA BIOMASS mission. The Global Ecosystems Dynamics Investigation Lidar (GEDI Lidar) was recently selected by NASA's Earth Ventures Instrument (EVI) program. From its vantage point on the International Space Station, GEDI Lidar provides high-resolution observations of forest vertical structure and addresses three, core science questions: What is the aboveground carbon balance of the land surface? What role will the land surface play in mitigating atmospheric CO2 in the coming decades? How does ecosystem structure affect habitat quality and biodiversity? GEDI informs these science questions by making billions of lidar waveform observations of canopy structure over its nominal one year mission length. The instrument uses three laser transmitters to produce 14 parallel tracks of 25 m footprints. These canopy measurements are then used to measure biomass and in fusion with radar and other remote sensing data to quantify changes in biomass resulting from disturbance and recovery. GEDI further marries ecosystem structure from lidar with ecosystem modeling to predict the sequestration potential of existing forests and to evaluate the impact of policy-driven afforestation and reforestation actions on sequestering additional carbon. Lastly, GEDI's observations of ecosystem structure provide a mapping of critical habitat metrics at the fine scales required for understanding the patterns, processes, and controls on biodiversity and habitat quality. The selection of GEDI Lidar, when combined with the rapid advancement of new radar missions and the availability of long-term land cover archives from passive optical sensors, ushers in an exciting new era of land

  17. Principles of ecosystem sustainability

    SciTech Connect

    Chapin, F.S. III; Torn, M.S.; Tateno, Masaki

    1996-12-01

    Many natural ecosystems are self-sustaining, maintaining an characteristic mosaic of vegetation types of hundreds to thousands of years. In this article we present a new framework for defining the conditions that sustain natural ecosystems and apply these principles to sustainability of managed ecosystems. A sustainable ecosystem is one that, over the normal cycle of disturbance events, maintains its characteristics diversity of major functional groups, productivity, and rates of biogeochemical cycling. These traits are determined by a set of four {open_quotes}interactive controls{close_quotes} (climate, soil resource supply, major functional groups of organisms, and disturbance regime) that both govern and respond to ecosystem processes. Ecosystems cannot be sustained unless the interactive controls oscillate within stable bounds. This occurs when negative feedbacks constrain changes in these controls. For example, negative feedbacks associated with food availability and predation often constrain changes in the population size of a species. Linkages among ecosystems in a landscape can contribute to sustainability by creating or extending the feedback network beyond a single patch. The sustainability of managed systems can be increased by maintaining interactive controls so that they form negative feedbacks within ecosystems and by using laws and regulations to create negative feedbacks between ecosystems and human activities, such as between ocean ecosystems and marine fisheries. Degraded ecosystems can be restored through practices that enhance positive feedbacks to bring the ecosystem to a state where the interactive controls are commensurate with desired ecosystem characteristics. The possible combinations of interactive controls that govern ecosystem traits are limited by the environment, constraining the extent to which ecosystems can be managed sustainably for human purposes. 111 refs., 3 figs., 2 tabs.

  18. The Mechanism of Valence-Space Metaphors: ERP Evidence for Affective Word Processing

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Jiushu; Wang, Ruiming; Chang, Song

    2014-01-01

    Embodied cognition contends that the representation and processing of concepts involve perceptual, somatosensory, motoric, and other physical re-experiencing information. In this view, affective concepts are also grounded in physical information. For instance, people often say “feeling down” or “cheer up” in daily life. These phrases use spatial information to understand affective concepts. This process is referred to as valence-space metaphor. Valence-space metaphors refer to the employment of spatial information (lower/higher space) to elaborate affective concepts (negative/positive concepts). Previous studies have demonstrated that processing affective words affects performance on a spatial detection task. However, the mechanism(s) behind this effect remain unclear. In the current study, we hypothesized that processing affective words might produce spatial information. Consequently, spatial information would affect the following spatial cue detection/discrimination task. In Experiment 1, participants were asked to remember an affective word. Then, they completed a spatial cue detection task while event-related potentials were recorded. The results indicated that the top cues induced enhanced amplitude of P200 component while participants kept positive words relative to negative words in mind. On the contrary, the bottom cues induced enhanced P200 amplitudes while participants kept negative words relative to positive words in mind. In Experiment 2, we conducted a behavioral experiment that employed a similar paradigm to Experiment 1, but used arrows instead of dots to test the attentional nature of the valence-space metaphor. We found a similar facilitation effect as found in Experiment 1. Positive words facilitated the discrimination of upper arrows, whereas negative words facilitated the discrimination of lower arrows. In summary, affective words might activate spatial information and cause participants to allocate their attention to corresponding

  19. Neural processing associated with cognitive and affective Theory of Mind in adolescents and adults.

    PubMed

    Sebastian, Catherine L; Fontaine, Nathalie M G; Bird, Geoffrey; Blakemore, Sarah-Jayne; Brito, Stephane A De; McCrory, Eamon J P; Viding, Essi

    2012-01-01

    Theory of Mind (ToM) is the ability to attribute thoughts, intentions and beliefs to others. This involves component processes, including cognitive perspective taking (cognitive ToM) and understanding emotions (affective ToM). This study assessed the distinction and overlap of neural processes involved in these respective components, and also investigated their development between adolescence and adulthood. While data suggest that ToM develops between adolescence and adulthood, these populations have not been compared on cognitive and affective ToM domains. Using fMRI with 15 adolescent (aged 11-16 years) and 15 adult (aged 24-40 years) males, we assessed neural responses during cartoon vignettes requiring cognitive ToM, affective ToM or physical causality comprehension (control). An additional aim was to explore relationships between fMRI data and self-reported empathy. Both cognitive and affective ToM conditions were associated with neural responses in the classic ToM network across both groups, although only affective ToM recruited medial/ventromedial PFC (mPFC/vmPFC). Adolescents additionally activated vmPFC more than did adults during affective ToM. The specificity of the mPFC/vmPFC response during affective ToM supports evidence from lesion studies suggesting that vmPFC may integrate affective information during ToM. Furthermore, the differential neural response in vmPFC between adult and adolescent groups indicates developmental changes in affective ToM processing. PMID:21467048

  20. Extreme sensory processing patterns and their relation with clinical conditions among individuals with major affective disorders.

    PubMed

    Engel-Yeger, Batya; Muzio, Caterina; Rinosi, Giorgio; Solano, Paola; Geoffroy, Pierre Alexis; Pompili, Maurizio; Amore, Mario; Serafini, Gianluca

    2016-02-28

    Previous studies highlighted the involvement of sensory perception in emotional processes. However, the role of extreme sensory processing patterns expressed in hyper- or hyposensitivity was not thoroughly considered. The present study, in real life conditions, examined the unique sensory processing patterns of individuals with major affective disorders and their relationship with psychiatric symptomatology. The sample consisted of 105 participants with major affective conditions ranging in age from 20 to 84 years (mean=56.7±14.6). All participants completed the Temperament Evaluation of Memphis, Pisa, Paris and San Diego (TEMPS-A), the second version of the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II), and Adolescent/Adult Sensory Profile (AASP). Sensory sensitivity/avoiding hypersensitivity patterns and low registration (a hyposensitivity pattern) were prevalent among our sample as compared to normative data. About seventy percent of the sample showed lower seeking tendency. Stepwise regression analyses revealed that depression and anxious/cyclothymic affective temperaments were predicted by sensory sensory/avoiding. Anxious and irritable affective temperaments were predicted by low registration. Hyperthymic affective temperament and lower severity of depression were predicted by sensation seeking. Hyposensitivity or hypersensitivity may be "trait" markers of individuals with major affective disorders. Interventions should refer to the individual unique sensory profiles and their behavioral and functional impact in the context of real life. PMID:26738981

  1. How Does Conversion of Natural Tropical Rainforest Ecosystems Affect Soil Bacterial and Fungal Communities in the Nile River Watershed of Uganda?

    PubMed Central

    Alele, Peter O.; Sheil, Douglas; Surget-Groba, Yann; Lingling, Shi; Cannon, Charles H.

    2014-01-01

    Uganda's forests are globally important for their conservation values but are under pressure from increasing human population and consumption. In this study, we examine how conversion of natural forest affects soil bacterial and fungal communities. Comparisons in paired natural forest and human-converted sites among four locations indicated that natural forest soils consistently had higher pH, organic carbon, nitrogen, and calcium, although variation among sites was large. Despite these differences, no effect on the diversity of dominant taxa for either bacterial or fungal communities was detected, using polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE). Composition of fungal communities did generally appear different in converted sites, but surprisingly, we did not observe a consistent pattern among sites. The spatial distribution of some taxa and community composition was associated with soil pH, organic carbon, phosphorus and sodium, suggesting that changes in soil communities were nuanced and require more robust metagenomic methods to understand the various components of the community. Given the close geographic proximity of the paired sampling sites, the similarity between natural and converted sites might be due to continued dispersal between treatments. Fungal communities showed greater environmental differentiation than bacterial communities, particularly according to soil pH. We detected biotic homogenization in converted ecosystems and substantial contribution of β-diversity to total diversity, indicating considerable geographic structure in soil biota in these forest communities. Overall, our results suggest that soil microbial communities are relatively resilient to forest conversion and despite a substantial and consistent change in the soil environment, the effects of conversion differed widely among sites. The substantial difference in soil chemistry, with generally lower nutrient quantity in converted sites, does bring

  2. How does conversion of natural tropical rainforest ecosystems affect soil bacterial and fungal communities in the Nile river watershed of Uganda?

    PubMed

    Alele, Peter O; Sheil, Douglas; Surget-Groba, Yann; Lingling, Shi; Cannon, Charles H

    2014-01-01

    Uganda's forests are globally important for their conservation values but are under pressure from increasing human population and consumption. In this study, we examine how conversion of natural forest affects soil bacterial and fungal communities. Comparisons in paired natural forest and human-converted sites among four locations indicated that natural forest soils consistently had higher pH, organic carbon, nitrogen, and calcium, although variation among sites was large. Despite these differences, no effect on the diversity of dominant taxa for either bacterial or fungal communities was detected, using polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE). Composition of fungal communities did generally appear different in converted sites, but surprisingly, we did not observe a consistent pattern among sites. The spatial distribution of some taxa and community composition was associated with soil pH, organic carbon, phosphorus and sodium, suggesting that changes in soil communities were nuanced and require more robust metagenomic methods to understand the various components of the community. Given the close geographic proximity of the paired sampling sites, the similarity between natural and converted sites might be due to continued dispersal between treatments. Fungal communities showed greater environmental differentiation than bacterial communities, particularly according to soil pH. We detected biotic homogenization in converted ecosystems and substantial contribution of β-diversity to total diversity, indicating considerable geographic structure in soil biota in these forest communities. Overall, our results suggest that soil microbial communities are relatively resilient to forest conversion and despite a substantial and consistent change in the soil environment, the effects of conversion differed widely among sites. The substantial difference in soil chemistry, with generally lower nutrient quantity in converted sites, does bring

  3. Arabinoxylan‐oligosaccharides (AXOS) affect the protein/carbohydrate fermentation balance and microbial population dynamics of the Simulator of Human Intestinal Microbial Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Sanchez, J. I.; Marzorati, M.; Grootaert, C.; Baran, M.; Van Craeyveld, V.; Courtin, C. M.; Broekaert, W. F.; Delcour, J. A.; Verstraete, W.; Van de Wiele, T.

    2009-01-01

    Summary Arabinoxylan‐oligosaccharides (AXOS) are a recently newly discovered class of candidate prebiotics as – depending on their structure – they are fermented in different regions of gastrointestinal tract. This can have an impact on the protein/carbohydrate fermentation balance in the large intestine and, thus, affect the generation of potentially toxic metabolites in the colon originating from proteolytic activity. In this study, we screened different AXOS preparations for their impact on the in vitro intestinal fermentation activity and microbial community structure. Short‐term fermentation experiments with AXOS with an average degree of polymerization (avDP) of 29 allowed part of the oligosaccharides to reach the distal colon, and decreased the concentration of proteolytic markers, whereas AXOS with lower avDP were primarily fermented in the proximal colon. Additionally, prolonged supplementation of AXOS with avDP 29 to the Simulator of Human Intestinal Microbial Ecosystem (SHIME) reactor decreased levels of the toxic proteolytic markers phenol and p‐cresol in the two distal colon compartments and increased concentrations of beneficial short‐chain fatty acids (SCFA) in all colon vessels (25–48%). Denaturant gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) analysis indicated that AXOS supplementation only slightly modified the total microbial community, implying that the observed effects on fermentation markers are mainly caused by changes in fermentation activity. Finally, specific quantitative PCR (qPCR) analysis showed that AXOS supplementation significantly increased the amount of health‐promoting lactobacilli as well as of Bacteroides–Prevotella and Clostridium coccoides–Eubacterium rectale groups. These data allow concluding that AXOS are promising candidates to modulate the microbial metabolism in the distal colon. PMID:21261885

  4. Towards understanding how surface life can affect interior geological processes: a non-equilibrium thermodynamics approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dyke, J. G.; Gans, F.; Kleidon, A.

    2011-06-01

    Life has significantly altered the Earth's atmosphere, oceans and crust. To what extent has it also affected interior geological processes? To address this question, three models of geological processes are formulated: mantle convection, continental crust uplift and erosion and oceanic crust recycling. These processes are characterised as non-equilibrium thermodynamic systems. Their states of disequilibrium are maintained by the power generated from the dissipation of energy from the interior of the Earth. Altering the thickness of continental crust via weathering and erosion affects the upper mantle temperature which leads to changes in rates of oceanic crust recycling and consequently rates of outgassing of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Estimates for the power generated by various elements in the Earth system are shown. This includes, inter alia, surface life generation of 264 TW of power, much greater than those of geological processes such as mantle convection at 12 TW. This high power results from life's ability to harvest energy directly from the sun. Life need only utilise a small fraction of the generated free chemical energy for geochemical transformations at the surface, such as affecting rates of weathering and erosion of continental rocks, in order to affect interior, geological processes. Consequently when assessing the effects of life on Earth, and potentially any planet with a significant biosphere, dynamical models may be required that better capture the coupled nature of biologically-mediated surface and interior processes.

  5. Pan-Eurasian experiment (PEEX) establishing a process towards high level Pan-Eurasian atmosphere-ecosystem observation networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lappalainen, Hanna K.; Petäjä, Tuukka; Zaytzeva, Nina; Viisanen, Yrjö; Kotlyakov, Vladimir; Kasimov, Nikolay; Bondur, Valery; Matvienko, Gennady; Zilitinkevich, Sergej; Kulmala, Markku

    2014-05-01

    Pan-Eurasian Experiment (PEEX) is a new multidisciplinary research approach aiming at resolving the major uncertainties in the Earth system science and global sustainability questions in the Arctic and boreal Pan-Eurasian regions (Kulmala et al. 2011). The main goal of PEEX Research agenda is to contribute to solving the scientific questions that are specifically important for the Pan-Eurasian region in the coming years, in particular the global climate change and its consequences to nature and human society. Pan Eurasian region represents one the Earth most extensive areas of boreal forest (taiga) and the largest natural wetlands, thus being a significant source area of trace gas emissions, biogenic aerosol particles, and source and sink area for the greenhouse gas (GHG) exchange in a global scale (Guenther et al. 1995, Timkovsky et al. 2010, Tunved et al. 2006, Glagolev et al. 2010). One of the first activities of the PEEX initiative is to establish a process towards high level Pan-Eurasian Observation Networks. Siberian region is currently lacking a coordinated, coherent ground based atmosphere-ecosystem measurement network, which would be crucial component for observing and predicting the effects of climate change in the Northern Pan- Eurasian region The vision of the Pan-Eurasion network will be based on a hierarchical SMEAR-type (Stations Measuring Atmosphere-Ecosystem Interactions) integrated land-atmosphere observation system (Hari et al. 2009). A suite of stations have been selected for the Preliminary Phase of PEEX Observation network. These Preliminary Phase stations includes the SMEAR-type stations in Finland (SMEAR-I-II-II-IV stations), in Estonia (SMEAR-Järviselja) and in China (SMEAR-Nanjing) and selected stations in Russia and ecosystem station network in China. PEEX observation network will fill in the current observational gap in the Siberian region and bring the Siberian observation setup into international context with the with standardized or

  6. Functional evaluations in the monitoring of the river ecosystem processes: the Adige River as a case stu.

    PubMed

    Braioni, M G; Salmoiraghi, G; Bracco, F; Villani, M; Braioni, A; Girelli, L

    2002-03-12

    A model of analysis and environmental evaluation was applied to 11 stretches of the Adige River, where an innovative procedure was carried out to interpret ecological results. Within each stretch, the most suitable methods were used to assess the quality and processes of flood plains, banks, water column, bed, and interstitial environment. Indices were applied to evaluate the wild state and ecological quality of the banks (wild state index, buffer strip index) and the landscape quality of wide areas of the fluvial corridor (environmental landscape index). The biotic components (i.e., macrozoobenthos, phytoplankton and zooplankton, interstitial hyporheic fauna, vegetation in the riparian areas) were analysed by both quantitative and functional methods (as productivity, litter--processing and colonisation). The results achieved were then translated into five classes of functional evaluation. These qualitative assessments have thus preserved a high level of precision and sensitivity in quantifying both the quality of the environmental conditions and the integrity of the ecosystem processes. Read together with urban planning data, they indicate what actions are needed to restore and rehabilitate the Adige River corridor. PMID:12805992

  7. The natural history of Enewetak Atoll: Volume 1, The ecosystem: Environments, biotas, and processes

    SciTech Connect

    Devaney, D.M.; Reese, E.S.; Burch, B.L.; Helfrich, P.

    1987-01-01

    The two volumes of The Natural History of Enewetak Atoll summarize research done at the Mid-Pacific Research Laboratory from 1954 to 1984 under the auspices of the Department of Energy. The history of the laboratory and the reasons for its support by the United States Department of Energy are described in Chapter 1 of Volume 1. Volume 1 provides a synthesis of the research carried out under the subject headings of the respective chapters. Certain of the chapters, e.g., those on geology, subtidal and intertidal environments and ecology, and those on reef processes and trophic relationships, summarize a great diversity of research carried out by many scientists for many years. In contrast, the chapters on meteorology and oceanography summarize research carried out under one integrated program involving fewer scientists working over a shorter period. Individual chapters are processed separately for the data base.

  8. Tree species and functional traits but not species richness affect interrill erosion processes in young subtropical forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seitz, S.; Goebes, P.; Song, Z.; Bruelheide, H.; Härdtle, W.; Kühn, P.; Li, Y.; Scholten, T.

    2016-01-01

    Soil erosion is seriously threatening ecosystem functioning in many parts of the world. In this context, it is assumed that tree species richness and functional diversity of tree communities can play a critical role in improving ecosystem services such as erosion control. An experiment with 170 micro-scale run-off plots was conducted to investigate the influence of tree species and tree species richness as well as functional traits on interrill erosion in a young forest ecosystem. An interrill erosion rate of 47.5 Mg ha-1 a-1 was calculated. This study provided evidence that different tree species affect interrill erosion differently, while tree species richness did not affect interrill erosion in young forest stands. Thus, different tree morphologies have to be considered, when assessing soil erosion under forest. High crown cover and leaf area index reduced interrill erosion in initial forest ecosystems, whereas rising tree height increased it. Even if a leaf litter cover was not present, the remaining soil surface cover by stones and biological soil crusts was the most important driver for soil erosion control. Furthermore, soil organic matter had a decreasing influence on interrill erosion. Long-term monitoring of soil erosion under closing tree canopies is necessary, and a wide range of functional tree traits should be considered in future research.

  9. Biogeochemical hotspots within forested landscapes: quantifying the functional role of vernal pools in ecosystem processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Capps, K. A.; Rancatti, R.; Calhoun, A.; Hunter, M.

    2013-12-01

    Biogeochemical hotspots are characterized as small areas within a landscape matrix that show comparably high chemical reaction rates relative to surrounding areas. For small, natural features to generate biogeochemical hotspots within a landscape, their contribution to nutrient dynamics must be significant relative to nutrient demand of the surrounding landscape. In northeastern forests in the US, vernal pools are abundant, small features that typically fill in spring with snow melt and precipitation and dry by the end of the summer. Ephemeral flooding alters soil moisture and the depth of the oxic/anoxic boundary in the soil, which may affect leaf-litter decomposition rates and nutrient dynamics including denitrification. Additionally, pool-breeding organisms may influence nutrient dynamics via consumer-driven nutrient remineralization. We studied the effects of vernal pools on rates of leaf-litter decomposition and denitrification in forested habitats in Maine. Our results indicate leaf-litter decomposition and denitrification rates in submerged habitats of vernal pools were greater than in upland forest habitat. Our data also suggest pool-breeding organisms, such as wood frogs, may play an important role in nutrient dynamics within vernal pools. Together, the results suggest vernal pools may function as biogeochemical hotspots within forested landscapes.

  10. "Responses of Soil Microorganisms and Microbial Mediated Processes During Succession to Elevated CO2 in Mediterranean-Type Ecosystems".

    SciTech Connect

    Dr. Michael Allen

    2000-11-27

    Summary Hypothesis 1. Mycorrhizal fungal types, diversity and activity will increase under elevated CO2. Generally activity increased and composition changed. No change in types was observed. It is important to note that overall nutrient cycling was affected by elevated CO2, largely by increasing turnover, not standing crop. These changes were not apparent at any one sampling date, but could only be determined over the longer course of the experiment. Hypothesis 2. Mycorrhizal fungal types, diversity and activity will decrease under NOx addition. Mycorrhizae showed no change in the % infection of mycorrhizae. However, the species composition changed and the relative form of N predominating changed, as increasing N turnover was apparent. Hypothesis 3. Mycorrhizal fungal types, diversity and activity will decline precipitously under elevated CO2 coupled with NOx additions. There are no CO2 X NOx field study facilities in our region. However, we undertook some small-scale plot fertilization studies. At the Michigan open-topped chambers, and in growth chamber studies we found that added N plus CO2 increased the allocation of C to the bacterial food web causing more rapid nutrient cycling and fewer mycorrhizae. Preliminary results indicate that the NO3 fertilization overwhelmed any CO2 effect and no significant interactions were found. We will re-evaluate how to undertake these studies. Hypothesis 4. Mycorrhizal fungal types, diversity and activity will decline under El Nino years and during La Nina years compared with more ?normal? years. Mycorrhizal activity was dramatically affected by precipitation. During wet, El Nino years, EM predominated with a shift to AM during dry, La Nina years. The total amount of fungal hyphae was higher during wetter years. These data suggest that understanding mycorrhizae by climate/CO2/ NOx interactions will be crucial in determining the patterns and rates of nutrient and carbon dynamics in ecosystems.

  11. Modelling carbon responses of tundra ecosystems to historical and projected climate: A comparison of a plot- and a global-scale ecosystem model to identify process-based uncertainties

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clein, J.S.; Kwiatkowski, B.L.; McGuire, A.D.; Hobbie, J.E.; Rastetter, E.B.; Melillo, J.M.; Kicklighter, D.W.

    2000-01-01

    We are developing a process-based modelling approach to investigate how carbon (C) storage of tundra across the entire Arctic will respond to projected climate change. To implement the approach, the processes that are least understood, and thus have the most uncertainty, need to be identified and studied. In this paper, we identified a key uncertainty by comparing the responses of C storage in tussock tundra at one site between the simulations of two models - one a global-scale ecosystem model (Terrestrial Ecosystem Model, TEM) and one a plot-scale ecosystem model (General Ecosystem Model, GEM). The simulations spanned the historical period (1921-94) and the projected period (1995-2100). In the historical period, the model simulations of net primary production (NPP) differed in their sensitivity to variability in climate. However, the long-term changes in C storage were similar in both simulations, because the dynamics of heterotrophic respiration (RH) were similar in both models. In contrast, the responses of C storage in the two model simulations diverged during the projected period. In the GEM simulation for this period, increases in RH tracked increases in NPP, whereas in the TEM simulation increases in RH lagged increases in NPP. We were able to make the long-term C dynamics of the two simulations agree by parameterizing TEM to the fast soil C pools of GEM. We concluded that the differences between the long-term C dynamics of the two simulations lay in modelling the role of the recalcitrant soil C. These differences, which reflect an incomplete understanding of soil processes, lead to quite different projections of the response of pan-Arctic C storage to global change. For example, the reference parameterization of TEM resulted in an estimate of cumulative C storage of 2032 g C m-2 for moist tundra north of 50??N, which was substantially higher than the 463 g C m-2 estimated for a parameterization of fast soil C dynamics. This uncertainty in the depiction of

  12. Overview of processes affecting contaminant release from confined disposal facilities. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Martin, J.L.; McCutcheon, S.C.

    1992-01-01

    Confined disposal facilities (CDFs) are widely used for the disposal of dredged material from Corps of Engineers maintenance dredging projects along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts and waterways and harbors in the Great Lakes. CDFs are a less common disposal alternative along the Pacific coast and inland river systems. When contaminated dredged material is placed in the CDF, there is a potential for contaminant mobilization and release from the CDF by a variety of physical, chemical, and biological processes. This report provides an overview of the processes affecting mobilization and release of contaminants from CDFs and the potential applicability of multimedia models for prediction of contaminant release. Processes affecting release from in-water CDFs are emphasized, although many of the processes discussed are applicable to nearshore and upland CDFs. Processes affecting contaminant release are complex, involving a variety of chemicals and operational and design considerations. Many of the important processes are reasonably well known. Laboratory column settling and elutriate techniques have been developed to estimate solids and contaminant concentration in water directly released during hydraulic disposal operations. Predictive techniques for other processes are not as available.

  13. Columbia River Estuary Ecosystem Classification Ecosystem Complex

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cannon, Charles M.; Ramirez, Mary F.; Heatwole, Danelle W.; Burke, Jennifer L.; Simenstad, Charles A.; O'Connor, Jim E.; Marcoe, Keith Marcoe

    2012-01-01

    Estuarine ecosystems are controlled by a variety of processes that operate at multiple spatial and temporal scales. Understanding the hierarchical nature of these processes will aid in prioritization of restoration efforts. This hierarchical Columbia River Estuary Ecosystem Classification (henceforth "Classification") of the Columbia River estuary is a spatial database of the tidally-influenced reaches of the lower Columbia River, the tidally affected parts of its tributaries, and the landforms that make up their floodplains for the 230 kilometers between the Pacific Ocean and Bonneville Dam. This work is a collaborative effort between University of Washington School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences (henceforth "UW"), U.S. Geological Survey (henceforth "USGS"), and the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership (henceforth "EP"). Consideration of geomorphologic processes will improve the understanding of controlling physical factors that drive ecosystem evolution along the tidal Columbia River. The Classification is organized around six hierarchical levels, progressing from the coarsest, regional scale to the finest, localized scale: (1) Ecosystem Province; (2) Ecoregion; (3) Hydrogeomorphic Reach; (4) Ecosystem Complex; (5) Geomorphic Catena; and (6) Primary Cover Class. For Levels 4 and 5, we mapped landforms within the Holocene floodplain primarily by visual interpretation of Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) topography supplemented with aerial photographs, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) soils data, and historical maps. Mapped landforms are classified as to their current geomorphic function, the inferred process regime that formed them, and anthropogenic modification. Channels were classified primarily by a set of depth-based rules and geometric relationships. Classification Level 5 floodplain landforms ("geomorphic catenae") were further classified based on multivariate analysis of land-cover within the mapped landform area and attributed as "sub

  14. [A field study of the effects of elevated CO2 concentration on physiology an ecosystem processes in Chesapeake Bay Wetland]. [Annual] progress report, 1989--1990

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1990-12-31

    Research during 1988--1989 focused on several new aspects of the response of the salt marsh ecosystem to elevated CO{sub 2} of the effect of CO{sub 2} on biomass production into above and belowground tissues, nitrogen content, light response of photosynthesis of single leaves, leaf water potential and carbon dioxide and water vapor exchange between the plant canopy and the ambient air. Result from the work in 87 and 88 had shown that the C{sub 3} plant, Scirpus olneyi, responded vigorously to elevated CO{sub 2} but the two C{sub 4} species, Spartina patens and Distichlis spicata did not. The responses of photosynthesis were also reflected in the canopy and ecosystem processes: Carbon accumulated in the C{sub 3} community into belowground tissues but not in the C{sub 4} community suggesting that the main factor in the ecosystem responses would be photosynthesis and that the environmental controls on this process would determine the long-term ecosystem responses to rising CO{sub 2}. The main question at the outset of this project was: How much more carbon will be accumulated in the salt marsh ecosystem in a high CO{sub 2} atmosphere than is being accumulated under present CO{sub 2} concentration? This experiment has raised the possibility that rising CO{sub 2} will make the salt marsh ecosystem a bigger sink for carbon than we have previously thought it to be. By extrapolation, this finding suggests that other, terrestrial ecosystems may also become larger sinks for carbon.

  15. The cocoa bean fermentation process: from ecosystem analysis to starter culture development.

    PubMed

    De Vuyst, L; Weckx, S

    2016-07-01

    Cocoa bean fermentation is still a spontaneous curing process to facilitate drying of nongerminating cocoa beans by pulp removal as well as to stimulate colour and flavour development of fermented dry cocoa beans. As it is carried out on farm, cocoa bean fermentation is subjected to various agricultural and operational practices and hence fermented dry cocoa beans of variable quality are obtained. Spontaneous cocoa bean fermentations carried out with care for approximate four days are characterized by a succession of particular microbial activities of three groups of micro-organisms, namely yeasts, lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and acetic acid bacteria (AAB), which results in well-fermented fully brown cocoa beans. This has been shown through a plethora of studies, often using a multiphasic experimental approach. Selected strains of several of the prevailing microbial species have been tested in appropriate cocoa pulp simulation media to unravel their functional roles and interactions as well as in small plastic vessels containing fresh cocoa pulp-bean mass to evaluate their capacity to dominate the cocoa bean fermentation process. Various starter cultures have been proposed for successful fermentation, encompassing both cocoa-derived and cocoa nonspecific strains of (hybrid) yeasts, LAB and AAB, some of which have been implemented on farms successfully. PMID:26743883

  16. Product-to-parent reversion processes: Stream-hyporheic spiraling increases ecosystem exposure and environmental persistence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ward, A. S.; Cwiertny, D. M.; Kolodziej, E. P.

    2014-12-01

    The product-to-parent reversion of metabolites of trenbolone acetate (TBA), a steroidal growth promoter used widely in beef cattle production, was recently observed to occur in environmental waters. The rapid forward reaction is by direct photolysis (i.e., photohydration), with the much slower reversion reaction occurring via dehydration in the dark. The objective of this study is to quantify the potential effect of this newly discovered reversible process on TBA metabolite concentrations and total bioactivity exposure in fluvial systems. Here, we demonstrate increased persistence of TBA metabolites in the stream and hyporheic zone due to the reversion process, increasing chronic and acute exposure to these endocrine-active compounds along a stream. The perpetually dark hyporheic zone is a key location for reversion in the system, ultimately providing a source of the parent compound to the stream and increasing mean in-stream concentration of 17α-trenbolone (17α-TBOH) by 40% of the input concentration under representative fluvial conditions. As such, regulatory frameworks for compounds undergoing product-to-parent reversion will require new approaches for assessing total exposure to bioactive compounds. Further, we demonstrate generalized cases for prediction of exposure for species with product-to-parent reversion in stream-hyporheic systems.

  17. The sound of emotions-Towards a unifying neural network perspective of affective sound processing.

    PubMed

    Frühholz, Sascha; Trost, Wiebke; Kotz, Sonja A

    2016-09-01

    Affective sounds are an integral part of the natural and social environment that shape and influence behavior across a multitude of species. In human primates, these affective sounds span a repertoire of environmental and human sounds when we vocalize or produce music. In terms of neural processing, cortical and subcortical brain areas constitute a distributed network that supports our listening experience to these affective sounds. Taking an exhaustive cross-domain view, we accordingly suggest a common neural network that facilitates the decoding of the emotional meaning from a wide source of sounds rather than a traditional view that postulates distinct neural systems for specific affective sound types. This new integrative neural network view unifies the decoding of affective valence in sounds, and ascribes differential as well as complementary functional roles to specific nodes within a common neural network. It also highlights the importance of an extended brain network beyond the central limbic and auditory brain systems engaged in the processing of affective sounds. PMID:27189782

  18. Linkages Between Biotic and Abiotic Belowground Processes in a Mojave Desert Ecosystem: Responses to Experimental Nitrogen and Water Additions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Verburg, P. S.; Marion, G. M.; Young, A. C.; Glanzmann, I.; Stevenson, B.; Arnone, J. A.; Nowak, R. S.

    2007-05-01

    Fine roots play a critical role in nutrient acquisition and water uptake. Yet it is unclear how fine roots in arid environments respond to increased nitrogen deposition and rainfall, two important global change factors in arid lands in the southwestern United States. In addition it is unclear how changes in root activity may impact soil CO2 concentrations, an important parameter affecting carbonate dynamics. We measured fine root length density (RLD) and soil CO2 concentrations for two years in experimentally manipulated plots in a Mojave Desert ecosystem. The study was conducted at the Mojave Global Change Facility located at the Nevada Test Site 60 miles northwest of Las Vegas. The treatments included: 1) three 25 mm water additions during the summer, 2) one nitrogen addition in the fall equivalent to 40 kg per hectare per year, 3) a combined water and nitrogen addition and, 4) untreated controls. Root data were collected using minirhizotron imaging approximately every 90 days underneath shrubs and intershrub areas. Soil CO2 concentrations were collected at the same sampling times and locations at 10, 40 and 90 cm depth using gas wells. The RLD showed clear seasonal patterns with the fastest increase in RLD occurring between February and April. During the winter the increase in RLD was higher underneath shrubs than in intershrub areas but during the summer months increases in RLD were similar under shrubs and in intershrub areas. Water additions slightly increased root mortality during the summer but this increase in mortality was not large enough to cause consistent differences in RLD between control and irrigated plots. Nitrogen addition had no effect on root dynamics in any of the plots. In contrast to RLD, irrigation consistently increased soil CO2 concentrations at all depths during the summer even when roots were not actively growing anymore. We speculate that the increased mortality under irrigation causes increased heterotrophic respiration which may

  19. How orthographic transparency affects morphological processing in young readers with and without reading disability.

    PubMed

    Lázaro, Miguel; García, Laura; Burani, Cristina

    2015-10-01

    This study investigates how orthographic modifications to the stems of complex words affect morphological processing in proficient young Spanish readers and children with reading deficits. In a definition task all children, irrespective of their reading skill, were worse at defining derived words that had an orthographic alteration of the base stem than words with no orthographic alteration. In a go/no-go lexical decision task, an interaction between base frequency and orthographic alteration was found: base frequency affected derived words with no orthographic alteration more than words with alterations, irrespective of reading skill. Overall, results show that all children benefit from a high frequency base, skilled children outperform children with reading deficits and morphological processing is affected by orthographic alterations similarly in proficient and impaired readers. PMID:25899060

  20. Abnormal, affect-specific modulatory effects on early auditory processing in schizophrenia: magnetoencephalographic evidence.

    PubMed

    Junghöfer, Markus; Bröckelmann, Ann-Kathrin; Küppers, Kerstin; Ohrmann, Patricia; Pedersen, Anya

    2015-02-01

    Abnormalities in the perception and identification of emotions have frequently been reported in schizophrenia. Hemodynamic neuroimaging studies found functional abnormalities in cortical and subcortical brain circuits that are involved in normal affective processing, but the temporal dynamics of abnormal emotion processing in schizophrenia remain largely elusive. To investigate this issue, we recorded early auditory evoked field components by means of whole-head magnetoencephalography that were in response to emotion-associated tones in seventeen patients with schizophrenia and in seventeen healthy, matched controls. Forty-two click-like tones (conditioned stimuli; CS) acquired differential emotional meaning through an affective associative learning procedure by pairing each CS three times with either pleasant, unpleasant or neutral auditory scenes. As expected, differential affect-specific modulation in patients vs. controls was evident, starting at the auditory N1m onset latency of approximately 70ms, extending to 230ms. While controls showed the expected enhanced processing of emotion associated CS, patients revealed an inverted pattern with reduced processing of arousal, when compared to neutral stimuli, in the right prefrontal cortex. The present finding suggests impairments in the prioritization of emotionally salient vs. non-salient stimuli in patients with schizophrenia. Dysfunction in higher cognitive processes and behavior in schizophrenia may therefore reflect dysfunction in fundamental, early emotion processing stages. PMID:25497223

  1. Social Information Processing in Children: Specific Relations to Anxiety, Depression, and Affect

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Luebbe, Aaron M.; Bell, Debora J.; Allwood, Maureen A.; Swenson, Lance P.; Early, Martha C.

    2010-01-01

    Two studies examined shared and unique relations of social information processing (SIP) to youth's anxious and depressive symptoms. Whether SIP added unique variance over and above trait affect in predicting internalizing symptoms was also examined. In Study 1, 215 youth (ages 8-13) completed symptom measures of anxiety and depression and a…

  2. Interaction between Task Oriented and Affective Information Processing in Cognitive Robotics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haazebroek, Pascal; van Dantzig, Saskia; Hommel, Bernhard

    There is an increasing interest in endowing robots with emotions. Robot control however is still often very task oriented. We present a cognitive architecture that allows the combination of and interaction between task representations and affective information processing. Our model is validated by comparing simulation results with empirical data from experimental psychology.

  3. Automatic Processing of Emotional Faces in High-Functioning Pervasive Developmental Disorders: An Affective Priming Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kamio, Yoko; Wolf, Julie; Fein, Deborah

    2006-01-01

    This study examined automatic processing of emotional faces in individuals with high-functioning Pervasive Developmental Disorders (HFPDD) using an affective priming paradigm. Sixteen participants (HFPDD and matched controls) were presented with happy faces, fearful faces or objects in both subliminal and supraliminal exposure conditions, followed…

  4. Facial Affect Processing and Depression Susceptibility: Cognitive Biases and Cognitive Neuroscience

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bistricky, Steven L.; Ingram, Rick E.; Atchley, Ruth Ann

    2011-01-01

    Facial affect processing is essential to social development and functioning and is particularly relevant to models of depression. Although cognitive and interpersonal theories have long described different pathways to depression, cognitive-interpersonal and evolutionary social risk models of depression focus on the interrelation of interpersonal…

  5. Approaching the Affective Factors of Information Seeking: The Viewpoint of the Information Search Process Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Savolainen, Reijo

    2015-01-01

    Introduction: The article contributes to the conceptual studies of affective factors in information seeking by examining Kuhlthau's information search process model. Method: This random-digit dial telephone survey of 253 people (75% female) living in a rural, medically under-serviced area of Ontario, Canada, follows-up a previous interview study…

  6. Processes affecting the transport of nitrogen in groundwater and factors related to slope position

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Nitrate (NO3-) pollution of water resources has been a major problem for years, causing contaminated water supplies, harmful effects on human health, and widespread eutrophication of fresh water resources. The main objectives of this study were to: 1) understand the processes affecting NO3- transpor...

  7. Factors Affecting Christian Parents' School Choice Decision Processes: A Grounded Theory Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Prichard, Tami G.; Swezey, James A.

    2016-01-01

    This study identifies factors affecting the decision processes for school choice by Christian parents. Grounded theory design incorporated interview transcripts, field notes, and a reflective journal to analyze themes. Comparative analysis, including open, axial, and selective coding, was used to reduce the coded statements to five code families:…

  8. Atypical Sensory Processing in Adolescents with an Autism Spectrum Disorder and Their Non-Affected Siblings

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    De la Marche, Wouter; Steyaert, Jean; Noens, Ilse

    2012-01-01

    Atypical sensory processing is common in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Specific profiles have been proposed in different age groups, but no study has focused specifically on adolescents. Identifying traits of ASD that are shared by individuals with ASD and their non-affected family members can shed light on the genetic underpinnings of ASD.…

  9. Transactional Distance among Open University Students: How Does it Affect the Learning Process?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kassandrinou, Amanda; Angelaki, Christina; Mavroidis, Ilias

    2014-01-01

    This study examines the presence of transactional distance among students, the factors affecting it, as well as the way it influences the learning process of students in a blended distance learning setting in Greece. The present study involved 12 postgraduate students of the Hellenic Open University (HOU). A qualitative research was conducted,…

  10. Mechanisms maintaining grassland biodiversity and ecosystem stability

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ecologists need to know how particular processes influence biodiversity and ecosystem stability. We demonstrate how data from biodiversity-ecosystem functioning experiments can be used to identify and quantify the classes of mechanisms maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem stability. We predicted...

  11. Carbon isotope fractionation reveals distinct process of CH4 emission from different compartments of paddy ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Guangbin; Yu, Haiyang; Fan, Xianfang; Ma, Jing; Xu, Hua

    2016-01-01

    Carbon isotopic fractionations in the processes of CH4 emission from paddy field remain poorly understood. The δ13C-values of CH4 in association with production, oxidation and transport of CH4 in different pools of a paddy field were determined, and the stable carbon isotope fractionations were calibrated to assess relative contribution of acetate to CH4 production (fac) and fraction of CH4 oxidized (fox) by different pathways. The apparent isotope fractionation for CO2 conversion to CH4 (αapp) was 1.041–1.056 in the soil and 1.046–1.080 on the roots, indicating that fac was 10–60% and 0–50%, respectively. Isotope fractionation associated with CH4 oxidation (αox) was 1.021 ± 0.007 in the soil and 1.013 ± 0.005 on the roots, and the transport fractionation (εtransport) by rice plants was estimated to be −16.7‰ ~ −11.1‰. Rhizospheric fox was about 30–100%, and it was more important at the beginning but decreased fast towards the end of season. Large value of fox was also observed at the soil-water interface and soil and roots surfaces, respectively. The results demonstrate that carbon isotopic fractionations which might be different in different conditions were sensitive to the estimations of fac and fox in paddy field. PMID:27251886

  12. Carbon isotope fractionation reveals distinct process of CH4 emission from different compartments of paddy ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Guangbin; Yu, Haiyang; Fan, Xianfang; Ma, Jing; Xu, Hua

    2016-01-01

    Carbon isotopic fractionations in the processes of CH4 emission from paddy field remain poorly understood. The δ(13)C-values of CH4 in association with production, oxidation and transport of CH4 in different pools of a paddy field were determined, and the stable carbon isotope fractionations were calibrated to assess relative contribution of acetate to CH4 production (fac) and fraction of CH4 oxidized (fox) by different pathways. The apparent isotope fractionation for CO2 conversion to CH4 (αapp) was 1.041-1.056 in the soil and 1.046-1.080 on the roots, indicating that fac was 10-60% and 0-50%, respectively. Isotope fractionation associated with CH4 oxidation (αox) was 1.021 ± 0.007 in the soil and 1.013 ± 0.005 on the roots, and the transport fractionation (εtransport) by rice plants was estimated to be -16.7‰ ~ -11.1‰. Rhizospheric fox was about 30-100%, and it was more important at the beginning but decreased fast towards the end of season. Large value of fox was also observed at the soil-water interface and soil and roots surfaces, respectively. The results demonstrate that carbon isotopic fractionations which might be different in different conditions were sensitive to the estimations of fac and fox in paddy field. PMID:27251886

  13. Carbon isotope fractionation reveals distinct process of CH4 emission from different compartments of paddy ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Guangbin; Yu, Haiyang; Fan, Xianfang; Ma, Jing; Xu, Hua

    2016-06-01

    Carbon isotopic fractionations in the processes of CH4 emission from paddy field remain poorly understood. The δ13C-values of CH4 in association with production, oxidation and transport of CH4 in different pools of a paddy field were determined, and the stable carbon isotope fractionations were calibrated to assess relative contribution of acetate to CH4 production (fac) and fraction of CH4 oxidized (fox) by different pathways. The apparent isotope fractionation for CO2 conversion to CH4 (αapp) was 1.041–1.056 in the soil and 1.046–1.080 on the roots, indicating that fac was 10–60% and 0–50%, respectively. Isotope fractionation associated with CH4 oxidation (αox) was 1.021 ± 0.007 in the soil and 1.013 ± 0.005 on the roots, and the transport fractionation (εtransport) by rice plants was estimated to be ‑16.7‰ ~ ‑11.1‰. Rhizospheric fox was about 30–100%, and it was more important at the beginning but decreased fast towards the end of season. Large value of fox was also observed at the soil-water interface and soil and roots surfaces, respectively. The results demonstrate that carbon isotopic fractionations which might be different in different conditions were sensitive to the estimations of fac and fox in paddy field.

  14. Seasonal and spatial variation in soil chemistry and anaerobic processes in an Arctic ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lipson, D.; Mauritz, M.; Bozzolo, F.; Raab, T. K.; Santos, M. J.; Friedman, E. F.; Rosenbaum, M.; Angenent, L.

    2009-12-01

    Drained thaw lake basins (DTLB) are the dominant landform in the Arctic coastal plain near Barrow, Alaska. Our previous work in a DTLB showed that Fe(III) and humic substances are important electron acceptors in anaerobic respiration, and play a significant role in the C cycle of these organic-rich soils. In the current study, we investigated seasonal and spatial patterns of availability of electron acceptors and labile substrate, redox conditions and microbial activity. Landscapes within DTLB contain complex, fine-scale topography arising from ice wedge polygons, which produce raised and lowered areas. One goal of our study was to determine the effects of microtopographic variation on the potential for Fe(III) reduction and other anaerobic processes. Additionally, the soil in the study site has a complex vertical structure, with an organic peat layer overlying a mineral layer, overlying permafrost. We described variations in soil chemistry across depth profiles into the permafrost. Finally, we installed an integrated electrode/potentiostat system to electrochemically monitor microbial activity in the soil. Topographically low areas differed from high areas in most of the measured variables: low areas had lower oxidation-reduction potential, higher pH and electrical conductivity. Soil pore water from low areas had higher concentrations of Fe(III), Fe(II), dissolved organic C (DOC), and aromaticity (UV absorbance at 260nm, “A260”). Low areas also had higher concentrations of dissolve CO2 and CH4 in soil pore water. Laboratory incubations of soil showed a trend toward higher potentials for Fe(III) reduction in topographically low areas. Clearly, ice wedge-induced microtopography exerts a strong control on microbial processes in this DTLB landscape, with increased anaerobic activity occurring in the wetter, depressed areas. Soil water extracted from 5-15 cm depth had higher concentrations of Fe(III), Fe(II), A260, and DOC compared to soil water sampled from 0-5cm

  15. Ecosystem characteristics and processes facilitating persistent macrobenthic biomass hotspots and associated benthivory in the Pacific Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grebmeier, Jacqueline M.; Bluhm, Bodil A.; Cooper, Lee W.; Danielson, Seth L.; Arrigo, Kevin R.; Blanchard, Arny L.; Clarke, Janet T.; Day, Robert H.; Frey, Karen E.; Gradinger, Rolf R.; Kędra, Monika; Konar, Brenda; Kuletz, Kathy J.; Lee, Sang H.; Lovvorn, James R.; Norcross, Brenda L.; Okkonen, Stephen R.

    2015-08-01

    The northern Bering and Chukchi Seas are areas in the Pacific Arctic characterized by high northward advection of Pacific Ocean water, with seasonal variability in sea ice cover, water mass characteristics, and benthic processes. In this review, we evaluate the biological and environmental factors that support communities of benthic prey on the continental shelves, with a focus on four macrofaunal biomass "hotspots." For the purpose of this study, we define hotspots as macrofaunal benthic communities with high biomass that support a corresponding ecological guild of benthivorous seabird and marine mammal populations. These four benthic hotspots are regions within the influence of the St. Lawrence Island Polynya (SLIP), the Chirikov Basin between St. Lawrence Island and Bering Strait (Chirikov), north of Bering Strait in the southeast Chukchi Sea (SECS), and in the northeast Chukchi Sea (NECS). Detailed benthic macrofaunal sampling indicates that these hotspot regions have been persistent over four decades of sampling due to annual reoccurrence of seasonally consistent, moderate-to-high water column production with significant export of carbon to the underlying sediments. We also evaluate the usage of the four benthic hotspot regions by benthic prey consumers to illuminate predator-prey connectivity. In the SLIP hotspot, spectacled eiders and walruses are important winter consumers of infaunal bivalves and polychaetes, along with epibenthic gastropods and crabs. In the Chirikov hotspot, gray whales have historically been the largest summer consumers of benthic macrofauna, primarily feeding on ampeliscid amphipods in the summer, but they are also foraging further northward in the SECS and NECS hotspots. Areas of concentrated walrus foraging occur in the SLIP hotspot in winter and early spring, the NECS hotspot in summer, and the SECS hotspot in fall. Bottom up forcing by hydrography and food supply to the benthos influences persistence and composition of benthic prey

  16. Prepare for scare-Impact of threat predictability on affective visual processing in spider phobia.

    PubMed

    Klahn, Anna Luisa; Klinkenberg, Isabelle A G; Notzon, Swantje; Arolt, Volker; Pantev, Christo; Zwanzger, Peter; Junghöfer, Markus

    2016-07-01

    The visual processing of emotional faces is influenced by individual's level of stress and anxiety. Valence unspecific affective processing is expected to be influenced by predictability of threat. Using a design of phasic fear (predictable threat), sustained anxiety (unpredictable threat) and safety (no threat), we investigated the magnetoencephalographic correlates and temporal dynamics of emotional face processing in a sample of phobic patients. Compared to non-anxious controls, phobic individuals revealed decreased parietal emotional attention processes during affective processing at mid-latency and late processing stages. While control subjects showed increasing parietal processing of the facial stimuli in line with decreasing threat predictability, phobic subjects revealed the opposite pattern. Decreasing threat predictability also led to increasing neural activity in the orbitofrontal and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex at mid-latency stages. Additionally, unpredictability of threat lead to higher subjective discomfort compared to predictability of threat and no threat safety condition. Our findings indicate that visual processing of emotional information is influenced by both stress induction and pathologic anxiety. PMID:27036648

  17. Ecosystem Jenga!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Umphlett, Natalie; Brosius, Tierney; Laungani, Ramesh; Rousseau, Joe; Leslie-Pelecky, Diandra L.

    2009-01-01

    To give students a tangible model of an ecosystem and have them experience what could happen if a component of that ecosystem were removed; the authors developed a hands-on, inquiry-based activity that visually demonstrates the concept of a delicately balanced ecosystem through a modification of the popular game Jenga. This activity can be…

  18. Ecosystem Journalism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robertson, Amy; Mahlin, Kathryn

    2005-01-01

    If the organisms in a prairie ecosystem created a newspaper, what would it look like? What important news topics of the ecosystem would the organisms want to discuss? Imaginative and enthusiastic third-grade students were busy pondering these questions as they tried their hands at "ecosystem journalism." The class had recently completed a study of…

  19. Fungal endophyte Phomopsis liquidambari affects nitrogen transformation processes and related microorganisms in the rice rhizosphere.

    PubMed

    Yang, Bo; Wang, Xiao-Mi; Ma, Hai-Yan; Yang, Teng; Jia, Yong; Zhou, Jun; Dai, Chuan-Chao

    2015-01-01

    The endophytic fungus Phomopsis liquidambari performs an important ecosystem service by assisting its host with acquiring soil nitrogen (N), but little is known regarding how this fungus influences soil N nutrient properties and microbial communities. In this study, we investigated the impact of P. liquidambari on N dynamics, the abundance and composition of N cycling genes in rhizosphere soil treated with three levels of N (urea). Ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA), ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and diazotrophs were assayed using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis at four rice growing stages (S0: before planting, S1: tillering stage, S2: grain filling stage, and S3: ripening stage). A significant increase in the available nitrate and ammonium contents was found in the rhizosphere soil of endophyte-infected rice under low N conditions. Moreover, P. liquidambari significantly increased the potential nitrification rates, affected the abundance and community structure of AOA, AOB, and diazotrophs under low N conditions in the S1 and S2 stages. The root exudates were determined due to their important role in rhizosphere interactions. P. liquidambari colonization altered the exudation of organic compounds by rice roots and P. liquidambari increased the concentration of soluble saccharides, total free amino acids and organic acids in root exudates. Plant-soil feedback mechanisms may be mediated by the rice-endophyte interaction, especially in nutrient-limited soil. PMID:26441912

  20. Fungal endophyte Phomopsis liquidambari affects nitrogen transformation processes and related microorganisms in the rice rhizosphere

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Bo; Wang, Xiao-Mi; Ma, Hai-Yan; Yang, Teng; Jia, Yong; Zhou, Jun; Dai, Chuan-Chao

    2015-01-01

    The endophytic fungus Phomopsis liquidambari performs an important ecosystem service by assisting its host with acquiring soil nitrogen (N), but little is known regarding how this fungus influences soil N nutrient properties and microbial communities. In this study, we investigated the impact of P. liquidambari on N dynamics, the abundance and composition of N cycling genes in rhizosphere soil treated with three levels of N (urea). Ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA), ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and diazotrophs were assayed using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis at four rice growing stages (S0: before planting, S1: tillering stage, S2: grain filling stage, and S3: ripening stage). A significant increase in the available nitrate and ammonium contents was found in the rhizosphere soil of endophyte-infected rice under low N conditions. Moreover, P. liquidambari significantly increased the potential nitrification rates, affected the abundance and community structure of AOA, AOB, and diazotrophs under low N conditions in the S1 and S2 stages. The root exudates were determined due to their important role in rhizosphere interactions. P. liquidambari colonization altered the exudation of organic compounds by rice roots and P. liquidambari increased the concentration of soluble saccharides, total free amino acids and organic acids in root exudates. Plant-soil feedback mechanisms may be mediated by the rice-endophyte interaction, especially in nutrient-limited soil. PMID:26441912

  1. Is increasing industrialization affecting remote ecosystem health in the South Americas? Insights from ocean surface water measurements of As, Sb and Pb from a GEOTRACES transect

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weiss, Dominik; Salaun, Pascal; Van den Berg, Stan; Bi, Zaoshun

    2014-05-01

    Continued industrial development of the South Americas with increasing atmospheric emission of toxic trace metals has lead to a growing concern about possible effects on pristine ecosystem health. Concentration measurements of trace metals in ocean surface waters in the North Atlantic have successfully revealed the global extent of atmospheric pollution in the Northern Hemisphere during economical growth in the USA and Europe, suggesting a similar approach can be applied to the Southern Hemisphere. To this end, we determined concentrations of lead (Pb), antimony (Sb) and arsenic (As) using voltammetry in surface water samples of the South Atlantic Ocean collected during the third leg of the GEOTRACES West Atlantic Cruise. These elements are volatile and therefore most likely suitable tracer elements of industrial emissions from South America. The samples were not filtered and the solutions were acidified and UV digested. Total concentrations of Pb were detected. Detected As levels correspond to the sum of inorganic species (AsIII + AsV) plus the mono methyl arsenic acid (MMA) while the dimethyl arsenic acid (DMA) is not detected in such conditions. For Sb, detected levels correspond at least to the sum of inorganic fractions (SbIII + SbV). The measured concentrations for Pb varied from 6 to 23 pM. Concentrations were highest at -35° latitude and lowest at -40° and -50° latitude. We found a decreasing trend from about -35° latitude southwards. The average concentrations of As was 20 nM and of Sb 1.2 nM. Arsenic showed a more significant north to south trend than Sb. Arsenic concentration was highest at -23 ° latitude (21 nM) and the lowest at -43 ° latitude (17.7 nM). Antimony concentration was highest at -31 ° latitude (1.5 nM) and lowest at -35 ° latitude (1.0 nM). Our preliminary data suggests that the major industrial centres in Brazil (i.e., Sao Paolo, Rio de Janeiro) and Argentina (i.e., Buenos Aires) affect atmospheric metal fluxes to remote

  2. Applying Hillslope Hydrology to Bridge between Ecosystem and Grid-Scale Processes within an Earth System Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Subin, Z. M.; Sulman, B. N.; Malyshev, S.; Shevliakova, E.

    2013-12-01

    Soil moisture is a crucial control on surface energy fluxes, vegetation properties, and soil carbon cycling. Its interactions with ecosystem processes are highly nonlinear across a large range, as both drought stress and anoxia can impede vegetation and microbial growth. Earth System Models (ESMs) generally only represent an average soil-moisture state in grid cells at scales of 50-200 km, and as a result are not able to adequately represent the effects of subgrid heterogeneity in soil moisture, especially in regions with large wetland areas. We addressed this deficiency by developing the first ESM-coupled subgrid hillslope-hydrological model, TiHy (Tiled-hillslope Hydrology), embedded within the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) land model. In each grid cell, one or more representative hillslope geometries are discretized into land model tiles along an upland-to-lowland gradient. These geometries represent ~1 km hillslope-scale hydrological features and allow for flexible representation of hillslope profile and plan shapes, in addition to variation of subsurface properties among or within hillslopes. Each tile (which may represent ~100 m along the hillslope) has its own surface fluxes, vegetation state, and vertically-resolved state variables for soil physics and biogeochemistry. Resolution of water state in deep layers (~200 m) down to bedrock allows for physical integration of groundwater transport with unsaturated overlying dynamics. Multiple tiles can also co-exist at the same vertical position along the hillslope, allowing the simulation of ecosystem heterogeneity due to disturbance. The hydrological model is coupled to the vertically-resolved Carbon, Organisms, Respiration, and Protection in the Soil Environment (CORPSE) model, which captures non-linearity resulting from interactions between vertically-heterogeneous soil carbon and water profiles. We present comparisons of simulated water table depth to observations. We examine sensitivities to

  3. Influence of Hydrologic Regime and Biogeochemistry on Sediment Phosphorus Retention and Release Processes in Shallow Freshwater Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kinsman, L. E.; O'Brien, J.; Robbins, S.; Hamilton, S. K.

    2010-12-01

    Phosphorus (P) binding and release in aquatic sediments is controlled by many factors including redox, iron, sulfur, and organic matter, and the relative importance of these varies. In contrast to deeper lakes and marine waters where most sediment-water P exchange studies have been conducted, natural and human-induced water level fluctuations in shallow freshwater wetlands may flood and dry extensive areas of sediment. These hydrologic perturbations may alter sediment P dynamics, most importantly by controlling redox potential at the sediment-water interface. In many P-limited shallow ecosystems, P flux between the sediment and surface water can control rates of aquatic primary production, and enhanced P export can contribute to “internal eutrophication” of water bodies. Working in shallow wetlands of Michigan, we combined laboratory sediment wetting and drying experiments with in-situ ecosystem monitoring to assess the interactive effects of hydrologic variability and sediment biogeochemistry on P retention and release processes. In experimental manipulations, most sediment types (14 out of 16) that were dried and rewetted released more P into surface water than constantly flooded controls. In addition, field observations showed that surface water P may increase by as much as 700% in wetlands that were reflooded after a period of drying due to natural processes (e.g., large precipitation events) and/or human activities (e.g., reflooding wetlands historically drained for agricultural use). However, the magnitude, and sometimes direction, of sediment-surface water P flux in response to hydrologic perturbation is contingent on sediment biogeochemistry. In particular, iron and sulfur play important roles: oxidized iron by binding phosphate, and reduced sulfur (as free hydrogen sulfide) by reacting with iron in sediments and forming insoluble FeS, effectively removing binding sites for phosphate, which is then released to surface water. Because of this reaction

  4. Resolving terrestrial ecosystem processes along a subgrid topographic gradient for an earth-system model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Subin, Z. M.; Milly, P. C. D.; Sulman, B. N.; Malyshev, S.; Shevliakova, E.

    2014-07-01

    capability to represent some of the controls of these hydrological variables, but also that improvement in parameterization and input datasets are needed for more realistic simulations. We found large sensitivity in model-diagnosed wetland and inundated area to the depth of conductive soil and the parameterization of macroporosity. With improved parameterization and inclusion of peatland biogeochemical processes, the model could provide a new approach to investigating the vulnerability of Boreal peatland carbon to climate change in ESMs.

  5. Affective Assessment of a Computer User through the Processing of the Pupil Diameter Signal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Ying; Barreto, Armando; Adjouadi, Malek

    This study proposes to achieve the affective assessment of a computer user through the processing of the pupil diameter (PD) signal. An adaptive interference canceller (AIC) system using the H∞ time-varying (HITV) adaptive algorithm was developed to minimize the impact of the PLR (pupil size changes caused by light intensity variations) on the measured pupil diameter signal. The modified pupil diameter (MPD) signal, obtained from the AIC, was expected to reflect primarily the pupillary affective responses (PAR) of the subject. Additional manipulations of the AIC output resulted in a Processed MPD (PMPD) signal, from which a classification feature, “PMPDmean”, was extracted. This feature was used to train and test a support vector machine (SVM), for the identification of “stress” states in the subject, achieving an accuracy rate of 77.78%. The advantages of affective recognition through the PD signal were verified by comparatively investigating the classification of “stress” and “relaxation” states through features derived from the simultaneously recorded galvanic skin response (GSR) and blood volume pulse (BVP) signals, with and without the PD feature. Encouraging results in affective assessment based on pupil diameter monitoring were obtained in spite of intermittent illumination increases purposely introduced during the experiments. Therefore, these results confirmed the possibility of using PD monitoring to evaluate the evolving affective states of a computer user.

  6. Affective ERP Processing in a Visual Oddball Task: Arousal, Valence, and Gender

    PubMed Central

    Rozenkrants, Bella; Polich, John

    2008-01-01

    Objective To assess affective event-related brain potentials (ERPs) using visual pictures that were highly distinct on arousal level/valence category ratings and a response task. Methods Images from the International Affective Pictures System (IAPS) were selected to obtain distinct affective arousal (low, high) and valence (negative, positive) rating levels. The pictures were used as target stimuli in an oddball paradigm, with a visual pattern as the standard stimulus. Participants were instructed to press a button whenever a picture occurred and to ignore the standard. Task performance and response time did not differ across conditions. Results High-arousal compared to low-arousal stimuli produced larger amplitudes for the N2, P3, early slow wave, and late slow wave components. Valence amplitude effects were weak overall and originated primarily from the later waveform components and interactions with electrode position. Gender differences were negligible. Conclusion The findings suggest that arousal level is the primary determinant of affective oddball processing, and valence minimally influences ERP amplitude. Significance Affective processing engages selective attentional mechanisms that are primarily sensitive to the arousal properties of emotional stimuli. The application and nature of task demands are important considerations for interpreting these effects. PMID:18783987

  7. Facial affect processing deficits in schizophrenia: A meta-analysis of antipsychotic treatment effects

    PubMed Central

    Kempton, Matthew J; Mehta, Mitul A

    2015-01-01

    Social cognition, including emotion processing, is a recognised deficit observed in patients with schizophrenia. It is one cognitive domain which has been emphasised as requiring further investigation, with the efficacy of antipsychotic treatment on this deficit remaining unclear. Nine studies met our criteria for entry into a meta-analysis of the effects of medication on facial affect processing, including data from 1162 patients and six antipsychotics. Overall we found a small, positive effect (Hedge’s g = 0.13, 95% CI 0.05 to 0.21, p = 0.002). In a subgroup analysis this was statistically significant for atypical, but not typical, antipsychotics. It should be noted that the pooled sample size of the typical subgroup was significantly lower than the atypical. Meta-regression analyses revealed that age, gender and changes in symptom severity were not moderating factors. For the small, positive effect on facial affect processing, the clinical significance is questionable in terms of treating deficits in emotion identification in schizophrenia. We show that antipsychotic medications are poor at improving facial affect processing compared to reducing symptoms. This highlights the need for further investigation into the neuropharmacological mechanisms associated with accurate emotion processing, to inform treatment options for these deficits in schizophrenia. PMID:25492885

  8. Future directions of ecosystem science

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Baron, Jill; Galvin, Kathleen A.

    1990-01-01

    Scientific knowledge about ecosystem structure and function has expanded greatly during the past few decades. Terrestrial and aquatic nutrient cycling, ecosystem energetics, population dynamics, belowground processes, and food webs have been studied at the plot, stand, watershed, and landscape levels at many locations around the globe. Ideas about terrestrial-atmospheric interactions and human interference in these processes have changed dramatically. There is new appreciation of the need to incorporate into ecosystem studies the interactions between human populations and the ecosystem, not only because humans affect ecosystem processes, but because these systems support human populations (Glantz 1988, Holden 1988, Parry et al. 1988, WCED 1987). Recent advances in ecosystem science are due, in part, to technological improvements in computing power, new laboratory and field physical and chemical analytical techniques, and satellite imagery for remote sensing of Earth's structure and dynamics. Modeling and geographic information systems have provided the capability for integrating multiple data sets with process simulations to generate hypotheses about regional ecosystem function. Concurrent with these scientific developments has been a growing concern about the links between the health of the environment and world-wide industrial, land, and resource-management practices. Environmental damage at the local level was widely recognized in the 1960s, prompting the environmental movement of that decade. Regional environmental problems with multiple effects and politically difficult solutions have been perceived more recently; the issue of acidic deposition provides an example of such a second-generation concern (Clark and Holling 1985). Today there is a growing awareness of global-scale environmental degradation brought about by the combined actions of all peoples on Earth (Clark 1989, Woodmansee et al. 1988). The three levels of environmental concern--local, regional

  9. Changes in the flux of carbon between plants and soil microorganisms at elevated CO{sub 2}: Physiological processes with ecosystem-level implications. Progress report

    SciTech Connect

    Zak, D.R.; Pregitzer, K.S.

    1994-05-15

    Our ability to interpret ecosystem response to elevated atmospheric CO{sub 2} is contingent on understanding and integrating a complex of physiological and ecological processes. However, we have a limited understanding of the combined effects of changes in plant carbon (C) allocation, microbial activity, and nitrogen (N) dynamics on the long-term response of terrestrial ecosystems to elevated CO{sub 2}. Individually, these factors are potent modifiers of C and N dynamics, and an in depth understanding of their interactions should provide insight into ecosystem-level responses to global climate change. Our research is aimed at quantifying the physiological mechanisms leading to increased fine root production, microbial biomass and rates of N cycling at elevated atmospheric CO{sub 2}. More specifically, we will experimentally manipulate soil nitrogen availability and atmospheric CO{sub 2} to understand how changes in plant resource availability influence the cycling of carbon between plants and soil microorganisms.

  10. Arabidopsis protein arginine methyltransferase 3 is required for ribosome biogenesis by affecting precursor ribosomal RNA processing

    PubMed Central

    Hang, Runlai; Liu, Chunyan; Ahmad, Ayaz; Zhang, Yong; Lu, Falong; Cao, Xiaofeng

    2014-01-01

    Ribosome biogenesis is a fundamental and tightly regulated cellular process, including synthesis, processing, and assembly of rRNAs with ribosomal proteins. Protein arginine methyltransferases (PRMTs) have been implicated in many important biological processes, such as ribosome biogenesis. Two alternative precursor rRNA (pre-rRNA) processing pathways coexist in yeast and mammals; however, how PRMT affects ribosome biogenesis remains largely unknown. Here we show that Arabidopsis PRMT3 (AtPRMT3) is required for ribosome biogenesis by affecting pre-rRNA processing. Disruption of AtPRMT3 results in pleiotropic developmental defects, imbalanced polyribosome profiles, and aberrant pre-rRNA processing. We further identify an alternative pre-rRNA processing pathway in Arabidopsis and demonstrate that AtPRMT3 is required for the balance of these two pathways to promote normal growth and development. Our work uncovers a previously unidentified function of PRMT in posttranscriptional regulation of rRNA, revealing an extra layer of complexity in the regulation of ribosome biogenesis. PMID:25352672

  11. Protein Molecular Structures, Protein SubFractions, and Protein Availability Affected by Heat Processing: A Review

    SciTech Connect

    Yu,P.

    2007-01-01

    The utilization and availability of protein depended on the types of protein and their specific susceptibility to enzymatic hydrolysis (inhibitory activities) in the gastrointestine and was highly associated with protein molecular structures. Studying internal protein structure and protein subfraction profiles leaded to an understanding of the components that make up a whole protein. An understanding of the molecular structure of the whole protein was often vital to understanding its digestive behavior and nutritive value in animals. In this review, recently obtained information on protein molecular structural effects of heat processing was reviewed, in relation to protein characteristics affecting digestive behavior and nutrient utilization and availability. The emphasis of this review was on (1) using the newly advanced synchrotron technology (S-FTIR) as a novel approach to reveal protein molecular chemistry affected by heat processing within intact plant tissues; (2) revealing the effects of heat processing on the profile changes of protein subfractions associated with digestive behaviors and kinetics manipulated by heat processing; (3) prediction of the changes of protein availability and supply after heat processing, using the advanced DVE/OEB and NRC-2001 models, and (4) obtaining information on optimal processing conditions of protein as intestinal protein source to achieve target values for potential high net absorbable protein in the small intestine. The information described in this article may give better insight in the mechanisms involved and the intrinsic protein molecular structural changes occurring upon processing.

  12. Parallel effects of processing fluency and positive affect on familiarity-based recognition decisions for faces

    PubMed Central

    Duke, Devin; Fiacconi, Chris M.; Köhler, Stefan

    2014-01-01

    According to attribution models of familiarity assessment, people can use a heuristic in recognition-memory decisions, in which they attribute the subjective ease of processing of a memory probe to a prior encounter with the stimulus in question. Research in social cognition suggests that experienced positive affect may be the proximal cue that signals fluency in various experimental contexts. In the present study, we compared the effects of positive affect and fluency on recognition-memory judgments for faces with neutral emotional expression. We predicted that if positive affect is indeed the critical cue that signals processing fluency at retrieval, then its manipulation should produce effects that closely mirror those produced by manipulations of processing fluency. In two experiments, we employed a masked-priming procedure in combination with a Remember-Know (RK) paradigm that aimed to separate familiarity- from recollection-based memory decisions. In addition, participants performed a prime-discrimination task that allowed us to take inter-individual differences in prime awareness into account. We found highly similar effects of our priming manipulations of processing fluency and of positive affect. In both cases, the critical effect was specific to familiarity-based recognition responses. Moreover, in both experiments it was reflected in a shift toward a more liberal response bias, rather than in changed discrimination. Finally, in both experiments, the effect was found to be related to prime awareness; it was present only in participants who reported a lack of such awareness on the prime-discrimination task. These findings add to a growing body of evidence that points not only to a role of fluency, but also of positive affect in familiarity assessment. As such they are consistent with the idea that fluency itself may be hedonically marked. PMID:24795678

  13. Use and uncertainty evaluation of a process-based model for assessing the methane budgets of global terrestrial ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ito, A.; Inatomi, M.

    2011-07-01

    We assessed the global terrestrial budget of methane (CH4) using a process-based biogeochemical model (VISIT) and inventory data. Emissions from wetlands, paddy fields, biomass burning, and plants, and oxidative consumption by upland soils, were simulated by the model. Emissions from livestock ruminants and termites were evaluated by an inventory approach. These CH4 flows were estimated for each of the model's 0.5° × 0.5° grid cells from 1901 to 2009, while accounting for atmospheric composition, meteorological factors, and land-use changes. Estimation uncertainties were examined through ensemble simulations using different parameterization schemes and input data (e.g. different wetland maps and emission factors). From 1996 to 2005, the average global terrestrial CH4 budget was estimated on the basis of 576 simulations, and terrestrial ecosystems were found to be a net source of 320.4 ± 18.9 Tg CH4 yr-1. Wetland and ruminant emissions were the primary sources. The results of our simulations indicate that sources and sinks are distributed highly heterogeneously over the Earth's land surface. Seasonal and interannual variability in the terrestrial budget was assessed. The trend of increasing net terrestrial sources and its relationship with temperature variability imply that terrestrial CH4 feedbacks will play an increasingly important role as a result of future climatic change.

  14. Spatial distribution of juvenile and adult female Tanner crabs (Chionoecetes bairdi) in a glacial fjord ecosystem: Implications for recruitment processes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nielsen, J.K.; Taggart, S.J.; Shirley, T.C.; Mondragon, J.

    2007-01-01

    A systematic pot survey in Glacier Bay, Alaska, was conducted to characterize the spatial distribution of juvenile and adult female Tanner crabs, and their association with depth and temperature. The information was used to infer important recruitment processes for Tanner crabs in glaciated ecosystems. High-catch areas for juvenile and adult female Tanner crabs were identified using local autocorrelation statistics. Spatial segregation by size class corresponded to features in the glacial landscape: high-catch areas for juveniles were located at the distal ends of two narrow glacial fjords, and high-catch areas for adults were located in the open waters of the central Bay. Juvenile female Tanner crabs were found at nearly all sampled depths (15-439 m) and temperatures (4-8??C), but the biggest catches were at depths <150 m where adults were scarce. Because adults may prey on or compete with juveniles, the distribution of juveniles could be influenced by the distribution of adults. Areas where adults or predators are scarce, such as glacially influenced fjords, could serve as refuges for juvenile Tanner crabs. ?? 2007 International Council for the Exploration of the Sea. Published by Oxford Journals. All rights reserved.

  15. Climate-induced changes in bottom-up and top-down processes independently alter a marine ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Jochum, Malte; Schneider, Florian D; Crowe, Tasman P; Brose, Ulrich; O'Gorman, Eoin J

    2012-11-01

    Climate change has complex structural impacts on coastal ecosystems. Global warming is linked to a widespread decline in body size, whereas increased flood frequency can amplify nutrient enrichment through enhanced run-off. Altered population body-size structure represents a disruption in top-down control, whereas eutrophication embodies a change in bottom-up forcing. These processes are typically studied in isolation and little is known about their potential interactive effects. Here, we present the results of an in situ experiment examining the combined effects of top-down and bottom-up forces on the structure of a coastal marine community. Reduced average body mass of the top predator (the shore crab, Carcinus maenas) and nutrient enrichment combined additively to alter mean community body mass. Nutrient enrichment increased species richness and overall density of organisms. Reduced top-predator body mass increased community biomass. Additionally, we found evidence for an allometrically induced trophic cascade. Here, the reduction in top-predator body mass enabled greater biomass of intermediate fish predators within the mesocosms. This, in turn, suppressed key micrograzers, which led to an overall increase in microalgal biomass. This response highlights the possibility for climate-induced trophic cascades, driven by altered size structure of populations, rather than species extinction. PMID:23007084

  16. Use of a process-based model for assessing the methane budgets of global terrestrial ecosystems and evaluation of uncertainty

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ito, A.; Inatomi, M.

    2012-02-01

    We assessed the global terrestrial budget of methane (CH4) by using a process-based biogeochemical model (VISIT) and inventory data for components of the budget that were not included in the model. Emissions from wetlands, paddy fields, biomass burning, and plants, as well as oxidative consumption by upland soils, were simulated by the model. Emissions from ruminant livestock and termites were evaluated by using an inventory approach. These CH4 flows were estimated for each of the model's 0.5° × 0.5° grid cells from 1901 to 2009, while accounting for atmospheric composition, meteorological factors, and land-use changes. Estimation uncertainties were examined through ensemble simulations using different parameterization schemes and input data (e.g., different wetland maps and emission factors). From 1996 to 2005, the average global terrestrial CH4 budget was estimated on the basis of 1152 simulations, and terrestrial ecosystems were found to be a net source of 308.3 ± 20.7 Tg CH4 yr-1. Wetland and livestock ruminant emissions were the primary sources. The results of our simulations indicate that sources and sinks are distributed highly heterogeneously over the Earth's land surface. Seasonal and interannual variability in the terrestrial budget was also assessed. The trend of increasing net emission from terrestrial sources and its relationship with temperature variability imply that terrestrial CH4 feedbacks will play an increasingly important role as a result of future climatic change.

  17. Climate-induced changes in bottom-up and top-down processes independently alter a marine ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Jochum, Malte; Schneider, Florian D.; Crowe, Tasman P.; Brose, Ulrich; O'Gorman, Eoin J.

    2012-01-01

    Climate change has complex structural impacts on coastal ecosystems. Global warming is linked to a widespread decline in body size, whereas increased flood frequency can amplify nutrient enrichment through enhanced run-off. Altered population body-size structure represents a disruption in top-down control, whereas eutrophication embodies a change in bottom-up forcing. These processes are typically studied in isolation and little is known about their potential interactive effects. Here, we present the results of an in situ experiment examining the combined effects of top-down and bottom-up forces on the structure of a coastal marine community. Reduced average body mass of the top predator (the shore crab, Carcinus maenas) and nutrient enrichment combined additively to alter mean community body mass. Nutrient enrichment increased species richness and overall density of organisms. Reduced top-predator body mass increased community biomass. Additionally, we found evidence for an allometrically induced trophic cascade. Here, the reduction in top-predator body mass enabled greater biomass of intermediate fish predators within the mesocosms. This, in turn, suppressed key micrograzers, which led to an overall increase in microalgal biomass. This response highlights the possibility for climate-induced trophic cascades, driven by altered size structure of populations, rather than species extinction. PMID:23007084

  18. Tree species identity and functional traits but not species richness affect interrill erosion processes in young subtropical forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seitz, S.; Goebes, P.; Song, Z.; Bruelheide, H.; Härdtle, W.; Kühn, P.; Li, Y.; Scholten, T.

    2015-06-01

    Soil erosion is seriously threatening ecosystem functioning in many parts of the world. In this context, it is assumed that tree species richness and functional diversity of tree communities can play a critical role in improving ecosystem services such as erosion control. An experiment with 170 micro-scale runoff plots was conducted to investigate the influence of tree species richness and identity as well as tree functional traits on interrill erosion in a young forest ecosystem. An interrill erosion rate of 47.5 t ha-1 a-1 was calculated. This study provided evidence that different tree species affect interrill erosion, but higher tree species richness did not mitigate soil losses in young forest stands. Thus, different tree morphologies have to be considered, when assessing erosion under forest. High crown cover and leaf area index reduced soil losses in initial forest ecosystems, whereas rising tree height increased them. Even if a leaf litter cover was not present, remaining soil surface cover by stones and biological soil crusts was the most important driver for soil erosion control. Furthermore, soil organic matter had a decreasing influence on soil loss. Long-term monitoring of soil erosion under closing tree canopies is necessary and a wide range of functional tree traits should be taken into consideration in future research.

  19. One carbon cycle: Impacts of model integration, ecosystem process detail, model resolution, and initialization data, on projections of future climate mitigation strategies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fisk, J.; Hurtt, G. C.; le page, Y.; Patel, P. L.; Chini, L. P.; Sahajpal, R.; Dubayah, R.; Thomson, A. M.; Edmonds, J.; Janetos, A. C.

    2013-12-01

    Integrated assessment models (IAMs) simulate the interactions between human and natural systems at a global scale, representing a broad suite of phenomena across the global economy, energy system, land-use, and carbon cycling. Most proposed climate mitigation strategies rely on maintaining or enhancing the terrestrial carbon sink as a substantial contribution to restrain the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, however most IAMs rely on simplified regional representations of terrestrial carbon dynamics. Our research aims to reduce uncertainties associated with forest modeling within integrated assessments, and to quantify the impacts of climate change on forest growth and productivity for integrated assessments of terrestrial carbon management. We developed the new Integrated Ecosystem Demography (iED) to increase terrestrial ecosystem process detail, resolution, and the utilization of remote sensing in integrated assessments. iED brings together state-of-the-art models of human society (GCAM), spatial land-use patterns (GLM) and terrestrial ecosystems (ED) in a fully coupled framework. The major innovative feature of iED is a consistent, process-based representation of ecosystem dynamics and carbon cycle throughout the human, terrestrial, land-use, and atmospheric components. One of the most challenging aspects of ecosystem modeling is to provide accurate initialization of land surface conditions to reflect non-equilibrium conditions, i.e., the actual successional state of the forest. As all plants in ED have an explicit height, it is one of the few ecosystem models that can be initialized directly with vegetation height data. Previous work has demonstrated that ecosystem model resolution and initialization data quality have a large effect on flux predictions at continental scales. Here we use a factorial modeling experiment to quantify the impacts of model integration, process detail, model resolution, and initialization data on projections of

  20. Searching for Judy: How small mysteries affect narrative processes and memory

    PubMed Central

    Love, Jessica; McKoon, Gail; Gerrig, Richard J.

    2010-01-01

    Current theories of text processing say little about how author’s narrative choices, including the introduction of small mysteries, can affect readers’ narrative experiences. Gerrig, Love, and McKoon (2009) provided evidence that one type of small mystery—a character introduced without information linking him or her to the story—affects readers’ moment-by-moment processing. For that project, participants read stories that introduced characters by proper name alone (e.g., Judy) or with information connecting the character to the rest of the story (e.g., our principal Judy). In an on-line recognition probe task, responses to the character’s name three lines after his or her introduction were faster when the character had not been introduced with connecting information, suggesting that the character remained accessible awaiting resolution. In the four experiments in this paper, we extended our theoretical analysis of small mysteries. In Experiments 1 and 2, we found evidence that trait information (e.g., daredevil Judy) is not sufficient to connect a character to a text. In Experiments 3 and 4, we provide evidence that the moment-by-moment processing effects of such small mysteries also affect readers’ memory for the stories. We interpret the results in terms of Kintsch’s Construction-Integration model (1988) of discourse processing. PMID:20438273

  1. Searching for Judy: how small mysteries affect narrative processes and memory.

    PubMed

    Love, Jessica; McKoon, Gail; Gerrig, Richard J

    2010-05-01

    Current theories of text processing say little about how authors' narrative choices, including the introduction of small mysteries, can affect readers' narrative experiences. Gerrig, Love, and McKoon (2009) provided evidence that 1 type of small mystery-a character introduced without information linking him or her to the story-affects readers' moment-by-moment processing. For that project, participants read stories that introduced characters by proper name alone (e.g., "Judy") or with information connecting the character to the rest of the story (e.g., "our principal Judy"). In an online recognition probe task, responses to the character's name 3 lines after his or her introduction were faster when the character had not been introduced with connecting information, suggesting that the character remained accessible awaiting resolution. In the 4 experiments in this article, we extend our theoretical analysis of small mysteries. In Experiments 1 and 2, we found evidence that trait information (e.g., "daredevil Judy") is not sufficient to connect a character to a text. In Experiments 3 and 4, we found evidence that the moment-by-moment processing effects of such small mysteries also affect readers' memory for the stories. We interpret the results in terms of Kintsch's (1988) construction-integration model of discourse processing. PMID:20438273

  2. Threat processing in generalized social phobia: an investigation of interpretation biases in ambiguous facial affect.

    PubMed

    Jusyte, Aiste; Schönenberg, Michael

    2014-06-30

    Facial affect is one of the most important information sources during the course of social interactions, but it is susceptible to distortion due to the complex and dynamic nature. Socially anxious individuals have been shown to exhibit alterations in the processing of social information, such as an attentional and interpretative bias toward threatening information. This may be one of the key factors contributing to the development and maintenance of anxious psychopathology. The aim of the current study was to investigate whether a threat-related interpretation bias is evident for ambiguous facial stimuli in a population of individuals with a generalized Social Anxiety Disorder (gSAD) as compared to healthy controls. Participants judged ambiguous happy/fearful, angry/fearful and angry/happy blends varying in intensity and rated the predominant affective expression. The results obtained in this study do not indicate that gSAD is associated with a biased interpretation of ambiguous facial affect. PMID:24656896

  3. How do variations in the temporal distribution of rainfall events affect ecosystem fluxes in seasonally water-limited Northern Hemisphere shrublands and forests?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rainfall regimes became more extreme over the course of the 20th century, characterised by fewer and larger rainfall events. Such changes are expected to continue throughout the current century. The effect of changes in the temporal distribution of rainfall on ecosystem carbon fluxes is poorly under...

  4. The Impact of the Danube River Mouths Geomorphological Processes on the Ecosystem, Coastal Development and Regional Navigation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mateescu, Razvan; Malciu, Viorel; Spinu, Alina

    2013-04-01

    The anthropogenic influences on the Danube Delta Coast, with major effect on the evolution of its littoral processes are represented by the perturbation of the longshore sediment transport, due to coastal constructions, and as well due to the decrease of solid discharge, as a consequence of the hydro-technical works/dams extension in the reception basin, as well in the main course of the rivers. Certain vulnerable areas of the Danube Delta Coast are strongly influenced by inland works/development as well as Danube flow regime, at regional and local scale. In the Sulina arm area, the extension of the channel jetties had a double effect, representing the cut-off of the south coast current, carrier of a portion of the solid load on the Chilia arm, and removal of its own load out of the coastal circulation in the offshore currents. The sand dunes dynamics including the sediment changes between submerged shore and dunes system are major issues within the channel entrance. The work presents the results on the impacts of the coastal geomorphological processes of the Danube Delta on navigation and ecological areas. Thus, the variability of the sea-land interface, for a period of several decades, has been revisited on the basis of the historical maps, coastal survey of emerged beach profiles, sand dunes and recent GPS measurement, developed on the Romanian Danube Delta littoral, together with certain impact assessments in the delta areas, including the ecosystem response to shoreline variability, sediment transport on short and medium term, in the context in which the major factor is the Danube discharge, as well the sea-level rise.

  5. Floodplain ecosystem processes