Science.gov

Sample records for affect ecosystem structure

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

    underlying patterns observed consistently in region-wide studies of adelgid-infested hemlock stands. Mechanisms of T. canadensis loss determine rates, magnitudes, and trajectories of ecological changes in hemlock forests. Logging causes abrupt, large changes in vegetation structure whereas girdling (and by inference, A. tsugae) causes sustained, smaller changes. Ecosystem processes depend more on vegetation cover per se than on species composition. We conclude that the loss of this late-successional foundation species will have long-lasting impacts on forest structure but subtle impacts on ecosystem function. PMID:23638378

  8. 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

    patterns observed consistently in region-wide studies of adelgid-infested hemlock stands. Mechanisms of T. canadensis loss determine rates, magnitudes, and trajectories of ecological changes in hemlock forests. Logging causes abrupt, large changes in vegetation structure whereas girdling (and by inference, A. tsugae) causes sustained, smaller changes. Ecosystem processes depend more on vegetation cover per se than on species composition. We conclude that the loss of this late-successional foundation species will have long-lasting impacts on forest structure but subtle impacts on ecosystem function. PMID:23638378

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  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. 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

  15. 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

  16. Soil community structure and ecosystem C cycling in arid ecosystems experiencing multiple environmental changes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pavao-Zuckerman, M. A.; Cable, J. M.; Huxman, T. E.; Scott, R. L.; Williams, D. G.

    2005-12-01

    Despite the importance of soil carbon cycling to the response of water-limited ecosystems to global change, our understanding of this ecosystem component is still in its infancy. Adding to the complexity in knowledge building, ecosystems are exposed to simultaneous multiple shifts within global change scenarios. For example, semiarid grasslands in southern Arizona are currently undergoing encroachment by woody plants at the same time that climate change models predict increases in frequency and magnitude of precipitation inputs over the next 50 years. We are investigating how heterogeneity of plant cover mediates the response of soil community structure and ecosystem C cycling to seasonal monsoon rain inputs. Field plots were established in a mesquite shrubland in the San Pedro River Basin, AZ that are dominated by either: Sporobulus wrightii, medium sized Prosopis velutina, or large Prosopis velutina, additional plots were located in intercanopy areas. Both increased quantity and quality of litter inputs to the soil component, and physical influences of the shrubs on ecosystem water and energy budgets affects plots influenced by the development of Prosopis. Plant species influenced the response of soil microbial biomass to precipitation pulses. Plant cover also influenced the dynamics of soil nematodes. Magnitude of precipitation inputs and plant cover interact to affect the abundance of trophic group abundances and food web structure. These results will be discussed vis-à-vis the importance of soil organisms for driving ecosystem dynamics, and the appropriateness of dominant paradigms in arid land ecology (notably the pulse-reserve paradigm) for understanding soil components of arid ecosystems. Shifts in soil flora and fauna have important implications for ecosystem C-cycling via alterations of trophic dynamics, and the contribution of heterotrophic respiration to C efflux from ecosystems.

  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. 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.

  19. Extinction order and altered community structure rapidly disrupt ecosystem functioning.

    PubMed

    Larsen, Trond H; Williams, Neal M; Kremen, Claire

    2005-05-01

    By causing extinctions and altering community structure, anthropogenic disturbances can disrupt processes that maintain ecosystem integrity. However, the relationship between community structure and ecosystem functioning in natural systems is poorly understood. Here we show that habitat loss appeared to disrupt ecosystem functioning by affecting extinction order, species richness and abundance. We studied pollination by bees in a mosaic of agricultural and natural habitats in California and dung burial by dung beetles on recently created islands in Venezuela. We found that large-bodied bee and beetle species tended to be both most extinction-prone and most functionally efficient, contributing to rapid functional loss. Simulations confirmed that extinction order led to greater disruption of function than predicted by random species loss. Total abundance declined with richness and also appeared to contribute to loss of function. We demonstrate conceptually and empirically how the non-random response of communities to disturbance can have unexpectedly large functional consequences. PMID:21352458

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Watershed hydrology, network allometry and ecosystem structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rinaldo, A.

    2003-04-01

    The lecture covers recent advances relevant to watershed hydrology, in particular derived from the realm of data now available, covering a wide range of scales and objectively collected and analyzed. It is intended to summarize results that are, in the lecturer's opinion, crucial to our current understanding of a variety of issues. Key among them, landscape evolution models, models of the hydrologic response and, indeed a scientific challenge, ecosystem structure. In particular, a new allometric scaling law for loopless networks, confirmed through studies on rivers, exact network results and computer simulations, offers unique insight on a variety of phenomena, ranging from the ubiquity of the 'quarter-power' law in biology to the origin of scaling size spectra in marine microbial ecosystems, to the proper geomorphological description of a river basin and its hydrological implications. In a sense, networks are a byproduct of the hydrologic dynamics, and indeed can be shown to be related to ecosystem structure. Si parva licet, I will provide evidence suggesting that ensemble averaging of the allometric property (where individual realizations are different networks) leads to results in excellent accord with the known limit scaling of efficient and compact networks with remarkably little scatter with implications of somewhat general character. Such results complement recent work suggesting that scaling features are quite robust to geometrical fluctuations of network properties. Finally, I shall gather from the morphological analysis on river networks the potential for predicting the main characters of the hydrologic response in ungauged basins - a task of practical nature with many social implications, possibly relevant to the Session's aims.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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)...

  8. 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.

  9. Emergent Global Patterns of Ecosystem Structure and Function from a Mechanistic General Ecosystem Model

    PubMed Central

    Emmott, Stephen; Hutton, Jon; Lyutsarev, Vassily; Smith, Matthew J.; Scharlemann, Jörn P. W.; Purves, Drew W.

    2014-01-01

    Anthropogenic activities are causing widespread degradation of ecosystems worldwide, threatening the ecosystem services upon which all human life depends. Improved understanding of this degradation is urgently needed to improve avoidance and mitigation measures. One tool to assist these efforts is predictive models of ecosystem structure and function that are mechanistic: based on fundamental ecological principles. Here we present the first mechanistic General Ecosystem Model (GEM) of ecosystem structure and function that is both global and applies in all terrestrial and marine environments. Functional forms and parameter values were derived from the theoretical and empirical literature where possible. Simulations of the fate of all organisms with body masses between 10 µg and 150,000 kg (a range of 14 orders of magnitude) across the globe led to emergent properties at individual (e.g., growth rate), community (e.g., biomass turnover rates), ecosystem (e.g., trophic pyramids), and macroecological scales (e.g., global patterns of trophic structure) that are in general agreement with current data and theory. These properties emerged from our encoding of the biology of, and interactions among, individual organisms without any direct constraints on the properties themselves. Our results indicate that ecologists have gathered sufficient information to begin to build realistic, global, and mechanistic models of ecosystems, capable of predicting a diverse range of ecosystem properties and their response to human pressures. PMID:24756001

  10. LINKING COMMUNITY STRUCTURE AND ECOSYSTEM FUNCTION IN AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS DEGRADED BY MOUNTAINTOP MINING

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Clean Water Act and its subsequent amendments recognize the importance of protecting biological integrity, a concept synonymous with preserving structure and function within lotic ecosystems. This research will improve current taxonomically based risk assessment models,...

  11. Individual difference variables, affective differentiation, and the structures of affect.

    PubMed

    Terracciano, Antonio; McCrae, Robert R; Hagemann, Dirk; Costa, Paul T

    2003-10-01

    Methodological arguments are usually invoked to explain variations in the structure of affect. Using self-rated affect from Italian samples (N=600), we show that individual difference variables related to affective differentiation can moderate the observed structure. Indices of circumplexity and congruence coefficients to the hypothesized target were used to quantify the observed structures. Results did not support the circumplex model as a universal structure. A circular structure with axes of activation and valence was approximated only among more affectively differentiated groups: students and respondents with high scores on Openness to Feelings and measures of negative emotionality. A different structure, with unipolar Positive Affect and Negative Affect factors, was observed among adults and respondents with low Openness to Feelings and negative emotionality. The observed structure of affect will depend in part on the nature of the sample studied. PMID:12932207

  12. Individual Difference Variables, Affective Differentiation, and the Structures of Affect

    PubMed Central

    Terracciano, Antonio; McCrae, Robert R.; Hagemann, Dirk; Costa, Paul T.

    2008-01-01

    Methodological arguments are usually invoked to explain variations in the structure of affect. Using self-rated affect from Italian samples (N = 600), we show that individual difference variables related to affective differentiation can moderate the observed structure. Indices of circumplexity (Browne, 1992) and congruence coefficients to the hypothesized target were used to quantify the observed structures. Results did not support the circumplex model as a universal structure. A circular structure with axes of activation and valence was approximated only among more affectively differentiated groups: students and respondents with high scores on Openness to Feelings and measures of negative emotionality. A different structure, with unipolar Positive Affect and Negative Affect factors, was observed among adults and respondents with low Openness to Feelings and negative emotionality. The observed structure of affect will depend in part on the nature of the sample studied. PMID:12932207

  13. Synergy of VSWIR and LiDAR for Ecosystem Structure, Biomass, and Canopy Diversity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cook, Bruce D.; Asner, Gregory P.

    2010-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews the use of Visible ShortWave InfraRed (VSWIR) Imaging Spectrometer and LiDAR to study ecosystem structure, biomass and canopy diversity. It is shown that the biophysical data from LiDAR and biochemical information from hyperspectral remote sensing provides complementary data for: (1) describing spatial patterns of vegetation and biodiversity, (2) characterizing relationships between ecosystem form and function, and (3) detecting natural and human induced change that affects the biogeochemical cycles.

  14. NEW SAMPLING THEORY FOR MEASURING ECOSYSTEM STRUCTURE

    EPA Science Inventory

    This research considered the application of systems analysis to the study of laboratory ecosystems. The work concerned the development of a methodology which was shown to be useful in the design of laboratory experiments, the processing and interpretation of the results of these ...

  15. Large effects of consumer offense on ecosystem structure and function.

    PubMed

    Chislock, Michael F; Sarnelle, Orlando; Olsen, Brianna K; Doster, Enrique; Wilson, Alan E

    2013-11-01

    Study of the role of within-species adaptation in ecological dynamics has focused largely on prey adaptations that reduce consumption risk (prey defense). Few, if any, studies have examined how consumer adaptations to overcome prey defenses (consumer offense) affect ecosystem structure and function. We manipulated two sets of genotypes of a planktonic herbivore (Daphnia pulicaria) in a highly productive ecosystem with abundant toxic prey (cyanobacteria). The two sets of consumer genotypes varied widely in their tolerance of toxic cyanobacteria in the diet (i.e., sensitive vs. tolerant). We found a large effect of tolerant D. pulicaria on phytoplankton biomass and gross primary productivity but no effect of sensitive genotypes, this result stemming from genotype-specific differences in population growth in the presence of toxic prey. The former effect was as large as effects seen in previous Daphnia manipulations at similar productivity levels. Thus, we demonstrated that the effect of consumer genotypes with contrasting offensive adaptations was as large as the effect of consumer presence/absence. PMID:24400489

  16. The effects of food web structure on ecosystem function exceeds those of precipitation.

    PubMed

    Trzcinski, M Kurtis; Srivastava, Diane S; Corbara, Bruno; Dézerald, Olivier; Leroy, Céline; Carrias, Jean-François; Dejean, Alain; Céréghino, Régis

    2016-09-01

    Ecosystems are being stressed by climate change, but few studies have tested food web responses to changes in precipitation patterns and the consequences to ecosystem function. Fewer still have considered whether results from one geographic region can be applied to other regions, given the degree of community change over large biogeographic gradients. We assembled, in one field site, three types of macroinvertebrate communities within water-filled bromeliads. Two represented food webs containing both a fast filter feeder-microbial and slow detritivore energy channels found in Costa Rica and Puerto Rico, and one represented the structurally simpler food webs in French Guiana, which only contained the fast filter feeder-microbial channel. We manipulated the amount and distribution of rain entering bromeliads and examined how food web structure mediated ecosystem responses to changes in the quantity and temporal distribution of precipitation. Food web structure affected the survival of functional groups in general and ecosystem functions such as decomposition and the production of fine particulate organic matter. Ecosystem processes were more affected by decreased precipitation than were the abundance of micro-organisms and metazoans. In our experiments, the sensitivity of the ecosystem to precipitation change was primarily revealed in the food web dominated by the single filter feeder-microbial channel because other top-down and bottom-up processes were weak or absent. Our results show stronger effects of food web structure than precipitation change per se on the functioning of bromeliad ecosystems. Consequently, we predict that ecosystem function in bromeliads throughout the Americas will be more sensitive to changes in the distribution of species, rather than to the direct effects caused by changes in precipitation. PMID:27120013

  17. Structural and Functional Loss in Restored Wetland Ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Moreno-Mateos, David; Power, Mary E.; Comín, Francisco A.; Yockteng, Roxana

    2012-01-01

    Wetlands are among the most productive and economically valuable ecosystems in the world. However, because of human activities, over half of the wetland ecosystems existing in North America, Europe, Australia, and China in the early 20th century have been lost. Ecological restoration to recover critical ecosystem services has been widely attempted, but the degree of actual recovery of ecosystem functioning and structure from these efforts remains uncertain. Our results from a meta-analysis of 621 wetland sites from throughout the world show that even a century after restoration efforts, biological structure (driven mostly by plant assemblages), and biogeochemical functioning (driven primarily by the storage of carbon in wetland soils), remained on average 26% and 23% lower, respectively, than in reference sites. Either recovery has been very slow, or postdisturbance systems have moved towards alternative states that differ from reference conditions. We also found significant effects of environmental settings on the rate and degree of recovery. Large wetland areas (>100 ha) and wetlands restored in warm (temperate and tropical) climates recovered more rapidly than smaller wetlands and wetlands restored in cold climates. Also, wetlands experiencing more (riverine and tidal) hydrologic exchange recovered more rapidly than depressional wetlands. Restoration performance is limited: current restoration practice fails to recover original levels of wetland ecosystem functions, even after many decades. If restoration as currently practiced is used to justify further degradation, global loss of wetland ecosystem function and structure will spread. PMID:22291572

  18. The importance of structural complexity in coral reef ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Graham, N. A. J.; Nash, K. L.

    2013-06-01

    The importance of structural complexity in coral reefs has come to the fore with the global degradation of reef condition; however, the limited scale and replication of many studies have restricted our understanding of the role of complexity in the ecosystem. We qualitatively and quantitatively (where sufficient standardised data were available) assess the literature regarding the role of structural complexity in coral reef ecosystems. A rapidly increasing number of publications have studied the role of complexity in reef ecosystems over the past four decades, with a concomitant increase in the diversity of methods used to quantify structure. Quantitative analyses of existing data indicate a strong negative relationship between structural complexity and algal cover, which may reflect the important role complexity plays in enhancing herbivory by reef fishes. The cover of total live coral and branching coral was positively correlated with structural complexity. These habitat attributes may be creating much of the structure, resulting in a collinear relationship; however, there is also evidence of enhanced coral recovery from disturbances where structural complexity is high. Urchin densities were negatively correlated with structural complexity; a relationship that may be driven by urchins eroding reef structure or by their gregarious behaviour when in open space. There was a strong positive relationship between structural complexity and fish density and biomass, likely mediated through density-dependent competition and refuge from predation. More variable responses were found when assessing individual fish families, with all families examined displaying a positive relationship to structural complexity, but only half of these relationships were significant. Although only corroborated with qualitative data, structural complexity also seems to have a positive effect on two ecosystem services: tourism and shoreline protection. Clearly, structural complexity is an

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Marine Chemical Ecology: Chemical Signals and Cues Structure Marine Populations, Communities, and Ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Hay, Mark E.

    2012-01-01

    Chemical cues constitute much of the language of life in the sea. Our understanding of biotic interactions and their effects on marine ecosystems will advance more rapidly if this language is studied and understood. Here, I review how chemical cues regulate critical aspects of the behavior of marine organisms from bacteria to phytoplankton to benthic invertebrates and water column fishes. These chemically mediated interactions strongly affect population structure, community organization, and ecosystem function. Chemical cues determine foraging strategies, feeding choices, commensal associations, selection of mates and habitats, competitive interactions, and transfer of energy and nutrients within and among ecosystems. In numerous cases, the indirect effects of chemical signals on behavior have as much or more effect on community structure and function as the direct effects of consumers and pathogens. Chemical cues are critical for understanding marine systems, but their omnipresence and impact are inadequately recognized. PMID:21141035

  3. Marine Chemical Ecology: Chemical Signals and Cues Structure Marine Populations, Communities, and Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hay, Mark E.

    2009-01-01

    Chemical cues constitute much of the language of life in the sea. Our understanding of biotic interactions and their effects on marine ecosystems will advance more rapidly if this language is studied and understood. Here, I review how chemical cues regulate critical aspects of the behavior of marine organisms from bacteria to phytoplankton to benthic invertebrates and water column fishes. These chemically mediated interactions strongly affect population structure, community organization, and ecosystem function. Chemical cues determine foraging strategies, feeding choices, commensal associations, selection of mates and habitats, competitive interactions, and transfer of energy and nutrients within and among ecosystems. In numerous cases, the indirect effects of chemical signals on behavior have as much or more effect on community structure and function as the direct effects of consumers and pathogens. Chemical cues are critical for understanding marine systems, but their omnipresence and impact are inadequately recognized.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Determinants of community structure of zooplankton in heavily polluted river ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Xiong, Wei; Li, Jie; Chen, Yiyong; Shan, Baoqing; Wang, Weimin; Zhan, Aibin

    2016-01-01

    River ecosystems are among the most affected habitats globally by human activities, such as the release of chemical pollutants. However, it remains largely unknown how and to what extent many communities such as zooplankton are affected by these environmental stressors in river ecosystems. Here, we aim to determine major factors responsible for shaping community structure of zooplankton in heavily polluted river ecosystems. Specially, we use rotifers in the Haihe River Basin (HRB) in North China as a case study to test the hypothesis that species sorting (i.e. species are “filtered” by environmental factors and occur at environmental suitable sites) plays a key role in determining community structure at the basin level. Based on an analysis of 94 sites across the plain region of HRB, we found evidence that both local and regional factors could affect rotifer community structure. Interestingly, further analyses indicated that local factors played a more important role in determining community structure. Thus, our results support the species sorting hypothesis in highly polluted rivers, suggesting that local environmental constraints, such as environmental pollution caused by human activities, can be stronger than dispersal limitation caused by regional factors to shape local community structure of zooplankton at the basin level. PMID:26912391

  8. Determinants of community structure of zooplankton in heavily polluted river ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiong, Wei; Li, Jie; Chen, Yiyong; Shan, Baoqing; Wang, Weimin; Zhan, Aibin

    2016-02-01

    River ecosystems are among the most affected habitats globally by human activities, such as the release of chemical pollutants. However, it remains largely unknown how and to what extent many communities such as zooplankton are affected by these environmental stressors in river ecosystems. Here, we aim to determine major factors responsible for shaping community structure of zooplankton in heavily polluted river ecosystems. Specially, we use rotifers in the Haihe River Basin (HRB) in North China as a case study to test the hypothesis that species sorting (i.e. species are “filtered” by environmental factors and occur at environmental suitable sites) plays a key role in determining community structure at the basin level. Based on an analysis of 94 sites across the plain region of HRB, we found evidence that both local and regional factors could affect rotifer community structure. Interestingly, further analyses indicated that local factors played a more important role in determining community structure. Thus, our results support the species sorting hypothesis in highly polluted rivers, suggesting that local environmental constraints, such as environmental pollution caused by human activities, can be stronger than dispersal limitation caused by regional factors to shape local community structure of zooplankton at the basin level.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Studies on Interpretive Structural Model for Forest Ecosystem Management Decision-Making

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Suqing; Gao, Xiumei; Zen, Qunying; Zhou, Yuanman; Huang, Yuequn; Han, Weidong; Li, Linfeng; Li, Jiping; Pu, Yingshan

    Characterized by their openness, complexity and large scale, forest ecosystems interweave themselves with social system, economic system and other natural ecosystems, thus complicating both their researches and management decision-making. According to the theories of sustainable development, hierarchy-competence levels, cybernetics and feedback, 25 factors have been chosen from human society, economy and nature that affect forest ecosystem management so that they are systematically analyzed via developing an interpretive structural model (ISM) to reveal their relationships and positions in the forest ecosystem management. The ISM consists of 7 layers with the 3 objectives for ecosystem management being the top layer (the seventh layer). The ratio between agricultural production value and industrial production value as the bases of management decision-making in forest ecosystems becomes the first layer at the bottom because it has great impacts on the values of society and the development trends of forestry, while the factors of climatic environments, intensive management extent, management measures, input-output ratio as well as landscape and productivity are arranged from the second to sixth layers respectively.

  13. An Operational Structure for Clarity in Ecosystem Service Values

    EPA Science Inventory

    Analyses used to value ecosystem services often confuse final ecosystem services with ecological functions that provide only indirect benefit. Extant categorizations of ecosystem services, such as that developed by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, do not ameliorate these cha...

  14. Parrots as key multilinkers in ecosystem structure and functioning.

    PubMed

    Blanco, Guillermo; Hiraldo, Fernando; Rojas, Abraham; Dénes, Francisco V; Tella, José L

    2015-09-01

    Mutually enhancing organisms can become reciprocal determinants of their distribution, abundance, and demography and thus influence ecosystem structure and dynamics. In addition to the prevailing view of parrots (Psittaciformes) as plant antagonists, we assessed whether they can act as plant mutualists in the dry tropical forest of the Bolivian inter-Andean valleys, an ecosystem particularly poor in vertebrate frugivores other than parrots (nine species). We hypothesised that if interactions between parrots and their food plants evolved as primarily or facultatively mutualistic, selection should have acted to maximize the strength of their interactions by increasing the amount and variety of resources and services involved in particular pairwise and community-wide interaction contexts. Food plants showed different growth habits across a wide phylogenetic spectrum, implying that parrots behave as super-generalists exploiting resources differing in phenology, type, biomass, and rewards from a high diversity of plants (113 species from 38 families). Through their feeding activities, parrots provided multiple services acting as genetic linkers, seed facilitators for secondary dispersers, and plant protectors, and therefore can be considered key mutualists with a pervasive impact on plant assemblages. The number of complementary and redundant mutualistic functions provided by parrots to each plant species was positively related to the number of different kinds of food extracted from them. These mutually enhancing interactions were reflected in species-level properties (e.g., biomass or dominance) of both partners, as a likely consequence of the temporal convergence of eco-(co)evolutionary dynamics shaping the ongoing structure and organization of the ecosystem. A full assessment of the, thus far largely overlooked, parrot-plant mutualisms and other ecological linkages could change the current perception of the role of parrots in the structure, organization, and

  15. Nonequilibrium dynamics in lattice ecosystems: Chaotic stability and dissipative structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solé, Ricard V.; Bascompte, Jordi; Valls, Joaquim

    1992-07-01

    A generalized coupled map lattice (CML) model of ecosystem dynamics is presented. We consider the spatiotemporal behavior of a prey-predator map, a model of host-parasitoid interactions, and two-species competition. The latter model can show phase separation of domains (Turing-like structures) even when chaos is present. We also use this CML model to explore the time evolution and structural properties of ecological networks built with a set of N competing species. The May-Wigner criterion is applied as a measure of stability, and some regularities in the stable networks observed are discussed.

  16. Deformation, Ecosystem Structure, and Dynamics of Ice (DESDynI)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Donnellan, Andrea; Rosen, Paul; Ranson, Jon; Zebker, Howard

    2008-01-01

    The National Research Council Earth Science Decadal Survey, Earth Science Applications from Space, recommends that DESDynI (Deformation, Ecosystem Structure, and Dynamics of Ice), an integrated L-band InSAR and multibeam Lidar mission, launch in the 2010- 2013 timeframe. The mission will measure surface deformation for solid Earth and cryosphere objectives and vegetation structure for understanding the carbon cycle. InSAR has been used to study surface deformation of the solid Earth and cryosphere and more recently vegetation structure for estimates of biomass and ecosystem function. Lidar directly measures topography and vegetation structure and is used to estimate biomass and detect changes in surface elevation. The goal of DESDynI is to take advantage of the spatial continuity of InSAR and the precision and directness of Lidar. There are several issues related to the design of the DESDynI mission, including combining the two instruments into a single platform, optimizing the coverage and orbit for the two techniques, and carrying out the science modeling to define and maximize the scientific output of the mission.

  17. Disturbance legacies increase the resilience of forest ecosystem structure, composition, and functioning

    PubMed Central

    Seidl, Rupert; Rammer, Werner; Spies, Thomas A.

    2015-01-01

    Disturbances are key drivers of forest ecosystem dynamics, and forests are well adapted to their natural disturbance regimes. However, as a result of climate change, disturbance frequency is expected to increase in the future in many regions. It is not yet clear how such changes might affect forest ecosystems, and which mechanisms contribute to (current and future) disturbance resilience. We studied a 6364-ha landscape in the western Cascades of Oregon, USA, to investigate how patches of remnant old-growth trees (as one important class of biological legacies) affect the resilience of forest ecosystems to disturbance. Using the spatially explicit, individual-based, forest landscape model iLand, we analyzed the effect of three different levels of remnant patches (0%, 12%, and 24% of the landscape) on 500-year recovery trajectories after a large, high-severity wildfire. In addition, we evaluated how three different levels of fire frequency modulate the effects of initial legacies. We found that remnant live trees enhanced the recovery of total ecosystem carbon (TEC) stocks after disturbance, increased structural complexity of forest canopies, and facilitated the recolonization of late-seral species (LSS). Legacy effects were most persistent for indicators of species composition (still significant 500 years after disturbance), while TEC (i.e., a measure of ecosystem functioning) was least affected, with no significant differences among legacy scenarios after 236 years. Compounding disturbances were found to dampen legacy effects on all indicators, and higher initial legacy levels resulted in elevated fire severity in the second half of the study period. Overall, disturbance frequency had a stronger effect on ecosystem properties than the initial level of remnant old-growth trees. A doubling of the historically observed fire frequency to a mean fire return interval of 131 years reduced TEC by 10.5% and lowered the presence of LSS on the landscape by 18.1% on average

  18. Quantifying Ecosystem Structural Components with Highly Portable Lidar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaaf, C.; Paynter, I.; Peri, F.; Saenz, E. J.; Genest, D.; Strahler, A. H.; Li, Z.

    2015-12-01

    Terrestrial laser scanners (TLS), which utilize light detection and ranging (lidar) have demonstrated the ability to produce accurate reconstructions of ecosystems, including spatially complex systems such as forests. Reconstructions at the object or plot scale can be used to interpret or simulate satellite observations, particularly for lidar instruments such as those involved in the forthcoming GEDI and ICESat 2 missions. The Compact Biomass Lidar (CBL) is a TLS optimized for portability and scanning speed, developed and operated by University of Massachusetts Boston. This 905nm wavelength scanner achieves an angular resolution of 0.25 degrees at a rate of 33 seconds per scan. The rapid scanning of the CBL and similar highly portable TLS improve acquisition of 3D surfaces such as canopy height models and digital elevation models derived from point clouds. This is due to the ability to capture additional scanning points within the window of temporal stability for the ecosystem, mitigating the rapid loss of information density associated with distance and occlusion. Utilizing terrestrial lidar in tandem with airborne lidar profiles vertically distributed structural components of ecosystems, such as the canopy of forests. We will present 3D surfaces documenting the growth of vegetation species including the invasive Phragmites australis over the 2015 growing season at Plum Island Long Term Ecological Research sites, derived from CBL. Additionally we will show vertical structure profiles from voxelization analyses in tropical forest (La Selva, Costa Rica) and temperate forest (Harvard Forest, MA, USA). We will discuss and present results from emerging point cloud reconstruction methods, including the Quantitative Structure Model (QSM) for tree modeling, and their implications particularly for GEDI-related calibration and validation studies.

  19. 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

  20. Bottom-up regulation of plant community structure in an aridland ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Báez, Selene; Collins, Scott L; Lightfoot, David; Koontz, Terri L

    2006-11-01

    We conducted a long-term rodent exclosure experiment in native grass- and shrub-dominated vegetation to evaluate the importance of top-down and bottom-up controls on plant community structure in a low-productivity aridland ecosystem. Using multiple regressions and analysis of covariance, we assessed how bottom-up precipitation pulses cascade through vegetation to affect rodent populations, how rodent populations affect plant community structure, and how rodents alter rates of plant community change over time. Our findings showed that bottom-up pulses cascade through the system, increasing the abundances of plants and rodents, and that rodents exerted no control on plant community structure and rate of change in grass-dominated vegetation, and only limited control in shrub-dominated vegetation. These results were discussed in the context of top-down effects on plant communities across broad gradients of primary productivity. We conclude that bottom-up regulation maintains this ecosystem in a state of low primary productivity that constrains the abundance of consumers such that they exert limited influence on plant community structure and dynamics. PMID:17168019

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Arctic ecosystem structure and functioning shaped by climate and herbivore body size

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Legagneux, P.; Gauthier, G.; Lecomte, N.; Schmidt, N. M.; Reid, D.; Cadieux, M.-C.; Berteaux, D.; Bêty, J.; Krebs, C. J.; Ims, R. A.; Yoccoz, N. G.; Morrison, R. I. G.; Leroux, S. J.; Loreau, M.; Gravel, D.

    2014-05-01

    Significant progress has been made in our understanding of species-level responses to climate change, but upscaling to entire ecosystems remains a challenge. This task is particularly urgent in the Arctic, where global warming is most pronounced. Here we report the results of an international collaboration on the direct and indirect effects of climate on the functioning of Arctic terrestrial ecosystems. Our data from seven terrestrial food webs spread along a wide range of latitudes (~1,500 km) and climates (Δ mean July temperature = 8.5 °C) across the circumpolar world show the effects of climate on tundra primary production, food-web structure and species interaction strength. The intensity of predation on lower trophic levels increased significantly with temperature, at approximately 4.5% per °C. Temperature also affected trophic interactions through an indirect effect on food-web structure (that is, diversity and number of interactions). Herbivore body size was a major determinant of predator-prey interactions, as interaction strength was positively related to the predator-prey size ratio, with large herbivores mostly escaping predation. There is potential for climate warming to cause a switch from bottom-up to top-down regulation of herbivores. These results are critical to resolving the debate on the regulation of tundra and other terrestrial ecosystems exposed to global change.

  6. Integrating connectivity, power law, and alternative stable state paradigms of dryland ecosystem structure and dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Okin, Gregory; D'Odorico, Paolo

    2013-04-01

    Drylands are important ecosystems that cover about 40% of the Earth's land surface and provide goods and services for about 30% of the Earth's inhabitants. Dryland vegetation is almost universally patchy reflecting the resource limitation endemic to these areas and this patchiness unquestionably results from some type of self-organization. Understanding the function of these ecosystems is critical for their effective management and for understanding how they will be affected by changes in climate and land use as well as by invasion of non-native species. There are three main paradigms that have emerged in the literature to explain dryland ecosystem structure and dynamics. The connectivity paradigm posits that spatiotemporal patterns of vegetation observed in drylands are a result of the lateral movement of resources and disturbance along connected pathways. Other authors have examined the impact of local-scale interactions that give rise to large-scale patterns in the form of power law distributions of vegetation patches. Deviation from power law distributions as a sign of imminent, catastrophic change has been a common thread in this line of research. The sudden and often irreversible change observed in dryland ecosystems has led others to emphasize the importance of feedbacks that lead to the existence of alternative stable states and hysteresis in drylands. This latter view is closely aligned with the state-and-transition model approach. Here we show, through a series of conceptual and mathematical model arguments, that these three approaches - connectivity, power law distributions, and alternative stable states - can in many circumstances be considered equivalent. They are, in essence, different facets of a common set underlying processes. This transdisciplinary, integrated perspective should help understand how spatial processes interact to create pattern and patchiness in dryalnds as well as other ecosystems worldwide.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Variations in the abundance of fisheries resources and ecosystem structure in the Japan/East Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Chang Ik; Lee, Jae Bong; Seo, Young Il; Yoon, Sang Cheol; Kim, Suam

    2004-05-01

    Evidence supports the hypothesis that two climatic regime shifts in the North Pacific and the Japan/East Sea, have affected the dynamics of the marine ecosystem and fisheries resources from 1960 to 2000. Changes in both mixed layer depth (MLD) and primary production were detected in the Japan/East Sea after 1976. The 1976 regime shift appears to have caused the biomass replacement with changes in catch production of major exploited fisheries resources, including Pacific saury, Pacific sardine and filefish. Both fisheries yield and fish distribution are reflected in these decadal fluctuations. In the 1960s and 1990s, common squid dominated the catches whereas in the 1970s and 1980s, it was replaced by walleye pollock. In the post-1988 regime shift, the distribution of horse mackerel shifted westward and southward and its distributional overlap with common mackerel decreased. The habitat of Pacific sardine also shifted away from mackerel habitats during this period. To evaluate changes in the organization and structure of the ecosystem in the Japan/East Sea, a mass-balanced model, Ecopath, was employed. Based on two mass-balanced models, representing before (1970-75) and after (1978-84) the 1976 regime shift, the weighted mean trophic level of catch increased from 3.09 before to 3.28 after. Total biomass of species groups in the Japan/East Sea ecosystem increased by 15% and total catch production increased by 48% due to the 1976 regime shift. The largest changes occurred at mid-trophic levels, occupied by fishes and cephalopods. The dominant predatory species shifted from cephalopods to walleye pollock due to the 1976 regime shift. It is concluded that the climatic regime shifts caused changes in the structure of the ecosystem and the roles of major species, as well as, large variations in biomass and production of fisheries resources.

  10. Impacts of drought and crayfish invasion on stream ecosystem structure and function

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Magoulick, Daniel D.

    2014-01-01

    Drought and seasonal drying can be important disturbance events in many small streams, leading to intermittent or isolated habitats. Many small streams contain crayfish populations that are often keystone or dominant species in these systems. I conducted an experiment in stream mesocosms to examine the effects of drought and potential ecological redundancy of a native and invasive crayfish species. I examined the effects of drought (drought or control) and crayfish presence (none, native crayfish Orconectes eupunctus or invasive crayfish Orconectes neglectus) on stream mesocosm structure and function (leaf breakdown, community metabolism, periphyton, sediment and chironomid densities) in a fully factorial design. Each mesocosm contained a deep and shallow section, and drought treatments had surface water present (5-cm depth) in deep sections where tiles and leaf packs were placed. Drought and crayfish presence did not interact for any response variable. Drought significantly reduced leaf breakdown, and crayfish presence significantly increased leaf breakdown. However, the native and invasive crayfish species did not differ significantly in their effects on leaf breakdown. Drought significantly reduced primary production and community respiration overall, whereas crayfish presence did not significantly affect primary production and community respiration. Neither drought nor crayfish presence significantly affected periphyton overall. However, drought significantly reduced autotrophic index (AI), and crayfish presence increased AI. Inorganic sediment and chironomid density were not affected by drought, but both were significantly reduced by crayfish presence. O. eupunctus reduced AI and sediment more than O. neglectus did. Neither drought nor crayfish species significantly affected crayfish growth or survival. Drought can have strong effects on ecosystem function, but weaker effects on benthic structure. Crayfish can have strong effects on ecosystem

  11. Modelling benthic biophysical drivers of ecosystem structure and biogeochemical response

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stephens, Nicholas; Bruggeman, Jorn; Lessin, Gennadi; Allen, Icarus

    2016-04-01

    The fate of carbon deposited at the sea floor is ultimately decided by biophysical drivers that control the efficiency of remineralisation and timescale of carbon burial in sediments. Specifically, these drivers include bioturbation through ingestion and movement, burrow-flushing and sediment reworking, which enhance vertical particulate transport and solute diffusion. Unfortunately, these processes are rarely satisfactorily resolved in models. To address this, a benthic model that explicitly describes the vertical position of biology (e.g., habitats) and biogeochemical processes is presented that includes biological functionality and biogeochemical response capturing changes in ecosystem structure, benthic-pelagic fluxes and biodiversity on inter-annual timescales. This is demonstrated by the model's ability to reproduce temporal variability in benthic infauna, vertical pore water nutrients and pelagic-benthic solute fluxes compared to in-situ data. A key advance is the replacement of bulk parameterisation of bioturbation by explicit description of the bio-physical processes responsible. This permits direct comparison with observations and determination of key parameters in experiments. Crucially, the model resolves the two-way interaction between sediment biogeochemistry and ecology, allowing exploration of the benthic response to changing environmental conditions, the importance of infaunal functional traits in shaping benthic ecological structure and the feedback the resulting bio-physical processes exert on pore water nutrient profiles. The model is actively being used to understand shelf sea carbon cycling, the response of the benthos to climatic change, food provision and other societal benefits.

  12. Microconchids from microbialite ecosystem immediately after end-Permian mass extinction: ecologic selectivity and implications for microbialite ecosystem structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, H.; Chen, Z.; Wang, Y. B.; Ou, W.; Liao, W.; Mei, X.

    2013-12-01

    The Permian-Triassic (P-Tr) carbonate successions are often characterized by the presence of microbialite buildups worldwide. The widespread microbialites are believed as indication of microbial proliferation immediately after the P-Tr mass extinction. The death of animals representing the primary consumer trophic structure of marine ecosystem in the P-Tr crisis allows the bloom of microbes as an important primary producer in marine trophic food web structure. Thus, the PTB microbialite builders have been regarded as disaster taxa of the P-Tr ecologic crisis. Microbialite ecosystems were suitable for most organisms to inhabit. However, increasing evidence show that microbialite dwellers are also considerably abundant and diverse, including mainly foraminifers Earlandia sp. and Rectocornuspira sp., lingulid brachiopods, ostrocods, gastropods, and microconchids. In particular, ostracods are extremely abundant in this special ecosystem. Microconchid-like calcareous tubes are also considerably abundant. Here, we have sampled systematically a PTB microbialite deposit from the Dajiang section, southern Guizhou Province, southwest China and have extracted abundant isolated specimens of calcareous worm tubes. Quantitative analysis enables to investigate stratigraphic and facies preferences of microconchids in the PTB microbialites. Our preliminary result indicates that three microconchid species Microconchus sp., Helicoconchus elongates and Microconchus aberrans inhabited in microbialite ecosystem. Most microconchilds occurred in the upper part of the microbialite buildup and the grainstone-packstone microfacies. Very few microconchilds were found in the rocks bearing well-developed microbialite structures. Their stratigraphic and environmental preferences indicate proliferation of those metazoan organisms is coupled with ebb of the microbialite development. They also proliferated in some local niches in which microbial activities were not very active even if those

  13. Parasitism, community structure and biodiversity in intertidal ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Mouritsen, K N; Poulin, R

    2002-01-01

    There is mounting evidence that parasites can influence the composition and structure of natural animal communities. In spite of this, it is difficult to assess just how important parasitism is for community structure because very few studies have been designed specifically to address the role of parasites at the community level, no doubt because it is difficult to manipulate the abundance of parasites in field experiments. Here, we bring together a large amount of published information on parasitism in intertidal communities to highlight the potential influence of parasites on the structure and biodiversity of these communities. We first review the impact of metazoan parasites on the survival, reproduction, growth and behaviour of intertidal invertebrates, from both rocky shores and soft-sediment flats. Published evidence suggests that the impact of parasites on individuals is often severe, though their effects at the population level are dependent on prevalence and intensity of infection. We then put this information together in a discussion of the impact of parasitism at the community level. We emphasize two ways in which parasites can modify the structure of intertidal communities. First, the direct impact of parasites on the abundance of key host species can decrease the importance of these hosts in competition or predator-prey interactions with other species. Second, the indirect effects of parasites on the behaviour of their hosts, e.g. burrowing ability or spatial distribution within the intertidal zone, can cause changes to various features of the habitat for other intertidal species, leading to their greater settlement success or to their local disappearance. Our synthesis allows specific predictions to be made regarding the potential impact of parasites in certain intertidal systems, and suggests that parasites must be included in future community studies and food web models of intertidal ecosystems. PMID:12396219

  14. A Federated Reference Structure for Open Informational Ecosystems

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Heinen, Richard; Kerres, Michael; Scharnberg, Gianna; Blees, Ingo; Rittberger, Marc

    2016-01-01

    The paper describes the concept of a federated ecosystem for Open Educational Resources (OER) in the German education system. Here, a variety of OER repositories (ROER) (Muuß-Merholz & Schaumburg, 2014) and reference platforms have been established in the recent past. In order to develop this ecosystem, not only are metadata standards…

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Climate-induced changes in lake ecosystem structure inferred from coupled neo- and paleoecological approaches

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Saros, Jasmine E.; Stone, Jeffery R.; Pederson, Gregory T.; Slemmons, Krista; Spanbauer, Trisha; Schliep, Anna; Cahl, Douglas; Williamson, Craig E.; Engstrom, Daniel R.

    2015-01-01

    Over the 20th century, surface water temperatures have increased in many lake ecosystems around the world, but long-term trends in the vertical thermal structure of lakes remain unclear, despite the strong control that thermal stratification exerts on the biological response of lakes to climate change. Here we used both neo- and paleoecological approaches to develop a fossil-based inference model for lake mixing depths and thereby refine understanding of lake thermal structure change. We focused on three common planktonic diatom taxa, the distributions of which previous research suggests might be affected by mixing depth. Comparative lake surveys and growth rate experiments revealed that these species respond to lake thermal structure when nitrogen is sufficient, with species optima ranging from shallower to deeper mixing depths. The diatom-based mixing depth model was applied to sedimentary diatom profiles extending back to 1750 AD in two lakes with moderate nitrate concentrations but differing climate settings. Thermal reconstructions were consistent with expected changes, with shallower mixing depths inferred for an alpine lake where treeline has advanced, and deeper mixing depths inferred for a boreal lake where wind strength has increased. The inference model developed here provides a new tool to expand and refine understanding of climate-induced changes in lake ecosystems.

  19. 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 (...

  20. Trophic flows, ecosystem structure and fishing impacts in the South Catalan Sea, Northwestern Mediterranean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coll, Marta; Palomera, Isabel; Tudela, Sergi; Sardà, Francesc

    2006-01-01

    An exploited ecosystem from the continental shelf and upper slope of the Northwestern Mediterranean Sea was described by means of an Ecopath mass-balance model with the aim of characterising its functioning and structure and describing the ecosystem impacts of fishing. This application included some complexities added to the general modelling methodology due to the high biodiversity of the Mediterranean Sea and the multispecific nature of the fishery, and to the difficulties of working with fishing data which are usually irregularly or imprecisely collected. The model comprised 40 functional groups including primary producers, the main species of benthic, demersal and pelagic invertebrates, fishes and non-fish vertebrates and three detritus groups. In addition, trawling, purse seine, longline and troll bait fishing fleets were included. Results showed that the functional groups were organized into four trophic levels with the highest levels corresponding to anglerfish, dolphins, large pelagic fishes and adult hake. The system was dominated by the pelagic fraction, where sardine and anchovy prevailed in terms of fish biomasses and catches. Detritus and detritivorous groups also played key roles in the ecosystem and important coupled pelagic-demersal interactions were described. Considering Odum's theory of ecosystem development, the ecosystem was placed on an intermediate-low developmental stage due, at least partially, to the impact of fishing activity. This highlighted the high intensity of fishing in the ecosystem, in accordance with the general assessment of western Mediterranean marine resources, and fishing fleets were ranked as top predators of the system. The low trophic level of the catch was in line with the long history of exploitation in the area. However, the steady decline of pelagic landings between 1994 and 2003, coupled with a decrease of the pelagic biomass within the system, underlined the low resistance of the system in front of perturbations

  1. 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.

  2. An ecological model of the artificial ecosystem (northern Hangzhou Bay, China): analysis of ecosystem structure and fishing impacts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Zuozhi; Xu, Shannan; He, Peimin

    2011-06-01

    The artificial ecosystem is a large-scale enclosure in northern Hangzhou Bay, China. Using the Ecopath with Ecosim software, a trophic structure model is constructed for 2006-2007 to characterize the food web structure, functioning, and describing the ecosystem impacts of fishing. Input information for the model were gathered from published and unpublished reports and from our own estimates during the period 2006-2007. Pedigree work and simple sensitivity analysis were carried out to evaluate the quality and the uncertainty of the model. Results show that the food web in the enclosed sea area was dominated by a detritus pathway. The trophic levels of the groups varied from 1.00 for primary producers and detritus to 3.90 for piscivorous fish in the artificial system. Using network analysis, the system network was mapped into a linear food chain, and five discrete trophic levels were found with a mean transfer efficiency of 9.8% from detritus, 9.4% from primary producer within the ecosystem. The geometric mean of the trophic transfer efficiencies was 9.5%. Detritus contributed 57% of the total energy flux, and the other 43% came from primary producers. The ecosystem maturity indices-TPP/TR (total primary production/total respiration), FCI (Finn cycling index), A (ascendancy) and TB/TDET were 2.672, 25%, 31.5%, and 0.013, respectively, showing that the artificial system is at developmental stage according to Odum's theory of ecosystem development. The `Keystoneness' result indicates that herbivorous zooplankton was identified as keystone species in this system. Furthermore, a simple dynamical simulation was preformed for varying fishing mortality over 10 years. The biomass of most fish groups has a small increase when the fishing mortality at current level. Increasing fishing mortality by twofold resulted in a marked decrease in biomass of piscivorous fish accompanied by an increase in that of other fish groups, notable zooplanktivorous fish. Generally, this study

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Hyperinsulinemia adversely affects lung structure and function.

    PubMed

    Singh, Suchita; Bodas, Manish; Bhatraju, Naveen K; Pattnaik, Bijay; Gheware, Atish; Parameswaran, Praveen Kolumam; Thompson, Michael; Freeman, Michelle; Mabalirajan, Ulaganathan; Gosens, Reinoud; Ghosh, Balaram; Pabelick, Christina; Linneberg, Allan; Prakash, Y S; Agrawal, Anurag

    2016-05-01

    There is limited knowledge regarding the consequences of hyperinsulinemia on the lung. Given the increasing prevalence of obesity, insulin resistance, and epidemiological associations with asthma, this is a critical lacuna, more so with inhaled insulin on the horizon. Here, we demonstrate that insulin can adversely affect respiratory health. Insulin treatment (1 μg/ml) significantly (P < 0.05) increased the proliferation of primary human airway smooth muscle (ASM) cells and induced collagen release. Additionally, ASM cells showed a significant increase in calcium response and mitochondrial respiration upon insulin exposure. Mice administered intranasal insulin showed increased collagen deposition in the lungs as well as a significant increase in airway hyperresponsiveness. PI3K/Akt mediated activation of β-catenin, a positive regulator of epithelial-mesenchymal transition and fibrosis, was observed in the lungs of insulin-treated mice and lung cells. Our data suggests that hyperinsulinemia may have adverse effects on airway structure and function. Insulin-induced activation of β-catenin in lung tissue and the contractile effects on ASM cells may be causally related to the development of asthma-like phenotype. PMID:26919895

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Provision of ecosystem services by human-made structures in a highly impacted estuary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Layman, Craig A.; Jud, Zachary R.; Archer, Stephanie K.; Riera, David

    2014-04-01

    Water filtration is one of the most important ecosystem services provided by sessile organisms in coastal ecosystems. As a consequence of increased coastal development, human-made shoreline structures (e.g., docks and bulkheads) are now common, providing extensive surface area for colonization by filter feeders. We estimate that in a highly urbanized sub-tropical estuary, water filtration capacity supported by filter feeding assemblages on dock pilings accounts for 11.7 million liters of water h-1, or ˜30% of the filtration provided by all natural oyster reef throughout the estuary. Assemblage composition, and thus filtration capacity, varied as a function of piling type, suggesting that the choice of building material has critical implications for ecosystem function. A more thorough depiction of the function of coastal ecosystems necessitates quantification of the extensive ecosystem services associated with human-made structures.

  13. The Web-Driven Learning Ecosystem: Its Structure and Benefits

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Raska, David; Shaw, Doris; Keller, Eileen Weisenbach

    2012-01-01

    We have devised a Web-based learning ecosystem (LECOS) that aligns marketing curriculum, course design, technology, instructors, students, as well as external stakeholders--a system that integrates traditional teaching methods with technological advancements in an attempt to enhance marketing students' motivation, engagement, and performance. A…

  14. Artificial neural networks and ecological communities (Book Review: Modelling community structure in freshwater ecosystems)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    DeAngelis, Donald L.

    2005-01-01

    Review info: Modeling community structure in freshwater ecosystems. Edited by Sovan Lek, Michele Scardi, Piet F.M. Verdonschot, Jean-Pierre Descy, and Young-Seuk Park, 2005. ISBN: 3-540-23940-5, 518 pp.

  15. How habitat-modifying organisms structure the food web of two coastal ecosystems.

    PubMed

    van der Zee, Els M; Angelini, Christine; Govers, Laura L; Christianen, Marjolijn J A; Altieri, Andrew H; van der Reijden, Karin J; Silliman, Brian R; van de Koppel, Johan; van der Geest, Matthijs; van Gils, Jan A; van der Veer, Henk W; Piersma, Theunis; de Ruiter, Peter C; Olff, Han; van der Heide, Tjisse

    2016-03-16

    The diversity and structure of ecosystems has been found to depend both on trophic interactions in food webs and on other species interactions such as habitat modification and mutualism that form non-trophic interaction networks. However, quantification of the dependencies between these two main interaction networks has remained elusive. In this study, we assessed how habitat-modifying organisms affect basic food web properties by conducting in-depth empirical investigations of two ecosystems: North American temperate fringing marshes and West African tropical seagrass meadows. Results reveal that habitat-modifying species, through non-trophic facilitation rather than their trophic role, enhance species richness across multiple trophic levels, increase the number of interactions per species (link density), but decrease the realized fraction of all possible links within the food web (connectance). Compared to the trophic role of the most highly connected species, we found this non-trophic effects to be more important for species richness and of more or similar importance for link density and connectance. Our findings demonstrate that food webs can be fundamentally shaped by interactions outside the trophic network, yet intrinsic to the species participating in it. Better integration of non-trophic interactions in food web analyses may therefore strongly contribute to their explanatory and predictive capacity. PMID:26962135

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

  18. Ecosystem-Wide Morphological Structure of Leaf-Litter Ant Communities along a Tropical Latitudinal Gradient

    PubMed Central

    Silva, Rogério R.; Brandão, Carlos Roberto F.

    2014-01-01

    General principles that shape community structure can be described based on a functional trait approach grounded on predictive models; increased attention has been paid to factors accounting for the functional diversity of species assemblages and its association with species richness along environmental gradients. We analyze here the interaction between leaf-litter ant species richness, the local communities' morphological structure and fundamental niche within the context of a northeast-southeast latitudinal gradient in one of the world's most species-rich ecosystems, the Atlantic Forest, representing 2,700 km of tropical rainforest along almost 20o of latitude in eastern Brazil. Our results are consistent with an ecosystem-wide pattern in communities' structure, with relatively high species turnover but functionally analogous leaf-litter ant communities' organization. Our results suggest directional shifts in the morphological space along the environmental gradient from overdispersed to aggregated (from North to South), suggesting that primary productivity and environmental heterogeneity (altitude, temperature and precipitation in the case) determine the distribution of traits and regulate the assembly rules, shaping local leaf-litter ant communities. Contrary to the expected and most common pattern along latitudinal gradients, the Atlantic Forest leaf litter ant communities show an inverse pattern in richness, that is, richer communities in higher than in lower latitudes. The morphological specialization of communities showed more morphologically distinct communities at low latitudes and species redundancy at high latitudes. We claim that an inverse latitudinal gradient in primary productivity and environmental heterogeneity across the Atlantic forest may affect morphological diversity and species richness, enhancing species coexistence mechanisms, and producing thus the observed patterns. We suggest that a functional framework based on flexible enough traits

  19. Ecosystem-wide morphological structure of leaf-litter ant communities along a tropical latitudinal gradient.

    PubMed

    Silva, Rogério R; Brandão, Carlos Roberto F

    2014-01-01

    General principles that shape community structure can be described based on a functional trait approach grounded on predictive models; increased attention has been paid to factors accounting for the functional diversity of species assemblages and its association with species richness along environmental gradients. We analyze here the interaction between leaf-litter ant species richness, the local communities' morphological structure and fundamental niche within the context of a northeast-southeast latitudinal gradient in one of the world's most species-rich ecosystems, the Atlantic Forest, representing 2,700 km of tropical rainforest along almost 20° of latitude in eastern Brazil. Our results are consistent with an ecosystem-wide pattern in communities' structure, with relatively high species turnover but functionally analogous leaf-litter ant communities' organization. Our results suggest directional shifts in the morphological space along the environmental gradient from overdispersed to aggregated (from North to South), suggesting that primary productivity and environmental heterogeneity (altitude, temperature and precipitation in the case) determine the distribution of traits and regulate the assembly rules, shaping local leaf-litter ant communities. Contrary to the expected and most common pattern along latitudinal gradients, the Atlantic Forest leaf litter ant communities show an inverse pattern in richness, that is, richer communities in higher than in lower latitudes. The morphological specialization of communities showed more morphologically distinct communities at low latitudes and species redundancy at high latitudes. We claim that an inverse latitudinal gradient in primary productivity and environmental heterogeneity across the Atlantic forest may affect morphological diversity and species richness, enhancing species coexistence mechanisms, and producing thus the observed patterns. We suggest that a functional framework based on flexible enough traits

  20. Effects on the structure of Arctic ecosystems in the short- and long-term perspectives.

    PubMed

    Callaghan, Terry V; Björn, Lars Olof; Chernov, Yuri; Chapin, Terry; Christensen, Torben R; Huntley, Brian; Ims, Rolf A; Johansson, Margareta; Jolly, Dyanna; Jonasson, Sven; Matveyeva, Nadya; Panikov, Nicolai; Oechel, Walter; Shaver, Gus; Henttonen, Heikki

    2004-11-01

    Species individualistic responses to warming and increased UV-B radiation are moderated by the responses of neighbors within communities, and trophic interactions within ecosystems. All of these responses lead to changes in ecosystem structure. Experimental manipulation of environmental factors expected to change at high latitudes showed that summer warming of tundra vegetation has generally led to smaller changes than fertilizer addition. Some of the factors manipulated have strong effects on the structure of Arctic ecosystems but the effects vary regionally, with the greatest response of plant and invertebrate communities being observed at the coldest locations. Arctic invertebrate communities are very likely to respond rapidly to warming whereas microbial biomass and nutrient stocks are more stable. Experimentally enhanced UV-B radiation altered the community composition of gram-negative bacteria and fungi, but not that of plants. Increased plant productivity due to warmer summers may dominate food-web dynamics. Trophic interactions of tundra and sub-Arctic forest plant-based food webs are centered on a few dominant animal species which often have cyclic population fluctuations that lead to extremely high peak abundances in some years. Population cycles of small rodents and insect defoliators such as the autumn moth affect the structure and diversity of tundra and forest-tundra vegetation and the viability of a number of specialist predators and parasites. Ice crusting in warmer winters is likely to reduce the accessibility of plant food to lemmings, while deep snow may protect them from snow-surface predators. In Fennoscandia, there is evidence already for a pronounced shift in small rodent community structure and dynamics that have resulted in a decline of predators that specialize in feeding on small rodents. Climate is also likely to alter the role of insect pests in the birch forest system: warmer winters may increase survival of eggs and expand the range

  1. Food web structure and vulnerability of a deep-sea ecosystem in the NW Mediterranean Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tecchio, Samuele; Coll, Marta; Christensen, Villy; Company, Joan B.; Ramírez-Llodra, Eva; Sardà, Francisco

    2013-05-01

    There is increasing fishing pressure on the continental margins of the oceans, and this raises concerns about the vulnerability of the ecosystems thriving there. The current knowledge of the biology of deep-water fish species identifies potential reduced resilience to anthropogenic disturbance. However, there are extreme difficulties in sampling the deep sea, resulting in poorly resolved and indirectly obtained food-web relationships. Here, we modelled the flows and biomasses of a Mediterranean deep-sea ecosystem, the Catalan Sea continental slope at depths of 1000-1400 m. This is the first model of a deep-water ecosystem in the Mediterranean Sea. The objectives were to (a) quantitatively describe the food web structure of the ecosystem, (b) examine the role of key species in the ecosystem, and (c) explore the vulnerability of this deep-sea ecosystem to potential future fishing exploitation. We used the Ecopath with Ecosim (EwE) modelling approach and software to model the ecosystem. The trophic model included 18 consumers, a marine snow group, and a sediment detritus group. Trophic network analysis identified low levels of consumer biomass cycling and low system omnivory index when compared with expected values of marine ecosystems, and higher cycling and omnivory when compared with available EwE models of shallower areas of the Mediterranean Sea. The majority of flows in the ecosystem were concentrated at the trophic level of first-order consumers (TL 2). Benthic invertebrates and demersal sharks were identified to have key ecological roles in the ecosystem. We used the dynamic temporal model Ecosim to simulate expansion of the red-shrimp benthic trawl fishery that currently operates at shallower depths, down to 800 m depth. The simulations showed reductions in fish biomass and that the state of the deep continental slope ecosystem in the western Mediterranean seems to be the result of a long-term succession process, which has reached ecological stability, and is

  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. The stochastic structure of critical transitions in water-stressed ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cueto-Felgueroso, L.; Dentz, M.; Juanes, R.

    2013-12-01

    Changes in the stochastic structure of natural forcing mechanisms, such as precipitation or temperature, are likely to transform the form and function of ecological systems. Climate models and global datasets show that an increase in global temperature may result in an amplification of the hydrological cycle, not necessarily accompanied by significant changes in mean annual precipitation. In arid and semiarid environments, feedbacks between climate, soil moisture and vegetation are linked to the existence of alternative stable ecosystem states. It has been hypothesized that bistability is associated with tipping points, whereby slow changes in rainfall forcing, and random or anthropogenic disturbances, may trigger catastrophic shifts towards degraded states of the ecosystem. Identifying tipping points and characterizing ecosystem resilience are essential in the assessment of ecological services in a changing environment. We develop a stochastic framework to understand the joint probability density function (pdf) of soil moisture and vegetation biomass under stochastic rainfall. We emphasize the impact of amplified hydrological cycles on ecosystems where alternative states are possible. The joint pdf characterizes the states in which the ecosystem is most likely to be found. We show that the structure of precipitation, not just the mean annual precipitation, controls the most likely state of the ecosystem. We synthesize our analysis by proposing a definition of ecosystem resilience that is based on the modality and time dynamics of the soil moisture-biomass joint pdf.

  4. Effects of the herbivorous minnow, southern redbelly dace (Phoxinus erythrogaster), on stream productivity and ecosystem structure.

    PubMed

    Bertrand, Katie N; Gido, Keith B

    2007-02-01

    We used field and mesocosm experiments to measure effects of southern redbelly dace (Phoxinus erythrogaster), a grazing minnow, on stream ecosystem structure and function. Ecosystem structure was quantified as algal filament length, algal biomass, size distribution of particulate organic matter (POM), algal assemblage structure, and invertebrate assemblage structure, whereas ecosystem function was based on gross and net primary productivity. Our experiments showed that moderate densities of Phoxinus temporarily reduced mean algal filament length and mean size of POM relative to fishless controls. However, there was no detectable effect on algal biomass or ecosystem primary productivity. Several factors could explain the lack of effect of Phoxinus on primary productivity including increased algal production efficiency in grazed treatments or increased grazing by other organisms in fishless treatments. The inability of Phoxinus to reduce algal biomass and system productivity contrasts with experimental results based on other grazing minnows, such as the central stoneroller (Campostoma anomalum), and questions the generality of grazer effects in stream ecosystems. However, environmental venue and the spatial and temporal scale of ecosystem measurements can greatly influence the outcome of these experiments. PMID:17031700

  5. 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

  6. Ontogenetic functional diversity: size structure of a keystone predator drives functioning of a complex ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Rudolf, Volker H W; Rasmussen, Nick L

    2013-05-01

    A central challenge in community ecology is to understand the connection between biodiversity and the functioning of ecosystems. While traditional approaches have largely focused on species-level diversity, increasing evidence indicates that there exists substantial ecological diversity among individuals within species. By far, the largest source of this intraspecific diversity stems from variation among individuals in ontogenetic stage and size. Although such ontogenetic shifts are ubiquitous in natural communities, whether and how they scale up to influence the structure and functioning of complex ecosystems is largely unknown. Here we take an experimental approach to examine the consequences of ontogenetic niche shifts for the structure of communities and ecosystem processes. In particular we experimentally manipulated the stage structure in a keystone predator, larvae of the dragonfly Anax junius, in complex experimental pond communities to test whether changes in the population stage or size structure of a keystone species scale up to alter community structure and ecosystem processes, and how functional differences scale with relative differences in size among stages. We found that the functional role of A. junius was stage-specific. Altering what stages were present in a pond led to concurrent changes in community structure, primary producer biomass (periphyton and phytoplankton), and ultimately altered ecosystem processes (respiration and net primary productivity), indicating a strong, but stage-specific, trophic cascade. Interestingly, the stage-specific effects did not simply scale with size or biomass of the predator, but instead indicated clear ontogenetic niche shifts in ecological interactions. Thus, functional differences among stages within a keystone species scaled up to alter the functioning of entire ecosystems. Therefore, our results indicate that the classical approach of assuming an average functional role of a species can be misleading because

  7. Protein crowding affects hydration structure and dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Harada, Ryuhei; Sugita, Yuji; Feig, Michael

    2012-01-01

    The effect of protein crowding on the structure and dynamics of water was examined from explicit solvent molecular dynamics simulations of a series of protein G and protein G/villin systems at different protein concentrations. Hydration structure was analyzed in terms of radial distribution functions, three-dimensional hydration sites, and preservation of tetrahedral coordination. Analysis of hydration dynamics focused on self-diffusion rates and dielectric constants as a function of crowding. The results show significant changes in both structure and dynamics of water under highly crowded conditions. The structure of water is altered mostly beyond the first solvation shell. Diffusion rates and dielectric constants are significantly reduced following linear trends as a function of crowding reflecting highly constrained water in crowded environments. The reduced dynamics of diffusion is expected to be strongly related to hydrodynamic properties of crowded cellular environments while the reduced dielectric constant under crowded conditions has implications for the stability of biomolecules in crowded environments. The results from this study suggest a prescription for modeling solvation in simulations of cellular environments. PMID:22352398

  8. Trophic interactions, ecosystem structure and function in the southern Yellow Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Qun; Jin, Xianshi; Zhang, Bo

    2013-01-01

    The southern Yellow Sea is an important fishing ground, providing abundant fishery resources. However, overfishing and climate change have caused a decline in the resource and damaged the ecosystem. We developed an ecosystem model to analyze the trophic interactions and ecosystem structure and function to guide sustainable development of the ecosystem. A trophic mass-balance model of the southern Yellow Sea during 2000-2001 was constructed using Ecopath with Ecosim software. We defined 22 important functional groups and studied their diet composition. The trophic levels of fish, shrimp, crabs, and cephalopods were between 2.78 and 4.39, and the mean trophic level of the fisheries was 3.24. The trophic flows within the food web occurred primarily in the lower trophic levels. The mean trophic transfer efficiency was 8.1%, of which 7.1% was from primary producers and 9.3% was from detritus within the ecosystem. The transfer efficiency between trophic levels II to III to IV to V to >V was 5.0%, 5.7%, 18.5%, and 19.7%-20.4%, respectively. Of the total flow, phytoplankton contributed 61% and detritus contributed 39%. Fishing is defined as a top predator within the ecosystem, and has a negative impact on most commercial species. Moreover, the ecosystem had a high gross efficiency of the fishery and a high value of primary production required to sustain the fishery. Together, our data suggest there is high fishing pressure in the southern Yellow Sea. Based on analysis of Odum's ecological parameters, this ecosystem was at an immature stage. Our results provide some insights into the structure and development of this ecosystem.

  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. Recent Experience Affects the Strength of Structural Priming

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kaschak, Michael P.; Loney, Renrick A.; Borreggine, Kristin L.

    2006-01-01

    In two experiments, we explore how recent experience with particular syntactic constructions affects the strength of the structural priming observed for those constructions. The results suggest that (1) the strength of structural priming observed for double object and prepositional object constructions is affected by the relative frequency with…

  11. Linking morphology to ecosystem structure using satellite for monitoring Wetlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Filipponi, F.; Valentini, E.; Taramelli, A.; Giulio, S.; Persichillo, M.; D'Alpaos, A.

    2013-12-01

    Modern views on the behavior of complex systems, like the low lying coastal areas, allow the interpretation of phenomenological coastal landscape as a steady state that corresponds to a dynamic equilibrium, and to a self-organized exogenic order of the edge of the chaos. Space-borne data, coupled with field spectral measurements and observations, are quantitative tools for the research on feedbacks between the biological influences and physical forming processes steering landscape changes, allowing the identification of critical thresholds beyond which the ecosystem reach a new steady state. This research deals with a multi-temporal change analysis of halophytic vegetation and morphology of two analogous accumulation sites along the northern Adriatic adjoining coast: the 'Bacan island' (Venice Lagoon) and the Spit of Goro Lagoon (Po Delta). These two sites represent delicate ecosystems and are susceptible to different drivers being located close to the lagoon's inlet. The two tests sites support a great biodiversity and supply important resources, so the conservation of their habitats is necessary to maintain the ecosystem services provision. Evidence from previous studies highlights the role of climate, mostly winds and hydrology acting on sediment transport, but only few accounts for the role of vegetation in landform shaping and sediment stabilizing. In this study spatial trends of both vegetation cover/typology and sediment/soil distribution are implemented to obtain detailed classification from EO. By means of sub-pixel processing techniques (Spectral Mixing Analysis), classifications are analyzed in terms of spatial (Power law) and temporal (Empirical Orthogonal Functions) patterns, in order to find the fingerprint of spatial patterns of vegetation, sediments and very shallow waters and their variation over time. The application of a double step analysis from coarse to finer spatial resolution lead first to a biophysical cover map in term of vegetation

  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. Impacts of shrub encroachment on ecosystem structure and functioning: towards a global synthesis.

    PubMed

    Eldridge, David J; Bowker, Matthew A; Maestre, Fernando T; Roger, Erin; Reynolds, James F; Whitford, Walter G

    2011-07-01

    Encroachment of woody plants into grasslands has generated considerable interest among ecologists. Syntheses of encroachment effects on ecosystem processes have been limited in extent and confined largely to pastoral land uses or particular geographical regions. We used univariate analyses, meta-analysis and structural equation modelling to test the propositions that (1) shrub encroachment does not necessarily lead to declines in ecosystem functions and (2) shrub traits influence the functional outcome of encroachment. Analyses of 43 ecosystem attributes from 244 case studies worldwide showed that some attributes consistently increased with encroachment (e.g. soil C, N), and others declined (e.g. grass cover, pH), but most exhibited variable responses. Traits of shrubs were associated with significant, though weak, structural and functional outcomes of encroachment. Our review revealed that encroachment had mixed effects on ecosystem structure and functioning at global scales, and that shrub traits influence the functional outcome of encroachment. Thus, a simple designation of encroachment as a process leading to functionally, structurally or contextually degraded ecosystems is not supported by a critical analysis of existing literature. Our results highlight that the commonly established link between shrub encroachment and degradation is not universal. PMID:21592276

  14. Impacts of shrub encroachment on ecosystem structure and functioning: towards a global synthesis

    PubMed Central

    Eldridge, David J.; Bowker, Matthew A.; Maestre, Fernando T.; Roger, Erin; Reynolds, James F.; Whitford, Walter G.

    2013-01-01

    Encroachment of woody plants into grasslands has generated considerable interest among ecologists. Syntheses of encroachment effects on ecosystem processes have been limited in extent and confined largely to pastoral land uses or particular geographical regions. We used univariate analyses, meta-analysis and structural equation modeling to test the propositions that 1) shrub encroachment does not necessarily lead to declines in ecosystem functions, and 2) shrub traits influence the functional outcome of encroachment. Analyses of 43 ecosystem attributes from 244 case studies worldwide showed that some attributes consistently increased with encroachment (e.g. soil C, N), and others declined (e.g. grass cover, pH), but most exhibited variable responses. Traits of shrubs were associated with significant, though weak, structural and functional outcomes of encroachment. Our review revealed that encroachment had mixed effects on ecosystem structure and functioning at global scales, and that shrub traits influence the functional outcome of encroachment. Thus, a simple designation of encroachment as a process leading to functionally, structurally or contextually degraded ecosystems is not supported by a critical analysis of existing literature. Our results highlight that the commonly established link between shrub encroachment and degradation is not universal. PMID:21592276

  15. Structural Factors Affecting Health Examination Behavioral Intention.

    PubMed

    Huang, Hui-Ting; Kuo, Yu-Ming; Wang, Shiang-Ru; Wang, Chia-Fen; Tsai, Chung-Hung

    2016-04-01

    Disease screening instruments used for secondary prevention can facilitate early determination and treatment of pathogenic factors, effectively reducing disease incidence, mortality rates, and health complications. Therefore, people should be encouraged to receive health examinations for discovering potential pathogenic factors before symptoms occur. Here, we used the health belief model as a foundation and integrated social psychological factors and investigated the factors influencing health examination behavioral intention among the public in Taiwan. In total, 388 effective questionnaires were analyzed through structural model analysis. Consequently, this study yielded four crucial findings: (1) The established extended health belief model could effectively predict health examination behavioral intention; (2) Self-efficacy was the factor that most strongly influenced health examination behavioral intention, followed by health knowledge; (3) Self-efficacy substantially influenced perceived benefits and perceived barriers; (4) Health knowledge and social support indirectly influenced health examination behavioral intention. The preceding results can effectively increase the acceptance and use of health examination services among the public, thereby facilitating early diagnosis and treatment and ultimately reducing disease and mortality rates. PMID:27043606

  16. Structural Factors Affecting Health Examination Behavioral Intention

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Hui-Ting; Kuo, Yu-Ming; Wang, Shiang-Ru; Wang, Chia-Fen; Tsai, Chung-Hung

    2016-01-01

    Disease screening instruments used for secondary prevention can facilitate early determination and treatment of pathogenic factors, effectively reducing disease incidence, mortality rates, and health complications. Therefore, people should be encouraged to receive health examinations for discovering potential pathogenic factors before symptoms occur. Here, we used the health belief model as a foundation and integrated social psychological factors and investigated the factors influencing health examination behavioral intention among the public in Taiwan. In total, 388 effective questionnaires were analyzed through structural model analysis. Consequently, this study yielded four crucial findings: (1) The established extended health belief model could effectively predict health examination behavioral intention; (2) Self-efficacy was the factor that most strongly influenced health examination behavioral intention, followed by health knowledge; (3) Self-efficacy substantially influenced perceived benefits and perceived barriers; (4) Health knowledge and social support indirectly influenced health examination behavioral intention. The preceding results can effectively increase the acceptance and use of health examination services among the public, thereby facilitating early diagnosis and treatment and ultimately reducing disease and mortality rates. PMID:27043606

  17. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  20. Herbivore species richness and feeding complementarity affect community structure and function on a coral reef

    PubMed Central

    Burkepile, Deron E.; Hay, Mark E.

    2008-01-01

    Consumer effects on prey are well known for cascading through food webs and producing dramatic top-down effects on community structure and ecosystem function. Bottom-up effects of prey (primary producer) biodiversity are also well known. However, the role of consumer diversity in affecting community structure or ecosystem function is not well understood. Here, we show that herbivore species richness can be critical for maintaining the structure and function of coral reefs. In two experiments over 2 years, we constructed large cages enclosing single herbivore species, equal densities of mixed species of herbivores, or excluding herbivores and assessed effects on both seaweeds and corals. When compared with single-herbivore treatments, mixed-herbivore treatments lowered macroalgal abundance by 54–76%, enhanced cover of crustose coralline algae (preferred recruitment sites for corals) by 52–64%, increased coral cover by 22%, and prevented coral mortality. Complementary feeding by herbivorous fishes drove the herbivore richness effects, because macroalgae were unable to effectively deter fishes with different feeding strategies. Maintaining herbivore species richness appears critical for preserving coral reefs, because complementary feeding by diverse herbivores produces positive, but indirect, effects on corals, the foundation species for the ecosystem. PMID:18845686

  1. Integration of near-surface remote sensing and eddy covariance measurements: new insights on managed ecosystem structure and functioning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hatala, J.; Sonnentag, O.; Detto, M.; Runkle, B.; Vargas, R.; Kelly, M.; Baldocchi, D. D.

    2009-12-01

    Ground-based, visible light imagery has been used for different purposes in agricultural and ecological research. A series of recent studies explored the utilization of networked digital cameras to continuously monitor vegetation by taking oblique canopy images at fixed view angles and time intervals. In our contribution we combine high temporal resolution digital camera imagery, eddy-covariance, and meteorological measurements with weekly field-based hyperspectral and LAI measurements to gain new insights on temporal changes in canopy structure and functioning of two managed ecosystems in California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta: a pasture infested by the invasive perennial pepperweed (Lepidium latifolium) and a rice plantation (Oryza sativa). Specific questions we address are: a) how does year-round grazing affect pepperweed canopy development, b) is it possible to identify phenological key events of managed ecosystems (pepperweed: flowering; rice: heading) from the limited spectral information of digital camera imagery, c) is a simple greenness index derived from digital camera imagery sufficient to track leaf area index and canopy development of managed ecosystems, and d) what are the scales of temporal correlation between digital camera signals and carbon and water fluxes of managed ecosystems? Preliminary results for the pasture-pepperweed ecosystem show that year-round grazing inhibits the accumulation of dead stalks causing earlier green-up and that digital camera imagery is well suited to capture the onset of flowering and the associated decrease in photosynthetic CO2 uptake. Results from our analyses are of great relevance from both a global environmental change and land management perspective.

  2. 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.

  3. System-level responses of lake ecosystems to chemical stresses using exergy and structural exergy as ecological indicators.

    PubMed

    Xu, Fu-Liu; Dawson, R W; Tao, Shu; Li, Ben-Gang; Cao, Jun

    2002-01-01

    This paper presents the system-level responses of experimental lake ecosystems to three chemical stresses (acidification, copper and pesticide contamination) using exergy and structural exergy as ecological indicators. The results indicate that the doses or toxicity of the three chemical stressors contributed to changes in both exergy and structural exergy. Remarkable changes in exergy and structural exergy occurred under acidic conditions and in the presence of Dursban, 24D-DMA, permethrin, bifenthrin, Carbaryl, TCP, PCP, trichlorethylene, benzene, and high doses of Cu, oil, and hexazinone. This seemed to indicate that the subject ecosystems were seriously contaminated by these chemical stressors. For low doses of Cu, oil, atrazine, HCBP, and hexazinone, exergy and structural exergy were either unchanged or only slightly changed, suggesting that the lake ecosystems were not significantly impacted by these chemical stressors. Discussion of the relationships between ecosystem-level changes and structural and functional changes in stressed lake ecosystems indicates that the above-mentioned ecosystem-level changes were in accordance with the changes in structure and function. The observed changes in exergy and structural exergy were also consistent with Odum's predictions of shortened food chains, reduced resource use efficiency, poor stability, low information, and high entropy in stressed aquatic ecosystems. The findings lead the authors to conclude that it is feasible for exergy and structural exergy to serve as ecological indicators when characterizing the system-level responses of experimental lake ecosystems to chemical stress. These results for experimental lake ecosystems would be extrapolated to actual lakes. PMID:11827273

  4. 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

  5. Soil Bacterial Community Structure Responses to Precipitation Reduction and Forest Management in Forest Ecosystems across Germany

    PubMed Central

    Felsmann, Katja; Baudis, Mathias; Gimbel, Katharina; Kayler, Zachary E.; Ellerbrock, Ruth; Bruehlheide, Helge; Bruckhoff, Johannes; Welk, Erik; Puhlmann, Heike; Weiler, Markus; Gessler, Arthur; Ulrich, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    Soil microbial communities play an important role in forest ecosystem functioning, but how climate change will affect the community composition and consequently bacterial functions is poorly understood. We assessed the effects of reduced precipitation with the aim of simulating realistic future drought conditions for one growing season on the bacterial community and its relation to soil properties and forest management. We manipulated precipitation in beech and conifer forest plots managed at different levels of intensity in three different regions across Germany. The precipitation reduction decreased soil water content across the growing season by between 2 to 8% depending on plot and region. T-RFLP analysis and pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene were used to study the total soil bacterial community and its active members after six months of precipitation reduction. The effect of reduced precipitation on the total bacterial community structure was negligible while significant effects could be observed for the active bacteria. However, the effect was secondary to the stronger influence of specific soil characteristics across the three regions and management selection of overstorey tree species and their respective understorey vegetation. The impact of reduced precipitation differed between the studied plots; however, we could not determine the particular parameters being able to modify the response of the active bacterial community among plots. We conclude that the moderate drought induced by the precipitation manipulation treatment started to affect the active but not the total bacterial community, which points to an adequate resistance of the soil microbial system over one growing season. PMID:25875835

  6. Changes in the ecosystem structure of the Black Sea under predicted climatological and anthropogenic variations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akoglu, Ekin; Salihoglu, Baris; Fach Salihoglu, Bettina; Libralato, Simone; Cannaby, Heather; Oguz, Temel; Solidoro, Cosimo

    2014-05-01

    A dynamic Ecopath with Ecosim higher-trophic-level (HTL) model representation of the Black Sea ecosystem was coupled to the physical (BIMS-CIR) and biogeochemical (BIMS-ECO) models of the Black Sea in order to investigate historical anthropogenic and climatological interactions and feedbacks in the ecosystem. Further, the coupled models were used to assess the likely consequences of these interactions on the ecosystem's structure and functioning under predicted future climate (IPCC A1B) and fishing variability. Therefore, two model scenarios were used; i) a hindcast scenario (1980-1999) to evaluate and understand the impacts of the short-term climate and physical variability and the introduction of invasive species on the Black Sea ecosystem, and ii) a forecast scenario (2080-2099) to investigate the potential implications of climate change and anthropogenic exploitation on living resources of the Black Sea ecosystem by the end of the 21st century. According to the outcomes of the hindcast simulation, fisheries were found to be the main driver in determining the structure and functioning of the Black Sea ecosystem under changing environmental conditions. The coupled physical-biogeochemical forecast simulations predicted a slight but statistically significant basin-wide increase in the Black Sea's primary productivity by the end of the century due to increased stratification induced by basin-wide temperature increase and reduced Cold Intermediate Layer (CIL) formation which increased the residence time of riverine nutrients within the euphotic zone. Despite this increased primary productivity, the HTL model forecast simulation predicted a significant decrease in the commercial fish stocks primarily due to fisheries exploitation if current catch rates are maintained into the future. Results further suggested that some economically important small pelagic fish species are likely to disappear from the ecosystem making the recovery of the already-collapsed piscivorous

  7. [Analysis on the ecosystem structure and function of Lake Taihu based on ecopath model].

    PubMed

    Li, Yun-Kai; Liu, En-Sheng; Wang, Hui; Gong, Yi

    2014-07-01

    Based on the data of lake survey conducted during 2008-2009 and the published data of the trophic ecology of key species, the exploited freshwater ecosystem of Lake Taihu was described using Ecopath with Ecosim 6.1 with the aim of characterizing its functioning and structure. The model comprised 20 functional groups including primary producers, the main species of fishes, nonfish vertebrates, and detritus. Results showed that the functional groups were organized into four aggregated trophic levels with the highest levels corresponding to the top predators, culters. Two trophic pathways were found in Lake Taihu, the detrital pathway and grazing pathway. The detrital pathway dominated in the ecosystem. As a consequence of the low ecotrophic efficiency of primary producer and detritus (trophic level I ), the accumulating detrital sediments continually released waste nutrients back into the system, resulting in its internal pollution. Considering Odum and Ulanowicz's theory of ecosystem development, the ecosystem was placed on a low developmental stage with high net primary production (NPP), net primary production/total respiration (NPP/R) and lower connectance index (CI), system omnivory index (SOI), and Finn' s cycling index (FCI). The results of mixed trophic impacts and keystone species selection showed that the increasingly intensive fishing exerted a negative effect on the ecosystem, and the top-down effects of top predators were becoming much obviously reduced. PMID:25345055

  8. Ecosystem structure and resilience—A comparison between the Norwegian and the Barents Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yaragina, Natalia A.; Dolgov, Andrey V.

    2009-10-01

    Abundance and biomass of the most important fish species inhabited the Barents and Norwegian Sea ecosystems have shown considerable fluctuations over the last decades. These fluctuations connected with fishing pressure resulted in the trophic structure alterations of the ecosystems. Resilience and other theoretical concepts (top-down, wasp-waste and bottom-up control, trophic cascades) were viewed to examine different response of the Norwegian and Barents Sea ecosystems on disturbing forces. Differences in the trophic structure and functioning of Barents and Norwegian Sea ecosystems as well as factors that might influence the resilience of the marine ecosystems, including climatic fluctuation, variations in prey and predator species abundance, alterations in their regular migrations, and fishing exploitation were also considered. The trophic chain lengths in the deep Norwegian Sea are shorter, and energy transfer occurs mainly through the pelagic fish/invertebrates communities. The shallow Barents Sea is characterized by longer trophic chains, providing more energy flow into their benthic assemblages. The trophic mechanisms observed in the Norwegian Sea food webs dominated by the top-down control, i.e. the past removal of Norwegian Spring spawning followed by zooplankton development and intrusion of blue whiting and mackerel into the area. The wasp-waist response is shown to be the most pronounced effect in the Barents Sea, related to the position of capelin in the ecosystem; large fluctuations in the capelin abundance have been strengthened by intensive fishery. Closer links between ecological and fisheries sciences are needed to elaborate and test various food webs and multispecies models available.

  9. Changes in ecosystem structure related to the type and extent of woody cover alter carbon dynamics and surface energy exchange in central Texas ecosystems.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Litvak, M. E.; Heilman, J.; McInnes, K.; Owens, K.; Kjelgaard, J.; Thijs, A.

    2006-12-01

    Rangeland ecosystems account for almost two thirds the total land area in Texas. Over the past century, heavy livestock grazing and fire suppression coupled with changes in climate have facilitated the expansion of woody species into rangelands throughout the state. Based in part on the assumption that woody species use more water than their herbaceous counterparts, land managers have used a variety of techniques to reduce tree and shrub abundance to combat the loss of forage for cattle. As a result, the structure of rangelands in Texas is complex, characterized by woody vegetation that is patchy in distribution, and continually changing between grassland, savanna and woodland. Despite the large areal extent of Texas rangelands, very little is known about how the observed changes in ecosystem structure impact carbon cycle dynamics and surface energy exchange. To reduce these uncertainties, we explored explicit relationships between structure and function in these ecosystems by comparing tower-based measurements of carbon and water vapor exchange made simultaneously from July 2004-Dec 2005 across three representative land covers in central Texas: open grassland, savanna with 30% Ashe juniper and honey mesquite cover, and closed canopy woodland. Here we report our findings on what impact the type and pattern of woody plant cover has on biological controls and patterns of carbon sequestration, evapotranspiration, and sensitivity to precipitation pulses. Monthly measurements of leaf level gas exchange, soil respiration rates, herbaceous net ecosystem exchange, and sap flow measurements on dominant woody species were used to augment eddy covariance estimates of ecosystem-atmosphere exchange. The addition of woody species significantly increased carbon sequestration in these ecosystems. Net ecosystem production from July 05-Jun 05 in the grassland, savanna and forest ecosystems was -14 g C m-2, -413 g C m-2, -450 g C m-2, respectively. Evapotranspiration was less

  10. Prospects of photon counting lidar for savanna ecosystem structural studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gwenzi, D.; Lefsky, M. A.

    2014-11-01

    Discrete return and waveform lidar have demonstrated a capability to measure vegetation height and the associated structural attributes such as aboveground biomass and carbon storage. Since discrete return lidar (DRL) is mainly suitable for small scale studies and the only existing spaceborne lidar sensor (ICESat-GLAS) has been decommissioned, the current question is what the future holds in terms of large scale lidar remote sensing studies. The earliest planned future spaceborne lidar mission is ICESat-2, which will use a photon counting technique. To pre-validate the capability of this mission for studying three dimensional vegetation structure in savannas, we assessed the potential of the measurement approach to estimate canopy height in a typical savanna landscape. We used data from the Multiple Altimeter Beam Experimental Lidar (MABEL), an airborne photon counting lidar sensor developed by NASA Goddard. MABEL fires laser pulses in the green (532 nm) and near infrared (1064 nm) bands at a nominal repetition rate of 10 kHz and records the travel time of individual photons that are reflected back to the sensor. The photons' time of arrival and the instrument's GPS positions and Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) orientation are used to calculate the distance the light travelled and hence the elevation of the surface below. A few transects flown over the Tejon ranch conservancy in Kern County, California, USA were used for this work. For each transect we extracted the data from one near infrared channel that had the highest number of photons. We segmented each transect into 50 m, 25 m and 10 m long blocks and aggregated the photons in each block into a histogram based on their elevation values. We then used an expansion window algorithm to identify cut off points where the cumulative density of photons from the highest elevation resembles the canopy top and likewise where such cumulative density from the lowest elevation resembles mean ground elevation. These cut off

  11. 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.

  12. Quantifying the pedo-ecohydrological structure and function of degraded, grassland ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brazier, Richard E.

    2015-04-01

    Grassland ecosystems cover significant areas of the terrestrial land mass, across a range of geoclimates, from arctic tundra, through temperate and semi-arid landscapes. In very few locations, such grasslands may be termed 'pristine' in that they remain undamaged by human activities and resilient to changing climates. In far more cases, grasslands are being degraded, often irreversibly so, with significant implications for a number of ecosystem services related to water resources, soil quality, nutrient cycles, and therefore both global food and water security. This paper draws upon empirical research that has been undertaken over the last decade to characterise a range of different grasslands in terms of soil properties, vegetation structure and geomorphology and to understand how these structures or patterns might interact or control how the grassland ecosystems function. Particular emphasis is placed upon quantifying fluxes of water, within and from grasslands, but also fluxes of sediment, via the processes of soil erosion and finally fluxes of the macronutrients Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Carbon from the landscape to surface waters. Data are presented from semi-arid grasslands, which are subject to severe encroachment by woody species, temperate upland grasslands that have been 'improved' via drainage to support grazing, temperate lowland grasslands, that are unimproved (Culm or Rhôs pastures) and finally intensively managed grasslands in temperate regions, that have been significantly modified via land management practices to improve productivity. It is hypothesised that, once degraded, the structure and function of these very diverse grassland ecosystems follows the same negative trajectory, resulting in depleted soil depths, nutrient storage capacities and therefore reduced plant growth and long-term carbon sequestration. Results demonstrate that similar, but highly complex and non-linear responses to perturbation of the ecosystem are observed, regardless of

  13. Benthic Trophic Interactions in an Antarctic Shallow Water Ecosystem Affected by Recent Glacier Retreat

    PubMed Central

    Pasotti, Francesca; Saravia, Leonardo Ariel; De Troch, Marleen; Tarantelli, Maria Soledad; Sahade, Ricardo; Vanreusel, Ann

    2015-01-01

    The western Antarctic Peninsula is experiencing strong environmental changes as a consequence of ongoing regional warming. Glaciers in the area are retreating rapidly and increased sediment-laden meltwater runoff threatens the benthic biodiversity at shallow depths. We identified three sites with a distinct glacier-retreat related history and different levels of glacial influence in the inner part of Potter Cove (King George Island, South Shetland Islands), a fjord-like embayment impacted since the 1950s by a tidewater glacier retreat. We compared the soft sediment meio- and macrofauna isotopic niche widths (δ13C and δ15N stable isotope analysis) at the three sites to investigate possible glacier retreat-related influences on benthic trophic interactions. The isotopic niches were locally shaped by the different degrees of glacier retreat-related disturbance within the Cove. Wider isotopic niche widths were found at the site that has become ice-free most recently, and narrower niches at the older ice-free sites. At an intermediate state of glacier retreat-related disturbance (e.g. via ice-growler scouring) species with different strategies could settle. The site at the earliest stage of post-retreat development was characterized by an assemblage with lower trophic redundancy. Generally, the isotopic niche widths increased with increasing size spectra of organisms within the community, excepting the youngest assemblage, where the pioneer colonizer meiofauna size class displayed the highest isotopic niche width. Meiofauna at all sites generally occupied positions in the isotopic space that suggested a detrital-pool food source and/or the presence of predatory taxa. In general ice scour and glacial impact appeared to play a two-fold role within the Cove: i) either stimulating trophic diversity by allowing continuous re-colonization of meiofaunal species or, ii) over time driving the benthic assemblages into a more compact trophic structure with increased

  14. Benthic Trophic Interactions in an Antarctic Shallow Water Ecosystem Affected by Recent Glacier Retreat.

    PubMed

    Pasotti, Francesca; Saravia, Leonardo Ariel; De Troch, Marleen; Tarantelli, Maria Soledad; Sahade, Ricardo; Vanreusel, Ann

    2015-01-01

    The western Antarctic Peninsula is experiencing strong environmental changes as a consequence of ongoing regional warming. Glaciers in the area are retreating rapidly and increased sediment-laden meltwater runoff threatens the benthic biodiversity at shallow depths. We identified three sites with a distinct glacier-retreat related history and different levels of glacial influence in the inner part of Potter Cove (King George Island, South Shetland Islands), a fjord-like embayment impacted since the 1950s by a tidewater glacier retreat. We compared the soft sediment meio- and macrofauna isotopic niche widths (δ13C and δ15N stable isotope analysis) at the three sites to investigate possible glacier retreat-related influences on benthic trophic interactions. The isotopic niches were locally shaped by the different degrees of glacier retreat-related disturbance within the Cove. Wider isotopic niche widths were found at the site that has become ice-free most recently, and narrower niches at the older ice-free sites. At an intermediate state of glacier retreat-related disturbance (e.g. via ice-growler scouring) species with different strategies could settle. The site at the earliest stage of post-retreat development was characterized by an assemblage with lower trophic redundancy. Generally, the isotopic niche widths increased with increasing size spectra of organisms within the community, excepting the youngest assemblage, where the pioneer colonizer meiofauna size class displayed the highest isotopic niche width. Meiofauna at all sites generally occupied positions in the isotopic space that suggested a detrital-pool food source and/or the presence of predatory taxa. In general ice scour and glacial impact appeared to play a two-fold role within the Cove: i) either stimulating trophic diversity by allowing continuous re-colonization of meiofaunal species or, ii) over time driving the benthic assemblages into a more compact trophic structure with increased

  15. Bacterial structures and ecosystem functions in glaciated floodplains: contemporary states and potential future shifts.

    PubMed

    Freimann, Remo; Bürgmann, Helmut; Findlay, Stuart E G; Robinson, Christopher T

    2013-12-01

    Glaciated alpine floodplains are responding quickly to climate change through shrinking ice masses. Given the expected future changes in their physicochemical environment, we anticipated variable shifts in structure and ecosystem functioning of hyporheic microbial communities in proglacial alpine streams, depending on present community characteristics and landscape structures. We examined microbial structure and functioning during different hydrologic periods in glacial (kryal) streams and, as contrasting systems, groundwater-fed (krenal) streams. Three catchments were chosen to cover an array of landscape features, including interconnected lakes, differences in local geology and degree of deglaciation. Community structure was assessed by automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis and microbial function by potential enzyme activities. We found each catchment to contain a distinct bacterial community structure and different degrees of separation in structure and functioning that were linked to the physicochemical properties of the waters within each catchment. Bacterial communities showed high functional plasticity, although achieved by different strategies in each system. Typical kryal communities showed a strong linkage of structure and function that indicated a major prevalence of specialists, whereas krenal sediments were dominated by generalists. With the rapid retreat of glaciers and therefore altered ecohydrological characteristics, lotic microbial structure and functioning are likely to change substantially in proglacial floodplains in the future. The trajectory of these changes will vary depending on contemporary bacterial community characteristics and landscape structures that ultimately determine the sustainability of ecosystem functioning. PMID:23842653

  16. Bacterial structures and ecosystem functions in glaciated floodplains: contemporary states and potential future shifts

    PubMed Central

    Freimann, Remo; Bürgmann, Helmut; Findlay, Stuart EG; Robinson, Christopher T

    2013-01-01

    Glaciated alpine floodplains are responding quickly to climate change through shrinking ice masses. Given the expected future changes in their physicochemical environment, we anticipated variable shifts in structure and ecosystem functioning of hyporheic microbial communities in proglacial alpine streams, depending on present community characteristics and landscape structures. We examined microbial structure and functioning during different hydrologic periods in glacial (kryal) streams and, as contrasting systems, groundwater-fed (krenal) streams. Three catchments were chosen to cover an array of landscape features, including interconnected lakes, differences in local geology and degree of deglaciation. Community structure was assessed by automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis and microbial function by potential enzyme activities. We found each catchment to contain a distinct bacterial community structure and different degrees of separation in structure and functioning that were linked to the physicochemical properties of the waters within each catchment. Bacterial communities showed high functional plasticity, although achieved by different strategies in each system. Typical kryal communities showed a strong linkage of structure and function that indicated a major prevalence of specialists, whereas krenal sediments were dominated by generalists. With the rapid retreat of glaciers and therefore altered ecohydrological characteristics, lotic microbial structure and functioning are likely to change substantially in proglacial floodplains in the future. The trajectory of these changes will vary depending on contemporary bacterial community characteristics and landscape structures that ultimately determine the sustainability of ecosystem functioning. PMID:23842653

  17. Quantifying the pedo-ecohydrological structure and function of degraded, grassland ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brazier, Richard E.

    2015-04-01

    Grassland ecosystems cover significant areas of the terrestrial land mass, across a range of geoclimates, from arctic tundra, through temperate and semi-arid landscapes. In very few locations, such grasslands may be termed 'pristine' in that they remain undamaged by human activities and resilient to changing climates. In far more cases, grasslands are being degraded, often irreversibly so, with significant implications for a number of ecosystem services related to water resources, soil quality, nutrient cycles, and therefore both global food and water security. This paper draws upon empirical research that has been undertaken over the last decade to characterise a range of different grasslands in terms of soil properties, vegetation structure and geomorphology and to understand how these structures or patterns might interact or control how the grassland ecosystems function. Particular emphasis is placed upon quantifying fluxes of water, within and from grasslands, but also fluxes of sediment, via the processes of soil erosion and finally fluxes of the macronutrients Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Carbon from the landscape to surface waters. Data are presented from semi-arid grasslands, which are subject to severe encroachment by woody species, temperate upland grasslands that have been 'improved' via drainage to support grazing, temperate lowland grasslands, that are unimproved (Culm or Rhôs pastures) and finally intensively managed grasslands in temperate regions, that have been significantly modified via land management practices to improve productivity. It is hypothesised that, once degraded, the structure and function of these very diverse grassland ecosystems follows the same negative trajectory, resulting in depleted soil depths, nutrient storage capacities and therefore reduced plant growth and long-term carbon sequestration. Results demonstrate that similar, but highly complex and non-linear responses to perturbation of the ecosystem are observed, regardless of

  18. 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

  19. Long-Distance Interactions Regulate the Structure and Resilience of Coastal Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van de Koppel, Johan; van der Heide, Tjisse; Altieri, Andrew H.; Eriksson, Britas Klemens; Bouma, Tjeerd J.; Olff, Han; Silliman, Brian R.

    2015-01-01

    Mounting evidence indicates that spatial interactions are important in structuring coastal ecosystems. Until recently, however, most of this work has been focused on seemingly exceptional systems that are characterized by regular, self-organized patterns. In this review, we document that interactions that operate at long distances, beyond the direct neighborhood of individual organisms, are more common and have much more far-reaching implications for coastal ecosystems than was previously realized. We review studies from a variety of ecosystem types—including cobble beaches, mussel beds, coral reefs, seagrass meadows, and mangrove forests—that reveal a startling interplay of positive and negative interactions between habitats across distances of up to a kilometer. In addition to classical feeding relations, alterations of physical conditions constitute an important part of these long-distance interactions. This entanglement of habitats has crucial implications for how humans manage coastal ecosystems, and evaluations of anthropogenic impact should explicitly address long-distance and system-wide effects before we deem these human activities to be causing little harm.

  20. Lake Michigan offshore ecosystem structure and food web changes from 1987 to 2008

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rogers, Mark W.; Bunnell, David B.; Madenjian, Charles P.; Warner, David M.

    2014-01-01

    Ecosystems undergo dynamic changes owing to species invasions, fisheries management decisions, landscape modifications, and nutrient inputs. At Lake Michigan, new invaders (e.g., dreissenid mussels (Dreissena spp.), spiny water flea (Bythotrephes longimanus), round goby (Neogobius melanostomus)) have proliferated and altered energy transfer pathways, while nutrient concentrations and stocking rates to support fisheries have changed. We developed an ecosystem model to describe food web structure in 1987 and ran simulations through 2008 to evaluate changes in biomass of functional groups, predator consumption, and effects of recently invading species. Keystone functional groups from 1987 were identified as Mysis, burbot (Lota lota), phytoplankton, alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus), nonpredatory cladocerans, and Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha). Simulations predicted biomass reductions across all trophic levels and predicted biomasses fit observed trends for most functional groups. The effects of invasive species (e.g., dreissenid grazing) increased across simulation years, but were difficult to disentangle from other changes (e.g., declining offshore nutrient concentrations). In total, our model effectively represented recent changes to the Lake Michigan ecosystem and provides an ecosystem-based tool for exploring future resource management scenarios.

  1. Ecosystem Structure Changes in the Turkish Seas as a Response to Overfishing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gazihan Akoglu, Ayse; Salihoglu, Baris; Akoglu, Ekin; Kideys, Ahmet E.

    2013-04-01

    Human population in Turkey has grown more than five-fold since its establishment in 1923 and more than 73 million people are currently living in the country. Turkey is surrounded by partially connected seas (the Black Sea, the Sea of Marmara, the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean Sea) each of which has significantly different productivity levels and ecosystem characteristics. Increasing human population with its growing socio-economic needs has generated an intensive fishing pressure on the fish stocks in its exclusive economic zone. Fishing grounds in the surrounding seas were exploited with different fishing intensities depending upon their productivity level and catch rates. Hence, the responses of these different ecosystems to overfishing have been realized differently. In this study, changes of the ecosystem structures in the Turkish Seas were comparatively investigated by ecosystem indices such as Marine Trophic Index (MTI), Fishing in Balance (FiB) and Primary Production Required (PPR) to assess the degree of sustainability of the fish stocks for future generations.

  2. Lasers on the Landscape: Quantifying 3-D ecosystem structure to map continuous surfaces of carbon, avian species richness, and tree species distributions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vierling, L. A.; Finch, S.; Vierling, K. T.; Strand, E. K.; Hudak, A. T.; Vogeler, J.; Martinuzzi, S.; Eitel, J.; Falkowski, M. J.

    2012-12-01

    Quantifying ecosystem services and species diversity at multiple spatial scales is central to the sustainable management of global natural resources. Many attempts to quantify ecosystem services and species diversity have focused on single services or taxonomic groups, used proxy relationships rather than primary data, and/or failed to adequately assess broad spatial extents with a grain size fine enough to link with individual human decisions and local knowledge. It is thus important to establish objective, repeatable monitoring tools from the parcel to the landscape scale to meet management and policy needs, and to assist with targeting areas for conservation where high collective ecosystem service values (i.e. "hotspots") occur. To meet this need, we combined detailed field observations with LiDAR-derived ecosystem structural variables and statistical modeling techniques to map continuous surfaces of aboveground carbon, bird species richness, and tree diversity across a ~20,000 ha north Idaho case study landscape. Plot-level values of carbon (range: 0-584 Mg/ha), bird species richness (range: 0-23 species/0.04 ha), and tree species variety (range: 0-6 species/0.04 ha) were extrapolated across the landscape using imputation enabled by LiDAR-based relationships. Each quantity was then transformed to normalized values ranging from 0 to 1 to enable the three quantities to be combined for hotspot identification. We found that the scale of analysis strongly affected the magnitude of hotspots containing high carbon and biodiversity values: the maximum hotspot value decreased by 32% when grain size was increased from 100m to 1500m. In addition, we found that preferentially weighting one ecosystem property relative to the others (a situation common to many management scenarios) changed the location and magnitude of hotspots across the landscape. Our results indicate that LiDAR-derived ecosystem structure provides information that is useful for mapping numerous ecosystem

  3. Diversity and community structure of social wasps (Hymenoptera: Vespidae) in three ecosystems in Itaparica island, Bahia State, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Santos, Gilberto M de M; Bichara Filho, Carlos C; Resende, Janete J; da Cruz, Jucelho D; Marques, Oton M

    2007-01-01

    We studied the structure and composition of communities of social wasps associated with the three insular ecosystems: mangrove swamp, the Atlantic Rain Forest and the 'restinga'- lowland sandy ecosystems located between the mountain range and the sea. Three hundred and ninety-one nests of 21 social wasp species were collected. The diversity of wasps found in each ecosystem was significantly correlated to the diversity of vegetation in each of the three physiognomies, (r(2) = 0.85; F(1.16) = 93.85; P < 0. 01). The Tropical Atlantic Forest physiognomy had higher species richness (18 species), followed by the restinga (16 species) and the mangrove (8 species) ecosystems. PMID:17607449

  4. Factors Affecting Soil Microbial Community Structure in Tomato Cropping Systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Soil and rhizosphere microbial communities in agroecosystems may be affected by soil, climate, plant species, and management. We identified some of the most important factors controlling microbial biomass and community structure in an agroecosystem utilizing tomato plants with the following nine tre...

  5. Relating Snow Transport to Ecosystem Structure and Function: Lessons from Libby Flats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hiemstra, C. A.; Reiners, W. A.

    2003-12-01

    The effects of variable snow cover on ecosystem structure and function have been well-documented in cold, temperate ecosystems, especially in high-elevation treeline and alpine landscapes where long, windy winters can produce dramatic variations in snow depths over short distances. Additionally, wind directions, snowfall, and resultant snow-distribution patterns are essentially the same year after year, allowing for relatively steady state environmental conditions and ecosystem properties. These chronic and heterogeneous snow-cover patterns have been associated with ecosystem structure (e.g., plant species distributions, soil characteristics) and function (e.g., decomposition, primary production, nutrient cycling, water balance) in systems where winters are long and most precipitation falls as snow. We sought to determine the impacts of a heterogeneous snow distribution on ecosystem properties in a 6.25 km2 upper-treeline ecotone, called Libby Flats, in south-central Wyoming. This involved modeling and validating snow accumulation, ablation, and meltwater flow spatially coupled with observations of snow depth and density, soil moisture, soil temperature, plant species composition and cover, biomass, gross decomposition, and gopher activity. Model simulations successfully represented the general spatial patterns of snow redistribution and ablation, but field measurements pointed the way for model improvements. Dominant cover types varied with snow depth, meltwater flow, and soil temperature. Decomposition rates changed with soil moisture, soil temperature, snow depth, and length of time covered by snow. Gopher activity was inversely related to soil moisture and positively related to soil depth, soil temperature, snow water equivalent, and graminoid biomass. The role of snow in this landscape is best understood as a function of transport. Transport of snow and snow meltwater play distinctive roles in the spatial patterns of cover within the Libby Flats landscape

  6. Faunal impact on vegetation structure and ecosystem function in mangrove forests: A review

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cannicci, Stefano; Burrows, Damien; Fratini, Sara; Smith, Thomas J., III; Offenberg, Joachim; Dahdouh-Guebas, Farid

    2008-01-01

    The last 20 years witnessed a real paradigm shift concerning the impact of biotic factors on ecosystem functions as well as on vegetation structure of mangrove forests. Before this small scientific revolution took place, structural aspects of mangrove forests were viewed to be the result of abiotic processes acting from the bottom-up, while, at ecosystem level, the outwelling hypothesis stated that mangroves primary production was removed via tidal action and carried to adjacent nearshore ecosystems where it fuelled detrital based food-webs. The sesarmid crabs were the first macrofaunal taxon to be considered a main actor in mangrove structuring processes, thanks to a number of studies carried out in the Indo-Pacific forests in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Following these classical papers, a number of studies on Sesarmidae feeding and burrowing ecology were carried out, which leave no doubts about the great importance of these herbivorous crabs in structuring and functioning Old world ecosystems. Although Sesarmidae are still considered very important in shaping mangrove structure and functioning, recent literature emphasizes the significance of other invertebrates. The Ocypodidae have now been shown to have the same role as Sesarmidae in terms of retention of forest products and organic matter processing in New world mangroves. In both New and Old world mangroves, crabs process large amounts of algal primary production, contribute consistently to retention of mangrove production and as ecosystem engineers, change particle size distribution and enhance soil aeration. Our understanding of the strong impact of gastropods, by means of high intake rates of mangrove products and differential consumption of propagules, has changed only recently. The role of insects must also be stressed. It is now clear that older techniques used to assess herbivory rates by insects strongly underestimate their impact, both in case of leaf eating and wood boring species and that

  7. Consumer return chronology alters recovery trajectory of stream ecosystem structure and function following drought.

    PubMed

    Murdock, Justin N; Gido, Keith B; Dodds, Walter K; Bertrand, Katie N; Whiles, Matt R

    2010-04-01

    Consumers are increasingly being recognized as important drivers of ecological succession, yet it is still hard to predict the nature and direction of consumer effects in nonequilibrium environments. We used stream consumer exclosures and large outdoor mesocosms to study the impact of macroconsumers (i.e., fish and crayfish) on recovery of intermittent prairie streams after drying. In the stream, macroconsumers altered system recovery trajectory by decreasing algal and macroinvertebrate biomass, primary productivity, and benthic nutrient uptake rates. However, macroconsumer influence was transient, and differences between exclosures and controls disappeared after 35 days. Introducing and removing macroconsumers after 28 days resulted mainly in changes to macroinvertebrates. In mesocosms, a dominant consumer (the grazing minnow Phoxinus erythrogaster) reduced macroinvertebrate biomass but had little effect on algal assemblage structure and ecosystem rates during recovery. The weak effect of P. erythrogaster in mesocosms, in contrast to the strong consumer effect in the natural stream, suggests that both timing and diversity of returning consumers are important to their overall influence on stream recovery patterns. Although we found that consumers significantly altered ecosystem structure and function in a system experiencing rapid changes in abiotic and biotic factors following disturbance, consumer effects diminished over time and trajectories converged to similar states with respect to primary producers, in spite of differences in consumer colonization history. Thus, consumer impacts can be substantial in recovering ecosystems and are likely to be dependent on the disturbance regime and diversity of the consumer community. PMID:20462119

  8. 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.

  9. An extreme climatic event alters marine ecosystem structure in a global biodiversity hotspot

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wernberg, Thomas; Smale, Dan A.; Tuya, Fernando; Thomsen, Mads S.; Langlois, Timothy J.; de Bettignies, Thibaut; Bennett, Scott; Rousseaux, Cecile S.

    2013-01-01

    Extreme climatic events, such as heat waves, are predicted to increase in frequency and magnitude as a consequence of global warming but their ecological effects are poorly understood, particularly in marine ecosystems. In early 2011, the marine ecosystems along the west coast of Australia--a global hotspot of biodiversity and endemism--experienced the highest-magnitude warming event on record. Sea temperatures soared to unprecedented levels and warming anomalies of 2-4°C persisted for more than ten weeks along >2,000km of coastline. We show that biodiversity patterns of temperate seaweeds, sessile invertebrates and demersal fish were significantly different after the warming event, which led to a reduction in the abundance of habitat-forming seaweeds and a subsequent shift in community structure towards a depauperate state and a tropicalization of fish communities. We conclude that extreme climatic events are key drivers of biodiversity patterns and that the frequency and intensity of such episodes have major implications for predictive models of species distribution and ecosystem structure, which are largely based on gradual warming trends.

  10. Fishery-Induced Changes in the Subtropical Pacific Pelagic Ecosystem Size Structure: Observations and Theory

    PubMed Central

    Polovina, Jeffrey J.; Woodworth-Jefcoats, Phoebe A.

    2013-01-01

    We analyzed a 16-year (1996–2011) time series of catch and effort data for 23 species with mean weights ranging from 0.8 kg to 224 kg, recorded by observers in the Hawaii-based deep-set longline fishery. Over this time period, domestic fishing effort, as numbers of hooks set in the core Hawaii-based fishing ground, has increased fourfold. The standardized aggregated annual catch rate for 9 small (<15 kg) species increased about 25% while for 14 large species (>15 kg) it decreased about 50% over the 16-year period. A size-based ecosystem model for the subtropical Pacific captures this pattern well as a response to increased fishing effort. Further, the model projects a decline in the abundance of fishes larger than 15 kg results in an increase in abundance of animals from 0.1 to 15 kg but with minimal subsequent cascade to sizes smaller than 0.1 kg. These results suggest that size-based predation plays a key role in structuring the subtropical ecosystem. These changes in ecosystem size structure show up in the fishery in various ways. The non-commercial species lancetfish (mean weight 7 kg) has now surpassed the target species, bigeye tuna, as the species with the highest annual catch rate. Based on the increase in snake mackerel (mean weight 0.8 kg) and lancetfish catches, the discards in the fishery are estimated to have increased from 30 to 40% of the total catch. PMID:23620824

  11. Fishery-induced changes in the subtropical Pacific pelagic ecosystem size structure: observations and theory.

    PubMed

    Polovina, Jeffrey J; Woodworth-Jefcoats, Phoebe A

    2013-01-01

    We analyzed a 16-year (1996-2011) time series of catch and effort data for 23 species with mean weights ranging from 0.8 kg to 224 kg, recorded by observers in the Hawaii-based deep-set longline fishery. Over this time period, domestic fishing effort, as numbers of hooks set in the core Hawaii-based fishing ground, has increased fourfold. The standardized aggregated annual catch rate for 9 small (<15 kg) species increased about 25% while for 14 large species (>15 kg) it decreased about 50% over the 16-year period. A size-based ecosystem model for the subtropical Pacific captures this pattern well as a response to increased fishing effort. Further, the model projects a decline in the abundance of fishes larger than 15 kg results in an increase in abundance of animals from 0.1 to 15 kg but with minimal subsequent cascade to sizes smaller than 0.1 kg. These results suggest that size-based predation plays a key role in structuring the subtropical ecosystem. These changes in ecosystem size structure show up in the fishery in various ways. The non-commercial species lancetfish (mean weight 7 kg) has now surpassed the target species, bigeye tuna, as the species with the highest annual catch rate. Based on the increase in snake mackerel (mean weight 0.8 kg) and lancetfish catches, the discards in the fishery are estimated to have increased from 30 to 40% of the total catch. PMID:23620824

  12. Dynamics and structure of carbon storage in the postagrogenic ecosystems of the southern taiga

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ryzhova, I. M.; Erokhova, A. A.; Podvezennaya, M. A.

    2014-12-01

    The dynamics and structure of the carbon storage in postagrogenic ecosystems during the natural reforestation of agrosoddy-podzolic soils in the southern taiga zone of European Russia have been considered. Calculation experiments based on the nonlinear model of the carbon cycle in soils (NAMSOM) have revealed different tendencies in the changes of the soil carbon reserves during the postagrogenic succession depending of the preceding land use and the soil texture. It has been shown that, in spite of the possible decrease in the reserves of soil carbon in some cases, the total carbon reserves in the ecosystems always increase during the postagrogenic succession due to the multiple increases in the phytomass and the accumulation of carbon in the litter. Thus, the obtained results indicate the sequestering of carbon in the abandoned lands of the southern taiga of European Russia.

  13. Anthropogenic impacts on tropical forest biodiversity: a network structure and ecosystem functioning perspective

    PubMed Central

    Morris, Rebecca J.

    2010-01-01

    Huge areas of diverse tropical forest are lost or degraded every year with dramatic consequences for biodiversity. Deforestation and fragmentation, over-exploitation, invasive species and climate change are the main drivers of tropical forest biodiversity loss. Most studies investigating these threats have focused on changes in species richness or species diversity. However, if we are to understand the absolute and long-term effects of anthropogenic impacts on tropical forests, we should also consider the interactions between species, how those species are organized in networks, and the function that those species perform. I discuss our current knowledge of network structure and ecosystem functioning, highlighting empirical examples of their response to anthropogenic impacts. I consider the future prospects for tropical forest biodiversity, focusing on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in secondary forest. Finally, I propose directions for future research to help us better understand the effects of anthropogenic impacts on tropical forest biodiversity. PMID:20980318

  14. Anthropogenic impacts on tropical forest biodiversity: a network structure and ecosystem functioning perspective.

    PubMed

    Morris, Rebecca J

    2010-11-27

    Huge areas of diverse tropical forest are lost or degraded every year with dramatic consequences for biodiversity. Deforestation and fragmentation, over-exploitation, invasive species and climate change are the main drivers of tropical forest biodiversity loss. Most studies investigating these threats have focused on changes in species richness or species diversity. However, if we are to understand the absolute and long-term effects of anthropogenic impacts on tropical forests, we should also consider the interactions between species, how those species are organized in networks, and the function that those species perform. I discuss our current knowledge of network structure and ecosystem functioning, highlighting empirical examples of their response to anthropogenic impacts. I consider the future prospects for tropical forest biodiversity, focusing on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in secondary forest. Finally, I propose directions for future research to help us better understand the effects of anthropogenic impacts on tropical forest biodiversity. PMID:20980318

  15. Decade time scale plot to landscape scale change in tundra ecosystem structure and function near Barrow, AK

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, D. H.; Johnson, D. R.; Lara, M. J.; Villarreal, S.; Hollister, R. D.; Webber, P. J.; Tweedie, C. E.

    2012-12-01

    Several models suggest shifts in tundra ecosystem structure and function are likely to affect the future state of the Arctic system and how these shifts may impact the global system. Validation of such predictions remains a challenge, however, due to the lack of sustained environmental observations throughout much of the Arctic. In the absence of sustained monitoring, relocating, rescuing, and retrospectively resampling historic research sites and datasets has proven to be an effective means to establish likely change scenarios and develop hypotheses of future change trajectories. This study, synthesizes several recently published works that have used this retrospective approach to explore plot to landscape change in tundra ecosystem structure and function near Barrow, Alaska over the past half Century. This study is a contribution to the International Polar Year 'Back to the Future' project IPY-BTF, IPY # 512). At the landscape level, analysis of land cover change of time series high spatial resolution aerial and satellite imagery spanning 1948-2008 show an overall increase in the extent of dry and moist land cover and open water, and a decrease in the extent of wet and aquatic, land cover types. The 'drying' trend noted for the coastal landscape of Barrow is similar to that noted for four other Alaskan tundra landscapes but in the same study, the Barrow landscape also showed the most dramatic change in wet and aquatic land cover types. Plot level studies of sites, established in 1972 during the International Biological Program, that have been resampled three times show that species richness and diversity has increased and that wet plant communities have changed more than dry plant communities. An analysis of ecosystem function coupled to this plot level study suggests the greatest functional change has occurred in aquatic and wet plant communities where methane efflux and net ecosystem production (NEP) has increased and albedo and the normalized difference

  16. Structure, functioning, and cumulative stressors of Mediterranean deep-sea ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tecchio, Samuele; Coll, Marta; Sardà, Francisco

    2015-06-01

    Environmental stressors, such as climate fluctuations, and anthropogenic stressors, such as fishing, are of major concern for the management of deep-sea ecosystems. Deep-water habitats are limited by primary productivity and are mainly dependent on the vertical input of organic matter from the surface. Global change over the latest decades is imparting variations in primary productivity levels across oceans, and thus it has an impact on the amount of organic matter landing on the deep seafloor. In addition, anthropogenic impacts are now reaching the deep ocean. The Mediterranean Sea, the largest enclosed basin on the planet, is not an exception. However, ecosystem-level studies of response to varying food input and anthropogenic stressors on deep-sea ecosystems are still scant. We present here a comparative ecological network analysis of three food webs of the deep Mediterranean Sea, with contrasting trophic structure. After modelling the flows of these food webs with the Ecopath with Ecosim approach, we compared indicators of network structure and functioning. We then developed temporal dynamic simulations varying the organic matter input to evaluate its potential effect. Results show that, following the west-to-east gradient in the Mediterranean Sea of marine snow input, organic matter recycling increases, net production decreases to negative values and trophic organisation is overall reduced. The levels of food-web activity followed the gradient of organic matter availability at the seafloor, confirming that deep-water ecosystems directly depend on marine snow and are therefore influenced by variations of energy input, such as climate-driven changes. In addition, simulations of varying marine snow arrival at the seafloor, combined with the hypothesis of a possible fishery expansion on the lower continental slope in the western basin, evidence that the trawling fishery may pose an impact which could be an order of magnitude stronger than a climate

  17. Cyanobacteria Affect Fitness and Genetic Structure of Experimental Daphnia Populations.

    PubMed

    Drugă, Bogdan; Turko, Patrick; Spaak, Piet; Pomati, Francesco

    2016-04-01

    Zooplankton communities can be strongly affected by cyanobacterial blooms, especially species of genus Daphnia, which are key-species in lake ecosystems. Here, we explored the effect of microcystin/nonmicrocystin (MC/non-MC) producing cyanobacteria in the diet of experimental Daphnia galeata populations composed of eight genotypes. We used D. galeata clones hatched from ephippia 10 to 60 years old, which were first tested in monocultures, and then exposed for 10 weeks as mixed populations to three food treatments consisting of green algae combined with cyanobacteria able/unable of producing MC. We measured the expression of nine genes potentially involved in Daphnia acclimation to cyanobacteria: six protease genes, one ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme gene, and two rRNA genes, and then we tracked the dynamics of the genotypes in mixed populations. The expression pattern of one protease and the ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme genes was positively correlated with the increased fitness of competing clones in the presence of cyanobacteria, suggesting physiological plasticity. The genotype dynamics in mixed populations was only partially related to the growth rates of clones in monocultures and varied strongly with the food. Our results revealed strong intraspecific differences in the tolerance of D. galeata clones to MC/non-MC-producing cyanobacteria in their diet, suggesting microevolutionary effects. PMID:26943751

  18. Ecosystem modeling of coastal acidification and hypoxia and structural uncertainties in the representation of sediment-water exchanges

    EPA Science Inventory

    Numerical ecosystem models of coastal acidification (CA) and hypoxia have been developed to synthesize current scientific understanding and provide predictions for nutrient management and policy. However, there is not a scientific consensus about the structure of these models an...

  19. The magnitude of lost ecosystem structure and function in urban streams and the effectiveness of watershed-based management (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smucker, N. J.; Detenbeck, N. E.; Kuhn, A.

    2013-12-01

    Watershed development is a leading cause of stream impairment and increasingly threatens the availability, quality, and sustainability of freshwater resources. In a recent global meta-analysis, we found that measures of desirable ecological structure (e.g., algal, macroinvertebrate, and fish communities) and functions (e.g., metabolism, nutrient uptake, and denitrification) in streams with developed watersheds were only 23% and 34%, respectively, of those in minimally disturbed reference streams. As humans continue to alter watersheds in response to growing and migrating populations, characterizing ecological responses to watershed development and management practices is urgently needed to inform future development practices, decisions, and policy. In a study of streams in New England, we found that measures of macroinvertebrate and algal communities had threshold responses between 1-10% and 1-5% impervious cover, respectively. Macroinvertebrate communities had decreases in sensitive taxa and predators occurring from 1-3.5% and transitions in trophic and habitat guilds from 4-9% impervious cover. Sensitive algal taxa declined at 1%, followed by increases in tolerant taxa at 3%. Substantially altered algal communities persisted above 5% impervious cover and were dominated by motile taxa (sediment resistant) and those with high nutrient demands. Boosted regression tree analysis showed that sites with >65% and ideally >80% forest and wetland cover in near-stream buffers were associated with a 13-34% decrease in the effects of watershed impervious cover on algal communities. While this reduction is substantial, additional out-of-stream management efforts are needed to protect and restore stream ecosystems (e.g., created wetlands and stormwater ponds), but understanding their effectiveness is greatly limited by sparse ecological monitoring. Our meta-analysis found that restoration improved ecological structure and functions in streams by 48% and 14%, respectively, when

  20. Interactions between surface structures, runoff and erosion in an artificial watershed during the initial ecosystem development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gerwin, W.; Raab, T.; Dimitrov, M.

    2009-04-01

    In its initial phase an ecosystem can be characterized as a Geo-(Hydro-)System since biotic compartments are still missing to a large extent. In this very first stage of the ecosystem development the hydrological processes forming the first surface structures are mainly controlled by runoff patterns and by the physical properties of the surface and the substrate. Based on that, it can be hypothesized that the initially formed structures are responsible for the future development of the ecosystem and define later structures. However, initial structures are very dynamic, and few alterations of surface properties may initiate the development of completely new patches and patterns which again control surface processes like erosion and sedimentation. Loose sand and other fine particles are transported directly by wind and water from the upper initial soil surface and a first physical soil crust is formed very quickly. This new surface exhibits clearly different properties compared with the original initial surface. For example, infiltration can be minimized and surface runoff is promoted by this crusting. In contrast, sandy or silty substrate that has been relocated by erosion processes into small hollows of the surface changes the soil physical properties of these parts of the landscape as well but into another direction. In these parts of the system the sedimentation may create small patches with higher infiltration rates and eventually better water storage capacities. This may result into the formation of initial vegetation patches and patterns which in turn influence the further quality and quantity as well as the location of soil surface processes. Against this background this paper presents a recently launched research project using an artificially created water catchment of 6 ha in size. This site called ‘Chicken Creek' (‘Hühnerwasser') was established in 2005 in Lusatia (Germany) and is the central research site of a German-Swiss Collaborative Research

  1. Using Data on Vegetation Structure to Initialize and Test Ecosystem Models (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hurtt, G. C.; Dubayah, R.; Fisk, J.; Dolan, K. A.; Shugart, H. H.

    2010-12-01

    Scientists have long recognized the importance of vegetation structure in forest dynamics, but relevant data and models have generally not been available for large-scale applications. Now future satellite missions utilizing lidar and radar technologies have the potential to provide globally consistent data on vegetation structure, and new models are being developed to track the dynamics of vegetation 3-D structure over large scales. Used together, these advances have the potential to revolutionize the initialization and testing of terrestrial models, and thereby reduce key uncertainties and improve model predictions of carbon cycle dynamics. Here, using both theoretical models and an advanced mechanistic ecosystem model, we investigate the use, and potential use, of data on various forest structural metrics for initializing and testing terrestrial models. Focus is on quantifying the potential utility of various metrics, and the resolution and accuracy with which these measurements need to be made.

  2. Stable isotopes in ecosystem science: structure, function and dynamics of a subtropical Savanna.

    PubMed

    Boutton, T W; Archer, S R; Midwood, A J

    1999-01-01

    Stable isotopes are often utilized as intrinsic tracers to study the effects of human land uses on the structural and functional characteristics of ecosystems. Here, we illustrate how stable isotopes of H, C, and O have been utilized to document changes in ecosystem structure and function using a case study from a subtropical savanna ecosystem. Specifically, we demonstrate that: (1) delta 13C values of soil organic carbon record a vegetation change in this ecosystem from C4 grassland to C3 woodland during the past 40-120 years, and (2) delta 2H and delta 18O of plant and soil water reveal changes in ecosystem hydrology that accompanied this grassland-to-woodland transition. In the Rio Grande Plains of North America, delta 13C values of plants and soils indicate that areas now dominated by C3 subtropical thorn woodland were once C4 grasslands. delta 13C values of current organic matter inputs from wooded landscape elements in this region are characteristic of C3 plants (-28 to -25/1000), while those of the associated soil organic carbon are higher and range from -20 to -15/1000. Approximately 50-90% of soil carbon beneath the present C3 woodlands is derived from C4 grasses. A strong memory of the C4 grasslands that once dominated this region is retained by delta 13C values of organic carbon associated with fine and coarse clay fractions. When delta 13C values are evaluated in conjunction with 14C measurements of that same soil carbon, it appears that grassland-to-woodland conversion occurred largely within the past 40-120 years, coincident with the intensification of livestock grazing and reductions in fire frequency. These conclusions substantiate those based on demographic characteristics of the dominant tree species, historical aerial photography, and accounts of early settlers and explores. Concurrent changes in soil delta 13C values and organic carbon content over the past 90 years also indicate that wooded landscape elements are behaving as sinks for

  3. Effects of municipal wastewater on aquatic ecosystem structure and function in the receiving stream.

    PubMed

    Englert, Dominic; Zubrod, Jochen P; Schulz, Ralf; Bundschuh, Mirco

    2013-06-01

    During recent years, increasing incidences of summer droughts - likely driven by climate change - reduced the dilution potential of low-order streams for secondary treated wastewater also in temperate Europe. Despite the potential risks to ecosystem integrity, there is a paucity of knowledge regarding the effects of different wastewater dilution potentials on ecosystem functions. The present study investigated the implications of secondary treated wastewater released into a third-order stream (Queich, southwest Germany) during a season with low dilution potential (summer; ~90% wastewater) as compared to a season with high dilution potential (winter; ~35% wastewater) in terms of leaf litter decomposition and macroinvertebrate communities. Adverse effects in macroinvertebrate mediated leaf mass loss (~65%), gammarids' feeding rate (~80%), leaf associated fungal biomass (>40%) and shifts in macroinvertebrate community structure were apparent up to 100 and 300 m (partially 500 m) downstream of the wastewater treatment plant effluent during winter and summer, respectively. In addition, a Gammarus fossarum laboratory feeding trial demonstrated the potential of powdered activated carbon to reduce the ecotoxicity of released wastewater. These results urge the development and evaluation of adequate management strategies, e.g. the application of advanced wastewater treatment technologies, to protect the integrity of freshwater ecosystems, which is required by the European Water Framework Directive - also considering decreasing dilution potential of streams as projected by climate change scenarios. PMID:23562693

  4. Bridging structure and function in semi-arid ecosystems by integrating remote sensing and ground based measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krofcheck, Dan J.

    The Southwestern US is projected to continue to experience a significant warming trend, with increased variability in the timing and magnitude of rainfall events. The effects of theses changes in climate are already manifesting in the form of expansive, prolonged 'megadroughts', which have resulted in the widespread mortality of woody vegetation across the region.Therefore the need to monitor and model forest mortality and carbon dynamics at the landscape and regional scale is an essential component of regional and global climate mitigation strategies, and critical if we are to understand how the imminent state transitions taking place in forests globally will affect climate forcing and feedbacks. Remote sensing offers the only solution to multitemporal regional observation, yet many challenges exist with employing modern remote sensing solutions in highly stressed vegetation characteristic of semi-arid biomes, making one of the most expansive biomes on the globe also one of the most difficult to accurately monitor and model. The goal of this research was to investigate how changes in the structure of semi-arid woodlands following forest mortality impacts ecosystem function, and address this question in the context of remote sensing data sets, thereby contributing to the remote sensing community's ability to interact with these challenging ecosystems. We first focused on pinus edulis and juniperous monosperma (pinon-juniper) woodlands, as they comprise a model semi-arid biome. We tested the ability of high resolution remote sensing data to mechanistically describe the patterns in overstory mortality and understory green-up, and were able to observe the heterogeneous response of the understory as a function of cover type. We also investigated the relationship between changes in soil water content and the greenness of the canopy, noting that in these stress ecosystems there is often a decoupling of the canopy as measured remotely (e.g., via vegetation indices, VI

  5. Functional group biodiversity in Eastern Boundary Upwelling Ecosystems questions the wasp-waist trophic structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fréon, Pierre; Arístegui, Javier; Bertrand, Arnaud; Crawford, Robert J. M.; Field, John C.; Gibbons, Mark J.; Tam, Jorge; Hutchings, Larry; Masski, Hicham; Mullon, Christian; Ramdani, Mohamed; Seret, Bernard; Simier, Monique

    2009-12-01

    The species diversity of the four major Eastern Boundary Upwelling Ecosystems (EBUEs) is studied and compared with the aim of better understanding their functioning. Functional groups (FGs) of organisms were defined according to their taxonomy, body size and trophic level (TL), and span from plankton to top predators. Four large sub-divisions are defined in each system: two latitudinal sub-divisions (north and south) and two zonal sub-divisions (inshore and offshore), resulting in four sub-ecosystems per EBUE. A semi-quantitative approach is used in which only the dominant species (contributing 90% of overall biomass) are considered. EBUEs are compared in regard to their species composition, dominant species richness and evenness within FGs. The data are interpreted, focusing on latitudinal, zonal and depth gradients of diversity. Trophic flows (inflow and outflow) through the small pelagic fish FG are derived from different Ecopath models. This analysis of the four ecosystems and their sub-divisions does not provide support for the expected wasp-waist food web structure and functioning, with a single or several species of small pelagic fish primarily channelling the energy flow from lower to higher TL. Instead, similar low levels of richness were observed in many FGs of intermediate TL, allowing several energy transfer pathways. The gamma diversity is high due to the geographical distance between EBUEs and the presence or absence of rivers, but not to differences in their latitudinal position. The beta diversity is also high, due to the same factors plus the variation in shelf width and the contrast between inshore and offshore sub-divisions. The differences in richness and evenness among EBUEs are minor and do not explain the higher secondary and tertiary productivity of the Humboldt ecosystem.

  6. Chitinolytic and pectinolytic community in the vertical structure of chernozem's zone ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lukacheva, E.; Manucharova, N.

    2012-04-01

    Chitin is a long-chain polymer of a N-acetylglucosamine and is found in many places throughout the natural world. Pectin is a structural heteropolysaccharide contained in the primary cell walls of terrestrial plants. Roots of the plants and root crops contain pectin. Chitin and pectin are widely distributed throughout the natural world. For this reason it is important to investigate the structural and functional properties of complex organisms, offering degradation of these biopolymers in the terrestrial and soil ecosystems. It is known that ecosystems have their own structure. It is possible to allocate some vertical tiers: phylloplane, litter (soil covering), soil. We investigated chitinolytic and pektinolytic microbial communities dedicated to different layers of the ecosystem of the chernozem zone. Quantity of eukaryote and procaryote organisms increased in the test samples with chitin and pectin. Increasing of eukaryote in samples with pectin was more then in samples with chitin. Also should be noted the significant increasing of actinomycet`s quantity in the samples with chitin in comparison with samples with pectin. The variety and abundance of bacteria in the litter samples increased an order of magnitude as compared to other options investigated. Further prokaryote community was investigated by method FISH (fluorescence in situ hybridization). FISH is a cytogenetic technique developed that is used to detect and localize the presence or absence of specific DNA sequences on chromosomes. Quantity of Actinomycets and Firmicutes was the largest among identified cells with metabolic activity in soil samples. Should be noted significant increasing of the quantity of Acidobateria and Bacteroidetes in pectinolytic community and Alphaproteobacteria in chitinolytic community. In considering of the phylogenetic structure investigated communities in samples of the litter should be noted increase in the segment of Proteobacteria. Increasing of this group of

  7. Partitioning the effects of an ecosystem engineer: kangaroo rats control community structure via multiple pathways.

    PubMed

    Prugh, Laura R; Brashares, Justin S

    2012-05-01

    1. Ecosystem engineers impact communities by altering habitat conditions, but they can also have strong effects through consumptive, competitive and other non-engineering pathways. 2. Engineering effects can lead to fundamentally different community dynamics than non-engineering effects, but the relative strengths of these interactions are seldom quantified. 3. We combined structural equation modelling and exclosure experiments to partition the effects of a keystone engineer, the giant kangaroo rat (Dipodomys ingens), on plants, invertebrates and vertebrates in a semi-arid California grassland. 4. We separated the effects of burrow creation from kangaroo rat density and found that kangaroo rats increased the diversity and abundance of other species via both engineering and non-engineering pathways. 5. Engineering was the primary factor structuring plant and small mammal communities, whereas non-engineering effects structured invertebrate communities and increased lizard abundance. 6. These results highlight the importance of the non-engineering effects of ecosystem engineers and shed new light on the multiple pathways by which strong-interactors shape communities. PMID:22098534

  8. Food-web structure and ecosystem services: insights from the Serengeti

    PubMed Central

    Dobson, Andy

    2009-01-01

    The central organizing theme of this paper is to discuss the dynamics of the Serengeti grassland ecosystem from the perspective of recent developments in food-web theory. The seasonal rainfall patterns that characterize the East African climate create an annually oscillating, large-scale, spatial mosaic of feeding opportunities for the larger ungulates in the Serengeti; this in turn creates a significant annual variation in the food available for their predators. At a smaller spatial scale, periodic fires during the dry season create patches of highly nutritious grazing that are eaten in preference to the surrounding older patches of less palatable vegetation. The species interactions between herbivores and plants, and carnivores and herbivores, are hierarchically nested in the Serengeti food web, with the largest bodied consumers on each trophic level having the broadest diets that include species from a large variety of different habitats in the ecosystem. The different major habitats of the Serengeti are also used in a nested fashion; the highly nutritious forage of the short grass plains is available only to the larger migratory species for a few months each year. The longer grass areas, the woodlands and kopjes (large partially wooded rocky islands in the surrounding mosaic of grassland) contain species that are resident throughout the year; these species often have smaller body size and more specialized diets than the migratory species. Only the larger herbivores and carnivores obtain their nutrition from all the different major habitat types in the ecosystem. The net effect of this is to create a nested hierarchy of subchains of energy flow within the larger Serengeti food web; these flows are seasonally forced by rainfall and operate at different rates in different major branches of the web. The nested structure that couples sequential trophic levels together interacts with annual seasonal variation in the fast and slow chains of nutrient flow in a way that

  9. How spatio-temporal habitat connectivity affects amphibian genetic structure

    PubMed Central

    Watts, Alexander G.; Schlichting, Peter E.; Billerman, Shawn M.; Jesmer, Brett R.; Micheletti, Steven; Fortin, Marie-Josée; Funk, W. Chris; Hapeman, Paul; Muths, Erin; Murphy, Melanie A.

    2015-01-01

    Heterogeneous landscapes and fluctuating environmental conditions can affect species dispersal, population genetics, and genetic structure, yet understanding how biotic and abiotic factors affect population dynamics in a fluctuating environment is critical for species management. We evaluated how spatio-temporal habitat connectivity influences dispersal and genetic structure in a population of boreal chorus frogs (Pseudacris maculata) using a landscape genetics approach. We developed gravity models to assess the contribution of various factors to the observed genetic distance as a measure of functional connectivity. We selected (a) wetland (within-site) and (b) landscape matrix (between-site) characteristics; and (c) wetland connectivity metrics using a unique methodology. Specifically, we developed three networks that quantify wetland connectivity based on: (i) P. maculata dispersal ability, (ii) temporal variation in wetland quality, and (iii) contribution of wetland stepping-stones to frog dispersal. We examined 18 wetlands in Colorado, and quantified 12 microsatellite loci from 322 individual frogs. We found that genetic connectivity was related to topographic complexity, within- and between-wetland differences in moisture, and wetland functional connectivity as contributed by stepping-stone wetlands. Our results highlight the role that dynamic environmental factors have on dispersal-limited species and illustrate how complex asynchronous interactions contribute to the structure of spatially-explicit metapopulations. PMID:26442094

  10. How spatio-temporal habitat connectivity affects amphibian genetic structure

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Watts, Alexander G.; Schlichting, P; Billerman, S; Jesmer, B; Micheletti, S; Fortin, M.-J.; Funk, W.C.; Hapeman, P; Muths, Erin L.; Murphy, M.A.

    2015-01-01

    Heterogeneous landscapes and fluctuating environmental conditions can affect species dispersal, population genetics, and genetic structure, yet understanding how biotic and abiotic factors affect population dynamics in a fluctuating environment is critical for species management. We evaluated how spatio-temporal habitat connectivity influences dispersal and genetic structure in a population of boreal chorus frogs (Pseudacris maculata) using a landscape genetics approach. We developed gravity models to assess the contribution of various factors to the observed genetic distance as a measure of functional connectivity. We selected (a) wetland (within-site) and (b) landscape matrix (between-site) characteristics; and (c) wetland connectivity metrics using a unique methodology. Specifically, we developed three networks that quantify wetland connectivity based on: (i) P. maculata dispersal ability, (ii) temporal variation in wetland quality, and (iii) contribution of wetland stepping-stones to frog dispersal. We examined 18 wetlands in Colorado, and quantified 12 microsatellite loci from 322 individual frogs. We found that genetic connectivity was related to topographic complexity, within- and between-wetland differences in moisture, and wetland functional connectivity as contributed by stepping-stone wetlands. Our results highlight the role that dynamic environmental factors have on dispersal-limited species and illustrate how complex asynchronous interactions contribute to the structure of spatially-explicit metapopulations.

  11. Microbial Fingerprints of Community Structure Correlate with Changes in Ecosystem Function Induced by Perturbing the Redox Environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mills, A. L.; Ford, R. M.; Vallino, J. J.; Herman, J. S.; Hornberger, G. M.

    2001-12-01

    Restoration of high-quality groundwater has been an elusive engineering goal. Consequently, natural microbially-mediated reactions are increasingly relied upon to degrade organic contaminants, including hydrocarbons and many synthetic compounds. Of concern is how the introduction of an organic chemical contaminant affects the indigenous microbial communities, the geochemistry of the aquifer, and the function of the ecosystem. The presence of functional redundancy in microbial communities suggests that recovery of the community after a disturbance such as a contamination event could easily result in a community that is similar in function to that which existed prior to the contamination, but which is compositionally quite different. To investigate the relationship between community structure and function we observed the response of a diverse microbial community obtained from raw sewage to a dynamic redox environment using an aerobic/anaerobic/aerobic cycle. To evaluate changes in community function CO2, pH, ammonium and nitrate levels were monitored. A phylogenetically-based DNA technique (tRFLP) was used to assess changes in microbial community structure. Principal component analysis of the tRFLP data revealed significant changes in the composition of the microbial community that correlated well with changes in community function. Results from our experiments will be discussed in the context of a metabolic model based the biogeochemistry of the system. The governing philosophy of this thermodynamically constrained metabolic model is that living systems synthesize and allocate cellular machinery in such a way as to "optimally" utilize available resources in the environment. The robustness of this optimization-based approach provides a powerful tool for studying relationships between microbial diversity and ecosystem function.

  12. Body size-based trophic structure of a deep marine ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Romero-Romero, Sonia; Molina-Ramírez, Axayacatl; Hofer, Juan; Luis Acuña, José

    2016-01-01

    Nitrogen stable isotope ratios (δ15N) and body size were used to describe the size-based trophic structure of a deep-sea ecosystem, the Avilés submarine Canyon (Cantabrian Sea, Southern Bay of Biscay). We analyzed δ15N of specimens collected on a seasonal basis (March 2012, October 2012, and May 2013), from a variety of zones (benthic, pelagic), taxa (from zooplankton through invertebrates and fishes to giant squids and cetaceans), or depths (from surface to 4700 m) that spanned nine orders of magnitude in body mass. Our data reveal a strong linear dependence of trophic level on body size when data were considered either individually, aggregated into taxonomical categories, or binned into size classes. The three approaches render similar results that were not significantly different and yielded predator:prey body mass ratios (PPMR) of 1156:1, 3792:1 and 2718:1, respectively. Thus, our data represent unequivocal evidence of interspecific, size-based trophic structure of a whole ecosystem based on taxonomic/functional categories. We studied the variability in δ15N not explained by body mass (W) using linear mixed modeling and found that the δ15N vs. log10 W relationship holds for both pelagic and benthic systems, with benthic organisms isotopically enriched relative to pelagic organisms of the same size. However there is a marked seasonal variation potentially related to the recycling state of the system. PMID:27008786

  13. Forest to reclaimed mine land use change leads to altered ecosystem structure and function

    SciTech Connect

    Simmons, J.A.; Currie, W.S.; Eshleman, K.N.; Kuers, K.; Monteleone, S.; Negley, T.L.; Pohlad, B.R.; Thomas, C.L.

    2008-01-15

    The United States' use of coal results in many environmental alterations. In the Appalachian coal belt region, one widespread alteration is conversion of forest to reclaimed mineland. The goal of this study was to quantify the changes to ecosystem structure and function associated with a conversion from forest to reclaimed mine grassland by comparing a small watershed containing a 15-year-old reclaimed mine with a forested, reference watershed in western Maryland. Major differences were apparent between the two watersheds in terms of biogeochemistry. Total C, N, and P pools were all substantially lower at the mined site, mainly due to the removal of woody biomass but also, in the case of P, to reductions in soil pools. Mineral soil C, N, and P pools were 96%, 79%, and 69% of native soils, respectively. Although annual runoff from the watersheds was similar, the mined watershed exhibited taller, narrower storm peaks as a result of a higher soil bulk density and decreased infiltration rates. Stream export of N was much lower in the mined watershed due to lower net nitrification rates and nitrate concentrations in soil. However, stream export of sediment and P and summer stream temperature were much higher. Stream leaf decomposition was reduced and macroinvertebrate community structure was altered as a result of these changes to the stream environment. This land use change leads to substantial, long-term changes in ecosystem capital and function.

  14. Forest to reclaimed mine land use change leads to altered ecosystem structure and function.

    PubMed

    Simmons, Jeffrey A; Currie, William S; Eshleman, Keith N; Kuers, Karen; Monteleone, Susan; Negley, Tim L; Pohlad, Bob R; Thomas, Carolyn L

    2008-01-01

    The United States' use of coal results in many environmental alterations. In the Appalachian coal belt region, one widespread alteration is conversion of forest to reclaimed mineland. The goal of this study was to quantify the changes to ecosystem structure and function associated with a conversion from forest to reclaimed mine grassland by comparing a small watershed containing a 15-year-old reclaimed mine with a forested, reference watershed in western Maryland. Major differences were apparent between the two watersheds in terms of biogeochemistry. Total C, N, and P pools were all substantially lower at the mined site, mainly due to the removal of woody biomass but also, in the case of P, to reductions in soil pools. Mineral soil C, N, and P pools were 96%, 79%, and 69% of native soils, respectively. Although annual runoff from the watersheds was similar, the mined watershed exhibited taller, narrower storm peaks as a result of a higher soil bulk density and decreased infiltration rates. Stream export of N was much lower in the mined watershed due to lower net nitrification rates and nitrate concentrations in soil. However, stream export of sediment and P and summer stream temperature were much higher. Stream leaf decomposition was reduced and macroinvertebrate community structure was altered as a result of these changes to the stream environment. This land use change leads to substantial, long-term changes in ecosystem capital and function. PMID:18372559

  15. 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

  16. Population size-structure-dependent fitness and ecosystem consequences in Trinidadian guppies.

    PubMed

    Bassar, Ronald D; Heatherly, Thomas; Marshall, Michael C; Thomas, Steven A; Flecker, Alexander S; Reznick, David N

    2015-07-01

    Decades of theory and recent empirical results have shown that evolutionary, population, community and ecosystem properties are the result of feedbacks between ecological and evolutionary processes. The vast majority of theory and empirical research on these eco-evolutionary feedbacks has focused on interactions among population size and mean traits of populations. However, numbers and mean traits represent only a fraction of the possible feedback dimensions. Populations of many organisms consist of different size classes that differ in their impact on the environment and each other. Moreover, rarely do we know the map of ecological pathways through which changes in numbers or size structure cause evolutionary change. The goal of this study was to test the role of size structure in eco-evolutionary feedbacks of Trinidadian guppies and to begin to build an eco-evolutionary map along this unexplored dimension. We used a factorial experiment in mesocosms wherein we crossed high- and low-predation guppy phenotypes with population size structure. We tested the ability of changes in size structure to generate selection on the demographic rates of guppies using an integral projection model (IPM). To understand how fitness differences among high- and low-predation phenotypes may be generated, we measured the response of the biomass of lower trophic levels and nutrient cycling to the different phenotype and size structure treatments. We found a significant interaction between guppy phenotype and the size structure treatments for absolute fitness. Size structure had a very large effect on invertebrate biomass in the mesocosms, but there was little or no effect of the phenotype. The effect of size structure on algal biomass depended on guppy phenotype, with no difference in algal biomass in populations with more, smaller guppies, but a large decrease in algal biomass in mesocosms with phenotypes adapted to low-predation risk. These results indicate an important role for size

  17. Understanding the structure of Exmoor's peatland ecosystems using laser-scanning technologies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luscombe, D. J.; Anderson, K.; Wetherelt, A.; Grand-Clement, E.; Le-Feuvre, N.; Smith, D.; Brazier, R. E.

    2012-04-01

    Upland blanket peatlands in the UK are of high conservation value and in an intact state, provide important landscape services, such as carbon sequestration and flood attenuation. The drainage of many such wetlands for agricultural reclamation has resulted in changes to upland blanket mire topography, ecology, hydrological processes and carbon fluxes. There is a need for spatially explicit monitoring approaches at peatland sites in the UK as although there has been a national effort to restore drained peat uplands, baseline and post restoration monitoring of changes to ecosystem structure and function is largely absent. Climate change policy and the emerging carbon markets also necessitate the need for enhanced system understanding to inform carbon targets and understand the impacts of restoration. Exmoor is the focus of this research because many areas of upland peat have, in the past, been extensively drained through government "moorland reclamation" programs. A large restoration project funded by South West Water is currently underway in association with Exmoor National Park, The Environment Agency and Natural England. Exmoor also provides an analogue for other westerly peatlands in the British Isles in terms of its climate, ecology and drainage characteristics. Our approach employed airborne LiDAR data gathered by the Environment Agency Geomatics Group coupled with Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS) surveys. LiDAR data were processed to produce digital surface models (DSM) of the peatland surface at a 0.5m resolution. These data were further interrogated to separate vegetation structures and geomorphic features such as man-made drainage channels which have damaged the peatland. Over small extents the LiDAR derived DSM surface was then compared to a TLS derived DSM to examine the ability of these models to describe fine scale vegetation and geomorphic structure, which could then be extrapolated to larger spatial extents. Exploration of the data has shown that

  18. How differentiated do children experience affect? An investigation of the within- and between-person structure of children's affect.

    PubMed

    Leonhardt, Anja; Könen, Tanja; Dirk, Judith; Schmiedek, Florian

    2016-05-01

    Research on the structure of children's affect is limited. It is possible that children's perception of their own affect might be less differentiated than that of adults. Support for the 2-factor model of positive and negative affect and the pleasure-arousal model suggests that children in middle childhood can distinguish positive and negative affect as well as valence and arousal. Whether children are able to differentiate further aspects of affect, as proposed by the 3-dimensional model of affect (good-bad mood, alertness-tiredness, calmness-tension), is an unresolved issue. The aim of our study was the comparison of these 3 affect models to establish how differentiated children experience their affect and which model best describes affect in children. We examined affect structures on the between- and within-person level, acknowledging that affect varies across time and that no valid interpretation of either level is feasible if both are confounded. For this purpose, 214 children (age 8-11 years) answered affect items once a day for 5 consecutive days on smartphones. We tested all affect models by means of 2-level confirmatory factor analysis. Although all affect models had an acceptable fit, the 3-dimensional model best described affect in children on both the within- and between-person level. Thus, children in middle childhood can already describe affect in a differentiated way. Also, affect structures were similar on the within- and between-person level. We conclude that in order to acquire a thorough picture of children's affect, measures for children should include items of all 3 affect dimensions. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:26280488

  19. South Florida Ecosystem Program: quantifying freshwater discharge for coastal hydraulic control structures in eastern Dade County, Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kapadia, Amit; Swain, Eric D.

    1996-01-01

    The South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Program is an intergovernmental effort, involving a number of agencies, to reestablish and maintain the ecosystem of south Florida. One element of the restoration effort is the development of a firm scientific basis for resource decision making. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), one of the agencies, provides scientific information as part of the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Program. The USGS began their ow program, called the South Florida Ecosystem Program, in fiscal year 1995 for the purpose of gathering hydrologic, cartographic, and geologic data that relate to the mainland of south Florida, Florida Bay, and the Florida Keys and Reef ecosystems. As part of the South Florida Ecosystem Program, the USGS, in cooperation with the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), has conducted a study to determine discharge ratings for 16 coastal hydraulic control structures in eastern Dade County, Fla. (fig. 1 ). Discharge data are needed to quantify water that can be made available for water supply and ecosystem restoration and to calibrate regional hydrologic models.

  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. Can the structure of an explosive caldera affect eruptive behaviour?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Willcox, C. P.; Branney, M.; Carrasco-Nuñez, G.; Barford, D.

    2010-12-01

    Explosive caldera volcanoes cause catastrophic events at the Earth’s surface, yet we know little about how their internal structures evolve with time, and whether this can affect both differentiation and eruptive behaviour. Distinguishing how structural evolution impacts upon eruption behaviour and periodicity is challenging because the resolution of eruption frequencies can be difficult at ancient exhumed calderas, whereas at young volcanoes, most of the caldera floor faults and associated conduits are hidden. Some exhumed calderas reveal caldera floor faults and conduits; some of these apparently underwent a single collapse event that was piecemeal, i.e. fragmentation into several, variously subsided fault-blocks (e.g. Scafell caldera, UK). In contrast, the present study tests whether some caldera volcanoes may become more intensely fractured with time as a result of successive distinct caldera-collapse eruptions (“multi-cyclic calderas”). It has been proposed that this scenario could lead to an increase in eruption frequency, with smaller eruptions over time. Magma leakage through the increasingly fractured volcano might also lead to less evolved compositions with time due to shorter residence times. We have returned to the volcano where this hypothesis was formulated, the ~ 20 km diameter, hydrothermally active Los Humeros caldera in eastern central México. We aim to see how well the structural evolution of this modern caldera can be reconstructed, and whether changes in structure affected the styles and periodicity of large explosive eruptions. How a caldera evolves structurally could have important implications for predicting future catastrophic eruptions. Detailed structural mapping (e.g. of fault scarps, vent positions, and tilted strata), documentation of draping and cross-cutting field relations, together with logging, optical and SEM petrography, XRF major and trace element geochemistry and new 40Ar-39Ar and radiocarbon dating of the pyroclastic

  2. Climate regulates alpine lake ice cover phenology and aquatic ecosystem structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Preston, Daniel L.; Caine, Nel; McKnight, Diane M.; Williams, Mark W.; Hell, Katherina; Miller, Matthew P.; Hart, Sarah J.; Johnson, Pieter T. J.

    2016-05-01

    High-elevation aquatic ecosystems are highly vulnerable to climate change, yet relatively few records are available to characterize shifts in ecosystem structure or their underlying mechanisms. Using a long-term data set on seven alpine lakes (3126 to 3620 m) in Colorado, USA, we show that ice-off dates have shifted 7 days earlier over the past 33 years and that spring weather conditions—especially snowfall—drive yearly variation in ice-off timing. In the most well studied lake, earlier ice-off associated with increases in water residence times, thermal stratification, ion concentrations, dissolved nitrogen, pH, and chlorophyll a. Mechanistically, low spring snowfall and warm temperatures reduce summer stream flow (increasing lake residence times) but enhance melting of glacial and permafrost ice (increasing lake solute inputs). The observed links among hydrological, chemical, and biological responses to climate factors highlight the potential for major shifts in the functioning of alpine lakes due to forecasted climate change.

  3. Do ecohydrology and community dynamics feed back to banded-ecosystem structure and productivity?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Callegaro, Chiara; Ursino, Nadia

    2016-04-01

    Mixed communities including grass, shrubs and trees are often reported to populate self-organized vegetation patterns. Patterns of survey data suggest that species diversity and complementarity strengthen the dynamics of banded environments. Resource scarcity and local facilitation trigger self organization, whereas coexistence of multiple species in vegetated self-organizing patches, implying competition for water and nutrients and favorable reproduction sites, is made possible by differing adaptation strategies. Mixed community spatial self-organization has so far received relatively little attention, compared with local net facilitation of isolated species. We assumed that soil moisture availability is a proxy for the environmental niche of plant species according to Ursino and Callegaro (2016). Our modelling effort was focused on niche differentiation of coexisting species within a tiger bush type ecosystem. By minimal numerical modelling and stability analysis we try to answer a few open scientific questions: Is there an adaptation strategy that increases biodiversity and ecosystem functioning? Does specific adaptation to environmental niches influence the structure of self-organizing vegetation pattern? What specific niche distribution along the environmental gradient gives the highest global productivity?

  4. Emerging methods for the study of coastal ecosystem landscape structure and change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brock, John C.; Danielson, Jeffrey J.; Purkis, Sam

    2013-01-01

    Coastal landscapes are heterogeneous, dynamic, and evolve over a range of time scales due to intertwined climatic, geologic, hydrologic, biologic, and meteorological processes, and are also heavily impacted by human development, commercial activities, and resource extraction. A diversity of complex coastal systems around the globe, spanning glaciated shorelines to tropical atolls, wetlands, and barrier islands are responding to multiple human and natural drivers. Interdisciplinary research based on remote-sensing observations linked to process studies and models is required to understand coastal ecosystem landscape structure and change. Moreover, new techniques for coastal mapping and monitoring are increasingly serving the needs of policy-makers and resource managers across local, regional, and national scales. Emerging remote-sensing methods associated with a diversity of instruments and platforms are a key enabling element of integrated coastal ecosystem studies. These investigations require both targeted and synoptic mapping, and involve the monitoring of formative processes such as hydrodynamics, sediment transport, erosion, accretion, flooding, habitat modification, land-cover change, and biogeochemical fluxes.

  5. Climate regulates alpine lake ice cover phenology and aquatic ecosystem structure

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Preston, Daniel L.; Caine, Nel; McKnight, Diane M.; Williams, Mark W.; Hell, Katherina; Miller, Matthew P.; Hart, Sarah J.; Johnson, Pieter T.J.

    2016-01-01

    High-elevation aquatic ecosystems are highly vulnerable to climate change, yet relatively few records are available to characterize shifts in ecosystem structure or their underlying mechanisms. Using a long-term dataset on seven alpine lakes (3126 to 3620 m) in Colorado, USA, we show that ice-off dates have shifted seven days earlier over the past 33 years and that spring weather conditions – especially snowfall – drive yearly variation in ice-off timing. In the most well-studied lake, earlier ice-off associated with increases in water residence times, thermal stratification, ion concentrations, dissolved nitrogen, pH, and chlorophyll-a. Mechanistically, low spring snowfall and warm temperatures reduce summer stream flow (increasing lake residence times) but enhance melting of glacial and permafrost ice (increasing lake solute inputs). The observed links among hydrological, chemical, and biological responses to climate factors highlight the potential for major shifts in the functioning of alpine lakes due to forecasted climate change.

  6. Does Question Structure Affect Exam Performance in the Geosciences?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Day, E. A.; D'Arcy, M. K.; Craig, L.; Streule, M. J.; Passmore, E.; Irving, J. C. E.

    2015-12-01

    The jump to university level exams can be challenging for some students, often resulting in poor marks, which may be detrimental to their confidence and ultimately affect their overall degree class. Previous studies have found that question structure can have a strong impact on the performance of students in college level exams (see Gibson et al., 2015, for a discussion of its impact on physics undergraduates). Here, we investigate the effect of question structure on the exam results of geology and geophysics undergraduate students. Specifically, we analyse the performance of students in questions that have a 'scaffolded' framework and compare them to their performance in open-ended questions and coursework. We also investigate if observed differences in exam performance are correlated with the educational background and gender of students, amongst other factors. It is important for all students to be able to access their degree courses, no matter what their backgrounds may be. Broadening participation in the geosciences relies on removing systematic barriers to achievement. Therefore we recommend that exams are either structured with scaffolding in questions at lower levels, or students are explicitly prepared for this transition. We also recommend that longitudinal studies of exam performance are conducted within individual departments, and this work outlines one approach to analysing performance data.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Hyperlipidemia affects multiscale structure and strength of murine femur

    PubMed Central

    Ascenzi, Maria-Grazia; Lutz, Andre; Du, Xia; Klimecky, Laureen; Kawas, Neal; Hourany, Talia; Jahng, Joelle; Chin, Jesse; Tintut, Yin; Nackenhors, Udo; Keyak, Joyce

    2014-01-01

    To improve bone strength prediction beyond limitations of assessment founded solely on the bone mineral component, we investigated the effect of hyperlipidemia, present in more than 40% of osteoporotic patients, on multiscale structure of murine bone. Our overarching purpose is to estimate bone strength accurately, to facilitate mitigating fracture morbidity and mortality in patients. Because i) orientation of collagen type I affects, independently of degree of mineralization, cortical bone’s micro-structural strength; and, ii) hyperlipidemia affects collagen orientation and µCT volumetric tissue mineral density (vTMD) in murine cortical bone, we have constructed the first multiscale finite element (mFE), mouse-specific femoral model to study the effect of collagen orientation and vTMD on strength in Ldlr−/−, a mouse model of hyperlipidemia, and its control wild type, on either high fat diet or normal diet. Each µCT scan-based mFE model included either element-specific elastic orthotropic properties calculated from collagen orientation and vTMD (collagen-density model) by experimentally validated formulation, or usual element-specific elastic isotropic material properties dependent on vTMD-only (density-only model). We found that collagen orientation, assessed by circularly polarized light and confocal microscopies, and vTMD, differed among groups; and that microindentation results strongly correlate with elastic modulus of collagen-density models (r2=0.85, p=10−5). Collagen-density models yielded 1) larger strains, and therefore lower strength, in simulations of 3-point bending and physiological loading; and 2) higher correlation between mFE-predicted strength and 3-point bending experimental strength, than density-only models. This novel method supports ongoing translational research to achieve the as yet elusive goal of accurate bone strength prediction. PMID:24795172

  10. Hyperlipidemia affects multiscale structure and strength of murine femur.

    PubMed

    Ascenzi, Maria-Grazia; Lutz, Andre; Du, Xia; Klimecky, Laureen; Kawas, Neal; Hourany, Talia; Jahng, Joelle; Chin, Jesse; Tintut, Yin; Nackenhors, Udo; Keyak, Joyce

    2014-07-18

    To improve bone strength prediction beyond limitations of assessment founded solely on the bone mineral component, we investigated the effect of hyperlipidemia, present in more than 40% of osteoporotic patients, on multiscale structure of murine bone. Our overarching purpose is to estimate bone strength accurately, to facilitate mitigating fracture morbidity and mortality in patients. Because (i) orientation of collagen type I affects, independently of degree of mineralization, cortical bone׳s micro-structural strength; and, (ii) hyperlipidemia affects collagen orientation and μCT volumetric tissue mineral density (vTMD) in murine cortical bone, we have constructed the first multiscale finite element (mFE), mouse-specific femoral model to study the effect of collagen orientation and vTMD on strength in Ldlr(-/-), a mouse model of hyperlipidemia, and its control wild type, on either high fat diet or normal diet. Each µCT scan-based mFE model included either element-specific elastic orthotropic properties calculated from collagen orientation and vTMD (collagen-density model) by experimentally validated formulation, or usual element-specific elastic isotropic material properties dependent on vTMD-only (density-only model). We found that collagen orientation, assessed by circularly polarized light and confocal microscopies, and vTMD, differed among groups and that microindentation results strongly correlate with elastic modulus of collagen-density models (r(2)=0.85, p=10(-5)). Collagen-density models yielded (1) larger strains, and therefore lower strength, in simulations of 3-point bending and physiological loading; and (2) higher correlation between mFE-predicted strength and 3-point bending experimental strength, than density-only models. This novel method supports ongoing translational research to achieve the as yet elusive goal of accurate bone strength prediction. PMID:24795172

  11. Designing transthyretin mutants affecting tetrameric structure: implications in amyloidogenicity.

    PubMed Central

    Redondo, C; Damas, A M; Saraiva, M J

    2000-01-01

    The molecular mechanisms that convert soluble transthyretin (TTR) tetramers into insoluble amyloid fibrils are still unknown; dissociation of the TTR tetramer is a pre-requisite for amyloid formation in vitro and involvement of monomers and/or dimers in fibril formation has been suggested by structural studies. We have designed four mutated proteins with the purpose of stabilizing [Ser(117)-->Cys (S117C) and Glu(92)-->Cys (E92C)] or destabilizing [Asp(18)-->Asn (D18N) and Leu(110)-->Ala (D110A)] the dimer/tetramer interactions in TTR, aiming at elucidating structural determinants in amyloidogenesis. The resistance of the mutated proteins to dissociation was analysed by HPLC studies of diluted TTR preparations. Both 'stabilized' mutants migrated as tetramers and, upon dilution, no other TTR species was observed, confirming the increased resistance to dissociation. For the 'destabilized' mutants, a mixture of tetrameric and monomeric forms co-existed at low dilution and the latter increased upon 10-fold dilution. Both of the destabilizing mutants formed amyloid in vitro when acidified. This result indicated that both the AB loop of TTR, destabilized in D18N, and the hydrophobic interactions affecting the dimer-dimer interfaces in L110A are implicated in the stability of the tetrameric structure. The stabilized mutants, which were dimeric in nature through disulphide bonding, were unable to polymerize into amyloid, even at pH 3.2. When the amyloid formation assay was repeated in the presence of 2-mercaptoethanol, upon disruption of the S-S bridges of these stable dimers, amyloid fibril formation was observed. This experimental evidence suggests that monomers, rather than dimers, are the repeating structural subunit comprising the amyloid fibrils. PMID:10794728

  12. Effects of Stand age Structure on Regional Carbon Budgets of Forest Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, C.; Woodcock, C. E.

    2002-12-01

    This study has developed a two-stage modeling scheme to investigate the importance of age structure on regional carbon fluxes for the forests in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. In the first stage, an individual-based forest ecosystem carbon flux model (IntCarb) at stand scale is developed. IntCarb combines components from the ZELIG and CENTURY models to simulate forest growth and development, and heterotrophic respiration, respectively. Stand scale carbon fluxes simulated by IntCarb strongly depend on stand age. Due to its high variablity over large areas, forest age structure has to be taken into account for realistic estimation of carbon budgets. The RegCarb model is developed to estimate regional scale carbon fluxes based on forest age structure and adjusting for the nonrespiratory carbon losses, such as harvesting. Our initial estimate with RegCarb for the Pacific Northwest of the United States found that this region was a tremendous carbon source to the atmosphere from 1890 to 1990 due to intensive logging of old-growth forest, and is becoming a carbon sink since the last decade. Projections for the role of forests in this region in the global carbon cycle in the future strongly depend on the amount of timber to be harvested, i.e. how the age structure of forests in this region is to be altered.

  13. Distribution, structure and function of Nordic eelgrass (Zostera marina) ecosystems: implications for coastal management and conservation

    PubMed Central

    Boström, Christoffer; Baden, Susanne; Bockelmann, Anna-Christina; Dromph, Karsten; Fredriksen, Stein; Gustafsson, Camilla; Krause-Jensen, Dorte; Möller, Tiia; Nielsen, Søren Laurentius; Olesen, Birgit; Olsen, Jeanine; Pihl, Leif; Rinde, Eli

    2014-01-01

    This paper focuses on the marine foundation eelgrass species, Zostera marina, along a gradient from the northern Baltic Sea to the north-east Atlantic. This vast region supports a minimum of 1480 km2 eelgrass (maximum >2100 km2), which corresponds to more than four times the previously quantified area of eelgrass in Western Europe.Eelgrass meadows in the low salinity Baltic Sea support the highest diversity (4–6 spp.) of angiosperms overall, but eelgrass productivity is low (<2 g dw m-2 d-1) and meadows are isolated and genetically impoverished. Higher salinity areas support monospecific meadows, with higher productivity (3–10 g dw m-2 d-1) and greater genetic connectivity. The salinity gradient further imposes functional differences in biodiversity and food webs, in particular a decline in number, but increase in biomass of mesograzers in the Baltic.Significant declines in eelgrass depth limits and areal cover are documented, particularly in regions experiencing high human pressure. The failure of eelgrass to re-establish itself in affected areas, despite nutrient reductions and improved water quality, signals complex recovery trajectories and calls for much greater conservation effort to protect existing meadows.The knowledge base for Nordic eelgrass meadows is broad and sufficient to establish monitoring objectives across nine national borders. Nevertheless, ensuring awareness of their vulnerability remains challenging. Given the areal extent of Nordic eelgrass systems and the ecosystem services they provide, it is crucial to further develop incentives for protecting them. © 2014 The Authors. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. PMID:26167100

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Risk and markets for ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Bendor, Todd K; Riggsbee, J Adam; Doyle, Martin

    2011-12-15

    Market-based environmental regulations (e.g., cap and trade, "payments for ecosystem services") are increasingly common. However, few detailed studies of operating ecosystem markets have lent understanding to how such policies affect incentive structures for improving environmental quality. The largest U.S. market stems from the Clean Water Act provisions requiring ecosystem restoration to offset aquatic ecosystems damaged during development. We describe and test how variations in the rules governing this ecosystem market shift risk between regulators and entrepreneurs to promote ecological restoration. We analyze extensive national scale data to assess how two critical aspects of market structure - (a) the geographic scale of markets and (b) policies dictating the release of credits - affect the willingness of entrepreneurs to enter specific markets and produce credits. We find no discernible relationship between policies attempting to ease market entry and either the number of individual producers or total credits produced. Rather, market entry is primarily related to regional geography (the prevalence of aquatic ecosystems) and regional economic growth. Any improvements to policies governing ecosystem markets require explicit evaluation of the interplay between policy and risk elements affecting both regulators and entrepreneurial credit providers. Our findings extend to emerging, regulated ecosystem markets, including proposed carbon offset mechanisms, biodiversity banking, and water quality trading programs. PMID:22044319

  17. [Structure and function of Fenshuijiang Reservoir ecosystem based on the analysis with Ecopath model].

    PubMed

    Wu, Zhen; Jia, Pei-Qiao; Hu, Zhong-Jun; Chen, Li-Qiao; Gu, Zhi-Min; Liu, Qi-Gen

    2012-03-01

    Based on the 2008-2009 survey data of fishery resources and eco-environment of Fenshuijiang Reservoir, a mass balance model for the Reservoir ecosystem was constructed by Ecopath with Ecosim software. The model was composed of 14 functional groups, including silver carp, bighead carp, Hemibarbus maculates, Cutler alburnus, Microlepis and other fishes, Oligochaeta, aquatic insect, zooplankton, phytoplankton, and organic detritus, etc. , being able to better simulate Fenshuijiang Reservoir ecosystem. In this ecosystem, there were five trophic levels (TLs), and the nutrient flow mainly occurred in the first three TLs. Grazing and detritus food chains were the main energy flows in the ecosystem, but the food web was simpler and susceptible to be disturbed by outer environment. The transfer efficiency at lower TLs was relatively low, indicating that the ecosystem had a lower capability in energy utilization, and the excessive stock of nutrients in the ecosystem could lead to eutrophication. The lower connectance index, system omnivory index, Finn' s cycled index, and Finn's mean path length demonstrated that the ecosystem was unstable, while the high ecosystem property indices such as Pp/R and Pp/B showed that the ecosystem was immature and highly productive. It was suggested that Fenshuijiang Reservoir was still a developing new reservoir ecosystem, with a very short history and comparatively high primary productivity. PMID:22720630

  18. The activity and community structure of total bacteria and denitrifying bacteria across soil depths and biological gradients in estuary ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Lee, Seung-Hoon; Kang, Hojeong

    2016-02-01

    The distribution of soil microorganisms often shows variations along soil depth, and even in the same soil layer, each microbial group has a specific niche. In particular, the estuary soil is intermittently flooded, and the characteristics of the surface soil layer are different from those of other terrestrial soils. We investigated the microbial community structure and activity across soil depths and biological gradients composed of invasive and native plants in the shallow surface layer of an estuary ecosystem by using molecular approaches. Our results showed that the total and denitrifying bacterial community structures of the estuarine wetland soil differed according to the short depth gradient. In growing season, gene copy number of 16S rRNA were 1.52(±0.23) × 10(11), 1.10(±0.06) × 10(11), and 4.33(±0.16) × 10(10) g(-1) soil; nirS were 5.41(±1.25) × 10(8), 4.93(±0.94) × 10(8), and 2.61(±0.28) × 10(8) g(-1) soil; and nirK were 9.67(±2.37) × 10(6), 3.42(±0.55) × 10(6), and 2.12(±0.19) × 10(6) g(-1) soil in 0 cm, 5 cm, and 10 cm depth layer, respectively. The depth-based difference was distinct in the vegetated sample and in the growing season, evidencing the important role of plants in structuring the microbial community. In comparison with other studies, we observed differences in the microbial community and functions even across very short depth gradients. In conclusion, our results suggested that (i) in the estuary ecosystem, the denitrifying bacterial community could maintain its abundance and function within shallow surface soil layers through facultative anaerobiosis, while the total bacterial community would be both quantitatively and qualitatively affected by the soil depth, (ii) the nirS gene community, rather than the nirK one, should be the first candidate used as an indicator of the microbial denitrification process in the estuary system, and (iii) as the microbial community is distributed and plays a certain

  19. Structured populations of the oriental fruit moth in an agricultural ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Torriani, Marco V G; Mazzi, Dominique; Hein, Silke; Dorn, Silvia

    2010-07-01

    Intercontinental trade has led to multiple introductions of invasive pest species at a global scale. Molecular analyses of the structure of populations support the understanding of ecological strategies and evolutionary patterns that promote successful biological invasions. The oriental fruit moth, Grapholita (= Cydia) molesta, is a cosmopolitan and economically destructive pest of stone and pome fruits, expanding its distribution range concomitantly with global climate warming. We used ten newly developed polymorphic microsatellite markers to examine the genetic structure of G. molesta populations in an agricultural ecosystem in the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy. Larvae collected in eight sampling sites were assigned to a mosaic of five populations with significant intra-regional structure. Inferred measures of gene flow within populations implicated both active dispersal, and passive dispersal associated with accidental anthropogenic displacements. Small effective population sizes, coupled with high inbreeding levels, highlighted the effect of orchard management practices on the observed patterns of genetic variation within the sampling sites. Isolation by distance did not appear to play a major role at the spatial scale considered. Our results provide new insights into the population genetics and dynamics of an invasive pest species at a regional scale. PMID:20561191

  20. Abandoned coal mine drainage and its remediation: impacts on stream ecosystem structure and function.

    PubMed

    Bott, Thomas L; Jackson, John K; McTammany, Matthew E; Newbold, J Denis; Rier, Steven T; Sweeney, Bernard W; Battle, Juliann M

    2012-12-01

    The effects of abandoned mine drainage (AMD) on streams and responses to remediation efforts were studied using three streams (AMD-impacted, remediated, reference) in both the anthracite and the bituminous coal mining regions of Pennsylvania (USA). Response variables included ecosystem function as well as water chemistry and macroinvertebrate community composition. The bituminous AMD stream was extremely acidic with high dissolved metals concentrations, a prolific mid-summer growth of the filamentous alga, Mougeotia, and > 10-fold more chlorophyll than the reference stream. The anthracite AMD stream had a higher pH, substrata coated with iron hydroxide(s), and negligible chlorophyll. Macroinvertebrate communities in the AMD streams were different from the reference streams, the remediated streams, and each other. Relative to the reference stream, the AMD stream(s) had (1) greater gross primary productivity (GPP) in the bituminous region and undetectable GPP in the anthracite region, (2) greater ecosystem respiration in both regions, (3) greatly reduced ammonium uptake and nitrification in both regions, (4) lower nitrate uptake in the bituminous (but not the anthracite) region, (5) more rapid phosphorus removal from the water column in both regions, (6) activities of phosphorus-acquiring, nitrogen-acquiring, and hydrolytic-carbon-acquiring enzymes that indicated extreme phosphorus limitation in both regions, and (7) slower oak and maple leaf decomposition in the bituminous region and slower oak decomposition in the anthracite region. Remediation brought chlorophyll concentrations and GPP nearer to values for respective reference streams, depressed ecosystem respiration, restored ammonium uptake, and partially restored nitrification in the bituminous (but not the anthracite) region, reduced nitrate uptake to an undetectable level, restored phosphorus uptake to near normal rates, and brought enzyme activities more in line with the reference stream in the bituminous

  1. Community Structure and Ecosystem Functioning of Ectomycorrhizal Fungi Across an N Deposition Gradient in Temperate North America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lucas, R. W.; Casper, B. B.

    2006-12-01

    Over the past century, human activities have resulted in a substantial increase in atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition throughout eastern North America, effectively doubling the amount of inorganic nitrogen entering terrestrial ecosystems. Increased atmospheric N deposition has the potential to alter terrestrial plant and microbial communities by increasing available NO3- and NH4+ in forest soil. Ectomycorrhizal fungi, a central member of the soil microbial community, live in association with most tree species of temperate and boreal ecosystems and are important contributors to many ecosystem functions. Previous work in boreal systems suggests that the availability of organic and inorganic nitrogen (N) resources are important contributing factors structuring belowground communities of ectomycorrhizal fungi. We do not yet understand the importance or the implications of changes in the ectomycorrhizal community as measured by effects on forest ecosystems or ecosystem functions such as N cycling or carbon storage. We examined ectomycorrhizal community structure morphologically over a natural atmospheric N deposition gradient across the northeastern United States. We also measured peroxidase, phenol oxidase, and general proteolytic activity, three ecosystem functions in which ectomycorrhizal fungi are involved. Using detrended correspondence analysis (DCA), we found significant differences in ectomycorrhizal communities across the gradient with the first three axes describing 48% of the observed variation. Most community differences are driven by the relative abundance of 17 morphotypes across the gradient. Peroxidase and phenol oxidase activity were both significantly lower (p = 0.0323 and 0.0342 respectively) in areas of high atmospheric N deposition. Our data support the hypothesis that with increased atmospheric N deposition ectomycorrhizal communities shift from those using more organic forms of N to those using more inorganic forms of N. Such changes in the

  2. Estimation of forest structure parameters in tropical dry forest ecosystems integrating MISR and MODIS image

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sedano, Fernando

    Tropical woodland is the most widespread vegetation type in Africa and are considered among the most sensitive ecosystems to future climate change scenarios and land use changes. African tropical woodlands are spatial and temporally very dynamic. Their ecosystem processes produce subtle changes of land surfaces that are usually difficult to monitor with remote sensing technologies at medium spatial resolution. This research explores the combination of spectral, temporal and angular remote sensing domains at medium spatial resolution for an improved characterization of land surfaces in African tropical woodlands. Several information extraction schemes for land cover mapping at medium spatial resolution multitemporal MODIS data have been evaluated. These approaches use a limited number of satellite images and take advantage of the seasonal patterns of the vegetation for classification purposes. Their simplicity allows the consistent repetition of land cover assessments, which constitutes a departure from static towards a more dynamic representation of land surfaces. This represents a significant advantage over land cover information from global products and from high resolution sensors. The inclusion of multiangular remote sensing data takes advantage of the anisotropic reflectance of land surfaces. The relationship between MODIS and MISR data has been analyzed and simple and multiple ordinary least square regressions and artificial neural networks were applied for the estimation of tree densities. MISR multiangular data prove to be crucial for the estimation of continuous tree densities in spatially heterogeneous vegetation canopies. Furthermore, the superior performance of non-linear statistical models over linear models suggests the convenience of these models for the estimation of vegetation variables in heterogeneous canopies. Departing from purely empirical modeling frameworks, the potential of multiangular remote sensing for the extraction of subpixel canopy

  3. Structural Ecosystems Therapy for HIV-Seropositive African American Women: Effects on Psychological Distress, Family Hassles, and Family Support

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Szapocznik, Jose; Feaster, Daniel J.; Mitrani, Victoria B.; Prado, Guillermo; Smith, Lila; Robinson-Batista, Carleen; Schwartz, Seth J.; Mauer, Magaly H.; Robbins, Michael S.

    2004-01-01

    This study tests the efficacy of Structural Ecosystems Therapy (SET), a family-ecological intervention, in improving psychosocial functioning when compared with an attention-comparison person-centered condition and a community control condition. A sample of 209 HIV-seropositive, urban, low-income, African American women was randomized into 1 of…

  4. Artificial structures in sediment-dominated estuaries and their possible influences on the ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Wetzel, Markus A; Scholle, Jörg; Teschke, Katharina

    2014-08-01

    Artificial substrates are omnipresent today in most estuaries mostly in form of massive rip-rap used for groynes and jetties. In the Weser estuary, Germany, 60% of the shoreline is covered with such artificial substrates while, natural rocky substrate is lacking, as in all Wadden Sea estuaries. This large quantity of artificial substrates may be colonized by a benthic hard-substrate community which differs from the local natural soft-substrate assemblage. In this study we examined species compositions, abundances, biomass, and numbers of species of subtidal benthic communities on groynes and in the natural habitat, the sediment, along the salinity gradient of the Weser estuary. Species composition changed on both substrates significantly with salinity and was also significantly different between the substrates. In a comparison with the sediment, the groynes did not provide any benefit for non-indigenous nor for endangered species in terms of abundance, biomass, and number of species, but represent habitats with higher total abundances and biomass; though some non-indigenous species even occurred exclusively on groynes. In particular, groynes supported filter-feeding organisms which play an important role by linking benthic and pelagic food webs. The dominance of the suspension feeders affects crucial estuarine ecosystem services and may have important implications for the estuarine management by altering the estuarine ecological quality status. Hence, artificial substrates should be considered in future conservation planning and in ecological quality monitoring of the benthic fauna according to the European Water Framework Directive. PMID:24816192

  5. Soil warming alters nitrogen cycling in a New England forest: implications for ecosystem function and structure.

    PubMed

    Butler, S M; Melillo, J M; Johnson, J E; Mohan, J; Steudler, P A; Lux, H; Burrows, E; Smith, R M; Vario, C L; Scott, L; Hill, T D; Aponte, N; Bowles, F

    2012-03-01

    Global climate change is expected to affect terrestrial ecosystems in a variety of ways. Some of the more well-studied effects include the biogeochemical feedbacks to the climate system that can either increase or decrease the atmospheric load of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide. Less well-studied are the effects of climate change on the linkages between soil and plant processes. Here, we report the effects of soil warming on these linkages observed in a large field manipulation of a deciduous forest in southern New England, USA, where soil was continuously warmed 5°C above ambient for 7 years. Over this period, we have observed significant changes to the nitrogen cycle that have the potential to affect tree species composition in the long term. Since the start of the experiment, we have documented a 45% average annual increase in net nitrogen mineralization and a three-fold increase in nitrification such that in years 5 through 7, 25% of the nitrogen mineralized is then nitrified. The warming-induced increase of available nitrogen resulted in increases in the foliar nitrogen content and the relative growth rate of trees in the warmed area. Acer rubrum (red maple) trees have responded the most after 7 years of warming, with the greatest increases in both foliar nitrogen content and relative growth rates. Our study suggests that considering species-specific responses to increases in nitrogen availability and changes in nitrogen form is important in predicting future forest composition and feedbacks to the climate system. PMID:21983640

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Interactive effects between N addition and disturbance on boreal forest ecosystem structure and function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nordin, Annika; Strengbom, Joachim; From, Fredrik

    2014-05-01

    In management of boreal forests, nitrogen (N) enrichment from atmospheric deposition or from forest fertilization can appear in combination with land-use related disturbances, i.e. tree harvesting by clear-felling. Long-term interactive effects between N enrichment and disturbance on boreal forest ecosystem structure and function are, however, poorly known. We investigated effects of N enrichment by forest fertilization done > 25 years ago on forest understory species composition in old-growth (undisturbed) forests, and in forests clear-felled 10 years ago (disturbed). In clear-felled forests we also investigated effects of the previous N addition on growth of tree saplings. The results show that the N enrichment effect on the understory species composition was strongly dependent on the disturbance caused by clear-felling. In undisturbed forests, there were small or no effects on understory species composition from N addition. In contrast, effects were large in forests first exposed to N addition and subsequently disturbed by clear-felling. Effects of N addition differed among functional groups of plants. Abundance of graminoids increased (+232%) and abundance of dwarf shrubs decreased (-44%) following disturbance in N fertilized forests. For vascular plants, the two perturbations had contrasting effects on α-(within forests) and β-diversity (among forests): in disturbed forests, N addition reduced, or had no effect on α-diversity, while β-diversity increased. For bryophytes, negative effects of disturbance on α-diversity were smaller in N fertilized forests than in forests not fertilized, while neither N addition nor disturbance had any effects on β-diversity. Moreover, sapling growth in forests clear-felled 10 years ago was significantly higher in previously N fertilized forests than in forests not fertilized. Our study show that effects of N addition on plant communities may appear small, short-lived, or even absent until exposed to a disturbance. This

  12. Uncoupling of microbial community structure and function in decomposing litter across beech forest ecosystems in Central Europe

    PubMed Central

    Purahong, Witoon; Schloter, Michael; Pecyna, Marek J.; Kapturska, Danuta; Däumlich, Veronika; Mital, Sanchit; Buscot, François; Hofrichter, Martin; Gutknecht, Jessica L. M.; Krüger, Dirk

    2014-01-01

    The widespread paradigm in ecology that community structure determines function has recently been challenged by the high complexity of microbial communities. Here, we investigate the patterns of and connections between microbial community structure and microbially-mediated ecological function across different forest management practices and temporal changes in leaf litter across beech forest ecosystems in Central Europe. Our results clearly indicate distinct pattern of microbial community structure in response to forest management and time. However, those patterns were not reflected when potential enzymatic activities of microbes were measured. We postulate that in our forest ecosystems, a disconnect between microbial community structure and function may be present due to differences between the drivers of microbial growth and those of microbial function. PMID:25388562

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Community structure and nutrient content of canopy arthropods in clearcut and uncut forest ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Schowalter, T.D.; Webb, J.W.; Crossley, D.A. Jr.

    1981-08-01

    This paper describes differences in canopy arthropod community structure, major cation content, and calculated nutrient consumption between clearcut and undisturbed hardwood forest watersheds at Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory, North Carolina, USA, during the first two growing seasons following cutting. Although canopy arthropod biomass was about 0.08% of foliage biomass on both watersheds, aphid mass increased 23-fold and ant mass increased 6-fold per unit foliage mass following cutting. These groups in general had lower nutrient concentrations than did chewing herbivores and predators. Arthropod K concentrations were 33% lower on the clearcut; Na, K, and Mg concentrations were 20 to 50% higher in 1978 than in 1977. Arthropod Mg and Ca concentrations, but not Na and K, were reduced significantly more by the greater effect of drought on the clearcut watershed. Consumption estimates based in part on consumption rates reported by others indicated increased nutrient translocation from foilage via arthropods following cutting. These data indicated that canopy arthropod responses to changes in nutrient availability following disturbance could have increased nutrient cycling rates and contributed to nutrient retention by the recovering ecosystem.

  16. Rapid Morphological Change in the Masticatory Structures of an Important Ecosystem Service Provider

    PubMed Central

    Doudna, John W.; Danielson, Brent J.

    2015-01-01

    Humans have altered the biotic and abiotic environmental conditions of most organisms. In some cases, such as intensive agriculture, an organism’s entire ecosystem is converted to novel conditions. Thus, it is striking that some species continue to thrive under such conditions. The prairie deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus bairdii) is an example of such an organism, and so we sought to understand what role evolutionary adaptation played in the success of this species, with particular interest in adaptations to novel foods. In order to understand the evolutionary history of this species’ masticatory structures, we examined the maxilla, zygomatic plate, and mandible of historic specimens collected prior to 1910 to specimens collected in 2012 and 2013. We found that mandibles, zygomatic plates, and maxilla have all changed significantly since 1910, and that morphological development has shifted significantly. We present compelling evidence that these differences are due to natural selection as a response to a novel and ubiquitous food source, waste grain (corn, Zea mays and soybean, Glycine max). PMID:26061880

  17. Rapid Morphological Change in the Masticatory Structures of an Important Ecosystem Service Provider.

    PubMed

    Doudna, John W; Danielson, Brent J

    2015-01-01

    Humans have altered the biotic and abiotic environmental conditions of most organisms. In some cases, such as intensive agriculture, an organism's entire ecosystem is converted to novel conditions. Thus, it is striking that some species continue to thrive under such conditions. The prairie deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus bairdii) is an example of such an organism, and so we sought to understand what role evolutionary adaptation played in the success of this species, with particular interest in adaptations to novel foods. In order to understand the evolutionary history of this species' masticatory structures, we examined the maxilla, zygomatic plate, and mandible of historic specimens collected prior to 1910 to specimens collected in 2012 and 2013. We found that mandibles, zygomatic plates, and maxilla have all changed significantly since 1910, and that morphological development has shifted significantly. We present compelling evidence that these differences are due to natural selection as a response to a novel and ubiquitous food source, waste grain (corn, Zea mays and soybean, Glycine max). PMID:26061880

  18. 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

  19. Multiple plant-wax compounds record differential sources and ecosystem structure in large river catchments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hemingway, Jordon D.; Schefuß, Enno; Dinga, Bienvenu Jean; Pryer, Helena; Galy, Valier V.

    2016-07-01

    n-alkanes better represent a catchment-integrated signal with minimal response to discharge seasonality. Comparison to published data on other large watersheds indicates that this phenomenon is not limited to the Congo River, and that analysis of multiple plant-wax lipid classes and chain lengths can be used to better resolve local vs. distal ecosystem structure in river catchments.

  20. 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.

  1. Earthworm-Mycorrhiza Interactions Can Affect the Diversity, Structure and Functioning of Establishing Model Grassland Communities

    PubMed Central

    Zaller, Johann G.; Heigl, Florian; Grabmaier, Andrea; Lichtenegger, Claudia; Piller, Katja; Allabashi, Roza; Frank, Thomas; Drapela, Thomas

    2011-01-01

    Both earthworms and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are important ecosystem engineers co-occurring in temperate grasslands. However, their combined impacts during grassland establishment are poorly understood and have never been studied. We used large mesocosms to study the effects of different functional groups of earthworms (i.e., vertically burrowing anecics vs. horizontally burrowing endogeics) and a mix of four AMF taxa on the establishment, diversity and productivity of plant communities after a simulated seed rain of 18 grassland species comprising grasses, non-leguminous forbs and legumes. Moreover, effects of earthworms and/or AMF on water infiltration and leaching of ammonium, nitrate and phosphate were determined after a simulated extreme rainfall event (40 l m−2). AMF colonisation of all three plant functional groups was altered by earthworms. Seedling emergence and diversity was reduced by anecic earthworms, however only when AMF were present. Plant density was decreased in AMF-free mesocosms when both anecic and endogeic earthworms were active; with AMF also anecics reduced plant density. Plant shoot and root biomass was only affected by earthworms in AMF-free mesocosms: shoot biomass increased due to the activity of either anecics or endogeics; root biomass increased only when anecics were active. Water infiltration increased when earthworms were present in the mesocosms but remained unaffected by AMF. Ammonium leaching was increased only when anecics or a mixed earthworm community was active but was unaffected by AMF; nitrate and phosphate leaching was neither affected by earthworms nor AMF. Ammonium leaching decreased with increasing plant density, nitrate leaching decreased with increasing plant diversity and density. In order to understand the underlying processes of these interactions further investigations possibly under field conditions using more diverse belowground communities are required. Nevertheless, this study demonstrates that

  2. An ecological model of the Northern and Central Adriatic Sea: Analysis of ecosystem structure and fishing impacts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coll, Marta; Santojanni, Alberto; Palomera, Isabel; Tudela, Sergi; Arneri, Enrico

    2007-08-01

    A trophic mass-balance model was developed to characterise the food web structure and functioning of the Northern and Central Adriatic Sea and to quantify the ecosystem impacts of fishing during the 1990s. Forty functional groups were described, including target and non-target fish and invertebrate groups, and three detritus groups (natural detritus, discards and by-catch of cetaceans and marine turtles). Results highlighted that there was an important coupling between pelagic-benthic production of plankton, benthic invertebrates and detritus. Organisms located at low and medium trophic levels, (i.e. benthic invertebrates, zooplankton and anchovy), as well as dolphins, were identified as keystone groups of the ecosystem. Jellyfish were an important element in terms of consumption and production of trophic flows within the ecosystem. The analysis of trophic flows of zooplankton and detritus groups indirectly underlined the importance of the microbial food web in the Adriatic Sea. Fishing activities inflicted notable impacts on the ecosystem during the 1990s, with a high gross efficiency of the fishery, a high consumption of fishable production, high exploitation rates for various target and non target species, a low trophic level of the catch and medium values of primary production required to sustain the fishery. Moreover, the analysis of Odum's ecological indicators highlighted that the ecosystem was in a low-medium developmental stage. Bottom trawling ( Strascico), mid-water trawling ( Volante) and beam trawling ( Rapido) fleets had the highest impacts on both target and non target ecological groups. On the contrary, purse seining ( Lampara) showed medium to low impacts on the ecosystem; cetaceans, marine turtles and sea birds were not significantly involved in competition with fishing activity.

  3. Salinity structure of a tidal freshwater ecosystem under multiple tidal conditions, Mission River, TX, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, A.; Befus, K. M.; Cardenas, M.; McClelland, J. W.; Moffett, K. B.

    2013-12-01

    The ecological health and integrity of coastal estuaries critically depends on the balance between the quantity, quality, and timing of freshwater inflow. This balance may be upset by subtle changes in numerous hydrologic conditions, including precipitation rates and frequencies, runoff conditions, and tides. Certain hydrologic conditions will create an abnormally long freshwater residence time in a lower river reach--on the order of months between episodic storms--which will drastically alter the quantity, quality, and timing of estuarine freshwater inflow. We term this fresh, tidal, lentic river reach the 'tidal freshwater ecosystem' (TFE) and find that it remains largely overlooked by hydrologic and estuarine sciences. We hypothesize that TFEs occur in coastal rivers with small bed slope and riverine discharge, enabling denser saltwater intruding inland via tidal motion to impede freshwater discharge to the estuary. However, the balance of forces governing the relative rates and volumes of freshwater discharge, saltwater intrusion, and freshwater-saltwater mixing are not well understood in TFEs, especially with regard to the influence of vertical salinity structure (whether stratified, well-mixed, or a combination) on the retardation of freshwater discharge. In this study we sought to empirically characterize the salinity structure of a river known to contain a tidal freshwater reach, the Mission River of southern Texas. During high and low spring and neap tides, we surveyed a ~ 22 km-long tidal section of the river by towing two instruments: a multi-parameter probe measuring temperature, electrical conductivity (EC), and dissolved oxygen (DO) at mid-channel depth; and, at the water surface, an electrical resistivity geophysical cable measuring water and channel bed sediment electrical resistivity. We also profiled the water column every 0.25 km using a second multi-parameter probe. The data successfully resolved longitudinal and vertical salinity variations

  4. Effect of Changes in Seasonal Rain Regime on Coastal Ecosystem Structure and Aquaculture Activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cosimo, S.; Melaku Canu, D.; Libralato, S.; Cossarini, G.; Giorgi, F.

    2008-12-01

    A downscaling experiment linked climate forcing produced by a Regional Climate Model for Europe to a 3D high resolution coupled transport biogeochemical model for the Lagoon of Venice, which in turn forced: a) a food web model for evaluation of cascading effects on ecosystem structure and b) a population dynamic bioenergetic filter feeders bivalvae model for evaluation of effects on aquaculture activities. The hierarchy of models was used to compare result for a reference situation (RF, 1961-1990) with results for two future IPCC scenarios (2071-2100), representing market oriented and local sustainability policies (scenarios A2 and B2, respectively). Future climate projections suggest that, locally, annual mean rain will not change much but the seasonal patterns will likely do so. Summer and spring will be more dry and winter and autumn more rainy. This will potentially increase winter nutrient concentrations but -because of unfavourable timing - primary and secondary productions will decrease, and nutrient surplus will be exported from the Lagoon of Venice to the Adriatic Sea. The impacts on higher trophic levels could be softened thanks to presence of alternative energy pathways and role of omnivory. However, in our future scenario of the lagoon food web the suitability for higher trophic level organisms seems lower. A more detailed analysis on clam aquaculture indicates that this activity will suffer the decrease of primary productivity, and point to the need of implementation of proper aquaculture management policies. In the light of adaptive management. These policies cannot be a straightfoward extrapolation of present practises, but need to be defined basing on future conditions.

  5. Environmental conditions and biotic interactions influence ecosystem structure and function in a drying stream

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ludlam, J.P.; Magoulick, D.D.

    2010-01-01

    Benthic consumers influence stream ecosystem structure and function, but these interactions depend on environmental context. We experimentally quantified the effects of central stoneroller minnows (Campostoma anomalum (Rafinesque) and Meek's crayfish (Orconectes meeki meeki (Faxon)) on benthic communities using electric exclusion quadrats in Little Mulberry Creek before (June) and during (August) seasonal stream drying. Unglazed ceramic tiles were deployed in June and August to measure periphyton and invertebrate abundance, and leafpack decomposition and primary production were also measured in August. Relationships between stoneroller and crayfish density and the size of consumer effects were evaluated with multiple linear regression models. Average chlorophyll a abundance was greater on exposed than exclusion tiles in August, but not in June. Sediment dry mass, periphyton ash-free dry mass (AFDM), and chironomid densities on tiles did not differ among treatments in either period. Leaf packs decayed faster in exposed than exclusion treatments (kexposed = 0.038 ?? 0.013, kexclusion = 0.007 ?? 0.002), but consumer effects were stronger in some pools than others. Leafpack invertebrate biomass and abundance and tile primary productivity did not differ among treatments. Consumer effects on chlorophyll a were related to crayfish and stoneroller density, and effects on chironomid density were related to stoneroller density. These results contrast with a previous exclusion experiment in Little Mulberry Creek that demonstrated strong consumer effects. The influence of stream drying on consumer effects appears to have been reduced by strong spates, underscoring the importance of conducting multi-year studies to determine the magnitude of variability in ecological interactions. ?? US Government: USGS 2010.

  6. Importance of storm events in controlling ecosystem structure and function in a Florida Gulf Coast estuary

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Davis, S. E., III; Cable, J.E.; Childers, D.L.; Coronado-Molina, C.; Day, J.W., Jr.; Hittle, C.D.; Madden, C.J.; Reyes, E.; Rudnick, D.; Sklar, F.

    2004-01-01

    From 8/95 to 2/01, we investigated the ecological effects of intra- and inter-annual variability in freshwater flow through Taylor Creek in southeastern Everglades National Park. Continuous monitoring and intensive sampling studies overlapped with an array of pulsed weather events that impacted physical, chemical, and biological attributes of this region. We quantified the effects of three events representing a range of characteristics (duration, amount of precipitation, storm intensity, wind direction) on the hydraulic connectivity, nutrient and sediment dynamics, and vegetation structure of the SE Everglades estuarine ecotone. These events included a strong winter storm in November 1996, Tropical Storm Harvey in September 1999, and Hurricane Irene in October 1999. Continuous hydrologic and daily water sample data were used to examine the effects of these events on the physical forcing and quality of water in Taylor Creek. A high resolution, flow-through sampling and mapping approach was used to characterize water quality in the adjacent bay. To understand the effects of these events on vegetation communities, we measured mangrove litter production and estimated seagrass cover in the bay at monthly intervals. We also quantified sediment deposition associated with Hurricane Irene's flood surge along the Buttonwood Ridge. These three events resulted in dramatic changes in surface water movement and chemistry in Taylor Creek and adjacent regions of Florida Bay as well as increased mangrove litterfall and flood surge scouring of seagrass beds. Up to 5 cm of bay-derived mud was deposited along the ridge adjacent to the creek in this single pulsed event. These short-term events can account for a substantial proportion of the annual flux of freshwater and materials between the mangrove zone and Florida Bay. Our findings shed light on the capacity of these storm events, especially when in succession, to have far reaching and long lasting effects on coastal ecosystems such

  7. How Knowledge Management Is Affected by Organizational Structure

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mahmoudsalehi, Mehdi; Moradkhannejad, Roya; Safari, Khalil

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: Identifying the impact of organizational structure on knowledge management (KM) is the aim of this study, as well as recognizing the importance of each variable indicator in creating, sharing and utility of knowledge. Design/methodology/approach: For understanding relationships between the main variables (organizational structure-KM), the…

  8. 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.

  9. Structure, Behavior, Function as a Framework For Teaching and Learning about Complexity In Ecosystems: Lessons from Middle School Classrooms (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hmelo-Silver, C.; Gray, S.; Jordan, R.

    2010-12-01

    Complex systems surround us, and as Sabelli (2006) has argued, understanding complex systems is a critical component of science literacy. Understanding natural and designed systems are also prominent in the new draft science standards (NRC, 2010) and therefore of growing importance in the science classroom. Our work has focused on promoting an understanding of one complex natural system, aquatic ecosystems, which given current events, is fast becoming a requisite for informed decision-making as citizens (Jordan et al. 2008). Learners have difficulty understanding many concepts related to complex natural systems (e.g., Hmelo-Silver, Marathe, & Liu, 2007; Jordan, Gray, Liu, Demeter, & Hmelo-Silver, 2009). Studies of how students think about complex ecological systems (e.g; Hmelo-Silver, Marathe, & Liu, 2007; Hogan, 2000, Hogan & Fisherkeller, 1996: Covitt & Gunkel, 2008) have revealed difficulties in thinking beyond linear flow, single causality, and visible structure. Helping students to learn about ecosystems is a complex task that requires providing opportunities for students to not only engage directly with ecosystems but also with resources that provide relevant background knowledge and opportunities for learners to make their thinking visible. Both tasks can be difficult given the large spatial and temporal scales on which ecosystems operate. Additionally, visible components interact with often invisible components which can obscure ecosystem processes for students. Working in the context of aquatic ecosystems, we sought to provide learners with representations and simulations that make salient the relationship between system components. In particular, we provided learners with opportunities to experience both the micro-level and macro-level phenomena that are key to understanding ecosystems (Hmelo-Silver, Liu, Gray, & Jordan, submitted; Liu & Hmelo-Silver, 2008; Jacobson & Wilensky, 2006). To accomplish this, we needed to help learners make connections across

  10. Variations in ecosystem structure, carbon, and nutrient storage along a fertility gradient in tropical savanna of southern Mato Grosso, Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vourlitis, G. L.; Lobo, F. D.; Lawrence, S.; Holt, K.; Pinto Junior, O. B.; Dalmagro, H. J.; Nogueira, J. D.

    2013-12-01

    Brazilian savanna (cerrado) is composed of vegetation and soil types that are spatially variable, and links between cerrado physiognomy and soil properties are poorly understood. To reduce this uncertainty, we measured the plant community structure and carbon (C) and nutrient (N, P, K, and Ca) stocks in aboveground wood, foliage, and litter, and soil (0-50 cm) pools in a variety of cerrado vegetation types located in the Cuiaba Basin and the Pantanal, Mato Grosso, Brazil. We hypothesized that aboveground and surface soil C and nutrient stocks would be correlated with soil fertility and vegetation structure (including tree species composition, density and tree species diversity). Our results indicate that aboveground woody (AGW), foliage, and soil C stocks were significantly (p < 0.05) correlated with indices of soil fertility but not texture. Since AGWC was the largest C pool, total ecosystem C stocks increase significantly as a function of soil fertility. Similarly, AGWC and foliage C stocks were significantly correlated with tree species diversity (H'), but not soil texture. These data suggest that small-scale (m2-ha) variations in soil fertility are important controls on ecosystem C storage in Brazilian cerrado, and that ecosystem C and nutrient storage is positively related to tree species diversity. These results are qualitatively similar to those reported for tropical forests across regional fertility gradients in the Amazon Basin. These results have implications for the maintenance of soil C storage and fertility and tree species diversity in cerrado.

  11. Can microcystins affect zooplankton structure community in tropical eutrophic reservoirs?

    PubMed

    Paes, T A S V; Costa, I A S; Silva, A P C; Eskinazi-Sant'Anna, E M

    2016-06-01

    The aim of our study was to assess whether cyanotoxins (microcystins) can affect the composition of the zooplankton community, leading to domination of microzooplankton forms (protozoans and rotifers). Temporal variations in concentrations of microcystins and zooplankton biomass were analyzed in three eutrophic reservoirs in the semi-arid northeast region of Brazil. The concentration of microcystins in water proved to be correlated with the cyanobacterial biovolume, indicating the contributions from colonial forms such as Microcystis in the production of cyanotoxins. At the community level, the total biomass of zooplankton was not correlated with the concentration of microcystin (r2 = 0.00; P > 0.001), but in a population-level analysis, the biomass of rotifers and cladocerans showed a weak positive correlation. Cyclopoid copepods, which are considered to be relatively inefficient in ingesting cyanobacteria, were negatively correlated (r2 = - 0.01; P > 0.01) with the concentration of cyanotoxins. Surprisingly, the biomass of calanoid copepods was positively correlated with the microcystin concentration (r2 = 0.44; P > 0.001). The results indicate that allelopathic control mechanisms (negative effects of microcystin on zooplankton biomass) do not seem to substantially affect the composition of mesozooplankton, which showed a constant and high biomass compared to the microzooplankton (rotifers). These results may be important to better understand the trophic interactions between zooplankton and cyanobacteria and the potential effects of allelopathic compounds on zooplankton. PMID:26959954

  12. Large herbivore grazing affects the vegetation structure and greenhouse gas balance in a high arctic mire

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Falk, Julie Maria; Schmidt, Niels Martin; Christensen, Torben R.; Ström, Lena

    2015-04-01

    Herbivory is an important part of most ecosystems and affects the ecosystems’ carbon balance both directly and indirectly. Little is known about herbivory and its impact on the carbon balance in high arctic mire ecosystems. We hypothesized that trampling and grazing by large herbivores influences the vegetation density and composition and thereby also the carbon balance. In 2010, we established fenced exclosures in high arctic Greenland to prevent muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus) from grazing. During the growing seasons of 2011 to 2013 we measured CO2 and CH4 fluxes in these ungrazed blocks and compared them to blocks subjected to natural grazing. Additionally, we measured depth of the water table and active layer, soil temperature, and in 2011 and 2013 an inventory of the vegetation density and composition were made. In 2013 a significant decrease in total number of vascular plant (33-44%) and Eriophorum scheuchzeri (51-53%) tillers were found in ungrazed plots, the moss-layer and amount of litter had also increased substantially in these plots. This resulted in a significant decrease in net ecosystem uptake of CO2 (47%) and likewise a decrease in CH4 emission (44%) in ungrazed plots in 2013. While the future of the muskoxen in a changing arctic is unknown, this experiment points to a potentially large effect of large herbivores on the carbon balance in natural Arctic ecosystems. It thus sheds light on the importance of grazing mammals, and hence adds to our understanding of natural ecosystem greenhouse gas balance in the past and in the future.

  13. Phosphate Ions Affect the Water Structure at Functionalized Membrane Surfaces.

    PubMed

    Barrett, Aliyah; Imbrogno, Joseph; Belfort, Georges; Petersen, Poul B

    2016-09-01

    Antifouling surfaces improve function, efficiency, and safety in products such as water filtration membranes, marine vehicle coatings, and medical implants by resisting protein and biofilm adhesion. Understanding the role of water structure at these materials in preventing protein adhesion and biofilm formation is critical to designing more effective coatings. Such fouling experiments are typically performed under biological conditions using isotonic aqueous buffers. Previous studies have explored the structure of pure water at a few different antifouling surfaces, but the effect of electrolytes and ionic strength (I) on the water structure at antifouling surfaces is not well studied. Here sum frequency generation (SFG) spectroscopy is used to characterize the interfacial water structure at poly(ether sulfone) (PES) and two surface-modified PES films in contact with 0.01 M phosphate buffer with high and low salt (Ionic strength, I= 0.166 and 0.025 M, respectively). Unmodified PES, commonly used as a filtration membrane, and modified PES with a hydrophobic alkane (C18) and with a poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) were used. In the low ionic strength phosphate buffer, water was strongly ordered near the surface of the PEG-modified PES film due to exclusion of phosphate ions and the creation of a surface potential resulting from charge separation between phosphate anions and sodium cations. However, in the high ionic strength phosphate buffer, the sodium and potassium chloride (138 and 3 mM, respectively) in the phosphate buffered saline screened this charge and substantially reduced water ordering. A much smaller water ordering and subsequent reduction upon salt addition was observed for the C18-modified PES, and little water structure change was seen for the unmodified PES. The large difference in water structuring with increasing ionic strength between widely used phosphate buffer and phosphate buffered saline at the PEG interface demonstrates the importance of studying

  14. 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.

  15. Nonlinear response of stream ecosystem structure to low-level phosphorus enrichment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Anthropogenic inputs of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) create novel environmental conditions that alter biological organization and ecosystem functioning in freshwaters. We studied 38 wadeable streams spanning an N and P gradient to contrast responses of algal and fish assemblages to nutrient enric...

  16. Recovery of soil microbial community structure after fire in a sagebrush-grassland ecosystem

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Recovery of the soil microbial community after fire in a sagebrush-grassland ecosystem was examined using a chronosequence of four sites ranging in time since fire from 3-39 years. The successional stage communities examined included Recent Burn (3 years since fire, ysf), Establishment (7 ysf), Expa...

  17. 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

  18. Stage structure alters how complexity affects stability of ecological networks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rudolf, V.H.W.; Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2011-01-01

    Resolving how complexity affects stability of natural communities is of key importance for predicting the consequences of biodiversity loss. Central to previous stability analysis has been the assumption that the resources of a consumer are substitutable. However, during their development, most species change diets; for instance, adults often use different resources than larvae or juveniles. Here, we show that such ontogenetic niche shifts are common in real ecological networks and that consideration of these shifts can alter which species are predicted to be at risk of extinction. Furthermore, niche shifts reduce and can even reverse the otherwise stabilizing effect of complexity. This pattern arises because species with several specialized life stages appear to be generalists at the species level but act as sequential specialists that are hypersensitive to resource loss. These results suggest that natural communities are more vulnerable to biodiversity loss than indicated by previous analyses.

  19. Structural and leakage integrity of tubes affected by circumferential cracking

    SciTech Connect

    Hernalsteen, P.

    1997-02-01

    In this paper the author deals with the notion that circumferential cracks are generally considered unacceptable. He argues for the need to differentiate two facets of such cracks: the issue of the size and growth rate of a crack; and the issue of the structural strength and leakage potential of the tube in the presence of the crack. In this paper the author tries to show that the second point is not a major concern for such cracks. The paper presents data on the structural strength or burst pressure characteristics of steam generator tubes derived from models and data bases of experimental work. He also presents a leak rate model, and compares the performance of circumferential and axial cracks as far as burst strength and leak rate. The final conclusion is that subject to improvement in NDE capabilities (sizing, detection, growth), that Steam Generator Defect Specific Management can be used to allow circumferentially degraded tubes to remain in service.

  20. Warming reduces the growth and diversity of biological soil crusts in a semi-arid environment: implications for ecosystem structure and functioning

    PubMed Central

    Escolar, Cristina; Martínez, Isabel; Bowker, Matthew A.; Maestre, Fernando T.

    2012-01-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are key biotic components of dryland ecosystems worldwide that control many functional processes, including carbon and nitrogen cycling, soil stabilization and infiltration. Regardless of their ecological importance and prevalence in drylands, very few studies have explicitly evaluated how climate change will affect the structure and composition of BSCs, and the functioning of their constituents. Using a manipulative experiment conducted over 3 years in a semi-arid site from central Spain, we evaluated how the composition, structure and performance of lichen-dominated BSCs respond to a 2.4°C increase in temperature, and to an approximately 30 per cent reduction of total annual rainfall. In areas with well-developed BSCs, warming promoted a significant decrease in the richness and diversity of the whole BSC community. This was accompanied by important compositional changes, as the cover of lichens suffered a substantial decrease with warming (from 70 to 40% on average), while that of mosses increased slightly (from 0.3 to 7% on average). The physiological performance of the BSC community, evaluated using chlorophyll fluorescence, increased with warming during the first year of the experiment, but did not respond to rainfall reduction. Our results indicate that ongoing climate change will strongly affect the diversity and composition of BSC communities, as well as their recovery after disturbances. The expected changes in richness and composition under warming could reduce or even reverse the positive effects of BSCs on important soil processes. Thus, these changes are likely to promote an overall reduction in ecosystem processes that sustain and control nutrient cycling, soil stabilization and water dynamics. PMID:23045707

  1. Climate change impacts on body size and food web structure on mountain ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Lurgi, Miguel; López, Bernat C.; Montoya, José M.

    2012-01-01

    The current distribution of climatic conditions will be rearranged on the globe. To survive, species will have to keep pace with climates as they move. Mountains are among the most affected regions owing to both climate and land-use change. Here, we explore the effects of climate change in the vertebrate food web of the Pyrenees. We investigate elevation range expansions between two time-periods illustrative of warming conditions, to assess: (i) the taxonomic composition of range expanders; (ii) changes in food web properties such as the distribution of links per species and community size-structure; and (iii) what are the specific traits of range expanders that set them apart from the other species in the community—in particular, body mass, diet generalism, vulnerability and trophic position within the food web. We found an upward expansion of species at all elevations, which was not even for all taxonomic groups and trophic positions. At low and intermediate elevations, predator : prey mass ratios were significantly reduced. Expanders were larger, had fewer predators and were, in general, more specialists. Our study shows that elevation range expansions as climate warms have important and predictable impacts on the structure and size distribution of food webs across space. PMID:23007094

  2. Climate change impacts on body size and food web structure on mountain ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Lurgi, Miguel; López, Bernat C; Montoya, José M

    2012-11-01

    The current distribution of climatic conditions will be rearranged on the globe. To survive, species will have to keep pace with climates as they move. Mountains are among the most affected regions owing to both climate and land-use change. Here, we explore the effects of climate change in the vertebrate food web of the Pyrenees. We investigate elevation range expansions between two time-periods illustrative of warming conditions, to assess: (i) the taxonomic composition of range expanders; (ii) changes in food web properties such as the distribution of links per species and community size-structure; and (iii) what are the specific traits of range expanders that set them apart from the other species in the community-in particular, body mass, diet generalism, vulnerability and trophic position within the food web. We found an upward expansion of species at all elevations, which was not even for all taxonomic groups and trophic positions. At low and intermediate elevations, predator : prey mass ratios were significantly reduced. Expanders were larger, had fewer predators and were, in general, more specialists. Our study shows that elevation range expansions as climate warms have important and predictable impacts on the structure and size distribution of food webs across space. PMID:23007094

  3. Wasp waist or beer belly? Modeling food web structure and energetic control in Alaskan marine ecosystems, with implications for fishing and environmental forcing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaichas, Sarah; Aydin, Kerim; Francis, Robert C.

    2015-11-01

    The Eastern Bering Sea (EBS) and Gulf of Alaska (GOA) continental shelf ecosystems show some similar and some distinctive groundfish biomass dynamics. Given that similar species occupy these regions and fisheries management is also comparable, similarities might be expected, but to what can we attribute the differences? Different types of ecosystem structure and control (e.g. top-down, bottom-up, mixed) can imply different ecosystem dynamics and climate interactions. Further, the structural type identified for a given ecosystem may suggest optimal management for sustainable fishing. Here, we use information on the current system state derived from food web models of both the EBS and the GOA combined with dynamic ecosystem models incorporating uncertainty to classify each ecosystem by its structural type. We then suggest how this structure might be generally related to dynamics and predictability. We find that the EBS and GOA have fundamentally different food web structures both overall, and when viewed from the perspective of the same commercially and ecologically important species in each system, walleye pollock (Gadus chalcogrammus). EBS food web structure centers on a large mass of pollock, which appears to contribute to relative system stability and predictability. In contrast, GOA food web structure features high predator biomass, which contributes to a more dynamic, less predictable ecosystem. Mechanisms for climate influence on pollock production in the EBS are increasingly understood, while climate forcing mechanisms contributing to the potentially destabilizing high predator biomass in the GOA remain enigmatic. We present results of identical pollock fishing and climate-driven pollock recruitment simulations in the EBS and GOA which show different system responses, again with less predictable response in the GOA. Overall, our results suggest that identifying structural properties of fished food webs is as important for sustainable fisheries management as

  4. Quantifying Vegetation Composition, Structure and Dynamics in Selected Australian Ecosystems: Science to Management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phinn, S. R.; Scarth, P.; Armston, J.; Witte, C.; Danaher, T.; Flood, N.; Gill, T.; Lucas, R.

    2011-12-01

    Management of Australian ecosystems is carried out by state governments using information derived from satellite image data. The state of Queensland covers approximately 1.8 x 10^6 km^2 and uses satellite remote sensing and field survey programs to support legislated environmental monitoring, management and compliance activities.This poster outlines how the Joint Remote Sensing Research Program(JRSRP)delivered satellite image based data sets to address these activities by mapping foliage projective cover, vegetation height and biomass. Foliage projective cover (FPC), the vertically projected percentage cover of photosynthetic foliage of all strata, is produced from Landsat TM/ETM data using 88 scenes and over 1700 field sites. The JRSRP enabled government staff to be seconded to a university research group to work on the project, and the university provided postdoctoral and graduate student support. The JRSRP activities focussed on geometric and topographic corrections, BRDF corrections and time-series based approaches for correcting the archive of field survey and Landsat TM/ETM+ images. This has now progressed to a program using the entire Landsat TM/ETM+ archive on an annual basis and annual state-wide field survey data. The Landsat TM/ETM+ calibrations have been a critical input to the Landsat program's global vicarious calibration activities. Vegetation height is a critical parameter required for a range of state-wide activities and can be mapped accurately from field plots to regional areas using airborne Lidar. To develop statewide height estimates, an approach was developed using Icesat and existing vegetation community maps. By aggregating the spaceborne Icesat full waveform data within the mapped vegetation structure polygons it was possible to retrieve vegetation vertical structure information continuously across the landscape. This was used to derive mean canopy and understorey height, depth and density across Queensland, which was validated using

  5. Effects of geochemical changes on microbial community structure in a hot spring ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Havig, J. R.; Hamilton, T. L.; Boyd, E. S.; Meyer-Dombard, D. R.; Shock, E.

    2011-12-01

    Microbial community structure analysis is often conducted as a snap-shot of an ecosystem, and can be linked to the geochemistry of its environment at that time. What is less known is how a microbial community may change over time as a result of shifts in geochemical parameters. Hot springs are the surficial expression of subsurface boiling, phase separation, and differential movement of liquid-phase and vapor-phase constituents, which means that hot springs can fluctuate in temperature and composition over short periods of time, providing ideal natural laboratories for testing how microbial community structure changes as a result of geochemical environmental drivers. Geochemical samples from Obsidian Pool (Mud Volcano Area, Yellowstone National Park) collected annually from 2000 to 2010 document variations in the amount of vapor phase and liquid phase input into the system over that time. Chloride concentration increased by 104% (from 14.5 ppm in 2000 to 34.0 ppm in 2010), indicative of increased hydrothermal input, and the sulfate concentration increased by 586% (from 37.3 ppm to 256.2 ppm), suggesting an increased gas-phase sulfide input and subsequent oxidation. These changes were far from monotonic. Chloride and SO4-2 concentrations increased from 1999 to 2004, dropped from 2004 to 2006/2007, and then increased again through 2010. The overall increase in sulfate from sulfide oxidation resulted in a decrease in the pH from 6.8 in 1999 to 4.2 in 2006, with an increase to 5.2 in 2009, and then a drop back down to 4.3 in 2010. Over this time span, temperatures ranged from 76.4 to 85.3°C, with no clearly-evident trend. Microbial community 16S rRNA genes were amplified from total DNA extracted from samples collected from Obsidian Pool in 2000, 2001, 2005, 2009, and 2010, coinciding with geochemical samples. Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction analysis of archaeal and bacterial 16S rRNA genes show that bacterial 16S rRNA gene copy numbers decreased from 4.9E6 in

  6. Earthworm ecology affects the population structure of their Verminephrobacter symbionts.

    PubMed

    Viana, Flávia; Jensen, Christopher Erik; Macey, Michael; Schramm, Andreas; Lund, Marie Braad

    2016-05-01

    Earthworms carry species-specific Verminephrobacter symbionts in their nephridia (excretory organs). The symbionts are vertically transmitted via the cocoon, can only colonize the host during early embryonic development, and have co-speciated with their host for about 100 million years. Although several studies have addressed Verminephrobacter diversity between worm species, the intra-species diversity of the symbiont population has never been investigated. In this study, symbiont population structure was examined by using a multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) approach on Verminephrobacter isolated from two contrasting ecological types of earthworm hosts: the high population density, fast reproducing compost worms, Eisenia andrei and Eisenia fetida, and the low-density, slow reproducing Aporrectodea tuberculata, commonly found in garden soils. Three distinct populations were investigated for both types and, according to MLST analysis of 193 Verminephrobacter isolates, the symbiont community in each worm individual was very homogeneous. The more solitary A. tuberculata carried unique symbiont populations in 9 out of 10 host individuals, whereas the symbiont populations in the social compost worms were homogeneous across host individuals from the same population. These data suggested that host ecology shaped the population structure of Verminephrobacter symbionts. The homogeneous symbiont populations in the compost worms led to the hypothesis that Verminephrobacter could be transferred bi-parentally or via leaky horizontal transmission in high-density, frequently mating worm populations. PMID:27040820

  7. Does small scale structure significantly affect cosmological dynamics?

    PubMed

    Adamek, Julian; Clarkson, Chris; Durrer, Ruth; Kunz, Martin

    2015-02-01

    The large-scale homogeneity and isotropy of the Universe is generally thought to imply a well-defined background cosmological model. It may not. Smoothing over structure adds in an extra contribution, transferring power from small scales up to large. Second-order perturbation theory implies that the effect is small, but suggests that formally the perturbation series may not converge. The amplitude of the effect is actually determined by the ratio of the Hubble scales at matter-radiation equality and today-which are entirely unrelated. This implies that a universe with significantly lower temperature today could have significant backreaction from more power on small scales, and so provides the ideal testing ground for understanding backreaction. We investigate this using two different N-body numerical simulations-a 3D Newtonian and a 1D simulation which includes all relevant relativistic effects. We show that while perturbation theory predicts an increasing backreaction as more initial small-scale power is added, in fact the virialization of structure saturates the backreaction effect at the same level independently of the equality scale. This implies that backreaction is a small effect independently of initial conditions. Nevertheless, it may still contribute at the percent level to certain cosmological observables and therefore it cannot be neglected in precision cosmology. PMID:25699430

  8. Habitat structure and body size distributions: cross-ecosystem comparison for taxa with determinate and indeterminate growth

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nash, Kirsty L.; Allen, Craig R.; Barichievy, Chris; Nystrom, Magnus; Sundstrom, Shana M.; Graham, Nicholas A.J.

    2014-01-01

    Habitat structure across multiple spatial and temporal scales has been proposed as a key driver of body size distributions for associated communities. Thus, understanding the relationship between habitat and body size is fundamental to developing predictions regarding the influence of habitat change on animal communities. Much of the work assessing the relationship between habitat structure and body size distributions has focused on terrestrial taxa with determinate growth, and has primarily analysed discontinuities (gaps) in the distribution of species mean sizes (species size relationships or SSRs). The suitability of this approach for taxa with indeterminate growth has yet to be determined. We provide a cross-ecosystem comparison of bird (determinate growth) and fish (indeterminate growth) body mass distributions using four independent data sets. We evaluate three size distribution indices: SSRs, species size–density relationships (SSDRs) and individual size–density relationships (ISDRs), and two types of analysis: looking for either discontinuities or abundance patterns and multi-modality in the distributions. To assess the respective suitability of these three indices and two analytical approaches for understanding habitat–size relationships in different ecosystems, we compare their ability to differentiate bird or fish communities found within contrasting habitat conditions. All three indices of body size distribution are useful for examining the relationship between cross-scale patterns of habitat structure and size for species with determinate growth, such as birds. In contrast, for species with indeterminate growth such as fish, the relationship between habitat structure and body size may be masked when using mean summary metrics, and thus individual-level data (ISDRs) are more useful. Furthermore, ISDRs, which have traditionally been used to study aquatic systems, present a potentially useful common currency for comparing body size distributions

  9. Eighty-five million years of Pacific Ocean gyre ecosystem structure: long-term stability marked by punctuated change.

    PubMed

    Sibert, Elizabeth; Norris, Richard; Cuevas, Jose; Graves, Lana

    2016-05-25

    While the history of taxonomic diversification in open ocean lineages of ray-finned fish and elasmobranchs is increasingly known, the evolution of their roles within the open ocean ecosystem remains poorly understood. To assess the relative importance of these groups through time, we measured the accumulation rate of microfossil fish teeth and elasmobranch dermal denticles (ichthyoliths) in deep-sea sediment cores from the North and South Pacific gyres over the past 85 million years (Myr). We find three distinct and stable open ocean ecosystem structures, each defined by the relative and absolute abundance of elasmobranch and ray-finned fish remains. The Cretaceous Ocean (pre-66 Ma) was characterized by abundant elasmobranch denticles, but low abundances of fish teeth. The Palaeogene Ocean (66-20 Ma), initiated by the Cretaceous/Palaeogene mass extinction, had nearly four times the abundance of fish teeth compared with elasmobranch denticles. This Palaeogene Ocean structure remained stable during the Eocene greenhouse (50 Ma) and the Eocene-Oligocene glaciation (34 Ma), despite large changes in the overall accumulation of both groups during those intervals, suggesting that climate change is not a primary driver of ecosystem structure. Dermal denticles virtually disappeared from open ocean ichthyolith assemblages approximately 20 Ma, while fish tooth accumulation increased dramatically in variability, marking the beginning of the Modern Ocean. Together, these results suggest that open ocean fish community structure is stable on long timescales, independent of total production and climate change. The timing of the abrupt transitions between these states suggests that the transitions may be due to interactions with other, non-preserved pelagic consumer groups. PMID:27194702

  10. Reindeer grazing and climate change affects vegetation structure in the Swedish mountains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vowles, Tage; Klemendtsen, Leif; Molau, Ulf; Björk, Robert G.

    2013-04-01

    There is substantial evidence indicating that arctic and alpine landscapes are undergoing distinct changes in plant community structure, presumably brought about by increasing temperatures and a prolonged snow-free season. However, recent studies have revealed that grazing by large herbivores can inhibit a climate-driven shrub expansion and plant community change. In northern Fennoscandia reindeer grazing has helped to shape the vegetation patterns since the last glacial period and is an important factor to consider in the understanding of how a changing climate will affect tundra ecosystems. This project examines the effects of reindeer grazing by revisiting fenced exclosures constructed in 1995. The exclosures were erected at four sites with different grazing intensities situated along the Scandinavian mountain range (from 61°30' to 68°30'). At three of the four sites, three fenced and three control (ambient conditions) plots (25×25 m each) were established in alpine tundra and in mountain birch forest, respectively. In the fourth site only tundra plots were established. In 2011/12 we used the same methodology as in the original 1995 inventories to determine the species composition, canopy height, and percentage cover of the shrub, field and bottom layers in the plots. In the birch forest, the tree layer was also estimated by determining species composition, cover, height, diameter, and individual density. Our results show that on the tundra, tall shrub cover has increased at our fenced-in plots over the past 16 years, whereas in ambient plots the response varies between sites. Low shrubs, too, have increased over time, yet showing no significant treatment effect. Graminoids, on the other hand have decreased overall, but significantly more in fenced-in plots. Furthermore, the shrub canopy height has increased significantly over time with implications for albedo and snow trapping effects. Bryophyte cover was significantly larger in ambient plots than in fenced

  11. Elasticity of vesicles affects hairless mouse skin structure and permeability.

    PubMed

    van den Bergh, B A; Bouwstra, J A; Junginger, H E; Wertz, P W

    1999-12-01

    One of the possibilities for increasing the penetration rate of drugs through the skin is the use of vesicular systems. Currently, special attention is paid to the elastic properties of liquid-state vesicles, which are supposed to have superior properties compared to gel-state vesicles with respect to skin interactions. In this study, the effects of vesicles on hairless mouse skin, both in vivo and in vitro, were studied in relation to the composition of vesicles. The interactions of elastic vesicles containing the single chain surfactant octaoxyethylene laurate-ester (PEG-8-L) and sucrose laurate-ester (L-595) with hairless mouse skin were studied, in vivo, after non-occlusive application for 1, 3 and 6 h. The skin ultrastructure was examined by ruthenium tetroxide electron microscopy (TEM) and histology. The extent, to which vesicle constituents penetrated into the stratum corneum, was quantified by thin layer chromatography (TLC). The interactions of the elastic vesicles containing PEG-8-L and L-595 surfactants were compared with those observed after treatment with rigid vesicles containing the surfactant sucrose stearate-ester (Wasag-7). Furthermore, skin permeability experiments were carried out to investigate the effect of treatment with PEG-8-L micelles, elastic vesicles (containing PEG-8-L and L-595 surfactants) or rigid Wasag-7 vesicles on the 3H(2)O transport through hairless mouse skin, in vitro, after non-occlusive application. Treatment of hairless mouse skin with the elastic vesicles affected the ultrastructure of the stratum corneum: distinct regions with lamellar stacks derived from the vesicles were observed in intercellular spaces of the stratum corneum. These stacks disrupted the organization of skin bilayers leading to an increased skin permeability, whereas no changes in the ultrastructure of the underlying viable epidermis were observed. Treatment with rigid Wasag-7 vesicles did not affect the skin ultrastructure or skin permeability. TLC

  12. Do cell-autonomous and non-cell-autonomous effects drive the structure of tumor ecosystems?

    PubMed

    Tissot, Tazzio; Ujvari, Beata; Solary, Eric; Lassus, Patrice; Roche, Benjamin; Thomas, Frédéric

    2016-04-01

    By definition, a driver mutation confers a growth advantage to the cancer cell in which it occurs, while a passenger mutation does not: the former is usually considered as the engine of cancer progression, while the latter is not. Actually, the effects of a given mutation depend on the genetic background of the cell in which it appears, thus can differ in the subclones that form a tumor. In addition to cell-autonomous effects generated by the mutations, non-cell-autonomous effects shape the phenotype of a cancer cell. Here, we review the evidence that a network of biological interactions between subclones drives cancer cell adaptation and amplifies intra-tumor heterogeneity. Integrating the role of mutations in tumor ecosystems generates innovative strategies targeting the tumor ecosystem's weaknesses to improve cancer treatment. PMID:26845682

  13. Millennial climatic fluctuations are key to the structure of last glacial ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Huntley, Brian; Allen, Judy R M; Collingham, Yvonne C; Hickler, Thomas; Lister, Adrian M; Singarayer, Joy; Stuart, Anthony J; Sykes, Martin T; Valdes, Paul J

    2013-01-01

    Whereas fossil evidence indicates extensive treeless vegetation and diverse grazing megafauna in Europe and northern Asia during the last glacial, experiments combining vegetation models and climate models have to-date simulated widespread persistence of trees. Resolving this conflict is key to understanding both last glacial ecosystems and extinction of most of the mega-herbivores. Using a dynamic vegetation model (DVM) we explored the implications of the differing climatic conditions generated by a general circulation model (GCM) in "normal" and "hosing" experiments. Whilst the former approximate interstadial conditions, the latter, designed to mimic Heinrich Events, approximate stadial conditions. The "hosing" experiments gave simulated European vegetation much closer in composition to that inferred from fossil evidence than did the "normal" experiments. Given the short duration of interstadials, and the rate at which forest cover expanded during the late-glacial and early Holocene, our results demonstrate the importance of millennial variability in determining the character of last glacial ecosystems. PMID:23613985

  14. Net ecosystem CO2 exchange of an invasive plant infestation: new insights on the effects of phenology and management practices on structure and functioning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sonnentag, Oliver; Detto, Matteo; Runkle, Benjamin; Hatala, Jaclyn; Vargas, Rodrigo; Kelly, Maggi; Baldocchi, Dennis

    2010-05-01

    The net ecosystem carbon dioxide (CO2) exchange (FC) of invasive plant infestations has been subject of few studies only. Perennial pepperweed (Lepidium latifolium L.) is an aggressive invasive plant with severe economic and environmental consequences for infested ecosystems. A characteristic feature of pepperweed's phenological cycle is the dense arrangement of small white flowers during secondary inflorescence. Little is known about how pepperweed flowering and management practices such as mowing affect canopy structure and canopy photosynthesis (FA) and autotrophic respiration (FAR) and thus ecosystem respiration (FER; FC=FER-FA with FER=FAR+heterotrophic respiration [FHR]). To examine these effects we analyzed three years (2007-2010) of CO2 flux measurements made with eddy covariance, supporting environmental measurements and near-surface remote sensing data (canopy-scale reflectance, digital camera imagery) from a pepperweed-infested pasture in California's Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. The measurements cover three meteorologically similar summers (1 May - 30 September) that slightly differed in terms of land use practices. In 2007-2010, the site was subjected to year-round grazing by beef cattle, and in 2008, the site was additionally mowed in mid-May during flowering. We described structural changes in canopy development through seasonal changes in surface roughness for momentum transfer (z0m). Weekly soil CO2 efflux (≈ FHR) estimates from static chamber measurements made over bare soil were used to separate FER into FAR and FHR. We identified the onset of pepperweed's key phenological phases (i.e., germination, early vegetative growth, flowering, seed maturation, senescence, dormancy) through the integrated analysis of albedo of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), a broad-band green normalized difference vegetation index, and a digital camera-based color index. We used non-linear mixed-effects model analysis to investigate the combined

  15. Trophic structure in the Gulf of Lions marine ecosystem (north-western Mediterranean Sea) and fishing impacts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bănaru, D.; Mellon-Duval, C.; Roos, D.; Bigot, J.-L.; Souplet, A.; Jadaud, A.; Beaubrun, P.; Fromentin, J.-M.

    2013-02-01

    The Gulf of Lions ecosystem was described using the Ecopath mass-balance model to characterise its structure and functioning and to examine the effects of the multispecific fisheries operating in this area. The model is composed of 40 compartments, including 1 group of seabirds, 2 groups of cetaceans, 18 groups of fish, 12 groups of invertebrates, 5 groups of primary producers, detritus and discards. Input data were based on several recurrent scientific surveys, two alternative datasets for fishing data, stock assessment outputs, stomach content analyses and published information. Results showed that the functional groups were organised into five trophic levels with the highest one represented by dolphins, anglerfish, Atlantic bluefin tuna, European hake and European conger. European pilchard and European anchovy dominated in terms of fish biomass and catch. Other fish with high biomass such as Atlantic mackerel and blue whiting were highly important in the food web. Seabirds, dolphins and cuttlefish-squids represented keystone species. Important coupled pelagic-demersal-benthic interactions were described. The 7 different fisheries analysed were operating at mean trophic levels situated between 2.6 for small artisanal boats, and 4.1 for purse seines (> 24 m) targeting large pelagic fish, indicating an intensively exploited ecosystem. Large trawlers (24-40 m) had the highest impact on most of the groups considered; while purse seines (12-24 m) targeting small pelagic fish had the lowest impact. Preliminary results highlighted the importance of data sources for further ecosystem and fisheries analyses and management scenarios.

  16. Effects of vegetation structure on soil carbon, nutrients and greenhouse gas exchange in a savannah ecosystem of Mount Kilimanjaro Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becker, J.

    2015-12-01

    The savannah biome is a hotspot for biodiversity and wildlife conservation in Africa and recently got in the focus of research on carbon sequestration. Savannah ecosystems are under strong pressure from climate and land-use change, especially around populous areas like the Mt. Kilimanjaro region. Savannah vegetation consists of grassland with isolated trees and is therefore characterized by high spatial variation of canopy cover, aboveground biomass and root structure. The canopy structure is a major regulator for soil ecological parameters and soil-atmospheric trace gas exchange (CO2, N2O, CH4) in water limited environments. The spatial distribution of these parameters and the connection between above and belowground processes are important to understand and predict ecosystem changes and estimate its vulnerability. Our objective was to determine spatial trends and changes of soil parameters and relate their variability to the vegetation structure. We chose three trees from each of the two most dominant species (Acacia nilotica and Balanites aegyptiaca) in our research area. For each tree, we selected transects with nine sampling points of the same relative distances to the stem. At these each sampling point a soil core was taken and separated in 0-10 cm and 10-30 cm depth. We measured soil carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) storage, microbial biomass C and N, Natural δ13C, soil respiration, available nutrients, pH, cation exchange capacity (CEC) as well as root biomass and -density, soil temperature and soil water content. Concentrations and stocks of C and N fractions, CEC and K+ decreased up to 50% outside the crown covered area. Microbial C:N ratio and CO2 efflux was about 30% higher outside the crown. This indicates N limitation and low C use efficiency in soil outside the crown area. We conclude that the spatial structure of aboveground biomass in savanna ecosystems leads to a spatial variance in nutrient limitation. Therefore, the capability of a savanna ecosystem

  17. Variability in ecosystem structure and functioning in a low order stream: Implications of land use and season.

    PubMed

    Englert, Dominic; Zubrod, Jochen P; Schulz, Ralf; Bundschuh, Mirco

    2015-12-15

    Human activity can degrade the habitat quality for aquatic communities, which ultimately impacts the functions these communities provide. Disentangling the complex interaction between environmental and anthropogenic parameters as well as their alteration both along the stream channel, over the seasons, and finally their impact in the aquatic ecosystem represents a fundamental challenge for environmental scientists. Therefore, the present study investigates the implications of successive land uses (i.e., vineyard, urban area, highway and wastewater treatment plant (WWTP)) on structural and functional endpoints related to the ecosystem process of leaf litter breakdown during a winter and summer season in a five km stretch of a second-order stream in southern Germany. This sequence of the different land uses caused, among others, a downstream decline of the ecological status from "high" to "bad" judged based on the SPEARpesticides index together with significant shifts in the macroinvertebrate community composition, which coincided with substantial impairments (up to 100%) in the macroinvertebrate-mediated leaf decomposition. These effects, seem to be mainly driven by alterations in water quality rather than morphological modifications of the stream's habitat since the key shredder Gammarus was not in direct contact with the local habitat during in situ bioassays but showed similar response patterns than the other endpoints. While the relative effect size for most endpoints deviated considerably (sometimes above 2-fold) among seasons, the general response pattern pointed to reductions in energy supply for local and downstream communities. Although the present study focused on a single low-order stream with the main purpose of describing the impact of different land uses on various levels of biological organization, which limits the direct transferability and thus applicability of results to other stream ecosystems, the findings point to the need to develop adequate

  18. Microhabitat use affects brain size and structure in intertidal gobies.

    PubMed

    White, Gemma E; Brown, Culum

    2015-01-01

    The ecological cognition hypothesis poses that the brains and behaviours of individuals are largely shaped by the environments in which they live and the associated challenges they must overcome during their lives. Here we examine the effect of environmental complexity on relative brain size in 4 species of intertidal gobies from differing habitats. Two species were rock pool specialists that lived on spatially complex rocky shores, while the remainder lived on dynamic, but structurally simple, sandy shores. We found that rock pool-dwelling species had relatively larger brains and telencephalons in particular, while sand-dwelling species had a larger optic tectum and hypothalamus. In general, it appears that various fish species trade off neural investment in specific brain lobes depending on the environment in which they live. Our previous research suggests that rock pool species have greater spatial learning abilities, enabling them to navigate their spatially complex environment, which may account for their enlarged telencephalon, while sand-dwelling species likely have a reduced need for spatial learning, due to their spatially simple habitat, and a greater need for visual acuity. The dorsal medulla and cerebellum size was unaffected by the habitat in which the fish lived, but there were differences between species indicative of species-specific trade-offs in neural investment. PMID:25896449

  19. Satellite Ecology (SATECO)-linking ecology, remote sensing and micrometeorology, from plot to regional scale, for the study of ecosystem structure and function.

    PubMed

    Muraoka, Hiroyuki; Koizumi, Hiroshi

    2009-01-01

    There is a growing requirement for ecosystem science to help inform a deeper understanding of the effects of global climate change and land use change on terrestrial ecosystem structure and function, from small area (plot) to landscape, regional and global scales. To meet these requirements, ecologists have investigated plant growth and carbon cycling processes at plot scale, using biometric methods to measure plant carbon accumulation, and gas exchange (chamber) methods to measure soil respiration. Also at the plot scale, micrometeorologists have attempted to measure canopy- or ecosystem-scale CO(2) flux by the eddy covariance technique, which reveals diurnal, seasonal and annual cycles. Mathematical models play an important role in integrating ecological and micrometeorological processes into ecosystem scales, which are further useful in interpreting time-accumulated information derived from biometric methods by comparing with CO(2) flux measurements. For a spatial scaling of such plot-level understanding, remote sensing via satellite is used to measure land use/vegetation type distribution and temporal changes in ecosystem structures such as leaf area index. However, to better utilise such data, there is still a need for investigations that consider the structure and function of ecosystems and their processes, especially in mountainous areas characterized by complex terrain and a mosaic distribution of vegetation. For this purpose, we have established a new interdisciplinary approach named 'Satellite Ecology', which aims to link ecology, remote sensing and micrometeorology to facilitate the study of ecosystem function, at the plot, landscape, and regional scale. PMID:18958540

  20. Ecosystem health: I. Measuring ecosystem health

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaeffer, David J.; Herricks, Edwin E.; Kerster, Harold W.

    1988-07-01

    Ecosystem analysis has been advanced by an improved understanding of how ecosystems are structured and how they function. Ecology has advanced from an emphasis on natural history to consideration of energetics, the relationships and connections between species, hierarchies, and systems theory. Still, we consider ecosystems as entities with a distinctive character and individual characteristics. Ecosystem maintenance and preservation form the objective of impact analysis, hazard evaluation, and other management or regulation activities. In this article we explore an approach to ecosystem analysis which identifies and quantifies factors which define the condition or state of an ecosystem in terms of health criteria. We relate ecosystem health to human/nonhuman animal health and explore the difficulties of defining ecosystem health and suggest criteria which provide a functional definition of state and condition. We suggest that, as has been found in human/nonhuman animal health studies, disease states can be recognized before disease is of clinical magnitude. Example disease states for ecosystems are functionally defined and discussed, together with test systems for their early detection.

  1. Nonlinear responses to nitrogen and strong interactions with nitrogen and phosphorus additions drastically alter the structure and function of a high arctic ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arens, Seth J. T.; Sullivan, Patrick F.; Welker, Jeffrey M.

    2008-09-01

    Significant changes in ecosystem CO2 exchange and vegetation characteristics were observed following multiple additions of nitrogen (N) and factorial additions of N and phosphorus (P) to prostrate dwarf-shrub, herb tundra in Northwest Greenland. Ecosystem CO2 exchange and vegetation cover and composition were very sensitive to low rates of N inputs (0.5 g m-2 y-1), indicating that even low rates of atmospheric N deposition may alter high arctic ecosystem structure and function. Increasing N addition from 1 to 5 g N m-2 y-1 did not alter CO2 exchange or vegetation characteristics, suggesting the ecosystem had become N saturated. Factorial additions of both N and P released the ecosystem from N saturation and dramatically increased gross ecosystem photosynthesis (+500%) and ecosystem respiration (+250%), such that the ecosystem switched from a small source of CO2 to a small sink for CO2 at midday during the 2005 growing season. Changes in the component fluxes of CO2 exchange were largely explained by a doubling of the normalized difference vegetation index, a 100% increase in vascular plant cover and dramatic increases in the abundance of several previously rare grass species. Our results clearly demonstrate that high arctic prostrate dwarf-shrub, herb tundra is highly sensitive to low levels of N addition and that future increases in N deposition or N mineralization will likely lead to change in carbon cycling and vegetation characteristics, but the magnitude of the response will be constrained by P availability.

  2. Tropical Forest Fragmentation Affects Floral Visitors but Not the Structure of Individual-Based Palm-Pollinator Networks

    PubMed Central

    Dáttilo, Wesley; Aguirre, Armando; Quesada, Mauricio; Dirzo, Rodolfo

    2015-01-01

    Despite increasing knowledge about the effects of habitat loss on pollinators in natural landscapes, information is very limited regarding the underlying mechanisms of forest fragmentation affecting plant-pollinator interactions in such landscapes. Here, we used a network approach to describe the effects of forest fragmentation on the patterns of interactions involving the understory dominant palm Astrocaryum mexicanum (Arecaceae) and its floral visitors (including both effective and non-effective pollinators) at the individual level in a Mexican tropical rainforest landscape. Specifically, we asked: (i) Does fragment size affect the structure of individual-based plant-pollinator networks? (ii) Does the core of highly interacting visitor species change along the fragmentation size gradient? (iii) Does forest fragment size influence the abundance of effective pollinators of A. mexicanum? We found that fragment size did not affect the topological structure of the individual-based palm-pollinator network. Furthermore, while the composition of peripheral non-effective pollinators changed depending on fragment size, effective core generalist species of pollinators remained stable. We also observed that both abundance and variance of effective pollinators of male and female flowers of A. mexicanum increased with forest fragment size. These findings indicate that the presence of effective pollinators in the core of all forest fragments could keep the network structure stable along the gradient of forest fragmentation. In addition, pollination of A. mexicanum could be more effective in larger fragments, since the greater abundance of pollinators in these fragments may increase the amount of pollen and diversity of pollen donors between flowers of individual plants. Given the prevalence of fragmentation in tropical ecosystems, our results indicate that the current patterns of land use will have consequences on the underlying mechanisms of pollination in remnant forests

  3. Tropical forest fragmentation affects floral visitors but not the structure of individual-based palm-pollinator networks.

    PubMed

    Dáttilo, Wesley; Aguirre, Armando; Quesada, Mauricio; Dirzo, Rodolfo

    2015-01-01

    Despite increasing knowledge about the effects of habitat loss on pollinators in natural landscapes, information is very limited regarding the underlying mechanisms of forest fragmentation affecting plant-pollinator interactions in such landscapes. Here, we used a network approach to describe the effects of forest fragmentation on the patterns of interactions involving the understory dominant palm Astrocaryum mexicanum (Arecaceae) and its floral visitors (including both effective and non-effective pollinators) at the individual level in a Mexican tropical rainforest landscape. Specifically, we asked: (i) Does fragment size affect the structure of individual-based plant-pollinator networks? (ii) Does the core of highly interacting visitor species change along the fragmentation size gradient? (iii) Does forest fragment size influence the abundance of effective pollinators of A. mexicanum? We found that fragment size did not affect the topological structure of the individual-based palm-pollinator network. Furthermore, while the composition of peripheral non-effective pollinators changed depending on fragment size, effective core generalist species of pollinators remained stable. We also observed that both abundance and variance of effective pollinators of male and female flowers of A. mexicanum increased with forest fragment size. These findings indicate that the presence of effective pollinators in the core of all forest fragments could keep the network structure stable along the gradient of forest fragmentation. In addition, pollination of A. mexicanum could be more effective in larger fragments, since the greater abundance of pollinators in these fragments may increase the amount of pollen and diversity of pollen donors between flowers of individual plants. Given the prevalence of fragmentation in tropical ecosystems, our results indicate that the current patterns of land use will have consequences on the underlying mechanisms of pollination in remnant forests

  4. Ecosystem structure and fishing impacts in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea using a food web model within a comparative approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Corrales, Xavier; Coll, Marta; Tecchio, Samuele; Bellido, José María; Fernández, Ángel Mario; Palomera, Isabel

    2015-08-01

    We developed an ecological model to characterize the structure and functioning of the marine continental shelf and slope area of the northwestern Mediterranean Sea, from Toulon to Cape La Nao (NWM model), in the early 2000s. The model included previously modeled areas in the NW Mediterranean (the Gulf of Lions and the Southern Catalan Sea) and expanded their ranges, covering 45,547 km2, with depths from 0 to 1000 m. The study area was chosen to specifically account for the connectivity between the areas and shared fish stocks and fleets. Input data were based on local scientific surveys and fishing statistics, published data on stomach content analyses, and the application of empirical equations to estimate consumption and production rates. The model was composed of 54 functional groups, from primary producers to top predators, and Spanish and French fishing fleets were considered. Results were analyzed using ecological indicators and compared with outputs from ecosystem models developed in the Mediterranean Sea and the Gulf of Cadiz prior to this study. Results showed that the main trophic flows were associated with detritus, phytoplankton, zooplankton and benthic invertebrates. Several high trophic level organisms (such as dolphins, benthopelagic cephalopods, large demersal fishes from the continental shelf, and other large pelagic fishes), and the herbivorous salema fish, were identified as keystone groups within the ecosystem. Results confirmed that fishing impact was high and widespread throughout the food web. The comparative approach highlighted that, despite productivity differences, the ecosystems shared common features in structure and functioning traits such as the important role of detritus, the dominance of the pelagic fraction in terms of flows and the importance of benthic-pelagic coupling.

  5. Biotic interactions as determinants of ecosystem structure in prairie wetlands: An example using fish

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hanson, M.A.; Zimmer, K.D.; Butler, Malcolm G.; Tangen, B.A.; Herwig, B.R.; Euliss, N.H., Jr.

    2005-01-01

    Wetlands are abundant throughout the prairie pothole region (PPR), an area comprising over 700,000 km2 in central North America. Prairie wetland communities are strongly influenced by regional physiography and climate, resulting in extreme spatial and temporal variability relative to other aquatic ecosystems. Given the strong influence of abiotic factors, PPR wetland communities have been viewed traditionally in the context of their responses to chemical and physical features of landscape and climate. Although useful, this physical-chemical paradigm may fail to account for ecosystem variability due to biotic influences, particularly those associated with presence of fish. Spatial and temporal variability in fish populations, in turn, may reflect anthropogenic activities, landscape characteristics, and climate-mediated effects on water levels, surface connectivity, and hydroperiods. We reviewed studies assessing influences of fish on prairie wetlands and examined precipitation patterns and biological data from PPR wetlands in east-central North Dakota and western Minnesota, USA. Our review and analysis indicated that native fish influence many characteristics of permanently flooded prairie wetlands, including water clarity and abundance of phytoplankton, submerged macrophytes, and aquatic invertebrates. We suggest that ecologists and managers will benefit from conceptual paradigms that better meld biotic interactions associated with fish, and perhaps other organisms, with chemical and physical influences on prairie wetland communities. ?? 2005, The Society of Wetland Scientists.

  6. Millennial Climatic Fluctuations Are Key to the Structure of Last Glacial Ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Huntley, Brian; Allen, Judy R. M.; Collingham, Yvonne C.; Hickler, Thomas; Lister, Adrian M.; Singarayer, Joy; Stuart, Anthony J.; Sykes, Martin T.; Valdes, Paul J.

    2013-01-01

    Whereas fossil evidence indicates extensive treeless vegetation and diverse grazing megafauna in Europe and northern Asia during the last glacial, experiments combining vegetation models and climate models have to-date simulated widespread persistence of trees. Resolving this conflict is key to understanding both last glacial ecosystems and extinction of most of the mega-herbivores. Using a dynamic vegetation model (DVM) we explored the implications of the differing climatic conditions generated by a general circulation model (GCM) in “normal” and “hosing” experiments. Whilst the former approximate interstadial conditions, the latter, designed to mimic Heinrich Events, approximate stadial conditions. The “hosing” experiments gave simulated European vegetation much closer in composition to that inferred from fossil evidence than did the “normal” experiments. Given the short duration of interstadials, and the rate at which forest cover expanded during the late-glacial and early Holocene, our results demonstrate the importance of millennial variability in determining the character of last glacial ecosystems. PMID:23613985

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  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. Does competition among ecosystem engineering species result in tradeoffs in the production of ecosystem services?

    EPA Science Inventory

    Production of ecosystem services depends on the ecological community structure at a given location. Ecosystem engineering species (EES) can strongly determine community structure, but do they consequently determine the production of ecosystem services? We explore this question ...

  10. 28 CFR 0.191 - Changes which affect the overall structure of the Department.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 28 Judicial Administration 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Changes which affect the overall structure of the Department. 0.191 Section 0.191 Judicial Administration DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ORGANIZATION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Sections and Subunits § 0.191 Changes which affect the overall...

  11. The Internal Structure of Positive and Negative Affect: A Confirmatory Factor Analysis of the PANAS

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tuccitto, Daniel E.; Giacobbi, Peter R., Jr.; Leite, Walter L.

    2010-01-01

    This study tested five confirmatory factor analytic (CFA) models of the Positive Affect Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) to provide validity evidence based on its internal structure. A sample of 223 club sport athletes indicated their emotions during the past week. Results revealed that an orthogonal two-factor CFA model, specifying error…

  12. Influence of chemosynthetic ecosystems on nematode community structure and biomass in the deep eastern Mediterranean Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lampadariou, N.; Kalogeropoulou, V.; Sevastou, K.; Keklikoglou, K.; Sarrazin, J.

    2013-08-01

    Mud volcanoes are a~special type of cold seeps where life is based on chemoautotrophic processes. They are considered to be extreme environments and are characterized by unique megafaunal and macrofaunal communities. However, very few studies on mud volcanoes taking into account the smaller meiobenthic communities have been carried out. Two mud volcanoes were explored during the MEDECO (MEditerranean Deep-sea ECOsystems) cruise (2007) with the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Victor-6000: Amsterdam, located south of Turkey between 1700 and 2000 m depth (Anaximander mud field); and Napoli, south of Crete, located along the Mediterranean Ridge at about 2000 m depth (Olimpi mud field). The major aim of this study was to describe distributional patterns of meiofaunal communities and nematode assemblages from different seep microhabitats. Meiofaunal taxa and nematode assemblages at both mud volcanoes differed significantly from other Mediterranean sites in terms of standing stocks, dominance and species diversity. Density and biomass values were significantly higher at the seep sites, particularly at Amsterdam. Patterns of nematode diversity, the dominant meiofaunal taxon, varied, displaying both very high or very low species richness and dominance, depending on the microhabitat studied. The periphery of the Lamellibrachia and bivalve shell microhabitats of Napoli exhibited the highest species richness, while the reduced sediments of Amsterdam yielded a species-poor nematode community dominated by two successful species, one belonging to the genus Aponema and the other to the genus Sabatieria. Analysis of β-diversity showed that microhabitat heterogeneity of mud volcanoes contributed substantially to the total nematode species richness in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. These observations indicate a strong influence of mud volcanoes and cold-seep ecosystems on the meiofaunal communities and nematode assemblages.

  13. Changes within a single land-use category alter microbial diversity and community structure: molecular evidence from wood-inhabiting fungi in forest ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Purahong, Witoon; Hoppe, Björn; Kahl, Tiemo; Schloter, Michael; Schulze, Ernst-Detlef; Bauhus, Jürgen; Buscot, François; Krüger, Dirk

    2014-06-15

    The impact of changes within a single land-use category or land-use intensity on microbial communities is poorly understood, especially with respect to fungi. Here we assessed how forest management regimes and a change in forest type affect the richness and community structure of wood-inhabiting fungi across Germany. We used molecular methods based on the length polymorphism of the internal transcribed spacers and the 5.8S rRNA gene to assess fungal operational taxonomic units (OTUs). A cloning/sequencing approach was used to identify taxonomic affinities of the fungal OTUs. Overall, 20-24% and 25-27% of native fungal OTUs from forest reserves and semi-natural forests became undetectable or were lost in managed and converted forests, respectively. Fungal richness was significantly reduced during a regeneration phase in age-class beech forests with a high level of wood extraction (P = 0.017), whereas fungal community structures were not significantly affected. Conversion of forests from native, deciduous to coniferous species caused significant changes in the fungal community structure (R = 0.64-0.66, P = 0.0001) and could reduce fungal richness (P < 0.05) which may depend on which coniferous species was introduced. Our results showed that Ascocoryne cylichnium, Armillaria sp., Exophiala moniliae, Hyphodontia subalutacea and Fomes fomentarius, all known for wood-decaying abilities were strongly reduced in their abundances when forests were converted from beech to coniferous. We conclude that changes within a single land-use category can be regarded as a major threat to fungal diversity in temperate forest ecosystems. PMID:24681650

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Long-term management of AAR-affected structures - An international perspective

    SciTech Connect

    Charlwood, R.G.; Solymar, Z.V.

    1995-12-31

    The objective of the paper is to review international practice and comment on progress made in the long-term management of existing AAR-affected dams and hydroelectric plants. A updated detailed worldwide listing which now includes 104 AAR-affected structures constructed since 1900 will be presented. The listing gives summary data on the year of construction, the year that significant problems were noted, aggregate and cement types, measured expansion rates, test data, time to initial deterioration, duration of reaction, damage to the structures and effects on equipment, and repairs or replacement. A comprehensive bibliography will also be given. Analysis of the database and significant case histories will be used to identify issues affecting dam safety, plant operations, remedial measures and long-term performance of AAR-affected structures. The presentation will be illustrated by several case histories where remedial measures have been implemented.

  17. School and Classroom Goal Structures: Effects on Affective Responses in Physical Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barkoukis, Vassilis; Koidou, Eirini; Tsorbatzoudis, Haralambos; Grouios, George

    2012-01-01

    The current study examined the relative impact of school and classroom goal structures on students' affective responses and the mediating role of motivation. The sample of the study consisted of 368 high school students, who completed measures of school and classroom goal structures, motivational regulations in physical education, boredom, and…

  18. Relating biomass and vegetation structure in water limited ecosystems using a celluar automata based model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frechen, Nanu; Hinz, Christoph; McGrath, Gavan

    2015-04-01

    Within arid and semiarid regions banded vegetation patterns are wide spread. While the soil-vegetation feedback causing this self-organized has been well understood and implemented in various models, the relationship between the actual pattern, e.g. band width and spacing as well as plant density, has not been well understood. In this study we use a cellular automaton [1] to investigate the effect of infiltration properties and rainfall on patter formation as well as on biomass production and vegetation coverage. The first part of the investigation showed that the model is consistent with the existing knowledge on the dependence of wavelength on annual rainfall. We use the same parameter space to assess biomass and fractional coverage. We found that there is a nonlinear relationship between biomass and infiltration capacity normalized with rainfall input. This indicates that the degree of organisation is not directly related to the productivity as expressed with biomass. Similar results were found for fractional surface cover of the vegetation. [1] McGrath, G. S., K. Paik, and C. Hinz. 2012. Microtopography alters self-organized vegetation patterns in water-limited ecosystems, Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences (2005-2012) 117, G03021, doi:10.1029/2011JG001870

  19. IMPACTS OF INTERACTING ELEVATED ATMOSPHERIC CO2 AND O3 ON THE STRUCTURE AND FUNCTIONING OF A NORTHERN FOREST ECOSYSTEM: OPERATING AND DECOMMISSIONING THE ASPEN FACE PROJECT

    SciTech Connect

    Burton, Andrew J.; Zak, Donald R.; Kubiske, Mark E.; Pregitzer, Kurt S.

    2014-06-30

    Two of the most important and pervasive greenhouse gases driving global change and impacting forests in the U.S. and around the world are atmospheric CO2 and tropospheric O3. As the only free air, large-scale manipulative experiment studying the interaction of elevated CO2 and O3 on forests, the Aspen FACE experiment was uniquely designed to address the long-term ecosystem level impacts of these two greenhouse gases on aspen-birch-maple forests, which dominate the richly forested Lake States region. The project was established in 1997 to address the overarching scientific question: “What are the effects of elevated [CO2] and [O3], alone and in combination, on the structure and functioning of northern hardwood forest ecosystems?” From 1998 through the middle of the 2009 growing season, we examined the interacting effects of elevated CO2 and O3 on ecosystem processes in an aggrading northern forest ecosystem to compare the responses of early-successional, rapid-growing shade intolerant trembling aspen and paper birch to those of a late successional, slower growing shade tolerant sugar maple. Fumigations with elevated CO2 (560 ppm during daylight hours) and O3 (approximately 1.5 x ambient) were conducted during the growing season from 1998 to 2008, and in 2009 through harvest date. Response variables quantified during the experiment included growth, competitive interactions and stand dynamics, physiological processes, plant nutrient status and uptake, tissue biochemistry, litter quality and decomposition rates, hydrology, soil respiration, microbial community composition and respiration, VOC production, treatment-pest interactions, and treatment-phenology interactions. In 2009, we conducted a detailed harvest of the site. The harvest included detailed sampling of a subset of trees by component (leaves and buds, fine branches, coarse branches and stem, coarse roots, fine roots) and excavation of soil to a depth of 1 m. Throughout the experiment, aspen and birch

  20. Ecosystem exploitation and trophodynamic indicators: A comparison between the Northern Adriatic Sea and Southern New England

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pranovi, Fabio; Link, Jason S.

    2009-04-01

    In an ecosystem-based resource management context, it is crucial to assess the relationships between community structure and ecosystem function and how those relationships change with resource extraction. To elucidate how changes in resource use can affect community structure and ecosystem function, we executed a comparative analysis of two different ecosystems subjected to notable fishing pressure. We contrasted the Northern Adriatic Sea (NAS) and Southern New England (SNE) ecosystems by examining outputs from comparable steady-state models. Both ecosystems have relatively high fishing pressure and a high biomass of benthic invertebrates. The basic structure of the food webs shows differences both in the number and definition of the functional groups, as described in the models. Fisheries, on the contrary, show similarities both in terms of catches and discards. Almost all statistics summarizing the structure and flows showed values three times higher in the SNE than in the NAS ecosystem, but despite this difference the two ecosystems exhibited similar, overall properties. Biomass ratios and the Mixed Trophic Impact (MTI) analysis showed that both ecosystems are dominated by the benthic compartment. Removing the biomass effect, however, shows a clear top-down effect, with a high rank achieved by fishing activities. In general terms, the low mean trophic level of catches and the high primary production required (PPR) values result in a high overexploitation level of the ecosystem, as highlighted by the L index. We conclude by exploring how comparative studies will continue to be valuable as ecosystem-based management is further implemented.

  1. Influence of chemosynthetic ecosystems on nematode community structure and biomass in the deep eastern Mediterranean Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lampadariou, N.; Kalogeropoulou, V.; Sevastou, K.; Keklikoglou, K.; Sarrazin, J.

    2012-12-01

    -seep ecosystems on the meiofaunal communities and nematode assemblages.

  2. Understanding relationships between morphology and ecosystem structure in a shallow tidal basins of Venice lagoon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giuseppina Persichillo, Maria; Taramelli, Andrea; Valentini, Emiliana; Filipponi, Federico; Meisina, Claudia; Zucca, Francesco

    2014-05-01

    Coastal wetlands represent complex ecosystems prone to continue fluctuation of their internal equilibrium. They are valuable natural resources characterized by the continue interactions between geomorphological and biological components. Their adaptation to changing conditions is highly dependent on the rate and extent of spatial and temporal processes and their responses are still poorly understood. According to this, the vulnerability assessment to natural and human made hazard have became fundamental to analyse the resilience of these areas, their ability to cope with the impacts from externally driven forces or the efforts needed to minimize the impacts (Gitay et al., 2011). The objective of this research is to develop a comprehensive and replicable method through the application of Multi-Source data analysis, based on the integration of Earth Observation data and field survey, to analyse a shallow tidal basin of salt marshes, located in the northern part of the Venice lagoon. The study site is characterised by relatively elevated areas colonized by halophytic vegetation, and tidal flats, with not vegetated areas, characterized by lower elevations. Sub-pixel processing techniques (Spectral Mixing Analysis - SMA) were used to analyse the spatial distribution of both vegetation and sediments typology. Furthermore the classifications were assayed in terms of spatial (Power law) and temporal (Empirical Orthogonal Functions) patterns, in order to find the main characteristics of the aforementioned spatial trends and their variation over time. The principal aim is to study the spatio-temporal evolution of this coastal wetland area, in order to indentify tipping points, namely thresholds, beyond which the system reaches critical state and the main climatic, hydrodynamic and morphological variables that may influence and increase this behaviour. This research represents a new approach to study the geomorphological processes and to improve the management and

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. Ecosystem Mapping Approaches Based on Vegetation Structure Using NEON Prototype Airborne LiDAR and Field Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krause, K.; Emery, W. J.; Barnett, D.; Petroy, S. B.; Meier, C. L.; Wessman, C. A.

    2014-12-01

    classification accuracy. Finally, a classification map is generated for entire site. Future work with the flux tower measurements, field vegetation observations, and airborne hyperspectral data from NEON at OSBS will facilitate analysis of how ecosystem structure is connected to ecosystem function.

  6. 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

  7. INSECT COMMUNITY STRUCTURE AS AN INDEX OF HEAVY-METAL POLLUTION IN LOTIC ECOSYSTEMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Data from two stream suggest that macroinvertebrate community structure exhibits a predictable, graded response to heavy-metal pollution. In the more heavily stressed sections of both streams, macroinvertebrates, other than tubificid worms and chironomids, were virtually eliminat...

  8. Linking morphology to ecosystem structure using air-borne sensors for monitoring the Earth System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taramelli, A.; Giardino, C.; Valentini, E.; Bresciani, M.; Gasperini, L.

    2010-12-01

    Coastal Landscape, and how they change over time, provide the template on which the emerging role of Earth system science (ESS) closely linked with the development of space-borne sensors can stand in the center of a newly emerging science of the Earth's surface, where strong couplings links human dynamics, biology, biochemistry, geochemistry, geomorphology, and fluid dynamics including climate change. Modern views on the behavior of complex systems like the coastal one, allow the interpretation of phenomenological coastal landscape as a stationary landscape-state that correspond to a dynamic equilibrium, and to a self-organized exogenic order of the edge of the chaos. Therefore is essential for a thoroughly understanding of spatiotemporal variations in coastal dynamics and habitat distribution for the source of nonlinearity and complexity in geomorphic system make gathering data appropriate for use in developing and testing models of biological and physical process interacting across a wide range of scale. In this paper a physics based approach was applied to MIVIS (Multi-spectral IR and Visible Imaging Spectrometer) and LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) airborne data, simultaneously acquired on 12 May 2009 in order to integrate geomorphological and ecological observations into a detailed macrophytes map of Lake Trasimeno (Italy). Shallow water vegetation, in fact, plays an essential role in determining how coastal morphology and ecosystems dynamics respond to feedbacks between biological and physical processes. An accurate field campaign was carried out during the airborne survey and a collection of different biophysical parameter has been achieved. The purposes of the field observations were twofold. First, field observations allowed identification of biophysical habitats and properties associated both to radiometric and limnological features. Secondly, field reconnaissance allowed identifying significant parameters involved in optical interpretation of the

  9. Spiraling in Urban Streams: A Novel Approach to Link Geomorphic Structure with Ecosystem Function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bean, R. A.; Lafrenz, M. D.

    2011-12-01

    . Initial results show significant differences in hyporheic and surface water concentrations within the same reach indicating that sources and sinks of mineral nitrogen can be found within stream channels over very short distances. The implication of this study is that channel complexity is an important driver of nutrient flux in a watershed, and that this technique can be applied in future studies to better characterize the ecosystem services of stream channels over short reaches to entire catchments.

  10. Factors that affect reliability of nondestructive detection of flaws in structural ceramics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Klima, S. J.; Baaklini, G. Y.; Roth, D. J.

    1986-01-01

    The factors that affect reliability of nondestructive detection of flaws in structural ceramics by microfocus radiography and scanning laser acoustic microscopy (SLAM) were investigated. Reliability of void detection in silicon nitride and silicon carbide by microfocus X-rays was affected by photon energy level, material chemistry in the immediate vicinity of the void, and the presence of loose powder aggregates inside the void cavity. The sensitivity of SLAM to voids was affected by material microstructure, the level of porosity, and the condition of the specimen surfaces. Statistical results are presented in the form of probability of detection as a function of void diameter for green compacts and sintered materials.

  11. Simulating changes in ecosystem structure and composition in response to climate change: a case study focused on tropical nitrogen-fixing trees (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Medvigy, D.; Levy, J.; Xu, X.; Batterman, S. A.; Hedin, L.

    2013-12-01

    Ecosystems, by definition, involve a community of organisms. These communities generally exhibit heterogeneity in their structure and composition as a result of local variations in climate, soil, topography, disturbance history, and other factors. Climate-driven shifts in ecosystems will likely include an internal re-organization of community structure and composition and as well as the introduction of novel species. In terms of vegetation, this ecosystem heterogeneity can occur at relatively small scales, sometimes of the order of tens of meters or even less. Because this heterogeneous landscape generally has a variable and nonlinear response to environmental perturbations, it is necessary to carefully aggregate the local competitive dynamics between individual plants to the large scales of tens or hundreds of kilometers represented in climate models. Accomplishing this aggregation in a computationally efficient way has proven to be an extremely challenging task. To meet this challenge, the Ecosystem Demography 2 (ED2) model statistically characterizes a distribution of local resource environments, and then simulates the competition between individuals of different sizes and species (or functional groupings). Within this framework, it is possible to explicitly simulate the impacts of climate change on ecosystem structure and composition, including both internal re-organization and the introduction of novel species or functional groups. This presentation will include several illustrative applications of the evolution of ecosystem structure and composition under climate change. One application pertains to the role of nitrogen-fixing species in tropical forests. Will increasing CO2 concentrations increase the demand for nutrients and perhaps give a competitive edge to nitrogen-fixing species? Will potentially warmer and drier conditions make some tropical forests more water-limited, reducing the demand for nitrogen, thereby giving a competitive advantage to non

  12. 77 FR 9625 - Recommendations for Establishing an Identity Ecosystem Governance Structure for the National...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-02-17

    ... published a Notice of Inquiry in the Federal Register (76 FR 34650), requesting input from the public.... On August 16, 2011, NIST published a Notice in the Federal Register (76 FR 50719), extending the... Governance Structure for the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace AGENCY:...

  13. Interactions Between Climate Change, Fire and Invasive Plants in California Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keeley, J. E.

    2007-12-01

    Changes in fire regimes are predicted in many climate change scenarios. The types of changes are greatly affected by the fuel structure of the ecosystem and different trajectories of change are expected in surface fire regimes than in crown fire regimes. However, in the multi-factorial world of natural ecosystems, climate is only one of the drivers of future change and some of the known threats to ecosystem stability are expected to push the system over particular thresholds of tolerance very rapidly. Invasive species have been widely recognized as drivers of ecosystem change, often generating feedback effects that alter fuel structure and future fire behavior. Human demographic changes, and the concomitant changes in anthropogenic fire ignitions are an additional threat to future ecosystem stability. I will address how these factors might interact with climate change in ecosystems of very different fuel structure, including surface fire ponderosa pine forests and crown fire chaparral shrublands in California.

  14. Assessing the structure and temporal dynamics of seabird communities: the challenge of capturing marine ecosystem complexity.

    PubMed

    Moreno, Rocío; Stowasser, Gabriele; McGill, Rona A R; Bearhop, Stuart; Phillips, Richard A

    2016-01-01

    Understanding interspecific interactions, and the influences of anthropogenic disturbance and environmental change on communities, are key challenges in ecology. Despite the pressing need to understand these fundamental drivers of community structure and dynamics, only 17% of ecological studies conducted over the past three decades have been at the community level. Here, we assess the trophic structure of the procellariiform community breeding at South Georgia, to identify the factors that determine foraging niches and possible temporal changes. We collected conventional diet data from 13 sympatric species between 1974 and 2002, and quantified intra- and inter-guild, and annual variation in diet between and within foraging habits. In addition, we tested the reliability of stable isotope analysis (SIA) of seabird feathers collected over a 13-year period, in relation to those of their potential prey, as a tool to assess community structure when diets are diverse and there is high spatial heterogeneity in environmental baselines. Our results using conventional diet data identified a four-guild community structure, distinguishing species that mainly feed on crustaceans; large fish and squid; a mixture of crustaceans, small fish and squid; or carrion. In total, Antarctic krill Euphausia superba represented 32%, and 14 other species a further 46% of the combined diet of all 13 predators, underlining the reliance of this community on relatively few types of prey. Annual variation in trophic segregation depended on relative prey availability; however, our data did not provide evidence of changes in guild structure associated with a suggested decline in Antarctic krill abundance over the past 40 years. Reflecting the differences in δ(15) N of potential prey (crustaceans vs. squid vs. fish and carrion), analysis of δ(15) N in chick feathers identified a three-guild community structure that was constant over a 13-year period, but lacked the trophic cluster representing

  15. 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...

  16. Predicting Consumer Biomass, Size-Structure, Production, Catch Potential, Responses to Fishing and Associated Uncertainties in the World's Marine Ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Jennings, Simon; Collingridge, Kate

    2015-01-01

    can support equitable analysis and comparison of diverse ecosystems. The analyses provide insights into the effects of parameter uncertainty on global biomass and production estimates, which have yet to be achieved with complex models, and will therefore help to highlight priorities for future research and data collection. However, the focus on simple model structures and global processes means that non-phytoplankton primary production and several groups, structures and processes of ecological and conservation interest are not represented. Consequently, our simple models become increasingly less useful than more complex alternatives when addressing questions about food web structure and function, biodiversity, resilience and human impacts at smaller scales and for areas closer to coasts. PMID:26226590

  17. 'One physical system': Tansley's ecosystem as Earth's critical zone.

    PubMed

    Richter, Daniel deB; Billings, Sharon A

    2015-05-01

    Integrative concepts of the biosphere, ecosystem, biogeocenosis and, recently, Earth's critical zone embrace scientific disciplines that link matter, energy and organisms in a systems-level understanding of our remarkable planet. Here, we assert the congruence of Tansley's (1935) venerable ecosystem concept of 'one physical system' with Earth science's critical zone. Ecosystems and critical zones are congruent across spatial-temporal scales from vegetation-clad weathering profiles and hillslopes, small catchments, landscapes, river basins, continents, to Earth's whole terrestrial surface. What may be less obvious is congruence in the vertical dimension. We use ecosystem metabolism to argue that full accounting of photosynthetically fixed carbon includes respiratory CO₂ and carbonic acid that propagate to the base of the critical zone itself. Although a small fraction of respiration, the downward diffusion of CO₂ helps determine rates of soil formation and, ultimately, ecosystem evolution and resilience. Because life in the upper portions of terrestrial ecosystems significantly affects biogeochemistry throughout weathering profiles, the lower boundaries of most terrestrial ecosystems have been demarcated at depths too shallow to permit a complete understanding of ecosystem structure and function. Opportunities abound to explore connections between upper and lower components of critical-zone ecosystems, between soils and streams in watersheds, and between plant-derived CO₂ and deep microbial communities and mineral weathering. PMID:25731586

  18. Environmental control of diatom community size structure varies across aquatic ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Finkel, Zoe V.; Vaillancourt, Colin Jacob; Irwin, Andrew J.; Reavie, Euan D.; Smol, John P.

    2009-01-01

    Changes in the size structure of photoautotrophs influence food web structure and the biogeochemical cycling of carbon. Decreases in the median size of diatoms within communities, in concert with climate warming and water column stratification, have been observed over the Cenozoic in the ocean and over the last 50 years in Lake Tahoe. Decreases in the proportion of larger plankton are frequently observed in response to reduced concentrations of limiting nutrients in marine systems and large stratified lakes. By contrast, we show a decrease in the median size of planktonic diatoms in response to higher nutrient concentrations in a set of intermediate-sized alkaline lakes. Climate-induced increases in the frequency, duration and strength of water column stratification may select smaller planktonic species in the ocean and larger lakes owing to a reduction in nutrient availability and sinking rates, while light limitation, stimulated by nutrient eutrophication and high chlorophyll concentrations, may select smaller species within a community owing to their high light absorption efficiencies and lower sinking rates. The relative importance of different physiological and ecological rates and processes on the size structure of communities varies in different aquatic systems owing to varying combinations of abiotic and biotic constraints. PMID:19203916

  19. Benthic aquatic ecosystems across the Permian-Triassic transition: record from biogenic structures in fluvial sandstones, central Transantarctic Mountains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, M. F.

    2000-07-01

    The effect of the Permian extinction in communities inhabiting sandy stream bottoms can be evaluated using trace fossils as proxies for body fossils. Permian and Triassic sandstones exposed in the Beardmore and Shackleton Glacier areas (central Transantarctic Mountains) were deposited in sandy braided streams and contain four types of trace fossils (vertical shafts and horizontal, bilobed and chevron traces). These traces were produced by a single type of animal that moved in the top 30 cm of sediment and dominated the benthic community. Evidence for a single producer includes similar size (diameter) of all traces and change within single specimens from one trace type to another. The animal was not affected by the Permian extinction event, as evidenced by its equal abundance within the Permian (Buckley Formation) and Triassic (Fremouw Formation) fluvial sandstones in the Beardmore Glacier area. Based on trace morphology and on domination of modern sandy river ecosystems by insects, the producer most likely was an insect, although its more precise identity is problematic. Although families of insects with modern aquatic burrowers are not known before the Jurassic, these trace fossils may show that these burrowers were present earlier than the insect body-fossil record suggests. Alternatively, archaic insect groups, many of which became extinct at the end-Permian and are known to have been aquatic but not infaunal, may have included some active burrowers that were unscathed by the Permian extinction.

  20. 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

  1. Metacommunity theory as a multispecies, multiscale framework for studying the influence of river network structure on riverine communities and ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brown, B.L.; Swan, C.M.; Auerbach, D.A.; Campbell, Grant E.H.; Hitt, N.P.; Maloney, K.O.; Patrick, C.

    2011-01-01

    Explaining the mechanisms underlying patterns of species diversity and composition in riverine networks is challenging. Historically, community ecologists have conceived of communities as largely isolated entities and have focused on local environmental factors and interspecific interactions as the major forces determining species composition. However, stream ecologists have long embraced a multiscale approach to studying riverine ecosystems and have studied both local factors and larger-scale regional factors, such as dispersal and disturbance. River networks exhibit a dendritic spatial structure that can constrain aquatic organisms when their dispersal is influenced by or confined to the river network. We contend that the principles of metacommunity theory would help stream ecologists to understand how the complex spatial structure of river networks mediates the relative influences of local and regional control on species composition. From a basic ecological perspective, the concept is attractive because new evidence suggests that the importance of regional processes (dispersal) depends on spatial structure of habitat and on connection to the regional species pool. The role of local factors relative to regional factors will vary with spatial position in a river network. From an applied perspective, the long-standing view in ecology that local community composition is an indicator of habitat quality may not be uniformly applicable across a river network, but the strength of such bioassessment approaches probably will depend on spatial position in the network. The principles of metacommunity theory are broadly applicable across taxa and systems but seem of particular consequence to stream ecology given the unique spatial structure of riverine systems. By explicitly embracing processes at multiple spatial scales, metacommunity theory provides a foundation on which to build a richer understanding of stream communities.

  2. Spatiotemporal diversity, structure and trophic guilds of insect assemblages in a semi-arid Sabkha ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Chenchouni, Haroun; Menasria, Taha; Neffar, Souad; Chafaa, Smail; Bradai, Lyès; Chaibi, Rachid; Mekahlia, Mohamed Nacer; Bendjoudi, Djamel; Si Bachir, Abdelkrim

    2015-01-01

    The current study highlights some knowledge on the diversity and structure of insect communities and trophic groups living in Sabkha Djendli (semi-arid area of Northeastern Algeria). The entomofauna was monthly sampled from March to November 2006 using pitfall traps at eight sites located at the vicinity of the Sabkha. Structural and diversity parameters (species richness, Shannon index, evenness) were measured for both insect orders and trophic guilds. The canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) was applied to determine how vegetation parameters (species richness and cover) influence spatial and seasonal fluctuations of insect assemblages. The catches totalled 434 insect individuals classified into 75 species, 62 genera, 31 families and 7 orders, of which Coleoptera and Hymenoptera were the most abundant and constant over seasons and study stations. Spring and autumn presented the highest values of diversity parameters. Individual-based Chao-1 species richness estimator indicated 126 species for the total individuals captured in the Sabkha. Based on catch abundances, the structure of functional trophic groups was predators (37.3%), saprophages (26.7%), phytophages (20.5%), polyphages (10.8%), coprophages (4.6%); whereas in terms of numbers of species, they can be classified as phytophages (40%), predators (25.3%), polyphages (13.3%), saprophages (12%), coprophages (9.3%). The CCA demonstrated that phytophages and saprophages as well as Coleoptera and Orthoptera were positively correlated with the two parameters of vegetation, especially in spring and summer. While the abundance of coprophages was positively correlated with species richness of plants, polyphage density was positively associated with vegetation cover. The insect community showed high taxonomic and functional diversity that is closely related to diversity and vegetation cover in different stations of the wetland and seasons. PMID:25825682

  3. Spatiotemporal diversity, structure and trophic guilds of insect assemblages in a semi-arid Sabkha ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Menasria, Taha; Neffar, Souad; Chafaa, Smail; Bradai, Lyès; Chaibi, Rachid; Mekahlia, Mohamed Nacer; Bendjoudi, Djamel; Si Bachir, Abdelkrim

    2015-01-01

    The current study highlights some knowledge on the diversity and structure of insect communities and trophic groups living in Sabkha Djendli (semi-arid area of Northeastern Algeria). The entomofauna was monthly sampled from March to November 2006 using pitfall traps at eight sites located at the vicinity of the Sabkha. Structural and diversity parameters (species richness, Shannon index, evenness) were measured for both insect orders and trophic guilds. The canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) was applied to determine how vegetation parameters (species richness and cover) influence spatial and seasonal fluctuations of insect assemblages. The catches totalled 434 insect individuals classified into 75 species, 62 genera, 31 families and 7 orders, of which Coleoptera and Hymenoptera were the most abundant and constant over seasons and study stations. Spring and autumn presented the highest values of diversity parameters. Individual-based Chao-1 species richness estimator indicated 126 species for the total individuals captured in the Sabkha. Based on catch abundances, the structure of functional trophic groups was predators (37.3%), saprophages (26.7%), phytophages (20.5%), polyphages (10.8%), coprophages (4.6%); whereas in terms of numbers of species, they can be classified as phytophages (40%), predators (25.3%), polyphages (13.3%), saprophages (12%), coprophages (9.3%). The CCA demonstrated that phytophages and saprophages as well as Coleoptera and Orthoptera were positively correlated with the two parameters of vegetation, especially in spring and summer. While the abundance of coprophages was positively correlated with species richness of plants, polyphage density was positively associated with vegetation cover. The insect community showed high taxonomic and functional diversity that is closely related to diversity and vegetation cover in different stations of the wetland and seasons. PMID:25825682

  4. Is Long-Term Structural Priming Affected by Patterns of Experience with Individual Verbs?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kaschak, Michael P.; Borreggine, Kristin L.

    2008-01-01

    Several recent papers have reported long-term structural priming effects in experiments where previous patterns of experience with the double object and prepositional object constructions are shown to affect later patterns of language production for those constructions. The experiments reported in this paper address the extent to which these…

  5. Factors Affecting Higher Order Thinking Skills of Students: A Meta-Analytic Structural Equation Modeling Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Budsankom, Prayoonsri; Sawangboon, Tatsirin; Damrongpanit, Suntorapot; Chuensirimongkol, Jariya

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of the research is to develop and identify the validity of factors affecting higher order thinking skills (HOTS) of students. The thinking skills can be divided into three types: analytical, critical, and creative thinking. This analysis is done by applying the meta-analytic structural equation modeling (MASEM) based on a database of…

  6. Structural Interrelationship in the Ecosystem Network Using Method of Complex Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petrova, I.; Loew, A.

    2012-04-01

    Complex Networks have been recently successfully applied to problems in climate science. They have been used as an alternative method to reveal persistent structural features in the climate system based on observed and model simulated fields of temperature, precipitation and other meteorological fields. CCN provide information on the topology, dynamics and stability characteristic features in the climate system and help to e.g. identify regions with large importance for teleconnections. The present paper uses climate networks to analyze results from the Earth System Model of the Max-Planck-Institute for Meteorology, conducted in the frame of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5). By analyzing local and global measures such as centralities and link distance the climate and especially terrestrial teleconnection patterns are revealed and investigated. To construct the network the 30- year time-series (1979-2009) of evaporation flux, gross and net primary production were retrieved from the two experimental setups of the MPI-ESM using either a full coupled climate model (ocean, atmosphere, land) or prescribed sea surface temperature fields (atmosphere, land only). The major teleconnection patterns discovered were associated with climate related energy information flow and material cycling functionality within the Earth system. Non-local spatial linkages to the main teleconnection patterns, like NAO and ENSO were analyzed, as well as spatial-temporal structures obtained by the community detection method were established. An outlook of using complex networks as an alternative tool for the evaluation of coupled Earth System models will be given.

  7. Relationship between Microtubule Network Structure and Intracellular Transport in Cultured Endothelial Cells Affected by Shear Stress

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kudo, Susumu; Ikezawa, Kenji; Ikeda, Mariko; Tanishita, Kazuo

    Endothelial cells (ECs) that line the inner surface of blood vessels are barriers to the transport of various substances into or from vessel walls, and are continuously exposed to shear stress induced by blood flow in vivo. Shear stress affects the cytoskeleton (e.g., microtubules, microfilaments, intermediate filaments), and affects the transport of macromolecules. Here, the relationship between the microtubule network structure and this transport process for albumin uptake within cultured aortic endothelial cells affected by shear stress was studied. Based on fluorescent images of albumin uptake obtained by using confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM), both the microtubule network and albumin uptake in ECs were disrupted by colchicine and were affected by shear stress loading.

  8. Glacier Ecosystems of Himalaya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohshima, S.; Yoshimura, Y.; Takeuchi, N.; Segawa, T.; Uetake, J.

    2012-12-01

    Biological activity on glaciers has been believed to be extremely limited. However, we found various biotic communities specialized to the glacier environment in various part of the world, such as Himalaya, Patagonia and Alaska. Some of these glacier hosted biotic communities including various cold-tolerant insects, annelids and copepods that were living in the glacier by feeding on algae and bacteria growing in the snow and ice. Thus, the glaciers are simple and relatively closed ecosystems sustained by the primary production in the snow and ice. In this presentation, we will briefly introduce glacier ecosystems in Himalaya; ecology and behavior of glacier animals, altitudinal zonation of snow algal communities, and the structure of their habitats in the glacier. Since the microorganisms growing on the glacier surface are stored in the glacial strata every year, ice-core samples contain many layers with these microorganisms. We showed that the snow algae in the ice-core are useful for ice core dating and could be new environmental signals for the studies on past environment using ice cores. These microorganisms in the ice core will be important especially in the studies of ice core from the glaciers of warmer regions, in which chemical and isotopic contents are often heavily disturbed by melt water percolation. Blooms of algae and bacteria on the glacier can reduce the surface albedo and significantly affect the glacier melting. For example, the surface albedo of some Himalayan glaciers was significantly reduced by a large amount of dark-colored biogenic material (cryoconite) derived from snow algae and bacteria. It increased the melting rates of the surfaces by as much as three-fold. Thus, it was suggested that the microbial activity on the glacier could affect the mass balance and fluctuation of the glaciers.

  9. Accounting for age Structure in Ponderosa Pine Ecosystem Analyses: Integrating Management, Disturbance Histories and Observations with the BIOME-BGC Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hibbard, K. A.; Law, B.; Thornton, P.

    2003-12-01

    Disturbance and management regimes in forested ecosystems have been recently highlighted as important factors contributing to quantification of carbon stocks and fluxes. Disturbance events, such as stand-replacing fires and current management regimes that emphasize understory and tree thinning are primary suspects influencing ecosystem processes, including net ecosystem productivity (NEP) in forests of the Pacific Northwest. Several recent analyses have compared simulated to measured component stocks and fluxes of carbon in Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa var. Laws) at 12 sites ranging from 9 to 300 years in central Oregon (Law et al. 2001, Law et al. 2003) using the BIOME-BGC model. Major emphases on ecosystem model developments include improving allocation logic, integrating ecosystem processes with disturbance such as fire and including nitrogen in biogeochemical cycling. In Law et al. (2001, 2003), field observations prompted BIOME-BGC improvements including dynamic allocation of carbon to fine root mass through the life of a stand. A sequence of simulations was also designed to represent both management and disturbance histories for each site, however, current age structure of each sites wasn't addressed. Age structure, or cohort management has largely been ignored by ecosystem models, however, some studies have sought to incorporate stand age with disturbance and management (e.g. Hibbard et al. 2003). In this analyses, we regressed tree ages against height (R2 = 0.67) to develop a proportional distribution of age structure for each site. To preserve the integrity of the comparison between Law et al. (2003) and this study, we maintained the same timing of harvest, however, based on the distribution of age structures, we manipulated the amount of removal. Harvest by Law et al. (2003) was set at stand-replacement (99%) levels to simulate clear-cutting and reflecting the average top 10% of the age in each plot. For the young sites, we set removal at 73%, 51% and

  10. Changing Arctic ecosystems--research to understand and project changes in marine and terrestrial ecosystems of the Arctic

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Geiselman, Joy; DeGange, Anthony R.; Oakley, Karen; Derksen, Dirk; Whalen, Mary

    2012-01-01

    Ecosystems and their wildlife communities are not static; they change and evolve over time due to numerous intrinsic and extrinsic factors. A period of rapid change is occurring in the Arctic for which our current understanding of potential ecosystem and wildlife responses is limited. Changes to the physical environment include warming temperatures, diminishing sea ice, increasing coastal erosion, deteriorating permafrost, and changing water regimes. These changes influence biological communities and the ways in which human communities interact with them. Through the new initiative Changing Arctic Ecosystems (CAE) the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) strives to (1) understand the potential suite of wildlife population responses to these physical changes to inform key resource management decisions such as those related to the Endangered Species Act, and (2) provide unique insights into how Arctic ecosystems are responding under new stressors. Our studies examine how and why changes in the ice-dominated ecosystems of the Arctic are affecting wildlife and will provide a better foundation for understanding the degree and manner in which wildlife species respond and adapt to rapid environmental change. Changes to Arctic ecosystems will be felt broadly because the Arctic is a production zone for hundreds of species that migrate south for the winter. The CAE initiative includes three major research themes that span Arctic ice-dominated ecosystems and that are structured to identify and understand the linkages between physical processes, ecosystems, and wildlife populations. The USGS is applying knowledge-based modeling structures such as Bayesian Networks to integrate the work.

  11. Responses of ecosystem carbon cycling to climate change treatments along an elevation gradient

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wu, Zhuoting; Koch, George W.; Dijkstra, Paul; Bowker, Matthew A.; Hungate, Bruce A.

    2011-01-01

    Global temperature increases and precipitation changes are both expected to alter ecosystem carbon (C) cycling. We tested responses of ecosystem C cycling to simulated climate change using field manipulations of temperature and precipitation across a range of grass-dominated ecosystems along an elevation gradient in northern Arizona. In 2002, we transplanted intact plant–soil mesocosms to simulate warming and used passive interceptors and collectors to manipulate precipitation. We measured daytime ecosystem respiration (ER) and net ecosystem C exchange throughout the growing season in 2008 and 2009. Warming generally stimulated ER and photosynthesis, but had variable effects on daytime net C exchange. Increased precipitation stimulated ecosystem C cycling only in the driest ecosystem at the lowest elevation, whereas decreased precipitation showed no effects on ecosystem C cycling across all ecosystems. No significant interaction between temperature and precipitation treatments was observed. Structural equation modeling revealed that in the wetter-than-average year of 2008, changes in ecosystem C cycling were more strongly affected by warming-induced reduction in soil moisture than by altered precipitation. In contrast, during the drier year of 2009, warming induced increase in soil temperature rather than changes in soil moisture determined ecosystem C cycling. Our findings suggest that warming exerted the strongest influence on ecosystem C cycling in both years, by modulating soil moisture in the wet year and soil temperature in the dry year.

  12. Changes in the structure and function of soil ecosystems in soils contaminated with heavy metals

    SciTech Connect

    Kuperman, R.; Parmelee, R.; Carreiro, M. ||

    1995-06-01

    The structure and function of soil communities in an area with a wide range of concentrations of heavy metals was studied in portions of the U.S. Army`s Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. The study included survey of soil macro- and microinvertebrate communities, soil microorganisms, enzyme activities and the rates of nutrient dynamics in soil. Soil macroinvertebrate communities showed significant reductions in the abundance of several taxonomic and functional groups in contaminated areas. The total numbers of nematodes and numbers of fungivore, bacterivore and omnivore-predator nematodes were lower in the more contaminated areas. The numbers of active bacteria and fungi were lower in areas of soil contamination. Significant reduction in the activities of all enzymes closely paralleled the increase in heavy metal concentrations. Ten-to-fifty fold reductions in enzyme activities were observed as heavy metal concentrations increased. These results suggest that soil contamination with heavy metals may have detrimental effects on soil biota and the rates of organic matter degradation and subsequent release of nutrients to aboveground communities in the area.

  13. Changes in the structure and function of soil ecosystems in soils contaminated with heavy metals

    SciTech Connect

    Kuperman, R.; Parmelee, R.; Carreiro, M. ||

    1995-09-01

    The structure and function of soil communities in an area with a wide range of concentrations of heavy metals was studied in portions of the U.S. Army`s Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. The study included survey of soil macro- and microinvertebrate communities, soil microorganisms, enzyme activities and the rates of nutrient dynamics in soil. Soil macroinvertebrate communities showed significant reductions in the adundance of several taxonomic and functional groups in contaminated areas. The total numbers of nematodes and numbers of fungivore, bacterivore and omnivore-predator nematodes were lower in the more contaminated areas. The numbers of active bacteria and fungi were lower in areas of soil contamination. Significant reduction in the activities of all enzymes closely paralleled the increase in heavy metal concentrations. Ten-to-fifty fold reductions in enzyme activities were observed as heavy metal concentrations increased. These results suggest that soil contamination with heavy metals may have detrimental effects on soil biota and the rates of organic matter degradation and subsequent release of nutrients to aboveground communities in the area.

  14. Geological connectivity drives microbial community structure and connectivity in polar, terrestrial ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Ferrari, Belinda C; Bissett, Andrew; Snape, Ian; van Dorst, Josie; Palmer, Anne S; Ji, Mukan; Siciliano, Steven D; Stark, Jonathon S; Winsley, Tristrom; Brown, Mark V

    2016-06-01

    Landscape heterogeneity impacts community assembly in animals and plants, but it is not clear if this ecological concept extends to microbes. To examine this question, we chose to investigate polar soil environments from the Antarctic and Arctic, where microbes often form the major component of biomass. We examined soil environments that ranged in connectivity from relatively well-connected slopes to patchy, fragmented landforms that comprised isolated frost boils. We found landscape connectedness to have a significant correlation with microbial community structure and connectivity, as measured by co-occurrence networks. Soils from within fragmented landforms appeared to exhibit less local environmental heterogeneity, harboured more similar communities, but fewer biological associations than connected landforms. This effect was observed at both poles, despite the geographical distances and ecological differences between them. We suggest that microbial communities inhabiting well-connected landscape elements respond consistently to regional-scale gradients in biotic and edaphic factors. Conversely, the repeated freeze thaw cycles that characterize fragmented landscapes create barriers within the landscape and act to homogenize the soil environment within individual frost boils and consequently the microbial communities. We propose that lower microbial connectivity in the fragmented landforms is a function of smaller patch size and continual disturbances following soil mixing. PMID:26310523

  15. Cognitive structure from childhood to adulthood in kindreds densely affected by schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

    PubMed

    Cellard, Caroline; Rouleau, Nancie; Moreau, Isabel; Gilbert, Elsa; Paccalet, Thomas; Roy, Marc-André; Jomphe, Valérie; Mérette, Chantal; Maziade, Michel

    2015-09-30

    The developmental aspects of cognitive structures from childhood until adulthood and across different levels of risk for psychopathology have been little studied. The aim of the current study was to explore the cognitive factorial structure in subsamples from highly familial and densely affected kindreds of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder - i.e. affected adult members, non-affected adult members and high-risk youth. The same neuropsychological battery was administered in a sample of 480 participants: schizophrenia and bipolar patients (n=51), young high-risk offspring (n=61), non-affected adult relatives of patients (n=96), and controls (n=272). Exploratory Factorial Analysis was performed in the control sample and yielded a 5-factor solution: verbal comprehension, processing speed/working memory, visual learning and memory, verbal learning and memory, reasoning and problem solving. Confirmatory factor analysis indicated that the hierarchical 5-factor solution was well suited for the young high-risk offspring, the non-affected adult relatives of patient and the patients. A hierarchical model with a "g" factor was a good fit for all subsamples. These results suggest that cognitive impairments may aggregate in highly familial individuals. PMID:26233828

  16. Roles of Benthic Algae in the Structure, Function, and Assessment of Stream Ecosystems Affected by Acid Mine Drainage

    EPA Science Inventory

    Tens of thousands of stream kilometers around the world are degraded by a legacy of environmental impacts and acid mine drainage (AMD) caused by abandoned underground and surface mines, piles of discarded coal wastes, and tailings. Increased acidity, high concentrations of metals...

  17. Reconciling In Situ Foliar Nitrogen and Vegetation Structure Measurements with Airborne Imagery Across Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flagg, C.

    2015-12-01

    Over the next 30 years the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) will monitor environmental and ecological change throughout North America. NEON will provide a suite of standardized data from several ecological topics of interest, including net primary productivity and nutrient cycling, from 60+ sites across 20 eco-climatic domains when fully operational in 2017. The breadth of sampling includes ground-based measurements of foliar nitrogen and vegetation structure, ground-based spectroscopy, airborne LIDAR, and airborne hyperspectral surveys occurring within narrow overlapping time intervals once every five years. While many advancements have been made in linking and scaling in situ data with airborne imagery, establishing these relationships across dozens of highly variable sites poses significant challenges to understanding continental-wide processes. Here we study the relationship between foliar nitrogen content and airborne hyperspectral imagery at different study sites. NEON collected foliar samples from three sites in 2014 as part of a prototype study: Ordway Swisher Biological Station (pine-oak savannah, with active fire management), Jones Ecological Research Center (pine-oak savannah), and San Joaquin Experimental Range (grass-pine oak woodland). Leaf samples and canopy heights of dominant and co-dominant species were collected from trees located within 40 x 40 meter sampling plots within two weeks of aerial LIDAR and hyperspectral surveys. Foliar canopy samples were analyzed for leaf mass per area (LMA), stable isotopes of C and N, C/N content. We also examine agreement and uncertainty between ground based canopy height and airborne LIDAR derived digital surface models (DSM) for each site. Site-scale maps of canopy nitrogen and canopy height will also be presented.

  18. Trophic flow structure of the Danajon ecosystem (Central Philippines) and impacts of illegal and destructive fishing practices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bacalso, Regina Therese M.; Wolff, Matthias

    2014-11-01

    A trophic model of the shallow Danajon Bank, in the Central Visayas, Philippines was developed using a mass-balance approach (Ecopath) to describe the system characteristics and fisheries interactions. The Ecopath model is composed of 37 functional groups and 17 fishing fleet types reflecting the high diversity of catches and fishing operations in the Danajon Bank. Collectively, the catch is dominated by lower trophic level fish and invertebrates as reflected in the mean trophic level of the fishery (2.95). The low biomass and high exploitation levels for many upper trophic level groups and the little evidence for strong natural physical disturbances suggest that top-down fishery is the main driver of system dynamics. The mixed trophic impacts (MTI) analysis reveals the role of the illegal and destructive fishing operations in influencing the ecosystem structure and dynamics. Furthermore, the illegal fisheries' estimated collective annual harvest is equivalent to nearly a quarter of the entire municipal fisheries catch in the area. Improved fisheries law enforcement by the local government units to curb these illegal and destructive fishing operations could substantially increase the potential gains of the legal fisheries.

  19. Photonic Integrated Circuit (PIC) Device Structures: Background, Fabrication Ecosystem, Relevance to Space Systems Applications, and Discussion of Related Radiation Effects

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Alt, Shannon

    2016-01-01

    Electronic integrated circuits are considered one of the most significant technological advances of the 20th century, with demonstrated impact in their ability to incorporate successively higher numbers transistors and construct electronic devices onto a single CMOS chip. Photonic integrated circuits (PICs) exist as the optical analog to integrated circuits; however, in place of transistors, PICs consist of numerous scaled optical components, including such "building-block" structures as waveguides, MMIs, lasers, and optical ring resonators. The ability to construct electronic and photonic components on a single microsystems platform offers transformative potential for the development of technologies in fields including communications, biomedical device development, autonomous navigation, and chemical and atmospheric sensing. Developing on-chip systems that provide new avenues for integration and replacement of bulk optical and electro-optic components also reduces size, weight, power and cost (SWaP-C) limitations, which are important in the selection of instrumentation for specific flight projects. The number of applications currently emerging for complex photonics systems-particularly in data communications-warrants additional investigations when considering reliability for space systems development. This Body of Knowledge document seeks to provide an overview of existing integrated photonics architectures; the current state of design, development, and fabrication ecosystems in the United States and Europe; and potential space applications, with emphasis given to associated radiation effects and reliability.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  2. Evaluation of the trophic structure of the West Florida Shelf in the 2000s using the ecosystem model OSMOSE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grüss, Arnaud; Schirripa, Michael J.; Chagaris, David; Drexler, Michael; Simons, James; Verley, Philippe; Shin, Yunne-Jai; Karnauskas, Mandy; Oliveros-Ramos, Ricardo; Ainsworth, Cameron H.

    2015-04-01

    We applied the individual-based, multi-species OSMOSE modeling approach to the West Florida Shelf, with the intent to inform ecosystem-based management (EBM) in this region. Our model, referred to as 'OSMOSE-WFS', explicitly considers both pelagic-demersal and benthic high trophic level (HTL) groups of fish and invertebrate species, and is forced by the biomass of low trophic level groups of species (plankton and benthos). We present a steady-state version of the OSMOSE-WFS model describing trophic interactions in the West Florida Shelf in the 2000s. OSMOSE-WFS was calibrated using a recently developed evolutionary algorithm that allowed simulated biomasses of HTL groups to match observed biomasses over the period 2005-2009. The validity of OSMOSE-WFS was then evaluated by comparing simulated diets to observed ones, and the simulated trophic levels to those in an Ecopath model of the West Florida Shelf (WFS Reef fish Ecopath). Finally, OSMOSE-WFS was used to explore the trophic structure of the West Florida Shelf in the 2000s and estimate size-specific natural mortality rates for a socio-economically important species, gag grouper (Mycteroperca microlepis). OSMOSE-WFS outputs were in full agreement with observations as to the body size and ecological niche of prey of the different HTL groups, and to a lesser extent in agreement with the observed species composition of the diet of HTL groups. OSMOSE-WFS and WFS Reef fish Ecopath concurred on the magnitude of the instantaneous natural mortality of the different life stages of gag grouper over the period 2005-2009, but not always on the main causes of natural mortality. The model evaluations conducted here provides a strong basis for ongoing work exploring fishing and environmental scenarios so as to inform EBM. From simple size-based predation rules, we were indeed able to capture the complexity of trophic interactions in the West Florida Shelf, and to identify the predators, prey and competitors of socio

  3. The effects of activity-elicited humor and group structure on group cohesion and affective responses.

    PubMed

    Banning, M R; Nelson, D L

    1987-08-01

    The ability to analyze the therapeutic components of an activity is an important skill for occupational therapists. This study examined two potentially significant factors in activity analysis: the use of humor and the effect of group structure. Four groups (two with a parallel structure and two with a project structure) participated in a hat-making activity designed to elicit humor. Four groups (two with a parallel structure and two with a project structure) participated in a bookmark-making activity. The 28 female subjects' affective responses were measured by Osgood's short-form semantic differential, and the cohesion among group members was assessed by the Group Environment Scale. Results indicated that subjects who participated in groups which included humor rated their activity significantly higher on two factors of affective meaning (evaluation and action) and significantly higher in terms of cohesion. There was a significant interaction between the two activities and group structure in terms of the action factor and cohesion. In both cases the parallel groups making bookmarks received particularly low scores. The findings have implications for conceptualizing occupational therapy group activities. PMID:3434603

  4. AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS,

    EPA Science Inventory

    Aquatic ecosystems are a vital part of the urban water cycle (and of urban areas more broadly), and, if healthy, provide a range of goods and services valued by humans (Meyer 1997). For example, aquatic ecosystems (e.g., rivers, lakes, wetlands) provide potable water, food resou...

  5. Land management practices interactively affect wetland beetle ecological and phylogenetic community structure.

    PubMed

    Kelly, Sandor L; Song, Hojun; Jenkins, David G

    2015-06-01

    Management practices can disturb ecological communities in grazing lands, which represent one-quarter of land surface. But three knowledge gaps exist regarding disturbances: disturbances potentially interact but are most often studied singly; experiments with multiple ecosystems as treatment units are rare; and relatively new metrics of phylogenetic community structure have not been widely applied. We addressed all three of these needs with a factorial experiment; 40 seasonal wetlands embedded in a Florida ranch were treated with pasture intensification, cattle exclosure, and prescribed fire. Treatment responses were evaluated through four years for aquatic beetle (Coleoptera: Adephaga) assemblages using classic ecological metrics (species richness, diversity) and phylogenetic community structure (PCS) metrics. Adephagan assemblages consisted of 23 genera representing three families in a well-resolved phylogeny. Prescribed fire significantly reduced diversity one year post-fire, followed by a delayed pasture X fire interaction. Cattle exclosure significantly reduced one PCS metric after one year and a delayed pasture x fence x fire interaction was detected with another PCs metric. Overall, effects of long-term pasture intensification were modified by cattle exclosure and prescribed fire. Also, PCS metrics revealed effects otherwise undetected by classic ecological metrics. Management strategies (e.g., "flash grazing," prescribed fires) in seasonal wetlands may successfully balance economic gains from high forage quality with ecological benefits of high wetland diversity in otherwise simplified grazing lands. Effects are likely taxon specific; multiple taxa should be similarly evaluated. PMID:26465031

  6. Spatial patterns and predictors of trophic control in marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Boyce, Daniel G; Frank, Kenneth T; Worm, Boris; Leggett, William C

    2015-10-01

    A key question in ecology is under which conditions ecosystem structure tends to be controlled by resource availability vs. consumer pressure. Several hypotheses derived from theory, experiments and observational field studies have been advanced, yet a unified explanation remains elusive. Here, we identify common predictors of trophic control in a synthetic analysis of 52 observational field studies conducted within marine ecosystems across the Northern Hemisphere and published between 1951 and 2014. Spatial regression analysis of 45 candidate variables revealed temperature to be the dominant predictor, with unimodal effects on trophic control operating both directly (r(2) = 0.32; P < 0.0001) and indirectly through influences on turnover rate and quality of primary production, biodiversity and omnivory. These findings indicate that temperature is an overarching determinant of the trophic dynamics of marine ecosystems, and that variation in ocean temperature will affect the trophic structure of marine ecosystems through both direct and indirect mechanisms. PMID:26252155

  7. Landscape structure affects specialists but not generalists in naturally fragmented grasslands.

    PubMed

    Miller, Jesse E D; Damschen, Ellen I; Harrison, Susan P; Grace, James B

    2015-12-01

    Understanding how biotic communities respond to landscape spatial structure is critically important for conservation management as natural habitats become increasingly fragmented. However, empirical studies of the effects of spatial structure on plant species richness have found inconsistent results, suggesting that more comprehensive approaches are needed. We asked how landscape structure affects total plant species richness and the richness of a guild of specialized plants in a multivariate context. We sampled herbaceous plant communities at 56 dolomite glades (insular, fire-adapted grasslands) across the Missouri Ozarks, USA, and used structural equation modeling (SEM) to analyze the relative importance of landscape structure, soil resource availability, and fire history for plant communities. We found that landscape spatial structure, defined as the area-weighted proximity of glade habitat surrounding study sites (proximity index), had a significant effect on total plant species richness, but only after we controlled for environmental covariates. Richness of specialist species, but not generalists, was positively related to landscape spatial structure. Our results highlight that local environmental filters must be considered to understand the influence of landscape structure on communities and that unique species guilds may respond differently to landscape structure than the community as a whole. These findings suggest that both local environment and landscape context should be considered when developing management strategies for species of conservation concern in fragmented habitats. PMID:26909437

  8. Landscape structure affects specialists but not generalists in naturally fragmented grasslands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Miller, Jesse E.D.; Damschen, Ellen Ingman; Harrison, Susan P.; Grace, James B.

    2015-01-01

    Understanding how biotic communities respond to landscape spatial structure is critically important for conservation management as natural landscapes become increasingly fragmented. However, empirical studies of the effects of spatial structure on plant species richness have found inconsistent results, suggesting that more comprehensive approaches are needed. In this study, we asked how landscape structure affects total plant species richness and the richness of a guild of specialized plants in a multivariate context. We sampled herbaceous plant communities at 56 dolomite glades (insular, fire-adapted grasslands) across the Missouri Ozarks, and used structural equation modeling (SEM) to analyze the relative importance of landscape structure, soil resource availability, and fire history for plant communities. We found that landscape spatial structure-defined as the area-weighted proximity of glade habitat surrounding study sites (proximity index)-had a significant effect on total plant species richness, but only after we controlled for environmental covariates. Richness of specialist species, but not generalists, was positively related to landscape spatial structure. Our results highlight that local environmental filters must be considered to understand the influence of landscape structure on communities, and that unique species guilds may respond differently to landscape structure than the community as a whole. These findings suggest that both local environment and landscape context should be considered when developing management strategies for species of conservation concern in fragmented habitats.

  9. Mercury cycling in aquatic ecosystems and trophic state-related variables--implications from structural equation modeling.

    PubMed

    Pollman, Curtis D

    2014-11-15

    Structural equation modeling (SEM) provides a framework that can more properly handle complex variable interactions inherent in mercury cycling and its bioaccumulation compared to more traditional regression-based methods. SEM was applied to regional data sets for three different types of aquatic ecosystems within Florida, USA--lakes, streams, and the Everglades--to evaluate the underlying nature (i.e., indirect and direct) of the relationships between fish mercury concentrations and trophic state related variables such as nutrients, dissolved organic carbon (DOC), sulfate, and alkalinity. The modeling results indicated some differences in key variable relationships--for example, the effect of nutrients on fish mercury in lakes and streams was uniformly negative through direct and indirect pathways consistent with biodilution or eutrophication-associated effects on food web structure. Somewhat surprisingly, however, was that total phosphorus did not serve as a meaningful variable in the Everglades model, apparently because its effects were masked or secondary to the effects of DOC. What is perhaps a more important result were two key similarities across the three systems. First, the modeling clearly indicates that the dominant influence on fish tissue mercury concentrations in all three systems is related to variations in the methylmercury signal. Second, the modeling demonstrated that the effect of DOC on fish mercury concentrations was exerted through multiple and antagonistic pathways, including facilitated transport of total mercury and methylmercury, enhanced rates of methylation, and limitations imposed on bioavailability. Indeed, while the individual DOC pathways in the models were all highly significant (generally p<0.001), the net effect of DOC in each model was greatly reduced or insignificant. These results can help explain contradictory results obtained previously by other researchers in other systems, and illustrate the importance of SEM as a modeling

  10. Forest structure affects trophic linkages: How silvicultural disturbance impacts bats and their insect prey

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dodd, L.E.; Lacki, M.J.; Britzke, E.R.; Buehler, D.A.; Keyser, P.D.; Larkin, J.L.; Rodewald, A.D.; Wigley, T.B.; Wood, P.B.; Rieske, L.K.

    2012-01-01

    Vertebrate insectivores such as bats are a pervasive top-down force on prey populations in forest ecosystems. Conservation focusing on forest-dwelling bats requires understanding of community-level interactions between these predators and their insect prey. Our study assessed bat activity and insect occurrence (abundance and diversity) across a gradient of forest disturbance and structure (silvicultural treatments) in the Central Appalachian region of North America. We conducted acoustic surveys of bat echolocation concurrent with insect surveys using blacklight and malaise traps over 2 years. Predator activity, prey occurrence and prey biomass varied seasonally and across the region. The number of bat echolocation pulses was positively related with forest disturbance, whereas prey demonstrated varied trends. Lepidopteran abundance was negatively related with disturbance, while dipteran abundance and diversity was positively related with disturbance. Coleoptera were unaffected. Neither bat nor insect response variables differed between plot interiors and edges. Correlations between bat activity and vegetative structure reflected differences in foraging behavior among ensembles. Activity of myotine bats was correlated with variables describing sub-canopy vegetation, whereas activity of lasiurine bats was more closely correlated with canopy-level vegetation. Lepidopteran abundance was correlated with variables describing canopy and sub-canopy vegetation, whereas coleopteran and dipteran occurrence were more closely correlated with canopy-level vegetative structure. Our study demonstrates regional variation in bat activity and prey occurrence across a forested disturbance gradient. Land management and conservation efforts should consider the importance of vegetation structure and plant species richness to sustain forest-dwelling bats and their insect prey.

  11. Invasive plants have different effects on trophic structure of green and brown food webs in terrestrial ecosystems: a meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    McCary, Matthew A; Mores, Robin; Farfan, Monica A; Wise, David H

    2016-03-01

    Although invasive plants are a major source of terrestrial ecosystem degradation worldwide, it remains unclear which trophic levels above the base of the food web are most vulnerable to plant invasions. We performed a meta-analysis of 38 independent studies from 32 papers to examine how invasive plants alter major groupings of primary and secondary consumers in three globally distributed ecosystems: wetlands, woodlands and grasslands. Within each ecosystem we examined if green (grazing) food webs are more sensitive to plant invasions compared to brown (detrital) food webs. Invasive plants have strong negative effects on primary consumers (detritivores, bacterivores, fungivores, and/or herbivores) in woodlands and wetlands, which become less abundant in both green and brown food webs in woodlands and green webs in wetlands. Plant invasions increased abundances of secondary consumers (predators and/or parasitoids) only in woodland brown food webs and green webs in wetlands. Effects of invasive plants on grazing and detrital food webs clearly differed between ecosystems. Overall, invasive plants had the most pronounced effects on the trophic structure of wetlands and woodlands, but caused no detectable changes to grassland trophic structure. PMID:26757702

  12. Global self-esteem in relation to structural models of personality and affectivity.

    PubMed

    Watson, David; Suls, Jerry; Haig, Jeffrey

    2002-07-01

    Three studies examined global self-esteem in relation to structural models of personality and affectivity. In every study, self-esteem was strongly negatively correlated with Neuroticism/Negative Affectivity and moderately to strongly related to Extraversion/Positive Affectivity. Additional findings, however, revealed that self-esteem is better viewed at the lower order level. For instance, global self-esteem correlated -.79 with the Depression facet of the Revised NEO Personality Inventory (P. T. Costa, Jr., & R. R. McCrae, 1992) in Study 3. Moreover, confirmatory factor analyses produced very strong correlations between self-esteem and depression in both Study 2 (r = -.82) and Study 3 (r = -.86). Taken together, the data suggest that global self-esteem measures define one end of a bipolar continuum, with trait indicators of depression defining the other. PMID:12088125

  13. Linking Landscapes to Ecosystem Services: Landscape Structure as an Indicator and Predictor of Water Clarity in New England Lakes

    EPA Science Inventory

    Lakes provide ecosystem services such as recreation, clean water, aesthetics, wildlife habitat, and nutrient attenuation. While numerous methods exist to monitor these services (e.g. visitor counts, opinion surveys, water quality monitoring, etc.) they are labor intensive to col...

  14. The structure and size of sensory bursts encode stimulus information but only size affects behavior.

    PubMed

    Marsat, Gary; Pollack, Gerald S

    2010-04-01

    Cricket ultrasound avoidance is a classic model system for neuroethology. Avoidance steering is triggered by high-firing-rate bursts of spikes in the auditory command neuron AN2. Although bursting is common among sensory neurons, and although the detailed structure of bursts may encode information about the stimulus, it is as yet unclear whether this information is decoded. We address this question in two ways: from an information coding point of view, by showing the relationship between stimulus and burst structure; and also from a functional point of view by showing the relationship between burst structure and behavior. We conclude that the burst structure carries detailed temporal information about the stimulus but that this has little impact on the behavioral response, which is affected mainly by burst size. PMID:20213110

  15. Familiarity affects social network structure and discovery of prey patch locations in foraging stickleback shoals

    PubMed Central

    Atton, N.; Galef, B. J.; Hoppitt, W.; Webster, M. M.; Laland, K. N.

    2014-01-01

    Numerous factors affect the fine-scale social structure of animal groups, but it is unclear how important such factors are in determining how individuals encounter resources. Familiarity affects shoal choice and structure in many social fishes. Here, we show that familiarity between shoal members of sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus) affects both fine-scale social organization and the discovery of resources. Social network analysis revealed that sticklebacks remained closer to familiar than to unfamiliar individuals within the same shoal. Network-based diffusion analysis revealed that there was a strong untransmitted social effect on patch discovery, with individuals tending to discover a task sooner if a familiar individual from their group had previously done so than if an unfamiliar fish had done so. However, in contrast to the effect of familiarity, the frequency with which individuals had previously associated with one another had no effect upon the likelihood of prey patch discovery. This may have been due to the influence of fish on one another's movements; the effect of familiarity on discovery of an empty ‘control’ patch was as strong as for discovery of an actual prey patch. Our results demonstrate that factors affecting fine-scale social interactions can also influence how individuals encounter and exploit resources. PMID:25009061

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Environmental factors which affect growth of Japanese common squid, Todarodes pacificus, analyzed by a bioenergetics model coupled with a lower trophic ecosystem model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kishi, Michio J.; Nakajima, Kazuto; Fujii, Masahiko; Hashioka, Taketo

    2009-09-01

    Bioenergetics model is applied to Japanese common squid, Todarodes pacificus. The temporal change of wet weight of common squid, which migrates in the Sea of Japan, is simulated. The time dependent horizontal distribution of prey is calculated a priori by 3-D coupled physical-biological model. The biological model NEMURO (North Pacific Ecosystem Model for Understanding Regional Oceanography) is used to simulate the lower-trophic ecosystem including three kinds of zooplankton biomass two of which is used as prey of common squid. A bioenergetics model reproduced appropriate growth curve of common squid, migrating in the North Pacific and the Sea of Japan. The results show that the wet weight of common squid in the northern Sea of Japan is heavier than that migrating in the central Sea of Japan, because prey density of the northern Sea of Japan is higher than that of the central Sea of Japan. We also investigate the wet weight anomaly for a global warming scenario. In this case, wet weight of common squid decreases because water temperature exceeds the optimum temperature for common squid. This result indicates that migration route and spawning area of common squid might change with global warming.

  19. Impact of Hydrologic Variability on Ecosystem Dynamics and the Sustainable Use of Soil and Water Resources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Porporato, A. M.

    2013-05-01

    We discuss the key processes by which hydrologic variability affects the probabilistic structure of soil moisture dynamics in water-controlled ecosystems. These in turn impact biogeochemical cycling and ecosystem structure through plant productivity and biodiversity as well as nitrogen availability and soil conditions. Once the long-term probabilistic structure of these processes is quantified, the results become useful to understand the impact of climatic changes and human activities on ecosystem services, and can be used to find optimal strategies of water and soil resources management under unpredictable hydro-climatic fluctuations. Particular applications regard soil salinization, phytoremediation and optimal stochastic irrigation.

  20. Structural and functional effects of herbicides on non-target organisms in aquatic ecosystems with an emphasis on atrazine

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fairchild, James

    2011-01-01

    Agricultural production accounts for approximately 90% of herbicide use in the U.S. (Kiely et al., 2004). Gianessi and Reigner (2007) indicated that herbicides are routinely used on more than 90% of the area designated for large commercial crops including corn, soybeans, cotton, sugar beets, peanuts, and rice. Increased farm mechanization, technological advancements in production of inexpensive sources of inorganic nitrogen fertilizer (e.g., anhydrous ammonia), and conversion of forest, grassland, and wetland habitats to cropland has led to a tremendous increase in global food production over the past half-century. Herbicides have augmented advances in large-scale agricultural systems and have largely replaced mechanical and hand-weeding control mechanisms (Gianessi and Reigner, 2007). The wide-spread use of herbicides in agriculture has resulted in frequent chemical detections in surface and groundwaters (Gilliom, 2007). The majority of herbicides used are highly water soluble and are therefore prone to runoff from terrestrial environments. In additon, spray drift and atmospheric deposition can contribute to herbicide contamination of aquatic environments. Lastly, selected herbicides are deliberately applied to aquatic environments for controlling nuisance aquatic vegetation. Although aquatic herbicide exposure has been widely documented, these exposures are not necessarily related to adverse non-target ecological effects on natural communities in aquatic environments. This chapter evaluates the potential for effects of herbicides on the structure and function of aquatic envrionments at the population, community, and ecosystem levels of biological organization. In this manuscript I examine several critical aspects of the subject matter area: primary herbicides in use and chemical modes of action; the regulatory process used for registration and risk assessment of herbicides; data regarding non-target risks and the relative sensitivity of aquatic plants

  1. Effects of whaling on the structure of the Southern Ocean food web: insights on the "krill surplus" from ecosystem modelling.

    PubMed

    Surma, Szymon; Pakhomov, Evgeny A; Pitcher, Tony J

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study was to examine the ecological plausibility of the "krill surplus" hypothesis and the effects of whaling on the Southern Ocean food web using mass-balance ecosystem modelling. The depletion trajectory and unexploited biomass of each rorqual population in the Antarctic was reconstructed using yearly catch records and a set of species-specific surplus production models. The resulting estimates of the unexploited biomass of Antarctic rorquals were used to construct an Ecopath model of the Southern Ocean food web existing in 1900. The rorqual depletion trajectory was then used in an Ecosim scenario to drive rorqual biomasses and examine the "krill surplus" phenomenon and whaling effects on the food web in the years 1900-2008. An additional suite of Ecosim scenarios reflecting several hypothetical trends in Southern Ocean primary productivity were employed to examine the effect of bottom-up forcing on the documented krill biomass trend. The output of the Ecosim scenarios indicated that while the "krill surplus" hypothesis is a plausible explanation of the biomass trends observed in some penguin and pinniped species in the mid-20th century, the excess krill biomass was most likely eliminated by a rapid decline in primary productivity in the years 1975-1995. Our findings suggest that changes in physical conditions in the Southern Ocean during this time period could have eliminated the ecological effects of rorqual depletion, although the mechanism responsible is currently unknown. Furthermore, a decline in iron bioavailability due to rorqual depletion may have contributed to the rapid decline in overall Southern Ocean productivity during the last quarter of the 20th century. The results of this study underscore the need for further research on historical changes in the roles of top-down and bottom-up forcing in structuring the Southern Ocean food web. PMID:25517505

  2. Do Species-specific Hydraulic Traits Predict Ecosystem Response and Community Structure? Evidence From Co-occurring Bryophytes of a Sloping Wetland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lintz, H. E.; Russell, M. C.; Hardman, A. C.

    2007-12-01

    Ecosystems comprise a complex assortment species, and each species has a unique set of physiological and anatomical characteristics or traits. Landscape-level forecasts of ecosystem response to climate change can benefit by accounting for species-specific traits. Here, we demonstrate how a hydraulic trait can be quantified and aggregrated to community and ecosystem levels using a model life form and system, bryophytes in a sloping wetland. Growth and reproduction of bryophytes depend on the quantity of external water held, which varies by species. Wetlands provide a soil substrate that supplies either an unlimited amount of water, or at minimum, a shallow water table for part of the year. We hypothesized and confirmed that external water holding capacity of bryophyte species (measured in the laboratory) corresponded to bryophyte community structure along a hydrology gradient in the wetland. In addition, we demonstrated that water holding capacity by species can be aggregated to the level of the wetland ecosystem to reveal an emergent community property, water holding capacity of the bryophyte mat. Our results support ecological theory presented by Paul Keddy (1999) that co-occurring organisms show similarity in resource acquisition along gradients of resource limitation. We promote a conceptual framework that incorporates species-specific traits as modeling currency that can bridge scales.

  3. The Ecosystems SAR (EcoSAR) an Airborne P-band Polarimetric InSAR for the Measurement of Vegetation Structure, Biomass and Permafrost

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rincon, Rafael F.; Fatoyinbo, Temilola; Ranson, K. Jon; Osmanoglu, Batuhan; Sun, Guoqing; Deshpande, Manohar D.; Perrine, Martin L.; Du Toit, Cornelis F.; Bonds, Quenton; Beck, Jaclyn; Lu, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    EcoSAR is a new synthetic aperture radar (SAR) instrument being developed at the NASA/ Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) for the polarimetric and interferometric measurements of ecosystem structure and biomass. The instrument uses a phased-array beamforming architecture and supports full polarimetric measurements and single pass interferometry. This Instrument development is part of NASA's Earth Science Technology Office Instrument Incubator Program (ESTO IIP).

  4. The effects of extracellular sugar extraction on the 3D-structure of biological soil crusts from different ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Felde, Vincent; Rossi, Federico; Colesie, Claudia; Uteau-Puschmann, Daniel; Felix-Henningsen, Peter; Peth, Stephan; De Philippis, Roberto

    2015-04-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) play important roles in the hydrological cycles of many different ecosystems around the world. In arid and semi-arid regions, they alter the availability and redistribution of water. Especially in early successional stage BSCs, this feature can be attributed to the presence and characteristics of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) that are excreted by the crusts' organisms. In a previous study, the extraction of EPS from BSCs of the SW United States lead to a significant change in their hydrological behavior, namely the sorptivity of water (Rossi et al. 2012). This was concluded to be the effect of a change in the pore structure of these crusts, which is why in this work we investigated the effect of the EPS-extraction on soil structure using 3D-computed micro-tomography (µCT). We studied different types of BSCs from Svalbard, Germany, Israel and South Africa with varying grain sizes and species compositions (from green algae to light and dark cyanobacterial crusts with and without lichens and/or mosses). Unlike other EPS-extraction methods, the one utilized here is aimed at removing the extracellular matrix from crust samples whilst acting non-destructively (Rossi et al. 2012). For every crust sample, we physically cut out a small piece (1cm) from a larger sample contained in Petri dish, and scanned it in a CT at a high resolution (voxel edge length: 7µm). After putting it back in the dish, approximately in the same former position, it was treated for EPS-extraction and then removed and scanned again in order to check for a possible effect of the EPS-extraction. Our results show that the utilized EPS-extraction method had varying extraction efficiencies: while in some cases the amount removed was barely significant, in other cases up to 50% of the total content was recovered. Notwithstanding, no difference in soil micro-structure could be detected, neither in total porosity, nor in the distribution of pore sizes, the

  5. Neonatal handling alters the structure of maternal behavior and affects mother-pup bonding.

    PubMed

    Reis, A R; de Azevedo, M S; de Souza, M A; Lutz, M L; Alves, M B; Izquierdo, I; Cammarota, M; Silveira, P P; Lucion, A B

    2014-05-15

    During early life, a mother and her pups establish a very close relationship, and the olfactory learning of the nest odor is very important for the bond formation. The olfactory bulb (OB) is a structure that plays a fundamental role in the olfactory learning (OL) mechanism that also involves maternal behavior (licking and contact). We hypothesized that handling the pups would alter the structure of the maternal behavior, affect OL, and alter mother-pup relationships. Moreover, changes in the cyclic AMP-response element binding protein phosphorylation (CREB) and neurotrophic factors could be a part of the mechanism of these changes. This study aimed to analyze the effects of neonatal handling, 1 min per day from postpartum day 1 to 10 (PPD 1 to PPD 10), on the maternal behavior and pups' preference for the nest odor in a Y maze (PPD 11). We also tested CREB's phosphorylation and BDNF signaling in the OB of the pups (PPD 7) by Western blot analysis. The results showed that handling alters mother-pups interaction by decreasing mother-pups contact and changing the temporal pattern of all components of the maternal behavior especially the daily licking and nest-building. We found sex-dependent changes in the nest odor preference, CREB and BDNF levels in pups OB. Male pups were more affected by alterations in the licking pattern, and female pups were more affected by changes in the mother-pup contact (the time spent outside the nest and nursing). PMID:24598277

  6. Elevated atmospheric CO2 levels affect community structure of rice root-associated bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Okubo, Takashi; Liu, Dongyan; Tsurumaru, Hirohito; Ikeda, Seishi; Asakawa, Susumu; Tokida, Takeshi; Tago, Kanako; Hayatsu, Masahito; Aoki, Naohiro; Ishimaru, Ken; Ujiie, Kazuhiro; Usui, Yasuhiro; Nakamura, Hirofumi; Sakai, Hidemitsu; Hayashi, Kentaro; Hasegawa, Toshihiro; Minamisawa, Kiwamu

    2015-01-01

    A number of studies have shown that elevated atmospheric CO2 ([CO2]) affects rice yields and grain quality. However, the responses of root-associated bacteria to [CO2] elevation have not been characterized in a large-scale field study. We conducted a free-air CO2 enrichment (FACE) experiment (ambient + 200 μmol.mol−1) using three rice cultivars (Akita 63, Takanari, and Koshihikari) and two experimental lines of Koshihikari [chromosome segment substitution and near-isogenic lines (NILs)] to determine the effects of [CO2] elevation on the community structure of rice root-associated bacteria. Microbial DNA was extracted from rice roots at the panicle formation stage and analyzed by pyrosequencing the bacterial 16S rRNA gene to characterize the members of the bacterial community. Principal coordinate analysis of a weighted UniFrac distance matrix revealed that the community structure was clearly affected by elevated [CO2]. The predominant community members at class level were Alpha-, Beta-, and Gamma-proteobacteria in the control (ambient) and FACE plots. The relative abundance of Methylocystaceae, the major methane-oxidizing bacteria in rice roots, tended to decrease with increasing [CO2] levels. Quantitative PCR revealed a decreased copy number of the methane monooxygenase (pmoA) gene and increased methyl coenzyme M reductase (mcrA) in elevated [CO2]. These results suggest elevated [CO2] suppresses methane oxidation and promotes methanogenesis in rice roots; this process affects the carbon cycle in rice paddy fields. PMID:25750640

  7. Snow vole (Chionomys nivalis Martins) affects the redistribution of soil organic matter and hormone-like activity in the alpine ecosystem: ecological implications.

    PubMed

    Pizzeghello, Diego; Cocco, Stefania; Francioso, Ornella; Ferrari, Erika; Cardinali, Alessandra; Nardi, Serenella; Agnelli, Alberto; Corti, Giuseppe

    2015-10-01

    In alpine environments, colonies of snow vole (Chionomys nivalis Martins) cause strong pedoturbation, which may affect humification process and soil organic matter (SOM) cycling, with repercussions on the hormone-like activity of organics. We investigated the effect of snow vole pedoturbation on the chemical and spectroscopic features of soil organic fractions, and the potential hormone-like activity of humic and fulvic acids (HA, FA). The study site was located on the high-mountain environment of the Majella massif (central Italy). Pedoturbated and regular soils were morphologically described and characterized for pH and content of total organic carbon, total extractable carbon, HA, and FA. Both HA and FA were extracted and investigated using attenuated total reflectance/Fourier transform infrared (ATR/FTIR), nuclear magnetic resonance with high-resolution magic angle spinning (HRMAS-NMR), and (1)H-(13)C heteronuclear single quantum coherence (HSQC). HA and FA were also tested for their auxin-like and gibberellin-like activities. Results provide evidences that bioturbated and regular soils contain a poorly decomposed SOM, but HA and FA with a well-defined molecular structure. The HA and FA from both bioturbated and regular soils show a hormone-like activity with a different allocation along the soil profile. In the regular soil, the highest auxin-like activity was shown by HA and FA from Oe1 horizon, while gibberellin-like activity was expressed by FA from Oe2 horizon. Burrowing activity determines a redistribution of organics throughout the profile with a relatively high auxin-like activity in the FA from straw tunnel wall (STW) and gibberellin-like activity in the HA from vole feces (VF). The relative high presence of carboxylic acids, amides, proteins, and amino acids in the FA from STW and the aromatic moieties in the HA from VF put evidences for their different behavior. The fact that snow vole activity has modified the chemical and biological properties of

  8. The use of noncrystallographic symmetry averaging to solve structures from data affected by perfect hemihedral twinning

    PubMed Central

    Sabin, Charles; Plevka, Pavel

    2016-01-01

    Hemihedral twinning is a crystal-growth anomaly in which a specimen is composed of two crystal domains that coincide with each other in three dimensions. However, the orientations of the crystal lattices in the two domains differ in a specific way. In diffraction data collected from hemihedrally twinned crystals, each observed intensity contains contributions from both of the domains. With perfect hemihedral twinning, the two domains have the same volumes and the observed intensities do not contain sufficient information to detwin the data. Here, the use of molecular replacement and of noncrystallographic symmetry (NCS) averaging to detwin a 2.1 Å resolution data set for Aichi virus 1 affected by perfect hemihedral twinning is described. The NCS averaging enabled the correction of errors in the detwinning introduced by the differences between the molecular-replacement model and the crystallized structure. The procedure permitted the structure to be determined from a molecular-replacement model that had 16% sequence identity and a 1.6 Å r.m.s.d. for Cα atoms in comparison to the crystallized structure. The same approach could be used to solve other data sets affected by perfect hemihedral twinning from crystals with NCS. PMID:26919522

  9. Relationships between middle school students' science concept structure interrelatedness competence and selected cognitive and affective tendencies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harty, Harold; Hamrick, Linda; Samuel, K. V.

    An investigation was conducted to determine the relationships between Concept Structure Interrelatedness Competence (ConSIC) and 10 predictor variables of which 6 comprised a cognitive cluster and 4 made up an affective set. Data were collected from 105 middle school students and treated by way of stepwise multiple regression, linear multiple regression, and product-moment correlation techniques. The findings revealed that previous experience with concept structure interrelatedness and verbal scholastic aptitude accounted for the greatest amount of variance in predicting ConSIC. Significant positive correlations were also found between ConSIC and science achievement-course grades, scholastic aptitude-verbal, scholastic aptitude-quantitative, previous experience with concept structure interrelatedness, and self-concept of science ability. Positive significant correlations also surfaced among all of the affective variables (attitudes toward science, interest in science, science curiosity, and self-concept of science ability). Implications have been discussed in terms of classroom science teaching, science content analysis, curriculum design, and content selection.

  10. Forest ecosystems: Vegetation, disturbance, and economics: Chapter 5

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Littell, Jeremy S.; Hicke, Jeffrey A.; Shafer, Sarah L.; Capalbo, Susan M.; Houston, Laurie L.; Glick, Patty

    2013-01-01

    Forests cover about 47% of the Northwest (NW–Washington, Oregon, and Idaho) (Smith et al. 2009, fig. 5.1, table 5.1). The impacts of current and future climate change on NW forest ecosystems are a product of the sensitivities of ecosystem processes to climate and the degree to which humans depend on and interact with those systems. Forest ecosystem structure and function, particularly in relatively unmanaged forests where timber harvest and other land use have smaller effects, is sensitive to climate change because climate has a strong influence on ecosystem processes. Climate can affect forest structure directly through its control of plan physiology and life history (establishment, individual growth, productivity, and morality) or indirectly through its control of disturbance (fire, insects, disease). As climate changes, many forest processes will be affected, altering ecosystem services such as timber production and recreation. These changes have socioeconomic implications (e.g. for timber economies) and will require changes to current management of forests. Climate and management will interact to determine the forests of the future, and the scientific basis for adaptation to climate change in forests thus depends significantly on how forests will be affected.

  11. DISC1 gene and affective psychopathology: a combined structural and functional MRI study.

    PubMed

    Opmeer, Esther M; van Tol, Marie-José; Kortekaas, Rudie; van der Wee, Nic J A; Woudstra, Saskia; van Buchem, Mark A; Penninx, Brenda W; Veltman, Dick J; Aleman, André

    2015-02-01

    The gene Disrupted-In-Schizophrenia-1 (DISC1) has been indicated as a determinant of psychopathology, including affective disorders, and shown to influence prefrontal cortex (PFC) and hippocampus functioning, regions of major interest for affective disorders. We aimed to investigate whether DISC1 differentially modulates brain function during executive and memory processing, and morphology in regions relevant for depression and anxiety disorders (affective disorders). 128 participants, with (n = 103) and without (controls; n = 25) affective disorders underwent genotyping for Ser704Cys (with Cys-allele considered as risk-allele) and structural and functional (f) Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) during visuospatial planning and emotional episodic memory tasks. For both voxel-based morphometry and fMRI analyses, we investigated the effect of genotype in controls and explored genotypeXdiagnosis interactions. Results are reported at p < 0.05 FWE small volume corrected. In controls, Cys-carriers showed smaller bilateral (para)hippocampal volumes compared with Ser-homozygotes, and lower activation in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and dorsolateral PFC during visuospatial planning. In anxiety patients, Cys-carriers showed larger (para)hippocampal volumes and more ACC activation during visuospatial planning. In depressive patients, no effect of genotype was observed and overall, no effect of genotype on episodic memory processing was detected. We demonstrated that Ser704Cys-genotype influences (para)hippocampal structure and functioning the dorsal PFC during executive planning, most prominently in unaffected controls. Results suggest that presence of psychopathology moderates Ser704Cys effects. PMID:25533973

  12. Structure-mechanical function relations at nano-scale in heat-affected human dental tissue.

    PubMed

    Sui, Tan; Sandholzer, Michael A; Le Bourhis, Eric; Baimpas, Nikolaos; Landini, Gabriel; Korsunsky, Alexander M

    2014-04-01

    The knowledge of the mechanical properties of dental materials related to their hierarchical structure is essential for understanding and predicting the effect of microstructural alterations on the performance of dental tissues in the context of forensic and archaeological investigation as well as laser irradiation treatment of caries. So far, few studies have focused on the nano-scale structure-mechanical function relations of human teeth altered by chemical or thermal treatment. The response of dental tissues to thermal treatment is thought to be strongly affected by the mineral crystallite size, their spatial arrangement and preferred orientation. In this study, synchrotron-based small and wide angle X-ray scattering (SAXS/WAXS) techniques were used to investigate the micro-structural alterations (mean crystalline thickness, crystal perfection and degree of alignment) of heat-affected dentine and enamel in human dental teeth. Additionally, nanoindentation mapping was applied to detect the spatial and temperature-dependent nano-mechanical properties variation. The SAXS/WAXS results revealed that the mean crystalline thickness distribution in dentine was more uniform compared with that in enamel. Although in general the mean crystalline thickness increased both in dentine and enamel as the temperature increased, the local structural variations gradually reduced. Meanwhile, the hardness and reduced modulus in enamel decreased as the temperature increased, while for dentine, the tendency reversed at high temperature. The analysis of the correlation between the ultrastructure and mechanical properties coupled with the effect of temperature demonstrates the effect of mean thickness and orientation on the local variation of mechanical property. This structural-mechanical property alteration is likely to be due to changes of HAp crystallites, thus dentine and enamel exhibit different responses at different temperatures. Our results enable an improved understanding of

  13. Analysis of factors affecting satisfaction level on problem based learning approach using structural equation modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hussain, Nur Farahin Mee; Zahid, Zalina

    2014-12-01

    Nowadays, in the job market demand, graduates are expected not only to have higher performance in academic but they must also be excellent in soft skill. Problem-Based Learning (PBL) has a number of distinct advantages as a learning method as it can deliver graduates that will be highly prized by industry. This study attempts to determine the satisfaction level of engineering students on the PBL Approach and to evaluate their determinant factors. The Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) was used to investigate how the factors of Good Teaching Scale, Clear Goals, Student Assessment and Levels of Workload affected the student satisfaction towards PBL approach.

  14. Application of a terrestrial ecosystem model to assess ecosystem services in Asia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shoyama, K.; Yamagata, Y.; Ito, A.; Kohyama, T.

    2011-12-01

    Net primary production (NPP) is a measure of the production rate of organic matter and the gross rate of carbon fixation. NPP is considered as appropriate concept for analyzing variations of the ecosystems induced by land use. Human appropriation of net primary production (HANPP) is a major indicator of human pressures on ecosystems. Land use induced changes in the productivity affect the processes and functions of ecosystems and they are associated with the provision of ecosystem services, such as the provision of biomass through agriculture and forestry, and the regulation services such as the absorption capacity for GHG emissions. A number of studies have been assessed the amount of human induced changes of NPP in the global level and calculated in spatially explicit way. However, the analysis of socio-economic drivers of the changes is still remaining as the main topic in the field. The interrelations between HANPP and social structures and processes are priority of global change research. The methodologies for credible HANPP assessment have been established in the previous studies. The proposed three parameters are (1)NPPptn: NPP of the vegetation that would be assumed to prevail in the absence of human use (potential vegetation), (2)NPPact: NPP of the currently prevailing vegetation (actual vegetation), (3)NPPh: human harvest of NPP (e.g., through agriculture and forestry). We estimated these parameters in Asia using a process-based ecosystem model that describes carbon and nitrogen dynamics of plants and soils for terrestrial ecosystems of the globe. The socio-economic data on crop and timber harvest was applied to estimate the amount of human harvest of NPP. The parameters were calculated for each political unit to discuss social structures responding to various ecosystems. Based on the estimated parameters, we suggest the effective methodology combining spatially explicit gridded data and socio-economic statistical data.

  15. 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

  16. Clonal structure affects the assembling behavior in the Japanese queenless ant Pristomyrmex punctatus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nishide, Yudai; Satoh, Toshiyuki; Hiraoka, Tuyosi; Obara, Yoshiaki; Iwabuchi, Kikuo

    2007-10-01

    The queenless ant Pristomyrmex punctatus (Hymenoptera: Myrmicinae) has a unique society that differs from those of other typical ants. This species does not have a queen, and the workers lay eggs and produce their clones parthenogenetically. However, a colony of these ants does not always comprise members derived from a single clonal line. In this study, we examined whether P. punctatus changes its “assembling behavior” based on colony genetic structure. We prepared two subcolonies—a larger one comprising 200 individuals and a smaller one comprising 100 individuals; these subcolonies were established from a single stock colony. We investigated whether these subcolonies assemble into a single nest. The genetically monomorphic subcolonies (single clonal line) always fused into a single nest; however, the genetically polymorphic subcolonies (multiple clonal lines) did not tend to form a single colony. The present study is the first to demonstrate that the colony genetic structure significantly affects social viscosity in social insects.

  17. Analysis of the ecosystem structure of Laguna Alvarado, western Gulf of Mexico, by means of a mass balance model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cruz-Escalona, V. H.; Arreguín-Sánchez, F.; Zetina-Rejón, M.

    2007-03-01

    Alvarado is one of the most productive estuary-lagoon systems in the Mexican Gulf of Mexico. It has great economic and ecological importance due to high fisheries productivity and because it serves as a nursery, feeding, and reproduction area for numerous populations of fishes and crustaceans. Because of this, extensive studies have focused on biology, ecology, fisheries (e.g. shrimp, oysters) and other biological components of the system during the last few decades. This study presents a mass-balanced trophic model for Laguna Alvarado to determine it's structure and functional form, and to compare it with similar coastal systems of the Gulf of Mexico and Mexican Pacific coast. The model, based on the software Ecopath with Ecosim, consists of eighteen fish groups, seven invertebrate groups, and one group each of sharks and rays, marine mammals, phytoplankton, sea grasses and detritus. The acceptability of the model is indicated by the pedigree index (0.5) which range from 0 to 1 based on the quality of input data. The highest trophic level was 3.6 for marine mammals and snappers. Total system throughput reached 2680 t km -2 year -1, of which total consumption made up 47%, respiratory flows made up 37% and flows to detritus made up 16%. The total system production was higher than consumption, and net primary production higher than respiration. The mean transfer efficiency was 13.8%. The mean trophic level of the catch was 2.3 and the primary production required to sustain the catch was estimated in 31 t km -2 yr -1. Ecosystem overhead was 2.4 times the ascendancy. Results suggest a balance between primary production and consumption. In contrast with other Mexican coastal lagoons, Laguna Alvarado differs strongly in relation to the primary source of energy; here the primary producers (seagrasses) are more important than detritus pathways. This fact can be interpreted a response to mangrove deforest, overfishing, etc. Future work might include the compilation of

  18. Regulation of electron transfer processes affects phototrophic mat structure and activity.

    PubMed

    Ha, Phuc T; Renslow, Ryan S; Atci, Erhan; Reardon, Patrick N; Lindemann, Stephen R; Fredrickson, James K; Call, Douglas R; Beyenal, Haluk

    2015-01-01

    Phototrophic microbial mats are among the most diverse ecosystems in nature. These systems undergo daily cycles in redox potential caused by variations in light energy input and metabolic interactions among the microbial species. In this work, solid electrodes with controlled potentials were placed under mats to study the electron transfer processes between the electrode and the microbial mat. The phototrophic microbial mat was harvested from Hot Lake, a hypersaline, epsomitic lake located near Oroville (Washington, USA). We operated two reactors: graphite electrodes were polarized at potentials of -700 mVAg/AgCl [cathodic (CAT) mat system] and +300 mVAg/AgCl [anodic (AN) mat system] and the electron transfer rates between the electrode and mat were monitored. We observed a diel cycle of electron transfer rates for both AN and CAT mat systems. Interestingly, the CAT mats generated the highest reducing current at the same time points that the AN mats showed the highest oxidizing current. To characterize the physicochemical factors influencing electron transfer processes, we measured depth profiles of dissolved oxygen (DO) and sulfide in the mats using microelectrodes. We further demonstrated that the mat-to-electrode and electrode-to-mat electron transfer rates were light- and temperature-dependent. Using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) imaging, we determined that the electrode potential regulated the diffusivity and porosity of the microbial mats. Both porosity and diffusivity were higher in the CAT mats than in the AN mats. We also used NMR spectroscopy for high-resolution quantitative metabolite analysis and found that the CAT mats had significantly higher concentrations of osmoprotectants such as betaine and trehalose. Subsequently, we performed amplicon sequencing across the V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene of incubated mats to understand the impact of electrode potential on microbial community structure. These data suggested that variation in the

  19. Regulation of electron transfer processes affects phototrophic mat structure and activity

    PubMed Central

    Ha, Phuc T.; Renslow, Ryan S.; Atci, Erhan; Reardon, Patrick N.; Lindemann, Stephen R.; Fredrickson, James K.; Call, Douglas R.; Beyenal, Haluk

    2015-01-01

    Phototrophic microbial mats are among the most diverse ecosystems in nature. These systems undergo daily cycles in redox potential caused by variations in light energy input and metabolic interactions among the microbial species. In this work, solid electrodes with controlled potentials were placed under mats to study the electron transfer processes between the electrode and the microbial mat. The phototrophic microbial mat was harvested from Hot Lake, a hypersaline, epsomitic lake located near Oroville (Washington, USA). We operated two reactors: graphite electrodes were polarized at potentials of -700 mVAg/AgCl [cathodic (CAT) mat system] and +300 mVAg/AgCl [anodic (AN) mat system] and the electron transfer rates between the electrode and mat were monitored. We observed a diel cycle of electron transfer rates for both AN and CAT mat systems. Interestingly, the CAT mats generated the highest reducing current at the same time points that the AN mats showed the highest oxidizing current. To characterize the physicochemical factors influencing electron transfer processes, we measured depth profiles of dissolved oxygen (DO) and sulfide in the mats using microelectrodes. We further demonstrated that the mat-to-electrode and electrode-to-mat electron transfer rates were light- and temperature-dependent. Using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) imaging, we determined that the electrode potential regulated the diffusivity and porosity of the microbial mats. Both porosity and diffusivity were higher in the CAT mats than in the AN mats. We also used NMR spectroscopy for high-resolution quantitative metabolite analysis and found that the CAT mats had significantly higher concentrations of osmoprotectants such as betaine and trehalose. Subsequently, we performed amplicon sequencing across the V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene of incubated mats to understand the impact of electrode potential on microbial community structure. These data suggested that variation in the

  20. Ecosystem sensitivity to climate warming: A modeling approach

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Warmer atmospheric temperatures will affect ecosystem functioning directly through changes in metabolic rate and tissue damage of organisms. Indirectly, increased temperatures can also affect ecosystem water balance with increased evapotranspiration (from bare-soil evaporation and transpiration) tha...

  1. Colorimetric Method for Identifying Plant Essential Oil Components That Affect Biofilm Formation and Structure

    PubMed Central

    Niu, C.; Gilbert, E. S.

    2004-01-01

    The specific biofilm formation (SBF) assay, a technique based on crystal violet staining, was developed to locate plant essential oils and their components that affect biofilm formation. SBF analysis determined that cinnamon, cassia, and citronella oils differentially affected growth-normalized biofilm formation by Escherichia coli. Examination of the corresponding essential oil principal components by the SBF assay revealed that cinnamaldehyde decreased biofilm formation compared to biofilms grown in Luria-Bertani broth, eugenol did not result in a change, and citronellol increased the SBF. To evaluate these results, two microscopy-based assays were employed. First, confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) was used to examine E. coli biofilms cultivated in flow cells, which were quantitatively analyzed by COMSTAT, an image analysis program. The overall trend for five parameters that characterize biofilm development corroborated the findings of the SBF assay. Second, the results of an assay measuring growth-normalized adhesion by direct microscopy concurred with the results of the SBF assay and CLSM imaging. Viability staining indicated that there was reduced toxicity of the essential oil components to cells in biofilms compared to the toxicity to planktonic cells but revealed morphological damage to E. coli after cinnamaldehyde exposure. Cinnamaldehyde also inhibited the swimming motility of E. coli. SBF analysis of three Pseudomonas species exposed to cinnamaldehyde, eugenol, or citronellol revealed diverse responses. The SBF assay could be useful as an initial step for finding plant essential oils and their components that affect biofilm formation and structure. PMID:15574886

  2. GEOHYDROLOGY IN SUPPORT OF ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    The practical framework for ecosystem restoration is the watershed. The structure and function of riparian and wetland areas within the watershed provide water quality services for healthy aquatic ecosystems. Urbanization, agriculture and other pressures can produce point and n...

  3. INDICATORS OF ECOSYSTEM INTEGRITY FOR ESTUARIES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ideal indicators of ecosystem integrity integrate multiple structural and functional attributes of the ecosystem, have temporal and spatial dimensions, express real variability, are standardized with respect to reference conditions, societal goals, or both, and support prediction...

  4. An investigation of factors affecting the entry of radon into structures on the Island of Guam

    SciTech Connect

    Kladder, D.L.; Burkhart, J.F.; Thorburn, M.S.

    1995-12-31

    Factors affecting the entry of radon-222 gas into structures on the Island of Guam were investigated during the summer of 1993. Research findings indicated that radon transport into buildings on Guam, and perhaps in other tropical areas, is driven by sub-grade soil pressure (positive with respect to atmospheric pressure) rather than interior buildings vacuums. Immediate and substantive increases in indoor radon concentrations were associated with environmental effects of wind and rain. Radon entry, and hence indoor radon concentrations, is significantly greater during the rainy season as opposed to the dry season. In the absence of mechanically induced interior vacuums in buildings, external environmental forces creating sub-slab pressures are the predominant factor in affecting radon entry in Guam. Indoor radon potentials can be correlated to the locations where the underlying geology is limestone. Furthermore, the radon source appears to be within the first few feet of the surface of these limestones rather than uniformly distributed throughout the limestone. The effects of seismic activity on radon entry are short-lived unless significant damage occurs to a structure. Radon entry during calm weather conditions may also be a function of the rising and falling of ocean tides.

  5. Diversity and structure of AMF communities as affected by tillage in a temperate soil.

    PubMed

    Jansa, J; Mozafar, A; Anken, T; Ruh, R; Sanders, I R; Frossard, E

    2002-10-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) were studied in differently tilled soils from a long-term field experiment in Switzerland. Diversity and structure of AMF communities were surveyed either directly on spores isolated from the field soil or on spores isolated from trap cultures, planted with different host plants. Single-spore cultures were established from the AMF spores obtained from trap cultures. Identification of the AMF was made by observation of spore morphology and confirmed by sequencing of ITS rDNA. At least 17 recognised AMF species were identified in samples from field and/or trap cultures, belonging to five genera of AMF--Glomus, Gigaspora, Scutellospora, Acaulospora, and Entrophospora. Tillage had a significant influence on the sporulation of some species and non- Glomus AMF tended to be more abundant in the no-tilled soil. The community structure of AMF in the field soil was significantly affected by tillage treatment. However, no significant differences in AMF diversity were detected among different soil tillage treatments. AMF community composition in trap cultures was affected much more by the species of the trap plant than by the original tillage treatment of the field soil. The use of trap cultures for fungal diversity estimation in comparison with direct observation of field samples is discussed. PMID:12375133

  6. The structure and duplex context of DNA interstrand crosslinks affects the activity of DNA polymerase η

    PubMed Central

    Roy, Upasana; Mukherjee, Shivam; Sharma, Anjali; Frank, Ekaterina G.; Schärer, Orlando D.

    2016-01-01

    Several important anti-tumor agents form DNA interstrand crosslinks (ICLs), but their clinical efficiency is counteracted by multiple complex DNA repair pathways. All of these pathways require unhooking of the ICL from one strand of a DNA duplex by nucleases, followed by bypass of the unhooked ICL by translesion synthesis (TLS) polymerases. The structures of the unhooked ICLs remain unknown, yet the position of incisions and processing of the unhooked ICLs significantly influence the efficiency and fidelity of bypass by TLS polymerases. We have synthesized a panel of model unhooked nitrogen mustard ICLs to systematically investigate how the state of an unhooked ICL affects pol η activity. We find that duplex distortion induced by a crosslink plays a crucial role in translesion synthesis, and length of the duplex surrounding an unhooked ICL critically affects polymerase efficiency. We report the synthesis of a putative ICL repair intermediate that mimics the complete processing of an unhooked ICL to a single crosslinked nucleotide, and find that it provides only a minimal obstacle for DNA polymerases. Our results raise the possibility that, depending on the structure and extent of processing of an ICL, its bypass may not absolutely require TLS polymerases. PMID:27257072

  7. Structural brain network analysis in families multiply affected with bipolar I disorder.

    PubMed

    Forde, Natalie J; O'Donoghue, Stefani; Scanlon, Cathy; Emsell, Louise; Chaddock, Chris; Leemans, Alexander; Jeurissen, Ben; Barker, Gareth J; Cannon, Dara M; Murray, Robin M; McDonald, Colm

    2015-10-30

    Disrupted structural connectivity is associated with psychiatric illnesses including bipolar disorder (BP). Here we use structural brain network analysis to investigate connectivity abnormalities in multiply affected BP type I families, to assess the utility of dysconnectivity as a biomarker and its endophenotypic potential. Magnetic resonance diffusion images for 19 BP type I patients in remission, 21 of their first degree unaffected relatives, and 18 unrelated healthy controls underwent tractography. With the automated anatomical labelling atlas being used to define nodes, a connectivity matrix was generated for each subject. Network metrics were extracted with the Brain Connectivity Toolbox and then analysed for group differences, accounting for potential confounding effects of age, gender and familial association. Whole brain analysis revealed no differences between groups. Analysis of specific mainly frontal regions, previously implicated as potentially endophenotypic by functional magnetic resonance imaging analysis of the same cohort, revealed a significant effect of group in the right medial superior frontal gyrus and left middle frontal gyrus driven by reduced organisation in patients compared with controls. The organisation of whole brain networks of those affected with BP I does not differ from their unaffected relatives or healthy controls. In discreet frontal regions, however, anatomical connectivity is disrupted in patients but not in their unaffected relatives. PMID:26382105

  8. Dioecy, more than monoecy, affects plant spatial genetic structure: the case study of Ficus

    PubMed Central

    Nazareno, Alison G; Alzate-Marin, Ana L; Pereira, Rodrigo Augusto S

    2013-01-01

    In this analysis, we attempt to understand how monoecy and dioecy drive spatial genetic structure (SGS) in plant populations. For this purpose, plants of the genus Ficus were used as a comparative model due to their particular characteristics, including high species diversity, variation in life histories, and sexual systems. One of the main issues we assessed is whether dioecious fig tree populations are more spatially genetically structured than monoecious populations. Using the Sp statistic, which allows for quantitative comparisons among different studies, we compared the extent of SGS between monoecious and dioecious Ficus species. To broaden our conclusions we used published data on an additional 27 monoecious and dioecious plant species. Furthermore, genetic diversity analyses were performed for two monoecious Ficus species using 12 microsatellite markers in order to strengthen our conclusions about SGS. Our results show that dioecy, more than monoecy, significantly contributes to SGS in plant populations. On average, the estimate of Sp was six times higher for dioecious Ficus species than monoecious Ficus species and it was two times higher in dioecious than monoecious plant species. Considering these results, we emphasize that the long-distance pollen dispersal mechanism in monoecious Ficus species seems to be the dominant factor in determining weak spatial genetic structure, high levels of genetic diversity, and lack of inbreeding. Although Ficus constitute a model species to study SGS, a more general comparison encompassing a wider range of plants is required in order to better understand how sexual systems affect genetic structure. PMID:24223285

  9. Is long-term structural priming affected by patterns of experience with individual verbs?

    PubMed Central

    Kaschak, Michael P.; Borreggine, Kristin L.

    2015-01-01

    Several recent papers have reported long-term structural priming effects in experiments where previous patterns of experience with the double object and prepositional object constructions are shown to affect later patterns of language production for those constructions. The experiments reported in this paper address the extent to which these long-term priming effects are modulated by the participants’ patterns of experience with particular verbs within the double object and prepositional object constructions. The results of three experiments show that patterns of experience with particular verbs using the double object or prepositional object constructions do not have much effect on the shape of the longterm structural priming effects reported elsewhere in the literature. These findings lend support to the claim that structural priming is the result of adaptations to the language production system that occur on an abstract, structural level of representation that is separate from representations regarding the behavior of particular lexical items in particular constructions [e.g., Chang, F., Dell, G. S., & Bock, K. (2006). Becoming syntactic. Psychological Review, 113, 234–272]. 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. PMID:26500391

  10. Artefacts and biases affecting the evaluation of scoring functions on decoy sets for protein structure prediction

    PubMed Central

    Handl, Julia; Knowles, Joshua; Lovell, Simon C.

    2009-01-01

    Motivation: Decoy datasets, consisting of a solved protein structure and numerous alternative native-like structures, are in common use for the evaluation of scoring functions in protein structure prediction. Several pitfalls with the use of these datasets have been identified in the literature, as well as useful guidelines for generating more effective decoy datasets. We contribute to this ongoing discussion an empirical assessment of several decoy datasets commonly used in experimental studies. Results: We find that artefacts and sampling issues in the large majority of these data make it trivial to discriminate the native structure. This underlines that evaluation based on the rank/z-score of the native is a weak test of scoring function performance. Moreover, sampling biases present in the way decoy sets are generated or used can strongly affect other types of evaluation measures such as the correlation between score and root mean squared deviation (RMSD) to the native. We demonstrate how, depending on type of bias and evaluation context, sampling biases may lead to both over- or under-estimation of the quality of scoring terms, functions or methods. Availability: Links to the software and data used in this study are available at http://dbkgroup.org/handl/decoy_sets. Contact: simon.lovell@manchester.ac.uk Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. PMID:19297350

  11. Process conditions affect starch structure and its interactions with proteins in rice pasta.

    PubMed

    Barbiroli, Alberto; Bonomi, Francesco; Casiraghi, Maria Cristina; Iametti, Stefania; Pagani, Maria Ambrogina; Marti, Alessandra

    2013-02-15

    Structural changes of starch and proteins in rice pasta were investigated as a function of raw-materials and pasta-making conditions, and their impact on cooking behaviour and glycaemic index was assessed. Rice pasta was prepared from untreated or parboiled rice flour by conventional extrusion or by extrusion-cooking. Starch structure was studied by assessing starch accessibility to specific enzymes (α-amylase and pullulanase), and by evaluating the molecular properties of fragments from enzymatic action. Protein solubility in presence/absence of chaotropes and accessibility of protein cysteine thiols allowed to evaluate the intensity and nature of inter-protein interactions. Parboiling stiffens the protein network in rice flour and makes starch more accessible to hydrolysis. Pasta-making induced further changes in the starch structure, that were most evident in pasta made from untreated rice and were mainly related to the amylopectin fraction. Thus, the interplay among structural modifications on starch and/or proteins affects the features of products. PMID:23399230

  12. Structural changes in emulsion-bound bovine beta-lactoglobulin affect its proteolysis and immunoreactivity.

    PubMed

    Marengo, Mauro; Miriani, Matteo; Ferranti, Pasquale; Bonomi, Francesco; Iametti, Stefania; Barbiroli, Alberto

    2016-07-01

    Adsorption on the surface of sub-micrometric oil droplets resulted in significant changes in the tertiary structure of bovine beta-lactoglobulin (BLG), a whey protein broadly used as a food ingredient and a major food allergen. The adsorbed protein had increased sensitivity to trypsin, and increased immunoreactivity towards specific monoclonal antibodies. In spite of the extensive tryptic breakdown of emulsion-bound BLG, some sequence stretches in BLG became trypsin-insensitive upon absorption of the protein on the fat droplets. As a consequence - at contrast with free BLG - proteolysis of emulsion-bound BLG did not decrease the immunoreactivity of the protein, and some of the large peptides generated by trypsinolysis of emulsion-bound BLG were still recognizable by specific monoclonal antibodies. Structural changes occurring in emulsion-bound BLG and their consequences are discussed in comparison with those occurring when the tertiary structure of BLG is modified by lipophilic salts, by urea, or upon interaction with solid hydrophobic surfaces. Such a comparison highlights the relevance of situation-specific structural modifications, that in turn may affect physiologically relevant features of the protein. PMID:27085639

  13. Exploring coupling coordination between urbanization and ecosystem quality (1985-2010): a case study from Lianyungang City, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ai, Junyong; Feng, Lan; Dong, Xiaowei; Zhu, Xiaodong; Li, Yangfan

    2016-09-01

    Urbanization processes affect the ecosystem through alterations in ecological functions and landscape patterns. Currently, analysis of the total ecosystem services value (ESV) has targeted the overall benefits which human beings obtain from the regional ecosystem but does not generally include information regarding ecological structures and patterns. Therefore, the results cannot reflect the comprehensive state of the local ecosystem. We propose a new, integrative ecosystem quality indicator based on the ESVand landscape metrics for evaluating the quality of the regional ecosystem. We adopted the method of a coupled degree of coordination for evaluating the interrelationship between urbanization and ecosystem quality in Lianyungang City from 1985 to 2010. The coupling degree of coordination between urbanization and ecosystem quality showed an inverse U-shaped curve. At the primary stage of urbanization (1985‒1995), the degree of coupling of urbanization and the ecosystem was just barely balanced. From 1995 until 2000, the coupling system reached a balanced condition, in which the urbanization level increased. Since 2000, the urbanization process has accelerated. The coordination between urbanization and the ecosystem achieved the optimum condition in 2005. A turning point appeared at the same time, and the degree of coupling coordination began falling from the optimum. Subsequently, the coupled system once more entered a barely balanced state. Overall, the comprehensive level of ecosystem quality decreased since 1985 and degraded sharply after 2005, suggesting an overall degradation of the local ecosystem quality.

  14. Exploring coupling coordination between urbanization and ecosystem quality (1985-2010): a case study from Lianyungang City, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ai, Junyong; Feng, Lan; Dong, Xiaowei; Zhu, Xiaodong; Li, Yangfan

    2015-10-01

    Urbanization processes affect the ecosystem through alterations in ecological functions and landscape patterns. Currently, analysis of the total ecosystem services value (ESV) has targeted the overall benefits which human beings obtain from the regional ecosystem but does not generally include information regarding ecological structures and patterns. Therefore, the results cannot reflect the comprehensive state of the local ecosystem. We propose a new, integrative ecosystem quality indicator based on the ESVand landscape metrics for evaluating the quality of the regional ecosystem. We adopted the method of a coupled degree of coordination for evaluating the interrelationship between urbanization and ecosystem quality in Lianyungang City from 1985 to 2010. The coupling degree of coordination between urbanization and ecosystem quality showed an inverse U-shaped curve. At the primary stage of urbanization (1985‒1995), the degree of coupling of urbanization and the ecosystem was just barely balanced. From 1995 until 2000, the coupling system reached a balanced condition, in which the urbanization level increased. Since 2000, the urbanization process has accelerated. The coordination between urbanization and the ecosystem achieved the optimum condition in 2005. A turning point appeared at the same time, and the degree of coupling coordination began falling from the optimum. Subsequently, the coupled system once more entered a barely balanced state. Overall, the comprehensive level of ecosystem quality decreased since 1985 and degraded sharply after 2005, suggesting an overall degradation of the local ecosystem quality.

  15. How do elevated [CO2], warming, and reduced precipitation interact to affect soil moisture and LAI in an old field ecosystem?

    SciTech Connect

    Dermody, Orla; Weltzin, Jake; Engel, Elizabeth C.; Allen, Phillip; Norby, Richard J

    2007-01-01

    Soil moisture content and leaf area index (LAI) are properties that will be particularly important in mediating whole system responses to the combined effects of elevated atmospheric [CO2], warming and altered precipitation. Warming and drying will likely reduce soil moisture, and this effect may be exacerbated when these factors are combined. However, elevated [CO2] may increase soil moisture contents and when combined with warming and drying may partially compensate for their effects. The response of LAI to elevated [CO2] and warming will be closely tied to soil moisture status and may mitigate or exacerbate the effects of global change on soil moisture. Using open-top chambers (4-m diameter), the interactive effects of elevated [CO2], warming, and differential irrigation on soil moisture availability were examined in the OCCAM (Old-Field Community Climate and Atmospheric Manipulation) experiment at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in eastern Tennessee. Warming consistently reduced soil moisture contents and this effect was exacerbated by reduced irrigation. However, elevated [CO2] partially compensated for the effects of warming and drying on soil moisture. Changes in LAI were closely linked to soil moisture status. LAI was determined using an AccuPAR ceptometer and both the leaf area duration (LAD) and canopy size were increased by irrigation and elevated [CO2]. The climate of the southeastern United States is predicted to be warmer and drier in the future. This research suggests that although elevated [CO2] will partially ameliorate the effects of warming and drying, losses of soil moisture will increase from old field ecosystems in the future.

  16. Tampa Bay Ecosystem Services Demonstration Project Website: Phase II

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Tampa Bay Ecosystem Services Demonstration Project models the impact of human development and natural stressors on the economic, aesthetic and cultural value of local ecosystems. By linking ecological structures, functions, and condition to the ecosystem services valued by h...

  17. Host species and developmental stage, but not host social structure, affects bacterial community structure in socially polymorphic bees.

    PubMed

    McFrederick, Quinn S; Wcislo, William T; Hout, Michael C; Mueller, Ulrich G

    2014-05-01

    Social transmission and host developmental stage are thought to profoundly affect the structure of bacterial communities associated with honey bees and bumble bees, but these ideas have not been explored in other bee species. The halictid bees Megalopta centralis and M. genalis exhibit intrapopulation social polymorphism, which we exploit to test whether bacterial communities differ by host social structure, developmental stage, or host species. We collected social and solitary Megalopta nests and sampled bees and nest contents from all stages of host development. To survey these bacterial communities, we used 16S rRNA gene 454 pyrosequencing. We found no effect of social structure, but found differences by host species and developmental stage. Wolbachia prevalence differed between the two host species. Bacterial communities associated with different developmental stages appeared to be driven by environmentally acquired bacteria. A Lactobacillus kunkeei clade bacterium that is consistently associated with other bee species was dominant in pollen provisions and larval samples, but less abundant in mature larvae and pupae. Foraging adults appeared to often reacquire L. kunkeei clade bacteria, likely while foraging at flowers. Environmental transmission appears to be more important than social transmission for Megalopta bees at the cusp between social and solitary behavior. PMID:24579829

  18. Trophic structure and diversity in rocky intertidal upwelling ecosystems: A comparison of community patterns across California, Chile, South Africa and New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blanchette, C. A.; Wieters, E. A.; Broitman, B. R.; Kinlan, B. P.; Schiel, D. R.

    2009-12-01

    The Benguela, California, and Humboldt represent three of the major eastern boundary upwelling ecosystems in the world. Upwelling ecosystems are highly productive, and this productivity forms the base of the food chain, potentially leading to ecosystems similar in trophic structure and diversity among upwelling regions. Here we compare the biological and trophic structure of rocky intertidal communities in each of these major upwelling regions. Our comparison includes a fourth region, New Zealand, which spans a similar latitudinal range, and experiences intermittent upwelling. The influence of oceanographic conditions on these communities was evaluated by using the long-term mean and standard deviation of satellite-based sea surface temperature (SST). Large differences emerged in the taxonomic richness in each of these systems, with California as the most and the Humboldt as the least taxonomically rich. Across all regions, richness tended to decrease progressively from lower trophic levels (macrophytes) to higher trophic levels (carnivores), and richness was inversely correlated with the proportion of variance in SST contained in the seasonal cycle, suggesting that strongly seasonal, predictable environments are relatively low in diversity. The functional and trophic structures were remarkably similar across these four regions of the world. Macrophytes were slightly dominant over filter-feeders in terms of space occupancy in all regions except the Benguela. Densities of herbivorous grazers were greatest in California and Benguela and far outnumbered carnivore densities in all regions. Despite some similarities, the overall structure of the communities from these regions differed significantly supporting the hypothesis that the biological and ecological consequences of similar physical forcing mechanisms (e.g. upwelling) are likely to be context-dependent.

  19. Range Ecosystems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    After more than two hundred years, grazing remains California’s most extensive land use. The ‘Range Ecosystems’ chapter in the ‘Ecosystems of California’ sourcebook provides an integrated picture of the biophysical, social, and economic aspects of lands grazed by livestock in the state. Grazing mana...

  20. Using vegetation structure estimates derived from multi-source remote sensing to predict dynamics of a semi-arid ecosystem in the western US

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shrestha, R.; Mitchell, J. J.; Glenn, N. F.; Flores, A. N.

    2014-12-01

    The distribution of species and vegetation types across the western US are expected to shift in response to climate change. Previous studies have documented the change in fire regime and the increasing fire-invasive grass cycle occurring in the western U.S. The change in vegetation structure due to climate change and invasive species alters the fuel load, making these ecosystems vulnerable to high-severity fire. Synergistic remote sensing data, such as hyperspectral data and high-resolution lidar, can be leveraged to capture the composition and structural variability of short-statured semiarid vegetation (e.g. sagebrush, annual grasses). We use a random-forests based fusion technique to integrate multi-source airborne data (hyperspectral and LiDAR) and generate spatially-explicit estimates of vegetation composition and structure (biomass, cover, density, height, LAI) and associated uncertainty across a climate and elevation gradient in southern Idaho. The results will be used to initialize an individual-based terrestrial biosphere model (Ecosystem Demography, ED2) and estimate structural dynamics under future scenarios. This study will provide a basis for understanding feedback mechanisms related to changing climate conditions, fire regimes and patterns of non-native plant invasion. The forthcoming field and remote sensing collection campaigns are also designed for parameterizing a dryland shrub plant functional type in the ED2 model.

  1. Characteristics of initial deposition and behavior of radiocesium in forest ecosystems of different locations and species affected by the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident.

    PubMed

    Komatsu, Masabumi; Kaneko, Shinji; Ohashi, Shinta; Kuroda, Katsushi; Sano, Tetsuya; Ikeda, Shigeto; Saito, Satoshi; Kiyono, Yoshiyuki; Tonosaki, Mario; Miura, Satoru; Akama, Akio; Kajimoto, Takuya; Takahashi, Masamichi

    2016-09-01

    rainfall after the accident, and the leaf biomass by the tree species may influence differences in the spatial pattern of radiocesium by study plots. The results of the present study and further studies of the spatial pattern of radiocesium are important for modeling future radiocesium distribution in contaminated forest ecosystems. PMID:26432062

  2. Vancomycin and maltodextrin affect structure and activity of Staphylococcus aureus biofilms.

    PubMed

    Kiamco, Mia Mae; Atci, Erhan; Khan, Qaiser Farid; Mohamed, Abdelrhman; Renslow, Ryan S; Abu-Lail, Nehal; Fransson, Boel A; Call, Douglas R; Beyenal, Haluk

    2015-12-01

    Hyperosmotic agents such as maltodextrin negatively impact bacterial growth through osmotic stress without contributing to drug resistance. We hypothesized that a combination of maltodextrin (osmotic agent) and vancomycin (antibiotic) would be more effective against Staphylococcus aureus biofilms than either alone. To test our hypothesis, S. aureus was grown in a flat plate flow cell reactor. Confocal laser scanning microscopy images were analyzed to quantify changes in biofilm structure. We used dissolved oxygen microelectrodes to quantify how vancomycin and maltodextrin affected the respiration rate and oxygen penetration into the biofilm. We found that treatment with vancomycin or maltodextrin altered biofilm structure. The effect on the structure was significant when they were used simultaneously to treat S. aureus biofilms. In addition, vancomycin treatment increased the oxygen respiration rate, while maltodextrin treatment caused an increase and then a decrease. An increased maltodextrin concentration decreased the diffusivity of the antibiotic. Overall, we conclude that (1) an increased maltodextrin concentration decreases vancomycin diffusion but increases the osmotic effect, leading to the optimum treatment condition, and (2) the combination of vancomycin and maltodextrin is more effective against S. aureus biofilms than either alone. Vancomycin and maltodextrin act together to increase the effectiveness of treatment against S. aureus biofilm growth. PMID:26084588

  3. Cognitive structure and the affective domain: on knowing and feeling in biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thompson, Tressa L.; Mintzes, Joel J.

    2002-06-01

    This cross-age study explored the structural complexity and propositional validity of knowledge about and attitudes toward sharks, and the relationships among knowledge and attitudes. Responses were elicited from a convenience sample of students (5th, 8th and 11th grade, and college level) and senior citizens (n = 238). All subjects constructed a concept map on sharks and responded to a Likert-type attitude inventory. Based on the work of Novak and Gowin (Leaning How to Learn, Cambridge University Press, 1984), concept maps were scored for frequencies of non-redundant concepts and scientifically valid relationships, levels of hierarchy, incidence of branching and number of crosslinks. The attitude inventory, emerging from Kellert's (The Value of Life: Biological Diversity and Human Society, Island Press, 1996) work, generated subscale scores on four affective dimensions: scientific, naturalistic, moralistic and utilitarian/negative. Significant differences were found among subject groups on all knowledge structure variables and attitudinal dimensions. Gender differences were documented on three of four attitude subscales. A series of simple, mulitiple and canonical correlations revealed moderately strong relationships between knowledge structure variables and attitudinal dimensions. The pattern of these relationships supports conservation education efforts and instructional practices that encourage meaningful learning, knowledge restructuring and conceptual change (Mintzes et al., Assessing Science Understanding: A Human Constructivist View, Academic Press, 2000).

  4. Characterising Vegetation Structural and Functional Differences Across Australian Ecosystems From a Network of Terrestrial Laser Scanning Survey Sites and Airborne and Satellite Image Archives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phinn, S. R.; Armston, J.; Scarth, P.; Johansen, K.; Schaefer, M.; Suarez, L.; Soto-Berelov, M.; Muir, J.; Woodgate, W.; Jones, S.; Held, A. A.

    2015-12-01

    Vegetation structural information is critical for environmental monitoring, management and compliance assessment. In this context we refer to vegetation structural properties as vertical, horizontal and volumetric dimensions, including: canopy height; amount and distribution of vegetation by height; foliage projective cover (FPC); leaf area index (LAI); and above ground biomass. Our aim was to determine if there were significant differences between vegetation structural properties across 11 ecosystem types in Australia as measured by terrestrial laser scanner (TLS) structure metrics. The ecosystems sampled included: mesophyll vineforest, wet-dry tropical savannah, mallee woodland, subtropical eucalypt forest, mulga woodland/grassland, wet eucalypt forest, dry eucalypt forest, tall and wet eucalypt forest, and desert grassland/shrublands. Canopy height, plant area-height profiles and LAI were calculated from consistently processed TLS data using Australia's Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network's (TERN) Supersites by the TERN AusCover remote sensing field teams from 2012-2015. The Supersites were sampled using standardised field protocols within a core set of 1 ha plots as part of a 5 km x 5 km uniform area using a RIEGL-VZ400 waveform recording TLS. Four to seven scans were completed per plot, with one centre point and then at 25 m away from the centre point along transect lines at 0o, 60o and 240o. Individual foliage profiles were sensitive to spatial variation in the distribution of plant materials. Significant differences were visible between each of the vegetation communities assessed when aggregated to plot and ecosystem type scales. Several of the communities exhibited simple profiles with either grass and shrubs (e.g. desert grassland) or grass and trees (e.g. mallee woodland). Others had multiple vegetation forms at different heights, contributing to the profile (e.g. wet eucalypt forest). The TLS data provide significantly more detail about the relative

  5. Global Change Impacts on Mangrove Ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McKee, Karen L.

    2004-01-01

    Mangroves are tropical/subtropical communities of primarily tree species that grow in the intertidal zone. These tidal forests are important coastal ecosystems that are valued for a variety of ecological and societal goods and services. Major local threats to mangrove ecosystems worldwide include clearcutting and trimming of forests for urban, agricultural, or industrial expansion; hydrological alterations; toxic chemical spills; and eutrophication. In many countries with mangroves, much of the human population resides in the coastal zone, and their activities often negatively impact the integrity of mangrove forests. In addition, eutrophication, which is the process whereby nutrients build up to higher than normal levels in a natural system, is possibly one of the most serious threats to mangroves and associated ecosystems such as coral reefs. Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) at the National Wetlands Research Center are working to more fully understand global impacts on these significant ecosystems. Changes in climate and other factors may also affect mangroves, but in complex ways. Global warming may promote expansion of mangrove forests to higher latitudes and accelerate sea-level rise through melting of polar ice or steric expansion of oceans. Changes in sea level would alter flooding patterns and the structure and areal extent of mangroves. Climate change may also alter rainfall patterns, which would in turn change local salinity regimes and competitive interactions of mangroves with other wetland species. Increases in frequency or intensity of tropical storms and hurricanes in combination with sea-level rise may alter erosion and sedimentation rates in mangrove forests. Another global change factor that may directly affect mangrove growth is increased atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), caused by burning of fossil fuels and other factors. Elevated CO2 concentration may increase mangrove growth by stimulating photosynthesis or improving water

  6. Linkages between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bretherton, Francis; Dickinson, Robert E.; Fung, Inez; Moore, Berrien, III; Prather, Michael; Running, Steven W.; Tiessen, Holm

    1992-01-01

    The primary research issue in understanding the role of terrestrial ecosystems in global change is analyzing the coupling between processes with vastly differing rates of change, from photosynthesis to community change. Representing this coupling in models is the central challenge to modeling the terrestrial biosphere as part of the earth system. Terrestrial ecosystems participate in climate and in the biogeochemical cycles on several temporal scales. Some of the carbon fixed by photosynthesis is incorporated into plant tissue and is delayed from returning to the atmosphere until it is oxidized by decomposition or fire. This slower (i.e., days to months) carbon loop through the terrestrial component of the carbon cycle, which is matched by cycles of nutrients required by plants and decomposers, affects the increasing trend in atmospheric CO2 concentration and imposes a seasonal cycle on that trend. Moreover, this cycle includes key controls over biogenic trace gas production. The structure of terrestrial ecosystems, which responds on even longer time scales (annual to century), is the integrated response to the biogeochemical and environmental constraints that develop over the intermediate time scale. The loop is closed back to the climate system since it is the structure of ecosystems, including species composition, that sets the terrestrial boundary condition in the climate system through modification of surface roughness, albedo, and, to a great extent, latent heat exchange. These separate temporal scales contain explicit feedback loops which may modify ecosystem dynamics and linkages between ecosystems and the atmosphere. The long-term change in climate, resulting from increased atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases (e.g., CO2, CH4, and nitrous oxide (N2O)) will further modify the global environment and potentially induce further ecosystem change. Modeling these interactions requires coupling successional models to biogeochemical models to

  7. How the Structure of Mesoscale Precipitation Systems Affects their Production of Transient Luminous Events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lang, T. J.; Lyons, W.; Rutledge, S. A.; Cummer, S. A.; MacGorman, D. R.

    2011-12-01

    Recently, Lang et al. (2010) analyzed the parent lightning of transient luminous events (TLEs) in the context of the structure and evolution of two mesoscale convective systems (MCSs). These two MCSs were very different - one a giant symmetric leading-line/trailing stratiform storm, and one a small asymmetric MCS that contained a mesoscale convective vortex. These structural differences were associated with substantially different TLE-parent lightning structure as well as TLE production. The results suggested that TLE (especially sprite) production, and TLE-parent positive charge altitude, depend on MCS morphology. Current work is focused on analyzing the structure, evolution, lightning behavior, and TLE production of additional MCSs over various regions of the United States. Several additional TLE-producing MCS cases already have been identified for the years 2008-2010, featuring a variety of organizational modes (symmetric, asymmetric, and other more exotic varieties) in different meteorological regimes (including some cold-season cases). More cases will be incorporated as they occur and are observed. Data sources include geostationary satellite imagery, Doppler radar, three-dimensional lightning mapping networks, ground-strike detection networks, charge moment change measurements, and low-light video observations. The ultimate goal is to further test the hypothesis that MCS structure affects TLE production, and if so to quantify its impact. Research on two Oklahoma case studies, a multicellular system that occurred on 24 March 2009 and a classic bow-echo MCS that occurred on 19 August 2009, is ongoing. Over a 2.5-h period, the March case produced 23 observed TLEs (all sprites) whose parent flashes occurred within 175 km of the Oklahoma Lightning Mapping Array (OKLMA). The median altitude of LMA sources during the TLEs was 5.9 km above Mean Sea Level (MSL), or -19.2 °C. The August storm produced, in 2.5 hours, 34 TLEs (all sprites) with 32 of those having parent

  8. Social Structure of Lions (Panthera leo) Is Affected by Management in Pendjari Biosphere Reserve, Benin

    PubMed Central

    Sogbohossou, Etotépé A.; Bauer, Hans; Loveridge, Andrew; Funston, Paul J.; De Snoo, Geert R.; Sinsin, Brice; De Iongh, Hans H.

    2014-01-01

    Lion populations have undergone a severe decline in West Africa. As baseline for conservation management, we assessed the group structure of lions in the Pendjari Biosphere Reserve in Benin. This reserve, composed of one National Park and two Hunting Zones, is part of the WAP transboundary complex of protected areas. Overall mean group size was 2.6±1.7 individuals (n = 296), it was significantly higher in the National Park (2.7±1.7, n = 168) than in the Hunting Zones (2.2±1.5, n = 128). Overall adult sex ratio was even, but significantly biased towards females (0.67) in the National Park and towards males (1.67) in the Hunting Zones. Our results suggest that the Pendjari lion population is affected by perturbations, such as trophy hunting. PMID:24416263

  9. Plant hybrid zones affect biodiversity: Tools for a genetic-based understanding of community structure

    SciTech Connect

    Whitham, T.G.; Martinsen, G.D.; Keim, P.; Floate, K.D.; Dungey, H.S. |; Potts, B.M.

    1999-03-01

    Plant hybrid zones are dynamic centers of ecological and evolutionary processes for plants and their associated communities. Studies in the wild and in gardens with synthetic crosses showed that hybrid eucalypts supports the greatest species richness and abundances of insect and fungal taxa. In an updated review of 152 case studies of taxa associated with diverse hybridizing systems, there were 43 (28%) cases of hybrids being more susceptible than their parent species, 7 (5%) resistant, 35 (23%) additive, 35 (23%) dominant, and 32 (21%) showed no response to hybridization. Thus, most taxa respond to hybrids in ways that result in equal or greater abundance, and hybrids tend to accumulate the taxa of their parent species. These studies suggest that genetic-based plant traits affect the distribution of many species and that the variation in hybrids can be used as tools to examine the genetic components of community structure and biodiversity.

  10. Regulation of electron transfer processes affects phototrophic mat structure and activity

    SciTech Connect

    Ha, Phuc T.; Renslow, Ryan S.; Atci, Erhan; Reardon, Patrick N.; Lindemann, Stephen R.; Fredrickson, James K.; Call, Douglas R.; Beyenal, Haluk

    2015-09-03

    Phototrophic microbial mats are among the most diverse ecosystems in nature. These systems undergo daily cycles in redox potential caused by variations in light energy input and metabolic interactions among the microbial species. In this work, solid electrodes with controlled potentials were placed under mats to study the electron transfer processes between the electrode and the microbial mat. The phototrophic microbial mat was harvested from Hot Lake, a hypersaline, epsomitic lake located near Oroville (Washington, USA). We operated two reactors: graphite electrodes were polarized at potentials of -700 mVAg/AgCl [cathodic (CAT) mat system] and +300 mVAg/AgCl [anodic (AN) mat system] and the electron transfer rates between the electrode and mat were monitored. We observed a diel cycle of electron transfer rates for both AN and CAT mat systems. Interestingly, the CAT mats generated the highest reducing current at the same time points that the AN mats showed the highest oxidizing current. To characterize the physicochemical factors influencing electron transfer processes, we measured depth profiles of dissolved oxygen (DO) and sulfide in the mats using microelectrodes. We further demonstrated that the mat-to-electrode and electrode-to-mat electron transfer rates were light- and temperature-dependent. Using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) imaging, we determined that the electrode potential regulated the diffusivity and porosity of the microbial mats. Both porosity and diffusivity were higher in the CAT mats than in the AN mats. We also used NMR spectroscopy for high-resolution quantitative metabolite analysis and found that the CAT mats had significantly higher concentrations of osmoprotectants such as betaine and trehalose. Subsequently, we performed amplicon sequencing across the V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene of incubated mats to understand the impact of electrode potential on microbial community structure. In conclusion, these data suggested

  11. Regulation of electron transfer processes affects phototrophic mat structure and activity

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Ha, Phuc T.; Renslow, Ryan S.; Atci, Erhan; Reardon, Patrick N.; Lindemann, Stephen R.; Fredrickson, James K.; Call, Douglas R.; Beyenal, Haluk

    2015-09-03

    Phototrophic microbial mats are among the most diverse ecosystems in nature. These systems undergo daily cycles in redox potential caused by variations in light energy input and metabolic interactions among the microbial species. In this work, solid electrodes with controlled potentials were placed under mats to study the electron transfer processes between the electrode and the microbial mat. The phototrophic microbial mat was harvested from Hot Lake, a hypersaline, epsomitic lake located near Oroville (Washington, USA). We operated two reactors: graphite electrodes were polarized at potentials of -700 mVAg/AgCl [cathodic (CAT) mat system] and +300 mVAg/AgCl [anodic (AN) mat system]more » and the electron transfer rates between the electrode and mat were monitored. We observed a diel cycle of electron transfer rates for both AN and CAT mat systems. Interestingly, the CAT mats generated the highest reducing current at the same time points that the AN mats showed the highest oxidizing current. To characterize the physicochemical factors influencing electron transfer processes, we measured depth profiles of dissolved oxygen (DO) and sulfide in the mats using microelectrodes. We further demonstrated that the mat-to-electrode and electrode-to-mat electron transfer rates were light- and temperature-dependent. Using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) imaging, we determined that the electrode potential regulated the diffusivity and porosity of the microbial mats. Both porosity and diffusivity were higher in the CAT mats than in the AN mats. We also used NMR spectroscopy for high-resolution quantitative metabolite analysis and found that the CAT mats had significantly higher concentrations of osmoprotectants such as betaine and trehalose. Subsequently, we performed amplicon sequencing across the V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene of incubated mats to understand the impact of electrode potential on microbial community structure. In conclusion, these data suggested that

  12. Affect, Behavior, Cognition, and Desire in the Big Five: An Analysis of Item Content and Structure

    PubMed Central

    Wilt, Joshua; Revelle, William

    2015-01-01

    Personality psychology is concerned with affect (A), behavior (B), cognition (C) and desire (D), and personality traits have been defined conceptually as abstractions used to either explain or summarize coherent ABC (and sometimes D) patterns over time and space. However, this conceptual definition of traits has not been reflected in their operationalization, possibly resulting in theoretical and practical limitations to current trait inventories. Thus, the goal of this project was to determine the affective, behavioral, cognitive and desire (ABCD) components of Big-Five personality traits. The first study assessed the ABCD content of items measuring Big-Five traits in order to determine the ABCD composition of traits and identify items measuring relatively high amounts of only one ABCD content. The second study examined the correlational structure of scales constructed from items assessing ABCD content via a large, web-based study. An assessment of Big-Five traits that delineates ABCD components of each trait is presented, and the discussion focuses on how this assessment builds upon current approaches of assessing personality. PMID:26279606

  13. Spatial and spatiotemporal variation in metapopulation structure affects population dynamics in a passively dispersing arthropod.

    PubMed

    De Roissart, Annelies; Wang, Shaopeng; Bonte, Dries

    2015-11-01

    The spatial and temporal variation in the availability of suitable habitat within metapopulations determines colonization-extinction events, regulates local population sizes and eventually affects local population and metapopulation stability. Insights into the impact of such a spatiotemporal variation on the local population and metapopulation dynamics are principally derived from classical metapopulation theory and have not been experimentally validated. By manipulating spatial structure in artificial metapopulations of the spider mite Tetranychus urticae, we test to which degree spatial (mainland-island metapopulations) and spatiotemporal variation (classical metapopulations) in habitat availability affects the dynamics of the metapopulations relative to systems where habitat is constantly available in time and space (patchy metapopulations). Our experiment demonstrates that (i) spatial variation in habitat availability decreases variance in metapopulation size and decreases density-dependent dispersal at the metapopulation level, while (ii) spatiotemporal variation in habitat availability increases patch extinction rates, decreases local population and metapopulation sizes and decreases density dependence in population growth rates. We found dispersal to be negatively density dependent and overall low in the spatial variable mainland-island metapopulation. This demographic variation subsequently impacts local and regional population dynamics and determines patterns of metapopulation stability. Both local and metapopulation-level variabilities are minimized in mainland-island metapopulations relative to classical and patchy ones. PMID:25988264

  14. Structural study of skeletal muscle fibres in healthy and pseudomyotonia affected cattle.

    PubMed

    Mascarello, Francesco; Sacchetto, Roberta

    2016-09-01

    Cattle congenital pseudomyotonia (PMT), recognized as naturally occurring animal model of human Brody disease, is an inherited recessive autosomal muscular disorder due to missense mutations in ATP2A1 gene, encoding sarco(endo)plasmic reticulum Ca(2+)-ATPase protein, isoform 1 (SERCA1). PMT has been described in the Chianina and Romagnola italian cattle breeds and as a single case in Dutch improved Red and White cross-breed. The genetic defect turned out to be heterogeneous in different cattle breeds, even though clinical symptoms were homogeneous. Skeletal muscles of affected animals are characterized by a selective deficiency of SERCA1 in sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) membranes. Recently, we provided evidence that in Chianina breed, the ubiquitin proteasome system is responsible for SERCA1 mutant premature disposal, even when the mutation does not affect the catalytic properties of the pump. Results presented here show that all SERCA1 mutants described until now, although expressed at low level, are correctly targeted to SR membranes. Ultrastructural studies confirm that in pathological muscle fibres, structure, as well as triads, is well preserved. All together these results suggest that a possible therapeutical approach based on the rescue of the defective protein at SR membranes could be hypothesized. Only fully functionally active missense mutants, whem located at the SR membrane could restore the efficient control of Ca(2+) homeostasis and prevent the appearance of the pathological signs. Moreover, these data demonstrate the increasing importance of domestic animals as genetic models of human pathologies. PMID:27210062

  15. Seasonality in a boreal forest ecosystem affects the use of soil temperature and moisture as predictors of soil CO2 efflux

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niinistö, S. M.; Kellomäki, S.; Silvola, J.

    2011-11-01

    increase in temperature. In a dry year, however, the effect of drought was evident as soil CO2 efflux was some 30 % smaller in September than in the previous wet year. Soil temperature was a good overall predictor of soil CO2 efflux, possibly partly because its apparent effect was strengthened by many environmental factors and ecosystem processes that varied in concert with its variation. However, the consistent underestimation by the predictive models for the peak season corroborates recent findings concerning the importance of seasonal changes in carbon inputs to processes producing CO2 in soil.

  16. Does body size affect a bird's sensitivity to patch size and landscape structure?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Winter, M.; Johnson, D.H.; Shaffer, J.A.

    2006-01-01

    Larger birds are generally more strongly affected by habitat loss and fragmentation than are smaller ones because they require more resources and thus larger habitat patches. Consequently, conservation actions often favor the creation or protection of larger over smaller patches. However, in grassland systems the boundaries between a patch and the surrounding landscape, and thus the perceived size of a patch, can be indistinct. We investigated whether eight grassland bird species with different body sizes perceived variation in patch size and landscape structure in a consistent manner. Data were collected from surveys conducted in 44 patches of northern tallgrass prairie during 1998-2001. The response to patch size was very similar among species regardless of body size (density was little affected by patch size), except in the Greater Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus cupido), which showed a threshold effect and was not found in patches smaller than 140 ha. In landscapes containing 0%-30% woody vegetation, smaller species responded more negatively to increases in the percentage of woody vegetation than larger species, but above an apparent threshold of 30%, larger species were not detected. Further analyses revealed that the observed variation in responses to patch size and landscape structure among species was not solely due to body size per se, but to other differences among species. These results indicate that a stringent application of concepts requiring larger habitat patches for larger species appears to limit the number of grassland habitats that can be protected and may not always be the most effective conservation strategy. ?? The Cooper Ornithological Society 2006.

  17. Managing riverine landscapes as meta-ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tockner, K.

    2014-12-01

    Aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems are tightly linked through energy, material, information, and organism flows. At the landscape scale, these reciprocal flows are controlled by the composition, configuration, boundary conditions and linkage of individual ecosystem types, thereby forming so-called meta-ecosystems. The relative importance of individual ecosystem types depends on the intrinsic properties (so-called "ecosystem traits"), the setting within the landscape, and the characteristics of interfaces that control cross-system fluxes. For example, the juxtaposition of particular ecosystem types (i.e. their composition and configuration) may alter the magnitude of landscape processes as well as the directions of flow among ecosystem types. Therefore, the meta-ecosystem concept provides a framework to quantify ecosystem diversity, a neglected component of biodiversity, and to test its effects on genetic and species diversity as well as the functional performance in coupled ecosystems. Given their topographic position at the lowest point in the landscape, aquatic ecosystems are particularly susceptible to influences exerted by their surrounding terrestrial environment, both the immediately adjacent riparian zones and the entire catchment that they drain. Questions that need to be tackled may include: What are the consequences of exchange pulses between aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems on the functional performance of individual ecosystems? What are the mechanisms and processes underlying structural and functional biodiversity at aquatic-terrestrial interfaces? In this respect, the meta-ecosystem concept might be very helpful in landscape management and in ecosystem design and engineering.

  18. Driving terrestrial ecosystem models from space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Waring, R. H.

    1993-01-01

    Regional air pollution, land-use conversion, and projected climate change all affect ecosystem processes at large scales. Changes in vegetation cover and growth dynamics can impact the functioning of ecosystems, carbon fluxes, and climate. As a result, there is a need to assess and monitor vegetation structure and function comprehensively at regional to global scales. To provide a test of our present understanding of how ecosystems operate at large scales we can compare model predictions of CO2, O2, and methane exchange with the atmosphere against regional measurements of interannual variation in the atmospheric concentration of these gases. Recent advances in remote sensing of the Earth's surface are beginning to provide methods for estimating important ecosystem variables at large scales. Ecologists attempting to generalize across landscapes have made extensive use of models and remote sensing technology. The success of such ventures is dependent on merging insights and expertise from two distinct fields. Ecologists must provide the understanding of how well models emulate important biological variables and their interactions; experts in remote sensing must provide the biophysical interpretation of complex optical reflectance and radar backscatter data.

  19. Trophic cascade alters ecosystem carbon exchange

    PubMed Central

    Strickland, Michael S.; Hawlena, Dror; Reese, Aspen; Bradford, Mark A.; Schmitz, Oswald J.

    2013-01-01

    Trophic cascades—the indirect effects of carnivores on plants mediated by herbivores—are common across ecosystems, but their influence on biogeochemical cycles, particularly the terrestrial carbon cycle, are largely unexplored. Here, using a 13C pulse-chase experiment, we demonstrate how trophic structure influences ecosystem carbon dynamics in a meadow system. By manipulating the presence of herbivores and predators, we show that even without an initial change in total plant or herbivore biomass, the cascading effects of predators in this system begin to affect carbon cycling through enhanced carbon fixation by plants. Prolonged cascading effects on plant biomass lead to slowing of carbon loss via ecosystem respiration and reallocation of carbon among plant aboveground and belowground tissues. Consequently, up to 1.4-fold more carbon is retained in plant biomass when carnivores are present compared with when they are absent, owing primarily to greater carbon storage in grass and belowground plant biomass driven largely by predator nonconsumptive (fear) effects on herbivores. Our data highlight the influence that the mere presence of predators, as opposed to direct consumption of herbivores, can have on carbon uptake, allocation, and retention in terrestrial ecosystems. PMID:23776213

  20. Vertical structure and pH as factors for chitinolytic and pectinolytic microbial community of soils and terrestrial ecosystems of different climatic zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lukacheva, Evgeniya; Natalia, Manucharova

    2016-04-01

    Chitin is a naturally occurring fibre-forming polymer that plays a protective role in many lower animals similar to that of cellulose in plants. Also it's a compound of cell walls of fungi. Chemically it is a long-chain unbranched polysaccharide made of N-acetylglucosamine residues; it is the second most abundant organic compound in nature, after cellulose. Pectin is a structural heteropolysaccharide contained in the primary cell walls of terrestrial plants. Roots of the plants and root crops contain pectin. Chitin and pectin are widely distributed throughout the natural world. Structural and functional features of the complex microbial degradation of biopolymers one of the most important direction in microbial ecology. But there is no a lot of data concerns degradation in vertical structure of terrestrial ecosystems and detailed studies concerning certain abiotic features as pH. Microbial complexes of natural areas were analyzed only as humus horizons (A1) of the soil profile. Only small part of microbial community could be studied with this approach. It is known that ecosystems have their own structure. It is possible to allocate some vertical tiers: phylloplane, litter (soil covering), soil. We investigated chitinolytic and pectinolytic microbial communities dedicated to different layers of the ecosystems. Also it was described depending on pH dominated in certain ecosystem with certain conditions. Quantity of eukaryote and procaryote organisms increased in the test samples with chitin and pectin. Increasing of eukaryote in samples with pectin was more then in samples with chitin. Also should be noted the significant increasing of actinomycet's quantity in the samples with chitin in comparison with samples with pectin. The variety and abundance of bacteria in the litter samples increased an order of magnitude as compared to other probes. Further prokaryote community was investigated by method FISH (fluorescence in situ hybridization). FISH is a cytogenetic

  1. Quantification of Canopy Structure and its Implication on Radiative Transfer, Carbon Dioxide and Energy Flux Densities in a Heterogeneous Oak-Grass Savanna Ecosystem at the Landscape Scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sonnentag, O.; Ryu, Y.; Vargas, R.; Baldocchi, D.

    2008-12-01

    Oak-grass savanna ecosystems are characterized by pronounced heterogeneity in canopy structure at the landscape scale. Due to this heterogeneity the accurate quantification of canopy structure still remains a major challenge. The objectives of this study are to quantify clumping index, leaf area index (LAI) and the leaf inclination angle distribution function (LIADF) to describe the canopy structure of an oak-grass savanna ecosystem in California, USA. This information is critical for utilizing a radiative transfer model to compute CO2 and energy flux densities. We used four established techniques (LAI-2000 Plant Canopy Analyzer, digital hemispherical photography, the Tracing Radiation and Architecture of Canopies (TRAC) instrument, and a robotics railroad radiometer) to measure clumping index and LAI within a 300 x 300 m plot centered at an eddy covariance (EC) tower. Leaf inclination angle distributions were assessed from digital photographs at multiple height intervals through analysis with a public domain image processing software. Preliminary analysis of the data showed that mean values for clumping index and LAI obtained from the various instruments are in good agreement, thus reducing the uncertainty inherent in the measurements. Our leaf angle measurements revealed the canopy to be predominantly erectophile at all height intervals, an ecological consequence of the fact that oak leaves must be erect to reduce thermal load.

  2. Ert Applied to the Characterization of Subsidence in Mexico City: Ancient Structures Affecting Urban Utilities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arango, C.; Chavez, R. E.; Cifuentes-Nava, G.; Hernández-Quintero, E.

    2013-05-01

    The problem of subsidence in Mexico City is basically due to the rapid extraction of groundwater for water supply in addition to the geological conditions. The most typical manifestations of the phenomena are presented as cracks and fractures due to compaction of ancient lake clayish sediments. This phenomenon has caused major affectations to city infrastructure because of the differential subsidence. Fractured buildings, sinkholes, among others manifestations, are potentially sources of collapses, which exposes the population to a serious risk. A small portion of Iztacalco County is being affected by this problem, specifically, in a crossroad formed by two important avenues: La Viga and Plutarco Elias Calles, where the area apparently increases its topographical level. The Electrical Resistivity Tomography technique was selected in order to obtain a resistivity image of the subsoil, which allows identify the main features associated to the terrain uprising. Three (ERT) profiles 200 m, were deployed on the mentioned crossroad in order to characterize the subsurface structures affecting the topographical level of the avenues. A big resistivity anomaly (~ 1000 ohm-m) could be observed towards the central part of the crossroad, coinciding with the major lifting level on surface. This feature appears at 15 m deep in all the profiles and depicts an approximate extension of 100 m in the E-W direction and 60 m in N-S axis. On the other hand, the surrounding material seems to correspond to a higher-saturated environment (lacustrine sediments <10 ohm-m). Shallow anomalies were also detected related to urban artifacts (pipes, sewers, etcetera). The apparently terrain uprising can be associated to a differential subsidence. However, the mentioned avenues were ancient water channels since pre-Hispanic times, where the caudal was enough to allow small steam boating at late nineteenth century. These waterways served as main routes for the exchange of goods during colonial times

  3. Review on environmental alterations propagating from aquatic to terrestrial ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Schulz, Ralf; Bundschuh, Mirco; Gergs, René; Brühl, Carsten A; Diehl, Dörte; Entling, Martin H; Fahse, Lorenz; Frör, Oliver; Jungkunst, Hermann F; Lorke, Andreas; Schäfer, Ralf B; Schaumann, Gabriele E; Schwenk, Klaus

    2015-12-15

    Terrestrial inputs into freshwater ecosystems are a classical field of environmental science. Resource fluxes (subsidy) from aquatic to terrestrial systems have been less studied, although they are of high ecological relevance particularly for the receiving ecosystem. These fluxes may, however, be impacted by anthropogenically driven alterations modifying structure and functioning of aquatic ecosystems. In this context, we reviewed the peer-reviewed literature for studies addressing the subsidy of terrestrial by aquatic ecosystems with special emphasis on the role that anthropogenic alterations play in this water-land coupling. Our analysis revealed a continuously increasing interest in the coupling of aquatic to terrestrial ecosystems between 1990 and 2014 (total: 661 studies), while the research domains focusing on abiotic (502 studies) and biotic (159 studies) processes are strongly separated. Approximately 35% (abiotic) and 25% (biotic) of the studies focused on the propagation of anthropogenic alterations from the aquatic to the terrestrial system. Among these studies, hydromorphological and hydrological alterations were predominantly assessed, whereas water pollution and invasive species were less frequently investigated. Less than 5% of these studies considered indirect effects in the terrestrial system e.g. via food web responses, as a result of anthropogenic alterations in aquatic ecosystems. Nonetheless, these very few publications indicate far-reaching consequences in the receiving terrestrial ecosystem. For example, bottom-up mediated responses via soil quality can cascade over plant communities up to the level of herbivorous arthropods, while top-down mediated responses via predatory spiders can cascade down to herbivorous arthropods and even plants. Overall, the current state of knowledge calls for an integrated assessment on how these interactions within terrestrial ecosystems are affected by propagation of aquatic ecosystem alterations. To fill

  4. An Analysis of the Structural Factors Affecting the Public Participation in Health Promotion

    PubMed Central

    Ghaumi, Raheleh; Aminee, Tayebe; Aminaee, Akram; Dastoury, Mojgan

    2016-01-01

    The present study focuses on analyzing national and international Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) studies published from 2000 to 2012 in order to identify and categorize the possible factors that affect social participation for improving the public health. Clearly, improving the public health necessitates a combination of the participation and responsibility by the social members and the attempts by public health policy-makers and planners. CBPR studies are selected as the corpus since they seek to encourage active and informed participation of the social members in fulfilling the health related goals. The present study is conducted through meta-synthesis within a qualitative framework. The results revealed a set of factors within the structural capacities which were employed by the CBPR researchers for achieving the health promotion goals. The structural capacities employed in the interventions could be considered on the cultural and social grounds. The cultural grounds were divided into scientific and religious attempts. For the scientific attempts, the results highlighted the participation of higher education institutes including universities and research centers as well as educational institutes such as schools and the relevant institutions. And regarding the religious attempts, the results indicated that the cooptation of religious centers played the greatest role in enhancing the public participation. PMID:27045401

  5. The Histamine N-Methyltransferase T105I Polymorphism Affects Active Site Structure and Dynamics†

    PubMed Central

    Rutherford, Karen; Parson, William W.; Daggett, Valerie

    2010-01-01

    Histamine N-methyltransferase (HNMT) is the sole enzyme responsible for inactivating histamine in the mammalian brain. The human HNMT gene contains a common threonine-isoleucine polymorphism at residue 105, distal from the active site. The 105I variant has decreased activity and lower protein levels relative to the 105T protein. Crystal structures of both variants have been solved, but reveal little regarding how the T105I polymorphism affects activity. We performed molecular dynamics simulations of both 105T and 105I at 37°C to explore the structural and dynamic consequences of the polymorphism. The simulations indicate that replacing Thr with the larger Ile residue leads to greater burial of residue 105 and heightened packing interactions between residue105 and residues within helix α3 and strand β3. This altered packing is directly translated to the active site resulting in the reorientation of several co-substrate-binding residues. The simulations also show that the hydrophobic histamine-binding domain in both proteins undergoes a large-scale breathing motion that exposes key catalytic residues and lessens the hydrophobicity of the substrate-binding site. PMID:18154359

  6. Ontogenetic shifts in plant interactions vary with environmental severity and affect population structure.

    PubMed

    le Roux, Peter C; Shaw, Justine D; Chown, Steven L

    2013-10-01

    Environmental conditions and plant size may both alter the outcome of inter-specific plant-plant interactions, with seedlings generally facilitated more strongly than larger individuals in stressful habitats. However, the combined impact of plant size and environmental severity on interactions is poorly understood. Here, we tested explicitly for the first time the hypothesis that ontogenetic shifts in interactions are delayed under increasingly severe conditions by examining the interaction between a grass, Agrostis magellanica, and a cushion plant, Azorella selago, along two severity gradients. The impact of A. selago on A. magellanica abundance, but not reproductive effort, was related to A. magellanica size, with a trend for delayed shifts towards more negative interactions under greater environmental severity. Intermediate-sized individuals were most strongly facilitated, leading to differences in the size-class distribution of A. magellanica on the soil and on A. selago. The A. magellanica size-class distribution was more strongly affected by A. selago than by environmental severity, demonstrating that the plant-plant interaction impacts A. magellanica population structure more strongly than habitat conditions. As ontogenetic shifts in plant-plant interactions cannot be assumed to be constant across severity gradients and may impact species population structure, studies examining the outcome of interactions need to consider the potential for size- or age-related variation in competition and facilitation. PMID:23738758

  7. Ubiquitin Ser65 phosphorylation affects ubiquitin structure, chain assembly and hydrolysis

    PubMed Central

    Wauer, Tobias; Swatek, Kirby N; Wagstaff, Jane L; Gladkova, Christina; Pruneda, Jonathan N; Michel, Martin A; Gersch, Malte; Johnson, Christopher M; Freund, Stefan MV; Komander, David

    2015-01-01

    The protein kinase PINK1 was recently shown to phosphorylate ubiquitin (Ub) on Ser65, and phosphoUb activates the E3 ligase Parkin allosterically. Here, we show that PINK1 can phosphorylate every Ub in Ub chains. Moreover, Ser65 phosphorylation alters Ub structure, generating two conformations in solution. A crystal structure of the major conformation resembles Ub but has altered surface properties. NMR reveals a second phosphoUb conformation in which β5-strand slippage retracts the C-terminal tail by two residues into the Ub core. We further show that phosphoUb has no effect on E1-mediated E2 charging but can affect discharging of E2 enzymes to form polyUb chains. Notably, UBE2R1- (CDC34), UBE2N/UBE2V1- (UBC13/UEV1A), TRAF6- and HOIP-mediated chain assembly is inhibited by phosphoUb. While Lys63-linked poly-phosphoUb is recognized by the TAB2 NZF Ub binding domain (UBD), 10 out of 12 deubiquitinases (DUBs), including USP8, USP15 and USP30, are impaired in hydrolyzing phosphoUb chains. Hence, Ub phosphorylation has repercussions for ubiquitination and deubiquitination cascades beyond Parkin activation and may provide an independent layer of regulation in the Ub system. PMID:25527291

  8. An Analysis of the Structural Factors Affecting the Public Participation in Health Promotion.

    PubMed

    Ghaumi, Raheleh; Aminee, Tayebe; Aminaee, Akram; Dastoury, Mojgan

    2016-01-01

    The present study focuses on analyzing national and international Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) studies published from 2000 to 2010 in order to identify and categorize the possible factors that affect social participation for improving the public health. Clearly, improving the public health necessitates a combination of the participation and responsibility by the social members and the attempts by public health policy-makers and planners. CBPR studies are selected as the corpus since they seek to encourage active and informed participation of the social members in fulfilling the health related goals. The present study is conducted through meta-synthesis within a qualitative framework. The results revealed a set of factors within the structural capacities which were employed by the CBPR researchers for achieving the health promotion goals. The structural capacities employed in the interventions could be considered on the cultural and social grounds. The cultural grounds were divided into scientific and religious attempts. For the scientific attempts, the results highlighted the participation of higher education institutes including universities and research centers as well as educational institutes such as schools and the relevant institutions. And regarding the religious attempts, the results indicated that the cooptation of religious centers played the greatest role in enhancing the public participation. PMID:27045401

  9. Remnant Trees Affect Species Composition but Not Structure of Tropical Second-Growth Forest

    PubMed Central

    Sandor, Manette E.; Chazdon, Robin L.

    2014-01-01

    Remnant trees, spared from cutting when tropical forests are cleared for agriculture or grazing, act as nuclei of forest regeneration following field abandonment. Previous studies on remnant trees were primarily conducted in active pasture or old fields abandoned in the previous 2–3 years, and focused on structure and species richness of regenerating forest, but not species composition. Our study is among the first to investigate the effects of remnant trees on neighborhood forest structure, biodiversity, and species composition 20 years post-abandonment. We compared the woody vegetation around individual remnant trees to nearby plots without remnant trees in the same second-growth forests (“control plots”). Forest structure beneath remnant trees did not differ significantly from control plots. Species richness and species diversity were significantly higher around remnant trees. The species composition around remnant trees differed significantly from control plots and more closely resembled the species composition of nearby old-growth forest. The proportion of old-growth specialists and generalists around remnant trees was significantly greater than in control plots. Although previous studies show that remnant trees may initially accelerate secondary forest growth, we found no evidence that they locally affect stem density, basal area, and seedling density at later stages of regrowth. Remnant trees do, however, have a clear effect on the species diversity, composition, and ecological groups of the surrounding woody vegetation, even after 20 years of forest regeneration. To accelerate the return of diversity and old-growth forest species into regrowing forest on abandoned land, landowners should be encouraged to retain remnant trees in agricultural or pastoral fields. PMID:24454700

  10. 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…

  11. Fishing impact in Mediterranean ecosystems: an EcoTroph modeling approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Halouani, Ghassen; Gascuel, Didier; Hattab, Tarek; Lasram, Frida Ben Rais; Coll, Marta; Tsagarakis, Konstantinos; Piroddi, Chiara; Romdhane, Mohamed Salah; Le Loc'h, François

    2015-10-01

    The EcoTroph modeling approach was applied to five Mediterranean marine ecosystems to characterize their food webs and investigate their responses to several simulated fishing scenarios. First, EcoTroph was used to synthesize the outputs of five pre-existing heterogeneous Ecopath models in a common framework, and thus to compare different ecosystems through their trophic spectra of biomass, catch, and fishing mortalities. This approach contributes to our understanding of ecosystem functioning, from both ecological and fisheries perspectives. Then, we assessed the sensitivity of each ecosystem to fishery, using EcoTroph simulations. For the five ecosystems considered, we simulated the effects of increasing or decreasing fishing mortalities on both the biomass and the catch per trophic class. Our results emphasize that the Mediterranean Sea is strongly affected by the depletion of high trophic level organisms. Results also show that fisheries impacts, at the trophic level scale, differ between ecosystems according to their trophic structure and exploitation patterns. A top-down compensation effect is observed in some simulations where a fishing-induced decrease in the biomass of predators impacts their prey, leading to an increase in the biomass at lower trophic levels. The results of this comparative analysis highlight that ecosystems where top-down controls are observed are less sensitive to variations in fishing mortality in terms of total ecosystem biomass. This suggests that the magnitude of top-down control present in a system can affect its stability.

  12. Linking geology and microbiology: inactive pockmarks affect sediment microbial community structure.

    PubMed

    Haverkamp, Thomas H A; Hammer, Øyvind; Jakobsen, Kjetill S

    2014-01-01

    Pockmarks are geological features that are found on the bottom of lakes and oceans all over the globe. Some are active, seeping oil or methane, while others are inactive. Active pockmarks are well studied since they harbor specialized microbial communities that proliferate on the seeping compounds. Such communities are not found in inactive pockmarks. Interestingly, inactive pockmarks are known to have different macrofaunal communities compared to the surrounding sediments. It is undetermined what the microbial composition of inactive pockmarks is and if it shows a similar pattern as the macrofauna. The Norwegian Oslofjord contains many inactive pockmarks and they are well suited to study the influence of these geological features on the microbial community in the sediment. Here we present a detailed analysis of the microbial communities found in three inactive pockmarks and two control samples at two core depth intervals. The communities were analyzed using high-throughput amplicon sequencing of the 16S rRNA V3 region. Microbial communities of surface pockmark sediments were indistinguishable from communities found in the surrounding seabed. In contrast, pockmark communities at 40 cm sediment depth had a significantly different community structure from normal sediments at the same depth. Statistical analysis of chemical variables indicated significant differences in the concentrations of total carbon and non-particulate organic carbon between 40 cm pockmarks and reference sample sediments. We discuss these results in comparison with the taxonomic classification of the OTUs identified in our samples. Our results indicate that microbial communities at the sediment surface are affected by the water column, while the deeper (40 cm) sediment communities are affected by local conditions within the sediment. PMID:24475066

  13. Steroidal aromatic 'naphthenic acids' in oil sands process-affected water: structural comparisons with environmental estrogens.

    PubMed

    Rowland, Steven J; West, Charles E; Jones, David; Scarlett, Alan G; Frank, Richard A; Hewitt, L Mark

    2011-11-15

    The large volumes, acute toxicity, estrogenicity, and antiandrogenicity of process-affected waters accruing in tailings ponds from the operations of the Alberta oil sands industries pose a significant task for environmental reclamation. Synchronous fluorescence spectra (SFS) suggest that oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) may contain aromatic carboxylic acids, which are among the potentially environmentally important toxicants, but no such acids have yet been identified, limiting interpretations of the results of estrogenicity and other assays. Here we show that multidimensional comprehensive gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GCxGC-MS) of methyl esters of acids in an OSPW sample produces mass spectra consistent with their assignment as C(19) and C(20) C-ring monoaromatic hydroxy steroid acids, D-ring opened hydroxy and nonhydroxy polyhydrophenanthroic acids with one aromatic and two alicyclic rings and A-ring opened steroidal keto acids. High resolution MS data support the assignment of several of the so-called 'O3' species. When fractions of distilled, esterified, OSPW acid-extractable organics were examined, the putative aromatics were mainly present in a high boiling fraction; when examined by argentation thin layer chromatography, some were present in a fraction with a retardation factor between that of the methyl esters of synthetic monoalicyclic and monoaromatic acids. Ultraviolet absorption spectra of these fractions indicated the presence of benzenoid moieties. SFS of model octahydro- and tetrahydrophenanthroic acids produced emissions at the characteristic excitation wavelengths observed in some OSPW extracts, consistent with the postulations from ultraviolet spectroscopy and mass spectrometry data. We suggest the acids originate from extensive biodegradation of C-ring monoaromatic steroid hydrocarbons and offer a means of differentiating residues at different biodegradation stages in tailings ponds. Structural similarities with estrone and

  14. Linking Geology and Microbiology: Inactive Pockmarks Affect Sediment Microbial Community Structure

    PubMed Central

    Haverkamp, Thomas H. A.; Hammer, Øyvind; Jakobsen, Kjetill S.

    2014-01-01

    Pockmarks are geological features that are found on the bottom of lakes and oceans all over the globe. Some are active, seeping oil or methane, while others are inactive. Active pockmarks are well studied since they harbor specialized microbial communities that proliferate on the seeping compounds. Such communities are not found in inactive pockmarks. Interestingly, inactive pockmarks are known to have different macrofaunal communities compared to the surrounding sediments. It is undetermined what the microbial composition of inactive pockmarks is and if it shows a similar pattern as the macrofauna. The Norwegian Oslofjord contains many inactive pockmarks and they are well suited to study the influence of these geological features on the microbial community in the sediment. Here we present a detailed analysis of the microbial communities found in three inactive pockmarks and two control samples at two core depth intervals. The communities were analyzed using high-throughput amplicon sequencing of the 16S rRNA V3 region. Microbial communities of surface pockmark sediments were indistinguishable from communities found in the surrounding seabed. In contrast, pockmark communities at 40 cm sediment depth had a significantly different community structure from normal sediments at the same depth. Statistical analysis of chemical variables indicated significant differences in the concentrations of total carbon and non-particulate organic carbon between 40 cm pockmarks and reference sample sediments. We discuss these results in comparison with the taxonomic classification of the OTUs identified in our samples. Our results indicate that microbial communities at the sediment surface are affected by the water column, while the deeper (40 cm) sediment communities are affected by local conditions within the sediment. PMID:24475066

  15. Impacts of climate change on biodiversity, ecosystems, and ecosystem services: technical input to the 2013 National Climate Assessment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Staudinger, Michelle D.; Grimm, Nancy B.; Staudt, Amanda; Carter, Shawn L.; Stuart, F. Stuart, III; Kareiva, Peter; Ruckelshaus, Mary; Stein, Bruce A.

    2012-01-01

    Ecosystems, and the biodiversity and services they support, are intrinsically dependent on climate. During the twentieth century, climate change has had documented impacts on ecological systems, and impacts are expected to increase as climate change continues and perhaps even accelerates. This technical input to the National Climate Assessment synthesizes our scientific understanding of the way climate change is affecting biodiversity, ecosystems, ecosystem services, and what strategies might be employed to decrease current and future risks. Building on past assessments of how climate change and other stressors are affecting ecosystems in the United States and around the world, we approach the subject from several different perspectives. First, we review the observed and projected impacts on biodiversity, with a focus on genes, species, and assemblages of species. Next, we examine how climate change is affecting ecosystem structural elements—such as biomass, architecture, and heterogeneity—and functions—specifically, as related to the fluxes of energy and matter. People experience climate change impacts on biodiversity and ecosystems as changes in ecosystem services; people depend on ecosystems for resources that are harvested, their role in regulating the movement of materials and disturbances, and their recreational, cultural, and aesthetic value. Thus, we review newly emerging research to determine how human activities and a changing climate are likely to alter the delivery of these ecosystem services. This technical input also examines two cross-cutting topics. First, we recognize that climate change is happening against the backdrop of a wide range of other environmental and anthropogenic stressors, many of which have caused dramatic ecosystem degradation already. This broader range of stressors interacts with climate change, and complicates our abilities to predict and manage the impacts on biodiversity, ecosystems, and the services they support. The

  16. Modeling forest development after fire disturbance: Climate, soil organic layer, and nitrogen jointly affect forest canopy species and long-term ecosystem carbon accumulation in the North American boreal forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trugman, A. T.; Fenton, N.; Bergeron, Y.; Xu, X.; Welp, L.; Medvigy, D.

    2015-12-01

    Soil organic layer dynamics strongly affect boreal forest development after fire. Field studies show that soil organic layer thickness exerts a species-specific control on propagule establishment in the North American boreal forest. On organic soils thicker than a few centimeters, all propagules are less able to recruit, but broadleaf trees recruit less effectively than needleleaf trees. In turn, forest growth controls organic layer accumulation through modulating litter input and litter quality. These dynamics have not been fully incorporated into models, but may be essential for accurate projections of ecosystem carbon storage. Here, we develop a data-constrained model for understanding boreal forest development after fire. We update the ED2 model to include new aspen and black spruce species-types, species-specific propagule survivorship dependent on soil organic layer depth, species-specific litter decay rates, dynamically accumulating moss and soil organic layers, and nitrogen fixation by cyanobacteria associated with moss. The model is validated against diverse observations ranging from monthly to centennial timescales and spanning a climate gradient in Alaska, central Canada, and Quebec. We then quantify differences in forest development that result from changes in organic layer accumulation, temperature, and nitrogen. We find that (1) the model accurately reproduces a range of observations throughout the North American boreal forest; (2) the presence of a thick organic layer results in decreased decomposition and decreased aboveground productivity, effects that can increase or decrease ecosystem carbon uptake depending on location-specific attributes; (3) with a mean warming of 4°C, some forests switch from undergoing succession to needleleaf forests to recruiting multiple cohorts of broadleaf trees, decreasing ecosystem accumulation by ~30% after 300 years; (4) the availability of nitrogen regulates successional dynamics such than broadleaf species are

  17. Integrating affective and cognitive correlates of heart rate variability: A structural equation modeling approach.

    PubMed

    Mann, Sarah L; Selby, Edward A; Bates, Marsha E; Contrada, Richard J

    2015-10-01

    High frequency heart rate variability (HRV) is a measure of neurocardiac communication thought to reflect predominantly parasympathetic cardiac regulation. Low HRV has been associated empirically with clinical and subclinical levels of anxiety and depression and, more recently, high levels of HRV have been associated with better performance on some measures of executive functioning (EF). These findings have offered support for theories proposing HRV as an index measure of a broad, self-regulatory capacity underlying aspects of emotion regulation and executive control. This study sought to test that proposition by using a structural equation modeling approach to examine the relationships of HRV to negative affect (NA) and EF in a large sample of U.S. adults ages 30s-80s. HRV was modeled as a predictor of an NA factor (self-reported trait anxiety and depression symptoms) and an EF factor (performance on three neuropsychological tests tapping facets of executive abilities). Alternative models also were tested to determine the utility of HRV for predicting NA and EF, with and without statistical control of demographic and health-related covariates. In the initial structural model, HRV showed a significant positive relationship to EF and a nonsignificant relationship to NA. In a covariate-adjusted model, HRV's associations with both constructs were nonsignificant. Age emerged as the only significant predictor of NA and EF in the final model, showing inverse relationships to both. Findings may reflect population and methodological differences from prior research; they also suggest refinements to the interpretations of earlier findings and theoretical claims regarding HRV. PMID:26168884

  18. Drama and the Representation of Affect--Structures of Feeling and Signs of Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Franks, Anton

    2014-01-01

    The way in which school students represent affective aspects of human relationships in drama and what this reveals about learning in drama is the focus of this paper. Such an enquiry traverses the borders between affect, intellect, and physicality. Affect and its representation in drama have been themes in the history of drama and theatre and is a…

  19. A Structure for the Affective Domain in Relation to Science Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Klopfer, Leopold E.

    A classification scheme for the affective domain in relation to science education is presented in this article to clarify student's affective behaviors and their representative phenomena. Discussion is made in connection with the content-objectives grid in the cognitive domain. An analogous grid for the affective domain is delineated by a…

  20. Structure and Validity of Affect Knowledge Test (AKT) in a Sample of Italian Preschoolers.

    PubMed

    Sette, Stefania; Bassett, Hideko H; Baumgartner, Emma; Denham, Susanne A

    2015-01-01

    The authors' main goals were to examine whether the Affect Knowledge Test's (AKT) factor structure would be represented by a two-factor model (i.e., emotion recognition and situation knowledge) or by a one-factor model in Italian preschoolers (N = 164; M = 4.24 years, SD = 1.09 years). The concurrent validity of the AKT was further examined using measures of social competence. The findings replicated a model of emotion knowledge, with emotion recognition and situation knowledge as distinct but interrelated factors. Gender and age differences showed that older children and girls displayed higher scores in situation knowledge than younger children and boys. Additionally, our validity model of the AKT demonstrated that emotion recognition preceded situation knowledge, which in turn was positively related to children's sensitive or cooperative behaviors and negatively associated with anxious or withdrawn behaviors. Our results suggest that the use of the AKT may help the teachers to evaluate children's level on emotional knowledge that in turn might impact on children's positive social relationships within classroom in Italy. PMID:26287657

  1. Correlation between structural diversity and catabolic versatility of metal-affected bacteria in soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wenderoth, D. F.; Reber, H. H.; Timmis, K. N.

    2003-04-01

    Application of sewage sludge to an agricultural field resulted in contamination of metal. Metal affects on the the structural diversity and the catabolic versatility of bacteria capable of growing in the absence of growing factors were studied six years after sludge application. The number of strain clusters as estimated by amplified ribosomal restriction analysis (ADRDA) was reduced by 39% when comparing isolates from the control and the most contaminated soil. Concomittantly, the average number of aromatic acids utilized per isolate from among 21 substrates tested decreased from 12.28 to 5.23. This loss in catabolic versatility was greater in Gram-negative (68%) than in Gram-positive bacteria (49%). Due to bioenergetic reasons discussed, it is supposed that the catabolic versatility between Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria and the greater loss of this property in the former may explain why, in metal contaminated soils, Grtam-negatives are selected at the expense of Gram-positive bacteria.

  2. Population structure of Columbia spotted frogs (Rana luteiventris) is strongly affected by the landscape

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Funk, W.C.; Blouin, M.S.; Corn, P.S.; Maxell, B.A.; Pilliod, D.S.; Amish, S.; Allendorf, F.W.

    2005-01-01

    Landscape features such as mountains, rivers, and ecological gradients may strongly affect patterns of dispersal and gene flow among populations and thereby shape population dynamics and evolutionary trajectories. The landscape may have a particularly strong effect on patterns of dispersal and gene flow in amphibians because amphibians are thought to have poor dispersal abilities. We examined genetic variation at six microsatellite loci in Columbia spotted frogs (Rana luteiventris) from 28 breeding ponds in western Montana and Idaho, USA, in order to investigate the effects of landscape structure on patterns of gene flow. We were particularly interested in addressing three questions: (i) do ridges act as barriers to gene flow? (ii) is gene flow restricted between low and high elevation ponds? (iii) does a pond equal a 'randomly mating population' (a deme)? We found that mountain ridges and elevational differences were associated with increased genetic differentiation among sites, suggesting that gene flow is restricted by ridges and elevation in this species. We also found that populations of Columbia spotted frogs generally include more than a single pond except for very isolated ponds. There was also evidence for surprisingly high levels of gene flow among low elevation sites separated by large distances. Moreover, genetic variation within populations was strongly negatively correlated with elevation, suggesting effective population sizes are much smaller at high elevation than at low elevation. Our results show that landscape features have a profound effect on patterns of genetic variation in Columbia spotted frogs.

  3. Does the tail wag the dog? How the structure of a glycosylphosphatidylinositol anchor affects prion formation.

    PubMed

    Bate, Clive; Nolan, William; Williams, Alun

    2016-03-01

    There is increasing interest in the role of the glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor attached to the cellular prion protein (PrP(C)). Since GPI anchors can alter protein targeting, trafficking and cell signaling, our recent study examined how the structure of the GPI anchor affected prion formation. PrP(C) containing a GPI anchor from which the sialic acid had been removed (desialylated PrP(C)) was not converted to PrP(Sc) in prion-infected neuronal cell lines and in scrapie-infected primary cortical neurons. In uninfected neurons desialylated PrP(C) was associated with greater concentrations of gangliosides and cholesterol than PrP(C). In addition, the targeting of desialylated PrP(C) to lipid rafts showed greater resistance to cholesterol depletion than PrP(C). The presence of desialylated PrP(C) caused the dissociation of cytoplasmic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2) from PrP-containing lipid rafts, reduced the activation of cPLA2 and inhibited PrP(Sc) production. We conclude that the sialic acid moiety of the GPI attached to PrP(C) modifies local membrane microenvironments that are important in PrP-mediated cell signaling and PrP(Sc) formation. PMID:26901126

  4. Water molecules inside protein structure affect binding of monosaccharides with HIV-1 antibody 2G12.

    PubMed

    Ueno-Noto, Kaori; Takano, Keiko

    2016-10-01

    Water molecules inside biomolecules constitute integral parts of their structure and participate in the functions of the proteins. Some of the X-ray crystallographic data are insufficient for analyzing a series of ligand-protein complexes in the same condition. We theoretically investigated antibody binding abilities of saccharide ligands and the effects of the inner water molecules of ligand-antibody complexes. Classical molecular dynamics and quantum chemical simulations using a model with possible water molecules inside the protein were performed with saccharide ligands and Human Immunodeficiency Virus 1 neutralizing antibody 2G12 complexes to estimate how inner water molecules of the protein affect the dynamics of the complexes as well as the ligand-antibody interaction. Our results indicate the fact that d-fructose's strong affinity to the antibody was partly due to the good retentiveness of solvent water molecules of the ligand and its stability of the ligand's conformation and relative position in the active site. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27388036

  5. Vertical Chlorophyll Canopy Structure Affects the Remote Sensing Based Predictability of LAI, Chlorophyll and Leaf Nitrogen in Agricultural Fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boegh, E.; Houborg, R.; Bienkowski, J.; Braban, C. F.; Dalgaard, T.; van Dijk, N.; Dragosits, U.; Holmes, E.; Magliulo, V.; Schelde, K.; Di Tommasi, P.; Vitale, L.; Theobald, M.; Cellier, P.; Sutton, M.

    2012-12-01

    Leaf nitrogen and leaf surface area influence the exchange of gases between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere, and they play a significant role in the global cycles of carbon, nitrogen and water. Remote sensing can be used to estimate leaf area index (LAI), chlorophyll content (CHL) and leaf nitrogen (N), but methods are often developed using plot-scale data and not verified over extended regions characterized by variations in environmental boundary conditions (soil, atmosphere) and canopy structures. Estimation of N can be indirect due to its association with CHL, however N is also included in pigments such as carotenoids and anthocyanin which have different spectral signatures than CHL. Photosynthesis optimization theory suggests that plants will distribute their N resources in proportion to the light gradient within the canopy. Such vertical variation in CHL and N complicates the evaluation of remote sensing-based methods. Typically remote sensing studies measure CHL of the upper leaf, which is then multiplied by the green LAI to represent canopy chlorophyll content, or random sampling is used. In this study, field measurements and high spatial resolution (10-20 m) remote sensing images acquired from the HRG and HRVIR sensors aboard the SPOT satellites were used to assess the predictability of LAI, CHL and N in five European agricultural landscapes located in Denmark, Scotland (United Kingdom), Poland, The Netherlands and Italy . All satellite images were atmospherically using the 6SV1 model with atmospheric inputs estimated by MODIS and AIRS data. Five spectral vegetation indices (SVIs) were calculated (the Normalized Difference Vegetation index, the Simple Ratio, the Enhanced Vegetation Index-2, the Green Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, and the green Chlorophyll Index), and an image-based inverse canopy radiative transfer modelling system, REGFLEC (REGularized canopy reFLECtance) was applied to each of the five European landscapes. While the

  6. Impact of Non-Native Birds on Native Ecosystems: A Global Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Martin-Albarracin, Valeria L.; Amico, Guillermo C.; Simberloff, Daniel; Nuñez, Martin A.

    2015-01-01

    Introduction and naturalization of non-native species is one of the most important threats to global biodiversity. Birds have been widely introduced worldwide, but their impacts on populations, communities, and ecosystems have not received as much attention as those of other groups. This work is a global synthesis of the impact of nonnative birds on native ecosystems to determine (1) what groups, impacts, and locations have been best studied; (2) which taxonomic groups and which impacts have greatest effects on ecosystems, (3) how important are bird impacts at the community and ecosystem levels, and (4) what are the known benefits of nonnative birds to natural ecosystems. We conducted an extensive literature search that yielded 148 articles covering 39 species belonging to 18 families -18% of all known naturalized species. Studies were classified according to where they were conducted: Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, North America, South America, Islands of the Indian, of the Pacific, and of the Atlantic Ocean. Seven types of impact on native ecosystems were evaluated: competition, disease transmission, chemical, physical, or structural impact on ecosystem, grazing/ herbivory/ browsing, hybridization, predation, and interaction with other non-native species. Hybridization and disease transmission were the most important impacts, affecting the population and community levels. Ecosystem-level impacts, such as structural and chemical impacts were detected. Seven species were found to have positive impacts aside from negative ones. We provide suggestions for future studies focused on mechanisms of impact, regions, and understudied taxonomic groups. PMID:26576053

  7. Topographic changes detection through Structure-from-Motion in agricultural lands affected by erosion processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prosdocimi, Massimo; Pradetto Sordo, Nicoletta; Burguet, Maria; Di Prima, Simone; Terol Esparza, Enric; Tarolli, Paolo; Cerdà, Artemi

    2016-04-01

    Throughout the world, soil erosion by water is a serious problem, especially in semi-arid and semi-humid areas (Cerdà et al., 2009; Cerdan et al., 2010; García-Ruiz, 2010). Although soil erosion by water consists of physical processes that vary significantly in severity and frequency according to when and where they occur, they are also strongly influenced by anthropic factors such as land-use changes on large scales and unsustainable farming practices (Boardman et al., 1990; Cerdà 1994; Montgomery, 2007). Tillage operations, combined with weather conditions, are recognized to primarily influence soil erosion rates. If, on one hand, tillage operations cause uniform changes based on the tool used, on the other, weather conditions, such as rainfalls, produce more random changes, less easily traceable (Snapir et al., 2014). Within this context, remote-sensing technologies can facilitate the detection and quantification of these topographic changes. In particular, a real opportunity and challenge is offered by the low-cost and flexible photogrammetric technique, called 'Structure-from-Motion' (SfM), combined with the use of smartphones (Micheletti et al., 2014; Prosdocimi et al., 2015). This represents a significant advance compared with more expensive technologies and applications (e.g. Terrestrial Laser Scanner - TLS) (Tarolli, 2014). This work wants to test the Structure from Motion to obtain high-resolution topography for the detection of topographic changes in agricultural lands affected by erosion processes. Two case studies were selected: i) a tilled plot characterized by bare soil and affected by rill erosion located in the hilly countryside of Marche region (central Italy), and ii) a Mediterranean vineyard located within the province of Valencia (south eastern Spain) where rainfall simulation experiments were carried out. Extensive photosets were obtained by using one standalone reflex digital camera and one smartphone built-in digital camera. Digital

  8. Proving the ecosystem value through hydrological modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dorner, W.; Spachinger, K.; Porter, M.; Metzka, R.

    2008-11-01

    Ecosystems provide valuable functions. Also natural floodplains and river structures offer different types of ecosystem functions such as habitat function, recreational area and natural detention. From an economic stand point the loss (or rehabilitation) of these natural systems and their provided natural services can be valued as a damage (or benefit). Consequently these natural goods and services must be economically valued in project assessments e.g. cost-benefit-analysis or cost comparison. Especially in smaller catchments and river systems exists significant evidence that natural flood detention reduces flood risk and contributes to flood protection. Several research projects evaluated the mitigating effect of land use, river training and the loss of natural flood plains on development, peak and volume of floods. The presented project analysis the hypothesis that ignoring natural detention and hydrological ecosystem services could result in economically inefficient solutions for flood protection and mitigation. In test areas, subcatchments of the Danube in Germany, a combination of hydrological and hydrodynamic models with economic evaluation techniques was applied. Different forms of land use, river structure and flood protection measures were assed and compared from a hydrological and economic point of view. A hydrodynamic model was used to simulate flows to assess the extent of flood affected areas and damages to buildings and infrastructure as well as to investigate the impacts of levees and river structure on a local scale. These model results provided the basis for an economic assessment. Different economic valuation techniques, such as flood damage functions, cost comparison method and substation-approach were used to compare the outcomes of different hydrological scenarios from an economic point of view and value the ecosystem service. The results give significant evidence that natural detention must be evaluated as part of flood mitigation projects

  9. [Vaginal ecosystem].

    PubMed

    Kovachev, S

    2011-01-01

    Vaginal flora plays an important role in preventing genital and urinary tract infections in women. In fact every little movement of obligate and/or facultative vaginal micro flora over the normal limits for this ecosystem causes vaginal disbacteriosis. Vaginal disbacteriosis is a risk condition which can cause infection. Thus an accurate understanding of the composition and ecology of the ecosystem is important to understanding the etiology of urogenital diseases. The aim of this review is to update knowledge about vaginal micro biota, the Lactobacillus species that dominate normal vaginal flora and the way they suppressed infectivity and/or proliferation of pathogenic bacteria. A Medline (Pub med) and medical literature search from 1990-2010 for relevant articles was performed and the most informative articles were selected. Lactic acid bacteria determinate the most of defense mechanisms of women vagina by concurrent adhesion, producing lactic acid, antimicrobial products, hydrogen peroxide and by local interactions with the innate and cell-mediated immune systems and plasminogen-plasmin system. All this mechanisms promotes the stability of the normal vaginal micro flora. Every Lactobacillus species play a different role in host--defense vaginal system. The presence of different Lactobacillus species with the normal vaginal micro flora is a major determinant to the stability of this micro flora and for urogenital health. PMID:21916315

  10. Biocomplexity in mangrove ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Feller, I C; Lovelock, C E; Berger, U; McKee, K L; Joye, S B; Ball, M C

    2010-01-01

    Mangroves are an ecological assemblage of trees and shrubs adapted to grow in intertidal environments along tropical coasts. Despite repeated demonstration of their economic and societal value, more than 50% of the world's mangroves have been destroyed, 35% in the past two decades to aquaculture and coastal development, altered hydrology, sea-level rise, and nutrient overenrichment. Variations in the structure and function of mangrove ecosystems have generally been described solely on the basis of a hierarchical classification of the physical characteristics of the intertidal environment, including climate, geomorphology, topography, and hydrology. Here, we use the concept of emergent properties at multiple levels within a hierarchical framework to review how the interplay between specialized adaptations and extreme trait plasticity that characterizes mangroves and intertidal environments gives rise to the biocomplexity that distinguishes mangrove ecosystems. The traits that allow mangroves to tolerate variable salinity, flooding, and nutrient availability influence ecosystem processes and ultimately the services they provide. We conclude that an integrated research strategy using emergent properties in empirical and theoretical studies provides a holistic approach for understanding and managing mangrove ecosystems. PMID:21141670

  11. Biocomplexity in Mangrove Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feller, I. C.; Lovelock, C. E.; Berger, U.; McKee, K. L.; Joye, S. B.; Ball, M. C.

    2010-01-01

    Mangroves are an ecological assemblage of trees and shrubs adapted to grow in intertidal environments along tropical coasts. Despite repeated demonstration of their economic and societal value, more than 50% of the world's mangroves have been destroyed, 35% in the past two decades to aquaculture and coastal development, altered hydrology, sea-level rise, and nutrient overenrichment. Variations in the structure and function of mangrove ecosystems have generally been described solely on the basis of a hierarchical classification of the physical characteristics of the intertidal environment, including climate, geomorphology, topography, and hydrology. Here, we use the concept of emergent properties at multiple levels within a hierarchical framework to review how the interplay between specialized adaptations and extreme trait plasticity that characterizes mangroves and intertidal environments gives rise to the biocomplexity that distinguishes mangrove ecosystems. The traits that allow mangroves to tolerate variable salinity, flooding, and nutrient availability influence ecosystem processes and ultimately the services they provide. We conclude that an integrated research strategy using emergent properties in empirical and theoretical studies provides a holistic approach for understanding and managing mangrove ecosystems.

  12. An assessment of the trophic structure of the Bay of Biscay continental shelf food web: Comparing estimates derived from an ecosystem model and isotopic data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lassalle, G.; Chouvelon, T.; Bustamante, P.; Niquil, N.

    2014-01-01

    Comparing outputs of ecosystem models with estimates derived from experimental and observational approaches is important in creating valuable feedback for model construction, analyses and validation. Stable isotopes and mass-balanced trophic models are well-known and widely used as approximations to describe the structure of food webs, but their consistency has not been properly established as attempts to compare these methods remain scarce. Model construction is a data-consuming step, meaning independent sets for validation are rare. Trophic linkages in the French continental shelf of the Bay of Biscay food webs were recently investigated using both methodologies. Trophic levels for mono-specific compartments representing small pelagic fish and marine mammals and multi-species functional groups corresponding to demersal fish and cephalopods, derived from modelling, were compared with trophic levels calculated from independent carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios. Estimates of the trophic niche width of those species, or groups of species, were compared between these two approaches as well. A significant and close-to-one positive (rSpearman2 = 0.72 , n = 16, p < 0.0001) correlation was found between trophic levels estimated by Ecopath modelling and those derived from isotopic signatures. Differences between estimates were particularly low for mono-specific compartments. No clear relationship existed between indices of trophic niche width derived from both methods. Given the wide recognition of trophic levels as a useful concept in ecosystem-based fisheries management, propositions were made to further combine these two approaches.

  13. Megafauna and ecosystem function from the Pleistocene to the Anthropocene

    PubMed Central

    Malhi, Yadvinder; Doughty, Christopher E.; Galetti, Mauro; Smith, Felisa A.; Svenning, Jens-Christian; Terborgh, John W.

    2016-01-01

    Large herbivores and carnivores (the megafauna) have been in a state of decline and extinction since the Late Pleistocene, both on land and more recently in the oceans. Much has been written on the timing and causes of these declines, but only recently has scientific attention focused on the consequences of these declines for ecosystem function. Here, we review progress in our understanding of how megafauna affect ecosystem physical and trophic structure, species composition, biogeochemistry, and climate, drawing on special features of PNAS and Ecography that have been published as a result of an international workshop on this topic held in Oxford in 2014. Insights emerging from this work have consequences for our understanding of changes in biosphere function since the Late Pleistocene and of the functioning of contemporary ecosystems, as well as offering a rationale and framework for scientifically informed restoration of megafaunal function where possible and appropriate. PMID:26811442

  14. Megafauna and ecosystem function from the Pleistocene to the Anthropocene.

    PubMed

    Malhi, Yadvinder; Doughty, Christopher E; Galetti, Mauro; Smith, Felisa A; Svenning, Jens-Christian; Terborgh, John W

    2016-01-26

    Large herbivores and carnivores (the megafauna) have been in a state of decline and extinction since the Late Pleistocene, both on land and more recently in the oceans. Much has been written on the timing and causes of these declines, but only recently has scientific attention focused on the consequences of these declines for ecosystem function. Here, we review progress in our understanding of how megafauna affect ecosystem physical and trophic structure, species composition, biogeochemistry, and climate, drawing on special features of PNAS and Ecography that have been published as a result of an international workshop on this topic held in Oxford in 2014. Insights emerging from this work have consequences for our understanding of changes in biosphere function since the Late Pleistocene and of the functioning of contemporary ecosystems, as well as offering a rationale and framework for scientifically informed restoration of megafaunal function where possible and appropriate. PMID:26811442

  15. Flow structures in submarine channels affected by Coriolis forces: Experimental observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cossu, R.; Wells, M. G.

    2011-12-01

    In this talk we will show how Coriolis forces can control the flow dynamics of turbidity currents flowing in sinuous channels at high latitudes. We describe how the internal velocity structure changes with latitude, based on observations from rotating laboratory experiments. When these results are combined with existing conceptual facies and depositional models we can now describe the changes in sedimentation patterns that are observed at different latitudes. The experiments were conducted in a sinuous channel model placed in a tank that was rotated at various rates (reflected by the Coriolis parameters f) ranging from f = 0 (at the equator) to ± 0.5 rad s-1 (at higher latitudes). The dependence of the density interface of gravity currents on rotation is shown in Figure 1a. At the equator the interface slopes up to the outer bend due to the centrifugal forces. In the Northern Hemisphere (NH) the tilt of the interface increases as now the Coriolis forces reinforce the centrifugal acceleration. In contrast, in the Southern Hemisphere (SH) the current ramps up to the inner bend and Coriolis forces dominate over centrifugal forces. Figure 1b shows the corresponding position of the downstream velocity core in the bend apex. At the equator the core is predominantly close to the centerline, whilst in the NH the core is deflected to the inner bend and in the SH the velocity core is shifted to the outer bank. Based upon our experimental results, we hypothesize that Coriolis forces can affect the velocity structure and sedimentation regime. Lateral accretion packages (LAPs) are built only on one side in the channel and finer sediments will be deposited mainly on the levee bank to which the high velocity core is deflected. The Rossby number RoW = U/fW (where U is the mean downstream velocity and W the channel width) can be used to determine the influence of Coriolis forces. In channel systems at high-latitudes (with RoW << 1) we predict that channels exhibit a low sinuosity

  16. Can intra-aggregate pore structures affect the aggregate's effectiveness in protecting carbon?

    SciTech Connect

    Ananyeva, K; Wang, W; Smucker, A J.M.; Rivers, M L; Kravchenko, A N

    2012-11-15

    Aggregates are known to provide physical protection to soil organic matter shielding it from rapid decomposition. Spatial arrangement and size distribution of intra-aggregate pores play an important role in this process. Thi