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Sample records for affect plant species

  1. Host plant species affects virulence in monarch butterfly parasites.

    PubMed

    de Roode, Jacobus C; Pedersen, Amy B; Hunter, Mark D; Altizer, Sonia

    2008-01-01

    1. Studies have considered how intrinsic host and parasite properties determine parasite virulence, but have largely ignored the role of extrinsic ecological factors in its expression. 2. We studied how parasite genotype and host plant species interact to determine virulence of the protozoan parasite Ophryocystis elektroscirrha (McLaughlin & Myers 1970) in the monarch butterfly Danaus plexippus L. We infected monarch larvae with one of four parasite genotypes and reared them on two milkweed species that differed in their levels of cardenolides: toxic chemicals involved in predator defence. 3. Parasite infection, replication and virulence were affected strongly by host plant species. While uninfected monarchs lived equally long on both plant species, infected monarchs suffered a greater reduction in their life spans (55% vs. 30%) on the low-cardenolide vs. the high-cardenolide host plant. These life span differences resulted from different levels of parasite replication in monarchs reared on the two plant species. 4. The virulence rank order of parasite genotypes was unaffected by host plant species, suggesting that host plant species affected parasite genotypes similarly, rather than through complex plant species-parasite genotype interactions. 5. Our results demonstrate that host ecology importantly affects parasite virulence, with implications for host-parasite dynamics in natural populations.

  2. Plants are less negatively affected by flooding when growing in species-rich plant communities.

    PubMed

    Wright, Alexandra J; de Kroon, Hans; Visser, Eric J W; Buchmann, Tina; Ebeling, Anne; Eisenhauer, Nico; Fischer, Christine; Hildebrandt, Anke; Ravenek, Janneke; Roscher, Christiane; Weigelt, Alexandra; Weisser, Wolfgang; Voesenek, Laurentius A C J; Mommer, Liesje

    2017-01-01

    Flooding is expected to increase in frequency and severity in the future. The ecological consequences of flooding are the combined result of species-specific plant traits and ecological context. However, the majority of past flooding research has focused on individual model species under highly controlled conditions. An early summer flooding event in a grassland biodiversity experiment in Jena, Germany, provided the opportunity to assess flooding responses of 60 grassland species in monocultures and 16-species mixtures. We examined plant biomass, species-specific traits (plant height, specific leaf area (SLA), root aerenchyma, starch content) and soil porosity. We found that, on average, plant species were less negatively affected by the flood when grown in higher-diversity plots in July 2013. By September 2013, grasses were unaffected by the flood regardless of plant diversity, and legumes were severely negatively affected regardless of plant diversity. Plants with greater SLA and more root aerenchyma performed better in September. Soil porosity was higher in higher-diversity plots and had a positive effect on plant performance. As floods become more frequent and severe in the future, growing flood-sensitive plants in higher-diversity communities and in soil with greater soil aeration may attenuate the most negative effects of flooding.

  3. Fuel breaks affect nonnative species abundance in Californian plant communities

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Merriam, K.E.; Keeley, J.E.; Beyers, J.L.

    2006-01-01

    We evaluated the abundance of nonnative plants on fuel breaks and in adjacent untreated areas to determine if fuel treatments promote the invasion of nonnative plant species. Understanding the relationship between fuel treatments and nonnative plants is becoming increasingly important as federal and state agencies are currently implementing large fuel treatment programs throughout the United States to reduce the threat of wildland fire. Our study included 24 fuel breaks located across the State of California. We found that nonnative plant abundance was over 200% higher on fuel breaks than in adjacent wildland areas. Relative nonnative cover was greater on fuel breaks constructed by bulldozers (28%) than on fuel breaks constructed by other methods (7%). Canopy cover, litter cover, and duff depth also were significantly lower on fuel breaks constructed by bulldozers, and these fuel breaks had significantly more exposed bare ground than other types of fuel breaks. There was a significant decline in relative nonnative cover with increasing distance from the fuel break, particularly in areas that had experienced more numerous fires during the past 50 years, and in areas that had been grazed. These data suggest that fuel breaks could provide establishment sites for nonnative plants, and that nonnatives may invade surrounding areas, especially after disturbances such as fire or grazing. Fuel break construction and maintenance methods that leave some overstory canopy and minimize exposure of bare ground may be less likely to promote nonnative plants. ?? 2006 by the Ecological Society of America.

  4. Plant community and target species affect responses to restoration strategies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Increases in Kentucky bluegrass and smooth brome on northern Great Plains rangelands have the potential to negatively impact ecosystem function, lower plant diversity and alter seasonal forage distribution, but control strategies are lacking in the region. A project was initiated on a heavily invad...

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Population variation affects interactions between two California salt marsh plant species more than precipitation.

    PubMed

    Noto, Akana E; Shurin, Jonathan B

    2016-02-01

    Species that occur along broad environmental gradients often vary in phenotypic traits that make them better adapted to local conditions. Variation in species interactions across gradients could therefore be due to either phenotypic differences among populations or environmental conditions that shift the balance between competition and facilitation. To understand how the environment (precipitation) and variation among populations affect species interactions, we conducted a common garden experiment using two common salt marsh plant species, Salicornia pacifica and Jaumea carnosa, from six salt marshes along the California coast encompassing a large precipitation gradient. Plants were grown alone or with an individual of the opposite species from the same site and exposed to one of three precipitation regimes. J. carnosa was negatively affected in the presence of S. pacifica, while S. pacifica was facilitated by J. carnosa. The strength of these interactions varied by site of origin but not by precipitation treatment. These results suggest that phenotypic variation among populations can affect interaction strength more than environment, despite a threefold difference in precipitation. Geographic intraspecific variation may therefore play an important role in determining the strength of interactions in communities.

  7. Multifunctionality is affected by interactions between green roof plant species, substrate depth, and substrate type.

    PubMed

    Dusza, Yann; Barot, Sébastien; Kraepiel, Yvan; Lata, Jean-Christophe; Abbadie, Luc; Raynaud, Xavier

    2017-04-01

    Green roofs provide ecosystem services through evapotranspiration and nutrient cycling that depend, among others, on plant species, substrate type, and substrate depth. However, no study has assessed thoroughly how interactions between these factors alter ecosystem functions and multifunctionality of green roofs. We simulated some green roof conditions in a pot experiment. We planted 20 plant species from 10 genera and five families (Asteraceae, Caryophyllaceae, Crassulaceae, Fabaceae, and Poaceae) on two substrate types (natural vs. artificial) and two substrate depths (10 cm vs. 30 cm). As indicators of major ecosystem functions, we measured aboveground and belowground biomasses, foliar nitrogen and carbon content, foliar transpiration, substrate water retention, and dissolved organic carbon and nitrates in leachates. Interactions between substrate type and depth strongly affected ecosystem functions. Biomass production was increased in the artificial substrate and deeper substrates, as was water retention in most cases. In contrast, dissolved organic carbon leaching was higher in the artificial substrates. Except for the Fabaceae species, nitrate leaching was reduced in deep, natural soils. The highest transpiration rates were associated with natural soils. All functions were modulated by plant families or species. Plant effects differed according to the observed function and the type and depth of the substrate. Fabaceae species grown on natural soils had the most noticeable patterns, allowing high biomass production and high water retention but also high nitrate leaching from deep pots. No single combination of factors enhanced simultaneously all studied ecosystem functions, highlighting that soil-plant interactions induce trade-offs between ecosystem functions. Substrate type and depth interactions are major drivers for green roof multifunctionality.

  8. Plant water use affects competition for nitrogen: why drought favors invasive species in California.

    PubMed

    Everard, Katherine; Seabloom, Eric W; Harpole, W Stanley; de Mazancourt, Claire

    2010-01-01

    Abstract: Classic resource competition theory typically treats resource supply rates as independent; however, nutrient supplies can be affected by plants indirectly, with important consequences for model predictions. We demonstrate this general phenomenon by using a model in which competition for nitrogen is mediated by soil moisture, with competitive outcomes including coexistence and multiple stable states as well as competitive exclusion. In the model, soil moisture regulates nitrogen availability through soil moisture dependence of microbial processes, leaching, and plant uptake. By affecting water availability, plants also indirectly affect nitrogen availability and may therefore alter the competitive outcome. Exotic annual species from the Mediterranean have displaced much of the native perennial grasses in California. Nitrogen and water have been shown to be potentially limiting in this system. We parameterize the model for a Californian grassland and show that soil moisture-mediated competition for nitrogen can explain the annual species' dominance in drier areas, with coexistence expected in wetter regions. These results are concordant with larger biogeographic patterns of grassland invasion in the Pacific states of the United States, in which annual grasses have invaded most of the hot, dry grasslands in California but perennial grasses dominate the moister prairies of northern California, Oregon, and Washington.

  9. Spatial gradient in nitrogen deposition affects plant species frequency in acidic grasslands.

    PubMed

    Pannek, A; Duprè, C; Gowing, D J G; Stevens, C J; Diekmann, M

    2015-01-01

    Anthropogenic eutrophication impacts ecosystems worldwide. Here, we use a vegetation dataset from semi-natural grasslands on acidic soils sampled along a gradient in north-western Europe to examine the response of species frequency to nitrogen (N) deposition, controlling for the effects of other environmental variables. A second dataset of acidic grasslands from Germany and the Netherlands containing plots from different time periods was analysed to examine whether the results of the spatial gradient approach coincided with temporal changes in the abundance of species. Out of 44 studied species, 16 were affected by N deposition, 12 of them negatively. Soil pH and phosphorus (P) influenced 24 and 14 species, respectively, predominantly positively. Fewer species were related to the soil contents of NO3(-) or NH4(+), with no significant differences between the number of positive and negative effects. Whereas the temporal change of species was unrelated to their responses to pH, species responding negatively to N deposition, soil P and NO3(-) showed a significant decline over time in both countries. Species that were negatively affected by high N deposition and/or high soil P also showed a negative temporal trend and could be characterised by short stature and slow growth. The results confirm the negative role of N deposition for many plant species in semi-natural acidic grasslands. The negative temporal trends of species sensitive to high N deposition and soil P values clearly show a need for maintaining low soil nutrient status and for restoring the formerly infertile conditions in nutrient-enriched grasslands.

  10. Species-abundance--seed-size patterns within a plant community affected by grazing disturbance.

    PubMed

    Wu, Gao-lin; Shang, Zhan-huan; Zhu, Yuan-jun; Ding, Lu-ming; Wang, Dong

    2015-04-01

    Seed size has been advanced as a key factor that influences the dynamics of plant communities, but there are few empirical or theoretical predictions of how community dynamics progress based on seed size patterns. Information on the abundance of adults, seedlings, soil seed banks, seed rains, and the seed mass of 96 species was collected in alpine meadows of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (China), which had different levels of grazing disturbance. The relationships between seed-mass-abundance patterns for adults, seedlings, the soil seed bank, and seed rain in the plant community were evaluated using regression models. Results showed that grazing levels affected the relationship between seed size and abundance properties of adult species, seedlings, and the soil seed bank, suggesting that there is a shift in seed-size--species-abundance relationships as a response to the grazing gradient. Grazing had no effect on the pattern of seed-size-seed-rain-abundance at four grazing levels. Grazing also had little effect on the pattern of seed-size--species-abundance and pattern of seed-size--soil-seed-bank-abundance in meadows with no grazing, light grazing, and moderate grazing), but there was a significant negative effect in meadows with heavy grazing. Grazing had little effect on the pattern of seed-size--seedling-abundance with no grazing, but had significant negative effects with light, moderate, and heavy grazing, and the |r| values increased with grazing levels. This indicated that increasing grazing pressure enhanced the advantage of smaller-seeded species in terms of the abundances of adult species, seedlings, and soil seed banks, whereas only the light grazing level promoted the seed rain abundance of larger-seeded species in the plant communities. This study suggests that grazing disturbances are favorable for increasing the species abundance for smaller-seeded species but not for the larger-seeded species in an alpine meadow community. Hence, there is a clear

  11. Big plants — Do they affect neighbourhood species richness and composition in herbaceous vegetation?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aarssen, Lonnie W.; Schamp, Brandon S.; Wight, Stephanie

    2014-02-01

    According to traditional theory, success in competition between plant species generally involves a 'size-advantage'. We predicted therefore that plants with larger body size should impose greater limits on the number of species — especially relatively small ones — that can reside within their immediate neighbourhoods. Species composition was compared within local neighbourhoods surrounding target plants of different sizes belonging to one of the largest herbaceous species found within old-field vegetation in eastern Ontario Canada — Centaurea jacea. Resident species density was generally greater within immediate 'inner' target neighbourhoods than within adjacent circular 'outer' neighbourhoods, and mean body size of resident neighbour species was unrelated to increases in target plant size. As target plant size increased, the proportion of resident neighbour species that were reproductive increased. Relatively big plants of C. jacea do not limit the number or the proportion of reproductive species that can coexist within their immediate neighbourhoods, nor do they cause local exclusion of relatively small species from these neighbourhoods. These results fail to support the 'size-advantage' hypothesis and are more consistent with the 'reproductive economy advantage' hypothesis: success under intense competition is promoted by capacity to recruit offspring that — despite severe suppression — are able to reach their minimum body size needed for reproduction, and hence produce grand-offspring for the next generation. The latter is facilitated by a relatively small minimum reproductive threshold size, which is generally negatively correlated with a relatively large maximum potential body size.

  12. Habitat Heterogeneity Affects Plant and Arthropod Species Diversity and Turnover in Traditional Cornfields.

    PubMed

    Martínez, Eliana; Rös, Matthias; Bonilla, María Argenis; Dirzo, Rodolfo

    2015-01-01

    The expansion of the agricultural frontier by the clearing of remnant forests has led to human-dominated landscape mosaics. Previous studies have evaluated the effect of these landscape mosaics on arthropod diversity at local spatial scales in temperate and tropical regions, but little is known about fragmentation effects in crop systems, such as the complex tropical traditional crop systems that maintain a high diversity of weeds and arthropods in low-Andean regions. To understand the factors that influence patterns of diversity in human-dominated landscapes, we investigate the effect of land use types on plant and arthropod diversity in traditionally managed cornfields, via surveys of plants and arthropods in twelve traditional cornfields in the Colombian Andes. We estimated alpha and beta diversity to analyze changes in diversity related to land uses within a radius of 100 m to 1 km around each cornfield. We observed that forests influenced alpha diversity of plants, but not of arthropods. Agricultural lands had a positive relationship with plants and herbivores, but a negative relationship with predators. Pastures positively influenced the diversity of plants and arthropods. In addition, forest cover seemed to influence changes in plant species composition and species turnover of herbivore communities among cornfields. The dominant plant species varied among fields, resulting in high differentiation of plant communities. Predator communities also exhibited high turnover among cornfields, but differences in composition arose mainly among rare species. The crop system evaluated in this study represents a widespread situation in the tropics, therefore, our results can be of broad significance. Our findings suggest that traditional agriculture may not homogenize biological communities, but instead could maintain the regional pool of species through high beta diversity.

  13. Habitat Heterogeneity Affects Plant and Arthropod Species Diversity and Turnover in Traditional Cornfields

    PubMed Central

    Martínez, Eliana; Rös, Matthias; Bonilla, María Argenis; Dirzo, Rodolfo

    2015-01-01

    The expansion of the agricultural frontier by the clearing of remnant forests has led to human-dominated landscape mosaics. Previous studies have evaluated the effect of these landscape mosaics on arthropod diversity at local spatial scales in temperate and tropical regions, but little is known about fragmentation effects in crop systems, such as the complex tropical traditional crop systems that maintain a high diversity of weeds and arthropods in low-Andean regions. To understand the factors that influence patterns of diversity in human-dominated landscapes, we investigate the effect of land use types on plant and arthropod diversity in traditionally managed cornfields, via surveys of plants and arthropods in twelve traditional cornfields in the Colombian Andes. We estimated alpha and beta diversity to analyze changes in diversity related to land uses within a radius of 100 m to 1 km around each cornfield. We observed that forests influenced alpha diversity of plants, but not of arthropods. Agricultural lands had a positive relationship with plants and herbivores, but a negative relationship with predators. Pastures positively influenced the diversity of plants and arthropods. In addition, forest cover seemed to influence changes in plant species composition and species turnover of herbivore communities among cornfields. The dominant plant species varied among fields, resulting in high differentiation of plant communities. Predator communities also exhibited high turnover among cornfields, but differences in composition arose mainly among rare species. The crop system evaluated in this study represents a widespread situation in the tropics, therefore, our results can be of broad significance. Our findings suggest that traditional agriculture may not homogenize biological communities, but instead could maintain the regional pool of species through high beta diversity. PMID:26197473

  14. Plant Trait Assembly Affects Superiority of Grazer's Foraging Strategies in Species-Rich Grasslands

    PubMed Central

    Mládek, Jan; Mládková, Pavla; Hejcmanová, Pavla; Dvorský, Miroslav; Pavlu, Vilém; De Bello, Francesco; Duchoslav, Martin; Hejcman, Michal; Pakeman, Robin J.

    2013-01-01

    Background Current plant – herbivore interaction models and experiments with mammalian herbivores grazing plant monocultures show the superiority of a maximizing forage quality strategy (MFQ) over a maximizing intake strategy (MI). However, there is a lack of evidence whether grazers comply with the model predictions under field conditions. Methodology/Findings We assessed diet selection of sheep (Ovis aries) using plant functional traits in productive mesic vs. low-productivity dry species-rich grasslands dominated by resource-exploitative vs. resource-conservative species respectively. Each grassland type was studied in two replicates for two years. We investigated the first grazing cycle in a set of 288 plots with a diameter of 30 cm, i.e. the size of sheep feeding station. In mesic grasslands, high plot defoliation was associated with community weighted means of leaf traits referring to high forage quality, i.e. low leaf dry matter content (LDMC) and high specific leaf area (SLA), with a high proportion of legumes and the most with high community weighted mean of forage indicator value. In contrast in dry grasslands, high community weighted mean of canopy height, an estimate of forage quantity, was the best predictor of plot defoliation. Similar differences in selection on forage quality vs. quantity were detected within plots. Sheep selected plants with higher forage indicator values than the plot specific community weighted mean of forage indicator value in mesic grasslands whereas taller plants were selected in dry grasslands. However, at this scale sheep avoided legumes and plants with higher SLA, preferred plants with higher LDMC while grazing plants with higher forage indicator values in mesic grasslands. Conclusions Our findings indicate that MFQ appears superior over MI only in habitats with a predominance of resource-exploitative species. Furthermore, plant functional traits (LDMC, SLA, nitrogen fixer) seem to be helpful correlates of forage quality

  15. Do varying aquatic plant species affect phytoplankton and crustacean responses to a nitrogen-permethrin mixture?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Hydraulically connected wetland microcosms vegetated with either Typha latifolia or Myriophyllum aquaticum were amended with an NH4NO3 and permethrin mixture to assess the effectiveness of both plant species in mitigating ecological effects of the pollutant mixture on phytoplankton (as chlorophyll a...

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  17. Do non-native plant species affect the shape of productivity-diversity relationships?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Drake, J.M.; Cleland, E.E.; Horner-Devine, M. C.; Fleishman, E.; Bowles, C.; Smith, M.D.; Carney, K.; Emery, S.; Gramling, J.; Vandermast, D.B.; Grace, J.B.

    2008-01-01

    The relationship between ecosystem processes and species richness is an active area of research and speculation. Both theoretical and experimental studies have been conducted in numerous ecosystems. One finding of these studies is that the shape of the relationship between productivity and species richness varies considerably among ecosystems and at different spatial scales, though little is known about the relative importance of physical and biological mechanisms causing this variation. Moreover, despite widespread concern about changes in species' global distributions, it remains unclear if and how such large-scale changes may affect this relationship. We present a new conceptual model of how invasive species might modulate relationships between primary production and species richness. We tested this model using long-term data on relationships between aboveground net primary production and species richness in six North American terrestrial ecosystems. We show that primary production and abundance of non-native species are both significant predictors of species richness, though we fail to detect effects of invasion extent on the shapes of the relationship between species richness and primary production.

  18. Plant species affect colonization patterns and metabolic activity of associated endophytes during phytoremediation of crude oil-contaminated soil.

    PubMed

    Fatima, K; Imran, A; Amin, I; Khan, Q M; Afzal, M

    2016-04-01

    Plants coupled with endophytic bacteria hold great potential for the remediation of polluted environment. The colonization patterns and activity of inoculated endophytes in rhizosphere and endosphere of host plant are among the primary factors that may influence the phytoremediation process. However, these colonization patterns and metabolic activity of the inoculated endophytes are in turn controlled by none other than the host plant itself. The present study aims to determine such an interaction specifically for plant-endophyte systems remediating crude oil-contaminated soil. A consortium (AP) of two oil-degrading endophytic bacteria (Acinetobacter sp. strain BRSI56 and Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain BRRI54) was inoculated to two grasses, Brachiaria mutica and Leptochloa fusca, vegetated in crude oil-contaminated soil. Colonization patterns and metabolic activity of the endophytes were monitored in the rhizosphere and endosphere of the plants. Bacterial augmentation enhanced plant growth and crude oil degradation. Maximum crude oil degradation (78%) was achieved with B. mutica plants inoculated with AP consortium. This degradation was significantly higher than those treatments, where plants and bacteria were used individually or L. fusca and endophytes were used in combination. Moreover, colonization and metabolic activity of the endophytes were higher in the rhizosphere and endosphere of B. mutica than L. fusca. The plant species affected not only colonization pattern and biofilm formation of the inoculated bacteria in the rhizosphere and endosphere of the host plant but also affected the expression of alkane hydroxylase gene, alkB. Hence, the investigation revealed that plant species can affect colonization patterns and metabolic activity of inoculated endophytic bacteria and ultimately the phytoremediation process.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Oribatida (Acari) in grassy arable fallows are more affected by soil properties than habitat age and plant species.

    PubMed

    Wissuwa, Janet; Salamon, Jörg-Alfred; Frank, Thomas

    2013-11-01

    Oribatid mites are one of the numerically dominant arthropod groups in soils. They play an important role in soil food webs via regulating the decomposition of organic matter and propagating microorganisms within the soil. To our knowledge, the influence of different plant functional groups on oribatid mites has not been studied in abandoned farmland with undisturbed succession before. The density and assemblage structure of oribatid mites in nine grassy arable fallows relative to three habitat age classes (2-3, 6-8, 12-15 years) and three selected plant species (legume: Medicago sativa, forb: Taraxacum officinale, grass: Bromus sterilis) were investigated in soil associated with single plants. Mite density declined marginally not significant with habitat age because of high abundances of the ubiquitous species Tectocepheus velatus sarekensis and Punctoribates punctum in young and mid-aged fallows and their subsequent decline in old fallows. Oribatid mite density and species assemblage were not affected by plant species. Only P. punctum had significantly higher densities in B. sterilis samples than in T. officinale samples due to a higher amount of fine roots. Distance-based linear models revealed that 65% of the variation in mite assemblage was explained by soil properties, soil type, exposition and geographic position, while habitat age was of minor importance. Canonical correspondence analysis revealed that the mite assemblage was best explained by soil organic and microbial carbon, water content and pH.

  1. Elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration affects interactions between Spodoptera exigua (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) larvae and two host plant species outdoors

    SciTech Connect

    Caulfield, F.; Bunce, J.A. )

    1994-08-01

    Beet armyworm, Spodoptera exigua (Huebner), larvae were placed on sugarbeet (Beta vulgaris L.) and pigweed (Amaranthus hybridus L.) plants in outdoor chambers in which the plants were growing at either the ambient ([approximately] 350 [mu]l liter[sup [minus]1]) or ambient plus 350 [mu]l liter[sup [minus]1] ([approximately] 700 [mu]l liter[sup [minus]1]) carbon dioxide concentration. A series of experiments was performed to determine if larvae reduced plant growth differently at the two carbon dioxide concentrations in either species and if the insect growth or survival differed with carbon dioxide concentration. Leaf nitrogen, water, starch, and soluble carbohydrate contents were measured to assess carbon dioxide concentration effects on leaf quality. Insect feeding significantly reduced plant growth in sugarbeet plants at 350 [mu]l liter[sup [minus]1] but not at 700 [mu]l liter[sup [minus]1] nor in pigweed at either carbon dioxide concentration. Larval survival was greater on sugarbeet plants at the elevated carbon dioxide concentration. Increased survival occurred only if the insects were at the elevated carbon dioxide concentration and consumed leaf material grown at the elevated concentration. Leaf quality was only marginally affected by growth at elevated carbon dioxide concentration in these experiments. The results indicate that in designing experiments to predict effects of elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations on plant-insect interactions, both plants and insects should be exposed to the experimental carbon dioxide concentrations, as well as to as realistic environmental conditions as possible.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  3. Determining the factors affecting the distribution of Muscari latifolium, an endemic plant of Turkey, and a mapping species distribution model.

    PubMed

    Yilmaz, Hatice; Yilmaz, Osman Yalçın; Akyüz, Yaşar Feyza

    2017-02-01

    Species distribution modeling was used to determine factors among the large predictor candidate data set that affect the distribution of Muscari latifolium, an endemic bulbous plant species of Turkey, to quantify the relative importance of each factor and make a potential spatial distribution map of M. latifolium. Models were built using the Boosted Regression Trees method based on 35 presence and 70 absence records obtained through field sampling in the Gönen Dam watershed area of the Kazdağı Mountains in West Anatolia. Large candidate variables of monthly and seasonal climate, fine-scale land surface, and geologic and biotic variables were simplified using a BRT simplifying procedure. Analyses performed on these resources, direct and indirect variables showed that there were 14 main factors that influence the species' distribution. Five of the 14 most important variables influencing the distribution of the species are bedrock type, Quercus cerris density, precipitation during the wettest month, Pinus nigra density, and northness. These variables account for approximately 60% of the relative importance for determining the distribution of the species. Prediction performance was assessed by 10 random subsample data sets and gave a maximum the area under a receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) value of 0.93 and an average AUC value of 0.8. This study provides a significant contribution to the knowledge of the habitat requirements and ecological characteristics of this species. The distribution of this species is explained by a combination of biotic and abiotic factors. Hence, using biotic interaction and fine-scale land surface variables in species distribution models improved the accuracy and precision of the model. The knowledge of the relationships between distribution patterns and environmental factors and biotic interaction of M. latifolium can help develop a management and conservation strategy for this species.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The primary goal of this research was to investigate the prokaryotic and fungal communities associated with the bulk soil, the rhizosphere, the phyllosphere, and the root and leaf endospheres, for three Agave species: the cultivated Agave tequilana and the native species, A. salmiana and A. deserti ...

  5. Genetically Altered Plant Species

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    Researchers in Robert Ferl's lab at the University of Florida in Gainesville, genetically altered this Arabdopsis Thaliana (a brassica species) plant to learn how extreme environments, such as the low atmospheric pressure on Mars, affect plant genes. They inserted green fluorescent protein (GFP) near the on/off switches for anoxia and drought genes. When those genes were turned on after exposure to reduced atmospheric pressure, GFP was turned on as well, causing cells expressing those genes to glow green under a blue light. The natural fluorescence of chlorophyll accounts for the red glow.

  6. Individual species affect plant traits structure in their surroundings: evidence of functional mechanisms of assembly.

    PubMed

    Chacón-Labella, Julia; de la Cruz, Marcelino; Pescador, David S; Escudero, Adrián

    2016-04-01

    Evaluating community assembly through the use of functional traits is a promising tool for testing predictions arising from Niche and Coexistence theories. Although interactions among neighboring species and their inter-specific differences are known drivers of coexistence with a strong spatial signal, assessing the role of individual species on the functional structure of the community at different spatial scales remains a challenge. Here, we ask whether individual species exert a measurable effect on the spatial organization of different functional traits in local assemblages. We first propose and compute two functions that describe different aspects of functional trait organization around individual species at multiple scales: individual weighted mean area relationship and individual functional diversity area relationship. Secondly, we develop a conceptual model on the relationship and simultaneous variation of these two metrics, providing five alternative scenarios in response to the ability of some target species to modify its neighbor environment and the possible assembly mechanisms involved. Our results show that some species influence the spatial structure of specific functional traits, but their effects were always restricted to the finest spatial scales. In the basis of our conceptual model, the observed patterns point to two main mechanisms driving the functional structure of the community at the fine scale, "biotic" filtering meditated by individual species and resource partitioning driven by indirect facilitation rather than by competitive mechanisms.

  7. Allelochemical Control of Non-Indigenous Invasive Plant Species Affecting Military Testing and Training Activities

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-10-01

    seedheads). However, attack rates by the weevil Larinus minutus were actually higher on sprayed plants (infesting 88% of insecticide and 72% of...at Fort McCoy, WI over time to the main treatment effects of seed mix, activated carbon (AC), and insecticide (p-values in bold are significant at α...WI over time to the main effects of seed mix treatment, activated carbon (AC) treatment, and insecticide treatment. Those p-values in bold are

  8. Duration of plant damage by host larvae affects attraction of two parasitoid species (Microplitis croceipes and Cotesia marginiventris) to cotton: implications for interspecific competition.

    PubMed

    Morawo, Tolulope; Fadamiro, Henry

    2014-12-01

    Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released by herbivore-damaged plants can guide parasitoids to their hosts. The quantity and quality of VOC blends emitted by plants may be affected by the duration of plant damage by herbivores, which could have potential ramifications on the recruitment of competing parasitoids. We used two parasitoid species, Microplitis croceipes and Cotesia marginiventris (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), to address the question of whether duration of plant damage affects parasitoid use of plant VOCs for host location. Both wasp species are larval endoparasitoids of Heliothis virescens (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), an important pest of cotton. Attraction of the two parasitoid species to odors emitted by undamaged (UD), fresh (6 h infestation) damage (FD), and old (24 h infestation) damage (OD) cotton plants infested by H. virescens larvae was investigated using a headspace volatile collection system coupled with four-choice olfactometer bioassay. Both sexes of M. croceipes showed a preference for FD- and OD-plant odors over UD-plants. On the other hand, more C. marginiventris females were attracted to UD- and FD-plants than to OD-plants. GC/MS analyses showed qualitative and quantitative differences in the VOC profiles of UD, FD, and OD-plants, which may explain the observed preferences of the parasitoids. These results suggest a temporal partitioning in the recruitment of M. croceipes and C. marginiventris to H. virescens-damaged cotton, and may have potential implications for interspecific competition between the two parasitoid species.

  9. 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.

  10. Plant genetic identity of foundation tree species and their hybrids affects a litter-dwelling generalist predator.

    PubMed

    Wojtowicz, Todd; Compson, Zacchaeus G; Lamit, Louis J; Whitham, Thomas G; Gehring, Catherine A

    2014-11-01

    The effects of plant genetics on predators, especially those not living on the plant itself, are rarely studied and poorly understood. Therefore, we investigated the effect of plant hybridization and genotype on litter-dwelling spiders. Using an 18-year-old cottonwood common garden, we recorded agelenid sheet-web density associated with the litter layers of replicated genotypes of three tree cross types: Populus fremontii, Populus angustifolia, and their F1 hybrids. We surveyed 118 trees for agelenid litter webs at two distances from the trees (0-100 and 100-200 cm from trunk) and measured litter depth as a potential mechanism of web density patterns. Five major results emerged: web density within a 1-m radius of P. angustifolia was approximately three times higher than within a 1-m radius of P. fremontii, with F1 hybrids having intermediate densities; web density responded to P. angustifolia and F1 hybrid genotypes as indicated by a significant genotype × distance interaction, with some genotypes exhibiting a strong decline in web density with distance, while others did not; P. angustifolia litter layers were deeper than those of P. fremontii at both distance classes, and litter depth among P. angustifolia genotypes differed up to 300%; cross type and genotype influenced web density via their effects on litter depth, and these effects were influenced by distance; web density was more sensitive to the effects of tree cross type than genotype. By influencing generalist predators, plant hybridization and genotype may indirectly impact trophic interactions such as intraguild predation, possibly affecting trophic cascades and ecosystem processes.

  11. WHEAT LEAF RUST SEVERITY AS AFFECTED BY PLANT DENSITY AND SPECIES PROPORTION IN SIMPLE COMMUNITIES OF WHEAT AND WILD OATS

    EPA Science Inventory

    While it is generally accepted that dense stands of plants exacerbate epidemics caused by foliar pathogens, there is little experimental evidence to support this view. We grew model plant communities consisting of wheat and wild oats at different densities and proportions and exp...

  12. WHEAT LEAF RUST SEVERITY AS AFFECTED BY PLANT DENSITY AND SPECIES PROPORTION IN SIMPLE COMMUNITIES OF WHEAT AND WILD OATS

    EPA Science Inventory

    While it is generally accepted that dense stands of plants exacerbate epidermics caused by foliar pathogens, there is little experimental evidence to support this view. We grew model plant communities consisting of wheat and wild oats at different densities and proportions and ex...

  13. The nature of plant species

    PubMed Central

    Rieseberg, Loren H.; Wood, Troy E.; Baack, Eric J.

    2008-01-01

    Many botanists doubt the existence of plant species1–5, viewing them as arbitrary constructs of the human mind, as opposed to discrete, objective entities that represent reproductively independent lineages or ‘units of evolution’. However, the discreteness of plant species and their correspondence with reproductive communities have not been tested quantitatively, allowing zoologists to argue that botanists have been overly influenced by a few ‘botanical horror stories’, such as dandelions, blackberries and oaks6,7. Here we analyse phenetic and/or crossing relationships in over 400 genera of plants and animals. We show that although discrete phenotypic clusters exist in most genera (>80%), the correspondence of taxonomic species to these clusters is poor (<60%) and no different between plants and animals. Lack of congruence is caused by polyploidy, asexual reproduction and over-differentiation by taxonomists, but not by contemporary hybridization. Nonetheless, crossability data indicate that 70% of taxonomic species and 75% of phenotypic clusters in plants correspond to reproductively independent lineages (as measured by postmating isolation), and thus represent biologically real entities. Contrary to conventional wisdom8, plant species are more likely than animal species to represent reproductively independent lineages. PMID:16554818

  14. Extinction risks of Amazonian plant species.

    PubMed

    Feeley, Kenneth J; Silman, Miles R

    2009-07-28

    Estimates of the number, and preferably the identity, of species that will be threatened by land-use change and habitat loss are an invaluable tool for setting conservation priorities. Here, we use collections data and ecoregion maps to generate spatially explicit distributions for more than 40,000 vascular plant species from the Amazon basin (representing more than 80% of the estimated Amazonian plant diversity). Using the distribution maps, we then estimate the rates of habitat loss and associated extinction probabilities due to land-use changes as modeled under 2 disturbance scenarios. We predict that by 2050, human land-use practices will have reduced the habitat available to Amazonian plant species by approximately 12-24%, resulting in 5-9% of species becoming "committed to extinction," significantly fewer than other recent estimates. Contrary to previous studies, we find that the primary determinant of habitat loss and extinction risk is not the size of a species' range, but rather its location. The resulting extinction risk estimates are a valuable conservation tool because they indicate not only the total percentage of Amazonian plant species threatened with extinction but also the degree to which individual species and habitats will be affected by current and future land-use changes.

  15. Soil organisms shape the competition between grassland plant species.

    PubMed

    Sabais, Alexander C W; Eisenhauer, Nico; König, Stephan; Renker, Carsten; Buscot, François; Scheu, Stefan

    2012-12-01

    Decomposers and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) both determine plant nutrition; however, little is known about their interactive effects on plant communities. We set up a greenhouse experiment to study effects of plant competition (one- and two-species treatments), Collembola (Heteromurus nitidus and Protaphorura armata), and AMF (Glomus intraradices) on the performance (above- and belowground productivity and nutrient uptake) of three grassland plant species (Lolium perenne, Trifolium pratense, and Plantago lanceolata) belonging to three dominant plant functional groups (grasses, legumes, and herbs). Generally, L. perenne benefited from being released from intraspecific competition in the presence of T. pratense and P. lanceolata. However, the presence of AMF increased the competitive strength of P. lanceolata and T. pratense against L. perenne and also modified the effects of Collembola on plant productivity. The colonization of roots by AMF was reduced in treatments with two plant species suggesting that plant infection by AMF was modified by interspecific plant interactions. Collembola did not affect total colonization of roots by AMF, but increased the number of mycorrhizal vesicles in P. lanceolata. AMF and Collembola both enhanced the amount of N and P in plant shoot tissue, but impacts of Collembola were less pronounced in the presence of AMF. Overall, the results suggest that, by differentially affecting the nutrient acquisition and performance of plant species, AMF and Collembola interactively modify plant competition and shape the composition of grassland plant communities. The results suggest that mechanisms shaping plant community composition can only be understood when complex belowground interactions are considered.

  16. Clonal growth and plant species abundance

    PubMed Central

    Herben, Tomáš; Nováková, Zuzana; Klimešová, Jitka

    2014-01-01

    Background and Aims Both regional and local plant abundances are driven by species' dispersal capacities and their abilities to exploit new habitats and persist there. These processes are affected by clonal growth, which is difficult to evaluate and compare across large numbers of species. This study assessed the influence of clonal reproduction on local and regional abundances of a large set of species and compared the predictive power of morphologically defined traits of clonal growth with data on actual clonal growth from a botanical garden. The role of clonal growth was compared with the effects of seed reproduction, habitat requirements and growth, proxied both by LHS (leaf–height–seed) traits and by actual performance in the botanical garden. Methods Morphological parameters of clonal growth, actual clonal reproduction in the garden and LHS traits (leaf-specific area – height – seed mass) were used as predictors of species abundance, both regional (number of species records in the Czech Republic) and local (mean species cover in vegetation records) for 836 perennial herbaceous species. Species differences in habitat requirements were accounted for by classifying the dataset by habitat type and also by using Ellenberg indicator values as covariates. Key Results After habitat differences were accounted for, clonal growth parameters explained an important part of variation in species abundance, both at regional and at local levels. At both levels, both greater vegetative growth in cultivation and greater lateral expansion trait values were correlated with higher abundance. Seed reproduction had weaker effects, being positive at the regional level and negative at the local level. Conclusions Morphologically defined traits are predictive of species abundance, and it is concluded that simultaneous investigation of several such traits can help develop hypotheses on specific processes (e.g. avoidance of self-competition, support of offspring) potentially

  17. 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

    After the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP) accident, information about stand-level spatial patterns of radiocesium initially deposited in the surrounding forests was essential for predicting the future dynamics of radiocesium and suggesting a management plan for contaminated forests. In the first summer (approximately 6 months after the accident), we separately estimated the amounts of radiocesium ((134)Cs and (137)Cs; Bq m(-2)) in the major components (trees, organic layers, and soils) in forests of three sites with different contamination levels. For a Japanese cedar (Cryptomeria japonica) forest studied at each of the three sites, the radiocesium concentration greatly differed among the components, with the needle and organic layer having the highest concentrations. For these cedar forests, the proportion of the (137)Cs stock in the aboveground tree biomass varied from 22% to 44% of the total (137)Cs stock; it was 44% in highly contaminated sites (7.0 × 10(5) Bq m(-2)) but reduced to 22% in less contaminated sites (1.1 × 10(4) Bq m(-2)). In the intermediate contaminated site (5.0-5.8 × 10(4) Bq m(-2)), 34% of radiocesium was observed in the aboveground tree biomass of the Japanese cedar stand. However, this proportion was considerably smaller (18-19%) in the nearby mixed forests of the Japanese red pine (Pinus densiflora) and deciduous broad-leaved trees. Non-negligible amounts of (134)Cs and (137)Cs were detected in both the sapwood and heartwood of all the studied tree species. This finding suggested that the uptake or translocation of radiocesium had already started within 6 months after the accident. The belowground compartments were mostly present in the organic layer and the uppermost (0-5 cm deep) mineral soil layer at all the study sites. We discussed the initial transfer process of radiocesium deposited in the forest and inferred that the type of initial deposition (i.e., dry versus wet radiocesium deposition), the amount of

  18. SELECTING PLANT SPECIES FOR PESTICIDE REGISTRATION TESTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Current test protocols used by the US EPA for the registration of pesticides examines plant responses of 10 crop species but may not examine regionally important native plants or crops. In order to test the efficiency of current test protocols we selected six native plant species...

  19. Phytophthora Species, New Threats to the Plant Health in Korea

    PubMed Central

    Hyun, Ik-Hwa; Choi, Woobong

    2014-01-01

    Given the lack of a resistant genetic pool in host plants, the introduction of exotic invasive pathogens can result in epidemics that affect a specific ecosystem and economy. Plant quarantine, which is designed to protect endemic plant resources, is a highly invaluable safeguard that should keep biosecurity with increasing international trade and global transportation. A total of 34 species of plant pathogens including Phytophthora infestans were documented as introduced from other countries into Korea from 1900 to 2010. The genus Phytophthora, classified in oomycetes, includes more than 120 species that are mostly recognized worldwide as highly invasive plant pathogens. After 2000, over 50 new species of Phytophthora were identified internationally as plant pathogens occurring in crops and forest trees. In Korea, Phytophthora is also one of the most serious plant pathogens. To date, 22 species (about one-fifth of known species) of the genus have been identified and reported as plant pathogens in the country. The likelihood of new exotic Phytophthora species being introduced into Korea continues to increase, thus necessitating intensive plant quarantine inspections. As new potential threats to plant health in Korea, six Phytophthora species, namely, P. alni, P. inundata, P. kernoviae, P. pinifolia, P. quercina, and P. ramorum, are discussed in this review with focus on history, disease, biology, management, and plant quarantine issues. PMID:25506298

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

    PubMed Central

    Graffis, Andrea M.; Kneitel, Jamie M.

    2015-01-01

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

  1. How variation between individuals affects species coexistence.

    PubMed

    Hart, Simon P; Schreiber, Sebastian J; Levine, Jonathan M

    2016-08-01

    Although the effects of variation between individuals within species are traditionally ignored in studies of species coexistence, the magnitude of intraspecific variation in nature is forcing ecologists to reconsider. Compelling intuitive arguments suggest that individual variation may provide a previously unrecognised route to diversity maintenance by blurring species-level competitive differences or substituting for species-level niche differences. These arguments, which are motivating a large body of empirical work, have rarely been evaluated with quantitative theory. Here we incorporate intraspecific variation into a common model of competition and identify three pathways by which this variation affects coexistence: (1) changes in competitive dynamics because of nonlinear averaging, (2) changes in species' mean interaction strengths because of variation in underlying traits (also via nonlinear averaging) and (3) effects on stochastic demography. As a consequence of the first two mechanisms, we find that intraspecific variation in competitive ability increases the dominance of superior competitors, and intraspecific niche variation reduces species-level niche differentiation, both of which make coexistence more difficult. In addition, individual variation can exacerbate the effects of demographic stochasticity, and this further destabilises coexistence. Our work provides a theoretical foundation for emerging empirical interests in the effects of intraspecific variation on species diversity.

  2. Functional identity versus species richness: herbivory resistance in plant communities

    PubMed Central

    Heimann, Juliane; Köhler, Günter; Mitschunas, Nadine; Weisser, Wolfgang W.

    2010-01-01

    The resistance of a plant community against herbivore attack may depend on plant species richness, with monocultures often much more severely affected than mixtures of plant species. Here, we used a plant–herbivore system to study the effects of selective herbivory on consumption resistance and recovery after herbivory in 81 experimental grassland plots. Communities were established from seed in 2002 and contained 1, 2, 4, 8, 16 or 60 plant species of 1, 2, 3 or 4 functional groups. In 2004, pairs of enclosure cages (1 m tall, 0.5 m diameter) were set up on all 81 plots. One randomly selected cage of each pair was stocked with 10 male and 10 female nymphs of the meadow grasshopper, Chorthippus parallelus. The grasshoppers fed for 2 months, and the vegetation was monitored over 1 year. Consumption resistance and recovery of vegetation were calculated as proportional changes in vegetation biomass. Overall, grasshopper herbivory averaged 6.8%. Herbivory resistance and recovery were influenced by plant functional group identity, but independent of plant species richness and number of functional groups. However, herbivory induced shifts in vegetation composition that depended on plant species richness. Grasshopper herbivory led to increases in herb cover at the expense of grasses. Herb cover increased more strongly in species-rich mixtures. We conclude that selective herbivory changes the functional composition of plant communities and that compositional changes due to selective herbivory depend on plant species richness. PMID:20429014

  3. The Invasive Plant Species Education Guide

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mason, Kevin; James, Krista; Carlson, Kitrina; D'Angelo, Jean

    2010-01-01

    To help high school students gain a solid understanding of invasive plant species, university faculty and students from the University of Wisconsin-Stout (UW-Stout) and a local high school teacher worked together to develop the Invasive Plant Species (IPS) Education Guide. The IPS Education Guide includes nine lessons that give students an…

  4. Endangered Species (Plants). LC Science Tracer Bullet.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Niskern, Diana, Comp.

    This guide is intended for those who wish to study the literature dealing with various aspects of endangered plant species. This document includes the following sections, some of which are bibliographies: (1) "Introductions to the Topic"; (2) "Subject Headings" (for endangered species of plants used by the Library of Congress); (3) "General…

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1999-01-01

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

  6. Increasing enemy biodiversity strengthens herbivore suppression on two plant species.

    PubMed

    Straub, Cory S; Snyder, William E

    2008-06-01

    Concern over biodiversity loss, especially at higher trophic levels, has led to a surge in studies investigating how changes in natural enemy diversity affect community and ecosystem functioning. These studies have found that increasing enemy diversity can strengthen, weaken, and not affect prey suppression, demonstrating that multi-enemy effects on prey are context-dependent. Here we ask how one factor, plant species identity, influences multi-enemy effects on prey. We focused on two plant species of agricultural importance, potato (Solanum tuberosum), and collards (Brassica oleracea L.). These species share a common herbivorous pest, the green peach aphid (Myzus persicae), but vary in structural and chemical traits that affect aphid reproductive rates and which may also influence inter-enemy interactions. In a large-scale field experiment, overall prey exploitation varied dramatically among the plant species, with enemies reducing aphid populations by approximately 94% on potatoes and approximately 62% on collards. Increasing enemy diversity similarly strengthened aphid suppression on both plants, however, and there was no evidence that plant species identity significantly altered the relationship between enemy diversity and prey suppression. Microcosm experiments suggested that, on both collards and potatoes, intraspecific competition among natural enemies exceeded interspecific competition. Enemy species showed consistent and significant differences in where they foraged on the plants, and enemies in the low-diversity treatment tended to spend less time foraging than enemies in the high-diversity treatment. These data suggest that increasing enemy diversity may strengthen aphid suppression because interspecific differences in where enemies forage on the plant allow for greater resource partitioning. Further, these functional benefits of diversity appear to be robust to changes in plant species identity.

  7. The myth of plant species saturation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stohlgren, Thomas J.; Barnett, David T.; Jarnevich, Catherine S.; Flather, Curtis; Kartesz, John

    2008-01-01

    Plant species assemblages, communities or regional floras might be termed ‘saturated’ when additional immigrant species are unsuccessful at establishing due to competitive exclusion or other inter-specific interactions, or when the immigration of species is off-set by extirpation of species. This is clearly not the case for state, regional or national floras in the USA where colonization (i.e. invasion by exotic species) exceeds extirpation by roughly a 24 to 1 margin. We report an alarming temporal trend in plant invasions in the Pacific Northwest over the past 100 years whereby counties highest in native species richness appear increasingly invaded over time. Despite the possibility of some increased awareness and reporting of native and exotic plant species in recent decades, historical records show a significant, consistent long-term increase in exotic species (number and frequency) at county, state and regional scales in the Pacific Northwest. Here, as in other regions of the country, colonization rates by exotic species are high and extirpation rates are negligible. The rates of species accumulation in space in multi-scale vegetation plots may provide some clues to the mechanisms of the invasion process from local to national scales.

  8. Spatial heterogeneity of plant-soil feedback affects root interactions and interspecific competition.

    PubMed

    Hendriks, Marloes; Ravenek, Janneke M; Smit-Tiekstra, Annemiek E; van der Paauw, Jan Willem; de Caluwe, Hannie; van der Putten, Wim H; de Kroon, Hans; Mommer, Liesje

    2015-08-01

    Plant-soil feedback is receiving increasing interest as a factor influencing plant competition and species coexistence in grasslands. However, we do not know how spatial distribution of plant-soil feedback affects plant below-ground interactions. We investigated the way in which spatial heterogeneity of soil biota affects competitive interactions in grassland plant species. We performed a pairwise competition experiment combined with heterogeneous distribution of soil biota using four grassland plant species and their soil biota. Patches were applied as quadrants of 'own' and 'foreign' soils from all plant species in all pairwise combinations. To evaluate interspecific root responses, species-specific root biomass was quantified using real-time PCR. All plant species suffered negative soil feedback, but strength was species-specific, reflected by a decrease in root growth in own compared with foreign soil. Reduction in root growth in own patches by the superior plant competitor provided opportunities for inferior competitors to increase root biomass in these patches. These patterns did not cascade into above-ground effects during our experiment. We show that root distributions can be determined by spatial heterogeneity of soil biota, affecting plant below-ground competitive interactions. Thus, spatial heterogeneity of soil biota may contribute to plant species coexistence in species-rich grasslands.

  9. Competition with wind-pollinated plant species alters floral traits of insect-pollinated plant species

    PubMed Central

    Flacher, Floriane; Raynaud, Xavier; Hansart, Amandine; Motard, Eric; Dajoz, Isabelle

    2015-01-01

    Plant traits related to attractiveness to pollinators (e.g. flowers and nectar) can be sensitive to abiotic or biotic conditions. Soil nutrient availability, as well as interactions among insect-pollinated plants species, can induce changes in flower and nectar production. However, further investigations are needed to determine the impact of interactions between insect-pollinated species and abiotically pollinated species on such floral traits, especially floral rewards. We carried out a pot experiment in which three insect-pollinated plant species were grown in binary mixtures with four wind-pollinated plant species, differing in their competitive ability. Along the flowering period, we measured floral traits of the insect-pollinated species involved in attractiveness to pollinators (i.e. floral display size, flower size, daily and total 1) flower production, 2) nectar volume, 3) amount of sucrose allocated to nectar). Final plant biomass was measured to quantify competitive interactions. For two out of three insect-pollinated species, we found that the presence of a wind-pollinated species can negatively impact floral traits involved in attractiveness to pollinators. This effect was stronger with wind-pollinated species that induced stronger competitive interactions. These results stress the importance of studying the whole plant community (and not just the insect-pollinated plant community) when working on plant-pollinator interactions. PMID:26335409

  10. Species interaction mechanisms maintain grassland plant species diversity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Theory has outpaced empirical research in pursuit of identifying mechanisms maintaining species diversity. Here we demonstrate how data from diversity-ecosystem functioning experiments can be used to test maintenance of diversity theory. We predict that grassland plant diversity can be maintained by...

  11. Intraspecific genetic variation and species coexistence in plant communities

    PubMed Central

    Ehlers, Bodil K.; Damgaard, Christian F.; Laroche, Fabien

    2016-01-01

    Many studies report that intraspecific genetic variation in plants can affect community composition and coexistence. However, less is known about which traits are responsible and the mechanisms by which variation in these traits affect the associated community. Focusing on plant–plant interactions, we review empirical studies exemplifying how intraspecific genetic variation in functional traits impacts plant coexistence. Intraspecific variation in chemical and architectural traits promotes species coexistence, by both increasing habitat heterogeneity and altering competitive hierarchies. Decomposing species interactions into interactions between genotypes shows that genotype × genotype interactions are often intransitive. The outcome of plant–plant interactions varies with local adaptation to the environment and with dominant neighbour genotypes, and some plants can recognize the genetic identity of neighbour plants if they have a common history of coexistence. Taken together, this reveals a very dynamic nature of coexistence. We outline how more traits mediating plant–plant interactions may be identified, and how future studies could use population genetic surveys of genotype distribution in nature and methods from trait-based ecology to better quantify the impact of intraspecific genetic variation on plant coexistence. PMID:26790707

  12. Ensemble habitat mapping of invasive plant species.

    PubMed

    Stohlgren, Thomas J; Ma, Peter; Kumar, Sunil; Rocca, Monique; Morisette, Jeffrey T; Jarnevich, Catherine S; Benson, Nate

    2010-02-01

    Ensemble species distribution models combine the strengths of several species environmental matching models, while minimizing the weakness of any one model. Ensemble models may be particularly useful in risk analysis of recently arrived, harmful invasive species because species may not yet have spread to all suitable habitats, leaving species-environment relationships difficult to determine. We tested five individual models (logistic regression, boosted regression trees, random forest, multivariate adaptive regression splines (MARS), and maximum entropy model or Maxent) and ensemble modeling for selected nonnative plant species in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, Wyoming; Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, California, and areas of interior Alaska. The models are based on field data provided by the park staffs, combined with topographic, climatic, and vegetation predictors derived from satellite data. For the four invasive plant species tested, ensemble models were the only models that ranked in the top three models for both field validation and test data. Ensemble models may be more robust than individual species-environment matching models for risk analysis.

  13. Ensemble habitat mapping of invasive plant species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stohlgren, T.J.; Ma, P.; Kumar, S.; Rocca, M.; Morisette, J.T.; Jarnevich, C.S.; Benson, N.

    2010-01-01

    Ensemble species distribution models combine the strengths of several species environmental matching models, while minimizing the weakness of any one model. Ensemble models may be particularly useful in risk analysis of recently arrived, harmful invasive species because species may not yet have spread to all suitable habitats, leaving species-environment relationships difficult to determine. We tested five individual models (logistic regression, boosted regression trees, random forest, multivariate adaptive regression splines (MARS), and maximum entropy model or Maxent) and ensemble modeling for selected nonnative plant species in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, Wyoming; Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, California, and areas of interior Alaska. The models are based on field data provided by the park staffs, combined with topographic, climatic, and vegetation predictors derived from satellite data. For the four invasive plant species tested, ensemble models were the only models that ranked in the top three models for both field validation and test data. Ensemble models may be more robust than individual species-environment matching models for risk analysis. ?? 2010 Society for Risk Analysis.

  14. Germination and early plant development of ten plant species ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Ten agronomic plant species were exposed to different concentrations of nano titanium dioxide (nTiO2) or nano cerium oxide (nCeO2) (0, 250, 500 and 1000 mg/L) to examine potential effects on germination and early seedling development. We modified a standard test protocol developed for soluble chemicals (OPPTS 850.4200) to determine if such an approach might be useful for screening engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) and whether there were differences in response across a range of commercially important plant species to two common metal oxide ENMs. Eight of 10 species responded to nTiO2, and 5 species responded to nCeO2. Overall, it appeared that early root growth may be a more sensitive indicator of potential effects from ENM exposure than germination. The observed effects did not always relate to the exposure concentration, indicating that mass-based concentration may not fully explain developmental effects of these two ENMs. The results suggest that nTiO2 and nCeO2 have different effects on early plant growth of agronomic species, which may alter the timing of specific developmental events during their life cycle. In addition, standard germination tests, which are commonly used for toxicity screening of new materials, may not detect the subtle but potentially more important changes associated with early growth and development in terrestrial plants. Engineered nanoparticles (ENMs) have been recognized as valuable components of new technologies and are current

  15. Compensatory responses to loss of warming-sensitive plant species.

    PubMed

    Cross, Molly S; Harte, John

    2007-03-01

    Climate warming-induced plant species loss is likely to be nonrandom and based on species-specific susceptibility to changing climate. We examined the ecological consequences of losing shallow-rooted forbs, a group of species we predict to be adversely affected by climate change based on their response to experimental warming. After three years of experimental species removal, tap-rooted forbs and grasses were able to fully compensate for the loss of shallow-rooted forbs with increased biomass production. Moreover, the remaining plant community yielded a larger biomass response to nitrogen addition when shallow-rooted forbs were removed, possibly because removal led to increased soil moisture. We conclude that, although shallow-rooted forbs share a common response to warming, their loss did not affect community-level biomass. However, the loss of shallow-rooted forbs could result in increased sensitivity to perturbations, such as changing nutrient availability. Our results demonstrate that realistic, nonrandom scenarios of species loss do not necessarily follow the general pattern of decreased productivity and dampened response to nitrogen addition with species loss that is predicted by theory and many experimental results. Further examinations of nonrandom species loss in other ecosystems are needed to further improve our understanding of the consequences of human-driven species loss.

  16. 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.

  17. Realistic diversity loss and variation in soil depth independently affect community-level plant nitrogen use.

    PubMed

    Selmants, Paul C; Zavaleta, Erika S; Wolf, Amelia A

    2014-01-01

    Numerous experiments have demonstrated that diverse plant communities use nitrogen (N) more completely and efficiently, with implications for how species conservation efforts might influence N cycling and retention in terrestrial ecosystems. However, most such experiments have randomly manipulated species richness and minimized environmental heterogeneity, two design aspects that may reduce applicability to real ecosystems. Here we present results from an experiment directly comparing how realistic and randomized plant species losses affect plant N use across a gradient of soil depth in a native-dominated serpentine grassland in California. We found that the strength of the species richness effect on plant N use did not increase with soil depth in either the realistic or randomized species loss scenarios, indicating that the increased vertical heterogeneity conferred by deeper soils did not lead to greater complementarity among species in this ecosystem. Realistic species losses significantly reduced plant N uptake and altered N-use efficiency, while randomized species losses had no effect on plant N use. Increasing soil depth positively affected plant N uptake in both loss order scenarios but had a weaker effect on plant N use than did realistic species losses. Our results illustrate that realistic species losses can have functional consequences that differ distinctly from randomized losses, and that species diversity effects can be independent of and outweigh those of environmental heterogeneity on ecosystem functioning. Our findings also support the value of conservation efforts aimed at maintaining biodiversity to help buffer ecosystems against increasing anthropogenic N loading.

  18. Cryobanking of plant species, promise and status

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Currently, the PAGRP has over 4,000 unique samples of clonally propagated species and about 49,000 seed samples in long-term liquid nitrogen storage. Cryopreservation of plant genetic resources has several advantages over germplasm maintenance in field or in vitro; the main of the advantages are pro...

  19. Egyptian plant species as new ozone indicators.

    PubMed

    Madkour, Samia A; Laurence, J A

    2002-01-01

    The aim of this study was to test and select one or more highly sensitive, specific and environmentally successful Egyptian bioindicator plants for ozone (O3). For that purpose more than 30 Egyptian species and cultivars were subjected to extensive screening studies under controlled environmental and pollutant exposure conditions to mimic the Egyptian environmental conditions and O3 levels in urban and rural sites. Four plant species were found to be more sensitive to O3 than the universally used O3-bioindicator, tobacco Bel W3, under the Egyptian environmental conditions used. These plant species, jute (Corchorus olitorius c.v. local), clover (Trifolium alexandrinum L. c.v. Masry), garden rocket (Eruca sativa c.v. local) and alfalfa (Medicago sativa L. c.v. local), ranked in order of decreasing sensitivity, exhibited typical O3 injury symptoms faster and at lower 03 concentrations than Bel W3. Three variables were tested in search of a reliable tool for the diagnosis and prediction of O3 response prior to the appearance of visible foliar symptoms: pigment degradation, stomatal conductance (g(s)) and net photosynthetic CO2 assimilation (Pnet). Pigment degradation was found to be unreliable in predicting species sensitivity to O3. Evidence supporting stomatal conductance involvement in 03 tolerance was found only in tolerant species. A good correlation was found between g(s), restriction of O3 and CO2 influx into the mesophyll tissues, and Pnet. Changes in Pnet seemed to depend largely on fluctuations in g(s).

  20. Variability in Phoma species affecting sugar beet

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Phoma betae can cause damage to sugar beet (Beta vulgaris) at multiple growth stages. It has historically been an important seedling disease, but this is largely managed by ensuring clean seed for planting. The pathogen also can cause a root rot, a leaf spot, and rotting of beets during storage. In ...

  1. Feeding damage to plants increases with plant size across 21 Brassicaceae species.

    PubMed

    Schlinkert, Hella; Westphal, Catrin; Clough, Yann; Ludwig, Martin; Kabouw, Patrick; Tscharntke, Teja

    2015-10-01

    Plant size is a major predictor of ecological functioning. We tested the hypothesis that feeding damage to plants increases with plant size, as the conspicuousness of large plants makes resource finding and colonisation easier. Further, large plants can be attractive to herbivores, as they offer greater amounts and ranges of resources and niches, but direct evidence from experiments testing size effects on feeding damage and consequently on plant fitness is so far missing. We established a common garden experiment with a plant size gradient (10-130 cm height) using 21 annual Brassicaceae species, and quantified plant size, biomass and number of all aboveground components (flowers, fruits, leaves, stems) and their proportional feeding damage. Plant reproductive fitness was measured using seed number, 1000 seed weight and total seed weight. Feeding damage to the different plant components increased with plant size or component biomass, with mean damage levels being approximately 30 % for flowers, 5 % for fruits and 1 % for leaves and stems. Feeding damage affected plant reproductive fitness depending on feeding damage type, with flower damage having the strongest effect, shown by greatly reduced seed number, 1000 seed weight and total seed weight. Finally, we found an overall negative effect of plant size on 1000 seed weight, but not on seed number and total seed weight. In conclusion, being conspicuous and attractive to herbivores causes greater flower damage leading to higher fitness costs for large plants, which might be partly counterbalanced by benefits such as enhanced competitive/compensatory abilities or more mutualistic pollinator visits.

  2. Species differences in whole plant carbon balance following winter dormancy in Alaskan tundra plants

    SciTech Connect

    Bret-Harte, M.S.; Chapin, F.S. III

    1995-09-01

    We froze ramets of seven vascular plant species and a mixed community of mosses common to upland tussock tundra for several months, then measured whole-plant photosynthesis and respiration in a growth chamber under simulated spring conditions, to examine whole plant carbon metabolism following winter dormancy. In addition, respiration and photosynthesis of aboveground stems and leaves were measured in the field in a spatial gradient away from a melting snowbank, at comparable developmental stages. Species differences in early respiration were not pronounced, but large differences were seen once development of leaves began. Root development in deciduous shrubs delayed their attainment of a positive whole plant carbon balance compared to that seen in aboveground stems and leaves alone, and partially compensated for differences in photosynthetic rates between shrubs and other species. Temporal patterns of carbon metabolism during spring growth may affect competitive balance in tussock tundra and vegetation response to global change.

  3. Plant Litter Submergence Affects the Water Quality of a Constructed Wetland.

    PubMed

    Pan, Xu; Ping, Yunmei; Cui, Lijuan; Li, Wei; Zhang, Xiaodong; Zhou, Jian; Yu, Fei-Hai; Prinzing, Andreas

    2017-01-01

    Plant litter is an indispensable component of constructed wetlands, but how the submergence of plant litter affects their ecosystem functions and services, such as water purification, is still unclear. Moreover, it is also unclear whether the effects of plant litter submergence depend on other factors such as the duration of litter submergence, water source or litter species identity. Here we conducted a greenhouse experiment by submerging the litter of 7 wetland plant species into three types of water substrates and monitoring changes in water nutrient concentrations. Litter submergence affected water quality positively via decreasing the concentration of nitrate nitrogen and negatively via increasing the concentrations of total nitrogen, ammonium nitrogen and total phosphorus. The effects of litter submergence depended on the duration of litter submergence, the water source, the litter species identity, and the plant life form. Different plant species had different effects on the water nutrient concentrations during litter submergence, and the effects of floating plants might be more negative than that of emergent plants. These results are novel evidence of how the submergence of different plant (life form) litter may affect the purification function of constructed wetlands. For water at low eutrophication levels, submerging a relative small amount of plant litter might improve water quality, via benefiting the denitrification process in water. These findings emphasized the management of floating plant litter (a potential removal) during the maintenance of human-controlled wetland ecosystems and provided a potential tool to improve the water quality of constructed wetlands via submerging plant litter of different types.

  4. Does iodine biofortification affect oxidative metabolism in lettuce plants?

    PubMed

    Blasco, Begoña; Ríos, Juan Jose; Leyva, Rocío; Cervilla, Luis Miguel; Sánchez-Rodríguez, Eva; Rubio-Wilhelmi, María Mar; Rosales, Miguel Angel; Ruiz, Juan Manuel; Romero, Luis

    2011-09-01

    Plants produce low levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which form part of basic cell chemical communication; however, different types of stress can lead to an overexpression of ROS that can damage macromolecules essential for plant growth and development. Iodine is vital to human health, and iodine biofortification programs help improve the human intake through plant consumption. This biofortification process has been shown to influence the antioxidant capacity of lettuce plants, suggesting that the oxidative metabolism of the plant may be affected. The results of this study demonstrate that the response to oxidative stress is variable and depends on the form of iodine applied. Application of iodide (I(-)) to lettuce plants produces a reduction in superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity and an increase in catalase (CAT) and L-galactono dehydrogenase enzyme activities and in the activity of antioxidant compounds such as ascorbate (AA) and glutathione. This did not prove a very effective approach since a dose of 80 μM produced a reduction in the biomass of the plants. For its part, application of iodate (IO (3) (-) ) produced an increase in the activities of SOD, ascorbate peroxidase, and CAT, the main enzymes involved in ROS detoxification; it also increased the concentration of AA and the regenerative activities of the Halliwell-Asada cycle. These data confirm the non-phytotoxicity of IO (3) (-) since there is no lipid peroxidation or biomass reduction. According to our results, the ability of IO (3) (-) to induce the antioxidant system indicates that application of this form of iodine may be an effective strategy to improve the response of plants to different types of stress.

  5. Plant Size as Determinant of Species Richness of Herbivores, Natural Enemies and Pollinators across 21 Brassicaceae Species

    PubMed Central

    Schlinkert, Hella; Westphal, Catrin; Clough, Yann; László, Zoltán; Ludwig, Martin; Tscharntke, Teja

    2015-01-01

    Large plants are often more conspicuous and more attractive for associated animals than small plants, e.g. due to their wider range of resources. Therefore, plant size can positively affect species richness of associated animals, as shown for single groups of herbivores, but studies usually consider intraspecific size differences of plants in unstandardised environments. As comprehensive tests of interspecific plant size differences under standardised conditions are missing so far, we investigated effects of plant size on species richness of all associated arthropods using a common garden experiment with 21 Brassicaceae species covering a broad interspecific plant size gradient from 10 to 130 cm height. We recorded plant associated ecto- and endophagous herbivores, their natural enemies and pollinators on and in each aboveground plant organ, i.e. flowers, fruits, leaves and stems. Plant size (measured as height from the ground), the number of different plant organ entities and their biomass were assessed. Increasing plant size led to increased species richness of associated herbivores, natural enemies and pollinating insects. This pattern was found for ectophagous and endophagous herbivores, their natural enemies, as well as for herbivores associated with leaves and fruits and their natural enemies, independently of the additional positive effects of resource availability (i.e. organ biomass or number of entities and, regarding natural enemies, herbivore species richness). We found a lower R2 for pollinators compared to herbivores and natural enemies, probably caused by the high importance of flower characteristics for pollinator species richness besides plant size. Overall, the increase in plant height from 10 to 130 cm led to a 2.7-fold increase in predicted total arthropod species richness. In conclusion, plant size is a comprehensive driver of species richness of the plant associated arthropods, including pollinators, herbivores and their natural enemies

  6. Plant Size as Determinant of Species Richness of Herbivores, Natural Enemies and Pollinators across 21 Brassicaceae Species.

    PubMed

    Schlinkert, Hella; Westphal, Catrin; Clough, Yann; László, Zoltán; Ludwig, Martin; Tscharntke, Teja

    2015-01-01

    Large plants are often more conspicuous and more attractive for associated animals than small plants, e.g. due to their wider range of resources. Therefore, plant size can positively affect species richness of associated animals, as shown for single groups of herbivores, but studies usually consider intraspecific size differences of plants in unstandardised environments. As comprehensive tests of interspecific plant size differences under standardised conditions are missing so far, we investigated effects of plant size on species richness of all associated arthropods using a common garden experiment with 21 Brassicaceae species covering a broad interspecific plant size gradient from 10 to 130 cm height. We recorded plant associated ecto- and endophagous herbivores, their natural enemies and pollinators on and in each aboveground plant organ, i.e. flowers, fruits, leaves and stems. Plant size (measured as height from the ground), the number of different plant organ entities and their biomass were assessed. Increasing plant size led to increased species richness of associated herbivores, natural enemies and pollinating insects. This pattern was found for ectophagous and endophagous herbivores, their natural enemies, as well as for herbivores associated with leaves and fruits and their natural enemies, independently of the additional positive effects of resource availability (i.e. organ biomass or number of entities and, regarding natural enemies, herbivore species richness). We found a lower R2 for pollinators compared to herbivores and natural enemies, probably caused by the high importance of flower characteristics for pollinator species richness besides plant size. Overall, the increase in plant height from 10 to 130 cm led to a 2.7-fold increase in predicted total arthropod species richness. In conclusion, plant size is a comprehensive driver of species richness of the plant associated arthropods, including pollinators, herbivores and their natural enemies

  7. Factors affecting antimicrobial susceptibility of Fusobacterium species.

    PubMed Central

    Rowland, M D; Del Bene, V E; Lewis, J W

    1987-01-01

    Fifteen clinical isolates of Fusobacterium species were studied to determine their quality of growth on five agar media, their susceptibility to penicillin, cephalothin, cefoxitin, and cefotaxime, the inoculum effect, and the presence of L forms and beta-lactamase. Wilkins-Chalgren agar supported confluent growth best, but Fusobacterium nucleatum exhibited poor growth on all agar media. Most isolates exhibited poor reproducibility of MIC results with repeated agar dilution testing. However, most isolates were susceptible to all antibiotics at the breakpoint concentrations. No inoculum effect was observed, but preparation of an inoculum at a 0.5 McFarland nephelometric standard produced a lower than expected number of CFU (10(6) CFU) in some isolates. L forms were frequently seen. No beta-lactamase was found. The variability in MICs seen with beta-lactam antibiotics was not found when clindamycin was tested. MIC studies with Fusobacterium spp. may be complicated by poor growth on agar media, poor reproducibility, and small inoculum size. PMID:3494743

  8. Herbivory affects salt marsh succession dynamics by suppressing the recovery of dominant species.

    PubMed

    Daleo, Pedro; Alberti, Juan; Pascual, Jesús; Canepuccia, Alejandro; Iribarne, Oscar

    2014-05-01

    Disturbance can generate heterogeneous environments and profoundly influence plant diversity by creating patches at different successional stages. Herbivores, in turn, can govern plant succession dynamics by determining the rate of species replacement, ultimately affecting plant community structure. In a south-western Atlantic salt marsh, we experimentally evaluated the role of herbivory in the recovery following disturbance of the plant community and assessed whether herbivory affects the relative importance of sexual and clonal reproduction on these dynamics. Our results show that herbivory strongly affects salt marsh secondary succession by suppressing seedlings and limiting clonal colonization of the dominant marsh grass, allowing subordinate species to dominate disturbed patches. These results demonstrate that herbivores can have an important role in salt marsh community structure and function, and can be a key force during succession dynamics.

  9. RESPONSE OF WETLAND PLANT SPECIES TO HYDROLOGIC CONDITIONS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Understanding hydrologic requirements of native and introduced species is critical to sustaining native plant communities in wetlands of disturbed landscapes. We examined plant assemblages and 31 species from emergent wetlands in an urbanizing area of the Pacific Northwest, USA, ...

  10. RESPONSE OF WETLAND PLANT SPECIES TO HYDROLOGIC CONDITIONS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Understanding hydrologic requirements of native and introduced species is critical to sustaining native plant communities in wetlands of disturbed landscapes. We examined plant assemblages and 31 species from emergent wetlands in an urbanizing area of the Pacific Northwest, USA,...

  11. Methods of affecting nitrogen assimilation in plants

    DOEpatents

    Coruzzi, Gloria; Gutierrez, Rodrigo A.; Nero, Damion C.

    2016-10-11

    Provided herein are compositions and methods for producing transgenic plants. In specific embodiments, transgenic plants comprise a construct comprising a polynucleotide encoding CCA1, GLK1 or bZIP1, operably linked to a plant-specific promote, wherein the CCA1, GLK1 or bZIP1 is ectopically overexpressed in the transgenic plants, and wherein the promoter is optionally a constitutive or inducible promoter. In other embodiments, transgenic plants in which express a lower level of CCA1, GLK1 or bZIP1 are provided. Also provided herein are commercial products (e.g., pulp, paper, paper products, or lumber) derived from the transgenic plants (e.g., transgenic trees) produced using the methods provided herein.

  12. Plant Hormones: How They Affect Root Formation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reinhard, Diana Hereda

    This science study aid, produced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, includes a series of plant rooting activities for secondary science classes. The material in the pamphlet is written for students and includes background information on plant hormones, a vocabulary list, and five learning activities. Objectives, needed materials, and…

  13. Nutrient enrichment affects the mechanical resistance of aquatic plants

    PubMed Central

    Puijalon, Sara

    2012-01-01

    For many plant species, nutrient availability induces important anatomical responses, particularly the production of low-density tissues to the detriment of supporting tissues. Due to the contrasting biomechanical properties of plant tissues, these anatomical responses may induce important modifications in the biomechanical properties of plant organs. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of nutrient enrichment on the anatomical traits of two freshwater plant species and its consequences on plant biomechanical performance. Two plant species were grown under controlled conditions in low versus high nutrient levels. The anatomical and biomechanical traits of the plant stems were measured. Both species produced tissues with lower densities under nutrient-rich conditions, accompanied by modifications in the structure of the aerenchyma for one species. As expected, nutrient enrichment also led to important modifications in the biomechanical properties of the stem for both species. In particular, mechanical resistance (breaking force and strength) and stiffness of stems were significantly reduced under nutrient rich conditions. The production of weaker stem tissues as a result of nutrient enrichment may increase the risk of plants to mechanical failure, thus challenging plant maintenance in mechanically stressful or disturbed habitats. PMID:23028018

  14. Osmolyte cooperation affects turgor dynamics in plants

    PubMed Central

    Argiolas, Alfredo; Puleo, Gian Luigi; Sinibaldi, Edoardo; Mazzolai, Barbara

    2016-01-01

    Scientists have identified turgor-based actuation as a fundamental mechanism in plant movements. Plant cell turgor is generated by water influx due to the osmolyte concentration gradient through the cell wall and the plasma membrane behaving as an osmotic barrier. Previous studies have focused on turgor modulation with respect to potassium chloride (KCl) concentration changes, although KCl is not efficiently retained in the cell, and many other compounds, including L-glutamine (L-Gln) and D-glucose (D-Glc), are present in the cytosol. In fact, the contributions of other osmolytes to turgor dynamics remain to be elucidated. Here, we show the association of osmolytes and their consequent cooperative effects on the time-dependent turgor profile generated in a model cytosol consisting of KCl, D-Glc and L-Gln at experimentally measured plant motor/generic cell concentrations and at modified concentrations. We demonstrate the influence and association of the osmolytes using osmometry and NMR measurements. We also show, using a plant cell-inspired device we previously developed, that osmolyte complexes, rather than single osmolytes, permit to obtain higher turgor required by plant movements. We provide quantitative cues for deeper investigations of osmolyte transport for plant movement, and reveal the possibility of developing osmotic actuators exploiting a dynamically varying concentration of osmolytes. PMID:27445173

  15. Osmolyte cooperation affects turgor dynamics in plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Argiolas, Alfredo; Puleo, Gian Luigi; Sinibaldi, Edoardo; Mazzolai, Barbara

    2016-07-01

    Scientists have identified turgor-based actuation as a fundamental mechanism in plant movements. Plant cell turgor is generated by water influx due to the osmolyte concentration gradient through the cell wall and the plasma membrane behaving as an osmotic barrier. Previous studies have focused on turgor modulation with respect to potassium chloride (KCl) concentration changes, although KCl is not efficiently retained in the cell, and many other compounds, including L-glutamine (L-Gln) and D-glucose (D-Glc), are present in the cytosol. In fact, the contributions of other osmolytes to turgor dynamics remain to be elucidated. Here, we show the association of osmolytes and their consequent cooperative effects on the time-dependent turgor profile generated in a model cytosol consisting of KCl, D-Glc and L-Gln at experimentally measured plant motor/generic cell concentrations and at modified concentrations. We demonstrate the influence and association of the osmolytes using osmometry and NMR measurements. We also show, using a plant cell-inspired device we previously developed, that osmolyte complexes, rather than single osmolytes, permit to obtain higher turgor required by plant movements. We provide quantitative cues for deeper investigations of osmolyte transport for plant movement, and reveal the possibility of developing osmotic actuators exploiting a dynamically varying concentration of osmolytes.

  16. Arbuscular mycorrhizae of dominant plant species in Yungas forests, Argentina.

    PubMed

    Becerra, Alejandra G; Cabello, Marta; Zak, Marcelo R; Bartoloni, Norberto

    2009-01-01

    In Argentina the Yungas forests are among the ecosystems most affected by human activity, with loss of biodiversity. To assess the arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) colonization and the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) spore numbers in these ecosystems, the roots of the most dominant native plants (one tree, Alnus acuminata; three herbaceous, Duchesnea indica, Oxalis conorrhiza, Trifolium aff. repens; and one shrub, Sambucus peruviana) were studied throughout the year from two sites of Yungas forests. Assessments of mycorrhizal colonization (percent root length, intraradical structures) were made by washing and staining the roots. Soil samples of each plant species were pooled and subsamples were obtained to determine AM spore numbers. The herbaceous species formed both Arum- and Paris-type morphologies, whereas the tree and the shrub species formed respectively single structural types of Arum- and Paris-type. AM colonization, intraradical fungi structures and AMF spore numbers displayed variation in species, seasons and sites. D. indica showed the highest AM colonization, whereas the highest spore numbers was observed in the rhizosphere of A. acuminata. No correlation was observed between spore numbers and root length percentage colonized by AM fungi. Results of this study showed that Alnus acuminata is facultatively AM. The AM colonization, intraradical fungi structures and AMF spore numbers varied in species depending on phenological, climatic and edaphic conditions.

  17. New pasture plants intensify invasive species risk.

    PubMed

    Driscoll, Don A; Catford, Jane A; Barney, Jacob N; Hulme, Philip E; Inderjit; Martin, Tara G; Pauchard, Aníbal; Pyšek, Petr; Richardson, David M; Riley, Sophie; Visser, Vernon

    2014-11-18

    Agricultural intensification is critical to meet global food demand, but intensification threatens native species and degrades ecosystems. Sustainable intensification (SI) is heralded as a new approach for enabling growth in agriculture while minimizing environmental impacts. However, the SI literature has overlooked a major environmental risk. Using data from eight countries on six continents, we show that few governments regulate conventionally bred pasture taxa to limit threats to natural areas, even though most agribusinesses promote taxa with substantial weed risk. New pasture taxa (including species, subspecies, varieties, cultivars, and plant-endophyte combinations) are bred with characteristics typical of invasive species and environmental weeds. By introducing novel genetic and endophyte variation, pasture taxa are imbued with additional capacity for invasion and environmental impact. New strategies to prevent future problems are urgently needed. We highlight opportunities for researchers, agribusiness, and consumers to reduce environmental risks associated with new pasture taxa. We also emphasize four main approaches that governments could consider as they build new policies to limit weed risks, including (i) national lists of taxa that are prohibited based on environmental risk; (ii) a weed risk assessment for all new taxa; (iii) a program to rapidly detect and control new taxa that invade natural areas; and (iv) the polluter-pays principle, so that if a taxon becomes an environmental weed, industry pays for its management. There is mounting pressure to increase livestock production. With foresight and planning, growth in agriculture can be achieved sustainably provided that the scope of SI expands to encompass environmental weed risks.

  18. Decomposers (Lumbricidae, Collembola) affect plant performance in model grasslands of different diversity.

    PubMed

    Partsch, Stephan; Milcu, Alexandru; Scheu, Stefan

    2006-10-01

    Decomposer invertebrates influence soil structure and nutrient mineralization as well as the activity and composition of the microbial community in soil and therefore likely affect plant performance and plant competition. We established model grassland communities in a greenhouse to study the interrelationship between two different functional groups of decomposer invertebrates, Lumbricidae and Collembola, and their effect on plant performance and plant nitrogen uptake in a plant diversity gradient. Common plant species of Central European Arrhenatherion grasslands were transplanted into microcosms with numbers of plant species varying from one to eight and plant functional groups varying from one to four. Separate and combined treatments with earthworms and collembolans were set up. Microcosms contained 15N labeled litter to track N fluxes into plant shoots. Presence of decomposers strongly increased total plant and plant shoot biomass. Root biomass decreased in the presence of collembolans and even more in the presence of earthworms. However, it increased when both animal groups were present. Also, presence of decomposers increased total N concentration and 15N enrichment of grasses, legumes, and small herbs. Small herbs were at a maximum in the combined treatment with earthworms and collembolans. The impact of earthworms and collembolans on plant performance strongly varied with plant functional group identity and plant species diversity and was modified when both decomposers were present. Both decomposer groups generally increased aboveground plant productivity through effects on litter decomposition and nutrient mineralization leading to an increased plant nutrient acquisition. The non-uniform effects of earthworms and collembolans suggest that functional diversity of soil decomposer animals matters and that the interactions between soil animal functional groups affect the structure of plant communities.

  19. 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

  20. Host Plants Affect the Foraging Success of Two Parasitoids that Attack Light Brown Apple Moth Epiphyas postvittana (Walker) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae)

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Yi; Wratten, Steve; Sandhu, Harpinder; Keller, Michael

    2015-01-01

    The light brown apple moth, Epiphyas postvittana is a key pest of wine grapes in Australia. Two parasitoids, Dolichogenidea tasmanica and Therophilus unimaculatus, attack the larval stage of this pest. D. tasmanica is dominant in vineyards, whereas T. unimaculatus is mainly active in native vegetation. We sought to understand why they differ in their use of habitats. Plants are a major component of habitats of parasitoids, and herbivore-infested plants influence parasitoid foraging efficiency by their architecture and emission of volatile chemicals. We investigated how different plant species infested by E. postvittana could affect the foraging success of the two parasitoid species in both laboratory and field experiments. Four common host-plant species were selected for this study. In paired-choice experiments to determine the innate foraging preferences for plants, both parasitoid species showed differences in innate search preferences among plant species. The plant preference of D. tasmanica was altered by oviposition experience with hosts that were feeding on other plant species. In a behavioral assay, the two parasitoid species allocated their times engaged in various types of behavior differently when foraging on different plant species. For both parasitoids, parasitism on Hardenbergia violacea was the highest of the four plant species. Significantly more larvae dropped from Myoporum insulare when attacked than from the other three host-plant species, which indicates that parasitism is also affected by interactions between plants and host insects. In vineyards, parasitism by D. tasmanica was significantly lower on M. insulare than on the other three host-plant species, but the parasitism rates were similar among the other three plant species. Our results indicate that plants play a role in the habitat preferences of these two parasitoid species by influencing their foraging behavior, and are likely to contribute to their distributions among habitats. PMID

  1. Host Plants Affect the Foraging Success of Two Parasitoids that Attack Light Brown Apple Moth Epiphyas postvittana (Walker) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae).

    PubMed

    Feng, Yi; Wratten, Steve; Sandhu, Harpinder; Keller, Michael

    2015-01-01

    The light brown apple moth, Epiphyas postvittana is a key pest of wine grapes in Australia. Two parasitoids, Dolichogenidea tasmanica and Therophilus unimaculatus, attack the larval stage of this pest. D. tasmanica is dominant in vineyards, whereas T. unimaculatus is mainly active in native vegetation. We sought to understand why they differ in their use of habitats. Plants are a major component of habitats of parasitoids, and herbivore-infested plants influence parasitoid foraging efficiency by their architecture and emission of volatile chemicals. We investigated how different plant species infested by E. postvittana could affect the foraging success of the two parasitoid species in both laboratory and field experiments. Four common host-plant species were selected for this study. In paired-choice experiments to determine the innate foraging preferences for plants, both parasitoid species showed differences in innate search preferences among plant species. The plant preference of D. tasmanica was altered by oviposition experience with hosts that were feeding on other plant species. In a behavioral assay, the two parasitoid species allocated their times engaged in various types of behavior differently when foraging on different plant species. For both parasitoids, parasitism on Hardenbergia violacea was the highest of the four plant species. Significantly more larvae dropped from Myoporum insulare when attacked than from the other three host-plant species, which indicates that parasitism is also affected by interactions between plants and host insects. In vineyards, parasitism by D. tasmanica was significantly lower on M. insulare than on the other three host-plant species, but the parasitism rates were similar among the other three plant species. Our results indicate that plants play a role in the habitat preferences of these two parasitoid species by influencing their foraging behavior, and are likely to contribute to their distributions among habitats.

  2. Teaching the Species Concept Using Hybrid Plants and Habitats.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilson, C. M.; Oldham, J. H.

    1984-01-01

    Describes a field exercise which links ecology and taxonomy in the teaching of the species concept. Two common hedgerow plants (red and white campions) are used as a pair of "species" that are normally distinct. Plants of intermediate character can be encountered, and the status of these plants is investigated. (Author/JN)

  3. New pasture plants intensify invasive species risk

    PubMed Central

    Driscoll, Don A.; Catford, Jane A.; Barney, Jacob N.; Hulme, Philip E.; Inderjit; Martin, Tara G.; Pauchard, Aníbal; Pyšek, Petr; Richardson, David M.; Riley, Sophie; Visser, Vernon

    2014-01-01

    Agricultural intensification is critical to meet global food demand, but intensification threatens native species and degrades ecosystems. Sustainable intensification (SI) is heralded as a new approach for enabling growth in agriculture while minimizing environmental impacts. However, the SI literature has overlooked a major environmental risk. Using data from eight countries on six continents, we show that few governments regulate conventionally bred pasture taxa to limit threats to natural areas, even though most agribusinesses promote taxa with substantial weed risk. New pasture taxa (including species, subspecies, varieties, cultivars, and plant-endophyte combinations) are bred with characteristics typical of invasive species and environmental weeds. By introducing novel genetic and endophyte variation, pasture taxa are imbued with additional capacity for invasion and environmental impact. New strategies to prevent future problems are urgently needed. We highlight opportunities for researchers, agribusiness, and consumers to reduce environmental risks associated with new pasture taxa. We also emphasize four main approaches that governments could consider as they build new policies to limit weed risks, including (i) national lists of taxa that are prohibited based on environmental risk; (ii) a weed risk assessment for all new taxa; (iii) a program to rapidly detect and control new taxa that invade natural areas; and (iv) the polluter-pays principle, so that if a taxon becomes an environmental weed, industry pays for its management. There is mounting pressure to increase livestock production. With foresight and planning, growth in agriculture can be achieved sustainably provided that the scope of SI expands to encompass environmental weed risks. PMID:25368175

  4. Deviation from niche optima affects the nature of plant-plant interactions along a soil acidity gradient.

    PubMed

    He, Lei; Cheng, Lulu; Hu, Liangliang; Tang, Jianjun; Chen, Xin

    2016-01-01

    There is increasing recognition of the importance of niche optima in the shift of plant-plant interactions along environmental stress gradients. Here, we investigate whether deviation from niche optima would affect the outcome of plant-plant interactions along a soil acidity gradient (pH = 3.1, 4.1, 5.5 and 6.1) in a pot experiment. We used the acid-tolerant species Lespedeza formosa Koehne as the neighbouring plant and the acid-tolerant species Indigofera pseudotinctoria Mats. or acid-sensitive species Medicago sativa L. as the target plants. Biomass was used to determine the optimal pH and to calculate the relative interaction index (RII). We found that the relationships between RII and the deviation of soil pH from the target's optimal pH were linear for both target species. Both targets were increasingly promoted by the neighbour as pH values deviated from their optima; neighbours benefitted target plants by promoting soil symbiotic arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, increasing soil organic matter or reducing soil exchangeable aluminium. Our results suggest that the shape of the curve describing the relationship between soil pH and facilitation/competition depends on the soil pH optima of the particular species.

  5. Plant Litter Submergence Affects the Water Quality of a Constructed Wetland

    PubMed Central

    Cui, Lijuan; Li, Wei; Zhang, Xiaodong; Zhou, Jian; Yu, Fei-Hai; Prinzing, Andreas

    2017-01-01

    Plant litter is an indispensable component of constructed wetlands, but how the submergence of plant litter affects their ecosystem functions and services, such as water purification, is still unclear. Moreover, it is also unclear whether the effects of plant litter submergence depend on other factors such as the duration of litter submergence, water source or litter species identity. Here we conducted a greenhouse experiment by submerging the litter of 7 wetland plant species into three types of water substrates and monitoring changes in water nutrient concentrations. Litter submergence affected water quality positively via decreasing the concentration of nitrate nitrogen and negatively via increasing the concentrations of total nitrogen, ammonium nitrogen and total phosphorus. The effects of litter submergence depended on the duration of litter submergence, the water source, the litter species identity, and the plant life form. Different plant species had different effects on the water nutrient concentrations during litter submergence, and the effects of floating plants might be more negative than that of emergent plants. These results are novel evidence of how the submergence of different plant (life form) litter may affect the purification function of constructed wetlands. For water at low eutrophication levels, submerging a relative small amount of plant litter might improve water quality, via benefiting the denitrification process in water. These findings emphasized the management of floating plant litter (a potential removal) during the maintenance of human-controlled wetland ecosystems and provided a potential tool to improve the water quality of constructed wetlands via submerging plant litter of different types. PMID:28129405

  6. How neighbor canopy architecture affects target plant performance

    SciTech Connect

    Tremmel, D.C.; Bazzaz, F.A. )

    1993-10-01

    Plant competition occurs through the negative effects that individual plants have on resource availability to neighboring individuals. Therefore competition experiments need to examine how different species change resource availability to their neighbors, and how different species respond to these changes-allocationally, architecturally, and physiologically-through time. In a greenhouse study we used a model system of annuals to examine how canopies of species having differing morphologies differed in their architectures and light-interception abilities, and how different species performed when grown in these canopies. Abutilon theophrasti, Datura stramonium, and Polygonum pensylvanicum were grown as [open quotes]targets[close quotes]. Plants were grown in pots, with one target plant and four neighbor plants. Detailed measurements of neighbor canopy structure and target plant canopy architecture were made at five harvests. Species with different morphologies showed large differences in canopy structure, particularly when grass and forb species were compared. Setaria, a grass, had a more open canopy than the other species (all forbs), and was a consistently weak competitor. Overall, however, the relative effects of different neighbors on target biomass varied with target species. Target biomass was poorly correlated with neighbor biomass and leaf area, but was highly correlated with a measure of target light-interception ability that took into account both target leaf deployment and neighbor light interception. Despite clear differences among neighbor species in canopy structure and effect on light penetration, the results suggest no broad generalizations about the effects of different species as neighbors. Knowledge of morphological, physiological, and life history characteristics of both the target and neighbor species may be necessary to explain the results of their competition. 53 refs., 4 figs., 4 tabs.

  7. Plant Species Recovery on a Compacted Skid Road.

    PubMed

    Demir, Murat; Makineci, Ender; Gungor, Beyza Sat

    2008-05-15

    This study was executed to determine the plant species of herbaceous cover in a skid road subjected to soil compaction due to timber skidding in a beech (Fagus orientalis Lipsky.) stand. Our previous studies have shown that ground based timber skidding destroys the soils extremely, and degradations on ecosystem because of the timber skidding limit recovery and growth of plant cover on skid roads. However, some plant species show healthy habitat, recovery and they can survive after the extreme degradation in study area. We evaluated composition of these plant species and their cover-abundance scales in 100 m x 3 m transect. 15 plant species were determined belongs to 12 plant families and Liliaceae was the highest representative plant family. Smilax aspera L., Epimedium pubigerum (DC.) Moren et Decaisne, Carex distachya Desf. var. distachya Desf., Pteridium aquilinum (L.) Kuhn., Trachystemon orientalis (L.) G. Don, Hedera helix L. have the highest coverabundance scale overall of determined species on compacted skid road.

  8. Plant species loss decreases arthropod diversity and shifts trophic structure.

    PubMed

    Haddad, Nick M; Crutsinger, Gregory M; Gross, Kevin; Haarstad, John; Knops, Johannes M H; Tilman, David

    2009-10-01

    Plant diversity is predicted to be positively linked to the diversity of herbivores and predators in a foodweb. Yet, the relationship between plant and animal diversity is explained by a variety of competing hypotheses, with mixed empirical results for each hypothesis. We sampled arthropods for over a decade in an experiment that manipulated the number of grassland plant species. We found that herbivore and predator species richness were strongly, positively related to plant species richness, and that these relationships were caused by different mechanisms at herbivore and predator trophic levels. Even more dramatic was the threefold increase, from low- to high-plant species richness, in abundances of predatory and parasitoid arthropods relative to their herbivorous prey. Our results demonstrate that, over the long term, the loss of plant species propagates through food webs, greatly decreasing arthropod species richness, shifting a predator-dominated trophic structure to being herbivore dominated, and likely impacting ecosystem functioning and services.

  9. Evolutionary responses of native plant species to invasive plants: a review.

    PubMed

    Oduor, Ayub M O

    2013-12-01

    Strong competition from invasive plant species often leads to declines in abundances and may, in certain cases, cause localized extinctions of native plant species. Nevertheless, studies have shown that certain populations of native plant species can co-exist with invasive plant species,suggesting the possibility of adaptive evolutionary responses of those populations to the invasive plants. Empirical inference of evolutionary responses of the native plant species to invasive plants has involved experiments comparing two conspecific groups of native plants for differences in expression of growth/reproductive traits: populations that have experienced competition from the invasive plant species (i.e. experienced natives) versus populations with no known history of interactions with the invasive plant species (i.e. naıve natives). Here, I employ a meta-analysis to obtain a general pattern of inferred evolutionary responses of native plant species from 53 such studies. In general, the experienced natives had significantly higher growth/reproductive performances than naıve natives, when grown with or without competition from invasive plants.While the current results indicate that certain populations of native plant species could potentially adapt evolutionarily to invasive plant species, the ecological and evolutionary mechanisms that probably underlie such evolutionary responses remain unexplored and should be the focus of future studies.

  10. Divergent composition but similar function of soil food webs of individual plants: plant species and community effects.

    PubMed

    Bezemer, T M; Fountain, M T; Barea, J M; Christensen, S; Dekker, S C; Duyts, H; van Hal, R; Harvey, J A; Hedlund, K; Maraun, M; Mikola, J; Mladenov, A G; Robin, C; de Ruiter, P C; Scheu, S; Setälä, H; Smilauer, P; van der Putten, W H

    2010-10-01

    Soils are extremely rich in biodiversity, and soil organisms play pivotal roles in supporting terrestrial life, but the role that individual plants and plant communities play in influencing the diversity and functioning of soil food webs remains highly debated. Plants, as primary producers and providers of resources to the soil food web, are of vital importance for the composition, structure, and functioning of soil communities. However, whether natural soil food webs that are completely open to immigration and emigration differ underneath individual plants remains unknown. In a biodiversity restoration experiment we first compared the soil nematode communities of 228 individual plants belonging to eight herbaceous species. We included grass, leguminous, and non-leguminous species. Each individual plant grew intermingled with other species, but all plant species had a different nematode community. Moreover, nematode communities were more similar when plant individuals were growing in the same as compared to different plant communities, and these effects were most apparent for the groups of bacterivorous, carnivorous, and omnivorous nematodes. Subsequently, we analyzed the composition, structure, and functioning of the complete soil food webs of 58 individual plants, belonging to two of the plant species, Lotus corniculatus (Fabaceae) and Plantago lanceolata (Plantaginaceae). We isolated and identified more than 150 taxa/groups of soil organisms. The soil community composition and structure of the entire food webs were influenced both by the species identity of the plant individual and the surrounding plant community. Unexpectedly, plant identity had the strongest effects on decomposing soil organisms, widely believed to be generalist feeders. In contrast, quantitative food web modeling showed that the composition of the plant community influenced nitrogen mineralization under individual plants, but that plant species identity did not affect nitrogen or carbon

  11. Methane transport and emissions from soil as affected by water table and vascular plants

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The important greenhouse gas (GHG) methane is produced naturally in anaerobic wetland soils. By affecting the production, oxidation and transport of methane to the atmosphere, plants have a major influence upon the quantities emitted by wetlands. Different species and functional plant groups have been shown to affect these processes differently, but our knowledge about how these effects are influenced by abiotic factors such as water regime and temperature remains limited. Here we present a mesocosm experiment comparing eight plant species for their effects on internal transport and overall emissions of methane under contrasting hydrological conditions. To quantify how much methane was transported internally through plants (the chimney effect), we blocked diffusion from the soil surface with an agar seal. Results We found that graminoids caused higher methane emissions than forbs, although the emissions from mesocosms with different species were either lower than or comparable to those from control mesocosms with no plant (i.e. bare soil). Species with a relatively greater root volume and a larger biomass exhibited a larger chimney effect, though overall methane emissions were negatively related to plant biomass. Emissions were also reduced by lowering the water table. Conclusions We conclude that plant species (and functional groups) vary in the degree to which they transport methane to the atmosphere. However, a plant with a high capacity to transport methane does not necessarily emit more methane, as it may also cause more rhizosphere oxidation of methane. A shift in plant species composition from graminoids to forbs and/or from low to high productive species may lead to reduction of methane emissions. PMID:24010540

  12. Pollinator diversity affects plant reproduction and recruitment: the tradeoffs of generalization.

    PubMed

    Gómez, José M; Bosch, Jordi; Perfectti, Francisco; Fernández, Juande; Abdelaziz, Mohamed

    2007-09-01

    One outstanding and unsolved challenge in ecology and conservation biology is to understand how pollinator diversity affects plant performance. Here, we provide evidence of the functional role of pollination diversity in a plant species, Erysimum mediohispanicum (Brassicaceae). Pollinator abundance, richness and diversity as well as plant reproduction and recruitment were determined in eight plant populations. We found that E. mediohispanicum was generalized both at the regional and local (population) scale, since its flowers were visited by more than 100 species of insects with very different morphology, size and behaviour. However, populations differed in the degree of generalization. Generalization correlated with pollinator abundance and plant population size, but not with habitat, ungulate damage intensity, altitude or spatial location. More importantly, the degree of generalization had significant consequences for plant reproduction and recruitment. Plants from populations with intermediate generalization produced more seeds than plants from populations with low or high degrees of generalization. These differences were not the result of differences in number of flowers produced per plant. In addition, seedling emergence in a common garden was highest in plants from populations with intermediate degree of generalization. This outcome suggests the existence of an optimal level of generalizations even for generalized plant species.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Affective responses in tamarins elicited by species-specific music.

    PubMed

    Snowdon, Charles T; Teie, David

    2010-02-23

    Theories of music evolution agree that human music has an affective influence on listeners. Tests of non-humans provided little evidence of preferences for human music. However, prosodic features of speech ('motherese') influence affective behaviour of non-verbal infants as well as domestic animals, suggesting that features of music can influence the behaviour of non-human species. We incorporated acoustical characteristics of tamarin affiliation vocalizations and tamarin threat vocalizations into corresponding pieces of music. We compared music composed for tamarins with that composed for humans. Tamarins were generally indifferent to playbacks of human music, but responded with increased arousal to tamarin threat vocalization based music, and with decreased activity and increased calm behaviour to tamarin affective vocalization based music. Affective components in human music may have evolutionary origins in the structure of calls of non-human animals. In addition, animal signals may have evolved to manage the behaviour of listeners by influencing their affective state.

  15. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi reduce the differences in competitiveness between dominant and subordinate plant species.

    PubMed

    Mariotte, Pierre; Meugnier, Claire; Johnson, David; Thébault, Aurélie; Spiegelberger, Thomas; Buttler, Alexandre

    2013-05-01

    In grassland communities, plants can be classified as dominants or subordinates according to their relative abundances, but the factors controlling such distributions remain unclear. Here, we test whether the presence of the arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungus Glomus intraradices affects the competitiveness of two dominant (Taraxacum officinale and Agrostis capillaris) and two subordinate species (Prunella vulgaris and Achillea millefolium). Plants were grown in pots in the presence or absence of the fungus, in monoculture and in mixtures of both species groups with two and four species. In the absence of G. intraradices, dominants were clearly more competitive than subordinates. In inoculated pots, the fungus acted towards the parasitic end of the mutualism-parasitism continuum and had an overall negative effect on the growth of the plant species. However, the negative effects of the AM fungus were more pronounced on dominant species reducing the differences in competitiveness between dominant and subordinate species. The effects of G. intraradices varied with species composition highlighting the importance of plant community to mediate the effects of AM fungi. Dominant species were negatively affected from the AM fungus in mixtures, while subordinates grew identically with and without the fungus. Therefore, our findings predict that the plant dominance hierarchy may flatten out when dominant species are more reduced than subordinate species in an unfavourable AM fungal relationship (parasitism).

  16. Binucleation to breed new plant species adaptable to their environments.

    PubMed

    Moustafa, Khaled

    2015-01-01

    Classical plant breeding approaches may fall short to breed new plant species of high environmental and ecological interests. Biotechnological and genetic manipulations, on the other hand, may hold more effective capabilities to circumvent the limitations of sexual incompatibility and conventional breeding programs. Given that plant cells encompass multiple copies of organellar genomes (mitochondrial and plastidial genomes), an important question could be raised about whether an artificial attempt to duplicate the nuclear genome might also be conceivable through a binucleation approach (generating plant cells with 2 nuclei from 2 different plant species) for potential production of new polyploidies that would characterize new plant species. Since the complexities of plant genomes are the result of multiple genome duplications, an artificial binucleation approach would thus be of some interest to eventually varying plant genomes and producing new polyploidy from related or distal plant species. Here, I discuss the potentiality of such an approach to engineer binucleated plant cells as a germ of new plant species to fulfill some environmental applications such as increasing the biodiversity and breeding new species adaptable to harsh environmental stresses and increasing green surfaces to reduce atmospheric pollutions in arid lands with poor vegetation.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2007-01-01

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

  18. Students' Perception of Plant and Animal Species: A Case Study from Rural Argentina

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nates, Juliana; Campos, Claudia; Lindemann-Matthies, Petra

    2010-01-01

    Exotic species seriously affect local biodiversity in Argentina. This article investigates how students in San Juan province perceive native and exotic species. With the help of a written questionnaire, 865 students (9-17 years old) were asked to name the plant and animal they liked most, disliked most, and perceived as most useful, and to name…

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  20. Habitats as Complex Odour Environments: How Does Plant Diversity Affect Herbivore and Parasitoid Orientation?

    PubMed Central

    Wäschke, Nicole; Hardge, Kristin; Hancock, Christine; Hilker, Monika; Obermaier, Elisabeth; Meiners, Torsten

    2014-01-01

    Plant diversity is known to affect success of host location by pest insects, but its effect on olfactory orientation of non-pest insect species has hardly been addressed. First, we tested in laboratory experiments the hypothesis that non-host plants, which increase odour complexity in habitats, affect the host location ability of herbivores and parasitoids. Furthermore, we recorded field data of plant diversity in addition to herbivore and parasitoid abundance at 77 grassland sites in three different regions in Germany in order to elucidate whether our laboratory results reflect the field situation. As a model system we used the herb Plantago lanceolata, the herbivorous weevil Mecinus pascuorum, and its larval parasitoid Mesopolobus incultus. The laboratory bioassays revealed that both the herbivorous weevil and its larval parasitoid can locate their host plant and host via olfactory cues even in the presence of non-host odour. In a newly established two-circle olfactometer, the weeviĺs capability to detect host plant odour was not affected by odours from non-host plants. However, addition of non-host plant odours to host plant odour enhanced the weeviĺs foraging activity. The parasitoid was attracted by a combination of host plant and host volatiles in both the absence and presence of non-host plant volatiles in a Y-tube olfactometer. In dual choice tests the parasitoid preferred the blend of host plant and host volatiles over its combination with non-host plant volatiles. In the field, no indication was found that high plant diversity disturbs host (plant) location by the weevil and its parasitoid. In contrast, plant diversity was positively correlated with weevil abundance, whereas parasitoid abundance was independent of plant diversity. Therefore, we conclude that weevils and parasitoids showed the sensory capacity to successfully cope with complex vegetation odours when searching for hosts. PMID:24416354

  1. Plant species differ in early seedling growth and tissue nutrient responses to arbuscular and ectomycorrhizal fungi.

    PubMed

    Holste, Ellen K; Kobe, Richard K; Gehring, Catherine A

    2017-04-01

    Experiments with plant species that can host both arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and ectomycorrhizal fungi (EMF) are important to separating the roles of fungal type and plant species and understanding the influence of the types of symbioses on plant growth and nutrient acquisition. We examined the effects of mycorrhizal fungal type on the growth and tissue nutrient content of two tree species (Eucalyptus grandis and Quercus costaricensis) grown under four nutrient treatments (combinations of low versus high nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) with different N:P ratios) in the greenhouse. Trees were inoculated with unidentified field mixtures of AMF or EMF species cultivated on root fragments of AMF- or EMF-specific bait plants. In E. grandis, inoculation with both AMF and EMF positively affected belowground plant dry weight and negatively affected aboveground dry weight, while only inoculation with AMF increased tissue nutrient content. Conversely, Q. costaricensis dry weight and nutrient content did not differ significantly among inoculation treatments, potentially due to its dependence on cotyledon reserves for growth. Mineral nutrition of both tree species differed with the ratio of N to P applied while growth did not. Our results demonstrate that both tree species' characteristics and the soil nutrient environment can affect how AMF and EMF interact with their host plants. This research highlights the importance of mycorrhizal fungal-tree-soil interactions during early seedling growth and suggests that differences between AMF and EMF associations may be crucial to understanding forest ecosystem functioning.

  2. 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.

  3. Alien Roadside Species More Easily Invade Alpine than Lowland Plant Communities in a Subarctic Mountain Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Lembrechts, Jonas J.; Milbau, Ann; Nijs, Ivan

    2014-01-01

    Effects of roads on plant communities are not well known in cold-climate mountain ecosystems, where road building and development are expected to increase in future decades. Knowledge of the sensitivity of mountain plant communities to disturbance by roads is however important for future conservation purposes. We investigate the effects of roads on species richness and composition, including the plant strategies that are most affected, along three elevational gradients in a subarctic mountain ecosystem. We also examine whether mountain roads promote the introduction and invasion of alien plant species from the lowlands to the alpine zone. Observations of plant community composition were made together with abiotic, biotic and anthropogenic factors in 60 T-shaped transects. Alpine plant communities reacted differently to road disturbances than their lowland counterparts. On high elevations, the roadside species composition was more similar to that of the local natural communities. Less competitive and ruderal species were present at high compared with lower elevation roadsides. While the effects of roads thus seem to be mitigated in the alpine environment for plant species in general, mountain plant communities are more invasible than lowland communities. More precisely, relatively more alien species present in the roadside were found to invade into the surrounding natural community at high compared to low elevations. We conclude that effects of roads and introduction of alien species in lowlands cannot simply be extrapolated to the alpine and subarctic environment. PMID:24586947

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  5. Conservation Tillage Affects Species Composition But Not Species Diversity: A Comparative Study in Northern Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boscutti, Francesco; Sigura, Maurizia; Gambon, Nadia; Lagazio, Corrado; Krüsi, Bertil O.; Bonfanti, Pierluigi

    2015-02-01

    Conservation tillage (CT) is widely considered to be a practice aimed at preserving several ecosystem functions. In the literature, however, there seems to be no clear pattern with regard to its benefits on species diversity and species composition. In Northern Italy, we compared species composition and diversity of both vascular plants and Carabids under two contrasting tillage systems, i.e., CT and conventional tillage, respectively. We hypothesized a significant positive impact of CT on both species diversity and composition. We also considered the potential influence of crop type. The tillage systems were studied under open field conditions with three types of annual crops (i.e., maize, soybean, and winter cereals), using a split-plot design on pairs of adjacent fields. Linear mixed models were applied to test tillage system, crop, and interaction effects on diversity indices. Plant and Carabids communities were analyzed by multivariate methods (CCA). On the whole, 136 plant and 51 carabid taxa were recorded. The two tillage systems studied did not differ in floristic or carabid diversity. Species composition, by contrast, proved to be characteristic for each combination of tillage system and crop type. In particular, CT fields were characterized by nutrient demanding weeds and the associated Carabids. The differences were especially pronounced in fields with winter cereals. The same was true for the flora and Carabids along the field boundaries. For studying the effects of CT practices on the sustainability of agro-ecosystems, therefore, the focus should be on species composition rather than on diversity measures.

  6. Crop size, plant aggregation, and microhabitat type affect fruit removal by birds from individual melastome plants in the Upper Amazon.

    PubMed

    Blendinger, Pedro G; Loiselle, Bette A; Blake, John G

    2008-11-01

    We studied the efficiency (proportion of the crop removed) and quantitative effectiveness (number of fruits removed) of dispersal of Miconia fosteri and M. serrulata (Melastomataceae) seeds by birds in lowland tropical wet forest of Ecuador. Specifically, we examined variation in fruit removal in order to reveal the spatial scale at which crop size influences seed dispersal outcome of individual plants, and to evaluate how the effect of crop size on plant dispersal success may be affected by conspecific fruit abundance and by the spatial distribution of frugivore abundance. We established two 9-ha plots in undisturbed terra-firme understory, where six manakin species (Pipridae) disperse most seeds of these two plant species. Mean levels of fruit removal were low for both species, with high variability among plants. In general, plants with larger crop sizes experienced greater efficiency and effectiveness of fruit removal than plants with smaller crops. Fruit removal, however, was also influenced by microhabitat, such as local topography and local neighborhood. Fruit-rich and disperser-rich patches overlapped spatially for M. fosteri but not M. serrulata, nonetheless fruit removal of M. serrulata was still much greater in fruit-rich patches. Fruit removal from individual plants did not decrease in patches with many fruiting conspecifics and, in fact, removal effectiveness was enhanced for M. fosteri with small crop sizes when such plants were in patches with more conspecifics. These results suggest that benefits of attracting dispersers to a patch balanced or outweighed the costs of competition for dispersers. Spatial pattern of fruit removal, a measure of plant fitness, depended on a complex interaction among plant traits, spatial patterns of plant distribution, and disperser behavior.

  7. Host plant affects morphometric variation of Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Liviidae)

    PubMed Central

    Paris, Thomson M.; Hall, David G.; Hentz, Matthew G.; Hetesy, Gabriella; Stansly, Philip A.

    2016-01-01

    The Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), Diaphorina citri Kuwayama, is one of the most serious citrus pests worldwide due to its role as vector of huanglongbing or citrus greening disease. While some optimal plant species for ACP oviposition and development have been identified, little is known of the influence of host plants on ACP size and shape. Our goal was to determine how size and shape of ACP wing and body size varies when development occurs on different host plants in a controlled rearing environment. ACP were reared on six different rutaceous species; Bergera koenigii, Citrus aurantifolia, Citrus macrophylla, Citrus maxima, Citrus taiwanica and Murraya paniculata. Adults were examined for morphometric variation using traditional and geometric analysis based on 12 traits or landmarks. ACP reared on C. taiwanica were consistently smaller than those reared on the other plant species. Wing aspect ratio also differed between C. maxima and C. taiwanica. Significant differences in shape were detected with those reared on M. paniculata having narrower wings than those reared on C. macrophylla. This study provides evidence of wing size and shape differences of ACP based on host plant species which potentially may impact dispersal. Further study is needed to determine if behavioral and physiological differences are associated with the observed phenotypic differences. PMID:27833820

  8. Host plant affects morphometric variation of Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Liviidae).

    PubMed

    Paris, Thomson M; Allan, Sandra A; Hall, David G; Hentz, Matthew G; Hetesy, Gabriella; Stansly, Philip A

    2016-01-01

    The Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), Diaphorina citri Kuwayama, is one of the most serious citrus pests worldwide due to its role as vector of huanglongbing or citrus greening disease. While some optimal plant species for ACP oviposition and development have been identified, little is known of the influence of host plants on ACP size and shape. Our goal was to determine how size and shape of ACP wing and body size varies when development occurs on different host plants in a controlled rearing environment. ACP were reared on six different rutaceous species; Bergera koenigii, Citrus aurantifolia, Citrus macrophylla, Citrus maxima, Citrus taiwanica and Murraya paniculata. Adults were examined for morphometric variation using traditional and geometric analysis based on 12 traits or landmarks. ACP reared on C. taiwanica were consistently smaller than those reared on the other plant species. Wing aspect ratio also differed between C. maxima and C. taiwanica. Significant differences in shape were detected with those reared on M. paniculata having narrower wings than those reared on C. macrophylla. This study provides evidence of wing size and shape differences of ACP based on host plant species which potentially may impact dispersal. Further study is needed to determine if behavioral and physiological differences are associated with the observed phenotypic differences.

  9. Canopy cover negatively affects arboreal ant species richness in a tropical open habitat.

    PubMed

    Queiroz, A C M; Ribas, C R

    2016-01-01

    We tested the hypothesis of a negative relationship between vegetation characteristics and ant species richness in a Brazilian open vegetation habitat, called candeial. We set up arboreal pitfalls to sample arboreal ants and measured the following environmental variables, which were used as surrogate of environmental heterogeneity: tree richness, tree density, tree height, circumference at the base of the plants, and canopy cover. Only canopy cover had a negative effect on the arboreal ant species richness. Vegetation characteristics and plant species composition are probably homogeneous in candeial, which explains the lack of relationship between other environmental variables and ant richness. Open vegetation habitats harbor a large number of opportunistic and generalist species, besides specialist ants from habitats with high temperatures. An increase in canopy cover decreases sunlight incidence and may cause local microclimatic differences, which negatively affect the species richness of specialist ants from open areas. Canopy cover regulates the richness of arboreal ants in open areas, since only few ant species are able to colonize sites with dense vegetation; most species are present in sites with high temperature and luminosity. Within open vegetation habitats the relationship between vegetation characteristics and species richness seems to be the opposite from closed vegetation areas, like forests.

  10. Factors affecting Culicoides species composition and abundance in avian nests.

    PubMed

    Martínez-de la Puente, J; Merino, S; Tomás, G; Moreno, J; Morales, J; Lobato, E; Talavera, S; Sarto I Monteys, V

    2009-08-01

    Mechanisms affecting patterns of vector distribution among host individuals may influence the population and evolutionary dynamics of vectors, hosts and the parasites transmitted. We studied the role of different factors affecting the species composition and abundance of Culicoides found in nests of the blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus). We identified 1531 females and 2 males of 7 different Culicoides species in nests, with C. simulator being the most abundant species, followed by C. kibunensis, C. festivipennis, C. segnis, C. truncorum, C. pictipennis and C. circumscriptus. We conducted a medicationxfumigation experiment randomly assigning bird's nests to different treatments, thereby generating groups of medicated and control pairs breeding in fumigated and control nests. Medicated pairs were injected with the anti-malarial drug Primaquine diluted in saline solution while control pairs were injected with saline solution. The fumigation treatment was carried out using insecticide solution or water for fumigated and control nests respectively. Brood size was the main factor associated with the abundance of biting midges probably because more nestlings may produce higher quantities of vector attractants. In addition, birds medicated against haemoparasites breeding in non-fumigated nests supported a higher abundance of C. festivipennis than the rest of the groups. Also, we found that the fumigation treatment reduced the abundance of engorged Culicoides in both medicated and control nests, thus indicating a reduction of feeding success produced by the insecticide. These results represent the first evidence for the role of different factors in affecting the Culicoides infracommunity in wild avian nests.

  11. Root-Zone Glyphosate Exposure Adversely Affects Two Ditch Species

    PubMed Central

    Saunders, Lyndsay E.; Koontz, Melissa B.; Pezeshki, Reza

    2013-01-01

    Glyphosate, one of the most applied herbicides globally, has been extensively studied for its effects on non-target organisms. In the field, following precipitation, glyphosate runs off into agricultural ditches where it infiltrates into the soil and thus may encounter the roots of vegetation. These edge-of-field ditches share many characteristics with wetlands, including the ability to reduce loads of anthropogenic chemicals through uptake, transformation, and retention. Different species within the ditches may have a differential sensitivity to exposure of the root zone to glyphosate, contributing to patterns of abundance of ruderal species. The present laboratory experiment investigated whether two species commonly found in agricultural ditches in southcentral United States were affected by root zone glyphosate in a dose-dependent manner, with the objective of identifying a sublethal concentration threshold. The root zone of individuals of Polygonum hydropiperoides and Panicum hemitomon were exposed to four concentrations of glyphosate. Leaf chlorophyll content was measured, and the ratio of aboveground biomass to belowground biomass and survival were quantified. The findings from this study showed that root zone glyphosate exposure negatively affected both species including dose-dependent reductions in chlorophyll content. P. hydropiperdoides showed the greatest negative response, with decreased belowground biomass allocation and total mortality at the highest concentrations tested. PMID:24833234

  12. [Rare plant species: floristic, phytocoenotic and population approach].

    PubMed

    Zlobin, Iu A

    2011-01-01

    The system of concepts used when estimating the rarity of plants is analyzed and the basic categories of rarity are defined, namely: true, diffuse, peripheral and temporal. The insufficiency of scientific information on ecological and coenotic relationships of rare plants is demonstrated and the necessity of a complex assessment of population system of a rare plant species is substantiated. The importance and limitations of the information on rare plants contained in the Red Books and the Red Lists for phytosozological practice is discussed.

  13. The Anthelmintic Ingredient Moxidectin Negatively Affects Seed Germination of Three Temperate Grassland Species

    PubMed Central

    Eichberg, Carsten; Wohde, Manuel; Müller, Kerstin; Rausch, Anja; Scherrmann, Christina; Scheuren, Theresa; Düring, Rolf-Alexander; Donath, Tobias W.

    2016-01-01

    In animal farming, anthelmintics are regularly applied to control gastrointestinal nematodes. There is plenty of evidence that also non-target organisms, such as dung beetles, are negatively affected by residues of anthelmintics in faeces of domestic ungulates. By contrast, knowledge about possible effects on wild plants is scarce. To bridge this gap of knowledge, we tested for effects of the common anthelmintic formulation Cydectin and its active ingredient moxidectin on seed germination. We conducted a feeding experiment with sheep and germination experiments in a climate chamber. Three wide-spread plant species of temperate grasslands (Centaurea jacea, Galium verum, Plantago lanceolata) were studied. We found significant influences of both, Cydectin and moxidectin, on germination of the tested species. Across species, both formulation and active ingredient solely led to a decrease in germination percentage and synchrony of germination and an increase in mean germination time with the formulation showing a more pronounced response pattern. Our study shows for the first time that anthelmintics have the potential to negatively affect plant regeneration. This has practical implications for nature conservation since our results suggest that treatments of livestock with anthelmintics should be carefully timed to not impede endozoochorous seed exchange between plant populations. PMID:27846249

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

  15. Ecophysiological studies of Mediterranean plant species at the Castelporziano estate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manes, Fausto; Seufert, Günther; Vitale, Marcello

    The aim of this work was to characterize the eco-physiological performance of the main plant species of the Castelporziano site by single leaf investigations. We measured the leaf gas exchange of Quercus ilex L., Pinus pinea L., Pistacia lentiscus L. and Asphodelus microcarpus L. for several days. Additionally, the xylem water potential of Quercus ilex, Pinus pinea and Pistacia lentiscus was recorded in order to obtain more physiological background information for the discussion of the trace gas emissions. This study indicates significantly different physiological responses to the different environmental conditions. In particular, summer conditions (high values of light, air temperature and low xylem water potentials) caused the depression of photosynthesis in Quercus ilex and Pinus pinea but did not affect photosynthesis of Pistacia lentiscus and Asphodelus microcarpus. This should be taken into account when discussing VOC emission rates and fluxes.

  16. Iron deficiency affects plant defence responses and confers resistance to Dickeya dadantii and Botrytis cinerea.

    PubMed

    Kieu, Nam Phuong; Aznar, Aude; Segond, Diego; Rigault, Martine; Simond-Côte, Elizabeth; Kunz, Caroline; Soulie, Marie-Christine; Expert, Dominique; Dellagi, Alia

    2012-10-01

    Iron is an essential element for most living organisms, and pathogens are likely to compete with their hosts for the acquisition of this element. The bacterial plant pathogen Dickeya dadantii has been shown to require its siderophore-mediated iron uptake system for systemic disease progression on several host plants, including Arabidopsis thaliana. In this study, we investigated the effect of the iron status of Arabidopsis on the severity of disease caused by D. dadantii. We showed that symptom severity, bacterial fitness and the expression of bacterial pectate lyase-encoding genes were reduced in iron-deficient plants. Reduced symptoms correlated with enhanced expression of the salicylic acid defence plant marker gene PR1. However, levels of the ferritin coding transcript AtFER1, callose deposition and production of reactive oxygen species were reduced in iron-deficient infected plants, ruling out the involvement of these defences in the limitation of disease caused by D. dadantii. Disease reduction in iron-starved plants was also observed with the necrotrophic fungus Botrytis cinerea. Our data demonstrate that the plant nutritional iron status can control the outcome of an infection by acting on both the pathogen's virulence and the host's defence. In addition, iron nutrition strongly affects the disease caused by two soft rot-causing plant pathogens with a large host range. Thus, it may be of interest to take into account the plant iron status when there is a need to control disease without compromising crop quality and yield in economically important plant species.

  17. Are the metabolomic responses to folivory of closely related plant species linked to macroevolutionary and plant-folivore coevolutionary processes?

    SciTech Connect

    Rivas-Ubach, Albert; Hódar, José A.; Sardans, Jordi; Kyle, Jennifer E.; Kim, Young-Mo; Oravec, Michal; Urban, Otmar; Guenther, Alex; Peñuelas, Josep

    2016-06-02

    The debate whether the coevolution of plants and insects or macroevolutionary processes (phylogeny) is the main driver determining the arsenal of molecular defensive compounds of plants remains unresolved. Attacks by herbivorous insects affect not only the composition of defensive compounds in plants but the entire metabolome (the set of molecular metabolites), including defensive compounds. Metabolomes are the final products of genotypes and are directly affected by macroevolutionary processes, so closely related species should have similar metabolomic compositions and may respond in similar ways to attacks by folivores. We analyzed the elemental compositions and metabolomes of needles from Pinus pinaster, P. nigra and P. sylvestris to determine if these closely related Pinus species with different coevolutionary histories with the caterpillars of the processionary moth respond similarly to attacks by this lepidopteran. All pines had different metabolomes and metabolic responses to herbivorous attack. The metabolomic variation among the pine species and the responses to folivory reflected their macroevolutionary relationships, with P. pinaster having the most divergent metabolome. The concentrations of phenolic metabolites were generally not higher in the attacked trees, which had lower concentrations of terpenes, suggesting that herbivores avoid individuals with high concentrations of terpenes. Our results suggest that macroevolutionary history plays important roles in the metabolomic responses of these pine species to folivory, but plant-insect coevolution probably constrains those responses. Combinations of different evolutionary factors and trade-offs are likely responsible for the different responses of each species to folivory, which is not necessarily exclusively linked to plant-insect coevolution.

  18. Relative abundance of an invasive alien plant affects insect-flower interaction networks in Ireland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stout, Jane C.; Casey, Leanne M.

    2014-02-01

    Invasive alien flowering plants may affect native plant pollinator interactions and have knock on impacts on populations of native plants and animals. The magnitude of these impacts, however, may be modified by the relative abundance of the invasive plant and the number of flowers it presents.We tested this by examining the structure of insect-flower interaction networks in six sites with increasing levels of invasion by Rhododendron ponticum in Ireland.Neither flower-visiting insect abundance, species richness nor diversity were related to R. ponticum flower abundance, but the composition of insect communities was. The total number of flowers in a site increased with the relative abundance of R. ponticum flowers but the number of co-flowering native plant species in these sites was low (<6), making interaction networks relatively small.As a result, changes in interaction network properties (connectance, interaction evenness and network level specialisation), which correlated with R. ponticum flower abundance, were a result of the small network size rather than due to changes in the resilience of networks.Overall, we conclude that the impacts of invasive alien plants on native plant-pollinator interactions are not only species specific, but site specific, according to the abundance of flowers produced by both the invasive and the native plants.

  19. Regional climate model downscaling may improve the prediction of alien plant species distributions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Shuyan; Liang, Xin-Zhong; Gao, Wei; Stohlgren, Thomas J.

    2014-12-01

    Distributions of invasive species are commonly predicted with species distribution models that build upon the statistical relationships between observed species presence data and climate data. We used field observations, climate station data, and Maximum Entropy species distribution models for 13 invasive plant species in the United States, and then compared the models with inputs from a General Circulation Model (hereafter GCM-based models) and a downscaled Regional Climate Model (hereafter, RCM-based models).We also compared species distributions based on either GCM-based or RCM-based models for the present (1990-1999) to the future (2046-2055). RCM-based species distribution models replicated observed distributions remarkably better than GCM-based models for all invasive species under the current climate. This was shown for the presence locations of the species, and by using four common statistical metrics to compare modeled distributions. For two widespread invasive taxa ( Bromus tectorum or cheatgrass, and Tamarix spp. or tamarisk), GCM-based models failed miserably to reproduce observed species distributions. In contrast, RCM-based species distribution models closely matched observations. Future species distributions may be significantly affected by using GCM-based inputs. Because invasive plants species often show high resilience and low rates of local extinction, RCM-based species distribution models may perform better than GCM-based species distribution models for planning containment programs for invasive species.

  20. Pollinator coupling can induce synchronized flowering in different plant species.

    PubMed

    Tachiki, Yuuya; Iwasa, Yoh; Satake, Akiko

    2010-11-21

    Synchronous and intermittent plant reproduction has been identified widely in diverse biomes. While synchronous flowering is normally observed within the same species, different species also flower in synchrony. A well-known example of interspecific synchrony is "general flowering" in tropical rain forests of Southeast Asia. Environmental factors, such as low temperature and drought, have been considered as major trigger of general flowering. However, environmental cues are not enough to explain general flowering because some trees do not flower even when they encounter favorable environmental cues. We propose alternative explanation of general flowering; "pollinator coupling". When species flower synchronously, the elevated pollen and nectar resource may attract increased numbers of generalist pollinators, with a concomitant enhancement of pollination success (facilitation). However, under these circumstances, plants of different species may compete with one another for limited pollinator services, resulting in declines in pollination success for individual species (competition). Here, we present a model describing resource dynamics of individual trees serviced by generalist pollinators. We analyze combinations of conditions under which plants reproduce intermittently with synchronization within species, and/or (sometimes) between different species. We show that plants synchronize flowering when the number of pollinators attracted to an area increases at an accelerating rate with increasing numbers of flowers. In this case, facilitation of flowering by different species exceeds the negative influence of interspecific plant competition. We demonstrate mathematically that co-flowering of different species occurs under a much narrower range of circumstances than intraspecific co-flowering.

  1. Mapping National Plant Biodiversity Patterns in South Korea with the MARS Species Distribution Model

    PubMed Central

    Choe, Hyeyeong; Thorne, James H.; Seo, Changwan

    2016-01-01

    Accurate information on the distribution of existing species is crucial to assess regional biodiversity. However, data inventories are insufficient in many areas. We examine the ability of Multivariate Adaptive Regression Splines (MARS) multi-response species distribution model to overcome species’ data limitations and portray plant species distribution patterns for 199 South Korean plant species. The study models species with two or more observations, examines their contribution to national patterns of species richness, provides a sensitivity analysis of different range threshold cutoff approaches for modeling species’ ranges, and presents considerations for species modeling at fine spatial resolution. We ran MARS models for each species and tested four threshold methods to transform occurrence probabilities into presence or absence range maps. Modeled occurrence probabilities were extracted at each species’ presence points, and the mean, median, and one standard deviation (SD) calculated to define data-driven thresholds. A maximum sum of sensitivity and specificity threshold was also calculated, and the range maps from the four cutoffs were tested using independent plant survey data. The single SD values were the best threshold tested for minimizing omission errors and limiting species ranges to areas where the associated occurrence data were correctly classed. Eight individual species range maps for rare plant species were identified that are potentially affected by resampling predictor variables to fine spatial scales. We portray spatial patterns of high species richness by assessing the combined range maps from three classes of species: all species, endangered and endemic species, and range-size rarity of all species, which could be used in conservation planning for South Korea. The MARS model is promising for addressing the common problem of few species occurrence records. However, projected species ranges are highly dependent on the threshold and scale

  2. The factors controlling species density in herbaceous plant communities: An assessment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grace, J.B.

    1999-01-01

    This paper evaluates both the ideas and empirical evidence pertaining to the control of species density in herbaceous plant communities. While most theoretical discussions of species density have emphasized the importance of habitat productivity and disturbance regimes, many other factors (e.g. species pools, plant litter accumulation, plant morphology) have been proposed to be important. A review of literature presenting observations on the density of species in small plots (in the vicinity of a few square meters or less), as well as experimental studies, suggests several generalizations: (1) Available data are consistent with an underlying unimodal relationship between species density and total community biomass. While variance in species density is often poorly explained by predictor variables, there is strong evidence that high levels of community biomass are antagonistic to high species density. (2) Community biomass is just one of several factors affecting variations in species density. Multivariate analyses typically explain more than twice as much variance in species density as can be explained by community biomass alone. (3) Disturbance has important and sometimes complex effects on species density. In general, the evidence is consistent with the intermediate disturbance hypothesis but exceptions exist and effects can be complex. (4) Gradients in the species pool can have important influences on patterns of species density. Evidence is mounting that a considerable amount of the observed variability in species density within a landscape or region may result from environmental effects on the species pool. (5) Several additional factors deserve greater consideration, including time lags, species composition, plant morphology, plant density and soil microbial effects. Based on the available evidence, a conceptual model of the primary factors controlling species density is presented here. This model suggests that species density is controlled by the effects of

  3. Phytotoxins produced by plant pathogenic Streptomyces species.

    PubMed

    Bignell, D R D; Fyans, J K; Cheng, Z

    2014-02-01

    Streptomyces is a large genus consisting of soil-dwelling, filamentous bacteria that are best known for their capability of producing a vast array of medically and agriculturally useful secondary metabolites. In addition, a small number of Streptomyces spp. are capable of colonizing and infecting the underground portions of living plants and causing economically important crop diseases such as potato common scab (CS). Research into the mechanisms of Streptomyces plant pathogenicity has led to the identification and characterization of several phytotoxic secondary metabolites that are known or suspected of contributing to diseases in various plants. The best characterized are the thaxtomin phytotoxins, which play a critical role in the development of CS, acid scab and soil rot of sweet potato. In addition, the best-characterized CS-causing pathogen, Streptomyces scabies, produces a molecule that is predicted to resemble the Pseudomonas syringae coronatine phytotoxin and which contributes to seedling disease symptom development. Other Streptomyces phytotoxic secondary metabolites that have been identified include concanamycins, FD-891 and borrelidin. Furthermore, there is evidence that additional, unknown metabolites may participate in Streptomyces plant pathogenicity. Such revelations have implications for the rational development of better management procedures for controlling CS and other Streptomyces plant diseases.

  4. Origin matters: diversity affects the performance of alien invasive species but not of native species.

    PubMed

    Sun, Yan; Müller-Schärer, Heinz; Maron, John L; Schaffner, Urs

    2015-06-01

    At local scales, it has often been found that invasibility decreases with increasing resident plant diversity. However, whether resident community diversity similarly resists invasion by alien versus native species is seldom studied. We examined this issue by invading constructed native plant assemblages that varied in species and functional richness with invasive alien or native Asteraceae species. Assemblages were also invaded with spotted knapweed, Centaurea stoebe, a native European aster that has been previously used in diversity-invasibility experiments in North America. We also conducted a field survey to explore the generality of the patterns generated from our experimental study. Both experimental and observational work revealed that increasing diversity reduced the performance of alien but not native invaders. Centaurea stoebe invading its native community performed poorly regardless of resident diversity, whereas in a parallel, previously published study conducted in North America, C. stoebe easily invaded low-diversity but not high-diversity assemblages. Our results suggest that diversity is an attribute of resident communities that makes them more or less susceptible to invasion by novel invasive alien but not native plant species.

  5. [Traightened on Chinese endemic seed plant species of medicine plants used in Tibetan medicine].

    PubMed

    Zhou, Hua-rong; Mu, Ze-jing; Du, Xiao-lang; He, Jun-wei; Cao, Lan; Zhong, Guo-yue

    2015-09-01

    This paper is in order to discussion with the composition and characteristics of Tibetan medicine plant resources, and promote the reasonable protection and utilization of the resources of Tibetan materia medica. Statistical analysis of species, distributions, and others of Chinese endemic seed plant from Tibetan medicine plants and usually used in the clinic of Tibetan medicine. The results showed that there are 523 species (25%) of Chinese endemic seed plant, belonging to 65 families and 162 genera, in about 2 000 varieties of Tibetan medicine plants recorded in relevant literatures. There are 180 Chinese endemic seed plant species (28%) belonging to 42 families and 72 genera from 625 medicine plants usually used in the clinic of Tibetan medicine. Specifically, the most of these Chinese endemic seed plant species are characteristic crude drug used in Tibetan medicine, and mainly or only distributed in Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. And a few species of them were intersected with traditional Chinese medicines (TCM) and other ethnic medicines. In addition, about 10% are listed in China Species Red List. The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is the most abundant areas of Areal-types of the Chinese endemic seed plant. This is the biological and ecological reason formation the characteristics of Tibetan medicine plant resources. Therefore, strengthen the research of Chinese endemic seed plants used in Tibetan medicine is great significance for the reasonable protection and utilization of Tibetan medicine plant resources.

  6. Plant species richness enhances nitrogen retention in green roof plots.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Catherine; Schweinhart, Shelbye; Buffam, Ishi

    2016-10-01

    Vegetated (green) roofs have become common in many cities and are projected to continue to increase in coverage, but little is known about the ecological properties of these engineered ecosystems. In this study, we tested the biodiversity-ecosystem function hypothesis using commercially available green roof trays as replicated plots with varying levels of plant species richness (0, 1, 3, or 6 common green roof species per plot, using plants with different functional characteristics). We estimated accumulated plant biomass near the peak of the first full growing season (July 2013) and measured runoff volume after nearly every rain event from September 2012 to September 2013 (33 events) and runoff fluxes of inorganic nutrients ammonium, nitrate, and phosphate from a subset of 10 events. We found that (1) total plant biomass increased with increasing species richness, (2) green roof plots were effective at reducing storm runoff, with vegetation increasing water retention more than soil-like substrate alone, but there was no significant effect of plant species identity or richness on runoff volume, (3) green roof substrate was a significant source of phosphate, regardless of presence/absence of plants, and (4) dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN = nitrate + ammonium) runoff fluxes were different among plant species and decreased significantly with increasing plant species richness. The variation in N retention was positively related to variation in plant biomass. Notably, the increased biomass and N retention with species richness in this engineered ecosystem are similar to patterns observed in published studies from grasslands and other well-studied ecosystems. We suggest that more diverse plantings on vegetated roofs may enhance the retention capacity for reactive nitrogen. This is of importance for the sustained health of vegetated roof ecosystems, which over time often experience nitrogen limitation, and is also relevant for water quality in receiving waters

  7. Climate warming affects biological invasions by shifting interactions of plants and herbivores.

    PubMed

    Lu, Xinmin; Siemann, Evan; Shao, Xu; Wei, Hui; Ding, Jianqing

    2013-08-01

    Plants and herbivorous insects can each be dramatically affected by temperature. Climate warming may impact plant invasion success directly but also indirectly through changes in their natural enemies. To date, however, there are no tests of how climate warming shifts the interactions among invasive plants and their natural enemies to affect invasion success. Field surveys covering the full latitudinal range of invasive Alternanthera philoxeroides in China showed that a beetle introduced for biocontrol was rare or absent at higher latitudes. In contrast, plant cover and mass increased with latitude. In a 2-year field experiment near the northern limit of beetle distribution, we found the beetle sustained populations across years under elevated temperature, dramatically decreasing A. philoxeroides growth, but it failed to overwinter in ambient temperature. Together, these results suggest that warming will allow the natural enemy to expand its range, potentially benefiting biocontrol in regions that are currently too cold for the natural enemy. However, the invader may also expand its range further north in response to warming. In such cases where plants tolerate cold better than their natural enemies, the geographical gap between plant and herbivorous insect ranges may not disappear but will shift to higher latitudes, leading to a new zone of enemy release. Therefore, warming will not only affect plant invasions directly but also drive either enemy release or increase that will result in contrasting effects on invasive plants. The findings are also critical for future management of invasive species under climate change.

  8. Plant traits affecting herbivory on tree recruits in highly diverse subtropical forests.

    PubMed

    Schuldt, Andreas; Bruelheide, Helge; Durka, Walter; Eichenberg, David; Fischer, Markus; Kröber, Wenzel; Härdtle, Werner; Ma, Keping; Michalski, Stefan G; Palm, Wolf-Ulrich; Schmid, Bernhard; Welk, Erik; Zhou, Hongzhang; Assmann, Thorsten

    2012-07-01

    Differences in herbivory among woody species can greatly affect the functioning of forest ecosystems, particularly in species-rich (sub)tropical regions. However, the relative importance of the different plant traits which determine herbivore damage remains unclear. Defence traits can have strong effects on herbivory, but rarely studied geographical range characteristics could complement these effects through evolutionary associations with herbivores. Herein, we use a large number of morphological, chemical, phylogenetic and biogeographical characteristics to analyse interspecific differences in herbivory on tree saplings in subtropical China. Unexpectedly, we found no significant effects of chemical defence traits. Rather, herbivory was related to the plants' leaf morphology, local abundance and climatic niche characteristics, which together explained 70% of the interspecific variation in herbivory in phylogenetic regression. Our study indicates that besides defence traits and apparency to herbivores, previously neglected measures of large-scale geographical host distribution are important factors influencing local herbivory patterns among plant species.

  9. Genetic diversity within a dominant plant outweighs plant species diversity in structuring an arthropod community.

    PubMed

    Crawford, Kerri M; Rudgers, Jennifer A

    2013-05-01

    Plant biodiversity is being lost at a rapid rate. This has spurred much interest in elucidating the consequences of this loss for higher trophic levels. Experimental tests have shown that both plant species diversity and genetic diversity within a plant species can influence arthropod community structure. However, the majority of these studies have been conducted in separate systems, so their relative importance is currently unresolved. Furthermore, potential interactions between the two levels of diversity, which likely occur in natural systems, have not been investigated. To clarify these issues, we conducted three experiments in a freshwater sand dune ecosystem. We (1) independently manipulated plant species diversity, (2) independently manipulated genetic diversity within the dominant plant species, Ammophila breviligulata, and (3) jointly manipulated genetic diversity within the dominant plant and species diversity. We found that genetic diversity within the dominant plant species, Ammophila breviligulata, more strongly influenced arthropod communities than plant species diversity, but this effect was dependent on the presence of other species. In species mixtures, A. breviligulata genetic diversity altered overall arthropod community composition, and arthropod richness and abundance peaked at the highest level of genetic diversity. Positive nonadditive effects of diversity were detected, suggesting that arthropods respond to emergent properties of diverse plant communities. However, in the independent manipulations where A. breviligulata was alone, effects of genetic diversity were weaker, with only arthropod richness responding. In contrast, plant species diversity only influenced arthropods when A. breviligulata was absent, and then only influenced herbivore abundance. In addition to showing that genetic diversity within a dominant plant species can have large effects on arthropod community composition, these results suggest that understanding how species

  10. Plant volatiles induced by herbivore egg deposition affect insects of different trophic levels.

    PubMed

    Fatouros, Nina E; Lucas-Barbosa, Dani; Weldegergis, Berhane T; Pashalidou, Foteini G; van Loon, Joop J A; Dicke, Marcel; Harvey, Jeffrey A; Gols, Rieta; Huigens, Martinus E

    2012-01-01

    Plants release volatiles induced by herbivore feeding that may affect the diversity and composition of plant-associated arthropod communities. However, the specificity and role of plant volatiles induced during the early phase of attack, i.e. egg deposition by herbivorous insects, and their consequences on insects of different trophic levels remain poorly explored. In olfactometer and wind tunnel set-ups, we investigated behavioural responses of a specialist cabbage butterfly (Pieris brassicae) and two of its parasitic wasps (Trichogramma brassicae and Cotesia glomerata) to volatiles of a wild crucifer (Brassica nigra) induced by oviposition of the specialist butterfly and an additional generalist moth (Mamestra brassicae). Gravid butterflies were repelled by volatiles from plants induced by cabbage white butterfly eggs, probably as a means of avoiding competition, whereas both parasitic wasp species were attracted. In contrast, volatiles from plants induced by eggs of the generalist moth did neither repel nor attract any of the tested community members. Analysis of the plant's volatile metabolomic profile by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and the structure of the plant-egg interface by scanning electron microscopy confirmed that the plant responds differently to egg deposition by the two lepidopteran species. Our findings imply that prior to actual feeding damage, egg deposition can induce specific plant responses that significantly influence various members of higher trophic levels.

  11. Polyphenoloxidase Silencing Affects Latex Coagulation in Taraxacum Species1[W

    PubMed Central

    Wahler, Daniela; Gronover, Christian Schulze; Richter, Carolin; Foucu, Florence; Twyman, Richard M.; Moerschbacher, Bruno M.; Fischer, Rainer; Muth, Jost; Prüfer, Dirk

    2009-01-01

    Latex is the milky sap that is found in many different plants. It is produced by specialized cells known as laticifers and can comprise a mixture of proteins, carbohydrates, oils, secondary metabolites, and rubber that may help to prevent herbivory and protect wound sites against infection. The wound-induced browning of latex suggests that it contains one or more phenol-oxidizing enzymes. Here, we present a comprehensive analysis of the major latex proteins from two dandelion species, Taraxacum officinale and Taraxacum kok-saghyz, and enzymatic studies showing that polyphenoloxidase (PPO) is responsible for latex browning. Electrophoretic analysis and amino-terminal sequencing of the most abundant proteins in the aqueous latex fraction revealed the presence of three PPO-related proteins generated by the proteolytic cleavage of a single precursor (pre-PPO). The laticifer-specific pre-PPO protein contains a transit peptide that can target reporter proteins into chloroplasts when constitutively expressed in dandelion protoplasts, perhaps indicating the presence of structures similar to plastids in laticifers, which lack genuine chloroplasts. Silencing the PPO gene by constitutive RNA interference in transgenic plants reduced PPO activity compared with wild-type controls, allowing T. kok-saghyz RNA interference lines to expel four to five times more latex than controls. Latex fluidity analysis in silenced plants showed a strong correlation between residual PPO activity and the coagulation rate, indicating that laticifer-specific PPO plays a major role in latex coagulation and wound sealing in dandelions. In contrast, very little PPO activity is found in the latex of the rubber tree Hevea brasiliensis, suggesting functional divergence of latex proteins during plant evolution. PMID:19605551

  12. Polyphenoloxidase silencing affects latex coagulation in Taraxacum species.

    PubMed

    Wahler, Daniela; Gronover, Christian Schulze; Richter, Carolin; Foucu, Florence; Twyman, Richard M; Moerschbacher, Bruno M; Fischer, Rainer; Muth, Jost; Prüfer, Dirk

    2009-09-01

    Latex is the milky sap that is found in many different plants. It is produced by specialized cells known as laticifers and can comprise a mixture of proteins, carbohydrates, oils, secondary metabolites, and rubber that may help to prevent herbivory and protect wound sites against infection. The wound-induced browning of latex suggests that it contains one or more phenol-oxidizing enzymes. Here, we present a comprehensive analysis of the major latex proteins from two dandelion species, Taraxacum officinale and Taraxacum kok-saghyz, and enzymatic studies showing that polyphenoloxidase (PPO) is responsible for latex browning. Electrophoretic analysis and amino-terminal sequencing of the most abundant proteins in the aqueous latex fraction revealed the presence of three PPO-related proteins generated by the proteolytic cleavage of a single precursor (pre-PPO). The laticifer-specific pre-PPO protein contains a transit peptide that can target reporter proteins into chloroplasts when constitutively expressed in dandelion protoplasts, perhaps indicating the presence of structures similar to plastids in laticifers, which lack genuine chloroplasts. Silencing the PPO gene by constitutive RNA interference in transgenic plants reduced PPO activity compared with wild-type controls, allowing T. kok-saghyz RNA interference lines to expel four to five times more latex than controls. Latex fluidity analysis in silenced plants showed a strong correlation between residual PPO activity and the coagulation rate, indicating that laticifer-specific PPO plays a major role in latex coagulation and wound sealing in dandelions. In contrast, very little PPO activity is found in the latex of the rubber tree Hevea brasiliensis, suggesting functional divergence of latex proteins during plant evolution.

  13. Planting richness affects the recovery of vegetation and soil processes in constructed wetlands following disturbance.

    PubMed

    Means, Mary M; Ahn, Changwoo; Noe, Gregory B

    2017-02-01

    The resilience of constructed wetland ecosystems to severe disturbance, such as a mass herbivory eat-out or soil disturbance, remains poorly understood. In this study, we use a controlled mesocosm experiment to examine how original planting diversity affects the ability of constructed freshwater wetlands to recover structurally and functionally after a disturbance (i.e., aboveground harvesting and soil coring). We assessed if the planting richness of macrophyte species influences recovery of constructed wetlands one year after a disturbance. Mesocosms were planted in richness groups with various combinations of either 1, 2, 3, or 4 species (RG 1-4) to create a gradient of richness. Structural wetland traits measured include morphological regrowth of macrophytes, soil bulk density, soil moisture, soil %C, and soil %N. Functional wetland traits measured include above ground biomass production, soil potential denitrification, and soil potential microbial respiration. Total mesocosm cover increased along the gradient of plant richness (43.5% in RG 1 to 84.5% in RG 4) in the growing season after the disturbance, although not all planted individuals recovered. This was largely attributed to the dominance of the obligate annual species. The morphology of each species was affected negatively by the disturbance, producing shorter, and fewer stems than in the years prior to the disturbance, suggesting that the communities had not fully recovered one year after the disturbance. Soil characteristics were almost uniform across the planting richness gradient, but for a few exceptions (%C, C:N, and non-growing season soil moisture were higher slightly in RG 2). Denitrification potential (DEA) increased with increasing planting richness and was influenced by the abundance and quality of soil C. Increased open space in unplanted mesocosms and mesocosms with lower species richness increased labile C, leading to higher C mineralization rates.

  14. Strategic rehabilitation of the earthquake affected microhydropower plants in Nepal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baidar, B.; Koirala, R.; Neopane, H. P.; Shrestha, M. V.; Thapa, B.

    2016-11-01

    Most people in the rural areas of Nepal rely on Micro-hydro Power Plants (MHPs) for their energy sources. With around four decade experiences in design and development of MHPs, Nepalese techno-entrepreneurs have gained wider reputation in the South Asian region and the beyond. However with the lack of competences in developing Francis turbines, majority of the MHPs are equipped with either Pelton of Cross Flow turbine, even though Francis units are suitable. With the devastating earthquake of a 7.6 magnitude that struck in the Gorkha district on Saturday, 25 April 2015, about 76 km northwest of the capital city Kathmandu, and the aftershocks followed claimed more than 8000 lives. It did not leave hydropower plants either. Many big plants have been affected and hundreds of MHPs were damaged, needing short to long term rehabilitation. The preliminary assessment of the 61 affected MHPs in the 6 earthquake affected districts shows more than 50% sites are suitable for Francis turbine. Hence the strategic rehabilitation plan has been developed in the present paper for the affected plants considering issues like geographical shift, dislocation of people and also with the focus on replacing the old turbine with Francis turbine in the suitable sites. The similar strategy can also be implemented in other developing countries with such situations.

  15. Nitric oxide and reactive oxygen species in plant biotic interactions.

    PubMed

    Scheler, Claudia; Durner, Jörg; Astier, Jeremy

    2013-08-01

    Nitric oxide (NO) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) are important signaling molecules in plants. Recent progress has been made in defining their role during plant biotic interactions. Over the last decade, their function in disease resistance has been highlighted and focused a lot of investigations. Moreover, NO and ROS have recently emerged as important players of defense responses after herbivore attacks. Besides their role in plant adaptive response development, NO and ROS have been demonstrated to be involved in symbiotic interactions between plants and microorganisms. Here we review recent data concerning these three sides of NO and ROS functions in plant biotic interactions.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

  17. Human population, grasshopper and plant species richness in European countries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steck, Claude E.; Pautasso, Marco

    2008-11-01

    Surprisingly, several studies over large scales have reported a positive spatial correlation of people and biodiversity. This pattern has important implications for conservation and has been documented for well studied taxa such as plants, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. However, it is unknown whether the pattern applies also to invertebrates other than butterflies and more work is needed to establish whether the species-people relationship is explained by both variables correlating with other environmental factors. We studied whether grasshopper species richness (Orthoptera, suborder Caelifera) is related to human population size in European countries. As expected, the number of Caelifera species increases significantly with increasing human population size. But this is not the case when controlling for country area, latitude and number of plant species. Variations in Caelifera species richness are primarily associated with variations in plant species richness. Caelifera species richness also increases with decreasing mean annual precipitation, Gross Domestic Product per capita (used as an indicator for economic development) and net fertility rate of the human population. Our analysis confirms the hypothesis that the broad-scale human population-biodiversity correlations can be explained by concurrent variations in factors other than human population size such as plant species richness, environmental productivity, or habitat heterogeneity. Nonetheless, more populated countries in Europe still have more Caelifera species than less populated countries and this poses a particular challenge for conservation.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

  19. Effect of plant extracts on book deteriorated fungal species.

    PubMed

    Kalbende, Swapna P; Dalal, Lalchand P

    2016-05-06

    The aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of leaf extracts of four plants against some isolated fungal species from deteriorated books. Aqueous, methanol and chloroform extracts of selected plant species were screened in vitro for their antifungal activity against some book deteriorating fungal species. Fifteen species belonging to 09 genera were isolated and identified from infested books in library. Aqueous and solvent extracts of leaves of Azadiracta indica, Callistemon citrinus, Eucalyptus lanceolatus and Pongamia pinnata were tested against some dominant fungal species viz. Chaetomium spiralis, Alternaria alternata, Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus fumigatus and Rhizopus stolonifer. Solvent extracts exhibited potent inhibitory activity than aqueous extracts. However, these plant extracts exhibited moderate activity against A. flavus, C. spiralis, R. stolonifer and A. alternata.

  20. Plant Species Recovery on a Compacted Skid Road

    PubMed Central

    Demir, Murat; Makineci, Ender; Gungor, Beyza Sat

    2008-01-01

    This study was executed to determine the plant species of herbaceous cover in a skid road subjected to soil compaction due to timber skidding in a beech (Fagus orientalis Lipsky.) stand. Our previous studies have shown that ground based timber skidding destroys the soils extremely, and degradations on ecosystem because of the timber skidding limit recovery and growth of plant cover on skid roads. However, some plant species show healthy habitat, recovery and they can survive after the extreme degradation in study area. We evaluated composition of these plant species and their cover-abundance scales in 100 m x 3 m transect. 15 plant species were determined belongs to 12 plant families and Liliaceae was the highest representative plant family. Smilax aspera L., Epimedium pubigerum (DC.) Moren et Decaisne, Carex distachya Desf. var. distachya Desf., Pteridium aquilinum (L.) Kuhn., Trachystemon orientalis (L.) G. Don, Hedera helix L. have the highest cover-abundance scale overall of determined species on compacted skid road. PMID:27879869

  1. Coevolution between native and invasive plant competitors: implications for invasive species management.

    PubMed

    Leger, Elizabeth A; Espeland, Erin K

    2010-03-01

    Invasive species may establish in communities because they are better competitors than natives, but in order to remain community dominants, the competitive advantage of invasive species must be persistent. Native species that are not extirpated when highly invasive species are introduced are likely to compete with invaders. When population sizes and genetic diversity of native species are large enough, natives may be able to evolve traits that allow them to co-occur with invasive species. Native species may also evolve to become significant competitors with invasive species, and thus affect the fitness of invaders. Invasive species may respond in turn, creating either transient or continuing coevolution between competing species. In addition to demographic factors such as population size and growth rates, a number of factors including gene flow, genetic drift, the number of selection agents, encounter rates, and genetic diversity may affect the ability of native and invasive species to evolve competitive ability against one another. We discuss how these factors may differ between populations of native and invasive plants, and how this might affect their ability to respond to selection. Management actions that maintain genetic diversity in native species while reducing population sizes and genetic diversity in invasive species could promote the ability of natives to evolve improved competitive ability.

  2. Coevolution between native and invasive plant competitors: implications for invasive species management

    PubMed Central

    Leger, Elizabeth A; Espeland, Erin K

    2010-01-01

    Invasive species may establish in communities because they are better competitors than natives, but in order to remain community dominants, the competitive advantage of invasive species must be persistent. Native species that are not extirpated when highly invasive species are introduced are likely to compete with invaders. When population sizes and genetic diversity of native species are large enough, natives may be able to evolve traits that allow them to co-occur with invasive species. Native species may also evolve to become significant competitors with invasive species, and thus affect the fitness of invaders. Invasive species may respond in turn, creating either transient or continuing coevolution between competing species. In addition to demographic factors such as population size and growth rates, a number of factors including gene flow, genetic drift, the number of selection agents, encounter rates, and genetic diversity may affect the ability of native and invasive species to evolve competitive ability against one another. We discuss how these factors may differ between populations of native and invasive plants, and how this might affect their ability to respond to selection. Management actions that maintain genetic diversity in native species while reducing population sizes and genetic diversity in invasive species could promote the ability of natives to evolve improved competitive ability. PMID:25567917

  3. Plant-fungus mutualism affects spider composition in successional fields.

    PubMed

    Finkes, Laura K; Cady, Alan B; Mulroy, Juliana C; Clay, Keith; Rudgers, Jennifer A

    2006-03-01

    Mutualistic symbionts are widespread in plants and may have strong, bottom-up influences on community structure. Here we show that a grass-endophyte mutualism shifts the composition of a generalist predator assemblage. In replicated, successional fields we manipulated endophyte infection by Neotyphodium coenophialum in a dominant, non-native plant (Lolium arundinaceum). We compared the magnitude of the endophyte effect with manipulations of thatch biomass, a habitat feature of known importance to spiders. The richness of both spider families and morphospecies was greater in the absence of the endophyte, although total spider abundance was not affected. Thatch removal reduced both spider abundance and richness, and endophyte and thatch effects were largely additive. Spider families differed in responses, with declines in Linyphiidae and Thomisidae due to the endophyte and declines in Lycosidae due to thatch removal. Results demonstrate that the community impacts of non-native plants can depend on plants' mutualistic associates, such as fungal endophytes.

  4. Evaluating plant invasions from both habitat and species perspectives

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chong, G.W.; Otsuki, Y.; Stohlgren, T.J.; Guenther, D.; Evangelista, P.; Villa, C.; Waters, A.

    2006-01-01

    We present an approach to quantitatively assess nonnative plant invasions at landscape scales from both habitat and species perspectives. Our case study included 34 nonnative species found in 142 plots (0.1 ha) in 14 vegetation types within the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah. A plot invasion index, based on nonnative species richness and cover, showed that only 16 of 142 plots were heavily invaded. A species invasive index, based on frequency, cover, and number of vegetation types invaded, showed that only 7 of 34 plant species were highly invasive. Multiple regressions using habitat characteristics (moisture index, elevation, soil P, native species richness, maximum crust development class, bare ground, and rock) explained 60% of variation in nonnative species richness and 46% of variation in nonnative species cover. Three mesic habitats (aspen, wet meadow, and perennial riparian types) were particularly invaded (31 of 34 nonnative species studied were found in these types). Species-specific logistic regression models for the 7 most invasive species correctly predicted occurrence 89% of the time on average (from 80% for Bromus tectorum, a habitat generalist, to 93% for Tamarix spp., a habitat specialist). Even with such a modest sampling intensity (<0.1% of the landscape), this multiscale sampling scheme was effective at evaluating habitat vulnerability to invasion and the occurrence of the 7 most invasive nonnative species. This approach could be applied in other natural areas to develop strategies to document invasive species and invaded habitats.

  5. Deconstructing responses of dragonfly species richness to area, nutrients, water plant diversity and forestry.

    PubMed

    Honkanen, Merja; Sorjanen, Aili-Maria; Mönkkönen, Mikko

    2011-06-01

    Understanding large-scale variation in species richness in relation to area, energy, habitat heterogeneity and anthropogenic disturbance has been a major task in ecology. Ultimately, variation in species richness results from variation in individual species occupancies. We studied whether the individual species occupancy patterns are determined by the same candidate factors as total species richness. We sampled 26 boreal forest ponds for dragonflies (Odonata) and studied the effects of shoreline length, water vascular plant species density (WVPSD), availability of nutrients, intensity of forestry, amount of Sphagnum peat cover and pH on dragonfly species richness and individual dragonfly species. WVPSD and pH had a strong positive effect on species richness. Removal of six dragonfly species experiencing strongest responses to WVPSD cancelled the relationship between species richness and WVPSD. By contrast, removal of nine least observed species did not affect the relationship between WVPSD and species richness. Thus, our results showed that relatively common species responding strongly to WVPSD shaped the observed species richness pattern whereas the effect of least observed, often rare, species was negligible. Also, our results support the view that, despite of the great impact of energy on species richness at large spatial scales, habitat heterogeneity can still have an effect on species richness in smaller scales, even overriding the effects of area.

  6. Linking Wildfire and Climate as Drivers of Plant Species and Community-level Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Newingham, B. A.; Hudak, A. T.; Bright, B. C.

    2015-12-01

    Plant species distributions and community shifts after fire are affected by burn severity, elevation, aspect, and climate. However, little empirical data exists on long-term (decadal) recovery after fire across these interacting factors, limiting understanding of fire regime characteristics and climate in post-fire community trajectories. We examined plant species and community responses a decade after fire across five fires in ponderosa pine, dry mixed coniferous, and moist mixed coniferous forests across the western USA. Using field data, we determined changes in plant communities one and ten years post-fire across gradients of burn severity, elevation, and aspect. Existing published work has shown that plant species distributions can be accurately predicted from physiologically relevant climate variables using non-parametric Random Forests models; such models have also been linked to projected climate profiles in 2030, 2060, and 2090 generated from three commonly used general circulation models (GCMs). We explore the possibility that fire and climate are coupled drivers affecting plant species distributions. Climate change may not manifest as a slow shift in plant species distributions, but as sudden, localized events tied to changing fire and other disturbance regimes.

  7. Spatial heterogeneity influences native and nonnative plant species richness.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Sunil; Stohlgren, Thomas J; Chong, Geneva W

    2006-12-01

    Spatial heterogeneity may have differential effects on the distribution of native and nonnative plant species richness. We examined the effects of spatial heterogeneity on native and nonnative plant species richness distributions in the central part of Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, USA. Spatial heterogeneity around vegetation plots was characterized using landscape metrics, environmental/topographic variables (slope, aspect, elevation, and distance from stream or river), and soil variables (nitrogen, clay, and sand). The landscape metrics represented five components of landscape heterogeneity and were measured at four spatial extents (within varying radii of 120, 240, 480, and 960 m) using the FRAGSTATS landscape pattern analysis program. Akaike's Information Criterion adjusted for small sample size (AICc) was used to select the best models from a set of multiple linear regression models developed for native and nonnative plant species richness at four spatial extents and three levels of ecological hierarchy (i.e., landscape, land cover, and community). Both native and nonnative plant species richness were positively correlated with edge density, Simpson's diversity index and interspersion/juxtaposition index, and were negatively correlated with mean patch size. The amount of variation explained at four spatial extents and three hierarchical levels ranged from 30% to 70%. At the landscape level, the best models explained 43% of the variation in native plant species richness and 70% of the variation in nonnative plant species richness (240-m extent). In general, the amount of variation explained was always higher for nonnative plant species richness, and the inclusion of landscape metrics always significantly improved the models. The best models explained 66% of the variation in nonnative plant species richness for both the conifer land cover type and lodgepole pine community. The relative influence of the components of spatial heterogeneity differed for

  8. Corridors affect plants, animals, and their interactions in fragmented landscapes.

    SciTech Connect

    Tewksbury, Joshua, J.; Levey, Douglas, J.; Haddad, Nick, M.; Sargent, Sarah; Orrock, John, L.; Weldon, Aimee; Danielson, Brent, J.; Brinkerhoff, Jory; Damschen, Ellen, I.; Townsend, Patricia

    2002-10-01

    Tewksbury, J.J., D.J. Levey, N.M. Haddad, S. Sargent, J.L. Orrock, A. Weldon, B.J. Danielson, J. Brinkerhoff, E.I. Damschen, and P. Townsend. 2002. Corridors affect plants, animals, and their interactions in fragmented landscapes. PNAS 99(20):12923-12926. Among the most popular strategies for maintaining populations of both plants and animals in fragmented landscapes is to connect isolated patches with thin strips of habitat, called corridors. Corridors are thought to increase the exchange of individuals between habitat patches, promoting genetic exchange and reducing population fluctuations. Empirical studies addressing the effects of corridors have either been small in scale or have ignored confounding effects of increased habitat area created by the presence of a corridor. These methodological difficulties, coupled with a paucity of studies examining the effects of corridors on plants and plant-animal interactions, have sparked debate over the purported value of corridors in conservation planning. We report results of a large-scale experiment that directly address this debate. We demonstrate that corridors not only increase the exchange of animals between patches, but also facilitate two key plant-animal interactions: pollination and seed dispersal. Our results show that the beneficial effects of corridors extend beyond the area they add, and suggest that increased plant and animal movement through corridors will have positive impacts on plant populations and community interactions in fragmented landscapes.

  9. Plant species, atmospheric CO2 and soil N interactively or additively control C allocation within plant-soil systems.

    PubMed

    F U, Shenglei; Ferris, Howard

    2006-12-01

    Two plant species, Medicago truncatula (legume) and Avena sativa (non-legume), were grown in low- or high-N soils under two CO2 concentrations to test the hypothesis whether C allocation within plant-soil system is interactively or additively controlled by soil N and atmospheric CO2 is dependent upon plant species. The results showed the interaction between plant species and soil N had a significant impact on microbial activity and plant growth. The interaction between CO2 and soil N had a significant impact on soil soluble C and soil microbial biomass C under Madicago but not under Avena. Although both CO2 and soil N affected plant growth significantly, there was no interaction between CO2 and soil N on plant growth. In other words, the effects of CO2 and soil N on plant growth were additive. We considered that the interaction between N2 fixation trait of legume plant and elevated CO2 might have obscured the interaction between soil N and elevated CO2 on the growth of legume plant. In low-N soil, the shoot-to-root ratio of Avena dropped from 2.63 +/- 0.20 in the early growth stage to 1.47 +/- 0.03 in the late growth stage, indicating that Avena plant allocated more energy to roots to optimize nutrient uptake (i.e. N) when soil N was limiting. In high-N soil, the shoot-to-root ratio of Medicago increased significantly over time (from 2.45 +/- 0.30 to 5.43 +/- 0.10), suggesting that Medicago plants allocated more energy to shoots to optimize photosynthesis when N was not limiting. The shoot-to-root ratios were not significantly different between two CO2 levels.

  10. Factors affecting the efficient transformation of Colletotrichum species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Redman, Regina S.; Rodriguez, Rusty J.

    1994-01-01

    Factors affecting the efficient transformation of Colletotrichum species. Experimental Mycology, 18, 230-246. Twelve isolates representing four species of Colletotrichum were transformed either by enhanced protoplast, restriction enzyme-mediated integration (REMI), or electroporation-mediated protocols. The enhanced protoplast transformation protocol resulted in 100- and 50-fold increases in the transformation efficiencies of Colletotrichum lindemuthianum and C. magna , respectively. REMI transformation involved the use of Hin dIII and vector DNA linearized with HindIII to increase the number of integration events and potential gene disruptions in the fungal genome. Combining the enhanced protoplast and the REMI protocols resulted in a 22-fold increase in the number of hygromycin/nystatin-resistant mutants in C. lindemuthianum . Electroporation-mediated transformation was performed on mycelial fragments and spores of four Colletotrichum species, resulting in efficiencies of up to 1000 transformants/μg DNA. The pHA1.3 vector which confers hygromycin resistance contains telomeric sequences from Fusarium oxysporum , transforms by autonomous replication and genomic integration, and was essential for elevated transformation efficiencies of 100 to 10,000 transformants/μg DNA. Modifications of pHA1.3 occurred during bacterial amplification and post fungal transformation resulting in plasmids capable of significantly elevated transformation efficiencies in C. lindemuthianum.

  11. Does plant species co-occurrence influence soil mite diversity?

    PubMed

    St John, Mark G; Wall, Diana H; Behan-Pelletier, Valerie M

    2006-03-01

    Few studies have considered whether plant taxa can be used as predictors of belowground faunal diversity in natural ecosystems. We examined soil mite (Acari) diversity beneath six grass species at the Konza Prairie Biological Station, Kansas, USA. We tested the hypotheses that soil mite species richness, abundance, and taxonomic diversity are greater (1) beneath grasses in dicultures (different species) compared to monocultures (same species), (2) beneath grasses of higher resource quality (lower C:N) compared to lower resource quality, and (3) beneath heterogeneous mixes of grasses (C3 and C4 grasses growing together) compared to homogeneous mixes (C3 or C4 grasses) using natural occurrences of plant species as treatments. This study is the first to examine the interaction between above- and belowground diversity in a natural setting with species-level resolution of a hyper-diverse taxon. Our results indicate that grasses in diculture supported a more species and phylogenetically rich soil mite fauna than was observed for monocultures and that this relationship was significant at depth but not in the upper soil horizon. We noted that mite species richness was not linearly related to grass species richness, which suggests that simple extrapolations of soil faunal diversity based on plant species inventories may underestimate the richness of associated soil mite communities. The distribution of mite size classes in dicultures was considerably different than those for monocultures. There was no difference in soil mite richness between grass combinations of differing resource quality, or resource heterogeneity.

  12. Negative effects of fluoranthene on the ecophysiology of tomato plants (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill) Fluoranthene mists negatively affected tomato plants.

    PubMed

    Oguntimehin, Ilemobayo; Eissa, Fawzy; Sakugawa, Hiroshi

    2010-02-01

    Cherry tomato plants (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill) were sprayed with fluoranthene and mixture of fluoranthene and mannitol solutions for 30d. The exposure was carried out in growth chambers in field conditions, and the air was filtered through charcoal filters to remove atmospheric contaminants. Plants were sprayed with 10microM fluoranthene as mist until they reached the fruiting stage, and the eco-physiological parameters were measured to determine the effects of the treatments. We measured CO(2) uptake and water vapour exchange, chlorophyll fluorescence, leaf pigment contents, visual symptoms and biomass allocation. Fluoranthene which was deposited as mist onto leaves negatively affected both growth and the quality of tomato plants, while other treatments did not. The photosynthetic rate measured at saturated irradiance was approximately 37% lower in fluoranthene-treated plants compared with the control group. Other variables, such as stomata conductance, the photochemical efficiency of PSII in the dark, Chl a, Chl b, and the total chlorophyll contents of the tomato leaves were significantly reduced in the fluoranthene-treated plants. Tomato plants treated with fluoranthene showed severe visible injury symptoms on the foliage during the exposure period. Mannitol (a reactive oxygen scavenger) mitigated effects of fluoranthene; thus, reactive oxygen species generated through fluoranthene may be responsible for the damaged tomato plants. It is possible for fluoranthene to decrease the aesthetic and hence the economic value of this valuable crop plant.

  13. When Are Native Species Inappropriate for Conservation Plantings

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  14. Plant Volatiles Induced by Herbivore Egg Deposition Affect Insects of Different Trophic Levels

    PubMed Central

    Fatouros, Nina E.; Lucas-Barbosa, Dani; Weldegergis, Berhane T.; Pashalidou, Foteini G.; van Loon, Joop J. A.; Dicke, Marcel; Harvey, Jeffrey A.; Gols, Rieta; Huigens, Martinus E.

    2012-01-01

    Plants release volatiles induced by herbivore feeding that may affect the diversity and composition of plant-associated arthropod communities. However, the specificity and role of plant volatiles induced during the early phase of attack, i.e. egg deposition by herbivorous insects, and their consequences on insects of different trophic levels remain poorly explored. In olfactometer and wind tunnel set-ups, we investigated behavioural responses of a specialist cabbage butterfly (Pieris brassicae) and two of its parasitic wasps (Trichogramma brassicae and Cotesia glomerata) to volatiles of a wild crucifer (Brassica nigra) induced by oviposition of the specialist butterfly and an additional generalist moth (Mamestra brassicae). Gravid butterflies were repelled by volatiles from plants induced by cabbage white butterfly eggs, probably as a means of avoiding competition, whereas both parasitic wasp species were attracted. In contrast, volatiles from plants induced by eggs of the generalist moth did neither repel nor attract any of the tested community members. Analysis of the plant’s volatile metabolomic profile by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and the structure of the plant-egg interface by scanning electron microscopy confirmed that the plant responds differently to egg deposition by the two lepidopteran species. Our findings imply that prior to actual feeding damage, egg deposition can induce specific plant responses that significantly influence various members of higher trophic levels. PMID:22912893

  15. Zinc stress affects ionome and metabolome in tea plants.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yinfei; Wang, Yu; Ding, Zhaotang; Wang, Hui; Song, Lubin; Jia, Sisi; Ma, Dexin

    2017-02-01

    The research of physiological responses to Zn stress in plants has been extensively studied. However, the ionomics and metabolomics responses of plants to Zn stress remain largely unknown. In present study, the nutrient elements were identified involved in ion homeostasis and metabolomics changes related to Zn deficiency or excess in tea plants. Nutrient element analysis demonstrated that the concentrations of Zn affected the ion-uptake in roots and the nutrient element transportation to leaves, leading to the different distribution of P, S, Al, Ca, Fe and Cu in the tea leaves or roots. Metabolomics analysis revealed that Zn deficiency or excess differentially influenced the metabolic pathways in the tea leaves. More specifically, Zn deficiency affected the metabolism of carbohydrates, and Zn excess affected flavonoids metabolism. Additionally, the results showed that both Zn deficiency and Zn excess led to reduced nicotinamide levels, which speeded up NAD(+) degradation and thus reduced energy metabolism. Furthermore, element-metabolite correlation analysis illustrated that Zn contents in the tea leaves were positively correlated with organic acids, nitrogenous metabolites and some carbohydrate metabolites, and negatively correlated with the metabolites involved in secondary metabolism and some other carbohydrate metabolites. Meanwhile, metabolite-metabolite correlation analysis demonstrated that organic acids, sugars, amino acids and flavonoids played dominant roles in the regulation of the tea leaf metabolism under Zn stress. Therefore, the conclusion should be drawn that the tea plants responded to Zn stress by coordinating ion-uptake and regulation of metabolism of carbohydrates, nitrogenous metabolites, and flavonoids.

  16. Plant species differences in particulate matter accumulation on leaf surfaces.

    PubMed

    Sæbø, A; Popek, R; Nawrot, B; Hanslin, H M; Gawronska, H; Gawronski, S W

    2012-06-15

    Particulate matter (PM) accumulation on leaves of 22 trees and 25 shrubs was examined in test fields in Norway and Poland. Leaf PM in different particle size fractions (PM(10), PM(2.5), PM(0.2)) differed among the species, by 10- to 15-folds at both test sites. Pinus mugo and Pinus sylvestris, Taxus media and Taxus baccata, Stephanandra incisa and Betula pendula were efficient species in capturing PM. Less efficient species were Acer platanoides, Prunus avium and Tilia cordata. Differences among species within the same genus were also observed. Important traits for PM accumulation were leaf properties such as hair and wax cover. The ranking presented in terms of capturing PM can be used to select species for air pollution removal in urban areas. Efficient plant species and planting designs that can shield vulnerable areas in urban settings from polluting traffic etc. can be used to decrease human exposure to anthropogenic pollutants.

  17. Plant surface wax affects parasitoid's response to host footprints

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rostás, Michael; Ruf, Daniel; Zabka, Vanessa; Hildebrandt, Ulrich

    2008-10-01

    The plant surface is the substrate upon which herbivorous insects and natural enemies meet and thus represents the stage for interactions between the three trophic levels. Plant surfaces are covered by an epicuticular wax layer which is highly variable depending on species, cultivar or plant part. Differences in wax chemistry may modulate ecological interactions. We explored whether caterpillars of Spodoptera frugiperda, when walking over a plant surface, leave a chemical trail (kairomones) that can be detected by the parasitoid Cotesia marginiventris. Chemistry and micromorphology of cuticular waxes of two barley eceriferum wax mutants ( cer-za.126, cer-yp.949) and wild-type cv. Bonus (wt) were assessed. The plants were then used to investigate potential surface effects on the detectability of caterpillar kairomones. Here we provide evidence that C. marginiventris responds to chemical footprints of its host. Parasitoids were able to detect the kairomone on wild-type plants and on both cer mutants but the response to cer-yp.949 (reduced wax, high aldehyde fraction) was less pronounced. Experiments with caterpillar-treated wt and mutant leaves offered simultaneously, confirmed this observation: no difference in wasp response was found when wt was tested against cer-za.126 (reduced wax, wt-like chemical composition) but wt was significantly more attractive than cer-yp.949. This demonstrates for the first time that the wax layer can modulate the detectability of host kairomones.

  18. Does host plant quality affect the oviposition decisions of an omnivore?

    PubMed

    Vankosky, Meghan A; VanLaerhoven, Sherah L

    2016-01-22

    Optimal oviposition theory predicts a positive relationship between female preference for oviposition hosts and offspring performance. Interspecies effects on oviposition preference have been widely investigated, especially for herbivores. However, intraspecies variation, such as nitrogen content, might also influence female preference for oviposition hosts and subsequent offspring performance. To evaluate this possibility, we investigated the oviposition preference of a zoophytophagous omnivore and the development and survival of its nymphs on a single species of host plant that varied in nitrogen content. In choice and no-choice experiments without prey, female omnivores were allowed to oviposit on plants that had been fertilized using four rates of nitrogen fertilizer (39, 78, 156 and 311 mg/L nitrogen) for 72 h. After 72 h, the most females were found on tomato plants receiving high concentrations of nitrogen fertilizer and more eggs were laid on those plants. First instar nymphs developed more rapidly on high nitrogen plants and third instar nymphs developed faster on low nitrogen plans. Plant nitrogen did not affect nymph survival to the adult stage, or the probability of survival over time. Although female omnivores did discriminate between potential oviposition hosts based on plant nitrogen, their choices did not significantly impact nymph development or survival. This is the first study to show that intraspecies variation in nitrogen content between plants affects the oviposition preference of female omnivores, but not offspring performance. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  19. Mycorrhizal status helps explain invasion success of alien plant species.

    PubMed

    Menzel, Andreas; Hempel, Stefan; Klotz, Stefan; Moora, Mari; Pyšek, Petr; Rillig, Matthias C; Zobel, Martin; Kühn, Ingolf

    2017-01-01

    It is still debated whether alien plants benefit from being mycorrhizal, or if engaging in the symbiosis constrains their establishment and spread in new regions. We analyzed the association between mycorrhizal status of alien plant species in Germany and their invasion success. We compared whether the representation of species with different mycorrhizal status (obligate, facultative, or non-mycorrhizal) differed at several stages of the invasion process. We used generalized linear models to explain the occupied geographical range of alien plants, incorporating interactions of mycorrhizal status with plant traits related to morphology, reproduction, and life-history. Non-naturalized aliens did not differ from naturalized aliens in the relative frequency of different mycorrhizal status categories. Mycorrhizal status significantly explained the occupied range of alien plants; with facultative mycorrhizal species inhabiting a larger range than non-mycorrhizal aliens and obligate mycorrhizal plant species taking an intermediate position. Aliens with storage organs, shoot metamorphoses, or specialized structures promoting vegetative dispersal occupied a larger range when being facultative mycorrhizal. We conclude that being mycorrhizal is important for the persistence of aliens in Germany and constitutes an advantage compared to being non-mycorrhizal. Being facultative mycorrhizal seems to be especially advantageous for successful spread, as the flexibility of this mycorrhizal status may enable plants to use a broader set of ecological strategies.

  20. Plant species effects on soil nutrients and chemistry in arid ecological zones.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Brittany G; Verburg, Paul S J; Arnone, John A

    2016-09-01

    The presence of vegetation strongly influences ecosystem function by controlling the distribution and transformation of nutrients across the landscape. The magnitude of vegetation effects on soil chemistry is largely dependent on the plant species and the background soil chemical properties of the site, but has not been well quantified along vegetation transects in the Great Basin. We studied the effects of plant canopy cover on soil chemistry within five different ecological zones, subalpine, montane, pinyon-juniper, sage/Mojave transition, and desert shrub, in the Great Basin of Nevada all with similar underlying geology. Although plant species differed in their effects on soil chemistry, the desert shrubs Sarcobatus vermiculatus, Atriplex spp., Coleogyne ramosissima, and Larrea tridentata typically exerted the most influence on soil chemistry, especially amounts of K(+) and total nitrogen, beneath their canopies. However, the extent to which vegetation affected soil nutrient status in any given location was not only highly dependent on the species present, and presumably the nutrient requirements and cycling patterns of the plant species, but also on the background soil characteristics (e.g., parent material, weathering rates, leaching) where plant species occurred. The results of this study indicate that the presence or absence of a plant species, especially desert shrubs, could significantly alter soil chemistry and subsequently ecosystem biogeochemistry and function.

  1. In vitro control of parasitic nematodes of small ruminants using some plant species containing flavonoids.

    PubMed

    Fomum, Sylvester W; Nsahlai, Ignatius V

    2017-02-01

    This study determined in vitro anthelmintic efficacy of three plant species: Trema orientalis, Urtica dioica and Zanthozylum capense on nematode larvae of small ruminants. Dried leaf samples (40 g) were extracted in 70% ethanol, in portions of 10 g and concentrated to 100 ml. Half and one quarter of the original crude extract were both made to 100 ml. Rectal faecal material from 10 Merino sheep and 25 Nguni goats was pooled within species and thoroughly hand-mixed. Dung samples, each of 5 g were cultured for 12 days at 27 °C. On day 13, 4 plates were watered and 4 others treated with ethanol to correct for solvent effect on mortality. The design was 2 (animal species) × 3 (plant species) × 3 (extract concentrations). In each of three runs, three plates were treated with each crude extract in three incremental concentrations. Surviving L3 larvae were isolated, counted and mortalities became indices of anthelmintic efficacy. Data from nematode larval mortality were analysed to determine the effect of animal species, plant species, concentration and their interactions. Efficacy was affected by concentration (P = 0.0001), animal species (P = 0.0046), plant species (P = 0.0572), the interactions of animal species and concentration (P = 0.0010), plant species and concentration (P = 0.0123) and concentration × animal × plant species (P = 0.0435).

  2. Factors affecting Archaeal Lipid Compositions of the Sulfolobus Species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, L.; Han, J.; Wei, Y.; Lin, L.; Wei, Y.; Zhang, C.

    2010-12-01

    Temperature is the best known variable affecting the distribution of the archaeal glycerol dibiphytanyl glycerol tetraethers (GDGTs) in marine and freshwater systems. Other variables such as pH, ionic strength, or bicarbonate concentration may also affect archaeal GDGTs in terrestrial systems. Studies of pure cultures can help us pinpoint the specific effects these variables may have on archaeal lipid distribution in natural environments. In this study, three Sulfolobus species (HG4, HB5-2, HB9-6) isolated from Tengchong hot springs (pH 2-3, temperature 73-90°C) in China were used to investigate the effects of temperature, pH, substrate, and type of strain on the composition of GDGTs. Results showed that increase in temperature had negative effects on the relative contents of GDGT-0 (no cyclopentyl rings), GDGT-1 (one cyclopentyl ring), GDGT-2 and GDGT-3 but positive effects on GDGT-4, GDGT-4', GDGT-5 and GDGT-5'. Increase in pH, on the other hand, had negative effects on GDGT-0, GDGT-1, GDGT-4', GDGT-5 and GDGT-5', and positive effects on GDGT-3 and GDGT-4. GDGT-2 remained relatively constant with changing pH. When the HG4 was grown on different substrates, GDGT-5 was five time more abundant in sucrose-grown cultures than in yeast extract- or sulfur- grown cultures, suggesting that carbohydrates may stimulate the production of GDGT-5. For all three species, the ring index (average number of rings) of GDGTs correlated positively with incubation temperature. In HG4, ring index was much lower at optimal pH (3.5) than at other pH values. Ring index of HB5-2 or HB9-6 is higher than that of HG4, suggesting that speciation may affect the degree of cyclization of GDGT of the Sulfolobus. These results indicate that individual archaeal lipids respond differently to changes in environmental variables, which may be also species specific.

  3. The nested assembly of plant facilitation networks prevents species extinctions.

    PubMed

    Verdú, Miguel; Valiente-Banuet, Alfonso

    2008-12-01

    Facilitation is a positive interaction assembling ecological communities and preserving global biodiversity. Although communities acquire emerging properties when many species interact, most of our knowledge about facilitation is based on studies between pairs of species. To understand how plant facilitation preserves biodiversity in complex ecological communities, we propose to move from the study of pairwise interactions to the network approach. We show that facilitation networks behave as mutualistic networks do, characterized by a nonrandom, nested structure of plant-plant interactions in which a few generalist nurses facilitate a large number of species while the rest of the nurses facilitate only a subset of them. Consequently, generalist nurses shape a dense and highly connected network. Interestingly, such generalist nurses are the most abundant species in the community, making facilitation-shaped communities strongly resistant to extinction, as revealed by coextinction simulations. The nested structure of facilitative networks explains why facilitation, by preventing extinction, preserves biodiversity.

  4. ADP1 Affects Plant Architecture by Regulating Local Auxin Biosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    Li, Shibai; Qin, Genji; Novák, Ondřej; Pěnčík, Aleš; Ljung, Karin; Aoyama, Takashi; Liu, Jingjing; Murphy, Angus; Gu, Hongya; Tsuge, Tomohiko; Qu, Li-Jia

    2014-01-01

    Plant architecture is one of the key factors that affect plant survival and productivity. Plant body structure is established through the iterative initiation and outgrowth of lateral organs, which are derived from the shoot apical meristem and root apical meristem, after embryogenesis. Here we report that ADP1, a putative MATE (multidrug and toxic compound extrusion) transporter, plays an essential role in regulating lateral organ outgrowth, and thus in maintaining normal architecture of Arabidopsis. Elevated expression levels of ADP1 resulted in accelerated plant growth rate, and increased the numbers of axillary branches and flowers. Our molecular and genetic evidence demonstrated that the phenotypes of plants over-expressing ADP1 were caused by reduction of local auxin levels in the meristematic regions. We further discovered that this reduction was probably due to decreased levels of auxin biosynthesis in the local meristematic regions based on the measured reduction in IAA levels and the gene expression data. Simultaneous inactivation of ADP1 and its three closest homologs led to growth retardation, relative reduction of lateral organ number and slightly elevated auxin level. Our results indicated that ADP1-mediated regulation of the local auxin level in meristematic regions is an essential determinant for plant architecture maintenance by restraining the outgrowth of lateral organs. PMID:24391508

  5. ADP1 affects plant architecture by regulating local auxin biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Li, Ruixi; Li, Jieru; Li, Shibai; Qin, Genji; Novák, Ondřej; Pěnčík, Aleš; Ljung, Karin; Aoyama, Takashi; Liu, Jingjing; Murphy, Angus; Gu, Hongya; Tsuge, Tomohiko; Qu, Li-Jia

    2014-01-01

    Plant architecture is one of the key factors that affect plant survival and productivity. Plant body structure is established through the iterative initiation and outgrowth of lateral organs, which are derived from the shoot apical meristem and root apical meristem, after embryogenesis. Here we report that ADP1, a putative MATE (multidrug and toxic compound extrusion) transporter, plays an essential role in regulating lateral organ outgrowth, and thus in maintaining normal architecture of Arabidopsis. Elevated expression levels of ADP1 resulted in accelerated plant growth rate, and increased the numbers of axillary branches and flowers. Our molecular and genetic evidence demonstrated that the phenotypes of plants over-expressing ADP1 were caused by reduction of local auxin levels in the meristematic regions. We further discovered that this reduction was probably due to decreased levels of auxin biosynthesis in the local meristematic regions based on the measured reduction in IAA levels and the gene expression data. Simultaneous inactivation of ADP1 and its three closest homologs led to growth retardation, relative reduction of lateral organ number and slightly elevated auxin level. Our results indicated that ADP1-mediated regulation of the local auxin level in meristematic regions is an essential determinant for plant architecture maintenance by restraining the outgrowth of lateral organs.

  6. Nurse plants transfer more nitrogen to distantly related species.

    PubMed

    Montesinos-Navarro, Alicia; Verdú, Miguel; Querejeta, José Ignacio; Valiente-Banuet, Alfonso

    2017-02-11

    Plant facilitative interactions enhance co-occurrence between distant relatives, partly due to limited overlap in resource requirements. We propose a different mechanism for the coexistence of distant relatives based on positive interactions of nutrient sharing. Nutrients move between plants following source-sink gradients driven by plant traits that allow these gradients to establish. Specifically, nitrogen (N) concentration gradients can arise from variation in leaf N content across plants species. As many ecologically relevant traits, we hypothesize that leaf N content is phylogenetically conserved and can result in N gradients promoting N transfer among distant relatives. In a Mexican desert community governed by facilitation, we labelled nurse plants (Mimosa luisiana) with (15) N and measured its transfer to 14 other species in the community, spanning the range of phylogenetic distances to the nurse plant. Nurses established steeper N source-sink gradients with distant relatives, increasing (15) N transfer towards these species. Nutrient sharing may provide long-term benefits to facilitated plants and may be an overlooked mechanism maintaining coexistence and increasing the phylogenetic diversity of plant communities. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  7. Preferential uptake of soil nitrogen forms by grassland plant species.

    PubMed

    Weigelt, Alexandra; Bol, Roland; Bardgett, Richard D

    2005-02-01

    In this study, we assessed whether a range of temperate grassland species showed preferential uptake for different chemical forms of N, including inorganic N and a range of amino acids that commonly occur in temperate grassland soil. Preferential uptake of dual-labelled (13C and 15N) glycine, serine, arginine and phenylalanine, as compared to inorganic N, was tested using plants growing in pots with natural field soil. We selected five grass species representing a gradient from fertilised, productive pastures to extensive, low productivity pastures (Lolium perenne, Holcus lanatus, Anthoxanthum odoratum, Deschampsia flexuosa, and Nardus stricta). Our data show that all grass species were able to take up directly a diversity of soil amino acids of varying complexity. Moreover, we present evidence of marked inter-species differences in preferential use of chemical forms of N of varying complexity. L. perenne was relatively more effective at using inorganic N and glycine compared to the most complex amino acid phenylalanine, whereas N. stricta showed a significant preference for serine over inorganic N. Total plant N acquisition, measured as root and shoot concentration of labelled compounds, also revealed pronounced inter-species differences which were related to plant growth rate: plants with higher biomass production were found to take up more inorganic N. Our findings indicate that species-specific differences in direct uptake of different N forms combined with total N acquisition could explain changes in competitive dominance of grass species in grasslands of differing fertility.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  9. The root herbivore history of the soil affects the productivity of a grassland plant community and determines plant response to new root herbivore attack.

    PubMed

    Sonnemann, Ilja; Hempel, Stefan; Beutel, Maria; Hanauer, Nicola; Reidinger, Stefan; Wurst, Susanne

    2013-01-01

    Insect root herbivores can alter plant community structure by affecting the competitive ability of single plants. However, their effects can be modified by the soil environment. Root herbivory itself may induce changes in the soil biota community, and it has recently been shown that these changes can affect plant growth in a subsequent season or plant generation. However, so far it is not known whether these root herbivore history effects (i) are detectable at the plant community level and/or (ii) also determine plant species and plant community responses to new root herbivore attack. The present greenhouse study determined root herbivore history effects of click beetle larvae (Elateridae, Coleoptera, genus Agriotes) in a model grassland plant community consisting of six common species (Achillea millefolium, Plantago lanceolata, Taraxacum officinale, Holcus lanatus, Poa pratensis, Trifolium repens). Root herbivore history effects were generated in a first phase of the experiment by growing the plant community in soil with or without Agriotes larvae, and investigated in a second phase by growing it again in the soils that were either Agriotes trained or not. The root herbivore history of the soil affected plant community productivity (but not composition), with communities growing in root herbivore trained soil producing more biomass than those growing in untrained soil. Additionally, it influenced the response of certain plant species to new root herbivore attack. Effects may partly be explained by herbivore-induced shifts in the community of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. The root herbivore history of the soil proved to be a stronger driver of plant growth on the community level than an actual root herbivore attack which did not affect plant community parameters. History effects have to be taken into account when predicting the impact of root herbivores on grasslands.

  10. The Root Herbivore History of the Soil Affects the Productivity of a Grassland Plant Community and Determines Plant Response to New Root Herbivore Attack

    PubMed Central

    Sonnemann, Ilja; Hempel, Stefan; Beutel, Maria; Hanauer, Nicola; Reidinger, Stefan; Wurst, Susanne

    2013-01-01

    Insect root herbivores can alter plant community structure by affecting the competitive ability of single plants. However, their effects can be modified by the soil environment. Root herbivory itself may induce changes in the soil biota community, and it has recently been shown that these changes can affect plant growth in a subsequent season or plant generation. However, so far it is not known whether these root herbivore history effects (i) are detectable at the plant community level and/or (ii) also determine plant species and plant community responses to new root herbivore attack. The present greenhouse study determined root herbivore history effects of click beetle larvae (Elateridae, Coleoptera, genus Agriotes) in a model grassland plant community consisting of six common species (Achillea millefolium, Plantago lanceolata, Taraxacum officinale, Holcus lanatus, Poa pratensis, Trifolium repens). Root herbivore history effects were generated in a first phase of the experiment by growing the plant community in soil with or without Agriotes larvae, and investigated in a second phase by growing it again in the soils that were either Agriotes trained or not. The root herbivore history of the soil affected plant community productivity (but not composition), with communities growing in root herbivore trained soil producing more biomass than those growing in untrained soil. Additionally, it influenced the response of certain plant species to new root herbivore attack. Effects may partly be explained by herbivore-induced shifts in the community of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. The root herbivore history of the soil proved to be a stronger driver of plant growth on the community level than an actual root herbivore attack which did not affect plant community parameters. History effects have to be taken into account when predicting the impact of root herbivores on grasslands. PMID:23441201

  11. Fusarium Oxysporum Volatiles Enhance Plant Growth Via Affecting Auxin Transport and Signaling.

    PubMed

    Bitas, Vasileios; McCartney, Nathaniel; Li, Ningxiao; Demers, Jill; Kim, Jung-Eun; Kim, Hye-Seon; Brown, Kathleen M; Kang, Seogchan

    2015-01-01

    Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have well-documented roles in plant-plant communication and directing animal behavior. In this study, we examine the less understood roles of VOCs in plant-fungal relationships. Phylogenetically and ecologically diverse strains of Fusarium oxysporum, a fungal species complex that often resides in the rhizosphere of assorted plants, produce volatile compounds that augment shoot and root growth of Arabidopsis thaliana and tobacco. Growth responses of A. thaliana hormone signaling mutants and expression patterns of a GUS reporter gene under the auxin-responsive DR5 promoter supported the involvement of auxin signaling in F. oxysporum volatile-mediated growth enhancement. In addition, 1-naphthylthalamic acid, an inhibitor of auxin efflux, negated F. oxysporum volatile-mediated growth enhancement in both plants. Comparison of the profiles of volatile compounds produced by F. oxysporum strains that differentially affected plant growth suggests that the relative compositions of both growth inhibitory and stimulatory compounds may determine the degree of plant growth enhancement. Volatile-mediated signaling between fungi and plants may represent a potentially conserved, yet mostly overlooked, mechanism underpinning plant-fungus interactions and fungal niche adaption.

  12. Fusarium Oxysporum Volatiles Enhance Plant Growth Via Affecting Auxin Transport and Signaling

    PubMed Central

    Bitas, Vasileios; McCartney, Nathaniel; Li, Ningxiao; Demers, Jill; Kim, Jung-Eun; Kim, Hye-Seon; Brown, Kathleen M.; Kang, Seogchan

    2015-01-01

    Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have well-documented roles in plant-plant communication and directing animal behavior. In this study, we examine the less understood roles of VOCs in plant-fungal relationships. Phylogenetically and ecologically diverse strains of Fusarium oxysporum, a fungal species complex that often resides in the rhizosphere of assorted plants, produce volatile compounds that augment shoot and root growth of Arabidopsis thaliana and tobacco. Growth responses of A. thaliana hormone signaling mutants and expression patterns of a GUS reporter gene under the auxin-responsive DR5 promoter supported the involvement of auxin signaling in F. oxysporum volatile-mediated growth enhancement. In addition, 1-naphthylthalamic acid, an inhibitor of auxin efflux, negated F. oxysporum volatile-mediated growth enhancement in both plants. Comparison of the profiles of volatile compounds produced by F. oxysporum strains that differentially affected plant growth suggests that the relative compositions of both growth inhibitory and stimulatory compounds may determine the degree of plant growth enhancement. Volatile-mediated signaling between fungi and plants may represent a potentially conserved, yet mostly overlooked, mechanism underpinning plant-fungus interactions and fungal niche adaption. PMID:26617587

  13. Comparative cross-species alternative splicing in plants.

    PubMed

    Ner-Gaon, Hadas; Leviatan, Noam; Rubin, Eitan; Fluhr, Robert

    2007-07-01

    Alternative splicing (AS) can add significantly to genome complexity. Plants are thought to exhibit less AS than animals. An algorithm, based on expressed sequence tag (EST) pairs gapped alignment, was developed that takes advantage of the relatively small intron and exon size in plants and directly compares pairs of ESTs to search for AS. EST pairs gapped alignment was first evaluated in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), rice (Oryza sativa), and tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) for which annotated genome sequence is available and was shown to accurately predict splicing events. The method was then applied to 11 plant species that include 17 cultivars for which enough ESTs are available. The results show a large, 3.7-fold difference in AS rates between plant species with Arabidopsis and rice in the lower range and lettuce (Lactuca sativa) and sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) in the upper range. Hence, compared to higher animals, plants show a much greater degree of variety in their AS rates and in some plant species the rates of animal and plant AS are comparable although the distribution of AS types may differ. In eudicots but not monocots, a correlation between genome size and AS rates was detected, implying that in eudicots the mechanisms that lead to larger genomes are a driving force for the evolution of AS.

  14. Carbon storage potential by four macrophytes as affected by planting diversity in a created wetland.

    PubMed

    Means, Mary M; Ahn, Changwoo; Korol, Alicia R; Williams, Lisa D

    2016-01-01

    Wetland creation has become a commonplace method for mitigating the loss of natural wetlands. Often mitigation projects fail to restore ecosystem services of the impacted natural wetlands. One of the key ecosystem services of newly created wetlands is carbon accumulation/sequestration, but little is known about how planting diversity (PD) affects the ability of herbaceous wetland plants to store carbon in newly created wetlands. Most mitigation projects involve a planting regime, but PD, which may be critical in establishing biologically diverse and ecologically functioning wetlands, is seldom required. Using a set of 34 mesocosms (∼1 m(2) each), we investigated the effects of planting diversity on carbon storage potential of four native wetland plant species that are commonly planted in created mitigation wetlands in Virginia - Carex vulpinoidea, Eleocharis obtusa, Juncus effusus, and Mimulus ringens. The plants were grown under the four distinctive PD treatments [i.e., monoculture (PD 1) through four different species mixture (PD 4)]. Plant biomass was harvested after two growing seasons and analyzed for tissue carbon content. Competition values (CV) were calculated to understand how the PD treatment affected the competitive ability of plants relative to their biomass production and thus carbon storage potentials. Aboveground biomass ranged from 988 g/m(2) - 1515 g/m(2), being greatest in monocultures, but only when compared to the most diverse mixture (p = 0.021). However, carbon storage potential estimates per mesocosm ranged between 344 g C/m(2) in the most diverse mesocosms (PD 4) to 610 g C/m(2) in monoculture ones with no significant difference (p = 0.089). CV of E. obtusa and C. vulpinoidea showed a declining trend when grown in the most diverse mixtures but J. effusus and M. ringens displayed no difference across the PD gradient (p = 0.910). In monocultures, both M. ringens, and J. effusus appeared to store carbon as biomass more

  15. Floristic summary of plant species in the air pollution literature

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bennett, J.P.

    1996-01-01

    A floristic summary and analysis was performed on a list of the plant species that have been studied for the effects of gaseous and chemical air pollutants on vegetation in order to compare the species with the flora of North America north of Mexico. The scientific names of 2081 vascular plant species were extracted from almost 4000 journal articles stored in two large literature databases on the effects of air pollutants on plants. Three quarters of the plant species studied occur in North America, but this was only 7% of the total North American flora. Sixteen percent and 56% of all North American genera and families have been studied. The most studied genus is Pinus with 70% of the North American species studied, and the most studied family is the grass family, with 12% of the species studied. Although Pinus is ranked 86th in the North American flora, the grass family is ranked third, indicating that representation at the family level is better than at the genus level. All of the top ten families in North America are represented in the top 20 families in the air pollution effects literature, but only one genus (Lupinus) in the top ten genera in North America is represented in the top thirteen genera in the air pollution literature.

  16. Ionizing radiation from Chernobyl affects development of wild carrot plants

    PubMed Central

    Boratyński, Zbyszek; Arias, Javi Miranda; Garcia, Cristina; Mappes, Tapio; Mousseau, Timothy A.; Møller, Anders P.; Pajares, Antonio Jesús Muñoz; Piwczyński, Marcin; Tukalenko, Eugene

    2016-01-01

    Radioactivity released from disasters like Chernobyl and Fukushima is a global hazard and a threat to exposed biota. To minimize the deleterious effects of stressors organisms adopt various strategies. Plants, for example, may delay germination or stay dormant during stressful periods. However, an intense stress may halt germination or heavily affect various developmental stages and select for life history changes. Here, we test for the consequence of exposure to ionizing radiation on plant development. We conducted a common garden experiment in an uncontaminated greenhouse using 660 seeds originating from 33 wild carrots (Daucus carota) collected near the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. These maternal plants had been exposed to radiation levels that varied by three orders of magnitude. We found strong negative effects of elevated radiation on the timing and rates of seed germination. In addition, later stages of development and the timing of emergence of consecutive leaves were delayed by exposure to radiation. We hypothesize that low quality of resources stored in seeds, damaged DNA, or both, delayed development and halted germination of seeds from plants exposed to elevated levels of ionizing radiation. We propose that high levels of spatial heterogeneity in background radiation may hamper adaptive life history responses. PMID:27982121

  17. Ionizing radiation from Chernobyl affects development of wild carrot plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boratyński, Zbyszek; Arias, Javi Miranda; Garcia, Cristina; Mappes, Tapio; Mousseau, Timothy A.; Møller, Anders P.; Pajares, Antonio Jesús Muñoz; Piwczyński, Marcin; Tukalenko, Eugene

    2016-12-01

    Radioactivity released from disasters like Chernobyl and Fukushima is a global hazard and a threat to exposed biota. To minimize the deleterious effects of stressors organisms adopt various strategies. Plants, for example, may delay germination or stay dormant during stressful periods. However, an intense stress may halt germination or heavily affect various developmental stages and select for life history changes. Here, we test for the consequence of exposure to ionizing radiation on plant development. We conducted a common garden experiment in an uncontaminated greenhouse using 660 seeds originating from 33 wild carrots (Daucus carota) collected near the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. These maternal plants had been exposed to radiation levels that varied by three orders of magnitude. We found strong negative effects of elevated radiation on the timing and rates of seed germination. In addition, later stages of development and the timing of emergence of consecutive leaves were delayed by exposure to radiation. We hypothesize that low quality of resources stored in seeds, damaged DNA, or both, delayed development and halted germination of seeds from plants exposed to elevated levels of ionizing radiation. We propose that high levels of spatial heterogeneity in background radiation may hamper adaptive life history responses.

  18. Diversity of Riparian Plants among and within Species Shapes River Communities

    PubMed Central

    Jackrel, Sara L.; Wootton, J. Timothy

    2015-01-01

    Organismal diversity among and within species may affect ecosystem function with effects transmitting across ecosystem boundaries. Whether recipient communities adjust their composition, in turn, to maximize their function in response to changes in donor composition at these two scales of diversity is unknown. We use small stream communities that rely on riparian subsidies as a model system. We used leaf pack experiments to ask how variation in plants growing beside streams in the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State, USA affects stream communities via leaf subsidies. Leaves from red alder (Alnus rubra), vine maple (Acer cinereus), bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum) and western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla) were assembled in leaf packs to contrast low versus high diversity, and deployed in streams to compare local versus non-local leaf sources at the among and within species scales. Leaves from individuals within species decomposed at varying rates; most notably thin leaves decomposed rapidly. Among deciduous species, vine maple decomposed most rapidly, harbored the least algal abundance, and supported the greatest diversity of aquatic invertebrates, while bigleaf maple was at the opposite extreme for these three metrics. Recipient communities decomposed leaves from local species rapidly: leaves from early successional plants decomposed rapidly in stream reaches surrounded by early successional forest and leaves from later successional plants decomposed rapidly adjacent to later successional forest. The species diversity of leaves inconsistently affected decomposition, algal abundance and invertebrate metrics. Intraspecific diversity of leaf packs also did not affect decomposition or invertebrate diversity. However, locally sourced alder leaves decomposed more rapidly and harbored greater levels of algae than leaves sourced from conspecifics growing in other areas on the Olympic Peninsula, but did not harbor greater aquatic invertebrate diversity. In contrast to

  19. Diversity of Riparian Plants among and within Species Shapes River Communities.

    PubMed

    Jackrel, Sara L; Wootton, J Timothy

    2015-01-01

    Organismal diversity among and within species may affect ecosystem function with effects transmitting across ecosystem boundaries. Whether recipient communities adjust their composition, in turn, to maximize their function in response to changes in donor composition at these two scales of diversity is unknown. We use small stream communities that rely on riparian subsidies as a model system. We used leaf pack experiments to ask how variation in plants growing beside streams in the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State, USA affects stream communities via leaf subsidies. Leaves from red alder (Alnus rubra), vine maple (Acer cinereus), bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum) and western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla) were assembled in leaf packs to contrast low versus high diversity, and deployed in streams to compare local versus non-local leaf sources at the among and within species scales. Leaves from individuals within species decomposed at varying rates; most notably thin leaves decomposed rapidly. Among deciduous species, vine maple decomposed most rapidly, harbored the least algal abundance, and supported the greatest diversity of aquatic invertebrates, while bigleaf maple was at the opposite extreme for these three metrics. Recipient communities decomposed leaves from local species rapidly: leaves from early successional plants decomposed rapidly in stream reaches surrounded by early successional forest and leaves from later successional plants decomposed rapidly adjacent to later successional forest. The species diversity of leaves inconsistently affected decomposition, algal abundance and invertebrate metrics. Intraspecific diversity of leaf packs also did not affect decomposition or invertebrate diversity. However, locally sourced alder leaves decomposed more rapidly and harbored greater levels of algae than leaves sourced from conspecifics growing in other areas on the Olympic Peninsula, but did not harbor greater aquatic invertebrate diversity. In contrast to

  20. Marker gene tethering by nucleoporins affects gene expression in plants.

    PubMed

    Smith, Sarah; Galinha, Carla; Desset, Sophie; Tolmie, Frances; Evans, David; Tatout, Christophe; Graumann, Katja

    2015-01-01

    In non-plant systems, chromatin association with the nuclear periphery affects gene expression, where interactions with nuclear envelope proteins can repress and interactions with nucleoporins can enhance transcription. In plants, both hetero- and euchromatin can localize at the nuclear periphery, but the effect of proximity to the nuclear periphery on gene expression remains largely unknown. This study explores the putative function of Seh1 and Nup50a nucleoporins on gene expression by using the Lac Operator / Lac Repressor (LacI-LacO) system adapted to Arabidopsis thaliana. We used LacO fused to the luciferase reporter gene (LacO:Luc) to investigate whether binding of the LacO:Luc transgene to nucleoporin:LacI protein fusions alters luciferase expression. Two separate nucleoporin-LacI-YFP fusions were introduced into single insert, homozygous LacO:Luc Arabidopsis plants. Homozygous plants carrying LacO:Luc and a single insert of either Seh1-LacI-YFP or Nup50a-LacI-YFP were tested for luciferase activity and compared to plants containing LacO:Luc only. Seh1-LacI-YFP increased, while Nup50a-LacI-YFP decreased luciferase activity. Seh1-LacI-YFP accumulated at the nuclear periphery as expected, while Nup50a-LacI-YFP was nucleoplasmic and was not selected for further study. Protein and RNA levels of luciferase were quantified by western blotting and RT-qPCR, respectively. Increased luciferase activity in LacO:Luc+Seh1-LacI-YFP plants was correlated with increased luciferase protein and RNA levels. This change of luciferase expression was abolished by disruption of LacI-LacO binding by treating with IPTG in young seedlings, rosette leaves and inflorescences. This study suggests that association with the nuclear periphery is involved in the regulation of gene expression in plants.

  1. Piper and Vismia species from Colombian Amazonia differentially affect cell proliferation of hepatocarcinoma cells.

    PubMed

    Lizcano, Leandro J; Siles, Maite; Trepiana, Jenifer; Hernández, M Luisa; Navarro, Rosaura; Ruiz-Larrea, M Begoña; Ruiz-Sanz, José Ignacio

    2014-12-30

    There is an increasing interest to identify plant-derived natural products with antitumor activities. In this work, we have studied the effects of aqueous leaf extracts from Amazonian Vismia and Piper species on human hepatocarcinoma cell toxicity. Results showed that, depending on the cell type, the plants displayed differential effects; thus, Vismia baccifera induced the selective killing of HepG2, while increasing cell growth of PLC-PRF and SK-HEP-1. In contrast, these two last cell lines were sensitive to the toxicity by Piper krukoffii and Piper putumayoense, while the Piperaceae did not affect HepG2 growth. All the extracts induced cytotoxicity to rat hepatoma McA-RH7777, but were innocuous (V. baccifera at concentrations < 75 µg/mL) or even protected cells from basal death (P. putumayoense) in primary cultures of rat hepatocytes. In every case, cytotoxicity was accompanied by an intracellular accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). These results provide evidence for the anticancer activities of the studied plants on specific cell lines and suggest that cell killing could be mediated by ROS, thus involving mechanisms independent of the plants free radical scavenging activities. Results also support the use of these extracts of the Vismia and Piper genera with opposite effects as a model system to study the mechanisms of the antitumoral activity against different types of hepatocarcinoma.

  2. Conspecific plant-soil feedbacks of temperate tree species in the southern Appalachians, USA.

    PubMed

    Reinhart, Kurt O; Johnson, Daniel; Clay, Keith

    2012-01-01

    Many tree species have seedling recruitment patterns suggesting that they are affected by non-competitive distance-dependent sources of mortality. We conducted an experiment, with landscape-level replication, to identify cases of negative distance-dependent effects and whether variation in these effects corresponded with tree recruitment patterns in the southern Appalachian Mountains region. Specifically, soil was collected from 14 sites and used as inocula in a 62 day growth chamber experiment determining whether tree seedling growth was less when interacting with soil from conspecific (like) than heterospecific (other) tree species. Tests were performed on six tree species. Three of the tree species had been previously described as having greater recruitment around conspecifics (i.e. facilitator species group) compared to the other half (i.e. inhibitor species group). We were then able to determine whether variation in negative distance-dependent effects corresponded with recruitment patterns in the field. Across the six species, none were negatively affected by soil inocula from conspecific relative to heterospecific sources. Most species (four of six) were unaffected by soil source. Two species (Prunus serotina and Tsuga canadensis) had enhanced growth in pots inoculated with soil from conspecific trees vs. heterospecifics. Species varied in their susceptibility to soil pathogens, but trends across all species revealed that species classified as inhibitors were not more negatively affected by conspecific than heterospecific soil inocula or more susceptible to pathogenic effects than facilitators. Although plant-soil biota interactions may be important for individual species and sites, it may be difficult to scale these interactions over space or levels of ecological organization. Generalizing the importance of plant-soil feedbacks or other factors across regional scales may be especially problematic for hyperdiverse temperate forests where interactions may be

  3. Conspecific Plant-Soil Feedbacks of Temperate Tree Species in the Southern Appalachians, USA

    PubMed Central

    Reinhart, Kurt O.; Johnson, Daniel; Clay, Keith

    2012-01-01

    Many tree species have seedling recruitment patterns suggesting that they are affected by non-competitive distance-dependent sources of mortality. We conducted an experiment, with landscape-level replication, to identify cases of negative distance-dependent effects and whether variation in these effects corresponded with tree recruitment patterns in the southern Appalachian Mountains region. Specifically, soil was collected from 14 sites and used as inocula in a 62 day growth chamber experiment determining whether tree seedling growth was less when interacting with soil from conspecific (like) than heterospecific (other) tree species. Tests were performed on six tree species. Three of the tree species had been previously described as having greater recruitment around conspecifics (i.e. facilitator species group) compared to the other half (i.e. inhibitor species group). We were then able to determine whether variation in negative distance-dependent effects corresponded with recruitment patterns in the field. Across the six species, none were negatively affected by soil inocula from conspecific relative to heterospecific sources. Most species (four of six) were unaffected by soil source. Two species (Prunus serotina and Tsuga canadensis) had enhanced growth in pots inoculated with soil from conspecific trees vs. heterospecifics. Species varied in their susceptibility to soil pathogens, but trends across all species revealed that species classified as inhibitors were not more negatively affected by conspecific than heterospecific soil inocula or more susceptible to pathogenic effects than facilitators. Although plant-soil biota interactions may be important for individual species and sites, it may be difficult to scale these interactions over space or levels of ecological organization. Generalizing the importance of plant-soil feedbacks or other factors across regional scales may be especially problematic for hyperdiverse temperate forests where interactions may be

  4. Resource heterogeneity, soil fertility, and species diversity: effects of clonal species on plant communities.

    PubMed

    Eilts, J Alexander; Mittelbach, Gary G; Reynolds, Heather L; Gross, Katherine L

    2011-05-01

    Spatial heterogeneity in soil resources is widely thought to promote plant species coexistence, and this mechanism figures prominently in resource-ratio models of competition. However, most experimental studies have found that nutrient enhancements depress diversity regardless of whether nutrients are uniformly or heterogeneously applied. This mismatch between theory and empirical pattern is potentially due to an interaction between plant size and the scale of resource heterogeneity. Clonal plants that spread vegetatively via rhizomes or stolons can grow large and may integrate across resource patches, thus reducing the positive effect of small-scale resource heterogeneity on plant species richness. Many rhizomatous clonal species respond strongly to increased soil fertility, and they have been hypothesized to drive the descending arm of the hump-shaped productivity-diversity relationship in grasslands. We tested whether clonals reduce species richness in a grassland community by manipulating nutrient heterogeneity, soil fertility, and the presence of rhizomatous clonal species in a 6-year field experiment. We found strong and consistent negative effects of clonals on species richness. These effects were greatest at high fertility and when soil resources were applied at a scale at which rhizomatous clonals could integrate across resource patches. Thus, we find support for the hypothesis that plant size and resource heterogeneity interact to determine species diversity.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  6. Virulence of oomycete pathogens from Phragmites australis-invaded and noninvaded soils to seedlings of wetland plant species.

    PubMed

    Crocker, Ellen V; Karp, Mary Ann; Nelson, Eric B

    2015-06-01

    Soil pathogens affect plant community structure and function through negative plant-soil feedbacks that may contribute to the invasiveness of non-native plant species. Our understanding of these pathogen-induced soil feedbacks has relied largely on observations of the collective impact of the soil biota on plant populations, with few observations of accompanying changes in populations of specific soil pathogens and their impacts on invasive and noninvasive species. As a result, the roles of specific soil pathogens in plant invasions remain unknown. In this study, we examine the diversity and virulence of soil oomycete pathogens in freshwater wetland soils invaded by non-native Phragmites australis (European common reed) to better understand the potential for soil pathogen communities to impact a range of native and non-native species and influence invasiveness. We isolated oomycetes from four sites over a 2-year period, collecting nearly 500 isolates belonging to 36 different species. These sites were dominated by species of Pythium, many of which decreased seedling survival of a range of native and invasive plants. Despite any clear host specialization, many of the Pythium species were differentially virulent to the native and non-native plant species tested. Isolates from invaded and noninvaded soils were equally virulent to given individual plant species, and no apparent differences in susceptibility were observed between the collective groups of native and non-native plant species.

  7. Species area relationships in mediterranean-climate plant communities

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keeley, Jon E.; Fotheringham, C.J.

    2003-01-01

    Aim To determine the best-fit model of species–area relationships for Mediterranean-type plant communities and evaluate how community structure affects these species–area models.Location Data were collected from California shrublands and woodlands and compared with literature reports for other Mediterranean-climate regions.Methods The number of species was recorded from 1, 100 and 1000 m2 nested plots. Best fit to the power model or exponential model was determined by comparing adjusted r2 values from the least squares regression, pattern of residuals, homoscedasticity across scales, and semi-log slopes at 1–100 m2 and 100–1000 m2. Dominance–diversity curves were tested for fit to the lognormal model, MacArthur's broken stick model, and the geometric and harmonic series.Results Early successional Western Australia and California shrublands represented the extremes and provide an interesting contrast as the exponential model was the best fit for the former, and the power model for the latter, despite similar total species richness. We hypothesize that structural differences in these communities account for the different species–area curves and are tied to patterns of dominance, equitability and life form distribution. Dominance–diversity relationships for Western Australian heathlands exhibited a close fit to MacArthur's broken stick model, indicating more equitable distribution of species. In contrast, Californian shrublands, both postfire and mature stands, were best fit by the geometric model indicating strong dominance and many minor subordinate species. These regions differ in life form distribution, with annuals being a major component of diversity in early successional Californian shrublands although they are largely lacking in mature stands. Both young and old Australian heathlands are dominated by perennials, and annuals are largely absent. Inherent in all of these ecosystems is cyclical disequilibrium caused by periodic fires. The

  8. Which ornamental plant species effectively remove benzene from indoor air?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Yan-Ju; Mu, Yu-Jing; Zhu, Yong-Guan; Ding, Hui; Crystal Arens, Nan

    Phytoremediation—using plants to remove toxins—is an attractive and cost effective way to improve indoor air quality. This study screened ornamental plants for their ability to remove volatile organic compounds from air by fumigating 73 plant species with 150 ppb benzene, an important indoor air pollutant that poses a risk to human health. The 10 species found to be most effective at removing benzene from air were fumigated for two more days (8 h per day) to quantify their benzene removal capacity. Crassula portulacea, Hydrangea macrophylla, Cymbidium Golden Elf., Ficus microcarpa var. fuyuensis, Dendranthema morifolium, Citrus medica var. sarcodactylis, Dieffenbachia amoena cv. Tropic Snow; Spathiphyllum Supreme; Nephrolepis exaltata cv. Bostoniensis; Dracaena deremensis cv. Variegata emerged as the species with the greatest capacity to remove benzene from indoor air.

  9. Plant DNA barcodes and species resolution in sedges (Carex, Cyperaceae).

    PubMed

    Starr, Julian R; Naczi, Robert F C; Chouinard, Brianna N

    2009-05-01

    We investigate the species discriminatory power of a subset of the proposed plant barcoding loci (matK, rbcL, rpoC1, rpoB, trnH-psbA) in Carex, a cosmopolitan genus that represents one of the three largest plant genera on earth (c. 2000 species). To assess the ability of barcoding loci to resolve Carex species, we focused our sampling on three of the taxonomically best-known groups in the genus, sections Deweyanae (6/8 species sampled), Griseae (18/21 species sampled), and Phyllostachyae (10/10 species sampled). Each group represents one of three major phylogenetic lineages previously identified in Carex and its tribe Cariceae, thus permitting us to evaluate the potential of DNA barcodes to broadly identify species across the tribe and to differentiate closely related sister species. Unlike some previous studies that have suggested that plant barcoding could achieve species identification rates around 90%, our results suggest that no single locus or multilocus barcode examined will resolve much greater than 60% of Carex species. In fact, no multilocus combination can significantly increase the resolution and statistical support (i.e., ≥ 70% bootstrap) for species than matK alone, even combinations involving the second most variable region, trnH-psbA. Results suggest that a matK barcode could help with species discovery as 47% of Carex taxa recently named or resolved within cryptic complexes in the past 25 years also formed unique species clusters in upgma trees. Comparisons between the nrDNA internal transcribed spacer region (ITS) and matK in sect. Phyllostachyae suggest that matK not only discriminates more species (50-60% vs. 25%), but it provides more resolved phylogenies than ITS. Given the low levels of species resolution in rpoC1 and rpoB (0-13%), and difficulties with polymerase chain reaction amplification and DNA sequencing in rbcL and trnH-psbA (alignment included), we strongly advocate that matK should be part of a universal plant barcoding system

  10. Plant species richness drives the density and diversity of Collembola in temperate grassland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sabais, Alexander C. W.; Scheu, Stefan; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2011-05-01

    Declining biodiversity is one of the most important aspects of anthropogenic global change phenomena, but the implications of plant species loss for soil decomposers are little understood. We used the experimental grassland community of the Jena Experiment to assess the response of density and diversity of Collembola to varying plant species richness, plant functional group richness and plant functional group identity. We sampled the experimental plots in spring and autumn four years after establishment of the experimental plant communities. Collembola density and diversity significantly increased with plant species and plant functional group richness highlighting the importance of the singular hypothesis for soil invertebrates. Generally, grasses and legumes beneficially affected Collembola density and diversity, whereas effects of small herbs usually were detrimental. These impacts were largely consistent in spring and autumn. By contrast, in the presence of small herbs the density of hemiedaphic Collembola and the diversity of Isotomidae increased in spring whereas they decreased in autumn. Beneficial impacts of plant diversity as well as those of grasses and legumes were likely due to increased root and microbial biomass, and elevated quantity and quality of plant residues serving as food resources for Collembola. By contrast, beneficial impacts of small herbs in spring probably reflect differences in microclimatic conditions, and detrimental effects in autumn likely were due to low quantity and quality of resources. The results point to an intimate relationship between plants and the diversity of belowground biota, even at small spatial scales, contrasting the findings of previous studies. The pronounced response of soil animals in the present study was presumably due to the fact that plant communities had established over several years. As decomposer invertebrates significantly impact plant performance, changes in soil biota density and diversity are likely

  11. Rhizobia species: A Boon for "Plant Genetic Engineering".

    PubMed

    Patel, Urmi; Sinha, Sarika

    2011-10-01

    Since past three decades new discoveries in plant genetic engineering have shown remarkable potentials for crop improvement. Agrobacterium Ti plasmid based DNA transfer is no longer the only efficient way of introducing agronomically important genes into plants. Recent studies have explored a novel plant genetic engineering tool, Rhizobia sp., as an alternative to Agrobacterium, thereby expanding the choice of bacterial species in agricultural plant biotechnology. Rhizobia sp. serve as an open license source with no major restrictions in plant biotechnology and help broaden the spectrum for plant biotechnologists with respect to the use of gene transfer vehicles in plants. New efficient transgenic plants can be produced by transferring genes of interest using binary vector carrying Rhizobia sp. Studies focusing on the interactions of Rhizobia sp. with their hosts, for stable and transient transformation and expression of genes, could help in the development of an adequate gene transfer vehicle. Along with being biologically beneficial, it may also bring a new means for fast economic development of transgenic plants, thus giving rise to a new era in plant biotechnology, viz. "Rhizobia mediated transformation technology."

  12. The Effect of Designated Pollutants on Plant Species

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1981-01-01

    0.1% HCl was injurious while 0.01% was not. Plant or tissue age or time of treatment did not significantly alter the amount of injury caused by acid...for 20 minutes showed species differences: dudleya was rarely injured while other plants were highly sensitive. "* Burning powdered leaf tissue in an...a * * o * * 15 HF Tissue Analysis o . .0. . . . . . . .. .. . . . * * * 16 Soil Bioact ivity . o. . o... 0.. 0........00

  13. Comprehensive review on phytotechnology: Heavy metals removal by diverse aquatic plants species from wastewater.

    PubMed

    Rezania, Shahabaldin; Taib, Shazwin Mat; Md Din, Mohd Fadhil; Dahalan, Farrah Aini; Kamyab, Hesam

    2016-11-15

    Environmental pollution specifically water pollution is alarming both in the developed and developing countries. Heavy metal contamination of water resources is a critical issue which adversely affects humans, plants and animals. Phytoremediation is a cost-effective remediation technology which able to treat heavy metal polluted sites. This environmental friendly method has been successfully implemented in constructed wetland (CWs) which is able to restore the aquatic biosystem naturally. Nowadays, many aquatic plant species are being investigated to determine their potential and effectiveness for phytoremediation application, especially high growth rate plants i.e. macrophytes. Based on the findings, phytofiltration (rhizofiltration) is the sole method which defined as heavy metals removal from water by aquatic plants. Due to specific morphology and higher growth rate, free-floating plants were more efficient to uptake heavy metals in comparison with submerged and emergent plants. In this review, the potential of wide range of aquatic plant species with main focus on four well known species (hyper-accumulators): Pistia stratiotes, Eicchornia spp., Lemna spp. and Salvinia spp. was investigated. Moreover, we discussed about the history, methods and future prospects in phytoremediation of heavy metals by aquatic plants comprehensively.

  14. Aminomethylphosphonic acid accumulation in plant species treated with glyphosate.

    PubMed

    Reddy, Krishna N; Rimando, Agnes M; Duke, Stephen O; Nandula, Vijay K

    2008-03-26

    Aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA) is the most frequently detected metabolite of glyphosate in plants. The objective of this study was to determine if there is any correlation of metabolism of glyphosate to AMPA in different plant species and their natural level of resistance to glyphosate. Greenhouse studies were conducted to determine the glyphosate I 50 values (rate required to cause a 50% reduction in plant growth) and to quantify AMPA and shikimate concentrations in selected leguminous and nonleguminous species treated with glyphosate at respective I 50 rates. Coffee senna [ Cassia occidentalis (L.) Link] was the most sensitive ( I 50 = 75 g/ha) and hemp sesbania [ Sesbania herbacea (P.Mill.) McVaugh] was the most resistant ( I 50 = 456 g/ha) to glyphosate. Hemp sesbania was 6-fold and Illinois bundleflower [ Desmanthus illinoensis (Michx.) MacM. ex B.L.Robins. & Fern.] was 4-fold more resistant to glyphosate than coffee senna. Glyphosate was present in all plant species, and its concentration ranged from 0.308 to 38.7 microg/g of tissue. AMPA was present in all leguminous species studied except hemp sesbania. AMPA concentration ranged from 0.119 to 4.77 microg/g of tissue. Shikimate was present in all plant species treated with glyphosate, and levels ranged from 0.053 to 16.5 mg/g of tissue. Non-glyphosate-resistant (non-GR) soybean accumulated much higher shikimate than glyphosate-resistant (GR) soybean. Although some leguminous species were found to be more resistant to glyphosate than others, and there was considerable variation between species in the glyphosate to AMPA levels found, metabolism of glyphosate to AMPA did not appear to be a common factor in explaining natural resistance levels.

  15. Genomic approaches for interrogating the biochemistry of medicinal plant species

    PubMed Central

    Góngora-Castillo, Elsa; Fedewa, Greg; Yeo, Yunsoo; Chappell, Joe; DellaPenna, Dean; Buell, C. Robin

    2013-01-01

    Development of next-generation sequencing, coupled with the advancement of computational methods, has allowed researchers to access the transcriptomes of recalcitrant genomes such as those of medicinal plant species. Through the sequencing of even a few cDNA libraries, a broad representation of the transcriptome of any medicinal plant species can be obtained, providing a robust resource for gene discovery and downstream biochemical pathway discovery. When coupled to estimation of expression abundances in specific tissues from a developmental series, biotic stress, abiotic stress, or elicitor challenge, informative coexpression and differential expression estimates on a whole transcriptome level can be obtained to identify candidates for function discovery. PMID:23084937

  16. Invasive vascular plant species of limnocrenic karst springs in Poland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spałek, Krzysztof

    2015-04-01

    Natural water reservoirs are very valuable floristic sites in Poland. Among them, the most important for preservation of biodiversity of flora are limnocrenic karst springs. The long-term process of human pressure on habitats of this type caused disturbance of their biological balance. Changes in the water regime, industrial development and chemisation of agriculture, especially in the period of last two hundred years, led to systematic disappearance of localities of many plant species connected with rare habitats and also to appear numerous invasive plant species. They are: Acorus calamus, Echinocystis lobata, Elodea canadensis, Erechtites hieraciifolia, Impatiens glandulifera, Solidago canadensis, S. gigantea and S. graminifolia. Fielworks were conducted in 2010-2014.

  17. Getting the Right Traits: Reproductive and Dispersal Characteristics Predict the Invasiveness of Herbaceous Plant Species

    PubMed Central

    Moravcová, Lenka; Pyšek, Petr; Pergl, Jan

    2015-01-01

    To better understand the effect of species traits on plant invasion, we collected comparative data on 20 reproductive and dispersal traits of 93 herbaceous alien species in the Czech Republic, central Europe, introduced after 1500 A. D. We explain plant invasion success, expressed by two measures: invasiveness, i.e. whether the species is naturalized but non-invasive, or invasive; and dominance in plant communities expressed as the mean cover in vegetation plots. We also tested how important reproductive and dispersal traits are in models including other characteristics generally known to predict invasion outcome, such as plant height, life history and residence time. By using regression/classification trees we show that the biological traits affect invasion success at all life stages, from reproduction (seed production) to dispersal (propagule properties), and the ability to compete with resident species (height). By including species traits information not usually available in multispecies analyses, we provide evidence that traits do play important role in determining the outcome of invasion and can be used to distinguish between alien species that reach the final stage of the invasion process and dominate the local communities from those that do not. No effect of taxonomy ascertained in regression and classification trees indicates that the role of traits in invasiveness should be assessed primarily at the species level. PMID:25906399

  18. Plant growth regulation of Bt-cotton through Bacillus species.

    PubMed

    Pindi, Pavan Kumar; Sultana, Tasleem; Vootla, Praveen Kumar

    2014-06-01

    Deccan plateau in India periodically experiences droughts due to irregular rain fall and the soil in many parts of the region is considered to be poor for farming. Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria are originally defined as root-colonizing bacteria, i.e., Bacillus that cause either plant growth promotion or biological control of plant diseases. The study aims at the isolation of novel Bacillus species and to assess the biotechnological potential of the novel species as a biofertilizer, with respect to their plant growth promoting properties as efficient phosphate-solubilizing bacteria. Seven different strains of Bacillus were isolated from cotton rhizosphere soil near boys' hostel of Palamuru University which belongs to Deccan plateau. Among seven isolated strains, Bacillus strain-7 has shown maximum support for good growth of eight cotton cultivars. This bacterial species is named Bacillus sp. PU-7 based on the phenotypic and phylogenetic analysis. Among eight cotton cultivars, Mahyco has shown high levels of IAA, proteins, chlorophyll, sugars and low level of proline. Efficacy of novel Bacillus sp. PU-7 with Mahyco cultivar has been checked experimentally at field level in four different cotton grown agricultural soils. The strains supported plant growth in almost all the cases, especially in the deep black soil, with a clear evidence of maximum plant growth by increased levels of phytohormone production and biochemical analysis, followed by shallow black soil. Hence, it is inferred that the novel isolate can be used as bioinoculant in the cotton fields.

  19. Impacts of invasive nonnative plant species on the rare forest herb Scutellaria montana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sikkema, Jordan J.; Boyd, Jennifer N.

    2015-11-01

    Invasive plant species and overabundant herbivore populations have the potential to significantly impact rare plant species given their increased risk for local extirpation and extinction. We used interacting invasive species removal and grazer exclusion treatments replicated across two locations in an occurrence of rare Scutellaria montana (large-flowered skullcap) in Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA, to assess: 1) competition by invasive Ligustrum sinense (Chinese privet) and Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle) and 2) the role of invasive species in mediating Oedocoilus virginianus (white-tailed deer) grazing of S. montana. Contrary to our hypothesis that invasive species presence would suppress S. montana directly via competition, S. montana individuals experienced a seasonal increase in stem height when invasive species were intact but not when invasive species were removed. Marginally significant results indicated that invasive species may afford S. montana protection from grazers, and we suggest that invasive species also could protect S. montana from smaller herbivores and/or positively influence abiotic conditions. In contrast to growth responses, S. montana individuals protected from O. virginianus exhibited a decrease in flowering between seasons relative to unprotected plants, but invasive species did not affect this variable. Although it has been suggested that invasive plant species may negatively influence S. montana growth and fecundity, our findings do not support related concerns. As such, we suggest that invasive species eradication efforts in S. montana habitat could be more detrimental than positive due to associated disturbance. However, the low level of invasion of our study site may not be representative of potential interference in more heavily infested habitat.

  20. Woody plant phylogenetic diversity mediates bottom-up control of arthropod biomass in species-rich forests.

    PubMed

    Schuldt, Andreas; Baruffol, Martin; Bruelheide, Helge; Chen, Simon; Chi, Xiulian; Wall, Marcus; Assmann, Thorsten

    2014-09-01

    Global change is predicted to cause non-random species loss in plant communities, with consequences for ecosystem functioning. However, beyond the simple effects of plant species richness, little is known about how plant diversity and its loss influence higher trophic levels, which are crucial to the functioning of many species-rich ecosystems. We analyzed to what extent woody plant phylogenetic diversity and species richness contribute to explaining the biomass and abundance of herbivorous and predatory arthropods in a species-rich forest in subtropical China. The biomass and abundance of leaf-chewing herbivores, and the biomass dispersion of herbivores within plots, increased with woody plant phylogenetic diversity. Woody plant species richness had much weaker effects on arthropods, but interacted with plant phylogenetic diversity to negatively affect the ratio of predator to herbivore biomass. Overall, our results point to a strong bottom-up control of functionally important herbivores mediated particularly by plant phylogenetic diversity, but do not support the general expectation that top-down predator effects increase with plant diversity. The observed effects appear to be driven primarily by increasing resource diversity rather than diversity-dependent primary productivity, as the latter did not affect arthropods. The strong effects of plant phylogenetic diversity and the overall weaker effects of plant species richness show that the diversity-dependence of ecosystem processes and interactions across trophic levels can depend fundamentally on non-random species associations. This has important implications for the regulation of ecosystem functions via trophic interaction pathways and for the way species loss may impact these pathways in species-rich forests.

  1. Metal species involved in long distance metal transport in plants

    PubMed Central

    Álvarez-Fernández, Ana; Díaz-Benito, Pablo; Abadía, Anunciación; López-Millán, Ana-Flor; Abadía, Javier

    2014-01-01

    The mechanisms plants use to transport metals from roots to shoots are not completely understood. It has long been proposed that organic molecules participate in metal translocation within the plant. However, until recently the identity of the complexes involved in the long-distance transport of metals could only be inferred by using indirect methods, such as analyzing separately the concentrations of metals and putative ligands and then using in silico chemical speciation software to predict metal species. Molecular biology approaches also have provided a breadth of information about putative metal ligands and metal complexes occurring in plant fluids. The new advances in analytical techniques based on mass spectrometry and the increased use of synchrotron X-ray spectroscopy have allowed for the identification of some metal-ligand species in plant fluids such as the xylem and phloem saps. Also, some proteins present in plant fluids can bind metals and a few studies have explored this possibility. This study reviews the analytical challenges researchers have to face to understand long-distance metal transport in plants as well as the recent advances in the identification of the ligand and metal-ligand complexes in plant fluids. PMID:24723928

  2. Genetic variation within a dominant shrub species determines plant species colonization in a coastal dune ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Crutsinger, Gregory M; Strauss, Sharon Y; Rudgers, Jennifer A

    2010-04-01

    The diversity and structure of plant communities is often determined by the presence and identity of competitively dominant species. Recent studies suggest that intraspecific variation within dominants may also have important community-level consequences. In a coastal dunes ecosystem of northern California, we use a decade-old common garden experiment to test the effects of a genetically based architectural dimorphism within a dominant native shrub, Baccharis pilularis, on plant colonization success and understory plant diversity. We found that erect Baccharis morphs had higher richness and cover of colonizing plant species (both native and exotic species) compared to prostrate morphs, as well as higher biomass of a dominant exotic dune grass (Ammophila arenaria). Trait differences between architectural morphs influenced the abiotic understory environment (light availability, soil surface temperature, and litter depth) and were associated with species colonization success. Taken together, our results demonstrate that incorporating within-species variation, particularly within dominant species, into community ecological research can increase the ability to predict patterns of species diversity and assembly within communities.

  3. Effect of fertiliser application and abandonment on plant species composition of Festuca rubra grassland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pavlů, Vilém; Gaisler, Jan; Pavlů, Lenka; Hejcman, Michal; Ludvíková, Vendula

    2012-11-01

    Little is known about the effects of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) application on soil chemical properties and plant species composition of mountain Festuca rubra grasslands. In this study, we aimed to determine whether fertiliser application affects plant species composition and soil properties during periods of management, and whether residual after-effects of fertiliser application can be detected eight years after its use is abandoned. The experiment with unfertilised control, PK treatment and treatments with low and higher level of NPK application under three (intensive management from 1993 to 1997) and two cut management (moderate management from 1997 to 1999) was established in the Jizera Mts. (Czech Republic) on F. rubra meadow and then the experiment was eight years abandoned. Immediately after the introduction of intensive management, a decrease in species richness and diversification of plant species composition occurred. Plant communities which had diversified in different fertiliser treatments persisted under moderately intensive management. The cover of Alopecurus pratensis increased to >50% while the cover of Agrostis capillaris decreased to <5% in NPK treatments during the period of intensive management. Trifolium repens became the dominant species in the PK treatment. Within eight years, under no management, the differences in plant species composition disappeared, species richness decreased and F. rubra, followed by Hypericum maculatum, became dominant in all treatments. The differences in biomass P concentration and plant available P and K concentrations in the soil were still detectable eight years after the last fertiliser application. As shown in this study, moderate application of NPK and consequent abandonment need not generate irreversible changes in species composition of mountain grassland.

  4. Effects of Previous Land-Use on Plant Species Composition and Diversity in Mediterranean Forests.

    PubMed

    Kouba, Yacine; Martínez-García, Felipe; de Frutos, Ángel; Alados, Concepción L

    2015-01-01

    At some point in their history, most forests in the Mediterranean Basin have been subjected to intensive management or converted to agriculture land. Knowing how forest plant communities recovered after the abandonment of forest-management or agricultural practices (including livestock grazing) provides a basis for investigating how previous land management have affected plant species diversity and composition in forest ecosystems. Our study investigated the consequences of historical "land management" practices on present-day Mediterranean forests by comparing species assemblages and the diversity of (i) all plant species and (ii) each ecological group defined by species' habitat preferences and successional status (i.e., early-, mid-, and late-successional species). We compared forest stands that differed both in land-use history and in successional stage. In addition, we evaluated the value of those stands for biodiversity conservation. The study revealed significant compositional differentiation among stands that was due to among-stand variations in the diversity (namely, species richness and evenness) of early-, intermediate-, and late-successional species. Historical land management has led to an increase in compositional divergences among forest stands and the loss of late-successional forest species.

  5. Species Composition of Bacterial Communities Influences Attraction of Mosquitoes to Experimental Plant Infusions

    PubMed Central

    Ponnusamy, Loganathan; Wesson, Dawn M.; Arellano, Consuelo; Schal, Coby

    2013-01-01

    In the container habitats of immature mosquitoes, catabolism of plant matter and other organic detritus by microbial organisms produces metabolites that mediate the oviposition behavior of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. Public health agencies commonly use oviposition traps containing plant infusions for monitoring populations of these mosquito species, which are global vectors of dengue viruses. In laboratory experiments, gravid females exhibited significantly diminished responses to experimental infusions made with sterilized white oak leaves, showing that attractive odorants were produced through microbial metabolic activity. We evaluated effects of infusion concentration and fermentation time on attraction of gravid females to infusions made from senescent bamboo or white oak leaves. We used plate counts of heterotrophic bacteria, total counts of 4′,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole-stained bacterial cells, and 16S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) polymerase chain reaction–denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) to show that changes in the relative abundance of bacteria and the species composition of bacterial communities influenced attraction of gravid A. aegypti and A. albopictus mosquitoes to infusions. DGGE profiles showed that bacterial species composition in infusions changed over time. Principal components analysis indicated that oviposition responses to plant infusions were in general most affected by bacterial diversity and abundance. Analysis of bacterial 16S rDNA sequences derived from DGGE bands revealed that Proteo-bacteria (Alpha-, Beta-, Delta-, and Gamma-) were the predominant bacteria detected in both types of plant infusions. Gravid A. aegypti were significantly attracted to a mix of 14 bacterial species cultured from bamboo leaf infusion. The oviposition response of gravid mosquitoes to plant infusions is strongly influenced by abundance and diversity of bacterial species, which in turn is affected by plant species, leaf biomass, and fermentation

  6. Gloger's rule in plants: The species and ecosystem levels

    PubMed Central

    Lev-Yadun, Simcha

    2015-01-01

    Gloger's rule posits that darker birds are found more often in humid environments than in arid ones, especially in the tropics. Accordingly, desert-inhabiting animals tend to be light-colored. This rule is also true for certain mammalian groups, including humans. Gloger's rule is manifested at 2 levels: (1) at the species level (different populations of the same species have different pigmentation at different latitudes), and (2) at the species assembly level (different taxa at a certain geography have different pigmentation than other taxa found at different habitats or latitudes). Concerning plants, Gloger's rule was first proposed to operate in many plant species growing in sand dunes, sandy shores and in deserts, because of being white, whitish, or silver colored, based on white trichomes, because of sand grains and clay particles glued to sticky glandular trichomes, or because of light-colored waxes. Recently, Gloger's rule was shown to also be true at the intraspecific level in relation to protection of anthers from UV irradiation. While Gloger's rule is true in certain plant taxa and ecologies, there are others where “anti-Gloger” coloration patterns exist. In some of these the selective agents are known and in others they are not. I present both Gloger and “anti-Gloger” cases and argue that this largely neglected aspect of plant biology deserves much more research attention. PMID:26786012

  7. AIRBORNE HYPERSPECTRAL IDENTIFICATION OF INVASIVE AND OPPORTUNISTIC WETLANDS PLANT SPECIES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Coastal wetlands are among the most fragmented and disturbed ecosystems and the Great Lakes are no exception. One possible result is the observed increase in the presence and dominance of invasive and other opportunistic plant species, such as the common reed (Phragmites australi...

  8. Gloger's rule in plants: The species and ecosystem levels.

    PubMed

    Lev-Yadun, Simcha

    2015-01-01

    Gloger's rule posits that darker birds are found more often in humid environments than in arid ones, especially in the tropics. Accordingly, desert-inhabiting animals tend to be light-colored. This rule is also true for certain mammalian groups, including humans. Gloger's rule is manifested at 2 levels: (1) at the species level (different populations of the same species have different pigmentation at different latitudes), and (2) at the species assembly level (different taxa at a certain geography have different pigmentation than other taxa found at different habitats or latitudes). Concerning plants, Gloger's rule was first proposed to operate in many plant species growing in sand dunes, sandy shores and in deserts, because of being white, whitish, or silver colored, based on white trichomes, because of sand grains and clay particles glued to sticky glandular trichomes, or because of light-colored waxes. Recently, Gloger's rule was shown to also be true at the intraspecific level in relation to protection of anthers from UV irradiation. While Gloger's rule is true in certain plant taxa and ecologies, there are others where "anti-Gloger" coloration patterns exist. In some of these the selective agents are known and in others they are not. I present both Gloger and "anti-Gloger" cases and argue that this largely neglected aspect of plant biology deserves much more research attention.

  9. Plant roots and spectroscopic methods - analyzing species, biomass and vitality.

    PubMed

    Rewald, Boris; Meinen, Catharina

    2013-01-01

    In order to understand plant functioning, plant community composition, and terrestrial biogeochemistry, it is decisive to study standing root biomass, (fine) root dynamics, and interactions belowground. While most plant taxa can be identified by visual criteria aboveground, roots show less distinctive features. Furthermore, root systems of neighboring plants are rarely spatially segregated; thus, most soil horizons and samples hold roots of more than one species necessitating root sorting according to taxa. In the last decades, various approaches, ranging from anatomical and morphological analyses to differences in chemical composition and DNA sequencing were applied to discern species' identity and biomass belowground. Among those methods, a variety of spectroscopic methods was used to detect differences in the chemical composition of roots. In this review, spectroscopic methods used to study root systems of herbaceous and woody species in excised samples or in situ will be discussed. In detail, techniques will be reviewed according to their usability to discern root taxa, to determine root vitality, and to quantify root biomass non-destructively or in soil cores holding mixtures of plant roots. In addition, spectroscopic methods which may be able to play an increasing role in future studies on root biomass and related traits are highlighted.

  10. Inoculation of Transgenic Resistant Potato by Phytophthora infestans Affects Host Plant Choice of a Generalist Moth.

    PubMed

    Abreha, Kibrom B; Alexandersson, Erik; Vossen, Jack H; Anderson, Peter; Andreasson, Erik

    2015-01-01

    Pathogen attack and the plant's response to this attack affect herbivore oviposition preference and larval performance. Introduction of major resistance genes against Phytophthora infestans (Rpi-genes), the cause of the devastating late blight disease, from wild Solanum species into potato changes the plant-pathogen interaction dynamics completely, but little is known about the effects on non-target organisms. Thus, we examined the effect of P. infestans itself and introduction of an Rpi-gene into the crop on host plant preference of the generalist insect herbivore, Spodoptera littoralis (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). In two choice bioassays, S. littoralis preferred to oviposit on P. infestans-inoculated plants of both the susceptible potato (cv. Desiree) and an isogenic resistant clone (A01-22: cv. Desiree transformed with Rpi-blb1), when compared to uninoculated plants of the same genotype. Both cv. Desiree and clone A01-22 were equally preferred for oviposition by S. littoralis when uninoculated plants were used, while cv. Desiree received more eggs compared to the resistant clone when both were inoculated with the pathogen. No significant difference in larval and pupal weight was found between S. littoralis larvae reared on leaves of the susceptible potato plants inoculated or uninoculated with P. infestans. Thus, the herbivore's host plant preference in this system was not directly associated with larval performance. The results indicate that the Rpi-blb1 based resistance in itself does not influence insect behavior, but that herbivore oviposition preference is affected by a change in the plant-microbe interaction.

  11. Plant species discrimination using emissive thermal infrared imaging spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rock, Gilles; Gerhards, Max; Schlerf, Martin; Hecker, Christoph; Udelhoven, Thomas

    2016-12-01

    Discrimination of plant species in the optical reflective domain is somewhat limited by the similarity of their reflectance spectra. Spectral characteristics in the visible to shortwave infrared (VSWIR) consist of combination bands and overtones of primary absorption bands, situated in the Thermal Infrared (TIR) region and therefore resulting in broad spectral features. TIR spectroscopy is assumed to have a large potential for providing complementary information to VSWIR spectroscopy. So far, in the TIR, plants were often considered featureless. Recently and following advances in sensor technology, plant species were discriminated based on specific emissivity signatures by Ullah et al. (2012) using directional-hemispherical reflectance (DHR) measurements in the laboratory. Here we examine if an accurate discrimination of plant species is equally possible using emissive thermal infrared imaging spectroscopy, an explicit spatial technique that is faster and more flexible than non-imaging measurements. Hyperspectral thermal infrared images were acquired in the 7.8⿿11.56 μm range at 40 nm spectral resolution (@10 μm) using a TIR imaging spectrometer (Telops HyperCam-LW) on seven plants each, of eight different species. The images were radiometrically calibrated and subjected to temperature and emissivity separation using a spectral smoothness approach. First, retrieved emissivity spectra were compared to laboratory reference spectra and then subjected to species discrimination using a random forest classifier. Second, classification results obtained with emissivity spectra were compared to those obtained with VSWIR reflectance spectra that had been acquired from the same leaf samples. In general, the mean emissivity spectra measured by the TIR imaging spectrometer showed very good agreement with the reference spectra (average Nash-Sutcliffe-Efficiency Index = 0.64). In species discrimination, the resulting accuracies for emissivity spectra are highly dependent on

  12. Which Factors Affect the Success or Failure of Eradication Campaigns against Alien Species?

    PubMed Central

    Pluess, Therese; Jarošík, Vojtěch; Pyšek, Petr; Cannon, Ray; Pergl, Jan; Breukers, Annemarie; Bacher, Sven

    2012-01-01

    Although issues related to the management of invasive alien species are receiving increasing attention, little is known about which factors affect the likelihood of success of management measures. We applied two data mining techniques, classification trees and boosted trees, to identify factors that relate to the success of management campaigns aimed at eradicating invasive alien invertebrates, plants and plant pathogens. We assembled a dataset of 173 different eradication campaigns against 94 species worldwide, about a half of which (50.9%) were successful. Eradications in man-made habitats, greenhouses in particular, were more likely to succeed than those in (semi-)natural habitats. In man-made habitats the probability of success was generally high in Australasia, while in Europe and the Americas it was higher for local infestations that are easier to deal with, and for international campaigns that are likely to profit from cross-border cooperation. In (semi-) natural habitats, eradication campaigns were more likely to succeed for plants introduced as an ornamental and escaped from cultivation prior to invasion. Averaging out all other factors in boosted trees, pathogens, bacteria and viruses were most, and fungi the least likely to be eradicated; for plants and invertebrates the probability was intermediate. Our analysis indicates that initiating the campaign before the extent of infestation reaches the critical threshold, starting to eradicate within the first four years since the problem has been noticed, paying special attention to species introduced by the cultivation pathway, and applying sanitary measures can substantially increase the probability of eradication success. Our investigations also revealed that information on socioeconomic factors, which are often considered to be crucial for eradication success, is rarely available, and thus their relative importance cannot be evaluated. Future campaigns should carefully document socioeconomic factors to

  13. Which factors affect the success or failure of eradication campaigns against alien species?

    PubMed

    Pluess, Therese; Jarošík, Vojtěch; Pyšek, Petr; Cannon, Ray; Pergl, Jan; Breukers, Annemarie; Bacher, Sven

    2012-01-01

    Although issues related to the management of invasive alien species are receiving increasing attention, little is known about which factors affect the likelihood of success of management measures. We applied two data mining techniques, classification trees and boosted trees, to identify factors that relate to the success of management campaigns aimed at eradicating invasive alien invertebrates, plants and plant pathogens. We assembled a dataset of 173 different eradication campaigns against 94 species worldwide, about a half of which (50.9%) were successful. Eradications in man-made habitats, greenhouses in particular, were more likely to succeed than those in (semi-)natural habitats. In man-made habitats the probability of success was generally high in Australasia, while in Europe and the Americas it was higher for local infestations that are easier to deal with, and for international campaigns that are likely to profit from cross-border cooperation. In (semi-) natural habitats, eradication campaigns were more likely to succeed for plants introduced as an ornamental and escaped from cultivation prior to invasion. Averaging out all other factors in boosted trees, pathogens, bacteria and viruses were most, and fungi the least likely to be eradicated; for plants and invertebrates the probability was intermediate. Our analysis indicates that initiating the campaign before the extent of infestation reaches the critical threshold, starting to eradicate within the first four years since the problem has been noticed, paying special attention to species introduced by the cultivation pathway, and applying sanitary measures can substantially increase the probability of eradication success. Our investigations also revealed that information on socioeconomic factors, which are often considered to be crucial for eradication success, is rarely available, and thus their relative importance cannot be evaluated. Future campaigns should carefully document socioeconomic factors to

  14. Accumulation of K+ and Cs+ in Tropical Plant Species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Velasco, H.; Anjos, R. M.; Zamboni, C. B.; Macario, K. D.; Rizzotto, M.; Cid, A. S.; Medeiros, I. M. A.; Fernández, J.; Rubio, L.; Audicio, P.; Lacerda, T.

    2010-08-01

    Concentrations of K+ and 137Cs+ in tissues of the Citrus aurantifolia were measured both by gamma spectrometry and neutron activation analysis, aiming to understand the behavior of monovalent inorganic cations in plants as well as its capability to store these elements. In contrast to K+, Cs+ ions are not essential elements to plants, what might explain the difference in bioavailability. However, our results have shown that 137Cs+ is positively correlated to 40K+ concentration within tropical plant species, suggesting that these elements might be assimilated in a similar way, and that they pass through the biological cycle together. A simple mathematical model was also proposed to describe the temporal evolution of 40K activity concentration in such tropical woody fruit species. This model exhibited close agreement with the 40K experimental results in the fruit ripening processes of lemon trees.

  15. Plant Physiological, Morphological and Yield-Related Responses to Night Temperature Changes across Different Species and Plant Functional Types.

    PubMed

    Jing, Panpan; Wang, Dan; Zhu, Chunwu; Chen, Jiquan

    2016-01-01

    Land surface temperature over the past decades has shown a faster warming trend during the night than during the day. Extremely low night temperatures have occurred frequently due to the influence of land-sea thermal difference, topography and climate change. This asymmetric night temperature change is expected to affect plant ecophysiology and growth, as the plant carbon consumption processes could be affected more than the assimilation processes because photosynthesis in most plants occurs during the daytime whereas plant respiration occurs throughout the day. The effects of high night temperature (HNT) and low night temperature (LNT) on plant ecophysiological and growing processes and how the effects vary among different plant functional types (PFTs) have not been analyzed extensively. In this meta-analysis, we examined the effect of HNT and LNT on plant physiology and growth across different PFTs and experimental settings. Plant species were grouped according to their photosynthetic pathways (C3, C4, and CAM), growth forms (herbaceous, woody), and economic purposes (crop, non-crop). We found that HNT and LNT both had a negative effect on plant yield, but the effect of HNT on plant yield was primarily related to a reduction in biomass allocation to reproduction organs and the effect of LNT on plant yield was more related to a negative effect on total biomass. Leaf growth was stimulated at HNT and suppressed at LNT. HNT accelerated plants ecophysiological processes, including photosynthesis and dark respiration, while LNT slowed these processes. Overall, the results showed that the effects of night temperature on plant physiology and growth varied between HNT and LNT, among the response variables and PFTs, and depended on the magnitude of temperature change and experimental design. These findings suggest complexities and challenges in seeking general patterns of terrestrial plant growth in HNT and LNT. The PFT specific responses of plants are critical for

  16. Plant Physiological, Morphological and Yield-Related Responses to Night Temperature Changes across Different Species and Plant Functional Types

    PubMed Central

    Jing, Panpan; Wang, Dan; Zhu, Chunwu; Chen, Jiquan

    2016-01-01

    Land surface temperature over the past decades has shown a faster warming trend during the night than during the day. Extremely low night temperatures have occurred frequently due to the influence of land-sea thermal difference, topography and climate change. This asymmetric night temperature change is expected to affect plant ecophysiology and growth, as the plant carbon consumption processes could be affected more than the assimilation processes because photosynthesis in most plants occurs during the daytime whereas plant respiration occurs throughout the day. The effects of high night temperature (HNT) and low night temperature (LNT) on plant ecophysiological and growing processes and how the effects vary among different plant functional types (PFTs) have not been analyzed extensively. In this meta-analysis, we examined the effect of HNT and LNT on plant physiology and growth across different PFTs and experimental settings. Plant species were grouped according to their photosynthetic pathways (C3, C4, and CAM), growth forms (herbaceous, woody), and economic purposes (crop, non-crop). We found that HNT and LNT both had a negative effect on plant yield, but the effect of HNT on plant yield was primarily related to a reduction in biomass allocation to reproduction organs and the effect of LNT on plant yield was more related to a negative effect on total biomass. Leaf growth was stimulated at HNT and suppressed at LNT. HNT accelerated plants ecophysiological processes, including photosynthesis and dark respiration, while LNT slowed these processes. Overall, the results showed that the effects of night temperature on plant physiology and growth varied between HNT and LNT, among the response variables and PFTs, and depended on the magnitude of temperature change and experimental design. These findings suggest complexities and challenges in seeking general patterns of terrestrial plant growth in HNT and LNT. The PFT specific responses of plants are critical for

  17. Season and light affect constitutive defenses of understory shrub species against folivorous insects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karolewski, Piotr; Giertych, Marian J.; Żmuda, Michał; Jagodziński, Andrzej M.; Oleksyn, Jacek

    2013-11-01

    Understory shrubs contribute to overall species diversity, providing habitat and forage for animals, influence soil chemistry and forest microclimate. However, very little is known about the chemical defense of various shrub species against folivorous insects. Using six shrub species, we tested how seasonal changes and light conditions affect their constitutive defense to insect damage. We monitored leaf perforation, concentrations of total phenols, condensed tannins, nitrogen (N), and total nonstructural carbohydrates (TNC). Leaf damage caused by insects was low in Sambucus nigra, Cornus sanguinea, and Frangula alnus, intermediate in Corylus avellana and Prunus serotina, and high in Prunus padus. Leaves of all the species, when growing in high light conditions, had high concentrations of defense metabolites. Except for C. avellana, leaves of the other shrub species growing in full sun were less injured than those in shade. This may be due to higher concentrations of defense metabolites and lower concentrations of nitrogen. Similar patterns of the effects of light on metabolites studied and N were observed for leaves with varying location within the crown of individual shrubs (from the top of the south direction to the bottom of the north), as for leaves from shrubs growing in full sun and shrubs in the shade of canopy trees. A probable cause of the greater damage of more sunlit leaves of C. avellana was the fact that they were herbivorized mostly by Altica brevicollis, a specialist insect that prefers plant tissues with a high TNC level and is not very sensitive to a high level of phenolic compounds.

  18. Regeneration niche differentiates functional strategies of desert woody plant species

    PubMed Central

    Briggs, John M.

    2010-01-01

    Plant communities vary dramatically in the number and relative abundance of species that exhibit facilitative interactions, which contributes substantially to variation in community structure and dynamics. Predicting species’ responses to neighbors based on readily measurable functional traits would provide important insight into the factors that structure plant communities. We measured a suite of functional traits on seedlings of 20 species and mature plants of 54 species of shrubs from three arid biogeographic regions. We hypothesized that species with different regeneration niches—those that require nurse plants for establishment (beneficiaries) versus those that do not (colonizers)—are functionally different. Indeed, seedlings of beneficiary species had lower relative growth rates, larger seeds and final biomass, allocated biomass toward roots and height at a cost to leaf mass fraction, and constructed costly, dense leaf and root tissues relative to colonizers. Likewise at maturity, beneficiaries had larger overall size and denser leaves coupled with greater water use efficiency than colonizers. In contrast to current hypotheses that suggest beneficiaries are less “stress-tolerant” than colonizers, beneficiaries exhibited conservative functional strategies suited to persistently dry, low light conditions beneath canopies, whereas colonizers exhibited opportunistic strategies that may be advantageous in fluctuating, open microenvironments. In addition, the signature of the regeneration niche at maturity indicates that facilitation expands the range of functional diversity within plant communities at all ontogenetic stages. This study demonstrates the utility of specific functional traits for predicting species’ regeneration niches in hot deserts, and provides a framework for studying facilitation in other severe environments. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00442-010-1741-y) contains supplementary

  19. Plant species richness and ecosystem multifunctionality in global drylands.

    PubMed

    Maestre, Fernando T; Quero, José L; Gotelli, Nicholas J; Escudero, Adrián; Ochoa, Victoria; Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; García-Gómez, Miguel; Bowker, Matthew A; Soliveres, Santiago; Escolar, Cristina; García-Palacios, Pablo; Berdugo, Miguel; Valencia, Enrique; Gozalo, Beatriz; Gallardo, Antonio; Aguilera, Lorgio; Arredondo, Tulio; Blones, Julio; Boeken, Bertrand; Bran, Donaldo; Conceição, Abel A; Cabrera, Omar; Chaieb, Mohamed; Derak, McHich; Eldridge, David J; Espinosa, Carlos I; Florentino, Adriana; Gaitán, Juan; Gatica, M Gabriel; Ghiloufi, Wahida; Gómez-González, Susana; Gutiérrez, Julio R; Hernández, Rosa M; Huang, Xuewen; Huber-Sannwald, Elisabeth; Jankju, Mohammad; Miriti, Maria; Monerris, Jorge; Mau, Rebecca L; Morici, Ernesto; Naseri, Kamal; Ospina, Abelardo; Polo, Vicente; Prina, Aníbal; Pucheta, Eduardo; Ramírez-Collantes, David A; Romão, Roberto; Tighe, Matthew; Torres-Díaz, Cristian; Val, James; Veiga, José P; Wang, Deli; Zaady, Eli

    2012-01-13

    Experiments suggest that biodiversity enhances the ability of ecosystems to maintain multiple functions, such as carbon storage, productivity, and the buildup of nutrient pools (multifunctionality). However, the relationship between biodiversity and multifunctionality has never been assessed globally in natural ecosystems. We report here on a global empirical study relating plant species richness and abiotic factors to multifunctionality in drylands, which collectively cover 41% of Earth's land surface and support over 38% of the human population. Multifunctionality was positively and significantly related to species richness. The best-fitting models accounted for over 55% of the variation in multifunctionality and always included species richness as a predictor variable. Our results suggest that the preservation of plant biodiversity is crucial to buffer negative effects of climate change and desertification in drylands.

  20. Plant species richness and ecosystem multifunctionality in global drylands

    PubMed Central

    Maestre, Fernando T.; Quero, José L.; Gotelli, Nicholas J.; Escudero, Adriá; Ochoa, Victoria; Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; García-Gómez, Miguel; Bowker, Matthew A.; Soliveres, Santiago; Escolar, Cristina; García-Palacios, Pablo; Berdugo, Miguel; Valencia, Enrique; Gozalo, Beatriz; Gallardo, Antonio; Aguilera, Lorgio; Arredondo, Tulio; Blones, Julio; Boeken, Bertrand; Bran, Donaldo; Conceição, Abel A.; Cabrera, Omar; Chaieb, Mohamed; Derak, Mchich; Eldridge, David J.; Espinosa, Carlos I.; Florentino, Adriana; Gaitán, Juan; Gatica, M. Gabriel; Ghiloufi, Wahida; Gómez-González, Susana; Gutiérrez, Julio R.; Hernández, Rosa M.; Huang, Xuewen; Huber-Sannwald, Elisabeth; Jankju, Mohammad; Miriti, Maria; Monerris, Jorge; Mau, Rebecca L.; Morici, Ernesto; Naseri, Kamal; Ospina, Abelardo; Polo, Vicente; Prina, Aníbal; Pucheta, Eduardo; Ramírez-Collantes, David A.; Romão, Roberto; Tighe, Matthew; Torres-Díaz, Cristian; Val, James; Veiga, José P.; Wang, Deli; Zaady, Eli

    2013-01-01

    Experiments suggest that biodiversity enhances the ability of ecosystems to maintain multiple functions, such as carbon storage, productivity, and buildup of nutrient pools (multifunctionality). However, the relationship between biodiversity and multifunctionality has never been assessed globally in natural ecosystems. We report on the first global empirical study relating plant species richness and abiotic factors to multifunctionality in drylands, which collectively cover 41% of Earth’s land surface and support over 38% of the human population. Multifunctionality was positively and significantly related to species richness. The best-fitting models accounted for over 55% of the variation in multifunctionality, and always included species richness as a predictor variable. Our results suggest that preservation of plant biodiversity is crucial to buffer negative effects of climate change and desertification in drylands. PMID:22246775

  1. Plant species richness and ecosystem multifunctionality in global drylands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Maestre, Fernando T.; Quero, Jose L.; Gotelli, Nicholas J.; Escudero, Adrian; Ochoa, Victoria; Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Garcia-Gomez, Miguel; Bowker, Matthew A.; Soliveres, Santiago; Escolar, Cristina; Garcia-Palacios, Pablo; Berdugo, Miguel; Valencia, Enrique; Gozalo, Beatriz; Gallardo, Antonio; Aguilera, Lorgio; Arredondo, Tulio; Blones, Julio; Boeken, Bertrand; Bran, Donaldo; Conceicao, Abel A.; Cabrera, Omar; Chaieb, Mohamed; Derak, Mchich; Eldridge, David J.; Espinosa, Carlos I.; Florentino, Adriana; Gaitan, Juan; Gatica, M. Gabriel; Ghiloufi, Wahida; Gomez-Gonzalez, Susana; Gutie, Julio R.; Hernandez, Rosa M.; Huang, Xuewen; Huber-Sannwald, Elisabeth; Jankju, Mohammad; Miriti, Maria; Monerris, Jorge; Mau, Rebecca L.; Morici, Ernesto; Naseri, Kamal; Ospina, Abelardo; Polo, Vicente; Prina, Anibal; Pucheta, Eduardo; Ramirez-Collantes, David A.; Romao, Roberto; Tighe, Matthew; Torres-Diaz, Cristian; Val, James; Veiga, Jose P.; Wang, Deli; Zaady, Eli

    2012-01-01

    Experiments suggest that biodiversity enhances the ability of ecosystems to maintain multiple functions, such as carbon storage, productivity, and the buildup of nutrient pools (multifunctionality). However, the relationship between biodiversity and multifunctionality has never been assessed globally in natural ecosystems. We report here on a global empirical study relating plant species richness and abiotic factors to multifunctionality in drylands, which collectively cover 41% of Earth's land surface and support over 38% of the human population. Multifunctionality was positively and significantly related to species richness. The best-fitting models accounted for over 55% of the variation in multifunctionality and always included species richness as a predictor variable. Our results suggest that the preservation of plant biodiversity is crucial to buffer negative effects of climate change and desertification in drylands.

  2. Efficient distinction of invasive aquatic plant species from non-invasive related species using DNA barcoding.

    PubMed

    Ghahramanzadeh, R; Esselink, G; Kodde, L P; Duistermaat, H; van Valkenburg, J L C H; Marashi, S H; Smulders, M J M; van de Wiel, C C M

    2013-01-01

    Biological invasions are regarded as threats to global biodiversity. Among invasive aliens, a number of plant species belonging to the genera Myriophyllum, Ludwigia and Cabomba, and to the Hydrocharitaceae family pose a particular ecological threat to water bodies. Therefore, one would try to prevent them from entering a country. However, many related species are commercially traded, and distinguishing invasive from non-invasive species based on morphology alone is often difficult for plants in a vegetative stage. In this regard, DNA barcoding could become a good alternative. In this study, 242 samples belonging to 26 species from 10 genera of aquatic plants were assessed using the chloroplast loci trnH-psbA, matK and rbcL. Despite testing a large number of primer sets and several PCR protocols, the matK locus could not be amplified or sequenced reliably and therefore was left out of the analysis. Using the other two loci, eight invasive species could be distinguished from their respective related species, a ninth one failed to produce sequences of sufficient quality. Based on the criteria of universal application, high sequence divergence and level of species discrimination, the trnH-psbA noncoding spacer was the best performing barcode in the aquatic plant species studied. Thus, DNA barcoding may be helpful with enforcing a ban on trade of such invasive species, such as is already in place in the Netherlands. This will become even more so once DNA barcoding would be turned into machinery routinely operable by a nonspecialist in botany and molecular genetics.

  3. Beetle and plant density as cues initiating dispersal in two species of adult predaceous diving beetles.

    PubMed

    Yee, Donald A; Taylor, Stacy; Vamosi, Steven M

    2009-05-01

    Dispersal can influence population dynamics, species distributions, and community assembly, but few studies have attempted to determine the factors that affect dispersal of insects in natural populations. Consequently, little is known about how proximate factors affect the dispersal behavior of individuals or populations, or how an organism's behavior may change in light of such factors. Adult predaceous diving beetles are active dispersers and are important predators in isolated aquatic habitats. We conducted interrelated studies to determine how several factors affected dispersal in two common pond-inhabiting species in southern Alberta, Canada: Graphoderus occidentalis and Rhantus sericans. Specifically, we (1) experimentally tested the effect of plant and beetle densities on dispersal probabilities in ponds; (2) surveyed ponds and determined the relationships among beetle densities and plant densities and water depth; and (3) conducted laboratory trials to determine how beetle behavior changed in response to variation in plant densities, conspecific densities, food, and water depth. Our field experiment determined that both species exhibited density dependence, with higher beetle densities leading to higher dispersal probabilities. Low plant density also appeared to increase beetle dispersal. Consistent with our experimental results, densities of R. sericans in ponds were significantly related to plant density and varied also with water depth; G. occidentalis densities did not vary with either factor. In the laboratory, behavior varied with plant density only for R. sericans, which swam at low density but were sedentary at high density. Both species responded to depth, with high beetle densities eliciting beetles to spend more time in deeper water. The presence of food caused opposite responses for G. occidentalis between experiments. Behavioral changes in response to patch-level heterogeneity likely influence dispersal in natural populations and are expected

  4. Shrubs as ecosystem engineers across an environmental gradient: effects on species richness and exotic plant invasion.

    PubMed

    Kleinhesselink, Andrew R; Magnoli, Susan M; Cushman, J Hall

    2014-08-01

    Ecosystem-engineering plants modify the physical environment and can increase species diversity and exotic species invasion. At the individual level, the effects of ecosystem engineers on other plants often become more positive in stressful environments. In this study, we investigated whether the community-level effects of ecosystem engineers also become stronger in more stressful environments. Using comparative and experimental approaches, we assessed the ability of a native shrub (Ericameria ericoides) to act as an ecosystem engineer across a stress gradient in a coastal dune in northern California, USA. We found increased coarse organic matter and lower wind speeds within shrub patches. Growth of a dominant invasive grass (Bromus diandrus) was facilitated both by aboveground shrub biomass and by growing in soil taken from shrub patches. Experimental removal of shrubs negatively affected species most associated with shrubs and positively affected species most often found outside of shrubs. Counter to the stress-gradient hypothesis, the effects of shrubs on the physical environment and individual plant growth did not increase across the established stress gradient at this site. At the community level, shrub patches increased beta diversity, and contained greater rarified richness and exotic plant cover than shrub-free patches. Shrub effects on rarified richness increased with environmental stress, but effects on exotic cover and beta diversity did not. Our study provides evidence for the community-level effects of shrubs as ecosystem engineers in this system, but shows that these effects do not necessarily become stronger in more stressful environments.

  5. Compost may affect volatile and semi-volatile plant emissions through nitrogen supply and chlorophyll fluorescence.

    PubMed

    Ormeño, Elena; Olivier, Romain; Mévy, Jean Philippe; Baldy, Virginie; Fernandez, Catherine

    2009-09-01

    The use of composted biosolids as an amendment for forest regeneration in degraded ecosystems is growing since sewage-sludge dumping has been banned in the European Community. Its consequences on plant terpenes are however unknown. Terpene emissions of both Rosmarinus officinalis (a terpene-storing species) and Quercus coccifera (a non-storing species) and terpene content of the former, were studied after a middle-term exposure to compost at intermediate (50tha(-1): D50) and high (100tha(-1): D100) compost rates, in a seven-year-old post-fire shrubland ecosystem. Some chlorophyll fluorescence parameters (Fv/Fm, ETR, Phi(PSII)), soil and plant enrichment in phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N) were monitored simultaneously in amended and non-amended plots in order to establish what factors were responsible for possible compost effect on terpenes. Compost affected all studied parameters with the exception of Fv/Fm and terpene content. For both species, mono- and sesquiterpene basal emissions were intensified solely under D50 plots. On the contrary leaf P, leaf N levels reached in D50 were partly responsible of terpene changes, suggesting that optimal N conditions occurred therein. N also affected ETR and Phi(PSII) which were, in turn, robustly correlated to terpene emissions. These results imply that emissions of terpene-storing and non-storing species were under nitrogen and chlorophyll fluorescence control, and that a correct management of compost rates applied on soil may modify terpene emission rate of plants, which in turn has consequences in air quality and plant defense mechanisms.

  6. Antimicrobial potentials of some plant species of the Bignoniaceae family.

    PubMed

    Binutu, O A; Lajubutu, B A

    1994-09-01

    The methanol extracts of the leaves and stem bark of four Bignoniaceae plants Jacaranda mimosifolia D. Dol., Tecoma stans Linn., Tabebuia rosea (Bertol) D.C., and Crescentia cujete Linn. were studied for their antimicrobial activity using a wide range of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria and fungi. Extracts of both the leaves and stem bark of majority of plant species studied showed variable but remarkable broad spectrum antimicrobial activity. However, methanol extracts of Tecoma stans leaves was found to be effective against only Candida albicans at the concentrations employed. It was observed that the extracts of stem bark generally showed better antimicrobial activity than those of the leaves and some organisms were selectively more sensitive to the extracts than others. Preliminary phytochemical screening of these plants revealed the presence of tannins, flavonoids, alkaloids, quinones and traces of saponins. The antimicrobial activity observed are discussed in relation to the chemical constituents reportedly isolated from these plants and their traditional uses.

  7. Effects of Previous Land-Use on Plant Species Composition and Diversity in Mediterranean Forests

    PubMed Central

    Kouba, Yacine; Martínez-García, Felipe; de Frutos, Ángel; Alados, Concepción L.

    2015-01-01

    At some point in their history, most forests in the Mediterranean Basin have been subjected to intensive management or converted to agriculture land. Knowing how forest plant communities recovered after the abandonment of forest-management or agricultural practices (including livestock grazing) provides a basis for investigating how previous land management have affected plant species diversity and composition in forest ecosystems. Our study investigated the consequences of historical “land management” practices on present-day Mediterranean forests by comparing species assemblages and the diversity of (i) all plant species and (ii) each ecological group defined by species’ habitat preferences and successional status (i.e., early-, mid-, and late-successional species). We compared forest stands that differed both in land-use history and in successional stage. In addition, we evaluated the value of those stands for biodiversity conservation. The study revealed significant compositional differentiation among stands that was due to among-stand variations in the diversity (namely, species richness and evenness) of early-, intermediate-, and late-successional species. Historical land management has led to an increase in compositional divergences among forest stands and the loss of late-successional forest species. PMID:26397707

  8. Plant species richness increases phosphatase activities in an experimental grassland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hacker, Nina; Wilcke, Wolfgang; Oelmann, Yvonne

    2014-05-01

    Plant species richness has been shown to increase aboveground nutrient uptake requiring the mobilization of soil nutrient pools. For phosphorus (P) the underlying mechanisms for increased P release in soil under highly diverse grassland mixtures remain obscure because aboveground P storage and concentrations of inorganic and organic P in soil solution and differently reactive soil P pools are unrelated (Oelmann et al. 2011). The need of plants and soil microorganisms for P can increase the exudation of enzymes hydrolyzing organically bound P (phosphatases) which might represent an important release mechanism of inorganic P in a competitive environment such as highly diverse grassland mixtures. Our objectives were to test the effects of i) plant functional groups (legumes, grasses, non-leguminous tall and small herbs), and of (ii) plant species richness on microbial P (Pmic) and phosphatase activities in soil. In autumn 2013, we measured Pmic and alkaline phosphomonoesterase and phosphodiesterase activities in soil of 80 grassland mixtures comprising different community compositions and species richness (1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 60) in the Jena Experiment. In general, Pmic and enzyme activities were correlated (r = 0.59 and 0.46 for phosphomonoesterase and phosphodiesterase activities, respectively; p

  9. Stimulated rhizodegradation of atrazine by selected plant species.

    PubMed

    Lin, Chung-Ho; Lerch, Robert N; Kremer, Robert J; Garrett, Harold E

    2011-01-01

    The efficacy of vegetative buffer strips (VBS) in removing herbicides deposited from surface runoff is related to the ability of plant species to promote rapid herbicide degradation. A growth chamber study was conducted to compare C-atrazine (ATR) degradation profiles in soil rhizospheres from different forage grasses and correlate ATR degradation rates and profiles with microbial activity using three soil enzymes. The plant treatments included: (i) orchardgrass ( L.), (ii) smooth bromegrass ( Leyss.), (iii) tall fescue ( Schreb.), (iv) Illinois bundle flower (), (v) perennial ryegrass ( L.), (vi) switchgrass ( L.), and (vii) eastern gamagrass (). Soil without plants was used as the control. The results suggested that all plant species significantly enhanced ATR degradation by 84 to 260% compared with the control, but eastern gamagrass showed the highest capability for promoting biodegradation of ATR in the rhizosphere. More than 90% of ATR was degraded in the eastern gamagrass rhizosphere compared with 24% in the control. Dealkylation of atrazine strongly correlated with increased enzymatic activities of β-glucosidase (GLU) ( = 0.96), dehydrogenase (DHG) ( = 0.842), and fluorescein diacetate (FDA) hydrolysis ( = 0.702). The incorporation of forage species, particularly eastern gamagrass, into VBS designs will significantly promote the degradation of ATR transported into the VBS by surface runoff. Microbial parameters widely used for assessment of soil quality, e.g., DHG and GLU activities, are promising tools for evaluating the overall degradation potential of various vegetative buffer designs for ATR remediation.

  10. Light dependency of VOC emissions from selected Mediterranean plant species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Owen, S. M.; Harley, P.; Guenther, A.; Hewitt, C. N.

    The light, temperature and stomatal conductance dependencies of volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from ten plant species commonly found in the Mediterranean region were studied using a fully controlled leaf cuvette in the laboratory. At standard conditions of temperature and light (30°C and 1000 μmol m -2 s -1 PAR), low emitting species ( Arbutus unedo, Pinus halepensis, Cistus incanus, Cistus salvifolius, Rosmarinus officinalis and Thymus vulgaris) emitted between 0.1 and 5.0 μg (C) (total VOCs) g -1 dw h -1, a medium emitter ( Pinus pinea) emitted between 5 and 10 μg (C) g -1 dw h -1 and high emitters ( Cistus monspeliensis, Lavendula stoechas and Quercus sp.) emitted more than 10 μg (C) g -1 dw h -1. VOC emissions from all of the plant species investigated showed some degree of light dependency, which was distinguishable from temperature dependency. Emissions of all compounds from Quercus sp. were light dependent. Ocimene was one of several monoterpene compounds emitted by P. pinea and was strongly correlated to light. Only a fraction of monoterpene emissions from C. incanus exhibited apparent weak light dependency but emissions from this plant species were strongly correlated to temperature. Data presented here are consistent with past studies, which show that emissions are independent of stomatal conductance. These results may allow more accurate predictions of monoterpene emission fluxes from the Mediterranean region to be made.

  11. Networks of plants: how to measure similarity in vegetable species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vivaldo, Gianna; Masi, Elisa; Pandolfi, Camilla; Mancuso, Stefano; Caldarelli, Guido

    2016-06-01

    Despite the common misconception of nearly static organisms, plants do interact continuously with the environment and with each other. It is fair to assume that during their evolution they developed particular features to overcome similar problems and to exploit possibilities from environment. In this paper we introduce various quantitative measures based on recent advancements in complex network theory that allow to measure the effective similarities of various species. By using this approach on the similarity in fruit-typology ecological traits we obtain a clear plant classification in a way similar to traditional taxonomic classification. This result is not trivial, since a similar analysis done on the basis of diaspore morphological properties do not provide any clear parameter to classify plants species. Complex network theory can then be used in order to determine which feature amongst many can be used to distinguish scope and possibly evolution of plants. Future uses of this approach range from functional classification to quantitative determination of plant communities in nature.

  12. Networks of plants: how to measure similarity in vegetable species.

    PubMed

    Vivaldo, Gianna; Masi, Elisa; Pandolfi, Camilla; Mancuso, Stefano; Caldarelli, Guido

    2016-06-07

    Despite the common misconception of nearly static organisms, plants do interact continuously with the environment and with each other. It is fair to assume that during their evolution they developed particular features to overcome similar problems and to exploit possibilities from environment. In this paper we introduce various quantitative measures based on recent advancements in complex network theory that allow to measure the effective similarities of various species. By using this approach on the similarity in fruit-typology ecological traits we obtain a clear plant classification in a way similar to traditional taxonomic classification. This result is not trivial, since a similar analysis done on the basis of diaspore morphological properties do not provide any clear parameter to classify plants species. Complex network theory can then be used in order to determine which feature amongst many can be used to distinguish scope and possibly evolution of plants. Future uses of this approach range from functional classification to quantitative determination of plant communities in nature.

  13. Networks of plants: how to measure similarity in vegetable species

    PubMed Central

    Vivaldo, Gianna; Masi, Elisa; Pandolfi, Camilla; Mancuso, Stefano; Caldarelli, Guido

    2016-01-01

    Despite the common misconception of nearly static organisms, plants do interact continuously with the environment and with each other. It is fair to assume that during their evolution they developed particular features to overcome similar problems and to exploit possibilities from environment. In this paper we introduce various quantitative measures based on recent advancements in complex network theory that allow to measure the effective similarities of various species. By using this approach on the similarity in fruit-typology ecological traits we obtain a clear plant classification in a way similar to traditional taxonomic classification. This result is not trivial, since a similar analysis done on the basis of diaspore morphological properties do not provide any clear parameter to classify plants species. Complex network theory can then be used in order to determine which feature amongst many can be used to distinguish scope and possibly evolution of plants. Future uses of this approach range from functional classification to quantitative determination of plant communities in nature. PMID:27271207

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2012-01-01

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

  15. How many species of flowering plants are there?

    PubMed

    Joppa, Lucas N; Roberts, David L; Pimm, Stuart L

    2011-02-22

    We estimate the probable number of flowering plants. First, we apply a model that explicitly incorporates taxonomic effort over time to estimate the number of as-yet-unknown species. Second, we ask taxonomic experts their opinions on how many species are likely to be missing, on a family-by-family basis. The results are broadly comparable. We show that the current number of species should grow by between 10 and 20 per cent. There are, however, interesting discrepancies between expert and model estimates for some families, suggesting that our model does not always completely capture patterns of taxonomic activity. The as-yet-unknown species are probably similar to those taxonomists have described recently-overwhelmingly rare and local, and disproportionately in biodiversity hotspots, where there are high levels of habitat destruction.

  16. Insufficient sampling to identify species affected by turbine collisions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beston, Julie A.; Diffendorfer, James E.; Loss, Scott

    2015-01-01

    We compared the number of avian species detected and the sampling effort during fatality monitoring at 50 North American wind facilities. Facilities with short intervals between sampling events and high effort detected more species, but many facilities appeared undersampled. Species accumulation curves for 2 wind facilities studied for more than 1 year had yet to reach an asymptote. The monitoring effort that is typically invested is likely inadequate to identify all of the species killed by wind turbines. This may understate impacts for rare species of conservation concern that collide infrequently with turbines but suffer disproportionate consequences from those fatalities. Published 2015. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  17. Insufficient Sampling to Identify Species Affected by Turbine Collisions

    PubMed Central

    Beston, Julie A; Diffendorfer, Jay E; Loss, Scott

    2015-01-01

    We compared the number of avian species detected and the sampling effort during fatality monitoring at 50 North American wind facilities. Facilities with short intervals between sampling events and high effort detected more species, but many facilities appeared undersampled. Species accumulation curves for 2 wind facilities studied for more than 1 year had yet to reach an asymptote. The monitoring effort that is typically invested is likely inadequate to identify all of the species killed by wind turbines. This may understate impacts for rare species of conservation concern that collide infrequently with turbines but suffer disproportionate consequences from those fatalities. Published 2015. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA. PMID:25914425

  18. Host plant species determines symbiotic bacterial community mediating suppression of plant defenses.

    PubMed

    Chung, Seung Ho; Scully, Erin D; Peiffer, Michelle; Geib, Scott M; Rosa, Cristina; Hoover, Kelli; Felton, Gary W

    2017-01-03

    Herbivore associated bacteria are vital mediators of plant and insect interactions. Host plants play an important role in shaping the gut bacterial community of insects. Colorado potato beetles (CPB; Leptinotarsa decemlineata) use several Solanum plants as hosts in their natural environment. We previously showed that symbiotic gut bacteria from CPB larvae suppressed jasmonate (JA)-induced defenses in tomato. However, little is known about how changes in the bacterial community may be involved in the manipulation of induced defenses in wild and cultivated Solanum plants of CPB. Here, we examined suppression of JA-mediated defense in wild and cultivated hosts of CPB by chemical elicitors and their symbiotic bacteria. Furthermore, we investigated associations between the gut bacterial community and suppression of plant defenses using 16 S rRNA amplicon sequencing. Symbiotic bacteria decreased plant defenses in all Solanum hosts and there were different gut bacterial communities in CPB fed on different host plants. When larvae were reared on different hosts, defense suppression differed among host plants. These results demonstrate that host plants influence herbivore gut bacterial communities and consequently affect the herbivore's ability to manipulate JA-mediated plant defenses. Thus, the presence of symbiotic bacteria that suppress plant defenses might help CPB adapt to host plants.

  19. Host plant species determines symbiotic bacterial community mediating suppression of plant defenses

    PubMed Central

    Chung, Seung Ho; Scully, Erin D.; Peiffer, Michelle; Geib, Scott M.; Rosa, Cristina; Hoover, Kelli; Felton, Gary W.

    2017-01-01

    Herbivore associated bacteria are vital mediators of plant and insect interactions. Host plants play an important role in shaping the gut bacterial community of insects. Colorado potato beetles (CPB; Leptinotarsa decemlineata) use several Solanum plants as hosts in their natural environment. We previously showed that symbiotic gut bacteria from CPB larvae suppressed jasmonate (JA)-induced defenses in tomato. However, little is known about how changes in the bacterial community may be involved in the manipulation of induced defenses in wild and cultivated Solanum plants of CPB. Here, we examined suppression of JA-mediated defense in wild and cultivated hosts of CPB by chemical elicitors and their symbiotic bacteria. Furthermore, we investigated associations between the gut bacterial community and suppression of plant defenses using 16 S rRNA amplicon sequencing. Symbiotic bacteria decreased plant defenses in all Solanum hosts and there were different gut bacterial communities in CPB fed on different host plants. When larvae were reared on different hosts, defense suppression differed among host plants. These results demonstrate that host plants influence herbivore gut bacterial communities and consequently affect the herbivore’s ability to manipulate JA-mediated plant defenses. Thus, the presence of symbiotic bacteria that suppress plant defenses might help CPB adapt to host plants. PMID:28045052

  20. Consequences of plant invasions on compartmentalization and species' roles in plant-pollinator networks.

    PubMed

    Albrecht, Matthias; Padrón, Benigno; Bartomeus, Ignasi; Traveset, Anna

    2014-08-07

    Compartmentalization-the organization of ecological interaction networks into subsets of species that do not interact with other subsets (true compartments) or interact more frequently among themselves than with other species (modules)-has been identified as a key property for the functioning, stability and evolution of ecological communities. Invasions by entomophilous invasive plants may profoundly alter the way interaction networks are compartmentalized. We analysed a comprehensive dataset of 40 paired plant-pollinator networks (invaded versus uninvaded) to test this hypothesis. We show that invasive plants have higher generalization levels with respect to their pollinators than natives. The consequences for network topology are that-rather than displacing native species from the network-plant invaders attracting pollinators into invaded modules tend to play new important topological roles (i.e. network hubs, module hubs and connectors) and cause role shifts in native species, creating larger modules that are more connected among each other. While the number of true compartments was lower in invaded compared with uninvaded networks, the effect of invasion on modularity was contingent on the study system. Interestingly, the generalization level of the invasive plants partially explains this pattern, with more generalized invaders contributing to a lower modularity. Our findings indicate that the altered interaction structure of invaded networks makes them more robust against simulated random secondary species extinctions, but more vulnerable when the typically highly connected invasive plants go extinct first. The consequences and pathways by which biological invasions alter the interaction structure of plant-pollinator communities highlighted in this study may have important dynamical and functional implications, for example, by influencing multi-species reciprocal selection regimes and coevolutionary processes.

  1. Plant functional traits and the multidimensional nature of species coexistence

    PubMed Central

    Kraft, Nathan J. B.; Godoy, Oscar; Levine, Jonathan M.

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the processes maintaining species diversity is a central problem in ecology, with implications for the conservation and management of ecosystems. Although biologists often assume that trait differences between competitors promote diversity, empirical evidence connecting functional traits to the niche differences that stabilize species coexistence is rare. Obtaining such evidence is critical because traits also underlie the average fitness differences driving competitive exclusion, and this complicates efforts to infer community dynamics from phenotypic patterns. We coupled field-parameterized mathematical models of competition between 102 pairs of annual plants with detailed sampling of leaf, seed, root, and whole-plant functional traits to relate phenotypic differences to stabilizing niche and average fitness differences. Single functional traits were often well correlated with average fitness differences between species, indicating that competitive dominance was associated with late phenology, deep rooting, and several other traits. In contrast, single functional traits were poorly correlated with the stabilizing niche differences that promote coexistence. Niche differences could only be described by combinations of traits, corresponding to differentiation between species in multiple ecological dimensions. In addition, several traits were associated with both fitness differences and stabilizing niche differences. These complex relationships between phenotypic differences and the dynamics of competing species argue against the simple use of single functional traits to infer community assembly processes but lay the groundwork for a theoretically justified trait-based community ecology. PMID:25561561

  2. Seed longevity and germination characteristics of six fen plant species.

    PubMed

    Tatár, S

    2010-01-01

    Fens are among the most threatened habitats in Europe as their area has decreased considerably in the last centuries. For successful management and restoration conservationists need detailed knowledge about seed bank formation and seed longevity of plants, as these features are closely related to successional and vegetation dynamical processes. I analysed seed longevity and the germination characteristics of six fen plant species by seed burial experiments. Based on seed weight, seed bank was expected for long-term persistent for the light-seeded Schoenus nigricans, Carex appropinquata, C. pseudocyperus, C. davalliana and Peucedanum palustre and also that for the medium-seeded Cicuta virosa. It was proved that, the latter two species have short-term persistent seed banks, while Carex pseudocyperus has a transient seed bank, therefore these species may only have a limited role in restoration from seed banks. It was found that Schoenus nigricans, Carex appropinquata and C. davalliana have persistent seed banks, because some of their four-year-old seeds have emerged. Fresh seeds had low germination rate in all studied species and majority of seeds emerged after winter, except for Carex pseudocyperus. After the germination peak in spring, the majority of the ungerminated seeds of Schoenus nigricans, Peucedanum palustre, Carex appropinquata, C. davalliana and Cicuta virosa entered a secondary dormancy phase that was broken in autumn. I found the seasonal emergence of the latter three species highly similar.

  3. Corridors Increase Plant Species Richness at Large Scales

    SciTech Connect

    Damschen, Ellen I.; Haddad, Nick M.; Orrock,John L.; Tewksbury, Joshua J.; Levey, Douglas J.

    2006-09-01

    Habitat fragmentation is one of the largest threats to biodiversity. Landscape corridors, which are hypothesized to reduce the negative consequences of fragmentation, have become common features of ecological management plans worldwide. Despite their popularity, there is little evidence documenting the effectiveness of corridors in preserving biodiversity at large scales. Using a large-scale replicated experiment, we showed that habitat patches connected by corridors retain more native plant species than do isolated patches, that this difference increases over time, and that corridors do not promote invasion by exotic species. Our results support the use of corridors in biodiversity conservation.

  4. Rhizosphere stoichiometry: are C : N : P ratios of plants, soils, and enzymes conserved at the plant species-level?

    PubMed

    Bell, Colin; Carrillo, Yolima; Boot, Claudia M; Rocca, Jennifer D; Pendall, Elise; Wallenstein, Matthew D

    2014-01-01

    As a consequence of the tight linkages among soils, plants and microbes inhabiting the rhizosphere, we hypothesized that soil nutrient and microbial stoichiometry would differ among plant species and be correlated within plant rhizospheres. We assessed plant tissue carbon (C) : nitrogen (N) : phosphorus (P) ratios for eight species representing four different plant functional groups in a semiarid grassland during near-peak biomass. Using intact plant species-specific rhizospheres, we examined soil C : N : P, microbial biomass C : N, and soil enzyme C : N : P nutrient acquisition activities. We found that few of the plant species' rhizospheres demonstrated distinct stoichiometric properties from other plant species and unvegetated soil. Plant tissue nutrient ratios and components of below-ground rhizosphere stoichiometry predominantly differed between the C4 plant species Buchloe dactyloides and the legume Astragalus laxmannii. The rhizospheres under the C4 grass B. dactyloides exhibited relatively higher microbial C and lower soil N, indicative of distinct soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition and nutrient mineralization activities. Assessing the ecological stoichiometry among plant species' rhizospheres is a high-resolution tool useful for linking plant community composition to below-ground soil microbial and nutrient characteristics. By identifying how rhizospheres differ among plant species, we can better assess how plant-microbial interactions associated with ecosystem-level processes may be influenced by plant community shifts.

  5. Sampling Plant Diversity and Rarity at Landscape Scales: Importance of Sampling Time in Species Detectability

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Jian; Nielsen, Scott E.; Grainger, Tess N.; Kohler, Monica; Chipchar, Tim; Farr, Daniel R.

    2014-01-01

    Documenting and estimating species richness at regional or landscape scales has been a major emphasis for conservation efforts, as well as for the development and testing of evolutionary and ecological theory. Rarely, however, are sampling efforts assessed on how they affect detection and estimates of species richness and rarity. In this study, vascular plant richness was sampled in 356 quarter hectare time-unlimited survey plots in the boreal region of northeast Alberta. These surveys consisted of 15,856 observations of 499 vascular plant species (97 considered to be regionally rare) collected by 12 observers over a 2 year period. Average survey time for each quarter-hectare plot was 82 minutes, ranging from 20 to 194 minutes, with a positive relationship between total survey time and total plant richness. When survey time was limited to a 20-minute search, as in other Alberta biodiversity methods, 61 species were missed. Extending the survey time to 60 minutes, reduced the number of missed species to 20, while a 90-minute cut-off time resulted in the loss of 8 species. When surveys were separated by habitat type, 60 minutes of search effort sampled nearly 90% of total observed richness for all habitats. Relative to rare species, time-unlimited surveys had ∼65% higher rare plant detections post-20 minutes than during the first 20 minutes of the survey. Although exhaustive sampling was attempted, observer bias was noted among observers when a subsample of plots was re-surveyed by different observers. Our findings suggest that sampling time, combined with sample size and observer effects, should be considered in landscape-scale plant biodiversity surveys. PMID:24740179

  6. Sampling plant diversity and rarity at landscape scales: importance of sampling time in species detectability.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jian; Nielsen, Scott E; Grainger, Tess N; Kohler, Monica; Chipchar, Tim; Farr, Daniel R

    2014-01-01

    Documenting and estimating species richness at regional or landscape scales has been a major emphasis for conservation efforts, as well as for the development and testing of evolutionary and ecological theory. Rarely, however, are sampling efforts assessed on how they affect detection and estimates of species richness and rarity. In this study, vascular plant richness was sampled in 356 quarter hectare time-unlimited survey plots in the boreal region of northeast Alberta. These surveys consisted of 15,856 observations of 499 vascular plant species (97 considered to be regionally rare) collected by 12 observers over a 2 year period. Average survey time for each quarter-hectare plot was 82 minutes, ranging from 20 to 194 minutes, with a positive relationship between total survey time and total plant richness. When survey time was limited to a 20-minute search, as in other Alberta biodiversity methods, 61 species were missed. Extending the survey time to 60 minutes, reduced the number of missed species to 20, while a 90-minute cut-off time resulted in the loss of 8 species. When surveys were separated by habitat type, 60 minutes of search effort sampled nearly 90% of total observed richness for all habitats. Relative to rare species, time-unlimited surveys had ∼ 65% higher rare plant detections post-20 minutes than during the first 20 minutes of the survey. Although exhaustive sampling was attempted, observer bias was noted among observers when a subsample of plots was re-surveyed by different observers. Our findings suggest that sampling time, combined with sample size and observer effects, should be considered in landscape-scale plant biodiversity surveys.

  7. Behavioral Response of Nothanguina phyllobia to Selected Plant Species

    PubMed Central

    Robinson, A. F.; Orr, C. C.; Abernathy, J. R.

    1979-01-01

    The silver-leaf nightshade nenmtode, Nothanguina phyllobia, is a promising biological control agent for its only reported host, Solanum elaeagnifolium Cav. When infective larvae of N. phyllobia and stem tissue of 39 econmnically important plant species were suspended in 0.5% water agar, nematodes aggregated about S. elaeagnifolium, Solanum carolinense L., Solanum melongena L., Solanum tuberosum L., and Prunus caroliniana (Mill.) Ait. Nematodes responded to Solanum spp. via positive chemotaxis and/or klinokinesis, but aggregated near tissue of P. caroliniana as a result of orthokinetic effects. Nematodes aggregated away from tissue of Hibiscus esculentus L., Triticum aestivum L., Santolina sp., Rosa sp., and Kochia scoparia (L.) Schrad. in the absence of orthokinetic effects. Experiments that excluded light and maintained relative humidity at 100% showed N. phyllobia to ascend the stems of 35 plant species to a height of > 9 cm within 12 h. Differences in stem ascension were not attributable to stem surface characteristics. PMID:19305532

  8. Hybrid Viability and Fertility in Co-occuring Plant Species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hernandez, E.; Garcia, C.; Yost, J.

    2012-12-01

    Similar species of plants can co-exist due to reproductive barriers that keep them from hybridizing. In the case of Lasthenia gracilis and L. californica, certain reproductive barriers allow them to co-exist at Jasper Ridge without hybridization. The two species are locally adapted to different regions of the same hillside, and have slight differences in flowering time but hybrids can be created at low rate in the green house. We tested the viability and fertility of green house produced hybrids to quantify post-zygotic reproductive isolation at Jasper Ridge. We planted 10 hybrid seeds and 10 control seeds from 11 different families. We measured the percent germination, survival to flowering and pollen fertility of the seeds. We expect lower germination, lower survival to flowering, and lower pollen viability of hybrid seeds as compared to control seeds.

  9. Spatial patterns and species performances in experimental plant communities.

    PubMed

    Monzeglio, Ursula; Stoll, Peter

    2005-10-01

    Amongst the various hypotheses that challenged to explain the coexistence of species with similar life histories, theoretical, and empirical studies suggest that spatial processes may slow down competitive exclusion and hence promote coexistence even in the absence of evident trade-offs and frequent disturbances. We investigated the effects of spatial pattern and density on the relative importance of intra- and interspecific competition in a field experiment. We hypothesized that weak competitors increased biomass and seed production within neighborhoods of conspecifics, while stronger competitors would show increased biomass and seed production within neighborhoods of heterospecifics. Seeds of four annual plant species (Capsella bursa-pastoris, Stachys annua, Stellaria media, Poa annua) were sown in two spatial patterns (aggregated vs. random) and at two densities (low vs. high) in three different species combinations (monocultures, three and four species mixtures). There was a hierarchy in biomass production among the four species and C. bursa-pastoris and S. media were among the weak competitors. Capsella and Stellaria showed increased biomass production and had more individuals in the aggregated compared to the random pattern, especially when both superior competitors (S. annua, P. annua) were present. For P. annua we observed considerable differences among species combinations and unexpected pattern effects. Our findings support the hypothesis that weak competitors increase their fitness when grown in the neighborhood of conspecifics, and suggested that for the weakest competitors the species identity is not important and all other species are best avoided through intraspecific aggregation. In addition, our data suggest that the importance of spatial pattern for the other competitors might not only depend on the position within the hierarchy but also on the identity of neighbor species, species characteristics, below ground interactions, and other nonspatial

  10. Ecosystem response to elevated CO(2) levels limited by nitrogen-induced plant species shift.

    PubMed

    Langley, J Adam; Megonigal, J Patrick

    2010-07-01

    Terrestrial ecosystems gain carbon through photosynthesis and lose it mostly in the form of carbon dioxide (CO(2)). The extent to which the biosphere can act as a buffer against rising atmospheric CO(2) concentration in global climate change projections remains uncertain at the present stage. Biogeochemical theory predicts that soil nitrogen (N) scarcity may limit natural ecosystem response to elevated CO(2) concentration, diminishing the CO(2)-fertilization effect on terrestrial plant productivity in unmanaged ecosystems. Recent models have incorporated such carbon-nitrogen interactions and suggest that anthropogenic N sources could help sustain the future CO(2)-fertilization effect. However, conclusive demonstration that added N enhances plant productivity in response to CO(2)-fertilization in natural ecosystems remains elusive. Here we manipulated atmospheric CO(2) concentration and soil N availability in a herbaceous brackish wetland where plant community composition is dominated by a C(3) sedge and C(4) grasses, and is capable of responding rapidly to environmental change. We found that N addition enhanced the CO(2)-stimulation of plant productivity in the first year of a multi-year experiment, indicating N-limitation of the CO(2) response. But we also found that N addition strongly promotes the encroachment of C(4) plant species that respond less strongly to elevated CO(2) concentrations. Overall, we found that the observed shift in the plant community composition ultimately suppresses the CO(2)-stimulation of plant productivity by the third and fourth years. Although extensive research has shown that global change factors such as elevated CO(2) concentrations and N pollution affect plant species differently and that they may drive plant community changes, we demonstrate that plant community shifts can act as a feedback effect that alters the whole ecosystem response to elevated CO(2) concentrations. Moreover, we suggest that trade-offs between the abilities

  11. Impact of plant functional group, plant species, and sampling time on the composition of nirK-type denitrifier communities in soil.

    PubMed

    Bremer, Christina; Braker, Gesche; Matthies, Diethart; Reuter, Andreas; Engels, Christof; Conrad, Ralf

    2007-11-01

    We studied the influence of eight nonleguminous grassland plant species belonging to two functional groups (grasses and forbs) on the composition of soil denitrifier communities in experimental microcosms over two consecutive years. Denitrifier community composition was analyzed by terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) of PCR-amplified nirK gene fragments coding for the copper-containing nitrite reductase. The impact of experimental factors (plant functional group, plant species, sampling time, and interactions between them) on the structure of soil denitrifier communities (i.e., T-RFLP patterns) was analyzed by canonical correspondence analysis. While the functional group of a plant did not affect nirK-type denitrifier communities, plant species identity did influence their composition. This effect changed with sampling time, indicating community changes due to seasonal conditions and a development of the plants in the microcosms. Differences in total soil nitrogen and carbon, soil pH, and root biomass were observed at the end of the experiment. However, statistical analysis revealed that the plants affected the nirK-type denitrifier community composition directly, e.g., through root exudates. Assignment of abundant T-RFs to cloned nirK sequences from the soil and subsequent phylogenetic analysis indicated a dominance of yet-unknown nirK genotypes and of genes related to nirK from denitrifiers of the order Rhizobiales. In conclusion, individual species of nonleguminous plants directly influenced the composition of denitrifier communities in soil, but environmental conditions had additional significant effects.

  12. Why would plant species become extinct locally if growing conditions improve?

    PubMed

    Kramer, Koen; Bijlsma, Rienk-Jan; Hickler, Thomas; Thuiller, Wilfried

    2012-01-01

    Two assumptions underlie current models of the geographical ranges of perennial plant species: 1. current ranges are in equilibrium with the prevailing climate, and 2. changes are attributable to changes in macroclimatic factors, including tolerance of winter cold, the duration of the growing season, and water stress during the growing season, rather than to biotic interactions. These assumptions allow model parameters to be estimated from current species ranges. Deterioration of growing conditions due to climate change, e.g. more severe drought, will cause local extinction. However, for many plant species, the predicted climate change of higher minimum temperatures and longer growing seasons means, improved growing conditions. Biogeographical models may under some circumstances predict that a species will become locally extinct, despite improved growing conditions, because they are based on an assumption of equilibrium and this forces the species range to match the species-specific macroclimatic thresholds. We argue that such model predictions should be rejected unless there is evidence either that competition influences the position of the range margins or that a certain physiological mechanism associated with the apparent improvement in growing conditions negatively affects the species performance. We illustrate how a process-based vegetation model can be used to ascertain whether such a physiological cause exists. To avoid potential modelling errors of this type, we propose a method that constrains the scenario predictions of the envelope models by changing the geographical distribution of the dominant plant functional type. Consistent modelling results are very important for evaluating how changes in species areas affect local functional trait diversity and hence ecosystem functioning and resilience, and for inferring the implications for conservation management in the face of climate change.

  13. Climate change threatens endangered plant species by stronger and interacting water-related stresses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bartholomeus, Ruud P.; Witte, Jan-Philip M.; van Bodegom, Peter M.; van Dam, Jos C.; Aerts, Rien

    2011-12-01

    Atmospheric CO2-concentration, temperature and rainfall variability are all expected to increase in the near future. The resulting increased dynamics of soil moisture contents, together with increased plant physiological demands for both oxygen and water, will lead to an increased occurrence of wet and dry extremes of plant stresses, i.e., of oxygen and drought stress, respectively, alone and in interaction. The use of indirect environmental variables in previous studies and a focus on individual stresses rather than their combined effects has hampered understanding of the causal impact of climate change on plant species composition through changes in abiotic site conditions. Here, we use process-based simulations of oxygen and drought stresses in conjunction with a downscaled national version of IPCC scenarios in order to show that these stresses will increase (on average by ˜20% at sites where both stresses occur) in a warmer and more variable future (2050) climate. These two types of stresses will increasingly coincide, i.e. both stresses will occur more often (but not at the same time) within a single vegetation plot. We further show that this increased coincidence of water-related stresses will negatively affect the future occurrence of currently endangered plant species (causing a reduction of ˜16%), while apparently no such decrease will occur among common species. Individual stresses did not appear to affect the occurrence of endangered plant species. Consequently, our study demonstrates that species that are already threatened under the current climate will suffer most from the effects of climate change.

  14. Reactive oxygen species, essential molecules, during plant-pathogen interactions.

    PubMed

    Camejo, Daymi; Guzmán-Cedeño, Ángel; Moreno, Alexander

    2016-06-01

    Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are continually generated as a consequence of the normal metabolism in aerobic organisms. Accumulation and release of ROS into cell take place in response to a wide variety of adverse environmental conditions including salt, temperature, cold stresses and pathogen attack, among others. In plants, peroxidases class III, NADPH oxidase (NOX) locates in cell wall and plasma membrane, respectively, may be mainly enzymatic systems involving ROS generation. It is well documented that ROS play a dual role into cells, acting as important signal transduction molecules and as toxic molecules with strong oxidant power, however some aspects related to its function during plant-pathogen interactions remain unclear. This review focuses on the principal enzymatic systems involving ROS generation addressing the role of ROS as signal molecules during plant-pathogen interactions. We described how the chloroplasts, mitochondria and peroxisomes perceive the external stimuli as pathogen invasion, and trigger resistance response using ROS as signal molecule.

  15. Floristic characteristics of alien invasive seed plant species in China.

    PubMed

    Wang, Congyan; Liu, Jun; Xiao, Hongguang; Zhou, Jiawei; DU, Daolin

    2016-01-01

    This study aims to determine the floristic characteristics of alien invasive seed plant species (AISPS) in China. There are a total of five hundred and thirteen AISPS, belonging to seventy families and two hundred and eighty-three genera. Seventy families were classified into nine areal types at the family level, and "Cosmopolitan" and "Pantropic" are the two main types. Two hundred and eighty-three genera were classified into twelve areal types at the genus level, and "Pantropic", "Trop. Asia & Amer. disjuncted", and "Cosmopolitan" are the three main types. These results reveal a certain degree of diversity among AISPS in China. The floristic characteristics at the family level exhibit strong pantropic characteristics. Two possible reasons for this are as follows. Firstly, southeastern China is heavily invaded by alien invasive plant species and this region has a mild climate. Secondly, southeastern China is more disturbed by human activities than other regions in China. The floristic characteristics at the genus level display strong pantropic but with abundant temperate characteristics. This may be due to that China across five climatic zones and the ecosystems in which the most alien invasive plant species occur have the same or similar climate with their natural habitat.

  16. Plant responses to climatic extremes: within-species variation equals among-species variation.

    PubMed

    Malyshev, Andrey V; Arfin Khan, Mohammed A S; Beierkuhnlein, Carl; Steinbauer, Manuel J; Henry, Hugh A L; Jentsch, Anke; Dengler, Jürgen; Willner, Evelin; Kreyling, Juergen

    2016-01-01

    Within-species and among-species differences in growth responses to a changing climate have been well documented, yet the relative magnitude of within-species vs. among-species variation has remained largely unexplored. This missing comparison impedes our ability to make general predictions of biodiversity change and to project future species distributions using models. We present a direct comparison of among- versus within-species variation in response to three of the main stresses anticipated with climate change: drought, warming, and frost. Two earlier experiments had experimentally induced (i) summer drought and (ii) spring frost for four common European grass species and their ecotypes from across Europe. To supplement existing data, a third experiment was carried out, to compare variation among species from different functional groups to within-species variation. Here, we simulated (iii) winter warming plus frost for four grasses, two nonleguminous, and two leguminous forbs, in addition to eleven European ecotypes of the widespread grass Arrhenatherum elatius. For each experiment, we measured: (i) C/N ratio and biomass, (ii) chlorophyll content and biomass, and (iii) plant greenness, root (15) N uptake, and live and dead tissue mass. Using coefficients of variation (CVs) for each experiment and response parameter, a total of 156 within- vs. among-species comparisons were conducted, comparing within-species variation in each of four species with among-species variation for each seed origin (five countries). Of the six significant differences, within-species CVs were higher than among-species CVs in four cases. Partitioning of variance within each treatment in two of the three experiments showed that within-species variability (ecotypes) could explain an additional 9% of response variation after accounting for the among-species variation. Our observation that within-species variation was generally as high as among-species variation emphasizes the importance of

  17. Tracking lags in historical plant species' shifts in relation to regional climate change.

    PubMed

    Ash, Jeremy D; Givnish, Thomas J; Waller, Donald M

    2017-03-01

    Can species shift their distributions fast enough to track changes in climate? We used abundance data from the 1950s and the 2000s in Wisconsin to measure shifts in the distribution and abundance of 78 forest-understory plant species over the last half-century and compare these shifts to changes in climate. We estimated temporal shifts in the geographic distribution of each species using vectors to connect abundance-weighted centroids from the 1950s and 2000s. These shifts in distribution reflect colonization, extirpation, and changes in abundance within sites, separately quantified here. We then applied climate analog analyses to compute vectors representing the climate change that each species experienced. Species shifted mostly to the northwest (mean: 49 ± 29 km) primarily reflecting processes of colonization and changes in local abundance. Analog climates for these species shifted even further to the northwest, however, exceeding species' shifts by an average of 90 ± 40 km. Most species thus failed to match recent rates of climate change. These lags decline in species that have colonized more sites and those with broader site occupancy, larger seed mass, and higher habitat fidelity. Thus, species' traits appear to affect their responses to climate change, but relationships are weak. As climate change accelerates, these lags will likely increase, potentially threatening the persistence of species lacking the capacity to disperse to new sites or locally adapt. However, species with greater lags have not yet declined more in abundance. The extent of these threats will likely depend on how other drivers of ecological change and interactions among species affect their responses to climate change.

  18. Sulphur phytoaccumulation in plant species characteristic of Gypsiferous soils.

    PubMed

    Ruiz, Juan M; López-Cantarero, Inmaculada; Rivero, Rosa M; Romero, Luis

    2003-01-01

    The SO4= toxicity in gypsiferous soils, which represent more than 100 million hectares worldwide, constitutes one of the major problems limiting world agricultural output. Currently, phytoremediation of SO4= is regarded, from agricultural and environmental standpoints, as one of the most effective alternatives for the decontamination and recovery of these soils. In this study, we analyzed the behavior of five plant species characteristic of gypsiferous soils (Gypsophila struthium, Helianthemun alypoides, H. squamatum, H. syriacum, and Lepidium subulatum) in order to establish the variability of these plants in terms of S-extraction mechanisms. Our results indicate that the species best adapted and with the densest population was Lepidium subulatum. This plant showed the highest concentration of total S and the greatest organic S, as well as the highest levels of amino acids and proteins. In this study, we propose that the incorporation of S into organic compounds is the essential metabolic process determining the tolerance of Lepidium subulatum to gypsiferous soils. In conclusion, the foliar accumulation of organic S could be defined a priori as one of the key characteristics in developing plants with a potential for regenerating zones with high SO4= concentrations.

  19. Reactive oxygen species signaling in plants under abiotic stress.

    PubMed

    Choudhury, Shuvasish; Panda, Piyalee; Sahoo, Lingaraj; Panda, Sanjib Kumar

    2013-04-01

    Abiotic stresses like heavy metals, drought, salt, low temperature, etc. are the major factors that limit crop productivity and yield. These stresses are associated with production of certain deleterious chemical entities called reactive oxygen species (ROS), which include hydrogen peroxide (H₂O₂), superoxide radical (O₂(-)), hydroxyl radical (OH(-)), etc. ROS are capable of inducing cellular damage by degradation of proteins, inactivation of enzymes, alterations in the gene and interfere in various pathways of metabolic importance. Our understanding on ROS in response to abiotic stress is revolutionized with the advancements in plant molecular biology, where the basic understanding on chemical behavior of ROS is better understood. Understanding the molecular mechanisms involved in ROS generation and its potential role during abiotic stress is important to identify means by which plant growth and metabolism can be regulated under acute stress conditions. ROS mediated oxidative stress, which is the key to understand stress related toxicity have been widely studied in many plants and the results in those studies clearly revealed that oxidative stress is the main symptom of toxicity. Plants have their own antioxidant defense mechanisms to encounter ROS that is of enzymic and non-enzymic nature . Coordinated activities of these antioxidants regulate ROS detoxification and reduces oxidative load in plants. Though ROS are always regarded to impart negative impact on plants, some reports consider them to be important in regulating key cellular functions; however, such reports in plant are limited. Molecular approaches to understand ROS metabolism and signaling have opened new avenues to comprehend its critical role in abiotic stress. ROS also acts as secondary messenger that signals key cellular functions like cell proliferation, apoptosis and necrosis. In higher eukaryotes, ROS signaling is not fully understood. In this review we summarize our understanding on ROS

  20. Comparative behavior of Ralstonia solanacearum biovar 2 in diverse plant species.

    PubMed

    Alvarez, B; Vasse, J; Le-Courtois, V; Trigalet-Démery, D; López, M M; Trigalet, A

    2008-01-01

    Ralstonia solanacearum causes bacterial wilt in numerous plant species worldwide. Although biovar 2 mostly affects solanaceous crops, identification of new hosts remains a matter of concern since there is still no clear-cut distinction between host and nonhost plants. In this work we provide data based on histological studies on the status of 20 plant species, most of them of potential interest in crop rotation. Plants were watered with a beta-glucuronidase-expressing derivative of R. solanacearum biovar 2, and after a month of incubation, sections of roots and stems were analyzed to localize the pathogen on surface, in cortex and/or xylem. Depending on whether the xylem was colonized or not, plants were classified as hosts or nonhosts, respectively. Hosts generally affected in a few xylem vessels or occasionally in all xylem bundles were classified as tolerant. These included some cabbage, kidney bean, and rutabaga cultivars, and the weed bittersweet nightshade (Solanum dulcamara). Nonhosts were the cultivars tested of alfalfa, barley, black radish, carrot, celery, colocynth, fennel, fiber flax, field bean, field pea, horseradish, maize, and zucchini. However, barley and maize, though nonhosts, may act as reservoirs for the pathogen. The present work constitutes a basis for further studies on cropping systems in fields where R. solanacearum has been detected.

  1. ANTIFUNGAL POTENTIAL OF PLANT SPECIES FROM BRAZILIAN CAATINGA AGAINST DERMATOPHYTES.

    PubMed

    Biasi-Garbin, Renata Perugini; Demitto, Fernanda de Oliveira; Amaral, Renata Claro Ribeiro do; Ferreira, Magda Rhayanny Assunção; Soares, Luiz Alberto Lira; Svidzinski, Terezinha Inez Estivalet; Baeza, Lilian Cristiane; Yamada-Ogatta, Sueli Fumie

    2016-01-01

    Trichophyton rubrum and Trichophyton mentagrophytes complex, or Trichophyton spp. are the main etiologic agents of dermatophytosis, whose treatment is limited by the high cost of antifungal treatments, their various side effects, and the emergence of resistance amongst these species. This study evaluated the in vitro antidermatophytic activity of 23 crude extracts from nine plant species of semiarid vegetation (caatinga) found in Brazil. The extracts were tested at concentrations ranging from 1.95 to 1,000.0 mg/mL by broth microdilution assay against the reference strains T. rubrum ATCC 28189 and T. mentagrophytes ATCC 11481, and 33 clinical isolates of dermatophytes. All plants showed a fungicidal effect against both fungal species, with MIC/MFC values of the active extracts ranging from 15.6 to 250.0 µg/mL. Selected extracts of Eugenia uniflora (AcE), Libidibia ferrea (AE), and Persea americana (AcE) also exhibited a fungicidal effect against all clinical isolates of T. rubrum and T. mentagrophytes complex. This is the first report of the antifungal activity of Schinus terebinthifolius, Piptadenia colubrina, Parapiptadenia rigida, Mimosa ophthalmocentra, and Persea americana against both dermatophyte species.

  2. Plant coexistence alters terpene emission and content of Mediterranean species.

    PubMed

    Ormeño, Elena; Fernandez, Catherine; Mévy, Jean-Philippe

    2007-03-01

    There is evidence that secondary metabolism may modulate plant interactions and is modified by different biotic stress agents, such as herbivores or pathogens. However, it is poorly understood whether secondary metabolism is altered during competition among plants. The intraspecific and interspecific coexistence of some Mediterranean potted seedlings, namely Rosmarinus officinalis, Pinus halepensis, Cistus albidus and Quercus coccifera was investigated through their terpene accumulation within leaves (except for Q. coccifera, a non-storing species) and terpene emissions (for all species). Competition had both positive and negative effects for both terpene emissions and content, depending on the species a seedling coexisted with. For R. officinalis, terpene concentrations (1.8-cineole and camphor) and terpene emissions (camphene, camphor and overall monoterpenes) were lower when the neighbour species was P. halepensis. For C. albidus, no changes were observed in its content, while the overall sesquiterpene emissions (70% of total emissions) were reduced in all competition conditions, except in intraspecific competition. In the case of P. halepensis, the highest terpene content occurred when it grew with C. albidus, and in intraspecific competition, while its emissions were reduced under these conditions. Only emissions of Q. coccifera showed no significant changes in the different competition treatments.

  3. ANTIFUNGAL POTENTIAL OF PLANT SPECIES FROM BRAZILIAN CAATINGA AGAINST DERMATOPHYTES

    PubMed Central

    BIASI-GARBIN, Renata Perugini; DEMITTO, Fernanda de Oliveira; do AMARAL, Renata Claro Ribeiro; FERREIRA, Magda Rhayanny Assunção; SOARES, Luiz Alberto Lira; SVIDZINSKI, Terezinha Inez Estivalet; BAEZA, Lilian Cristiane; YAMADA-OGATTA, Sueli Fumie

    2016-01-01

    Trichophyton rubrum and Trichophyton mentagrophytes complex, or Trichophyton spp. are the main etiologic agents of dermatophytosis, whose treatment is limited by the high cost of antifungal treatments, their various side effects, and the emergence of resistance amongst these species. This study evaluated the in vitro antidermatophytic activity of 23 crude extracts from nine plant species of semiarid vegetation (caatinga) found in Brazil. The extracts were tested at concentrations ranging from 1.95 to 1,000.0 mg/mL by broth microdilution assay against the reference strains T. rubrum ATCC 28189 and T. mentagrophytesATCC 11481, and 33 clinical isolates of dermatophytes. All plants showed a fungicidal effect against both fungal species, with MIC/MFC values of the active extracts ranging from 15.6 to 250.0 µg/mL. Selected extracts of Eugenia uniflora (AcE), Libidibia ferrea (AE), and Persea americana (AcE) also exhibited a fungicidal effect against all clinical isolates of T. rubrum and T. mentagrophytes complex. This is the first report of the antifungal activity of Schinus terebinthifolius, Piptadenia colubrina, Parapiptadenia rigida, Mimosa ophthalmocentra, and Persea americana against both dermatophyte species. PMID:27007561

  4. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for Alien Plant Species Detection and Monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dvořák, P.; Müllerová, J.; Bartaloš, T.; Brůna, J.

    2015-08-01

    Invasive species spread rapidly and their eradication is difficult. New methods enabling fast and efficient monitoring are urgently needed for their successful control. Remote sensing can improve early detection of invading plants and make their management more efficient and less expensive. In an ongoing project in the Czech Republic, we aim at developing innovative methods of mapping invasive plant species (semi-automatic detection algorithms) by using purposely designed unmanned aircraft (UAV). We examine possibilities for detection of two tree and two herb invasive species. Our aim is to establish fast, repeatable and efficient computer-assisted method of timely monitoring, reducing the costs of extensive field campaigns. For finding the best detection algorithm we test various classification approaches (object-, pixel-based and hybrid). Thanks to its flexibility and low cost, UAV enables assessing the effect of phenological stage and spatial resolution, and is most suitable for monitoring the efficiency of eradication efforts. However, several challenges exist in UAV application, such as geometrical and radiometric distortions, high amount of data to be processed and legal constrains for the UAV flight missions over urban areas (often highly invaded). The newly proposed UAV approach shall serve invasive species researchers, management practitioners and policy makers.

  5. Different tree species affect soil respiration spatial distribution in a subtropical forest of southern Taiwan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chiang, Po-Neng; Yu, Jui-Chu; Wang, Ya-nan; Lai, Yen-Jen

    2014-05-01

    Global forests contain 69% of total carbon stored in forest soil and litter. But the carbon storage ability and release rate of warming gases of forest soil also affect global climate change. Soil carbon cycling processes are paid much attention by ecological scientists and policy makers because of the possibility of carbon being stored in soil via land use management. Soil respiration contributed large part of terrestrial carbon flux, but the relationship of soil respiration and climate change was still obscurity. Most of soil respiration researches focus on template and tropical area, little was known that in subtropical area. Afforestation is one of solutions to mitigate CO2 increase and to sequestrate CO2 in tree and soil. Therefore, the objective of this study is to clarify the relationship of tree species and soil respiration distribution in subtropical broad-leaves plantation in southern Taiwan. The research site located on southern Taiwan was sugarcane farm before 2002. The sugarcane was removed and fourteen broadleaved tree species were planted in 2002-2005. Sixteen plots (250m*250m) were set on 1 km2 area, each plot contained 4 subplots (170m2). The forest biomass (i.e. tree height, DBH) understory biomass, litter, and soil C were measured and analyzed at 2011 to 2012. Soil respiration measurement was sampled in each subplot in each month. The soil belongs to Entisol with over 60% of sandstone. The soil pH is 5.5 with low base cations because of high sand percentage. Soil carbon storage showed significantly negative relationship with soil bulk density (p<0.001) in research site. The differences of distribution of live tree C pool among 16 plots were affected by growth characteristic of tree species. Data showed that the accumulation amount of litterfall was highest in December to February and lowest in June. Different tree species planted in 16 plots, resulting in high spatial variation of litterfall amount. It also affected total amount of litterfall

  6. Differences in Foliage Affect Performance of the Lappet Moth, Streblote panda: Implications for Species Fitness

    PubMed Central

    Calvo, D.; Molina, J.M.

    2010-01-01

    Implications for adults' fitness through the foliage effects of five different host plants on larval survival and performance of the lappet moth, Streblote panda Hübner (Lepidoptera: Lasiocampidae), as well as their effect on species fitness were assayed. Larvae were reared under controlled laboratory conditions on excised foliage. Long-term developmental experiments were done using first instar larvae to adult emergence, and performance experiments were done using fifth instar larvae. Survival, development rates, and food use were measured. Foliar traits analysis indicated that leaves of different host plants varied, significantly affecting larvae performance and adult fitness. Pistacia lentiscus L. (Sapindales: Anacardiaceae), Arbutus unedo L. (Ericales: Ericaceae), and Retama sphaerocarpa (L.) Boiss. (Fabales: Fabaceae) were the most suitable hosts. Larvae fed on Tamarix gallica L. (Caryophyllales: Tamaricaceae) and Spartium junceum L. (Fabales: Fabaceae) showed the lowest survival, rates of development and pupal and adult weight. In general, S. panda showed a relatively high capacity to buffer low food quality, by reducing developmental rates and larvae development thereby reaching the minimum pupal weight that ensures adult survival. Less suitable plants seem to have indirect effects on adult fitness, producing smaller adults that could disperse to other habitats. PMID:21062148

  7. Elevated tropospheric ozone affects the concentration and allocation of mineral nutrients of two bamboo species.

    PubMed

    Zhuang, Minghao; Lam, Shu Kee; Li, Yingchun; Chen, Shuanglin

    2017-01-15

    The increase in tropospheric ozone (O3) affects plant physiology and ecosystem processes, and consequently the cycle of nutrients. While mineral nutrients are critical for plant growth, the effect of elevated tropospheric O3 concentration on the uptake and allocation of mineral nutrients by plants is not well understood. Using open top chambers (OTCs), we investigated the effect of elevated O3 on calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg) and iron (Fe) in mature bamboo species Phyllostachys edulis and Oligostachyum lubricum. Our results showed that elevated O3 decreased the leaf biomass of P. edulis and O. lubricum by 35.1% and 26.7%, respectively, but had no significant effect on the biomass of branches, stem or root. For P. edulis, elevated O3 increased the nutrient (Ca, Mg and Fe) concentration and allocation in leaf but reduced the concentration in other organs. In contrast, elevated O3 increased the nutrient concentration and allocation in the branch of O. lubricum but decreased that of other organs. We also found that that P. edulis and O. lubricum responded differently to elevated O3 in terms of nutrient (Ca, Mg and Fe) uptake and allocation. This information is critical for nutrient management and adaptation strategies for sustainable growth of P. edulis and O. lubricum under global climate change.

  8. Occurrence and distribution of Legionella species in composted plant materials.

    PubMed Central

    Hughes, M S; Steele, T W

    1994-01-01

    Legionellae were found in many samples of composted plant matter obtained from home gardeners and from facilities which undertook bulk composting. The predominant species isolated from these composts was Legionella pneumophila, the strains of which belonged to serogroups other than serogroup 1. Other Legionella species were present in many samples. Legionella longbeachae serogroup 1, which is implicated in human infections in South Australia, was present in samples obtained from two of six facilities composting large volumes of material and from 3 of 30 gardeners. Many of the species or strains isolated from composts have not been implicated as causative agents of legionellosis in South Austrailia, but some cause infection in healthy and immunosuppressed persons. PMID:11001749

  9. Ecological context and metapopulation dynamics affect sex-ratio variation among dioecious plant populations

    PubMed Central

    Field, David L.; Pickup, Melinda; Barrett, Spencer C. H.

    2013-01-01

    Background and Aims Populations of dioecious flowering plants commonly exhibit heterogeneity in sex ratios and deviations from the equilibrium expectation of equal numbers of females and males. Yet the role of ecological and demographic factors in contributing towards biased sex ratios is currently not well understood. Methods Species-level studies from the literature were analysed to investigate ecological correlates of among-population sex-ratio variation and metapopulation models and empirical data were used to explore the influence of demography and non-equilibrium conditions on flowering sex ratios. Key Results The survey revealed significant among-population heterogeneity in sex ratios and this was related to the degree of sampling effort. For some species, sex-ratio bias was associated with the proportion of non-reproductive individuals, with greater male bias in populations with a lower proportion of individuals that were flowering. Male-biased ratios were also found at higher altitudes and latitudes, and in more xeric sites. Simulations and empirical data indicated that clonal species exhibited greater heterogeneity in sex ratios than non-clonal species as a result of their slower approach to equilibrium. The simulations also indicated the importance of interactions between reproductive mode and founder effects, with greater departures from equilibrium in clonal populations with fewer founding individuals. Conclusions The results indicate that sex-based differences in costs of reproduction and non-equilibrium conditions can each play important roles in affecting flowering sex ratios in populations of dioecious plants. PMID:23444124

  10. Valuing the Endangered Species Antirrhinum lopesianum: Neuroprotective Activities and Strategies for in vitro Plant Propagation

    PubMed Central

    Gomes, Andreia; Fortalezas, Sofia; Pimpão, Rui; Figueira, Inês; Maroco, João; Aguiar, Carlos; Ferreira, Ricardo B.; Miguel, Célia; Santos, Cláudia N.

    2013-01-01

    Plant phytochemicals are described as possessing considerable neuroprotective properties, due to radical scavenging capacity and acetylcholinesterase inhibitory activity, important bioactivities in neurodegeneration. Antirrhinum lopesianum is a rare endemism from the Iberian Peninsula, occurring at the northeastern border between Portugal and Spain. It is classified as Endangered, due to its highly fragmented geographical occupation, facing a high risk of extinction in the Portuguese territory, within 20 years. Here, we describe for the first time the chemical characterization of extracts of the species concerning total phenol content, flavonoid content and antioxidant properties. The profile of high performance liquid chromatography with diode array detector (HPLC-DAD) of the polyphenol-enriched fraction of plant extracts was also performed, showing the great potential of the species as a source of bioactive phytochemical compounds. A. lopesianum’s potential for neuroprotection was revealed by a significant acetylcholinesterase inhibitory activity and also by a neuroprotective effect on a human cell model of neurodegeneration. Moreover, this is the first report describing a successful procedure for the in vitro propagation of this endangered species. The comparison of phenolic content and the HPLC-DAD profile of wild and in vitro propagated plants revealed that in vitro plants maintain the ability to produce secondary metabolites, but the profiles are differentially affected by the growth regulators. The results presented here greatly contribute to the value for this species regarding its potential as a source of phytochemicals with prospective neuroprotective health benefits. PMID:26784465

  11. Species-Specific Seed Dispersal in an Obligate Ant-Plant Mutualism

    PubMed Central

    Youngsteadt, Elsa; Baca, Jeniffer Alvarez; Osborne, Jason; Schal, Coby

    2009-01-01

    Throughout lowland Amazonia, arboreal ants collect seeds of specific plants and cultivate them in nutrient-rich nests, forming diverse yet obligate and species-specific symbioses called Neotropical ant-gardens (AGs). The ants depend on their symbiotic plants for nest stability, and the plants depend on AGs for substrate and nutrients. Although the AGs are limited to specific participants, it is unknown at what stage specificity arises, and seed fate pathways in AG epiphytes are undocumented. Here we examine the specificity of the ant-seed interaction by comparing the ant community observed at general food baits to ants attracted to and removing seeds of the AG plant Peperomia macrostachya. We also compare seed removal rates under treatments that excluded vertebrates, arthropods, or both. In the bait study, only three of 70 ant species collected P. macrostachya seeds, and 84% of observed seed removal by ants was attributed to the AG ant Camponotus femoratus. In the exclusion experiment, arthropod exclusion significantly reduced seed removal rates, but vertebrate exclusion did not. We provide the most extensive empirical evidence of species specificity in the AG mutualism and begin to quantify factors that affect seed fate in order to understand conditions that favor its departure from the typical diffuse model of plant-animal mutualism. PMID:19194502

  12. Imaging techniques for elements and element species in plant science.

    PubMed

    Wu, Bei; Becker, J Sabine

    2012-05-01

    Revealing the uptake, transport, localization and speciation of both essential and toxic elements in plants is important for understanding plant homeostasis and metabolism, subsequently, providing information for food and nutrient studies, agriculture activities, as well as environmental research. In the last decade, emerging techniques for elemental imaging and speciation analysis allowed us to obtain increasing knowledge of elemental distribution and availabilities in plants. Chemical imaging techniques include mass spectrometric methods such as secondary ionization mass spectrometry (SIMS), laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) and synchrotron-based techniques such as X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (SRXRF), and so forth. On the other hand, X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) based on synchrotron radiation is capable of in situ investigation of local atomic structure around the central element of interest. This technique can also be operated in tandem with SRXRF to image each element species of interest within plant tissue. In this review, the principles and state-of-the-art of these techniques regarding sample preparation, advantages and limitations, and improvement of sensitivity and spatial resolution are discussed. New results with respect to elemental distribution and speciation in plants revealed by these techniques are presented.

  13. Chemical recognition of partner plant species by foundress ant queens in Macaranga-Crematogaster myrmecophytism.

    PubMed

    Inui, Y; Itioka, T; Murase, K; Yamaoka, R; Itino, T

    2001-10-01

    The partnership in the Crematogaster-Macaranga ant-plant interaction is highly species-specific. Because a mutualistic relationship on a Macaranga plant starts with colonization by a foundress queen of a partner Crematogaster species, we hypothesized that the foundress queens select their partner plant species by chemical recognition. We tested this hypothesis with four sympatric Macaranga species and their Crematogaster plant-ant species. We demonstrated that foundress Crematogaster queens can recognize their partner Macaranga species by contact with the surface of the seedlings, that they can recognize compounds from the stem surface of seedlings of their partner plant species, and that the gas chromatographic profiles are characteristic of the plant species. These findings support the hypothesis that foundress queens of the Crematogaster plant-ant species select their partner Macaranga species by recognizing nonvolatile chemical characteristics of the stem surfaces of seedlings.

  14. Macronutrient content of plant-based food affects growth of a carnivorous arthropod.

    PubMed

    Wilder, Shawn M; Holway, David A; Suarez, Andrew V; Eubanks, Micky D

    2011-02-01

    Many arthropods engage in mutualisms in which they consume plant-based foods including nectar, extrafloral nectar, and honeydew. However, relatively little is known about the manner in which the specific macronutrients in these plant-based resources affect growth, especially for carnivorous arthropods. Using a combination of laboratory and field experiments, we tested (1) how plant-based foods, together with ad libitum insect prey, affect the growth of a carnivorous ant, Solenopsis invicta, and (2) which macronutrients in these resources (i.e., carbohydrates, amino acids, or both) contribute to higher colony growth. Access to honeydew increased the production of workers and brood in experimental colonies. This growth effect appeared to be due to carbohydrates alone as colonies provided with the carbohydrate component of artificial extrafloral nectar had greater worker and brood production compared to colonies deprived of carbohydrates. Surprisingly, amino acids only had a slight interactive effect on the proportion of a colony composed of brood and negatively affected worker survival. Diet choice in the laboratory and field matched performance in the laboratory with high recruitment to carbohydrate baits and only slight recruitment to amino acids. The strong, positive effects of carbohydrates on colony growth and the low cost of producing this macronutrient for plants and hemipterans may have aided the evolution of food-for-protection mutualisms and help explain why these interactions are so common in ants. In addition, greater access to plant-based resources in the introduced range of S. invicta may help to explain the high densities achieved by this species throughout the southeastern United States.

  15. The Gastropod Menace: Slugs on Brassica Plants Affect Caterpillar Survival through Consumption and Interference with Parasitoid Attraction.

    PubMed

    Desurmont, Gaylord A; Zemanova, Miriam A; Turlings, Ted C J

    2016-03-01

    Terrestrial molluscs and insect herbivores play a major role as plant consumers in a number of ecosystems, but their direct and indirect interactions have hardly been explored. The omnivorous nature of slugs makes them potential disrupters of predator-prey relationships, as a direct threat to small insects and through indirect, plant-mediated effects. Here, we examined the effects of the presence of two species of slugs, Arion rufus (native) and A. vulgaris (invasive) on the survivorship of young Pieris brassicae caterpillars when feeding on Brassica rapa plants, and on plant attractiveness to the main natural enemy of P. brassicae, the parasitoid Cotesia glomerata. In two separate predation experiments, caterpillar mortality was significantly higher on plants co-infested with A. rufus or A. vulgaris. Moreover, caterpillar mortality correlated positively with slug mass and leaf consumption by A. vulgaris. At the third trophic level, plants infested with slugs and plants co-infested with slugs and caterpillars were far less attractive to parasitoids than plants damaged by caterpillars only, independently of slug species. Chemical analyses confirmed that volatile emissions, which provide foraging cues for parasitoids, were strongly reduced in co-infested plants. Our study shows that the presence of slugs has the potential to affect insect populations, directly via consumptive effects, and indirectly via changes in plant volatiles that result in a reduced attraction of natural enemies. The fitness cost for P. brassicae imposed by increased mortality in presence of slugs may be counterbalanced by the benefit of escaping its parasitoids.

  16. Browsing affects intra-ring carbon allocation in species with contrasting wood anatomy.

    PubMed

    Palacio, S; Paterson, E; Sim, A; Hester, A J; Millard, P

    2011-02-01

    Current knowledge on tree carbon (C) allocation to wood is particularly scarce in plants subjected to disturbance factors, such as browsing, which affects forest regeneration worldwide and has an impact on the C balance of trees. Furthermore, quantifying the degree to which tree rings are formed from freshly assimilated vs. stored carbohydrates is highly relevant for our understanding of tree C allocation. We used (13)C labelling to quantify seasonal allocation of stored C to wood formation in two species with contrasting wood anatomy: Betula pubescens Ehrh. (diffuse-porous) and Quercus petraea [Matt.] Liebl. (ring-porous). Clipping treatments (66% shoot removal, and unclipped) were applied to analyse the effect of browsing on C allocation into tree rings, plus the effects on tree growth, architecture, ring width and non-structural carbohydrates (NSCs). The relative contribution of stored C to wood formation was greater in the ring-porous (55-70%) than in the diffuse-porous species (35-60%), although each species followed different seasonal trends. Clipping did not cause a significant depletion of C stores in either species. Nonetheless, a significant increase in the proportion of stored C allocated to earlywood growth was observed in clipped birches, and this could be explained through changes in tree architecture after clipping. The size of C pools across tree species seems to be important in determining the variability of seasonal C allocation patterns to wood and their sensibility to disturbances such as browsing. Our results indicate that the observed changes in C allocation to earlywood in birch were not related to variations in the amount or concentration of NSC stores, but to changes in the seasonal availability of recently assimilated C caused by modifications in tree architecture after browsing.

  17. Invasive Plant Species: Inventory, Mapping, and Monitoring - A National Strategy

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ludke, J. Larry; D'Erchia, Frank; Coffelt, Jan; Hanson, Leanne

    2002-01-01

    America is under siege by invasive species of plants and animals, and by diseases. The current environmental, economic, and health-related costs of invasive species could exceed $138 billion per year-more than all other natural disasters combined. Notorious examples include West Nile virus, Dutch elm disease, chestnut blight, and purple loose- strife in the Northeast; kudzu, Brazilian peppertree, water hyacinth, nutria, and fire ants in the Southeast; zebra mussels, leafy spurge, and Asian long-horn beetles in the Midwest; salt cedar, Russian olive, and Africanized bees in the Southwest; yellow star thistle, European wild oats, oak wilt disease, Asian clams, and white pine blister rust in California; cheatgrass, various knapweeds, and thistles in the Great Basin; whirling disease of salmonids in the Northwest; hundreds of invasive species from microbes to mammals in Hawaii; and the brown tree snake in Guam. Thousands of species from other countries are introduced intentionally or accidentally into the United States each year. Based on past experience, 10-15 percent can be expected to establish free-living populations and about 1 percent can be expected to cause significant impacts to ecosystems, native species, economic productivity, and (or) human health.

  18. REMOTE DETECTION OF INVASSIVE AND OPPORTUNISTIC PLANT SPECIES IN GREAT LAKES COASTAL WETLANDS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Invasive and opportunistic plant species have been associated with wetland disturbance. Increases in the abundance of plant species such as common reed (Phragmites australis) in coastal Great Lakes wetlands are hypothesized to occur with shifts toward drier hydrologic regimes, fr...

  19. REMOTE DETENTION OF INVASIVE AND OPPORTUNISTIC PLANT SPECIES IN GREAT LAKES COASTAL WETLANDS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Invasive and opportunistic plant species have been associated with wetland disturbance. Increases in the abundance of plant species such as common reed (Phragmites australis) in coastal Great Lakes wetlands are hypothesized to occur with shifts toward drier hydrologic regimes, fr...

  20. Hydroperiod regime controls the organization of plant species in wetlands.

    PubMed

    Foti, Romano; del Jesus, Manuel; Rinaldo, Andrea; Rodriguez-Iturbe, Ignacio

    2012-11-27

    With urban, agricultural, and industrial needs growing throughout the past decades, wetland ecosystems have experienced profound changes. Most critically, the biodiversity of wetlands is intimately linked to its hydrologic dynamics, which in turn are being drastically altered by ongoing climate changes. Hydroperiod regimes, e.g., percentage of time a site is inundated, exert critical control in the creation of niches for different plant species in wetlands. However, the spatial signatures of the organization of plant species in wetlands and how the different drivers interact to yield such signatures are unknown. Focusing on Everglades National Park (ENP) in Florida, we show here that cluster sizes of each species follow a power law probability distribution and that such clusters have well-defined fractal characteristics. Moreover, we individuate and model those signatures via the interplay between global forcings arising from the hydroperiod regime and local controls exerted by neighboring vegetation. With power law clustering often associated with systems near critical transitions, our findings are highly relevant for the management of wetland ecosystems. In addition, our results show that changes in climate and land management have a quantifiable predictable impact on the type of vegetation and its spatial organization in wetlands.

  1. Hydroperiod regime controls the organization of plant species in wetlands

    PubMed Central

    Foti, Romano; del Jesus, Manuel; Rinaldo, Andrea; Rodriguez-Iturbe, Ignacio

    2012-01-01

    With urban, agricultural, and industrial needs growing throughout the past decades, wetland ecosystems have experienced profound changes. Most critically, the biodiversity of wetlands is intimately linked to its hydrologic dynamics, which in turn are being drastically altered by ongoing climate changes. Hydroperiod regimes, e.g., percentage of time a site is inundated, exert critical control in the creation of niches for different plant species in wetlands. However, the spatial signatures of the organization of plant species in wetlands and how the different drivers interact to yield such signatures are unknown. Focusing on Everglades National Park (ENP) in Florida, we show here that cluster sizes of each species follow a power law probability distribution and that such clusters have well-defined fractal characteristics. Moreover, we individuate and model those signatures via the interplay between global forcings arising from the hydroperiod regime and local controls exerted by neighboring vegetation. With power law clustering often associated with systems near critical transitions, our findings are highly relevant for the management of wetland ecosystems. In addition, our results show that changes in climate and land management have a quantifiable predictable impact on the type of vegetation and its spatial organization in wetlands. PMID:23150589

  2. Disruption of plant carotenoid biosynthesis through virus-induced gene silencing affects oviposition behaviour of the butterfly Pieris rapae.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Si-Jun; Snoeren, Tjeerd A L; Hogewoning, Sander W; van Loon, Joop J A; Dicke, Marcel

    2010-05-01

    Optical plant characteristics are important cues to plant-feeding insects. In this article, we demonstrate for the first time that silencing the phytoene desaturase (PDS) gene, encoding a key enzyme in plant carotenoid biosynthesis, affects insect oviposition site selection behaviour. Virus-induced gene silencing employing tobacco rattle virus was used to knock down endogenous PDS expression in three plant species (Arabidopsis thaliana, Brassica nigra and Nicotiana benthamiana) by its heterologous gene sequence from Brassica oleracea. We investigated the consequences of the silencing of PDS on oviposition behaviour by Pieris rapae butterflies on Arabidopsis and Brassica plants; first landing of the butterflies on Arabidopsis plants (to eliminate an effect of contact cues); first landing on Arabidopsis plants enclosed in containers (to eliminate an effect of volatiles); and caterpillar growth on Arabidopsis plants. Our results show unambiguously that P. rapae has an innate ability to visually discriminate between green and variegated green-whitish plants. Caterpillar growth was significantly lower on PDS-silenced than on empty vector control plants. This study presents the first analysis of PDS function in the interaction with an herbivorous insect. We conclude that virus-induced gene silencing is a powerful tool for investigating insect-plant interactions in model and nonmodel plants.

  3. Plant species composition alters the sign and strength of an emergent multi-predator effect by modifying predator foraging behaviour.

    PubMed

    Wilby, Andrew; Anglin, Linda Anderson; Nesbit, Christopher M

    2013-01-01

    The prediction of pest-control functioning by multi-predator communities is hindered by the non-additive nature of species functioning. Such non-additivity, commonly termed an emergent multi-predator effect, is known to be affected by elements of the ecological context, such as the structure and composition of vegetation, in addition to the traits of the predators themselves. Here we report mesocosm experiments designed to test the influence of plant density and species composition (wheat monoculture or wheat and faba bean polyculture) on the emergence of multi-predator effects between Adalia bipunctata and Chrysoperla carnea, in their suppression of populations of the aphid Metopolophium dirhodum. The mesocosm experiments were followed by a series of behavioural observations designed to identify how interactions among predators are modified by plant species composition and whether these effects are consistent with the observed influence of plant species composition on aphid population suppression. Although plant density was shown to have no influence on the multi-predator effect on aphid population growth, plant composition had a marked effect. In wheat monoculture, Adalia and Chrysoperla mixed treatments caused greater suppression of M. dirhodum populations than expected. However this positive emergent effect was reversed to a negative multi-predator effect in wheat and faba bean polyculture. The behavioural observations revealed that although dominant individuals did not respond to the presence of faba bean plants, the behaviour of sub-dominants was affected markedly, consistent with their foraging for extra-floral nectar produced by the faba bean. This interaction between plant composition and predator community composition on the foraging behaviour of sub-dominants is thought to underlie the observed effect of plant composition on the multi-predator effect. Thus, the emergence of multi-predator effects is shown to be strongly influenced by plant species

  4. 40 CFR 230.75 - Actions affecting plant and animal populations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 26 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Actions affecting plant and animal... Actions To Minimize Adverse Effects § 230.75 Actions affecting plant and animal populations. Minimization of adverse effects on populations of plants and animals can be achieved by: (a) Avoiding changes...

  5. 40 CFR 230.75 - Actions affecting plant and animal populations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 25 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Actions affecting plant and animal... Actions To Minimize Adverse Effects § 230.75 Actions affecting plant and animal populations. Minimization of adverse effects on populations of plants and animals can be achieved by: (a) Avoiding changes...

  6. 40 CFR 230.75 - Actions affecting plant and animal populations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 26 2012-07-01 2011-07-01 true Actions affecting plant and animal... Actions To Minimize Adverse Effects § 230.75 Actions affecting plant and animal populations. Minimization of adverse effects on populations of plants and animals can be achieved by: (a) Avoiding changes...

  7. 40 CFR 230.75 - Actions affecting plant and animal populations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 25 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Actions affecting plant and animal... Actions To Minimize Adverse Effects § 230.75 Actions affecting plant and animal populations. Minimization of adverse effects on populations of plants and animals can be achieved by: (a) Avoiding changes...

  8. 40 CFR 230.75 - Actions affecting plant and animal populations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 24 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Actions affecting plant and animal... Actions To Minimize Adverse Effects § 230.75 Actions affecting plant and animal populations. Minimization of adverse effects on populations of plants and animals can be achieved by: (a) Avoiding changes...

  9. Telling plant species apart with DNA: from barcodes to genomes.

    PubMed

    Hollingsworth, Peter M; Li, De-Zhu; van der Bank, Michelle; Twyford, Alex D

    2016-09-05

    Land plants underpin a multitude of ecosystem functions, support human livelihoods and represent a critically important component of terrestrial biodiversity-yet many tens of thousands of species await discovery, and plant identification remains a substantial challenge, especially where material is juvenile, fragmented or processed. In this opinion article, we tackle two main topics. Firstly, we provide a short summary of the strengths and limitations of plant DNA barcoding for addressing these issues. Secondly, we discuss options for enhancing current plant barcodes, focusing on increasing discriminatory power via either gene capture of nuclear markers or genome skimming. The former has the advantage of establishing a defined set of target loci maximizing efficiency of sequencing effort, data storage and analysis. The challenge is developing a probe set for large numbers of nuclear markers that works over sufficient phylogenetic breadth. Genome skimming has the advantage of using existing protocols and being backward compatible with existing barcodes; and the depth of sequence coverage can be increased as sequencing costs fall. Its non-targeted nature does, however, present a major informatics challenge for upscaling to large sample sets.This article is part of the themed issue 'From DNA barcodes to biomes'.

  10. Telling plant species apart with DNA: from barcodes to genomes

    PubMed Central

    Li, De-Zhu; van der Bank, Michelle

    2016-01-01

    Land plants underpin a multitude of ecosystem functions, support human livelihoods and represent a critically important component of terrestrial biodiversity—yet many tens of thousands of species await discovery, and plant identification remains a substantial challenge, especially where material is juvenile, fragmented or processed. In this opinion article, we tackle two main topics. Firstly, we provide a short summary of the strengths and limitations of plant DNA barcoding for addressing these issues. Secondly, we discuss options for enhancing current plant barcodes, focusing on increasing discriminatory power via either gene capture of nuclear markers or genome skimming. The former has the advantage of establishing a defined set of target loci maximizing efficiency of sequencing effort, data storage and analysis. The challenge is developing a probe set for large numbers of nuclear markers that works over sufficient phylogenetic breadth. Genome skimming has the advantage of using existing protocols and being backward compatible with existing barcodes; and the depth of sequence coverage can be increased as sequencing costs fall. Its non-targeted nature does, however, present a major informatics challenge for upscaling to large sample sets. This article is part of the themed issue ‘From DNA barcodes to biomes’. PMID:27481790

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2008-01-01

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

  12. Host plant phenology affects performance of an invasive weevil, Phyllobius oblongus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), in a northern hardwood forest.

    PubMed

    Coyle, David R; Jordan, Michelle S; Raffa, Kenneth F

    2010-10-01

    We investigated how host plant phenology and plant species affected longevity, reproduction, and feeding behavior of an invasive weevil. Phyllobius oblongus L. (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) is common in northern hardwood forests of the Great Lakes Region. Adults emerge in spring, feed on foliage of woody understory plants, and oviposit in the soil. Preliminary data indicate that adults often feed on sugar maple, Acer saccharum Marshall, foliage early in the season, then feed on other species such as raspberry, Rubus spp. Whether this behavior reflects temporal changes in the quality of A. saccharum tissue or merely subsequent availability of later-season plants is unknown. We tested adult P. oblongus in laboratory assays using young (newly flushed) sugar maple foliage, old (2-3 wk postflush) sugar maple foliage, and raspberry foliage. Raspberry has indeterminate growth, thus always has young foliage available for herbivores. Survival, oviposition, and leaf consumption were recorded. In performance assays under no-choice conditions, mated pairs were provided one type of host foliage for the duration of their lives. In behavioral choice tests, all three host plants were provided simultaneously and leaf area consumption was compared. Adults survived longer on and consumed greater amounts of young maple and raspberry foliage than old maple foliage. P. oblongus preferred young maple foliage to old maple foliage early in the season, however, later in the growing season weevils showed less pronounced feeding preferences. These results suggest how leaf phenology, plant species composition, and feeding plasticity in host utilization may interact to affect P. oblongus population dynamics.

  13. Variation within and between Frankliniella thrips species in host plant utilization.

    PubMed

    Baez, Ignacio; Reitz, Stuart R; Funderburk, Joseph E; Olson, Steve M

    2011-01-01

    Anthophilous flower thrips in the genus Frankliniella (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) exploit ephemeral plant resources and therefore must be capable of successfully locating appropriate hosts on a repeated basis, yet little is known of interspecific and intraspecific variation in responses to host plant type and nutritional quality. Field trials were conducted over two seasons to determine if the abundance of males and females of three common Frankliniella species, F. occidentalis (Pergande), F. tritici (Fitch) and F. bispinosa (Morgan), their larvae, and a key predator, Orius insidiosus (Say) (Hemiptera: Anthocoridae) were affected by host plant type and plant nutritional quality. Two host plants, pepper, Capsicum annuum L. (Solanales: Solanaceae) and tomato, Solanum lycopersicum L. that vary in suitability for these species were examined, and their nutritional quality was manipulated by applying three levels of nitrogen fertilization (101 kg/ha, 202 kg/ha, 404 kg/ha). F. occidentalis females were more abundant in pepper than in tomato, but males did not show a differential response. Both sexes of F. tritici and F. bispinosa were more abundant in tomato than in pepper. Larval thrips were more abundant in pepper than in tomato. Likewise, O. insidiosus females and nymphs were more abundant in pepper than in tomato. Only F. occidentalis females showed a distinct response to nitrogen fertilization, with abundance increasing with fertilization. These results show that host plant utilization patterns vary among Frankliniella spp. and should not be generalized from results of the intensively studied F. occidentalis. Given the different pest status of these species and their differential abundance in pepper and tomato, it is critical that scouting programs include species identifications for proper management.

  14. Fusion and metabolism of plant cells as affected by microgravity.

    PubMed

    Hampp, R; Hoffmann, E; Schönherr, K; Johann, P; De Filippis, L

    1997-01-01

    Plant cell protoplasts derived from leaf tissue of two different tobacco species (Nicotiana tabacum., N. rustica L.) were exposed to short-term (sounding rocket experiments) and long-term (spacelab) microgravity environments in order to study both (electro) cell fusion and cell metabolism during early and later stages of tissue regeneration. The period of exposure to microgravity varied from 10 min (sounding rocket) to 10 d (space shuttle). The process of electro fusion of protoplasts was improved under conditions of microgravity: the time needed to establish close membrane contact between protoplasts (alignment time) was reduced (5 as compared to 15 s under 1 g) and numbers of fusion products between protoplasts of different specific density were increased by a factor of about 10. In addition, viability of fusion products, as shown by the ability to form callus, increased from about 60% to more than 90%. Regenerated fusion products obtained from both sounding-rocket and spacelab experiments showed a wide range of intermediate properties between the two parental plants. This was verified by isozyme analysis and random amplified polymorphic DNA-polymerase chain reaction (RAPD-PCR). In order to address potential metabolic responses, more general markers such as the overall energy state (ATP/ADP ratio), the redox charge of the diphosphopyridine nucleotide system (NADH/NAD ratio), and the pool size of fructose-2,6-bisphosphate (Fru 2,6 bisp), a regulator of the balance between glycolysis and gluconeogenesis, were determined. Responses of these parameters were different with regard to short-term and long-term exposure. Shortly after transition to reduced gravitation (sounding rocket) ratios of ATP/ADP exhibited strong fluctuation while the pool size of NAD decreased (indicating an increased NADH/NAD ratio) and that of Fru 2,6 bisp increased. As similar changes can be observed under stress conditions, this response is probably indicative of a metabolic stress

  15. [Ecological risk assessment of dam construction for terrestrial plant species in middle reach of Lancangjiang River, Southwest China].

    PubMed

    Li, Xiao-Yan; Dong, Shi-Kui; Liu, Shi-Liang; Peng, Ming-Chun; Li, Jin-Peng; Zhao, Qing-He; Zhang, Zhao-Ling

    2012-08-01

    Taking the surrounding areas of Xiaowan Reservoir in the middle reach of Lancangjiang River as study area, and based on the vegetation investigation at three sites including electricity transmission area (site 1), electricity-transfer substation and roadsides to the substation (site 2), and emigration area (site 3) in 1997 (before dam construction), another investigation was conducted on the vegetation composition, plant coverage, and dominant species at the same sites in 2010 (after dam construction), aimed to evaluate the ecological risk of the dam construction for the terrestrial plant species in middle reach of Lancangjiang River. There was an obvious difference in the summed dominance ratio of dominant species at the three sites before and after the dam construction. According the types of species (dominant and non-dominant species) and the changes of plant dominance, the ecological risk (ER) for the plant species was categorized into 0 to IV, i.e., no or extremely low ecological risk (0), low ecological risk (I), medium ecological risk (II), high ecological risk (III), and extremely high ecological risk (IV). As affected by the dam construction, the majority of the species were at ER III, and a few species were at ER IV. The percentage of the plant species at ER III and ER IV at site 3 was higher than that at sites 1 and 2. The decrease or loss of native plants and the increase of alien or invasive plants were the major ecological risks caused by the dam construction. Effective protection strategies should be adopted to mitigate the ecological risk of the dam construction for the terrestrial plants at species level.

  16. AQUATIC PLANT SPECIATION AFFECTED BY DIVERSIFYING SELECTION OF ORGANELLE DNA REGIONS(1).

    PubMed

    Kato, Syou; Misawa, Kazuharu; Takahashi, Fumio; Sakayama, Hidetoshi; Sano, Satomi; Kosuge, Keiko; Kasai, Fumie; Watanabe, Makoto M; Tanaka, Jiro; Nozaki, Hisayoshi

    2011-10-01

    Many of the genes that control photosynthesis are carried in the chloroplast. These genes differ among species. However, evidence has yet to be reported revealing the involvement of organelle genes in the initial stages of plant speciation. To elucidate the molecular basis of aquatic plant speciation, we focused on the unique plant species Chara braunii C. C. Gmel. that inhabits both shallow and deep freshwater habitats and exhibits habitat-based dimorphism of chloroplast DNA (cpDNA). Here, we examined the "shallow" and "deep" subpopulations of C. braunii using two nuclear DNA (nDNA) markers and cpDNA. Genetic differentiation between the two subpopulations was measured in both nDNA and cpDNA regions, although phylogenetic analyses suggested nuclear gene flow between subpopulations. Neutrality tests based on Tajima's D demonstrated diversifying selection acting on organelle DNA regions. Furthermore, both "shallow" and "deep" haplotypes of cpDNA detected in cultures originating from bottom soils of three deep environments suggested that migration of oospores (dormant zygotes) between the two habitats occurs irrespective of the complete habitat-based dimorphism of cpDNA from field-collected vegetative thalli. Therefore, the two subpopulations are highly selected by their different aquatic habitats and show prezygotic isolation, which represents an initial process of speciation affected by ecologically based divergent selection of organelle genes.

  17. Plot shape effects on plant species diversity measurements

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keeley, Jon E.; Fotheringham, C.J.

    2005-01-01

    Abstract. Question: Do rectangular sample plots record more plant species than square plots as suggested by both empirical and theoretical studies?Location: Grasslands, shrublands and forests in the Mediterranean-climate region of California, USA.Methods: We compared three 0.1-ha sampling designs that differed in the shape and dispersion of 1-m2 and 100-m2 nested subplots. We duplicated an earlier study that compared the Whittaker sample design, which had square clustered subplots, with the modified Whittaker design, which had dispersed rectangular subplots. To sort out effects of dispersion from shape we used a third design that overlaid square subplots on the modified Whittaker design. Also, using data from published studies we extracted species richness values for 400-m2 subplots that were either square or 1:4 rectangles partially overlaid on each other from desert scrub in high and low rainfall years, chaparral, sage scrub, oak savanna and coniferous forests with and without fire.Results: We found that earlier empirical reports of more than 30% greater richness with rectangles were due to the confusion of shape effects with spatial effects, coupled with the use of cumulative number of species as the metric for comparison. Average species richness was not significantly different between square and 1:4 rectangular sample plots at either 1- or 100-m2. Pairwise comparisons showed no significant difference between square and rectangular samples in all but one vegetation type, and that one exhibited significantly greater richness with squares. Our three intensive study sites appear to exhibit some level of self-similarity at the scale of 400 m2, but, contrary to theoretical expectations, we could not detect plot shape effects on species richness at this scale.Conclusions: At the 0.1-ha scale or lower there is no evidence that plot shape has predictable effects on number of species recorded from sample plots. We hypothesize that for the mediterranean

  18. Multiple phenological responses to climate change among 42 plant species in Xi'an, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dai, Junhu; Wang, Huanjiong; Ge, Quansheng

    2013-09-01

    Phenological data of 42 woody plants in a temperate deciduous forest from the Chinese Phenological Observation Network (CPON) and the corresponding meteorological data from 1963 to 2011 in Xi'an, Shaanxi Province, China were collected and analyzed. The first leaf date (FLD), leaf coloring date (LCD) and first flower date (FFD) are revealed as strong biological signals of climatic change. The FLD, LCD and FFD of most species are sensitive to average temperature during a certain period before phenophase onset. Regional precipitation also has a significant impact on phenophases of about half of the species investigated. Affected by climate change, the FLD and FFD of these species have advanced by 5.54 days and 10.20 days on average during 2003-2011 compared with the period 1963-1996, respectively. Meanwhile, the LCD has delayed by 10.59 days, and growing season length has extended 16.13 days. Diverse responses of phenology commonly exist among different species and functional groups during the study period. Especially for FFD, the deviations between the above two periods ranged from -20.68 to -2.79 days; biotic pollination species showed a significantly greater advance than abiotic pollination species. These results were conducive to the understanding of possible changes in both the structure of plant communities and interspecific relationships in the context of climate change.

  19. Stochastic changes affect Solanum wild species following autopolyploidization

    PubMed Central

    Carputo, Domenico

    2013-01-01

    Polyploidy is very common within angiosperms, and several studies are in progress to ascertain the effects of early polyploidization at the molecular, physiological, and phenotypic level. Extensive studies are available only in synthetic allopolyploids. By contrast, less is known about the consequences of autopolyploidization. The current study aimed to assess the occurrence and extent of genetic, epigenetic, and anatomical changes occurring after oryzaline-induced polyploidization of Solanum commersonii Dunal and Solanum bulbocastanum Dunal, two diploid (2n=2×=24) potato species widely used in breeding programmes. Microsatellite analysis showed no polymorphisms between synthetic tetraploids and diploid progenitors. By contrast, analysis of DNA methylation levels indicated that subtle alterations at CG and CHG sites were present in tetraploids of both species. However, no change occurred concurrently in all tetraploids analysed with respect to their diploid parent, revealing a stochastic trend in the changes observed. The morpho-anatomical consequences of polyploidization were studied in leaf main veins and stomata. With only a few exceptions, analyses showed no clear superiority of tetraploids in terms of leaf thickness and area, vessel number, lumen size and vessel wall thickness, stomata pore length and width, guard cell width, and stomatal density compared with their diploid progenitors. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that there are no traits systematically associated with autopolyploidy. PMID:23307917

  20. Spatial scale and cross-taxon congruence of terrestrial vertebrate and vascular plant species richness in China.

    PubMed

    Qian, Hong; Kissling, W Daniel

    2010-04-01

    In ecology and biogeography it is often recognized that the species richness of different groups of organisms is spatially congruent (and thus positively correlated). However, ecological phenomena are often scale dependent and can change with spatial scale (i.e., grain size and extent). Because species richness gradients are also correlated with environmental gradients and plant species richness is thought to influence animal species richness, the relative roles of environment and plant richness in influencing cross-taxon congruence of animal richness at different spatial scales remain poorly explored. In this study, we examine the spatial concordance in species richness among terrestrial vertebrates and vascular plants at two spatial grain sizes (local and regional) across China. We hypothesize that (H1) cross-taxon richness relationships are weaker at the local scale; (H2) climatic predictors of species richness are stronger at the regional scale; (H3) effects of habitat heterogeneity on species richness are stronger at the local scale; (H4) plant richness positively affects vertebrate richness after accounting for environmental effects; and (H5) the plant-vertebrate richness relationship is weaker at the regional scale. We found significant and positive correlations between species richness of the groups, with correlations being stronger at the regional scale than at the local scale (supporting H1). Climate has weaker effects on species richness at the regional scale than at the local scale (rejecting H2), and for vertebrates (but not for plants) effects of habitat heterogeneity are stronger at the local scale (supporting hypothesis H3). Plant richness positively affects vertebrate richness after accounting for environmental effects (supporting H4), but the effect is stronger for the two endothermic groups (mammals and birds) than for the two ectothermic groups (reptiles and amphibians). In contrast to hypothesis H5, the effect of plant richness on species

  1. Reactive oxygen species generation and signaling in plants

    PubMed Central

    Tripathy, Baishnab Charan; Oelmüller, Ralf

    2012-01-01

    The introduction of molecular oxygen into the atmosphere was accompanied by the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) as side products of many biochemical reactions. ROS are permanently generated in plastids, peroxisomes, mitochiondria, the cytosol and the apoplast. Imbalance between ROS generation and safe detoxification generates oxidative stress and the accumulating ROS are harmful for the plants. On the other hand, specific ROS function as signaling molecules and activate signal transduction processes in response to various stresses. Here, we summarize the generation of ROS in the different cellular compartments and the signaling processes which are induced by ROS. PMID:23072988

  2. 45 CFR 670.25 - Designation of specially protected species of native mammals, birds, and plants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

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

  3. 45 CFR 670.25 - Designation of specially protected species of native mammals, birds, and plants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

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

  4. 45 CFR 670.25 - Designation of specially protected species of native mammals, birds, and plants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

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

  5. 45 CFR 670.25 - Designation of specially protected species of native mammals, birds, and plants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

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

  6. 45 CFR 670.25 - Designation of specially protected species of native mammals, birds, and plants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

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

  7. Ex situ cultivation affects genetic structure and diversity in arable plants.

    PubMed

    Brütting, C; Hensen, I; Wesche, K

    2013-05-01

    Worldwide, botanical gardens cultivate around 80,000 taxa, corresponding to approximately one-quarter of all vascular plants. Most cultivated taxa are, however, held in a small number of collections, and mostly only in small populations. Lack of genetic exchange and stochastic processes in small populations make them susceptible to detrimental genetic effects, which should be most severe in annual species, as sowing cycles are often short. In order to assess whether ex situ cultivation affects genetic diversity of annuals, five annual arable species with similar breeding systems were assessed with 42 in situ populations being compared to 20 ex situ populations using a random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis approach. Population sizes tended to be lower under ex situ cultivation and levels of genetic diversity also tended to be lower in four of the five species, with differences being significant in only two. Ex situ populations showed incomplete representation of alleles found in the wild. The duration of cultivation did not indicate any effect on genetic diversity. This implies that cultivation strategies resulted in different genetic structures in the garden populations. Although not unequivocally pronounced, differences nonetheless imply that conservation strategies in the involved gardens may need improvement. One option is cold storage of seeds, a practice that is not currently followed in the studied ex situ collections. This may reflect that the respective gardens focus on displaying living plant populations.

  8. Effects of metal lead on growth and mycorrhizae of an invasive plant species (Solidago canadensis L.).

    PubMed

    Yang, Ruyi; Yu, Guodong; Tang, Jianjun; Chen, Xin

    2008-01-01

    It is less known whether and how soil metal lead (Pb) impacts the invasion of exotic plants. A greenhouse experiment was conducted to estimate the effects of lead on the growth and mycorrhizae of an invasive species (Solidago canadensis L.) in a microcosm system. Each microcosm unit was separated into HOST and TEST compartments by a replaceable mesh screen that allowed arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungal hyphae rather than plant roots to grow into the TEST compartments. Three Pb levels (control, 300, and 600 mg/kg soil) were used in this study to simulate ambient soil and two pollution sites where S. canadensis grows. Mycorrhizal inoculum comprised five indigenous arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal species (Glomus mosseae, Glomus versiform, Glomus diaphanum, Glomus geosporum, and Glomus etunicatum). The 15N isotope tracer was used to quantify the mycorrhizally mediated nitrogen acquisition of plants. The results showed that S. canadensis was highly dependent on mycorrhizae. The Pb additions significantly decreased biomass and arbuscular mycorrhizal colonization (root length colonized, RLC%) but did not affect spore numbers, N (including total N and 15N) and P uptake. The facilitating efficiency of mycorrhizae on nutrient acquisition was promoted by Pb treatments. The Pb was mostly sequestered in belowground of plant (root and rhizome). The results suggest that the high efficiency of mycorrhizae on nutrient uptake might give S. canadensis a great advantage over native species in Pb polluted soils.

  9. Monitoring the Impacts of Severe Drought on Plant Species in Southern California Chaparral

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dennison, P. E.; Coates, A.; Roberts, D. A.; Roth, K. L.

    2015-12-01

    Airborne imaging spectrometer and thermal infrared image data acquired for the Hyperspectral Infrared Imager (HyspIRI) preparatory campaign were used to measure changes in green vegetation fraction and land surface temperature for twelve dominant plant species affected by drought in the Santa Barbara region of California. Relative green vegetation fraction was calculated from seasonally-acquired Airborne Visible Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) data using pre-drought 2011 AVIRIS data as a baseline. Land surface temperature was retrieved from MODIS-ASTER Simulator (MASTER) data. Deeply rooted tree species, tree species found on more mesic north-facing slopes, and tree species found in riparian areas had the least change in relative green vegetation fraction in 2013 and 2014 (e.g. QUAG and UMCA in the figure below). Coastal sage scrub and chaparral shrub species demonstrated greater variability as well as a long-term decline in relative green vegetation fraction. Three Ceanothus species (CECU, CEME, and CESP in the figure below) had more severe reductions in relative green vegetation fraction in comparison to another common chaparral shrub species, Adenostoma fasciculatum (ADFA). Species formed clusters in the space defined by land surface temperature and relative green vegetation fraction. Declining relative green vegetation fraction corresponded with increasing land surface temperature. Combined, routine acquisition of imaging spectrometer and thermal infrared imagery should provide new opportunities for monitoring drought impacts on ecosystems.

  10. Affective imagery and acceptance of replacing nuclear power plants.

    PubMed

    Keller, Carmen; Visschers, Vivianne; Siegrist, Michael

    2012-03-01

    This study examined the relationship between the content of spontaneous associations with nuclear power plants and the acceptance of using new-generation nuclear power plants to replace old ones. The study also considered gender as a variable. A representative sample of the German- and French-speaking population of Switzerland (N= 1,221) was used. Log-linear models revealed significant two-way interactions between the association content and acceptance, association content and gender, and gender and acceptance. Correspondence analysis revealed that participants who were opposed to nuclear power plants mainly associated nuclear power plants with risk, negative feelings, accidents, radioactivity, waste disposal, military use, and negative consequences for health and environment; whereas participants favoring nuclear power plants mainly associated them with energy, appearance descriptions of nuclear power plants, and necessity. Thus, individuals opposing nuclear power plants had both more concrete and more diverse associations with them than people who were in favor of nuclear power plants. In addition, participants who were undecided often mentioned similar associations to those participants who were in favor. Males more often expressed associations with energy, waste disposal, and negative health effects. Females more often made associations with appearance descriptions, negative feelings, and negative environmental effects. The results further suggest that acceptance of replacing nuclear power plants was higher in the German-speaking part of the country, where all of the Swiss nuclear power plants are physically located. Practical implications for risk communication are discussed.

  11. Biochar mitigates negative effects of salt additions on two herbaceous plant species.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Sean C; Frye, Susan; Gale, Nigel; Garmon, Matthew; Launchbury, Rebecca; Machado, Natasha; Melamed, Sarah; Murray, Jessica; Petroff, Alexandre; Winsborough, Carolyn

    2013-11-15

    Addition of pyrolyzed biomass ("biochar") to soils has commonly been shown to increase crop yields and alleviate plant stresses associated with drought and exposure to toxic materials. Here we investigate the ability of biochar (at two dosages: 5 and 50 t ha(-1)) to mitigate salt-induced stress, simulating road salt additions in a factorial glasshouse experiment involving the broadleaved herbaceous plants Abutilon theophrasti and Prunella vulgaris. Salt additions of 30 g m(-2) NaCl to unamended soils resulted in high mortality rates for both species. Biochar (Fagus grandifolia sawdust pyrolyzed at 378 °C), when applied at 50 t ha(-1) as a top dressing, completely alleviated salt-induced mortality in A. theophrasti and prolonged survival of P. vulgaris. Surviving A. theophrasti plants that received both 50 t ha(-1) biochar and salt addition treatments showed growth rates and physiological performance similar to plants without salt addition. Biochar treatments alone also substantially increased biomass of P. vulgaris, with a ∼50% increase relative to untreated controls at both biochar dosages. Biochar did not significantly affect photosynthetic carbon gain (Amax), water use efficiency, or chlorophyll fluorescence (Fv/Fm) in either species. Our results indicate that biochar can ameliorate salt stress effects on plants through salt sorption, suggesting novel applications of biochar to mitigate effects of salinization in agricultural, urban, and contaminated soils.

  12. Colorimetric method for identifying plant essential oil components that affect biofilm formation and structure.

    PubMed

    Niu, C; Gilbert, E S

    2004-12-01

    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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1999-01-01

    (adjacent and distant 1000-m2 plots) in the same vegetation type overlapped just 48.6 ?? 3.6%, and the ungrazed plots and distant grazed plots overlapped 49.4 ?? 3.6%. Differences in vegetation and soils between grazed and ungrazed sites were minimal in most cases, but soil characteristics and elevation were strongly correlated with native and exotic plant diversity in the study region. For the 78 1000-m2 plots, 59.4% of the variance in total species richness was explained by percentage of silt (coefficient = 0.647, t = 5.107, P < 0.001), elevation (coefficient = 0.012, t = 5.084, P < 0.001), and total foliar cover (coefficient = 0.110, t = 2.104, P < 0.039). Only 12.8% of the variance in exotic species cover (log10cover) was explained by percentage of clay (coefficient = -0.011, t = -2.878, P < 0.005), native species richness (coefficient = -0.011, t = -2.156, P < 0.034), and log10N (coefficient = 2.827, t = 1.860, P < 0.067). Native species cover and exotic species richness and frequency were also significantly positively correlated with percentage of soil N at the 1000-m2 plot scale. Our research led to five broad generalizations about current levels of grazing in these Rocky Mountain grasslands: (1) grazing probably has little effect on native species richness at landscape scales; (2) grazing probably has little effect on the accelerated spread of most exotic plant species at landscape scales; (3) grazing affects local plant species and life-form composition and cover, but spatial variation is considerable; (4) soil characteristics, climate, and disturbances may have a greater effect on plant species diversity than do current levels of grazing; and (5) few plant species show consistent, directional responses to grazing or cessation of grazing.

  14. Traffic noise affects forest bird species in a protected tropical forest.

    PubMed

    Arévalo, J Edgardo; Newhard, Kimberly

    2011-06-01

    have conservation as well as management implications. A decrease in bird species richness and bird abundance due to intrusive road noise could negatively affect the use of trails by visitors. Alternatives for noise attenuation in the affected forest area include the enforcement of speed limits and the planting of live barriers.

  15. DNA Barcoding for Efficient Species- and Pathovar-Level Identification of the Quarantine Plant Pathogen Xanthomonas

    PubMed Central

    Tian, Qian; Zhao, Wenjun; Lu, Songyu; Zhu, Shuifang; Li, Shidong

    2016-01-01

    Genus Xanthomonas comprises many economically important plant pathogens that affect a wide range of hosts. Indeed, fourteen Xanthomonas species/pathovars have been regarded as official quarantine bacteria for imports in China. To date, however, a rapid and accurate method capable of identifying all of the quarantine species/pathovars has yet to be developed. In this study, we therefore evaluated the capacity of DNA barcoding as a digital identification method for discriminating quarantine species/pathovars of Xanthomonas. For these analyses, 327 isolates, representing 45 Xanthomonas species/pathovars, as well as five additional species/pathovars from GenBank (50 species/pathovars total), were utilized to test the efficacy of four DNA barcode candidate genes (16S rRNA gene, cpn60, gyrB, and avrBs2). Of these candidate genes, cpn60 displayed the highest rate of PCR amplification and sequencing success. The tree-building (Neighbor-joining), ‘best close match’, and barcode gap methods were subsequently employed to assess the species- and pathovar-level resolution of each gene. Notably, all isolates of each quarantine species/pathovars formed a monophyletic group in the neighbor-joining tree constructed using the cpn60 sequences. Moreover, cpn60 also demonstrated the most satisfactory results in both barcoding gap analysis and the ‘best close match’ test. Thus, compared with the other markers tested, cpn60 proved to be a powerful DNA barcode, providing a reliable and effective means for the species- and pathovar-level identification of the quarantine plant pathogen Xanthomonas. PMID:27861494

  16. Effect of plant species on nitrogen recovery in aquaponics.

    PubMed

    Hu, Zhen; Lee, Jae Woo; Chandran, Kartik; Kim, Sungpyo; Brotto, Ariane Coelho; Khanal, Samir Kumar

    2015-01-01

    Nitrogen transformations in aquaponics with different edible plant species, i.e., tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) and pak choi (Brassica campestris L. subsp. chinensis) were systematically examined and compared. Results showed that nitrogen utilization efficiencies (NUE) of tomato- and pak choi-based aquaponic systems were 41.3% and 34.4%, respectively. The abundance of nitrifying bacteria in tomato-based aquaponics was 4.2-folds higher than that in pak choi-based aquaponics, primarily due to its higher root surface area. In addition, tomato-based aquaponics had better water quality than that of pak choi-based aquaponics. About 1.5-1.9% of nitrogen input were emitted to atmosphere as nitrous oxide (N2O) in tomato- and pak choi-based aquaponic systems, respectively, suggesting that aquaponics is a potential anthropogenic source of N2O emission. Overall, this is the first intensive study that examined the role plant species played in aquaponics, which could provide new strategy in designing and operating an aquaponic system.

  17. Evaluating nurse plants for restoring native woody species to degraded subtropical woodlands.

    PubMed

    Yelenik, Stephanie G; DiManno, Nicole; D'Antonio, Carla M

    2015-01-01

    Harsh habitats dominated by invasive species are difficult to restore. Invasive grasses in arid environments slow succession toward more desired composition, yet grass removal exacerbates high light and temperature, making the use of "nurse plants" an appealing strategy. In this study of degraded subtropical woodlands dominated by alien grasses in Hawai'i, we evaluated whether individuals of two native (Dodonaea viscosa, Leptocophylla tameiameia) and one non-native (Morella faya) woody species (1) act as natural nodes of recruitment for native woody species and (2) can be used to enhance survivorship of outplanted native woody species. To address these questions, we quantified the presence and persistence of seedlings naturally recruiting beneath adult nurse shrubs and compared survival and growth of experimentally outplanted seedlings of seven native woody species under the nurse species compared to intact and cleared alien-grass plots. We found that the two native nurse shrubs recruit their own offspring, but do not act as establishment nodes for other species. Morella faya recruited even fewer seedlings than native shrubs. Thus, outplanting will be necessary to increase abundance and diversity of native woody species. Outplant survival was the highest under shrubs compared to away from them with few differences between nurse species. The worst habitat for native seedling survival and growth was within the unmanaged invasive grass matrix. Although the two native nurse species did not differentially affect outplant survival, D. viscosa is the most widespread and easily propagated and is thus more likely to be useful as an initial nurse species. The outplanted species showed variable responses to nurse habitats that we attribute to resource requirements resulting from their typical successional stage and nitrogen fixation capability.

  18. 7-Rhamnosylated Flavonols Modulate Homeostasis of the Plant Hormone Auxin and Affect Plant Development*

    PubMed Central

    Kuhn, Benjamin M.; Errafi, Sanae; Bucher, Rahel; Dobrev, Petre; Geisler, Markus; Bigler, Laurent; Zažímalová, Eva; Ringli, Christoph

    2016-01-01

    Flavonols are a group of secondary metabolites that affect diverse cellular processes. They are considered putative negative regulators of the transport of the phytohormone auxin, by which they influence auxin distribution and concomitantly take part in the control of plant organ development. Flavonols are accumulating in a large number of glycosidic forms. Whether these have distinct functions and diverse cellular targets is not well understood. The rol1-2 mutant of Arabidopsis thaliana is characterized by a modified flavonol glycosylation profile that is inducing changes in auxin transport and growth defects in shoot tissues. To determine whether specific flavonol glycosides are responsible for these phenotypes, a suppressor screen was performed on the rol1-2 mutant, resulting in the identification of an allelic series of UGT89C1, a gene encoding a flavonol 7-O-rhamnosyltransferase. A detailed analysis revealed that interfering with flavonol rhamnosylation increases the concentration of auxin precursors and auxin metabolites, whereas auxin transport is not affected. This finding provides an additional level of complexity to the possible ways by which flavonols influence auxin distribution and suggests that flavonol glycosides play an important role in regulating plant development. PMID:26742840

  19. 7-Rhamnosylated Flavonols Modulate Homeostasis of the Plant Hormone Auxin and Affect Plant Development.

    PubMed

    Kuhn, Benjamin M; Errafi, Sanae; Bucher, Rahel; Dobrev, Petre; Geisler, Markus; Bigler, Laurent; Zažímalová, Eva; Ringli, Christoph

    2016-03-04

    Flavonols are a group of secondary metabolites that affect diverse cellular processes. They are considered putative negative regulators of the transport of the phytohormone auxin, by which they influence auxin distribution and concomitantly take part in the control of plant organ development. Flavonols are accumulating in a large number of glycosidic forms. Whether these have distinct functions and diverse cellular targets is not well understood. The rol1-2 mutant of Arabidopsis thaliana is characterized by a modified flavonol glycosylation profile that is inducing changes in auxin transport and growth defects in shoot tissues. To determine whether specific flavonol glycosides are responsible for these phenotypes, a suppressor screen was performed on the rol1-2 mutant, resulting in the identification of an allelic series of UGT89C1, a gene encoding a flavonol 7-O-rhamnosyltransferase. A detailed analysis revealed that interfering with flavonol rhamnosylation increases the concentration of auxin precursors and auxin metabolites, whereas auxin transport is not affected. This finding provides an additional level of complexity to the possible ways by which flavonols influence auxin distribution and suggests that flavonol glycosides play an important role in regulating plant development.

  20. Analysis of the Prefoldin Gene Family in 14 Plant Species

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Jun

    2016-01-01

    Prefoldin is a hexameric molecular chaperone complex present in all eukaryotes and archaea. The evolution of this gene family in plants is unknown. Here, I identified 140 prefoldin genes in 14 plant species. These prefoldin proteins were divided into nine groups through phylogenetic analysis. Highly conserved gene organization and motif distribution exist in each prefoldin group, implying their functional conservation. I also observed the segmental duplication of maize prefoldin gene family. Moreover, a few functional divergence sites were identified within each group pairs. Functional network analyses identified 78 co-expressed genes, and most of them were involved in carrying, binding and kinase activity. Divergent expression profiles of the maize prefoldin genes were further investigated in different tissues and development periods and under auxin and some abiotic stresses. I also found a few cis-elements responding to abiotic stress and phytohormone in the upstream sequences of the maize prefoldin genes. The results provided a foundation for exploring the characterization of the prefoldin genes in plants and will offer insights for additional functional studies. PMID:27014333

  1. Reactive oxygen species in response of plants to gravity stress

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jadko, Sergiy

    2016-07-01

    Reactive oxygen species (ROS) as second messengers can induce stress response of plants. Thioredoxins (Trx) and peroxiredoxins (Prx) can function as sensors and transmitters of the ROS in stress signaling and antioxidant response. 12-14 days old tissue culture of Arabidopsis thaliana have been investigated. Hypergravity stress was induced by centrifugation at 10 and 20 g during 30 and 90 min and than intensity of spontaneous chemiluminescence (SChL/ROS content), Trx and Prx activities were determined. All experiments were repeated from 3 to 5 times and the obtained data were statistically treated. In the tissue culture under development of the stress there were an increase in intensity of SChL and Trx and Prx activities. Thus, under hypergravity stress in the plant occurred early increase in the ROS level and the ROS induced the increase in the Trx and Prx activities. Prx and Trx can also participate in the formation of stress respons as acceptors and transducers of the redox signals. Increase in the activity of these enzymes primarily aimed at increasing of the total antioxidant activity in the cells to prevent of the plant to development of oxidative degradation by ROS.

  2. Sitona lineatus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) Larval Feeding on Pisum sativum L. Affects Soil and Plant Nitrogen.

    PubMed

    Cárcamo, Héctor A; Herle, Carolyn E; Lupwayi, Newton Z

    2015-01-01

    Adults of Sitona lineatus (pea leaf weevil, PLW) feed on foliage of several Fabaceae species but larvae prefer to feed on nodules of Pisum sativum L. and Vicia faba L. Indirectly, through their feeding on rhizobia, weevils can reduce soil and plant available nitrogen (N). However, initial soil N can reduce nodulation and damage by the weevil and reduce control requirements. Understanding these interactions is necessary to make integrated pest management recommendations for PLW. We conducted a greenhouse study to quantify nodulation, soil and plant N content, and nodule damage by weevil larvae in relation to soil N amendment with urea, thiamethoxam insecticide seed coating and crop stage. PLWs reduced the number of older tumescent (multilobed) nodules and thiamethoxam addition increased them regardless of other factors. Nitrogen amendment significantly increased soil available N (>99% nitrate) as expected and PLW presence was associated with significantly lower levels of soil N. PLW decreased plant N content at early flower and thiamethoxam increased it, particularly at late flower. The study illustrated the complexity of interactions that determine insect herbivory effects on plant and soil nutrition for invertebrates that feed on N-fixing root nodules. We conclude that effects of PLW on nodulation and subsequent effects on plant nitrogen are more pronounced during the early growth stages of the plant. This suggests the importance of timing of PLW infestation and may explain the lack of yield depression in relation to this pest observed in many field studies. Also, pea crops in soils with high levels of soil N are unlikely to be affected by this herbivore and should not require insecticide inputs.

  3. Sitona lineatus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) Larval Feeding on Pisum sativum L. Affects Soil and Plant Nitrogen

    PubMed Central

    Cárcamo, Héctor A.; Herle, Carolyn E.; Lupwayi, Newton Z.

    2015-01-01

    Adults of Sitona lineatus (pea leaf weevil, PLW) feed on foliage of several Fabaceae species but larvae prefer to feed on nodules of Pisum sativum L. and Vicia faba L. Indirectly, through their feeding on rhizobia, weevils can reduce soil and plant available nitrogen (N). However, initial soil N can reduce nodulation and damage by the weevil and reduce control requirements. Understanding these interactions is necessary to make integrated pest management recommendations for PLW. We conducted a greenhouse study to quantify nodulation, soil and plant N content, and nodule damage by weevil larvae in relation to soil N amendment with urea, thiamethoxam insecticide seed coating and crop stage. PLWs reduced the number of older tumescent (multilobed) nodules and thiamethoxam addition increased them regardless of other factors. Nitrogen amendment significantly increased soil available N (>99% nitrate) as expected and PLW presence was associated with significantly lower levels of soil N. PLW decreased plant N content at early flower and thiamethoxam increased it, particularly at late flower. The study illustrated the complexity of interactions that determine insect herbivory effects on plant and soil nutrition for invertebrates that feed on N-fixing root nodules. We conclude that effects of PLW on nodulation and subsequent effects on plant nitrogen are more pronounced during the early growth stages of the plant. This suggests the importance of timing of PLW infestation and may explain the lack of yield depression in relation to this pest observed in many field studies. Also, pea crops in soils with high levels of soil N are unlikely to be affected by this herbivore and should not require insecticide inputs. PMID:26106086

  4. Antifungal Effect of Plant Essential Oils on Controlling Phytophthora Species

    PubMed Central

    Amini, Jahanshir; Farhang, Vahid; Javadi, Taimoor; Nazemi, Javad

    2016-01-01

    In this study, antifungal activity of essential oils of Cymbopogon citratus and Ocimum basilicum and two fungicides Mancozeb and Metalaxyl-Mancozeb in six different concentrations were investigated for controlling three species of Phytophthora, including P. capsici, P. drechsleri and P. melonis on pepper, cucumber and melon under in vitro and greenhouse conditions, respectively. Under the in vitro condition, the median effective concen- tration (EC50) values (ppm) of plant essential oils and fungicides were measured. In greenhouse, soil infested with Phytophthora species was treated by adding 50 ml of essential oils and fungicides (100 ppm). Disease severity was determined after 28 days. Among two tested plant essential oils, C. citratus had the lowest EC50 values for inhibition of the mycelial growth of P. capsici (31.473), P. melonis (33.097) and P. drechsleri (69.112), respectively. The mean EC50 values for Metalaxyl-Mancozeb on these pathogens were 20.87, 20.06 and 17.70, respectively. Chemical analysis of plant essential oils by GC-MS showed that, among 42 compounds identified from C. citratus, two compounds β-geranial (α-citral) (39.16%) and z-citral (30.95%) were the most abundant. Under the greenhouse condition, Metalaxyl-Mancozeb caused the greatest reduction in disease severity, 84.2%, 86.8% and 92.1% on melon, cucumber, and pepper, respectively. The C. citratus essential oil reduced disease severity from 47.4% to 60.5% compared to the untreated control (p≤0.05). Essential oils of O. basilicum had the lowest effects on the pathogens under in vitro and greenhouse conditions. These results show that essential oils may contribute to the development of new antifungal agents to protect the crops from Phytophthora diseases. PMID:26889111

  5. Historic land use influences contemporary establishment of invasive plant species.

    PubMed

    Mattingly, W Brett; Orrock, John L

    2013-08-01

    The legacy of agricultural land use can have widespread and persistent effects on contemporary landscapes. Although agriculture can lead to persistent changes in soil characteristics and plant communities, it remains unclear whether historic agricultural land use can alter the likelihood of contemporary biological invasions. To understand how agricultural land-use history might interact with well-known drivers of invasion, we conducted factorial manipulations of soil disturbance and resource additions within non-agricultural remnant sites and post-agricultural sites invaded by two non-native Lespedeza species. Our results reveal that variation in invader success can depend on the interplay of historic land use and contemporary processes: for both Lespedeza species, establishment was greater in remnant sites, but soil disturbance enhanced establishment irrespective of land-use history, demonstrating that contemporary processes can help to overcome legacy constraints on invader success. In contrast, additions of resources known to facilitate seedling recruitment (N and water) reduced invader establishment in post-agricultural but not in remnant sites, providing evidence that interactions between historic and contemporary processes can also limit invader success. Our findings thus illustrate that a consideration of historic land use may help to clarify the often contingent responses of invasive plants to known determinants of invasibility. Moreover, in finding significantly greater soil compaction at post-agricultural sites, our study provides a putative mechanism for historic land-use effects on contemporary invasive plant establishment. Our work suggests that an understanding of invasion dynamics requires knowledge of anthropogenic events that often occur decades before the introduction of invasive propagules.

  6. Plant Functional Diversity and Species Diversity in the Mongolian Steppe

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Guofang; Xie, Xiufang; Ye, Duo; Ye, Xuehua; Tuvshintogtokh, Indree; Mandakh, Bayart; Huang, Zhenying; Dong, Ming

    2013-01-01

    Background The Mongolian steppe is one of the most important grasslands in the world but suffers from aridization and damage from anthropogenic activities. Understanding structure and function of this community is important for the ecological conservation, but has seldom been investigated. Methodology/Principal Findings In this study, a total of 324 quadrats located on the three main types of Mongolian steppes were surveyed. Early-season perennial forbs (37% of total importance value), late-season annual forbs (33%) and late-season perennial forbs (44%) were dominant in meadow, typical and desert steppes, respectively. Species richness, diversity and plant functional type (PFT) richness decreased from the meadow, via typical to desert steppes, but evenness increased; PFT diversity in the desert and meadow steppes was higher than that in typical steppe. However, above-ground net primary productivity (ANPP) was far lower in desert steppe than in the other two steppes. In addition, the slope of the relationship between species richness and PFT richness increased from the meadow, via typical to desert steppes. Similarly, with an increase in species diversity, PFT diversity increased more quickly in both the desert and typical steppes than that in meadow steppe. Random resampling suggested that this coordination was partly due to a sampling effect of diversity. Conclusions/Significance These results indicate that desert steppe should be strictly protected because of its limited functional redundancy, which its ecological functioning is sensitive to species loss. In contrast, despite high potential forage production shared by the meadow and typical steppes, management of these two types of steppes should be different: meadow steppe should be preserved due to its higher conservation value characterized by more species redundancy and higher spatial heterogeneity, while typical steppe could be utilized moderately because its dominant grass genus Stipa is resistant to

  7. Spatial heterogeneity in three species, plant-parasite-hyperparasite, systems

    PubMed Central

    White, K. A. J.

    1998-01-01

    This paper addresses the question of how heterogeneity may evolve due to interactions between the dynamics and movement of three-species systems involving hosts, parasites and hyperparasites in homogeneous environments. The models are motivated by the spread of soil-borne parasites within plant populations, where the hyperparasite is used as a biological control agent but where patchiness in the distribution of the parasite occurs, even when environmental conditions are apparently homogeneous. However, the models are introduced in generic form as three-species reaction-diffusion systems so that they have broad applicability to a range of ecological systems. We establish necessary criteria for the occurrence of population-driven patterning via diffusion-driven instability. Sufficient conditions are obtained for restricted cases with no host movement. The criteria are similar to those for the well-documented two-species reaction-diffusion system, although more possibilities arise for spatial patterning with three species. In particular, temporally varying patterns, that may be responsible for the apparent drifting of hot-spots of disease and periodic occurrence of disease at a given location, are possible when three species interact. We propose that the criteria can be used to screen population interactions, to distinguish those that cannot cause patterning from those that may give rise to population-driven patterning. This establishes a basic dynamical 'landscape' against which other perturbations, including environmentally driven variations, can be analysed and distinguished from population-driven patterns. By applying the theory to a specific model example for host-parasite-hyperparasite interactions both with and without host movement, we show directly how the evolution of spatial pattern is related to biologically meaningful parameters. In particular, we demonstrate that when there is strong density dependence limiting host growth, the pattern is stable over

  8. A century of ecosystem change: human and seabird impacts on plant species extirpation and invasion on islands

    PubMed Central

    Bennett, Joseph R.; Blight, Louise K.; Giesen, Marissa; Janssen, Michael H.; Schaminée, Joop J.H.J.; Arcese, Peter

    2016-01-01

    We used 116 years of floral and faunal records from Mandarte Island, British Columbia, Canada, to estimate the indirect effects of humans on plant communities via their effects on the population size of a surface-nesting, colonial seabird, the Glaucous-winged gull (Larus glaucescens). Comparing current to historical records revealed 18 extirpations of native plant species (32% of species historically present), 31 exotic species introductions, and one case of exotic introduction followed by extirpation. Contemporary surveys indicated that native species cover declined dramatically from 1986 to 2006, coincident with the extirpation of ‘old-growth’ conifers. Because vegetation change co-occurred with an increasing gull population locally and regionally, we tested several predictions from the hypothesis that the presence and activities of seabirds help to explain those changes. Specifically, we predicted that on Mandarte and nearby islands with gull colonies, we should observe higher nutrient loading and exotic plant species richness and cover than on nearby islands without gull colonies, as a consequence of competitive dominance in species adapted to high soil nitrogen and trampling. As predicted, we found that native plant species cover and richness were lower, and exotic species cover and richness higher, on islands with versus without gull colonies. In addition, we found that soil carbon and nitrogen on islands with nesting gulls were positively related to soil depth and exotic species richness and cover across plots and islands. Our results support earlier suggestions that nesting seabirds can drive rapid change in insular plant communities by increasing nutrients and disturbing vegetation, and that human activities that affect seabird abundance may therefore indirectly affect plant community composition on islands with seabird colonies. PMID:27547531

  9. Honeydew feeding in the solitary bee Osmia bicornis as affected by aphid species and nectar availability.

    PubMed

    Konrad, Roger; Wäckers, Felix L; Romeis, Jörg; Babendreier, Dirk

    2009-12-01

    Like honey bees (Apis mellifera), non-Apis bees could exploit honeydew as a carbohydrate source. In addition to providing carbohydrates, this may expose them to potentially harmful plant products secreted in honeydew. However, knowledge on honeydew feeding by solitary bees is very scarce. Here we determine whether the polylectic solitary bee Osmia bicornis (=O. rufa) collects honeydew under semi-field conditions, and whether this is affected by aphid species and presence of floral nectar. Bees were provided with oilseed rape plants containing flowers and/or colonies of either Myzus persicae or Brevicoryne brassicae. We used the total sugar level of the bee crop as a measure of the individual's nutritional state and the oligosaccharide erlose as indicator for honeydew consumption. Erlose was present in honeydews from both aphid species, while absent in oilseed rape nectar, nor being synthesized by O. bicornis. When bees were confined to a single honeydew type as the only carbohydrate source, consumption of M. persicae honeydew was confirmed for 47% of the bees and consumption of B. brassicae honeydew for only 3%. Increased mortality in the latter treatment provided further evidence that B. brassicae honeydew is an unsuitable food source for O. bicornis. All bees that were given the choice between honeydew and floral nectar showed significantly increased total sugar levels. However, the fact that no erlose was detected in these bees indicates that honeydew was not consumed when suitable floral nectar was available. This study demonstrates that honeydew exploitation by O. bicornis is dependent on honeydew type and the presence of floral nectar.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  12. The effects of aluminium on plant growth in a temperate and deciduous aluminium accumulating species

    PubMed Central

    Schmitt, Marco; Watanabe, Toshihiro; Jansen, Steven

    2016-01-01

    Aluminium (Al) is a phytotoxic element affecting the growth and yield of many crop plants, especially in the tropics. Yet, some plants are able to accumulate high levels of Al. The monogeneric family Symplocaceae represents an Al accumulating family including many tropical and evergreen species with high Al levels in their above ground plant tissues. It is unclear, however, whether Al accumulation also characterises temperate species of Symplocos, and whether or not the uptake has a beneficial growth effect. Here, we investigate if the temperate, deciduous species Symplocos paniculata is able to accumulate Al by growing seedlings and saplings in a hydroponic setup at pH 4 with and without Al. Pyrocatechol-violet (PCV) and aluminon staining was performed to visualize Al accumulation in various plant tissues. Both seedlings and saplings accumulate Al in their tissues if available. Mean Al levels in leaves were 4107 (±1474 mg kg−1) and 4290 (±4025 mg kg−1) for the seedlings and saplings, respectively. The saplings treated without Al showed a high mortality rate unlike the Al accumulating ones. The seedlings, however, showed no difference in growth and vitality between the two treatments. The saplings treated with Al showed new twig, leaf and root development, resulting in a considerable biomass increase. PCV and aluminon staining indicated the presence of Al in leaf, wood and bark tissue of the plants. S. paniculata shares the capacity to accumulate Al with its tropical sister species and is suggested to be a facultative accumulator. Whether or not Al has a beneficial effect remains unclear, due to developmental differences between seedlings and saplings. Al is suggested to be transported via the xylem transport system into the leaves, which show the highest Al levels. Radial transport via ray parenchyma to bark tissue is also likely given the high Al concentrations in the bark tissue. PMID:27613876

  13. Similarities and differences in rubber biochemistry among plant species.

    PubMed

    Cornish, K

    2001-08-01

    This report reviews aspects of the biochemical regulation of rubber yield and rubber quality in three contrasting rubber-producing species, Hevea brasiliensis, Parthenium argentatum and Ficus elastica. Although many similarities are revealed, considerable differences also exist in enzymatic mechanisms regulating biosynthetic rate and the molecular weight of the rubber biopolymers produced. In all three species, rubber molecule initiation, biosynthetic rate and molecular weight, in vitro, are dependent upon substrate concentration and the ratio of isopentenyl pyrophosphate (IPP, the elongation substrate, or monomer) and farnesyl pyrophosphate (FPP, an initiator), but these parameters are affected by intrinsic properties of the rubber transferases as well. All three rubber transferases are capable of producing a wide range of rubber molecular weight, depending upon substrate concentration, clearly demonstrating that the transferases are not the prime determinants of product size in vivo. However, despite these commonalities, considerable differences exist between the species with respect to cosubstrate effects, binding constants, effective concentration ranges, and the role of negative cooperativity in vitro. The P. argentatum rubber transferase appears to exert more control over the molecular weight it produces than the other two species and may, therefore, provide the best prospect for the source of genes for transformation of annual crop species. The kinetic data, from the three contrasting rubber-producing species, also were used to develop a model of the rubber transferase active site in which, in addition to separate IPP and allylic-PP binding sites, there exists a hydrophobic region that interacts with the linear portion of allylic-PP initiator proximal to the pyrophosphate. Substrate affinity increases until the active site is traversed and the rubber interior of the rubber particle is reached. The kinetic data suggest that the hydrophobic region in H

  14. Comprehensive Cooling Water Study: Volume 6, Federally endangered species, Savannah River Plant: Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Mackey, H.E.

    1987-09-01

    The Comprehensive Cooling Water Study (CCWS) was initiated in 1983 to evaluate the environmental effects of the intake and release of cooling water on the structure and function of aquatic ecosystems at the Savannah River Plant. The initial report described the results from the first year of the study. This document is the final report and concludes the program. The report comprises eight volumes. The Endangered Species Act requires that Federal agencies use their authorities to conduct programs for the conservation of endangered and threatened species and to ensure that agency actions do not jeopardize the continued existence of or result in the destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat of protected species. Those Federally endangered or threatened species that occur on the Savannah River Plant (SRP) include the American alligator, the red-cockaded woodpecker, the shortnose sturgeon, the wood stork, and the bald eagle. Of these species, the alligator, sturgeon, wood stork, and the bald eagle are likely to be affected directly and/or indirectly by the intake or release of cooling water at the SRP. 81 refs., 76 figs., 35 tabs.

  15. Plant species used in traditional smallholder dairy processing in East Shoa, Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Mekonnen, Hailemariam; Lemma, A

    2011-04-01

    Plant species used in traditional dairy processing were studied in three districts (Bosset, Ada, and Gimbichu) in Eastern Shoa, Ethiopia, from October 2007 to March 2008. A total of 300 smallholders were interviewed using semi-structured questionnaires, and three focus group discussions were conducted, followed by plants specimen collection and identification. A total of 36 plant species, falling under 24 plant families, were identified. Nearly half of the identified plant species had more than one use types. Eleven plant species were/are used for washing (scrubbing) dairy utensils, ten plant species for smoking dairy utensils, 12 plant species in butter making, 15 plant species in ghee making, and five plant species for packaging (wrapping) butter and cheese. The plant species that had the highest overall citations from each use category were Ocimum hardiense, Olea europaea subspecies africana, Trachyspermum copticum, Curcuma longa, and Croton macrostachyus. The plant species used in the three study districts, representing different agro ecologies, showed some similarities, but levels of uses differed significantly (P < 0.05). Higher informant citations might indicate their better efficacy, however need to be further investigated to determine their effects on milk and milk product quality and to make sure that they are innocuous to human and animal health. Finally, as the present study tried to document natural products used in traditional dairy processing, it could be considered as part of the global efforts aimed at promoting organic food production.

  16. The predominance of inorganic arsenic species in plants from Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada

    SciTech Connect

    Koch, I.; Wang, L.; Ollson, C.A.; Cullen, W.R.; Reimer, K.J.

    2000-01-01

    Elevated levels of arsenic in Yellowknife, NWT, Canada, from historic and recent gold mine operations, are of increasing concern to Yellowknife residents. The study of arsenic in Yellowknife plants is a part of ongoing bioavailability and food chain research. A variety of plants from Yellowknife were analyzed for total arsenic and water soluble arsenic species. The plants included vascular plants and bryophytes (mosses). Total amounts of arsenic were greatest in mosses and varied greatly within specimens of the same plant species from different locations. Mostly inorganic arsenic species were extracted from plants using methanol/water (1:1). This result is very important from a toxicological point of view, since inorganic species are relatively toxic arsenic species. Small amounts of methylated arsenic species, as well as arsenosugars, were present in some plants. On average, greater than 50% of arsenic in these plants was not extracted; the chemical and toxicological characteristics of this fraction remain a topic for further study.

  17. Regional assessment of ozone sensitive tree species using bioindicator plants.

    PubMed

    Coulston, John W; Smith, Gretchen C; Smith, William D

    2003-04-01

    Tropospheric ozone occurs at phytotoxic levels in the northeastern and mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. Quantifying possible regional-scale impacts of ambient ozone on forest tree species is difficult and is confounded by other factors, such as moisture and light, which influence the uptake of ozone by plants. Biomonitoring provides an approach to document direct foliar injury irrespective of direct measure of ozone uptake. We used bioindicator and field plot data from the USDA Forest Service to identify tree species likely to exhibit regional-scale ozone impacts. Approximately 24% of sampled sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua), 15% of sampled loblolly pine (Pinus taeda), and 12% of sampled black cherry (Prunus serotina) trees were in the highest risk category. Sweetgum and loblolly pine trees were at risk on the coastal plain of Maryland, Virginia and Delaware. Black cherry trees were at risk on the Allegheny Plateau (Pennsylvania), in the Allegheny Mountains (Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Maryland) as well as coastal plain areas of Maryland and Virginia. Our findings indicate a need for more in-depth study of actual impacts on growth and reproduction of these three species.

  18. Seed trait-mediated selection by rodents affects mutualistic interactions and seedling recruitment of co-occurring tree species.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hongmao; Yan, Chuan; Chang, Gang; Zhang, Zhibin

    2016-02-01

    As mutualists, seed dispersers may significantly affect mutualistic interactions and seedling recruitment of sympatric plants that share similar seed dispersers, but studies are rare. Here, we compared seed dispersal fitness in two co-occurring plant species (Armeniaca sibirica and Amygdalus davidiana) that inhabit warm temperate deciduous forest in northern China. We tested the hypothesis that seed trait-mediated selection by rodents may influence mutualistic interactions with rodents and then seedling establishment of co-occurring plant species. A. davidiana seeds are larger and harder (thick endocarps) than A. sibirica seeds, but they have similar levels of nutrients (crude fat, crude protein), caloric value and tannin. More A. sibirica seedlings are found in the field. Semi-natural enclosure tests indicated that the two seed species were both harvested by the same six rodent species, but that A. sibirica had mutualistic interactions (scatter hoarding) with four rodent species (Apodemus peninsulae, A. agrarius, Sciurotamias davidianus, Tamias sibiricus), and A. davidiana with only one (S. davidianus). Tagged seed dispersal experiments in the field indicated that more A. sibirica seeds were scatter-hoarded by rodents, and more A. sibirica seeds survived to the next spring and became seedlings. A. sibirica seeds derive more benefit from seed dispersal by rodents than A. davidiana seeds, particularly in years with limited seed dispersers, which well explained the higher seedling recruitment of A. sibirica compared with that of A. davidiana under natural conditions. Our results suggest that seed dispersers may play a significant role in seedling recruitment and indirect competition between co-occurring plant species.

  19. Ground Layer Plant Species Turnover and Beta Diversity in Southern-European Old-Growth Forests

    PubMed Central

    Sabatini, Francesco Maria; Burrascano, Sabina; Tuomisto, Hanna; Blasi, Carlo

    2014-01-01

    Different assembly processes may simultaneously affect local-scale variation of species composition in temperate old-growth forests. Ground layer species diversity reflects chance colonization and persistence of low-dispersal species, as well as fine-scale environmental heterogeneity. The latter depends on both purely abiotic factors, such as soil properties and topography, and factors primarily determined by overstorey structure, such as light availability. Understanding the degree to which plant diversity in old-growth forests is associated with structural heterogeneity and/or to dispersal limitation will help assessing the effectiveness of silvicultural practices that recreate old-growth patterns and structures for the conservation or restoration of plant diversity. We used a nested sampling design to assess fine-scale species turnover, i.e. the proportion of species composition that changes among sampling units, across 11 beech-dominated old-growth forests in Southern Europe. For each stand, we also measured a wide range of environmental and structural variables that might explain ground layer species turnover. Our aim was to quantify the relative importance of dispersal limitation in comparison to that of stand structural heterogeneity while controlling for other sources of environmental heterogeneity. For this purpose, we used multiple regression on distance matrices at the within-stand extent, and mixed effect models at the extent of the whole dataset. Species turnover was best predicted by structural and environmental heterogeneity, especially by differences in light availability and in topsoil nutrient concentration and texture. Spatial distances were significant only in four out of eleven stands with a relatively low explanatory power. This suggests that structural heterogeneity is a more important driver of local-scale ground layer species turnover than dispersal limitation in southern European old-growth beech forests. PMID:24748155

  20. Ground layer plant species turnover and beta diversity in southern-European old-growth forests.

    PubMed

    Sabatini, Francesco Maria; Burrascano, Sabina; Tuomisto, Hanna; Blasi, Carlo

    2014-01-01

    Different assembly processes may simultaneously affect local-scale variation of species composition in temperate old-growth forests. Ground layer species diversity reflects chance colonization and persistence of low-dispersal species, as well as fine-scale environmental heterogeneity. The latter depends on both purely abiotic factors, such as soil properties and topography, and factors primarily determined by overstorey structure, such as light availability. Understanding the degree to which plant diversity in old-growth forests is associated with structural heterogeneity and/or to dispersal limitation will help assessing the effectiveness of silvicultural practices that recreate old-growth patterns and structures for the conservation or restoration of plant diversity. We used a nested sampling design to assess fine-scale species turnover, i.e. the proportion of species composition that changes among sampling units, across 11 beech-dominated old-growth forests in Southern Europe. For each stand, we also measured a wide range of environmental and structural variables that might explain ground layer species turnover. Our aim was to quantify the relative importance of dispersal limitation in comparison to that of stand structural heterogeneity while controlling for other sources of environmental heterogeneity. For this purpose, we used multiple regression on distance matrices at the within-stand extent, and mixed effect models at the extent of the whole dataset. Species turnover was best predicted by structural and environmental heterogeneity, especially by differences in light availability and in topsoil nutrient concentration and texture. Spatial distances were significant only in four out of eleven stands with a relatively low explanatory power. This suggests that structural heterogeneity is a more important driver of local-scale ground layer species turnover than dispersal limitation in southern European old-growth beech forests.

  1. Factors affecting plant growth in membrane nutrient delivery

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dreschel, T. W.; Wheeler, R. M.; Sager, J. C.; Knott, W. M.

    1990-01-01

    The development of the tubular membrane plant growth unit for the delivery of water and nutrients to roots in microgravity has recently focused on measuring the effects of changes in physical variables controlling solution availability to the plants. Significant effects of membrane pore size and the negative pressure used to contain the solution were demonstrated. Generally, wheat grew better in units with a larger pore size but equal negative pressure and in units with the same pore size but less negative pressure. Lettuce also exhibited better plant growth at less negative pressure.

  2. Beneath the veil: Plant growth form influences the strength of species richness-productivity relationships in forests

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Oberle, B.; Grace, J.B.; Chase, J.M.

    2009-01-01

    Aim: Species richness has been observed to increase with productivity at large spatial scales, though the strength of this relationship varies among functional groups. In forests, canopy trees shade understorey plants, and for this reason we hypothesize that species richness of canopy trees will depend on macroclimate, while species richness of shorter growth forms will additionally be affected by shading from the canopy. In this study we test for differences in species richness-productivity relationships (SRPRs) among growth forms (canopy trees, shrubs, herbaceous species) in small forest plots. Location: We analysed 231 plots ranging from 34.0?? to 48.3?? N latitude and from 75.0?? to 124.2?? W longitude in the United States. Methods: We analysed data collected by the USDA Forest Inventory and Analysis program for plant species richness partitioned into different growth forms, in small plots. We used actual evapotranspiration as a macroclimatic estimate of regional productivity and calculated the area of light-blocking tissue in the immediate area surrounding plots for an estimate of the intensity of local shading. We estimated and compared SRPRs for different partitions of the species richness dataset using generalized linear models and we incorporated the possible indirect effects of shading using a structural equation model. Results: Canopy tree species richness increased strongly with regional productivity, while local shading primarily explained the variation in herbaceous plant richness. Shrub species richness was related to both regional productivity and local shading. Main conclusions: The relationship between total forest plant species richness and productivity at large scales belies strong effects of local interactions. Counter to the pattern for overall richness, we found that understorey herbaceous plant species richness does not respond to regional productivity gradients, and instead is strongly influenced by canopy density, while shrub species

  3. Patterns of fine-scale plant species richness in dry grasslands across the eastern Balkan Peninsula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Palpurina, Salza; Chytrý, Milan; Tzonev, Rossen; Danihelka, Jiří; Axmanová, Irena; Merunková, Kristina; Duchoň, Mário; Karakiev, Todor

    2015-02-01

    Fine-scale plant species richness varies across habitats, climatic and biogeographic regions, but the large-scale context of this variation is insufficiently explored. The patterns at the borders between biomes harbouring rich but different floras are of special interest. Dry grasslands of the eastern Balkan Peninsula, situated in the Eurasian forest-steppe zone and developed under Mediterranean influence, are a specific case of such biome transition. However, there are no studies assessing the patterns of fine-scale species richness and their underlying factors across the eastern Balkans. To explore these patterns, we sampled dry and semi-dry grasslands (phytosociological class Festuco-Brometea) across Bulgaria and SE Romania. In total, 172 vegetation plots of 10 × 10 m2 were sampled, in which all vascular plant species were recorded, soil depth was measured, and soil samples were collected and analysed in a laboratory for pH and plant-available nutrients. Geographic coordinates were used to extract selected climatic variables. Regression trees and linear regressions were used to quantify the relationships between species richness and environmental variables. Climatic factors were identified as the main drivers of species richness: (1) Species richness was strongly positively correlated with the mean temperature of the coldest month: sub-Mediterranean areas of S and E Bulgaria, characterized by warmer winters, were more species-rich. (2) Outside the sub-Mediterranean areas, species richness strongly increased with annual precipitation, which was primarily controlled by altitude. (3) Bedrock type and soil pH also significantly affected dry grassland richness outside the sub-Mediterranean areas. These results suggest that fine-scale species richness of dry grasslands over large areas is driven by processes at the regional level, especially by the difference in the species pools of large regions, in our case the Continental and Mediterranean biogeographic regions

  4. Alkaloid Quantities in Endophyte-Infected Tall Fescue are Affected by the Plant-Fungus Combination and Environment.

    PubMed

    Helander, M; Phillips, T; Faeth, S H; Bush, L P; McCulley, R; Saloniemi, I; Saikkonen, K

    2016-02-01

    Many grass species are symbiotic with systemic, vertically-transmitted, asymptomatic Epichloë endophytic fungi. These fungi often produce alkaloids that defend the host against herbivores. We studied how environmental variables affect alkaloids in endophyte-infected tall fescue (Schedonorus phoenix) from three Northern European wild origins and the widely planted US cultivar 'Kentucky-31' (KY31). The plants were grown in identical common garden experiments in Finland and Kentucky for two growing seasons. Plants were left as controls (C) or given water (W), nutrient (N) or water and nutrient (WN) treatments. For 8-10 replications of each plant origin and treatment combination in both experiments, we analyzed ergot alkaloids, lysergic acid, and lolines. In Finland, tall fescue plants produced 50 % more ergot alkaloids compared to plants of the same origin and treatments in Kentucky. Origin of the plants affected the ergot alkaloid concentration at both study sites: the wild origin plants produced 2-4 times more ergot alkaloids than KY31, but the ergot alkaloid concentration of KY31 plants was the same at both locations. Overall lysergic acid content was 60 % higher in plants grown in Kentucky than in those grown in Finland. Nutrient treatments (N, WN) significantly increased ergot alkaloid concentrations in plants from Finland but not in plants from Kentucky. These results suggest that the success of KY31 in US is not due to selection for high ergot alkaloid production but rather other traits associated with the endophyte. In addition, the environmental effects causing variation in alkaloid production of grass-endophyte combinations should be taken into account when using endophyte-infected grasses agriculturally.

  5. Development on drought-stressed host plants affects life history, flight morphology and reproductive output relative to landscape structure.

    PubMed

    Gibbs, Melanie; Van Dyck, Hans; Breuker, Casper J

    2012-01-01

    With global climate change, rainfall is becoming more variable. Predicting the responses of species to changing rainfall levels is difficult because, for example in herbivorous species, these effects may be mediated indirectly through changes in host plant quality. Furthermore, species responses may result from a simultaneous interaction between rainfall levels and other environmental variables such as anthropogenic land use or habitat quality. In this eco-evolutionary study, we examined how male and female Pararge aegeria (L.) from woodland and agricultural landscape populations were affected by the development on drought-stressed host plants. Compared with individuals from woodland landscapes, when reared on drought-stressed plants agricultural individuals had longer development times, reduced survival rates and lower adult body masses. Across both landscape types, growth on drought-stressed plants resulted in males and females with low forewing aspect ratios and in females with lower wing loading and reduced fecundity. Development on drought-stressed plants also had a landscape-specific effect on reproductive output; agricultural females laid eggs that had a significantly lower hatching success. Overall, our results highlight several potential mechanisms by which low water availability, via changes in host plant quality, may differentially influence P. aegeria populations relative to landscape structure.

  6. Climate and soil factors influencing seedling recruitment of plant species used for dryland restoration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muñoz-Rojas, Miriam; Erickson, Todd E.; Martini, Dylan C.; Dixon, Kingsley W.; Merritt, David J.

    2016-06-01

    Land degradation affects 10-20 % of drylands globally. Intensive land use and management, large-scale disturbances such as extractive operations, and global climate change, have contributed to degradation of these systems worldwide. Restoring these damaged environments is critical to improving ecosystem services and functions, conserve biodiversity, and contribute to climate resilience, food security, and landscape sustainability. Here, we present a case study on plant species of the mining intensive semi-arid Pilbara region in Western Australia that examines the effects of climate and soil factors on the restoration of drylands. We analysed the effects of a range of rainfall and temperature scenarios and the use of alternative soil materials on seedling recruitment of key native plant species from this area. Experimental studies were conducted in controlled environment facilities where conditions simulated those found in the Pilbara. Soil from topsoil (T) stockpiles and waste materials (W) from an active mine site were mixed at different proportions (100 % T, 100 % W, and two mixes of topsoil and waste at 50 : 50 and 25 : 75 ratios) and used as growth media. Our results showed that seedling recruitment was highly dependent on soil moisture and emergence was generally higher in the topsoil, which had the highest available water content. In general, responses to the climate scenarios differed significantly among the native species which suggest that future climate scenarios of increasing drought might affect not only seedling recruitment but also diversity and structure of native plant communities. The use of waste materials from mining operations as growth media could be an alternative to the limited topsoil. However, in the early stages of plant establishment successful seedling recruitment can be challenging in the absence of water. These limitations could be overcome by using soil amendments but the cost associated to these solutions at large landscape scales

  7. Exogenously treated mammalian sex hormones affect inorganic constituents of plants.

    PubMed

    Erdal, Serkan; Dumlupinar, Rahmi

    2011-10-01

    The present study was undertaken to reveal the changes in inorganic constituents of plants exposed to mammalian sex hormones (MSH). Chickpea leaves were sprayed with 10(-4), 10(-6), 10(-9), 10(-12), and 10(-15) M concentrations of progesterone, β-estradiol, and androsterone at 7th day after sowing. The plants were harvested at the end of 18 days after treatment of MSH solutions and the inorganic components determined using a wavelength-dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy technique. At all of the concentrations tested, MSH significantly increased the contents of K, S, Na, Ca, Mg, Zn, Fe, P, Cu, and Ni. Interestingly, only Mn and Cl contents decreased. The maximum changes in the inorganic composition were recorded at 10(-6) M for plants treated with progesterone and 10(-9) M for plants treated with β-estradiol and androsterone.

  8. Plant toxins that affect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors: A review

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plants produce wide variety of chemical compounds termed secondary metabolites that are not involved in basic metabolism, photosynthesis or reproduction. These compounds are used as flavors, fragrances, insecticides, dyes, hallucinogens, nutritional supplements, poisons, and pharmaceutical agents. ...

  9. A novel family of small proteins that affect plant development

    SciTech Connect

    John Charles Walker

    2011-04-29

    The DVL genes represent a new group of plant proteins that influence plant growth and development. Overexpression of DVL1, and other members of the DVL family, causes striking phenotypic changes. The DVL proteins share sequence homology in their C-terminal half. Point mutations in the C-terminal domain show it is necessary and deletion studies demonstrate the C-terminal domain is sufficient to confer the overexpression phenotypes. The phenotypes observed, and the conservation of the protein sequence in the plant kingdom, does suggest the DVL proteins have a role in modulating plant growth and development. Our working hypothesis is the DVL proteins function as regulators of cellular signaling pathways that control growth and development.

  10. Metabolism of reactive oxygen species and reactive nitrogen species in pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) plants under low temperature stress.

    PubMed

    Airaki, Morad; Leterrier, Marina; Mateos, Rosa M; Valderrama, Raquel; Chaki, Mounira; Barroso, Juan B; Del Río, Luis A; Palma, José M; Corpas, Francisco J

    2012-02-01

    Low temperature is an environmental stress that affects crop production and quality and regulates the expression of many genes, and the level of a number of proteins and metabolites. Using leaves from pepper (Capsicum annum L.) plants exposed to low temperature (8 °C) for different time periods (1 to 3 d), several key components of the metabolism of reactive nitrogen and oxygen species (RNS and ROS, respectively) were analysed. After 24 h of exposure at 8 °C, pepper plants exhibited visible symptoms characterized by flaccidity of stems and leaves. This was accompanied by significant changes in the metabolism of RNS and ROS with an increase of both protein tyrosine nitration (NO(2) -Tyr) and lipid peroxidation, indicating that low temperature induces nitrosative and oxidative stress. During the second and third days at low temperature, pepper plants underwent cold acclimation by adjusting their antioxidant metabolism and reverting the observed nitrosative and oxidative stress. In this process, the levels of the soluble non-enzymatic antioxidants ascorbate and glutathione, and the activity of the main NADPH-generating dehydrogenases were significantly induced. This suggests that ascorbate, glutathione and the NADPH-generating dehydrogenases have a role in the process of cold acclimation through their effect on the redox state of the cell.

  11. Biological control of invasive plant species: a reassessment for the Anthropocene.

    PubMed

    Seastedt, Timothy R

    2015-01-01

    The science of finding, testing and releasing herbivores and pathogens to control invasive plant species has achieved a level of maturity and success that argues for continued and expanded use of this program. The practice, however, remains unpopular with some conservationists, invasion biologists, and stakeholders. The ecological and economic benefits of controlling densities of problematic plant species using biological control agents can be quantified, but the risks and net benefits of biological control programs are often derived from social or cultural rather than scientific criteria. Management of invasive plants is a 'wicked problem', and local outcomes to wicked problems have both positive and negative consequences differentially affecting various groups of stakeholders. The program has inherent uncertainties; inserting species into communities that are experiencing directional or even transformational changes can produce multiple outcomes due to context-specific factors that are further confounded by environmental change drivers. Despite these uncertainties, biological control could play a larger role in mitigation and adaptation strategies used to maintain biological diversity as well as contribute to human well-being by protecting food and fiber resources.

  12. Selenium bioavailability and uptake as affected by four different plants in a loamy clay soil with particular attention to mycorrhizae inoculated ryegrass.

    PubMed

    Munier-Lamy, C; Deneux-Mustin, S; Mustin, C; Merlet, D; Berthelin, J; Leyval, C

    2007-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of plant species, especially of their rhizosphere soil, and of inoculation with an arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungus on the bioavailability of selenium and its transfer in soil-plant systems. A pot experiment was performed with a loamy clay soil and four plant species: maize, lettuce, radish and ryegrass, the last one being inoculated or not with an arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus (Glomus mosseae). Plant biomass and Se concentration in shoots and roots were estimated at harvest. Se bioavailability in rhizosphere and unplanted soil was evaluated using sequential extractions. Plant biomass and selenium uptake varied with plant species. The quantity of rhizosphere soil also differed between plants and was not proportional to plant biomass. The highest plant biomass, Se concentration in plants, and soil to plant transfer factor were obtained with radish. The lowest Se transfer factors were obtained with ryegrass. For the latter, mycorrhizal inoculation did not significantly affect plant growth, but reduced selenium transfer from soil to plant by 30%. In unplanted soil after 65 days aging, more than 90% of added Se was water-extractable. On the contrary, Se concentration in water extracts of rhizosphere soil represented less than 1% and 20% of added Se for ryegrass and maize, respectively. No correlation was found between the water-extractable fraction and Se concentration in plants. The speciation of selenium in the water extracts indicated that selenate was reduced, may be under organic forms, in the rhizosphere soil.

  13. Rhizosphere microbiome assemblage is affected by plant development

    PubMed Central

    Chaparro, Jacqueline M; Badri, Dayakar V; Vivanco, Jorge M

    2014-01-01

    There is a concerted understanding of the ability of root exudates to influence the structure of rhizosphere microbial communities. However, our knowledge of the connection between plant development, root exudation and microbiome assemblage is limited. Here, we analyzed the structure of the rhizospheric bacterial community associated with Arabidopsis at four time points corresponding to distinct stages of plant development: seedling, vegetative, bolting and flowering. Overall, there were no significant differences in bacterial community structure, but we observed that the microbial community at the seedling stage was distinct from the other developmental time points. At a closer level, phylum such as Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Cyanobacteria and specific genera within those phyla followed distinct patterns associated with plant development and root exudation. These results suggested that the plant can select a subset of microbes at different stages of development, presumably for specific functions. Accordingly, metatranscriptomics analysis of the rhizosphere microbiome revealed that 81 unique transcripts were significantly (P<0.05) expressed at different stages of plant development. For instance, genes involved in streptomycin synthesis were significantly induced at bolting and flowering stages, presumably for disease suppression. We surmise that plants secrete blends of compounds and specific phytochemicals in the root exudates that are differentially produced at distinct stages of development to help orchestrate rhizosphere microbiome assemblage. PMID:24196324

  14. Management trade-off between aboveground carbon storage and understory plant species richness in temperate forests.

    PubMed

    Burton, Julia I; Ares, Adrian; Olson, Deanna H; Puettmann, Klaus J

    2013-09-01

    Because forest ecosystems have the capacity to store large quantities of carbon (C), there is interest in managing forests to mitigate elevated CO2 concentrations and associated effects on the global climate. However, some mitigation techniques may contrast with management strategies for other goals, such as maintaining and restoring biodiversity. Forest thinning reduces C storage in the overstory and recruitment of detrital C. These C stores can affect environmental conditions and resource availability in the understory, driving patterns in the distribution of early and late-seral species. We examined the effects of replicated (N = 7) thinning experiments on aboveground C and understory vascular plant species richness, and we contrasted relationships between aboveground C and early- vs. late-seral species richness. Finally, we used structural equation modeling (SEM) to examine relationships among early- and late-seral species richness and live and detrital aboveground C stores. Six years following thinning, aboveground C was greater in the high-density treatment and untreated control than in moderate- (MD) and variable-density (VD) treatments as a result of reductions in live overstory C. In contrast, all thinning treatments increased species richness relative to controls. Between the growing seasons of years 6 and 11 following treatments, the live overstory C increment tended to increase with residual density, while richness decreased in MD and VD treatments. The richness of early-seral species was negatively related to aboveground C in MD and VD, while late-seral species richness was positively (albeit weakly) related to aboveground C. Structural equation modeling analysis revealed strong negative effects of live overstory C on early-seral species richness balanced against weaker positive effects on late-seral species richness, as well as positive effects of detrital C stocks. A trade-off between carbon and plant species richness thus emerges as a net result of

  15. Productivity Is a Poor Predictor of Plant Species Richness.

    SciTech Connect

    Peter B. Adler; et al.

    2011-09-22

    For more than 30 years, the relationship between net primary productivity and species richness has generated intense debate in ecology about the processes regulating local diversity. The original view, which is still widely accepted, holds that the relationship is hump-shaped, with richness first rising and then declining with increasing productivity. Although recent meta-analyses questioned the generality of hump-shaped patterns, these syntheses have been criticized for failing to account for methodological differences among studies. We addressed such concerns by conducting standardized sampling in 48 herbaceous-dominated plant communities on five continents. We found no clear relationship between productivity and fine-scale (meters-2) richness within sites, within regions, or across the globe. Ecologists should focus on fresh, mechanistic approaches to understanding the multivariate links between productivity and richness.

  16. Productivity is a poor predictor of plant species richness

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Adler, Peter B.; Seabloom, Eric W.; Borer, Elizabeth T.; Hillebrand, Helmut; Hautier, Yann; Hector, Andy; Harpole, W. Stanley; O'Halloran, Lydia R.; Grace, James B.; Anderson, T. Michael; Bakker, Jonathan D.; Biederman, Lori A.; Brown, Cynthia S.; Buckley, Yvonne M.; Calabrese, Laura B.; Chu, Cheng-Jin; Cleland, Elsa E.; Collins, Scott L.; Cottingham, Kathryn L.; Crawley, Michael J.; Damschen, Ellen Ingman; Davies, Kendi F.; DeCrappeo, Nicole M.; Fay, Philip A.; Firn, Jennifer; Frater, Paul; Gasarch, Eve I.; Gruner, Daneil S.; Hagenah, Nicole; Lambers, Janneke Hille Ris; Humphries, Hope; Jin, Virginia L.; Kay, Adam D.; Kirkman, Kevin P.; Klein, Julia A.; Knops, Johannes M.H.; La Pierre, Kimberly J.; Lambrinos, John G.; Li, Wei; MacDougall, Andrew S.; McCulley, Rebecca L.; Melbourne, Brett A.; Mitchell, Charles E.; Moore, Joslin L.; Morgan, John W.; Mortensen, Brent; Orrock, John L.; Prober, Suzanne M.; Pyke, David A.; Risch, Anita C.; Schuetz, Martin; Smith, Melinda D.; Stevens, Carly J.; Sullivan, Lauren L.; Wang, Gang; Wragg, Peter D.; Wright, Justin P.; Yang, Louie H.

    2011-01-01

    For more than 30 years, the relationship between net primary productivity and species richness has generated intense debate in ecology about the processes regulating local diversity. The original view, which is still widely accepted, holds that the relationship is hump-shaped, with richness first rising and then declining with increasing productivity. Although recent meta-analyses questioned the generality of hump-shaped patterns, these syntheses have been criticized for failing to account for methodological differences among studies. We addressed such concerns by conducting standardized sampling in 48 herbaceous-dominated plant communities on five continents. We found no clear relationship between productivity and fine-scale (meters-2) richness within sites, within regions, or across the globe. Ecologists should focus on fresh, mechanistic approaches to understanding the multivariate links between productivity an

  17. Plant ecology. Worldwide evidence of a unimodal relationship between productivity and plant species richness.

    PubMed

    Fraser, Lauchlan H; Pither, Jason; Jentsch, Anke; Sternberg, Marcelo; Zobel, Martin; Askarizadeh, Diana; Bartha, Sandor; Beierkuhnlein, Carl; Bennett, Jonathan A; Bittel, Alex; Boldgiv, Bazartseren; Boldrini, Ilsi I; Bork, Edward; Brown, Leslie; Cabido, Marcelo; Cahill, James; Carlyle, Cameron N; Campetella, Giandiego; Chelli, Stefano; Cohen, Ofer; Csergo, Anna-Maria; Díaz, Sandra; Enrico, Lucas; Ensing, David; Fidelis, Alessandra; Fridley, Jason D; Foster, Bryan; Garris, Heath; Goheen, Jacob R; Henry, Hugh A L; Hohn, Maria; Jouri, Mohammad Hassan; Klironomos, John; Koorem, Kadri; Lawrence-Lodge, Rachael; Long, Ruijun; Manning, Pete; Mitchell, Randall; Moora, Mari; Müller, Sandra C; Nabinger, Carlos; Naseri, Kamal; Overbeck, Gerhard E; Palmer, Todd M; Parsons, Sheena; Pesek, Mari; Pillar, Valério D; Pringle, Robert M; Roccaforte, Kathy; Schmidt, Amanda; Shang, Zhanhuan; Stahlmann, Reinhold; Stotz, Gisela C; Sugiyama, Shu-ichi; Szentes, Szilárd; Thompson, Don; Tungalag, Radnaakhand; Undrakhbold, Sainbileg; van Rooyen, Margaretha; Wellstein, Camilla; Wilson, J Bastow; Zupo, Talita

    2015-07-17

    The search for predictions of species diversity across environmental gradients has challenged ecologists for decades. The humped-back model (HBM) suggests that plant diversity peaks at intermediate productivity; at low productivity few species can tolerate the environmental stresses, and at high productivity a few highly competitive species dominate. Over time the HBM has become increasingly controversial, and recent studies claim to have refuted it. Here, by using data from coordinated surveys conducted throughout grasslands worldwide and comprising a wide range of site productivities, we provide evidence in support of the HBM pattern at both global and regional extents. The relationships described here provide a foundation for further research into the local, landscape, and historical factors that maintain biodiversity.

  18. 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.

  19. Salt affects plant Cd-stress responses by modulating growth and Cd accumulation.

    PubMed

    Xu, Jin; Yin, Hengxia; Liu, Xiaojing; Li, Xia

    2010-01-01

    Cadmium contamination is a serious environmental problem for modern agriculture and human health. Salinity affects plant growth and development, and interactions between salt and cadmium have been reported. However, the molecular mechanisms of salinity-cadmium interactions are not fully understood. Here, we show that a low concentration of salt alleviates Cd-induced growth inhibition and increases Cd accumulation in Arabidopsis thaliana. Supplementation with low concentrations of salt reduced the reactive oxygen species level in Cd-stressed roots by increasing the contents of proline and glutathione and down-regulating the expression of RCD1, thereby protecting the plasma membrane integrity of roots under cadmium stress. Salt supplementation substantially reduces the Cd-induced elevation of IAA oxidase activity, thereby maintaining auxin levels in Cd-stressed plants, as indicated by DR5::GUS expression. Salt supply increased Cd absorption in roots and increased Cd accumulation in leaves, implying that salt enhances both Cd uptake in roots and the root-to-shoot translocation of Cd. The elevated Cd accumulation in plants in response to salt was found to be correlated with the elevated levels of phytochelatin the expression of heavy metal transporters AtHMA1-4, especially AtHMA4. Salt alleviated growth inhibition caused by Cd and increased Cd accumulation also was observed in Cd accumulator Solanum nigrum.

  20. Burkholderia cenocepacia Lipopolysaccharide Modification and Flagellin Glycosylation Affect Virulence but Not Innate Immune Recognition in Plants

    PubMed Central

    Khodai-Kalaki, Maryam; Andrade, Angel; Fathy Mohamed, Yasmine

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Burkholderia cenocepacia causes opportunistic infections in plants, insects, animals, and humans, suggesting that “virulence” depends on the host and its innate susceptibility to infection. We hypothesized that modifications in key bacterial molecules recognized by the innate immune system modulate host responses to B. cenocepacia. Indeed, modification of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) with 4-amino-4-deoxy-l-arabinose and flagellin glycosylation attenuates B. cenocepacia infection in Arabidopsis thaliana and Galleria mellonella insect larvae. However, B. cenocepacia LPS and flagellin triggered rapid bursts of nitric oxide and reactive oxygen species in A. thaliana leading to activation of the PR-1 defense gene. These responses were drastically reduced in plants with fls2 (flagellin FLS2 host receptor kinase), Atnoa1 (nitric oxide-associated protein 1), and dnd1-1 (reduced production of nitric oxide) null mutations. Together, our results indicate that LPS modification and flagellin glycosylation do not affect recognition by plant receptors but are required for bacteria to establish overt infection. PMID:26045541

  1. Mosquito species succession and physicochemical factors affecting their abundance in rice fields in Mwea, Kenya.

    PubMed

    Muturi, Ephantus J; Mwangangi, Joseph; Shililu, Josephat; Muriu, Simon; Jacob, Benjamin; Kabiru, Ephantus; Gu, Weidong; Mbogo, Charles; Githure, John; Novak, Robert

    2007-03-01

    The succession of mosquito species and abiotic factors affecting their distribution and abundance in rice (Oryza spp.) fields was investigated over a 16-wk rice growing cycle covering the period between January and May 2006. Fifteen experimental rice plots were sampled for mosquito larvae and characterized based on rice height, number of tillers, floating vegetation cover, water depth, water temperature, turbidity, salinity, pH, dissolved oxygen, total dissolved solids, and conductivity. Microscopic identification of 3,025 larvae yielded nine mosquito species predominated by Anopheles arabiensis Patton (45.0%), Culex quinquefasciatus Say (35.8%), Anopheles pharoensis Theobald (9.0%) and Ficalbia splendens Theobald (7.1%). Other species, including Anopheles rufipes Gough, Anopheles coustani Laveran, Anonopheles maculipalpis Giles, Culex annulioris Theobald, and Culex poicilipes Theobald made up 3.1% of the total collection. Anopheles gambiae s.l., Cx. quinquefasciatus, and An. pharoensis occurred throughout the cycle, but they were more abundant up to 4 wk posttransplanting with peaks after fertilizer application. As rice plants became established, three groups of mosquitoes were recognized: the first groups included An. rufipes, Fl. splendens, and Cx. annulioris, which occurred throughout much of the second half of the rice cycle, whereas the second group included Cx. poicilipes, which was found in the middle of the rice cycle. An. coustani and An. maculipalpis formed the third group occurring toward the end of the cycle. Dissolved oxygen, number of tillers, and rice height were negatively associated with the abundance ofAn. arabiensis and Cx. quinquefasciatus larvae. In addition, Cx. quinquefasciatus also was associated with water depth (-ve) and turbidity (+ve). Abundance of An. pharoensis larvae was significantly associated with water temperature (+ve), the number of tillers (-ve), and rice height (-ve), whereas Fl. splendens was significantly associated with

  2. Phytotoxicity of soluble graphitic nanofibers to model plant species.

    PubMed

    Gorka, Danielle E; Jeger, Jonathan Litvak; Zhang, Hongbo; Ma, Yanwen; Colman, Benjamin P; Bernhardt, Emily S; Liu, Jie

    2016-12-01

    Carbon nanomaterials are considered promising for applications in energy storage, catalysis, and electronics. This has motivated study of their potential environmental toxicity. Recently, a novel nanomaterial consisting of graphene oxide wrapped around a carbon nanotube (CNT) core was synthesized. The resulting soluble graphitic nanofibers were found to have superior catalytic properties, which could result in their use in fuel cells. Before this material undergoes widespread use, its environmental toxicity must be determined because of its aqueous solubility. The authors used the plant species Lolium multiflorum, Solanum lycopersicum, and Lactuca sativa to study the toxicity of the soluble graphitic nanofibers, as well as multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) and graphene oxide, all synthesized in-house. Soluble graphitic nanofiber-exposed plant roots and shoots showed decreased growth, with roots showing more toxicity than shoots. Decreased pH of nanomaterial solutions corresponded to insignificantly decreased root growth, suggesting that another mechanism of toxicity must exist. Agglomeration and adsorption of soluble graphitic nanofibers onto the roots likely caused the remaining toxicity because a gray layer could be seen around the surface of the root. Multiwalled carbon nanotubes showed little toxicity over the concentration range tested, whereas graphene oxide showed a unique pattern of high toxicity at both the lowest and highest concentrations tested. Overall, soluble graphitic nanofibers showed moderate toxicity between that of the more toxic graphene oxide and the relatively nontoxic MWCNTs. Environ Toxicol Chem 2016;35:2941-2947. © 2016 SETAC.

  3. Positive Effects of Plant Genotypic and Species Diversity on Anti-Herbivore Defenses in a Tropical Tree Species

    PubMed Central

    Moreira, Xoaquín; Abdala-Roberts, Luis; Parra-Tabla, Víctor; Mooney, Kailen A.

    2014-01-01

    Despite increasing evidence that plant intra- and inter-specific diversity increases primary productivity, and that such effect may in turn cascade up to influence herbivores, there is little information about plant diversity effects on plant anti-herbivore defenses, the relative importance of different sources of plant diversity, and the mechanisms for such effects. For example, increased plant growth at high diversity may lead to reduced investment in defenses via growth-defense trade-offs. Alternatively, positive effects of plant diversity on plant growth may lead to increased herbivore abundance which in turn leads to a greater investment in plant defenses. The magnitude of trait variation underlying diversity effects is usually greater among species than among genotypes within a given species, so plant species diversity effects on resource use by producers as well as on higher trophic levels should be stronger than genotypic diversity effects. Here we compared the relative importance of plant genotypic and species diversity on anti-herbivore defenses and whether such effects are mediated indirectly via diversity effects on plant growth and/or herbivore damage. To this end, we performed a large-scale field experiment where we manipulated genotypic diversity of big-leaf mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla) and tree species diversity, and measured effects on mahogany growth, damage by the stem-boring specialist caterpillar Hypsipyla grandella, and defensive traits (polyphenolics and condensed tannins in stem and leaves). We found that both forms of plant diversity had positive effects on stem (but not leaf) defenses. However, neither source of diversity influenced mahogany growth, and diversity effects on defenses were not mediated by either growth-defense trade-offs or changes in stem-borer damage. Although the mechanism(s) of diversity effects on plant defenses are yet to be determined, our study is one of the few to test for and show producer diversity effects on

  4. Positive effects of plant genotypic and species diversity on anti-herbivore defenses in a tropical tree species.

    PubMed

    Moreira, Xoaquín; Abdala-Roberts, Luis; Parra-Tabla, Víctor; Mooney, Kailen A

    2014-01-01

    Despite increasing evidence that plant intra- and inter-specific diversity increases primary productivity, and that such effect may in turn cascade up to influence herbivores, there is little information about plant diversity effects on plant anti-herbivore defenses, the relative importance of different sources of plant diversity, and the mechanisms for such effects. For example, increased plant growth at high diversity may lead to reduced investment in defenses via growth-defense trade-offs. Alternatively, positive effects of plant diversity on plant growth may lead to increased herbivore abundance which in turn leads to a greater investment in plant defenses. The magnitude of trait variation underlying diversity effects is usually greater among species than among genotypes within a given species, so plant species diversity effects on resource use by producers as well as on higher trophic levels should be stronger than genotypic diversity effects. Here we compared the relative importance of plant genotypic and species diversity on anti-herbivore defenses and whether such effects are mediated indirectly via diversity effects on plant growth and/or herbivore damage. To this end, we performed a large-scale field experiment where we manipulated genotypic diversity of big-leaf mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla) and tree species diversity, and measured effects on mahogany growth, damage by the stem-boring specialist caterpillar Hypsipyla grandella, and defensive traits (polyphenolics and condensed tannins in stem and leaves). We found that both forms of plant diversity had positive effects on stem (but not leaf) defenses. However, neither source of diversity influenced mahogany growth, and diversity effects on defenses were not mediated by either growth-defense trade-offs or changes in stem-borer damage. Although the mechanism(s) of diversity effects on plant defenses are yet to be determined, our study is one of the few to test for and show producer diversity effects on

  5. Endangered and threatened plant species on the Department of Energy Oak Ridge Reservation: an update

    SciTech Connect

    Parr, P.D.

    1984-10-01

    Plant species considered endangered or threatened on the Department of Energy-Oak Ridge Reservation (DOE-ORR) were identified through a review of pertinent literature and evaluation of herbarium voucher specimens. Thirteen plant species are on the official Tennessee list of endangered and threatened plants. Three of those species have been proposed for inclusion on the Federal list as rare in Tennessee. These rare plants will be given careful consideration in land-use planning. Protection of endangered and threatened species in their native habitat is considered the best method of ensuring their survival. In addition to habitat preservation, natural history studies of the rare species is important in determ

  6. From facilitation to competition: temperature-driven shift in dominant plant interactions affects population dynamics in seminatural grasslands.

    PubMed

    Olsen, Siri L; Töpper, Joachim P; Skarpaas, Olav; Vandvik, Vigdis; Klanderud, Kari

    2016-05-01

    Biotic interactions are often ignored in assessments of climate change impacts. However, climate-related changes in species interactions, often mediated through increased dominance of certain species or functional groups, may have important implications for how species respond to climate warming and altered precipitation patterns. We examined how a dominant plant functional group affected the population dynamics of four co-occurring forb species by experimentally removing graminoids in seminatural grasslands. Specifically, we explored how the interaction between dominants and subordinates varied with climate by replicating the removal experiment across a climate grid consisting of 12 field sites spanning broad-scale temperature and precipitation gradients in southern Norway. Biotic interactions affected population growth rates of all study species, and the net outcome of interactions between dominants and subordinates switched from facilitation to competition with increasing temperature along the temperature gradient. The impacts of competitive interactions on subordinates in the warmer sites could primarily be attributed to reduced plant survival. Whereas the response to dominant removal varied with temperature, there was no overall effect of precipitation on the balance between competition and facilitation. Our findings suggest that global warming may increase the relative importance of competitive interactions in seminatural grasslands across a wide range of precipitation levels, thereby favouring highly competitive dominant species over subordinate species. As a result, seminatural grasslands may become increasingly dependent on disturbance (i.e. traditional management such as grazing and mowing) to maintain viable populations of subordinate species and thereby biodiversity under future climates. Our study highlights the importance of population-level studies replicated under different climatic conditions for understanding the underlying mechanisms of climate

  7. Modularity Reveals the Tendency of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi To Interact Differently with Generalist and Specialist Plant Species in Gypsum Soils

    PubMed Central

    Torrecillas, Emma; del Mar Alguacil, Maria; Roldán, Antonio; Díaz, Gisela; Montesinos-Navarro, Alicia

    2014-01-01

    Patterns in plant–soil biota interactions could be influenced by the spatial distribution of species due to soil conditions or by the functional traits of species. Gypsum environments usually constitute a mosaic of heterogeneous soils where gypsum and nongypsum soils are imbricated at a local scale. A case study of the interactions of plants with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) in gypsum environments can be illustrative of patterns in biotic interactions. We hypothesized that (i) soil characteristics might affect the AMF community and (ii) there are differences between the AMF communities (modules) associated with plants exclusive to gypsum soils (gypsophytes) and those associated with plants that show facultative behavior on gypsum and/or marly-limestone soils (gypsovags). We used indicator species and network analyses to test for differences between the AMF communities harbored in gypsophyte and gypsovag plants. We recorded 46 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) belonging to nine genera of Glomeromycota. The indicator species analysis showed two OTUs preferentially associating with gypsum soils and three OTUs preferentially associating with marly-limestone soils. Modularity analysis revealed that soil type can be a major factor shaping AMF communities, and some AMF groups showed a tendency to interact differently with plants that had distinct ecological strategies (gypsophytes and gypsovags). Characterization of ecological networks can be a valuable tool for ascertaining the potential influence of above- and below-ground biotic interactions (plant-AMF) on plant community composition. PMID:24973074

  8. Plant species invasions along the latitudinal gradient in the United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stohlgren, T.J.; Barnett, D.; Flather, C.; Kartesz, J.; Peterjohn, B.

    2005-01-01

    It has been long established that the richness of vascular plant species and many animal taxa decreases with increasing latitude, a pattern that very generally follows declines in actual and potential evapotranspiration, solar radiation, temperature, and thus, total productivity. Using county-level data on vascular plants from the United States (3000 counties in the conterminous 48 states), we used the Akaike Information Criterion (AIC) to evaluate competing models predicting native and nonnative plant species density (number of species per square kilometer in a county) from various combinations of biotic variables (e.g., native bird species density, vegetation carbon, normalized difference vegetation index), environmental/topographic variables (elevation, variation in elevation, the number of land cover classes in the county; radiation, mean precipitation, actual evapotranspiration, and potential evapotranspiration), and human variables (human population density, crop-land, and percentage of disturbed lands in a county). We found no evidence of a latitudinal gradient for the density of native plant species and a significant, slightly positive latitudinal gradient for the density of nonnative plant species. We found stronger evidence of a significant, positive productivity gradient (vegetation carbon) for the density of native plant species and nonnative plant species. We found much stronger significant relationships when biotic, environmental/topographic, and human variables were used to predict native plant species density and nonnative plant species density. Biotic variables generally had far greater influence in multivariate models than human or environmental/topographic variables. Later, we found that the best, single, positive predictor of the density of nonnative plant species in a county was the density of native plant species in a county. While further study is needed, it may be that, while humans facilitate the initial establishment invasions of nonnative

  9. Cadmium content of plants as affected by soil cadmium concentration

    SciTech Connect

    Lehoczky, E.; Szabados, I.; Marth, P.

    1996-12-31

    Pot experiments were conducted in greenhouse conditions to study the effects of increasing cadmium (Cd) levels on biomass production and Cd contents in corn, (Zea mays L.), garlic (Allium sativum L.), and spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.). Plants were grown in two soil types: Eutric cambisol soil and A gleyic luvisol soil. Spinach proved to be the most sensitive to Cd treatments as its biomass considerably decreased with the increasing Cd levels. Cadmium contents of the three crops increased with increasing levels of Cd applications. Statistical differences were observed in the Cd contents of crops depending on soil type. With the same Cd rates, Cd tissue concentration of test plants grown in the strongly acidic Gleyic luvisol soil were many times higher than that of plants grown in a neutral Eutric cambisol soil. 14 refs., 4 tabs.

  10. Composition of hydroponic medium affects thorium uptake by tobacco plants.

    PubMed

    Soudek, Petr; Kufner, Daniel; Petrová, Sárka; Mihaljevič, Martin; Vaněk, Tomáš

    2013-08-01

    The ability of thorium uptake as well as responses to heavy metal stress were tested in tobacco cultivar La Burley 21. Thorium was accumulated preferentially in the root system. The presence of citric, tartaric and oxalic acids in hydroponic medium increased thorium accumulation in all plant organs. On the other hand, the addition of diamines and polyamines, the important antioxidants in plants, resulted in decrease of thorium accumulation, especially in the root system. Negative correlation was found between putrescine concentration and thorium accumulation. Nevertheless, the most important factor influencing the accumulation of thorium was the absence of phosphate ions in a hydroponic medium that caused more than 10-fold increase of thorium uptake in all plant parts. Accumulation and distribution of thorium was followed in six cultivars and 14 selected transformants. Cultivar La Barley 21 represented an average between the tested genotypes, having a very good distribution ratio between roots, stems and leaves.

  11. Cross-Species Affective Neuroscience Decoding of the Primal Affective Experiences of Humans and Related Animals

    PubMed Central

    Panksepp, Jaak

    2011-01-01

    Background The issue of whether other animals have internally felt experiences has vexed animal behavioral science since its inception. Although most investigators remain agnostic on such contentious issues, there is now abundant experimental evidence indicating that all mammals have negatively and positively-valenced emotional networks concentrated in homologous brain regions that mediate affective experiences when animals are emotionally aroused. That is what the neuroscientific evidence indicates. Principal Findings The relevant lines of evidence are as follows: 1) It is easy to elicit powerful unconditioned emotional responses using localized electrical stimulation of the brain (ESB); these effects are concentrated in ancient subcortical brain regions. Seven types of emotional arousals have been described; using a special capitalized nomenclature for such primary process emotional systems, they are SEEKING, RAGE, FEAR, LUST, CARE, PANIC/GRIEF and PLAY. 2) These brain circuits are situated in homologous subcortical brain regions in all vertebrates tested. Thus, if one activates FEAR arousal circuits in rats, cats or primates, all exhibit similar fear responses. 3) All primary-process emotional-instinctual urges, even ones as complex as social PLAY, remain intact after radical neo-decortication early in life; thus, the neocortex is not essential for the generation of primary-process emotionality. 4) Using diverse measures, one can demonstrate that animals like and dislike ESB of brain regions that evoke unconditioned instinctual emotional behaviors: Such ESBs can serve as ‘rewards’ and ‘punishments’ in diverse approach and escape/avoidance learning tasks. 5) Comparable ESB of human brains yield comparable affective experiences. Thus, robust evidence indicates that raw primary-process (i.e., instinctual, unconditioned) emotional behaviors and feelings emanate from homologous brain functions in all mammals (see Appendix S1), which are regulated by higher

  12. Vascular plant species richness along environmental gradients in a cool temperate to sub-alpine mountainous zone in central Japan.

    PubMed

    Tsujino, Riyou; Yumoto, Takakazu

    2013-03-01

    In order to clarify how vegetation types change along the environmental gradients in a cool temperate to sub-alpine mountainous zone and the determinant factors that define plant species richness, we established 360 plots (each 4 × 10 m) within which the vegetation type, species richness, elevation, topographic position index (TPI), slope inclination, and ground light index (GLI) of the natural vegetation were surveyed. Mean elevation, TPI, slope inclination, and GLI differed across vegetation types. Tree species richness was negatively correlated with elevation, whereas fern and herb species richness were positively correlated. Tree species richness was greater in the upper slope area than the lower slope area, whereas fern and herb species richness were greater in the lower slope area. Ferns and trees species richness were smaller in the open canopy, whereas herb species richness was greater in the open canopy. Vegetation types were determined firstly by elevation and secondary by topographic configurations, such as topographic position, and slope inclination. Elevation and topography were the most important factors affecting plant richness, but the most influential variables differed among plant life-form groups. Moreover, the species richness responses to these environmental gradients greatly differed among ferns, herbs, and trees.

  13. 7 CFR 650.22 - Rare, threatened, and endangered species of plants and animals.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 6 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Rare, threatened, and endangered species of plants and... Related Environmental Concerns § 650.22 Rare, threatened, and endangered species of plants and animals. (a... endangered species is the destruction or deterioration of their habitats by human activities such...

  14. 7 CFR 650.22 - Rare, threatened, and endangered species of plants and animals.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 6 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Rare, threatened, and endangered species of plants and... Related Environmental Concerns § 650.22 Rare, threatened, and endangered species of plants and animals. (a... endangered species is the destruction or deterioration of their habitats by human activities such...

  15. 7 CFR 650.22 - Rare, threatened, and endangered species of plants and animals.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 6 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Rare, threatened, and endangered species of plants and... Related Environmental Concerns § 650.22 Rare, threatened, and endangered species of plants and animals. (a... endangered species is the destruction or deterioration of their habitats by human activities such...

  16. 7 CFR 650.22 - Rare, threatened, and endangered species of plants and animals.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 6 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Rare, threatened, and endangered species of plants and... Related Environmental Concerns § 650.22 Rare, threatened, and endangered species of plants and animals. (a... endangered species is the destruction or deterioration of their habitats by human activities such...

  17. Nitrogen:phosphorous supply ratio and allometry in five alpine plant species.

    PubMed

    Luo, Xi; Mazer, Susan J; Guo, Hui; Zhang, Nan; Weiner, Jacob; Hu, Shuijin

    2016-12-01

    In terrestrial ecosystems, atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition has greatly increased N availability relative to other elements, particularly phosphorus (P). Alterations in the availability of N relative to P can affect plant growth rate and functional traits, as well as resource allocation to above- versus belowground biomass (MA and MB). Biomass allocation among individual plants is broadly size-dependent, and this can often be described as an allometric relationship between MA and MB, as represented by the equation MA=αMBβ, or log MA = logα + βlog MB. Here, we investigated whether the scaling exponent or regression slope may be affected by the N:P supply ratio. We hypothesized that the regression slope between MA and MB should be steeper under a high N:P supply ratio due to P limitation, and shallower under a low N:P supply ratio due to N limitation. To test these hypotheses, we experimentally altered the levels of N, P, and the N:P supply ratio (from 1.7:1 to 135:1) provided to five alpine species representing two functional groups (grasses and composite forbs) under greenhouse conditions; we then measured the effects of these treatments on plant morphology and tissue content (SLA, leaf area, and leaf and root N/P concentrations) and on the scaling relationship between MA and MB. Unbalanced N:P supply ratios generally negatively affected plant biomass, leaf area, and tissue nutrient concentration in both grasses and composite forbs. High N:P ratios increased tissue N:P ratios in both functional groups, but more in the two composite forbs than in the grasses. The positive regression slopes between log MA and log MB exhibited by plants raised under a N:P supply ratio of 135:1 were significantly steeper than those observed under the N:P ratio of 1.7:1 and 15:1.

  18. A new non-indigenous Crassostrea species in Southwest Atlantic salt marshes affects mortality of the cordgrass Spartina alterniflora

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lomovasky, Betina J.; Alvarez, Graciela; Addino, Mariana; Montemayor, Diana I.; Iribarne, Oscar

    2014-07-01

    Biological invasions in marine and coastal systems may produce new trophic and nontrophic interactions influencing the structure of the invaded community. In the intertidal salt marshes of Samborombón Bay (36°19‧20″S, 56°46‧26″W; mouth of La Plata River; Argentina), there is a new non-indigenous oyster species, Crassostrea sp., which settles on the dominant smooth cordgrass Spartina alterniflora. Here, we analyzed if the oyster affects S. alterniflora. Sampling showed that density of live plant was similar across intertidal levels, but there were higher density of dead plant stems at low intertidal levels. This pattern coincides with higher density and larger shell size of Crassostrea sp. at the low intertidal where oysters are attached to the basal part of the plant stems. An experiment manipulating oysters attached to S. alterniflora stems and oyster mimics shows that Crassostrea sp. can indeed increase mortality of S. alterniflora. The negative effect of bivalves on plant could be because several oysters settle around the Spartina stem, and by growing during the year, strangle the plants increasing their mortality rate. Together, all these evidences strongly suggest that these non-indigenous oysters can control the lower intertidal level of plant distribution in this system.

  19. Thermal tolerance affects mutualist attendance in an ant-plant protection mutualism.

    PubMed

    Fitzpatrick, Ginny; Lanan, Michele C; Bronstein, Judith L

    2014-09-01

    Mutualism is an often complex interaction among multiple species, each of which may respond differently to abiotic conditions. The effects of temperature on the formation, dissolution, and success of these and other species interactions remain poorly understood. We studied the thermal ecology of the mutualism between the cactus Ferocactus wislizeni and its ant defenders (Forelius pruinosus, Crematogaster opuntiae, Solenopsis aurea, and Solenopsis xyloni) in the Sonoran Desert, USA. The ants are attracted to extrafloral nectar produced by the plants and, in exchange, protect the plants from herbivores; there is a hierarchy of mutualist effectiveness based on aggression toward herbivores. We determined the relationship between temperature and ant activity on plants, the thermal tolerance of each ant species, and ant activity in relation to the thermal environment of plants. Temperature played a role in determining which species interact as mutualists. Three of the four ant species abandoned the plants during the hottest part of the day (up to 40 °C), returning when surface temperature began to decrease in the afternoon. The least effective ant mutualist, F. pruinosus, had a significantly higher critical thermal maximum than the other three species, was active across the entire range of plant surface temperatures observed (13.8-57.0 °C), and visited plants that reached the highest temperatures. F. pruinosus occupied some plants full-time and invaded plants occupied by more dominant species when those species were thermally excluded. Combining data on thermal tolerance and mutualist effectiveness provides a potentially powerful tool for predicting the effects of temperature on mutualisms and mutualistic species.

  20. Thermal tolerance affects mutualist attendance in an ant-plant protection mutualism

    PubMed Central

    Fitzpatrick, Ginny; Lanan, Michele C.; Bronstein, Judith L.

    2014-01-01

    Mutualism is an often-complex interaction among multiple species, each of which may respond differently to abiotic conditions. The effects of temperature on the formation, dissolution, and success of these and other species interactions remain poorly understood. We studied the thermal ecology of the mutualism between the cactus Ferocactus wislizeni and its ant defenders (Forelius pruinosus, Crematogaster opuntiae, Solenopsis aurea, and Solenopsis xyloni) in the Sonoran Desert, USA. The ants are attracted to extrafloral nectar produced by the plants and in exchange protect the plants from herbivores; there is a hierarchy of mutualist effectiveness based on aggression toward herbivores. We determined the relationship between temperature and ant activity on plants, the thermal tolerance of each ant species, and ant activity in relation to the thermal environment of plants. Temperature played a role in determining which species interact as mutualists. Three of the four ant species abandoned the plants during the hottest part of the day (up to 40°C), returning when surface temperature began to decrease in the afternoon. The least effective ant mutualist, F. pruinosus, had a significantly higher critical thermal maximum than the other three species, was active across the entire range of plant surface temperatures observed (13.8-57.0°C), and visited plants that reached the highest temperatures. F. pruinosus occupied some plants full-time and invaded plants occupied by more dominant species when those species were thermally excluded. Combining data on thermal tolerance and mutualist effectiveness provides a potentially powerful tool for predicting the effects of temperature on mutualisms and mutualistic species. PMID:25012597

  1. Interactions of plant zinc and plant species on the bioavailability of plant cadmium to Japanese quail fed lettuce and spinach

    SciTech Connect

    McKenna, I.M.; Keach, R.M. Jr; Williams, F.M. ); Chaney, R.L. Dept. of Agriculture, Beltsville, MD ); Tao, Shyy-Hwa )

    1992-02-01

    Many cadmium-contaminated environments contain high levels of zinc. The effects of plant Zn and plant species on plant Cd bioavailability were tested in Japanese quail fed lettuce and spinach. Four groups of birds received 10% of their diets as lettuce or spinach leaves intrinsically labeled with {sup 109}Cd and containing low or high intrinsic Zn. Two other groups were fed control diets containing {sup 109}Cd as CdSO{sub 4} and low or high Zn as ZnCO{sub 3}. Cadmium concentrations in diets ranged from 0.857 to 1.05 {mu}g/g dry wt. Zinc concentrations in low-Zn diets ranged from 21.2 to 22.8, and in high-Zn diets from 56.0 to 63.3 {mu}g/g dry wt. Increased lettuce and spinach Zn decreased plant Cd retention in kidney, liver, and jejunum-ileum of Japanese quail. Spinach Cd was less absorbed than lettuce Cd at both Zn levels. Inorganic Zn produced a lesser decrease in Cd retention in kidney, liver, and jejunum-ileum than did plant Zn. The authors conclude that (1) crops that transport Zn and Cd readily into edible tissues show lower Cd bioavailability when grown in Zn-Cd contaminated environments than in Cd-only polluted sites, (2) plant species differ in Cd bioavailability for identical concentrations of Zn and Cd in edible tissues, and (3) toxicological studies with animals exposed to Cd salts and Zn supplements do not assess Cd bioavailability of Zn-Cd contaminated crops.

  2. Plant extracts affect in vitro rumen microbial fermentation.

    PubMed

    Busquet, M; Calsamiglia, S; Ferret, A; Kamel, C

    2006-02-01

    Different doses of 12 plant extracts and 6 secondary plant metabolites were incubated for 24 h in diluted ruminal fluid with a 50:50 forage:concentrate diet. Treatments were: control (no additive), plant extracts (anise oil, cade oil, capsicum oil, cinnamon oil, clove bud oil, dill oil, fenugreek, garlic oil, ginger oil, oregano oil, tea tree oil, and yucca), and secondary plant metabolites (anethol, benzyl salicylate, carvacrol, carvone, cinnamaldehyde, and eugenol). Each treatment was supplied at 3, 30, 300, and 3,000 mg/L of culture fluid. At 3,000 mg/L, most treatments decreased total volatile fatty acid concentration, but cade oil, capsicum oil, dill oil, fenugreek, ginger oil, and yucca had no effect. Different doses of anethol, anise oil, carvone, and tea tree oil decreased the proportion of acetate and propionate, which suggests that these compounds may not be nutritionally beneficial to dairy cattle. Garlic oil (300 and 3,000 mg/L) and benzyl salicylate (300 and 3,000 mg/L) reduced acetate and increased propionate and butyrate proportions, suggesting that methane production was inhibited. At 3,000 mg/L, capsicum oil, carvacrol, carvone, cinnamaldehyde, cinnamon oil, clove bud oil, eugenol, fenugreek, and oregano oil resulted in a 30 to 50% reduction in ammonia N concentration. Careful selection and combination of these extracts may allow the manipulation of rumen microbial fermentation.

  3. Host plant affects morphometric variation of Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Liviidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), due to its potential to vector the pathogen causing citrus greening disease or huanglongbing, is one of the most serious citrus pests worldwide. While optimal plant cultivars for ACP oviposition and development have been determined, little is known of the influence of...

  4. Maximizing plant density affects broccoli yield and quality

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Increased demand for fresh market bunch broccoli (Brassica oleracea L. var. italica) has led to increased production along the United States east coast. Maximizing broccoli yields is a primary concern for quickly expanding southeastern commercial markets. This broccoli plant density study was carr...

  5. Grazing Intensity Does Not Affect Plant Diversity in Shortgrass Steppe

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Responses of livestock gain and forage production to grazing intensity in shortgrass steppe are well-established, but effects on basal cover and plant diversity are less so. A long-term grazing intensity study was initiated on shortgrass steppe at the Central Plains Experimental Range (USDA-Agricult...

  6. Environmental Growth Conditions of Trichoderma spp. Affects Indole Acetic Acid Derivatives, Volatile Organic Compounds, and Plant Growth Promotion.

    PubMed

    Nieto-Jacobo, Maria F; Steyaert, Johanna M; Salazar-Badillo, Fatima B; Nguyen, Dianne Vi; Rostás, Michael; Braithwaite, Mark; De Souza, Jorge T; Jimenez-Bremont, Juan F; Ohkura, Mana; Stewart, Alison; Mendoza-Mendoza, Artemio

    2017-01-01

    Trichoderma species are soil-borne filamentous fungi widely utilized for their many plant health benefits, such as conferring improved growth, disease resistance and abiotic stress tolerance to their hosts. Many Trichoderma species are able to produce the auxin phytohormone indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), and its production has been suggested to promote root growth. Here we show that the production of IAA is strain dependent and diverse external stimuli are associated with its production. In in vitro assays, Arabidopsis primary root length was negatively affected by the interaction with some Trichoderma strains. In soil experiments, a continuum effect on plant growth was shown and this was also strain dependent. In plate assays, some strains of Trichoderma spp. inhibited the expression of the auxin reporter gene DR5 in Arabidopsis primary roots but not secondary roots. When Trichoderma spp. and A. thaliana were physically separated, enhancement of both shoot and root biomass, increased root production and chlorophyll content were observed, which strongly suggested that volatile production by the fungus influenced the parameters analyzed. Trichoderma strains T. virens Gv29.8, T. atroviride IMI206040, T. sp. "atroviride B" LU132, and T. asperellum LU1370 were demonstrated to promote plant growth through volatile production. However, contrasting differences were observed with LU1370 which had a negative effect on plant growth in soil but a positive effect in plate assays. Altogether our results suggest that the mechanisms and molecules involved in plant growth promotion by Trichoderma spp. are multivariable and are affected by the environmental conditions.

  7. Plant Trait-Species Abundance Relationships Vary with Environmental Properties in Subtropical Forests in Eastern China

    PubMed Central

    Yan, En-Rong; Yang, Xiao-Dong; Chang, Scott X.; Wang, Xi-Hua

    2013-01-01

    Understanding how plant trait-species abundance relationships change with a range of single and multivariate environmental properties is crucial for explaining species abundance and rarity. In this study, the abundance of 94 woody plant species was examined and related to 15 plant leaf and wood traits at both local and landscape scales involving 31 plots in subtropical forests in eastern China. Further, plant trait-species abundance relationships were related to a range of single and multivariate (PCA axes) environmental properties such as air humidity, soil moisture content, soil temperature, soil pH, and soil organic matter, nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) contents. At the landscape scale, plant maximum height, and twig and stem wood densities were positively correlated, whereas mean leaf area (MLA), leaf N concentration (LN), and total leaf area per twig size (TLA) were negatively correlated with species abundance. At the plot scale, plant maximum height, leaf and twig dry matter contents, twig and stem wood densities were positively correlated, but MLA, specific leaf area, LN, leaf P concentration and TLA were negatively correlated with species abundance. Plant trait-species abundance relationships shifted over the range of seven single environmental properties and along multivariate environmental axes in a similar way. In conclusion, strong relationships between plant traits and species abundance existed among and within communities. Significant shifts in plant trait-species abundance relationships in a range of environmental properties suggest strong environmental filtering processes that influence species abundance and rarity in the studied subtropical forests. PMID:23560114

  8. [Coccus species affecting Coffea arabica in Brazil (Coccoideae: Coccidae) and the redescription of two species].

    PubMed

    de Willink, Maria C Granara; Pirovani, Victor D; Ferreira, Paulo S F

    2010-01-01

    Five Coccus on Coffea arabica from the states of Bahia, Espírito Santo and Minas Gerais were studied. Females were prepared and mounted in Canada balsam. Coccus brasiliensis Fonseca and Coccus lizeri (Fonseca) were redescribed and Coccus alpinus De Lotto, Coccus celatus De Lotto and Coccus viridis (Green) were characterized. A key to species and illustration of all of them are included. Coccus alpinus and C. celatus are new records for Brazil and the Neotropical Region.

  9. The regulatory roles of ethylene and reactive oxygen species (ROS) in plant salt stress responses.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ming; Smith, J Andrew C; Harberd, Nicholas P; Jiang, Caifu

    2016-08-01

    Soil salinity is one of the most commonly encountered environmental stresses affecting plant growth and crop productivity. Accordingly, plants have evolved a variety of morphological, physiological and biochemical strategies that enable them to adapt to saline growth conditions. For example, it has long been known that salinity-stress increases both the production of the gaseous stress hormone ethylene and the in planta accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Recently, there has been significant progress in understanding how the fine-tuning of ethylene biosynthesis and signaling transduction can promote salinity tolerance, and how salinity-induced ROS accumulation also acts as a signal in the mediation of salinity tolerance. Furthermore, recent advances have indicated that ethylene signaling modulates salinity responses largely via regulation of ROS-generating and ROS-scavenging mechanisms. This review focuses on these recent advances in understanding the linked roles of ethylene and ROS in salt tolerance.

  10. Oribatida (Acari) in grassy arable fallows are more affected by soil properties than habitat age and plant species☆

    PubMed Central

    Wissuwa, Janet; Salamon, Jörg-Alfred; Frank, Thomas

    2013-01-01

    Oribatid mites are one of the numerically dominant arthropod groups in soils. They play an important role in soil food webs via regulating the decomposition of organic matter and propagating microorganisms within the soil. To our knowledge, the influence of different plant functional groups on oribatid mites has not been studied in abandoned farmland with undisturbed succession before. The density and assemblage structure of oribatid mites in nine grassy arable fallows relative to three habitat age classes (2–3, 6–8, 12–15 years) and three selected plant species (legume: Medicago sativa, forb: Taraxacum officinale, grass: Bromus sterilis) were investigated in soil associated with single plants. Mite density declined marginally not significant with habitat age because of high abundances of the ubiquitous species Tectocepheus velatus sarekensis and Punctoribates punctum in young and mid-aged fallows and their subsequent decline in old fallows. Oribatid mite density and species assemblage were not affected by plant species. Only P. punctum had significantly higher densities in B. sterilis samples than in T. officinale samples due to a higher amount of fine roots. Distance-based linear models revealed that 65% of the variation in mite assemblage was explained by soil properties, soil type, exposition and geographic position, while habitat age was of minor importance. Canonical correspondence analysis revealed that the mite assemblage was best explained by soil organic and microbial carbon, water content and pH. PMID:26109839

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  12. Groundwater discharge creates hotspots of riparian plant species richness in a boreal forest stream network.

    PubMed

    Kuglerová, Lenka; Jansson, Roland; Agren, Anneli; Laudon, Hjalmar; Malm-Renöfält, Birgitta

    2014-03-01

    Riparian vegetation research has traditionally focused on channel-related processes because riparian areas are situated on the edge of aquatic ecosystems and are therefore greatly affected by the flow regime of streams and rivers. However, due to their low topographic position in the landscape, riparian areas receive significant inputs of water and nutrients from uplands. These inputs may be important for riparian vegetation, but their role for riparian plant diversity is poorly known. We studied the relationship between the influx of groundwater (GW) from upland areas and riparian plant diversity and composition along a stream size gradient, ranging from small basins lacking permanent streams to a seventh-order river in northern Sweden. We selected riparian sites with and without GW discharge using a hydrological model describing GW flow accumulation to test the hypothesis that riparian sites with GW discharge harbor plant communities with higher species richness. We further investigated several environmental factors to detect habitat differences between sites differing in GW discharge conditions. Vascular plant species richness was between 15% and 20% higher, depending on the spatial scale sampled, at riparian sites with GW discharge in comparison to non-discharge sites, a pattern that was consistent across all stream sizes. The elevated species richness was best explained by higher soil pH and higher nitrogen availability (manifested as lower soil C/N ratio), conditions which were positively correlated with GW discharge. Base cations and possibly nitrogen transported by groundwater may therefore act as a terrestrial subsidy of riparian vegetation. The stable isotopes 15N and 13C were depleted in soils from GW discharge compared to non-discharge sites, suggesting that GW inputs might also affect nitrogen and carbon dynamics in riparian soils. Despite the fact that many flows of water and nutrients reaching streams are filtered through riparian zones, the

  13. The ghosts of trees past: savanna trees create enduring legacies in plant species composition.

    PubMed

    Stahlheber, Karen A; Crispin, Kimberly L; Anton, Cassidy; D'Antonio, Carla M

    2015-09-01

    Isolated trees in savannas worldwide are known to modify their local environment and interact directly with neighboring plants. Less is known about how related tree species differ in their impacts on surrounding communities, how the effects of trees vary between years, and how composition might change following loss of the tree. To address these knowledge gaps, we explored the following questions: How do savanna trees influence the surrounding composition of herbaceous plants? Is the influence of trees consistent across different species and years? How does this change following the death of the tree? We surveyed herbaceous species composition and environmental attributes surrounding living and dead evergreen and deciduous Quercus trees in California (USA) savannas across several years that differed in their total precipitation. Oak trees of all species created distinct, homogenous understory communities dominated by exotic grasses across several sites. The composition of the low-diversity understory communities showed less interannual variation than open grassland, despite a two-fold difference in precipitation between the driest and wettest year. Vegetation composition was correlated with variation in soil properties, which were strongly affected by trees. Oaks also influenced the communities beyond the edge of the crown, but this depended on site and oak species. Low-diversity understory communities persisted up to 43 years following the death of the tree. A gradual decline in the effect of trees on the physical, environment following death did not result in vegetation becoming more similar to open grassland over time. The presence of long-lasting legacies of past tree crowns highlights the difficulty of assigning control of the current distribution of herbaceous species in grassland to their contemporary environment.

  14. Exogenous abscisic acid significantly affects proteome in tea plant (Camellia sinensis) exposed to drought stress.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Lin; Xu, Hui; Mischke, Sue; Meinhardt, Lyndel W; Zhang, Dapeng; Zhu, Xujun; Li, Xinghui; Fang, Wanping

    2014-01-01

    Tea [Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze] is an important economic crop, and drought is the most important abiotic stress affecting yield and quality. Abscisic acid (ABA) is an important phytohormone responsible for activating drought resistance. Increased understanding of ABA effects on tea plant under drought stress is essential to develop drought-tolerant tea genotypes, along with crop management practices that can mitigate drought stress. The objective of the present investigation is evaluation of effects of exogenous ABA on the leaf proteome in tea plant exposed to drought stress. Leaf protein patterns of tea plants under simulated drought stress [(polyethylene glycol (PEG)-treated] and exogenous ABA treatment were analyzed in a time-course experiment using two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE), followed by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry (MS). Among the 72 protein spots identified by MALDI-TOF MS, 16 proteins were downregulated and two were upregulated by exogenous ABA. The upregulated proteins have roles in glycolysis and photosystem II stabilization. Twenty-one protein spots were responsive to drought stress and most participate in carbohydrate and nitrogen metabolism, control of reactive oxygen species (ROS), defense, signaling or nucleic acid metabolism. The combined treatments of exogenous ABA and drought showed upregulation of 10 protein spots at 12 h and upregulation of 11 proteins at 72 h after initiation of drought stress. The results support the importance of the role that ABA plays in the tea plant during drought stress, by improving protein transport, carbon metabolism and expression of resistance proteins.

  15. Decoupling factors affecting plant diversity and cover on extensive green roofs.

    PubMed

    MacIvor, J Scott; Margolis, Liat; Puncher, Curtis L; Carver Matthews, Benjamin J

    2013-11-30

    Supplemental irrigation systems are often specified on green roofs to ensure plant cover and growth, both important components of green roof performance and aesthetics. Properties of the growing media environment too can alter the assemblage of plant species able to thrive. In this study we determine how plant cover, above ground biomass and species diversity are influenced by irrigation and growing media. Grass and forb vegetative cover and biomass were significantly greater in organic based growing media but there was no effect of supplemental irrigation, with two warm season grasses dominating in those treatments receiving no supplemental irrigation. On the other hand, plant diversity declined without irrigation in organic media, and having no irrigation in inorganic growing media resulted in almost a complete loss of cover. Sedum biomass was less in inorganic growing media treatments and species dominance shifted when growing media organic content increased. Our results demonstrate that supplemental irrigation is required to maintain plant diversity on an extensive green roof, but not necessarily plant cover or biomass. These results provide evidence that planting extensive green roofs with a mix of plant species can ensure the survival of some species; maintaining cover and biomass when supplemental irrigation is turned off to conserve water, or during extreme drought.

  16. Salt tolerance and stress level affect plant biomass-density relationships and neighbor effects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Zhenxing; Chen, Wenwen; Zhang, Qian; Yang, Haishui; Tang, Jianjun; Weiner, Jacob; Chen, Xin

    2014-07-01

    It has been shown that plant biomass-density relationships are altered under extreme or stressed conditions. We do not know whether variation in biomass-density relationships is a direct result of stress tolerance or occurs via changes in plant-plant interactions. Here, we evaluated biomass-density relationships and neighbor effects in six plant species that differ in salt tolerance in a salt marsh, and conducted a literature review of biomass-density relationship under higher and lower stress levels. Our field study showed that both neighbor effects and the exponent of the biomass-density relationship (α) varied among plant species with different degrees of salt tolerance. There was a positive relationship between neighbor effects (measured as relative interaction index) and α-value among the tested species. The literature review showed that α and its variation increased under higher stress. Our results indicate that plant species with different salinity tolerance differ in the direction and strength of neighbor effects, resulting in variation in biomass-density relationships. Our results support the hypothesis that differences in biomass-density relationships among species are not due to differences in stress tolerance alone, they are mediated by changes in plant-plant interactions.

  17. Species mixture effects on flammability across plant phylogeny: the importance of litter particle size and the special role for non-Pinus Pinaceae.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Weiwei; Cornwell, William K; van Pomeren, Marinda; van Logtestijn, Richard S P; Cornelissen, Johannes H C

    2016-11-01

    Fire affects and is affected by plants. Vegetation varies in flammability, that is, its general ability to burn, at different levels of ecological organization. To scale from individual plant traits to community flammability states, understanding trait effects on species flammability variation and their interaction is important. Plant traits are the cumulative result of evolution and they show, to differing extents, phylogenetic conservatism. We asked whether phylogenetic distance between species predicts species mixture effects on litterbed flammability. We conducted controlled laboratory burns for 34 phylogenetically wide-ranging species and 34 random two-species mixtures from them. Generally, phylogenetic distance did not predict species mixture effects on flammability. Across the plant phylogeny, most species were flammable except those in the non-Pinus Pinaceae, which shed small needles producing dense, poorly ventilated litterbeds above the packing threshold and therefore nonflammable. Consistently, either positive or negative dominance effects on flammability of certain flammable or those non-flammable species were found in mixtures involving the non-Pinus Pinaceae. We demonstrate litter particle size is key to explaining species nonadditivity in fuelbed flammability. The potential of certain species to influence fire disproportionately to their abundance might increase the positive feedback effects of plant flammability on community flammability state if flammable species are favored by fire.

  18. Plant species richness and shrub cover attenuate drought effects on ecosystem functioning across Patagonian rangelands.

    PubMed

    Gaitán, Juan J; Bran, Donaldo; Oliva, Gabriel; Maestre, Fernando T; Aguiar, Martín R; Jobbágy, Esteban; Buono, Gustavo; Ferrante, Daniela; Nakamatsu, Viviana; Ciari, Georgina; Salomone, Jorge; Massara, Virginia

    2014-10-01

    Drought is an increasingly common phenomenon in drylands as a consequence of climate change. We used 311 sites across a broad range of environmental conditions in Patagonian rangelands to evaluate how drought severity and temperature (abiotic factors) and vegetation structure (biotic factors) modulate the impact of a drought event on the annual integral of normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI-I), our surrogate of ecosystem functioning. We found that NDVI-I decreases were larger with both increasing drought severity and temperature. Plant species richness (SR) and shrub cover (SC) attenuated the effects of drought on NDVI-I. Grass cover did not affect the impacts of drought on NDVI-I. Our results suggest that warming and species loss, two important imprints of global environmental change, could increase the vulnerability of Patagonian ecosystems to drought. Therefore, maintaining SR through appropriate grazing management can attenuate the adverse effects of climate change on ecosystem functioning.

  19. Plant species richness and shrub cover attenuate drought effects on ecosystem functioning across Patagonian rangelands

    PubMed Central

    Gaitán, Juan J.; Bran, Donaldo; Oliva, Gabriel; Maestre, Fernando T.; Aguiar, Martín R.; Jobbágy, Esteban; Buono, Gustavo; Ferrante, Daniela; Nakamatsu, Viviana; Ciari, Georgina; Salomone, Jorge; Massara, Virginia

    2014-01-01

    Drought is an increasingly common phenomenon in drylands as a consequence of climate change. We used 311 sites across a broad range of environmental conditions in Patagonian rangelands to evaluate how drought severity and temperature (abiotic factors) and vegetation structure (biotic factors) modulate the impact of a drought event on the annual integral of normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI-I), our surrogate of ecosystem functioning. We found that NDVI-I decreases were larger with both increasing drought severity and temperature. Plant species richness (SR) and shrub cover (SC) attenuated the effects of drought on NDVI-I. Grass cover did not affect the impacts of drought on NDVI-I. Our results suggest that warming and species loss, two important imprints of global environmental change, could increase the vulnerability of Patagonian ecosystems to drought. Therefore, maintaining SR through appropriate grazing management can attenuate the adverse effects of climate change on ecosystem functioning. PMID:25339654

  20. Planting densities and bird and rodent absence affect size distributions of four dicots in synthetic tallgrass communities.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Garza, Cristina; Saha, Sonali; Torres, Veronica; Brown, Joel S; Howe, Henry F

    2004-05-01

    Variability in the size distributions of populations is usually studied in monocultures or in mixed plantings of two species. Variability of size distributions of populations in more complex communities has been neglected. The effects of seeding density (35 or 350 seeds/species/m2) and presence of small vertebrates on the variability of size distributions were studied for a total of 1,920 individuals of 4 species in replicated synthetic communities of 18 species in northern Illinois. End-of season height and above-ground biomass were measured for prairie perennials Dalea purpurea (purple prairie clover), Echinacea purpurea (purple coneflower), Desmanthus illinoensis (Illinois bundleflower) and Heliopsis helianthoides (early sunflower). Variability in biomass distribution of the four target species was twice as great at low than at high densities when small vertebrates were excluded. Our results suggest that inter- and intraspecific competition may affect all individuals more under high-density conditions, thereby reducing the variability in their biomass distributions within this community. This result, a consequence of plant-plant interaction, is obscured when small birds or mammals are present, presumably because either or both add variance that overwhelms the pattern.

  1. Immigration rates and species niche characteristics affect the relationship between species richness and habitat heterogeneity in modeled meta-communities.

    PubMed

    Bar-Massada, Avi

    2015-01-01

    The positive relationship between habitat heterogeneity and species richness is a cornerstone of ecology. Recently, it was suggested that this relationship should be unimodal rather than linear due to a tradeoff between environmental heterogeneity and population sizes. Increased environmental heterogeneity will decrease effective habitat sizes, which in turn will increase the rate of local species extinctions. The occurrence of the unimodal richness-heterogeneity relationship at the habitat scale was confirmed in both empirical and theoretical studies. However, it is unclear whether it can occur at broader spatial scales, for meta-communities in diverse and patchy landscapes. Here, I used a spatially explicit meta-community model to quantify the roles of two species-level characteristics, niche width and immigration rates, on the type of the richness-heterogeneity relationship at the landscape scale. I found that both positive and unimodal richness-heterogeneity relationships can occur in meta-communities in patchy landscapes. The type of the relationship was affected by the interactions between inter-patch immigration rates and species' niche widths. Unimodal relationships were prominent in meta-communities comprising species with wide niches but low inter-patch immigration rates. In contrast, meta-communities consisting of species with narrow niches and high immigration rates exhibited positive relationships. Meta-communities comprising generalist species are therefore likely to exhibit unimodal richness-heterogeneity relationships as long as low immigration rates prevent rescue effects and patches are small. The richness-heterogeneity relationship at the landscape scale is dictated by species' niche widths and inter-patch immigration rates. These immigration rates, in turn, depend on the interaction between species dispersal capabilities and habitat connectivity, highlighting the roles of both species traits and landscape structure in generating the richness

  2. Species and tissue type regulate long-term decomposition of brackish marsh plants grown under elevated CO2 conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, Joshua A.; Cherry, Julia A.; McKee, Karen L.

    2016-02-01

    Organic matter accumulation, the net effect of plant production and decomposition, contributes to vertical soil accretion in coastal wetlands, thereby playing a key role in whether they keep pace with sea-level rise. Any factor that affects decomposition may affect wetland accretion, including atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Higher CO2 can influence decomposition rates by altering plant tissue chemistry or by causing shifts in plant species composition or biomass partitioning. A combined greenhouse-field experiment examined how elevated CO2 affected plant tissue chemistry and subsequent decomposition of above- and belowground tissues of two common brackish marsh species, Schoenoplectus americanus (C3) and Spartina patens (C4). Both species were grown in monoculture and in mixture under ambient (350-385 μL L-1) or elevated (ambient + 300 μL L-1) atmospheric CO2 conditions, with all other growth conditions held constant, for one growing season. Above- and belowground tissues produced under these treatments were decomposed under ambient field conditions in a brackish marsh in the Mississippi River Delta, USA. Elevated CO2 significantly reduced nitrogen content of S. americanus, but not sufficiently to affect subsequent decomposition. Instead, long-term decomposition (percent mass remaining after 280 d) was controlled by species composition and tissue type. Shoots of S. patens had more mass remaining (41 ± 2%) than those of S. americanus (12 ± 2%). Belowground material decomposed more slowly than that placed aboveground (62 ± 1% vs. 23 ± 3% mass remaining), but rates belowground did not differ between species. Increases in atmospheric CO2 concentration will likely have a greater effect on overall decomposition in this brackish marsh community through shifts in species dominance or biomass allocation than through effects on tissue chemistry. Consequent changes in organic matter accumulation may alter marsh capacity to accommodate sea-level rise through vertical

  3. Interactive effects of plant-available soil silicon and herbivory on competition between two grass species

    PubMed Central

    Garbuzov, Mihail; Reidinger, Stefan; Hartley, Susan E.

    2011-01-01

    Background and Aims The herbivore defence system of true grasses (Poaceae) is predominantly based on silicon that is taken up from the soil and deposited in the leaves in the form of abrasive phytoliths. Silicon uptake mechanisms can be both passive and active, with the latter suggesting that there is an energetic cost to silicon uptake. This study assessed the effects of plant-available soil silicon and herbivory on the competitive interactions between the grasses Poa annua, a species that has previously been reported to accumulate only small amounts of silicon, and Lolium perenne, a high silicon accumulator. Methods Plants were grown in mono- and mixed cultures under greenhouse conditions. Plant-available soil silicon levels were manipulated by adding silicon to the soil in the form of sodium silicate. Subsets of mixed culture pots were exposed to above-ground herbivory by desert locusts (Schistocerca gregaria). Key Results In the absence of herbivory, silicon addition increased biomass of P. annua but decreased biomass of L. perenne. Silicon addition increased foliar silicon concentrations of both grass species >4-fold. Under low soil-silicon availability the herbivores removed more leaf biomass from L. perenne than from P. annua, whereas under high silicon availability the reverse was true. Consequently, herbivory shifted the competitive balance between the two grass species, with the outcome depending on the availability of soil silicon. Conclusions It is concluded that a complex interplay between herbivore abundance, growth–defence trade-offs and the availability of soil silicon in the grasses' local environment affects the outcome of inter-specific competition, and so has the potential to impact on plant community structure. PMID:21868406

  4. Clonal Plasticity of Aquatic Plant Species Submitted to Mechanical Stress: Escape versus Resistance Strategy

    PubMed Central

    Puijalon, Sara; Bouma, Tjeerd J.; Van Groenendael, Jan; Bornette, Gudrun

    2008-01-01

    Background and Aims The plastic alterations of clonal architecture are likely to have functional consequences, as they affect the spatial distribution of ramets over patchy environments. However, little is known about the effect of mechanical stresses on the clonal growth. The aim of the present study was to investigate the clonal plasticity induced by mechanical stress consisting of continuous water current encountered by aquatic plants. More particularly, the aim was to test the capacity of the plants to escape this stress through clonal plastic responses. Methods The transplantation of ramets of the same clone in two contrasting flow velocity conditions was carried out for two species (Potamogeton coloratus and Mentha aquatica) which have contrasting clonal growth forms. Relative allocation to clonal growth, to creeping stems in the clonal biomass, number and total length of creeping stems, spacer length and main creeping stem direction were measured. Key Results For P. coloratus, plants exposed to water current displayed increased total length of creeping stems, increased relative allocation to creeping stems within the clonal dry mass and increased spacer length. For M. aquatica, plants exposed to current displayed increased number and total length of creeping stems. Exposure to current induced for both species a significant increase of the proportion of creeping stems in the downstream direction to the detriment of creeping stems perpendicular to flow. Conclusions This study demonstrates that mechanical stress from current flow induced plastic variation in clonal traits for both species. The responses of P. coloratus could lead to an escape strategy, with low benefits with respect to sheltering and anchorage. The responses of M. aquatica that may result in a denser canopy and enhancement of anchorage efficiency could lead to a resistance strategy. PMID:18854376

  5. How do soil texture, plant community composition and earthworms affected the infiltration rate in a grassland plant diversity experiment depending on season?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fischer, Christine; Britta, Merkel; Nico, Eisenhauer; Christiane, Roscher; Sabine, Attinger; Stefan, Scheu; Anke, Hildebrandt

    2013-04-01

    Background and aims: In this study we analyzed the influences of plant community characteristics, soil texture and earthworm presence on infiltration rates on a managed grassland plant diversity experiment assessing the role of biotic and abiotic factors on soil hydrology. Methods: We measured infiltration using a hood infiltrometer in subplots with ambient and reduced earthworm density (earthworm extraction) nested in plots of different plant species richness (1, 4, and 16), plant functional group number and composition (1 to 4; legumes, grasses, small herbs, tall herbs) in early summer (June) and autumn (September, October) 2011. Results: The presence of certain plant functional groups such as grasses and legumes influenced infiltration rates and this effect enhanced during the growing season. Infiltration was significantly higher in plots containing legumes than in plots without, and it was significantly lower in the presence of grasses than in their absence. In early summer, earthworm presence and biomass increased the infiltration rates, independently of plant species richness. In October, plant species richness only affected infiltration rates in reduced earthworm plots. At the end of the growing season earthworm populations were negatively influenced by grasses and positively by legumes. In September, infiltration rates were positive related to the proportion of finer grains. The correlation disappears when removing all plots containing legumes from the sample. For all measurements the infiltration rates decreases from early summer to autumn at the matric potentials at pressure zero and -0.02 m, but not for smaller macropores at matric potentials -0.04 and -0.06m. Conclusions: Considering infiltration rates as ecosystem function, this function will largely depend on the ecosystem composition and season, not on biodiversity per se. Our results indicate that biotic factors are of overriding influence for shaping infiltration rates mainly for larger macropores

  6. Shifts in Plant Assemblages Reduce the Richness of Galling Insects Across Edge-Affected Habitats in the Atlantic Forest.

    PubMed

    Souza, Danielle G; Santos, Jean C; Oliveira, Marcondes A; Tabarelli, Marcelo

    2016-10-01

    Impacts of habitat loss and fragmentation on specialist herbivores have been rarely addressed. Here we examine the structure of plant and galling insect assemblages in a fragmented landscape of the Atlantic forest to verify a potential impoverishment of these assemblages mediated by edge effects. Saplings and galling insects were recorded once within a 0.1-ha area at habitat level, covering forest interior stands, forest edges, and small fragments. A total of 1,769 saplings from 219 tree species were recorded across all three habitats, with differences in terms of sapling abundance and species richness. Additionally, edge-affected habitats exhibited reduced richness of both host-plant and galling insects at plot and habitat spatial scale. Attack levels also differed among forest types at habitat spatial scale (21.1% of attacked stems in forest interior, 12.4% in small fragments but only 8.5% in forest edges). Plot ordination resulted in three clearly segregated clusters: one formed by forest interior, one by small fragments, and another formed by edge plots. Finally, the indicator species analysis identified seven and one indicator plant species in forest interior and edge-affected habitats, respectively. Consequently, edge effects lead to formation of distinct taxonomic groups and also an impoverished assemblage of plants and galling insects at multiple spatial scales. The results of the present study indicate that fragmentation-related changes in plant assemblages can have a cascade effects on specialist herbivores. Accordingly, hyperfragmented landscapes may not be able to retain an expressive portion of tropical biodiversity.

  7. Tree cover at fine and coarse spatial grains interacts with shade tolerance to shape plant species distributions across the Alps

    PubMed Central

    Nieto-Lugilde, Diego; Lenoir, Jonathan; Abdulhak, Sylvain; Aeschimann, David; Dullinger, Stefan; Gégout, Jean-Claude; Guisan, Antoine; Pauli, Harald; Renaud, Julien; Theurillat, Jean-Paul; Thuiller, Wilfried; Van Es, Jérémie; Vittoz, Pascal; Willner, Wolfgang; Wohlgemuth, Thomas; Zimmermann, Niklaus E.; Svenning, Jens-Christian

    2015-01-01

    The role of competition for light among plants has long been recognised at local scales, but its importance for plant species distributions at larger spatial scales has generally been ignored. Tree cover modifies the local abiotic conditions below the canopy, notably by reducing light availability, and thus, also the performance of species that are not adapted to low-light conditions. However, this local effect may propagate to coarser spatial grains, by affecting colonisation probabilities and local extinction risks of herbs and shrubs. To assess the effect of tree cover at both the plot- and landscape-grain sizes (approximately 10-m and 1-km), we fit Generalised Linear Models (GLMs) for the plot-level distributions of 960 species of herbs and shrubs using 6,935 vegetation plots across the European Alps. We ran four models with different combinations of variables (climate, soil and tree cover) at both spatial grains for each species. We used partial regressions to evaluate the independent effects of plot- and landscape-grain tree cover on plot-level plant communities. Finally, the effects on species-specific elevational range limits were assessed by simulating a removal experiment comparing the species distributions under high and low tree cover. Accounting for tree cover improved the model performance, with the probability of the presence of shade-tolerant species increasing with increasing tree cover, whereas shade-intolerant species showed the opposite pattern. The tree cover effect occurred consistently at both the plot and landscape spatial grains, albeit most strongly at the former. Importantly, tree cover at the two grain sizes had partially independent effects on plot-level plant communities. With high tree cover, shade-intolerant species exhibited narrower elevational ranges than with low tree cover whereas shade-tolerant species showed wider elevational ranges at both limits. These findings suggest that forecasts of climate-related range shifts for herb

  8. Strong response of an invasive plant species (Centaurea solstitialis L.) to global environmental changes.

    PubMed

    Dukes, Jeffrey S; Chiariello, Nona R; Loarie, Scott R; Field, Christopher B

    2011-09-01

    Global environmental changes are altering interactions among plant species, sometimes favoring invasive species. Here, we examine how a suite of five environmental factors, singly and in combination, can affect the success of a highly invasive plant. We introduced Centaurea solstitialis L. (yellow starthistle), which is considered by many to be California's most troublesome wildland weed, to grassland plots in the San Francisco Bay Area. These plots experienced ambient or elevated levels of warming, atmospheric CO2, precipitation, and nitrate deposition, and an accidental fire in the previous year created an additional treatment. Centaurea grew more than six times larger in response to elevated CO2, and, outside of the burned area, grew more than three times larger in response to nitrate deposition. In contrast, resident plants in the community responded less strongly (or did not respond) to these treatments. Interactive effects among treatments were rarely significant. Results from a parallel mesocosm experiment, while less dramatic, supported the pattern of results observed in the field. Taken together, our results suggest that ongoing environmental changes may dramatically increase Centaurea's prevalence in western North America.

  9. Plant population differentiation and climate change: responses of grassland species along an elevational gradient.

    PubMed

    Frei, Esther R; Ghazoul, Jaboury; Matter, Philippe; Heggli, Martin; Pluess, Andrea R

    2014-02-01

    Mountain ecosystems are particularly susceptible to climate change. Characterizing intraspecific variation of alpine plants along elevational gradients is crucial for estimating their vulnerability to predicted changes. Environmental conditions vary with elevation, which might influence plastic responses and affect selection pressures that lead to local adaptation. Thus, local adaptation and phenotypic plasticity among low and high elevation plant populations in response to climate, soil and other factors associated with elevational gradients might underlie different responses of these populations to climate warming. Using a transplant experiment along an elevational gradient, we investigated reproductive phenology, growth and reproduction of the nutrient-poor grassland species Ranunculus bulbosus, Trifolium montanum and Briza media. Seeds were collected from low and high elevation source populations across the Swiss Alps and grown in nine common gardens at three different elevations with two different soil depths. Despite genetic differentiation in some traits, the results revealed no indication of local adaptation to the elevation of population origin. Reproductive phenology was advanced at lower elevation in low and high elevation populations of all three species. Growth and reproduction of T. montanum and B. media were hardly affected by garden elevation and soil depth. In R. bulbosus, however, growth decreased and reproductive investment increased at higher elevation. Furthermore, soil depth influenced growth and reproduction of low elevation R. bulbosus populations. We found no evidence for local adaptation to elevation of origin and hardly any differences in the responses of low and high elevation populations. However, the consistent advanced reproductive phenology observed in all three species shows that they have the potential to plastically respond to environmental variation. We conclude that populations might not be forced to migrate to higher elevations

  10. Toward breeding new land-sea plant hybrid species irrigable with seawater for dry regions

    PubMed Central

    Moustafa, Khaled

    2015-01-01

    A plant species growing in sea or coastal saltmarsh is greatly tolerant to high concentrations of salts, and a plant species growing in desert or dry regions is highly tolerant to drought. Breeding a new plant hybrid species from both species by means of cellular grafting, genome fusion or nuclear transfer would generate, at least in theory, a hybrid plant species that should be strongly tolerant to harsh aridity and salinity and would be potentially irrigable with seawater. Such prospective species can be used for example as a fodder, biofuel crop or stabilizer species to protect soil from wind erosion and sandy storms in dry regions. Breeding such species would change the surface of the world and help to solve major challenges of starvation, malnutrition and poverty. Here, I propose potential approaches that would be worthy of investigation toward this purpose. PMID:25806436

  11. Tree species and functional traits but not species richness affect interrill erosion processes in young subtropical forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seitz, S.; Goebes, P.; Song, Z.; Bruelheide, H.; Härdtle, W.; Kühn, P.; Li, Y.; Scholten, T.

    2016-01-01

    Soil erosion is seriously threatening ecosystem functioning in many parts of the world. In this context, it is assumed that tree species richness and functional diversity of tree communities can play a critical role in improving ecosystem services such as erosion control. An experiment with 170 micro-scale run-off plots was conducted to investigate the influence of tree species and tree species richness as well as functional traits on interrill erosion in a young forest ecosystem. An interrill erosion rate of 47.5 Mg ha-1 a-1 was calculated. This study provided evidence that different tree species affect interrill erosion differently, while tree species richness did not affect interrill erosion in young forest stands. Thus, different tree morphologies have to be considered, when assessing soil erosion under forest. High crown cover and leaf area index reduced interrill erosion in initial forest ecosystems, whereas rising tree height increased it. Even if a leaf litter cover was not present, the remaining soil surface cover by stones and biological soil crusts was the most important driver for soil erosion control. Furthermore, soil organic matter had a decreasing influence on interrill erosion. Long-term monitoring of soil erosion under closing tree canopies is necessary, and a wide range of functional tree traits should be considered in future research.

  12. [Epigenetic inheritance and its possible role in the evolution of plant species].

    PubMed

    Lavrov, S A; Mavrodiev, E V

    2003-01-01

    As it is clear now, the level of gene expression in eukariotes is determined mainly by chromatin composition. Chromatin structure of a particular gene (it is a complex item, which includes nucleosome positioning, histone modifications and non-histone chromatin proteins) can be modified externally and is able to be inherited mitotically and meiotically. Changes in chromatine structure are the basis of so called epigenetic inheritance that occurs without modification of DNA sequence. One of the most striking examples of epigenetic inheritance in plants is epimutations--stable for many generation's alleles of some genes that do not differ in primary DNA structure. Molecular basis of epimutations seems to be DNA metylation. Epimutations may be widely distributed in nature and affect some basis morphological features that have a systematic significance. Possibility of inheritance of acquired epigenetic modifications lead us to reconsider an idea of multipLe independent origins of some plant forms (or ecotypes) under action of similar external conditions. Different populations of the same species may in this case be unrelated and has no common ancestor. Species should be considered as invariant of multiple ways of origin. Wide distribution of polyploids amongst higher plants suggests effective mechanism of repression of multicopy genes. Each allopolyploidisation event is followed by repression of random set of parent genes via changes in its chromatin structure. As a result, in the limits of the same hybrid formula may arise different stable combinations of epigenetically controlled features of parent species. These combinations may be classified as different species of other taxa.

  13. Performance of dryland and wetland plant species on extensive green roofs

    PubMed Central

    MacIvor, J. Scott; Ranalli, Melissa A.; Lundholm, Jeremy T.

    2011-01-01

    Background and Aims Green roofs are constructed ecosystems where plants perform valuable services, ameliorating the urban environment through roof temperature reductions and stormwater interception. Plant species differ in functional characteristics that alter ecosystem properties. Plant performance research on extensive green roofs has so far indicated that species adapted to dry conditions perform optimally. However, in moist, humid climates, species typical of wetter soils might have advantages over dryland species. In this study, survival, growth and the performance of thermal and stormwater capture functions of three pairs of dryland and wetland plant species were quantified using an extensive modular green roof system. Methods Seedlings of all six species were germinated in a greenhouse and planted into green roof modules with 6 cm of growing medium. There were 34 treatments consisting of each species in monoculture and all combinations of wet- and dryland species in a randomized block design. Performance measures were survival, vegetation cover and roof surface temperature recorded for each module over two growing seasons, water loss (an estimate of evapotranspiration) in 2007, and albedo and water capture in 2008. Key Results Over two seasons, dryland plants performed better than wetland plants, and increasing the number of dryland species in mixtures tended to improve functioning, although there was no clear effect of species or habitat group diversity. All species had survival rates >75 % after the first winter; however, dryland species had much greater cover, an important indicator of green roof performance. Sibbaldiopsis tridentata was the top performing species in monoculture, and was included in the best treatments. Conclusions Although dryland species outperformed wetland species, planting extensive green roofs with both groups decreased performance only slightly, while increasing diversity and possibly habitat value. This study provides further

  14. Do vineyards in contrasting landscapes contribute to conserve plant species of dry calcareous grasslands?

    PubMed

    Nascimbene, Juri; Zottini, Michela; Ivan, Diego; Casagrande, Valentina; Marini, Lorenzo

    2016-03-01

    The increasing development of vineyards in Mediterranean areas worldwide is considered a major driver of conversion of several habitats of conservation concern, including calcareous dry grasslands that are targeted for biodiversity conservation by the European Union, according to Natura 2000 policies. Here, we aim at evaluating the potential of extensive vineyards located in contrasting landscapes (semi-natural vs crop-dominated) for providing suitable habitat conditions to plant species associated with dry grasslands. This study was carried out in one of the economically most important winemaking districts of Italy, characterized by a hilly landscape with steep slope vineyards. We compared plant communities of vineyards in contrasting landscapes with those of the remnants of dry grasslands. Our study demonstrates that landscape composition strongly affects local plant communities in vineyards, with a positive effect of semi-natural habitats bordering the cultivated areas. Our findings thus supply an additional tool for improving the effectiveness of viticultural landscapes for nature conservation. In particular, our results indicate that vineyards on steep slopes could provide moderate chance for the conservation of plant specialists inhabiting calcareous dry grasslands, depending on the landscape composition: vineyards embedded in semi-natural landscapes have more potential for conservation than those in crop-dominated landscapes. Our study also indicates that conservation efforts should aim at (a) decreasing the current management intensity that likely hampers the beneficial effects of semi-natural habitats in the surrounding landscape on local plant assemblages, and (b) strictly conserving the remnants of dry grasslands that are irreplaceable refugia for habitat specialists and species of conservation concern.

  15. Contingent effects of plant species on soils along a regional moisture gradient in the Great Plains.

    PubMed

    Vinton, M A; Burke, Ingrid C

    1997-04-01

    The central grassland region of the United States encompasses major gradients in temperature and precipitation that determine the distribution of plant life forms, which in turn may influence key ecosystem processes such as nutrient cycling and soil organic matter dynamics. One such gradient is the threefold increase in precipitation from the eastern Colorado shortgrass-steppe, in the rain shadow of the Rocky Mountains, to the tallgrass prairie in eastern Kansas. We investigated the relative roles of plant species and plant cover in influencing soil C and N cycling in three sites along this gradient. Plant cover (i.e., the presence or absence of an individual plant) was relatively more important than plant species in explaining variability in soil properties at the dry site, the Central Plains Experimental Range in␣northeastern Colorado. However, plant species explained relatively more of the variability in soil properties than did plant cover at the two wetter sites, Hays and Konza, in central and eastern Kansas. The wetter si