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Sample records for affects ecosystem processes

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Corkeron, Peter J.

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Corkeron, Peter J

    2009-04-23

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

  4. Nutrient addition differentially affects ecological processes of Avicennia germinans in nitrogen versus phosphorus limited mangrove ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Feller, Ilka C.; Lovelock, C.E.; McKee, K.L.

    2007-01-01

    Nutrient over-enrichment is a major threat to marine environments, but system-specific attributes of coastal ecosystems may result in differences in their sensitivity and susceptibility to eutrophication. We used fertilization experiments in nitrogen (N)- and phosphorus (P)-limited mangrove forests to test the hypothesis that alleviating different kinds of nutrient limitation may have different effects on ecosystem structure and function in natural systems. We compared a broad range of ecological processes to determine if these systems have different thresholds where shifts might occur in nutrient limitation. Growth responses indicated N limitation in Avicennia germinans (black mangrove) forests in the Indian River Lagoon (IRL), Florida, and P limitation at Twin Cays, Belize. When nutrient deficiency was relieved, A. germinans grew out of its stunted form by increasing wood relative to leaf biomass and shoot length relative to lateral growth. At the P-limited site, P enrichment (+P) increased specific leaf area, N resorption, and P uptake, but had no effect on P resorption. At the N-limited site, +N increased both N and P resorption, but did not alter biomass allocation. Herbivory was greater at the P-limited site and was unaffected by +P, whereas +N led to increased herbivory at the N-limited site. The responses to nutrient enrichment depended on the ecological process and limiting nutrient and suggested that N- versus P-limited mangroves do have different thresholds. +P had a greater effect on more ecological processes at Twin Cays than did +N at the IRL, which indicated that the P-limited site was more sensitive to nutrient loading. Because of this sensitivity, eutrophication is more likely to cause a shift in nutrient limitation at P-limited Twin Cays than N-limited IRL. ?? 2007 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  6. Ash in fire affected ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  7. Evolutionary diversification in stickleback affects ecosystem functioning.

    PubMed

    Harmon, Luke J; Matthews, Blake; Des Roches, Simone; Chase, Jonathan M; Shurin, Jonathan B; Schluter, Dolph

    2009-04-30

    Explaining the ecological causes of evolutionary diversification is a major focus of biology, but surprisingly little has been said about the effects of evolutionary diversification on ecosystems. The number of species in an ecosystem and their traits are key predictors of many ecosystem-level processes, such as rates of productivity, biomass sequestration and decomposition. Here we demonstrate short-term ecosystem-level effects of adaptive radiation in the threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) over the past 10,000 years. These fish have undergone recent parallel diversification in several lakes in coastal British Columbia, resulting in the formation of two specialized species (benthic and limnetic) from a generalist ancestor. Using a mesocosm experiment, we demonstrate that this diversification has strong effects on ecosystems, affecting prey community structure, total primary production, and the nature of dissolved organic materials that regulate the spectral properties of light transmission in the system. However, these ecosystem effects do not simply increase in their relative strength with increasing specialization and species richness; instead, they reflect the complex and indirect consequences of ecosystem engineering by sticklebacks. It is well known that ecological factors influence adaptive radiation. We demonstrate that adaptive radiation, even over short timescales, can have profound effects on ecosystems.

  8. Bioaccumulation processes in ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Streit, B

    1992-10-15

    The fate of environmental pollutants--the various isotopes of elements, and inorganic or organic compounds--is a fundamental aspect of ecology and ecotoxicology, and bioaccumulation is a phenomenon often discussed in this context. Human activities have drastically altered natural concentrations of many substances in the environment and added numerous new chemicals. An understanding of the processes of bioaccumulation is important for several reasons. 1) Bioaccumulation in organisms may enhance the persistence of industrial chemicals in the ecosystem as a whole, since they can be fixed in the tissues of organisms. 2) Stored chemicals are not exposed to direct physical, chemical, or biochemical degradation. 3) Stored chemicals can directly affect an individual's health. 4) Predators of those organisms that have bioaccumulated harmful substances may be endangered by food chain effects. While former theories on the processes of bioaccumulation focused on single aspects that affect the extent of accumulation (such as the trophic level within the food chain or the lipophilicity of the chemical), modern theories are based on compartmental kinetics and the integration of various environmental interactions. Concepts include results from quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSAR), pharmacokinetics, ecophysiology and general biology, molecular genetic aspects and selection, and finally the structure of communities and man-made alterations in them.

  9. Biogeochemical processes underpin ecosystem services

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  11. Fire as an ecosystem process: Chapter 3

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keeley, Jon E.; Safford, Hugh D.; Mooney, Harold A.; Zavaleta, Erika S.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2007-02-15

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

  13. Biogeochemical Processes in Microbial Ecosystems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    DesMarais, David J.

    2001-01-01

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

  14. Affective processing requires awareness.

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siteur, Koen; Eppinga, Maarten; Karssenberg, Derek; Baudena, Mara; Bierkens, Marc; Rietkerk, Max

    2014-05-01

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

  16. Process-Based Thinking in Ecosystem Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

  17. Nitrogen cycling process rates across urban ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Reisinger, Alexander J; Groffman, Peter M; Rosi-Marshall, Emma J

    2016-09-21

    Nitrogen (N) pollution of freshwater, estuarine, and marine ecosystems is widespread and has numerous environmental and economic impacts. A portion of this excess N comes from urban watersheds comprised of natural and engineered ecosystems which can alter downstream N export. Studies of urban N cycling have focused on either specific ecosystems or on watershed-scale mass balances. Comparisons of specific N transformations across ecosystems are required to contextualize rates from individual studies. Here we reviewed urban N cycling in terrestrial, aquatic, and engineered ecosystems, and compared N processing in these urban ecosystem types to native reference ecosystems. We found that net N mineralization and net nitrification rates were enhanced in urban forests and riparian zones relative to reference ecosystems. Denitrification was highly variable across urban ecosystem types, but no significant differences were found between urban and reference denitrification rates. When focusing on urban streams, ammonium uptake was more rapid than nitrate uptake in urban streams. Additionally, reduction of stormwater runoff coupled with potential decreases in N concentration suggests that green infrastructure may reduce downstream N export. Despite multiple environmental stressors in urban environments, ecosystems within urban watersheds can process and transform N at rates similar to or higher than reference ecosystems.

  18. 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.

  19. Linking ecosystem processes to sustainable wetland management

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2009-01-01

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

  20. Effects of fire on major forest ecosystem processes: an overview.

    PubMed

    Chen, Zhong

    2006-09-01

    Fire and fire ecology are among the best-studied topics in contemporary ecosystem ecology. The large body of existing literature on fire and fire ecology indicates an urgent need to synthesize the information on the pattern of fire effects on ecosystem composition, structure, and functions for application in fire and ecosystem management. Understanding fire effects and underlying principles are critical to reduce the risk of uncharacteristic wildfires and for proper use of fire as an effective management tool toward management goals. This overview is a synthesis of current knowledge on major effects of fire on fire-prone ecosystems, particularly those in the boreal and temperate regions of the North America. Four closely related ecosystem processes in vegetation dynamics, nutrient cycling, soil and belowground process and water relations were discussed with emphases on fire as the driving force. Clearly, fire can shape ecosystem composition, structure and functions by selecting fire adapted species and removing other susceptible species, releasing nutrients from the biomass and improving nutrient cycling, affecting soil properties through changing soil microbial activities and water relations, and creating heterogeneous mosaics, which in turn, can further influence fire behavior and ecological processes. Fire as a destructive force can rapidly consume large amount of biomass and cause negative impacts such as post-fire soil erosion and water runoff, and air pollution; however, as a constructive force fire is also responsible for maintaining the health and perpetuity of certain fire-dependent ecosystems. Considering the unique ecological roles of fire in mediating and regulating ecosystems, fire should be incorporated as an integral component of ecosystems and management. However, the effects of fire on an ecosystem depend on the fire regime, vegetation type, climate, physical environments, and the scale of time and space of assessment. More ecosystem

  1. Food-web composition affects cross-ecosystem interactions and subsidies.

    PubMed

    Romero, Gustavo Q; Srivastava, Diane S

    2010-09-01

    1. Ecosystems may affect each other through trophic interactions that cross ecosystem boundaries as well as via the transfer of subsidies, but these effects can vary depending on the identity of species involved in the interaction. 2. In this study, we manipulated two terrestrial bromeliad-living spider species (Aglaoctenus castaneus, Corinna gr. rubripes) that have variable hunting modes, to test their individual and combined effects on aquatic invertebrate community structure and ecosystem processes (i.e. decomposition rate and nitrogen cycling). We predicted that these terrestrial predators can affect aquatic invertebrates and nutrient dynamics within water-filled bromeliads. 3. Aglaoctenus spiders reduced the richness, abundance and biomass of aquatic insect larvae via consumptive or non-consumptive effects on ovipositing terrestrial adults, but effects of the two spider species in combination were usually the linear average of their monoculture effects. In contrast, invertebrates with entirely aquatic life cycles were unaffected or facilitated by spiders. Spiders did not affect either net detritivore biomass or the flux of detrital nitrogen to the bromeliad. Instead, Corinna spiders contributed allochthonous nitrogen to bromeliads. 4. Our results provide the novel observations that predators in one ecosystem not only directly reduce taxa whose life cycles cross-ecosystem boundaries, but also indirectly facilitate taxa whose life cycles are entirely within the second ecosystem. This compensatory response between cross-ecosystem and within-ecosystem taxa may have led to an attenuation of top-down effects across ecosystem boundaries. In addition, our results add to a growing consensus that species identity is an important determinant of community structure and ecosystem functioning. Thus, the composition of both terrestrial and aquatic food webs may affect the strength of cross-ecosystem interactions.

  2. Biodiversity effects of ecosystem engineers are stronger on more complex ecosystem processes.

    PubMed

    Caliman, Adriano; Carneiro, Luciana S; Leal, João J F; Farjalla, Vinicius F; Bozelli, Reinaldo L; Esteves, Francisco A

    2013-09-01

    The relative importance of species richness and identity for the diversity-function relationship remains controversial. We mechanistically explored the potential contribution of ecosystem processes complexity (EPC; i.e., the number of pathways and mechanisms through which an ecosystem process can be directly and/or indirectly affected by species and/or their interactions) to the resolution of this controversy. We hypothesized that the complementarity effects of biodiversity will be stronger and that the diversity-function relationship will be more dependent on species richness as the EPC increases. Using a benthic bioturbator community as a model system we tested these predictions across ecosystem processes that could be ordered according to their complexity (suspended material flux < PO4-P flux < NH4-N flux < bacterioplankton production). Consistent with our predictions, species richness explained an increasing proportion of data variation as EPC increased, whereas the contrary was observed for species composition. Nontransgressive overyielding was not affected by EPC, but the magnitude of transgressive overyielding increased significantly with EPC, indicating that complementarity may be stronger as EPC increases. Our results highlight the importance of considering the interactive role of the characteristics of ecosystem processes in our theoretical understanding of the diversity-function relationship and its underlying mechanisms.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-11-01

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

  4. Positive affect and psychobiological processes.

    PubMed

    Dockray, Samantha; Steptoe, Andrew

    2010-09-01

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

  5. Landsat Ecosystem Disturbance Adaptive Processing System (LEDAPS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Masek, Jeffrey G.

    2006-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cowan, Christina E.

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

  7. Community history affects the predictability of microbial ecosystem development.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  8. Community history affects the predictability of microbial ecosystem development

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-01-01

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

  10. Ant-mediated ecosystem processes are driven by trophic community structure but mainly by the environment.

    PubMed

    Salas-Lopez, Alex; Mickal, Houadria; Menzel, Florian; Orivel, Jérôme

    2017-01-01

    The diversity and functional identity of organisms are known to be relevant to the maintenance of ecosystem processes but can be variable in different environments. Particularly, it is uncertain whether ecosystem processes are driven by complementary effects or by dominant groups of species. We investigated how community structure (i.e., the diversity and relative abundance of biological entities) explains the community-level contribution of Neotropical ant communities to different ecosystem processes in different environments. Ants were attracted with food resources representing six ant-mediated ecosystem processes in four environments: ground and vegetation strata in cropland and forest habitats. The exploitation frequencies of the baits were used to calculate the taxonomic and trophic structures of ant communities and their contribution to ecosystem processes considered individually or in combination (i.e., multifunctionality). We then investigated whether community structure variables could predict ecosystem processes and whether such relationships were affected by the environment. We found that forests presented a greater biodiversity and trophic complementarity and lower dominance than croplands, but this did not affect ecosystem processes. In contrast, trophic complementarity was greater on the ground than on vegetation and was followed by greater resource exploitation levels. Although ant participation in ecosystem processes can be predicted by means of trophic-based indices, we found that variations in community structure and performance in ecosystem processes were best explained by environment. We conclude that determining the extent to which the dominance and complementarity of communities affect ecosystem processes in different environments requires a better understanding of resource availability to different species.

  11. Arctic mosses govern below-ground environment and ecosystem processes.

    PubMed

    Gornall, J L; Jónsdóttir, I S; Woodin, S J; Van der Wal, R

    2007-10-01

    Mosses dominate many northern ecosystems and their presence is integral to soil thermal and hydrological regimes which, in turn, dictate important ecological processes. Drivers, such as climate change and increasing herbivore pressure, affect the moss layer thus, assessment of the functional role of mosses in determining soil characteristics is essential. Field manipulations conducted in high arctic Spitsbergen (78 degrees N), creating shallow (3 cm), intermediate (6 cm) and deep (12 cm) moss layers over the soil surface, had an immediate impact on soil temperature in terms of both average temperatures and amplitude of fluctuations. In soil under deep moss, temperature was substantially lower and organic layer thaw occurred 4 weeks later than in other treatment plots; the growing season for vascular plants was thereby reduced by 40%. Soil moisture was also reduced under deep moss, reflecting the influence of local heterogeneity in moss depth, over and above the landscape-scale topographic control of soil moisture. Data from field and laboratory experiments show that moss-mediated effects on the soil environment influenced microbial biomass and activity, resulting in warmer and wetter soil under thinner moss layers containing more plant-available nitrogen. In arctic ecosystems, which are limited by soil temperature, growing season length and nutrient availability, spatial and temporal variation in the depth of the moss layer has significant repercussions for ecosystem function. Evidence from our mesic tundra site shows that any disturbance causing reduction in the depth of the moss layer will alleviate temperature and moisture constraints and therefore profoundly influence a wide range of ecosystem processes, including nutrient cycling and energy transfer.

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

    PubMed Central

    Sinclair, A R E

    2003-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kristensen, Erik

    2008-02-01

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

  14. Landscape structure affects the provision of multiple ecosystem services

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lamy, T.; Liss, K. N.; Gonzalez, A.; Bennett, E. M.

    2016-12-01

    Understanding how landscape structure, the composition and configuration of land use/land cover (LULC) types, affects the relative supply of ecosystem services (ES), is critical to improving landscape management. While there is a long history of studies on landscape composition, the importance of landscape configuration has only recently become apparent. To understand the role of landscape structure in the provision of multiple ES, we must understand how ES respond to different measures of both composition and configuration of LULC. We used a multivariate framework to quantify the role of landscape configuration and composition in the provision of ten ES in 130 municipalities in an agricultural region in Southern Québec. We identified the relative influence of composition and configuration in the provision of these ES using multiple regression, and on bundles of ES using canonical redundancy analysis. We found that both configuration and composition play a role in explaining variation in the supply of ES, but the relative contribution of composition and configuration varies significantly among ES. We also identified three distinct ES bundles (sets of ES that regularly appear together on the landscape) and found that each bundle was associated with a unique area in the landscape, that mapped to a gradient in the composition and configuration of forest and agricultural LULC. These results show that the distribution of ES on the landscape depends upon both the overall composition of LULC types and their configuration on the landscape. As ES become more widely used to steer land use decision-making, quantifying the roles of configuration and composition in the provision of ES bundles can improve landscape management by helping us understand when and where the spatial pattern of land cover is important for multiple services.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

  16. Characterizing Geohydrologic Linkages using Process Domains for Monitoring Aquatic Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weekes, A.; Torgersen, C.; Montgomery, D. R.; Woodward, A.; Bolton, S.

    2009-12-01

    Aquatic habitats in glaciated headwater basins can differ widely within a mountain region and are often more complex than those found in lowland river systems. Current legislative mandates for ecosystem monitoring often require the ability to relate geomorphic and hydrologic stream attributes to ecological response. The capacity to define meaningful references states against which to evaluate current status and trends is particularly challenging in mountain aquatic ecosystems. To aid in the implementation of the National Park Service (NPS) Vital Signs Monitoring Program in the mountainous North Coast and Cascades Network (NCCN) parks, this project sought a systematic way to characterize both the spatial distribution of geomorphic controls within the stream hierarchy and to integrate hydrologic response. These controls comprise the physical context that supports biotic “vital signs” in park ecosystems and have consequences that directly affect the life history strategies and persistence of biota living in mountain streams and other aquatic habitats. However, there are currently no monitoring protocols that provide a precedent for incorporating the geomorphic spatial characteristics or diverse types of hydrologic response at the spatial and temporal scales unique to these headwater systems. To address this issue, we investigated relationships between valley-scale glacial macroforms and hydrologic indices (e.g. streamflow gauging, stable isotope analysis and water temperature measurements) in small (1 - 20 km2) headwater basins on the east side of Mount Rainier National Park. The linkage between geomorphic and hydrologic response was found to be best expressed in process domains defined as colluvial, alluvial and bedrock systems. Study results show a correlation between the percentage of colluvial process domains within a headwater catchment and the characteristic hydrologic regime of the basin. These relationships offer a framework that can account for the innate

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-13

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Regulation of ecosystem processes by arthropod communities

    SciTech Connect

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

    1983-09-01

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

  20. Microbial diversity, producer-decomposer interactions and ecosystem processes: a theoretical model.

    PubMed

    Loreau, M

    2001-02-07

    Interactions between the diversity of primary producers and that of decomposers--the two key functional groups that form the basis of all ecosystems--might have major consequences on the functioning of depauperate ecosystems. I present a simple ecosystem model in which primary producers (plants) and decomposers (microbes) are linked through material cycling. The model considers a diversity of plant organic compounds and a diversity of microbial species. Nutrient recycling efficiency from organic compounds to decomposers is then the key parameter that controls ecosystem processes (primary productivity, secondary productivity, producer biomass and decomposer biomass). The model predicts that microbial diversity has a positive effect on nutrient recycling efficiency and ecosystem processes through either greater intensity of microbial exploitation of organic compounds or functional niche complementarity, much like in plants. Microbial niche breadth and overlap should not affect ecosystem processes unless they increase the number of organic compounds that are decomposed. In contrast, the model predicts that plant organic compound diversity can only have a negative effect or, at best, no effect on ecosystem processes, at least in a constant environment. This creates a tension between the effects of plant diversity and microbial diversity on ecosystem functioning, which may explain some recent experimental results.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  4. Soil CO2 dynamics and fluxes as affected by tree harvest in an experimental sand ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keller, C. K.; White, T. M.; O'Brien, R.; Smith, J. L.

    2006-09-01

    Soil CO2 production is a key process in ecosystem C exchange, and global change predictions require understanding of how ecosystem disturbance affects this process. We monitored CO2 levels in soil gas and as bicarbonate in drainage from an experimental red pine ecosystem, for 1 year before and 3 years after its aboveground biomass was removed. Lack of physical disturbance, strict prevention of plant regrowth, and a comparison ecosystem without rooted plants facilitated isolation of the microclimatic and biochemical effects of instantaneous canopy removal and cessation of photosynthesis. Preharvest gas-phase CO2 levels fluctuated with growing-season soil temperature but reached their greatest levels (up to 10,000 ppmV) during late winter beneath snow and ice cover. This pattern, and the annual CO2 efflux of ˜500 g C m-2 yr-1, continued for 2 years following harvest; the efflux declined by half in the third year. The surprising continuity of preharvest and postharvest rates of soil CO2 production reflects the replacement of root respiration with microbial respiration of root and litter substrates of declining lability, but boosted by soil temperature increases. Mass balance is consistent with a bulk root+litter exponential decay time (-1/k) of 4-6 years, such that most of the subsurface biomass accumulated over 15 years of tree growth would be lost in a decade after the harvest. The preharvest bicarbonate C efflux, which was less than 0.1% of the gas-phase efflux, trebled after the harvest owing to elimination of evapotranspiration and consequent increases in drainage while soil CO2 levels remained high. A large fraction of this "hydrospheric" sink for atmospheric CO2 is attributed to weathering under high soil CO2 levels before spring snowmelt and soil-water flushing. These observations suggest that disturbance may enhance long-term chemical-weathering CO2 sinks.

  5. Process-based Principles for Restoring Dynamic River Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-12-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stevenson, R. D.

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

  7. Land use affects the net ecosystem CO(2) exchange and its components in mountain grasslands.

    PubMed

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

    2010-08-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Band, Larry

    2010-05-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Simpson, James R.

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Levin, Michael; Gallucci, V. F.

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

  12. Affect, Behavioural Schemas and the Proving Process

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Selden, Annie; McKee, Kerry; Selden, John

    2010-01-01

    In this largely theoretical article, we discuss the relation between a kind of affect, behavioural schemas and aspects of the proving process. We begin with affect as described in the mathematics education literature, but soon narrow our focus to a particular kind of affect--nonemotional cognitive feelings. We then mention the position of feelings…

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2016-02-24

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. 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

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

    DOE PAGES

    Graham, Emily B.; Knelman, Joseph E.; Schindlbacher, Andreas; ...

    2016-02-24

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

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

  1. [Ecosystem service interactions and their affecting factors in Jinghe watershed at county level].

    PubMed

    Pan, Ying; Zhen, Lin; Long, Xin; Cao, Xiao-Chang

    2012-05-01

    Taking the multiple ecosystem services (grain supply, meat supply, fuel-wood supply, water resource conservation and soil retention) as test objects, this paper analyzed the interactions among these services, the interaction modes and the possible affecting factors in 31 counties of Jinghe watershed. At the county level, there existed great differences in the interactions among different pairs of the ecosystem services. The grain supply showed significant positive correlation with meat supply but negative correlation with soil retention, whereas the water resource conservation showed significant positive correlations with fuel-wood supply and soil retention. As for the interaction modes of the ecosystem services, 24 counties were primarily of regulation services, 3 counties were of supply and regulation services in balance, and 4 counties were primarily of grain supply. The total ecosystem service index of the interaction modes in each county varied greatly, with 5.1 times of difference between the maximum (Jingyuan County) and the minimum value (Yanchi County). The total ecosystem service index was significantly positively correlated with precipitation and soil total nitrogen, and negatively correlated with solar hours. The increase of farmland had negative effects, while that of shrub land and grassland had great positive effects on the total ecosystem service index, but the increase of forestland had less effects.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-27

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  9. South Florida wetlands ecosystem; biogeochemical processes in peat

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Orem, William; ,

    1996-01-01

    The South Florida wetlands ecosystem is an environment of great size and ecological diversity (figs. 1 and 2). The landscape diversity and subtropical setting of this ecosystem provide a habitat for an abundance of plants and wildlife, some of which are unique to South Florida. South Florida wetlands are currently in crisis, however, due to the combined effects of agriculture, urbanization, and nearly 100 years of water management. Serious problems facing this ecosystem include (1) phosphorus contamination producing nutrient enrichment, which is causing changes in the native vegetation, (2) methylmercury contamination of fish and other wildlife, which poses a potential threat to human health, (3) changes in the natural flow of water in the region, resulting in more frequent drying of wetlands, loss of organic soils, and a reduction in freshwater flow to Florida Bay, (4) hypersalinity, massive algal blooms, and seagrass loss in parts of Florida Bay, and (5) a decrease in wildlife populations, especially those of wading birds. This U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) project focuses on the role of organic-rich sediments (peat) of South Florida wetlands in regulating the concentrations and impact of important chemical species in the environment. The cycling of carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur in peat is an important factor in the regulation of water quality in the South Florida wetlands ecosystem. These elements are central to many of the contamination issues facing South Florida wetlands, such as nutrient enrichment, mercury toxicity, and loss of peat. Many important chemical and biological reactions occur in peat and control the fate of chemical species in wetlands. Wetland scientists often refer to these reactions as biogeochemical processes, because they are chemical reactions usually mediated by microorganisms in a geological environment. An understanding of the biogeochemical processes in peat of South Florida wetlands will provide a basis for evaluating the

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  11. [Advances in study of factors affecting soil N mineralization in grassland ecosystems].

    PubMed

    Wang, Changhui; Xing, Xuerong; Han, Xingguo

    2004-11-01

    The biological and non-biological factors affecting soil N availability in grassland ecosystems were reviewed in this paper. Nitrogen cycling in grassland ecosystems is one of the focuses widely concerned. Nitrogen mineralization is affected by many factors in grassland ecosystem, which can be classified into biological and non-biological ones. Biological factors include soil animals, soil microorganisms and plants. Soil animals could accelerate the organic matter to degrade. The species, structure and function of soil microorganisms correlate significantly with N degradation and mineralization. Different vegetation has different effects on soil nitrogen mineralization. The non-biological factors include environmental factors and anthropogenic disturbance, which have direct and obvious effects on N mineralization. The effects of soil temperature and moisture on N mineralization are given more attention, but many phenomena, such as the effects of soil type, soil structure and vegetation type on N mineralization still could not be explained clearly, and no general agreements were reached. Anthropogenic disturbance such as grazing, firing and fertilization influence N mineralization evidently. It is of great significance to understand the N cycling pattern and N availability in different grassland ecosystems all around the world.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2013-01-01

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

  14. Climate change impacts on ecosystems and ecosystem services in the United States: Process and prospects for sustained assessment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grimm, Nancy B.; Groffman, Peter M; Staudinger, Michelle D.; Tallis, Heather

    2016-01-01

    The third United States National Climate Assessment emphasized an evaluation of not just the impacts of climate change on species and ecosystems, but also the impacts of climate change on the benefits that people derive from nature, known as ecosystem services. The ecosystems, biodiversity, and ecosystem services component of the assessment largely drew upon the findings of a transdisciplinary workshop aimed at developing technical input for the assessment, involving participants from diverse sectors. A small author team distilled and synthesized this and hundreds of other technical input to develop the key findings of the assessment. The process of developing and ranking key findings hinged on identifying impacts that had particular, demonstrable effects on the U.S. public via changes in national ecosystem services. Findings showed that ecosystem services are threatened by the impacts of climate change on water supplies, species distributions and phenology, as well as multiple assaults on ecosystem integrity that, when compounded by climate change, reduce the capacity of ecosystems to buffer against extreme events. As ecosystems change, such benefits as water sustainability and protection from storms that are afforded by intact ecosystems are projected to decline across the continent due to climate change. An ongoing, sustained assessment that focuses on the co-production of actionable climate science will allow scientists from a range of disciplines to ascertain the capability of their forecasting models to project environmental and ecological change and link it to ecosystem services; additionally, an iterative process of evaluation, development of management strategies, monitoring, and reevaluation will increase the applicability and usability of the science by the U.S. public.

  15. Lead contamination of an old shooting range affecting the local ecosystem--A case study with a holistic approach.

    PubMed

    Rantalainen, Minna-Liisa; Torkkeli, Minna; Strömmer, Rauni; Setälä, Heikki

    2006-10-01

    The aim of this case study was to uncover the consequences of lead pellet-derived heavy lead contamination at a cast-off shooting range in southern Finland, covering aspects from soil chemistry and biology up to ecosystem level. The observed changes in the soil properties of the most contaminated areas suggest that the contamination may be disturbing processes of decomposition and nutrient mineralisation. Also two functionally important groups of soil organisms, microbes (as analysed using the PLFA analysis) and enchytraeid worms, were negatively affected by the contamination. Furthermore, there was an indication of reduced pine litter production at the contaminated areas. On the other hand, lead contamination appears not to have affected pine growth or soil-dwelling nematodes and microarthropods, and the general outlook of the whole ecosystem is that of a healthy forest. Thus, the boreal forest ecosystem studied as a whole appears to bear strong resistance to contamination, despite negative effects of lead on many of its components. This resistance may result from e.g. low bioavailability of lead, avoidance of the most contaminated soil horizons and microsites by the organisms, and functional redundancy and development of lead-tolerant populations amongst the organisms. The relative importance of these factors and the mechanisms behind them will be investigated in forthcoming studies.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-31

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

  18. Forest fragmentation and selective logging have inconsistent effects on multiple animal-mediated ecosystem processes in a tropical forest.

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  20. Affect intensity and processing fluency of deterrents.

    PubMed

    Holman, Andrei

    2013-01-01

    The theory of emotional intensity (Brehm, 1999) suggests that the intensity of affective states depends on the magnitude of their current deterrents. Our study investigated the role that fluency--the subjective experience of ease of information processing--plays in the emotional intensity modulations as reactions to deterrents. Following an induction phase of good mood, we manipulated both the magnitude of deterrents (using sets of photographs with pre-tested potential to instigate an emotion incompatible with the pre-existent affective state--pity) and their processing fluency (normal vs. enhanced through subliminal priming). Current affective state and perception of deterrents were then measured. In the normal processing conditions, the results revealed the cubic effect predicted by the emotional intensity theory, with the initial affective state being replaced by the one appropriate to the deterrent only in participants exposed to the high magnitude deterrence. In the enhanced fluency conditions the emotional intensity pattern was drastically altered; also, the replacement of the initial affective state occurred at a lower level of deterrence magnitude (moderate instead of high), suggesting the strengthening of deterrence emotional impact by enhanced fluency.

  1. Cognitive and Affective Processes Underlying Career Change

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Muja, Naser; Appelbaum, Steven H.

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-02-01

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

  3. Gaussian Process Regression for Uncertainty Estimation on Ecosystem Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Menzer, O.; Moffat, A.; Lasslop, G.; Reichstein, M.

    2011-12-01

    The flow of carbon between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere is mainly driven by nonlinear, complex and time-lagged processes. Understanding the associated ecosystem responses and climatic feedbacks is a key challenge regarding climate change questions such as increasing atmospheric CO2 levels. Usually, the underlying relationships are implemented in models as prescribed functions which interlink numerous meteorological, radiative and gas exchange variables. In contrast, supervised Machine Learning algorithms, such as Artificial Neural Networks or Gaussian Processes, allow for an insight into the relationships directly from a data perspective. Micrometeorological, high resolution measurements at flux towers of the FLUXNET observational network are an essential tool for obtaining quantifications of the ecosystem variables, as they continuously record e.g. CO2 exchange, solar radiation and air temperature. In order to facilitate the investigation of the interactions and feedbacks between these variables, several challenging data properties need to be taken into account: noisy, multidimensional and incomplete (Moffat, Accepted). The task of estimating uncertainties in such micrometeorological measurements can be addressed by Gaussian Processes (GPs), a modern nonparametric method for nonlinear regression. The GP approach has recently been shown to be a powerful modeling tool, regardless of the input dimensionality, the degree of nonlinearity and the noise level (Rasmussen and Williams, 2006). Heteroscedastic Gaussian Processes (HGPs) are a specialized GP method for data with a varying, inhomogeneous noise variance (Goldberg et al., 1998; Kersting et al., 2007), as usually observed in CO2 flux measurements (Richardson et al., 2006). Here, we showed by an evaluation of the HGP performance in several artificial experiments and a comparison to existing nonlinear regression methods, that their outstanding ability is to capture measurement noise levels, concurrently

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Herbivore and predator diversity interactively affect ecosystem properties in an experimental marine community.

    PubMed

    Douglass, James G; Duffy, J Emmett; Bruno, John F

    2008-06-01

    Interacting changes in predator and prey diversity likely influence ecosystem properties but have rarely been experimentally tested. We manipulated the species richness of herbivores and predators in an experimental benthic marine community and measured their effects on predator, herbivore and primary producer performance. Predator composition and richness strongly affected several community and population responses, mostly via sampling effects. However, some predators survived better in polycultures than in monocultures, suggesting complementarity due to stronger intra- than interspecific interactions. Predator effects also differed between additive and substitutive designs, emphasizing that the relationship between diversity and abundance in an assemblage can strongly influence whether and how diversity effects are realized. Changing herbivore richness and predator richness interacted to influence both total herbivore abundance and predatory crab growth, but these interactive diversity effects were weak. Overall, the presence and richness of predators dominated biotic effects on community and ecosystem properties.

  7. Microphysical Processes Affecting the Pinatubo Volcanic Plume

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1996-01-01

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

  8. Stress modulation of cognitive and affective processes.

    PubMed

    Campeau, Serge; Liberzon, Israel; Morilak, David; Ressler, Kerry

    2011-09-01

    This review summarizes the major discussion points of a symposium on stress modulation of cognitive and affective processes, which was held during the 2010 workshop on the neurobiology of stress (Boulder, CO, USA). The four discussants addressed a number of specific cognitive and affective factors that are modulated by exposure to acute or repeated stress. Dr David Morilak discussed the effects of various repeated stress situations on cognitive flexibility, as assessed with a rodent model of attentional set-shifting task, and how performance on slightly different aspects of this test is modulated by different prefrontal regions through monoaminergic neurotransmission. Dr Serge Campeau summarized the findings of several studies exploring a number of factors and brain regions that regulate habituation of various autonomic and neuroendocrine responses to repeated audiogenic stress exposures. Dr Kerry Ressler discussed a body of work exploring the modulation and extinction of fear memories in rodents and humans, especially focusing on the role of key neurotransmitter systems including excitatory amino acids and brain-derived neurotrophic factor. Dr Israel Liberzon presented recent results on human decision-making processes in response to exogenous glucocorticoid hormone administration. Overall, these discussions are casting a wider framework on the cognitive/affective processes that are distinctly regulated by the experience of stress and some of the brain regions and neurotransmitter systems associated with these effects.

  9. Ecosystem Modeling of Biological Processes to Global Budgets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  10. Long term trends of carbon dioxide exchange in a tundra ecosystem affected by permafrost thaw

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schuur, E. A.; Bracho, R. G.; Belshe, F.; Crummer, K. G.; Hicks Pries, C.; Krapek, J.; Natali, S.; Pegoraro, E.; Salmon, V.; Trucco, C.; Vogel, J. G.; Webb, E.

    2013-12-01

    Arctic warming has led to permafrost degradation and ground subsidence as a result of ground ice melting. Frozen soil organic matter that thaws can increase carbon (C) emissions to the atmosphere via respiration, but this can be offset in part by increases in plant growth. The balance of plant and microbial processes, and how they change through time, will determine how permafrost ecosystems influence future climate change via the C cycle. This study addressed this question both on short (interannual) and longer (decadal) time periods by measuring C fluxes over a ten-year period at three sites that represent a gradient of time since permafrost thaw. All three sites are upland tundra ecosystems located in Interior Alaska but differed in the extent of permafrost thaw and ground subsidence. Results showed an increasing growing season (May - September) trend in gross primary productivity, net ecosystem exchange, aboveground net primary productivity, and annual net ecosystem exchange at all sites over the study period from 2004-2013. In contrast, there was no directional change in annual and growing season ecosystem respiration, or mass loss from decomposition of a common cellulose substrate. The increasing trends over time as well as inter site differences most closely followed variation in growing season thaw depth over the same time period. During the study period, sites with more permafrost degradation (deeper seasonal thaw) had significantly greater gross primary productivity compared to where degradation was least, but also greater growing season ecosystem respiration. Adding in winter respiration decreased, in part, the summer C sink and left the site with the most permafrost degradation near C neutral, with the other sites annual C sinks. However, annual C balance was strongly dependent on winter respiration, which, compared to the growing season, was relatively data-poor due to extreme environmental conditions. Measurements of growing season and annual C

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cowan, Christina E.

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gates, David M.

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Simpson, James R.

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roseman, Leonard D.

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

  15. Grazing intensity significantly affects belowground carbon and nitrogen cycling in grassland ecosystems: a meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Guiyao; Zhou, Xuhui; He, Yanghui; Shao, Junjiong; Hu, Zhenhong; Liu, Ruiqiang; Zhou, Huimin; Hosseinibai, Shahla

    2017-03-01

    Livestock grazing activities potentially alter ecosystem carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycles in grassland ecosystems. Despite the fact that numerous individual studies and a few meta-analyses had been conducted, how grazing, especially its intensity, affects belowground C and N cycling in grasslands remains unclear. In this study, we performed a comprehensive meta-analysis of 115 published studies to examine the responses of 19 variables associated with belowground C and N cycling to livestock grazing in global grasslands. Our results showed that, on average, grazing significantly decreased belowground C and N pools in grassland ecosystems, with the largest decreases in microbial biomass C and N (21.62% and 24.40%, respectively). In contrast, belowground fluxes, including soil respiration, soil net N mineralization and soil N nitrification increased by 4.25%, 34.67% and 25.87%, respectively, in grazed grasslands compared to ungrazed ones. More importantly, grazing intensity significantly affected the magnitude (even direction) of changes in the majority of the assessed belowground C and N pools and fluxes, and C : N ratio as well as soil moisture. Specifically,light grazing contributed to soil C and N sequestration whereas moderate and heavy grazing significantly increased C and N losses. In addition, soil depth, livestock type and climatic conditions influenced the responses of selected variables to livestock grazing to some degree. Our findings highlight the importance of the effects of grazing intensity on belowground C and N cycling, which may need to be incorporated into regional and global models for predicting effects of human disturbance on global grasslands and assessing the climate-biosphere feedbacks.

  16. Irrigation agriculture affects organic matter decomposition in semi-arid terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Arroita, Maite; Causapé, Jesús; Comín, Francisco A; Díez, Joserra; Jimenez, Juan José; Lacarta, Juan; Lorente, Carmen; Merchán, Daniel; Muñiz, Selene; Navarro, Enrique; Val, Jonatan; Elosegi, Arturo

    2013-12-15

    Many dryland areas are being converted into intensively managed irrigation crops, what can disrupt the hydrological regime, degrade soil and water quality, enhance siltation, erosion and bank instability, and affect biological communities. Still, the impacts of irrigation schemes on the functioning of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems are poorly understood. Here we assess the effects of irrigation agriculture on breakdown of coarse organic matter in soil and water. We measured breakdown rates of alder and holm oak leaves, and of poplar sticks in terrestrial and aquatic sites following a gradient of increasing irrigation agriculture in a semi-arid Mediterranean basin transformed into irrigation agriculture in 50% of its surface. Spatial patterns of stick breakdown paralleled those of leaf breakdown. In soil, stick breakdown rates were extremely low in non-irrigated sites (0.0001-0.0003 day(-1)), and increased with the intensity of agriculture (0.0018-0.0044 day(-1)). In water, stick breakdown rates ranged from 0.0005 to 0.001 day(-1), and increased with the area of the basin subject to irrigation agriculture. Results showed that irrigation agriculture affects functioning of both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, accelerating decomposition of organic matter, especially in soil. These changes can have important consequences for global carbon budgets.

  17. Current ecosystem processes in steppe near Lake Baikal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vanteeva, Julia

    2015-04-01

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

  18. Realistic changes in seaweed biodiversity affect multiple ecosystem functions on a rocky shore.

    PubMed

    Bracken, Matthew E S; Williams, Susan L

    2013-09-01

    Given current threats to biodiversity, understanding the effects of diversity changes on the functions and services associated with intact ecosystems is of paramount importance. However, limited realism in most biodiversity studies makes it difficult to link the large and growing body of evidence for important functional consequences of biodiversity change to real-world losses of biodiversity. Here, we explored two methods of incorporating realism into biodiversity research: (1) the use of two-, five-, and eight-species assemblages that mimicked those that we observed in surveys of seaweed biodiversity patterns on a northern California (USA) rocky shore and the explicit comparison of those assemblages to random assemblages compiled from the same local species pool; and (2) the measurement of two fundamental ecosystem functions, nitrate uptake and photosynthesis, both of which contribute to growth of primary producers. Specifically, we measured nitrate uptake rates of seaweed assemblages as a function of initial nitrate concentrations and photosynthetic rates as a function of irradiance levels for both realistic and random assemblages of seaweeds. We only observed changes in ecosystem functioning along a richness gradient for realistic assemblages, and both maximum nitrate uptake rates (V(max)) and photosynthetic light use efficiency values (alpha(p) = P(max)/I(K)) were higher in realistic assemblages than in random assemblages. Furthermore, the parameter affected by changes in richness depended on the function being measured. Both V(max) and alpha(p) declined with increasing richness in nonrandom assemblages due to a combination of species identity effects (for V(max) and overyielding effects (for both V(max) and alpha(p)). In contrast, neither nitrate uptake efficiency values (alpha(N) = V(max)/K(s)), nor maximum photosynthetic rates (Pmax) changed along the gradient in seaweed species richness. Furthermore, overyielding was only evident in realistic assemblages

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  1. Biogeochemical processes driving mercury cycling in estuarine ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schartup, A. T.

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  3. Molecular Insights into Plant-Microbial Processes and Carbon Storage in Mangrove Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Romero, I. C.; Ziegler, S. E.; Fogel, M.; Jacobson, M.; Fuhrman, J. A.; Capone, D. G.

    2009-12-01

    Mangrove forests, in tropical and subtropical coastal zones, are among the most productive ecosystems, representing a significant global carbon sink. We report new molecular insights into the functional relationship among microorganisms, mangrove trees and sediment geochemistry. The interactions among these elements were studied in peat-based mangrove sediments (Twin Cays, Belize) subjected to a long-term fertilization experiment with N and P, providing an analog for eutrophication. The composition and δ13C of bacterial PLFA showed that bacteria and mangrove trees had similar nutrient limitation patterns (N in the fringe mangrove zone, P in the interior zone), and that fertilization with N or P can affect bacterial metabolic processes and bacterial carbon uptake (from diverse mangrove sources including leaf litter, live and dead roots). PCR amplified nifH genes showed a high diversity (26% nifH novel clones) and a remarkable spatial and temporal variability in N-fixing microbial populations in the rhizosphere, varying primarily with the abundance of dead roots, PO4-3 and H2S concentrations in natural and fertilized environments. Our results indicate that eutrophication of mangrove ecosystems has the potential to alter microbial organic matter remineralization and carbon release with important implications for the coastal carbon budget. In addition, we will present preliminary data from a new study exploring the modern calibration of carbon and hydrogen isotopes of plant leaf waxes as a proxy recorder of past environmental change in mangrove ecosystems.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stevenson, R. D.

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-09

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

  12. Occurrence of perchloroethylene in surface water and fish in a river ecosystem affected by groundwater contamination.

    PubMed

    Wittlingerová, Zdena; Macháčková, Jiřina; Petruželková, Anna; Zimová, Magdalena

    2016-03-01

    Long-term monitoring of the content of perchloroethylene (PCE) in a river ecosystem affected by groundwater contamination was performed at a site in the Czech Republic. The quality of surface water was monitored quarterly between 1994 and 2013, and fish were collected from the affected ecosystem to analyse the content of PCE in their tissue in 1998, 2011 and 2012. Concentrations of PCE (9-140 μg/kg) in the tissue of fish collected from the contaminated part of the river were elevated compared to the part of the river unaffected by the contamination (ND to 5 μg/kg PCE). The quality of surface water has improved as a result of groundwater remediation during the evaluated period. Before the remedial action, PCE concentrations ranged from 30 to 95 μg/L (1994-1997). Following commencement of remedial activities in September 1997, a decrease in the content of PCE in the surface water to 7.3 μg/L (1998) and further to 1 μg/L (2011) and 1.1 μg/L (2012) led to a progressive decrease in the average concentration of PCE in the fish muscle tissue from 79 μg/kg (1998) to 24 (2011) and 30 μg/kg (2012), respectively. It was determined that the bioconcentration of PCE does not have a linear dependence because the decrease in contamination in the fish muscle tissue is not directly proportional to the decrease in contamination in the river water. The observed average bioconcentration factors were 24 and 28 for the lower concentrations of PCE and 11 for the higher concentrations of PCE in the river. In terms of age, length and weight of the collected fish, weight had the greatest significance for bioconcentration, followed by the length, with age being evaluated as a less significant factor.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1998-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  16. Units of nature or processes across scales? The ecosystem concept at age 75.

    PubMed

    Currie, William S

    2011-04-01

    The ecosystem has served as a central organizational concept in ecology for nearly a half century and continues to evolve. As a level in the biotic hierarchy, ecosystems are often viewed as ecological communities integrated with their abiotic environments. This has always been imperfect because of a mismatch of scales between communities and ecosystem processes as they are made operational for field study. Complexity theory has long been forecasted to provide a renewed foundation for ecosystem theory but has been slow to do so. Partly this has arisen from a difficulty in translating theoretical tenets into operational terms for testing in field studies. Ecosystem science has become an important applied science for studying global change and human environmental impacts. Vigorous and important directions in the study of ecosystems today include a growing focus on human-dominated landscapes and development of the concept of ecosystem services for human resource supply and well-being. Today, terrestrial ecosystems are viewed less as well-defined entities or as a level in the biotic hierarchy. Instead, ecosystem processes are being increasingly viewed as the elements in a hierarchy. These occur alongside landscape processes and socioeconomic processes, which combine to form coupled social-ecological systems across a range of scales.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-07

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Kenneth R.

    2006-01-01

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

  2. How Stock of Origin Affects Performance of Individuals across a Meta-Ecosystem: An Example from Sockeye Salmon

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  3. The functional value of Caribbean coral reef, seagrass and mangrove habitats to ecosystem processes.

    PubMed

    Harborne, Alastair R; Mumby, Peter J; Micheli, Fiorenza; Perry, Christopher T; Dahlgren, Craig P; Holmes, Katherine E; Brumbaugh, Daniel R

    2006-01-01

    Caribbean coral reef habitats, seagrass beds and mangroves provide important goods and services both individually and through functional linkages. A range of anthropogenic factors are threatening the ecological and economic importance of these habitats and it is vital to understand how ecosystem processes vary across seascapes. A greater understanding of processes will facilitate further insight into the effects of disturbances and assist with assessing management options. Despite the need to study processes across whole seascapes, few spatially explicit ecosystem-scale assessments exist. We review the empirical literature to examine the role of different habitat types for a range of processes. The importance of each of 10 generic habitats to each process is defined as its "functional value" (none, low, medium or high), quantitatively derived from published data wherever possible and summarised in a single figure. This summary represents the first time the importance of habitats across an entire Caribbean seascape has been assessed for a range of processes. Furthermore, we review the susceptibility of each habitat to disturbances to investigate spatial patterns that might affect functional values. Habitat types are considered at the scale discriminated by remotely-sensed imagery and we envisage that functional values can be combined with habitat maps to provide spatially explicit information on processes across ecosystems. We provide examples of mapping the functional values of habitats for populations of three commercially important species. The resulting data layers were then used to generate seascape-scale assessments of "hot spots" of functional value that might be considered priorities for conservation. We also provide an example of how the literature reviewed here can be used to parameterise a habitat-specific model investigating reef resilience under different scenarios of herbivory. Finally, we use multidimensional scaling to provide a basic analysis of the

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2004-01-01

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

  5. Dominance, biomass and extinction resistance determine the consequences of biodiversity loss for multiple coastal ecosystem processes.

    PubMed

    Davies, Thomas W; Jenkins, Stuart R; Kingham, Rachel; Kenworthy, Joseph; Hawkins, Stephen J; Hiddink, Jan G

    2011-01-01

    Key ecosystem processes such as carbon and nutrient cycling could be deteriorating as a result of biodiversity loss. However, currently we lack the ability to predict the consequences of realistic species loss on ecosystem processes. The aim of this study was to test whether species contributions to community biomass can be used as surrogate measures of their contribution to ecosystem processes. These were gross community productivity in a salt marsh plant assemblage and an intertidal macroalgae assemblage; community clearance of microalgae in sessile suspension feeding invertebrate assemblage; and nutrient uptake in an intertidal macroalgae assemblage. We conducted a series of biodiversity manipulations that represented realistic species extinction sequences in each of the three contrasting assemblages. Species were removed in a subtractive fashion so that biomass was allowed to vary with each species removal, and key ecosystem processes were measured at each stage of community disassembly. The functional contribution of species was directly proportional to their contribution to community biomass in a 1:1 ratio, a relationship that was consistent across three contrasting marine ecosystems and three ecosystem processes. This suggests that the biomass contributed by a species to an assemblage can be used to approximately predict the proportional decline in an ecosystem process when that species is lost. Such predictions represent "worst case scenarios" because, over time, extinction resilient species can offset the loss of biomass associated with the extinction of competitors. We also modelled a "best case scenario" that accounts for compensatory responses by the extant species with the highest per capita contribution to ecosystem processes. These worst and best case scenarios could be used to predict the minimum and maximum species required to sustain threshold values of ecosystem processes in the future.

  6. Dominance, Biomass and Extinction Resistance Determine the Consequences of Biodiversity Loss for Multiple Coastal Ecosystem Processes

    PubMed Central

    Davies, Thomas W.; Jenkins, Stuart R.; Kingham, Rachel; Kenworthy, Joseph; Hawkins, Stephen J.; Hiddink, Jan G.

    2011-01-01

    Key ecosystem processes such as carbon and nutrient cycling could be deteriorating as a result of biodiversity loss. However, currently we lack the ability to predict the consequences of realistic species loss on ecosystem processes. The aim of this study was to test whether species contributions to community biomass can be used as surrogate measures of their contribution to ecosystem processes. These were gross community productivity in a salt marsh plant assemblage and an intertidal macroalgae assemblage; community clearance of microalgae in sessile suspension feeding invertebrate assemblage; and nutrient uptake in an intertidal macroalgae assemblage. We conducted a series of biodiversity manipulations that represented realistic species extinction sequences in each of the three contrasting assemblages. Species were removed in a subtractive fashion so that biomass was allowed to vary with each species removal, and key ecosystem processes were measured at each stage of community disassembly. The functional contribution of species was directly proportional to their contribution to community biomass in a 1∶1 ratio, a relationship that was consistent across three contrasting marine ecosystems and three ecosystem processes. This suggests that the biomass contributed by a species to an assemblage can be used to approximately predict the proportional decline in an ecosystem process when that species is lost. Such predictions represent “worst case scenarios” because, over time, extinction resilient species can offset the loss of biomass associated with the extinction of competitors. We also modelled a “best case scenario” that accounts for compensatory responses by the extant species with the highest per capita contribution to ecosystem processes. These worst and best case scenarios could be used to predict the minimum and maximum species required to sustain threshold values of ecosystem processes in the future. PMID:22163297

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Ferraro, Paul J; Hanauer, Merlin M

    2014-03-18

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

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

    PubMed

    Lensing, Janet R; Wise, David H

    2006-10-17

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-01

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

  12. Biochemical processes in sagebrush ecosystems: Interactions with terrain

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1985-01-01

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

  13. Potential climate change impacts on temperate forest ecosystem processes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2013-01-01

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

  14. Do unconscious processes affect educational institutions?

    PubMed

    Hinshelwood, R D

    2009-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-08-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  17. Dilution, Not Load, Affects Distractor Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

  18. Sound Affects the Speed of Visual Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Keetels, Mirjam; Vroomen, Jean

    2011-01-01

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

  19. Effects of temporal fluctuation in population processes of intertidal Lanice conchilega (Pallas, 1766) aggregations on its ecosystem engineering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alves, Renata M. S.; Vanaverbeke, Jan; Bouma, Tjeerd J.; Guarini, Jean-Marc; Vincx, Magda; Van Colen, Carl

    2017-03-01

    Ecosystem engineers contribute to ecosystem functioning by regulating key environmental attributes, such as habitat availability and sediment biogeochemistry. While autogenic engineers can increase habitat complexity passively and provide physical protection to other species, allogenic engineers can regulate sediment oxygenation and biogeochemistry through bioturbation and/or bioirrigation. Their effects rely on the physical attributes of the engineer and/or its biogenic constructs, such as abundance and/or size. The present study focused on tube aggregations of a sessile, tube-building polychaete that engineers marine sediments, Lanice conchilega. Its tube aggregations modulate water flow by dissipating energy, influencing sedimentary processes and increasing particle retention. These effects can be influenced by temporal fluctuations in population demographic processes. Presently, we investigated the relationship between population processes and ecosystem engineering through an in-situ survey (1.5 years) of L. conchilega aggregations at the sandy beach of Boulogne-sur-Mer (France). We (1) evaluated temporal patterns in population structure, and (2) investigated how these are related to the ecosystem engineering of L. conchilega on marine sediments. During our survey, we assessed tube density, demographic structure, and sediment properties (surficial chl-a, EPS, TOM, median and mode grain size, sorting, and mud and water content) on a monthly basis for 12 intertidal aggregations. We found that the population was mainly composed by short-lived (6-10 months), small-medium individuals. Mass mortality severely reduced population density during winter. However the population persisted, likely due to recruits from other populations, which are associated to short- and long-term population dynamics. Two periods of recruitment were identified: spring/summer and autumn. Population density was highest during the spring recruitment and significantly affected several

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  1. Low temperature alteration processes affecting ultramafic bodies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1978-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2000-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lefcheck, J.; Duffy, J.

    2008-12-01

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

  4. Increasing fish taxonomic and functional richness affects ecosystem properties of small headwater prairie streams

    DOE PAGES

    Martin, Erika C.; Gido, Keith B.; Bello, Nora; ...

    2016-04-06

    Stream fish can regulate their environment through direct and indirect pathways, and the relative influence of communities with different taxonomic and functional richness on ecosystem properties likely depends on habitat structure. Given this complexity, it is not surprising that observational studies of how stream fish communities influence ecosystems have shown mixed results. In this study, we evaluated the effect of an observed gradient of taxonomic (zero, one, two or three species) and functional (zero, one or two groups) richness of fishes on several key ecosystem properties in experimental stream mesocosms. Our study simulated small (less than two metres wide) headwatermore » prairie streams with a succession of three pool-riffle structures (upstream, middle and downstream) per mesocosm. Additionally, ecosystem responses included chlorophyll a from floating algal mats and benthic algae, benthic organic matter, macroinvertebrates (all as mass per unit area), algal filament length and stream metabolism (photosynthesis and respiration rate). Ecosystem responses were analysed individually using general linear mixed models. Significant treatment (taxonomic and functional richness) by habitat (pools and riffles) interactions were found for all but one ecosystem response variable. After accounting for location (upstream, middle and downstream) effects, the presence of one or two grazers resulted in shorter mean algal filament lengths in pools compared to no-fish controls. These observations suggest grazers can maintain short algal filaments in pools, which may inhibit long filaments from reaching the surface. Accordingly, floating algal mats decreased in mid- and downstream locations in grazer treatment relative to no-fish controls. At the scale of the entire reach, gross primary productivity and respiration were greater in treatments with two grazer species compared to mixed grazer/insectivore or control treatments. Lastly, the distribution of stream resources

  5. Increasing fish taxonomic and functional richness affects ecosystem properties of small headwater prairie streams

    SciTech Connect

    Martin, Erika C.; Gido, Keith B.; Bello, Nora; Dodds, Walter K.; Veach, Allison

    2016-04-06

    Stream fish can regulate their environment through direct and indirect pathways, and the relative influence of communities with different taxonomic and functional richness on ecosystem properties likely depends on habitat structure. Given this complexity, it is not surprising that observational studies of how stream fish communities influence ecosystems have shown mixed results. In this study, we evaluated the effect of an observed gradient of taxonomic (zero, one, two or three species) and functional (zero, one or two groups) richness of fishes on several key ecosystem properties in experimental stream mesocosms. Our study simulated small (less than two metres wide) headwater prairie streams with a succession of three pool-riffle structures (upstream, middle and downstream) per mesocosm. Additionally, ecosystem responses included chlorophyll a from floating algal mats and benthic algae, benthic organic matter, macroinvertebrates (all as mass per unit area), algal filament length and stream metabolism (photosynthesis and respiration rate). Ecosystem responses were analysed individually using general linear mixed models. Significant treatment (taxonomic and functional richness) by habitat (pools and riffles) interactions were found for all but one ecosystem response variable. After accounting for location (upstream, middle and downstream) effects, the presence of one or two grazers resulted in shorter mean algal filament lengths in pools compared to no-fish controls. These observations suggest grazers can maintain short algal filaments in pools, which may inhibit long filaments from reaching the surface. Accordingly, floating algal mats decreased in mid- and downstream locations in grazer treatment relative to no-fish controls. At the scale of the entire reach, gross primary productivity and respiration were greater in treatments with two grazer species compared to mixed grazer/insectivore or control treatments. Lastly, the distribution of stream resources across

  6. Cloud Processed CCN Affect Cloud Microphysics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  7. Does microbial community structure matter for predicting ecosystem function? Use of statistical models to examine relationships between the environment, community and processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nemergut, D.; Graham, E. B.

    2014-12-01

    Microorganisms control all major biogeochemical cycles, yet the importance of microbial community structure for ecosystem function is widely debated. Indeed, few nutrient cycling models directly account for variation in community structure, leading some researchers to speculate that this information could provide important and missing explanatory power to predict ecosystem function. However, if variation in environmental variables strongly correlates with variation in microbial community composition, then information on microbial community composition may not improve models. Here, we use a data synthesis approach to ask when and where information on the microbial community matters for predictions of ecosystem function. We collated data from approximately 100 different studies and used statistical approaches to ask if models with data on microbial community composition significantly improved models of ecosystem function based on environmental data alone. We found that only 25% of models of ecosystem processes were significantly improved with the addition of data on microbial community composition. Specifically, we found that for phylogenetically broad processes, diversity indicators yielded more significant increases in explanatory power than abundance data. Our results also demonstrate that for phylogenetically narrow processes, qPCR data on functional genes yielded higher explanatory power than for broad processes. Further, we found that all types of data on microbial community composition explained more variation in obligate processes compared to facultative processes. Overall, our results suggest that trait distributions both within communities and within individuals affect the relative importance of microbial community composition for explaining ecosystem function.

  8. Studies of dynamical processes affecting global climate

    SciTech Connect

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

    1998-12-31

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

  9. Elaboration Likelihood and the Counseling Process: The Role of Affect.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stoltenberg, Cal D.; And Others

    The role of affect in counseling has been examined from several orientations. The depth of processing model views the efficiency of information processing as a function of the extent to which the information is processed. The notion of cognitive processing capacity states that processing information at deeper levels engages more of one's limited…

  10. Cognitive control modulates preferential sensory processing of affective stimuli.

    PubMed

    Steinhauser, Marco; Flaisch, Tobias; Meinzer, Marcus; Schupp, Harald T

    2016-10-01

    Adaptive human behavior crucially relies on the ability of the brain to allocate resources automatically to emotionally significant stimuli. This ability has consistently been demonstrated by studies showing preferential processing of affective stimuli in sensory cortical areas. It is still unclear, however, whether this putatively automatic mechanism can be modulated by cognitive control processes. Here, we use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate whether preferential processing of an affective face distractor is suppressed when an affective distractor has previously elicited a response conflict in a word-face Stroop task. We analyzed this for three consecutive stages in the ventral stream of visual processing for which preferential processing of affective stimuli has previously been demonstrated: the striate area (BA 17), category-unspecific extrastriate areas (BA 18/19), and the fusiform face area (FFA). We found that response conflict led to a selective suppression of affective face processing in category-unspecific extrastriate areas and the FFA, and this effect was accompanied by changes in functional connectivity between these areas and the rostral anterior cingulate cortex. In contrast, preferential processing of affective face distractors was unaffected in the striate area. Our results indicate that cognitive control processes adaptively suppress preferential processing of affective stimuli under conditions where affective processing is detrimental because it elicits response conflict.

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  12. [Effects and mechanism of freeze-thawing cycles on key processes of nitrogen cycle in terrestrial ecosystem].

    PubMed

    Wang, Li-qin; Qi, Yu-chun; Dong, Yun-she; Peng, Qin; Guo, Shu-fang; He, Yun-long; Yan, Zhong-qing

    2015-11-01

    As a widespread natural phenomenon in the soil of middle and high latitude as well as high altitude, freeze-thawing cycles have a great influence on the nitrogen cycle of terrestrial ecosystem in non-growing season. Freeze-thawing cycles can alter the physicochemical and biological properties of the soil, which thereby affect the migration and transformation of soil nitrogen. The impacts of freeze-thawing cycles on key processes of nitrogen cycle in terrestrial ecosystem found in available studies remain inconsistent, the mechanism is still not clear, and the research methods also need to be further explored and innovated. So it is necessary to sum up and analyze the existing achievements in order to better understand the processes of soil nitrogen cycle subjected to freeze-thawing cycles. This paper reviewed the research progress in China and abroad about the effects and mechanisms of freeze-thawing cycles on key processes of nitrogen cycle in terrestrial ecosystem, including mineralization, immobilization, nitrification and denitrification, N leakage and gaseous loss, and analyzed the deficiencies of extant research. The possible key research topics that should be urgently paid more attention to in the future were also discussed.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montecino, Vivian; Lange, Carina B.

    2009-12-01

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

  14. Substantial variation in leaf senescence times among 1360 temperate woody plant species: implications for phenology and ecosystem processes

    PubMed Central

    Panchen, Zoe A.; Primack, Richard B.; Gallinat, Amanda S.; Nordt, Birgit; Stevens, Albert-Dieter; Du, Yanjun; Fahey, Robert

    2015-01-01

    Background and Aims Autumn leaf senescence marks the end of the growing season in temperate ecosystems. Its timing influences a number of ecosystem processes, including carbon, water and nutrient cycling. Climate change is altering leaf senescence phenology and, as those changes continue, it will affect individual woody plants, species and ecosystems. In contrast to spring leaf out times, however, leaf senescence times remain relatively understudied. Variation in the phenology of leaf senescence among species and locations is still poorly understood. Methods Leaf senescence phenology of 1360 deciduous plant species at six temperate botanical gardens in Asia, North America and Europe was recorded in 2012 and 2013. This large data set was used to explore ecological and phylogenetic factors associated with variation in leaf senescence. Key Results Leaf senescence dates among species varied by 3 months on average across the six locations. Plant species tended to undergo leaf senescence in the same order in the autumns of both years at each location, but the order of senescence was only weakly correlated across sites. Leaf senescence times were not related to spring leaf out times, were not evolutionarily conserved and were only minimally influenced by growth habit, wood anatomy and percentage colour change or leaf drop. These weak patterns of leaf senescence timing contrast with much stronger leaf out patterns from a previous study. Conclusions The results suggest that, in contrast to the broader temperature effects that determine leaf out times, leaf senescence times are probably determined by a larger or different suite of local environmental effects, including temperature, soil moisture, frost and wind. Determining the importance of these factors for a wide range of species represents the next challenge for understanding how climate change is affecting the end of the growing season and associated ecosystem processes. PMID:25808654

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wallenstein, Matthew D.; Hall, Edward K.

    2012-01-01

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

  16. An Evolving Ecosystem for Natural Language Processing in Department of Veterans Affairs.

    PubMed

    Garvin, Jennifer H; Kalsy, Megha; Brandt, Cynthia; Luther, Stephen L; Divita, Guy; Coronado, Gregory; Redd, Doug; Christensen, Carrie; Hill, Brent; Kelly, Natalie; Treitler, Qing Zeng

    2017-02-01

    In an ideal clinical Natural Language Processing (NLP) ecosystem, researchers and developers would be able to collaborate with others, undertake validation of NLP systems, components, and related resources, and disseminate them. We captured requirements and formative evaluation data from the Veterans Affairs (VA) Clinical NLP Ecosystem stakeholders using semi-structured interviews and meeting discussions. We developed a coding rubric to code interviews. We assessed inter-coder reliability using percent agreement and the kappa statistic. We undertook 15 interviews and held two workshop discussions. The main areas of requirements related to; design and functionality, resources, and information. Stakeholders also confirmed the vision of the second generation of the Ecosystem and recommendations included; adding mechanisms to better understand terms, measuring collaboration to demonstrate value, and datasets/tools to navigate spelling errors with consumer language, among others. Stakeholders also recommended capability to: communicate with developers working on the next version of the VA electronic health record (VistA Evolution), provide a mechanism to automatically monitor download of tools and to automatically provide a summary of the downloads to Ecosystem contributors and funders. After three rounds of coding and discussion, we determined the percent agreement of two coders to be 97.2% and the kappa to be 0.7851. The vision of the VA Clinical NLP Ecosystem met stakeholder needs. Interviews and discussion provided key requirements that inform the design of the VA Clinical NLP Ecosystem.

  17. Semiarid ecosystem development as a function of resource processing and allocation

    SciTech Connect

    Redente, E.F.; Cook, C.W.; Stark, J.M.; Simmons, C.L.

    1985-02-01

    The overall objective of the research contained in this report was to study the structural and functional changes occurring within and among ecosystem compartments during secondary succession. The report is divided into two major sections. The first part, Ecosystem Development Section, presents first year data from a new study funded for the first time in 1984. The second part, Restoration of Natural Functioning Ecosystem Section, presents results from on-going long-term experiments dealing with ecosystem recovery and restoration following disturbance related to oil shale development. Accomplishments during the first year of the new study consisted of construction of the Ecosystem Development Plot and collection of baseline data before and after plot establishment. Baseline sampling of the vegetation prior to plot construction has shown that the plant community was essentially a shrub-grass community with big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata tridentata) being the dominant woody species. Results from on-going long-term studies in ecosystem recovery and restoration are extensive and range from the effects of weathering processes on retorted shale chemical properties and how this effects the structure of vascular plant and microbial communities, to the influence of competition on the structure of natural and disturbed plant communities.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Habitat Complexity in Aquatic Microcosms Affects Processes Driven by Detritivores

    PubMed Central

    Flores, Lorea; Bailey, R. A.; Elosegi, Arturo; Larrañaga, Aitor; Reiss, Julia

    2016-01-01

    Habitat complexity can influence predation rates (e.g. by providing refuge) but other ecosystem processes and species interactions might also be modulated by the properties of habitat structure. Here, we focussed on how complexity of artificial habitat (plastic plants), in microcosms, influenced short-term processes driven by three aquatic detritivores. The effects of habitat complexity on leaf decomposition, production of fine organic matter and pH levels were explored by measuring complexity in three ways: 1. as the presence vs. absence of habitat structure; 2. as the amount of structure (3 or 4.5 g of plastic plants); and 3. as the spatial configuration of structures (measured as fractal dimension). The experiment also addressed potential interactions among the consumers by running all possible species combinations. In the experimental microcosms, habitat complexity influenced how species performed, especially when comparing structure present vs. structure absent. Treatments with structure showed higher fine particulate matter production and lower pH compared to treatments without structures and this was probably due to higher digestion and respiration when structures were present. When we explored the effects of the different complexity levels, we found that the amount of structure added explained more than the fractal dimension of the structures. We give a detailed overview of the experimental design, statistical models and R codes, because our statistical analysis can be applied to other study systems (and disciplines such as restoration ecology). We further make suggestions of how to optimise statistical power when artificially assembling, and analysing, ‘habitat complexity’ by not confounding complexity with the amount of structure added. In summary, this study highlights the importance of habitat complexity for energy flow and the maintenance of ecosystem processes in aquatic ecosystems. PMID:27802267

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pearson, Nolan E.

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Anderson, Lougenia; Gales, Larry

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stevenson, R. D.

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hertzberg, Richard C.

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hertzberg, Richard C.

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  9. Seven-Year Trends of Carbon Dioxide Exchange in a Tundra Ecosystem Affected by Long-Term Permafrost Thaw

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schuur, E. A.; Trucco, C.; Natali, S.; Belshe, E. F.; Bracho, R.; Vogel, J. G.; Hicks Pries, C. E.; Webb, E.

    2012-12-01

    Arctic warming has led to permafrost degradation and ground subsidence as a result of ground ice melting. Frozen soil organic matter that thaws can increase carbon (C) emissions to the atmosphere via respiration, but this can be offset in part by increases in plant growth. The balance of plant and microbial processes, and how they change through time, will determine how permafrost ecosystems influence future climate change via the C cycle. This study addressed this question both on short (interannual) and longer (decadal) time periods by measuring C fluxes over a seven-year period at three sites that represent a gradient of time since permafrost thaw. All three sites are upland tundra ecosystems located in Interior Alaska but differed in the extent of permafrost thaw and ground subsidence. Results showed an increasing growing season (May - September) trend in gross primary productivity, net ecosystem exchange, aboveground net primary productivity, and annual net ecosystem exchange at all sites over the seven-year study period from 2004-2010. In contrast, there was no directional change in annual and growing season ecosystem respiration, or mass loss from decomposition of a common cellulose substrate. The increasing trends over time as well as inter site differences most closely followed variation in growing season thaw depth over the same time period. During the seven-year period, sites with more permafrost degradation (deeper seasonal thaw) had significantly greater gross primary productivity compared to where degradation was least, but also greater growing season ecosystem respiration. Adding in winter respiration decreased, in part, the summer C sink and left the site with the most permafrost degradation near C neutral, with the other sites annual C sinks. However, annual C balance was strongly dependent on winter respiration, which, compared to the growing season, was relatively data-poor due to extreme environmental conditions. As a result, we cannot yet

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Overland, James E.; Stabeno, Phyllis J.

    2004-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2000-08-03

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hatheway, W. H.

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stevenson, R. D.

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

  14. Investigation of gas exchange processes in peat bog ecosystems by means of innovative Raman gas spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Frosch, Torsten; Keiner, Robert; Michalzik, Beate; Fischer, Bernhard; Popp, Jürgen

    2013-02-05

    Highly sensitive Raman gas spectroscopy is introduced for simultaneous real time analysis of O(2), CO(2), CH(4), and N(2) in order to elucidate the dynamics of greenhouse gases evolving from climate-sensitive ecosystems. The concentrations and fluxes of this suite of biogenic gases were quantified in the head space of a water-saturated, raised peat bog ecotron. The intact peat bog, exhibiting various degradation stages of peat and sphagnum moss, was exposed to various light regimes in order to determine important ecosystem parameters such as the maximum photosynthesis rate of the sphagnum as well as the extent of soil and plant respiration. Miniaturized Raman gas spectroscopy was proven to be an extremely versatile analytical technique that allows for onsite multigas analysis in high temporal resolution. Therefore it is an urgently needed tool for elucidation of complex biochemical processes especially in climate-sensitive ecosystems and consequently for the estimation of climate-relevant gas budgets.

  15. Visualizing microbial dechlorination processes in underground ecosystem by statistical correlation and network analysis approach.

    PubMed

    Yamazawa, Akira; Date, Yasuhiro; Ito, Keijiro; Kikuchi, Jun

    2014-03-01

    Microbial ecosystems are typified by diverse microbial interactions and competition. Consequently, the microbial networks and metabolic dynamics of bioprocesses catalyzed by these ecosystems are highly complex, and their visualization is regarded as essential to bioengineering technology and innovation. Here we describe a means of visualizing the variants in a microbial community and their metabolic profiles. The approach enables previously unidentified bacterial functions in the ecosystems to be elucidated. We investigated the anaerobic bioremediation of chlorinated ethene in a soil column experiment as a case study. Microbial community and dechlorination profiles in the ecosystem were evaluated by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) fingerprinting and gas chromatography, respectively. Dechlorination profiles were obtained from changes in dechlorination by microbial community (evaluated by data mining methods). Individual microbes were then associated with their dechlorination profiles by heterogenous correlation analysis. Our correlation-based visualization approach enables deduction of the roles and functions of bacteria in the dechlorination of chlorinated ethenes. Because it estimates functions and relationships between unidentified microbes and metabolites in microbial ecosystems, this approach is proposed as a control-logic tool by which to understand complex microbial processes.

  16. Progressive nitrogen limitation of ecosystem processes under elevated CO2 in a warm-temperate forest.

    PubMed

    Finzi, Adrien C; Moore, David J P; DeLucia, Evan H; Lichter, John; Hofmockel, Kirsten S; Jackson, Robert B; Kim, Hyun-Seok; Matamala, Roser; McCarthy, Heather R; Oren, Ram; Pippen, Jeffrey S; Schlesinger, William H

    2006-01-01

    A hypothesis for progressive nitrogen limitation (PNL) proposes that net primary production (NPP) will decline through time in ecosystems subjected to a step-function increase in atmospheric CO2. The primary mechanism driving this response is a rapid rate of N immobilization by plants and microbes under elevated CO2 that depletes soils of N, causing slower rates of N mineralization. Under this hypothesis, there is little long-term stimulation of NPP by elevated CO2 in the absence of exogenous inputs of N. We tested this hypothesis using data on the pools and fluxes of C and N in tree biomass, microbes, and soils from 1997 through 2002 collected at the Duke Forest free-air CO2 enrichment (FACE) experiment. Elevated CO2 stimulated NPP by 18-24% during the first six years of this experiment. Consistent with the hypothesis for PNL, significantly more N was immobilized in tree biomass and in the O horizon under elevated CO2. In contrast to the PNL hypothesis, microbial-N immobilization did not increase under elevated CO2, and although the rate of net N mineralization declined through time, the decline was not significantly more rapid under elevated CO2. Ecosystem C-to-N ratios widened more rapidly under elevated CO2 than ambient CO2 indicating a more rapid rate of C fixation per unit of N, a processes that could delay PNL in this ecosystem. Mass balance calculations demonstrated a large accrual of ecosystem N capital. Is PNL occurring in this ecosystem and will NPP decline to levels under ambient CO2? The answer depends on the relative strength of tree biomass and O-horizon N immobilization vs. widening C-to-N ratios and ecosystem-N accrual as processes that drive and delay PNL, respectively. Only direct observations through time will definitively answer this question.

  17. Ecosystem services as a common language for coastal ecosystem-based management.

    PubMed

    Granek, Elise F; Polasky, Stephen; Kappel, Carrie V; Reed, Denise J; Stoms, David M; Koch, Evamaria W; Kennedy, Chris J; Cramer, Lori A; Hacker, Sally D; Barbier, Edward B; Aswani, Shankar; Ruckelshaus, Mary; Perillo, Gerardo M E; Silliman, Brian R; Muthiga, Nyawira; Bael, David; Wolanski, Eric

    2010-02-01

    Ecosystem-based management is logistically and politically challenging because ecosystems are inherently complex and management decisions affect a multitude of groups. Coastal ecosystems, which lie at the interface between marine and terrestrial ecosystems and provide an array of ecosystem services to different groups, aptly illustrate these challenges. Successful ecosystem-based management of coastal ecosystems requires incorporating scientific information and the knowledge and views of interested parties into the decision-making process. Estimating the provision of ecosystem services under alternative management schemes offers a systematic way to incorporate biogeophysical and socioeconomic information and the views of individuals and groups in the policy and management process. Employing ecosystem services as a common language to improve the process of ecosystem-based management presents both benefits and difficulties. Benefits include a transparent method for assessing trade-offs associated with management alternatives, a common set of facts and common currency on which to base negotiations, and improved communication among groups with competing interests or differing worldviews. Yet challenges to this approach remain, including predicting how human interventions will affect ecosystems, how such changes will affect the provision of ecosystem services, and how changes in service provision will affect the welfare of different groups in society. In a case study from Puget Sound, Washington, we illustrate the potential of applying ecosystem services as a common language for ecosystem-based management.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-10-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  20. Climatic versus biotic constraints on carbon and water fluxes in seasonally drought-affected ponderosa pine ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-12-01

    We investigated the relative importance of climatic versus biotic controls on gross primary production (GPP) and water vapor fluxes in seasonally drought-affected ponderosa pine forests. The study was conducted in young (YS), mature (MS), and old stands (OS) over 4 years at the AmeriFlux Metolius sites. Model simulations showed that interannual variation of GPP did not follow the same trends as precipitation, and effects of climatic variation were smallest at the OS (<10%), largest at the MS (>50%), and intermediate at the YS (<20%). In the young, developing stand, interannual variation in leaf area has larger effects on fluxes than climate, although leaf area is a function of climate in that climate can interact with age-related shifts in carbon allocation and affect whole-tree hydraulic conductance. Older forests, with well-established root systems, appear to be better buffered from effects of seasonal drought and interannual climatic variation. Interannual variation of net ecosystem exchange (NEE) was also lowest at the OS, where NEE is controlled more by interannual variation of ecosystem respiration, 70% of which is from soil, than by the variation of GPP, whereas variation in GPP is the primary reason for interannual changes in NEE at the YS and MS. Across spatially heterogeneous landscapes with high frequency of younger stands resulting from natural and anthropogenic disturbances, interannual climatic variation and change in leaf area are likely to result in large interannual variation in GPP and NEE.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  4. Non-linear interactions determine the impact of sea-level rise on estuarine benthic biodiversity and ecosystem processes.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Seven-year trends of CO2 exchange in a tundra ecosystem affected by long-term permafrost thaw

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trucco, Christian; Schuur, Edward A. G.; Natali, Susan M.; Belshe, E. Fay; Bracho, Rosvel; Vogel, Jason

    2012-06-01

    Arctic warming has led to permafrost degradation and ground subsidence, created as a result of ground ice melting. Frozen soil organic matter that thaws can increase carbon (C) emissions to the atmosphere, but this can be offset in part by increases in plant growth. The balance of plant and microbial processes, and how this balance changes through time, determines how permafrost ecosystems influence future climate change via the C cycle. This study addressed this question both on short (interannual) and longer (decadal) time periods by measuring C fluxes over a seven-year period at three sites representing a gradient of time since permafrost thaw. All three sites were upland tundra ecosystems located in Interior Alaska but differed in the extent of permafrost thaw and ground subsidence. Results showed an increasing growing season (May - September) trend in gross primary productivity (GPP), net ecosystem exchange (NEE), aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP), and annual NEE at all sites over the seven year study period from 2004 to 2010, but no change in annual and growing season ecosystem respiration (Reco). These trends appeared to most closely follow increases in the depth to permafrost that occurred over the same time period. During the seven-year period, sites with more permafrost degradation had significantly greater GPP compared to where degradation was least, but also greater growing season Reco. Adding in winter Reco decreased, in part, the summer C sink and left only the site with the most permafrost degradation C neutral, with the other sites still C sinks. Annual C balance was strongly dependent on winter Reco, which, compared to the growing season, was relatively data-poor due to extreme environmental conditions. As a result, we cannot yet conclude whether the increased NEE in the growing season is truly sustained on an annual basis. If it turns out that winter measurements shown here are an underestimate, we may indeed find these systems are

  8. Shifts and oscillations in a forest-grassland ecosystem affected by fire

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spiliotis, Konstantinos G.; Russo, Lucia

    2016-12-01

    The existence of periodic regimes of a forest-grassland ecosystem is here investigated as the main parameters are changed. The model consists of a couple of nonlinear ordinary differential equations which describes the evolution of the forest densities and includes the feed-back mechanisms induced by fires, coupled with the human perceptions of the forest/grassland value. The system shows a rich dynamic behavior such as: transient oscillations; the presence of dynamic regimes which are characterized by periodic oscillations in time; and shifts between steady and dynamic regimes as the parameters are perturbed. Focusing on the periodic regimes, we performed the bifurcation analysis of the system to detect the critical points which are responsible of the appearance of the periodic regimes. In particular, considering as bifurcation parameter the one that regulates the feed-back mechanism induced by fires, we found that Hopf bifurcations are responsible for appearance of periodic regimes, whereas the sudden appearance/ disappearance is related to the presence of catastrophic bifurcations (limit points of the periodic regimes).

  9. Scale-dependent diversity patterns affect spider assemblages of two contrasting forest ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schuldt, Andreas; Assmann, Thorsten; Schaefer, Matthias

    2013-05-01

    Spiders are important generalist predators in forests. However, differences in assemblage structure and diversity can have consequences for their functional impact. Such differences are particularly evident across latitudes, and their analysis can help to generate a better understanding of region-specific characteristics of predator assemblages. Here, we analyse the relationships between species richness, family richness and functional diversity (FD) as well as α- and β-components of epigeic spider diversity in semi-natural temperate and subtropical forest sites. As expected, within-plot and overall spider species and family richness were higher in the subtropical plots. In contrast, local FD within plots was similar between sites, and differences in FD only became evident at larger spatial scales due to higher species turnover in the subtropical forests. Our study indicates that the functional effects of predator assemblages can change across spatial scales. We discuss how differences in richness and functional diversity between contrasting forest ecosystems can depend on environmental heterogeneity and the effects of species filters acting at local scales. The high turnover observed in the species-rich subtropical forests also requires a more regional perspective for the conservation of the overall diversity and the ecological functions of predators than in less diverse forests, as strategies need to account for the large spatial heterogeneity among plots.

  10. Ultraviolet radiation affects invasibility of lake ecosystems by warm-water fish.

    PubMed

    Tucker, Andrew J; Williamson, Craig E; Rose, Kevin C; Oris, James T; Connelly, Sandra J; Olson, Mark H; Mitchell, David L

    2010-03-01

    Predicting where species invasions will occur remains a substantial challenge in ecology, but identifying factors that ultimately constrain the distribution of potential invaders could facilitate successful prediction. Whereas ultraviolet radiation (UVR) is recognized as an important factor controlling species distribution and community composition, the role of UVR in a habitat invasibility context has not been explored. Here we examine how underwater UVR can regulate warm-water fish invasion. In Lake Tahoe, California and Nevada, USA, established populations of exotic bluegill sunfish (Lepomis macrochirus) are currently limited to turbid, low-UVR embayments. An in situ incubation experiment that manipulated incident UVR exposure of larval bluegill, combined with an assessment of UVR exposure levels in nearshore habitats around Lake Tahoe, demonstrates that UVR can mediate habitat invasibility. Our findings suggest that the susceptibility to invasion by UVR sensitive species may increase in transparent aquatic systems threatened by declining water quality, and they highlight the importance of abiotic factors as regulators of invasion risk in ecosystems.

  11. Bioaccumulation of mercury in benthic communities of a river ecosystem affected by mercury mining.

    PubMed

    Zizek, Suzana; Horvat, Milena; Gibicar, Darija; Fajon, Vesna; Toman, Mihael J

    2007-05-15

    The presence of mercury in the river Idrijca (Slovenia) is mainly due to 500 years of mercury mining in this region. In order to understand the cycling of mercury in the Idrijca ecosystem it is crucial to investigate the role of biota. This study is part of an ongoing investigation of mercury biogeochemistry in the river Idrijca, focusing on the accumulation and speciation of mercury in the lower levels of the food chain, namely filamentous algae, periphyton and macroinvertebrates. Mercury analysis and speciation in the biota and in water were performed during the spring, summer and autumn seasons at four locations on the river, representing different degrees of mercury contamination. Total (THg) and methyl mercury (MeHg) were measured. The results showed that the highest THg concentrations in biota correlate well with THg levels in sediments and water. The level of MeHg is spatially and seasonally variable, showing higher values at the most contaminated sites during the summer and autumn periods. The percentage of Hg as MeHg increases with the trophic level from water (0.1-0.8%), algae (0.5-1.3%), periphyton (1.6-8.8%) to macroinvertebrates (0.1-100%), which indicates active transformation, accumulation and magnification of mercury in the benthic organism of this heavily contaminated torrential river.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2006-01-01

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

  13. Use of Multiple Isotopic Systems to Interpret Ecosystem Processes in Hawaii

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chadwick, O.; Derry, L.; Vitousek, P.

    2007-12-01

    The Hawaiian Islands are an excellent natural laboratory for studying the way in which ecosystems develop and function under varying climates. The mantle-derived basalt parent material provides a constant reaction matrix, the trade winds provide an asymmetric climate pattern that means that the same-age lava flows can be studied under different forcing factors, the relatively few plant species that made it to Hawaii provide a simplified biotic influence on substrate. In essence, we find that the geochemical evolution of basalt weathering provides shifting boundary conditions that constrain ecosystem potentialities, and allows us to apply a number of isotopic systems to enhance the specificity of our interpretation of ecosystem processes. We have applied the following isotopes to assist us in understanding the processes that impact ecosystems: O, C, Sr, Ca, N, Si and Be, and are presently exploring the use of S and Mg. We use these isotopic systems within a matrix of controls that allows us to focus on specific questions. The isotopic signatures from different isotopic systems can define climate- response patterns that are non-linear with each defining different threshold and plateau in rainfall space. Measurement of these isotopic systems allows us to evaluate multiple chemical behaviors at once and to evaluate expected responses to perturbations to any of these tracers in response to past or future changes in climate or other ecosystem drives such as land cover change. For instance, based on deep-soil samples, the plants that grew before humans reached Hawaii have C13 values that drop from -14 per mil to -26 per mil as rainfall increases from 200 mm to 3000 mm. Today the surface-soil values remain close to -14 per mil throughout the rainfall gradient due to the introduction of C4 grasses for pasture. Along the same rainfall gradient, Sr isotopes demonstrate that as C3 plants began to predominate there was a fundmental shift in nutrients supplied from rocks to

  14. Litter chemistry and chemical diversity drive ecosystem processes in forest ponds.

    PubMed

    Stoler, Aaron B; Burke, David J; Relyea, Rick A

    2016-07-01

    Research suggests that a positive relationship exists between diversity and ecological function, yet the multi-trophic effects of biodiversity remain poorly understood. The resource complementarity hypothesis suggests that increasing the trait diversity of resources provides a more complete diet for consumers, elevating consumer feeding rates. Whereas previous tests of this mechanism have measured trait diversity as the variation of single traits or the richness of functional groups, we employed a multivariate trait index to manipulate the chemical diversity of temperate tree litter species in outdoor pond mesocosms. We inoculated outdoor mesocosms with diverse and multi-trophic communities of microbial and macro-consumer species that rely on leaf litter for energy and nutrients. Litter was provided at three levels of chemical trait diversity, a constant level of species richness, and an equal representation of all litter species. Over three months, we measured more than 65 responses, and assessed the effects of litter chemical diversity and chemical trait means (i.e., community-weighted means). We found that litter chemical diversity positively correlated with decomposition rate of leaf litter, but had no effect on biomass or density of producers and consumers. However, the pond communities often responded to chemical trait means, particularly those related to nutrients, structure, and defense. Our results suggest that resource complementarity does have some effect on the release of energy and nutrients from decomposing substrates in forest ponds, but does not have multi-trophic effects. Our results further suggest that loss of tree biodiversity could affect forest ecosystem functionality, and particularly the processes occurring in and around ponds and wetlands.

  15. Comparison of Seasonal Soil Microbial Process in Snow-Covered Temperate Ecosystems of Northern China

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Climate change and Southern Ocean ecosystems I: how changes in physical habitats directly affect marine biota.

    PubMed

    Constable, Andrew J; Melbourne-Thomas, Jessica; Corney, Stuart P; Arrigo, Kevin R; Barbraud, Christophe; Barnes, David K A; Bindoff, Nathaniel L; Boyd, Philip W; Brandt, Angelika; Costa, Daniel P; Davidson, Andrew T; Ducklow, Hugh W; Emmerson, Louise; Fukuchi, Mitsuo; Gutt, Julian; Hindell, Mark A; Hofmann, Eileen E; Hosie, Graham W; Iida, Takahiro; Jacob, Sarah; Johnston, Nadine M; Kawaguchi, So; Kokubun, Nobuo; Koubbi, Philippe; Lea, Mary-Anne; Makhado, Azwianewi; Massom, Rob A; Meiners, Klaus; Meredith, Michael P; Murphy, Eugene J; Nicol, Stephen; Reid, Keith; Richerson, Kate; Riddle, Martin J; Rintoul, Stephen R; Smith, Walker O; Southwell, Colin; Stark, Jonathon S; Sumner, Michael; Swadling, Kerrie M; Takahashi, Kunio T; Trathan, Phil N; Welsford, Dirk C; Weimerskirch, Henri; Westwood, Karen J; Wienecke, Barbara C; Wolf-Gladrow, Dieter; Wright, Simon W; Xavier, Jose C; Ziegler, Philippe

    2014-10-01

    Antarctic and Southern Ocean (ASO) marine ecosystems have been changing for at least the last 30 years, including in response to increasing ocean temperatures and changes in the extent and seasonality of sea ice; the magnitude and direction of these changes differ between regions around Antarctica that could see populations of the same species changing differently in different regions. This article reviews current and expected changes in ASO physical habitats in response to climate change. It then reviews how these changes may impact the autecology of marine biota of this polar region: microbes, zooplankton, salps, Antarctic krill, fish, cephalopods, marine mammals, seabirds, and benthos. The general prognosis for ASO marine habitats is for an overall warming and freshening, strengthening of westerly winds, with a potential pole-ward movement of those winds and the frontal systems, and an increase in ocean eddy activity. Many habitat parameters will have regionally specific changes, particularly relating to sea ice characteristics and seasonal dynamics. Lower trophic levels are expected to move south as the ocean conditions in which they are currently found move pole-ward. For Antarctic krill and finfish, the latitudinal breadth of their range will depend on their tolerance of warming oceans and changes to productivity. Ocean acidification is a concern not only for calcifying organisms but also for crustaceans such as Antarctic krill; it is also likely to be the most important change in benthic habitats over the coming century. For marine mammals and birds, the expected changes primarily relate to their flexibility in moving to alternative locations for food and the energetic cost of longer or more complex foraging trips for those that are bound to breeding colonies. Few species are sufficiently well studied to make comprehensive species-specific vulnerability assessments possible. Priorities for future work are discussed.

  18. Affective value and associative processing share a cortical substrate.

    PubMed

    Shenhav, Amitai; Barrett, Lisa Feldman; Bar, Moshe

    2013-03-01

    The brain stores information in an associative manner so that contextually related entities are connected in memory. Such associative representations mediate the brain's ability to generate predictions about which other objects and events to expect in a given context. Likewise, the brain encodes and is able to rapidly retrieve the affective value of stimuli in our environment. That both contextual associations and affect serve as building blocks of numerous mental functions often makes interpretation of brain activation ambiguous. A critical brain region where such activation has often resulted in equivocal interpretation is the medial orbitofrontal cortex (mOFC), which has been implicated separately in both affective and associative processing. To characterize its role more unequivocally, we tested whether activity in the mOFC was most directly attributable to affective processing, associative processing, or a combination of both. Subjects performed an object recognition task while undergoing fMRI scans. Objects varied independently in their affective valence and in their degree of association with other objects (associativity). Analyses revealed an overlapping sensitivity whereby the left mOFC responded both to increasingly positive affective value and to stronger associativity. These two properties individually accounted for mOFC response, even after controlling for their interrelationship. The role of the mOFC is either general enough to encompass associations that link stimuli both with reinforcing outcomes and with other stimuli or abstract enough to use both valence and associativity in conjunction to inform downstream processes related to perception and action. These results may further point to a fundamental relationship between associativity and positive affect.

  19. [Multi-scenario simulation and prediction of ecosystem services as affected by urban expansion: A case study in coastal area of Tianjin, North China].

    PubMed

    Huang, Huan-Chun; Yun, Ying-Xia; Miao, Zhan-Tang; Hao, Cui; Li, Hong-yuan

    2013-03-01

    Based on the modified Logistic-CA model, and taking the coastal area of Tianjin as a case, this paper simulated the spatial evolution patterns of ecosystem services as affected by the urban expansion in 2011-2020 under the scenarios of historical extrapolation, endogenous development, and exogenous development. Overall, the total ecosystem services of the study area under the three scenarios were generally the same, and the functional region with the lowest level ecosystem services had the identical spatial pattern. However, the spatial evolution patterns of the ecosystem services of the study area under the three scenarios had a great difference. The functional regions with lower-level ecosystem services grew in a cross-shaped pattern, with the Tanggu downtown as a center, and finally formed a full connectivity area along the Haihe River and coastal zone.

  20. Termites create spatial structure and govern ecosystem function by affecting N2 fixation in an East African savanna.

    PubMed

    Fox-Dobbs, Kena; Doak, Daniel F; Brody, Alison K; Palmer, Todd M

    2010-05-01

    The mechanisms by which even the clearest of keystone or dominant species exert community-wide effects are only partially understood in most ecosystems. This is especially true when a species or guild influences community-wide interactions via changes in the abiotic landscape. Using stable isotope analyses, we show that subterranean termites in an East African savanna strongly influence a key ecosystem process: atmospheric nitrogen fixation by a monodominant tree species and its bacterial symbionts. Specifically, we applied the 15N natural abundance method in combination with other biogeochemical analyses to assess levels of nitrogen fixation by Acacia drepanolobium and its effects on co-occurring grasses and forbs in areas near and far from mounds and where ungulates were or were not excluded. We find that termites exert far stronger effects than do herbivores on nitrogen fixation. The percentage of nitrogen derived from fixation in Acacia drepanolobium trees is higher (55-80%) away from mounds vs. near mounds (40-50%). Mound soils have higher levels of plant available nitrogen, and Acacia drepanolobium may preferentially utilize soil-based nitrogen sources in lieu of fixed nitrogen when these sources are readily available near termite mounds. At the scale of the landscape, our models predict that termite/soil derived nitrogen sources influence >50% of the Acacia drepanolobium trees in our system. Further, the spatial extent of these effects combine with the spacing of termite mounds to create highly regular patterning in nitrogen fixation rates, resulting in marked habitat heterogeneity in an otherwise uniform landscape. In summary, we show that termite-associated effects on nitrogen processes are not only stronger than those of more apparent large herbivores in the same system, but also occur in a highly regular spatial pattern, potentially adding to their importance as drivers of community and ecosystem structure.

  1. fMRI Scanner Noise Interaction with Affective Neural Processes

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  5. How current ginning processes affect fiber length uniformity index

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    There is a need to develop cotton ginning methods that improve fiber characteristics that are compatible with the newer and more efficient spinning technologies. A literature search produced recent studies that described how current ginning processes affect HVI fiber length uniformity index. Resul...

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Karsli, Fethiye; Sahin, Cigdem

    2009-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-07-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  10. Ecosystem Screening Approach for Pathogen-Associated Microorganisms Affecting Host Disease▿†

    PubMed Central

    Galiana, Eric; Marais, Antoine; Mura, Catherine; Industri, Benoît; Arbiol, Gilles; Ponchet, Michel

    2011-01-01

    The microbial community in which a pathogen evolves is fundamental to disease outcome. Species interacting with a pathogen on the host surface shape the distribution, density, and genetic diversity of the inoculum, but the role of these species is rarely determined. The screening method developed here can be used to characterize pathogen-associated species affecting disease. This strategy involves three steps: (i) constitution of the microbial community, using the pathogen as a trap; (ii) community selection, using extracts from the pathogen as the sole nutrient source; and (iii) molecular identification and the screening of isolates focusing on their effects on the growth of the pathogen in vitro and host disease. This approach was applied to a soilborne plant pathogen, Phytophthora parasitica, structured in a biofilm, for screening the microbial community from the rhizosphere of Nicotiana tabacum (the host). Two of the characterized eukaryotes interfered with the oomycete cycle and may affect the host disease. A Vorticella species acted through a mutualistic interaction with P. parasitica, disseminating pathogenic material by leaving the biofilm. A Phoma species established an amensal interaction with P. parasitica, strongly suppressing disease by inhibiting P. parasitica germination. This screening method is appropriate for all nonobligate pathogens. It allows the definition of microbial species as promoters or suppressors of a disease for a given biotope. It should also help to identify important microbial relationships for ecology and evolution of pathogens. PMID:21742919

  11. Ecosystem screening approach for pathogen-associated microorganisms affecting host disease.

    PubMed

    Galiana, Eric; Marais, Antoine; Mura, Catherine; Industri, Benoît; Arbiol, Gilles; Ponchet, Michel

    2011-09-01

    The microbial community in which a pathogen evolves is fundamental to disease outcome. Species interacting with a pathogen on the host surface shape the distribution, density, and genetic diversity of the inoculum, but the role of these species is rarely determined. The screening method developed here can be used to characterize pathogen-associated species affecting disease. This strategy involves three steps: (i) constitution of the microbial community, using the pathogen as a trap; (ii) community selection, using extracts from the pathogen as the sole nutrient source; and (iii) molecular identification and the screening of isolates focusing on their effects on the growth of the pathogen in vitro and host disease. This approach was applied to a soilborne plant pathogen, Phytophthora parasitica, structured in a biofilm, for screening the microbial community from the rhizosphere of Nicotiana tabacum (the host). Two of the characterized eukaryotes interfered with the oomycete cycle and may affect the host disease. A Vorticella species acted through a mutualistic interaction with P. parasitica, disseminating pathogenic material by leaving the biofilm. A Phoma species established an amensal interaction with P. parasitica, strongly suppressing disease by inhibiting P. parasitica germination. This screening method is appropriate for all nonobligate pathogens. It allows the definition of microbial species as promoters or suppressors of a disease for a given biotope. It should also help to identify important microbial relationships for ecology and evolution of pathogens.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stieglitz, T. C.

    2013-05-01

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

  14. Humans process dog and human facial affect in similar ways.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  16. Positive affect and psychobiological processes relevant to health.

    PubMed

    Steptoe, Andrew; Dockray, Samantha; Wardle, Jane

    2009-12-01

    Empirical evidence suggests that there are marked associations between positive psychological states and health outcomes, including reduced cardiovascular disease risk and increased resistance to infection. These observations have stimulated the investigation of behavioral and biological processes that might mediate protective effects. Evidence linking positive affect with health behaviors has been mixed, though recent cross-cultural research has documented associations with exercising regularly, not smoking, and prudent diet. At the biological level, cortisol output has been consistently shown to be lower among individuals reporting positive affect, and favorable associations with heart rate, blood pressure, and inflammatory markers such as interleukin-6 have also been described. Importantly, these relationships are independent of negative affect and depressed mood, suggesting that positive affect may have distinctive biological correlates that can benefit health. At the same time, positive affect is associated with protective psychosocial factors such as greater social connectedness, perceived social support, optimism, and preference for adaptive coping responses. Positive affect may be part of a broader profile of psychosocial resilience that reduces risk of adverse physical health outcomes.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klaise, Janis; Johnson, Samuel

    2016-06-01

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

  19. Disturbance Distance: Combining a process based ecosystem model and remote sensing data to map the vulnerability of U.S. forested ecosystems to potentially altered disturbance rates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dolan, K. A.

    2015-12-01

    Disturbance plays a critical role in shaping the structure and function of forested ecosystems as well as the ecosystem services they provide, including but not limited to: carbon storage, biodiversity habitat, water quality and flow, and land atmosphere exchanges of energy and water. In addition, recent studies suggest that disturbance rates may increase in the future under altered climate and land use scenarios. Thus understanding how vulnerable forested ecosystems are to potential changes in disturbance rates is of high importance. This study calculated the theoretical threshold rate of disturbance for which forest ecosystems could no longer be sustained (λ*) across the Coterminous U.S. using an advanced process based ecosystem model (ED). Published rates of disturbance (λ) in 50 study sites were obtained from the North American Forest Disturbance (NAFD) program. Disturbance distance (λ* - λ) was calculated for each site by differencing the model based threshold under current climate conditions and average observed rates of disturbance over the last quarter century. Preliminary results confirm all sample forest sites have current average rates of disturbance below λ*, but there were interesting patterns in the recorded disturbance distances. In general western sites had much smaller disturbance distances, suggesting higher vulnerability to change, while eastern sites showed larger buffers. Ongoing work is being conducted to assess the vulnerability of these sites in the context of potential future changes by propagating scenarios of future climate and land-use change through the analysis.

  20. How will ocean acidification affect Baltic sea ecosystems? an assessment of plausible impacts on key functional groups.

    PubMed

    Havenhand, Jonathan N

    2012-09-01

    Increasing partial pressure of atmospheric CO₂ is causing ocean pH to fall-a process known as 'ocean acidification'. Scenario modeling suggests that ocean acidification in the Baltic Sea may cause a ≤ 3 times increase in acidity (reduction of 0.2-0.4 pH units) by the year 2100. The responses of most Baltic Sea organisms to ocean acidification are poorly understood. Available data suggest that most species and ecologically important groups in the Baltic Sea food web (phytoplankton, zooplankton, macrozoobenthos, cod and sprat) will be robust to the expected changes in pH. These conclusions come from (mostly) single-species and single-factor studies. Determining the emergent effects of ocean acidification on the ecosystem from such studies is problematic, yet very few studies have used multiple stressors and/or multiple trophic levels. There is an urgent need for more data from Baltic Sea populations, particularly from environmentally diverse regions and from controlled mesocosm experiments. In the absence of such information it is difficult to envision the likely effects of future ocean acidification on Baltic Sea species and ecosystems.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kellogg, Christina A.; Griffin, Dale W.

    2003-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Larsen, Laurel G.; Harvey, Judson W.

    2011-01-01

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

  3. Microflora of Processed Cheese and the Factors Affecting It.

    PubMed

    Buňková, Leona; Buňka, František

    2015-09-11

    The basic raw materials for the production of processed cheese are natural cheese which is treated by heat with the addition of emulsifying salts. From a point of view of the melting temperatures used (and the pH-value of the product), the course of processed cheese production can be considered "pasteurisation of cheese". During the melting process, the majority of vegetative forms of microorganisms, including bacteria of the family Enterobacteriaceae, are inactivated. The melting temperatures are not sufficient to kill the endospores, which survive the process but they are often weakened. From a microbiological point of view, the biggest contamination problem of processed cheese is caused by gram-positive spore-forming rod-shaped bacteria of the genera Bacillus, Geobacillus and Clostridium. Other factors affecting the shelf-life and quality of processed cheese are mainly the microbiological quality of the raw materials used, strict hygienic conditions during the manufacturing process as well as the type of packaging materials and storage conditions. The quality of processed cheese is not only dependent on the ingredients used but also on other parameters such as the value of water activity of the processed cheese, its pH-value, the presence of salts and emulsifying salts and the amount of fat in the product.

  4. Simulations of ecosystem hydrological processes using a unified multi-scale model

    SciTech Connect

    Yang, Xiaofan; Liu, Chongxuan; Fang, Yilin; Hinkle, Ross; Li, Hong-Yi; Bailey, Vanessa; Bond-Lamberty, Ben

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Spelling-to-sound correspondences affect acronym recognition processes.

    PubMed

    Playfoot, David; Izura, Cristina

    2015-01-01

    A large body of research has examined the factors that affect the speed with which words are recognized in lexical decision tasks. Nothing has yet been reported concerning the important factors in differentiating acronyms (e.g., BBC, HIV, NASA) from nonwords. It appears that this task poses little problem for skilled readers, in spite of the fact that acronyms have uncommon, even illegal, spellings in English. We used regression techniques to examine the role of a number of lexical and nonlexical variables known to be important in word processing in relation to lexical decision for acronym targets. Findings indicated that acronym recognition is affected by age of acquisition and imageability. In a departure from findings in word recognition, acronym recognition was not affected by frequency. Lexical decision responses for acronyms were also affected by the relationship between spelling and sound-a pattern not usually observed in word recognition. We argue that the complexity of acronym recognition means that the process draws phonological information in addition to semantics.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Qafoku, Nikolla

    2012-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1980-05-20

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-15

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

  9. Specific arrangements of species dominance can be more influential than evenness in maintaining ecosystem process and function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wohlgemuth, Daniel; Solan, Martin; Godbold, Jasmin A.

    2016-12-01

    The ecological consequences of species loss are widely studied, but represent an end point of environmental forcing that is not always realised. Changes in species evenness and the rank order of dominant species are more widespread responses to directional forcing. However, despite the repercussions for ecosystem functioning such changes have received little attention. Here, we experimentally assess how the rearrangement of species dominance structure within specific levels of evenness, rather than changes in species richness and composition, affect invertebrate particle reworking and burrow ventilation behaviour - important moderators of microbial-mediated remineralisation processes in benthic environments - and associated levels of sediment nutrient release. We find that the most dominant species exert a disproportionate influence on functioning at low levels of evenness, but that changes in biomass distribution and a change in emphasis in species-environmental interactions become more important in governing system functionality as evenness increases. Our study highlights the need to consider the functional significance of alterations to community attributes, rather than to solely focus on the attainment of particular levels of diversity when safeguarding biodiversity and ecosystems that provide essential services to society.

  10. Specific arrangements of species dominance can be more influential than evenness in maintaining ecosystem process and function

    PubMed Central

    Wohlgemuth, Daniel; Solan, Martin; Godbold, Jasmin A.

    2016-01-01

    The ecological consequences of species loss are widely studied, but represent an end point of environmental forcing that is not always realised. Changes in species evenness and the rank order of dominant species are more widespread responses to directional forcing. However, despite the repercussions for ecosystem functioning such changes have received little attention. Here, we experimentally assess how the rearrangement of species dominance structure within specific levels of evenness, rather than changes in species richness and composition, affect invertebrate particle reworking and burrow ventilation behaviour - important moderators of microbial-mediated remineralisation processes in benthic environments - and associated levels of sediment nutrient release. We find that the most dominant species exert a disproportionate influence on functioning at low levels of evenness, but that changes in biomass distribution and a change in emphasis in species-environmental interactions become more important in governing system functionality as evenness increases. Our study highlights the need to consider the functional significance of alterations to community attributes, rather than to solely focus on the attainment of particular levels of diversity when safeguarding biodiversity and ecosystems that provide essential services to society. PMID:27996034

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

  12. Species effects on ecosystem processes are modified by faunal responses to habitat composition.

    PubMed

    Bulling, Mark T; Solan, Martin; Dyson, Kirstie E; Hernandez-Milian, Gema; Luque, Patricia; Pierce, Graham J; Raffaelli, Dave; Paterson, David M; White, Piran C L

    2008-12-01

    Heterogeneity is a well-recognized feature of natural environments, and the spatial distribution and movement of individual species is primarily driven by resource requirements. In laboratory experiments designed to explore how different species drive ecosystem processes, such as nutrient release, habitat heterogeneity is often seen as something which must be rigorously controlled for. Most small experimental systems are therefore spatially homogeneous, and the link between environmental heterogeneity and its effects on the redistribution of individuals and species, and on ecosystem processes, has not been fully explored. In this paper, we used a mesocosm system to investigate the relationship between habitat composition, species movement and sediment nutrient release for each of four functionally contrasting species of marine benthic invertebrate macrofauna. For each species, various habitat configurations were generated by selectively enriching patches of sediment with macroalgae, a natural source of spatial variability in intertidal mudflats. We found that the direction and extent of faunal movement between patches differs with species identity, density and habitat composition. Combinations of these factors lead to concomitant changes in nutrient release, such that habitat composition effects are modified by species identity (in the case of NH4-N) and by species density (in the case of PO4-P). It is clear that failure to accommodate natural patterns of spatial heterogeneity in such studies may result in an incomplete understanding of system behaviour. This will be particularly important for future experiments designed to explore the effects of species richness on ecosystem processes, where the complex interactions reported here for single species may be compounded when species are brought together in multi-species combinations.

  13. Electrophysiological Differences in the Processing of Affect Misattribution

    PubMed Central

    Hashimoto, Yohei; Minami, Tetsuto; Nakauchi, Shigeki

    2012-01-01

    The affect misattribution procedure (AMP) was proposed as a technique to measure an implicit attitude to a prime image [1]. In the AMP, neutral symbols (e.g., a Chinese pictograph, called the target) are presented, following an emotional stimulus (known as the prime). Participants often misattribute the positive or negative affect of the priming images to the targets in spite of receiving an instruction to ignore the primes. The AMP effect has been investigated using behavioral measures; however, it is difficult to identify when the AMP effect occurs in emotional processing—whether the effect may occur in the earlier attention allocation stage or in the later evaluation stage. In this study, we examined the neural correlates of affect misattribution, using event-related potential (ERP) dividing the participants into two groups based on their tendency toward affect misattribution. The ERP results showed that the amplitude of P2 was larger for the prime at the parietal location in participants showing a low tendency to misattribution than for those showing a high tendency, while the effect of judging neutral targets amiss according to the primes was reflected in the late processing of targets (LPP). In addition, the topographic pattern analysis revealed that EPN-like component to targets was correlated with the difference of AMP tendency as well as P2 to primes and LPP to targets. Taken together, the mechanism of the affective misattribution was closely related to the attention allocation processing. Our findings provide neural evidence that evaluations of neutral targets are misattributed to emotional primes. PMID:23145097

  14. How Habitat Change and Rainfall Affect Dung Beetle Diversity in Caatinga, a Brazilian Semi-Arid Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Liberal, Carolina Nunes; de Farias, Ângela Maria Isidro; Meiado, Marcos Vinicius; Filgueiras, Bruno K. C.; Iannuzzi, Luciana

    2011-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to evaluate how dung beetle communities respond to both environment and rainfall in the Caatinga, a semi-arid ecosystem in northeastern Brazil. The communities were sampled monthly from May 2006 to April 2007 using pitfall traps baited with human feces in two environments denominated “land use area” and “undisturbed area.” Abundance and species richness were compared between the two environments and two seasons (dry and wet season) using a generalized linear model with a Poisson error distribution. Diversity was compared between the two environments (land use area and undisturbed area) and seasons (dry and wet) using the Two-Way ANOVA test. Non-metric multidimensional scaling was performed on the resemblance matrix of Bray-Curtis distances (with 1000 random restarts) to determine whether disturbance affected the abundance and species composition of the dung beetle communities. Spearman's correlation coefficient was used to determine whether rainfall was correlated with abundance and species richness. A total of 1097 specimens belonging to 13 species were collected. The most abundant and frequent species was Dichotomius geminatus Arrow (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae). The environment exerted an influence over abundance. Abundance and diversity were affected by season, with an increase in abundance at the beginning of the wet season. The correlation coefficient values were high and significant for abundance and species richness, which were both correlated to rainfall. In conclusion, the restriction of species to some environments demonstrates the need to preserve these areas in order to avoid possible local extinction. Therefore, in extremely seasonable environments, such as the Caatinga, seasonal variation strongly affects dung beetle communities. PMID:22224924

  15. How habitat change and rainfall affect dung beetle diversity in Caatinga, a Brazilian semi-arid ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Liberal, Carolina Nunes; de Farias, Ângela Maria Isidro; Meiado, Marcos Vinicius; Filgueiras, Bruno K C; Iannuzzi, Luciana

    2011-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to evaluate how dung beetle communities respond to both environment and rainfall in the Caatinga, a semi-arid ecosystem in northeastern Brazil. The communities were sampled monthly from May 2006 to April 2007 using pitfall traps baited with human feces in two environments denominated "land use area" and "undisturbed area." Abundance and species richness were compared between the two environments and two seasons (dry and wet season) using a generalized linear model with a Poisson error distribution. Diversity was compared between the two environments (land use area and undisturbed area) and seasons (dry and wet) using the Two-Way ANOVA test. Non-metric multidimensional scaling was performed on the resemblance matrix of Bray-Curtis distances (with 1000 random restarts) to determine whether disturbance affected the abundance and species composition of the dung beetle communities. Spearman's correlation coefficient was used to determine whether rainfall was correlated with abundance and species richness. A total of 1097 specimens belonging to 13 species were collected. The most abundant and frequent species was Dichotomius geminatus Arrow (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae). The environment exerted an influence over abundance. Abundance and diversity were affected by season, with an increase in abundance at the beginning of the wet season. The correlation coefficient values were high and significant for abundance and species richness, which were both correlated to rainfall. In conclusion, the restriction of species to some environments demonstrates the need to preserve these areas in order to avoid possible local extinction. Therefore, in extremely seasonable environments, such as the Caatinga, seasonal variation strongly affects dung beetle communities.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1992-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-10-01

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

  20. Environmental changes affect the assembly of soil bacterial community primarily by mediating stochastic processes.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ximei; Johnston, Eric R; Liu, Wei; Li, Linghao; Han, Xingguo

    2016-01-01

    Both 'species fitness difference'-based deterministic processes, such as competitive exclusion and environmental filtering, and 'species fitness difference'-independent stochastic processes, such as birth/death and dispersal/colonization, can influence the assembly of soil microbial communities. However, how both types of processes are mediated by anthropogenic environmental changes has rarely been explored. Here we report a novel and general pattern that almost all anthropogenic environmental changes that took place in a grassland ecosystem affected soil bacterial community assembly primarily through promoting or restraining stochastic processes. We performed four experiments mimicking 16 types of environmental changes and separated the compositional variation of soil bacterial communities caused by each environmental change into deterministic and stochastic components, with a recently developed method. Briefly, because the difference between control and treatment communities is primarily caused by deterministic processes, the deterministic change was quantified as (mean compositional variation between treatment and control) - (mean compositional variation within control). The difference among replicate treatment communities is primarily caused by stochastic processes, so the stochastic change was estimated as (mean compositional variation within treatment) - (mean compositional variation within control). The absolute of the stochastic change was greater than that of the deterministic change across almost all environmental changes, which was robust for both taxonomic and functional-based criterion. Although the deterministic change may become more important as environmental changes last longer, our findings showed that changes usually occurred through mediating stochastic processes over 5 years, challenging the traditional determinism-dominated view.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brook, John; Yates, Kimberly; Halley, Robert

    2006-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ito, A.

    2014-12-01

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

  6. Linking Inundation Patterns and Dynamics in a Permafrost Landscape to Hydrologic, Thermal, Biogeochemical and Ecosystem Processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, C. J.; Hinzman, L. D.; Iwahana, G.; Lara, M. J.; Liljedahl, A.; Painter, S. L.; Romanovsky, V. E.; Wullschleger, S. D.

    2014-12-01

    The Arctic coastal plain is characterized by multi-scale geomorphic features including thaw lakes, drained thaw lake basins, and clusters of ice wedge polygons composed of troughs, centers, and rims. The topographic and subsurface properties of these features control the lateral and vertical drainage pathways of snow melt and precipitation as well as the spatial and temporal dynamics of standing water in the landscape. The Next Generation Ecosystem Experiment, NGEE-Arctic, project combines multi-scale in-situ and remote surface and subsurface observations that quantify the interactions between landscape structure, hydrology, the carbon cycle and energy balance of Arctic permafrost environments, with the aim of improving representation of Arctic ecosystem processes in global climate models. Data and models from the project show distinct relationships exist between the hydro-geomorphic features mapped on the ground and observed in remote sensing imagery, and the measured in-situ thermal, biogeochemical and ecosystem responses coincident with those features. The relationships between micro-topographic setting, snow distribution, inundation, subsurface temperature and thaw depth observed at the NGEE Barrow field sites are now well reproduced in process resolving models such as Pflotran and the Arctic Terrestrial Simulator. Current modeling efforts are investigating how topographically controlled thermal-hydrologic dynamics impact the carbon cycle. The next challenge is to scale these relationships for application in a global climate model grid cell to enable pan-Arctic predictions of future change, including the change in topography and inundation resulting from thawing permafrost and melting ground ice. NGEE-Arctic is funded by the DOE Office of Science, Biological and Environmental Research program.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Palmer, C D; Wittbrodt, P R

    1991-01-01

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

  9. Agricultural management affects evolutionary processes in a migratory songbird

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yusufaly, Tahir; Boedicker, James

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

  11. Multiple Processes and Multiple Parameters: Applications of In Situ UV Spectroscopy for Aquatic Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cohen, M. J.; Hensley, R. T.; Reijo, C. J.; Heffernan, J. B.; Thomas, R. G.; Korhnak, L. V.

    2012-12-01

    Modern sensors afford new temporal and spatial scales of environmental measurements, providing novel insights into processes that govern earth surface and ecosystem dynamics. Recent advances from deploying in situ sensors include inference of reach-scale stoichiometric coupling (C:N:P) of whole-ecosystem metabolism, finely detailed resolution of the behavior of multiple solutes during storm events and snow-melt, and spatial and process disaggregation of nitrogen removal in rivers. These particular process inferences are predicated on in situ UV spectrometers that, to date, have been used principally to provide high quality temporally-dense measurements of nitrate. Here we focus on additional inferences, still largely exploratory, of ecosystem processes that are made possible in parallel with these same sensors. We focus on UV sensors capable of measuring absorbance from the entire UV spectrum at relatively high spectral resolution (ca. 1 nm), and we discuss three new applications. First, we explore the use of UV spectra for inferring information about the quality and quantity of dissolved organic matter. Diel and event driven variation in wavelength-specific absorbance and metrics like spectral slope in the 350-400 nm range (an indicator of aromaticity) illustrate that important inferences relevant to riverine organic matter cycling can be obtained during passive deployments. Second, we present preliminary data to support the use of these sensors for injected solute experiments. Since both nitrate and bromide absorb in the deep UV, these sensors can be used to estimate concentrations of both during co-injection dosing. We present protocols and data from two such deployments, one in a lotic system and another in a wetland where we use high-resolution time series of measured concentrations to draw inference about N retention kinetics. Finally, we present new data from two-station deployments to obtain spatially compact reach scale measurements of N retention

  12. Implications of climate and land-use change for landscape processes, biodiversity, ecosystem services, and governance.

    PubMed

    Elmhagen, Bodil; Eriksson, Ove; Lindborg, Regina

    2015-01-01

    This introduction to the Special Issue summarizes the results of 14 scientific articles from the interdisciplinary research program Ekoklim at Stockholm University, Sweden. In this program, we investigate effects of changing climate and land use on landscape processes, biodiversity, and ecosystem services, and analyze issues related to adaptive governance in the face of climate and land-use change. We not only have a research focus on the 22 650 km(2) Norrström catchment surrounding lake Mälaren in south-central Sweden, but we also conduct research in other Swedish regions. The articles presented here show complex interactions between multiple drivers of change, as well as feedback processes at different spatiotemporal scales. Thus, the Ekoklim program highlights and deals with issues relevant for the future challenges society will face when land-use change interacts with climate change.

  13. Using ecological production functions to link ecological processes to ecosystem services.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecological production functions (EPFs) link ecosystems, stressors, and management actions to ecosystem services (ES) production. Although EPFs are acknowledged as being essential to improve environmental management, their use in ecological risk assessment has received relatively ...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-09-01

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

  15. Impacts of introduced Rangifer on ecosystem processes of maritime tundra on subarctic islands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ricca, Mark; Miles, A. Keith; Van Vuren, Dirk H.; Eviner, Valerie T.

    2016-01-01

    Introductions of mammalian herbivores to remote islands without predators provide a natural experiment to ask how temporal and spatial variation in herbivory intensity alter feedbacks between plant and soil processes. We investigated ecosystem effects resulting from introductions of Rangifer tarandus (hereafter “Rangifer”) to native mammalian predator- and herbivore-free islands in the Aleutian archipelago of Alaska. We hypothesized that the maritime tundra of these islands would experience either: (1) accelerated ecosystem processes mediated by positive feedbacks between increased graminoid production and rapid nitrogen cycling; or (2) decelerated processes mediated by herbivory that stimulated shrub domination and lowered soil fertility. We measured summer plant and soil properties across three islands representing a chronosequence of elapsed time post-Rangifer introduction (Atka: ~100 yr; Adak: ~50; Kagalaska: ~0), with distinct stages of irruptive population dynamics of Rangifer nested within each island (Atka: irruption, K-overshoot, decline, K-re-equilibration; Adak: irruption, K-overshoot; Kagalaska: initial introduction). We also measured Rangifer spatial use within islands (indexed by pellet group counts) to determine how ecosystem processes responded to spatial variation in herbivory. Vegetation community response to herbivory varied with temporal and spatial scale. When comparing temporal effects using the island chronosequence, increased time since herbivore introduction led to more graminoids and fewer dwarf-shrubs, lichens, and mosses. Slow-growingCladonia lichens that are highly preferred winter forage were decimated on both long-termRangifer-occupied islands. In addition, linear relations between more concentrated Rangifer spatial use and reductions in graminoid and forb biomass within islands added spatial heterogeneity to long-term patterns identified by the chronosequence. These results support, in part, the hypothesis that

  16. Affective and executive network processing associated with persuasive antidrug messages.

    PubMed

    Ramsay, Ian S; Yzer, Marco C; Luciana, Monica; Vohs, Kathleen D; MacDonald, Angus W

    2013-07-01

    Previous research has highlighted brain regions associated with socioemotional processes in persuasive message encoding, whereas cognitive models of persuasion suggest that executive brain areas may also be important. The current study aimed to identify lateral prefrontal brain areas associated with persuasive message viewing and understand how activity in these executive regions might interact with activity in the amygdala and medial pFC. Seventy adolescents were scanned using fMRI while they watched 10 strongly convincing antidrug public service announcements (PSAs), 10 weakly convincing antidrug PSAs, and 10 advertisements (ads) unrelated to drugs. Antidrug PSAs compared with nondrug ads more strongly elicited arousal-related activity in the amygdala and medial pFC. Within antidrug PSAs, those that were prerated as strongly persuasive versus weakly persuasive showed significant differences in arousal-related activity in executive processing areas of the lateral pFC. In support of the notion that persuasiveness involves both affective and executive processes, functional connectivity analyses showed greater coactivation between the lateral pFC and amygdala during PSAs known to be strongly (vs. weakly) convincing. These findings demonstrate that persuasive messages elicit activation in brain regions responsible for both emotional arousal and executive control and represent a crucial step toward a better understanding of the neural processes responsible for persuasion and subsequent behavior change.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Redente, E.F.

    1989-05-26

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gérard, Martine; Trombino, Luca; Stoops, Georges

    2014-05-01

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

  20. Dust and canopy effects on snowpack melt and ecosystem processes in a subalpine forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maurer, G. E.; Bowling, D. R.

    2013-12-01

    Dust deposition lowers the albedo of mountain snowpacks and can significantly impact the rate of spring snowpack melt. Recent research has shown that aeolian dust deposition may significantly advance the timing of snowmelt and spring runoff in the hydrologic basins of the western U.S. These studies have focused on alpine and subalpine snowpacks with little to no overstory vegetation cover. We conducted a manipulative experiment to assess the impacts of dust deposition on snowpack melt and ecosystem processes in a subalpine conifer forest. From mid-March to the snow all gone date in 2010-2012, we scattered dust in forested plots at weekly to bi-weekly frequency. This roughly doubled the ambient dust loading at the site. In control and dust-addition treatments we measured the springtime decline in snow water equivalent, continuous soil temperature and moisture, and litter mass loss (decomposition) and soil respiration below the snowpack and during the warm season. Xylem water potential in conifers was also measured during the warm season. We found that the effect of dust deposition on the melt rate was dependent on the openness of the canopy within our forest, as were differences in the timing and magnitude of soil moisture changes. Ecosystem processes were similar in dust-addition and control plots and were responsive to soil temperature and moisture variations below the snowpack and during the warm season. From this we conclude that the effect of aeolian dust deposition on snowpack energy balance, and associated ecohydrological processes, varies with canopy structure in subalpine forests.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-07-01

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

  3. Hemispheric processing of memory is affected by sleep.

    PubMed

    Monaghan, Padraic; Shaw, John J; Ashworth-Lord, Anneliese; Newbury, Chloe R

    2017-04-01

    Sleep is known to affect learning and memory, but the extent to which it influences behavioural processing in the left and right hemispheres of the brain is as yet unknown. We tested two hypotheses about lateralised effects of sleep on recognition memory for words: whether sleep reactivated recent experiences of words promoting access to the long-term store in the left hemisphere (LH), and whether sleep enhanced spreading activation differentially in semantic networks in the hemispheres. In Experiment 1, participants viewed lists of semantically related words, then slept or stayed awake for 12h before being tested on seen, unseen but related, or unrelated words presented to the left or the right hemisphere. Sleep was found to promote word recognition in the LH, and to spread activation equally within semantic networks in both hemispheres. Experiment 2 ensured that the results were not due to time of day effects influencing cognitive performance.

  4. Processes Controlling Temporal Changes in Agriculturally-Affected Groundwater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  7. Interactive effects of winter weather variation and nitrogen deposition on alpine moist meadow ecosystem processes in the Rocky Mountains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Churchill, A. C.

    2015-12-01

    Alpine climate change in the Rocky Mountains has been linked to changes in precipitation patterns between summer and winter periods, and in total amounts of accumulation over the year. Annual variation in alpine snowpack can have important effects on concentrations and amounts of nitrogen (N) deposition entering the alpine from the atmosphere, as between one third to one half of N deposition occurs in association with precipitation, and high elevations primarily receive precipitation in the form of winter snow. Variation in snowpack further affects the amount and timing of water available to vegetation during the growing season, which can have large implications for alpine ecosystem responses in association with N deposition. To examine the potential interactive effects of variation in winter weather and N deposition, we established five sites along an ambient gradient of N deposition in the Rocky Mountains and collected measurements of N cycling between 2012 and 2014. This time frame included a year with low snow pack (2012), a year with average snow pack (2013), and a year with high snow pack (2014) among sites in the study, and allowed for us to examine candidate dynamic climatic drivers that may create variation in ecosystem processes associated with N. We found that soil water nitrate concentrations following snow melt were highly different for 4 sites along the N deposition gradient between 2013 and 2014. Growing season resin extractable N, however, was unaffected by inter-annual changes in winter precipitation. One possible explanation for no change in resin N may be associated with high inter-annual variation in plant community composition. There were significant differences in the species composition between 2012 and 2013, as well as shifts in the concentrations of N found in dominant plant species tissue. Our results suggest that plants will be important controls on biogeochemical responses of alpine moist meadows under variation in winter precipitation.

  8. Contrasting effects of hemiparasites on ecosystem processes: can positive litter effects offset the negative effects of parasitism?

    PubMed Central

    Suding, Katharine N.

    2010-01-01

    Hemiparasites are known to influence community structure and ecosystem functioning, but the underlying mechanisms are not well studied. Variation in the impacts of hemiparasites on diversity and production could be due to the difference in the relative strength of two interacting pathways: direct negative effects of parasitism and positive effects on N availability via litter. Strong effects of parasitism should result in substantial changes in diversity and declines in productivity. Conversely, strong litter effects should result in minor changes in diversity and increased productivity. We conducted field-based surveys to determine the association of Castillejaoccidentalis with diversity and productivity in the alpine tundra. To examine litter effects, we compared the decomposition of Castilleja litter with litter of four other abundant plant species, and examined the decomposition of those four species when mixed with Castilleja. Castilleja was associated with minor changes in diversity but almost a twofold increase in productivity and greater foliar N in co-occurring species. Our decomposition trials suggest litter effects are due to both the rapid N loss of Castilleja litter and the effects of mixing Castilleja litter with co-occurring species. Castilleja produces litter that accelerates decomposition in the alpine tundra, which could accelerate the slow N cycle and boost productivity. We speculate that these positive effects of litter outweigh the effects of parasitism in nutrient-poor systems with long-lived hemiparasites. Determining the relative importance of parasitism and litter effects of this functional group is crucial to understand the strong but variable roles hemiparasites play in affecting community structure and ecosystem processes. PMID:20658151

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-11-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Kuniansky, Eve L; Lowery, Mark A; Campbell, Bruce G

    2009-01-01

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

  13. Barley cultivar, kernel composition, and processing affect the glycemic index.

    PubMed

    Aldughpassi, Ahmed; Abdel-Aal, El-Sayed M; Wolever, Thomas M S

    2012-09-01

    Barley has a low glycemic index (GI), but it is unknown whether its GI is affected by variation in carbohydrate composition in different cultivars and by food processing and food form. To examine the effect of these factors on GI, 9 barley cultivars varying in amylose and β-glucan content were studied in 3 experiments in separate groups of 10 healthy participants. In Expt. 1, 3 barley cultivars underwent 2 levels of processing: hull removal [whole-grain (WG)] and bran, germ, and crease removal [white pearled (WP)]. GI varied by cultivar (CDC Fibar vs. AC Parkhill, [mean ± SEM]: 26 ± 3 vs. 53 ± 4, respectively; P < 0.05) and pearling (WG vs. WP: 26 ± 4 vs. 35 ± 3, respectively; P < 0.05) with no cultivar × pearling interaction. In Expt. 2, the GI of 7 WG cultivars ranged from 21 ± 4 to 36 ± 8 (P = 0.09). In Expt. 3, WG and WP AC Parkhill and Celebrity cultivars were ground and made into wet pasta. The GI of AC Parkhill pasta (69 ± 3) was similar to that of Celebrity pasta (64 ± 4) but, unlike in Expt. 1, the GI of WP pasta (61 ± 3) was less than that of WG pasta (72 ± 4) (P < 0.05). Pooled data from Expts. 1 and 2 showed that GI was correlated with total fiber (r = -0.75, P = 0.002) but not with measures of starch characteristics. We conclude that the GI of barley is influenced by cultivar, processing, and food form but is not predicted by its content of amylose or other starch characteristics.

  14. Relaxation Biodynamics: Experimental Studies and Modeling of Biogeochemical Processes in Northern Terrestrial Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Panikov, N. S.; Pankratov, T.

    2001-12-01

    Relaxation phenomenon in physics and chemistry stands for delay between the application of an external stress to a system and its response. When an equilibrated nuclear, atomic or molecular system is subjected to an abrupt physical change (sudden rise in temperature or pressure), it takes time for the system to re-equilibrate under the new conditions. This period (relaxation time) can provide a powerful insight into mechanisms of chemical reaction. Our intention is to extend such approach to analysis of the complex biological phenomena related mainly to microbial growth and activity in the soil. We will show how this information can be used for better understanding the biogeochemical processes in northern terrestrial ecosystems such as aerobic and anaerobic decomposition of organic matter, gas (CO2 and CH4) emission to atmosphere, migration and transformation of biogenic elements, etc. The major source of experimental data is laboratory soil incubation under controlled environmental conditions with abrupt changes in one of the key parameters: temperature (including the water-to-ice phase transition), soil moisture, light (illumination of planted soil), supply of organic substrate and mineral nutrients. The state of biological component before and after abrupt changes was followed by continuous recording of gas (CO2, CH4) exchange rate and (in some special experiments), chemical analysis of the soil solution, and the characterization of soil community (microbial and plants biomass, species composition, change of life forms, etc.) The obtained dynamic data were fit to simulation models (sets of differential equations) describing the C- and energy flow through the studied microcosm systems. The comparison of predicted and observed relaxation dynamics allowed us to discard wrong assumptions on the nature of regulatory mechanisms involved in the functioning of the soil community. Finally, the conclusions derived from the lab experiments are projected to field

  15. Positive affect and psychosocial processes related to health.

    PubMed

    Steptoe, Andrew; O'Donnell, Katie; Marmot, Michael; Wardle, Jane

    2008-05-01

    Positive affect is associated with longevity and favourable physiological function. We tested the hypothesis that positive affect is related to health-protective psychosocial characteristics independently of negative affect and socio-economic status. Both positive and negative affect were measured by aggregating momentary samples collected repeatedly over 1 day, and health-related psychosocial factors were assessed by questionnaire in a sample of 716 men and women aged 58-72 years. Positive affect was associated with greater social connectedness, emotional and practical support, optimism and adaptive coping responses, and lower depression, independently of age, gender, household income, paid employment, smoking status, and negative affect. Negative affect was independently associated with negative relationships, greater exposure to chronic stress, depressed mood, pessimism, and avoidant coping. Positive affect may be beneficial for health outcomes in part because it is a component of a profile of protective psychosocial characteristics.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  18. Ozone deposition in a mixed forest ecosystem - temporal variation and removal processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pokorska, Olga; Gruening, Carsten; Goded, Ignacio

    2016-04-01

    Forests are a major sink for tropospheric ozone, however the fate of ozone within the forest canopy is still not well understood. In this study we will present results of 3 years ozone flux measurements at eddy covariance flux tower in Ispra (Northern Italy) over mixed forest ecosystem. The main tree species in this ecosystem are Quercus robur (80%), Alnus glutinosa (10%), Populus alba (5%) and Carpinus betulus (3%). The measurements were carried out continuously from January 2013 till December 2015. Flux measurements at the canopy level with the eddy covariance technique were complemented with measurements of meteorological parameters and measurements of VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) using PTR-MS (Proton Transfer Reaction - Mass Spectrometry) during an intensive observation period. Continuous measurements produced a big dataset which allowed us to investigate the controls on ozone fluxes and to do multiyear comparisons. Patterns of ozone concentration, ozone fluxes and ozone deposition velocity over forest canopy will be presented in relation to physiological activity of the trees and time of the year. Current research is mainly aimed at better understanding of the contribution of destruction processes within the canopy. Therefore, the collected data were used to calculate the partitioning of total ozone fluxes between stomatal and non-stomatal sinks. We found that the stomatal uptake contributed less that non-stomatal uptake to the total ozone flux during the growing seasons. In particular, non-stomatal ozone removal by reactions with isoprene and other VOCs will be discussed. We will present contribution and change of individual ozone deposition sinks over the years in response to environmental parameters.

  19. Net primary productivity of China's terrestrial ecosystems from a process model driven by remote sensing.

    PubMed

    Feng, X; Liu, G; Chen, J M; Chen, M; Liu, J; Ju, W M; Sun, R; Zhou, W

    2007-11-01

    The terrestrial carbon cycle is one of the foci in global climate change research. Simulating net primary productivity (NPP) of terrestrial ecosystems is important for carbon cycle research. In this study, China's terrestrial NPP was simulated using the Boreal Ecosystem Productivity Simulator (BEPS), a carbon-water coupled process model based on remote sensing inputs. For these purposes, a national-wide database (including leaf area index, land cover, meteorology, vegetation and soil) at a 1 km resolution and a validation database were established. Using these databases and BEPS, daily maps of NPP for the entire China's landmass in 2001 were produced, and gross primary productivity (GPP) and autotrophic respiration (RA) were estimated. Using the simulated results, we explore temporal-spatial patterns of China's terrestrial NPP and the mechanisms of its responses to various environmental factors. The total NPP and mean NPP of China's landmass were 2.235 GtC and 235.2 gCm(-2)yr(-1), respectively; the total GPP and mean GPP were 4.418 GtC and 465 gCm(-2)yr(-1); and the total RA and mean RA were 2.227 GtC and 234 gCm(-2)yr(-1), respectively. On average, NPP was 50.6% of GPP. In addition, statistical analysis of NPP of different land cover types was conducted, and spatiotemporal patterns of NPP were investigated. The response of NPP to changes in some key factors such as LAI, precipitation, temperature, solar radiation, VPD and AWC are evaluated and discussed.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-09-01

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

  1. Antagonistic effects of biological invasion and environmental warming on detritus processing in freshwater ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Kenna, Daniel; Fincham, William N W; Dunn, Alison M; Brown, Lee E; Hassall, Christopher

    2017-03-01

    Global biodiversity is threatened by multiple anthropogenic stressors but little is known about the combined effects of environmental warming and invasive species on ecosystem functioning. We quantified thermal preferences and then compared leaf-litter processing rates at eight different temperatures (5.0-22.5 °C) by the invasive freshwater crustacean Dikerogammarus villosus and the Great Britain native Gammarus pulex at a range of body sizes. D. villosus preferred warmer temperatures but there was considerable overlap in the range of temperatures that the two species occupied during preference trials. When matched for size, G. pulex had a greater leaf shredding efficiency than D. villosus, suggesting that invasion and subsequent displacement of the native amphipod will result in reduced ecosystem functioning. However, D. villosus is an inherently larger species and interspecific variation in shredding was reduced when animals of a representative size range were compared. D. villosus shredding rates increased at a faster rate than G. pulex with increasing temperature suggesting that climate change may offset some of the reduction in function. D. villosus, but not G. pulex, showed evidence of an ability to select those temperatures at which its shredding rate was maximised, and the activation energy for shredding in D. villosus was more similar to predictions from metabolic theory. While per capita and mass-corrected shredding rates were lower in the invasive D. villosus than the native G. pulex, our study provides novel insights in to how the interactive effects of metabolic function, body size, behavioural thermoregulation, and density produce antagonistic effects between anthropogenic stressors.

  2. Tree species, tree genotypes and tree genotypic diversity levels affect microbe-mediated soil ecosystem functions in a subtropical forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Purahong, Witoon; Durka, Walter; Fischer, Markus; Dommert, Sven; Schöps, Ricardo; Buscot, François; Wubet, Tesfaye

    2016-11-01

    Tree species identity and tree genotypes contribute to the shaping of soil microbial communities. However, knowledge about how these two factors influence soil ecosystem functions is still lacking. Furthermore, in forest ecosystems tree genotypes co-occur and interact with each other, thus the effects of tree genotypic diversity on soil ecosystem functions merit attention. Here we investigated the effects of tree species, tree genotypes and genotypic diversity levels, alongside soil physicochemical properties, on the overall and specific soil enzyme activity patterns. Our results indicate that tree species identity, tree genotypes and genotypic diversity level have significant influences on overall and specific soil enzyme activity patterns. These three factors influence soil enzyme patterns partly through effects on soil physicochemical properties and substrate quality. Variance partitioning showed that tree species identity, genotypic diversity level, pH and water content all together explained ~30% variations in the overall patterns of soil enzymes. However, we also found that the responses of soil ecosystem functions to tree genotypes and genotypic diversity are complex, being dependent on tree species identity and controlled by multiple factors. Our study highlights the important of inter- and intra-specific variations in tree species in shaping soil ecosystem functions in a subtropical forest.

  3. Tree species, tree genotypes and tree genotypic diversity levels affect microbe-mediated soil ecosystem functions in a subtropical forest

    PubMed Central

    Purahong, Witoon; Durka, Walter; Fischer, Markus; Dommert, Sven; Schöps, Ricardo; Buscot, François; Wubet, Tesfaye

    2016-01-01

    Tree species identity and tree genotypes contribute to the shaping of soil microbial communities. However, knowledge about how these two factors influence soil ecosystem functions is still lacking. Furthermore, in forest ecosystems tree genotypes co-occur and interact with each other, thus the effects of tree genotypic diversity on soil ecosystem functions merit attention. Here we investigated the effects of tree species, tree genotypes and genotypic diversity levels, alongside soil physicochemical properties, on the overall and specific soil enzyme activity patterns. Our results indicate that tree species identity, tree genotypes and genotypic diversity level have significant influences on overall and specific soil enzyme activity patterns. These three factors influence soil enzyme patterns partly through effects on soil physicochemical properties and substrate quality. Variance partitioning showed that tree species identity, genotypic diversity level, pH and water content all together explained ~30% variations in the overall patterns of soil enzymes. However, we also found that the responses of soil ecosystem functions to tree genotypes and genotypic diversity are complex, being dependent on tree species identity and controlled by multiple factors. Our study highlights the important of inter- and intra-specific variations in tree species in shaping soil ecosystem functions in a subtropical forest. PMID:27857198

  4. Tree species, tree genotypes and tree genotypic diversity levels affect microbe-mediated soil ecosystem functions in a subtropical forest.

    PubMed

    Purahong, Witoon; Durka, Walter; Fischer, Markus; Dommert, Sven; Schöps, Ricardo; Buscot, François; Wubet, Tesfaye

    2016-11-18

    Tree species identity and tree genotypes contribute to the shaping of soil microbial communities. However, knowledge about how these two factors influence soil ecosystem functions is still lacking. Furthermore, in forest ecosystems tree genotypes co-occur and interact with each other, thus the effects of tree genotypic diversity on soil ecosystem functions merit attention. Here we investigated the effects of tree species, tree genotypes and genotypic diversity levels, alongside soil physicochemical properties, on the overall and specific soil enzyme activity patterns. Our results indicate that tree species identity, tree genotypes and genotypic diversity level have significant influences on overall and specific soil enzyme activity patterns. These three factors influence soil enzyme patterns partly through effects on soil physicochemical properties and substrate quality. Variance partitioning showed that tree species identity, genotypic diversity level, pH and water content all together explained ~30% variations in the overall patterns of soil enzymes. However, we also found that the responses of soil ecosystem functions to tree genotypes and genotypic diversity are complex, being dependent on tree species identity and controlled by multiple factors. Our study highlights the important of inter- and intra-specific variations in tree species in shaping soil ecosystem functions in a subtropical forest.

  5. Hydraulic redistribution of soil water by roots affects whole-stand evapotranspiration and net ecosystem carbon exchange.

    PubMed

    Domec, Jean-Christophe; King, John S; Noormets, Asko; Treasure, Emrys; Gavazzi, Michael J; Sun, Ge; McNulty, Steven G

    2010-07-01

    *Hydraulic redistribution (HR) of water via roots from moist to drier portions of the soil occurs in many ecosystems, potentially influencing both water use and carbon assimilation. *By measuring soil water content, sap flow and eddy covariance, we investigated the temporal variability of HR in a loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) plantation during months of normal and below-normal precipitation, and examined its effects on tree transpiration, ecosystem water use and carbon exchange. *The occurrence of HR was explained by courses of reverse flow through roots. As the drought progressed, HR maintained soil moisture above 0.15 cm(3) cm(-3) and increased transpiration by 30-50%. HR accounted for 15-25% of measured total site water depletion seasonally, peaking at 1.05 mm d(-1). The understory species depended on water redistributed by the deep-rooted overstory pine trees for their early summer water supply. Modeling carbon flux showed that in the absence of HR, gross ecosystem productivity and net ecosystem exchange could be reduced by 750 and 400 g C m(-2) yr(-1), respectively. *Hydraulic redistribution mitigated the effects of soil drying on understory and stand evapotranspiration and had important implications for net primary productivity by maintaining this whole ecosystem as a carbon sink.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-02-28

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

  7. Processes Affecting Nitrogen Speciation in a Karst Aquifer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1998-03-14

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gales, Larry

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gales, Larry; Anderson, Lougenia

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fletcher, R. Ian

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gales, Larry

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gales, Larry

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gales, Larry

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

  18. Building a better foundation: improving root-trait measurements to understand and model plant and ecosystem processes.

    PubMed

    McCormack, M Luke; Guo, Dali; Iversen, Colleen M; Chen, Weile; Eissenstat, David M; Fernandez, Christopher W; Li, Le; Ma, Chengen; Ma, Zeqing; Poorter, Hendrik; Reich, Peter B; Zadworny, Marcin; Zanne, Amy

    2017-03-13

    Trait-based approaches provide a useful framework to investigate plant strategies for resource acquisition, growth, and competition, as well as plant impacts on ecosystem processes. Despite significant progress capturing trait variation within and among stems and leaves, identification of trait syndromes within fine-root systems and between fine roots and other plant organs is limited. Here we discuss three underappreciated areas where focused measurements of fine-root traits can make significant contributions to ecosystem science. These include assessment of spatiotemporal variation in fine-root traits, integration of mycorrhizal fungi into fine-root-trait frameworks, and the need for improved scaling of traits measured on individual roots to ecosystem-level processes. Progress in each of these areas is providing opportunities to revisit how below-ground processes are represented in terrestrial biosphere models. Targeted measurements of fine-root traits with clear linkages to ecosystem processes and plant responses to environmental change are strongly needed to reduce empirical and model uncertainties. Further identifying how and when suites of root and whole-plant traits are coordinated or decoupled will ultimately provide a powerful tool for modeling plant form and function at local and global scales.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gales, Larry

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2004-01-01

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

  2. Toward an integration of evolutionary biology and ecosystem science.

    PubMed

    Matthews, Blake; Narwani, Anita; Hausch, Stephen; Nonaka, Etsuko; Peter, Hannes; Yamamichi, Masato; Sullam, Karen E; Bird, Kali C; Thomas, Mridul K; Hanley, Torrance C; Turner, Caroline B

    2011-07-01

    At present, the disciplines of evolutionary biology and ecosystem science are weakly integrated. As a result, we have a poor understanding of how the ecological and evolutionary processes that create, maintain, and change biological diversity affect the flux of energy and materials in global biogeochemical cycles. The goal of this article was to review several research fields at the interfaces between ecosystem science, community ecology and evolutionary biology, and suggest new ways to integrate evolutionary biology and ecosystem science. In particular, we focus on how phenotypic evolution by natural selection can influence ecosystem functions by affecting processes at the environmental, population and community scale of ecosystem organization. We develop an eco-evolutionary model to illustrate linkages between evolutionary change (e.g. phenotypic evolution of producer), ecological interactions (e.g. consumer grazing) and ecosystem processes (e.g. nutrient cycling). We conclude by proposing experiments to test the ecosystem consequences of evolutionary changes.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Junran

    2015-04-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  8. Forest type effects on the retention of radiocesium in organic layers of forest ecosystems affected by the Fukushima nuclear accident

    PubMed Central

    Koarashi, Jun; Atarashi-Andoh, Mariko; Matsunaga, Takeshi; Sanada, Yukihisa

    2016-01-01

    The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster caused serious radiocesium (137Cs) contamination of forest ecosystems over a wide area. Forest-floor organic layers play a key role in controlling the overall bioavailability of 137Cs in forest ecosystems; however, there is still an insufficient understanding of how forest types influence the retention capability of 137Cs in organic layers in Japanese forest ecosystems. Here we conducted plot-scale investigations on the retention of 137Cs in organic layers at two contrasting forest sites in Fukushima. In a deciduous broad-leaved forest, approximately 80% of the deposited 137Cs migrated to mineral soil located below the organic layers within two years after the accident, with an ecological half-life of approximately one year. Conversely, in an evergreen coniferous forest, more than half of the deposited 137Cs remained in the organic layers, with an ecological half-life of 2.1 years. The observed retention behavior can be well explained by the tree phenology and accumulation of 137Cs associated with litter materials with different degrees of degradation in the organic layers. Spatial and temporal patterns of gamma-ray dose rates depended on the retention capability. Our results demonstrate that enhanced radiation risks last longer in evergreen coniferous forests than in deciduous broad-leaved forests. PMID:27974832

  9. Forest type effects on the retention of radiocesium in organic layers of forest ecosystems affected by the Fukushima nuclear accident

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koarashi, Jun; Atarashi-Andoh, Mariko; Matsunaga, Takeshi; Sanada, Yukihisa

    2016-12-01

    The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster caused serious radiocesium (137Cs) contamination of forest ecosystems over a wide area. Forest-floor organic layers play a key role in controlling the overall bioavailability of 137Cs in forest ecosystems; however, there is still an insufficient understanding of how forest types influence the retention capability of 137Cs in organic layers in Japanese forest ecosystems. Here we conducted plot-scale investigations on the retention of 137Cs in organic layers at two contrasting forest sites in Fukushima. In a deciduous broad-leaved forest, approximately 80% of the deposited 137Cs migrated to mineral soil located below the organic layers within two years after the accident, with an ecological half-life of approximately one year. Conversely, in an evergreen coniferous forest, more than half of the deposited 137Cs remained in the organic layers, with an ecological half-life of 2.1 years. The observed retention behavior can be well explained by the tree phenology and accumulation of 137Cs associated with litter materials with different degrees of degradation in the organic layers. Spatial and temporal patterns of gamma-ray dose rates depended on the retention capability. Our results demonstrate that enhanced radiation risks last longer in evergreen coniferous forests than in deciduous broad-leaved forests.

  10. Recycled Fiber Properties as Affected by Contaminants and Removal Processes.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    Five materials were applied to either a kraft pulp furnish or to a kraft paper and were removed by conventional removal processes. Uncontaminated... kraft paper subjected to the same removal processes determined that the process, not the contaminant, was responsible for changes in sheet properties

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reid, Joseph Pignatello

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2009-06-01

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

  13. Trophic cascades across ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Knight, Tiffany M; McCoy, Michael W; Chase, Jonathan M; McCoy, Krista A; Holt, Robert D

    2005-10-06

    Predation can be intense, creating strong direct and indirect effects throughout food webs. In addition, ecologists increasingly recognize that fluxes of organisms across ecosystem boundaries can have major consequences for community dynamics. Species with complex life histories often shift habitats during their life cycles and provide potent conduits coupling ecosystems. Thus, local interactions that affect predator abundance in one ecosystem (for example a larval habitat) may have reverberating effects in another (for example an adult habitat). Here we show that fish indirectly facilitate terrestrial plant reproduction through cascading trophic interactions across ecosystem boundaries. Fish reduce larval dragonfly abundances in ponds, leading to fewer adult dragonflies nearby. Adult dragonflies consume insect pollinators and alter their foraging behaviour. As a result, plants near ponds with fish receive more pollinator visits and are less pollen limited than plants near fish-free ponds. Our results confirm that strong species interactions can reverberate across ecosystems, and emphasize the importance of landscape-level processes in driving local species interactions.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stevenson, R. D.

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

  17. Species assembly in model ecosystems, II: Results of the assembly process.

    PubMed

    Capitán, José A; Cuesta, José A; Bascompte, Jordi

    2011-01-21

    In the companion paper of this set (Capitán and Cuesta, 2010) we have developed a full analytical treatment of the model of species assembly introduced in Capitán et al. (2009). This model is based on the construction of an assembly graph containing all viable configurations of the community, and the definition of a Markov chain whose transitions are the transformations of communities by new species invasions. In the present paper we provide an exhaustive numerical analysis of the model, describing the average time to the recurrent state, the statistics of avalanches, and the dependence of the results on the amount of available resource. Our results are based on the fact that the Markov chain provides an asymptotic probability distribution for the recurrent states, which can be used to obtain averages of observables as well as the time variation of these magnitudes during succession, in an exact manner. Since the absorption times into the recurrent set are found to be comparable to the size of the system, the end state is quickly reached (in units of the invasion time). Thus, the final ecosystem can be regarded as a fluctuating complex system where species are continually replaced by newcomers without ever leaving the set of recurrent patterns. The assembly graph is dominated by pathways in which most invasions are accepted, triggering small extinction avalanches. Through the assembly process, communities become less resilient (e.g., have a higher return time to equilibrium) but become more robust in terms of resistance against new invasions.

  18. Changing ecosystem service values following technological change.

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

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

  19. Changing Ecosystem Service Values Following Technological Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-06-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lehtonen, Minna; Laine, Matti

    2003-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1986-10-01

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

  3. Integrating the Affective Domain into the Instructional Design Process

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1992-03-01

    domains. Yet, instructional design models and practices have focused primarily on the acquisition of knowledge and psychomotor skills . Concern for the...the skills involved in the reactive and interactive domains are as amenable to the general principles of instruction as are cognitive and psychomotor ... skills . He also sees a parallel between the automation of affective domain skills (reflexive, conditioned activity versus behavior resulting from a

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  5. Do differences in food web structure between organic and conventional farms affect the ecosystem service of pest control?

    PubMed

    Macfadyen, Sarina; Gibson, Rachel; Polaszek, Andrew; Morris, Rebecca J; Craze, Paul G; Planqué, Robert; Symondson, William O C; Memmott, Jane

    2009-03-01

    While many studies have demonstrated that organic farms support greater levels of biodiversity, it is not known whether this translates into better provision of ecosystem services. Here we use a food-web approach to analyse the community structure and function at the whole-farm scale. Quantitative food webs from 10 replicate pairs of organic and conventional farms showed that organic farms have significantly more species at three trophic levels (plant, herbivore and parasitoid) and significantly different network structure. Herbivores on organic farms were attacked by more parasitoid species on organic farms than on conventional farms. However, differences in network structure did not translate into differences in robustness to simulated species loss and we found no difference in percentage parasitism (natural pest control) across a variety of host species. Furthermore, a manipulative field experiment demonstrated that the higher species richness of parasitoids on the organic farms did not increase mortality of a novel herbivore used to bioassay ecosystem service. The explanation for these differences is likely to include inherent differences in management strategies and landscape structure between the two farming systems.

  6. Solar ultraviolet-B radiation affects plant-insect interactions in a natural ecosystem of Tierra del Fuego (southern Argentina).

    PubMed

    Rousseaux, M Cecilia; Ballaré, Carlos L; Scopel, Ana L; Searles, Peter S; Caldwell, Martyn M

    1998-10-01

    We examined the effects of solar ultraviolet-B radiation (UVB) on plant-herbivore interactions in native ecosystems of the Tierra del Fuego National Park (southern Argentina), an area of the globe that is frequently under the Antarctic "ozone hole" in early spring. We found that filtering out solar UVB from the sunlight received by naturally-occurring plants of Gunnera magellanica, a creeping perennial herb, significantly increased the number of leaf lesions caused by chewing insects. Field surveys suggested that early-season herbivory was principally due to the activity of moth larvae (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Manipulative field experiments showed that exposure to solar UVB changes the attractiveness of G. magellanica leaf tissue to natural grazers. In a laboratory experiment, locally caught moth caterpillars tended to eat more tissue from leaves grown without UVB than from leaves exposed to natural UVB during development; however, the difference between treatments was not significant. Leaves grown under solar UVB had slightly higher N levels than leaves not exposed to UVB; no differences between UVB treatments in specific leaf mass, relative water content, and total methanol-soluble phenolics were detected. Our results show that insect herbivory in a natural ecosystem is influenced by solar UVB, and that this influence could not be predicted from crude measurements of leaf physical and chemical characteristics and a common laboratory bioassay.

  7. Drying process strongly affects probiotics viability and functionalities.

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-20

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-12-13

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

  9. Stimulus characteristics affect humor processing in individuals with Asperger syndrome.

    PubMed

    Samson, Andrea C; Hegenloh, Michael

    2010-04-01

    The present paper aims to investigate whether individuals with Asperger syndrome (AS) show global humor processing deficits or whether humor comprehension and appreciation depends on stimulus characteristics. Non-verbal visual puns, semantic and Theory of Mind cartoons were rated on comprehension, funniness and the punchlines were explained. AS individuals did not differ to the control group in humor appreciation of visual puns. However, they had difficulty understanding and appreciating Theory of Mind cartoons and provided mentalistic explanations less frequently than controls suggesting that humor processing is strongly related to the cognitive requirements that the stimuli pose on the perceiver. Furthermore, AS individuals referred in all conditions more frequently to non-joke relevant details. Therefore, humor processing is also influenced by their detail-oriented processing style.

  10. Benthic processes affecting contaminant transport in Upper Klamath Lake, Oregon

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kuwabara, James S.; Topping, Brent R.; Carter, James L.; Carlson, Rick A; Parchaso, Francis; Fend, Steven V.; Stauffer-Olsen, Natalie; Manning, Andrew J.; Land, Jennie M.

    2016-09-30

    Executive SummaryMultiple sampling trips during calendar years 2013 through 2015 were coordinated to provide measurements of interdependent benthic processes that potentially affect contaminant transport in Upper Klamath Lake (UKL), Oregon. The measurements were motivated by recognition that such internal processes (for example, solute benthic flux, bioturbation and solute efflux by benthic invertebrates, and physical groundwater-surface water interactions) were not integrated into existing management models for UKL. Up until 2013, all of the benthic-flux studies generally had been limited spatially to a number of sites in the northern part of UKL and limited temporally to 2–3 samplings per year. All of the benthic invertebrate studies also had been limited to the northern part of the lake; however, intensive temporal (weekly) studies had previously been completed independent of benthic-flux studies. Therefore, knowledge of both the spatial and temporal variability in benthic flux and benthic invertebrate distributions for the entire lake was lacking. To address these limitations, we completed a lakewide spatial study during 2013 and a coordinated temporal study with weekly sampling of benthic flux and benthic invertebrates during 2014. Field design of the spatially focused study in 2013 involved 21 sites sampled three times as the summer cyanobacterial bloom developed (that is, May 23, June 13, and July 3, 2013). Results of the 27-week, temporally focused study of one site in 2014 were summarized and partitioned into three periods (referred to herein as pre-bloom, bloom and post-bloom periods), each period involving 9 weeks of profiler deployments, water column and benthic sampling. Partitioning of the pre-bloom, bloom, and post-bloom periods were based on water-column chlorophyll concentrations and involved the following date intervals, respectively: April 15 through June 10, June 17 through August 13, and August 20 through October 16, 2014. To examine

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1998-01-01

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

  12. Process Formulations And Curing Conditions That Affect Saltstone Properties

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-09-28

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

  13. Arctic Ocean Atmosphere Sea Ice Snowpack (OASIS) Interactions Affecting Atmospheric Biogeochemistry, Climate and Ecosystems in the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beine, H.

    2006-12-01

    The Arctic Ocean is central to the understanding of climate and global environmental change. As a critical component of the Earth system, the Arctic region both influences and responds rapidly to natural variations and to human-induced perturbations, such as warming, contaminant accumulation, and associated impacts. While it is clear that there are dramatic changes occurring in the Arctic, the interactions between the air and surfaces are still not understood. The international, multidisciplinary Ocean-Atmosphere-Sea Ice-Snowpack (OASIS) program addresses the knowledge gaps and coordinates studies of Arctic atmosphere-surface interactions and associated feedbacks to the climate system. OASIS is planned as a long term science program for the next decade. OASIS is linked to a number of international organizations and activities, including AMAP, the IGBP programs IGAC under the AICI (Air Ice Chemical Interactions) activity, and SOLAS (Surface Ocean Lower Atmosphere Study), and the WCRP project CliC (Climate and Cryosphere). The abundant snowpack in the Arctic is not just a white cover: an array of intriguing reactions has been observed within and on snowpacks and sea-ice during springtime Arctic sunrise that dramatically influences the composition of the atmosphere. Building on these discoveries, the OASIS research approach is aimed at a better understanding of air-surface chemical exchange in the context of a changing climate. Fundamental physical, chemical, and biologically-mediated chemical exchange processes will be studied to answer questions such as: Will climate change increase or decrease the amount of mercury deposited in the Arctic? How will warming affect regional and global climate? How are sea ice and snow chemistry and physics changing? What is the role of biological processes in producing reactive atmospheric gases? What is the role of sea-salt in ozone depletion? What are ecological and human health impacts of toxic materials such as mercury and

  14. Respiration, metabolic balance, and attention in affective picture processing.

    PubMed

    Gomez, Patrick; Shafy, Samiha; Danuser, Brigitta

    2008-05-01

    The respiratory behavior during affective states is not completely understood. We studied breathing pattern responses to picture series in 37 participants. We also measured end-tidal pCO2 (EtCO2) to determine if ventilation is in balance with metabolic demands and spontaneous eye-blinking to investigate the link between respiration and attention. Minute ventilation (MV) and inspiratory drive increased with self-rated arousal. These relationships reflected increases in inspiratory volume rather than shortening of the time parameters. EtCO2 covaried with pleasantness but not arousal. Eye-blink rate decreased with increasing unpleasantness in line with a negativity bias in attention. This study confirms that respiratory responses to affective stimuli are organized to a certain degree along the dimensions of valence and arousal. It shows, for the first time, that during picture viewing, ventilatory increases with increasing arousal are in balance with metabolic activity and that inspiratory volume is modulated by arousal. MV emerges as the most reliable respiratory index of self-perceived arousal.

  15. Integrating ecosystems measurements from multiple eddy-covariance sites to a simple model of ecosystem process - Are there possibilities for a uniform model calibration?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Minunno, Francesco; Peltoniemi, Mikko; Launiainen, Samuli; Mäkelä, Annikki

    2014-05-01

    Biogeochemical models quantify the material and energy flux exchanges between biosphere, atmosphere and soil, however there is still considerable uncertainty underpinning model structure and parametrization. The increasing availability of data from of multiple sources provides useful information for model calibration and validation at different space and time scales. We calibrated a simplified ecosystem process model PRELES to data from multiple sites. In this work we had the following objective: to compare a multi-site calibration and site-specific calibrations, in order to test if PRELES is a model of general applicability, and to test how well one parameterization can predict ecosystem fluxes. Model calibration and evaluation were carried out by the means of the Bayesian method; Bayesian calibration (BC) and Bayesian model comparison (BMC) were used to quantify the uncertainty in model parameters and model structure. Evapotranspiration (ET) and gross primary production (GPP) measurements collected in 9 sites of Finland and Sweden were used in the study; half dataset was used for model calibrations and half for the comparative analyses. 10 BCs were performed; the model was independently calibrated for each of the nine sites (site-specific calibrations) and a multi-site calibration was achieved using the data from all the sites in one BC. Then 9 BMCs were carried out, one for each site, using output from the multi-site and the site-specific versions of PRELES. Similar estimates were obtained for the parameters at which model outputs are most sensitive. Not surprisingly, the joint posterior distribution achieved through the multi-site calibration was characterized by lower uncertainty, because more data were involved in the calibration process. No significant differences were encountered in the prediction of the multi-site and site-specific versions of PRELES, and after BMC, we concluded that the model can be reliably used at regional scale to simulate carbon and

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

    EPA Science Inventory

    Elevated nitrate levels in streams and groundwater pose human and ecological threats. The US EPA, USGS, Institute of Ecosystem Studies, and Baltimore County Dept. of Environmental Protection are collaborating on a multi-year study of the impacts of stream restoration on nitrogen...

  17. Ecosystem Research in EPA: Process Studies, Field Investigations, and Integrated Environmental Modeling

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Ecosystems Research Division (ERD) is located in Athens, GA, USA. The research goals of ERD is to assess and quantify pathways and transformations of contaminants in the environment and to determine how physical changes (e.g., development, mining roads, green infrastructure, ...

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Villardón-Gallego, Lourdes; Yániz, Concepción

    2014-01-01

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

  19. The influence of local- and landscape-scale processes on spatial self-organization in estuarine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    van de Koppel, Johan; Bouma, Tjeerd J; Herman, Peter M J

    2012-03-15

    Complexity theory proposes that spatial self-organization, the process whereby small-scale, localized interactions among the components of a system generate complex spatial structures at large spatial scales, explains the formation of autogenic spatial patterns in ecosystems. We question this premise by reviewing three estuarine ecosystems - mussel beds, mudflats and salt marshes - where self-organization has been put forward to explain spatial patterns. Our review highlights that these self-organized estuarine systems are shaped by the combination of small-scale interactions between ecological and physical processes on the one hand, and large-scale physical forcing on the other. More specifically, local interactions generate patchiness at small spatial scales, whereas landscape forcing determines the shape and orientation of these patches in the landscape. We present a framework that illustrates how self-organized ecosystems are shaped by interactions between organisms and physical processes occurring at multiple spatial scales. Moreover, the present review of estuarine systems underlines that scale-dependent feedbacks are capable of explaining spatial patterns that are much more complex than the regular patterns to which they have been applied so far.

  20. Incorporating Ecosystem Experiments and Observations into Process Models of Forest Carbon and Water Cycles: Challenges and Solutions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ward, E. J.; Thomas, R. Q.; Sun, G.; McNulty, S. G.; Domec, J. C.; Noormets, A.; King, J. S.

    2015-12-01

    Numerous studies, both experimental and observational, have been conducted over the past two decades in an attempt to understand how water and carbon cycling in terrestrial ecosystems may respond to changes in climatic conditions. These studies have produced a wealth of detailed data on key processes driving these cycles. In parallel, sophisticated models of these processes have been formulated to answer a variety of questions relevant to natural resource management. Recent advances in data assimilation techniques offer exciting new possibilities to combine this wealth of ecosystem data with process models of ecosystem function to improve prediction and quantify associated uncertainty. Using forests of the southeastern United States as our focus, we will specify how fine-scale physiological (e.g. half-hourly sap flux) can be scaled up with quantified error for use in models of stand growth and hydrology. This approach represents an opportunity to leverage current and past research from experiments including throughfall displacement × fertilization (PINEMAP), irrigation × fertilization (SETRES), elevated CO­2­ (Duke and ORNL FACE) and a variety of observational studies in both conifer and hardwood forests throughout the region, using a common platform for data assimilation and prediction. As part of this discussion, we will address variation in dominant species, stand structure, site age, management practices, soils and climate that represent both challenges to the development of a common analytical approach and opportunities to address questions of interest to policy makers and natural resource managers.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

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

  4. Distal Prosodic Context Affects Word Segmentation and Lexical Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dilley, Laura C.; McAuley, J. Devin

    2008-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Samson, Andrea C.; Hegenloh, Michael

    2010-01-01

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

  6. Factors Affecting the Processing of Epoxy Film Adhesives

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pike, R. A.

    1985-01-01

    The increasing awareness that adhesive performance is controlled not only by the condition of the adherend surface but also the condition or state of the adhesive and the process parameters used during fabrication is expected to result in improved reliability, as well as bond performance. The critical process variables which have been found to control adhesive bond formation and ultimate bond strength in 250F and 350F curing epoxy adhesives are described in terms of fabrication parameters and adhesive characteristics. These include the heat-up rate and cure temperature during processing and the adhesive moisture content and age condition (degree of advancement). The diagnostic methods used to delineate the effects of these process variables on adhesive performance are illustrated. These are dielectric, thermomechanical (TMA) and dynamic mechanical (DMA) analyses. Correlation of test results with measured mechanical tensile lap shear strengths of bonded joints is presented and the results briefly discussed in terms of the additives and hardeners used in the adhesive systems.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nicolaidou, Iolie

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Separating drought effects from roof artefacts on ecosystem processes in a grassland drought experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vogel, Anja; Fester, Thomas; Eisenhauer, Nico; Scherer-Lorenzen, Michael; Schmid, Bernhard; Weisser, Wolfgang W.; Weigelt, Alexandra

    2013-04-01

    Given the predictions of increasing risk of long drought periods under various climate change scenarios, there have been numerous experimental field studies simulating drought using transparent roofs in different ecosystems and regions. Such roofs may, however, have unknown side effects, here called artefacts, on the response variables potentially confounding experimental results and misleading conclusions. Knowing the ecosystem response to such roof artefacts is therefore indispensible to correctly predict the effects of drought on the composition and functioning of ecosystems. We therefore aimed at filling this gap by studying the relevance of roof artefacts in a temperate grassland ecosystem. We compared pure drought effects to roof artefacts by measuring the response of three ecosystem properties (aboveground biomass, litter decomposition and plant metabolite profiles). We realized three treatments: a drought treatment simulated by means of transparent roofs, an unroofed control treatment receiving natural rainfall and a roofed control, with rain water applied according to ambient conditions. The roof constructions in our experiment caused a slight change in air (+0.14 °C during night) and soil (-0.45°C on warm days, +0.25 °C on cold nights) temperatures while photosynthetically active radiation was decreased (-16%) on bright days. Aboveground plant community biomass was reduced in the drought treatment (-41%), but there was no significant difference between the roofed and unroofed control, thus there was no measurable response of aboveground biomass to roof artefacts, but a considerable response to drought. Compared to the unroofed control, litter decomposition was decreased both in the drought treatment (-26%) and in the roofed control treatment (-18%), suggesting a response of litter decomposition to roof artefacts in addition to drought. Similarly, aboveground metabolite profiles in the model plant species Medicago x varia were significantly different

  9. Effects of landcover, water redistribution, and temperature on ecosystem processes in the South Plate Basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Baron, J. S.; Hartman, M.D.; Kittel, T. G. F.; Band, L.E.; Ojima, D. S.; Lammers, R.B.

    1998-01-01

    Over one-third of the land area in the South Platte Basin of Colorado, Nebraska, and Wyoming, has been converted to croplands. Irrigated cropland now comprises 8% of the basin, while dry croplands make up 31%. We used the RHESSys model to compare the changes in plant productivity and vegetation-related hydrological processes that occurred as a result of either land cover alteration or directional temperature changes (−2°C, +4°C). Land cover change exerted more control over annual plant productivity and water fluxes for converted grasslands, while the effect of temperature changes on productivity and water fluxes was stronger in the mountain vegetation. Throughout the basin, land cover change increased the annual loss of water to the atmosphere by 114 mm via evaporation and transpiration, an increase of 37%. Both irrigated and nonirrigated grains became active earlier in the year than shortgrass steppe, leading to a seasonal shift in water losses to the atmosphere. Basin-wide photosynthesis increased by 80% due to grain production. In contrast, a 4°C warming scenario caused annual transpiration to increase by only 3% and annual evaporation to increase by 28%, for a total increase of 71 mm. Warming decreased basin-wide photosynthesis by 16%. There is a large elevational range from east to west in the South Platte Basin, which encompasses the western edge of the Great Plains and the eastern front of the Rocky Mountains. This elevational gain is accompanied by great changes in topographic complexity, vegetation type, and climate. Shortgrass steppe and crops found at elevations between 850 and 1800 m give way to coniferous forests and tundra between 1800 and 4000 m. Climate is increasingly dominated by winter snow precipitation with increasing elevation, and the timing of snowmelt influences tundra and forest ecosystem productivity, soil moisture, and downstream discharge. Mean annual precipitation of <500 mm on the plains below 1800 m is far less than potential

  10. How gender-expectancy affects the processing of "them".

    PubMed

    Doherty, Alice; Conklin, Kathy

    2017-04-01

    How sensitive is pronoun processing to expectancies based on real-world knowledge and language usage? The current study links research on the integration of gender stereotypes and number-mismatch to explore this question. It focuses on the use of them to refer to antecedents of different levels of gender-expectancy (low-cyclist, high-mechanic, known-spokeswoman). In a rating task, them is considered increasingly unnatural with greater gender-expectancy. However, participants might not be able to differentiate high-expectancy and gender-known antecedents online because they initially search for plural antecedents (e.g., Sanford & Filik), and they make all-or-nothing gender inferences. An eye-tracking study reveals early differences in the processing of them with antecedents of high gender-expectancy compared with gender-known antecedents. This suggests that participants have rapid access to the expected gender of the antecedent and the level of that expectancy.

  11. Bayesian methods for spatial upscaling of process-based forest ecosystem models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Oijen, M.; Cameron, D.; Reinds, G.; Thomson, A.

    2010-12-01

    Forest ecosystem models are common tools in environmental research: 78 different ones are listed by REM (http://ecobas.org/www-server/index.html). They tend to be process-based, parameter-rich simulators of biogeochemical fluxes at the point-support scale. Model inputs (weather, soil) should thus be provided at point-support too, rather than as regional averages. The high computational demand and point-support hampers the use of the models for larger regions. Models have been applied regionally, but without assessment of uncertainties due to upscaling from point to region. Bayesian methods are increasingly used to quantify parametric and structural uncertainties of forest models (Van Oijen et al. 2005), made possible by improvement in computing power and calibration algorithms such as MCMC. We present two case-studies of regional model application where we used MCMC to quantify uncertainties. The first study concerns Bayesian calibration of the VSD soil acidification model using European forest monitoring data (Reinds et al. 2008). Single-site calibration, applied separately to 122 sites, effectively converted prior parameter uncertainty into spatial variability. In contrast, multiple-site calibration, using the data from all sites simultaneously to estimate a common parameter vector, led to asymptotic collapse of the parameter distribution. The narrow posterior parameter distribution caused 20-100% higher values of NRMSE on 60 test sites than using nearest-neighbour single-site calibration results. Next, we applied the forest model BASFOR to the U.K. at a 20 x 20 km grid, to calculate carbon accumulation in biomass and soil (Van Oijen & Thomson 2010), as part of the U.K.’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory. For each grid cell, the model was run multiple times by taking different samples from the parameter distribution determined by a preceding Bayesian calibration. This allowed us to draw up a map of the spatial distribution of model output uncertainty. Uncertainty was

  12. ECOSYSTEM GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    Thermodynamically, ecosystem growth and development is the process by which energy throughflow and stored biomass increase. Several proposed hypotheses describe the natural tendencies that occur as an ecosystem matures, and here, we consider five: minimum entropy production, maxi...

  13. Nitrogen and phosphorus in the Upper Mississippi River: Transport, processing, and effects on the river ecosystem

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Houser, J.N.; Richardson, W.B.

    2010-01-01

    Existing research on nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) in the Upper Mississippi River (UMR) can be organized into the following categories: (1) Long-term changes in nutrient concentrations and export, and their causes; (2) Nutrient cycling within the river; (3) Spatial and temporal patterns of river nutrient concentrations; (4) Effects of elevated nutrient concentrations on the river; and (5) Actions to reduce river nutrient concentrations and flux. Nutrient concentration and flux in the Mississippi River have increased substantially over the last century because of changes in land use, climate, hydrology, and river management and engineering. As in other large floodplain rivers, rates of processes that cycle nitrogen and phosphorus in the UMR exhibit pronounced spatial and temporal heterogeneity because of the complex morphology of the river. This spatial variability in nutrient processing creates clear spatial patterns in nutrient concentrations. For example, nitrate concentrations generally are much lower in off-channel areas than in the main channel. The specifics of in-river nutrient cycling and the effects of high rates of nutrient input on UMR have been less studied than the factors affecting nutrient input to the river and transport to the Gulf of Mexico, and important questions concerning nutrient cycling in the UMR remain. Eutrophication and resulting changes in river productivity have only recently been investigated the UMR. These recent studies indicate that the high nutrient concentrations in the river may affect community composition of aquatic vegetation (e. g., the abundance of filamentous algae and duckweeds), dissolved oxygen concentrations in off-channel areas, and the abundance of cyanobacteria. Actions to reduce nutrient input to the river include changes in land-use practices, wetland restoration, and hydrological modifications to the river. Evidence suggests that most of the above methods can contribute to reducing nutrient concentration in

  14. Infiltration and runoff generation processes in fire-affected soils

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Moody, John A.; Ebel, Brian A.

    2014-01-01

    Post-wildfire runoff was investigated by combining field measurements and modelling of infiltration into fire-affected soils to predict time-to-start of runoff and peak runoff rate at the plot scale (1 m2). Time series of soil-water content, rainfall and runoff were measured on a hillslope burned by the 2010 Fourmile Canyon Fire west of Boulder, Colorado during cyclonic and convective rainstorms in the spring and summer of 2011. Some of the field measurements and measured soil physical properties were used to calibrate a one-dimensional post-wildfire numerical model, which was then used as a ‘virtual instrument’ to provide estimates of the saturated hydraulic conductivity and high-resolution (1 mm) estimates of the soil-water profile and water fluxes within the unsaturated zone.Field and model estimates of the wetting-front depth indicated that post-wildfire infiltration was on average confined to shallow depths less than 30 mm. Model estimates of the effective saturated hydraulic conductivity, Ks, near the soil surface ranged from 0.1 to 5.2 mm h−1. Because of the relatively small values of Ks, the time-to-start of runoff (measured from the start of rainfall),  tp, was found to depend only on the initial soil-water saturation deficit (predicted by the model) and a measured characteristic of the rainfall profile (referred to as the average rainfall acceleration, equal to the initial rate of change in rainfall intensity). An analytical model was developed from the combined results and explained 92–97% of the variance of  tp, and the numerical infiltration model explained 74–91% of the variance of the peak runoff rates. These results are from one burned site, but they strongly suggest that  tp in fire-affected soils (which often have low values of Ks) is probably controlled more by the storm profile and the initial soil-water saturation deficit than by soil hydraulic properties.

  15. Factors affecting growth of foodborne pathogens on minimally processed apples.

    PubMed

    Alegre, Isabel; Abadias, Maribel; Anguera, Marina; Oliveira, Marcia; Viñas, Inmaculada

    2010-02-01

    Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella and Listeria innocua increased by more than 2 log(10) units over a 24 h period on fresh-cut 'Golden Delicious' apple plugs stored at 25 and 20 degrees C. L. innocua reached the same final population level at 10 degrees C meanwhile E. coli and Salmonella only increased 1.3 log(10) units after 6 days. Only L. innocua was able to grow at 5 degrees C. No significant differences were observed between the growth of foodborne pathogens on fresh-cut 'Golden Delicious', 'Granny Smith' and 'Shampion' apples stored at 25 and 5 degrees C. The treatment of 'Golden Delicious' and 'Granny Smith' apple plugs with the antioxidants, ascorbic acid (2%) and NatureSeal (6%), did not affect pathogen growth. The effect of passive modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) on the growth of E. coli, Salmonella and L. innocua on 'Golden Delicious' apple slices was also tested. There were no significant differences in growth of pathogens in MAP conditions compared with air packaging of 'Golden Delicious' apple plugs, but the growth of mesophilic and psychrotrophic microorganisms was inhibited. These results highlight the importance of avoiding contamination of fresh-cut fruit with foodborne pathogens and the maintenance of the cold chain during storage until consumption.

  16. Understanding processes affecting mineral deposits in humid environments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Seal, Robert R., II; Ayuso, Robert A.

    2011-01-01

    Recent interdisciplinary studies by the U.S. Geological Survey have resulted in substantial progress toward understanding the influence that climate and hydrology have on the geochemical signatures of mineral deposits and the resulting mine wastes in the eastern United States. Specific areas of focus include the release, transport, and fate of acid, metals, and associated elements from inactive mines in temperate coastal areas and of metals from unmined mineral deposits in tropical to subtropical areas; the influence of climate, geology, and hydrology on remediation options for abandoned mines; and the application of radiogenic isotopes to uniquely apportion source contributions that distinguish natural from mining sources and extent of metal transport. The environmental effects of abandoned mines and unmined mineral deposits result from a complex interaction of a variety of chemical and physical factors. These include the geology of the mineral deposit, the hydrologic setting of the mineral deposit and associated mine wastes, the chemistry of waters interacting with the deposit and associated waste material, the engineering of a mine as it relates to the reactivity of mine wastes, and climate, which affects such factors as temperature and the amounts of precipitation and evapotranspiration; these factors, in turn, influence the environmental behavior of mineral deposits. The role of climate is becoming increasingly important in environmental investigations of mineral deposits because of the growing concerns about climate change.

  17. Dopaminergic modulation of memory and affective processing in Parkinson depression.

    PubMed

    Blonder, Lee X; Slevin, John T; Kryscio, Richard J; Martin, Catherine A; Andersen, Anders H; Smith, Charles D; Schmitt, Frederick A

    2013-11-30

    Depression is common in Parkinson's disease and is associated with cognitive impairment. Dopaminergic medications are effective in treating the motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease; however, little is known regarding the effects of dopaminergic pharmacotherapy on cognitive function in depressed Parkinson patients. This study examines the neuropsychological effects of dopaminergic pharmacotherapy in Parkinsonian depression. We compared cognitive function in depressed and non-depressed Parkinson patients at two time-points: following overnight withdrawal and after the usual morning regimen of dopaminergic medications. A total of 28 non-demented, right-handed patients with mild to moderate idiopathic Parkinson's disease participated. Ten of these patients were depressed according to DSM IV criteria. Results revealed a statistically significant interaction between depression and medication status on three measures of verbal memory and a facial affect naming task. In all cases, depressed Parkinson's patients performed significantly more poorly while on dopaminergic medication than while off. The opposite pattern emerged for the non-depressed Parkinson's group. The administration of dopaminergic medication to depressed Parkinson patients may carry unintended risks.

  18. Scorched Earth: how will changes in the strength of the vegetation sink to ozone deposition affect human health and ecosystems?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-07-01

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

  19. Root dynamics in an artificially constructed regenerating longleaf pine ecosystem are affected by atmospheric CO(2) enrichment.

    PubMed

    Pritchard, S G.; Davis, M A.; Mitchell, R J.; Prior, S A.; Boykin, D L.; Rogers, H H.; Runion, G B.

    2001-08-01

    Differential responses to elevated atmospheric CO(2) concentration exhibited by different plant functional types may alter competition for above- and belowground resources in a higher CO(2) world. Because C allocation to roots is often favored over C allocation to shoots in plants grown with CO(2) enrichment, belowground function of forest ecosystems may change significantly. We established an outdoor facility to examine the effects of elevated CO(2) on root dynamics in artificially constructed communities of five early successional forest species: (1) a C(3) evergreen conifer (longleaf pine, Pinus palustris Mill.); (2) a C(4) monocotyledonous bunch grass (wiregrass, Aristida stricta Michx.); (3) a C(3) broadleaf tree (sand post oak, Quercus margaretta); (4) a C(3) perennial herbaceous legume (rattlebox, Crotalaria rotundifolia Walt. ex Gemel); and (5) an herbaceous C(3) dicotyledonous perennial (butterfly weed, Asclepias tuberosa L.). These species are common associates in early successional longleaf pine savannahs throughout the southeastern USA and represent species that differ in life-form, growth habit, physiology, and symbiotic relationships. A combination of minirhizotrons and soil coring was used to examine temporal and spatial rooting dynamics from October 1998 to October 1999. CO(2)-enriched plots exhibited 35% higher standing root crop length, 37% greater root length production per day, and 47% greater root length mortality per day. These variables, however, were enhanced by CO(2) enrichment only at the 10-30 cm depth. Relative root turnover (flux/standing crop) was unchanged by elevated CO(2). Sixteen months after planting, root biomass of pine was 62% higher in elevated compared to ambient CO(2) plots. Conversely, the combined biomass of rattlebox, wiregrass, and butterfly weed was 28% greater in ambient compared to high CO(2) plots. There was no difference in root biomass of oaks after 16 months of exposure to elevated CO(2). Using root and shoot

  20. Simultanagnosia does not affect processes of auditory Gestalt perception.

    PubMed

    Rennig, Johannes; Bleyer, Anna Lena; Karnath, Hans-Otto

    2017-03-23

    Simultanagnosia is a neuropsychological deficit of higher visual processes caused by temporo-parietal brain damage. It is characterized by a specific failure of recognition of a global visual Gestalt, like a visual scene or complex objects, consisting of local elements. In this study we investigated to what extend this deficit should be understood as a deficit related to specifically the visual domain or whether it should be seen as defective Gestalt processing per se. To examine if simultanagnosia occurs across sensory domains, we designed several auditory experiments sharing typical characteristics of visual tasks that are known to be particularly demanding for patients suffering from simultanagnosia. We also included control tasks for auditory working memory deficits and for auditory extinction. We tested four simultanagnosia patients who suffered from severe symptoms in the visual domain. Two of them indeed showed significant impairments in recognition of simultaneously presented sounds. However, the same two patients also suffered from severe auditory working memory deficits and from symptoms comparable to auditory extinction, both sufficiently explaining the impairments in simultaneous auditory perception. We thus conclude that deficits in auditory Gestalt perception do not appear to be characteristic for simultanagnosia and that the human brain obviously uses independent mechanisms for visual and for auditory Gestalt perception.

  1. Sensitivity analysis on parameters and processes affecting vapor intrusion risk.

    PubMed

    Picone, Sara; Valstar, Johan; van Gaans, Pauline; Grotenhuis, Tim; Rijnaarts, Huub

    2012-05-01

    A one-dimensional numerical model was developed and used to identify the key processes controlling vapor intrusion risks by means of a sensitivity analysis. The model simulates the fate of a dissolved volatile organic compound present below the ventilated crawl space of a house. In contrast to the vast majority of previous studies, this model accounts for vertical variation of soil water saturation and includes aerobic biodegradation. The attenuation factor (ratio between concentration in the crawl space and source concentration) and the characteristic time to approach maximum concentrations were calculated and compared for a variety of scenarios. These concepts allow an understanding of controlling mechanisms and aid in the identification of critical parameters to be collected for field situations. The relative distance of the source to the nearest gas-filled pores of the unsaturated zone is the most critical parameter because diffusive contaminant transport is significantly slower in water-filled pores than in gas-filled pores. Therefore, attenuation factors decrease and characteristic times increase with increasing relative distance of the contaminant dissolved source to the nearest gas diffusion front. Aerobic biodegradation may decrease the attenuation factor by up to three orders of magnitude. Moreover, the occurrence of water table oscillations is of importance. Dynamic processes leading to a retreating water table increase the attenuation factor by two orders of magnitude because of the enhanced gas phase diffusion.

  2. Does Signal Degradation Affect Top-Down Processing of Speech?

    PubMed

    Wagner, Anita; Pals, Carina; de Blecourt, Charlotte M; Sarampalis, Anastasios; Başkent, Deniz

    2016-01-01

    Speech perception is formed based on both the acoustic signal and listeners' knowledge of the world and semantic context. Access to semantic information can facilitate interpretation of degraded speech, such as speech in background noise or the speech signal transmitted via cochlear implants (CIs). This paper focuses on the latter, and investigates the time course of understanding words, and how sentential context reduces listeners' dependency on the acoustic signal for natural and degraded speech via an acoustic CI simulation.In an eye-tracking experiment we combined recordings of listeners' gaze fixations with pupillometry, to capture effects of semantic information on both the time course and effort of speech processing. Normal-hearing listeners were presented with sentences with or without a semantically constraining verb (e.g., crawl) preceding the target (baby), and their ocular responses were recorded to four pictures, including the target, a phonological (bay) competitor and a semantic (worm) and an unrelated distractor.The results show that in natural speech, listeners' gazes reflect their uptake of acoustic information, and integration of preceding semantic context. Degradation of the signal leads to a later disambiguation of phonologically similar words, and to a delay in integration of semantic information. Complementary to this, the pupil dilation data show that early semantic integration reduces the effort in disambiguating phonologically similar words. Processing degraded speech comes with increased effort due to the impoverished nature of the signal. Delayed integration of semantic information further constrains listeners' ability to compensate for inaudible signals.

  3. Left Hand Dominance Affects Supra-Second Time Processing

    PubMed Central

    Vicario, Carmelo Mario; Bonní, Sonia; Koch, Giacomo

    2011-01-01

    Previous studies exploring specific brain functions of left- and right-handed subjects have shown variances in spatial and motor abilities that might be explained according to consistent structural and functional differences. Given the role of both spatial and motor information in the processing of temporal intervals, we designed a study aimed at investigating timing abilities in left-handed subjects. To this purpose both left- and right-handed subjects were asked to perform a time reproduction of sub-second vs. supra-second time intervals with their left and right hand. Our results show that during processing of the supra-second intervals left-handed participants sub-estimated the duration of the intervals, independently of the hand used to perform the task, while no differences were reported for the sub-second intervals. These results are discussed on the basis of recent findings on supra-second motor timing, as well as emerging evidence that suggests a linear representation of time with a left-to-right displacement. PMID:22028685

  4. Volcano ecology at Chaiten, Chile: geophysical processes interact with forest ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swanson, F. J.; Crisafulli, C.; Jones, J. A.; Lara, A.

    2010-12-01

    The May 2008 eruption of Chaiten Volcano (Chile) offers many insights into volcano ecology -ecological responses to volcanic and associated hydrologic processes and ecosystem development in post-eruption landscapes. Varied intensities of pyroclastic density currents (PDC) and thickness of tephra fall deposits (to 50+ cm) created strong gradients of disturbance in several hundred square kilometers of native forest in a sector north to southeast from the volcano. A gradient from tree removal to toppled forest to standing, scorched forest extends 1.5 km northward from the caldera rim along the trajectory of a PDC. Close to the vent (e.g., 2 km NE from rim) a rain of ca. 10 cm of gravel tephra stripped foliage and twigs from tree canopies; farther away (23 km SE) 10 cm of fine tephra loaded the canopy, causing extensive fall of limbs >8 cm diameter. Even in the severely disturbed, north-flank PDC zone, surviving bamboo, ferns, and other herbs sprouted from pre-eruption soil and other refugia; sprouts of new foliage appeared on the boles and major limbs of several species of toppled and scorched, standing trees; animals including vertebrates (rodents and amphibians) and terrestrial invertebrates (e.g., insects and arachnids) either survived or quickly recolonized; and a diverse fungal community began decomposing the vast dead wood resource. During the second growing season we documented the presence of some plant species that had colonized by seed. Within two years after the eruption secondary ecological disturbances resulting from channel change and overbank deposition of fluvially transported tephra created new patches of damaged forest in riparian zones of streams draining the north flank and along the Rio Rayas and Rio Chaiten. These features parallel observations in the intensively-studied, post-1980-eruption landscape of Mount St. Helens over a similar time period. However, several aspects of ecological response to the two eruptions differ because of differences

  5. Increases in terrestrially derived carbon stimulate organic carbon processing and CO₂ emissions in boreal aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    The concentrations of terrestrially derived dissolved organic carbon have been increasing throughout northern aquatic ecosystems in recent decades, but whether these shifts have an impact on aquatic carbon emissions at the continental scale depends on the potential for this terrestrial carbon to be converted into carbon dioxide. Here, via the analysis of hundreds of boreal lakes, rivers and wetlands in Canada, we show that, contrary to conventional assumptions, the proportion of biologically degradable dissolved organic carbon remains constant and the photochemical degradability increases with terrestrial influence. Thus, degradation potential increases with increasing amounts of terrestrial carbon. Our results provide empirical evidence of a strong causal link between dissolved organic carbon concentrations and aquatic fluxes of carbon dioxide, mediated by the degradation of land-derived organic carbon in aquatic ecosystems. Future shifts in the patterns of terrestrial dissolved organic carbon in inland waters thus have the potential to significantly increase aquatic carbon emissions across northern landscapes.

  6. Do pharmaceuticals reach and affect the aquatic ecosystems in Brazil? A critical review of current studies in a developing country.

    PubMed

    Quadra, Gabrielle Rabelo; Oliveira de Souza, Helena; Costa, Rafaela Dos Santos; Fernandez, Marcos Antonio Dos Santos

    2017-01-01

    Pharmaceutical residues are not completely removed in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) becoming contaminants in aquatic ecosystems. Thereby, it is important to investigate their concentrations in the environment and the possible consequences of their occurrence, including for human health. Here, we briefly reviewed the paths of pharmaceuticals to reach the environment, their behavior and fate in the environment, and the possible consequences of their occurrence. Moreover, we synthetized all the studies about the detection of pharmaceuticals in Brazilian water bodies and the available ecotoxicological knowledge on their effects. In this study, when we compare the data found on these compounds worldwide, we observed that Brazilian surface waters present considerable concentrations of 17α-ethinylestradiol, 17β-estradiol, and caffeine. In general, concentrations found in aquatic systems worldwide seems to be low; however, ecotoxicological tests showed that even these low concentrations can cause sublethal effects in biota. The knowledge about the effects of continuous exposure and mixtures is sparse. In summary, new research is urgently required about the effects of these compounds in biota-including long-term exposition and mixture tests-and on specific technologies to remove these compounds in water bodies and WWTPs, besides the introduction of new policies for pharmaceutical use.

  7. Processes affecting coastal wetland loss in the Louisiana deltaic plain

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Williams, S. Jeffress; Penland, Shea; Roberts, Harry H.

    1993-01-01

    Nowhere are the problems of coastal wetland loss more serious and dramatic than in the Mississippi River deltaic plain region of south-central Louisiana. In that area, rates of shoreline erosion of 20 m.yr and loss of land area of up to 75 km/yr result from a complex combination of natural (delta switching, subsidence, sea-level rise, storms) and human (flood control, navigation, oil and gas development, land reclamation) factors. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), as part of the National Coastal Geology Program, has undertaken joint filed investigations with Federal, State, and university partners. The objective of these long-term studies is to gather and interpret baseline information in order to improve our scientific understanding of the critical processes and responses responsible for creation, maintenance, and deterioration of coastal wetlands.

  8. Visual processing affects the neural basis of auditory discrimination.

    PubMed

    Kislyuk, Daniel S; Möttönen, Riikka; Sams, Mikko

    2008-12-01

    The interaction between auditory and visual speech streams is a seamless and surprisingly effective process. An intriguing example is the "McGurk effect": The acoustic syllable /ba/ presented simultaneously with a mouth articulating /ga/ is typically heard as /da/ [McGurk, H., & MacDonald, J. Hearing lips and seeing voices. Nature, 264, 746-748, 1976]. Previous studies have demonstrated the interaction of auditory and visual streams at the auditory cortex level, but the importance of these interactions for the qualitative perception change remained unclear because the change could result from interactions at higher processing levels as well. In our electroencephalogram experiment, we combined the McGurk effect with mismatch negativity (MMN), a response that is elicited in the auditory cortex at a latency of 100-250 msec by any above-threshold change in a sequence of repetitive sounds. An "odd-ball" sequence of acoustic stimuli consisting of frequent /va/ syllables (standards) and infrequent /ba/ syllables (deviants) was presented to 11 participants. Deviant stimuli in the unisensory acoustic stimulus sequence elicited a typical MMN, reflecting discrimination of acoustic features in the auditory cortex. When the acoustic stimuli were dubbed onto a video of a mouth constantly articulating /va/, the deviant acoustic /ba/ was heard as /va/ due to the McGurk effect and was indistinguishable from the standards. Importantly, such deviants did not elicit MMN, indicating that the auditory cortex failed to discriminate between the acoustic stimuli. Our findings show that visual stream can qualitatively change the auditory percept at the auditory cortex level, profoundly influencing the auditory cortex mechanisms underlying early sound discrimination.

  9. Quantitative evolution of volcanic surfaces affected by erosional processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lahitte, Pierre; Boillot-Airaksinen, Kim; Germa, Aurélie; Lavigne, Franck

    2016-04-01

    Variations through time of erosion dynamics, a key point to investigate correlation between climates and landform evolution, still remains poorly documented. One of the main issue in this type of study is the difficulty in determining for how long the erosion has operated. For this purpose, volcanic contexts are particularly suitable for defining the temporal dynamics governing erosion since the age of volcanic activity also constrains the age of emplacement of the surface today eroded, and thus the erosion duration. Furthermore, quantitative analysis of river profiles offers the opportunity to discriminate, among the wide variety of geological phenomena influencing erosion, their respective influence. Quantification of erosion processes and constrain of their signature on reliefs can be addressed by a morphometric approach of river profiles in volcanic environment through the analysis of digital topography (DEM). Break in slope zones, the so-called knickpoints, are usually related to a retreat of the point between the relict channel, upstream, and the adjusted channel, downstream. They are induced by either a lithological contrast, a change in the base level, uplift or eustatism, or a rejuvenation of the age of the volcanic surface. The stream long-profile and its watershed is also investigated by their concavity and hypsometric indexes to determine for how long the complexity and its heterogeneity along the valley incision remain visible. The present study focusses on the erosion of volcanoes in the Lesser Antilles, Reunion Island and Lombok Island (Indonesia). All located in tropical environments, these volcanoes offer a wide diversity of age (30 - 0 Ma) and lithology for investigating the respective influence of geological processes that have induced a large variety of shapes and volcanic history that we try to correlate to geometry of river profiles.

  10. Process contributions of Australian ecosystems to interannual variations in the carbon cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haverd, Vanessa; Smith, Benjamin; Trudinger, Cathy

    2016-05-01

    New evidence is emerging that semi-arid ecosystems dominate interannual variability (IAV) of the global carbon cycle, largely via fluctuating water availability associated with El Niño/Southern Oscillation. Recent evidence from global terrestrial biosphere modelling and satellite-based inversion of atmospheric CO2 point to a large role of Australian ecosystems in global carbon cycle variability, including a large contribution from Australia to the record land sink of 2011. However the specific mechanisms governing this variability, and their bioclimatic distribution within Australia, have not been identified. Here we provide a regional assessment, based on best available observational data, of IAV in the Australian terrestrial carbon cycle and the role of Australia in the record land sink anomaly of 2011. We find that IAV in Australian net carbon uptake is dominated by semi-arid ecosystems in the east of the continent, whereas the 2011 anomaly was more uniformly spread across most of the continent. Further, and in contrast to global modelling results suggesting that IAV in Australian net carbon uptake is amplified by lags between production and decomposition, we find that, at continental scale, annual variations in production are dampened by annual variations in decomposition, with both fluxes responding positively to precipitation anomalies.

  11. Early Social Experience Affects the Development of Eye Gaze Processing

    PubMed Central

    Senju, Atsushi; Vernetti, Angélina; Ganea, Natasa; Hudry, Kristelle; Tucker, Leslie; Charman, Tony; Johnson, Mark H.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Eye gaze is a key channel of non-verbal communication in humans [1, 2, 3]. Eye contact with others is present from birth [4], and eye gaze processing is crucial for social learning and adult-infant communication [5, 6, 7]. However, little is known about the effect of selectively different experience of eye contact and gaze communication on early social and communicative development. To directly address this question, we assessed 14 sighted infants of blind parents (SIBPs) longitudinally at 6–10 and 12–16 months. Face scanning [8] and gaze following [7, 9] were assessed using eye tracking. In addition, naturalistic observations were made when the infants were interacting with their blind parent and with an unfamiliar sighted adult. Established measures of emergent autistic-like behaviors [10] and standardized tests of cognitive, motor, and linguistic development [11] were also collected. These data were then compared with those obtained from a group of infants of sighted parents. Despite showing typical social skills development overall, infants of blind parents allocated less attention to adult eye movements and gaze direction, an effect that increased between 6–10 and 12–16 months of age. The results suggest that infants adjust their use of adults’ eye gaze depending on gaze communication experience from early in life. The results highlight that human functional brain development shows selective experience-dependent plasticity adaptive to the individual’s specific social environment. PMID:26752077

  12. Richness, biomass, and nutrient content of a wetland macrophyte community affect soil nitrogen cycling in a diversity-ecosystem functioning experiment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Korol, Alicia R.; Ahn, Changwoo; Noe, Gregory

    2016-01-01

    The development of soil nitrogen (N) cycling in created wetlands promotes the maturation of multiple biogeochemical cycles necessary for ecosystem functioning. This development proceeds from gradual changes in soil physicochemical properties and influential characteristics of the plant community, such as competitive behavior, phenology, productivity, and nutrient composition. In the context of a 2-year diversity experiment in freshwater mesocosms (0, 1, 2, 3, or 4 richness levels), we assessed the direct and indirect impacts of three plant community characteristics – species richness, total biomass, and tissue N concentration – on three processes in the soil N cycle – soil net ammonification, net nitrification, and denitrification potentials. Species richness had a positive effect on net ammonification potential (NAP) through higher redox potentials and likely faster microbial respiration. All NAP rates were negative, however, due to immobilization and high rates of ammonium removal. Net nitrification was inhibited at higher species richness without mediation from the measured soil properties. Higher species richness also inhibited denitrification potential through increased redox potential and decreased nitrification. Both lower biomass and/or higher tissue ratios of carbon to nitrogen, characteristics indicative of the two annual plants, were shown to have stimulatory effects on all three soil N processes. The two mediating physicochemical links between the young macrophyte community and microbial N processes were soil redox potential and temperature. Our results suggest that early-successional annual plant communities play an important role in the development of ecosystem N multifunctionality in newly created wetland soils.

  13. Do high levels of diffuse and chronic metal pollution in sediments of Rhine and Meuse floodplains affect structure and functioning of terrestrial ecosystems?

    PubMed

    Rozema, Jelte; Notten, Martje J M; Aerts, Rien; van Gestel, Cornelis A M; Hobbelen, Peter H F; Hamers, Timo H M

    2008-12-01

    This paper (re)considers the question if chronic and diffuse heavy metal pollution (cadmium, copper, lead and zinc) affects the structure and functioning of terrestrial ecosystems of Biesbosch National Park, the floodplain area of rivers Meuse and Rhine. To reach this aim, we integrated the results of three projects on: 1. the origin, transfer and effects of heavy metals in a soil-plant-snail food chain; 2. the impact of bioavailability on effects of heavy metals on the structure and functioning of detritivorous communities; 3. the risk assessment of heavy metals for an herbivorous and a carnivorous small mammal food chain. Metal pollution levels of the Biesbosch floodplain soils are high. The bioavailability of metals in the soils is low, causing low metal levels in plant leaves. Despite this, metal concentrations in soil dwelling detritivores and in land snails at polluted locations are elevated in comparison to animals from 'non-polluted' reference sites. However, no adverse effects on ecosystem structure (species richness, density, biomass) and functioning (litter decomposition, leaf consumption, reproduction) have been found. Sediment metal pollution may pose a risk to the carnivorous small mammal food chain, in which earthworms with elevated metal concentrations are eaten by the common shrew. Additional measurements near an active metal smelter, however, show reduced leaf consumption rates and reduced reproduction by terrestrial snails, reflecting elevated metal bioavailability at this site. Since future management may also comprise reintroduction of tidal action in the Biesbosch area, changes in metal bioavailability, and as a consequence future ecosystem effects, cannot be excluded.

  14. Environmental Impacts of the Use of Ecosystem Services: Case Study of Birdwatching

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kronenberg, Jakub

    2014-09-01

    The main reason for promoting the concept of ecosystem services lies in its potential to contribute to environmental conservation. Highlighting the benefits derived from ecosystems fosters an understanding of humans' dependence on nature, as users of ecosystem services. However, the act of using ecosystem services may not be environmentally neutral. As with the use of products and services generated within an economy, the use of ecosystem services may lead to unintended environmental consequences throughout the `ecosystem services supply chain.' This article puts forward a framework for analyzing environmental impacts related to the use of ecosystem services, indicating five categories of impact: (1) direct impacts (directly limiting the service's future availability); and four categories of indirect impacts, i.e., on broader ecosystem structures and processes, which can ultimately also affect the initial service: (2) impacts related to managing ecosystems to maximize the delivery of selected services (affecting ecosystems' capacity to provide other services); (3) impacts associated with accessing ecosystems to use their services (affecting other ecosystem components); (4) additional consumption of products, infrastructure or services required to use a selected ecosystem service, and their life-cycle environmental impacts; and (5) broader impacts on the society as a whole (environmental awareness of ecosystem service users and other stakeholders). To test the usefulness of this framework, the article uses the case study of birdwatching, which demonstrates all of the above categories of impacts. The article justifies the need for a broader consideration of environmental impacts related to the use of ecosystem services.

  15. Drugs affecting prelamin A processing: Effects on heterochromatin organization

    SciTech Connect

    Mattioli, Elisabetta; Columbaro, Marta; Capanni, Cristina; Santi, Spartaco; D'Apice, M. Rosaria; Novelli, Giuseppe; Riccio, Massimo; Squarzoni, Stefano; Lattanzi, Giovanna

    2008-02-01

    Increasing interest in drugs acting on prelamin A has derived from the finding of prelamin A involvement in severe laminopathies. Amelioration of the nuclear morphology by inhibitors of prelamin A farnesylation has been widely reported in progeroid laminopathies. We investigated the effects on chromatin organization of two drugs inhibiting prelamin A processing by an ultrastructural and biochemical approach. The farnesyltransferase inhibitor FTI-277 and the non-peptidomimetic drug N-acetyl-S-farnesyl-L-cysteine methylester (AFCMe) were administered to cultured control human fibroblasts for 6 or 18 h. FTI-277 interferes with protein farnesylation causing accumulation of non-farnesylated prelamin A, while AFCMe impairs the last cleavage of the lamin A precursor and is expected to accumulate farnesylated prelamin A. FTI-277 caused redistribution of heterochromatin domains at the nuclear interior, while AFCMe caused loss of heterochromatin domains, increase of nuclear size and nuclear lamina thickening. At the biochemical level, heterochromatin-associated proteins and LAP2{alpha} were clustered at the nuclear interior following FTI-277 treatment, while they were unevenly distributed or absent in AFCMe-treated nuclei. The reported effects show that chromatin is an immediate target of FTI-277 and AFCMe and that dramatic remodeling of chromatin domains occurs following treatment with the drugs. These effects appear to depend, at least in part, on the accumulation of prelamin A forms, since impairment of prelamin A accumulation, here obtained by 5-azadeoxycytidine treatment, abolishes the chromatin effects. These results may be used to evaluate downstream effects of FTIs or other prelamin A inhibitors potentially useful for the therapy of laminopathies.

  16. [Characteristics of terrestrial ecosystem primary productivity in East Asia based on remote sensing and process-based model].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Fang-Min; Ju, Wei-Min; Chen, Jing-Ming; Wang, Shao-Qiang; Yu, Gui-Rui; Han, Shi-Jie

    2012-02-01

    Based on the bi-linearly interpolated meteorological reanalysis data from National Centers for Environmental Prediction, USA and by using the leaf area index data derived from the GIMMS NDVI to run the process-based Boreal Ecosystems Productivity Simulator (BEPS) model, this paper simulated and analyzed the spatiotemporal characteristics of the terrestrial ecosystem gross primary productivity (GPP) and net primary productivity (NPP) in East Asia in 2000-2005. Before regional simulating and calculating, the observation GPP data of different terrestrial ecosystem in 15 experimental stations of AsiaFlux network and the inventory measurements of NPP at 1300 sampling sites were applied to validate the BEPS GPP and NPP. The results showed that BEPS could well simulate the changes in GPP and NPP of different terrestrial ecosystems, with the R2 ranging from 0.86 to 0.99 and the root mean square error (RMSE) from 0.2 to 1.2 g C x m(-2) x d(-1). The simulated values by BEPS could explain 78% of the changes in annual NPP, and the RMSE was 118 g C x m(-2) x a(-1). In 2000-2005, the averaged total GPP and total NPP of the terrestrial ecosystems in East Asia were 21.7 and 10.5 Pg C x a(-1), respectively, and the GPP and NPP exhibited similar spatial and temporal variation patterns. During the six years, the total NPP of the terrestrial ecosystems varied from 10.2 to 10.7 Pg C x a(-1), with a coefficient of variation being 2. 2%. High NPP (above 1000 g C x m(-2) x a(-1)) occurred in the southeast island countries, while low NPP (below 30 g C x m(-2) x a(-1)) occurred in the desert area of Northwest China. The spatial patterns of NPP were mainly attributed to the differences in the climatic variables across East Asia. The NPP per capita also varied greatly among different countries, which was the highest (70217 kg C x a(-1)) in Mongolia, far higher than that (1921 kg C x a(-1)) in China, and the lowest (757 kg C x a(-1)) in India.

  17. Up-scaling Stream Ecosystem Processes to Predict the Effects of Land Cover Change at a Watershed Scale in the Atlantic Tropical Rainforest.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tromboni, F.; Feijó de Lima, R.; Silva-Júnior, E. F.; Lourenço-Amorim, C.; Zandoná, E.; Moulton, T. P.; Da Silva, B. S.; Silva-Araújo, M.; Thomas, S. A.

    2015-12-01

    Riparian land-cover change (LCC) causes a cascade of subsequent hierarchical effects that propagate through abiotic compartments until reaching the biota, altering stream ecosystem functioning. Due to the movement of water downstream, these lateral effects co-occur with longitudinal influences. We investigated both the lateral and longitudinal effects of deforestation in four streams in the Atlantic tropical rainforest of Brazil. We collected physical-chemical, geomorphic, hydrological data and samples of macroinvertebrates assemblages. We then categorized land cover at different scales (from different riparian and reach buffer sizes to sub and total watershed) using a SPOT-5 satellite image and ArcGIS. We also carried out a series of experiments along the streams to understand: 1) the mechanisms by which LCC affects periphyton and how these changes alter metabolism and nutrient uptake rates; 2) the downstream distance at which periphyton and the associated variables change in the transitions from one riparian category to the other. We used (i) a path analysis to test if our hypothesized land-cover cascade model described our data and (ii) non-linear models to describe the longitudinal effect on each variable. Our results showed that deforestation produced a range of physical changes at different spatial scale, longitudinally altering periphyton taxonomic composition (taxa depending on light), stoichiometry (nutritionally richer with increasing deforestation) and growth rates (greater in deforested). Macroinvertebrate assemblages behaved similarly to chlorophyll a in response to forest loss. Respiration rate increased with deforestation probably due to higher nutrient concentrations but primary production did not increase. Models were used to upscale LCC impacts on ecosystem processes from local scale experiments to landscape and our work has important implications for socio-economic decisions concerning ecosystem management and conservation.

  18. Hydrologic, geomorphic and climatic processes controlling willow establishment in a montane ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cooper, David J.; Dickens, Joyce; Thompson Hobbs, N.; Christensen, Lindsey; Landrum, Laura

    2006-05-01

    Willow communities dominate mid-elevation riparian areas throughout the Rocky Mountains of North America. However, many willow stands are rapidly declining in aerial cover and individual plants in stature. A poor understanding of the processes that control willow establishment hinders identifying the causes of this decline. We analysed the processes that have facilitated or limited willow establishment over the last half of the 20th century on two large floodplains in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado by addressing two questions: (1) How does hydrologic regime control willow establishment on different fluvial landforms? (2) How might climate-driven variations in hydrologic regime affect future willow establishment? We precisely aged willows on the three most common fluvial landforms, stream point bars, drained beaver ponds, and abandoned channels, and statistically related establishment dates to patterns of annual stream peak flow. The role of peak flow on willow establishment varied significantly by landform. Willow recruitment had occurred nearly every year on point bars. In former beaver complexes, most willows had established following dam breaches, whereas willows had established on abandoned channels for several years following channel avulsion. Establishment on point bars and abandoned channels was driven by peak flows of 2- to 5-year return intervals, whereas in abandoned beaver ponds most establishment was associated with flow events of >5-year return interval. Models of climate change suggest that temperatures will increase and precipitation seasonality will shift over the coming decades in the Rocky Mountains, leading to earlier spring runoff, lower summer and fall flows, decreased snowpack and decreased soil moisture. Such changes are likely to diminish opportunities for willow establishment.

  19. Carbon-water Cycling in the Critical Zone: Understanding Ecosystem Process Variability Across Complex Terrain

    SciTech Connect

    Barnard, Holly; Brooks, Paul

    2016-06-16

    One of the largest knowledge gaps in environmental science is the ability to understand and predict how ecosystems will respond to future climate variability. The links between vegetation, hydrology, and climate that control carbon sequestration in plant biomass and soils remain poorly understood. Soil respiration is the second largest carbon flux of terrestrial ecosystems, yet there is no consensus on how respiration will change as water availability and temperature co-vary. To address this knowledge gap, we use the variation in soil development and topography across an elevation and climate gradient on the Front Range of Colorado to conduct a natural experiment that enables us to examine the co-evolution of soil carbon, vegetation, hydrology, and climate in an accessible field laboratory. The goal of this project is to further our ability to combine plant water availability, carbon flux and storage, and topographically driven hydrometrics into a watershed scale predictive model of carbon balance. We hypothesize: (i) landscape structure and hydrology are important controls on soil respiration as a result of spatial variability in both physical and biological drivers: (ii) variation in rates of soil respiration during the growing season is due to corresponding shifts in belowground carbon inputs from vegetation; and (iii) aboveground carbon storage (biomass) and species composition are directly correlated with soil moisture and therefore, can be directly related to subsurface drainage patterns.

  20. Ecosystem change and stability over multiple decades in the Swedish subarctic: complex processes and multiple drivers

    PubMed Central

    Callaghan, Terry V; Jonasson, Christer; Thierfelder, Tomas; Yang, Zhenlin; Hedenås, Henrik; Johansson, Margareta; Molau, Ulf; Van Bogaert, Rik; Michelsen, Anders; Olofsson, Johan; Gwynn-Jones, Dylan; Bokhorst, Stef; Phoenix, Gareth; Bjerke, Jarle W.; Tømmervik, Hans; Christensen, Torben R.; Hanna, Edward; Koller, Eva K.; Sloan, Victoria L.

    2013-01-01

    The subarctic environment of northernmost Sweden has changed over the past century, particularly elements of climate and cryosphere. This paper presents a unique geo-referenced record of environmental and ecosystem observations from the area since 1913. Abiotic changes have been substantial. Vegetation changes include not only increases in growth and range extension but also counterintuitive decreases, and stability: all three possible responses. Changes in species composition within the major plant communities have ranged between almost no changes to almost a 50 per cent increase in the number of species. Changes in plant species abundance also vary with particularly large increases in trees and shrubs (up to 600%). There has been an increase in abundance of aspen and large changes in other plant communities responding to wetland area increases resulting from permafrost thaw. Populations of herbivores have responded to varying management practices and climate regimes, particularly changing snow conditions. While it is difficult to generalize and scale-up the site-specific changes in ecosystems, this very site-specificity, combined with projections of change, is of immediate relevance to local stakeholders who need to adapt to new opportunities and to respond to challenges. Furthermore, the relatively small area and its unique datasets are a microcosm of the complexity of Arctic landscapes in transition that remains to be documented. PMID:23836792

  1. Terrestrial ecosystem production: A process model based on global satellite and surface data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Potter, Christopher S.; Randerson, James T.; Field, Christopher B.; Matson, Pamela A.; Vitousek, Peter M.; Mooney, Harold A.; Klooster, Steven A.

    1993-12-01

    This paper presents a modeling approach aimed at seasonal resolution of global climatic and edaphic controls on patterns of terrestrial ecosystem production and soil microbial respiration. We use satellite imagery (Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer and International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project solar radiation), along with historical climate (monthly temperature and precipitation) and soil attributes (texture, C and N contents) from global (1°) data sets as model inputs. The Carnegie-Ames-Stanford approach (CASA) Biosphere model runs on a monthly time interval to simulate seasonal patterns in net plant carbon fixation, biomass and nutrient allocation, litterfall, soil nitrogen mineralization, and microbial CO2 production. The model estimate of global terrestrial net primary production is 48 Pg C yr-1 with a maximum light use efficiency of 0.39 g C MJ-1PAR. Over 70% of terrestrial net production takes place between 30°N and 30°S latitude. Steady state pools of standing litter represent global storage of around 174 Pg C (94 and 80 Pg C in nonwoody and woody pools, respectively), whereas the pool of soil C in the top 0.3 m that is turning over on decadal time scales comprises 300 Pg C. Seasonal variations in atmospheric CO2 concentrations from three stations in the Geophysical Monitoring for Climate Change Flask Sampling Network correlate significantly with estimated net ecosystem production values averaged over 50°-80° N, 10°-30° N, and 0°-10° N.

  2. Integration of Measurements and Models Across Spatial Scales for Improved Process Understanding in Arctic and Boreal Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wullschleger, S. D.; Collier, N.; Kumar, J.; Painter, S. L.; Thornton, P. E.; Wilson, C. J.

    2014-12-01

    Characterizing the spatial variability of properties and processes in Arctic and boreal landscapes is critical for gaining an understanding of ecosystem functioning and for parameterizing process-rich models that simulate feedbacks to a changing climate. However, large-scale models are often poorly informed by process studies and new approaches are needed if we are to better link field and laboratory investigations to climate models. A fundamental goal of the Next-Generation Ecosystem Experiments (NGEE Arctic) project is to accelerate improvements in climate prediction through close integration of field, laboratory, and modeling activities. Geomorphological units, including thaw lakes, drained thaw lake basins, and ice-rich polygonal ground provide the organizing framework for our integrated framework for the coastal plains of the North Slope of Alaska. Process studies and observations of hydrology, geomorphology, biogeochemistry, vegetation patterns, and energy exchange and their couplings are being conducted across nested scales to populate a modeling framework and to achieve a broader goal of optimally informing process representations in global-scale models. We investigate the soil thermal regimes and their control on local scale hydrology for sites near Barrow, Alaska, through simulations at sub-meter scale resolution for low-centered, high-centered and transition polygons. We use high-resolution LiDAR and high-fidelity simulations using several models to couple surface-subsurface processes. A central focus of this challenge is to advance process understanding and predicting the evolution of permafrost thaw, degradation (i.e., thermokarst), and disturbance, and their impact on topography in a warming world and how these changes control the availability of water for biogeochemical, ecological, and physical feedbacks to the climate system.

  3. Potential for real-time understanding of coupled hydrologic and biogeochemical processes in stream ecosystems: Future integration of telemetered data with process models for glacial meltwater streams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKnight, Diane M.; Cozzetto, Karen; Cullis, James D. S.; Gooseff, Michael N.; Jaros, Christopher; Koch, Joshua C.; Lyons, W. Berry; Neupauer, Roseanna; Wlostowski, Adam

    2015-08-01

    While continuous monitoring of streamflow and temperature has been common for some time, there is great potential to expand continuous monitoring to include water quality parameters such as nutrients, turbidity, oxygen, and dissolved organic material. In many systems, distinguishing between watershed and stream ecosystem controls can be challenging. The usefulness of such monitoring can be enhanced by the application of quantitative models to interpret observed patterns in real time. Examples are discussed primarily from the glacial meltwater streams of the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica. Although the Dry Valley landscape is barren of plants, many streams harbor thriving cyanobacterial mats. Whereas a daily cycle of streamflow is controlled by the surface energy balance on the glaciers and the temporal pattern of solar exposure, the daily signal for biogeochemical processes controlling water quality is generated along the stream. These features result in an excellent outdoor laboratory for investigating fundamental ecosystem process and the development and validation of process-based models. As part of the McMurdo Dry Valleys Long-Term Ecological Research project, we have conducted field experiments and developed coupled biogeochemical transport models for the role of hyporheic exchange in controlling weathering reactions, microbial nitrogen cycling, and stream temperature regulation. We have adapted modeling approaches from sediment transport to understand mobilization of stream biomass with increasing flows. These models help to elucidate the role of in-stream processes in systems where watershed processes also contribute to observed patterns, and may serve as a test case for applying real-time stream ecosystem models.

  4. Nutrient limitation on ecosystem productivity and processes of mature and old-growth subtropical forests in China.

    PubMed

    Hou, Enqing; Chen, Chengrong; McGroddy, Megan E; Wen, Dazhi

    2012-01-01

    Nitrogen (N) is considered the dominant limiting nutrient in temperate regions, while phosphorus (P) limitation frequently occurs in tropical regions, but in subtropical regions nutrient limitation is poorly understood. In this study, we investigated N and P contents and N:P ratios of foliage, forest floors, fine roots and mineral soils, and their relationships with community biomass, litterfall C, N and P productions, forest floor turnover rate, and microbial processes in eight mature and old-growth subtropical forests (stand age >80 yr) at Dinghushan Biosphere Reserve, China. Average N:P ratios (mass based) in foliage, litter (L) layer and mixture of fermentation and humus (F/H) layer, and fine roots were 28.3, 42.3, 32.0 and 32.7, respectively. These values are higher than the critical N:P ratios for P limitation proposed (16-20 for foliage, ca. 25 for forest floors). The markedly high N:P ratios were mainly attributed to the high N concentrations of these plant materials. Community biomass, litterfall C, N and P productions, forest floor turnover rate and microbial properties were more strongly related to measures of P than N and frequently negatively related to the N:P ratios, suggesting a significant role of P availability in determining ecosystem production and productivity and nutrient cycling at all the study sites except for one prescribed disturbed site where N availability may also be important. We propose that N enrichment is probably a significant driver of the potential P limitation in the study area. Low P parent material may also contribute to the potential P limitation. In general, our results provided strong evidence supporting a significant role for P availability, rather than N availability, in determining ecosystem primary productivity and ecosystem processes in subtropical forests of China.

  5. Effects of acidic deposition on nutrient uptake, nutrient cycling and growth processes of vegetation in the spruce-fir ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    McLaughlin, S.B.; Garten, C.T.; Wullschleger, S.D.

    1996-10-16

    This report summarizes progress in three years of field research designed to evaluate biological and chemical indicators of the current and future health of the Southern Appalachian spruce-fir ecosystem. The emphasis of this research has been on the identification and understanding of mechanisms through which current levels of acidic deposition are impacting ecosystem processes. The identification of these principal mechanisms and key biological indicators of change was designed to improve our capabilities to detect, monitor, and assess the effects of air quality regulations and attendant future air quality changes on ecosystem response. Individual research tasks focused on the following research areas: (1) the significance of foliar uptake of atmospheric sources of nitrogen in relationship to plant utilization of N from available soil reserves; (2) linkages between atmospheric inputs to the soil surface, solution chemistry, and decomposition in the upper organic soil horizons; (3) effects of soil solution chemistry on uptake of cations and aluminum by fine roots; and (4) the effects of varying rates of calcium supply on carbon metabolism of Fraser fir and red spruce, and the relationship between calcium levels in wood cells and integrity of wood formed in bole and branches. Each of the individual tasks was designed to focus upon a mechanism or process that we consider critical to understanding chemical and biological linkages. These linkages will be important determinants in understanding the basis of past and potential future responses of the high elevation Southern Appalachian Forest to acidic deposition and other co-occurring environmental stresses. This report contains (1) background and rationale for the research undertaken in 1992-94; (2) a summary of principal research findings; (3) publications from this research; and (4) characterization of data sets produced by this research which will be the basis of future research, analyses and/or publications.

  6. A computer simulation of ecosystem processes in forests for application to air pollution, acid precipitation and global change

    SciTech Connect

    Kercher, J.R. ); Anderson, P.D. . Dept. of Forestry and Resource Management)

    1992-07-17

    We have developed a simulation model, TREE, of the effects of gaseous air pollutants and acid precipitation on the forest ecosystem processes of tree productivity and growth. This model is based on an existing general model of forest ecosystem processes developed for regional application (FOREST-BGC) combined with an existing model of plant productivity and transpiration (BACROS). The former model uses daily and annual time-steps; BACROS uses hourly time-steps and computes gaseous pollutant (ozone) uptake. In FOREST-BGC, we model the effects of ozone by reducing productivity based on the cumulative uptake for each leaf age-class. The model computations convert this reduction in productivity to a reduction in growth. This version of the model restricts consideration of acid precipitation to possible effects on productivity due to foliar exposure. Basic model performance has been studied for ponderosa pine exposed to ozone at the USFS Chico Tree Improvement Center The model simulates observed phenomena such as draw down of soil water during summer months. For ozone levels for the Chico Field Site for the 1990 season, maximum daily ozone uptake occurred in August with peak of 2.2 {times} 10{sup {minus}5} kg m{sup {minus}2} d{sup 1}. Cumulative annual ozone uptake for current year needles was 3.2 {times} 10{sup {minus}2} kg m{sup {minus}2} producing a 12.6% reduction in productivity for current year needles and a 13.3% reduction in chlorophyll and effective leaf area. Total transpiration was 0.95 m. The model is now being used to develop a terrestrial ecosystem submodel for a global scale Earth System Model (ESM) that integrates interacting atmospheric, oceanic, and land system components. Algorithms from the forest model will support feedback calculation of the effect of forests on atmospheric physics and chemistry as well as calculate effects of climate- and C0{sub 2}-change on forest productivity.

  7. 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.

  8. Wood phenology: from organ-scale processes to terrestrial ecosystem models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delpierre, Nicolas; Guillemot, Joannès

    2016-04-01

    In temperate and boreal trees, a dormancy period prevents organ development during adverse climatic conditions. Whereas the phenology of leaves and flowers has received considerable attention, to date, little is known regarding the phenology of other tree organs such as wood, fine roots, fruits and reserve compounds. In this presentation, we review both the role of environmental drivers in determining the phenology of wood and the models used to predict its phenology in temperate and boreal forest trees. Temperature is a key driver of the resumption of wood activity in spring. There is no such clear dominant environmental cue involved in the cessation of wood formation in autumn, but temperature and water stress appear as prominent factors. We show that wood phenology is a key driver of the interannual variability of wood growth in temperate tree species. Incorporating representations of wood phenology in a terrestrial ecosystem model substantially improved the simulation of wood growth under current climate.

  9. Environmental recovery in a marine ecosystem impacted by a sulfite process pulp mill

    SciTech Connect

    Cross, S.F.; Ellis, D.V.

    1981-08-01

    Recovery of an impacted marine ecosystem has been monitored by progressive advance of biologically distinguishable zones toward a waste discharge point from a pulp mill brought under specific pollution controls. The relative distribution of enchytraeid/tubificid oligochaetes monitored a 0.5-km retreat of a depauperated zone initially extending 1 km around the discharge point. Distribution and abundance of Fucus-epifaunal amphipods monitored recovery of a less impacted zone, particularly by a 7-km advance of a Peak of Opportunists point involving the species Allorchestes angusta. Shoreline organism diversity provided a biologically based estimate (approximately 12 km from the discharge source) of the region distinguishably influenced by the pulp mill effluent. (Refs. 10).

  10. Separating drought effects from roof artifacts on ecosystem processes in a grassland drought experiment.

    PubMed

    Vogel, Anja; Fester, Thomas; Eisenhauer, Nico; Scherer-Lorenzen, Michael; Schmid, Bernhard; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Weigelt, Alexandra

    2013-01-01

    1: Given the predictions of increased drought probabilities under various climate change scenarios, there have been numerous experimental field studies simulating drought using transparent roofs in different ecosystems and regions. Such roofs may, however, have unknown side effects, called artifacts, on the measured variables potentially confounding the experimental results. A roofed control allows the quantification of potential artifacts, which is lacking in most experiments. 2: We conducted a drought experiment in experimental grasslands to study artifacts of transparent roofs and the resulting effects of artifacts on ecosystems relative to drought on three response variables (aboveground biomass, litter decomposition and plant metabolite profiles). We established three drought treatments, using (1) transparent roofs to exclude rainfall, (2) an unroofed control treatment receiving natural rainfall and (3) a roofed control, nested in the drought treatment but with rain water reapplied according to ambient conditions. 3: Roofs had a slight impact on air (+0.14°C during night) and soil temperatures (-0.45°C on warm days, +0.25°C on cold nights), while photosynthetically active radiation was decreased significantly (-16%). Aboveground plant community biomass was reduced in the drought treatment (-41%), but there was no significant difference between the roofed and unroofed control, i.e., there were no measurable roof artifact effects. 4: Compared to the unroofed control, litter decomposition was decreased significantly both in the drought treatment (-26%) and in the roofed control treatment (-18%), suggesting artifact effects of the transparent roofs. Moreover, aboveground metabolite profiles in the model plant species Medicago x varia were different from the unroofed control in both the drought and roofed control treatments, and roof artifact effects were of comparable magnitude as drought effects. 5: Our results stress the need for roofed control treatments

  11. Separating Drought Effects from Roof Artifacts on Ecosystem Processes in a Grassland Drought Experiment

    PubMed Central

    Vogel, Anja; Fester, Thomas; Eisenhauer, Nico; Scherer-Lorenzen, Michael; Schmid, Bernhard; Weisser, Wolfgang W.; Weigelt, Alexandra

    2013-01-01

    1 Given the predictions of increased drought probabilities under various climate change scenarios, there have been numerous experimental field studies simulating drought using transparent roofs in different ecosystems and regions. Such roofs may, however, have unknown side effects, called artifacts, on the measured variables potentially confounding the experimental results. A roofed control allows the quantification of potential artifacts, which is lacking in most experiments. 2 We conducted a drought experiment in experimental grasslands to study artifacts of transparent roofs and the resulting effects of artifacts on ecosystems relative to drought on three response variables (aboveground biomass, litter decomposition and plant metabolite profiles). We established three drought treatments, using (1) transparent roofs to exclude rainfall, (2) an unroofed control treatment receiving natural rainfall and (3) a roofed control, nested in the drought treatment but with rain water reapplied according to ambient conditions. 3 Roofs had a slight impact on air (+0.14°C during night) and soil temperatures (−0.45°C on warm days, +0.25°C on cold nights), while photosynthetically active radiation was decreased significantly (−16%). Aboveground plant community biomass was reduced in the drought treatment (−41%), but there was no significant difference between the roofed and unroofed control, i.e., there were no measurable roof artifact effects. 4 Compared to the unroofed control, litter decomposition was decreased significantly both in the drought treatment (−26%) and in the roofed control treatment (−18%), suggesting artifact effects of the transparent roofs. Moreover, aboveground metabolite profiles in the model plant species Medicago x varia were different from the unroofed control in both the drought and roofed control treatments, and roof artifact effects were of comparable magnitude as drought effects. 5 Our results stress the need for roofed control

  12. The dynamic nature of the stress appraisal process and the infusion of affect.

    PubMed

    Eschleman, Kevin J; Alarcon, Gene M; Lyons, Joseph B; Stokes, Charlene K; Schneider, Tamera

    2012-05-01

    Very little is known about the process in which people reappraise a stressful environment or the factors that may influence this process. In the current study, we address the several limitations to previous research regarding stress reappraisals and explore the role of affect on this process. A total of 320 participants (mean age = 20 years, 60% male) completed an increasingly demanding team-based coordination task. Mood and stress appraisals were assessed at three time points using self-report surveys during four different waves of data collection. The longitudinal design enabled us to assess primary and secondary reappraisals (change in appraisals during the experiment), task-irrelevant affect (affect assessed prior to experiment participation), and task-relevant affect (change in affect experienced during the experiment). Guided by the Transactional Theory of Stress, we argue that the relationship between primary reappraisal and secondary reappraisal is an accurate representation of a dynamic stress appraisal process. We found that participants were more likely to engage in the stress appraisal process when they experienced less task-irrelevant positive affect and greater task-relevant positive affect. Both task-irrelevant and task-relevant negative affect were not found to influence the stress appraisal process.

  13. Ecosystem Processes at the Watershed Scale: Stability and Resilience of Catchment Spatial Structure and Function to Disturbance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baron, J.; Mast, A.; Clow, D. W.; Wetherbee, G. A.

    2014-12-01

    Ecohydrological systems evolve spontaneously in response to geologic, hydroclimate and biodiversity drivers. The stability and resilience of these systems to multiple disturbances can be addressed over specific temporal extents, potentially embedded within long term transience in response to geologic or climate change. The limits of ecohydrological resilience of system state in terms of vegetation canopy and soil catenae and the space/time distribution of water, carbon and nutrient cycling is determined by a set of critical feedbacks and potential substitutions of plant functional forms in response to disturbance. The ability of forest systems to return to states functionally similar to states prior to major disturbance, or combinations of multiple disturbances, is a critical question given increasing hydroclimate extremes, biological invasions, and human disturbance. Over the past century, forest landscape ecological patterns appear to have the ability to recover from significant disturbance and re-establish similar hydrological and ecological function in humid, biodiverse regions such as the southern Appalachians, and potentially drier forest ecosystems. Understanding and prediction of past and future long term dynamics requires explicit representation of spatial and temporal feedbacks and dependencies between hydrological, ecosystem and geomorphic processes, and the spatial pattern of species or plant functional type (PFT). Comprehensive models of watershed ecohydrological resilience requires careful balance between the level of process and parameter detail between the interacting components, relative to the structure, organization, space and time scales of the landscape.

  14. Terrestrial ecosystem process model Biome-BGCMuSo v4.0: summary of improvements and new modeling possibilities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hidy, Dóra; Barcza, Zoltán; Marjanović, Hrvoje; Zorana Ostrogović Sever, Maša; Dobor, Laura; Gelybó, Györgyi; Fodor, Nándor; Pintér, Krisztina; Churkina, Galina; Running, Steven; Thornton, Peter; Bellocchi, Gianni; Haszpra, László; Horváth, Ferenc; Suyker, Andrew; Nagy, Zoltán

    2016-12-01

    The process-based biogeochemical model Biome-BGC was enhanced to improve its ability to simulate carbon, nitrogen, and water cycles of various terrestrial ecosystems under contrasting management activities. Biome-BGC version 4.1.1 was used as a base model. Improvements included addition of new modules such as the multilayer soil module, implementation of processes related to soil moisture and nitrogen balance, soil-moisture-related plant senescence, and phenological development. Vegetation management modules with annually varying options were also implemented to simulate management practices of grasslands (mowing, grazing), croplands (ploughing, fertilizer application, planting, harvesting), and forests (thinning). New carbon and nitrogen pools have been defined to simulate yield and soft stem development of herbaceous ecosystems. The model version containing all developments is referred to as Biome-BGCMuSo (Biome-BGC with multilayer soil module; in this paper, Biome-BGCMuSo v4.0 is documented). Case studies on a managed forest, cropland, and grassland are presented to demonstrate the effect of model developments on the simulation of plant growth as well as on carbon and water balance.

  15. Introduction: SIPEX-2: A study of sea-ice physical, biogeochemical and ecosystem processes off East Antarctica during spring 2012

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meiners, Klaus M.; Golden, Ken M.; Heil, Petra; Lieser, Jan L.; Massom, Rob; Meyer, Bettina; Williams, Guy D.

    2016-09-01

    This editorial introduces a suite of articles resulting from the second Sea Ice Physics and Ecosystems eXperiment (SIPEX-2) voyage by presenting some background information on the study area and Antarctic sea-ice conditions, and summarising the key findings from the project. Using the Australian icebreaker RV Aurora Australis, SIPEX-2 was conducted in the area between 115-125°E and 62-66°S off East Antarctica during September to November 2012. This region had been sampled during two previous experiments, i.e. ARISE in 2003 (Massom et al., 2006a) and SIPEX in 2007 (Worby et al., 2011a). The 2012 voyage combined traditional and newly developed sampling methods with satellite and other data to measure sea-ice physical properties and processes on large scales, which provided context for biogeochemical and ecological case studies. The specific goals of the SIPEX-2 project were to: (i) measure the spatial variability in sea-ice and snow-cover properties over small- to regional-length scales; (ii) improve understanding of sea-ice kinematic processes; and (iii) advance knowledge of the links between sea-ice physical characteristics, sea-ice biogeochemical cycling and ice-associated food-web dynamics. Our field-based activities were designed to inform modelling approaches and to improve our capability to assess impacts of predicted changes in Antarctic sea ice on Southern Ocean biogeochemical cycles and ecosystem function.

  16. Ecosystem Processes at the Watershed Scale: Stability and Resilience of Catchment Spatial Structure and Function to Disturbance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Band, L. E.

    2015-12-01

    Ecohydrological systems evolve spontaneously in response to geologic, hydroclimate and biodiversity drivers. The stability and resilience of these systems to multiple disturbances can be addressed over specific temporal extents, potentially embedded within long term transience in response to geologic or climate change. The limits of ecohydrological resilience of system state in terms of vegetation canopy and soil catenae and the space/time distribution of water, carbon and nutrient cycling is determined by a set of critical feedbacks and potential substitutions of plant functional forms in response to disturbance. The ability of forest systems to return to states functionally similar to states prior to major disturbance, or combinations of multiple disturbances, is a critical question given increasing hydroclimate extremes, biological invasions, and human disturbance. Over the past century, forest landscape ecological patterns appear to have the ability to recover from significant disturbance and re-establish similar hydrological and ecological function in humid, biodiverse regions such as the southern Appalachians, and potentially drier forest ecosystems. Understanding and prediction of past and future long term dynamics requires explicit representation of spatial and temporal feedbacks and dependencies between hydrological, ecosystem and geomorphic processes, and the spatial pattern of species or plant functional type (PFT). Comprehensive models of watershed ecohydrological resilience requires careful balance between the level of process and parameter detail between the interacting components, relative to the structure, organization, space and time scales of the landscape.

  17. Differences in the dynamics of affective and cognitive processing - An ERP study.

    PubMed

    Mueller, Christina J; Fritsch, Nathalie; Hofmann, Markus J; Kuchinke, Lars

    2017-01-15

    A controversy in emotion research concerns the question of whether affective or cognitive primacy are evident in processing affective stimuli and the factors contributing to each alternative. Using electrophysiological recordings in an adapted visual oddball paradigm allowed tracking the dynamics of affective and cognitive effects. Stimuli consisted of face pictures displaying affective expressions with rare oddballs differing from frequent stimuli in either affective expression, structure (while frequent stimuli were shown frontally these deviants were turned sideways) or they differed on both dimensions, i.e. in affective expression and structure. Results revealed a defined sequence of differences in ERP amplitudes: For stimuli deviating in their affective expression only, P1 modulations ~100ms were evident, while affective differences of structure deviants were not evident before the N170 time window. All three types of deviants differed in P300 amplitudes, indicating integration of affective and structural information. These results encompass evidence for both, cognitive and affective primacy depending on stimulus properties. Specifically affective primacy is only visible when the respective facial features can be extracted with ease. When structural differences make face processing harder, however, cognitive primacy is brought forward.

  18. Hotter Drought, Disturbance Process Thresholds, and Reorganization of Forest Ecosystems and Watersheds in the Southwestern USA, and Beyond

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allen, C. D.

    2015-12-01

    Extensive high-severity wildfires and drought-induced tree mortality (including drought-and-heat-related insect pest outbreaks), along with associated major alterations of watershed conditions and hydrological processes, have intensified over the last two decades in Southwest USA forests and woodlands—on a scale unseen regionally since at least pre-1900, and quite possibly not for millennia, based on diverse lines of paleo-ecological and geomorphic evidence. Historical land-use patterns, decadal-scale climate variability (e.g., drought linked to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation), and warming temperatures in recent decades (resulting in "hotter drought" conditions) have been important interactive drivers of observed nonlinear threshold changes in these forest disturbance processes. In response, Southwest forest landscapes have been rapidly transitioning toward more open and drought-tolerant ecosystems, with altered ecohydrological patterns. If regional temperatures increase as projected by climate models, multiple lines of evidence (experiments, observations, empirical models, process models) suggest that Southwest drought stress after ca. 2050 will increasingly exceed that of the most severe droughts in the past 1,000 years, putting current historical forests at grave risk—in particular the tallest (& often the oldest) trees and forests. These findings point toward the emergence of increasingly novel vegetation patterns over the course of this century. Forests globally exhibit great diversity in environmental drivers, histories, dominant ecological patterns and processes, biodiversity, etc., which are expected to produce diverse forest responses (and levels of resilience) to projected global changes in climate and human uses this century. Even given this planetary diversity of forests and expected global change responses, the observed reorganization of forests underway in the Southwest USA - driven by the convergence of changes in land use patterns, disturbance

  19. Modeling Elevation and Aspect Controls on Emerging Ecohydrologic Processes and Ecosystem Patterns Using the Component-based Landlab Framework

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nudurupati, S. S.; Istanbulluoglu, E.; Adams, J. M.; Hobley, D. E. J.; Gasparini, N. M.; Tucker, G. E.; Hutton, E. W. H.

    2014-12-01

    Topography plays a commanding role on the organization of ecohydrologic processes and resulting vegetation patterns. In southwestern United States, climate conditions lead to terrain aspect- and elevation-controlled ecosystems, with mesic north-facing and xeric south-facing vegetation types; and changes in biodiversity as a function of elevation from shrublands in low desert elevations, to mixed grass/shrublands in mid elevations, and forests at high elevations and ridge tops. These observed patterns have been attributed to differences in topography-mediated local soil moisture availability, micro-climatology, and life history processes of plants that control chances of plant establishment and survival. While ecohydrologic models represent local vegetation dynamics in sufficient detail up to sub-hourly time scales, plant life history and competition for space and resources has not been adequately represented in models. In this study we develop an ecohydrologic cellular automata model within the Landlab component-based modeling framework. This model couples local vegetation dynamics (biomass production, death) and plant establishment and competition processes for resources and space. This model is used to study the vegetation organization in a semiarid New Mexico catchment where elevation and hillslope aspect play a defining role on plant types. Processes that lead to observed plant types across the landscape are examined by initializing the domain with randomly assigned plant types and systematically changing model parameters that couple plant response with soil moisture dynamics. Climate perturbation experiments are conducted to examine the plant response in space and time. Understanding the inherently transient ecohydrologic systems is critical to improve predictions of climate change impacts on ecosystems.

  20. Inferring differential evolutionary processes of plant persistence traits in Northern Hemisphere Mediterranean fire-prone ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pausas, J.G.; Keeley, J.E.; Verdu, M.

    2006-01-01

    1 Resprouting capacity (R) and propagule-persistence (P) are traits that are often considered to have evolved where there are predictable crown fires. Because several indicators suggest a stronger selective pressure for such traits in California than in the Mediterranean Basin, we hypothesize that plant species should have evolved to become R+ and P+ more frequently in California than in the Mediterranean Basin. 2 To test this hypothesis we studied the phylogenetic association between R and P states in both California and the Mediterranean Basin using published molecular phylogenies. 3 The results suggest that R and P evolved differently in the two regions. The occurrence of the states differs significantly between regions for trait P, but not for trait R. The different patterns (towards R+ and P+ in California and towards R+ and P- in the Mediterranean Basin) are reflected in the higher abundance and the wider taxonomic distribution of species with both persistence traits (R+P+ species) in California. 4 The differential acquisition of fire persistence mechanisms at the propagule level (P+) supports the idea that fire selective pressures has been higher in California than in the Mediterranean Basin. 5 Our comparative phylogenetic-informed analysis contributes to an understanding of the differential role of the Quaternary climate in determining fire persistence traits in different Mediterranean-type ecosystems and, thus, to the debate on the evolutionary convergence of traits. ?? 2006 British Ecological Society.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-02-01

    The influence of seasonal phenology in tropical humid forests on canopy photosynthesis remains poorly understood and its representation in global vegetation models highly simplified, typically with no seasonal variability of canopy leaf area properties taken into account. However, recent flux tower and remote sensing studies suggest that seasonal phenology in tropical rainforests exerts a large influence over carbon and water fluxes, with feedbacks that can significantly influence climate dynamics. A more realistic description of the underlying mechanisms that drive seasonal tropical forest photosynthesis and phenology could improve the correspondence of global vegetation model outputs with the wet-dry season biogeochemical patterns measured at flux tower sites. Here, we introduce a leaf Net Primary Production (NPP) based canopy dynamics scheme for evergreen tropical forests in the global terrestrial ecosystem model ORCHIDEE and validated the new scheme against in-situ carbon flux measurements. Modelled Gross Primary Productivity (GPP) patterns are analyzed in details for a flux tower site in French Guiana, in a forest where the dry season is short and where the vegetation is considered to have developed adaptive mechanisms against drought stress. By including leaf litterfall seasonality and a coincident light driven leaf flush and seasonal change in photosynthetic capacity in ORCHIDEE, modelled carbon and water fluxes more accurately represent the observations. The fit to GPP flux data was substantially improved and the results confirmed that by modifying canopy dynamics to benefit from increased light conditions, a better representation of the seasonal carbon flux patterns was made.

  2. Study of individual and group affective processes in the crew of a simulated mission to Mars: Positive affectivity as a valuable indicator of changes in the crew affectivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poláčková Šolcová, Iva; Lačev, Alek; Šolcová, Iva

    2014-07-01

    The success of a long-duration space mission depends on various technical demands as well as on the psychological (cognitive, affective, and motivational) adaptation of crewmembers and the quality of interactions within the crew. We examined the ways crewmembers of a 520-day simulated spaceflight to Mars (held in the Institute for Biomedical Problems, in Moscow) experienced and regulated their moods and emotions. Results show that crewmembers experienced predominantly positive emotions throughout their 520-day isolation and the changes in mood of the crewmembers were asynchronous and balanced. The study suggests that during the simulation, crewmembers experienced and regulated their emotions differently than they usually do in their everyday life. In isolation, crewmembers preferred to suppress and neutralize their negative emotions and express overtly only emotions with positive valence. Although the affective processes were almost invariable throughout the simulation, two periods of time when the level of positive emotions declined were identified. Regarding the findings, the paper suggests that changes in positive affectivity could be a more valuable indicator of human experience in demanding but professional environments than changes in negative affectivity. Finally, the paper discusses the phenomenology of emotions during a real space mission.

  3. Ecosystem Services

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Ecosystem goods and services are the many life-sustaining benefits we receive from nature and contribute to environmental and human health and well-being. Ecosystem-focused research will develop methods to measure ecosystem goods and services.

  4. Biotic and abiotic processes in eastside ecosystems: The effects of management on soil properties, processes, and productivity. Forest Service general technical report

    SciTech Connect

    Harvey, A.E.; Geist, J.M.; McDonald, G.I.; Jurgensen, M.F.; Cochran, P.H.

    1994-02-01

    In ecosystems characteristic of east-side regions of Oregon and Washington, the productive zone in soil is usually in the upper 1 to 2 meters. The biological process driving both soil productivity and root development are concentrated in limited organic horizons, and they have evolved historically in a nature system that includes mostly modest surface disturbance. Productivity can be highly sensitive to disturbances from heavy machinery or fire when fuel accumulations are well beyond historical norms. Limited moisture-holding capacity and nitrogen storage often impose a need for careful balancing, developing vegetation with available soil resources.

  5. Disturbance Distance: Using a process based ecosystem model to estimate and map potential thresholds in disturbance rates that would give rise to fundamentally altered ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dolan, K. A.; Hurtt, G. C.; Fisk, J.; Flanagan, S.; LePage, Y.; Sahajpal, R.

    2014-12-01

    Disturbance plays a critical role in shaping the structure and function of forested ecosystems as well as the ecosystem services they provide, including but not limited to: carbon storage, biodiversity habitat, water quality and flow, and land atmosphere exchanges of energy and water. As recent studies highlight novel disturbance regimes resulting from pollution, invasive pests and climate change, there is a need to include these alterations in predictions of future forest function and structure. The Ecosystem Demography (ED) model is a mechanistic model of forest ecosystem dynamics in which individual-based forest dynamics can be efficiently implemented over regional to global scales due to advanced scaling methods. We utilize ED to characterize the sensitivity of potential vegetation structure and function to changes in rates of density independent mortality. Disturbance rate within ED can either be altered directly or through the development of sub-models. Disturbance sub-models in ED currently include fire, land use and hurricanes. We use a tiered approach to understand the sensitivity of North American ecosystems to changes in background density independent mortality. Our first analyses were conducted at half-degree spatial resolution with a constant rate of disturbance in space and time, which was altered between runs. Annual climate was held constant at the site level and the land use and fire sub-models were turned off. Results showed an ~ 30% increase in non-forest area across the US when disturbance rates were changed from 0.6% a year to 1.2% a year and a more than 3.5 fold increase in non-forest area when disturbance rates doubled again from 1.2% to 2.4%. Continued runs altered natural background disturbance rates with the existing fire and hurricane sub models turned on as well as historic and future land use. By quantify differences between model outputs that characterize ecosystem structure and function related to the carbon cycle across the US, we

  6. 10 years of BAWLing into affective and aesthetic processes in reading: what are the echoes?

    PubMed Central

    Jacobs, Arthur M.; Võ, Melissa L.-H.; Briesemeister, Benny B.; Conrad, Markus; Hofmann, Markus J.; Kuchinke, Lars; Lüdtke, Jana; Braun, Mario

    2015-01-01

    Reading is not only “cold” information processing, but involves affective and aesthetic processes that go far beyond what current models of word recognition, sentence processing, or text comprehension can explain. To investigate such “hot” reading processes, standardized instruments that quantify both psycholinguistic and emotional variables at the sublexical, lexical, inter-, and supralexical levels (e.g., phonological iconicity, word valence, arousal-span, or passage suspense) are necessary. One such instrument, the Berlin Affective Word List (BAWL) has been used in over 50 published studies demonstrating effects of lexical emotional variables on all relevant processing levels (experiential, behavioral, neuronal). In this paper, we first present new data from several BAWL studies. Together, these studies examine various views on affective effects in reading arising from dimensional (e.g., valence) and discrete emotion features (e.g., happiness), or embodied cognition features like smelling. Second, we extend our investigation of the complex issue of affective word processing to words characterized by a mixture of affects. These words entail positive and negative valence, and/or features making them beautiful or ugly. Finally, we discuss tentative neurocognitive models of affective word processing in the light of the present results, raising new issues for future studies. PMID:26089808

  7. Processes of community development and responses of ecosystems to climate change. Progress report, September 28, 1988--September 27, 1989

    SciTech Connect

    Redente, E.F.

    1989-05-26

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

  8. Searching for Judy: How Small Mysteries Affect Narrative Processes and Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Love, Jessica; McKoon, Gail; Gerrig, Richard J.

    2010-01-01

    Current theories of text processing say little about how authors' narrative choices, including the introduction of small mysteries, can affect readers' narrative experiences. Gerrig, Love, and McKoon (2009) provided evidence that 1 type of small mystery--a character introduced without information linking him or her to the story--affects readers'…

  9. Key factors, Soil N Processes, and nitrite accumulation affecting nitrous oxide emissions

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A better understanding of the key factors affecting nitrous oxide (N2O) emission and potential mitigation strategies is essential for sustainable agriculture. The objective of this study was to examine the important factors affecting N2O emissions, soil processes involved, and potential mitigation s...

  10. Combined use of isotopic and hydrometric data to conceptualize ecohydrological processes in a high-elevation tropical ecosystem

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mosquera, Giovanny M; Celleri, Rolando; Lazo, Patricio X; Vache, Kellie B; Perakis, Steven; Crespo, Patricio

    2016-01-01

    Few high-elevation tropical catchments worldwide are gauged and even fewer are studied using combined hydrometric and isotopic data. Consequently, we lack information needed to understand processes governing rainfall-runoff dynamics and to predict their influence on downstream ecosystem functioning. To address this need, we present a combination of hydrometric and water stable isotopic observations in the wet Andean páramo ecosystem of the Zhurucay Ecohydrological Observatory (7.53 km2). The catchment is located in the Andes of south Ecuador between 3400 and 3900 m a.s.l. Water samples for stable isotopic analysis were collected during 2 years (May 2011 – May 2013), while rainfall and runoff measurements were continuously recorded since late 2010. The isotopic data reveal that Andosol soils predominantly situated on hillslopes drain laterally to Histosols (Andean páramo wetlands) mainly located at the valley bottom. Histosols, in turn, feed water to creeks and small rivers throughout the year, establishing hydrologic connectivity between wetlands and the drainage network. Runoff is primarily comprised of pre-event water stored in the Histosols, which is replenished by rainfall that infiltrates through the Andosols. Contributions from the mineral horizon and the top of the fractured bedrock are small and only seem to influence discharge in small catchments during low flow generation (non-exceedance flows < Q35). Variations in source contributions are controlled by antecedent soil moisture, rainfall intensity, and duration of rainy periods. Saturated hydraulic conductivity of the soils, higher than the year-round low precipitation intensity, indicates that Hortonian overland flow rarely occurs during high intensity precipitation events. Deep groundwater contributions to discharge seem to be minimal. These results suggest that, in this high-elevation tropical ecosystem: 1) subsurface flow is a dominant hydrological process and 2) (Histosols) wetlands are the major

  11. How do how internal and external processes affect the behaviors of coupled marsh mudflat systems; infill, stabilize, retreat, or drown?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carr, J. A.; Mariotti, G.; Wiberg, P.; Fagherazzi, S.; McGlathery, K.

    2013-12-01

    Intertidal coastal environments are prone to changes induced by sea level rise, increases in storminess, and anthropogenic disturbances. It is unclear how changes in external drivers may affect the dynamics of low energy coastal environments because their response is non-linear, and characterized by many thresholds and discontinuities. As such, process-based modeling of the ecogeomorphic processes underlying the dynamics of these ecosystems is useful, not only to predict their change through time, but also to generate new hypotheses and research questions. Here, a three-point dynamic model was developed to investigate how internal and external processes affect the behavior of coupled marsh mudflat systems. The model directly incorporates ecogeomorphological feedbacks between wind waves, salt marsh vegetation, allochthonous sediment loading, tidal flat vegetation and sea level rise. The model was applied to examine potential trajectories of salt marshes on the Eastern seaboard of the United States, including those in the Plum Island Ecosystems (PIE), Virginia Coast Reserve (VCR) and Georgia Coastal Ecosystems (GCE) long term ecological research (LTER) sites. While these sites are undergoing similar rates of relative sea level rise (RSLR), they have distinct differences in site specific environmental drivers including tides, wind waves, allochthonous sediment supply and the presence or absence of seagrass. These differences lead to the emergence of altered behaviors in the coupled salt marsh-tidal flat system. For marsh systems without seagrass or significant riverine sediment supply, conditions similar to those at PIE, results indicated that horizontal and vertical marsh evolution respond in opposing ways to wave induced processes. Marsh horizontal retreat is triggered by large mudflats and strong winds, whereas small mudflats and weak winds reduce the sediment supply to the salt marsh, decreasing its capability to keep pace with sea level rise. Marsh expansion and

  12. Relating hydraulic conductivity and hyporheic zone biogeochemical processing to conserve and restore river ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Mendoza-Lera, Clara; Datry, Thibault

    2017-02-01

    River management practices commonly attempt to improve habitat and ecological functioning (e.g. biogeochemical processing or retention of pollutants) by restoring hydrological exchange with the hyporheic zone (i.e. hyporheic flow) in an effort to increase mass transfer of solutes (nutrients, carbon and electron acceptors such as oxygen or nitrate). However, even when hyporheic flow is increased, often no significant changes in biogeochemical processing are detected. Some of these apparent paradox result from the simplistic assumption that there is a direct relationship between hyporheic flow and biogeochemical processing. We propose an alternative conceptual model that hyporheic flow is non-linearly related with biogeochemical processing. Based on the different solute mass transfer and area available for colonization among hydraulic conductivities, we hypothesize that biogeochemical processing in the hyporheic zone follows a Gaussian function depending on hyporheic hydraulic conductivity. After presenting the conceptual model and its domain of application, we discuss the potential implications, notably for river restoration and further hyporheic research.

  13. Fishing for ecosystem services

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pope, Kevin L.; Pegg, Mark A.; Cole, Nicholas W.; Siddons, Stephen F.; Fedele, Alexis D.; Harmon, Brian S.; Ruskamp, Ryan L.; Turner, Dylan R.; Uerling, Caleb C.

    2016-01-01

    Ecosystems are commonly exploited and manipulated to maximize certain human benefits. Such changes can degrade systems, leading to cascading negative effects that may be initially undetected, yet ultimately result in a reduction, or complete loss, of certain valuable ecosystem services. Ecosystem-based management is intended to maintain ecosystem quality and minimize the risk of irreversible change to natural assemblages of species and to ecosystem processes while obtaining and maintaining long-term socioeconomic benefits. We discuss policy decisions in fishery management related to commonly manipulated environments with a focus on influences to ecosystem services. By focusing on broader scales, managing for ecosystem services, and taking a more proactive approach, we expect sustainable, quality fisheries that are resilient to future disturbances. To that end, we contend that: (1) management always involves tradeoffs; (2) explicit management of fisheries for ecosystem services could facilitate a transition from reactive to proactive management; and (3) adaptive co-management is a process that could enhance management for ecosystem services. We propose adaptive co-management with an ecosystem service framework where actions are implemented within ecosystem boundaries, rather than political boundaries, through strong interjurisdictional relationships.

  14. Process coupling and control over the response of net ecosystem CO2 exchange to climate variability and insect disturbance in subalpine forests of the Western US

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monson, R. K.; Moore, D. J.; Trahan, N. A.; Scott-Denton, L.; Burns, S. P.; Hu, J.; Bowling, D. R.

    2011-12-01

    Following ten years of studies in subalpine forest ecosystems of the Western US, we have concluded that the tight coupling between gross primary productivity (GPP) and the autotrophic component of soil respiration (Ra) drives responses of net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) to climate variability and insect disturbance. This insight has been gained through long-term eddy flux observations, manipulative plot experiments, analyses of dynamics in the stable isotope compositions of CO2 and H2O, and chamber gas-exchange measurements. Using past observations from these studies, we deployed model-data assimilation techniques and forecast weather/climate modeling to estimate how the coupling between GPP and Ra is likely to affect future (Year 2100) dynamics in NEE. The amount of winter snow and its melting dynamics in the spring represents the dominant control over interannual variation in GPP. Using the SIPNET ecosystem process model, combined with knowledge about the stable isotope content of different water sources, we estimated that approximately 75% of growing season GPP is coupled to the use of snowmelt water, whereas approximately 25% is coupled to summer rain. The tight coupling between GPP and winter snow pack drives a similar tight coupling between soil respiration (Rs) and winter snow pack. Manipulation of snow pack on forest plots has shown that Rs increases with increased snow pack, and this effect disappears when trees are girdled, which stops the transfer of GPP to roots and the soil rhizosphere. Higher-than-normal winter snowpacks cause the carbon isotope ratios of soil-respired CO2 to be depleted in 13C, reflecting a signal of lower photosynthetic water-use efficiency in the GPP that is transferred to the soil rhizosphere. Large-scale forest disturbance due to catastrophic tree mortality from mountain pine beetle attack causes an initial (2-3 year) reduction in Rs, which is attributable to the loss of GPP and its effect on Ra. This near-term reduction in Rs

  15. Thinking Back about a Positive Event: The Impact of Processing Style on Positive Affect.

    PubMed

    Nelis, Sabine; Holmes, Emily A; Palmieri, Rosa; Bellelli, Guglielmo; Raes, Filip

    2015-01-01

    The manner in which individuals recall an autobiographical positive life event has affective consequences. Two studies addressed the processing styles during positive memory recall in a non-clinical sample. Participants retrieved a positive memory, which was self-generated (Study 1, n = 70) or experimenter-chosen (i.e., academic achievement, Study 2, n = 159), followed by the induction of one of three processing styles (between-subjects): in Study 1, a "concrete/imagery" vs. "abstract/verbal" processing style was compared. In Study 2, a "concrete/imagery," "abstract/verbal," and "comparative/verbal" processing style were compared. The processing of a personal memory in a concrete/imagery-based way led to a larger increase in positive affect compared to abstract/verbal processing in Study 1, as well as compared to comparative/verbal thinking in Study 2. Results of Study 2 further suggest that it is making unfavorable verbal comparisons that may hinder affective benefits to positive memories (rather than general abstract/verbal processing per se). The comparative/verbal thinking style failed to lead to improvements in positive affect, and with increasing levels of depressive symptoms it had a more negative impact on change in positive affect. We found no evidence that participant's tendency to have dampening thoughts in response to positive affect in daily life contributed to the affective impact of positive memory recall. The results support the potential for current trainings in boosting positive memories and mental imagery, and underline the search for parameters that determine at times deleterious outcomes of abstract/verbal memory processing in the face of positive information.

  16. The Impact of Affect on Out-Group Judgments Depends on Dominant Information-Processing Styles: Evidence From Incidental and Integral Affect Paradigms.

    PubMed

    Isbell, Linda M; Lair, Elicia C; Rovenpor, Daniel R

    2016-04-01

    Two studies tested the affect-as-cognitive-feedback model, in which positive and negative affective states are not uniquely associated with particular processing styles, but rather serve as feedback about currently accessible processing styles. The studies extend existing work by investigating (a) both incidental and integral affect, (b) out-group judgments, and (c) downstream consequences. We manipulated processing styles and either incidental (Study 1) or integral (Study 2) affect and measured perceptions of out-group homogeneity. Positive (relative to negative) affect increased out-group homogeneity judgments when global processing was primed, but under local priming, the effect reversed (Studies 1 and 2). A similar interactive effect emerged on attributions, which had downstream consequences for behavioral intentions (Study 2). These results demonstrate that both incidental and integral affect do not directly produce specific processing styles, but rather influence thinking by providing feedback about currently accessible processing styles.

  17. Information-Processing and Perceptions of Control: How Attribution Style Affects Task-Relevant Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yeigh, Tony

    2007-01-01

    This study investigated the effects of perceived controllability on information processing within Weiner's (1985, 1986) attributional model of learning. Attributional style was used to identify trait patterns of controllability for 37 university students. Task-relevant feedback on an information-processing task was then manipulated to test for…

  18. The ecosystem and evolutionary contexts of allelopathy.

    PubMed

    Inderjit; Wardle, David A; Karban, Richard; Callaway, Ragan M

    2011-12-01

    Plants can release chemicals into the environment that suppress the growth and establishment of other plants in their vicinity: a process known as 'allelopathy'. However, chemicals with allelopathic functions have other ecological roles, such as plant defense, nutrient chelation, and regulation of soil biota in ways that affect decomposition and soil fertility. These ecosystem-scale roles of allelopathic chemicals can augment, attenuate or modify their community-scale functions. In this review we explore allelopathy in the context of ecosystem properties, and through its role in exotic invasions consider how evolution might affect the intensity and importance of allelopathic interactions.

  19. Ecotoxicology of tropical marine ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Peters, E.C.; Gassman, N.J.; Firman, J.C.; Richmond, R.H.; Power, E.A.

    1997-01-01

    The negative effects of chemical contaminants on tropical marine ecosystems are of increasing concern as human populations expand adjacent to these communities. Watershed streams and ground water carry a variety of chemicals from agricultural, industrial, and domestic activities, while winds and currents transport pollutants from atmospheric and oceanic sources to these coastal ecosystems. The implications of the limited information available on impacts of chemical stressors on mangrove forests, seagrass meadows, and coral reefs are discussed in the context of ecosystem management and ecological risk assessment. Three classes of pollutants have received attention: heavy metals, petroleum, and synthetic organics. Heavy metals have been detected in all three ecosystems, causing physiological stress, reduced reproductive success, and outright mortality in associated invertebrates and fishes. Oil spills have been responsible for the destruction of entire coastal shallow-water communities, with recovery requiring years. Herbicides are particularly detrimental to mangroves and seagrasses and adversely affect the animal-algal symbioses in corals. Pesticides interfere with chemical cues responsible for key biological processes, including reproduction and recruitment of a variety of organisms. Information is lacking with regard to long-term recovery, indicator species, and biomarkers for tropical communities. Critical areas that are beginning to be addressed include the development of appropriate benchmarks for risk assessment, baseline monitoring criteria, and effective management strategies to protect tropical marine ecosystems in the face of mounting anthropogenic disturbance.

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

    PubMed Central

    Paquette, Sébastien; Peretz, Isabelle; Belin, Pascal

    2013-01-01

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

  1. Process notebook for aquatic ecosystem simulation. [Evaluation of fish models for impact assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Swartzman, G.; Smith, E.; McKenzie, D.; Haar, B.; Fickeisen, D.

    1980-01-01

    This notebook contains a detailed comparison of 14 models of fish growth, energetics, population dynamics, and feeding. It is a basic document for the evaluation of thes models' usefulness for impact assessment. Model equations are categorized into 18 subprocesses comprising the major processes of consumption, predation, metabolic processes, growth, fecundity, and mortality. The model equations are compared in a standard notation and the equation rationales are considered and put into a historical framework with historical precedence charts. Model parameters are computed in standard units and data sources and techniques used for parameter estimation are identified. A translator compares standard notation with the notation used in the models. The major contribution of this work is that, for the first time, fish models are arrayed with their assumptions laid bare and their parameter values compared, allowing elucidation of model differeances and evaluaton of model behavior and data needs by using the process notebook as a base for further simulation comparison.

  2. Ecosystem protection by effluent bioremediation: silver nanoparticles impregnation in a textile fabrics process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Durán, Nelson; Marcato, Priscyla D.; Alves, Oswaldo L.; Da Silva, João P. S.; De Souza, Gabriel I. H.; Rodrigues, Flávio A.; Esposito, Elisa

    2010-01-01

    This work studied a bioremediation process of silver nanoparticles with the bacterium Chromobacterium violaceum. These nanoparticles were obtained from several washes of cotton fabrics impregnated with silver nanoparticles produced by the fungus Fusarium oxysporum. The optimized growth of C. violaceum for silver nanoparticles bioremediation was obtained. The effluents of wash process of the cotton fabric were efficiently treated with C. violaceum. This treatment was based on biosorption which was very efficient for the elimination of silver nanoparticles remaining in the wash water. The bacteria after biosorption were morphologically transformed, but the normal morphology after a new culture was completely restored. The process also allowed the recovery of silver material that was leached into the effluent for a reutilization avoiding any effect to the eco-environment.

  3. How Does Tele-Mental Health Affect Group Therapy Process? Secondary Analysis of a Noninferiority Trial

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greene, Carolyn J.; Morland, Leslie A.; Macdonald, Alexandra; Frueh, B. Christopher; Grubbs, Kathleen M.; Rosen, Craig S.

    2010-01-01

    Objective: Video teleconferencing (VTC) is used for mental health treatment delivery to geographically remote, underserved populations. However, few studies have examined how VTC affects individual or group psychotherapy processes. This study compares process variables such as therapeutic alliance and attrition among participants receiving anger…

  4. The Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dubayah, R.; Goetz, S. J.; Blair, J. B.; Fatoyinbo, T. E.; Hansen, M.; Healey, S. P.; Hofton, M. A.; Hurtt, G. C.; Kellner, J.; Luthcke, S. B.; Swatantran, A.

    2014-12-01

    Spaceborne lidar has been identified as a key technology by the international ecosystem science community because it enables accurate estimates of canopy structure and biomass and forms the basis for fusion approaches that extend the capabilities of existing and planned radar missions, such as the NASA-ISRO SAR and the ESA BIOMASS mission. The Global Ecosystems Dynamics Investigation Lidar (GEDI Lidar) was recently selected by NASA's Earth Ventures Instrument (EVI) program. From its vantage point on the International Space Station, GEDI Lidar provides high-resolution observations of forest vertical structure and addresses three, core science questions: What is the aboveground carbon balance of the land surface? What role will the land surface play in mitigating atmospheric CO2 in the coming decades? How does ecosystem structure affect habitat quality and biodiversity? GEDI informs these science questions by making billions of lidar waveform observations of canopy structure over its nominal one year mission length. The instrument uses three laser transmitters to produce 14 parallel tracks of 25 m footprints. These canopy measurements are then used to measure biomass and in fusion with radar and other remote sensing data to quantify changes in biomass resulting from disturbance and recovery. GEDI further marries ecosystem structure from lidar with ecosystem modeling to predict the sequestration potential of existing forests and to evaluate the impact of policy-driven afforestation and reforestation actions on sequestering additional carbon. Lastly, GEDI's observations of ecosystem structure provide a mapping of critical habitat metrics at the fine scales required for understanding the patterns, processes, and controls on biodiversity and habitat quality. The selection of GEDI Lidar, when combined with the rapid advancement of new radar missions and the availability of long-term land cover archives from passive optical sensors, ushers in an exciting new era of land

  5. Pan-Eurasian experiment (PEEX) establishing a process towards high level Pan-Eurasian atmosphere-ecosystem observation networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lappalainen, Hanna K.; Petäjä, Tuukka; Zaytzeva, Nina; Viisanen, Yrjö; Kotlyakov, Vladimir; Kasimov, Nikolay; Bondur, Valery; Matvienko, Gennady; Zilitinkevich, Sergej; Kulmala, Markku

    2014-05-01

    Pan-Eurasian Experiment (PEEX) is a new multidisciplinary research approach aiming at resolving the major uncertainties in the Earth system science and global sustainability questions in the Arctic and boreal Pan-Eurasian regions (Kulmala et al. 2011). The main goal of PEEX Research agenda is to contribute to solving the scientific questions that are specifically important for the Pan-Eurasian region in the coming years, in particular the global climate change and its consequences to nature and human society. Pan Eurasian region represents one the Earth most extensive areas of boreal forest (taiga) and the largest natural wetlands, thus being a significant source area of trace gas emissions, biogenic aerosol particles, and source and sink area for the greenhouse gas (GHG) exchange in a global scale (Guenther et al. 1995, Timkovsky et al. 2010, Tunved et al. 2006, Glagolev et al. 2010). One of the first activities of the PEEX initiative is to establish a process towards high level Pan-Eurasian Observation Networks. Siberian region is currently lacking a coordinated, coherent ground based atmosphere-ecosystem measurement network, which would be crucial component for observing and predicting the effects of climate change in the Northern Pan- Eurasian region The vision of the Pan-Eurasion network will be based on a hierarchical SMEAR-type (Stations Measuring Atmosphere-Ecosystem Interactions) integrated land-atmosphere observation system (Hari et al. 2009). A suite of stations have been selected for the Preliminary Phase of PEEX Observation network. These Preliminary Phase stations includes the SMEAR-type stations in Finland (SMEAR-I-II-II-IV stations), in Estonia (SMEAR-Järviselja) and in China (SMEAR-Nanjing) and selected stations in Russia and ecosystem station network in China. PEEX observation network will fill in the current observational gap in the Siberian region and bring the Siberian observation setup into international context with the with standardized or

  6. Functional evaluations in the monitoring of the river ecosystem processes: the Adige River as a case stu.

    PubMed

    Braioni, M G; Salmoiraghi, G; Bracco, F; Villani, M; Braioni, A; Girelli, L

    2002-03-12

    A model of analysis and environmental evaluation was applied to 11 stretches of the Adige River, where an innovative procedure was carried out to interpret ecological results. Within each stretch, the most suitable methods were used to assess the quality and processes of flood plains, banks, water column, bed, and interstitial environment. Indices were applied to evaluate the wild state and ecological quality of the banks (wild state index, buffer strip index) and the landscape quality of wide areas of the fluvial corridor (environmental landscape index). The biotic components (i.e., macrozoobenthos, phytoplankton and zooplankton, interstitial hyporheic fauna, vegetation in the riparian areas) were analysed by both quantitative and functional methods (as productivity, litter--processing and colonisation). The results achieved were then translated into five classes of functional evaluation. These qualitative assessments have thus preserved a high level of precision and sensitivity in quantifying both the quality of the environmental conditions and the integrity of the ecosystem processes. Read together with urban planning data, they indicate what actions are needed to restore and rehabilitate the Adige River corridor.

  7. The natural history of Enewetak Atoll: Volume 1, The ecosystem: Environments, biotas, and processes

    SciTech Connect

    Devaney, D.M.; Reese, E.S.; Burch, B.L.; Helfrich, P.

    1987-01-01

    The two volumes of The Natural History of Enewetak Atoll summarize research done at the Mid-Pacific Research Laboratory from 1954 to 1984 under the auspices of the Department of Energy. The history of the laboratory and the reasons for its support by the United States Department of Energy are described in Chapter 1 of Volume 1. Volume 1 provides a synthesis of the research carried out under the subject headings of the respective chapters. Certain of the chapters, e.g., those on geology, subtidal and intertidal environments and ecology, and those on reef processes and trophic relationships, summarize a great diversity of research carried out by many scientists for many years. In contrast, the chapters on meteorology and oceanography summarize research carried out under one integrated program involving fewer scientists working over a shorter period. Individual chapters are processed separately for the data base.

  8. System for processing of airborne images of forest ecosystems using high spectral and spatial resolution data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kozoderov, V. V.; Dmitriev, E. V.; Kamentsev, V. P.

    2014-12-01

    The developed hardware and software system for the recognition of natural and man-made objects based on the airborne hyperspectral sensing implements flight tasks on selected survey routes and computational procedures for solving applied problems that occur in data processing. The basics of object recognition based on obtained images of high spectral and spatial resolution in mathematical terms of sets of sites and labels and the basics of interrelations between separate resolution elements (pixels) for selected object classes are presented. Features of energy minimization of the processed scene are depicted as a target function of the optimization of computation and regularization of the solution of the considered problems as a theoretical basis for distinguishing between classes of objects in the presence of boundaries between them. Examples of the formation of information layers of recorded spectra for selected "pure species" of pine and birch forests are cited, with the separation of illuminated and shaded pixels, which increases the accuracy of object recognition in the processing of the images.

  9. Biogeochemical hotspots within forested landscapes: quantifying the functional role of vernal pools in ecosystem processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Capps, K. A.; Rancatti, R.; Calhoun, A.; Hunter, M.

    2013-12-01

    Biogeochemical hotspots are characterized as small areas within a landscape matrix that show comparably high chemical reaction rates relative to surrounding areas. For small, natural features to generate biogeochemical hotspots within a landscape, their contribution to nutrient dynamics must be significant relative to nutrient demand of the surrounding landscape. In northeastern forests in the US, vernal pools are abundant, small features that typically fill in spring with snow melt and precipitation and dry by the end of the summer. Ephemeral flooding alters soil moisture and the depth of the oxic/anoxic boundary in the soil, which may affect leaf-litter decomposition rates and nutrient dynamics including denitrification. Additionally, pool-breeding organisms may influence nutrient dynamics via consumer-driven nutrient remineralization. We studied the effects of vernal pools on rates of leaf-litter decomposition and denitrification in forested habitats in Maine. Our results indicate leaf-litter decomposition and denitrification rates in submerged habitats of vernal pools were greater than in upland forest habitat. Our data also suggest pool-breeding organisms, such as wood frogs, may play an important role in nutrient dynamics within vernal pools. Together, the results suggest vernal pools may function as biogeochemical hotspots within forested landscapes.

  10. Product-to-parent reversion processes: Stream-hyporheic spiraling increases ecosystem exposure and environmental persistence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ward, A. S.; Cwiertny, D. M.; Kolodziej, E. P.

    2014-12-01

    The product-to-parent reversion of metabolites of trenbolone acetate (TBA), a steroidal growth promoter used widely in beef cattle production, was recently observed to occur in environmental waters. The rapid forward reaction is by direct photolysis (i.e., photohydration), with the much slower reversion reaction occurring via dehydration in the dark. The objective of this study is to quantify the potential effect of this newly discovered reversible process on TBA metabolite concentrations and total bioactivity exposure in fluvial systems. Here, we demonstrate increased persistence of TBA metabolites in the stream and hyporheic zone due to the reversion process, increasing chronic and acute exposure to these endocrine-active compounds along a stream. The perpetually dark hyporheic zone is a key location for reversion in the system, ultimately providing a source of the parent compound to the stream and increasing mean in-stream concentration of 17α-trenbolone (17α-TBOH) by 40% of the input concentration under representative fluvial conditions. As such, regulatory frameworks for compounds undergoing product-to-parent reversion will require new approaches for assessing total exposure to bioactive compounds. Further, we demonstrate generalized cases for prediction of exposure for species with product-to-parent reversion in stream-hyporheic systems.

  11. "Responses of Soil Microorganisms and Microbial Mediated Processes During Succession to Elevated CO2 in Mediterranean-Type Ecosystems".

    SciTech Connect

    Allen, Michael

    2000-11-27

    Summary Hypothesis 1. Mycorrhizal fungal types, diversity and activity will increase under elevated CO2. Generally activity increased and composition changed. No change in types was observed. It is important to note that overall nutrient cycling was affected by elevated CO2, largely by increasing turnover, not standing crop. These changes were not apparent at any one sampling date, but could only be determined over the longer course of the experiment. Hypothesis 2. Mycorrhizal fungal types, diversity and activity will decrease under NOx addition. Mycorrhizae showed no change in the % infection of mycorrhizae. However, the species composition changed and the relative form of N predominating changed, as increasing N turnover was apparent. Hypothesis 3. Mycorrhizal fungal types, diversity and activity will decline precipitously under elevated CO2 coupled with NOx additions. There are no CO2 X NOx field study facilities in our region. However, we undertook some small-scale plot fertilization studies. At the Michigan open-topped chambers, and in growth chamber studies we found that added N plus CO2 increased the allocation of C to the bacterial food web causing more rapid nutrient cycling and fewer mycorrhizae. Preliminary results indicate that the NO3 fertilization overwhelmed any CO2 effect and no significant interactions were found. We will re-evaluate how to undertake these studies. Hypothesis 4. Mycorrhizal fungal types, diversity and activity will decline under El Nino years and during La Nina years compared with more ?normal? years. Mycorrhizal activity was dramatically affected by precipitation. During wet, El Nino years, EM predominated with a shift to AM during dry, La Nina years. The total amount of fungal hyphae was higher during wetter years. These data suggest that understanding mycorrhizae by climate/CO2/ NOx interactions will be crucial in determining the patterns and rates of nutrient and carbon dynamics in ecosystems.

  12. Affective priming effects of musical sounds on the processing of word meaning.

    PubMed

    Steinbeis, Nikolaus; Koelsch, Stefan

    2011-03-01

    Recent studies have shown that music is capable of conveying semantically meaningful concepts. Several questions have subsequently arisen particularly with regard to the precise mechanisms underlying the communication of musical meaning as well as the role of specific musical features. The present article reports three studies investigating the role of affect expressed by various musical features in priming subsequent word processing at the semantic level. By means of an affective priming paradigm, it was shown that both musically trained and untrained participants evaluated emotional words congruous to the affect expressed by a preceding chord faster than words incongruous to the preceding chord. This behavioral effect was accompanied by an N400, an ERP typically linked with semantic processing, which was specifically modulated by the (mis)match between the prime and the target. This finding was shown for the musical parameter of consonance/dissonance (Experiment 1) and then extended to mode (major/minor) (Experiment 2) and timbre (Experiment 3). Seeing that the N400 is taken to reflect the processing of meaning, the present findings suggest that the emotional expression of single musical features is understood by listeners as such and is probably processed on a level akin to other affective communications (i.e., prosody or vocalizations) because it interferes with subsequent semantic processing. There were no group differences, suggesting that musical expertise does not have an influence on the processing of emotional expression in music and its semantic connotations.

  13. Meditation-induced neuroplastic changes in amygdala activity during negative affective processing.

    PubMed

    Leung, Mei-Kei; Lau, Way K W; Chan, Chetwyn C H; Wong, Samuel S Y; Fung, Annis L C; Lee, Tatia M C

    2017-04-10

    Recent evidence suggests that the effects of meditation practice on affective processing and resilience have the potential to induce neuroplastic changes within the amygdala. Notably, literature speculates that meditation training may reduce amygdala activity during negative affective processing. Nonetheless, studies have thus far not verified this speculation. In this longitudinal study, participants (N = 21, 9 men) were trained in awareness-based compassion meditation (ABCM) or matched relaxation training. The effects of meditation training on amygdala activity were examined during passive viewing of affective and neutral stimuli in a non-meditative state. We found that the ABCM group exhibited significantly reduced anxiety and right amygdala activity during negative emotion processing than the relaxation group. Furthermore, ABCM participants who performed more compassion practice had stronger right amygdala activity reduction during negative emotion processing. The lower right amygdala activity after ABCM training may be associated with a general reduction in reactivity and distress. As all participants performed the emotion processing task in a non-meditative state, it appears likely that the changes in right amygdala activity are carried over from the meditation practice into the non-meditative state. These findings suggest that the distress-reducing effects of meditation practice on affective processing may transfer to ordinary states, which have important implications on stress management.

  14. Influence of COMT genotype and affective distractors on the processing of self-generated thought

    PubMed Central

    Dumontheil, Iroise; Wood, Nicholas W.; Blakemore, Sarah-Jayne

    2015-01-01

    The catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) enzyme is a major determinant of prefrontal dopamine levels. The Val158Met polymorphism affects COMT enzymatic activity and has been associated with variation in executive function and affective processing. This study investigated the effect of COMT genotype on the flexible modulation of the balance between processing self-generated and processing stimulus-oriented information, in the presence or absence of affective distractors. Analyses included 124 healthy adult participants, who were also assessed on standard working memory (WM) tasks. Relative to Val carriers, Met homozygotes made fewer errors when selecting and manipulating self-generated thoughts. This effect was partly accounted for by an association between COMT genotype and visuospatial WM performance. We also observed a complex interaction between the influence of affective distractors, COMT genotype and sex on task accuracy: male, but not female, participants showed a sensitivity to the affective distractors that was dependent on COMT genotype. This was not accounted for by WM performance. This study provides novel evidence of the role of dopaminergic genetic variation on the ability to select and manipulate self-generated thoughts. The results also suggest sexually dimorphic effects of COMT genotype on the influence of affective distractors on executive function. PMID:25190703

  15. Affective information processing in pregnancy and postpartum with and without major depression.

    PubMed

    Gollan, Jackie K; Hoxha, Denada; Getch, Sarah; Sankin, Lindsey; Michon, Ruth

    2013-04-30

    Adults with clinical depression exhibit systematic errors in their recognition and interpretation of affective stimuli. This study investigated the extent to which depression and phases of pregnancy and postpartum influence affective processing of positive and negative information, and the extent to which affective information processing in pregnancy predicts depressive symptoms in postpartum. Data were collected from 80 unmedicated women, diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD) or with no psychiatric disorder and between ages 18 and 44 years, during 32-36 weeks of pregnancy and during 6-8 weeks postpartum. All completed a Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV (DSM-IV) Axis I review, symptom reports, and a computer task measuring affective information processing. Significant group differences were found in which postpartum women with major depression were less responsive to negative stimuli, with lower ratings of intensity and reactions to negative pictorial stimuli, compared with postpartum healthy women. Also, lower ratings of the intensity and reactions to negative stimuli during pregnancy among depressed women predicted postpartum depression severity, even after controlling for depressive severity and affect ratings in pregnancy. Blunted affective reactivity to negative stimuli is a characteristic of depression that was observed among depressed women during pregnancy and postpartum in our study.

  16. Developmental Coordination Disorder Affects the Processing of Action-Related Verbs

    PubMed Central

    Mirabella, Giovanni; Del Signore, Sara; Lakens, Daniel; Averna, Roberto; Penge, Roberta; Capozzi, Flavia

    2017-01-01

    Processing action-language affects the planning and execution of motor acts, which suggests that the motor system might be involved in action-language understanding. However, this claim is hotly debated. For the first time, we compared the processing of action-verbs in children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), a disease that specifically affects the motor system, with children with a typical development (TD). We administered two versions of a go/no-go task in which verbs expressing either hand, foot or abstract actions were presented. We found that only when the semantic content of a verb has to be retrieved, TD children showed an increase in reaction times if the verb involved the same effector used to give the response. In contrast, DCD patients did not show any difference between verb categories irrespective of the task. These findings suggest that the pathological functioning of the motor system in individuals with DCD also affects language processing. PMID:28119585

  17. Intuitive (in)coherence judgments are guided by processing fluency, mood and affect.

    PubMed

    Sweklej, Joanna; Balas, Robert; Pochwatko, Grzegorz; Godlewska, Małgorzata

    2014-01-01

    Recently proposed accounts of intuitive judgments of semantic coherence assume that processing fluency results in a positive affective response leading to successful assessment of semantic coherence. The present paper investigates whether processing fluency may indicate semantic incoherence as well. In two studies, we employ a new paradigm in which participants have to detect an incoherent item among semantically coherent words. In Study 1, we show participants accurately indicating an incoherent item despite not being able to provide an accurate solution to coherent words. Further, this effect is modified by affective valence of solution words that are not retrieved from memory. Study 2 replicates those results and extend them by showing that mood moderates incoherence judgments independently of affective valence of solutions. The results support processing fluency account of intuitive semantic coherence judgments and show that it is not fluency per se but fluency variations that drive judgments.

  18. The lateralized processing of affect in emotionally labile extraverts and introverts: central and autonomic effects.

    PubMed

    Smith, B D; Kline, R; Lindgren, K; Ferro, M; Smith, D A; Nespor, A

    1995-02-01

    The purpose of the present study was to better understand both the lateralized hemispheric processing of emotion and the differential neural processing of arousal in extraverts and introverts. We preselected right-handed male and female extraverts and introverts who were high in emotional lability. Each subject was exposed to two positive and two negative emotional stimuli under each of three counterbalanced conditions, including affective, cognitive, and neutral, while EEG and electrodermal activity (EDA) were recorded. Results showed that introverts are more aroused and that extraversion interacts with gender to produce differentiated patterns of lateralized neural activity. In addition, affective conditions produced higher levels of arousal than did cognitive or neutral conditions, particularly in the left hemisphere and under negative as opposed to positive stimuli. Finally, the hemispherically differentiated processing of positive and negative stimuli was affected by the contextual conditions under which they were experienced.

  19. [A field study of the effects of elevated CO2 concentration on physiology an ecosystem processes in Chesapeake Bay Wetland]. [Annual] progress report, 1989--1990

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1990-12-31

    Research during 1988--1989 focused on several new aspects of the