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Sample records for affects understorey plant

  1. Severe dry winter affects plant phenology and carbon balance of a cork oak woodland understorey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Correia, A. C.; Costa-e-Silva, F.; Dubbert, M.; Piayda, A.; Pereira, J. S.

    2016-10-01

    Mediterranean climates are prone to a great variation in yearly precipitation. The effects on ecosystem will depend on the severity and timing of droughts. In this study we questioned how an extreme dry winter affects the carbon flux in the understorey of a cork oak woodland? What is the seasonal contribution of understorey vegetation to ecosystem productivity? We used closed-system portable chambers to measure CO2 exchange of the dominant shrub species (Cistus salviifolius, Cistus crispus and Ulex airensis), of the herbaceous layer and on bare soil in a cork oak woodland in central Portugal during the dry winter year of 2012. Shoot growth, leaf shedding, flower and fruit setting, above and belowground plant biomass were measured as well as seasonal leaf water potential. Eddy-covariance and micrometeorological data together with CO2 exchange measurements were used to access the understorey species contribution to ecosystem gross primary productivity (GPP). The herbaceous layer productivity was severely affected by the dry winter, with half of the yearly maximum aboveground biomass in comparison with the 6 years site average. The semi-deciduous and evergreen shrubs showed desynchronized phenophases and lagged carbon uptake maxima. Whereas shallow-root shrubs exhibited opportunistic characteristics in exploiting the understorey light and water resources, deep rooted shrubs showed better water status but considerably lower assimilation rates. The contribution of understorey vegetation to ecosystem GPP was lower during summer with 14% and maximum during late spring, concomitantly with the lowest tree productivity due to tree canopy renewal. The herbaceous vegetation contribution to ecosystem GPP never exceeded 6% during this dry year stressing its sensitivity to winter and spring precipitation. Although shrubs are more resilient to precipitation variability when compared with the herbaceous vegetation, the contribution of the understorey vegetation to ecosystem GPP can

  2. Climbing plants in a temperate rainforest understorey: searching for high light or coping with deep shade?

    PubMed Central

    Valladares, Fernando; Gianoli, Ernesto; Saldaña, Alfredo

    2011-01-01

    Background and Aims While the climbing habit allows vines to reach well-lit canopy areas with a minimum investment in support biomass, many of them have to survive under the dim understorey light during certain stages of their life cycle. But, if the growth/survival trade-off widely reported for trees hold for climbing plants, they cannot maximize both light-interception efficiency and shade avoidance (i.e. escaping from the understorey). The seven most important woody climbers occurring in a Chilean temperate evergreen rainforest were studied with the hypothesis that light-capture efficiency of climbers would be positively associated with their abundance in the understorey. Methods Species abundance in the understorey was quantified from their relative frequency and density in field plots, the light environment was quantified by hemispherical photography, the photosynthetic response to light was measured with portable gas-exchange analyser, and the whole shoot light-interception efficiency and carbon gain was estimated with the 3-D computer model Y-plant. Key Results Species differed in specific leaf area, leaf mass fraction, above ground leaf area ratio, light-interception efficiency and potential carbon gain. Abundance of species in the understorey was related to whole shoot features but not to leaf level features such as specific leaf area. Potential carbon gain was inversely related to light-interception efficiency. Mutual shading among leaves within a shoot was very low (<20 %). Conclusions The abundance of climbing plants in this southern rainforest understorey was directly related to their capacity to intercept light efficiently but not to their potential carbon gain. The most abundant climbers in this ecosystem match well with a shade-tolerance syndrome in contrast to the pioneer-like nature of climbers observed in tropical studies. The climbers studied seem to sacrifice high-light searching for coping with the dim understorey light. PMID:21685433

  3. Fire frequency, agricultural history and the multivariate control of pine savanna understorey plant diversity

    Treesearch

    Joseph W. Veldman; Lars A. Brudvig; Ellen I. Damschen; John L. Orrock; W. Brett Mattingly; Joan L. Walker

    2014-01-01

    Question: Human-altered disturbance regimes and agricultural land uses are broadly associated with reduced plant species diversity in terrestrial ecosystems. In this study, we seek to understand how fire frequency and agricultural land-use history influence savanna understorey plant diversity through complex relationships (i.e. indirect effects) among multiple...

  4. Effects of high-frequency understorey fires on woody plant regeneration in southeastern Amazonian forests.

    PubMed

    Balch, Jennifer K; Massad, Tara J; Brando, Paulo M; Nepstad, Daniel C; Curran, Lisa M

    2013-06-05

    Anthropogenic understorey fires affect large areas of tropical forest, yet their effects on woody plant regeneration post-fire remain poorly understood. We examined the effects of repeated experimental fires on woody stem (less than 1 cm at base) mortality, recruitment, species diversity, community similarity and regeneration mode (seed versus sprout) in Mato Grosso, Brazil. From 2004 to 2010, forest plots (50 ha) were burned twice (B2) or five times (B5), and compared with an unburned control (B0). Stem density recovered within a year after the first burn (initial density: 12.4-13.2 stems m(-2)), but after 6 years, increased mortality and decreased regeneration--primarily of seedlings--led to a 63 per cent and 85 per cent reduction in stem density in B2 and B5, respectively. Seedlings and sprouts across plots in 2010 displayed remarkable community similarity owing to shared abundant species. Although the dominant surviving species were similar across plots, a major increase in sprouting occurred--almost three- and fourfold greater in B2 and B5 than in B0. In B5, 29 species disappeared and were replaced by 11 new species often present along fragmented forest edges. By 2010, the annual burn regime created substantial divergence between the seedling community and the initial adult tree community (greater than or equal to 20 cm dbh). Increased droughts and continued anthropogenic ignitions associated with frontier land uses may promote high-frequency fire regimes that may substantially alter regeneration and therefore successional processes.

  5. Function of blue iridescence in tropical understorey plants

    PubMed Central

    Thomas, Katherine R.; Kolle, Mathias; Whitney, Heather M.; Glover, Beverley J.; Steiner, Ullrich

    2010-01-01

    The blue colouration seen in the leaves of Selaginella willdenowii is shown to be iridescent. Transmission electron microscopy studies confirm the presence of a layered lamellar structure of the upper cuticle of iridescent leaves. Modelling of these multi-layer structures suggests that they are responsible for the blue iridescence, confirming the link between the observed lamellae and the recorded optical properties. Comparison of blue and green leaves from the same plant indicates that the loss of the blue iridescence corresponds to a loss of the multi-layer structure. The results reported here do not support the idea that iridescence in plants acts to enhance light capture of photosynthetically important wavelengths. The reflectance of light in the range 600–700 nm is very similar for both iridescent and non-iridescent leaves. However, owing to the occurrence of blue colouration in a wide variety of shade dwelling plants it is probable that this iridescence has some adaptive benefit. Possible adaptive advantages of the blue iridescence in these plants are discussed. PMID:20519208

  6. Effects of high-frequency understorey fires on woody plant regeneration in southeastern Amazonian forests

    PubMed Central

    Balch, Jennifer K.; Massad, Tara J.; Brando, Paulo M.; Nepstad, Daniel C.; Curran, Lisa M.

    2013-01-01

    Anthropogenic understorey fires affect large areas of tropical forest, yet their effects on woody plant regeneration post-fire remain poorly understood. We examined the effects of repeated experimental fires on woody stem (less than 1 cm at base) mortality, recruitment, species diversity, community similarity and regeneration mode (seed versus sprout) in Mato Grosso, Brazil. From 2004 to 2010, forest plots (50 ha) were burned twice (B2) or five times (B5), and compared with an unburned control (B0). Stem density recovered within a year after the first burn (initial density: 12.4–13.2 stems m−2), but after 6 years, increased mortality and decreased regeneration—primarily of seedlings—led to a 63 per cent and 85 per cent reduction in stem density in B2 and B5, respectively. Seedlings and sprouts across plots in 2010 displayed remarkable community similarity owing to shared abundant species. Although the dominant surviving species were similar across plots, a major increase in sprouting occurred—almost three- and fourfold greater in B2 and B5 than in B0. In B5, 29 species disappeared and were replaced by 11 new species often present along fragmented forest edges. By 2010, the annual burn regime created substantial divergence between the seedling community and the initial adult tree community (greater than or equal to 20 cm dbh). Increased droughts and continued anthropogenic ignitions associated with frontier land uses may promote high-frequency fire regimes that may substantially alter regeneration and therefore successional processes. PMID:23610167

  7. [Differential survival of Euselasia apisaon Dahman (lepidoptera: riodinidae) pupae at understorey plants in the Eucalyptus plantations of Belo Oriente, MG, Brazil].

    PubMed

    Sousa, Suelen M; de Faria, Maurício L; Latini, Anderson O

    2010-01-01

    Herbivorous insects may attack eucalyptus causing economic losses. One of these pests is the moth Euselasia apisaon Dahman, a key pest in the basin of middle Rio Doce. Here we studied the survival of pupae of this moth in Eucalyptus and in understorey plants and tested the hypotheses: i) live pupae are more abundant in plants of the understorey than in eucalyptus, ii) there is no difference between the abundance of pupae in different plants of the understorey. We sampled three areas cultivated with eucalyptus in Belo Oriente, MG, and samples were taken in five plots each area, getting five branches of each plant and of five eucalyptus trees that bordered the plot. The proportion of live and dead pupae and the mortality rate were estimated. The abundance of live pupae was higher in the understorey and the mortality rate of pupae was the same among different families of plants of the understorey. It is possible the larger available leaf area of understorey plants justify the greater abundance of live pupae in this habitat, however, avoidance of feeding habitat to finish the life cycle is also a possible explanation. Mortality rate in plants of the understorey points to an equal pressure of natural enemies on the pupae. These appointments help us to understand the dynamics of pests in eucalyptus plantations, providing important information to support actions against pests in natural environments.

  8. Microhabitat amelioration and reduced competition among understorey plants as drivers of facilitation across environmental gradients: towards a unifying framework

    PubMed Central

    Soliveres, Santiago; Eldridge, David J.; Maestre, Fernando T.; Bowker, Matthew A.; Tighe, Matthew; Escudero, Adrián

    2015-01-01

    Studies of facilitative interactions as drivers of plant richness along environmental gradients often assume the existence of an overarching stress gradient equally affecting the performance of all the species in a given community. However, co-existing species differ in their ecophysiological adaptations, and do not experience the same stress level under particular environmental conditions. Moreover, these studies assume a unimodal richness-biomass curve, which is not as general as previously thought. We ignored these assumptions to assess changes in plant-plant interactions, and their effect on local species richness, across environmental gradients in semi-arid areas of Spain and Australia. We aimed to understand the relative importance of direct (microhabitat amelioration) and indirect (changes in the competitive relationships among the understorey species: niche segregation, competitive exclusion or intransitivity) mechanisms that might underlie the effects of nurse plants on local species richness. By jointly studying these direct and indirect mechanisms using a unifying framework, we were able to see how our nurse plants (trees, shrubs and tussock grasses) not only increased local richness by expanding the niche of neighbouring species, but also by increasing niche segregation among them, though the latter was not important in all cases. The outcome of the competition-facilitation continuum changed depending on the study area, likely because the different types of stress gradient considered. When driven by both rainfall and temperature, or rainfall alone, the community-wide importance of nurse plants remained constant (Spanish sites), or showed a unimodal relationship along the gradient (Australian sites). This study expands our understanding of the relative roles of plant-plant interactions and environmental conditions as drivers of local species richness in semi-arid environments. These results can also be used to refine predictions about the response of

  9. Microhabitat amelioration and reduced competition among understorey plants as drivers of facilitation across environmental gradients: towards a unifying framework.

    PubMed

    Soliveres, Santiago; Eldridge, David J; Maestre, Fernando T; Bowker, Matthew A; Tighe, Matthew; Escudero, Adrián

    2011-11-20

    Studies of facilitative interactions as drivers of plant richness along environmental gradients often assume the existence of an overarching stress gradient equally affecting the performance of all the species in a given community. However, co-existing species differ in their ecophysiological adaptations, and do not experience the same stress level under particular environmental conditions. Moreover, these studies assume a unimodal richness-biomass curve, which is not as general as previously thought. We ignored these assumptions to assess changes in plant-plant interactions, and their effect on local species richness, across environmental gradients in semi-arid areas of Spain and Australia. We aimed to understand the relative importance of direct (microhabitat amelioration) and indirect (changes in the competitive relationships among the understorey species: niche segregation, competitive exclusion or intransitivity) mechanisms that might underlie the effects of nurse plants on local species richness. By jointly studying these direct and indirect mechanisms using a unifying framework, we were able to see how our nurse plants (trees, shrubs and tussock grasses) not only increased local richness by expanding the niche of neighbouring species, but also by increasing niche segregation among them, though the latter was not important in all cases. The outcome of the competition-facilitation continuum changed depending on the study area, likely because the different types of stress gradient considered. When driven by both rainfall and temperature, or rainfall alone, the community-wide importance of nurse plants remained constant (Spanish sites), or showed a unimodal relationship along the gradient (Australian sites). This study expands our understanding of the relative roles of plant-plant interactions and environmental conditions as drivers of local species richness in semi-arid environments. These results can also be used to refine predictions about the response of

  10. Understorey plant community dynamics following a large, mixed severity wildfire in a Pinus ponderosa-Pseudotsuga menziesii forest, Colorado, USA

    Treesearch

    Paula J. Fornwalt; Merrill R. Kaufman

    2014-01-01

    In 2002, the Hayman Fire burned across 55 800 ha of Colorado Front Range P. ponderosa-P. menziesii forest. Also burned in the fire were 20 upland and five riparian plots within a 400-ha study area. These plots had been surveyed for understorey plant composition and cover 5-6 yrs prior. We re-measured all plots annually from 2003 to 2007, 1-5 yrs post-fire. Changes in...

  11. Within-stand variation in understorey vegetation affects fire behaviour in longleaf pine xeric sandhills

    Treesearch

    Evelyn S. Wenk; G. Geoff Wang; Joan L. Walker

    2011-01-01

    The frequent fires typical of the longleaf pine ecosystem in the south-eastern USA are carried by live understorey vegetation and pine litter. Mature longleaf pine stands in the xeric sandhills region have a variable understory vegetation layer, creating several fuel complexes at the within-stand scale (20 m2). We identified three fuel complexes...

  12. Outbreaks by canopy-feeding geometrid moth cause state-dependent shifts in understorey plant communities.

    PubMed

    Karlsen, Stein Rune; Jepsen, Jane Uhd; Odland, Arvid; Ims, Rolf Anker; Elvebakk, Arve

    2013-11-01

    The increased spread of insect outbreaks is among the most severe impacts of climate warming predicted for northern boreal forest ecosystems. Compound disturbances by insect herbivores can cause sharp transitions between vegetation states with implications for ecosystem productivity and climate feedbacks. By analysing vegetation plots prior to and immediately after a severe and widespread outbreak by geometrid moths in the birch forest-tundra ecotone, we document a shift in forest understorey community composition in response to the moth outbreak. Prior to the moth outbreak, the plots divided into two oligotrophic and one eutrophic plant community. The moth outbreak caused a vegetation state shift in the two oligotrophic communities, but only minor changes in the eutrophic community. In the spatially most widespread communities, oligotrophic dwarf shrub birch forest, dominance by the allelopathic dwarf shrub Empetrum nigrum ssp. hermaphroditum, was effectively broken and replaced by a community dominated by the graminoid Avenella flexuosa, in a manner qualitatively similar to the effect of wild fires in E. nigrum communities in coniferous boreal forest further south. As dominance by E. nigrum is associated with retrogressive succession the observed vegetation state shift has widespread implications for ecosystem productivity on a regional scale. Our findings reveal that the impact of moth outbreaks on the northern boreal birch forest system is highly initial-state dependent, and that the widespread oligotrophic communities have a low resistance to such disturbances. This provides a case for the notion that climate impacts on arctic and northern boreal vegetation may take place most abruptly when conveyed by changed dynamics of irruptive herbivores.

  13. Do changes in grazing pressure and the degree of shrub encroachment alter the effects of individual shrubs on understorey plant communities and soil function?

    PubMed Central

    Soliveres, Santiago; Eldridge, David J.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Shrub canopies in semi-arid environments often produce positive effects on soil fertility, and on the richness and biomass of understorey plant communities. However, both positive and negative effects of shrub encroachment on plant and soil attributes have been reported at the landscape-level. The contrasting results between patch- and landscape-level effects in shrublands could be caused by differences in the degree of shrub encroachment or grazing pressure, both of which are likely to reduce the ability of individual shrubs to ameliorate their understorey environment. We examined how grazing and shrub encroachment (measured as landscape-level shrub cover) influence patch-level effects of shrubs on plant density, biomass and similarity in species composition between shrub understories and open areas, and on soil stability, nutrient cycling, and infiltration in two semi-arid Australian woodlands. Individual shrubs had consistently positive effects on all plant and soil variables (average increase of 23% for all variables). These positive patch-level effects persisted with increasing shrub cover up to our maximum of 50% cover. Heavy grazing negatively affected most of the variables studied (average decline of 11%). It also altered, for some variables, how individual shrubs affected their sub-canopy environment with increasing shrub cover. Thus for species density, biomass and soil infiltration, the positive effect of individual shrubs with increasing shrub cover diminished under heavy grazing. Synthesis Our study refines predictions of the effects of woody encroachment on ecosystem structure and functioning by showing that heavy grazing, rather than differences in shrub cover, explains the contrasting effects on ecosystem structure and function between individual shrubs and those in dense aggregations. We also discuss how species-specific traits of the encroaching species, such as their height or its ability to fix N, might influence the relationship between

  14. The contribution of nitrogen deposition to the eutrophication signal in understorey plant communities of European forests.

    PubMed

    van Dobben, Han F; de Vries, Wim

    2017-01-01

    We evaluated effects of atmospheric deposition of nitrogen on the composition of forest understorey vegetation both in space and time, using repeated data from the European wide monitoring program ICP-Forests, which focuses on normally managed forest. Our aim was to assess whether both spatial and temporal effects of deposition can be detected by a multiple regression approach using data from managed forests over a relatively short time interval, in which changes in the tree layer are limited. To characterize the vegetation, we used indicators derived from cover percentages per species using multivariate statistics and indicators derived from the presence/absence, that is, species numbers and Ellenberg's indicator values. As explanatory variables, we used climate, altitude, tree species, stand age, and soil chemistry, besides deposition of nitrate, ammonia and sulfate. We analyzed the effects of abiotic conditions at a single point in time by canonical correspondence analysis and multiple regression. The relation between the change in vegetation and abiotic conditions was analyzed using redundancy analysis and multiple regression, for a subset of the plots that had both abiotic data and enough species to compute a mean Ellenberg N value per plot using a minimum of three species. Results showed that the spatial variation in the vegetation is mainly due to "traditional" factors such as soil type and climate, but a statistically significant part of the variation could be ascribed to atmospheric deposition of nitrate. The change in the vegetation over the past c. 10 years was also significantly correlated to nitrate deposition. Although the effect of deposition on the individual species could not be clearly defined, the effect on the vegetation as a whole was a shift toward nitrophytic species as witnessed by an increase in mean Ellenberg's indicator value.

  15. Community-level impacts of white-tailed deer on understorey plants in North American forests: a meta-analysis

    PubMed Central

    Habeck, Christopher W.; Schultz, Alexis K.

    2015-01-01

    better access to existing and future data. Ultimately, we show that white-tailed deer have strongly negative impacts on forest understorey plant communities in North America, but these impacts are not ubiquitous for all components of the plant community. PMID:26487676

  16. Community-level impacts of white-tailed deer on understorey plants in North American forests: a meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Habeck, Christopher W; Schultz, Alexis K

    2015-10-20

    better access to existing and future data. Ultimately, we show that white-tailed deer have strongly negative impacts on forest understorey plant communities in North America, but these impacts are not ubiquitous for all components of the plant community. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company.

  17. Phyllosphere nitrogen relations: reciprocal transfer of nitrogen between epiphyllous liverworts and host plants in the understorey of a lowland tropical wet forest in Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Wanek, Wolfgang; Pörtl, Katja

    2005-05-01

    Epiphyllous bryophytes on tropical rainforest plants acquire nutrients from throughfall and free-living N2-fixing organisms, but may also depend directly on host leaf leachates. By contrast, after drying events bryophytes lose significant quantities of nutrients through leaching that can be taken up by host leaves. To assess a potential nutritional interdependency, nitrogen fluxes between epiphyllous liverworts and their host leaves (Carludovica drudei, Costus laevis, Dieffenbachia concinna, Pentagonia wendlandii) were quantified by in situ15N-labelling techniques in a lowland rainforest, Piedras Blancas National Park, Costa Rica. Depending on host species, epiphyllous bryophytes met between 1 and 57% of their N demand from host leaf leachates. Externally supplied 15N was taken up both by epiphylls and host leaves, but N from epiphyll leachates accounted for < 2.5% of host leaf N after 14 d. Long-term observations (180 d) demonstrated the highly dynamic nature of phyllosphere N of the investigated tropical rainforest understorey and an intermittent sink capacity of epiphyllous bryophytes.

  18. Effect of overstorey trees on understorey vegetation in California (USA) ponderosa pine plantations

    Treesearch

    Jianwei Zhang; David H. Young; William W. Oliver; Gary O. Fiddler

    2016-01-01

    Understorey vegetation plays a significant role in the structure and function of forest ecosystems. Controlling understorey vegetation has proven to be an effective tool in increasing tree growth and overstorey development. However, a long-term consequence of the practice on plant diversity is not fully understood. Here, we analyzed early development of overstorey and...

  19. Restoration of three forest herbs in the Liliaceae family by manipulating deer herbivory and overstorey and understorey vegetation

    Treesearch

    Cynthia D. Huebner; Kurt W. Gottschalk; Gary W. Miller; Patrick H. Brose

    2010-01-01

    Research on herbaceous vegetation restoration in forests characterised by overstorey tree harvests, excessive deer herbivory, and a dominant fern understorey is lacking. Most of the plant diversity found in Eastern hardwood forests in the United States is found in the herbaceous understorey layer. Loss of forest herbaceous species is an indicator of declining forest...

  20. Negative effects overpower the positive of kelp to exclude invertebrates from the understorey community.

    PubMed

    Connell, Sean D

    2003-09-01

    Marine macroalgal forests are one of the most widespread and studied habitats on subtidal coasts, but there remain challenges in understanding why many sessile invertebrates are anomalously absent from understorey communities. In a series of experiments on recruitment of invertebrates, I partitioned the habitat-modifying effects of kelp into their positive and negative effects. Experiments revealed that a reduction of light intensity and removal of sediment by canopies acted to facilitate recruitment, but physical abrasion by the canopy acted as a negative force to overpower these positive effects. Understorey assemblages, therefore, represent biased subsets of taxa from a local pool capable of colonization. On balance, negative effects acted to exclude invertebrates from the understorey community. The asymmetric strength of negative effects not only explains the enigma of exclusion but also indicates that, when it exists, understorey coexistence with canopy plants must reflect a more even match between positive and negative effects.

  1. Isometric scaling of above- and below-ground biomass at the individual and community levels in the understorey of a sub-tropical forest

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Dongliang; Zhong, Quanlin; Niklas, Karl J.; Ma, Yuzhu; Yang, Yusheng; Zhang, Jianhua

    2015-01-01

    Background and Aims Empirical studies and allometric partitioning (AP) theory indicate that plant above-ground biomass (MA) scales, on average, one-to-one (isometrically) with below-ground biomass (MR) at the level of individual trees and at the level of entire forest communities. However, the ability of the AP theory to predict the biomass allocation patterns of understorey plants has not been established because most previous empirical tests have focused on canopy tree species or very large shrubs. Methods In order to test the AP theory further, 1586 understorey sub-tropical forest plants from 30 sites in south-east China were harvested and examined. The numerical values of the scaling exponents and normalization constants (i.e. slopes and y-intercepts, respectively) of log–log linear MA vs. MR relationships were determined for all individual plants, for each site, across the entire data set, and for data sorted into a total of 19 sub-sets of forest types and successional stages. Similar comparisons of MA/MR were also made. Key Results The data revealed that the mean MA/MR of understorey plants was 2·44 and 1·57 across all 1586 plants and for all communities, respectively, and MA scaled nearly isometrically with respect to MR, with scaling exponents of 1·01 for all individual plants and 0·99 for all communities. The scaling exponents did not differ significantly among different forest types or successional stages, but the normalization constants did, and were positively correlated with MA/MR and negatively correlated with scaling exponents across all 1586 plants. Conclusions The results support the AP theory’s prediction that MA scales nearly one-to-one with MR (i.e. MA ∝ MR ≈1·0) and that plant biomass partitioning for individual plants and at the community level share a strikingly similar pattern, at least for the understorey plants examined in this study. Furthermore, variation in environmental conditions appears to affect the numerical values of

  2. Contrasting patterns of gene flow between sister plant species in the understorey of African moist forests - the case of sympatric and parapatric Marantaceae species.

    PubMed

    Ley, A C; Hardy, O J

    2014-08-01

    Gene flow within and between species is a fundamental process shaping the evolutionary history of taxa. However, the extent of hybridization and reinforcement is little documented in the tropics. Here we explore the pattern of gene flow between three sister species from the herbaceous genus Marantochloa (Marantaceae), sympatrically distributed in the understorey of the African rainforest, using data from the chloroplast and nuclear genomes (DNA sequences and AFLP). We found highly contrasting patterns: while there was no evidence of gene flow between M. congensis and M. monophylla, species identity between M. monophylla and M. incertifolia was maintained despite considerable gene flow. We hypothesize that M. incertifolia originated from an ancient hybridization event between M. congensis and M. monophylla, considering the current absence of hybridization between the two assumed parent species, the rare presence of shared haplotypes between all three species and the high percentage of haplotypes shared by M. incertifolia with each of the two parent species. This example is contrasted with two parapatrically distributed species from the same family in the genus Haumania forming a hybrid zone restricted to the area of overlap. This work illustrates the diversity of speciation/introgression patterns that can potentially occur in the flora of tropical Africa.

  3. Seasonal changes in temperature response of photosynthesis and its contribution to annual carbon gain in Daphniphyllum humile, an evergreen understorey shrub.

    PubMed

    Katahata, S-I; Han, Q; Naramoto, M; Kakubari, Y; Mukai, Y

    2014-03-01

    We evaluated seasonal variation in photosynthetic temperature dependence and its contribution to annual carbon gain in an evergreen understorey shrub, Daphniphyllum humile Maxim, growing at the forest border and in the understorey of a deciduous forest. Plants at both sites exhibited similar optimal temperatures for photosynthesis (T(opt)). The activation energy for ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate (RuBP) carboxylation (HaV) at both sites tended to be higher in summer than in spring or autumn, suggesting that HaV may be the controlling factor in the T(opt) shift in D. humile. In contrast to the seasonal changes in T(opt ), the maximum photosynthetic rate at the optimal temperature (P(opt)) differed between the two sites: it was lower in autumn than in summer at the forest border, but was the same in summer and autumn in the understorey. In the understorey plants, nitrogen content (Narea) increased in autumn, but this was not the case for forest border plants. In addition, Rubisco content increased significantly in autumn in the understorey leaves but decreased distinctly in forest border leaves. Increased Narea and Rubisco in understorey leaves resulted in increased in photosynthesis in autumn. Annual carbon gain was 30.8 mol · m(-2) in forest border leaves and 5.8 mol · m(-2) in understorey leaves. Carbon gain in understorey leaves during the short period after overstorey leaf fall and before snow accumulation was approximately 49% of annual carbon gain. Furthermore, autumn carbon gain calculated using activation energy of summer with autumn photosynthetic parameters underestimated the autumn carbon gain by as much as 31%. In conclusion, photosynthetic temperature acclimation may be a key factor in increasing annual carbon gain in understorey D. humile.

  4. Experimental defaunation of terrestrial mammalian herbivores alters tropical rainforest understorey diversity

    PubMed Central

    Camargo-Sanabria, Angela A.; Mendoza, Eduardo; Guevara, Roger; Martínez-Ramos, Miguel; Dirzo, Rodolfo

    2015-01-01

    It has been suggested that tropical defaunation may unleash community-wide cascading effects, leading to reductions in plant diversity. However, experimental evidence establishing cause–effect relationships thereof is poor. Through a 5 year exclosure experiment, we tested the hypothesis that mammalian defaunation affects tree seedling/sapling community dynamics leading to reductions in understorey plant diversity. We established plot triplets (n = 25) representing three defaunation contexts: terrestrial-mammal exclosure (TE), medium/large mammal exclosure (PE) and open access controls (C). Seedlings/saplings 30–100 cm tall were marked and identified within each of these plots and re-censused three times to record survival and recruitment. In the periods 2010–2011 and 2011–2013, survival was greater in PE than in C plots and recruitment was higher in TE plots than in C plots. Overall, seedling density increased by 61% in TE plots and 23% in PE plots, whereas it decreased by 5% in C plots. Common species highly consumed by mammals (e.g. Brosimum alicastrum and Ampelocera hottlei) increased in their abundance in TE plots. Rarefaction curves showed that species diversity decreased in TE plots from 2008 to 2013, whereas it remained similar for C plots. Given the prevalence of tropical defaunation, we posit this is an anthropogenic effect threatening the maintenance of tropical forest diversity. PMID:25540281

  5. Experimental defaunation of terrestrial mammalian herbivores alters tropical rainforest understorey diversity.

    PubMed

    Camargo-Sanabria, Angela A; Mendoza, Eduardo; Guevara, Roger; Martínez-Ramos, Miguel; Dirzo, Rodolfo

    2015-02-07

    It has been suggested that tropical defaunation may unleash community-wide cascading effects, leading to reductions in plant diversity. However, experimental evidence establishing cause-effect relationships thereof is poor. Through a 5 year exclosure experiment, we tested the hypothesis that mammalian defaunation affects tree seedling/sapling community dynamics leading to reductions in understorey plant diversity. We established plot triplets (n = 25) representing three defaunation contexts: terrestrial-mammal exclosure (TE), medium/large mammal exclosure (PE) and open access controls (C). Seedlings/saplings 30-100 cm tall were marked and identified within each of these plots and re-censused three times to record survival and recruitment. In the periods 2010-2011 and 2011-2013, survival was greater in PE than in C plots and recruitment was higher in TE plots than in C plots. Overall, seedling density increased by 61% in TE plots and 23% in PE plots, whereas it decreased by 5% in C plots. Common species highly consumed by mammals (e.g. Brosimum alicastrum and Ampelocera hottlei) increased in their abundance in TE plots. Rarefaction curves showed that species diversity decreased in TE plots from 2008 to 2013, whereas it remained similar for C plots. Given the prevalence of tropical defaunation, we posit this is an anthropogenic effect threatening the maintenance of tropical forest diversity.

  6. Climate-change impacts on understorey bamboo species and giant pandas in China's Qinling Mountains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tuanmu, Mao-Ning; Viña, Andrés; Winkler, Julie A.; Li, Yu; Xu, Weihua; Ouyang, Zhiyun; Liu, Jianguo

    2013-03-01

    Climate change is threatening global ecosystems through its impact on the survival of individual species and their ecological functions. Despite the important role of understorey plants in forest ecosystems, climate impact assessments on understorey plants and their role in supporting wildlife habitat are scarce in the literature. Here we assess climate-change impacts on understorey bamboo species with an emphasis on their ecological function as a food resource for endangered giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca). An ensemble of bamboo distribution projections associated with multiple climate-change projections and bamboo dispersal scenarios indicates a substantial reduction in the distributional ranges of three dominant bamboo species in the Qinling Mountains, China during the twenty-first century. As these three species comprise almost the entire diet of the panda population in the region, the projected changes in bamboo distribution suggest a potential shortage of food for this population, unless alternative food sources become available. Although the projections were developed under unavoidable simplifying assumptions and uncertainties, they indicate potential challenges for panda conservation and underscore the importance of incorporating interspecific interactions into climate-change impact assessments and associated conservation planning.

  7. Parallel evolutionary paths to mycoheterotrophy in understorey Ericaceae and Orchidaceae: ecological evidence for mixotrophy in Pyroleae.

    PubMed

    Tedersoo, Leho; Pellet, Prune; Kõljalg, Urmas; Selosse, Marc-André

    2007-03-01

    Several forest understorey achlorophyllous plants, termed mycoheterotrophs (MHs), obtain C from their mycorrhizal fungi. The latter in turn form ectomycorrhizas with trees, the ultimate C source of the entire system. A similar nutritional strategy occurs in some green forest orchids, phylogenetically close to MH species, that gain their C via a combination of MH and photosynthesis (mixotrophy). In orchid evolution, mixotrophy evolved in shaded habitats and preceded MH nutrition. By generalizing and applying this to Ericaceae, we hypothesized that green forest species phylogenetically close to MHs are mixotrophic. Using stable C isotope analysis with fungi, autotrophic, mixotrophic and MH plants as comparisons, we found the first quantitative evidence for substantial fungi-mediated mixotrophy in the Pyroleae, common ericaceous shrubs from boreal forests close to the MH Monotropoideae. Orthilia secunda, Pyrola chlorantha, Pyrola rotundifolia and Chimaphila umbellata acquired between 10.3 and 67.5% of their C from fungi. High N and 15N contents also suggest that Pyroleae nutrition partly rely on fungi. Examination of root fungal internal transcribed spacer sequences at one site revealed that 39 species of mostly endophytic or ectomycorrhizal fungi, including abundant Tricholoma spp., were associated with O. secunda, P. chlorantha and C. umbellata. These fungi, particularly ectomycorrhizal associates, could thus link mixotrophic Pyroleae spp. to surrounding trees, allowing the C flows deduced from isotopic evidence. These data suggest that we need to reconsider ecological roles of understorey plants, which could influence the dynamics and composition of forest communities.

  8. Comparing Pixel and Object-Based Approaches to Map an Understorey Invasive Shrub in Tropical Mixed Forests

    PubMed Central

    Niphadkar, Madhura; Nagendra, Harini; Tarantino, Cristina; Adamo, Maria; Blonda, Palma

    2017-01-01

    The establishment of invasive alien species in varied habitats across the world is now recognized as a genuine threat to the preservation of biodiversity. Specifically, plant invasions in understory tropical forests are detrimental to the persistence of healthy ecosystems. Monitoring such invasions using Very High Resolution (VHR) satellite remote sensing has been shown to be valuable in designing management interventions for conservation of native habitats. Object-based classification methods are very helpful in identifying invasive plants in various habitats, by their inherent nature of imitating the ability of the human brain in pattern recognition. However, these methods have not been tested adequately in dense tropical mixed forests where invasion occurs in the understorey. This study compares a pixel-based and object-based classification method for mapping the understorey invasive shrub Lantana camara (Lantana) in a tropical mixed forest habitat in the Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot in India. Overall, a hierarchical approach of mapping top canopy at first, and then further processing for the understorey shrub, using measures such as texture and vegetation indices proved effective in separating out Lantana from other cover types. In the first method, we implement a simple parametric supervised classification for mapping cover types, and then process within these types for Lantana delineation. In the second method, we use an object-based segmentation algorithm to map cover types, and then perform further processing for separating Lantana. The improved ability of the object-based approach to delineate structurally distinct objects with characteristic spectral and spatial characteristics of their own, as well as with reference to their surroundings, allows for much flexibility in identifying invasive understorey shrubs among the complex vegetation of the tropical forest than that provided by the parametric classifier. Conservation practices in tropical mixed

  9. Comparing Pixel and Object-Based Approaches to Map an Understorey Invasive Shrub in Tropical Mixed Forests.

    PubMed

    Niphadkar, Madhura; Nagendra, Harini; Tarantino, Cristina; Adamo, Maria; Blonda, Palma

    2017-01-01

    The establishment of invasive alien species in varied habitats across the world is now recognized as a genuine threat to the preservation of biodiversity. Specifically, plant invasions in understory tropical forests are detrimental to the persistence of healthy ecosystems. Monitoring such invasions using Very High Resolution (VHR) satellite remote sensing has been shown to be valuable in designing management interventions for conservation of native habitats. Object-based classification methods are very helpful in identifying invasive plants in various habitats, by their inherent nature of imitating the ability of the human brain in pattern recognition. However, these methods have not been tested adequately in dense tropical mixed forests where invasion occurs in the understorey. This study compares a pixel-based and object-based classification method for mapping the understorey invasive shrub Lantana camara (Lantana) in a tropical mixed forest habitat in the Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot in India. Overall, a hierarchical approach of mapping top canopy at first, and then further processing for the understorey shrub, using measures such as texture and vegetation indices proved effective in separating out Lantana from other cover types. In the first method, we implement a simple parametric supervised classification for mapping cover types, and then process within these types for Lantana delineation. In the second method, we use an object-based segmentation algorithm to map cover types, and then perform further processing for separating Lantana. The improved ability of the object-based approach to delineate structurally distinct objects with characteristic spectral and spatial characteristics of their own, as well as with reference to their surroundings, allows for much flexibility in identifying invasive understorey shrubs among the complex vegetation of the tropical forest than that provided by the parametric classifier. Conservation practices in tropical mixed

  10. Contribution of understorey vegetation and soil processes to boreal forest isoprenoid exchange

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mäki, Mari; Heinonsalo, Jussi; Hellén, Heidi; Bäck, Jaana

    2017-03-01

    Boreal forest floor emits biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) from the understorey vegetation and the heterogeneous soil matrix, where the interactions of soil organisms and soil chemistry are complex. Earlier studies have focused on determining the net exchange of VOCs from the forest floor. This study goes one step further, with the aim of separately determining whether the photosynthesized carbon allocation to soil affects the isoprenoid production by different soil organisms, i.e., decomposers, mycorrhizal fungi, and roots. In each treatment, photosynthesized carbon allocation through roots for decomposers and mycorrhizal fungi was controlled by either preventing root ingrowth (50 µm mesh size) or the ingrowth of roots and fungi (1 µm mesh) into the soil volume, which is called the trenching approach. Isoprenoid fluxes were measured using dynamic (steady-state flow-through) chambers from the different treatments. This study aimed to analyze how important the understorey vegetation is as a VOC sink. Finally, a statistical model was constructed based on prevailing temperature, seasonality, trenching treatments, understory vegetation cover, above canopy photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), soil water content, and soil temperature to estimate isoprenoid fluxes. The final model included parameters with a statistically significant effect on the isoprenoid fluxes. The results show that the boreal forest floor emits monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, and isoprene. Monoterpenes were the most common group of emitted isoprenoids, and the average flux from the non-trenched forest floor was 23 µg m-2 h-1. The results also show that different biological factors, including litterfall, carbon availability, biological activity in the soil, and physico-chemical processes, such as volatilization and absorption to the surfaces, are important at various times of the year. This study also discovered that understorey vegetation is a strong sink of monoterpenes. The

  11. Species-specific adaptations explain resilience of herbaceous understorey to increased precipitation variability in a Mediterranean oak woodland.

    PubMed

    Jongen, Marjan; Hellmann, Christine; Unger, Stephan

    2015-10-01

    To date, the implications of the predicted greater intra-annual variability and extremes in precipitation on ecosystem functioning have received little attention. This study presents results on leaf-level physiological responses of five species covering the functional groups grasses, forbs, and legumes in the understorey of a Mediterranean oak woodland, with increasing precipitation variability, without altering total annual precipitation inputs. Although extending the dry period between precipitation events from 3 to 6 weeks led to increased soil moisture deficit, overall treatment effects on photosynthetic performance were not observed in the studied species. This resilience to prolonged water stress was explained by different physiological and morphological strategies to withstand periods below the wilting point, that is, isohydric behavior in Agrostis, Rumex, and Tuberaria, leaf succulence in Rumex, and taproots in Tolpis. In addition, quick recovery upon irrigation events and species-specific adaptations of water-use efficiency with longer dry periods and larger precipitation events contributed to the observed resilience in productivity of the annual plant community. Although none of the species exhibited a change in cover with increasing precipitation variability, leaf physiology of the legume Ornithopus exhibited signs of sensitivity to moisture deficit, which may have implications for the agricultural practice of seeding legume-rich mixtures in Mediterranean grassland-type systems. This highlights the need for long-term precipitation manipulation experiments to capture possible directional changes in species composition and seed bank development, which can subsequently affect ecosystem state and functioning.

  12. Disturbance affects short-term facilitation, but not long-term saturation, of exotic plant invasion in New Zealand forest

    PubMed Central

    Spence, Laura A.; Ross, Joshua V.; Wiser, Susan K.; Allen, Robert B.; Coomes, David A.

    2011-01-01

    We investigate the spread of an exotic herb, Hieracium lepidulum, into a New Zealand Nothofagus forest with the aim of understanding how stand-development of tree populations, propagule pressure and invader persistence, affect invasion across the landscape and within communities. Using data repeatedly collected over 35 years, from 250 locations, we parametrize continuous-time Markov chain models and use these models to examine future projections of the invasion under a range of hypothetical scenarios. We found that the probability of invasion into a stand was relatively high following canopy disturbance and that local abundance of Hieracium was promoted by minor disturbances. However, model predictions extrapolated 45 years into the future show that neither the rate of landscape-level invasion, nor local population growth of Hieracium, was affected much by changing the frequency of canopy disturbance events. Instead, invasion levels were strongly affected by the ability of Hieracium to persist in the understorey following forest canopy closure, and by propagule supply from streams, forest edges and plants already established within the stand. Our results show that disturbance frequency has surprisingly little influence on the long-term trajectory of invasion, while invader persistence strongly determines invasion patterns. PMID:20980298

  13. Ecophysiological roles of abaxial anthocyanins in a perennial understorey herb from temperate deciduous forests.

    PubMed

    Fernández-Marín, Beatriz; Esteban, Raquel; Míguez, Fátima; Artetxe, Unai; Castañeda, Verónica; Pintó-Marijuan, Marta; Becerril, José María; García-Plazaola, José Ignacio

    2015-04-28

    Accumulation of abaxial anthocyanins is an intriguing leaf trait particularly common among deeply shaded understorey plants of tropical and temperate forests whose ecological significance is still not properly understood. To shed light on it, possible ecophysiological roles of abaxial anthocyanins were tested in the perennial understorey herb of temperate deciduous forests Saxifraga hirsuta, chosen as a model species due to the coexistence of green and anthocyanic leaves and the presence of an easily removable lower anthocyanic epidermis. Anthocyanins accumulated during autumn, which temporally matched the overstorey leaf fall. Patterns of development of abaxial anthocyanins and direct measurements of photochemical efficiency under monochromatic light were not consistent with a photoprotective hypothesis. Enhancement of light capture also seemed unlikely since the back-scattering of red light towards the lower mesophyll was negligible. Seed germination was similar under acyanic and anthocyanic leaves. A relevant consequence of abaxial anthocyanins was the dramatic reduction of light transmission through the leaf. The dark environment generated underneath the Saxifraga canopy was enhanced by the horizontal repositioning of leaves, which occurs in parallel with reddening. This might play a role in biotic interactions by inhibiting vital processes of competitors, which may be of especial importance in spring before the overstorey leaves sprout.

  14. Ecophysiological roles of abaxial anthocyanins in a perennial understorey herb from temperate deciduous forests

    PubMed Central

    Fernández-Marín, Beatriz; Esteban, Raquel; Míguez, Fátima; Artetxe, Unai; Castañeda, Verónica; Pintó-Marijuan, Marta; Becerril, José María; García-Plazaola, José Ignacio

    2015-01-01

    Accumulation of abaxial anthocyanins is an intriguing leaf trait particularly common among deeply shaded understorey plants of tropical and temperate forests whose ecological significance is still not properly understood. To shed light on it, possible ecophysiological roles of abaxial anthocyanins were tested in the perennial understorey herb of temperate deciduous forests Saxifraga hirsuta, chosen as a model species due to the coexistence of green and anthocyanic leaves and the presence of an easily removable lower anthocyanic epidermis. Anthocyanins accumulated during autumn, which temporally matched the overstorey leaf fall. Patterns of development of abaxial anthocyanins and direct measurements of photochemical efficiency under monochromatic light were not consistent with a photoprotective hypothesis. Enhancement of light capture also seemed unlikely since the back-scattering of red light towards the lower mesophyll was negligible. Seed germination was similar under acyanic and anthocyanic leaves. A relevant consequence of abaxial anthocyanins was the dramatic reduction of light transmission through the leaf. The dark environment generated underneath the Saxifraga canopy was enhanced by the horizontal repositioning of leaves, which occurs in parallel with reddening. This might play a role in biotic interactions by inhibiting vital processes of competitors, which may be of especial importance in spring before the overstorey leaves sprout. PMID:25922298

  15. Primary forest dynamics in lowland dipterocarp forest at Danum Valley, Sabah, Malaysia, and the role of the understorey.

    PubMed

    Newbery, D M; Kennedy, D N; Petol, G H; Madani, L; Ridsdale, C E

    1999-11-29

    Changes in species composition in two 4-ha plots of lowland dipterocarp rainforest at Danum, Sabah, were measured over ten years (1986-1996) for trees > or = 10 cm girth at breast height (gbh). Each included a lower-slope to ridge gradient. The period lay between two drought events of moderate intensity but the forest showed no large lasting responses, suggesting that its species were well adapted to this regime. Mortality and recruitment rates were not unusual in global or regional comparisons. The forest continued to aggrade from its relatively (for Sabah) low basal area in 1986 and, together with the very open upper canopy structure and an abundance of lianas, this suggests a forest in a late stage of recovery from a major disturbance, yet one continually affected by smaller recent setbacks. Mortality and recruitment rates were not related to population size in 1986, but across subplots recruitment was positively correlated with the density and basal area of small trees (10-< 50cm gbh) forming the dense understorey. Neither rate was related to topography. While species with larger mean gbh had greater relative growth rates (rgr) than smaller ones, subplot mean recruitment rates were correlated with rgr among small trees. Separating understorey species (typically the Euphorbiaceae) from the overstorey (Dipterocarpaceae) showed marked differences in change in mortality with increasing gbh: in the former it increased, in the latter it decreased. Forest processes are centred on this understorey quasi-stratum. The two replicate plots showed a high correspondence in the mortality, recruitment, population changes and growth rates of small trees for the 49 most abundant species in common to both. Overstorey species had higher rgrs than understorey ones, but both showed considerable ranges in mortality and recruitment rates. The supposed trade-off in traits, viz slower rgr, shade tolerance and lower population turnover in the understorey group versus faster potential

  16. Primary forest dynamics in lowland dipterocarp forest at Danum Valley, Sabah, Malaysia, and the role of the understorey.

    PubMed Central

    Newbery, D M; Kennedy, D N; Petol, G H; Madani, L; Ridsdale, C E

    1999-01-01

    Changes in species composition in two 4-ha plots of lowland dipterocarp rainforest at Danum, Sabah, were measured over ten years (1986-1996) for trees > or = 10 cm girth at breast height (gbh). Each included a lower-slope to ridge gradient. The period lay between two drought events of moderate intensity but the forest showed no large lasting responses, suggesting that its species were well adapted to this regime. Mortality and recruitment rates were not unusual in global or regional comparisons. The forest continued to aggrade from its relatively (for Sabah) low basal area in 1986 and, together with the very open upper canopy structure and an abundance of lianas, this suggests a forest in a late stage of recovery from a major disturbance, yet one continually affected by smaller recent setbacks. Mortality and recruitment rates were not related to population size in 1986, but across subplots recruitment was positively correlated with the density and basal area of small trees (10-< 50cm gbh) forming the dense understorey. Neither rate was related to topography. While species with larger mean gbh had greater relative growth rates (rgr) than smaller ones, subplot mean recruitment rates were correlated with rgr among small trees. Separating understorey species (typically the Euphorbiaceae) from the overstorey (Dipterocarpaceae) showed marked differences in change in mortality with increasing gbh: in the former it increased, in the latter it decreased. Forest processes are centred on this understorey quasi-stratum. The two replicate plots showed a high correspondence in the mortality, recruitment, population changes and growth rates of small trees for the 49 most abundant species in common to both. Overstorey species had higher rgrs than understorey ones, but both showed considerable ranges in mortality and recruitment rates. The supposed trade-off in traits, viz slower rgr, shade tolerance and lower population turnover in the understorey group versus faster potential

  17. Precipitation affects plant communication and defense.

    PubMed

    Pezzola, Enrico; Mancuso, Stefano; Karban, Richard

    2017-06-01

    Anti-herbivore defense shows high levels of both inter- and intraspecific variability. Defending against herbivores may be costly to the plant when it requires a tradeoff in allocation between defense and other missed opportunities, such as reproduction. Indeed, the plastic expression of defensive traits allows the plant to invest resources in defense only when the risk of being damaged actually increases, avoiding wasted resources. Plants may assess risk by responding to volatile cues emitted by neighbors that are under attack. Most plastic responses likely depend on environmental conditions. In this experiment, we investigated the effect of water availability on resistance induced by volatile cues in sagebrush. We found that plants receiving additional water over summer and/or volatile cues from neighbor donor plants showed reduced herbivore damage compared to control plants. Interestingly, we found no evidence of interactions between additional water and volatile cues. We performed an inferential analysis comparing historical records of the levels of herbivore damage during different years that had different temperature and precipitation accumulations. Results confirmed findings from the experiment, as the regression model indicated that sagebrush was better defended during wetter and hotter seasons. Reports from the literature indicated that sagebrush is extremely sensitive to water availability in the soil. We suggest that water availability may directly affect resistance of herbivory as well as sensitivity to cues of damage. Costs and benefits of allocating resources to defensive traits may vary with environmental conditions. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  18. Compositional stability of boreal understorey vegetation after overstorey harvesting across a riparian ecotone

    Treesearch

    Rebecca L. MacDonald; Han Y.H. Chen; Samuel F. Bartels; Brian J. Palik; Ellie E. Prepas; Frank Gilliam

    2015-01-01

    Questions: Understanding factors that contribute to the stability of an ecosystem following harvesting is central to predicting responses of boreal ecosystems to increasing human disturbances.While the response of understorey vegetation to harvesting is well understood for upland sites, little is known about compositional stability of riparian understorey vegetation....

  19. Sensitivity of understorey bird species in two different successional stages of the lowland Atlantic Forest, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Loures-Ribeiro, Alan; Manhães, Marco A; Dias, Manoel M

    2011-09-01

    The Atlantic Forest has a high destruction rate and there is little information available on some aspects of the neotropical bird biology. Changes in environment are important factors that affect the resources available to birds. We compared the species sensitivity level of understorey birds in two areas in distinct successional stages (primary and secondary sections). Two 100 ha plots of lowland Atlantic Forest were analysed between August and December 2006. Among 25 bird species recorded, thirteen had lower abundance in secondary forest, two in primary forest, and ten had not clear tendency. According to the criteria used, the percentages for species with low, and medium and high sensitivity to habitat change were 44% and 56%, respectively. The number of species was not associated with the endemism level or foraging strata. Results show the importance of knowing bird species' sensitivity level with regard to habitat modification, and not only forest fragmentation.

  20. Comparative dynamics of small mammal populations in treefall gaps and surrounding understorey within Amazonian rainforest

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beck, H.; Gaines, M.S.; Hines, J.E.; Nichols, J.D.

    2004-01-01

    Variation in food resource availability can have profound effects on habitat selection and dynamics of populations. Previous studies reported higher food resource availability and fruit removal in treefall gaps than in the understorey. Therefore, gaps have been considered 'keystone habitat' for Neotropical frugivore birds. Here we test if this prediction would also hold for terrestrial small mammals. In the Amazon, we quantified food resource availability in eleven treefall gaps and paired understorey habitats and used feeding experiments to test if two common terrestrial rodents (Oryzomys megacephalus and Proechimys spp.) would perceive differences between habitats. We live-trapped small mammals in eleven gaps and understorey sites for two years, and compared abundance, fitness components (survival and per capita recruitment) and dispersal of these two rodent species across gaps and understorey and seasons (rainy and dry). Our data indicated no differences in resource availability and consumption rate between habitats. Treefall gaps may represent a sink habitat for Oryzomys where individuals had lower fitness, apparently because of habitat-specific ant predation on early life stages, than in the understorey, the source habitat. Conversely, gaps may be source habitat for Proechimys where individuals had higher fitness, than in the understorey, the sink habitat. Our results suggest the presence of source-sink dynamics in a tropical gap-understorey landscape, where two rodent species perceive habitats differently. This may be a mechanism for their coexistence in a heterogeneous and species-diverse system.

  1. Patterns of association between canopy-morphology and understorey assemblages across temperate Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fowler-Walker, Meegan J.; Gillanders, Bronwyn M.; Connell, Sean D.; Irving, Andrew D.

    2005-04-01

    Patterns of association between canopy and understorey vegetation have been described over 1000s of km according to the presence and absence of algal canopies and the different types of canopies. However, the degree to which morphological variation of the canopy is correlated with patterns in the understorey algal assemblage is unknown. We tested the hypothesis that variation in the morphology of Ecklonia radiata, growing in monospecific canopies, is associated with variation in the structure of understorey assemblages at regional scales across temperate Australia. We found that the morphology of kelp did correlate with the structure of understorey assemblages, over broad spatial scales, particularly that of surface area/volume ratio and measures of stipe width. These canopy-understorey associations revealed two 'types' of kelp forest; one characteristic of Western and South Australia and the other of Eastern Australia. We suggest that future research on causal relationships between morphology and understorey assemblages of algae consider the potential importance that morphology may have on mechanisms such as light penetration and physical abrasion by fronds. Whilst correlations between the understorey and morphology do not demonstrate causality, the realisation that these associations occur over broad spatial scales and that southern and eastern Australia differ in their 'type' of kelp forest, at the very least, contributes to a more broadly based understanding of a major ecological pattern across the world's most extensive west-east coastline.

  2. Double-planting can affect gains from weed control treatments

    Treesearch

    David B. South

    2010-01-01

    Double-planting is the practice of planting two seedlings at every planting spot. When both seedlings survive, then either the less vigorous seedling is removed or each seedling is given an equal chance of being removed. Some researchers double-plant so that tree growth among experimental plots is not affected by initial differences in stocking. However, double-...

  3. Between-Population Outbreeding Affects Plant Defence

    PubMed Central

    Leimu, Roosa; Fischer, Markus

    2010-01-01

    Between-population crosses may replenish genetic variation of populations, but may also result in outbreeding depression. Apart from direct effects on plant fitness, these outbreeding effects can also alter plant-herbivore interactions by influencing plant tolerance and resistance to herbivory. We investigated effects of experimental within- and between-population outbreeding on herbivore resistance, tolerance and plant fitness using plants from 13 to 19 Lychnis flos-cuculi populations. We found no evidence for outbreeding depression in resistance reflected by the amount of leaf area consumed. However, herbivore performance was greater when fed on plants from between-population compared to within-population crosses. This can reflect outbreeding depression in resistance and/or outbreeding effects on plant quality for the herbivores. The effects of type of cross on the relationship between herbivore damage and plant fitness varied among populations. This demonstrates how between-population outbreeding effects on tolerance range from outbreeding depression to outbreeding benefits among plant populations. Finally, herbivore damage strengthened the observed outbreeding effects on plant fitness in several populations. These results raise novel considerations on the impact of outbreeding on the joint evolution of resistance and tolerance, and on the evolution of multiple defence strategies. PMID:20838662

  4. Kin recognition affects plant communication and defence

    PubMed Central

    Karban, Richard; Shiojiri, Kaori; Ishizaki, Satomi; Wetzel, William C.; Evans, Richard Y.

    2013-01-01

    The ability of many animals to recognize kin has allowed them to evolve diverse cooperative behaviours; such ability is less well studied for plants. Many plants, including Artemisia tridentata, have been found to respond to volatile cues emitted by experimentally wounded neighbours to increase levels of resistance to herbivory. We report that this communication was more effective among A. tridentata plants that were more closely related based on microsatellite markers. Plants in the field that received cues from experimentally clipped close relatives experienced less leaf herbivory over the growing season than those that received cues from clipped neighbours that were more distantly related. These results indicate that plants can respond differently to cues from kin, making it less likely that emitters will aid strangers and making it more likely that receivers will respond to cues from relatives. More effective defence adds to a growing list of favourable consequences of kin recognition for plants. PMID:23407838

  5. Kin recognition affects plant communication and defence.

    PubMed

    Karban, Richard; Shiojiri, Kaori; Ishizaki, Satomi; Wetzel, William C; Evans, Richard Y

    2013-04-07

    The ability of many animals to recognize kin has allowed them to evolve diverse cooperative behaviours; such ability is less well studied for plants. Many plants, including Artemisia tridentata, have been found to respond to volatile cues emitted by experimentally wounded neighbours to increase levels of resistance to herbivory. We report that this communication was more effective among A. tridentata plants that were more closely related based on microsatellite markers. Plants in the field that received cues from experimentally clipped close relatives experienced less leaf herbivory over the growing season than those that received cues from clipped neighbours that were more distantly related. These results indicate that plants can respond differently to cues from kin, making it less likely that emitters will aid strangers and making it more likely that receivers will respond to cues from relatives. More effective defence adds to a growing list of favourable consequences of kin recognition for plants.

  6. Methods of affecting nitrogen assimilation in plants

    SciTech Connect

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

    2016-10-11

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

  7. Plant Hormones: How They Affect Root Formation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reinhard, Diana Hereda

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

  8. Comparative study of understorey birds diversity inhabiting lowland rainforest virgin jungle reserve and regenerated forest.

    PubMed

    Nor Hashim, Ezyan; Ramli, Rosli

    2013-01-01

    A comparative study of understorey birds inhabiting different habitats, that is, virgin jungle reserve (VJR) and regenerated forest (RF), was conducted in Ulu Gombak Forest Reserve and Selangor and Triang Forest Reserve, Negeri Sembilan, Peninsular Malaysia. The objective of this study was to assess the diversity of understorey birds in both habitats and the effects of forest regeneration on the understorey bird community. The mist-netting method was used to capture understorey birds inhabiting both habitats in both locations. Species composition and feeding guild indicated that understorey bird populations were similar in the two habitats. However, the number of secondary forest species such as Little spiderhunter (Arachnothera longirostra) in VJR is increasing due to its proximity to RF. This study discovered that RFs in both study areas are not yet fully recovered. However, based on the range of species discovered, the RFs have conservation value and should be maintained because they harbour important forest species such as babblers and flycatchers. The assessment of the community structure of understorey birds in VJR and RF is important for forest management and conservation, especially where both habitats are intact.

  9. Comparative Study of Understorey Birds Diversity Inhabiting Lowland Rainforest Virgin Jungle Reserve and Regenerated Forest

    PubMed Central

    Nor Hashim, Ezyan; Ramli, Rosli

    2013-01-01

    A comparative study of understorey birds inhabiting different habitats, that is, virgin jungle reserve (VJR) and regenerated forest (RF), was conducted in Ulu Gombak Forest Reserve and Selangor and Triang Forest Reserve, Negeri Sembilan, Peninsular Malaysia. The objective of this study was to assess the diversity of understorey birds in both habitats and the effects of forest regeneration on the understorey bird community. The mist-netting method was used to capture understorey birds inhabiting both habitats in both locations. Species composition and feeding guild indicated that understorey bird populations were similar in the two habitats. However, the number of secondary forest species such as Little spiderhunter (Arachnothera longirostra) in VJR is increasing due to its proximity to RF. This study discovered that RFs in both study areas are not yet fully recovered. However, based on the range of species discovered, the RFs have conservation value and should be maintained because they harbour important forest species such as babblers and flycatchers. The assessment of the community structure of understorey birds in VJR and RF is important for forest management and conservation, especially where both habitats are intact. PMID:24453888

  10. Silica nanoparticles aid in structural leaf coloration in the Malaysian tropical rainforest understorey herb Mapania caudata

    PubMed Central

    Strout, Greg; Russell, Scott D.; Pulsifer, Drew P.; Erten, Sema; Lakhtakia, Akhlesh; Lee, David W.

    2013-01-01

    Background and Aims Blue-green iridescence in the tropical rainforest understorey sedge Mapania caudata creates structural coloration in its leaves through a novel photonic mechanism. Known structures in plants producing iridescent blues consist of altered cellulose layering within cell walls and in special bodies, and thylakoid membranes in specialized plastids. This study was undertaken in order to determine the origin of leaf iridescence in this plant with particular attention to nano-scale components contributing to this coloration. Methods Adaxial walls of leaf epidermal cells were characterized using high-pressure-frozen freeze-substituted specimens, which retain their native dimensions during observations using transmission and scanning microscopy, accompanied by energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy to identify the role of biogenic silica in wall-based iridescence. Biogenic silica was experimentally removed using aqueous Na2CO3 and optical properties were compared using spectral reflectance. Key Results and Conclusions Blue iridescence is produced in the adaxial epidermal cell wall, which contains helicoid lamellae. The blue iridescence from cell surfaces is left-circularly polarized. The position of the silica granules is entrained by the helicoid microfibrillar layers, and granules accumulate at a uniform position within the helicoids, contributing to the structure that produces the blue iridescence, as part of the unit cell responsible for 2 ° Bragg scatter. Removal of silica from the walls eliminated the blue colour. Addition of silica nanoparticles on existing cellulosic lamellae is a novel mechanism for adding structural colour in organisms. PMID:23960046

  11. Osmolyte cooperation affects turgor dynamics in plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  12. Osmolyte cooperation affects turgor dynamics in plants

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Invasive knotweed affects native plants through allelopathy.

    PubMed

    Murrell, Craig; Gerber, Esther; Krebs, Christine; Parepa, Madalin; Schaffner, Urs; Bossdorf, Oliver

    2011-01-01

    There is increasing evidence that many plant invaders interfere with native plants through allelopathy. This allelopathic interference may be a key mechanism of plant invasiveness. One of the most aggressive current plant invaders is the clonal knotweed hybrid Fallopia × bohemica, which often forms monocultures in its introduced range. Preliminary results from laboratory studies suggest that allelopathy could play a role in this invasion. We grew experimental communities of European plants together with F. × bohemica. We used activated carbon to test for allelopathic effects, and we combined this with single or repeated removal of Fallopia shoots to examine how mechanical control can reduce the species' impact. Addition of activated carbon to the soil significantly reduced the suppressive effect of undamaged F. × bohemica on native forbs. The magnitude of this effect was similar to that of regular cutting of Fallopia shoots. Regular cutting of Fallopia shoots efficiently inhibited the growth of rhizomes, together with their apparent allelopathic effects. The ecological impact of F. × bohemica on native forbs is not just a result of competition for shared resources, but it also appears to have a large allelopathic component. Still, regular mechnical control successfully eliminated allelopathic effects. Therefore, allelopathy will create an additional challenge to knotweed management and ecological restoration only if the allelochemicals are found to persist in the soil. More research is needed to examine the mechanisms underlying Fallopia allelopathy, and the long-term effects of soil residues.

  14. Agroforestry planting design affects loblolly pine growth

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The effect of plantation design on resource utilization has not been adequately investigated in agroforestry plantations. An experiment was conducted near Booneville, AR on a silt loam soil with a fragipan. Loblolly pine trees were planted in 1994 in an east-west row orientation in three designs: ...

  15. Agroforestry planting design affects loblolly pine growth

    Treesearch

    D.M. Burner

    2013-01-01

    The effect of plantation design on resource utilization has not been adequately investigated in agroforestry plantations. An experiment was conducted near Booneville, AR, on a silt loam soil with a fragipan. Loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) trees were planted in 1994 in three designs: two rows (1.2 by 2.4 m) with a 7.3-m alley, four rows (1.2 by 2.4 m...

  16. Do transgenic plants affect rhizobacteria populations?

    PubMed Central

    Filion, Martin

    2008-01-01

    Summary Plant genetic manipulation has led to the development of genetically modified plants (GMPs) expressing various traits. Since their first commercial use in 1996, GMPs have been increasingly used, reaching a global cultivating production area of 114.3 million hectares in 2007. The rapid development of agricultural biotechnology and release of GMPs have provided many agronomic and economic benefits, but has also raised concerns over the potential impact these plants might have on the environment. Among these environmental concerns, the unintentional impact that GMPs might have on soil‐associated microbes, especially rhizosphere‐inhabiting bacteria or rhizobacteria, represents one of the least studied and understood areas. As rhizobacteria are responsible for numerous key functions including nutrient cycling and decomposition, they have been defined as good indicator organisms to assess the general impact that GMPs might have on the soil environment. This minireview summarizes the results of various experiments that have been conducted to date on the impact of GMPs on rhizobacteria. Both biological and technical parameters are discussed and an attempt is made to determine if specific rhizobacterial responses exist for the different categories of GMPs developed to date. PMID:21261867

  17. Positive density-dependent reproduction regulated by local kinship and size in an understorey tropical tree

    PubMed Central

    Castilla, Antonio R.; Pope, Nathaniel; Jha, Shalene

    2016-01-01

    Background and Aims Global pollinator declines and continued habitat fragmentation highlight the critical need to understand reproduction and gene flow across plant populations. Plant size, conspecific density and local kinship (i.e. neighbourhood genetic relatedness) have been proposed as important mechanisms influencing the reproductive success of flowering plants, but have rarely been simultaneously investigated. Methods We conducted this study on a continuous population of the understorey tree Miconia affinis in the Forest Dynamics Plot on Barro Colorado Island in central Panama. We used spatial, reproductive and population genetic data to investigate the effects of tree size, conspecific neighbourhood density and local kinship on maternal and paternal reproductive success. We used a Bayesian framework to simultaneously model the effects of our explanatory variables on the mean and variance of maternal viable seed set and siring success. Key Results Our results reveal that large trees had lower proportions of viable seeds in their fruits but sired more seeds. We documented differential effects of neighbourhood density and local kinship on both maternal and paternal reproductive components. Trees in more dense neighbourhoods produced on average more viable seeds, although this positive density effect was influenced by variance-inflation with increasing local kinship. Neighbourhood density did not have significant effects on siring success. Conclusions This study is one of the first to reveal an interaction among tree size, conspecific density and local kinship as critical factors differentially influencing maternal and paternal reproductive success. We show that both maternal and paternal reproductive success should be evaluated to determine the population-level and individual traits most essential for plant reproduction. In addition to conserving large trees, we suggest the inclusion of small trees and the conservation of dense patches with low kinship as

  18. Positive density-dependent reproduction regulated by local kinship and size in an understorey tropical tree.

    PubMed

    Castilla, Antonio R; Pope, Nathaniel; Jha, Shalene

    2016-02-01

    Global pollinator declines and continued habitat fragmentation highlight the critical need to understand reproduction and gene flow across plant populations. Plant size, conspecific density and local kinship (i.e. neighbourhood genetic relatedness) have been proposed as important mechanisms influencing the reproductive success of flowering plants, but have rarely been simultaneously investigated. We conducted this study on a continuous population of the understorey tree Miconia affinis in the Forest Dynamics Plot on Barro Colorado Island in central Panama. We used spatial, reproductive and population genetic data to investigate the effects of tree size, conspecific neighbourhood density and local kinship on maternal and paternal reproductive success. We used a Bayesian framework to simultaneously model the effects of our explanatory variables on the mean and variance of maternal viable seed set and siring success. Our results reveal that large trees had lower proportions of viable seeds in their fruits but sired more seeds. We documented differential effects of neighbourhood density and local kinship on both maternal and paternal reproductive components. Trees in more dense neighbourhoods produced on average more viable seeds, although this positive density effect was influenced by variance-inflation with increasing local kinship. Neighbourhood density did not have significant effects on siring success. This study is one of the first to reveal an interaction among tree size, conspecific density and local kinship as critical factors differentially influencing maternal and paternal reproductive success. We show that both maternal and paternal reproductive success should be evaluated to determine the population-level and individual traits most essential for plant reproduction. In addition to conserving large trees, we suggest the inclusion of small trees and the conservation of dense patches with low kinship as potential strategies for strengthening the reproductive

  19. Understorey fire frequency and the fate of burned forests in southern Amazonia

    PubMed Central

    Morton, D. C.; Le Page, Y.; DeFries, R.; Collatz, G. J.; Hurtt, G. C.

    2013-01-01

    Recent drought events underscore the vulnerability of Amazon forests to understorey fires. The long-term impact of fires on biodiversity and forest carbon stocks depends on the frequency of fire damages and deforestation rates of burned forests. Here, we characterized the spatial and temporal dynamics of understorey fires (1999–2010) and deforestation (2001–2010) in southern Amazonia using new satellite-based estimates of annual fire activity (greater than 50 ha) and deforestation (greater than 10 ha). Understorey forest fires burned more than 85 500 km2 between 1999 and 2010 (2.8% of all forests). Forests that burned more than once accounted for 16 per cent of all understorey fires. Repeated fire activity was concentrated in Mato Grosso and eastern Pará, whereas single fires were widespread across the arc of deforestation. Routine fire activity in Mato Grosso coincided with annual periods of low night-time relative humidity, suggesting a strong climate control on both single and repeated fires. Understorey fires occurred in regions with active deforestation, yet the interannual variability of fire and deforestation were uncorrelated, and only 2.6 per cent of forests that burned between 1999 and 2008 were deforested for agricultural use by 2010. Evidence from the past decade suggests that future projections of frontier landscapes in Amazonia should separately consider economic drivers to project future deforestation and climate to project fire risk. PMID:23610169

  20. Understorey fire frequency and the fate of burned forests in southern Amazonia.

    PubMed

    Morton, D C; Le Page, Y; DeFries, R; Collatz, G J; Hurtt, G C

    2013-06-05

    Recent drought events underscore the vulnerability of Amazon forests to understorey fires. The long-term impact of fires on biodiversity and forest carbon stocks depends on the frequency of fire damages and deforestation rates of burned forests. Here, we characterized the spatial and temporal dynamics of understorey fires (1999-2010) and deforestation (2001-2010) in southern Amazonia using new satellite-based estimates of annual fire activity (greater than 50 ha) and deforestation (greater than 10 ha). Understorey forest fires burned more than 85 500 km(2) between 1999 and 2010 (2.8% of all forests). Forests that burned more than once accounted for 16 per cent of all understorey fires. Repeated fire activity was concentrated in Mato Grosso and eastern Pará, whereas single fires were widespread across the arc of deforestation. Routine fire activity in Mato Grosso coincided with annual periods of low night-time relative humidity, suggesting a strong climate control on both single and repeated fires. Understorey fires occurred in regions with active deforestation, yet the interannual variability of fire and deforestation were uncorrelated, and only 2.6 per cent of forests that burned between 1999 and 2008 were deforested for agricultural use by 2010. Evidence from the past decade suggests that future projections of frontier landscapes in Amazonia should separately consider economic drivers to project future deforestation and climate to project fire risk.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-01-01

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

  2. How does climate warming affect plant-pollinator interactions?

    PubMed

    Hegland, Stein Joar; Nielsen, Anders; Lázaro, Amparo; Bjerknes, Anne-Line; Totland, Ørjan

    2009-02-01

    Climate warming affects the phenology, local abundance and large-scale distribution of plants and pollinators. Despite this, there is still limited knowledge of how elevated temperatures affect plant-pollinator mutualisms and how changed availability of mutualistic partners influences the persistence of interacting species. Here we review the evidence of climate warming effects on plants and pollinators and discuss how their interactions may be affected by increased temperatures. The onset of flowering in plants and first appearance dates of pollinators in several cases appear to advance linearly in response to recent temperature increases. Phenological responses to climate warming may therefore occur at parallel magnitudes in plants and pollinators, although considerable variation in responses across species should be expected. Despite the overall similarities in responses, a few studies have shown that climate warming may generate temporal mismatches among the mutualistic partners. Mismatches in pollination interactions are still rarely explored and their demographic consequences are largely unknown. Studies on multi-species plant-pollinator assemblages indicate that the overall structure of pollination networks probably are robust against perturbations caused by climate warming. We suggest potential ways of studying warming-caused mismatches and their consequences for plant-pollinator interactions, and highlight the strengths and limitations of such approaches.

  3. Understorey fire propagation and tree mortality on adjacent areas to an Amazonian deforestation fire

    Treesearch

    J.A. Carvalho; C.A. Gurgel Veras; E.C. Alvarado; D.V. Sandberg; S.J. Leite; R. Gielow; E.R.C. Rabelo; J.C. Santos

    2010-01-01

    Fire characteristics in tropical ecosystems are poorly documented quantitatively in the literature. This paper describes an understorey fire propagating across the edges of a biomass burn of a cleared primary forest. The experiment was carried out in 2001 in the Amazon forest near Alta Floresta, state of Mato Grosso, Brazil, as part of biomass burning experiments...

  4. Avian distribution in treefall gaps and understorey of terra firme forest in the lowland Amazon

    Treesearch

    JR WUNDERLE; MICHAEL R. WILLIG; LUIZA MAGALLI PINTO HENRIQUES

    2005-01-01

    We compared the bird distributions in the understorey of treefall gaps and sites with intact canopy in Amazonian terra firme forest in Brazil. We compiled 2216 mist-net captures (116 species) in 32 gap and 32 forest sites over 22.3 months. Gap habitats differed from forest habitats in having higher capture rates, total captures, species richness and diversity....

  5. The responses of understorey birds to forest fragmentation, logging and wildfires: An Amazonian synthesis

    Treesearch

    J. Barlow; C. A. Peres; L. M. P. Henr¡ques; P. C. Stouffer; J. M. Wunderle

    2006-01-01

    We combine mist-net data from 24 disturbance treatments taken from seven studies on the responses of understorey Amazonian birds to selective logging, single and recurrent wildfires, and habitat fragmentation. The different disturbance treatments had distinct effects on avian guild structure, and fire disturbance and the isolation of forest patches resulted in bird...

  6. Plant toxins that affect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors: a review.

    PubMed

    Green, Benedict T; Welch, Kevin D; Panter, Kip E; Lee, Stephen T

    2013-08-19

    Plants produce a wide variety of chemical compounds termed secondary metabolites that are not involved in basic metabolism, photosynthesis, or reproduction. These compounds are used as flavors, fragrances, insecticides, dyes, hallucinogens, nutritional supplements, poisons, and pharmaceutical agents. However, in some cases these secondary metabolites found in poisonous plants perturb biological systems. Ingestion of toxins from poisonous plants by grazing livestock often results in large economic losses to the livestock industry. The chemical structures of these compounds are diverse and range from simple, low molecular weight toxins such as oxalate in halogeton to the highly complex norditerpene alkaloids in larkspurs. While the negative effects of plant toxins on people and the impact of plant toxins on livestock producers have been widely publicized, the diversity of these toxins and their potential as new pharmaceutical agents for the treatment of diseases in people and animals has also received widespread interest. Scientists are actively screening plants from all regions of the world for bioactivity and potential pharmaceuticals for the treatment or prevention of many diseases. In this review, we focus the discussion to those plant toxins extensively studied at the USDA Poisonous Plant Research Laboratory that affect the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors including species of Delphinium (Larkspurs), Lupinus (Lupines), Conium (poison hemlock), and Nicotiana (tobaccos).

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-03-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2002-10-01

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

  10. Plant acclimation to elevated CO₂ affects important plant functional traits, and concomitantly reduces plant colonization rates by an herbivorous insect.

    PubMed

    Klaiber, Jeannine; Najar-Rodriguez, Adriana J; Piskorski, Rafal; Dorn, Silvia

    2013-01-01

    Plants growing under elevated CO₂ concentration may acclimatize to this environmental change by modification of chemical, physiological, and/or morphological traits. As a consequence, not only plant functioning but also plant-insect interactions might be altered, with important consequences particularly for agricultural systems. Whereas most studies have focused on the plant acclimation effects of elevated CO₂ with regard to crop growth and productivity, acclimation effects on the behavioral response of insects associated with these plants have been largely neglected. In this study, we used a model system comprised of Brussels sprout Brassica oleraceae var. gemmifera and a specialized herbivorous insect, the cabbage aphid Brevicoryne brassicae, to test for the effects of various periods of exposure to an elevated (2× ambient) CO₂ concentration on key plant functional traits and on host plant location behavior by the insect, assessed as plant colonization rates. Elevated CO₂ had no measurable effect on colonization rates or total plant volatile emissions after a 2-week exposure, but it led to 15 and 26 % reductions in plant colonization rates after 6- and 10-week exposures, respectively. This reduction in plant colonization was associated with significant decreases in leaf stomatal conductance and plant volatile emission. Terpene emission, in particular, exhibited a great reduction after the 10-week exposure to elevated CO₂. Our results provide empirical evidence that plants might acclimatize to a future increase in CO₂, and that these acclimation responses might affect host plant choice and colonization behavior by herbivorous insects, which might be advantageous from the plant's perspective.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-01

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

  12. Leaf and plant age affects photosynthetic performance and photoprotective capacity.

    PubMed

    Bielczynski, Ludwik Wiktor; Łącki, Mateusz Krzysztof; Hoefnagels, Iris; Gambin, Anna; Croce, Roberta

    2017-10-10

    In this work, we studied the changes in high light tolerance and photosynthetic activity in leaves of the Arabidopsis thaliana rosette throughout the vegetative stage of growth. We implemented an image analysis workflow to analyze the capacity of both the whole plant and individual leaves to cope with excess excitation energy by following the changes in the absorbed light energy partitioning. The data show that leaf and plant age are both important factors influencing the fate of excitation energy. During the dark-to-light transition, the age of the plant affects mostly steady state levels of photochemical and non-photochemical quenching (NPQ), leading to an increased photosynthetic performance of its leaves. The age of the leaf affects the induction kinetics of NPQ. These observations were confirmed using model selection procedures. We further investigate how different leaves on a rosette acclimate to high light and show that younger leaves are less prone to photoinhibition than older leaves. Our results stress that both plant and leaf age should be taken into consideration during the quantification of photosynthetic and photoprotective traits to produce repeatable and reliable results. {copyright, serif} 2017 American Society of Plant Biologists. All rights reserved.

  13. Nitric oxide affects plant mitochondrial functionality in vivo.

    PubMed

    Zottini, Michela; Formentin, Elide; Scattolin, Michela; Carimi, Francesco; Lo Schiavo, Fiorella; Terzi, Mario

    2002-03-27

    In this report, we show that nitric oxide affects mitochondrial functionality in plant cells and reduces total cell respiration due to strong inhibition of the cytochrome pathway. The residual respiration depends on the alternative pathway and novel synthesis of alternative oxidase occurs. These modifications are associated with depolarisation of the mitochondrial membrane potential and release of cytochrome c from mitochondria, suggesting a conserved signalling pathway in plants and animals. This signal cascade is triggered at the mitochondrial level and induces about 20% of cell death. In order to achieve a higher level of cell death, the addition of H(2)O(2) is necessary.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. ADP1 Affects Plant Architecture by Regulating Local Auxin Biosynthesis

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-01

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

  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. Plantation Spacing Affects Early Growth of Planted Virginia Pine

    Treesearch

    T.E. Russell

    1979-01-01

    Spacings ranging from 4 x 4 to 8 x 8 ft did not affect 15 year height growth of Virginia pines planted on a cutover Cumberland Plateau site. Wider spacings produced trees of larger diameters than did closer spacings; closer spacings had more basal area and volume. Although height to the base of the live crown increased as spacing narrowed, self-pruning was poor at all...

  20. Traits of estuarine marsh plants affect wave dissipation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schulte Ostermann, Tilla; Heuner, Maike; Bouma, Tjeerd

    2017-04-01

    Estuarine vegetation can attenuate hydrodynamic forces such as waves or flow velocities and therefore has an important role in natural tidal bank protection. This function depends on the degree of hydrodynamic forces, bank morphology and on plant traits of the dominant species. The traits vary between the species but also between different marsh sites. Biomass, stem density and biomechanical properties are crucial factors that influence the rate of wave dissipation. These properties illustrate the trade-offs a species is facing in such a dynamic habitat and highlight the ability of dominant species such as Bolboschoenus maritimus and Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani to protect the tidal bank. Along the Elbe estuary, traits of dominant marsh plant species were measured on different sites. The sites vary e.g. in their elevation, salt levels and inundation periods. To analyse the role that plant traits can play in wave dissipation, the structure of the vegetation as well as the composition was recorded. Biomechanical tests helped to understand the species traits regarding stem flexibility and to determine the effects of plant traits on wave dynamics and vice versa. On the conference, we will present how plant traits affect the wave dissipation on tidal marshes and why they vary.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Soil microbes and plant invasions—how soil-borne pathogens regulate plant populations and affect plant invasions

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Exotic plant invaders are a major global threat to biodiversity and ecosystem function. Here I present multiple lines of evidence suggesting that soil microbial communities affect the population growth rates of Prunus serotina in its native range and affect its invasiveness abroad. Research often ...

  5. Optical effects of abaxial anthocyanin on absorption of red wavelengths by understorey species: revisiting the back-scatter hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Hughes, Nicole M; Vogelmann, Thomas C; Smith, William K

    2008-01-01

    A red/purple coloration of lower (abaxial) leaf surfaces is commonly observed in deeply-shaded understorey plants, especially in the tropics. However, the functional significance of red abaxial coloration, including its role in photosynthetic adaptation, remains unclear. The objective of this study was to test the back-scatter hypothesis for abaxial leaf coloration, which posits that red pigments internally reflect/scatter red light transmitted by the upper leaf surface back into the mesophyll, thereby enhancing photon capture in light-limited environments. Abaxially red/non-red variegated leaves of Begonia heracleifolia (Cham. & Schltdl.) were used to compare reflectance spectra and chlorophyll fluorescence profiles of abaxially anthocyanic (red) and acyanic (non-red) tissues under red light. Photosynthetic gas exchange in response to red light was also compared for abaxially red/non-red leaf sections. The results did not support a back-scattering function, as anthocyanic leaf surfaces were not more reflective of red light than acyanic surfaces. Anthocyanic tissues also did not exhibit any increases in the mesophyll absorbance of red light, or increased photosynthetic gas exchange under red light at any intensity, relative to acyanic tissues. These results suggest that abaxial anthocyanins do not significantly enhance the absorption of red light in the species tested, and alternative functions are discussed.

  6. Endozoochorous dispersal of aquatic plants: does seed gut passage affect plant performance?

    PubMed

    Figuerola, Jordi; Santamaría, Luis; Green, Andy J; Luque, Isabel; Alvarez, Raquel; Charalambidou, Iris

    2005-04-01

    The ingestion of seeds by vertebrates can affect the germinability and/or germination rate of seeds. It is, however, unclear if an earlier germination as a result of ingestion affects later plant performance. For sago pondweed, Potamogeton pectinatus, the effects of seed ingestion by ducks on both germinability and germination rate have been previously reported from laboratory experiments. We performed an experiment to determine the effects of seed ingestion by ducks on germination, seedling survival, plant growth and asexual multiplication. Both at the start and end of the winter, seeds were fed to three captive shovelers (Anas clypeata) and planted outdoors in water-filled containers. Plant biomass and its allocation to vegetative parts (shoot and roots), tubers, and seeds were determined in autumn. More duck-ingested seeds than control (uningested) seeds germinated in early winter, but this difference disappeared for seeds planted in late winter, when the treatments were first stratified for 3 mo. None of the variables for measuring seedling survival and plant performance varied between treatments. Under our experimental conditions (no herbivory or competition), ingestion by ducks in early winter resulted in increased performance for seeds surviving gut passage due to enhanced seed germinability, without other costs or benefits for the seedlings.

  7. Plants and insect eggs: how do they affect each other?

    PubMed

    Hilker, Monika; Meiners, Torsten

    2011-09-01

    Plant-insect interactions are not just influenced by interactions between plants and the actively feeding stages, but also by the close relationships between plants and insect eggs. Here, we review both effects of plants on insect eggs and, vice versa, effects of eggs on plants. We consider the influence of plants on the production of insect eggs and address the role of phytochemicals for the biosynthesis and release of insect sex pheromones, as well as for insect fecundity. Effects of plants on insect oviposition by contact and olfactory plant cues are summarised. In addition, we consider how the leaf boundary layer influences both insect egg deposition behaviour and development of the embryo inside the egg. The effects of eggs on plants involve egg-induced changes of photosynthetic activity and of the plant's secondary metabolism. Except for gall-inducing insects, egg-induced changes of phytochemistry were so far found to be detrimental to the eggs. Egg deposition can induce hypersensitive-like plant response, formation of neoplasms or production of ovicidal plant substances; these plant responses directly harm the eggs. In addition, egg deposition can induce a change of the plant's odour and leaf surface chemistry which serve indirect plant defence with the help of antagonists of the insect eggs. These egg-induced changes lead to attraction of egg parasitoids and their arrestance on a leaf, respectively. Finally, we summarise knowledge of the elicitors of egg-induced plant changes and address egg-induced effects on the plant's transcriptional pattern. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Ecophysiological and foliar nitrogen concentration responses of understorey Acacia spp. and Eucalyptus sp. to prescribed burning.

    PubMed

    Ma, Ling; Rao, Xingquan; Lu, Ping; Bai, Shahla Hosseini; Xu, Zhihong; Chen, Xiaoyang; Blumfield, Timothy; Xie, Jun

    2015-07-01

    Eucalyptus spp. is a dominant tree genus in Australia and most Eucalyptus spp. are canopy dominant species. In Australian natural forests, Eucalyptus spp. commonly are associated with understorey legumes which play a crucial role for ecological restoration owing to their nitrogen (N) fixing ability for replenishing the soil N lost after frequent prescribed burning. This study aimed to explore to what extent physiological responses of these species differ 7 and 12 years after last fire. Two most common understorey Acacia spp., Acacia leiocalyx and A. disparrima, as well as one non-leguminous Eucalyptus resinifera, were studied due to their dominance in the forest. Both A. leiocalyx and A. disparrima showed higher carbon (C) assimilation capacity, maximum photosynthetic capacity, and moderate foliar C/N ratio compared with E. resinifera. A. leiocalyx showed various advantages compared to A. disparrima such as higher photosynthetic capacity, adaptation to wider light range and higher foliar total N (TNmass). A. leiocalyx also relied on N2-fixing ability for longer time compared to A. disparrima. The results suggested that the two Acacia spp. were more beneficial to C and N cycles for the post burning ecosystem than the non-N2-fixing species E. resinifera. A. leiocalyx had greater contribution to complementing soil N cycle long after burning compared to A. disparrima.

  9. Chemical and Physical Environmental Conditions Underneath Mat- and Canopy-Forming Macroalgae, and Their Effects on Understorey Corals

    PubMed Central

    Hauri, Claudine; Fabricius, Katharina E.; Schaffelke, Britta; Humphrey, Craig

    2010-01-01

    Disturbed coral reefs are often dominated by dense mat- or canopy-forming assemblages of macroalgae. This study investigated how such dense macroalgal assemblages change the chemical and physical microenvironment for understorey corals, and how the altered environmental conditions affect the physiological performance of corals. Field measurements were conducted on macroalgal-dominated inshore reefs in the Great Barrier Reef in quadrats with macroalgal biomass ranging from 235 to 1029 g DW m−2 dry weight. Underneath mat-forming assemblages, the mean concentration of dissolved oxygen was reduced by 26% and irradiance by 96% compared with conditions above the mat, while concentrations of dissolved organic carbon and soluble reactive phosphorous increased by 26% and 267%, respectively. The difference was significant but less pronounced under canopy-forming assemblages. Dissolved oxygen declined and dissolved inorganic carbon and alkalinity increased with increasing algal biomass underneath mat-forming but not under canopy-forming assemblages. The responses of corals to conditions similar to those found underneath algal assemblages were investigated in an aquarium experiment. Coral nubbins of the species Acropora millepora showed reduced photosynthetic yields and increased RNA/DNA ratios when exposed to conditions simulating those underneath assemblages (pre-incubating seawater with macroalgae, and shading). The magnitude of these stress responses increased with increasing proportion of pre-incubated algal water. Our study shows that mat-forming and, to a lesser extent, canopy-forming macroalgal assemblages alter the physical and chemical microenvironment sufficiently to directly and detrimentally affect the metabolism of corals, potentially impeding reef recovery from algal to coral-dominated states after disturbance. Macroalgal dominance on coral reefs therefore simultaneously represents a consequence and cause of coral reef degradation. PMID:20856882

  10. Parameters affecting plant defense pathway mediated recruitment of entomopathogenic nematodes

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Entomopathogenic nematodes are natural enemies and effective biological control agents of subterranean insect herbivores. Interactions between her bivores, plants, and entomopathogenic nematodes are mediated by plant defense pathways that can induce release of volatiles that recruit entomopathogenic...

  11. 40 CFR 230.75 - Actions affecting plant and animal populations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

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

  12. 40 CFR 230.75 - Actions affecting plant and animal populations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

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

  13. Plant cell division is specifically affected by nitrotyrosine

    PubMed Central

    Jovanović, Aleksandra M.; Durst, Steffen; Nick, Peter

    2010-01-01

    Virtually all eukaryotic α-tubulins harbour a C-terminal tyrosine that can be reversibly removed and religated, catalysed by a specific tubulin–tyrosine carboxypeptidase (TTC) and a specific tubulin–tyrosine ligase (TTL), respectively. The biological function of this post-translational modification has remained enigmatic. 3-nitro-L-tyrosine (nitrotyrosine, NO2Tyr), can be incorporated into detyrosinated α-tubulin instead of tyrosine, producing irreversibly nitrotyrosinated α-tubulin. To gain insight into the possible function of detyrosination, the effect of NO2Tyr has been assessed in two plant model organisms (rice and tobacco). NO2Tyr causes a specific, sensitive, and dose-dependent inhibition of cell division that becomes detectable from 1 h after treatment and which is not observed with non-nitrosylated tyrosine. These effects are most pronounced in cycling tobacco BY-2 cells, where the inhibition of cell division is accompanied by a stimulation of cell length, and a misorientation of cross walls. NO2Tyr reduces the abundance of the detyrosinated form of α-tubulin whereas the tyrosinated α-tubulin is not affected. These findings are discussed with respect to a model where NO2Tyr is accepted as substrate by TTL and subsequently blocks TTC activity. The irreversibly tyrosinated α-tubulin impairs microtubular functions that are relevant to cell division in general, and cell wall deposition in particular. PMID:20018903

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

    Treesearch

    Kyle E Merriam; Jon E. Keeley; Jan L. Beyers

    2006-01-01

    We evaluated the abundance of nonnative plants on fuel breaks and in adjacent untreated areas to determine if fuel treatments promote the invasion of nonnative plant species. Understanding the relationship between fuel treatments and nonnative plants is becoming increasingly important as federal and state agencies are currently implementing large fuel treatment...

  15. Lifting date affects black walnut planting stock quality.

    Treesearch

    W.J. Rietveld; Robert D. Williams

    1981-01-01

    Presents information for black walnut seedlings on storage chilling requirement, fall lifting for overwinter storage, spring lifting, planting times, use of root regeneration potential (RRP) to assess physiological quality of planting stock, and relation between RRP at planting and field performance.

  16. Higher clonal integration in the facultative epiphytic fern Selliguea griffithiana growing in the forest canopy compared with the forest understorey

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Hua-Zheng; Liu, Wen-Yao; Yu, Fei-Hai; Song, Liang; Xu, Xing-Liang; Wu, Chuan-Sheng; Zheng, Yu-Long; Li, Yang-Ping; Gong, He-De; Chen, Ke; Li, Su; Chen, Xi; Qi, Jin-Hua; Lu, Shu-Gang

    2015-01-01

    Background and Aims The advantage of clonal integration (resource sharing between connected ramets of clonal plants) varies and a higher degree of integration is expected in more stressful and/or more heterogeneous habitats. Clonal facultative epiphytes occur in both forest canopies (epiphytic habitats) and forest understories (terrestrial habitats). Because environmental conditions, especially water and nutrients, are more stressful and heterogeneous in the canopy than in the understorey, this study hypothesizes that clonal integration is more important for facultative epiphytes in epiphytic habitats than in terrestrial habitats. Methods In a field experiment, an examination was made of the effects of rhizome connection (connected vs. disconnected, i.e. with vs. without clonal integration) on survival and growth of single ramets, both young and old, of the facultative epiphytic rhizomatous fern Selliguea griffithiana (Polypodiaceae) in both epiphytic and terrestrial habitats. In another field experiment, the effects of rhizome connection on performance of ramets were tested in small (10 × 10 cm2) and large (20 × 20 cm2) plots in both epiphytic and terrestrial habitats. Key Results Rhizome disconnection significantly decreased survival and growth of S. griffithiana in both experiments. The effects of rhizome disconnection on survival of single ramets and on ramet number and growth in plots were greater in epiphytic habitats than in terrestrial habitats. Conclusions Clonal integration contributes greatly to performance of facultative epiphytic ferns, and the effects were more important in forest canopies than in forest understories. The results therefore support the hypothesis that natural selection favours genotypes with a higher degree of integration in more stressful and heterogeneous environments. PMID:26050068

  17. Higher clonal integration in the facultative epiphytic fern Selliguea griffithiana growing in the forest canopy compared with the forest understorey.

    PubMed

    Lu, Hua-Zheng; Liu, Wen-Yao; Yu, Fei-Hai; Song, Liang; Xu, Xing-Liang; Wu, Chuan-Sheng; Zheng, Yu-Long; Li, Yang-Ping; Gong, He-De; Chen, Ke; Li, Su; Chen, Xi; Qi, Jin-Hua; Lu, Shu-Gang

    2015-07-01

    The advantage of clonal integration (resource sharing between connected ramets of clonal plants) varies and a higher degree of integration is expected in more stressful and/or more heterogeneous habitats. Clonal facultative epiphytes occur in both forest canopies (epiphytic habitats) and forest understories (terrestrial habitats). Because environmental conditions, especially water and nutrients, are more stressful and heterogeneous in the canopy than in the understorey, this study hypothesizes that clonal integration is more important for facultative epiphytes in epiphytic habitats than in terrestrial habitats. In a field experiment, an examination was made of the effects of rhizome connection (connected vs. disconnected, i.e. with vs. without clonal integration) on survival and growth of single ramets, both young and old, of the facultative epiphytic rhizomatous fern Selliguea griffithiana (Polypodiaceae) in both epiphytic and terrestrial habitats. In another field experiment, the effects of rhizome connection on performance of ramets were tested in small (10 × 10 cm(2)) and large (20 × 20 cm(2)) plots in both epiphytic and terrestrial habitats. Rhizome disconnection significantly decreased survival and growth of S. griffithiana in both experiments. The effects of rhizome disconnection on survival of single ramets and on ramet number and growth in plots were greater in epiphytic habitats than in terrestrial habitats. Clonal integration contributes greatly to performance of facultative epiphytic ferns, and the effects were more important in forest canopies than in forest understories. The results therefore support the hypothesis that natural selection favours genotypes with a higher degree of integration in more stressful and heterogeneous environments. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  18. Light response of sunflower and canola as affected by plant density, plant genotype and N fertilization.

    PubMed

    Soleymani, A

    2017-08-01

    Crop response to light is an important parameter determining crop growth. Three field (split plots) experiments were conducted to investigate the effects of plant density, plant genotype and N fertilization on the light absorption and light extinction of sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) and canola (Brassica napus L.). A detailed set of plant growth, light absorption and crop yield and oil related parameters were determined. Light was measured at noon during the sunny days with clear sky. In experiment I, although the plant density (PD) of 14 resulted in the highest rate of sunflower light absorption (31.37%) and light extinction (0.756), the highest rate of grain yield and grain oil yield was resulted at PD12 at 3639 and 1457.9kg/ha, respectively; as well as by genotype SUP.A. In experiment II (canola), PD80 resulted in the highest rate of light absorption (13.13%), light extinction (0.63), grain yield (2189.4kg/ha) and grain oil yield (556.54kg/ha). This was also the case for Genotype H. In experiment III (canola), although N150 resulted in the highest rate of light absorption (10.74%) and light extinction (0.48), the highest rate of grain yield (3413.6kg/ha) and grain oil yield (891.86kg/ha) was resulted at N100 as well as by Genotype H401. Results indicate how light properties, crop growth and yield of sunflower and canola can be affected by plant and environmental parameters, which are also of practical use by farmers. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Grassland and forest understorey biomass emissions from prescribed fires in the southeastern United States - RxCADRE 2012

    Treesearch

    Tara Strand; Brian Gullett; Shawn Urbanski; Susan O’Neill; Brian Potter; Johanna Aurell; Amara Holder; Narasimhan Larkin; Mark Moore; Miriam Rorig

    2016-01-01

    Smoke measurements were made during grass and forest understorey prescribed fires as part of a comprehensive programme to understand fire and smoke behaviour. Instruments deployed on the ground, airplane and tethered aerostat platforms characterised the smoke plumes through measurements of carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), methane (CH4) and...

  20. Evaluating the consistency of understorey vegetation response to forest thinning through synthetic analysis of operational-scale experiments

    Treesearch

    Duncan S. Wilson; Paul D. Anderson; Klaus J. Puettmann

    2009-01-01

    We attempted to extend the inference scope of several detailed songbird habitat restoration studies in western Oregon to the broader region through a reanalysis and synthesis of five largescale management experiments. This previous work demonstrated the importance of understorey vegetation to songbird habitat. However, individual studies have shown conflicting results...

  1. Quantifying understorey vegetation in the US Lake States: a proposed framework to inform regional forest carbon stocks

    Treesearch

    Matthew B. Russell; Anthony W. D' Amato; Bethany K. Schulz; Christopher W. Woodall; Grant M. Domke; John B. Bradford

    2014-01-01

    The contribution of understorey vegetation (UVEG) to forest ecosystem biomass and carbon (C) across diverse forest types has, to date, eluded quantification at regional and national scales. Efforts to quantify UVEG C have been limited to field-intensive studies or broad-scalemodelling approaches lacking fieldmeasurements. Although large-scale inventories of UVEG C are...

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

    PubMed

    Keller, Carmen; Visschers, Vivianne; Siegrist, Michael

    2012-03-01

    This study examined the relationship between the content of spontaneous associations with nuclear power plants and the acceptance of using new-generation nuclear power plants to replace old ones. The study also considered gender as a variable. A representative sample of the German- and French-speaking population of Switzerland (N= 1,221) was used. Log-linear models revealed significant two-way interactions between the association content and acceptance, association content and gender, and gender and acceptance. Correspondence analysis revealed that participants who were opposed to nuclear power plants mainly associated nuclear power plants with risk, negative feelings, accidents, radioactivity, waste disposal, military use, and negative consequences for health and environment; whereas participants favoring nuclear power plants mainly associated them with energy, appearance descriptions of nuclear power plants, and necessity. Thus, individuals opposing nuclear power plants had both more concrete and more diverse associations with them than people who were in favor of nuclear power plants. In addition, participants who were undecided often mentioned similar associations to those participants who were in favor. Males more often expressed associations with energy, waste disposal, and negative health effects. Females more often made associations with appearance descriptions, negative feelings, and negative environmental effects. The results further suggest that acceptance of replacing nuclear power plants was higher in the German-speaking part of the country, where all of the Swiss nuclear power plants are physically located. Practical implications for risk communication are discussed. © 2011 Society for Risk Analysis.

  3. 7-Rhamnosylated Flavonols Modulate Homeostasis of the Plant Hormone Auxin and Affect Plant Development*

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. 7-Rhamnosylated Flavonols Modulate Homeostasis of the Plant Hormone Auxin and Affect Plant Development.

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-04

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

  5. Nutrient enrichment affects the mechanical resistance of aquatic plants.

    PubMed

    Lamberti-Raverot, Barbara; Puijalon, Sara

    2012-10-01

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

  6. Nutrient enrichment affects the mechanical resistance of aquatic plants

    PubMed Central

    Puijalon, Sara

    2012-01-01

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

  7. Factors affecting plant growth in membrane nutrient delivery

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dreschel, T. W.; Wheeler, R. M.; Sager, J. C.; Knott, W. M.

    1990-01-01

    The development of the tubular membrane plant growth unit for the delivery of water and nutrients to roots in microgravity has recently focused on measuring the effects of changes in physical variables controlling solution availability to the plants. Significant effects of membrane pore size and the negative pressure used to contain the solution were demonstrated. Generally, wheat grew better in units with a larger pore size but equal negative pressure and in units with the same pore size but less negative pressure. Lettuce also exhibited better plant growth at less negative pressure.

  8. A novel family of small proteins that affect plant development

    SciTech Connect

    John Charles Walker

    2011-04-29

    The DVL genes represent a new group of plant proteins that influence plant growth and development. Overexpression of DVL1, and other members of the DVL family, causes striking phenotypic changes. The DVL proteins share sequence homology in their C-terminal half. Point mutations in the C-terminal domain show it is necessary and deletion studies demonstrate the C-terminal domain is sufficient to confer the overexpression phenotypes. The phenotypes observed, and the conservation of the protein sequence in the plant kingdom, does suggest the DVL proteins have a role in modulating plant growth and development. Our working hypothesis is the DVL proteins function as regulators of cellular signaling pathways that control growth and development.

  9. Plant toxins that affect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors: A review

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Plants produce wide variety of chemical compounds termed secondary metabolites that are not involved in basic metabolism, photosynthesis or reproduction. These compounds are used as flavors, fragrances, insecticides, dyes, hallucinogens, nutritional supplements, poisons, and pharmaceutical agents. ...

  10. Exogenously treated mammalian sex hormones affect inorganic constituents of plants.

    PubMed

    Erdal, Serkan; Dumlupinar, Rahmi

    2011-10-01

    The present study was undertaken to reveal the changes in inorganic constituents of plants exposed to mammalian sex hormones (MSH). Chickpea leaves were sprayed with 10(-4), 10(-6), 10(-9), 10(-12), and 10(-15) M concentrations of progesterone, β-estradiol, and androsterone at 7th day after sowing. The plants were harvested at the end of 18 days after treatment of MSH solutions and the inorganic components determined using a wavelength-dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy technique. At all of the concentrations tested, MSH significantly increased the contents of K, S, Na, Ca, Mg, Zn, Fe, P, Cu, and Ni. Interestingly, only Mn and Cl contents decreased. The maximum changes in the inorganic composition were recorded at 10(-6) M for plants treated with progesterone and 10(-9) M for plants treated with β-estradiol and androsterone.

  11. Self-recognition affects plant communication and defense.

    PubMed

    Karban, Richard; Shiojiri, Kaori

    2009-06-01

    Animals have the ability to distinguish self from non-self, which has allowed them to evolve immune systems and, in some instances, to act preferentially towards individuals that are genetically identical or related. Self-recognition is less well known for plants, although recent work indicates that physically connected roots recognize self and reduce competitive interactions. Sagebrush uses volatile cues emitted by clipped branches of self or different neighbours to increase resistance to herbivory. Here, we show that plants that received volatile cues from genetically identical cuttings accumulated less natural damage than plants that received cues from non-self cuttings. Volatile communication is required to coordinate systemic processes such as induced resistance and plants respond more effectively to self than non-self cues. This self/non-self discrimination did not require physical contact and is a necessary first step towards possible kin recognition and kin selection.

  12. Mapping the understorey of deciduous woodland from leaf-on and leaf-off airborne LiDAR data: A case study in lowland Britain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hill, R. A.; Broughton, R. K.

    This study examines the understorey information present in discrete-return LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) data acquired for temperate deciduous woodland in mid summer (leaf-on) and in early spring when the understorey had mostly leafed out, but the overstorey had only just begun budburst (referred to here as leaf-off). The woodland is ancient, semi-natural broadleaf and has a heterogeneous structure with a mostly closed canopy overstorey and a patchy understorey layer. In this study, the understorey was defined as suppressed trees and shrubs growing beneath an overstorey canopy. Forest mensuration data for the study site were examined to identify thresholds (taking the 95th percentile) for crown depth as a percentage of crown top height for the six overstorey tree species present. These data were used in association with a digital tree species map and leaf-on first return LiDAR data, to identify the possible depth of space available below the overstorey canopy in which an understorey layer could exist. The leaf-off last return LiDAR data were then examined to identify whether they contained information on where this space was occupied by suppressed trees or shrubs forming an understorey. Thus, understorey was mapped from the leaf-off last return data where the height was below the predicted crown depth. A height threshold of 1 m was applied to separate the ground vegetation layer from the understorey. The derived understorey model formed a discontinuous layer covering 46.4 ha (or 31% of the study site), with an average height of 2.64 m and a 77% correspondence with field data on the presence/absence of suppressed trees and shrubs (kappa 0.53). Because the first return data in leaf-on and leaf-off conditions were very similar (differing by an average of just 0.87 m), it was also possible to map the understorey layer using leaf-off data alone. The resultant understorey model covered 39.4 ha (or 26% of the study site), and had a 72% correspondence with field data

  13. Rhizosphere microbiome assemblage is affected by plant development

    PubMed Central

    Chaparro, Jacqueline M; Badri, Dayakar V; Vivanco, Jorge M

    2014-01-01

    There is a concerted understanding of the ability of root exudates to influence the structure of rhizosphere microbial communities. However, our knowledge of the connection between plant development, root exudation and microbiome assemblage is limited. Here, we analyzed the structure of the rhizospheric bacterial community associated with Arabidopsis at four time points corresponding to distinct stages of plant development: seedling, vegetative, bolting and flowering. Overall, there were no significant differences in bacterial community structure, but we observed that the microbial community at the seedling stage was distinct from the other developmental time points. At a closer level, phylum such as Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Cyanobacteria and specific genera within those phyla followed distinct patterns associated with plant development and root exudation. These results suggested that the plant can select a subset of microbes at different stages of development, presumably for specific functions. Accordingly, metatranscriptomics analysis of the rhizosphere microbiome revealed that 81 unique transcripts were significantly (P<0.05) expressed at different stages of plant development. For instance, genes involved in streptomycin synthesis were significantly induced at bolting and flowering stages, presumably for disease suppression. We surmise that plants secrete blends of compounds and specific phytochemicals in the root exudates that are differentially produced at distinct stages of development to help orchestrate rhizosphere microbiome assemblage. PMID:24196324

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Cadmium content of plants as affected by soil cadmium concentration

    SciTech Connect

    Lehoczky, E.; Szabados, I.; Marth, P.

    1996-12-31

    Pot experiments were conducted in greenhouse conditions to study the effects of increasing cadmium (Cd) levels on biomass production and Cd contents in corn, (Zea mays L.), garlic (Allium sativum L.), and spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.). Plants were grown in two soil types: Eutric cambisol soil and A gleyic luvisol soil. Spinach proved to be the most sensitive to Cd treatments as its biomass considerably decreased with the increasing Cd levels. Cadmium contents of the three crops increased with increasing levels of Cd applications. Statistical differences were observed in the Cd contents of crops depending on soil type. With the same Cd rates, Cd tissue concentration of test plants grown in the strongly acidic Gleyic luvisol soil were many times higher than that of plants grown in a neutral Eutric cambisol soil. 14 refs., 4 tabs.

  19. Composition of hydroponic medium affects thorium uptake by tobacco plants.

    PubMed

    Soudek, Petr; Kufner, Daniel; Petrová, Sárka; Mihaljevič, Martin; Vaněk, Tomáš

    2013-08-01

    The ability of thorium uptake as well as responses to heavy metal stress were tested in tobacco cultivar La Burley 21. Thorium was accumulated preferentially in the root system. The presence of citric, tartaric and oxalic acids in hydroponic medium increased thorium accumulation in all plant organs. On the other hand, the addition of diamines and polyamines, the important antioxidants in plants, resulted in decrease of thorium accumulation, especially in the root system. Negative correlation was found between putrescine concentration and thorium accumulation. Nevertheless, the most important factor influencing the accumulation of thorium was the absence of phosphate ions in a hydroponic medium that caused more than 10-fold increase of thorium uptake in all plant parts. Accumulation and distribution of thorium was followed in six cultivars and 14 selected transformants. Cultivar La Barley 21 represented an average between the tested genotypes, having a very good distribution ratio between roots, stems and leaves.

  20. How neighbor canopy architecture affects target plant performance

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-10-01

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

  1. Herbivory of an invasive slug is affected by earthworms and the composition of plant communities.

    PubMed

    Zaller, Johann G; Parth, Myriam; Szunyogh, Ilona; Semmelrock, Ines; Sochurek, Susanne; Pinheiro, Marcia; Frank, Thomas; Drapela, Thomas

    2013-05-13

    Biodiversity loss and species invasions are among the most important human-induced global changes. Moreover, these two processes are interlinked as ecosystem invasibility is considered to increase with decreasing biodiversity. In temperate grasslands, earthworms serve as important ecosystem engineers making up the majority of soil faunal biomass. Herbivore behaviour has been shown to be affected by earthworms, however it is unclear whether these effects differ with the composition of plant communities. To test this we conducted a mesocosm experiment where we added earthworms (Annelida: Lumbricidae) to planted grassland communities with different plant species composition (3 vs. 12 plant spp.). Plant communities had equal plant densities and ratios of the functional groups grasses, non-leguminous forbs and legumes. Later, Arion vulgaris slugs (formerly known as A. lusitanicus; Gastropoda: Arionidae) were added and allowed to freely choose among the available plant species. This slug species is listed among the 100 worst alien species in Europe. We hypothesized that (i) the food choice of slugs would be altered by earthworms' specific effects on the growth and nutrient content of plant species, (ii) slug herbivory will be less affected by earthworms in plant communities containing more plant species than in those with fewer plant species because of a more readily utilization of plant resources making the impacts of earthworms less pronounced. Slug herbivory was significantly affected by both earthworms and plant species composition. Slugs damaged 60% less leaves when earthworms were present, regardless of the species composition of the plant communities. Percent leaf area consumed by slugs was 40% lower in communities containing 12 plant species; in communities containing only three species earthworms increased slug leaf area consumption. Grasses were generally avoided by slugs. Leaf length and number of tillers was increased in mesocosms containing more plant

  2. Herbivory of an invasive slug is affected by earthworms and the composition of plant communities

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Biodiversity loss and species invasions are among the most important human-induced global changes. Moreover, these two processes are interlinked as ecosystem invasibility is considered to increase with decreasing biodiversity. In temperate grasslands, earthworms serve as important ecosystem engineers making up the majority of soil faunal biomass. Herbivore behaviour has been shown to be affected by earthworms, however it is unclear whether these effects differ with the composition of plant communities. To test this we conducted a mesocosm experiment where we added earthworms (Annelida: Lumbricidae) to planted grassland communities with different plant species composition (3 vs. 12 plant spp.). Plant communities had equal plant densities and ratios of the functional groups grasses, non-leguminous forbs and legumes. Later, Arion vulgaris slugs (formerly known as A. lusitanicus; Gastropoda: Arionidae) were added and allowed to freely choose among the available plant species. This slug species is listed among the 100 worst alien species in Europe. We hypothesized that (i) the food choice of slugs would be altered by earthworms’ specific effects on the growth and nutrient content of plant species, (ii) slug herbivory will be less affected by earthworms in plant communities containing more plant species than in those with fewer plant species because of a more readily utilization of plant resources making the impacts of earthworms less pronounced. Results Slug herbivory was significantly affected by both earthworms and plant species composition. Slugs damaged 60% less leaves when earthworms were present, regardless of the species composition of the plant communities. Percent leaf area consumed by slugs was 40% lower in communities containing 12 plant species; in communities containing only three species earthworms increased slug leaf area consumption. Grasses were generally avoided by slugs. Leaf length and number of tillers was increased in mesocosms

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), due to its potential to vector the pathogen causing citrus greening disease or huanglongbing, is one of the most serious citrus pests worldwide. While optimal plant cultivars for ACP oviposition and development have been determined, little is known of the influence of...

  4. Maximizing plant density affects broccoli yield and quality

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Increased demand for fresh market bunch broccoli (Brassica oleracea L. var. italica) has led to increased production along the United States east coast. Maximizing broccoli yields is a primary concern for quickly expanding southeastern commercial markets. This broccoli plant density study was carr...

  5. Grazing Intensity Does Not Affect Plant Diversity in Shortgrass Steppe

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Responses of livestock gain and forage production to grazing intensity in shortgrass steppe are well-established, but effects on basal cover and plant diversity are less so. A long-term grazing intensity study was initiated on shortgrass steppe at the Central Plains Experimental Range (USDA-Agricult...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  7. Plant extracts affect in vitro rumen microbial fermentation.

    PubMed

    Busquet, M; Calsamiglia, S; Ferret, A; Kamel, C

    2006-02-01

    Different doses of 12 plant extracts and 6 secondary plant metabolites were incubated for 24 h in diluted ruminal fluid with a 50:50 forage:concentrate diet. Treatments were: control (no additive), plant extracts (anise oil, cade oil, capsicum oil, cinnamon oil, clove bud oil, dill oil, fenugreek, garlic oil, ginger oil, oregano oil, tea tree oil, and yucca), and secondary plant metabolites (anethol, benzyl salicylate, carvacrol, carvone, cinnamaldehyde, and eugenol). Each treatment was supplied at 3, 30, 300, and 3,000 mg/L of culture fluid. At 3,000 mg/L, most treatments decreased total volatile fatty acid concentration, but cade oil, capsicum oil, dill oil, fenugreek, ginger oil, and yucca had no effect. Different doses of anethol, anise oil, carvone, and tea tree oil decreased the proportion of acetate and propionate, which suggests that these compounds may not be nutritionally beneficial to dairy cattle. Garlic oil (300 and 3,000 mg/L) and benzyl salicylate (300 and 3,000 mg/L) reduced acetate and increased propionate and butyrate proportions, suggesting that methane production was inhibited. At 3,000 mg/L, capsicum oil, carvacrol, carvone, cinnamaldehyde, cinnamon oil, clove bud oil, eugenol, fenugreek, and oregano oil resulted in a 30 to 50% reduction in ammonia N concentration. Careful selection and combination of these extracts may allow the manipulation of rumen microbial fermentation.

  8. Environmental Factors Affecting Aquatic Plant Growth Potential in Marinuka Lake, Wisconsin

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-12-01

    ERDC/TN APCRP-EA-20 December 2008 Environmental Factors Affecting Aquatic Plant Growth Potential in Marinuka Lake, Wisconsin by William F. James...2008 Experimental evaluation of plant growth potential on Marinuka Lake sediments. Aquatic sediments were collected from Marinuka Lake and Eau Galle...Ten replicates for each sediment type (one plant per container) were incubated in a large outdoor facility consisting of plant growth tanks (4 ft

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-01

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

  10. Volatile Exchange between Undamaged Plants - a New Mechanism Affecting Insect Orientation in Intercropping

    PubMed Central

    Ninkovic, Velemir; Dahlin, Iris; Vucetic, Andja; Petrovic-Obradovic, Olivera; Glinwood, Robert; Webster, Ben

    2013-01-01

    Changes in plant volatile emission can be induced by exposure to volatiles from neighbouring insect-attacked plants. However, plants are also exposed to volatiles from unattacked neighbours, and the consequences of this have not been explored. We investigated whether volatile exchange between undamaged plants affects volatile emission and plant-insect interaction. Consistently greater quantities of two terpenoids were found in the headspace of potato previously exposed to volatiles from undamaged onion plants identified by mass spectrometry. Using live plants and synthetic blends mimicking exposed and unexposed potato, we tested the olfactory response of winged aphids, Myzus persicae. The altered potato volatile profile deterred aphids in laboratory experiments. Further, we show that growing potato together with onion in the field reduces the abundance of winged, host-seeking aphids. Our study broadens the ecological significance of the phenomenon; volatiles carry not only information on whether or not neighbouring plants are under attack, but also information on the emitter plants themselves. In this way responding plants could obtain information on whether the neighbouring plant is a competitive threat and can accordingly adjust their growth towards it. We interpret this as a response in the process of adaptation towards neighbouring plants. Furthermore, these physiological changes in the responding plants have significant ecological impact, as behaviour of aphids was affected. Since herbivore host plants are potentially under constant exposure to these volatiles, our study has major implications for the understanding of how mechanisms within plant communities affect insects. This knowledge could be used to improve plant protection and increase scientific understanding of communication between plants and its impact on other organisms. PMID:23922710

  11. Volatile exchange between undamaged plants - a new mechanism affecting insect orientation in intercropping.

    PubMed

    Ninkovic, Velemir; Dahlin, Iris; Vucetic, Andja; Petrovic-Obradovic, Olivera; Glinwood, Robert; Webster, Ben

    2013-01-01

    Changes in plant volatile emission can be induced by exposure to volatiles from neighbouring insect-attacked plants. However, plants are also exposed to volatiles from unattacked neighbours, and the consequences of this have not been explored. We investigated whether volatile exchange between undamaged plants affects volatile emission and plant-insect interaction. Consistently greater quantities of two terpenoids were found in the headspace of potato previously exposed to volatiles from undamaged onion plants identified by mass spectrometry. Using live plants and synthetic blends mimicking exposed and unexposed potato, we tested the olfactory response of winged aphids, Myzus persicae. The altered potato volatile profile deterred aphids in laboratory experiments. Further, we show that growing potato together with onion in the field reduces the abundance of winged, host-seeking aphids. Our study broadens the ecological significance of the phenomenon; volatiles carry not only information on whether or not neighbouring plants are under attack, but also information on the emitter plants themselves. In this way responding plants could obtain information on whether the neighbouring plant is a competitive threat and can accordingly adjust their growth towards it. We interpret this as a response in the process of adaptation towards neighbouring plants. Furthermore, these physiological changes in the responding plants have significant ecological impact, as behaviour of aphids was affected. Since herbivore host plants are potentially under constant exposure to these volatiles, our study has major implications for the understanding of how mechanisms within plant communities affect insects. This knowledge could be used to improve plant protection and increase scientific understanding of communication between plants and its impact on other organisms.

  12. Plant natural variability may affect safety assessment data.

    PubMed

    Batista, Rita; Oliveira, Margarida

    2010-12-01

    Before market introduction, genetic engineered (GE) food products, like any other novel food product, are subjected to extensive assessment of their potential effects on human health. In recent years, a number of profiling technologies have been explored aiming to increase the probability of detecting any unpredictable unintended effect and, consequently improving the efficiency of GE food safety assessment. These techniques still present limitations associated with the interpretation of the observed differences with respect to their biological relevance and toxicological significance. In order to address this issue, in this study, we have performed 2D-gel electrophoresis of five different ears of five different MON810 maize plants and of other five of the non-transgenic near-isogenic line. We have also performed 2D-gel electrophoresis of the pool of the five protein extractions of MON810 and control lines. We have notice that, in this example, the exclusive use of data from 2D-electrophoresed pooled samples, to compare these two lines, would be insufficient for an adequate safety evaluation. We conclude that, when using "omics" technologies, it is extremely important to eliminate all potential differences due to factors not related to the ones under study, and to understand the role of natural plant-to-plant variability in the encountered differences. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Planting Technique and Care of Stock Affect Survival of Planted Red Pine

    Treesearch

    John H. Cooley

    1974-01-01

    Careless planting was found to be the most important of several possible causes of excessive mortality of newly planted red pine. Distribution procedures and high shoot/root ratios were also implicated.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Habitats as complex odour environments: how does plant diversity affect herbivore and parasitoid orientation?

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  17. Planting Depth and Source Affect Survival of Planted Green Ash Cuttings

    Treesearch

    Harvey E. Kennedy

    1977-01-01

    Horizontally and vertically planted cuttings from 1-0 nursery-grown green ash seedlings sprouted and grew well during the first growing season. Cuttings from 1- and 2-year-old sprouts and older material did not perform satisfactorily. Planted seedlings survived and grew well. Cuttings should be 10 to 15 inches long made from 1-0 seedlings and planted horizontally in...

  18. Phosphate stresses affect ionome and metabolome in tea plants.

    PubMed

    Ding, Zhaotang; Jia, Sisi; Wang, Yu; Xiao, Jun; Zhang, Yinfei

    2017-09-14

    In order to study the response of tea plants to P stress, we conducted the ionomic and metabolomic analysis by ICP-OES, GC-MS and LC-MS. The results demonstrated that P was antagonistic with S, and was cooperative with Cu, Zn, Mn and Fe under P-deficiency. However, P was antagonistic with Mn, Fe and S, and was cooperative with Cu and Zn under P-excess. Moreover, P-deficiency or excess reduced the syntheses of flavonoids and phosphorylated metabolites. P-deficiency decreased the amount of glutamate and increased the content of glutamine, while P-excess decreased the content of glutamine. Besides, P-deficiency increased three organic acids and decreased three organic acids. P-excess increased the contents of malic acid, oxalic acid, ribonic acid and etc. involved in primary metabolism, but decreased the contents of p-coumaric acid, indoleacrylic acid, related to secondary metabolism. Furthermore, the contents of Mn and Zn were found to be positively related to the amounts of myricetin and quercetin, and the content of Mn to be positively related to the amount of arabinose. The results implied that the P stresses severely disturbed the metabolism of minerals and metabolites in tea plants, which influenced the yield and quality of tea. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS.

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

    PubMed

    Partsch, Stephan; Milcu, Alexandru; Scheu, Stefan

    2006-10-01

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

  20. Allocation, stress tolerance and carbon transport in plants: how does phloem physiology affect plant ecology?

    PubMed

    Savage, Jessica A; Clearwater, Michael J; Haines, Dustin F; Klein, Tamir; Mencuccini, Maurizio; Sevanto, Sanna; Turgeon, Robert; Zhang, Cankui

    2016-04-01

    Despite the crucial role of carbon transport in whole plant physiology and its impact on plant-environment interactions and ecosystem function, relatively little research has tried to examine how phloem physiology impacts plant ecology. In this review, we highlight several areas of active research where inquiry into phloem physiology has increased our understanding of whole plant function and ecological processes. We consider how xylem-phloem interactions impact plant drought tolerance and reproduction, how phloem transport influences carbon allocation in trees and carbon cycling in ecosystems and how phloem function mediates plant relations with insects, pests, microbes and symbiotes. We argue that in spite of challenges that exist in studying phloem physiology, it is critical that we consider the role of this dynamic vascular system when examining the relationship between plants and their biotic and abiotic environment. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  1. Parasitoid-specific induction of plant responses to parasitized herbivores affects colonization by subsequent herbivores

    PubMed Central

    Poelman, Erik H.; Zheng, Si-Jun; Zhang, Zhao; Heemskerk, Nanda M.; Cortesero, Anne-Marie; Dicke, Marcel

    2011-01-01

    Plants are exposed to a suite of herbivorous attackers that often arrive sequentially. Herbivory affects interactions between the host plants and subsequently attacking herbivores. Moreover, plants may respond to herbivory by emitting volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that attract carnivorous natural enemies of the herbivores. However, information borne by VOCs is ubiquitous and may attract carnivores, such as parasitoids, that differ in their effectiveness at releasing the plant from its herbivorous attackers. Furthermore, the development of parasitoids within their herbivorous hosts, attacking a given host plant, may influence the elicitation of defensive reactions in the host plant. This may, in turn, affect the behavior of subsequent herbivores attacking the host plant. Here, we show that the species identity of a parasitoid had a more significant effect on defense responses of Brassica oleracea plants than the species identity of the herbivorous hosts of the parasitoids. Consequently, B. oleracea plants that were damaged by caterpillars (Pieris spp.) parasitized by different parasitoid species varied in the degree to which diamondback moths (Plutella xylostella) selected the plants for oviposition. Attracting parasitoids in general benefitted the plants by reducing diamondback moth colonization. However, the species of parasitoid that parasitized the herbivore significantly affected the magnitude of this benefit by its species-specific effect on herbivore–plant interactions mediated by caterpillar regurgitant. Our findings show that information-mediated indirect defense may lead to unpredictable consequences for plants when considering trait-mediated effects of parasitized caterpillars on the host plant and their consequences because of community-wide responses to induced plants. PMID:22084113

  2. Ontogeny, understorey light interception and simulated carbon gain of juvenile rainforest evergreens differing in shade tolerance

    PubMed Central

    Lusk, Christopher H.; Pérez-Millaqueo, Manuel Matías; Piper, Frida I.; Saldaña, Alfredo

    2011-01-01

    Background and Aims A long-running debate centres on whether shade tolerance of tree seedlings is mainly a function of traits maximizing net carbon gain in low light, or of traits minimizing carbon loss. To test these alternatives, leaf display, light-interception efficiency, and simulated net daily carbon gain of juvenile temperate evergreens of differing shade tolerance were measured, and how these variables are influenced by ontogeny was queried. Methods The biomass distribution of juveniles (17–740 mm tall) of seven temperate rainforest evergreens growing in low (approx. 4 %) light in the understorey of a second-growth stand was quantified. Daytime and night-time gas exchange rates of leaves were also determined, and crown architecture was recorded digitally. YPLANT was used to model light interception and carbon gain. Results An index of species shade tolerance correlated closely with photosynthetic capacities and respiration rates per unit mass of leaves, but only weakly with respiration per unit area. Accumulation of many leaf cohorts by shade-tolerant species meant that their ratios of foliage area to biomass (LAR) decreased more gradually with ontogeny than those of light-demanders, but also increased self-shading; this depressed the foliage silhouette-to-area ratio (STAR), which was used as an index of light-interception efficiency. As a result, displayed leaf area ratio (LARd = LAR × STAR) of large seedlings was not related to species shade tolerance. Self-shading also caused simulated net daily carbon assimilation rates of shade-tolerant species to decrease with ontogeny, leading to a negative correlation of shade tolerance with net daily carbon gain of large (500 mm tall) seedlings in the understorey. Conclusions The results suggest that efficiency of energy capture is not an important correlate of shade tolerance in temperate rainforest evergreens. Ontogenetic increases in self-shading largely nullify the potential carbon gain advantages expected

  3. Tree litter and forest understorey vegetation: a conceptual framework to understand the effects of tree litter on a perennial geophyte, Anemone nemorosa.

    PubMed

    Baltzinger, Marie; Archaux, Frédéric; Dumas, Yann

    2012-05-01

    Litter is a key factor in structuring plant populations, through positive or negative interactions. The litter layer forms a mechanical barrier that is often strongly selective against individuals lacking hypocotyle plasticity. Litter composition also interacts with plant growth by providing beneficial nutrients or, inversely, by allowing harmful allelopathic leaching. As conspicuous litter fall accumulation is often observed under deciduous forests, interactions between tree litter and understorey plant populations are worthy of study. In a 1-year ex-situ experiment, the effects of tree litter on the growth of Anemone nemorosa, a small perennial forest geophyte, were investigated. Three 'litter quantity' treatments were defined, representative of forest floor litter (199, 356·5 and 514 g m(-2)), which were crossed with five 'litter composition' treatments (Quercus petraea, Fagus sylvatica, Carpinus betulus, Q. petraea + F. sylvatica and Q. petraea + C. betulus), plus a no-litter control. Path analysis was then used to investigate the pathways linking litter characteristics and components of adult plant growth. As expected, the heavier the litter, the longer the petiole; rhizome growth, however, was not depreciated by the litter-induced petiole lengthening. Both rhizome mass increment and number of initiated buds marginally increased with the amount of litter. Rhizome mass increment was in fact determined primarily by leaf area and leaf life span, neither of which was unequivocally correlated with any litter characteristics. However, the presence of litter significantly increased leafing success: following a late frost event, control rhizomes growing in the absence of litter experienced higher leaf mortality before leaf unfolding. The study questions the role of litter as a physical or chemical barrier to ground vegetation; to better understand this role, there is a need for ex-situ, longer-term experiments coupled with in-situ observations in the forest.

  4. Zinc treatment increases the titre of 'Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus' in huanglongbing-affected citrus plants while affecting the bacterial microbiomes.

    PubMed

    Zhang, M Q; Guo, Y; Powell, C A; Doud, M S; Yang, C Y; Zhou, H; Duan, Y P

    2016-06-01

    Huanglongbing (HLB)-affected citrus often display zinc deficiency symptoms. In this study, supplemental zinc was applied to citrus to determine its effect on Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (Las) titre, HLB symptoms, and leaf microbiome. HLB-affected citrus were treated with various amounts of zinc. The treatments promoted Las growth and affected microbiomes in citrus leaves. Phylochip(™) -based results indicated that 5475 of over 50 000 known Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) in 52 phyla were detected in the midribs of HLB-affected citrus, of which Proteobacteria was the most abundant, followed by Firmicutes and Actinobacteria. In comparison, the microbiomes of zinc-treated diseased plants had overall more OTUs with higher amounts of Proteobacteria, but decreased percentages of Firmicutes and Actinobacteria. In addition, more OTUs of siderophore-producing bacteria were present. Only zinc-sensitive Staphylococcaceae had higher OTU's in the diseased plants without zinc treatments. Although HLB-affected citrus appear zinc deficient, zinc amendments increased the pathogen levels and shifted the microbiome. HLB is currently the most devastating disease of citrus worldwide. Zinc is often applied to HLB-affected citrus due to zinc deficiency symptoms. This study provided new insights into the potential effects of zinc on HLB and the microbial ecology of citrus. © 2016 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

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

    PubMed

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

    1997-01-01

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

  6. Reassessment of selected factors affecting siting of Nuclear Power Plants

    SciTech Connect

    Davis, R.E.; Hanson, A.L.; Mubayi, V.; Nourbakhsh, H.P.

    1997-02-01

    Brookhaven National Laboratory has performed a series of probabilistic consequence assessment calculations for nuclear reactor siting. This study takes into account recent insights into severe accident source terms and examines consequences in a risk based format consistent with the quantitative health objectives (QHOs) of the NRC`s Safety Goal Policy. Simplified severe accident source terms developed in this study are based on the risk insights of NUREG-1150. The results of the study indicate that both the quantity of radioactivity released in a severe accident as well as the likelihood of a release are lower than those predicted in earlier studies. The accident risks using the simplified source terms are examined at a series of generic plant sites, that vary in population distribution, meteorological conditions, and exclusion area boundary distances. Sensitivity calculations are performed to evaluate the effects of emergency protective action assumptions on the risk of prompt fatality and latent cancers fatality, and population relocation. The study finds that based on the new source terms the prompt and latent fatality risks at all generic sites meet the QHOs of the NRC`s Safety Goal Policy by margins ranging from one to more than three orders of magnitude. 4 refs., 17 figs., 24 tabs.

  7. Understand the air-pollution laws that affect CPI plants

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-04-01

    The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 promise to further refine and strengthen air-pollution control. The resulting Clean Air Act has a more direct and pervasive impact on our everyday lives than any other environmental law. The Act: establishes health-based air-quality standards; provides for the preparation, approval, and enforcement of state implementation plans to meet the air-quality standards; and provides for the control of new emissions that have the potential to endanger public health. It also provides for the control of new sources of emissions of hazardous air pollutants, for the prevention of significant deterioration of clean air areas, for the reduction of emissions from automobile and other mobile sources, and for the control of acid ran. Finally, the Act provides for permit programs and civil and criminal enforcement. Compliance with the Clean Air Act and the regulations and standards established under it must be integrated into the design and operation of every chemical process industries (CPI) plant. This article provides a brief overview of the Clean Air Act's various air-quality programs.

  8. Plant water use efficiency over geological time--evolution of leaf stomata configurations affecting plant gas exchange.

    PubMed

    Assouline, Shmuel; Or, Dani

    2013-01-01

    Plant gas exchange is a key process shaping global hydrological and carbon cycles and is often characterized by plant water use efficiency (WUE - the ratio of CO2 gain to water vapor loss). Plant fossil record suggests that plant adaptation to changing atmospheric CO2 involved correlated evolution of stomata density (d) and size (s), and related maximal aperture, amax . We interpreted the fossil record of s and d correlated evolution during the Phanerozoic to quantify impacts on gas conductance affecting plant transpiration, E, and CO2 uptake, A, independently, and consequently, on plant WUE. A shift in stomata configuration from large s-low d to small s-high d in response to decreasing atmospheric CO2 resulted in large changes in plant gas exchange characteristics. The relationships between gas conductance, gws , A and E and maximal relative transpiring leaf area, (amax ⋅d), exhibited hysteretic-like behavior. The new WUE trend derived from independent estimates of A and E differs from established WUE-CO2 trends for atmospheric CO2 concentrations exceeding 1,200 ppm. In contrast with a nearly-linear decrease in WUE with decreasing CO2 obtained by standard methods, the newly estimated WUE trend exhibits remarkably stable values for an extended geologic period during which atmospheric CO2 dropped from 3,500 to 1,200 ppm. Pending additional tests, the findings may affect projected impacts of increased atmospheric CO2 on components of the global hydrological cycle.

  9. Evaporation from the understorey in the Jarrah ( Eucalyptus marginata Don ex Sm.) forest, southwestern Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greenwood, E. A. N.; Klein, L.; Beresford, J. D.; Watson, G. D.; Wright, K. D.

    1985-10-01

    Annual evaporation from groundflora, litter and soil of the jarrah forest was estimated from measurements of daily evaporation by ventilated chambers on several days over two separate 12-month periods. In the first year, when sampling ranged over 0.1 ha of forest, annual evaporation during daylight hours was estimated as 410 mm (0.32 rainfall). In the second year, sampling was more frequent, on a larger scale, and included the night hours. Annual evaporation was estimated at 360 mm (0.36 rainfall). Similarly, in the second year, annual evaporation from two trees of the dominant middle storey species, Banksia grandis, was estimated at 7500 and 18,9001 respectively. The leaf area of these two trees was 9.6 and 22.4 m 2, respectively, so that annual evaporation, when expressed as mm 3 per mm 2 leaf area, was similar for both trees (mean = 820 ± 30 mm). Applying that value to all Banksia trees in a hectare of forest, and using a measured estimate of leaf area index of 0.19, the estimated annual evaporation from the Banksia component was 155 mm (0.16 rainfall). For the upland part of the forest sampled, the combined annual evaporation from the lower and middle storeys accounted for about half (0.51) of the annual rainfall. We conclude that reduced evaporation from the upper storey following clearing or thinning may be strongly counteracted by increased evaporation from the understorey due to increased availability of energy and water.

  10. The role of seed bank in the dynamics of understorey in an oak forest in Hungary.

    PubMed

    Koncz, G; Papp, Mária; Török, P; Kotroczó, Zs; Krakomperger, Zs; Matus, G; Tóthmérész, B

    2010-01-01

    We studied the potential role of seed bank in the dynamics of the understorey in a turkey oak-sessile oak forest (Querceteum petraeae-cerris) in Hungary. We used long-term records of the herb layer (1973-2006) and the seed bank composition of 2006 to assess the role of seed bank in the regeneration of herb layer. The total cover of herb layer decreased from 22% (1973) to 6% (1988), and remained low (<10%) till 2006; coinciding with the increasing cover of secondary canopy dominated by Acer campestre. We found a low density seed bank (ca. 1300 seeds/m2). Altogether 33 species were germinated from the soil samples. A few generalist weed species composed the majority of seed bank. It was possible to assign a seed bank type for 19 species; 14 species out of 19 was long-term persistent. We found that the characteristic perennial forest herbs and grasses had only sparse seed bank. The Jaccard similarity between vegetation and seed bank was low (<30%). Our results suggest that the continuous establishment of forest herbs are not based on local persistent seed bank; it should be based on vegetative spreading and/or seed rain.

  11. In situ observation of stomatal movements and gas exchange of Aegopodium podagraria L. in the understorey.

    PubMed

    Kaiser, H; Kappen, L

    2000-10-01

    Observations of stomata in situ while simultaneously measuring CO(2) gas exchange and transpiration were made in field experiments with Aegopodium podagraria in a highly variable light climate in the understorey of trees. The low background photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) caused a slight opening of the stomata and no visible response to sporadic lightflecks. However, if lightflecks were frequent and brighter, slow opening movements were observed. Small apertures were sufficient to allow maximal photosynthetic rates. Therefore, the small apertures observed in low light usually only caused minor stomatal limitations of lightfleck photosynthesis. The response of stomata to step-wise changes in PPFD under different levels of leaf to air vapour pressure difference (Delta(W)) was observed under controlled conditions. High Delta(W) influenced the stomatal response only slightly by reducing stomatal aperture in low light and causing a slight reduction in the initial capacity to utilize high PPFD levels. Under continuous high PPFD, however, stomata opened to the same degree irrespective of Delta(W). Under high Delta(W), opening and closing responses to PPFD-changes were faster, which enabled a rapid removal of the small stomatal limitations of photosynthesis initially present in high Delta(W) after longer periods in low light. It is concluded that A. podagraria maintains a superoptimal aperture in low light which leads to a low instantaneous water use efficiency, but allows an efficient utilization of randomly occurring lightflecks.

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

    PubMed

    Oguntimehin, Ilemobayo; Eissa, Fawzy; Sakugawa, Hiroshi

    2010-02-01

    Cherry tomato plants (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill) were sprayed with fluoranthene and mixture of fluoranthene and mannitol solutions for 30d. The exposure was carried out in growth chambers in field conditions, and the air was filtered through charcoal filters to remove atmospheric contaminants. Plants were sprayed with 10microM fluoranthene as mist until they reached the fruiting stage, and the eco-physiological parameters were measured to determine the effects of the treatments. We measured CO(2) uptake and water vapour exchange, chlorophyll fluorescence, leaf pigment contents, visual symptoms and biomass allocation. Fluoranthene which was deposited as mist onto leaves negatively affected both growth and the quality of tomato plants, while other treatments did not. The photosynthetic rate measured at saturated irradiance was approximately 37% lower in fluoranthene-treated plants compared with the control group. Other variables, such as stomata conductance, the photochemical efficiency of PSII in the dark, Chl a, Chl b, and the total chlorophyll contents of the tomato leaves were significantly reduced in the fluoranthene-treated plants. Tomato plants treated with fluoranthene showed severe visible injury symptoms on the foliage during the exposure period. Mannitol (a reactive oxygen scavenger) mitigated effects of fluoranthene; thus, reactive oxygen species generated through fluoranthene may be responsible for the damaged tomato plants. It is possible for fluoranthene to decrease the aesthetic and hence the economic value of this valuable crop plant. 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-11-01

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

  15. A Synthetic Community Approach Reveals Plant Genotypes Affecting the Phyllosphere Microbiota

    PubMed Central

    Bodenhausen, Natacha; Bortfeld-Miller, Miriam; Ackermann, Martin; Vorholt, Julia A.

    2014-01-01

    The identity of plant host genetic factors controlling the composition of the plant microbiota and the extent to which plant genes affect associated microbial populations is currently unknown. Here, we use a candidate gene approach to investigate host effects on the phyllosphere community composition and abundance. To reduce the environmental factors that might mask genetic factors, the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana was used in a gnotobiotic system and inoculated with a reduced complexity synthetic bacterial community composed of seven strains representing the most abundant phyla in the phyllosphere. From a panel of 55 plant mutants with alterations in the surface structure, cell wall, defense signaling, secondary metabolism, and pathogen recognition, a small number of single host mutations displayed an altered microbiota composition and/or abundance. Host alleles that resulted in the strongest perturbation of the microbiota relative to the wild-type were lacs2 and pec1. These mutants affect cuticle formation and led to changes in community composition and an increased bacterial abundance relative to the wild-type plants, suggesting that different bacteria can benefit from a modified cuticle to different extents. Moreover, we identified ein2, which is involved in ethylene signaling, as a host factor modulating the community's composition. Finally, we found that different Arabidopsis accessions exhibited different communities, indicating that plant host genetic factors shape the associated microbiota, thus harboring significant potential for the identification of novel plant factors affecting the microbiota of the communities. PMID:24743269

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-09-01

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

  18. Widespread seed limitation affects plant density but not population trajectory in the invasive plant Centaurea solstitialis.

    PubMed

    Swope, Sarah M; Parker, Ingrid M

    2010-09-01

    In some plant populations, the availability of seeds strongly regulates recruitment. However, a scarcity of germination microsites, granivory or density-dependent mortality can reduce the number of plants that germinate or survive to flower. The relative strengths of these controls are unknown for most plant populations and for exotic invaders in particular. We conducted a seed addition experiment with a granivore exclusion treatment in a field setting to explore how these factors interact to regulate populations of the widespread invader Centaurea solstitialis (yellow starthistle) at three study sites across the plant's range in California. We coupled the experimental approach with observational studies within established C. solstitialis populations to estimate seed rain, recruitment and mortality at natural densities. Seed limitation occurred in both experimental and observational plots in all populations. Although vertebrate granivores were active at each site, they had no effect on C. solstitialis recruitment. Density increased mortality, but the effect was variable and weak relative to its effect on fecundity. The seed limitation that was evident at the seedling stage persisted to flowering. Seed-limited populations such as these ought to be highly sensitive to losses to seed predators, and many biological control agents, including those established for C. solstitialis, are seed predators. However, flowering plant density was decoupled from seed production by a strong compensatory response in the surviving plants; seed production was nearly constant in plots across all seed addition levels. Thus, flowering plant density is reduced by the established biocontrol agents, but seed production compensates to replace the population every generation, and no long-term decline is predicted.

  19. Selective Pressure along a Latitudinal Gradient Affects Subindividual Variation in Plants

    PubMed Central

    Sobral, Mar; Guitián, José; Guitián, Pablo; Larrinaga, Asier R.

    2013-01-01

    Individual plants produce repeated structures such as leaves, flowers or fruits, which, although belonging to the same genotype, are not phenotypically identical. Such subindividual variation reflects the potential of individual genotypes to vary with micro-environmental conditions. Furthermore, variation in organ traits imposes costs to foraging animals such as time, energy and increased predation risk. Therefore, animals that interact with plants may respond to this variation and affect plant fitness. Thus, phenotypic variation within an individual plant could be, in part, an adaptive trait. Here we investigated this idea and we found that subindividual variation of fruit size of Crataegus monogyna, in different populations throughout the latitudinal gradient in Europe, was explained at some extent by the selective pressures exerted by seed-dispersing birds. These findings support the hypothesis that within-individual variation in plants is an adaptive trait selected by interacting animals which may have important implications for plant evolution. PMID:24069297

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    There is increasing recognition of the importance of niche optima in the shift of plant-plant interactions along environmental stress gradients. Here, we investigate whether deviation from niche optima would affect the outcome of plant-plant interactions along a soil acidity gradient (pH = 3.1, 4.1, 5.5 and 6.1) in a pot experiment. We used the acid-tolerant species Lespedeza formosa Koehne as the neighbouring plant and the acid-tolerant species Indigofera pseudotinctoria Mats. or acid-sensitive species Medicago sativa L. as the target plants. Biomass was used to determine the optimal pH and to calculate the relative interaction index (RII). We found that the relationships between RII and the deviation of soil pH from the target's optimal pH were linear for both target species. Both targets were increasingly promoted by the neighbour as pH values deviated from their optima; neighbours benefitted target plants by promoting soil symbiotic arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, increasing soil organic matter or reducing soil exchangeable aluminium. Our results suggest that the shape of the curve describing the relationship between soil pH and facilitation/competition depends on the soil pH optima of the particular species. © 2016 The Author(s).

  1. Plant diversity and functional groups affect Si and Ca pools in aboveground biomass of grassland systems.

    PubMed

    Schaller, Jörg; Roscher, Christiane; Hillebrand, Helmut; Weigelt, Alexandra; Oelmann, Yvonne; Wilcke, Wolfgang; Ebeling, Anne; Weisser, Wolfgang W

    2016-09-01

    Plant diversity is an important driver of nitrogen and phosphorus stocks in aboveground plant biomass of grassland ecosystems, but plant diversity effects on other elements also important for plant growth are less understood. We tested whether plant species richness, functional group richness or the presence/absence of particular plant functional groups influences the Si and Ca concentrations (mmol g(-1)) and stocks (mmol m(-2)) in aboveground plant biomass in a large grassland biodiversity experiment (Jena Experiment). In the experiment including 60 temperate grassland species, plant diversity was manipulated as sown species richness (1, 2, 4, 8, 16) and richness and identity of plant functional groups (1-4; grasses, small herbs, tall herbs, legumes). We found positive species richness effects on Si as well as Ca stocks that were attributable to increased biomass production. The presence of particular functional groups was the most important factor explaining variation in aboveground Si and Ca stocks (mmol m(-2)). Grass presence increased the Si stocks by 140 % and legume presence increased the Ca stock by 230 %. Both the presence of specific plant functional groups and species diversity altered Si and Ca stocks, whereas Si and Ca concentration were affected mostly by the presence of specific plant functional groups. However, we found a negative effect of species diversity on Si and Ca accumulation, by calculating the deviation between mixtures and mixture biomass proportions, but in monoculture concentrations. These changes may in turn affect ecosystem processes such as plant litter decomposition and nutrient cycling in grasslands.

  2. Genetic factors affecting food-plant specialization of an oligophagous seed predator.

    PubMed

    Laukkanen, L; Leimu, R; Muola, A; Lilley, M; Mutikainen, P

    2013-01-01

    Several ecological and genetic factors affect the diet specialization of insect herbivores. The evolution of specialization may be constrained by lack of genetic variation in herbivore performance on different food-plant species. By traditional view, trade-offs, that is, negative genetic correlations between the performance of the herbivores on different food-plant species favour the evolution of specialization. To investigate whether there is genetic variation or trade-offs in herbivore performance between different food plants that may influence specialization of the oligophagous seed-eating herbivore, Lygaeus equestris (Heteroptera), we conducted a feeding trial in laboratory using four food-plant species. Although L. equestris is specialized on Vincetoxicum hirundinaria (Apocynaceae) to some degree, it occasionally feeds on alternative food-plant species. We did not find significant negative genetic correlations between mortality, developmental time and adult biomass of L. equestris on the different food-plant species. We found genetic variation in mortality and developmental time of L. equestris on some of the food plants, but not in adult biomass. Our results suggest that trade-offs do not affect adaptation and specialization of L. equestris to current and novel food-plant species, but the lack of genetic variation may restrict food-plant utilization. As food-plant specialization of herbivores may have wide-ranging effects, for instance, on coevolving plant-herbivore interactions and speciation, it is essential to thoroughly understand the factors behind the specialization process. Our findings provide valuable information about the role of genetic factors in food-plant specialization of this oligophagous herbivore. © 2012 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2012 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-01

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

  4. The impact of changes in the amount and timing of precipitation on the herbaceous understorey of Mediterranean evergreen oak woodlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jongen, Marjan; Lecomte, Xavier; Pereira, João. S.

    2010-05-01

    In the Iberian Peninsula, the evergreen oak woodlands, called montados in Portugal and dehesas in Spain, are of great ecological and socio-economic importance. Dominated by evergreen Quercus species, these savanna-type woodlands are characterized by a widely separated tree stratum associated with an herbaceous understorey, dominated by C3 annual species. The productivity and biogeochemical cycles of the herbaceous layer are highly dependent on timing and magnitude of precipitation. Climate change scenarios for the region suggest not only increasing air temperatures, but also the possibility of decreasing spring precipitation, accompanied by an increase in the interval between precipitation events, which might cause drought conditions to occur. To understand the impact of hydrological changes on productivity and ecosystem processes of the herbaceous understorey in these ecosystems, water manipulation experiments are being carried out in Portugal. In autumn 2009, large (30 m2) rain-out shelters were constructed near Coruche (Portugal), with the aim of studying the effect of precipitation variability on the understorey vegetation in a managed cork oak woodland. Initially, the two treatments in the rain-out shelters will be: (1) ambient precipitation quantity, with a dry period of 7 days, and (2) ambient precipitation quantity with a dry period of 21 days. The 'ambient precipitation quantity' is based on historical precipitation data for the experimental site, with average annual precipitation of 680 mm. In addition to the above two treatments, there will be non-sheltered reference plots, receiving natural rainfall patterns. In the future we aim to reduce the precipitation quantity (-30%) with similar length of the dry periods as above. From February 2010 onwards, we will gather a full data set for environmental variables, as well as productivity, species composition, soil CO2 flux, soil nitrogen and photosynthesis. Preliminary results will be presented.

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

    PubMed

    Vankosky, Meghan A; VanLaerhoven, Sherah L

    2016-01-22

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

  6. The Salicylic Acid-Mediated Release of Plant Volatiles Affects the Host Choice of Bemisia tabaci

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Xiaobin; Chen, Gong; Tian, Lixia; Peng, Zhengke; Xie, Wen; Wu, Qingjun; Wang, Shaoli; Zhou, Xuguo; Zhang, Youjun

    2016-01-01

    The whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) causes serious crop losses worldwide by transmitting viruses. We have previously shown that salicylic acid (SA)-related plant defenses directly affect whiteflies. In this study, we applied exogenous SA to tomato plants in order to investigate the interaction between SA-induced plant volatiles and nonviruliferous B. tabaci B and Q or B- and Q-carrying tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV). The results showed that exogenous SA caused plants to repel nonviruliferous whiteflies, but the effect was reduced when the SA concentration was low and when the whiteflies were viruliferous. Exogenous SA increased the number and quantity of plant volatiles—especially the quantity of methyl salicylate and δ-limonene. In Y-tube olfactometer assays, methyl salicylate and δ-limonene repelled the whiteflies, but the repellency was reduced for viruliferous Q. We suggest that the release of plant volatiles as mediated by SA affects the interaction between whiteflies, plants, and viruses. Further studies are needed to determine why viruliferous Q is less sensitive than nonviruliferous Q to repellent plant volatiles. PMID:27376280

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  8. Plant natriuretic peptides: systemic regulators of plant homeostasis and defense that can affect cardiomyoblasts.

    PubMed

    Gehring, Chris; Irving, Helen

    2013-06-01

    Immunologic evidence has suggested the presence of biologically active natriuretic peptide (NPs) hormones in plants because antiatrial NP antibodies affinity purify biologically active plant NPs (PNP). In the model plant, an Arabidopsis thaliana PNP (AtPNP-A) has been identified and characterized. AtPNP-A belongs to a novel class of molecules that share some similarity with the cell wall loosening expansins but do not contain the carbohydrate-binding wall anchor thus suggesting that PNPs and atrial natriuretic peptides are heterologs. AtPNP-A acts systemically, and this is consistent with its localization in the apoplastic extracellular space and the conductive tissue. Furthermore, AtPNP-A signals via the second messenger cyclic guanosine 3',5'-monophosphate and modulates ion and water transport and homeostasis. It also plays a critical role in host defense against pathogens. AtPNP-A can be classified as novel paracrine plant hormone because it is secreted into the apoplastic space in response to stress and can enhance its own expression. Interestingly, purified recombinant PNP induces apoptosis in a dose-dependent manner and was most effective on cardiac myoblast cell lines. Because PNP is mimicking the effect of ANP in some instances, PNP may prove to provide useful leads for development of novel therapeutic NPs.

  9. Planting geometry and plant population affect dryland maize grain yield and harvest index

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Water for dryland grain production in the Texas panhandle is limited. Agronomic practices such as reduction in plant population or change in sowing time may help increase maize (Zea mays L.) yield potential. Tiller formation under dryland conditions leads to more vegetative growth and reduced yield....

  10. The Ecological and Geographic Context of Morphological and Genetic Divergence in an Understorey-Dwelling Bird

    PubMed Central

    Ribeiro, Ângela M.; Lloyd, Penn; Dean, W. Richard J.; Brown, Mark; Bowie, Rauri C. K.

    2014-01-01

    Advances in understanding the process of species formation require an integrated perspective that includes the evaluation of spatial, ecological and genetic components. One approach is to focus on multiple stages of divergence within the same species. Species that comprise phenotypically different populations segregated in apparently distinct habitats, in which range is presently continuous but was putatively geographically isolated provide an interesting system to study the mechanisms of population divergence. Here, we attempt to elucidate the role of ecology and geography in explaining observed morphological and genetic variation in an understorey-dwelling bird endemic to southeastern Africa, where two subspecies are recognized according to phenotype and habitat affinity. We carried out a range-wide analysis of climatic requirements, morphological and genetic variation across southeast Africa to test the hypothesis that the extent of gene flow among populations of the brown scrub-robin are influenced by their distinct climatic niches. We recovered two distinct trends depending on whether our analyses were hierarchically structured at the subspecies or at the within subspecies level. Between subspecies we found pronounced morphological differentiation associated with strong reproductive isolation (no gene flow) between populations occupying divergent climatic niches characterized by changes in the temperature of the warmest and wettest month. In contrast, within subspecies, we recovered continuous morphological variation with extensive gene flow among populations inhabiting the temperate and sub-tropical forests of southern Africa, despite divergence along the climate axis that is mainly determined by minimum temperature and precipitation of the coldest months. Our results highlight the role of niche divergence as a diversifying force that can promote reproductive isolation in vertebrates. PMID:24516521

  11. Competitive dominance by tabular corals: an experimental analysis of recruitment and survival of understorey assemblages.

    PubMed

    Baird; Hughes

    2000-08-23

    Tabular and staghorn corals of the genus Acropora often form low-diversity stands on shallow coral reefs, presumably due to their rapid growth rate and ability to outcompete understorey assemblages. Coral cover underneath the abundant Indo-Pacific tabular coral, Acropora hyacinthus, was four times lower than on the adjacent substratum on the reef crest at Lizard Island on the northern Great Barrier Reef. We investigated the effect of A. hyacinthus on patterns of recruitment and mortality by placing experimental panels and coral fragments underneath large colonies of A. hyacinthus. After 8 weeks, recruitment of corals, filamentous algae and crustose coralline algae (CCA) underneath A. hyacinthus was 96, 85 and 50% lower, respectively, compared to panels placed in the open. In contrast, recruitment by bivalves and polychaetes was uniform among treatments, while bryozoans recruited four times more abundantly under A. hyacinthus than in the open. Consequently, the low rate of recruitment by corals beneath A. hyacinthus does not appear to be due to a reduction in the delivery of larvae underneath tables. Instead, the disparity between phototrophic and heterotrophic taxa suggests that diminished light levels under A. hyacinthus are partially responsible for the divergence in recruit assemblages. To test the effect of A. hyacinthus on early mortality and growth of established organisms, recruitment panels were placed on the open for 9 weeks then transplanted underneath A. hyacinthus for a further 8 weeks. The survivorship of juvenile corals underneath tables was less than half that of those on control panels on the unshaded reef crest. Furthermore, the abundance of algal turfs and CCA was sharply lower on transplanted panels. In contrast, heterotrophic organisms increased in cover, regardless of treatment. Experimental branch fragments of Acropora intermedia and Pocillopora damicornis also survived poorly following transplantation underneath A. hyacinthus, compared to

  12. Warming climate may negatively affect native forest understory plant richness and composition by increasing invasions of non-native plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dovciak, M.; Wason, J. W., III; Frair, J.; Lesser, M.; Hurst, J.

    2016-12-01

    Warming climate is often expected to cause poleward and upslope migrations of native plant species and facilitate the spread of non-native plants, and thus affect the composition and diversity of forest understory plant communities. However, changing climate can often interact with other components of global environmental change, and especially so with land use, which often varies along extant climatic gradients making it more difficult to predict species and biodiversity responses to changing climate. We used large national databases (USDA FIA, NLCD, and PRISM) within GLM and NMDS analytical frameworks to study the effects of climate (temperature and precipitation), and land management (type, fragmentation, time since disturbance) on the diversity and composition of native and non-native plant species in forest understories across large geographical (environmental) gradients of the northeastern United States. We tested how non-native and native species diversity and composition responded to existing climate gradients and land-use drivers, and we approximated how changing climate may affect both native and non-native species composition and richness under different climate change scenarios (+1.5, 2, and 4.8 degrees C). Many understory forest plant communities already contain large proportions of non-native plants, particularly so in relatively warmer and drier areas, at lower elevations, and in areas with more substantial land-use histories. On the other hand, cooler and moister areas, higher elevations, and areas used predominantly for forestry or nature conservation (i.e., large contiguous forest cover) were characterized by a low proportion of non-native plant species in terms of both species cover and richness. In contrast to native plants, non-native plant richness was related positively to mean annual temperature and negatively to precipitation. Mountain areas appeared to serve as refugia for native forest understory species under the current climate, but

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Element accumulation in boreal bryophytes, lichens and vascular plants exposed to heavy metal and sulfur deposition in Finland.

    PubMed

    Salemaa, Maija; Derome, John; Helmisaari, Heljä-Sisko; Nieminen, Tiina; Vanha-Majamaa, Ilkka

    2004-05-25

    Macronutrient (N, P, K, Mg, S, Ca), heavy metal (Fe, Zn, Mn, Cu, Ni, Cd, Pb) and Al concentrations in understorey bryophytes, lichens and vascular plant species growing in Scots pine forests at four distances from the Harjavalta Cu-Ni smelter (0.5, 2, 4 and 8 km) were compared to those at two background sites in Finland. The aim was to study the relationship between element accumulation and the distribution of the species along a pollution gradient. Elevated sulfur, nitrogen and heavy metal concentrations were found in all species groups near the pollution source. Macronutrient concentrations tended to decrease in the order: vascular plants>bryophytes>lichens, when all the species groups grew on the same plot. Heavy metal concentrations (except Mn) were the highest in bryophytes, followed by lichens, and were the lowest in vascular plants. In general, vascular plants, being capable of restricting the uptake of toxic elements, grew closer to the smelter than lichens, while bryophytes began to increase in the understorey vegetation at further distances from the smelter. A pioneer moss (Pohlia nutans) was an exception, because it accumulated considerably higher amounts of Cu and Ni than the other species and still survived close to the smelter. The abundance of most of the species decreased with increasing Cu and Ni concentrations in their tissues. Cetraria islandica, instead, showed a positive relationship between the abundance and Cu, Ni and S concentrations of the thallus. It is probable that, in addition to heavy metals, sporadically high SO(2) emissions have also affected the distribution of the plant species.

  17. Beneath the veil: Plant growth form influences the strength of species richness-productivity relationships in forests

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Oberle, B.; Grace, J.B.; Chase, J.M.

    2009-01-01

    Aim: Species richness has been observed to increase with productivity at large spatial scales, though the strength of this relationship varies among functional groups. In forests, canopy trees shade understorey plants, and for this reason we hypothesize that species richness of canopy trees will depend on macroclimate, while species richness of shorter growth forms will additionally be affected by shading from the canopy. In this study we test for differences in species richness-productivity relationships (SRPRs) among growth forms (canopy trees, shrubs, herbaceous species) in small forest plots. Location: We analysed 231 plots ranging from 34.0?? to 48.3?? N latitude and from 75.0?? to 124.2?? W longitude in the United States. Methods: We analysed data collected by the USDA Forest Inventory and Analysis program for plant species richness partitioned into different growth forms, in small plots. We used actual evapotranspiration as a macroclimatic estimate of regional productivity and calculated the area of light-blocking tissue in the immediate area surrounding plots for an estimate of the intensity of local shading. We estimated and compared SRPRs for different partitions of the species richness dataset using generalized linear models and we incorporated the possible indirect effects of shading using a structural equation model. Results: Canopy tree species richness increased strongly with regional productivity, while local shading primarily explained the variation in herbaceous plant richness. Shrub species richness was related to both regional productivity and local shading. Main conclusions: The relationship between total forest plant species richness and productivity at large scales belies strong effects of local interactions. Counter to the pattern for overall richness, we found that understorey herbaceous plant species richness does not respond to regional productivity gradients, and instead is strongly influenced by canopy density, while shrub species

  18. Ozone affects growth and development of Pieris brassicae on the wild host plant Brassica nigra.

    PubMed

    Khaling, Eliezer; Papazian, Stefano; Poelman, Erik H; Holopainen, Jarmo K; Albrectsen, Benedicte R; Blande, James D

    2015-04-01

    When plants are exposed to ozone they exhibit changes in both primary and secondary metabolism, which may affect their interactions with herbivorous insects. Here we investigated the performance and preferences of the specialist herbivore Pieris brassicae on the wild plant Brassica nigra under elevated ozone conditions. The direct and indirect effects of ozone on the plant-herbivore system were studied. In both cases ozone exposure had a negative effect on P. brassicae development. However, in dual-choice tests larvae preferentially consumed plant material previously fumigated with the highest concentration tested, showing a lack of correlation between larval preference and performance on ozone exposed plants. Metabolomic analysis of leaf material subjected to combinations of ozone and herbivore-feeding, and focussing on known defence metabolites, indicated that P. brassicae behaviour and performance were associated with ozone-induced alterations to glucosinolate and phenolic pools.

  19. Factors affecting the transfer of radionuclides from the environment to plants.

    PubMed

    Golmakani, S; Moghaddam, M Vahabi; Hosseini, Tahereh

    2008-01-01

    Much of our food directly or indirectly originates from plant material; thus, detailed studies on plant contamination processes are an essential part of international environmental research. This overview attempts to identify and describe the most important parameters and processes affecting the behaviour of radionuclide transfer to plants. Many parameters influence these processes. These parameters are related to: (1) plant, (2) soil, (3) radionuclide, (4) climate and (5) time. Often there is no boundary between the factors and they are linked to each other. Knowledge of important factors in radionuclide transfer to plants can help to assess and prevent radiological exposure of humans. This knowledge can also help to guide researches and modelling related to transfer of radionuclides to food chain.

  20. Plant Water Stress Affects Interactions Between an Invasive and a Naturalized Aphid Species on Cereal Crops

    PubMed Central

    Foote, N. E.; Davis, T. S.; Crowder, D. W.; Bosque-Pérez, N. A.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract In cereal cropping systems of the Pacific Northwestern United States (PNW), climate change is projected to increase the frequency of drought during summer months, which could increase water stress for crop plants. Yet, it remains uncertain how interactions between herbivore species are affected by drought stress. Here, interactions between two cereal aphids present in PNW cereal systems, Metopolophium festucae (Theobald) subsp. cerealium (a newly invasive species) and Rhopalosiphum padi L. (a naturalized species), were tested relative to wheat water stress. When aphids were confined in leaf cages on wheat, asymmetrical facilitation occurred; per capita fecundity of R. padi was increased by 46% when M. festucae cerealium was also present, compared to when only R. padi was present. Imposed water stress did not influence this interaction. When aphids were confined on whole wheat plants, asymmetrical competition occurred; cocolonization inhibited M. festucae cerealium population growth but did not affect R. padi population growth. Under conditions of plant water stress, however, the inhibitory effect of R. padi on M. festucae cerealium was not observed. We conclude that beneficial effects of cocolonization on R. padi are due to a localized plant response to M. festucae cerealium feeding, and that cocolonization of plants is likely to suppress M. festucae cerealium populations under ample water conditions, but not when plants are water stressed. This suggests that plant responses to water stress alter the outcome of competition between herbivore species, with implications for the structure of pest communities on wheat during periods of drought. PMID:28430898

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stout, Jane C.; Casey, Leanne M.

    2014-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  3. Cotyledon damage affects seed number through final plant size in the annual grassland species Medicago lupulina.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Shiting; Zhao, Chuan; Lamb, Eric G

    2011-03-01

    The effects of cotyledon damage on seedling growth and survival are relatively well established, but little is known about the effects on aspects of plant fitness such as seed number and size. Here the direct and indirect mechanisms linking cotyledon damage and plant fitness in the annual species Medicago lupulina are examined. Growth and reproductive traits, including mature plant size, time to first flowering, flower number, seed number and individual seed mass were monitored in M. lupulina plants when zero, one or two cotyledons were removed at 7 d old. Structural equation modelling (SEM) was used to examine the mechanisms linking cotyledon damage to seed number and seed mass. Cotyledon damage reduced seed number but not individual seed mass. The primary mechanism was a reduction in plant biomass with cotyledon damage that in turn reduced seed number primarily through a reduction in flower numbers. Although cotyledon damage delayed flower initiation, it had little effect on seed number. Individual seed mass was not affected by cotyledon removal, but there was a trade-off between seed number and seed mass. It is shown how a network of indirect mechanisms link damage to cotyledons and fitness in M. lupulina. Cotyledon damage had strong direct effects on both plant size and flowering phenology, but an analysis of the causal relationships among plant traits and fitness components showed that a reduction in plant size associated with cotyledon damage was an important mechanism influencing fitness.

  4. Effects of precipitation variability on carbon and water fluxes in the understorey of a nitrogen-limited montado ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Jongen, Marjan; Unger, Stephan; Santos Pereira, João

    2014-12-01

    To date the implications of greater intra-annual variability and extremes in precipitation on ecosystem functioning have received little attention. This study presents results on soil and vegetation carbon and water fluxes in the understorey of a Mediterranean oak woodland in response to increasing precipitation variability, with an extension of the dry period between precipitation events from 3 to 6 weeks, without altering total annual precipitation inputs. With prolonged dry periods soil moisture did breach the stress thresholds for ecosystem processes, which led to short-term treatment differences in photosynthesis, but not in system carbon losses, with subsequent short-term decreases in net ecosystem exchange. Independent of treatment, irrigation events rapidly increased carbon and water fluxes. However, contradicting the predictions drawn from the 'bucket model', over the course of the growing season no all-over treatment differences were found in system assimilation and respiration, nor in evapotranspiration and ecosystem water use efficiency. This lack of responsiveness is attributed to the ecosystem's resilience to low soil moisture during the growing season of the herbaceous understorey, with temperature rather than soil moisture controlling key ecosystem processes. Moreover, severe nitrogen limitation of the studied ecosystem may explain the lack of moisture effects on net system carbon dynamics. Thus, although the bucket model predicts changes in soil water dynamics with increasing precipitation variability, ecosystem responses to more extreme precipitation regimes may be influenced by additional factors, such as inter-annual variability in nutrient availability.

  5. How atmospheric CO2 concentrations can affect the hydrogen isotope composition of plant organic compounds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cormier, M. A.; Werner, R. A.; Kahmen, A.

    2016-12-01

    In contrast to the stable carbon, nitrogen and oxygen isotope composition of plant materials, the hydrogen isotope composition of plant organic compounds has not yet been established as a tool in ecological or biogeochemical research. With the development of new analytical instruments that allow the hydrogen isotope analysis of selected plant compounds there is, however, a growing interest to explore the power of hydrogen isotopes as tools for ecological and biogeochemical research. In my presentation, I will summarize recent works from greenhouse experiments showing how, mechanistically, the CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere can affect the hydrogen isotope composition of lipids and cellulose via the carbon and energy metabolism in plants: Our experiments revealed that plants growing under lower atmospheric CO2 concentrations (i.e. 140 ppm) are generally 2H enriched compared to plants growing in contemporary and even higher atmospheric CO2 concentrations (i.e. 400 and 800 ppm). We were able to identify various biochemical processes during the biosynthesis of plant tissue that contribute to these patterns and hope that this will help to establish hydrogen isotope composition of plant derived compounds as a robust proxy for the carbon and energy metabolism in plants that could serve as an important new tool in plant ecology, biogeochemistry and paleoclimatology. This new insight in the biosynthetic fractionation of hydrogen isotopes in plants might also explain a large amount of the scatter observed when looking at the relation between the precipitation and the leaf wax n-alkanes hydrogen isotope composition. This might be particularly relevant for paleo-hydrological studies using hydrogen isotopes in geological transitions where the atmospheric CO2 concentrations vary significantly such as during the glacial-interglacial transitions.

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Bhullar, Gurbir S; Iravani, Majid; Edwards, Peter J; Olde Venterink, Harry

    2013-09-08

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

  9. Soil particle heterogeneity affects the growth of a rhizomatous wetland plant.

    PubMed

    Huang, Lin; Dong, Bi-Cheng; Xue, Wei; Peng, Yi-Ke; Zhang, Ming-Xiang; Yu, Fei-Hai

    2013-01-01

    Soil is commonly composed of particles of different sizes, and soil particle size may greatly affect the growth of plants because it affects soil physical and chemical properties. However, no study has tested the effects of soil particle heterogeneity on the growth of clonal plants. We conducted a greenhouse experiment in which individual ramets of the wetland plant Bolboschoenus planiculmis were grown in three homogeneous soil treatments with uniformly sized quartz particles (small: 0.75 mm, medium: 1.5 mm, or large: 3 mm), one homogeneous treatment with an even mixture of large and medium particles, and two heterogeneous treatments consisting of 16 or 4 patches of large and medium particles. Biomass, ramet number, rhizome length and spacer length were significantly greater in the treatment with only medium particles than in the one with only large particles. Biomass, ramet number, rhizome length and tuber number in the patchy treatments were greater in patches of medium than of large particles; this difference was more pronounced when patches were small than when they were large. Soil particle size and soil particle heterogeneity can greatly affect the growth of clonal plants. Thus, studies to test the effects of soil heterogeneity on clonal plants should distinguish the effects of nutrient heterogeneity from those of particle heterogeneity.

  10. Histone H3 lysine 36 methylation affects temperature-induced alternative splicing and flowering in plants.

    PubMed

    Pajoro, A; Severing, E; Angenent, G C; Immink, R G H

    2017-06-01

    Global warming severely affects flowering time and reproductive success of plants. Alternative splicing of pre-messenger RNA (mRNA) is an important mechanism underlying ambient temperature-controlled responses in plants, yet its regulation is poorly understood. An increase in temperature promotes changes in plant morphology as well as the transition from the vegetative to the reproductive phase in Arabidopsis thaliana via changes in splicing of key regulatory genes. Here we investigate whether a particular histone modification affects ambient temperature-induced alternative splicing and flowering time. We use a genome-wide approach and perform RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) analyses and histone H3 lysine 36 tri-methylation (H3K36me3) chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing (ChIP-seq) in plants exposed to different ambient temperatures. Analysis and comparison of these datasets reveal that temperature-induced differentially spliced genes are enriched in H3K36me3. Moreover, we find that reduction of H3K36me3 deposition causes alteration in temperature-induced alternative splicing. We also show that plants with mutations in H3K36me3 writers, eraser, or readers have altered high ambient temperature-induced flowering. Our results show a key role for the histone mark H3K36me3 in splicing regulation and plant plasticity to fluctuating ambient temperature. Our findings open new perspectives for the breeding of crops that can better cope with environmental changes due to climate change.

  11. Exogenous abscisic acid significantly affects proteome in tea plant (Camellia sinensis) exposed to drought stress

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Tea [Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze] is an important economic crop, and drought is the most important abiotic stress affecting yield and quality. Abscisic acid (ABA) is an important phytohormone responsible for activating drought resistance. Increased understanding of ABA effects on tea plant unde...

  12. Poisonous plants affecting the central nervous system of horses in Brazil

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Poisoning by Indigofera pascuori was recently reported in horses in the state of Roraima. It causes chronic signs of sleepiness, unsteady gait, severe ataxia, and progressive weight loss. Some animals are blind. Young horses are more affected than adults. After the end of plant consumption the anima...

  13. Short-term impact of post-fire salvage logging on regeneration, hazardous fuel accumulation, and understorey development in ponderosa pine forest of the Black Hills, SD, USA

    Treesearch

    Tara L Keyser; Fredrick W Smith; Wayne D. Shepperd

    2009-01-01

    We examined the impacts of post-fire salvage logging on regeneration, fuel accumulation, and understorey vegetation and assessed whether the effects of salvage logging differed between stands burned under moderate and high fire severity following the 2000 Jasper Fire in the Black Hills. In unsalvaged sites, fire-related tree mortality...

  14. Factors affecting intestinal absorption of cholesterol and plant sterols and stanols.

    PubMed

    Ikeda, Ikuo

    2015-01-01

    Various factors affect intestinal absorption of cholesterol and plant sterols and stanols. Plant sterols and stanols are generally less absorptive than cholesterol. Differential absorption rates among various plant sterols and stanols have been also reported. Although it was suggested that differential absorption among cholesterol and various plant sterols was determined by difference in excretion rates of sterols and stanols through ATP-binding cassette transporter (ABC) G5/ABCG8 of intestinal cells, our study suggests that affinity for and solubility in bile salt micelles can be important determinants for differential absorption of plant sterols and stanols. It was also suggested that plant sterols were transiently incorporated into intestinal cells and then excreted to intestinal lumen through ABCG5/ABCG8. However, in a rat study, transient incorporation of sitosterol into intestinal cells was not observed, suggesting that sitosterol is differentiated from cholesterol at the incorporation site of intestinal cells. It is well established that plant sterols inhibit intestinal absorption of cholesterol and exert a hypocholesterolemic activity. Plant sterols are solubilized in bile salt micelles as cholesterol. Our study clearly showed that because the sterol-solubilizing capacity of bile salt micelles was limited, plant sterols solubilized in micelles reduced the solubility of cholesterol. This can be the major cause of inhibition of cholesterol absorption by plant sterols. Pancreatic cholesterol esterase accelerates intestinal absorption of unesterified cholesterol. Although it was suggested that cholesterol esterase accelerated esterification of cholesterol incorporated into intestinal cells and acted as a transporter at the surface of intestinal cells, our research revealed that the accelerated cholesterol absorption was caused by hydrolysis of phosphatidylcholine in bile salt micelles. It is thought that hydrolysis of phosphatidylcholine reduces the affinity of

  15. 4-Methylthiobutyl isothiocyanate (Erucin) from rocket plant dichotomously affects the activity of human immunocompetent cells.

    PubMed

    Gründemann, Carsten; Garcia-Käufer, Manuel; Lamy, Evelyn; Hanschen, Franziska S; Huber, Roman

    2015-03-15

    Isothiocyanates (ITC) from the Brassicaceae plant family are regarded as promising for prevention and treatment of cancer. However, experimental settings consider their therapeutic action without taking into account the risk of unwanted effects on healthy tissues. In the present study we investigated the effects of Eruca sativa seed extract containing MTBITC (Erucin) and pure Erucin from rocket plant on healthy cells of the human immune system in vitro. Hereby, high doses of the plant extract as well as of Erucin inhibited cell viability of human lymphocytes via induction of apoptosis to comparable amounts. Non-toxic low concentrations of the plant extract and pure Erucin altered the expression of the interleukin (IL)-2 receptor but did not affect further T cell activation, proliferation and the release of the effector molecules interferon (IFN)-gamma and IL-2 of T-lymphocytes. However, the activity of NK-cells was significantly reduced by non-toxic concentrations of the plant extract and pure Erucin. These results indicate that the plant extract and pure Erucin interfere with the function of human T lymphocytes and decreases the activity of NK-cells in comparable concentrations. Long-term clinical studies with ITC-enriched plant extracts from Brassicaceae should take this into account.

  16. Carbon Allocation in Mojave Desert Plant-Soil Systems as Affected by Nitrogen and Water Availability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Verburg, P. S.; Kapitzke, S. E.

    2008-12-01

    Changes in atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition due to increased urbanization and precipitation due to climate change are likely to affect carbon (C) allocation in plants and soils in arid ecosystems in the Southwestern United States where net primary production is often limited by N and water availability. We conducted a greenhouse study to determine the effects of N and water availability on one year old creosote (Larrea tridentata) plants, the dominant shrub in the Mojave Desert. In our greenhouse study we employed two N levels (0 and 40 kg ha-1) and two soil moisture levels (7% and 15%). We grew creosote seedlings in PVC columns filled with topsoil from the Mojave Global Change Facility at the Nevada Test Site. The columns were covered and sealed at the base of the plant to separate the above- from belowground plant compartment. Plants were distributed over two growth chambers receiving ambient light while day/night temperatures were set at 25° C/15° C. In one chamber plants were labeled once a week with 13C-enriched CO2 while a second chamber acted as an unlabeled control. Throughout the six month study we measured soil CO2 concentrations, respired CO2 as well as their isotopic signatures. At the end of the study plants were harvested and we measured plant above- and belowground biomass and isotopic composition of the vegetation. In addition, we measured isotopic composition of soil organic and inorganic C. Increased N availability stimulated stem weight and decreased total C losses through soil respiration. Other plant and soil parameters including isotopic composition were not affected by changes in N availability. Increased soil moisture stimulated plant biomass mainly due to an increase in leaf weight while root biomass tended to decrease. Soil CO2 concentrations increased with increasing water availability despite a reduction in root biomass. The isotopic data showed that net new C uptake increased mostly in leaves, soil organic matter and soil

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Metal/metalloid fixation by litter during decomposition affected by silicon availability during plant growth.

    PubMed

    Schaller, Jörg

    2013-03-01

    Organic matter is known to accumulate high amounts of metals/metalloids, enhanced during the process of decomposition by heterotrophic biofilms (with high fixation capacity for metals/metalloids). The colonization by microbes and the decay rate of the organic matter depends on different litter properties. Main litter properties affecting the decomposition of organic matter such as the nutrient ratios and the content of cellulose, lignin and phenols are currently described to be changed by silicon availability. But less is known about the impact of silicon availability during plant growth on elemental fixation during decay. Hence, this research focuses on the impact of silicon availability during plant growth on fixation of 42 elements during litter decay, by controlling the litter properties. The results of this experiment are a significantly higher metal/metalloid accumulation during decomposition of plant litter grown under low silicon availability. This may be explained by the altered litter properties (mainly nutrient content) affecting the microbial decomposition of the litter, the microbial growth on the litter and possibly by the silicon double layer, which is evident in leaf litter with high silicon content and reduces the binding sites for metals/metalloids. Furthermore, this silicon double layer may also reduce the growing biofilm by reducing the availability of carbon compounds at the litter surface and has to be elucidated in further research. Hence, low silicon availability during plant growth enhances the metal/metalloid accumulation into plant litter during aquatic decomposition. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Plant sterols: factors affecting their efficacy and safety as functional food ingredients

    PubMed Central

    Berger, Alvin; Jones, Peter JH; Abumweis, Suhad S

    2004-01-01

    Plant sterols are naturally occurring molecules that humanity has evolved with. Herein, we have critically evaluated recent literature pertaining to the myriad of factors affecting efficacy and safety of plant sterols in free and esterified forms. We conclude that properly solubilized 4-desmetyl plant sterols, in ester or free form, in reasonable doses (0.8–1.0 g of equivalents per day) and in various vehicles including natural sources, and as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle, are important dietary components for lowering low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and maintaining good heart health. In addition to their cholesterol lowering properties, plant sterols possess anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-atherogenicity, and anti-oxidation activities, and should thus be of clinical importance, even for those individuals without elevated LDL cholesterol. The carotenoid lowering effect of plant sterols should be corrected by increasing intake of food that is rich in carotenoids. In pregnant and lactating women and children, further study is needed to verify the dose required to decrease blood cholesterol without affecting fat-soluble vitamins and carotenoid status. PMID:15070410

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Interaction between parental environment and genotype affects plant and seed performance in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    He, Hanzi; de Souza Vidigal, Deborah; Snoek, L Basten; Schnabel, Sabine; Nijveen, Harm; Hilhorst, Henk; Bentsink, Leónie

    2014-12-01

    Seed performance after dispersal is highly dependent on parental environmental cues, especially during seed formation and maturation. Here we examine which environmental factors are the most dominant in this respect and whether their effects are dependent on the genotypes under investigation. We studied the influence of light intensity, photoperiod, temperature, nitrate, and phosphate during seed development on five plant attributes and thirteen seed attributes, using 12 Arabidopsis genotypes that have been reported to be affected in seed traits. As expected, the various environments during seed development resulted in changed plant and/or seed performances. Comparative analysis clearly indicated that, overall, temperature plays the most dominant role in both plant and seed performance, whereas light has a prominent impact on plant traits. In comparison to temperature and light, nitrate mildly affected some of the plant and seed traits while phosphate had even less influence on those traits. Moreover, clear genotype-by-environment interactions were identified. This was shown by the fact that individual genotypes responded differentially to the environmental conditions. Low temperature significantly increased seed dormancy and decreased seed longevity of NILDOG1 and cyp707a1-1, whereas low light intensity increased seed dormancy and decreased seed longevity of NILDOG3 and NILDOG6. This also indicates that different genetic and molecular pathways are involved in the plant and seed responses. By identifying environmental conditions that affect the dormancy vs longevity correlation in the same way as previously identified naturally occurring loci, we have identified selective forces that probably shaped evolution for these important seed traits.

  2. Interaction between parental environment and genotype affects plant and seed performance in Arabidopsis

    PubMed Central

    He, Hanzi; de Souza Vidigal, Deborah; Snoek, L. Basten; Schnabel, Sabine; Nijveen, Harm; Hilhorst, Henk; Bentsink, Leónie

    2014-01-01

    Seed performance after dispersal is highly dependent on parental environmental cues, especially during seed formation and maturation. Here we examine which environmental factors are the most dominant in this respect and whether their effects are dependent on the genotypes under investigation. We studied the influence of light intensity, photoperiod, temperature, nitrate, and phosphate during seed development on five plant attributes and thirteen seed attributes, using 12 Arabidopsis genotypes that have been reported to be affected in seed traits. As expected, the various environments during seed development resulted in changed plant and/or seed performances. Comparative analysis clearly indicated that, overall, temperature plays the most dominant role in both plant and seed performance, whereas light has a prominent impact on plant traits. In comparison to temperature and light, nitrate mildly affected some of the plant and seed traits while phosphate had even less influence on those traits. Moreover, clear genotype-by-environment interactions were identified. This was shown by the fact that individual genotypes responded differentially to the environmental conditions. Low temperature significantly increased seed dormancy and decreased seed longevity of NILDOG1 and cyp707a1-1, whereas low light intensity increased seed dormancy and decreased seed longevity of NILDOG3 and NILDOG6. This also indicates that different genetic and molecular pathways are involved in the plant and seed responses. By identifying environmental conditions that affect the dormancy vs longevity correlation in the same way as previously identified naturally occurring loci, we have identified selective forces that probably shaped evolution for these important seed traits. PMID:25240065

  3. Salicylic acid negatively affects the response to salt stress in pea plants.

    PubMed

    Barba-Espín, G; Clemente-Moreno, M J; Alvarez, S; García-Legaz, M F; Hernández, J A; Díaz-Vivancos, P

    2011-11-01

    We studied the effect of salicylic acid (SA) treatment on the response of pea plants to salinity. Sodium chloride (NaCl)-induced damage to leaves was increased by SA, which was correlated with a reduction in plant growth. The content of reduced ascorbate and glutathione in leaves of salt-treated plants increased in response to SA, although accumulation of the respective oxidised forms occurred. An increase in hydrogen peroxide also occurred in leaves of salt-exposed plants treated with SA. In the absence of NaCl, SA increased ascorbate peroxidase (APX; 100 μm) and glutathione-S transferase (GST; 50 μm) activities and increased catalase (CAT) activity in a concentration-dependent manner. Salinity decreased glutathione reductase (GR) activity, but increased GST and CAT activity. In salt-stressed plants, SA also produced changes in antioxidative enzymes: 100 μm SA decreased APX but increased GST. Finally, a concentration-dependent increase in superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity was induced by SA treatment in salt-stressed plants. Induction of PR-1b was observed in NaCl-stressed plants treated with SA. The treatment with SA, as well as the interaction between salinity and SA treatment, had a significant effect on PsMAPK3 expression. The expression of PsMAPK3 was not altered by 70 mm NaCl, but was statistically higher in the absence than in the presence of SA. Overall, the results show that SA treatment negatively affected the response of pea plants to NaCl, and this response correlated with an imbalance in antioxidant metabolism. The data also show that SA treatment could enhance the resistance of salt-stressed plants to possible opportunistic pathogen attack, as suggested by increased PR-1b gene expression. © 2011 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  4. Characteristics of plant cell walls affecting intake and digestibility of forages by ruminants.

    PubMed

    Jung, H G; Allen, M S

    1995-09-01

    Even under the intensive concentrate feeding systems of ruminant animal production in the United States, forages continue to represent the single most important feed resource. Cell-wall concentration and digestibility limit the intake potential and energy availability of forage crops in beef and dairy production. Identification of cell-wall characteristics that should be targets of genetic modification is required if plant breeders and molecular biologists are to successfully improve forages for livestock feeding. As the forage plant cell develops, phenolic acids and lignin are deposited in the maturing cell wall in specific structural conformations, and in a strict developmental sequence. Lignin is the key element that limits cell-wall digestibility, but cross-linkage of lignin and wall polysaccharides by ferulic acid bridges may be a prerequisite for lignin to exert its affect. Lignin composition and p-coumaric acid in the wall are less likely to affect digestibility. Voluntary intake of forages is a critical determinant of animal performance and cell-wall concentration is negatively related to intake of ruminants consuming high-forage diets. Cell walls affect intake by contributing to ruminal fill. A simple model of cell-wall digestion and passage in which ruminal fill is a function of rates of digestion and passage, as well as the indigestible fraction of the cell-wall indicates that cell-wall concentration and rate of passage are the most critical parameters determining ruminal fill. Plant factors that affect rate of passage include those that affect particle size reduction by chewing and those that affect particle buoyancy in the rumen. The latter is primarily affected by 1) the ability of the particulate matter to retain gases, which is probably related to plant anatomy and rate of digestion of the plant tissue, and 2) the rate at which the gas is produced, which is affected by the potentially digestible fraction of the particulate matter and the rate of

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2017-01-01

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

  7. Plant Water Stress Affects Interactions Between an Invasive and a Naturalized Aphid Species on Cereal Crops.

    PubMed

    Foote, N E; Davis, T S; Crowder, D W; Bosque-Pérez, N A; Eigenbrode, S D

    2017-06-01

    In cereal cropping systems of the Pacific Northwestern United States (PNW), climate change is projected to increase the frequency of drought during summer months, which could increase water stress for crop plants. Yet, it remains uncertain how interactions between herbivore species are affected by drought stress. Here, interactions between two cereal aphids present in PNW cereal systems, Metopolophium festucae (Theobald) subsp. cerealium (a newly invasive species) and Rhopalosiphum padi L. (a naturalized species), were tested relative to wheat water stress. When aphids were confined in leaf cages on wheat, asymmetrical facilitation occurred; per capita fecundity of R. padi was increased by 46% when M. festucae cerealium was also present, compared to when only R. padi was present. Imposed water stress did not influence this interaction. When aphids were confined on whole wheat plants, asymmetrical competition occurred; cocolonization inhibited M. festucae cerealium population growth but did not affect R. padi population growth. Under conditions of plant water stress, however, the inhibitory effect of R. padi on M. festucae cerealium was not observed. We conclude that beneficial effects of cocolonization on R. padi are due to a localized plant response to M. festucae cerealium feeding, and that cocolonization of plants is likely to suppress M. festucae cerealium populations under ample water conditions, but not when plants are water stressed. This suggests that plant responses to water stress alter the outcome of competition between herbivore species, with implications for the structure of pest communities on wheat during periods of drought. © The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America.

  8. Biogenic NO emission from a spruce forest soil in the Fichtelgebirge (Germany) under the influence of different understorey vegetation cover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bargsten, A.; Andreae, M. O.; Meixner, F. X.

    2009-04-01

    Within the framework of the EGER project (ExchanGE processes in mountainous Regions) soil samples have been taken from the spruce forest site "Weidenbrunnen" (Fichtelgebirge, Germany) in September 2008 to determine the NO exchange in the laboratory and for a series of soil analyses. The soil was sampled below different understorey vegetation covers: young Norway spruce, moss/litter, blueberries and grass. We investigated the net NO release rate from corresponding organic layers as well as from the A horizon of respective soils. Additionally we measured pH, C/N ratio, contents of ammonium, nitrate, and organic C, bulk density, the thickness of the organic layer and the quality of the organic matter. Net NO release rates (as well as the NO production and NO consumption rates) from the soil samples were determined by a fully automated laboratory incubation & fumigation system. Purified dry air passed five dynamic incubation chambers, four containing water saturated soil samples and one reference chamber. By this procedure, the soil samples dried out slowly (within 2-6 days), covering the full range of soil moisture (0-300% gravimetric soil moisture). To quantify NO production and NO consumption rates separately, soil samples were fumigated with zero-air (approx. 0 ppb NO) and air of 133 ppb NO. The chambers were placed in a thermostatted cabinet for incubation at 10 an 20˚ C. NO and H2O concentrations at the outlet of the five dynamic chambers were measured sequentially by chemiluminescence and IR-absorption based analyzers, switching corresponding valves every two minutes. Net NO release rates were determined from the NO concentration difference between soil containing and reference chambers. Corresponding measurements of H2O mixing ratio yielded the evaporation loss of the soil samples, which (referenced to the gravimetric soil water content before and after the incubation experiment) provided the individual soil moisture contents of each soil samples during the

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  10. Arrival order among native plant functional groups does not affect invasibility of constructed dune communities.

    PubMed

    Mason, T J; French, K; Jolley, D

    2013-10-01

    Different arrival order scenarios of native functional groups to a site may influence both resource use during development and final community structure. Arrival order may then indirectly influence community resistance to invasion. We present a mesocosm experiment of constructed coastal dune communities that monitored biotic and abiotic responses to different arrival orders of native functional groups. Constructed communities were compared with unplanted mesocosms. We then simulated a single invasion event by bitou (Chrysanthemoides monilifera ssp. rotundata), a dominant exotic shrub of coastal communities. We evaluated the hypothesis that plantings with simultaneous representation of grass, herb and shrub functional groups at the beginning of the experiment would more completely sequester resources and limit invasion than staggered plantings. Staggered plantings in turn would offer greater resource use and invasion resistance than unplanted mesocosms. Contrary to our expectations, there were few effects of arrival order on abiotic variables for the duration of the experiment and arrival order was unimportant in final community invasibility. All planted mesocosms supported significantly more invader germinants and significantly less invader abundance than unplanted mesocosms. Native functional group plantings may have a nurse effect during the invader germination and establishment phase and a competitive function during the invader juvenile and adult phase. Arrival order per se did not affect resource use and community invasibility in our mesocosm experiment. While grass, herb and shrub functional group plantings will not prevent invasion success in restored communities, they may limit final invader biomass.

  11. Growth, nitrogen uptake and flow in maize plants affected by root growth restriction.

    PubMed

    Xu, Liangzheng; Niu, Junfang; Li, Chunjian; Zhang, Fusuo

    2009-07-01

    The objective of the present study was to investigate the influence of a reduced maize root-system size on root growth and nitrogen (N) uptake and flow within plants. Restriction of shoot-borne root growth caused a strong decrease in the absorption of root: shoot dry weight ratio and a reduction in shoot growth. On the other hand, compensatory growth and an increased N uptake rate in the remaining roots were observed. Despite the limited long-distance transport pathway in the mesocotyl with restriction of shoot-borne root growth, N cycling within these plants was higher than those in control plants, implying that xylem and phloem flow velocities via the mesocotyl were considerably higher than in plants with an intact root system. The removal of the seminal roots in addition to restricting shoot-borne root development did not affect whole plant growth and N uptake, except for the stronger compensatory growth of the primary roots. Our results suggest that an adequate N supply to maize plant is maintained by compensatory growth of the remaining roots, increased N uptake rate and flow velocities within the xylem and phloem via the mesocotyl, and reduction in the shoot growth rate.

  12. Does a decade of elevated [CO2] affect a desert perennial plant community?

    PubMed

    Newingham, Beth A; Vanier, Cheryl H; Kelly, Lauren J; Charlet, Therese N; Smith, Stanley D

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the effects of elevated [CO2 ] on plant community structure is crucial to predicting ecosystem responses to global change. Early predictions suggested that productivity in deserts would increase via enhanced water-use efficiency under elevated [CO2], but the response of intact arid plant communities to elevated [CO2 ] is largely unknown. We measured changes in perennial plant community characteristics (cover, species richness and diversity) after 10 yr of elevated [CO2] exposure in an intact Mojave Desert community at the Nevada Desert Free-Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) Facility. Contrary to expectations, total cover, species richness, and diversity were not affected by elevated [CO2]. Over the course of the experiment, elevated [CO2] had no effect on changes in cover of the evergreen C3 shrub, Larrea tridentata; alleviated decreases in cover of the C4 bunchgrass, Pleuraphis rigida; and slightly reduced the cover of C3 drought-deciduous shrubs. Thus, we generally found no effect of elevated [CO2] on plant communities in this arid ecosystem. Extended drought, slow plant growth rates, and highly episodic germination and recruitment of new individuals explain the lack of strong perennial plant community shifts after a decade of elevated [CO2]. © 2013 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2013 New Phytologist Trust.

  13. Feeding Experience of Bemisia tabaci (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) Affects Their Performance on Different Host Plants

    PubMed Central

    Shah, M. Mostafizur Rahman; Liu, Tong-Xian

    2013-01-01

    The sweetpotato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci biotype B is extremely polyphagous with >600 species of host plants. We hypothesized that previous experience of the whitefly on a given host plant affects their host selection and performance on the plants without previous experience. We investigated the host selection for feeding and oviposition of adults and development and survival of immatures of three host-plant-experienced populations of B. tabaci, namely Bemisia-eggplant, Bemisia-tomato and Bemisia-cucumber, on their experienced host plant and each of the three other plant species (eggplant, tomato, cucumber and pepper) without previous experience. We found that the influence of previous experience of the whiteflies varied among the populations. All populations refused pepper for feeding and oviposition, whereas the Bemisia-cucumber and the Bemisia-eggplant strongly preferred cucumber. Bemisia-tomato did not show strong preference to any of the three host palnts. Development time from egg to adult eclosion varied among the populations, being shortest on eggplant, longest on pepper, and intermediate on tomato and cucumber except for the Bemisia-cucumber developed similarly on tomato and pepper. The survivorship from egg to adult eclosion of all populations was highest on eggplant (80-98%), lowest on pepper (0-20%), and intermediate on tomato and cucumber. In conclusion, the effects of previous experience of whiteflies on host selection for feeding and oviposition, development, and survivorship varied depending on host plants, and host plants play a stronger role than previous experience. Preference of feeding and oviposition by adults may not accurately reflect host suitability of immatures. These results provided important information for understanding whitefly population dynamics and dispersal among different crop systems. PMID:24146985

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-07-01

    Differences in herbivory among woody species can greatly affect the functioning of forest ecosystems, particularly in species-rich (sub)tropical regions. However, the relative importance of the different plant traits which determine herbivore damage remains unclear. Defence traits can have strong effects on herbivory, but rarely studied geographical range characteristics could complement these effects through evolutionary associations with herbivores. Herein, we use a large number of morphological, chemical, phylogenetic and biogeographical characteristics to analyse interspecific differences in herbivory on tree saplings in subtropical China. Unexpectedly, we found no significant effects of chemical defence traits. Rather, herbivory was related to the plants' leaf morphology, local abundance and climatic niche characteristics, which together explained 70% of the interspecific variation in herbivory in phylogenetic regression. Our study indicates that besides defence traits and apparency to herbivores, previously neglected measures of large-scale geographical host distribution are important factors influencing local herbivory patterns among plant species. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1999-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-02-01

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

  17. Plant age and genotype affect the bacterial community composition in the tuber rhizosphere of field-grown sweet potato plants.

    PubMed

    Marques, Joana M; da Silva, Thais F; Vollu, Renata E; Blank, Arie F; Ding, Guo-Chun; Seldin, Lucy; Smalla, Kornelia

    2014-05-01

    The hypothesis that sweet potato genotypes containing different starch yields in their tuberous roots can affect the bacterial communities present in the rhizosphere (soil adhering to tubers) was tested in this study. Tuberous roots of field-grown sweet potato of genotypes IPB-149 (commercial genotype), IPB-052, and IPB-137 were sampled three and six months after planting and analyzed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and pyrosequencing analysis of 16S rRNA genes PCR-amplified from total community DNA. The statistical analysis of the DGGE fingerprints showed that both plant age and genotypes influenced the bacterial community structure in the tuber rhizosphere. Pyrosequencing analysis showed that the IPB-149 and IPB-052 (both with high starch content) displayed similar bacterial composition in the tuber rhizosphere, while IPB-137 with the lowest starch content was distinct. In comparison with bulk soil, higher 16S rRNA gene copy numbers (qPCR) and numerous genera with significantly increased abundance in the tuber rhizosphere of IPB-137 (Sphingobium, Pseudomonas, Acinetobacter, Stenotrophomonas, Chryseobacterium) indicated a stronger rhizosphere effect. The genus Bacillus was strongly enriched in the tuber rhizosphere samples of all sweet potato genotypes studied, while other genera showed a plant genotype-dependent abundance. This is the first report on the molecular identification of bacteria being associated with the tuber rhizosphere of different sweet potato genotypes.

  18. How plant architecture affects light absorption and photosynthesis in tomato: towards an ideotype for plant architecture using a functional-structural plant model.

    PubMed

    Sarlikioti, V; de Visser, P H B; Buck-Sorlin, G H; Marcelis, L F M

    2011-10-01

    Manipulation of plant structure can strongly affect light distribution in the canopy and photosynthesis. The aim of this paper is to find a plant ideotype for optimization of light absorption and canopy photosynthesis. Using a static functional structural plant model (FSPM), a range of different plant architectural characteristics was tested for two different seasons in order to find the optimal architecture with respect to light absorption and photosynthesis. Simulations were performed with an FSPM of a greenhouse-grown tomato crop. Sensitivity analyses were carried out for leaf elevation angle, leaf phyllotaxis, leaflet angle, leaf shape, leaflet arrangement and internode length. From the results of this analysis two possible ideotypes were proposed. Four different vertical light distributions were also tested, while light absorption cumulated over the whole canopy was kept the same. Photosynthesis was augmented by 6 % in winter and reduced by 7 % in summer, when light absorption in the top part of the canopy was increased by 25 %, while not changing light absorption of the canopy as a whole. The measured plant structure was already optimal with respect to leaf elevation angle, leaflet angle and leaflet arrangement for both light absorption and photosynthesis while phyllotaxis had no effect. Increasing the length : width ratio of leaves by 1·5 or increasing internode length from 7 cm to 12 cm led to an increase of 6-10 % for light absorption and photosynthesis. At high light intensities (summer) deeper penetration of light in the canopy improves crop photosynthesis, but not at low light intensities (winter). In particular, internode length and leaf shape affect the vertical distribution of light in the canopy. A new plant ideotype with more spacious canopy architecture due to long internodes and long and narrow leaves led to an increase in crop photosynthesis of up to 10 %.

  19. How plant architecture affects light absorption and photosynthesis in tomato: towards an ideotype for plant architecture using a functional–structural plant model

    PubMed Central

    Sarlikioti, V.; de Visser, P. H. B.; Buck-Sorlin, G. H.; Marcelis, L. F. M.

    2011-01-01

    Background and Aims Manipulation of plant structure can strongly affect light distribution in the canopy and photosynthesis. The aim of this paper is to find a plant ideotype for optimization of light absorption and canopy photosynthesis. Using a static functional structural plant model (FSPM), a range of different plant architectural characteristics was tested for two different seasons in order to find the optimal architecture with respect to light absorption and photosynthesis. Methods Simulations were performed with an FSPM of a greenhouse-grown tomato crop. Sensitivity analyses were carried out for leaf elevation angle, leaf phyllotaxis, leaflet angle, leaf shape, leaflet arrangement and internode length. From the results of this analysis two possible ideotypes were proposed. Four different vertical light distributions were also tested, while light absorption cumulated over the whole canopy was kept the same. Key Results Photosynthesis was augmented by 6 % in winter and reduced by 7 % in summer, when light absorption in the top part of the canopy was increased by 25 %, while not changing light absorption of the canopy as a whole. The measured plant structure was already optimal with respect to leaf elevation angle, leaflet angle and leaflet arrangement for both light absorption and photosynthesis while phyllotaxis had no effect. Increasing the length : width ratio of leaves by 1·5 or increasing internode length from 7 cm to 12 cm led to an increase of 6–10 % for light absorption and photosynthesis. Conclusions At high light intensities (summer) deeper penetration of light in the canopy improves crop photosynthesis, but not at low light intensities (winter). In particular, internode length and leaf shape affect the vertical distribution of light in the canopy. A new plant ideotype with more spacious canopy architecture due to long internodes and long and narrow leaves led to an increase in crop photosynthesis of up to 10 %. PMID:21865217

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

  1. When will plant morphology affect the shape of a seed dispersal "kernel"?

    PubMed

    Cousens, R D; Rawlinson, A A

    2001-08-07

    Most models of dispersal assume that plants are point sources. In reality, the scale in height over which seed sources are distributed is often of the same order as the scale in distance over which most individual seeds are dispersed. But is this sufficient to affect the fundamental shapes of dispersal frequency distributions? Most published conclusions about the effects of canopy structure on dispersal are subjective. A model is developed to explore the consequences of plant canopies for the shapes of whole-plant seed dispersal "kernels". The canopies were described by simple geometric shapes, while an empirical probability density function (PDF) was used for dispersal from a point source. It was found that the resulting whole-plant PDF for dispersal distance was almost invariably peaked, whereas the PDF for the density of seed rain (as would be measured by pitfall traps) could either be peaked or monotonic according to the canopy shape, position of seeds in the canopy, and mean dispersal distance. The shapes of kernels from whole plants (distributed seed sources) can be very different from those derived from a point source under certain circumstances. Copyright 2001 Academic Press.

  2. Medicinal plants used for dermatological affections in Navarra and their pharmacological validation.

    PubMed

    Cavero, R Y; Akerreta, S; Calvo, M I

    2013-09-16

    This paper provides significant ethnopharmacological information on plant used in dermatological affections in Navarra. Information was collected using semi-structured ethnobotanical interviews with 667 informants (mean age 72; 55.47% women, 44.53% men) in 265 locations. In order to confirm the pharmacological validation of the uses reports, the European Scientific Cooperative on Phytotherapy (ESCOP), German Commission E, World Health Organization (WHO), European Medicines Agency (EMA), European Pharmacopoeia (Ph. Eur.) and Real Farmacopea Española (RFE) monographs have been revised. A literature review has been carried out with the plants without monograph and high frequency citations, using a new tool of the University of Navarra, UNIKA. A total of 982 pharmaceutical uses are reported from the informants, belonging to 91 plants and 42 families, mainly represented by Asteraceae, Lamiaceae, Euphorbiaceae and Crassulaceae. The most frequently used parts of the plants are aerial parts followed by leaves and inflorescences. Seventeen out of 91 plants (19%) and 148 of 982 popular uses (15%), have already been pharmacologically validated. The authors propose seven species for their validation (Allium cepa, Sambucus nigra, Hylotelephium maximum, Chelidonium majus, Ficus carica, Allium sativum and Anagallis arvensis). © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. How glyphosate affects plant disease development: it is more than enhanced susceptibility.

    PubMed

    Hammerschmidt, Ray

    2017-01-09

    Glyphosate has been shown to affect the development of plant disease in several ways. Plants utilize phenolic and other shikimic acid pathway-derived compounds as part of their defense against pathogens, and glyphosate inhibits the biosynthesis of these compounds via its mode of action. Several studies have shown a correlation between enhanced disease and suppression of phenolic compound production after glyphosate. Glyphosate-resistant crop plants have also been studied for changes in resistance as a result of carrying the glyphosate resistance trait. The evidence indicates that neither the resistance trait nor application of glyphosate to glyphosate-resistant plants increases susceptibility to disease. The only exceptions to this are cases where glyphosate has been shown to reduce rust diseases on glyphosate-resistant crops, supporting a fungicidal role for this chemical. Finally, glyphosate treatment of weeds or volunteer crops can cause a temporary increase in soil-borne pathogens that may result in disease development if crops are planted too soon after glyphosate application. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry.

  4. Modulation of Ethylene Responses Affects Plant Salt-Stress Responses1[OA

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Wan-Hong; Liu, Jun; He, Xin-Jian; Mu, Rui-Ling; Zhou, Hua-Lin; Chen, Shou-Yi; Zhang, Jin-Song

    2007-01-01

    Ethylene signaling plays important roles in multiple aspects of plant growth and development. Its functions in abiotic stress responses remain largely unknown. Here, we report that alteration of ethylene signaling affected plant salt-stress responses. A type II ethylene receptor homolog gene NTHK1 (Nicotiana tabacum histidine kinase 1) from tobacco (N. tabacum) conferred salt sensitivity in NTHK1-transgenic Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) plants as judged from the phenotypic change, the relative electrolyte leakage, and the relative root growth under salt stress. Ethylene precursor 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid suppressed the salt-sensitive phenotype. Analysis of Arabidopsis ethylene receptor gain-of-function mutants further suggests that receptor function may lead to salt-sensitive responses. Mutation of EIN2, a central component in ethylene signaling, also results in salt sensitivity, suggesting that EIN2-mediated signaling is beneficial for plant salt tolerance. Overexpression of the NTHK1 gene or the receptor gain-of-function activated expression of salt-responsive genes AtERF4 and Cor6.6. In addition, the transgene NTHK1 mRNA was accumulated under salt stress, suggesting a posttranscriptional regulatory mechanism. These findings imply that ethylene signaling may be required for plant salt tolerance. PMID:17189334

  5. Can corn plants inoculated with arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi affect soil clay assemblage?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adamo, P.; Cozzolino, V.; Di Meo, V.; Velde, B.

    2012-04-01

    Plants can extract K from exchangeable and non-exchangeable sites in the soil clay mineral structures. The latter, known as fixed K, is usually seen as an illite layer, i.e. an anhydrous K layer that forms a 1.0 nm structural layer unit as seen by X-ray diffraction. Nutrient availability can be enhanced in the root zone by arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi. In this study, the effects of non-inoculated and Glomus intraradices inoculated corn plant growth under different experimental conditions on soil K-bearing clay minerals were identified. The soil, a Vertic Xerofluvent, was planted in corn in a 2008-2010 randomized field experiment. Bulk and rhizosphere soil sampling was carried out from May to September 2010 from fertilized plots (N200P90K160 and N200P0K160) with and without plants. According to XRD analysis, three major K-bearing minerals were present in soil: smectite-rich mixed layer mineral, illite-rich mixed layer mineral and illite. Results at 40DAS indicate extraction of K from clay minerals by plant uptake, whereas at 130DAS much of the nutrient seems to be returned to the soil. There is an apparent difference between bulk and rhizophere clays. The XRD patterns are not unequivocally affected by Glomus inoculation. There are observable changes in clay mineralogy in fallow unfertilized compared with fertilized soil. In the studied soil, the illite rich mixed-layer minerals seem to be the source of K absorbed by plants, while illite acts as sink of K released from the plant-microorganisms system at the end of the growing season and as source for the following crop.

  6. Iron deficiency affects nitrogen metabolism in cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) plants

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Nitrogen is a principal limiting nutrient in plant growth and development. Among factors that may limit NO3- assimilation, Fe potentially plays a crucial role being a metal cofactor of enzymes of the reductive assimilatory pathway. Very few information is available about the changes of nitrogen metabolism occurring under Fe deficiency in Strategy I plants. The aim of this work was to study how cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) plants modify their nitrogen metabolism when grown under iron deficiency. Results The activity of enzymes involved in the reductive assimilation of nitrate and the reactions that produce the substrates for the ammonium assimilation both at root and at leaf levels in Fe-deficient cucumber plants were investigated. Under Fe deficiency, only nitrate reductase (EC 1.7.1.1) activity decreased both at the root and leaf level, whilst for glutamine synthetase (EC 6.3.1.2) and glutamate synthase (EC 1.4.1.14) an increase was found. Accordingly, the transcript analysis for these enzymes showed the same behaviour except for root nitrate reductase which increased. Furthermore, it was found that amino acid concentration greatly decreased in Fe-deficient roots, whilst it increased in the corresponding leaves. Moreover, amino acids increased in the xylem sap of Fe-deficient plants. Conclusions The data obtained in this work provided new insights on the responses of plants to Fe deficiency, suggesting that this nutritional disorder differentially affected N metabolism in root and in leaf. Indeed under Fe deficiency, roots respond more efficiently, sustaining the whole plant by furnishing metabolites (i.e. aa, organic acids) to the leaves. PMID:23057967

  7. CLIMATE CONDITIONS AFFECTING THE WITHIN-PLANT SPREAD OF BROAD MITES ON AZALEA.

    PubMed

    Mechant, E; Pauwels, E; Gobin, B

    2014-01-01

    The broad mite Polyphagotarsonemus latus (Banks) is considered a major pest in potted azalea, Flanders' flagship ornamental crop of Rhododendron simsii hybrids. In addition to severe economic damage, the broad mite is dreaded for its increasing resistance to acaricides. Due to restrictions in the use of broad spectrum acaricides, Belgian azalea growers are left with only three compounds, belonging to two mode of action groups and restricted in their number of applications, for broad mite control: abamectin, milbemectin and pyrethrin. Although P. latus can be controlled with predatory mites, the high cost of this system makes it (not yet) feasible for integration into standard azalea pest management systems. Hence, a maximum efficacy of treatments with available compounds is essential. Because abamectin, milbemectin and pyrethrin are contact acaricides with limited trans laminar flow, only broad mites located on shoot tips of azalea plants will be controlled after spraying. Consequently, the efficacy of chemical treatments is influenced by the location and spread of P. latus on the plant. Unfortunately, little is known on broad mites' within-plant spread or how it is affected by climatic conditions like temperature and relative humidity. Therefore, experiments were set up to verify whether climate conditions have an effect on the location and migration of broad mites on azalea. Broad mite infected azalea plants were placed in standard growth chambers under different temperature (T:2.5-25°C) and relative humidity (RH:55-80%) treatments. Within-plant spread was determined by counting mites on the shoot tips and inner leaves of azalea plants. Results indicate that temperature and relative humidity have no significant effect on the within-plant spread of P. latus. To formulate recommendations for optimal spray conditions to maximize the efficacy of broad mite control with acaricides, further experiments on the effect of light intensity and rain are scheduled.

  8. Iron deficiency affects nitrogen metabolism in cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) plants.

    PubMed

    Borlotti, Andrea; Vigani, Gianpiero; Zocchi, Graziano

    2012-10-11

    Nitrogen is a principal limiting nutrient in plant growth and development. Among factors that may limit NO3- assimilation, Fe potentially plays a crucial role being a metal cofactor of enzymes of the reductive assimilatory pathway. Very few information is available about the changes of nitrogen metabolism occurring under Fe deficiency in Strategy I plants. The aim of this work was to study how cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) plants modify their nitrogen metabolism when grown under iron deficiency. The activity of enzymes involved in the reductive assimilation of nitrate and the reactions that produce the substrates for the ammonium assimilation both at root and at leaf levels in Fe-deficient cucumber plants were investigated. Under Fe deficiency, only nitrate reductase (EC 1.7.1.1) activity decreased both at the root and leaf level, whilst for glutamine synthetase (EC 6.3.1.2) and glutamate synthase (EC 1.4.1.14) an increase was found. Accordingly, the transcript analysis for these enzymes showed the same behaviour except for root nitrate reductase which increased. Furthermore, it was found that amino acid concentration greatly decreased in Fe-deficient roots, whilst it increased in the corresponding leaves. Moreover, amino acids increased in the xylem sap of Fe-deficient plants. The data obtained in this work provided new insights on the responses of plants to Fe deficiency, suggesting that this nutritional disorder differentially affected N metabolism in root and in leaf. Indeed under Fe deficiency, roots respond more efficiently, sustaining the whole plant by furnishing metabolites (i.e. aa, organic acids) to the leaves.

  9. Plant genotype and induced defenses affect the productivity of an insect-killing obligate viral pathogen.

    PubMed

    Shikano, Ikkei; McCarthy, Elizabeth M; Elderd, Bret D; Hoover, Kelli

    2017-09-01

    Plant-mediated variations in the outcomes of host-pathogen interactions can strongly affect epizootics and the population dynamics of numerous species, including devastating agricultural pests such as the fall armyworm. Most studies of plant-mediated effects on insect pathogens focus on host mortality, but few have measured pathogen yield, which can affect whether or not an epizootic outbreak occurs. Insects challenged with baculoviruses on different plant species and parts can vary in levels of mortality and yield of infectious stages (occlusion bodies; OBs). We previously demonstrated that soybean genotypes and induced anti-herbivore defenses influence baculovirus infectivity. Here, we used a soybean genotype that strongly reduced baculovirus infectivity when virus was ingested on induced plants (Braxton) and another that did not reduce infectivity (Gasoy), to determine how soybean genotype and induced defenses influence OB yield and speed of kill. These are key fitness measures because baculoviruses are obligate-killing pathogens. We challenged fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda, with the baculovirus S. frugiperda multi-nucleocapsid nucleopolyhedrovirus (SfMNPV) during short or long-term exposure to plant treatments (i.e., induced or non-induced genotypes). Caterpillars were either fed plant treatments only during virus ingestion (short-term exposure to foliage) or from the point of virus ingestion until death (long-term exposure). We found trade-offs of increasing OB yield with slower speed of kill and decreasing virus dose. OB yield increased more with longer time to death and decreased more with increasing virus dose after short-term feeding on Braxton compared with Gasoy. OB yield increased significantly more with time to death in larvae that fed until death on non-induced foliage than induced foliage. Moreover, fewer OBs per unit of host tissue were produced when larvae were fed induced foliage than non-induced foliage. These findings highlight the

  10. Sitona lineatus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) Larval Feeding on Pisum sativum L. Affects Soil and Plant Nitrogen.

    PubMed

    Cárcamo, Héctor A; Herle, Carolyn E; Lupwayi, Newton Z

    2015-01-01

    Adults of Sitona lineatus (pea leaf weevil, PLW) feed on foliage of several Fabaceae species but larvae prefer to feed on nodules of Pisum sativum L. and Vicia faba L. Indirectly, through their feeding on rhizobia, weevils can reduce soil and plant available nitrogen (N). However, initial soil N can reduce nodulation and damage by the weevil and reduce control requirements. Understanding these interactions is necessary to make integrated pest management recommendations for PLW. We conducted a greenhouse study to quantify nodulation, soil and plant N content, and nodule damage by weevil larvae in relation to soil N amendment with urea, thiamethoxam insecticide seed coating and crop stage. PLWs reduced the number of older tumescent (multilobed) nodules and thiamethoxam addition increased them regardless of other factors. Nitrogen amendment significantly increased soil available N (>99% nitrate) as expected and PLW presence was associated with significantly lower levels of soil N. PLW decreased plant N content at early flower and thiamethoxam increased it, particularly at late flower. The study illustrated the complexity of interactions that determine insect herbivory effects on plant and soil nutrition for invertebrates that feed on N-fixing root nodules. We conclude that effects of PLW on nodulation and subsequent effects on plant nitrogen are more pronounced during the early growth stages of the plant. This suggests the importance of timing of PLW infestation and may explain the lack of yield depression in relation to this pest observed in many field studies. Also, pea crops in soils with high levels of soil N are unlikely to be affected by this herbivore and should not require insecticide inputs. © Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, as represented by the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 2015.

  11. Plant protein and animal proteins: do they differentially affect cardiovascular disease risk?

    PubMed

    Richter, Chesney K; Skulas-Ray, Ann C; Champagne, Catherine M; Kris-Etherton, Penny M

    2015-11-01

    Proteins from plant-based compared with animal-based food sources may have different effects on cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors. Numerous epidemiologic and intervention studies have evaluated their respective health benefits; however, it is difficult to isolate the role of plant or animal protein on CVD risk. This review evaluates the current evidence from observational and intervention studies, focusing on the specific protein-providing foods and populations studied. Dietary protein is derived from many food sources, and each provides a different composite of nonprotein compounds that can also affect CVD risk factors. Increasing the consumption of protein-rich foods also typically results in lower intakes of other nutrients, which may simultaneously influence outcomes. Given these complexities, blanket statements about plant or animal protein may be too general, and greater consideration of the specific protein food sources and the background diet is required. The potential mechanisms responsible for any specific effects of plant and animal protein are similarly multifaceted and include the amino acid content of particular foods, contributions from other nonprotein compounds provided concomitantly by the whole food, and interactions with the gut microbiome. Evidence to date is inconclusive, and additional studies are needed to further advance our understanding of the complexity of plant protein vs. animal protein comparisons. Nonetheless, current evidence supports the idea that CVD risk can be reduced by a dietary pattern that provides more plant sources of protein compared with the typical American diet and also includes animal-based protein foods that are unprocessed and low in saturated fat.

  12. The expression of tomato prosystemin gene in tobacco plants highly affects host proteomic repertoire.

    PubMed

    Rocco, Mariapina; Corrado, Giandomenico; Arena, Simona; D'Ambrosio, Chiara; Tortiglione, Claudia; Sellaroli, Stefano; Marra, Mauro; Rao, Rosa; Scaloni, Andrea

    2008-07-21

    Systemin, an octadecapeptide isolated from tomato, is a primary signal molecule involved in the local and systemic responses to pest attack, elicited by activation of a set of defence genes. It derives from processing of prosystemin, a prohormone of almost 200 amino acids. Prosystemin orthologues have been found in other Solanaceae species but not in tobacco, where are present hydroxyproline-rich peptides functionally but not structurally related to tomato systemin. Molecular events leading to the release of signalling peptides from protein precursors are unknown in plants; the occurrence of a family of signal molecules suggests that initiation of wound response may involve different processing mechanisms. It has been previously shown that the protein product from an engineered tomato prosystemin gene is processed in tobacco, thus suggesting that the components responsible for its post-translational modifications are present in this species. By analyzing analysing the proteome repertoire of transformed tobacco plant leaves with 2-DE, here we demonstrate that the constitutive expression of the tomato prosystemin gene highly affected host protein synthesis. In particular, engineered plants showed a number of differentially synthesized proteins that were identified by PMF MALDI-TOF and microLC-ESI-IT-MS/MS experiments as polypeptide species involved in protection from pathogens and oxidative stress, or in carbon/energy metabolism. Significant differences in over-produced proteins were observed with respect to previous data reported on systemin-engineered tomato plants. Our results strongly support the need of using proteomic approaches during systematic analysis of plant tissues to investigate the principle of substantial equivalence in transgenic plants expressing a transgene coding for a signalling molecule.

  13. Plant Protein and Animal Proteins: Do They Differentially Affect Cardiovascular Disease Risk?12

    PubMed Central

    Richter, Chesney K; Skulas-Ray, Ann C; Champagne, Catherine M; Kris-Etherton, Penny M

    2015-01-01

    Proteins from plant-based compared with animal-based food sources may have different effects on cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors. Numerous epidemiologic and intervention studies have evaluated their respective health benefits; however, it is difficult to isolate the role of plant or animal protein on CVD risk. This review evaluates the current evidence from observational and intervention studies, focusing on the specific protein-providing foods and populations studied. Dietary protein is derived from many food sources, and each provides a different composite of nonprotein compounds that can also affect CVD risk factors. Increasing the consumption of protein-rich foods also typically results in lower intakes of other nutrients, which may simultaneously influence outcomes. Given these complexities, blanket statements about plant or animal protein may be too general, and greater consideration of the specific protein food sources and the background diet is required. The potential mechanisms responsible for any specific effects of plant and animal protein are similarly multifaceted and include the amino acid content of particular foods, contributions from other nonprotein compounds provided concomitantly by the whole food, and interactions with the gut microbiome. Evidence to date is inconclusive, and additional studies are needed to further advance our understanding of the complexity of plant protein vs. animal protein comparisons. Nonetheless, current evidence supports the idea that CVD risk can be reduced by a dietary pattern that provides more plant sources of protein compared with the typical American diet and also includes animal-based protein foods that are unprocessed and low in saturated fat. PMID:26567196

  14. Sitona lineatus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) Larval Feeding on Pisum sativum L. Affects Soil and Plant Nitrogen

    PubMed Central

    Cárcamo, Héctor A.; Herle, Carolyn E.; Lupwayi, Newton Z.

    2015-01-01

    Adults of Sitona lineatus (pea leaf weevil, PLW) feed on foliage of several Fabaceae species but larvae prefer to feed on nodules of Pisum sativum L. and Vicia faba L. Indirectly, through their feeding on rhizobia, weevils can reduce soil and plant available nitrogen (N). However, initial soil N can reduce nodulation and damage by the weevil and reduce control requirements. Understanding these interactions is necessary to make integrated pest management recommendations for PLW. We conducted a greenhouse study to quantify nodulation, soil and plant N content, and nodule damage by weevil larvae in relation to soil N amendment with urea, thiamethoxam insecticide seed coating and crop stage. PLWs reduced the number of older tumescent (multilobed) nodules and thiamethoxam addition increased them regardless of other factors. Nitrogen amendment significantly increased soil available N (>99% nitrate) as expected and PLW presence was associated with significantly lower levels of soil N. PLW decreased plant N content at early flower and thiamethoxam increased it, particularly at late flower. The study illustrated the complexity of interactions that determine insect herbivory effects on plant and soil nutrition for invertebrates that feed on N-fixing root nodules. We conclude that effects of PLW on nodulation and subsequent effects on plant nitrogen are more pronounced during the early growth stages of the plant. This suggests the importance of timing of PLW infestation and may explain the lack of yield depression in relation to this pest observed in many field studies. Also, pea crops in soils with high levels of soil N are unlikely to be affected by this herbivore and should not require insecticide inputs. PMID:26106086

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  18. Plant genotypes affect aboveground and belowground herbivore interactions by changing chemical defense.

    PubMed

    Li, Xiaoqiong; Guo, Wenfeng; Siemann, Evan; Wen, Yuanguang; Huang, Wei; Ding, Jianqing

    2016-12-01

    Spatially separated aboveground (AG) and belowground (BG) herbivores are closely linked through shared host plants, and both patterns of AG-BG interactions and plant responses may vary among plant genotypes. We subjected invasive (USA) and native (China) genotypes of tallow tree (Triadica sebifera) to herbivory by the AG specialist leaf-rolling weevil Heterapoderopsis bicallosicollis and/or the root-feeding larvae of flea beetle Bikasha collaris. We measured leaf damage and leaves rolled by weevils, quantified beetle survival, and analyzed flavonoid and tannin concentrations in leaves and roots. AG and BG herbivores formed negative feedbacks on both native and invasive genotypes. Leaf damage by weevils and the number of beetle larvae emerging as adults were higher on invasive genotypes. Beetles reduced weevil damage and weevils reduced beetle larval emergence more strongly for invasive genotypes. Invasive genotypes had lower leaf and root tannins than native genotypes. BG beetles decreased leaf tannins of native genotypes but increased root tannins of invasive genotypes. AG herbivory increased root flavonoids of invasive genotypes while BG herbivory decreased leaf flavonoids. Invasive genotypes had lower AG and BG herbivore resistance, and negative AG-BG herbivore feedbacks were much stronger for invasive genotypes. Lower tannin concentrations explained overall better AG and BG herbivore performances on invasive genotypes. However, changes in tannins and flavonoids affected AG and BG herbivores differently. These results suggest that divergent selection on chemical production in invasive plants may be critical in regulating herbivore performances and novel AG and BG herbivore communities in new environments.

  19. Different degrees of plant invasion significantly affect the richness of the soil fungal community.

    PubMed

    Si, Chuncan; Liu, Xueyan; Wang, Congyan; Wang, Lei; Dai, Zhicong; Qi, Shanshan; Du, Daolin

    2013-01-01

    Several studies have shown that soil microorganisms play a key role in the success of plant invasion. Thus, ecologists have become increasingly interested in understanding the ecological effects of biological invasion on soil microbial communities given continuing increase in the effects of invasive plants on native ecosystems. This paper aims to provide a relatively complete depiction of the characteristics of soil microbial communities under different degrees of plant invasion. Rhizospheric soils of the notorious invasive plant Wedelia trilobata with different degrees of invasion (uninvaded, low-degree, and high-degree using its coverage in the invaded ecosystems) were collected from five discrete areas in Hainan Province, P. R. China. Soil physicochemical properties and community structure of soil microorganisms were assessed. Low degrees of W. trilobata invasion significantly increased soil pH values whereas high degrees of invasion did not significantly affected soil pH values. Moreover, the degree of W. trilobata invasion exerted significant effects on soil Ca concentration but did not significantly change other indices of soil physicochemical properties. Low and high degrees of W. trilobata invasion increased the richness of the soil fungal community but did not pose obvious effects on the soil bacterial community. W. trilobata invasion also exerted obvious effects on the community structure of soil microorganisms that take part in soil nitrogen cycling. These changes in soil physicochemical properties and community structure of soil microbial communities mediated by different degrees of W. trilobata invasion may present significant functions in further facilitating the invasion process.

  20. Different Degrees of Plant Invasion Significantly Affect the Richness of the Soil Fungal Community

    PubMed Central

    Si, Chuncan; Liu, Xueyan; Wang, Congyan; Wang, Lei; Dai, Zhicong; Qi, Shanshan; Du, Daolin

    2013-01-01

    Several studies have shown that soil microorganisms play a key role in the success of plant invasion. Thus, ecologists have become increasingly interested in understanding the ecological effects of biological invasion on soil microbial communities given continuing increase in the effects of invasive plants on native ecosystems. This paper aims to provide a relatively complete depiction of the characteristics of soil microbial communities under different degrees of plant invasion. Rhizospheric soils of the notorious invasive plant Wedelia trilobata with different degrees of invasion (uninvaded, low-degree, and high-degree using its coverage in the invaded ecosystems) were collected from five discrete areas in Hainan Province, P. R. China. Soil physicochemical properties and community structure of soil microorganisms were assessed. Low degrees of W. trilobata invasion significantly increased soil pH values whereas high degrees of invasion did not significantly affected soil pH values. Moreover, the degree of W. trilobata invasion exerted significant effects on soil Ca concentration but did not significantly change other indices of soil physicochemical properties. Low and high degrees of W. trilobata invasion increased the richness of the soil fungal community but did not pose obvious effects on the soil bacterial community. W. trilobata invasion also exerted obvious effects on the community structure of soil microorganisms that take part in soil nitrogen cycling. These changes in soil physicochemical properties and community structure of soil microbial communities mediated by different degrees of W. trilobata invasion may present significant functions in further facilitating the invasion process. PMID:24392015

  1. Common gas phase molecules from fungi affect seed germination and plant health in Arabidopsis thaliana

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Fungal volatile organic compounds (VOCs) play important ecophysiological roles in mediating inter-kingdom signaling with arthropods but less is known about their interactions with plants. In this study, Arabidopsis thaliana was used as a model in order to test the physiological effects of 23 common vapor-phase fungal VOCs that included alcohols, aldehydes, ketones, and other chemical classes. After exposure to a shared atmosphere with the 23 individual VOCs for 72 hrs, seeds were assayed for rate of germination and seedling formation; vegetative plants were assayed for fresh weight and chlorophyll concentration. All but five of the VOCs tested (1-decene, 2-n-heptylfuran, nonanal, geosmin and -limonene) had a significant effect in inhibiting either germination, seedling formation or both. Seedling formation was entirely inhibited by exposure to 1-octen-3-one, 2-ethylhexanal, 3-methylbutanal, and butanal. As assayed by a combination of fresh weight and chlorophyll concentration, 2-ethylhexanal had a negative impact on two-week-old vegetative plants. Three other compounds (1-octen-3-ol, 2-ethylhexanal, and 2-heptylfuran) decreased fresh weight alone. Most of the VOCs tested did not change the fresh weight or chlorophyll concentration of vegetative plants. In summary, when tested as single compounds, fungal VOCs affected A. thaliana in positive, negative or neutral ways. PMID:25045602

  2. Plant species richness and functional traits affect community stability after a flood event.

    PubMed

    Fischer, Felícia M; Wright, Alexandra J; Eisenhauer, Nico; Ebeling, Anne; Roscher, Christiane; Wagg, Cameron; Weigelt, Alexandra; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Pillar, Valério D

    2016-05-19

    Climate change is expected to increase the frequency and magnitude of extreme weather events. It is therefore of major importance to identify the community attributes that confer stability in ecological communities during such events. In June 2013, a flood event affected a plant diversity experiment in Central Europe (Jena, Germany). We assessed the effects of plant species richness, functional diversity, flooding intensity and community means of functional traits on different measures of stability (resistance, resilience and raw biomass changes from pre-flood conditions). Surprisingly, plant species richness reduced community resistance in response to the flood. This was mostly because more diverse communities grew more immediately following the flood. Raw biomass increased over the previous year; this resulted in decreased absolute value measures of resistance. There was no clear response pattern for resilience. We found that functional traits drove these changes in raw biomass: communities with a high proportion of late-season, short-statured plants with dense, shallow roots and small leaves grew more following the flood. Late-growing species probably avoided the flood, whereas greater root length density might have allowed species to better access soil resources brought from the flood, thus growing more in the aftermath. We conclude that resource inputs following mild floods may favour the importance of traits related to resource acquisition and be less associated with flooding tolerance. © 2016 The Author(s).

  3. Ozone affects gas exchange, growth and reproductive development in Brassica campestris (Wisconsin fast plants).

    PubMed

    Black, V J; Stewart, C A; Roberts, J A; Black, C R

    2007-01-01

    Exposure to ozone (O(3)) may affect vegetative and reproductive development, although the consequences for yield depend on the effectiveness of the compensatory processes induced. This study examined the impact on reproductive development of exposing Brassica campestris (Wisconsin Fast Plants) to ozone during vegetative growth. Plants were exposed to 70 ppb ozone for 2 d during late vegetative growth or 10 d spanning most of the vegetative phase. Effects on gas exchange, vegetative growth, reproductive development and seed yield were determined. Impacts on gas exchange and foliar injury were related to pre-exposure stomatal conductance. Exposure for 2 d had no effect on growth or reproductive characteristics, whereas 10-d exposure reduced vegetative growth and reproductive site number on the terminal raceme. Mature seed number and weight per pod and per plant were unaffected because seed abortion was reduced. The observation that mature seed yield per plant was unaffected by exposure during the vegetative phase, despite adverse effects on physiological, vegetative and reproductive processes, shows that indeterminate species such as B. campestris possess sufficient compensatory flexibility to avoid reductions in seed production.

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

    PubMed

    Noto, Akana E; Shurin, Jonathan B

    2016-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Niu, C; Gilbert, E S

    2004-12-01

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

  6. Ecotoxicological assessments show sucralose and fluoxetine affect the aquatic plant, Lemna minor.

    PubMed

    Amy-Sagers, Cherisse; Reinhardt, Keith; Larson, Danelle M

    2017-04-01

    Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCP) are prevalent in aquatic systems, yet the fate and impacts on aquatic plants needs quantification for many compounds. We measured and detected sucralose (an artificial sweetener), fluoxetine (an antidepressant), and other PPCP in the Portneuf River in Idaho, USA, where Lemna minor (an aquatic plant in the environment and used in ecotoxicology studies) naturally occurs. Sucralose was hypothesized to negatively affect photosynthesis and growth of L. minor because sucralose is a chlorinated molecule that may be toxic or unusable for plant metabolism. A priori hypotheses were not created for fluoxetine due to lack of previous studies examining its impacts on plants. We conducted laboratory ecotoxicological assessments for a large range of concentrations of sucralose and fluoxetine on L. minor physiology and photosynthetic function. Frond green leaf area, root length, growth rate, photosynthetic capacity, and plant carbon isotopic composition (discrimination relative to a standard; δ(13)C) were measured among treatments ranging from 0 to 15000nmol/L-sucralose and 0-323nmol/L-fluoxetine. Contrary to our predictions, sucralose significantly increased green leaf area, photosynthetic capacity, and δ (13)C of L. minor at environmentally relevant concentrations. The increase of δ (13)C from sucralose amendments and an isotope-mixing model indicated substantial sucralose uptake and assimilation within the plant. Unlike humans who cannot break down and utilize sucralose, we documented that L. minor-a mixotrophic plant-can use sucralose as a sugar substitute to increase its green leaf area and photosynthetic capacity. Fluoxetine significantly decreased L. minor root growth, daily growth rate, and asexual reproduction at 323nmol/L-fluoxetine; however, ambiguity remains regarding the mechanisms responsible and the applicability of these extreme concentrations unprecedented in the natural environment. To our knowledge, this was

  7. Spectral quality affects disease development of three pathogens on hydroponically grown plants

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schuerger, A. C.; Brown, C. S.; Sager, J. C. (Principal Investigator)

    1997-01-01

    Plants were grown under light-emitting diode (LED) arrays with various spectra to determine the effects of light quality on the development of diseases caused by tomato mosaic virus (ToMV) on pepper (Capsicum annuum L.), powdery mildew [Sphaerotheca fuliginea (Schlectend:Fr.) Pollaci] on cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.), and bacterial wilt (Pseudomonas solanacearum Smith) on tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.). One LED (660) array supplied 99% red light at 660 nm (25 nm bandwidth at half-peak height) and 1% far-red light between 700 to 800 nm. A second LED (660/735) array supplied 83% red light at 660 nm and 17% far-red light at 735 nm (25 nm bandwidth at half-peak height). A third LED (660/BF) array supplied 98% red light at 660 nm, 1% blue light (BF) between 350 to 550 nm, and 1% far-red light between 700 to 800 nm. Control plants were grown under broad-spectrum metal halide (MH) lamps. Plants were grown at a mean photon flux (300 to 800 nm) of 330 micromoles m-2 s-1 under a 12-h day/night photoperiod. Spectral quality affected each pathosystem differently. In the ToMV/pepper pathosystem, disease symptoms developed slower and were less severe in plants grown under light sources that contained blue and UV-A wavelengths (MH and 660/BF treatments) compared to plants grown under light sources that lacked blue and UV-A wavelengths (660 and 660/735 LED arrays). In contrast, the number of colonies per leaf was highest and the mean colony diameters of S. fuliginea on cucumber plants were largest on leaves grown under the MH lamp (highest amount of blue and UV-A light) and least on leaves grown under the 660 LED array (no blue or UV-A light). The addition of far-red irradiation to the primary light source in the 660/735 LED array increased the colony counts per leaf in the S. fuliginea/cucumber pathosystem compared to the red-only (660) LED array. In the P. solanacearum/tomato pathosystem, disease symptoms were less severe in plants grown under the 660 LED array, but the

  8. Spectral quality affects disease development of three pathogens on hydroponically grown plants.

    PubMed

    Schuerger, A C; Brown, C S

    1997-02-01

    Plants were grown under light-emitting diode (LED) arrays with various spectra to determine the effects of light quality on the development of diseases caused by tomato mosaic virus (ToMV) on pepper (Capsicum annuum L.), powdery mildew [Sphaerotheca fuliginea (Schlectend:Fr.) Pollaci] on cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.), and bacterial wilt (Pseudomonas solanacearum Smith) on tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.). One LED (660) array supplied 99% red light at 660 nm (25 nm bandwidth at half-peak height) and 1% far-red light between 700 to 800 nm. A second LED (660/735) array supplied 83% red light at 660 nm and 17% far-red light at 735 nm (25 nm bandwidth at half-peak height). A third LED (660/BF) array supplied 98% red light at 660 nm, 1% blue light (BF) between 350 to 550 nm, and 1% far-red light between 700 to 800 nm. Control plants were grown under broad-spectrum metal halide (MH) lamps. Plants were grown at a mean photon flux (300 to 800 nm) of 330 micromoles m-2 s-1 under a 12-h day/night photoperiod. Spectral quality affected each pathosystem differently. In the ToMV/pepper pathosystem, disease symptoms developed slower and were less severe in plants grown under light sources that contained blue and UV-A wavelengths (MH and 660/BF treatments) compared to plants grown under light sources that lacked blue and UV-A wavelengths (660 and 660/735 LED arrays). In contrast, the number of colonies per leaf was highest and the mean colony diameters of S. fuliginea on cucumber plants were largest on leaves grown under the MH lamp (highest amount of blue and UV-A light) and least on leaves grown under the 660 LED array (no blue or UV-A light). The addition of far-red irradiation to the primary light source in the 660/735 LED array increased the colony counts per leaf in the S. fuliginea/cucumber pathosystem compared to the red-only (660) LED array. In the P. solanacearum/tomato pathosystem, disease symptoms were less severe in plants grown under the 660 LED array, but the

  9. Spectral quality affects disease development of three pathogens on hydroponically grown plants

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schuerger, A. C.; Brown, C. S.; Sager, J. C. (Principal Investigator)

    1997-01-01

    Plants were grown under light-emitting diode (LED) arrays with various spectra to determine the effects of light quality on the development of diseases caused by tomato mosaic virus (ToMV) on pepper (Capsicum annuum L.), powdery mildew [Sphaerotheca fuliginea (Schlectend:Fr.) Pollaci] on cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.), and bacterial wilt (Pseudomonas solanacearum Smith) on tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.). One LED (660) array supplied 99% red light at 660 nm (25 nm bandwidth at half-peak height) and 1% far-red light between 700 to 800 nm. A second LED (660/735) array supplied 83% red light at 660 nm and 17% far-red light at 735 nm (25 nm bandwidth at half-peak height). A third LED (660/BF) array supplied 98% red light at 660 nm, 1% blue light (BF) between 350 to 550 nm, and 1% far-red light between 700 to 800 nm. Control plants were grown under broad-spectrum metal halide (MH) lamps. Plants were grown at a mean photon flux (300 to 800 nm) of 330 micromoles m-2 s-1 under a 12-h day/night photoperiod. Spectral quality affected each pathosystem differently. In the ToMV/pepper pathosystem, disease symptoms developed slower and were less severe in plants grown under light sources that contained blue and UV-A wavelengths (MH and 660/BF treatments) compared to plants grown under light sources that lacked blue and UV-A wavelengths (660 and 660/735 LED arrays). In contrast, the number of colonies per leaf was highest and the mean colony diameters of S. fuliginea on cucumber plants were largest on leaves grown under the MH lamp (highest amount of blue and UV-A light) and least on leaves grown under the 660 LED array (no blue or UV-A light). The addition of far-red irradiation to the primary light source in the 660/735 LED array increased the colony counts per leaf in the S. fuliginea/cucumber pathosystem compared to the red-only (660) LED array. In the P. solanacearum/tomato pathosystem, disease symptoms were less severe in plants grown under the 660 LED array, but the

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-09-01

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

  11. A hyperparasite affects the population dynamics of a wild plant pathogen

    PubMed Central

    Tollenaere, C; Pernechele, B; Mäkinen, H S; Parratt, S R; Németh, M Z; Kovács, G M; Kiss, L; Tack, A J M; Laine, A-L

    2014-01-01

    Assessing the impact of natural enemies of plant and animal pathogens on their host's population dynamics is needed to determine the role of hyperparasites in affecting disease dynamics, and their potential for use in efficient control strategies of pathogens. Here, we focus on the long-term study describing metapopulation dynamics of an obligate pathogen, the powdery mildew (Podosphaera plantaginis) naturally infecting its wild host plant (Plantago lanceolata) in the fragmented landscape of the Åland archipelago (southwest Finland). Regionally, the pathogen persists through a balance of extinctions and colonizations, yet factors affecting extinction rates remain poorly understood. Mycoparasites of the genus Ampelomyces appear as good candidates for testing the role of a hyperparasite, i.e. a parasite of other parasites, in the regulation of their fungal hosts' population dynamics. For this purpose, we first designed a quantitative PCR assay for detection of Ampelomyces spp. in field-collected samples. This newly developed molecular test was then applied to a large-scale sampling within the Åland archipelago, revealing that Ampelomyces is a widespread hyperparasite in this system, with high variability in prevalence among populations. We found that the hyperparasite was more common on leaves where multiple powdery mildew strains coexist, a pattern that may be attributed to differential exposure. Moreover, the prevalence of Ampelomyces at the plant level negatively affected the overwinter survival of its fungal host. We conclude that this hyperparasite may likely impact on its host population dynamics and argue for increased focus on the role of hyperparasites in disease dynamics. PMID:25204419

  12. Does the different photosynthetic pathway of plants affect soil respiration in a subtropical wetland?

    PubMed

    Chen, Jingrui; Wang, Qiulin; Li, Ming; Liu, Fan; Li, Wei

    2016-11-01

    Plants with different photosynthetic pathways could produce different amounts and types of root exudates and debris which may affect soil respiration rates. Therefore, wetland vegetation succession between plants with different photosynthetic pathways may ultimately influence the wetland carbon budget. The middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River has the largest floodplain wetland group in China. Tian'e Zhou wetland reserve (29°48'N, 112°33'E) is located in Shishou city, Hubei province and covers about 77.5 square kilometers. Hemathria altissima (C4) was found gradually being replaced by Carex argyi (C3) for several years in this place. An in situ experiment was conducted in Tian'e Zhou wetland to determine the change of soil respiration as the succession proceeds. Soil respiration, substrate-induced respiration, and bacterial respiration of the C4 species was greater than those of the C3 species, but below-ground biomass and fungal respiration of the C4 species was less than that of the C3 species. There were no significant differences in above-ground biomass between the two species. Due to the higher photosynthesis capability, higher soil respiration and lower total plant biomass, we inferred that the C4 species, H. altissima, may transport more photosynthate below-ground as a substrate for respiration. The photosynthetic pathway of plants might therefore play an important role in regulating soil respiration. As C. argyi replaces H. altissima, the larger plant biomass and lower soil respiration would indicate that the wetland in this area could fix more carbon in the soil than before.

  13. Bioaerosols from a Food Waste Composting Plant Affect Human Airway Epithelial Cell Remodeling Genes

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Ming-Wei; Lee, Chung-Ru; Hung, Hsueh-Fen; Teng, Kuo-Sheng; Huang, Hsin; Chuang, Chun-Yu

    2013-01-01

    The composting procedure in food waste plants generates airborne bioaerosols that have the potential to damage human airway epithelial cells. Persistent inflammation and repair responses induce airway remodeling and damage to the respiratory system. This study elucidated the expression changes of airway remodeling genes in human lung mucoepidermoid NCI-H292 cells exposed to bioaerosols from a composting plant. Different types of microorganisms were detectable in the composting plant, using the agar culture method. Real-time polymerase chain reaction was used to quantify the level of Aspergillus fumigatus and the profile of remodeling genes. The real-time PCR results indicated that the amount of A. fumigatus in the composting hall was less than 102 conidia. The endotoxins in the field bioaerosols were determined using a limulus amebocyte lysate test. The endotoxin levels depended on the type of particulate matter (PM), with coarse particles (2.5–10 μm) having higher endotoxin levels than did fine particles (0.5–2.5 μm). After exposure to the conditioned medium of field bioaerosol samples, NCI-H292 cells showed increased pro-inflammatory interleukin (IL)-6 release and activated epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 and cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1 (p21WAF1/CIP1) gene expression, but not of matrix metallopeptidase (MMP)-9. Airborne endotoxin levels were higher inside the composting hall than they were in other areas, and they were associated with PM. This suggested that airborne bioaerosols in the composting plant contained endotoxins and microorganisms besides A. fumigatus that cause the inflammatory cytokine secretion and augment the expression of remodeling genes in NCI-H292 cells. It is thus necessary to monitor potentially hazardous materials from bioaerosols in food composting plants, which could affect the health of workers. PMID:24368426

  14. 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.

  15. Dynamic Response of Large Wind Power Plant Affected by Diverse Conditions at Individual Turbines

    SciTech Connect

    Elizondo, Marcelo A.; Lu, Shuai; Lin, Guang; Wang, Shaobu

    2014-07-31

    Diverse operating conditions at individual wind turbine generators (WTG) within wind power plants (WPPs) can affect the WPP dynamic response to system faults. For example, individual WTGs can experience diverse terminal voltage and power output caused by different wind direction and speed, affecting the response of protection and control limiters. In this paper, we present a study to investigate the dynamic response of a detailed WPP model under diverse power outputs of its individual WTGs. Wake effect is considered as the reason for diverse power outputs. The diverse WTG power output is evaluated in a test system where a large 168-machine test WPP is connected to the IEEE-39-bus system. The power output from each WTG is derived from a wake effect model that uses realistic statistical data for incoming wind speed and direction. The results show that diverse WTG output due to wake effect can affect the WPP dynamic response activating specialized control in some turbines. In addition, transient stability is affected by exhibiting uncertainty in critical clearing time calculation.

  16. Plant terpenes affect intensity and temporal parameters of pheromone detection in a moth.

    PubMed

    Party, Virginie; Hanot, Christophe; Said, Imene; Rochat, Didier; Renou, Michel

    2009-11-01

    In moths, the components of the female pheromone blend are detected in the male antennae by pheromone olfactory receptor neurons (Ph-ORNs) expressing narrowly tuned olfactory receptors. Responses to sex pheromones have generally been thought to be independent from the odorant background. However, interactions between pheromone components and plant volatiles have been reported at behavioral and detection levels. To document the mechanisms of such interactions, we analyzed Ph-ORN responses of Spodoptera littoralis to the main pheromone component, Z9E11-14:Ac, in the presence of 4 monoterpenes. To mimic natural contexts in which plant odors and pheromone emanate from different sources, the 2 stimuli were presented with different temporal patterns and from independent sources. Linalool reversibly reduced the firing response to Z9E11-14:Ac and produced an off effect. Geraniol and geranyl and linalyl acetates reduced the responses to Z9E11-14:Ac with a longer time course. Pulses of linalool over prolonged pheromone stimulation resulted in a discontinuous firing activity. Pulses of pheromone were better separated over a background of linalool, compared with odorless air. The data confirm that plant compounds may modulate the intensity and the temporal coding by Ph-ORNs of pheromone information. This modulation might positively affect mate location at high pheromone density especially nearby a pheromone source.

  17. Host plant affects the sexual attractiveness of the female white-spotted longicorn beetle, Anoplophora malasiaca

    PubMed Central

    Yasui, Hiroe; Fujiwara-Tsujii, Nao

    2016-01-01

    Anoplophora malasiaca (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) is a serious pest that destroys various landscape and crop trees in Japan. We evaluated the precopulatory responses of three different A. malasiaca populations collected from mandarin orange, willow and blueberry trees. Most of the males accepted mates from within the same host plant population as well as females from the willow and blueberry populations. However, significant number of males from the blueberry and willow populations rejected females from the mandarin orange population immediately after touching them with their antennae. Because all three of the female populations produced contact sex pheromones on their elytra, the females of the mandarin orange population were predicted to possess extra chemicals that repelled the males of the other two populations. β-Elemene was identified as a key component that was only found in mandarin orange-fed females and induced a rejection response in willow-fed males. Our results represent the first example of a female-acquired repellent against conspecific males of different host plant populations, indicating that the host plant greatly affects the female’s sexual attractiveness. PMID:27412452

  18. [Noise-reduction function and its affecting factors of urban plant communities in Shanghai].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qing-Fei; Zheng, Si-Jun; Xia, Lei; Wu, Hai-Ping; Zhang, Ming-Li; Li, Ming-Sheng

    2007-10-01

    The factor analysis on the relationships between excess noise attenuation (decrement after noise propagating 30 m) and 8 structural characteristics of 19 urban plant communities in Shanghai showed that all the plant communities had notable effects on reducing noise, and the noise attenuation ability of the communities was significantly higher than that of lawn (P < 0.01). The plant communities could be divided into three groups base on their noise attenuation ability, i.e., those of > or = 10 dB(A), 6-10 dB(A), and < or = 6 dB(A). The main factors affecting the noise attenuation ability of the communities were leaf area index, average bifurcate height, average height, coverage, and average canopy diameter, and their correlation coefficients with noise attenuation were 0.343, 0.318, 0.285, 0.226 and 0.193, respectively. These five factors had a cumulative contribution rate of 65.47%, suggesting that they should be considered in stress when designing urban greenbelt for noise reduction.

  19. The odor of a plant metabolite affects life history traits in dietary restricted adult olive flies.

    PubMed

    Gerofotis, Christos D; Ioannou, Charalampos S; Nakas, Christos T; Papadopoulos, Nikos T

    2016-06-24

    Food quality shapes life history traits either directly or through response of individuals to additional environmental factors, such as chemical cues. Plant extracts used as food additives modulate key life history traits; however little is known regarding such effects for olfactory chemical cues. Exploiting an interesting experimental system that involves the olive fly (Bactrocera oleae) and the plant metabolite α-pinene we asked whether exposure of adults to this compound modulates adult longevity and female reproduction in similar manner in a stressful - dietary (protein) restricted (DR) and in a relaxed- full diet (FD) feeding environment. Accordingly, we exposed males and females to the aroma of α-pinene and measured lifespan and age-specific fecundity in the above two dietary contexts. Our results demonstrate that exposure to α-pinene increased longevity in males and fecundity in females only under dietary restricted conditions. In relaxed food conditions, females exposed to α-pinene shifted high egg-laying towards younger ages compared to non-exposed ones. This is the first report demonstrating that a plant compound affects key life history traits of adult olive flies through olfaction. These effects are sex-specific and more pronounced in dietary restricted adults. Possible underlying mechanisms and the ecological significance are discussed.

  20. Salt affects plant Cd-stress responses by modulating growth and Cd accumulation.

    PubMed

    Xu, Jin; Yin, Hengxia; Liu, Xiaojing; Li, Xia

    2010-01-01

    Cadmium contamination is a serious environmental problem for modern agriculture and human health. Salinity affects plant growth and development, and interactions between salt and cadmium have been reported. However, the molecular mechanisms of salinity-cadmium interactions are not fully understood. Here, we show that a low concentration of salt alleviates Cd-induced growth inhibition and increases Cd accumulation in Arabidopsis thaliana. Supplementation with low concentrations of salt reduced the reactive oxygen species level in Cd-stressed roots by increasing the contents of proline and glutathione and down-regulating the expression of RCD1, thereby protecting the plasma membrane integrity of roots under cadmium stress. Salt supplementation substantially reduces the Cd-induced elevation of IAA oxidase activity, thereby maintaining auxin levels in Cd-stressed plants, as indicated by DR5::GUS expression. Salt supply increased Cd absorption in roots and increased Cd accumulation in leaves, implying that salt enhances both Cd uptake in roots and the root-to-shoot translocation of Cd. The elevated Cd accumulation in plants in response to salt was found to be correlated with the elevated levels of phytochelatin the expression of heavy metal transporters AtHMA1-4, especially AtHMA4. Salt alleviated growth inhibition caused by Cd and increased Cd accumulation also was observed in Cd accumulator Solanum nigrum.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-10-01

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

  2. The odor of a plant metabolite affects life history traits in dietary restricted adult olive flies

    PubMed Central

    Gerofotis, Christos D.; Ioannou, Charalampos S.; Nakas, Christos T.; Papadopoulos, Nikos T.

    2016-01-01

    Food quality shapes life history traits either directly or through response of individuals to additional environmental factors, such as chemical cues. Plant extracts used as food additives modulate key life history traits; however little is known regarding such effects for olfactory chemical cues. Exploiting an interesting experimental system that involves the olive fly (Bactrocera oleae) and the plant metabolite α-pinene we asked whether exposure of adults to this compound modulates adult longevity and female reproduction in similar manner in a stressful – dietary (protein) restricted (DR) and in a relaxed- full diet (FD) feeding environment. Accordingly, we exposed males and females to the aroma of α-pinene and measured lifespan and age-specific fecundity in the above two dietary contexts. Our results demonstrate that exposure to α-pinene increased longevity in males and fecundity in females only under dietary restricted conditions. In relaxed food conditions, females exposed to α-pinene shifted high egg-laying towards younger ages compared to non-exposed ones. This is the first report demonstrating that a plant compound affects key life history traits of adult olive flies through olfaction. These effects are sex-specific and more pronounced in dietary restricted adults. Possible underlying mechanisms and the ecological significance are discussed. PMID:27339862

  3. Burkholderia cenocepacia Lipopolysaccharide Modification and Flagellin Glycosylation Affect Virulence but Not Innate Immune Recognition in Plants

    PubMed Central

    Khodai-Kalaki, Maryam; Andrade, Angel; Fathy Mohamed, Yasmine

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Burkholderia cenocepacia causes opportunistic infections in plants, insects, animals, and humans, suggesting that “virulence” depends on the host and its innate susceptibility to infection. We hypothesized that modifications in key bacterial molecules recognized by the innate immune system modulate host responses to B. cenocepacia. Indeed, modification of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) with 4-amino-4-deoxy-l-arabinose and flagellin glycosylation attenuates B. cenocepacia infection in Arabidopsis thaliana and Galleria mellonella insect larvae. However, B. cenocepacia LPS and flagellin triggered rapid bursts of nitric oxide and reactive oxygen species in A. thaliana leading to activation of the PR-1 defense gene. These responses were drastically reduced in plants with fls2 (flagellin FLS2 host receptor kinase), Atnoa1 (nitric oxide-associated protein 1), and dnd1-1 (reduced production of nitric oxide) null mutations. Together, our results indicate that LPS modification and flagellin glycosylation do not affect recognition by plant receptors but are required for bacteria to establish overt infection. PMID:26045541

  4. Fire severity mediates climate-driven shifts in understorey community composition of black spruce stands of interior Alaska

    Treesearch

    Emily L. Bernhardt; Teresa N. Hollingsworth; F. Stuart Chapin

    2011-01-01

    Question: How do pre-fire conditions (community composition and environmental characteristics) and climate-driven disturbance characteristics (fire severity) affect post-fire community composition in black spruce stands? Location: Northern boreal forest, interior Alaska. Methods: We compared plant community composition and environmental stand characteristics in 14...

  5. Connecting plant-microbial interactions above and belowground: a fungal endophyte affects decomposition.

    PubMed

    Lemons, Alisha; Clay, Keith; Rudgers, Jennifer A

    2005-10-01

    Mutualisms can strongly affect the structure of communities, but their influence on ecosystem processes is not well resolved. Here we show that a plant-microbial mutualism affects the rate of leaf litter decomposition using the widespread interaction between tall fescue grass (Lolium arundinaceum) and the fungal endophyte Neotyphodium coenophialum. In grasses, fungal endophytes live symbiotically in the aboveground tissues, where the fungi gain protection and nutrients from their host and often protect host plants from biotic and abiotic stress. In a field experiment, decomposition rate depended on a complex interaction between the litter source (collected from endophyte-infected or endophyte-free plots), the decomposition microenvironment (endophyte-infected or endophyte-free plots), and the presence of mesoinvertebrates (manipulated by the mesh size of litter bags). Over all treatments, decomposition was slower for endophyte-infected fescue litter than for endophyte-free litter. When mesoinvertebrates were excluded using fine mesh and litter was placed in a microenvironment with the endophyte, the difference between endophyte-infected and endophyte-free litter was strongest. In the presence of mesoinvertebrates, endophyte-infected litter decomposed faster in microenvironments with the endophyte than in microenvironments lacking the endophyte, suggesting that plots differ in the detritivore assemblage. Indeed, the presence of the endophyte in plots shifted the composition of Collembola, with more Hypogastruridae in the presence of the endophyte and more Isotomidae in endophyte-free plots. In a separate outdoor pot experiment, we did not find strong effects of the litter source or the soil microbial/microinvertebrate community on decomposition, which may reflect differences between pot and field conditions or other differences in methodology. Our work is among the first to demonstrate an effect of plant-endophyte mutualisms on ecosystem processes under field

  6. Exogenous abscisic acid significantly affects proteome in tea plant (Camellia sinensis) exposed to drought stress

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Lin; Xu, Hui; Mischke, Sue; Meinhardt, Lyndel W; Zhang, Dapeng; Zhu, Xujun; Li, Xinghui; Fang, Wanping

    2014-01-01

    Tea [Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze] is an important economic crop, and drought is the most important abiotic stress affecting yield and quality. Abscisic acid (ABA) is an important phytohormone responsible for activating drought resistance. Increased understanding of ABA effects on tea plant under drought stress is essential to develop drought-tolerant tea genotypes, along with crop management practices that can mitigate drought stress. The objective of the present investigation is evaluation of effects of exogenous ABA on the leaf proteome in tea plant exposed to drought stress. Leaf protein patterns of tea plants under simulated drought stress [(polyethylene glycol (PEG)-treated] and exogenous ABA treatment were analyzed in a time-course experiment using two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE), followed by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry (MS). Among the 72 protein spots identified by MALDI-TOF MS, 16 proteins were downregulated and two were upregulated by exogenous ABA. The upregulated proteins have roles in glycolysis and photosystem II stabilization. Twenty-one protein spots were responsive to drought stress and most participate in carbohydrate and nitrogen metabolism, control of reactive oxygen species (ROS), defense, signaling or nucleic acid metabolism. The combined treatments of exogenous ABA and drought showed upregulation of 10 protein spots at 12 h and upregulation of 11 proteins at 72 h after initiation of drought stress. The results support the importance of the role that ABA plays in the tea plant during drought stress, by improving protein transport, carbon metabolism and expression of resistance proteins. PMID:27076915

  7. Exogenous abscisic acid significantly affects proteome in tea plant (Camellia sinensis) exposed to drought stress.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Lin; Xu, Hui; Mischke, Sue; Meinhardt, Lyndel W; Zhang, Dapeng; Zhu, Xujun; Li, Xinghui; Fang, Wanping

    2014-01-01

    Tea [Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze] is an important economic crop, and drought is the most important abiotic stress affecting yield and quality. Abscisic acid (ABA) is an important phytohormone responsible for activating drought resistance. Increased understanding of ABA effects on tea plant under drought stress is essential to develop drought-tolerant tea genotypes, along with crop management practices that can mitigate drought stress. The objective of the present investigation is evaluation of effects of exogenous ABA on the leaf proteome in tea plant exposed to drought stress. Leaf protein patterns of tea plants under simulated drought stress [(polyethylene glycol (PEG)-treated] and exogenous ABA treatment were analyzed in a time-course experiment using two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE), followed by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry (MS). Among the 72 protein spots identified by MALDI-TOF MS, 16 proteins were downregulated and two were upregulated by exogenous ABA. The upregulated proteins have roles in glycolysis and photosystem II stabilization. Twenty-one protein spots were responsive to drought stress and most participate in carbohydrate and nitrogen metabolism, control of reactive oxygen species (ROS), defense, signaling or nucleic acid metabolism. The combined treatments of exogenous ABA and drought showed upregulation of 10 protein spots at 12 h and upregulation of 11 proteins at 72 h after initiation of drought stress. The results support the importance of the role that ABA plays in the tea plant during drought stress, by improving protein transport, carbon metabolism and expression of resistance proteins.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Plant material as bioaccumulator of arsenic in soils affected by mining activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martínez-López, Salvadora; Martínez-Sánchez, Maria Jose; García-Lorenzo, Maria Luz; Pérez-Sirvent, Carmen

    2010-05-01

    fraction (oxidaizable medium extraction procedure). Arsenic concentration in leaves was positively correlated with the arsenic extracted by HCl, with the oxidizable-organic matter and sulfides fraction and with the arsenic extracted by Mehra-Jackson extraction. According to our results, As is accumulated in the leaves of the plants and is linked with iron oxides of these soils affected by mining activities.

  11. Overexpression of an Arabidopsis heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein gene, AtRNP1, affects plant growth and reduces plant tolerance to drought and salt stresses

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Zhenyu; Zhao, Xiuyang; Wang, Bing; Liu, Erlong; Chen, Ni; Zhang, Wei; Liu, Heng

    2016-04-01

    Heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoproteins (hnRNPs) participate in diverse regulations of plant growth and environmental stress responses. In this work, an Arabidopsis hnRNP of unknown function, AtRNP1, was investigated. We found that AtRNP1 gene is highly expressed in rosette and cauline leaves, and slightly induced under drought, salt, osmotic and ABA stresses. AtRNP1 protein is localized to both the nucleus and cytoplasm. We performed homologous overexpression of AtRNP1 and found that the transgenic plants showed shortened root length and plant height, and accelerated flowering. In addition, the transgenic plants also showed reduced tolerance to drought, salt, osmotic and ABA stresses. Further studies revealed that under both normal and stress conditions, the proline contents in the transgenic plants are markedly decreased, associated with reduced expression levels of a proline synthase gene and several stress-responsive genes. These results suggested that the overexpression of AtRNP1 negatively affects plant growth and abiotic stress tolerance. - Highlights: • AtRNP1 is a widely expressed gene and its expression is slightly induced under abiotic stresses. • AtRNP1 protein is localized to both the nucleus and cytoplasm. • Overexpression of AtRNP1 affects plant growth. • Overexpression of AtRNP1 reduces plant tolerance to drought and salt stresses. • AtRNP1 overexpression plants show decreased proline accumulation and stress-responsive gene expressions.

  12. Ericaceous dwarf shrubs affect ectomycorrhizal fungal community of the invasive Pinus strobus and native Pinus sylvestris in a pot experiment.

    PubMed

    Kohout, Petr; Sýkorová, Zuzana; Bahram, Mohammad; Hadincová, Věroslava; Albrechtová, Jana; Tedersoo, Leho; Vohník, Martin

    2011-07-01

    This study aimed to elucidate the relationship between ericaceous understorey shrubs and the diversity and abundance of ectomycorrhizal fungi (EcMF) associated with the invasive Pinus strobus and native Pinus sylvestris. Seedlings of both pines were grown in mesocosms and subjected to three treatments simulating different forest microhabitats: (a) grown in isolation and grown with (b) Vaccinium myrtillus or (c) Vaccinium vitis-idaea. Ericaceous plants did not act as a species pool of pine mycobionts and inhibited the ability of the potentially shared species Meliniomyces bicolor to form ectomycorrhizae. Similarly, Ericaceae significantly reduced the formation of Thelephora terrestris ectomycorrhizae in P. sylvestris. EcMF species composition in the mesocosms was strongly affected by both the host species and the presence of an ericaceous neighbour. When grown in isolation, P. strobus root tips were predominantly colonised by Wilcoxina mikolae, whereas those of P. sylvestris were more commonly colonised by Suillus and Rhizopogon spp. Interestingly, these differences were less evident (Suillus + Rhizopogon spp.) or absent (W. mikolae) when the pines were grown with Ericaceae. P. strobus exclusively associated with Rhizopogon salebrosus s.l., suggesting the presence of host specificity at the intrageneric level. Ericaceous plants had a positive effect on colonisation of P. strobus root tips by R. salebrosus s.l. This study demonstrates that the interaction of selective factors such as host species and presence of ericaceous plants may affect the realised niche of the ectomycorrhizal fungi.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-05-01

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

  14. Quantifying understorey vegetation in the US Lake States: a proposed framework to inform regional forest carbon stocks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Russell, Matthew B.; D'Amato, Anthony W.; Schulz, Bethany K.; Woodall, Christopher W.; Domke, Grant M.; Bradford, John B.

    2014-01-01

    The contribution of understorey vegetation (UVEG) to forest ecosystem biomass and carbon (C) across diverse forest types has, to date, eluded quantification at regional and national scales. Efforts to quantify UVEG C have been limited to field-intensive studies or broad-scale modelling approaches lacking field measurements. Although large-scale inventories of UVEG C are not common, species- and community-level inventories of vegetation structure are available and may prove useful in quantifying UVEG C stocks. This analysis developed a general framework for estimating UVEG C stocks by employing per cent cover estimates of UVEG from a region-wide forest inventory coupled with an estimate of maximum UVEG C across the US Lake States (i.e. Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin). Estimates of UVEG C stocks from this approach reasonably align with expected C stocks in the study region, ranging from 0.86 ± 0.06 Mg ha-1 in red pine-dominated to 1.59 ± 0.06 Mg ha-1 for aspen/birch-dominated forest types. Although the data employed here were originally collected to assess broad-scale forest structure and diversity, this study proposes a framework for using UVEG inventories as a foundation for estimating C stocks in an often overlooked, yet important ecosystem C pool.

  15. Does nitrate co-pollution affect biological responses of an aquatic plant to two common herbicides?

    PubMed

    Nuttens, A; Chatellier, S; Devin, S; Guignard, C; Lenouvel, A; Gross, E M

    2016-08-01

    Aquatic systems in agricultural landscapes are subjected to multiple stressors, among them pesticide and nitrate run-off, but effects of both together have rarely been studied. We investigated possible stress-specific and interaction effects using the new OECD test organism, Myriophyllum spicatum, a widespread aquatic plant. In a fully factorial design, we used two widely applied herbicides, isoproturon and mesosulfuron-methyl, in concentration-response curves at two nitrate levels (219.63 and 878.52mg N-NO3). We applied different endpoints reflecting plant performance such as growth, pigment content, content in phenolic compounds, and plant stoichiometry. Relative growth rates based on length (RGR-L) were affected strongly by both herbicides, while effects on relative growth rate based on dry weight (RGR-DW) were apparent for isoproturon but hardly visible for mesosulfuron-methyl due to an increase in dry matter content. The higher nitrate level further reduced growth rates, specifically with mesosulfuron-methyl. Effects were visible between 50 and 500μgL(-1) for isoproturon and 0.5-5μgL(-1) for mesosulfuron-methyl, with some differences between endpoints. The two herbicides had opposite effects on chlorophyll, carotenoid and nitrogen contents in plants, with values increasing with increasing concentrations of isoproturon and decreasing for mesosulfuron-methyl. Herbicides and nitrate level exhibited distinct effects on the content in phenolic compounds, with higher nitrate levels reducing total phenolic compounds in controls and with isoproturon, but not with mesosulfuron-methyl. Increasing concentrations of mesosulfuron-methyl lead to a decline of total phenolic compounds, while isoproturon had little effect. Contents of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus changed depending on the stressor combination. We observed higher phosphorus levels in plants exposed to certain concentrations of herbicides, potentially indicating a metabolic response. The C:N molar ratio

  16. Population rules can apply to individual plants and affect their architecture: an evaluation on the cushion plant Mulinum spinosum (Apiaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Puntieri, Javier G.; Damascos, María A.; Llancaqueo, Yanina; Svriz, Maya

    2010-01-01

    Background and aims Plants are regarded as populations of modules such as axes and growth units (GUs, i.e. seasonally produced axis segments). Due to their dense arrays of GUs, cushion plants may resemble crowded plant populations in the way the number of components (GUs in plants, individuals in populations) relates to their individual sizes. Methodology The morphological differentiation of GUs and its relationship with biomass accumulation and plant size were studied for the cushion subshrub Mulinum spinosum (Apiaceae), a widespread species in dry areas of Patagonia. In 2009, GUs were sampled from one-quarter of each of 24 adult plants. Within- and between-plant variations in GU length, diameter, number of nodes and biomass were analysed and related to whole-plant size. Principal results Each year, an M. spinosum cushion develops flowering GUs and vegetative GUs. Flowering GUs are larger, twice as numerous and contain two to four times more dry mass (excluding reproductive structures) than vegetative GUs. The hemispherical area of the cushions was positively correlated with the biomass of last-year GUs. The biomass of flowering GUs was negatively correlated with the density of GUs. Mulinum spinosum plants exhibited a notable differentiation between flowering and vegetative GUs, but their axes, i.e. the sequences of GUs, were not differentiated throughout the plants. Flowering GUs comprised a major proportion of each plant's photosynthetic tissues. Conclusions A decrease in the size of flowering GUs and in their number relative to the total number of GUs per plant, parallel to an increase in GU density, is predicted as M. spinosum plants age over years. The assimilative role of vegetative GUs is expected to increase in summer because of their less exposed position in the cushion. These GUs would therefore gain more from warm and dry conditions than flowering GUs. PMID:22476077

  17. Population rules can apply to individual plants and affect their architecture: an evaluation on the cushion plant Mulinum spinosum (Apiaceae).

    PubMed

    Puntieri, Javier G; Damascos, María A; Llancaqueo, Yanina; Svriz, Maya

    2010-01-01

    Plants are regarded as populations of modules such as axes and growth units (GUs, i.e. seasonally produced axis segments). Due to their dense arrays of GUs, cushion plants may resemble crowded plant populations in the way the number of components (GUs in plants, individuals in populations) relates to their individual sizes. The morphological differentiation of GUs and its relationship with biomass accumulation and plant size were studied for the cushion subshrub Mulinum spinosum (Apiaceae), a widespread species in dry areas of Patagonia. In 2009, GUs were sampled from one-quarter of each of 24 adult plants. Within- and between-plant variations in GU length, diameter, number of nodes and biomass were analysed and related to whole-plant size. Each year, an M. spinosum cushion develops flowering GUs and vegetative GUs. Flowering GUs are larger, twice as numerous and contain two to four times more dry mass (excluding reproductive structures) than vegetative GUs. The hemispherical area of the cushions was positively correlated with the biomass of last-year GUs. The biomass of flowering GUs was negatively correlated with the density of GUs. Mulinum spinosum plants exhibited a notable differentiation between flowering and vegetative GUs, but their axes, i.e. the sequences of GUs, were not differentiated throughout the plants. Flowering GUs comprised a major proportion of each plant's photosynthetic tissues. A decrease in the size of flowering GUs and in their number relative to the total number of GUs per plant, parallel to an increase in GU density, is predicted as M. spinosum plants age over years. The assimilative role of vegetative GUs is expected to increase in summer because of their less exposed position in the cushion. These GUs would therefore gain more from warm and dry conditions than flowering GUs.

  18. Do root traits affect a plant's ability to influence soil erosion?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burak, Emma; Quinton, John; Dodd, Ian

    2017-04-01

    With the ever increasing global population the agricultural sector is put under increasing pressure. This pressure is imposed on the soil and results in wide spread degradation that ultimately decreases productivity. Soil erosion is one of the main features of this degradation. Much focus has been put on the ability of plant canopies to mitigate soil erosion but little research has assessed the impact of below ground biomass. It is understood that woody roots reinforce slopes and lateral roots are believed to support the soil surface but the impact of root hairs is completely unknown. This study used two root hairless mutants one of barley (brb) and one of maize (rth3) along with their wild types (WT) to assess the capacity of different root traits to bind soil particles to the root system, creating a physical coating called a rhizosheath. The two genotypes were grown in a clay loam and periodically harvested during vegetative development. Rhizosheath weight was used to measure the ability of the root system to effectively bind soil particles, while root length was measured to standardise the results between genotypes. Overall, rhizosheath weight increased linearly with root length. When compared to WT plants of the same age, the root length of brb was, on average, 37% greater, suggesting that they compensated for the absence of root hairs by proliferating lateral roots. However, WT plants were far superior at binding soil particles as the rhizosheath weights were 5 fold greater, when expressed per unit root length. Thus root hairs are more important in binding soil particles than lateral roots. Whether these genotypic differences in root traits affect soil erosion will be assessed using mesocosm and field trials. Keywords: Soil erosion, Roots, Barley, Rhizosheath

  19. Light Influences How the Fungal Toxin Deoxynivalenol Affects Plant Cell Death and Defense Responses

    PubMed Central

    Ansari, Khairul I.; Doyle, Siamsa M.; Kacprzyk, Joanna; Khan, Mojibur R.; Walter, Stephanie; Brennan, Josephine M.; Arunachalam, Chanemouga Soundharam; McCabe, Paul F.; Doohan, Fiona M.

    2014-01-01

    The Fusarium mycotoxin deoxynivalenol (DON) can cause cell death in wheat (Triticum aestivum), but can also reduce the level of cell death caused by heat shock in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) cell cultures. We show that 10 μg mL−1 DON does not cause cell death in Arabidopsis cell cultures, and its ability to retard heat-induced cell death is light dependent. Under dark conditions, it actually promoted heat-induced cell death. Wheat cultivars differ in their ability to resist this toxin, and we investigated if the ability of wheat to mount defense responses was light dependent. We found no evidence that light affected the transcription of defense genes in DON-treated roots of seedlings of two wheat cultivars, namely cultivar CM82036 that is resistant to DON-induced bleaching of spikelet tissue and cultivar Remus that is not. However, DON treatment of roots led to genotype-dependent and light-enhanced defense transcript accumulation in coleoptiles. Wheat transcripts encoding a phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL) gene (previously associated with Fusarium resistance), non-expressor of pathogenesis-related genes-1 (NPR1) and a class III plant peroxidase (POX) were DON-upregulated in coleoptiles of wheat cultivar CM82036 but not of cultivar Remus, and DON-upregulation of these transcripts in cultivar CM82036 was light enhanced. Light and genotype-dependent differences in the DON/DON derivative content of coleoptiles were also observed. These results, coupled with previous findings regarding the effect of DON on plants, show that light either directly or indirectly influences the plant defense responses to DON. PMID:24561479

  20. Defoliation negatively affects plant growth and the ectomycorrhizal community of Pinus pinaster in Spain.

    PubMed

    Pestaña, Montserrat; Santolamazza-Carbone, Serena

    2011-03-01

    In this work, by artificially reproducing severe (75%) and moderate (25%) defoliation on maritime pines Pinus pinaster in NW Spain, we investigated, under natural conditions, the consequences of foliage loss on reproduction, abundance, diversity and richness of the fungal symbionts growing belowground and aboveground. The effect of defoliation on tree growth was also assessed. Mature needles were clipped during April 2007 and 2008. Root samples were collected in June-July 2007 and 2008. Collection of sporocarps was performed weekly from April 2007 to April 2009. Taxonomic identity of ectomycorrhizal fungi was assessed by using the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions of rDNA through the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method, subsequent direct sequencing and BLAST search. Ectomycorrhizal colonization was significantly reduced (from 54 to 42%) in 2008 by 75% defoliation, accompanied with a decline in species richness and diversity. On the other hand, sporocarp abundance, richness and diversity were not affected by foliage loss. Some ECM fungal symbionts, which are assumed to have a higher carbon cost according to the morphotypes structure, were reduced due to severe (75%) defoliation. Furthermore, 75% foliage loss consistently depressed tree growth, which in turn affected the ectomycorrhizal growth pattern. Defoliation impact on ECM symbionts largely depends on the percentage of foliage removal and on the number of defoliation bouts. Severe defoliation (75%) in the short term (2 years) changed the composition of the ECM community likely because root biomass would be adjusted to lower levels in parallel with the depletion of the aboveground plant biomass, which probably promoted the competition among mycorrhizal types for host resources. The persistence of fungal biomass in mycorrhizal roots would be crucial for nutrient up-take and recovery from defoliation stress of the host plants.

  1. Ozone Differentially Affects Perception of Plant Volatiles in Western Honey Bees.

    PubMed

    Dötterl, Stefan; Vater, Marina; Rupp, Thomas; Held, Andreas

    2016-06-01

    Floral scents play a key role in mediating plant-pollinator interactions. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by flowers are used by flower visitors as olfactory cues to locate flowers, both from a distance and at close range. More recently it has been demonstrated that reactive molecules such as ozone can modify or degrade VOCs, and this may impair the communication between plants and their pollinators. However, it is not known whether such reactive molecules also may affect the olfactory system of pollinators, and thus not only influence signal transmission but perception of the signal. In this study, we used electroantennographic measurements to determine the effect of increased levels of ozone on antennal responses in western honey bees (Apis mellifera L.). Linalool and 2-phenylethanol, both known to be involved in location of flowers by the bees, and (Z)-3-hexenyl acetate, a widespread green leaf volatile also detected by bees, were used. The results showed that ozone affected antennal responses to the different substances differently. Ozone decreased antennal responses to (Z)-3-hexenyl acetate, whereas responses to linalool and 2-phenylethanol were not influenced by ozone. Overall, the study does not provide evidence that pollination by honey bees is impaired by damage in the olfactory system of the bees caused by increased levels of ozone, at least when linalool and 2-phenylethanol are the attractive signals. However, the results also suggest that ozone can change the overall perception of an odor blend. This might have negative effects in pollination systems and other organismic interactions mediated by specific ratios of compounds.

  2. Spatial environmental heterogeneity affects plant growth and thermal performance on a green roof.

    PubMed

    Buckland-Nicks, Michael; Heim, Amy; Lundholm, Jeremy

    2016-05-15

    Green roofs provide ecosystem services, including stormwater retention and reductions in heat transfer through the roof. Microclimates, as well as designed features of green roofs, such as substrate and vegetation, affect the magnitude of these services. Many green roofs are partially shaded by surrounding buildings, but the effects of this within-roof spatial environmental heterogeneity on thermal performance and other ecosystem services have not been examined. We quantified the effects of spatial heterogeneity in solar radiation, substrate depth and other variables affected by these drivers on vegetation and ecosystem services in an extensive green roof. Spatial heterogeneity in substrate depth and insolation were correlated with differential growth, survival and flowering in two focal plant species. These effects were likely driven by the resulting spatial heterogeneity in substrate temperature and moisture content. Thermal performance (indicated by heat flux and substrate temperature) was influenced by spatial heterogeneity in vegetation cover and substrate depth. Areas with less insolation were cooler in summer and had greater substrate moisture, leading to more favorable conditions for plant growth and survival. Spatial variation in substrate moisture (7%-26% volumetric moisture content) and temperature (21°C-36°C) during hot sunny conditions in summer could cause large differences in stormwater retention and heat flux within a single green roof. Shaded areas promote smaller heat fluxes through the roof, leading to energy savings, but lower evapotranspiration in these areas should reduce stormwater retention capacity. Spatial heterogeneity can thus result in trade-offs between different ecosystem services. The effects of these spatial heterogeneities are likely widespread in green roofs. Structures that provide shelter from sun and wind may be productively utilized to design higher functioning green roofs and increase biodiversity by providing habitat

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

    PubMed

    Brütting, C; Hensen, I; Wesche, K

    2013-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. Plant-mediated interactions between two herbivores differentially affect a subsequently arriving third herbivore in populations of wild cabbage.

    PubMed

    Kroes, A; Stam, J M; David, A; Boland, W; van Loon, J J A; Dicke, M; Poelman, E H

    2016-11-01

    Plants are part of biodiverse communities and frequently suffer from attack by multiple herbivorous insects. Plant responses to these herbivores are specific for insect feeding guilds: aphids and caterpillars induce different plant phenotypes. Moreover, plants respond differentially to single or dual herbivory, which may cascade into a chain of interactions in terms of resistance to other community members. Whether differential responses to single or dual herbivory have consequences for plant resistance to yet a third herbivore is unknown. We assessed the effects of single or dual herbivory by Brevicoryne brassicae aphids and/or Plutella xylostella caterpillars on resistance of plants from three natural populations of wild cabbage to feeding by caterpillars of Mamestra brassicae. We measured plant gene expression and phytohormone concentrations to illustrate mechanisms involved in induced responses. Performance of both B. brassicae and P. xylostella was reduced when feeding simultaneously with the other herbivore, compared to feeding alone. Gene expression and phytohormone concentrations in plants exposed to dual herbivory were different from those found in plants exposed to herbivory by either insect alone. Plants previously induced by both P. xylostella and B. brassicae negatively affected growth of the subsequently arriving M. brassicae. Furthermore, induced responses varied between wild cabbage populations. Feeding by multiple herbivores differentially activates plant defences, which has plant-mediated negative consequences for a subsequently arriving herbivore. Plant population-specific responses suggest that plant populations adapt to the specific communities of insect herbivores. Our study contributes to the understanding of plant defence plasticity in response to multiple insect attacks.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  7. Plant maturity and nitrogen fertilization affected fructan metabolism in harvestable tissues of timothy (Phleum pratense L.).

    PubMed

    Ould-Ahmed, Marouf; Decau, Marie-Laure; Morvan-Bertrand, Annette; Prud'homme, Marie-Pascale; Lafrenière, Carole; Drouin, Pascal

    2014-10-15

    Timothy (Phleum pratense L.) is an important grass forage used for pasture, hay, and silage in regions with cool and humid growth seasons. One of the factors affecting the nutritive value of this grass is the concentration of non-structural carbohydrates (NSC), mainly represented by fructans. NSC concentration depends on multiple factors, making it hardly predictable. To provide a better understanding of NSC metabolism in timothy, the effects of maturity stage and nitrogen (N) fertilization level on biomass, NSC and N-compound concentrations were investigated in the tissues used for forage (leaf blades and stems surrounded by leaf sheaths) of hydroponically grown plants. Moreover, activities and relative expression level of enzymes involved in fructan metabolism were measured in the same tissues. Forage biomass was not altered by the fertilization level but was strongly modified by the stage of development. It increased from vegetative to heading stages while leaf-to-stem biomass ratio decreased. Total NSC concentration, which was not altered by N fertilization level, increased between heading and anthesis due to an accumulation of fructans in leaf blades. Fructan metabolizing enzyme activities (fructosyltransferase-FT and fructan exohydrolase-FEH) were not or only slightly altered by both maturity stage and N fertilization level. Conversely, the relative transcript levels of genes coding for enzymes involved in fructan metabolism were modified by N supply (PpFT1 and Pp6-FEH1) or maturity stage (PpFT2). The relative transcript level of PpFT1 was the highest in low N plants while that of Pp6-FEH1 was the highest in high N plants. Morevoer, transcript level of PpFT1 was negatively correlated with nitrate concentration while that of PpFT2 was positively correlated with sucrose concentration. This distinct regulation of the two genes coding for 6-sucrose:fructan fructosyltransferase (6-SFT) may allow a fine adequation of C allocation towards fructan synthesis in

  8. Parental Age Affects Somatic Mutation Rates in the Progeny of Flowering Plants1

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Amit Kumar; Bashir, Tufail; Sailer, Christian; Gurumoorthy, Viswanathan; Ramakrishnan, Anantha Maharasi; Dhanapal, Shanmuhapreya; Grossniklaus, Ueli; Baskar, Ramamurthy

    2015-01-01

    In humans, it is well known that the parental reproductive age has a strong influence on mutations transmitted to their progeny. Meiotic nondisjunction is known to increase in older mothers, and base substitutions tend to go up with paternal reproductive age. Hence, it is clear that the germinal mutation rates are a function of both maternal and paternal ages in humans. In contrast, it is unknown whether the parental reproductive age has an effect on somatic mutation rates in the progeny, because these are rare and difficult to detect. To address this question, we took advantage of the plant model system Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), where mutation detector lines allow for an easy quantitation of somatic mutations, to test the effect of parental age on somatic mutation rates in the progeny. Although we found no significant effect of parental age on base substitutions, we found that frameshift mutations and transposition events increased in the progeny of older parents, an effect that is stronger through the maternal line. In contrast, intrachromosomal recombination events in the progeny decrease with the age of the parents in a parent-of-origin-dependent manner. Our results clearly show that parental reproductive age affects somatic mutation rates in the progeny and, thus, that some form of age-dependent information, which affects the frequency of double-strand breaks and possibly other processes involved in maintaining genome integrity, is transmitted through the gametes. PMID:25810093

  9. Alkaloid Quantities in Endophyte-Infected Tall Fescue are Affected by the Plant-Fungus Combination and Environment.

    PubMed

    Helander, M; Phillips, T; Faeth, S H; Bush, L P; McCulley, R; Saloniemi, I; Saikkonen, K

    2016-02-01

    Many grass species are symbiotic with systemic, vertically-transmitted, asymptomatic Epichloë endophytic fungi. These fungi often produce alkaloids that defend the host against herbivores. We studied how environmental variables affect alkaloids in endophyte-infected tall fescue (Schedonorus phoenix) from three Northern European wild origins and the widely planted US cultivar 'Kentucky-31' (KY31). The plants were grown in identical common garden experiments in Finland and Kentucky for two growing seasons. Plants were left as controls (C) or given water (W), nutrient (N) or water and nutrient (WN) treatments. For 8-10 replications of each plant origin and treatment combination in both experiments, we analyzed ergot alkaloids, lysergic acid, and lolines. In Finland, tall fescue plants produced 50 % more ergot alkaloids compared to plants of the same origin and treatments in Kentucky. Origin of the plants affected the ergot alkaloid concentration at both study sites: the wild origin plants produced 2-4 times more ergot alkaloids than KY31, but the ergot alkaloid concentration of KY31 plants was the same at both locations. Overall lysergic acid content was 60 % higher in plants grown in Kentucky than in those grown in Finland. Nutrient treatments (N, WN) significantly increased ergot alkaloid concentrations in plants from Finland but not in plants from Kentucky. These results suggest that the success of KY31 in US is not due to selection for high ergot alkaloid production but rather other traits associated with the endophyte. In addition, the environmental effects causing variation in alkaloid production of grass-endophyte combinations should be taken into account when using endophyte-infected grasses agriculturally.

  10. Soil organic matter and salinity affect copper bioavailability in root zone and uptake by Vicia faba L. plants.

    PubMed

    Matijevic, Lana; Romic, Davor; Romic, Marija

    2014-10-01

    Processes that control the mobility, transformation and toxicity of metals in soil are of special importance in the root-developing zone. For this reason, there is a considerable interest in understanding trace elements (TEs) behavior in soil, emphasising the processes by which plants take them up. Increased root-zone salinity can affect plant TEs uptake and accumulation in plant tissue. Furthermore, copper (Cu) complexation by soil organic matter (SOM) is an effective mechanism of Cu retention in soils, controlling thus its bioavailability. Therefore, a greenhouse pot experiment was conducted to study the effects of soil Cu contamination in a saline environment on faba bean (Vicia faba L.) element uptake. Treatment with NaCl salinity was applied (control, 50 mM NaCl and 100 mM NaCl) on faba bean plants grown in a control and in a soil spiked with Cu (250 and 500 mg kg(-1)). Low and high SOM content trial variants were studied. Cu accumulation occurred in faba bean leaf, pod and seed. Cu contamination affected plant element concentrations in leaves (Na, Ca, Mg, Mn), pod (Zn, Mn) and seed (Mn, Mo, Zn). Root-zone salinity also affected faba bean element concentrations. Furthermore, Cu contamination-salinity and salinity-SOM interactions were significant for pod Cu concentration, suggesting that Cu phytoavailability could be affected by these interactions. Future research will be focused on the mechanisms of Cu translocation in plant and adaptation aspects of abiotic stress.

  11. Herbivory Differentially Affects Plant Fitness in Three Populations of the Perennial Herb Lythrum salicaria along a Latitudinal Gradient.

    PubMed

    Lehndal, Lina; Ågren, Jon

    2015-01-01

    Herbivory can negatively and selectively affect plant fitness by reducing growth, survival and reproductive output, thereby influencing plant population dynamics and evolution. Latitudinal variation in intensity of herbivory is common, but the extent to which it translates into corresponding variation in effects on plant performance is still poorly known. We tested the hypothesis that variation in the fitness-consequences of herbivory mirror differences in intensity of herbivory among three natural populations of the perennial herb Lythrum salicaria along a latitudinal gradient from southern to northernmost Sweden. We documented intensity of herbivory and examined its effect on survival, growth and reproductive output over two years by experimentally removing herbivores with insecticide. The intensity of herbivory and the effects of herbivory on plant fitness were strongest in the southern population, intermediate in the central population and weakest in the northern population. The mean proportion of the leaf area removed ranged from 11% in the southern to 3% in the northern population. Herbivore removal increased plant height 1.5-fold in the southern and 1.2-fold in the central population, the proportion plants flowering 4-fold in the southern and 2-fold in the central population, and seed production per flower 1.6-fold in the southern and 1.2-fold in the central population, but did not affect plant fitness in the northern population. Herbivore removal thus affected the relative fecundity of plants in the three populations: In the control, seed output per plant was 8.6 times higher in the northern population compared to the southern population, whereas after herbivore removal it was 2.5 times higher in the southern population. The results demonstrate that native herbivores may strongly affect the demographic structure of L. salicaria populations and thereby shape geographic patterns of seed production. They further suggest that the strength of herbivore

  12. Survival and growth of restored Piedmont riparian forests as affected by site preparation, planting stock, and planting aids

    Treesearch

    Chelsea M. Curtis; W. Michael Aust; John R. Seiler; Brian D. Strahm

    2015-01-01

    Forest mitigation sites may have poor survival and growth of planted trees due to poor drainage, compacted soils, and lack of microtopography. The effects of five replications of five forestry mechanical site preparation techniques (Flat, Rip, Bed, Pit, and Mound), four regeneration sources (Direct seed, Bare root, Tubelings, and Gallon), and three planting aids (None...

  13. Aphids Pick Their Poison: Selective Sequestration of Plant Chemicals Affects Host Plant Use in a Specialist Herbivore.

    PubMed

    Goodey, Nicole A; Florance, Hannah V; Smirnoff, Nicholas; Hodgson, Dave J

    2015-10-01

    In some plant-insect interactions, specialist herbivores exploit the chemical defenses of their food plant to their own advantage. Brassica plants produce glucosinolates that are broken down into defensive toxins when tissue is damaged, but the specialist aphid, Brevicoryne brassicae, uses these chemicals against its own natural enemies by becoming a "walking mustard-oil bomb". Analysis of glucosinolate concentrations in plant tissue and associated aphid colonies reveals that not only do aphids sequester glucosinolates, but they do so selectively. Aphids specifically accumulate sinigrin to high concentrations while preferentially excreting a structurally similar glucosinolate, progoitrin. Surveys of aphid infestation in wild populations of Brassica oleracea show that this pattern of sequestration and excretion maps onto host plant use. The probability of aphid infestation decreases with increasing concentrations of progoitrin in plants. Brassica brassicae, therefore, appear to select among food plants according to plant secondary metabolite profiles, and selectively store only some compounds that are used against their own enemies. The results demonstrate chemical and behavioral mechanisms that help to explain evidence of geographic patterns and evolutionary dynamics in Brassica-aphid interactions.

  14. Does plant diversity affect the water balance of established grassland systems?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leimer, Sophia; Bischoff, Sebastian; Blaser, Stefan; Boch, Steffen; Busch, Verena; Escher, Peter; Fischer, Markus; Kaupenjohann, Martin; Kerber, Katja; Klaus, Valentin; Michalzik, Beate; Prati, Daniel; Schäfer, Deborah; Schmitt, Barbara; Schöning, Ingo; Schwarz, Martin T.; Siemens, Jan; Thieme, Lisa; Wilcke, Wolfgang

    2017-04-01

    The water cycle drives nutrient cycles and plant productivity. The impact of land use on the water cycle has been extensively studied and there is experimental evidence that biodiversity modifies the water cycle in grasslands. However, the combined influences of land-use and associated biodiversity on the water cycle in established land-use systems are unclear. Therefore, we investigated how evapotranspiration (ETa), downward water flux (DF), and capillary rise (CR) in topsoil and subsoil are related to land-use and plant diversity in established, commercially managed grassland and compared these results to findings from experiments where plant diversity was manipulated. In three Central European regions ("Biodiversity Exploratories"), we studied 29 grassland plots (50 m x 50 m; 9-11 plots per region) from 2010 to 2015. The land-use types cover pasture, mown pasture, and meadow in at least triplicate per region. On each plot, we measured soil water contents, meteorological data (hourly resolution), cumulative precipitation (biweekly), plant species richness, the number of plants in the functional groups of grasses, herbs, and legumes (annually), and root biomass (once). Potential evapotranspiration (ETp) was calculated from meteorological data per plot. Missing data points of ETp and soil water contents were estimated with Bayesian hierarchical models. ETa, DF, and CR were calculated for two soil layers with a soil water balance model. The model is based on changes in soil water storage between subsequent observation dates and ETp, which was partitioned between soil layers according to root distribution. Water fluxes in annual resolution were statistically analyzed for land-use and biodiversity effects using repeated-measures analysis of variance (ANOVA). Land-use type did not affect water fluxes. Species richness did not influence DF and CR. DF from topsoil was higher on plots with more grass species, which is opposite to the results from a manipulative

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  16. Rhizosphere Microbial Community Composition Affects Cadmium and Zinc Uptake by the Metal-Hyperaccumulating Plant Arabidopsis halleri

    PubMed Central

    Muehe, E. Marie; Weigold, Pascal; Adaktylou, Irini J.; Planer-Friedrich, Britta; Kraemer, Ute; Kappler, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    The remediation of metal-contaminated soils by phytoextraction depends on plant growth and plant metal accessibility. Soil microorganisms can affect the accumulation of metals by plants either by directly or indirectly stimulating plant growth and activity or by (im)mobilizing and/or complexing metals. Understanding the intricate interplay of metal-accumulating plants with their rhizosphere microbiome is an important step toward the application and optimization of phytoremediation. We compared the effects of a “native” and a strongly disturbed (gamma-irradiated) soil microbial communities on cadmium and zinc accumulation by the plant Arabidopsis halleri in soil microcosm experiments. A. halleri accumulated 100% more cadmium and 15% more zinc when grown on the untreated than on the gamma-irradiated soil. Gamma irradiation affected neither plant growth nor the 1 M HCl-extractable metal content of the soil. However, it strongly altered the soil microbial community composition and overall cell numbers. Pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons of DNA extracted from rhizosphere samples of A. halleri identified microbial taxa (Lysobacter, Streptomyces, Agromyces, Nitrospira, “Candidatus Chloracidobacterium”) of higher relative sequence abundance in the rhizospheres of A. halleri plants grown on untreated than on gamma-irradiated soil, leading to hypotheses on their potential effect on plant metal uptake. However, further experimental evidence is required, and wherefore we discuss different mechanisms of interaction of A. halleri with its rhizosphere microbiome that might have directly or indirectly affected plant metal accumulation. Deciphering the complex interactions between A. halleri and individual microbial taxa will help to further develop soil metal phytoextraction as an efficient and sustainable remediation strategy. PMID:25595759

  17. Rhizosphere microbial community composition affects cadmium and zinc uptake by the metal-hyperaccumulating plant Arabidopsis halleri.

    PubMed

    Muehe, E Marie; Weigold, Pascal; Adaktylou, Irini J; Planer-Friedrich, Britta; Kraemer, Ute; Kappler, Andreas; Behrens, Sebastian

    2015-03-01

    The remediation of metal-contaminated soils by phytoextraction depends on plant growth and plant metal accessibility. Soil microorganisms can affect the accumulation of metals by plants either by directly or indirectly stimulating plant growth and activity or by (im)mobilizing and/or complexing metals. Understanding the intricate interplay of metal-accumulating plants with their rhizosphere microbiome is an important step toward the application and optimization of phytoremediation. We compared the effects of a "native" and a strongly disturbed (gamma-irradiated) soil microbial communities on cadmium and zinc accumulation by the plant Arabidopsis halleri in soil microcosm experiments. A. halleri accumulated 100% more cadmium and 15% more zinc when grown on the untreated than on the gamma-irradiated soil. Gamma irradiation affected neither plant growth nor the 1 M HCl-extractable metal content of the soil. However, it strongly altered the soil microbial community composition and overall cell numbers. Pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons of DNA extracted from rhizosphere samples of A. halleri identified microbial taxa (Lysobacter, Streptomyces, Agromyces, Nitrospira, "Candidatus Chloracidobacterium") of higher relative sequence abundance in the rhizospheres of A. halleri plants grown on untreated than on gamma-irradiated soil, leading to hypotheses on their potential effect on plant metal uptake. However, further experimental evidence is required, and wherefore we discuss different mechanisms of interaction of A. halleri with its rhizosphere microbiome that might have directly or indirectly affected plant metal accumulation. Deciphering the complex interactions between A. halleri and individual microbial taxa will help to further develop soil metal phytoextraction as an efficient and sustainable remediation strategy. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  18. Arabidopsis thaliana plants with different levels of aliphatic- and indolyl-glucosinolates affect host selection and performance of Bemisia tabaci.

    PubMed

    Markovich, Oshry; Kafle, Dinesh; Elbaz, Moshe; Malitsky, Sergey; Aharoni, Asaph; Schwarzkopf, Alexander; Gershenzon, Jonathan; Morin, Shai

    2013-12-01

    Generalist insects show reduced selectivity when subjected to similar, but not identical, host plant chemical signatures. Here, we produced transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana plants that over-express genes regulating the aliphatic- and indolyl- glucosinolates biosynthetic pathways with either a constitutive (CaMV 35S) or a phloem-specific promoter (AtSUC2). This allowed us to examine how exposure to high levels of aliphatic- or indolyl-glucosinolates in homogenous habitats (leaf cage apparatus containing two wild-type or two transgenic leaves) and heterogeneous habitats (leaf cage apparatus containing one wild-type and one transgenic leaf) affects host selection and performance of Bemsia tabaci, a generalist phloem-feeding insect. Data from homogenous habitats indicated that exposure to A. thaliana plants accumulating high levels of aliphatic- or indolyl-glucosinolates negatively affected the performance of both adult females and nymphs of B. tabaci. Data from heterogeneous habitats indicated that B. tabaci adult females selected for oviposition plants on which their offspring perform better (preference-performance relationship). However, the combinations of wild-type and transgenic plants in heterogeneous habitats increased the period of time until the first choice was made and led to increased movement rate on transgenic plants, and reduced fecundity on wild-type plants. Overall, our findings are consistent with the view that both performance and selectivity of B. tabaci decrease in heterogeneous habitats that contain plants with closely-related chemical signatures.

  19. The MADS-box gene SlMBP11 regulates plant architecture and affects reproductive development in tomato plants.

    PubMed

    Guo, Xuhu; Chen, Guoping; Naeem, Muhammad; Yu, Xiaohu; Tang, Boyan; Li, Anzhou; Hu, Zongli

    2017-05-01

    MADS-domain proteins are important transcription factors that are involved in many biological processes of plants. In the present study, SlMBP11, a member of the AGL15 subfamily, was cloned in tomato plants (Solanum lycopersicon M.). SlMBP11 is ubiquitously expressed in all of the tissues we examined, whereas the SlMBP11 transcription levels were significantly higher in reproductive tissues than in vegetative tissues. Plants exhibiting increased SlMBP11 levels displayed reduced plant height, leaf size, and internode length as well as a loss of dominance in young seedlings, highly branched growth from each leaf axil, and increased number of nodes and leaves. Moreover, overexpression lines also exhibited reproductive phenotypes, such as those having a shorter style and split ovary, leading to polycarpous fruits, while the wild type showed normal floral organization. In addition, delayed perianth senescence was observed in transgenic tomatoes. These phenotypes were further confirmed by analyzing the morphological, anatomical and molecular features of lines exhibiting overexpression. These results suggest that SlMBP11 plays an important role in regulating plant architecture and reproductive development in tomato plants. These findings add a new class of transcription factors to the group of genes controlling axillary bud growth and illuminate a previously uncharacterized function of MADS-box genes in tomato plants. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Above- and belowground linkages in Sphagnum peatland: climate warming affects plant-microbial interactions.

    PubMed

    Jassey, Vincent E J; Chiapusio, Geneviève; Binet, Philippe; Buttler, Alexandre; Laggoun-Défarge, Fatima; Delarue, Frédéric; Bernard, Nadine; Mitchell, Edward A D; Toussaint, Marie-Laure; Francez, André-Jean; Gilbert, Daniel

    2013-03-01

    Peatlands contain approximately one third of all soil organic carbon (SOC). Warming can alter above- and belowground linkages that regulate soil organic carbon dynamics and C-balance in peatlands. Here we examine the multiyear impact of in situ experimental warming on the microbial food web, vegetation, and their feedbacks with soil chemistry. We provide evidence of both positive and negative impacts of warming on specific microbial functional groups, leading to destabilization of the microbial food web. We observed a strong reduction (70%) in the biomass of top-predators (testate amoebae) in warmed plots. Such a loss caused a shortening of microbial food chains, which in turn stimulated microbial activity, leading to slight increases in levels of nutrients and labile C in water. We further show that warming altered the regulatory role of Sphagnum-polyphenols on microbial community structure with a potential inhibition of top predators. In addition, warming caused a decrease in Sphagnum cover and an increase in vascular plant cover. Using structural equation modelling, we show that changes in the microbial food web affected the relationships between plants, soil water chemistry, and microbial communities. These results suggest that warming will destabilize C and nutrient recycling of peatlands via changes in above- and belowground linkages, and therefore, the microbial food web associated with mosses will feedback positively to global warming by destabilizing the carbon cycle. This study confirms that microbial food webs thus constitute a key element in the functioning of peatland ecosystems. Their study can help understand how mosses, as ecosystem engineers, tightly regulate biogeochemical cycling and climate feedback in peatlands.

  1. A pathway of bisphenol A affecting mineral element contents in plant roots at different growth stages.

    PubMed

    Xia, Binxin; Wang, Lihong; Nie, Lijun; Zhou, Qing; Huang, Xiaohua

    2017-01-01

    Bisphenol A (BPA), an environmental endocrine disruptor, is an important industrial raw material. The wide use of BPA has increased the risk of BPA release into the environment, and it has become a new environmental pollutant. In this work, the ecological deleterious effects of this new pollutant on soybean roots at different growth stages were investigated by determining the contents of mineral elements (P, K, Ca, and Mg) and analyzing root activity and the activities of critical respiratory enzymes (hexokinase, phosphofructokinase, pyruvate kinase, and isocitrate dehydrogenase). Our results revealed that low dose (1.5mg/L) of BPA increased the levels of P, K, Mg, and Ca in soybean roots at different growth stages. Whereas, high doses (6.0 and 12.0mg/L) of BPA decreased the levels of P, K, and Mg contents in a dose-dependent manner. BPA had a promotive effect on the content of Ca in soybean roots. Synchronous observation showed that the aforementioned dual response to BPA were also observed in the root activity and respiratory enzyme activities. The effects of BPA on the mineral element contents, root activity and respiratory enzyme activities in soybean roots at different growth stages followed the order: flowering and podding stage>seed-filling stage>seedling stage (mineral element contents); seedling stage>flowering and podding stage>seed-filling stage (root activity and respiratory enzyme activities). In a word, the response of plant root activity and respiratory enzyme activities to BPA pollution is a pathway of BPA affecting mineral element contents in plant roots.

  2. Senescence-inducible LEC2 enhances triacylglycerol accumulation in leaves without negatively affecting plant growth

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Hyun Uk; Lee, Kyeong-Ryeol; Jung, Su-Jin; Shin, Hyun A; Go, Young Sam; Suh, Mi-Chung; Kim, Jong Bum

    2017-01-01

    Summary The synthesis of fatty acids and glycerolipids in wild-type Arabidopsis leaves do not typically lead to strong triacylglycerol (TAG) accumulation. LEAFY COTYLEDON2 (LEC2) is a master regulator of seed maturation and oil accumulation in seeds. Constitutive ectopic LEC2 expression causes somatic embryogenesis and defects in seedling growth. Here, we report that senescence-inducible LEC2 expression caused a 3-fold increase in TAG levels in transgenic leaves compared with that in the leaves of wild-type plants. Plant growth was not severely affected by the accumulation the TAG in response to LEC2 expression. The levels of plastid-synthesized lipids, mono- and di-galactosyldiacylglycerol and phosphatidylglycerol, were reduced more in senescence-induced LEC2 than endoplasmic reticulum-synthesized lipids, including phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine, and phosphatidylinositol. Senescence-induced LEC2 upregulated the expression of many genes involved in fatty acid and TAG biosynthesis at precise times in senescent leaves, including WRINKLED1 (WRI1), which encodes a fatty acid transcription factor. The expression of glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase 1 and phospholipid:diacylglycerol 2 were increased in the transgenic leaves. Five seed-type oleosin-encoding genes, expressed during oil-body formation, and the seed-specific FAE1 gene, which encodes the enzyme responsible for the synthesis of C20:1 and C22:1 fatty acids, were also expressed at higher levels in senescing transgenic leaves than in wild-type leaves. Senescence-inducible LEC2 triggers the key metabolic steps that increase TAG accumulation in vegetative tissues. PMID:25790072

  3. Polycomb Protein OsFIE2 Affects Plant Height and Grain Yield in Rice

    PubMed Central

    Sheng, Zhonghua; Jiao, Guiai; Tang, Shaoqing; Luo, Ju; Hu, Peisong

    2016-01-01

    Polycomb group (PcG) proteins have been shown to affect growth and development in plants. To further elucidate their role in these processes in rice, we isolated and characterized a rice mutant which exhibits dwarfism, reduced seed setting rate, defective floral organ, and small grains. Map-based cloning revealed that abnormal phenotypes were attributed to a mutation of the Fertilization Independent Endosperm 2 (OsFIE2) protein, which belongs to the PcG protein family. So we named the mutant as osfie2-1. Histological analysis revealed that the number of longitudinal cells in the internodes decreased in osfie2-1, and that lateral cell layer of the internodes was markedly thinner than wild-type. In addition, compared to wild-type, the number of large and small vascular bundles decreased in osfie2-1, as well as cell number and cell size in spikelet hulls. OsFIE2 is expressed in most tissues and the coded protein localizes in both nucleus and cytoplasm. Yeast two-hybrid and bimolecular fluorescence complementation assays demonstrated that OsFIE2 interacts with OsiEZ1 which encodes an enhancer of zeste protein previously identified as a histone methylation enzyme. RNA sequencing-based transcriptome profiling and qRT-PCR analysis revealed that some homeotic genes and genes involved in endosperm starch synthesis, cell division/expansion and hormone synthesis and signaling are differentially expressed between osfie2-1 and wild-type. In addition, the contents of IAA, GA3, ABA, JA and SA in osfie2-1 are significantly different from those in wild-type. Taken together, these results indicate that OsFIE2 plays an important role in the regulation of plant height and grain yield in rice. PMID:27764161

  4. Salt tolerant plants increase nitrogen removal from biofiltration systems affected by saline stormwater.

    PubMed

    Szota, Christopher; Farrell, Claire; Livesley, Stephen J; Fletcher, Tim D

    2015-10-15

    Biofiltration systems are used in urban areas to reduce the concentration and load of nutrient pollutants and heavy metals entering waterways through stormwater runoff. Biofilters can, however be exposed to salt water, through intrusion of seawater in coastal areas which could decrease their ability to intercept and retain pollutants. We measured the effect of adding saline stormwater on pollutant removal by six monocotyledonous species with different levels of salt-tolerance. Carex appressa, Carex bichenoviana, Ficinia nodosa, Gahnia filum, Juncus kraussii and Juncus usitatus were exposed to six concentrations of saline stormwater, equivalent to electrical conductivity readings of: 0.09, 2.3, 5.5, 10.4, 20.0 and 37.6 mS cm(-1). Salt-sensitive species: C. appressa, C. bichenoviana and J. usitatus did not survive ≥10.4 mS cm(-1), removing their ability to take up nitrogen (N). Salt-tolerant species, such as F. nodosa and J. kraussii, maintained N-removal even at the highest salt concentration. However, their levels of water stress and stomatal conductance suggest that N-removal would not be sustained at concentrations ≥10.4 mS cm(-1). Increasing salt concentration indirectly increased phosphorus (P) removal, by converting dissolved forms of P to particulate forms which were retained by filter media. Salt concentrations ≥10 mS cm(-1) also reduced removal efficiency of zinc, manganese and cadmium, but increased removal of iron and lead, regardless of plant species. Our results suggest that biofiltration systems exposed to saline stormwater ≤10 mS cm(-1) can only maintain N-removal when planted with salt-tolerant species, while P removal and immobilisation of heavy metals is less affected by species selection. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Characterization of 10 microsatellite markers for the understorey Amazonian herb Heliconia acuminata.

    PubMed

    Côrtes, M C; Gowda, V; Kress, W J; Bruna, E M; Uriarte, M

    2009-07-01

    We characterized 10 microsatellite loci for the plant Heliconia acuminata from the Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments Project (Manaus, Brazil). Markers were screened in 61 individuals from one population and were found to be polymorphic with an average of eight alleles per locus. We found moderate to high levels of polymorphic information content, and observed and expected heterozygosities. All 10 markers are suitable for spatial genetic structure and parentage analyses and will be used for understanding H. acuminata dynamics across a fragmented landscape.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  7. Genes of the most conserved WOX clade in plants affect root and flower development in Arabidopsis

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    Background The Wuschel related homeobox (WOX) family proteins are key regulators implicated in the determination of cell fate in plants by preventing cell differentiation. A recent WOX phylogeny, based on WOX homeodomains, showed that all of the Physcomitrella patens and Selaginella moellendorffii WOX proteins clustered into a single orthologous group. We hypothesized that members of this group might preferentially share a significant part of their function in phylogenetically distant organisms. Hence, we first validated the limits of the WOX13 orthologous group (WOX13 OG) using the occurrence of other clade specific signatures and conserved intron insertion sites. Secondly, a functional analysis using expression data and mutants was undertaken. Results The WOX13 OG contained the most conserved plant WOX proteins including the only WOX detected in the highly proliferating basal unicellular and photosynthetic organism Ostreococcus tauri. A large expansion of the WOX family was observed after the separation of mosses from other land plants and before monocots and dicots have arisen. In Arabidopsis thaliana, AtWOX13 was dynamically expressed during primary and lateral root initiation and development, in gynoecium and during embryo development. AtWOX13 appeared to affect the floral transition. An intriguing clade, represented by the functional AtWOX14 gene inside the WOX13 OG, was only found in the Brassicaceae. Compared to AtWOX13, the gene expression profile of AtWOX14 was restricted to the early stages of lateral root formation and specific to developing anthers. A mutational insertion upstream of the AtWOX14 homeodomain sequence led to abnormal root development, a delay in the floral transition and premature anther differentiation. Conclusion Our data provide evidence in favor of the WOX13 OG as the clade containing the most conserved WOX genes and established a functional link to organ initiation and development in Arabidopsis, most likely by preventing premature

  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. Cytonuclear interactions affect adaptive traits of the annual plant Arabidopsis thaliana in the field

    PubMed Central

    Roux, Fabrice; Mary-Huard, Tristan; Barillot, Elise; Wenes, Estelle; Botran, Lucy; Durand, Stéphanie; Villoutreix, Romain; Martin-Magniette, Marie-Laure; Camilleri, Christine; Budar, Françoise

    2016-01-01

    Although the contribution of cytonuclear interactions to plant fitness variation is relatively well documented at the interspecific level, the prevalence of cytonuclear interactions at the intraspecific level remains poorly investigated. In this study, we set up a field experiment to explore the range of effects that cytonuclear interactions have on fitness-related traits in Arabidopsis thaliana. To do so, we created a unique series of 56 cytolines resulting from cytoplasmic substitutions among eight natural accessions reflecting within-species genetic diversity. An assessment of these cytolines and their parental lines scored for 28 adaptive whole-organism phenotypes showed that a large proportion of phenotypic traits (23 of 28) were affected by cytonuclear interactions. The effects of these interactions varied from slight but frequent across cytolines to strong in some specific parental pairs. Two parental pairs accounted for half of the significant pairwise interactions. In one parental pair, Ct-1/Sha, we observed symmetrical phenotypic responses between the two nuclear backgrounds when combined with specific cytoplasms, suggesting nuclear differentiation at loci involved in cytonuclear epistasis. In contrast, asymmetrical phenotypic responses were observed in another parental pair, Cvi-0/Sha. In the Cvi-0 nuclear background, fecundity and phenology-related traits were strongly affected by the Sha cytoplasm, leading to a modified reproductive strategy without penalizing total seed production. These results indicate that natural variation in cytoplasmic and nuclear genomes interact to shape integrative traits that contribute to adaptation, thereby suggesting that cytonuclear interactions can play a major role in the evolutionary dynamics of A. thaliana. PMID:26979961

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Acclimations to light quality on plant and leaf level affect the vulnerability of pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) to water deficit.

    PubMed

    Hoffmann, Anna M; Noga, Georg; Hunsche, Mauricio

    2015-03-01

    We investigated the influence of light quality on the vulnerability of pepper plants to water deficit. For this purpose plants were cultivated either under compact fluorescence lamps (CFL) or light-emitting diodes (LED) providing similar photon fluence rates (95 µmol m(-2) s(-1)) but distinct light quality. CFL emit a wide-band spectrum with dominant peaks in the green and red spectral region, whereas LEDs offer narrow band spectra with dominant peaks at blue (445 nm) and red (665 nm) regions. After one-week acclimation to light conditions plants were exposed to water deficit by withholding irrigation; this period was followed by a one-week regeneration period and a second water deficit cycle. In general, plants grown under CFL suffered more from water deficit than plants grown under LED modules, as indicated by the impairment of the photosynthetic efficiency of PSII, resulting in less biomass accumulation compared to respective control plants. As affected by water shortage, plants grown under CFL had a stronger decrease in the electron transport rate (ETR) and more pronounced increase in heat dissipation (NPQ). The higher amount of blue light suppressed plant growth and biomass formation, and consequently reduced the water demand of plants grown under LEDs. Moreover, pepper plants exposed to high blue light underwent adjustments at chloroplast level (e.g., higher Chl a/Chl b ratio), increasing the photosynthetic performance under the LED spectrum. Differently than expected, stomatal conductance was comparable for water-deficit and control plants in both light conditions during the stress and recovery phases, indicating only minor adjustments at the stomatal level. Our results highlight the potential of the target-use of light quality to induce structural and functional acclimations improving plant performance under stress situations.

  12. Identification of viral and phytoplasmal agents responsible for diseases affecting plants of Gaillardia Foug. in Lithuania

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Gaillardia plants exhibiting symptoms characteristic of viral and phytoplasmal diseases were collected at botanical gardens and floriculture farms in Lithuania. Cucumber mosaic virus was isolated from diseased plants exhibiting symptoms characterized stunting, color breaking and malformation of flo...

  13. Analysis of nuclear mitochondrial DNAs and factors affecting patterns of integration in plant species.

    PubMed

    Yoshida, Takanori; Furihata, Hazuka Y; Kawabe, Akira

    2017-09-12

    Sequences homologous to organellar DNA that have been integrated into nuclear genomes are referred to as nuclear mitochondrial DNAs (NUMTs) and nuclear plastid DNAs (NUPTs). NUMTs in nine plant species were analyzed to reveal the integration patterns and possible factors involved. The cumulative lengths of NUMTs in two-thirds of species analyzed were greater than those of NUPTs observed in a previous study. The age distribution of NUMTs was similar to that of NUPTs, suggesting similar mechanisms for integration and degradation of both NUPTs and NUMTs. Nuclear genome size and the cumulative length of NUMTs showed a significant positive correlation for older but not younger NUMTs. The same correlation was also found between nuclear genome size and older NUPTs in 17 species. These results suggested that genome size is a key factor to determine the cumulative length of relatively older NUPTs/NUMTs. Although the factor(s) determining the cumulative length of younger NUPTs/NUMTs is unclear, these sequences may be more deleterious, which could explain the different manner of determining the cumulative length of younger NUPTs/NUMTs in nuclear genomes. In addition, a relationship between the cumulative length of integrated NUMTs and complexity of mitochondrial genomes (i.e., the number of repeats) was found. The results indicate that the structural complexity of both NUMTs and their original mitochondrial sequences affects integration and degradation processes.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1994-08-01

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

  15. Jasmonic acid affects plant morphology and calcium-dependent protein kinase expression and activity in Solanum tuberosum.

    PubMed

    Ulloa, Rita M; Raíces, Marcela; MacIntosh, Gustavo C; Maldonado, Sara; Téllez-Iñón, María T

    2002-07-01

    The effect of jasmonic acid (JA) on plant growth and on calcium-dependent protein kinase (CDPK) activity and expression was studied in non-photoperiodic potato plants, Solanum tuberosum L. var. Spunta, grown in vitro. Stem cuttings were grown for 45 days (long treatment, LT) in MS medium with increasing concentrations of JA. For short treatments (ST) adult plants grown in MS were transferred for 1, 4 and 20 h to JA containing media. During the LT, low concentrations of JA promoted cell expansion and shoot elongation while higher concentrations caused growth inhibition. Under these conditions, treated plants showed root shortening and tuber formation was not induced. Morphological and histochemical studies using light microscopy and TEM analysis of leaves from treated plants revealed that JA also affected subcellular organelles of mesophyll cells. Peroxisomes increased in size and number, and an autophagic process was triggered in response to high concentrations of the hormone. CDPK activity, determined in crude extracts of treated plants (LT), was inhibited (up to 80%). Plant growth and CDPK inhibition were reverted upon transfer of the plants to hormone-free medium. Soluble CDPK activity decreased in response to JA short treatment. Concomitantly, a decline in the steady state levels of StCDPK2 mRNA, a potato CDPK isoform that is expressed in leaves, was observed. These data suggest that the phytohormone down-regulated the expression and activity of the kinase.

  16. Nitrogen balance in forest soils: nutritional limitation of plants under climate change stresses.

    PubMed

    Rennenberg, H; Dannenmann, M; Gessler, A; Kreuzwieser, J; Simon, J; Papen, H

    2009-11-01

    Forest ecosystems with low soil nitrogen (N) availability are characterized by direct competition for this growth-limiting resource between several players, i.e. various components of vegetation, such as old-growth trees, natural regeneration and understorey species, mycorrhizal fungi, free-living fungi and bacteria. With the increase in frequency and intensity of extreme climate events predicted in current climate change scenarios, also competition for N between plants and/or soil microorganisms will be affected. In this review, we summarize the present understanding of ecosystem N cycling in N-limited forests and its interaction with extreme climate events, such as heat, drought and flooding. More specifically, the impacts of environmental stresses on microbial release and consumption of bioavailable N, N uptake and competition between plants, as well as plant and microbial uptake are presented. Furthermore, the consequences of drying-wetting cycles on N cycling are discussed. Additionally, we highlight the current methodological difficulties that limit present understanding of N cycling in forest ecosystems and the need for interdisciplinary studies.

  17. Corn Response as Affected by Planting Distance from the Center of Strip-Till Fertilized Rows

    PubMed Central

    Adee, Eric; Hansel, Fernando D.; Ruiz Diaz, Dorivar A.; Janssen, Keith

    2016-01-01

    Strip-till has been used at a large scale in east central Kansas as an alternative to earlier planting dates under a no-till system. To determine the effects of planting corn (Zea mays) under previously established strip-tilled fertilized rows, experiments were conducted on an Osage silty clay loam soil in 2006 and 2008 and on a Woodson silt loam soil in 2009, 2010, and 2011 using three different planting distances from the strip-tilled fertilized rows (0, 10, 20, and 38 cm) with a strip-till operation performed between 1 and 73 days before planting. The depth of the strip-till fertilizer application was 13–15 cm below the soil surface. Corn that was planted 10 cm from the fertilized row showed greater early season growth, higher plant population, and grain yield. Planting 20 and 38 cm from the center of the fertilized rows showed none of the benefits that are typically associated with strip-tillage system. Enough time should be allowed between the strip-till operation and planting to reach satisfactory soil conditions (e.g., moist and firm seedbed). Our results suggest that the best location for planting strip-tilled fertilized corn vary depending on soil and climatic conditions as well as the time between fertilizer application with the strip-till operation and planting. With fewer number of days, planting directly on the center of fertilized strip-till resulted in decreased plant population and lower grain yield. However, the greatest yield benefit across different planting conditions was attained when planting within 10 cm of the strip. PMID:27588024

  18. Corn Response as Affected by Planting Distance from the Center of Strip-Till Fertilized Rows.

    PubMed

    Adee, Eric; Hansel, Fernando D; Ruiz Diaz, Dorivar A; Janssen, Keith

    2016-01-01

    Strip-till has been used at a large scale in east central Kansas as an alternative to earlier planting dates under a no-till system. To determine the effects of planting corn (Zea mays) under previously established strip-tilled fertilized rows, experiments were conducted on an Osage silty clay loam soil in 2006 and 2008 and on a Woodson silt loam soil in 2009, 2010, and 2011 using three different planting distances from the strip-tilled fertilized rows (0, 10, 20, and 38 cm) with a strip-till operation performed between 1 and 73 days before planting. The depth of the strip-till fertilizer application was 13-15 cm below the soil surface. Corn that was planted 10 cm from the fertilized row showed greater early season growth, higher plant population, and grain yield. Planting 20 and 38 cm from the center of the fertilized rows showed none of the benefits that are typically associated with strip-tillage system. Enough time should be allowed between the strip-till operation and planting to reach satisfactory soil conditions (e.g., moist and firm seedbed). Our results suggest that the best location for planting strip-tilled fertilized corn vary depending on soil and climatic conditions as well as the time between fertilizer application with the strip-till operation and planting. With fewer number of days, planting directly on the center of fertilized strip-till resulted in decreased plant population and lower grain yield. However, the greatest yield benefit across different planting conditions was attained when planting within 10 cm of the strip.

  19. Temperature affects expression of symptoms induced by soybean mosaic virus in homozygous and heterozygous plants.

    PubMed

    Li, Dexiao; Chen, Pengyin; Shi, Ainong; Shakiba, Ehsan; Gergerich, Rose; Chen, Yaofeng

    2009-01-01

    Seven strains (G1 to G7) of soybean mosaic virus (SMV) and 3 resistance loci (Rsv1, Rsv3, and Rsv4) have been identified in soybean. The interaction of SMV strains and host resistance genes results in resistant (symptomless), susceptible (mosaic), or necrotic (leaf and stem necrosis) reactions. The necrotic reaction may be gene dosage dependent and influenced by temperature. Using a set of soybean isolines and hybrids containing homozygous or heterozygous alleles of rsv, Rsv1, Rsv1-n, Rsv3, or Rsv4, this study has explored the relationship of SMV-induced symptoms and resistance gene dosage at different temperatures. Results showed that SMV-inoculated plants carrying Rsv3 or Rsv4 were symptomless at both homozygous and heterozygous states at all temperature regimes. Threshold temperatures for symptoms changing from stem tip necrosis (STN) to mosaic were 30, 33, and 33 degrees C in G7-inoculated homozygous genotypes V94-3971(Rsv1) and PI 96983 (Rsv1) and G1-inoculated V262 (Rsv1-n), respectively. However, at the heterozygous state, threshold temperature was 30 degrees C in G7-inoculated V94-3971 x Essex F(1) for the symptom change from STN to mosaic, 31 degrees C in G7-inoculated Essex x PI 96983 F(1) from STN to mixture of necrosis and mosaic (N-M), and 32 degrees C in G1-inoculated V262 x Essex F(1) from N-M to mosaic. Incomplete necrosis was observed in the heterozygous state in G1-inoculated V262 x Essex F(1) and G7-inoculated PI 96983 x Essex F(1) where necrotic and mosaic symptoms were mixed. High temperature (37 degrees C) tends to mask the expression of mosaic symptoms in both homozygous and heterozygous plants. STN expression in response to temperature was affected by resistance gene, gene dosage, host genetic background, and specific SMV strains. Thus, Rsv3 and Rsv4 are a better choice as source of genetic resistance for breeding SMV-resistant cultivars.

  20. Seed germination of medicinal plant, fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill), as affected by different priming techniques.

    PubMed

    Tahaei, Amirreza; Soleymani, Ali; Shams, Majid

    2016-09-01

    Reduced seed germination is among the most important factors adversely affecting crop stand and subsequent plant growth. Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill) is an important medicinal plant with poor seed germination rate, occasionally. It is accordingly pertinent to find methods which can enhance fennel seed germination and remove the barriers of dormancy breaking. The present experiments studied the effects of two different priming (cold moist stratification and osmopriming) and 14 dormancy breaking techniques (hormonal, osmopriming, biopriming, chemical priming, and hydropriming) on the seed germination and seedling growth of two different fennel genotypes under growth chamber conditions. In the first and second experiment, the priming techniques including the time lengths of cold moist stratification (0, 15, 30, and 45 days) and the concentrations of polyethylene glycol 6000 (PEG6000, osmopriming at -0.99, -1.35, and -2.33 MPa) were used as the main plots. However, in both experiments, the dormancy breaking techniques and fennel genotypes were factorially combined and used as the subplots. Different seed- and seedling-related parameters including germination (%), plumule, radicle and seedling length, average germination time, rate and homogeneity of germination, and seed vigor index were determined. Both priming techniques were efficient on the enhancement of seed germination and seedling growth. Among the dormancy breaking techniques, Aminol Forte (biopriming), kadostim (biopriming), benzyl adenine + kinetin (biopriming), distilled water (hydropriming), gibberellin + kinetin (hormonal priming), and benzyl adenine + kinetin + gibberellin (biopriming) were the most effective ones. The related concentrations were equal to 100 mg/l, 10(-5) M, and 0.4 %. The fennel genotypes reacted significantly different under priming conditions. It is possible to enhance seed germination and seedling growth of fennel using priming and dormancy breaking

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1999-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-10-01

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

  3. The impact of global warming on floral traits that affect the selfing rate in a high-altitude plant

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Changes in the abiotic environment, as those expected under global warming, can influence plant mating systems through changes in floral traits that affect selfing. Herkogamy (spatial separation of male and female functions within a flower), dichogamy (temporal separation) and total flower number af...

  4. Barium uptake by maize plants as affected by sewage sludge in a long-term field study.

    PubMed

    Nogueira, Thiago Assis Rodrigues; deMelo, Wanderley José; Fonseca, Ivana Machado; Marques, Marcos Omir; He, Zhenli

    2010-09-15

    A long-term experiment was carried out under field conditions in Jaboticabal, SP, Brazil, with the objective of evaluating the concentration of Ba in soil and in maize plants grown in a soil treated with sewage sludge for nine consecutive years. During 2005/2006, maize was used as test plants and the experimental design was in randomized complete blocks with four treatments and five replicates. Treatments consisted of: 0.0, 45.0, 90.0 and 127.5 t ha(-1) sewage sludge (dry basis). Sewage sludge application increased soil Ba concentration. Barium accumulated in the parts of maize plants were generally affected by the successive applications of sewage sludge to the soil. However, the concentration of Ba in maize grain did not exceed the critical levels of Ba for human consumption. Sewage sludge applied to soil for a long time did not affect dry matter and grain production, nevertheless had the similar effect of mineral fertilization.

  5. Plant diversity affects behavior of generalist root herbivores, reduces crop damage, and enhances crop yield.

    PubMed

    Staudacher, Karin; Schallhart, Nikolaus; Thalinger, Bettina; Wallinger, Corinna; Juen, Anita; Traugott, Michael

    2013-07-01

    Soil-dwelling pests inflict considerable economic damage in agriculture but are hard to control. A promising strategy to reduce pest pressure on crops is to increase the plant diversity in agroecosystems. This approach, however, demands a sound understanding of species' interactions, which is widely lacking for subterranean herbivore-plant systems. Here, we examine the effects of plant diversification on wireworms, the soil-dwelling larvae of click beetles that threaten crops worldwide. We conducted a field experiment employing plant diversification by adding either wheat or a mix of six associated plants (grasses, legumes, and forbs) between rows of maize to protect it from Agriotes wireworms. Wireworm feeding behavior, dispersal between crop and associated plants, as well as maize damage and yield were examined. The former was assessed combining molecular gut content and stable isotope analysis. The pests were strongly attracted by the associated plants in August, when the crop was most vulnerable, whereas in September, shortly before harvest, this effect occurred only in the plant mix. In maize monoculture, the larvae stayed in the principal crop throughout the season. Larval delta13C signatures revealed that maize feeding was reduced up to sevenfold in wireworms of the vegetationally diversified treatments compared to those of the maize monoculture. These findings were confirmed by molecular analysis, which additionally showed a dietary preference of wireworms for specific plants in the associated plant mix. Compared to the monoculture, maize damage was reduced by 38% and 55% in the wheat and plant mix treatment, which translated into a yield increase of 30% and 38%, respectively. The present findings demonstrate that increasing the plant diversity in agroecosystems provides an effective insurance against soil pests. The underlying mechanisms are the diversion of the pest from the principle crop and a changed feeding behavior. The deployment of diverse mixes of

  6. Fire and drought affect plant communities and the greenhouse gas balance in a Mediterranean shrubland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moreno, José M.; Parra, Antonio; Dannenmann, Michael; Ramírez, David A.; Diaz-Pines, Eugenio; Tejedor, Javier; Kitzler, Barbara; Karhu, Kristina; Resco, Victor; Povoas, Luciano

    2010-05-01

    Predicted changes in the seasonality and amount of rainfall under a changing climate have the potential to dramatically alter ecosystem function and species composition. Moreover, in fire-prone ecosystems, the joint effects of fire and increasing aridity may create irreversible changes to the services these ecosystems provide. To understand the effects of increasing drought and fire in a Mediterranean shrubland, we implemented an automated rainfall manipulation system, with rain-out shelters which automatically fold and unfold when conditions are rainy and dry, respectively. In January 2009, we implemented five different treatments, where annual precipitation was reduced by diminishing summer rainfall from the long-term historical average, up to a 40% reduction, following IPCC scenarios. In September 2009, we uninstalled all the shelters to burn the different plots, and reinstalled the shelters immediately afterwards. In this talk, we will present the preliminary results of an integrated experiment which aims at understanding the concomitant effects of fire and different drought intensities on the species composition and greenhouse gas balance (CO2, N2O and CH4) of a Mediterranean shrubland. We observed that plant growth was more severely affected by drought in the more shallow-rooted, malacophyllous shrub (from 116 to -7.2 mg/g/d in Cistus ladanifer), than in a deeper-rooted heather (from 5.5 to 66.9 mg/g/day in Erica arborea). This growth response was mediated by species-specific differences in hydraulics, leaf morphology and photosynthetic gas exchange of each species. Analyses of changes in species composition after fire are currently undergoing. The precipitation reduction treatments exerted drought stress on CH4 oxidizing microorganisms and thus reduced the CH4 sink strength of the ecosystem during the pre-fire period. Furthermore, the net CH4 uptake at the soil-atmosphere interface was reduced by the fire for a period of at least one month. Pedosphere

  7. Seasonal variation in N uptake strategies in the understorey of a beech-dominated N-limited forest ecosystem depends on N source and species.

    PubMed

    Li, Xiuyuan; Rennenberg, Heinz; Simon, Judy

    2016-05-01

    In forest ecosystems, species use different strategies to increase their competitive ability for nitrogen (N) acquisition. The acquisition of N by trees is regulated by tree internal and environmental factors including mycorrhizae. In this study, we investigated the N uptake strategies of three co-occurring tree species [European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.), sycamore maple (Acer pseudoplatanus L.) and Norway maple (Acer platanoides L.)] in the understorey of a beech-dominated, N-limited forest on calcareous soil over two consecutive seasons. For this purpose, we studied (15)N uptake capacity as well as the allocation to N pools in the fine roots. Our results show that European beech had a higher capacity for both inorganic and organic N acquisition throughout the whole growing season compared with sycamore maple and Norway maple. The higher capacity of N acquisition in beech indicates a better adaption of beech to the understorey conditions of beech forests compared with the seedlings of other tree competitors under N-limited conditions. Despite these differences, all three species preferred organic over inorganic N sources throughout the growing season and showed similar seasonal patterns of N acquisition with an increased N uptake capacity in summer. However, this pattern varied with N source and year indicating that other environmental factors not assessed in this study further influenced N acquisition by the seedlings of the three tree species. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  8. Seasonal variation in N uptake strategies in the understorey of a beech-dominated N-limited forest ecosystem depends on N source and species

    PubMed Central

    Li, Xiuyuan; Rennenberg, Heinz; Simon, Judy

    2016-01-01

    In forest ecosystems, species use different strategies to increase their competitive ability for nitrogen (N) acquisition. The acquisition of N by trees is regulated by tree internal and environmental factors including mycorrhizae. In this study, we investigated the N uptake strategies of three co-occurring tree species [European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.), sycamore maple (Acer pseudoplatanus L.) and Norway maple (Acer platanoides L.)] in the understorey of a beech-dominated, N-limited forest on calcareous soil over two consecutive seasons. For this purpose, we studied 15N uptake capacity as well as the allocation to N pools in the fine roots. Our results show that European beech had a higher capacity for both inorganic and organic N acquisition throughout the whole growing season compared with sycamore maple and Norway maple. The higher capacity of N acquisition in beech indicates a better adaption of beech to the understorey conditions of beech forests compared with the seedlings of other tree competitors under N-limited conditions. Despite these differences, all three species preferred organic over inorganic N sources throughout the growing season and showed similar seasonal patterns of N acquisition with an increased N uptake capacity in summer. However, this pattern varied with N source and year indicating that other environmental factors not assessed in this study further influenced N acquisition by the seedlings of the three tree species. PMID:26786538

  9. Carbon nanotubes are able to penetrate plant seed coat and dramatically affect seed germination and plant growth.

    PubMed

    Khodakovskaya, Mariya; Dervishi, Enkeleda; Mahmood, Meena; Xu, Yang; Li, Zhongrui; Watanabe, Fumiya; Biris, Alexandru S

    2009-10-27

    Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) were found to penetrate tomato seeds and affect their germination and growth rates. The germination was found to be dramatically higher for seeds that germinated on medium containing CNTs (10-40 mug/mL) compared to control. Analytical methods indicated that the CNTs are able to penetrate the thick seed coat and support water uptake inside seeds, a process which can affect seed germination and growth of tomato seedlings.

  10. The non-psychoactive plant cannabinoid, cannabidiol affects cholesterol metabolism-related genes in microglial cells.

    PubMed

    Rimmerman, Neta; Juknat, Ana; Kozela, Ewa; Levy, Rivka; Bradshaw, Heather B; Vogel, Zvi

    2011-08-01

    Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive plant cannabinoid that is clinically used in a 1:1 mixture with the psychoactive cannabinoid Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) for the treatment of neuropathic pain and spasticity in multiple sclerosis. Our group previously reported that CBD exerts anti-inflammatory effects on microglial cells. In addition, we found that CBD treatment increases the accumulation of the endocannabinoid N-arachidonoyl ethanolamine (AEA), thus enhancing endocannabinoid signaling. Here we proceeded to investigate the effects of CBD on the modulation of lipid-related genes in microglial cells. Cell viability was tested using FACS analysis, AEA levels were measured using LC/MS/MS, gene array analysis was validated with real-time qPCR, and cytokine release was measured using ELISA. We report that CBD significantly upregulated the mRNAs of the enzymes sterol-O-acyl transferase (Soat2), which synthesizes cholesteryl esters, and of sterol 27-hydroxylase (Cyp27a1). In addition, CBD increased the mRNA of the lipid droplet-associated protein, perilipin2 (Plin2). Moreover, we found that pretreatment of the cells with the cholesterol chelating agent, methyl-β-cyclodextrin (MBCD), reversed the CBD-induced increase in Soat2 mRNA but not in Plin2 mRNA. Incubation with AEA increased the level of Plin2, but not of Soat2 mRNA. Furthermore, MBCD treatment did not affect the reduction by CBD of the LPS-induced release of the proinflammatory cytokine IL-1β. CBD treatment modulates cholesterol homeostasis in microglial cells, and pretreatment with MBCD reverses this effect without interfering with CBD's anti-inflammatory effects. The effects of the CBD-induced increase in AEA accumulation on lipid-gene expression are discussed.

  11. Plant products affect growth and digestive efficiency of cultured Florida pompano (Trachinotus carolinus) fed compounded diets.

    PubMed

    Lech, Gregory P; Reigh, Robert C

    2012-01-01

    Costs of compounded diets containing fish meal as a primary protein source can be expected to rise as fish meal prices increase in response to static supply and growing demand. Alternatives to fish meal are needed to reduce production costs in many aquaculture enterprises. Some plant proteins are potential replacements for fish meal because of their amino acid composition, lower cost and wide availability. In this study, we measured utilization of soybean meal (SBM) and soy protein concentrate (SPC) by Florida pompano fed compounded diets, to determine the efficacy of these products as fish meal replacements. We also calculated apparent digestibility coefficients (ADCs) for canola meal (CM), corn gluten meal (CGM), and distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS), following typical methods for digestibility trials. Juvenile Florida pompano were fed fish-meal-free diets containing graded levels of SBM and SPC, and weight gain was compared to a control diet that contained SBM, SPC, and fish meal. Fish fed diets that contained 25-30 percent SBM in combination with 43-39 percent SPC had weight gain equivalent to fish fed the control diet with fish meal, while weight gain of fish fed other soy combinations was significantly less than that of the control group. Apparent crude protein digestibility of CGM was significantly higher than that of DDGS but not significantly different from CM. Apparent energy digestibility of DDGS was significantly lower than CGM but significantly higher than CM. Findings suggested that composition of the reference diet used in a digestibility trial affects the values of calculated ADCs, in addition to the chemical and physical attributes of the test ingredient.

  12. Plant Products Affect Growth and Digestive Efficiency of Cultured Florida Pompano (Trachinotus carolinus) Fed Compounded Diets

    PubMed Central

    Lech, Gregory P.; Reigh, Robert C.

    2012-01-01

    Costs of compounded diets containing fish meal as a primary protein source can be expected to rise as fish meal prices increase in response to static supply and growing demand. Alternatives to fish meal are needed to reduce production costs in many aquaculture enterprises. Some plant proteins are potential replacements for fish meal because of their amino acid composition, lower cost and wide availability. In this study, we measured utilization of soybean meal (SBM) and soy protein concentrate (SPC) by Florida pompano fed compounded diets, to determine the efficacy of these products as fish meal replacements. We also calculated apparent digestibility coefficients (ADCs) for canola meal (CM), corn gluten meal (CGM), and distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS), following typical methods for digestibility trials. Juvenile Florida pompano were fed fish-meal-free diets containing graded levels of SBM and SPC, and weight gain was compared to a control diet that contained SBM, SPC, and fish meal. Fish fed diets that contained 25–30 percent SBM in combination with 43–39 percent SPC had weight gain equivalent to fish fed the control diet with fish meal, while weight gain of fish fed other soy combinations was significantly less than that of the control group. Apparent crude protein digestibility of CGM was significantly higher than that of DDGS but not significantly different from CM. Apparent energy digestibility of DDGS was significantly lower than CGM but significantly higher than CM. Findings suggested that composition of the reference diet used in a digestibility trial affects the values of calculated ADCs, in addition to the chemical and physical attributes of the test ingredient. PMID:22536344

  13. Increasing phosphatidylinositol (4,5) bisphosphate biosynthesis affects plant nuclear lipids and nuclear functions

    PubMed Central

    Dieck, Catherine B.; Wood, Austin; Brglez, Irena; Rojas-Pierce, Marcela; Boss, Wendy F.

    2013-01-01

    In order to characterize the effects of increasing phosphatidylinositol(4,5)bisphosphate (PtdIns(4,5)P2) on nuclear function, we expressed the human phosphatidylinositol (4)-phosphate 5-kinase (HsPIP5K) 1α in Nicotiana tabacum (NT) cells. The HsPIP5K-expressing (HK) cells had altered nuclear lipids and nuclear functions. HK cell nuclei had 2-fold increased PIP5K activity and increased steady state PtdIns(4,5)P2. HK nuclear lipid classes showed significant changes compared to NT (wild type) nuclear lipid classes including increased phosphatidylserine (PtdSer) and phosphatidylcholine (PtdCho) and decreased lysolipids. Lipids isolated from protoplast plasma membranes (PM) were also analyzed and compared with nuclear lipids. The lipid profiles revealed similarities and differences in the plasma membrane and nuclei from the NT and transgenic HK cell lines. A notable characteristic of nuclear lipids from both cell types is that PtdIns accounts for a higher mol % of total lipids compared to that of the protoplast PM lipids. The lipid molecular species composition of each lipid class was also analyzed for nuclei and protoplast PM samples. To determine whether expression of HsPIP5K1α affected plant nuclear functions, we compared DNA replication, histone 3 lysine 9 acetylation (H3K9ac) and phosphorylation of the retinoblastoma protein (pRb) in NT and HK cells. The HK cells had a measurable decrease in DNA replication, histone H3K9 acetylation and pRB phosphorylation. PMID:22677448

  14. Increasing phosphatidylinositol (4,5) bisphosphate biosynthesis affects plant nuclear lipids and nuclear functions.

    PubMed

    Dieck, Catherine B; Wood, Austin; Brglez, Irena; Rojas-Pierce, Marcela; Boss, Wendy F

    2012-08-01

    In order to characterize the effects of increasing phosphatidylinositol(4,5)bisphosphate (PtdIns(4,5)P(2)) on nuclear function, we expressed the human phosphatidylinositol (4)-phosphate 5-kinase (HsPIP5K) 1α in Nicotiana tabacum (NT) cells. The HsPIP5K-expressing (HK) cells had altered nuclear lipids and nuclear functions. HK cell nuclei had 2-fold increased PIP5K activity and increased steady state PtdIns(4,5)P(2). HK nuclear lipid classes showed significant changes compared to NT (wild type) nuclear lipid classes including increased phosphatidylserine (PtdSer) and phosphatidylcholine (PtdCho) and decreased lysolipids. Lipids isolated from protoplast plasma membranes (PM) were also analyzed and compared with nuclear lipids. The lipid profiles revealed similarities and differences in the plasma membrane and nuclei from the NT and transgenic HK cell lines. A notable characteristic of nuclear lipids from both cell types is that PtdIns accounts for a higher mol% of total lipids compared to that of the protoplast PM lipids. The lipid molecular species composition of each lipid class was also analyzed for nuclei and protoplast PM samples. To determine whether expression of HsPIP5K1α affected plant nuclear functions, we compared DNA replication, histone 3 lysine 9 acetylation (H3K9ac) and phosphorylation of the retinoblastoma protein (pRb) in NT and HK cells. The HK cells had a measurable decrease in DNA replication, histone H3K9 acetylation and pRB phosphorylation. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  15. Fluorescence detection of plant extracts that affect neuronal voltage-gated Ca2+ channels.

    PubMed

    Rogers, K L; Fong, W F; Redburn, J; Griffiths, L R

    2002-05-01

    Structurally novel compounds able to block voltage-gated Ca2+ channels (VGCCs) are currently being sought for the development of new drugs directed at neurological disorders. Fluorescence techniques have recently been developed to facilitate the analysis of VGCC blockers in a multi-well format. By utilising the small cell lung carcinoma cell line, NCI-H146, we were able to detect changes in intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+](i)) using a fluorescence microplate reader. NCI-H146 cells have characteristics resembling those of neuronal cells and express multiple VGCC subtypes, including those of the L-, N- and P-type. We found that K+-depolarisation of fluo-3 loaded NCI-H146 cells causes a rapid and transient increase in fluorescence, which was readily detected in a 96-well plate. Extracts of Australian plants, including those used traditionally as headache or pain treatments, were tested in this study to identify those affecting Ca2+ influx following membrane depolarisation of NCI-H146 cells. We found that E. bignoniiflora, A. symphyocarpa and E. vespertilio caused dose-dependent inhibition of K+-depolarised Ca2+ influx, with IC(50) values calculated to be 234, 548 and 209 microg/ml, respectively. This data suggests an effect of these extracts on the function of VGCCs in these cells. Furthermore, we found similar effects using a fluorescence laser imaging plate reader (FLIPR) that allows simultaneous measurement of real-time fluorescence in a multi-well plate. Our results indicate that the dichloromethane extract of E. bignoniiflora and the methanolic extract of E. vespertilio show considerable promise as antagonists of neuronal VGCCs. Further analysis is required to characterise the function of the bioactive constituents in these extracts and determine their selectivity on VGCC subtypes.

  16. Osmotic potential of media affecting green plant percentage in wheat anther culture.

    PubMed

    Zhou, H; Zheng, Y; Konzak, C F

    1991-06-01

    The percentage of green plants in anther culture is known to be controlled by the genetics of anther donor materials. The objective of this study was to determine whether components in the culture media also would have a significant influence on the percentage of green plants from wheat anther culture. Anthers of a spring wheat cultivar, "Pavon 76", were cultured on potato 4 (P4) induction media with various modifications. Addition of 200 g/l ficoll to the liquid P4 medium significantly increased the percentage of green plants even though the final yield of green plants per 100 anthers was lower than the liquid medium. A higher concentration of maltose (135 g/l) produced significantly higher percentage of green plants than the medium containing 90 g/l maltose or sucrose. These results demonstrate culture medium effects on albinism, indicating that the percentage of green plants in wheat anther culture can be increased by optimizing medium osmotic potential.

  17. The presence of Bt-transgenic oilseed rape in wild mustard populations affects plant growth.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yongbo; Stewart, C Neal; Li, Junsheng; Huang, Hai; Zhang, Xitao

    2015-12-01

    The adventitious presence of transgenic plants in wild plant populations is of ecological and regulatory concern, but the consequences of adventitious presence are not well understood. Here, we introduced Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ac (Bt)-transgenic oilseed rape (Bt OSR, Brassica napus) with various frequencies into wild mustard (Brassica juncea) populations. We sought to better understand the adventitious presence of this transgenic insecticidal crop in a wild-relative plant population. We assessed the factors of competition, resource availability and diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella) infestation on plant population dynamics. As expected, Bt OSR performed better than wild mustard in mixed populations under herbivore attack in habitats with enough resources, whereas wild mustard had higher fitness when Bt OSR was rarer in habitats with limited resources. Results suggest that the presence of insect-resistant transgenic plants could decrease the growth of wild mustard and Bt OSR plants and their populations, especially under high herbivore pressure.

  18. Deregulation of apoplastic polyamine oxidase affects development and salt response of tobacco plants.

    PubMed

    Gémes, Katalin; Mellidou, Ιfigeneia; Karamanoli, Katerina; Beris, Despoina; Park, Ky Young; Matsi, Theodora; Haralampidis, Kosmas; Constantinidou, Helen-Isis; Roubelakis-Angelakis, Kalliopi A

    2017-04-01

    Polyamine (PA) homeostasis is associated with plant development, growth and responses to biotic/abiotic stresses. Apoplastic PA oxidase (PAO) catalyzes the oxidation of PAs contributing to cellular homeostasis of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and PAs. In tobacco, PAs decrease with plant age, while apoplastic PAO activity increases. Our previous results with young transgenic tobacco plants with enhanced/reduced apoplastic PAO activity (S-ZmPAO/AS-ZmPAO, respectively) established the importance of apoplastic PAO in controlling tolerance to short-term salt stress. However, it remains unclear if the apoplastic PAO pathway is important for salt tolerance at later stages of plant development. In this work, we examined whether apoplastic PAO controls also plant development and tolerance of adult plants during long-term salt stress. The AS-ZmPAO plants contained higher Ca(2+) during salt stress, showing also reduced chlorophyll content index (CCI), leaf area and biomass but taller phenotype compared to the wild-type plants during salt. On the contrary, the S-ZmPAO had more leaves with slightly greater size compared to the AS-ZmPAO and higher antioxidant genes/enzyme activities. Accumulation of proline in the roots was evident at prolonged stress and correlated negatively with PAO deregulation as did the transcripts of genes mediating ethylene biosynthesis. In contrast to the strong effect of apoplastic PAO to salt tolerance in young plants described previously, the effect it exerts at later stages of development is rather moderate. However, the different phenotypes observed in plants deregulating PAO reinforce the view that apoplastic PAO exerts multifaceted roles on plant growth and stress responses. Our data suggest that deregulation of the apoplastic PAO can be further examined as a potential approach to breed plants with enhanced/reduced tolerance to abiotic stress with minimal associated trade-offs.

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-10-01

    improved plant health for the invasive species at the detriment of native plants? • Identify native plants that are resistant to allelochemicals. We...369-386. Sapolsky RM (2005) The influence of social hierarchy on primate health . Science 308:648-652. Sheley RL, Jacobs JS, Carpinelli MF (1998... Microbiology , St. Petersburg, Russia (September 22, 2010) 97 Syngenta Biotechnology, Inc., Research Triangle Park, NC (October 28, 2009) 2009 SACNAS

  20. Inhibition of lipoxygenase affects induction of both direct and indirect plant defences against herbivorous insects.

    PubMed

    Bruinsma, Maaike; van Broekhoven, Sarah; Poelman, Erik H; Posthumus, Maarten A; Müller, Martin J; van Loon, Joop J A; Dicke, Marcel

    2010-02-01

    Herbivore-induced plant defences influence the behaviour of insects associated with the plant. For biting-chewing herbivores the octadecanoid signal-transduction pathway has been suggested to play a key role in induced plant defence. To test this hypothesis in our plant-herbivore-parasitoid tritrophic system, we used phenidone, an inhibitor of the enzyme lipoxygenase (LOX), that catalyses the initial step in the octadecanoid pathway. Phenidone treatment of Brussels sprouts plants reduced the accumulation of internal signalling compounds in the octadecanoid pathway downstream of the step catalysed by LOX, i.e. 12-oxo-phytodienoic acid (OPDA) and jasmonic acid. The attraction of Cotesia glomerata parasitoids to host-infested plants was significantly reduced by phenidone treatment. The three herbivores investigated, i.e. the specialists Plutella xylostella, Pieris brassicae and Pieris rapae, showed different oviposition preferences for intact and infested plants, and for two species their preference for either intact or infested plants was shown to be LOX dependent. Our results show that phenidone inhibits the LOX-dependent defence response of the plant and that this inhibition can influence the behaviour of members of the associated insect community.

  1. Conventional and organic soil fertility management practices affect corn plant nutrition and Ostrinia nubilalis (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) larval performance.

    PubMed

    Murrell, Ebony G; Cullen, Eileen M

    2014-10-01

    Few studies compare how different soil fertilization practices affect plant mineral content and insect performance in organic systems. This study examined: 1) The European corn borer, Ostrinia nubilalis (Hübner), larval response on corn (Zea mays L.) grown in field soils with different soil management histories; and 2) resilience of these plants to O. nubilalis herbivory. Treatments included: 1) standard organic--organically managed soil fertilized with dairy manure and 2 yr of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) in the rotation; 2) basic cation saturation ratio--organically managed soil fertilized with dairy manure and alfalfa nitrogen credits, plus addition of gypsum (CaSO4·2H2O) according to the soil balance hypothesis; and 3) conventional--conventionally managed soil fertilized with synthetic fertilizers. Corn plants were reared to maturity in a greenhouse, and then infested with 0-40 O. nubilalis larvae for 17 d. O. nubilalis exhibited negative competitive response to increasing larval densities. Mean development time was significantly faster for larvae consuming basic cation saturation ratio plants than those on standard organic plants, with intermediate development time on conventional plants. Neither total yield (number of kernels) nor proportion kernels damaged differed among soil fertility treatments. Soil nutrients differed significantly in S and in Ca:Mg and Ca:K ratios, but principal components analysis of plant tissue samples taken before O. nubilalis infestation showed that S, Fe, and Cu contributed most to differences in plant nutrient profiles among soil fertility treatments. Results demonstrate that different fertilization regimens can significantly affect insect performance within the context of organic systems, but the effects in this study were relatively minor compared with effects of intraspecific competition.

  2. The phosphomimetic mutation of an evolutionarily conserved serine residue affects the signaling properties of Rho of plants (ROPs).

    PubMed

    Fodor-Dunai, Csilla; Fricke, Inka; Potocký, Martin; Dorjgotov, Dulguun; Domoki, Mónika; Jurca, Manuela E; Otvös, Krisztina; Zárský, Viktor; Berken, Antje; Fehér, Attila

    2011-05-01

    Plant ROP (Rho of plants) proteins form a unique subgroup within the family of Rho-type small G-proteins of eukaryotes. In this paper we demonstrate that the phosphomimetic mutation of a serine residue conserved in all Rho proteins affects the signaling properties of plant ROPs. We found that the S74E mutation in Medicago ROP6 and Arabidopsis ROP4 prevented the binding of these proteins to their plant-specific upstream activator the plant-specific ROP nucleotide exchanger (PRONE)-domain-containing RopGEF (guanine nucleotide exchange factor) protein and abolished the PRONE-mediated nucleotide exchange reaction in vitro. Structural modeling supported the hypothesis that potential phosphorylation of the S74 residue interferes with the binding of the PRONE-domain to the adjacent plant-specific R76 residue which plays an important role in functional ROP-PRONE interaction. Moreover, we show that while the binding of constitutively active MsROP6 to the effector protein RIC (ROP-interactive CRIB-motif-containing protein) was not affected by the S74E mutation, the capability of this mutated protein to bind and activate the RRK1 kinase in vitro was reduced. These observations are in agreement with the morphology of tobacco pollen tubes expressing mutant forms of yellow fluorescent protein (YFP):MsROP6. The S74E mutation in MsROP6 had no influence on pollen tube morphology and attenuated the phenotype of a constitutively active form of MsROP6. The presented Medicago and Arabidopsis data support the notion that the phosphorylation of the serine residue in ROPs corresponding to S74 in Medicago ROP6 could be a general principle for regulating ROP activation and signaling in plants. © 2011 The Authors. The Plant Journal © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  3. Soil moisture variations affect short-term plant-microbial competition for ammonium, glycine, and glutamate

    PubMed Central

    Månsson, Katarina F; Olsson, Magnus O; Falkengren-Grerup, Ursula; Bengtsson, Göran

    2014-01-01

    We tested whether the presence of plant roots would impair the uptake of ammonium (), glycine, and glutamate by microorganisms in a deciduous forest soil exposed to constant or variable moisture in a short-term (24-h) experiment. The uptake of 15NH4 and dual labeled amino acids by the grass Festuca gigantea L. and soil microorganisms was determined in planted and unplanted soils maintained at 60% WHC (water holding capacity) or subject to drying and rewetting. The experiment used a design by which competition was tested in soils that were primed by plant roots to the same extent in the planted and unplanted treatments. Festuca gigantea had no effect on microbial N uptake in the constant moist soil, but its presence doubled the microbial uptake in the dried and rewetted soil compared with the constant moist. The drying and rewetting reduced by half or more the uptake by F. gigantea, despite more than 60% increase in the soil concentration of . At the same time, the amino acid and -N became equally valued in the plant uptake, suggesting that plants used amino acids to compensate for the lower acquisition. Our results demonstrate the flexibility in plant-microbial use of different N sources in response to soil moisture fluctuations and emphasize the importance of including transient soil conditions in experiments on resource competition between plants and soil microorganisms. Competition between plants and microorganisms for N is demonstrated by a combination of removal of one of the potential competitors, the plant, and subsequent observations of the uptake of N in the organisms in soils that differ only in the physical presence and absence of the plant during a short assay. Those conditions are necessary to unequivocally test for competition. PMID:24772283

  4. Vegetation Cover Affects Mammal Herbivory on Planted Oaks and Success of Reforesting Missouri River Bottomland Fields

    Treesearch

    Shannon Dugger; Daniel C. Dey; Joshua J. Millspaugh

    2004-01-01

    We are evaluating oak regeneration methods at Plowboy Bend and Smoky Waters Conservation Areas in the Missouri River floodplain by planting oak seedlings in different cover types (redtop grass vs. natural vegetation) on four 40- acre fields. After 1 year, survival of planted oaks was high; however, herbivory from rabbits was intense depending on cover type. Damage to...

  5. How Will Global Environmental Changes Affect the Growth of Alien Plants?

    PubMed Central

    Jia, Jujie; Dai, Zhicong; Li, Feng; Liu, Yanjie

    2016-01-01

    Global environmental changes can create novel habitats, promoting the growth of alien plants that often exhibit broad environmental tolerance and high phenotypic plasticity. However, the mechanisms underlying these growth promotory effects are unknown at present. Here, we conducted a phylogenetically controlled meta-analysis using data from 111 published studies encompassing the responses of 129 alien plants to global warming, increased precipitation, N deposition, and CO2 enrichment. We compared the differences in the responses of alien plants to the four global environmental change factors across six categories of functional traits between woody and non-woody life forms as well as C3 and C4 photosynthetic pathways. Our results showed that all four global change factors promote alien plant growth. Warming had a more positive effect on C4 than C3 plants. Although the effects of the four factors on the functional traits of alien plants were variable, plant growth was mainly promoted via an increase in growth rate and size. Our data suggest that potential future global environmental changes could further facilitate alien plant growth. PMID:27847511

  6. Salt tolerance and stress level affect plant biomass-density relationships and neighbor effects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Zhenxing; Chen, Wenwen; Zhang, Qian; Yang, Haishui; Tang, Jianjun; Weiner, Jacob; Chen, Xin

    2014-07-01

    It has been shown that plant biomass-density relationships are altered under extreme or stressed conditions. We do not know whether variation in biomass-density relationships is a direct result of stress tolerance or occurs via changes in plant-plant interactions. Here, we evaluated biomass-density relationships and neighbor effects in six plant species that differ in salt tolerance in a salt marsh, and conducted a literature review of biomass-density relationship under higher and lower stress levels. Our field study showed that both neighbor effects and the exponent of the biomass-density relationship (α) varied among plant species with different degrees of salt tolerance. There was a positive relationship between neighbor effects (measured as relative interaction index) and α-value among the tested species. The literature review showed that α and its variation increased under higher stress. Our results indicate that plant species with different salinity tolerance differ in the direction and strength of neighbor effects, resulting in variation in biomass-density relationships. Our results support the hypothesis that differences in biomass-density relationships among species are not due to differences in stress tolerance alone, they are mediated by changes in plant-plant interactions.

  7. How Will Global Environmental Changes Affect the Growth of Alien Plants?

    PubMed

    Jia, Jujie; Dai, Zhicong; Li, Feng; Liu, Yanjie

    2016-01-01

    Global environmental changes can create novel habitats, promoting the growth of alien plants that often exhibit broad environmental tolerance and high phenotypic plasticity. However, the mechanisms underlying these growth promotory effects are unknown at present. Here, we conducted a phylogenetically controlled meta-analysis using data from 111 published studies encompassing the responses of 129 alien plants to global warming, increased precipitation, N deposition, and CO2 enrichment. We compared the differences in the responses of alien plants to the four global environmental change factors across six categories of functional traits between woody and non-woody life forms as well as C3 and C4 photosynthetic pathways. Our results showed that all four global change factors promote alien plant growth. Warming had a more positive effect on C4 than C3 plants. Although the effects of the four factors on the functional traits of alien plants were variable, plant growth was mainly promoted via an increase in growth rate and size. Our data suggest that potential future global environmental changes could further facilitate alien plant growth.

  8. Decoupling factors affecting plant diversity and cover on extensive green roofs.

    PubMed

    MacIvor, J Scott; Margolis, Liat; Puncher, Curtis L; Carver Matthews, Benjamin J

    2013-11-30

    Supplemental irrigation systems are often specified on green roofs to ensure plant cover and growth, both important components of green roof performance and aesthetics. Properties of the growing media environment too can alter the assemblage of plant species able to thrive. In this study we determine how plant cover, above ground biomass and species diversity are influenced by irrigation and growing media. Grass and forb vegetative cover and biomass were significantly greater in organic based growing media but there was no effect of supplemental irrigation, with two warm season grasses dominating in those treatments receiving no supplemental irrigation. On the other hand, plant diversity declined without irrigation in organic media, and having no irrigation in inorganic growing media resulted in almost a complete loss of cover. Sedum biomass was less in inorganic growing media treatments and species dominance shifted when growing media organic content increased. Our results demonstrate that supplemental irrigation is required to maintain plant diversity on an extensive green roof, but not necessarily plant cover or biomass. These results provide evidence that planting extensive green roofs with a mix of plant species can ensure the survival of some species; maintaining cover and biomass when supplemental irrigation is turned off to conserve water, or during extreme drought. Crown Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Environmental Growth Conditions of Trichoderma spp. Affects Indole Acetic Acid Derivatives, Volatile Organic Compounds, and Plant Growth Promotion.

    PubMed

    Nieto-Jacobo, Maria F; Steyaert, Johanna M; Salazar-Badillo, Fatima B; Nguyen, Dianne Vi; Rostás, Michael; Braithwaite, Mark; De Souza, Jorge T; Jimenez-Bremont, Juan F; Ohkura, Mana; Stewart, Alison; Mendoza-Mendoza, Artemio

    2017-01-01

    Trichoderma species are soil-borne filamentous fungi widely utilized for their many plant health benefits, such as conferring improved growth, disease resistance and abiotic stress tolerance to their hosts. Many Trichoderma species are able to produce the auxin phytohormone indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), and its production has been suggested to promote root growth. Here we show that the production of IAA is strain dependent and diverse external stimuli are associated with its production. In in vitro assays, Arabidopsis primary root length was negatively affected by the interaction with some Trichoderma strains. In soil experiments, a continuum effect on plant growth was shown and this was also strain dependent. In plate assays, some strains of Trichoderma spp. inhibited the expression of the auxin reporter gene DR5 in Arabidopsis primary roots but not secondary roots. When Trichoderma spp. and A. thaliana were physically separated, enhancement of both shoot and root biomass, increased root production and chlorophyll content were observed, which strongly suggested that volatile production by the fungus influenced the parameters analyzed. Trichoderma strains T. virens Gv29.8, T. atroviride IMI206040, T. sp. "atroviride B" LU132, and T. asperellum LU1370 were demonstrated to promote plant growth through volatile production. However, contrasting differences were observed with LU1370 which had a negative effect on plant growth in soil but a positive effect in plate assays. Altogether our results suggest that the mechanisms and molecules involved in plant growth promotion by Trichoderma spp. are multivariable and are affected by the environmental conditions.

  10. Grazing exclusion, substrate type, and drought frequency affect plant community structure in rangelands of the arid unpredictable Arabian Deserts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    El-Keblawy, Ali; El-Sheikh, Mohamed

    2017-04-01

    Grazing and drought can adversely affect the ecology and management of rangeland ecosystems. Several management actions have been applied to restore species diversity and community structure in degraded rangelands of the unpredictable arid environment. Protection from grazing is considered as a proper approach for restoration of degraded rangelands, but this depends on substrate type and sometime is hindered with water deficiency (drought). In this study, the effect of protection from grazing animals on species diversity and plant community structure was assessed after a dry and wet periods in both sandy and gravelly substrates in the Dubai Desert Conservation reserve (DDCR), United Arab Emirates. Two sites were selected during November 2012 on the two substrate types (fixed sandy flat and gravel plain) in the arid DDCR. An enclosure was established in each site. Plant community attributes (plant cover, density, frequency, species composition, and diversity indices) were assessed in a number of permanent plots laid inside and outside each enclosure during November 2012, April 2014 and April 2016. The results showed that protection improved clay content, but decreased the organic matters. Interestingly, the protection reduced the concentrations of most estimated nutrients, which could be attributed to the high turnover rate of nutrients associated grazing and low decomposition of accumulated dry plants of non-protected sites. Protection significantly increased all plant community attributes, but the only significant effect was for plant density. Plant density was almost twice greater inside than outside the enclosures. During the dry period, protection resulted in significantly greater deterioration in cover, density and all diversity indices in gravel, compared to sandy sites. Most of the grasses and shrubby plants had died in the gravel plains. However, plant community of the gravel plains was significantly restored after receiving considerable rainfalls. The

  11. Theoretical comparison of how soil processes affect uptake of metals by diffusive gradients in thinfilms and plants.

    PubMed

    Lehto, N J; Davison, W; Zhang, H; Tych, W

    2006-01-01

    The theoretical basis for using measurements of metal uptake by the technique of diffusive gradients in thinfilms (DGT) to mimic processes in soils that affect uptake of metals by plants is examined. The uptake of metals by plants and DGT were compared conceptually and quantitatively by using the classic Barber model of plant uptake and the DIFS (DGT-induced fluxes in soils) model of uptake by DGT. For most metals and plants considered, uptake fluxes were similar to those induced by DGT using the most common gel layer thicknesses of 0.2 to 2 mm. Consequently DGT perturbs the chemical equilibrium of metals in the soil solution and between soil solution and solid phase, to a similar extent to plants, and therefore induces a similar balance in supply by diffusion and by release from the solid phase. DIFS was used to show that desorption kinetics, which are not considered by the plant uptake model, are likely important for uptake when the capacity of the soil solid phase is large. Model calculations showed that mass flow into a plant root would only contribute appreciably to the total flux of metal under circumstances when the solid phase reservoir of metal was very low. Generally, however, DGT is likely to emulate supply processes from the soil that govern uptake of metal by plants. Exceptions are likely to be found in poorly buffered soils (typically sandy and/or low pH), and at very high concentrations of metals in soil solution, such that the soil solution concentration at the plant root interface is higher than the Michaelis-Menten constant (Km).

  12. Light accelerates plant responses to warming.

    PubMed

    De Frenne, Pieter; Rodríguez-Sánchez, Francisco; De Schrijver, An; Coomes, David A; Hermy, Martin; Vangansbeke, Pieter; Verheyen, Kris

    2015-08-17

    Competition for light has profound effects on plant performance in virtually all terrestrial ecosystems. Nowhere is this more evident than in forests, where trees create environmental heterogeneity that shapes the dynamics of forest-floor communities(1-3). Observational evidence suggests that biotic responses to both anthropogenic global warming and nitrogen pollution may be attenuated by the shading effects of trees and shrubs(4-9). Here we show experimentally that tree shade is slowing down changes in below-canopy communities due to warming. We manipulated levels of photosynthetically active radiation, temperature and nitrogen, alone and in combination, in a temperate forest understorey over a 3-year period, and monitored the composition of the understorey community. Light addition, but not nitrogen enrichment, accelerated directional plant community responses to warming, increasing the dominance of warmth-preferring taxa over cold-tolerant plants (a process described as thermophilization(6,10-12)). Tall, competitive plants took greatest advantage of the combination of elevated temperature and light. Warming of the forest floor did not result in strong community thermophilization unless light was also increased. Our findings suggest that the maintenance of locally closed canopy conditions could reduce, at least temporarily, warming-induced changes in forest floor plant communities.

  13. Altered Expression of SPINDLY Affects Gibberellin Response and Plant Development1

    PubMed Central

    Swain, Stephen M.; Tseng, Tong-seung; Olszewski, Neil E.

    2001-01-01

    Gibberellins (GAs) are plant hormones with diverse roles in plant growth and development. SPINDLY (SPY) is one of several genes identified in Arabidopsis that are involved in GA response and it is thought to encode an O-GlcNAc transferase. Genetic analysis suggests that SPY negatively regulates GA response. To test the hypothesis that SPY acts specifically as a negatively acting component of GA signal transduction, spy mutants and plants containing a 35S:SPY construct have been examined. A detailed investigation of the spy mutant phenotype suggests that SPY may play a role in plant development beyond its role in GA signaling. Consistent with this suggestion, the analysis of spy er plants suggests that the ERECTA (ER) gene, which has not been implicated as having a role in GA signaling, appears to enhance the non-GA spy mutant phenotypes. Arabidopsis plants containing a 35S:SPY construct possess reduced GA response at seed germination, but also possess phenotypes consistent with increased GA response, although not identical to spy mutants, during later vegetative and reproductive development. Based on these results, the hypothesis that SPY is specific for GA signaling is rejected. Instead, it is proposed that SPY is a negative regulator of GA response that has additional roles in plant development. PMID:11457967

  14. Volatiles produced by soil-borne endophytic bacteria increase plant pathogen resistance and affect tritrophic interactions

    PubMed Central

    Ton, Jurriaan; Brandenburg, Anna; Karlen, Danielle; Zopfi, Jakob; Turlings, Ted C. J.

    2014-01-01

    Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released by soil microorganisms influence plant growth and pathogen resistance. Yet, very little is known about their influence on herbivores and higher trophic levels. We studied the origin and role of a major bacterial VOC, 2,3-butanediol (2,3-BD), on plant growth, pathogen and herbivore resistance, and the attraction of natural enemies in maize. One of the major contributors to 2,3-BD in the headspace of soil-grown maize seedlings was identified as Enterobacter aerogenes, an endophytic bacterium that colonizes the plants. The production of 2,3-BD by E. aerogenes rendered maize plants more resistant against the Northern corn leaf blight fungus Setosphaeria turcica. On the contrary, E. aerogenes-inoculated plants were less resistant against the caterpillar Spodoptera littoralis. The effect of 2,3-BD on the attraction of the parasitoid Cotesia marginiventris was more variable: 2,3-BD application to the headspace of the plants had no effect on the parasitoids, but application to the soil increased parasitoid attraction. Furthermore, inoculation of seeds with E. aerogenes decreased plant attractiveness, whereas inoculation of soil with a total extract of soil microbes increased parasitoid attraction, suggesting that the effect of 2,3-BD on the parasitoid is indirect and depends on the composition of the microbial community. PMID:24127750

  15. Volatiles produced by soil-borne endophytic bacteria increase plant pathogen resistance and affect tritrophic interactions.

    PubMed

    D'Alessandro, Marco; Erb, Matthias; Ton, Jurriaan; Brandenburg, Anna; Karlen, Danielle; Zopfi, Jakob; Turlings, Ted C J

    2014-04-01

    Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released by soil microorganisms influence plant growth and pathogen resistance. Yet, very little is known about their influence on herbivores and higher trophic levels. We studied the origin and role of a major bacterial VOC, 2,3-butanediol (2,3-BD), on plant growth, pathogen and herbivore resistance, and the attraction of natural enemies in maize. One of the major contributors to 2,3-BD in the headspace of soil-grown maize seedlings was identified as Enterobacter aerogenes, an endophytic bacterium that colonizes the plants. The production of 2,3-BD by E. aerogenes rendered maize plants more resistant against the Northern corn leaf blight fungus Setosphaeria turcica. On the contrary, E. aerogenes-inoculated plants were less resistant against the caterpillar Spodoptera littoralis. The effect of 2,3-BD on the attraction of the parasitoid Cotesia marginiventris was more variable: 2,3-BD application to the headspace of the plants had no effect on the parasitoids, but application to the soil increased parasitoid attraction. Furthermore, inoculation of seeds with E. aerogenes decreased plant attractiveness, whereas inoculation of soil with a total extract of soil microbes increased parasitoid attraction, suggesting that the effect of 2,3-BD on the parasitoid is indirect and depends on the composition of the microbial community.

  16. Plant water relations as affected by heavy metal stress: A review

    SciTech Connect

    Barcelo, J.; Poschenrieder, C. )

    1990-01-01

    Metal toxicity causes multiple direct and indirect effects in plants which concern practically all physiological functions. In this review the effects of excess heavy metals and aluminum on those functions which will alter plant water relations are considered. After a brief comment on the metal effects in cell walls and plasma-lemma, and their consequences for cell expansion growth, the influences of high meal availability on the factors which regulate water entry and water exit in plants are considered. Emphasis is placed on the importance of distinguishing between low water availability in mine and serpentine soils and toxicity effects in plants which may impair the ability of a plant to regulate water uptake. Examples on water relations of both plants grown on metalliferous soil and hydroponics are presented, and the effects of metal toxicity on root growth, water transport and transpiration are considered. It is concluded that future research has to focus on the mechanisms of metal-induced inhibition of both root elongation and morphogenetic processes within roots. In order to understand the relation between metal tolerance and drought resistance better, further studies into metal tolerance mechanisms at the cell wall, membrane and vacuolar level, as well as into the mechanisms of drought resistance of plants adapted to metalliferous soils are required. 135 refs., 7 figs., 6 tabs.

  17. ACC deaminase from plant growth-promoting bacteria affects crown gall development.

    PubMed

    Hao, Youai; Charles, Trevor C; Glick, Bernard R

    2007-12-01

    In addition to the well-known roles of indoleacetic acid and cytokinin in crown gall formation, the plant hormone ethylene also plays an important role in this process. Many plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB) encode the enzyme 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC) deaminase, which can degrade ACC, the immediate precursor of ethylene in plants, to alpha-ketobutyrate and ammonia and thereby lower plant ethylene levels. To study the effect of ACC deaminase on crown gall development, an ACC deaminase gene from the PGPB Pseudomonas putida UW4 was introduced into Agrobacterium tumefaciens C58, so that the effect of ACC deaminase activity on tumour formation in tomato and castor bean plants could be assessed. Plants were also coinoculated with A. tumefaciens C58 and P. putida UW4 or P. putida UW4-acdS- (an ACC deaminase minus mutant strain). In both types of experiments, it was observed that the presence of ACC deaminase generally inhibited tumour development on both tomato and castor bean plants.

  18. Interactions between Plant Metabolites Affect Herbivores: A Study with Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids and Chlorogenic Acid

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Xiaojie; Vrieling, Klaas; Klinkhamer, Peter G.L.

    2017-01-01

    The high structural diversity of plant metabolites suggests that interactions among them should be common. We investigated the effects of single metabolites and combinations of plant metabolites on insect herbivores. In particular we studied the interacting effects of pyrrolizidine alkaloid (PAs), and chlorogenic acid (CGA), on a generalist herbivore, Frankliniella occidentalis. We studied both the predominantly occurring PA N-oxides and the less frequent PA free bases. We found antagonistic effects between CGA and PA free bases on thrips mortality. In contrast PA N-oxides showed synergistic interactions with CGA. PA free bases caused a higher thrips mortality than PA N-oxides while the reverse was through for PAs in combination with CGA. Our results provide an explanation for the predominate storage of PA N-oxides in plants. We propose that antagonistic interactions represent a constraint on the accumulation of plant metabolites, as we found here for Jacobaea vulgaris. The results show that the bioactivity of a given metabolite is not merely dependent upon the amount and chemical structure of that metabolite, but also on the co-occurrence metabolites in, e.g., plant cells, tissues and organs. The significance of this study is beyond the concerns of the two specific groups tested here. The current study is one of the few studies so far that experimentally support the general conception that the interactions among plant metabolites are of great importance to plant-environment interactions. PMID:28611815

  19. The glabra1 mutation affects cuticle formation and plant responses to microbes.

    PubMed

    Xia, Ye; Yu, Keshun; Navarre, Duroy; Seebold, Kenneth; Kachroo, Aardra; Kachroo, Pradeep

    2010-10-01

    Systemic acquired resistance (SAR) is a form of defense that provides resistance against a broad spectrum of pathogens in plants. Previous work indicates a role for plastidial glycerolipid biosynthesis in SAR. Specifically, mutations in FATTY ACID DESATURASE7 (FAD7), which lead to reduced trienoic fatty acid levels and compromised plastidial lipid biosynthesis, have been associated with defective SAR. We show that the defective SAR in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) fad7-1 plants is not associated with a mutation in FAD7 but rather with a second-site mutation in GLABRA1 (GL1), a gene well known for its role in trichome formation. The compromised SAR in gl1 plants is associated with impairment in their cuticles. Furthermore, mutations in two other components of trichome development, GL3 and TRANSPARENT TESTA GLABRA1, also impaired cuticle development and SAR. This suggests an overlap in the biochemical pathways leading to cuticle and trichome development. Interestingly, exogenous application of gibberellic acid (GA) not only enhanced SAR in wild-type plants but also restored SAR in gl1 plants. In contrast to GA, the defense phytohoromes salicylic acid and jasmonic acid were unable to restore SAR in gl1 plants. GA application increased levels of cuticular components but not trichome formation on gl1 plants, thus implicating cuticle, but not trichomes, as an important component of SAR. Our findings question the prudence of using mutant backgrounds for genetic screens and underscore a need to reevaluate phenotypes previously studied in the gl1 background.

  20. Water Deficit and Heat Affect the Tolerance to High Illumination in Hibiscus Plants

    PubMed Central

    Muñoz, Romualdo; Quiles, María José

    2013-01-01

    This work studies the effects of water deficit and heat, as well as the involvement of chlororespiration and the ferredoxin-mediated cyclic pathway, on the tolerance of photosynthesis to high light intensity in Hibiscus rosa-sinensis plants. Drought and heat resulted in the down–regulation of photosynthetic linear electron transport in the leaves, although only a slight decrease in variable fluorescence (Fv)/maximal fluorescence (Fm) was observed, indicating that the chloroplast was protected by mechanisms that dissipate excess excitation energy to prevent damage to the photosynthetic apparatus. The incubation of leaves from unstressed plants under high light intensity resulted in an increase of the activity of electron donation by nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) and ferredoxin to plastoquinone, but no increase was observed in plants exposed to water deficit, suggesting that cyclic electron transport was stimulated by high light only in control plants. In contrast, the activities of the chlororespiration enzymes (NADH dehydrogenase (NDH) complex and plastid terminal oxidase (PTOX)) increased after incubation under high light intensity in leaves of the water deficit plants, but not in control plants, suggesting that chlororespiration was stimulated in stressed plants. The results indicate that the relative importance of chlororespiration and the cyclic electron pathway in the tolerance of photosynthesis to high illumination differs under stress conditions. When plants were not subjected to stress, the contribution of chlororespiration to photosynthetic electron flow regulation was not relevant, and another pathway, such as the ferredoxin-mediated cyclic pathway, was more important. However, when plants were subjected to water deficit and heat, chlororespiration was probably essential. PMID:23470922

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  2. Plant Quantity Affects Development and Survival of a Gregarious Insect Herbivore and Its Endoparasitoid Wasp

    PubMed Central

    Fei, Minghui; Gols, Rieta; Zhu, Feng; Harvey, Jeffrey A.

    2016-01-01

    Virtually all studies of plant-herbivore-natural enemy interactions focus on plant quality as the major constraint on development and survival. However, for many gregarious feeding insect herbivores that feed on small or ephemeral plants, the quantity of resources is much more limiting, yet this area has received virtually no attention. Here, in both lab and semi-field experiments using tents containing variably sized clusters of food plants, we studied the effects of periodic food deprivation in a tri-trophic system where quantitative constraints are profoundly important on insect performance. The large cabbage white Pieris brassicae, is a specialist herbivore of relatively small wild brassicaceous plants that grow in variable densities, with black mustard (Brassica nigra) being one of the most important. Larvae of P. brassicae are in turn attacked by a specialist endoparasitoid wasp, Cotesia glomerata. Increasing the length of food deprivation of newly molted final instar caterpillars significantly decreased herbivore and parasitoid survival and biomass, but shortened their development time. Moreover, the ability of caterpillars to recover when provided with food again was correlated with the length of the food deprivation period. In outdoor tents with natural vegetation, we created conditions similar to those faced by P. brassicae in nature by manipulating plant density. Low densities of B. nigra lead to potential starvation of P. brassicae broods and their parasitoids, replicating nutritional conditions of the lab experiments. The ability of both unparasitized and parasitized caterpillars to find corner plants was similar but decreased with central plant density. Survival of both the herbivore and parasitoid increased with plant density and was higher for unparasitized than for parasitized caterpillars. Our results, in comparison with previous studies, reveal that quantitative constraints are far more important that qualitative constraints on the performance of

  3. Thermal tolerance affects mutualist attendance in an ant-plant protection mutualism

    PubMed Central

    Fitzpatrick, Ginny; Lanan, Michele C.; Bronstein, Judith L.

    2014-01-01

    Mutualism is an often-complex interaction among multiple species, each of which may respond differently to abiotic conditions. The effects of temperature on the formation, dissolution, and success of these and other species interactions remain poorly understood. We studied the thermal ecology of the mutualism between the cactus Ferocactus wislizeni and its ant defenders (Forelius pruinosus, Crematogaster opuntiae, Solenopsis aurea, and Solenopsis xyloni) in the Sonoran Desert, USA. The ants are attracted to extrafloral nectar produced by the plants and in exchange protect the plants from herbivores; there is a hierarchy of mutualist effectiveness based on aggression toward herbivores. We determined the relationship between temperature and ant activity on plants, the thermal tolerance of each ant species, and ant activity in relation to the thermal environment of plants. Temperature played a role in determining which species interact as mutualists. Three of the four ant species abandoned the plants during the hottest part of the day (up to 40°C), returning when surface temperature began to decrease in the afternoon. The least effective ant mutualist, F. pruinosus, had a significantly higher critical thermal maximum than the other three species, was active across the entire range of plant surface temperatures observed (13.8-57.0°C), and visited plants that reached the highest temperatures. F. pruinosus occupied some plants full-time and invaded plants occupied by more dominant species when those species were thermally excluded. Combining data on thermal tolerance and mutualist effectiveness provides a potentially powerful tool for predicting the effects of temperature on mutualisms and mutualistic species. PMID:25012597

  4. Water deficit and heat affect the tolerance to high illumination in hibiscus plants.

    PubMed

    Muñoz, Romualdo; Quiles, María José

    2013-03-07

    This work studies the effects of water deficit and heat, as well as the involvement of chlororespiration and the ferredoxin-mediated cyclic pathway, on the tolerance of photosynthesis to high light intensity in Hibiscus rosa-sinensis plants. Drought and heat resulted in the down-regulation of photosynthetic linear electron transport in the leaves, although only a slight decrease in variable fluorescence (Fv)/maximal fluorescence (Fm) was observed, indicating that the chloroplast was protected by mechanisms that dissipate excess excitation energy to prevent damage to the photosynthetic apparatus. The incubation of leaves from unstressed plants under high light intensity resulted in an increase of the activity of electron donation by nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) and ferredoxin to plastoquinone, but no increase was observed in plants exposed to water deficit, suggesting that cyclic electron transport was stimulated by high light only in control plants. In contrast, the activities of the chlororespiration enzymes (NADH dehydrogenase (NDH) complex and plastid terminal oxidase (PTOX)) increased after incubation under high light intensity in leaves of the water deficit plants, but not in control plants, suggesting that chlororespiration was stimulated in stressed plants. The results indicate that the relative importance of chlororespiration and the cyclic electron pathway in the tolerance of photosynthesis to high illumination differs under stress conditions. When plants were not subjected to stress, the contribution of chlororespiration to photosynthetic electron flow regulation was not relevant, and another pathway, such as the ferredoxin-mediated cyclic pathway, was more important. However, when plants were subjected to water deficit and heat, chlororespiration was probably essential.

  5. Thermal tolerance affects mutualist attendance in an ant-plant protection mutualism.

    PubMed

    Fitzpatrick, Ginny; Lanan, Michele C; Bronstein, Judith L

    2014-09-01

    Mutualism is an often complex interaction among multiple species, each of which may respond differently to abiotic conditions. The effects of temperature on the formation, dissolution, and success of these and other species interactions remain poorly understood. We studied the thermal ecology of the mutualism between the cactus Ferocactus wislizeni and its ant defenders (Forelius pruinosus, Crematogaster opuntiae, Solenopsis aurea, and Solenopsis xyloni) in the Sonoran Desert, USA. The ants are attracted to extrafloral nectar produced by the plants and, in exchange, protect the plants from herbivores; there is a hierarchy of mutualist effectiveness based on aggression toward herbivores. We determined the relationship between temperature and ant activity on plants, the thermal tolerance of each ant species, and ant activity in relation to the thermal environment of plants. Temperature played a role in determining which species interact as mutualists. Three of the four ant species abandoned the plants during the hottest part of the day (up to 40 °C), returning when surface temperature began to decrease in the afternoon. The least effective ant mutualist, F. pruinosus, had a significantly higher critical thermal maximum than the other three species, was active across the entire range of plant surface temperatures observed (13.8-57.0 °C), and visited plants that reached the highest temperatures. F. pruinosus occupied some plants full-time and invaded plants occupied by more dominant species when those species were thermally excluded. Combining data on thermal tolerance and mutualist effectiveness provides a potentially powerful tool for predicting the effects of temperature on mutualisms and mutualistic species.

  6. Drought induced changes of plant belowground carbon allocation affect soil microbial community function in a subalpine meadow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fuchslueger, L.; Bahn, M.; Fritz, K.; Hasibeder, R.; Richter, A.

    2012-12-01

    There is growing evidence that climate extremes may affect ecosystem carbon dynamics more strongly than gradual changes in temperatures or precipitation. Climate projections suggest more frequent heat waves accompanied by extreme drought periods in many parts of Europe, including the Alps. Drought is considered to decrease plant C uptake and turnover, which may in turn decrease belowground C allocation and potentially has significant consequences for microbial community composition and functioning. However, information on effects of drought on C dynamics at the plant-soil interface in real ecosystems is still scarce. Our study aimed at understanding how summer drought affects soil microbial community composition and the uptake of recently assimilated plant C by different microbial groups in grassland. We hypothesized that under drought 1) the microbial community shifts, fungi being less affected than bacteria, 2) plants decrease belowground C allocation, which further reduces C transfer to soil microbes and 3) the combined effects of belowground C allocation, reduced soil C transport due to reduced soil moisture and shift in microbial communities cause an accumulation of extractable organic C in the soil. Our study was conducted as part of a rain-exclusion experiment in a subalpine meadow in the Austrian Central Alps. After eight weeks of rain exclusion we pulse labelled drought and control plots with 13CO2 and traced C in plant biomass, extractable organic C (EOC) and soil microbial communities using phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA). Drought induced a shift of the microbial community composition: gram-positive bacteria became more dominant, whereas gram-negative bacteria were not affected by drought. Also the relative abundance of fungal biomass was not affected by drought. While total microbial biomass (as estimated by total microbial PLFA content) increased during drought, less 13C was taken up. This reduction was pronounced for bacterial biomarkers. It reflects

  7. Microbial composition in a deep saline aquifer in the North German Basin -microbiologically induced corrosion and mineral precipitation affecting geothermal plant operation and the effects of plant downtime

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lerm, Stephanie; Westphal, Anke; Miethling-Graff, Rona; Alawi, Mashal; Seibt, Andrea; Wolfgramm, Markus; Würdemann, Hilke

    2013-04-01

    The microbial composition in fluids of a deep saline geothermal used aquifer in the North German Basin was characterized over a period of five years. The genetic fingerprinting techniques PCR-SSCP and PCR-DGGE revealed distinct microbial communities in fluids produced from the cold and warm side of the aquifer. Direct cell counting and quantification of 16S rRNA genes and dissimilatory sulfite reductase (dsrA) genes by real-time PCR proved different population sizes in fluids, showing higher abundance of Bacteria and sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) in cold fluids compared to warm fluids. Predominating SRB in the cold well probably accounted for corrosion damage to the submersible well pump, and iron sulfide precipitates in the near wellbore area and topside facility filters. This corresponded to a lower sulfate content in fluids produced from the cold well as well as higher content of hydrogen gas that was probably released from corrosion, and maybe favoured growth of hydrogenotrophic SRB. Plant downtime significantly influenced the microbial biocenosis in fluids. Samples taken after plant restart gave indications about the processes occurring downhole during those phases. High DNA concentrations in fluids at the beginning of the restart process with a decreasing trend over time indicated a higher abundance of microbes during plant downtime compared to regular plant operation. It is likely that a gradual drop in temperature as well as stagnant conditions favoured the growth of microbes and maturation of biofilms at the casing and in pores of the reservoir rock in the near wellbore area. Furthermore, it became obvious that the microorganisms were more associated to particles then free-living. This study reflects the high influence of microbial populations for geothermal plant operation, because microbiologically induced precipitative and corrosive processes adversely affect plant reliability. Those processes may favourably occur during plant downtime due to enhanced

  8. How do soil texture, plant community composition and earthworms affected the infiltration rate in a grassland plant diversity experiment depending on season?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fischer, Christine; Britta, Merkel; Nico, Eisenhauer; Christiane, Roscher; Sabine, Attinger; Stefan, Scheu; Anke, Hildebrandt

    2013-04-01

    Background and aims: In this study we analyzed the influences of plant community characteristics, soil texture and earthworm presence on infiltration rates on a managed grassland plant diversity experiment assessing the role of biotic and abiotic factors on soil hydrology. Methods: We measured infiltration using a hood infiltrometer in subplots with ambient and reduced earthworm density (earthworm extraction) nested in plots of different plant species richness (1, 4, and 16), plant functional group number and composition (1 to 4; legumes, grasses, small herbs, tall herbs) in early summer (June) and autumn (September, October) 2011. Results: The presence of certain plant functional groups such as grasses and legumes influenced infiltration rates and this effect enhanced during the growing season. Infiltration was significantly higher in plots containing legumes than in plots without, and it was significantly lower in the presence of grasses than in their absence. In early summer, earthworm presence and biomass increased the infiltration rates, independently of plant species richness. In October, plant species richness only affected infiltration rates in reduced earthworm plots. At the end of the growing season earthworm populations were negatively influenced by grasses and positively by legumes. In September, infiltration rates were positive related to the proportion of finer grains. The correlation disappears when removing all plots containing legumes from the sample. For all measurements the infiltration rates decreases from early summer to autumn at the matric potentials at pressure zero and -0.02 m, but not for smaller macropores at matric potentials -0.04 and -0.06m. Conclusions: Considering infiltration rates as ecosystem function, this function will largely depend on the ecosystem composition and season, not on biodiversity per se. Our results indicate that biotic factors are of overriding influence for shaping infiltration rates mainly for larger macropores

  9. Agrobacterium rhizogenes rolB gene affects photosynthesis and chlorophyll content in transgenic tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) plants.

    PubMed

    Bettini, Priscilla P; Marvasi, Massimiliano; Fani, Fabiola; Lazzara, Luigi; Cosi, Elena; Melani, Lorenzo; Mauro, Maria Luisa

    2016-10-01

    Insertion of Agrobacterium rhizogenes rolB gene into plant genome affects plant development, hormone balance and defence. However, beside the current research, the overall transcriptional response and gene expression of rolB as a modulator in plant is unknown. Transformed rolB tomato plant (Solanum lycopersicum L.) cultivar Tondino has been used to investigate the differential expression profile. Tomato is a well-known model organism both at the genetic and molecular level, and one of the most important commercial food crops in the world. Through the construction and characterization of a cDNA subtracted library, we have investigated the differential gene expression between transgenic clones of rolB and control tomato and have evaluated genes specifically transcribed in transgenic rolB plants. Among the selected genes, five genes encoding for chlorophyll a/b binding protein, carbonic anhydrase, cytochrome b6/f complex Fe-S subunit, potassium efflux antiporter 3, and chloroplast small heat-shock protein, all involved in chloroplast function, were identified. Measurement of photosynthesis efficiency by the level of three different photosynthetic parameters (Fv/Fm, rETR, NPQ) showed rolB significant increase in non-photochemical quenching and a, b chlorophyll content. Our results point to highlight the role of rolB on plant fitness by improving photosynthesis.

  10. Development on drought-stressed host plants affects life history, flight morphology and reproductive output relative to landscape structure.

    PubMed

    Gibbs, Melanie; Van Dyck, Hans; Breuker, Casper J

    2012-01-01

    With global climate change, rainfall is becoming more variable. Predicting the responses of species to changing rainfall levels is difficult because, for example in herbivorous species, these effects may be mediated indirectly through changes in host plant quality. Furthermore, species responses may result from a simultaneous interaction between rainfall levels and other environmental variables such as anthropogenic land use or habitat quality. In this eco-evolutionary study, we examined how male and female Pararge aegeria (L.) from woodland and agricultural landscape populations were affected by the development on drought-stressed host plants. Compared with individuals from woodland landscapes, when reared on drought-stressed plants agricultural individuals had longer development times, reduced survival rates and lower adult body masses. Across both landscape types, growth on drought-stressed plants resulted in males and females with low forewing aspect ratios and in females with lower wing loading and reduced fecundity. Development on drought-stressed plants also had a landscape-specific effect on reproductive output; agricultural females laid eggs that had a significantly lower hatching success. Overall, our results highlight several potential mechanisms by which low water availability, via changes in host plant quality, may differentially influence P. aegeria populations relative to landscape structure.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Plant Fe status affects the composition of siderophore-secreting microbes in the rhizosphere

    PubMed Central

    Jin, Chong Wei; Li, Gui Xin; Yu, Xue Hui; Zheng, Shao Jiang

    2010-01-01

    Background and Aims Soil microbes have been demonstrated to play an important role in favouring plant iron (Fe) uptake under Fe-limiting conditions. However, the mechanisms involved are still unclear. This present study reported the effects of plant Fe status on the composition of siderophore-secreting microbes in the rhizosphere, and their potential function in improving plant Fe nutrition. Methods An Fe-efficient plant, red clover (Trifolium pratense ‘Kenland’) was cultured in a calcareous soil to obtain rhizosphere soils with (Fe-sufficient) or without (Fe-stressed) foliar FeEDTA spraying. The siderophore-producing ability of rhizospheric microbes was measured. The bioavailability of the siderophore-solubilized Fe from iron oxides/hydroxides was tested in hydroponic culture. Key Results In rhizosphere soil, the number of microbes that secreted siderophores quickly was more in the Fe-stressed treatment than in the Fe-sufficient one, while the number of microbes that did not secret siderophores was the opposite. A significantly higher concentration of phenolics was detected in the rhizosphere soil of Fe-stressed plants. Moreover, after the soil was incubated with phenolic root exudates, the composition of the siderophore-secreting microbial community was similar with that of the rhizosphere of Fe-stressed plant. Additionally, the siderophores produced by a rhizospheric microbe isolated from the Fe-stressed treatment can well solubilize iron oxides/hydroxides, and the utilization of the siderophore-solubilized Fe by plant was even more efficient than EDTA-Fe. Conclusions Iron-deficiency stress of red clover would alter the composition of siderophore-secreting microbes in the rhizosphere, which is probably due to the phenolics secretion of the root, and may in turn help to improve the solubility of Fe in soils and plant Fe nutrition via elevated microbial siderophore secretion. PMID:20356952

  14. Factors affecting the isotopic composition of organic matter. (1) Carbon isotopic composition of terrestrial plant materials.

    PubMed

    Yeh, H W; Wang, W M

    2001-07-01

    The stable isotope composition of the light elements (i.e., H, C, N, O and S) of organic samples varies significantly and, for C, is also unique and distinct from that of inorganic carbon. This is the result of (1) the isotope composition of reactants, (2) the nature of the reactions leading to formation and post-formational modification of the samples, (3) the environmental conditions under which the reactions took place, and (4) the relative concentration of the reactants compared to that of the products (i.e., [products]/[reactants] ratio). This article will examine the carbon isotope composition of terrestrial plant materials and its relationship with the above factors. delta13C(PDB) values of terrestrial plants range approximately from -8 to -38%, inclusive of C3-plants (-22 to -38%), C4-plants (-8 to -15%) and CAM-plants (-13 to -30%). Thus, the delta13C(PDB) values largely reflect the photosynthesis pathways of a plant as well as the genetics (i.e., species difference), delta13C(PDB) values of source CO2, relevant humidity, CO2/O2 ratios, wind and light intensity etc. Significant variations in these values also exist among different tissues, different portions of a tissue and different compounds. This is mainly a consequence of metabolic reactions. Animals mainly inherit the delta13C(PDB) values of the foods they consume; therefore, their delta13C(PDB) values are similar. The delta13C(PDB) values of plant materials, thus, contain information regarding the inner workings of the plants, the environmental conditions under which they grow, the delta13C(PDB) values of CO2 sources etc., and are unique. Furthermore, this uniqueness is passed on to their derivative matter, such as animals, humus etc. Hence, they are very powerful tools in many areas of research, including the ecological and environmental sciences.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-02-01

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

  16. The Herbivore-Induced Plant Volatile Methyl Salicylate Negatively Affects Attraction of the Parasitoid Diadegma semiclausum

    PubMed Central

    Mumm, Roland; Poelman, Erik H.; Yang, Yue; Pichersky, Eran; Dicke, Marcel

    2010-01-01

    The indirect defense mechanisms of plants comprise the production of herbivore-induced plant volatiles that can attract natural enemies of plant attackers. One of the often emitted compounds after herbivory is methyl salicylate (MeSA). Here, we studied the importance of this caterpillar-induced compound in the attraction of the parasitoid wasp Diadegma semiclausum by using a mutant Arabidopsis line. Pieris rapae infested AtBSMT1-KO mutant Arabidopsis plants, compromised in the biosynthesis of MeSA, were more attractive to parasitoids than infested wild-type plants. This suggests that the presence of MeSA has negative effects on parasitoid host-finding behavior when exposed to wild-type production of herbivore-induced Arabidopsis volatiles. Furthermore, in line with this, we recorded a positive correlation between MeSA dose and repellence of D. semiclausum when supplementing the headspace of caterpillar-infested AtBSMT1-KO plants with synthetic MeSA. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10886-010-9787-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. PMID:20407809

  17. Expression of a calmodulin methylation mutant affects the growth and development of transgenic tobacco plants.

    PubMed Central

    Roberts, D M; Besl, L; Oh, S H; Masterson, R V; Schell, J; Stacey, G

    1992-01-01

    Transgenic plants were constructed that express two foreign calmodulins (VU-1 and VU-3 calmodulins) derived from a cloned synthetic calmodulin gene. VU-1 calmodulin, similar to endogenous plant calmodulin, possesses a lysine residue at position 115 and undergoes posttranslational methylation. VU-3 calmodulin is a site-directed mutant of VU-1 calmodulin that is identical in sequence except for the substitution of an arginine at position 115 and thus is incapable of methylation. Both calmodulin genes, under the control of the cauliflower mosaic virus 35S promoter, were expressed in transgenic tobacco. Foreign calmodulin protein accumulated in plant tissues to levels equivalent to that of the endogenous calmodulin. All transformed lines of VU-1 plants were indistinguishable from untransformed controls with respect to growth and development. However, all transformed lines of VU-3 plants were characterized by decreased stem internode growth, reduced seed production, and reduced seed and pollen viability. The data suggest that these phenotypes are the result of the expression of the calmodulin mutant rather than the position of transferred DNA insertion or the overall alteration of calmodulin levels. Analyses of the activity of the purified transgenic calmodulins suggest that calmodulin-dependent NAD kinase is among the potential targets that may have altered regulation in VU-3 transgenic plants. Images PMID:1325656

  18. How light competition between plants affects their response to climate change.

    PubMed

    van Loon, Marloes P; Schieving, Feike; Rietkerk, Max; Dekker, Stefan C; Sterck, Frank; Anten, Niels P R

    2014-09-01

    How plants respond to climate change is of major concern, as plants will strongly impact future ecosystem functioning, food production and climate. Here, we investigated how vegetation structure and functioning may be influenced by predicted increases in annual temperatures and atmospheric CO2 concentration, and modeled the extent to which local plant-plant interactions may modify these effects. A canopy model was developed, which calculates photosynthesis as a function of light, nitrogen, temperature, CO2 and water availability, and considers different degrees of light competition between neighboring plants through canopy mixing; soybean (Glycine max) was used as a reference system. The model predicts increased net photosynthesis and reduced stomatal conductance and transpiration under atmospheric CO2 increase. When CO2 elevation is combined with warming, photosynthesis is increased more, but transpiration is reduced less. Intriguingly, when competition is considered, the optimal response shifts to producing larger leaf areas, but with lower stomatal conductance and associated vegetation transpiration than when competition is not considered. Furthermore, only when competition is considered are the predicted effects of elevated CO2 on leaf area index (LAI) well within the range of observed effects obtained by Free air CO2 enrichment (FACE) experiments. Together, our results illustrate how competition between plants may modify vegetation responses to climate change.

  19. The Bacterial Pathogen Xylella fastidiosa Affects the Leaf Ionome of Plant Hosts during Infection

    PubMed Central

    De La Fuente, Leonardo; Parker, Jennifer K.; Oliver, Jonathan E.; Granger, Shea; Brannen, Phillip M.; van Santen, Edzard; Cobine, Paul A.

    2013-01-01

    Xylella fastidiosa is a plant pathogenic bacterium that lives inside the host xylem vessels, where it forms biofilm believed to be responsible for disrupting the passage of water and nutrients. Here, Nicotiana tabacum was infected with X. fastidiosa, and the spatial and temporal changes in the whole-leaf ionome (i.e. the mineral and trace element composition) were measured as the host plant transitioned from healthy to diseased physiological status. The elemental composition of leaves was used as an indicator of the physiological changes in the host at a specific time and relative position during plant development. Bacterial infection was found to cause significant increases in concentrations of calcium prior to the appearance of symptoms and decreases in concentrations of phosphorous after symptoms appeared. Field-collected leaves from multiple varieties of grape, blueberry, and pecan plants grown in different locations over a four-year period in the Southeastern US showed the same alterations in Ca and P. This descriptive ionomics approach characterizes the existence of a mineral element-based response to X. fastidiosa using a model system suitable for further manipulation to uncover additional details of the role of mineral elements during plant-pathogen interactions. This is the first report on the dynamics of changes in the ionome of the host plant throughout the process of infection by a pathogen. PMID:23667547

  20. NIMA-related kinase NEK6 affects plant growth and stress response in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Bo; Chen, Hao-Wei; Mu, Rui-Ling; Zhang, Wang-Ke; Zhao, Ming-Yu; Wei, Wei; Wang, Fang; Yu, Hui; Lei, Gang; Zou, Hong-Feng; Ma, Biao; Chen, Shou-Yi; Zhang, Jin-Song

    2011-12-01

    The NIMA-related kinases (NEKs) are a family of serine/threonine kinases involved largely in cell cycle control in fungi, mammals and other eukaryotes. In Arabidopsis, NEK6 is involved in the regulation of epidermal cell morphogenesis. However, other roles of NEK6 in plants are less well understood. Here we report functions of NEK6 in plant growth, development and stress responses in Arabidopsis. NEK6 transcripts and proteins are induced by ethylene precursor ACC and salt stress. Expression of other NEK genes except NEK5 is also responsive to the two treatments. Overexpression and mutant analysis disclose that the NEK6 gene increases rosette growth, seed yield and lateral root formation. However, NEK6 appears to play a negative role in the control of seed size. The gene also promotes plant tolerance to salt stress and osmotic stress in its overexpressing plants. The NEK6 gene may achieve its function through suppression of ethylene biosynthesis and activation of CYCB1;1 and CYCA3;1 expression. Our present study reveals new functions of the NEK6 gene in plant growth and stress tolerance, and manipulation of NEK6 may improve important agronomic traits in crop plants.

  1. Drying and Storage Methods Affect Cyfluthrin Concentrations in Exposed Plant Samples.

    PubMed

    Moore, M T; Kröger, R; Locke, M A

    2016-08-01

    Standard procedures do not exist for drying and storage of plant samples prior to chemical analyses. Since immediate analysis is not always possible, current research examined which plant drying and storage method yielded the highest cyfluthrin recovery rates compared to traditional mechanical freeze-drying methods. Fifteen mesocosms were planted with rice. Cyfluthrin (5 mg L(-1)) was amended into the water column of individual mesocosms. 48 h later, plant material in the water column was collected from each mesocosm. Control (mechanical freeze drying) recovery was significantly greater (p < 0.001) than all 14 combinations of drying and storage. Significant differences also existed between all 14 different combinations. Greatest cyfluthrin recoveries in non-control plants were from the freezer-greenhouse-freezer drying and storage method. Results offer evidence for the efficient plant drying and storage methods prior to cyfluthrin analysis. Future studies should perform comparable analyses on various pesticide classes to determine possible relationships.

  2. Magnitude of nighttime transpiration does not affect plant growth or nutrition in well-watered Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Christman, Mairgareth A; Donovan, Lisa A; Richards, James H

    2009-07-01

    Significant water loss occurs throughout the night via partially open stomata in many C(3) and C(4) plant species. Although apparently wasteful in terms of water use, nighttime transpiration (E(night)) is hypothesized to benefit plants by enhancing nutrient supply. We tested the hypothesis that plants with greater E(night) would have improved plant nutrient status and greater fitness, estimated as pre-bolting biomass, for Arabidopsis thaliana. Two very different levels of E(night) were generated in plants by exposing them to high vs low nighttime leaf-to-air vapor pressure deficits (VPD(leaf)) in controlled environment chambers. An assessment of responses of nighttime leaf conductance (g(night)) to VPD(leaf) indicated that E(night) differed by at least 80% between the treatments. This large difference in E(night), imposed over the entire vegetative growth phase of Arabidopsis, had no effect on leaf nutrient content (N, Ca, K) or pre-bolting rosette biomass. The lack of response to differences in E(night) held true for both a high and a low nitrogen (N) treatment, even though the low N treatment decreased leaf N and biomass by 40-60%. The N treatment had no effect on g(night). Thus, higher E(night) did not provide a nutrient or growth benefit to Arabidopsis, even when the plants were N-limited.

  3. The bacterial pathogen Xylella fastidiosa affects the leaf ionome of plant hosts during infection.

    PubMed

    De La Fuente, Leonardo; Parker, Jennifer K; Oliver, Jonathan E; Granger, Shea; Brannen, Phillip M; van Santen, Edzard; Cobine, Paul A

    2013-01-01

    Xylella fastidiosa is a plant pathogenic bacterium that lives inside the host xylem vessels, where it forms biofilm believed to be responsible for disrupting the passage of water and nutrients. Here, Nicotiana tabacum was infected with X. fastidiosa, and the spatial and temporal changes in the whole-leaf ionome (i.e. the mineral and trace element composition) were measured as the host plant transitioned from healthy to diseased physiological status. The elemental composition of leaves was used as an indicator of the physiological changes in the host at a specific time and relative position during plant development. Bacterial infection was found to cause significant increases in concentrations of calcium prior to the appearance of symptoms and decreases in concentrations of phosphorous after symptoms appeared. Field-collected leaves from multiple varieties of grape, blueberry, and pecan plants grown in different locations over a four-year period in the Southeastern US showed the same alterations in Ca and P. This descriptive ionomics approach characterizes the existence of a mineral element-based response to X. fastidiosa using a model system suitable for further manipulation to uncover additional details of the role of mineral elements during plant-pathogen interactions. This is the first report on the dynamics of changes in the ionome of the host plant throughout the process of infection by a pathogen.

  4. Cell Number Regulator1 affects plant and organ size in maize: implications for crop yield enhancement and heterosis.

    PubMed

    Guo, Mei; Rupe, Mary A; Dieter, Jo Ann; Zou, Jijun; Spielbauer, Daniel; Duncan, Keith E; Howard, Richard J; Hou, Zhenglin; Simmons, Carl R

    2010-04-01

    Genes involved in cell number regulation may affect plant growth and organ size and, ultimately, crop yield. The tomato (genus Solanum) fruit weight gene fw2.2, for instance, governs a quantitative trait locus that accounts for 30% of fruit size variation, with increased fruit size chiefly due to increased carpel ovary cell number. To expand investigation of how related genes may impact other crop plant or organ sizes, we identified the maize (Zea mays) gene family of putative fw2.2 orthologs, naming them Cell Number Regulator (CNR) genes. This family represents an ancient eukaryotic family of Cys-rich proteins containing the PLAC8 or DUF614 conserved motif. We focused on native expression and transgene analysis of the two maize members closest to Le-fw2.2, namely, CNR1 and CNR2. We show that CNR1 reduced overall plant size when ectopically overexpressed and that plant and organ size increased when its expression was cosuppressed or silenced. Leaf epidermal cell counts showed that the increased or decreased transgenic plant and organ size was due to changes in cell number, not cell size. CNR2 expression was found to be negatively correlated with tissue growth activity and hybrid seedling vigor. The effects of CNR1 on plant size and cell number are reminiscent of heterosis, which also increases plant size primarily through increased cell number. Regardless of whether CNRs and other cell number-influencing genes directly contribute to, or merely mimic, heterosis, they may aid generation of more vigorous and productive crop plants.

  5. How do sheep affect plant communities and arthropod populations in temperate grasslands?

    PubMed

    Scohier, A; Dumont, B

    2012-07-01

    Grasslands being used in sheep farming systems are managed under a variety of agricultural production, recreational and conservational objectives. Although sheep grazing is rarely considered the best method for delivering conservation objectives in seminatural temperate grasslands, the literature does not provide unequivocal evidence on the impact of sheep grazing on pasture biodiversity. Our aim was therefore to review evidence of the impacts of stocking rate, grazing period and soil fertility on plant communities and arthropod populations in both mesotrophic grasslands typical of agriculturally improved areas and in native plant communities. We therefore conducted a literature search of articles published up to the end of the year 2010 using 'sheep' and 'grazing' as keywords, together with variables describing grassland management, plant community structure or arthropod taxa. The filtering process led to the selection of 48 articles, with 42 included in the stocking rate dataset, 9 in the grazing period dataset and 10 in the soil fertility dataset. The meta-analysis did not reveal any significant trends for plant species richness or plant community evenness along a wide stocking rate gradient. However, we found frequent shifts in functional groups or plant species abundance that could be explained by the functional properties of the plants in the community. The meta-analysis confirmed that increasing soil fertility decreased plant species richness. Despite the very limited dataset, plant species richness was significantly greater in autumn-grazed pastures than in ungrazed areas, which suggests that choosing an appropriate grazing period would be a promising option for preserving biodiversity in sheep farming systems. Qualitative review indicated that low grazing intensity had positive effects on Orthoptera, Hemiptera (especially phytophagous Auchenorrhyncha) and, despite a diverse range of feeding strategies, for the species richness of Coleoptera. Lepidoptera

  6. Roads in northern hardwood forests affect adjacent plant communities and soil chemistry in proportion to the maintained roadside area.

    PubMed

    Neher, Deborah A; Asmussen, David; Lovell, Sarah Taylor

    2013-04-01

    The spatial extent of the transported materials from three road types was studied in forest soil and vegetative communities in Vermont. Hypotheses were two-fold: 1) soil chemical concentrations above background environment would reflect traffic volume and road type (highway>2-lane paved>gravel), and 2) plant communities close to the road and near roads with greater traffic will be disturbance-tolerant and adept at colonization. Soil samples were gathered from 12 randomly identified transects for each of three road types classified as "highway," "two-lane paved," and "gravel." Using GIS mapping, transects were constructed perpendicular to the road, and samples were gathered at the shoulder, ditch, backslope, 10 m from the edge of the forest, and 50 m from road center. Sample locations were analyzed for a suite of soil elements and parameters, as well as percent area coverage by plant species. The main effects from roads depended on the construction modifications required for a roadway (i.e., vegetation clearing and topography modification). The cleared area defined the type of plant community and the distance that road pollutants travel. Secondarily, road presence affected soil chemistry. Metal concentrations (e.g., Pb, Cd, Cu, and Zn) correlated positively with road type. Proximity to all road types made the soils more alkaline (pH 7.7) relative to the acidic soil of the adjacent native forest (pH 5.6). Roadside microtopography had marked effects on the composition of plant communities based on the direction of water flow. Ditch areas supported wetland plant species, greater soil moisture and sulfur content, while plant communities closer to the road were characteristic of drier upland zones. The area beyond the edge of the forest did not appear to be affected chemically or physically by any of the road types, possibly due to the dense vegetation that typically develops outside of the managed right-of-way. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Changes in the salinity tolerance of sweet pepper plants as affected by nitrogen form and high CO2 concentration.

    PubMed

    Piñero, María C; Pérez-Jiménez, Margarita; López-Marín, Josefa; Del Amor, Francisco M

    2016-08-01

    The assimilation and availability of nitrogen in its different forms can significantly affect the response of primary productivity under the current atmospheric alteration and soil degradation. An elevated CO2 concentration (e[CO2]) triggers changes in the efficiency and efficacy of photosynthetic processes, water use and product yield, the plant response to stress being altered with respect to ambient CO2 conditions (a[CO2]). Additionally, NH4(+) has been related to improved plant responses to stress, considering both energy efficiency in N-assimilation and the overcoming of the inhibition of photorespiration at e[CO2]. Therefore, the aim of this work was to determine the response of sweet pepper plants (Capsicum annuum L.) receiving an additional supply of NH4(+) (90/10 NO3(-)/NH4(+)) to salinity stress (60mM NaCl) under a[CO2] (400μmolmol(-1)) or e[CO2] (800μmolmol(-1)). Salt-stressed plants grown at e[CO2] showed DW accumulation similar to that of the non-stressed plants at a[CO2]. The supply of NH4(+) reduced growth at e[CO2] when salinity was imposed. Moreover, NH4(+) differentially affected the stomatal conductance and water use efficiency and the leaf Cl(-), K(+), and Na(+) concentrations, but the extent of the effects was influenced by the [CO2]. An antioxidant-related response was prompted by salinity, the total phenolics and proline concentrations being reduced by NH4(+) at e[CO2]. Our results show that the effect of NH4(+) on plant salinity tolerance should be globally re-evaluated as e[CO2] can significantly alter the response, when compared with previous studies at a[CO2]. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  8. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal phylogenetic groups differ in affecting host plants along heavy metal levels.

    PubMed

    He, Lei; Yang, Haishui; Yu, Zhenxing; Tang, Jianjun; Xu, Ligen; Chen, Xin

    2014-10-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are important components of soil microbial communities, and play important role in plant growth. However, the effects of AMF phylogenetic groups (Glomeraceae and non-Glomeraceae) on host plant under various heavy metal levels are not clear. Here we conducted a meta-analysis to compare symbiotic relationship between AMF phylogenetic groups (Glomeraceae and non-Glomeraceae) and host plant functional groups (herbs vs. trees, and non-legumes vs. legumes) at three heavy metal levels. In the meta-analysis, we calculate the effect size (ln(RR)) by taking the natural logarithm of the response ratio of inoculated to non-inoculated shoot biomass from each study. We found that the effect size of Glomeraceae increased, but the effect size of non-Glomeraceae decreased under high level of heavy metal compared to low level. According to the effect size, both Glomeraceae and non-Glomeraceae promoted host plant growth, but had different effects under various heavy metal levels. Glomeraceae provided more benefit to host plants than non-Glomeraceae did under heavy metal condition, while non-Glomeraceae provided more benefit to host plants than Glomeraceae did under no heavy metal. AMF phylogenetic groups also differed in promoting plant functional groups under various heavy metal levels. Interacting with Glomeraceae, herbs and legumes grew better than trees and non-legumes did under high heavy metal level, while trees and legumes grew better than herbs and non-legumes did under medium heavy metal level. Interacting with non-Glomeraceae, herbs and legumes grew better than trees and non-legumes did under no heavy metal. We suggested that the combination of legume with Glomeraceae could be a useful way in the remediation of heavy metal polluted environment.

  9. Water and phosphorus content affect PAH dissipation in spiked soil planted with mycorrhizal alfalfa and tall fescue.

    PubMed

    Zhou, X B; Cébron, A; Béguiristain, T; Leyval, C

    2009-10-01

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) dissipation efficiency can be increased in the plant rhizosphere, but may be affected by various environmental factors. We investigated the effects of the watering regime and phosphorus concentration on PAH dissipation in the rhizosphere of mycorrhizal plants in a pot experiment. Two plant species, alfalfa (Medicago sativa) and tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea), were co-cultured and inoculated with an arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungus (Glomus intraradices) in PAH (phenanthrene (PHE)=500 mg kg(-1), pyrene (PYR)=500 mg kg(-1), dibenzo(a,h)anthracene (DBA)=65 mg kg(-1)) spiked agricultural soil for 6 weeks. Treatments with different phosphorus concentrations and watering regimes were compared. The PHE dissipation reached 90% in all treatments and was not affected by the treatments. The major finding was the significant positive impact of mycorrhizal plants on the dissipation of high molecular weight PAH (DBA) in high-water low-phosphorus treatment. Such an effect was not observed in high-water high-phosphorus and low-water low-phosphorus treatments, where AM colonization was very low. A positive linear relationship was detected between PYR dissipation and the percentage of Gram-positive PAH-ring hydroxylating dioxygenase genes in high-water high-phosphorus treatments, but not in the other two treatments with lower phosphorus concentrations and water contents. Such results indicated that the phosphorus and water regime were important parameters for the dissipation of HMW-PAH.

  10. Differential Response in Plant Taxa Morphology and Physiology During Increases in Late-Quaternary Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations Affect Plant-Climate Interactions.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van de Water, P. K.; Barnum, E.

    2004-12-01

    The effects of changing atmospheric CO2 on plant physiology mediate vegetation response to climate change. For example, growth chamber studies on short-lived plants show significant changes in plant morphology and physiological parameters such as changes in biomass and water-use efficiency (WUE; the amount of carbon assimilated to plant water-loss) as atmospheric CO2 concentrations increases from ˜200 p.p.m. to modern concentrations and beyond. Many modern studies show WUE increases linearly with rising atmospheric CO2 meaning that less water is expended for each unit of carbon assimilated. To test for the consistency of these findings with past, long-lived plants and in past communities growing under a similar range of atmospheric CO2 levels, macrofossils of select species were analyzed from packrat (Neotoma sp.) midden chronologies gathered throughout western North America. Measurement of and analysis for the stable isotope content of these macrofossils shows greater morphological and eco-physiological differences between species than expected from study results using growth chambers. For example, isotopic analysis shows long-standing associates, Pinus edulis and Juniperus spp. have significantly different WUE during the transition from the Pleistocene to the Holocene. The WUE in Pinus edulis matches changes in atmospheric CO2 whereas Juniperus spp. does not. Yet over the same period, changes observed in Pinus flexilis needles from trees growing in cooler habitats above the pinyon-juniper woodlands are more similar to Juniperus spp. changes compared against trends in the more closely related Pinus edulis. Morphology changes occurring during this period include increased biomass and reduced stomata. These results show taxonomic differences in the morphological and physiological adaptation to changing CO2 concentrations. These responses need further assessment especially in light of their direct affect on plant-climate interactions.

  11. Different Factors Affecting Short Circuit Behavior of a Wind Power Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Muljadi, E.; Samaan, Nader A.; Gevorgian, Vahan; Li, Jun; Pasupulati, Subbaiah

    2013-01-31

    A wind power plant consists of a large number of turbines interconnected by underground cable. A pad-mount transformer at each turbine steps up the voltage from generating voltage (690 V) to a medium voltage (34.5 kV). All turbines in the plant are connected to the substation transformer where the voltage is stepped up to the transmission level. An important aspect of wind power plant (WPP) impact studies is to evaluate the short-circuit (SC) current contribution of the plant into the transmission network under different fault conditions. This task can be challenging to protection engineers due to the topology differences between different types of wind turbine generators (WTGs) and the conventional generating units. This paper investigates the short circuit behavior of a wind power plant for different types of faults. The impact of wind turbine types, the transformer configuration, and the reactive compensation capacitor will be investigated. The voltage response at different buses will be observed. Finally, the SC line currents will be presented along with its symmetrical components.

  12. Different Factors Affecting Short Circuit Behavior of a Wind Power Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Muljadi, E.; Samaan, Nader A.; Gevorgian, Vahan; Li, Jun; Pasupulati, Subbaiah

    2010-12-21

    A wind power plant consists of a large number of turbines interconnected by underground cable. A pad-mount transformer at each turbine steps up the voltage from generating voltage (690 V) to a medium voltage (34.5 kV). All turbines in the plant are connected to the substation transformer where the voltage is stepped up to the transmission level. An important aspect of wind power plant (WPP) impact studies is to evaluate the short-circuit (SC) current contribution of the plant into the transmission network under different fault conditions. This task can be challenging to protection engineers due to the topology differences between different types of wind turbine generators (WTGs) and the conventional generating units. This paper investigates the short circuit behavior of a wind power plant for different types of faults. The impact of wind turbine types, the transformer configuration, and the reactive compensation capacitor will be investigated. The voltage response at different buses will be observed. Finally, the SC line currents will be presented along with its symmetrical components.

  13. Tulbaghia violacea Harv. plant extract affects cell wall synthesis in Aspergillus flavus.

    PubMed

    Belewa, V; Baijnath, H; Frost, C; Somai, B M

    2017-04-01

    This study investigates the effect that aqueous extracts of Tulbaghia violacea Harv. harbouring plant saponins, phenolics and tannins have on Aspergillus flavus β-(1,3) glucan and chitin synthesis. Aspergillus flavus was treated with various subinhibitory concentrations of an aqueous T. violacea plant extract and the β-(1,3) glucan and chitin content was determined together with glucan synthase and chitin synthase production respectively. The aqueous extract caused a significant decline (P < 0·05) in β-glucan production in A. flavus in a dose-dependent manner when compared to the untreated sample. Further investigations showed a decrease in β-glucan synthase production as the concentration of the plant extract was increased. A significant reduction in total chitin content corresponding to a decrease in chitin synthase production in the presence of the plant extract was also found. The broad spectrum activity and the efficacy of aqueous T. violacea plant extract on both β-glucan and chitin synthesis may limit the potential of the fungus developing resistance towards it and therefore the extract is an ideal candidate for use as a potential antifungal agent. © 2017 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

  14. beta-tubulin affects cellulose microfibril orientation in plant secondary fibre cell walls.

    PubMed

    Spokevicius, Antanas V; Southerton, Simon G; MacMillan, Colleen P; Qiu, Deyou; Gan, Siming; Tibbits, Josquin F G; Moran, Gavin F; Bossinger, Gerd

    2007-08-01

    Cellulose microfibrils are the major structural component of plant secondary cell walls. Their arrangement in plant primary cell walls, and its consequent influence on cell expansion and cellular morphology, is directed by cortical microtubules; cylindrical protein filaments composed of heterodimers of alpha- and beta-tubulin. In secondary cell walls of woody plant stems the orientation of cellulose microfibrils influences the strength and flexibility of wood, providing the physical support that has been instrumental in vascular plant colonization of the troposphere. Here we show that a Eucalyptus grandisbeta-tubulin gene (EgrTUB1) is involved in determining the orientation of cellulose microfibrils in plant secondary fibre cell walls. This finding is based on RNA expression studies in mature trees, where we identified and isolated EgrTUB1 as a candidate for association with wood-fibre formation, and on the analysis of somatically derived transgenic wood sectors in Eucalyptus. We show that cellulose microfibril angle (MFA) is correlated with EgrTUB1 expression, and that MFA was significantly altered as a consequence of stable transformation with EgrTUB1. Our findings present an important step towards the production of fibres with altered tensile strength, stiffness and elastic properties, and shed light on one of the molecular mechanisms that has enabled trees to dominate terrestrial ecosystems.

  15. Complex inter-Kingdom interactions: carnivorous plants affect growth of an aquatic vertebrate.

    PubMed

    Davenport, Jon M; Riley, Alex W

    2017-05-01

    Coexistence of organisms in nature is more likely when phenotypic similarities of individuals are reduced. Despite the lack of similarity, distantly related taxa still compete intensely for shared resources. No larger difference between organisms that share a common prey could exist than between carnivorous plants and animals. However, few studies have considered inter-Kingdom competition among carnivorous plants and animals. In order to evaluate interactions between a carnivorous plant (greater bladderwort, Utricularia vulgaris) and a vertebrate (bluegill, Lepomis macrochirus) on a shared prey (zooplankton), we conducted a mesocosm experiment. We deployed two levels of bladderwort presence (functional and crushed) and measured bluegill responses (survival and growth). Zooplankton abundance was reduced the greatest in bluegill and functional bladderwort treatments. Bluegill survival did not differ among treatments, but growth was greatest with crushed bladderwort. Thus, bluegill growth was facilitated by reducing interference competition in the presence of crushed bladderwort. The facilitating effect was dampened, however, when functional bladderwort removed a shared prey. To our knowledge, this is one of the first studies to experimentally demonstrate interactions between a carnivorous plant and a fish. Our data suggest that carnivorous plants may actively promote or reduce animal co-occurrence from some ecosystems via facilitation or competition.

  16. Do postfire mulching treatments affect plant community recovery in California coastal sage scrub lands?

    PubMed

    McCullough, Sarah A; Endress, Bryan A

    2012-01-01

    In recent years, the use of postfire mulch treatments to stabilize slopes and reduce soil erosion in shrubland ecosystems has increased; however, the potential effects on plant recovery have not been examined. To evaluate the effects of mulching treatments on postfire plant recovery in southern California coastal sage scrub, we conducted a field experiment with three experimental treatments, consisting of two hydromulch products and an erosion control blanket, plus a control treatment. The area burned in 2007, and treatments were applied to six plot blocks before the 2008 growing season. Treatment effects on plant community recovery were analyzed with a mixed effects ANOVA analysis using a univariate repeated measures approach. Absolute plant cover increased from 13 to 90% by the end of the second growing season, and the mean relative cover of exotic species was 32%. The two hydromulch treatments had no effect on any plant community recovery response variable measured. For the erosion control blanket treatment, the amount of bare ground cover at the end of the second growing season was significantly lower (P = 0.01), and greater shrub height was observed (P < 0.01). We conclude that postfire mulch treatments did not provide either a major benefit or negative impact to coastal sage scrub recovery on the study area.

  17. Uptake of Pharmaceuticals Influences Plant Development and Affects Nutrient and Hormone Homeostases.

    PubMed

    Carter, Laura J; Williams, Mike; Böttcher, Christine; Kookana, Rai S

    2015-10-20

    The detection of a range of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) in the soil environment has led to a number of publications demonstrating uptake by crops, however very few studies have explored the potential for impacts on plant development as a result of API uptake. This study investigated the effect of carbamazepine and verapamil (0.005-10 mg/kg) on a range of plant responses in zucchini (Cucurbita pepo). Uptake increased in a dose-dependent manner, with maximum leaf concentrations of 821.9 and 2.2 mg/kg for carbamazepine and verapamil, respectively. Increased carbamazepine uptake by zucchini resulted in a decrease in above (<60%) and below (<30%) ground biomass compared to the controls (p < 0.05). At soil concentrations >4 mg/kg the mature leaves suffered from burnt edges and white spots as well as a reduction in photosynthetic pigments but no such effects were seen for verapamil. For both APIs, further investigations revealed significant differences in the concentrations of selected plant hormones (auxins, cytokinins, abscisic acid and jasmonates), and in the nutrient composition of the leaves in comparison to the controls (p < 0.05). This is some of the first research to demonstrate that the exposure of plants to APIs is likely to cause impacts on plant development with unknown implications.

  18. How do increasing background concentrations of tropospheric ozone affect peatland plant growth and carbon gas exchange?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williamson, Jennifer L.; Mills, Gina; Hayes, Felicity; Jones, Timothy; Freeman, Chris

    2016-02-01

    In this study we have demonstrated that plants originating from upland peat bogs are sensitive to increasing background concentrations of ozone. Peatland mesocosms from an upland peat bog in North Wales, UK were exposed to eight levels of elevated background ozone in solardomes for 4 months from May to August, with 24 h mean ozone concentrations ranging from 16 to 94 ppb and cumulative AOT024hr ranging from 45.98 ppm h to 259.63 ppm h. Our results show that plant senescence increased with increasing exposure to ozone, although there was no significant effect of increasing ozone on plant biomass. Assessments of carbon dioxide and methane fluxes from the mesocosms suggests that there was no change in carbon dioxide fluxes over the 4 month exposure period but that methane fluxes increased as cumulative ozone exposure increased to a maximum AOT 024hr of approximately 120 ppm h and then decreased as cumulative ozone exposure increased further.

  19. Plant communities on infertile soils are less sensitive to climate change.

    PubMed

    Harrison, Susan; Damschen, Ellen; Fernandez-Going, Barbara; Eskelinen, Anu; Copeland, Stella

    2015-11-01

    Much evidence suggests that plant communities on infertile soils are relatively insensitive to increased water deficit caused by increasing temperature and/or decreasing precipitation. However, a multi-decadal study of community change in the western USA does not support this conclusion. This paper tests explanations related to macroclimatic differences, overstorey effects on microclimate, variation in soil texture and plant functional traits. A re-analysis was undertaken of the changes in the multi-decadal study, which concerned forest understorey communities on infertile (serpentine) and fertile soils in an aridifying climate (southern Oregan) from 1949-1951 to 2007-2008. Macroclimatic variables, overstorey cover and soil texture were used as new covariates. As an alternative measure of climate-related change, the community mean value of specific leaf area was used, a functional trait measuring drought tolerance. We investigated whether these revised analyses supported the prediction of lesser sensitivity to climate change in understorey communities on infertile serpentine soils. Overstorey cover, but not macroclimate or soil texture, was a significant covariate of community change over time. It strongly buffered understorey temperatures, was correlated with less change and averaged >50 % lower on serpentine soils, thereby counteracting the lower climate sensitivity of understorey herbs on these soils. Community mean specific leaf area showed the predicted pattern of less change over time in serpentine than non-serpentine communities. Based on the current balance of evidence, plant communities on infertile serpentine soils are less sensitive to changes in the climatic water balance than communities on more fertile soils. However, this advantage may in some cases be lessened by their sparser overstorey cover. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    There is increasing recognition of the importance of niche optima in the shift of plant–plant interactions along environmental stress gradients. Here, we investigate whether deviation from niche optima would affect the outcome of plant–plant interactions along a soil acidity gradient (pH = 3.1, 4.1, 5.5 and 6.1) in a pot experiment. We used the acid-tolerant species Lespedeza formosa Koehne as the neighbouring plant and the acid-tolerant species Indigofera pseudotinctoria Mats. or acid-sensitive species Medicago sativa L. as the target plants. Biomass was used to determine the optimal pH and to calculate the relative interaction index (RII). We found that the relationships between RII and the deviation of soil pH from the target's optimal pH were linear for both target species. Both targets were increasingly promoted by the neighbour as pH values deviated from their optima; neighbours benefitted target plants by promoting soil symbiotic arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, increasing soil organic matter or reducing soil exchangeable aluminium. Our results suggest that the shape of the curve describing the relationship between soil pH and facilitation/competition depends on the soil pH optima of the particular species. PMID:26740568

  1. Overexpression of the CC-type glutaredoxin, OsGRX6 affects hormone and nitrogen status in rice plants

    PubMed Central

    El-Kereamy, Ashraf; Bi, Yong-Mei; Mahmood, Kashif; Ranathunge, Kosala; Yaish, Mahmoud W.; Nambara, Eiji; Rothstein, Steven J.

    2015-01-01

    Glutaredoxins (GRXs) are small glutathione dependent oxidoreductases that belong to the Thioredoxin (TRX) superfamily and catalyze the reduction of disulfide bonds of their substrate proteins. Plant GRXs include three different groups based on the motif sequence, namely CPYC, CGFS, and CC-type proteins. The rice CC-type proteins, OsGRX6 was identified during the screening for genes whose expression changes depending on the level of available nitrate. Overexpression of OsGRX6 in rice displayed a semi-dwarf phenotype. The OsGRX6 overexpressors contain a higher nitrogen content than the wild type, indicating that OsGRX6 plays a role in homeostatic regulation of nitrogen use. Consistent with this, OsGRX6 overexpressors displayed delayed chlorophyll degradation and senescence compared to the wild type plants. To examine if the growth defect of these transgenic lines attribute to disturbed plant hormone actions, plant hormone levels were measured. The levels of two cytokinins (CKs), 2-isopentenyladenine and trans-zeatin, and gibberellin A1 (GA1) were increased in these lines. We also found that these transgenic lines were less sensitive to exogenously applied GA, suggesting that the increase in GA1 is a result of the feedback regulation. These data suggest that OsGRX6 affects hormone signaling and nitrogen status in rice plants. PMID:26579177

  2. Agave salmiana Plant Communities in Central Mexico as Affected by Commercial Use

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martínez Salvador, Martin; Mata-González, Ricardo; Morales Nieto, Carlos; Valdez-Cepeda, Ricardo

    2012-01-01

    Agave salmiana is a native plant species harvested for the commercial production of mezcal ( Agave spirits) in the highlands of central Mexico. The objective of this study was to identify vegetation changes in natural communities where A. salmiana has been differentially harvested for commercial purposes. Three plant community categories were identified in the state of Zacatecas based on their history of A. salmiana utilization: short (less than 10 years of use), moderate (about 25 years), and long (60 or more years). Species cover, composition, and density were evaluated in field surveys by use category. A gradient of vegetation structure of the communities parallels the duration of A. salmiana use. A. salmiana density was greatest (3,125 plants ha-1) in the short-use areas and less (892 plants ha-1) in the moderate-use areas, associated with markedly greater density of shrubs (200%) and Opuntia spp. (50%) in moderate-use areas. The main shrubs were Larrea tridentata, Mimosa biuncifera, Jatropha dioica and Buddleia scordioides while the main Opuntia species were Opuntia leucotricha and Opuntia robusta. A. salmiana density was least (652 plants ha-1) in the long-use areas where shrubs were less abundant but Opuntia spp. density was 25% higher than in moderate-use areas. We suggest that shrubs may increase with moderate use creating an intermediate successional stage that facilitates the establishment of Opuntia spp. Long-term Agave use is generating new plant communities dominated by Opuntia spp. (nopaleras) as a replacement of the original communities dominated by A. salmiana (magueyeras).

  3. Plant species diversity affects soil-atmosphere fluxes of methane and nitrous oxide.

    PubMed

    Niklaus, Pascal A; Le Roux, Xavier; Poly, Franck; Buchmann, Nina; Scherer-Lorenzen, Michael; Weigelt, Alexandra; Barnard, Romain L

    2016-07-01

    Plant diversity effects on ecosystem functioning can potentially interact with global climate by altering fluxes of the radiatively active trace gases nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane (CH4). We studied the effects of grassland species richness (1-16) in combination with application of fertilizer (nitrogen:phosphorus:potassium = 100:43.6:83 kg ha(-1) a(-1)) on N2O and CH4 fluxes in a long-term field experiment. Soil N2O emissions, measured over 2 years using static chambers, decreased with species richness unless fertilizer was added. N2O emissions increased with fertilization and the fraction of legumes in plant communities. Soil CH4 uptake, a process driven by methanotrophic bacteria, decreased with plant species numbers, irrespective of fertilization. Using structural equation models, we related trace gas fluxes to soil moisture, soil inorganic N concentrations, nitrifying and denitrifying enzyme activity, and the abundance of ammonia oxidizers, nitrite oxidizers, and denitrifiers (quantified by real-time PCR of gene fragments amplified from microbial DNA in soil). These analyses indicated that plant species richness increased soil moisture, which in turn increased N cycling-related activities. Enhanced N cycling increased N2O emission and soil CH4 uptake, with the latter possibly caused by removal of inhibitory ammonium by nitrification. The moisture-related indirect effects were surpassed by direct, moisture-independent effects opposite in direction. Microbial gene abundances responded positively to fertilizer but not to plant species richness. The response patterns we found were statistically robust and highlight the potential of plant biodiversity to interact with climatic change through mechanisms unrelated to carbon storage and associated carbon dioxide removal.

  4. Agave salmiana plant communities in central Mexico as affected by commercial use.

    PubMed

    Martínez Salvador, Martin; Mata-González, Ricardo; Morales Nieto, Carlos; Valdez-Cepeda, Ricardo

    2012-01-01

    Agave salmiana is a native plant species harvested for the commercial production of mezcal (Agave spirits) in the highlands of central Mexico. The objective of this study was to identify vegetation changes in natural communities where A. salmiana has been differentially harvested for commercial purposes. Three plant community categories were identified in the state of Zacatecas based on their history of A. salmiana utilization: short (less than 10 years of use), moderate (about 25 years), and long (60 or more years). Species cover, composition, and density were evaluated in field surveys by use category. A gradient of vegetation structure of the communities parallels the duration of A. salmiana use. A. salmiana density was greatest (3,125 plants ha(-1)) in the short-use areas and less (892 plants ha(-1)) in the moderate-use areas, associated with markedly greater density of shrubs (200%) and Opuntia spp. (50%) in moderate-use areas. The main shrubs were Larrea tridentata, Mimosa biuncifera, Jatropha dioica and Buddleia scordioides while the main Opuntia species were Opuntia leucotricha and Opuntia robusta. A. salmiana density was least (652 plants ha(-1)) in the long-use areas where shrubs were less abundant but Opuntia spp. density was 25% higher than in moderate-use areas. We suggest that shrubs may increase with moderate use creating an intermediate successional stage that facilitates the establishment of Opuntia spp. Long-term Agave use is generating new plant communities dominated by Opuntia spp. (nopaleras) as a replacement of the original communities dominated by A. salmiana (magueyeras).

  5. Plant waxy bloom on peas affects infection of pea aphids by Pandora neoaphidis.

    PubMed

    Duetting, Patrick S; Ding, Hongjian; Neufeld, Jeffrey; Eigenbrode, Sanford D

    2003-11-01

    This study examined the effects of the surface wax bloom of pea plants, Pisum sativum, on infection of pea aphids, Acyrthosiphon pisum, by the fungal pathogen Pandora neoaphidis. In prior field surveys, a higher proportion of P. neoaphidis-killed pea aphids (cadavers) had been observed on a pea line with reduced wax bloom, as compared with a sister line with normal surface wax bloom. Laboratory bioassays were conducted in order to examine the mechanisms. After plants of each line infested with aphids were exposed to similar densities of conidia, the rate of accumulation of cadavers on the reduced wax line was significantly greater than on the normal wax bloom line; at the end of the experiment (13d), the proportion of aphid cadavers on the reduced wax line was approximately four times that on the normal wax bloom line. When plants were exposed to conidia first and then infested with aphids, the rate of accumulation of cadavers was slightly but significantly greater on the reduced wax line, and infection at the end of the experiment (16d) did not differ between the lines. When aphids were exposed first and then released onto the plants, no differences in the proportion of aphid cadavers were observed between the pea lines. Greater infection of pea aphid on reduced wax peas appears to depend upon plants being exposed to inoculum while aphids are settled in typical feeding positions on the plant. Additional experiments demonstrated increased adhesion and germination by P. neoaphidis conidia to leaf surfaces of the reduced wax line as compared with normal wax line, and this could help explain the higher infection rate by P. neoaphidis on the reduced wax line. In bioassays using surface waxes extracted from the two lines, there was no effect of wax source on germination of P. neoaphidis conidia.

  6. Study of Plant Cell Wall Polymers Affected by Metal Accumulation Using Stimulated Raman Scattering Microscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Ding, Shi-You

    2015-03-02

    This project aims to employ newly-developed chemical imaging techniques to measure, in real-time, the concentration, dynamics and spatial distribution of plant cell wall polymers during biomass growth with inoculation of transgenic symbiotic fungi, and to explore a new pathway of delivering detoxified metal to plant apoplast using transgenic symbiotic fungi, which will enhance metal accumulation from soil, and potentially these metals may in turn be used as catalysts to improve the efficiency of biomass conversion to biofuels. The proposed new pathway of biomass production will: 1) benefit metal and radionuclide contaminant mobility in subsurface environments, and 2) potentially improve biomass production and process for bioenergy

  7. Nitrogen fertilization and plant growth promoting rhizobacteria treatments affected amino acid content of cabbage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dursun, Atilla; Yildirim, Ertan; Ekinci, Melek; Turan, Metin; Kul, Raziye; Karagöz, Fazilet P.

    2017-04-01

    This study was designed to determine the influence of a nitrogen fixing plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) inoculation (seed coating and seedling dipping) and 6 doses of nitrogen (0, 40, 80, 120, 160, 200 kg ha-1) application on amino acid contents of cabbage. Coating and seedling dipping applications caused a significant increase in values histidine, glycine, thionin, arginine and alanine of cabbage. Highest glutamate, serine, asparagines and glutamine contents were obtained from 160-200 kg ha-1 nitrogen dose applied plants. As a result, the use of bacteria treatments provides means of improving amino acid contents in cabbage.

  8. Quantifying how fine-grained environmental heterogeneity and genetic variation affect demography in an annual plant population.

    PubMed

    Latimer, Andrew M; Jacobs, Brooke S

    2012-11-01

    The ability of plant species to colonize new habitats and persist in changing environments depends on their ability to respond plastically to environmental variation and on the presence of genetic variation, thus allowing adaptation to new conditions. For invasive species in particular, the relationship between phenotypic trait expression, demography, and the quantitative genetic variation that is available to respond to selection are likely to be important determinants of the successful establishment and persistence of populations. However, the magnitude and sources of individual demographic variation in exotic plant populations remain poorly understood. How important is plasticity versus adaptability in populations of invasive species? Among environmental factors, is temperature, soil nutrients, or competition most influential, and at what scales and life stages do they affect the plants? To investigate these questions we planted seeds of the exotic annual plant Erodium brachycarpum into typical pasture habitat in a spatially nested design. Seeds were drawn from 30 inbred lines to enable quantification of genetic effects. Despite a positive population growth rate, a few plants (0.1 %) produced >50 % of the seeds, suggesting a low effective population size. Emergence and early growth varied by genotype, but as in previous studies on native plants, environmental effects greatly exceeded genetic effects, and survival was unrelated to genotype. Environmental influences shifted from microscale soil compaction and litter depth at emergence through to larger-scale soil nutrient gradients during growth and to competition during later survival and seed production. Temperature had no effect. Most demographic rates were positively correlated, but emergence was negatively correlated with other rates.

  9. CO2, Temperature, and Soil Moisture Interactions Affect NDVI and Reproductive Phenology in Old-Field Plant Communities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Engel, C.; Weltzin, J.; Norby, R.

    2004-12-01

    Plant community composition and ecosystem function may be altered by global atmospheric and climate change, including increased atmospheric [CO2], temperature, and varying precipitation regimes. We are conducting an experiment at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) utilizing open-top chambers to administer experimental treatments of elevated CO2 (+300 ppm), warming (+ 3 degrees Celsius), and varying soil moisture availability to experimental plant communities constructed of seven common old-field species, including C3 and C4 grasses, forbs, and legumes. During 2004 we monitored plant community phenology (NDVI) and plant reproductive phenology. Early in the year, NDVI was greater in wet treatment plots, and was unaffected by main effects of temperature or CO2. This result suggests that early in the season warming is insufficient to affect early canopy development. Differences in soil moisture sustained throughout the winter and into early spring may constitute an important control on early canopy greenup. Elevated CO2 alleviated detrimental effects of warming on NDVI, but only early in the season. As ambient temperatures increased, elevated temperatures negatively impacted NDVI only in the dry plots. Wetter conditions ameliorate the effects of warming on canopy greenness during the warmer seasons of the year. Warming increased rates of bolting, number of inflorescences, and time to reproductive maturity for Andropogon virginicus (a C4 bunchgrass). Solidago Canadensis (a C3 late-season forb) also produced flowers earlier in elevated temperatures. Conversely, none of the C3 grasses and forbs that bolt or flower in late spring or early summer responded to temperature or CO2. Results indicate that warming and drought may impact plant community phenology, and plant species reproductive phenology. Clearly community phenology is driven by complex interactions among temperature, water, and CO2 that change throughout the season. Our data stresses the importance of

  10. Plant spacing and weed control affect sunflower stalk insects and the girdling behavior of Dectes texanus (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae).

    PubMed

    Michaud, J P; Stahlman, P W; Jyoti, J L; Grant, A K

    2009-06-01

    We conducted a 2-yr study to determine the effects of crop density and weeds on levels of damage caused by stalk-boring insects in rain-fed sunflowers in west-central Kansas. Weed-free sunflower had higher seed weight and oil content in 2007, but not in 2006, but weeds did not affect infestation by stalk-boring insects in either year. High-density sunflower had lower estimated seed yield per unit area than low-density sunflower in both years, but percentage oil was slightly greater in the high-density treatment in 2006. Sunflowers were more heavily infested by larvae of Ataxia hubbardi Fisher, Cylindrocopturus adspersus (Leconte), and Pelochrista womanana (Kearfott) in 2006 than in 2007, ostensibly as a result of being planted earlier. Larvae of Dectes texanus LeConte appeared unaffected by planting date and were present in > 70% of plants in both years. Conditions during the period of crop maturity were much drier in 2006 than in 2007 and were associated with higher seed oil content and earlier and faster progression of stalk girdling by D. texanus larvae in both low- and high-density plots. There was also a strong effect of plant density on girdling behavior that seemed to be mediated by effects on soil moisture. Stalk girdling began earlier in high-density plots and a larger proportion of plants were girdled compared with low-density plots on all sampling dates in both years. Certain cultural tactics, in particular reduced plant spacing, have potential to delay the onset of girdling behavior by D. texanus larvae and thus mitigate losses that otherwise result from the lodging of girdled plants.

  11. Atmospheric CO2 level affects plants' carbon use efficiency: insights from a 13C labeling experiment on sunflower stands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gong, Xiaoying; Schäufele, Rudi; Schnyder, Hans

    2015-04-01

    The increase of atmospheric CO2 concentration has been shown to stimulate plant photosynthesis and (to a lesser extent) growth, thereby acting as a possible sink for the additional atmospheric CO2. However, this effect is dependent on the efficiency with which plants convert atmospheric carbon into biomass carbon, since a considerable proportion of assimilated carbon is returned to the atmosphere via plant respiration. As a core parameter for carbon cycling, carbon use efficiency of plants (CUE, the ratio of net primary production to gross primary production) quantifies the proportion of assimilated carbon that is incorporated into plant biomass. CUE has rarely been assessed based on measurements of complete carbon balance, due to methodological difficulties in measuring respiration rate of plants in light. Moreover, foliar respiration is known to be inhibited in light, thus foliar respiration rate is generally lower in light than in dark. However, this phenomenon, termed as inhibition of respiration in light (IRL), has rarely been assessed at the stand-scale and been incorporated into the calculation of CUE. Therefore, how CUE responses to atmospheric CO2 levels is still not clear. We studied CUE of sunflower stands grown at sub-ambient CO2 level (200 μmol mol-1) and elevated CO2 level (1000 μmol mol-1) using mesocosm-scale gas exchange facilities which enabled continuous measurements of 13CO2/12CO2 exchange. Appling steady-state 13C labeling, fluxes of respiration and photosynthesis in light were separated, and tracer kinetic in respiration was analyzed. This study provides the first data on CUE at a mesocosm-level including respiration in light in different CO2 environments. We found that CUE of sunflower was lower at an elevated CO2 level than at a sub-ambient CO2 level; and the ignorance of IRL lead to erroneous estimations of CUE. Variation in CUE at atmospheric CO2 levels was attributed to several mechanisms. In this study, CO2 enrichment i) affected the

  12. Six-year growth of Eucalyptus saligna plantings as affected by nitrogen and phosphorous fertilizer

    Treesearch

    Craig D. Whitesell; Dean S. DeBell; Thomas H. Schubert

    1987-01-01

    Growth responses of Eucalyptus saligna to nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) fertilizers were assessed in bioenergy plantations on abandoned sugarcane land in Hawaii. Fertilizers were applied three times (0, 6, and 15 months after planting) in a factorial design with four dosages each of N (0, 25, 50, and 75 g urea per tree) and P (0, 30, 60, and 90 g...

  13. From lifting to planting: Root dip treatments affect survival of loblolly pine (Pinus taeda)

    Treesearch

    Tom E. Starkey; David B. South

    2009-01-01

    Hydrogels and clay slurries are the materials most commonly applied to roots of pines in the southern United States. Most nursery managers believe such applications offer a form of "insurance" against excessive exposure during planting. The objective of this study was to examine the ability of root dip treatments to: (1) support fungal growth; and (2) protect...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  15. Statistical analysis on the factors affecting agricultural landowners’ willingness to enroll in a tree planting program

    Treesearch

    Taeyoung Kim; Christian. Langpap

    2015-01-01

    This report provides a statistical analysis of the data collected from two survey regions of the United States, the Pacific Northwest and the Southeast. The survey asked about individual agricultural landowners’ characteristics, characteristics of their land, and the landowners’ willingness to enroll in a tree planting program under incentive payments for carbon...

  16. Desiccation of sediments affects assimilate transport within aquatic plants and carbon transfer to microorganisms.

    PubMed

    von Rein, I; Kayler, Z E; Premke, K; Gessler, A

    2016-11-01

    With the projected increase in drought duration and intensity in future, small water bodies, and especially the terrestrial-aquatic interfaces, will be subjected to longer dry periods with desiccation of the sediment. Drought effects on the plant-sediment microorganism carbon continuum may disrupt the tight linkage between plants and microbes which governs sediment carbon and nutrient cycling, thus having a potential negative impact on carbon sequestration of small freshwater ecosystems. However, research on drought effects on the plant-sediment carbon transfer in aquatic ecosystems is scarce. We therefore exposed two emergent aquatic macrophytes, Phragmites australis and Typha latifolia, to a month-long summer drought in a mesocosm experiment. We followed the fate of carbon from leaves to sediment microbial communities with (13) CO2 pulse labelling and microbial phospholipid-derived fatty acid (PLFA) analysis. We found that drought reduced the total amount of carbon allocated to stem tissues but did not delay the transport. We also observed an increase in accumulation of (13) C-labelled sugars in roots and found a reduced incorporation of (13) C into the PLFAs of sediment microorganisms. Drought induced a switch in plant carbon allocation priorities, where stems received less new assimilates leading to reduced starch reserves whilst roots were prioritised with new assimilates, suggesting their use for osmoregulation. There were indications that the reduced carbon transfer from roots to microorganisms was due to the reduction of microbial activity via direct drought effects rather than to a decrease in root exudation or exudate availability.

  17. Mercury Concentrations in Plant Tissues as Affected by FGDG Application to Soil

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Flue Gas Desulfurization Gypsum (FGDG) is produced by reducing sulfur dioxide emissions from themo-electric coal-fired power plants. The most common practice of FGDG production may trap some of the Mercury (Hg) present in the coal that normally would escape as vapor in the stack gases. Concern for t...

  18. Molecular analyses of nuclear-cytoplasmic interactions affecting plant growth and yield. Final technical report

    SciTech Connect

    Newton, K.J.

    1998-11-01

    Mitochondria have a central role in the production of cellular energy. The biogenesis and functioning of mitochondria depends on the expression of both mitochondrial and nuclear genes. One approach to investigating the role of nuclear-mitochondrial cooperation in plant growth and development is to identify combinations of nuclear and mitochondrial genomes that result in altered but sublethal phenotypes. Plants that have certain maize nuclear genotypes in combination with cytoplasmic genomes from more distantly-related teosintes can exhibit incompatible phenotypes, such as reduced plant growth and yield and cytoplasmic male sterility, as well as altered mitochondrial gene expression. The characterization of these nuclear-cytoplasmic interactions was the focus of this grant. The authors were investigating the effects of two maize nuclear genes, RcmI and Mct, on mitochondrial function and gene expression. Plants with the teosinte cytoplasms and homozygous for the recessive rcm allele are small (miniature) and-slow-growing and the kernels are reduced in size. The authors mapped this locus to molecular markers on chromosome 7 and attempted to clone this locus by transposon tagging. The effects of the nuclear-cytoplasmic interaction on mitochondrial function and mitochondrial protein profiles were also studied.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  20. Mid-South Soybean Yield and Net Returns as Affected by Plant Population and Row Spacing

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Traditionally grown maturity group (MG) V and VI, and more recently adapted MG IV soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] cultivars, are subject to late-season drought conditions in the Midsouthern United States when planted in mid-May resulting in yield limitations. Thus, the use of earlier maturing culti...

  1. Will global warming affect soil-to-plant transfer of radionuclides?

    PubMed

    Dowdall, M; Standring, W; Shaw, G; Strand, P

    2008-11-01

    Recent assessments of global climate/environmental change are reaching a consensus that global climate change is occurring but there is significant uncertainty over the likely magnitude of this change and its impacts. There is little doubt that all aspects of the natural environment will be impacted to some degree. Soil-to-plant transfer of radionuclides has long been a significant topic in radioecology, both for the protection of humans and the environment from the effects of ionising radiation. Even after five decades of research considerable uncertainty exists as to the interplay of key environmental processes in controlling soil-plant transfer. As many of these processes are, to a lesser or greater extent, climate-dependent, it can be argued that climate/environmental change will impact soil-to-plant transfer of radionuclides and subsequent transfers in specific environments. This discussion attempts to highlight the possible role of climatic and climate-dependent variables in soil-to-plant transfer processes within the overall predictions of climate/environmental change. The work is speculative, and intended to stimulate debate on a theme that radioecology has either ignored or avoided in recent years.

  2. Are native songbird populations affected by non-native plant invasion?

    Treesearch

    Amanda M. Conover; Christopher K. Williams; Vincent. D' Amico

    2011-01-01

    Development into forested areas is occurring rapidly across the United States, and many of the remnant forests within suburban landscapes are being fragmented into smaller patches, impacting the quality of this habitat for avian species. An ecological effect linked to forest fragmentation is the invasion of non-native plants into the ecosystem.

  3. Plant radiation history affects community assembly: evidence from the New Zealand alpine.

    PubMed

    Lee, William G; Tanentzap, Andrew J; Heenan, Peter B

    2012-08-23

    The hypothesis that early plant radiations on islands dampen diversification and reduce habitat occupancy of later radiations via niche pre-emption has never, to our knowledge, been tested. We investigated clade-level dynamics in plant radiations in the alpine zone, New Zealand. Our aim was to determine whether radiations from older colonizations influenced diversification and community dominance of species from later colonizations within a common bioclimatic zone over the past ca 10 Myr. We used stem ages derived from the phylogenies of 17 genera represented in alpine plant communities in the Murchison Mountains, Fiordland, and assessed their presence and cover in 262 (5 × 5 m) vegetation plots. Our results show clear age-related community assembly effects, whereby congenerics from older colonizing genera co-occur more frequently and with greater cover per unit area than those from younger colonizing genera. However, we find no evidence of increased species richness with age of colonization in the alpine zone. The data support priority effects via niche pre-emption among plant radiations influencing community assembly.

  4. The mustard trypsin inhibitor 2 affects the fertility of Spodoptera littoralis larvae fed on transgenic plants.

    PubMed

    De Leo, F; Gallerani, R

    2002-05-01

    The effects of mustard trypsin inhibitor MTI-2 expressed at different levels in transgenic tobacco lines have been evaluated by feeding the lepidopteran Spodoptera littoralis throughout its larval life. Specific conditions were selected to study the long-term effects of feeding larvae on transgenic plants expressing the inhibitor at various levels. The data obtained led to the establishment of three relevant parameters to be considered during the experimentation: (i) the PI content of the plant lines to be used; (ii) the developmental stage of larvae sensitive to that PI content; (iii) the ratio of MTI-2/proteases sufficient to inhibit gut proteases. The experimental data obtained from feeding S. littoralis larvae using these conditions led to two main results. First, when L2 S. littoralis larvae were fed on high MTI-2 expressing tobacco plants, no effects on larval development were detected but there was a significantly reduced fertility. When the same larvae were fed on low expressing MTI-2 tobacco plants, only a less marked lowering of fertility was observed. Second, after the first generation, no differences in protease activity were observed in insects derived from larvae fed on high or low MTI-2 expressing tobacco lines, suggesting that genetic traits observed in previous studies were not inherited.

  5. Drying and storage methods affect cyfluthrin concentrations in exposed plant samples

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Standard procedures exist for collection and chemical analyses of pyrethroid insecticides in environmental matrices. However, less detail is given for drying and potential storage methods of plant samples prior to analyses. Due to equipment and financial limitations, immediate sample analysis is n...

  6. Plant sterol consumption frequency affects plasma lipid levels and cholesterol kinetics in humans

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Background/Objectives: To compare the efficacy of single versus multiple doses of plant sterols on circulating lipid level and cholesterol trafficking. Subjects/Methods: A randomized, placebo-controlled, three-phase (6 days/phase) crossover, supervised feeding trial was conducted in 19 subjects. Sub...

  7. Plant Defense Inhibitors Affect the Structures of Midgut Cells in Drosophila melanogaster and Callosobruchus maculatus.

    PubMed

    Li-Byarlay, Hongmei; Pittendrigh, Barry R; Murdock, Larry L

    2016-01-01

    Plants produce proteins such as protease inhibitors and lectins as defenses against herbivorous insects and pathogens. However, no systematic studies have explored the structural responses in the midguts of insects when challenged with plant defensive proteins and lectins across different species. In this study, we fed two kinds of protease inhibitors and lectins to the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster and alpha-amylase inhibitors and lectins to the cowpea bruchid Callosobruchus maculatus. We assessed the changes in midgut cell structures by comparing them with such structures in insects receiving normal diets or subjected to food deprivation. Using light and transmission electron microscopy in both species, we observed structural changes in the midgut peritrophic matrix as well as shortened microvilli on the surfaces of midgut epithelial cells in D. melanogaster. Dietary inhibitors and lectins caused similar lesions in the epithelial cells but not much change in the peritrophic matrix in both species. We also noted structural damages in the Drosophila midgut after six hours of starvation and changes were still present after 12 hours. Our study provided the first evidence of key structural changes of midguts using a comparative approach between a dipteran and a coleopteran. Our particular observation and discussion on plant-insect interaction and dietary stress are relevant for future mode of action studies of plant defensive protein in insect physiology.

  8. Is gene activity in plant cells affected by UMTS-irradiation? A whole genome approach

    PubMed Central

    Engelmann, Julia C; Deeken, Rosalia; Müller, Tobias; Nimtz, Günter; Roelfsema, M Rob G; Hedrich, Rainer

    2008-01-01

    Mobile phone technology makes use of radio frequency (RF) electromagnetic fields transmitted through a dense network of base stations in Europe. Possible harmful effects of RF fields on humans and animals are discussed, but their effect on plants has received little attention. In search for physiological processes of plant cells sensitive to RF fields, cell suspension cultures of Arabidopsis thaliana were exposed for 24 h to a RF field protocol representing typical microwave exposition in an urban environment. mRNA of exposed cultures and controls was used to hybridize Affymetrix-ATH1 whole genome microarrays. Differential expression analysis revealed significant changes in transcription of 10 genes, but they did not exceed a fold change of 2.5. Besides that 3 of them are dark-inducible, their functions do not point to any known responses of plants to environmental stimuli. The changes in transcription of these genes were compared with published microarray datasets and revealed a weak similarity of the microwave to light treatment experiments. Considering the large changes described in published experiments, it is questionable if the small alterations caused by a 24 h continuous microwave exposure would have any impact on the growth and reproduction of whole plants. PMID:21918607

  9. Artificial elevation of glutathione affects symptom development in ZYMV-infected Cucurbita pepo L. plants.

    PubMed

    Zechmann, B; Zellnig, G; Urbanek-Krajnc, A; Müller, M

    2007-01-01

    Styrian oil pumpkin seedlings (Cucurbita pepo L. subsp. pepo var. styriaca GREB: .) were treated for 48 h with 1 mM OTC (L-2-oxothiazolidine-4-carboxylic acid) in order to artificially increase cellular glutathione content. They were inoculated with zucchini yellow mosaic virus (ZYMV) 10 days later. The effects of OTC treatment and ZYMV infection on glutathione levels were examined at the subcellular level by immunogold labeling of glutathione using a transmission electron microscope (TEM). These effects were further tested at the whole-tissue level by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Such tests were carried out a) on roots, cotyledons and the first true leaves immediately after OTC treatment in order to analyze to which extent OTC increases glutathione levels in different cell compartments as well as in the whole organ; and b) in older and younger leaves and in roots three weeks after ZYMV inoculation in order to study how possible effects of OTC on symptom development would correlate with glutathione levels at the subcellular level and in the whole organ. Immunocytological and biochemical investigations revealed that, 48 h after OTC treatment, glutathione content had increased in all investigated organs, up to 144% in peroxisomes of cotyledons. Three weeks after ZYMV inoculation, glutathione labeling density had significantly increased within intact cells of infected leaves, up to 124% in the cytosol of younger leaves. Roots showed decreased amounts of glutathione in the TEM. Biochemical studies revealed that OTC treatment resulted in 41 and 51% higher glutathione content in older and younger ZYMV-infected leaves, respectively, in comparison to untreated and ZYMV-infected plants. Evaluation of symptom development at this point revealed that all untreated ZYMV-infected plants had symptoms, whereas only 42% of OTC-treated ZYMV-infected plants showed signs of symptoms. Quantification of ZYMV particles revealed that all organs of OTC-treated and ZYMV

  10. Trichobaris weevils distinguish amongst toxic host plants by sensing volatiles that do not affect larval performance.

    PubMed

    Lee, Gisuk; Joo, Youngsung; Diezel, Celia; Lee, Eun Ju; Baldwin, Ian T; Kim, Sang-Gyu

    2016-07-01

    Herbivorous insects use plant metabolites to inform their host plant selection for oviposition. These host-selection behaviours are often consistent with the preference-performance hypothesis; females oviposit on hosts that maximize the performance of their offspring. However, the metabolites used for these oviposition choices and those responsible for differences in offspring performance remain unknown for ecologically relevant interactions. Here, we examined the host-selection behaviours of two sympatric weevils, the Datura (Trichobaris compacta) and tobacco (T. mucorea) weevils in field and glasshouse experiments with transgenic host plants specifically altered in different components of their secondary metabolism. Adult females of both species strongly preferred to feed on D. wrightii rather than on N. attenuata leaves, but T. mucorea preferred to oviposit on N. attenuata, while T. compacta oviposited only on D. wrightii. These oviposition behaviours increased offspring performance: T. compacta larvae only survived in D. wrightii stems and T. mucorea larvae survived better in N. attenuata than in D. wrightii stems. Choice assays with nicotine-free, JA-impaired, and sesquiterpene-over-produced isogenic N. attenuata plants revealed that although half of the T. compacta larvae survived in nicotine-free N. attenuata lines, nicotine did not influence the oviposition behaviours of both the nicotine-adapted and nicotine-sensitive species. JA-induced sesquiterpene volatiles are key compounds influencing T. mucorea females' oviposition choices, but these sesquiterpenes had no effect on larval performance. We conclude that adult females are able to choose the best host plant for their offspring and use chemicals different from those that influence larval performance to inform their oviposition decisions. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. The town Crepis and the country Crepis: How does fragmentation affect a plant-pollinator interaction?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andrieu, Emilie; Dornier, Antoine; Rouifed, Soraya; Schatz, Bertrand; Cheptou, Pierre-Olivier

    2009-01-01

    In fragmented habitats, one cause of the decrease of plant diversity and abundance is the disruption of plant-animal interactions, and in particular plant-pollinator interactions. Since habitat fragmentation acts both on pollinator behaviour and plant reproduction, its consequences for the stability of such interactions are complex. An extreme case of habitat fragmentation occurs in urbanised areas where suitable habitat (in the present study small patches around ornamental trees) is embedded in a highly unsuitable environment (concrete matrix). Based on simple experiments, we ask whether pollinators can adapt their foraging behaviour in response to the amount of available resources (flowers) in the fragments and their isolation, as predicted by the optimal foraging theory. To do so we analysed the effect of fragmentation on the behaviour of pollinators visiting Crepis sancta (L.) Bornm. (Asteraceae), which forms large populations in the countryside and patchy populations in urban environments. More precisely we studied pollinator visitation rates, capitulum visit durations, capitulum search durations and capitulum size choice. Pollinators chose larger capitula in both types of populations and their foraging behaviour differed between the two population types in three ways: (1) pollinator visits were lower in urban fragmented populations, perhaps due to the lower accessibility of urban patches; (2) capitulum visit durations were longer in urban fragmented populations, a possible compensation of energy lost during flights among patches; and (3) capitulum search durations where longer in urban fragmented populations, which may represent an increase in capitulum prospecting effort. We discuss the possible impacts of such differences for plant population functioning in the two types of populations.

  12. Environmental Growth Conditions of Trichoderma spp. Affects Indole Acetic Acid Derivatives, Volatile Organic Compounds, and Plant Growth Promotion

    PubMed Central

    Nieto-Jacobo, Maria F.; Steyaert, Johanna M.; Salazar-Badillo, Fatima B.; Nguyen, Dianne Vi; Rostás, Michael; Braithwaite, Mark; De Souza, Jorge T.; Jimenez-Bremont, Juan F.; Ohkura, Mana; Stewart, Alison

    2017-01-01

    Trichoderma species are soil-borne filamentous fungi widely utilized for their many plant health benefits, such as conferring improved growth, disease resistance and abiotic stress tolerance to their hosts. Many Trichoderma species are able to produce the auxin phytohormone indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), and its production has been suggested to promote root growth. Here we show that the production of IAA is strain dependent and diverse external stimuli are associated with its production. In in vitro assays, Arabidopsis primary root length was negatively affected by the interaction with some Trichoderma strains. In soil experiments, a continuum effect on plant growth was shown and this was also strain dependent. In plate assays, some strains of Trichoderma spp. inhibited the expression of the auxin reporter gene DR5 in Arabidopsis primary roots but not secondary roots. When Trichoderma spp. and A. thaliana were physically separated, enhancement of both shoot and root biomass, increased root production and chlorophyll content were observed, which strongly suggested that volatile production by the fungus influenced the parameters analyzed. Trichoderma strains T. virens Gv29.8, T. atroviride IMI206040, T. sp. “atroviride B” LU132, and T. asperellum LU1370 were demonstrated to promote plant growth through volatile production. However, contrasting differences were observed with LU1370 which had a negative effect on plant growth in soil but a positive effect in plate assays. Altogether our results suggest that the mechanisms and molecules involved in plant growth promotion by Trichoderma spp. are multivariable and are affected by the environmental conditions. PMID:28232840

  13. Shifts in Plant Assemblages Reduce the Richness of Galling Insects Across Edge-Affected Habitats in the Atlantic Forest.

    PubMed

    Souza, Danielle G; Santos, Jean C; Oliveira, Marcondes A; Tabarelli, Marcelo

    2016-10-01

    Impacts of habitat loss and fragmentation on specialist herbivores have been rarely addressed. Here we examine the structure of plant and galling insect assemblages in a fragmented landscape of the Atlantic forest to verify a potential impoverishment of these assemblages mediated by edge effects. Saplings and galling insects were recorded once within a 0.1-ha area at habitat level, covering forest interior stands, forest edges, and small fragments. A total of 1,769 saplings from 219 tree species were recorded across all three habitats, with differences in terms of sapling abundance and species richness. Additionally, edge-affected habitats exhibited reduced rich