Science.gov

Sample records for agricultural plant species

  1. Areas of Increasing Agricultural Abandonment Overlap the Distribution of Previously Common, Currently Threatened Plant Species

    PubMed Central

    Osawa, Takeshi; Kohyama, Kazunori; Mitsuhashi, Hiromune

    2013-01-01

    Human-driven land-use changes increasingly threaten biodiversity. In agricultural ecosystems, abandonment of former farmlands constitutes a major land-use shift. We examined the relationships between areas in which agriculture has been abandoned and the distribution records of threatened plant species across Japan. We selected 23 plant species that are currently identified as threatened but were previously common in the country as indicators of threatened plant species. The areas of abandoned farmlands within the distribution ranges of the indicator species were significantly larger than the proportion of abandoned farmland area across the whole country. Also, abandoned farmland areas were positively correlated with the occurrence of indicator species. Therefore, sections of agricultural landscape that are increasingly becoming abandoned and the distribution ranges of indicator species overlapped. These results suggest that abandoned farmland areas contain degraded or preferred habitats of threatened plant species. We propose that areas experiencing increased abandonment of farmland can be divided into at least two categories: those that threaten the existence of threatened species and those that provide habitats for these threatened species. PMID:24260328

  2. Historic Mining and Agriculture as Indicators of Occurrence and Abundance of Widespread Invasive Plant Species

    PubMed Central

    Calinger, Kellen; Calhoon, Elisabeth; Chang, Hsiao-chi; Whitacre, James; Wenzel, John; Comita, Liza; Queenborough, Simon

    2015-01-01

    Anthropogenic disturbances often change ecological communities and provide opportunities for non-native species invasion. Understanding the impacts of disturbances on species invasion is therefore crucial for invasive species management. We used generalized linear mixed effects models to explore the influence of land-use history and distance to roads on the occurrence and abundance of two invasive plant species (Rosa multiflora and Berberis thunbergii) in a 900-ha deciduous forest in the eastern U.S.A., the Powdermill Nature Reserve. Although much of the reserve has been continuously forested since at least 1939, aerial photos revealed a variety of land-uses since then including agriculture, mining, logging, and development. By 2008, both R. multiflora and B. thunbergii were widespread throughout the reserve (occurring in 24% and 13% of 4417 10-m diameter regularly-placed vegetation plots, respectively) with occurrence and abundance of each varying significantly with land-use history. Rosa multiflora was more likely to occur in historically farmed, mined, logged or developed plots than in plots that remained forested, (log odds of 1.8 to 3.0); Berberis thunbergii was more likely to occur in plots with agricultural, mining, or logging history than in plots without disturbance (log odds of 1.4 to 2.1). Mining, logging, and agriculture increased the probability that R. multiflora had >10% cover while only past agriculture was related to cover of B. thunbergii. Proximity to roads was positively correlated with the occurrence of R. multiflora (a 0.26 increase in the log odds for every 1-m closer) but not B. thunbergii, and roads had no impact on the abundance of either species. Our results indicated that a wide variety of disturbances may aid the introduction of invasive species into new habitats, while high-impact disturbances such as agriculture and mining increase the likelihood of high abundance post-introduction. PMID:26046534

  3. Historic Mining and Agriculture as Indicators of Occurrence and Abundance of Widespread Invasive Plant Species.

    PubMed

    Calinger, Kellen; Calhoon, Elisabeth; Chang, Hsiao-Chi; Whitacre, James; Wenzel, John; Comita, Liza; Queenborough, Simon

    2015-01-01

    Anthropogenic disturbances often change ecological communities and provide opportunities for non-native species invasion. Understanding the impacts of disturbances on species invasion is therefore crucial for invasive species management. We used generalized linear mixed effects models to explore the influence of land-use history and distance to roads on the occurrence and abundance of two invasive plant species (Rosa multiflora and Berberis thunbergii) in a 900-ha deciduous forest in the eastern U.S.A., the Powdermill Nature Reserve. Although much of the reserve has been continuously forested since at least 1939, aerial photos revealed a variety of land-uses since then including agriculture, mining, logging, and development. By 2008, both R. multiflora and B. thunbergii were widespread throughout the reserve (occurring in 24% and 13% of 4417 10-m diameter regularly-placed vegetation plots, respectively) with occurrence and abundance of each varying significantly with land-use history. Rosa multiflora was more likely to occur in historically farmed, mined, logged or developed plots than in plots that remained forested, (log odds of 1.8 to 3.0); Berberis thunbergii was more likely to occur in plots with agricultural, mining, or logging history than in plots without disturbance (log odds of 1.4 to 2.1). Mining, logging, and agriculture increased the probability that R. multiflora had >10% cover while only past agriculture was related to cover of B. thunbergii. Proximity to roads was positively correlated with the occurrence of R. multiflora (a 0.26 increase in the log odds for every 1-m closer) but not B. thunbergii, and roads had no impact on the abundance of either species. Our results indicated that a wide variety of disturbances may aid the introduction of invasive species into new habitats, while high-impact disturbances such as agriculture and mining increase the likelihood of high abundance post-introduction. PMID:26046534

  4. Historic Mining and Agriculture as Indicators of Occurrence and Abundance of Widespread Invasive Plant Species.

    PubMed

    Calinger, Kellen; Calhoon, Elisabeth; Chang, Hsiao-Chi; Whitacre, James; Wenzel, John; Comita, Liza; Queenborough, Simon

    2015-01-01

    Anthropogenic disturbances often change ecological communities and provide opportunities for non-native species invasion. Understanding the impacts of disturbances on species invasion is therefore crucial for invasive species management. We used generalized linear mixed effects models to explore the influence of land-use history and distance to roads on the occurrence and abundance of two invasive plant species (Rosa multiflora and Berberis thunbergii) in a 900-ha deciduous forest in the eastern U.S.A., the Powdermill Nature Reserve. Although much of the reserve has been continuously forested since at least 1939, aerial photos revealed a variety of land-uses since then including agriculture, mining, logging, and development. By 2008, both R. multiflora and B. thunbergii were widespread throughout the reserve (occurring in 24% and 13% of 4417 10-m diameter regularly-placed vegetation plots, respectively) with occurrence and abundance of each varying significantly with land-use history. Rosa multiflora was more likely to occur in historically farmed, mined, logged or developed plots than in plots that remained forested, (log odds of 1.8 to 3.0); Berberis thunbergii was more likely to occur in plots with agricultural, mining, or logging history than in plots without disturbance (log odds of 1.4 to 2.1). Mining, logging, and agriculture increased the probability that R. multiflora had >10% cover while only past agriculture was related to cover of B. thunbergii. Proximity to roads was positively correlated with the occurrence of R. multiflora (a 0.26 increase in the log odds for every 1-m closer) but not B. thunbergii, and roads had no impact on the abundance of either species. Our results indicated that a wide variety of disturbances may aid the introduction of invasive species into new habitats, while high-impact disturbances such as agriculture and mining increase the likelihood of high abundance post-introduction.

  5. Screening of different Trichoderma species against agriculturally important foliar plant pathogens.

    PubMed

    Prabhakaran, Narayanasamy; Prameeladevi, Thokala; Sathiyabama, Muthukrishnan; Kamil, Deeba

    2015-01-01

    Different isolates of Trichoderma were isolated from soil samples which were collected from different part of India. These isolates were grouped into four Trichoderma species viz., Trichoderma asperellum (Ta), T. harzianum (Th), T. pseudokoningii (Tp) and T. longibrachiatum (Tl) based on their morphological characters. Identification of the above isolates was also confirmed through ITS region analysis. These Trichoderma isolates were tested for in vitro biological control of Alternaria solani, Bipolaris oryzae, Pyricularia oryzae and Sclerotinia scierotiorum which cause serious diseases like early blight (target spot) of tomato and potato, brown leaf spot disease in rice, rice blast disease, and white mold disease in different plants. Under in vitro conditions, all the four species of Trichoderma (10 isolates) proved 100% potential inhibition against rice blast pathogen Pyracularia oryzae. T. harzianum (Th-01) and T. asperellum (Ta-10) were effective with 86.6% and 97.7%, growth inhibition of B. oryzae, respectively. Among others, T. pseudokoningii (Tp-08) and T. Iongibrachiatum (Tl-09) species were particularly efficient in inhibiting growth of S. sclerotiorum by 97.8% and 93.3%. T. Iongibrachiatum (TI-06 and TI-07) inhibited maximum mycelial growth of A. solani by 87.6% and 84.75. However, all the T. harzianum isolates showed significantly higher inhibition against S. sclerotiorum (CD value 9.430), causing white mold disease. This study led to the selection of potential Trichoderma isolates against rice blast, early blight, brown leaf spot in rice and white mold disease in different crops. PMID:26536792

  6. Screening of different Trichoderma species against agriculturally important foliar plant pathogens.

    PubMed

    Prabhakaran, Narayanasamy; Prameeladevi, Thokala; Sathiyabama, Muthukrishnan; Kamil, Deeba

    2015-01-01

    Different isolates of Trichoderma were isolated from soil samples which were collected from different part of India. These isolates were grouped into four Trichoderma species viz., Trichoderma asperellum (Ta), T. harzianum (Th), T. pseudokoningii (Tp) and T. longibrachiatum (Tl) based on their morphological characters. Identification of the above isolates was also confirmed through ITS region analysis. These Trichoderma isolates were tested for in vitro biological control of Alternaria solani, Bipolaris oryzae, Pyricularia oryzae and Sclerotinia scierotiorum which cause serious diseases like early blight (target spot) of tomato and potato, brown leaf spot disease in rice, rice blast disease, and white mold disease in different plants. Under in vitro conditions, all the four species of Trichoderma (10 isolates) proved 100% potential inhibition against rice blast pathogen Pyracularia oryzae. T. harzianum (Th-01) and T. asperellum (Ta-10) were effective with 86.6% and 97.7%, growth inhibition of B. oryzae, respectively. Among others, T. pseudokoningii (Tp-08) and T. Iongibrachiatum (Tl-09) species were particularly efficient in inhibiting growth of S. sclerotiorum by 97.8% and 93.3%. T. Iongibrachiatum (TI-06 and TI-07) inhibited maximum mycelial growth of A. solani by 87.6% and 84.75. However, all the T. harzianum isolates showed significantly higher inhibition against S. sclerotiorum (CD value 9.430), causing white mold disease. This study led to the selection of potential Trichoderma isolates against rice blast, early blight, brown leaf spot in rice and white mold disease in different crops.

  7. Gene flow in the green mirid, Creontiades dilutus (Hemiptera: Miridae), across arid and agricultural environments with different host plant species

    PubMed Central

    Hereward, J P; Walter, G H; DeBarro, P J; Lowe, A J; Riginos, C

    2013-01-01

    Creontiades dilutus (Stål), the green mirid, is a polyphagous herbivorous insect endemic to Australia. Although common in the arid interior of Australia and found on several native host plants that are spatially and temporally ephemeral, green mirids also reach pest levels on several crops in eastern Australia. These host-associated dynamics, distributed across a large geographic area, raise questions as to whether (1) seasonal fluctuations in population size result in genetic bottlenecks and drift, (2) arid and agricultural populations are genetically isolated, and (3) the use of different host plants results in genetic differentiation. We sequenced a mitochondrial COI fragment from individuals collected over 24 years and screened microsatellite variation from 32 populations across two seasons. The predominance of a single COI haplotype and negative Tajima D in samples from 2006/2007 fit with a population expansion model. In the older collections (1983 and 1993), a different haplotype is most prevalent, consistent with successive population contractions and expansions. Microsatellite data indicates recent migration between inland sites and coastal crops and admixture in several populations. Altogether, the data suggest that long-distance dispersal occurs between arid and agricultural regions, and this, together with fluctuations in population size, leads to temporally dynamic patterns of genetic differentiation. Host-associated differentiation is evident between mirids sampled from plants in the genus Cullen (Fabaceae), the primary host, and alternative host plant species growing nearby in arid regions. Our results highlight the importance of jointly assessing natural and agricultural environments in understanding the ecology of pest insects. PMID:23610626

  8. Relative contribution of oxygenated hydrocarbons to the total biogenic VOC emissions of selected mid-European agricultural and natural plant species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    König, Georg; Brunda, Monika; Puxbaum, Hans; Hewitt, C. Nicholas; Duckham, S. Craig; Rudolph, Jochen

    Emission rates of more than 50 individual VOCs were determined for eight plant species and three different types of grass land typical for natural deciduous and agricultural vegetation in Austria. In addition to the emissions of isoprene and monoterpenes, 33 biogenic oxygenated volatile organic compounds (BOVOCs) were detected. Of these, 2-methyl-l-propanol, 1-butanal, 2-butanal, 1-pentanol, 3-pentanol, 1-hexanol, 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one, butanal and ethylhexylacetate were observed for the first time as plant emissions. In terms of prevalence of one of the groups of emitted VOCs (isoprene, terpenes, BOVOCs) the grain plants wheat and rye, grape, oilseed rape and the decidous trees hombeam and birch could be classified as "BOVOC"-emitters. For the grass plots examined, BOVOCs and terpenes appear to be of equal importance. The emission rates of the total assigned organic plant emissions ranged from 0.01 μ g -1 h -1 for wheat to 0.8 μg g -1 h -1 for oak (based on dry leaf weight). Intercomparison with available data from other studies show that our emission rates are rather at the lower end of reported ranges. The influence of the stage of growth was examined for rye, rape (comparing emissions of blossoming and nonblossoming plants) and for grape (with and without fruit). Emission rate differences for different stages of growth varied from nondetectable for blossoming and nonblossoming rye to a factor of six for the grape with fruits vs grape without fruits (emission rate based on dry leaf weight). The major decidous tree in Austria (beech) is a terpene emitter, with the contribution of BOVOCs below 5% of the total assigned emissions of 0.2 μg g -1 h -1 for the investigations of 20°C.

  9. Agriculture Teachers: An Endangered Species?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hemp, Paul E.

    1979-01-01

    Discusses a 1978 survey highlighting some of the factors which may be related to the critical shortage of agriculture teachers in Illinois and the high rate of turnover among these teachers. These factors include the time required on the job, inadequate salaries, and large classes. (JOW)

  10. Genetically Altered Plant Species

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

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

  11. Milk Processing Plant Employee. Agricultural Cooperative Training. Vocational Agriculture.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blaschke, Nolan; Page, Foy

    This course of study is designed for the vocational agricultural student enrolled in an agricultural cooperative part-time training program in the area of milk processing occupations. The course consists of 11 units, each with 4 to 13 individual topics that milk processing plant employees should know. Subjects covered by the units are the…

  12. Global threat to agriculture from invasive species.

    PubMed

    Paini, Dean R; Sheppard, Andy W; Cook, David C; De Barro, Paul J; Worner, Susan P; Thomas, Matthew B

    2016-07-01

    Invasive species present significant threats to global agriculture, although how the magnitude and distribution of the threats vary between countries and regions remains unclear. Here, we present an analysis of almost 1,300 known invasive insect pests and pathogens, calculating the total potential cost of these species invading each of 124 countries of the world, as well as determining which countries present the greatest threat to the rest of the world given their trading partners and incumbent pool of invasive species. We find that countries vary in terms of potential threat from invasive species and also their role as potential sources, with apparently similar countries sometimes varying markedly depending on specifics of agricultural commodities and trade patterns. Overall, the biggest agricultural producers (China and the United States) could experience the greatest absolute cost from further species invasions. However, developing countries, in particular, Sub-Saharan African countries, appear most vulnerable in relative terms. Furthermore, China and the United States represent the greatest potential sources of invasive species for the rest of the world. The analysis reveals considerable scope for ongoing redistribution of known invasive pests and highlights the need for international cooperation to slow their spread.

  13. Global threat to agriculture from invasive species.

    PubMed

    Paini, Dean R; Sheppard, Andy W; Cook, David C; De Barro, Paul J; Worner, Susan P; Thomas, Matthew B

    2016-07-01

    Invasive species present significant threats to global agriculture, although how the magnitude and distribution of the threats vary between countries and regions remains unclear. Here, we present an analysis of almost 1,300 known invasive insect pests and pathogens, calculating the total potential cost of these species invading each of 124 countries of the world, as well as determining which countries present the greatest threat to the rest of the world given their trading partners and incumbent pool of invasive species. We find that countries vary in terms of potential threat from invasive species and also their role as potential sources, with apparently similar countries sometimes varying markedly depending on specifics of agricultural commodities and trade patterns. Overall, the biggest agricultural producers (China and the United States) could experience the greatest absolute cost from further species invasions. However, developing countries, in particular, Sub-Saharan African countries, appear most vulnerable in relative terms. Furthermore, China and the United States represent the greatest potential sources of invasive species for the rest of the world. The analysis reveals considerable scope for ongoing redistribution of known invasive pests and highlights the need for international cooperation to slow their spread. PMID:27325781

  14. Global threat to agriculture from invasive species

    PubMed Central

    Paini, Dean R.; Sheppard, Andy W.; Cook, David C.; De Barro, Paul J.; Worner, Susan P.; Thomas, Matthew B.

    2016-01-01

    Invasive species present significant threats to global agriculture, although how the magnitude and distribution of the threats vary between countries and regions remains unclear. Here, we present an analysis of almost 1,300 known invasive insect pests and pathogens, calculating the total potential cost of these species invading each of 124 countries of the world, as well as determining which countries present the greatest threat to the rest of the world given their trading partners and incumbent pool of invasive species. We find that countries vary in terms of potential threat from invasive species and also their role as potential sources, with apparently similar countries sometimes varying markedly depending on specifics of agricultural commodities and trade patterns. Overall, the biggest agricultural producers (China and the United States) could experience the greatest absolute cost from further species invasions. However, developing countries, in particular, Sub-Saharan African countries, appear most vulnerable in relative terms. Furthermore, China and the United States represent the greatest potential sources of invasive species for the rest of the world. The analysis reveals considerable scope for ongoing redistribution of known invasive pests and highlights the need for international cooperation to slow their spread. PMID:27325781

  15. Agricultural Warfare and Bioterrorism using Invasive Species

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The chapter on Agricultural Warfare and Bioterrorism using Invasive Species is part of the book titled Pest Management and Phytosanitary Trade Barriers authored by Neil Heather (Australia) and Guy Hallman. The chapter attempts to briefly put the topic into context with phytosanitation. It presents...

  16. Plant ID. Agricultural Lesson Plans.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Southern Illinois Univ., Carbondale. Dept. of Agricultural Education and Mechanization.

    This lesson plan is intended for use in conducting classes on plant identification. Presented first are a series of questions and answers designed to convey general information about the scientific classification of plants. The following topics are among those discussed: main types of plants; categories of vascular plants; gymnosperms and…

  17. Plant Tissues. Agricultural Lesson Plans.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Southern Illinois Univ., Carbondale. Dept. of Agricultural Education and Mechanization.

    This lesson plan is intended for use in conducting classes on plant tissues. Presented first are an attention step and a series of questions and answers designed to convey general information about plant tissues and the effect of water and minerals on them. The following topics are among those discussed: reasons why water is important to plants,…

  18. Commercial Pesticides Applicator Manual: Agriculture - Plant.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fitzwater, W. D.; And Others

    This training manual provides information needed to meet the minimum EPA standards for certification as a commercial applicator of pesticides in the agriculture-plant pest control category. The text discusses identification and control of insects, diseases, nematodes, and weeds of agricultural crops. Proper use of application equipment and safety…

  19. Biodiversity of Aspergillus species in some important agricultural products

    PubMed Central

    Perrone, G.; Susca, A.; Cozzi, G.; Ehrlich, K.; Varga, J.; Frisvad, J.C.; Meijer, M.; Noonim, P.; Mahakarnchanakul, W.; Samson, R.A.

    2007-01-01

    The genus Aspergillus is one of the most important filamentous fungal genera. Aspergillus species are used in the fermentation industry, but they are also responsible of various plant and food secondary rot, with the consequence of possible accumulation of mycotoxins. The aflatoxin producing A. flavus and A. parasiticus, and ochratoxinogenic A. niger, A. ochraceus and A. carbonarius species are frequently encountered in agricultural products. Studies on the biodiversity of toxigenic Aspergillus species is useful to clarify molecular, ecological and biochemical characteristics of the different species in relation to their different adaptation to environmental and geographical conditions, and to their potential toxigenicity. Here we analyzed the biodiversity of ochratoxin producing species occurring on two important crops: grapes and coffee, and the genetic diversity of A. flavus populations occurring in agricultural fields. Altogether nine different black Aspergillus species can be found on grapes which are often difficult to identify with classical methods. The polyphasic approach used in our studies led to the identification of three new species occurring on grapes: A. brasiliensis, A. ibericus, and A. uvarum. Similar studies on the Aspergillus species occurring on coffee beans have evidenced in the last five years that A. carbonarius is an important source of ochratoxin A in coffee. Four new species within the black aspergilli were also identified in coffee beans: A. sclerotioniger, A. lacticoffeatus, A. sclerotiicarbonarius, and A. aculeatinus. The genetic diversity within A. flavus populations has been widely studied in relation to their potential aflatoxigenicity and morphological variants L- and S-strains. Within A. flavus and other Aspergillus species capable of aflatoxin production, considerable diversity is found. We summarise the main recent achievements in the diversity of the aflatoxin gene cluster in A. flavus populations, A. parasiticus and the non

  20. Agricultural Plant Pest Control. Manual 93.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Missouri Univ., Columbia. Agricultural Experiment Station.

    This training manual provides information needed to meet the minimum EPA standards for certification as a commercial applicator of pesticides for the agricultural plant pest control category. The text discusses the insect pests including caterpillars, beetles, and soil inhabiting insects; diseases and nematodes; and weeds. Consideration is given…

  1. Socioeconomic Impacts of Agricultural Processing Plants.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leistritz, F. Larry; Sell, Randall S.

    2001-01-01

    Studies in four North Dakota communities that had suffered economic and population decline in the 1980s examined the economic and community impacts of new agricultural processing plants in the late 1990s, including effects on residents' incomes, total and school-age population, needs for day care and community services, housing needs, public…

  2. Conservation of tropical plant species

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This book is designed to provide a review of the methods and current status of conservation of many tropical plant species. Future perspectives of conservation of tropical species will also be discussed. The section on methods covers the range of conservation techniques, in situ, seed banking, in vi...

  3. Cytogenetic changes induced by aqueous ferrofluids in agricultural plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Răcuciu, Mihaela; Creangă, Dorina

    2007-04-01

    In this paper, the authors present their results regarding the cellular division rate and the percentage of chromosomal aberrations in the root meristematic cells of agricultural plants when cultivated in the presence of different concentrations of aqueous ferrofluid, ranging between 10 and 250 μL/L. The agricultural species ( Zea mays) with a major role in the life of people was chosen for the experimental project. The water-based ferrofluid was prepared following the chemical co-precipitation method, using tetramethylammonium hydroxide as magnetite core stabilizer. Microscopic investigations (cytogenetic tests) resulted in the evaluation of the mitotic and chromosomal aberration index. They appeared to increase following ferrofluid addition.

  4. Recognising Differences in Weed and Crop Species Recognition Skills of Agriculture Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burrows, Geoffrey E.

    2012-01-01

    Students in an agricultural science degree were surveyed to assess their ability to recognise plants of agricultural importance. The survey consisted of high quality images of 25 species. Students were surveyed at the start of their studies in first year, and at various times during their second year of studies. At the start of their studies…

  5. Species interactions and plant polyploidy.

    PubMed

    Segraves, Kari A; Anneberg, Thomas J

    2016-07-01

    Polyploidy is a common mode of speciation that can have far-reaching consequences for plant ecology and evolution. Because polyploidy can induce an array of phenotypic changes, there can be cascading effects on interactions with other species. These interactions, in turn, can have reciprocal effects on polyploid plants, potentially impacting their establishment and persistence. Although there is a wealth of information on the genetic and phenotypic effects of polyploidy, the study of species interactions in polyploid plants remains a comparatively young field. Here we reviewed the available evidence for how polyploidy may impact many types of species interactions that range from mutualism to antagonism. Specifically, we focused on three main questions: (1) Does polyploidy directly cause the formation of novel interactions not experienced by diploids, or does it create an opportunity for natural selection to then form novel interactions? (2) Does polyploidy cause consistent, predictable changes in species interactions vs. the evolution of idiosyncratic differences? (3) Does polyploidy lead to greater evolvability in species interactions? From the scarce evidence available, we found that novel interactions are rare but that polyploidy can induce changes in pollinator, herbivore, and pathogen interactions. Although further tests are needed, it is likely that selection following whole-genome duplication is important in all types of species interaction and that there are circumstances in which polyploidy can enhance the evolvability of interactions with other species. PMID:27370313

  6. New pasture plants intensify invasive species risk.

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-18

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

  7. Micropropagation of endangered plant species.

    PubMed

    Liao, Zhihua; Chen, Min; Sun, Xiaofen; Tang, Kexuan

    2006-01-01

    This chapter describes the multiple-shoot-based methods of micropropagation for endangered plant species. Taxus and aloe are used here as examples. For Taxus, the process of micropropagation includes initiating multiple shoots, elongating shoots, rooting shoots, and transplanting plantlets. For aloe, the process of micropropagation includes initiating multiple shoots, rooting shoots, and transplanting plantlets.

  8. [Agriculture microbiology and microbe interaction with plants].

    PubMed

    Caballero-Mellado, Jesús

    2006-01-01

    About the characterization and distribution of novel nitrogen-fixing Burkholderia species associated with maize and other plants and their potential use on the plant growth was presented in this symposium. The symposium included studies directed to the revegetation of eroded areas by using plant growth promoting rhizo-bacteria and mycorrizal fungi associated with desert plants, as well as studies related with the resistance of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi to heavy metals associated with the environmental pollution. In addition, the identification and characterization of a 31-kb chromosomal fragment from Pseudomonas syringae pv. phaseolicola was presented; such a fragment, involved with the phaseolotoxin synthesis, showed characteristic features of a bacterial pathogenicity island. PMID:17578087

  9. Toward Martian agriculture: responses of plants to hypobaria.

    PubMed

    Corey, Kenneth A; Barta, Daniel J; Wheeler, Raymond M

    2002-01-01

    The recent surge of interest in human missions to Mars has also generated considerable interest in the responses of plants to hypobaria (reduced atmospheric pressure), particularly among those in the advanced life support community. Potential for in situ resource utilization, challenges in meeting engineering constraints for mass and energy, the prospect of using lightweight plant growth structures on Mars, and the minimal literature on plant responses to low pressure all suggest much needed research in this area. However, the limited literature on hypobaria combined with previous findings on plant responses to atmospheric composition and established principles of mass transfer of gases suggest that some plants will be capable of tolerating and growing at pressures below 20 kPa; and for other species, perhaps as low as 5-10 kPa. In addition, normal and perhaps enhanced growth of many plants will likely occur at reduced partial pressures of oxygen (e.g., 5 kPa). Growth of plants at such low and partial pressures indicates the feasibility of cultivating plants in lightweight, transparent "greenhouses" on the surface of Mars or in other extraterrestrial or extreme environment locations. There are numerous, accessible terrestrial analogs for moderately low pressure ranges, but not for very low and extremely low atmospheric pressures. Research pertaining to very low pressures has been historically restricted to the use of vacuum chambers. Future research prospects, approaches, and priorities for plant growth experiments at low pressure are considered and discussed as they apply to prospects for Martian agriculture. PMID:11987302

  10. Toward Martian agriculture: responses of plants to hypobaria

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Corey, Kenneth A.; Barta, Daniel J.; Wheeler, Raymond M.

    2002-01-01

    The recent surge of interest in human missions to Mars has also generated considerable interest in the responses of plants to hypobaria (reduced atmospheric pressure), particularly among those in the advanced life support community. Potential for in situ resource utilization, challenges in meeting engineering constraints for mass and energy, the prospect of using lightweight plant growth structures on Mars, and the minimal literature on plant responses to low pressure all suggest much needed research in this area. However, the limited literature on hypobaria combined with previous findings on plant responses to atmospheric composition and established principles of mass transfer of gases suggest that some plants will be capable of tolerating and growing at pressures below 20 kPa; and for other species, perhaps as low as 5-10 kPa. In addition, normal and perhaps enhanced growth of many plants will likely occur at reduced partial pressures of oxygen (e.g., 5 kPa). Growth of plants at such low and partial pressures indicates the feasibility of cultivating plants in lightweight, transparent "greenhouses" on the surface of Mars or in other extraterrestrial or extreme environment locations. There are numerous, accessible terrestrial analogs for moderately low pressure ranges, but not for very low and extremely low atmospheric pressures. Research pertaining to very low pressures has been historically restricted to the use of vacuum chambers. Future research prospects, approaches, and priorities for plant growth experiments at low pressure are considered and discussed as they apply to prospects for Martian agriculture.

  11. Toward Martian agriculture: responses of plants to hypobaria.

    PubMed

    Corey, Kenneth A; Barta, Daniel J; Wheeler, Raymond M

    2002-01-01

    The recent surge of interest in human missions to Mars has also generated considerable interest in the responses of plants to hypobaria (reduced atmospheric pressure), particularly among those in the advanced life support community. Potential for in situ resource utilization, challenges in meeting engineering constraints for mass and energy, the prospect of using lightweight plant growth structures on Mars, and the minimal literature on plant responses to low pressure all suggest much needed research in this area. However, the limited literature on hypobaria combined with previous findings on plant responses to atmospheric composition and established principles of mass transfer of gases suggest that some plants will be capable of tolerating and growing at pressures below 20 kPa; and for other species, perhaps as low as 5-10 kPa. In addition, normal and perhaps enhanced growth of many plants will likely occur at reduced partial pressures of oxygen (e.g., 5 kPa). Growth of plants at such low and partial pressures indicates the feasibility of cultivating plants in lightweight, transparent "greenhouses" on the surface of Mars or in other extraterrestrial or extreme environment locations. There are numerous, accessible terrestrial analogs for moderately low pressure ranges, but not for very low and extremely low atmospheric pressures. Research pertaining to very low pressures has been historically restricted to the use of vacuum chambers. Future research prospects, approaches, and priorities for plant growth experiments at low pressure are considered and discussed as they apply to prospects for Martian agriculture.

  12. Use of antibiotics in plant agriculture.

    PubMed

    Stockwell, V O; Duffy, B

    2012-04-01

    Antibiotics are essential for control of bacterial diseases of plants, especially fire blight of pear and apple and bacterial spot of peach. Streptomycin is used in several countries; the use of oxytetracycline, oxolinic acid and gentamicin is limited to only a few countries. Springtime antibiotic sprays suppress pathogen growth on flowers and leaf surfaces before infection; after infection, antibiotics are ineffective. Antibiotics are applied when disease risk is high, and consequently the majority of orchards are not treated annually. In 2009 in the United States, 16,465 kg (active ingredient) was applied to orchards, which is 0.12% of the total antibiotics used in animal agriculture. Antibiotics are active on plants for less than a week, and significant residues have not been found on harvested fruit. Antibiotics have been indispensable for crop protection in the United States for more than 50 years without reports of adverse effects on human health or persistent impacts on the environment. PMID:22849276

  13. Use of antibiotics in plant agriculture.

    PubMed

    Stockwell, V O; Duffy, B

    2012-04-01

    Antibiotics are essential for control of bacterial diseases of plants, especially fire blight of pear and apple and bacterial spot of peach. Streptomycin is used in several countries; the use of oxytetracycline, oxolinic acid and gentamicin is limited to only a few countries. Springtime antibiotic sprays suppress pathogen growth on flowers and leaf surfaces before infection; after infection, antibiotics are ineffective. Antibiotics are applied when disease risk is high, and consequently the majority of orchards are not treated annually. In 2009 in the United States, 16,465 kg (active ingredient) was applied to orchards, which is 0.12% of the total antibiotics used in animal agriculture. Antibiotics are active on plants for less than a week, and significant residues have not been found on harvested fruit. Antibiotics have been indispensable for crop protection in the United States for more than 50 years without reports of adverse effects on human health or persistent impacts on the environment.

  14. Ultrasonic Sensing of Plant Water Needs for Agriculture.

    PubMed

    Gómez Álvarez-Arenas, Tomas; Gil-Pelegrin, Eustaquio; Ealo Cuello, Joao; Fariñas, Maria Dolores; Sancho-Knapik, Domingo; Collazos Burbano, David Alejandro; Peguero-Pina, Jose Javier

    2016-07-14

    Fresh water is a key natural resource for food production, sanitation and industrial uses and has a high environmental value. The largest water use worldwide (~70%) corresponds to irrigation in agriculture, where use of water is becoming essential to maintain productivity. Efficient irrigation control largely depends on having access to reliable information about the actual plant water needs. Therefore, fast, portable and non-invasive sensing techniques able to measure water requirements directly on the plant are essential to face the huge challenge posed by the extensive water use in agriculture, the increasing water shortage and the impact of climate change. Non-contact resonant ultrasonic spectroscopy (NC-RUS) in the frequency range 0.1-1.2 MHz has revealed as an efficient and powerful non-destructive, non-invasive and in vivo sensing technique for leaves of different plant species. In particular, NC-RUS allows determining surface mass, thickness and elastic modulus of the leaves. Hence, valuable information can be obtained about water content and turgor pressure. This work analyzes and reviews the main requirements for sensors, electronics, signal processing and data analysis in order to develop a fast, portable, robust and non-invasive NC-RUS system to monitor variations in leaves water content or turgor pressure. A sensing prototype is proposed, described and, as application example, used to study two different species: Vitis vinifera and Coffea arabica, whose leaves present thickness resonances in two different frequency bands (400-900 kHz and 200-400 kHz, respectively), These species are representative of two different climates and are related to two high-added value agricultural products where efficient irrigation management can be critical. Moreover, the technique can also be applied to other species and similar results can be obtained.

  15. Ultrasonic Sensing of Plant Water Needs for Agriculture

    PubMed Central

    Gómez Álvarez-Arenas, Tomas; Gil-Pelegrin, Eustaquio; Ealo Cuello, Joao; Fariñas, Maria Dolores; Sancho-Knapik, Domingo; Collazos Burbano, David Alejandro; Peguero-Pina, Jose Javier

    2016-01-01

    Fresh water is a key natural resource for food production, sanitation and industrial uses and has a high environmental value. The largest water use worldwide (~70%) corresponds to irrigation in agriculture, where use of water is becoming essential to maintain productivity. Efficient irrigation control largely depends on having access to reliable information about the actual plant water needs. Therefore, fast, portable and non-invasive sensing techniques able to measure water requirements directly on the plant are essential to face the huge challenge posed by the extensive water use in agriculture, the increasing water shortage and the impact of climate change. Non-contact resonant ultrasonic spectroscopy (NC-RUS) in the frequency range 0.1–1.2 MHz has revealed as an efficient and powerful non-destructive, non-invasive and in vivo sensing technique for leaves of different plant species. In particular, NC-RUS allows determining surface mass, thickness and elastic modulus of the leaves. Hence, valuable information can be obtained about water content and turgor pressure. This work analyzes and reviews the main requirements for sensors, electronics, signal processing and data analysis in order to develop a fast, portable, robust and non-invasive NC-RUS system to monitor variations in leaves water content or turgor pressure. A sensing prototype is proposed, described and, as application example, used to study two different species: Vitis vinifera and Coffea arabica, whose leaves present thickness resonances in two different frequency bands (400–900 kHz and 200–400 kHz, respectively), These species are representative of two different climates and are related to two high-added value agricultural products where efficient irrigation management can be critical. Moreover, the technique can also be applied to other species and similar results can be obtained. PMID:27428968

  16. Ultrasonic Sensing of Plant Water Needs for Agriculture.

    PubMed

    Gómez Álvarez-Arenas, Tomas; Gil-Pelegrin, Eustaquio; Ealo Cuello, Joao; Fariñas, Maria Dolores; Sancho-Knapik, Domingo; Collazos Burbano, David Alejandro; Peguero-Pina, Jose Javier

    2016-01-01

    Fresh water is a key natural resource for food production, sanitation and industrial uses and has a high environmental value. The largest water use worldwide (~70%) corresponds to irrigation in agriculture, where use of water is becoming essential to maintain productivity. Efficient irrigation control largely depends on having access to reliable information about the actual plant water needs. Therefore, fast, portable and non-invasive sensing techniques able to measure water requirements directly on the plant are essential to face the huge challenge posed by the extensive water use in agriculture, the increasing water shortage and the impact of climate change. Non-contact resonant ultrasonic spectroscopy (NC-RUS) in the frequency range 0.1-1.2 MHz has revealed as an efficient and powerful non-destructive, non-invasive and in vivo sensing technique for leaves of different plant species. In particular, NC-RUS allows determining surface mass, thickness and elastic modulus of the leaves. Hence, valuable information can be obtained about water content and turgor pressure. This work analyzes and reviews the main requirements for sensors, electronics, signal processing and data analysis in order to develop a fast, portable, robust and non-invasive NC-RUS system to monitor variations in leaves water content or turgor pressure. A sensing prototype is proposed, described and, as application example, used to study two different species: Vitis vinifera and Coffea arabica, whose leaves present thickness resonances in two different frequency bands (400-900 kHz and 200-400 kHz, respectively), These species are representative of two different climates and are related to two high-added value agricultural products where efficient irrigation management can be critical. Moreover, the technique can also be applied to other species and similar results can be obtained. PMID:27428968

  17. Agriculture on Mars: Soils for Plant Growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ming, D. W.

    2016-01-01

    Robotic rovers and landers have enabled the mineralogical, chemical, and physical characterization of loose, unconsolidated materials on the surface of Mars. Planetary scientists refer to the regolith material as "soil." NASA is currently planning to send humans to Mars in the mid 2030s. Early missions may rely on the use of onsite resources to enable exploration and self-sufficient outposts on Mars. The martian "soil" and surface environment contain all essential plant growth elements. The study of martian surface materials and how they might react as agricultural soils opens a new frontier for researchers in the soil science community. Other potential applications for surface "soils" include (i) sources for extraction of essential plant-growth nutrients, (ii) sources of O2, H2, CO2, and H2O, (iii) substrates for microbial populations in the degradation of wastes, and (iv) shielding materials surrounding outpost structures to protect humans, plants, and microorganisms from radiation. There are many challenges that will have to be addressed by soil scientists prior to human exploration over the next two decades.

  18. New pasture plants intensify invasive species risk

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. New pasture plants intensify invasive species risk.

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-18

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

  20. Plant-Parasitic Nematodes in Maine Agricultural Soils

    PubMed Central

    Huettel, W N.; Francl, L. J.; Henn, A.; Bourgoin, T.

    1990-01-01

    In a survey of plant-parasitic nematodes associated with agricultural crops in nine Maine counties, 744 soil samples from 26 potential host plants were analyzed between November 1987 and January 1989. The most commonly encountered nematode genus was Pratylenchus, occurring in 85% of the samples from most crops, except blueberries and onions. Pratylenchus penetrans and P. crenatus were found commonly as species mixtures, with P. penetrans composing 40-80% of the mixture. Meloidogyne hapla was encountered in 16% of the samples in four counties, generally in potato rotations. Other nematodes encountered were Aphelenchoides spp., Criconemella curvature, Ditylenchus spp., Helicotylenchus pseudorobustus, H. digonicus, Heterodera trifolii, Paratylenchus projectus, Trichodorus spp., Tylenchorhynchus maximus, and Xiphinema americanum. Potato fields were the most heavily sampled and thus weighted the statewide results. PMID:19287791

  1. From critical levels to critical loads for ozone: a discussion of a new experimental and modelling approach for establishing flux-response relationships for agricultural crops and native plant species.

    PubMed

    Grünhage, Ludger; Jäger, Hans-Jürgen

    2003-01-01

    Present critical levels for ozone (O3) for protecting vegetation against adverse effects are based on exposure-response relationships mainly derived from open-top chamber experiments and are expressed as an Accumulated exposure Over a Threshold of 40 ppb (AOT40). In that context with a revision of the UN (United Nations)-ECE (Economic Commission for Europe) Gothenburg protocol, AOT40 values should be replaced by flux-oriented quantities, i.e. in the end by critical loads. At present, the database for the derivation of critical loads for O3 is extremely inadequate. Furthermore, the currently available flux-response relationships are also derived from open-top chamber experiments. The use of a relationship for spring wheat in a risk assessment for an agricultural site in Hesse, Germany, demonstrates in principle, the applicability of the critical load concept for O3. Comparisons of diurnal variation of stomatal uptake and AOT40 showed that a major part of toxicologically effective stomatal uptake occurred before noon whereas the AOT40 values were dominated by the O3 concentrations during afternoon. In other words, the AOT40 exposure index do not adequately address the O3 burden during hours when plants are sensitive to O3 uptake. However, due to the differences in radiation, air temperature and humidity between the chamber and the ambient microclimates, a derivation of flux-response relationships from chamber experiments is likely to be questionable, especially for species rich ecosystems: Here, without any changes in the pollution climate, significant modifications of species composition as well as an earlier beginning of the growing season has been previously observed. To overcome the problems associated with chamber-derived flux-response relationships, a new experimental and modelling concept, was developed. The approach, briefly described in this paper, combines methods in air pollution toxicology and micrometeorology. As an analogy to the free-air fumigation

  2. SELECTING PLANT SPECIES FOR PESTICIDE REGISTRATION TESTS

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  3. Salt tolerant green crop species for sodium management in space agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamashita, Masamichi; Hashimoto, Hirofumi; Tomita-Yokotani, Kaori; Shimoda, Toshifumi; Nose, Akihiro; Space Agriculture Task Force, J.

    Ecological system and materials recycling loop of space agriculture are quite tight compared to natural ecological system on Earth. Sodium management will be a keen issue for space agricul-ture. Human nutritional requirements include sodium salt. Since sodium at high concentration is toxic for most of plant growth, excreted sodium of human waste should be removed from compost fertilizer. Use of marine algae is promising for harvesting potassium and other min-erals required for plant growth and returning remained sodium to satisfy human need of its intake. Farming salt tolerant green crop species is another approach to manage sodium problem in both space and terrestrial agriculture. We chose ice plant and New Zealand spinach. These two plant species are widely accepted green vegetable with many recipe. Ice plant can grow at the salinity level of sea water, and contain sodium salt up to 30% of its dry mass. Sodium distributes mainly in its bladder cells. New Zealand spinach is a plant species found in the front zone of sea shore, and tolerant against high salinity as well. Plant body size of both species at harvest is quite large, and easy to farm. Capability of bio-remediation of high saline soil is examined with ice plant and New Zealand spinach. Incubation medium was chosen to contain high concentration of sodium and potassium at the Na/K ratio of human excreta. In case Na/K ratio of plant body grown by this medium is greatly higher than that of incubation medium or soil, these halophytes are effective to remediate soil for farming less tolerant plant crop. Experimental results was less positive in this context.

  4. A comparison of the herbicide tolerances of rare and common plants in an agricultural landscape.

    PubMed

    Egan, J Franklin; Graham, Ian M; Mortensen, David A

    2014-03-01

    Declining plant biodiversity in agroecosystems has often been attributed to escalating use of chemical herbicides, but other changes in farming systems, including the clearing of seminatural habitat fragments, confound the influence of herbicides. The present study introduces a new approach to evaluate the impacts of herbicide pollution on plant communities at landscape or regional scales. If herbicides are in fact a key factor shaping agricultural plant diversity, one would expect to see the signal of past herbicide impacts in the current plant community composition of an intensively farmed region, with common, successful species more tolerant to widely used herbicides than rare or declining species. Data from an extensive field survey of plant diversity in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, USA, were compared with herbicide bioassay experiments in a greenhouse to test the hypothesis that common species possess higher herbicide tolerances than rare species. Five congeneric pairs of rare and common species were treated with 3 commonly used herbicide modes of action in bioassay experiments, and few significant differences were found in the tolerances of rare species relative to common species. These preliminary results suggest that other factors beyond herbicide exposure may be more important in shaping the distribution and abundance of plant species diversity across an agricultural landscape.

  5. Asexual Plant Reproduction. Agricultural Lesson Plans.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Southern Illinois Univ., Carbondale. Dept. of Agricultural Education and Mechanization.

    These lesson plans are intended for use in conducting classes on asexual plant reproduction. Presented first are an attention step/problem statement and a series of questions and answers designed to convey general information about asexual plant reproduction/propagation. The following topics are among those discussed: plant reproduction methods,…

  6. The Invasive Plant Species Education Guide

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Niskern, Diana, Comp.

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1999-01-01

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

  9. Sexual Plant Reproduction. Agricultural Lesson Plans.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Southern Illinois Univ., Carbondale. Dept. of Agricultural Education and Mechanization.

    These lesson plans are intended for use in conducting classes on sexual plant reproduction. Presented first are an attention step/problem statement and a series of questions and answers designed to convey general information about sexual plant reproduction/propagation. The following topics are among those discussed: sexual and asexual plant…

  10. Agricultural Plant Pest Control. Bulletin 763.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    French, John C.; And Others

    This manual gives general information on plant pests and pesticides. First, the life-cycle and habits of some common insect pests are given. These include caterpillars, beetles and beetle larvae, and sucking insects. Next, plant diseases such as leaf diseases, wilts, root and crown rots, stem cankers, fruit rots, seed and seedling diseases, and…

  11. Mycorrhizal dependency of some endemic and endangered Hawaiian plant species.

    PubMed

    Gemma, J N; Koske, R E; Habte, M

    2002-02-01

    Four endemic species of Hawaiian plants were tested for their response to inoculation with a Hawaiian isolate of Glomus aggregatum (an arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus [AMF]) when grown in a native soil with or without P added to achieve different soil-solution P levels. The endangered species (Sesbania tomentosa [Fabaceae] and Colubrina oppositifolia [Rhamnaceae]) and two nonendangered species (Bidens sandvicensis and B. asymmetrica × sandvicensis [Asteraceae]) were tested. When soil-solution P levels in greenhouse trials were similar to unfertilized field soils (e.g., 0.005-0.020 mg P/L), shoots of inoculated plants were 2.1 to 7.0 times larger than noninoculated plants. Leaf tissue P levels and root biomass in these species showed similar responses to inoculation. Mycorrhizal dependencies ranging from 44 to 88% were measured when plants were grown in low-P soils and were -4-42% in soil with P levels typical of highly productive agricultural soils. A survey of P levels in a variety of native (nonagricultural) Hawaiian soils indicated the widespread occurrence of P-limited sites (mean = 0.010 mg P/L, range = <0.001-0.030 mg P/L; N = 41). The terms "ecological mycorrhizal dependency" (EMD) and "agricultural mycorrhizal dependency" (AMD) are introduced to refine the concept of mycorrhizal dependency. PMID:21669742

  12. Genetic Engineering of Plants. Agricultural Research Opportunities and Policy Concerns.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roberts, Leslie

    Plant scientists and science policymakers from government, private companies, and universities met at a convocation on the genetic engineering of plants. During the convocation, researchers described some of the ways genetic engineering may be used to address agricultural problems. Policymakers delineated and debated changes in research funding…

  13. Climate change, plant traits, and invasion in natural and agricultural ecosystems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Invasive species and climate change, each of which is likely to influence agricultural productivity and biological diversity, are also likely to interact. This chapter explores characteristics of both invasive plants and invaded ecosystems to search for generalizations that may allow us to predict w...

  14. Lunar base agriculture: Soils for plant growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ming, Douglas W. (Editor); Henninger, Donald L. (Editor)

    1989-01-01

    This work provides information on research and experimentation concerning various aspects of food production in space and particularly on the moon. Options for human settlement of the moon and Mars and strategies for a lunar base are discussed. The lunar environment, including the mineralogical and chemical properties of lunar regolith are investigated and chemical and physical considerations for a lunar-derived soil are considered. It is noted that biological considerations for such a soil include controlled-environment crop production, both hydroponic and lunar regolith-based; microorganisms and the growth of higher plants in lunar-derived soils; and the role of microbes to condition lunar regolith for plant cultivation. Current research in the controlled ecological life support system (CELSS) project is presented in detail and future research areas, such as the growth of higher research plants in CELSS are considered. Optimum plant and microbiological considerations for lunar derived soils are examined.

  15. 75 FR 62096 - Agricultural Technical Advisory Committees for Trade in Tobacco, Cotton, Peanuts and Planting...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-10-07

    ... Foreign Agricultural Service Agricultural Technical Advisory Committees for Trade in Tobacco, Cotton... the Agricultural Technical Advisory Committees (ATAC) for Trade in Tobacco, Cotton, Peanuts and... representation of the planting seeds industry from the Tobacco, Cotton, Peanuts and Planting Seeds (TCPPS)...

  16. Biodiversity of Aspergillus Species in Some Important Agricultural Products

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The genus Aspergillus is one of the most important filamentous fungal genera. Aspergillus species are used in the fermentation industry, but they are also responsible of various plant and food secondary rot, with the consequence of possible accumulation of mycotoxins. The aflatoxin-producing A. fl...

  17. The myth of plant species saturation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2008-01-01

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

  18. The Role of Molybdenum in Agricultural Plant Production

    PubMed Central

    KAISER, BRENT N.; GRIDLEY, KATE L.; NGAIRE BRADY, JOANNE; PHILLIPS, THOMAS; TYERMAN, STEPHEN D.

    2005-01-01

    • Background The importance of molybdenum for plant growth is disproportionate with respect to the absolute amounts required by most plants. Apart from Cu, Mo is the least abundant essential micronutrient found in most plant tissues and is often set as the base from which all other nutrients are compared and measured. Molybdenum is utilized by selected enzymes to carry out redox reactions. Enzymes that require molybdenum for activity include nitrate reductase, xanthine dehydrogenase, aldehyde oxidase and sulfite oxidase. • Scope Loss of Mo-dependent enzyme activity (directly or indirectly through low internal molybdenum levels) impacts upon plant development, in particular, those processes involving nitrogen metabolism and the synthesis of the phytohormones abscisic acid and indole-3 butyric acid. Currently, there is little information on how plants access molybdate from the soil solution and redistribute it within the plant. In this review, the role of molybdenum in plants is discussed, focusing on its current constraints in some agricultural situations and where increased molybdenum nutrition may aid in agricultural plant development and yields. • Conclusions Molybdenum deficiencies are considered rare in most agricultural cropping areas; however, the phenotype is often misdiagnosed and attributed to other downstream effects associated with its role in various enzymatic redox reactions. Molybdenum fertilization through foliar sprays can effectively supplement internal molybdenum deficiencies and rescue the activity of molybdoenzymes. The current understanding on how plants access molybdate from the soil solution or later redistribute it once in the plant is still unclear; however, plants have similar physiological molybdenum transport phenotypes to those found in prokaryotic systems. Thus, careful analysis of existing prokaryotic molybdate transport mechanisms, as well as a re-examination of know anion transport mechanisms present in plants, will help to

  19. Sustainable agriculture: possible trajectories from mutualistic symbiosis and plant neodomestication.

    PubMed

    Duhamel, Marie; Vandenkoornhuyse, Philippe

    2013-11-01

    Food demand will increase concomitantly with human population. Food production therefore needs to be high enough and, at the same time, minimize damage to the environment. This equation cannot be solved with current strategies. Based on recent findings, new trajectories for agriculture and plant breeding which take into account the belowground compartment and evolution of mutualistic strategy, are proposed in this opinion article. In this context, we argue that plant breeders have the opportunity to make use of native arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbiosis in an innovative ecologically intensive agriculture.

  20. Biodiversity hotspots house most undiscovered plant species.

    PubMed

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

    2011-08-01

    For most organisms, the number of described species considerably underestimates how many exist. This is itself a problem and causes secondary complications given present high rates of species extinction. Known numbers of flowering plants form the basis of biodiversity "hotspots"--places where high levels of endemism and habitat loss coincide to produce high extinction rates. How different would conservation priorities be if the catalog were complete? Approximately 15% more species of flowering plant are likely still undiscovered. They are almost certainly rare, and depending on where they live, suffer high risks of extinction from habitat loss and global climate disruption. By using a model that incorporates taxonomic effort over time, regions predicted to contain large numbers of undiscovered species are already conservation priorities. Our results leave global conservation priorities more or less intact, but suggest considerably higher levels of species imperilment than previously acknowledged.

  1. Biodiversity hotspots house most undiscovered plant species

    PubMed Central

    Joppa, Lucas N.; Roberts, David L.; Myers, Norman; Pimm, Stuart L.

    2011-01-01

    For most organisms, the number of described species considerably underestimates how many exist. This is itself a problem and causes secondary complications given present high rates of species extinction. Known numbers of flowering plants form the basis of biodiversity “hotspots”—places where high levels of endemism and habitat loss coincide to produce high extinction rates. How different would conservation priorities be if the catalog were complete? Approximately 15% more species of flowering plant are likely still undiscovered. They are almost certainly rare, and depending on where they live, suffer high risks of extinction from habitat loss and global climate disruption. By using a model that incorporates taxonomic effort over time, regions predicted to contain large numbers of undiscovered species are already conservation priorities. Our results leave global conservation priorities more or less intact, but suggest considerably higher levels of species imperilment than previously acknowledged. PMID:21730155

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-03

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Applying the species concept to plant viruses.

    PubMed

    Van Regenmortel, M H

    1989-01-01

    Plant virologists who maintain that the concept of species cannot be applied to viruses argue their case in terms of an obsolete concept of biological species defined by gene pools and reproductive isolation and applicable only to sexually reproducing organisms. In fact, various species concepts have been used by biologists and some of them are applicable to asexual organisms. The rationale for applying the species concept in virology is that viruses are biological entities and not chemicals: they possess genes, replicate, specialize, evolve and occupy specific ecological niches. The following definition is proposed: a virus species is a polythetic class of viruses constituting a replicating lineage and occupying a particular ecological niche. Such a definition of the species category does not and cannot provide a list of diagnostic properties for recognizing members of a particular virus species. It should also be stressed that a single property such as an arbitrary level of genome homology or the extent of serological relationship always fails to establish membership in a polythetic class. A binomial system of nomenclature is advocated in which the vernacular English name of the plant virus is adopted as the species name and the group name is assimilated to the level of genus. Adoption of this system would ensure that a universal classification system based on the classical categories of species, genus, and family becomes possible for all viruses. PMID:2647059

  5. The species problem in plant virology.

    PubMed

    Milne, R G

    1984-08-01

    The systems currently used to classify and name viruses are discussed. It is concluded that, while the family-genus-species system is widely used for many viruses, the virus group-virus system used for plant viruses has a sounder theoretical basis and is easier to use. Its universal adoption should be considered. For plant viruses, the English vernacular name and the group name could form the basis of a binomial nomenclature. PMID:6444112

  6. Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR): emergence in agriculture.

    PubMed

    Bhattacharyya, P N; Jha, D K

    2012-04-01

    Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) are the rhizosphere bacteria that can enhance plant growth by a wide variety of mechanisms like phosphate solubilization, siderophore production, biological nitrogen fixation, rhizosphere engineering, production of 1-Aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate deaminase (ACC), quorum sensing (QS) signal interference and inhibition of biofilm formation, phytohormone production, exhibiting antifungal activity, production of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), induction of systemic resistance, promoting beneficial plant-microbe symbioses, interference with pathogen toxin production etc. The potentiality of PGPR in agriculture is steadily increased as it offers an attractive way to replace the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and other supplements. Growth promoting substances are likely to be produced in large quantities by these rhizosphere microorganisms that influence indirectly on the overall morphology of the plants. Recent progress in our understanding on the diversity of PGPR in the rhizosphere along with their colonization ability and mechanism of action should facilitate their application as a reliable component in the management of sustainable agricultural system. The progress to date in using the rhizosphere bacteria in a variety of applications related to agricultural improvement along with their mechanism of action with special reference to plant growth-promoting traits are summarized and discussed in this review.

  7. Ensemble habitat mapping of invasive plant species.

    PubMed

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

    2010-02-01

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

  8. Ensemble habitat mapping of invasive plant species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2010-01-01

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

  9. Ensemble habitat mapping of invasive plant species.

    PubMed

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

    2010-02-01

    Ensemble species distribution models combine the strengths of several species environmental matching models, while minimizing the weakness of any one model. Ensemble models may be particularly useful in risk analysis of recently arrived, harmful invasive species because species may not yet have spread to all suitable habitats, leaving species-environment relationships difficult to determine. We tested five individual models (logistic regression, boosted regression trees, random forest, multivariate adaptive regression splines (MARS), and maximum entropy model or Maxent) and ensemble modeling for selected nonnative plant species in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, Wyoming; Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, California, and areas of interior Alaska. The models are based on field data provided by the park staffs, combined with topographic, climatic, and vegetation predictors derived from satellite data. For the four invasive plant species tested, ensemble models were the only models that ranked in the top three models for both field validation and test data. Ensemble models may be more robust than individual species-environment matching models for risk analysis. PMID:20136746

  10. Entomopathogenic and plant pathogenic nematodes as opposing forces in agriculture.

    PubMed

    Kenney, Eric; Eleftherianos, Ioannis

    2016-01-01

    Plant-parasitic nematodes are responsible for substantial damages within the agriculture industry every year, which is a challenge that has thus far gone largely unimpeded. Chemical nematicides have been employed with varying degrees of success, but their implementation can be cumbersome, and furthermore they could potentially be neutralising an otherwise positive effect from the entomopathogenic nematodes that coexist with plant-parasitic nematodes in soil environments and provide protection for plants against insect pests. Recent research has explored the potential of employing entomopathogenic nematodes to protect plants from plant-parasitic nematodes, while providing their standard degree of protection against insects. The interactions involved are highly complex, due to both the three-organism system and the assortment of variables present in a soil environment, but a strong collection of evidence has accumulated regarding the suppressive capacity of certain entomopathogenic nematodes and their mutualistic bacteria, in the context of limiting the infectivity of plant-parasitic nematodes. Specific factors produced by certain entomopathogenic nematode complexes during the process of insect infection appear to have a selectively nematicidal, or at least repellant, effect on plant-parasitic nematodes. Using this information, an opportunity has formed to adapt this relationship to large-scale, field conditions and potentially relieve the agricultural industry of one of its most substantial burdens.

  11. Cryobanking of plant species, promise and status

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  12. Plant genetics, sustainable agriculture and global food security.

    PubMed

    Ronald, Pamela

    2011-05-01

    The United States and the world face serious societal challenges in the areas of food, environment, energy, and health. Historically, advances in plant genetics have provided new knowledge and technologies needed to address these challenges. Plant genetics remains a key component of global food security, peace, and prosperity for the foreseeable future. Millions of lives depend upon the extent to which crop genetic improvement can keep pace with the growing global population, changing climate, and shrinking environmental resources. While there is still much to be learned about the biology of plant-environment interactions, the fundamental technologies of plant genetic improvement, including crop genetic engineering, are in place, and are expected to play crucial roles in meeting the chronic demands of global food security. However, genetically improved seed is only part of the solution. Such seed must be integrated into ecologically based farming systems and evaluated in light of their environmental, economic, and social impacts-the three pillars of sustainable agriculture. In this review, I describe some lessons learned, over the last decade, of how genetically engineered crops have been integrated into agricultural practices around the world and discuss their current and future contribution to sustainable agricultural systems.

  13. Comparative genomics of the Fusarium fujikuroi species complex: biosynthetic pathways metabolite production and plant pathogenicity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Fusarium is a huge genus of filamentous fungi causing plant diseases in a wide range of host plants that result in high economic losses to world agriculture every year. Phylogenetic studies have shown that the genus Fusarium consists of different species complexes. One of them is the “Fusarium fujik...

  14. Phytotoxins produced by plant pathogenic Streptomyces species.

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

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

  15. Phytotoxins produced by plant pathogenic Streptomyces species.

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

    Streptomyces is a large genus consisting of soil-dwelling, filamentous bacteria that are best known for their capability of producing a vast array of medically and agriculturally useful secondary metabolites. In addition, a small number of Streptomyces spp. are capable of colonizing and infecting the underground portions of living plants and causing economically important crop diseases such as potato common scab (CS). Research into the mechanisms of Streptomyces plant pathogenicity has led to the identification and characterization of several phytotoxic secondary metabolites that are known or suspected of contributing to diseases in various plants. The best characterized are the thaxtomin phytotoxins, which play a critical role in the development of CS, acid scab and soil rot of sweet potato. In addition, the best-characterized CS-causing pathogen, Streptomyces scabies, produces a molecule that is predicted to resemble the Pseudomonas syringae coronatine phytotoxin and which contributes to seedling disease symptom development. Other Streptomyces phytotoxic secondary metabolites that have been identified include concanamycins, FD-891 and borrelidin. Furthermore, there is evidence that additional, unknown metabolites may participate in Streptomyces plant pathogenicity. Such revelations have implications for the rational development of better management procedures for controlling CS and other Streptomyces plant diseases. PMID:24131731

  16. Modeling Halophytic Plants in APEX for Sustainable Water and Agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeRuyter, T.; Saito, L.; Nowak, B.; Rossi, C.; Toderich, K.

    2013-12-01

    A major problem for irrigated agricultural production is soil salinization, which can occur naturally or can be human-induced. Human-induced, or secondary salinization, is particularly a problem in arid and semi-arid regions, especially in irrigated areas. Irrigated land has more than twice the production of rainfed land, and accounts for about one third of the world's food, but nearly 20% of irrigated lands are salt-affected. Many farmers worldwide currently seasonally leach their land to reduce the soil salt content. These practices, however, create further problems such as a raised groundwater table, and salt, fertilizer, and pesticide pollution of nearby lakes and groundwater. In Uzbekistan, a combination of these management practices and a propensity to cultivate 'thirsty' crops such as cotton has also contributed to the Aral Sea shrinking nearly 90% by volume since the 1950s. Most common agricultural crops are glycophytes that have reduced yields when subjected to salt-stress. Some plants, however, are known as halophytic or 'salt-loving' plants and are capable of completing their life-cycle in higher saline soil or water environments. Halophytes may be useful for human consumption, livestock fodder, or biofuel, and may also be able to reduce or maintain salt levels in soil and water. To assess the potential for these halophytes to assist with salinity management, we are developing a model that is capable of tracking salinity under different management practices in agricultural environments. This model is interdisciplinary as it combines fields such as plant ecology, hydrology, and soil science. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) model, Agricultural Policy/Environmental Extender (APEX), is being augmented with a salinity module that tracks salinity as separate ions across the soil-plant-water interface. The halophytes Atriplex nitens, Climacoptera lanata, and Salicornia europaea are being parameterized and added into the APEX model database. Field sites

  17. Plant Genetics, Sustainable Agriculture and Global Food Security

    PubMed Central

    Ronald, Pamela

    2011-01-01

    The United States and the world face serious societal challenges in the areas of food, environment, energy, and health. Historically, advances in plant genetics have provided new knowledge and technologies needed to address these challenges. Plant genetics remains a key component of global food security, peace, and prosperity for the foreseeable future. Millions of lives depend upon the extent to which crop genetic improvement can keep pace with the growing global population, changing climate, and shrinking environmental resources. While there is still much to be learned about the biology of plant–environment interactions, the fundamental technologies of plant genetic improvement, including crop genetic engineering, are in place, and are expected to play crucial roles in meeting the chronic demands of global food security. However, genetically improved seed is only part of the solution. Such seed must be integrated into ecologically based farming systems and evaluated in light of their environmental, economic, and social impacts—the three pillars of sustainable agriculture. In this review, I describe some lessons learned, over the last decade, of how genetically engineered crops have been integrated into agricultural practices around the world and discuss their current and future contribution to sustainable agricultural systems. PMID:21546547

  18. Clonal growth and plant species abundance

    PubMed Central

    Herben, Tomáš; Nováková, Zuzana; Klimešová, Jitka

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Plant growth promotion in cereal and leguminous agricultural important plants: from microorganism capacities to crop production.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Montaño, F; Alías-Villegas, C; Bellogín, R A; del Cerro, P; Espuny, M R; Jiménez-Guerrero, I; López-Baena, F J; Ollero, F J; Cubo, T

    2014-01-01

    Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) are free-living bacteria which actively colonize plant roots, exerting beneficial effects on plant development. The PGPR may (i) promote the plant growth either by using their own metabolism (solubilizing phosphates, producing hormones or fixing nitrogen) or directly affecting the plant metabolism (increasing the uptake of water and minerals), enhancing root development, increasing the enzymatic activity of the plant or "helping" other beneficial microorganisms to enhance their action on the plants; (ii) or may promote the plant growth by suppressing plant pathogens. These abilities are of great agriculture importance in terms of improving soil fertility and crop yield, thus reducing the negative impact of chemical fertilizers on the environment. The progress in the last decade in using PGPR in a variety of plants (maize, rice, wheat, soybean and bean) along with their mechanism of action are summarized and discussed here.

  20. Plant growth promotion in cereal and leguminous agricultural important plants: from microorganism capacities to crop production.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Montaño, F; Alías-Villegas, C; Bellogín, R A; del Cerro, P; Espuny, M R; Jiménez-Guerrero, I; López-Baena, F J; Ollero, F J; Cubo, T

    2014-01-01

    Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) are free-living bacteria which actively colonize plant roots, exerting beneficial effects on plant development. The PGPR may (i) promote the plant growth either by using their own metabolism (solubilizing phosphates, producing hormones or fixing nitrogen) or directly affecting the plant metabolism (increasing the uptake of water and minerals), enhancing root development, increasing the enzymatic activity of the plant or "helping" other beneficial microorganisms to enhance their action on the plants; (ii) or may promote the plant growth by suppressing plant pathogens. These abilities are of great agriculture importance in terms of improving soil fertility and crop yield, thus reducing the negative impact of chemical fertilizers on the environment. The progress in the last decade in using PGPR in a variety of plants (maize, rice, wheat, soybean and bean) along with their mechanism of action are summarized and discussed here. PMID:24144612

  1. Litsea Species as Potential Antiviral Plant Sources.

    PubMed

    Guan, Yifu; Wang, Dongying; Tan, Ghee T; Van Hung, Nguyen; Cuong, Nguyen Manh; Pezzuto, John M; Fong, Harry H S; Soejarto, Djaja Doel; Zhang, Hongjie

    2016-01-01

    Litsea verticillata Hance (Lauraceae), a Chinese medicine used to treat swelling caused by injury or by snake bites, was the first plant identified by our National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded International Cooperative Biodiversity Group (ICBG) project to exhibit anti-HIV activities. From this plant, we discovered a class of 8 novel litseane compounds, prototypic sesquiterpenes, all of which demonstrated anti-HIV activities. In subsequent studies, 26 additional compounds of different structural types were identified. During our continuing investigation of this plant species, we identified two new litseanes, litseaverticillols L and M, and a new sesquiterpene butenolide, litseasesquibutenolide. Litseaverticillols L and M were found to inhibit HIV-1 replication, with an IC[Formula: see text] value of 49.6[Formula: see text][Formula: see text]M. To further determine the antiviral properties of this plant, several relatively abundant isolates, including a litseane compound, two eudesmane sesquiterpenes and three lignans, were evaluated against an additional 21 viral targets. Lignans 8 and 9 were shown to be active against the Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV), with EC[Formula: see text] values of 22.0[Formula: see text][Formula: see text]M ([Formula: see text]) and 16.2[Formula: see text][Formula: see text]M ([Formula: see text]), respectively. Since many antiviral compounds have been discovered in L. verticillata, we further prepared 38 plant extracts made from the different plant parts of 9 additional Litsea species. These extracts were evaluated for their anti-HIV and cytotoxic activities, and four of the extracts, which ranged across three different species, displayed 97-100% inhibitory effects against HIV replication without showing cytotoxicity to a panel of human cell lines at a concentration of 20 μg/mL. PMID:27080941

  2. Influence of copper on root exudate patterns in some metallophytes and agricultural plants.

    PubMed

    Meier, S; Alvear, M; Borie, F; Aguilera, P; Ginocchio, R; Cornejo, P

    2012-01-01

    A hydroponic experiment was carried out to determine the root exudation patterns in two Cu-metallophytes (Oenothera picensis and Imperata condensata) and two agricultural plants (Lupinus albus and Helianthus annuus). Plants were grown in nutrient solution at increasing Cu doses (0, 0.125, 0.25, 0.5, 1 and 2mgCuL(-1)), and plant growth, root elongation, Cu accumulation and root exudates were measured. All plants showed a decrease of over 60% in root elongation at the highest Cu supply level, being O. picensis the most sensitive specie and showing the highest shoot and root Cu concentrations (116 and 2657μgCug(-1), respectively), which were six fold higher than the other species. Differences in root exudation patterns of low molecular weight organic acids were found, with extremely high amounts of succinic acid exuded by O. picensis (1049μmolg(-1)h(-1)), and citric acid by I. condensata (164μmolg(-1)h(-1)). In metallophytes, the organic acid exudation was increased even with no root elongation, meanwhile agricultural plants exuded citric acid at constant levels. Exudation of phenolic compounds was highly species-dependent, with catechin mainly exuded by I. condensata, (2.62μmolg(-1)h(-1)) cinnamic acid by O. picensis (5.08μmolg(-1)h(-1)) and coumaric acid exclusively exuded by H. annuus (13.6μmolg(-1)h(-1)) at high Cu levels. These results indicated that differences in root exudation patterns among metallophytes and agricultural plants could affect their Cu tolerance. Particularly, the higher exudation rate showed by I. condensata can be an effective exclusion mechanism to tolerate high Cu concentrations, supporting its use in Cu phytostabilization programs. PMID:21937112

  3. Influence of copper on root exudate patterns in some metallophytes and agricultural plants.

    PubMed

    Meier, S; Alvear, M; Borie, F; Aguilera, P; Ginocchio, R; Cornejo, P

    2012-01-01

    A hydroponic experiment was carried out to determine the root exudation patterns in two Cu-metallophytes (Oenothera picensis and Imperata condensata) and two agricultural plants (Lupinus albus and Helianthus annuus). Plants were grown in nutrient solution at increasing Cu doses (0, 0.125, 0.25, 0.5, 1 and 2mgCuL(-1)), and plant growth, root elongation, Cu accumulation and root exudates were measured. All plants showed a decrease of over 60% in root elongation at the highest Cu supply level, being O. picensis the most sensitive specie and showing the highest shoot and root Cu concentrations (116 and 2657μgCug(-1), respectively), which were six fold higher than the other species. Differences in root exudation patterns of low molecular weight organic acids were found, with extremely high amounts of succinic acid exuded by O. picensis (1049μmolg(-1)h(-1)), and citric acid by I. condensata (164μmolg(-1)h(-1)). In metallophytes, the organic acid exudation was increased even with no root elongation, meanwhile agricultural plants exuded citric acid at constant levels. Exudation of phenolic compounds was highly species-dependent, with catechin mainly exuded by I. condensata, (2.62μmolg(-1)h(-1)) cinnamic acid by O. picensis (5.08μmolg(-1)h(-1)) and coumaric acid exclusively exuded by H. annuus (13.6μmolg(-1)h(-1)) at high Cu levels. These results indicated that differences in root exudation patterns among metallophytes and agricultural plants could affect their Cu tolerance. Particularly, the higher exudation rate showed by I. condensata can be an effective exclusion mechanism to tolerate high Cu concentrations, supporting its use in Cu phytostabilization programs.

  4. Compound leaf development in model plant species.

    PubMed

    Bar, Maya; Ori, Naomi

    2015-02-01

    Plant leaves develop in accordance with a common basic program, which is flexibly adjusted to the species, developmental stage and environment. Two key stages of leaf development are morphogenesis and differentiation. In the case of compound leaves, the morphogenesis stage is prolonged as compared to simple leaves, allowing for the initiation of leaflets. Here, we review recent advances in the understanding of how plant hormones and transcriptional regulators modulate compound leaf development, yielding a substantial diversity of leaf forms, focusing on four model compound leaf organisms: cardamine (Cardamine hirsuta), tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), medicago (Medicago truncatula) and pea (Pisum sativum).

  5. Historical agriculture alters the effects of fire on understory plant beta diversity.

    PubMed

    Mattingly, W Brett; Orrock, John L; Collins, Cathy D; Brudvig, Lars A; Damschen, Ellen I; Veldman, Joseph W; Walker, Joan L

    2015-02-01

    Land-use legacies are known to shape the diversity and distribution of plant communities, but we lack an understanding of whether historical land use influences community responses to contemporary disturbances. Because human-modified landscapes often bear a history of multiple land-use activities, this contingency can challenge our understanding of land-use impacts on plant diversity. We address this contingency by evaluating how beta diversity (the spatial variability of species composition), an important component of regional biodiversity, is shaped by interactions between historical agriculture and prescribed fire, two prominent disturbances that are often coincident in terrestrial ecosystems. At three study locations spanning 450 km in the southeastern United States, we surveyed longleaf pine woodland understory plant communities across 232 remnant and post-agricultural sites with differing prescribed fire regimes. Our results demonstrate that agricultural legacies are a strong predictor of beta diversity, but the direction of this land-use effect differed among the three study locations. Further, although beta diversity increased with prescribed fire frequency at each study location, this effect was influenced by agricultural land-use history, such that positive fire effects were only documented among sites that lacked a history of agriculture at two of our three study locations. Our study not only highlights the role of historical agriculture in shaping beta diversity in a fire-maintained ecosystem but also illustrates how this effect can be contingent upon fire regime and geographic location. We suggest that interactions among historical and contemporary land-use activities may help to explain dissimilarities in plant communities among sites in human-dominated landscapes.

  6. Role of Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria in Agricultural Sustainability-A Review.

    PubMed

    Vejan, Pravin; Abdullah, Rosazlin; Khadiran, Tumirah; Ismail, Salmah; Nasrulhaq Boyce, Amru

    2016-01-01

    Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) shows an important role in the sustainable agriculture industry. The increasing demand for crop production with a significant reduction of synthetic chemical fertilizers and pesticides use is a big challenge nowadays. The use of PGPR has been proven to be an environmentally sound way of increasing crop yields by facilitating plant growth through either a direct or indirect mechanism. The mechanisms of PGPR include regulating hormonal and nutritional balance, inducing resistance against plant pathogens, and solubilizing nutrients for easy uptake by plants. In addition, PGPR show synergistic and antagonistic interactions with microorganisms within the rhizosphere and beyond in bulk soil, which indirectly boosts plant growth rate. There are many bacteria species that act as PGPR, described in the literature as successful for improving plant growth. However, there is a gap between the mode of action (mechanism) of the PGPR for plant growth and the role of the PGPR as biofertilizer-thus the importance of nano-encapsulation technology in improving the efficacy of PGPR. Hence, this review bridges the gap mentioned and summarizes the mechanism of PGPR as a biofertilizer for agricultural sustainability. PMID:27136521

  7. Role of Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria in Agricultural Sustainability-A Review.

    PubMed

    Vejan, Pravin; Abdullah, Rosazlin; Khadiran, Tumirah; Ismail, Salmah; Nasrulhaq Boyce, Amru

    2016-01-01

    Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) shows an important role in the sustainable agriculture industry. The increasing demand for crop production with a significant reduction of synthetic chemical fertilizers and pesticides use is a big challenge nowadays. The use of PGPR has been proven to be an environmentally sound way of increasing crop yields by facilitating plant growth through either a direct or indirect mechanism. The mechanisms of PGPR include regulating hormonal and nutritional balance, inducing resistance against plant pathogens, and solubilizing nutrients for easy uptake by plants. In addition, PGPR show synergistic and antagonistic interactions with microorganisms within the rhizosphere and beyond in bulk soil, which indirectly boosts plant growth rate. There are many bacteria species that act as PGPR, described in the literature as successful for improving plant growth. However, there is a gap between the mode of action (mechanism) of the PGPR for plant growth and the role of the PGPR as biofertilizer-thus the importance of nano-encapsulation technology in improving the efficacy of PGPR. Hence, this review bridges the gap mentioned and summarizes the mechanism of PGPR as a biofertilizer for agricultural sustainability.

  8. Not all GMOs are crop plants: non-plant GMO applications in agriculture.

    PubMed

    Hokanson, K E; Dawson, W O; Handler, A M; Schetelig, M F; St Leger, R J

    2014-12-01

    Since tools of modern biotechnology have become available, the most commonly applied and often discussed genetically modified organisms are genetically modified crop plants, although genetic engineering is also being used successfully in organisms other than plants, including bacteria, fungi, insects, and viruses. Many of these organisms, as with crop plants, are being engineered for applications in agriculture, to control plant insect pests or diseases. This paper reviews the genetically modified non-plant organisms that have been the subject of permit approvals for environmental release by the United States Department of Agriculture/Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service since the US began regulating genetically modified organisms. This is an indication of the breadth and progress of research in the area of non-plant genetically modified organisms. This review includes three examples of promising research on non-plant genetically modified organisms for application in agriculture: (1) insects for insect pest control using improved vector systems; (2) fungal pathogens of insects to control insect pests; and (3) virus for use as transient-expression vectors for disease control in plants. PMID:24242193

  9. Not all GMOs are crop plants: non-plant GMO applications in agriculture.

    PubMed

    Hokanson, K E; Dawson, W O; Handler, A M; Schetelig, M F; St Leger, R J

    2014-12-01

    Since tools of modern biotechnology have become available, the most commonly applied and often discussed genetically modified organisms are genetically modified crop plants, although genetic engineering is also being used successfully in organisms other than plants, including bacteria, fungi, insects, and viruses. Many of these organisms, as with crop plants, are being engineered for applications in agriculture, to control plant insect pests or diseases. This paper reviews the genetically modified non-plant organisms that have been the subject of permit approvals for environmental release by the United States Department of Agriculture/Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service since the US began regulating genetically modified organisms. This is an indication of the breadth and progress of research in the area of non-plant genetically modified organisms. This review includes three examples of promising research on non-plant genetically modified organisms for application in agriculture: (1) insects for insect pest control using improved vector systems; (2) fungal pathogens of insects to control insect pests; and (3) virus for use as transient-expression vectors for disease control in plants.

  10. Current challenges and future perspectives of plant and agricultural biotechnology.

    PubMed

    Moshelion, Menachem; Altman, Arie

    2015-06-01

    Advances in understanding plant biology, novel genetic resources, genome modification, and omics technologies generate new solutions for food security and novel biomaterials production under changing environmental conditions. New gene and germplasm candidates that are anticipated to lead to improved crop yields and other plant traits under stress have to pass long development phases based on trial and error using large-scale field evaluation. Therefore, quantitative, objective, and automated screening methods combined with decision-making algorithms are likely to have many advantages, enabling rapid screening of the most promising crop lines at an early stage followed by final mandatory field experiments. The combination of novel molecular tools, screening technologies, and economic evaluation should become the main goal of the plant biotechnological revolution in agriculture.

  11. Physics and agriculture: applied optics to plant fertilization and breeding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Diomandé, K.; Soro, P. A.; Zoro, G. H.; Krou, V. A.

    2011-08-01

    The economy of Côte d'Ivoire rests on the agriculture. In order to contribute to the development of this agriculture, we have oriented our research field on applied optics to agriculture. Then, our research concerns mainly the Laser Induced chlorophyll fluorescence in plants. A simple laser-induced fluorescence set up has been designed and built at the Laboratory of Crystallography and Molecular Physics (LaCPM) at the University of Cocody (Abidjan, COTE D'IVOIRE). With this home set up we first have studied the fluorescence spectra of the "chlorophyll" to characterize the potassium deficiency in oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq,). However, we found that the results differed for samples along terraced plots. The study of this phenomenon called "border effect", has enabled us to realize that sampling should be done after two rows of safety in each plot. We also applied the Laser Induced chlorophyll fluorescence technique to improve the plant breeding. For this, we have characterized the rubber tree seedlings in nurseries. And so we have highlighted those sensible to drought and resistant ones.

  12. Hybridization of powdery mildew strains gives rise to pathogens on novel agricultural crop species.

    PubMed

    Menardo, Fabrizio; Praz, Coraline R; Wyder, Stefan; Ben-David, Roi; Bourras, Salim; Matsumae, Hiromi; McNally, Kaitlin E; Parlange, Francis; Riba, Andrea; Roffler, Stefan; Schaefer, Luisa K; Shimizu, Kentaro K; Valenti, Luca; Zbinden, Helen; Wicker, Thomas; Keller, Beat

    2016-02-01

    Throughout the history of agriculture, many new crop species (polyploids or artificial hybrids) have been introduced to diversify products or to increase yield. However, little is known about how these new crops influence the evolution of new pathogens and diseases. Triticale is an artificial hybrid of wheat and rye, and it was resistant to the fungal pathogen powdery mildew (Blumeria graminis) until 2001 (refs. 1,2,3). We sequenced and compared the genomes of 46 powdery mildew isolates covering several formae speciales. We found that B. graminis f. sp. triticale, which grows on triticale and wheat, is a hybrid between wheat powdery mildew (B. graminis f. sp. tritici) and mildew specialized on rye (B. graminis f. sp. secalis). Our data show that the hybrid of the two mildews specialized on two different hosts can infect the hybrid plant species originating from those two hosts. We conclude that hybridization between mildews specialized on different species is a mechanism of adaptation to new crops introduced by agriculture. PMID:26752267

  13. Beyond Arabidopsis: the circadian clock in non-model plant species.

    PubMed

    McClung, C Robertson

    2013-05-01

    Circadian clocks allow plants to temporally coordinate many aspects of their biology with the diurnal cycle derived from the rotation of Earth on its axis. Although there is a rich history of the study of clocks in many plant species, in recent years much progress in elucidating the architecture and function of the plant clock has emerged from studies of the model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana. There is considerable interest in extending this knowledge of the circadian clock into diverse plant species in order to address its role in topics as varied as agricultural productivity and the responses of individual species and plant communities to global climate change and environmental degradation. The analysis of circadian clocks in the green lineage provides insight into evolutionary processes in plants and throughout the eukaryotes.

  14. The integrated web service and genome database for agricultural plants with biotechnology information

    PubMed Central

    Kim, ChangKug; Park, DongSuk; Seol, YoungJoo; Hahn, JangHo

    2011-01-01

    The National Agricultural Biotechnology Information Center (NABIC) constructed an agricultural biology-based infrastructure and developed a Web based relational database for agricultural plants with biotechnology information. The NABIC has concentrated on functional genomics of major agricultural plants, building an integrated biotechnology database for agro-biotech information that focuses on genomics of major agricultural resources. This genome database provides annotated genome information from 1,039,823 records mapped to rice, Arabidopsis, and Chinese cabbage. PMID:21887015

  15. RESPONSE OF WETLAND PLANT SPECIES TO HYDROLOGIC CONDITIONS

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  16. RESPONSE OF WETLAND PLANT SPECIES TO HYDROLOGIC CONDITIONS

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-11-27

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  19. Supplementary calcium ameliorates ammonium toxicity by improving water status in agriculturally important species

    PubMed Central

    Hernández-Gómez, Elvia; Valdez-Aguilar, Luis A.; Cartmill, Donita L.; Cartmill, Andrew D.; Alia-Tajacal, Irán

    2015-01-01

    Fertilization of agricultural plants with ammonium (NH4+) is often desirable because it is less susceptible to leaching than nitrate (NO3−), reducing environmental pollution, risk to human health and economic loss. However, a number of important agricultural species exhibit a reduction in growth when fertilized with NH4+, and increasing the tolerance to NH4+ may be of importance for the establishment of sustainable agricultural systems. The present study explored the feasibility of using calcium (Ca) to increase the tolerance of bell pepper (Capsicum annuum) to NH4+ fertilization. Although NH4+ at proportions ≥25 % of total nitrogen (N) decreased leaf dry mass (DM), supplementary Ca ameliorated this decrease. Increasing NH4+ resulted in decreased root hydraulic conductance (Lo) and root water content (RWC), suggesting that water uptake by roots was impaired. The NH4+-induced reductions in Lo and RWC were mitigated by supplementary Ca. Ammonium induced increased damage to the cell membranes through lipid peroxidation, causing increased electrolyte leakage; Ca did not reduce lipid peroxidation and resulted in increased electrolyte leakage, suggesting that the beneficial effects of Ca on the tolerance to NH4+ may be more of a reflection on its effect on the water status of the plant. Bell pepper plants that received NO3−N had a low concentration of NH4+ in the roots but a high concentration in the leaves, probably due to the high nitrate reductase activity observed. Ammonium nutrition depressed the uptake of potassium, Ca and magnesium, while increasing that of phosphorus. The results obtained in the present study indicate that NH4+ caused growth reduction, nutrient imbalance, membrane integrity impairment, increased activity of antioxidant enzymes and affected water relations. Supplementary Ca partially restored growth of leaves by improving root Lo and water relations, and our results suggest that it may be used as a tool to increase the tolerance to NH4

  20. Supplementary calcium ameliorates ammonium toxicity by improving water status in agriculturally important species.

    PubMed

    Hernández-Gómez, Elvia; Valdez-Aguilar, Luis A; Cartmill, Donita L; Cartmill, Andrew D; Alia-Tajacal, Irán

    2015-01-01

    Fertilization of agricultural plants with ammonium [Formula: see text] is often desirable because it is less susceptible to leaching than nitrate [Formula: see text] reducing environmental pollution, risk to human health and economic loss. However, a number of important agricultural species exhibit a reduction in growth when fertilized with [Formula: see text] and increasing the tolerance to [Formula: see text] may be of importance for the establishment of sustainable agricultural systems. The present study explored the feasibility of using calcium (Ca) to increase the tolerance of bell pepper (Capsicum annuum) to [Formula: see text] fertilization. Although [Formula: see text] at proportions ≥25 % of total nitrogen (N) decreased leaf dry mass (DM), supplementary Ca ameliorated this decrease. Increasing [Formula: see text] resulted in decreased root hydraulic conductance (Lo) and root water content (RWC), suggesting that water uptake by roots was impaired. The [Formula: see text]-induced reductions in Lo and RWC were mitigated by supplementary Ca. Ammonium induced increased damage to the cell membranes through lipid peroxidation, causing increased electrolyte leakage; Ca did not reduce lipid peroxidation and resulted in increased electrolyte leakage, suggesting that the beneficial effects of Ca on the tolerance to [Formula: see text] may be more of a reflection on its effect on the water status of the plant. Bell pepper plants that received [Formula: see text] had a low concentration of [Formula: see text] in the roots but a high concentration in the leaves, probably due to the high nitrate reductase activity observed. Ammonium nutrition depressed the uptake of potassium, Ca and magnesium, while increasing that of phosphorus. The results obtained in the present study indicate that [Formula: see text] caused growth reduction, nutrient imbalance, membrane integrity impairment, increased activity of antioxidant enzymes and affected water relations. Supplementary Ca

  1. Role of transgenic plants in agriculture and biopharming.

    PubMed

    Ahmad, Parvaiz; Ashraf, Muhammad; Younis, Muhammad; Hu, Xiangyang; Kumar, Ashwani; Akram, Nudrat Aisha; Al-Qurainy, F

    2012-01-01

    At present, environmental degradation and the consistently growing population are two main problems on the planet earth. Fulfilling the needs of this growing population is quite difficult from the limited arable land available on the globe. Although there are legal, social and political barriers to the utilization of biotechnology, advances in this field have substantially improved agriculture and human life to a great extent. One of the vital tools of biotechnology is genetic engineering (GE) which is used to modify plants, animals and microorganisms according to desired needs. In fact, genetic engineering facilitates the transfer of desired characteristics into other plants which is not possible through conventional plant breeding. A variety of crops have been engineered for enhanced resistance to a multitude of stresses such as herbicides, insecticides, viruses and a combination of biotic and abiotic stresses in different crops including rice, mustard, maize, potato, tomato, etc. Apart from the use of GE in agriculture, it is being extensively employed to modify the plants for enhanced production of vaccines, hormones, etc. Vaccines against certain diseases are certainly available in the market, but most of them are very costly. Developing countries cannot afford the disease control through such cost-intensive vaccines. Alternatively, efforts are being made to produce edible vaccines which are cheap and have many advantages over the commercialized vaccines. Transgenic plants generated for this purpose are capable of expressing recombinant proteins including viral and bacterial antigens and antibodies. Common food plants like banana, tomato, rice, carrot, etc. have been used to produce vaccines against certain diseases like hepatitis B, cholera, HIV, etc. Thus, the up- and down-regulation of desired genes which are used for the modification of plants have a marked role in the improvement of genetic crops. In this review, we have comprehensively discussed the role

  2. Genomic Basis of Plant Pathogen Suppression by Biocontrol Pseudomonas Species

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Various plant commensal bacterial species, which naturally colonize the plant rhizosphere, are able to suppress fungal, bacterial, viral and even insect plant pathogens. These biocontrol activities are elicited primarily through the production of secreted exoenzymes and secondary metabolites that ma...

  3. Plant protection under conditions of radioactive contamination of agricultural lands

    SciTech Connect

    Filipas, A.S.; Oulianenko, L.N.; Pimenov, E.P.

    1995-12-31

    Increasing influence of anthropogenic contaminants as well as substantiated risk of the action of ionizing radiation on agroecosystems suggest the necessity of studying both the state of separate components of cenosis and search for methods on retention of ecosystem stability as a whole. In this case it should be taken into account that by retention of resistance of living organisms to the action of stress agents not only genetically conditioned potential but induction of protective reactions at the expense of ecogene action is of deciding significance as well. Protection of agricultural plants on the territories subjected to radioactive contamination resulting from the ChNPP accident brings attention of research works to a series of problems, the main one being the minimization of pesticide use by the total ecologization of technological processes, in plant growing. But an ordinary discontinuance of conducting protective chemical measures leads to growth in the number of harmful organisms in crop sowings and as a consequence an increase of crop loss and decrease of its quality. It is possible to solve this problem by introduction of measures increasing the resistance of agricultural plants to the action of unfavorable factors of environment. Application of biologically active substances (BAS) of natural and synthetic nature for incrustation of seeds fits into these methods. For the territories with increased content of radionuclides and especially by their rehabilitation the methods of preventive treatments directed to retarding the development of harmful organisms in crop sowings and excluding subsequent technological operations on chemical protection of sowings takes on special significance as it is directly connected with the problem of radiation burden on workers of agroindustrial complex.

  4. Effect of plant species loss on aphid-parasitoid communities.

    PubMed

    Petermann, Jana S; Müller, Christine B; Weigelt, Alexandra; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Schmid, Bernhard

    2010-05-01

    1. The consequences of species loss on ecosystem functioning within a single trophic level have been extensively studied. However, the loss of basal species is likely to have profound impacts on the abundance, richness and ecosystem functioning of species at higher trophic levels. 2. Here, we used experimentally established plant communities with a species richness gradient to study the effects of plant species loss on a multi-trophic insect community in the field. We measured densities and species richness of aphids and parasitic wasps (primary, secondary and facultative tertiary parasitoids of aphids) that naturally colonized the grassland plots. 3. Furthermore, we calculated two ecosystem functions: aphid load (the number of aphid individuals per host plant biomass used as a proxy for herbivory) and parasitism rate. We used structural equation models to explore pathways of direct and indirect effects of plant species richness on higher trophic levels. 4. We found that the densities and richness of species at all trophic levels were influenced by changes in plant species richness. The effects were rarely direct, but instead mediated by the abundance and species richness of aphid host plants and subsequent trophic levels. 5. The herbivore and primary parasitoid levels were most directly affected by changes in plant species richness, with highest insect densities and species richness occurring at intermediate plant species richness. The densities and species richness of secondary parasitoids declined linearly with plant species richness owing to sparser resources, resulting in shorter food chains in communities with the highest plant species richness. 6. Aphid load was highest at intermediate plant species richness and negatively affected by both host plant biomass and host plant species richness. Parasitism rate was mostly affected indirectly via aphid density and overall only weakly negatively related to plant species richness. 7. Our results demonstrate that

  5. Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning: Exploring Principles of Ecology with Agricultural Plants

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ruesink, Jennifer; O'Connor, Eileen; Sparks, Grace

    2006-01-01

    To date, little of the ecological research on biological diversity and ecosystem functioning has been carried out in agricultural systems, despite the fact that agriculture is a major contributor to loss of native habitats and species. However, agricultural research has demonstrated that polycultures of multiple crop species can have higher total…

  6. Meaningful traits for grouping plant species across arid ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Bär Lamas, Marlene Ivonne; Carrera, A L; Bertiller, M B

    2016-05-01

    Grouping species may provide some degree of simplification to understand the ecological function of plants on key ecosystem processes. We asked whether groups of plant species based on morpho-chemical traits associated with plant persistence and stress/disturbance resistance reflect dominant plant growth forms in arid ecosystems. We selected twelve sites across an aridity gradient in northern Patagonia. At each site, we identified modal size plants of each dominant species and assessed specific leaf area (SLA), plant height, seed mass, N and soluble phenol concentration in green and senesced leaves at each plant. Plant species were grouped according with plant growth forms (perennial grasses, evergreen shrubs and deciduous shrubs) and plant morphological and/or chemical traits using cluster analysis. We calculated mean values of each plant trait for each species group and plant growth form. Plant growth forms significantly differed among them in most of the morpho-chemical traits. Evergreen shrubs were tall plants with the highest seed mass and soluble phenols in leaves, deciduous shrubs were also tall plants with high SLA and the highest N in leaves, and perennial grasses were short plants with high SLA and low concentration of N and soluble phenols in leaves. Grouping species by the combination of morpho-chemical traits yielded 4 groups in which species from one growth form prevailed. These species groups differed in soluble phenol concentration in senesced leaves and plant height. These traits were highly correlated. We concluded that (1) plant height is a relevant synthetic variable, (2) growth forms adequately summarize ecological strategies of species in arid ecosystems, and (3) the inclusion of plant morphological and chemical traits related to defenses against environmental stresses and herbivory enhanced the potential of species grouping, particularly within shrubby growth forms. PMID:26897637

  7. Organic farming benefits local plant diversity in vineyard farms located in intensive agricultural landscapes.

    PubMed

    Nascimbene, Juri; Marini, Lorenzo; Paoletti, Maurizio G

    2012-05-01

    The majority of research on organic farming has considered arable and grassland farming systems in Central and Northern Europe, whilst only a few studies have been carried out in Mediterranean agro-systems, such as vineyards, despite their economic importance. The main aim of the study was to test whether organic farming enhances local plant species richness in both crop and non-crop areas of vineyard farms located in intensive conventional landscapes. Nine conventional and nine organic farms were selected in an intensively cultivated region (i.e. no gradient in landscape composition) in northern Italy. In each farm, vascular plants were sampled in one vineyard and in two non-crop linear habitats, grass strips and hedgerows, adjacent to vineyards and therefore potentially influenced by farming. We used linear mixed models to test the effect of farming, and species longevity (annual vs. perennial) separately for the three habitat types. In our intensive agricultural landscapes organic farming promoted local plant species richness in vineyard fields, and grassland strips while we found no effect for linear hedgerows. Differences in species richness were not associated to differences in species composition, indicating that similar plant communities were hosted in vineyard farms independently of the management type. This negative effect of conventional farming was probably due to the use of herbicides, while mechanical operations and mowing regime did not differ between organic and conventional farms. In grassland strips, and only marginally in vineyards, we found that the positive effect of organic farming was more pronounced for perennial than annual species.

  8. Organic Farming Benefits Local Plant Diversity in Vineyard Farms Located in Intensive Agricultural Landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nascimbene, Juri; Marini, Lorenzo; Paoletti, Maurizio G.

    2012-05-01

    The majority of research on organic farming has considered arable and grassland farming systems in Central and Northern Europe, whilst only a few studies have been carried out in Mediterranean agro-systems, such as vineyards, despite their economic importance. The main aim of the study was to test whether organic farming enhances local plant species richness in both crop and non-crop areas of vineyard farms located in intensive conventional landscapes. Nine conventional and nine organic farms were selected in an intensively cultivated region (i.e. no gradient in landscape composition) in northern Italy. In each farm, vascular plants were sampled in one vineyard and in two non-crop linear habitats, grass strips and hedgerows, adjacent to vineyards and therefore potentially influenced by farming. We used linear mixed models to test the effect of farming, and species longevity (annual vs. perennial) separately for the three habitat types. In our intensive agricultural landscapes organic farming promoted local plant species richness in vineyard fields, and grassland strips while we found no effect for linear hedgerows. Differences in species richness were not associated to differences in species composition, indicating that similar plant communities were hosted in vineyard farms independently of the management type. This negative effect of conventional farming was probably due to the use of herbicides, while mechanical operations and mowing regime did not differ between organic and conventional farms. In grassland strips, and only marginally in vineyards, we found that the positive effect of organic farming was more pronounced for perennial than annual species.

  9. Agricultural plants and soil as a reservoir for Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

    PubMed

    Green, S K; Schroth, M N; Cho, J J; Kominos, S K; Vitanza-jack, V B

    1974-12-01

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa was detected in 24% of the soil samples but in only 0.13% of the vegetable samples from various agricultural areas of California. The distribution of pyocin types of soil and vegetable isolates was similar to that of clinical strains, and three of the soil isolates were resistant to carbenicillin. Pseudomonas aeruginosa multiplied in lettuce and bean under conditions of high temperature and high relative humidity (27 C and 80-95% relative humidity) but declined when the temperature and humidity were lowered (16 C, 55-75% relative humidity). The results suggest that soil is a reservior for P. aeruginosa and that the bacterium has the capacity to colonize plants during favorable conditions of temperature and moisture. PMID:4217591

  10. Noncrop flowering plants restore top-down herbivore control in agricultural fields.

    PubMed

    Balmer, Oliver; Pfiffner, Lukas; Schied, Johannes; Willareth, Martin; Leimgruber, Andrea; Luka, Henryk; Traugott, Michael

    2013-08-01

    Herbivore populations are regulated by bottom-up control through food availability and quality and by top-down control through natural enemies. Intensive agricultural monocultures provide abundant food to specialized herbivores and at the same time negatively impact natural enemies because monocultures are depauperate in carbohydrate food sources required by many natural enemies. As a consequence, herbivores are released from both types of control. Diversifying intensive cropping systems with flowering plants that provide nutritional resources to natural enemies may enhance top-down control and contribute to natural herbivore regulation. We analyzed how noncrop flowering plants planted as "companion plants" inside cabbage (Brassica oleracea) fields and as margins along the fields affect the plant-herbivore-parasitoid-predator food web. We combined molecular analyses quantifying parasitism of herbivore eggs and larvae with molecular predator gut content analysis and a comprehensive predator community assessment. Planting cornflowers (Centaurea cynanus), which have been shown to attract and selectively benefit Microplitis mediator, a larval parasitoid of the cabbage moth Mamestra brassicae, between the cabbage heads shifted the balance between trophic levels. Companion plants significantly increased parasitism of herbivores by larval parasitoids and predation on herbivore eggs. They furthermore significantly affected predator species richness. These effects were present despite the different treatments being close relative to the parasitoids' mobility. These findings demonstrate that habitat manipulation can restore top-down herbivore control in intensive crops if the right resources are added. This is important because increased natural control reduces the need for pesticide input in intensive agricultural settings, with cascading positive effects on general biodiversity and the environment. Companion plants thus increase biodiversity both directly, by introducing

  11. Plant species radiations: where, when, why?

    PubMed

    Linder, Hans Peter

    2008-09-27

    The spatial and temporal patterns of plant species radiations are largely unknown. I used a nonlinear regression to estimate speciation and extinction rates from all relevant dated clades. Both are surprisingly high. A high species richness can be the result of either little extinction, thus preserving the diversity that dates from older radiations (a 'mature radiation'), or a 'recent and rapid radiation'. The analysis of radiations from different regions (Andes, New Zealand, Australia, southwest Africa, tropics and Eurasia) revealed that the diversity of Australia may be largely the result of mature radiations. This is in sharp contrast to New Zealand, where the flora appears to be largely the result of recent and rapid radiations. Mature radiations are characteristic of regions that have been climatically and geologically stable throughout the Neogene, whereas recent and rapid radiations are more typical of younger (Pliocene) environments. The hyperdiverse Cape and Neotropical floras are the result of the combinations of mature as well as recent and rapid radiations. Both the areas contain stable environments (the Amazon basin and the Cape Fold Mountains) as well as dynamic landscapes (the Andes and the South African west coast). The evolution of diversity can only be understood in the context of the local environment.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    1984-01-01

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

  13. The Endangered Species Act: Interfacing with Agricultural and Natural Ecosystems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Endangered Species Act (ESA) provides protective measures and a framework for establishing compliance criteria for actions that may affect species (and their habitat) listed under the Act. In many cases, the ESA can be effectively used under Section & of the Act, which provides procedures for c...

  14. Linking agricultural practices, mycorrhizal fungi, and traits mediating plant-insect interactions.

    PubMed

    Barber, Nicholas A; Kiers, E Toby; Theis, Nina; Hazzard, Ruth V; Adler, Lynn S

    2013-10-01

    Agricultural management has profound effects on soil communities. Activities such as fertilizer inputs can modify the composition of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) communities, which form important symbioses with the roots of most crop plants. Intensive conventional agricultural management may select for less mutualistic AMF with reduced benefits to host plants compared to organic management, but these differences are poorly understood. AMF are generally evaluated based on their direct growth effects on plants. However, mycorrhizal colonization also may alter plant traits such as tissue nutrients, defensive chemistry, or floral traits, which mediate important plant-insect interactions like herbivory and pollination. To determine the effect of AMF from different farming practices on plant performance and traits that putatively mediate species interactions, we performed a greenhouse study by inoculating Cucumis sativus (cucumber, Cucurbitaceae) with AMF from conventional farms, organic farms, and a commercial AMF inoculum. We measured growth and a suite of plant traits hypothesized to be important predictors of herbivore resistance and pollinator attraction. Several leaf and root traits and flower production were significantly affected by AMF inoculum. Both conventional and organic AMF reduced leaf P content but increased Na content compared to control and commercial AMF. Leaf defenses were unaffected by AMF treatments, but conventional AMF increased root cucurbitacin C, the primary defensive chemical of C. sativus, compared to organic AMF. These effects may have important consequences for herbivore preference and population dynamics. AMF from both organic and conventional farms decreased flower production relative to commercial and control treatments, which may reduce pollinator attraction and plant reproduction. AMF from both farm types also reduced seed germination, but effects on plant growth were limited. Our results suggest that studies only considering AMF

  15. Nitrogen uptake, assimilation and remobilization in plants: challenges for sustainable and productive agriculture

    PubMed Central

    Masclaux-Daubresse, Céline; Daniel-Vedele, Françoise; Dechorgnat, Julie; Chardon, Fabien; Gaufichon, Laure; Suzuki, Akira

    2010-01-01

    Background Productive agriculture needs a large amount of expensive nitrogenous fertilizers. Improving nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) of crop plants is thus of key importance. NUE definitions differ depending on whether plants are cultivated to produce biomass or grain yields. However, for most plant species, NUE mainly depends on how plants extract inorganic nitrogen from the soil, assimilate nitrate and ammonium, and recycle organic nitrogen. Efforts have been made to study the genetic basis as well as the biochemical and enzymatic mechanisms involved in nitrogen uptake, assimilation, and remobilization in crops and model plants. The detection of the limiting factors that could be manipulated to increase NUE is the major goal of such research. Scope An overall examination of the physiological, metabolic, and genetic aspects of nitrogen uptake, assimilation and remobilization is presented in this review. The enzymes and regulatory processes manipulated to improve NUE components are presented. Results obtained from natural variation and quantitative trait loci studies are also discussed. Conclusions This review presents the complexity of NUE and supports the idea that the integration of the numerous data coming from transcriptome studies, functional genomics, quantitative genetics, ecophysiology and soil science into explanatory models of whole-plant behaviour will be promising. PMID:20299346

  16. 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

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-10-01

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

  19. Plant Species Recovery on a Compacted Skid Road

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  20. Multivariate identification of plant functional response and effect traits in an agricultural landscape.

    PubMed

    Pakeman, Robin J

    2011-06-01

    Plant functional traits have been proposed as a linkage between the environmental control of vegetation and ecosystem function. Identification of traits that mediate the response of plant species to the environment is well established, but the identification of effect traits and the linkage between the two sets is less developed. This was attempted for a study of eight contrasting land uses in a marginal agricultural landscape where data on vegetation, management controls of the disturbance regime, and soil characteristics, including nitrogen release, were measured simultaneously with measures of ecosystem function such as litter decomposition rates and primary productivity on 30 sites. Trait data were assembled from databases, and an iterative multivariate approach using the three table (species, trait, environment) method RLQ was employed to identify a parsimonious set of traits that predict plant species responses to the environment and a parsimonious set of traits that link vegetation to ecosystem function. The lists of response and effect traits were similar, and where differences were observed, traits were usually highly correlated with at least one trait in the other list. This approach identified a small number of traits (canopy height, leaf dry matter content, leaf size, and specific leaf area) that provide a means of linking vegetation responses to environmental change with changes in ecosystem function. Other response traits included vegetative spread strategy, start of flowering, and seed terminal velocity, but within the system studied these traits were all significantly correlated to the traits shared between the response and effect lists.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Towards personalized agriculture: what chemical genomics can bring to plant biotechnology

    PubMed Central

    Stokes, Michael E.; McCourt, Peter

    2014-01-01

    In contrast to the dominant drug paradigm in which compounds were developed to “fit all,” new models focused around personalized medicine are appearing in which treatments are developed and customized for individual patients. The agricultural biotechnology industry (Ag-biotech) should also think about these new personalized models. For example, most common herbicides are generic in action, which led to the development of genetically modified crops to add specificity. The ease and accessibility of modern genomic analysis, when wedded to accessible large chemical space, should facilitate the discovery of chemicals that are more selective in their utility. Is it possible to develop species-selective herbicides and growth regulators? More generally put, is plant research at a stage where chemicals can be developed that streamline plant development and growth to various environments? We believe the advent of chemical genomics now opens up these and other opportunities to “personalize” agriculture. Furthermore, chemical genomics does not necessarily require genetically tractable plant models, which in principle should allow quick translation to practical applications. For this to happen, however, will require collaboration between the Ag-biotech industry and academic labs for early stage research and development, a situation that has proven very fruitful for Big Pharma. PMID:25183965

  3. Phytophthora species, new threats to the plant health in Korea.

    PubMed

    Hyun, Ik-Hwa; Choi, Woobong

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Hyun, Ik-Hwa; Choi, Woobong

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Oduor, Ayub M O

    2013-12-01

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

  6. Revising and Updating the Plant Science Components of the Connecticut Vocational Agriculture Curriculum.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Connecticut Univ., Storrs. Dept. of Educational Leadership.

    This curriculum guide provides the plant science components of the vocational agriculture curriculum for Regional Vocational Agriculture Centers. The curriculum is divided into exploratory units for students in the 9th and 10th grades and specialized units for students in grades 11 and 12. The five exploratory units are: agricultural pest control;…

  7. Plant-associated symbiotic Burkholderia species lack hallmark strategies required in mammalian pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Angus, Annette A; Agapakis, Christina M; Fong, Stephanie; Yerrapragada, Shailaja; Estrada-de los Santos, Paulina; Yang, Paul; Song, Nannie; Kano, Stephanie; Caballero-Mellado, Jésus; de Faria, Sergio M; Dakora, Felix D; Weinstock, George; Hirsch, Ann M

    2014-01-01

    Burkholderia is a diverse and dynamic genus, containing pathogenic species as well as species that form complex interactions with plants. Pathogenic strains, such as B. pseudomallei and B. mallei, can cause serious disease in mammals, while other Burkholderia strains are opportunistic pathogens, infecting humans or animals with a compromised immune system. Although some of the opportunistic Burkholderia pathogens are known to promote plant growth and even fix nitrogen, the risk of infection to infants, the elderly, and people who are immunocompromised has not only resulted in a restriction on their use, but has also limited the application of non-pathogenic, symbiotic species, several of which nodulate legume roots or have positive effects on plant growth. However, recent phylogenetic analyses have demonstrated that Burkholderia species separate into distinct lineages, suggesting the possibility for safe use of certain symbiotic species in agricultural contexts. A number of environmental strains that promote plant growth or degrade xenobiotics are also included in the symbiotic lineage. Many of these species have the potential to enhance agriculture in areas where fertilizers are not readily available and may serve in the future as inocula for crops growing in soils impacted by climate change. Here we address the pathogenic potential of several of the symbiotic Burkholderia strains using bioinformatics and functional tests. A series of infection experiments using Caenorhabditis elegans and HeLa cells, as well as genomic characterization of pathogenic loci, show that the risk of opportunistic infection by symbiotic strains such as B. tuberum is extremely low.

  8. Plant species richness enhanced the methane emission in experimental microcosms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Chong-Bang; Sun, Hong-Ying; Ge, Ying; Gu, Bao-Jing; Wang, Hai; Chang, Jie

    2012-12-01

    Effect of plant species richness on the methane (CH4) flux was investigated in vertical flow microcosms fed with the modified Hoagland solution. The CH4 flux increased significantly with the plant species richness (Linear regression analysis, r2 = 0.203, P = 0.010), with an average range from 1.59 to 4.30 mg m-2 d-1. Above-ground plant biomass followed the CH4 flux trend with the plant species richness (r2 = 0.108, P = 0.023), but both methanogenic number and activity decreased to different extents with the plant species richness (r2 = 0.103, P = 0.023; r2 = 0.020, P = 0.337), respectively. Accordingly, the present study highlights the significance of plant species diversity and its biomass production in manipulating the CH4 flux in the constructed wetlands.

  9. One foot in the furrow: linkages between agriculture, plant pathology, and public health.

    PubMed

    Scholthof, Karen-Beth G

    2003-01-01

    Plant pathology is a field of biology that focuses on understanding the nature of disease in plants as well as on more practical aspects of preventing and controlling plant diseases in crop plants that are important to agriculture. Throughout history, plant diseases have had significant effects on human health and welfare. Several examples, in both historical and contemporary contexts, are presented in this review to show how plant pathogens, biotechnology, and farming practices have affected public health. Specific topics illustrating clear linkages between agriculture and human health include allergens in the environment, food-safety and agricultural practices, mycotoxigenic fungi, agrobioterrorism, and the biological control of plant diseases. The further argument is made that in order to monitor and ensure that good health and safety practices are maintained from "farm to fork," public health specialists may benefit from the resources and expertise of agricultural scientists.

  10. A spatially-explicit data driven approach to assess the effect of agricultural land occupation on species groups

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elshout, P.; van Zelm, R.; Karuppiah, R.; Laurenzi, I.; Huijbregts, M.

    2013-12-01

    Change of vegetation cover and increased land use intensity can directly affect the natural habitat and the wildlife it houses. The actual impact of agricultural land use is region specific as crops are grown under various climatic conditions and ways of cultivation and refining. Furthermore, growing a specific crop in a tropical region may require clearance of rainforest while the same crop may replace natural grasslands in temperate regions. Within life cycle impact assessment (LCIA), methods to address impacts of land use on a global scale are still in need of development. We aim to extend existing methods to improve the robustness of LCIA by allowing spatial differentiation of agricultural land use impacts. The goal of this study is to develop characterization factors for the direct impact of land use on biodiversity, which results from the replacement of natural habitat with farmland. The characterization factor expresses the change in species richness under crop cultivation compared to the species richness in the natural situation over a certain area. A second goal was to identify the differences in impacts caused by cultivation of different crop types, sensitivity of different taxonomic groups, and differences in natural land cover. Empirical data on species richness were collected from literature for both natural reference situations and agricultural land use situations. Reference situations were selected on an ecoregion or biome basis. We calculated characterization factors for four crop groups (oil palm, low crops, cereals, and perennial grasses), four species groups (arthropods, birds, mammals, vascular plants), and six biomes.

  11. Agricultural Activities of a Meadow Eliminated Plant Litter from the Periphery of a Farmland in Inner Mongolia, China

    PubMed Central

    Kawada, Kiyokazu; Borjigin, Wuyunna; Nakamura, Toru

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of our investigation was to clarify the effects of agriculture on the process of loss of litter at the periphery of a farmland. This study revealed the generation process of an ecologically unusual phenomenon that is observed around cropland in semi-arid regions. We hypothesized that the vegetation around a farmland cannot supply plant litter to the ground surface because the ecological structure has been changed by agricultural activities. The study was conducted at Xilingol steppe, Xilingol League, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China. Four study lines were established from the edge of an arable field to the surrounding meadow and parallel to the wind direction during the strong wind season. Key measurement for each line was set at the border between the farmland and steppe. Four study sites were set at intervals along each line. Plant litter, soil particle size distribution, plant species composition, plant volume, and species diversity were investigated. Despite using the same mowing method at the meadows of all study sites, the litter at the only periphery of the farmland completely disappeared. Soil particle size distribution in steppe, which was adjacent to the farmland, was similar to that of the farmland. Plant community structure at the periphery of the farmland was different from that of the far side from the farmland. This implies that soil scattered from the farmland affected the species composition of the steppe. Consequently, the change in plant community structure induced litter loss because of mowing. We concluded that plant litter was lost near the farmland because of the combined effects of farming and mowing. The results support our hypothesis that the vegetation around a farmland cannot supply plant litter because the ecological structure has been changed by agricultural activities. PMID:26241943

  12. Gasification of agricultural residues in a demonstrative plant: corn cobs.

    PubMed

    Biagini, Enrico; Barontini, Federica; Tognotti, Leonardo

    2014-12-01

    Biomass gasification couples the high power efficiency with the possibility of valuably using the byproducts heat and biochar. The use of agricultural wastes instead of woody feedstock extends the seasonal availability of biomasses. The downdraft type is the most used reactor but has narrow ranges of feedstock specifications (above all on moisture and particle size distribution), so tests on a demonstrative scale are conducted to prove the versatility of the gasifier. Measurements on pressure drops, syngas flow rate and composition are studied to assess the feasibility of such operations with corn cobs. Material and energy balances, and performance indexes are compared for the four tests carried out under different biomass loads (66-85 kg/h). A good operability of the plant and interesting results are obtained (gas specific production of 2 m3/kg, gas heating value 5.6-5.8 MJ/m3, cold gas efficiency in the range 66-68%, potential net power efficiency 21.1-21.6%). PMID:25299486

  13. Sustainable agriculture and plant diseases: an epidemiological perspective.

    PubMed

    Gilligan, Christopher A

    2008-02-27

    The potential for modern biology to identify new sources for genetical, chemical and biological control of plant disease is remarkably high. Successful implementation of these methods within globally and locally changing agricultural environments demands new approaches to durable control. This, in turn, requires fusion of population genetics and epidemiology at a range of scales from the field to the landscape and even to continental deployment of control measures. It also requires an understanding of economic and social constraints that influence the deployment of control. Here I propose an epidemiological framework to model invasion, persistence and variability of epidemics that encompasses a wide range of scales and topologies through which disease spreads. By considering how to map control methods onto epidemiological parameters and variables, some new approaches towards optimizing the efficiency of control at the landscape scale are introduced. Epidemiological strategies to minimize the risks of failure of chemical and genetical control are presented and some consequences of heterogeneous selection pressures in time and space on the persistence and evolutionary changes of the pathogen population are discussed. Finally, some approaches towards embedding epidemiological models for the deployment of control in an economically plausible framework are presented.

  14. Gasification of agricultural residues in a demonstrative plant: corn cobs.

    PubMed

    Biagini, Enrico; Barontini, Federica; Tognotti, Leonardo

    2014-12-01

    Biomass gasification couples the high power efficiency with the possibility of valuably using the byproducts heat and biochar. The use of agricultural wastes instead of woody feedstock extends the seasonal availability of biomasses. The downdraft type is the most used reactor but has narrow ranges of feedstock specifications (above all on moisture and particle size distribution), so tests on a demonstrative scale are conducted to prove the versatility of the gasifier. Measurements on pressure drops, syngas flow rate and composition are studied to assess the feasibility of such operations with corn cobs. Material and energy balances, and performance indexes are compared for the four tests carried out under different biomass loads (66-85 kg/h). A good operability of the plant and interesting results are obtained (gas specific production of 2 m3/kg, gas heating value 5.6-5.8 MJ/m3, cold gas efficiency in the range 66-68%, potential net power efficiency 21.1-21.6%).

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

    PubMed

    Moustafa, Khaled

    2015-01-01

    Classical plant breeding approaches may fall short to breed new plant species of high environmental and ecological interests. Biotechnological and genetic manipulations, on the other hand, may hold more effective capabilities to circumvent the limitations of sexual incompatibility and conventional breeding programs. Given that plant cells encompass multiple copies of organellar genomes (mitochondrial and plastidial genomes), an important question could be raised about whether an artificial attempt to duplicate the nuclear genome might also be conceivable through a binucleation approach (generating plant cells with 2 nuclei from 2 different plant species) for potential production of new polyploidies that would characterize new plant species. Since the complexities of plant genomes are the result of multiple genome duplications, an artificial binucleation approach would thus be of some interest to eventually varying plant genomes and producing new polyploidy from related or distal plant species. Here, I discuss the potentiality of such an approach to engineer binucleated plant cells as a germ of new plant species to fulfill some environmental applications such as increasing the biodiversity and breeding new species adaptable to harsh environmental stresses and increasing green surfaces to reduce atmospheric pollutions in arid lands with poor vegetation. PMID:26322577

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Rapid plant identification using species- and group-specific primers targeting chloroplast DNA.

    PubMed

    Wallinger, Corinna; Juen, Anita; Staudacher, Karin; Schallhart, Nikolaus; Mitterrutzner, Evi; Steiner, Eva-Maria; Thalinger, Bettina; Traugott, Michael

    2012-01-01

    Plant identification is challenging when no morphologically assignable parts are available. There is a lack of broadly applicable methods for identifying plants in this situation, for example when roots grow in mixture and for decayed or semi-digested plant material. These difficulties have also impeded the progress made in ecological disciplines such as soil- and trophic ecology. Here, a PCR-based approach is presented which allows identifying a variety of plant taxa commonly occurring in Central European agricultural land. Based on the trnT-F cpDNA region, PCR assays were developed to identify two plant families (Poaceae and Apiaceae), the genera Trifolium and Plantago, and nine plant species: Achillea millefolium, Fagopyrum esculentum, Lolium perenne, Lupinus angustifolius, Phaseolus coccineus, Sinapis alba, Taraxacum officinale, Triticum aestivum, and Zea mays. These assays allowed identification of plants based on size-specific amplicons ranging from 116 bp to 381 bp. Their specificity and sensitivity was consistently high, enabling the detection of small amounts of plant DNA, for example, in decaying plant material and in the intestine or faeces of herbivores. To increase the efficacy of identifying plant species from large number of samples, specific primers were combined in multiplex PCRs, allowing screening for multiple species within a single reaction. The molecular assays outlined here will be applicable manifold, such as for root- and leaf litter identification, botanical trace evidence, and the analysis of herbivory. PMID:22253728

  18. Rapid Plant Identification Using Species- and Group-Specific Primers Targeting Chloroplast DNA

    PubMed Central

    Staudacher, Karin; Schallhart, Nikolaus; Mitterrutzner, Evi; Steiner, Eva-Maria; Thalinger, Bettina; Traugott, Michael

    2012-01-01

    Plant identification is challenging when no morphologically assignable parts are available. There is a lack of broadly applicable methods for identifying plants in this situation, for example when roots grow in mixture and for decayed or semi-digested plant material. These difficulties have also impeded the progress made in ecological disciplines such as soil- and trophic ecology. Here, a PCR-based approach is presented which allows identifying a variety of plant taxa commonly occurring in Central European agricultural land. Based on the trnT-F cpDNA region, PCR assays were developed to identify two plant families (Poaceae and Apiaceae), the genera Trifolium and Plantago, and nine plant species: Achillea millefolium, Fagopyrum esculentum, Lolium perenne, Lupinus angustifolius, Phaseolus coccineus, Sinapis alba, Taraxacum officinale, Triticum aestivum, and Zea mays. These assays allowed identification of plants based on size-specific amplicons ranging from 116 bp to 381 bp. Their specificity and sensitivity was consistently high, enabling the detection of small amounts of plant DNA, for example, in decaying plant material and in the intestine or faeces of herbivores. To increase the efficacy of identifying plant species from large number of samples, specific primers were combined in multiplex PCRs, allowing screening for multiple species within a single reaction. The molecular assays outlined here will be applicable manifold, such as for root- and leaf litter identification, botanical trace evidence, and the analysis of herbivory. PMID:22253728

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Graffis, Andrea M; Kneitel, Jamie M

    2015-08-24

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Graffis, Andrea M.; Kneitel, Jamie M.

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Influences of Plant Species, Season and Location on Leaf Endophytic Bacterial Communities of Non-Cultivated Plants.

    PubMed

    Ding, Tao; Melcher, Ulrich

    2016-01-01

    Bacteria are known to be associated endophytically with plants. Research on endophytic bacteria has identified their importance in food safety, agricultural production and phytoremediation. However, the diversity of endophytic bacterial communities and the forces that shape their compositions in non-cultivated plants are largely uncharacterized. In this study, we explored the diversity, community structure, and dynamics of endophytic bacteria in different plant species in the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve of northern Oklahoma, USA. High throughput sequencing of amplified segments of bacterial rDNA from 81 samples collected at four sampling times from five plant species at four locations identified 335 distinct OTUs at 97% sequence similarity, representing 16 phyla. Proteobacteria was the dominant phylum in the communities, followed by the phyla Bacteriodetes and Actinobacteria. Bacteria from four classes of Proteobacteria were detected with Alphaproteobacteria as the dominant class. Analysis of molecular variance revealed that host plant species and collecting date had significant influences on the compositions of the leaf endophytic bacterial communities. The proportion of Alphaproteobacteria was much higher in the communities from Asclepias viridis than from other plant species and differed from month to month. The most dominant bacterial groups identified in LDA Effect Size analysis showed host-specific patterns, indicating mutual selection between host plants and endophytic bacteria and that leaf endophytic bacterial compositions were dynamic, varying with the host plant's growing season in three distinct patterns. In summary, next generation sequencing has revealed variations in the taxonomic compositions of leaf endophytic bacterial communities dependent primarily on the nature of the plant host species.

  3. Is there an optimum scale for predicting bird species' distribution in agricultural landscapes?

    PubMed

    Pelosi, Céline; Bonthoux, Sébastien; Castellarini, Fabiana; Goulard, Michel; Ladet, Sylvie; Balent, Gérard

    2014-04-01

    Changes in forest cover in agricultural landscapes affect biodiversity. Its management needs some indications about scale to predict occurrence of populations and communities. In this study we considered a forest cover index to predict bird species and community patterns in agricultural landscapes in south-western France. We used generalized linear models for that purpose with prediction driven by wooded areas' spatial distribution at nine different radii. Using 1064 point counts, we modelled the distribution of 10 bird species whose habitat preferences are spread along a landscape opening gradient. We also modelled the distribution of species richness for farmland species and for forest species. We used satellite images to construct a 'wood/non-wood' map and calculated a forest index, considering the surface area of wooded areas at nine radii from 110m to 910m. The models' predictive quality was determined by the AUC (for predicted presences) and ρ (for predicted species richness) criteria. We found that the forest cover was a good predictor of the distribution of seven bird species in agricultural landscapes (mean AUC for the seven species = 0.74 for the radius 110m). Species richness of farmland and forest birds was satisfactorily predicted by the models (ρ = 0.55 and 0.49, respectively, for the radius 110m). The presence of the studied species and species richness metrics were better predicted at smaller scales (i.e. radii between 110 m and 310 m) within the range tested. These results have implications for bird population management in agricultural landscapes since better pinpointing the scale to predict species distributions will enhance targeting efforts to be made in terms of landscape management.

  4. Chemosensitization of plant pathogenic fungi to agricultural fungicides.

    PubMed

    Dzhavakhiya, Vitaly; Shcherbakova, Larisa; Semina, Yulia; Zhemchuzhina, Natalia; Campbell, Bruce

    2012-01-01

    A common consequence of using agricultural fungicides is the development of resistance by fungal pathogens, which undermines reliability of fungicidal effectiveness. A potentially new strategy to aid in overcoming or minimizing this problem is enhancement of pathogen sensitivity to fungicides, or "chemosensitization." Chemosensitization can be accomplished by combining a commercial fungicide with a certain non- or marginally fungicidal substance at levels where, alone, neither compound would be effective. Chemosensitization decreases the probability of the pathogen developing resistance, reduces the toxic impact on the environment by lowering effective dosage levels of toxic fungicides, and improves efficacy of antifungal agents. The present study shows that the antifungal activity of azole and strobilurin fungicides can be significantly enhanced through their co-application with certain natural or synthetic products against several economically important plant pathogenic fungi. Quadris (azoxystrobin) combined with thymol at a non-fungitoxic concentration produced much higher growth inhibition of Bipolaris sorokiniana, Phoma glomerata, Alternaria sp. and Stagonospora nodorum than the fungicide alone. The effect of Dividend (difenoconazole) applied with thymol significantly enhanced antifungal activity against B. sorokiniana and S. nodorum. Folicur (tebuconazole) combined with 4-hydroxybenzaldehyde (4-HBA), 2,3-dihydroxybenzaldehyde or thymol significantly inhibited growth of Alternaria alternata, at a much greater level than the fungicide alone. In addition, co-application of Folicur and 4-HBA resulted in a similar enhancement of antifungal activity against Fusarium culmorum. Lastly, we discovered that metabolites in the culture liquid of Fusarium sambucinum biocontrol isolate FS-94 also had chemosensitizing activity, increasing S. nodorum sensitivity to Folicur and Dividend. PMID:22408641

  5. Chemosensitization of Plant Pathogenic Fungi to Agricultural Fungicides

    PubMed Central

    Dzhavakhiya, Vitaly; Shcherbakova, Larisa; Semina, Yulia; Zhemchuzhina, Natalia; Campbell, Bruce

    2012-01-01

    A common consequence of using agricultural fungicides is the development of resistance by fungal pathogens, which undermines reliability of fungicidal effectiveness. A potentially new strategy to aid in overcoming or minimizing this problem is enhancement of pathogen sensitivity to fungicides, or “chemosensitization.” Chemosensitization can be accomplished by combining a commercial fungicide with a certain non- or marginally fungicidal substance at levels where, alone, neither compound would be effective. Chemosensitization decreases the probability of the pathogen developing resistance, reduces the toxic impact on the environment by lowering effective dosage levels of toxic fungicides, and improves efficacy of antifungal agents. The present study shows that the antifungal activity of azole and strobilurin fungicides can be significantly enhanced through their co-application with certain natural or synthetic products against several economically important plant pathogenic fungi. Quadris (azoxystrobin) combined with thymol at a non-fungitoxic concentration produced much higher growth inhibition of Bipolaris sorokiniana, Phoma glomerata, Alternaria sp. and Stagonospora nodorum than the fungicide alone. The effect of Dividend (difenoconazole) applied with thymol significantly enhanced antifungal activity against B. sorokiniana and S. nodorum. Folicur (tebuconazole) combined with 4-hydroxybenzaldehyde (4-HBA), 2,3-dihydroxybenzaldehyde or thymol significantly inhibited growth of Alternaria alternata, at a much greater level than the fungicide alone. In addition, co-application of Folicur and 4-HBA resulted in a similar enhancement of antifungal activity against Fusarium culmorum. Lastly, we discovered that metabolites in the culture liquid of Fusarium sambucinum biocontrol isolate FS-94 also had chemosensitizing activity, increasing S. nodorum sensitivity to Folicur and Dividend. PMID:22408641

  6. Chemosensitization of plant pathogenic fungi to agricultural fungicides.

    PubMed

    Dzhavakhiya, Vitaly; Shcherbakova, Larisa; Semina, Yulia; Zhemchuzhina, Natalia; Campbell, Bruce

    2012-01-01

    A common consequence of using agricultural fungicides is the development of resistance by fungal pathogens, which undermines reliability of fungicidal effectiveness. A potentially new strategy to aid in overcoming or minimizing this problem is enhancement of pathogen sensitivity to fungicides, or "chemosensitization." Chemosensitization can be accomplished by combining a commercial fungicide with a certain non- or marginally fungicidal substance at levels where, alone, neither compound would be effective. Chemosensitization decreases the probability of the pathogen developing resistance, reduces the toxic impact on the environment by lowering effective dosage levels of toxic fungicides, and improves efficacy of antifungal agents. The present study shows that the antifungal activity of azole and strobilurin fungicides can be significantly enhanced through their co-application with certain natural or synthetic products against several economically important plant pathogenic fungi. Quadris (azoxystrobin) combined with thymol at a non-fungitoxic concentration produced much higher growth inhibition of Bipolaris sorokiniana, Phoma glomerata, Alternaria sp. and Stagonospora nodorum than the fungicide alone. The effect of Dividend (difenoconazole) applied with thymol significantly enhanced antifungal activity against B. sorokiniana and S. nodorum. Folicur (tebuconazole) combined with 4-hydroxybenzaldehyde (4-HBA), 2,3-dihydroxybenzaldehyde or thymol significantly inhibited growth of Alternaria alternata, at a much greater level than the fungicide alone. In addition, co-application of Folicur and 4-HBA resulted in a similar enhancement of antifungal activity against Fusarium culmorum. Lastly, we discovered that metabolites in the culture liquid of Fusarium sambucinum biocontrol isolate FS-94 also had chemosensitizing activity, increasing S. nodorum sensitivity to Folicur and Dividend.

  7. Trichoderma species--opportunistic, avirulent plant symbionts.

    PubMed

    Harman, Gary E; Howell, Charles R; Viterbo, Ada; Chet, Ilan; Lorito, Matteo

    2004-01-01

    Trichoderma spp. are free-living fungi that are common in soil and root ecosystems. Recent discoveries show that they are opportunistic, avirulent plant symbionts, as well as being parasites of other fungi. At least some strains establish robust and long-lasting colonizations of root surfaces and penetrate into the epidermis and a few cells below this level. They produce or release a variety of compounds that induce localized or systemic resistance responses, and this explains their lack of pathogenicity to plants. These root-microorganism associations cause substantial changes to the plant proteome and metabolism. Plants are protected from numerous classes of plant pathogen by responses that are similar to systemic acquired resistance and rhizobacteria-induced systemic resistance. Root colonization by Trichoderma spp. also frequently enhances root growth and development, crop productivity, resistance to abiotic stresses and the uptake and use of nutrients.

  8. Influences of Plant Species, Season and Location on Leaf Endophytic Bacterial Communities of Non-Cultivated Plants

    PubMed Central

    Ding, Tao; Melcher, Ulrich

    2016-01-01

    Bacteria are known to be associated endophytically with plants. Research on endophytic bacteria has identified their importance in food safety, agricultural production and phytoremediation. However, the diversity of endophytic bacterial communities and the forces that shape their compositions in non-cultivated plants are largely uncharacterized. In this study, we explored the diversity, community structure, and dynamics of endophytic bacteria in different plant species in the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve of northern Oklahoma, USA. High throughput sequencing of amplified segments of bacterial rDNA from 81 samples collected at four sampling times from five plant species at four locations identified 335 distinct OTUs at 97% sequence similarity, representing 16 phyla. Proteobacteria was the dominant phylum in the communities, followed by the phyla Bacteriodetes and Actinobacteria. Bacteria from four classes of Proteobacteria were detected with Alphaproteobacteria as the dominant class. Analysis of molecular variance revealed that host plant species and collecting date had significant influences on the compositions of the leaf endophytic bacterial communities. The proportion of Alphaproteobacteria was much higher in the communities from Asclepias viridis than from other plant species and differed from month to month. The most dominant bacterial groups identified in LDA Effect Size analysis showed host-specific patterns, indicating mutual selection between host plants and endophytic bacteria and that leaf endophytic bacterial compositions were dynamic, varying with the host plant’s growing season in three distinct patterns. In summary, next generation sequencing has revealed variations in the taxonomic compositions of leaf endophytic bacterial communities dependent primarily on the nature of the plant host species. PMID:26974817

  9. Evidence of qualitative differences between soil-occupancy effects of invasive vs. native grassland plant species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

    Diversified grasslands that contain native plant species are being recognized as important elements of agricultural landscapes and for production of biofuel feedstocks as well as a variety of other ecosystem services. Unfortunately, establishment of such grasslands is often difficult, unpredictable, and highly vulnerable to interference and invasion by weeds. Evidence suggests that soil-microbial "legacies" of invasive perennial species can inhibit growth of native grassland species. However, previous assessments of legacy effects of soil occupancy by invasive species that invade grasslands have focused on single invasive species and on responses to invasive soil occupancy in only a few species. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that legacy effects of invasive species differ qualitatively from those of native grassland species. In a glasshouse, three invasive and three native grassland perennials and a native perennial mixture were grown separately through three cycles of growth and soil conditioning in soils with and without arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), after which we assessed seedling growth in these soils. Native species differed categorically from invasives in their response to soil conditioning by native or invasive species, but these differences depended on the presence of AMF. When AMF were present, native species largely had facilitative effects on invasive species, relative to effects of invasives on other invasives. Invasive species did not facilitate native growth; neutral effects were predominant, but strong soil-mediated inhibitory effects on certain native species occurred. Our results support the hypothesis that successful plant invaders create biological legacies in soil that inhibit native growth, but suggest also this mechanism of invasion will have nuanced effects on community dynamics, as some natives may be unaffected by such legacies. Such native species may be valuable as nurse plants that provide cost-effective restoration of

  10. Evidence of qualitative differences between soil-occupancy effects of invasive vs. native grassland plant species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jordan, Nicholas R.; Larson, Diane L.; Huerd, Sheri C.

    2011-01-01

    Diversified grasslands that contain native plant species are being recognized as important elements of agricultural landscapes and for production of biofuel feedstocks as well as a variety of other ecosystem services. Unfortunately, establishment of such grasslands is often difficult, unpredictable, and highly vulnerable to interference and invasion by weeds. Evidence suggests that soil-microbial "legacies" of invasive perennial species can inhibit growth of native grassland species. However, previous assessments of legacy effects of soil occupancy by invasive species that invade grasslands have focused on single invasive species and on responses to invasive soil occupancy in only a few species. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that legacy effects of invasive species differ qualitatively from those of native grassland species. In a glasshouse, three invasive and three native grassland perennials and a native perennial mixture were grown separately through three cycles of growth and soil conditioning in soils with and without arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), after which we assessed seedling growth in these soils. Native species differed categorically from invasives in their response to soil conditioning by native or invasive species, but these differences depended on the presence of AMF. When AMF were present, native species largely had facilitative effects on invasive species, relative to effects of invasives on other invasives. Invasive species did not facilitate native growth; neutral effects were predominant, but strong soil-mediated inhibitory effects on certain native species occurred. Our results support the hypothesis that successful plant invaders create biological legacies in soil that inhibit native growth, but suggest also this mechanism of invasion will have nuanced effects on community dynamics, as some natives may be unaffected by such legacies. Such native species may be valuable as nurse plants that provide cost-effective restoration of

  11. Hyperspectral remote sensing tools for quantifying plant litter and invasive species in arid ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nagler, Pamela L.; Sridhar, B.B. Maruthi; Olsson, Aaryn Dyami; Glenn, Edward P.; van Leeuwen, Willem J.D.; Thenkabail, Prasad S.; Huete, Alfredo; Lyon, John G.

    2012-01-01

    Green vegetation can be distinguished using visible and infrared multi-band and hyperspectral remote sensing methods. The problem has been in identifying and distinguishing the non-photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) landscape components, such as litter and soils, and from green vegetation. Additionally, distinguishing different species of green vegetation is challenging using the relatively few bands available on most satellite sensors. This chapter focuses on hyperspectral remote sensing characteristics that aim to distinguish between green vegetation, soil, and litter (or senescent vegetation). Quantifying litter by remote sensing methods is important in constructing carbon budgets of natural and agricultural ecosystems. Distinguishing between plant types is important in tracking the spread of invasive species. Green leaves of different species usually have similar spectra, making it difficult to distinguish between species. However, in this chapter we show that phenological differences between species can be used to detect some invasive species by their distinct patterns of greening and dormancy over an annual cycle based on hyperspectral data. Both applications require methods to quantify the non-green cellulosic fractions of plant tissues by remote sensing even in the presence of soil and green plant cover. We explore these methods and offer three case studies. The first concerns distinguishing surface litter from soil using the Cellulose Absorption Index (CAI), as applied to no-till farming practices where plant litter is left on the soil after harvest. The second involves using different band combinations to distinguish invasive saltcedar from agricultural and native riparian plants on the Lower Colorado River. The third illustrates the use of the CAI and NDVI in time-series analyses to distinguish between invasive buffelgrass and native plants in a desert environment in Arizona. Together the results show how hyperspectral imagery can be applied to

  12. Invasive plant species as potential bioenergy producers and carbon contributors.

    SciTech Connect

    Young, S.; Gopalakrishnan, G.; Keshwani, D.

    2011-03-01

    Current cellulosic bioenergy sources in the United States are being investigated in an effort to reduce dependence on foreign oil and the associated risks to national security and climate change (Koh and Ghazoul 2008; Demirbas 2007; Berndes et al. 2003). Multiple sources of renewable plant-based material have been identified and include agricultural and forestry residues, municipal solid waste, industrial waste, and specifically grown bioenergy crops (Demirbas et al. 2009; Gronowska et al. 2009). These sources are most commonly converted to energy through direct burning, conversion to gas, or conversion to ethanol. Annual crops, such as corn (Zea Mays L.) and sorghum grain, can be converted to ethanol through fermentation, while soybean and canola are transformed into fatty acid methyl esters (biodiesel) by reaction with an alcohol (Demirbas 2007). Perennial grasses are one of the more viable sources for bioenergy due to their continuous growth habit, noncrop status, and multiple use products (Lewandowski el al. 2003). In addition, a few perennial grass species have very high water and nutrient use efficiencies producing large quantities of biomass on an annual basis (Dohleman et al. 2009; Grantz and Vu 2009).

  13. Responses of predatory invertebrates to seeding density and plant species richness in experimental tallgrass prairie restorations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nemec, Kristine T.; Allen, Craig R.; Danielson, Stephen D.; Helzer, Christopher J.

    2014-01-01

    In recent decades, agricultural producers and non-governmental organizations have restored thousands of hectares of former cropland in the central United States with native grasses and forbs. However, the ability of these grassland restorations to attract predatory invertebrates has not been well documented, even though predators provide an important ecosystem service to agricultural producers by naturally regulating herbivores. This study assessed the effects of plant richness and seeding density on the richness and abundance of surface-dwelling (ants, ground beetles, and spiders) and aboveground (ladybird beetles) predatory invertebrates. In the spring of 2006, twenty-four 55 m × 55 m-plots were planted to six replicates in each of four treatments: high richness (97 species typically planted by The Nature Conservancy), at low and high seeding densities, and low richness (15 species representing a typical Natural Resources Conservation Service Conservation Reserve Program mix, CP25), at low and high seeding densities. Ants, ground beetles, and spiders were sampled using pitfall traps and ladybird beetles were sampled using sweep netting in 2007–2009. The abundance of ants, ground beetles, and spiders showed no response to seed mix richness or seeding density but there was a significant positive effect of richness on ladybird beetle abundance. Seeding density had a significant positive effect on ground beetle and spider species richness and Shannon–Weaver diversity. These results may be related to differences in the plant species composition and relative amount of grass basal cover among the treatments rather than richness.

  14. Plant Species Diversity and Pasture Management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Farmers face many challenges in pasture management, such as evolving agri-environmental schemes to protect natural resources, and need new management techniques to remain sustainable. Ecological research indicates that increased plant biodiversity benefits ecosystem functions such as primary product...

  15. Introduction and domestication of woody plants for sustainable agriculture in desert areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shelef, Oren; Soloway, Elaine; Rachmilevitch, Shimon

    2014-05-01

    plantation in arid conditions. 5) Balanites aegyptiaca is potentially a good biomass crop and good feed for grazers as goats. We illuminated differences related to drought tolerance between two distinct ecotypes. Attempts to develope sustainable agriculture based on local species will save resources (water, fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides), keep endangered plant species and enhance vegetation reestablishment.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

    Invasive exotic plant species often have fewer natural enemies and suffer less damage from herbivores in their new range than genetically or functionally related species that are native to that area. Although we might expect that having fewer enemies would promote the invasiveness of the introduced exotic plant species due to reduced enemy exposure, few studies have actually analyzed the ecological consequences of this situation in the field. Here, we examined how exposure to aboveground herbivores influences shifts in dominance among exotic and phylogenetically related native plant species in a riparian ecosystem during early establishment of invaded communities. We planted ten plant communities each consisting of three individuals of each of six exotic plant species as well as six phylogenetically related natives. Exotic plant species were selected based on a rapid recent increase in regional abundance, the presence of a congeneric native species, and their co-occurrence in the riparian ecosystem. All plant communities were covered by tents with insect mesh. Five tents were open on the leeward side to allow herbivory. The other five tents were completely closed in order to exclude insects and vertebrates. Herbivory reduced aboveground biomass by half and influenced which of the plant species dominated the establishing communities. Exposure to herbivory did not reduce the total biomass of natives more than that of exotics, so aboveground herbivory did not selectively enhance exotics during this early stage of plant community development. Effects of herbivores on plant biomass depended on plant species or genus but not on plant status (i.e., exotic vs native). Thus, aboveground herbivory did not promote the dominance of exotic plant species during early establishment of the phylogenetically balanced plant communities. PMID:26481795

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

  18. Population divergence in plant species reflects latitudinal biodiversity gradients.

    PubMed

    Eo, Soo Hyung; Wares, John P; Carroll, John P

    2008-08-23

    The trend for increasing biodiversity from the poles to the tropics is one of the best-known patterns in nature. This latitudinal biodiversity gradient has primarily been documented so far with extant species as the measure of biodiversity. Here, we evaluate the global pattern in biodiversity across latitudes based on the magnitude of genetic population divergence within plant species, using a robust spatial design to compare published allozyme datasets. Like the pattern of plant species richness across latitudes, we expected the divergence among populations of current plant species would have a similar pattern and direction. We found that lower latitudinal populations showed greater genetic differentiation within species after controlling for geographical distance. Our analyses are consistent with previous population-level studies in animals, suggesting a high possibility of tropical peaks in speciation rates associated with observed levels of species richness.

  19. Potential alternative fuel sources for agricultural crops and plant components

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The changing landscape of agricultural production is placing unprecedented demands on farmers as they face increasing global competition and greater natural resource conservation challenges. However, shrinking profit margins due to increasing input costs, particularly of fuel and fertilizer, can res...

  20. Plant species persistence and turnover on small Bahamian islands.

    PubMed

    Morrison, Lloyd W

    2003-06-01

    I conducted surveys of the plant species occupying 136 small islands in the Exuma Cays and 58 small islands near Andros, Bahamas. Most species occurred on relatively few islands, and most islands contained relatively few species. Identities of the most common species differed between the two archipelagos. Comparisons with earlier surveys revealed species extinctions and immigrations. Turnover was relatively low on both a per island and a per species basis on both archipelagos, although significant spatial variation in turnover rates between archipelagos was found. Most islands experienced no turnover; islands on which turnover did occur were larger and had higher species richness. Likewise, most species did not turnover, although much variation existed in turnover rates among those that did. Experimental introductions of two species to very small islands naturally devoid of vegetation revealed that these islands could support plant life. One species survived on eight of ten islands for >9 years, including the effects of a moderate (class 2) hurricane. This hurricane caused substantial damage and loss of plant biomass, but resulted in no species extinctions on 30 small islands. Data for the small islands in this region, now spanning almost a decade, reveal that most populations are persistent over periods of years to decades, rarely going extinct or immigrating. Even moderate hurricanes seem to have little impact on species compositions.

  1. Antimicrobial peptide production and plant-based expression systems for medical and agricultural biotechnology.

    PubMed

    Holaskova, Edita; Galuszka, Petr; Frebort, Ivo; Oz, M Tufan

    2015-11-01

    Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are vital components of the innate immune system of nearly all living organisms. They generally act in the first line of defense against various pathogenic bacteria, parasites, enveloped viruses and fungi. These low molecular mass peptides are considered prospective therapeutic agents due to their broad-spectrum rapid activity, low cytotoxicity to mammalian cells and unique mode of action which hinders emergence of pathogen resistance. In addition to medical use, AMPs can also be employed for development of innovative approaches for plant protection in agriculture. Conferred disease resistance by AMPs might help us surmount losses in yield, quality and safety of agricultural products due to plant pathogens. Heterologous expression in plant-based systems, also called plant molecular farming, offers cost-effective large-scale production which is regarded as one of the most important factors for clinical or agricultural use of AMPs. This review presents various types of AMPs as well as plant-based platforms ranging from cell suspensions to whole plants employed for peptide production. Although AMP production in plants holds great promises for medicine and agriculture, specific technical limitations regarding product yield, function and stability still remain. Additionally, establishment of particular stable expression systems employing plants or plant tissues generally requires extended time scale for platform development compared to certain other heterologous systems. Therefore, fast and promising tools for evaluation of plant-based expression strategies and assessment of function and stability of the heterologously produced AMPs are critical for molecular farming and plant protection.

  2. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

    MedlinePlus

    ... Focus Animal Health Animal Welfare Biotechnology Business Services Civil Rights Emergency Response Imports & Exports International Services Plant ... Focus Animal Health Animal Welfare Biotechnology Business Services Civil Rights Emergency Response Imports & Exports International Services Plant ...

  3. Using microbial community interactions within plant microbiomes to advance an evergreen agricultural revolution

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Innovative plant breeding and technology transfer fostered the Green Revolution, which transformed agriculture worldwide by increasing grain yields in developing countries. The Green Revolution temporarily alleviated world hunger, but also reduced biodiversity, nutrient cycling, and carbon sequestr...

  4. Isotopes and radiation in agricultural sciences: Animals, plants, food and the environment. Volume 2

    SciTech Connect

    L'Annunziata, M.F.; Legg, J.O.

    1984-01-01

    This book concentrates on techniques used in studies of the biochemistry of living systems important to agriculture, the preservation of food, and the environment. Topics considered include animals, radiopreservation, biochemistry, plants, radioisotopes, and food processing.

  5. Relationship between humanity and plant natural resources – in the context of food and agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agriculture, the domestication, culture, and management of plants and animals, has led to profound social changes in human evolution and development; it can be considered as the basis for civilization. Roughly 12,000 years ago agriculture appeared independently in several parts of the world. A natur...

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

    This paper is in order to discussion with the composition and characteristics of Tibetan medicine plant resources, and promote the reasonable protection and utilization of the resources of Tibetan materia medica. Statistical analysis of species, distributions, and others of Chinese endemic seed plant from Tibetan medicine plants and usually used in the clinic of Tibetan medicine. The results showed that there are 523 species (25%) of Chinese endemic seed plant, belonging to 65 families and 162 genera, in about 2 000 varieties of Tibetan medicine plants recorded in relevant literatures. There are 180 Chinese endemic seed plant species (28%) belonging to 42 families and 72 genera from 625 medicine plants usually used in the clinic of Tibetan medicine. Specifically, the most of these Chinese endemic seed plant species are characteristic crude drug used in Tibetan medicine, and mainly or only distributed in Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. And a few species of them were intersected with traditional Chinese medicines (TCM) and other ethnic medicines. In addition, about 10% are listed in China Species Red List. The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is the most abundant areas of Areal-types of the Chinese endemic seed plant. This is the biological and ecological reason formation the characteristics of Tibetan medicine plant resources. Therefore, strengthen the research of Chinese endemic seed plants used in Tibetan medicine is great significance for the reasonable protection and utilization of Tibetan medicine plant resources. PMID:26978990

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Crawford, Kerri M; Rudgers, Jennifer A

    2013-05-01

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

  9. Plant growth-promoting bacteria as inoculants in agricultural soils.

    PubMed

    Souza, Rocheli de; Ambrosini, Adriana; Passaglia, Luciane M P

    2015-12-01

    Plant-microbe interactions in the rhizosphere are the determinants of plant health, productivity and soil fertility. Plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB) are bacteria that can enhance plant growth and protect plants from disease and abiotic stresses through a wide variety of mechanisms; those that establish close associations with plants, such as the endophytes, could be more successful in plant growth promotion. Several important bacterial characteristics, such as biological nitrogen fixation, phosphate solubilization, ACC deaminase activity, and production of siderophores and phytohormones, can be assessed as plant growth promotion (PGP) traits. Bacterial inoculants can contribute to increase agronomic efficiency by reducing production costs and environmental pollution, once the use of chemical fertilizers can be reduced or eliminated if the inoculants are efficient. For bacterial inoculants to obtain success in improving plant growth and productivity, several processes involved can influence the efficiency of inoculation, as for example the exudation by plant roots, the bacterial colonization in the roots, and soil health. This review presents an overview of the importance of soil-plant-microbe interactions to the development of efficient inoculants, once PGPB are extensively studied microorganisms, representing a very diverse group of easily accessible beneficial bacteria.

  10. Plant growth-promoting bacteria as inoculants in agricultural soils

    PubMed Central

    de Souza, Rocheli; Ambrosini, Adriana; Passaglia, Luciane M.P.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Plant-microbe interactions in the rhizosphere are the determinants of plant health, productivity and soil fertility. Plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB) are bacteria that can enhance plant growth and protect plants from disease and abiotic stresses through a wide variety of mechanisms; those that establish close associations with plants, such as the endophytes, could be more successful in plant growth promotion. Several important bacterial characteristics, such as biological nitrogen fixation, phosphate solubilization, ACC deaminase activity, and production of siderophores and phytohormones, can be assessed as plant growth promotion (PGP) traits. Bacterial inoculants can contribute to increase agronomic efficiency by reducing production costs and environmental pollution, once the use of chemical fertilizers can be reduced or eliminated if the inoculants are efficient. For bacterial inoculants to obtain success in improving plant growth and productivity, several processes involved can influence the efficiency of inoculation, as for example the exudation by plant roots, the bacterial colonization in the roots, and soil health. This review presents an overview of the importance of soil-plant-microbe interactions to the development of efficient inoculants, once PGPB are extensively studied microorganisms, representing a very diverse group of easily accessible beneficial bacteria. PMID:26537605

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steck, Claude E.; Pautasso, Marco

    2008-11-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

  14. Thermal Hyperspectral Remote Sensing for Plant Species and Stress Detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schlerf, M.; Rock, G.; Ullah, S.; Gerhards, M.; Udelhoven, T.; Skidmore, A. K.

    2014-12-01

    Thermal infrared (TIR) spectroscopy offers a novel opportunity for measuring emissivity spectra of natural surfaces. Emissivity spectra are not directly measured, they first have to be retrieved from the raw measurements. Once retrieved, the spectra can be used, for example, to discriminate plant species or to detect plant stress. Knowledge of plant species distribution is essential for the sustainable management of ecosystems. Remote sensing of plant species has so far mostly been limited to data in the visible and near-infrared where, however, different species often reveal similar reflectance curves. Da Luz and Crowley showed in a recent paper that in the TIR plants indeed have distinct spectral features. Also with a certain species, subtle changes of emissivity in certain wavebands may occur, when biochemical compounds change due to osmotic adjustment induced by water stress. Here we show, that i) emissive imaging spectroscopy allows for reliable and accurate retrieval of plant emissivity spectra, ii) emissivity spectra are well suited to discriminate plant species, iii) a reduction in stomatal conductance (caused by stress) changes the thermal infrared signal. For 13 plant species in the laboratory and for 8 plant species in a field setup emissivity spectra were retrieved. A comparison shows, that for most species the shapes of the emissivity curves agree quite well, but that clear offsets between the two types of spectra exist. Discrimination analysis revealed that based on the lab spectra, 13 species could be distinguished with an average overall classification accuracy of 92% using the 6 best spectral bands. For the field spectra (8 species), a similar high OAA of 89% was achieved. Species discrimination is likely to be possible due to variations in the composition of the superficial epidermal layer of plant leaves and in internal chemical concentrations producing unique emissivity features. However, to date, which spectral feature is responsible for which

  15. Effect of scale on trait predictors of species responses to agriculture.

    PubMed

    Gilroy, James J; Medina Uribe, Claudia A; Haugaasen, Torbjørn; Edwards, David P

    2015-04-01

    Species persistence in human-altered landscapes can depend on factors operating at multiple spatial scales. To understand anthropogenic impacts on biodiversity, it is useful to examine relationships between species traits and their responses to land-use change. A key knowledge gap concerns whether these relationships vary depending on the scale of response under consideration. We examined how local- and large-scale habitat variables influence the occupancy dynamics of a bird community in cloud forest zones in the Colombian Chocó-Andes. Using data collected across a continuum of forest and agriculture, we examined which traits best predict species responses to local variation in farmland and which traits best predict species responses to isolation from contiguous forest. Global range size was a strong predictor of species responses to agriculture at both scales; widespread species were less likely to decline as local habitat cover decreased and as distance from forest increased. Habitat specialization was a strong predictor of species responses only at the local scale. Open-habitat species were particularly likely to increase as pasture increased, but they were relatively insensitive to variation in distance to forest. Foraging plasticity and flocking behavior were strong predictors of species responses to distance from forest, but not their responses to local habitat. Species with lower plasticity in foraging behaviors and obligate flock-following species were more likely to decline as distance from contiguous forest increased. For species exhibiting these latter traits, persistence in tropical landscapes may depend on the protection of larger contiguous blocks of forest, rather than the integration of smaller-scale woodland areas within farmland. Species listed as threatened or near threatened on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List were also more likely to decline in response to both local habitat quality and isolation from forest relative

  16. Effect of scale on trait predictors of species responses to agriculture.

    PubMed

    Gilroy, James J; Medina Uribe, Claudia A; Haugaasen, Torbjørn; Edwards, David P

    2015-04-01

    Species persistence in human-altered landscapes can depend on factors operating at multiple spatial scales. To understand anthropogenic impacts on biodiversity, it is useful to examine relationships between species traits and their responses to land-use change. A key knowledge gap concerns whether these relationships vary depending on the scale of response under consideration. We examined how local- and large-scale habitat variables influence the occupancy dynamics of a bird community in cloud forest zones in the Colombian Chocó-Andes. Using data collected across a continuum of forest and agriculture, we examined which traits best predict species responses to local variation in farmland and which traits best predict species responses to isolation from contiguous forest. Global range size was a strong predictor of species responses to agriculture at both scales; widespread species were less likely to decline as local habitat cover decreased and as distance from forest increased. Habitat specialization was a strong predictor of species responses only at the local scale. Open-habitat species were particularly likely to increase as pasture increased, but they were relatively insensitive to variation in distance to forest. Foraging plasticity and flocking behavior were strong predictors of species responses to distance from forest, but not their responses to local habitat. Species with lower plasticity in foraging behaviors and obligate flock-following species were more likely to decline as distance from contiguous forest increased. For species exhibiting these latter traits, persistence in tropical landscapes may depend on the protection of larger contiguous blocks of forest, rather than the integration of smaller-scale woodland areas within farmland. Species listed as threatened or near threatened on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List were also more likely to decline in response to both local habitat quality and isolation from forest relative

  17. Evaluating plant invasions from both habitat and species perspectives

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2006-01-01

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

  18. Global response patterns of terrestrial plant species to nitrogen addition.

    PubMed

    Xia, Jianyang; Wan, Shiqiang

    2008-07-01

    Better understanding of the responses of terrestrial plant species under global nitrogen (N) enrichment is critical for projection of changes in structure, functioning, and service of terrestrial ecosystems. Here, a meta-analysis of data from 304 studies was carried out to reveal the general response patterns of terrestrial plant species to the addition of N. Across 456 terrestrial plant species included in the analysis, biomass and N concentration were increased by 53.6 and 28.5%, respectively, under N enrichment. However, the N responses were dependent upon plant functional types, with significantly greater biomass increases in herbaceous than in woody species. Stimulation of plant biomass by the addition of N was enhanced when other resources were improved. In addition, the N responses of terrestrial plants decreased with increasing latitude and increased with annual precipitation. Dependence of the N responses of terrestrial plants on biological realms, functional types, tissues, other resources, and climatic factors revealed in this study can help to explain changes in species composition, diversity, community structure and ecosystem functioning under global N enrichment. These findings are critical in improving model simulation and projection of terrestrial carbon sequestration and its feedbacks to global climate change, especially when progressive N limitation is taken into consideration. PMID:19086179

  19. Stability of production and plant species diversity in managed grasslands

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plant biodiversity theory suggests that increased plant species diversity contributes to the stability of ecosystems. In managed grasslands, such as pastures, greater stability of herbage production would be beneficial. In this retrospective study, I used data from three reports from the 1930s, 1940...

  20. The Importance of Landscape Elements for Bat Activity and Species Richness in Agricultural Areas

    PubMed Central

    Heim, Olga; Treitler, Julia T.; Tschapka, Marco; Knörnschild, Mirjam; Jung, Kirsten

    2015-01-01

    Landscape heterogeneity is regarded as a key factor for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem function in production landscapes. We investigated whether grassland sites at close vicinity to forested areas are more frequently used by bats. Considering that bats are important consumers of herbivorous insects, including agricultural pest, this is important for sustainable land management. Bat activity and species richness were assessed using repeated monitoring from May to September in 2010 with acoustic monitoring surveys on 50 grassland sites in the Biosphere Reserve Schorfheide-Chorin (North-East Germany). Using spatial analysis (GIS), we measured the closest distance of each grassland site to potentially connecting landscape elements (e.g., trees, linear vegetation, groves, running and standing water). In addition, we assessed the distance to and the percent land cover of forest remnants and urban areas in a 200 m buffer around the recording sites to address differences in the local landscape setting. Species richness and bat activity increased significantly with higher forest land cover in the 200 m buffer and at smaller distance to forested areas. Moreover, species richness increased in proximity to tree groves. Larger amount of forest land cover and smaller distance to forest also resulted in a higher activity of bats on grassland sites in the beginning of the year during May, June and July. Landscape elements near grassland sites also influenced species composition of bats and species richness of functional groups (open, edge and narrow space foragers). Our results highlight the importance of forested areas, and suggest that agricultural grasslands that are closer to forest remnants might be better buffered against outbreaks of agricultural pest insects due to higher species richness and higher bat activity. Furthermore, our data reveals that even for highly mobile species such as bats, a very dense network of connecting elements within the landscape is

  1. The Importance of Landscape Elements for Bat Activity and Species Richness in Agricultural Areas.

    PubMed

    Heim, Olga; Treitler, Julia T; Tschapka, Marco; Knörnschild, Mirjam; Jung, Kirsten

    2015-01-01

    Landscape heterogeneity is regarded as a key factor for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem function in production landscapes. We investigated whether grassland sites at close vicinity to forested areas are more frequently used by bats. Considering that bats are important consumers of herbivorous insects, including agricultural pest, this is important for sustainable land management. Bat activity and species richness were assessed using repeated monitoring from May to September in 2010 with acoustic monitoring surveys on 50 grassland sites in the Biosphere Reserve Schorfheide-Chorin (North-East Germany). Using spatial analysis (GIS), we measured the closest distance of each grassland site to potentially connecting landscape elements (e.g., trees, linear vegetation, groves, running and standing water). In addition, we assessed the distance to and the percent land cover of forest remnants and urban areas in a 200 m buffer around the recording sites to address differences in the local landscape setting. Species richness and bat activity increased significantly with higher forest land cover in the 200 m buffer and at smaller distance to forested areas. Moreover, species richness increased in proximity to tree groves. Larger amount of forest land cover and smaller distance to forest also resulted in a higher activity of bats on grassland sites in the beginning of the year during May, June and July. Landscape elements near grassland sites also influenced species composition of bats and species richness of functional groups (open, edge and narrow space foragers). Our results highlight the importance of forested areas, and suggest that agricultural grasslands that are closer to forest remnants might be better buffered against outbreaks of agricultural pest insects due to higher species richness and higher bat activity. Furthermore, our data reveals that even for highly mobile species such as bats, a very dense network of connecting elements within the landscape is

  2. The Importance of Landscape Elements for Bat Activity and Species Richness in Agricultural Areas.

    PubMed

    Heim, Olga; Treitler, Julia T; Tschapka, Marco; Knörnschild, Mirjam; Jung, Kirsten

    2015-01-01

    Landscape heterogeneity is regarded as a key factor for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem function in production landscapes. We investigated whether grassland sites at close vicinity to forested areas are more frequently used by bats. Considering that bats are important consumers of herbivorous insects, including agricultural pest, this is important for sustainable land management. Bat activity and species richness were assessed using repeated monitoring from May to September in 2010 with acoustic monitoring surveys on 50 grassland sites in the Biosphere Reserve Schorfheide-Chorin (North-East Germany). Using spatial analysis (GIS), we measured the closest distance of each grassland site to potentially connecting landscape elements (e.g., trees, linear vegetation, groves, running and standing water). In addition, we assessed the distance to and the percent land cover of forest remnants and urban areas in a 200 m buffer around the recording sites to address differences in the local landscape setting. Species richness and bat activity increased significantly with higher forest land cover in the 200 m buffer and at smaller distance to forested areas. Moreover, species richness increased in proximity to tree groves. Larger amount of forest land cover and smaller distance to forest also resulted in a higher activity of bats on grassland sites in the beginning of the year during May, June and July. Landscape elements near grassland sites also influenced species composition of bats and species richness of functional groups (open, edge and narrow space foragers). Our results highlight the importance of forested areas, and suggest that agricultural grasslands that are closer to forest remnants might be better buffered against outbreaks of agricultural pest insects due to higher species richness and higher bat activity. Furthermore, our data reveals that even for highly mobile species such as bats, a very dense network of connecting elements within the landscape is

  3. When Are Native Species Inappropriate for Conservation Plantings

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  4. Effects of acid precipitation on reproduction in alpine plant species. [Erythronium grandiflorum; Aquilegia caerulea

    SciTech Connect

    McKenna, M.A.; Hille-Salgueiro, M.; Musselman, R.C. Dept. of Agriculture, Fort Collins, CO )

    1990-01-01

    A series of experiments were designed to determine the impact of acid rain on plant reproductive processes, a critical component of a species life history. Research was carried out in herbaceous alpine communities at the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) Forest Service Glacier Lakes Ecosystem Experiments Site in the Snowy Mts. of Wyoming. A range of species were surveyed to monitor the sensitivity of pollen to acidification during germination and growth, and all species demonstrated reduced in vitro pollen germination in acidified media. Field pollinations were carried out in Erythronium grandiflorum and Aquilegia caerulea to determine the reproductive success of plants exposed to simulated ambient precipitation (pH 5.6) or simulated acid precipitation (pH 3.6) prior to pollination. In Erythronium, no differences were observed in seed set and seed weight of fruits resulting from the two pollination treatments. In Aquilegia, fruits resulting from the acid spray treatment produced fewer seeds and lighter seeds.

  5. Assessment of the diversity, and antagonism towards Rhizoctonia solani AG3, of Pseudomonas species in soil from different agricultural regimes.

    PubMed

    Garbeva, Paolina; Veen, Johannes Antonie; Elsas, Jan Dirk

    2004-01-01

    The genus Pseudomonas is one of the best-studied bacterial groups in soil, and includes numerous species of environmental interest. Pseudomonas species play key roles in soil, for instance in biological control of soil-borne plant pathogens and in bioremediation of pollutants. A polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis system that specifically describes the diversity of Pseudomonas spp. in soil was developed. On the basis of this molecular method as well as cultivation-based approaches, the diversity of Pseudomonas species in soil under different agricultural regimes (permanent grassland, arable land either under rotation or under monoculture of maize) was studied. Both types of approaches revealed differences in the composition of Pseudomonas populations between the treatments. Differences between the treatments were also found based on the frequency of isolation of Pseudomonas strains with antagonistic properties against the soil-borne pathogen Rhizoctonia solani AG3. Higher relative numbers of isolates either with antagonistic activity toward this pathogen or with chitinolytic activity were obtained from permanent grassland or from the short-term arable land than from the arable land. The results obtained in this study strongly indicate that agricultural regimes influence the structure of Pseudomonas populations in soil, with specific antagonistic subpopulations being stimulated in grassland as compared to arable land.

  6. Impact of sheep urine deposition and plant species on ammonia-oxidizing bacteria in upland grassland soil.

    PubMed

    Rooney, Deirdre C; Clipson, Nicholas

    2008-09-01

    The effects of different concentrations of synthetic sheep urine and plant species on ammonia-oxidizing bacterial (AOB) communities in an upland grassland soil were investigated using a microcosm approach. Plant species characteristic of unimproved and improved agricultural pastures (Agrostis capillaris and Lolium perenne, respectively) were planted in soil microcosms, and different levels of synthetic sheep urine were applied, with harvests 10 and 50 days following urine application. Shifts in the community structure of the AOB were investigated using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism of amoA amplicons. Species richness and diversity were significantly altered by synthetic sheep urine addition and time depending on plant species type. Principal coordinate analysis revealed that AOB community structure was largely dependent on interactions between sheep urine deposition, plant species, and time after urine application, while significant changes in AOB structure were also revealed by similarity percentage analysis. The results of this study suggested that high levels of sheep urine, combined with floristic changes that are characteristic of agricultural intensification, can contribute to temporal and spatial changes in the structure of key bacterial communities in upland grassland soil. Changes in AOB community structure could potentially affect important soil processes, such as nitrification, with subsequent implications for nutrient cycling in agricultural systems.

  7. Agricultural Biodiversity.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Postance, Jim

    1998-01-01

    The extinction of farm animals and crops is rarely brought up during discussions of endangered species and biodiversity; however, the loss of diversity in crops and livestock threatens the sustainability of agriculture. Presents three activities: (1) "The Colors of Diversity"; (2) "Biodiversity among Animals"; and (3) "Heirloom Plants." Discusses…

  8. Biodiversity of Asterina species on Neotropical host plants: new species and records from Panama.

    PubMed

    Hofmann, T A; Piepenbring, M

    2011-01-01

    Two new species of the genus Asterina are described from living leaves collected in provinces Chiriquí and Bocas del Toro in western Panama. Asterina alloplecti on Alloplectus ichtyoderma (Gesneriaceae) differs from other Asterina on Gesneriaceae by its stalked appressoria and host relationship. Asterina compsoneurae on Compsoneura sprucei (Myristicaceae) can be distinguished from other members of Asterina on Myristicaceae by its larger ascomata, larger, prominently spinose ascospores and host relationship. New records for Panama are Asterina corallopoda from a new host plant species (Solanum trizygum, Solanaceae), A. diplopoda, A. ekmanii from a new host plant species (Gonzalagunia rudis, Rubiaceae), A. siphocampyli from a new host plant genus and species (Burmeistera vulgaris, Campanulaceae) and A. styracina from a new host-plant species (Styrax argenteus, Styracaceae). This study increases the number of species of Asterina known for Panama from 12 to 19 and the number of Asterinaceae from 14 to 21. Asterina corallopoda, A. diplopoda, A. ekmanii, A. siphocampyli and A. styracina are illustrated for the first time. A phylogeny inferred from the analysis of LSU rDNA sequences of species of Asterina is presented. The diversity and host-plant patterns of known Neotropical species of Asterina are discussed.

  9. Predicting species' maximum dispersal distances from simple plant traits.

    PubMed

    Tamme, Riin; Götzenberger, Lars; Zobel, Martin; Bullock, James M; Hooftman, Danny A P; Kaasik, Ants; Pärtel, Meelis

    2014-02-01

    Many studies have shown plant species' dispersal distances to be strongly related to life-history traits, but how well different traits can predict dispersal distances is not yet known. We used cross-validation techniques and a global data set (576 plant species) to measure the predictive power of simple plant traits to estimate species' maximum dispersal distances. Including dispersal syndrome (wind, animal, ant, ballistic, and no special syndrome), growth form (tree, shrub, herb), seed mass, seed release height, and terminal velocity in different combinations as explanatory variables we constructed models to explain variation in measured maximum dispersal distances and evaluated their power to predict maximum dispersal distances. Predictions are more accurate, but also limited to a particular set of species, if data on more specific traits, such as terminal velocity, are available. The best model (R2 = 0.60) included dispersal syndrome, growth form, and terminal velocity as fixed effects. Reasonable predictions of maximum dispersal distance (R2 = 0.53) are also possible when using only the simplest and most commonly measured traits; dispersal syndrome and growth form together with species taxonomy data. We provide a function (dispeRsal) to be run in the software package R. This enables researchers to estimate maximum dispersal distances with confidence intervals for plant species using measured traits as predictors. Easily obtainable trait data, such as dispersal syndrome (inferred from seed morphology) and growth form, enable predictions to be made for a large number of species.

  10. THE USE OF CHEMICALS AS PLANT REGULATORS. AGRICULTURAL CHEMICALS TECHNOLOGY, NUMBER 8.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ohio State Univ., Columbus. Center for Vocational and Technical Education.

    ONE OF A SERIES DESIGNED TO ASSIST TEACHERS IN PREPARING POST-SECONDARY STUDENTS FOR AGRICULTURAL CHEMICAL OCCUPATIONS, THIS MODULE IS SPECIFICALLY CONCERNED WITH CHEMICALS AS PLANT REGULATORS. IT WAS DEVELOPED BY A NATIONAL TASK FORCE ON THE BASIS OF DATA FROM STATE STUDIES. SECTIONS INCLUDE -- (1) CHEMICALS AS MODIFIERS OF PLANT GROWTH, (2)…

  11. Positive interactions, discontinuous transitions and species coexistence in plant communities.

    PubMed

    Díaz-Sierra, R; Zavala, M A; Rietkerk, M

    2010-03-01

    The population and community level consequences of positive interactions between plants remain poorly explored. In this study we incorporate positive resource-mediated interactions in classic resource competition theory and investigate the main consequences for plant population dynamics and species coexistence. We focus on plant communities for which water infiltration rates exhibit positive dependency on plant biomass and where plant responses can be improved by shading, particularly under water limiting conditions. We show that the effects of these two resource-mediated positive interactions are similar and additive. We predict that positive interactions shift the transition points between different species compositions along environmental gradients and that realized niche widths will expand or shrink. Furthermore, continuous transitions between different community compositions can become discontinuous and bistability or tristability can occur. Moreover, increased infiltration rates may give rise to a new potential coexistence mechanism that we call controlled facilitation. PMID:20005884

  12. Positive interactions, discontinuous transitions and species coexistence in plant communities.

    PubMed

    Díaz-Sierra, R; Zavala, M A; Rietkerk, M

    2010-03-01

    The population and community level consequences of positive interactions between plants remain poorly explored. In this study we incorporate positive resource-mediated interactions in classic resource competition theory and investigate the main consequences for plant population dynamics and species coexistence. We focus on plant communities for which water infiltration rates exhibit positive dependency on plant biomass and where plant responses can be improved by shading, particularly under water limiting conditions. We show that the effects of these two resource-mediated positive interactions are similar and additive. We predict that positive interactions shift the transition points between different species compositions along environmental gradients and that realized niche widths will expand or shrink. Furthermore, continuous transitions between different community compositions can become discontinuous and bistability or tristability can occur. Moreover, increased infiltration rates may give rise to a new potential coexistence mechanism that we call controlled facilitation.

  13. Accumulation of artificial radionuclides in agricultural plants in the area used for surface nuclear tests.

    PubMed

    Kozhakhanov, T E; Lukashenko, S N; Larionova, N V

    2014-11-01

    The paper reports on the study of artificial radionuclide accumulation in agricultural crops grown at the territory with high concentration of radionuclides, and first of all - with high concentration of transuranium elements. As a result of this work, peculiarities of accumulation and distribution of artificial radionuclides in the vegetative and generative organs of the studied plants have been revealed. Basic accumulation factors have been found for (137)Cs, (90)Sr, (239+240)Pu, and (241)Am in agricultural products. Accumulation factor dependence on type of planting was found for the investigated types of plants. It has been found that the vegetative organs accumulate radionuclides most of all.

  14. European risk assessment of LAS in agricultural soil revisited: species sensitivity distribution and risk estimates.

    PubMed

    Jensen, John; Smith, Stephen R; Krogh, Paul Henning; Versteeg, Donald J; Temara, Ali

    2007-10-01

    Linear alkylbenzene sulphonate (LAS) is used at a rate of approximately 430,000 tons/y in Western Europe, mainly in laundry detergents. It is present in sewage sludge (70-5,600 mg/kg; 5-95th percentile) because of its high usage per capita, its sorption and precipitation in primary settlers, and its lack of degradation in anaerobic digesters. Immediately after amendment, calculated and measured concentrations are <1 to 60 mg LAS/kg soil. LAS biodegrades rapidly in soil with primary and ultimate half-lives of up to 7 and 30 days, respectively. Calculated residual concentrations after the averaging time (30 days) are 0.24-18 mg LAS/kg soil. The long-term ecotoxicity to soil microbiota is relatively low (EC10 >or=26 mg sludge-associated LAS/kg soil). An extensive review of the invertebrate and plant ecotoxicological data, combined with a probabilistic assessment approach, led to a PNEC value of 35 mg LAS/kg soil, i.e. the 5th percentile (HC5) of the species sensitivity distribution (lognormal distribution of the EC10 and NOEC values). Risk ratios were identified to fall within a range of 0.01 (median LAS concentration in sludge) to 0.1 (95th percentile) and always below 0.5 (maximum LAS concentration measured in sludge) according to various scenarios covering different factors such as local sewage influent concentration, water hardness, and sewage sludge stabilisation process. Based on the present information, it can be concluded that LAS does not represent an ecological risk in Western Europe when applied via normal sludge amendment to agricultural soil. PMID:17765285

  15. Herbivore effects on plant species density at varying productivity levels

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gough, L.; Grace, J.B.

    1998-01-01

    Artificially increasing primary productivity decreases plant species richness in many habitats; herbivory may affect this outcome, but it has rarely been directly addressed in fertilization studies. This experiment was conducted in two Louisiana coastal marshes to examine the effects of nutrient enrichment and sediment addition on herbaceous plant communities with and without vertebrate herbivory. After three growing seasons, fertilization increased community biomass in all plots, but decreased species density (the number of species per unit area) only in plots protected from herbivory. Herbivory alone did not alter species density at either site. At the brackish marsh, herbivory caused a shift in dominance in the fertilized plots from a species that is considered the competitive dominant, but is selectively eaten, to another less palatable species. At the fresh marsh, increased dead biomass in the absence of herbivory and in the fertilized plots probably contributed to the decrease in species density, perhaps by limiting germination of annuals. Our results support those of other fertilization studies in which plant species density decreases with increased biomass, but only in those plots protected from herbivory.

  16. Commercial Plant Production and Consumption Still Follow the Latitudinal Gradient in Species Diversity despite Economic Globalization

    PubMed Central

    Nelson, Erik J.; Helmus, Matthew R.; Cavender-Bares, Jeannine; Polasky, Stephen; Lasky, Jesse R.; Zanne, Amy E.; Pearse, William D.; Kraft, Nathan J. B.; Miteva, Daniela A.; Fagan, William F.

    2016-01-01

    Increasing trade between countries and gains in income have given consumers around the world access to a richer and more diverse set of commercial plant products (i.e., foods and fibers produced by farmers). According to the economic theory of comparative advantage, countries open to trade will be able to consume more–in terms of volume and diversity–if they concentrate production on commodities that they can most cost-effectively produce, while importing goods that are expensive to produce, relative to other countries. Here, we perform a global analysis of traded commercial plant products and find little evidence that increasing globalization has incentivized agricultural specialization. Instead, a country’s plant production and consumption patterns are still largely determined by local evolutionary legacies of plant diversification. Because tropical countries harbor a greater diversity of lineages across the tree of life than temperate countries, tropical countries produce and consume a greater diversity of plant products than do temperate countries. In contrast, the richer and more economically advanced temperate countries have the capacity to produce and consume more plant species than the generally poorer tropical countries, yet this collection of plant species is drawn from fewer branches on the tree of life. Why have countries not increasingly specialized in plant production despite the theoretical financial incentive to do so? Potential explanations include the persistence of domestic agricultural subsidies that distort production decisions, cultural preferences for diverse local food production, and that diverse food production protects rural households in developing countries from food price shocks. Less specialized production patterns will make crop systems more resilient to zonal climatic and social perturbations, but this may come at the expense of global crop production efficiency, an important step in making the transition to a hotter and more

  17. The use of viral vectors in introducing genes into agricultural animal species.

    PubMed

    Modric, Tomislav; Mergia, Ayalew

    2009-01-01

    The use of viral vectors is a method for introducing foreign genes into various animal species. Vectors based on retro-, adeno-, flavi-, and parvoviruses have been used for research in animal species of agricultural importance, such as chickens, quail, swine, cows, goats, sheep, fish, crustaceans, and mollusks. Viral vectors allow for efficient transgenic integration into host genome or for transient expression of the transgenic construct in somatic tissues. Because of that, viral vectors are important tools for research and potentially other biotechnology applications such as improving animal production qualities and introducing disease resistance, thus improving food quality and safety. Other uses may include generating animal models of human diseases and using animals as bioreactors for production of therapeutic proteins. Each vector type provides a unique set of advantages and limitations, which are in some cases specific to an animal species or a method of introduction. This article discusses viral vector characteristics and potential applications in agriculturally important animal species. It discusses advantages and disadvantages of using viral vectors in genetic engineering of agricultural animals.

  18. Plant species influence on soil C after afforestation of Mediterranean degraded soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dominguez, Maria T.; García-Vargas, Carlos; Madejón, Engracia; Marañón, Teodoro

    2015-04-01

    Increasing C sequestration in terrestrial ecosystems is one of the main current environmental challenges to mitigate climate change. Afforestation of degraded and contaminated lands is one of the key strategies to achieve an increase in C sequestration in ecosystems. Plant species differ in their mechanisms of C-fixation, C allocation into different plant organs, and interaction with soil microorganisms, all these factors influencing the dynamics of soil C following the afforestation of degraded soils. In this work we examine the influence of different woody plant species on soil C dynamics in degraded and afforested Mediterranean soils. The soils were former agricultural lands that were polluted by a mining accident and later afforested with different native plant species. We analysed the effect of four of these species (Olea europaea var. sylvestris Brot., Populus alba L., Pistacia lentiscus L. and Retama sphaerocarpa (L.) Boiss.) on different soil C fractions, soil nutrient availability, microbial activity (soil enzyme activities) and soil CO2 fluxes 15 years after the establishment of the plantations. Results suggest that the influence of the planted trees and shrubs is still limited, being more pronounced in the more acidic and nutrient-poor soils. Litter accumulation varied among species, with the highest C accumulated in the litter under the deciduous species (Populus alba L.). No differences were observed in the amount of total soil organic C among the studied species, or in the concentrations of phenols and sugars in the dissolved organic C (DOC), which might have indicated differences in the biodegradability of the DOC. Microbial biomass and activity was highly influenced by soil pH, and plant species had a significant influence on soil pH in the more acidic site. Soil CO2 fluxes were more influenced by the plant species than total soil C content. Our results suggest that changes in total soil C stocks after the afforestation of degraded Mediterranean

  19. Mechanisms for flowering plants to benefit arthropod natural enemies of insect pests: prospects for enhanced use in agriculture.

    PubMed

    Lu, Zhong-Xian; Zhu, Ping-Yang; Gurr, Geoff M; Zheng, Xu-Song; Read, Donna M Y; Heong, Kong-Luen; Yang, Ya-Jun; Xu, Hong-Xing

    2014-02-01

    Reduction of noncrop habitats, intensive use of pesticides and high levels of disturbance associated with intensive crop production simplify the farming landscape and bring about a sharp decline of biodiversity. This, in turn, weakens the biological control ecosystem service provided by arthropod natural enemies. Strategic use of flowering plants to enhance plant biodiversity in a well-targeted manner can provide natural enemies with food sources and shelter to improve biological control and reduce dependence on chemical pesticides. This article reviews the nutritional value of various types of plant-derived food for natural enemies, possible adverse effects on pest management, and the practical application of flowering plants in orchards, vegetables and field crops, agricultural systems where most research has taken place. Prospects for more effective use of flowering plants to maximize biological control of insect pests in agroecosystem are good but depend up on selection of optimal plant species based on information on the ecological mechanisms by which natural enemies are selectively favored over pest species.

  20. Rare and endangered species of plants--the soviet side.

    PubMed

    Elias, T S

    1983-01-01

    In late 1972, the Soviet Union embarked on a program to identify and document plant species that are threatened with extinction. Perhaps 2000 species in the Soviet Union are in need of monitoring or protective measures, while nearly 200 may be in immediate danger of extinction. Currently, the Soviet Union has an official, national list of endangered species, and each of the 15 republics has prepared a regional list. Once a revised national list is prepared, Soviet scientists hope that the Supreme Soviet will pass a law protecting those species. A corresponding law for endangered animals was passed in 1980. PMID:17734310

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bennett, J.P.

    1996-01-01

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

  2. Creating an agricultural world order: regional plant protection problems and international phytopathology, 1878-1939.

    PubMed

    Castonguay, Stéphane

    2010-01-01

    Beginning in 1878 with the International Phylloxera Convention of Berne, international conventions have sought to relieve national agricultural industries from two specific burdens. First, by defining phytosanitary practices to be enforced by national plant protection services, these conventions attempted to prevent the introduction of plant diseases and pests into national territories from which they were previously absent. Second, by standardizing these practices - especially through the design of a unique certificate of inspection - the conventions attempted to eliminate barriers such as quarantines affection international agricultural trade. The succession of phytopathological conventions seemed to epitomize the coalescence of an international community against agricultural pests. What actually coalesced was bio-geopolitics wherein plant pathologists and economic entomologists from North America and the British Empire questioned the so-called internationality of the environmental and economic specificities of continental European agriculture, embodied in "international" conventions. Although an international phenomenon, the dissemination of agricultural pests provided opportunities for cooperation on a strictly regional albeit transnational basis that pitted bio-geopolitical spaces against each other. This article retraces the formation of these spaces by analyzing the deliberations of committees and congresses that gathered to define an international agricultural order based on the means to prevent the spread of plant diseases and pests. PMID:20329355

  3. Creating an agricultural world order: regional plant protection problems and international phytopathology, 1878-1939.

    PubMed

    Castonguay, Stéphane

    2010-01-01

    Beginning in 1878 with the International Phylloxera Convention of Berne, international conventions have sought to relieve national agricultural industries from two specific burdens. First, by defining phytosanitary practices to be enforced by national plant protection services, these conventions attempted to prevent the introduction of plant diseases and pests into national territories from which they were previously absent. Second, by standardizing these practices - especially through the design of a unique certificate of inspection - the conventions attempted to eliminate barriers such as quarantines affection international agricultural trade. The succession of phytopathological conventions seemed to epitomize the coalescence of an international community against agricultural pests. What actually coalesced was bio-geopolitics wherein plant pathologists and economic entomologists from North America and the British Empire questioned the so-called internationality of the environmental and economic specificities of continental European agriculture, embodied in "international" conventions. Although an international phenomenon, the dissemination of agricultural pests provided opportunities for cooperation on a strictly regional albeit transnational basis that pitted bio-geopolitical spaces against each other. This article retraces the formation of these spaces by analyzing the deliberations of committees and congresses that gathered to define an international agricultural order based on the means to prevent the spread of plant diseases and pests.

  4. Plant-microbe interactions promoting plant growth and health: perspectives for controlled use of microorganisms in agriculture.

    PubMed

    Berg, Gabriele

    2009-08-01

    Plant-associated microorganisms fulfill important functions for plant growth and health. Direct plant growth promotion by microbes is based on improved nutrient acquisition and hormonal stimulation. Diverse mechanisms are involved in the suppression of plant pathogens, which is often indirectly connected with plant growth. Whereas members of the bacterial genera Azospirillum and Rhizobium are well-studied examples for plant growth promotion, Bacillus, Pseudomonas, Serratia, Stenotrophomonas, and Streptomyces and the fungal genera Ampelomyces, Coniothyrium, and Trichoderma are model organisms to demonstrate influence on plant health. Based on these beneficial plant-microbe interactions, it is possible to develop microbial inoculants for use in agricultural biotechnology. Dependent on their mode of action and effects, these products can be used as biofertilizers, plant strengtheners, phytostimulators, and biopesticides. There is a strong growing market for microbial inoculants worldwide with an annual growth rate of approximately 10%. The use of genomic technologies leads to products with more predictable and consistent effects. The future success of the biological control industry will benefit from interdisciplinary research, e.g., on mass production, formulation, interactions, and signaling with the environment, as well as on innovative business management, product marketing, and education. Altogether, the use of microorganisms and the exploitation of beneficial plant-microbe interactions offer promising and environmentally friendly strategies for conventional and organic agriculture worldwide.

  5. Drought Impacts on Ancient Maya Maize Agriculture Inferred from Isotopic Analyses of Plant Biomarkers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Douglas, P. M.; Pagani, M.; Eglinton, T. I.; Brenner, M.; Hodell, D. A.; Curtis, J. H.

    2013-05-01

    There is increasing evidence suggesting that a series of droughts in the Maya lowlands of southeastern Mexico and northern Central America coincided with the Terminal Classic decline of the Classic Maya civilization (ca. 1250 to 1000 years BP). However, there is little evidence directly linking climatic change and changes in human activities in this region. In this study we combine plant-wax hydrogen and carbon analyses in two lake sediment cores from the Yucatan and northern Guatemala to develop coupled records of hydroclimate variability and human-driven vegetation change and assess drought impacts on maize agriculture In the Maya lowlands plant-wax hydrogen isotope ratios (δD) are controlled by the isotopic composition of precipitation and evapotranspiration, and are highly sensitive to changes in aridity. In this low-elevation tropical environment plant-wax carbon isotope ratios (δ13C) are largely controlled by the relative abundance of C3 and C4 plants. The ancient Maya practiced widespread maize (C4) agriculture and strongly influenced regional C3-C4 vegetation dynamics. Under natural conditions C4 plant coverage and plant-wax δD would tend to co-vary positively since C4 plants are well adapted for dry conditions. Under ancient Maya land-use, however, this relationship is likely to be decoupled, since drought would have disrupted C4 agriculture. Combined analyses of plant-wax δD and δ13C from two lake sediment cores in the Maya lowlands indicate co-evolving changes in hydroclimate and C4 plant coverage over the past 4000 years. Compound-specific radiocarbon analyses of plant-waxes provide independent chronologies for these plant-wax stable isotope records, and plant-wax δD records developed using these chronologies agree closely with other regional records of hydroclimate change. Trends in plant-wax δD and δ13C diverge following ca. 3500 years BP, around the onset of widespread ancient Maya agriculture. After this time high plant-wax δD values tend

  6. Evidence of novel plant-species specific ammonia oxidizing bacterial clades in acidic South African fynbos soils.

    PubMed

    Ramond, Jean-Baptiste; Lako, Joseph D W; Stafford, William H L; Tuffin, Marla I; Cowan, Don A

    2015-08-01

    Ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) are essential in the biogeochemical cycling of nitrogen as they catalyze the rate-limiting oxidation of ammonia into nitrite. Since their first isolation in the late 19th century, chemolithoautotrophic AOBs have been identified in a wide range of natural (e.g., soils, sediments, estuarine, and freshwaters) and man created or impacted habitats (e.g., wastewater treatment plants and agricultural soils). However, little is known on the plant-species association of AOBs, particularly in the nutrient-starved fynbos terrestrial biome. In this study, we evaluated the diversity of AOBs in the plant canopy of three South African fynbos-specific plant species, namely Leucadendron xanthoconus, Leucospermum truncatulum and Leucadendron microcephalum, through the construction of amoA-gene clone libraries. Our results clearly demonstrate that plant-species specific and monophyletic AOB clades are present in fynbos canopy soils.

  7. Radiochlorine concentration ratios for agricultural plants in various soil conditions.

    PubMed

    Kashparov, V; Colle, C; Levchuk, S; Yoschenko, V; Zvarich, S

    2007-01-01

    Long-term field experiments have been carried out in the Chernobyl exclusion zone in order to determine the parameters governing radiochlorine ((36)Cl) transfer to plants from four types of soil, namely, Podzoluvisol, Greyzem, Phaeozem and Chernozem. Radiochlorine concentration ratios (CR=concentration of (36)Cl in the fresh plant material divided by its concentration in the dried soil in the upper 20 cm layer) were obtained in green peas (2.6+/-0.4), onions (1.5+/-0.5), potatoes (8+/-1), clover (90+/-26) and ryegrass (158+/-88) hay, oat seeds (36+/-23) and straw (305+/-159), wheat seeds (35+/-10) and straw (222+/-82). These values correlate with the stable chlorine values for the same plants. It was shown that (36)Cl plant/soil CR in radish roots (CR=9.7+/-1.4) does not depend on the stable chlorine content in the soil (up to 150 mgkg(-1)), soil type and thus, that stable chlorine CR values (9.4+/-1.2) can also be used for (36)Cl. Injection of additional quantities of stable chlorine into the soil (100 mgkg(-1) of dry soil) with fertilizer does not change the soil-to-plant transfer of (36)Cl. The results from a batch experiment showed that chlorine is retained in the investigated soils only by live biota and transfers quickly (in just a few hours) into the soil solution from dry vegetation even without decomposition of dead plants and is integrated in the migration processes in soil.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  9. A proposal to rationalize within-species plant virus nomenclature: benefits and implications of inaction.

    PubMed

    Jones, Roger A C; Kehoe, Monica A

    2016-07-01

    Current approaches used to name within-species, plant virus phylogenetic groups are often misleading and illogical. They involve names based on biological properties, sequence differences and geographical, country or place-association designations, or any combination of these. This type of nomenclature is becoming increasingly unsustainable as numbers of sequences of the same virus from new host species and different parts of the world increase. Moreover, this increase is accelerating as world trade and agriculture expand, and climate change progresses. Serious consequences for virus research and disease management might arise from incorrect assumptions made when current within-species phylogenetic group names incorrectly identify properties of group members. This could result in development of molecular tools that incorrectly target dangerous virus strains, potentially leading to unjustified impediments to international trade or failure to prevent such strains being introduced to countries, regions or continents formerly free of them. Dangerous strains might be missed or misdiagnosed by diagnostic laboratories and monitoring programs, and new cultivars with incorrect strain-specific resistances released. Incorrect deductions are possible during phylogenetic analysis of plant virus sequences and errors from strain misidentification during molecular and biological virus research activities. A nomenclature system for within-species plant virus phylogenetic group names is needed which avoids such problems. We suggest replacing all other naming approaches with Latinized numerals, restricting biologically based names only to biological strains and removing geographically based names altogether. Our recommendations have implications for biosecurity authorities, diagnostic laboratories, disease-management programs, plant breeders and researchers. PMID:27101071

  10. Trichoderma Biodiversity of Agricultural Fields in East China Reveals a Gradient Distribution of Species

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Jing; Mao, Li-Juan; Feng, Xiao-Xiao; Zhang, Chu-Long; Lin, Fu-Cheng

    2016-01-01

    We surveyed the Trichoderma (Hypocreales, Ascomycota) biodiversity in agricultural fields in four major agricultural provinces of East China. Trichoderma strains were identified based on molecular approaches and morphological characteristics. In three sampled seasons (spring, summer and autumn), 2078 strains were isolated and identified to 17 known species: T. harzianum (429 isolates), T. asperellum (425), T. hamatum (397), T. virens (340), T. koningiopsis (248), T. brevicompactum (73), T. atroviride (73), T. fertile (26), T. longibrachiatum (22), T. pleuroticola (16), T. erinaceum (16), T. oblongisporum (2), T. polysporum (2), T. spirale (2), T. capillare (2), T. velutinum (2), and T. saturnisporum (1). T. harzianum, T. asperellum, T. hamatum, and T. virens were identified as the dominant species with dominance (Y) values of 0.057, 0.052, 0.048, and 0.039, respectively. The species amount, isolate numbers and the dominant species of Trichoderma varied between provinces. Zhejiang Province has shown the highest diversity, which was reflected in the highest species amount (14) and the highest Shannon–Wiener diversity index of Trichoderma haplotypes (1.46). We observed that relative frequencies of T. hamatum and T. koningiopsis under rice soil were higher than those under wheat and maize soil, indicating the preference of Trichoderma to different crops. Remarkable seasonal variation was shown, with summer exhibiting the highest biodiversity of the studied seasons. These results show that Trichoderma biodiversity in agricultural fields varies by region, crop, and season. Zhejiang Province (the southernmost province in the investigated area) had more T. hamatum than Shandong Province (the northernmost province), not only in isolate amounts but also in haplotype amounts. Furthermore, at haplotype level, only T. hamatum showed a gradient distribution from south to north in correspondence analysis among the four dominant species. The above results would contribute to the

  11. Trichoderma Biodiversity of Agricultural Fields in East China Reveals a Gradient Distribution of Species.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Yuan; Wang, Jin-Liang; Chen, Jing; Mao, Li-Juan; Feng, Xiao-Xiao; Zhang, Chu-Long; Lin, Fu-Cheng

    2016-01-01

    We surveyed the Trichoderma (Hypocreales, Ascomycota) biodiversity in agricultural fields in four major agricultural provinces of East China. Trichoderma strains were identified based on molecular approaches and morphological characteristics. In three sampled seasons (spring, summer and autumn), 2078 strains were isolated and identified to 17 known species: T. harzianum (429 isolates), T. asperellum (425), T. hamatum (397), T. virens (340), T. koningiopsis (248), T. brevicompactum (73), T. atroviride (73), T. fertile (26), T. longibrachiatum (22), T. pleuroticola (16), T. erinaceum (16), T. oblongisporum (2), T. polysporum (2), T. spirale (2), T. capillare (2), T. velutinum (2), and T. saturnisporum (1). T. harzianum, T. asperellum, T. hamatum, and T. virens were identified as the dominant species with dominance (Y) values of 0.057, 0.052, 0.048, and 0.039, respectively. The species amount, isolate numbers and the dominant species of Trichoderma varied between provinces. Zhejiang Province has shown the highest diversity, which was reflected in the highest species amount (14) and the highest Shannon-Wiener diversity index of Trichoderma haplotypes (1.46). We observed that relative frequencies of T. hamatum and T. koningiopsis under rice soil were higher than those under wheat and maize soil, indicating the preference of Trichoderma to different crops. Remarkable seasonal variation was shown, with summer exhibiting the highest biodiversity of the studied seasons. These results show that Trichoderma biodiversity in agricultural fields varies by region, crop, and season. Zhejiang Province (the southernmost province in the investigated area) had more T. hamatum than Shandong Province (the northernmost province), not only in isolate amounts but also in haplotype amounts. Furthermore, at haplotype level, only T. hamatum showed a gradient distribution from south to north in correspondence analysis among the four dominant species. The above results would contribute to the

  12. Seasonal OVOC fluxes from an agricultural field planted with sugar beet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Custer, T. G.; Schade, G. W.

    2005-12-01

    Although agricultural crops are generally not strong isoprenoid emitters, they do emit a variety of other atmospherically significant species collectively known as oxygenated VOCs (OVOCs), such as methanol, acetaldehyde, or various hexenal and hexenol compounds. Many OVOCs have longer atmospheric lifetimes than isoprenoid compounds and can affect the atmosphere's oxidative potential at higher elevations and far from sources. We performed selected OVOC flux measurements for select species above an agricultural field planted with sugar beets ( B. vulgaris) in northern Germany in 2004 to better understand the magnitude and controls over these OVOC emissions. Virtual disjunct eddy covariance was used to measure fluxes beginning immediately following seeding and continuing until past harvest. A commercial PTR-MS provided mixing ratios of methanol (m/z 33), acetaldehyde (m/z 45), acetone (m/z 59), and the sum of the isoprene oxidation products methacrolein and methyl vinyl ketone (m/z 71) while 3D wind velocities were measured using a Gill R3 sonic anemometer. Here, we compare the fluxes of methanol and acetone over the growth cycle of sugar beet to plant development as measured by the leaf area index. Methanol fluxes ranged from approximately -0.05 to 0.15 mg C m-2 h-1 (mixing ratios from ~1 to 15 ppbv) and showed a clear diurnal cycle after the sugar beets established a significant leaf area. Acetone fluxes ranged from approximately -0.2 to 0.2 mg C m-2 h-1 (mixing ratios from ~0.2 to 3 ppb). Higher specific emissions were found during earlier growth stages. Methanol flux correlated strongly with latent heat flux (or alternatively, with canopy conductance derived from the latent heat flux), while acetone flux did not. Acetone flux was small compared to methanol flux and sugar beet is likely not a significant acetone emitter. Weekly measurements of soil OVOC exchange using a flux chamber showed that the soil may have contributed significantly to the overall flux values

  13. Acclimation of plant species to elevated CO{sub 2}

    SciTech Connect

    Olavi, K.; Ball, J.T.; Seemann, J.

    1995-06-01

    Plant species differ in assimilated carbon partitioning between starch, sucrose and hexose sugars. Soluble sugars have been implicated to play a role in downregulating rubisco and other photosynthesis enzymes on the level of transcription. In this study we compared high CO{sub 2} response of plants with different physiology. Cucumber, tobacco and sunflower were chosen as relatively good starch accumulators, spinach and sugar-beet as species with high leaf soluble sugar levels. In addition woody species cottonwood and salt cedar and one C{sub 4} species (corn) were studied. Plants were grown from seed at three CO{sub 2} levels: 330 {mu}bar, 660 {mu}bar and 1500 {mu}bar. Two soil nitrogen levels were used: one that allowed normal growth and the other that caused about 5 times growth suppression. All species except corn (C{sub 4}) showed downregulation of leaf rubisco activity. This downregulation was due to decrease of rubisco content, activation state remaining unchanged. Initial slope of AC{sub i} curve and rubisco activity were in good correlation. Low and high nitrogen plants had similar relative changes in photosynthetic activity. Final harvest onground weight correlated with CO{sub 2} uptake at growth conditions. We concluded that soluble sugars per se do not cause downregulation of leaf photosynthetic activity at high CO{sub 2}.

  14. Species-specific toxicity of ceria nanoparticles to Lactuca plants.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Peng; Ma, Yuhui; Zhang, Zhiyong; He, Xiao; Li, Yuanyuan; Zhang, Jing; Zheng, Lirong; Zhao, Yuliang

    2015-02-01

    Species-specific differences in the toxicity of manufactured nanoparticles (MNPs) have been reported, but the underlying mechanisms are unknown. We previously found that CeO2 NPs inhibited root elongation of head lettuce, whereas no toxic effect was observed on other plants (such as wheat, cucumber and radish). In this study, interactions between Lactuca plants and three types of CeO2 NPs (lab-synthesized 7 and 25 nm CeO2 NPs, and a commercial CeO2 NPs) were investigated. It was found that CeO2 NPs were toxic to three kinds of Lactuca genus plants and different CeO2 NPs showed different degrees of toxicity. The results of X-ray absorption near edge fine structure indicate that small parts of CeO2 NPs were transformed from Ce(IV) to Ce(III) in roots of the plants that were treated with CeO2 NPs during the seed germination stage. But the high sensitivity of Lactuca plants to the released Ce(3+) ions caused the species-specific phytotoxicity of CeO2 NPs. Differences in sizes and zeta potentials among three types of CeO2 NPs resulted in their different degrees of biotransformation which accounted for the discrepancy in the toxicity to Lactuca plants. This study is among the few, and may indeed the first, that addresses the relation between the physicochemical properties of nanoparticles and its species-specific phytotoxicity.

  15. Native wildflower plantings support wild bee abundance and diversity in agricultural landscapes across the United States.

    PubMed

    Williams, Neal M; Ward, Kimiora L; Pope, Nathaniel; Isaacs, Rufus; Wilson, Julianna; May, Emily A; Ellis, Jamie; Daniels, Jaret; Pence, Akers; Ullmann, Katharina; Peters, Jeff

    2015-12-01

    Global trends in pollinator-dependent crops have raised awareness of the need to support managed and wild bee populations to ensure sustainable crop production. Provision of sufficient forage resources is a key element for promoting bee populations within human impacted landscapes, particularly those in agricultural lands where demand for pollination service is high and land use and management practices have reduced available flowering resources. Recent government incentives in North America and Europe support the planting of wildflowers to benefit pollinators; surprisingly, in North America there has been almost no rigorous testing of the performance of wildflower mixes, or their ability to support wild bee abundance and diversity. We tested different wildflower mixes in a spatially replicated, multiyear study in three regions of North America where production of pollinator-dependent crops is high: Florida, Michigan, and California. In each region, we quantified flowering among wildflower mixes composed of annual and perennial species, and with high and low relative diversity. We measured the abundance and species richness of wild bees, honey bees, and syrphid flies at each mix over two seasons. In each region, some but not all wildflower mixes provided significantly greater floral display area than unmanaged weedy control plots. Mixes also attracted greater abundance and richness of wild bees, although the identity of best mixes varied among regions. By partitioning floral display size from mix identity we show the importance of display size for attracting abundant and diverse wild bees. Season-long monitoring also revealed that designing mixes to provide continuous bloom throughout the growing season is critical to supporting the greatest pollinator species richness. Contrary to expectation, perennials bloomed in their first season, and complementarity in attraction of pollinators among annuals and perennials suggests that inclusion of functionally diverse

  16. Native wildflower plantings support wild bee abundance and diversity in agricultural landscapes across the United States.

    PubMed

    Williams, Neal M; Ward, Kimiora L; Pope, Nathaniel; Isaacs, Rufus; Wilson, Julianna; May, Emily A; Ellis, Jamie; Daniels, Jaret; Pence, Akers; Ullmann, Katharina; Peters, Jeff

    2015-12-01

    Global trends in pollinator-dependent crops have raised awareness of the need to support managed and wild bee populations to ensure sustainable crop production. Provision of sufficient forage resources is a key element for promoting bee populations within human impacted landscapes, particularly those in agricultural lands where demand for pollination service is high and land use and management practices have reduced available flowering resources. Recent government incentives in North America and Europe support the planting of wildflowers to benefit pollinators; surprisingly, in North America there has been almost no rigorous testing of the performance of wildflower mixes, or their ability to support wild bee abundance and diversity. We tested different wildflower mixes in a spatially replicated, multiyear study in three regions of North America where production of pollinator-dependent crops is high: Florida, Michigan, and California. In each region, we quantified flowering among wildflower mixes composed of annual and perennial species, and with high and low relative diversity. We measured the abundance and species richness of wild bees, honey bees, and syrphid flies at each mix over two seasons. In each region, some but not all wildflower mixes provided significantly greater floral display area than unmanaged weedy control plots. Mixes also attracted greater abundance and richness of wild bees, although the identity of best mixes varied among regions. By partitioning floral display size from mix identity we show the importance of display size for attracting abundant and diverse wild bees. Season-long monitoring also revealed that designing mixes to provide continuous bloom throughout the growing season is critical to supporting the greatest pollinator species richness. Contrary to expectation, perennials bloomed in their first season, and complementarity in attraction of pollinators among annuals and perennials suggests that inclusion of functionally diverse

  17. Bioavailability and plant accumulation of heavy metals and phosphorus in agricultural soils amended by long-term application of sewage sludge.

    PubMed

    Kidd, P S; Domínguez-Rodríguez, M J; Díez, J; Monterroso, C

    2007-01-01

    Amendment of agricultural soils with municipal sewage sludges provides a valuable source of plant nutrients and organic matter. Nevertheless, addition of heavy metals and risks of eutrophication continue to be of concern. Metal behaviour in soils and plant uptake are dependent on the nature of the metal, sludge/soil physico-chemical properties and plant species. A pot experiment was carried out to evaluate plant production and heavy metal uptake, soil heavy metal pools and bioavailability, and soil P pools and possible leaching losses, in agricultural soils amended with sewage sludge for at least 10 years (F20) compared to non-amended soils (control). Sewage sludge application increased soil pH, N, Olsen-extractable-P, DOC and exchangeable Ca, Mg and K concentrations. Total and EDTA-extractable soil concentrations of Cu and Zn were also significantly greater in F20, and soil metal (Cu, Mn and Zn) and P fractionation altered. Compared to the control, in F20 relative amounts of acid-extractable (Mn, Zn), reducible (Mn, Zn) and oxidisable (Cu, Zn) metal fractions were greater, and a dominance of inorganic P forms was observed. Analyses of F20 soil solutions highlighted risks of PO4 and Cu leaching. However, despite the observed increases in metal bioavailability sewage sludge applications did not lead to an increase in plant shoot concentrations (in wild plants or crop species). On the contrary, depending on the plant species, Mn and Zn tissue concentrations were within the deficiency level for most plants.

  18. Comparisons of diazotrophic communities in native and agricultural desert ecosystems reveal plants as important drivers in diversity.

    PubMed

    Köberl, Martina; Erlacher, Armin; Ramadan, Elshahat M; El-Arabi, Tarek F; Müller, Henry; Bragina, Anastasia; Berg, Gabriele

    2016-02-01

    Diazotrophs provide the only biological source of fixed atmospheric nitrogen in the biosphere. Although they are the key player for plant-available nitrogen, less is known about their diversity and potential importance in arid ecosystems. We investigated the nitrogenase gene diversity in native and agricultural desert soil as well as within root-associated microbiota of medicinal plants grown in Egypt through the combination of nifH-specific qPCR, fingerprints, amplicon pyrosequencing and fluorescence in situ hybridization-confocal laser scanning microscopy. Although the diazotrophic microbiota were characterized by generally high abundances and diversity, statistically significant differences were found between both soils, the different microhabitats, and between the investigated plants (Matricaria chamomilla L., Calendula officinalis L. and Solanum distichum Schumach. and Thonn.). We observed a considerable community shift from desert to agriculturally used soil that demonstrated a higher abundance and diversity in the agro-ecosystem. The endorhiza was characterized by lower abundances and only a subset of species when compared to the rhizosphere. While the microbiomes of the Asteraceae were similar and dominated by potential root-nodulating rhizobia acquired primarily from soil, the perennial S. distichum generally formed associations with free-living nitrogen fixers. These results underline the importance of diazotrophs in desert ecosystems and additionally identify plants as important drivers in functional gene pool diversity. PMID:26705571

  19. Comparisons of diazotrophic communities in native and agricultural desert ecosystems reveal plants as important drivers in diversity.

    PubMed

    Köberl, Martina; Erlacher, Armin; Ramadan, Elshahat M; El-Arabi, Tarek F; Müller, Henry; Bragina, Anastasia; Berg, Gabriele

    2016-02-01

    Diazotrophs provide the only biological source of fixed atmospheric nitrogen in the biosphere. Although they are the key player for plant-available nitrogen, less is known about their diversity and potential importance in arid ecosystems. We investigated the nitrogenase gene diversity in native and agricultural desert soil as well as within root-associated microbiota of medicinal plants grown in Egypt through the combination of nifH-specific qPCR, fingerprints, amplicon pyrosequencing and fluorescence in situ hybridization-confocal laser scanning microscopy. Although the diazotrophic microbiota were characterized by generally high abundances and diversity, statistically significant differences were found between both soils, the different microhabitats, and between the investigated plants (Matricaria chamomilla L., Calendula officinalis L. and Solanum distichum Schumach. and Thonn.). We observed a considerable community shift from desert to agriculturally used soil that demonstrated a higher abundance and diversity in the agro-ecosystem. The endorhiza was characterized by lower abundances and only a subset of species when compared to the rhizosphere. While the microbiomes of the Asteraceae were similar and dominated by potential root-nodulating rhizobia acquired primarily from soil, the perennial S. distichum generally formed associations with free-living nitrogen fixers. These results underline the importance of diazotrophs in desert ecosystems and additionally identify plants as important drivers in functional gene pool diversity.

  20. Comparisons of diazotrophic communities in native and agricultural desert ecosystems reveal plants as important drivers in diversity

    PubMed Central

    Köberl, Martina; Erlacher, Armin; Ramadan, Elshahat M.; El-Arabi, Tarek F.; Müller, Henry; Bragina, Anastasia; Berg, Gabriele

    2015-01-01

    Diazotrophs provide the only biological source of fixed atmospheric nitrogen in the biosphere. Although they are the key player for plant-available nitrogen, less is known about their diversity and potential importance in arid ecosystems. We investigated the nitrogenase gene diversity in native and agricultural desert soil as well as within root-associated microbiota of medicinal plants grown in Egypt through the combination of nifH-specific qPCR, fingerprints, amplicon pyrosequencing and fluorescence in situ hybridization–confocal laser scanning microscopy. Although the diazotrophic microbiota were characterized by generally high abundances and diversity, statistically significant differences were found between both soils, the different microhabitats, and between the investigated plants (Matricaria chamomilla L., Calendula officinalis L. and Solanum distichum Schumach. and Thonn.). We observed a considerable community shift from desert to agriculturally used soil that demonstrated a higher abundance and diversity in the agro-ecosystem. The endorhiza was characterized by lower abundances and only a subset of species when compared to the rhizosphere. While the microbiomes of the Asteraceae were similar and dominated by potential root-nodulating rhizobia acquired primarily from soil, the perennial S. distichum generally formed associations with free-living nitrogen fixers. These results underline the importance of diazotrophs in desert ecosystems and additionally identify plants as important drivers in functional gene pool diversity. PMID:26705571

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Spatial variability in plant species composition and peatland carbon exchange

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goud, E.; Moore, T. R.; Roulet, N. T.

    2015-12-01

    Plant species shifts in response to global change will have significant impacts on ecosystem carbon (C) exchange and storage arising from changes in hydrology. Spatial variation in peatland C fluxes have largely been attributed to the spatial distribution of microhabitats that arise from variation in surface topography and water table depth, but little is known about how plant species composition impacts peatland C cycling or how these impacts will be influenced by changing environmental conditions. We quantified the effect of species composition and environmental variables on carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) fluxes over 2 years in a temperate peatland for four plant communities situated along a water table gradient from ombrotrophic bog to beaver pond. We hypothesized that (i) spatial heterogeneity in species composition would drive predictable spatial heterogeneity in C fluxes due to variation in plant traits and ecological tolerances, and (ii) increases in peat temperature would increase C fluxes. Species had different effects on C fluxes primarily due to differences in leaf traits. Differences in ecological tolerances among communities resulted in different rates of CO2 exchange in response to changes in water table depth. There was an overall reduction in ecosystem respiration (ER), gross primary productivity (GPP) and CH4 flux in response to colder peat temperatures in the second year, and the additive effects of a deeper water table in the bog margin and pond sites further reduced flux rates in these areas. These results demonstrate that different plant species can increase or decrease the flux of C into and out of peatlands based on differences in leaf traits and ecological tolerances, and that CO2 and CH4 fluxes are sensitive to changes in soil temperature, especially when coupled with changes in moisture availability.

  3. Phosphate addition and plant species alters microbial community structure in acidic upland grassland soil.

    PubMed

    Rooney, Deirdre C; Clipson, Nicholas J W

    2009-01-01

    Agricultural improvement (addition of fertilizers, liming) of seminatural acidic grasslands across Ireland and the UK has resulted in significant shifts in floristic composition, soil chemistry, and microbial community structure. Although several factors have been proposed as responsible for driving shifts in microbial communities, the exact causes of such changes are not well defined. Phosphate was added to grassland microcosms to investigate the effect on fungal and bacterial communities. Plant species typical of unimproved grasslands (Agrostis capillaris, Festuca ovina) and agriculturally improved grasslands (Lolium perenne) were grown, and phosphate was added 25 days after seed germination, with harvesting after a further 50 days. Phosphate addition significantly increased root biomass (p < 0.001) and shoot biomass (p < 0.05), soil pH (by 0.1 U), and microbial activity (by 5.33 mg triphenylformazan [TPF] g(-1) soil; p < 0.001). A slight decrease (by 0.257 mg biomass-C g(-1) soil; p < 0.05) in microbial biomass after phosphate addition was found. The presence of plant species significantly decreased soil pH (p < 0.05; by up to 0.2 U) and increased microbial activity (by up to 6.02 mg TPF g(-1) soil) but had no significant effect on microbial biomass. Microbial communities were profiled using automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis. Multidimensional scaling plots and canonical correspondence analysis revealed that phosphate addition and its interactions with upland grassland plant species resulted in considerable changes in the fungal and bacterial communities of upland soil. The fungal community structure was significantly affected by both phosphate (R = 0.948) and plant species (R = 0.857), and the bacterial community structure was also significantly affected by phosphate (R = 0.758) and plant species (R = 0.753). Differences in microbial community structure following P addition were also revealed by similarity percentage analysis. These data suggest

  4. Evolution of SINE S1 retroposons in Cruciferae plant species.

    PubMed

    Lenoir, A; Cournoyer, B; Warwick, S; Picard, G; Deragon, J M

    1997-09-01

    The S1 element is a plant short interspersed element (SINE) that was first described and studied in Brassica napus. In this work, we investigated the distribution and the molecular phylogeny of the S1 element within the Cruciferae (= Brassicaceae). S1 elements were found to be widely distributed within the Cruciferae, especially in species of the tribe Brassiceae. The molecular phylogeny of S1 elements in eight Cruciferae species (Brassica oleracea, Brassica rapa, Brassica napus, Brassica nigra, Sinapis, arvensis, Sinapis pubescens, Coincya monensis, and Vella spinosa) was inferred using 14-36 elements per species. Significant neighbor-joining and maximum-parsimony phylogenetic clusters, supported by high bootstrap P values and/or represented in 100% of the most-parsimonious trees, were observed for each species. Most of these clusters probably correspond to recent species-specific bursts of S1 amplification. Since these species diverged recently, S1 amplification in Cruciferae plants is proposed to be a highly dynamic process that could contribute to genome rearrangements and eventually lead to reproductive isolation. S1 sequence analysis also revealed putative gene conversion events that occurred between different S1 elements of a given species. These events suggest that gene conversion is a minor but significant component of the molecular drive governing S1 concerted evolution.

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

    PubMed Central

    Lev-Yadun, Simcha

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Lev-Yadun, Simcha

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Comparative functional genomics of plant pathogenic Fusarium species

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Fusarium species are among the most economically important group of plant pathogenic fungi. Comparison of the four currently available Fusarium genome sequences allows an unsurpassed and unprecedented ability to predict genes, determine synteny and define regulatory sequences for genes in phytopatho...

  8. The importance of education in managing invasive plant species

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Invasive plant species can establish in diverse environments and with the increase in human mobility, they are no longer restricted to isolated pockets in remote parts of the world. Cheat grass (Bromus tectorum L.) in rangelands, purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria L.) in wet lands and Canada this...

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    PubMed

    Rewald, Boris; Meinen, Catharina

    2013-01-01

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

  11. Durable strategies to deploy plant resistance in agricultural landscapes.

    PubMed

    Fabre, Frédéric; Rousseau, Elsa; Mailleret, Ludovic; Moury, Benoit

    2012-03-01

    The deployment of resistant crops often leads to the emergence of resistance-breaking pathogens that suppress the yield benefit provided by the resistance. Here, we theoretically explored how farmers' main leverages (resistant cultivar choice, resistance deployment strategy, landscape planning and cultural practices) can be best combined to achieve resistance durability while minimizing yield losses as a result of plant viruses. Assuming a gene-for-gene type of interaction, virus epidemics are modelled in a landscape composed of a mosaic of resistant and susceptible fields, subjected to seasonality, and a reservoir hosting viruses year-round. The model links the genetic and the epidemiological processes, shaping at nested scales the demogenetic dynamics of viruses. The choice of the resistance gene (characterized by the equilibrium frequency of the resistance-breaking virus at mutation-selection balance in a susceptible plant) is the most influential leverage of action. Our results showed that optimal strategies of resistance deployment range from 'mixture' (where susceptible and resistant cultivars coexist) to 'pure' strategies (with only resistant cultivar) depending on the resistance characteristics and the epidemiological context (epidemic incidence and landscape connectivity). We demonstrate and discuss gaps concerning virus epidemiology across the agro-ecological interface that must be filled to achieve sustainable disease management.

  12. Do plant traits predict the competitive abilities of closely related species?

    PubMed

    Schwartz, Lauren M; Gibson, David J; Young, Bryan G

    2015-12-31

    Invasive species are a threat to every ecosystem. There is a strong incentive to predict which species will become invasive before they become too widespread and unmanageable. Different approaches have been advocated to assess invasive species potential. These include examining plant functional traits, quantifying competitive ability and phylogenetic comparison. In this study, we conducted experiments based on the above approaches in a multi-year, temporally replicated, set of experiments to compare these assessment methods to determine the invasive potential of Japanese chaff flower (Achyranthes japonica). We compared plant traits and competitive ability of Japanese chaff flower with two agricultural invasive species, Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri) and tall waterhemp (Amaranthus tuberculatus), and one endangered plant species, bloodleaf (Iresine rhizomatosa), in the Amaranthaceae. Additionally, we assessed the invasive potential based on each of these approaches and determined the degree of agreement between them. A relatively conservative assessment integrating all three approaches would be that the competitive ability of closely related individuals with similar functional traits would share invasive potential. In a greenhouse experiment, each of the study species and soya beans were grown as monocultures and were evaluated to assess the drawdown of an aboveground (light) and a belowground (nitrogen) resource. In a field experiment, each study species was grown at varying densities per 15-cm-diameter pot with or without one or two soya bean plants, to simulate relative densities for soya beans grown in 38- and 76-cm-wide row spacing, respectively. In addition, Japanese chaff flower seedlings were planted either as un-manipulated seedlings or as a seedling cut back to the soil surface at the four-node stage (cut Japanese chaff flower) at which point seedlings have reached a perennial growth stage. The greenhouse experiment showed that each species drew down

  13. Do plant traits predict the competitive abilities of closely related species?

    PubMed

    Schwartz, Lauren M; Gibson, David J; Young, Bryan G

    2015-01-01

    Invasive species are a threat to every ecosystem. There is a strong incentive to predict which species will become invasive before they become too widespread and unmanageable. Different approaches have been advocated to assess invasive species potential. These include examining plant functional traits, quantifying competitive ability and phylogenetic comparison. In this study, we conducted experiments based on the above approaches in a multi-year, temporally replicated, set of experiments to compare these assessment methods to determine the invasive potential of Japanese chaff flower (Achyranthes japonica). We compared plant traits and competitive ability of Japanese chaff flower with two agricultural invasive species, Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri) and tall waterhemp (Amaranthus tuberculatus), and one endangered plant species, bloodleaf (Iresine rhizomatosa), in the Amaranthaceae. Additionally, we assessed the invasive potential based on each of these approaches and determined the degree of agreement between them. A relatively conservative assessment integrating all three approaches would be that the competitive ability of closely related individuals with similar functional traits would share invasive potential. In a greenhouse experiment, each of the study species and soya beans were grown as monocultures and were evaluated to assess the drawdown of an aboveground (light) and a belowground (nitrogen) resource. In a field experiment, each study species was grown at varying densities per 15-cm-diameter pot with or without one or two soya bean plants, to simulate relative densities for soya beans grown in 38- and 76-cm-wide row spacing, respectively. In addition, Japanese chaff flower seedlings were planted either as un-manipulated seedlings or as a seedling cut back to the soil surface at the four-node stage (cut Japanese chaff flower) at which point seedlings have reached a perennial growth stage. The greenhouse experiment showed that each species drew down

  14. Do plant traits predict the competitive abilities of closely related species?

    PubMed Central

    Schwartz, Lauren M.; Gibson, David J.; Young, Bryan G.

    2016-01-01

    Invasive species are a threat to every ecosystem. There is a strong incentive to predict which species will become invasive before they become too widespread and unmanageable. Different approaches have been advocated to assess invasive species potential. These include examining plant functional traits, quantifying competitive ability and phylogenetic comparison. In this study, we conducted experiments based on the above approaches in a multi-year, temporally replicated, set of experiments to compare these assessment methods to determine the invasive potential of Japanese chaff flower (Achyranthes japonica). We compared plant traits and competitive ability of Japanese chaff flower with two agricultural invasive species, Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri) and tall waterhemp (Amaranthus tuberculatus), and one endangered plant species, bloodleaf (Iresine rhizomatosa), in the Amaranthaceae. Additionally, we assessed the invasive potential based on each of these approaches and determined the degree of agreement between them. A relatively conservative assessment integrating all three approaches would be that the competitive ability of closely related individuals with similar functional traits would share invasive potential. In a greenhouse experiment, each of the study species and soya beans were grown as monocultures and were evaluated to assess the drawdown of an aboveground (light) and a belowground (nitrogen) resource. In a field experiment, each study species was grown at varying densities per 15-cm-diameter pot with or without one or two soya bean plants, to simulate relative densities for soya beans grown in 38- and 76-cm-wide row spacing, respectively. In addition, Japanese chaff flower seedlings were planted either as un-manipulated seedlings or as a seedling cut back to the soil surface at the four-node stage (cut Japanese chaff flower) at which point seedlings have reached a perennial growth stage. The greenhouse experiment showed that each species drew down

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-08-01

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

  16. [Selective enrichment of Pseudomonas spp. in the rhizoplane of different plant species].

    PubMed

    Marrero, Mariana A; Agaras, Betina; Wall, Luis G; Valverde, Claudio

    2015-01-01

    In contrast to rhizobia-legume symbiosis, the specificity for root colonization by pseudomonads seems to be less strict. However, several studies about bacterial diversity in the rhizosphere highlight the influence of plant species on the selective enrichment of certain microorganisms from the bulk soil community. In order to evaluate the effect that different crops have on the structure of pseudomonad community on the root surface, we performed plant trap experiments, using surface-disinfected maize, wheat or soybean seeds that were sown in pots containing the same pristine soil as substrate. Rhizoplane suspensions were plated on a selective medium for Pseudomonas, and pooled colonies served as DNA source to carry out PCR-RFLP community structure analysis of the pseudomonads-specific marker genes oprF and gacA. PCR-RFLP profiles were grouped by plant species, and were distinguished from those of bulk soil samples. Partial sequencing of 16S rDNA genes of some representative colonies of Pseudomonas confirmed the selective enrichment of distinctive genotypes in the rhizoplane of each plant species. These results support the idea that the root systems of agricultural crops such as soybean, maize and wheat, select differential sets of pseudomonads from the native microbial repertoire inhabiting the bulk soil.

  17. [Selective enrichment of Pseudomonas spp. in the rhizoplane of different plant species].

    PubMed

    Marrero, Mariana A; Agaras, Betina; Wall, Luis G; Valverde, Claudio

    2015-01-01

    In contrast to rhizobia-legume symbiosis, the specificity for root colonization by pseudomonads seems to be less strict. However, several studies about bacterial diversity in the rhizosphere highlight the influence of plant species on the selective enrichment of certain microorganisms from the bulk soil community. In order to evaluate the effect that different crops have on the structure of pseudomonad community on the root surface, we performed plant trap experiments, using surface-disinfected maize, wheat or soybean seeds that were sown in pots containing the same pristine soil as substrate. Rhizoplane suspensions were plated on a selective medium for Pseudomonas, and pooled colonies served as DNA source to carry out PCR-RFLP community structure analysis of the pseudomonads-specific marker genes oprF and gacA. PCR-RFLP profiles were grouped by plant species, and were distinguished from those of bulk soil samples. Partial sequencing of 16S rDNA genes of some representative colonies of Pseudomonas confirmed the selective enrichment of distinctive genotypes in the rhizoplane of each plant species. These results support the idea that the root systems of agricultural crops such as soybean, maize and wheat, select differential sets of pseudomonads from the native microbial repertoire inhabiting the bulk soil. PMID:26054776

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  19. Plant species richness and ecosystem multifunctionality in global drylands

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  20. Population Genomics for Understanding Adaptation in Wild Plant Species.

    PubMed

    Weigel, Detlef; Nordborg, Magnus

    2015-01-01

    Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection is the foundation of modern biology. However, it has proven remarkably difficult to demonstrate at the genetic, genomic, and population level exactly how wild species adapt to their natural environments. We discuss how one can use large sets of multiple genome sequences from wild populations to understand adaptation, with an emphasis on the small herbaceous plant Arabidopsis thaliana. We present motivation for such studies; summarize progress in describing whole-genome, species-wide sequence variation; and then discuss what insights have emerged from these resources, either based on sequence information alone or in combination with phenotypic data. We conclude with thoughts on opportunities with other plant species and the impact of expected progress in sequencing technology and genome engineering for studying adaptation in nature. PMID:26436459

  1. Plant species richness and ecosystem multifunctionality in global drylands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. Ecology of plant and free-living nematodes in natural and agricultural soil.

    PubMed

    Neher, Deborah A

    2010-01-01

    Nematodes are aquatic organisms that depend on thin water films to live and move within existing pathways of soil pores of 25-100 mum diameter. Soil nematodes can be a tool for testing ecological hypotheses and understanding biological mechanisms in soil because of their central role in the soil food web and linkage to ecological processes. Ecological succession is one of the most tested community ecology concepts, and a variety of nematode community indices have been proposed for purposes of environmental monitoring. In contrast, theories of biogeography, colonization, optimal foraging, and niche partitioning by nematodes are poorly understood. Ecological hypotheses related to strategies of coexistence of nematode species sharing the same resource have potential uses for more effective biological control and use of organic amendments to foster disease suppression. Essential research is needed on nematodes in natural and agricultural soils to synchronize nutrient release and availability relative to plant needs, to test ecological hypotheses, to apply optimal foraging and niche partitioning strategies for more effective biological control, to blend organic amendments to foster disease suppression, to monitor environmental and restoration status, and to develop better predictive models for land-use decisions. PMID:20455699

  3. Ecology of plant and free-living nematodes in natural and agricultural soil.

    PubMed

    Neher, Deborah A

    2010-01-01

    Nematodes are aquatic organisms that depend on thin water films to live and move within existing pathways of soil pores of 25-100 mum diameter. Soil nematodes can be a tool for testing ecological hypotheses and understanding biological mechanisms in soil because of their central role in the soil food web and linkage to ecological processes. Ecological succession is one of the most tested community ecology concepts, and a variety of nematode community indices have been proposed for purposes of environmental monitoring. In contrast, theories of biogeography, colonization, optimal foraging, and niche partitioning by nematodes are poorly understood. Ecological hypotheses related to strategies of coexistence of nematode species sharing the same resource have potential uses for more effective biological control and use of organic amendments to foster disease suppression. Essential research is needed on nematodes in natural and agricultural soils to synchronize nutrient release and availability relative to plant needs, to test ecological hypotheses, to apply optimal foraging and niche partitioning strategies for more effective biological control, to blend organic amendments to foster disease suppression, to monitor environmental and restoration status, and to develop better predictive models for land-use decisions.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  5. Screening of native plant species for phytoremediation potential at a Hg-contaminated mining site.

    PubMed

    Marrugo-Negrete, José; Marrugo-Madrid, Siday; Pinedo-Hernández, José; Durango-Hernández, José; Díez, Sergi

    2016-01-15

    Artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) is the largest sector of demand for mercury (Hg), and therefore, one of the major sources of Hg pollution in the environment. This study was conducted in the Alacrán gold-mining site, one of the most important ASGM sites in Colombia, to identify native plant species growing in Hg-contaminated soils used for agricultural purposes, and to assess their potential as phytoremediation systems. Twenty-four native plant species were identified and analysed for total Hg (THg) in different tissues (roots, stems, and leaves) and in underlying soils. Accumulation factors (AF) in the shoots, translocation (TF) from roots to shoots, and bioconcentration (BCF) from soil-to-roots were determined. Different tissues from all plant species were classified in the order of decreasing accumulation of Hg as follows: roots > leaves > stems. THg concentrations in soil ranged from 230 to 6320 ng g(-1). TF values varied from 0.33 to 1.73, with high values in the lower Hg-contaminated soils. No correlation was found between soils with low concentrations of Hg and plant leaves, indicating that TF is not a very accurate indicator, since most of the Hg input to leaves at ASGM sites comes from the atmosphere. On the other hand, the BCF ranged from 0.28 to 0.99, with Jatropha curcas showing the highest value. Despite their low biomass production, several herbs and sub-shrubs are suitable for phytoremediation application in the field, due to their fast growth and high AF values in large and easily harvestable plant parts. Among these species, herbs such as Piper marginathum and Stecherus bifidus, and the sub-shrubs J. curcas and Capsicum annuum are promising native plants with the potential to be used in the phytoremediation of soils in tropical areas that are impacted by mining. PMID:26556744

  6. Screening of native plant species for phytoremediation potential at a Hg-contaminated mining site.

    PubMed

    Marrugo-Negrete, José; Marrugo-Madrid, Siday; Pinedo-Hernández, José; Durango-Hernández, José; Díez, Sergi

    2016-01-15

    Artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) is the largest sector of demand for mercury (Hg), and therefore, one of the major sources of Hg pollution in the environment. This study was conducted in the Alacrán gold-mining site, one of the most important ASGM sites in Colombia, to identify native plant species growing in Hg-contaminated soils used for agricultural purposes, and to assess their potential as phytoremediation systems. Twenty-four native plant species were identified and analysed for total Hg (THg) in different tissues (roots, stems, and leaves) and in underlying soils. Accumulation factors (AF) in the shoots, translocation (TF) from roots to shoots, and bioconcentration (BCF) from soil-to-roots were determined. Different tissues from all plant species were classified in the order of decreasing accumulation of Hg as follows: roots > leaves > stems. THg concentrations in soil ranged from 230 to 6320 ng g(-1). TF values varied from 0.33 to 1.73, with high values in the lower Hg-contaminated soils. No correlation was found between soils with low concentrations of Hg and plant leaves, indicating that TF is not a very accurate indicator, since most of the Hg input to leaves at ASGM sites comes from the atmosphere. On the other hand, the BCF ranged from 0.28 to 0.99, with Jatropha curcas showing the highest value. Despite their low biomass production, several herbs and sub-shrubs are suitable for phytoremediation application in the field, due to their fast growth and high AF values in large and easily harvestable plant parts. Among these species, herbs such as Piper marginathum and Stecherus bifidus, and the sub-shrubs J. curcas and Capsicum annuum are promising native plants with the potential to be used in the phytoremediation of soils in tropical areas that are impacted by mining.

  7. Selenium and sulfur accumulation and soil selenium dissipation in planting of four herbaceous plant species in soil contaminated with drainage sediment rich in both selenium and sulfur.

    PubMed

    Wu, Lin; Guo, Xun; Bañuelos, Gary S

    2003-01-01

    Four selenium (Se) nonaccumulator plant species, including a forage grass species, Tall Fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.), a forage legume species, Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.), a wetland species, Rush (Juncus tenuis Wild.), and a dry-land alkaline soil species, Saltgrass (Distichlis spicata L.), were grown in soil contaminated by agricultural drainage sediment having elevated levels of Se and sulfur (S). The above-ground plant tissues were consecutively harvested five times and examined for Se and S accumulation. Plant tissue Se concentrations ranged from 23.0 mg kg-1 to 8.3 mg kg-1. Tissue S concentrations ranged from 3239 mg kg-1 to 7034 mg kg-1. Both tissue Se and S concentrations were significantly different between harvests, species, and species/harvest interactions. Total Se accumulation by the plant biomass harvested ranged from 0.3 to 1.3 mg per soil column and total S accumulations ranged from 87.5 to 321.1 mg per soil column. The reduction in the percentage of total soil Se after 24 weeks growth of the plant species ranged from 12.0% in the Tall Fescue planting to 17.3% in the Rush planting. Over 90% of the soil Se losses were unidentified losses and leaching of Se was prevented. The accumulations of Se and S in the plant biomass were very small compared with the total soil Se and S losses, but substantial amounts of total soil Se (12.0 to 15.0%) and S (28.0 to 50.9%) inventories were dissipated by the growing and harvesting of the plants. The soil S concentration was several hundred times higher than the soil Se concentration, but Se accumulation by the plants and Se dissipation from the soil were not impaired by the high level of soil sulfur. For natural grassland habitat restoration, such as at the Kesterson Wildlife Refuge in the Central Valley of California, or for restoration of large-scale Se contaminated agricultural lands, Se nonaccumulator plant species are favorable candidates, because the possibility of introducing Se toxicity into the

  8. Fumaric acid: an overlooked form of fixed carbon in Arabidopsis and other plant species

    SciTech Connect

    Chia, D.W.; Yoder, T.J.; Reiter, W.D.; Gibson, S.I.

    2000-10-01

    Photoassimilates are used by plants for production of energy, as carbon skeletons and in transport of fixed carbon between different plant organs. Many studies have been devoted to characterizing the factors that. regulate photoassimilate concentrations in different plant species. Most studies examining photoassimilate concentrations in C{sub 3} plants have focused on analyzing starch and soluble sugars. However, work presented here demonstrates that a number of C{sub 3} plants, including the popular model organism Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh., and agriculturally important plants, such as soybean [Glycine ma (L.) Merr.], contain significant quantities of furnaric acid. In fact, furnaric acid can accumulate to levels of several mg per g fresh weight in A-abidopsis leaves, often exceeding starch and soluble sugar levels. Furnaric acid is a component of the tricarboxylic acid cycle and, like starch and soluble sugars, can be metabolized to yield energy and carbon skeletons for production of other compounds. Fumaric acid concentrations increase with plant age and light intensity in Arabidopsis leaves. Arabidopsis phloem exudates contain significant quantities of fumaric acid, raising the possibility that fumaric acid may function in carbon transport.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-15

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

  10. Global perspective of health related edible plants from the agricultural point of view.

    PubMed

    Lee, Yi-Yang; Tsou, Chih-Sheng; Lin, Hai-Chen; Ien, Cheng-Hua; Wu, Ya-Tien

    2008-01-01

    In knowledge-based economies, nutrition concepts evolve with advances in agriculture. As people around the world become more health conscious, national health becomes one of the main directives for agricultural policies, including that of functional foods and their global markets. This article evaluates the development of the functional food industry in Taiwan and other countries through analysis of R&D capacity and bibliometrics. It attempts to identify future trends in nutrition with technology foresight research. Taiwan has a wide variety of indigenous herbal plants, although its functional food related literature is not large compared with some other Asian countries. However, there are quality papers on the immunologic functions of edible plants Globally there is much interest in edible plants with antioxidant activity and those phyto-nutrients which might help reduce the burden of chronic illness as well as in the nutrigenomics that will lead to the design of foods with these properties. To make the most of available agricultural resources, countries like Taiwan should relate agricultural development to the nutritional status of their populations. This strategy will add significant value to global agriculture.

  11. Biomechanics of Riparian Plant Species Common to the Platte River and Implications for Management of Habitat for Endangered Species. (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bankhead, N. L.; Thomas, R. E.; Simon, A.

    2010-12-01

    Improving riparian habitat for endangered species in the central Platte River fundamentally relies upon re-creating a dynamic, braided stream channel. The diversion and storage of water for agricultural, municipal and industrial uses has caused significant alteration of the hydrologic regime of the central Platte River, allowing the colonization and proliferation of vegetation that has effectively created semi-permanent islands, narrowed the active channel and reduced available habitat. Attempts to remove vegetation by spraying and disking for the purpose of re-creating a dynamic braided channel are costly and time consuming. Alternative plans to remove vegetation by modifying the hydrologic regime must be based on a fundamental understanding and quantification of the effects of vegetation on in-stream hydraulics, the effects of in-stream hydraulics on vegetation and the effects of the biomechanical properties of the plant on the substrate. This study aims to investigate the resistance of bar-top vegetation to removal by the drag forces exerted on the stems and leaves of partly or completely submerged plants with different rooting depths. In the first phase, we measured the forces required to remove 1 to 2 year-old Phragmites, reed canary grass, cottonwood and sandbar willow plants from sandbars in the Platte River. In addition, root tensile strength tests were carried out for each species and over a range of root diameters. The mean plant pullout or breaking force ranged from 31.9 N for young cottonwood saplings to 156 N for Phragmites. The mean rooting depths of cottonwoods and sandbar willows were 0.14 and 0.12 m, respectively, and during testing it was observed that largely intact rootballs were removed from the substrate. Therefore, it is possible that 1 to 2 year-old cottonwoods and sandbar willows could be removed by flows of sufficient magnitude and duration to scour such depths of sediment. Conversely, Phragmites plants had deep rhizome networks that broke

  12. Communities of endophytic sebacinales associated with roots of herbaceous plants in agricultural and grassland ecosystems are dominated by Serendipita herbamans sp. nov.

    PubMed

    Riess, Kai; Oberwinkler, Franz; Bauer, Robert; Garnica, Sigisfredo

    2014-01-01

    Endophytic fungi are known to be commonly associated with herbaceous plants, however, there are few studies focusing on their occurrence and distribution in plant roots from ecosystems with different land uses. To explore the phylogenetic diversity and community structure of Sebacinales endophytes from agricultural and grassland habitats under different land uses, we analysed the roots of herbaceous plants using strain isolation, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and co-cultivation experiments. A new sebacinoid strain named Serendipita herbamans belonging to Sebacinales group B was isolated from the roots of Bistorta vivipara, which is characterized by colourless monilioid cells (chlamydospores) that become yellow with age. This species was very common and widely distributed in association with a broad spectrum of herbaceous plant families in diverse habitats, independent of land use type. Ultrastructurally, the presence of S. herbamans was detected in the cortical cells of Plantago media, Potentilla anserina and Triticum aestivum. In addition, 13 few frequent molecular operational taxonomic units (MOTUs) or species were found across agricultural and grassland habitats, which did not exhibit a distinctive phylogenetic structure. Laboratory-based assays indicate that S. herbamans has the ability to colonize fine roots and stimulate plant growth. Although endophytic Sebacinales are widely distributed across agricultural and grassland habitats, TEM and nested PCR analyses reinforce the observation that these microorganisms are present in low quantity in plant roots, with no evidence of host specificity.

  13. Agricultural Mechanics Unit for Plant Science Core Curriculum. Volume 15, Number 4. Instructor's Guide.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Linhardt, Richard E.; Hunter, Bill

    This instructor's guide is intended for use in teaching the agricultural mechanics unit of a plant science core curriculum. Covered in the individual units of the guide are the following topics: arc welding (following safety procedures, controlling distortion, selecting and caring for electrodes, identifying the material to be welded, and welding…

  14. Pesticide Applicator Certification Training, Manual No. 1a: Agricultural Pest Control. a. Plant.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Allen, W. A.; And Others

    This manual provides information needed to meet the minimum standards for certification as an applicator of pesticides in the agricultural plant pest control category. Adapted for the State of Virginia, the text discusses: (1) the basics of insecticides; (2) insect pests; (3) selection and calibration of applicator equipment; and (4) the proper…

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hacker, Nina; Wilcke, Wolfgang; Oelmann, Yvonne

    2014-05-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  18. How many species of flowering plants are there?

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    We estimate the probable number of flowering plants. First, we apply a model that explicitly incorporates taxonomic effort over time to estimate the number of as-yet-unknown species. Second, we ask taxonomic experts their opinions on how many species are likely to be missing, on a family-by-family basis. The results are broadly comparable. We show that the current number of species should grow by between 10 and 20 per cent. There are, however, interesting discrepancies between expert and model estimates for some families, suggesting that our model does not always completely capture patterns of taxonomic activity. The as-yet-unknown species are probably similar to those taxonomists have described recently—overwhelmingly rare and local, and disproportionately in biodiversity hotspots, where there are high levels of habitat destruction. PMID:20610425

  19. Design and installation of 25 MW agricultural/wood waste fueled power plants

    SciTech Connect

    Precht, D. )

    1991-01-01

    This paper discusses the design and installation of two 25 MW power projects, including permitting, fuels, engineering, construction, start-up and commercial operation. Plant systems and equipment features, project management highlights and first year operating experience are presented. Two similar 25 MW wood and agricultural waste fueled power plants were constructed at two separate sites. Regulatory conditions in California were restrictive, requiring state-of-the-art technology, close adherence to state and local codes/standards, agreement to locally specified improvements and a conditional operation permit. Both plants are equipped with circulating fluidized bed boilers and NO{sub x}, SO{sub 2} and particulate emission control equipment. One plant is designed for zero waste water discharge with cooling tower make-up water supplied from the local sewage treatment plant effluent. Both plants utilize a wide variety of biomass fuels.

  20. Species-specific toxicity of ceria nanoparticles to Lactuca plants.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Peng; Ma, Yuhui; Zhang, Zhiyong; He, Xiao; Li, Yuanyuan; Zhang, Jing; Zheng, Lirong; Zhao, Yuliang

    2015-02-01

    Species-specific differences in the toxicity of manufactured nanoparticles (MNPs) have been reported, but the underlying mechanisms are unknown. We previously found that CeO2 NPs inhibited root elongation of head lettuce, whereas no toxic effect was observed on other plants (such as wheat, cucumber and radish). In this study, interactions between Lactuca plants and three types of CeO2 NPs (lab-synthesized 7 and 25 nm CeO2 NPs, and a commercial CeO2 NPs) were investigated. It was found that CeO2 NPs were toxic to three kinds of Lactuca genus plants and different CeO2 NPs showed different degrees of toxicity. The results of X-ray absorption near edge fine structure indicate that small parts of CeO2 NPs were transformed from Ce(IV) to Ce(III) in roots of the plants that were treated with CeO2 NPs during the seed germination stage. But the high sensitivity of Lactuca plants to the released Ce(3+) ions caused the species-specific phytotoxicity of CeO2 NPs. Differences in sizes and zeta potentials among three types of CeO2 NPs resulted in their different degrees of biotransformation which accounted for the discrepancy in the toxicity to Lactuca plants. This study is among the few, and may indeed the first, that addresses the relation between the physicochemical properties of nanoparticles and its species-specific phytotoxicity. PMID:24256192

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Methylated arsenic species in plants originate from soil microorganisms.

    PubMed

    Lomax, Charlotte; Liu, Wen-Ju; Wu, Liyou; Xue, Kai; Xiong, Jinbo; Zhou, Jizhong; McGrath, Steve P; Meharg, Andrew A; Miller, Anthony J; Zhao, Fang-Jie

    2012-02-01

    • Inorganic arsenic (iAs) is a ubiquitous human carcinogen, and rice (Oryza sativa) is the main contributor to iAs in the diet. Methylated pentavalent As species are less toxic and are routinely found in plants; however, it is currently unknown whether plants are able to methylate As. • Rice, tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) and red clover (Trifolium pratense) were exposed to iAs, monomethylarsonic acid (MMA(V)), or dimethylarsinic acid (DMA(V)), under axenic conditions. Rice seedlings were also grown in two soils under nonsterile flooded conditions, and rice plants exposed to arsenite or DMA(V) were grown to maturity in nonsterile hydroponic culture. Arsenic speciation in samples was determined by HPLC-ICP-MS. • Methylated arsenicals were not found in the three plant species exposed to iAs under axenic conditions. Axenically grown rice was able to take up MMA(V) or DMA(V), and reduce MMA(V) to MMA(III) but not convert it to DMA(V). Methylated As was detected in the shoots of soil-grown rice, and in rice grain from nonsterile hydroponic culture. GeoChip analysis of microbial genes in a Bangladeshi paddy soil showed the presence of the microbial As methyltransferase gene arsM. • Our results suggest that plants are unable to methylate iAs, and instead take up methylated As produced by microorganisms. PMID:22098145

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Cupriavidus plantarum sp. nov., a plant-associated species.

    PubMed

    Estrada-de Los Santos, Paulina; Solano-Rodríguez, Roosivelt; Matsumura-Paz, Lucía Tomiko; Vásquez-Murrieta, María Soledad; Martínez-Aguilar, Lourdes

    2014-11-01

    During a survey of plant-associated bacteria in northeast Mexico, a group of 13 bacteria was isolated from agave, maize and sorghum plants rhizosphere. This group of strains was related to Cupriavidus respiraculi (99.4 %), but a polyphasic investigation based on DNA-DNA hybridization analysis, other genotypic studies and phenotypic features showed that this group of strains actually belongs to a new Cupriavidus species. Consequently, taking all the results together, the description of Cupriavidus plantarum sp. nov. is proposed. PMID:25098225

  5. Trophic relations of Opatrum sabulosum (Coleoptera, Tenebrionidae) with leaves of cultivated and uncultivated species of herbaceous plants under laboratory conditions

    PubMed Central

    Brygadyrenko, Viktor V.; Nazimov, Sergii S.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract We carried out a quantitative assessment of the consumption of herbaceous plants by Opatrum sabulosum (Linnaeus, 1761) – a highly significant agricultural pest species. We researched the feeding preferences of this pest species with respect to 33 uncultivated and 22 cultivated plant species. This species of darkling beetle feeds on many uncultivated plant species, including those with hairy leaves and bitter milky sap, such as Scabiosa ucrainca (5.21 mg/specimen/24 hours), Euphorbia virgata (3.45), Solanum nigrum (3.32), Centauria scabiosa (2.47), Lamium album (2.41), Aristolochia clematitis (1.76), Chenopodium album (1.73), Arctium lappa (1.51), Asperula odorata (1.20). A high rate of leaf consumption is also characteristic for cultivated species, for example, Perilla nankinensis (5.05 mg/specimen/24 hours), Lycopersicon esculentum (3.75), Tropaeolum majus (3.29), Nicotiana tabacum (2.66), Rumex acetosa (1.96), Beta vulgaris (1.27). Opatrum sabulosum is capable of feeding on plants which are poisonous to cattle. This species of darkling beetle consumes 95.5% of the cultivated and 48.5% of the uncultivated herbaceous plants researched. PMID:25685032

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-20

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

  8. Corridors Increase Plant Species Richness at Large Scales

    SciTech Connect

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

    2006-09-01

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

  9. Antimicrobial potential of some plant extracts against Candida species.

    PubMed

    Höfling, J F; Anibal, P C; Obando-Pereda, G A; Peixoto, I A T; Furletti, V F; Foglio, M A; Gonçalves, R B

    2010-11-01

    The increase in the resistance to antimicrobial drugs in use has attracted the attention of the scientific community, and medicinal plants have been extensively studied as alternative agents for the prevention of infections. The Candida genus yeast can become an opportunistic pathogen causing disease in immunosuppressive hosts. The purpose of this study was to evaluate dichloromethane and methanol extracts from Mentha piperita, Rosmarinus officinalis, Arrabidaea chica, Tabebuia avellanedae, Punica granatum and Syzygium cumini against Candida species through the analysis of Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC). Results presented activity of these extracts against Candida species, especially the methanol extract. PMID:21180915

  10. Phylogenetic placement of plant pathogenic Sclerotium species among teleomorph genera.

    PubMed

    Xu, Zhihan; Harrington, Thomas C; Gleason, Mark L; Batzer, Jean C

    2010-01-01

    Phylogenetic analyses and morphological characteristics were used to assess the taxonomic placement of eight plant-pathogenic Sclerotium species. Members of this genus produce only sclerotia and no fruiting bodies or spores, so Sclerotium species have been difficult to place taxonomically. Sequences of rDNA large subunit (LSU) and internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions were determined for isolates of Sclerotium cepivorum, S. coffeicola, S. denigrans, S. hydrophilum, Ceratorhiza oryzae-sativae, S. perniciosum, S. rhizodes, S. rolfsii and S. rolfsii var. delphinii. Parsimony analysis grouped two species previously thought to be in the Basidiomycota, S. denigrans and S. perniciosum, within the Ascomycota; these species were found to have affinities with the teleomorph genera Sclerotinia and Stromatinia and the asexual Sclerotium cepivorum, which was known earlier to be related to Sclerotinia species. The other Sclerotium species were placed in one of two basidiomycetous groups, genera Athelia or Ceratobasidium. Based on rDNA analysis and morphology the basidiomycetous Sclerotium hydrophilum and S. rhizodes were transferred to genus Ceratorhiza, the anamorph of Ceratobasidium species. Sclerotium coffeicola was found to be close to S. rolfsii var. delphinii and S. rolfsii var. rolfsii, which was shown earlier to have an Athelia teleomorph. PMID:20361501

  11. Edges in agricultural landscapes: species interactions and movement of natural enemies.

    PubMed

    Macfadyen, Sarina; Muller, Warren

    2013-01-01

    Agricultural landscapes can be characterized as a mosaic of habitat patches interspersed with hostile matrix, or as a gradient of patches ranging from suitable to unsuitable for different species. Arthropods moving through these landscapes encounter a range of edges, with different permeability. Patches of native vegetation in these landscapes may support natural enemies of crop pests by providing alternate hosts for parasitic wasps and/or acting as a source for predatory insects. We test this by quantifying species interactions and measuring movement across different edge-types. A high diversity of parasitoid species used hosts in the native vegetation patches, however we recorded few instances of the same parasitoid species using hosts in both the native vegetation and the crop (canola). However, we did find overall greater densities of parasitoids moving from native vegetation into the crop. Of the parasitoid groups examined, parasitoids of aphids (Braconidae: Aphidiinae) frequently moved from native vegetation into canola. In contrast, parasitoids of caterpillars (Braconidae: Microgastrinae) moved commonly from cereal fields into canola. Late season samples showed both aphids and parasitoids moving frequently out of native vegetation, in contrast predators moved less commonly from native vegetation (across the whole season). The season-long net advantage or disadvantage of native vegetation for pest control services is therefore difficult to evaluate. It appears that the different edge-types alter movement patterns of natural enemies more so than herbivorous pest species, and this may impact pest control services. PMID:23555737

  12. Edges in agricultural landscapes: species interactions and movement of natural enemies.

    PubMed

    Macfadyen, Sarina; Muller, Warren

    2013-01-01

    Agricultural landscapes can be characterized as a mosaic of habitat patches interspersed with hostile matrix, or as a gradient of patches ranging from suitable to unsuitable for different species. Arthropods moving through these landscapes encounter a range of edges, with different permeability. Patches of native vegetation in these landscapes may support natural enemies of crop pests by providing alternate hosts for parasitic wasps and/or acting as a source for predatory insects. We test this by quantifying species interactions and measuring movement across different edge-types. A high diversity of parasitoid species used hosts in the native vegetation patches, however we recorded few instances of the same parasitoid species using hosts in both the native vegetation and the crop (canola). However, we did find overall greater densities of parasitoids moving from native vegetation into the crop. Of the parasitoid groups examined, parasitoids of aphids (Braconidae: Aphidiinae) frequently moved from native vegetation into canola. In contrast, parasitoids of caterpillars (Braconidae: Microgastrinae) moved commonly from cereal fields into canola. Late season samples showed both aphids and parasitoids moving frequently out of native vegetation, in contrast predators moved less commonly from native vegetation (across the whole season). The season-long net advantage or disadvantage of native vegetation for pest control services is therefore difficult to evaluate. It appears that the different edge-types alter movement patterns of natural enemies more so than herbivorous pest species, and this may impact pest control services.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  14. Origin of floral isolation between ornithophilous and sphingophilous plant species.

    PubMed Central

    Grant, V

    1993-01-01

    Three plant groups in temperate western North America contain closely related ornithophilous and sphingophilous species: the Aquilegia formosa/Aquilegia caerulea group (Ranunculaceae), the Ipomopsis aggregata group (Polemoniaceae), and the Diplacus longiflorus group (Scrophulariaceae). The ornithophilous and sphingophilous species are products of allopatric speciation on the diploid level. Geographical races which are adapted to one class of pollinators in one area where these pollinators are abundant and effective and to another class of pollinators in another geographically isolated area (pollination races) represent a probable intermediate stage in the process of allopatric speciation. Mechanical and ethological isolation (collectively, floral isolation) is a byproduct of the divergence in pollination systems. Selection for reproductive isolation per se has not played any detectable role in the origin of the floral isolation in the three plant groups. PMID:11607421

  15. Content and distribution of flavonoids among 91 edible plant species.

    PubMed

    Yang, Ray-Yu; Lin, Shou; Kuo, George

    2008-01-01

    Flavonoid contents as aglycones (for quercetin, kaempherol, isorhamnetin, luteolin and apigenin) were reported for 115 edible plants (91 species). Plant materials mostly originated in tropical zones were grown and harvested from AVRDC, Taiwan. Acid extraction and HPLC were used as analytical methods. Total flavonoid contents ranged from 0 to 254 mg/100g fresh weight. About 75% of samples were found to contain flavonoids > 0.5 mg/100g with the group mean 33 +/- 48 mg/100g. Data for only 30 samples (20 species) in this study are also available (measured as raw vegetables) in the USDA flavonoid database. This study can expand the flavonoid database and contribute to measurement of flavonoid intake, especially for populations consuming tropical and underutilized vegetables. PMID:18296355

  16. Behavioral Response of Nothanguina phyllobia to Selected Plant Species

    PubMed Central

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

    1979-01-01

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

  17. Pollinators visit related plant species across 29 plant-pollinator networks.

    PubMed

    Vamosi, Jana C; Moray, Clea M; Garcha, Navdeep K; Chamberlain, Scott A; Mooers, Arne Ø

    2014-06-01

    Understanding the evolution of specialization in host plant use by pollinators is often complicated by variability in the ecological context of specialization. Flowering communities offer their pollinators varying numbers and proportions of floral resources, and the uniformity observed in these floral resources is, to some degree, due to shared ancestry. Here, we find that pollinators visit related plant species more so than expected by chance throughout 29 plant-pollinator networks of varying sizes, with "clade specialization" increasing with community size. As predicted, less versatile pollinators showed more clade specialization overall. We then asked whether this clade specialization varied with the ratio of pollinator species to plant species such that pollinators were changing their behavior when there was increased competition (and presumably a forced narrowing of the realized niche) by examining pollinators that were present in at least three of the networks. Surprisingly, we found little evidence that variation in clade specialization is caused by pollinator species changing their behavior in different community contexts, suggesting that clade specialization is observed when pollinators are either restricted in their floral choices due to morphological constraints or innate preferences. The resulting pollinator sharing between closely related plant species could result in selection for greater pollinator specialization.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. Inhibitory effect of seven Allium plants upon three Aspergillus species.

    PubMed

    Yin, M C; Tsao, S M

    1999-08-01

    Antifungal activity and minimal fungicidal concentration (MFC) of extracts of garlic, bakeri garlic, Chinese leek, Chinese chive, scallion, onion bulb and shallot bulb against Aspergillus niger, A. flavus and A. fumigatus were examined. These Allium plants possessed antifungal activity, with garlic showing the lowest MFC. With the exception of scallion, the inhibitory effect of Allium plants against three Aspergillus species decreased with increasing incubation and heating temperature (P < 0.05). Acetic acid treatments of the extracts increased the inhibitory effect for all plants against three fungi (P < 0.05), and there was no significant difference in this effect among the three pH (2, 4, 6) treatments (P > 0.05) investigated. Acetic acid, at pH = 4, plus heat treatments of the extracts resulted in a greater inhibitory effect for all Allium plants against the three fungi than heat treatment alone (P < 0.05). Treatments of the extracts with NaCl, at concentrations of 0.2 and 0.4 M, did not affect the inhibitory effect of the plant extracts. The combination of acetic acid plus Allium plants was indicated to be an effective way to inhibit fungal growth. PMID:10477070

  1. Planting intensity, residence time, and species traits determine invasion success of alien woody species.

    PubMed

    Pysek, Petr; Krivánek, Martin; Jarosík, Vojtech

    2009-10-01

    We studied the relative importance of residence time, propagule pressure, and species traits in three stages of invasion of alien woody plants cultivated for about 150 years in the Czech Republic, Central Europe. The probability of escape from cultivation, naturalization, and invasion was assessed using classification trees. We compared 109 escaped-not-escaped congeneric pairs, 44 naturalized-not-naturalized, and 17 invasive-not-invasive congeneric pairs. We used the following predictors of the above probabilities: date of introduction to the target region as a measure of residence time; intensity of planting in the target area as a proxy for propagule pressure; the area of origin; and 21 species-specific biological and ecological traits. The misclassification rates of the naturalization and invasion model were low, at 19.3% and 11.8%, respectively, indicating that the variables used included the major determinants of these processes. The probability of escape increased with residence time in the Czech Republic, whereas the probability of naturalization increased with the residence time in Europe. This indicates that some species were already adapted to local conditions when introduced to the Czech Republic. Apart from residence time, the probability of escape depends on planting intensity (propagule pressure), and that of naturalization on the area of origin and fruit size; it is lower for species from Asia and those with small fruits. The probability of invasion is determined by a long residence time and the ability to tolerate low temperatures. These results indicate that a simple suite of factors determines, with a high probability, the invasion success of alien woody plants, and that the relative role of biological traits and other factors is stage dependent. High levels of propagule pressure as a result of planting lead to woody species eventually escaping from cultivation, regardless of biological traits. However, the biological traits play a role in later

  2. Betaine yields from marine algal species utilized in the preparation of seaweed extracts used in agriculture.

    PubMed

    Blunden, Gerald; Morse, Peter F; Mathe, Imre; Hohmann, Judit; Critchleye, Alan T; Morrell, Stephen

    2010-04-01

    Ascophyllum nodosum, and to a lesser extent, Laminaria digitata, L. hyperborea and Fucus serratus, are marine algal species utilized in the commercial production of seaweed extracts used in agriculture. Betaines have been shown to be important constituents of these extracts, but there appears to have been no study made on whether there are variations in the betaine contents of these species based on either the place or date of collection. Samples of each of the four species were collected from widely separated areas at different times of the year. Also, in the case of A. nodosum, approximately monthly collections were made from one location. The betaines detected in the various collections of the same species showed little variation, although in the case ofA. nodosum, glycinebetaine was found as a minor constituent in some samples, but was not detected in others. Trigonelline was found in all the tested samples of the two Laminaria species; this is, to our knowledge, the first record of this betaine in marine algae. With the exception of trigonelline in the Laminaria species, the betaine yields from the various samples of L. digitata, L. hyperborea and F. serratus showed little variation, regardless of either the place or date of collection. The trigonelline contents of the Laminaria species collected at one location (Finavarra, Ireland), in particular of L. hyperborea, was substantially greater than those from the other places of collection. In the case of A. nodosum, the betaine yields from samples collected at one site (Dale, Pembrokeshire, UK) were significantly higher than those from the other places of collection, which were very similar to each other. There was no clear indication of seasonal variation in betaine yields from A. nodosum. PMID:20433077

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Mealybug species from Chilean agricultural landscapes and main factors influencing the genetic structure of Pseudococcus viburni.

    PubMed

    Correa, Margarita C G; Lombaert, Eric; Malausa, Thibaut; Crochard, Didier; Alvear, Andrés; Zaviezo, Tania; Palero, Ferran

    2015-01-01

    The present study aimed to characterize the distribution of mealybug species along Chilean agro-ecosystems and to determine the relative impact of host plant, management strategy, geography and micro-environment on shaping the distribution and genetic structure of the obscure mealybug Pseudococcus viburni. An extensive survey was completed using DNA barcoding methods to identify Chilean mealybugs to the species level. Moreover, a fine-scale study of Ps. viburni genetic diversity and population structure was carried out, genotyping 529 Ps. viburni individuals with 21 microsatellite markers. Samples from 16 localities were analyzed using Bayesian and spatially-explicit methods and the genetic dataset was confronted to host-plant, management and environmental data. Chilean crops were found to be infested by Ps. viburni, Pseudococcus meridionalis, Pseudococcus longispinus and Planococcus citri, with Ps. viburni and Ps. meridionalis showing contrasting distribution and host-plant preference patterns. Ps. viburni samples presented low genetic diversity levels but high genetic differentiation. While no significant genetic variance could be assigned to host-plant or management strategy, climate and geography were found to correlate significantly with genetic differentiation levels. The genetic characterization of Ps. viburni within Chile will contribute to future studies tracing back the origin and improving the management of this worldwide invader. PMID:26559636

  9. Mealybug species from Chilean agricultural landscapes and main factors influencing the genetic structure of Pseudococcus viburni.

    PubMed

    Correa, Margarita C G; Lombaert, Eric; Malausa, Thibaut; Crochard, Didier; Alvear, Andrés; Zaviezo, Tania; Palero, Ferran

    2015-11-12

    The present study aimed to characterize the distribution of mealybug species along Chilean agro-ecosystems and to determine the relative impact of host plant, management strategy, geography and micro-environment on shaping the distribution and genetic structure of the obscure mealybug Pseudococcus viburni. An extensive survey was completed using DNA barcoding methods to identify Chilean mealybugs to the species level. Moreover, a fine-scale study of Ps. viburni genetic diversity and population structure was carried out, genotyping 529 Ps. viburni individuals with 21 microsatellite markers. Samples from 16 localities were analyzed using Bayesian and spatially-explicit methods and the genetic dataset was confronted to host-plant, management and environmental data. Chilean crops were found to be infested by Ps. viburni, Pseudococcus meridionalis, Pseudococcus longispinus and Planococcus citri, with Ps. viburni and Ps. meridionalis showing contrasting distribution and host-plant preference patterns. Ps. viburni samples presented low genetic diversity levels but high genetic differentiation. While no significant genetic variance could be assigned to host-plant or management strategy, climate and geography were found to correlate significantly with genetic differentiation levels. The genetic characterization of Ps. viburni within Chile will contribute to future studies tracing back the origin and improving the management of this worldwide invader.

  10. Mealybug species from Chilean agricultural landscapes and main factors influencing the genetic structure of Pseudococcus viburni

    PubMed Central

    Correa, Margarita C. G.; Lombaert, Eric; Malausa, Thibaut; Crochard, Didier; Alvear, Andrés; Zaviezo, Tania; Palero, Ferran

    2015-01-01

    The present study aimed to characterize the distribution of mealybug species along Chilean agro-ecosystems and to determine the relative impact of host plant, management strategy, geography and micro-environment on shaping the distribution and genetic structure of the obscure mealybug Pseudococcus viburni. An extensive survey was completed using DNA barcoding methods to identify Chilean mealybugs to the species level. Moreover, a fine-scale study of Ps. viburni genetic diversity and population structure was carried out, genotyping 529 Ps. viburni individuals with 21 microsatellite markers. Samples from 16 localities were analyzed using Bayesian and spatially-explicit methods and the genetic dataset was confronted to host-plant, management and environmental data. Chilean crops were found to be infested by Ps. viburni, Pseudococcus meridionalis, Pseudococcus longispinus and Planococcus citri, with Ps. viburni and Ps. meridionalis showing contrasting distribution and host-plant preference patterns. Ps. viburni samples presented low genetic diversity levels but high genetic differentiation. While no significant genetic variance could be assigned to host-plant or management strategy, climate and geography were found to correlate significantly with genetic differentiation levels. The genetic characterization of Ps. viburni within Chile will contribute to future studies tracing back the origin and improving the management of this worldwide invader. PMID:26559636

  11. Plant science and agricultural productivity: why are we hitting the yield ceiling?

    PubMed

    de Bossoreille de Ribou, Stève; Douam, Florian; Hamant, Olivier; Frohlich, Michael W; Negrutiu, Ioan

    2013-09-01

    Trends in conventional plant breeding and in biotechnology research are analyzed with a focus on production and productivity of individual organisms. Our growing understanding of the productive/adaptive potential of (crop) plants is a prerequisite to increasing this potential and also its expression under environmental constraints. This review concentrates on growth rate, ribosome activity, and photosynthetic rate to link these key cellular processes to plant productivity. Examples of how they may be integrated in heterosis, organ growth control, and responses to abiotic stresses are presented. The yield components in rice are presented as a model. The ultimate goal of research programs, that concentrate on yield and productivity and integrating the panoply of systems biology tools, is to achieve "low input, high output" agriculture, i.e. shifting from a conventional "productivist" agriculture to an efficient sustainable agriculture. This is of critical, strategic importance, because the extent to which we, both locally and globally, secure and manage the long-term productive potential of plant resources will determine the future of humanity.

  12. DDT and Derivatives in Indicator Species of the Aquatic Food Web of Rangsit Agricultural Area, Central Thailand.

    PubMed

    Siriwong, W; Thirakhupt, K; Sitticharoenchai, D; Rohitrattana, J; Thongkongowm, P; Borjan, M; Robson, M

    2009-09-01

    The presence of DDT and derivatives in the food web of freshwater ecosystems of Rangsit agricultural area, Pathum Thani Province, Thailand were investigated from June 2004 to May 2007. By using gas chromatography (GC) with micro electron capture detector (mu ECD), DDT and derivatives in water, sediment, and fifteen indicator species i.e., 2 producers; Eichhornia crassipes and plankton (phyto- and zoo- plankton), an herbivore; Trichogaster microlepis (3) 3 omnivores; Trichogaster trichopterus, Oreochromis niloticus, and Puntius gonionotus, 6 carnivores; Channa striatus, Oxyeleotris marmoratus, Macrognathus siamensis, Parambassis siamensis, Anabas testudineus, and Pristolepis fasciatus, and 3 detritivores; Macrobrachium lanchesteri, Pomacea sp., and Filopaludina mertensi were measured. Results show low concentration levels (part per billion) of DDT & derivatives in each food web compartment i.e. water, sediment, aquatic plant, plankton, fish, and invertebrates. Magnification patterns, i.e. bioconcentration, bioaccumulation, and biomagnification, based on habitat and foraging behavior of selected freshwater species indicates that DDT & derivatives can accumulate and be magnified through the food chain from the lowest up to the highest trophic level. Therefore, the presence of residues and the evidence of magnification patterns can be observed as ecological indicators for evaluating ecological health risk.

  13. [Psychoactive plant species--actual list of plants prohibited in Poland].

    PubMed

    Simonienko, Katarzyna; Waszkiewicz, Napoleon; Szulc, Agata

    2013-01-01

    According to the Act on Counteracting Drug Addiction (20-th of March, 2009, Dz. U. Nr 63 poz. 520.) the list of federally prohibited plants in Poland was expanded to include 16 new species. Until that time the only illegal plant materials were cannabis, papaver, coca and most of their products. The actual list of herbal narcotics includes species which significantly influence on the central nervous system work but which are rarely described in the national literature. The plants usually come from distant places, where--among primeval cultures--are used for ritual purposes. In our civilization the plants are usually used experimentally, recreationally or to gain particular narcotic effects. The results of the consumption vary: they can be specific or less typical, imitate other substances intake, mental disorders or different pathological states. The plant active substances can interact with other medicaments, be toxic to internal organs, cause serious threat to health or even death. This article describes the sixteen plant species, which are now prohibited in Poland, their biochemical ingredients and their influence on the human organism.

  14. 45 CFR 670.25 - Designation of specially protected species of native mammals, birds, and plants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... Species by the Antarctic Treaty Parties and is hereby designated Specially Protected Species: Common Name... Welfare (Continued) NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION CONSERVATION OF ANTARCTIC ANIMALS AND PLANTS...

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2002-01-01

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

  16. Plant inter-species effects on rhizosphere priming effect and nitrogen acquisition by plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Yue; Xu, Xingliang; Yang, Baijie; Kuzyakov, Yakov

    2015-04-01

    Rhizosphere interactions play a central role linking roots-soil system and regulate various aspects of nutrient cycling. Rhizodeposition inputs are known to change soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition via rhizosphere priming effects (RPEs) through enhancing soil biological activity and altering microbial community structure. The magnitude of RPEs varies widely among plant-species and root biomass possibly due to different quality and quantity of rhizodeposits. However, it is virtually unknown whether the RPEs are influenced by plant inter-species interactions and how these processes affect N mineralization and available N for plants. Monocultures of maize (M) and soybean (S), and mixed cultures of maize/maize (MM), soybean/soybean (SS), maize/soybean (MS) were grown over a 45-day greenhouse experiment. We labeled them with plant litter that was enriched in13C and 15N. The 15N distributions in plants and microbial biomass were measured at 14, 35, and 45days after labeling. The RPEs were positive under all plants, ranging from 11.7% to 138.3% and gradually decreased with plant growth. The RPE in the SS was significantly higher than these in others treatments at 14 days, while at 45 days it was higher in the MS than these from their monocultures, suggesting that the RPE was enhanced by the inter-species effects of maize and soybean. The litter decomposition ratio and 15N recovery of plants and microorganism increased with the root growth across all plants. The 15N recovery of plants in the MS (14.2%) was higher than these in the MM (12.3%) and SS(9.7%) at 45 days. Similarly, the 15N recovery of microorganism in the corresponding treatments was 6.7%, 2.2%, and 6.8%, respectively. The MS showed higher soil organic N mineralization amount than that from all soybean and maize monocultures at 45 days. We conclude that plant inter-species interactions may have significant effect on rhizosphere priming and modify the plant N uptake from litter resource and SOM.

  17. Perspective of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) containing ACC deaminase in stress agriculture.

    PubMed

    Saleem, Muhammad; Arshad, Muhammad; Hussain, Sarfraz; Bhatti, Ahmad Saeed

    2007-10-01

    Ethylene is a gaseous plant growth hormone produced endogenously by almost all plants. It is also produced in soil through a variety of biotic and abiotic mechanisms, and plays a key role in inducing multifarious physiological changes in plants at molecular level. Apart from being a plant growth regulator, ethylene has also been established as a stress hormone. Under stress conditions like those generated by salinity, drought, waterlogging, heavy metals and pathogenicity, the endogenous production of ethylene is accelerated substantially which adversely affects the root growth and consequently the growth of the plant as a whole. Certain plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) contain a vital enzyme, 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC) deaminase, which regulates ethylene production by metabolizing ACC (an immediate precursor of ethylene biosynthesis in higher plants) into alpha-ketobutyrate and ammonia. Inoculation with PGPR containing ACC deaminase activity could be helpful in sustaining plant growth and development under stress conditions by reducing stress-induced ethylene production. Lately, efforts have been made to introduce ACC deaminase genes into plants to regulate ethylene level in the plants for optimum growth, particularly under stressed conditions. In this review, the primary focus is on giving account of all aspects of PGPR containing ACC deaminase regarding alleviation of impact of both biotic and abiotic stresses onto plants and of recent trends in terms of introduction of ACC deaminase genes into plant and microbial species.

  18. Utilization of peatlands as possible land resource for low-input agriculture: cultivation of Vaccinium species as an example

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tonutare, Tonu; Rodima, Ako; Rannik, Kaire; Shanskiy, Merrit

    2013-04-01

    The best way of soil protection is its sustainable and expedient use, which secures soils ecological functioning. Recent years, by exploitation of peat soils for their different use, has raised important issues concerning their input to global climate change as important source of greenhouse gases (GHG) emitters. The dynamics of GHG are determined by different factors as: site specific conditions including hydrology, soil type, vegetation, area management, including meteorological and climatic conditions. Therefore, in this current paper we are presenting the study results were we estimated CO2, CH4 and N2O emissions from exhausted cultivated peatland with Vaccinium species and determined the soil chemical composition. For comparision a virgin state peatland was observed. The main goals of the paper are: (1) to present the experimental results of greenhouse gases generation and peat chemical composition (antioxidant activity of peat, C/N ratio, fiber content, water extractable phenolics) relationships on different microsites either on natural plant cover or Vaccinium species cultivation area on exhausted milled peat area; (2) to discuss how peat soil quality contributes to greenhouse gases emission; (3) and what kind of relationship reveals between low input agricultural system in which Vaccinium species are cultivated on exhausted milled peat area. The study are is located in nearby Ilmatsalu (58°23'N, 26°31'E) in South Estonia, inside of which the three microsites are determined. Microsites are different from each other by exploitation and plant cover type. 1). Natural plant cover, 2). Cultivated area with Vaccinium angustifolium x V. corymbosum, 3). Cultivated area with Vaccinium angustifolium. The determined soil type according to WRB was Fibri Dystric Histosol. The main part of study focuses on the analyses of greenhouse gases. For this purpose the closed chamber method was used. The greenhouse gas samples were collected from spring to autumn 2011 throughout

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Evaluating responses of four wetland plant species to different hydroperiods.

    PubMed

    Slusher, C E; Vepraskas, M J; Broome, S W

    2014-03-01

    Previous work has estimated the hydroperiod requirements (saturation duration and frequency) of wetland plant communities by modeling their hydrologic regimes in natural (never drained) wetlands for a 40-yr period. This study tested the modeled predictions in a controlled greenhouse study using tree species representing three of the plant communities plus an additional species from another community. Bald cypress ( L. Rich.), sweet bay ( L.), pond pine ( Michx.), and swamp chestnut oak ( Nutt.) were grown under three hydroperiods (continuously ponded for 100 d, intermittently ponded for 14 d, and unsaturated) in loamy sand and sapric (organic) materials. Bald cypress (representing a Nonriverine Swamp Forest community) adapted well to 100 d of ponding by producing lateral roots near the soil surface and aerenchyma tissue in roots and stem. Sweet bay (Bay Forest community) also adapted well to 100 d of ponding by producing adventitious roots on the submerged portion of the stem. Pond pine (Pond Pine Woodland) and swamp chestnut oak (Nonriverine Wet Hardwood Forest) were intolerant of 100 d of ponded conditions. Seventy-five percent of the pond pine seedlings and 87% of the swamp chestnut oak seedlings died in the continuously ponded treatment level, whereas 100% of the bald cypress and 88% of the sweet bay seedlings survived. Results from this study suggest that modeled long-term hydroperiods of natural wetland plant communities can be used for restoration of these communities. PMID:25602673

  2. Genetic control of invasive plants species using selfish genetic elements

    PubMed Central

    Hodgins, Kathryn A; Rieseberg, Loren; Otto, Sarah P

    2009-01-01

    Invasive plants cause substantial environmental damage and economic loss. Here, we explore the possibility that a selfish genetic element found in plants called cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS) could be exploited for weed control. CMS is caused by mutations in the mitochondrial genome that sterilize male reproductive organs. We developed an analytical model and a spatial simulation to assess the use of CMS alleles to manage weed populations. Specifically, we examined how fertility, selfing, pollen limitation and dispersal influenced extinction rate and time until extinction in populations where CMS arises. We found that the introduction of a CMS allele can cause rapid population extinction, but only under a restricted set of conditions. Both models suggest that the CMS strategy will be appropriate for species where pollen limitation is negligible, inbreeding depression is high and the fertility advantage of females over hermaphrodites is substantial. In general, spatial structure did not have a strong influence on the simulation outcome, although low pollen dispersal and intermediate levels of seed dispersal tended to reduce population extinction rates. Given these results, the introduction of CMS alleles into a population of invasive plants probably represents an effective control method for only a select number of species. PMID:25567898

  3. Plant facilitation occurs between species differing in their associated arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi.

    PubMed

    Montesinos-Navarro, A; Segarra-Moragues, J G; Valiente-Banuet, A; Verdú, M

    2012-11-01

    Complementary beneficial effects of different arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) can result in a more efficient exploitation of the soil nutrients available, thus influencing plant communities. Here, we hypothesize that plant-AMF specificity is mediated by phylogenetic constraints defining possible interactions, and that plant-AMF interaction patterns can influence plant-plant facilitation specificity. We reanalyzed previous data describing plant-plant and plant-AMF interaction at the community level to specifically test for a phylogenetic signal on plant and AMF interactions and for a relationship between plant-plant facilitation specificity and plant species differences in their AMF associates. Closely related AMF operational taxonomical units (OTUs) tend to interact with the same plant species, but there is not a significant signal in the interaction through the plant phylogeny. This indicates that the similarity in the AMF associates of two plant species is independent of their phylogenetic relatedness. Interestingly, plant-AMF interactions match plant facilitation specificity, with pairs of plant species recruiting more frequently under each other tending to have different AMF associates. An increment of AMF diversity in the rhizosphere, as a result of plant-AMF and plant-plant selectivity, is suggested as a potential driver of plant-plant facilitation. This study highlights the role of plant-AMF interactions in shaping plant community assemblages.

  4. Not all GMOs are crop plants: non-plant GMO applications in agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In the time since the tools of modern biotechnology have become available, the most commonly applied and often discussed genetically modified organisms are genetically modified crop plants, although genetic engineering is also being used successfully in organisms other than plants, including bacteri...

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  7. Silicon: Potential to Promote Direct and Indirect Effects on Plant Defense Against Arthropod Pests in Agriculture.

    PubMed

    Reynolds, Olivia L; Padula, Matthew P; Zeng, Rensen; Gurr, Geoff M

    2016-01-01

    Silicon has generally not been considered essential for plant growth, although it is well recognized that many plants, particularly Poaceae, have substantial plant tissue concentrations of this element. Recently, however, the International Plant Nutrition Institute [IPNI] (2015), Georgia, USA has listed it as a "beneficial substance". This reflects that numerous studies have now established that silicon may alleviate both biotic and abiotic stress. This paper explores the existing knowledge and recent advances in elucidating the role of silicon in plant defense against biotic stress, particularly against arthropod pests in agriculture and attraction of beneficial insects. Silicon confers resistance to herbivores via two described mechanisms: physical and biochemical/molecular. Until recently, studies have mainly centered on two trophic levels; the herbivore and plant. However, several studies now describe tri-trophic effects involving silicon that operate by attracting predators or parasitoids to plants under herbivore attack. Indeed, it has been demonstrated that silicon-treated, arthropod-attacked plants display increased attractiveness to natural enemies, an effect that was reflected in elevated biological control in the field. The reported relationships between soluble silicon and the jasmonic acid (JA) defense pathway, and JA and herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs) suggest that soluble silicon may enhance the production of HIPVs. Further, it is feasible that silicon uptake may affect protein expression (or modify proteins structurally) so that they can produce additional, or modify, the HIPV profile of plants. Ultimately, understanding silicon under plant ecological, physiological, biochemical, and molecular contexts will assist in fully elucidating the mechanisms behind silicon and plant response to biotic stress at both the bi- and tri-trophic levels. PMID:27379104

  8. Silicon: Potential to Promote Direct and Indirect Effects on Plant Defense Against Arthropod Pests in Agriculture

    PubMed Central

    Reynolds, Olivia L.; Padula, Matthew P.; Zeng, Rensen; Gurr, Geoff M.

    2016-01-01

    Silicon has generally not been considered essential for plant growth, although it is well recognized that many plants, particularly Poaceae, have substantial plant tissue concentrations of this element. Recently, however, the International Plant Nutrition Institute [IPNI] (2015), Georgia, USA has listed it as a “beneficial substance”. This reflects that numerous studies have now established that silicon may alleviate both biotic and abiotic stress. This paper explores the existing knowledge and recent advances in elucidating the role of silicon in plant defense against biotic stress, particularly against arthropod pests in agriculture and attraction of beneficial insects. Silicon confers resistance to herbivores via two described mechanisms: physical and biochemical/molecular. Until recently, studies have mainly centered on two trophic levels; the herbivore and plant. However, several studies now describe tri-trophic effects involving silicon that operate by attracting predators or parasitoids to plants under herbivore attack. Indeed, it has been demonstrated that silicon-treated, arthropod-attacked plants display increased attractiveness to natural enemies, an effect that was reflected in elevated biological control in the field. The reported relationships between soluble silicon and the jasmonic acid (JA) defense pathway, and JA and herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs) suggest that soluble silicon may enhance the production of HIPVs. Further, it is feasible that silicon uptake may affect protein expression (or modify proteins structurally) so that they can produce additional, or modify, the HIPV profile of plants. Ultimately, understanding silicon under plant ecological, physiological, biochemical, and molecular contexts will assist in fully elucidating the mechanisms behind silicon and plant response to biotic stress at both the bi- and tri-trophic levels. PMID:27379104

  9. Silicon: Potential to Promote Direct and Indirect Effects on Plant Defense Against Arthropod Pests in Agriculture.

    PubMed

    Reynolds, Olivia L; Padula, Matthew P; Zeng, Rensen; Gurr, Geoff M

    2016-01-01

    Silicon has generally not been considered essential for plant growth, although it is well recognized that many plants, particularly Poaceae, have substantial plant tissue concentrations of this element. Recently, however, the International Plant Nutrition Institute [IPNI] (2015), Georgia, USA has listed it as a "beneficial substance". This reflects that numerous studies have now established that silicon may alleviate both biotic and abiotic stress. This paper explores the existing knowledge and recent advances in elucidating the role of silicon in plant defense against biotic stress, particularly against arthropod pests in agriculture and attraction of beneficial insects. Silicon confers resistance to herbivores via two described mechanisms: physical and biochemical/molecular. Until recently, studies have mainly centered on two trophic levels; the herbivore and plant. However, several studies now describe tri-trophic effects involving silicon that operate by attracting predators or parasitoids to plants under herbivore attack. Indeed, it has been demonstrated that silicon-treated, arthropod-attacked plants display increased attractiveness to natural enemies, an effect that was reflected in elevated biological control in the field. The reported relationships between soluble silicon and the jasmonic acid (JA) defense pathway, and JA and herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs) suggest that soluble silicon may enhance the production of HIPVs. Further, it is feasible that silicon uptake may affect protein expression (or modify proteins structurally) so that they can produce additional, or modify, the HIPV profile of plants. Ultimately, understanding silicon under plant ecological, physiological, biochemical, and molecular contexts will assist in fully elucidating the mechanisms behind silicon and plant response to biotic stress at both the bi- and tri-trophic levels.

  10. Fabrication Of Biogenic Silver Nanoparticles Using Agricultural Crop Plant Leaf Extracts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rajani, P.; SriSindhura, K.; Prasad, T. N. V. K. V.; Hussain, O. M.; Sudhakar, P.; Latha, P.; Balakrishna, M.; Kambala, V.; Reddy, K. Raja

    2010-10-01

    Nanoparticles are being viewed as fundamental building blocks of nanotechnology. Biosynthesis of nanoparticles by plant extracts is currently under exploitation. Use of agricultural crop plant extracts for synthesis of metal nanoparticles would add a new dimension to the agricultural sector in the utilization of crop waste. Silver has long been recognized as having an inhibitory effect towards many bacterial strains and microorganisms commonly present in medical and industrial processes. Four pulse crop plants and three cereal crop plants (Vigna radiata, Arachis hypogaea, Cyamopsis tetragonolobus, Zea mays, Pennisetum glaucum, Sorghum vulgare) were used and compared for their extra cellular synthesis of metallic silver nanoparticles. Stable silver nanoparticles were formed by treating aqueous solution of AgNO3 with the plant leaf extracts as reducing agent at temperatures 50 °C-95 °C. UV-Visible spectroscopy was utilized to monitor the formation of silver nanoparticles. XRD analysis of formed silver nanoparticles revealed face centered cubic structure with (111), (200), (220) and (311) planes. SEM and EDAX analysis confirm the size of the formed silver nanoparticles to be in the range of 50-200 nm. Our proposed work offers a enviro-friendly method for biogenic silver nanoparticles production. This could provide a faster synthesis rate comparable to those of chemical methods and potentially be used in areas such as cosmetics, food and medical applications.

  11. Concentrations and speciation of arsenic in New England seaweed species harvested for food and agriculture.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Vivien F; Jackson, Brian P

    2016-11-01

    A survey of arsenic (As) concentrations and speciation was conducted on 10 species of seaweed from commercial harvesters and from collection at two sites in New England. Concentrations of As ranged from 4 to 106 mg/kg, mostly in the form of arsenosugars, with the distribution of arsenosugar analogs varying between taxa. In brown algae, As levels were correlated with phosphate concentrations, and arsenosugar speciation reflected differences in sulfur and phosphate concentrations between taxa. Several samples of the brown algae species Laminaria digitata contained significant levels of inorganic As (2.8-20 mg/kg), the most toxic form of As. A weak acid extraction with microwave heating was compared with a weaker methanol: water extraction method, and found to give slightly higher extraction efficiency with comparable relative concentrations of inorganic As, supporting the use of this faster and simpler extraction method for monitoring. Seaweed is a niche dietary item in the U.S. but its popularity is increasing; it is also used in agriculture and livestock farming which provide potential indirect routes for human exposure. The presence of occasional high concentrations of iAs, as well as the lack of toxicity studies on organic As species, suggest that monitoring of these high As foods is warranted. PMID:27517127

  12. Concentrations and speciation of arsenic in New England seaweed species harvested for food and agriculture.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Vivien F; Jackson, Brian P

    2016-11-01

    A survey of arsenic (As) concentrations and speciation was conducted on 10 species of seaweed from commercial harvesters and from collection at two sites in New England. Concentrations of As ranged from 4 to 106 mg/kg, mostly in the form of arsenosugars, with the distribution of arsenosugar analogs varying between taxa. In brown algae, As levels were correlated with phosphate concentrations, and arsenosugar speciation reflected differences in sulfur and phosphate concentrations between taxa. Several samples of the brown algae species Laminaria digitata contained significant levels of inorganic As (2.8-20 mg/kg), the most toxic form of As. A weak acid extraction with microwave heating was compared with a weaker methanol: water extraction method, and found to give slightly higher extraction efficiency with comparable relative concentrations of inorganic As, supporting the use of this faster and simpler extraction method for monitoring. Seaweed is a niche dietary item in the U.S. but its popularity is increasing; it is also used in agriculture and livestock farming which provide potential indirect routes for human exposure. The presence of occasional high concentrations of iAs, as well as the lack of toxicity studies on organic As species, suggest that monitoring of these high As foods is warranted.

  13. Effects of ‘Target’ Plant Species Body Size on Neighbourhood Species Richness and Composition in Old-Field Vegetation

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Competition is generally regarded as an important force in organizing the structure of vegetation, and evidence from several experimental studies of species mixtures suggests that larger mature plant size elicits a competitive advantage. However, these findings are at odds with the fact that large and small plant species generally coexist, and relatively smaller species are more common in virtually all plant communities. Here, we use replicates of ten relatively large old-field plant species to explore the competitive impact of target individual size on their surrounding neighbourhoods compared to nearby neighbourhoods of the same size that are not centred by a large target individual. While target individuals of the largest of our test species, Centaurea jacea L., had a strong impact on neighbouring species, in general, target species size was a weak predictor of the number of other resident species growing within its immediate neighbourhood, as well as the number of resident species that were reproductive. Thus, the presence of a large competitor did not restrict the ability of neighbouring species to reproduce. Lastly, target species size did not have any impact on the species size structure of neighbouring species; i.e. they did not restrict smaller, supposedly poorer competitors, from growing and reproducing close by. Taken together, these results provide no support for a size-advantage in competition restricting local species richness or the ability of small species to coexist and successfully reproduce in the immediate neighbourhood of a large species. PMID:24349177

  14. Functional roles of melatonin in plants, and perspectives in nutritional and agricultural science.

    PubMed

    Tan, Dun-Xian; Hardeland, Rudiger; Manchester, Lucien C; Korkmaz, Ahmet; Ma, Shuran; Rosales-Corral, Sergio; Reiter, Russel J

    2012-01-01

    The presence of melatonin in plants is universal. Evidence has confirmed that a major portion of the melatonin is synthesized by plants themselves even though a homologue of the classic arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AANAT) has not been identified as yet in plants. Thus, the serotonin N-acetylating enzyme in plants may differ greatly from the animal AANAT with regard to sequence and structure. This would imply multiple evolutionary origins of enzymes with these catalytic properties. A primary function of melatonin in plants is to serve as the first line of defence against internal and environmental oxidative stressors. The much higher melatonin levels in plants compared with those found in animals are thought to be a compensatory response by plants which lack means of mobility, unlike animals, as a means of coping with harsh environments. Importantly, remarkably high melatonin concentrations have been measured in popular beverages (coffee, tea, wine, and beer) and crops (corn, rice, wheat, barley, and oats). Billions of people worldwide consume these products daily. The beneficial effects of melatonin on human health derived from the consumption of these products must be considered. Evidence also indicates that melatonin has an ability to increase the production of crops. The mechanisms may involve the roles of melatonin in preservation of chlorophyll, promotion of photosynthesis, and stimulation of root development. Transgenic plants with enhanced melatonin content could probably lead to breakthroughs to increase crop production in agriculture and to improve the general health of humans.

  15. Plot shape effects on plant species diversity measurements

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2005-01-01

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

  16. Plot shape effects on plant species diversity measurements

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Binutu, O A; Lajubutu, B A

    1994-09-01

    The methanol extracts of the leaves and stem bark of four Bignoniaceae plants Jacaranda mimosifolia D. Dol., Tecoma stans Linn., Tabebuia rosea (Bertol) D.C., and Crescentia cujete Linn. were studied for their antimicrobial activity using a wide range of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria and fungi. Extracts of both the leaves and stem bark of majority of plant species studied showed variable but remarkable broad spectrum antimicrobial activity. However, methanol extracts of Tecoma stans leaves was found to be effective against only Candida albicans at the concentrations employed. It was observed that the extracts of stem bark generally showed better antimicrobial activity than those of the leaves and some organisms were selectively more sensitive to the extracts than others. Preliminary phytochemical screening of these plants revealed the presence of tannins, flavonoids, alkaloids, quinones and traces of saponins. The antimicrobial activity observed are discussed in relation to the chemical constituents reportedly isolated from these plants and their traditional uses. PMID:7604753

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  19. Short communication: occurrence of Arcobacter species in industrial dairy plants.

    PubMed

    Serraino, A; Giacometti, F

    2014-01-01

    The present study investigated the presence of Arcobacter spp. in industrial dairy plants. Between February and September 2013, pasteurized milk used for cheesemaking, processing and cleaning water, cheese, and environmental samples from different plant sites, including surfaces in contact or not in contact with food, were sampled. A total of 126 samples were analyzed by the cultural method and isolates were identified by multiplex PCR. Arcobacter spp. were isolated from 22 of 75 environmental samples (29.3%): of them, 22.7% were surfaces in contact with food and 38.7% surfaces not in contact with food. A total of 135 Arcobacter spp. isolates were obtained; of these, 129 and 6 were identified as Arcobacter butzleri and Arcobacter cryaerophilus, respectively. All food processing water and pasteurized milk samples were negative for Arcobacter species. We were not able to determine the primary source of contamination, but the isolation of both A. butzleri and A. cryaerophilus in surfaces in contact with food before and during manufacturing suggests that Arcobacter spp. are not or are only partially affected by routine sanitizing procedures in the industrial dairy plants studied. The efficacy of sanitizing procedures should be evaluated and further studies are needed to determine whether certain Arcobacter strains persist for long periods of time in industrial dairy plants and whether they can survive in different types of cheese in cases of postprocessing contamination.

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

    PubMed Central

    Li, De-Zhu; van der Bank, Michelle

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Reactive oxygen species generation and signaling in plants

    PubMed Central

    Tripathy, Baishnab Charan; Oelmüller, Ralf

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

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

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

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

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

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

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

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

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

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

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

  6. Molecular characterization of nitrogen-fixing bacteria isolated from brazilian agricultural plants at São Paulo state

    PubMed Central

    Reinhardt, Érica. L.; Ramos, Patrícia L.; Manfio, Gilson P.; Barbosa, Heloiza R.; Pavan, Crodowaldo; Moreira-Filho, Carlos A.

    2008-01-01

    Fourteen strains of nitrogen-fixing bacteria were isolated from different agricultural plant species, including cassava, maize and sugarcane, using nitrogen-deprived selective isolation conditions. Ability to fix nitrogen was verified by the acetylene reduction assay. All potentially nitrogen-fixing strains tested showed positive hybridization signals with a nifH probe derived from Azospirillum brasilense. The strains were characterized by RAPD, ARDRA and 16S rDNA sequence analysis. RAPD analyses revealed 8 unique genotypes, the remaining 6 strains clustered into 3 RAPD groups, suggesting a clonal origin. ARDRA and 16S rDNA sequence analyses allowed the assignment of 13 strains to known groups of nitrogen-fixing bacteria, including organisms from the genera Azospirillum, Herbaspirillum, Pseudomonas and Enterobacteriaceae. Two strains were classified as Stenotrophomonas ssp. Molecular identification results from 16S rDNA analyses were also corroborated by morphological and biochemical data. PMID:24031239

  7. Environmental effects of planting biomass crops at larger scales on agricultural lands

    SciTech Connect

    Tolbert, V.R.; Downing, M.E.

    1995-09-01

    Increasing from research-scale to larger-scale plantings of herbaceous. and short rotation woody crops on agricultural land in the United States has raised questions about the positive and negative environmental effects of farmland conversion. Research currently underway at experimental plot scales enables us examine runoff quality and quantity, erosion, and changes in soil characteristics associated with these energy crops compared to conventional row crops. A study of the fate of chemicals applied to the different crop types will enhance our knowledge of uptake, release, and off-site movement of nutrients and pesticides. Ongoing biodiversity studies in the North Central US allow us to compare differences in scale of plantings on bird and small mammal populations and habitat use. Plantings of 50--100 or more contiguous acres are needed to allow both researchers and producers to determine the benefits of including temporal energy crop rotations in the landscape. Results from these larger-scale plantings will help identify (1) the monitoring requirements needed to determine environmental effects of larger-scale plantings, (2) the best methods to determine the environmental effects of rotation length and the best crop management strategies for full-scale production. Because of the variations in soils, temperature, rainfall and other climatic conditions, as well as differences in the types of energy crops most suited for different regions, monitoring of large-scale plantings in these different regions of the US will be required to predict the environmental effects of regional agricultural land-use shifts for full-scale plantings.

  8. Environmental effects of planting energy crops at larger scales on agricultural lands

    SciTech Connect

    Tolbert, V.R.; Downing, M.

    1995-09-01

    Increasing from research-scale to larger-scale plantings of herbaceous and short rotation woody crops on agricultural land in the United States has raised questions about the positive and negative environmental effects of farmland conversion. Research currently underway at experimental plot scales enables us examine runoff quality and quantity, erosion, and changes in soil characteristics associated with these energy crops compared to conventional row crops. A study of the fate of chemicals applied to the different crop types will enhance our knowledge of uptake, release, and off-site movement of nutrients and pesticides. Ongoing biodiversity studies in the North Central US allow us to compare differences in scale of plantings on bird and small mammal populations and habitat use. Plantings of 50--100 or more contiguous acres are needed to allow both researchers and producers to determine the benefits of including temporal energy crop rotations in the landscape. Results from these larger-scale plantings will help identify (1) the monitoring requirements needed to determine environmental effects of larger-scale plantings, (2) the best methods to determine the environmental effects of rotation length and the best crop management strategies for full-scale production. Because of the variations in soils, temperature, rainfall and other climatic conditions, as well as differences in the types of energy crops most suited for different regions, monitoring of large-scale plantings in these different regions of the US will be required to predict the environmental effects of regional agricultural land-use shifts for full-scale plantings.

  9. Phytoremediation potential of some agricultural plants on heavy metal contaminated mine waste soils, salem district, tamilnadu.

    PubMed

    Padmapriya, S; Murugan, N; Ragavendran, C; Thangabalu, R; Natarajan, D

    2016-01-01

    The Pot culture experiment performed for phytoextraction potential of selected agricultural plants [millet (Eleusine coracana), mustard (Brassica juncea), jowar (Sorghum bicolor), black gram (Vigna mungo), pumpkin (Telfairia occidentalis)] grown in metal contaminated soils around the Salem region, Tamilnadu, India. Physiochemical characterization of soils, reported as low to medium level of N, P, K was found in test soils. The Cr content higher in mine soils than control and the values are 0.176 mg/L in Dalmia soil and 0.049 mg/L in Burn & Co soil. The germination rate low in mine soil than control soils (25 to 85%). The content of chlorophyll, carotenoid, carbohydrate and protein decreased in mine soils than control. The morphological parameters and biomass values decreased in experimental plants due to metal accumulation. Proline content increased in test plants and ranged from 0.113 mg g(-1) to 0.858 mg g(-1) which indicate the stress condition due to toxicity of metals. Sorghum and black gram plants reported as metal tolerant capacity. Among the plants, Sorghum produced good results (both biomass and biochemical parameters) which equal to control plant and suggests Sorghum plant is an ideal for remediation of metal contaminated soils.

  10. Monitoring arsenic contamination in agricultural soils with reflectance spectroscopy of rice plants.

    PubMed

    Shi, Tiezhu; Liu, Huizeng; Wang, Junjie; Chen, Yiyun; Fei, Teng; Wu, Guofeng

    2014-06-01

    The objective of this study was to explore the feasibility and to investigate the mechanism for rapidly monitoring arsenic (As) contamination in agricultural soils with the reflectance spectra of rice plants. Several data pretreatment methods were applied to improve the prediction accuracy. The prediction of soil As contents was achieved by partial least-squares regression (PLSR) using laboratory and field spectra of rice plants, as well as linear regression employing normalized difference spectral index (NDSI) calculated from fild spectra. For laboratory spectra, the optimal PLSR model for predicting soil As contents was achieved using Savitzky-Golay smoothing (SG), first derivative and mean center (MC) (root-mean-square error of prediction (RMSEP)=14.7 mg kg(-1); r=0.64; residual predictive deviation (RPD)=1.31). For field spectra, the optimal PLSR model was also achieved using SG, first derivative and MC (RMSEP=13.7 mg kg(-1); r=0.71; RPD=1.43). In addition, the NDSI with 812 and 782 nm obtained a prediction accuracy with r=0.68, RMSEP=13.7 mg kg(-1), and RPD=1.36. These results indicated that it was feasible to monitor the As contamination in agricultural soils using the reflectance spectra of rice plants. The prediction mechanism might be the relationship between the As contents in soils and the chlorophyll-a/-b contents and cell structure in leaves or canopies of rice plants. PMID:24804926

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    Nitrogen transformations in aquaponics with different edible plant species, i.e., tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) and pak choi (Brassica campestris L. subsp. chinensis) were systematically examined and compared. Results showed that nitrogen utilization efficiencies (NUE) of tomato- and pak choi-based aquaponic systems were 41.3% and 34.4%, respectively. The abundance of nitrifying bacteria in tomato-based aquaponics was 4.2-folds higher than that in pak choi-based aquaponics, primarily due to its higher root surface area. In addition, tomato-based aquaponics had better water quality than that of pak choi-based aquaponics. About 1.5-1.9% of nitrogen input were emitted to atmosphere as nitrous oxide (N2O) in tomato- and pak choi-based aquaponic systems, respectively, suggesting that aquaponics is a potential anthropogenic source of N2O emission. Overall, this is the first intensive study that examined the role plant species played in aquaponics, which could provide new strategy in designing and operating an aquaponic system. PMID:25650140

  13. Proximal Soil Sensing – A Contribution for Species Habitat Distribution Modelling of Earthworms in Agricultural Soils?

    PubMed Central

    Schirrmann, Michael; Joschko, Monika; Gebbers, Robin; Kramer, Eckart; Zörner, Mirjam; Barkusky, Dietmar; Timmer, Jens

    2016-01-01

    Background Earthworms are important for maintaining soil ecosystem functioning and serve as indicators of soil fertility. However, detection of earthworms is time-consuming, which hinders the assessment of earthworm abundances with high sampling density over entire fields. Recent developments of mobile terrestrial sensor platforms for proximal soil sensing (PSS) provided new tools for collecting dense spatial information of soils using various sensing principles. Yet, the potential of PSS for assessing earthworm habitats is largely unexplored. This study investigates whether PSS data contribute to the spatial prediction of earthworm abundances in species distribution models of agricultural soils. Methodology/Principal Findings Proximal soil sensing data, e.g., soil electrical conductivity (EC), pH, and near infrared absorbance (NIR), were collected in real-time in a field with two management strategies (reduced tillage / conventional tillage) and sandy to loam soils. PSS was related to observations from a long-term (11 years) earthworm observation study conducted at 42 plots. Earthworms were sampled from 0.5 x 0.5 x 0.2 m³ soil blocks and identified to species level. Sensor data were highly correlated with earthworm abundances observed in reduced tillage but less correlated with earthworm abundances observed in conventional tillage. This may indicate that management influences the sensor-earthworm relationship. Generalized additive models and state-space models showed that modelling based on data fusion from EC, pH, and NIR sensors produced better results than modelling without sensor data or data from just a single sensor. Regarding the individual earthworm species, particular sensor combinations were more appropriate than others due to the different habitat requirements of the earthworms. Earthworm species with soil-specific habitat preferences were spatially predicted with higher accuracy by PSS than more ubiquitous species. Conclusions/Significance Our

  14. Duck Productivity in Restored Species-Rich Native and Species-Poor Non-Native Plantings

    PubMed Central

    Haffele, Ryan D.; Eichholz, Michael W.; Dixon, Cami S.

    2013-01-01

    Conservation efforts to increase duck production have led the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to restore grasslands with multi-species (3-5) mixtures of introduced cool season vegetation often termed dense nesting cover (DNC). The effectiveness of DNC to increase duck production has been variable, and maintenance of the cover type is expensive. In an effort to decrease the financial and ecological costs (increased carbon emissions from plowing and reseeding) of maintaining DNC and provide a long-term, resilient cover that will support a diversity of grassland fauna, restoration of multi-species (16-32) plantings of native plants has been explored. We investigated the vegetation characteristics, nesting density and nest survival between the 2 aforementioned cover types in the Prairie Pothole Region of North Dakota, USA from 2010–2011 to see if restored-native plantings provide similar benefits to nesting hens as DNC. We searched 14 fields (7 DNC, 271 ha; and 7 restored native, 230 ha) locating 3384 nests (1215 in restored-native vegetation and 2169 in DNC) in 2010-2011. Nest survival was similar between cover types in 2010, while DNC had greater survival than native plantings in 2011. Densities of nests adjusted for detection probability were not different between cover types in either year. We found no structural difference in vegetation between cover types in 2010; however, a difference was detected during the late sampling period in 2011 with DNC having deeper litter and taller vegetation. Our results indicate restored-native plantings are able to support similar nesting density as DNC; however, nest survival is more stable between years in DNC. It appears the annual variation in security between cover types goes undetected by hens as hens selected cover types at similar levels both years. PMID:23840898

  15. Duck productivity in restored species-rich native and species-poor non-native plantings.

    PubMed

    Haffele, Ryan D; Eichholz, Michael W; Dixon, Cami S

    2013-01-01

    Conservation efforts to increase duck production have led the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to restore grasslands with multi-species (3-5) mixtures of introduced cool season vegetation often termed dense nesting cover (DNC). The effectiveness of DNC to increase duck production has been variable, and maintenance of the cover type is expensive. In an effort to decrease the financial and ecological costs (increased carbon emissions from plowing and reseeding) of maintaining DNC and provide a long-term, resilient cover that will support a diversity of grassland fauna, restoration of multi-species (16-32) plantings of native plants has been explored. We investigated the vegetation characteristics, nesting density and nest survival between the 2 aforementioned cover types in the Prairie Pothole Region of North Dakota, USA from 2010-2011 to see if restored-native plantings provide similar benefits to nesting hens as DNC. We searched 14 fields (7 DNC, 271 ha; and 7 restored native, 230 ha) locating 3384 nests (1215 in restored-native vegetation and 2169 in DNC) in 2010-2011. Nest survival was similar between cover types in 2010, while DNC had greater survival than native plantings in 2011. Densities of nests adjusted for detection probability were not different between cover types in either year. We found no structural difference in vegetation between cover types in 2010; however, a difference was detected during the late sampling period in 2011 with DNC having deeper litter and taller vegetation. Our results indicate restored-native plantings are able to support similar nesting density as DNC; however, nest survival is more stable between years in DNC. It appears the annual variation in security between cover types goes undetected by hens as hens selected cover types at similar levels both years. PMID:23840898

  16. Plant Functional Diversity and Species Diversity in the Mongolian Steppe

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Guofang; Xie, Xiufang; Ye, Duo; Ye, Xuehua; Tuvshintogtokh, Indree; Mandakh, Bayart; Huang, Zhenying; Dong, Ming

    2013-01-01

    Background The Mongolian steppe is one of the most important grasslands in the world but suffers from aridization and damage from anthropogenic activities. Understanding structure and function of this community is important for the ecological conservation, but has seldom been investigated. Methodology/Principal Findings In this study, a total of 324 quadrats located on the three main types of Mongolian steppes were surveyed. Early-season perennial forbs (37% of total importance value), late-season annual forbs (33%) and late-season perennial forbs (44%) were dominant in meadow, typical and desert steppes, respectively. Species richness, diversity and plant functional type (PFT) richness decreased from the meadow, via typical to desert steppes, but evenness increased; PFT diversity in the desert and meadow steppes was higher than that in typical steppe. However, above-ground net primary productivity (ANPP) was far lower in desert steppe than in the other two steppes. In addition, the slope of the relationship between species richness and PFT richness increased from the meadow, via typical to desert steppes. Similarly, with an increase in species diversity, PFT diversity increased more quickly in both the desert and typical steppes than that in meadow steppe. Random resampling suggested that this coordination was partly due to a sampling effect of diversity. Conclusions/Significance These results indicate that desert steppe should be strictly protected because of its limited functional redundancy, which its ecological functioning is sensitive to species loss. In contrast, despite high potential forage production shared by the meadow and typical steppes, management of these two types of steppes should be different: meadow steppe should be preserved due to its higher conservation value characterized by more species redundancy and higher spatial heterogeneity, while typical steppe could be utilized moderately because its dominant grass genus Stipa is resistant to

  17. Caesium-137 soil-to-plant transfer for representative agricultural crops of monocotyledonous and dicotyledonous plants in post-Chernobyl steppe landscape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paramonova, Tatiana; Komissarova, Olga; Turykin, Leonid; Kuzmenkova, Natalia; Belyaev, Vladimir

    2016-04-01

    crops were 0.11 and 0.01 correspondingly. But the most dramatic difference between the investigated crops was connected with peculiarities of Cs-137 distribution within above- and belowground parts of biomass. While TF in aboveground fraction of galega (0.02) was slightly higher than in belowground fraction (0.01), the bulk of Cs-137 in bromegrass was detected not in shoots but in roots (TFs 0.05 and 0.11 correspondingly). More extensive examination of Cs-137 behavior in "soil-plant" systems of agricultural crops in the area of Plavsky radioactive hotspot has revealed that all investigated dicotyledonous plants with taproot system (potatoes, soya, amaranth, rape) accumulated 71±14% of Cs-137 inventories in aboveground biomass, whereas monocotyledonous plants with fibrous root system (wheat, barley, maize, cereal pasture species) deposited 94±5% of Cs-137 supplies in their belowground biomass. Thus, the first had effective biological root barrier protecting vegetation from general Cs-137 incorporation into biomass, but relatively active radionuclide translocation into shoots, while the second were characterized by slight rhizofiltration property and occurrence an additional barrier between roots and shoots determining only moderate radionuclide translocation into aboveground biomass. Such biological features should be taken into account in deciding on rehabilitation strategy of radioactively contaminated lands. The study was conducted with the support from the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (project no. 14-05-00903).

  18. Remote sensing in Virginia agriculture

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pettry, D. E.; Newhouse, M. E.; Dunton, E. M., Jr.; Scott, J. H., Jr.

    1972-01-01

    An experimental investigation, designed to develop and evaluate multispectral sensing techniques used in sensing agricultural crops, is described. Initial studies were designed to detect plant species and associated diseases, soil variations, and cultural practices under natural environment conditions. In addition, crop varieties, age, spacing, plant height, percentage of ground cover, and plant vigor are determined.

  19. Arsenic contamination of soils and agricultural plants through irrigation water in Nepal.

    PubMed

    Dahal, B M; Fuerhacker, M; Mentler, A; Karki, K B; Shrestha, R R; Blum, W E H

    2008-09-01

    This study monitored the influence of arsenic-contaminated irrigation water on alkaline soils and arsenic uptake in agricultural plants at field level. The arsenic concentrations in irrigation water ranges from <0.005 to 1.014 mg L(-1) where the arsenic concentrations in the soils were measured from 6.1 to 16.7 mg As kg(-1). The arsenic content in different parts of plants are found in the order of roots>shoots>leaves>edible parts. The mean arsenic content of edible plant material (dry weight) were found in the order of onion leaves (0.55 mg As kg(-1))>onion bulb (0.45 mg As kg(-1))>cauliflower (0.33 mg As kg(-1))>rice (0.18 mg As kg(-1))>brinjal (0.09 mg As kg(-1))>potato (<0.01 mg As kg(-1)). PMID:18068879

  20. Antifungal Effect of Plant Essential Oils on Controlling Phytophthora Species.

    PubMed

    Amini, Jahanshir; Farhang, Vahid; Javadi, Taimoor; Nazemi, Javad

    2016-02-01

    In this study, antifungal activity of essential oils of Cymbopogon citratus and Ocimum basilicum and two fungicides Mancozeb and Metalaxyl-Mancozeb in six different concentrations were investigated for controlling three species of Phytophthora, including P. capsici, P. drechsleri and P. melonis on pepper, cucumber and melon under in vitro and greenhouse conditions, respectively. Under the in vitro condition, the median effective concen- tration (EC50) values (ppm) of plant essential oils and fungicides were measured. In greenhouse, soil infested with Phytophthora species was treated by adding 50 ml of essential oils and fungicides (100 ppm). Disease severity was determined after 28 days. Among two tested plant essential oils, C. citratus had the lowest EC50 values for inhibition of the mycelial growth of P. capsici (31.473), P. melonis (33.097) and P. drechsleri (69.112), respectively. The mean EC50 values for Metalaxyl-Mancozeb on these pathogens were 20.87, 20.06 and 17.70, respectively. Chemical analysis of plant essential oils by GC-MS showed that, among 42 compounds identified from C. citratus, two compounds β-geranial (α-citral) (39.16%) and z-citral (30.95%) were the most abundant. Under the greenhouse condition, Metalaxyl-Mancozeb caused the greatest reduction in disease severity, 84.2%, 86.8% and 92.1% on melon, cucumber, and pepper, respectively. The C. citratus essential oil reduced disease severity from 47.4% to 60.5% compared to the untreated control (p≤0.05). Essential oils of O. basilicum had the lowest effects on the pathogens under in vitro and greenhouse conditions. These results show that essential oils may contribute to the development of new antifungal agents to protect the crops from Phytophthora diseases. PMID:26889111

  1. Antifungal Effect of Plant Essential Oils on Controlling Phytophthora Species.

    PubMed

    Amini, Jahanshir; Farhang, Vahid; Javadi, Taimoor; Nazemi, Javad

    2016-02-01

    In this study, antifungal activity of essential oils of Cymbopogon citratus and Ocimum basilicum and two fungicides Mancozeb and Metalaxyl-Mancozeb in six different concentrations were investigated for controlling three species of Phytophthora, including P. capsici, P. drechsleri and P. melonis on pepper, cucumber and melon under in vitro and greenhouse conditions, respectively. Under the in vitro condition, the median effective concen- tration (EC50) values (ppm) of plant essential oils and fungicides were measured. In greenhouse, soil infested with Phytophthora species was treated by adding 50 ml of essential oils and fungicides (100 ppm). Disease severity was determined after 28 days. Among two tested plant essential oils, C. citratus had the lowest EC50 values for inhibition of the mycelial growth of P. capsici (31.473), P. melonis (33.097) and P. drechsleri (69.112), respectively. The mean EC50 values for Metalaxyl-Mancozeb on these pathogens were 20.87, 20.06 and 17.70, respectively. Chemical analysis of plant essential oils by GC-MS showed that, among 42 compounds identified from C. citratus, two compounds β-geranial (α-citral) (39.16%) and z-citral (30.95%) were the most abundant. Under the greenhouse condition, Metalaxyl-Mancozeb caused the greatest reduction in disease severity, 84.2%, 86.8% and 92.1% on melon, cucumber, and pepper, respectively. The C. citratus essential oil reduced disease severity from 47.4% to 60.5% compared to the untreated control (p≤0.05). Essential oils of O. basilicum had the lowest effects on the pathogens under in vitro and greenhouse conditions. These results show that essential oils may contribute to the development of new antifungal agents to protect the crops from Phytophthora diseases.

  2. Antifungal Effect of Plant Essential Oils on Controlling Phytophthora Species

    PubMed Central

    Amini, Jahanshir; Farhang, Vahid; Javadi, Taimoor; Nazemi, Javad

    2016-01-01

    In this study, antifungal activity of essential oils of Cymbopogon citratus and Ocimum basilicum and two fungicides Mancozeb and Metalaxyl-Mancozeb in six different concentrations were investigated for controlling three species of Phytophthora, including P. capsici, P. drechsleri and P. melonis on pepper, cucumber and melon under in vitro and greenhouse conditions, respectively. Under the in vitro condition, the median effective concen- tration (EC50) values (ppm) of plant essential oils and fungicides were measured. In greenhouse, soil infested with Phytophthora species was treated by adding 50 ml of essential oils and fungicides (100 ppm). Disease severity was determined after 28 days. Among two tested plant essential oils, C. citratus had the lowest EC50 values for inhibition of the mycelial growth of P. capsici (31.473), P. melonis (33.097) and P. drechsleri (69.112), respectively. The mean EC50 values for Metalaxyl-Mancozeb on these pathogens were 20.87, 20.06 and 17.70, respectively. Chemical analysis of plant essential oils by GC-MS showed that, among 42 compounds identified from C. citratus, two compounds β-geranial (α-citral) (39.16%) and z-citral (30.95%) were the most abundant. Under the greenhouse condition, Metalaxyl-Mancozeb caused the greatest reduction in disease severity, 84.2%, 86.8% and 92.1% on melon, cucumber, and pepper, respectively. The C. citratus essential oil reduced disease severity from 47.4% to 60.5% compared to the untreated control (p≤0.05). Essential oils of O. basilicum had the lowest effects on the pathogens under in vitro and greenhouse conditions. These results show that essential oils may contribute to the development of new antifungal agents to protect the crops from Phytophthora diseases. PMID:26889111

  3. Optical Parameters of Leaves of 30 Plant Species 1

    PubMed Central

    Gausman, H. W.; Allen, W. A.

    1973-01-01

    Optical parameters (absorption coefficient k, infinite reflectance R∞, scattering coefficient 8) are tabulated for seven wavelengths and analyzed for statistical differences for 30 plant species. The wavelengths are: 550 nm (green reflectance peak), 650 nm (chlorophyll absorption band), 850 nm (infrared reflectance plateau), 1450 nm (water absorption band), 1650 nm (reflectance peak following water absorption band at 1450 nm), 1950 nm (water absorption band), and 2200 nm (reflectance peak following water absorption band at 1950 nm). Thick, complex dorsiventral (bifacial mesophyll) leaves such as rubber plant, begonia, sedum, and privet had lower R∞ values than thinner, less complex dorsiventral leaves (i.e., soybean, peach, bean, rose) or essentially centric (undifferentiated mesophyll) sorghum and corn leaves. Infinite reflectance was negatively correlated with leaf thickness (−0.734**). Thick, complex dorsiventral leaves (crinum, oleander, privet, rubber plant, sedum) had higher (p 0.01) k values than thinner, less complex dorsiventral leaves (i.e., soybean, rose, peach) or essentially centric sorghum, sugarcane, and corn leaves. A coefficient of 0.718** was obtained for the correlation of k values with leaf thickness values. Complex dorsiventral oleander, orange, and crinum leaves had higher (p 0.01) 8 values than less complex dorsiventral (i.e., onion, begonia, banana) or centric leaves (i.e., corn and sugarcane). The scattering coefficient was not correlated with leaf thickness. PMID:16658499

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

    PubMed

    Cao, Jun

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Reactive oxygen species in response of plants to gravity stress

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jadko, Sergiy

    2016-07-01

    Reactive oxygen species (ROS) as second messengers can induce stress response of plants. Thioredoxins (Trx) and peroxiredoxins (Prx) can function as sensors and transmitters of the ROS in stress signaling and antioxidant response. 12-14 days old tissue culture of Arabidopsis thaliana have been investigated. Hypergravity stress was induced by centrifugation at 10 and 20 g during 30 and 90 min and than intensity of spontaneous chemiluminescence (SChL/ROS content), Trx and Prx activities were determined. All experiments were repeated from 3 to 5 times and the obtained data were statistically treated. In the tissue culture under development of the stress there were an increase in intensity of SChL and Trx and Prx activities. Thus, under hypergravity stress in the plant occurred early increase in the ROS level and the ROS induced the increase in the Trx and Prx activities. Prx and Trx can also participate in the formation of stress respons as acceptors and transducers of the redox signals. Increase in the activity of these enzymes primarily aimed at increasing of the total antioxidant activity in the cells to prevent of the plant to development of oxidative degradation by ROS.

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

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Jun

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Tightly-Coupled Plant-Soil Nitrogen Cycling: Comparison of Organic Farms across an Agricultural Landscape.

    PubMed

    Bowles, Timothy M; Hollander, Allan D; Steenwerth, Kerri; Jackson, Louise E

    2015-01-01

    How farming systems supply sufficient nitrogen (N) for high yields but with reduced N losses is a central challenge for reducing the tradeoffs often associated with N cycling in agriculture. Variability in soil organic matter and management of organic farms across an agricultural landscape may yield insights for improving N cycling and for evaluating novel indicators of N availability. We assessed yields, plant-soil N cycling, and root expression of N metabolism genes across a representative set of organic fields growing Roma-type tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum L.) in an intensively-managed agricultural landscape in California, USA. The fields spanned a three-fold range of soil carbon (C) and N but had similar soil types, texture, and pH. Organic tomato yields ranged from 22.9 to 120.1 Mg ha-1 with a mean similar to the county average (86.1 Mg ha-1), which included mostly conventionally-grown tomatoes. Substantial variability in soil inorganic N concentrations, tomato N, and root gene expression indicated a range of possible tradeoffs between yields and potential for N losses across the fields. Fields showing evidence of tightly-coupled plant-soil N cycling, a desirable scenario in which high crop yields are supported by adequate N availability but low potential for N loss, had the highest total and labile soil C and N and received organic matter inputs with a range of N availability. In these fields, elevated expression of a key gene involved in root N assimilation, cytosolic glutamine synthetase GS1, confirmed that plant N assimilation was high even when inorganic N pools were low. Thus tightly-coupled N cycling occurred on several working organic farms. Novel combinations of N cycling indicators (i.e. inorganic N along with soil microbial activity and root gene expression for N assimilation) would support adaptive management for improved N cycling on organic as well as conventional farms, especially when plant-soil N cycling is rapid.

  8. Regional assessment of ozone sensitive tree species using bioindicator plants.

    PubMed

    Coulston, John W; Smith, Gretchen C; Smith, William D

    2003-04-01

    Tropospheric ozone occurs at phytotoxic levels in the northeastern and mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. Quantifying possible regional-scale impacts of ambient ozone on forest tree species is difficult and is confounded by other factors, such as moisture and light, which influence the uptake of ozone by plants. Biomonitoring provides an approach to document direct foliar injury irrespective of direct measure of ozone uptake. We used bioindicator and field plot data from the USDA Forest Service to identify tree species likely to exhibit regional-scale ozone impacts. Approximately 24% of sampled sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua), 15% of sampled loblolly pine (Pinus taeda), and 12% of sampled black cherry (Prunus serotina) trees were in the highest risk category. Sweetgum and loblolly pine trees were at risk on the coastal plain of Maryland, Virginia and Delaware. Black cherry trees were at risk on the Allegheny Plateau (Pennsylvania), in the Allegheny Mountains (Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Maryland) as well as coastal plain areas of Maryland and Virginia. Our findings indicate a need for more in-depth study of actual impacts on growth and reproduction of these three species. PMID:12691526

  9. Plant host associations of Penthaleus species and Halotydeus destructor (Acari: Penthaleidae) and implications for integrated pest management.

    PubMed

    Umina, Paul A; Hoffmann, Ary A

    2004-01-01

    Integrated pest management programs seek to minimise reliance on pesticides and provide effective long-term control of pests. Cultural control strategies, such as crop rotations, trap and border crops, and weed management, require a thorough understanding of pest host associations. This paper examines the effects of different plant hosts on the persistence and reproduction of blue oat mites, Penthaleus spp., and the redlegged earth mite, Halotydeus destructor (Tucker), which are major agricultural pests in southern Australia. Field and shade-house experiments were conducted testing several crop and plant types. All species survived and reproduced from one mite season to the next when confined to pasture. Canola and a common weed, 'bristly ox-tongue', were suitable hosts for H. destructor and Penthaleus falcatus (Qin and Halliday), whereas Penthaleus sp. x and Penthaleus major (Dugés) failed to persist on these plants. A mixture of wheat and oats sustained P. sp. x and H. destructor, but not P. falcatus or P. major. Lentils were generally a poor host plant for all mite species. These findings show that earth mite species differ in their ability to persist on different plant types, highlighting the importance of distinguishing mite species before implementing control strategies. Results are discussed with respect to cultural control options for the management of these winter pests.

  10. Plant host associations of Penthaleus species and Halotydeus destructor (Acari: Penthaleidae) and implications for integrated pest management.

    PubMed

    Umina, Paul A; Hoffmann, Ary A

    2004-01-01

    Integrated pest management programs seek to minimise reliance on pesticides and provide effective long-term control of pests. Cultural control strategies, such as crop rotations, trap and border crops, and weed management, require a thorough understanding of pest host associations. This paper examines the effects of different plant hosts on the persistence and reproduction of blue oat mites, Penthaleus spp., and the redlegged earth mite, Halotydeus destructor (Tucker), which are major agricultural pests in southern Australia. Field and shade-house experiments were conducted testing several crop and plant types. All species survived and reproduced from one mite season to the next when confined to pasture. Canola and a common weed, 'bristly ox-tongue', were suitable hosts for H. destructor and Penthaleus falcatus (Qin and Halliday), whereas Penthaleus sp. x and Penthaleus major (Dugés) failed to persist on these plants. A mixture of wheat and oats sustained P. sp. x and H. destructor, but not P. falcatus or P. major. Lentils were generally a poor host plant for all mite species. These findings show that earth mite species differ in their ability to persist on different plant types, highlighting the importance of distinguishing mite species before implementing control strategies. Results are discussed with respect to cultural control options for the management of these winter pests. PMID:15285134

  11. Microparticle bombardment as a tool in plant science and agricultural biotechnology.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Nigel J; Fauquet, Claude M

    2002-12-01

    Microparticle bombardment technology has evolved as a method for delivering exogenous nucleic acids into plant cells and is a commonly employed technique in plant science. Desired genetic material is precipitated onto micron-sized metal particles and placed within one of a variety of devices designed to accelerate these "microcarriers" to velocities required to penetrate the plant cell wall. In this manner, transgenes can be delivered into the cell's genome or plastome. Since the late 1980s microparticle bombardment has become a powerful tool for the study of gene expression and production of stably transformed tissues and whole transgenic plants for experimental purposes and agricultural applications. This paper reviews development and application of the technology, including the protocols and mechanical systems employed as delivery systems, and the types of plant cells and culture systems employed to generate effective "targets" for receiving the incoming genetic material. Current understanding of how the exogenous DNA becomes integrated into the plant's native genetic background are assessed as are methods for improving the efficiency of this process. Pros and cons of particle bombardment technologies compared to alternative direct gene transfer methods and Agrobacterium based transformation systems are discussed.

  12. Agricultural recycling of treatment-plant sludge: a case study for a vegetable-processing factory.

    PubMed

    Dolgen, Deniz; Alpaslan, M Necdet; Delen, Nafiz

    2007-08-01

    The present study evaluated the possibility of using the sludge produced by a vegetable-processing factory in agriculture. The sludge was amended with a soil mixture (i.e., a mixture of sand, soil, and manure) and was applied at 0, 165, 330, 495 and 660 t/ha to promote the growth of cucumbers. The effects of various sludge loadings on plant growth were assessed by counting plants and leaves, measuring stem lengths, and weighing the green parts and roots of the plants. We also compared heavy metal uptake by the plants for sludge loadings of 330, 495, and 660 t/ha with various recommended standards for vegetables. Our results showed that plant growth patterns were influenced to some extent by the sludge loadings. In general, the number of leaves, stem length, and dry weight of green parts exhibited a pronounced positive growth response compared with an unfertilized control, and root growth showed a lesser but still significant response at sludge loadings of 165 and 330 t/ha. The sludge application caused no significant increase in heavy metal concentrations in the leaves, though zinc (Zn) and iron (Fe) were found at elevated concentrations. However, despite the Zn and Fe accumulation, we observed no toxicity symptoms in the plants. This may be a result of cucumber's tolerance of high metal levels. PMID:16934389

  13. Agricultural recycling of treatment-plant sludge: a case study for a vegetable-processing factory.

    PubMed

    Dolgen, Deniz; Alpaslan, M Necdet; Delen, Nafiz

    2007-08-01

    The present study evaluated the possibility of using the sludge produced by a vegetable-processing factory in agriculture. The sludge was amended with a soil mixture (i.e., a mixture of sand, soil, and manure) and was applied at 0, 165, 330, 495 and 660 t/ha to promote the growth of cucumbers. The effects of various sludge loadings on plant growth were assessed by counting plants and leaves, measuring stem lengths, and weighing the green parts and roots of the plants. We also compared heavy metal uptake by the plants for sludge loadings of 330, 495, and 660 t/ha with various recommended standards for vegetables. Our results showed that plant growth patterns were influenced to some extent by the sludge loadings. In general, the number of leaves, stem length, and dry weight of green parts exhibited a pronounced positive growth response compared with an unfertilized control, and root growth showed a lesser but still significant response at sludge loadings of 165 and 330 t/ha. The sludge application caused no significant increase in heavy metal concentrations in the leaves, though zinc (Zn) and iron (Fe) were found at elevated concentrations. However, despite the Zn and Fe accumulation, we observed no toxicity symptoms in the plants. This may be a result of cucumber's tolerance of high metal levels.

  14. Reforestation with native mixed-species plantings in a temperate continental climate effectively sequesters and stabilizes carbon within decades.

    PubMed

    Cunningham, Shaun C; Cavagnaro, Timothy R; Mac Nally, Ralph; Paul, Keryn I; Baker, Patrick J; Beringer, Jason; Thomson, James R; Thompson, Ross M

    2015-04-01

    Reforestation has large potential for mitigating climate change through carbon sequestration. Native mixed-species plantings have a higher potential to reverse biodiversity loss than do plantations of production species, but there are few data on their capacity to store carbon. A chronosequence (5-45 years) of 36 native mixed-species plantings, paired with adjacent pastures, was measured to investigate changes to stocks among C pools following reforestation of agricultural land in the medium rainfall zone (400-800 mm yr(-1)) of temperate Australia. These mixed-species plantings accumulated 3.09 ± 0.85 t C ha(-1) yr(-1) in aboveground biomass and 0.18 ± 0.05 t C ha(-1) yr(-1) in plant litter, reaching amounts comparable to those measured in remnant woodlands by 20 years and 36 years after reforestation respectively. Soil C was slower to increase, with increases seen only after 45 years, at which time stocks had not reached the amounts found in remnant woodlands. The amount of trees (tree density and basal area) was positively associated with the accumulation of carbon in aboveground biomass and litter. In contrast, changes to soil C were most strongly related to the productivity of the location (a forest productivity index and soil N content in the adjacent pasture). At 30 years, native mixed-species plantings had increased the stability of soil C stocks, with higher amounts of recalcitrant C and higher C:N ratios than their adjacent pastures. Reforestation with native mixed-species plantings did not significantly change the availability of macronutrients (N, K, Ca, Mg, P, and S) or micronutrients (Fe, B, Mn, Zn, and Cu), content of plant toxins (Al, Si), acidity, or salinity (Na, electrical conductivity) in the soil. In this medium rainfall area, native mixed-species plantings provided comparable rates of C sequestration to local production species, with the probable additional benefit of providing better quality habitat for native biota. These results

  15. Plant species used in traditional smallholder dairy processing in East Shoa, Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Mekonnen, Hailemariam; Lemma, A

    2011-04-01

    Plant species used in traditional dairy processing were studied in three districts (Bosset, Ada, and Gimbichu) in Eastern Shoa, Ethiopia, from October 2007 to March 2008. A total of 300 smallholders were interviewed using semi-structured questionnaires, and three focus group discussions were conducted, followed by plants specimen collection and identification. A total of 36 plant species, falling under 24 plant families, were identified. Nearly half of the identified plant species had more than one use types. Eleven plant species were/are used for washing (scrubbing) dairy utensils, ten plant species for smoking dairy utensils, 12 plant species in butter making, 15 plant species in ghee making, and five plant species for packaging (wrapping) butter and cheese. The plant species that had the highest overall citations from each use category were Ocimum hardiense, Olea europaea subspecies africana, Trachyspermum copticum, Curcuma longa, and Croton macrostachyus. The plant species used in the three study districts, representing different agro ecologies, showed some similarities, but levels of uses differed significantly (P < 0.05). Higher informant citations might indicate their better efficacy, however need to be further investigated to determine their effects on milk and milk product quality and to make sure that they are innocuous to human and animal health. Finally, as the present study tried to document natural products used in traditional dairy processing, it could be considered as part of the global efforts aimed at promoting organic food production.

  16. Multiwalled carbon nanotubes and c60 fullerenes differentially impact the accumulation of weathered pesticides in four agricultural plants.

    PubMed

    De La Torre-Roche, Roberto; Hawthorne, Joseph; Deng, Yingqing; Xing, Baoshan; Cai, Wenjun; Newman, Lee A; Wang, Qiang; Ma, Xingmao; Hamdi, Helmi; White, Jason C

    2013-01-01

    The effect of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) or C60 fullerenes on the uptake of weathered chlordane or DDx (DDT + metabolites) by Cucurbita pepo (zucchini), Zea mays (corn), Solanum lycopersicum (tomato), and Glycine max (soybean) was investigated. The plants were grown in 50 g of soil with weathered chlordane (2150 ng/g) and DDx (118 ng/g) that was amended with 0, 500, 1000, or 5000 mg/kg MWCNT or C60. After 28 d, the root and shoot content of chlordane components and DDx was determined by GC-MS. Zucchini and tomato growth were unaffected by carbon nanomaterial coexposure, although C60 at 500 mg/kg reduced corn and soybean biomass by 36.5-45.0%. Total chlordane content ranged from 1490 (tomato) to 4780 (zucchini) ng; DDx amounts ranged from 77.8 (corn) to 395 ng (zucchini). MWCNT coexposure decreased chlordane and DDx accumulation 21-80% across all crops, depending on species and nanotube concentration. Conversely, C60 had species- and contaminant-specific effects on pesticide uptake, ranging from complete suppression of DDx uptake (corn/tomato) to 34.9% increases in chlordane accumulation (tomato/soybean). The data show that pesticide accumulation varies greatly with crop species and carbon nanomaterial type/concentration. These findings have implications for food safety and for the use of engineered nanomaterials in agriculture. PMID:24079803

  17. Multiwalled carbon nanotubes and c60 fullerenes differentially impact the accumulation of weathered pesticides in four agricultural plants.

    PubMed

    De La Torre-Roche, Roberto; Hawthorne, Joseph; Deng, Yingqing; Xing, Baoshan; Cai, Wenjun; Newman, Lee A; Wang, Qiang; Ma, Xingmao; Hamdi, Helmi; White, Jason C

    2013-01-01

    The effect of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) or C60 fullerenes on the uptake of weathered chlordane or DDx (DDT + metabolites) by Cucurbita pepo (zucchini), Zea mays (corn), Solanum lycopersicum (tomato), and Glycine max (soybean) was investigated. The plants were grown in 50 g of soil with weathered chlordane (2150 ng/g) and DDx (118 ng/g) that was amended with 0, 500, 1000, or 5000 mg/kg MWCNT or C60. After 28 d, the root and shoot content of chlordane components and DDx was determined by GC-MS. Zucchini and tomato growth were unaffected by carbon nanomaterial coexposure, although C60 at 500 mg/kg reduced corn and soybean biomass by 36.5-45.0%. Total chlordane content ranged from 1490 (tomato) to 4780 (zucchini) ng; DDx amounts ranged from 77.8 (corn) to 395 ng (zucchini). MWCNT coexposure decreased chlordane and DDx accumulation 21-80% across all crops, depending on species and nanotube concentration. Conversely, C60 had species- and contaminant-specific effects on pesticide uptake, ranging from complete suppression of DDx uptake (corn/tomato) to 34.9% increases in chlordane accumulation (tomato/soybean). The data show that pesticide accumulation varies greatly with crop species and carbon nanomaterial type/concentration. These findings have implications for food safety and for the use of engineered nanomaterials in agriculture.

  18. A field-scale study of cadmium phytoremediation in a contaminated agricultural soil at Mae Sot District, Tak Province, Thailand: (1) Determination of Cd-hyperaccumulating plants.

    PubMed

    Khaokaew, Saengdao; Landrot, Gautier

    2015-11-01

    The cadmium (Cd) phytoremediation capabilities of Gynura pseudochina, Chromolaena odorata, Conyza sumatrensis, Crassocephalum crepidioides and Nicotiana tabacum were determined by conducting in-situ experiments in a highly Cd-contaminated agricultural field at Mae Sot District, Tak Province, Thailand. Most of these five plant species, which are commonly found in Thailand, previously demonstrated Cd-hyperaccumulating capacities under greenhouse conditions. This study represented an important initial step in determining if any of these plants could, under field-conditions, effectively remove Cd from the Mae Sot contaminated fields, which represent a health threat to thousands of local villagers. All plant species had at least a 95% survival rate on the final harvest day. Additionally, all plant species, except C. odorata, could hyperaccumulate the extractable Cd amounts present in the soil, based on their associated Bioaccumulation Factor (BAF), Translocation Factor (TF), and background Vegetation Factor (VF). Therefore, the four Cd-hyperaccumulating plant species identified in this study may successfully treat a majority of contaminated fields at Mae Sot, as it was previously reported that Cd amounts present in a number of these soils were mostly available.

  19. Progress in the study of biological effects of hydrogen on higher plants and its promising application in agriculture.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Jiqing; Ye, Zhouheng; Sun, Xuejun

    2014-01-01

    While the medical effects of hydrogen have been broadly analyzed, research into the effects of hydrogen on higher plants has often been of lesser concern. Recent studies on the botanical effects of hydrogen have shown that it is involved in signal transduction pathways of plant hormones and can improve the resistance of plants to stressors, such as drought, salinity, cold and heavy metals. In addition, hydrogen could delay postharvest ripening and senescence of fruits. Observational evidence has also shown that hydrogen can regulate the flowering time of plants. These results indicate that hydrogen may have great potential applications within agricultural production, indicating that there may be a new 'hydrogen agricultural era' to come.

  20. The predominance of inorganic arsenic species in plants from Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada

    SciTech Connect

    Koch, I.; Wang, L.; Ollson, C.A.; Cullen, W.R.; Reimer, K.J.

    2000-01-01

    Elevated levels of arsenic in Yellowknife, NWT, Canada, from historic and recent gold mine operations, are of increasing concern to Yellowknife residents. The study of arsenic in Yellowknife plants is a part of ongoing bioavailability and food chain research. A variety of plants from Yellowknife were analyzed for total arsenic and water soluble arsenic species. The plants included vascular plants and bryophytes (mosses). Total amounts of arsenic were greatest in mosses and varied greatly within specimens of the same plant species from different locations. Mostly inorganic arsenic species were extracted from plants using methanol/water (1:1). This result is very important from a toxicological point of view, since inorganic species are relatively toxic arsenic species. Small amounts of methylated arsenic species, as well as arsenosugars, were present in some plants. On average, greater than 50% of arsenic in these plants was not extracted; the chemical and toxicological characteristics of this fraction remain a topic for further study.

  1. Integrating Phytoextraction and Biofortification: Fungal Accumulation of Selenium in Plant Materials from Phytoremediation of Agricultural Drainage

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The phytomanagement of Se-polluted soil and water is one strategy that may be environmentally sustainable and cost-effective for soils and waters enriched with natural-occurring Se. Several plant species, including Indian mustard (Brassica juncea), pickleweed (Salicornia bigelovii), and other salt/S...

  2. Seasonal analysis of Rickettsia species in ticks in an agricultural site of Slovakia.

    PubMed

    Špitalská, Eva; Stanko, Michal; Mošanský, Ladislav; Kraljik, Jasna; Miklisová, Dana; Mahríková, Lenka; Bona, Martin; Kazimírová, Mária

    2016-03-01

    Many rickettsiae of the spotted fever group are emerging pathogens causing serious diseases associated with vertebrate hosts. Ixodidae ticks are known as their vectors. Investigation of the relative abundance of questing Ixodes ricinus and their infection with Rickettsia spp. in an agricultural site comprising a game reserve in Slovakia was the aim of this study. In total, 2198 I. ricinus (492 larvae, 1503 nymphs and 203 adults) were collected by flagging the vegetation along 100 m(2) transects in Rozhanovce (eastern Slovakia): 334, 595 and 1269 in 2011, 2012 and 2013, respectively. Considering questing nymphs and adults, the highest relative density of 81 individuals/100 m(2) was observed in May 2013, the lowest of 0.3 individuals/100 m(2) in March 2012. A total of 1056 ticks (853 nymphs, 100 females and 103 males; 2011: n = 329, 2012: n = 509 and 2013: n = 218) were individually screened by PCR-based methods for the presence of Rickettsia spp. The overall prevalences were 7.3% for nymphs, 15% for females, 7.8% for males; 7.0% in 2011, 8.4% in 2012, and 8.7% in 2013. The maximum prevalences were observed in July in nymphs and in May in adults. Sequencing showed infection with R. helvetica in 73 ticks (72.6% nymphs, 16.4% females, 11% males) and with R. monacensis in 11 ticks (8 nymphs, 3 females). The results showed the circulation of pathogenic Rickettsia species in the agricultural site and a potential risk for humans to encounter infected ticks.

  3. Multi-Season Regional Analysis of Multi-Species Occupancy: Implications for Bird Conservation in Agricultural Lands in East-Central Argentina

    PubMed Central

    Goijman, Andrea Paula; Conroy, Michael. J.; Bernardos, Jaime Nicolás; Zaccagnini, María Elena

    2015-01-01

    Rapid expansion and intensification of agriculture create challenges for the conservation of biodiversity and associated ecosystem services. In Argentina, the total row crop planted area has increased in recent decades with the expansion of soybean cultivation, homogenizing the landscape. In 2003 we started the first long-term, large-scale bird monitoring program in agroecosystems of central Argentina, in portions of the Pampas and Espinal ecoregions. Using data from this program, we evaluated the effect of land use and cover extent on birds between 2003-2012, accounting for imperfect detection probabilities using a Bayesian hierarchical, multi-species and multi-season occupancy model. We tested predictions that species diversity is positively related to habitat heterogeneity, which in intensified agroecosystems is thought to be mediated by food availability; thus the extent of land use and cover is predicted to affect foraging guilds differently. We also infer about ecosystem services provisioning and inform management recommendations for conservation of birds. Overall our results support the predictions. Although many species within each guild responded differently to land use and native forest cover, we identified generalities for most trophic guilds. For example, granivorous gleaners, ground insectivores and omnivores responded negatively to high proportions of soybean, while insectivore gleaners and aerial foragers seemed more tolerant. Habitat heterogeneity would likely benefit most species in an intensified agroecosystem, and can be achieved with a diversity of crops, pastures, and natural areas within the landscape. Although most studied species are insectivores, potentially beneficial for pest control, some guilds such as ground insectivores are poorly represented, suggesting that agricultural intensification reduces ecological functions, which may be recovered through management. Continuation of the bird monitoring program will allow us to continue to

  4. Multi-Season Regional Analysis of Multi-Species Occupancy: Implications for Bird Conservation in Agricultural Lands in East-Central Argentina.

    PubMed

    Goijman, Andrea Paula; Conroy, Michael J; Bernardos, Jaime Nicolás; Zaccagnini, María Elena

    2015-01-01

    Rapid expansion and intensification of agriculture create challenges for the conservation of biodiversity and associated ecosystem services. In Argentina, the total row crop planted area has increased in recent decades with the expansion of soybean cultivation, homogenizing the landscape. In 2003 we started the first long-term, large-scale bird monitoring program in agroecosystems of central Argentina, in portions of the Pampas and Espinal ecoregions. Using data from this program, we evaluated the effect of land use and cover extent on birds between 2003-2012, accounting for imperfect detection probabilities using a Bayesian hierarchical, multi-species and multi-season occupancy model. We tested predictions that species diversity is positively related to habitat heterogeneity, which in intensified agroecosystems is thought to be mediated by food availability; thus the extent of land use and cover is predicted to affect foraging guilds differently. We also infer about ecosystem services provisioning and inform management recommendations for conservation of birds. Overall our results support the predictions. Although many species within each guild responded differently to land use and native forest cover, we identified generalities for most trophic guilds. For example, granivorous gleaners, ground insectivores and omnivores responded negatively to high proportions of soybean, while insectivore gleaners and aerial foragers seemed more tolerant. Habitat heterogeneity would likely benefit most species in an intensified agroecosystem, and can be achieved with a diversity of crops, pastures, and natural areas within the landscape. Although most studied species are insectivores, potentially beneficial for pest control, some guilds such as ground insectivores are poorly represented, suggesting that agricultural intensification reduces ecological functions, which may be recovered through management. Continuation of the bird monitoring program will allow us to continue to

  5. Multi-Season Regional Analysis of Multi-Species Occupancy: Implications for Bird Conservation in Agricultural Lands in East-Central Argentina.

    PubMed

    Goijman, Andrea Paula; Conroy, Michael J; Bernardos, Jaime Nicolás; Zaccagnini, María Elena

    2015-01-01

    Rapid expansion and intensification of agriculture create challenges for the conservation of biodiversity and associated ecosystem services. In Argentina, the total row crop planted area has increased in recent decades with the expansion of soybean cultivation, homogenizing the landscape. In 2003 we started the first long-term, large-scale bird monitoring program in agroecosystems of central Argentina, in portions of the Pampas and Espinal ecoregions. Using data from this program, we evaluated the effect of land use and cover extent on birds between 2003-2012, accounting for imperfect detection probabilities using a Bayesian hierarchical, multi-species and multi-season occupancy model. We tested predictions that species diversity is positively related to habitat heterogeneity, which in intensified agroecosystems is thought to be mediated by food availability; thus the extent of land use and cover is predicted to affect foraging guilds differently. We also infer about ecosystem services provisioning and inform management recommendations for conservation of birds. Overall our results support the predictions. Although many species within each guild responded differently to land use and native forest cover, we identified generalities for most trophic guilds. For example, granivorous gleaners, ground insectivores and omnivores responded negatively to high proportions of soybean, while insectivore gleaners and aerial foragers seemed more tolerant. Habitat heterogeneity would likely benefit most species in an intensified agroecosystem, and can be achieved with a diversity of crops, pastures, and natural areas within the landscape. Although most studied species are insectivores, potentially beneficial for pest control, some guilds such as ground insectivores are poorly represented, suggesting that agricultural intensification reduces ecological functions, which may be recovered through management. Continuation of the bird monitoring program will allow us to continue to

  6. Variation in decomposition rates in the fynbos biome, South Africa: the role of plant species and plant stoichiometry.

    PubMed

    Bengtsson, Jan; Janion, Charlene; Chown, Steven L; Leinaas, Hans Petter

    2011-01-01

    Previous studies in the fynbos biome of the Western Cape, South Africa, have suggested that biological decomposition rates in the fynbos vegetation type, on poor soils, may be so low that fire is the main factor contributing to litter breakdown and nutrient release. However, the fynbos biome also comprises vegetation types on more fertile soils, such as the renosterveld. The latter is defined by the shrub Elytropappus rhinocerotis, while the shrub Galenia africana may become dominant in overgrazed areas. We examined decomposition of litter of these two species and the geophyte Watsonia borbonica in patches of renosterveld in an agricultural landscape. In particular, we sought to understand how plant species identity affects litter decomposition rates, especially through variation in litter stoichiometry. Decomposition (organic matter mass loss) varied greatly among the species, and was related to litter N and P content. G. africana, with highest nutrient content, lost 65% of its original mass after 180 days, while E. rhinocerotis had lost ca. 30%, and the very nutrient poor W. borbonica <10%. Litter placed under G. africana decomposed slightly faster than when placed under E. rhinocerotis. Over the course of the experiment, G. africana and E. rhinocerotis lost N and P, while W. borbonica showed strong accumulation of these elements. Decomposition rates of G. africana and E. rhinocerotis were substantially higher than those previously reported from fynbos vegetation, and variation among the species investigated was considerable. Our results suggest that fire may not always be the main factor contributing to litter breakdown and nutrient release in the fynbos biome. Thus, biological decomposition has likely been underestimated and, along with small-scale variation in ecosystem processes, would repay further study.

  7. Variation in decomposition rates in the fynbos biome, South Africa: the role of plant species and plant stoichiometry

    PubMed Central

    Janion, Charlene; Chown, Steven L.; Leinaas, Hans Petter

    2010-01-01

    Previous studies in the fynbos biome of the Western Cape, South Africa, have suggested that biological decomposition rates in the fynbos vegetation type, on poor soils, may be so low that fire is the main factor contributing to litter breakdown and nutrient release. However, the fynbos biome also comprises vegetation types on more fertile soils, such as the renosterveld. The latter is defined by the shrub Elytropappus rhinocerotis, while the shrub Galenia africana may become dominant in overgrazed areas. We examined decomposition of litter of these two species and the geophyte Watsonia borbonica in patches of renosterveld in an agricultural landscape. In particular, we sought to understand how plant species identity affects litter decomposition rates, especially through variation in litter stoichiometry. Decomposition (organic matter mass loss) varied greatly among the species, and was related to litter N and P content. G. africana, with highest nutrient content, lost 65% of its original mass after 180 days, while E. rhinocerotis had lost ca. 30%, and the very nutrient poor W. borbonica <10%. Litter placed under G. africana decomposed slightly faster than when placed under E. rhinocerotis. Over the course of the experiment, G. africana and E. rhinocerotis lost N and P, while W. borbonica showed strong accumulation of these elements. Decomposition rates of G. africana and E. rhinocerotis were substantially higher than those previously reported from fynbos vegetation, and variation among the species investigated was considerable. Our results suggest that fire may not always be the main factor contributing to litter breakdown and nutrient release in the fynbos biome. Thus, biological decomposition has likely been underestimated and, along with small-scale variation in ecosystem processes, would repay further study. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00442-010-1753-7) contains supplementary material, which is available

  8. The plant breeding industry after pure line theory: Lessons from the National Institute of Agricultural Botany.

    PubMed

    Berry, Dominic

    2014-06-01

    In the early twentieth century, Wilhelm Johannsen proposed his pure line theory and the genotype/phenotype distinction, work that is prized as one of the most important founding contributions to genetics and Mendelian plant breeding. Most historians have already concluded that pure line theory did not change breeding practices directly. Instead, breeding became more orderly as a consequence of pure line theory, which structured breeding programmes and eliminated external heritable influences. This incremental change then explains how and why the large multi-national seed companies that we know today were created; pure lines invited standardisation and economies of scale that the latter were designed to exploit. Rather than focus on breeding practice, this paper examines the plant varietal market itself. It focusses upon work conducted by the National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB) during the interwar years, and in doing so demonstrates that, on the contrary, the pure line was actually only partially accepted by the industry. Moreover, claims that contradicted the logic of the pure line were not merely tolerated by the agricultural geneticists affiliated with NIAB, but were acknowledged and legitimised by them. The history of how and why the plant breeding industry was transformed remains to be written. PMID:24650856

  9. The plant breeding industry after pure line theory: Lessons from the National Institute of Agricultural Botany.

    PubMed

    Berry, Dominic

    2014-06-01

    In the early twentieth century, Wilhelm Johannsen proposed his pure line theory and the genotype/phenotype distinction, work that is prized as one of the most important founding contributions to genetics and Mendelian plant breeding. Most historians have already concluded that pure line theory did not change breeding practices directly. Instead, breeding became more orderly as a consequence of pure line theory, which structured breeding programmes and eliminated external heritable influences. This incremental change then explains how and why the large multi-national seed companies that we know today were created; pure lines invited standardisation and economies of scale that the latter were designed to exploit. Rather than focus on breeding practice, this paper examines the plant varietal market itself. It focusses upon work conducted by the National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB) during the interwar years, and in doing so demonstrates that, on the contrary, the pure line was actually only partially accepted by the industry. Moreover, claims that contradicted the logic of the pure line were not merely tolerated by the agricultural geneticists affiliated with NIAB, but were acknowledged and legitimised by them. The history of how and why the plant breeding industry was transformed remains to be written.

  10. The Abundance of Pink-Pigmented Facultative Methylotrophs in the Root Zone of Plant Species in Invaded Coastal Sage Scrub Habitat

    PubMed Central

    Irvine, Irina C.; Brigham, Christy A.; Suding, Katharine N.; Martiny, Jennifer B. H.

    2012-01-01

    Pink-pigmented facultative methylotrophic bacteria (PPFMs) are associated with the roots, leaves and seeds of most terrestrial plants and utilize volatile C1 compounds such as methanol generated by growing plants during cell division. PPFMs have been well studied in agricultural systems due to their importance in crop seed germination, yield, pathogen resistance and drought stress tolerance. In contrast, little is known about the PPFM abundance and diversity in natural ecosystems, let alone their interactions with non-crop species. Here we surveyed PPFM abundance in the root zone soil of 5 native and 5 invasive plant species along ten invasion gradients in Southern California coastal sage scrub habitat. PPFMs were present in every soil sample and ranged in abundance from 102 to 105 CFU/g dry soil. This abundance varied significantly among plant species. PPFM abundance was 50% higher in the root zones of annual or biennial species (many invasives) than perennial species (all natives). Further, PPFM abundance appears to be influenced by the plant community beyond the root zone; pure stands of either native or invasive species had 50% more PPFMs than mixed species stands. In sum, PPFM abundance in the root zone of coastal sage scrub plants is influenced by both the immediate and surrounding plant communities. The results also suggest that PPFMs are a good target for future work on plant-microorganism feedbacks in natural ecosystems. PMID:22383990

  11. Comparative proteomic analysis of developing rhizomes of the ancient vascular plant Equisetum hyemale and different monocot species.

    PubMed

    Salvato, Fernanda; Balbuena, Tiago S; Nelson, William; Rao, R Shyama Prasad; He, Ruifeng; Soderlund, Carol A; Gang, David R; Thelen, Jay J

    2015-04-01

    The rhizome is responsible for the invasiveness and competitiveness of many plants with great economic and agricultural impact worldwide. Besides its value as an invasive organ, the rhizome plays a role in the establishment and massive growth of forage, providing biomass for biofuel production. Despite these features, little is known about the molecular mechanisms that contribute to rhizome growth, development, and function in plants. In this work, we characterized the proteome of rhizome apical tips and elongation zones from different species using a GeLC-MS/MS (one-dimensional electrophoresis in combination with liquid chromatography coupled online with tandem mass spectrometry) spectral-counting proteomics strategy. Five rhizomatous grasses and an ancient species were compared to study the protein regulation in rhizomes. An average of 2200 rhizome proteins per species were confidently identified and quantified. Rhizome-characteristic proteins showed similar functional distributions across all species analyzed. The over-representation of proteins associated with central roles in cellular, metabolic, and developmental processes indicated accelerated metabolism in growing rhizomes. Moreover, 61 rhizome-characteristic proteins appeared to be regulated similarly among analyzed plants. In addition, 36 showed conserved regulation between rhizome apical tips and elongation zones across species. These proteins were preferentially expressed in rhizome tissues regardless of the species analyzed, making them interesting candidates for more detailed investigative studies about their roles in rhizome development.

  12. Novel chemistry of invasive plants: exotic species have more unique metabolomic profiles than native congeners.

    PubMed

    Macel, Mirka; de Vos, Ric C H; Jansen, Jeroen J; van der Putten, Wim H; van Dam, Nicole M

    2014-07-01

    It is often assumed that exotic plants can become invasive when they possess novel secondary chemistry compared with native plants in the introduced range. Using untargeted metabolomic fingerprinting, we compared a broad range of metabolites of six successful exotic plant species and their native congeners of the family Asteraceae. Our results showed that plant chemistry is highly species-specific and diverse among both exotic and native species. Nonetheless, the exotic species had on average a higher total number of metabolites and more species-unique metabolites compared with their native congeners. Herbivory led to an overall increase in metabolites in all plant species. Generalist herbivore performance was lower on most of the exotic species compared with the native species. We conclude that high chemical diversity and large phytochemical uniqueness of the exotic species could be indicative of biological invasion potential. PMID:25077026

  13. Novel chemistry of invasive plants: exotic species have more unique metabolomic profiles than native congeners

    PubMed Central

    Macel, Mirka; de Vos, Ric C H; Jansen, Jeroen J; van der Putten, Wim H; van Dam, Nicole M

    2014-01-01

    It is often assumed that exotic plants can become invasive when they possess novel secondary chemistry compared with native plants in the introduced range. Using untargeted metabolomic fingerprinting, we compared a broad range of metabolites of six successful exotic plant species and their native congeners of the family Asteraceae. Our results showed that plant chemistry is highly species-specific and diverse among both exotic and native species. Nonetheless, the exotic species had on average a higher total number of metabolites and more species-unique metabolites compared with their native congeners. Herbivory led to an overall increase in metabolites in all plant species. Generalist herbivore performance was lower on most of the exotic species compared with the native species. We conclude that high chemical diversity and large phytochemical uniqueness of the exotic species could be indicative of biological invasion potential. PMID:25077026

  14. Productivity is a poor predictor of plant species richness

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Adler, Peter B.; Seabloom, Eric W.; Borer, Elizabeth T.; Hillebrand, Helmut; Hautier, Yann; Hector, Andy; Harpole, W. Stanley; O'Halloran, Lydia R.; Grace, James B.; Anderson, T. Michael; Bakker, Jonathan D.; Biederman, Lori A.; Brown, Cynthia S.; Buckley, Yvonne M.; Calabrese, Laura B.; Chu, Cheng-Jin; Cleland, Elsa E.; Collins, Scott L.; Cottingham, Kathryn L.; Crawley, Michael J.; Damschen, Ellen Ingman; Davies, Kendi F.; DeCrappeo, Nicole M.; Fay, Philip A.; Firn, Jennifer; Frater, Paul; Gasarch, Eve I.; Gruner, Daneil S.; Hagenah, Nicole; Lambers, Janneke Hille Ris; Humphries, Hope; Jin, Virginia L.; Kay, Adam D.; Kirkman, Kevin P.; Klein, Julia A.; Knops, Johannes M.H.; La Pierre, Kimberly J.; Lambrinos, John G.; Li, Wei; MacDougall, Andrew S.; McCulley, Rebecca L.; Melbourne, Brett A.; Mitchell, Charles E.; Moore, Joslin L.; Morgan, John W.; Mortensen, Brent; Orrock, John L.; Prober, Suzanne M.; Pyke, David A.; Risch, Anita C.; Schuetz, Martin; Smith, Melinda D.; Stevens, Carly J.; Sullivan, Lauren L.; Wang, Gang; Wragg, Peter D.; Wright, Justin P.; Yang, Louie H.

    2011-01-01

    For more than 30 years, the relationship between net primary productivity and species richness has generated intense debate in ecology about the processes regulating local diversity. The original view, which is still widely accepted, holds that the relationship is hump-shaped, with richness first rising and then declining with increasing productivity. Although recent meta-analyses questioned the generality of hump-shaped patterns, these syntheses have been criticized for failing to account for methodological differences among studies. We addressed such concerns by conducting standardized sampling in 48 herbaceous-dominated plant communities on five continents. We found no clear relationship between productivity and fine-scale (meters-2) richness within sites, within regions, or across the globe. Ecologists should focus on fresh, mechanistic approaches to understanding the multivariate links between productivity an

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manes, Fausto; Seufert, Günther; Vitale, Marcello

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

  16. Productivity Is a Poor Predictor of Plant Species Richness.

    SciTech Connect

    Peter B. Adler; et al.

    2011-09-22

    For more than 30 years, the relationship between net primary productivity and species richness has generated intense debate in ecology about the processes regulating local diversity. The original view, which is still widely accepted, holds that the relationship is hump-shaped, with richness first rising and then declining with increasing productivity. Although recent meta-analyses questioned the generality of hump-shaped patterns, these syntheses have been criticized for failing to account for methodological differences among studies. We addressed such concerns by conducting standardized sampling in 48 herbaceous-dominated plant communities on five continents. We found no clear relationship between productivity and fine-scale (meters-2) richness within sites, within regions, or across the globe. Ecologists should focus on fresh, mechanistic approaches to understanding the multivariate links between productivity and richness.

  17. Dielectric spectroscopic studies on the water hyacinth plant collected from agriculture drainage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahani, Ragab; Atia, Fatma; Al Neklawy, Mohammed M.; Fahem, Amin

    2016-06-01

    The present paper aims to investigate the sensitivity of dielectric spectroscopy to changes in concentrations of pollutants (heavy metals and metal oxides) uptake by the water hyacinth plant collected from agriculture wastewater drainage. The measurements were carried out on the dried root and shoot plant parts before and after subjecting to different microwave heating powers for different times. Dielectric properties of the untreated root were investigated at temperature range (30-90 °C). X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF) results showed that the concentration of metals and metals oxides are higher in plant root than in plant shoot. Accordingly, the obtained dielectric properties were found to depend on the applied electric field frequency, magnitude of heating power as well as concentrations of pollutants. Analysis of experimental data represented by the imaginary part of the dielectric modulus M″ (ω) revealed to the presence of three different relaxation processes. The lower frequency relaxation process was associated to charge carriers conduction whereas those appeared at higher frequencies were associated to different types of interfacial polarization. The plant ability for removing heavy metals and metal oxides from the aquatic environments would be enhanced upon subjecting to microwave heating power with 400 W for 30 min.

  18. Dielectric spectroscopic studies on the water hyacinth plant collected from agriculture drainage.

    PubMed

    Mahani, Ragab; Atia, Fatma; Al Neklawy, Mohammed M; Fahem, Amin

    2016-06-01

    The present paper aims to investigate the sensitivity of dielectric spectroscopy to changes in concentrations of pollutants (heavy metals and metal oxides) uptake by the water hyacinth plant collected from agriculture wastewater drainage. The measurements were carried out on the dried root and shoot plant parts before and after subjecting to different microwave heating powers for different times. Dielectric properties of the untreated root were investigated at temperature range (30-90°C). X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF) results showed that the concentration of metals and metals oxides are higher in plant root than in plant shoot. Accordingly, the obtained dielectric properties were found to depend on the applied electric field frequency, magnitude of heating power as well as concentrations of pollutants. Analysis of experimental data represented by the imaginary part of the dielectric modulus M″ (ω) revealed to the presence of three different relaxation processes. The lower frequency relaxation process was associated to charge carriers conduction whereas those appeared at higher frequencies were associated to different types of interfacial polarization. The plant ability for removing heavy metals and metal oxides from the aquatic environments would be enhanced upon subjecting to microwave heating power with 400 W for 30 min. PMID:26985876

  19. Effects of coal-fired thermal power plant discharges on agricultural soil and crop plants

    SciTech Connect

    Ajmal, M.; Khan, M.A.

    1986-04-01

    The physicochemical properties of the upstream and downstream waters from the Upper Ganga canal, discharged cooling tower water, machine washings, and scrubber and bottom ash effluents of a 530 MW Kasimpur coal-fired thermal power plant have been determined, and their effects directly on fertile soil and indirectly on pea (Pisum sativam) and wheat (Triticum aestivum) crops have also been studied. The effluents were alkaline in nature. The scrubber and bottom ash effluent contained large amounts of solids and had high biochemical and chemical oxygen demands. The soils irrigated with the different effluents exhibited an increase in pH, organic matter, calcium carbonate, water-soluble salts, cation exchange capacity, electrical conductivity, and nitrogen and phosphorus contents while potassium content decreased. The effects of 100, 50, and 0% (tap water control) dilutions of cooling tower, machine washings, and scrubber and bottom ash effluents on the germination and growth of pea and wheat crops were also monitored. Using the undiluted effluents, there was 100% germination for both crops when irrigation was done with cooling tower effluent. Germination was restricted to 90% for the two crops when irrigated with machine washings effluent, and to 80 and 70% for pea and wheat, respectively, when irrigated with scrubber and bottom ash effluent. Samples of upstream and downstream canal water were also used for irrigating soils with and without crop plants in order to ascertain the impact of effluents on canal water and its subsequent effect on crops. The soils irrigated with downstream canal water were found to contain slightly more calcium carbonate, phosphorus, and ammonia-nitrogen than those receiving upstream canal water. Though 100% germination was obtained in both cases, the growth of plants irrigated with the downstream canal water was slightly reduced.

  20. Plant ecology. Worldwide evidence of a unimodal relationship between productivity and plant species richness.

    PubMed

    Fraser, Lauchlan H; Pither, Jason; Jentsch, Anke; Sternberg, Marcelo; Zobel, Martin; Askarizadeh, Diana; Bartha, Sandor; Beierkuhnlein, Carl; Bennett, Jonathan A; Bittel, Alex; Boldgiv, Bazartseren; Boldrini, Ilsi I; Bork, Edward; Brown, Leslie; Cabido, Marcelo; Cahill, James; Carlyle, Cameron N; Campetella, Giandiego; Chelli, Stefano; Cohen, Ofer; Csergo, Anna-Maria; Díaz, Sandra; Enrico, Lucas; Ensing, David; Fidelis, Alessandra; Fridley, Jason D; Foster, Bryan; Garris, Heath; Goheen, Jacob R; Henry, Hugh A L; Hohn, Maria; Jouri, Mohammad Hassan; Klironomos, John; Koorem, Kadri; Lawrence-Lodge, Rachael; Long, Ruijun; Manning, Pete; Mitchell, Randall; Moora, Mari; Müller, Sandra C; Nabinger, Carlos; Naseri, Kamal; Overbeck, Gerhard E; Palmer, Todd M; Parsons, Sheena; Pesek, Mari; Pillar, Valério D; Pringle, Robert M; Roccaforte, Kathy; Schmidt, Amanda; Shang, Zhanhuan; Stahlmann, Reinhold; Stotz, Gisela C; Sugiyama, Shu-ichi; Szentes, Szilárd; Thompson, Don; Tungalag, Radnaakhand; Undrakhbold, Sainbileg; van Rooyen, Margaretha; Wellstein, Camilla; Wilson, J Bastow; Zupo, Talita

    2015-07-17

    The search for predictions of species diversity across environmental gradients has challenged ecologists for decades. The humped-back model (HBM) suggests that plant diversity peaks at intermediate productivity; at low productivity few species can tolerate the environmental stresses, and at high productivity a few highly competitive species dominate. Over time the HBM has become increasingly controversial, and recent studies claim to have refuted it. Here, by using data from coordinated surveys conducted throughout grasslands worldwide and comprising a wide range of site productivities, we provide evidence in support of the HBM pattern at both global and regional extents. The relationships described here provide a foundation for further research into the local, landscape, and historical factors that maintain biodiversity.

  1. Plant ecology. Worldwide evidence of a unimodal relationship between productivity and plant species richness.

    PubMed

    Fraser, Lauchlan H; Pither, Jason; Jentsch, Anke; Sternberg, Marcelo; Zobel, Martin; Askarizadeh, Diana; Bartha, Sandor; Beierkuhnlein, Carl; Bennett, Jonathan A; Bittel, Alex; Boldgiv, Bazartseren; Boldrini, Ilsi I; Bork, Edward; Brown, Leslie; Cabido, Marcelo; Cahill, James; Carlyle, Cameron N; Campetella, Giandiego; Chelli, Stefano; Cohen, Ofer; Csergo, Anna-Maria; Díaz, Sandra; Enrico, Lucas; Ensing, David; Fidelis, Alessandra; Fridley, Jason D; Foster, Bryan; Garris, Heath; Goheen, Jacob R; Henry, Hugh A L; Hohn, Maria; Jouri, Mohammad Hassan; Klironomos, John; Koorem, Kadri; Lawrence-Lodge, Rachael; Long, Ruijun; Manning, Pete; Mitchell, Randall; Moora, Mari; Müller, Sandra C; Nabinger, Carlos; Naseri, Kamal; Overbeck, Gerhard E; Palmer, Todd M; Parsons, Sheena; Pesek, Mari; Pillar, Valério D; Pringle, Robert M; Roccaforte, Kathy; Schmidt, Amanda; Shang, Zhanhuan; Stahlmann, Reinhold; Stotz, Gisela C; Sugiyama, Shu-ichi; Szentes, Szilárd; Thompson, Don; Tungalag, Radnaakhand; Undrakhbold, Sainbileg; van Rooyen, Margaretha; Wellstein, Camilla; Wilson, J Bastow; Zupo, Talita

    2015-07-17

    The search for predictions of species diversity across environmental gradients has challenged ecologists for decades. The humped-back model (HBM) suggests that plant diversity peaks at intermediate productivity; at low productivity few species can tolerate the environmental stresses, and at high productivity a few highly competitive species dominate. Over time the HBM has become increasingly controversial, and recent studies claim to have refuted it. Here, by using data from coordinated surveys conducted throughout grasslands worldwide and comprising a wide range of site productivities, we provide evidence in support of the HBM pattern at both global and regional extents. The relationships described here provide a foundation for further research into the local, landscape, and historical factors that maintain biodiversity. PMID:26185249

  2. NEEM: UNUSUALLY VERSATILE PLANT GENUS AZADIRACHTA WITH MANY USEFUL AND SO FAR INSUFFICIENTLY EXPLOITED PROPERTIES FOR AGRICULTURE, MEDICINE, AND INDUSTRY.

    PubMed

    Hummel, H E; Langner, S S; Leithold, G; Schmutterer, H

    2014-01-01

    Neem plants (Rutales: Meliaceae) are well known for their multitude of human benefits in various fields. Specifically well investigated are the Indian neem tree Azadirachta indica A. Juss., the Thai neem A. siamensis Val., the originally Malaysian/Philippinean neem A. excelsa (Jack) and, as a close relative, the Persian lilac, Melia azedarach. The major and most active natural products are azadirachtin, salannin, nimbin and marrangin from Azadirachta species, and azadirachtin analogues like meliantriol from Melia species. Neem fruits, leaves, bark, and roots have specific virtues. They have been traditionally exploited for a considerable part of human history and are documented in Sanskrit texts. Due to human activity in trade and travel both at land and sea, the plant species has been distributed around the globe and is cultivated in many tropical, and subtropical regions. A multitude of natural products of neem have been isolated, chemically characterized or identified, and investigated for their properties in the management of insects, Acarina, Crustacea, nematodes, bacteria, fungi, viruses and soil fertility (for reviews see Kraus, 2002; Schmutterer, 2002A; Rembold, 2002; Koul, 2004; Schmutterer and Huber, 2005; Kleeberg and Strang, 2009; Hummel et al., 2008, 2011, 2012). Neem products are virtually nontoxic, compatible with beneficial insects, pollinators and bees. They are environmentally benign, sustainable, renewable, and of a price affordable for developed countries. In conclusion, neem is a prime example of a natural resource with many beneficial applications in agriculture, human and veterinary medicine. So far, its use is practically free of resistance problems which are frustratingly prevalent in many areas of synthetic insecticide and drug development. Investigating more neem applications will increase future human welfare and health while being of general ecological benefit to the planet. PMID:26084100

  3. NEEM: UNUSUALLY VERSATILE PLANT GENUS AZADIRACHTA WITH MANY USEFUL AND SO FAR INSUFFICIENTLY EXPLOITED PROPERTIES FOR AGRICULTURE, MEDICINE, AND INDUSTRY.

    PubMed

    Hummel, H E; Langner, S S; Leithold, G; Schmutterer, H

    2014-01-01

    Neem plants (Rutales: Meliaceae) are well known for their multitude of human benefits in various fields. Specifically well investigated are the Indian neem tree Azadirachta indica A. Juss., the Thai neem A. siamensis Val., the originally Malaysian/Philippinean neem A. excelsa (Jack) and, as a close relative, the Persian lilac, Melia azedarach. The major and most active natural products are azadirachtin, salannin, nimbin and marrangin from Azadirachta species, and azadirachtin analogues like meliantriol from Melia species. Neem fruits, leaves, bark, and roots have specific virtues. They have been traditionally exploited for a considerable part of human history and are documented in Sanskrit texts. Due to human activity in trade and travel both at land and sea, the plant species has been distributed around the globe and is cultivated in many tropical, and subtropical regions. A multitude of natural products of neem have been isolated, chemically characterized or identified, and investigated for their properties in the management of insects, Acarina, Crustacea, nematodes, bacteria, fungi, viruses and soil fertility (for reviews see Kraus, 2002; Schmutterer, 2002A; Rembold, 2002; Koul, 2004; Schmutterer and Huber, 2005; Kleeberg and Strang, 2009; Hummel et al., 2008, 2011, 2012). Neem products are virtually nontoxic, compatible with beneficial insects, pollinators and bees. They are environmentally benign, sustainable, renewable, and of a price affordable for developed countries. In conclusion, neem is a prime example of a natural resource with many beneficial applications in agriculture, human and veterinary medicine. So far, its use is practically free of resistance problems which are frustratingly prevalent in many areas of synthetic insecticide and drug development. Investigating more neem applications will increase future human welfare and health while being of general ecological benefit to the planet.

  4. Positive effects of plant genotypic and species diversity on anti-herbivore defenses in a tropical tree species.

    PubMed

    Moreira, Xoaquín; Abdala-Roberts, Luis; Parra-Tabla, Víctor; Mooney, Kailen A

    2014-01-01

    Despite increasing evidence that plant intra- and inter-specific diversity increases primary productivity, and that such effect may in turn cascade up to influence herbivores, there is little information about plant diversity effects on plant anti-herbivore defenses, the relative importance of different sources of plant diversity, and the mechanisms for such effects. For example, increased plant growth at high diversity may lead to reduced investment in defenses via growth-defense trade-offs. Alternatively, positive effects of plant diversity on plant growth may lead to increased herbivore abundance which in turn leads to a greater investment in plant defenses. The magnitude of trait variation underlying diversity effects is usually greater among species than among genotypes within a given species, so plant species diversity effects on resource use by producers as well as on higher trophic levels should be stronger than genotypic diversity effects. Here we compared the relative importance of plant genotypic and species diversity on anti-herbivore defenses and whether such effects are mediated indirectly via diversity effects on plant growth and/or herbivore damage. To this end, we performed a large-scale field experiment where we manipulated genotypic diversity of big-leaf mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla) and tree species diversity, and measured effects on mahogany growth, damage by the stem-boring specialist caterpillar Hypsipyla grandella, and defensive traits (polyphenolics and condensed tannins in stem and leaves). We found that both forms of plant diversity had positive effects on stem (but not leaf) defenses. However, neither source of diversity influenced mahogany growth, and diversity effects on defenses were not mediated by either growth-defense trade-offs or changes in stem-borer damage. Although the mechanism(s) of diversity effects on plant defenses are yet to be determined, our study is one of the few to test for and show producer diversity effects on

  5. Positive Effects of Plant Genotypic and Species Diversity on Anti-Herbivore Defenses in a Tropical Tree Species

    PubMed Central

    Moreira, Xoaquín; Abdala-Roberts, Luis; Parra-Tabla, Víctor; Mooney, Kailen A.

    2014-01-01

    Despite increasing evidence that plant intra- and inter-specific diversity increases primary productivity, and that such effect may in turn cascade up to influence herbivores, there is little information about plant diversity effects on plant anti-herbivore defenses, the relative importance of different sources of plant diversity, and the mechanisms for such effects. For example, increased plant growth at high diversity may lead to reduced investment in defenses via growth-defense trade-offs. Alternatively, positive effects of plant diversity on plant growth may lead to increased herbivore abundance which in turn leads to a greater investment in plant defenses. The magnitude of trait variation underlying diversity effects is usually greater among species than among genotypes within a given species, so plant species diversity effects on resource use by producers as well as on higher trophic levels should be stronger than genotypic diversity effects. Here we compared the relative importance of plant genotypic and species diversity on anti-herbivore defenses and whether such effects are mediated indirectly via diversity effects on plant growth and/or herbivore damage. To this end, we performed a large-scale field experiment where we manipulated genotypic diversity of big-leaf mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla) and tree species diversity, and measured effects on mahogany growth, damage by the stem-boring specialist caterpillar Hypsipyla grandella, and defensive traits (polyphenolics and condensed tannins in stem and leaves). We found that both forms of plant diversity had positive effects on stem (but not leaf) defenses. However, neither source of diversity influenced mahogany growth, and diversity effects on defenses were not mediated by either growth-defense trade-offs or changes in stem-borer damage. Although the mechanism(s) of diversity effects on plant defenses are yet to be determined, our study is one of the few to test for and show producer diversity effects on

  6. BOREAL FOREST CARBON STOCKS AND WOOD SUPPLY: PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE RESPONSES TO CHANGING CLIMATE, AGRICULTURE AND SPECIES AVAILABILITY

    EPA Science Inventory

    The paper assesses the role in boreal forest growth played by environment. It examines past changes in climate coupled with glaciation, and future changes in climate coupled with agricultural land use and tree species availability. The objective was to define and evaluate potenti...

  7. Phytophthora niederhauserii sp. nov., a polyphagous species associated with ornamentals, fruit trees and native plants in 13 countries.

    PubMed

    Abad, Z Gloria; Abad, Jorge A; Cacciola, Santa Olga; Pane, Antonella; Faedda, Roberto; Moralejo, Eduardo; Pérez-Sierra, Ana; Abad-Campos, Paloma; Alvarez-Bernaola, Luis A; Bakonyi, József; Józsa, András; Herrero, Maria Luz; Burgess, Treena I; Cunnington, James H; Smith, Ian W; Balci, Yilmaz; Blomquist, Cheryl; Henricot, Béatrice; Denton, Geoffrey; Spies, Chris; Mcleod, Adele; Belbahri, Lassaad; Cooke, David; Kageyama, Koji; Uematsu, Seiji; Kurbetli, Ilker; Değirmenci, Kemal

    2014-01-01

    A non-papillate, heterothallic Phytophthora species first isolated in 2001 and subsequently from symptomatic roots, crowns and stems of 33 plant species in 25 unrelated botanical families from 13 countries is formally described here as a new species. Symptoms on various hosts included crown and stem rot, chlorosis, wilting, leaf blight, cankers and gumming. This species was isolated from Australia, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Taiwan, Turkey, the United Kingdom and United States in association with shrubs and herbaceous ornamentals grown mainly in greenhouses. The most prevalent hosts are English ivy (Hedera helix) and Cistus (Cistus salvifolius). The association of the species with acorn banksia (Banksia prionotes) plants in natural ecosystems in Australia, in affected vineyards (Vitis vinifera) in South Africa and almond (Prunus dulcis) trees in Spain and Turkey in addition to infection of shrubs and herbaceous ornamentals in a broad range of unrelated families are a sign of a wide ecological adaptation of the species and its potential threat to agricultural and natural ecosystems. The morphology of the persistent non-papillate ellipsoid sporangia, unique toruloid lobate hyphal swellings and amphigynous antheridia does not match any of the described species. Phylogenetic analysis based on sequences of the ITS rDNA, EF-1α, and β-tub supported that this organism is a hitherto unknown species. It is closely related to species in ITS clade 7b with the most closely related species being P. sojae. The name Phytophthora niederhauserii has been used in previous studies without the formal description of the holotype. This name is validated in this manuscript with the formal description of Phytophthora niederhauserii Z.G. Abad et J.A. Abad, sp. nov. The name is coined to honor Dr John S. Niederhauser, a notable plant pathologist and the 1990 World Food Prize laureate.

  8. Phytophthora niederhauserii sp. nov., a polyphagous species associated with ornamentals, fruit trees and native plants in 13 countries.

    PubMed

    Abad, Z Gloria; Abad, Jorge A; Cacciola, Santa Olga; Pane, Antonella; Faedda, Roberto; Moralejo, Eduardo; Pérez-Sierra, Ana; Abad-Campos, Paloma; Alvarez-Bernaola, Luis A; Bakonyi, József; Józsa, András; Herrero, Maria Luz; Burgess, Treena I; Cunnington, James H; Smith, Ian W; Balci, Yilmaz; Blomquist, Cheryl; Henricot, Béatrice; Denton, Geoffrey; Spies, Chris; Mcleod, Adele; Belbahri, Lassaad; Cooke, David; Kageyama, Koji; Uematsu, Seiji; Kurbetli, Ilker; Değirmenci, Kemal

    2014-01-01

    A non-papillate, heterothallic Phytophthora species first isolated in 2001 and subsequently from symptomatic roots, crowns and stems of 33 plant species in 25 unrelated botanical families from 13 countries is formally described here as a new species. Symptoms on various hosts included crown and stem rot, chlorosis, wilting, leaf blight, cankers and gumming. This species was isolated from Australia, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Taiwan, Turkey, the United Kingdom and United States in association with shrubs and herbaceous ornamentals grown mainly in greenhouses. The most prevalent hosts are English ivy (Hedera helix) and Cistus (Cistus salvifolius). The association of the species with acorn banksia (Banksia prionotes) plants in natural ecosystems in Australia, in affected vineyards (Vitis vinifera) in South Africa and almond (Prunus dulcis) trees in Spain and Turkey in addition to infection of shrubs and herbaceous ornamentals in a broad range of unrelated families are a sign of a wide ecological adaptation of the species and its potential threat to agricultural and natural ecosystems. The morphology of the persistent non-papillate ellipsoid sporangia, unique toruloid lobate hyphal swellings and amphigynous antheridia does not match any of the described species. Phylogenetic analysis based on sequences of the ITS rDNA, EF-1α, and β-tub supported that this organism is a hitherto unknown species. It is closely related to species in ITS clade 7b with the most closely related species being P. sojae. The name Phytophthora niederhauserii has been used in previous studies without the formal description of the holotype. This name is validated in this manuscript with the formal description of Phytophthora niederhauserii Z.G. Abad et J.A. Abad, sp. nov. The name is coined to honor Dr John S. Niederhauser, a notable plant pathologist and the 1990 World Food Prize laureate. PMID:24871599

  9. Species area relationships in mediterranean-climate plant communities

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2003-01-01

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

  10. Endangered and threatened plant species on the Department of Energy Oak Ridge Reservation: an update

    SciTech Connect

    Parr, P.D.

    1984-10-01

    Plant species considered endangered or threatened on the Department of Energy-Oak Ridge Reservation (DOE-ORR) were identified through a review of pertinent literature and evaluation of herbarium voucher specimens. Thirteen plant species are on the official Tennessee list of endangered and threatened plants. Three of those species have been proposed for inclusion on the Federal list as rare in Tennessee. These rare plants will be given careful consideration in land-use planning. Protection of endangered and threatened species in their native habitat is considered the best method of ensuring their survival. In addition to habitat preservation, natural history studies of the rare species is important in determ

  11. Response of xylem-feeding leafhopper to host plant species and plant quality.

    PubMed

    Rossi, A M; Brodbeck, B V; Strong, D R

    1996-04-01

    Carneocephala floridana, an oligophagous leafhopper that inhabits the salt marshes along the coasts of Florida, utilizesBorrichia frutescens andSalicornia virginica (both herbs) as primary summer hosts, but uses two grasses,Distichlis spicata andSpartina alterniflora, during the winter. We tested whether the seasonal patterns of abundance and apparent host-switching byCarneocephala are related to plant quality. In laboratory experiments, nymphs ofCarneocephala reared on nonfertilized control plants of the two herbs produced adults that were similar in size to field-collected insects. OnlyCarneocephala raised at the lowest densities onSpartina andDistichlis from the highest fertilizer treatments produced adults similar in body mass to those reared on nonfertilizedBorrichia andSalicornia. ForDistichlis, superior quality (high foliar nitrogen) plants were able to mitigate the negative effect of nymphal crowding on adult body mass. However, laboratory fertilization regimes produced an extremely high foliar nitrogen content in the two herbs and the organic acid concentration in the xylem fluid ofBorrichia, the only host species suitable for xylem fluid extraction, increased 2.5- to 3-fold. Total amino acid concentration in the xylem fluid of fertilizedBorrichia decreased compared to nonfertilized plants.Carneocephala demonstrated reduced feeding efficiencies on high nitrogenBorrichia. Our results suggest thatCarneocephala prefers, and performs better on, plants with high nitrogen content up to a threshold, beyond which high nitrogen levels result in reduced leafhopper feeding rates and assimilation efficiencies.

  12. Effects of coal-fired thermal power plant discharges on agricultural soil and crop plants.

    PubMed

    Ajmal, M; Khan, M A

    1986-04-01

    The physicochemical properties of the upstream and downstream waters from the Upper Ganga canal, discharged cooling tower water, machine washings, and scrubber and bottom ash effluents of a 530 MW Kasimpur coal-fired thermal power plant have been determined, and their effects directly on fertile soil and indirectly on pea (Pisum sativam) and wheat (Triticum aestivum) crops have also been studied. The effluents were found to be alkaline in nature. The scrubber and bottom ash effluent was found to contain large amounts of solids and had high biochemical and chemical oxygen demands. All the effluents were found to be responsible for altering the chemical composition of the soil. The soils irrigated with the different effluents exhibited an increase in pH, organic matter, calcium carbonate, water-soluble salts, cation exchange capacity, electrical conductivity, and nitrogen and phosphorus contents while potassium content decreased, probably due to being leached to the lower layers of the soil. The effects of 100, 50, and 0% (tap water control) dilutions of cooling tower, machine washings, and scrubber and bottom ash effluents on the germination and growth of pea and wheat crops were also monitored. Using the undiluted effluents, there was 100% germination for both the crops when the irrigation was done with cooling tower effluent. The germination was restricted to 90% for the two crops when irrigated with machine washings effluent, and to 80 and 70% for pea and wheat, respectively, when irrigated with scrubber and bottom ash effluent. The samples of upstream and downstream canal water were also used for irrigating soils with and without crop plants in order to ascertain the impact of the effluents on the canal water and its subsequent effect on the crops. The soils irrigated with downstream canal water were found to contain slightly more calcium carbonate, phosphorus, and ammonia-nitrogen than those receiving upstream canal water. Though 100% germination was obtained

  13. Plant species invasions along the latitudinal gradient in the United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stohlgren, T.J.; Barnett, D.; Flather, C.; Kartesz, J.; Peterjohn, B.

    2005-01-01

    It has been long established that the richness of vascular plant species and many animal taxa decreases with increasing latitude, a pattern that very generally follows declines in actual and potential evapotranspiration, solar radiation, temperature, and thus, total productivity. Using county-level data on vascular plants from the United States (3000 counties in the conterminous 48 states), we used the Akaike Information Criterion (AIC) to evaluate competing models predicting native and nonnative plant species density (number of species per square kilometer in a county) from various combinations of biotic variables (e.g., native bird species density, vegetation carbon, normalized difference vegetation index), environmental/topographic variables (elevation, variation in elevation, the number of land cover classes in the county; radiation, mean precipitation, actual evapotranspiration, and potential evapotranspiration), and human variables (human population density, crop-land, and percentage of disturbed lands in a county). We found no evidence of a latitudinal gradient for the density of native plant species and a significant, slightly positive latitudinal gradient for the density of nonnative plant species. We found stronger evidence of a significant, positive productivity gradient (vegetation carbon) for the density of native plant species and nonnative plant species. We found much stronger significant relationships when biotic, environmental/topographic, and human variables were used to predict native plant species density and nonnative plant species density. Biotic variables generally had far greater influence in multivariate models than human or environmental/topographic variables. Later, we found that the best, single, positive predictor of the density of nonnative plant species in a county was the density of native plant species in a county. While further study is needed, it may be that, while humans facilitate the initial establishment invasions of nonnative

  14. Occurrence of an herbicide-resistant plant trait in agricultural field margins.

    PubMed

    Gage, Karla L; Gibson, David J; Young, Bryan G; Young, Julie M; Matthews, Joseph L; Weller, Stephen C; Wilson, Robert G

    2015-09-01

    Agricultural environments allow study of evolutionary change in plants. An example of evolution within agroecological systems is the selection for resistance to the herbicide glyphosate within the weed, Conyza canadensis. Changes in survivorship and reproduction associated with the development of glyphosate resistance (GR) may impact fitness and influence the frequency of occurrence of the GR trait. We hypothesized that site characteristics and history would affect the occurrence of GR C. canadensis in field margins. We surveyed GR occurrence in field margins and asked whether there were correlations between GR occurrence and location, crop rotation, GR crop trait rotation, crop type, use of tillage, and the diversity of herbicides used. In a field experiment, we hypothesized that there would be no difference in fitness between GR and glyphosate-susceptible (GS) plants. We asked whether there were differences in survivorship, phenology, reproduction, and herbivory between 2 GR and 2 GS populations of C. canadensis in agrestal and ruderal habitats. We found that geographic location was an important factor in the occurrence of GR C. canadensis in field margins. Although not consistently associated with either glyphosate resistance or glyphosate susceptibility, there were differences in phenology, survivorship, and herbivory among biotypes of C. canadensis. We found equal or greater fitness in GR biotypes, compared to GS biotypes, and GR plants were present in field margins. Field margins or ruderal habitats may provide refugia for GR C. canadensis, allowing reproduction and further selection to occur as seeds recolonize the agrestal habitat. Agricultural practices may select for ecological changes that feed back into the evolution of plants in ruderal habitats. PMID:26445665

  15. Occurrence of an herbicide-resistant plant trait in agricultural field margins.

    PubMed

    Gage, Karla L; Gibson, David J; Young, Bryan G; Young, Julie M; Matthews, Joseph L; Weller, Stephen C; Wilson, Robert G

    2015-09-01

    Agricultural environments allow study of evolutionary change in plants. An example of evolution within agroecological systems is the selection for resistance to the herbicide glyphosate within the weed, Conyza canadensis. Changes in survivorship and reproduction associated with the development of glyphosate resistance (GR) may impact fitness and influence the frequency of occurrence of the GR trait. We hypothesized that site characteristics and history would affect the occurrence of GR C. canadensis in field margins. We surveyed GR occurrence in field margins and asked whether there were correlations between GR occurrence and location, crop rotation, GR crop trait rotation, crop type, use of tillage, and the diversity of herbicides used. In a field experiment, we hypothesized that there would be no difference in fitness between GR and glyphosate-susceptible (GS) plants. We asked whether there were differences in survivorship, phenology, reproduction, and herbivory between 2 GR and 2 GS populations of C. canadensis in agrestal and ruderal habitats. We found that geographic location was an important factor in the occurrence of GR C. canadensis in field margins. Although not consistently associated with either glyphosate resistance or glyphosate susceptibility, there were differences in phenology, survivorship, and herbivory among biotypes of C. canadensis. We found equal or greater fitness in GR biotypes, compared to GS biotypes, and GR plants were present in field margins. Field margins or ruderal habitats may provide refugia for GR C. canadensis, allowing reproduction and further selection to occur as seeds recolonize the agrestal habitat. Agricultural practices may select for ecological changes that feed back into the evolution of plants in ruderal habitats.

  16. Influence of planting grass filter strips on the structure and function of riparian habitats of agricultural headwater streams

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Grass filter strips are strips of cool or warm season grasses planted adjacent to agricultural streams to reduce nutrient, pesticide, and sediment input. This conservation practice is the most frequently planted riparian buffer type in the United States. Previous studies have not evaluated how gra...

  17. Combined hydrogen and carbon isotopes of plant waxes as an indicator of drought impacts on ancient Maya agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Douglas, P. M.; Pagani, M.; Eglinton, T. I.; Brenner, M.; Hodell, D. A.; Curtis, J. H.

    2012-12-01

    There is increasing evidence suggesting that a series of droughts in the Yucatan Peninsula coincided with the Terminal Classic decline of the Classic Maya civilization (ca. 1250 to 1000 years BP). However, there is little evidence directly linking climatic change and changes in human activities in this region. In this study we combine plant-wax δD, δ13C, and Δ14C analyses in two lake sediment cores from southeastern Mexico and northern Guatemala to develop coupled records of hydroclimate variability and human-driven vegetation change. Plant-wax specific Δ14C ages indicate a large input of pre-aged plant waxes into lake sediment. Comparison of plant-wax δD records with other regional hydroclimate proxy records suggest that plant-wax ages are evenly distributed around plant-wax radiocarbon ages, and that applying an age model based on plant-wax radiocarbon ages is appropriate for these lake sediments. We evaluate how differences in plant-wax age distributions influence stable isotope records to assess the age uncertainty associated with records of climate and vegetation change derived from plant-wax stable isotopes. In this low-elevation tropical environment plant-wax δ13C is largely controlled by the relative abundance of C3 and C4 plants. The ancient Maya practiced widespread maize (C4) agriculture and strongly influenced regional C3-C4 vegetation dynamics. Under natural conditions C4 plant coverage and plant-wax δ13C would tend to co-vary positively since C4 plants are well adapted for dry conditions. Under ancient Maya land-use, however, this relationship is likely to be decoupled, since drought would have disrupted C4 agriculture. Combined analysis of plant-wax δD and δ13C from both lakes indicates increasingly divergent trends following ca. 3500 years BP, around the onset of widespread ancient Maya agriculture. After this time high plant-wax δD values tend to correspond with low plant-wax δ13C values and vice versa. This pattern is consistent with

  18. Comparison of Leaf Breakdown for Native and Non-native Riparian Species in Streams Draining Urban, Agricultural, and Forested Land Cover.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Powers, M. D.; Benfield, E. F.

    2005-05-01

    Organic matter breakdown rates in streams vary among riparian tree species and are dependent on a variety of in-stream biological, chemical, and physical factors. These factors and the composition and distribution of riparian vegetation are changed by anthropogenic modification of the landscape. This may result in altered energy flow through stream ecosystems that is reflected in changes in organic matter input and breakdown. The goal of this study was to compare leaf breakdown rates between a native (box elder, Acer negundo) and non-native (weeping willow, Salix babylonica) species among three land cover categories: urban, agricultural, and forested. We conducted this study over 14 weeks in 13 streams near Roanoke, Virginia. Box elder occurs naturally along disturbed riparian corridors in this region, while weeping willow has been actively planted for its aesthetic value. Our results indicate weeping willow breakdown rates were faster than box elder across all land cover categories. Breakdown rates for both species were slowest in the urban streams, intermediate in agricultural streams, and fastest in forested streams.

  19. A new species and key to species of the agriculturally important sharpshooter genus Sonesimia Young (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae: Cicadellini).

    PubMed

    Felix, Márcio; Lima, Douglas Felipe Dos Santos; Mejdalani, Gabriel; Cavichioli, Rodney R

    2013-01-01

    The new sharpshooter species Sonesimia nessimiani is described from Bolivia based on specimens collected on sugar cane. An identification key to males and females of all known species of the genus is given. In addition to the external morphology, color pattern, and male genitalia, female genital structures are also described and illustrated. Notes comparing the new species with the remaining six Sonesimia species are provided.

  20. Exploring relationships among land ownership, agricultural land use, and native fish species richness in the Upper Mississippi River Basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    DeJager, Nathan R.; Rohweder, Jason J.

    2012-01-01

    In this study, we explored relationships among agricultural land use, land ownership, and native fish biodiversity in the UMRB as a first step toward helping the Fishers and Farmers Partnership identify specific locations in the UMRB that may pose conservation challenges. For example, places that have experienced a loss of native fish species richness relative to historical conditions and also have high proportions of absentee landowners may provide restoration challenges. We were also interested in identifying areas that have retained high levels of species richness and are owner-operated. These areas present good opportunities to work with local landowners to protect aquatic resources. To identify such areas, we addressed two primary questions: 1) Is there a relationship between the type of agricultural land use (i.e. cropland vs pastureland) and the % of land rented or leased within the UMRB? and 2) How does the type of agricultural production and whether land is rented or leased relate to the maintenance of historical levels of native fish species richness? We predicted that areas with large amounts of land devoted to crop production will have experienced the greatest losses of native fish species richness. However, our hypothesis is that watersheds with large amounts of land rented or leased will have experienced even greater declines in native fish species richness than would be predicted from the amount of cultivated cropland alone. By testing these hypotheses, we intended to identify watersheds that would be strong candidates for protection, restoration, and enhancement

  1. Agriculture in the developing world: Connecting innovations in plant research to downstream applications.

    PubMed

    Delmer, Deborah P

    2005-11-01

    Enhancing agricultural productivity in those areas of the world bypassed by the Green Revolution will require new approaches that provide incentives and funding mechanisms that promote the translation of new innovations in plant science into concrete benefits for poor farmers. Through better dialogue, plant breeders and laboratory scientists from both the public and private-sectors need to find solutions for the key constraints to crop production, many of which center around abiotic and biotic stresses. The revolution in plant genomics has opened up new perspectives and opportunities for plant breeders who can now apply molecular markers to assess and enhance diversity in their germplasm collections, to introgress valuable traits from new sources, and to identify genes that control key traits. Functional genomics is also providing another powerful route to the identification of such genes. The ability to introgress beneficial genes under the control of specific promoters through transgenic approaches is yet one more stepping stone in the path to targeted approaches to crop improvement, and the new sciences have identified a vast array of genes that have exciting potential for crop improvement. For a few crops with viable markets, such as maize and cotton, some of the traits developed by the private sector are already showing benefits for farmers of the developing world, but the public sector will need to develop new skills and overcome a number of hurdles to carry out similar efforts for other crops and traits useful to very poor farmers. PMID:16263937

  2. Agriculture in the developing world: Connecting innovations in plant research to downstream applications

    PubMed Central

    Delmer, Deborah P.

    2005-01-01

    Enhancing agricultural productivity in those areas of the world bypassed by the Green Revolution will require new approaches that provide incentives and funding mechanisms that promote the translation of new innovations in plant science into concrete benefits for poor farmers. Through better dialogue, plant breeders and laboratory scientists from both the public and private-sectors need to find solutions for the key constraints to crop production, many of which center around abiotic and biotic stresses. The revolution in plant genomics has opened up new perspectives and opportunities for plant breeders who can now apply molecular markers to assess and enhance diversity in their germplasm collections, to introgress valuable traits from new sources, and to identify genes that control key traits. Functional genomics is also providing another powerful route to the identification of such genes. The ability to introgress beneficial genes under the control of specific promoters through transgenic approaches is yet one more stepping stone in the path to targeted approaches to crop improvement, and the new sciences have identified a vast array of genes that have exciting potential for crop improvement. For a few crops with viable markets, such as maize and cotton, some of the traits developed by the private sector are already showing benefits for farmers of the developing world, but the public sector will need to develop new skills and overcome a number of hurdles to carry out similar efforts for other crops and traits useful to very poor farmers. PMID:16263937

  3. Potential assessment of establishing a renewable energy plant in a rural agricultural area.

    PubMed

    Su, Ming-Chien; Kao, Nien-Hsin; Huang, Wen-Jar

    2012-06-01

    An evaluation of the green energy potential generated from biogas and solar power, using agricultural manure waste and a photovoltaic (PV) system, was conducted in a large geographical area of a rural county with low population density and low pollution. The studied area, Shoufeng Township in Hualien County, is located in eastern Taiwan, where a large amount of manure waste is generated from pig farms that are scattered throughout the county. The objective of the study is to assess the possibility of establishing an integrated manure waste treatment plant by using the generated biogas incorporated with the PV system to produce renewable energy and then feed it back to the incorporated farms. A filed investigation, geographic information system (GIS) application, empirical equations development, and RETScreen modeling were conducted in the study. The results indicate that Shoufeng Township has the highest priority in setting up an integrated treatment and renewable energy plant by using GIS mapping within a 10-km radius of the transportation range. Two scenarios were plotted in assessing the renewable energy plant and the estimated electricity generation, plus the greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction was evaluated. Under the current governmental green energy scheme and from a long-term perspective, the assessment shows great potential in establishing the plant, especially in reducing environmental pollution problems, waste treatment, and developing suitable renewable energy.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-10-01

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

  6. Botanical species being used for manufacturing plant food supplements (PFS) and related products in the EU member states and selected third countries.

    PubMed

    Franz, Chlodwig; Chizzola, Remigius; Novak, Johannes; Sponza, Silvia

    2011-12-01

    A great wealth of plants and plant derived preparations are used in the intention to supplement the basic nutrition in order to sustain and promote health. They may be used directly or consumed as manufactured plant food supplements (PFS) in dosed form. The use of these plants may already have a long tradition as fruit, vegetable or (folk) medicinal plants. Due to globalisation, more and more plants originating from all over the world are now offered and marketed in European countries, including species from China, South Africa and the American continent. For reasons of security, EU wide lists of plants accepted or prohibited to be used in food supplements are in elaboration. A crucial point is the correct identification of the plant material. The identity can be assessed by morphological, chemical and DNA specific methods. The active substances usable in PFS are secondary plant products that are often characteristic for certain plant groups (taxa), species or plant parts. They comprise not only polyphenols, essential oils, carotenoids and phytosterols, but also glucosinolates or saponins. The quality of the plant material used for PFS depends on a variety of factors, including the natural phytochemical, intraspecific variation with the occurrence of chemotypes, the ontogenetic variation, the considered plant parts and environmental influences during plant growth. In the production of the raw materials for PFS international standards (good agricultural practice, fair trade) should be applied. PMID:21964665

  7. Botanical species being used for manufacturing plant food supplements (PFS) and related products in the EU member states and selected third countries.

    PubMed

    Franz, Chlodwig; Chizzola, Remigius; Novak, Johannes; Sponza, Silvia

    2011-12-01

    A great wealth of plants and plant derived preparations are used in the intention to supplement the basic nutrition in order to sustain and promote health. They may be used directly or consumed as manufactured plant food supplements (PFS) in dosed form. The use of these plants may already have a long tradition as fruit, vegetable or (folk) medicinal plants. Due to globalisation, more and more plants originating from all over the world are now offered and marketed in European countries, including species from China, South Africa and the American continent. For reasons of security, EU wide lists of plants accepted or prohibited to be used in food supplements are in elaboration. A crucial point is the correct identification of the plant material. The identity can be assessed by morphological, chemical and DNA specific methods. The active substances usable in PFS are secondary plant products that are often characteristic for certain plant groups (taxa), species or plant parts. They comprise not only polyphenols, essential oils, carotenoids and phytosterols, but also glucosinolates or saponins. The quality of the plant material used for PFS depends on a variety of factors, including the natural phytochemical, intraspecific variation with the occurrence of chemotypes, the ontogenetic variation, the considered plant parts and environmental influences during plant growth. In the production of the raw materials for PFS international standards (good agricultural practice, fair trade) should be applied.

  8. Species-driven changes in nitrogen cycling can provide a mechanism for plant invasions.

    PubMed

    Laungani, Ramesh; Knops, Johannes M H

    2009-07-28

    Traits that permit successful invasions have often seemed idiosyncratic, and the key biological traits identified vary widely among species. This fundamentally limits our ability to determine the invasion potential of a species. However, ultimately, successful invaders must have positive growth rates that longer term result in higher biomass accumulation than competing established species. In many terrestrial ecosystems nitrogen limits plant growth, and is a key factor determining productivity and the outcome of competition among species. Plant nitrogen use may provide a powerful framework to evaluate the invasive potential of a species in nitrogen-limiting ecosystems. Six mechanisms influence plant nitrogen use or acquisition: photosynthetic tissue allocation, photosynthetic nitrogen use efficiency, nitrogen fixation, nitrogen-leaching losses, gross nitrogen mineralization, and plant nitrogen residence time. Here we show that among these alternatives, the key mechanism allowing invasion for Pinus strobus into nitrogen limited grasslands was its higher nitrogen residence time. This higher nitrogen residence time created a positive feedback that redistributed nitrogen from the soil into the plant. This positive feedback allowed P. strobus to accumulate twice as much nitrogen in its tissues and four times as much nitrogen to photosynthetic tissues, as compared with other plant species. In turn, this larger leaf nitrogen pool increased total plant carbon gain of P. strobus two- to sevenfold as compared with other plant species. Thus our data illustrate that plant species can change internal ecosystem nitrogen cycling feedbacks and this mechanism can allow them to gain a competitive advantage over other plant species. PMID:19592506

  9. Species-driven changes in nitrogen cycling can provide a mechanism for plant invasions.

    PubMed

    Laungani, Ramesh; Knops, Johannes M H

    2009-07-28

    Traits that permit successful invasions have often seemed idiosyncratic, and the key biological traits identified vary widely among species. This fundamentally limits our ability to determine the invasion potential of a species. However, ultimately, successful invaders must have positive growth rates that longer term result in higher biomass accumulation than competing established species. In many terrestrial ecosystems nitrogen limits plant growth, and is a key factor determining productivity and the outcome of competition among species. Plant nitrogen use may provide a powerful framework to evaluate the invasive potential of a species in nitrogen-limiting ecosystems. Six mechanisms influence plant nitrogen use or acquisition: photosynthetic tissue allocation, photosynthetic nitrogen use efficiency, nitrogen fixation, nitrogen-leaching losses, gross nitrogen mineralization, and plant nitrogen residence time. Here we show that among these alternatives, the key mechanism allowing invasion for Pinus strobus into nitrogen limited grasslands was its higher nitrogen residence time. This higher nitrogen residence time created a positive feedback that redistributed nitrogen from the soil into the plant. This positive feedback allowed P. strobus to accumulate twice as much nitrogen in its tissues and four times as much nitrogen to photosynthetic tissues, as compared with other plant species. In turn, this larger leaf nitrogen pool increased total plant carbon gain of P. strobus two- to sevenfold as compared with other plant species. Thus our data illustrate that plant species can change internal ecosystem nitrogen cycling feedbacks and this mechanism can allow them to gain a competitive advantage over other plant species.

  10. Plant Trait-Species Abundance Relationships Vary with Environmental Properties in Subtropical Forests in Eastern China

    PubMed Central

    Yan, En-Rong; Yang, Xiao-Dong; Chang, Scott X.; Wang, Xi-Hua

    2013-01-01

    Understanding how plant trait-species abundance relationships change with a range of single and multivariate environmental properties is crucial for explaining species abundance and rarity. In this study, the abundance of 94 woody plant species was examined and related to 15 plant leaf and wood traits at both local and landscape scales involving 31 plots in subtropical forests in eastern China. Further, plant trait-species abundance relationships were related to a range of single and multivariate (PCA axes) environmental properties such as air humidity, soil moisture content, soil temperature, soil pH, and soil organic matter, nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) contents. At the landscape scale, plant maximum height, and twig and stem wood densities were positively correlated, whereas mean leaf area (MLA), leaf N concentration (LN), and total leaf area per twig size (TLA) were negatively correlated with species abundance. At the plot scale, plant maximum height, leaf and twig dry matter contents, twig and stem wood densities were positively correlated, but MLA, specific leaf area, LN, leaf P concentration and TLA were negatively correlated with species abundance. Plant trait-species abundance relationships shifted over the range of seven single environmental properties and along multivariate environmental axes in a similar way. In conclusion, strong relationships between plant traits and species abundance existed among and within communities. Significant shifts in plant trait-species abundance relationships in a range of environmental properties suggest strong environmental filtering processes that influence species abundance and rarity in the studied subtropical forests. PMID:23560114

  11. Plant trait-species abundance relationships vary with environmental properties in subtropical forests in eastern china.

    PubMed

    Yan, En-Rong; Yang, Xiao-Dong; Chang, Scott X; Wang, Xi-Hua

    2013-01-01

    Understanding how plant trait-species abundance relationships change with a range of single and multivariate environmental properties is crucial for explaining species abundance and rarity. In this study, the abundance of 94 woody plant species was examined and related to 15 plant leaf and wood traits at both local and landscape scales involving 31 plots in subtropical forests in eastern China. Further, plant trait-species abundance relationships were related to a range of single and multivariate (PCA axes) environmental properties such as air humidity, soil moisture content, soil temperature, soil pH, and soil organic matter, nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) contents. At the landscape scale, plant maximum height, and twig and stem wood densities were positively correlated, whereas mean leaf area (MLA), leaf N concentration (LN), and total leaf area per twig size (TLA) were negatively correlated with species abundance. At the plot scale, plant maximum height, leaf and twig dry matter contents, twig and stem wood densities were positively correlated, but MLA, specific leaf area, LN, leaf P concentration and TLA were negatively correlated with species abundance. Plant trait-species abundance relationships shifted over the range of seven single environmental properties and along multivariate environmental axes in a similar way. In conclusion, strong relationships between plant traits and species abundance existed among and within communities. Significant shifts in plant trait-species abundance relationships in a range of environmental properties suggest strong environmental filtering processes that influence species abundance and rarity in the studied subtropical forests. PMID:23560114

  12. Tightly-Coupled Plant-Soil Nitrogen Cycling: Comparison of Organic Farms across an Agricultural Landscape

    PubMed Central

    Bowles, Timothy M.; Hollander, Allan D.; Steenwerth, Kerri; Jackson, Louise E.

    2015-01-01

    How farming systems supply sufficient nitrogen (N) for high yields but with reduced N losses is a central challenge for reducing the tradeoffs often associated with N cycling in agriculture. Variability in soil organic matter and management of organic farms across an agricultural landscape may yield insights for improving N cycling and for evaluating novel indicators of N availability. We assessed yields, plant-soil N cycling, and root expression of N metabolism genes across a representative set of organic fields growing Roma-type tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum L.) in an intensively-managed agricultural landscape in California, USA. The fields spanned a three-fold range of soil carbon (C) and N but had similar soil types, texture, and pH. Organic tomato yields ranged from 22.9 to 120.1 Mg ha-1 with a mean similar to the county average (86.1 Mg ha-1), which included mostly conventionally-grown tomatoes. Substantial variability in soil inorganic N concentrations, tomato N, and root gene expression indicated a range of possible tradeoffs between yields and potential for N losses across the fields. Fields showing evidence of tightly-coupled plant-soil N cycling, a desirable scenario in which high crop yields are supported by adequate N availability but low potential for N loss, had the highest total and labile soil C and N and received organic matter inputs with a range of N availability. In these fields, elevated expression of a key gene involved in root N assimilation, cytosolic glutamine synthetase GS1, confirmed that plant N assimilation was high even when inorganic N pools were low. Thus tightly-coupled N cycling occurred on several working organic farms. Novel combinations of N cycling indicators (i.e. inorganic N along with soil microbial activity and root gene expression for N assimilation) would support adaptive management for improved N cycling on organic as well as conventional farms, especially when plant-soil N cycling is rapid. PMID:26121264

  13. Tightly-Coupled Plant-Soil Nitrogen Cycling: Comparison of Organic Farms across an Agricultural Landscape.

    PubMed

    Bowles, Timothy M; Hollander, Allan D; Steenwerth, Kerri; Jackson, Louise E

    2015-01-01

    How farming systems supply sufficient nitrogen (N) for high yields but with reduced N losses is a central challenge for reducing the tradeoffs often associated with N cycling in agriculture. Variability in soil organic matter and management of organic farms across an agricultural landscape may yield insights for improving N cycling and for evaluating novel indicators of N availability. We assessed yields, plant-soil N cycling, and root expression of N metabolism genes across a representative set of organic fields growing Roma-type tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum L.) in an intensively-managed agricultural landscape in California, USA. The fields spanned a three-fold range of soil carbon (C) and N but had similar soil types, texture, and pH. Organic tomato yields ranged from 22.9 to 120.1 Mg ha-1 with a mean similar to the county average (86.1 Mg ha-1), which included mostly conventionally-grown tomatoes. Substantial variability in soil inorganic N concentrations, tomato N, and root gene expression indicated a range of possible tradeoffs between yields and potential for N losses across the fields. Fields showing evidence of tightly-coupled plant-soil N cycling, a desirable scenario in which high crop yields are supported by adequate N availability but low potential for N loss, had the highest total and labile soil C and N and received organic matter inputs with a range of N availability. In these fields, elevated expression of a key gene involved in root N assimilation, cytosolic glutamine synthetase GS1, confirmed that plant N assimilation was high even when inorganic N pools were low. Thus tightly-coupled N cycling occurred on several working organic farms. Novel combinations of N cycling indicators (i.e. inorganic N along with soil microbial activity and root gene expression for N assimilation) would support adaptive management for improved N cycling on organic as well as conventional farms, especially when plant-soil N cycling is rapid. PMID:26121264

  14. Biocontrol and Plant Growth Promotion Characterization of Bacillus Species Isolated from Calendula officinalis Rhizosphere.

    PubMed

    Ait Kaki, Asma; Kacem Chaouche, Noreddine; Dehimat, Laid; Milet, Asma; Youcef-Ali, Mounia; Ongena, Marc; Thonart, Philippe

    2013-12-01

    The phenotypic and genotypic diversity of the plant growth promoting Bacillus genus have been widely investigated in the rhizosphere of various agricultural crops. However, to our knowledge this is the first report on the Bacillus species isolated from the rhizosphere of Calendula officinalis. 15 % of the isolated bacteria were screened for their important antifungal activity against Fusarium oxysporum, Botrytis cinerea, Aspergillus niger, Cladosporium cucumerinium and Alternaria alternata. The bacteria identification based on 16S r-RNA and gyrase-A genes analysis, revealed strains closely related to Bacillus amyloliquefaciens, B. velezensis, B. subtilis sub sp spizezenii and Paenibacillus polymyxa species. The electro-spray mass spectrometry coupled to liquid chromatography (ESI-LC MS) analysis showed that most of the Bacillus isolates produced the three lipopeptides families. However, the P. polymyxa (18SRTS) didn't produce any type of lipopeptides. All the tested Bacillus isolates produced cellulase but the protease activity was observed only in the B. amyloliquefaciens species (9SRTS). The Salkowsky colorimetric test showed that the screened bacteria synthesized 6-52 μg/ml of indole 3 acetic acid. These bacteria produced siderophores with more than 10 mm wide orange zones on chromazurol S. The greenhouse experiment using a naturally infested soil with Sclerotonia sclerotiorum showed that the B. amyloliquefaciens (9SRTS) had no significant (P > 0.05) effect on the pre-germination of the chickpea seeds. However, it increased the size of the chickpea plants and reduced the stem rot disease (P < 0.05).These results suggested that the Bacillus strains isolated in this work may be further used as bioinoculants to improve the production of C. officinalis and other crop systems.

  15. Interactions of plant zinc and plant species on the bioavailability of plant cadmium to Japanese quail fed lettuce and spinach

    SciTech Connect

    McKenna, I.M.; Keach, R.M. Jr; Williams, F.M. ); Chaney, R.L. Dept. of Agriculture, Beltsville, MD ); Tao, Shyy-Hwa )

    1992-02-01

    Many cadmium-contaminated environments contain high levels of zinc. The effects of plant Zn and plant species on plant Cd bioavailability were tested in Japanese quail fed lettuce and spinach. Four groups of birds received 10% of their diets as lettuce or spinach leaves intrinsically labeled with {sup 109}Cd and containing low or high intrinsic Zn. Two other groups were fed control diets containing {sup 109}Cd as CdSO{sub 4} and low or high Zn as ZnCO{sub 3}. Cadmium concentrations in diets ranged from 0.857 to 1.05 {mu}g/g dry wt. Zinc concentrations in low-Zn diets ranged from 21.2 to 22.8, and in high-Zn diets from 56.0 to 63.3 {mu}g/g dry wt. Increased lettuce and spinach Zn decreased plant Cd retention in kidney, liver, and jejunum-ileum of Japanese quail. Spinach Cd was less absorbed than lettuce Cd at both Zn levels. Inorganic Zn produced a lesser decrease in Cd retention in kidney, liver, and jejunum-ileum than did plant Zn. The authors conclude that (1) crops that transport Zn and Cd readily into edible tissues show lower Cd bioavailability when grown in Zn-Cd contaminated environments than in Cd-only polluted sites, (2) plant species differ in Cd bioavailability for identical concentrations of Zn and Cd in edible tissues, and (3) toxicological studies with animals exposed to Cd salts and Zn supplements do not assess Cd bioavailability of Zn-Cd contaminated crops.

  16. Changes in Semi-Arid Plant Species Associations along a Livestock Grazing Gradient

    PubMed Central

    Saiz, Hugo; Alados, Concepción L.

    2012-01-01

    In semi-arid ecosystems, vegetation is heterogeneously distributed, with plant species often associating in patches. These associations between species are not constant, but depend on the particular response of each species to environmental factors. Here, we investigated how plant species associations change in response to livestock grazing in a semi-arid ecosystem, Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park in South East Spain. We established linear point-intercept transects at four sites with different grazing intensity, and recorded all species at each point. We investigated plant associations by comparing the number of times that each pair of species occurred at the same spatial point (co-occurrences), with the expected number of times based on species abundances. We also assessed associations for each shrub and grass species by considering all their pairs of associations and for the whole plant community by considering all pairs of associations on each site. At all sites, the plant community had a negative pattern of association, with fewer co-occurrences than expected. Negative association in the plant community increased at maximum grazing intensity. Most species associated as expected, particularly grass species, and positive associations were most important at intermediate grazing intensities. No species changed its type of association along the grazing gradient. We conclude that in the present plant community, grazing-resistant species compete among themselves and segregate in space. Some shrub species act as refuges for grazing-sensitive species that benefit from being spatially associated with shrub species, particularly at intermediate grazing intensities where positive associations were highest. At high grazing intensity, these shrubs can no longer persist and positive associations decrease due to the disappearance of refuges. Spatial associations between plant species and their response to grazing help identify the factors that organize plant communities, and

  17. Increased plant carbon translocation linked to overyielding in grassland species mixtures.

    PubMed

    De Deyn, Gerlinde B; Quirk, Helen; Oakley, Simon; Ostle, Nick J; Bardgett, Richard D

    2012-01-01

    Plant species richness and productivity often show a positive relationship, but the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood, especially at the plant species level. We examined how growing plants in species mixture influences intraspecific rates of short-term carbon (C-) translocation, and determined whether such short-term responses are reflected in biomass yields. We grew monocultures and mixtures of six common C3 grassland plant species in outdoor mesocosms, applied a (13)C-CO(2) pulse in situ to trace assimilated C through plants, into the soil, and back to the atmosphere, and quantified species-specific biomass. Pulse derived (13)C enrichment was highest in the legumes Lotus corniculatus and Trifolium repens, and relocation (i.e. transport from the leaves to other plant parts) of the recently assimilated (13)C was most rapid in T. repens grown in 6-species mixtures. The grass Anthoxanthum odoratum also showed high levels of (13)C enrichment in 6-species mixtures, while (13)C enrichment was low in Lolium perenne, Plantago lanceolata and Achillea millefolium. Rates of C loss through respiration were highest in monocultures of T. repens and relatively low in species mixtures, while the proportion of (13)C in the respired CO(2) was similar in monocultures and mixtures. The grass A. odoratum and legume T. repens were most promoted in 6-species mixtures, and together with L. corniculatus, caused the net biomass increase in 6-species mixtures. These plant species also had highest rates of (13)C-label translocation, and for A. odoratum and T. repens this effect was greatest in plant individuals grown in species mixtures. Our study reveals that short-term plant C translocation can be accelerated in plant individuals of legume and C3 grass species when grown in mixtures, and that this is strongly positively related to overyielding. These results demonstrate a mechanistic coupling between changes in intraspecific plant carbon physiology and increased community

  18. Toward breeding new land-sea plant hybrid species irrigable with seawater for dry regions

    PubMed Central

    Moustafa, Khaled

    2015-01-01

    A plant species growing in sea or coastal saltmarsh is greatly tolerant to high concentrations of salts, and a plant species growing in desert or dry regions is highly tolerant to drought. Breeding a new plant hybrid species from both species by means of cellular grafting, genome fusion or nuclear transfer would generate, at least in theory, a hybrid plant species that should be strongly tolerant to harsh aridity and salinity and would be potentially irrigable with seawater. Such prospective species can be used for example as a fodder, biofuel crop or stabilizer species to protect soil from wind erosion and sandy storms in dry regions. Breeding such species would change the surface of the world and help to solve major challenges of starvation, malnutrition and poverty. Here, I propose potential approaches that would be worthy of investigation toward this purpose. PMID:25806436

  19. Toward breeding new land-sea plant hybrid species irrigable with seawater for dry regions.

    PubMed

    Moustafa, Khaled

    2015-01-01

    A plant species growing in sea or coastal saltmarsh is greatly tolerant to high concentrations of salts, and a plant species growing in desert or dry regions is highly tolerant to drought. Breeding a new plant hybrid species from both species by means of cellular grafting, genome fusion or nuclear transfer would generate, at least in theory, a hybrid plant species that should be strongly tolerant to harsh aridity and salinity and would be potentially irrigable with seawater. Such prospective species can be used for example as a fodder, biofuel crop or stabilizer species to protect soil from wind erosion and sandy storms in dry regions. Breeding such species would change the surface of the world and help to solve major challenges of starvation, malnutrition and poverty. Here, I propose potential approaches that would be worthy of investigation toward this purpose. PMID:25806436

  20. Performance of dryland and wetland plant species on extensive green roofs

    PubMed Central

    MacIvor, J. Scott; Ranalli, Melissa A.; Lundholm, Jeremy T.

    2011-01-01

    Background and Aims Green roofs are constructed ecosystems where plants perform valuable services, ameliorating the urban environment through roof temperature reductions and stormwater interception. Plant species differ in functional characteristics that alter ecosystem properties. Plant performance research on extensive green roofs has so far indicated that species adapted to dry conditions perform optimally. However, in moist, humid climates, species typical of wetter soils might have advantages over dryland species. In this study, survival, growth and the performance of thermal and stormwater capture functions of three pairs of dryland and wetland plant species were quantified using an extensive modular green roof system. Methods Seedlings of all six species were germinated in a greenhouse and planted into green roof modules with 6 cm of growing medium. There were 34 treatments consisting of each species in monoculture and all combinations of wet- and dryland species in a randomized block design. Performance measures were survival, vegetation cover and roof surface temperature recorded for each module over two growing seasons, water loss (an estimate of evapotranspiration) in 2007, and albedo and water capture in 2008. Key Results Over two seasons, dryland plants performed better than wetland plants, and increasing the number of dryland species in mixtures tended to improve functioning, although there was no clear effect of species or habitat group diversity. All species had survival rates >75 % after the first winter; however, dryland species had much greater cover, an important indicator of green roof performance. Sibbaldiopsis tridentata was the top performing species in monoculture, and was included in the best treatments. Conclusions Although dryland species outperformed wetland species, planting extensive green roofs with both groups decreased performance only slightly, while increasing diversity and possibly habitat value. This study provides further

  1. Reactive oxygen species mediate growth and death in submerged plants

    PubMed Central

    Steffens, Bianka; Steffen-Heins, Anja; Sauter, Margret

    2013-01-01

    Aquatic and semi-aquatic plants are well adapted to survive partial or complete submergence which is commonly accompanied by oxygen deprivation. The gaseous hormone ethylene controls a number of adaptive responses to submergence including adventitious root growth and aerenchyma formation. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) act as signaling intermediates in ethylene-controlled submergence adaptation and possibly also independent of ethylene. ROS levels are controlled by synthesis, enzymatic metabolism, and non-enzymatic scavenging. While the actors are by and large known, we still have to learn about altered ROS at the subcellular level and how they are brought about, and the signaling cascades that trigger a specific response. This review briefly summarizes our knowledge on the contribution of ROS to submergence adaptation and describes spectrophotometrical, histochemical, and live cell imaging detection methods that have been used to study changes in ROS abundance. Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy is introduced as a method that allows identification and quantification of specific ROS in cell compartments. The use of advanced technologies such as EPR spectroscopy will be necessary to untangle the intricate and partially interwoven signaling networks of ethylene and ROS. PMID:23761805

  2. GLK gene pairs regulate chloroplast development in diverse plant species.

    PubMed

    Fitter, David W; Martin, David J; Copley, Martin J; Scotland, Robert W; Langdale, Jane A

    2002-09-01

    Chloroplast biogenesis is a complex process that requires close co-ordination between two genomes. Many of the proteins that accumulate in the chloroplast are encoded by the nuclear genome, and the developmental transition from proplastid to chloroplast is regulated by nuclear genes. Here we show that a pair of Golden 2-like (GLK) genes regulates chloroplast development in Arabidopsis. The GLK proteins are members of the GARP superfamily of transcription factors, and phylogenetic analysis demonstrates that the maize, rice and Arabidopsis GLK gene pairs comprise a distinct group within the GARP superfamily. Further phylogenetic analysis suggests that the gene pairs arose through separate duplication events in the monocot and dicot lineages. As in rice, AtGLK1 and AtGLK2 are expressed in partially overlapping domains in photosynthetic tissue. Insertion mutants demonstrate that this expression pattern reflects a degree of functional redundancy as single mutants display normal phenotypes in most photosynthetic tissues. However, double mutants are pale green in all photosynthetic tissues and chloroplasts exhibit a reduction in granal thylakoids. Products of several genes involved in light harvesting also accumulate at reduced levels in double mutant chloroplasts. GLK genes therefore regulate chloroplast development in diverse plant species.

  3. Vascular plant and vertebrate species richness in national parks of the eastern United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hatfield, Jeffrey S.; Myrick, Kaci E.; Huston, Michael A.; Weckerly, Floyd W.; Green, M. Clay

    2013-01-01

    Given the estimates that species diversity is diminishing at 50-100 times the normal rate, it is critical that we be able to evaluate changes in species richness in order to make informed decisions for conserving species diversity. In this study, we examined the potential of vascular plant species richness to be used as a surrogate for vertebrate species richness in the classes of amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Vascular plants, as primary producers, represent the biotic starting point for ecological community structure and are the logical place to start for understanding vertebrate species associations. We used data collected by the United States (US) National Park Service (NPS) on species presence within parks in the eastern US to estimate simple linear regressions between plant species richness and vertebrate richness. Because environmental factors may also influence species diversity, we performed simple linear regressions of species richness versus natural logarithm of park area, park latitude, mean annual precipitation, mean annual temperature, and human population density surrounding the parks. We then combined plant species richness and environmental variables in multiple regressions to determine the variables that remained as significant predictors of vertebrate species richness. As expected, we detected significant relationships between plant species richness and amphibian, bird, and mammal species richness. In some cases, plant species richness was predicted by park area alone. Species richness of mammals was only related to plant species richness. Reptile species richness, on the other hand, was related to plant species richness, park latitude and annual precipitation, while amphibian species richness was related to park latitude, park area, and plant species richness. Thus, plant species richness predicted species richness of different vertebrate groups to varying degrees and should not be used exclusively as a surrogate for vertebrate

  4. Response to Comment on "Worldwide evidence of a unimodal relationship between productivity and plant species richness".

    PubMed

    Fraser, Lauchlan H; Pärtel, Meelis; Pither, Jason; Jentsch, Anke; Sternberg, Marcelo; Zobel, Martin

    2015-12-01

    Laanisto and Hutchings claim that the local species pool is a more important predictor of local plant species richness than biomass and that when the species pool is considered, there is no hump-backed relationship between biomass and richness. However, we show that by calculating a more appropriate measure of species pool, community completeness, both regional and local processes shape local richness.

  5. Climate change may threaten habitat suitability of threatened plant species within Chinese nature reserves

    PubMed Central

    Wan, Jizhong

    2016-01-01

    Climate change has the potential to alter the distributions of threatened plant species, and may therefore diminish the capacity of nature reserves to protect threatened plant species. Chinese nature reserves contain a rich diversity of plant species that are at risk of becoming more threatened by climate change. Hence, it is urgent to identify the extent to which future climate change may compromise the suitability of threatened plant species habitats within Chinese nature reserves. Here, we modelled the climate suitability of 82 threatened plant species within 168 nature reserves across climate change scenarios. We used Maxent modelling based on species occurrence localities and evaluated climate change impacts using the magnitude of change in climate suitability and the degree of overlap between current and future climatically suitable habitats. There was a significant relationship between overlap with current and future climate suitability of all threatened plant species habitats and the magnitude of changes in climate suitability. Our projections estimate that the climate suitability of more than 60 threatened plant species will decrease and that climate change threatens the habitat suitability of plant species in more than 130 nature reserves under the low, medium, and high greenhouse gas concentration scenarios by both 2050s and 2080s. Furthermore, future climate change may substantially threaten tree plant species through changes in annual mean temperature. These results indicate that climate change may threaten plant species that occur within Chinese nature reserves. Therefore, we suggest that climate change projections should be integrated into the conservation and management of threatened plant species within nature reserves. PMID:27326373

  6. Climate change may threaten habitat suitability of threatened plant species within Chinese nature reserves.

    PubMed

    Wang, Chunjing; Liu, Chengzhu; Wan, Jizhong; Zhang, Zhixiang

    2016-01-01

    Climate change has the potential to alter the distributions of threatened plant species, and may therefore diminish the capacity of nature reserves to protect threatened plant species. Chinese nature reserves contain a rich diversity of plant species that are at risk of becoming more threatened by climate change. Hence, it is urgent to identify the extent to which future climate change may compromise the suitability of threatened plant species habitats within Chinese nature reserves. Here, we modelled the climate suitability of 82 threatened plant species within 168 nature reserves across climate change scenarios. We used Maxent modelling based on species occurrence localities and evaluated climate change impacts using the magnitude of change in climate suitability and the degree of overlap between current and future climatically suitable habitats. There was a significant relationship between overlap with current and future climate suitability of all threatened plant species habitats and the magnitude of changes in climate suitability. Our projections estimate that the climate suitability of more than 60 threatened plant species will decrease and that climate change threatens the habitat suitability of plant species in more than 130 nature reserves under the low, medium, and high greenhouse gas concentration scenarios by both 2050s and 2080s. Furthermore, future climate change may substantially threaten tree plant species through changes in annual mean temperature. These results indicate that climate change may threaten plant species that occur within Chinese nature reserves. Therefore, we suggest that climate change projections should be integrated into the conservation and management of threatened plant species within nature reserves.

  7. Supplemental planting of early successional tree species during bottomland hardwood afforestation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Twedt, D.J.; Wilson, R.R.; Outcalt, Kenneth W.

    2002-01-01

    Reforestation of former bottom land hardwood forests that have been cleared for agriculture (i.e., afforestation) has historically emphasized planting heavy-seeded oaks (Quercus spp.) and pecans (Carya spp.). These species are slow to develop vertical forest structure. However, vertical forest structure is key to colonization of afforested sites by forest birds. Although early-successional tree species often enhance vertical structure, few of these species invade afforested sites that are distant from seed sources. Furthermore, many land mangers are reluctant to establish and maintain stands of fast-growing plantation trees. Therefore, on 40 afforested bottomland sites, we supplemented heavy-seeded seedlings with 8 patches of fast-growing trees: 4 patches of 12 eastern cottonwood (Populus deltoides) stem cuttings and 4 patches of 12 American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) seedlings. To enhance survival and growth, tree patches were subjected to 4 weed control treatments: (1) physical weed barriers, (2) chemical herbicide, (3) both physical and chemical weed control, or (4) no weed control. Overall, first-year survival of cottonwood and sycamore was 25 percent and 47 percent, respectively. Second-year survival of extant trees was 52 percent for cottonwood and 77 percent for sycamore. Physical weed barriers increased survival of cottonwoods to 30 percent versus 18 percent survival with no weed control. Similarly, sycamore survival was increased from 49 percent without weed control to 64 percent with physical weed barriers. Chemical weed control adversely impacted sycamore and reduced survival to 35 percent. Tree heights did not differ between species or among weed control treatments. Girdling of trees by deer often destroyed saplings. Thus, little increase in vertical structure was detected between growing seasons. Application of fertilizer and protection via tree shelters did not improve survival or vertical development of sycamore or cottonwood.

  8. Herbicides do not ensure for higher wheat yield, but eliminate rare plant species.

    PubMed

    Gaba, Sabrina; Gabriel, Edith; Chadœuf, Joël; Bonneu, Florent; Bretagnolle, Vincent

    2016-07-25

    Weed control is generally considered to be essential for crop production and herbicides have become the main method used for weed control in developed countries. However, concerns about harmful environmental consequences have led to strong pressure on farmers to reduce the use of herbicides. As food demand is forecast to increase by 50% over the next century, an in-depth quantitative analysis of crop yields, weeds and herbicides is required to balance economic and environmental issues. This study analysed the relationship between weeds, herbicides and winter wheat yields using data from 150 winter wheat fields in western France. A Bayesian hierarchical model was built to take account of farmers' behaviour, including implicitly their perception of weeds and weed control practices, on the effectiveness of treatment. No relationship was detected between crop yields and herbicide use. Herbicides were found to be more effective at controlling rare plant species than abundant weed species. These results suggest that reducing the use of herbicides by up to 50% could maintain crop production, a result confirmed by previous studies, while encouraging weed biodiversity. Food security and biodiversity conservation may, therefore, be achieved simultaneously in intensive agriculture simply by reducing the use of herbicides.

  9. Herbicides do not ensure for higher wheat yield, but eliminate rare plant species.

    PubMed

    Gaba, Sabrina; Gabriel, Edith; Chadœuf, Joël; Bonneu, Florent; Bretagnolle, Vincent

    2016-01-01

    Weed control is generally considered to be essential for crop production and herbicides have become the main method used for weed control in developed countries. However, concerns about harmful environmental consequences have led to strong pressure on farmers to reduce the use of herbicides. As food demand is forecast to increase by 50% over the next century, an in-depth quantitative analysis of crop yields, weeds and herbicides is required to balance economic and environmental issues. This study analysed the relationship between weeds, herbicides and winter wheat yields using data from 150 winter wheat fields in western France. A Bayesian hierarchical model was built to take account of farmers' behaviour, including implicitly their perception of weeds and weed control practices, on the effectiveness of treatment. No relationship was detected between crop yields and herbicide use. Herbicides were found to be more effective at controlling rare plant species than abundant weed species. These results suggest that reducing the use of herbicides by up to 50% could maintain crop production, a result confirmed by previous studies, while encouraging weed biodiversity. Food security and biodiversity conservation may, therefore, be achieved simultaneously in intensive agriculture simply by reducing the use of herbicides. PMID:27453451

  10. Herbicides do not ensure for higher wheat yield, but eliminate rare plant species

    PubMed Central

    Gaba, Sabrina; Gabriel, Edith; Chadœuf, Joël; Bonneu, Florent; Bretagnolle, Vincent

    2016-01-01

    Weed control is generally considered to be essential for crop production and herbicides have become the main method used for weed control in developed countries. However, concerns about harmful environmental consequences have led to strong pressure on farmers to reduce the use of herbicides. As food demand is forecast to increase by 50% over the next century, an in-depth quantitative analysis of crop yields, weeds and herbicides is required to balance economic and environmental issues. This study analysed the relationship between weeds, herbicides and winter wheat yields using data from 150 winter wheat fields in western France. A Bayesian hierarchical model was built to take account of farmers’ behaviour, including implicitly their perception of weeds and weed control practices, on the effectiveness of treatment. No relationship was detected between crop yields and herbicide use. Herbicides were found to be more effective at controlling rare plant species than abundant weed species. These results suggest that reducing the use of herbicides by up to 50% could maintain crop production, a result confirmed by previous studies, while encouraging weed biodiversity. Food security and biodiversity conservation may, therefore, be achieved simultaneously in intensive agriculture simply by reducing the use of herbicides. PMID:27453451

  11. Contrasting success in the restoration of plant and phytophagous beetle assemblages of species-rich mesotrophic grasslands.

    PubMed

    Woodcock, B A; Edwards, A R; Lawson, C S; Westbury, D B; Brook, A J; Harris, S J; Brown, V K; Mortimer, S R

    2008-01-01

    Over the last 60 years changes to the management of species-rich mesotrophic grasslands have resulted in the large-scale loss and degradation of this habitat across Europe. Restoration of such grasslands on agriculturally improved pastures provides a potentially valuable approach to the conservation of these threatened areas. Over a four-year period a replicated block design was used to test the effects of seed addition (green hay spreading and brush harvest collection) and soil disturbance on the restoration of phytophagous beetle and plant communities. Patterns of increasing restoration success, particularly where hay spreading and soil disturbance were used in combination, were identified for the phytophagous beetles. In the case of the plants, however, initial differences in restoration success in response to these same treatments were not followed by subsequent temporal changes in plant community similarity to target mesotrophic grassland. It is possible that the long-term consequences of the management treatments would not be the establishment of beetle and plant communities characteristic of the targets for restoration. Restoration management to enhance plant establishment using hay spreading and soil disturbance techniques would, however, still increase community similarity in both taxa to that of species-rich mesotrophic grasslands, and so raise their conservation value.

  12. Agricultural origins from the ground up: archaeological approaches to plant domestication.

    PubMed

    Langlie, BrieAnna S; Mueller, Natalie G; Spengler, Robert N; Fritz, Gayle J

    2014-10-01

    The timing, geographical locations, causes, and consequences of crop domestication have long been major concerns of archaeologists, and agricultural origins and dispersals are currently more relevant than ever to scientists seeking solutions to elusive problems involving food insecurity and global health disparities. Perennial research issues that archaeologists continue to tackle include (1) thinking outside centers of origin that were based on limited and insufficient past knowledge; (2) distinguishing between single and multiple domestications of specific crops; (3) measuring the pace of domestication; and (4) decoupling domestication from agricultural economies. Paleoethnobotanists have expanded their toolkits to include analysis of ancient and modern DNA and have added increasingly sophisticated techniques in the field and the laboratory to derive precise chronological sequences to assess morphological changes in ancient and often fragmentary archaeobotanical remains and to correctly interpret taphonomy and context. Multiple lines of archaeological evidence are ideally brought together, and whenever possible, these are integrated with information from complementary sources. We discuss current perspectives and anthropological approaches to research that have as their goals the fuller and broader understanding of ancient farming societies, the plants that were domesticated, the landscapes that were created, and the culinary legacies that were passed on.

  13. Assessing health in agriculture--towards a common research framework for soils, plants, animals, humans and ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Vieweger, Anja; Döring, Thomas F

    2015-02-01

    In agriculture and food systems, health-related research includes a vast diversity of topics. Nutritional, toxicological, pharmacological, epidemiological, behavioural, sociological, economic and political methods are used to study health in the five domains of soils, plants, livestock, humans and ecosystems. An idea developed in the early founding days of organic agriculture stated that the health of all domains is one and indivisible. Here we show that recent research reveals the existence and complex nature of such health links among domains. However, studies of health aspects in agriculture are often separated by disciplinary boundaries. This restrains the understanding of health in agricultural systems. Therefore we explore the opportunities and limitations of bringing perspectives together from the different domains. We review current approaches to define and assess health in agricultural contexts, comparing the state of the art of commonly used approaches and bringing together the presently disconnected debates in soil science, plant science, veterinary science and human medicine. Based on a qualitative literature analysis, we suggest that many health criteria fall into two paradigms: (1) the Growth Paradigm, where terms are primarily oriented towards continued growth; (2) the Boundary Paradigm, where terms focus on maintaining or coming back to a status quo, recognising system boundaries. Scientific health assessments in agricultural and food systems need to be explicit in terms of their position on the continuum between Growth Paradigm and Boundary Paradigm. Finally, we identify areas and concepts for a future direction of health assessment and research in agricultural and food systems.

  14. Uncertainties in predicting species distributions under climate change: a case study using Tetranychus evansi (Acari: Tetranychidae), a widespread agricultural pest.

    PubMed

    Meynard, Christine N; Migeon, Alain; Navajas, Maria

    2013-01-01

    Many species are shifting their distributions due to climate change and to increasing international trade that allows dispersal of individuals across the globe. In the case of agricultural pests, such range shifts may heavily impact agriculture. Species distribution modelling may help to predict potential changes in pest distributions. However, these modelling strategies are subject to large uncertainties coming from different sources. Here we used the case of the tomato red spider mite (Tetranychus evansi), an invasive pest that affects some of the most important agricultural crops worldwide, to show how uncertainty may affect forecasts of the potential range of the species. We explored three aspects of uncertainty: (1) species prevalence; (2) modelling method; and (3) variability in environmental responses between mites belonging to two invasive clades of T. evansi. Consensus techniques were used to forecast the potential range of the species under current and two different climate change scenarios for 2080, and variance between model projections were mapped to identify regions of high uncertainty. We revealed large predictive variations linked to all factors, although prevalence had a greater influence than the statistical model once the best modelling strategies were selected. The major areas threatened under current conditions include tropical countries in South America and Africa, and temperate regions in North America, the Mediterranean basin and Australia. Under future scenarios, the threat shifts towards northern Europe and some other temperate regions in the Americas, whereas tropical regions in Africa present a reduced risk. Analysis of niche overlap suggests that the current differential distribution of mites of the two clades of T. evansi can be partially attributed to environmental niche differentiation. Overall this study shows how consensus strategies and analysis of niche overlap can be used jointly to draw conclusions on invasive threat

  15. Uncertainties in predicting species distributions under climate change: a case study using Tetranychus evansi (Acari: Tetranychidae), a widespread agricultural pest.

    PubMed

    Meynard, Christine N; Migeon, Alain; Navajas, Maria

    2013-01-01

    Many species are shifting their distributions due to climate change and to increasing international trade that allows dispersal of individuals across the globe. In the case of agricultural pests, such range shifts may heavily impact agriculture. Species distribution modelling may help to predict potential changes in pest distributions. However, these modelling strategies are subject to large uncertainties coming from different sources. Here we used the case of the tomato red spider mite (Tetranychus evansi), an invasive pest that affects some of the most important agricultural crops worldwide, to show how uncertainty may affect forecasts of the potential range of the species. We explored three aspects of uncertainty: (1) species prevalence; (2) modelling method; and (3) variability in environmental responses between mites belonging to two invasive clades of T. evansi. Consensus techniques were used to forecast the potential range of the species under current and two different climate change scenarios for 2080, and variance between model projections were mapped to identify regions of high uncertainty. We revealed large predictive variations linked to all factors, although prevalence had a greater influence than the statistical model once the best modelling strategies were selected. The major areas threatened under current conditions include tropical countries in South America and Africa, and temperate regions in North America, the Mediterranean basin and Australia. Under future scenarios, the threat shifts towards northern Europe and some other temperate regions in the Americas, whereas tropical regions in Africa present a reduced risk. Analysis of niche overlap suggests that the current differential distribution of mites of the two clades of T. evansi can be partially attributed to environmental niche differentiation. Overall this study shows how consensus strategies and analysis of niche overlap can be used jointly to draw conclusions on invasive threat

  16. Investigating Effects of Invasive Species on Plant Community Structure

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Franklin, Wilfred

    2008-01-01

    In this article, the author presents a field study project that explores factors influencing forest community structure and lifts the veil off of "plant blindness." This ecological study consists of three laboratories: (1) preliminary field trip to the study site; (2) plant survey; and (3) analyzing plant community structure with descriptive…

  17. Species richness of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi: associations with grassland plant richness and biomass.

    PubMed

    Hiiesalu, Inga; Pärtel, Meelis; Davison, John; Gerhold, Pille; Metsis, Madis; Moora, Mari; Öpik, Maarja; Vasar, Martti; Zobel, Martin; Wilson, Scott D

    2014-07-01

    Although experiments show a positive association between vascular plant and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal (AMF) species richness, evidence from natural ecosystems is scarce. Furthermore, there is little knowledge about how AMF richness varies with belowground plant richness and biomass. We examined relationships among AMF richness, above- and belowground plant richness, and plant root and shoot biomass in a native North American grassland. Root-colonizing AMF richness and belowground plant richness were detected from the same bulk root samples by 454-sequencing of the AMF SSU rRNA and plant trnL genes. In total we detected 63 AMF taxa. Plant richness was 1.5 times greater belowground than aboveground. AMF richness was significantly positively correlated with plant species richness, and more strongly with below- than aboveground plant richness. Belowground plant richness was positively correlated with belowground plant biomass and total plant biomass, whereas aboveground plant richness was positively correlated only with belowground plant biomass. By contrast, AMF richness was negatively correlated with belowground and total plant biomass. Our results indicate that AMF richness and plant belowground richness are more strongly related with each other and with plant community biomass than with the plant aboveground richness measures that have been almost exclusively considered to date.

  18. Sex pheromone component ratios and mating isolation among three Lygus plant bug species of North America.

    PubMed

    Byers, John A; Fefer, Daniela; Levi-Zada, Anat

    2013-12-01

    The plant bugs Lygus hesperus, Lygus lineolaris, and Lygus elisus (Hemiptera: Miridae) are major pests of many agricultural crops in North America. Previous studies suggested that females release a sex pheromone attractive to males. Other studies showed that males and females contain microgram amounts of (E)-4-oxo-2-hexenal, hexyl butyrate, and (E)-2-hexenyl butyrate that are emitted as a defense against predators. Using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, we found that female L. lineolaris and L. elisus have a 4:10 ratio of hexyl butyrate to (E)-2-hexenyl butyrate that is reversed from the 10:1 ratio in female L. hesperus (males of the three species have ~10:1 ratio). These reversed ratios among females of the species suggest a behavioral role. Because both sexes have nearly equal amounts of the major volatiles, females should release more to attract males. This expectation was supported because L. hesperus females released more hexyl butyrate (mean of 86 ng/h) during the night (1800-0700 hours) than did males (<1 ng/h). We used slow-rotating pairs of traps to test the attraction of species to blends of the volatiles with a subtractive method to detect synergism. Each species' major butyrate ester was released at 3 μg/h, the minor butyrate according to its ratio, and (E)-4-oxo-2-hexenal at 2 μg/h. The resulting catches of only Lygus males suggest that (E)-4-oxo-2-hexenal is an essential sex pheromone component for all three species, (E)-2-hexenyl butyrate is essential for L. elisus and L. lineolaris, and hexyl butyrate is essential for L. hesperus. However, all three components are recognized by each species since ratios of the butyrate esters are critical for conspecific attraction and heterospecific avoidance by males and thus play a role in reproductive isolation among the three species. Because L. hesperus males and females are known to emit these major volatiles for repelling ant predators, our study links defensive allomones in Lygus bugs with an

  19. Sex pheromone component ratios and mating isolation among three Lygus plant bug species of North America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Byers, John A.; Fefer, Daniela; Levi-Zada, Anat

    2013-12-01

    The plant bugs Lygus hesperus, Lygus lineolaris, and Lygus elisus (Hemiptera: Miridae) are major pests of many agricultural crops in North America. Previous studies suggested that females release a sex pheromone attractive to males. Other studies showed that males and females contain microgram amounts of ( E)-4-oxo-2-hexenal, hexyl butyrate, and ( E)-2-hexenyl butyrate that are emitted as a defense against predators. Using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, we found that female L. lineolaris and L. elisus have a 4:10 ratio of hexyl butyrate to ( E)-2-hexenyl butyrate that is reversed from the 10:1 ratio in female L. hesperus (males of the three species have ~10:1 ratio). These reversed ratios among females of the species suggest a behavioral role. Because both sexes have nearly equal amounts of the major volatiles, females should release more to attract males. This expectation was supported because L. hesperus females released more hexyl butyrate (mean of 86 ng/h) during the night (1800-0700 hours) than did males (<1 ng/h). We used slow-rotating pairs of traps to test the attraction of species to blends of the volatiles with a subtractive method to detect synergism. Each species' major butyrate ester was released at 3 μg/h, the minor butyrate according to its ratio, and ( E)-4-oxo-2-hexenal at 2 μg/h. The resulting catches of only Lygus males suggest that ( E)-4-oxo-2-hexenal is an essential sex pheromone component for all three species, ( E)-2-hexenyl butyrate is essential for L. elisus and L. lineolaris, and hexyl butyrate is essential for L. hesperus. However, all three components are recognized by each species since ratios of the butyrate esters are critical for conspecific attraction and heterospecific avoidance by males and thus play a role in reproductive isolation among the three species. Because L. hesperus males and females are known to emit these major volatiles for repelling ant predators, our study links defensive allomones in Lygus bugs with an

  20. Biogenic Volatile Organic Compound (BVOC) emissions from agricultural crop species: is guttation a possible source for methanol emissions following light/dark transition ?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mozaffar, Ahsan; Amelynck, Crist; Bachy, Aurélie; Digrado, Anthony; Delaplace, Pierre; du Jardin, Patrick; Fauconnier, Marie-Laure; Schoon, Niels; Aubinet, Marc; Heinesch, Bernard

    2015-04-01

    In the framework of the CROSTVOC (CROp STress VOC) project, the exchange of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) between two important agricultural crop species, maize and winter wheat, and the atmosphere has recently been measured during an entire growing season by using the eddy covariance technique. Because of the co-variation of BVOC emission drivers in field conditions, laboratory studies were initiated in an environmental chamber in order to disentangle the responses of the emissions to variations of the individual environmental parameters (such as PPFD and temperature) and to diverse abiotic stress factors. Young plants were enclosed in transparent all-Teflon dynamic enclosures (cuvettes) through which BVOC-free and RH-controlled air was sent. BVOC enriched air was subsequently sampled from the plant cuvettes and an empty cuvette (background) and analyzed for BVOCs in a high sensitivity Proton Transfer Reaction Mass Spectrometer (hs-PTR-MS) and for CO2 in a LI-7000 non-dispersive IR gas analyzer. Emissions were monitored at constant temperature (25 °C) and at a stepwise varying PPFD pattern (0-650 µmol m-2 s-1). For maize plants, sudden light/dark transitions at the end of the photoperiod were accompanied by prompt and considerable increases in methanol (m/z 33) and water vapor (m/z 39) emissions. Moreover, guttation droplets appeared on the sides and the tips of the leaves within a few minutes after light/dark transition. Therefore the assumption has been raised that methanol is also coming out with guttation fluid from the leaves. Consequently, guttation fluid was collected from young maize and wheat plants, injected in an empty enclosure and sampled by PTR-MS. Methanol and a large number of other compounds were observed from guttation fluid. Recent studies have shown that guttation from agricultural crops frequently occurs in field conditions. Further research is required to find out the source strength of methanol emissions by this guttation

  1. Phthalate esters contamination in soil and plants on agricultural land near an electronic waste recycling site.

    PubMed

    Ma, Ting Ting; Christie, Peter; Luo, Yong Ming; Teng, Ying

    2013-08-01

    The accumulation of phthalic acid esters (PAEs) in soil and plants in agricultural land near an electronic waste recycling site in east China has become a great threat to the neighboring environmental quality and human health. Soil and plant samples collected from land under different utilization, including fallow plots, vegetable plots, plots with alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) as green manure, fallow plots under long-term flooding and fallow plots under alternating wet and dry periods, together with plant samples from relative plots were analyzed for six PAE compounds nominated as prior pollutants by USEPA. In the determined samples, the concentrations of six target PAE pollutants ranged from 0.31-2.39 mg/kg in soil to 1.81-5.77 mg/kg in various plants (dry weight/DW), and their bioconcentration factors (BCFs) ranged from 5.8 to 17.9. Health risk assessments were conducted on target PAEs, known as typical environmental estrogen analogs, based on their accumulation in the edible parts of vegetables. Preliminary risk assessment to human health from soil and daily vegetable intake indicated that DEHP may present a high-exposure risk on all ages of the population in the area by soil ingestion or vegetable consumption. The potential damage that the target PAE compounds may pose to human health should be taken into account in further comprehensive risk assessments in e-waste recycling sites areas. Moreover, alfalfa removed substantial amounts of PAEs from the soil, and its use can be considered a good strategy for in situ remediation of PAEs.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2007-01-01

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

  3. Nutritional and cultural aspects of plant species selection for a controlled ecological life support system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoff, J. E.; Howe, J. M.; Mitchell, C. A.

    1982-01-01

    The feasibility of using higher plants in a controlled ecological life support system is discussed. Aspects of this system considered important in the use of higher plants include: limited energy, space, and mass, and problems relating to cultivation and management of plants, food processing, the psychological impact of vegetarian diets, and plant propagation. A total of 115 higher plant species are compared based on 21 selection criteria.

  4. Xylem sap protein composition is conserved among different plant species.

    PubMed

    Buhtz, Anja; Kolasa, Anna; Arlt, Kathleen; Walz, Christina; Kehr, Julia

    2004-08-01

    Xylem sap from broccoli (Brassica oleracea L. cv. Calabrais), rape (Brassica napus L. cv. Drakkar), pumpkin (Cucurbita maxima Duch. cv. gelber Zentner) and cucumber (Cucumis sativus L. cv. Hoffmanns Giganta) was collected by root pressure exudation from the surface of cut stems of healthy, adult plants. Total protein concentrations were in the range of 100 microg ml(-1). One-dimensional gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) resulted in 10-20 visible protein bands in a molecular mass range from 10 to 100 kDa. The main bands were cut out, digested with trypsin, and analysed using tandem mass spectrometry. Fifty bands resulted in amino acid sequence information that was used to perform database similarity searches. Sequences from 30 bands showed high homology to proteins present in databases. Among them, we found mostly peroxidases, but could also identify the lectin-like xylem protein XSP30, a glycine-rich protein, serine proteases, an aspartyl protease family protein, chitinases, and a lipid transfer protein-like polypeptide. Sequence analysis predicted apoplastic secretion signals for all database entries similar to the partial xylem protein sequences. This and the lack of cross-reactivity with phloem protein-specific antibodies suggest that the proteins really originate from the xylem and do not result from phloem contamination. Most of the highly similar proteins probably function in repair and defence reactions. Some of the most abundant proteins (peroxidases, chitinases, serine proteases) were present in xylem exudate of all species analysed, often in more than one band. This indicates an important basic role of these proteins in maintaining xylem function. PMID:15064951

  5. Assaying Ornithine and Arginine Decarboxylases in Some Plant Species 1

    PubMed Central

    Birecka, Helena; Bitonti, Alan J.; McCann, Peter P.

    1985-01-01

    A release of 14CO2 not related to ornithine decarboxylase activity was found in crude leaf extracts from Lycopersicon esculentum, Avena sativa, and especially from the pyrrolizidine alkaloid-bearing Heliotropium angiospermum when incubated with [1-14C]- or [U-14C]ornithine. The total 14CO2 produced was about 5- to 100-fold higher than that due to ornithine decarboxylase activities calculated from labeled putrescine (Put) found by thin-layer electrophoresis in the incubation mixtures. Partial purification with (NH4)2SO4 did not eliminate completely the interfering decarboxylation. When incubated with labeled arginine, a very significant 14CO2 release not related to arginine decarboxylase activity was observed only in extracts from H. angiospermum leaves, especially in Tris·HCl buffer. Under the assay conditions, these extracts exhibited oxidative degradation of added Put and agmatine (Agm) and also revealed a high arginase activity. Amino-guanidine at 0.1 to 0.2 millimolar prevented Put degradation and greatly decreased oxidative degradation of Agm; ornithine at 15 to 20 millimolar significantly inhibited arginase activity. A verification of the reliability of the standard 14CO2-based method by assessing labeled Put and/or Agm—formed in the presence of added aminoguanidine and/or ornithine when needed—is recommended especially when crude or semicrude plant extracts are assayed. When based on Put and/or Agm formed at 1.0 to 2.5 millimolar of substrate, the activities of ornithine decarboxylase and arginine decarboxylase in the youngest leaves of the tested species ranged between 1.1 and 3.6 and 1 and 1600 nanomoles per hour per gram fresh weight, respectively. The enzyme activities are discussed in relation to the biosynthesis of pyrrolizidine alkaloids. PMID:16664441

  6. New practical and theoretical approaches to the induction of morphogenesis from plant tumors in vitro using new types of plant growth regulators: towards constructive paradigms in agriculture and medicine.

    PubMed

    Lieber, Michael M

    2013-01-01

    Using classical or traditional plant growth regulators, calli or plant tumors have been produced in vitro and subsequently have been induced to produce buds and plantlets, a process referred to as regeneration. For many years, this has been a successful procedure for in vitro, plant propagation. However, for a number of plant species investigators could not induce calli in vitro to produce buds. Organogenesis was still recalcitrant for various plants in 1980. New types or nonconventional growth regulators, such as methylglyoxal and ascorbic acid, were then found to overcome recalcitrant organogenesis in vitro. Their successful or effective use gave support to a theory that stressful, non-uniform cohesive force-fields, electromagnetic in nature, occurring through the application of certain chemicals, are necessary for in vitro morphogenesis from plant neoplasm or callus. Morphogenesis is seen as an adaptive accommodation to the inner stresses from such non-uniform, cohesive forces. Diverse chemicals, not considered traditional plant growth regulators would, it has been conjectured, enable the generation of such cohesive forces, in non-uniform arrays, and it has been predicted that more chemicals of this type will be discovered. A new constructive approach to agriculture and medicine, using a new plant tissue-culture model, based on new theory, has also been predicted.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Plant species loss affects life-history traits of aphids and their parasitoids.

    PubMed

    Petermann, Jana S; Müller, Christine B; Roscher, Christiane; Weigelt, Alexandra; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Schmid, Bernhard

    2010-08-06

    The consequences of plant species loss are rarely assessed in a multi-trophic context and especially effects on life-history traits of organisms at higher trophic levels have remained largely unstudied. We used a grassland biodiversity experiment and measured the effects of two components of plant diversity, plant species richness and the presence of nitrogen-fixing legumes, on several life-history traits of naturally colonizing aphids and their primary and secondary parasitoids in the field. We found that, irrespective of aphid species identity, the proportion of winged aphid morphs decreased with increasing plant species richness, which was correlated with decreasing host plant biomass. Similarly, emergence proportions of parasitoids decreased with increasing plant species richness. Both, emergence proportions and proportions of female parasitoids were lower in plots with legumes, where host plants had increased nitrogen concentrations. This effect of legume presence could indicate that aphids were better defended against parasitoids in high-nitrogen environments. Body mass of emerged individuals of the two most abundant primary parasitoid species was, however, higher in plots with legumes, suggesting that once parasitoids could overcome aphid defenses, they could profit from larger or more nutritious hosts. Our study demonstrates that cascading effects of plant species loss on higher trophic levels such as aphids, parasitoids and secondary parasitoids begin with changed life-history traits of these insects. Thus, life-history traits of organisms at higher trophic levels may be useful indicators of bottom-up effects of plant diversity on the biodiversity of consumers.

  10. Effects of three species of Chihuahuan Desert ants on annual plants and soil properties

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We tested the hypothesis that ant species, which occupy the same nest for a decade or longer, would modify nest soils by increasing soil nutrients and microorganisms resulting in increased biomass, density, cover and species richness of annual plants. We measured soil properties and annual plants on...

  11. SOURCES OF VARIABILITY IN PLANT TOXICITY TESTING

    EPA Science Inventory

    Published literature is investigated regarding the response of plants to various substances to determine the sensitivity of agricultural plants versus other species, the similarity of effects seen at different taxonomic levels, sensitivity of plants growing outdoors versus in a g...

  12. Contrasting effects of plant species traits and moisture on the decomposition of multiple litter fractions.

    PubMed

    Riggs, Charlotte E; Hobbie, Sarah E; Cavender-Bares, Jeannine; Savage, Jessica A; Wei, Xiaojing

    2015-10-01<