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Sample records for agricultural plant species

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Vulnerability of Rehabilitated Agricultural Production Systems to Invasion by Nontarget Plant Species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baer, Sara G.; Engle, David M.; Knops, Johannes M. H.; Langeland, Kenneth A.; Maxwell, Bruce D.; Menalled, Fabian D.; Symstad, Amy J.

    2009-02-01

    Vast areas of arable land have been retired from crop production and “rehabilitated” to improved system states through landowner incentive programs in the United States (e.g., Conservation and Wetland Reserve Programs), as well as Europe (i.e., Agri-Environment Schemes). Our review of studies conducted on invasion of rehabilitated agricultural production systems by nontarget species elucidates several factors that may increase the vulnerability of these systems to invasion. These systems often exist in highly fragmented and agriculturally dominated landscapes, where propagule sources of target species for colonization may be limited, and are established under conditions where legacies of past disturbance persist and prevent target species from persisting. Furthermore, rehabilitation approaches often do not include or successfully attain all target species or historical ecological processes (e.g., hydrology, grazing, and/or fire cycles) key to resisting invasion. Uncertainty surrounds ways in which nontarget species may compromise long term goals of improving biodiversity and ecosystem services through rehabilitation efforts on former agricultural production lands. This review demonstrates that more studies are needed on the extent and ecological impacts of nontarget species as related to the goals of rehabilitation efforts to secure current and future environmental benefits arising from this widespread conservation practice.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. The ozone component of global changes: Potential effects on agricultural and horticultural plant yield, product quality and interactions with invasive species

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The performance and quality of agricultural and horticultural plants in many regions of the world are adversely affected by current and anticipated concentrations of ground-level, tropospheric ozone (O3). Numerous studies with a variety of plant species and experimental approaches lead to similar ...

  7. Short-term plant species impact on microbial community structure in soils with long-term agricultural history

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plant-microbial interactions influence a wide range of biogeochemical processes governing the cycling of biologically important elements. Plant species have distinct impacts on biogeochemical processes and plant-microbial interactions in the rhizosphere account for many of the observed differences ...

  8. Regional gene flow and population structure of the wind-dispersed plant species Hypochaeris radicata (Asteraceae) in an agricultural landscape.

    PubMed

    Mix, C; Arens, P F P; Rengelink, R; Smulders, M J M; Van Groenendael, J M; Ouborg, N J

    2006-06-01

    Using microsatellites, we investigated population structure and gene flow of the short-lived, wind-dispersed plant species Hypochaeris radicata in a fragmented agricultural landscape where more than 99% of the nutrient-poor grasslands have disappeared over the last century. We sampled populations in the few remaining high density populations in conservation areas, as well as individuals that occurred, with lower densities, in linear landscape elements, at two spatial scales. In a re-inventory of the landscape, after 3 years, both extinctions and colonizations of populations were observed. Contrary to expectations, no differences in genetic diversity between high and low density populations were observed. Both types of populations had relatively high levels of diversity. Overall genetic differentiation (theta) was 0.04 and significantly different from zero (P < 0.01). A significant isolation-by-distance pattern was found when all populations were simultaneously analysed (r = 0.24, P = 0.013). Isolation by distance was (marginally) significant at the small scale (r = 0.32, P = 0.06), whereas nonsignificant at the large spatial scale (r = -0.05, P = 0.66). A maximization-of-explained-variance procedure resulted in a threshold distance of 3.5 km above which populations were effectively genetically isolated. An additional partial exclusion Bayesian-based assignment test showed that overall 32.3% of the individuals were assigned to their population of origin, 48% were assigned to another population in the area and 19.7% were not assigned. Together, these results suggest high levels of gene flow. Seed dispersal contributes to the observed gene flow up to several hundred metres, which is higher than previously modelled using aerodynamic models on seed dispersal of H. radicata. We discuss the consequences of these results for an evaluation of the probability of persistence of this species in the fragmented landscape. PMID:16689895

  9. 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.

  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. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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...

  14. 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…

  15. 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,…

  16. 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…

  17. 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

  18. 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...

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Restoring abandoned agricultural lands in cold desert shrublands: tradeoffs between water availability and invasive species

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Restoration of abandoned agricultural lands to create sustainable ecosystems in arid and semi-arid ecosystems typically requires seeding or transplanting native species, improving plant-soil-water relations, and controlling invasive species. We asked if improving water relations via irrigation or su...

  4. [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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. INVASIVE SPECIES RESEARCH IN THE USDA AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH SERVICE

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Invasive pests cause huge losses to both agricultural production systems and to the natural environment through displacing native species and decreasing biodiversity. It is now estimated that many thousand exotic insects, weeds and pathogens have been established in the United States and that these...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spałek, Krzysztof

    2015-04-01

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

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. Forty-nine New Host Plant Species for Bemisia tabaci (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The sweetpotato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius), is a worldwide pest of numerous agricultural and ornamental crops. In addition to directly feeding on plants, it also acts as a vector of plant viruses of cultivated and uncultivated host plant species. Moreover, host plants can affect the popula...

  19. 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,…

  20. 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

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

    Straub, Cory S; Snyder, William E

    2008-06-01

    Concern over biodiversity loss, especially at higher trophic levels, has led to a surge in studies investigating how changes in natural enemy diversity affect community and ecosystem functioning. These studies have found that increasing enemy diversity can strengthen, weaken, and not affect prey suppression, demonstrating that multi-enemy effects on prey are context-dependent. Here we ask how one factor, plant species identity, influences multi-enemy effects on prey. We focused on two plant species of agricultural importance, potato (Solanum tuberosum), and collards (Brassica oleracea L.). These species share a common herbivorous pest, the green peach aphid (Myzus persicae), but vary in structural and chemical traits that affect aphid reproductive rates and which may also influence inter-enemy interactions. In a large-scale field experiment, overall prey exploitation varied dramatically among the plant species, with enemies reducing aphid populations by approximately 94% on potatoes and approximately 62% on collards. Increasing enemy diversity similarly strengthened aphid suppression on both plants, however, and there was no evidence that plant species identity significantly altered the relationship between enemy diversity and prey suppression. Microcosm experiments suggested that, on both collards and potatoes, intraspecific competition among natural enemies exceeded interspecific competition. Enemy species showed consistent and significant differences in where they foraged on the plants, and enemies in the low-diversity treatment tended to spend less time foraging than enemies in the high-diversity treatment. These data suggest that increasing enemy diversity may strengthen aphid suppression because interspecific differences in where enemies forage on the plant allow for greater resource partitioning. Further, these functional benefits of diversity appear to be robust to changes in plant species identity. PMID:18589525

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 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…

  8. 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.

  9. Agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agriculture within the United States is varied and produces a large value ($200 billion in 2002) of production across a wide range of plant and animal production systems. Because of this diversity, changes in climate will likely impact agriculture throughout the United States. Climate affects crop, ...

  10. Extinction risks of Amazonian plant species.

    PubMed

    Feeley, Kenneth J; Silman, Miles R

    2009-07-28

    Estimates of the number, and preferably the identity, of species that will be threatened by land-use change and habitat loss are an invaluable tool for setting conservation priorities. Here, we use collections data and ecoregion maps to generate spatially explicit distributions for more than 40,000 vascular plant species from the Amazon basin (representing more than 80% of the estimated Amazonian plant diversity). Using the distribution maps, we then estimate the rates of habitat loss and associated extinction probabilities due to land-use changes as modeled under 2 disturbance scenarios. We predict that by 2050, human land-use practices will have reduced the habitat available to Amazonian plant species by approximately 12-24%, resulting in 5-9% of species becoming "committed to extinction," significantly fewer than other recent estimates. Contrary to previous studies, we find that the primary determinant of habitat loss and extinction risk is not the size of a species' range, but rather its location. The resulting extinction risk estimates are a valuable conservation tool because they indicate not only the total percentage of Amazonian plant species threatened with extinction but also the degree to which individual species and habitats will be affected by current and future land-use changes. PMID:19617552

  11. Specific and sensitive detection of Alcaligenes species from an agricultural environment.

    PubMed

    Nakano, Miyo; Niwa, Masumi; Nishimura, Norihiro

    2013-03-01

    A quantitative real-time PCR assay to specifically detect and quantify the genus Alcaligenes in samples from the agricultural environment, such as vegetables and farming soils, was developed. The minimum detection sensitivity was 106 fg of pure culture DNA, corresponding to DNA extracted from two cells of Alcaligenes faecalis. To evaluate the detection limit of A. faecalis, serially diluted genomic DNA from this organism was mixed with DNA extracted from soil and vegetables and then a standard curve was constructed. It was found that Alcaligenes species are present in the plant phytosphere at levels 10(2)-10(4) times lower than those in soil. The approach presented here will be useful for tracking or quantifying species of the genus Alcaligenes in the agricultural environment. PMID:23489084

  12. Species interaction mechanisms maintain grassland plant species diversity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-01-01

    The SO4= toxicity in gypsiferous soils, which represent more than 100 million hectares worldwide, constitutes one of the major problems limiting world agricultural output. Currently, phytoremediation of SO4= is regarded, from agricultural and environmental standpoints, as one of the most effective alternatives for the decontamination and recovery of these soils. In this study, we analyzed the behavior of five plant species characteristic of gypsiferous soils (Gypsophila struthium, Helianthemun alypoides, H. squamatum, H. syriacum, and Lepidium subulatum) in order to establish the variability of these plants in terms of S-extraction mechanisms. Our results indicate that the species best adapted and with the densest population was Lepidium subulatum. This plant showed the highest concentration of total S and the greatest organic S, as well as the highest levels of amino acids and proteins. In this study, we propose that the incorporation of S into organic compounds is the essential metabolic process determining the tolerance of Lepidium subulatum to gypsiferous soils. In conclusion, the foliar accumulation of organic S could be defined a priori as one of the key characteristics in developing plants with a potential for regenerating zones with high SO4= concentrations. PMID:14750428

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Evidence for electrotropism in some plant species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gorgolewski, S.; Rożej, B.

    2001-01-01

    The ever-present global Atmospheric Electrical Field (AEF) is used by many plant species. There are many natural habitats with electrotropic plants and habitats with no AEF. The plants growing there are not electrotropic, like the plants growing under the canopies of the trees or the Arecibo radio telescope. Examples are given of different plants which belong to one or the other class, and the criteria how to distinguish them. In addition to natural habitat observations, laboratory experiments were run in search of the sensitivity of electrotropic effect to different electric field intensities. During a few years, it was established that in very strong fields (of the order of 1 MV/m) all plants respond immediately to the field. This type of reaction is due to the Coulomb forces, but electrotropism depends on electric field interaction with ions. The "reference field" (130 V/m) was always used with stronger fields in the several kV/m range which enhance plant growth rate and size similar to plant growth hormones. Surprising effects were also observed with reversed and horizontal field polarity. In conclusion electrotropic plants deprived of the electrical field do not develop as expected, as can be seen in Biosphere 2. This is an instructive example of what happens when we forget to provide the plants with this vital natural environmental factor. Electrical fields of different intensity, directions and configurations are cheap and easy to generate.

  18. Heterogeneous distribution of metabolites across plant species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takemoto, Kazuhiro; Arita, Masanori

    2009-07-01

    We investigate the distribution of flavonoids, a major category of plant secondary metabolites, across species. Flavonoids are known to show high species specificity, and were once considered as chemical markers for understanding adaptive evolution and characterization of living organisms. We investigate the distribution among species using bipartite networks, and find that two heterogeneous distributions are conserved among several families: the power-law distributions of the number of flavonoids in a species and the number of shared species of a particular flavonoid. In order to explain the possible origin of the heterogeneity, we propose a simple model with, essentially, a single parameter. As a result, we show that two respective power-law statistics emerge from simple evolutionary mechanisms based on a multiplicative process. These findings provide insights into the evolution of metabolite diversity and characterization of living organisms that defy genome sequence analysis for different reasons.

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. 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. PMID:26527129

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Plant species evaluated for new crop potential

    SciTech Connect

    Carr, M.E.

    1985-01-01

    Ninety-two plant species from various regions of the USA were screened for their energy-producing potential. Samples were analysed for oil, polyphenol, hydrocarbon and protein. Oil fractions of some species were analysed for classes of lipid constituents and yields of unsaponifiable matter and fatty acids were determined. Hydrocarbon fractions of some species were analysed for rubber, gutta and waxes. Average MW and MW distribution of rubber and gutta were determined. Complete analytical data for 16 species is presented. Large quantities of oil were obtained from Philadelphus coronarius, Cacalia muhlenbergii, Lindera benzoin and Koelreuteria paniculata. High yields of polyphenols came from Acer ginnala, Cornus obliqua and Salix caprea and maximum yields of hydrocarbon and protein were from Elymus virginicus and Lindera benzoin, respectively.

  5. 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. PMID:21546547

  6. 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

    2016-04-01

    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[Formula: see text][Formula: see text]g/mL. PMID:27080941

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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,...

  14. 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, ...

  15. 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. PMID:25842169

  16. 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

  17. Fullerene-enhanced accumulation of p,p'-DDE in agricultural crop species.

    PubMed

    De La Torre-Roche, Roberto; Hawthorne, Joseph; Deng, Yingqing; Xing, Baoshan; Cai, Wenjun; Newman, Lee A; Wang, Chen; Ma, Xingmao; White, Jason C

    2012-09-01

    The effect of C(60) fullerene exposure on the accumulation of dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p'-DDE; DDT metabolite) by Cucurbita pepo L. (zucchini), Glycine max L. (soybean), and Solanum lycopersicum L. (tomato) was determined. The plants were grown in 125 mL jars of vermiculite amended with 0 or 40 mg of C(60) fullerenes. Prior to planting, the jars were amended with 40 mL solution containing 100 ng/mL of p,p'-DDE with 0 or 100 mg/L humic acid. During three weeks of growth, plants were watered with the same p,p'-DDE containing solutions. Total shoot p,p'-DDE levels in nonfullerene exposed tomato, soybean, and zucchini were 26.9, 131, and 675 ng, respectively; total root DDE content for the three plants was 402, 5970, and 5830 ng, respectively. Fullerenes increased the shoot p,p'-DDE content of zucchini by 29%; contaminant levels in soybean shoots were decreased by 48% but tomato shoot content was unaffected. The root and total plant p,p'-DDE content of all three species was significantly increased by fullerene exposure; enhanced contaminant uptake ranged from 30 to 65%. Humic acid, regardless of fullerene presence or plant type, significantly decreased the p,p'-DDE uptake. Fullerenes were detected in the roots of all plants but were not detected in plant shoots in the initial study. In a follow up study with zucchini designed to maximize biomass for extraction, over half the analyzed stems contained fullerenes at 60.5 to 4490 ng/g. These findings show that the carbon-based nanomaterials may significantly alter the accumulation and potentially the toxicity of cocontaminants in agricultural systems. PMID:22856886

  18. 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

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-11-27

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. Past and present effectiveness of protected areas for conservation of naturally and anthropogenically rare plant species.

    PubMed

    Vellak, Ain; Tuvi, Eva-Liis; Reier, Ülle; Kalamees, Rein; Roosaluste, Elle; Zobel, Martin; Pärtel, Meelis

    2009-06-01

    The Global Strategy of Plant Conservation states that at least 60% of threatened plant species should be within protected areas. This goal has been met in some regions with long traditions of plant protection. We used gap analysis to explore how particular groups of species of conservation interest, representing different types of natural or anthropogenic rarity, have been covered by protected areas on a national scale in Estonia during the last 100 years. Species-accumulation curves indicated that plant species that are naturally rare (restricted global or local distribution, always small populations, or very rare habitat requirements) needed almost twice as many protected areas to reach the 60% target as plant species that are rare owing to lack of suitable management (species depending on grassland management, moderate forest disturbances, extensive traditional agriculture, or species potentially threatened by collecting). Temporal analysis of the establishment of protected areas suggested that grouping plant species according to the predominant cause of rarity accurately reflected the history of conservation decision making. Species found in very rare habitats have previously received special conservation attention; species dependent on traditional extensive agriculture have been largely ignored until recently. Legislative initiative and new nature-protection schemes (e.g., Natura 2000, network of protected areas in the European Union) have had a positive influence on all species groups. Consequently, the species groups needing similar action for their conservation are sensitive indicators of the effectiveness of protected-area networks. Different species groups, however, may not be uniformly conserved within protected areas, and all species groups should fulfill the target of 60% coverage within protected areas. PMID:19128324

  3. 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...

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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…

  7. 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...

  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. Agricultural Plants and Soil as a Reservoir for Pseudomonas aeruginosa

    PubMed Central

    Green, Sylvia K.; Schroth, Milton N.; Cho, John J.; Kominos, Spyros D.; Vitanza-Jack, Vilma B.

    1974-01-01

    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

  11. 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. PMID:26197473

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Plant-Associated Symbiotic Burkholderia Species Lack Hallmark Strategies Required in Mammalian Pathogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Fong, Stephanie; Yerrapragada, Shailaja; Estrada-de los Santos, Paulina; Yang, Paul; Song, Nannie; Kano, Stephanie; 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. PMID:24416172

  19. 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

  20. Plant diversity and overyielding: insights from belowground facilitation of intercropping in agriculture.

    PubMed

    Li, Long; Tilman, David; Lambers, Hans; Zhang, Fu-Suo

    2014-07-01

    Despite increasing evidence that plant diversity in experimental systems may enhance ecosystem productivity, the mechanisms causing this overyielding remain debated. Here, we review studies of overyielding observed in agricultural intercropping systems, and show that a potentially important mechanism underlying such facilitation is the ability of some crop species to chemically mobilize otherwise-unavailable forms of one or more limiting soil nutrients such as phosphorus (P) and micronutrients (iron (Fe), zinc (Zn) and manganese (Mn)). Phosphorus-mobilizing crop species improve P nutrition for themselves and neighboring non-P-mobilizing species by releasing acid phosphatases, protons and/or carboxylates into the rhizosphere which increases the concentration of soluble inorganic P in soil. Similarly, on calcareous soils with a very low availability of Fe and Zn, Fe- and Zn-mobilizing species, such as graminaceous monocotyledonous and cluster-rooted species, benefit themselves, and also reduce Fe or Zn deficiency in neighboring species, by releasing chelating substances. Based on this review, we hypothesize that mobilization-based facilitative interactions may be an unsuspected, but potentially important mechanism enhancing productivity in both natural ecosystems and biodiversity experiments. We discuss cases in which nutrient mobilization might be occurring in natural ecosystems, and suggest that the nutrient mobilization hypothesis merits formal testing in natural ecosystems. PMID:25013876

  1. 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

  2. Agricultural Application of Higher Plants for Their Antimicrobial Potentials in China

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This chapter describes published research into Chinese medicinal and aromatic plants as sources of new crop protectants. Literature was reviewed based on our personal experience, reported antimicrobial activity against plant pathogens, novel chemical structures, and potential for agricultural utiliz...

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Abstract 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

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-01

    Decomposers and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) both determine plant nutrition; however, little is known about their interactive effects on plant communities. We set up a greenhouse experiment to study effects of plant competition (one- and two-species treatments), Collembola (Heteromurus nitidus and Protaphorura armata), and AMF (Glomus intraradices) on the performance (above- and belowground productivity and nutrient uptake) of three grassland plant species (Lolium perenne, Trifolium pratense, and Plantago lanceolata) belonging to three dominant plant functional groups (grasses, legumes, and herbs). Generally, L. perenne benefited from being released from intraspecific competition in the presence of T. pratense and P. lanceolata. However, the presence of AMF increased the competitive strength of P. lanceolata and T. pratense against L. perenne and also modified the effects of Collembola on plant productivity. The colonization of roots by AMF was reduced in treatments with two plant species suggesting that plant infection by AMF was modified by interspecific plant interactions. Collembola did not affect total colonization of roots by AMF, but increased the number of mycorrhizal vesicles in P. lanceolata. AMF and Collembola both enhanced the amount of N and P in plant shoot tissue, but impacts of Collembola were less pronounced in the presence of AMF. Overall, the results suggest that, by differentially affecting the nutrient acquisition and performance of plant species, AMF and Collembola interactively modify plant competition and shape the composition of grassland plant communities. The results suggest that mechanisms shaping plant community composition can only be understood when complex belowground interactions are considered. PMID:22678109

  7. 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

  8. 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;…

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Plant exposures: a state profile of the most common species.

    PubMed

    Krenzelok, E P; Jacobsen, T D; Aronis, J M

    1996-08-01

    Plant exposures are the fourth most common cause of poisoning and 86% of those exposures involve the pediatric population. The large number of plant-related exposures and the lack of knowledge about plant toxicity has led to plant paranoia and considerable educational efforts to reduce the number of exposures. These efforts are often dictated by misconceptions and folklore. AAPCC TESS data on all plant exposures for the years 1985-1994 were electronically analyzed by plant species and state to establish a frequency distribution in the US. Aggregate national data was also tabulated. A total of 912,534 plant exposures were analyzed to tabulate the top 30 plant exposures for each state. Philodendron species were the most common exposures, followed by Dieffenbachia species, Euphorbia pulcherrima, Capsicum annuum and Ilex species. There were considerable differences between states relating to indoor vs outdoor plants and native vs introduced varieties. Plant exposures are common and poison information centers devote significant clinical service and educational effort to manage them and to enhance public awareness. Recognition of specific plant species and exposure frequency in a poison center region can be a basis for staff education and the development of appropriate poison prevention education brochures. This can direct better utilization of poison center's resources. PMID:8829350

  13. 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. PMID:26974817

  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%). PMID:25299486

  15. Plant species composition and biofuel yields of conservation grasslands.

    PubMed

    Adler, Paul R; Sanderson, Matt A; Weimer, Paul J; Vogel, Kenneth P

    2009-12-01

    Marginal croplands, such as those in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), have been suggested as a source of biomass for biofuel production. However, little is known about the composition of plant species on these conservation grasslands or their potential for ethanol production. Our objective was to assess the potential of CRP and other conservation grasslands for biofuel production, describing the relationships of plant species richness and tall native C4 prairie grass abundance with plant chemical composition and the resulting potential ethanol yield. We determined plant species composition and diversity at multiple scales with the modified Whittaker plot technique, aboveground biomass, plant chemical composition, and potential ethanol yield at 34 sites across the major ecological regions of the northeastern USA. Conservation grasslands with higher numbers of plant species had lower biomass yields and a lower ethanol yield per unit biomass compared with sites with fewer species. Thus, biofuel yield per unit land area decreased by 77% as plant species richness increased from 3 to 12.8 species per m2. We found that, as tall native C4 prairie grass abundance increased from 1.7% to 81.6%, the number of plant species decreased and aboveground biomass per unit land area and ethanol yield per unit biomass increased resulting in a 500% increased biofuel yield per unit land area. Plant species richness and composition are key determinants of biomass and ethanol yields from conservation grasslands and have implications for low-input high-diversity systems. Designing systems to include a large proportion of species with undesirable fermentation characteristics could reduce ethanol yields. PMID:20014588

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

    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

  20. 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).

  1. 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.

  2. Effects of cyanobacteria producing microcystins on seed germination and seedling growth of several agricultural plants.

    PubMed

    Saqrane, Sana; El Ghazali, Issam; Oudra, Brahim; Bouarab, L; Vasconcelos, Vitor

    2008-06-01

    The effects of cyanobacteria aqueous extracts containing Microcystin-LR (MC-LR) on the seed germination and growth of Pisum sativum, Lens esculenta, Zea mays and Triticum durum were investigated. Experiments were carried out on a range of doses of the extract (equivalent to 0, 1.6, 2.9, 5.8, 8.7 and 11.6 mu g MC-LR/mL). The results confirm that these plants were sensitive to cell-free extracts of a toxic Microcystis and that germination inhibition was dose dependent. One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed that P. sativum is the most sensitive tested species with a 97% germination rate reduction and L. esculenta was the most resistant. At the 8th day, the exposure to the microcystins (MC) resulted in a significant decrease of plant epicotyls length, roots length and a net inhibition of lateral root formation. It is concluded that MC could affect also terrestrial plants seedling germination and growth. Therefore, the use of water for irrigation contaminated by MC could exert negative biochemical effects on seed and plant metabolism which might influence the agricultural crops. PMID:18576226

  3. 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...

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. A GIS WEB-BASED APPROACH FOR IDENTIFYING PLANT SPECIES AND LOCATIONS AT RISK FROM THE OFF TARGET MOVEMENT OF PESTICIDES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Current methodology used by the US EPA for determining plant species at risk from off site movement of pesticides has been determined to be inadequate for their protection. Ten agricultural, annual, herbaceous plant species are used in the preregistration tests as representative...

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. [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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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...

  17. Nutritive value in relation to plant species diversity of pastures

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Planting forage mixtures may benefit pasture herbage production; however, changes in botanical composition could cause unstable nutritive value. Data from two grazing studies and a farm survey were used to examine how plant species diversity influenced herbage nutritive value. In one grazing study,...

  18. 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...

  19. 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.

  20. Intraspecific genetic variation and species coexistence in plant communities.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. 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...

  2. EX SITU PRESERVATION OF PLANT GENETIC RESOURCES FOR FOOD AND AGRICULTURE

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The US National Plant Germplasm System, (NPGS) a group within the Agricultural Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture, is comprised of over 20 field stations spread throughout the US and is responsible for the preservation and distribution of genetic resources important for ...

  3. 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...

  4. Contrasting soil ciliate species richness and abundance between two tropical plant species: a test of the plant effect.

    PubMed

    Acosta-Mercado, D; Lynn, D H

    2006-05-01

    We still have a rudimentary understanding about the mechanism by which plant roots may stimulate soil microbial interactions. A biochemical model involving plant-derived biochemical fractions, such as exudates, has been used to explain this "rhizosphere effect" on bacteria. However, the variable response of other soil microbial groups, such as protozoa, to the rhizosphere suggests that other factors could be involved in shaping their communities. Thus, two experiments were designed to: (1) determine whether stimulatory and/or inhibiting factors associated with particular plant species regulate ciliate diversity and abundance and (2) obtain a better understanding about the mechanism by which these plant factors operate in the rhizosphere. Bacterial and chemical slurries were reciprocally exchanged between two plant species known to differ in terms of ciliate species richness and abundance (i.e., Canella winterana and plantation Tectona grandis). Analysis of variance showed that the bacteria plus nutrients and the nutrients only treatment had no significant effect on overall ciliate species richness and abundance when compared to the control treatment. However, the use of only colpodean species increased the taxonomic resolution of treatment effects revealing that bacterial slurries had a significant effect on colpodean ciliate species richness. Thus, for particular rhizosphere ciliates, biological properties, such as bacterial diversity or abundance, may have a strong influence on their diversity and possibly abundance. These results are consistent with a model of soil bacteria-mediated mutualisms between plants and protozoa. PMID:16645921

  5. Distribution and content of ellagitannins in Finnish plant species.

    PubMed

    Moilanen, Johanna; Koskinen, Piia; Salminen, Juha-Pekka

    2015-08-01

    The results of a screening study, in which a total of 82 Finnish plant species were studied for their ellagitannin composition and content, are presented. The total ellagitannin content was determined by HPLC-DAD, the detected ellagitannins were further characterized by HPLC-ESI-QTOF-MS and divided into four structurally different sub-groups. Thirty plant species were found to contain ellagitannins and the ellagitannin content in the crude extracts varied from few mgg(-1) to over a hundred mgg(-1). Plant families that were rich in ellagitannins (>90mgg(-1) of the crude extract) were Onagraceae, Lyhtraceae, Geraniaceae, Elaeagnaceae, Fagaceae and some species from Rosaceae. Plant species that contained moderate amounts of ellagitannins (31-89mgg(-1) of the crude extract) were representatives of the family Rosaceae. Plant species that contained low amounts of ellagitannins (1-30mgg(-1) of the crude extract) were representatives of the families Betulaceae and Myricaceae. The specific ellagitannin composition of the species allowed their chemotaxonomic classification and the comparison between the older Cronquist's classification and the nowadays preferred Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification. PMID:25819000

  6. 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. PMID:26537605

  7. 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

  8. 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. PMID:24669743

  9. 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…

  10. 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.

  11. Chemosensitization of plant pathogenic fungi to agricultural fungicides

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Continual use of fungicides in agriculture often results in development of resistance in pathogens. A new strategy to aid in overcoming or minimizing this problem is enhancement of pathogen sensitivity to fungicides by chemosensitization. This involves combining fungicides with certain non-fungicida...

  12. Plant breeding for harmony between agriculture and the environment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Crop improvements made since the 1950’s coupled with inexpensive agronomic inputs (fertilizers, herbicides, etc.) have resulted in agricultural production that has kept pace with population growth. Breeding programs primarily focus on improving a crop’s environmental adaptability and biotic stress t...

  13. Landscape context and plant community composition in grazed agricultural systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Temperate humid grazinglands are an important component of the landscape of the northeastern Unites States. Grass-based agriculture is a major contributor to the economy of this region, but little is known about the basic ecology of these grazinglands. During an eight-year survey of 28 farms across ...

  14. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bennett, J.P.

    1996-01-01

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

  16. 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

  17. 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. PMID:25721729

  18. 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.

  19. Educational Plant Survey: Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, April 1-5, 1991.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Florida State Dept. of Education, Tallahassee.

    This publication is the report of findings of the educational plant survey for Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University conducted in April, 1991. Following a description of the survey team and a preface, Section I describes the statutory foundations, procedural policies, and cooperative processes for the educational plant survey. Section II…

  20. 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

  1. 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. PMID:25128979

  2. 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}.

  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. PMID:20329355

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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. PMID:19568745

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Stimulated rhizodegradation of atrazaine by selected plant species

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The efficacy of vegetative buffer strips (VBS) in removing herbicides deposited from surface runoff is related to the ability of plant species to promote rapid herbicide degradation. A growth chamber study was conducted to investigate the rhizodegradation of 14C-atrazine and the relationship of degr...

  10. 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. PMID:26786012

  11. Plant species composition and biofuel yields of conservation grasslands

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Marginal croplands, such as those in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), have been suggested as a source of biomass for biofuel production. However, little is known about the composition of plant species on these conservation grasslands or their potential for ethanol production. Our objective w...

  12. 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...

  13. ORGANIC PESTICIDE MODIFICATION OF SPECIES INTERACTIONS USING ANNUAL PLANT COMMUNITIES

    EPA Science Inventory

    A method is proposed and tested for assessing multispecies responses to three pesticides (atrazine, 2,4,D and malathion). Pesticides were applied at two concentrations, mon model plant communities grown in raised beds using soil containing a natural weed bank. over by species was...

  14. Stimulated Rhizodegradation of Atrazine by Selected Plant Species

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The efficacy of vegetative buffer strips (VBS) in removing herbicides from surface runoff is related to the ability of plant species to promote rapid herbicide degradation. A growth chamber study was conducted to investigate the rhizodegradation of 14C-atrazine and the relationship of degradation w...

  15. 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...

  16. 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

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

    MedlinePlus

    ... Discover the resources available. ‹ › Spotlights Previous Next Feral Swine Spotlight Feral swine (Sus scrofa) are a rapidly expanding invasive species ... and livestock. Manage the damage and stop feral swine! International Pet Travel - Everything You Need to Know. ...

  18. Plant Diversity and Multifunctional Management of Grassland Agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Managing for multiple ecosystem functions and services requires greater ecosystem diversity and complexity. Complex ecosystems, such as forage and grazing lands, may provide multiple benefits and require multiple species. In this paper, I provide a brief perspective from our research conducted in th...

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Biosynthesis of Jasmonic Acid by Several Plant Species 1

    PubMed Central

    Vick, Brady A.; Zimmerman, Don C.

    1984-01-01

    Six plant species metabolized 18O-labeled 12-oxo-cis,cis-10,15-phytodienoic acid (12-oxo-PDA) to short chain cyclic fatty acids. The plant species were corn (Zea mays L.), eggplant (Solanum melongena L.), flax (Linum usitatissimum L.), oat (Avena sativa L.), sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.), and wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Among the products was jasmonic acid, a natural plant constituent with growth-regulating properties. The pathway is the same as the one recently reported by us for jasmonic acid synthesis in Vicia faba L. pericarp. First, the ring double bond of 12-oxo-PDA is saturated; then β-oxidation enzymes remove six carbons from the carboxyl side chain of the ring. Substrate specificity studies indicated that neither the stereochemistry of the side chain at carbon 13 of 12-oxo-PDA nor the presence of the double bond at carbon 15 was crucial for either enzyme step. The presence of enzymes which convert 12-oxo-PDA to jasmonic acid in several plant species indicates that this may be a general metabolic pathway in plants. PMID:16663643

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Briggs, John M.

    2010-01-01

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

  8. [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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Agriculture and endangered species: An analysis of trade-offs in the Klamath Basin, Oregon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adams, Richard M.; Cho, Seong Hoon

    1998-10-01

    In 1988 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, under provisions of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), declared two fish species in the Klamath Basin as endangered and mandated minimum water levels in Upper Klamath Lake to protect habitat for these species. The lake is the key hydrological feature of the basin; inflows and lake storage provide irrigation water for over 220,000 acres (890.34 km2) in the area. The ESA lake level restrictions reduced both expected average irrigation water supplies and the capacity of the lake to stabilize water supplies during drought cycles. This research explores trade-offs between lake levels for fish protection and the profits of farmers under a range of lake level and farmer adaptations. The results indicate that farmers can adjust their irrigation decisions to offset some of the water supply reductions. However, there are costs to agriculture. The expected average cost of maintaining ESA lake levels (estimated over 73 water years) is approximately 2 million annually; for severe drought years, annual costs exceed 15 million or about 60% of average farm profits. The steeply increasing marginal cost curve shows an increasingly heavier economic burden to agriculture as lake level restrictions increase.

  14. 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.

  15. 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. PMID:23796889

  16. Mercury uptake and accumulation by four species of aquatic plants.

    PubMed

    Skinner, Kathleen; Wright, Nicole; Porter-Goff, Emily

    2007-01-01

    The effectiveness of four aquatic plants including water hyacinth (Eichornia crassipes), water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes), zebra rush (Scirpus tabernaemontani) and taro (Colocasia esculenta) were evaluated for their capabilities in removing mercury from water. The plants were exposed to concentrations of 0 mg/L, 0.5 mg/L or 2 mg/L of mercury for 30 days. Assays were conducted using both Microtox (water) and cold vapor Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS) (roots and water). The Microtox results indicated that the mercury induced acute toxicity had been removed from the water. AAS confirmed an increase of mercury within the plant root tissue and a corresponding decrease of mercury in the water. All species of plants appeared to reduce mercury concentrations in the water via root uptake and accumulation. Water lettuce and water hyacinth appeared to be the most effective, followed by taro and zebra rush, respectively. PMID:16781033

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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. PMID:22260272

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  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. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

    In Argentina the Yungas forests are among the ecosystems most affected by human activity, with loss of biodiversity. To assess the arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) colonization and the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) spore numbers in these ecosystems, the roots of the most dominant native plants (one tree, Alnus acuminata; three herbaceous, Duchesnea indica, Oxalis conorrhiza, Trifolium aff. repens; and one shrub, Sambucus peruviana) were studied throughout the year from two sites of Yungas forests. Assessments of mycorrhizal colonization (percent root length, intraradical structures) were made by washing and staining the roots. Soil samples of each plant species were pooled and subsamples were obtained to determine AM spore numbers. The herbaceous species formed both Arum- and Paris-type morphologies, whereas the tree and the shrub species formed respectively single structural types of Arum- and Paris-type. AM colonization, intraradical fungi structures and AMF spore numbers displayed variation in species, seasons and sites. D. indica showed the highest AM colonization, whereas the highest spore numbers was observed in the rhizosphere of A. acuminata. No correlation was observed between spore numbers and root length percentage colonized by AM fungi. Results of this study showed that Alnus acuminata is facultatively AM. The AM colonization, intraradical fungi structures and AMF spore numbers varied in species depending on phenological, climatic and edaphic conditions. PMID:19750940

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. New evidence for electrotropism in some plant species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gorgolewski, S.; Rozej, B.

    The ever-present global Atmospheric Electrical F ield (AEF) is used by many plant species. There are many natural habitats with electrotropic plants and habitats with no AEF. The plants growing there are not electrotropic, like the plants growing under the canopies of the trees or the Arecibo radio telescope. Examples are given of different plants which belong to one or the other class, and the criteria how to distinguish them. In addition to natural habitat observations, laboratory experiments were run in search of the sensitivity to electrotropic effect in different electric field intensities and directions. It was established that in very strong fields (of the order of 1 MV/m) all plants respond immediately to the field. This type of reaction is due to the Coulomb forces, but electrotropism depends on electric field interaction with ions in plant tissues. We use a "reference field" (130 V/m) and stronger fields in the several kV/m range which enhance plant growth rate and size similar to plant growth hormones. Surprising effects were also observed with reversed field polarity. In conclusion electrotropic pl nts deprived of the electrical field do not develop asa expected, as can be seen in BIOSPHERE 2. It was a sad example of what happens when one forgets to provide the plants with this vital natural environmental factor. Electrical fields of different intensity and direction are cheap and easy to generate. More plants were investigated in order to verify their response to electrical fields. Effect of several kV/m horizontal fields, was compared with the vertical 130 V/m field (ued as a reference) and it was shown that electrotropic sensitivity can be found easily. Surprisingly even the nonelectrotropic plants, whose initial growth rate does not depend on the field strength, when they develop leaves begin to lean towards the positive electrode, and become elect rotropic. Ground based fitotron experiments enable us to select cheaply plants which shall be suitable

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  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. Constrained preferences in nitrogen uptake across plant species and environments.

    PubMed

    Wang, Lixin; Macko, Stephen A

    2011-03-01

    Knowledge of determining factors for nitrogen uptake preferences and how they are modified in changing environments are critical to understand ecosystem nitrogen cycling and to predict plant responses to future environmental changes. Two ¹⁵N tracer experiments utilizing a unique differential labelled nitrogen source were employed in both African savannas and greenhouse settings. The results demonstrated that nitrogen uptake preferences were constrained by the climatic conditions. As mainly indicated by root δ¹⁵N signatures at 1:1 ammonium/nitrate ratio, in the drier environments, plants preferred nitrate and in the wetter environments they preferred ammonium. Nitrogen uptake preferences were different across different ecosystems (e.g. from drier to wetter environments) even for the same species. More significantly, our experiments showed that the plant progeny continued to exhibit the same nitrogen preference as the parent plants in the field, even when removed from their native environment and the nitrogen source was changed dramatically. The climatic constraint of nitrogen uptake preference is likely influenced by ammonium/nitrate ratios in the native habitats of the plants. The constancy in nitrogen preference has important implications in predicting the success of plant communities in their response to climate change, to seed bank use and to reforestation efforts. PMID:21118424

  1. Biodegradation of 2,4-dinitrotoluene by different plant species.

    PubMed

    Podlipná, Radka; Pospíšilová, Blanka; Vaněk, Tomáš

    2015-02-01

    Over the past century, rapid growth of population, mining and industrialization significantly contributed to extensive soil, air and water contamination. The 2,4-dinitrotoluene (2,4-DNT), used mostly as explosive, belongs to the hazardous xenobiotics. Soils and waters contaminated with 2,4-DNT may be cleaned by phytoremediation using suitable plant species. The ability of crop plants (hemp, flax, sunflower and mustard) to germinate and grow on soils contaminated with 2,4-DNT was compared. Stimulation of their growth was found at 0.252 mg/g 2,4-DNT. The lethal concentration for the growth for these species was around 1 mg/g. In hydropony, the above mentioned species were able to survive 200 mg/l 2,4-DNT, the concentration close to maximal solubility of 2,4-DNT in water. Metabolism of 2,4-DNT was tested using suspension culture of soapwort and reed. The degradation products 2-aminonitrotoluene and 4-aminonitrotoluene were found both in the medium and in the acetone extract of plant cells. The test showed that the toxicity of these metabolites was higher than the toxicity of the parent compound, but 2,4-diaminotoluene, the product of next reduction step, was less toxic in the concentration range tested (0-200 mg/l). PMID:25463853

  2. 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. PMID:24943368

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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. PMID:26950921

  6. Limited evolutionary divergence of seedlings after the domestication of plant species.

    PubMed

    Milla, R; Morente-López, J

    2015-01-01

    The most vulnerable stage in the life of plants is the seedling. The transition from wild to agricultural land that plants experienced during and after domestication implied a noticeable change in the seedlings' environment. Building on current knowledge of seedling ecology, and on previous studies of cassava, we hypothesise that cultivation should have promoted epigeal germination of seedlings, and more exposed and photosynthetic cotyledons. To test this hypothesis, we phenotyped seedling morpho-functional traits in a set of domesticated and wild progenitor accessions of 20 Eudicot herbaceous crop species. Qualitative traits like epi- versus hypogeal germination, leafy versus storage type of cotyledons, or crypto- versus phanerocotyledonar germination, remained conserved during the domestication of all 20 species. Lengths of hypocotyls and epicotyls, of cotyledon petioles, and indices of cotyledon exposure to the aboveground environment changed during evolution under cultivation. However, those changes occurred in diverse directions, depending on the crop species. No common seedling phenotypic convergence in response to domestication was thus detected among the group of species studied here. Also, none of the 20 crops evolved in accordance with our initial hypothesis. Our results reject the idea that strong selective filters exerted unconsciously by artificial selection should have resulted in generalised channelling of seedling morphology towards more productive and more herbivore risky phenotypes. This result opens up unexplored opportunities for directional breeding of seedling traits. PMID:24943713

  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. 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.

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-10-01

    The partnership in the Crematogaster-Macaranga ant-plant interaction is highly species-specific. Because a mutualistic relationship on a Macaranga plant starts with colonization by a foundress queen of a partner Crematogaster species, we hypothesized that the foundress queens select their partner plant species by chemical recognition. We tested this hypothesis with four sympatric Macaranga species and their Crematogaster plant-ant species. We demonstrated that foundress Crematogaster queens can recognize their partner Macaranga species by contact with the surface of the seedlings, that they can recognize compounds from the stem surface of seedlings of their partner plant species, and that the gas chromatographic profiles are characteristic of the plant species. These findings support the hypothesis that foundress queens of the Crematogaster plant-ant species select their partner Macaranga species by recognizing nonvolatile chemical characteristics of the stem surfaces of seedlings. PMID:11710609

  11. Pivoting from Arabidopsis to wheat to understand how agricultural plants integrate responses to biotic stress.

    PubMed

    Harris, M O; Friesen, T L; Xu, S S; Chen, M S; Giron, D; Stuart, J J

    2015-02-01

    In this review, we argue for a research initiative on wheat's responses to biotic stress. One goal is to begin a conversation between the disparate communities of plant pathology and entomology. Another is to understand how responses to a variety of agents of biotic stress are integrated in an important crop. We propose gene-for-gene interactions as the focus of the research initiative. On the parasite's side is an Avirulence (Avr) gene that encodes one of the many effector proteins the parasite applies to the plant to assist with colonization. On the plant's side is a Resistance (R) gene that mediates a surveillance system that detects the Avr protein directly or indirectly and triggers effector-triggered plant immunity. Even though arthropods are responsible for a significant proportion of plant biotic stress, they have not been integrated into important models of plant immunity that come from plant pathology. A roadblock has been the absence of molecular evidence for arthropod Avr effectors. Thirty years after this evidence was discovered in a plant pathogen, there is now evidence for arthropods with the cloning of the Hessian fly's vH13 Avr gene. After reviewing the two models of plant immunity, we discuss how arthropods could be incorporated. We end by showing features that make wheat an interesting system for plant immunity, including 479 resistance genes known from agriculture that target viruses, bacteria, fungi, nematodes, insects, and mites. It is not likely that humans will be subsisting on Arabidopsis in the year 2050. It is time to start understanding how agricultural plants integrate responses to biotic stress. PMID:25504642

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Species-area relationships in Mediterranean-climate plant communities

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keeley, J.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 potential for

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  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. 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

  2. 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. PMID:24534515

  3. 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

  4. ELEVATED CO2 AND PLANT PLANT SPECIES RICHNESS IMPACT ARBUSCULAR MYCORRHIZAL FUNGAL SPORE COMMUNITIES

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We enumerated arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal spore communities for three years as part of a long-term Free-Air CO2 Enrichment experiment (BioCON) at Cedar Creek, Minnesota, USA. Complete factorial combinations of two levels of CO2 and N, and sixteen perennial plant species grown in monoculture and si...

  5. 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

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

  9. Copper phytotoxicity in native and agronomical plant species.

    PubMed

    Lamb, Dane T; Naidu, Ravi; Ming, Hui; Megharaj, Mallavarapu

    2012-11-01

    Copper (Cu) is a widespread soil contaminant that is known to be highly toxic to soil biota. Limited information is available on the response of wild endemic species to Cu in the literature, which hinders ecological risk assessments and revegetation. In the present study, the phytotoxicity of Cu in nutrient solution was studied in five Australian endemic plant species (Acacia decurrens, Austrodanthonia richardsonii (Wallaby Grass), Bothriochloa macra (Redgrass), Eucalyptus camaldulensis var. camaldulensis (River Red-Gum) and Dichanthium sericeum (Bluegrass) and two vegetable plants species (Lactuca sativa L. 'Great lakes' and Raphanus sativa L.). Vegetable species were grown in a more concentrated nutrient solution. The response of B. macra was also compared between the two nutrient solutions (dilute and concentrated nutrient solution). In the first experiment, D. sericeum and E. camaldulensis were found to be highly sensitive to Cu exposure in nutrient culture. Critical exogenous Cu concentrations (50 percent reduction in roots) for E. camaldulensis, D. sericeum, A. richardsonii, B. macra (dilute), L. sativa, B. macra (concentrated), R. sativa and A. decurrens were, respectively, (μg/L) 16, 35, 83, 88, 97, 105, 128 and 186. Copper tolerance in B. macra was observed to be higher in the more concentrated nutrient solution despite the estimated Cu(2+) concentration being very similar in treatment solutions. Additional short-term rhizo-accumulation studies showed that neither Ca(2+) not K(+) was responsible for reduced uptake at the roots. However, the estimated maximum shoot Cu was reduced from 41 to 24mg/kg in the more concentrated solution. PMID:22995781

  10. 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

  11. Multielement concentrations in vegetable species grown in two typical agricultural areas of Greece.

    PubMed

    Stalikas, C D; Mantalovas, A C; Pilidis, G A

    1997-10-27

    The multielement (As, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb, Se, V, Zn) levels in various common vegetables and surface soils collected from two typical growing areas of north-western Greece are presented. The results are representative and indicate metal concentration levels in vegetables grown in Greek areas under similar conditions. The content of the metals is generally at the same levels or even lower than that reported for vegetables consumed in several countries and species grown in other agricultural and industrial Greek areas. Enhanced levels of metals observed in certain vegetable species could be related to their concentration in the corresponding soils. The results of the present study indicate that the mean intake of heavy metals (As, Cd, Pb and Se) by adults due to consumption of vegetables from the two sites, for an average consumption, pattern, generally is well below the allowable daily intakes. On the other hand, the contribution of the vegetables to the recommended amounts of the essential elements (Cu, Fe, Mn and Zn) is satisfactory and higher than previously reported. PMID:9373989

  12. Emission of isoprene from common Indian plant species and its implications for regional air quality.

    PubMed

    Singh, Rashmi; Singh, Abhai Pratap; Singh, M P; Kumar, Animesh; Varshney, C K

    2008-09-01

    Isoprene is most dominant volatile organic compounds (VOC) emitted by many plants. In this study 40 common Indian plant species were examined for isoprene emission using dynamic flow through enclosure chamber technique. Isoprene emission rates of plants species were found to vary from undetectable to 69.5 microg g(-1) h(-1) (Madhuca latifolia). Besides, an attempt has been made to evaluate suitability of 80 common Indian plant species for planting programmes. Out of 80 species, 29 species were moderate to high emitters (10 to < or =25 microg g(-1) h(-1)), 12 species were low emitter emitters (1 to < or =10 microg g(-1) h(-1)) and remaining 39 species were found to be negligible or non emitters (<1 microg g(-1) h(-1)) of isoprene. About 50% plant species selected for planting programmes in India were found to be moderate to high emitters of isoprene. PMID:17952698

  13. 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

  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. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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...

  19. 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

  20. Planting the seed: the 2009 Midwest Rural Agricultural Safety and Health Forum (MRASH).

    PubMed

    Donham, Kelley J

    2010-04-01

    The annual Midwest Rural Agricultural Safety and Health Forum (MRASH) is produced by the combined efforts and resources of Iowa's Center for Agricultural Safety and Health (I-CASH), the Great Plains Center for Agricultural Health, and The Heartland Center for Occupational Health. There is a regional focus for the conference on agricultural health issues for the 11 states of the upper Midwest, thus the new name for conference (MRASH). The purpose of this conference is to "plant the seeds" for stimulating and strengthening collaborative efforts among researchers, practitioner, agricultural producers, and medical professionals. This is accomplished by sharing cutting edge research, reviewing intervention theory and methodologies, reviewing activities of regional academic, public health, and nonprofit farm health and safety organization. The 2009 conference included plenary and topical breakout sessions. The plenary sessions included topics that have a relevance to the theory and practice of health interventions in populations. The breakout sessions were quite varied, with topics of community prevention programs (including Certified Safe Farm for large farms), AgrAbility programs, exposures from noise, pesticides, needle sticks, and all-terrain vehicle operation. The largest breakout session was on methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Should there be further questions of authors or the organizing committee, contact information is available at the following Web site address: http://www.public-health.uiowa.edu/ICASH/programs/MRASH/2009/index.htm. PMID:20407986

  1. 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. PMID:22016420

  2. 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

  3. Imperfect replacement of native species by non-native species as pollinators of endemic Hawaiian plants.

    PubMed

    Aslan, Clare E; Zavaleta, Erika S; Tershy, Bernie; Croll, Don; Robichaux, Robert H

    2014-04-01

    Native plant species that have lost their mutualist partners may require non-native pollinators or seed dispersers to maintain reproduction. When natives are highly specialized, however, it appears doubtful that introduced generalists will partner effectively with them. We used visitation observations and pollination treatments (experimental manipulations of pollen transfer) to examine relationships between the introduced, generalist Japanese White-eye (Zosterops japonicus) and 3 endemic Hawaiian plant species (Clermontia parviflora, C. montis-loa, and C. hawaiiensis). These plants are characterized by curved, tubular flowers, apparently adapted for pollination by curve-billed Hawaiian honeycreepers. Z. japonicus were responsible for over 80% of visits to flowers of the small-flowered C. parviflora and the midsize-flowered C. montis-loa. Z. japonicus-visited flowers set significantly more seed than did bagged flowers. Z. japonicus also demonstrated the potential to act as an occasional Clermontia seed disperser, although ground-based frugivory by non-native mammals likely dominates seed dispersal. The large-flowered C. hawaiiensis received no visitation by any birds during observations. Unmanipulated and bagged C. hawaiiensis flowers set similar numbers of seeds. Direct examination of Z. japonicus and Clermontia morphologies suggests a mismatch between Z. japonicus bill morphology and C. hawaiiensis flower morphology. In combination, our results suggest that Z. japonicus has established an effective pollination relationship with C. parviflora and C. montis-loa and that the large flowers of C. hawaiiensis preclude effective visitation by Z. japonicus. PMID:24372761

  4. Antifungal Effect of Plant Essential Oils on Controlling Phytophthora Species

    PubMed Central

    Amini, Jahanshir; Farhang, Vahid; Javadi, Taimoor; Nazemi, Javad

    2016-01-01

    In this study, antifungal activity of essential oils of Cymbopogon citratus and Ocimum basilicum and two fungicides Mancozeb and Metalaxyl-Mancozeb in six different concentrations were investigated for controlling three species of Phytophthora, including P. capsici, P. drechsleri and P. melonis on pepper, cucumber and melon under in vitro and greenhouse conditions, respectively. Under the in vitro condition, the median effective concen- tration (EC50) values (ppm) of plant essential oils and fungicides were measured. In greenhouse, soil infested with Phytophthora species was treated by adding 50 ml of essential oils and fungicides (100 ppm). Disease severity was determined after 28 days. Among two tested plant essential oils, C. citratus had the lowest EC50 values for inhibition of the mycelial growth of P. capsici (31.473), P. melonis (33.097) and P. drechsleri (69.112), respectively. The mean EC50 values for Metalaxyl-Mancozeb on these pathogens were 20.87, 20.06 and 17.70, respectively. Chemical analysis of plant essential oils by GC-MS showed that, among 42 compounds identified from C. citratus, two compounds β-geranial (α-citral) (39.16%) and z-citral (30.95%) were the most abundant. Under the greenhouse condition, Metalaxyl-Mancozeb caused the greatest reduction in disease severity, 84.2%, 86.8% and 92.1% on melon, cucumber, and pepper, respectively. The C. citratus essential oil reduced disease severity from 47.4% to 60.5% compared to the untreated control (p≤0.05). Essential oils of O. basilicum had the lowest effects on the pathogens under in vitro and greenhouse conditions. These results show that essential oils may contribute to the development of new antifungal agents to protect the crops from Phytophthora diseases. PMID:26889111

  5. 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

  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. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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. PMID:26366709

  18. 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. PMID:25716083

  19. 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

  20. 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).

  1. 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. PMID:25454203

  2. 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

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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...

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Belowground Water Dynamics Under Contrasting Annual and Perennial Plant Communities in an Agriculturally-Dominated Landscape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mora, G.; Asbjornsen, H.; Helmers, M. J.; Shepherd, G. W.

    2005-12-01

    The conversion from grasslands and forests to row-crops in the Midwest has affected soil water cycling because plant characteristics are one of the main parameters determining soil storage capacity, infiltration rates, and surface runoff. Little is known, however, about the extent of modification of soil water dynamics under different plant communities. To address this important issue, we are documenting soil water dynamics under contrasting perennial and annual plant communities in an agriculturally-dominated landscape. Measurements of soil moisture and depths of uptake of source water were obtained for six vegetative cover types (corn and soybean field, brome pasture, degraded savanna, restored savanna, and restored prairie) at the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge in Prairie City, Iowa. The depths of uptake of soil water were determined on the basis of oxygen isotope composition of soil water and stem water. Measurements were performed once a month during an entire growing season. Preliminary results indicate that soil water present under the different vegetation types show similar profiles with depth during the dry months. Soil water in the upper 5 cm is enriched in oxygen-18 by about 5 per mil relative to soil water at 100 cm. Our preliminary results also indicate that the isotopic composition of stem water from annual plants is typically higher by about 2 per mil relative to that of stem water from perennial plants during the dry period. Whereas the oxygen isotopic composition for corn stem water is -5.49 per mil, that for elm and oak stem water is -7.62 and -7.51 per mil, respectively. The higher isotope values for corn suggest that annual crop plants are withdrawing water from shallower soil horizons relative to perennial plants. Moreover, our preliminary data suggest lower moisture content in soil under annual plant cover. We propose that the presence of deeper roots in the perennial vegetation allows these plants to tap into deeper water sources when

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. An intellectual property sharing initiative in agricultural biotechnology: development of broadly accessible technologies for plant transformation.

    PubMed

    Chi-Ham, Cecilia L; Boettiger, Sara; Figueroa-Balderas, Rosa; Bird, Sara; Geoola, Josef N; Zamora, Pablo; Alandete-Saez, Monica; Bennett, Alan B

    2012-06-01

    The Public Intellectual Property Resource for Agriculture (PIPRA) was founded in 2004 by the Rockefeller Foundation in response to concerns that public investments in agricultural biotechnology benefiting developing countries were facing delays, high transaction costs and lack of access to important technologies due to intellectual property right (IPR) issues. From its inception, PIPRA has worked broadly to support a wide range of research in the public sector, in specialty and minor acreage crops as well as crops important to food security in developing countries. In this paper, we review PIPRA's work, discussing the failures, successes, and lessons learned during its years of operation. To address public sector's limited freedom-to-operate, or legal access to third-party rights, in the area of plant transformation, we describe PIPRA's patent 'pool' approach to develop open-access technologies for plant transformation which consolidate patent and tangible property rights in marker-free vector systems. The plant transformation system has been licensed and deployed for both commercial and humanitarian applications in the United States (US) and Africa, respectively. PMID:22221977

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Azospirillum soli sp. nov., a nitrogen-fixing species isolated from agricultural soil.

    PubMed

    Lin, Shih-Yao; Hameed, Asif; Liu, You-Cheng; Hsu, Yi-Han; Lai, Wei-An; Shen, Fo-Ting; Young, Chiu-Chung

    2015-12-01

    An aerobic, Gram-stain-negative, rod or spiral-shaped diazotrophic bacterium (designated strain CC-LY788T), was isolated from agricultural soil in Taiwan. Strain CC-LY788T was able to grow at 25-40 °C, pH 6.0-8.0 and tolerated NaCl to 2.0% (w/v). Positive for nitrogen fixation with the activity recorded as 6.5 nmol ethylene h(-1). Strain CC-LY788T showed highest 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity to Azospirillum picis DSM 19922T (97.2%) and Azospirillum rugosum DSM 19657T (97.1%) and lower sequence similarities (<96.6%) to all other species of the genus Azospirillum. According to the DNA-DNA hybridization, the relatedness values of strain CC-LY788T with A. picis DSM 19922T and A. rugosum DSM 19657T were 51.1±5.5% and 46.8±2.1%, respectively. Strain CC-LY788T was positive for the rapid identification of the genus-specific primer set. The respiratory quinone system was ubiquinone (Q-10) and the DNAG+C content was 69.8 mol%. The major fatty acids found in strain CC-LY788T were C16 : 0, C18 : 1 2-OH, C14 : 0 3-OH/C16 : 1 iso I (summed feature 2), C16 : 1ω7c/C16 : 1ω6c (summed feature 3), C18 : 0 ante/C18 : 2ω6,9c (summed feature 5) and C18 : 1ω7c/C18 : 1ω6c (summed feature 8). Based on the phylogenetic, phenotypic and chemotaxonomic features, strain CC-LY788T represents a novel species of the genus Azospirillum, for which the name Azospirillum soli sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is CC-LY788T (=BCRC 80569T=JCM 18820T). PMID:26382036

  5. Simulating the reactive transport of nitrogen species in a regional irrigated agricultural groundwater system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bailey, R. T.; Gates, T. K.

    2011-12-01

    The fate and transport of nitrogen (N) species in irrigated agricultural groundwater systems is governed by irrigation patterns, cultivation practices, aquifer-surface water exchanges, and chemical reactions such as oxidation-reduction, volatilization, and sorption, as well as the presence of dissolved oxygen (O2). We present results of applying the newly-developed numerical model RT3D-AG to a 50,400-ha regional study site within the Lower Arkansas River Valley in southeastern Colorado, where elevated concentrations of NO3 have been observed in both groundwater and surface water during the recent decade. Furthermore, NO3 has a strong influence on the fate and transport of other contaminants in the aquifer system such as selenium (Se) through inhibition of reduction of dissolved Se as well as oxidation of precipitate Se from outcropped and bedrock shale. RT3D-AG, developed by appending the multi-species reactive transport finite-difference model RT3D with modular packages that account for variably-saturated transport, the cycling of carbon (C) and N, and the fate and transport of O2 within the soil and aquifer system, simulates organic C and organic N decomposition and mineralization, oxidation-reduction reactions, and sorption. System sources/sinks consist of applied fertilizer and manure; crop uptake of ammonium (NH4) and NO3 during the growing season; mass of O2, NO3, and NH4 associated with irrigation water and canal seepage; mass of O2, NO3, and NH4 transferred to canals and the Arkansas River from the aquifer; and dead root mass and after-harvest stover mass incorporated into the soil organic matter at the end of the growing season. Chemical reactions are simulated using first-order Monod kinetics, wherein the rate of reaction is dependent on the concentration of the reactants as well as temperature and water content of the soil. Fertilizer and manure application timing and loading, mass of seasonal crop uptake, and end-of-season root mass and stover mass are

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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. PMID:24426149

  10. 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

  11. Restoring abandoned agricultural lands in arid environments: the tradeoffs between water availability and exotic species

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Background/Question/Methods On a global basis, the area of abandoned agricultural land is growing. Modification of the environment for agriculture often results in degradation of the original ecosystem processes and a loss of the biotic and abiotic legacies necessary for recovery of the ecosystem. ...

  12. Plant species distributions along environmental gradients: do belowground interactions with fungi matter?

    PubMed Central

    Pellissier, Loïc; Pinto-Figueroa, Eric; Niculita-Hirzel, Hélène; Moora, Mari; Villard, Lucas; Goudet, Jérome; Guex, Nicolas; Pagni, Marco; Xenarios, Ioannis; Sanders, Ian; Guisan, Antoine

    2013-01-01

    The distribution of plants along environmental gradients is constrained by abiotic and biotic factors. Cumulative evidence attests of the impact of biotic factors on plant distributions, but only few studies discuss the role of belowground communities. Soil fungi, in particular, are thought to play an important role in how plant species assemble locally into communities. We first review existing evidence, and then test the effect of the number of soil fungal operational taxonomic units (OTUs) on plant species distributions using a recently collected dataset of plant and metagenomic information on soil fungi in the Western Swiss Alps. Using species distribution models (SDMs), we investigated whether the distribution of individual plant species is correlated to the number of OTUs of two important soil fungal classes known to interact with plants: the Glomeromycetes, that are obligatory symbionts of plants, and the Agaricomycetes, that may be facultative plant symbionts, pathogens, or wood decayers. We show that including the fungal richness information in the models of plant species distributions improves predictive accuracy. Number of fungal OTUs is especially correlated to the distribution of high elevation plant species. We suggest that high elevation soil show greater variation in fungal assemblages that may in turn impact plant turnover among communities. We finally discuss how to move beyond correlative analyses, through the design of field experiments manipulating plant and fungal communities along environmental gradients. PMID:24339830

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Principles of Biomedical Agriculture Applied to the Plant Family Theaceae To Identify Novel Interventions for Cancer Prevention and Control.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yijun; Yang, Yunqiu; Wei, Chaoling; Wan, Xiaochun; Thompson, Henry J

    2016-04-13

    Plant materials from the family Theaceae have been used for over a thousand years as integral components within the food systems of many globally distributed cultures and to treat a variety of human ailments. These markedly different uses remain of considerable interest in the 21st century. This perspective draws heavily from the agricultural and biomedical literature published using plant materials from the genus Camellia. Our objective is to provide a rationale and framework for broadening the scope of investigation of genera and species within Theaceae beyond Camellia sinensis to accelerate the development of a new generation of Theaceae-based pharmaceuticals/nutraceuticals and the more general enhancement of the food supply with Theaceae-containing products that affect the development of chronic diseases such as cancer. This will require a concerted effort to systematically capitalize on the rapidly growing knowledge of germplasm resources within Theaceae using metabolomic profiling in combination with in vivo and in vitro approaches. The successful translation of this research into products that affect human health will be facilitated by recognition of the agronomic factors that are critical in making hot water infusions generically referred to as tea as well as food products containing ground leaf powders. PMID:27011038

  17. Agricultural, domestic and handicraft folk uses of plants in the Tyrrhenian sector of Basilicata (Italy)

    PubMed Central

    Salerno, Giovanni; Guarrera, Paolo Maria; Caneva, Giulia

    2005-01-01

    Background Research was carried out into agricultural and domestic-handicraft uses in folk traditions in the Tyrrhenian sector of the Basilicata region (southern Italy), as it is typically representative of ethnobotanical applications in the Mediterranean area. From the point of view of furnishing a botanical support for the study of local "material culture" data was collected through field interviews of 49 informants, most of whom were farmers. Results The taxa cited are 60, belonging to 32 botanical families, of which 18 are employed for agricultural uses and 51 for domestic-handicraft folk uses. Data show a diffuse use of plants for many purposes, both in agricultural (present uses 14%; past uses 1%) and for domestic-handicraft use (present uses 40%; past uses 45%); most of the latter are now in decline. Conclusion 60 data look uncommon or typical of the places studied. Some domestic-handicraft folk uses are typical of southern Italy (e.g. the use of Ampelodesmos mauritanicus for making ties, ropes, torches, baskets or that of Acer neapolitanum for several uses). Other uses (e.g. that of Inula viscosa and Calamintha nepeta for peculiar brooms, and of Origanum heracleoticum for dyeing wool red) are previously unpublished. PMID:16270919

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  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. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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. PMID:22788104

  5. 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

  6. 7 CFR 355.11 - Protected plant permits.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Protected plant permits. 355.11 Section 355.11 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE ENDANGERED SPECIES REGULATIONS CONCERNING TERRESTRIAL PLANTS Permission to Engage in Business § 355.11 Protected...

  7. Supplemental planting of early successional tree species during bottomland hardwood afforestation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Twedt, D.J.; Wilson, R.R.

    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. Identifying major pesticides affecting bivalve species exposed to agricultural pollution using multi-biomarker and multivariate methods.

    PubMed

    Damásio, Joana; Navarro-Ortega, Alícia; Tauler, Romà; Lacorte, Silvia; Barceló, Damià; Soares, Amadeu M V M; López, Miguel Angel; Riva, Mari Carmen; Barata, Carlos

    2010-08-01

    The aim of this investigation was to identify major pesticides that may cause detrimental effects in bivalve species affected by agricultural pollution. Investigations were carried out using freshwater clams (Corbicula fluminea) transplanted in the main drainage channels that collect the effluents coming from agriculture fields in the Ebro Delta (NE Spain) during the main growing season of rice (from May to August). Environmental hazards were assessed by measuring simultaneous up 46 contaminant levels and 9 biomarker responses. Measured biological responses showed marked differences across sites and months. Antioxidant and esterase enzyme responses were in most cases inhibited. Lipid peroxidation levels increased steadily from May in upstream stations to August in drainage channels. Principal Component (PCA) and Partial Least Squares to Latent Structure regression (PLS) analyses allowed the identification of endosulfan, propanil, and phenylureas as being the chemical contaminants causing the most adverse effects in the studied species. PMID:20369380

  9. 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

  10. Uncertainties in Predicting Species Distributions under Climate Change: A Case Study Using Tetranychus evansi (Acari: Tetranychidae), a Widespread Agricultural Pest

    PubMed Central

    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

  11. 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

  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. 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

  14. 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

  15. Is the use-impact on native caatinga species in Brazil reduced by the high species richness of medicinal plants?

    PubMed

    de Albuquerque, Ulysses Paulino; de Oliveira, Rosilane Ferreira

    2007-08-15

    A study of the diversity of uses of medicinal plants and the traditional knowledge associated with the caatinga vegetation was undertaken in the semi-arid region of Pernambuco State, NE Brazil. We tested the utilitarian redundancy model (as an analogy to the ecological redundancy hypothesis) in evaluating the implications of the use of medicinal plants by rural communities to examine whether the presence of numerous species with analogous functions (identical therapeutic applications, for example) would reduce the use-impact on native species in the neighboring caatinga vegetation. Various techniques were used to collect information concerning medicinal plants and their applications from 19 residents considered "local specialists". The vegetation was sampled to determine the abundance of woody plants. Approximately 106 plants that fall into 67 local therapeutic categories were identified. Despite the fact that exotic species compose a significant fraction of the local medicinal flora, the native species represented the greatest percentage of local uses and indications. Amburana cearensis, Myracrodruon urundeuva, Anadenanthera colubrina, Sideroxylon obtusifolium, and Ziziphus joazeiro, for example, are highly sought after plants, and represent key species in terms of conservation and sustainable management. Our model of utilitarian redundancy has important consequences for testing ethnobotanical hypotheses, as well as for indicating strategies for biodiversity conservation. PMID:17616289

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Evolution and Phylogenetic Diversity of Yam Species (Dioscorea spp.): Implication for Conservation and Agricultural Practices

    PubMed Central

    Ngo Ngwe, Marie Florence Sandrine; Omokolo, Denis Ndoumou; Joly, Simon

    2015-01-01

    Yams (Dioscorea spp.) consist of approximately 600 species. Presently, these species are threatened by genetic erosion due to many factors such as pest attacks and farming practices. In parallel, complex taxonomic boundaries in this genus makes it more challenging to properly address the genetic diversity of yam and manage its germplasm. As a first step toward evaluating and preserving the genetic diversity yam species, we use a phylogenetic diversity (PD) approach that has the advantage to investigate phylogenetic relationships and test hypotheses of species monophyly while alleviating to the problem of ploidy variation within and among species. The Bayesian phylogenetic analysis of 62 accessions from 7 species from three regions of Cameroon showed that most Dioscorea sections were monophyletic, but species within sections were generally non-monophyletic. The wild species D. praehensilis and cultivated D. cayenensis were the species with the highest PD. At the opposite, D. esculenta has a low PD and future studies should focus on this species to properly address its conservation status. We also show that wild species show a stronger genetic structure than cultivated species, which potentially reflects the management of the yam germplasm by farmers. These findings show that phylogenetic diversity is a promising approach for an initial investigation of genetic diversity in a crop consisting of closely related species. PMID:26691919

  20. 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

  1. Assessment of heavy metal accumulation in macrophyte, agricultural soil, and crop plants adjacent to discharge zone of sponge iron factory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gupta, S.; Nayek, S.; Saha, R. N.; Satpati, S.

    2008-08-01

    The present study deals with the characterization of effluent released from sponge iron industries and distribution of heavy metals in soil and macrophytes near to effluent discharge channel. Apart from this, accumulation of heavy metals in nearby soil and vegetation system irrigated with effluent-contaminated water is also the subject of this study. Physico-chemical analysis of effluent reveals that the concentration of total suspended solids (TSS), total hardness (TH), iron (Fe2+), and oil and grease are greater than the IS (1981) norms for discharge of water into inland water body. The soil along the sides of the effluent channel also shows higher concentration of heavy metals than the background soil. The enrichment of the heavy metals are in the order of Chromium (Cr) > Iron (Fe) > Manganese (Mn) > Zinc (Zn) > Copper (Cu) > Cadmium (Cd). Macrophytes growing along the sides of the effluent channel also show significant accumulation of heavy metals almost in the same order as accumulated in soil. Higher uptake of heavy metals by these varieties reveals that these species can be used for future phytoremediation. The effluent as well as contaminated water is extensively used for irrigation for growing vegetables like tomato ( Lycopersicon esculatum) in the surrounding areas. Heavy metal accumulation in this agricultural soil are in the sequence of Cr > Fe > Mn > Zn > Cu > Cd. More or less similar type of accumulation pattern are also found in tomato plants except Fe and Zn exceeding Cr and Mn. Transfer Factor of heavy metals from soil to tomato plants (TFS) shows average value of <1, suggesting less uptake of heavy metals from soil. Among the plant parts studied, fruit shows least accumulation. Although tomato plants show some phenotypic changes, the survival of tomato plants as well as least accumulation of metals in fruit reveals their tolerance to heavy metals. Therefore it may be suggested that this plant can be grown successfully in the heavy metal

  2. Facilitated by nature and agriculture: performance of a specialist herbivore improves with host-plant life history evolution, domestication, and breeding.

    PubMed

    Dávila-Flores, Amanda M; DeWitt, Thomas J; Bernal, Julio S

    2013-12-01

    Plant defenses against herbivores are predicted to change as plant lineages diversify, and with domestication and subsequent selection and breeding in the case of crop plants. We addressed whether defense against a specialist herbivore declined coincidently with life history evolution, domestication, and breeding within the grass genus Zea (Poaceae). For this, we assessed performance of corn leafhopper (Dalbulus maidis) following colonization of one of four Zea species containing three successive transitions: the evolutionary transition from perennial to annual life cycle, the agricultural transition from wild annual grass to primitive crop cultivar, and the agronomic transition from primitive to modern crop cultivar. Performance of corn leafhopper was measured through seven variables relevant to development speed, survivorship, fecundity, and body size. The plants included in our study were perennial teosinte (Zea diploperennis), Balsas teosinte (Zea mays parviglumis), a landrace maize (Zea mays mays), and a hybrid maize. Perennial teosinte is a perennial, iteroparous species, and is basal in Zea; Balsas teosinte is an annual species, and the progenitor of maize; the landrace maize is a primitive, genetically diverse cultivar, and is ancestral to the hybrid maize; and, the hybrid maize is a highly inbred, modern cultivar. Performance of corn leafhopper was poorest on perennial teosinte, intermediate on Balsas teosinte and landrace maize, and best on hybrid maize, consistent with our expectation of declining defense from perennial teosinte to hybrid maize. Overall, our results indicated that corn leafhopper performance increased most with the agronomic transition, followed by the life history transition, and least with the domestication transition. PMID:23868032

  3. 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. PMID:24641509

  4. 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…

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Plant Species Diversity and Distribution in Pastures of the Northeastern USA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Grazed pastures in the northeastern United contain far more than planted forage species. These species may contribute to forage production, but they may also detract from forage production or palatability. As the first step toward identifying the role of plant diversity in forage systems, we collect...

  8. How does biomass distribution change with size and differ among species? An analysis for 1200 plant species from five continents.

    PubMed

    Poorter, Hendrik; Jagodzinski, Andrzej M; Ruiz-Peinado, Ricardo; Kuyah, Shem; Luo, Yunjian; Oleksyn, Jacek; Usoltsev, Vladimir A; Buckley, Thomas N; Reich, Peter B; Sack, Lawren

    2015-11-01

    We compiled a global database for leaf, stem and root biomass representing c. 11 000 records for c. 1200 herbaceous and woody species grown under either controlled or field conditions. We used this data set to analyse allometric relationships and fractional biomass distribution to leaves, stems and roots. We tested whether allometric scaling exponents are generally constant across plant sizes as predicted by metabolic scaling theory, or whether instead they change dynamically with plant size. We also quantified interspecific variation in biomass distribution among plant families and functional groups. Across all species combined, leaf vs stem and leaf vs root scaling exponents decreased from c. 1.00 for small plants to c. 0.60 for the largest trees considered. Evergreens had substantially higher leaf mass fractions (LMFs) than deciduous species, whereas graminoids maintained higher root mass fractions (RMFs) than eudicotyledonous herbs. These patterns do not support the hypothesis of fixed allometric exponents. Rather, continuous shifts in allometric exponents with plant size during ontogeny and evolution are the norm. Across seed plants, variation in biomass distribution among species is related more to function than phylogeny. We propose that the higher LMF of evergreens at least partly compensates for their relatively low leaf area : leaf mass ratio. PMID:26197869

  9. Development of a PCR-based method for monitoring the status of Alcaligenes species in the agricultural environment.

    PubMed

    Nakano, Miyo; Niwa, Masumi; Nishimura, Norihiro

    2014-01-01

    To analyze the status of the genus Alcaligenes in the agricultural environment, we developed a PCR method for detection of these species from vegetables and farming soil. The selected PCR primers amplified a 107-bp fragment of the 16S rRNA gene in a specific PCR assay with a detection limit of 1.06 pg of pure culture DNA, corresponding to DNA extracted from approximately 23 cells of Alcaligenes faecalis. Meanwhile, PCR primers generated a detectable amount of the amplicon from 2.2×10(2) CFU/ml cell suspensions from the soil. Analysis of vegetable phylloepiphytic and farming soil microbes showed that bacterial species belonging to the genus Alcaligenes were present in the range from 0.9×10(0) CFU per gram (or cm(2)) (Japanese radish: Raphanus sativus var. longipinnatus) to more than 1.1×10(4) CFU/g (broccoli flowers: Brassica oleracea var. italic), while 2.4×10(2) to 4.4×10(3) CFU/g were detected from all soil samples. These results indicated that Alcaligenes species are present in the phytosphere at levels 10-1000 times lower than those in soil. Our approach may be useful for tracking or quantifying species of the genus Alcaligenes in the agricultural environment. PMID:24670615

  10. Are non-native plants perceived to be more risky? Factors influencing horticulturists' risk perceptions of ornamental plant species.

    PubMed

    Humair, Franziska; Kueffer, Christoph; Siegrist, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Horticultural trade is recognized as an important vector in promoting the introduction and dispersal of harmful non-native plant species. Understanding horticulturists' perceptions of biotic invasions is therefore important for effective species risk management. We conducted a large-scale survey among horticulturists in Switzerland (N = 625) to reveal horticulturists' risk and benefit perceptions from ornamental plant species, their attitudes towards the regulation of non-native species, as well as the factors decisive for environmental risk perceptions and horticulturists' willingness to engage in risk mitigation behavior. Our results suggest that perceived familiarity with a plant species had a mitigating effect on risk perceptions, while perceptions of risk increased if a species was perceived to be non-native. However, perceptions of the non-native origin of ornamental plant species were often not congruent with scientific classifications. Horticulturists displayed positive attitudes towards mandatory trade regulations, particularly towards those targeted against known invasive species. Participants also expressed their willingness to engage in risk mitigation behavior. Yet, positive effects of risk perceptions on the willingness to engage in risk mitigation behavior were counteracted by perceptions of benefits from selling non-native ornamental species. Our results indicate that the prevalent practice in risk communication to emphasize the non-native origin of invasive species can be ineffective, especially in the case of species of high importance to local industries and people. This is because familiarity with these plants can reduce risk perceptions and be in conflict with scientific concepts of non-nativeness. In these cases, it might be more effective to focus communication on well-documented environmental impacts of harmful species. PMID:25003195

  11. Are Non-Native Plants Perceived to Be More Risky? Factors Influencing Horticulturists' Risk Perceptions of Ornamental Plant Species

    PubMed Central

    Humair, Franziska; Kueffer, Christoph; Siegrist, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Horticultural trade is recognized as an important vector in promoting the introduction and dispersal of harmful non-native plant species. Understanding horticulturists' perceptions of biotic invasions is therefore important for effective species risk management. We conducted a large-scale survey among horticulturists in Switzerland (N = 625) to reveal horticulturists' risk and benefit perceptions from ornamental plant species, their attitudes towards the regulation of non-native species, as well as the factors decisive for environmental risk perceptions and horticulturists' willingness to engage in risk mitigation behavior. Our results suggest that perceived familiarity with a plant species had a mitigating effect on risk perceptions, while perceptions of risk increased if a species was perceived to be non-native. However, perceptions of the non-native origin of ornamental plant species were often not congruent with scientific classifications. Horticulturists displayed positive attitudes towards mandatory trade regulations, particularly towards those targeted against known invasive species. Participants also expressed their willingness to engage in risk mitigation behavior. Yet, positive effects of risk perceptions on the willingness to engage in risk mitigation behavior were counteracted by perceptions of benefits from selling non-native ornamental species. Our results indicate that the prevalent practice in risk communication to emphasize the non-native origin of invasive species can be ineffective, especially in the case of species of high importance to local industries and people. This is because familiarity with these plants can reduce risk perceptions and be in conflict with scientific concepts of non-nativeness. In these cases, it might be more effective to focus communication on well-documented environmental impacts of harmful species. PMID:25003195

  12. Discriminating plant species across California's diverse ecosystems using airborne VSWIR and TIR imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meerdink, S.; Roberts, D. A.; Roth, K. L.

    2015-12-01

    Accurate knowledge of the spatial distribution of plant species is required for many research and management agendas that track ecosystem health. Because of this, there is continuous development of research focused on remotely-sensed species classifications for many diverse ecosystems. While plant species have been mapped using airborne imaging spectroscopy, the geographic extent has been limited due to data availability and spectrally similar species continue to be difficult to separate. The proposed Hyperspectral Infrared Imager (HyspIRI) space-borne mission, which includes a visible near infrared/shortwave infrared (VSWIR) imaging spectrometer and thermal infrared (TIR) multi-spectral imager, would present an opportunity to improve species discrimination over a much broader scale. Here we evaluate: 1) the capability of VSWIR and/or TIR spectra to discriminate plant species; 2) the accuracy of species classifications within an ecosystem; and 3) the potential for discriminating among species across a range of ecosystems. Simulated HyspIRI imagery was acquired in spring/summer of 2013 spanning from Santa Barbara to Bakersfield, CA with the Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) and the MODIS/ASTER Airborne Simulator (MASTER) instruments. Three spectral libraries were created from these images: AVIRIS (224 bands from 0.4 - 2.5 µm), MASTER (8 bands from 7.5 - 12 µm), and AVIRIS + MASTER. We used canonical discriminant analysis (CDA) as a dimension reduction technique and then classified plant species using linear discriminant analysis (LDA). Our results show the inclusion of TIR spectra improved species discrimination, but only for plant species with emissivities departing from that of a gray body. Ecosystems with species that have high spectral contrast had higher classification accuracies. Mapping plant species across all ecosystems resulted in a classification with lower accuracies than a single ecosystem due to the complex nature of

  13. Testing projected wild bee distributions in agricultural habitats: predictive power depends on species traits and habitat type.

    PubMed

    Marshall, Leon; Carvalheiro, Luísa G; Aguirre-Gutiérrez, Jesús; Bos, Merijn; de Groot, G Arjen; Kleijn, David; Potts, Simon G; Reemer, Menno; Roberts, Stuart; Scheper, Jeroen; Biesmeijer, Jacobus C

    2015-10-01

    Species distribution models (SDM) are increasingly used to understand the factors that regulate variation in biodiversity patterns and to help plan conservation strategies. However, these models are rarely validated with independently collected data and it is unclear whether SDM performance is maintained across distinct habitats and for species with different functional traits. Highly mobile species, such as bees, can be particularly challenging to model. Here, we use independent sets of occurrence data collected systematically in several agricultural habitats to test how the predictive performance of SDMs for wild bee species depends on species traits, habitat type, and sampling technique. We used a species distribution modeling approach parametrized for the Netherlands, with presence records from 1990 to 2010 for 193 Dutch wild bees. For each species, we built a Maxent model based on 13 climate and landscape variables. We tested the predictive performance of the SDMs with independent datasets collected from orchards and arable fields across the Netherlands from 2010 to 2013, using transect surveys or pan traps. Model predictive performance depended on species traits and habitat type. Occurrence of bee species specialized in habitat and diet was better predicted than generalist bees. Predictions of habitat suitability were also more precise for habitats that are temporally more stable (orchards) than for habitats that suffer regular alterations (arable), particularly for small, solitary bees. As a conservation tool, SDMs are best suited to modeling rarer, specialist species than more generalist and will work best in long-term stable habitats. The variability of complex, short-term habitats is difficult to capture in such models and historical land use generally has low thematic resolution. To improve SDMs' usefulness, models require explanatory variables and collection data that include detailed landscape characteristics, for example, variability of crops and

  14. Multiple Assembly Rules Drive the Co-occurrence of Orthopteran and Plant Species in Grasslands: Combining Network, Functional and Phylogenetic Approaches

    PubMed Central

    Fournier, Bertrand; Mouly, Arnaud; Gillet, François

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the factors underlying the co-occurrence of multiple species remains a challenge in ecology. Biotic interactions, environmental filtering and neutral processes are among the main mechanisms evoked to explain species co-occurrence. However, they are most often studied separately or even considered as mutually exclusive. This likely hampers a more global understanding of species assembly. Here, we investigate the general hypothesis that the structure of co-occurrence networks results from multiple assembly rules and its potential implications for grassland ecosystems. We surveyed orthopteran and plant communities in 48 permanent grasslands of the French Jura Mountains and gathered functional and phylogenetic data for all species. We constructed a network of plant and orthopteran species co-occurrences and verified whether its structure was modular or nested. We investigated the role of all species in the structure of the network (modularity and nestedness). We also investigated the assembly rules driving the structure of the plant-orthopteran co-occurrence network by using null models on species functional traits, phylogenetic relatedness and environmental conditions. We finally compared our results to abundance-based approaches. We found that the plant-orthopteran co-occurrence network had a modular organization. Community assembly rules differed among modules for plants while interactions with plants best explained the distribution of orthopterans into modules. Few species had a disproportionately high positive contribution to this modular organization and are likely to have a key importance to modulate future changes. The impact of agricultural practices was restricted to some modules (3 out of 5) suggesting that shifts in agricultural practices might not impact the entire plant-orthopteran co-occurrence network. These findings support our hypothesis that multiple assembly rules drive the modular structure of the plant-orthopteran network. This

  15. Multiple Assembly Rules Drive the Co-occurrence of Orthopteran and Plant Species in Grasslands: Combining Network, Functional and Phylogenetic Approaches.

    PubMed

    Fournier, Bertrand; Mouly, Arnaud; Gillet, François

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the factors underlying the co-occurrence of multiple species remains a challenge in ecology. Biotic interactions, environmental filtering and neutral processes are among the main mechanisms evoked to explain species co-occurrence. However, they are most often studied separately or even considered as mutually exclusive. This likely hampers a more global understanding of species assembly. Here, we investigate the general hypothesis that the structure of co-occurrence networks results from multiple assembly rules and its potential implications for grassland ecosystems. We surveyed orthopteran and plant communities in 48 permanent grasslands of the French Jura Mountains and gathered functional and phylogenetic data for all species. We constructed a network of plant and orthopteran species co-occurrences and verified whether its structure was modular or nested. We investigated the role of all species in the structure of the network (modularity and nestedness). We also investigated the assembly rules driving the structure of the plant-orthopteran co-occurrence network by using null models on species functional traits, phylogenetic relatedness and environmental conditions. We finally compared our results to abundance-based approaches. We found that the plant-orthopteran co-occurrence network had a modular organization. Community assembly rules differed among modules for plants while interactions with plants best explained the distribution of orthopterans into modules. Few species had a disproportionately high positive contribution to this modular organization and are likely to have a key importance to modulate future changes. The impact of agricultural practices was restricted to some modules (3 out of 5) suggesting that shifts in agricultural practices might not impact the entire plant-orthopteran co-occurrence network. These findings support our hypothesis that multiple assembly rules drive the modular structure of the plant-orthopteran network. This

  16. Evaluation of the micronutrient composition of plant foods produced by organic and conventional agricultural methods.

    PubMed

    Hunter, Duncan; Foster, Meika; McArthur, Jennifer O; Ojha, Rachel; Petocz, Peter; Samman, Samir

    2011-07-01

    The aim of the present analysis was to evaluate the micronutrient content of plant foods produced by organic and conventional agricultural methods. Studies were identified from a search of electronic databases (1980-2007, inclusive) as well as manual searches. A total of 66 studies (describing 1440 micronutrient comparisons) were identified. Thirty-three studies (908 comparisons) satisfied the screening criteria which considered cultivar, harvesting, and soil conditions. In studies that satisfied the screening criteria, the absolute levels of micronutrients were higher in organic foods more often than in conventional foods (462 vs 364 comparisons, P=0.002), and the total micronutrient content, expressed as a percent difference, was higher in organic (+5.7%, P<0.001) as compared to conventionally grown produce. The micronutrient content of food groups was more frequently reported to be higher for organic vegetables and legumes compared to their conventional counterparts (vegetables, 267 vs 197, P<0.001; legumes, 79 vs 46, P=0.004). This trend was supported by a mean percent difference in micronutrient content favoring organic vegetables (+5.9%, P<0.001) and legumes (+5.7%, P<0.001). Further research is required to determine the effect of organic agricultural methods on a broader range of nutrients and their potential impact on health. PMID:21929333

  17. 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. PMID:24777948

  18. The effect of AMF suppression on plant species composition in a nutrient-poor dry grassland.

    PubMed

    Dostálek, Tomáš; Pánková, Hana; Münzbergová, Zuzana; Rydlová, Jana

    2013-01-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are expected to be one of the key drivers determining the diversity of natural plant communities, especially in nutrient-poor and dry habitats. Several previous studies have explored the importance of AMF for the composition of plant communities in various types of habitats. Surprisingly, studies of the role of AMF in nutrient-poor dry grassland communities dominated by less mycotrophic plant species are still relatively rare. We present the results of a 3-year study in which a plant community in a species-rich dry grassland was subjected to the fungicide carbendazim to suppress AMF colonization. We tested the effect of the fungicide on the following parameters: the plant species composition; the number of plant species; the cover of the rare, highly mycorrhiza-dependent species Aster amellus; the cover of the dominant, less mycorrhiza-dependent species Brachypodium pinnatum; and the cover of graminoids and perennial forbs. In addition, we examined the mycorrhizal inoculation potential of the soil. We found that the suppression of AMF with fungicide resulted in substantial changes in plant species composition and significant decrease in species richness, the cover of A. amellus and the cover of perennial forbs. In contrast the species increasing their cover after fungicide application were graminoids--the C3 grasses B. pinnatum and Bromus erectus and the sedge Carex flacca. These species appear to be less mycorrhiza dependent. Moreover, due to their clonal growth and efficient nutrient usage, they are, most likely, better competitors than perennial forbs under fungicide application. Our results thus suggest that AMF are an essential part of the soil communities supporting a high diversity of plant species in species-rich dry grasslands in nutrient-poor habitats. The AMF are especially important for the maintenance of the populations of perennial forbs, many of which are rare and endangered in the area. PMID:24265829

  19. The Effect of AMF Suppression on Plant Species Composition in a Nutrient-Poor Dry Grassland

    PubMed Central

    Dostálek, Tomáš; Pánková, Hana; Münzbergová, Zuzana; Rydlová, Jana

    2013-01-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are expected to be one of the key drivers determining the diversity of natural plant communities, especially in nutrient-poor and dry habitats. Several previous studies have explored the importance of AMF for the composition of plant communities in various types of habitats. Surprisingly, studies of the role of AMF in nutrient-poor dry grassland communities dominated by less mycotrophic plant species are still relatively rare. We present the results of a 3-year study in which a plant community in a species-rich dry grassland was subjected to the fungicide carbendazim to suppress AMF colonization. We tested the effect of the fungicide on the following parameters: the plant species composition; the number of plant species; the cover of the rare, highly mycorrhiza-dependent species Aster amellus; the cover of the dominant, less mycorrhiza-dependent species Brachypodium pinnatum; and the cover of graminoids and perennial forbs. In addition, we examined the mycorrhizal inoculation potential of the soil. We found that the suppression of AMF with fungicide resulted in substantial changes in plant species composition and significant decrease in species richness, the cover of A. amellus and the cover of perennial forbs. In contrast the species increasing their cover after fungicide application were graminoids—the C3 grasses B. pinnatum and Bromus erectus and the sedge Carex flacca. These species appear to be less mycorrhiza dependent. Moreover, due to their clonal growth and efficient nutrient usage, they are, most likely, better competitors than perennial forbs under fungicide application. Our results thus suggest that AMF are an essential part of the soil communities supporting a high diversity of plant species in species-rich dry grasslands in nutrient-poor habitats. The AMF are especially important for the maintenance of the populations of perennial forbs, many of which are rare and endangered in the area. PMID:24265829

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grace, J.B.

    1999-01-01

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

  1. Moose as a vector for non-indigenous plant species in Alaska

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    White sweetclover and narrowleaf hawksbeard are non-indigenous invasive plant species in Alaska that are rapidly spreading, including into areas that are otherwise free of non-indigenous plants. There has been concern that native moose could be dispersing viable seed from these plants after ingestio...

  2. Collection and Domestication of Rangeland Plant Species with Emphasis on Mongolia and China

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Changing economic and social conditions are threatening plant diversity on rangelands in Mongolia and China. Teams of collaborating scientists from the U.S.A., Mongolia, and China collected seed of rangeland plant species in Mongolia and Inner Mongolia, China, to preserve plant biodiversity from th...

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Use of plant woody species electrical potential for irrigation scheduling.

    PubMed

    Ríos-Rojas, Liliana; Morales-Moraga, David; Alcalde, José A; Gurovich, Luis A

    2015-01-01

    The electrical response of plants to environmental stimuli can be measured and quantitatively related to the intensity of several stimulating sources, like temperature, solar radiation, soil water content, evapotranspiration rates, sap flow and dendrometric cycles. These relations can be used to assess the influence of different environmental situations on soil water availability to plants, defined as a steady state condition between leaf transpirative flow and soil water flow to plant roots. A restricted soil water flow due to soil dryness can trigger water stress in plants, if the atmospheric evaporative demand is high, causing partial stomata closure as a physiological response to avoid plant dehydration; water stressed and unstressed plants manifest a differential electrical response. Real time plant electrical response measurements can anticipate actions that prevent the plant reaching actual stress conditions, optimizing stomata gas exchange and photosynthetic rates. An electrophysiological sensor developed in this work, allows remote real-time recording information on plant electrical potential (EP) in the field, which is highly related to EP measurements obtained with a laboratory Keithley voltmeter sensor used in an highly controlled experimental setup. Our electrophysiological sensor is a wireless, autonomous devise, which transmits EP information via Internet to a data server. Using both types of sensors (EP electrodes with a Keithley voltmeter and the electrophysiological sensor), we measured in real time the electrical responses of Persea americana and Prunus domestica plants, to induced water deficits. The differential response for 2 scenarios: irrigation and water restriction is identified by a progressive change in slope on the daily maximal and minimal electric signal values in stressed plants, and a zero-slope for similar signals for well-watered plants. Results show a correspondence between measured signals obtained by our electrophysiological

  5. Use of plant woody species electrical potential for irrigation scheduling

    PubMed Central

    Ríos-Rojas, Liliana; Morales-Moraga, David; Alcalde, José A; Gurovich, Luis A

    2015-01-01

    The electrical response of plants to environmental stimuli can be measured and quantitatively related to the intensity of several stimulating sources, like temperature, solar radiation, soil water content, evapotranspiration rates, sap flow and dendrometric cycles. These relations can be used to assess the influence of different environmental situations on soil water availability to plants, defined as a steady state condition between leaf transpirative flow and soil water flow to plant roots. A restricted soil water flow due to soil dryness can trigger water stress in plants, if the atmospheric evaporative demand is high, causing partial stomata closure as a physiological response to avoid plant dehydration; water stressed and unstressed plants manifest a differential electrical response. Real time plant electrical response measurements can anticipate actions that prevent the plant reaching actual stress conditions, optimizing stomata gas exchange and photosynthetic rates. An electrophysiological sensor developed in this work, allows remote real-time recording information on plant electrical potential (EP) in the field, which is highly related to EP measurements obtained with a laboratory Keithley voltmeter sensor used in an highly controlled experimental setup. Our electrophysiological sensor is a wireless, autonomous devise, which transmits EP information via Internet to a data server. Using both types of sensors (EP electrodes with a Keithley voltmeter and the electrophysiological sensor), we measured in real time the electrical responses of Persea americana and Prunus domestica plants, to induced water deficits. The differential response for 2 scenarios: irrigation and water restriction is identified by a progressive change in slope on the daily maximal and minimal electric signal values in stressed plants, and a zero-slope for similar signals for well-watered plants. Results show a correspondence between measured signals obtained by our electrophysiological

  6. Classification and identification of metal-accumulating plant species by cluster analysis.

    PubMed

    Yang, Wenhao; Li, He; Zhang, Taoxiang; Sen, Lin; Ni, Wuzhong

    2014-09-01

    Identification and classification of metal-accumulating plant species is essential for phytoextraction. Cluster analysis is used for classifying individuals based on measured characteristics. In this study, classification of plant species for metal accumulation was conducted using cluster analysis based on a practical survey. Forty plant samples belonging to 21 species were collected from an ancient silver-mining site. Five groups such as hyperaccumulator, potential hyperaccumulator, accumulator, potential accumulator, and normal accumulating plant were graded. For Cd accumulation, the ancient silver-mining ecotype of Sedum alfredii was treated as a Cd hyperaccumulator, and the others were normal Cd-accumulating plants. For Zn accumulation, S. alfredii was considered as a potential Zn hyperaccumulator, Conyza canadensis and Artemisia lavandulaefolia were Zn accumulators, and the others were normal Zn-accumulating plants. For Pb accumulation, S. alfredii and Elatostema lineolatum were potential Pb hyperaccumulators, Rubus hunanensis, Ajuga decumbens, and Erigeron annuus were Pb accumulators, C. canadensis and A. lavandulaefolia were potential Pb accumulators, and the others were normal Pb-accumulating plants. Plant species with the potential for phytoextraction were identified such as S. alfredii for Cd and Zn, C. canadensis and A. lavandulaefolia for Zn and Pb, and E. lineolatum, R. hunanensis, A. decumbens, and E. annuus for Pb. Cluster analysis is effective in the classification of plant species for metal accumulation and identification of potential species for phytoextraction. PMID:24888623

  7. Assessment of heavy metal tolerance in native plant species from soils contaminated with electroplating effluent.

    PubMed

    Sainger, Poonam Ahlawat; Dhankhar, Rajesh; Sainger, Manish; Kaushik, Anubha; Singh, Rana Pratap

    2011-11-01

    Heavy metals concentrations of (Cr, Zn, Fe, Cu and Ni) were determined in plants and soils contaminated with electroplating industrial effluent. The ranges of total soil Cr, Zn, Fe, Cu and Ni concentrations were found to be 1443-3240, 1376-3112, 683-2228, 263-374 and 234-335 mg kg⁻¹, respectively. Metal accumulation, along with hyperaccumulative characteristics of the screened plants was investigated. Present study highlighted that metal accumulation in different plants varied with species, tissues and metals. Only one plant (Amaranthus viridis) accumulated Fe concentrations over 1000 mg kg⁻¹. On the basis of TF, eight plant species for Zn and Fe, three plant species for Cu and two plant species for Ni, could be used in phytoextraction technology. Although BAF of all plant species was lesser than one, these species exhibited high metal adaptability and could be considered as potential hyperaccumulators. Phytoremediation potential of these plants can be used to remediate metal contaminated soils, though further investigation is still needed. PMID:21820739

  8. Influence of three aquatic macrophytes on mitigation of nitrogen species from agricultural runoff

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agricultural runoff containing nitrogen fertilizer is a major contributor to eutrophication in aquatic systems. One method of lowering amounts of nitrogen entering rivers or lakes is the transport of runoff through vegetated drainage ditches. Drainage ditch vegetation can enhance the mitigation of...

  9. Subterranean, Herbivore-Induced Plant Volatile Increases Biological Control Activity of Multiple Beneficial Nematode Species in Distinct Habitats

    PubMed Central

    Ali, Jared G.; Alborn, Hans T.; Campos-Herrera, Raquel; Kaplan, Fatma; Duncan, Larry W.; Rodriguez-Saona, Cesar; Koppenhöfer, Albrecht M.; Stelinski, Lukasz L.

    2012-01-01

    While the role of herbivore-induced volatiles in plant-herbivore-natural enemy interactions is well documented aboveground, new evidence suggests that belowground volatile emissions can protect plants by attracting entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs). However, due to methodological limitations, no study has previously detected belowground herbivore-induced volatiles in the field or quantified their impact on attraction of diverse EPN species. Here we show how a belowground herbivore-induced volatile can enhance mortality of agriculturally significant root pests. First, in real time, we identified pregeijerene (1,5-dimethylcyclodeca-1,5,7-triene) from citrus roots 9–12 hours after initiation of larval Diaprepes abbreviatus feeding. This compound was also detected in the root zone of mature citrus trees in the field. Application of collected volatiles from weevil-damaged citrus roots attracted native EPNs and increased mortality of beetle larvae (D. abbreviatus) compared to controls in a citrus orchard. In addition, field applications of isolated pregeijerene caused similar results. Quantitative real-time PCR revealed that pregeijerene increased pest mortality by attracting four species of naturally occurring EPNs in the field. Finally, we tested the generality of this root-zone signal by application of pregeijerene in blueberry fields; mortality of larvae (Galleria mellonella and Anomala orientalis) again increased by attracting naturally occurring populations of an EPN. Thus, this specific belowground signal attracts natural enemies of widespread root pests in distinct agricultural systems and may have broad potential in biological control of root pests. PMID:22761668

  10. Race to Displace: A Game to Model the Effects of Invasive Species on Plant Communities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hopwood, Jennifer L.; Flowers, Susan K.; Seidler, Katie J.; Hopwood, Erica L.

    2013-01-01

    Invasive species are a substantial threat to biodiversity. Educating students about invasive species introduces fundamental concepts in biology, ecology, and environmental science. In the Race to Displace game, students assume the characteristics of select native or introduced plants and experience first hand the influences of species interactions…

  11. Phytochemicals of selected plant species of the Apocynaceae and Asclepiadaceae from Western Ghats, Tamil Nadu, India

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A concern about the declining supply of petroleum products has led to a renewed interest in evaluating plant species as potential alternate sources of energy. Five species of the Apocynaceae and three species of the Asclepiadaceae from the Western Ghats were evaluated as alternative sources of energ...

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Alkaloids from marine sponges as stimulators of initial stages of development of agricultural plants.

    PubMed

    Anisimov, Mikhail M; Chaikina, Elena L; Utkina, Natalia K

    2014-04-01

    Damirone A (1), damirone B (2), makaluvamine G (3), debromohymenialdisine (4), and dibromoagelaspongin (5) were examined for their ability to stimulate growth of seedling roots of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.), buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum Moench), corn (Zea mays L.), soy (Glycine max (L.) Merr.}, and wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). It was shown that the stimulatory effects depend on the chemical structure of the alkaloids and on the plant species. Compounds 1, 3, and 4 are efficient for growth of seedling roots of barley, compounds 2-5, at different concentrations, stimulate growth of buckwheat roots, and compound 5 stimulates growth of wheat roots. These compounds can be recommended for field study as plant growth stimulators. PMID:24868854

  14. PLANT SENESCENCE: A MECHANISM FOR NUTRIENT RELEASE IN TEMPERATE AGRICULTURAL WETLANDS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agriculture drainage ditches are primary intercept wetlands in amelioration of nutrient pollution from agricultural fields. Drainage ditches, as integral components of the agricultural landscape, remove surface run-off and act as major conduits of nutrients from agricultural lands to receiving water...

  15. Effects of agricultural tillage and sediment accumulation on emergent plant communities in playa wetlands of the U.S. High Plains.

    PubMed

    O'Connell, Jessica L; Johnson, Lacrecia A; Daniel, Dale W; McMurry, Scott T; Smith, Loren M; Haukos, David A

    2013-05-15

    Identifying community assembly filters is a primary ecological aim. The High Plains, a 30 million ha short-grass eco-region, is intensely cultivated. Cultivation disturbance, including plowing and eroded soil deposition down-slope of plowing, influences plant composition in depressional wetlands, such as playas, within croplands. We evaluated influences of wetland cultivation and sediment deposition on plant composition in playas embedded within croplands (46 plowed and 32 unplowed) and native grasslands (79) across 6 High Plains' states. Sediment accumulation ranged from 7 to 78 cm in cropland and 1 to 35 cm in grassland playas. Deeper sediments and plowing each decreased wetland plant richness, 28% and 70% respectively in cropland wetlands. Sediment depth reduced richness 37% in small grasslands playas while it increased richness 22% in larger ones, suggesting moderate disturbance increased richness when there were nearby propagule sources. Sediment depth was unrelated to species richness in plowed wetlands, probably because plowing was a strong disturbance. Plowing removed perennial plants from vegetation communities. Sediment accumulation also influenced species composition in cropland playas, e.g., probability of Eleocharis atropurpurea increased with sediment depth, while probability of Panicum capillare decreased. In grassland playas, observed lighter sediment depths did not influence species composition after accounting for wetland area. Sediment accumulation and plowing shift wetland plant communities toward annual species and decrease habitat connectivity for wetland-dependent organisms in cropland playas over 39,000 and 23,400 ha respectively. Conservation practices lessening sediment accumulation include short-grass buffer strips surrounding wetlands. Further, wetland tillage, allowed under federal agricultural conservation programs, should be eliminated. PMID:23500104

  16. Nitrogen addition and harvest frequency rather than initial plant species composition determine vertical structure and light interception in grasslands.

    PubMed

    Petersen, Ute; Isselstein, Johannes

    2015-01-01

    In biodiversity experiments based on seeded experimental communities, species richness and species composition exert a strong influence on canopy structure and can lead to an improved use of aboveground resources. In this study, we want to explore whether these findings are applicable to agriculturally managed permanent grassland. Vertical layered profiles of biomass, leaf area (LA) and light intensity were measured in a removal-type biodiversity experiment (GrassMan) to compare the canopy structure in grassland vegetation of different plant species composition (called sward types). Additionally, the altered sward types were subjected to four different management regimes by a combination of the factors fertilization (unfertilized, NPK fertilized) and cutting frequency (one late cut or three cuts). In spite of large compositional differences (ratio grasses : non-leguminous forbs : leguminous forbs ranging from 93 : 7 : 0 to 39 : 52 : 9), the vegetation of the same management regime hardly differed in its canopy structure, whereas the different management regimes led to distinct vertical profiles in the vegetation. However, the allocation of biomass in response to cutting and fertilization differed among the sward types. Vegetation dominated by grasses was denser and had more LA when fertilized compared with vegetation rich in dicots which merely grew taller. In functionally more diverse vegetation, light interception was not increased compared with vegetation consisting of more than 90 % of grasses in terms of biomass. Management had a much stronger influence on structure and light interception than plant species composition in this grassland experiment. PMID:26199402

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-01

    In grassland communities, plants can be classified as dominants or subordinates according to their relative abundances, but the factors controlling such distributions remain unclear. Here, we test whether the presence of the arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungus Glomus intraradices affects the competitiveness of two dominant (Taraxacum officinale and Agrostis capillaris) and two subordinate species (Prunella vulgaris and Achillea millefolium). Plants were grown in pots in the presence or absence of the fungus, in monoculture and in mixtures of both species groups with two and four species. In the absence of G. intraradices, dominants were clearly more competitive than subordinates. In inoculated pots, the fungus acted towards the parasitic end of the mutualism-parasitism continuum and had an overall negative effect on the growth of the plant species. However, the negative effects of the AM fungus were more pronounced on dominant species reducing the differences in competitiveness between dominant and subordinate species. The effects of G. intraradices varied with species composition highlighting the importance of plant community to mediate the effects of AM fungi. Dominant species were negatively affected from the AM fungus in mixtures, while subordinates grew identically with and without the fungus. Therefore, our findings predict that the plant dominance hierarchy may flatten out when dominant species are more reduced than subordinate species in an unfavourable AM fungal relationship (parasitism). PMID:23064770

  18. Agricultural Microbiology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brill, Winston J.

    1981-01-01

    Elucidates strategies for applying microbiological techniques to traditional agricultural practices. Discusses the manipulation of microorganisms that live with plants and also the problems involved in the introduction of new genes into crop plants by recombinant DNA methods. (CS)

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  20. Community shifts in a well-operating agricultural biogas plant: how process variations are handled by the microbiome.

    PubMed

    Theuerl, Susanne; Kohrs, Fabian; Benndorf, Dirk; Maus, Irena; Wibberg, Daniel; Schlüter, Andreas; Kausmann, Robert; Heiermann, Monika; Rapp, Erdmann; Reichl, Udo; Pühler, Alfred; Klocke, Michael

    2015-09-01

    This study provides a comprehensive, long-term microbiological study of a continuously operated, mesophilic, agricultural biogas plant fed with whole-crop silages of maize and rye, cattle manure and cattle slurry. The microbial community structure was accessed by high-throughput 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. For the characterisation of the microbial dynamics, the community profiling method terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (TRFLP) in combination with a cloning-sequencing approach as well as a LC-MS/MS approach for protein identification were applied. Our results revealed that the anaerobic digestion is a highly sensitive process: small variations in the process performance induce fluctuations in the microbial community composition and activity. In this context, it could be proven that certain microbial species were better adapted to changing process condition such as temperature (interspecies competition) and that there is a physiological compensation between different microorganisms so that the reactor efficiency was not adversely affected despite of structural and functional changes within the microbial community. PMID:25998656

  1. Plant Growth and Phosphorus Uptake of Three Riparian Grass Species

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Riparian buffers can significantly reduce sediment-bound phosphorus (P) entering surface water, but control of dissolved P inputs is more challenging. Because plant roots remove P from soil solution, it follows that plant uptake will reduce dissolved P losses. We evaluated P uptake of smooth bromegr...

  2. Uptake of gaseous nitrous acid (HONO) by several plant species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schimang, Ralf; Folkers, Achim; Kleffmann, Jörg; Kleist, Einhard; Miebach, Marco; Wildt, Jürgen

    Uptake of gaseous nitrous acid (HONO) by sunflower ( Heliantus annuus L. var. gigantheus), tobacco ( Nicotiana tabacum L. var. Bel W3), castor ( Rhicinus communis L. var. Carmencita), and birch ( Betula pendula L.) was studied under controlled conditions in a continuously stirred tank reactor. Exposing plants to HONO at concentrations between 60 ppt and 10 ppb led to significant uptake by the plants. The uptake was proportional to HONO concentrations and linearly related to stomatal conductivity. HONO losses at the cuticle were of minor importance. Our data imply a quick metabolism of HONO and it is concluded that the uptake of HONO by plants is only limited by diffusion of HONO through the plants stomata. Comparing results from measurements with and without plants in the chamber it is furthermore concluded that a compensation point for HONO uptake is below 20 ppt if it exists at all. Heterogeneous formation of HONO by reactions of NO 2 on the plant surfaces was either not effective or compensated by the stomatal uptake of HONO. The data of the present study imply that plant surfaces represent a sink for HONO. Therefore, it was concluded that processes on plant surfaces cannot explain HONO formation on ground surfaces as observed in field studies.

  3. Aminomethylphosphonic acid accumulation in plant species treated with glyphosate

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA) is the most frequently detected metabolite of glyphosate in plants. Greenhouse studies were conducted to determine the glyphosate I50 values (rate required to cause a 50% reduction in plant growth) and to quantify AMPA and shikimate concentrations in selected legum...

  4. Functional Diversity of Boreal Bog Plant Species Decreases Seasonal Variation of Ecosystem Carbon Sink Function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Korrensalo, A.

    2015-12-01

    Species diversity has been found to decrease the temporal variance of productivity of a plant community, and diversity in species responses to environmental factors seems to make a plant community more stable in changing conditions. Boreal bogs are nutrient poor peatland ecosystems where the number of plant species is low but the species differ greatly in their growth form. In here we aim to assess the role of the variation in photosynthesis between species for the temporal variation in ecosystem carbon sink function. To quantify the photosynthetic properties and their seasonal variation for different bog plant species we measured photosynthetic parameters and stress-inducing chlorophyll fluorescence of vascular plant and Sphagnum moss species in a boreal bog over a growing season. We estimated monthly gross photosynthesis (PG) of the whole study site based on species level light response curves and leaf area development. The estimated PG was further compared with a gross primary production (GPP) estimate measured by eddy covariance (EC) technique. The sum of upscaled PG estimates agreed well with the GPP estimate measured by the EC technique. The contributions of the species and species groups to the ecosystem level PG changed over the growing season. The sharp mid-summer peak in sedge PG was balanced by more stable PG of evergreen shrubs and Sphagna. Species abundance rather than differences in photosynthetic properties between species and growth forms determined the most productive plants on the ecosystem scale. Sphagna had lower photosynthesis and clorophyll fluorescence than vascular plants but were more productive on the ecosystem scale throughout the growing season due to their high areal coverage. These results show that the diversity of growth forms stabilizes the seasonal variation of the ecosystem level PG in an ombrotrophic bog ecosystem. This may increase the resilience of the ecosystem to changing environmental conditions.

  5. Productivity is a poor predictor of plant species richness

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    For 30 years, the relationship between net primary productivity and species richness has generated intense debate in ecology about the processes regulating fine-scale species richness. The true relationship was thought to be hump-shaped, with richness peaking at intermediate levels of productivity, ...

  6. Batch Isolation of Microsatellites for Tropical Plant Species Pyrosequencing

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Microsatellites were developed for ten tropical species using a method recently developed in our laboratory that involves a combination of two adapters at the SSR-enrichment stage and allows for cost saving and simultaneous loading of samples. The species for which microsatellites were isolated are...

  7. Degradation efficiency of agricultural biogas plants--a full-scale study.

    PubMed

    Ruile, Stephan; Schmitz, Sabine; Mönch-Tegeder, Matthias; Oechsner, Hans

    2015-02-01

    The degradation efficiency of 21 full-scale agricultural CSTR biogas plants was investigated. The residual methane potential of the digestion stages was determined in batch digestion tests (20.0 and 37.0 °C). The results of this study showed that the residual methane yield is significantly correlated to the HRT (r=-0.73). An almost complete degradation of the input substrates was achieved due to a HRT of more than 100 days (0.097±0.017 Nm(3)/kg VS). The feedstock characteristics have the largest impact to the degradation time. It was found that standard values of the methane yield are a helpful tool for evaluating the degradation efficiency. Adapting the HRT to the input materials is the key factor for an efficient degradation in biogas plants. No influence of digester series configuration to the VS degradation was found. The mean VS degradation rate in the total reactor systems was 78±7%. PMID:25453437

  8. Agricultural approaches of remediation in the outside of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant

    SciTech Connect

    Sato, Nobuaki; Saso, Michitaka; Umeda, Miki; Fujii, Yasuhiko; Amemiya, Kiyoshi

    2013-07-01

    This paper outlines agricultural approaches of remediation activity done in contaminated areas around the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. About the decontamination examination of contaminated areas, we have tried the land scale test of a rice field before and after planting by the use of currently recommended methods. Since farmers would carry out the land preparation by themselves, generation of secondary radioactive waste should be as low as possible through the decontamination works. For the radioactive nuclide migration control of rice by wet rice production, several types of decontamination methods such as zeolite addition and potassium fertilization in the soil have been examined. The results are summarized in the 4 following points. 1) Plowing and water discharge are effective for removing radioactive cesium from rice field. 2) Additional potassium fertilization is effective for reducing cesium radioactivity in the product. 3) No significant difference is observed with or without the zeolite addition. 4) Very low transfer factor of cesium from soil to brown rice has been obtained compared with literature values.

  9. Herbaceous plant species invading natural areas tend to have stronger adaptive root foraging than other naturalized species.

    PubMed

    Keser, Lidewij H; Visser, Eric J W; Dawson, Wayne; Song, Yao-Bin; Yu, Fei-Hai; Fischer, Markus; Dong, Ming; van Kleunen, Mark

    2015-01-01

    Although plastic root-foraging responses are thought to be adaptive, as they may optimize nutrient capture of plants, this has rarely been tested. We investigated whether nutrient-foraging responses are adaptive, and whether they pre-adapt alien species to become natural-area invaders. We grew 12 pairs of congeneric species (i.e., 24 species) native to Europe in heterogeneous and homogeneous nutrient environments, and compared their foraging responses and performance. One species in each pair is a USA natural-area invader, and the other one is not. Within species, individuals with strong foraging responses, measured as plasticity in root diameter and specific root length, had a higher biomass. Among species, the ones with strong foraging responses, measured as plasticity in root length and root biomass, had a higher biomass. Our results therefore suggest that root foraging is an adaptive trait. Invasive species showed significantly stronger root-foraging responses than non-invasive species when measured as root diameter. Biomass accumulation was decreased in the heterogeneous vs. the homogeneous environment. In aboveground, but not belowground and total biomass, this decrease was smaller in invasive than in non-invasive species. Our results show that strong plastic root-foraging responses are adaptive, and suggest that it might aid in pre-adapting species to becoming natural-area invaders. PMID:25964790

  10. Herbaceous plant species invading natural areas tend to have stronger adaptive root foraging than other naturalized species

    PubMed Central

    Keser, Lidewij H.; Visser, Eric J. W.; Dawson, Wayne; Song, Yao-Bin; Yu, Fei-Hai; Fischer, Markus; Dong, Ming; van Kleunen, Mark

    2015-01-01

    Although plastic root-foraging responses are thought to be adaptive, as they may optimize nutrient capture of plants, this has rarely been tested. We investigated whether nutrient-foraging responses are adaptive, and whether they pre-adapt alien species to become natural-area invaders. We grew 12 pairs of congeneric species (i.e., 24 species) native to Europe in heterogeneous and homogeneous nutrient environments, and compared their foraging responses and performance. One species in each pair is a USA natural-area invader, and the other one is not. Within species, individuals with strong foraging responses, measured as plasticity in root diameter and specific root length, had a higher biomass. Among species, the ones with strong foraging responses, measured as plasticity in root length and root biomass, had a higher biomass. Our results therefore suggest that root foraging is an adaptive trait. Invasive species showed significantly stronger root-foraging responses than non-invasive species when measured as root diameter. Biomass accumulation was decreased in the heterogeneous vs. the homogeneous environment. In aboveground, but not belowground and total biomass, this decrease was smaller in invasive than in non-invasive species. Our results show that strong plastic root-foraging responses are adaptive, and suggest that it might aid in pre-adapting species to becoming natural-area invaders. PMID:25964790

  11. Individual species-area relationship of woody plant communities in a heterogeneous subtropical monsoon rainforest.

    PubMed

    Tsai, Cheng-Han; Lin, Yi-Ching; Wiegand, Thorsten; Nakazawa, Takefumi; Su, Sheng-Hsin; Hsieh, Chih-Hao; Ding, Tzung-Su

    2015-01-01

    The spatial structure of species richness is often characterized by the species-area relationship (SAR). However, the SAR approach rarely considers the spatial variability of individual plants that arises from species interactions and species' habitat associations. Here, we explored how the interactions of individual plants of target species influence SAR patterns at a range of neighborhood distances. We analyzed the data of 113,988 woody plants of 110 species from the Fushan Forest Dynamics Plot (25 ha), northern Taiwan, which is a subtropical rainforest heavily influenced by typhoons. We classified 34 dominant species into 3 species types (i.e., accumulator, repeller, or no effect) by testing how the individual species-area relationship (i.e., statistics describing how neighborhood species richness changes around individuals) of target species departs (i.e., positively, negatively, or with no obvious trend) from a null model that accounts for habitat association. Deviation from the null model suggests that the net effect of species' interactions increases (accumulate) or decreases (repel) neighborhood species richness. We found that (i) accumulators were dominant at small interaction distances (<10-30 m); (ii) the detection of accumulator species was lower at large interaction distances (>30 m); (iii) repellers were rarely detected; and (iv) large-sized and abundant species tended to be accumulators. The findings suggest that positive species interactions have the potential to accumulate neighborhood species richness, particularly through size- and density-dependent mechanisms. We hypothesized that the frequently disturbed environment of this subtropical rainforest (e.g., typhoon-driven natural disturbances such as landslides, soil erosion, flooding, and windthrow) might create the spatial heterogeneity of species richness and promote positive species interactions. PMID:25884405

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

    The debate whether the coevolution of plants and insects or macroevolutionary processes (phylogeny) is the main driver determining the arsenal of molecular defensive compounds of plants remains unresolved. Attacks by herbivorous insects affect not only the composition of defensive compounds in plants but also the entire metabolome. Metabolomes are the final products of genotypes and are constrained by macroevolutionary processes, so closely related species should have similar metabolomic compositions and may respond in similar ways to attacks by folivores. We analyzed the elemental compositions and metabolomes of needles from three closely related Pinus species with distant coevolutionary histories with the caterpillar of the processionary moth respond similarly to its attack. All pines had different metabolomes and metabolic responses to herbivorous attack. The metabolomic variation among the species and the responses to folivory reflected their macroevolutionary relationships, with P. pinaster having the most divergent metabolome. The concentrations of terpenes were in the attacked trees supporting the hypothesis that herbivores avoid plant individuals with higher concentrations. Our results suggest that macroevolutionary history plays important roles in the metabolomic responses of these pine species to folivory, but plant-insect coevolution probably constrains those responses. Combinations of different evolutionary factors and trade-offs are likely responsible for the different responses of each species to folivory, which is not necessarily exclusively linked to plant-insect coevolution. PMID:27386082

  13. A comparative study of AMF diversity in annual and perennial plant species from semiarid gypsum soils.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alguacil, M. M.; Torrecillas, E.; Roldán, A.; Díaz, G.; Torres, P.

    2012-04-01

    The arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) communities composition regulate plant interactions and determine the structure of plant communities. In this study we analysed the diversity of AMF in the roots of two perennial gypsophyte plant species, Herniaria fruticosa and Senecio auricula, and an annual herbaceous species, Bromus rubens, growing in a gypsum soil from a semiarid area. The objective was to determine whether perennial and annual host plants support different AMF communities in their roots and whether there are AMF species that might be indicators of specific functional plant roles in these ecosystems. The roots were analysed by nested PCR, cloning, sequencing of the ribosomal DNA small subunit region and phylogenetic analysis. Twenty AMF sequence types, belonging to the Glomus group A, Glomus group B, Diversisporaceae, Acaulosporaceae, Archaeosporaceae and Paraglomeraceae, were identified. Both gypsophyte perennial species had differing compositions of the AMF community and higher diversity when compared with the annual species, showing preferential selection by specific AMF sequences types. B. rubens did not show host specificity, sharing the full composition of its AMF community with both perennial plant species. Seasonal variations in the competitiveness of AM fungi could explain the observed differences in AMF community composition, but this is still a working hypothesis that requires the analysis of further data obtained from a higher number of both annual and perennial plant species in order to be fully tested.

  14. Soil microbial community variation correlates most strongly with plant species identity, followed by soil chemistry, spatial location and plant genus

    PubMed Central

    Burns, Jean H.; Anacker, Brian L.; Strauss, Sharon Y.; Burke, David J.

    2015-01-01

    Soil ecologists have debated the relative importance of dispersal limitation and ecological factors in determining the structure of soil microbial communities. Recent evidence suggests that ‘everything is not everywhere’, and that microbial communities are influenced by both dispersal limitation and ecological factors. However, we still do not understand the relative explanatory power of spatial and ecological factors, including plant species identity and even plant relatedness, for different fractions of the soil microbial community (i.e. bacterial and fungal communities). To ask whether factors such as plant species, soil chemistry, spatial location and plant relatedness influence rhizosphere community composition, we examined field-collected rhizosphere soil of seven congener pairs that occur at Bodega Bay Marine Reserve, CA, USA. We characterized differences in bacterial and fungal communities using terminal-restriction fragment length polymorphism. Plant species identity was the single best statistical predictor of both bacterial and fungal community composition in the root zone. Soil microbial community structure was also correlated with soil chemistry. The third best predictor of bacterial and fungal communities was spatial location, confirming that everything is not everywhere. Variation in microbial community composition was also related to combinations of spatial location, soil chemistry and plant relatedness, suggesting that these factors do not act independently. Plant relatedness explained less of the variation than plant species, soil chemistry, or spatial location. Despite some congeners occupying different habitats and being spatially distant, rhizosphere fungal communities of plant congeners were more similar than expected by chance. Bacterial communities from the same samples were only weakly similar between plant congeners. Thus, plant relatedness might influence soil fungal, more than soil bacterial, community composition. PMID:25818073

  15. Species-Specific Responses to Community Density in an Unproductive Perennial Plant Community

    PubMed Central

    Treberg, Michael A.; Turkington, Roy

    2014-01-01

    Most studies of density dependent regulation in plants consider a single target species, but regulation may also occur at the level of the entire community. Knowing whether a community is at carrying capacity is essential for understanding its behaviour because low density plant communities may behave quite differently than their high density counterparts. Also, because the intensity of density dependence may differ considerably between species and physical environments, generalizations about its effects on community structure requires comparisons under a range of conditions. We tested if: (1) density dependent regulation occurs at the level of an entire plant community as well as within individual species; (2) the intensity (effect of increasing community density on mean plant mass) and importance (the effect of increasing density, relative to other factors, on mean plant mass) of competition increases, decreases or remains unchanged with increasing fertilization; (3) there are species-specific responses to changes in community density and productivity. In 63 1 m2 plots, we manipulated the abundance of the nine most common species by transplanting or removing them to create a series of Initial Community Densities above and below the average natural field density, such that the relative proportion of species was consistent for all densities. Plots were randomly assigned to one of three fertilizer levels. At the community level, negative density dependence of mean plant size was observed for each of the 4 years of the study and both the intensity and importance of competition increased each year. At the species level, most species' mean plant mass were negatively density dependent. Fertilizer had a significant effect only in the final year when it had a negative effect on mean plant mass. Our data demonstrate a yield-density response at the entire community-level using perennial plant species in a multi-year experiment. PMID:25050710

  16. Discrimination of common Mediterranean plant species using field spectroradiometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manevski, Kiril; Manakos, Ioannis; Petropoulos, George P.; Kalaitzidis, Chariton

    2011-12-01

    Field spectroradiometry of land surface objects supports remote sensing analysis, facilitates the discrimination of vegetation species, and enhances the mapping efficiency. Especially in the Mediterranean, spectral discrimination of common vegetation types, such as phrygana and maquis species, remains a challenge. Both phrygana and maquis may be used as a direct indicator for grazing management, fire history and severity, and the state of the wider ecosystem equilibrium. This study aims to investigate the capability of field spectroradiometry supporting remote sensing analysis of the land cover of a characteristic Mediterranean area. Five common Mediterranean maquis and phrygana species were examined. Spectra acquisition was performed during an intensive field campaign deployed in spring 2010, supported by a novel platform MUFSPEM@MED (Mobile Unit for Field SPEctral Measurements at the MEDiterranean) for high canopy measurements. Parametric and non-parametric statistical tests have been applied to the continuum-removed reflectance of the species in the visible to shortwave infrared spectral range. Interpretation of the results indicated distinct discrimination between the studied species at specific spectral regions. Statistically significant wavelengths were principally found in both the visible and the near infrared regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Spectral bands in the shortwave infrared demonstrated significant discrimination features for the examined species adapted to Mediterranean drought. All in all, results confirmed the prospect for a more accurate mapping of the species spatial distribution using remote sensing imagery coupled with in situ spectral information.

  17. Mechanism of Growth Enhancement of Plants Induced by Active Species in Plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watanabe, Satoshi; Ono, Reoto; Hayashi, Nobuya

    2015-09-01

    Plant growth enhances when seeds are irradiated by plasma. However the mechanism of the growth enhancement by plasma has not been clarified. In this study, growth enhancement of plants using various active species and variation of plant cells are investigated. RF plasma is generated under conditions where pressure is 60 Pa and input electrical power is 60 W. Irradiation period varies from 0 (control) to 75 min. Air plasma shows maximum growth of plants with irradiation period of 60 min on the other hand, oxygen plasma shows the maximum growth with irradiation period of 15 min. From change of gaseous species and pressure dependence, growth enhancing factor is expected to be active oxygen species produced in plasma. According to gene expression analysis of Arabidopsis, there are two speculated mechanism of plant growth enhancement. The first is acceleration of cell cycle by gene expressions of photosynthesis and glycolytic pathway, and the second is increase of cell size via plant hormone production.

  18. Invasive clonal plant species have a greater root-foraging plasticity than non-invasive ones.

    PubMed

    Keser, Lidewij H; Dawson, Wayne; Song, Yao-Bin; Yu, Fei-Hai; Fischer, Markus; Dong, Ming; van Kleunen, Mark

    2014-03-01

    Clonality is frequently positively correlated with plant invasiveness, but which aspects of clonality make some clonal species more invasive than others is not known. Due to their spreading growth form, clonal plants are likely to experience spatial heterogeneity in nutrient availability. Plasticity in allocation of biomass to clonal growth organs and roots may allow these plants to forage for high-nutrient patches. We investigated whether this foraging response is stronger in species that have become invasive than in species that have not. We used six confamilial pairs of native European clonal plant species differing in invasion success in the USA. We grew all species in large pots under homogeneous or heterogeneous nutrient conditions in a greenhouse, and compared their nutrient-foraging response and performance. Neither invasive nor non-invasive species showed significant foraging responses to heterogeneity in clonal growth organ biomass or in aboveground biomass of clonal offspring. Invasive species had, however, a greater positive foraging response in terms of root and belowground biomass than non-invasive species. Invasive species also produced more total biomass. Our results suggest that the ability for strong root foraging is among the characteristics promoting invasiveness in clonal plants. PMID:24352844

  19. Genetic diversity in widespread species is not congruent with species richness in alpine plant communities.

    PubMed

    Taberlet, Pierre; Zimmermann, Niklaus E; Englisch, Thorsten; Tribsch, Andreas; Holderegger, Rolf; Alvarez, Nadir; Niklfeld, Harald; Coldea, Gheorghe; Mirek, Zbigniew; Moilanen, Atte; Ahlmer, Wolfgang; Marsan, Paolo Ajmone; Bona, Enzo; Bovio, Maurizio; Choler, Philippe; Cieślak, Elżbieta; Colli, Licia; Cristea, Vasile; Dalmas, Jean-Pierre; Frajman, Božo; Garraud, Luc; Gaudeul, Myriam; Gielly, Ludovic; Gutermann, Walter; Jogan, Nejc; Kagalo, Alexander A; Korbecka, Grażyna; Küpfer, Philippe; Lequette, Benoît; Letz, Dominik Roman; Manel, Stéphanie; Mansion, Guilhem; Marhold, Karol; Martini, Fabrizio; Negrini, Riccardo; Niño, Fernando; Paun, Ovidiu; Pellecchia, Marco; Perico, Giovanni; Piękoś-Mirkowa, Halina; Prosser, Filippo; Puşcaş, Mihai; Ronikier, Michał; Scheuerer, Martin; Schneeweiss, Gerald M; Schönswetter, Peter; Schratt-Ehrendorfer, Luise; Schüpfer, Fanny; Selvaggi, Alberto; Steinmann, Katharina; Thiel-Egenter, Conny; van Loo, Marcela; Winkler, Manuela; Wohlgemuth, Thomas; Wraber, Tone; Gugerli, Felix; Vellend, Mark

    2012-12-01

    The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) aims at the conservation of all three levels of biodiversity, that is, ecosystems, species and genes. Genetic diversity represents evolutionary potential and is important for ecosystem functioning. Unfortunately, genetic diversity in natural populations is hardly considered in conservation strategies because it is difficult to measure and has been hypothesised to co-vary with species richness. This means that species richness is taken as a surrogate of genetic diversity in conservation planning, though their relationship has not been properly evaluated. We tested whether the genetic and species levels of biodiversity co-vary, using a large-scale and multi-species approach. We chose the high-mountain flora of the Alps and the Carpathians as study systems and demonstrate that species richness and genetic diversity are not correlated. Species richness thus cannot act as a surrogate for genetic diversity. Our results have important consequences for implementing the CBD when designing conservation strategies. PMID:23006492

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Species discovery and diversity in Lobocriconema (Criconematidae: Nematoda) and related plant-parasitic nematodes from North American ecoregions.

    PubMed

    Powers, T O; Bernard, E C; Harris, T; Higgins, R; Olson, M; Olson, S; Lodema, M; Matczyszyn, J; Mullin, P; Sutton, L; Powers, K S

    2016-01-01

    deciduous forest, but definitive glacial refugia for this group of plant parasitic nematodes have yet to be identified. Unlike agricultural pest species of plant-parasitic nematodes, there is little evidence of long-distance dispersal in Lobocriconema as revealed by haplotype distribution. Most haplotype groups were characterized by low levels of intragroup genetic variation and large genetic distances between haplotype groups. The localization of nematode haplotypes together with their characteristic plant communities could provide insight into the historical formation of these belowground biotic communities. PMID:27394307

  2. Using species sensitivity distribution approach to assess the risks of commonly detected agricultural pesticides to Australia's tropical freshwater ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Pathiratne, Asoka; Kroon, Frederieke J

    2016-02-01

    To assess the potential impacts of agricultural pesticides on tropical freshwater ecosystems, the present study developed temperature-specific, freshwater species protection concentrations (i.e., ecotoxicity threshold values) for 8 pesticides commonly detected in Australia's tropical freshwaters. Because relevant toxicity data for native tropical freshwater species to assess the ecological risks were mostly absent, scientifically robust toxicity data obtained at ≥20 °C were used for ecologically relevant taxonomic groups representing primary producers and consumers. Species sensitivity distribution (SSD) curves were subsequently generated for predicted chronic exposure using Burrlioz 2.0 software with mixed chronic and converted acute data relevant to exposure conditions at ≥20 °C. Ecotoxicity threshold values for tropical freshwater ecosystem protection were generated for ametryn, atrazine, diuron, metolachlor, and imidacloprid (all moderate reliability), as well as simazine, hexazinone, and tebuthiuron (all low reliability). Using these SSD curves, the retrospective risk assessments for recently reported pesticide concentrations highlight that the herbicides ametryn, atrazine, and diuron are of major concern for ecological health in Australia's tropical freshwater ecosystems. The insecticide imidacloprid also appears to pose an emerging threat to the most sensitive species in tropical freshwater ecosystems. The exposed temperature-specific approach may be applied to develop water quality guideline values for other environmental contaminants detected in tropical freshwater ecosystems until reliable and relevant toxicity data are generated using representative native species. PMID:26260635

  3. Soil Disturbance as a Grassland Restoration Measure—Effects on Plant Species Composition and Plant Functional Traits

    PubMed Central

    Schnoor, Tim; Bruun, Hans Henrik; Olsson, Pål Axel

    2015-01-01

    Soil disturbance is recognized as an important driver of biodiversity in dry grasslands, and can therefore be implemented as a restoration measure. However, because community re-assembly following disturbance includes stochastic processes, a focus only on species richness or establishment success of particular species will not inform on how plant communities respond ecologically to disturbance. We therefore evaluated vegetation development following disturbance by quantifying species richness, species composition and functional trait composition. Degraded calcareous sandy grassland was subjected to experimental disturbance treatments (ploughing or rotavation), and the vegetation was surveyed during four subsequent years of succession. Treated plots were compared with control plots representing untreated grassland, as well as nearby plots characterized by plant communities representing the restoration target. Species richness and functional diversity both increased in response to soil disturbance, and rotavation, but not ploughing, had a persistent positive effect on the occurrence of specialist species of calcareous sandy grassland. However, no type of soil disturbance caused the plant species composition to develop towards the target vegetation. The disturbance had an immediate and large impact on the vegetation, but the vegetation developed rapidly back towards the control sites. Plant functional composition analysis indicated that the treatments created habitats different both from control sites and target sites. Community-weighted mean Ellenberg indicator values suggested that the observed plant community response was at least partially due to an increase in nitrogen and water availability following disturbance. This study shows that a mild type of disturbance, such as rotavation, may be most successful in promoting specialist species in calcareous sandy grassland, but that further treatments are needed to reduce nutrient availability. We conclude that a

  4. Plant species' origin predicts dominance and response to nutrient enrichment and herbivores in global grasslands.

    PubMed

    Seabloom, Eric W; Borer, Elizabeth T; Buckley, Yvonne M; Cleland, Elsa E; Davies, Kendi F; Firn, Jennifer; Harpole, W Stanley; Hautier, Yann; Lind, Eric M; MacDougall, Andrew S; Orrock, John L; Prober, Suzanne M; Adler, Peter B; Anderson, T Michael; Bakker, Jonathan D; Biederman, Lori A; Blumenthal, Dana M; Brown, Cynthia S; Brudvig, Lars A; Cadotte, Marc; Chu, Chengjin; Cottingham, Kathryn L; Crawley, Michael J; Damschen, Ellen I; Dantonio, Carla M; DeCrappeo, Nicole M; Du, Guozhen; Fay, Philip A; Frater, Paul; Gruner, Daniel S; Hagenah, Nicole; Hector, Andy; Hillebrand, Helmut; Hofmockel, Kirsten S; Humphries, Hope C; Jin, Virginia L; Kay, Adam; Kirkman, Kevin P; Klein, Julia A; Knops, Johannes M H; La Pierre, Kimberly J; Ladwig, Laura; Lambrinos, John G; Li, Qi; Li, Wei; Marushia, Robin; McCulley, Rebecca L; Melbourne, Brett A; Mitchell, Charles E; Moore, Joslin L; Morgan, John; Mortensen, Brent; O'Halloran, Lydia R; Pyke, David A; Risch, Anita C; Sankaran, Mahesh; Schuetz, Martin; Simonsen, Anna; Smith, Melinda D; Stevens, Carly J; Sullivan, Lauren; Wolkovich, Elizabeth; Wragg, Peter D; Wright, Justin; Yang, Louie

    2015-01-01

    Exotic species dominate many communities; however the functional significance of species' biogeographic origin remains highly contentious. This debate is fuelled in part by the lack of globally replicated, systematic data assessing the relationship between species provenance, function and response to perturbations. We examined the abundance of native and exotic plant species at 64 grasslands in 13 countries, and at a subset of the sites we experimentally tested native and exotic species responses to two fundamental drivers of invasion, mineral nutrient supplies and vertebrate herbivory. Exotic species are six times more likely to dominate communities than native species. Furthermore, while experimental nutrient addition increases the cover and richness of exotic species, nutrients decrease native diversity and cover. Native and exotic species also differ in their response to vertebrate consumer exclusion. These results suggest that species origin has functional significance, and that eutrophication will lead to increased exotic dominance in grasslands. PMID:26173623

  5. Plant species' origin predicts dominance and response to nutrient enrichment and herbivores in global grasslands

    PubMed Central

    Seabloom, Eric W.; Borer, Elizabeth T.; Buckley, Yvonne M.; Cleland, Elsa E.; Davies, Kendi F.; Firn, Jennifer; Harpole, W. Stanley; Hautier, Yann; Lind, Eric M.; MacDougall, Andrew S.; Orrock, John L.; Prober, Suzanne M.; Adler, Peter B.; Anderson, T. Michael; Bakker, Jonathan D.; Biederman, Lori A.; Blumenthal, Dana M.; Brown, Cynthia S.; Brudvig, Lars A.; Cadotte, Marc; Chu, Chengjin; Cottingham, Kathryn L.; Crawley, Michael J.; Damschen, Ellen I.; Dantonio, Carla M.; DeCrappeo, Nicole M.; Du, Guozhen; Fay, Philip A.; Frater, Paul; Gruner, Daniel S.; Hagenah, Nicole; Hector, Andy; Hillebrand, Helmut; Hofmockel, Kirsten S.; Humphries, Hope C.; Jin, Virginia L.; Kay, Adam; Kirkman, Kevin P.; Klein, Julia A.; Knops, Johannes M. H.; La Pierre, Kimberly J.; Ladwig, Laura; Lambrinos, John G.; Li, Qi; Li, Wei; Marushia, Robin; McCulley, Rebecca L.; Melbourne, Brett A.; Mitchell, Charles E.; Moore, Joslin L.; Morgan, John; Mortensen, Brent; O'Halloran, Lydia R.; Pyke, David A.; Risch, Anita C.; Sankaran, Mahesh; Schuetz, Martin; Simonsen, Anna; Smith, Melinda D.; Stevens, Carly J.; Sullivan, Lauren; Wolkovich, Elizabeth; Wragg, Peter D.; Wright, Justin; Yang, Louie

    2015-01-01

    Exotic species dominate many communities; however the functional significance of species' biogeographic origin remains highly contentious. This debate is fuelled in part by the lack of globally replicated, systematic data assessing the relationship between species provenance, function and response to perturbations. We examined the abundance of native and exotic plant species at 64 grasslands in 13 countries, and at a subset of the sites we experimentally tested native and exotic species responses to two fundamental drivers of invasion, mineral nutrient supplies and vertebrate herbivory. Exotic species are six times more likely to dominate communities than native species. Furthermore, while experimental nutrient addition increases the cover and richness of exotic species, nutrients decrease native diversity and cover. Native and exotic species also differ in their response to vertebrate consumer exclusion. These results suggest that species origin has functional significance, and that eutrophication will lead to increased exotic dominance in grasslands. PMID:26173623

  6. Leaf fluxes of NO and NO 2 in four herbaceous plant species: The role of ascorbic acid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teklemariam, Thomas A.; Sparks, Jed P.

    Nitrogen oxides (NO x=NO+NO 2) are a common group of nitrogen-containing trace gases that interact significantly with plant canopies and play a critical role in atmospheric chemistry including the formation of ozone, smog and nitric acid. The controls over leaf-atmosphere exchange of NO x (NO x=NO+NO 2) have been characterized for a few plant species and important drivers have been identified including stomatal conductance, the partial pressure gradient from the interior to the exterior of the leaf, and, most recently the level of ultraviolet radiation. However, our ability to predict leaf fluxes has been hampered by a dearth of information describing the reactions occurring between NO x and internal constituents of the leaf (often referred to as the mesophyllic resistance). In this study, we investigated NO x uptake in four important agricultural plant species and specifically tested the hypothesis that ascorbic acid within the leaf was a significant control over mesophyllic resistance. Measurements were made using a dynamic leaf chamber at ambient mixing ratios typical of urban atmospheres. Measured NO and NO 2 leaf fluxes were lower than the potential flux calculated assuming stomatal conductance as the sole limitation (i.e., no mesophyllic resistance). The ratios of leaf intercellular to ambient concentrations (C/C) for NO across partial pressures and plant species was usually >0.99 and the leaf uptake rates of NO were negligible within the ranges examined. In contrast, leaf uptake for NO 2 was much greater and C/C were often as low as 0.75. For both gases, C/C ratios>1 were observed at low ambient mixing ratios indicating emission from leaves. Across plant species, plants with higher leaf nitrogen contents showed higher NO 2 emission rates and plants with higher leaf ascorbate concentrations had higher leaf NO 2 uptake rates. These results suggest that in addition to the known effects of stomatal conductance and incident UV radiation, leaf nitrogen content and

  7. Species richness and patterns of invasion in plants, birds, and fishes in the United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stohlgren, T.J.; Barnett, D.; Flather, C.; Fuller, P.; Peterjohn, B.; Kartesz, J.; Master, L.L.

    2006-01-01

    We quantified broad-scale patterns of species richness and species density (mean # species/km2) for native and non-indigenous plants, birds, and fishes in the continental USA and Hawaii. We hypothesized that the species density of native and non-indigenous taxa would generally decrease in northern latitudes and higher elevations following declines in potential evapotranspiration, mean temperature, and precipitation. County data on plants (n = 3004 counties) and birds (n=3074 counties), and drainage (6 HUC) data on fishes (n = 328 drainages) showed that the densities of native and non-indigenous species were strongly positively correlated for plant species (r = 0.86, P < 0.0001), bird species (r = 0.93, P<0.0001), and fish species (r = 0.41, P<0.0001). Multiple regression models showed that the densities of native plant and bird species could be strongly predicted (adj. R2 = 0.66 in both models) at county levels, but fish species densities were less predictable at drainage levels (adj. R2 = 0.31, P<0.0001). Similarly, non-indigenous plant and bird species densities were strongly predictable (adj. R2 = 0.84 and 0.91 respectively), but non-indigenous fish species density was less predictable (adj. R2 = 0.38). County level hotspots of native and non-indigenous plants, birds, and fishes were located in low elevation areas close to the coast with high precipitation and productivity (vegetation carbon). We show that (1) native species richness can be moderately well predicted with abiotic factors; (2) human populations have tended to settle in areas rich in native species; and (3) the richness and density of non-indigenous plant, bird, and fish species can be accurately predicted from biotic and abiotic factors largely because they are positively correlated to native species densities. We conclude that while humans facilitate the initial establishment, invasions of non-indigenous species, the spread and subsequent distributions of non-indigenous species may be controlled

  8. The mechanisms of plant stress mitigation by kaolin-based particle films and its applications in horticultural and agricultural crops

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Kaolin-based particle films have utility in reducing insect, heat, light, and uv stress in plants due to the reflective nature of the particles. Particle films with a residue density of 1 to 3 g/ square meter have been evaluated in a range of crops and agricultural environments. The particle film ...

  9. Interactive Agricultural Ecological Atlas of Russia and Neighboring Countries:Economic Plants and their Diseases, Pests and Weeds.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The AgroAtlas is a comprehensive on-line bilingual reference on the geographic distribution of economic plants, their diseases, pests and weeds, and environmental factors that influence agricultural production through out the Former Soviet Union. Online users can read about and examine maps and ima...

  10. Contaminated agricultural soils: Trace-elements speciation their phytoavailability and their uptake by flax plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Legras, M.; Kharbouch, F.; Giron, F.; Bert, F.; Llorens, J.-M.

    2003-05-01

    Flax seeds are used in animal food because of their high content in Omega 3. A number of trace-elements (TEs) - essential as micronutrients, however toxic at supraoptimal concentrations - can accumulate in this plant at quantities incompatible with their introduction in food chain. In order to control this risk and evaluate the uptake of TEs, it is necessary to assess the contents of various species of TEs in soils and plants (each organ and total contents). We were mainly interested in evaluating the availability of Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn in soils on which flax were grown. Two situations have been compared: the first corresponds to fields into which some sewage sludge were brought in agronomie doses and the second corresponds to plots of land irrigated by waste water over a 100 years period. We are currently performing TEs extractions from soils and plants using different methods : the data of sequential and total extractions (assisted by microwaves) are presented. We have studied two flax varieties in four stages of culture (sowing, stage 10cm. tlowering, maturation). The content, speciation of TEs in soils as well as their transfer in flax seeds are discussed.

  11. Habitat types on the Hanford Site: Wildlife and plant species of concern

    SciTech Connect

    Downs, J.L.; Rickard, W.H.; Brandt, C.A.

    1993-12-01

    The objective of this report is to provide a comprehensive source of the best available information on Hanford Site sensitive and critical habitats and plants and animals of importance or special status. In this report, sensitive habitats include areas known to be used by threatened, endangered, or sensitive plant or animal species, wetlands, preserves and refuges, and other sensitive habitats outlined in the Hanford Site Baseline Risk Assessment Methodology. Potentially important species for risk assessment and species of special concern with regard to their status as threatened, endangered, or sensitive are described, and potential habitats for these species identified.

  12. Development and characterization of microsatellite markers in Sarracenia L. (pitcher plant) species

    PubMed Central

    Rogers, Willie L.; Cruse-Sanders, Jennifer M.; Determann, Ron; Malmberg, Russell L.

    2010-01-01

    Sarracenia species (pitcher plants) are carnivorous plants which obtain a portion of their nutrients from insects captured in the pitchers. Sarracenia species naturally hybridize with each other, and hybrid swarms have been identified. A number of the taxa within the genus are considered endangered. In order to facilitate evolutionary, ecological and conservation genetic analyses within the genus, we developed 25 microsatellite loci which show variability either within species or between species. Three S. purpurea populations were examined with 10 primer sets which showed within population variability. PMID:21170168

  13. Development and characterization of microsatellite markers in Sarracenia L. (pitcher plant) species.

    PubMed

    Rogers, Willie L; Cruse-Sanders, Jennifer M; Determann, Ron; Malmberg, Russell L

    2010-12-01

    Sarracenia species (pitcher plants) are carnivorous plants which obtain a portion of their nutrients from insects captured in the pitchers. Sarracenia species naturally hybridize with each other, and hybrid swarms have been identified. A number of the taxa within the genus are considered endangered. In order to facilitate evolutionary, ecological and conservation genetic analyses within the genus, we developed 25 microsatellite loci which show variability either within species or between species. Three S. purpurea populations were examined with 10 primer sets which showed within population variability. PMID:21170168

  14. Site fidelity by bees drives pollination facilitation in sequentially blooming plant species.

    PubMed

    Ogilvie, Jane E; Thomson, James D

    2016-06-01

    Plant species can influence the pollination and reproductive success of coflowering neighbors that share pollinators. Because some individual pollinators habitually forage in particular areas, it is also possible that plant species could influence the pollination of neighbors that bloom later. When flowers of a preferred forage plant decline in an area, site-fidelity may cause individual flower feeders to stay in an area and switch plant species rather than search for preferred plants in a new location. A newly blooming plant species may quickly inherit a set of visitors from a prior plant species, and therefore experience higher pollination success than it would in an area where the first species never bloomed. To test this, we manipulated the placement and timing of two plant species, Delphinium barbeyi and later-blooming Gentiana parryi. We recorded the responses of individually marked bumble bee pollinators. About 63% of marked individuals returned repeatedly to the same areas to forage on Delphinium. When Delphinium was experimentally taken out of bloom, most of those site-faithful individuals (78%) stayed and switched to Gentiana. Consequently, Gentiana flowers received more visits in areas where Delphinium had previously flowered, compared to areas where Delphinium was still flowering or never occurred. Gentiana stigmas received more pollen in areas where Delphinium disappeared than where it never bloomed, indicating that Delphinium increases the pollination of Gentiana when they are separated in time. Overall, we show that individual bumble bees are often site-faithful, causing one plant species to increase the pollination of another even when separated in time, which is a novel mechanism of pollination facilitation. PMID:27459775

  15. Individual Species-Area Relationship of Woody Plant Communities in a Heterogeneous Subtropical Monsoon Rainforest

    PubMed Central

    Tsai, Cheng-Han; Lin, Yi-Ching; Wiegand, Thorsten; Nakazawa, Takefumi; Su, Sheng-Hsin

    2015-01-01

    The spatial structure of species richness is often characterized by the species-area relationship (SAR). However, the SAR approach rarely considers the spatial variability of individual plants that arises from species interactions and species’ habitat associations. Here, we explored how the interactions of individual plants of target species influence SAR patterns at a range of neighborhood distances. We analyzed the data of 113,988 woody plants of 110 species from the Fushan Forest Dynamics Plot (25 ha), northern Taiwan, which is a subtropical rainforest heavily influenced by typhoons. We classified 34 dominant species into 3 species types (i.e., accumulator, repeller, or no effect) by testing how the individual species-area relationship (i.e., statistics describing how neighborhood species richness changes around individuals) of target species departs (i.e., positively, negatively, or with no obvious trend) from a null model that accounts for habitat association. Deviation from the null model suggests that the net effect of species’ interactions increases (accumulate) or decreases (repel) neighborhood species richness. We found that (i) accumulators were dominant at small interaction distances (<10–30 m); (ii) the detection of accumulator species was lower at large interaction distances (>30 m); (iii) repellers were rarely detected; and (iv) large-sized and abundant species tended to be accumulators. The findings suggest that positive species interactions have the potential to accumulate neighborhood species richness, particularly through size- and density-dependent mechanisms. We hypothesized that the frequently disturbed environment of this subtropical rainforest (e.g., typhoon-driven natural disturbances such as landslides, soil erosion, flooding, and windthrow) might create the spatial heterogeneity of species richness and promote positive species interactions. PMID:25884405

  16. Effects of earthworm invasion on plant species richness in northern hardwood forests.

    PubMed

    Holdsworth, Andrew R; Frelich, Lee E; Reich, Peter B

    2007-08-01

    The invasion of non-native earthworms (Lumbricus spp.) into a small number of intensively studied stands of northern hardwood forest has been linked to declines in plant diversity and the local extirpation of one threatened species. It is unknown, however, whether these changes have occurred across larger regions of hardwood forests, which plant species are most vulnerable, or with which earthworm species such changes are associated most closely. To address these issues we conducted a regional survey in the Chippewa and Chequamegon national forests in Minnesota and Wisconsin (U.S.A.), respectively. We sampled earthworms, soils, and vegetation, examined deer browse in 20 mature, sugar-maple-dominated forest stands in each national forest, and analyzed the relationship between invasive earthworms and vascular plant species richness and composition. Invasion by Lumbricus was a strong indicator of reduced plant richness in both national forests. The mass of Lumbricus juveniles was significantly and negatively related to plant-species richness in both forests. In addition, Lumbricus was a significant factor affecting plant richness in a full model that included multiple variables. In the Chequamegon National Forest earthworm mass was associated with higher sedge cover and lower cover of sugar maple seedlings and several forb species. The trends were similar but not as pronounced in Chippewa, perhaps due to lower deer densities and different earthworm species composition. Our results provide regional evidence that invasion by Lumbricus species may be an important mechanism in reduced plant-species richness and changes in plant communities in mature forests dominated by sugar maples. PMID:17650250

  17. Comparative analysis of diosgenin in Dioscorea species and related medicinal plants by UPLC-DAD-MS

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Dioscorea is a genus of flowering plants, and some Dioscorea species are known and used as a source for the steroidal sapogenin diosgenin. To screen potential resource from Dioscorea species and related medicinal plants for diosgenin extraction, a rapid method to compare the contents of diosgenin in various plants is crucial. Results An ultra-performance liquid chromatography (UPLC) coupled with diode array detection (DAD) and electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) method was developed for identification and determination of diosgenin in various plants. A comprehensive validation of the developed method was conducted. Twenty-four batches of plant samples from four Dioscorea species, one Smilax species and two Heterosmilax species were analyzed by using the developed method. The present method presented good sensitivity, precision and accuracy. Diosgenin was found in three Dioscorea species and one Heterosmilax species, namely D. zingiberensis, D. septemloba, D. collettii and H. yunnanensis. Conclusion The method is suitable for the screening of diosgenin resources from plants. D. zingiberensis is an important resource for diosgenin harvesting. PMID:25107333

  18. Quantitative resistance traits and suitability of woody plant species for a polyphagous scarab, Popillia japonica Newman.

    PubMed

    Keathley, Craig P; Potter, Daniel A

    2008-12-01

    The Japanese beetle, Popillia japonica Newman, has an unusually broad host range among deciduous woody plants, yet it feeds only sparingly, or not at all, on certain species in the field. We evaluated beetles' preference, survival over time and fecundity on eight woody plant species historically rated as susceptible or resistant and, after verifying those ratings, tested whether resistance is correlated with so-called quantitative defense traits including leaf toughness, low nutrient content (water, nitrogen, and sugars), and relatively high amounts of tannins or saponins, traditionally associated with such plants. We further tested whether species unsuitable for Japanese beetles are also rejected by fall webworms, Hyphantria cunea (Drury) (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae), the expected outcome if the aforementioned traits serve as broad-based defenses against generalists. Choice tests supported historical resistance ratings for the selected species: tuliptree, lilac, dogwood, and Bradford callery pear were rejected by Japanese beetles, whereas sassafras, cherry plum, Virginia creeper, and littleleaf linden were readily eaten. Rejected species also were unsuitable for survival over time, or egg-laying, indicating beetles' inability to overcome the resistance factors through habituation, compensatory feeding, or detoxification. None of the aforementioned leaf traits was consistently higher or lower in the resistant or susceptible plants, and plant species rejected by Japanese beetles often were not rejected by fall webworms. Specialized secondary chemistry, not quantitative defenses, likely determines the Japanese beetle's dietary range among deciduous woody plant species it may encounter. PMID:19161699

  19. Rapid plant evolution in the presence of an introduced species alters community composition.

    PubMed

    Smith, David Solance; Lau, Matthew K; Jacobs, Ryan; Monroy, Jenna A; Shuster, Stephen M; Whitham, Thomas G

    2015-10-01

    Because introduced species may strongly interact with native species and thus affect their fitness, it is important to examine how these interactions can cascade to have ecological and evolutionary consequences for whole communities. Here, we examine the interactions among introduced Rocky Mountain elk, Cervus canadensis nelsoni, a common native plant, Solidago velutina, and the diverse plant-associated community of arthropods. While introduced species are recognized as one of the biggest threats to native ecosystems, relatively few studies have investigated an evolutionary mechanism by which introduced species alter native communities. Here, we use a common garden design that addresses and supports two hypotheses. First, native S. velutina has rapidly evolved in the presence of introduced elk. We found that plants originating from sites with introduced elk flowered nearly 3 weeks before plants originating from sites without elk. Second, evolution of S. velutina results in a change to the plant-associated arthropod community. We found that plants originating from sites with introduced elk supported an arthropod community that had ~35 % fewer total individuals and a different species composition. Our results show that the impacts of introduced species can have both ecological and evolutionary consequences for strongly interacting species that subsequently cascade to affect a much larger community. Such evolutionary consequences are likely to be long-term and difficult to remediate. PMID:26062439

  20. Vanadium uptake and translocation in dominant plant species on an urban coastal brownfield site.

    PubMed

    Qian, Yu; Gallagher, Frank J; Feng, Huan; Wu, Meiyin; Zhu, Qingzhi

    2014-04-01

    This study, conducted at a brownfield site in New Jersey, USA, investigated factors controlling V uptake and translocation in naturally assembled plant species. Six dominant species were collected from 22 stations in the study area. We found that V concentration in the plants decreased in a sequence of root>leaf>stem. No significant differences were found among the six dominant plant species in terms of root V uptake efficiency (V BCF) and V root to shoot translocation (V TF). Although soil pH and TOC did not show significant impact on V accumulation in the roots, soil labile V content showed significant positive linear correlation (p<0.05) with plant root V. Non-linear regression analysis indicates that V translocation efficiency decreases with increasing concentration in the soil, implying that excessive V in the soil might inhibit its absorption by the plant roots. Leaf V concentration was constant in all the plant species regardless of the variation in soil V concentration. The study shows that the six dominant plant species on site had limited amount of V translocated to the aerial part of the plant. PMID:24518306

  1. Phytoremediation of soil co-contaminated with heavy metals and TNT using four plant species.

    PubMed

    Lee, Insook; Baek, Kyunghwa; Kim, Hyunhee; Kim, Sunghyun; Kim, Jaisoo; Kwon, Youngseok; Chang, Yoontoung; Bae, Bumhan

    2007-11-01

    We investigated the germination, growth rates and uptake of contaminants of four plant species, barnyard grass (Echinochloa crusgalli), sunflower (Helianthus annuus), Indian mallow (Abutilon avicennae) and Indian jointvetch (Aeschynomene indica), grown in soil contaminated with cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb) and 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT). These contaminants are typically found at shooting ranges. Experiments were carried out over 180 days using both single plant cultures and cultures containing an equal mix of the 4 plant species. Germination rates differed among the species in single culture (92% for H. annuus, 84% for E. crusgalli, 48% for A. avicennae and 38% Ae. indica). In the 4-plant mix culture, < 20% of seeds germinated for all 4 species. E. crusgalli and H. annuus grew slightly faster in the four-plant mix culture than in single culture, whereas A. avicennae and Ae. indica grew much slower in the 4-plant mix culture. In both single and 4-plant mix cultures, Cd concentrations in the roots of A. avicennae and E. crusgalliwere high, and Pb concentrations were high in A. avicennae and H. annuus. Cd and Pb concentrations in shoots were low to negligible in both treatment cultures for all species, except E. crusgalli in the 4-plant mix culture. The concentrations of TNT and its metabolites, 2-amino-4,6-dinitrotoluene (2ADNT) and 4-amino-2,6-dinitrotoluene (4ADNT) were high in H. annuus, Ae. indica and A. avicennae. Total Cd removal from soil differed among species, with E. crusgalliremoving the most (50.1%) followed by H. annuus(41.3%), Ae. indica(41.1%) and A. avicennae(33.3%). The four-plant mix removed more Cd (25.8%) than a no-plant control (12.9%). Pb removal was negligible for all plant species. All plant species rapidly removed TNT and its metabolites, regardless of whether the culture was single or mixed. From in these results, we conclude that a phytoremediation for the removal of heavy metals and TNT from contaminated soils should use a single plant species

  2. Germination characteristics of six plant species growing on the Hanford Site. [Disturbed land revegetation feasibility studies

    SciTech Connect

    Cox, G.R.; Kirkham, R.R.; Cline, J.F.

    1980-03-01

    Six plant species (Siberian and thickspike wheatgrass, cheatgrass, sand dropseed, Indian ricegrass, and Russian thistle) found on the Hanford Site were studied as part of an investigation into the revegetation of disturbed areas. Germination response to three environmental parameters (soil moisture, soil temperature, and planting depth) were measured. Results indicated that when a polyethylene glycol solution was used to control the osmotic potential of the imbibition media, no significant decrease in germination rate occurred down to -3.0 bars. However, below -7.0 bars all species experienced a decrease in germination. When germinated in soil, all species except Russian thistle exhibited a significant decrease in germination rate at -0.3 bars. Russian thistle was the only species tested that exhibited germination at a soil temperature of 1/sup 0/C. All species gave optimum germination at temperatures between 10 and 15/sup 0/C. Thickspike wheatgrass was the only species tested which was able to germinate and emerge from a planting depth of greater than 2 inches. If supplemental moisture is provided, a shallow planting would be advisable for those species tested. If not overcome by pretreatment prior to planting, seed dormancy may be a significant factor which will reduce the germination potential of some species tested.

  3. Are trade-offs among species' ecological interactions scale dependent? A test using pitcher-plant inquiline species.

    PubMed

    Kneitel, Jamie M

    2012-01-01

    Trade-offs among species' ecological interactions is a pervasive explanation for species coexistence. The traits associated with trade-offs are typically measured to mechanistically explain species coexistence at a single spatial scale. However, species potentially interact at multiple scales and this may be reflected in the traits among coexisting species. I quantified species' ecological traits associated with the trade-offs expected at both local (competitive ability and predator tolerance) and regional (competitive ability and colonization rate) community scales. The most common species (four protozoa and a rotifer) from the middle trophic level of a pitcher plant (Sarracenia purpurea) inquiline community were used to link species traits to previously observed patterns of species diversity and abundance. Traits associated with trade-offs (competitive ability, predator tolerance, and colonization rate) and other ecological traits (size, growth rate, and carrying capacity) were measured for each of the focal species. Traits were correlated with one another with a negative relationship indicative of a trade-off. Protozoan and rotifer species exhibited a negative relationship between competitive ability and predator tolerance, indicative of coexistence at the local community scale. There was no relationship between competitive ability and colonization rate. Size, growth rate, and carrying capacity were correlated with each other and the trade-off traits: Size was related to both competitive ability and predator tolerance, but growth rate and carrying capacity were correlated with predator tolerance. When partial correlations were conducted controlling for size, growth rate and carrying capacity, the trade-offs largely disappeared. These results imply that body size is the trait that provides the basis for ecological interactions and trade-offs. Altogether, this study showed that the examination of species' traits in the context of coexistence at different scales

  4. Photosynthetic and respiratory activity in germfree higher plant species

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1976-01-01

    Equipment developed for the study of gas exchange in germfree plants is described. The equipment includes a gas exchange chamber to house the plant under study, a gas feed assembly to introduce and remove gas from the chamber, and a clinostat to rotate the apparatus. Fluorescent and incandescent lights are used to illuminate the chamber and a sealed plastic barrier is used to isolate the potting soil from the chamber atmosphere. The gas outflow from the chamber can be diverted to an infrared CO2 analyzer. The performance of the system was evaluated.

  5. ACCURACY ASSESSMENTS OF AIRBORNE HYSPERSPECTRAL DATA FOR MAPPING OPPORTUNISTIC PLANT SPECIES IN FRESHWATER COASTAL WETLANDS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Airbome hyperspectral data were used to detect dense patches of Phragmites australis, a native opportunist plant species, at the Pointe Mouillee coastal wetland complex (Wayne and Monroe Counties, Michigan). This study provides initial results from one of thirteen coastal wetland...

  6. AN ECOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT OF OPPORTUNISTIC PLANT SPECIES IN GREAT LAKES COASTAL WETLANDS USING AIRBORNE HYPERSPECTRAL DATE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Airbome hyperspectral data were used to detect dense patches of Phragmites australis, a native opportunist plant species, at the Pointe Mouillee coastal wetland complex (Wayne and Monroe Counties, Michigan). This study provides initial results from one of thirteen coastal wetland...

  7. Cello-oligosaccharides released from host plants induce pathogenicity in scab-causing Streptomyces species

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Thaxtomin, a phytotoxic dipeptide that inhibits cellulose synthesis in expanding plant cells, is a pathogenicity determinant in scab-causing Streptomyces species. Cellobiose and cellotriose, the smallest subunits of cellulose, stimulated thaxtomin production in a defined medium, while other oligosa...

  8. Similarities and differences in rubber biochemistry among plant species.

    PubMed

    Cornish, K

    2001-08-01

    This report reviews aspects of the biochemical regulation of rubber yield and rubber quality in three contrasting rubber-producing species, Hevea brasiliensis, Parthenium argentatum and Ficus elastica. Although many similarities are revealed, considerable differences also exist in enzymatic mechanisms regulating biosynthetic rate and the molecular weight of the rubber biopolymers produced. In all three species, rubber molecule initiation, biosynthetic rate and molecular weight, in vitro, are dependent upon substrate concentration and the ratio of isopentenyl pyrophosphate (IPP, the elongation substrate, or monomer) and farnesyl pyrophosphate (FPP, an initiator), but these parameters are affected by intrinsic properties of the rubber transferases as well. All three rubber transferases are capable of producing a wide range of rubber molecular weight, depending upon substrate concentration, clearly demonstrating that the transferases are not the prime determinants of product size in vivo. However, despite these commonalities, considerable differences exist between the species with respect to cosubstrate effects, binding constants, effective concentration ranges, and the role of negative cooperativity in vitro. The P. argentatum rubber transferase appears to exert more control over the molecular weight it produces than the other two species and may, therefore, provide the best prospect for the source of genes for transformation of annual crop species. The kinetic data, from the three contrasting rubber-producing species, also were used to develop a model of the rubber transferase active site in which, in addition to separate IPP and allylic-PP binding sites, there exists a hydrophobic region that interacts with the linear portion of allylic-PP initiator proximal to the pyrophosphate. Substrate affinity increases until the active site is traversed and the rubber interior of the rubber particle is reached. The kinetic data suggest that the hydrophobic region in H

  9. Laser-induced fluorescence of green plants. I - A technique for the remote detection of plant stress and species differentiation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chappelle, E. W.; Wood, F. M., Jr.; Mcmurtrey, J. E., III; Newcomb, W. W.

    1984-01-01

    The laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) of green plants was evaluated as a means of remotely detecting plant stress and determining plant type. Corn and soybeans were used as representatives of monocots and dicots, respectively, in these studies. The fluorescence spectra of several plant pigments was excited with a nitrogen laser emitting at 337 nm. Intact leaves from corn and soybeans also fluoresced using the nitrogen laser. The two plant species exhibited fluorescence spectra which had three maxima in common at 440, 690, and 740 nm. However, the relative intensities of these maxima were distinctly different for the two species. Soybeans had an additional slight maxima at 525 nm. Potassium deficiency in corn caused an increase in fluorescence at 690 and 740 nm. Simulated water stress in soybeans resulted in increased fluorescence at 440, 525, 690, and 740 nm. The inhibition of photosynthesis in soybeans by 3-(3-4-dichlorophenyl)-1-1-dimethyl urea (DCMU) gave incresed fluorescence primarily at 690 and 740 nm. Chlorosis as occurring in senescent soybean leaves caused a decrease in fluorescence at 690 and 740 nm. These studies indicate that LIF measurements of plants offer the potential for remotely detecting certain types of stress condition and also for differentiating plant species.

  10. Biodiversity in Organic Farmland - How Does Landscape Context Influence Species Diversity in Organic Vs. Conventional Agricultural Fields?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seufert, V.; Wood, S.; Reid, A.; Gonzalez, A.; Rhemtulla, J.; Ramankutty, N.

    2014-12-01

    The most important current driver of biodiversity loss is the conversion of natural habitats for human land uses, mostly for the purpose of food production. However, by causing this biodiversity loss, food production is eroding the very same ecosystem services (e.g. pollination and soil fertility) that it depends on. We therefore need to adopt more wildlife-friendly agricultural practices that can contribute to preserving biodiversity. Organic farming has been shown to typically host higher biodiversity than conventional farming. But how is the biodiversity benefit of organic management dependent on the landscape context farms are situated in? To implement organic farming as an effective means for protecting biodiversity and enhancing ecosystem services we need to understand better under what conditions organic management is most beneficial for species. We conducted a meta-analysis of the literature to answer this question, compiling the most comprehensive database to date of studies that monitored biodiversity in organic vs. conventional fields. We also collected information about the landscape surrounding these fields from remote sensing products. Our database consists of 348 study sites across North America and Europe. Our analysis shows that organic management can improve biodiversity in agricultural fields substantially. It is especially effective at preserving biodiversity in homogeneous landscapes that are structurally simplified and dominated by either cropland or pasture. In heterogeneous landscapes conventional agriculture might instead already hold high biodiversity, and organic management does not appear to provide as much of a benefit for species richness as in simplified landscapes. Our results suggest that strategies to maintain biodiversity-dependent ecosystem services should include a combination of pristine natural habitats, wildlife-friendly farming systems like organic farming, and high-yielding conventional systems, interspersed in structurally

  11. Mapping plant species ranges in the Hawaiian Islands: developing a methodology and associated GIS layers

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Price, Jonathan P.; Jacobi, James D.; Gon, Samuel M., III; Matsuwaki, Dwight; Mehrhoff, Loyal; Wagner, Warren; Lucas, Matthew; Rowe, Barbara

    2012-01-01

    This report documents a methodology for projecting the geographic ranges of plant species in the Hawaiian Islands. The methodology consists primarily of the creation of several geographic information system (GIS) data layers depicting attributes related to the geographic ranges of plant species. The most important spatial-data layer generated here is an objectively defined classification of climate as it pertains to the distribution of plant species. By examining previous zonal-vegetation classifications in light of spatially detailed climate data, broad zones of climate relevant to contemporary concepts of vegetation in the Hawaiian Islands can be explicitly defined. Other spatial-data layers presented here include the following: substrate age, as large areas of the island of Hawai'i, in particular, are covered by very young lava flows inimical to the growth of many plant species; biogeographic regions of the larger islands that are composites of multiple volcanoes, as many of their species are restricted to a given topographically isolated mountain or a specified group of them; and human impact, which can reduce the range of many species relative to where they formerly were found. Other factors influencing the geographic ranges of species that are discussed here but not developed further, owing to limitations in rendering them spatially, include topography, soils, and disturbance. A method is described for analyzing these layers in a GIS, in conjunction with a database of species distributions, to project the ranges of plant species, which include both the potential range prior to human disturbance and the projected present range. Examples of range maps for several species are given as case studies that demonstrate different spatial characteristics of range. Several potential applications of species-range maps are discussed, including facilitating field surveys, informing restoration efforts, studying range size and rarity, studying biodiversity, managing

  12. Variation in habitat suitability does not always relate to variation in species' plant functional traits

    PubMed Central

    Thuiller, Wilfried; Albert, Cécile H.; Dubuis, Anne; Randin, Christophe; Guisan, Antoine

    2010-01-01

    Habitat suitability models, which relate species occurrences to environmental variables, are assumed to predict suitable conditions for a given species. If these models are reliable, they should relate to change in plant growth and function. In this paper, we ask the question whether habitat suitability models are able to predict variation in plant functional traits, often assumed to be a good surrogate for a species' overall health and vigour. Using a thorough sampling design, we show a tight link between variation in plant functional traits and habitat suitability for some species, but not for others. Our contrasting results pave the way towards a better understanding of how species cope with varying habitat conditions and demonstrate that habitat suitability models can provide meaningful descriptions of the functional niche in some cases, but not in others. PMID:19793738

  13. Exposure of two upland plant species to acidic fogs.

    PubMed

    Ashenden, T W; Rafarel, C R; Bell, S A

    1991-01-01

    A system is described for exposing large numbers of plants to acidic fogs. The system allows low volumes of treatment solutions to be provided at particle sizes chiefly in the 5-30 microm range (equivalent to fog/cloud droplets). Plants of Poa alpina L. and Epilobium brunnescens were propagated from material collected in Snowdonia, North Wales and exposed to fog treatments at pH values of 2.5, 3.5, 4.5 and 5.6. There were 3 x 4 h exposures per week which provided a total of 6 mm deposition. Supplementary watering was with pH 4.5 simulated acid rain (24 mm per week). After 21 weeks, there was increased lowering and a greater dry weight for plants of E. brunnescens exposed to the pH 2.5 fog in comparison with other treatments. Also, the plants used assimilated material to form shoots rather than roots. A similar increase in dry weight accumulation in the pH 2.5 treatment was found in P. alpina after 63 weeks but this was not associated with changes in assimilate partitioning. PMID:15092062

  14. PLANT SPECIES DIVERSITY, ECOSYSTEM FUNCTION, AND PASTURE MANAGEMENT

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Grassland farmers face new challenges in pasture management including improving sustainability, reducing inputs of fertilizers and pesticides, and protecting soil resources. Managing plant diversity within and among pastures may be one tool to aid producers in meeting these new challenges. Pasture e...

  15. Phytopathogenicity of Serratia marcescens strains in different plant host species

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Strains of Seriatia marcescens (Sm), cause of cucurbit yellow vine disease (CYVD), colonize many niches (water, soil, humans, animals, insects, plants). To assess whether phytopathogenicity is strain-specific, tobacco leaves were needle-inoculated with various Sm strains. A HR-like response was ob...

  16. Patch Size and Isolation Predict Plant Species Density in a Naturally Fragmented Forest

    PubMed Central

    Munguía-Rosas, Miguel A.; Montiel, Salvador

    2014-01-01

    Studies of the effects of patch size and isolation on plant species density have yielded contrasting results. However, much of the available evidence comes from relatively recent anthropogenic forest fragments which have not reached equilibrium between extinction and immigration. This is a critical issue because the theory clearly states that only when equilibrium has been reached can the number of species be accurately predicted by habitat size and isolation. Therefore, species density could be better predicted by patch size and isolation in an ecosystem that has been fragmented for a very long time. We tested whether patch area, isolation and other spatial variables explain variation among forest patches in plant species density in an ecosystem where the forest has been naturally fragmented for long periods of time on a geological scale. Our main predictions were that plant species density will be positively correlated with patch size, and negatively correlated with isolation (distance to the nearest patch, connectivity, and distance to the continuous forest). We surveyed the vascular flora (except lianas and epiphytes) of 19 forest patches using five belt transects (50×4 m each) per patch (area sampled per patch = 0.1 ha). As predicted, plant species density was positively associated (logarithmically) with patch size and negatively associated (linearly) with patch isolation (distance to the nearest patch). Other spatial variables such as patch elevation and perimeter, did not explain among-patch variability in plant species density. The power of patch area and isolation as predictors of plant species density was moderate (together they explain 43% of the variation), however, a larger sample size may improve the explanatory power of these variables. Patch size and isolation may be suitable predictors of long-term plant species density in terrestrial ecosystems that are naturally and anthropogenically fragmented. PMID:25347818

  17. Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria and Mycorrhizal Fungi in Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plant-growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) encourage plant growth by producing growth regulators, facilitating nutrient uptake, accelerating mineralization, reducing plant stress, stimulating nodulation, providing nitrogen fixation, promoting mycorrhizal fungi, suppressing plant diseases, and funct...

  18. Integrative modelling reveals mechanisms linking productivity and plant species richness

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    For 40 years ecologists have sought a canonical productivity-species richness relationship 48 (PRR) for ecosystems, despite continuing disagreements about expected form and 49 interpretation. Using a large global dataset of terrestrial grasslands, we consider how 50 productivity and richness relate ...

  19. Population dynamics of Scirtothrips dorsalis (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) and other thrips species on two ornamental host plant species in Southern Florida.

    PubMed

    Mannion, Catharine M; Derksen, Andrew I; Seal, Dakshina R; Osborne, Lance S; Martin, Cliff G

    2014-08-01

    Since its 2005 introduction into the United States, chilli thrips, Scirtothrips dorsalis Hood (Thysanoptera: Thripidae), has become a problematic pest of agronomic, vegetable, fruit, and ornamental plants. Knowledge of its population dynamics may help managers better monitor and control S. dorsalis. Population estimates were recorded for S. dorsalis and other thrips species on Knock-Out rose (Rosa 'Radrazz') and green buttonwood (Conocarpus erectus L.) from July 2007 to September 2008 in two field plots (one per plant species) in Homestead, FL. Yellow sticky card traps and samples of terminals, flowers, buds, and leaves were collected. S. dorsalis accounted for 95% of all thrips individuals collected from plants and 84% from traps with the remainder including at least 18 other thrips species. More thrips were caught on or flying near rose plants (47,438) than on or near buttonwoods (5,898), and on-plant densities of S. dorsalis appeared higher for rose than for buttonwood. Compared with rose leaves, rose buds, terminals, and flowers each had higher numbers of S. dorsalis, and buds and terminals had higher densities. On each host plant species, S. dorsalis density fluctuated over time with peaks in the late spring, summer, and fall, but populations were consistently low in the late winter and early spring. On roses, increased plant damage ratings correlated with reduced numbers of flowers and buds, reduced mean flower areas, and increased on-plant number and density of S. dorsalis. There were positive correlations over time between S. dorsalis density and plant damage rating for rose flowers (R = 0.78; P = 0.0003) and for buttonwood terminals (R = 0.90; P = 0.0001). Yellow sticky card traps were effective for monitoring S. dorsalis and may be especially useful and economically justified for the most susceptible hosts, but they also work well for less susceptible hosts. A good S. dorsalis scouting program should hence consider trap catches and symptoms such as leaf

  20. Research Progress on the use of Plant Allelopathy in Agriculture and the Physiological and Ecological Mechanisms of Allelopathy.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Fang; Cheng, Zhihui

    2015-01-01

    Allelopathy is a common biological phenomenon by which one organism produces biochemicals that influence the growth, survival, development, and reproduction of other organisms. These biochemicals are known as allelochemicals and have beneficial or detrimental effects on target organisms. Plant allelopathy is one of the modes of interaction between receptor and donor plants and may exert either positive effects (e.g., for agricultural management, such as weed control, crop protection, or crop re-establishment) or negative effects (e.g., autotoxicity, soil sickness, or biological invasion). To ensure sustainable agricultural development, it is important to exploit cultivation systems that take advantage of the stimulatory/inhibitory influence of allelopathic plants to regulate plant growth and development and to avoid allelopathic autotoxicity. Allelochemicals can potentially be used as growth regulators, herbicides, insecticides, and antimicrobial crop protection products. Here, we reviewed the plant allelopathy management practices applied in agriculture and the underlying allelopathic mechanisms described in the literature. The major points addressed are as follows: (1) Description of management practices related to allelopathy and allelochemicals in agriculture. (2) Discussion of the progress regarding the mode of action of allelochemicals and the physiological mechanisms of allelopathy, consisting of the influence on cell micro- and ultra-structure, cell division and elongation, membrane permeability, oxidative and antioxidant systems, growth regulation systems, respiration, enzyme synthesis and metabolism, photosynthesis, mineral ion uptake, protein and nucleic acid synthesis. (3) Evaluation of the effect of ecological mechanisms exerted by allelopathy on microorganisms and the ecological environment. (4) Discussion of existing problems and proposal for future research directions in this field to provide a useful reference for future studies on plant

  1. Research Progress on the use of Plant Allelopathy in Agriculture and the Physiological and Ecological Mechanisms of Allelopathy

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Fang; Cheng, Zhihui

    2015-01-01

    Allelopathy is a common biological phenomenon by which one organism produces biochemicals that influence the growth, survival, development, and reproduction of other organisms. These biochemicals are known as allelochemicals and have beneficial or detrimental effects on target organisms. Plant allelopathy is one of the modes of interaction between receptor and donor plants and may exert either positive effects (e.g., for agricultural management, such as weed control, crop protection, or crop re-establishment) or negative effects (e.g., autotoxicity, soil sickness, or biological invasion). To ensure sustainable agricultural development, it is important to exploit cultivation systems that take advantage of the stimulatory/inhibitory influence of allelopathic plants to regulate plant growth and development and to avoid allelopathic autotoxicity. Allelochemicals can potentially be used as growth regulators, herbicides, insecticides, and antimicrobial crop protection products. Here, we reviewed the plant allelopathy management practices applied in agriculture and the underlying allelopathic mechanisms described in the literature. The major points addressed are as follows: (1) Description of management practices related to allelopathy and allelochemicals in agriculture. (2) Discussion of the progress regarding the mode of action of allelochemicals and the physiological mechanisms of allelopathy, consisting of the influence on cell micro- and ultra-structure, cell division and elongation, membrane permeability, oxidative and antioxidant systems, growth regulation systems, respiration, enzyme synthesis and metabolism, photosynthesis, mineral ion uptake, protein and nucleic acid synthesis. (3) Evaluation of the effect of ecological mechanisms exerted by allelopathy on microorganisms and the ecological environment. (4) Discussion of existing problems and proposal for future research directions in this field to provide a useful reference for future studies on plant

  2. Species delimitation and phylogeny of a New Zealand plant species radiation

    PubMed Central

    Meudt, Heidi M; Lockhart, Peter J; Bryant, David

    2009-01-01

    Background Delimiting species boundaries and reconstructing the evolutionary relationships of late Tertiary and Quaternary species radiations is difficult. One recent approach emphasizes the use of genome-wide molecular markers, such as amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLPs) and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), to identify distinct metapopulation lineages as taxonomic species. Here we investigate the properties of AFLP data, and the usefulness of tree-based and non-tree-based clustering methods to delimit species and reconstruct evolutionary relationships among high-elevation Ourisia species (Plantaginaceae) in the New Zealand archipelago. Results New Zealand Ourisia are shown to comprise a geologically recent species radiation based on molecular dating analyses of ITS sequences (0.4–1.3 MY). Supernetwork analyses indicate that separate tree-based clustering analyses of four independent AFLP primer combinations and 193 individuals of Ourisia produced similar trees. When combined and analysed using tree building methods, 15 distinct metapopulations could be identified. These clusters corresponded very closely to species and subspecies identified on the basis of diagnostic morphological characters. In contrast, Structure and PCO-MC analyses of the same data identified a maximum of 12 and 8 metapopulations, respectively. All approaches resolved a large-leaved group and a small-leaved group, as well as a lineage of three alpine species within the small-leaved group. We were unable to further resolve relationships within these groups as corrected and uncorrected distances derived from AFLP profiles had limited tree-like properties. Conclusion Ourisia radiated into a range of alpine and subalpine habitats in New Zealand during the Pleistocene, resulting in 13 morphologically and ecologically distinct species, including one reinstated from subspecies rank. Analyses of AFLP identified distinct metapopulations consistent with morphological characters

  3. Using habitat suitability models to target invasive plant species surveys

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Crall, Alycia W.; Jarnevich, Catherine S.; Panke, Brendon; Young, Nick; Renz, Mark; Morisette, Jeffrey

    2013-01-01

    Managers need new tools for detecting the movement and spread of nonnative, invasive species. Habitat suitability models are a popular tool for mapping the potential distribution of current invaders, but the ability of these models to prioritize monitoring efforts has not been tested in the field. We tested the utility of an iterative sampling design (i.e., models based on field observations used to guide subsequent field data collection to improve the model), hypothesizing that model performance would increase when new data were gathered from targeted sampling using criteria based on the initial model results. We also tested the ability of habitat suitability models to predict the spread of invasive species, hypothesizing that models would accurately predict occurrences in the field, and that the use of targeted sampling would detect more species with less sampling effort than a nontargeted approach. We tested these hypotheses on two species at the state scale (Centaurea stoebe and Pastinaca sativa) in Wisconsin (USA), and one genus at the regional scale (Tamarix) in the western United States. These initial data were merged with environmental data at 30-m2 resolution for Wisconsin and 1-km2 resolution for the western United States to produce our first iteration models. We stratified these initial models to target field sampling and compared our models and success at detecting our species of interest to other surveys being conducted during the same field season (i.e., nontargeted sampling). Although more data did not always improve our models based on correct classification rate (CCR), sensitivity, specificity, kappa, or area under the curve (AUC), our models generated from targeted sampling data always performed better than models generated from nontargeted data. For Wisconsin species, the model described actual locations in the field fairly well (kappa = 0.51, 0.19, P 2) = 47.42, P < 0.01). From these findings, we conclude that habitat suitability models can be

  4. Flowering phenology of invasive alien plant species compared with native species in three Mediterranean-type ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Godoy, Oscar; Richardson, David M.; Valladares, Fernando; Castro-Díez, Pilar

    2009-01-01

    Background and Aims Flowering phenology is a potentially important component of success of alien species, since elevated fecundity may enhance invasiveness. The flowering patterns of invasive alien plant species and related natives were studied in three regions with Mediterranean-type climate: California, Spain and South Africa's Cape region. Methods A total of 227 invasive–native pairs were compared for seven character types across the regions, with each pair selected on the basis that they shared the same habitat type within a region, had a common growth form and pollination type, and belonged to the same family or genus. Key Results Invasive alien plant species have different patterns of flowering phenology from native species in the three regions. Whether the alien species flower earlier, later or at the same time as natives depends on the climatic regime in the native range of the aliens and the proportion of species in the invasive floras originating from different regions. Species invading at least two of the regions displayed the same flowering pattern, showing that flowering phenology is a conservative trait. Invasive species with native ranges in temperate climates flower earlier than natives, those from Mediterranean-type climates at the same time, and species from tropical climates flower later. In California, where the proportion of invaders from the Mediterranean Basin is high, the flowering pattern did not differ between invasive and native species, whereas in Spain the high proportion of tropical species results in a later flowering than natives, and in the Cape region early flowering than natives was the result of a high proportion of temperate invaders. Conclusions Observed patterns are due to the human-induced sympatry of species with different evolutionary histories whose flowering phenology evolved under different climatic regimes. The severity of the main abiotic filters imposed by the invaded regions (e.g. summer drought) has not been

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

    The presence of vegetation strongly influences ecosystem function by controlling the distribution and transformation of nutrients across the landscape. The magnitude of vegetation effects on soil chemistry is largely dependent on the plant species and the background soil chemical properties of the site, but has not been well quantified along vegetation transects in the Great Basin. We studied the effects of plant canopy cover on soil chemistry within five different ecological zones, subalpine, montane, pinyon-juniper, sage/Mojave transition, and desert shrub, in the Great Basin of Nevada all with similar underlying geology. Although plant species differed in their effects on soil chemistry, the desert shrubs Sarcobatus vermiculatus, Atriplex spp., Coleogyne ramosissima, and Larrea tridentata typically exerted the most influence on soil chemistry, especially amounts of K(+) and total nitrogen, beneath their canopies. However, the extent to which vegetation affected soil nutrient status in any given location was not only highly dependent on the species present, and presumably the nutrient requirements and cycling patterns of the plant species, but also on the background soil characteristics (e.g., parent material, weathering rates, leaching) where plant species occurred. The results of this study indicate that the presence or absence of a plant species, especially desert shrubs, could significantly alter soil chemistry and subsequently ecosystem biogeochemistry and function. PMID:27255124

  6. Molecular species composition of plant cardiolipin determined by liquid chromatography mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Yonghong; Peisker, Helga; Dörmann, Peter

    2016-07-01

    Cardiolipin (CL), an anionic phospholipid of the inner mitochondrial membrane, provides essential functions for stabilizing respiratory complexes and is involved in mitochondrial morphogenesis and programmed cell death in animals. The role of CL and its metabolism in plants are less well understood. The measurement of CL in plants, including its molecular species composition, is hampered by the fact that CL is of extremely low abundance, and that plants contain large amounts of interfering compounds including galactolipids, neutral lipids, and pigments. We used solid phase extraction by anion exchange chromatography to purify CL from crude plant lipid extracts. LC/MS was used to determine the content and molecular species composition of CL. Thus, up to 23 different molecular species of CL were detected in different plant species, including Arabidopsis, mung bean, spinach, barley, and tobacco. Similar to animals, plant CL is dominated by highly unsaturated species, mostly containing linoleic and linolenic acid. During phosphate deprivation or exposure to an extended dark period, the amount of CL decreased in Arabidopsis, accompanied with an increased degree in unsaturation. The mechanism of CL remodeling during stress, and the function of highly unsaturated CL molecular species, remains to be defined. PMID:27179363

  7. Validation of the ITS2 Region as a Novel DNA Barcode for Identifying Medicinal Plant Species

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Shilin; Yao, Hui; Han, Jianping; Liu, Chang; Song, Jingyuan; Shi, Linchun; Zhu, Yingjie; Ma, Xinye; Gao, Ting; Pang, Xiaohui; Luo, Kun; Li, Ying; Li, Xiwen; Jia, Xiaocheng; Lin, Yulin; Leon, Christine

    2010-01-01

    Background The plant working group of the Consortium for the Barcode of Life recommended the two-locus combination of rbcL + matK as the plant barcode, yet the combination was shown to successfully discriminate among 907 samples from 550 species at the species level with a probability of 72%. The group admits that the two-locus barcode is far from perfect due to the low identification rate, and the search is not over. Methodology/Principal Findings Here, we compared seven candidate DNA barcodes (psbA-trnH, matK, rbcL, rpoC1, ycf5, ITS2, and ITS) from medicinal plant species. Our ranking criteria included PCR amplification efficiency, differential intra- and inter-specific divergences, and the DNA barcoding gap. Our data suggest that the second internal transcribed spacer (ITS2) of nuclear ribosomal DNA represents the most suitable region for DNA barcoding applications. Furthermore, we tested the discrimination ability of ITS2 in more than 6600 plant samples belonging to 4800 species from 753 distinct genera and found that the rate of successful identification with the ITS2 was 92.7% at the species level. Conclusions The ITS2 region can be potentially used as a standard DNA barcode to identify medicinal plants and their closely related species. We also propose that ITS2 can serve as a novel universal barcode for the identification of a broader range of plant taxa. PMID:20062805

  8. Effects of grass species and grass growth on atmospheric nitrogen deposition to a bog ecosystem surrounded by intensive agricultural land use

    PubMed Central

    Hurkuck, Miriam; Brümmer, Christian; Mohr, Karsten; Spott, Oliver; Well, Reinhard; Flessa, Heinz; Kutsch, Werner L

    2015-01-01

    We applied a 15N dilution technique called “Integrated Total Nitrogen Input” (ITNI) to quantify annual atmospheric N input into a peatland surrounded by intensive agricultural practices over a 2-year period. Grass species and grass growth effects on atmospheric N deposition were investigated using Lolium multiflorum and Eriophorum vaginatum and different levels of added N resulting in increased biomass production. Plant biomass production was positively correlated with atmospheric N uptake (up to 102.7 mg N pot−1) when using Lolium multiflorum. In contrast, atmospheric N deposition to Eriophorum vaginatum did not show a clear dependency to produced biomass and ranged from 81.9 to 138.2 mg N pot−1. Both species revealed a relationship between atmospheric N input and total biomass N contents. Airborne N deposition varied from about 24 to 55 kg N ha−1 yr−1. Partitioning of airborne N within the monitor system differed such that most of the deposited N was found in roots of Eriophorum vaginatum while the highest share was allocated in aboveground biomass of Lolium multiflorum. Compared to other approaches determining atmospheric N deposition, ITNI showed highest airborne N input and an up to fivefold exceedance of the ecosystem-specific critical load of 5–10 kg N ha−1 yr−1. PMID:26257870

  9. Screening of radical scavenging activity and polyphenol content of Bulgarian plant species

    PubMed Central

    Nikolova, Milena

    2011-01-01

    Background: Discovery of new plant species with antioxidant properties is a priority of many research teams. Most of the species included in this study are unstudied for antioxidant properties, but they are taxonomically related to reference plants with well-documented antioxidant activity. Materials and Methods: Free radical scavenging activity of plant extracts was evaluated using a 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assay. An aluminum chloride colorimetric method was used for flavonoid determination. The amount of phenolic compounds in the extracts was estimated by using the Folin–Ciocalteu reagent. Results: As a result of screening, it was found that the significant antioxidant properties possess several unstudied until now plant species (Veronica bellidioides L., V. kellereri Deg. et Urm, V. vindobonensis (M. Fisher) M. Fisher, V. beccabunga L., V. rhodopaea L., V. austriaca (Velen.) Degen., Clinopodium vulgare L., Stachysrecta L., Clematis vitalba L., and Xeranthemum annum L.). The antioxidant potential of the new species is comparable to that of reference medicinal plants. Conclusions: The existing data presented here provide new information for antioxidant potential of plant species that have not been traditionally used as medicinal plants. PMID:22224049

  10. Different spatial organisation strategies of woody plant species in a montane cloud forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ledo, Alicia; Montes, Fernando; Condés, Sonia

    2012-01-01

    The coexistence of a high number of species in the forest is a central issue in tropical ecology. In this paper, we aim to characterise the spatial pattern of woody species in an Andean montane cloud forest to determine whether differences exist among the species in terms of spatial organization and if so, whether these differences are related to the life-form, primary dispersal mode, shade tolerance or the diameter distribution of the species. For this purpose, we analysed the spatial pattern of each species as well as the spatial relationships between young and adult individuals. Almost all the analysed species showed a cluster pattern, followed by a random pattern at larger distances. The cluster size is more evident for the young trees whereas adult trees tended to be more randomly distributed. The shade-tolerant species showed greater distances of aggregation than gap or medium-shade-tolerant species. Species primarily dispersed by wind and small birds showed larger distances of aggregation than species dispersed by mammals or big birds. All the under-story woody plants showed a notable cluster pattern, whereas canopy trees showed a variety of spatial patterns, with clustering at small scales being the most frequent. In the case of emergent trees, association was found between young and adult individuals on a large scale. Positive associations between young and adult individuals predominate at small scales for medium and shade tolerant species and at larger scales for bird-dispersed species whereas negative spatial associations at smaller scales were found for shade tolerant species and wind dispersed species. Our study confirms that conspecific organization varies among the woody plants in the analysed forest, and that the spatial pattern of woody plants is partially linked to shade tolerance, primary dispersal mode and life form of the species.

  11. Environmental Quality and Fertility: The Effects of Plant Density, Species Richness, and Plant Diversity on Fertility Limitation *

    PubMed Central

    Brauner-Otto, Sarah R.

    2013-01-01

    The relationship between the environment and population has been of concern for centuries and climate change is making this an even more pressing area of study. In poor rural areas declining environmental conditions may elicit changes in family related behaviors. This paper explores this relationship in rural Nepal looking specifically at how plant density, species richness, and plant diversity are related to women’s fertility limitation behavior. Taking advantage of a unique data set with detailed micro-level environmental measures and individual fertility behavior I link geographically weighted measures of flora at one point in time to women’s later contraceptive use as a way to examine this complex relationship. I find a significant, positive relationship between plant density, species richness, and plant diversity and the timing of contraceptive use. Women in poor environmental conditions are less likely to terminate childbearing, or do so later, and therefore more likely to have larger families. PMID:25593378

  12. Disentangling the determinants of species richness of vascular plants and mammals from national to regional scales.

    PubMed

    Xu, Haigen; Cao, Mingchang; Wu, Yi; Cai, Lei; Cao, Yun; Wu, Jun; Lei, Juncheng; Le, Zhifang; Ding, Hui; Cui, Peng

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the spatial patterns in species richness gets new implication for biodiversity conservation in the context of climate change and intensified human intervention. Here, we created a database of the geographical distribution of 30,519 vascular plant species and 565 mammal species from 2,376 counties across China and disentangled the determinants that explain species richness patterns both at national and regional scales using spatial linear models. We found that the determinants of species richness patterns varied among regions: elevational range was the most powerful predictor for the species richness of plants and mammals across China. However, species richness patterns in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau Region (QTR) are quite unique, where net primary productivity was the most important predictor. We also detected that elevational range was positively related to plant species richness when it is less than 1,900 m, whereas the relationship was not significant when elevational range is larger than 1,900 m. It indicated that elevational range often emerges as the predominant controlling factor within the regions where energy is sufficient. The effects of land use on mammal species richness should attract special attention. Our study suggests that region-specific conservation policies should be developed based on the regional features of species richness. PMID:26902418

  13. Disentangling the determinants of species richness of vascular plants and mammals from national to regional scales

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Haigen; Cao, Mingchang; Wu, Yi; Cai, Lei; Cao, Yun; Wu, Jun; Lei, Juncheng; Le, Zhifang; Ding, Hui; Cui, Peng

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the spatial patterns in species richness gets new implication for biodiversity conservation in the context of climate change and intensified human intervention. Here, we created a database of the geographical distribution of 30,519 vascular plant species and 565 mammal species from 2,376 counties across China and disentangled the determinants that explain species richness patterns both at national and regional scales using spatial linear models. We found that the determinants of species richness patterns varied among regions: elevational range was the most powerful predictor for the species richness of plants and mammals across China. However, species richness patterns in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau Region (QTR) are quite unique, where net primary productivity was the most important predictor. We also detected that elevational range was positively related to plant species richness when it is less than 1,900 m, whereas the relationship was not significant when elevational range is larger than 1,900 m. It indicated that elevational range often emerges as the predominant controlling factor within the regions where energy is sufficient. The effects of land use on mammal species richness should attract special attention. Our study suggests that region-specific conservation policies should be developed based on the regional features of species richness. PMID:26902418

  14. A Range-Expanding Shrub Species Alters Plant Phenological Response to Experimental Warming

    PubMed Central

    Kopp, Christopher W.; Cleland, Elsa E.

    2015-01-01

    Shifts in plant species phenology (the timing of life-history events such as flowering) have been observed worldwide in concert with rising global temperatures. While most species display earlier phenology with warming, there is large variation among, and even within, species in phenological sensitivity to rising temperatures. Other indirect effects of climate change, such as shifting species composition and altered species interactions, may also be contributing to shifting plant phenology. Here, we describe how experimental warming and the presence of a range-expanding species, sagebrush (Artemisia rothrockii), interact to influence the flowering phenology (day of first and peak flowering) and production (number of flowers) of an alpine cushion plant, Trifolium andersonii, in California’s White Mountains. Both first flowering and peak flowering were strongly accelerated by warming, but not when sagebrush was present. Warming significantly increased flower production of T. andersonii, but less so in the presence of sagebrush. A shading treatment delayed phenology and lowered flower production, suggesting that shading may be the mechanism by which sagebrush presence delayed flowering of the understory species. This study demonstrates that species interactions can modify phenological responses to climate change, and suggests that indirect effects of rising temperatures arising from shifting species ranges and altered species interactions may even exceed the direct effects of rising temperatures on phenology. PMID:26402617

  15. Plant functional traits of dominant native and invasive species in mediterranean-climate ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Funk, Jennifer L; Standish, Rachel J; Stock, William D; Valladares, Fernando

    2016-01-01

    The idea that dominant invasive plant species outperform neighboring native species through higher rates of carbon assimilation and growth is supported by several analyses of global data sets. However, theory suggests that native and invasive species occurring in low-resource environments will be functionally similar, as environmental factors restrict the range of observed physiological and morphological trait values. We measured resource-use traits in native and invasive plant species across eight diverse vegetation communities distributed throughout the five mediterranean-climate regions, which are drought prone and increasingly threatened by human activities, including the introduction of exotic species. Traits differed strongly across the five regions. In regions with functional differences between native and invasive species groups, invasive species displayed traits consistent with high resource acquisition; however, these patterns were largely attributable to differences in life form. We found that species invading mediterranean-climate regions were more likely to be annual than perennial: three of the five regions were dominated by native woody species and invasive annuals. These results suggest that trait differences between native and invasive species are context dependent and will vary across vegetation communities. Native and invasive species within annual and perennial groups had similar patterns of carbon assimilation and resource use, which contradicts the widespread idea that invasive species optimize resource acquisition rather than resource conservation. . PMID:27008777

  16. Morphology predicts species' functional roles and their degree of specialization in plant-frugivore interactions.

    PubMed

    Dehling, D Matthias; Jordano, Pedro; Schaefer, H Martin; Böhning-Gaese, Katrin; Schleuning, Matthias

    2016-01-27

    Species' functional roles in key ecosystem processes such as predation, pollination or seed dispersal are determined by the resource use of consumer species. An interaction between resource and consumer species usually requires trait matching (e.g. a congruence in the morphologies of interaction partners). Species' morphology should therefore determine species' functional roles in ecological processes mediated by mutualistic or antagonistic interactions. We tested this assumption for Neotropical plant-bird mutualisms. We used a new analytical framework that assesses a species's functional role based on the analysis of the traits of its interaction partners in a multidimensional trait space. We employed this framework to test (i) whether there is correspondence between the morphology of bird species and their functional roles and (ii) whether morphologically specialized birds fulfil specialized functional roles. We found that morphological differences between bird species reflected their functional differences: (i) bird species with different morphologies foraged on distinct sets of plant species and (ii) morphologically distinct bird species fulfilled specialized functional roles. These findings encourage further assessments of species' functional roles through the analysis of their interaction partners, and the proposed analytical framework facilitates a wide range of novel analyses for network and community ecology. PMID:26817779

  17. A retrospective analysis of pollen host plant use by stable and declining bumble bee species.

    PubMed

    Kleijn, David; Raemakers, Ivo

    2008-07-01

    Understanding population declines has been the objective of a wide range of ecological studies. When species have become rare such studies are complicated because particular behavior or life history traits may be the cause but also the result of the decline of a species. We approached this problem by studying species' characteristics on specimens that were collected before the onset of their decline and preserved in natural history museums. In northwestern Europe, some bumble bee species declined dramatically during the 20th century whereas other, ecologically similar, species maintained stable populations. A long-standing debate focuses on whether this is caused by declining species having stricter host plant preferences. We compared the composition of pollen loads of five bumble bee species with stable populations and five with declining populations using museum specimens collected before 1950 in Belgium, England, and The Netherlands. Prior to 1950, the number of plant taxa in pollen loads of declining species was almost one-third lower than that in stable species even though individuals of stable and declining species generally originated from the same areas. There were no systematic differences in the composition of pollen loads between stable and declining species, but the plant taxa preferred by declining species before 1950 had experienced a stronger decline in the 20th century than those preferred by stable species. In 2004 and 2005, we surveyed the areas where bumble bees had been caught in the past and compared the composition of past and present pollen loads of the stable, but not of the by now locally extinct declining species. The number of collected pollen taxa was similar, but the composition differed significantly between the two periods. Differences in composition reflected the major changes in land use in northwestern Europe but also the spread of the invasive plant species Impatiens glandulifera. The main question now is why declining species

  18. Inferring phylogeny and speciation of Gymnosporangium species, and their coevolution with host plants

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Peng; Liu, Fang; Li, Ying-Ming; Cai, Lei

    2016-01-01

    Gymnosporangium species (Pucciniaceae, Pucciniales) cause serious diseases and significant economic losses to apple cultivars. Most of the reported species are heteroecious and complete their life cycles on two different plant hosts belonging to two unrelated genera, i.e. Juniperus and Malus. However, the phylogenetic relationships among Gymnosporangium species and the evolutionary history of Gymnosporangium on its aecial and telial hosts were still undetermined. In this study, we recognized species based on rDNA sequence data by using coalescent method of generalized mixed Yule-coalescent (GMYC) and Poisson Tree Processes (PTP) models. The evolutionary relationships of Gymnosporangium species and their hosts were investigated by comparing the cophylogenetic analyses of Gymnosporangium species with Malus species and Juniperus species, respectively. The concordant results of GMYC and PTP analyses recognized 14 species including 12 known species and two undescribed species. In addition, host alternations of 10 Gymnosporangium species were uncovered by linking the derived sequences between their aecial and telial stages. This study revealed the evolutionary process of Gymnosporangium species, and clarifi