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Sample records for agricultural plant species

  1. Areas of increasing agricultural abandonment overlap the distribution of previously common, currently threatened plant species.

    PubMed

    Osawa, Takeshi; Kohyama, Kazunori; Mitsuhashi, Hiromune

    2013-01-01

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

  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.

  3. Cupriavidus and Burkholderia species associated with agricultural plants that grow in alkaline soils.

    PubMed

    Estrada-de Los Santos, Paulina; Vacaseydel-Aceves, Nora Belinda; Martínez-Aguilar, Lourdes; Cruz-Hernández, María Antonia; Mendoza-Herrera, Alberto; Caballero-Mellado, Jesús

    2011-12-01

    The presence of Burkholderia, Cupriavidus, and Ralstonia species in northeastern Mexico was investigated. An analysis of the root surrounding soil from different agricultural plants led to the isolation of Burkholderia and Cupriavidus species but no Ralstonia strains. Most Cupriavidus species were unknown and grouped into two clusters according to ARDRA profiles. The 16S rRNA sequence analysis showed that the Cupriavidus isolates were highly related among them and with different Cupriavidus species with validated names. However, SDS-PAGE profiles were distinct among the different ARDRA profiles and to other Cupriavidus species examined, suggesting new species in the genus. This shows that Cupriavidus is more widely associated with plants than previously appreciated. The BCC isolate was 99% similar to B. cenocepacia by recA sequence analysis. Additionally, most Cupriavidus strains from the two largest groups grew on media containing up to 0.1 mg/ml of copper, 10.0 mg/ml arsenic and 1.0 mg/ml zinc. Burkholderia strains grew on media containing up to 10.0 mg/ml zinc, 5.0 mg/ml arsenic and 0.1 mg/ml copper.

  4. Metal uptake by agricultural plant species grown in sludge-amended soil following ecosystem restoration practices

    SciTech Connect

    Peles, J.D.; Barrett, G.W.; Brewer, S.R.

    1996-12-01

    The disposal of municipal sewage sludge is an important environmental problem presently facing society. Because sludge is rich in plant nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous, land application as a fertilizer has been proposed as a cost-effective means of disposal. This method of disposal, however, is frequently the subject of public health concern since municipal sludge may contain heavy metals that potentially could be introduced into the human food chain. This study examined metal concentrations in two agricultural species at a study site where ecosystem restoration practices (liming and tilling) had been conducted for 5 years following 11 years of sludge enrichment. 11 refs., 2 tabs.

  5. Phylloepiphytic interaction between bacteria and different plant species in a tropical agricultural system.

    PubMed

    Baldotto, Lílian Estrela Borges; Olivares, Fábio Lopes

    2008-11-01

    Plant surfaces are a favourable niche for bacterial establishment, and hypothetically, plant species differ in their capacity to harbour epiphytic bacterial communities. This study was conducted to evaluate and describe the structural relationship of a bacterial community at the phyllosphere level with different plant species in a tropical ecosystem. Leaf blades of 47 plant species distributed in 27 botanical families were collected on a typical small Brazilian farm and prepared for observation under light and scanning electron microscopy. Naturally occurring bacteria were the most abundant settlers of the phylloplane, followed by fungal spore or hyphae. All plant species studied were colonized by phylloepiphytic bacteria, which were observed as solitary cells, microcolonies, and biofilms. However, independent of the family, the plant species differed in the pattern of phyllosphere colonization, as reflected in bacteria frequency and presence or absence of anatomical features that would favour the association. The phylloepiphytic bacteria were preferentially established on the following sites: epidermal cell wall junctions, glandular and nonglandular trichomes, veins, stomata, and epidermal cell wall surface. Profuse bacteria and fungi colonization was observed, at a level that was at least comparable with temperate regions. Interestingly, fungi seemed to alter the bacteria colonization pattern, most probably by microenvironmental modifications. The trichome type and density as well as the presence of epicuticular wax on the leaf blade surface seemed to be the most determinant anatomical features for the pattern of phyllosphere colonization. The presence of trichomes has a favourable, and epicuticular wax an unfavourable influence on the plant-bacteria interaction.

  6. Invasive species in agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agricultural production of food, feed, fiber or fuel is a local human activity with global ecological impacts, including the potential to foster invasions. Agriculture plays an unusual role in biological invasions, in that it is both a source of non-indigenous invasive species (NIS) and especially s...

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Homogenizing and diversifying effects of intensive agricultural land-use on plant species beta diversity in Central Europe - A call to adapt our conservation measures.

    PubMed

    Buhk, Constanze; Alt, Martin; Steinbauer, Manuel J; Beierkuhnlein, Carl; Warren, Steven D; Jentsch, Anke

    2017-01-15

    The prevention of biodiversity loss in agricultural landscapes to protect ecosystem stability and functions is of major importance to stabilize overall diversity. Intense agriculture leads to a loss in species richness and homogenization of species pools, but the processes behind are poorly understood due to a lack of systematic case studies: The specific impacts by agriculture in contrast to other land-use creating open habitat are not studied as such landscapes hardly exist in temperate regions. Applying systematic grids, we compared the plant species distribution at the landscape scale between an active military training areas in Europe and an adjacent rather intensively used agricultural landscape. As the study areas differ mainly in the type of disturbance regime (agricultural vs. non-agricultural), differences in species pattern can be traced back more or less directly to the management. Species trait analyses and multiple measures of beta diversity were applied to differentiate between species similarities between plots, distance-decay, or nestedness. Contrary to our expectation, overall beta diversity in the agricultural area was not reduced but increased under agricultural. This was probably the result of species nestedness due to fragmentation. The natural process of increasing dissimilarity with distance (distance-decay) was suppressed by intense agricultural land-use, generalist and long-distance dispersers gained importance, while rare species lost continuity. There are two independent processes that need to be addressed separately to halt biodiversity loss in agricultural land. There is a need to conserve semi-natural open habitat patches of diverse size to favor poor dispersers and specialist species. At the same time, we stress the importance of mediating biotic homogenization caused by the decrease of distance-decay: The spread of long-distance dispersers in agricultural fields may be acceptable, however, optimized fertilizer input and erosion

  10. 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 ...

  11. The ozone component of global change: potential effects on agricultural and horticultural plant yield, product quality and interactions with invasive species.

    PubMed

    Booker, Fitzgerald; Muntifering, Russell; McGrath, Margaret; Burkey, Kent; Decoteau, Dennis; Fiscus, Edwin; Manning, William; Krupa, Sagar; Chappelka, Arthur; Grantz, David

    2009-04-01

    The productivity, product quality and competitive ability of important agricultural and horticultural plants in many regions of the world may be adversely affected by current and anticipated concentrations of ground-level ozone (O3). Exposure to elevated O3 typically results in suppressed photosynthesis, accelerated senescence, decreased growth and lower yields. Various approaches used to evaluate O3 effects generally concur that current yield losses range from 5% to 15% among sensitive plants. There is, however, considerable genetic variability in plant responses to O3. To illustrate this, we show that ambient O3 concentrations in the eastern United States cause substantially different levels of damage to otherwise similar snap bean cultivars. Largely undesirable effects of O3 can also occur in seed and fruit chemistry as well as in forage nutritive value, with consequences for animal production. Ozone may alter herbicide efficacy and foster establishment of some invasive species. We conclude that current and projected levels of O3 in many regions worldwide are toxic to sensitive plants of agricultural and horticultural significance. Plant breeding that incorporates O3 sensitivity into selection strategies will be increasingly necessary to achieve sustainable production with changing atmospheric composition, while reductions in O3 precursor emissions will likely benefit world food production and reduce atmospheric concentrations of an important greenhouse gas.

  12. Agriculture Teachers: An Endangered Species?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hemp, Paul E.

    1979-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blaschke, Nolan; Page, Foy

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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…

  16. 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,…

  17. 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…

  18. 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

    2016-07-05

    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.

  19. 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

  20. 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...

  1. Socioeconomic Impacts of Agricultural Processing Plants.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leistritz, F. Larry; Sell, Randall S.

    2001-01-01

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

  2. 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…

  3. Cytogenetic changes induced by aqueous ferrofluids in agricultural plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Răcuciu, Mihaela; Creangă, Dorina

    2007-04-01

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

  4. The nature of plant species

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  5. Biodiversity of Aspergillus species in some important agricultural products.

    PubMed

    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

  6. 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…

  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.

  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.

  10. 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

  11. Agriculture on Mars: Soils for Plant Growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ming, D. W.

    2016-01-01

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

  12. 7 CFR 650.22 - Rare, threatened, and endangered species of plants and animals.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... animals. 650.22 Section 650.22 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued... Related Environmental Concerns § 650.22 Rare, threatened, and endangered species of plants and animals. (a) Background. (1) A variety of plant and animal species of the United States are so reduced in numbers...

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Bacterial endophyte communities of three agricultural important grass species differ in their response towards management regimes.

    PubMed

    Wemheuer, Franziska; Kaiser, Kristin; Karlovsky, Petr; Daniel, Rolf; Vidal, Stefan; Wemheuer, Bernd

    2017-01-19

    Endophytic bacteria are critical for plant growth and health. However, compositional and functional responses of bacterial endophyte communities towards agricultural practices are still poorly understood. Hence, we analyzed the influence of fertilizer application and mowing frequency on bacterial endophytes in three agriculturally important grass species. For this purpose, we examined bacterial endophytic communities in aerial plant parts of Dactylis glomerata L., Festuca rubra L., and Lolium perenne L. by pyrotag sequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA genes over two consecutive years. Although management regimes influenced endophyte communities, observed responses were grass species-specific. This might be attributed to several bacteria specifically associated with a single grass species. We further predicted functional profiles from obtained 16S rRNA data. These profiles revealed that predicted abundances of genes involved in plant growth promotion or nitrogen metabolism differed between grass species and between management regimes. Moreover, structural and functional community patterns showed no correlation to each other indicating that plant species-specific selection of endophytes is driven by functional rather than phylogenetic traits. The unique combination of 16S rRNA data and functional profiles provided a holistic picture of compositional and functional responses of bacterial endophytes in agricultural relevant grass species towards management practices.

  16. Bacterial endophyte communities of three agricultural important grass species differ in their response towards management regimes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wemheuer, Franziska; Kaiser, Kristin; Karlovsky, Petr; Daniel, Rolf; Vidal, Stefan; Wemheuer, Bernd

    2017-01-01

    Endophytic bacteria are critical for plant growth and health. However, compositional and functional responses of bacterial endophyte communities towards agricultural practices are still poorly understood. Hence, we analyzed the influence of fertilizer application and mowing frequency on bacterial endophytes in three agriculturally important grass species. For this purpose, we examined bacterial endophytic communities in aerial plant parts of Dactylis glomerata L., Festuca rubra L., and Lolium perenne L. by pyrotag sequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA genes over two consecutive years. Although management regimes influenced endophyte communities, observed responses were grass species-specific. This might be attributed to several bacteria specifically associated with a single grass species. We further predicted functional profiles from obtained 16S rRNA data. These profiles revealed that predicted abundances of genes involved in plant growth promotion or nitrogen metabolism differed between grass species and between management regimes. Moreover, structural and functional community patterns showed no correlation to each other indicating that plant species-specific selection of endophytes is driven by functional rather than phylogenetic traits. The unique combination of 16S rRNA data and functional profiles provided a holistic picture of compositional and functional responses of bacterial endophytes in agricultural relevant grass species towards management practices.

  17. Bacterial endophyte communities of three agricultural important grass species differ in their response towards management regimes

    PubMed Central

    Wemheuer, Franziska; Kaiser, Kristin; Karlovsky, Petr; Daniel, Rolf; Vidal, Stefan; Wemheuer, Bernd

    2017-01-01

    Endophytic bacteria are critical for plant growth and health. However, compositional and functional responses of bacterial endophyte communities towards agricultural practices are still poorly understood. Hence, we analyzed the influence of fertilizer application and mowing frequency on bacterial endophytes in three agriculturally important grass species. For this purpose, we examined bacterial endophytic communities in aerial plant parts of Dactylis glomerata L., Festuca rubra L., and Lolium perenne L. by pyrotag sequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA genes over two consecutive years. Although management regimes influenced endophyte communities, observed responses were grass species-specific. This might be attributed to several bacteria specifically associated with a single grass species. We further predicted functional profiles from obtained 16S rRNA data. These profiles revealed that predicted abundances of genes involved in plant growth promotion or nitrogen metabolism differed between grass species and between management regimes. Moreover, structural and functional community patterns showed no correlation to each other indicating that plant species-specific selection of endophytes is driven by functional rather than phylogenetic traits. The unique combination of 16S rRNA data and functional profiles provided a holistic picture of compositional and functional responses of bacterial endophytes in agricultural relevant grass species towards management practices. PMID:28102323

  18. SELECTING PLANT SPECIES FOR PESTICIDE REGISTRATION TESTS

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  19. 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.

  20. 7 CFR 650.22 - Rare, threatened, and endangered species of plants and animals.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 6 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Rare, threatened, and endangered species of plants and... Related Environmental Concerns § 650.22 Rare, threatened, and endangered species of plants and animals. (a... endangered species is the destruction or deterioration of their habitats by human activities such...

  1. 7 CFR 650.22 - Rare, threatened, and endangered species of plants and animals.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 6 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Rare, threatened, and endangered species of plants and... Related Environmental Concerns § 650.22 Rare, threatened, and endangered species of plants and animals. (a... endangered species is the destruction or deterioration of their habitats by human activities such...

  2. 7 CFR 650.22 - Rare, threatened, and endangered species of plants and animals.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 6 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Rare, threatened, and endangered species of plants and... Related Environmental Concerns § 650.22 Rare, threatened, and endangered species of plants and animals. (a... endangered species is the destruction or deterioration of their habitats by human activities such...

  3. 7 CFR 650.22 - Rare, threatened, and endangered species of plants and animals.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 6 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Rare, threatened, and endangered species of plants and... Related Environmental Concerns § 650.22 Rare, threatened, and endangered species of plants and animals. (a... endangered species is the destruction or deterioration of their habitats by human activities such...

  4. 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,…

  5. Historic land use influences contemporary establishment of invasive plant species.

    PubMed

    Mattingly, W Brett; Orrock, John L

    2013-08-01

    The legacy of agricultural land use can have widespread and persistent effects on contemporary landscapes. Although agriculture can lead to persistent changes in soil characteristics and plant communities, it remains unclear whether historic agricultural land use can alter the likelihood of contemporary biological invasions. To understand how agricultural land-use history might interact with well-known drivers of invasion, we conducted factorial manipulations of soil disturbance and resource additions within non-agricultural remnant sites and post-agricultural sites invaded by two non-native Lespedeza species. Our results reveal that variation in invader success can depend on the interplay of historic land use and contemporary processes: for both Lespedeza species, establishment was greater in remnant sites, but soil disturbance enhanced establishment irrespective of land-use history, demonstrating that contemporary processes can help to overcome legacy constraints on invader success. In contrast, additions of resources known to facilitate seedling recruitment (N and water) reduced invader establishment in post-agricultural but not in remnant sites, providing evidence that interactions between historic and contemporary processes can also limit invader success. Our findings thus illustrate that a consideration of historic land use may help to clarify the often contingent responses of invasive plants to known determinants of invasibility. Moreover, in finding significantly greater soil compaction at post-agricultural sites, our study provides a putative mechanism for historic land-use effects on contemporary invasive plant establishment. Our work suggests that an understanding of invasion dynamics requires knowledge of anthropogenic events that often occur decades before the introduction of invasive propagules.

  6. 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.

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. Plant biotechnology patents: applications in agriculture and medicine.

    PubMed

    Hefferon, Kathleen

    2010-06-01

    Recent advances in agricultural biotechnology have enabled the field of plant biology to move forward in great leaps and bounds. In particular, recent breakthroughs in molecular biology, plant genomics and crop science have brought about a paradigm shift of thought regarding the manner by which plants can be utilized both in agriculture and in medicine. Besides the more well known improvements in agronomic traits of crops such as disease resistance and drought tolerance, plants can now be associated with topics as diverse as biofuel production, phytoremediation, the improvement of nutritional qualities in edible plants, the identification of compounds for medicinal purposes in plants and the use of plants as therapeutic protein production platforms. This diversification of plant science has been accompanied by the great abundance of new patents issued in these fields and, as many of these inventions approach commercial realization, the subsequent increase in agriculturally-based industries. While this review chapter is written primarily for plant scientists who have great interest in the new directions being taken with respect to applications in agricultural biotechnology, those in other disciplines, such as medical researchers, environmental scientists and engineers, may find significant value in reading this article as well. The review attempts to provide an overview of the most recent patents issued for plant biotechnology with respect to both agriculture and medicine. The chapter concludes with the proposal that the combined driving forces of climate change, as well as the ever increasing needs for clean energy and food security will play a pivotal role in leading the direction for applied plant biotechnology research in the future.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roberts, Leslie

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Agricultural land-use history causes persistent loss of plant phylogenetic diversity.

    PubMed

    Turley, Nash E; Brudvig, Lars A

    2016-09-01

    Intensive land use activities, such as agriculture, are a leading cause of biodiversity loss and can have lasting impacts on ecological systems. Yet, few studies have investigated how land-use legacies impact phylogenetic diversity (the total amount of evolutionary history in a community) or how restoration activities might mitigate legacy effects on biodiversity. We studied ground-layer plant communities in 27 pairs of Remnant (no agricultural history) and Post-agricultural (agriculture abandoned >60 yr ago) longleaf pine savannas, half of which we restored by thinning trees to reinstate open savanna conditions. We found that agricultural history had no impact on species richness, but did alter community composition and reduce phylogenetic diversity by 566 million years/1,000 m(2) . This loss of phylogenetic diversity in post-agricultural savannas was due to, in part, a reduction in the average evolutionary distance between pairs of closely related species, that is, increased phylogenetic clustering. Habitat restoration increased species richness by 27% and phylogenetic diversity by 914 million years but did not eliminate the effects of agricultural land use on community composition and phylogenetic structure. These results demonstrate the persistence of agricultural legacies, even in the face of intensive restoration efforts, and the importance of considering biodiversity broadly when evaluating human impacts on ecosystems.

  16. 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.

  17. Plant gnotobiology: Epiphytic microbes and sustainable agriculture.

    PubMed

    Kutschera, Ulrich; Khanna, Rajnish

    2016-12-01

    In 1963, a monograph by Thomas D. Luckey entitled Germfree Life and Gnotobiology was published, with a focus on animals treated with microbes and reference to the work of Louis Pasteur (1822-1895). Here, we review the history and current status of plant gnotobiology, which can be traced back to the experiments of Jean-Baptiste Boussingault (1801-1887) published in 1838. Since the outer surfaces of typical land plants are much larger than their internal areas, embryophytes "wear their guts on the outside." We describe the principles of gnotobiological analyses, with reference to epiphytic metylobacteria, and sunflower (Helianthus annuus) as well as Arabidopsis as model dicots. Finally, a Californian field experiment aiming to improve crop yield in strawberries (Fragaria ananassa) is described to document the practical value of this novel research agenda.

  18. Research priorities for harnessing plant microbiomes in sustainable agriculture

    PubMed Central

    Soman, Chinmay; Wagner, Maggie R.; Friesen, Maren L.; Kremer, James; Bennett, Alison; Morsy, Mustafa; Eisen, Jonathan A.; Leach, Jan E.; Dangl, Jeffery L.

    2017-01-01

    Feeding a growing world population amidst climate change requires optimizing the reliability, resource use, and environmental impacts of food production. One way to assist in achieving these goals is to integrate beneficial plant microbiomes—i.e., those enhancing plant growth, nutrient use efficiency, abiotic stress tolerance, and disease resistance—into agricultural production. This integration will require a large-scale effort among academic researchers, industry researchers, and farmers to understand and manage plant-microbiome interactions in the context of modern agricultural systems. Here, we identify priorities for research in this area: (1) develop model host–microbiome systems for crop plants and non-crop plants with associated microbial culture collections and reference genomes, (2) define core microbiomes and metagenomes in these model systems, (3) elucidate the rules of synthetic, functionally programmable microbiome assembly, (4) determine functional mechanisms of plant-microbiome interactions, and (5) characterize and refine plant genotype-by-environment-by-microbiome-by-management interactions. Meeting these goals should accelerate our ability to design and implement effective agricultural microbiome manipulations and management strategies, which, in turn, will pay dividends for both the consumers and producers of the world food supply. PMID:28350798

  19. The myth of plant species saturation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Patel, Urmi; Sinha, Sarika

    2011-10-01

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

  1. 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...

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Comparative effect of ZnO NPs, ZnO bulk and ZnSO4 in the antioxidant defences of two plant species growing in two agricultural soils under greenhouse conditions.

    PubMed

    García-Gómez, Concepción; Obrador, Ana; González, Demetrio; Babín, Mar; Fernández, María Dolores

    2017-07-01

    The present study has investigated the toxicity of ZnO NPs to bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) and tomato (Solanum lycopersicon) crops grown to maturity under greenhouse conditions using an acidic (soil pH5.4) and a calcareous soil (soil pH8.3). The potentially available Zn in the soils and the Zn accumulation in the leaves from NPs applied to the soil (3, 20 and 225mgZnkg(-1)) and changes in the chlorophylls, carotenoids and oxidative stress biomarkers were measured at 15, 30, 60 and 90days and compared with those caused by bulk ZnO and ZnSO4. The available Zn in the soil and the leaf Zn content did not differ among the Zn chemical species, except in the acidic soil at the highest concentration of Zn applied as Zn ions, where the highest values of the two variables were found. The ZnO NPs showed comparable Zn toxicity or biostimulation to their bulk counterparts and Zn salts, irrespective of certain significant differences suggesting a higher activity of the Zn ion. The treatments altered the photosynthetic pigment concentration and induced oxidative stress in plants. ROS formation was observed at Zn plant concentrations ranging from 590 to 760mgkg(-1), but the effects on the rest of the parameters were highly dependent on the plant species, exposure time and especially soil type. In general, the effects were higher in the acidic soil than in the calcareous soil for the bean and the opposite for the tomato. The similar uptakes and toxicities of the different Zn forms suggest that the Zn ions derived from the ZnO NPs exerted a preferential toxicity in plants. However, several results obtained in soils treated with NPs at 3mgZnkg(-1) soil indicated that may exist other underlying mechanisms related to the intrinsic nanoparticle properties, especially at low NP concentrations.

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

    PubMed

    Bhattacharyya, P N; Jha, D K

    2012-04-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

  11. Secondary metabolites of endophytic Xylaria species with potential applications in medicine and agriculture.

    PubMed

    Macías-Rubalcava, Martha Lydia; Sánchez-Fernández, Rosa Elvira

    2017-01-01

    Fungal endophytes are important sources of bioactive secondary metabolites. The genus Xylaria Hill (ex Schrank, 1789, Xylariaceae) comprises various endophytic species associated to both vascular and non vascular plants. The secondary metabolites produced by Xylaria species include a variety of volatile and non-volatile compounds. Examples of the former are sesquiterpenoids, esters, and alcohols, among others; and of the latter we find terpenoids, cytochalasins, mellein, alkaloids, polyketides, and aromatic compounds. Some of these metabolites have shown potential activity as herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides; others possess antibacterial, antimalarial, and antifungal activities, or α-glucosidase inhibitory activity. Thus metabolites from Xylaria are promising compounds for applications in agriculture for plague control as biopesticides, and biocontrol agents; and in medicine, for example as drugs for the treatment of infectious and non-infectious diseases. This review seeks to show the great value of the secondary metabolites of Xylaria, particularly in the agriculture and medicine fields.

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

    PubMed

    Ronald, Pamela

    2011-05-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

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

  16. Suppression of plant parasitic nematodes in the chinampa agricultural soils.

    PubMed

    Zuckerman, B M; Dicklow, M B; Coles, G C; Garcia-E, R; Marban-Mendoza, N

    1989-06-01

    Soil from the chinampa agricultural system in the Valley of Mexico suppressed damage by plant-parasitic nematodes to tomatoes and beans in greenhouse and growth chamber trials. Sterilization of the chinampa soil resulted in a loss of the suppressive effect, thereby indicating that one or more biotic factors were responsible for the low incidence of nematode damage. Nine organisms were isolated from chinampa soil, which showed antinematodal properties in culture. Naturally occurring populations of plant-parasitic nematodes were of lower incidence in chinampa soil than in Chapingo soil.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  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. 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...

  2. Metaproteome analysis of the microbial communities in agricultural biogas plants.

    PubMed

    Heyer, R; Kohrs, F; Benndorf, D; Rapp, E; Kausmann, R; Heiermann, M; Klocke, M; Reichl, U

    2013-09-25

    In biogas plants agricultural waste and energy crops are converted by complex microbial communities to methane for the production of renewable energy. In Germany, this process is widely applied namely in context of agricultural production systems. However, process disturbances, are one of the major causes for economic losses. In addition, the conversion of biomass, in particular of cellulose, is in most cases incomplete and, hence, insufficient. Besides technical aspects, a more profound characterization concerning the functionality of the microbial communities involved would strongly support the improvement of yield and stability in biogas production. To monitor these communities on the functional level, metaproteome analysis was applied in this study to full-scale agricultural biogas plants. Proteins were extracted directly from sludge for separation by sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) and subsequent identification with mass spectrometry. Protein profiles obtained with SDS-PAGE were specific for different biogas plants and often stable for several months. Differences of protein profiles were visualized by clustering, which allowed not only the discrimination between mesophilic and thermophilic operated biogas plants but also the detection of process disturbances such as acidification. In particular, acidification of a biogas plant was detected in advance by disappearance of major bands in SDS-PAGE. Identification of proteins from SDS-PAGE gels revealed that methyl CoM reductase, which is responsible for the release of methane during methanogenesis, from the order Methanosarcinales was significantly decreased. Hence, it is assumed that this enzyme might be a promising candidate to serve as a predictive biomarker for acidification.

  3. Egyptian plant species as new ozone indicators.

    PubMed

    Madkour, Samia A; Laurence, J A

    2002-01-01

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

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

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

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-29

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

    Kim, Changkug; Park, Dongsuk; Seol, Youngjoo; Hahn, Jangho

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Wu, Bei; Becker, J Sabine

    2012-05-01

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

  12. 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

  13. Operational results of an agricultural biogas plant equipped with modern instrumentation and automation.

    PubMed

    Wiese, J; Kujawski, O

    2008-01-01

    Agricultural biogas plants based on energy crops gain more and more importance because of numerous energetic, environmental and agricultural benefits. In contrast to older biogas plants, the newest generation of biogas plants is equipped with modern ICA equipment and reliable machines/engines. In this paper, the authors present technical details and operational results of a modern full-scale agricultural biogas plant using energy crops.

  14. Control of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis infection in agricultural species.

    PubMed

    Kennedy, D J; Benedictus, G

    2001-04-01

    Paratuberculosis or Johne's disease is a chronic intestinal disease caused by Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis, which continues to spread in agricultural species. Control of paratuberculosis is challenging and should not be underestimated. Due to the long incubation period of the infection, disease is largely subclinical in domesticated livestock. Hence, direct effects on animal productivity and welfare are often masked and may appear insufficient to justify large investments in control programmes by individual farmers, livestock industries or governments. Furthermore, in some countries the main effects of the disease are indirect, resulting from the impact of market discrimination against herds and flocks known to be infected, or from the control measures enforced to reduce transmission. In such circumstances, producers may be unwilling to co-operate with surveillance that may detect infection in herds or flocks. As control programmes are rarely successful in eliminating the infection from a herd or flock in the short term without an aggressive and costly programme, financial and community support assists producers to deal with the challenge. Successful prevention and control depends on animal health authorities and livestock industries acquiring a good understanding of the nature and epidemiology of infection, and of the application of tools for diagnosis and control. Building support for control programmes under the leadership of the affected livestock industries is critical, as programmes are unlikely to be successful without ongoing political will, supported by funding for research, surveillance and control.

  15. RESPONSE OF WETLAND PLANT SPECIES TO HYDROLOGIC CONDITIONS

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  16. RESPONSE OF WETLAND PLANT SPECIES TO HYDROLOGIC CONDITIONS

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

    2012-09-04

    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.

  1. 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

    2015-09-02

    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

  2. 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

  3. 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…

  4. The eco-evolutionary impacts of domestication and agricultural practices on wild species.

    PubMed

    Turcotte, Martin M; Araki, Hitoshi; Karp, Daniel S; Poveda, Katja; Whitehead, Susan R

    2017-01-19

    Agriculture is a dominant evolutionary force that drives the evolution of both domesticated and wild species. However, the various mechanisms of agriculture-induced evolution and their socio-ecological consequences are not often synthetically discussed. Here, we explore how agricultural practices and evolutionary changes in domesticated species cause evolution in wild species. We do so by examining three processes by which agriculture drives evolution. First, differences in the traits of domesticated species, compared with their wild ancestors, alter the selective environment and create opportunities for wild species to specialize. Second, selection caused by agricultural practices, including both those meant to maximize productivity and those meant to control pest species, can lead to pest adaptation. Third, agriculture can cause non-selective changes in patterns of gene flow in wild species. We review evidence for these processes and then discuss their ecological and sociological impacts. We finish by identifying important knowledge gaps and future directions related to the eco-evolutionary impacts of agriculture including their extent, how to prevent the detrimental evolution of wild species, and finally, how to use evolution to minimize the ecological impacts of agriculture.This article is part of the themed issue 'Human influences on evolution, and the ecological and societal consequences'.

  5. Plant-pathogen interactions: disease resistance in modern agriculture.

    PubMed

    Boyd, Lesley A; Ridout, Christopher; O'Sullivan, Donal M; Leach, Jan E; Leung, Hei

    2013-04-01

    The growing human population will require a significant increase in agricultural production. This challenge is made more difficult by the fact that changes in the climatic and environmental conditions under which crops are grown have resulted in the appearance of new diseases, whereas genetic changes within the pathogen have resulted in the loss of previously effective sources of resistance. To help meet this challenge, advanced genetic and statistical methods of analysis have been used to identify new resistance genes through global screens, and studies of plant-pathogen interactions have been undertaken to uncover the mechanisms by which disease resistance is achieved. The informed deployment of major, race-specific and partial, race-nonspecific resistance, either by conventional breeding or transgenic approaches, will enable the production of crop varieties with effective resistance without impacting on other agronomically important crop traits. Here, we review these recent advances and progress towards the ultimate goal of developing disease-resistant crops.

  6. Uptake of airborne semivolatile organic compounds in agricultural plants: Field measurements of interspecies variability

    SciTech Connect

    Boehme, F.; Welsch-Pausch, K.; McLachlan, M.S.

    1999-06-01

    The accumulation of semivolatile organic compounds (SOCs) in plants is important because plants are the major vector of these compounds into terrestrial food chains and because plants play an important role in scavenging SOCs from the atmosphere and transferring them to the soil. Agricultural plants are of particular interest because they are a key link in the atmosphere-fodder-milk/beef food chain that accounts for much of background human exposure to persistent lipophilic organic pollutants such as PCBs and PCDD/Fs. In this study the accumulation of PCBs, PCDD/Fs, PAHs, and some chlorobenzenes was determined in eight grassland species as well as maize and sunflower leaves collected simultaneously at a semirural site in Central Europe. Air samples were collected at the same site during the growth of these plants, and the particle-bound and gaseous concentrations were determined. A newly developed interpretive framework was employed to analyze the data, and it was established whether the accumulation of a given compound was due primarily to equilibrium partitioning, kinetically limited gaseous deposition, or particle-bound deposition. The interspecies variability in uptake was then examined, and it was found that for those compounds which had accumulated primarily via kinetically limited gaseous deposition and particle-bound deposition the variation among the 10 species was generally a factor of <4.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-05-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    1984-01-01

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

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  14. 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

  15. 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;…

  16. Agricultural intensification and biodiversity partitioning in European landscapes comparing plants, carabids, and birds.

    PubMed

    Flohre, Andreas; Fischer, Christina; Aavik, Tsipe; Bengtsson, Jan; Berendse, Frank; Bommarco, Riccardo; Ceryngier, Piotr; Clement, Lars W; Dennis, Christopher; Eggers, Sönke; Emmerson, Mark; Geiger, Flavia; Guerrero, Irene; Hawro, Violetta; Inchausti, Pablo; Liira, Jaan; Morales, Manuel B; Oñate, Juan J; Pärt, Tomas; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Winqvist, Camilla; Thies, Carsten; Tscharntke, Teja

    2011-07-01

    Effects of agricultural intensification (AI) on biodiversity are often assessed on the plot scale, although processes determining diversity also operate on larger spatial scales. Here, we analyzed the diversity of vascular plants, carabid beetles, and birds in agricultural landscapes in cereal crop fields at the field (n = 1350), farm (n = 270), and European-region (n = 9) scale. We partitioned diversity into its additive components alpha, beta, and gamma, and assessed the relative contribution of beta diversity to total species richness at each spatial scale. AI was determined using pesticide and fertilizer inputs, as well as tillage operations and categorized into low, medium, and high levels. As AI was not significantly related to landscape complexity, we could disentangle potential AI effects on local vs. landscape community homogenization. AI negatively affected the species richness of plants and birds, but not carabid beetles, at all spatial scales. Hence, local AI was closely correlated to beta diversity on larger scales up to the farm and region level, and thereby was an indicator of farm- and region-wide biodiversity losses. At the scale of farms (12.83-20.52%) and regions (68.34-80.18%), beta diversity accounted for the major part of the total species richness for all three taxa, indicating great dissimilarity in environmental conditions on larger spatial scales. For plants, relative importance of alpha diversity decreased with AI, while relative importance of beta diversity on the farm scale increased with AI for carabids and birds. Hence, and in contrast to our expectations, AI does not necessarily homogenize local communities, presumably due to the heterogeneity of farming practices. In conclusion, a more detailed understanding of AI effects on diversity patterns of various taxa and at multiple spatial scales would contribute to more efficient agri-environmental schemes in agroecosystems.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Plant Species Recovery on a Compacted Skid Road.

    PubMed

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

    2008-05-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-10-01

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

  2. 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%).

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

    PubMed

    Gilligan, Christopher A

    2008-02-27

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

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

    PubMed

    Oduor, Ayub M O

    2013-12-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Seed rain under tree islands planted to restore degraded lands in a tropical agricultural landscape.

    PubMed

    Cole, R J; Holl, K D; Zahawi, R A

    2010-07-01

    outside of planted areas is strongly reduced. Planting design was more important for seed deposition than amount of forest cover within the surrounding 100- and 500-m radius areas. Establishing plantations and large islands facilitates the arrival of early-successional tree seeds and represents a broadly applicable strategy for increasing seed rain on abandoned agricultural lands. However, more intensive restoration approaches may be necessary for establishment of dispersal-limited species.

  8. 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...

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  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. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-01-01

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

  20. Microsatellite markers for Nuphar japonica (Nymphaeaceae), an aquatic plant in the agricultural ecosystem of Japan1

    PubMed Central

    Kondo, Toshiaki; Watanabe, Sonoko; Shiga, Takashi; Isagi, Yuji

    2016-01-01

    Premise of the study: Nuphar species (Nymphaeaceae) are representative aquatic plants in irrigation ponds in Japanese agricultural ecosystems. We developed 15 polymorphic microsatellite markers for N. japonica and confirmed their utility for its close relatives N. oguraensis var. akiensis and N. ×saijoensis, which originated from natural hybridization between N. japonica and N. oguraensis. Methods and Results: Genetic variation was characterized in 15 polymorphic loci in three populations of N. japonica. The average number of alleles per locus was 3.47 (range = 2−9; n = 32), and the average expected heterozygosity per locus was 0.84 (range = 0.5–1.0); 11 loci were amplified in N. oguraensis var. akiensis and 15 in N. ×saijoensis. Conclusions: The polymorphic microsatellite markers developed in this study will be useful for investigating the levels of genetic diversity within remnant populations of Nuphar taxa and could provide a valuable tool for conservation genetics of these taxa. PMID:28101435

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  3. 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...

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

    PubMed

    Zlobin, Iu A

    2011-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Plant-soil feedbacks and soil sickness: from mechanisms to application in agriculture.

    PubMed

    Huang, Li-Feng; Song, Liu-Xia; Xia, Xiao-Jian; Mao, Wei-Hua; Shi, Kai; Zhou, Yan-Hong; Yu, Jing-Quan

    2013-02-01

    Negative plant-soil feedbacks play an important role in soil sickness, which is one of the factors limiting the sustainable development of intensive agriculture. Various factors, such as the buildup of pests in the soil, disorder in physico-chemical soil properties, autotoxicity, and other unknown factors may contribute to soil sickness. A range of autotoxins have been identified, and these exhibit their allelopathic potential by influencing cell division, water and ion uptake, dark respiration, ATP synthesis, redox homeostasis, gene expression, and defense responses. Meanwhile, there are great interspecific and intraspecific differences in the uptake and accumulation of autotoxins, which contribute to the specific differences in growth in response to different autotoxins. Importantly, the autotoxins also influence soil microbes and vice versa, leading to an increased or decreased degree of soil sickness. In many cases, autotoxins may enhance soilborne diseases by predisposing the roots to infection by soilborne pathogens through a direct biochemical and physiological effect. Some approaches, such as screening for low autotoxic potential and disease-resistant genotypes, proper rotation and intercropping, proper soil and plant residue management, adoption of resistant plant species as rootstocks, introduction of beneficial microbes, physical removal of phytotoxins, and soil sterilization, are proposed. We discuss the challenges that we are facing and possible approaches to these.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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...

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-03-01

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

  13. Agriculture

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The EPA Agriculture Resource Directory offers comprehensive, easy-to-understand information about environmental stewardship on farms and ranches; commonsense, flexible approaches that are both environmentally protective and agriculturally sound.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

    Tachiki, Yuuya; Iwasa, Yoh; Satake, Akiko

    2010-11-21

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

  19. 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...

  20. [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.

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

    PubMed

    Johnson, Catherine; Schweinhart, Shelbye; Buffam, Ishi

    2016-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Crawford, Kerri M; Rudgers, Jennifer A

    2013-05-01

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

  3. 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...

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

    PubMed

    Scheler, Claudia; Durner, Jörg; Astier, Jeremy

    2013-08-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Kalbende, Swapna P; Dalal, Lalchand P

    2016-05-06

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

  9. Plant Species Recovery on a Compacted Skid Road

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  10. Evaluating plant invasions from both habitat and species perspectives

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-12-01

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

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

    MedlinePlus

    ... Blog Home Our Focus Animal Health Animal Welfare Biotechnology Business Services Civil Rights Emergency Response Imports & Exports ... Landing Page Popular Topics Animal Health Animal Welfare Biotechnology Emergency Response Imports & Exports International Services Plant Health ...

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-03-01

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

  14. 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…

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

  17. Beta diversity at different spatial scales: plant communities in organic and conventional agriculture.

    PubMed

    Gabriel, Doreen; Roschewitz, Indra; Tscharntke, Teja; Thies, Carsten

    2006-10-01

    Biodiversity studies that guide agricultural subsidy policy have generally compared farming systems at a single spatial scale: the field. However, diversity patterns vary across spatial scales. Here, we examined the effects of farming system (organic vs. conventional) and position in the field (edge vs. center) on plant species richness in wheat fields at three spatial scales. We quantified alpha-, beta-, and gamma-diversity at the microscale in 800 plots, at the mesoscale in 40 fields, and at the macroscale in three regions using the additive partitioning approach, and evaluated the relative contribution of beta-diversity at each spatial scale to total observed species richness. We found that alpha-, beta-, and gamma-diversity were higher in organic than conventional fields and higher at the field edge than in the field center at all spatial scales. In both farming systems, beta-diversity at the meso- and macroscale explained most of the overall species richness (up to 37% and 25%, respectively), indicating considerable differences in community composition among fields and regions due to environmental heterogeneity. The spatial scale at which beta-diversity contributed the most to overall species richness differed between rare and common species. Total richness of rare species (present in < or = 5% of total samples) was mainly explained by differences in community composition at the meso- and macroscale (up to 27% and 48%, respectively), but only in organic fields. Total richness of common species (present in > or = 25% of total samples) was explained by differences in community composition at the micro- and mesoscale (up to 29% and 47%, respectively), i.e., among plots and fields, independent of farming system. Our results show that organic farming made the greatest contribution to total species richness at the meso (among fields) and macro (among regions) scale due to environmental heterogeneity. Hence, agri-environment schemes should exploit this large

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-15

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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Is agriculture driving the diversification of the Bemisia tabaci species complex (Hemiptera: Sternorrhyncha: Aleyrodidae)?: Dating, diversification and biogeographic evidence revealed

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Humans and insect herbivores are competing for the same food crops and have been for thousands of years. Despite considerable advances in crop pest management, losses due to insects remain considerable. The global homogenisation of agriculture has supported the range expansion of numerous insect pests and has been driven in part by human-assisted dispersal supported through rapid global trade and low-cost air passenger transport. One of these pests, is the whitefly, Bemisia tabaci, a cryptic species complex that contains some of the world’s most damaging pests of agriculture. The complex shows considerable genetic diversity and strong phylogeographic relationships. One consequence of the considerable impact that members of the B. tabaci complex have on agriculture, is the view that human activity, particularly in relation to agricultural practices, such as use of insecticides, has driven the diversification found within the species complex. This has been particularly so in the case of two members of the complex, Middle East-Asia Minor 1 (MEAM1) and Mediterranean (MED), which have become globally distributed invasive species. An alternative hypothesis is that diversification is due to paleogeographic and paleoclimatological changes. Results The idea that human activity is driving speciation within the B. tabaci complex has never been tested, but the increased interest in fossil whiteflies and the growth in molecular data have enabled us to apply a relaxed molecular clock and so estimate divergence dates for the major lineages within the B. tabaci species complex. The divergence estimates do not support the view that human activity has been a major driver of diversification. Conclusions Our analysis suggests that the major lineages within the complex arose approximately 60–30 mya and the highly invasive MED and MEAM1 split from the rest of the species complex around 12 mya well before the evolution of Homo sapiens and agriculture. Furthermore, the

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-01

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

  4. A large, mobile pathogenicity island confers plant pathogenicity on Streptomyces species.

    PubMed

    Kers, Johan A; Cameron, Kimberly D; Joshi, Madhumita V; Bukhalid, Raghida A; Morello, Joanne E; Wach, Michael J; Gibson, Donna M; Loria, Rosemary

    2005-02-01

    Potato scab is a globally important disease caused by polyphyletic plant pathogenic Streptomyces species. Streptomyces acidiscabies, Streptomyces scabies and Streptomyces turgidiscabies possess a conserved biosynthetic pathway for the nitrated dipeptide phytotoxin thaxtomin. These pathogens also possess the nec1 gene which encodes a necrogenic protein that is an independent virulence factor. In this article we describe a large (325-660 kb) pathogenicity island (PAI) conserved among these three plant pathogenic Streptomyces species. A partial DNA sequence of this PAI revealed the thaxtomin biosynthetic pathway, nec1, a putative tomatinase gene, and many mobile genetic elements. In addition, the PAI from S. turgidiscabies contains a plant fasciation (fas) operon homologous to and colinear with the fas operon in the plant pathogen Rhodococcus fascians. The PAI was mobilized during mating from S. turgidiscabies to the non-pathogens Streptomyces coelicolor and Streptomyces diastatochromogenes on a 660 kb DNA element and integrated site-specifically into a putative integral membrane lipid kinase. Acquisition of the PAI conferred a pathogenic phenotype on S. diastatochromogenes but not on S. coelicolor. This PAI is the first to be described in a Gram-positive plant pathogenic bacterium and is responsible for the emergence of new plant pathogenic Streptomyces species in agricultural systems.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-05-01

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

  6. [Biodegradation of agricultural plant residues by Fusarium oxysporum strains].

    PubMed

    Chepchak, T P; Kurchenko, I N; Iur'eva, E M

    2014-01-01

    The cellulolytic and endoglucanase activity of Fusarium oxysporum strains isolated from soil and plants in the media with plant waste as carbon source has been studied. It was established that the majority of studied strains were able to hydrolyze the filter paper, husk of sunflower seeds, wheat straw and corn stalks. Cellulolytic activity depended on the strain of microscopic fungi, type of substrate and duration of cultivation. The maximum cellulase activity 1 U/ml and the concentration of reducing sugars -0.875 mg/ml were found in soil strain F. oxysporum 420 in the medium with corn stalks. Endoglucanase activity of plant pathogenic strains was higher than that of soil ones.

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

    PubMed

    Verdú, Miguel; Valiente-Banuet, Alfonso

    2008-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-11

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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...

  18. Comparative cross-species alternative splicing in plants.

    PubMed

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

    2007-07-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-10-01

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

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-05-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Intraspecific genetic variation and species coexistence in plant communities

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-05-01

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

  9. The Effect of Designated Pollutants on Plant Species

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1981-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-03-26

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Cross, Molly S; Harte, John

    2007-03-01

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

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-04-01

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

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Communities of Endophytic Sebacinales Associated with Roots of Herbaceous Plants in Agricultural and Grassland Ecosystems Are Dominated by Serendipita herbamans sp. nov

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Endophytic fungi are known to be commonly associated with herbaceous plants, however, there are few studies focusing on their occurrence and distribution in plant roots from ecosystems with different land uses. To explore the phylogenetic diversity and community structure of Sebacinales endophytes from agricultural and grassland habitats under different land uses, we analysed the roots of herbaceous plants using strain isolation, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and co-cultivation experiments. A new sebacinoid strain named Serendipita herbamans belonging to Sebacinales group B was isolated from the roots of Bistorta vivipara, which is characterized by colourless monilioid cells (chlamydospores) that become yellow with age. This species was very common and widely distributed in association with a broad spectrum of herbaceous plant families in diverse habitats, independent of land use type. Ultrastructurally, the presence of S. herbamans was detected in the cortical cells of Plantago media, Potentilla anserina and Triticum aestivum. In addition, 13 few frequent molecular operational taxonomic units (MOTUs) or species were found across agricultural and grassland habitats, which did not exhibit a distinctive phylogenetic structure. Laboratory-based assays indicate that S. herbamans has the ability to colonize fine roots and stimulate plant growth. Although endophytic Sebacinales are widely distributed across agricultural and grassland habitats, TEM and nested PCR analyses reinforce the observation that these microorganisms are present in low quantity in plant roots, with no evidence of host specificity. PMID:24743185

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  19. Pesticides residues and metals in plant products from agricultural area of Belgrade, Serbia.

    PubMed

    Ethorđević, Tijana; Ethurović, Rada

    2012-03-01

    The objective of study was to assess the levels of selected metals and pesticides in plant products from agricultural area of Belgrade, Serbia in order to indicate their possible sources and risks of contamination and to evaluate their sanitary probity and safety. The concentrations of cadmium, copper, iron, manganese, nickel, lead and zinc were below limits established by national and international regulations (maximum found concentrations were 0.028, 1.91, 11.16, 1.77, 0.605, 0.073 and 1.76 mg kg(-1) respectively). Only residue of one of examined pesticides was found in amount below MRL (bifenthrin 2.46 μg kg(-1)) in only one of analysed samples, while others were below detection limits. Obtained results indicate that crops from examined agricultural areas are unpolluted by contaminants used for plant protection and nutrition, indicating good agricultural practice regarding pesticides and fertilizer usage as well as moderate industrial production within examined areas.

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Rewald, Boris; Meinen, Catharina

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Avian Species and Functional Diversity in Agricultural Landscapes: Does Landscape Heterogeneity Matter?

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    While the positive relationship between avian diversity and habitat heterogeneity is widely accepted, it is primarily based on observed species richness without accounting for imperfect detection. Other facets of diversity such as functional diversity are also rarely explored. We investigated the avian diversity-landscape heterogeneity relationship in agricultural landscapes by considering two aspects of diversity: taxonomic diversity (species richness) estimated from a multi-species dynamic occupancy model, and functional diversity (functional evenness [FEve] and divergence [FDiv]) based on traits of occurring species. We also assessed how agricultural lands enrolled in a conservation program managed on behalf of declining early successional bird species (hereafter CP38 fields, an agri-environment scheme) influenced avian diversity. We analyzed breeding bird data collected at CP38 fields in Mississippi, USA, during 2010–2012, and two principal components of environmental variables: a gradient of heterogeneity (Shannon’s landscape diversity index) and of the amount of CP38 fields (percent cover of CP38 fields; CP38). FEve did not show significant responses to environmental variables, whereas FDiv responded positively to heterogeneity and negatively to CP38. However, most FDiv values did not significantly differ from random expectations along an environmental gradient. When there was a significant difference, FDiv was lower than that expected. Unlike functional diversity, species richness showed a clear pattern. Species richness increased with increasing landscape heterogeneity but decreased with increasing amounts of CP38 fields. Only one species responded negatively to heterogeneity and positively to CP38. Our results suggest that the relationships between avian diversity and landscape heterogeneity may vary depending on the aspect of diversity considered: strong positive effects of heterogeneity on taxonomic diversity, but weakly positive or non

  7. Avian Species and Functional Diversity in Agricultural Landscapes: Does Landscape Heterogeneity Matter?

    PubMed

    Lee, Myung-Bok; Martin, James A

    2017-01-01

    While the positive relationship between avian diversity and habitat heterogeneity is widely accepted, it is primarily based on observed species richness without accounting for imperfect detection. Other facets of diversity such as functional diversity are also rarely explored. We investigated the avian diversity-landscape heterogeneity relationship in agricultural landscapes by considering two aspects of diversity: taxonomic diversity (species richness) estimated from a multi-species dynamic occupancy model, and functional diversity (functional evenness [FEve] and divergence [FDiv]) based on traits of occurring species. We also assessed how agricultural lands enrolled in a conservation program managed on behalf of declining early successional bird species (hereafter CP38 fields, an agri-environment scheme) influenced avian diversity. We analyzed breeding bird data collected at CP38 fields in Mississippi, USA, during 2010-2012, and two principal components of environmental variables: a gradient of heterogeneity (Shannon's landscape diversity index) and of the amount of CP38 fields (percent cover of CP38 fields; CP38). FEve did not show significant responses to environmental variables, whereas FDiv responded positively to heterogeneity and negatively to CP38. However, most FDiv values did not significantly differ from random expectations along an environmental gradient. When there was a significant difference, FDiv was lower than that expected. Unlike functional diversity, species richness showed a clear pattern. Species richness increased with increasing landscape heterogeneity but decreased with increasing amounts of CP38 fields. Only one species responded negatively to heterogeneity and positively to CP38. Our results suggest that the relationships between avian diversity and landscape heterogeneity may vary depending on the aspect of diversity considered: strong positive effects of heterogeneity on taxonomic diversity, but weakly positive or non

  8. Plant species discrimination using emissive thermal infrared imaging spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-31

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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-13

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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Comparative landscape genetics of two pond-breeding amphibian species in a highly modified agricultural landscape.

    PubMed

    Goldberg, Caren S; Waits, L P

    2010-09-01

    Evaluating fine-scale population structure of multiple species in the same landscape increases our ability to identify common patterns as well as discern ecological differences among species' landscape genetic relationships. In the Palouse bioregion of northern Idaho, USA, 99% of the native prairie has been converted to nonirrigated agriculture and exotic grasslands. Columbia spotted frogs (Rana luteiventris) and long-toed salamanders (Ambystoma macrodactylum) in this area breed almost entirely in artificial ponds on private land. We used genetic distances (F(ST) and D(c)) derived from eight microsatellite loci in 783 samples to evaluate the relationships among sympatric breeding populations (N = 20 and 26) of these species in a 213-km(2) landscape. Both species showed a pattern of isolation by distance that was not improved when distance was measured along drainages instead of topographically corrected straight lines (P < 0.01). After testing for autocorrelation among genetic distances, we used an information theoretic approach to model landscape resistance based on slope, soil type, solar insolation, and land cover, and multi-model inference to rank the resistance of landscape surfaces to dispersal (represented by genetic distance). For both species, urban and rural developed land cover provided the highest landscape resistances. Resistance values for long-toed salamanders followed a moisture gradient where forest provided the least resistance, while agriculture and shrub/clearcut provided the least resistance for Columbia spotted frogs. Comparative landscape genetics can be a powerful tool for detecting similarities and differences between codistributed species, and resulting models can be used to predict species-specific responses to landscape change.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. A novel model for estimating organic chemical bioconcentration in agricultural plants

    SciTech Connect

    Hung, H.; Mackay, D.; Di Guardo, A.

    1995-12-31

    There is increasing recognition that much human and wildlife exposure to organic contaminants can be traced through the food chain to bioconcentration in vegetation. For risk assessment, there is a need for an accurate model to predict organic chemical concentrations in plants. Existing models range from relatively simple correlations of concentrations using octanol-water or octanol-air partition coefficients, to complex models involving extensive physiological data. To satisfy the need for a relatively accurate model of intermediate complexity, a novel approach has been devised to predict organic chemical concentrations in agricultural plants as a function of soil and air concentrations, without the need for extensive plant physiological data. The plant is treated as three compartments, namely, leaves, roots and stems (including fruit and seeds). Data readily available from the literature, including chemical properties, volume, density and composition of each compartment; metabolic and growth rate of plant; and readily obtainable environmental conditions at the site are required as input. Results calculated from the model are compared with observed and experimentally-determined concentrations. It is suggested that the model, which includes a physiological database for agricultural plants, gives acceptably accurate predictions of chemical partitioning between plants, air and soil.

  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. 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

  5. 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

  6. Stimulated rhizodegradation of atrazine by selected plant species.

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  7. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-07

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

  10. 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

  11. How many species of flowering plants are there?

    PubMed

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

    2011-02-22

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

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

    PubMed

    Brygadyrenko, Viktor V; Nazimov, Sergii S

    2015-01-01

    We carried out a quantitative assessment of the consumption of herbaceous plants by Opatrumsabulosum (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 Scabiosaucrainca (5.21 mg/specimen/24 hours), Euphorbiavirgata (3.45), Solanumnigrum (3.32), Centauriascabiosa (2.47), Lamiumalbum (2.41), Aristolochiaclematitis (1.76), Chenopodiumalbum (1.73), Arctiumlappa (1.51), Asperulaodorata (1.20). A high rate of leaf consumption is also characteristic for cultivated species, for example, Perillanankinensis (5.05 mg/specimen/24 hours), Lycopersiconesculentum (3.75), Tropaeolummajus (3.29), Nicotianatabacum (2.66), Rumexacetosa (1.96), Betavulgaris (1.27). Opatrumsabulosum 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.

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-07

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

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

    Tatár, S

    2010-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Microbially Mediated Plant Salt Tolerance and Microbiome-based Solutions for Saline Agriculture.

    PubMed

    Qin, Yuan; Druzhinina, Irina S; Pan, Xueyu; Yuan, Zhilin

    2016-11-15

    Soil salinization adversely affects plant growth and has become one of the major limiting factors for crop productivity worldwide. The conventional approach, breeding salt-tolerant plant cultivars, has often failed to efficiently alleviate the situation. In contrast, the use of a diverse array of microorganisms harbored by plants has attracted increasing attention because of the remarkable beneficial effects of microorganisms on plants. Multiple advanced '-omics' technologies have enabled us to gain insights into the structure and function of plant-associated microbes. In this review, we first focus on microbe-mediated plant salt tolerance, in particular on the physiological and molecular mechanisms underlying root-microbe symbiosis. Unfortunately, when introducing such microbes as single strains to soils, they are often ineffective in improving plant growth and stress tolerance, largely due to competition with native soil microbial communities and limited colonization efficiency. Rapid progress in rhizosphere microbiome research has revived the belief that plants may benefit more from association with interacting, diverse microbial communities (microbiome) than from individual members in a community. Understanding how a microbiome assembles in the continuous compartments (endosphere, rhizoplane, and rhizosphere) will assist in predicting a subset of core or minimal microbiome and thus facilitate synthetic re-construction of microbial communities and their functional complementarity and synergistic effects. These developments will open a new avenue for capitalizing on the cultivable microbiome to strengthen plant salt tolerance and thus to refine agricultural practices and production under saline conditions.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Behavioral Response of Nothanguina phyllobia to Selected Plant Species

    PubMed Central

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

    1979-01-01

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

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Monzeglio, Ursula; Stoll, Peter

    2005-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-10-01

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

  6. Agricultural anaerobic digestion power plants in Ireland and Germany: policy and practice.

    PubMed

    Auer, Agathe; Vande Burgt, Nathan H; Abram, Florence; Barry, Gerald; Fenton, Owen; Markey, Bryan K; Nolan, Stephen; Richards, Karl; Bolton, Declan; De Waal, Theo; Gordon, Stephen V; O'Flaherty, Vincent; Whyte, Paul; Zintl, Annetta

    2017-02-01

    The process of anaerobic digestion (AD) is valued as a carbon-neutral energy source, while simultaneously treating organic waste, making it safer for disposal or use as a fertilizer on agricultural land. The AD process in many European nations, such as Germany, has grown from use of small, localized digesters to the operation of large-scale treatment facilities, which contribute significantly to national renewable energy quotas. However, these large AD plants are costly to run and demand intensive farming of energy crops for feedstock. Current policy in Germany has transitioned to support funding for smaller digesters, while also limiting the use of energy crops. AD within Ireland, as a new technology, is affected by ambiguous governmental policies concerning waste and energy. A clear governmental strategy supporting on-site AD processing of agricultural waste will significantly reduce Ireland's carbon footprint, improve the safety and bioavailability of agricultural waste, and provide an indigenous renewable energy source. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-01

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

  11. 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...

  12. Plant protection and growth stimulation by microorganisms: biotechnological applications of Bacilli in agriculture.

    PubMed

    Pérez-García, Alejandro; Romero, Diego; de Vicente, Antonio

    2011-04-01

    The increasing demand for a steady, healthy food supply requires an efficient control of the major pests and plant diseases. Current management practices are based largely on the application of synthetic pesticides. The excessive use of agrochemicals has caused serious environmental and health problems. Therefore, there is a growing demand for new and safer methods to replace or at least supplement the existing control strategies. Biological control, that is, the use of natural antagonists to combat pests or plant diseases has emerged as a promising alternative to chemical pesticides. The Bacilli offer a number of advantages for their application in agricultural biotechnology. Several Bacillus-based products have been marketed as microbial pesticides, fungicides or fertilisers. Bacillus-based biopesticides are widely used in conventional agriculture, by contrast, implementation of Bacillus-based biofungicides and biofertilizers is still a pending issue.

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  15. 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. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-03-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Hughes, M S; Steele, T W

    1994-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Agriculturally important yeasts: Biological control of field and postharvest diseases using yeast antagonists, and yeasts as pathogens of plants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Two important agricultural aspects of yeasts, control of plant diseases through application of yeasts as the control agent, and yeasts that are plant pathogens are reviewed. Yeasts as biocontrol organisms are presented first, followed by a discussion of some of the more common plant pathogenic yeas...

  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

    2015-11-12

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

    The presence of DDT and derivatives in the food web of freshwater ecosystems of Rangsit agricultural area, Pathum Thani Province, Thailand were investigated from June 2004 to May 2007. By using gas chromatography (GC) with micro electron capture detector (μ ECD), DDT and derivatives in water, sediment, and fifteen indicator species i.e., 2 producers; Eichhornia crassipes and plankton (phyto- and zoo- plankton), an herbivore; Trichogaster microlepis (3) 3 omnivores; Trichogaster trichopterus, Oreochromis niloticus, and Puntius gonionotus, 6 carnivores; Channa striatus, Oxyeleotris marmoratus, Macrognathus siamensis, Parambassis siamensis, Anabas testudineus, and Pristolepis fasciatus, and 3 detritivores; Macrobrachium lanchesteri, Pomacea sp., and Filopaludina mertensi were measured. Results show low concentration levels (part per billion) of DDT & derivatives in each food web compartment i.e. water, sediment, aquatic plant, plankton, fish, and invertebrates. Magnification patterns, i.e. bioconcentration, bioaccumulation, and biomagnification, based on habitat and foraging behavior of selected freshwater species indicates that DDT & derivatives can accumulate and be magnified through the food chain from the lowest up to the highest trophic level. Therefore, the presence of residues and the evidence of magnification patterns can be observed as ecological indicators for evaluating ecological health risk. PMID:20161116

  6. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-09-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  15. 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

  16. 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).

  17. Migration of plant viruses: Time correlations with the agriculture history and human immigration.

    PubMed

    Ohshima, Kazusato

    2015-01-01

    In this review, I made the phylodynamic comparisons of three plant viruses, Turnip mosaic virus (TuMV), Cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV) and Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV), using the genomic sequences of a large numbers of isolates collected worldwide. We analyzed these genomic nucleotide sequences, in combination with published sequences, to estimate the timescale and rate of evolution of the individual genes of TuMV, CaMV and CMV. The main hosts of the viruses are Brassicaceae crops. We also compared these estimates from complete sequences with those from which non-synonymous and invariate codons had been removed. Our analyses provided a preliminary definition of the present geographical structure of three plant virus populations in the world, and showed that the time of migration of three plant viruses correlate well with agriculture history and human immigration.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-05

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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Plot shape effects on plant species diversity measurements

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2005-01-01

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

  2. 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

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

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

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

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

  6. 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...

  7. 45 CFR 670.25 - Designation of specially protected species of native mammals, birds, and plants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

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

  8. The influence of plants on atmospheric methane in an agriculture-dominated landscape.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xin; Lee, Xuhui; Griffis, Timothy J; Baker, John M; Erickson, Matt D; Hu, Ning; Xiao, Wei

    2014-07-01

    The primary objective of this study was to clarify the influence of crop plants on atmospheric methane (CH4) in an agriculture-dominated landscape in the Upper Midwest of the United States. Measurements were carried out at two contrasting scales. At the plant scale, CH4 fluxes from soybean and corn plants were measured with a laser-based plant chamber system. At the landscape scale, the land surface flux was estimated with a modified Bowen ratio technique using measurements made on a tall tower. The chamber data revealed a diurnal pattern for the plant CH4 flux: it was positive (an emission rate of 0.4±0.1 nmol m(-2) s(-1), average of soybean and corn, in reference to the unit ground area) during the day, and negative (an uptake rate of -0.8±0.8 nmol m(-2) s(-1)) during the night. At the landscape scale, the flux was estimated to be 14.8 nmol m(-2) s(-1) at night and highly uncertain during the day, but the available references and the flux estimates from the equilibrium methods suggested that the CH4 flux during the entire observation period was similar to the estimated nighttime flux. Thus, soybean and corn plants have a negligible role in the landscape-scale CH4 budget.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Taylor, Vivien F; Jackson, Brian P

    2016-11-01

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

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Effects of microcystin-LR and cylindrospermopsin on plant-soil systems: A review of their relevance for agricultural plant quality and public health.

    PubMed

    Machado, J; Campos, A; Vasconcelos, V; Freitas, M

    2017-02-01

    Toxic cyanobacterial blooms are recognized as an emerging environmental threat worldwide. Although microcystin-LR is the most frequently documented cyanotoxin, studies on cylindrospermopsin have been increasing due to the invasive nature of cylindrospermopsin-producing cyanobacteria. The number of studies regarding the effects of cyanotoxins on agricultural plants has increased in recent years, and it has been suggested that the presence of microcystin-LR and cylindrospermopsin in irrigation water may cause toxic effects in edible plants. The uptake of these cyanotoxins by agricultural plants has been shown to induce morphological and physiological changes that lead to a potential loss of productivity. There is also evidence that edible terrestrial plants can bioaccumulate cyanotoxins in their tissues in a concentration dependent-manner. Moreover, the number of consecutive cycles of watering and planting in addition to the potential persistence of microcystin-LR and cylindrospermopsin in the environment are likely to result in groundwater contamination. The use of cyanotoxin-contaminated water for agricultural purposes may therefore represent a threat to both food security and food safety. However, the deleterious effects of cyanotoxins on agricultural plants and public health seem to be dependent on the concentrations studied, which in most cases are non-environmentally relevant. Interestingly, at ecologically relevant concentrations, the productivity and nutritional quality of some agricultural plants seem not to be impaired and may even be enhanced. However, studies assessing if the potential tolerance of agricultural plants to these concentrations can result in cyanotoxin and allergen accumulation in the edible tissues are lacking. This review combines the most current information available regarding this topic with a realistic assessment of the impact of cyanobacterial toxins on agricultural plants, groundwater quality and public health.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Spatial heterogeneity in three species, plant-parasite-hyperparasite, systems

    PubMed Central

    White, K. A. J.

    1998-01-01

    This paper addresses the question of how heterogeneity may evolve due to interactions between the dynamics and movement of three-species systems involving hosts, parasites and hyperparasites in homogeneous environments. The models are motivated by the spread of soil-borne parasites within plant populations, where the hyperparasite is used as a biological control agent but where patchiness in the distribution of the parasite occurs, even when environmental conditions are apparently homogeneous. However, the models are introduced in generic form as three-species reaction-diffusion systems so that they have broad applicability to a range of ecological systems. We establish necessary criteria for the occurrence of population-driven patterning via diffusion-driven instability. Sufficient conditions are obtained for restricted cases with no host movement. The criteria are similar to those for the well-documented two-species reaction-diffusion system, although more possibilities arise for spatial patterning with three species. In particular, temporally varying patterns, that may be responsible for the apparent drifting of hot-spots of disease and periodic occurrence of disease at a given location, are possible when three species interact. We propose that the criteria can be used to screen population interactions, to distinguish those that cannot cause patterning from those that may give rise to population-driven patterning. This establishes a basic dynamical 'landscape' against which other perturbations, including environmentally driven variations, can be analysed and distinguished from population-driven patterns. By applying the theory to a specific model example for host-parasite-hyperparasite interactions both with and without host movement, we show directly how the evolution of spatial pattern is related to biologically meaningful parameters. In particular, we demonstrate that when there is strong density dependence limiting host growth, the pattern is stable over

  2. Dielectric spectroscopic studies on the water hyacinth plant collected from agriculture drainage.

    PubMed

    Mahani, Ragab; Atia, Fatma; Al Neklawy, Mohammed M; Fahem, Amin

    2016-06-05

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Selecting Proper Plant Species for Mine Reclamation Using Fuzzy AHP Approach (Case Study: Chadormaloo Iron Mine of Iran)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ebrahimabadi, Arash

    2016-12-01

    This paper describes an effective approach to select suitable plant species for reclamation of mined lands in Chadormaloo iron mine which is located in central part of Iran, near the city of Bafgh in Yazd province. After mine's total reserves are excavated, the mine requires to be permanently closed and reclaimed. Mine reclamation and post-mining land-use are the main issues in the phase of mine closure. In general, among various scenarios for mine reclamation process, i.e. planting, agriculture, forestry, residency, tourist attraction, etc., planting is the oldest and commonly-used technology for the reclamation of lands damaged by mining activities. Planting and vegetation play a major role in restoring productivity, ecosystem stability and biological diversity to degraded areas, therefore the main goal of this research work is to choose proper and suitable plants compatible with the conditions of Chadormaloo mined area, providing consistent conditions for future use. To ensure the sustainability of the reclaimed landscape, the most suitable plant species adapted to the mine conditions are selected. Plant species selection is a Multi Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) problem. In this paper, a fuzzy MCDM technique, namely Fuzzy Analytic Hierarchy Process (FAHP) is developed to assist chadormaloo iron mine managers and designers in the process of plant type selection for reclamation of the mine under fuzzy environment where the vagueness and uncertainty are taken into account with linguistic variables parameterized by triangular fuzzy numbers. The results achieved from using FAHP approach demonstrate that the most proper plant species are ranked as Artemisia sieberi, Salsola yazdiana, Halophytes types, and Zygophyllum, respectively for reclamation of Chadormaloo iron mine.

  7. 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

  8. Plant species used in traditional smallholder dairy processing in East Shoa, Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Mekonnen, Hailemariam; Lemma, A

    2011-04-01

    Plant species used in traditional dairy processing were studied in three districts (Bosset, Ada, and Gimbichu) in Eastern Shoa, Ethiopia, from October 2007 to March 2008. A total of 300 smallholders were interviewed using semi-structured questionnaires, and three focus group discussions were conducted, followed by plants specimen collection and identification. A total of 36 plant species, falling under 24 plant families, were identified. Nearly half of the identified plant species had more than one use types. Eleven plant species were/are used for washing (scrubbing) dairy utensils, ten plant species for smoking dairy utensils, 12 plant species in butter making, 15 plant species in ghee making, and five plant species for packaging (wrapping) butter and cheese. The plant species that had the highest overall citations from each use category were Ocimum hardiense, Olea europaea subspecies africana, Trachyspermum copticum, Curcuma longa, and Croton macrostachyus. The plant species used in the three study districts, representing different agro ecologies, showed some similarities, but levels of uses differed significantly (P < 0.05). Higher informant citations might indicate their better efficacy, however need to be further investigated to determine their effects on milk and milk product quality and to make sure that they are innocuous to human and animal health. Finally, as the present study tried to document natural products used in traditional dairy processing, it could be considered as part of the global efforts aimed at promoting organic food production.

  9. 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.

  10. Regional assessment of ozone sensitive tree species using bioindicator plants.

    PubMed

    Coulston, John W; Smith, Gretchen C; Smith, William D

    2003-04-01

    Tropospheric ozone occurs at phytotoxic levels in the northeastern and mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. Quantifying possible regional-scale impacts of ambient ozone on forest tree species is difficult and is confounded by other factors, such as moisture and light, which influence the uptake of ozone by plants. Biomonitoring provides an approach to document direct foliar injury irrespective of direct measure of ozone uptake. We used bioindicator and field plot data from the USDA Forest Service to identify tree species likely to exhibit regional-scale ozone impacts. Approximately 24% of sampled sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua), 15% of sampled loblolly pine (Pinus taeda), and 12% of sampled black cherry (Prunus serotina) trees were in the highest risk category. Sweetgum and loblolly pine trees were at risk on the coastal plain of Maryland, Virginia and Delaware. Black cherry trees were at risk on the Allegheny Plateau (Pennsylvania), in the Allegheny Mountains (Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Maryland) as well as coastal plain areas of Maryland and Virginia. Our findings indicate a need for more in-depth study of actual impacts on growth and reproduction of these three species.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Geographic Variation of Plant Circadian Clock Function in Natural and Agricultural Settings.

    PubMed

    Greenham, Kathleen; Lou, Ping; Puzey, Joshua R; Kumar, Ganesh; Arnevik, Cindy; Farid, Hany; Willis, John H; McClung, C Robertson

    2017-02-01

    The increasing demand for improved agricultural production will require more efficient breeding for traits that maintain yield under heterogeneous environments. The internal circadian oscillator is essential for perceiving and coordinating environmental cues such as day length, temperature, and abiotic stress responses within physiological processes. To investigate the contribution of the circadian clock to local adaptability, we have analyzed circadian period by leaf movement in natural populations of Mimulus guttatus and domesticated cultivars of Glycine max. We detected consistent variation in circadian period along a latitudinal gradient in annual populations of the wild plant and the selectively bred crop, and this provides novel evidence of natural and artificial selection for circadian performance. These findings provide new support that the circadian clock acts as a central regulator of plant adaptability and further highlight the potential of applying circadian clock gene variation to marker-assisted breeding programs in crops.

  15. Variation in decomposition rates in the fynbos biome, South Africa: the role of plant species and plant stoichiometry.

    PubMed

    Bengtsson, Jan; Janion, Charlene; Chown, Steven L; Leinaas, Hans Petter

    2011-01-01

    Previous studies in the fynbos biome of the Western Cape, South Africa, have suggested that biological decomposition rates in the fynbos vegetation type, on poor soils, may be so low that fire is the main factor contributing to litter breakdown and nutrient release. However, the fynbos biome also comprises vegetation types on more fertile soils, such as the renosterveld. The latter is defined by the shrub Elytropappus rhinocerotis, while the shrub Galenia africana may become dominant in overgrazed areas. We examined decomposition of litter of these two species and the geophyte Watsonia borbonica in patches of renosterveld in an agricultural landscape. In particular, we sought to understand how plant species identity affects litter decomposition rates, especially through variation in litter stoichiometry. Decomposition (organic matter mass loss) varied greatly among the species, and was related to litter N and P content. G. africana, with highest nutrient content, lost 65% of its original mass after 180 days, while E. rhinocerotis had lost ca. 30%, and the very nutrient poor W. borbonica <10%. Litter placed under G. africana decomposed slightly faster than when placed under E. rhinocerotis. Over the course of the experiment, G. africana and E. rhinocerotis lost N and P, while W. borbonica showed strong accumulation of these elements. Decomposition rates of G. africana and E. rhinocerotis were substantially higher than those previously reported from fynbos vegetation, and variation among the species investigated was considerable. Our results suggest that fire may not always be the main factor contributing to litter breakdown and nutrient release in the fynbos biome. Thus, biological decomposition has likely been underestimated and, along with small-scale variation in ecosystem processes, would repay further study.

  16. Effects of coal-fired thermal power plant discharges on agricultural soil and crop plants.

    PubMed

    Ajmal, M; Khan, M A

    1986-04-01

    The physicochemical properties of the upstream and downstream waters from the Upper Ganga canal, discharged cooling tower water, machine washings, and scrubber and bottom ash effluents of a 530 MW Kasimpur coal-fired thermal power plant have been determined, and their effects directly on fertile soil and indirectly on pea (Pisum sativam) and wheat (Triticum aestivum) crops have also been studied. The effluents were found to be alkaline in nature. The scrubber and bottom ash effluent was found to contain large amounts of solids and had high biochemical and chemical oxygen demands. All the effluents were found to be responsible for altering the chemical composition of the soil. The soils irrigated with the different effluents exhibited an increase in pH, organic matter, calcium carbonate, water-soluble salts, cation exchange capacity, electrical conductivity, and nitrogen and phosphorus contents while potassium content decreased, probably due to being leached to the lower layers of the soil. The effects of 100, 50, and 0% (tap water control) dilutions of cooling tower, machine washings, and scrubber and bottom ash effluents on the germination and growth of pea and wheat crops were also monitored. Using the undiluted effluents, there was 100% germination for both the crops when the irrigation was done with cooling tower effluent. The germination was restricted to 90% for the two crops when irrigated with machine washings effluent, and to 80 and 70% for pea and wheat, respectively, when irrigated with scrubber and bottom ash effluent. The samples of upstream and downstream canal water were also used for irrigating soils with and without crop plants in order to ascertain the impact of the effluents on the canal water and its subsequent effect on the crops. The soils irrigated with downstream canal water were found to contain slightly more calcium carbonate, phosphorus, and ammonia-nitrogen than those receiving upstream canal water. Though 100% germination was obtained

  17. Influence of planting grass filter strips on the structure and function of riparian habitats of agricultural headwater streams

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Grass filter strips are strips of cool or warm season grasses planted adjacent to agricultural streams to reduce nutrient, pesticide, and sediment input. This conservation practice is the most frequently planted riparian buffer type in the United States. Previous studies have not evaluated how gra...

  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. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  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. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Phytotoxicity of soluble graphitic nanofibers to model plant species.

    PubMed

    Gorka, Danielle E; Jeger, Jonathan Litvak; Zhang, Hongbo; Ma, Yanwen; Colman, Benjamin P; Bernhardt, Emily S; Liu, Jie

    2016-12-01

    Carbon nanomaterials are considered promising for applications in energy storage, catalysis, and electronics. This has motivated study of their potential environmental toxicity. Recently, a novel nanomaterial consisting of graphene oxide wrapped around a carbon nanotube (CNT) core was synthesized. The resulting soluble graphitic nanofibers were found to have superior catalytic properties, which could result in their use in fuel cells. Before this material undergoes widespread use, its environmental toxicity must be determined because of its aqueous solubility. The authors used the plant species Lolium multiflorum, Solanum lycopersicum, and Lactuca sativa to study the toxicity of the soluble graphitic nanofibers, as well as multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) and graphene oxide, all synthesized in-house. Soluble graphitic nanofiber-exposed plant roots and shoots showed decreased growth, with roots showing more toxicity than shoots. Decreased pH of nanomaterial solutions corresponded to insignificantly decreased root growth, suggesting that another mechanism of toxicity must exist. Agglomeration and adsorption of soluble graphitic nanofibers onto the roots likely caused the remaining toxicity because a gray layer could be seen around the surface of the root. Multiwalled carbon nanotubes showed little toxicity over the concentration range tested, whereas graphene oxide showed a unique pattern of high toxicity at both the lowest and highest concentrations tested. Overall, soluble graphitic nanofibers showed moderate toxicity between that of the more toxic graphene oxide and the relatively nontoxic MWCNTs. Environ Toxicol Chem 2016;35:2941-2947. © 2016 SETAC.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 7 CFR 355.11 - Protected plant permits.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 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...

  12. 7 CFR 355.11 - Protected plant permits.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 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...

  13. 7 CFR 355.11 - Protected plant permits.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 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...

  14. 7 CFR 355.11 - Protected plant permits.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 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...

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Species area relationships in mediterranean-climate plant communities

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2003-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  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. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Exploring relationships among land ownership, agricultural land use, and native fish species richness in the Upper Mississippi River Basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    DeJager, Nathan R.; Rohweder, Jason J.

    2012-01-01

    In this study, we explored relationships among agricultural land use, land ownership, and native fish biodiversity in the UMRB as a first step toward helping the Fishers and Farmers Partnership identify specific locations in the UMRB that may pose conservation challenges. For example, places that have experienced a loss of native fish species richness relative to historical conditions and also have high proportions of absentee landowners may provide restoration challenges. We were also interested in identifying areas that have retained high levels of species richness and are owner-operated. These areas present good opportunities to work with local landowners to protect aquatic resources. To identify such areas, we addressed two primary questions: 1) Is there a relationship between the type of agricultural land use (i.e. cropland vs pastureland) and the % of land rented or leased within the UMRB? and 2) How does the type of agricultural production and whether land is rented or leased relate to the maintenance of historical levels of native fish species richness? We predicted that areas with large amounts of land devoted to crop production will have experienced the greatest losses of native fish species richness. However, our hypothesis is that watersheds with large amounts of land rented or leased will have experienced even greater declines in native fish species richness than would be predicted from the amount of cultivated cropland alone. By testing these hypotheses, we intended to identify watersheds that would be strong candidates for protection, restoration, and enhancement

  9. 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.

  10. Agricultural origins from the ground up: archaeological approaches to plant domestication.

    PubMed

    Langlie, BrieAnna S; Mueller, Natalie G; Spengler, Robert N; Fritz, Gayle J

    2014-10-01

    The timing, geographical locations, causes, and consequences of crop domestication have long been major concerns of archaeologists, and agricultural origins and dispersals are currently more relevant than ever to scientists seeking solutions to elusive problems involving food insecurity and global health disparities. Perennial research issues that archaeologists continue to tackle include (1) thinking outside centers of origin that were based on limited and insufficient past knowledge; (2) distinguishing between single and multiple domestications of specific crops; (3) measuring the pace of domestication; and (4) decoupling domestication from agricultural economies. Paleoethnobotanists have expanded their toolkits to include analysis of ancient and modern DNA and have added increasingly sophisticated techniques in the field and the laboratory to derive precise chronological sequences to assess morphological changes in ancient and often fragmentary archaeobotanical remains and to correctly interpret taphonomy and context. Multiple lines of archaeological evidence are ideally brought together, and whenever possible, these are integrated with information from complementary sources. We discuss current perspectives and anthropological approaches to research that have as their goals the fuller and broader understanding of ancient farming societies, the plants that were domesticated, the landscapes that were created, and the culinary legacies that were passed on.

  11. 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.

  12. Phthalate esters contamination in soil and plants on agricultural land near an electronic waste recycling site.

    PubMed

    Ma, Ting Ting; Christie, Peter; Luo, Yong Ming; Teng, Ying

    2013-08-01

    The accumulation of phthalic acid esters (PAEs) in soil and plants in agricultural land near an electronic waste recycling site in east China has become a great threat to the neighboring environmental quality and human health. Soil and plant samples collected from land under different utilization, including fallow plots, vegetable plots, plots with alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) as green manure, fallow plots under long-term flooding and fallow plots under alternating wet and dry periods, together with plant samples from relative plots were analyzed for six PAE compounds nominated as prior pollutants by USEPA. In the determined samples, the concentrations of six target PAE pollutants ranged from 0.31-2.39 mg/kg in soil to 1.81-5.77 mg/kg in various plants (dry weight/DW), and their bioconcentration factors (BCFs) ranged from 5.8 to 17.9. Health risk assessments were conducted on target PAEs, known as typical environmental estrogen analogs, based on their accumulation in the edible parts of vegetables. Preliminary risk assessment to human health from soil and daily vegetable intake indicated that DEHP may present a high-exposure risk on all ages of the population in the area by soil ingestion or vegetable consumption. The potential damage that the target PAE compounds may pose to human health should be taken into account in further comprehensive risk assessments in e-waste recycling sites areas. Moreover, alfalfa removed substantial amounts of PAEs from the soil, and its use can be considered a good strategy for in situ remediation of PAEs.

  13. 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

  14. Performance of dryland and wetland plant species on extensive green roofs

    PubMed Central

    MacIvor, J. Scott; Ranalli, Melissa A.; Lundholm, Jeremy T.

    2011-01-01

    Background and Aims Green roofs are constructed ecosystems where plants perform valuable services, ameliorating the urban environment through roof temperature reductions and stormwater interception. Plant species differ in functional characteristics that alter ecosystem properties. Plant performance research on extensive green roofs has so far indicated that species adapted to dry conditions perform optimally. However, in moist, humid climates, species typical of wetter soils might have advantages over dryland species. In this study, survival, growth and the performance of thermal and stormwater capture functions of three pairs of dryland and wetland plant species were quantified using an extensive modular green roof system. Methods Seedlings of all six species were germinated in a greenhouse and planted into green roof modules with 6 cm of growing medium. There were 34 treatments consisting of each species in monoculture and all combinations of wet- and dryland species in a randomized block design. Performance measures were survival, vegetation cover and roof surface temperature recorded for each module over two growing seasons, water loss (an estimate of evapotranspiration) in 2007, and albedo and water capture in 2008. Key Results Over two seasons, dryland plants performed better than wetland plants, and increasing the number of dryland species in mixtures tended to improve functioning, although there was no clear effect of species or habitat group diversity. All species had survival rates >75 % after the first winter; however, dryland species had much greater cover, an important indicator of green roof performance. Sibbaldiopsis tridentata was the top performing species in monoculture, and was included in the best treatments. Conclusions Although dryland species outperformed wetland species, planting extensive green roofs with both groups decreased performance only slightly, while increasing diversity and possibly habitat value. This study provides further

  15. A new species and key to species of the agriculturally important sharpshooter genus Sonesimia Young (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae: Cicadellini).

    PubMed

    Felix, Márcio; Lima, Douglas Felipe Dos Santos; Mejdalani, Gabriel; Cavichioli, Rodney R

    2013-01-17

    The new sharpshooter species Sonesimia nessimiani is described from Bolivia based on specimens collected on sugar cane. An identification key to males and females of all known species of the genus is given. In addition to the external morphology, color pattern, and male genitalia, female genital structures are also described and illustrated. Notes comparing the new species with the remaining six Sonesimia species are provided.

  16. Contingent effects of plant species on soils along a regional moisture gradient in the Great Plains.

    PubMed

    Vinton, M A; Burke, Ingrid C

    1997-04-01

    The central grassland region of the United States encompasses major gradients in temperature and precipitation that determine the distribution of plant life forms, which in turn may influence key ecosystem processes such as nutrient cycling and soil organic matter dynamics. One such gradient is the threefold increase in precipitation from the eastern Colorado shortgrass-steppe, in the rain shadow of the Rocky Mountains, to the tallgrass prairie in eastern Kansas. We investigated the relative roles of plant species and plant cover in influencing soil C and N cycling in three sites along this gradient. Plant cover (i.e., the presence or absence of an individual plant) was relatively more important than plant species in explaining variability in soil properties at the dry site, the Central Plains Experimental Range in␣northeastern Colorado. However, plant species explained relatively more of the variability in soil properties than did plant cover at the two wetter sites, Hays and Konza, in central and eastern Kansas. The wetter sites had more continuous plant cover, resulting in less plant-cover-induced variation in soil C and N, than did the dry site, which had distinct patches of bare ground. Plant species at the wetter sites had higher and more variable levels of tissue C:N than plant species at the dry site, due to both within species changes and changes in species composition. Aboveground tissue C:N was better correlated with net nitrogen mineralization rates at the wet sites than the dry site. Thus, tissue chemistry appears to exert more control on nitrogen dynamics at the wet than the dry sites. The results suggest that plant species traits that are relevant to nutrient cycling (e.g., tissue C:N ratios, spatial patterns, productivity) reflect environmental limitations as well as species' physiological potentials. Furthermore, a dominant environmental driver such as precipitation may ameliorate or exaggerate the importance of individual species traits for

  17. GLK gene pairs regulate chloroplast development in diverse plant species.

    PubMed

    Fitter, David W; Martin, David J; Copley, Martin J; Scotland, Robert W; Langdale, Jane A

    2002-09-01

    Chloroplast biogenesis is a complex process that requires close co-ordination between two genomes. Many of the proteins that accumulate in the chloroplast are encoded by the nuclear genome, and the developmental transition from proplastid to chloroplast is regulated by nuclear genes. Here we show that a pair of Golden 2-like (GLK) genes regulates chloroplast development in Arabidopsis. The GLK proteins are members of the GARP superfamily of transcription factors, and phylogenetic analysis demonstrates that the maize, rice and Arabidopsis GLK gene pairs comprise a distinct group within the GARP superfamily. Further phylogenetic analysis suggests that the gene pairs arose through separate duplication events in the monocot and dicot lineages. As in rice, AtGLK1 and AtGLK2 are expressed in partially overlapping domains in photosynthetic tissue. Insertion mutants demonstrate that this expression pattern reflects a degree of functional redundancy as single mutants display normal phenotypes in most photosynthetic tissues. However, double mutants are pale green in all photosynthetic tissues and chloroplasts exhibit a reduction in granal thylakoids. Products of several genes involved in light harvesting also accumulate at reduced levels in double mutant chloroplasts. GLK genes therefore regulate chloroplast development in diverse plant species.

  18. Climate change may threaten habitat suitability of threatened plant species within Chinese nature reserves.

    PubMed

    Wang, Chunjing; Liu, Chengzhu; Wan, Jizhong; Zhang, Zhixiang

    2016-01-01

    Climate change has the potential to alter the distributions of threatened plant species, and may therefore diminish the capacity of nature reserves to protect threatened plant species. Chinese nature reserves contain a rich diversity of plant species that are at risk of becoming more threatened by climate change. Hence, it is urgent to identify the extent to which future climate change may compromise the suitability of threatened plant species habitats within Chinese nature reserves. Here, we modelled the climate suitability of 82 threatened plant species within 168 nature reserves across climate change scenarios. We used Maxent modelling based on species occurrence localities and evaluated climate change impacts using the magnitude of change in climate suitability and the degree of overlap between current and future climatically suitable habitats. There was a significant relationship between overlap with current and future climate suitability of all threatened plant species habitats and the magnitude of changes in climate suitability. Our projections estimate that the climate suitability of more than 60 threatened plant species will decrease and that climate change threatens the habitat suitability of plant species in more than 130 nature reserves under the low, medium, and high greenhouse gas concentration scenarios by both 2050s and 2080s. Furthermore, future climate change may substantially threaten tree plant species through changes in annual mean temperature. These results indicate that climate change may threaten plant species that occur within Chinese nature reserves. Therefore, we suggest that climate change projections should be integrated into the conservation and management of threatened plant species within nature reserves.

  19. 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

  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. 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

  2. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Twedt, D.J.; Wilson, R.R.; Outcalt, Kenneth W.

    2002-01-01

    Reforestation of former bottom land hardwood forests that have been cleared for agriculture (i.e., afforestation) has historically emphasized planting heavy-seeded oaks (Quercus spp.) and pecans (Carya spp.). These species are slow to develop vertical forest structure. However, vertical forest structure is key to colonization of afforested sites by forest birds. Although early-successional tree species often enhance vertical structure, few of these species invade afforested sites that are distant from seed sources. Furthermore, many land mangers are reluctant to establish and maintain stands of fast-growing plantation trees. Therefore, on 40 afforested bottomland sites, we supplemented heavy-seeded seedlings with 8 patches of fast-growing trees: 4 patches of 12 eastern cottonwood (Populus deltoides) stem cuttings and 4 patches of 12 American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) seedlings. To enhance survival and growth, tree patches were subjected to 4 weed control treatments: (1) physical weed barriers, (2) chemical herbicide, (3) both physical and chemical weed control, or (4) no weed control. Overall, first-year survival of cottonwood and sycamore was 25 percent and 47 percent, respectively. Second-year survival of extant trees was 52 percent for cottonwood and 77 percent for sycamore. Physical weed barriers increased survival of cottonwoods to 30 percent versus 18 percent survival with no weed control. Similarly, sycamore survival was increased from 49 percent without weed control to 64 percent with physical weed barriers. Chemical weed control adversely impacted sycamore and reduced survival to 35 percent. Tree heights did not differ between species or among weed control treatments. Girdling of trees by deer often destroyed saplings. Thus, little increase in vertical structure was detected between growing seasons. Application of fertilizer and protection via tree shelters did not improve survival or vertical development of sycamore or cottonwood.

  4. 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.

  5. Amino acid transporter mutants of Arabidopsis provides evidence that a non-mycorrhizal plant acquires organic nitrogen from agricultural soil.

    PubMed

    Ganeteg, Ulrika; Ahmad, Iftikhar; Jämtgård, Sandra; Aguetoni-Cambui, Camila; Inselsbacher, Erich; Svennerstam, Henrik; Schmidt, Susanne; Näsholm, Torgny

    2017-03-01

    Although organic nitrogen (N) compounds are ubiquitous in soil solutions, their potential role in plant N nutrition has been questioned. We performed a range of experiments on Arabidopsis thaliana genetically modified to enhance or reduce root uptake of amino acids. Plants lacking expression of the Lysine Histidine Transporter 1 (LHT1) displayed significantly lower contents of (13) C and (15) N label and of U-(13) C5 ,(15) N2 L-glutamine, as determined by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry when growing in pots and supplied with dually labelled L-glutamine compared to wild type plants and LHT1-overexpressing plants. Slopes of regressions between accumulation of (13) C-labelled carbon and (15) N-labelled N were higher for LHT1-overexpressing plants than wild type plants, while plants lacking expression of LHT1 did not display a significant regression between the two isotopes. Uptake of labelled organic N from soil tallied with that of labelled ammonium for wild type plants and LHT1-overexpressing plants but was significantly lower for plants lacking expression of LHT1. When grown on agricultural soil plants lacking expression of LHT1 had the lowest, and plants overexpressing LHT1 the highest C/N ratios and natural δ(15) N abundance suggesting their dependence on different N pools. Our data show that LHT1 expression is crucial for plant uptake of organic N from soil.

  6. A probabilistic approach for estimating the spatial extent of pesticide agricultural use sites and potential co-occurrence with listed species for use in ecological risk assessments.

    PubMed

    Budreski, Katherine; Winchell, Michael; Padilla, Lauren; Bang, JiSu; Brain, Richard A

    2016-04-01

    A crop footprint refers to the estimated spatial extent of growing areas for a specific crop, and is commonly used to represent the potential "use site" footprint for a pesticide labeled for use on that crop. A methodology for developing probabilistic crop footprints to estimate the likelihood of pesticide use and the potential co-occurrence of pesticide use and listed species locations was tested at the national scale and compared to alternative methods. The probabilistic aspect of the approach accounts for annual crop rotations and the uncertainty in remotely sensed crop and land cover data sets. The crop footprints used historically are derived exclusively from the National Land Cover Database (NLCD) Cultivated Crops and/or Pasture/Hay classes. This approach broadly aggregates agriculture into 2 classes, which grossly overestimates the spatial extent of individual crops that are labeled for pesticide use. The approach also does not use all the available crop data, represents a single point in time, and does not account for the uncertainty in land cover data set classifications. The probabilistic crop footprint approach described herein incorporates best available information at the time of analysis from the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) Cropland Data Layer (CDL) for 5 y (2008-2012 at the time of analysis), the 2006 NLCD, the 2007 NASS Census of Agriculture, and 5 y of NASS Quick Stats (2008-2012). The approach accounts for misclassification of crop classes in the CDL by incorporating accuracy assessment information by state, year, and crop. The NLCD provides additional information to improve the CDL crop probability through an adjustment based on the NLCD accuracy assessment data using the principles of Bayes' Theorem. Finally, crop probabilities are scaled at the state level by comparing against NASS surveys (Census of Agriculture and Quick Stats) of reported planted acres by crop. In an example application of the new method, the probabilistic

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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…

  11. 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.

  12. 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)

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Draft Genome Sequence of Bacillus Species from the Rhizosphere of the Desert Plant Rhazya stricta

    PubMed Central

    Abo-Aba, S. E. M.; Sabir, Jamal S. M.; Baeshen, Mohammed N.; Sabir, Meshaal J.; Mutwakil, Mohammed H. Z.; Baeshen, Nabih A.; D’Amore, Rosalinda

    2015-01-01

    In order to better understand the ecology and diversity of microbes in the rhizosphere of desert plants, we undertook a survey of Bacillus species isolated from soil around Rhazya stricta plants from the area around Jeddah, in The Kingdom, Saudi Arabia. We have sequenced the genomes of 8 Bacillus isolates representing four different species. PMID:26543104

  16. 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...

  17. Effects of three species of Chihuahuan Desert ants on annual plants and soil properties

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We tested the hypothesis that ant species, which occupy the same nest for a decade or longer, would modify nest soils by increasing soil nutrients and microorganisms resulting in increased biomass, density, cover and species richness of annual plants. We measured soil properties and annual plants on...

  18. 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...

  19. 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 ...

  20. 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

  1. Aquatic plant community invasibility and scale-dependent patterns in native and invasive species richness.

    PubMed

    Capers, Robert S; Selsky, Roslyn; Bugbee, Gregory J; White, Jason C

    2007-12-01

    Invasive species richness often is negatively correlated with native species richness at the small spatial scale of sampling plots, but positively correlated in larger areas. The pattern at small scales has been interpreted as evidence that native plants can competitively exclude invasive species. Large-scale patterns have been understood to result from environmental heterogeneity, among other causes. We investigated species richness patterns among submerged and floating-leaved aquatic plants (87 native species and eight invasives) in 103 temperate lakes in Connecticut (northeastern USA) and found neither a consistently negative relationship at small (3-m2) scales, nor a positive relationship at large scales. Native species richness at sampling locations was uncorrelated with invasive species richness in 37 of the 60 lakes where invasive plants occurred; richness was negatively correlated in 16 lakes and positively correlated in seven. No correlation between native and invasive species richness was found at larger spatial scales (whole lakes and counties). Increases in richness with area were uncorrelated with abiotic heterogeneity. Logistic regression showed that the probability of occurrence of five invasive species increased in sampling locations (3 m2, n = 2980 samples) where native plants occurred, indicating that native plant species richness provided no resistance against invasion. However, the probability of three invasive species' occurrence declined as native plant density increased, indicating that density, if not species richness, provided some resistance with these species. Density had no effect on occurrence of three other invasive species. Based on these results, native species may resist invasion at small spatial scales only in communities where density is high (i.e., in communities where competition among individuals contributes to community structure). Most hydrophyte communities, however, appear to be maintained in a nonequilibrial condition by

  2. 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.

  3. Contrasting effects of plant species traits and moisture on the decomposition of multiple litter fractions.

    PubMed

    Riggs, Charlotte E; Hobbie, Sarah E; Cavender-Bares, Jeannine; Savage, Jessica A; Wei, Xiaojing

    2015-10-01

    Environmental variation in moisture directly influences plant litter decomposition through effects on microbial activity, and indirectly via plant species traits. Whether the effects of moisture and plant species traits are mutually reinforcing or counteracting during decomposition are unknown. To disentangle the effects of moisture from the effects of species traits that vary with moisture, we decomposed leaf litter from 12 plant species in the willow family (Salicaceae) with different native habitat moisture preferences in paired mesic and wetland plots. We fit litter mass loss data to an exponential decomposition model and estimated the decay rate of the rapidly cycling litter fraction and size of the remaining fraction that decays at a rate approaching zero. Litter traits that covaried with moisture in the species' native habitat significantly influenced the decomposition rate of the rapidly cycling litter fraction, but moisture in the decomposition environment did not. In contrast, for the slowly cycling litter fraction, litter traits that did not covary with moisture in the species' native habitat and moisture in the decomposition environment were significant. Overall, the effects of moisture and plant species traits on litter decomposition were somewhat reinforcing along a hydrologic gradient that spanned mesic upland to wetland (but not permanently surface-saturated) plots. In this system, plant trait and moisture effects may lead to greater in situ decomposition rates of wetland species compared to upland species; however, plant traits that do not covary with moisture will also influence decomposition of the slowest cycling litter fraction.

  4. 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

  5. Social organization influences the exchange and species richness of medicinal plants in Amazonian homegardens

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Medicinal plants provide indigenous and peasant communities worldwide with means to meet their healthcare needs. Homegardens often act as medicine cabinets, providing easily accessible medicinal plants for household needs. Social structure and social exchanges have been proposed as factors influencing the species diversity that people maintain in their homegardens. Here, we assess the association between the exchange of medicinal knowledge and plant material and medicinal plant richness in homegardens. Using Tsimane’ Amazonian homegardens as a case study, we explore whether social organization shapes exchanges of medicinal plant knowledge and medicinal plant material. We also use network centrality measures to evaluate people’s location and performance in medicinal plant knowledge and plant material exchange networks. Our results suggest that social organization, specifically kinship and gender relations, influences medicinal plant exchange patterns significantly. Homegardens total and medicinal plant species richness are related to gardeners’ centrality in the networks, whereby people with greater centrality maintain greater plant richness. Thus, together with agroecological conditions, social relations among gardeners and the culturally specific social structure seem to be important determinants of plant richness in homegardens. Understanding which factors pattern general species diversity in tropical homegardens, and medicinal plant diversity in particular, can help policy makers, health providers, and local communities to understand better how to promote and preserve medicinal plants in situ. Biocultural approaches that are also gender sensitive offer a culturally appropriate means to reduce the global and local loss of both biological and cultural diversity. PMID:27668001

  6. Social organization influences the exchange and species richness of medicinal plants in Amazonian homegardens.

    PubMed

    2016-03-01

    Medicinal plants provide indigenous and peasant communities worldwide with means to meet their healthcare needs. Homegardens often act as medicine cabinets, providing easily accessible medicinal plants for household needs. Social structure and social exchanges have been proposed as factors influencing the species diversity that people maintain in their homegardens. Here, we assess the association between the exchange of medicinal knowledge and plant material and medicinal plant richness in homegardens. Using Tsimane' Amazonian homegardens as a case study, we explore whether social organization shapes exchanges of medicinal plant knowledge and medicinal plant material. We also use network centrality measures to evaluate people's location and performance in medicinal plant knowledge and plant material exchange networks. Our results suggest that social organization, specifically kinship and gender relations, influences medicinal plant exchange patterns significantly. Homegardens total and medicinal plant species richness are related to gardeners' centrality in the networks, whereby people with greater centrality maintain greater plant richness. Thus, together with agroecological conditions, social relations among gardeners and the culturally specific social structure seem to be important determinants of plant richness in homegardens. Understanding which factors pattern general species diversity in tropical homegardens, and medicinal plant diversity in particular, can help policy makers, health providers, and local communities to understand better how to promote and preserve medicinal plants in situ. Biocultural approaches that are also gender sensitive offer a culturally appropriate means to reduce the global and local loss of both biological and cultural diversity.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Plant species coexistence at local scale in temperate swamp forest: test of habitat heterogeneity hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Douda, Jan; Doudová-Kochánková, Jana; Boublík, Karel; Drašnarová, Alena

    2012-06-01

    It has been suggested that a heterogeneous environment enhances species richness and allows for the coexistence of species. However, there is increasing evidence that environmental heterogeneity can have no effect or even a negative effect on plant species richness and plant coexistence at a local scale. We examined whether plant species richness increases with local heterogeneity in the water table depth, microtopography, pH and light availability in a swamp forest community at three local spatial scales (grain: 0.6, 1.2 and 11.4 m). We also used the variance partitioning approach to assess the relative contributions of niche-based and other spatial processes to species occurrence. We found that heterogeneity in microtopography and light availability positively correlated with species richness, in accordance with the habitat heterogeneity hypothesis. However, we recorded different heterogeneity-diversity relationships for particular functional species groups. An increase in the richness of bryophytes and woody plant species was generally related to habitat heterogeneity at all measured spatial scales, whereas a low impact on herbaceous species richness was recorded only at the 11.4 m scale. The distribution of herbaceous plants was primarily explained by other spatial processes, such as dispersal, in contrast to the occurrence of bryophytes, which was better explained by environmental factors. Our results suggest that both niche-based and other spatial processes are important determinants of the plant composition and species turnover at local spatial scales in swamp forests.

  10. Herbs versus Trees: Influences on Teenagers' Knowledge of Plant Species

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lückmann, Katrin; Menzel, Susanne

    2014-01-01

    The study reports on species knowledge among German adolescents (n = 507) as: (1) self-assessed evaluation of one's species knowledge; and (2) factual knowledge about popular local herbs and trees. Besides assessing species knowledge, we were interested in whether selected demographic factors, environmental attitude (as measured through the New…

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. Genetic variation for sensitivity to a thyme monoterpene in associated plant species.

    PubMed

    Jensen, Catrine Grønberg; Ehlers, Bodil Kirstine

    2010-04-01

    Recent studies have shown that plant allelochemicals can have profound effects on the performance of associated species, such that plants with a history of co-existence with "chemical neighbour" plants perform better in their presence compared to naïve plants. This has cast new light on the complexity of plant-plant interactions and plant communities and has led to debates on whether plant communities are more co-evolved than traditionally thought. In order to determine whether plants may indeed evolve in response to other plants' allelochemicals it is crucial to determine the presence of genetic variation for performance under the influence of specific allelochemicals and show that natural selection indeed operates on this variation. We studied the effect of the monoterpene carvacrol-a dominant compound in the essential oil of Thymus pulegioides-on three associated plant species originating from sites where thyme is either present or absent. We found the presence of genetic variation in both naïve and experienced populations for performance under the influence of the allelochemical but the response varied among naïve and experienced plant. Plants from experienced populations performed better than naïve plants on carvacrol soil and contained significantly more seed families with an adaptive response to carvacrol than naïve populations. This suggests that the presence of T. pulegioides can act as a selective agent on associated species, by favouring genotypes which perform best in the presence of its allelochemicals. The response to the thyme allelochemical varied from negative to neutral to positive among the species. The different responses within a species suggest that plant-plant interactions can evolve; this has implications for community dynamics and stability.

  14. 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

  15. Plant biodiversity effects in reducing fluvial erosion are limited to low species richness.

    PubMed

    Allen, Daniel C; Cardinale, Bradley J; Wynn-Thompson, Theresa

    2016-01-01

    It has been proposed that plant biodiversity may increase the erosion resistance of soils, yet direct evidence for any such relationship is lacking. We conducted a mesocosm experiment with eight species of riparian herbaceous plants, and found evidence that plant biodiversity significantly reduced fluvial erosion rates, with the eight-species polyculture decreasing erosion by 23% relative to monocultures. Species richness effects were largest at low levels of species richness, with little increase between four and eight species. Our results suggest that plant biodiversity reduced erosion rates indirectly through positive effects on root length and number of root tips, and that interactions between legumes and non-legumes were particularly important in producing biodiversity effects. Presumably, legumes increased root production of non-legumes by increasing soil nitrogen availability due to their ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen. Our data suggest that a restoration project using species from different functional groups might provide the best insurance to maintain long-term erosion resistance.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  20. Dynamics of host plant use and species diversity in Polygonia butterflies (Nymphalidae).

    PubMed

    Weingartner, E; Wahlberg, N; Nylin, S

    2006-03-01

    The ability of insects to utilize different host plants has been suggested to be a dynamic and transient phase. During or after this phase, species can shift to novel host plants or respecialize on ancestral ones. Expanding the range of host plants might also be a factor leading to higher levels of net speciation rates. In this paper, we have studied the possible importance of host plant range for diversification in the genus Polygonia (Nymphalidae, Nymphalini). We have compared species richness between sistergroups in order to find out if there are any differences in number of species between clades including species that utilize only the ancestral host plants ('urticalean rosids') and their sisterclades with a broader (or in some cases potentially broader) host plant repertoire. Four comparisons could be made, and although these are not all phylogenetically or statistically independent, all showed clades including butterfly species using other or additional host plants than the urticalean rosids to be more species-rich than their sisterclade restricted to the ancestral host plants. These results are consistent with the theory that expansions in host plant range are involved in the process of diversification in butterflies and other phytophagous insects, in line with the general theory that plasticity may drive speciation.

  1. 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.

  2. Insights into plant size-density relationships from models and agricultural crops

    PubMed Central

    Deng, Jianming; Zuo, Wenyun; Wang, Zhiqiang; Fan, Zhexuan; Ji, Mingfei; Wang, Genxuan; Ran, Jinzhi; Zhao, Changming; Liu, Jianquan; Niklas, Karl J.; Hammond, Sean T.; Brown, James H.

    2012-01-01

    There is general agreement that competition for resources results in a tradeoff between plant mass, M, and density, but the mathematical form of the resulting thinning relationship and the mechanisms that generate it are debated. Here, we evaluate two complementary models, one based on the space-filling properties of canopy geometry and the other on the metabolic basis of resource use. For densely packed stands, both models predict that density scales as M−3/4, energy use as M0, and total biomass as M1/4. Compilation and analysis of data from 183 populations of herbaceous crop species, 473 stands of managed tree plantations, and 13 populations of bamboo gave four major results: (i) At low initial planting densities, crops grew at similar rates, did not come into contact, and attained similar mature sizes; (ii) at higher initial densities, crops grew until neighboring plants came into contact, growth ceased as a result of competition for limited resources, and a tradeoff between density and size resulted in critical density scaling as M−0.78, total resource use as M−0.02, and total biomass as M0.22; (iii) these scaling exponents are very close to the predicted values of M−3/4, M0, and M1/4, respectively, and significantly different from the exponents suggested by some earlier studies; and (iv) our data extend previously documented scaling relationships for trees in natural forests to small herbaceous annual crops. These results provide a quantitative, predictive framework with important implications for the basic and applied plant sciences. PMID:22586097

  3. Plant species and soil type cooperatively shape the structure and function of microbial communities in the rhizosphere.

    PubMed

    Berg, Gabriele; Smalla, Kornelia

    2009-04-01

    The rhizosphere is of central importance not only for plant nutrition, health and quality but also for microorganism-driven carbon sequestration, ecosystem functioning and nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. A multitude of biotic and abiotic factors are assumed to influence the structural and functional diversity of microbial communities in the rhizosphere. In this review, recent studies on the influence of the two factors, plant species and soil type, on rhizosphere-associated microbial communities are discussed. Root exudates and the response of microorganisms to the latter as well as to root morphology were shown to shape rhizosphere microbial communities. All studies revealed that soil is the main reservoir for rhizosphere microorganisms. Many secrets of microbial life in the rhizosphere were recently uncovered due to the enormous progress in molecular and microscopic tools. Physiological and molecular data on the factors that drive selection processes in the rhizosphere are presented here. Furthermore, implications for agriculture, nature conservation and biotechnology will also be discussed.

  4. The responding relationship between plants and environment is the essential principle for agricultural sustainable development on the globe.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Yi; Shao, Hong-Bo

    2008-04-01

    The mutual-responding relationship between plants and environment is involved in all life processes, which are the essential bases for different types of sustainable development on the globe, particularly the critical basis for agricultural sustainable development. How to regulate the above relationship between plants and the corresponding environment (in particular soil environment) is the key problem to modern sustainable agriculture development under global climate change, which is one of the hot topics in the field of plant biology. Detailed dissection of this responding relationship is also important for conducting global eco-environmental restoration and construction. Although powerful methodology and dataset related to genomics, post-genomics, and metabolomics have provided some insights into this relationship, crop physiological measures are also critical for crop full performance in field. With the increase of tested plants (including model plants) and development of integrated molecular biology, a complete understanding of the relationship at different scales under biotic and abiotic stresses will be accelerated. In the current paper, we will cover some important aspects in combination with the recent work from our laboratory and related advances reflected by international academic journals, as follows: plant physiological function performance under natural condition, plant gene regulatory network system under abiotic stresses, gene regulatory network system and drought resistance improvement, summary of the related work from our laboratory, conclusions, and acknowledgement.

  5. The Phytotoxicity of Designated Pollutants on Plant Species

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1984-03-01

    and identify by block number) FIELD GROUP SUB. GR. Air Pollution Flower injury Ground cloud Aluminum oxide dust Germinating seeds HCl mist Exoosure......plants were reduced only slightly by single mistexposures. tiarigold plants were exposed to HCl mist during different periods of flower development

  6. 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.

  7. Biology and occurrence of Inga Busk species (Lepidoptera: Oecophoridae) on Cerrado host plants.

    PubMed

    Diniz, Ivone R; Bernardes, Carolina; Rodovalho, Sheila; Morais, Helena C

    2007-01-01

    We sampled Inga Busk species caterpillars weekly in the cerrado on 15 plants of Diospyros burchellii Hern. (Ebenaceae) from January 2002 to December 2003, on 30 plants of Caryocar brasiliense (Caryocaraceae) from July 2003 to June 2004, and since 1991 on several other plant species. In total we found 15 species of Inga on cerrado host plants. Nine species were very rare, with only one to five adults reared. The other six species occurred throughout the year, with higher abundance during the dry season, from May to July, coinciding with overall peaks of caterpillar abundance in the cerrado. Caterpillars of the genus Inga build shelters by tying and lining two mature or old leaves with silk and frass, where they rest and develop (a common habit found in Oecophorinae). The final instar builds a special envelope inside the leaf shelter, where it will complete the larval stage and pupate. The species are very difficult to distinguish in the immature stages. External features were useful in identifying only four species: I. haemataula (Meyrick), I. phaecrossa (Meyrick), I. ancorata (Walsingham), and I. corystes (Meyrick). These four species are polyphagous and have wide geographical distributions. In this paper we provide information on the natural history and host plants of six Inga species common on cerrado host plants, for which there are no reports in the literature.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-02-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  12. 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

  13. Species richness of vascular plants, bryophytes, and lichens along an altitudinal gradient in western Norway

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grytnes, John Arvid; Heegaard, Einar; Ihlen, Per G.

    2006-05-01

    Species richness patterns of ground-dwelling vascular plants, bryophytes, and lichens were compared along an altitudinal gradient (310-1135 m a.s.l.), in western Norway. Total species richness peaked at intermediate altitudes, vascular plant species richness peaked immediately above the forest limit (at 600-700 m a.s.l.), bryophyte species richness had no statistically significant trend, whereas lichen richness increased from the lowest point and up to the forest limit, with no trend above. It is proposed that the pattern in vascular plant species richness is enhanced by an ecotone effect. Bryophyte species richness responds to local scale factors whereas the lichen species richness may be responding to the shading from the forest trees.

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

    PubMed

    Petersen, Ute; Isselstein, Johannes

    2015-07-21

    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.

  15. 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…

  16. Predicting the presence and cover of management relevant invasive plant species on protected areas.

    PubMed

    Iacona, Gwenllian; Price, Franklin D; Armsworth, Paul R

    2016-01-15

    Invasive species are a management concern on protected areas worldwide. Conservation managers need to predict infestations of invasive plants they aim to treat if they want to plan for long term management. Many studies predict the presence of invasive species, but predictions of cover are more relevant for management. Here we examined how predictors of invasive plant presence and cover differ across species that vary in their management priority. To do so, we used data on management effort and cover of invasive plant species on central Florida protected areas. Using a zero-inflated multiple regression framework, we showed that protected area features can predict the presence and cover of the focal species but the same features rarely explain both. There were several predictors of either presence or cover that were important across multiple species. Protected areas with three days of frost per year or fewer were more likely to have occurrences of four of the six focal species. When invasive plants were present, their proportional cover was greater on small preserves for all species, and varied with surrounding household density for three species. None of the predictive features were clearly related to whether species were prioritized for management or not. Our results suggest that predictors of cover and presence can differ both within and across species but do not covary with management priority. We conclude that conservation managers need to select predictors of invasion with care as species identity can determine the relationship between predictors of presence and the more management relevant predictors of cover.

  17. 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...

  18. 75 FR 81793 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Listing Seven Brazilian Bird Species as Endangered...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-12-28

    ... Seven Brazilian Bird Species as Endangered Throughout Their Range; Final Rule #0;#0;Federal Register... Plants; Listing Seven Brazilian Bird Species as Endangered Throughout Their Range AGENCY: Fish and...), determine endangered status for the following seven Brazilian bird species and subspecies...

  19. Subtle temperature differences may well determine who wins: a story of three submerged aquatic plant species

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    As temperatures increases globally, shifts in the distribution of plant species are expected, with unknown effects on invasive species abundance. It is then of value to understand the role increased temperature may have on invasive species. Although nonhomeothermic organisms are the mercy of environ...

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

    PubMed

    F U, Shenglei; Ferris, Howard

    2006-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. 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).

  3. 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.

  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. 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 r