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Sample records for brazilian tropical plants

  1. Antiviral evaluation of plants from Brazilian Atlantic Tropical Forest.

    PubMed

    Andrighetti-Fröhner, C R; Sincero, T C M; da Silva, A C; Savi, L A; Gaido, C M; Bettega, J M R; Mancini, M; de Almeida, M T R; Barbosa, R A; Farias, M R; Barardi, C R M; Simões, C M O

    2005-06-01

    The antiviral activity of six medicinal plants from Brazilian Atlantic Tropical Forest was investigated against two viruses: herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and poliovirus type 2 (PV-2). Cuphea carthagenensis and Tillandsia usneoides extracts showed the best antiherpes activity. T. usneoides dichloromethane, ethyl acetate and n-butanol extracts, and Lippia alba n-butanol extract showed inhibition of HSV-1, strain 29R/acyclovir resistant. In addition, only L. alba ethyl acetate extract showed antipoliovirus activity. These results corroborate that medicinal plants can be a rich source of potential antiviral compounds.

  2. Plant Sexual Systems and a Review of the Breeding System Studies in the Caatinga, a Brazilian Tropical Dry Forest

    PubMed Central

    MACHADO, ISABEL CRISTINA; LOPES, ARIADNA VALENTINA; SAZIMA, MARLIES

    2006-01-01

    • Backgrounds and Aims The reproductive biology of a community can provide answers to questions related to the maintenance of the intraspecific pollen flow and reproductive success of populations, sharing and competition for pollinators and also questions on conservation of natural habitats affected by fragmentation processes. This work presents, for the first time, data on the occurrence and frequency of plant sexual systems for Caatinga communities, and a review of the breeding system studies of Caatinga species. • Methods The sexual systems of 147 species from 34 families and 91 genera occurring in three Caatinga areas in north-eastern Brazil were analysed and compared with worldwide studies focusing on reproductive biology of different tropical communities. • Key Results The frequency of hermaphrodite species was 83·0 % (122 species), seven of these (or 4·8 % of the total) being heterostylous. Monoecy occurred in 9·5 % (14) of the species, and andromonoecy in 4·8 % (seven). Only 2·7 % (four) of the species were dioecious. A high percentage of hermaphrodite species was expected and has been reported for other tropical ecosystems. With respect to the breeding system studies with species of the Caatinga, the authors' data for 21 species and an additional 18 species studied by others (n = 39) revealed a high percentage (61·5 %) of obligatory self-incompatibility. Agamospermy was not recorded among the Caatinga studied species. • Conclusions The plant sexual systems in the Caatinga, despite the semi-arid climate, are similar to other tropical dry and wet forest communities, including those with high rainfall levels, except for the much lower percentage of dioecious species. The high frequency of self-incompatible species is similar to that reported for Savanna areas in Brazil, and also for dry (deciduous and semideciduous) and humid tropical forest communities. PMID:16377654

  3. Methyl Chloride Emission from Tropical Plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yokouchi, Y.; Ikeda, M.; Ikeda, M.; Inuzuka, Y.; Yukawa, T.

    2001-12-01

    We studied CH3Cl emissions from tropical plants in Tropical Rainforest Glasshouse (25 m x 20 m x 10-24 m high) in Tsukuba Botanical Gardens, where more than 200 representative species from lowland tropical forests of Southeast Asia grow. CH3Cl concentrations were always higher in the glasshouse than outside and increased significantly when the windows were closed. The fluxes of CH3Cl from the tropical rainforest system in the glasshouse were calculated from the averages of their accumulation rates when the windows were closed (average; 142 pptv”h-1) with the dimension of the glasshouse. Emission rates per unit area for CH3Cl was 5.4 mg m-2 h-1. In order to determine which of the plants or whether the soil is responsible for the increase of CH3Cl, flux measurements were done by using an enclosure method. The soil was found to take up CH3Cl at a small rate. On the other hand, some plants from the Marattiaceae, Cyatheaceae (tree fern), Dicksoniaceae, and Dipterocarpaceae families were found to significantly emit CH3Cl. The first three families are ferns commonly growing in tropical forests, and Dipterocarpaceae species are dominant in the tropical rainforests of Southeast Asia. The average CH3Cl emission rate from the 9 plants in these families was around 0.5 mg (g dry leaf)-1”h-1. As for Cyatheaceae, we conducted a flux measurement from Cyathea lepifera E.Copel. in a subtropical forest in Okinawa and detected high emissions of CH3Cl amounting to 1.1 mg (g dry leaf)-1”h-1. Strong emissions of CH3Cl from tropical forests raises questions about the trends of chlorine compounds in the future and in the past.

  4. Antileishmanial activity and cytotoxicity of Brazilian plants.

    PubMed

    Ribeiro, Tatiana G; Chávez-Fumagalli, Miguel A; Valadares, Diogo G; Franca, Juçara R; Lage, Paula S; Duarte, Mariana C; Andrade, Pedro H R; Martins, Vivian T; Costa, Lourena E; Arruda, Ana L A; Faraco, André A G; Coelho, Eduardo A F; Castilho, Rachel O

    2014-08-01

    Leishmaniasis is a major public health problem, and the alarming spread of parasite resistance has increased the importance of discovering new therapeutic products. The present study aimed to investigate the in vitro leishmanicidal activity from 16 different Brazilian medicinal plants. Stationary-phase promastigotes of Leishmania amazonensis and murine macrophages were exposed to 44 plant extracts or fractions for 48 h at 37°C, in order to evaluate their antileishmanial activity and cytotoxicity, respectively. The most potent extracts against L. amazonensis were the hexanic extract of Dipteryx alata (IC50 of 0.08 μg/mL), the hexanic extract of Syzygium cumini (IC50 of 31.64 μg/mL), the ethanolic and hexanic extracts of leaves of Hymenaea courbaril (IC50 of 44.10 μg/mL and 35.84 μg/mL, respectively), the ethanolic extract of H. stignocarpa (IC50 of 4.69 μg/mL), the ethanolic extract of Jacaranda caroba (IC50 of 13.22 μg/mL), and the ethanolic extract of J. cuspidifolia leaves (IC50 of 10.96 μg/mL). Extracts of D. alata and J. cuspidifolia presented higher selectivity index, with high leishmanicidal activity and low cytotoxicity in the mammalian cells. The capacity in treated infected macrophages using the extracts and/or fractions of D. alata and J. cuspidifolia was also analyzed, and reductions of 95.80%, 98.31%, and 97.16%, respectively, in the parasite burden, were observed. No nitric oxide (NO) production could be observed in the treated macrophages, after stimulation with the extracts and/or fractions of D. alata and J. cuspidifolia, suggesting that the biological activity could be due to mechanisms other than macrophage activation mediated by NO production. Based on phytochemistry studies, the classes of compounds that could contribute to the observed activities are also discussed. In conclusion, the data presented in this study indicated that traditional medicinal plant extracts present effective antileishmanial activity. Future studies could focus on

  5. Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition by Brazilian plants.

    PubMed

    Braga, Fernão C; Serra, Carla P; Viana, Nilton S; Oliveira, Alaíde B; Côrtes, Steyner F; Lombardi, Júlio A

    2007-07-01

    The potential antihypertensive activity of Brazilian plants was evaluated in vitro by its ability to inhibit the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE). Forty-four plants belonging to 30 families were investigated. Plants were selected based on their popular use as antihypertensive and/or diuretics. The following plants presented significant ACE inhibition rates: Calophyllum brasiliense, Combretum fruticosum, Leea rubra, Phoenix roebelinii and Terminalia catappa.

  6. Pollinator recognition by a keystone tropical plant.

    PubMed

    Betts, Matthew G; Hadley, Adam S; Kress, W John

    2015-03-17

    Understanding the mechanisms enabling coevolution in complex mutualistic networks remains a central challenge in evolutionary biology. We show for the first time, to our knowledge, that a tropical plant species has the capacity to discriminate among floral visitors, investing in reproduction differentially across the pollinator community. After we standardized pollen quality in 223 aviary experiments, successful pollination of Heliconia tortuosa (measured as pollen tube abundance) occurred frequently when plants were visited by long-distance traplining hummingbird species with specialized bills (mean pollen tubes = 1.21 ± 0.12 SE) but was reduced 5.7 times when visited by straight-billed territorial birds (mean pollen tubes = 0.20 ± 0.074 SE) or insects. Our subsequent experiments revealed that plants use the nectar extraction capacity of tropical hummingbirds, a positive function of bill length, as a cue to turn on reproductively. Furthermore, we show that hummingbirds with long bills and high nectar extraction efficiency engaged in daily movements at broad spatial scales (∼1 km), but that territorial species moved only short distances (<100 m). Such pollinator recognition may therefore affect mate selection and maximize receipt of high-quality pollen from multiple parents. Although a diffuse pollinator network is implied, because all six species of hummingbirds carry pollen of H. tortuosa, only two species with specialized bills contribute meaningfully to its reproduction. We hypothesize that this pollinator filtering behavior constitutes a crucial mechanism facilitating coevolution in multispecies plant-pollinator networks. However, pollinator recognition also greatly reduces the number of realized pollinators, thereby rendering mutualistic networks more vulnerable to environmental change.

  7. Aboveground Biomass Modeling from Field and LiDAR Data in Brazilian Amazon Tropical Rain Forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silva, C. A.; Hudak, A. T.; Vierling, L. A.; Keller, M. M.; Klauberg Silva, C. K.

    2015-12-01

    Tropical forests are an important component of global carbon stocks, but tropical forest responses to climate change are not sufficiently studied or understood. Among remote sensing technologies, airborne LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) may be best suited for quantifying tropical forest carbon stocks. Our objective was to estimate aboveground biomass (AGB) using airborne LiDAR and field plot data in Brazilian tropical rain forest. Forest attributes such as tree density, diameter at breast height, and heights were measured at a combination of square plots and linear transects (n=82) distributed across six different geographic zones in the Amazon. Using previously published allometric equations, tree AGB was computed and then summed to calculate total AGB at each sample plot. LiDAR-derived canopy structure metrics were also computed at each sample plot, and random forest regression modelling was applied to predict AGB from selected LiDAR metrics. The LiDAR-derived AGB model was assessed using the random forest explained variation, adjusted coefficient of determination (Adj. R²), root mean square error (RMSE, both absolute and relative) and BIAS (both absolute and relative). Our findings showed that the 99th percentile of height and height skewness were the best LiDAR metrics for AGB prediction. The AGB model using these two best predictors explained 59.59% of AGB variation, with an Adj. R² of 0.92, RMSE of 33.37 Mg/ha (20.28%), and bias of -0.69 (-0.42%). This study showed that LiDAR canopy structure metrics can be used to predict AGC stocks in Tropical Forest with acceptable precision and accuracy. Therefore, we conclude that there is good potential to monitor carbon sequestration in Brazilian Tropical Rain Forest using airborne LiDAR data, large field plots, and the random forest algorithm.

  8. Pollinator recognition by a keystone tropical plant

    PubMed Central

    Betts, Matthew G.; Hadley, Adam S.; Kress, W. John

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the mechanisms enabling coevolution in complex mutualistic networks remains a central challenge in evolutionary biology. We show for the first time, to our knowledge, that a tropical plant species has the capacity to discriminate among floral visitors, investing in reproduction differentially across the pollinator community. After we standardized pollen quality in 223 aviary experiments, successful pollination of Heliconia tortuosa (measured as pollen tube abundance) occurred frequently when plants were visited by long-distance traplining hummingbird species with specialized bills (x¯ pollen tubes = 1.21 ± 0.12 SE) but was reduced 5.7 times when visited by straight-billed territorial birds (x¯ pollen tubes = 0.20 ± 0.074 SE) or insects. Our subsequent experiments revealed that plants use the nectar extraction capacity of tropical hummingbirds, a positive function of bill length, as a cue to turn on reproductively. Furthermore, we show that hummingbirds with long bills and high nectar extraction efficiency engaged in daily movements at broad spatial scales (∼1 km), but that territorial species moved only short distances (<100 m). Such pollinator recognition may therefore affect mate selection and maximize receipt of high-quality pollen from multiple parents. Although a diffuse pollinator network is implied, because all six species of hummingbirds carry pollen of H. tortuosa, only two species with specialized bills contribute meaningfully to its reproduction. We hypothesize that this pollinator filtering behavior constitutes a crucial mechanism facilitating coevolution in multispecies plant–pollinator networks. However, pollinator recognition also greatly reduces the number of realized pollinators, thereby rendering mutualistic networks more vulnerable to environmental change. PMID:25733902

  9. Plant phenology, resource seasonality and climate change in a Brazilian cerrado savanna

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gutierrez de Camargo, Maria Gabriela; de Camargo Guaraldo, André; Reys, Paula; Patrícia Cerdeira Morellato, Leonor

    2010-05-01

    Plant phenology, the study of recurring events and its relationship to climate, contributes with key information for the understanding of forest dynamics and plant resource availability to the fauna. Plant reproduction and growth are affected by proximate factors such as precipitation, temperature and photoperiod, ecological factors such as plant-animal interaction, for instance pollination and seed dispersal, and by phylogeny. Therefore, phenological changes may have enormous consequences for both, plants and animals depending upon the periodical availability of plant resources. The Brazilian tropical savannas, the cerrado, is a highly diverse vegetation with around 70% of the woody flora relaying on animal vectors for pollination and seed dispersal. We consider the cerrado savanna a good model to investigate shifts on tropical phenology and climate change. This vegetation presents a very seasonal phenology shaped by the climate characterized by the alternation of a hot, wet season and a dry, cooler one. The onset of leafing, flowering and fruiting is defined by the duration and intensity of the dry season, and changes on precipitation patterns and dryness may likely affect the plant species reproductive pattern as well as the resource availability to the fauna. In that context, we are carrying out a long-term project to investigate the phenology of growth and reproduction of a cerrado savanna woody community in Southeastern Brazil. Our aim is to understand the cerrado savanna long-term phenological patterns, its relationship to local climate, and whether phenological shifts over time may occur due to variations on climate. We are collecting data on crop size, species abundance and fruit consumption by birds to understand the fruit-frugivore network. Additionally, analyses are underway to explore the relationship among fruit season, fruit production, color and nutritional contents, and the activity of frugivores. Our final goal is to verify at which extension

  10. 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...

  11. Landscape Variation in Plant Defense Syndromes across a Tropical Rainforest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McManus, K. M.; Asner, G. P.; Martin, R.; Field, C. B.

    2014-12-01

    Plant defenses against herbivores shape tropical rainforest biodiversity, yet community- and landscape-scale patterns of plant defense and the phylogenetic and environmental factors that may shape them are poorly known. We measured foliar defense, growth, and longevity traits for 345 canopy trees across 84 species in a tropical rainforest and examined whether patterns of trait co-variation indicated the existence of plant defense syndromes. Using a DNA-barcode phylogeny and remote sensing and land-use data, we investigated how phylogeny and topo-edaphic properties influenced the distribution of syndromes. We found evidence for three distinct defense syndromes, characterized by rapid growth, growth compensated by defense, or limited palatability/low nutrition. Phylogenetic signal was generally lower for defense traits than traits related to growth or longevity. Individual defense syndromes were organized at different taxonomic levels and responded to different spatial-environmental gradients. The results suggest that a diverse set of tropical canopy trees converge on a limited number of strategies to secure resources and mitigate fitness losses due to herbivory, with patterns of distribution mediated by evolutionary histories and local habitat associations. Plant defense syndromes are multidimensional plant strategies, and thus are a useful means of discerning ecologically-relevant variation in highly diverse tropical rainforest communities. Scaling this approach to the landscape level, if plant defense syndromes can be distinguished in remotely-sensed data, they may yield new insights into the role of plant defense in structuring diverse tropical rainforest communities.

  12. Parasite-host interactions of bat flies (Diptera: Hippoboscoidea) in Brazilian tropical dry forests.

    PubMed

    de Vasconcelos, Pedro Fonseca; Falcão, Luiz Alberto Dolabela; Graciolli, Gustavo; Borges, Magno Augusto Zazá

    2016-01-01

    Studies on the parasitology of ectoparasitic bat flies are scarce, and they are needed to identify patterns in parasitism. Hence, in the present study, we assessed community composition, prevalence, average infestation intensity, and specificity in the fly-bat associations in Brazilian tropical dry forests. In order to do that, we used the parasitological indices known as prevalence and average infestation intensity, along with an index of host specificity. We collected 1098 bat flies of 38 species. Five of the associations found are new to Brazil, 9 are new to southeastern Brazil, and 10 are new to science. Average infestation intensity varied from 1 to 9 and prevalence 0 to 100 %. In terms of specificity, 76 % of the bat flies were associated to a single host (monoxenic). These results highlight the low capacity of bat flies to survive on a not usual host especially due to an immunological incompatibility between parasites and hosts and dispersal barriers.

  13. Accumulation and distribution of 137Cs in tropical plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anjos, R. M.; Carvalho, C.; Mosquera, B.; Veiga, R.; Sanches, N.; Bastos, J.; Macario, K.

    2007-02-01

    The accumulation and distribution of 40K and 137Cs in several tropical plant species were studied through measurements of gamma-ray spectra, focusing on establishing the suitability of using radiocesium to trace the plant uptake of nutrients such as potassium.

  14. High diversity of Bradyrhizobium strains isolated from several legume species and land uses in Brazilian tropical ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Azarias Guimarães, Amanda; Florentino, Ligiane Aparecida; Alves Almeida, Kize; Lebbe, Liesbeth; Barroso Silva, Karina; Willems, Anne; de Souza Moreira, Fatima Maria

    2015-09-01

    The genus Bradyrhizobium stands out among nitrogen-fixing legume-nodulating bacteria because it predominates among the efficient microsymbionts of forest, forage, and green manure legume species, as well as important species of grain legumes, such as soybean, cowpea, and peanut. Therefore, the diversity of Bradyrhizobium strains is a relevant resource from environmental and economic perspectives, and strains isolated from diverse legume species and land uses in Brazilian tropical ecosystems were assessed in this study. To accomplish this, sequences of four housekeeping genes (atpD, dnaK, gyrB, and recA) were individually analysed, with the first three also being considered using multilocus sequence analysis (MLSA). The sensitivity of the strains to different antibiotics, their tolerance to different levels of salinity, and their ability to nodulate soybean plants were also measured. The phylogenetic trees based on each individual gene, and on the concatenated housekeeping genes, revealed several strain clusters separated from any currently described species. The Bradyrhizobium strains studied were generally resistant to antibiotics. All strains were able to grow at salinity levels of up to 0.5% NaCl, whereas only strains UFLA03-142, UFLA03-143, UFLA03-145, and UFLA03-146 grew in the presence of 1% NaCl. Together, the results indicated that some of the strains studied were potential novel species, indicating that the various soils and ecosystems in Brazil may harbour an as yet unknown diversity of rhizobia.

  15. The influence of Brazilian plant extracts on Streptococcus mutans biofilm

    PubMed Central

    BARNABÉ, Michele; SARACENI, Cíntia Helena Coury; DUTRA-CORREA, Maristela; SUFFREDINI, Ivana Barbosa

    2014-01-01

    Nineteen plant extracts obtained from plants from the Brazilian Amazon showed activity against planktonic Streptococcus mutans, an important bacterium involved in the first steps of biofilm formation and the subsequent initiation of several oral diseases. Objective Our goal was to verify whether plant extracts that showed activity against planktonic S. mutans could prevent the organization of or even disrupt a single-species biofilm made by the same bacteria. Material and Methods Plant extracts were tested on a single-bacteria biofilm prepared using the Zürich method. Each plant extract was tested at a concentration 5 times higher than its minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC). Discs of hydroxyapatite were submersed overnight in brain-heart infusion broth enriched with saccharose 5%, which provided sufficient time for biofilm formation. The discs were then submersed in extract solutions for one minute, three times per day, for two subsequent days. The discs were then washed with saline three times, at ten seconds each, after each treatment. Supports were allowed to remain in the enriched medium for one additional night. At the end of the process, the bacteria were removed from the discs by vortexing and were counted. Results Only two of 19 plant extracts showed activity in the present assay: EB1779, obtained from Dioscorea altissima, and EB1673, obtained from Annona hypoglauca. Although the antibacterial activity of the plant extracts was first observed against planktonic S. mutans, influence over biofilm formation was not necessarily observed in the biofilm model. The present results motivate us to find new natural products to be used in dentistry. PMID:25466471

  16. Evaluation of the cytotoxic activity of some Brazilian medicinal plants.

    PubMed

    Ribeiro, Sandra S; de Jesus, Aline M; dos Anjos, Charlene S; da Silva, Thanany B; Santos, Alan D C; de Jesus, Jemmyson R; Andrade, Moacir S; Sampaio, Tais S; Gomes, Wesley F; Alves, Péricles B; Carvalho, Adriana A; Pessoa, Claudia; de Moraes, Manoel O; Pinheiro, Maria L B; Prata, Ana Paula N; Blank, Arie F; Silva-Mann, Renata; Moraes, Valeria R S; Costa, Emmanoel V; Nogueira, Paulo Cesar L; Bezerra, Daniel P

    2012-09-01

    Plants are promising sources of new bioactive compounds. The aim of this study was to investigate the cytotoxic potential of nine plants found in Brazil. The species studied were: Annona pickelii Diels (Annonaceae), Annona salzmannii A. DC. (Annonaceae), Guatteria blepharophylla Mart. (Annonaceae), Guatteria hispida (R. E. Fr.) Erkens & Maas (Annonaceae), Hancornia speciosa Gomes (Apocynaceae), Jatropha curcas L. (Euphorbiaceae), Kielmeyera rugosa Choisy (Clusiaceae), Lippia gracilis Schauer (Verbenaceae), and Hyptis calida Mart. Ex Benth (Lamiaceae). Different types of extractions from several parts of plants resulted in 43 extracts. Their cytotoxicity was tested against HCT-8 (colon carcinoma), MDA-MB-435 (melanoma), SF-295 (glioblastoma), and HL-60 (promielocitic leukemia) human tumor cell lines, using the thiazolyl blue test (MTT) assay. The active extracts were those obtained from G. blepharophylla, G. hispida, J. curcas, K. rugosa, and L. gracilis. In addition, seven compounds isolated from the active extracts were tested; among them, β-pinene found in G. hispida and one coumarin isolated from K. rugora showed weak cytotoxic activity. In summary, this manuscript contributes to the understanding of the potentialities of Brazilian plants as sources of new anticancer drugs.

  17. 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.

  18. Anticariogenic activity of some tropical medicinal plants against Streptococcus mutans.

    PubMed

    Hwang, Jae-Kwan; Shim, Jae-Seok; Chung, Jae-Youn

    2004-09-01

    The methanol extracts of five tropical plants, Baeckea frutescens, Glycyrrhiza glabra, Kaempferia pandurata, Physalis angulata and Quercus infectoria, exhibited potent antibacterial activity against the cariogenic bacterium Streptococcus mutans. In particular, G. glabra, K. pandurata and P. angulata conferred fast killing bactericidal effect against S. mutans in 2 min at 50 microg/ml of extract concentration.

  19. The Brazilian research contribution to knowledge of the plant communities from Antarctic ice free areas.

    PubMed

    Pereira, Antonio B; Putzke, Jair

    2013-09-01

    This work aims to summarize the results of research carried out by Brazilian researchers on the plant communities of Antarctic ice free areas during the last twenty five years. Since 1988 field work has been carried out in Elephant Island, King George Island, Nelson Island and Deception Island. During this period six papers were published on the chemistry of lichens, seven papers on plant taxonomy, five papers on plant biology, two studies on UVB photoprotection, three studies about the relationships between plant communities and bird colonies and eleven papers on plant communities from ice free areas. At the present, Brazilian botanists are researching the plant communities of Antarctic ice free areas in order to understand their relationships to soil microbial communities, the biodiversity, the distribution of the plants populations and their relationship with birds colonies. In addition to these activities, a group of Brazilian researchers are undertaking studies related to Antarctic plant genetic diversity, plant chemistry and their biotechnological applications.

  20. Acetamiprid, carbendazim, diuron and thiamethoxam sorption in two Brazilian tropical soils.

    PubMed

    Carbo, Leandro; Martins, Eucarlos L; Dores, Eliana F G C; Spadotto, Cláudio A; Weber, Oscarlina L S; De-Lamonica-Freire, Ermelinda M

    2007-01-01

    Sorption of acetamiprid ((E)-N1-[(6-chloro-3-pyridyl)methyl]-N2-cyano-N1-methylacetamidine), carbendazim (methyl benzimidazol-2-ylcarbamate), diuron (N-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)-N, N-dimethyl urea) and thiamethoxam (3-(2-chloro-thiazol-5-ylmethyl)-5-methyl-[1,3,5]oxadiazinan-4-ylidene-N-nitroamine) was evaluated in two Brazilian tropical soils, Oxisol and Entisol, from Primavera do Leste region, Mato Grosso State, Brazil. To describe the sorption process, batch experiments were carried out. Linear and Freundlich isotherm models were used to calculate the K(d) and K(f) coefficients from experimental data. The K(d) values were utilized to calculate the partition coefficient normalized to soil organic carbon (K(oc)). For the pesticides acetamiprid, carbendazim, diuron and thiamenthoxan the K(oc) (mL g(- 1)) values ranged in both soils from 98 - 3235, 1024 - 2644, 145 - 2631 and 104 - 2877, respectively. From the studied pesticides, only carbendazim presented correlation (r(2) = 0.82 and p < 0.01) with soil organic carbon (OC) content. Acetamiprid and thiamethoxam showed low sorption coefficients, representing a high risk of surface and ground water contamination.

  1. Tropical American plants in the treatment of infectious diseases.

    PubMed

    Dvorkin-Camiel, Lana; Whelan, Julia S

    2008-01-01

    The increasingly diverse U.S. immigrant populations and the growing use of medicinal herbs create a need for health care professionals to expand their knowledge in this area. This is a review of tropical plants, Annona Muricata, Artemisia absinthium, Cinchona officinalis, Illicium verum, Momordica charantia, Opuntia streptacantha, Schinus terebinthifolius, and Tabebuia avellanedae (impetiginosa), commonly used by Latino and Haitian populations for the treatment of infectious disease. All the eight plants discussed here have one or more of the following: antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, or antiparasitic properties. All of these plants are primarily known and used in the tropical region, but they are also readily available for purchase in the United States, specifically in the ethnic markets. This review discusses their traditional uses, chemical constituents, proven scientific evidence, and toxicities.

  2. 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.

  3. Plants from Brazilian Cerrado with Potent Tyrosinase Inhibitory Activity

    PubMed Central

    Souza, Paula Monteiro; Elias, Silvia Taveira; Simeoni, Luiz Alberto; de Paula, José Elias; Gomes, Sueli Maria; Guerra, Eliete Neves Silva; Fonseca, Yris Maria; Silva, Elton Clementino; Silveira, Dâmaris; Magalhães, Pérola Oliveira

    2012-01-01

    The increased amount of melanin leads to skin disorders such as age spots, freckles, melasma and malignant melanoma. Tyrosinase is known to be the key enzyme in melanin production. Plants and their extracts are inexpensive and rich resources of active compounds that can be utilized to inhibit tyrosinase as well as can be used for the treatment of dermatological disorders associated with melanin hyperpigmentation. Using in vitro tyrosinase inhibitory activity assay, extracts from 13 plant species from Brazilian Cerrado were evaluated. The results showed that Pouteria torta and Eugenia dysenterica extracts presented potent in vitro tyrosinase inhibition compared to positive control kojic acid. Ethanol extract of Eugenia dysenterica leaves showed significant (p<0.05) tyrosinase inhibitory activity exhibiting the IC50 value of 11.88 µg/mL, compared to kojic acid (IC50 value of 13.14 µg/mL). Pouteria torta aqueous extract leaves also showed significant inhibitory activity with IC50 value of 30.01 µg/mL. These results indicate that Pouteria torta and Eugenia dysenterica extracts and their isolated constituents are promising agents for skin-whitening or antimelanogenesis formulations. PMID:23173036

  4. From tropics to tundra: global convergence in plant functioning.

    PubMed

    Reich, P B; Walters, M B; Ellsworth, D S

    1997-12-09

    Despite striking differences in climate, soils, and evolutionary history among diverse biomes ranging from tropical and temperate forests to alpine tundra and desert, we found similar interspecific relationships among leaf structure and function and plant growth in all biomes. Our results thus demonstrate convergent evolution and global generality in plant functioning, despite the enormous diversity of plant species and biomes. For 280 plant species from two global data sets, we found that potential carbon gain (photosynthesis) and carbon loss (respiration) increase in similar proportion with decreasing leaf life-span, increasing leaf nitrogen concentration, and increasing leaf surface area-to-mass ratio. Productivity of individual plants and of leaves in vegetation canopies also changes in constant proportion to leaf life-span and surface area-to-mass ratio. These global plant functional relationships have significant implications for global scale modeling of vegetation-atmosphere CO2 exchange.

  5. The water balance components of undisturbed tropical woodlands in the Brazilian cerrado

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oliveira, P. T. S.; Wendland, E.; Nearing, M. A.; Scott, R. L.; Rosolem, R.; da Rocha, H. R.

    2015-06-01

    Deforestation of the Brazilian cerrado region has caused major changes in hydrological processes. These changes in water balance components are still poorly understood but are important for making land management decisions in this region. To better understand pre-deforestation conditions, we determined the main components of the water balance for an undisturbed tropical woodland classified as "cerrado sensu stricto denso". We developed an empirical model to estimate actual evapotranspiration (ET) by using flux tower measurements and vegetation conditions inferred from the enhanced vegetation index and reference evapotranspiration. Canopy interception, throughfall, stemflow, surface runoff, and water table level were assessed from ground measurements. We used data from two cerrado sites, Pé de Gigante (PDG) and Instituto Arruda Botelho (IAB). Flux tower data from the PDG site collected from 2001 to 2003 were used to develop the empirical model to estimate ET. The other hydrological processes were measured at the field scale between 2011 and 2014 at the IAB site. The empirical model showed significant agreement (R2 = 0.73) with observed ET at the daily timescale. The average values of estimated ET at the IAB site ranged from 1.91 to 2.60 mm day-1 for the dry and wet seasons, respectively. Canopy interception ranged from 4 to 20 % and stemflow values were approximately 1 % of the gross precipitation. The average runoff coefficient was less than 1 %, while cerrado deforestation has the potential to increase that amount up to 20-fold. As relatively little excess water runs off (either by surface water or groundwater), the water storage may be estimated by the difference between precipitation and evapotranspiration. Our results provide benchmark values of water balance dynamics in the undisturbed cerrado that will be useful to evaluate past and future land-cover and land-use changes for this region.

  6. Evaluation of Brazilian plants on cancer chemoprevention targets in vitro.

    PubMed

    Endringer, Denise C; Valadares, Ydia M; Campana, Priscilla R V; Campos, Jussara J; Guimarães, Keller G; Pezzuto, John M; Braga, Fernão C

    2010-06-01

    Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide. Cancer chemoprevention is one of the promising strategies to decrease its incidence and both plant extracts and natural products may constitute sources of new chemoprevention agents. Some Brazilian species popularly used to treat inflammatory conditions were selected for evaluation for cancer chemoprevention. A total of 32 extracts/fractions from Hancornia speciosa, Davilla elliptica, Jacaranda caroba, Mansoa hirsuta, Remija ferrugina, Solanum paniculatum and Xyris pterygoblephara, along with a mixture of ursolic and oleanolic acids obtained from J. caroba and a dihydroisocoumarin isolated from aerial parts of X. pterygoblephara were tested for their cancer chemoprevention activity [inhibition of 12-O-tetradecanoyl-13-acetate (TPA)-mediated NF-kappaB activation, ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) and cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1); induction of antioxidant response element (ARE)]. Several extracts/fractions were active in more than one assay and those from H. speciosa, M. hirsuta and J. caroba mediated strong responses with NF-kappaB, COX-1 and ARE, respectively.

  7. Biosynthetic potential of phylogenetically unique endophytic actinomycetes from tropical plants.

    PubMed

    Janso, Jeffrey E; Carter, Guy T

    2010-07-01

    The culturable diversity of endophytic actinomycetes associated with tropical, native plants is essentially unexplored. In this study, 123 endophytic actinomycetes were isolated from tropical plants collected from several locations in Papua New Guinea and Mborokua Island, Solomon Islands. Isolates were found to be prevalent in roots but uncommon in leaves. Initially, isolates were dereplicated to the strain level by ribotyping. Subsequent characterization of 105 unique strains by 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis revealed that 17 different genera were represented, and rare genera, such as Sphaerisporangium and Planotetraspora, which have never been previously reported to be endophytic, were quite prevalent. Phylogenetic analyses grouped many of the strains into clades distinct from known genera within Thermomonosporaceae and Micromonosporaceae, indicating that they may be unique genera. Bioactivity testing and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) profiling of crude fermentation extracts were performed on 91 strains. About 60% of the extracts exhibited bioactivity or displayed LC-MS profiles with spectra indicative of secondary metabolites. The biosynthetic potential of 29 nonproductive strains was further investigated by the detection of putative polyketide synthase (PKS) and nonribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) genes. Despite their lack of detectable secondary metabolite production in fermentation, most were positive for type I (66%) and type II (79%) PKS genes, and all were positive for NRPS genes. These results suggest that tropical plants from New Guinea and the adjacent archipelago are hosts to unique endophytic actinomycetes that possess significant biosynthetic potential.

  8. Spatio-Temporal Distribution of Bark and Ambrosia Beetles in a Brazilian Tropical Dry Forest

    PubMed Central

    de Novais, Samuel Matos Antunes; Monteiro, Graziela França; Flechtmann, Carlos Alberto Hector; de Faria, Maurício Lopes; Neves, Frederico de Siqueira

    2016-01-01

    Bark and the ambrosia beetles dig into host plants and live most of their lives in concealed tunnels. We assessed beetle community dynamics in tropical dry forest sites in early, intermediate, and late successional stages, evaluating the influence of resource availability and seasonal variations in guild structure. We collected a total of 763 beetles from 23 species, including 14 bark beetle species, and 9 ambrosia beetle species. Local richness of bark and ambrosia beetles was estimated at 31 species. Bark and ambrosia composition was similar over the successional stages gradient, and beta diversity among sites was primarily determined by species turnover, mainly in the bark beetle community. Bark beetle richness and abundance were higher at intermediate stages; availability of wood was the main spatial mechanism. Climate factors were effectively non-seasonal. Ambrosia beetles were not influenced by successional stages, however the increase in wood resulted in increased abundance. We found higher richness at the end of the dry and wet seasons, and abundance increased with air moisture and decreased with higher temperatures and greater rainfall. In summary, bark beetle species accumulation was higher at sites with better wood production, while the needs of fungi (host and air moisture), resulted in a favorable conditions for species accumulation of ambrosia. The overall biological pattern among guilds differed from tropical rain forests, showing patterns similar to dry forest areas. PMID:27271969

  9. Spatio-Temporal Distribution of Bark and Ambrosia Beetles in a Brazilian Tropical Dry Forest.

    PubMed

    Macedo-Reis, Luiz Eduardo; Novais, Samuel Matos Antunes de; Monteiro, Graziela França; Flechtmann, Carlos Alberto Hector; Faria, Maurício Lopes de; Neves, Frederico de Siqueira

    2016-01-01

    Bark and the ambrosia beetles dig into host plants and live most of their lives in concealed tunnels. We assessed beetle community dynamics in tropical dry forest sites in early, intermediate, and late successional stages, evaluating the influence of resource availability and seasonal variations in guild structure. We collected a total of 763 beetles from 23 species, including 14 bark beetle species, and 9 ambrosia beetle species. Local richness of bark and ambrosia beetles was estimated at 31 species. Bark and ambrosia composition was similar over the successional stages gradient, and beta diversity among sites was primarily determined by species turnover, mainly in the bark beetle community. Bark beetle richness and abundance were higher at intermediate stages; availability of wood was the main spatial mechanism. Climate factors were effectively non-seasonal. Ambrosia beetles were not influenced by successional stages, however the increase in wood resulted in increased abundance. We found higher richness at the end of the dry and wet seasons, and abundance increased with air moisture and decreased with higher temperatures and greater rainfall. In summary, bark beetle species accumulation was higher at sites with better wood production, while the needs of fungi (host and air moisture), resulted in a favorable conditions for species accumulation of ambrosia. The overall biological pattern among guilds differed from tropical rain forests, showing patterns similar to dry forest areas.

  10. Floral Traits and Pollination Systems in the Caatinga, a Brazilian Tropical Dry Forest

    PubMed Central

    Machado, Isabel Cristina; Lopes, Ariadna Valentina

    2004-01-01

    • Background and aims Pollination is a critical stage in plant reproduction and thus in the maintenance and evolution of species and communities. The Caatinga is the fourth largest ecosystem in Brazil, but despite its great extent and its importance few studies providing ecological information are available, with a notable lack of work focusing on pollination biology. Here, general data are presented regarding the frequency of pollination systems within Caatinga communities, with the aim of characterizing patterns related to floral attributes in order to make possible comparisons with data for plant communities in other tropical areas, and to test ideas about the utility of syndromes. This paper also intends to provide a reference point for further studies on pollination ecology in this threatened ecosystem. • Methods The floral traits and the pollination systems of 147 species were analysed in three areas of Caatinga vegetation in northeastern Brazil, and compared with world-wide studies focusing on the same subject. For each species, floral attributes were recorded as form, size, colour, rewards and pollination units. The species were grouped into 12 guilds according to the main pollinator vector. Analyses of the frequencies of the floral traits and pollination systems were undertaken. • Key Results Nectar and pollen were the most common floral resources and insect pollination was the most frequent, occurring in 69·9 % of the studied species. Of the entomophilous species, 61·7 % were considered to be melittophilous (43·1 % of the total). Vertebrate pollination occurred in 28·1 % of the species (ornithophily in 15·0 % and chiropterophily in 13·1 %), and anemophily was recorded in only 2·0 %. • Conclusions The results indicated that the pollination systems in Caatinga, despite climatic restrictions, are diversified, with a low percentage of generalist flowers, and similar to other tropical dry and wet forest communities, including those with high

  11. Runoff and soil erosion for an undisturbed tropical woodland in the Brazilian Cerrado

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oliveira, Paulo Tarso S.; Nearing, Mark; Wendland, Edson

    2015-04-01

    The Brazilian Cerrado is a large and important economic and environmental region that is experiencing major loss of its natural landscapes due to pressures of food and energy production, which has caused large increases in soil erosion. However the magnitude of the soil erosion increases in this region is not well understood, in part because scientific studies of surface runoff and soil erosion are scarce or nonexistent in undisturbed Cerrado vegetation. In this study we measured natural rainfall-driven rates of runoff and soil erosion for an undisturbed tropical woodland classified as "cerrado sensu stricto denso" and bare soil to compute the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) cover and management factor (C-factor) to help evaluate the likely effects of land use change on soil erosion rates. Replicated data on precipitation, runoff, and soil loss on plots (5 x 20 m) under bare soil and cerrado were collected for 55 erosive storms occurring in 2012 and 2013. The measured annual precipitation was 1247.4 mm and 1113.0 mm for 2012 and 2013, resulting in a rainfall erosivity index of 4337.1 MJ mm ha-1 h-1 and 3546.2 MJ mm ha-1 h-1, for each year respectively. The erosive rainfall represented 80concentrated in the wet season, which generally runs from October through March. In the plots on bare soil, the runoff coefficient for individual rainfall events (total runoff divided by total rainfall) ranged from 0.003 to 0.860 with an average value and standard deviation of 0.212 ± 0.187. Moreover, the runoff coefficient found for the bare soil plots (~20infiltration capacity. In forest areas the leaf litter and the more porous soil tend to promote the increase of infiltration and water storage, rather than rapid overland flow. Indeed, runoff coefficients ranged from 0.001 to 0.030 with an average of less than 1under undisturbed cerrado. The soil losses measured under bare soil and cerrado were 15.68 t ha-1yr-1 and 0.24 t ha-1 yr-1 in 2012, and 14.82 t ha-1 yr-1, 0.11 t ha-1

  12. Cryopreservation of Radopholus similis, a tropical plant-parasitic nematode.

    PubMed

    Elsen, Annemie; Vallterra, Salvador Ferrandis; Van Wauwe, Tom; Thuy, Trinh Thi Thu; Swennen, Rony; De Waele, Dirk; Panis, Bart

    2007-10-01

    For obligate plant-parasitic nematodes, cryopreservation has advantages over the usual preservation methods on whole plants or axenic culture systems, because the latter two are labourious and time and space consuming. In addition, cross contamination among different isolates can occur easily. Moreover, specific genetic studies require maintenance of the original population. The nematode under investigation, Radopholus similis, is a plant-parasitic nematode from the humid tropics. Therefore, any treatment at low temperatures is likely to add extra stress to the nematode, making the development of a cryopreservation protocol extremely difficult. In this paper, we describe experiments to achieve a successful cryopreservation protocol for the tropical nematode R. similis using vitrification solution-based methods based on a well defined mixture of cryoprotectants in combination with ultra-rapid cooling and thawing rates. A two-step treatment was used consisting of an incubation in glycerol followed by the application of a vitrifying mixture of methanol, glycerol and glucose. After cryopreservation, the pathogenicity of the nematodes was not altered, since they could infect and reproduce on carrot discs after recovery in the Ringer solution. The cryopreservation method described can be used for routine cryopreservation of R. similis lines from different origins.

  13. Strong emission of methyl chloride from tropical plants.

    PubMed

    Yokouchi, Yoko; Ikeda, Masumi; Inuzuka, Yoko; Yukawa, Tomohisa

    2002-03-14

    Methyl chloride is the largest natural source of ozone-depleting chlorine compounds, and accounts for about 15 per cent of the present atmospheric chlorine content. This contribution was likely to have been relatively greater in pre-industrial times, when additional anthropogenic sources-such as chlorofluorocarbons-were absent. Although it has been shown that there are large emissions of methyl chloride from coastal lands in the tropics, there remains a substantial shortfall in the overall methyl chloride budget. Here we present observations of large emissions of methyl chloride from some common tropical plants (certain types of ferns and Dipterocarpaceae), ranging from 0.1 to 3.7 microg per gram of dry leaf per hour. On the basis of these preliminary measurements, the methyl chloride flux from Dipterocarpaceae in southeast Asia alone is estimated at 0.91 Tg yr-1, which could explain a large portion of missing methyl chloride sources. With continuing tropical deforestation, natural sources of chlorine compounds may accordingly decrease in the future. Conversely, the abundance of massive ferns in the Carboniferous period may have created an atmosphere rich in methyl chloride.

  14. Flowering plant physiology triggered the expansion of tropical rainforest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, J.; Boyce, C. K.

    2009-12-01

    Transpiration has long been known to feed precipitation, but unique hydraulic characteristics of flowering plants recently have been recognized to impart transpiration capacities dramatically higher than any other plants, living or extinct. Here we show through climate modeling that the replacement of angiosperm with non-angiosperm vegetation would result in a hotter, drier, and more seasonal Amazon basin—dry season length increases by 80 days over the eastern Amazon and overall area of everwet conditions decreases by a factor of five. Evolution of angiosperm physiology has uniquely facilitated spread of warm everwet forests and their enormous biodiversity, perhaps including their early Cenozoic expansion to extra-tropical latitudes. Divergent responses may be expected to general climate parameters and discrete environmental perturbations before and after evolution of angiosperm dominated ecosystems.

  15. Structure, Function and Floristic Relationships of Plant Communities in Stressful Habitats Marginal to the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest

    PubMed Central

    SCARANO, FABIO R.

    2002-01-01

    The Brazilian Atlantic rainforest consists of a typical tropical rainforest on mountain slopes, and stands out as a biodiversity hotspot for its high species richness and high level of species endemism. This forest is bordered by plant communities with lower species diversity, due mostly to more extreme environmental conditions than those found in the mesic rainforest. Between the mountain slopes and the sea, the coastal plains have swamp forests, dry semi‐deciduous forests and open thicket vegetation on marine sand deposits. At the other extreme, on top of the mountains (>2000 m a.s.l.), the rainforest is substituted by high altitude fields and open thicket vegetation on rocky outcrops. Thus, the plant communities that are marginal to the rainforest are subjected either to flooding, drought, oceanicity or cold winter temperatures. It was found that positive interactions among plants play an important role in the structuring and functioning of a swamp forest, a coastal sandy vegetation and a cold, high altitude vegetation in the state of Rio de Janeiro. Moreover, only a few species seem to adopt this positive role and, therefore, the functioning of these entire systems may rely on them. Curiously, these nurse plants are often epiphytes in the rainforest, and at the study sites are typically terrestrial. Many exhibit crassulacean acid metabolism. Conservation initiatives must treat the Atlantic coastal vegetation as a complex rather than a rainforest alone. PMID:12324276

  16. Structure, function and floristic relationships of plant communities in stressful habitats marginal to the Brazilian Atlantic rainforest.

    PubMed

    Scarano, Fabio R

    2002-10-01

    The Brazilian Atlantic rainforest consists of a typical tropical rainforest on mountain slopes, and stands out as a biodiversity hotspot for its high species richness and high level of species endemism. This forest is bordered by plant communities with lower species diversity, due mostly to more extreme environmental conditions than those found in the mesic rainforest. Between the mountain slopes and the sea, the coastal plains have swamp forests, dry semi-deciduous forests and open thicket vegetation on marine sand deposits. At the other extreme, on top of the mountains (>2000 m a.s.l.), the rainforest is substituted by high altitude fields and open thicket vegetation on rocky outcrops. Thus, the plant communities that are marginal to the rainforest are subjected either to flooding, drought, oceanicity or cold winter temperatures. It was found that positive interactions among plants play an important role in the structuring and functioning of a swamp forest, a coastal sandy vegetation and a cold, high altitude vegetation in the state of Rio de Janeiro. Moreover, only a few species seem to adopt this positive role and, therefore, the functioning of these entire systems may rely on them. Curiously, these nurse plants are often epiphytes in the rainforest, and at the study sites are typically terrestrial. Many exhibit crassulacean acid metabolism. Conservation initiatives must treat the Atlantic coastal vegetation as a complex rather than a rainforest alone.

  17. A phosphorus threshold for mycoheterotrophic plants in tropical forests.

    PubMed

    Sheldrake, Merlin; Rosenstock, Nicholas P; Revillini, Daniel; Olsson, Pål Axel; Wright, S Joseph; Turner, Benjamin L

    2017-02-08

    The majority of terrestrial plants associate with arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi, which typically facilitate the uptake of limiting mineral nutrients by plants in exchange for plant carbon. However, hundreds of non-photosynthetic plant species-mycoheterotrophs-depend entirely on AM fungi for carbon as well as mineral nutrition. Mycoheterotrophs can provide insight into the operation and regulation of AM fungal relationships, but little is known about the factors, fungal or otherwise, that affect mycoheterotroph abundance and distribution. In a lowland tropical forest in Panama, we conducted the first systematic investigation into the influence of abiotic factors on the abundance and distribution of mycoheterotrophs, to ask whether the availability of nitrogen and phosphorus altered the occurrence of mycoheterotrophs and their AM fungal partners. Across a natural fertility gradient spanning the isthmus of Panama, and also in a long-term nutrient-addition experiment, mycoheterotrophs were entirely absent when soil exchangeable phosphate concentrations exceeded 2 mg P kg(-1) Experimental phosphorus addition reduced the abundance of AM fungi, and also reduced the abundance of the specific AM fungal taxa required by the mycoheterotrophs, suggesting that the phosphorus sensitivity of mycoheterotrophs is underpinned by the phosphorus sensitivity of their AM fungal hosts. The soil phosphorus concentration of 2 mg P kg(-1) also corresponds to a marked shift in tree community composition and soil phosphatase activity across the fertility gradient, suggesting that our findings have broad ecological significance.

  18. The water balance components of undisturbed tropical woodlands in the Brazilian cerrado

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Deforestation of the Brazilian cerrado region has caused major changes in hydrological processes. These changes in water balance components are still poorly understood but are important for making land management decisions in this region. To better understand pre-deforestation conditions, we determi...

  19. Multispecies impingement in a tropical power plant, Straits of Malacca.

    PubMed

    Azila, A; Chong, V C

    2010-07-01

    Marine organisms comprised about 70% of the total impinged materials by weight at water intake screens in the Kapar Power Station (KPS), Malaysia. The general groupings of 'fish', 'shrimp', 'crab', 'cephalopod' and 'others' contributed 26% (87 species), 65% (29), 2% (17), 2% (3) and 5% (42) of the total number of impinged organisms, respectively. In general, higher impingement occurred during spring tide, at nighttime and in shallow water. The glass perchlet, anchovies, ponyfishes, mojarra, catfishes, hairtail, scat and young croakers were the most vulnerable fishes. Vulnerable invertebrates included cephalopods, sea urchin, rockshells and jellyfishes, but penaeid shrimps were the most susceptible in terms of both mortality and body injury. Annually, KPS is estimated to kill 8.5 x 10(6) marine organisms (42 tons) by impingement. This amount, however, is minimal compared to commercial fishery harvests. Multispecies impingement at Malaysian power plants poses the problem of finding the best mitigation options for tropical situations.

  20. Nutrient budgets (C, N and P) and trophic dynamics of a Brazilian tropical estuary: Barra das Jangadas.

    PubMed

    Noriega, Carlos E D; Araujo, Moacyr

    2011-06-01

    This paper focuses on the nutrient dynamics of a tropical estuary on the northeastern Brazilian coast, studied using the LOICZ biogeochemical budgeting protocol. We describe the methodology and assumptions underlying this model. Input data (monthly for rainfall, evaporation, river discharge, and concentrations of salt, phosphorus and nitrogen) were obtained during field campaigns in the Barra das Jangadas Estuary (BJE) over a 5 years period (1999 to 2003). Mass balance results indicate large inputs of nutrients to the system. The model shows that the seasonal variation of the Net Ecosystem Metabolism (NEM) indicates that the system passes from a stage of organic matter liquid production and mineralization during the dry season (-0.5 mmoles C m(-2) d(-1)) to liquid mineralization during the rainy season (-19 mmoles C m(-2) d(-1)). We suggest that the system varies slightly between autotrophy and heterotrophy during the year due to the rainfall regime, human activities in the basin (density population and sugarcane plantations), and associated DIP riverine loads. High per capita loads of N and P indicate a high population density and high runoff. The application of flux balance modeling was useful to understand the nutrient dynamics of this typical small tropical estuary.

  1. Silicon Isotopic Fractionation in a Tropical Soil-Plant System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Opfergelt, S.; Delstanche, S.; Cardinal, D.; Andre, L.; Delvaux, B.

    2006-12-01

    Silica fluxes to soil solutions and water streams are controlled by both abiotic and biotic processes occurring in a Si soil-plant cycle that can be significant in comparison with Si weathering input and hydrological output. The quantification of Si-isotopic fractionation by these processes is highly promising to study the Si soil-plant cycle. Therein, the fate of aqueous monosilicic acid H4SiO4, as produced by silicate weathering, may take four paths: (1) uptake by plants and recycling through falling litter, (2) formation of clay minerals, (3) specific adsorption onto Al and Fe oxides, (4) leaching in drainage waters and export from watersheds. Here we report on detailed Si-isotopic compositions of various Si pools in a tropical soil-plant system involving old stands of banana (Musa acuminata Colla, cv Grande Naine) cropped on a weathering sequence of soils derived from andesitic volcanic ash and pumice deposits in Cameroon, West Africa. Si-isotopic compositions were measured by MC-ICP-MS in dry plasma mode with external Mg doping with a reproducibility of 0.08 permil (2stdev). Results were expressed as delta29Si vs NBS28. The compositions were determined in plant parts, bulk soils, clay fractions (less than 2um) and stream waters used for crop irrigation. Of the weathering sequence, we selected young (Y) and old (O) volcanic soils (vs). Yvs are rich in weatherable minerals, and contain large amounts of pumice gravels; their clay fraction (10-35 percent) contains allophane, halloysite and ferrihydrite. Oppositely, Ovs are strongly weathered and fine clayey soils (75-96 percent clay) rich in halloysite, kaolinite, gibbsite and goethite. Intra-plant fractionation between roots and shoots and within shoots confirmed our previous data measured on banana plants grown in hydroponics. The bulk plant isotopic composition was heavier at Ovs than at Yvs giving a fractionation factor per atomic mass unit between plants and their irrigation water Si source (+0.61 permil) of

  2. Review of procedures used for the extraction of anti-cancer compounds from tropical plants.

    PubMed

    Pandey, Saurabh; Shaw, Paul N; Hewavitharana, Amitha K

    2015-01-01

    Tropical plants are important sources of anti-cancer lead molecules. According to the US National Cancer Institute, out of the 3000 plants identified as active against cancer using in vitro studies, 70% are of tropical origin. The extraction of bioactive compounds from the plant materials is a fundamental step whose efficiency is critical for the success of drug discovery efforts. There has been no review published of the extraction procedures of anti-cancer compounds from tropical plants and hence the following is a critical evaluation of such procedures undertaken prior to the use of these compounds in cancer cell line studies, during the last five years. It presents a comprehensive analysis of all approaches taken to extract anti-cancer compounds from various tropical plants. (Databases searched were PubMed, SciFinder, Web of Knowledge, Scopus, Embase and Google Scholar).

  3. New phytotoxic diterpenoids from Vellozia gigantea (Velloziaceae), an endemic neotropical plant living in the endangered Brazilian biome Rupestrian grasslands

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Vellozia gigantea is a rare, ancient and endemic neotropical plant present in the Brazilian Rupestrian grasslands. The dichloromethane extract of V. gigantea adventitious roots was phytotoxic against Lactuca sativa, Agrostis stolonifera and Lemna paucicostata, and showed larvicidal activity against ...

  4. Anthelmintic activity of plant extracts from Brazilian savanna.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, Andreia F; Costa Junior, Livio M; Lima, Aldilene S; Silva, Carolina R; Ribeiro, Maria N S; Mesquista, José W C; Rocha, Cláudia Q; Tangerina, Marcelo M P; Vilegas, Wagner

    2017-03-15

    Helminth infections represent a serious problem for the production of small ruminants that is currently aggravated by resistance to anthelmintic products and has induced a search for control alternatives, such as natural products. In this study, extracts of Turnera ulmifolia L. (leaves and roots), Parkia platycephala Benth. (leaves and seeds) and Dimorphandra gardneriana Tul. (leaves and bark), which have been cited in ethnoveterinary studies and selected naturally by goats in the cerrado (Brazilian savanna), were tested in vitro against Haemonchus contortus. Hydroacetonic (ACT) and hydroalcoholic (ETH) extracts were evaluated using an Egg Hatching Assay (EHA), a Larval Exsheathment Inhibition Assay (LEIA) and a Larval Development Assay (LDA). A second set of incubations was performed using polyvinylpolypyrrolidone (PVPP) to determine the influence of polyphenols on the anthelmintic effects of EHA and LEIA. Data from each extract were used to calculate inhibition concentrations (IC50). All tested extracts showed activity against at least one life stage of H. contortus. The use of PVPP revealed that the tannins are not the only extracts of secondary metabolites responsible for the anthelmintic effects. The results showed clear in vitro anthelmintic activities against H. contortus at different stages and indicated the potential use of these species as a promising alternative approach to control helminthic infections of small ruminants.

  5. Changes in the trade in native medicinal plants in Brazilian public markets.

    PubMed

    Brandão, Maria das Graças Lins; Cosenza, Gustavo Pereira; Pereira, Flávia Liparini; Vasconcelos, Ariela Silva; Fagg, Christopher William

    2013-08-01

    Plants continue to be an important source of new bioactive substances. Brazil is one of the world's mega-diverse countries, with 20 % of the world's flora. However, the accelerated destruction of botanically rich ecosystems has contributed to a gradual loss of native medicinal species. In previous study, we have observed a fast and intensive change in trade of medicinal plants in an area of Amazon, where human occupation took place. In this study, we surveyed 15 public markets in different parts of Brazil in search of samples of 40 plants used in traditional medicine and present in first edition of Brazilian Official Pharmacopoeia (FBRAS), published in 1926. Samples of plants commercialized as the same vernacular name as in Pharmacopoeia were acquired and submitted to analysis for authentication. A total of 252 plant samples were purchased, but the laboratory analyses showed that only one-half of the samples (126, 50.2 %) were confirmed as the same plant species so named in FBRAS. The high number of unauthenticated samples demonstrates a loss of knowledge of the original native species. The proximity of the market from areas in which the plant occurs does not guarantee that trade of false samples occurs. The impact of the commerce of the substitute species on their conservation and in public health is worrying. Strategies are necessary to promote the better use and conservation of this rich heritage offered by Brazilian biodiversity.

  6. A study of the Brazilian Fernando de Noronha island and Rocas atoll wakes in the tropical Atlantic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tchamabi, Christine C.; Araujo, Moacyr; Silva, Marcus; Bourlès, Bernard

    2017-03-01

    Observational data and numerical modeling were used to investigate oceanic current wakes surrounding Fernando de Noronha Island (3°51‧S-32°25‧W) and Rocas Atoll (3°52‧S-33°49‧W). These two Brazilian systems are located in the western tropical Atlantic region and are under the influence of the westward flow of the central South Equatorial Current (cSEC). In order to highlight the effects of wakes on ocean dynamics, two different numerical simulations were performed, using the Regional Oceanic Modeling System (ROMS): the first one including Fernando de Noronha Island and Rocas Atoll (Scenario I) and the second one with artificial removal of the island and atoll (Scenario NI). Simulations are validated through the Scenario I that well reproduces the wakes that give rise to the development of eddies downstream of FN and AR. These mesoscale structures have a strong influence on the thermodynamic properties surrounding the Island and the Atoll. Scenario NI allows evidence of the presence of an Island and Atoll shoaling mixed layer throughout the year, primarily on the western side of the Island and the Atoll. Mixing at the base of the mixed layer, inducing a subsurface cooling, is also enhanced in the downstream portion of the Island and Atoll, particularly when the cSEC is strengthened. These simulations support the ;island mass effect; on the high productivity of subsurface waters generally observed on the western side of these islands.

  7. Anti-Candida activity of Brazilian medicinal plants.

    PubMed

    Duarte, Marta Cristina Teixeira; Figueira, Glyn Mara; Sartoratto, Adilson; Rehder, Vera Lúcia Garcia; Delarmelina, Camila

    2005-02-28

    Essential oils and ethanolic extracts from the leaves and/or roots of 35 medicinal plants commonly used in Brazil were screened for anti-Candida albicans activity. The oils were obtained by water-distillation using a Clevenger-type system. Essential oils from 13 plants showed anti-Candida activity, including Aloysia triphylla, Anthemis nobilis, Cymbopogon martini, Cymbopogon winterianus, Cyperus articulatus, Cyperus rotundus, Lippia alba, Mentha arvensis, Mikania glomerata, Mentha piperita, Mentha sp., Stachys byzantina, and Solidago chilensis. The ethanol extract was not effective at any of the concentrations tested. Chemical analyses showed the presence of compounds with known antimicrobial activity, including 1,8-cineole, geranial, germacrene-D, limonene, linalool, and menthol.

  8. Ant diversity in Brazilian tropical dry forests across multiple vegetation domains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Figueiredo Silva, Luciana; Mello Souza, Rayana; Solar, Ricardo R. C.; de Siqueira Neves, Frederico

    2017-03-01

    Understanding the environmental drivers of biodiversity persistence and community organization in natural ecosystems is of great importance for planning the conservation of those ecosystems. This comprehension is even more important in severely threatened ecosystems. In this context, we analyzed ant communities in tropical dry forests (TDFs) in Brazil. These forests are embedded within other biomes, such as Cerrado and Caatinga. In this study, we asked whether (i) ant species richness and composition changes between TDFs within different vegetation domains; (ii) whether ant species richness and β-diversity increase north-to-south, possibly related to changes in tree richness and tree density; and (iii) species replacement contributes relatively more to β-diversity than does nestedness. We found that species composition is unique to each TDF within different biomes, and that species richness and β-diversity differ among the vegetation domains, being smaller in the Caatinga. We also found that replacement contributes most to β-diversity, although this contribution is lower in Caatinga than in Cerrado. We show that regional context is the main driver of species diversity, which is likely to be driven by both historical and ecological mechanisms. By analyzing large spatial scale variation in TDF environmental characteristics, we were able to evaluate how ant diversity changes along an environmental gradient. The high levels of species replacement and unique species composition of each region indicates that, to fully conserve TDFs, we need to have various conservation areas distributed across the entire range of vegetation domains in which these forests can be found. Thus, we demonstrate that a landscape-wise planning is urgent and necessary in order to preserve tropical dry forests.

  9. An engine for global plant diversity: highest evolutionary turnover and emigration in the American tropics

    PubMed Central

    Antonelli, Alexandre; Zizka, Alexander; Silvestro, Daniele; Scharn, Ruud; Cascales-Miñana, Borja; Bacon, Christine D.

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the processes that have generated the latitudinal biodiversity gradient and the continental differences in tropical biodiversity remains a major goal of evolutionary biology. Here we estimate the timing and direction of range shifts of extant flowering plants (angiosperms) between tropical and non-tropical zones, and into and out of the major tropical regions of the world. We then calculate rates of speciation and extinction taking into account incomplete taxonomic sampling. We use a recently published fossil calibrated phylogeny and apply novel bioinformatic tools to code species into user-defined polygons. We reconstruct biogeographic history using stochastic character mapping to compute relative numbers of range shifts in proportion to the number of available lineages through time. Our results, based on the analysis of c. 22,600 species and c. 20 million geo-referenced occurrence records, show no significant differences between the speciation and extinction of tropical and non-tropical angiosperms. This suggests that at least in plants, the latitudinal biodiversity gradient primarily derives from other factors than differential rates of diversification. In contrast, the outstanding species richness found today in the American tropics (the Neotropics), as compared to tropical Africa and tropical Asia, is associated with significantly higher speciation and extinction rates. This suggests an exceedingly rapid evolutionary turnover, i.e., Neotropical species being formed and replaced by one another at unparalleled rates. In addition, tropical America stands out from other continents by having “pumped out” more species than it received through most of the last 66 million years. These results imply that the Neotropics have acted as an engine for global plant diversity. PMID:25904934

  10. An engine for global plant diversity: highest evolutionary turnover and emigration in the American tropics.

    PubMed

    Antonelli, Alexandre; Zizka, Alexander; Silvestro, Daniele; Scharn, Ruud; Cascales-Miñana, Borja; Bacon, Christine D

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the processes that have generated the latitudinal biodiversity gradient and the continental differences in tropical biodiversity remains a major goal of evolutionary biology. Here we estimate the timing and direction of range shifts of extant flowering plants (angiosperms) between tropical and non-tropical zones, and into and out of the major tropical regions of the world. We then calculate rates of speciation and extinction taking into account incomplete taxonomic sampling. We use a recently published fossil calibrated phylogeny and apply novel bioinformatic tools to code species into user-defined polygons. We reconstruct biogeographic history using stochastic character mapping to compute relative numbers of range shifts in proportion to the number of available lineages through time. Our results, based on the analysis of c. 22,600 species and c. 20 million geo-referenced occurrence records, show no significant differences between the speciation and extinction of tropical and non-tropical angiosperms. This suggests that at least in plants, the latitudinal biodiversity gradient primarily derives from other factors than differential rates of diversification. In contrast, the outstanding species richness found today in the American tropics (the Neotropics), as compared to tropical Africa and tropical Asia, is associated with significantly higher speciation and extinction rates. This suggests an exceedingly rapid evolutionary turnover, i.e., Neotropical species being formed and replaced by one another at unparalleled rates. In addition, tropical America stands out from other continents by having "pumped out" more species than it received through most of the last 66 million years. These results imply that the Neotropics have acted as an engine for global plant diversity.

  11. Antioxidant Properties of Brazilian Tropical Fruits by Correlation between Different Assays

    PubMed Central

    Pereira Lima, Giuseppina Pace; Fabris, Sabrina

    2013-01-01

    Four different assays (the Folin-Ciocalteu, DPPH, enzymatic method, and inhibitory activity on lipid peroxidation) based on radically different physicochemical principles and normally used to determine the antioxidant activity of food have been confronted and utilized to investigate the antioxidant activity of fruits originated from Brazil, with particular attention to more exotic and less-studied species (jurubeba, Solanum paniculatum; pequi, Caryocar brasiliense; pitaya, Hylocereus undatus; siriguela, Spondias purpurea; umbu, Spondias tuberosa) in order to (i) verify the correlations between results obtained by the different assays, with the final purpose to obtain more reliable results avoiding possible measuring-method linked mistakes and (ii) individuate the more active fruit species. As expected, the different methods give different responses, depending on the specific assay reaction. Anyhow all results indicate high antioxidant properties for siriguela and jurubeba and poor values for pitaya, umbu, and pequi. Considering that no marked difference of ascorbic acid content has been detected among the different fruits, experimental data suggest that antioxidant activities of the investigated Brazilian fruits are poorly correlated with this molecule, principally depending on their total polyphenolic content. PMID:24106692

  12. Antioxidant properties of Brazilian tropical fruits by correlation between different assays.

    PubMed

    Gregoris, Elena; Pereira Lima, Giuseppina Pace; Fabris, Sabrina; Bertelle, Mariangela; Sicari, Michela; Stevanato, Roberto

    2013-01-01

    Four different assays (the Folin-Ciocalteu, DPPH, enzymatic method, and inhibitory activity on lipid peroxidation) based on radically different physicochemical principles and normally used to determine the antioxidant activity of food have been confronted and utilized to investigate the antioxidant activity of fruits originated from Brazil, with particular attention to more exotic and less-studied species (jurubeba, Solanum paniculatum; pequi, Caryocar brasiliense; pitaya, Hylocereus undatus; siriguela, Spondias purpurea; umbu, Spondias tuberosa) in order to (i) verify the correlations between results obtained by the different assays, with the final purpose to obtain more reliable results avoiding possible measuring-method linked mistakes and (ii) individuate the more active fruit species. As expected, the different methods give different responses, depending on the specific assay reaction. Anyhow all results indicate high antioxidant properties for siriguela and jurubeba and poor values for pitaya, umbu, and pequi. Considering that no marked difference of ascorbic acid content has been detected among the different fruits, experimental data suggest that antioxidant activities of the investigated Brazilian fruits are poorly correlated with this molecule, principally depending on their total polyphenolic content.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Ability of crassulacean acid metabolism plants to overcome interacting stresses in tropical environments

    PubMed Central

    Lüttge, Ulrich

    2010-01-01

    Background and aims Single stressors such as scarcity of water and extreme temperatures dominate the struggle for life in severely dry desert ecosystems or cold polar regions and at high elevations. In contrast, stress in the tropics typically arises from a dynamic network of interacting stressors, such as availability of water, CO2, light and nutrients, temperature and salinity. This requires more plastic spatio-temporal responsiveness and versatility in the acquisition and defence of ecological niches. Crassulacean acid metabolism The mode of photosynthesis of crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) is described and its flexible expression endows plants with powerful strategies for both acclimation and adaptation. Thus, CAM plants are able to inhabit many diverse habitats in the tropics and are not, as commonly thought, successful predominantly in dry, high-insolation habitats. Tropical CAM habitats Typical tropical CAM habitats or ecosystems include exposed lava fields, rock outcrops of inselbergs, salinas, savannas, restingas, high-altitude páramos, dry forests and moist forests. Morphotypical and physiotypical plasticity of CAM Morphotypical and physiotypical plasticity of CAM phenotypes allow a wide ecophysiological amplitude of niche occupation in the tropics. Physiological and biochemical plasticity appear more responsive by having more readily reversible variations in performance than do morphological adaptations. This makes CAM plants particularly fit for the multi-factor stressor networks of tropical forests. Thus, while the physiognomy of semi-deserts outside the tropics is often determined by tall succulent CAM plants, tropical forests house many more CAM plants in terms of quantity (biomass) and quality (species diversity). PMID:22476063

  16. Responses of tropical legumes from the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest to simulated acid rain.

    PubMed

    Andrade, Guilherme C; Silva, Luzimar C

    2016-12-08

    We investigated the morphological and anatomical effects of simulated acid rain on leaves of two species native to the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest: Paubrasilia echinata and Libidibia ferrea var. leiostachya. Saplings were subjected to acid rain in a simulation chamber during 10 days for 15 min daily, using H2SO4 solution pH 3.0 and, in the control, deionized water. At the end of the experiment, fragments from young and expanding leaves were anatomically analyzed. Although L. ferrea var. leiostachya leaves are more hydrophobic, rain droplets remained in contact with them for a longer time, as in the hydrophilic P. echinata leaves, droplets coalesce and rapidly run off. Visual symptomatology consisted in interveinal and marginal necrotic dots. Microscopic damage found included epicuticular wax flaking, turgor loss and epidermal cell shape alteration, hypertrophy of parenchymatous cells, and epidermal and mesophyll cell collapse. Formation of a wound tissue was observed in P. echinata, and it isolated the necrosis to the adaxial leaf surface. Acid rain increased thickness of all leaf tissues except spongy parenchyma in young leaves of L. ferrea var. leiostachya, and such thickness was maintained throughout leaf expansion. To our knowledge, this is the first report of acidity causing increase in leaf tissue thickness. This could represent the beginning of cell hypertrophy, which was seen in visually affected leaf regions. Paubrasilia echinata was more sensitive, showing earlier symptoms, but the anatomical damage in L. ferrea var. leiostachya was more severe, probably due to the higher time of contact with acid solution in this species.

  17. Analyzing the edge effects in a Brazilian seasonally dry tropical forest.

    PubMed

    Arruda, D M; Eisenlohr, P V

    2016-02-01

    Due to the deciduous nature of dry forests (widely known as seasonally dry tropical forests) they are subject to microclimatic conditions not experienced in other forest formations. Close examinations of the theory of edge effects in dry forests are still rare and a number of questions arise in terms of this topic. In light of this situation we examined a fragment of the dry forest to respond to the following questions: (I) Are there differences in canopy cover along the edge-interior gradient during the dry season? (II) How does the microclimate (air temperature, soil temperature, and relative humidity) vary along that gradient? (III) How does the microclimate influence tree species richness, evenness and abundance along that gradient? (IV) Are certain tree species more dominant closer to the forest edges? Regressions were performed to address these questions. Their coefficients did not significantly vary from zero. Apparently, the uniform openness of the forest canopy caused a homogeneous internal microclimate, without significant differentiation in habitats that would allow modifications in biotic variables tested. We conclude that the processes of edge effect commonly seen in humid forests, not was shared with the dry forest assessed.

  18. INVENTORY OF MOSQUITOES (DIPTERA: CULICIDAE) IN CONSERVATION UNITS IN BRAZILIAN TROPICAL DRY FORESTS

    PubMed Central

    SANTOS, Cleandson Ferreira; SILVA, Alex Chavier; RODRIGUES, Raquel Andrade; de JESUS, Jamilli Sanndy Ramos; BORGES, Magno Augusto Zazá

    2015-01-01

    In Brazil, most studies of the Culicidae family are concentrated in rainforest regions. As such, there is a lack of knowledge regarding the diversity of Culicidae in regions with different climatic and vegetational characteristics. The aim of this study was to compile an inventory of Culicidae in protected areas of the semi-arid region of the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, in order to better understand the diversity of the family within this region. The study was conducted across four protected areas in the northern region of the state, in tropical dry forest (TDF) fragments. Sampling methods included Shannon trap and CDC light trap, as well as active collection. A total of 11,219 mosquito specimens were collected between August 2008 and July 2012, belonging to 11 genera and 45 species; 15 new records for the state of Minas Gerais were registered, as well as 26 new records for semi-arid regions within the state. The high number of new Culicidae records in this region demonstrates the importance of inventory studies for increasing the knowledge of culicid biodiversity in Minas Gerais, and in particular within semi-arid regions of the state. PMID:26200963

  19. Analyzing the edge effects in a Brazilian seasonally dry tropical forest.

    PubMed

    Arruda, D M; Eisenlohr, P V

    2016-01-22

    Due to the deciduous nature of dry forests (widely known as seasonally dry tropical forests) they are subject to microclimatic conditions not experienced in other forest formations. Close examinations of the theory of edge effects in dry forests are still rare and a number of questions arise in terms of this topic. In light of this situation we examined a fragment of the dry forest to respond to the following questions: (I) Are there differences in canopy cover along the edge-interior gradient during the dry season? (II) How does the microclimate (air temperature, soil temperature, and relative humidity) vary along that gradient? (III) How does the microclimate influence tree species richness, evenness and abundance along that gradient? (IV) Are certain tree species more dominant closer to the forest edges? Regressions were performed to address these questions. Their coefficients did not significantly vary from zero. Apparently, the uniform openness of the forest canopy caused a homogeneous internal microclimate, without significant differentiation in habitats that would allow modifications in biotic variables tested. We conclude that the processes of edge effect commonly seen in humid forests, not was shared with the dry forest assessed.

  20. Seasonality in the Dung Beetle Community in a Brazilian Tropical Dry Forest: Do Small Changes Make a Difference?

    PubMed Central

    Medina, Anderson Matos; Lopes, Priscila Paixão

    2014-01-01

    Dung beetle (Coleoptera: Scarabaeoidea: Scarabaeinae) activity is influenced by rainfall seasonality. We hypothesized that rainfall might also play a major role in regulating the community structure of this group. In this study, we describe seasonal changes in the richness, composition, and structure of the Scarabaeinae community in a Brazilian tropical dry forest. A fragment of arboreal Caatinga was sampled using baited pitfall traps during the early dry season (EDS), late dry season (LDS), early wet season (EWS), and middle wet season (MWS). We compared the dung beetle community in each season in relationship to species richness, rank-dominance, curves, and composition. We collected 1352 Scarabaeinae individuals , belonging to 15 species. Dichotomius aff. laevicollis Felsche (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) was the dominant species, representing 73.89% of the individuals. There were no seasonal changes in the rank dominance curves; all had a single dominant species and a few species with low abundance, typical for arid areas. Estimated richness was highest in MWS, followed by EWS. Dry-season samples (EDS and LDS) had lower richness, with no significant difference between the dry seasons. Although species richness increased as the habitat became wetter, the difference between the wet and dry seasons was small, which differs completely from the findings of other studies in Neotropical dry forests, where almost all species cease activities in the dry season. Species composition changes were found in non-metric multidimensional scaling and sustained by analysis of similarity. All the seasons had pairwise differences in composition, with the exception of EDS and MWS, which indicates that the dung beetle community in this fragment requires more than three months of drought to trigger changes in species composition; this is probably due to small changes in the forest canopy. There was no difference in composition between EDS and MWS. As in other tropical dry forests, although

  1. Seasonality in the dung beetle community in a Brazilian tropical dry forest: Do small changes make a difference?

    PubMed

    Medina, Anderson Matos; Lopes, Priscila Paixão

    2014-01-01

    Dung beetle (Coleoptera: Scarabaeoidea: Scarabaeinae) activity is influenced by rainfall seasonality. We hypothesized that rainfall might also play a major role in regulating the community structure of this group. In this study, we describe seasonal changes in the richness, composition, and structure of the Scarabaeinae community in a Brazilian tropical dry forest. A fragment of arboreal Caatinga was sampled using baited pitfall traps during the early dry season (EDS), late dry season (LDS), early wet season (EWS), and middle wet season (MWS). We compared the dung beetle community in each season in relationship to species richness, rank-dominance, curves, and composition. We collected 1352 Scarabaeinae individuals , belonging to 15 species. Dichotomius aff. laevicollis Felsche (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) was the dominant species, representing 73.89% of the individuals. There were no seasonal changes in the rank dominance curves; all had a single dominant species and a few species with low abundance, typical for arid areas. Estimated richness was highest in MWS, followed by EWS. Dry-season samples (EDS and LDS) had lower richness, with no significant difference between the dry seasons. Although species richness increased as the habitat became wetter, the difference between the wet and dry seasons was small, which differs completely from the findings of other studies in Neotropical dry forests, where almost all species cease activities in the dry season. Species composition changes were found in non-metric multidimensional scaling and sustained by analysis of similarity. All the seasons had pairwise differences in composition, with the exception of EDS and MWS, which indicates that the dung beetle community in this fragment requires more than three months of drought to trigger changes in species composition; this is probably due to small changes in the forest canopy. There was no difference in composition between EDS and MWS. As in other tropical dry forests, although

  2. Response of plant nutrient stoichiometry to fertilization varied with plant tissues in a tropical forest

    PubMed Central

    Mo, Qifeng; Zou, Bi; Li, Yingwen; Chen, Yao; Zhang, Weixin; Mao, Rong; Ding, Yongzhen; Wang, Jun; Lu, Xiankai; Li, Xiaobo; Tang, Jianwu; Li, Zhian; Wang, Faming

    2015-01-01

    Plant N:P ratios are widely used as indices of nutrient limitation in terrestrial ecosystems, but the response of these metrics in different plant tissues to altered N and P availability and their interactions remains largely unclear. We evaluated changes in N and P concentrations, N:P ratios of new leaves (<1 yr), older leaves (>1 yr), stems and mixed fine roots of seven species after 3-years of an N and P addition experiment in a tropical forest. Nitrogen addition only increased fine root N concentrations. P addition increased P concentrations among all tissues. The N × P interaction reduced leaf and stem P concentrations, suggesting a negative effect of N addition on P concentrations under P addition. The reliability of using nutrient ratios as indices of soil nutrient availability varied with tissues: the stoichiometric metrics of stems and older leaves were more responsive indicators of changed soil nutrient availability than those of new leaves and fine roots. However, leaf N:P ratios can be a useful indicator of inter-specific variation in plant response to nutrients availability. This study suggests that older leaf is a better choice than other tissues in the assessment of soil nutrient status and predicting plant response to altered nutrients using nutrients ratios. PMID:26416169

  3. Diversity and symbiotic effectiveness of beta-rhizobia isolated from sub-tropical legumes of a Brazilian Araucaria Forest.

    PubMed

    Lammel, Daniel R; Cruz, Leonardo M; Carrer, Helaine; Cardoso, Elke J B N

    2013-12-01

    While the occurrence of Betaproteobacteria occupying the nodules of tropical legumes has been shown, little is known about subtropical areas. Araucaria Forest is a subtropical endangered ecosystem, and a better understanding of the legume-rhizobial symbionts may allow their use in land reclamation. The 16S rRNA gene of bacteria isolated from nine leguminous species was sequenced and their nodulation tested in Mimosa scabrella and Phaseolus vulgaris. 196 isolates were identified as eight genotypes: Pantoea, Pseudomonas, Bradyrhizobium sp1-2, Rhizobium, and Burkholderia sp1-3. The majority of the isolates from native plants (87 %) were taxonomically related to β-rhizobia, namely Burkholderia, however the legumes Galactia crassifolia and Collea speciosa were nodulated by both α and β-rhizobia, and Acacia dealbata, an exotic plant, only by α-rhizobia. The nifH genes of some isolates were sequenced and N-fixing potential shown by the acetylene reduction test. Most of the isolates nodulated the test plants, some were effective in M. scabrella, but all presented low efficiency in the exotic promiscuous legume P. vulgaris. Pantoea and Pseudomonas did not nodulate and probably are endophytic bacteria. The presented data shows diversity of α, β and γ-Proteobacteria in nodules of subtropical legumes, and suggests host specificity with β-rhizobia. Potential isolates were found for M. scabrella, indicating that a high N-fixing strain may be further inoculated in plants for use in reforestation.

  4. Climate change effects on the geographic distribution of specialist tree species of the Brazilian tropical dry forests.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, P M S; Silva, J O; Eisenlohr, P V; Schaefer, C E G R

    2015-08-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the ecological niche models (ENMs) for three specialist trees (Anadenanthera colubrina, Aspidosperma pyrifolium and Myracrodruon urundeuva) in seasonally dry tropical forests (SDTFs) in Brazil, considering present and future pessimist scenarios (2080) of climate change. These three species exhibit typical deciduousness and are widely distributed by SDTF in South America, being important in studies of the historical and evolutionary processes experienced by this ecosystem. The modeling of the potential geographic distribution of species was done by the method of maximum entropy (Maxent).We verified a general expansion of suitable areas for occurrence of the three species in future (c.a., 18%), although there was reduction of areas with high environmental suitability in Caatinga region. Precipitation of wettest quarter and temperature seasonality were the predictor variables that most contributed to our models. Climatic changes can provide more severe and longer dry season with increasing temperature and tree mortality in tropics. On this scenario, areas currently occupied by rainforest and savannas could become more suitable for occurrence of the SDTF specialist trees, whereas regions occupied by Caatinga could not support the future level of unsustainable (e.g., aridity). Long-term multidisciplinary studies are necessary to make reliable predictions of the plant's adaptation strategies and responses to climate changes in dry forest at community level. Based on the high deforestation rate, endemism and threat, public policies to minimize the effects of climate change on the biodiversity found within SDTFs must be undertaken rapidly.

  5. 40K/137Cs discrimination ratios to the aboveground organs of tropical plants.

    PubMed

    Sanches, N; Anjos, R M; Mosquera, B

    2008-07-01

    In the present work, the accumulation of caesium and potassium in aboveground plant parts was studied in order to improve the understanding on the behaviour of monovalent cations in several compartments of tropical plants. We present the results for activity concentrations of (137)Cs and (40)K, measured by gamma spectrometry, from five tropical plant species: guava (Psidium guajava), mango (Mangifera indica), papaya (Carica papaya), banana (Musa paradisíaca), and manioc (Manihot esculenta). Caesium and potassium have shown a high level of mobility within the plants, exhibiting the highest values of concentration in the growing parts (fruits, leaves, twigs, and barks) of the woody fruit and large herbaceous shrub (such as manioc) species. In contrast, the banana and papaya plants exhibited the lowest levels of (137)Cs and (40)K in their growing parts. However, a significant correlation between activity concentrations of (137)Cs and (40)K was observed in these tropical plants. The (40)K/(137)Cs discrimination ratios were approximately equal to unity in different compartments of each individual plant, suggesting the possibility of using caesium to predict the behaviour of potassium in several tropical species.

  6. Screening of Brazilian cacti rhizobacteria for plant growth promotion under drought.

    PubMed

    Kavamura, Vanessa Nessner; Santos, Suikinai Nobre; Silva, João Luiz da; Parma, Márcia Maria; Avila, Luciana Aparecida; Visconti, Alexandre; Zucchi, Tiago Domingues; Taketani, Rodrigo Gouvêa; Andreote, Fernando Dini; Melo, Itamar Soares de

    2013-05-06

    Drought is one of the major problems worldwide. The search for new and efficient microorganisms, from unexplored environments, to be used in association with plants to alleviate the negative effects imposed by water stress, is an interesting alternative. Thus, cacti-associated bacteria from the Brazilian semi-arid region were isolated based on their ability to grow in medium with reduced water availability. Strains were tested for the production of exopolysaccharides (EPS), as well as in vitro plant growth promotion traits. A great proportion of the isolates belong to the genus Bacillus. From a total of forty-eight bacteria, 65% were able to grow in medium with reduced water availability (0.919Aw), exopolysaccharide production was observed for 65% of the strains. The production of indole acetic acid (IAA) exceeding 51μgmL(-1) was observed for 4% and the high solubilization of Ca-P was verified for 6% of the isolates. No strain was able to produce hydrogen cyanide (HCN), 71% produced ammonia and 79% showed a halo of carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) degradation. Zea mays L. growth promotion under water stress (30% of field capacity) was achieved by two strains of Bacillus spp. This is the first report to describe cacti-associated bacteria from Brazilian semi-arid with plant growth-promoting abilities.

  7. Native Brazilian plants against nosocomial infections: a critical review on their potential and the antimicrobial methodology.

    PubMed

    H Moreno, Paulo Roberto; da Costa-Issa, Fabiana Inácio; Rajca-Ferreira, Agnieszka K; Pereira, Marcos A A; Kaneko, Telma M

    2013-01-01

    The growing incidences of drug-resistant pathogens have increased the attention on several medicinal plants and their metabolites for antimicrobial properties. These pathogens are the main cause of nosocomial infections which led to an increasing mortality among hospitalized patients. Taking into consideration those factors, this paper reviews the state-of-the-art of the research on antibacterial agents from native Brazilian plant species related to nosocomial infections as well as the current methods used in the investigations of the antimicrobial activity and points out the differences in techniques employed by the authors. The antimicrobial assays most frequently used were broth microdilution, agar diffusion, agar dilution and bioautography. The broth microdilution method should be the method of choice for testing new antimicrobial agents from plant extracts or isolated compounds due to its advantages. At the moment, only a small part of the rich Brazilian flora has been investigated for antimicrobial activity, mostly with unfractionated extracts presenting a weak or moderate antibacterial activity. The combination of crude extract with conventional antibiotics represents a largely unexploited new form of chemotherapy with novel and multiple mechanisms of action that can overcome microbial resistance that needs to be further investigated. The antibacterial activity of essential oil vapours might also be an interesting alternative treatment of hospital environment due to their ability in preventing biofilm formation. However, in both alternatives more studies should be done on their mode of action and toxicological effects in order to optimize their use.

  8. Psychoactive plants described in a Brazilian literary work and their chemical compounds.

    PubMed

    Otsuka, Rafaela Denise; Lago, João Henrique Ghilardi; Rossi, Lucia; Galduróz, José Carlos Fernandes; Rodrigues, Eliana

    2010-09-01

    Ethnopharmacological research investigates the plants and other medicinal and toxic substances utilized by different traditional populations. One approach in this field is a literature search of the available publications on medicinal plants. The purpose of the current study was to select plants with psychoactive effects described in a Brazilian literary work written by Pio Correa in 1926. Those mentioned plants were classified in accordance with their indications for use as stimulants and depressors of the central nervous system. For the phytochemical study herein, we researched these species via a database search, and all the obtained information was compiled into a new database to analyze possible correlations between the chemical compounds and the psychoactive categories. Of the 813 plants searched in the literary work, 104 presented chemical data in the scientific periodicals consulted. Seventy-five of them belong to the stimulant category, while 31 are depressors and two of them belong to both categories. Phenols and flavonoids were the main compounds observed in plants of both categories, though at different frequencies. Monoterpenes (29.9%) and sesquiterpenes (28.6%) were also observed in plants from the stimulant category, while 25.8% of plants from the depressor category were comprised of carotenoids and 22.6% of steroids. The main specific compounds were identified as ferulic acid, α-pinene, limonene, α-humulene and kaempferol among the stimulant plants. Otherwise, in depressor plants were characterized caffeic acid, kaempferol, quercetin, β-carotene, physalins and withanolides as specific compounds. The association between ethnopharmacological and chemotaxonomic data, as presented in this study, could support plant selection in further investigations by research groups whose studies focus on psychoactive plants as potential therapeutics.

  9. [Biological activity tests of chemical constituents from two Brazilian Labiatae plants].

    PubMed

    Isobe, Takahiko; Doe, Matsumi; Morimoto, Yoshiki; Nagata, Kumiko; Masuoka, Noriyoshi; Ohsaki, Ayumi

    2007-02-01

    We studied the bioactivities of constituents from two tropical medicinal plants, Cunila spicata and Hyptis fasciculata. These plants found in Brazil belong to the Labiatae family. Four known compounds obtained from these herbs were identified as 3alpha, 24-dihydoxylurs-12-en-28-oic acid, betulinic acid, aurantiamide acetate, and aurantiamide benzoate by spectroscopic means. 3alpha, 24-Dihydoxylurs-12-en-28-oic acid has potent inhibitory activity against Streptococcus salivarius, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Streptococcus pyogenes, and Porphyromomas gingivalis. Aurantiamide benzoate exhibited moderate inhibitory activity against xanthine oxidase. It was clarified that herbs Cunila spicata and Hyptis fasciculata are effective against bronchitis and gout.

  10. Hydrogen Isotope Biogeochemistry of Plant Biomarkers in Tropical Trees from the Andes to Amazon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feakins, S. J.; Ponton, C.; West, A. J.; Malhi, Y.; Goldsmith, G.; Salinas, N.; Bentley, L. P.

    2014-12-01

    Plant leaf waxes are well known biomarkers for terrestrial vegetation. Generally, their hydrogen isotopic composition (D/H) records the isotopic composition of precipitation, modulated by leaf water processes and a large biosynthetic fractionation. In addition, the D/H of methoxyl groups on tree wood lignin is an emerging technique thought to record the D/H of source waters, without leaf water complications. Using each of these biomarkers as proxies requires understanding D/H fractionations in plant systems, but few studies have directly studied hydrogen isotope biogeochemistry in tropical plants. An approach that has proven helpful is the paired analysis of plant waters and plant biomarkers: in order that fractionations can be directly computed rather than assumed. This presents logistical challenges in remote tropical forest environments. We report on a unique dataset collected by tree-climbers from 6 well-studied vegetation plots across a 4km elevation transect in the Peruvian Andes and Amazonia. We have measured the D/H of stem water and leaf water, and we compare these to precipitation isotopes and stream waters. The goal of the plant water studies is to understand plant water uptake and stem-leaf water isotopic offsets which can vary due to both transpiration and foliar uptake of water in tropical montane forests. We are in the process of measuring the D/H of plant biomarkers (n-alkanoic acids, n-alkanes and lignin methoxyl) in order to assess how these water isotopic signals are encoded in plant biomarkers. We compare the species-specific modern plant insights to the plant leaf wax n-alkanoic acid D/H that we have recently reported from soils and river sediments from the same region, in order to understand how signals of plant biogeochemistry are integrated into geological sedimentary archives. Progress and open questions in tropical isotope biogeochemistry will be discussed at the meeting.

  11. RAINBIO: a mega-database of tropical African vascular plants distributions

    PubMed Central

    Dauby, Gilles; Zaiss, Rainer; Blach-Overgaard, Anne; Catarino, Luís; Damen, Theo; Deblauwe, Vincent; Dessein, Steven; Dransfield, John; Droissart, Vincent; Duarte, Maria Cristina; Engledow, Henry; Fadeur, Geoffrey; Figueira, Rui; Gereau, Roy E.; Hardy, Olivier J.; Harris, David J.; de Heij, Janneke; Janssens, Steven; Klomberg, Yannick; Ley, Alexandra C.; Mackinder, Barbara A.; Meerts, Pierre; van de Poel, Jeike L.; Sonké, Bonaventure; Sosef, Marc S. M.; Stévart, Tariq; Stoffelen, Piet; Svenning, Jens-Christian; Sepulchre, Pierre; van der Burgt, Xander; Wieringa, Jan J.; Couvreur, Thomas L. P.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The tropical vegetation of Africa is characterized by high levels of species diversity but is undergoing important shifts in response to ongoing climate change and increasing anthropogenic pressures. Although our knowledge of plant species distribution patterns in the African tropics has been improving over the years, it remains limited. Here we present RAINBIO, a unique comprehensive mega-database of georeferenced records for vascular plants in continental tropical Africa. The geographic focus of the database is the region south of the Sahel and north of Southern Africa, and the majority of data originate from tropical forest regions. RAINBIO is a compilation of 13 datasets either publicly available or personal ones. Numerous in depth data quality checks, automatic and manual via several African flora experts, were undertaken for georeferencing, standardization of taxonomic names and identification and merging of duplicated records. The resulting RAINBIO data allows exploration and extraction of distribution data for 25,356 native tropical African vascular plant species, which represents ca. 89% of all known plant species in the area of interest. Habit information is also provided for 91% of these species. PMID:28127234

  12. RAINBIO: a mega-database of tropical African vascular plants distributions.

    PubMed

    Dauby, Gilles; Zaiss, Rainer; Blach-Overgaard, Anne; Catarino, Luís; Damen, Theo; Deblauwe, Vincent; Dessein, Steven; Dransfield, John; Droissart, Vincent; Duarte, Maria Cristina; Engledow, Henry; Fadeur, Geoffrey; Figueira, Rui; Gereau, Roy E; Hardy, Olivier J; Harris, David J; de Heij, Janneke; Janssens, Steven; Klomberg, Yannick; Ley, Alexandra C; Mackinder, Barbara A; Meerts, Pierre; van de Poel, Jeike L; Sonké, Bonaventure; Sosef, Marc S M; Stévart, Tariq; Stoffelen, Piet; Svenning, Jens-Christian; Sepulchre, Pierre; van der Burgt, Xander; Wieringa, Jan J; Couvreur, Thomas L P

    2016-01-01

    The tropical vegetation of Africa is characterized by high levels of species diversity but is undergoing important shifts in response to ongoing climate change and increasing anthropogenic pressures. Although our knowledge of plant species distribution patterns in the African tropics has been improving over the years, it remains limited. Here we present RAINBIO, a unique comprehensive mega-database of georeferenced records for vascular plants in continental tropical Africa. The geographic focus of the database is the region south of the Sahel and north of Southern Africa, and the majority of data originate from tropical forest regions. RAINBIO is a compilation of 13 datasets either publicly available or personal ones. Numerous in depth data quality checks, automatic and manual via several African flora experts, were undertaken for georeferencing, standardization of taxonomic names and identification and merging of duplicated records. The resulting RAINBIO data allows exploration and extraction of distribution data for 25,356 native tropical African vascular plant species, which represents ca. 89% of all known plant species in the area of interest. Habit information is also provided for 91% of these species.

  13. Natural compounds isolated from Brazilian plants are potent inhibitors of hepatitis C virus replication in vitro.

    PubMed

    Jardim, A C G; Igloi, Z; Shimizu, J F; Santos, V A F F M; Felippe, L G; Mazzeu, B F; Amako, Y; Furlan, M; Harris, M; Rahal, P

    2015-03-01

    Compounds extracted from plants can provide an alternative approach to new therapies. They present characteristics such as high chemical diversity, lower cost of production and milder or inexistent side effects compared with conventional treatment. The Brazilian flora represents a vast, largely untapped, resource of potential antiviral compounds. In this study, we investigate the antiviral effects of a panel of natural compounds isolated from Brazilian plants species on hepatitis C virus (HCV) genome replication. To do this we used firefly luciferase-based HCV sub-genomic replicons of genotypes 2a (JFH-1), 1b and 3a and the compounds were assessed for their effects on both HCV replication and cellular toxicity. Initial screening of compounds was performed using the maximum non-toxic concentration and 4 compounds that exhibited a useful therapeutic index (favourable ratio of cytotoxicity to antiviral potency) were selected for extra analysis. The compounds APS (EC50=2.3μM), a natural alkaloid isolated from Maytrenus ilicifolia, and the lignans 3(∗)43 (EC50=4.0μM), 3(∗)20 (EC50=8.2μM) and 5(∗)362 (EC50=38.9μM) from Peperomia blanda dramatically inhibited HCV replication as judged by reductions in luciferase activity and HCV protein expression in both the subgenomic and infectious systems. We further show that these compounds are active against a daclatasvir resistance mutant subgenomic replicon. Consistent with inhibition of genome replication, production of infectious JFH-1 virus was significantly reduced by all 4 compounds. These data are the first description of Brazilian natural compounds possessing anti-HCV activity and further analyses are being performed in order to investigate the mode of action of those compounds.

  14. Possibilities to reduce carbon emissions in Brazilian Amazon region with non timber biomass valorization: The case of biofuels produced by vegetable tropical oils

    SciTech Connect

    Freitas, M.A.V. de; Rosa, L.P.; Lascio, M.A. Di |

    1996-12-31

    Brazil`s annual rate of deforestation reached 2.1 million ha or about 13.6% of the total annual rate of deforestation for the whole tropical area in the world during 1981--1990. Today, the extent of gross deforestation is 10.9% of the tropical closed forest area. Relative to Brazilian participation in the greenhouse effect, the changes in forest area and associated biomass burning in Amazon region are responsible for about 25.5% of CO{sub 2} emissions in the tropics. Harvest of the non-timber biomass products may be important as a potentially sustainable use of forest in some areas. An excellent option to promote these biomass products is to provide energy and industrial goods for the Amazon communities and other external markets. In this work, the biofuels produced by vegetable tropical oils and their by-products are analyzed in relation to job creation, economics and environmental impacts, with special regards concerning the limitation of the atmospheric emissions of greenhouse gases.

  15. Ecological responses to el Niño-induced surface fires in central Brazilian Amazonia: management implications for flammable tropical forests.

    PubMed Central

    Barlow, Jos; Peres, Carlos A

    2004-01-01

    Over the past 20 years the combined effects of El Niño-induced droughts and land-use change have dramatically increased the frequency of fire in humid tropical forests. Despite the potential for rapid ecosystem alteration and the current prevalence of wildfire disturbance, the consequences of such fires for tropical forest biodiversity remain poorly understood. We provide a pan-tropical review of the current state of knowledge of these fires, and include data from a study in a seasonally dry terra firme forest of central Brazilian Amazonia. Overall, this study supports predictions that rates of tree mortality and changes in forest structure are strongly linked to burn severity. The potential consequences for biomass loss and carbon emissions are explored. Despite the paucity of data on faunal responses to tropical forest fires, some trends are becoming apparent; for example, large canopy frugivores and understorey insectivorous birds appear to be highly sensitive to changes in forest structure and composition during the first 3 years after fires. Finally, we appraise the management implications of fires and evaluate the viability of techniques and legislation that can be used to reduce forest flammability, prevent anthropogenic ignition sources from coming into contact with flammable forests and aid the post-fire recovery process. PMID:15212091

  16. Ecological responses to el Niño-induced surface fires in central Brazilian Amazonia: management implications for flammable tropical forests.

    PubMed

    Barlow, Jos; Peres, Carlos A

    2004-03-29

    Over the past 20 years the combined effects of El Niño-induced droughts and land-use change have dramatically increased the frequency of fire in humid tropical forests. Despite the potential for rapid ecosystem alteration and the current prevalence of wildfire disturbance, the consequences of such fires for tropical forest biodiversity remain poorly understood. We provide a pan-tropical review of the current state of knowledge of these fires, and include data from a study in a seasonally dry terra firme forest of central Brazilian Amazonia. Overall, this study supports predictions that rates of tree mortality and changes in forest structure are strongly linked to burn severity. The potential consequences for biomass loss and carbon emissions are explored. Despite the paucity of data on faunal responses to tropical forest fires, some trends are becoming apparent; for example, large canopy frugivores and understorey insectivorous birds appear to be highly sensitive to changes in forest structure and composition during the first 3 years after fires. Finally, we appraise the management implications of fires and evaluate the viability of techniques and legislation that can be used to reduce forest flammability, prevent anthropogenic ignition sources from coming into contact with flammable forests and aid the post-fire recovery process.

  17. Anti-TNF-α Activity of Brazilian Medicinal Plants and Compounds from Ouratea semiserrata.

    PubMed

    Campana, Priscilla R V; Mansur, Daniel S; Gusman, Grasielle S; Ferreira, Daneel; Teixeira, Mauro M; Braga, Fernão C

    2015-10-01

    Several plant species are used in Brazil to treat inflammatory diseases and associated conditions. TNF-α plays a pivotal role on inflammation, and several plant extracts have been assayed against this target, both in vitro and in vivo. The effect of 11 Brazilian medicinal plants on TNF-α release by LPS-activated THP-1 cells was evaluated. The plant materials were percolated with different solvents to afford 15 crude extracts, whose effect on TNF-α release was determined by ELISA. Among the evaluated extracts, only Jacaranda caroba (Bignoniaceae) presented strong toxicity to THP-1 cells. Considering the 14 non-toxic extracts, TNF-α release was significantly reduced by seven of them (inhibition > 80%), originating from six plants, namely Cuphea carthagenensis (Lythraceae), Echinodorus grandiflorus (Alismataceae), Mansoa hirsuta (Bignoniaceae), Ouratea semiserrata (Ochnaceae), Ouratea spectabilis and Remijia ferruginea (Rubiaceae). The ethanol extract from O. semiserrata leaves was fractionated over Sephadex LH-20 and RP-HPLC to give three compounds previously reported for the species, along with agathisflavone and epicatechin, here described for the first time in the plant. Epicatechin and lanceoloside A elicited significant inhibition of TNF-α release, indicating that they may account for the effect produced by O. semiserrata crude extract.

  18. Screening of some plants used in the Brazilian folk medicine for the treatment of infectious diseases.

    PubMed

    Holetz, Fabíola Barbiéri; Pessini, Greisiele Lorena; Sanches, Neviton Rogério; Cortez, Diógenes Aparício Garcia; Nakamura, Celso Vataru; Filho, Benedito Prado Dias

    2002-10-01

    Extracts of 13 Brazilian medicinal plants were screened for their antimicrobial activity against bacteria and yeasts. Of these, 10 plant extracts showed varied levels of antibacterial activity. Piper regnellii presented a good activity against Staphylococus aureus and Bacillus subtilis, a moderate activity on Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and a weak activity against Escherichia coli. Punica granatum showed good activity on S. aureus and was inactive against the other standard strains. Eugenia uniflora presented moderate activity on both S. aureus and E. coli. Psidium guajava,Tanacetum vulgare, Arctium lappa, Mikania glomerata, Sambucus canadensis, Plantago major and Erythrina speciosa presented some degree of antibacterial activity. Spilanthes acmella, Lippia alba, and Achillea millefolium were considered inactive. Five of the plant extracts presented compounds with Rf values similar to the antibacterial compounds visible on bioautogram. Of these, three plants belong to the Asteraceae family. This may mean that the same compounds are responsible for the antibacterial activity in these plants. Anticandidal activity was detected in nine plant extracts (P. guajava, E. uniflora, P. granatum, A. lappa, T. vulgare, M. glomerata, L. alba, P. regnellii, and P. major). The results might explain the ethnobotanical use of the studied species for the treatment of various infectious diseases.

  19. Aridity, not fire, favors nitrogen-fixing plants across tropical savanna and forest biomes.

    PubMed

    Pellegrini, Adam F A; Staver, A Carla; Hedin, Lars O; Charles-Dominique, Tristan; Tourgee, Amy

    2016-09-01

    Tropical savannas are hypothesized to be hot spots of nitrogen-fixer diversity and activity because of the high disturbance and low nitrogen characteristic of savanna landscapes. Here we compare the abundances of nitrogen-fixing and non-fixing trees in both tropical savannas and tropical forests under climatically equivalent conditions, using plant inventory studies across 566 plots in South America and Africa. A single factor, aridity, explained 19-54% of the variance in fixer abundance, and unexpectedly was more important than fire frequency, biome, and continent. Nitrogen fixers were more abundant in arid environments; as a result, African savannas, which tend to be drier, were richer in nitrogen fixers than South American savannas. Fixer abundance converged on similar levels in forests in both continents. We conclude that climate plays a greater role than fire in determining the distribution of nitrogen fixers across tropical savanna and forest biomes.

  20. Effects of Litter Removal and Addition on the Nutrient Mineralization Dynamics in Hyperseasonal Tropical Savannas of the Brazilian Pantanal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hentz, C. S.; Pinto-Jr, O. B.; Vourlitis, G. L.

    2015-12-01

    The tropical savanna of Brazil (cerrado) is extremely species diverse and it encompasses many different physiognomic features, which are influenced by rainfall, fire, and soil nutrient availability. Plant litter decomposition recycles nutrients to the soil, and in turn, assists plant growth. However the rate at which these nutrients become available to the soil is poorly understood. Thus, a six month field experiment that encompassed the wet and dry seasons was conducted to assess how different quantities of litter inputs affect nutrient (P, N, C, K, Ca, and Mg) availability. It was hypothesized that nutrient mineralization would be significantly influenced by manipulation of the surface litter and that there would be a positive correlation between soil moisture and nutrient mineralization. Initial results indicate that there were significant differences in mineralization over time for all nutrients, except P, supporting our hypothesis of changes in mineralization with soil moisture. However, there were no significant differences between litter treatments and net mineralization rates for all the nutrients tested. Our results indicate that litterpool size has little effect on short-term nutrient mineralization dynamics.

  1. Roles of mesophyll conductance and plant functional diversities in tropical photosynthesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gu, L.

    2013-12-01

    Tropical photosynthesis dominates global terrestrial gross primary production (GPP) and will likely play a defining role in determining how global GPP will respond to climate change. Yet, our current understanding of biological, ecological, edaphic and environmental controls on tropical photosynthesis is poor. The overly simplistic schemes that current Earth System Models use to simulate tropical photosynthesis cannot capture the functional diversities associated with high species diversities in the tropics. New approaches that explicitly represent the functional diversities of tropical photosynthesis in Earth System Models are needed in order to realistically model responses of tropical photosynthesis to increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations and associated climate changes. To establish a basis for such approaches, we conducted intensive field measurements of leaf photosynthesis at three forest sites along a strong rainfall gradient in Panama in 2012-2013. The three sites are Parque Natural Metropolitano, Gamboa, and Parque Nacional San Lorenzo. The Parque Natural Metropolitano receives an annual precipitation of less than 1800mm and Parque Nacional San Lorenzo over 3300 mm with Gamboa in between. The three sites differ in species diversity with Parque Nacional San Lorenzo having the highest species diversity and Parque Nacional San Lorenzo the lowest. At the three contrasting sites, we measured A/Ci curves, leaf traits and leaf nutrient (N and P) contents of about 100 species. We determined mesophyll conductance with the LeafWeb approach. From these measurements, we developed practical but realistic parameterizations of functional diversities of tropical plant species at the three sites and implemented these parameterizations in the latest version of the Community Land Model. We found that mesophyll conductance is key to representing functional diversities of tropical forest species. Without it, responses of tropical photosynthesis to increased atmospheric CO2

  2. Spatial and phylogenetic variation in plant defense in a tropical moist forest canopy community

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McManus, K. M.; Asner, G. P.; Martin, R.

    2013-12-01

    Plants employ physical and chemical defenses to mitigate damage caused by herbivory. Spatial patterns of plant defense may provide insight into the role of plant-herbivore interactions in the assembly of plant communities. Within plant communities, the spatial overdispersion of anti-herbivore defenses by individuals may reflect a strategy to avoid host shifts from herbivore assemblages of neighboring plants. However, variation in plant defense may also result from trade-offs between foliar investment into defense and growth, mediated by variations in abiotic nutrient availability, or constrained by phylogeny. We measured four defensive traits (leaf toughness, total phenols, condensed tannins, and hydrolysable tannins) and three growth traits (LMA, C:N, total protein) of outer canopy foliage for 345 canopy trees representing 78 species, 65 genera, and 34 families in a moist tropical rainforest on Barro Colorado Island, Panama. The outer canopy provides an important, but rarely evaluated, cross-sectional image of the tropical forest ecosystem, and observations at this scale may provide an important link between field and remote sensing based studies. We used existing data on edaphic and geological properties to investigate the relationships of abiotic nutrient variation on variation in defense. Using regression and nested random-effects variance modeling, we found strong phylogenetic association with defensive traits at the family and species level, and little evidence for a trade-off between defensive traits. Greater understanding of phylogenetic structure in trait variation may yield improved characterizations of tropical biodiversity, from functional traits to risk assessments.

  3. Maximising Synergy among Tropical Plant Systematists, Ecologists, and Evolutionary Biologists.

    PubMed

    Baker, Timothy R; Pennington, R Toby; Dexter, Kyle G; Fine, Paul V A; Fortune-Hopkins, Helen; Honorio, Euridice N; Huamantupa-Chuquimaco, Isau; Klitgård, Bente B; Lewis, Gwilym P; de Lima, Haroldo C; Ashton, Peter; Baraloto, Christopher; Davies, Stuart; Donoghue, Michael J; Kaye, Maria; Kress, W John; Lehmann, Caroline E R; Monteagudo, Abel; Phillips, Oliver L; Vasquez, Rodolfo

    2017-04-01

    Closer collaboration among ecologists, systematists, and evolutionary biologists working in tropical forests, centred on studies within long-term permanent plots, would be highly beneficial for their respective fields. With a key unifying theme of the importance of vouchered collection and precise identification of species, especially rare ones, we identify four priority areas where improving links between these communities could achieve significant progress in biodiversity and conservation science: (i) increasing the pace of species discovery; (ii) documenting species turnover across space and time; (iii) improving models of ecosystem change; and (iv) understanding the evolutionary assembly of communities and biomes.

  4. Studies on saponin production in tropical medicinal plants Maesa argentea and Maesa lanceolata

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faizal, Ahmad; Geelen, Danny

    2015-09-01

    The continuous need for new compounds with important medicinal activities has lead to the identification and characterization of various plant-derived natural products. As a part of this program, we studied the saponin production from two tropical medicinal plants Maesa argentea and M. lanceolata and evaluated several treatments to enhance their saponin production. In this experiment, we present the analyses of saponin production from greenhouse grown plants by means of TLC and HPLC-MS. We observed that the content of saponin from these plants varied depending on organ and physiological age of the plants. In addition, the impact of elicitors on saponin accumulation on in vitro grown plants was analyzed using TLC. The production of saponin was very stable and not affected by treatment with methyl jasmonate, and salicylic acid. In conclusion, Maesa saponins are constitutively produced in plants and the level of these compounds in plants is mainly affected by the developmental or physiological stage.

  5. Azospirillum spp. from native forage grasses in Brazilian Pantanal floodplain: biodiversity and plant growth promotion potential.

    PubMed

    Souza, Mayara S T; de Baura, Valter A; Santos, Sandra A; Fernandes-Júnior, Paulo Ivan; Reis Junior, Fábio B; Marques, Maria Rita; Paggi, Gecele Matos; da Silva Brasil, Marivaine

    2017-04-01

    A sustainable alternative to improve yield and the nutritive value of forage is the use of plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB) that release nutrients, synthesize plant hormones and protect against phytopathogens (among other mechanisms). Azospirillum genus is considered an important PGPB, due to the beneficial effects observed when inoculated in several plants. The aim of this study was to evaluate the diversity of new Azospirillum isolates and select bacteria according to the plant growth promotion ability in three forage species from the Brazilian Pantanal floodplain: Axonopus purpusii, Hymenachne amplexicaulis and Mesosetum chaseae. The identification of bacterial isolates was performed using specific primers for Azospirillum in PCR reactions and partial sequencing of the 16S rRNA and nifH genes. The isolates were evaluated in vitro considering biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) and indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) production. Based on the results of BNF and IAA, selected isolates and two reference strains were tested by inoculation. At 31 days after planting the plant height, shoot dry matter, shoot protein content and root volume were evaluated. All isolates were able to fix nitrogen and produce IAA, with values ranging from 25.86 to 51.26 mg N mL(-1) and 107-1038 µmol L(-1), respectively. The inoculation of H. amplexicaulis and A. purpusii increased root volume and shoot dry matter. There were positive effects of Azospirillum inoculation on Mesosetum chaseae regarding plant height, shoot dry matter and root volume. Isolates MAY1, MAY3 and MAY12 were considered promising for subsequent inoculation studies in field conditions.

  6. Antibacterial properties of tropical plants from Puerto Rico.

    PubMed

    Meléndez, P A; Capriles, V A

    2006-03-01

    In an effort to document the antibacterial properties of plants commonly used by the people of Puerto Rico, we studied the effects of 172 plant species, utilizing the disc diffusion method, against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. The methanolic extracts of 14 species showed antibacterial activities during this preliminary screen. These positive plant extracts were tested successively over 15 additional species. The results showed that extracts from Citrus aurantifolia (Rutaceae), Citrus aurantium (Rutaceae), Punica granatum (Punicaceae), Phyllanthus acidus (Euphorbiaceae) and Tamarindus indica (Caesalpiniaceae) possess strong in vitro antibacterial activity against the bacteria tested.

  7. On the factors that promote the diversity of herbivorous insects and plants in tropical forests.

    PubMed

    Becerra, Judith X

    2015-05-12

    Some of the most fascinating and challenging questions in ecology are why biodiversity is highest in tropical forests and whether the factors involved are unique to these habitats. I did a worldwide test of the hypotheses that plant community divergence in antiherbivore traits results in higher insect herbivore diversity, and that predominant attack by specialized herbivores promotes plant richness. I found strong correlative support for both ideas. Butterfly diversity was greatest in regions where the community average species-pairwise dissimilarity in antiherbivore traits among plant species was highest. There was also a strong positive relationship between specialized (insect) vs. generalized (mammal) herbivores and plant richness. Regions where herbivory impact by mammals was higher than that of insects tended to have lower plant diversities. In contrast, regions in which insects are the main consumers, particularly in the Central and South American tropics, had the highest plant richness. Latitude did not explain any residual variance in insect or plant richness. The strong connections found between insect specialization, plant defense divergence, and plant and insect diversities suggest that increasing our understanding of the ecology of biological communities can aid in considerations of how to preserve biodiversity in the future.

  8. On the factors that promote the diversity of herbivorous insects and plants in tropical forests

    PubMed Central

    Becerra, Judith X.

    2015-01-01

    Some of the most fascinating and challenging questions in ecology are why biodiversity is highest in tropical forests and whether the factors involved are unique to these habitats. I did a worldwide test of the hypotheses that plant community divergence in antiherbivore traits results in higher insect herbivore diversity, and that predominant attack by specialized herbivores promotes plant richness. I found strong correlative support for both ideas. Butterfly diversity was greatest in regions where the community average species-pairwise dissimilarity in antiherbivore traits among plant species was highest. There was also a strong positive relationship between specialized (insect) vs. generalized (mammal) herbivores and plant richness. Regions where herbivory impact by mammals was higher than that of insects tended to have lower plant diversities. In contrast, regions in which insects are the main consumers, particularly in the Central and South American tropics, had the highest plant richness. Latitude did not explain any residual variance in insect or plant richness. The strong connections found between insect specialization, plant defense divergence, and plant and insect diversities suggest that increasing our understanding of the ecology of biological communities can aid in considerations of how to preserve biodiversity in the future. PMID:25902509

  9. Plants used for poison fishing in tropical Africa.

    PubMed

    Neuwinger, H D

    2004-09-15

    Fishing with the aid of poisonous plants was formerly very common in Africa. Today this easy and simple method of fishing is forbidden but still practised in remote areas. The poisonous ingredients are pounded and thrown into a pool or dammed sections of a small river. After a time which varies according to conditions the fish begin to rise to the surface of the water and can readily be taken by hand. In general, the fish can be eaten without problems. 325 fish-poisoning plants, spread among 71 plant families with 183 genera, are presented. The closely related groups of Caesalpiniaceae, Mimosaceae and Papilionaceae clearly dominate. It is also remarkable that a great proportion are Euphorbiaceae. The plants most used are Tephrosia vogelii, Mundulea sericea, Euphorbia tirucalli, Gnidia kraussiana, Adenia lobat, Balanites aegyptiaca, Swartzia madagascariensis, Neoratanenia mitis, Tetrapleura tetraptera and Strychnos aculeata. Many fishing poisons play an important part in the preparation of arrow poisons and in traditional medicine.

  10. Vasodilator and antioxidant effect of xanthones isolated from Brazilian medicinal plants.

    PubMed

    Capettini, Luciano S; Campos, Lucas Vicente A; Dos Santos, Marcelo H; Nagem, Tanus J; Lemos, Virgínia S; Cortes, Steyner F

    2009-02-01

    Vasorelaxant and antioxidant activities are important in the therapy for cardiovascular diseases. We aimed at investigating the vasorelaxant and antioxidant activities of six xanthones isolated from Brazilian medicinal plants. Xanthone ( 1), 1-hydroxyxanthone ( 2), 4-hydroxyxanthone ( 3), 1-hydroxy-8-methoxyxanthone ( 4), 1,3-dihydroxy-7-methoxyxanthone ( 5) and 2,6,8-trihydroxy-1-methoxyxanthone ( 6) induced concentration-dependent vasorelaxant effects in endothelium-intact mice aortic rings. The presence of a hydroxy group in position 1 seemed to decrease the vasodilator effect while a hydroxy in position 4 and an increased number of hydroxy groups improved the vasorelaxatory potential of xanthones. All xanthones showed antioxidant activity but their potencies did not correlate with the vasodilator effect. Our results suggest that the tested xanthones are potentially vasorelaxant and antioxidant compounds but the two activities are not interrelated.

  11. Participation of the Nuclear Power Plants in the New Brazilian Electric Energy Market

    SciTech Connect

    Mathias, S.G.

    2004-10-06

    A new regulation framework has been established for the Brazilian electric energy market by a law put into effect on March 15,2004. The main overall goals of this new regulation are: to allow the lowest possible tariffs for end users, while providing the necessary economic incentives for the operation of present installations (generating plants, transmission lines, distribution networks) and the expansion of the system; long-term planning of the extension of the installations required to meet the demand growth; separation of the generation, transmission and distribution activities by allocating them into different companies; new contracts between generating and distribution companies must result from bidding processes based on lowest-tariff criteria; and energy from new generating units required to meet the demand growth must be contracted by all distributing companies integrated to the National Interconnected Grid, in individual amounts proportional to their respective markets.

  12. Accumulation of K{sup +} and Cs{sup +} in Tropical Plant Species

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-08-04

    Concentrations of K{sup +} and {sup 137}Cs{sup +} 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{sup +},Cs{sup +} ions are not essential elements to plants, what might explain the difference in bioavailability. However, our results have shown that {sup 137}Cs{sup +} is positively correlated to {sup 40}K{sup +} 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 {sup 40}K activity concentration in such tropical woody fruit species. This model exhibited close agreement with the {sup 40}K experimental results in the fruit ripening processes of lemon trees.

  13. Plant functional traits with particular reference to tropical deciduous forests: a review.

    PubMed

    Chaturvedi, R K; Raghubanshi, A S; Singh, J S

    2011-12-01

    Functional traits (FTs) integrate the ecological and evolutionary history of a species, and can potentially be used to predict its response as well as its influence on ecosystem functioning. Study of inter-specific variation in the FTs of plants aids in classifying species into plant functional types (PFTs) and provides insights into fundamental patterns and trade-offs in plant form and functioning and the effect of changing species composition on ecosystem functions. Specifically, this paper focuses on those FTs that make a species successful in the dry tropical environment. Following a brief overview, we discuss plant FTs that may be particularly relevant to tropical deciduous forests (TDFs). We consider the traits under the following categories: leaf traits, stem and root traits, reproductive traits, and traits particularly relevant to water availability. We compile quantitative information on functional traits of dry tropical forest species. We also discuss trait-based grouping of plants into PFTs. We recognize that there is incomplete knowledge about many FTs and their effects on TDFs and point out the need for further research on PFTs of TDF species, which can enable prediction of the dynamics of these forests in the face of disturbance and global climate change. Correlations between structural and ecophysiological traits and ecosystem functioning should also be established which could make it possible to generate predictions of changes in ecosystem services from changes in functional composition.

  14. Plant compensation to grazing and soil carbon dynamics in a tropical grassland

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    The effects of grazing on soil organic carbon (SOC) dynamics, particularly in the tropics, are still poorly understood. Plant compensation to grazing, whereby plants maintain leaf area (C input capacity) despite consumption (C removal) by grazers, has been demonstrated in tropical grasslands but its influence on SOC is largely unexplored. Here, the effect of grazing on plant leaf area index (LAI) was measured in a field experiment in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. LAI changed little for grazing intensities up to 70%. The response curve of LAI versus grazing intensity was used in a mass balance model, called SNAP, of SOC dynamics based on previous data from the Serengeti. The model predicted SOC to increase at intermediate grazing intensity, but then to decline rapidly at the highest grazing intensities. The SNAP model predictions were compared with observed SOC stocks in the 24 grazed plots of a 10-year grazing exclosure experiment at eight sites across the park that varied in mean annual rainfall, soil texture, grazing intensity and plant lignin and cellulose. The model predicted current SOC stocks very well (R2 > 0.75), and suggests that compensatory plant responses to grazing are an important means of how herbivores might maintain or increase SOC in tropical grasslands. PMID:24498573

  15. Generalist birds promote tropical forest regeneration and increase plant diversity via rare-biased seed dispersal.

    PubMed

    Carlo, Tomás A; Morales, Juan M

    2016-07-01

    Regenerated forests now compose over half of the world's tropical forest cover and are increasingly important as providers of ecosystem services, freshwater, and biodiversity conservation. Much of the value and functionality of regenerating forests depends on the plant diversity they contain. Tropical forest diversity is strongly shaped by mutualistic interactions between plants and fruit-eating animals (frugivores) that disperse seeds. Here we show how seed dispersal by birds can influence the speed and diversity of early successional forests in Puerto Rico. For two years, we monitored the monthly fruit production of bird-dispersed plants on a fragmented landscape, and measured seed dispersal activity of birds and plant establishment in experimental plots located in deforested areas. Two predominantly omnivorous bird species, the Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) and the Gray Kingbird (Tyrannus dominicensis), proved critical for speeding up the establishment of woody plants and increasing the species richness and diversity of the seed rain in deforested areas. Seed dispersal by these generalists increased the odds for rare plant species to disperse and establish in experimental forest-regeneration plots. Results indicate that birds that mix fruit and insects in their diets and actively forage across open and forested habitats can play keystone roles in the regeneration of mutualistic plant-animal communities. Furthermore, our analyses reveal that rare-biased (antiapostatic) frugivory and seed dispersal is the mechanism responsible for increasing plant diversity in the early-regenerating community.

  16. Morphological patterns of extrafloral nectaries in woody plant species of the Brazilian cerrado.

    PubMed

    Machado, S R; Morellato, L P C; Sajo, M G; Oliveira, P S

    2008-09-01

    Extrafloral nectaries are nectar-secreting structures that are especially common among the woody flora of the Brazilian cerrado, a savanna-like vegetation. In this study, we provide morphological and anatomical descriptions of extrafloral nectaries (EFNs) occurring on vegetative and reproductive organs of several plant species from the cerrado, and discuss their function and ecological relevance. We describe the morphology and anatomy of EFNs of 40 species belonging to 15 woody families using scanning electron microscopy and light microscopy. We categorise EFNs following a structural-topographical classification, and characterise the vascularised and complex nectaries, amorphous nectaries and secretory trichomes. Fabaceae, Bignoniaceae, Malpighiaceae and Vochysiaceae were the plant families with the majority of species having EFNs. Ten species possess more than one morphotype of gland structure. Observations and experimental field studies in the cerrado support the anti-herbivore role of EFN-gathering ants in this habitat. Additional morphological studies of EFNs-bearing plants, including other growth forms (e.g. herbs and lianas), are being undertaken and will hopefully cast further light on the ecological relevance of these glands in the cerrado, especially with respect to their attractiveness to multiple visitors.

  17. [Comparison of two plant-bird mutualistic systems in Asian tropical rainforests].

    PubMed

    Sanityan, Sawat; Chen, Jin; Wang, Bo

    2011-06-01

    Abstract: To deeply understand how the morphological features of plants affect the visiting of pollen- and seed dispersal birds is beneficial to elucidate the ecological and evolutionary consequences of plant-bird interactions. In this paper, a comparative study was conducted on the avian pollen- and seed dispersal networks across four tropical rainforest habitats having experienced different levels of anthropological disturbance in Southwest China. It was observed that the inter-active network of plant-frugivorous bird was highly asymmetrical, while that of plant-seed dispersal bird was not asymmetrical. The differences between the two networks mainly manifested in the bird abundance, bird movable capability, and plant features attracting bird visiting. The understanding of these differences allowed us to reveal the mutualistic relationship between plant and bird.

  18. Function of blue iridescence in tropical understorey plants

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  19. Trade-offs between savanna woody plant diversity and carbon storage in the Brazilian Cerrado.

    PubMed

    Pellegrini, Adam F A; Socolar, Jacob B; Elsen, Paul R; Giam, Xingli

    2016-10-01

    Incentivizing carbon storage can be a win-win pathway to conserving biodiversity and mitigating climate change. In savannas, however, the situation is more complex. Promoting carbon storage through woody encroachment may reduce plant diversity of savanna endemics, even as the diversity of encroaching forest species increases. This trade-off has important implications for the management of biodiversity and carbon in savanna habitats, but has rarely been evaluated empirically. We quantified the nature of carbon-diversity relationships in the Brazilian Cerrado by analyzing how woody plant species richness changed with carbon storage in 206 sites across the 2.2 million km(2) region at two spatial scales. We show that total woody plant species diversity increases with carbon storage, as expected, but that the richness of endemic savanna woody plant species declines with carbon storage both at the local scale, as woody biomass accumulates within plots, and at the landscape scale, as forest replaces savanna. The sharpest trade-offs between carbon storage and savanna diversity occurred at the early stages of carbon accumulation at the local scale but the final stages of forest encroachment at the landscape scale. Furthermore, the loss of savanna species quickens in the final stages of forest encroachment, and beyond a point, savanna species losses outpace forest species gains with increasing carbon accumulation. Our results suggest that although woody encroachment in savanna ecosystems may provide substantial carbon benefits, it comes at the rapidly accruing cost of woody plant species adapted to the open savanna environment. Moreover, the dependence of carbon-diversity trade-offs on the amount of savanna area remaining requires land managers to carefully consider local conditions. Widespread woody encroachment in both Australian and African savannas and grasslands may present similar threats to biodiversity.

  20. Application of digital field photographs as documents for tropical plant inventory1

    PubMed Central

    LaFrankie, James V.; Chua, Anna I.

    2015-01-01

    Premise of the study: We tested the credibility and significance of digital field photographs as supplements or substitutes for conventional herbarium specimens with particular relevance to exploration of the tropics. Methods: We made 113 collections in triplicate at a species-rich mountain in the Philippines while we took 1238 digital photographs of the same plants. We then identified the plants from the photographs alone, categorized the confidence of the identification and the reason for failure to identify, and compared the results to identifications based on the dried specimens. Results: We identified 72.6% of the photographic sets with high confidence and 27.4% with low confidence or only to genus. In no case was a confident identification altered by subsequent examination of the dried specimen. The failure to identify photographic sets to species was due to the lack of a key feature in 67.8% of the cases and due to a poorly understood taxonomy in 32.2%. Discussion: We conclude that digital photographs cannot replace traditional herbarium specimens as the primary elements that document tropical plant diversity. However, photographs represent a new and important artifact that aids an expedient survey of tropical plant diversity while encouraging broad public participation. PMID:25995976

  1. Phylogenetic impoverishment of plant communities following chronic human disturbances in the Brazilian Caatinga.

    PubMed

    Ribeiro, Elâine M S; Santos, Bráulio A; Arroyo-Rodríguez, Víctor; Tabarelli, Marcelo; Souza, Gustavo; Leal, Inara R

    2016-06-01

    Chronic disturbances, such as selective logging, firewood extraction and extensive grazing, may lead to the taxonomic and phylogenetic impoverishment of remaining old-growth forest communities worldwide; however, the empirical evidence on this topic is limited. We tested this hypothesis in the Caatinga vegetation--a seasonally dry tropical forest restricted to northeast Brazil. We sampled 11,653 individuals (adults, saplings, and seedlings) from 51 species in 29 plots distributed along a gradient of chronic disturbance. The gradient was assessed using a chronic disturbance index (CDI) based on five recognized indicators of chronic disturbances: proximity to urban center, houses and roads and the density of both people and livestock. We used linear models to test if mean effective number of lineages, mean phylogenetic distance and phylogenetic dispersion decreased with CDI and if such relationships differed among ontogenetic stages. As expected, the mean effective number of lineages and the mean phylogenetic distance were negatively related to CDI, and such diversity losses occurred irrespective of ontogeny. Yet the increase in phylogenetic clustering in more disturbed plots was only evident in seedlings and saplings, mostly because clades with more descendent taxa than expected by chance (e.g., Euphorbiaceae) thrived in more disturbed plots. This novel study indicates that chronic human disturbances are promoting the phylogenetic impoverishment of the irreplaceable woody flora of the Brazilian Caatinga forest. The highest impoverishment was observed in seedlings and saplings, indicating that if current chronic disturbances remain, they will result in increasingly poorer phylogenetically forests. This loss of evolutionary history will potentially limit the capacity of this ecosystem to respond to human disturbances (i.e., lower ecological resilience) and particularly their ability to adapt to rapid climatic changes in the region.

  2. An exceptional role for flowering plant physiology in the expansion of tropical rainforests and biodiversity

    PubMed Central

    Boyce, C. Kevin; Lee, Jung-Eun

    2010-01-01

    Movement of water from soil to atmosphere by plant transpiration can feed precipitation, but is limited by the hydraulic capacities of plants, which have not been uniform through time. The flowering plants that dominate modern vegetation possess transpiration capacities that are dramatically higher than any other plants, living or extinct. Transpiration operates at the level of the leaf, however, and how the impact of this physiological revolution scales up to the landscape and larger environment remains unclear. Here, climate modelling demonstrates that angiosperms help ensure aseasonally high levels of precipitation in the modern tropics. Most strikingly, replacement of angiosperm with non-angiosperm vegetation would result in a hotter, drier and more seasonal Amazon basin, decreasing the overall area of ever-wet rainforest by 80 per cent. Thus, flowering plant ecological dominance has strongly altered climate and the global hydrological cycle. Because tropical biodiversity is closely tied to precipitation and rainforest area, angiosperm climate modification may have promoted diversification of the angiosperms themselves, as well as radiations of diverse vertebrate and invertebrate animal lineages and of epiphytic plants. Their exceptional potential for environmental modification may have contributed to divergent responses to similar climates and global perturbations, like mass extinctions, before and after angiosperm evolution. PMID:20554551

  3. Impact of the hydraulic capacity of plants on water and carbon fluxes in tropical South America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Jung-Eun; Boyce, Kevin

    2010-12-01

    Angiosperms (flowering plants) have higher transpirational capacities than any other plants. Here we use climate model simulation to test the hypothesis that the high transpirational capacity of angiosperms plays a unique role in the maintenance of tropical rainforest. Their elevated transpiration rates are shown to increase recycling of precipitation up to ˜300 mm/yr (˜20% of total precipitation) averaged over the whole of tropical South America and to increase the wet season duration over the Amazon basin. Transpiration triggers convection by increasing moisture in the boundary layer and thereby decreasing atmospheric stability. If the moisture content of the boundary layer is sufficient, a double Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) is generated in October around 60°W-50°W, as observed in present-day climate, and the eastern part of the Amazon basin becomes wet (˜200 mm/month of precipitation). This double ITCZ is lost, however, and the region becomes dry (<50 mm/month of precipitation) in the absence of full angiosperm transpiration. Although higher water use efficiency is usually associated with plants with lower transpiration rates, water use efficiency actually increases with higher hydraulic capacity in our simulations as a result of the higher humidity and, thus, lower vapor pressure gradient between the intercellular air space within the leaf and the external atmosphere. We speculate that the high transpirational capacity of angiosperms played a significant role in the expansion of tropical rain forest.

  4. Treatment of natural tropical theileriosis with the extract of the plant Peganum harmala

    PubMed Central

    2007-01-01

    Theileria annulata, a protozoan parasite of cattle and domestic buffaloes, is transmitted by ticks of the genus Hyalomma, and causes a disease named Mediterranean or tropical theileriosis. In this research 50 cattle naturally infected with Theileria annulata were treated with the extract of the plant Peganum harmala. The treatment was continued for 5 days, the dose of the extract being 5 mg/kg per day. After the treatment, 39 cattle responded to the treatment and recovered, but 11 did not respond to the treatment and died. The recovery rate of animals treated with the extract of the plant Peganum harmala was 78%. PMID:18165708

  5. Treatment of natural tropical theileriosis with the extract of the plant Peganum harmala.

    PubMed

    Mirzaei, Mohammad

    2007-12-01

    Theileria annulata, a protozoan parasite of cattle and domestic buffaloes, is transmitted by ticks of the genus Hyalomma, and causes a disease named Mediterranean or tropical theileriosis. In this research 50 cattle naturally infected with Theileria annulata were treated with the extract of the plant Peganum harmala. The treatment was continued for 5 days, the dose of the extract being 5 mg/kg per day. After the treatment, 39 cattle responded to the treatment and recovered, but 11 did not respond to the treatment and died. The recovery rate of animals treated with the extract of the plant Peganum harmala was 78%.

  6. Inorganic profile of some Brazilian medicinal plants obtained from ethanolic extract and ''in natura'' samples

    SciTech Connect

    Ferreira, M.O.M.; de Sousa, P.T.; Salvador, V.L.R.; Sato, I.M.

    2004-10-03

    The Anadenathera macrocarpa, Schinus molle, Hymenaea courbaril, Cariniana legalis, Solidago microglossa and Stryphnodendron barbatiman, were collected ''in natura'' samples (leaves, flowers, barks and seeds) from different commercial suppliers. The pharmaco-active compounds in ethanolic extracts had been made by the Mato Grosso Federal University (UFMT). The energy-dispersive x-ray fluorescence (ED-XRF) spectrometry was used for the elemental analysis in different parts of the plants and respective ethanolic extracts. The Ca, Cl, Cu, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, Na, Ni, P, Rb, S, Sr and Zn concentrations were determined by the fundamental parameters method. Some specimens showed a similar inorganic profile for ''in natura'' and ethanolic extract samples and some ones showed a distinct inorganic profile. For example, the Anadenathera macrocarpa showed a similar concentration in Mg, P, Cu, Zn and Rb elements in ''in natura'' and ethanolic extract samples; however very different concentration in Na, S, Cl, K , Ca, Mn, Fe and Sr was observed in distinctive samples. The Solidago microglossa showed the K, Ca, Cl, S, Mg, P and Fe elements as major constituents in both samples, suggesting that the extraction process did not affect in a considerable way the ''in natura'' inorganic composition. The elemental composition of the different parts of the plants (leaves, flowers, barks and seeds) has been also determined. For example, the Schinus molle specimen showed P, K, Cl and Ca elements as major constituents in the seeds, Mg, K and Sr in the barks and Mg, S, Cl and Mn in the leaves, demonstrating a differentiated elementary distribution. These inorganic profiles will contribute to evaluate the quality control of the Brazilian herbaceous trade and also will assist to identify which parts of the medicinal plants has greater therapeutic effect.

  7. Carbon pools recover more quickly than plant biodiversity in tropical secondary forests

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Philip A.; Newton, Adrian C.; Bullock, James M.

    2013-01-01

    Although increasing efforts are being made to restore tropical forests, little information is available regarding the time scales required for carbon and plant biodiversity to recover to the values associated with undisturbed forests. To address this knowledge gap, we carried out a meta-analysis comparing data from more than 600 secondary tropical forest sites with nearby undisturbed reference forests. Above-ground biomass approached equivalence to reference values within 80 years since last disturbance, whereas below-ground biomass took longer to recover. Soil carbon content showed little relationship with time since disturbance. Tree species richness recovered after about 50 years. By contrast, epiphyte richness did not reach equivalence to undisturbed forests. The proportion of undisturbed forest trees and epiphyte species found in secondary forests was low and changed little over time. Our results indicate that carbon pools and biodiversity show different recovery rates under passive, secondary succession and that colonization by undisturbed forest plant species is slow. Initiatives such as the Convention on Biological Diversity and REDD+ should therefore encourage active management to help to achieve their aims of restoring both carbon and biodiversity in tropical forests. PMID:24197410

  8. Specialization and interaction strength in a tropical plant-frugivore network differ among forest strata.

    PubMed

    Schleuning, Matthias; Blüthgen, Nico; Flörchinger, Martina; Braun, Julius; Schaefer, H Martin; Böhning-Gaese, Katrin

    2011-01-01

    The degree of interdependence and potential for shared coevolutionary history of frugivorous animals and fleshy-fruited plants are contentious topics. Recently, network analyses revealed that mutualistic relationships between fleshy-fruited plants and frugivores are mostly built upon generalized associations. However, little is known about the determinants of network structure, especially from tropical forests where plants' dependence on animal seed dispersal is particularly high. Here, we present an in-depth analysis of specialization and interaction strength in a plant-frugivore network from a Kenyan rain forest. We recorded fruit removal from 33 plant species in different forest strata (canopy, midstory, understory) and habitats (primary and secondary forest) with a standardized sampling design (3447 interactions in 924 observation hours). We classified the 88 frugivore species into guilds according to dietary specialization (14 obligate, 28 partial, 46 opportunistic frugivores) and forest dependence (50 forest species, 38 visitors). Overall, complementary specialization was similar to that in other plant-frugivore networks. However, the plant-frugivore interactions in the canopy stratum were less specialized than in the mid- and understory, whereas primary and secondary forest did not differ. Plant specialization on frugivores decreased with plant height, and obligate and partial frugivores were less specialized than opportunistic frugivores. The overall impact of a frugivore increased with the number of visits and the specialization on specific plants. Moreover, interaction strength of frugivores differed among forest strata. Obligate frugivores foraged in the canopy where fruit resources were abundant, whereas partial and opportunistic frugivores were more common on mid- and understory plants, respectively. We conclude that the vertical stratification of the frugivore community into obligate and opportunistic feeding guilds structures this plant

  9. Draft Genome Sequence of Plant Growth-Promoting Drought-Tolerant Bacillus sp. Strain CMAA 1363 Isolated from the Brazilian Caatinga Biome.

    PubMed

    Kavamura, Vanessa Nessner; Santos, Suikinai Nobre; Taketani, Rodrigo Gouvêa; Vasconcellos, Rafael Leandro Figueiredo; Melo, Itamar Soares

    2017-02-02

    The strain of Bacillus sp. CMAA 1363 was isolated from the Brazilian Caatinga biome and showed plant growth-promoting traits and ability to promote maize growth under drought stress. Sequencing revealed genes involved in stress response and plant growth promotion. These genomic features might aid in the protection of plants against the negative effects imposed by drought.

  10. Draft Genome Sequence of Plant Growth-Promoting Drought-Tolerant Bacillus sp. Strain CMAA 1363 Isolated from the Brazilian Caatinga Biome

    PubMed Central

    Santos, Suikinai Nobre; Taketani, Rodrigo Gouvêa; Vasconcellos, Rafael Leandro Figueiredo; Melo, Itamar Soares

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT The strain of Bacillus sp. CMAA 1363 was isolated from the Brazilian Caatinga biome and showed plant growth-promoting traits and ability to promote maize growth under drought stress. Sequencing revealed genes involved in stress response and plant growth promotion. These genomic features might aid in the protection of plants against the negative effects imposed by drought. PMID:28153893

  11. Chemical constituents and toxicological studies of leaves from Mimosa caesalpiniifolia Benth., a Brazilian honey plant

    PubMed Central

    Monção, Nayana Bruna Nery; Costa, Luciana Muratori; Arcanjo, Daniel Dias Rufino; Araújo, Bruno Quirino; Lustosa, Maria do Carmo Gomes; Rodrigues, Klinger Antônio da França; Carvalho, Fernando Aécio de Amorim; Costa, Amilton Paulo Raposo; Lopes Citó, Antônia Maria das Graças

    2014-01-01

    Background: Mimosa caesalpiniifolia Benth. (Leguminosae) is widely found in the Brazilian Northeast region and markedly contributes to production of pollen and honey, being considered an important honey plant in this region. Objective: To investigate the chemical composition of the ethanol extract of leaves from M. caesalpiniifolia by GC-MS after derivatization (silylation), as well as to evaluate the in vitro and in vivo toxicological effects and androgenic activity in rats. Materials and Methods: The ethanol extract of leaves from Mimosa caesalpiniifolia was submitted to derivatization by silylation and analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) to identification of chemical constituents. In vitro toxicological evaluation was performed by MTT assay in murine macrophages and by Artemia salina lethality assay, and the in vivo acute oral toxicity and androgenic evaluation in rats. Results: Totally, 32 components were detected: Phytol-TMS (11.66%), lactic acid-2TMS (9.16%), α-tocopherol-TMS (7.34%) and β-sitosterol-TMS (6.80%) were the major constituents. At the concentrations analyzed, the ethanol extract showed low cytotoxicity against brine shrimp (Artemia salina) and murine macrophages. In addition, the extract did not exhibit any toxicological effect or androgenic activity in rats. Conclusions: The derivatization by silylation allowed a rapid identification of chemical compounds from the M. caesalpiniifolia leaves extract. Besides, this species presents a good safety profile as observed in toxicological studies, and possess a great potential in the production of herbal medicines or as for food consumption. PMID:25298660

  12. Anthropogenic disturbance reduces seed-dispersal services for myrmecochorous plants in the Brazilian Caatinga.

    PubMed

    Leal, Laura C; Andersen, Alan N; Leal, Inara R

    2014-01-01

    Anthropogenic disturbance can have important indirect effects on ecosystems by disrupting species interactions. Here we examine the effects of anthropogenic disturbance on distance dispersal by ants for the diaspores of myrmecochorous Euphorbiaceae in Brazilian Caatinga. Rates of diaspore removal and distances removed of Croton sonderianus and Jatropha mollissima were observed at 24 sites ranging from low to very high disturbance (primarily grazing by livestock, hunting and firewood collection). Despite a large number of seed-disperser ant species, there were only two species providing high-quality distance-dispersal services, Dinoponera quadriceps (40% of all observed seed removals) and Ectatomma muticum (33%). D. quadriceps was responsible for 97% of all removals >2 m, and 100% of all removals >5 m. Removal rates did not vary with disturbance for C. sonderianus (small elaiosome), but declined with increasing disturbance for J. mollissima (large elaiosome). The number of removals by Ectatomma was highest at intermediate levels of disturbance, whereas those by Dinoponera decreased systematically with increasing levels of disturbance. Mean dispersal distance was four times higher at sites experiencing low disturbance, where removals >5 m represented a third of all removal events, compared with very highly disturbed sites, where no removals >5 m were observed. Despite high overall diversity there is very limited functional redundancy in disperser ant species, resulting in low disperser resilience in relation to disturbance. This is likely to have important implications for recruitment by myrmecochorous plants, and therefore on vegetation composition and structure, at sites subject to high anthropogenic disturbance.

  13. Antibacterial, Antioxidant, and Anticholinesterase Activities of Plant Seed Extracts from Brazilian Semiarid Region

    PubMed Central

    Farias, Davi Felipe; Souza, Terezinha Maria; Viana, Martônio Ponte; Soares, Bruno Marques; Cunha, Arcelina Pacheco; Vasconcelos, Ilka Maria; Ricardo, Nágila Maria Pontes Silva; Ferreira, Paulo Michel Pinheiro; Melo, Vânia Maria Maciel; Carvalho, Ana Fontenele Urano

    2013-01-01

    The antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anticholinesterase activities of ethanolic seed extracts of twenty-one plant species from Brazilian semiarid region were investigated. The extracts were tested for antimicrobial activity against six bacteria strains and three yeasts. Six extracts presented activity against the Gram (−) organism Salmonella choleraesuis and the Gram (+) organisms Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus subtilis. The MIC values ranged from 4.96 to 37.32 mg/mL. The Triplaris gardneriana extract presented activity against the three species, with MIC values 18.8, 13.76, and 11.15 mg/mL, respectively. Five extracts presented antioxidant activity, with EC50 values ranging from 69.73 μg/mL (T. gardneriana) to 487.51 μg/mL (Licania rigida). For the anticholinesterase activity, eleven extracts were capable of inhibiting the enzyme activity. From those, T. gardneriana, Parkia platycephala and Connarus detersus presented the best activities, with inhibition values of 76.7, 71.5, and 91.9%, respectively. The extracts that presented antimicrobial activity were tested for hemolytic assay against human A, B, and O blood types and rabbit blood. From those, only the Myracrodruon urundeuva extract presented activity (about 20% of hemolysis at the lowest tested concentration, 1.9 µg/mL). Infrared spectroscopy of six representative extracts attested the presence of tannins, polyphenols, and flavonoids, which was confirmed by a qualitative phytochemical assay. PMID:24386637

  14. Insecticide dissipation from soil and plant surfaces in tropical horticulture of southern Benin, West Africa.

    PubMed

    Rosendahl, Ingrid; Laabs, Volker; Atcha-Ahowé, Cyrien; James, Braima; Amelung, Wulf

    2009-06-01

    In Sub-Saharan Africa, horticulture provides livelihood opportunities for millions of people, especially in urban and peri-urban areas. Although the vegetable agroecosystems are often characterized by intensive pesticide use, risks resulting therefrom are largely unknown under tropical horticultural conditions. The objective of this study therefore was to study the fate of pesticides in two representative horticultural soils (Acrisol and Arenosol) and plants (Solanum macrocarpon L.) after field application and thus to gain first insight on environmental persistence and dispersion of typical insecticides used in vegetable horticulture in Benin, West Africa. On plant surfaces, dissipation was rapid with half lives ranging from 2 to 87 h (alpha-endosulfan < beta-endosulfan < deltamethrin). Soil dissipation was considerably slower than dissipation from plant surfaces with half-lives ranging from 3 (diazinon) to 74 d (total endosulfan), but persistence of pesticides in soil was still reduced compared to temperate climates. Nevertheless, for deltamethrin and endosulfan, a tendency for mid-term accumulation in soil upon repeated applications was observed. The soil and plant surface concentrations of the metabolite endosulfan sulfate increased during the entire trial period, indicating that this compound is a potential long-term pollutant even in tropical environments.

  15. Isolation and enzyme bioprospection of endophytic bacteria associated with plants of Brazilian mangrove ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Castro, Renata A; Quecine, Maria Carolina; Lacava, Paulo T; Batista, Bruna D; Luvizotto, Danice M; Marcon, Joelma; Ferreira, Anderson; Melo, Itamar S; Azevedo, João L

    2014-01-01

    The mangrove ecosystem is a coastal tropical biome located in the transition zone between land and sea that is characterized by periodic flooding, which confers unique and specific environmental conditions on this biome. In these ecosystems, the vegetation is dominated by a particular group of plant species that provide a unique environment harboring diverse groups of microorganisms, including the endophytic microorganisms that are the focus of this study. Because of their intimate association with plants, endophytic microorganisms could be explored for biotechnologically significant products, such as enzymes, proteins, antibiotics and others. Here, we isolated endophytic microorganisms from two mangrove species, Rhizophora mangle and Avicennia nitida, that are found in streams in two mangrove systems in Bertioga and Cananéia, Brazil. Bacillus was the most frequently isolated genus, comprising 42% of the species isolated from Cananéia and 28% of the species from Bertioga. However, other common endophytic genera such as Pantoea, Curtobacterium and Enterobacter were also found. After identifying the isolates, the bacterial communities were evaluated for enzyme production. Protease activity was observed in 75% of the isolates, while endoglucanase activity occurred in 62% of the isolates. Bacillus showed the highest activity rates for amylase and esterase and endoglucanase. To our knowledge, this is the first reported diversity analysis performed on endophytic bacteria obtained from the branches of mangrove trees and the first overview of the specific enzymes produced by different bacterial genera. This work contributes to our knowledge of the microorganisms and enzymes present in mangrove ecosystems.

  16. Plant water resource partitioning and isotopic fractionation during transpiration in a seasonally dry tropical climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Wispelaere, Lien; Bodé, Samuel; Hervé-Fernández, Pedro; Hemp, Andreas; Verschuren, Dirk; Boeckx, Pascal

    2017-01-01

    Lake Chala (3°19' S, 37°42' E) is a steep-sided crater lake situated in equatorial East Africa, a tropical semiarid area with a bimodal rainfall pattern. Plants in this region are exposed to a prolonged dry season, and we investigated if (1) these plants show spatial variability and temporal shifts in their water source use; (2) seasonal differences in the isotopic composition of precipitation are reflected in xylem water; and (3) plant family, growth form, leaf phenology, habitat and season influence the xylem-to-leaf water deuterium enrichment. In this study, the δ2H and δ18O of precipitation, lake water, groundwater, plant xylem water and plant leaf water were measured across different plant species, seasons and plant habitats in the vicinity of Lake Chala. We found that plants rely mostly on water from the short rains falling from October to December (northeastern monsoon), as these recharge the soil after the long dry season. This plant-available, static water pool is only slightly replenished by the long rains falling from February to May (southeastern monsoon), in agreement with the two water worlds hypothesis, according to which plants rely on a static water pool while a mobile water pool recharges the groundwater. Spatial variability in water resource use exists in the study region, with plants at the lakeshore relying on a water source admixed with lake water. Leaf phenology does not affect water resource use. According to our results, plant species and their associated leaf phenology are the primary factors influencing the enrichment in deuterium from xylem water to leaf water (ɛl/x), with deciduous species giving the highest enrichment, while growth form and season have negligible effects. Our observations have important implications for the interpretation of δ2H of plant leaf wax n-alkanes (δ2Hwax) from paleohydrological records in tropical East Africa, given that the temporal variability in the isotopic composition of

  17. Evaluation of Antileishmanial Activity of Selected Brazilian Plants and Identification of the Active Principles

    PubMed Central

    Filho, Valdir Cechinel; Meyre-Silva, Christiane; Niero, Rivaldo; Bolda Mariano, Luisa Nathália; Gomes do Nascimento, Fabiana; Vicente Farias, Ingrid; Gazoni, Vanessa Fátima; dos Santos Silva, Bruna; Giménez, Alberto; Gutierrez-Yapu, David; Salamanca, Efrain; Malheiros, Angela

    2013-01-01

    This study evaluated extracts, fractions, and isolated compounds from some selected Brazilian medicinal plants against strains of promastigotes of Leishmania amazonensis and L. brasiliensis in vitro. The cell viability was determined, comparing the results with reference standards. The dichloromethane fractions of the roots, stems, and leaves of Allamanda schottii showed IC50 values between 14.0 and 2.0 μg/mL. Plumericin was the main active compound, with IC50 of 0.3 and 0.04 μg/mL against the two species of Leishmania analyzed. The hexane extract of Eugenia umbelliflora fruits showed IC50 of 14.3 and 5.7 μg/mL against L. amazonensis and L. brasiliensis, respectively. The methanolic extracts of the seeds of Garcinia achachairu and guttiferone A presented IC50 values of 35.9 and 10.4 μg/mL, against L. amazonensis, respectively. The ethanolic extracts of the stem barks of Rapanea ferruginea and the isolated compound, myrsinoic acid B, presented activity against L. brasiliensis with IC50 of 24.1 and 6.1 μg/mL. Chloroform fraction of Solanum sisymbriifolium exhibited IC50 of 33.8 and 20.5 μg/mL, and cilistol A was the main active principle, with IC50 of 6.6 and 3.1 μg/mL against L. amazonensis and L. brasiliensis, respectively. It is concluded that the analyzed plants are promising as new and effective antiparasitic agents. PMID:23840252

  18. Screening the Brazilian flora for antihypertensive plant species for in vitro angiotensin-I-converting enzyme inhibiting activity.

    PubMed

    Castro Braga, F; Wagner, H; Lombardi, J A; de Oliveira, A B

    2000-06-01

    The evaluation of several antihypertensive activity of Brazilian plant species was performed using in vitro inhibition of the angiotensin I-converting enzyme (ACE). Nineteen species belonging to 13 families were investigated. Plants were selected based on their use as diuretics and on a chemosystematic consideration. Extracts of the following species presented the highest ACE inhibition rate, at concentrations of 0.33 mg/ml: Ouratea semiserrata (Mart. & Nees) Engl. stems (68%), Cuphea cartagenesis (Jacq.) Macbride leaves (50%) and Mansoa hirsuta DC. leaves (54%). Some hypotheses about the nature of the compounds that may be responsible for the activity of these species are discussed in the paper.

  19. Effective use of high CO2 efflux at the soil surface in a tropical understory plant

    PubMed Central

    Ishida, Atsushi; Nakano, Takashi; Adachi, Minaco; Yoshimura, Kenichi; Osada, Noriyuki; Ladpala, Phanumard; Diloksumpun, Sapit; Puangchit, Ladawan; Yoshimura, Jin

    2015-01-01

    Many terrestrial plants are C3 plants that evolved in the Mesozoic Era when atmospheric CO2 concentrations ([CO2]) were high. Given current conditions, C3 plants can no longer benefit from high ambient [CO2]. Kaempferia marginata Carey is a unique understory ginger plant in the tropical dry forests of Thailand. The plant has two large flat leaves that spread on the soil surface. We found a large difference in [CO2] between the partly closed space between the soil surface and the leaves (638 µmol mol−1) and the atmosphere at 20 cm above ground level (412 µmol mol−1). This finding indicates that the plants capture CO2 efflux from the soil. Almost all of the stomata are located on the abaxial leaf surface. When ambient air [CO2] was experimentally increased from 400 to 600 μmol mol−1, net photosynthetic rates increased by 45 to 48% under near light-saturated conditions. No significant increase was observed under low light conditions. These data demonstrate that the unique leaf structure enhances carbon gain by trapping soil CO2 efflux at stomatal sites under relatively high light conditions, suggesting that ambient air [CO2] can serve as an important selective agent for terrestrial C3 plants. PMID:25758763

  20. Tropical plant-herbivore networks: reconstructing species interactions using DNA barcodes.

    PubMed

    García-Robledo, Carlos; Erickson, David L; Staines, Charles L; Erwin, Terry L; Kress, W John

    2013-01-01

    Plants and their associated insect herbivores, represent more than 50% of all known species on earth. The first step in understanding the mechanisms generating and maintaining this important component of biodiversity is to identify plant-herbivore associations. In this study we determined insect-host plant associations for an entire guild of insect herbivores using plant DNA extracted from insect gut contents. Over two years, in a tropical rain forest in Costa Rica (La Selva Biological Station), we recorded the full diet breadth of rolled-leaf beetles, a group of herbivores that feed on plants in the order Zingiberales. Field observations were used to determine the accuracy of diet identifications using a three-locus DNA barcode (rbcL, trnH-psbA and ITS2). Using extraction techniques for ancient DNA, we obtained high-quality sequences for two of these loci from gut contents (rbcL and ITS2). Sequences were then compared to a comprehensive DNA barcode library of the Zingiberales. The rbcL locus identified host plants to family (success/sequence = 58.8%) and genus (success/sequence = 47%). For all Zingiberales except Heliconiaceae, ITS2 successfully identified host plants to genus (success/sequence = 67.1%) and species (success/sequence = 61.6%). Kindt's sampling estimates suggest that by collecting ca. four individuals representing each plant-herbivore interaction, 99% of all host associations included in this study can be identified to genus. For plants that amplified ITS2, 99% of the hosts can be identified to species after collecting at least four individuals representing each interaction. Our study demonstrates that host plant identifications at the species-level using DNA barcodes are feasible, cost-effective, and reliable, and that reconstructing plant-herbivore networks with these methods will become the standard for a detailed understanding of these interactions.

  1. Effects of Nonnative Ungulate Removal on Plant Communities and Soil Biogeochemistry in Tropical Forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cole, R. J.; Litton, C. M.; Giardina, C. P.; Sparks, J. P.

    2014-12-01

    Non-native ungulates have substantial impacts on native ecosystems globally, altering both plant communities and soil biogeochemistry. Across tropical and temperate ecosystems, land managers fence and remove non-native ungulates to conserve native biodiversity, a costly management action, yet long-term outcomes are not well quantified. Specifically, knowledge gaps include: (i) the magnitude and time frame of plant community recovery; (ii) the response of non-native invasive plants; and (iii) changes to soil biogeochemistry. In 2010, we established a series of paired ungulate presence vs. removal plots that span a 20 yr. chronosequence in tropical montane wet forests on the Island of Hawaii to quantify the impacts and temporal legacy of feral pig removal on plant communities and soil biogeochemistry. We also compared soil biogeochemistry in targeted areas of low and high feral pig impact. Our work shows that both native and non-native vegetation respond positively to release from top-down control following removal of feral pigs, but species of high conservation concern recover only if initially present at the time of non-native ungulate removal. Feral pig impacts on soil biogeochemistry appear to last for at least 20 years following ungulate removal. We observed that both soil physical and chemical properties changed with feral pig removal. Soil bulk density and volumetric water content decreased while extractable base cations and inorganic N increased in low vs. high feral pig impact areas. We hypothesize that altered soil biogeochemistry facilitates continued invasions by non-native plants, even decades after non-native ungulate removal. Future work will concentrate on comparisons between wet and dry forest ecosystems and test whether manipulation of soil nutrients can be used to favor native vs. non-native plant establishment.

  2. Response of five tropical plant species to natural solar ultraviolet-B radiation

    SciTech Connect

    Searles, P.S.; Caldwell, M.M. ); Winter, K. )

    1994-06-01

    The tropical latitudes currently receive high solar ultraviolet-B radiation (UV-B, 280-320 nm) even without ozone depletion. Thus, the influence of natural, present-day UV-B irradiance was examined for three native rainforest tree species and two economically important species on Barro Colorado Island, Panama (9[degrees] N). Solar UV-B radiation conditions were obtained using a UV-B excluding plastic film or a near-ambient UV-B transmitting film over potted plants in a small clearing. Significant differences were often exhibited as increased foliar UV-B absorbing compounds, increased leaf mass pre area, and reduced leaf blade length for plants receiving solar UV-B radiation. Plant height was typically reduced under solar UV-B, but some variation among species in response was seen. Biomass and photosystem II function were generally unaffected. The results provide evidence that tropical vegetation responds to the present level of Solar UV-B radiation. This suggests even a small increase in UV-B radiation with ozone depletion may have biological implications.

  3. Seasonal dynamics in photosynthesis of woody plants at the northern limit of Asian tropics: potential role of fog in maintaining tropical rainforests and agriculture in Southwest China.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yong-Jiang; Holbrook, N Michele; Cao, Kun-Fang

    2014-10-01

    The lowland tropical rainforests in Xishuangbanna, Southwest (SW) China, mark the northern limit of Asian tropics. Fog has been hypothesized to play a role in maintaining rainforests and tropical crop production in this region, but the physiological mechanism has not been studied. The goals of this study were to characterize the seasonal dynamics in photosynthesis and to assess the potential for fog to mitigate chilling-induced photodamage for tropical trees and crops in Xishuangbanna. We measured seasonal dynamics in light-saturated net photosynthetic rate (Aa), stomatal conductance (gs), intercellular CO2 concentration, quantum yield of Photosystem II (Fv/Fm) and maximum P700 changes (Pm; indicates the amount of active PSI complex), as well as chilling resistance and fog (light/shading) effects on low temperature-induced decline in Fv/Fm and Pm for native tree and introduced lower latitude tree or woody shrub species grown in a tropical botanical garden. Despite significant decreases in Aa, gs, Pm and Fv/Fm, most species maintained considerably high Aa during the cool season (2.51-14.6 μmol m(-2) s(-1)). Shaded leaves exposed to seasonal low temperatures had higher Fv/Fm than sun-exposed leaves in the cool season. All species could tolerate 1.4 °C in the dark, whereas a combined treatment of low temperature and high light caused a distinctly faster decline in Pm and Fv/Fm compared with low temperature treatment alone. Because fog persistence avoids or shortens the duration of high light condition in the morning when the temperatures are still low, our results provide support for the hypothesis that fog reduces chilling damage to tropical plants in this region and thus plays a role in maintaining tropical rainforests and agriculture in SW China.

  4. Temperature-Dependent Development and Survival of Brazilian Populations of the Mediterranean Fruit Fly, Ceratitis capitata, from Tropical, Subtropical and Temperate Regions

    PubMed Central

    Ricalde, Marcelo P.; Nava, Dori E.; Loeck, Alci E.; Donatti, Michele G.

    2012-01-01

    The Mediterranean fruit fly Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann) (Diptera: Tephritidae) is one of the principal exotic pests affecting Brazilian production in the northeastern and southeastern regions of Brazil. In the south, it is has potential as a serious threat to temperate-climate fruit farms, since it is already found in urban and suburban communities in this region. We studied the biological characteristics of C. capitata populations from Pelotas-RS (temperate climate), Petrolina-PE (tropical), and Campinas-SP (subtropical). Ceratitis capitata biology was studied under controlled temperature (15, 20, 25, 30, and 35 ± 1 °C), 70 ± 10% RH, and 14:10 L:D photoperiod. The duration and survival rate of the egg, larval, and pupal stages were evaluated and the thermal requirements of these three populations were determined. The duration and survival of these developmental stages varied with temperature, with similar values for the three populations, except for some variation in the egg phase. Egg to adult developmental time for all three populations was inversely proportional to temperature; from 15 to 30 °C developmental time varied from 71.2 to 17.1, 70.2 to 17.1, and 68.5 to 16.9 days, respectively. Survival during development was affected at 15 to 30 °C, and differed significantly from survival at 20 to 25 °C. At 35 °C, immature stages did not develop. The basal temperature and degree-day requirement were similar for all immature stages except for the egg stage. The basal temperatures and thermal constants were 9.30 and 350, 8.47 and 341, and 9.60 °C and 328 degree-days for the Pelotas, Petrolina, and Campinas populations, respectively. Results suggested that survival and thermal requirements are similar for these tropical, subtropical, and temperate populations of C. capitata, and demonstrate the species' capacity to adapt to different climate conditions. PMID:22963468

  5. Temperature-dependent development and survival of Brazilian populations of the Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata, from tropical, subtropical and temperate regions.

    PubMed

    Ricalde, Marcelo P; Nava, Dori E; Loeck, Alci E; Donatti, Michele G

    2012-01-01

    The Mediterranean fruit fly Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann) (Diptera: Tephritidae) is one of the principal exotic pests affecting Brazilian production in the northeastern and southeastern regions of Brazil. In the south, it is has potential as a serious threat to temperate-climate fruit farms, since it is already found in urban and suburban communities in this region. We studied the biological characteristics of C. capitata populations from Pelotas-RS (temperate climate), Petrolina-PE (tropical), and Campinas-SP (subtropical). Ceratitis capitata biology was studied under controlled temperature (15, 20, 25, 30, and 35 ± 1 °C), 70 ± 10% RH, and 14:10 L:D photoperiod. The duration and survival rate of the egg, larval, and pupal stages were evaluated and the thermal requirements of these three populations were determined. The duration and survival of these developmental stages varied with temperature, with similar values for the three populations, except for some variation in the egg phase. Egg to adult developmental time for all three populations was inversely proportional to temperature; from 15 to 30 °C developmental time varied from 71.2 to 17.1, 70.2 to 17.1, and 68.5 to 16.9 days, respectively. Survival during development was affected at 15 to 30 °C, and differed significantly from survival at 20 to 25 °C. At 35 °C, immature stages did not develop. The basal temperature and degree-day requirement were similar for all immature stages except for the egg stage. The basal temperatures and thermal constants were 9.30 and 350, 8.47 and 341, and 9.60 °C and 328 degree-days for the Pelotas, Petrolina, and Campinas populations, respectively. Results suggested that survival and thermal requirements are similar for these tropical, subtropical, and temperate populations of C. capitata, and demonstrate the species' capacity to adapt to different climate conditions.

  6. Volatile isoprenoids as defense compounds during abiotic stress in tropical plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jardine, K.

    2015-12-01

    Emissions of volatile isoprenoids from tropical forests play central roles in atmospheric processes by fueling atmospheric chemistry resulting in modified aerosol and cloud lifecycles and their associated feedbacks with the terrestrial biosphere. However, the identities of tropical isoprenoids, their biological and environmental controls, and functions within plants and ecosystems remain highly uncertain. As part of the DOE ARM program's GoAmazon 2014/15 campaign, extensive field and laboratory observations of volatile isoprenoids are being conducted in the central Amazon. Here we report the results of our completed and ongoing activities at the ZF2 forest reserve in the central Amazon. Among the results of the research are the suprisingly high abundance of light-dependent volatile isoprenoid emissions across abundant tree genera in the Amazon in both primary and secondary forests, the discovery of highly reactive monoterpene emissions from Amazon trees, and evidence for the importance of volatile isoprenoids in protecting photosynthesis during oxidative stress under elevated temperatures including energy consumption and direct antioxidant functions and a tight connection betwen volatile isoprenoid emissions, photorespiration, and CO2 recycling within leaves. The results highlight the need to model allocation of carbon to isoprenoids during elevated temperature stress in the tropics.

  7. Anti‐asthmatic and anxiolytic effects of Herissantia tiubae, a Brazilian medicinal plant

    PubMed Central

    Mozzini Monteiro, Talissa; Ferrera Costa, Hermann; Carvalho Vieira, Giciane; Rodrigues Salgado, Paula Regina; da Silva Stiebbe Salvadori, Mirian Graciela; de Almeida, Reinaldo Nobrega; de Fatima Vanderlei de Souza, Maria; Neves Matias, Wemerson; Andrade Braga, Valdir; Nalivaiko, Eugene

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Herissantia tiubae (HtE) is a Brazilian plant used in folk medicine to treat inflammatory diseases. Our aim was to determine whether the HtE has anti‐inflammatory and anxiolytic effects in a murine model of asthma. Ovalbumin (OVA)‐sensitized BALB/c mice were treated with HtE (50, 100, or 200 mg/kg) or dexamethasone before each OVA challenge. After the last challenge, animals were subjected to anxiety tests and respiratory measurements. Following euthanasia, we quantified immune cells in the bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL), serum IgE titer and cytokine levels, cellular infiltration and mucus content in the lung tissues, and cellular composition of the mediastinal lymph nodes. OVA challenge in sensitized animals caused: (1) reduction of mean respiratory and dominant respiratory rate (from 398 ± 12 to 286 ± 20 cicles per minute (cpm) and from 320 ± 14 to 162 ± 15 cpm, respectively); (2) increase in behavioral markers of anxiety tests; (3) substantial pro‐inflammatory effects, including rise in OVA‐specific IgE titer (from 0 to 1:2048) and these inflammatory effect diminished the titer to 1:512 after HtE treatment; rise in plasma IL‐13 (from 13 ng/mL in saline to 227 ng/mL in OVA and HtE treatment restored to 1.29 ng/mL; rise in total BAL cell count (from 0.742 cells/mL in saline to 11.77 cells/mL in OVA), with prominent eosinophilia. H. tiubae extract affected respiratory parameters similarly to aminophylline, behavioral changes comparable to diazepam, and inflammation being as efficient as dexamethasone. H. tiubae extract (HtE) possesses both anti‐inflammatory and anxiolytic properties in the murine model of asthma. PMID:27957328

  8. Methyl halide fluxes from tropical plants under controlled radiation and temperature regimes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blei, Emanuel; Yokouchi, Yoko; Saito, Takuya; Nozoe, Susumu

    2015-04-01

    Methyl halides (CH3Cl, CH3Br, CH3I) contribute significantly to the halogen burden of the atmosphere and have the potential to influence the stratospheric ozone layer through their catalytic effect in the Chapman cycle. As such they have been studied over the years, and many plants and biota have been examined for their potential to act as a source of these gases. One of the potentially largest terrestrial sources identified was tropical vegetation such as tropical ferns and Dipterocarp trees. Most of these studies concentrated on the identification and quantification of such fluxes rather than their characteristics and often the chambers used in these studies were either opaque or only partially transparent to the full solar spectrum. Therefore it is not certain to which degree emissions of methyl halides are innate to the plants and how much they might vary due to radiation or temperature conditions inside the enclosures. In a separate development it had been proposed that UV-radiation could cause live plant materials to be become emitters of methane even under non-anoxic conditions. As methane is chemically very similar to methyl halides and had been proposed to be produced from methyl-groups ubiquitously found in plant cell material there is a relatively good chance that such a production mechanism would also apply to methyl halides. To test whether radiation can affect elevated emissions of methyl halides from plant materials and to distinguish this from temperature effects caused by heat build-up in chambers a set of controlled laboratory chamber enclosures under various radiation and temperature regimes was conducted on four different tropical plant species (Magnolia grandiflora, Cinnamonum camphora, Cyathea lepifera, Angiopteris lygodiifolia), the latter two of which had previously been identified as strong methyl halide emitters. Abscised leaf samples of these species were subjected to radiation treatments such UV-B, UV-A and broad spectrum radiation

  9. Forage plants as an alternative feed resource for sustainable pig production in the tropics: a review.

    PubMed

    Kambashi, B; Boudry, C; Picron, P; Bindelle, J

    2014-08-01

    Globally, pressure on concentrate feed resources is increasing, especially in the tropics where many countries are net importers of food. Forage plants are a possible alternative, but their use as feed ingredients for pigs raises several issues related to their higher fibre and plant secondary metabolites contents as well as their lower nutritive value. In this paper, the nutritive value of several forage species and the parameters that influence this nutritive value in relationship to the plant family, the physiological stage, the plant part and the preservation method (fresh, hay and silage) are reviewed. The influence of the breed and the physiological status of the animal on animal voluntary intake of fibre-rich ingredients, digestibility as related to gastrointestinal volume and transit time and growth performances are also discussed. The final section highlights the advantages and drawbacks of forage plants in pig diets and stresses the need for proper economic evaluation to conclude on the benefits of the use of forage plants in pig feed.

  10. Plant and microbial controls on nitrogen retention and loss in a Humid Tropical Forest

    SciTech Connect

    Templer, P.; Silver, W.; Pett-Ridge, J.; DeAngelis, K.M.; Firestone, M.K.

    2009-09-15

    Humid tropical forests are generally characterized by the lack of nitrogen (N) limitation to net primary productivity, yet paradoxically have high potential for N loss. We conducted an intensive field experiment with {sup 15}NH{sub 4} and {sup 15}NO{sub 3} additions to highly weathered tropical forest soils to determine the relative importance of N retention and loss mechanisms. Over half of all the NH{sub 4}{sup +} produced from gross mineralization was rapidly converted to NO{sub 3}{sup -} during the process of gross nitrification. During the first 24 h plant roots took up 28 % of the N mineralized, dominantly as NH{sub 4}{sup +}, and were a greater sink for N than soil microbial biomass. Soil microbes were not a significant sink for added {sup 15}NH{sub 4}{sup +} or {sup 15}NO{sub 3}{sup -} during the first 24 hr, and only for {sup 15}NH{sub 4}{sup +} after 7 d. Patterns of microbial community composition, as determined by Terminal Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism analysis, were weakly, but significantly correlated with nitrification and denitrification to N{sub 2}O. Rates of dissimilatory NO{sub 3}{sup -} reduction to NH{sub 4}{sup +} (DNRA) were high in this forest, accounting for up to 25 % of gross mineralization and 35 % of gross nitrification. DNRA was a major sink for NO{sub 3}{sup -} which may have contributed to the lower rates of N{sub 2}O and leaching losses. Despite considerable N conservation via DNRA and plant NH{sub 4}{sup +} uptake, the fate of approximately 45% of the NO{sub 3}{sup -} produced and 22% of the NH{sub 4}{sup +} produced were not measured in our fluxes, suggesting that other important pathways for N retention and loss (e.g., denitrification to N{sub 2}) are important in this system. The high proportion of mineralized N that was rapidly nitrified and the fates of that NO{sub 3}{sup -} highlight the key role of gross nitrification as a proximate control on N retention and loss in humid tropical forest soils. Furthermore, our

  11. Cooling water of power plant creates "hot spots" for tropical fishes and parasites.

    PubMed

    Emde, Sebastian; Kochmann, Judith; Kuhn, Thomas; Dörge, Dorian D; Plath, Martin; Miesen, Friedrich W; Klimpel, Sven

    2016-01-01

    Thermally altered water bodies can function as "hot spots" where non-native species are establishing self-sustaining populations beyond their tropical and subtropical native regions. Whereas many tropical fish species have been found in these habitats, the introduction of non-native parasites often remains undetected. Here, n = 77 convict cichlids (Amatitlania nigrofasciata) were sampled by electro-fishing at two sites from a thermally altered stream in Germany and examined for parasite fauna and feeding ecology. Stomach content analysis suggests an opportunistic feeding strategy of A. nigrofasciata: while plant material dominated the diet at the warm water inlet (∼30 °C), relative contributions of insects, plants, and crustaceans were balanced 3 km downstream (∼27 °C). The most abundant non-native parasite species was the tropical nematode Camallanus cotti with P = 11.90 % and P = 80.00 % at the inlet and further downstream, respectively. Additionally, nematode larvae of Anguillicoloides crassus and one specimen of the subtropical species Bothriocephalus acheilognathi were isolated. A. nigrofasciata was also highly infected with the native parasite Acanthocephalus anguillae, which could be linked to high numbers of the parasite's intermediate host Asellus aquaticus. The aim of this study was to highlight the risk and consequences of the release and establishment of ornamental fish species for the introduction and spread of non-indigenous metazoan parasites using the convict cichlid as a model species. Furthermore, the spread of non-native parasites into adjacent fish communities needs to be addressed in the future as first evidence of Camallanus cotti in native fish species was also found.

  12. Genetic structure in a tropical lek-breeding bird, the blue manakin (Chiroxiphia caudata) in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest.

    PubMed

    Francisco, Mercival R; Gibbs, H Lisle; Galetti, Mauro; Lunardi, Vitor O; Galetti, Pedro M

    2007-12-01

    Determining the genetic structure of tropical bird populations is important for assessing potential genetic effects of future habitat fragmentation and for testing hypotheses about evolutionary mechanisms promoting diversification. Here we used 10 microsatellite DNA loci to describe levels of genetic differentiation for five populations of the lek-mating blue manakin (Chiroxiphia caudata), sampled along a 414-km transect within the largest remaining continuous tract of the highly endangered Atlantic Forest habitat in southeast Brazil. We found small but significant levels of differentiation between most populations. F(ST) values varied from 0.0 to 0.023 (overall F(ST)=0.012) that conformed to a strong isolation by distance relationship, suggesting that observed levels of differentiation are a result of migration-drift equilibrium. N(e)m values estimated using a coalescent-based method were small (tropical bird in continuous habitat in the absence of geographical barriers possibly due to behavioural features of the species.

  13. Bidirectional exchange of methyl halides between tropical plants and the atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saito, Takuya; Yokouchi, Yoko; Phillip, Elizabeth; Okuda, Toshinori

    2013-10-01

    a stable isotope tracer technique, we studied the exchange of methyl chloride (CH3Cl) and methyl bromide (CH3Br) between plants and the atmosphere in a tropical rain forest in Malaysia. Most plant species examined showed not only production but also consumption of CH3Cl with a large net emission overall. In contrast, CH3Br consumption was comparable to its production, so the net emission was small. The rates of CH3Cl and CH3Br consumption were highly correlated with each other, and their ratio was consistent with reported values in terrestrial ecosystems, where microorganisms are responsible for the consumption. Such microorganisms might participate in the consumption we observed, as the consumption rates were faster in saplings, whose leaves were generally covered by epiphytic microorganisms, than in healthy looking leaves of mature trees.

  14. Persistent bill and corolla matching despite shifting temporal resources in tropical hummingbird-plant interactions.

    PubMed

    Weinstein, Ben G; Graham, Catherine H

    2017-03-01

    By specialising on specific resources, species evolve advantageous morphologies to increase the efficiency of nutrient acquisition. However, many specialists face variation in resource availability and composition. Whether specialists respond to these changes depends on the composition of the resource pulses, the cost of foraging on poorly matched resources, and the strength of interspecific competition. We studied hummingbird bill and plant corolla matching during seasonal variation in flower availability and morphology. Using a hierarchical Bayesian model, we accounted for the detectability and spatial overlap of hummingbird-plant interactions. We found that despite seasonal pulses of flowers with short-corollas, hummingbirds consistently foraged on well-matched flowers, leading to low niche overlap. This behaviour suggests that the costs of searching for rare and more specialised resources are lower than the benefit of switching to super-abundant resources. Our results highlight the trade-off between foraging efficiency and interspecific competition, and underline niche partitioning in maintaining tropical diversity.

  15. Plant invasions in protected areas of tropical pacific islands, with special reference to Hawaii

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    R. Flint Hughes,; Jean-Yves Meyer, jean-yves.meyer@recherche.gov.pf; Loope, Lloyd L.

    2013-01-01

    Isolated tropical islands are notoriously vulnerable to plant invasions. Serious management for protection of native biodiversity in Hawaii began in the 1970s, arguably at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Concerted alien plant management began there in the 1980s and has in a sense become a model for protected areas throughout Hawaii and Pacific Island countries and territories. We review the relative successes of their strategies and touch upon how their experience has been applied elsewhere. Protected areas in Hawaii are fortunate in having relatively good resources for addressing plant invasions, but many invasions remain intractable, and invasions from outside the boundaries continue from a highly globalised society with a penchant for horticultural novelty. There are likely few efforts in most Pacific Islands to combat alien plant invasions in protected areas, but such areas may often have fewer plant invasions as a result of their relative remoteness and/or socio-economic development status. The greatest current needs for protected areas in this region may be for establishment of yet more protected areas, for better resources to combat invasions in Pacific Island countries and territories, for more effective control methods including biological control programme to contain intractable species, and for meaningful efforts to address prevention and early detection of potential new invaders.

  16. Allelopathic Activity of Extracts from Different Brazilian Peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) Cultivars on Lettuce (Lactuca sativa) and Weed Plants

    PubMed Central

    Garcia, R.; Simas, N. K.

    2017-01-01

    Peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) is the fourth most consumed oleaginous plant in the world, producing seeds with high contents of lipids, proteins, vitamins, and carbohydrates. Biological activities of different extracts of this species have already been evaluated by many researchers, including antioxidant, antitumoral, and antibacterial. In this work, the allelopathic activity of extracts from different Brazilian peanut cultivars against lettuce (Lactuca sativa) and two weed plants (Commelina benghalensis and Ipomoea nil) was studied. Aerial parts, roots, seeds, and seed coats were used for the preparation of crude extracts. Seed extract partitioning was performed with n-hexane, dichloromethane, ethyl acetate, n-butanol, and aqueous residue. Germination and growth of hypocotyls and rootlets were evaluated after one and five days of incubation with plant extracts, respectively. Crude seed extract and its dichloromethanic partition displayed highest allelopathic activity. These results contribute for the study of new potential natural herbicides.

  17. Contribution of aboveground plant respiration to carbon cycling in a Bornean tropical rainforet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Katayama, Ayumi; Tanaka, Kenzo; Ichie, Tomoaki; Kume, Tomonori; Matsumoto, Kazuho; Ohashi, Mizue; Kumagai, Tomo'omi

    2014-05-01

    Bornean tropical rainforests have a different characteristic from Amazonian tropical rainforests, that is, larger aboveground biomass caused by higher stand density of large trees. Larger biomass may cause different carbon cycling and allocation pattern. However, there are fewer studies on carbon allocation and each component in Bornean tropical rainforests, especially for aboveground plant respiration, compared to Amazonian forests. In this study, we measured woody tissue respiration and leaf respiration, and estimated those in ecosystem scale in a Bornean tropical rainforest. Then, we examined carbon allocation using the data of soil respiration and aboveground net primary production obtained from our previous studies. Woody tissue respiration rate was positively correlated with diameter at breast height (dbh) and stem growth rate. Using the relationships and biomass data, we estimated woody tissue respiration in ecosystem scale though methods of scaling resulted in different estimates values (4.52 - 9.33 MgC ha-1 yr-1). Woody tissue respiration based on surface area (8.88 MgC ha-1 yr-1) was larger than those in Amazon because of large aboveground biomass (563.0 Mg ha-1). Leaf respiration rate was positively correlated with height. Using the relationship and leaf area density data at each 5-m height, leaf respiration in ecosystem scale was estimated (9.46 MgC ha-1 yr-1), which was similar to those in Amazon because of comparable LAI (5.8 m2 m-2). Gross primary production estimated from biometric measurements (44.81 MgC ha-1 yr-1) was much higher than those in Amazon, and more carbon was allocated to woody tissue respiration and total belowground carbon flux. Large tree with dbh > 60cm accounted for about half of aboveground biomass and aboveground biomass increment. Soil respiration was also related to position of large trees, resulting in high soil respiration rate in this study site. Photosynthesis ability of top canopy for large trees was high and leaves for

  18. Nephropathy associated with animal, plant, and chemical toxins in the tropics.

    PubMed

    Jha, Vivekanand; Chugh, Kirpal S

    2003-01-01

    Widespread human exposure to a variety of drugs, chemicals, and biologic products and recent awareness of their toxic manifestations has led to the recognition of toxic nephropathy as an important segment of renal disease in the tropical countries. Tropical nephrotoxins are distinctly different from those seen in the rest of the world and are derived from local fauna and flora or plant and chemical sources. The spectrum of exposure varies from country to country and even from community to community, depending on variations in the distribution of local plants and animal species and prevalent social practices. Acute renal failure (ARF), either alone or in association with liver failure, neurologic abnormalities, metabolic acidosis, disseminated intravascular coagulation, or pulmonary infections is the most common form of presentation. Traditional medicines prescribed by witch doctors (traditional healers) constitute a special class of nephrotoxins among several communities in Africa and Asia. The prevalence of nephropathy caused by traditional medicines is directly related to a combination of ignorance, poverty, lack of medical facilities, lax legislation, and widespread belief in indigenous systems of medicine in rural areas. These medicines are a mix of herbs and unknown chemicals administered orally or as enemas. Clustering of cases after exposure to a particular agent suggests the possibility of a toxic insult. Common animal nephrotoxins are venoms of viper snakes, sea snakes, stinging insects, and raw gallbladder and bile of carp and sheep. Botanical nephrotoxins are encountered both in common edible plants (djenkol beans, mushrooms) and medicinal herbs (impila, cat's claw). Mistaken identification of medicinal herbs by untrained workers and even deliberate trials of toxic substitutes derived from plants frequently lead to renal disease, the most commonly reported being the Chinese herbal nephropathy. Nephrotoxicity caused by chemicals can be secondary to

  19. Malaria in the State of Amazonas: a typical Brazilian tropical disease influenced by waves of economic development.

    PubMed

    Sampaio, Vanderson Souza; Siqueira, André Machado; Alecrim, Maria das Graças Costa; Mourão, Maria Paula Gomes; Marchesini, Paola Barbosa; Albuquerque, Bernardino Cláudio; Nascimento, Joabi; Figueira, Élder Augusto Guimarães; Alecrim, Wilson Duarte; Monteiro, Wuelton Marcelo; Lacerda, Marcus Vinícius Guimarães

    2015-01-01

    In Brazil, more than 99% of malaria cases are reported in the Amazon, and the State of Amazonas accounts for 40% of this total. However, the accumulated experience and challenges in controlling malaria in this region in recent decades have not been reported. Throughout the first economic cycle during the rubber boom (1879 to 1912), malaria was recorded in the entire state, with the highest incidence in the villages near the Madeira River in the Southern part of the State of Amazonas. In the 1970s, during the second economic development cycle, the economy turned to the industrial sector and demanded a large labor force, resulting in a large migratory influx to the capital Manaus. Over time, a gradual increase in malaria transmission was observed in peri-urban areas. In the 1990s, the stimulation of agroforestry, particularly fish farming, led to the formation of permanent Anopheline breeding sites and increased malaria in settlements. The estimation of environmental impacts and the planning of measures to mitigate them, as seen in the construction of the Coari-Manaus gas pipeline, proved effective. Considering the changes occurred since the Amsterdam Conference in 1992, disease control has been based on early diagnosis and treatment, but the development of parasites that are resistant to major antimalarial drugs in Brazilian Amazon has posed a new challenge. Despite the decreased lethality and the gradual decrease in the number of malaria cases, disease elimination, which should be associated with government programs for economic development in the region, continues to be a challenge.

  20. Negative plant-soil feedback predicts tree-species relative abundance in a tropical forest.

    PubMed

    Mangan, Scott A; Schnitzer, Stefan A; Herre, Edward A; Mack, Keenan M L; Valencia, Mariana C; Sanchez, Evelyn I; Bever, James D

    2010-08-05

    The accumulation of species-specific enemies around adults is hypothesized to maintain plant diversity by limiting the recruitment of conspecific seedlings relative to heterospecific seedlings. Although previous studies in forested ecosystems have documented patterns consistent with the process of negative feedback, these studies are unable to address which classes of enemies (for example, pathogens, invertebrates, mammals) exhibit species-specific effects strong enough to generate negative feedback, and whether negative feedback at the level of the individual tree is sufficient to influence community-wide forest composition. Here we use fully reciprocal shade-house and field experiments to test whether the performance of conspecific tree seedlings (relative to heterospecific seedlings) is reduced when grown in the presence of enemies associated with adult trees. Both experiments provide strong evidence for negative plant-soil feedback mediated by soil biota. In contrast, above-ground enemies (mammals, foliar herbivores and foliar pathogens) contributed little to negative feedback observed in the field. In both experiments, we found that tree species that showed stronger negative feedback were less common as adults in the forest community, indicating that susceptibility to soil biota may determine species relative abundance in these tropical forests. Finally, our simulation models confirm that the strength of local negative feedback that we measured is sufficient to produce the observed community-wide patterns in tree-species relative abundance. Our findings indicate that plant-soil feedback is an important mechanism that can maintain species diversity and explain patterns of tree-species relative abundance in tropical forests.

  1. Tree shrew lavatories: a novel nitrogen sequestration strategy in a tropical pitcher plant

    PubMed Central

    Clarke, Charles M.; Bauer, Ulrike; Lee, Ch'ien C.; Tuen, Andrew A.; Rembold, Katja; Moran, Jonathan A.

    2009-01-01

    Nepenthes pitcher plants are typically carnivorous, producing pitchers with varying combinations of epicuticular wax crystals, viscoelastic fluids and slippery peristomes to trap arthropod prey, especially ants. However, ant densities are low in tropical montane habitats, thereby limiting the potential benefits of the carnivorous syndrome. Nepenthes lowii, a montane species from Borneo, produces two types of pitchers that differ greatly in form and function. Pitchers produced by immature plants conform to the ‘typical’ Nepenthes pattern, catching arthropod prey. However, pitchers produced by mature N. lowii plants lack the features associated with carnivory and are instead visited by tree shrews, which defaecate into them after feeding on exudates that accumulate on the pitcher lid. We tested the hypothesis that tree shrew faeces represent a significant nitrogen (N) source for N. lowii, finding that it accounts for between 57 and 100 per cent of foliar N in mature N. lowii plants. Thus, N. lowii employs a diversified N sequestration strategy, gaining access to a N source that is not available to sympatric congeners. The interaction between N. lowii and tree shrews appears to be a mutualism based on the exchange of food sources that are scarce in their montane habitat. PMID:19515656

  2. Tree shrew lavatories: a novel nitrogen sequestration strategy in a tropical pitcher plant.

    PubMed

    Clarke, Charles M; Bauer, Ulrike; Lee, Ch'ien C; Tuen, Andrew A; Rembold, Katja; Moran, Jonathan A

    2009-10-23

    Nepenthes pitcher plants are typically carnivorous, producing pitchers with varying combinations of epicuticular wax crystals, viscoelastic fluids and slippery peristomes to trap arthropod prey, especially ants. However, ant densities are low in tropical montane habitats, thereby limiting the potential benefits of the carnivorous syndrome. Nepenthes lowii, a montane species from Borneo, produces two types of pitchers that differ greatly in form and function. Pitchers produced by immature plants conform to the 'typical' Nepenthes pattern, catching arthropod prey. However, pitchers produced by mature N. lowii plants lack the features associated with carnivory and are instead visited by tree shrews, which defaecate into them after feeding on exudates that accumulate on the pitcher lid. We tested the hypothesis that tree shrew faeces represent a significant nitrogen (N) source for N. lowii, finding that it accounts for between 57 and 100 per cent of foliar N in mature N. lowii plants. Thus, N. lowii employs a diversified N sequestration strategy, gaining access to a N source that is not available to sympatric congeners. The interaction between N. lowii and tree shrews appears to be a mutualism based on the exchange of food sources that are scarce in their montane habitat.

  3. Antioxidant, Metal Chelating, Anti-glucosidase Activities and Phytochemical Analysis of Selected Tropical Medicinal Plants

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Fai-Chu; Yong, Ann-Li; Ting, Evon Peir-Shan; Khoo, Sim-Chyi; Ong, Hean-Chooi; Chai, Tsun-Thai

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this investigation was to determine the antioxidant potentials and anti-glucosidase activities of six tropical medicinal plants. The levels of phenolic constituents in these medicinal plants were also quantified and compared. Antioxidation potentials were determined colorimetrically for scavenging activities against DPPH and NO radicals. Metal chelating assay was based on the measurement of iron-ferrozine absorbance at 562 nm. Anti-diabetic potentials were measured by using α-glucosidase as target enzyme. Medicinal plants’ total phenolic, total flavonoid and hydroxycinnamic acid contents were determined using spectrophotometric methods, by comparison to standard plots prepared using gallic acid, quercetin and caffeic acid standards, respectively. Radical scavenging and metal chelating activities were detected in all medicinal plants, in concentration-dependent manners. Among the six plants tested, C. nutans, C. formosana and H. diffusa were found to possess α-glucosidase inhibitory activities. Spectrophotometric analysis indicated that the total phenolic, total flavonoid and hydroxycinnamic acid contents ranged from 12.13-21.39 mg GAE per g of dry sample, 1.83-9.86 mg QE per g of dry sample, and 0.91-2.74 mg CAE per g of dry sample, respectively. Our results suggested that C. nutans and C. formosana could potentially be used for the isolation of potent antioxidants and anti-diabetic compounds. To the best of our knowledge, this study represents the first time that C. nutans (Acanthaceae family) was reported in literature with glucosidase inhibition activity. PMID:25587331

  4. Emission of volatile organic compounds (VOC) from tropical plant species in India.

    PubMed

    Padhy, P K; Varshney, C K

    2005-06-01

    Foliar emission of volatile organic compounds (VOC) from common Indian plant species was measured. Dynamic flow enclosure technique was used and the gas samples were collected onto Tenax-GC/Carboseive cartridges. The Tenax-GC/Carboseive cartridges were attached to the thermal disorber sample injection system and the gas sample was analysed using gas chromatography (GC) with flame ionisation detection (FID). Fifty-one local plant species were screened, out of which 36 species were found to emit VOC (4 high emitter; 28 moderate emitter; and 4 low-emitter), while in the remaining 15 species no VOC emission was detected or the levels of emission were below detection limit (BDL). VOC emission was found to vary from one species to another. There was a marked seasonal and diurnal variation in VOC emission. The minimum and maximum VOC emission values were < 0.1 and 87 microgg(-1) dry leaf h(-1) in Ficus infectoria and Lantana camara respectively. Out of the 51 plant species studied, 13 species are reported here for the first time. Among the nine tree species (which were selected for detailed study), the highest average hourly emission (9.69+/-8.39 microgg(-1) dry leaf) was observed in Eucalyptus species and the minimum in Syzygium jambolanum (1.89+/-2.48 microgg(-1) dry leaf). An attempt has been made to compare VOC emission from different plant species between present study and the literature (tropical and other regions).

  5. Climate-Dependence of Plant-Soil 15N/14N Interactions Across Tropical Rainforests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Houlton, B. Z.; Sigman, D. M.; Hedin, L. O.

    2005-12-01

    soils and plants across these tropical rainforests. We also show that these interactions are climate-dependent.

  6. Occurrence of triclosan in the tropical rivers receiving the effluents from the hospital wastewater treatment plant.

    PubMed

    Yang, Gordon C C; Tsai, Hsin-Jen; Chang, Fu-Kuei

    2015-03-01

    The objective of this study was to determine the occurrence of triclosan in the tropical rivers where received the effluents from a hospital wastewater treatment plant (HWWTP) in southern Taiwan. Three and ten sampling sites were selected at the Jiaosu River (S0-S2) and Dian-Bao River (S3-S12), respectively. The samples of the HWWTP influent, effluent and receiving river water and sediment were collected and analyzed using ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS/ MS). Results showed that the triclosan level in surface water of the Jiaosu River and Dian-Bao River ranged from 3 to 68 ng/L and ranged from <2.7 to 51 ng/L, respectively. The hospital did contribute a loading of triclosan to the neighboring river. The mean value of triclosan concentration in the downstream surface water of the Jiaosu River (S1 20.2 ng/L) was approximately three times higher than that of the background level (S0 6.0 ng/L) (p = 0.011). The concentrations of triclosan in two surface water samples were over the predicted no effect concentration (PNEC) of 50 ng/L for algae. In addition, significant seasonal differences of triclosan in surface water of Jiaosu River (p = 0.020) and the HWWTP effluents (p = 0.302) were also observed. The concentrations of triclosan in sediments of these two rivers seemed stable. On average, triclosan was detected in 86 % of the sediment samples with a range from <1.1 to 13 ng/g. Triclosan in surface water and sediments of the tropical rivers might be rapidly photolyzed due to plenty of sunshine. It is worth to further investigate the occurrence and fate of triclosan photoproduct in the aquatic environment of the tropics.

  7. Seasonal and altitudinal variations of legacy and current-use pesticides in the Brazilian tropical and subtropical mountains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meire, Rodrigo Ornellas; Lee, Sum Chi; Yao, Yuan; Targino, Admir C.; Torres, João Paulo M.; Harner, Tom

    2012-11-01

    Polyurethane foam (PUF) disk passive air samplers were deployed over summer (December-March) and winter (June-August) periods in 2007-2008 along altitudinal gradients in Brazilian southeastern and southern mountain regions. As part of the Global Atmospheric Passive Sampling (GAPS) Network, this work was initiated to address the lack of knowledge on the fate of legacy and current-use pesticides in South America, particularly in mountainous regions. Of the pesticides measured, concentrations in air were dominated by the current-use pesticides (CUPs) endosulfan (and its metabolite, endosulfan sulphate (EndoSO4)) and chlorpyrifos. Other pesticides that were regularly detected included α- and γ-hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs), dieldrin, heptachlor epoxide and p,p‧-DDE. Highest air concentrations were observed for total endosulfan (Endo I + Endo II + EndoSO4) (100s-1000s pg m-3), followed by chlorpyrifos, ΣDDT (mainly o,p‧-DDT + p,p‧-DDE), ΣHCH (α-HCH + γ-HCH), dieldrin and heptachlor epoxide. Seasonal variations did not show any clear trends for pesticides, except for endosulfan which reached concentration values one order of magnitude higher during summer at all sites compared to levels during winter. Along the altitudinal gradients, some pesticides showed higher atmospheric concentrations at sites above 1500 m which may indicate efficient high-altitude transport from regional sources. Northerly and southerly air back trajectories appeared to be the main continental influences at the two highest-altitude sites in both mountain regions. These trajectories travelled over extended crop areas from central Brazil to Argentina. A strong, positive correlation between air concentration and altitude was observed (Spearman's correlation, p < 0.05) for endosulfan, consistent with previous studies of endosulfan in mountainous regions in South America.

  8. Soil and biomass carbon pools in model communities of tropical plants under elevated CO2.

    PubMed

    Arnone, J A; Körner, Ch

    1995-09-01

    The experimental data presented here relate to the question of whether terrestrial ecosystems will sequester more C in their soils, litter and biomass as atmospheric CO2 concentrations rise. Similar to our previous study with relatively fertile growth conditions (Körner and Arnone 1992), we constructed four rather nutrient-limited model communities of moist tropical plant species in greenhouses (approximately 7 m(2) each). Plant communities were composed of seven species (77 individuals per community) representing major taxonomic groups and various life forms found in the moist tropics. Two ecosystems were exposed to 340 μl CO2 l(-1) and two to 610 μl l(-1) for 530 days of humid tropical growth conditions. In order to permit precise determination of C deposition in the soil, plant communities were initially established in C-free unwashed quartz sand. Soils were then amended with known amounts of organic matter (containing C and nutrients). Mineral nutrients were also supplied over the course of the experiment as timed-release full-balance fertilizer pellets. Soils represented by far the largest repositories for fixed C in all ecosystems. Almost 5 times more C (ca. 80% of net C fixation) was sequestered in the soil than in the biomass, but this did not differ between CO2 treatments. In addition, at the whole-ecosystem level we found a remarkably small and statistically non-significant increase in C sequestration (+4%; the sum of C accretion in the soil, biomass, litter and necromass). Total community biomass more than quadrupled during the experiment, but at harvest was, on average, only 8% greater (i.e. 6% per year; n.s.) under elevated CO2, mainly due to increased root biomass (+15%, P=0.12). Time courses of leaf area index of all ecosystems suggested that canopy expansion was approaching steady state by the time systems were harvested. Net primary productivity (NPP) of all ecosystems-i.e. annual accumulation of biomass, necromass, and leaf litter (but not

  9. Fire alters ecosystem carbon and nutrients but not plant nutrient stoichiometry or composition in tropical savanna.

    PubMed

    Pellegrini, Adam F A; Hedin, Lars O; Staver, A Carla; Govender, Navashni

    2015-05-01

    Fire and nutrients interact to influence the global distribution and dynamics of the savanna biome, but the results of these interactions are both complex and poorly known. A critical but unresolved question is whether short-term losses of carbon and nutrients caused by fire can trigger long-term and potentially compensatory responses in the nutrient stoichiometry of plants, or in the abundance of dinitrogen-fixing trees. There is disagreement in the literature about the potential role of fire on savanna nutrients, and, in turn, on plant stoichiometry and composition. A major limitation has been the lack of fire manipulations over time scales sufficiently long for these interactions to emerge. We use a 58-year, replicated, large-scale, fire manipulation experiment in Kruger National Park (South Africa) in savanna to quantify the effect of fire on (1) distributions of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus at the ecosystem scale; (2) carbon: nitrogen: phosphorus stoichiometry of above- and belowground tissues of plant species; and (3) abundance of plant functional groups including nitrogen fixers. Our results show dramatic effects of fire on the relative distribution of nutrients in soils, but that individual plant stoichiometry and plant community composition remained unexpectedly resilient. Moreover, measures of nutrients and carbon stable isotopes allowed us to discount the role of tree cover change in favor of the turnover of herbaceous biomass as the primary mechanism that mediates a transition from low to high 'soil carbon and nutrients in the absence of fire. We conclude that, in contrast to extra-tropical grasslands or closed-canopy forests, vegetation in the savanna biome may be uniquely adapted to nutrient losses caused by recurring fire.

  10. Plant Diversity in Live Fences and Pastures, Two Examples from the Mexican Humid Tropics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruiz-Guerra, Betsabé; Rosas, Noé Velázquez; López-Acosta, Juan Carlos

    2014-09-01

    This study analyzes the potential uses of live fences and pastures as reservoirs of plant diversity for two regions with different management histories, Los Tuxtlas (LT) and Uxpanapa (UX), Veracruz, México. We studied two habitats, live fences and pastures, analyzed their species richness, diversity, structure and plant composition and classified species according to plant regeneration modes (light-demanding and shade tolerant), seed dispersal syndrome and their local uses. We recorded 62 species of trees at LT and 48 at UX. Live fences were more diverse than pastures in both regions. The LT site showed to analyze the relationship a higher diversity of plants in regeneration stages than the one at UX. However, UX had higher diversity of adult plants in the pastures than LT. Composition and structure of live fences were different between regions, as well as within live fences and pastures, 53 % of species were light-demanding and 40 % were shade tolerant; 70 % of the species were dispersed by birds. Differences between sites are associated with the modifications in live fences structure, which changed according to managerial practices and the use of local species; this may influence plant regeneration modes as well as the visits of avian dispersal agents. In LT, all species found in live fences were useful to humans, whereas in UX, less than half were used by the local population. Our results underline the importance of live fences and isolated trees in pasture habitats as potential sites to host native and useful species from tropical rain forests in livestock landscapes.

  11. Plant diversity in live fences and pastures, two examples from the Mexican humid tropics.

    PubMed

    Ruiz-Guerra, Betsabé; Rosas, Noé Velázquez; López-Acosta, Juan Carlos

    2014-09-01

    This study analyzes the potential uses of live fences and pastures as reservoirs of plant diversity for two regions with different management histories, Los Tuxtlas (LT) and Uxpanapa (UX), Veracruz, México. We studied two habitats, live fences and pastures, analyzed their species richness, diversity, structure and plant composition and classified species according to plant regeneration modes (light-demanding and shade tolerant), seed dispersal syndrome and their local uses. We recorded 62 species of trees at LT and 48 at UX. Live fences were more diverse than pastures in both regions. The LT site showed to analyze the relationship a higher diversity of plants in regeneration stages than the one at UX. However, UX had higher diversity of adult plants in the pastures than LT. Composition and structure of live fences were different between regions, as well as within live fences and pastures, 53 % of species were light-demanding and 40 % were shade tolerant; 70 % of the species were dispersed by birds. Differences between sites are associated with the modifications in live fences structure, which changed according to managerial practices and the use of local species; this may influence plant regeneration modes as well as the visits of avian dispersal agents. In LT, all species found in live fences were useful to humans, whereas in UX, less than half were used by the local population. Our results underline the importance of live fences and isolated trees in pasture habitats as potential sites to host native and useful species from tropical rain forests in livestock landscapes.

  12. Land-use intensification effects on functional properties in tropical plant communities.

    PubMed

    Carreño-Rocabado, Geovana; Peña-Claros, Marielos; Bongers, Frans; Díaz, Sandra; Quetier, Fabien; Chuviña, José; Poorter, Lourens

    2016-01-01

    There is consensus that plant diversity and ecosystem processes are negatively affected by land-use intensification (LUI), but, at the same time, there is empirical evidence that a large heterogeneity can be found in the responses. This heterogeneity is especially poorly understood in tropical ecosystems. We evaluated changes in community functional properties across five common land-use types in the wet tropics with different land-use intensity: mature forest, logged forest, secondary forest, agricultural land, and pastureland, located in the lowlands of Bolivia. For the dominant plant species, we measured 12 functional response traits related to their life history, acquisition and conservation of resources, plant domestication, and breeding. We used three single-trait metrics to describe community functional properties: community abundance-weighted mean (CWM) traits values, coefficient of variation, and kurtosis of distribution. The CWM of all 12 traits clearly responded to LUI. Overall, we found that an increase in LUI resulted in communities dominated by plants with acquisitive leaf trait values. However, contrary to our expectations, secondary forests had more conservative trait values (i.e., lower specific leaf area) than mature and logged forest, probably because they were dominated by palm species. Functional variation peaked at intermediate land-use intensity (high coefficient of variation and low kurtosis), which included secondary forest but, unexpectedly, also agricultural land, which is an intensely managed system. The high functional variation of these systems is due to a combination of how response traits (and species) are filtered out by biophysical filters and how management practices introduced a range of exotic species and their trait values into the local species pool. Our results showed that, at local scales and depending on prevailing environmental and management practices, LUI does not necessarily result in communities with more acquisitive

  13. The Brazilian developments on the Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (BRAMS 5.2): an integrated environmental model tuned for tropical areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Freitas, Saulo R.; Panetta, Jairo; Longo, Karla M.; Rodrigues, Luiz F.; Moreira, Demerval S.; Rosário, Nilton E.; Silva Dias, Pedro L.; Silva Dias, Maria A. F.; Souza, Enio P.; Freitas, Edmilson D.; Longo, Marcos; Frassoni, Ariane; Fazenda, Alvaro L.; Silva, Cláudio M. Santos e.; Pavani, Cláudio A. B.; Eiras, Denis; França, Daniela A.; Massaru, Daniel; Silva, Fernanda B.; Santos, Fernando C.; Pereira, Gabriel; Camponogara, Gláuber; Ferrada, Gonzalo A.; Campos Velho, Haroldo F.; Menezes, Isilda; Freire, Julliana L.; Alonso, Marcelo F.; Gácita, Madeleine S.; Zarzur, Maurício; Fonseca, Rafael M.; Lima, Rafael S.; Siqueira, Ricardo A.; Braz, Rodrigo; Tomita, Simone; Oliveira, Valter; Martins, Leila D.

    2017-01-01

    We present a new version of the Brazilian developments on the Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (BRAMS), in which different previous versions for weather, chemistry, and carbon cycle were unified in a single integrated modeling system software. This new version also has a new set of state-of-the-art physical parameterizations and greater computational parallel and memory usage efficiency. The description of the main model features includes several examples illustrating the quality of the transport scheme for scalars, radiative fluxes on surface, and model simulation of rainfall systems over South America at different spatial resolutions using a scale aware convective parameterization. Additionally, the simulation of the diurnal cycle of the convection and carbon dioxide concentration over the Amazon Basin, as well as carbon dioxide fluxes from biogenic processes over a large portion of South America, are shown. Atmospheric chemistry examples show the model performance in simulating near-surface carbon monoxide and ozone in the Amazon Basin and the megacity of Rio de Janeiro. For tracer transport and dispersion, the model capabilities to simulate the volcanic ash 3-D redistribution associated with the eruption of a Chilean volcano are demonstrated. The gain of computational efficiency is described in some detail. BRAMS has been applied for research and operational forecasting mainly in South America. Model results from the operational weather forecast of BRAMS on 5 km grid spacing in the Center for Weather Forecasting and Climate Studies, INPE/Brazil, since 2013 are used to quantify the model skill of near-surface variables and rainfall. The scores show the reliability of BRAMS for the tropical and subtropical areas of South America. Requirements for keeping this modeling system competitive regarding both its functionalities and skills are discussed. Finally, we highlight the relevant contribution of this work to building a South American community of model

  14. Clinical and laboratory features of HTLV-I asymptomatic carriers and patients with HTLV-I-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis from the Brazilian Amazon.

    PubMed

    Takatani, Massanobu; Crispim, Myuki Esashika; Fraiji, Nelson; Stefani, Mariane Martins Araujo; Kiesslich, Dagmar

    2017-04-03

    Clinical and laboratory parameters including blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) neopterin were investigated in human-T-lymphotropic-virus-type-I associated-myelopathy/tropical-spastic-paraparesis-HAM/TSP and in HTLV-I carriers. HAM/TSP (n = 11, 2 males/9 females, median age = 48 years), recently diagnosed HTLV-I carriers (n = 21, 15 females/6 males, median age = 44 years), healthy individuals (n = 20, 10 males/10 females, median age = 34.6 years) from the Brazilian Amazon (Manaus, Amazonas State) were investigated. Neopterin was measured (IBL ELISA Neopterin, Germany) in serum samples of all the participants, in CSF of 9 HAM/TSP patients as well as in 6 carriers. In HAM/TSP patients, CSF cell counts, protein and glucose were measured, the Osame's motor-disability-score/OMDS was determined, and brain/spinal cord magnetic-resonance-imaging (MRI) was performed. HAM/TSP patients had normal CSF glucose, leukocyte counts; and normal protein levels predominated. Brain-MRI showed white-matter lesions in 7 out of 11 HAM/TSP patients. OMDS varied from 2-8: 9 were able to walk, 2 were wheel-chair-users. The median serum neopterin concentration in HAM/TSP patients was 6.6 nmol/ L; min. 2.8- max. 12.5 nmol/ L); was lower in carriers (4.3 nmol/L; min. 2.7- max. 7.2 nmol/ L) as well as in healthy participants (4.7 nmol/ L; min. 2.7- max. 8.0 nmol/ L) (p < 0.05). CSF neopterin concentrations in HAM/TSP patients were higher than in serum samples, and higher compared to carriers (p < 0.05). Carriers had similar serum-CSF neopterin concentrations compared to healthy participants. Variable clinical and laboratory profiles were seen in HAM/TSP patients, however our results support the neopterin measurement as a potential biomarker of disease activity.

  15. Plant delta 15N correlates with the transpiration efficiency of nitrogen acquisition in tropical trees.

    PubMed

    Cernusak, Lucas A; Winter, Klaus; Turner, Benjamin L

    2009-11-01

    Based upon considerations of a theoretical model of (15)N/(14)N fractionation during steady-state nitrate uptake from soil, we hypothesized that, for plants grown in a common soil environment, whole-plant delta(15)N (deltaP) should vary as a function of the transpiration efficiency of nitrogen acquisition (F(N)/v) and the difference between deltaP and root delta(15)N (deltaP - deltaR). We tested these hypotheses with measurements of several tropical tree and liana species. Consistent with theoretical expectations, both F(N)/v and deltaP - deltaR were significant sources of variation in deltaP, and the relationship between deltaP and F(N)/v differed between non-N(2)-fixing and N(2)-fixing species. We interpret the correlation between deltaP and F(N)/v as resulting from variation in mineral nitrogen efflux-to-influx ratios across plasma membranes of root cells. These results provide a simple explanation of variation in delta(15)N of terrestrial plants and have implications for understanding nitrogen cycling in ecosystems.

  16. Plant phylogeny as a window on the evolution of hyperdiversity in the tropical rainforest biome.

    PubMed

    Eiserhardt, Wolf L; Couvreur, Thomas L P; Baker, William J

    2017-03-09

    I. II. III. IV. V. VI. VII. VIII. IX. References SUMMARY: Tropical rainforest (TRF) is the most species-rich terrestrial biome on Earth, harbouring just under half of the world's plant species in c. 7% of the land surface. Phylogenetic trees provide important insights into mechanisms underpinning TRF hyperdiversity that are complementary to those obtained from the fossil record. Phylogenetic studies of TRF plant diversity have mainly focused on whether this biome is an evolutionary 'cradle' or 'museum', emphasizing speciation and extinction rates. However, other explanations, such as biome age, immigration and ecological limits, must also be considered. We present a conceptual framework for addressing the drivers of TRF diversity, and review plant studies that have tested them with phylogenetic data. Although surprisingly few in number, these studies point to old age of TRF, low extinction and high speciation rates as credible drivers of TRF hyperdiversity. There is less evidence for immigration and ecological limits, but these cannot be dismissed owing to the limited number of studies. Rapid methodological developments in DNA sequencing, macroevolutionary analysis and the integration of phylogenetics with other disciplines may improve our grasp of TRF hyperdiversity in the future. However, such advances are critically dependent on fundamental systematic research, yielding numerous, additional, well-sampled phylogenies of TRF lineages.

  17. Transgenic plants for tropical regions: Some considerations about their development and their transfer to the small farmer

    PubMed Central

    Herrera-Estrella, Luis

    1999-01-01

    Biotechnological applications, especially transgenic plants, probably hold the most promise in augmenting agricultural production in the first decades of the next millennium. However, the application of these technologies to the agriculture of tropical regions where the largest areas of low productivity are located, and where they are most needed, remains a major challenge. In this paper, some of the important issues that need to be considered to ensure that plant biotechnology is effectively transferred to the developing world are discussed. PMID:10339527

  18. β-Diversity of functional groups of woody plants in a tropical dry forest in Yucatan.

    PubMed

    López-Martínez, Jorge Omar; Sanaphre-Villanueva, Lucía; Dupuy, Juan Manuel; Hernández-Stefanoni, José Luis; Meave, Jorge Arturo; Gallardo-Cruz, José Alberto

    2013-01-01

    Two main theories have attempted to explain variation in plant species composition (β-diversity). Niche theory proposes that most of the variation is related to environment (environmental filtering), whereas neutral theory posits that dispersal limitation is the main driver of β-diversity. In this study, we first explored how α- and β-diversity of plant functional groups defined by growth form (trees, shrubs and lianas, which represent different strategies of resource partitioning), and dispersal syndrome (autochory, anemochory and zoochory, which represent differences in dispersal limitation) vary with successional age and topographic position in a tropical dry forest. Second, we examined the effects of environmental, spatial, and spatially-structured environmental factors on β-diversity of functional groups; we used the spatial structure of sampling sites as a proxy for dispersal limitation, and elevation, soil properties and forest stand age as indicators of environmental filtering. We recorded 200 species and 22,245 individuals in 276 plots; 120 species were trees, 41 shrubs and 39 lianas. We found that β-diversity was highest for shrubs, intermediate for lianas and lowest for trees, and was slightly higher for zoochorous than for autochorous and anemochorous species. All three dispersal syndromes, trees and shrubs varied in composition among vegetation classes (successional age and topographic position), whilst lianas did not. β-diversity was influenced mostly by proxies of environmental filtering, except for shrubs, for which the influence of dispersal limitation was more important. Stand age and topography significantly influenced α-diversity across functional groups, but showed a low influence on β-diversity -possibly due to the counterbalancing effect of resprouting on plant distribution and composition. Our results show that considering different plant functional groups reveals important differences in both α- and β-diversity patterns and

  19. β-Diversity of Functional Groups of Woody Plants in a Tropical Dry Forest in Yucatan

    PubMed Central

    López-Martínez, Jorge Omar; Sanaphre-Villanueva, Lucía; Dupuy, Juan Manuel; Hernández-Stefanoni, José Luis; Meave, Jorge Arturo; Gallardo-Cruz, José Alberto

    2013-01-01

    Two main theories have attempted to explain variation in plant species composition (β-diversity). Niche theory proposes that most of the variation is related to environment (environmental filtering), whereas neutral theory posits that dispersal limitation is the main driver of β-diversity. In this study, we first explored how α- and β-diversity of plant functional groups defined by growth form (trees, shrubs and lianas, which represent different strategies of resource partitioning), and dispersal syndrome (autochory, anemochory and zoochory, which represent differences in dispersal limitation) vary with successional age and topographic position in a tropical dry forest. Second, we examined the effects of environmental, spatial, and spatially-structured environmental factors on β-diversity of functional groups; we used the spatial structure of sampling sites as a proxy for dispersal limitation, and elevation, soil properties and forest stand age as indicators of environmental filtering. We recorded 200 species and 22,245 individuals in 276 plots; 120 species were trees, 41 shrubs and 39 lianas. We found that β-diversity was highest for shrubs, intermediate for lianas and lowest for trees, and was slightly higher for zoochorous than for autochorous and anemochorous species. All three dispersal syndromes, trees and shrubs varied in composition among vegetation classes (successional age and topographic position), whilst lianas did not. β-diversity was influenced mostly by proxies of environmental filtering, except for shrubs, for which the influence of dispersal limitation was more important. Stand age and topography significantly influenced α-diversity across functional groups, but showed a low influence on β-diversity –possibly due to the counterbalancing effect of resprouting on plant distribution and composition. Our results show that considering different plant functional groups reveals important differences in both α- and β-diversity patterns and

  20. Plant zonation in a tropical irregular estuary: can large occurrence zones be explained by a tradeoff model?

    PubMed

    Ribeiro, J P N; Matsumoto, R S; Takao, L K; Lima, M I S

    2015-08-01

    Estuaries present an environmental gradient that ranges from almost fresh water conditions to almost marine conditions. Salinity and flooding are the main abiotic drivers for plants. Therefore, plant zonation in estuaries is closely related to the tidal cycles. It is expected that the competitive abilities of plants would be inversely related to the tolerance toward environmental stress (tradeoff). Thus, in estuaries, plant zonation tends to be controlled by the environment near the sandbar and by competition away from it. This zonation pattern has been proposed for regular non-tropical estuaries. For tropical estuaries, the relative importance of rain is higher, and it is not clear to what extent this model can be extrapolated. We measured the tidal influence along the environmental gradient of a tropical irregular estuary and quantified the relative importance of the environment and the co-occurrence degree. Contrary to the narrow occurrence zone that would be expected for regular estuaries, plants presented large occurrence zones. However, the relative importance of the environment and competition followed the same patterns proposed for regular estuaries. The environmental conditions allow plants to occur in larger zones, but these zones arise from smaller and infrequent patches distributed across a larger area, and most species populations are concentrated in relatively narrow zones. Thus, we concluded that the zonation pattern in the Massaguaçu River estuary agrees with the tradeoff model.

  1. Brazilian medicinal plants to treat upper respiratory tract and bronchial illness: systematic review and meta-analyses—study protocol

    PubMed Central

    Lopes, Luciane C; Silva, Maria Carolina O; Motta, Cristiane Bergamashi; Macho Quirós, Antonio; Biavatti, Maique Weber; de Oliveira, Jardel Corrêa; Guyatt, Gordon

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Respiratory illness, often associated with cough and sputum, is frequent. In Brazil, herbal medicines are often recommended as a first-line treatment for respiratory illness. There exists uncertainty regarding the effectiveness of these treatments. No systematic review has evaluated Brazilian medicinal plants (BMP) to treat upper respiratory tract and bronchial illness (URTI). Methods and analysis We will conduct a systematic review and, if appropriate, a series of meta-analyses evaluating the safety and effectiveness of BMP for URTI. Eligible randomised controlled trials and observational studies will enrol adult or paediatric patients presenting with URTI treated by BMP approved by the Brazilian Health Surveillance Agency compared with placebo, no treatment or an alternative therapy. Our search will include the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), which contains the Cochrane Acute Respiratory Illness Group's Specialized Register; MEDLINE; EMBASE; CINAHL (Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature); Web of Science; AMED; LILACS; CAB abstracts; clinical trial.gov; the WHO Trial Register and the Brazilian thesis database (CAPES) without any language restrictions. Outcomes of interest are time to resolution of clinical symptoms and/or signs (cough, sputum production or activity limitations), severity of symptoms prior to resolution and major/minor adverse events. Teams of reviewers will, independently and in duplicate, screen titles and abstracts and the complete full text to determine eligibility. For eligible studies, reviewers will perform data abstraction and assess risk of bias of eligible trials. When appropriate, we will conduct meta-analyses. We will also assess the quality of body of evidence (confidence in estimates of effect) for each of the outcomes using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach. Ethics and dissemination The systematic review will be published in

  2. Experimental defoliation affects male but not female reproductive performance of the tropical monoecious plant Croton suberosus (Euphorbiaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Narbona, Eduardo; Dirzo, Rodolfo

    2010-01-01

    Background and Aims Monoecious plants have the capacity to allocate resources separately to male and female functions more easily than hermaphrodites. This can be advantageous against environmental stresses such as leaf herbivory. However, studies showing effects of herbivory on male and female functions and on the interaction with the plant's pollinators are limited, particularly in tropical plants. Here, the effects of experimental defoliation were examined in the monoecious shrub Croton suberosus (Euphorbiaceae), a wasp-pollinated species from a Mexican tropical dry forest. Methods Three defoliation treatments were applied: 0 % (control), 25 % (low) or 75 % (high) of plant leaf area removed. Vegetative (production of new leaves) and reproductive (pistillate and staminate flower production, pollen viability, nectar production, fruit set, and seed set) performance variables, and the abundance and activity of floral visitors were examined. Key Results Defoliated plants overcompensated for tissue loss by producing more new leaves than control plants. Production of staminate flowers gradually decreased with increasing defoliation and the floral sex ratio (staminate : pistillate flowers) was drastically reduced in high-defoliation plants. In contrast, female reproductive performance (pistillate flower production, fruit set and seed set) and pollinator visitation and abundance were not impacted by defoliation. Conclusions The asymmetrical effects of defoliation on male and female traits of C. suberosus may be due to the temporal and spatial flexibility in the allocation of resources deployed by monoecious plants. We posit that this helps to maintain the plant's pollination success in the face of leaf herbivory stress. PMID:20519239

  3. Nutrient resorption patterns of plant functional groups in a tropical savanna: variation and functional significance.

    PubMed

    Ratnam, Jayashree; Sankaran, Mahesh; Hanan, Niall P; Grant, Rina C; Zambatis, Nick

    2008-08-01

    Green and senesced leaf nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) concentrations of different plant functional groups in savanna communities of Kruger National Park, South Africa were analyzed to determine if nutrient resorption was regulated by plant nutritional status and foliar N:P ratios. The N and P concentrations in green leaves and the N concentrations in senesced leaves differed significantly between the dominant plant functional groups in these savannas: fine-leaved trees, broad-leaved trees and grasses. However, all three functional groups reduced P to comparable and very low levels in senesced leaves, suggesting that P was tightly conserved in this tropical semi-arid savanna ecosystem. Across all functional groups, there was evidence for nutritional control of resorption in this system, with both N and P resorption efficiencies decreasing as green leaf nutrient concentrations increased. However, specific patterns of resorption and the functional relationships between nutrient concentrations in green and senesced leaves varied by nutrient and plant functional group. Functional relationships between N concentrations in green and senesced leaves were indistinguishable between the dominant groups, suggesting that variation in N resorption efficiency was largely the result of inter-life form differences in green leaf N concentrations. In contrast, observed differences in P resorption efficiencies between life forms appear to be the result of both differences in green leaf P concentrations as well as inherent differences between life forms in the fraction of green leaf P resorbed from senescing leaves. Our results indicate that foliar N:P ratios are poor predictors of resorption efficiency in this ecosystem, in contrast to N and P resorption proficiencies, which are more responsive to foliar N:P ratios.

  4. Stable carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen, isotope analysis of plants from a South Asian tropical forest: Implications for primatology.

    PubMed

    Roberts, Patrick; Blumenthal, Scott A; Dittus, Wolfgang; Wedage, Oshan; Lee-Thorp, Julia A

    2017-03-27

    Stable isotope analysis of primate tissues in tropical forest contexts is an increasingly popular means of obtaining information about niche distinctions among sympatric species, including preferences in feeding height, forest canopy density, plant parts, and trophism. However, issues of equifinality mean that feeding height, canopy density, as well as the plant parts and plant species consumed, may produce similar or confounding effects. With a few exceptions, researchers have so far relied largely on general principles and/or limited plant data from the study area as references for deducing the predominant drivers of primate isotope variation. Here, we explore variation in the stable carbon (δ(13) C), nitrogen (δ(15) N), and oxygen (δ(18) O) isotope ratios of 288 plant samples identified as important to the three primate species from the Polonnaruwa Nature Sanctuary, Sri Lanka, relative to plant part, season, and canopy height. Our results show that plant part and height have the greatest effect on the δ(13) C and δ(18) O measurements of plants of immediate relevance to the primates, Macaca sinica, Semnopithecus priam thersites, and Trachypithecus vetulus, living in this monsoonal tropical forest. We find no influence of plant part, height or season on the δ(15) N of measured plants. While the plant part effect is particularly pronounced in δ(13) C between fruits and leaves, differential feeding height, and plant taxonomy influence plant δ(13) C and δ(18) O differences in addition to plant organ. Given that species composition in different regions and forest types will differ, the results urge caution in extrapolating general isotopic trends without substantial local baselines studies.

  5. Selection of sugar cane families by using BLUP and multi-diverse analyses for planting in the Brazilian savannah.

    PubMed

    Barbosa, M H P; Ferreira, A; Peixoto, L A; Resende, M D V; Nascimento, M; Silva, F F

    2014-03-12

    This study evaluated different strategies to select sugar cane families and obtain clones adapted to the conditions of the Brazilian savannah. Specifically, 7 experiments were conducted, with 10 full sib families, and 2 witnesses in common to all experiments, in each experiment. The plants were grown in random blocks, with witnesses in common (incomplete blocks), and 6 repetitions of each experiment. The data were analyzed through the methodology of mixed patterns, in which the matrices of kinship between the families were identified by the method of restricted maximum likelihood. The characteristics that were evaluated included soluble solids content (BRIX), BRIX ton/ha, average mass of a culm, number of culms/m, and tons of culms/ha. A multi-diverse alternative based on the analysis of groupings by using the UPGMA method was used to identify the most viable families for selection, when considering the genotypic effects on all characteristics. This method appeared suitable for the selection of families, with 5 family groups being formed. The families that formed Group 2 appeared superior to all other families for all the evaluated characteristics. It is recommended that the families in Group 2 are preferentially used in sugar cane improvement programs to obtain varieties optimally adapted to the conditions of the Brazilian savannah.

  6. Diversity of the endophytic fungi associated with the ancient and narrowly endemic neotropical plant Vellozia gigantea from the endangered Brazilian rupestrian grasslands.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The diversity of cultivable endophytic fungal community associated with the rare, ancient and narrowly endemic Neotropical plant Vellozia gigantea present in the Brazilian Rupestrian Grasslands was assessed. Two hundred and eighty-five fungal isolates obtained were identified into 27 genera and 87 t...

  7. Alien and endangered plants in the Brazilian Cerrado exhibit contrasting relationships with vegetation biomass and N : P stoichiometry.

    PubMed

    Lannes, Luciola S; Bustamante, Mercedes M C; Edwards, Peter J; Venterink, Harry Olde

    2012-11-01

    Although endangered and alien invasive plants are commonly assumed to persist under different environmental conditions, surprisingly few studies have investigated whether this is the case. We examined how endangered and alien species are distributed in relation to community biomass and N : P ratio in the above-ground community biomass in savanna vegetation in the Brazilian Cerrado. For 60 plots, we related the occurrence of endangered (Red List) and alien invasive species to plant species richness, vegetation biomass and N : P ratio, and soil variables. Endangered plants occurred mainly in plots with relatively low above-ground biomass and high N : P ratios, whereas alien invasive species occurred in plots with intermediate to high biomass and low N : P ratios. Occurrences of endangered or alien plants were unrelated to extractable N and P concentrations in the soil. These contrasting distributions in the Cerrado imply that alien species only pose a threat to endangered species if they are able to invade sites occupied by these species and increase the above-ground biomass and/or decrease the N : P ratio of the vegetation. We found some evidence that alien species do increase above-ground community biomass in the Cerrado, but their possible effect on N : P stoichiometry requires further study.

  8. In vitro investigation of Brazilian Cerrado plant extract activity against Plasmodium falciparum, Trypanosoma cruzi and T. brucei gambiense.

    PubMed

    Charneau, Sébastien; de Mesquita, Mariana Laundry; Bastos, Izabela Marques Dourado; Santana, Jaime Martins; de Paula, José Elias; Grellier, Philippe; Espindola, Laila Salmen

    2016-06-01

    The threatened Brazilian Cerrado biome is an important biodiversity hotspot but still few explored that constitutes a potential reservoir of molecules to treat infectious diseases. We selected eight Cerrado plant species for screening against the erythrocytic stages of Plasmodium falciparum, human intracellular stages of Trypanosoma cruzi and bloodstream forms of T. brucei gambiense, and for their cytotoxicity upon the rat L6-myoblast cell line. Bioassays were performed with 37 hexane, ethyl acetate and ethanol extracts prepared from different plant organs. Activities against parasites were observed for 24 extracts: 9 with anti-P. falciparum, 4 with anti-T. cruzi and 11 with anti-T. brucei gambiense activities. High anti-protozoal activity (IC50 values < 10 μg/mL) without obvious cytotoxicity to L6 cells was observed for eight extracts from plants: Connarus suberosus, Blepharocalyx salicifolius, Psidium laruotteanum and Myrsine guianensis. Overall, studies of plant extracts will contribute to increase the biodiversity knowledge essential for Cerrado conservation and sustainable development.

  9. Partitioning of water resources among plants of a lowland tropical forest.

    PubMed

    Jackson, P C; Cavelier, J; Goldstein, G; Meinzer, F C; Holbrook, N M

    1995-02-01

    Source water used by plants of several species in a semi-evergreen lowland tropical forest on Barro Colorado Island, Panama, was assessed by comparing the relative abundance of deuterium, D, versus hydrogen, H (stable hydrogen isotope composition, δD) in xylem sap and in soil water at different depths, during the dry season of 1992. Ecological correlates of source water were examined by comparing xylem water δD values with leaf phenology, leaf water status determined with a pressure chamber, and rates of water use determined as mass flow of sap using the stem heat balance method. Soil water δD values decreased sharply to 30 cm, then remained relatively constant with increasing depth. Average δD values were-13‰, for 0-30 cm depth and-36.7‰ for 30-100 cm depth. Soil water δD values were negatively associated with soil water content and soil water potential. Concurrent analyses of xylem water revealed a high degree of partitioning of water resources among species of this tropical forest. Xylem water δD of deciduous trees (average=-25.3±1.4‰) was higher than that of evergreen trees (average=-36.3±3.5‰), indicating that evergreen species had access to the more abundant soil water at greater depth than deciduous species. In evergreen shade-tolerant and high-light requiring shrubs and small trees, δD of xylem water was negatively correlated with transpiration rate and leaf water potential indicating that species using deeper, more abundant water resources had both higher rates of water use and more favorable leaf water status.

  10. Magnetic Nanosystem for Cancer Therapy Using Oncocalyxone A, an Antitomour Secondary Metabolite Isolated from a Brazilian Plant

    PubMed Central

    Barreto, Antônio C. H.; Santiago, Vivian R.; Freire, Rafael M.; Mazzetto, Selma E.; Denardin, Juliano C.; Mele, Giuseppe; Cavalcante, Igor M.; Ribeiro, Maria E. N. P.; Ricardo, Nágila M. P. S.; Gonçalves, Tamara; Carbone, Luigi; Lemos, Telma L. G.; Pessoa, Otília D. L.; Fechine, Pierre B. A.

    2013-01-01

    This paper describes the investigation and development of a novel magnetic drug delivery nanosystem (labeled as MO-20) for cancer therapy. The drug employed was oncocalyxone A (onco A), which was isolated from Auxemma oncocalyx, an endemic Brazilian plant. It has a series of pharmacological properties: antioxidant, cytotoxic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antitumor and antiplatelet. Onco A was associated with magnetite nanoparticles in order to obtain magnetic properties. The components of MO-20 were characterized by XRD, FTIR, TGA, TEM and Magnetization curves. The MO-20 presented a size of about 30 nm and globular morphology. In addition, drug releasing experiments were performed, where it was observed the presence of the anomalous transport. The results found in this work showed the potential of onco A for future applications of the MO-20 as a new magnetic drug release nanosystem for cancer treatment. PMID:24013376

  11. Yeasts from native Brazilian Cerrado plants: Occurrence, diversity and use in the biocontrol of citrus green mould.

    PubMed

    Sperandio, Eugenio Miranda; do Vale, Helson Mario Martins; Moreira, Geisianny Augusta Monteiro

    2015-11-01

    Yeasts are some of the most important postharvest biocontrol agents. Postharvest oranges frequently deteriorate due to green mould (Penicillium digitatum), which causes significant losses. The aims of this study were to determine the composition and diversity of yeasts on plants of the Brazilian Cerrado and to explore their potential for inhibiting citrus green mould. Leaves and fruit of Byrsonima crassifolia and Eugenia dysenterica were collected from Cerrado conservation areas, and thirty-five yeasts were isolated and identified by sequencing the D1-D2 domain of the rDNA large subunit (26S). The isolates represented the Aureobasidium, Meyerozyma, Candida, and Pichia genera. Three isolates identified as Aureobasidium pullulans exhibited potential for the control of P. digitatum in both in vitro and in vivo tests; these isolates reduced the incidence of disease and increased the storage time of fruit. Aureobasidium. pullulans has immense potential for the biological control of filamentous fungi.

  12. DNA barcode for the identification of the sand fly Lutzomyia longipalpis plant feeding preferences in a tropical urban environment

    PubMed Central

    Lima, Leonardo H. G. de M.; Mesquita, Marcelo R.; Skrip, Laura; de Souza Freitas, Moisés T.; Silva, Vladimir C.; Kirstein, Oscar D.; Abassi, Ibrahim; Warburg, Alon; Balbino, Valdir de Q.; Costa, Carlos H. N.

    2016-01-01

    Little is known about the feeding behavior of hematophagous insects that require plant sugar to complete their life cycles. We studied plant feeding of Lutzomyia longipalpis sand flies, known vectors of Leishmania infantum/chagasi parasites, in a Brazilian city endemic with visceral leishmaniasis. The DNA barcode technique was applied to identify plant food source of wild-caught L. longipalpis using specific primers for a locus from the chloroplast genome, ribulose diphosphate carboxylase. DNA from all trees or shrubs within a 100-meter radius from the trap were collected to build a barcode reference library. While plants from the Anacardiaceae and Meliaceae families were the most abundant at the sampling site (25.4% and 12.7% of the local plant population, respectively), DNA from these plant families was found in few flies; in contrast, despite its low abundance (2.9%), DNA from the Fabaceae family was detected in 94.7% of the sand flies. The proportion of sand flies testing positive for DNA from a given plant family was not significantly associated with abundance, distance from the trap, or average crown expansion of plants from that family. The data suggest that there may indeed be a feeding preference of L. longipalpis for plants in the Fabaceae family. PMID:27435430

  13. Flavonoids from Eight Tropical Plant Species That Inhibit the Multidrug Resistance Transporter ABCG2

    PubMed Central

    Versiani, Muhammad Ali; Diyabalanage, Thushara; Ratnayake, Ranjala; Henrich, Curtis J.; Bates, Susan E.; McMahon, James B.; Gustafson, Kirk R.

    2013-01-01

    Overexpression of ABCG2, a membrane-bound multidrug transporter, can make tumor cells resistant to treatment with conventional chemotherapeutic agents. A high-throughput screening effort with the NCI repository of natural product extracts revealed that eight tropical plant extracts significantly inhibited the function of ABCG2. This activity was tracked throughout the extract fractionation process to a series of ABCG2 inhibitory flavonoids (1–13). Their structures were identified by a combination of NMR, mass spectrometry, and circular dichroism studies, and this resulted in the elucidation of (2S)-5,7,3′-trihydroxy-4′-methoxy-8-(3″-methylbut-2″-enyl)-flavonone (1), (2S)-5,7,3′,5′-tetrahydroxy-8-[3″,8″ -dimethylocta-2″(E),7″-dienyl]flavonone (3), and 5,7,3′-trihydroxy-3,5′-dimethoxy-2′-(3′-methylbut-2-enyl)flavone (12) as new compounds. PMID:21275386

  14. Effect of logging on rodent scatter-hoarding dynamics in tropical forests: implications for plant recruitment.

    PubMed

    Gutiérrez-Granados, Gabriel

    2011-06-01

    The present study tested the hypothesis that logging affects the scatter-hoarding behavior of rodents, which, in turn, negatively affects the quantity and quality of Pouteria campechiana (Sapotaceae) seed dispersal. A series of seed stations was established in logged and unlogged forests of ejido Señor, Yucatan Peninsula, and comparisons were made between logged and unlogged forests in terms of: (i) seed removal; (ii) number of seeds hoarded; (iii) hoarding distance; and (iv) the number of recruits and the survival of hoarded seeds. The number of both hoarded and removed seeds was significantly higher in unlogged sites. Furthermore, the mean distance of hoarding was greater in unlogged compared with logged sites. Although recruitment and survival were present in both logged and unlogged sites, there were more surviving seedlings in unlogged sites. The data indicate that both the quantity and quality of seed dispersal are negatively affected by logging because of a change in the rodent scatter-hoarding dynamics. These changes suggest that plant-animal interactions are crucial to the understanding of the ecology and conservation of managed tropical forests.

  15. Overstory structure and soil nutrients effect on plant diversity in unmanaged moist tropical forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gautam, Mukesh Kumar; Manhas, Rajesh Kumar; Tripathi, Ashutosh Kumar

    2016-08-01

    Forests with intensive management past are kept unmanaged to restore diversity and ecosystem functioning. Before perpetuating abandonment after protracted restitution, understanding its effect on forest vegetation is desirable. We studied plant diversity and its relation with environmental variables and stand structure in northern Indian unmanaged tropical moist deciduous forest. We hypothesized that post-abandonment species richness would have increased, and the structure of contemporary forest would be heterogeneous. Vegetation structure, composition, and diversity were recorded, in forty 0.1 ha plots selected randomly in four forest ranges. Three soil samples per 0.1 ha were assessed for physicochemistry, fine sand, and clay mineralogy. Contemporary forest had less species richness than pre-abandonment reference period. Fourteen species were recorded as either seedling or sapling, suggesting reappearance or immigration. For most species, regeneration was either absent or impaired. Ordination and multiple regression results showed that exchangeable base cations and phosphorous affected maximum tree diversity and structure variables. Significant correlations between soil moisture and temperature, and shrub layer was observed, besides tree layer correspondence with shrub richness, suggesting that dense overstory resulting from abandonment through its effect on soil conditions, is responsible for dense shrub layer. Herb layer diversity was negatively associated with tree layer and shrub overgrowth (i.e. Mallotus spp.). Protracted abandonment may not reinforce species richness and heterogeneity; perhaps result in high tree and shrub density in moist deciduous forests, which can impede immigrating or reappearing plant species establishment. This can be overcome by density/basal area reduction strategies, albeit for both tree and shrub layer.

  16. Edge effect and phenology in Erythroxylum tortuosum (Erythroxylaceae), a typical plant of the Brazilian Cerrado.

    PubMed

    Ishino, M N; De Sibio, P R; Rossi, M N

    2012-08-01

    The edge of a forest fragment can be considered a zone of transition between the interior of the fragment and the surrounding habitat matrix. Plants along the edge are more exposed to disturbance and microclimate variation than interior plants, resulting in the so-called edge effect. In this study, we compared leaf area, fluctuating asymmetry and chemical (water, nitrogen and tannins) leaf traits between Erythroxylum tortuosum plants inhabiting the edge with those growing in the interior of a cerrado fragment in Brazil. We also describe the temporal variation in the vegetative and reproductive phenological events of E. tortuosum plants throughout the season. Nitrogen, leaf area and fluctuating asymmetry did not differ between the two plant groups. Young leaves of the edge plants had significantly higher levels of tannins and lower levels of water than those of interior plants. We suggest that differences in leaf chemical concentrations between edge and interior plants may occur due to factors such as light intensity, wind, temperature and leaf age rather than plant stress. With respect to plant phenology, most reproductive events occurred during the spring. Leaf buds and young leaves prevailed during the rainy season. In the dry season, however, the vegetative events decreased due to leaf senescence followed by leaf abscission.

  17. Evaluation of two Brazilian indigenous plants for phytostabilization and phytoremediation of copper-contaminated soils.

    PubMed

    Andreazza, R; Bortolon, L; Pieniz, S; Bento, F M; Camargo, F A O

    2015-11-01

    Indigenous plants have been grown naturally and vigorously in copper contaminated soils. Thus, the aim of this study was to evaluate the phytoremediation ability of two indigenous plants naturally grown in two vineyard soils copper contaminated, and in a copper mining waste. However, it was evaluated the macro and micronutrient uptake and the potential of phytoremediation. So, a greenhouse study was carried out with Bidens pilosa and Plantago lanceolata in samples of vineyard soils (Inceptisol and Mollisol) copper contaminated, and in a copper mining waste. Plant growth, macro and micronutrient up take, tolerance index (TI), translocation factor (TF), metal extraction ratio (MER), bioaccumulation factor (BCF), plant effective number of the shoots (PENs), and plant effective number of the total plant (PENt) were analyzed. Both plants grown in vineyard soils showed high phytomass production and TI. P. lanceolata plants cultivated in the Inceptisol showed the highest copper concentrations in the shoots (142 mg kg-1), roots (964 mg kg-1) and entire plants (1,106 mg kg-1). High levels of copper were phytoaccumulated from the Inceptisol by B. pilosa and P. lanceolata with 3,500 and 2,200 g ha-1 respectively. Both B. pilosa and P. lanceolata plants showed characteristics of high copper hyperaccumulator. Results showed that both species play an important role in the natural copper phytoaccumulation in both vineyard soils contaminated with copper, being important to its phytoremediation.

  18. Photosynthetic responses to leaf surface wetness in tropical plant species of Costa Rica with varying leaf traits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aparecido, L. M. T.; Moore, G. W.; Miller, G. R.; Cahill, A. T.

    2015-12-01

    Wet tropical forests are some of the environments with the greatest annual precipitation, but are also considered as the world's major carbon sink; however, literature postulates that phothsynthesis rates are inhibited while leaves are wet. Yet measurements of photosynthesis during wet conditions are challenging to obtain due to equipment limitations and the extreme complexity of canopy-atmosphere interactions in tropical environments. The objective of this study was to evaluate tropical species reactions to simulated leaf wetness and test the hypothesis that leaf wetness reduces rates of photosynthesis. In a central Costa Rica site with an average 4200 mm annual rainfall, we selected six tropical species with distinct leaf traits in which five sun-exposed leaf replicates from each species were subjected to gas exchange measurements using a LI-6400 IRGA (LICOR Inc., Lincoln, NE) under dry and wet/misted leaf conditions. Relationships between photosynthesis (As) and stomatal conductance (gs) with leaf to air temperature difference (DT), VPD, and relative humidity were evaluated using linear regression analysis. We found that the responses varied greatly among species, but all plants maintained a baseline of activity under wet leaf conditions, suggesting that abaxial leaf As was a significant percentage of total leaf As. Stachytarpheta jamaicens had an 18.7% reduction in As, while others, like Zamia skinneri, had a 7% increase in As. Tibouchina heteromalla showed a rapid stomatal recovery of 2 mins, while Carapa guianensis was slower with 7 mins. This variability between species suggests that leaf traits, such as presence or absence of trichomes, water repellency, vein distribution and size and leaf angle variation, may be critical for optimizing photosynthesis under wet conditions. Relative humidity and leaf temperature were the strongest secondary influences on As and gs under wet leaf conditions. While tropical vegetation-atmosphere interactions are complex, such

  19. Evapotranspiration from subsurface horizontal flow wetlands planted with Phragmites australis in sub-tropical Australia.

    PubMed

    Headley, T R; Davison, L; Huett, D O; Müller, R

    2012-02-01

    The balance between evapotranspiration (ET) loss and rainfall ingress in treatment wetlands (TWs) can affect their suitability for certain applications. The aim of this paper was to investigate the water balance and seasonal dynamics in ET of subsurface horizontal flow (HF) TWs in a sub-tropical climate. Monthly water balances were compiled for four pilot-scale HF TWs receiving horticultural runoff over a two year period (Sep. 1999-Aug. 2001) on the sub-tropical east-coast of Australia. The mean annual wetland ET rate increased from 7.0 mm/day in the first year to 10.6 mm/day in the second, in response to the development of the reed (Phragmites australis) population. Consequently, the annual crop coefficients (ratio of wetland ET to pan evaporation) increased from 1.9 in the first year to 2.6 in the second. The mean monthly ET rates were generally greater and more variable than the Class-A pan evaporation rates, indicating that transpiration is an important contributor to ET in HF TWs. Evapotranspiration rates were generally highest in the summer and autumn months, and corresponded with the times of peak standing biomass of P. australis. It is likely that ET from the relatively small 1 m wide by 4 m long HF TWs was enhanced by advection through so-called "clothesline" and "oasis" effects, which contributed to the high crop coefficients. For the second year, when the reed population was well established, the annual net loss to the atmosphere (taking into account rainfall inputs) accounted for 6.1-9.6 % of the influent hydraulic load, which is considered negligible. However, the net loss is likely to be higher in arid regions with lower rainfall. The Water Use Efficiency (WUE) of the wetlands in the second year of operation was 1.3 g of above-ground biomass produced per kilogram of water consumed, which is low compared to agricultural crops. It is proposed that system level WUE provides a useful metric for selecting wetland plant species and TW design alternatives to

  20. New Pesticidal Diterpenoids from Vellozia gigantea (Velloziaceae), an Endemic Neotropical Plant Living in the Endangered Brazilian Biome Rupestrian Grasslands.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Mariana C; Cantrell, Charles L; Duke, Stephen O; Ali, Abbas; Rosa, Luiz H

    2017-01-21

    Vellozia gigantea is a rare, ancient, and endemic neotropical plant present in the Brazilian Rupestrian grasslands. The dichloromethane extract of V. gigantea adventitious roots was phytotoxic against Lactuca sativa, Agrostis stolonifera, and Lemna paucicostata, and showed larvicidal activity against Aedes aegypti. Phytotoxicity bioassay-directed fractionation of the extract revealed one new isopimaradiene, 8(9),15-isopimaradien-1,3,7,11-tetraone, and three new cleistanthane diterpenoids, 7-oxo-8,11,13-cleistanthatrien-3-ol, 3,20-epoxy-7-oxo-8,11,13-cleistanthatrien-3-ol, and 20-nor-3,7-dioxo-1,8,11,13-cleistanthatetraen-10-ol. These new structures are proposed based on interpretation of ¹H, (13)C, COSY, NOESY, HSQC, and HMBC NMR data. 8(9),15-isopimaradien-1,3,7,11-tetraone was especially phytotoxic with an IC50 value (30 μM) comparable to those of commercial herbicides clomazone, EPTC, and naptalam. In addition, 7-oxo-8,11,13-cleistanthatrien-3-ol provided 100% mortality at a concentration of 125 ppm against one-day-old Ae. aegypti larvae. Our results show that ancient and unique plants, like the endangered narrowly endemic neotropical species V. gigantea present in the Rupestrian grasslands, should also be protected because they can be sources of new bioactive compounds.

  1. A new species of Japanagromyza Sasakawa (Diptera: Agromyzidae) from the Brazilian Amazon with notes on biology.

    PubMed

    Monteiro, Nilton Juvencio Santiago; Carvalho-Filho, Fernando Da Silva; Esposito, Maria Cristina

    2015-02-18

    Japanagromyza sasakawai sp. n. is described from the Brazilian Amazon, based on the male, female, third instar larva and puparium. This species is a leaf-miner of Terminalia catappa L. (Combretaceae), which is an introduced plant from the Old World tropics used in Brazil as an ornamental. The male aedeagus of J. sasakawai sp. n. differs from other species mainly in having the mesophallus covered with many spine-like processes. This is the third record of Japanagromyza Sasakawa in Brazil and first in the Brazilian Amazon. The key to Neotropical species of Japanagromyza by Sousa & Couri (2014) is modified to include this new species.

  2. Concepts of Plants Held by Young Brazilian Children: An Exploratory Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bartoszeck, Amauri Betini; Cosmo, Claudete Rosa; da Silva, Bernadete Rocha; Tunnicliffe, Sue Dale

    2015-01-01

    Children from southern and northern Brazil have a basic knowledge of plants, which they observe during their everyday life. Children ages between 3 to 10 years old (kindergarten & primary school), but the majority of them in the age group of 4-5 (total 145) were asked to draw what they think is a plant (total sample = 332). Afterwards, a equal…

  3. Multiple soil nutrient competition between plants, microbes, and mineral surfaces: model development, parameterization, and example applications in several tropical forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Q.; Riley, W. J.; Tang, J.; Koven, C. D.

    2015-03-01

    Soil is a complex system where biotic (e.g., plant roots, micro-organisms) and abiotic (e.g., mineral surfaces) consumers compete for resources necessary for life (e.g., nitrogen, phosphorus). This competition is ecologically significant, since it regulates the dynamics of soil nutrients and controls aboveground plant productivity. Here we develop, calibrate, and test a nutrient competition model that accounts for multiple soil nutrients interacting with multiple biotic and abiotic consumers. As applied here for tropical forests, the Nutrient COMpetition model (N-COM) includes three primary soil nutrients (NH4+, NO3-, and POx (representing the sum of PO43-, HPO42-, and H2PO4-)) and five potential competitors (plant roots, decomposing microbes, nitrifiers, denitrifiers, and mineral surfaces). The competition is formulated with a quasi-steady-state chemical equilibrium approximation to account for substrate (multiple substrates share one consumer) and consumer (multiple consumers compete for one substrate) effects. N-COM successfully reproduced observed soil heterotrophic respiration, N2O emissions, free phosphorus, sorbed phosphorus, and free NH4+ at a tropical forest site (Tapajos). The overall model posterior uncertainty was moderately well constrained. Our sensitivity analysis revealed that soil nutrient competition was primarily regulated by consumer-substrate affinity rather than environmental factors such as soil temperature or soil moisture. Our results imply that the competitiveness (from most to least competitive) followed this order: (1) for NH4+, nitrifiers ~ decomposing microbes > plant roots, (2) for NO3-, denitrifiers ~ decomposing microbes > plant roots, (3) for POx, mineral surfaces > decomposing microbes ~ plant roots. Although smaller, plant relative competitiveness is of the same order of magnitude as microbes. We then applied the N-COM model to analyze field nitrogen and phosphorus perturbation experiments in two tropical forest sites (in Hawaii

  4. Diversity in plant hydraulic traits explains seasonal and inter-annual variations of vegetation dynamics in seasonally dry tropical forests.

    PubMed

    Xu, Xiangtao; Medvigy, David; Powers, Jennifer S; Becknell, Justin M; Guan, Kaiyu

    2016-10-01

    We assessed whether diversity in plant hydraulic traits can explain the observed diversity in plant responses to water stress in seasonally dry tropical forests (SDTFs). The Ecosystem Demography model 2 (ED2) was updated with a trait-driven mechanistic plant hydraulic module, as well as novel drought-phenology and plant water stress schemes. Four plant functional types were parameterized on the basis of meta-analysis of plant hydraulic traits. Simulations from both the original and the updated ED2 were evaluated against 5 yr of field data from a Costa Rican SDTF site and remote-sensing data over Central America. The updated model generated realistic plant hydraulic dynamics, such as leaf water potential and stem sap flow. Compared with the original ED2, predictions from our novel trait-driven model matched better with observed growth, phenology and their variations among functional groups. Most notably, the original ED2 produced unrealistically small leaf area index (LAI) and underestimated cumulative leaf litter. Both of these biases were corrected by the updated model. The updated model was also better able to simulate spatial patterns of LAI dynamics in Central America. Plant hydraulic traits are intercorrelated in SDTFs. Mechanistic incorporation of plant hydraulic traits is necessary for the simulation of spatiotemporal patterns of vegetation dynamics in SDTFs in vegetation models.

  5. Molecular marker-based genetic diversity analysis of scantly studied Brazilian accessions of a medicinal plant, Morinda citrifolia L. (noni).

    PubMed

    Bordallo, P N; Monteiro, A M R; Sousa, J A; Aragão, F A S

    2017-02-23

    Morinda citrifolia L., commonly known as noni, has been used for the treatment of various diseases for over two centuries. It was introduced and widely disseminated in Brazil because of its high market value and ease of adaptation to the soil and climatic conditions of the country. The aim of this study was to estimate the genetic variability of noni accessions from the collection of Embrapa Agroindústria Tropical in Brazil. We evaluated 36 plants of the 13 accessions of noni from the germplasm collection of M. citrifolia. Several methods of DNA extraction were tested. After definition of the method, the DNA of each sample was subjected to polymerase chain reactions using 20 random amplified polymorphic DNA primers. The band patterns on agarose gel were converted into a binary data matrix, which was used to estimate the genetic distances between the plants and to perform the cluster analyses. Of the total number of markers used in this study, 125 (81.1%) were polymorphic. The genetic distances between the genotypes ranged from 0.04 to 0.49. Regardless of the high number of polymorphic bands, the genetic variability of the noni plants evaluated was low since most of the genotypes belonged to the same cluster as shown by the dendrogram and Tocher's cluster analysis. The low genetic diversity among the studied noni individuals indicates that additional variability should be introduced in the germplasm collection of noni by gathering new individuals and/or by hybridizing contrasting individuals.

  6. Genetic Diversity of Colletotrichum spp. an Endophytic Fungi in a Medicinal Plant, Brazilian Pepper Tree

    PubMed Central

    Lima, J. S.; Figueiredo, J. G.; Gomes, R. G.; Stringari, D.; Goulin, E. H.; Adamoski, D.; Kava-Cordeiro, V.; Galli-Terasawa, L. V.; Glienke, C.

    2012-01-01

    In this study, we reported thirty-nine endophytic fungi identified as Colletotrichum spp. associated with Brazilian pepper tree or aroeira (Schinus terebinthifolius Raddi. Anacardiaceae) in Paraná state, Brazil. These endophytes were identified by morphological and molecular methods, using PCR taxon-specific with CaInt/ITS4, CgInt/ITS4, and Col1/ITS4 primers, which amplify specific bands in C. acutatum, C. gloeosporioides lato sensu, and Colletotrichum boninensis, respectively, and by DNA sequence analysis of the nrDNA internal transcribed spacer region (ITS1, 5.8S, ITS2). We also assayed the presence of dsRNA particles in Colletotrichum spp. isolates. Combining both morphological characters and molecular data, we identified the species C. gloeosporioides, C. boninense, and C. simmondsii. However, we found a high genetic variability intraspecific in C. gloeosporioides which suggests the existence of several other species. Bands of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) were detected in three of thirty-nine isolates. Identity of these bands was confirmed by RNAse, DNAse, and S1 nuclease treatments for the isolates LGMF633, LGMF726, and LGMF729. This is the first study reporting these particles of dsRNA in C. gloeosporioides. PMID:23724319

  7. Global diversification of a tropical plant growth form: environmental correlates and historical contingencies in climbing palms

    PubMed Central

    Couvreur, Thomas L. P.; Kissling, W. Daniel; Condamine, Fabien L.; Svenning, Jens-Christian; Rowe, Nick P.; Baker, William J.

    2015-01-01

    Tropical rain forests (TRF) are the most diverse terrestrial biome on Earth, but the diversification dynamics of their constituent growth forms remain largely unexplored. Climbing plants contribute significantly to species diversity and ecosystem processes in TRF. We investigate the broad-scale patterns and drivers of species richness as well as the diversification history of climbing and non-climbing palms (Arecaceae). We quantify to what extent macroecological diversity patterns are related to contemporary climate, forest canopy height, and paleoclimatic changes. We test whether diversification rates are higher for climbing than non-climbing palms and estimate the origin of the climbing habit. Climbers account for 22% of global palm species diversity, mostly concentrated in Southeast Asia. Global variation in climbing palm species richness can be partly explained by past and present-day climate and rain forest canopy height, but regional differences in residual species richness after accounting for current and past differences in environment suggest a strong role of historical contingencies in climbing palm diversification. Climbing palms show a higher net diversification rate than non-climbers. Diversification analyses of palms detected a diversification rate increase along the branches leading to the most species-rich clade of climbers. Ancestral character reconstructions revealed that the climbing habit originated between early Eocene and Miocene. These results imply that changes from non-climbing to climbing habits may have played an important role in palm diversification, resulting in the origin of one fifth of all palm species. We suggest that, in addition to current climate and paleoclimatic changes after the late Neogene, present-day diversity of climbing palms can be explained by morpho-anatomical innovations, the biogeographic history of Southeast Asia, and/or ecological opportunities due to the diversification of high-stature dipterocarps in Asian TRFs

  8. Brazilian consensus on photoprotection.

    PubMed

    Schalka, Sérgio; Steiner, Denise; Ravelli, Flávia Naranjo; Steiner, Tatiana; Terena, Aripuanã Cobério; Marçon, Carolina Reato; Ayres, Eloisa Leis; Addor, Flávia Alvim Sant'anna; Miot, Helio Amante; Ponzio, Humberto; Duarte, Ida; Neffá, Jane; Cunha, José Antônio Jabur da; Boza, Juliana Catucci; Samorano, Luciana de Paula; Corrêa, Marcelo de Paula; Maia, Marcus; Nasser, Nilton; Leite, Olga Maria Rodrigues Ribeiro; Lopes, Otávio Sergio; Oliveira, Pedro Dantas; Meyer, Renata Leal Bregunci; Cestari, Tânia; Reis, Vitor Manoel Silva dos; Rego, Vitória Regina Pedreira de Almeida

    2014-01-01

    Brazil is a country of continental dimensions with a large heterogeneity of climates and massive mixing of the population. Almost the entire national territory is located between the Equator and the Tropic of Capricorn, and the Earth axial tilt to the south certainly makes Brazil one of the countries of the world with greater extent of land in proximity to the sun. The Brazilian coastline, where most of its population lives, is more than 8,500 km long. Due to geographic characteristics and cultural trends, Brazilians are among the peoples with the highest annual exposure to the sun. Epidemiological data show a continuing increase in the incidence of non-melanoma and melanoma skin cancers. Photoprotection can be understood as a set of measures aimed at reducing sun exposure and at preventing the development of acute and chronic actinic damage. Due to the peculiarities of Brazilian territory and culture, it would not be advisable to replicate the concepts of photoprotection from other developed countries, places with completely different climates and populations. Thus the Brazilian Society of Dermatology has developed the Brazilian Consensus on Photoprotection, the first official document on photoprotection developed in Brazil for Brazilians, with recommendations on matters involving photoprotection.

  9. Brazilian Consensus on Photoprotection

    PubMed Central

    Schalka, Sérgio; Steiner, Denise; Ravelli, Flávia Naranjo; Steiner, Tatiana; Terena, Aripuanã Cobério; Marçon, Carolina Reato; Ayres, Eloisa Leis; Addor, Flávia Alvim Sant'anna; Miot, Helio Amante; Ponzio, Humberto; Duarte, Ida; Neffá, Jane; da Cunha, José Antônio Jabur; Boza, Juliana Catucci; Samorano, Luciana de Paula; Corrêa, Marcelo de Paula; Maia, Marcus; Nasser, Nilton; Leite, Olga Maria Rodrigues Ribeiro; Lopes, Otávio Sergio; Oliveira, Pedro Dantas; Meyer, Renata Leal Bregunci; Cestari, Tânia; dos Reis, Vitor Manoel Silva; Rego, Vitória Regina Pedreira de Almeida

    2014-01-01

    Brazil is a country of continental dimensions with a large heterogeneity of climates and massive mixing of the population. Almost the entire national territory is located between the Equator and the Tropic of Capricorn, and the Earth axial tilt to the south certainly makes Brazil one of the countries of the world with greater extent of land in proximity to the sun. The Brazilian coastline, where most of its population lives, is more than 8,500 km long. Due to geographic characteristics and cultural trends, Brazilians are among the peoples with the highest annual exposure to the sun. Epidemiological data show a continuing increase in the incidence of non-melanoma and melanoma skin cancers. Photoprotection can be understood as a set of measures aimed at reducing sun exposure and at preventing the development of acute and chronic actinic damage. Due to the peculiarities of Brazilian territory and culture, it would not be advisable to replicate the concepts of photoprotection from other developed countries, places with completely different climates and populations. Thus the Brazilian Society of Dermatology has developed the Brazilian Consensus on Photoprotection, the first official document on photoprotection developed in Brazil for Brazilians, with recommendations on matters involving photoprotection. PMID:25761256

  10. Convergence beyond flower morphology? Reproductive biology of hummingbird-pollinated plants in the Brazilian Cerrado.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, C; Maruyama, P K; Oliveira, P E

    2016-03-01

    Convergent reproductive traits in non-related plants may be the result of similar environmental conditions and/or specialised interactions with pollinators. Here, we documented the pollination and reproductive biology of Bionia coriacea (Fabaceae), Esterhazya splendida (Orobanchaceae) and Ananas ananassoides (Bromeliaceae) as case studies in the context of hummingbird pollination in Cerrado, the Neotropical savanna of Central South America. We combined our results with a survey of hummingbird pollination studies in the region to investigate the recently suggested association of hummingbird pollination and self-compatibility. Plant species studied here differed in their specialisation for ornithophily, from more generalist A. ananassoides to somewhat specialist B. coriacea and E. splendida. This continuum of specialisation in floral traits also translated into floral visitor composition. Amazilia fimbriata was the most frequent pollinator for all species, and the differences in floral display and nectar energy availability among plant species affect hummingbirds' behaviour. Most of the hummingbird-pollinated Cerrado plants (60.0%, n = 20), including those studied here, were self-incompatible, in contrast to other biomes in the Neotropics. Association to more generalist, often territorial, hummingbirds, and resulting reduced pollen flow in open savanna areas may explain predominance of self-incompatibility. But it is possible that mating system is more associated with the predominance of woody hummingbird plants in the Cerrado plant assemblage than to the pollination system itself.

  11. The Multiple Impacts of Tropical Forest Fragmentation on Arthropod Biodiversity and on their Patterns of Interactions with Host Plants.

    PubMed

    Benítez-Malvido, Julieta; Dáttilo, Wesley; Martínez-Falcón, Ana Paola; Durán-Barrón, César; Valenzuela, Jorge; López, Sara; Lombera, Rafael

    2016-01-01

    Tropical rain forest fragmentation affects biotic interactions in distinct ways. Little is known, however, about how fragmentation affects animal trophic guilds and their patterns of interactions with host plants. In this study, we analyzed changes in biotic interactions in forest fragments by using a multitrophic approach. For this, we classified arthropods associated with Heliconia aurantiaca herbs into broad trophic guilds (omnivores, herbivores and predators) and assessed the topological structure of intrapopulation plant-arthropod networks in fragments and continuous forests. Habitat type influenced arthropod species abundance, diversity and composition with greater abundance in fragments but greater diversity in continuous forest. According to trophic guilds, coleopteran herbivores were more abundant in continuous forest and overall omnivores in fragments. Continuous forest showed a greater diversity of interactions than fragments. Only in fragments, however, did the arthropod community associated with H aurantiaca show a nested structure, suggesting novel and/or opportunistic host-arthropod associations. Plants, omnivores and predators contributed more to nestedness than herbivores. Therefore, Heliconia-arthropod network properties do not appear to be maintained in fragments mainly caused by the decrease of herbivores. Our study contributes to the understanding of the impact of fragmentation on the structure and dynamics of multitrophic arthropod communities associated with a particular plant species of the highly biodiverse tropical forests. Nevertheless, further replication of study sites is needed to strengthen the conclusion that forest fragmentation negatively affects arthropod assemblages.

  12. The Multiple Impacts of Tropical Forest Fragmentation on Arthropod Biodiversity and on their Patterns of Interactions with Host Plants

    PubMed Central

    Benítez-Malvido, Julieta; Dáttilo, Wesley; Martínez-Falcón, Ana Paola; Durán-Barrón, César; Valenzuela, Jorge; López, Sara; Lombera, Rafael

    2016-01-01

    Tropical rain forest fragmentation affects biotic interactions in distinct ways. Little is known, however, about how fragmentation affects animal trophic guilds and their patterns of interactions with host plants. In this study, we analyzed changes in biotic interactions in forest fragments by using a multitrophic approach. For this, we classified arthropods associated with Heliconia aurantiaca herbs into broad trophic guilds (omnivores, herbivores and predators) and assessed the topological structure of intrapopulation plant-arthropod networks in fragments and continuous forests. Habitat type influenced arthropod species abundance, diversity and composition with greater abundance in fragments but greater diversity in continuous forest. According to trophic guilds, coleopteran herbivores were more abundant in continuous forest and overall omnivores in fragments. Continuous forest showed a greater diversity of interactions than fragments. Only in fragments, however, did the arthropod community associated with H aurantiaca show a nested structure, suggesting novel and/or opportunistic host-arthropod associations. Plants, omnivores and predators contributed more to nestedness than herbivores. Therefore, Heliconia-arthropod network properties do not appear to be maintained in fragments mainly caused by the decrease of herbivores. Our study contributes to the understanding of the impact of fragmentation on the structure and dynamics of multitrophic arthropod communities associated with a particular plant species of the highly biodiverse tropical forests. Nevertheless, further replication of study sites is needed to strengthen the conclusion that forest fragmentation negatively affects arthropod assemblages. PMID:26731271

  13. Plant Traits Demonstrate That Temperate and Tropical Giant Eucalypt Forests Are Ecologically Convergent with Rainforest Not Savanna

    PubMed Central

    Tng, David Y. P.; Jordan, Greg J.; Bowman, David M. J. S.

    2013-01-01

    Ecological theory differentiates rainforest and open vegetation in many regions as functionally divergent alternative stable states with transitional (ecotonal) vegetation between the two forming transient unstable states. This transitional vegetation is of considerable significance, not only as a test case for theories of vegetation dynamics, but also because this type of vegetation is of major economic importance, and is home to a suite of species of conservation significance, including the world’s tallest flowering plants. We therefore created predictions of patterns in plant functional traits that would test the alternative stable states model of these systems. We measured functional traits of 128 trees and shrubs across tropical and temperate rainforest – open vegetation transitions in Australia, with giant eucalypt forests situated between these vegetation types. We analysed a set of functional traits: leaf carbon isotopes, leaf area, leaf mass per area, leaf slenderness, wood density, maximum height and bark thickness, using univariate and multivariate methods. For most traits, giant eucalypt forest was similar to rainforest, while rainforest, particularly tropical rainforest, was significantly different from the open vegetation. In multivariate analyses, tropical and temperate rainforest diverged functionally, and both segregated from open vegetation. Furthermore, the giant eucalypt forests overlapped in function with their respective rainforests. The two types of giant eucalypt forests also exhibited greater overall functional similarity to each other than to any of the open vegetation types. We conclude that tropical and temperate giant eucalypt forests are ecologically and functionally convergent. The lack of clear functional differentiation from rainforest suggests that giant eucalypt forests are unstable states within the basin of attraction of rainforest. Our results have important implications for giant eucalypt forest management. PMID:24358359

  14. Endophytic Actinobacteria from the Brazilian Medicinal Plant Lychnophora ericoides Mart. and the Biological Potential of Their Secondary Metabolites.

    PubMed

    Conti, Raphael; Chagas, Fernanda Oliveira; Caraballo-Rodriguez, Andrés Mauricio; Melo, Weilan Gomes da Paixão; do Nascimento, Andréa Mendes; Cavalcanti, Bruno Coêlho; de Moraes, Manoel Odorico; Pessoa, Cláudia; Costa-Lotufo, Letícia Veras; Krogh, Renata; Andricopulo, Adriano Defini; Lopes, Norberto Peporine; Pupo, Mônica Tallarico

    2016-06-01

    Endophytic actinobacteria from the Brazilian medicinal plant Lychnophora ericoides were isolated for the first time, and the biological potential of their secondary metabolites was evaluated. A phylogenic analysis of isolated actinobacteria was accomplished with 16S rRNA gene sequencing, and the predominance of the genus Streptomyces was observed. All strains were cultured on solid rice medium, and ethanol extracts were evaluated with antimicrobial and cytotoxic assays against cancer cell lines. As a result, 92% of the extracts showed a high or moderate activity against at least one pathogenic microbial strain or cancer cell line. Based on the biological and chemical analyses of crude extracts, three endophytic strains were selected for further investigation of their chemical profiles. Sixteen compounds were isolated, and 3-hydroxy-4-methoxybenzamide (9) and 2,3-dihydro-2,2-dimethyl-4(1H)-quinazolinone (15) are reported as natural products for the first time in this study. The biological activity of the pure compounds was also assessed. Compound 15 displayed potent cytotoxic activity against all four tested cancer cell lines. Nocardamine (2) was only moderately active against two cancer cell lines but showed strong activity against Trypanosoma cruzi. Our results show that endophytic actinobacteria from L. ericoides are a promising source of bioactive compounds.

  15. Chemical Composition and Larvicidal Activity of Essential Oils Extracted from Brazilian Legal Amazon Plants against Aedes aegypti L. (Diptera: Culicidae)

    PubMed Central

    Dias, Clarice Noleto; Alves, Luciana Patrícia Lima; Rodrigues, Klinger Antonio da Franca; Brito, Maria Cristiane Aranha; Rosa, Carliane dos Santos; do Amaral, Flavia Maria Mendonça; Monteiro, Odair dos Santos; Andrade, Eloisa Helena de Aguiar; Maia, José Guilherme Soares; Moraes, Denise Fernandes Coutinho

    2015-01-01

    The mosquito Aedes aegypti L. (Diptera: Culicidae) is the major vector of dengue and chikungunya fever. The lack of effective therapies and vaccines for these diseases highlights the need for alternative strategies to control the spread of virus. Therefore, this study investigated the larvicidal potential of essential oils from common plant species obtained from the Chapada das Mesas National Park, Brazil, against third instar A. aegypti larvae. The chemical composition of these oils was determined by gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry. The essential oils of Eugenia piauhiensis Vellaff., Myrcia erythroxylon O. Berg, Psidium myrsinites DC., and Siparuna camporum (Tul.) A. DC. were observed to be mainly composed of sesquiterpene hydrocarbons. The essential oil of Lippia gracilis Schauer was composed of oxygenated monoterpenes. Four of the five tested oils were effective against the A. aegypti larvae, with the lethal concentration (LC50) ranging from 230 to 292 mg/L after 24 h of exposure. Overall, this work demonstrated the possibility of developing larvicidal products against A. aegypti by using essential oils from the flora of the Brazilian Legal Amazon. This in turn demonstrates the potential of using natural resources for the control of disease vectors. PMID:25949264

  16. Antifungal activity of Brazilian medicinal plants involved in popular treatment of mycoses.

    PubMed

    Cruz, M C S; Santos, P O; Barbosa, A M; de Mélo, D L F M; Alviano, C S; Antoniolli, A R; Alviano, D S; Trindade, R C

    2007-05-04

    A survey of medicinal plants used to treat common mycoses was done in the Curituba district, Sergipe State, Brazil. One hundred inhabitants were interviewed by health agents and traditional healers. Four different plants were the most cited (more than 50% of the citations): Ziziphus joazeiro, Caesalpinia pyramidalis, Bumelia sartorum and Hymenea courbaril. The aqueous extracts obtained following traditional methods and using different parts of these plants, were submitted to drop agar diffusion tests for primary antimicrobial screening. Only the water infusion extract of Ziziphus joazeiro and Caesalpinea pyramidalis presented a significant antifungal activity against Trichophyton rubrum, Candida guilliermondii, Candida albicans, Cryptococcus neoformans and Fonsecaea pedrosoi, when compared to the antifungal agent amphotericin B. The minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) of the bioactive extracts was evaluated by the microdilution method. Best activity with a MIC of 6.5 microg/ml for both extracts was observed against Trichophyton rubrum and Candida guilliermondii. Ziziphus joazeiro and Caesalpinea pyramidalis extracts presented also low acute toxicity in murine models. The present study validates the folk use of these plant extracts and indicates that they can be effective potential candidates for the development of new strategies to treat fungal infections.

  17. Anti-Streptococcal activity of Brazilian Amazon Rain Forest plant extracts presents potential for preventive strategies against dental caries

    PubMed Central

    da SILVA, Juliana Paola Corrêa; de CASTILHO, Adriana Lígia; SARACENI, Cíntia Helena Couri; DÍAZ, Ingrit Elida Collantes; PACIÊNCIA, Mateus Luís Barradas; SUFFREDINI, Ivana Barbosa

    2014-01-01

    Caries is a global public health problem, whose control requires the introduction of low-cost treatments, such as strong prevention strategies, minimally invasive techniques and chemical prevention agents. Nature plays an important role as a source of new antibacterial substances that can be used in the prevention of caries, and Brazil is the richest country in terms of biodiversity. Objective In this study, the disk diffusion method (DDM) was used to screen over 2,000 Brazilian Amazon plant extracts against Streptococcus mutans. Material and Methods Seventeen active plant extracts were identified and fractionated. Extracts and their fractions, obtained by liquid-liquid partition, were tested in the DDM assay and in the microdilution broth assay (MBA) to determine their minimal inhibitory concentrations (MICs) and minimal bactericidal concentrations (MBCs). The extracts were also subjected to antioxidant analysis by thin layer chromatography. Results EB271, obtained from Casearia spruceana, showed significant activity against the bacterium in the DDM assay (20.67±0.52 mm), as did EB1129, obtained from Psychotria sp. (Rubiaceae) (15.04±2.29 mm). EB1493, obtained from Ipomoea alba, was the only extract to show strong activity against Streptococcus mutans (0.08 mg/mL

  18. Isolation, Diversity, and Antimicrobial Activity of Rare Actinobacteria from Medicinal Plants of Tropical Rain Forests in Xishuangbanna, China▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Qin, Sheng; Li, Jie; Chen, Hua-Hong; Zhao, Guo-Zhen; Zhu, Wen-Yong; Jiang, Cheng-Lin; Xu, Li-Hua; Li, Wen-Jun

    2009-01-01

    Endophytic actinobacteria are relatively unexplored as potential sources of novel species and novel natural products for medical and commercial exploitation. Xishuangbanna is recognized throughout the world for its diverse flora, especially the rain forest plants, many of which have indigenous pharmaceutical histories. However, little is known about the endophytic actinobacteria of this tropical area. In this work, we studied the diversity of actinobacteria isolated from medicinal plants collected from tropical rain forests in Xishuangbanna. By the use of different selective isolation media and methods, a total of 2,174 actinobacteria were isolated. Forty-six isolates were selected on the basis of their morphologies on different media and were further characterized by 16S rRNA gene sequencing. The results showed an unexpected level of diversity, with 32 different genera. To our knowledge, this is the first report describing the isolation of Saccharopolyspora, Dietzia, Blastococcus, Dactylosporangium, Promicromonospora, Oerskovia, Actinocorallia, and Jiangella species from endophytic environments. At least 19 isolates are considered novel taxa by our current research. In addition, all 46 isolates were tested for antimicrobial activity and were screened for the presence of genes encoding polyketide synthetases and nonribosomal peptide synthetases. The results confirm that the medicinal plants of Xishuangbanna represent an extremely rich reservoir for the isolation of a significant diversity of actinobacteria, including novel species, that are potential sources for the discovery of biologically active compounds. PMID:19648362

  19. Antioxidant activity of five Brazilian plants used as traditional medicines and food in Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Santos, Allana K. L.; Costa, José G. M.; Menezes, Irwin R. A.; Cansanção, Isaac F.; Santos, Karla K. A.; Matias, Edinardo F. F.; Coutinho, Henrique D. M.

    2010-01-01

    Background: This study evaluates the radical-scavenging activity of five plants used as food and medicines in the northeastern region of Brazil. Materials and Methods: Spectrophotometric analysis of the plants’ ethanol extracts was carried out. The antioxidant activity was determined by the DPPH (2,2-diphenyl-1 picrylhydrazyl) test. The antioxidant capacity was measured using ascorbic acid as a positive control. Results: All tested plant extracts showed an antioxidant activity, but the highest activity was observed with the extracts of Momordica charantia and Eugenia jambolana. Conclusions: Therefore, these species must be studied as a putative source of products for use in the prevention and treatment of diseases in which oxidants or free radicals are implicated. PMID:21120039

  20. Arbuscular mycorrhizal associations and occurrence of dark septate endophytes in the roots of Brazilian weed plants.

    PubMed

    Massenssini, André Marcos; Bonduki, Víctor Hugo Araújo; Tótola, Marcos Rogério; Ferreira, Francisco Affonso; Costa, Maurício Dutra

    2014-02-01

    The ecology of weed plants includes their interactions with soil microorganisms, such as mutualistic partners that may contribute to their adaptation and competitive success in the agricultural fields. Despite the importance of microorganisms to plant growth, knowledge on weed-symbiont associations is still incipient compared to crops. Thus, a survey for the presence of arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) and dark septate endophyte (DSE) associations in the roots of 50 weed species was done in three distinct areas during the dry and rainy seasons. We found that 41 and 29 out of the 50 species were associated with AM fungi and DSE, respectively, and 27 species presented both associations. All the plant species not forming AM belong to families thought to be nonmycorrhizal, such as Amaranthaceae, Commelinaceae, Brassicaceae, and Cyperaceae. The most common morphotype of AM observed was the Arum-type. No significant differences were found in root length colonization between the areas or seasons. For 19 species surveyed, this is the first report on their mycorrhizal status.

  1. Higher β-diversity observed for herbs over woody plants is driven by stronger habitat filtering in a tropical understory.

    PubMed

    Murphy, Stephen J; Salpeter, Kara; Comita, Liza S

    2016-08-01

    Herbaceous plants are a key component of tropical forests. Previous work indicates that herbs contribute substantially to the species richness of tropical plant communities. However, the processes structuring tropical herb diversity, and how they contrast with woody communities, have been underexplored. Within the understory of a 50-ha forest dynamics plot in central Panama, we compared the diversity, distribution, and abundance of vascular herbaceous plants with woody seedlings (i.e., tree and lianas <1 cm DBH and ≥20 cm tall). Beta-diversity was calculated for each community using a null model approach. We then assessed the similarity in alpha and beta-diversity among herbs, tree seedlings, and liana seedlings. Strengths of habitat associations were measured using permutational ANOVA among topographic habitat-types. Variance partitioning was then used to quantify the amount of variation in species richness and composition explained by spatial and environmental variables (i.e., topography, soils, and shade) for each growth form. Species richness and diversity were highest for tree seedlings, followed by liana seedlings and then herbs. In contrast, beta-diversity was 16-127% higher for herbs compared to woody seedlings, indicating higher spatial variation in this stratum. We observed no correlation between local richness or compositional uniqueness of herbs and woody seedlings across sites, indicating that different processes control the spatial patterns of woody and herbaceous diversity and composition. Habitat associations were strongest for herbs, as indicated by greater compositional dissimilarity among habitat types. Likewise, environmental variables explained a larger proportion of the variation in species richness and composition for herbs than for woody seedlings (richness = 25%, 14%, 12%; composition = 25%, 9%, 6%, for herbs, trees, and lianas, respectively). These differences between strata did not appear to be due to differences in lifespan alone

  2. Do epigeal termite mounds increase the diversity of plant habitats in a tropical rain forest in peninsular Malaysia?

    PubMed

    Beaudrot, Lydia; Du, Yanjun; Rahman Kassim, Abdul; Rejmánek, Marcel; Harrison, Rhett D

    2011-01-01

    The extent to which environmental heterogeneity can account for tree species coexistence in diverse ecosystems, such as tropical rainforests, is hotly debated, although the importance of spatial variability in contributing to species co-existence is well recognized. Termites contribute to the micro-topographical and nutrient spatial heterogeneity of tropical forests. We therefore investigated whether epigeal termite mounds could contribute to the coexistence of plant species within a 50 ha plot at Pasoh Forest Reserve, Malaysia. Overall, stem density was significantly higher on mounds than in their immediate surroundings, but tree species diversity was significantly lower. Canonical correspondence analysis showed that location on or off mounds significantly influenced species distribution when stems were characterized by basal area. Like studies of termite mounds in other ecosystems, our results suggest that epigeal termite mounds provide a specific microhabitat for the enhanced growth and survival of certain species in these species-rich tropical forests. However, the extent to which epigeal termite mounds facilitate species coexistence warrants further investigation.

  3. Insect herbivory in model tropical plant communities after 1. 5 years exposure to elevated CO[sub 2

    SciTech Connect

    Arnone, J.A. III; Zaller, J.G.; Korner, C.; Ziegler, C.; Zandt, H. )

    1994-06-01

    Insect herbivores have been observed to practice compensatory feeding when providing leaves from plants grown under elevated atmospheric CO[sub 2]. This has been attributed to reductions in leaf quality (e.g. increased C:N ratio) occurring at high CO[sub 2]. However, no data are available on feeding patterns in plant communications exposed to high CO[sub 2], where insects can choose among species and canopy layers. We introduced 100 Spodoptera eridania larvae to each of four identically-planted communities of moist tropical species (80 plants, 7 spp.) after 1.5 years exposure to either ambient (340 [mu]l l[sup [minus]1]) or elevated (610 [mu]l l[sup [minus]1]) CO[sub 2]. Species representing contrasting life forms were installed in 6.7 m[sup 2] closed ecosystems, each with a common soil. Larvae actively fed in all communities, but the total amount of leaf area and leaf biomass consumed was similar at both CO[sub 2] levels. Elevated CO[sub 2] did alter herbivore plant-species preference. For example, 62.8% of the total leaf area consumed was represented by Cecropia peltata in communities exposed to ambient CO[sub 2], versus 44.1% under elevated CO[sub 2]. Our results indicate that compensatory feeding may not occur in natural plant communities in a CO[sub 2]-rich world.

  4. Germination, survival and growth of three vascular plants on biological soil crusts from a Mexican tropical desert.

    PubMed

    Godínez-Alvarez, H; Morín, C; Rivera-Aguilar, V

    2012-01-01

    Information about the effects of biological soil crusts (BSC) on germination, seedling survival and growth of vascular plants is controversial because they can have positive, neutral or negative effects. This controversy may be because most studies conducted until now have just analysed one or two recruitment stages independently. To understand the BSC effects on vascular plants, it is necessary to consider each stage of the recruitment process and synthesise all this information. The goal of this study was twofold. First, we analyse germination, seedling survival and growth of three vascular plants (Agave marmorata, Prosopis laevigata and Neobuxbaumia tetetzo) on BSC (cyanobacteria and mixed crust) from a tropical desert region of south-central México. Second, we synthesise the information to determine the total effect of BSC on plant species performance. We conducted experiments under controlled conditions to evaluate the proportion of germinated seeds, proportion of surviving seedlings and seedling dry weight in BSC and bare soil. Results showed that BSC have different effects on germination, seedling survival and growth of plant species. Plant species performance was qualitatively higher on BSC than bare soil. The highest performance of A. marmorata and P. laevigata was observed on cyanobacteria and mixed crusts, respectively. The highest performance of N. tetetzo was on both crust types.

  5. Cytotoxicity of Brazilian plant extracts against oral microorganisms of interest to dentistry

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background With the emergence of strains resistant to conventional antibiotics, it is important to carry studies using alternative methods to control these microorganisms causing important infections, such as the use of products of plant origin that has demonstrated effective antimicrobial activity besides biocompatibility. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate the antimicrobial activity of plant extracts of Equisetum arvense L., Glycyrrhiza glabra L., Punica granatum L. and Stryphnodendron barbatimam Mart. against Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Streptococcus mutans, Candida albicans, Candida tropicalis, and Candida glabrata, and to analyze the cytotoxicity of these extracts in cultured murine macrophages (RAW 264.7). Methods Antimicrobial activity of plant extracts was evaluated by microdilution method based on Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI), M7-A6 and M27-A2 standards. The cytotoxicity of concentrations that eliminated the microorganisms was evaluated by MTT colorimetric method and by quantification of proinflammatory cytokines (IL-1β and TNF-α) using ELISA. Results In determining the minimum microbicidal concentration, E. arvense L., P. granatum L., and S. barbatimam Mart. extracts at a concentration of 50 mg/mL and G. glabra L. extract at a concentration of 100 mg/mL, were effective against all microorganisms tested. Regarding cell viability, values were 48% for E. arvense L., 76% for P. granatum L, 86% for S. barbatimam Mart. and 79% for G. glabra L. at the same concentrations. About cytokine production after stimulation with the most effective concentrations of the extracts, there was a significant increase of IL-1β in macrophage cultures treated with S. barbatimam Mart. (3.98 pg/mL) and P. granatum L. (7.72 pg/mL) compared to control (2.20 pg/mL) and a significant decrease of TNF-α was observed in cultures treated with G. glabra L. (4.92 pg/mL), S. barbatimam Mart. (0.85 pg/mL), E. arvense L. (0.83 pg/mL), and P

  6. Plant extracts, isolated phytochemicals, and plant-derived agents which are lethal to arthropod vectors of human tropical diseases--a review.

    PubMed

    Pohlit, Adrian Martin; Rezende, Alex Ribeiro; Lopes Baldin, Edson Luiz; Lopes, Norberto Peporine; Neto, Valter Ferreira de Andrade

    2011-04-01

    The recent scientific literature on plant-derived agents with potential or effective use in the control of the arthropod vectors of human tropical diseases is reviewed. Arthropod-borne tropical diseases include: amebiasis, Chagas disease (American trypanosomiasis), cholera, cryptosporidiosis, dengue (hemorrhagic fever), epidemic typhus (Brill-Zinsser disease), filariasis (elephantiasis), giardia (giardiasis), human African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), isosporiasis, leishmaniasis, Lyme disease (lyme borreliosis), malaria, onchocerciasis, plague, recurrent fever, sarcocystosis, scabies (mites as causal agents), spotted fever, toxoplasmosis, West Nile fever, and yellow fever. Thus, coverage was given to work describing plant-derived extracts, essential oils (EOs), and isolated chemicals with toxic or noxious effects on filth bugs (mechanical vectors), such as common houseflies (Musca domestica Linnaeus), American and German cockroaches (Periplaneta americana Linnaeus, Blatella germanica Linnaeus), and oriental latrine/blowflies (Chrysomya megacephala Fabricius) as well as biting, blood-sucking arthropods such as blackflies (Simulium Latreille spp.), fleas (Xenopsylla cheopis Rothschild), kissing bugs (Rhodnius Stål spp., Triatoma infestans Klug), body and head lice (Pediculus humanus humanus Linnaeus, P. humanus capitis De Geer), mosquitoes (Aedes Meigen, Anopheles Meigen, Culex L., and Ochlerotatus Lynch Arribálzaga spp.), sandflies (Lutzomyia longipalpis Lutz & Neiva, Phlebotomus Loew spp.), scabies mites (Sarcoptes scabiei De Geer, S. scabiei var hominis, S. scabiei var canis, S. scabiei var suis), and ticks (Ixodes Latreille, Amblyomma Koch, Dermacentor Koch, and Rhipicephalus Koch spp.). Examples of plant extracts, EOs, and isolated chemicals exhibiting noxious or toxic activity comparable or superior to the synthetic control agents of choice (pyrethroids, organophosphorous compounds, etc.) are provided in the text for many arthropod vectors of tropical

  7. Biofilm-producing ability of Listeria monocytogenes isolates from Brazilian cheese processing plants.

    PubMed

    In Lee, Sarah Hwa; Barancelli, Giovana Verginia; de Camargo, Tarsila Mendes; Corassin, Carlos Humberto; Rosim, Roice Eliana; da Cruz, Adriano Gomes; Cappato, Leandro Pereira; de Oliveira, Carlos Augusto Fernandes

    2017-01-01

    The persistence of Listeria monocytogenes in food industry environments has been associated to the ability of specific isolates to produce biofilms. This study aimed to evaluate the biofilm production of 85 L. monocytogenes strains previously isolated from samples of cheese, brine and the environment of two cheese processing plants located in São Paulo, Brazil. The L. monocytogenes isolates belonged to serotypes 4b, 1/2b and 1/2c, yielded 30 different pulsotypes by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), and were submitted to biofilm-formation assays on polystyrene microplates and stainless steel coupons incubated statically at 35±0.5°C for 48h. All isolates from different sources showed ability to produce biofilms on polystyrene microplates, from which 21 (24.7%) also produced biofilms on stainless steel. Four isolates (4.7%) belonging to four different pulsotypes were classified as strong biofilms-producers on polystyrene microplates, while isolates belonging to four pulsotypes previously evaluated as persistent had weak or moderate ability to produce biofilms on polystyrene microplates. No relationship between the serotypes or pulsotypes and their biofilm-forming ability was observed. This study highlights the high variability in the biofilm production among L. monocytogenes strains collected from cheese and cheese-production environment, also indicating that strong biofilm-formation ability is not a key factor for persistence of specific isolates in cheese processing plants.

  8. Disentangling the roles of plant diversity and precipitation in structuring microbial community composition and function in a tropical rain forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McGuire, Krista; Treseder, Kathleen; Fierer, Noah; Turner, Benjamin

    2010-05-01

    Shifting frequency and intensity of precipitation events is expected to impact soil fungi through a variety of complex feedbacks, although the general patterns and mechanisms are not fully understood. Precipitation and plant diversity often covary, and disentangling the relative contribution of each is important for predicting changes in global C and N fluxes. In order to test the relative contributions of plant diversity and precipitation in shaping fungal community structure and function, soil samples (0-10cm) from six established 1-ha plots across a natural precipitation gradient on the isthmus of Panama were collected. These plots co-vary in mean annual precipitation and plant diversity. Fungal DNA was sequenced using general fungal primers for the 18S region and 454 pyrosequencing. We found that total fungal taxa significantly increased with increasing mean annual precipitation, but not with plant diversity. Activity for some extracellular enzymes increased, whereas as others decreased with mean annual precipitation, indicating that the effect of shifting precipitation on nutrient transformations may be process-specific. To directly test for effects of plant species richness on fungal diversity and function, we experimentally re-created litter diversity gradients in nylon, 2 mm screen litter bags with 1, 25, and 50 species of plant leaf litter. After six months, we found a significant effect of plant litter diversity on decomposition rate, but only after the increase from one to 25 species of leaf litter. Total fungal taxa as determined by 454 sequencing and extracellular enzyme activity did not track plant species richness, suggesting that precipitation may be a more important factor than plant diversity in structuring soil fungi in tropical rain forests.

  9. Multiple soil nutrient competition between plants, microbes, and mineral surfaces: model development, parameterization, and example applications in several tropical forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Q.; Riley, W. J.; Tang, J.; Koven, C. D.

    2016-01-01

    Soil is a complex system where biotic (e.g., plant roots, micro-organisms) and abiotic (e.g., mineral surfaces) consumers compete for resources necessary for life (e.g., nitrogen, phosphorus). This competition is ecologically significant, since it regulates the dynamics of soil nutrients and controls aboveground plant productivity. Here we develop, calibrate and test a nutrient competition model that accounts for multiple soil nutrients interacting with multiple biotic and abiotic consumers. As applied here for tropical forests, the Nutrient COMpetition model (N-COM) includes three primary soil nutrients (NH4+, NO3- and POx; representing the sum of PO43-, HPO42- and H2PO4-) and five potential competitors (plant roots, decomposing microbes, nitrifiers, denitrifiers and mineral surfaces). The competition is formulated with a quasi-steady-state chemical equilibrium approximation to account for substrate (multiple substrates share one consumer) and consumer (multiple consumers compete for one substrate) effects. N-COM successfully reproduced observed soil heterotrophic respiration, N2O emissions, free phosphorus, sorbed phosphorus and NH4+ pools at a tropical forest site (Tapajos). The overall model uncertainty was moderately well constrained. Our sensitivity analysis revealed that soil nutrient competition was primarily regulated by consumer-substrate affinity rather than environmental factors such as soil temperature or soil moisture. Our results also imply that under strong nutrient limitation, relative competitiveness depends strongly on the competitor functional traits (affinity and nutrient carrier enzyme abundance). We then applied the N-COM model to analyze field nitrogen and phosphorus perturbation experiments in two tropical forest sites (in Hawaii and Puerto Rico) not used in model development or calibration. Under soil inorganic nitrogen and phosphorus elevated conditions, the model accurately

  10. Roles of host plants in boll weevil range expansion beyond tropical Mesoamerica

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    New findings on boll weevil, Anthonomus grandis grandis Boheman (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), biology and ecology have had repercussions on the current level of understanding about short- and long-range boll weevil dispersal, and range expansion from its original tropical Mesoamerican habitat. The w...

  11. Plant available nitrogen from anaerobically digested sludge and septic tank sludge applied to crops grown in the tropics.

    PubMed

    Sripanomtanakorn, S; Polprasert, C

    2002-04-01

    Agricultural land is an attractive alternative for the disposal of biosolids since it utilises the recyclable nutrients in the production of crops. In Thailand and other tropical regions, limited field-study information exists on the effect of biosolids management strategies on crop N utilisation and plant available N (PAN) of biosolids. A field study was conducted to quantify the PAN of the applied biosolids, and to evaluate the N uptake rates of some tropical crops. Sunflower (Helianthus annuus) and tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) were chosen in this study. Two types of biosolids used were: anaerobically digested sludge and septic tank sludge. The soil is acid sulfate and is classified as Sulfic Tropaquepts with heavy clay in texture. The anaerobically digested sludge applied rates were: 0, 156 and 312 kg N ha(-1) for the sunflower plots, and 0, 586, and 1172 kg N ha(-1) for the tomato plots. The septic tank sludge applied rates were: 0, 95 and 190 kg N ha(-1) for the sunflower plots, and 0, 354 and 708 kg N ha(-1) for the tomato plots, respectively. The results indicated the feasibility of applying biosolids to grow tropical crops. The applications of the anaerobically digested sludge and the septic tank sludge resulted in the yields of sunflower seeds and tomato fruits and the plant N uptakes comparable or better than that applied with only the chemical fertiliser. The estimated PAN of the anaerobically digested sludge was about 27-42% of the sludge organic N during the growing season. For the septic tank sludge, the PAN was about 15-58% of the sludge organic N. It is interesting to observe that an increase of the rate of septic tank sludge incorporated into this heavy clay soil under the cropping system resulted in the decrease of N mineralisation rate. This situation could cause the reduction of yield and N uptake of crops.

  12. Transcriptional profile of Paracoccidioides induced by oenothein B, a potential antifungal agent from the Brazilian Cerrado plant Eugenia uniflora

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The compound oenothein B (OenB), which is isolated from the leaves of Eugenia uniflora, a Brazilian Cerrado plant, interferes with Paracoccidioides yeast cell morphology and inhibits 1,3-β-D-glucan synthase (PbFKS1) transcript accumulation, which is involved in cell wall synthesis. In this work we examined the gene expression changes in Paracoccidioides yeast cells following OenB treatment in order to investigate the adaptive cellular responses to drug stress. Results We constructed differential gene expression libraries using Representational Difference Analysis (RDA) of Paracoccidioides yeast cells treated with OenB for 90 and 180 min. Treatment for 90 min resulted in the identification of 463 up-regulated expressed sequences tags (ESTs) and 104 down-regulated ESTs. For the 180 min treatment 301 up-regulated ESTs and 143 down-regulated were identified. Genes involved in the cell wall biosynthesis, such as GLN1, KRE6 and FKS1, were found to be regulated by OenB. Infection experiments in macrophages corroborated the in vitro results. Fluorescence microscopy showed increased levels of chitin in cells treated with OenB. The carbohydrate polymer content of the cell wall of the fungus was also evaluated, and the results corroborated with the transcriptional data. Several other genes, such as those involved in a variety of important cellular processes (i.e., membrane maintenance, stress and virulence) were found to be up-regulated in response to OenB treatment. Conclusions The exposure of Paracoccidioides to OenB resulted in a complex altered gene expression profile. Some of the changes may represent specific adaptive responses to this compound in this important pathogenic fungus. PMID:24119145

  13. Cellulose δ18O is an index of leaf-to-air vapor pressure difference (VPD) in tropical plants

    PubMed Central

    Kahmen, Ansgar; Sachse, Dirk; Arndt, Stefan K.; Tu, Kevin P.; Farrington, Heraldo; Vitousek, Peter M.; Dawson, Todd E.

    2011-01-01

    Cellulose in plants contains oxygen that derives in most cases from precipitation. Because the stable oxygen isotope composition, δ18O, of precipitation is associated with environmental conditions, cellulose δ18O should be as well. However, plant physiological models using δ18O suggest that cellulose δ18O is influenced by a complex mix of both climatic and physiological drivers. This influence complicates the interpretation of cellulose δ18O values in a paleo-context. Here, we combined empirical data analyses with mechanistic model simulations to i) quantify the impacts that the primary climatic drivers humidity (ea) and air temperature (Tair) have on cellulose δ18O values in different tropical ecosystems and ii) determine which environmental signal is dominating cellulose δ18O values. Our results revealed that ea and Tair equally influence cellulose δ18O values and that distinguishing which of these factors dominates the δ18O values of cellulose cannot be accomplished in the absence of additional environmental information. However, the individual impacts of ea and Tair on the δ18O values of cellulose can be integrated into a single index of plant-experienced atmospheric vapor demand: the leaf-to-air vapor pressure difference (VPD). We found a robust relationship between VPD and cellulose δ18O values in both empirical and modeled data in all ecosystems that we investigated. Our analysis revealed therefore that δ18O values in plant cellulose can be used as a proxy for VPD in tropical ecosystems. As VPD is an essential variable that determines the biogeochemical dynamics of ecosystems, our study has applications in ecological-, climate-, or forensic-sciences. PMID:21245322

  14. Phenolic composition and antiparasitic activity of plants from the Brazilian Northeast "Cerrado".

    PubMed

    Calixto Júnior, João Tavares; de Morais, Selene Maia; Gomez, Celeste Vega; Molas, Cathia Coronel; Rolon, Miriam; Boligon, Aline Augusti; Athayde, Margareth Linde; de Morais Oliveira, Cícera Datiane; Tintino, Saulo Relison; Henrique Douglas, Melo Coutinho

    2016-05-01

    This work describes the antiparasitic and cytotoxic activities of three plant species from the Cerrado biome, Northeastern Brazil. Significant antiparasitic inhibition was observed against Trypanosoma cruzi (63.86%), Leishmania brasiliensis (92.20%) and Leishmania infantum (95.23%) when using ethanol extract from leaves of Guazuma ulmifolia Lam. (Malvaceae), at a concentration of 500 μg/mL. However, low levels of inhibition were observed when assessing leishmanicidal and trypanocidal (Clone CL-B5) activities of crude ethanol extracts from leaves and bast tissue of Luehea paniculata (Malvaceae) and leaves and bark of Prockia crucis (Salicaceae) at a concentration of 500 μg/mL. The extracts revealed the presence of phenolic acids such as gallic acid, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid and rosmarinic acid, as well as flavonoids such as rutin, luteolin, apigenin and quercetin - the latter detected only in G. ulmifolia. G. ulmifolia extract displayed higher leishmanicidal activity probably due to the presence of quercetin, a potent known leishmanicidal compound. A cytotoxicity test indicated values over 50% at the highest concentration (1000 μg/mL) for all natural products, which were considered cytotoxic. This points out the need for further tests to enable future in vivo trials, including antineoplastic activity on human tumor cells.

  15. Phenolic composition and antiparasitic activity of plants from the Brazilian Northeast “Cerrado”

    PubMed Central

    Calixto Júnior, João Tavares; de Morais, Selene Maia; Gomez, Celeste Vega; Molas, Cathia Coronel; Rolon, Miriam; Boligon, Aline Augusti; Athayde, Margareth Linde; de Morais Oliveira, Cícera Datiane; Tintino, Saulo Relison; Henrique Douglas, Melo Coutinho

    2015-01-01

    This work describes the antiparasitic and cytotoxic activities of three plant species from the Cerrado biome, Northeastern Brazil. Significant antiparasitic inhibition was observed against Trypanosoma cruzi (63.86%), Leishmania brasiliensis (92.20%) and Leishmania infantum (95.23%) when using ethanol extract from leaves of Guazuma ulmifolia Lam. (Malvaceae), at a concentration of 500 μg/mL. However, low levels of inhibition were observed when assessing leishmanicidal and trypanocidal (Clone CL-B5) activities of crude ethanol extracts from leaves and bast tissue of Luehea paniculata (Malvaceae) and leaves and bark of Prockia crucis (Salicaceae) at a concentration of 500 μg/mL. The extracts revealed the presence of phenolic acids such as gallic acid, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid and rosmarinic acid, as well as flavonoids such as rutin, luteolin, apigenin and quercetin – the latter detected only in G. ulmifolia. G. ulmifolia extract displayed higher leishmanicidal activity probably due to the presence of quercetin, a potent known leishmanicidal compound. A cytotoxicity test indicated values over 50% at the highest concentration (1000 μg/mL) for all natural products, which were considered cytotoxic. This points out the need for further tests to enable future in vivo trials, including antineoplastic activity on human tumor cells. PMID:27081371

  16. Impacts of hydroelectric dams on alluvial riparian plant communities in Eastern Brazilian Amazonian.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Leandro Valle; Cunha, Denise A; Chaves, Priscilla P; Matos, Darley C L; Parolin, Pia

    2013-09-01

    The major rivers of the Amazon River basin and their biota are threatened by the planned construction of large hydroelectric dams that are expected to have strong impacts on floodplain plant communities. The present study presents forest inventories from three floodplain sites colonized by alluvial riparian vegetation in the Tapajós, Xingu and Tocantins River basins in eastern Amazonian. Results indicate that tree species of the highly specialized alluvial riparian vegetation are clearly distinct among the three river basins, although they are not very distinct from each other and environmental constraints are very similar. With only 6 of 74 species occurring in all three inventories, most tree and shrub species are restricted to only one of the rivers, indicating a high degree of local distribution. Different species occupy similar environmental niches, making these fragile riparian formations highly valuable. Conservation plans must consider species complementarily when decisions are made on where to place floodplain forest conservation units to avoid the irreversible loss of unique alluvial riparian vegetation biodiversity.

  17. Activity of essential oils from Brazilian medicinal plants on Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Duarte, Marta Cristina Teixeira; Leme, Ewerton Eduardo; Delarmelina, Camila; Soares, Andressa Almeida; Figueira, Glyn Mara; Sartoratto, Adilson

    2007-05-04

    Essential oils obtained from leaves of 29 medicinal plants commonly used in Brazil were screened against 13 different Escherichia coli serotypes. The oils were obtained by water-distillation using a Clevenger-type system and their minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) were determined by microdilution method. Essential oil from Cymbopogon martinii exhibited a broad inhibition spectrum, presenting strong activity (MIC between 100 and 500 microg/mL) against 10 out of 13 Escherichia coli serotypes: three enterotoxigenic, two enteropathogenic, three enteroinvasive and two shiga-toxin producers. C. winterianus inhibited strongly two enterotoxigenic, one enteropathogenic, one enteroinvasive and one shiga-toxin producer serotypes. Aloysia triphylla also shows good potential to kill Escherichia coli with moderate to strong inhibition. Other essential oils showed antimicrobial properties, however with a more restricted action against the serotypes studied. Chemical analysis of Cymbopogon martinii essential oil performed by gas chromatography (GC) and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC-MS) showed the presence of compounds with known antimicrobial activity, including geraniol, geranyl acetate and trans-cariophyllene, which tested separately, indicated geraniol as antimicrobial active compound. The significant antibacterial activity of Cymbopogon martinii oil suggests that they could serve as a source for compounds with therapeutic potential.

  18. Multiple soil nutrient competition between plants, microbes, and mineral surfaces: model development, parameterization, and example applications in several tropical forests

    DOE PAGES

    Zhu, Q.; Riley, W. J.; Tang, J.; ...

    2016-01-18

    Soil is a complex system where biotic (e.g., plant roots, micro-organisms) and abiotic (e.g., mineral surfaces) consumers compete for resources necessary for life (e.g., nitrogen, phosphorus). This competition is ecologically significant, since it regulates the dynamics of soil nutrients and controls aboveground plant productivity. Here we develop, calibrate and test a nutrient competition model that accounts for multiple soil nutrients interacting with multiple biotic and abiotic consumers. As applied here for tropical forests, the Nutrient COMpetition model (N-COM) includes three primary soil nutrients (NH4+, NO3− and POx; representing the sum of PO43−, HPO42− and H2PO4−) and five potential competitors (plantmore » roots, decomposing microbes, nitrifiers, denitrifiers and mineral surfaces). The competition is formulated with a quasi-steady-state chemical equilibrium approximation to account for substrate (multiple substrates share one consumer) and consumer (multiple consumers compete for one substrate) effects. N-COM successfully reproduced observed soil heterotrophic respiration, N2O emissions, free phosphorus, sorbed phosphorus and NH4+ pools at a tropical forest site (Tapajos). The overall model uncertainty was moderately well constrained. Our sensitivity analysis revealed that soil nutrient competition was primarily regulated by consumer–substrate affinity rather than environmental factors such as soil temperature or soil moisture. Our results also imply that under strong nutrient limitation, relative competitiveness depends strongly on the competitor functional traits (affinity and nutrient carrier enzyme abundance). We then applied the N-COM model to analyze field nitrogen and phosphorus perturbation experiments in two tropical forest sites (in Hawaii and Puerto Rico) not used in model development or calibration. Under soil inorganic nitrogen and phosphorus elevated conditions, the model accurately replicated the experimentally observed

  19. Radiation preservation of foods of plant origin. III. Tropical fruits: bananas, mangoes, and papayas

    SciTech Connect

    Thomas, P.

    1986-01-01

    The current status of research on the use of ionizing radiation for shelf life improvement and disinfestation of fresh tropical fruits like bananas, mangoes, and papayas are reviewed. The aspects covered are influence of maturity and physiological state of the fruits on delayed ripening and tolerance to radiation; varietal responses; changes in chemical constituents, volatiles, respiration, and ethylene evolution; biochemical mechanisms of delayed ripening and browning of irradiated fruits; and organoleptic quality. The efficacy of the combination of hot water dip and radiation treatments for control of postharvest fungal diseases are considered. The immediate potential of radiation as a quarantine treatment, in place of the currently used chemical fumigants, for disinfestation of fruit flies and mango seed weevil are discussed. Future prospects for irradiation of tropical fruits are discussed in the light of experience gained from studies conducted in different countries.146 references.

  20. Plant DNA barcodes, taxonomic management, and species discovery in tropical forests.

    PubMed

    Dick, Christopher W; Webb, Campbell O

    2012-01-01

    DNA barcodes have great potential for species identification and taxonomic discovery in tropical forests. This use of DNA barcodes requires a reference DNA library of known taxa with which to match DNA from unidentified specimens. At an even more basic level, it presupposes that the species in the regional species pool have Latin binomials. This is not the case in species-rich tropical forests in which many species are new to science or members of poorly circumscribed species complexes. This chapter describes a workflow geared toward taxonomic discovery, which includes the discovery of new species, distribution records, and hybrid forms, and to management of taxonomic entities in forest inventory plots. It outlines the roles of laboratory technicians, field workers and herbarium-based taxonomists, and concludes with a discussion of potential multilocus nuclear DNA approaches for identifying species in recently evolved clades.

  1. Micro-organisms behind the pollination scenes: microbial imprint on floral nectar sugar variation in a tropical plant community

    PubMed Central

    Canto, A.; Herrera, C. M.

    2012-01-01

    Background and Aims Variation in the composition of floral nectar reflects intrinsic plant characteristics as well as the action of extrinsic factors. Micro-organisms, particularly yeasts, represent one extrinsic factor that inhabit the nectar of animal-pollinated flowers worldwide. In this study a ‘microbial imprint hypothesis’ is formulated and tested, in which it is proposed that natural community-wide variation in nectar sugar composition will partly depend on the presence of yeasts in flowers. Methods Occurrence and density of yeasts were studied microscopically in single-flower nectar samples of 22 animal-pollinated species from coastal xeric and sub-humid tropical habitats of the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico. Nectar sugar concentration and composition were concurrently determined on the same samples using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) methods. Key Results Microscopical examination of nectar samples revealed the presence of yeasts in nearly all plant species (21 out of 22 species) and in about half of the samples examined (51·8 % of total, all species combined). Plant species and individuals differed significantly in nectar sugar concentration and composition, and also in the incidence of nectar yeasts. After statistically controlling for differences between plant species and individuals, nectar yeasts still accounted for a significant fraction of community-wide variance in all nectar sugar parameters considered. Significant yeast × species interactions on sugar parameters revealed that plant species differed in the nectar sugar correlates of variation in yeast incidence. Conclusions The results support the hypothesis that nectar yeasts impose a detectable imprint on community-wide variation in nectar sugar composition and concentration. Since nectar sugar features influence pollinator attraction and plant reproduction, future nectar studies should control for yeast presence and examine the extent to which microbial signatures on nectar

  2. Anthelmintic efficacy of five tropical native Australian plants against Haemonchus contortus and Trichostrongylus colubriformis in experimentally infected goats (Capra hircus).

    PubMed

    Moreno, F C; Gordon, I J; Knox, M R; Summer, P M; Skerrat, L F; Benvenutti, M A; Saumell, C A

    2012-06-08

    The study of the anthelmintic properties of plants rich in plant secondary metabolites can provide ecologically sound methods for the treatment of parasites on grazing animals. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the anthelmintic effect of five tropical native Australian plant species rich in plant secondary metabolites on adult Haemonchus contortus and Trichostrongylus colubriformis in experimentally infected goats. Thirty young, nematode-free goats were infected with 2500 H. contortus and 5000 T. colubriformis infective larvae thrice weekly for a week (day 1-7 of the experiment). On day 27 after first infection, the goats were allocated into six groups of five animals per group. From day 28 to day 35, fresh leaves from Acacia salicina, Acacia nilotica, Eucalyptus corymbia, Casuarina cunninghamiana and Eucalyptus drepanophylla were included in the goats diet. Five groups were offered leaves from one of these plant species and one group, the untreated control, received only the basal diet formulated with 20% Medicago sativa and 80% Avena sativa. Following plant material administration, the goats were monitored daily until day 40 and then slaughtered on day 41. Total faecal worm egg output, total production of larvae recovered from faecal cultures, total post-mortem worm burdens and the per capita fecundity of female worms were estimated. The toxicity of the plant species for the goats was measured by histopathological analyses of liver and kidney samples. Results showed that goats feeding on the plant material rich in plant secondary metabolites had significantly lower egg output compared to the control goats (P<0.05). A similar response was found for larval production in both H. contortus and T. colubriformis supporting that egg output was affected in both species. Although the total worm burdens were not affected by the plant material (P>0.05), the per capita fecundity was significantly reduced by E. corymbia, A. nilotica and A. salicina (P<0.05). No

  3. Production of prodigiosin and chitinases by tropical Serratia marcescens strains with potential to control plant pathogens.

    PubMed

    Gutiérrez-Román, Martha Ingrid; Holguín-Meléndez, Francisco; Bello-Mendoza, Ricardo; Guillén-Navarro, Karina; Dunn, Michael F; Huerta-Palacios, Graciela

    2012-01-01

    The potential of three Serratia marcescens strains (CFFSUR-B2, CFFSUR-B3 and CFFSUR-B4) isolated from tropical regions in Mexico to inhibit the mycelial growth and conidial germination of Colletotrichum gloeosporioides, causal agent of fruit anthracnose, was evaluated. The ability of these strains to produce prodigiosin and chitinases when cultivated in oil seed-based media (peanut, sesame, soybean and castor bean) and in Luria-Bertani medium was determined. All of the strains exhibited similar fungal antagonistic activities and inhibited myceliar growth by more than 40% while inhibiting conidial germination by 81-89% (P = 0.01). The highest level of prodigiosin (40 μg/ml) was produced in the peanut-based medium while growth in soybean-based medium allowed the highest production of chitinases (56 units/ml), independent of the strain used. Strain CFFSUR-B2 grown in peanut medium was used to evaluate the effect of inoculum density and initial pH on metabolite production. The amount of prodigiosin produced increased with greater inoculum densities, with an initial density of 1 × 10(12) resulting in the highest production (60 μg/ml). Prodigiosin production was not affected by pH. The strains studied have the advantage of being adapted to tropical climates and are able to produce chitinases in the absence of chitin induction in vitro. These characteristics suggest their potential as biocontrol agents for fungal pathogens in tropical regions of the world.

  4. Plant δ15N Correlates with the Transpiration Efficiency of Nitrogen Acquisition in Tropical Trees1[OA

    PubMed Central

    Cernusak, Lucas A.; Winter, Klaus; Turner, Benjamin L.

    2009-01-01

    Based upon considerations of a theoretical model of 15N/14N fractionation during steady-state nitrate uptake from soil, we hypothesized that, for plants grown in a common soil environment, whole-plant δ15N (δP) should vary as a function of the transpiration efficiency of nitrogen acquisition (FN/v) and the difference between δP and root δ15N (δP − δR). We tested these hypotheses with measurements of several tropical tree and liana species. Consistent with theoretical expectations, both FN/v and δP − δR were significant sources of variation in δP, and the relationship between δP and FN/v differed between non-N2-fixing and N2-fixing species. We interpret the correlation between δP and FN/v as resulting from variation in mineral nitrogen efflux-to-influx ratios across plasma membranes of root cells. These results provide a simple explanation of variation in δ15N of terrestrial plants and have implications for understanding nitrogen cycling in ecosystems. PMID:19726571

  5. Scatter Hoarding of Seeds Confers Survival Advantages and Disadvantages to Large-Seeded Tropical Plants at Different Life Stages

    PubMed Central

    Kuprewicz, Erin K.

    2015-01-01

    Scatter hoarding of seeds by animals contributes significantly to forest-level processes, including plant recruitment and forest community composition. However, the potential positive and negative effects of caching on seed survival, germination success, and seedling survival have rarely been assessed through experimental studies. Here, I tested the hypothesis that seed burial mimicking caches made by scatter hoarding Central American agoutis (Dasyprocta punctate) enhances seed survival, germination, and growth by protecting seeds from seed predators and providing favorable microhabitats for germination. In a series of experiments, I used simulated agouti seed caches to assess how hoarding affects seed predation by ground-dwelling invertebrates and vertebrates for four plant species. I tracked germination and seedling growth of intact and beetle-infested seeds and, using exclosures, monitored the effects of mammals on seedling survival through time. All experiments were conducted over three years in a lowland wet forest in Costa Rica. The majority of hoarded palm seeds escaped predation by both invertebrates and vertebrates while exposed seeds suffered high levels of infestation and removal. Hoarding had no effect on infestation rates of D. panamensis, but burial negatively affected germination success by preventing endocarp dehiscence. Non-infested palm seeds had higher germination success and produced larger seedlings than infested seeds. Seedlings of A. alatum and I. deltoidea suffered high mortality by seed-eating mammals. Hoarding protected most seeds from predators and enhanced germination success (except for D. panamensis) and seedling growth, although mammals killed many seedlings of two plant species; all seedling deaths were due to seed removal from the plant base. Using experimental caches, this study shows that scatter hoarding is beneficial to most seeds and may positively affect plant propagation in tropical forests, although tradeoffs in seed

  6. Scatter hoarding of seeds confers survival advantages and disadvantages to large-seeded tropical plants at different life stages.

    PubMed

    Kuprewicz, Erin K

    2015-01-01

    Scatter hoarding of seeds by animals contributes significantly to forest-level processes, including plant recruitment and forest community composition. However, the potential positive and negative effects of caching on seed survival, germination success, and seedling survival have rarely been assessed through experimental studies. Here, I tested the hypothesis that seed burial mimicking caches made by scatter hoarding Central American agoutis (Dasyprocta punctate) enhances seed survival, germination, and growth by protecting seeds from seed predators and providing favorable microhabitats for germination. In a series of experiments, I used simulated agouti seed caches to assess how hoarding affects seed predation by ground-dwelling invertebrates and vertebrates for four plant species. I tracked germination and seedling growth of intact and beetle-infested seeds and, using exclosures, monitored the effects of mammals on seedling survival through time. All experiments were conducted over three years in a lowland wet forest in Costa Rica. The majority of hoarded palm seeds escaped predation by both invertebrates and vertebrates while exposed seeds suffered high levels of infestation and removal. Hoarding had no effect on infestation rates of D. panamensis, but burial negatively affected germination success by preventing endocarp dehiscence. Non-infested palm seeds had higher germination success and produced larger seedlings than infested seeds. Seedlings of A. alatum and I. deltoidea suffered high mortality by seed-eating mammals. Hoarding protected most seeds from predators and enhanced germination success (except for D. panamensis) and seedling growth, although mammals killed many seedlings of two plant species; all seedling deaths were due to seed removal from the plant base. Using experimental caches, this study shows that scatter hoarding is beneficial to most seeds and may positively affect plant propagation in tropical forests, although tradeoffs in seed

  7. Predictive Models of Primary Tropical Forest Structure from Geomorphometric Variables Based on SRTM in the Tapajós Region, Brazilian Amazon

    PubMed Central

    Bispo, Polyanna da Conceição; dos Santos, João Roberto; Valeriano, Márcio de Morisson; Graça, Paulo Maurício Lima de Alencastro; Balzter, Heiko; França, Helena; Bispo, Pitágoras da Conceição

    2016-01-01

    Surveying primary tropical forest over large regions is challenging. Indirect methods of relating terrain information or other external spatial datasets to forest biophysical parameters can provide forest structural maps at large scales but the inherent uncertainties need to be evaluated fully. The goal of the present study was to evaluate relief characteristics, measured through geomorphometric variables, as predictors of forest structural characteristics such as average tree basal area (BA) and height (H) and average percentage canopy openness (CO). Our hypothesis is that geomorphometric variables are good predictors of the structure of primary tropical forest, even in areas, with low altitude variation. The study was performed at the Tapajós National Forest, located in the Western State of Pará, Brazil. Forty-three plots were sampled. Predictive models for BA, H and CO were parameterized based on geomorphometric variables using multiple linear regression. Validation of the models with nine independent sample plots revealed a Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) of 3.73 m2/ha (20%) for BA, 1.70 m (12%) for H, and 1.78% (21%) for CO. The coefficient of determination between observed and predicted values were r2 = 0.32 for CO, r2 = 0.26 for H and r2 = 0.52 for BA. The models obtained were able to adequately estimate BA and CO. In summary, it can be concluded that relief variables are good predictors of vegetation structure and enable the creation of forest structure maps in primary tropical rainforest with an acceptable uncertainty. PMID:27089013

  8. Constructed tropical wetlands with integrated submergent-emergent plants for sustainable water quality management.

    PubMed

    Tanaka, Norio; Jinadasa, K B S N; Werellagama, D R I B; Mowjood, M I M; Ng, W J

    2006-01-01

    Improvement of primary effluent quality by using an integrated system of emergent plants (Scirpus grossus in the leading subsurface flow arrangement) and submergent plants (Hydrilla verticillata in a subsequent channel) was investigated. The primary effluent was drawn from a septic tank treating domestic sewage from a student dormitory at the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. Influent and effluent samples were collected once every 2 weeks from May 2004 through July 2005 and analyzed to determine water quality parameters. Both the emergent and submergent plants were harvested at predetermined intervals. The results suggested that harvesting prolonged the usefulness of the system and the generation of a renewable biomass with potential economic value. The mean overall pollutant removal efficiencies of the integrated emergent and submergent plant system were biological oxygen demand (BOD5), 65.7%; chemical oxygen demand (COD), 40.8%; ammonium (NH4+-N), 74.8%; nitrate (NO3--N), 38.8%; phosphate (PO43-), 61.2%; total suspended solids (TSS), 65.8%; and fecal coliforms, 94.8%. The submergent plant subsystem improved removal of nutrients that survived the emergent subsystem operated at low hydraulic retention times. The significant improvement in effluent quality following treatment by the submergent plant system indicates the value of incorporating such plants in wetland systems.

  9. AFLP marker analysis revealing genetic structure of the tree Parapiptadenia rigida (Benth.) Brenan (Leguminosae-Mimosoideae) in the southern Brazilian Tropical Rainforest

    PubMed Central

    de Souza, Laís Bérgamo; Ruas, Eduardo A.; Rodrigues, Luana A.; Ruas, Claudete F.; Ruas, Paulo M.

    2013-01-01

    Parapiptadenia rigida is a tropical early secondary succession tree characteristic of the Tropical Atlantic Rainforest. This species is of great ecological importance in the recovery of degraded areas. In this study we investigated the variability and population genetic structure of eight populations of P. rigida. Five AFLP primer combinations were used in a sample of 159 individuals representing these eight populations, rendering a total of 126 polymorphic fragments. The averages of percentage of polymorphic loci, gene diversity, and Shannon index were 60.45%, 0.217, and 0.322, respectively. A significant correlation between the population genetic variability and the population sizes was observed. The genetic variability within populations (72.20%) was higher than between these (22.80%). No perfect correlation was observed between geographic and genetic distances, which might be explained by differences in deforestation intensities that occurred in these areas. A dendrogram constructed by the UPGMA method revealed the formation of two clusters, these also confirmed by Bayesian analysis for the number of K cluster. These results show that it is necessary to develop urgent management strategies for the conservation of certain populations of P. rigida, while other populations still preserve reasonably high levels of genetic variability. PMID:24385857

  10. AFLP marker analysis revealing genetic structure of the tree Parapiptadenia rigida (Benth.) Brenan (Leguminosae-Mimosoideae) in the southern Brazilian Tropical Rainforest.

    PubMed

    de Souza, Laís Bérgamo; Ruas, Eduardo A; Rodrigues, Luana A; Ruas, Claudete F; Ruas, Paulo M

    2013-12-01

    Parapiptadenia rigida is a tropical early secondary succession tree characteristic of the Tropical Atlantic Rainforest. This species is of great ecological importance in the recovery of degraded areas. In this study we investigated the variability and population genetic structure of eight populations of P. rigida. Five AFLP primer combinations were used in a sample of 159 individuals representing these eight populations, rendering a total of 126 polymorphic fragments. The averages of percentage of polymorphic loci, gene diversity, and Shannon index were 60.45%, 0.217, and 0.322, respectively. A significant correlation between the population genetic variability and the population sizes was observed. The genetic variability within populations (72.20%) was higher than between these (22.80%). No perfect correlation was observed between geographic and genetic distances, which might be explained by differences in deforestation intensities that occurred in these areas. A dendrogram constructed by the UPGMA method revealed the formation of two clusters, these also confirmed by Bayesian analysis for the number of K cluster. These results show that it is necessary to develop urgent management strategies for the conservation of certain populations of P. rigida, while other populations still preserve reasonably high levels of genetic variability.

  11. Preliminary measurements of spectral signatures of tropical and temperate plants in the thermal infrared

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Salisbury, John W.; Milton, N. M.

    1987-01-01

    Spectral reflectance measurements of seven tropical species and six deciduous species were carried out in thermal infrared to establish the species-dependent spectral characteristics and to investigate the effect on spectral signatures of environmental variables, such as leaf maturity, drought, and metal stress. Seasonal variations of spectral signatures occurred between spring and summer leaves, but such variations were minimal during summer and early fall. Overall reflectance of senescent leaves was higher than that of young leaves, as was the reflectance of leaves from trees growing in metal-enriched soils, as compared with leaves from the control area. However, the characteristic spectral features were not changed in either case. It was also found that water stress did not have any effect on the infrared signatures: trees grown during a drought season maintained their characteristic spectral signatures.

  12. [Native plant resources to optimize the performances of forest rehabilitation in Mediterranean and tropical environment: some examples of nursing plant species that improve the soil mycorrhizal potential].

    PubMed

    Duponnois, Robin; Ramanankierana, Heriniaina; Hafidi, Mohamed; Baohanta, Rondro; Baudoin, Ezékiel; Thioulouse, Jean; Sanguin, Hervé; Bâ, Amadou; Galiana, Antoine; Bally, René; Lebrun, Michel; Prin, Yves

    2013-01-01

    The overexploitation of natural resources, resulting in an increased need for arable lands by local populations, causes a serious dysfunction in the soil's biological functioning (mineral deficiency, salt stress, etc.). This dysfunction, worsened by the climatic conditions (drought), requires the implementation of ecological engineering strategies allowing the rehabilitation of degraded areas through the restoration of essential ecological services. The first symptoms of weathering processes of soil quality in tropical and Mediterranean environments result in an alteration of the plant cover structure with, in particular, the pauperization of plant species diversity and abundance. This degradation is accompanied by a weakening of soils and an increase of the impact of erosion on the surface layer resulting in reduced fertility of soils in terms of their physicochemical characteristics as well as their biological ones (e.g., soil microbes). Among the microbial components particularly sensitive to erosion, symbiotic microorganisms (rhizobia, Frankia, mycorrhizal fungi) are known to be key components in the main terrestrial biogeochemical cycles (C, N and P). Many studies have shown the importance of the management of these symbiotic microorganisms in rehabilitation and revegetation strategies of degraded environments, but also in improving the productivity of agrosystems. In particular, the selection of symbionts and their inoculation into the soil were strongly encouraged in recent decades. These inoculants were selected not only for their impact on the plant, but also for their ability to persist in the soil at the expense of the residual native microflora. The performance of this technique was thus evaluated on the plant cover, but its impact on soil microbial characteristics was totally ignored. The role of microbial diversity on productivity and stability (resistance, resilience, etc.) of eco- and agrosystems has been identified relatively recently and has led

  13. Influence of crop types and soil properties on radionuclide soil-to-plant transfer factors in tropical and subtropical environments.

    PubMed

    Velasco, H; Ayub, J Juri; Sansone, U

    2009-09-01

    This paper presents a descriptive statistical analysis of radionuclide soil-to-plant transfer factors (Fv) for tropical and subtropical environments. These values were collected from previous databases and standard publications with the objective of contributing to the IAEA Technical Report Series: Handbook of parameter values for the prediction of radionuclide transfer to humans in terrestrial and freshwater environments. More than 2200 Fv values of different radionuclides were gathered and arranged into specific databases, detailing relevant information regarding the environments where this parameter was calculated. This study explores the dependence of Fv values to crop types, and soil properties. The wide variability and uncertainty observed in calculated Fv values were considerably reduced when the data was independently grouped into clusters containing the same radionuclide/plant group/soil type combinations. For each cluster the principal statistical quantities were determined. Using these quantities, the Fv distributions of each data set was explored. Fv probability distribution is discussed to clarify the use of this empirical parameter in radioecological and radiological assessment models.

  14. Draft genome sequence of bitter gourd (Momordica charantia), a vegetable and medicinal plant in tropical and subtropical regions.

    PubMed

    Urasaki, Naoya; Takagi, Hiroki; Natsume, Satoshi; Uemura, Aiko; Taniai, Naoki; Miyagi, Norimichi; Fukushima, Mai; Suzuki, Shouta; Tarora, Kazuhiko; Tamaki, Moritoshi; Sakamoto, Moriaki; Terauchi, Ryohei; Matsumura, Hideo

    2017-02-01

    Bitter gourd (Momordica charantia) is an important vegetable and medicinal plant in tropical and subtropical regions globally. In this study, the draft genome sequence of a monoecious bitter gourd inbred line, OHB3-1, was analyzed. Through Illumina sequencing and de novo assembly, scaffolds of 285.5 Mb in length were generated, corresponding to ∼84% of the estimated genome size of bitter gourd (339 Mb). In this draft genome sequence, 45,859 protein-coding gene loci were identified, and transposable elements accounted for 15.3% of the whole genome. According to synteny mapping and phylogenetic analysis of conserved genes, bitter gourd was more related to watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) than to cucumber (Cucumis sativus) or melon (C. melo). Using RAD-seq analysis, 1507 marker loci were genotyped in an F2 progeny of two bitter gourd lines, resulting in an improved linkage map, comprising 11 linkage groups. By anchoring RAD tag markers, 255 scaffolds were assigned to the linkage map. Comparative analysis of genome sequences and predicted genes determined that putative trypsin-inhibitor and ribosome-inactivating genes were distinctive in the bitter gourd genome. These genes could characterize the bitter gourd as a medicinal plant.

  15. Draft genome sequence of bitter gourd (Momordica charantia), a vegetable and medicinal plant in tropical and subtropical regions

    PubMed Central

    Urasaki, Naoya; Takagi, Hiroki; Natsume, Satoshi; Uemura, Aiko; Taniai, Naoki; Miyagi, Norimichi; Fukushima, Mai; Suzuki, Shouta; Tarora, Kazuhiko; Tamaki, Moritoshi; Sakamoto, Moriaki; Terauchi, Ryohei

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Bitter gourd (Momordica charantia) is an important vegetable and medicinal plant in tropical and subtropical regions globally. In this study, the draft genome sequence of a monoecious bitter gourd inbred line, OHB3-1, was analyzed. Through Illumina sequencing and de novo assembly, scaffolds of 285.5 Mb in length were generated, corresponding to ∼84% of the estimated genome size of bitter gourd (339 Mb). In this draft genome sequence, 45,859 protein-coding gene loci were identified, and transposable elements accounted for 15.3% of the whole genome. According to synteny mapping and phylogenetic analysis of conserved genes, bitter gourd was more related to watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) than to cucumber (Cucumis sativus) or melon (C. melo). Using RAD-seq analysis, 1507 marker loci were genotyped in an F2 progeny of two bitter gourd lines, resulting in an improved linkage map, comprising 11 linkage groups. By anchoring RAD tag markers, 255 scaffolds were assigned to the linkage map. Comparative analysis of genome sequences and predicted genes determined that putative trypsin-inhibitor and ribosome-inactivating genes were distinctive in the bitter gourd genome. These genes could characterize the bitter gourd as a medicinal plant. PMID:28028039

  16. 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

    Planting native tree seedlings is the predominant restoration strategy for accelerating forest succession on degraded lands. Planting tree "islands" is less costly and labor intensive than establishing larger plantations and simulates the nucleation process of succession. Assessing the role of island size in attracting seed dispersers, the potential of islands to expand through enhanced seed deposition, and the effect of planting arrangements on seed dispersal by birds and bats informs restoration design. Determining the relative importance of local restoration approach vs. landscape-level factors (amount of surrounding forest cover) helps prioritize methods and locations for restoration. We tested how three restoration approaches affect the arrival of forest seeds at 11 experimental sites spread across a gradient of surrounding forest cover in a 100-km2 area of southern Costa Rica. Each site had three 50 x 50 m treatments: (1) control (natural regeneration), (2) island (planting tree seedlings in patches of three sizes: 16 m2, 64 m2, and 144 m2), and (3) plantation (planting entire area). Four tree species were used in planting (Terminalia amazonia, Vochysia guatemalensis, Erythrina poeppigiana, and Inga edulis). Seed rain was measured for 18 months beginning approximately 2 years after planting. Plantations received the most zoochorous tree seeds (266.1 +/- 64.5 seeds x m(-2) x yr(-1) [mean +/- SE]), islands were intermediate (210.4 +/- 52.7 seeds x m(-2) x yr(-1)), and controls were lowest (87.1 +/- 13.9 seeds x m(-2) x yr(-1)). Greater tree seed deposition in the plantations was due to birds (0.51 +/- 0.18 seeds x m(-2) x d(-1)), not bats (0.07 +/- 0.03 seeds x m(-2) x d(-1)). Seed rain was primarily small-seeded, early-successional species. Large and medium islands received twice as many zoochorous tree seeds as small islands and areas away from island edges, suggesting there is a minimum island size necessary to increase seed deposition and that seed rain

  17. Water use in four model tropical plant associations established in the lowlands of Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Gutiérrez-Soto, Marco V; Ewel, John J

    2008-12-01

    We examined soil water use patterns of four model plant associations established in the North Caribbean lowlands of Costa Rica by comparing the stable hydrogen isotope composition, deltaD, in xylem sap and in soil water at different depths, under rainy and dry conditions. Four 5-year-old model plant associations composed of 2 tree species (Hyeronima alchorneoides and Cedrela odorata) having different architecture and phenology were studied. Average tree height was 8.9 and 7.6 m, respectively. Each tree species was grown in monoculture and in polyculture with 2 perennial monocotyledons (Euterpe oleracea and Heliconia imbricata). Maximum rooting depth at the time of 6D determination was approximately 2 m for almost all species. Most roots of all species were concentrated in the upper soil layers. Stomatal conductance to water vapor (gS) was higher in the deciduous C. odorata than in the evergreen H. alchorneoides; within each species, g, did not differ when the trees were grown in mono or in polyculture. During the rainy season, gradients in soil water 6D were not observed. Average rainy season xylem sap deltaD did not differ among members of the plant combinations tested (-30% per thousand), and was more similar to deltaD values of shallow soil water. Under dry conditions, volumetric soil water content declined from 50 to approximately 35%, and modest gradients in soil water deltaD were observed. Xylem sap deltaD obtained during dry conditions was significantly lower than rainy season values. Xylem sap deltaD of plants growing in the four associations varied between -9 and -22% per hundred, indicating that shallow water was predominantly absorbed during the dry period too. Differences in xylem sap deltaD of trees and monocots were also detected, but no significant patterns emerged. The results suggest that: (a) the plant associations examined extracted water predominantly from shallow soil layers (<1 m), (b) the natural isotopic variation in soil and plant water at

  18. Hydrolysis of Selected Tropical Plant Wastes Catalyzed by a Magnetic Carbonaceous Acid with Microwave

    PubMed Central

    Su, Tong-Chao; Fang, Zhen; Zhang, Fan; Luo, Jia; Li, Xing-Kang

    2015-01-01

    In this study, magnetic carbonaceous acids were synthesized by pyrolysis of the homogeneous mixtures of glucose and magnetic Fe3O4 nanoparticles, and subsequent sulfonation. The synthesis conditions were optimized to obtain a catalyst with both high acid density (0.75 mmol g−1) and strong magnetism [magnetic saturation, Ms = 19.5 Am2 kg−1]. The screened catalyst (C-SO3H/Fe3O4) was used to hydrolyze ball-milled cellulose in a microwave reactor with total reducing sugar (TRS) yield of 25.3% under the best conditions at 190 °C for 3.5 h. It was cycled for at least seven times with high catalyst recovery rate (92.8%), acid density (0.63 mmol g−1) and magnetism (Ms = 12.9 Am2 kg−1), as well as high TRS yield (20.1%) from the hydrolysis of ball-milled cellulose. The catalyst was further successfully tested for the hydrolysis of tropical biomass with high TRS and glucose yields of 79.8% and 58.3% for bagasse, 47.2% and 35.6% for Jatropha hulls, as well as 54.4% and 35.8% for Plukenetia hulls. PMID:26648414

  19. Hydrolysis of Selected Tropical Plant Wastes Catalyzed by a Magnetic Carbonaceous Acid with Microwave

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Su, Tong-Chao; Fang, Zhen; Zhang, Fan; Luo, Jia; Li, Xing-Kang

    2015-12-01

    In this study, magnetic carbonaceous acids were synthesized by pyrolysis of the homogeneous mixtures of glucose and magnetic Fe3O4 nanoparticles, and subsequent sulfonation. The synthesis conditions were optimized to obtain a catalyst with both high acid density (0.75 mmol g-1) and strong magnetism [magnetic saturation, Ms = 19.5 Am2 kg-1]. The screened catalyst (C-SO3H/Fe3O4) was used to hydrolyze ball-milled cellulose in a microwave reactor with total reducing sugar (TRS) yield of 25.3% under the best conditions at 190 °C for 3.5 h. It was cycled for at least seven times with high catalyst recovery rate (92.8%), acid density (0.63 mmol g-1) and magnetism (Ms = 12.9 Am2 kg-1), as well as high TRS yield (20.1%) from the hydrolysis of ball-milled cellulose. The catalyst was further successfully tested for the hydrolysis of tropical biomass with high TRS and glucose yields of 79.8% and 58.3% for bagasse, 47.2% and 35.6% for Jatropha hulls, as well as 54.4% and 35.8% for Plukenetia hulls.

  20. Effect of initial soil properties on six-year growth of 15 tree species in tropical restoration plantings.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Garza, Cristina; Campo, Julio; Ricker, Martin; Tobón, Wolke

    2016-12-01

    In restoration plantings in degraded pastures, initial soil nutrient status may lead to differential growth of tropical tree species with diverse life history attributes and capacity for N2 fixation. In 2006, we planted 1,440 seedlings of 15 native tree species in 16 fenced plots (30 × 30 m) in a 60-year-old pasture in Los Tuxtlas, Veracruz, Mexico, in two planting combinations. In the first year, we evaluated bulk density, pH, the concentration of organic carbon (C), total nitrogen (N), ammonia (NO3-), nitrate (NH4+), and total phosphorus (P) in the upper soil profile (0-20 cm in depth) of all plots. The first two axes of two principal component analyses explained more than 60% of the variation in soil variables: The axes were related to increasing bulk density, NO3-, NH4+, total N concentration, and pH. Average relative growth rates in diameter at the stem base of the juvenile trees after 6 years were higher for pioneer (45.7%) and N2-fixing species (47.6%) than for nonpioneer (34.7%) and nonfixing species (36.2%). Most N2-fixing species and those with the slowest growth rates did not respond to soil attributes. Tree species benefited from higher pH levels and existing litter biomass. The pioneers Ficus yoponensis, Cecropia obtusifolia, and Heliocarpus appendiculatus, and the N2-fixing nonpioneers Cojoba arborea, Inga sinacae, and Platymiscium dimorphandrum were promising for forest restoration on our site, given their high growth rates.

  1. A temporary social parasite of tropical plant-ants improves the fitness of a myrmecophyte

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dejean, Alain; Leroy, Céline; Corbara, Bruno; Céréghino, Régis; Roux, Olivier; Hérault, Bruno; Rossi, Vivien; Guerrero, Roberto J.; Delabie, Jacques H. C.; Orivel, Jérôme; Boulay, Raphaël

    2010-10-01

    Myrmecophytes offer plant-ants a nesting place in exchange for protection from their enemies, particularly defoliators. These obligate ant-plant mutualisms are common model systems for studying factors that allow horizontally transmitted mutualisms to persist since parasites of ant-myrmecophyte mutualisms exploit the rewards provided by host plants whilst providing no protection in return. In pioneer formations in French Guiana, Azteca alfari and Azteca ovaticeps are known to be mutualists of myrmecophytic Cecropia ( Cecropia ants). Here, we show that Azteca andreae, whose colonies build carton nests on myrmecophytic Cecropia, is not a parasite of Azteca- Cecropia mutualisms nor is it a temporary social parasite of A. alfari; it is, however, a temporary social parasite of A. ovaticeps. Contrarily to the two mutualistic Azteca species that are only occasional predators feeding mostly on hemipteran honeydew and food bodies provided by the host trees, A. andreae workers, which also attend hemipterans, do not exploit the food bodies. Rather, they employ an effective hunting technique where the leaf margins are fringed with ambushing workers, waiting for insects to alight. As a result, the host trees’ fitness is not affected as A. andreae colonies protect their foliage better than do mutualistic Azteca species resulting in greater fruit production. Yet, contrarily to mutualistic Azteca, when host tree development does not keep pace with colony growth, A. andreae workers forage on surrounding plants; the colonies can even move to a non- Cecropia tree.

  2. Does secondary plant metabolism provide a mechanism for plant defenses in the tropical soda apple Solanum viarum (Solanales: Solanaceae) against the beet armyworm Spodoptera exigua and southern armyworm S. eridania?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Survival assays were conducted with beet armyworm Spodoptera exigua and southern armyworm S. eridania with tropical soda apple Solanum viarum a relative of tomato. In addition, polyphenol oxidase (PPO) enzyme assays were conducted to determine if secondary plant defense compounds are being produce...

  3. Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Brazilian Sugarcane Soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carmo, J.; Pitombo, L.; Cantarella, H.; Rosseto, R.; Andrade, C.; Martinelli, L.; Gava, G.; Vargas, V.; Sousa-Neto, E.; Zotelli, L.; Filoso, S.; Neto, A. E.

    2012-04-01

    Bioethanol from sugarcane is increasingly seen as a sustainable alternative energy source. Besides having high photosynthetic efficiency, sugarcane is a perennial tropical grass crop that can re-grow up to five or more years after being planted. Brazil is the largest producer of sugarcane in the world and management practices commonly used in the country lead to lower rates of inorganic N fertilizer application than sugarcane grown elsewhere, or in comparison to other feedstocks such as corn. Therefore, Brazilian sugarcane ethanol potentially promotes greenhouse gas savings. For that reason, several recent studies have attempted to assess emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) during sugarcane production in the tropics. However, estimates have been mainly based on models due to a general lack of field data. In this study, we present data from in situ experiments on emission of three GHG (CO2, N2O, and CH4) in sugarcane fields in Brazil. Emissions are provided for sugarcane in different phases of the crop life cycle and under different management practices. Our results show that the use of nitrogen fertilizer in sugarcane crops resulted in an emission factor for N2O similar to those predicted by IPCC (1%), ranging from 0.59% in ratoon cane to 1.11% in plant cane. However, when vinasse was applied in addition to mineralN fertilizer, emissions of GHG increased in comparison to those from the use of mineral N fertilizer alone. Emissions increased significantly when experiments mimicked the accumulation of cane trash on the soil surface with 14 tons ha-1and 21 tons ha-1, which emission factor were 1.89% and 3.03%, respectively. This study is representative of Brazilian sugarcane systems under specific conditions for key factors affecting GHG emissions from soils. Nevertheless, the data provided will improve estimates of GHG from Brazilian sugarcane, and efforts to assess sugarcane ethanol sustainability and energy balance. Funding provided by the São Paulo Research

  4. Are We Filling the Data Void? An Assessment of the Amount and Extent of Plant Collection Records and Census Data Available for Tropical South America

    PubMed Central

    Feeley, Kenneth

    2015-01-01

    Large-scale studies are needed to increase our understanding of how large-scale conservation threats, such as climate change and deforestation, are impacting diverse tropical ecosystems. These types of studies rely fundamentally on access to extensive and representative datasets (i.e., “big data”). In this study, I asses the availability of plant species occurrence records through the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) and the distribution of networked vegetation census plots in tropical South America. I analyze how the amount of available data has changed through time and the consequent changes in taxonomic, spatial, habitat, and climatic representativeness. I show that there are large and growing amounts of data available for tropical South America. Specifically, there are almost 2,000,000 unique geo-referenced collection records representing more than 50,000 species of plants in tropical South America and over 1,500 census plots. However, there is still a gaping “data void” such that many species and many habitats remain so poorly represented in either of the databases as to be functionally invisible for most studies. It is important that we support efforts to increase the availability of data, and the representativeness of these data, so that we can better predict and mitigate the impacts of anthropogenic disturbances. PMID:25927831

  5. Are we filling the data void? An assessment of the amount and extent of plant collection records and census data available for tropical South America.

    PubMed

    Feeley, Kenneth

    2015-01-01

    Large-scale studies are needed to increase our understanding of how large-scale conservation threats, such as climate change and deforestation, are impacting diverse tropical ecosystems. These types of studies rely fundamentally on access to extensive and representative datasets (i.e., "big data"). In this study, I asses the availability of plant species occurrence records through the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) and the distribution of networked vegetation census plots in tropical South America. I analyze how the amount of available data has changed through time and the consequent changes in taxonomic, spatial, habitat, and climatic representativeness. I show that there are large and growing amounts of data available for tropical South America. Specifically, there are almost 2,000,000 unique geo-referenced collection records representing more than 50,000 species of plants in tropical South America and over 1,500 census plots. However, there is still a gaping "data void" such that many species and many habitats remain so poorly represented in either of the databases as to be functionally invisible for most studies. It is important that we support efforts to increase the availability of data, and the representativeness of these data, so that we can better predict and mitigate the impacts of anthropogenic disturbances.

  6. Plant DNA barcodes and a community phylogeny of a tropical forest dynamics plot in Panama.

    PubMed

    Kress, W John; Erickson, David L; Jones, F Andrew; Swenson, Nathan G; Perez, Rolando; Sanjur, Oris; Bermingham, Eldredge

    2009-11-03

    The assembly of DNA barcode libraries is particularly relevant within species-rich natural communities for which accurate species identifications will enable detailed ecological forensic studies. In addition, well-resolved molecular phylogenies derived from these DNA barcode sequences have the potential to improve investigations of the mechanisms underlying community assembly and functional trait evolution. To date, no studies have effectively applied DNA barcodes sensu strictu in this manner. In this report, we demonstrate that a three-locus DNA barcode when applied to 296 species of woody trees, shrubs, and palms found within the 50-ha Forest Dynamics Plot on Barro Colorado Island (BCI), Panama, resulted in >98% correct identifications. These DNA barcode sequences are also used to reconstruct a robust community phylogeny employing a supermatrix method for 281 of the 296 plant species in the plot. The three-locus barcode data were sufficient to reliably reconstruct evolutionary relationships among the plant taxa in the plot that are congruent with the broadly accepted phylogeny of flowering plants (APG II). Earlier work on the phylogenetic structure of the BCI forest dynamics plot employing less resolved phylogenies reveals significant differences in evolutionary and ecological inferences compared with our data and suggests that unresolved community phylogenies may have increased type I and type II errors. These results illustrate how highly resolved phylogenies based on DNA barcode sequence data will enhance research focused on the interface between community ecology and evolution.

  7. In vitro antiplasmodial activity of extract and constituents from Esenbeckia febrifuga, a plant traditionally used to treat malaria in the Brazilian Amazon.

    PubMed

    Dolabela, Maria Fâni; Oliveira, Salma G; Nascimento, José Maria; Peres, José Maria; Wagner, Hildebert; Póvoa, Marinete Marins; de Oliveira, Alaíde Braga

    2008-05-01

    Esenbeckia febrifuga (Rutaceae) is a plant traditionally used to treat malaria in the Brazilian Amazon region. Ethanol extract of stems displayed a good antiplasmodial activity against Plasmodium falciparum strains W-2 (IC(50) 15.5+/-0.71 microg/ml) and 3 D7 (IC(50) 21.0+/-1.4 microg/ml). Two coumarins (bergaptene 1 and isopimpinellin 2), five alkaloids (flindersiamine 3, kokusaginine 4, skimmiamine 5, gamma-fagarine 6 and 1-hydroxy-3-methoxy-N-methylacridone, 7), besides a limonoid (rutaevine 8), have been isolated for the first time from this species. Antiplasmodial activity of compounds 3, 5-8 has been evaluated in vitro against P. falciparum strains (W-2 and 3D7) and the furoquinolines 5 and 6 were the most potent displaying IC(50) values <50 microg/ml; flindersiamine (3) showed a weak activity while alkaloid 7 and rutaevine (8) were inactive (IC(50)>100 microg/ml).

  8. Assessing the Chemical Composition and Antimicrobial Activity of Essential Oils from Brazilian Plants-Eremanthus erythropappus (Asteraceae), Plectrantuns barbatus, and P. amboinicus (Lamiaceae).

    PubMed

    Santos, Nara O Dos; Mariane, Bruna; Lago, João Henrique G; Sartorelli, Patricia; Rosa, Welton; Soares, Marisi G; da Silva, Adalberto M; Lorenzi, Harri; Vallim, Marcelo A; Pascon, Renata C

    2015-05-11

    The chemical composition and antimicrobial activity of essential oils obtained from three Brazilian plant species-leaves and branches of Eremanthus erythropappus (Asteraceae), leaves of Plectranthus barbatus, and leaves of P. amboinicus (Lamiaceae)-were determined. Analysis by GC/MS and determination of Kovats indexes both indicated δ-elemene (leaves-42.61% and branches-23.41%) as well as (-)-α-bisabolol (leaves-24.80% and stem bark-66.16%) as major constituents of E. erythropappus essential oils. The main components of leaves of P. barbatus were identified as (Z)-caryophyllene (17.98%), germacrene D (17.35%), and viridiflorol (14.13%); whereas those of leaves of P. amboinicus were characterized as p-cymene (12.01%), γ-terpinene (14.74%), carvacrol (37.70%), and (Z)-caryophyllene (14.07%). The antimicrobial activity against yeasts and bacteria was assessed in broth microdilution assays to determine the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) necessary to inhibit microbial growth. In addition, the crude oil of branches of E. erythropappus was subjected to chromatographic separation procedures to afford purified (-)-α-bisabolol. This compound displayed biological activity against pathogenic yeasts, thus suggesting that the antimicrobial effect observed with crude oils of E. erythropappus leaves and branches may be related to the occurrence of (-)-α-bisabolol as their main component. Our results showed that crude oils of Brazilian plants, specifically E. erythropappus, P. barbatus, and P. amboinicus and its components, could be used as a tool for the developing novel and more efficacious antimicrobial agents.

  9. Evaluation of ash from some tropical plants of Nigeria for the control of Sclerotium rolfsii Sacc. on wheat (Triticum aestivum L.).

    PubMed

    Enikuomehin, O A; Ikotun, T; Ekpo, E J

    1998-01-01

    Eleven ash samples, from organs of nine tropical plants, were screened for their abilities to inhibit mycelial growth and sclerotial germination of a Nigerian isolate of Sclerotium rolfsii on agar and in the soil. Ten ash samples showed some activity against mycelial growth of S. rolfsii in vitro. Ash samples from Delonix regia stem wood, Mangifera indica leaf and Vernonia amygdalina leaf were most effective as each totally inhibited mycelial growth of S. rolfsii in vitro. Ocimum gratissimum leaf ash, D. regia wood ash and Musa paradisiaca flower bract ash inhibited sclerotial germination on agar. Nine ash samples protected seeds against pre-emergence rot. Ash from M. indica leaf, V. amygdalina leaf and Azadirachta indica leaf protected seedlings against post-emergence infection. Eichornia crassipes ash, which was ineffective in vitro, offered some protection to seeds in soil against pre-emergence rot. The study demonstrates potentials of ash samples from tropical plants in control of S. rolfsii on wheat.

  10. The tropic response of plant roots to oxygen: oxytropism in Pisum sativum L

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Porterfield, D. M.; Musgrave, M. E.

    1998-01-01

    Plant roots are known to orient growth through the soil by gravitropism, hydrotropism, and thigmotropism. Recent observations of plant roots that developed in a microgravity environment in space suggested that plant roots may also orient their growth toward oxygen (oxytropism). Using garden pea (Pisum sativum L. cv. Weibul's Apollo) and an agravitropic mutant (cv. Ageotropum), root oxytropism was studied in the controlled environment of a microrhizotron. A series of channels in the microrhizotron allowed establishment of an oxygen gradient of 0.8 mmol mol-1 mm-1. Curvature of seedling roots was determined prior to freezing the roots for subsequent spectrophotometric determinations of alcohol dehydrogenase activity. Oxytropic curvature was observed all along the gradient in both cultivars of pea. The normal gravitropic cultivar showed a maximal curvature of 45 degrees after 48 h, while the agravitropic mutant curved to 90 degrees. In each cultivar, the amount of curvature declined as the oxygen concentration decreased, and was linearly related to the root elongation rate. Since oxytropic curvature occurred in roots exposed to oxygen concentrations that were not low enough to induce the hypoxically responsive protein alcohol dehydrogenase, we suspect that the oxygen sensor associated with oxytropism does not control the induction of hypoxic metabolism. Our results indicate that oxygen can play a critical role in determining root orientation as well as impacting root metabolic status. Oxytropism allows roots to avoid oxygen-deprived soil strata and may also be the basis of an auto-avoidance mechanism, decreasing the competition between roots for water and nutrients as well as oxygen.

  11. The tropic response of plant roots to oxygen: oxytropism in Pisum sativum L.

    PubMed

    Porterfield, D M; Musgrave, M E

    1998-09-01

    Plant roots are known to orient growth through the soil by gravitropism, hydrotropism, and thigmotropism. Recent observations of plant roots that developed in a microgravity environment in space suggested that plant roots may also orient their growth toward oxygen (oxytropism). Using garden pea (Pisum sativum L. cv. Weibul's Apollo) and an agravitropic mutant (cv. Ageotropum), root oxytropism was studied in the controlled environment of a microrhizotron. A series of channels in the microrhizotron allowed establishment of an oxygen gradient of 0.8 mmol mol-1 mm-1. Curvature of seedling roots was determined prior to freezing the roots for subsequent spectrophotometric determinations of alcohol dehydrogenase activity. Oxytropic curvature was observed all along the gradient in both cultivars of pea. The normal gravitropic cultivar showed a maximal curvature of 45 degrees after 48 h, while the agravitropic mutant curved to 90 degrees. In each cultivar, the amount of curvature declined as the oxygen concentration decreased, and was linearly related to the root elongation rate. Since oxytropic curvature occurred in roots exposed to oxygen concentrations that were not low enough to induce the hypoxically responsive protein alcohol dehydrogenase, we suspect that the oxygen sensor associated with oxytropism does not control the induction of hypoxic metabolism. Our results indicate that oxygen can play a critical role in determining root orientation as well as impacting root metabolic status. Oxytropism allows roots to avoid oxygen-deprived soil strata and may also be the basis of an auto-avoidance mechanism, decreasing the competition between roots for water and nutrients as well as oxygen.

  12. Species and rotation frequency influence soil nitrogen in simplified tropical plant communities.

    PubMed

    Ewel, John J

    2006-04-01

    Among the many factors that potentially influence the rate at which nitrogen (N) becomes available to plants in terrestrial ecosystems are the identity and diversity of species composition, frequency of disturbance or stand turnover, and time. Replicated suites of investigator-designed communities afforded an opportunity to examine the effects of those factors on net N mineralization over a 12-year period. The communities consisted of large-stature perennial plants, comprising three tree species (Hyeronima alchorneoides, Cedrela odorata, and Cordia alliodora), a palm (Euterpe oleracea), and a large, perennial herb (Heliconia imbricata). Trees were grown in monoculture and in combination with the other two life-forms; tree monocultures were subjected to rotations of one or four years, or like the three-life-form systems, left uncut. The work was conducted on fertile soil in the humid lowlands of Costa Rica, a site with few abiotic constraints to plant growth. Rates of net N mineralization and nitrification were high, typically in the range of 0.2-0.8 microg x g(1) x d(-1), with net nitrification slightly higher than net mineralization, indicating preferential uptake of ammonium (NH4+) by plants and microbes. Net rates of N mineralization were about 30% lower in stands of one of the three tree species, Hyeronima, than in stands of the other two. Contrary to expectations, short-rotation management (one or four years) resulted in higher net rates of N mineralization than in uncut stands, whether the latter were composed of a single tree species or a combination of life-forms. Neither additional species richness nor replenishment of leached N augmented mineralization rates. The net rate at which N was supplied tended to be lowest in stands where demand for N was highest. Careful choice of species, coupled with low frequency of disturbance, can lead to maintenance of N within biomass and steady rates of within-system circulation, whereas pulses, whether caused by cutting

  13. In vitro larval migration and kinetics of exsheathment of Haemonchus contortus larvae exposed to four tropical tanniniferous plant extracts.

    PubMed

    Alonso-Díaz, M A; Torres-Acosta, J F J; Sandoval-Castro, C A; Aguilar-Caballero, A J; Hoste, H

    2008-05-31

    As for some temperate forage, some tropical tanniniferous plants (TTP) from browsing might represent an alternative to chemical anthelmintic. The anthelmintic effect of four TTP (Acacia pennatula, Lysiloma latisiliquum, Piscidia piscipula, Leucaena leucocephala) on Haemonchus contortus was measured using two in vitro assays. First, the effects of increasing concentrations of lyophilized extracts (150, 300, 600, 1200 microg/ml PBS) were tested on H. contortus larvae (L(3)) using the larval migration inhibition (LMI) test. An inhibitor of tannin, polyvinyl polypyrrolidone (PVPP), was used to verify whether tannins were responsible for the AH effect. Secondly, the effects of extracts on larval exsheathment were examined. Larvae (L(3)) were in contact with extracts (1200 microg/ml) for 3h, and then were exposed to an artificial exsheathment procedure with observations of the process at 10 min intervals. A general lineal model (GLM) test was used to determine the dose effect in the LMI test and the difference of the percentage of exsheathed larvae between the control and the treatment groups. A Kruskal Wallis test was used to determine the effect of PVPP on LMI results. The LMI test showed a dose-dependent anthelmintic effect for A. pennatula, L. latisiliquum and L. leucocephala (P<0.01), which disappeared after PVPP addition, confirming the role of tannins. No effect was found for P. piscipula on H. contortus in the LMI test. However, all four plant extracts interfered with the process of L(3) exsheathment which might be involved as a mechanism of action of tannins on H. contortus larvae. A. pennatula, L. latisiliquum and L. leucocephala could be used as an anthelmintic for the control of H. contortus after confirmation based on in vivo studies.

  14. Responses of seedlings of tropical woody plants to environmental stresses with emphasis on Theobroma cacao and Hevea brasiliensis

    SciTech Connect

    Sena Gomes, A.R.

    1987-01-01

    Relative humidity, flooding, temperature, wind, and SO/sub 2/ variously influenced physiological processes and growth of tropical woody plants, with emphasis on three Theobroma cacao varieties and three Hevea brasiliensis families. Stomata were smaller and more numerous in Theobroma than in Hevea. In Theobroma, but not Heavea, stomatal frequency decreased from the leaf base to the apex and from the midrib outward. Stomata of Theobroma cacao var. Catongo opened in high relative humidity (RH) and closed in low RH. The more open stomata in high RH were associated with high rates of photosynthesis, low leaf water potential, high water use efficiency (WUE), and low transpiration rate (TR). Variations in TR and WUE were correlated with changes in vapor pressure deficit. Other responses included stomatal closure, decreased chlorophyll content, leaf epinasty, production of hypertrophied lenticels and adventitious roots, and acceleration of ethylene production. Responses to flooding varied with species, Theobroma varieties and Hevea families. Effects of temperature regimes on growth varied with species, varieties and families, plant parts, growth parameters, and time of harvesting. Optimal temperatures for dry weight increase of stems or roots of Theobroma cacao var. Comum were 22.2 C; and 33.3 C for dry weight increase or relative growth rates of leaves or seedlings. Optimal temperatures for growth varied for Hevea families. Wind injured leaves of Theobroma cacao, with more injury by wind of 6.0 than 3.0 m s/sup -1/. Stomata were more open on windy than on calm days, but tended to close at high wind speeds. Wind lowered transpiration rate but the reduction was not correlated with leaf dehydration. SO/sub 2/ at 0.5, 1.0, or 1.5 ppm for 24 h did not injure Theobroma leaves but reduced dry weight increment of leaves of var. Catongo but not Catongo/Sial.

  15. Stable carbon isotope ratio of methyl chloride emitted from glasshouse-grown tropical plants and its implication for the global methyl chloride budget

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saito, Takuya; Yokouchi, Yoko

    2008-04-01

    Stable carbon isotope ratios of methyl chloride (CH3Cl) were measured in foliar emissions from 14 species of tropical plants growing in a glasshouse. The isotopic ratio of CH3Cl (arithmetic mean: -83.2 +/- 15.2‰) ranged from -56‰ to -114‰ that from dipterocarp trees (-87.4 +/- 12.3‰) was on average more depleted in 13C than that from tree ferns (-61.9 +/- 9.7‰). The isotopic ratio was lower than that of CH3Cl produced by other known sources (e.g., biomass burning and salt marshes), with the exception of that by dead leaves. Using the distinctive isotope ratio of CH3Cl emitted from tropical plants together with previously reported isotopic data of CH3Cl sources and sinks to an isotopic mass balance calculation, global CH3Cl emission by tropical plants was estimated to be approximately 1500-3000 Gg yr-1 with uncertainties of 30-60%, which could account for 30-50% of the global emission.

  16. Root strength of tropical plants - An investigation in the Western Ghats of Kerala, India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lukose Kuriakose, S.; van Beek, L. P. H.; van Westen, C. J.

    2009-04-01

    Earlier research on debris flows in the Tikovil River basin of the Western Ghats concluded that root cohesion is significant in maintaining the overall stability of the region. In this paper we present the most recent results (December 2008) of root tensile strength tests conducted on nine species of plants that are commonly found in the region. They are 1) Rubber (Hevea Brasiliensis), 2) Coconut Palm (Cocos nucifera), 3) Jackfruit trees (Artocarpus heterophyllus), 4) Teak (Tectona grandis), 5) Mango trees (Mangifera indica), 6) Lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus), 7) A variety of Tamarind (Garcinia gummigutta), 8) Coffee (Coffea Arabica) and Tea (Camellia sinensis). About 1500 samples were collected of which only 380 could be tested (in the laboratory) due to breakage of roots during the tests. In the successful tests roots failed in tension. Roots having diameters between 2 mm and 12 mm were tested. Each sample tested has a length of 15 cm. Results indicate that the roots of Coffee, Tamarind, Lemon grass and Jackfruit are the strongest of the nine plant types tested whereas Tea and Teak plants had the most fragile roots. Coconut roots behaved atypical to the others, as the bark of the roots was crushed and slipped from the clamp when tested whereas its internal fiber was the strongest of all tested. Root tensile strength decreases with increasing diameters, Rubber showing more ductile behaviour than Coffee and Tamarind that behaved more brittle, root tensile strength increasing exponentially for finer roots. Teak and Tea showed almost a constant root tensile strength over the range of diameters tested and little variability. Jack fruit and mango trees showed the largest variability, which may be explained by the presence of root nodules, preventing the derivation of an unequivocal relationship between root diameters and tensile strength. This results in uncertainty of root strength estimates that are applicable. These results provide important information to

  17. The use of light in prey capture by the tropical pitcher plant Nepenthes aristolochioides.

    PubMed

    Moran, Jonathan A; Clarke, Charles; Gowen, Brent E

    2012-08-01

    Nepenthes pitcher plants deploy tube-shaped pitchers to catch invertebrate prey; those of Nepenthes aristolochioides possess an unusual translucent dome. The hypothesis was tested that N. aristolochioides pitchers operate as light traps, by quantifying prey capture under three shade treatments. Flies are red-blind, with visual sensitivity maxima in the UV, blue, and green wavebands. Red celluloid filters were used to reduce the transmission of these wavebands into the interior of the pitchers. Those that were shaded at the rear showed a 3-fold reduction in Drosophila caught, relative to either unshaded control pitchers, or pitchers that were shaded at the front. Thus, light transmitted through the translucent dome is a fundamental component of N. aristolochioides' trapping mechanism.

  18. Does plant architectural complexity increase with increasing habitat complexity? A test with a pioneer shrub in the Brazilian Cerrado.

    PubMed

    Silveira, F A O; Oliveira, E G

    2013-05-01

    Understanding variation in plant traits in heterogeneous habitats is important to predict responses to changing environments, but trait-environment associations are poorly known along ecological gradients. We tested the hypothesis that plant architectural complexity increases with habitat complexity along a soil fertility gradient in a Cerrado (Neotropical savanna) area in southeastern Brazil. Plant architecture and productivity (estimated as the total number of healthy infructescences) of Miconia albicans (SW.) Triana were examined in three types of vegetation which together form a natural gradient of increasing soil fertility, tree density and canopy cover: grasslands (campo sujo, CS), shrublands (cerrado sensu strico, CE) and woodlands (cerradão, CD). As expected, plants growing at the CS were shorter and had a lower branching pattern, whereas plants at the CD were the tallest. Unexpectedly, however, CD plants did not show higher architectural complexity compared to CE plants. Higher architectural similarity between CE and CD plants compared to similarity between CS and CE plants suggests reduced expression of functional architectural traits under shade. Plants growing at the CE produced more quaternary shoots, leading to a larger number of infructescences. This higher plant productivity in CE indicates that trait variation in ecological gradients is more complex than previously thought. Nematode-induced galls accounted for fruit destruction in 76.5% infructescences across physiognomies, but percentage of attack was poorly related to architectural variables. Our data suggest shade-induced limitation in M. albicans architecture, and point to complex phenotypic variation in heterogeneous habitats in Neotropical savannas.

  19. Detecting subcanopy invasive plant species in tropical rainforest by integrating optical and microwave (InSAR/PolInSAR) remote sensing data, and a decision tree algorithm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghulam, Abduwasit; Porton, Ingrid; Freeman, Karen

    2014-02-01

    In this paper, we propose a decision tree algorithm to characterize spatial extent and spectral features of invasive plant species (i.e., guava, Madagascar cardamom, and Molucca raspberry) in tropical rainforests by integrating datasets from passive and active remote sensing sensors. The decision tree algorithm is based on a number of input variables including matching score and infeasibility images from Mixture Tuned Matched Filtering (MTMF), land-cover maps, tree height information derived from high resolution stereo imagery, polarimetric feature images, Radar Forest Degradation Index (RFDI), polarimetric and InSAR coherence and phase difference images. Spatial distributions of the study organisms are mapped using pixel-based Winner-Takes-All (WTA) algorithm, object oriented feature extraction, spectral unmixing, and compared with the newly developed decision tree approach. Our results show that the InSAR phase difference and PolInSAR HH-VV coherence images of L-band PALSAR data are the most important variables following the MTMF outputs in mapping subcanopy invasive plant species in tropical rainforest. We also show that the three types of invasive plants alone occupy about 17.6% of the Betampona Nature Reserve (BNR) while mixed forest, shrubland and grassland areas are summed to 11.9% of the reserve. This work presents the first systematic attempt to evaluate forest degradation, habitat quality and invasive plant statistics in the BNR, and provides significant insights as to management strategies for the control of invasive plants and conversation in the reserve.

  20. The Role of Edaphic Environment and Climate in Structuring Phylogenetic Pattern in Seasonally Dry Tropical Plant Communities

    PubMed Central

    Moro, Marcelo Freire; Silva, Igor Aurélio; de Araújo, Francisca Soares; Nic Lughadha, Eimear; Meagher, Thomas R.; Martins, Fernando Roberto

    2015-01-01

    Seasonally dry tropical plant formations (SDTF) are likely to exhibit phylogenetic clustering owing to niche conservatism driven by a strong environmental filter (water stress), but heterogeneous edaphic environments and life histories may result in heterogeneity in degree of phylogenetic clustering. We investigated phylogenetic patterns across ecological gradients related to water availability (edaphic environment and climate) in the Caatinga, a SDTF in Brazil. Caatinga is characterized by semiarid climate and three distinct edaphic environments – sedimentary, crystalline, and inselberg –representing a decreasing gradient in soil water availability. We used two measures of phylogenetic diversity: Net Relatedness Index based on the entire phylogeny among species present in a site, reflecting long-term diversification; and Nearest Taxon Index based on the tips of the phylogeny, reflecting more recent diversification. We also evaluated woody species in contrast to herbaceous species. The main climatic variable influencing phylogenetic pattern was precipitation in the driest quarter, particularly for herbaceous species, suggesting that environmental filtering related to minimal periods of precipitation is an important driver of Caatinga biodiversity, as one might expect for a SDTF. Woody species tended to show phylogenetic clustering whereas herbaceous species tended towards phylogenetic overdispersion. We also found phylogenetic clustering in two edaphic environments (sedimentary and crystalline) in contrast to phylogenetic overdispersion in the third (inselberg). We conclude that while niche conservatism is evident in phylogenetic clustering in the Caatinga, this is not a universal pattern likely due to heterogeneity in the degree of realized environmental filtering across edaphic environments. Thus, SDTF, in spite of a strong shared environmental filter, are potentially heterogeneous in phylogenetic structuring. Our results support the need for scientifically

  1. Complete Chloroplast Genome Sequence of an Orchid Model Plant Candidate: Erycina pusilla Apply in Tropical Oncidium Breeding

    PubMed Central

    Pan, I-Chun; Liao, Der-Chih; Wu, Fu-Huei; Daniell, Henry; Singh, Nameirakpam Dolendro; Chang, Chen; Shih, Ming-Che; Chan, Ming-Tsair; Lin, Choun-Sea

    2012-01-01

    Oncidium is an important ornamental plant but the study of its functional genomics is difficult. Erycina pusilla is a fast-growing Oncidiinae species. Several characteristics including low chromosome number, small genome size, short growth period, and its ability to complete its life cycle in vitro make E. pusilla a good model candidate and parent for hybridization for orchids. Although genetic information remains limited, systematic molecular analysis of its chloroplast genome might provide useful genetic information. By combining bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clones and next-generation sequencing (NGS), the chloroplast (cp) genome of E. pusilla was sequenced accurately, efficiently and economically. The cp genome of E. pusilla shares 89 and 84% similarity with Oncidium Gower Ramsey and Phalanopsis aphrodite, respectively. Comparing these 3 cp genomes, 5 regions have been identified as showing diversity. Using PCR analysis of 19 species belonging to the Epidendroideae subfamily, a conserved deletion was found in the rps15-trnN region of the Cymbidieae tribe. Because commercial Oncidium varieties in Taiwan are limited, identification of potential parents using molecular breeding method has become very important. To demonstrate the relationship between taxonomic position and hybrid compatibility of E. pusilla, 4 DNA regions of 36 tropically adapted Oncidiinae varieties have been analyzed. The results indicated that trnF-ndhJ and trnH-psbA were suitable for phylogenetic analysis. E. pusilla proved to be phylogenetically closer to Rodriguezia and Tolumnia than Oncidium, despite its similar floral appearance to Oncidium. These results indicate the hybrid compatibility of E. pusilla, its cp genome providing important information for Oncidium breeding. PMID:22496851

  2. Seasonal variation and processing of vascular plant organic matter in tropical montane catchments as reflected by riverine DOC compositions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hernes, P.; Dyda, R. Y.; McDowell, W. H.

    2015-12-01

    Tropical rivers are responsible for two thirds of global fluxes of terrigenous organic matter to the oceans, yet because of their remote locations relative to most industrialized countries, they are poorly studied compared to temperate and even Arctic rivers. This study measured lignin biomarkers on weekly samples from two Puerto Rican rivers, the Mameyes and the Rio Icacos, over the course of ~9 months in order to investigate watershed controls on organic matter export via rivers. In both rivers, carbon-normalized yields of lignin increased with discharge, indicating higher organic matter contributions from vascular plants and lower contributions from microbial sources. Lignin biomarkers can be used to distinguish between conifer and deciduous trees as well as woody and nonwoody tissues, and the source signatures of the two rivers were essentially the same, indicating similar vegetation and sources of organic materials to both rivers. Thus, differences in diagenetic lignin parameters can be attributed to differences in processing within the two watersheds. For example, the Rio Icacos is a much flashier system with much higher sediment loads during storm events, which can lead to significant exchange of organic matter between the dissolved and particulate phase. Acid to aldehyde ratios for vanillyl and syringyl lignin phenols, (Ad:Al)v and (Ad:Al)s, are commonly used indicators of degradation. Plots of (Ad:Al)s vs. (Ad:Al)v for the two rivers reveal a significantly steeper slope for the Mameyes, which could reflect differences in the mineralogy between the systems, as the Mameyes watershed is underlain by volcaniclastic materials while the Rio Icacos is underlain by granodiorite. It is a commonly held assumption that base materials and soils should exert a strong influence on riverine organic matter compositions, but paired watershed studies are comparatively rare even in temperate climates. Hence, measureable differences between the two systems studied here

  3. Crosses prior to parthenogenesis explain the current genetic diversity of tropical plant-parasitic Meloidogyne species (Nematoda: Tylenchida).

    PubMed

    Fargette, Mireille; Berthier, Karine; Richaud, Myriam; Lollier, Virginie; Franck, Pierre; Hernandez, Adan; Frutos, Roger

    2010-08-01

    The tropical and subtropical parthenogenetic plant-parasitic nematodes Meloidogyne are polyphagous major agricultural pests. Implementing proper pest management approaches requires a good understanding of mechanisms, population structure, evolutionary patterns and species identification. A comparative analysis of the mitochondrial vs nuclear diversity was conducted on a selected set of Meloidogyne lines from various geographic origins. Mitochondrial co2-16S sequences and AFLP markers of total DNA were applied because of their ability to evidence discrete genetic variation between closely related isolates. Several distinct maternal lineages were present, now associated with different genetic backgrounds. Relative discordances were found when comparing mitochondrial and nuclear diversity patterns. These patterns are most likely related to crosses within one ancestral genetic pool, followed by the establishment of parthenogenesis. In this case, they mirror the genetic backgrounds of the original individuals. Another aspect could be that species emergence was recent or on process from this original genetic pool and that the relatively short time elapsed since then and before parthenogenesis settlement did not allow for lineage sorting. This could also be compatible with the hypothesis of hybrids between closely related species. This genetic pool would correspond to a species as defined by the species interbreeding concept, but also including the grey area of species boundaries. This complex process has implications on the way genotypic and phenotypic diversity should be addressed. The phenotype of parthenogenetic lines is at least for part determined by the ancestral amphimictic genetic background. A direct consequence is, therefore, in terms of risk management, the limited confidence one can have on the direct association of an agronomic threat to a simple typing or species delineation. Risk management strategies and tools must thus consider this complexity when

  4. Regionally-defined niche-breadth of tropical African freshwater plant species predicts their global latitudinal range

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kennedy, Michael; Lang, Pauline; Tapia-Grimaldo, Julissa; Varandas-Martins, Sara; Bruce, Allanah; Moore, Isabel; Sichingabula, Henry; Bottino, Flávia; Murphy, Kevin

    2016-04-01

    This study tested the hypothesis that the measured niche-breadth of river plant species (macrophytes) occurring within a closely-defined geographical area in southern tropical Africa (Zambia), may predict the larger-scale biogeographical range of these species. Two measures of niche-breadth were calculated for 44 riverine macrophyte species commonly occurring in Zambia, using an approach based on PCA ordination with bio-physico-chemical ordination input variables: altitude, stream order, stream flow, pH, conductivity, soluble reactive phosphate concentration (SRP), benthic macroinvertebrate Average Score per Taxon (ASPT), and individual abundance of nine benthic macroinvertebrate families showing differing water quality tolerance, as indicated by their Sensitivity Weightings within the Zambian Invertebrate Scoring System (ZISS). Macrophyte large-scale latitudinal range was derived from world geopositional records held by online databases, supplemented by records held by the authors. The two niche-breadth metrics divided the species into narrow-niche and intermediate/broad-niche categories, showing significant variation in altitude, stream flow, conductivity, SRP and ASPT, but not stream order or pH. There was no evidence to suggest that macrophyte alpha-diversity (as a measure of number of individual niches that may co-exist in a given habitat) showed any significant relationship with individual species niche-breadth. However, macrophyte alpha-diversity was significantly positively correlated with altitude, and significantly negatively related to conductivity, pH, ASPT, SRP, stream flow, and stream order. Narrow-niche macrophyte species included a higher proportion of Afrotropical endemics than did species with broader niche size. There were significant predictive relationships between macrophyte niche breadth and latitudinal range of the target species at global and Afrotropical scales, but not for the Neotropical range of species which occurred in both the

  5. In vitro Effects of Four Native Brazilian Medicinal Plants in CYP3A4 mRNA Gene Expression, Glutathione Levels, and P-Glycoprotein Activity

    PubMed Central

    Mazzari, Andre L. D. A.; Milton, Flora; Frangos, Samantha; Carvalho, Ana C. B.; Silveira, Dâmaris; de Assis Rocha Neves, Francisco; Prieto, Jose M.

    2016-01-01

    Erythrina mulungu Benth. (Fabaceae), Cordia verbenacea A. DC. (Boraginaceae), Solanum paniculatum L. (Solanaceae) and Lippia sidoides Cham. (Verbenaceae) are medicinal plant species native to Brazil shortlisted by the Brazilian National Health System for future clinical use. However, nothing is known about their effects in metabolic and transporter proteins, which could potentially lead to herb-drug interactions (HDI). In this work, we assess non-toxic concentrations (100 μg/mL) of the plant infusions for their in vitro ability to modulate CYP3A4 mRNA gene expression and intracellular glutathione levels in HepG2 cells, as well as P-glycoprotein (P-gp) activity in vincristine-resistant Caco-2 cells (Caco-2 VCR). Their mechanisms of action were further studied by measuring the activation of human pregnane X receptor (hPXR) in transiently co-transfected HeLa cells and the inhibition of γ-glutamyl transferase (GGT) in HepG2 cells. Our results show that P-gp activity was not affected in any case and that only Solanum paniculatum was able to significantly change CYP3A4 mRNA gene expression (twofold decrease, p < 0.05), this being correlated with an antagonist effect upon hPXR (EC50 = 0.38 mg/mL). Total intracellular glutathione levels were significantly depleted by exposure to Solanum paniculatum (-44%, p < 0.001), Lippia sidoides (-12%, p < 0.05) and Cordia verbenacea (-47%, p < 0.001). The latter plant extract was able to decrease GGT activity (-48%, p < 0.01). In conclusion, this preclinical study shows that the administration of some of these herbal medicines may be able to cause disturbances to metabolic mechanisms in vitro. Although Erythrina mulungu appears safe in our tests, active pharmacovigilance is recommended for the other three species, especially in the case of Solanum paniculatum. PMID:27594838

  6. Experiences from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest: ecological findings and conservation initiatives.

    PubMed

    Joly, Carlos A; Metzger, Jean Paul; Tabarelli, Marcelo

    2014-11-01

    The Brazilian Atlantic Forest hosts one of the world's most diverse and threatened tropical forest biota. In many ways, its history of degradation describes the fate experienced by tropical forests around the world. After five centuries of human expansion, most Atlantic Forest landscapes are archipelagos of small forest fragments surrounded by open-habitat matrices. This 'natural laboratory' has contributed to a better understanding of the evolutionary history and ecology of tropical forests and to determining the extent to which this irreplaceable biota is susceptible to major human disturbances. We share some of the major findings with respect to the responses of tropical forests to human disturbances across multiple biological levels and spatial scales and discuss some of the conservation initiatives adopted in the past decade. First, we provide a short description of the Atlantic Forest biota and its historical degradation. Secondly, we offer conceptual models describing major shifts experienced by tree assemblages at local scales and discuss landscape ecological processes that can help to maintain this biota at larger scales. We also examine potential plant responses to climate change. Finally, we propose a research agenda to improve the conservation value of human-modified landscapes and safeguard the biological heritage of tropical forests.

  7. Lippia alba (Verbenaceae): A new tropical autopolyploid complex?

    PubMed

    Reis, Aryane C; Sousa, Saulo M; Vale, Aline A; Pierre, Patrícia M O; Franco, Ana L; Campos, José Marcello S; Vieira, Roberto F; Viccini, Lyderson F

    2014-06-01

    • Premise of the study: Tropical regions have high species diversity, and polyploidization is a major mechanism of speciation in plants. However, few cases of natural polyploidy have been reported in tropical regions. Lippia alba, is a tropical, aromatic shrub with a wide distribution, extensive morphological plasticity, and several chemotypes. The species has long been recognized as a diploid with 2n = 30 chromosomes. Recently, two variations in chromosome number (2n = 60; 2n = 12-60) have been reported, suggesting the occurrence of polyploidy within the species.• Methods: Flow cytometry was used to investigate the genome size in 106 accessions from 14 Brazilian States. Conventional and molecular cytogenetic techniques and pollen viability analysis were employed to characterize each chromosome number observed.• Key results: The DNA 1C-value varied from 1.17 to 3.45 pg, showing a large variation in genome size. Five distinct chromosome numbers were observed (2n = 30, 38, 45, 60, 90); three are cytogenetically described here for the first time. The 5S rDNA signals varied proportionally according to each chromosome number, but 45S rDNA sites did not. High rates of meiotic irregularity were observed, mainly in cytotypes with higher chromosome numbers.• Conclusions: The data provide new support for the occurrence of a polyploid series in Lippia alba. We provide a hypothesis for how this complex may have arisen. Other cryptic polyploid complexes may remain undiscovered in tropical regions.

  8. [Historical research of cinchona cultivation in Japan (Part 2). Useful tropical plants introduced from Java and India in the early Meiji era].

    PubMed

    Nagumo, Seiji; Sasaki, Yohei; Takido, Michio

    2010-01-01

    In the early Meiji era, Takeaki Enomoto made a proposal to the government that cinchona and coffee seedlings be introduced to Japan. In response, the Meiji government dispatched Masatsugu Takeda of the Ministry of Internal Affairs to Java and India from March to August 1878 for the purpose of investigating useful plants of tropical origin and introducing them to Japan. This paper clarifies the route to those destinations and the plants obtained locally. Using the seeds obtained from India during his travels, the cultivation of cinchona was attempted in 1882 for the first time in Japan. In Ogasawara, coffee cultivation was conducted, again for the first time in Japan, using coffee seeds brought back from Java. The cultivation of coffee was successful and served as the foundation of the Ogasawara coffee that exists to this day. Takeda also introduced a number of books and materials related to useful tropical plants available as a result of his travels, which contributed to the promotion of new industries and businesses in the Meiji era.

  9. Assessment of Air Pollution Tolerance Index of some plants to develop vertical gardens near street canyons of a polluted tropical city.

    PubMed

    Pandey, Ashutosh Kumar; Pandey, Mayank; Tripathi, B D

    2016-12-01

    The aim of the present study was to examine Air Pollution Tolerance Index (APTI) of some climber plant species to develop vertical gardens in Varanasi city which has characteristics of tall building and narrow roads. This condition results in street canyon like structure and hinders the vertical dispersal of air pollutants. We have selected 24 climber plant species which are commonly found in of Varanasi city. Chosen plants can be easily grown either in planter boxes or directly in the ground, with a vertical support they can climb on walls to form green walls or vertical garden. Air Pollution Tolerance Index (APTI) of the selected plant species was calculated and plants with higher APTI are recommended for the development of Vertical garden. Highest APTI was noted for Ipomoea palmata (25.39) followed by Aristolochia elegans (23.28), Thunbergia grandiflora (23.14), Quisqualis indica (22.42), and Clerodendrum splendens (22.36). However, lowest APTI value (8.75) was recorded for the species Hemidesmus indicus. Moreover, the linear regression analysis has revealed a high positive correlation between APTI and ascorbic acid content (R(2)=0.8837) and positive correlation between APTI and Chlorophyll content (R(2)=0.6687). On the basis of higher APTI values (greater than 17), nine species of climber plants viz. I. palmata, T. grandiflora, C. splendens, A. elegans, Q. indica, Petria volubilis, Antigonon leptopus, Cryptolepis buchuanni and Tinospora cordifolia have been recommended to develop vertical greenery systems in a compact tropical city.

  10. Systematic screening of plant extracts from the Brazilian Pantanal with antimicrobial activity against bacteria with cariogenic relevance.

    PubMed

    Brighenti, F L; Salvador, M J; Delbem, Alberto Carlos Botazzo; Delbem, Ádina Cleia Bottazzo; Oliveira, M A C; Soares, C P; Freitas, L S F; Koga-Ito, C Y

    2014-01-01

    This study proposes a bioprospection methodology regarding the antimicrobial potential of plant extracts against bacteria with cariogenic relevance. Sixty extracts were obtained from ten plants--(1) Jatropha weddelliana, (2) Attalea phalerata, (3) Buchenavia tomentosa, (4) Croton doctoris, (5) Mouriri elliptica, (6) Mascagnia benthamiana, (7) Senna aculeata, (8) Unonopsis guatterioides, (9) Allagoptera leucocalyx and (10) Bactris glaucescens--using different extraction methods - (A) 70° ethanol 72 h/25°C, (B) water 5 min/100°C, (C) water 1 h/55°C, (D) water 72 h/25°C, (E) hexane 72 h/25°C and (F) 90° ethanol 72 h/25°C. The plants were screened for antibacterial activity at 50 mg/ml using the agar well diffusion test against Actinomyces naeslundii ATCC 19039, Lactobacillus acidophilus ATCC 4356, Streptococcus gordonii ATCC 10558, Streptococcus mutans ATCC 35688, Streptococcus sanguinis ATCC 10556, Streptococcus sobrinus ATCC 33478 and Streptococcus mitis ATCC 9811. The active extracts were tested to determine their minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC), minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC), cytotoxicity and chemical characterization. Forty-seven extracts (78%) were active against at least one microorganism. Extract 4A demonstrated the lowest MIC and MBC for all microorganisms except S. gordonii and the extract at MIC concentration was non-cytotoxic. The concentrated extracts were slightly cytotoxic. Electrospray ionization with tandem mass spectrometry analyses demonstrated that the extract constituents coincided with the mass of the terpenoids and phenolics. Overall, the best results were obtained for extraction methods A, B and C. The present work proved the antimicrobial activity of several plants. Particularly, extracts from C. doctoris were the most active against bacteria involved in dental caries disease.

  11. Where Is My Food? Brazilian Flower Fly Steals Prey from Carnivorous Sundews in a Newly Discovered Plant-Animal Interaction.

    PubMed

    Fleischmann, Andreas; Rivadavia, Fernando; Gonella, Paulo M; Pérez-Bañón, Celeste; Mengual, Ximo; Rojo, Santos

    2016-01-01

    A new interaction between insects and carnivorous plants is reported from Brazil. Larvae of the predatory flower fly Toxomerus basalis (Diptera: Syrphidae: Syrphinae) have been found scavenging on the sticky leaves of several carnivorous sundew species (Drosera, Droseraceae) in Minas Gerais and São Paulo states, SE Brazil. This syrphid apparently spends its whole larval stage feeding on prey trapped by Drosera leaves. The nature of this plant-animal relationship is discussed, as well as the Drosera species involved, and locations where T. basalis was observed. 180 years after the discovery of this flower fly species, its biology now has been revealed. This is (1) the first record of kleptoparasitism in the Syrphidae, (2) a new larval feeding mode for this family, and (3) the first report of a dipteran that shows a kleptoparasitic relationship with a carnivorous plant with adhesive flypaper traps. The first descriptions of the third instar larva and puparium of T. basalis based on Scanning Electron Microscope analysis are provided.

  12. Where Is My Food? Brazilian Flower Fly Steals Prey from Carnivorous Sundews in a Newly Discovered Plant-Animal Interaction

    PubMed Central

    Rivadavia, Fernando; Gonella, Paulo M.; Pérez-Bañón, Celeste; Mengual, Ximo; Rojo, Santos

    2016-01-01

    A new interaction between insects and carnivorous plants is reported from Brazil. Larvae of the predatory flower fly Toxomerus basalis (Diptera: Syrphidae: Syrphinae) have been found scavenging on the sticky leaves of several carnivorous sundew species (Drosera, Droseraceae) in Minas Gerais and São Paulo states, SE Brazil. This syrphid apparently spends its whole larval stage feeding on prey trapped by Drosera leaves. The nature of this plant-animal relationship is discussed, as well as the Drosera species involved, and locations where T. basalis was observed. 180 years after the discovery of this flower fly species, its biology now has been revealed. This is (1) the first record of kleptoparasitism in the Syrphidae, (2) a new larval feeding mode for this family, and (3) the first report of a dipteran that shows a kleptoparasitic relationship with a carnivorous plant with adhesive flypaper traps. The first descriptions of the third instar larva and puparium of T. basalis based on Scanning Electron Microscope analysis are provided. PMID:27144980

  13. Emissions of biogenic volatile organic compounds and subsequent photochemical production of secondary organic aerosol in mesocosm studies of temperate and tropical plant species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wyche, K. P.; Ryan, A. C.; Hewitt, C. N.; Alfarra, M. R.; McFiggans, G.; Carr, T.; Monks, P. S.; Smallbone, K. L.; Capes, G.; Hamilton, J. F.; Pugh, T. A. M.; MacKenzie, A. R.

    2014-06-01

    Silver birch (Betula pendula) and three Southeast Asian tropical plant species (Ficus cyathistipula, Ficus benjamina and Caryota millis) from the pantropical fig and palm genera were grown in a purpose-built and environment-controlled whole-tree chamber. The volatile organic compounds emitted from these trees were characterised and fed into a linked photochemical reaction chamber where they underwent photooxidation under a range of controlled conditions (RH ∼65-89%, VOC/NOx ∼3-9 and NOx ∼2 ppbV). Both the gas phase and the aerosol phase of the reaction chamber were monitored in detail using a comprehensive suite of on-line and off-line, chemical and physical measurement techniques. Silver birch was found to be a high monoterpene and sesquiterpene, but low isoprene emitter, and its emissions were observed to produce measureable amounts of SOA via both nucleation and condensation onto pre-existing seed aerosol (YSOA 26-39%). In contrast, all three tropical species were found to be high isoprene emitters with trace emissions of monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes. In tropical plant experiments without seed aerosol there was no measurable SOA nucleation, but aerosol mass was shown to increase when seed aerosol was present. Although principally isoprene emitting, the aerosol mass produced from tropical fig was mostly consistent (i.e., in 78 out of 120 aerosol mass calculations using plausible parameter sets of various precursor specific yields) with condensation of photooxidation products of the minor VOCs co-emitted; no significant aerosol yield from condensation of isoprene oxidation products was required in the interpretations of the experimental results. This finding is in line with previous reports of organic aerosol loadings consistent with production from minor biogenic VOCs co-emitted with isoprene in principally-isoprene emitting landscapes in Southeast Asia. Moreover, in general the amount of aerosol mass produced from the emissions of the principally

  14. Emissions of biogenic volatile organic compounds and subsequent photochemical production of secondary organic aerosol in mesocosm studies of temperate and tropical plant species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wyche, K. P.; Ryan, A. C.; Hewitt, C. N.; Alfarra, M. R.; McFiggans, G.; Carr, T.; Monks, P. S.; Smallbone, K. L.; Capes, G.; Hamilton, J. F.; Pugh, T. A. M.; MacKenzie, A. R.

    2014-12-01

    Silver birch (Betula pendula) and three Southeast Asian tropical plant species (Ficus cyathistipula, Ficus benjamina and Caryota millis) from the pantropical fig and palm genera were grown in a purpose-built and environment-controlled whole-tree chamber. The volatile organic compounds emitted from these trees were characterised and fed into a linked photochemical reaction chamber where they underwent photo-oxidation under a range of controlled conditions (relative humidity or RH ~65-89%, volatile organic compound-to-NOx or VOC / NOx ~3-9 and NOx ~2 ppbV). Both the gas phase and the aerosol phase of the reaction chamber were monitored in detail using a comprehensive suite of on-line and off-line chemical and physical measurement techniques. Silver birch was found to be a high monoterpene and sesquiterpene but low isoprene emitter, and its emissions were observed to produce measurable amounts of secondary organic aerosol (SOA) via both nucleation and condensation onto pre-existing seed aerosol (YSOA 26-39%). In contrast, all three tropical species were found to be high isoprene emitters with trace emissions of monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes. In tropical plant experiments without seed aerosol there was no measurable SOA nucleation, but aerosol mass was shown to increase when seed aerosol was present. Although principally isoprene emitting, the aerosol mass produced from tropical fig was mostly consistent (i.e. in 78 out of 120 aerosol mass calculations using plausible parameter sets of various precursor specific yields) with condensation of photo-oxidation products of the minor volatile organic compounds (VOCs) co-emitted; no significant aerosol yield from condensation of isoprene oxidation products was required in the interpretations of the experimental results. This finding is in line with previous reports of organic aerosol loadings consistent with production from minor biogenic VOCs co-emitted with isoprene in principally isoprene-emitting landscapes in Southeast

  15. Afforestation by natural regeneration or by tree planting: examples of opposite hydrological impacts evidenced by long-term field monitoring in the humid tropics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lacombe, G.; Ribolzi, O.; de Rouw, A.; Pierret, A.; Latsachak, K.; Silvera, N.; Pham Dinh, R.; Orange, D.; Janeau, J.-L.; Soulileuth, B.; Robain, H.; Taccoen, A.; Sengphaathith, P.; Mouche, E.; Sengtaheuanghoung, O.; Tran Duc, T.; Valentin, C.

    2015-12-01

    The humid tropics are exposed to an unprecedented modernization of agriculture involving rapid and highly-mixed land-use changes with contrasted environmental impacts. Afforestation is often mentioned as an unambiguous solution for restoring ecosystem services and enhancing biodiversity. One consequence of afforestation is the alteration of streamflow variability controlling habitats, water resources and flood risks. We demonstrate that afforestation by tree planting or by natural forest regeneration can induce opposite hydrological changes. An observatory including long-term field measurements of fine-scale land-use mosaics and of hydro-meteorological variables has been operating in several headwater catchments in tropical Southeast Asia since 2001. The GR2M water balance model repeatedly calibrated over successive 1 year periods, and used in simulation mode with specific rainfall input, allowed the hydrological effect of land-use change to be isolated from that of rainfall variability in two of these catchments in Laos and Vietnam. Visual inspection of hydrographs, correlation analyses and trend detection tests allowed causality between land-use changes and changes in seasonal flows to be ascertained. In Laos, the combination of shifting cultivation system (alternation of rice and fallow) and the gradual increase of teak tree plantations replacing fallow, led to intricate flow patterns: pluri-annual flow cycles induced by the shifting system, on top of a gradual flow increase over years caused by the spread of the plantation. In Vietnam, the abandonment of continuously cropped areas mixed with patches of tree plantations led to the natural re-growth of forest communities followed by a gradual drop in streamflow. Soil infiltrability controlled by surface crusting is the predominant process explaining why two modes of afforestation (natural regeneration or planting) led to opposite changes in flow regime. Given that commercial tree plantations will continue to

  16. Topology of Plant - Flower-Visitor Networks in a Tropical Mountain Forest: Insights on the Role of Altitudinal and Temporal Variation

    PubMed Central

    Cuartas-Hernández, Sandra; Medel, Rodrigo

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the factors determining the spatial and temporal variation of ecological networks is fundamental to the knowledge of their dynamics and functioning. In this study, we evaluate the effect of elevation and time on the structure of plant-flower-visitor networks in a Colombian mountain forest. We examine the level of generalization of plant and animal species and the identity of interactions in 44 bipartite matrices obtained from eight altitudinal levels, from 2200 to 2900 m during eight consecutive months. The contribution of altitude and time to the overall variation in the number of plant (P) and pollinator (A) species, network size (M), number of interactions (I), connectance (C), and nestedness was evaluated. In general, networks were small, showed high connectance values and non-nested patterns of organization. Variation in P, M, I and C was better accounted by time than elevation, seemingly related to temporal variation in precipitation. Most plant and insect species were specialists and the identity of links showed a high turnover over months and at every 100 m elevation. The partition of the whole system into smaller network units allowed us to detect small-scale patterns of interaction that contrasted with patterns commonly described in cumulative networks. The specialized but erratic pattern of network organization observed in this tropical mountain suggests that high connectance coupled with opportunistic attachment may confer robustness to plant-flower-visitor networks occurring at small spatial and temporal units. PMID:26513664

  17. A study on transfer factors of 60Co and 65Zn from soil to plants in the tropical environment of Bangladesh.

    PubMed

    Mollah, A S; Begum, A

    2001-04-01

    Soil to plant transfer factor (TF) of 60Co and 65Zn was determined from radioisotope experiments on plants grown in pots under outdoor ambient tropical conditions for three growing seasons (1995-1998). The TFs were obtained for different plants/crops such as, rice, bean, peanuts pineapple, cabbage, tomato, spinach and grass. The average TF values of 60Co are found to be 0.087. 0.15, 0.12, 0.67, 0.28, 0.79, 1.03 and 0.34 respectively for the above mentioned plants/crops. In case of 65Zn, the average TF values are found to be 2.24, 1.17. 0.89, 1.09, 0.78, 1.34, 2.92 and 1.78, respectively, for the above mentioned plants/crops. The data will be useful to assess the radiation exposure to man associated with the releases of radionuclides from nuclear facilities by means of radiological assessment models that require transfer factors as input parameters to predict the contamination of radionuclides in foodchain.

  18. In vitro acaricidal efficacy of plant extracts from Brazilian flora and isolated substances against Rhipicephalus microplus (Acari: Ixodidae).

    PubMed

    Valente, Paula Pimentel; Amorim, Juliana Mendes; Castilho, Rachel Oliveira; Leite, Romário Cerqueira; Ribeiro, Múcio Flávio Barbosa

    2014-01-01

    The tick Rhipicephalus microplus causes significant losses in livestock cattle and has developed increasing resistance to the primary acaricides that are used to treat these infections. The objective of this study was to identify new biomolecules or isolated substances showing acaricidal activity from plants. Larval packet tests were conducted to evaluate the effects of 11 species of plants and three isolated substances (betulinic acid, eugenol, and nerolidol) on R. microplus. An adult female immersion test was performed with the substance that showed the highest larvicidal activity, which was evaluated for inhibition of reproduction. Tests using Licania tomentosa, Hymenaea stigonocarpa, Hymenaea courbaril, Stryphnodendron obovatum, Jacaranda cuspidifolia, Jacaranda ulei, Struthanthus polyrhizus, Chrysobalanus icaco, Vernonia phosphorea, Duguetia furfuracea, and Simarouba versicolor extracts as well as the isolated substance betulinic acid indicated lower acaricidal effects on R. microplus larvae. The extract displaying the best larvicidal activity was the ethanolic extract from L. tomentosa at a concentration of 60%, resulting in a mortality rate of 40.3%. However, nerolidol and eugenol showed larvicidal activity, which was highest for eugenol. Nerolidol caused a 96.5% mortality rate in the R. microplus larvae at a high concentration of 30%, and eugenol caused 100% mortality at a concentration of 0.3%. In the adult immersion test, 5% eugenol was identified as a good biomolecule for controlling R. microplus, as demonstrated by its high acaricidal activity and inhibition of oviposition.

  19. Popular medicinal uses of Calea uniflora Less. (Asteraceae) and its contribution to the study of Brazilian medicinal plants.

    PubMed

    Ramos, Luan S; Cardoso, Paula S; Freitas, Michele D; Paghan, Renato; Borges, Marília S; Citadini-Zanette, Vanilde; Barlow, James W; Amaral, Patrícia A; Dalbó, Silvia

    2016-01-01

    Calea uniflora Less. is widely used in southern Santa Catarina (Brazil), but there are no scientific studies which support its use. Then, this study was proposed to determine of the percentage use of C. uniflora in a city of southern Brazil and documentation of the knowledge that the population has about this species. The survey was conducted with semi-structured interviews using a questionnaire applied to 372 participants. In analyzing the results, it was observed that of the 94.1% who recognized C. uniflora, 74.3% utilize it as a medicinal plant and 65.4% of such knowledge originates in childhood, mainly through the family (84.6%). 93% reported using inflorescences macerated in alcohol or rum; this extract is generally used topically for wound healing and muscle pain. Furthermore, some reported using small quantities of this extract orally to treat cold and flu. Regarding effectiveness and safety, 97% stated an improvement in symptoms with the use of the plant, while 98.5% stated that it has no toxicity. In light of these results, future phytochemical, pharmacological and toxicological analyses should be designed in order to ensure rational and safe use of this species.

  20. Assessment of Plant Functional Types in Tropical Arid and Semi-Arid Ecosystems of India Using Remote Sensing Data and GIS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sudhakar Reddy, C.; Krishna, P. Hari; Murthy, M. S. R.

    2011-09-01

    Tropical ecosystems undergo changes caused by season, climate or multiple anthropogenic impacts. Such changes may cause gradual or rapid shifts from one state to another. There has been a focus on functional classifications of plants to find tools for monitoring and assessing species status in changing environments. It has been recognised that plant biological characteristics can be related to their response to predominant environmental factors and interactions between other organisms. These findings have resulted in a search for plant functional types (PFTs) that are user-defined groups of species with similar response to environmental resources and disturbance associated to common biological traits. Now, identification of plant functional types is priority area in the climate change research. Satellite Earth observation data is an important tool in providing considerable information on extracting PFT information at global and regional levels. From the modelling perspective, some of the current needs are the refinement of processes that govern community assembly, such as natural and anthropogenic disturbances. PFTs used in large-scale models are insufficient to represent the diversity of responses in natural plant communities. The currently available MODIS PFT map was generated by re-labeling the IGBP land cover type classes. However, the error magnitudes of the MODIS PFT product and their spatial and temporal distributions have not been fully characterized. Remotely sensed derived information of the phenology, community composition and vegetation structure are the key inputs to integrate with the variability in precipitation and temperature to map the spatial distribution of Plant functional types. PFTs allows accurate representation of the land surface by separately specifying the composition and structure of PFTs within a grid cell. Very little research efforts are discernible in India that explicitly address the PFTs. In the present study five natural

  1. Terrestrial Carbon Fluxes from Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon and Cerrado Regions Predicted from MODIS Satellite Data and Ecosystem Modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klooster, S.; Potter, C.; Genovese, V.

    2008-12-01

    The NASA-CASA (Carnegie Ames Stanford Approach) simulation model based on satellite observations of monthly vegetation cover from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) was used to estimate tropical forest and savanna (Cerrado) carbon pools for the Brazilian Amazon region over the period 2000-2004. Adjustments for mean age of forest stands were carried out across the region, resulting in a new mapping of aboveground biomass pools based on MODIS satellite data. Yearly maps of newly deforested lands from the Brazilian PRODES (Programa de calculo do desflorestamento da Amazonia ) project were combined with these NASA-CASA biomass predictions to generate seasonal budgets of potential carbon and nitrogen trace gas losses from biomass burning events. Simulations of plant residue and soil carbon decomposition were conducted in the NASA-CASA model during and following deforestation events to track the fate of aboveground biomass pools that were cut and burned each year across the region.

  2. In vitro activities of plant extracts from the Brazilian Cerrado and Pantanal against Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus (Acari: Ixodidae).

    PubMed

    Barbosa, Carolina da Silva; Borges, Ligia Miranda Ferreira; Nicácio, José; Alves, Reginaldo Dias; Miguita, Carlos Henrique; Violante, Ivana Maria Póvoa; Hamerski, Lidilhone; Garcez, Walmir Silva; Garcez, Fernanda Rodrigues

    2013-07-01

    A total of 73 ethanol extracts from different anatomical parts of 44 plant species belonging to 24 families, native to the Mid-Western region of Brazil, were assessed in vitro for their effect on the reproductive cycle of engorged females of the cattle tick Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus, using the adult immersion test. All extracts were evaluated at the concentration of 0.2 % and, among the extracts tested, the one obtained from the fruits of Guarea kunthiana (Meliaceae) proved to be highly efficacious, showing 99.1 % of product effectiveness. Extracts from other three species were shown to be moderately active, namely Nymphaea amazonum trunk (Nymphaeaceae) [51.7 %], Strychnos pseudoquina trunk (Loganiaceae) [48 %] [corrected] and Ocotea lancifolia leaves (Lauraceae) [34.5 %], while the remaining extracts were shown to be weakly active or inactive. This is the first report on the bioactivity of these species on egg production by engorged females of R. microplus.

  3. 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

  4. Brazilian gemstones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Franco, Rui Ribeiro

    1981-04-01

    Brazil counts as a gemmological province because of the variety of gem minerals present in the country. Most Brazilian states and territories produce gemstones, the State of Minas Gerais being the most important producer both in volume and in number of species. Diamonds are chiefly derived by panning from alluvial deposits in Minas Gerais, Mato Grosso and Goiás. Among other gemstones, the most important are aquamarines, beryls, chrysoberyls, topazes, amethysts, tourmalines, emeralds and agates, and their respective varieties. The occurrences of these gemstones, as well as of a great number of others, are described for each state in which they are found.

  5. Post-treatment with plant extracts used in Brazilian folk medicine caused a partial reversal of the antiproliferative effect of glyphosate in the Allium cepa test.

    PubMed

    Frescura, Viviane Dal-Souto; Kuhn, Andrielle Wouters; Laughinghouse, Haywood Dail; Paranhos, Juçara Terezinha; Tedesco, Solange Bosio

    2013-08-01

    Species of the genus Psychotria are used for multiple purposes in Brazilian folk medicine, either as water infusions, baths or poultices. This study was aimed to evaluate the genotoxic and antiproliferative effects of infusions of Psychotria brachypoda and P. birotula on the Allium cepa test. Exposure to distilled water was used as a negative control, while exposure to glyphosate was used as a positive control. The interaction of extracts (as a post-treatment) with the effects of glyphosate was also studied. Results showed that glyphosate and the extracts of both P. brachypoda and P. birotula reduced the mitotic index as compared with the negative control (distilled water). Surprisingly, however, both extracts from P. brachypoda and P. birotula caused a partial reversal of the antiproliferative effect of glyphosate when used as a post-treatment. Glyphosate also induced the highest number of cells with chromosomal alterations, which was followed by that of P. birotula extracts. However, the extracts from P. brachypoda did not show any significant genotoxic effect. Post-treatment of glyphosate-treated samples with distilled water allowed a partial recovery of the genotoxic effect of glyphosate, and some of the Psychotria extracts also did so. Notably, post-treatment of glyphosate-treated samples with P. brachypoda extracts induced a statistically significant apoptotic effect. It is concluded that P. brachypoda extracts show antiproliferative effects and are not genotoxic, while extracts of P. birotula show a less potent antiproliferative effect and may induce chromosomal abnormalities. The finding of a partial reversion of the effects of glyphosate by a post-treatment with extracts from both plants should be followed up.

  6. Tropical malabsorption

    PubMed Central

    Ramakrishna, B S; Venkataraman, S; Mukhopadhya, A

    2006-01-01

    Malabsorption is an important clinical problem both in visitors to the tropics and in native residents of tropical countries. Infections of the small intestine are the most important cause of tropical malabsorption. Protozoal infections cause malabsorption in immunocompetent hosts, but do so more commonly in the setting of immune deficiency. Helminth infections occasionally cause malabsorption or protein‐losing enteropathy. Intestinal tuberculosis, chronic pancreatitis and small‐bowel bacterial overgrowth are important causes of tropical malabsorption. In recent years, inflammatory bowel disease and coeliac disease have become major causes of malabsorption in the tropics. Sporadic tropical sprue is still an important cause of malabsorption in adults and in children in South Asia. Investigations to exclude specific infective, immunological or inflammatory causes are important before considering tropical sprue as a diagnosis. This article briefly reviews the management of tropical sprue and presents an algorithm for its investigation and management. PMID:17148698

  7. Tropical Rainforests.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nigh, Ronald B.; Nations, James D.

    1980-01-01

    Presented is a summary of scientific knowledge about the rainforest environment, a tropical ecosystem in danger of extermination. Topics include the current state of tropical rainforests, the causes of rainforest destruction, and alternatives of rainforest destruction. (BT)

  8. Tropical malabsorption.

    PubMed

    Ramakrishna, B S; Venkataraman, S; Mukhopadhya, A

    2006-12-01

    Malabsorption is an important clinical problem both in visitors to the tropics and in native residents of tropical countries. Infections of the small intestine are the most important cause of tropical malabsorption. Protozoal infections cause malabsorption in immunocompetent hosts, but do so more commonly in the setting of immune deficiency. Helminth infections occasionally cause malabsorption or protein-losing enteropathy. Intestinal tuberculosis, chronic pancreatitis and small-bowel bacterial overgrowth are important causes of tropical malabsorption. In recent years, inflammatory bowel disease and coeliac disease have become major causes of malabsorption in the tropics. Sporadic tropical sprue is still an important cause of malabsorption in adults and in children in South Asia. Investigations to exclude specific infective, immunological or inflammatory causes are important before considering tropical sprue as a diagnosis. This article briefly reviews the management of tropical sprue and presents an algorithm for its investigation and management.

  9. Assessing the impacts of canopy openness and flight parameters on detecting a sub-canopy tropical invasive plant using a small unmanned aerial system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perroy, Ryan L.; Sullivan, Timo; Stephenson, Nathan

    2017-03-01

    Small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS) have great potential to facilitate the early detection and management of invasive plants. Here we show how very high-resolution optical imagery, collected from small consumer-grade multirotor UAS platform at altitudes of 30-120 m above ground level (agl), can be used to detect individual miconia (Miconia calvescens) plants in a highly invaded tropical rainforest environment on the island of Hawai'i. The central aim of this research was to determine how overstory vegetation cover, imagery resolution, and camera look-angle impact the aerial detection of known individual miconia plants. For our finest resolution imagery (1.37 cm ground sampling distance collected at 30 m agl), we obtained a 100% detection rate for sub-canopy plants with above-crown openness values >40% and a 69% detection rate for those with >20% openness. We were unable to detect any plants with <10% above crown openness. Detection rates progressively declined with coarser spatial resolution imagery, ending in a 0% detection rate for the 120 m agl flights (ground sampling distance of 5.31 cm). The addition of forward-looking oblique imagery improved detection rates for plants below overstory vegetation, though this effect decreased with increasing flight altitude. While dense overstory canopy cover, limited flight times, and visual line of sight regulations present formidable obstacles for detecting miconia and other invasive plant species, we show that sUAS platforms carrying optical sensors can be an effective component of an integrated management plan within challenging subcanopy forest environments.

  10. In vitro growth-inhibitory effect of Brazilian plants extracts against Paenibacillus larvae and toxicity in bees.

    PubMed

    Piana, Mariana; de Brum, Thiele F; Boligon, Aline A; Alves, Camilla F S; de Freitas, Robson B; Nunes, Letícia T; Mossmann, Natalia J; Janovik, Vanessa; Jesus, Roberta S; Vaucher, Rodrigo A; Santos, Roberto C V; Athayde, Margareth L

    2015-01-01

    American foulbrood (AFB) is a serious worldwide spreading disease in bees caused by Paenibacillus larvae. Plants extracts are known to decrease or inhibit the growth of these bacteria. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the antimicrobial activity of Calendula. officinalis, Cariniana domestica, and Nasturtium officinale extracts against the P. larvae and to evaluate the toxicity of the extracts in bees. In vitro activity against P. larvae of the extracts was evaluated by micro dilution method and the minimal inhibitory concentrations (MICs) were also determined. The concentrations used in the toxicity test were established based on the MIC values and by the spraying application method. The P. larvae was susceptible to the evaluated crude extract of C. officinalis and N. officinale. To C. domestica, only the ethyl acetate (EtAc) fraction and n-butanol (BuOH) fractions had activity against P. larvae. Toxicity analysis in bees showed no toxicity for N. officinale crude extract and for C. domestica BuOH fraction during 15 days of treatment, however, some deaths of bees occurred during the first three days of treatment with C. officinalis and C. domestica EtAc fraction. The results with these species were firstly described and showed that N. officinale crude extract and C. domestica BuOH fraction both presented not toxic effects in the concentration tested by the spraying application method, and can be a useful alternative for treatment or prevention of AFB.

  11. Plant functional types are more efficient than climate in predicting spectrums of trait variation in evergreen angiosperm trees of tropical Australia and China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Togashi, H. F.; Prentice, I. C. C.; Atkin, O. K.; Bloomfield, K. J.; Bradford, M.; Weerasinghe, L. K.; Harrison, S. P.; Evans, B. J.; Liddell, M. J.; Wang, H.; Cao, K. F.; Fan, Z.

    2015-12-01

    The representation of Plant Functional Types (PFTs) in current generation of Dynamic Global Vegetation Models (DGVMs) is excessively simplistically. Key ecophysiological properties, such as photosynthesis biochemistry, are most times merely averaged and trade-off with other plant traits is often neglected. Validation of a PFT framework based in photosynthetic process is crucial to improve reliability of DGVMs. We present 431 leaf-biochemical and wood level measurements in evergreen angiosperm trees of tropical forests in Australia and China that were divided in four spectrums of plant trait variation: metabolic, structural, hydraulic and height dimensions. Plant traits divided in each of these dimensions adopt survival strategies reflected more clearly by trade-off within each spectrum, and in some extent across spectrums. Co-ordination theory (that Rubisco- and electron-transport limited rates of photosynthesis are co-limiting) and least-coast theory (that intercellular to ambient CO2 concentration minimizes the combined costs per unit carbon assimilation, regulating maximum height and wood density) expectations matched PFT (which takes in account canopy position and light access, and life spam) variation. Our findings suggest that climate (air moisture, air temperature, light) has lower power representing these dimensions, in comparison to the PFT framework.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Phytoremediation potential and ecological and phenological changes of native pioneer plants from weathered oil spill-impacted sites at tropical wetlands.

    PubMed

    Palma-Cruz, Felipe de J; Pérez-Vargas, Josefina; Rivera Casado, Noemí Araceli; Gómez Guzmán, Octavio; Calva-Calva, Graciano

    2016-08-01

    Pioneer native plant species from weathered oil spill-affected sites were selected to study their potential for phytoremediation on the basis of their ecological and phenological changes during the phytoremediation process. Experiments were conducted in field and in greenhouse. In field, native plants from aged oil spill-impacted sites with up 400 g of weathered petroleum hydrocarbons per kilogram soil were selected. In the impacted sites, the principal dominant plant species with potential for hydrocarbons removal were Cyperus laxus, Cyperus esculentus, and Ludwigia peploides. In greenhouse, the phenology of the selected plant species was drastically affected by the hydrocarbons level above 325 g total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) per kilogram soil after 2 years of phytoremediation of soils from the aged oil spill-impacted sites. From the phytoremediation treatments, a mix-culture of C. laxus, C. esculentus, and L. peploides in soil containing 325 g TPH/kg soil, from which 20.3 % were polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and 34.2 % were asphaltenes (ASF), was able to remove up 93 % of the TPH, while in unvegetated soil the TPH removal was 12.6 %. Furthermore, evaluation of the biodiversity and life forms of plant species in the impacted sites showed that phytoremediation with C. esculentus, alone or in a mix-culture with C. laxus and L. peploides, reduces the TPH to such extent that the native plant community was progressively reestablished by replacing the cultivated species resulting in the ecological recovery of the affected soil. These results demonstrate that native Cyperus species from weathered oil spill-affected sites, specifically C. esculentus and C. laxus, alone or in a mix-culture, have particular potential for phytoremediation of soils from tropical wetlands contaminated with weathered oil hydrocarbons.

  15. Effects of azadirachtin, abamectin, and spinosad on sweetpotato whitefly (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae) on tomato plants under laboratory and greenhouse conditions in the humid tropics.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Prabhat; Poehling, H M

    2007-04-01

    Direct and residual toxicity of NeemAzal-T/S (azadirachtin), Success (spinosad), and abamectin was tested against different life stages of sweetpotato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae), under air-conditioned laboratory conditions and in a tropical net greenhouse. NeemAzal-T/S and abamectin deterred the settling of adults on tomato, Lycopersicon esculentum Mill (Solanaceae), plants and consequently reduced egg deposition. No such effect was detected for Success. All three pesticides influenced egg hatch. Effects of NeemAzal-T/ S were significantly altered if applied to different-aged eggs (1, 3, and 5 d old). In contrast, abamectin-treated eggs failed to hatch at any given age class. All three products caused heavy mortality of the three nymphal stages of B. tabaci, with the first instars being most susceptible, abamectin-treated nymphs died within 24 h postapplication. In contrast, 100% nymphal mortality with NeemAzal-T/S and Success was reached 6-9 d postapplication. abamectin caused 100% immature mortality at all residue ages (1, 5, 10, and 15 d) in the laboratory and greenhouse as well. Persistence of Success was comparably high in the laboratory, but in the greenhouse a faster decline of activity was evident by increased egg deposition, egg hatch, and reduced rates of immature mortality. Toxicity of NeemAzal-T/S however gradually declined under greenhouse conditions with time (5 d) postapplication. The findings are discussed within the context of integrated management of whitefly under protected cultivation in the humid tropics.

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

    PubMed

    Wanek, Wolfgang; Pörtl, Katja

    2005-05-01

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

  17. Colonization, road development and deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon Basin of Rondonia

    SciTech Connect

    Frohn, R.C.; Dale, V.H. ); Jimenez, B.D. . Dept. of Pharmaceutical Sciences)

    1990-03-01

    Within the past two decades, the forests of Brazil have undergone widespread and large scale clearing. The clearing of tropical rainforests may have serious global and local consequences. Global effects include a decrease in biodiversity with the elimination of plant and animal species; increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide, which may affect climate; and disruption of hydrological regimes. Local effects include soil erosion, siltation, decreases in soil fertility, loss of plant cover and extractive resources, and disruption of indigenous populations. Nowhere in the Brazilian Amazon has deforestation increased at a faster rate than in the state of Rondonia. Deforestation in Rondonia has grown at increasing rates during the past decade mainly because of official colonization schemes, road construction, and the subsequent settlement of farmers. This paper contains a historical summary of colonization and road construction in the Amazon Basin of Brazil relative to deforestation in Rondonia. 60 refs., 11 figs., 14 tabs.

  18. Butterfly larval host plant use in a tropical urban context: life history associations, herbivory, and landscape factors.

    PubMed

    Tiple, Ashish D; Khurad, Arun M; Dennis, Roger L H

    2011-01-01

    This study examines butterfly larval host plants, herbivory and related life history attributes within Nagpur City, India. The larval host plants of 120 butterfly species are identified and their host specificity, life form, biotope, abundance and perennation recorded; of the 126 larval host plants, most are trees (49), with fewer herbs (43), shrubs (22), climbers (7) and stem parasites (2). They include 89 wild, 23 cultivated, 11 wild/cultivated and 3 exotic plant species; 78 are perennials, 43 annuals and 5 biannuals. Plants belonging to Poaceae and Fabaceae are most widely used by butterfly larvae. In addition to distinctions in host plant family affiliation, a number of significant differences between butterfly families have been identified in host use patterns: for life forms, biotopes, landforms, perennation, host specificity, egg batch size and ant associations. These differences arising from the development of a butterfly resource database have important implications for conserving butterfly species within the city area. Differences in overall butterfly population sizes within the city relate mainly to the number of host plants used, but other influences, including egg batch size and host specificity are identified. Much of the variation in population size is unaccounted for and points to the need to investigate larval host plant life history and strategies as population size is not simply dependent on host plant abundance.

  19. Harnessing indigenous plant seed oil for the production of bio-fuel by an oleaginous fungus, Cunninghamella blakesleeana- JSK2, isolated from tropical soil.

    PubMed

    Sukrutha, S K; Janakiraman, Savitha

    2014-01-01

    Cunninghamella blakesleeana- JSK2, a gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) producing tropical fungal isolate, was utilized as a tool to evaluate the influence of various plant seed oils on biomass, oleagenicity and bio-fuel production. The fungus accumulated 26 % total lipid of their dry biomass (2 g/l) and 13 % of GLA in its total fatty acid. Among the various plant seed oils tested as carbon sources for biotransformation studies, watermelon oil had an effect on biomass and total lipid increasing up to 9.24 g/l and 34 % respectively. Sunflower, pumpkin, and onion oil increased GLA content between 15-18 %. Interestingly, an indigenous biodiesel commodity, Pongamia pinnata oil showed tremendous effect on fatty acid profile in C. blakesleeana- JSK2, when used as a sole source of carbon. There was complete inhibition of GLA from 13 to 0 % and increase in oleic acid content, one of the key components of biodiesel to 70 % (from 20 % in control). Our results suggest the potential application of indigenous plant seed oils, particularly P. pinnata oil, for the production of economically valuable bio-fuel in oleaginous fungi in general, and C. blakesleeana- JSK2, in particular.

  20. Final Report: The Rhizosphere Association of the Nitrogen Fixing Bacterial Species Azotobacter Paspali with the Tropical Grass Paspalum Notatum: Specificity of Colonization and Contribution to Plant Nutrition, July 1, 1995 - February 14, 1997

    SciTech Connect

    Kennedy, Christina K.

    1997-02-14

    The nitrogen fixing bacterium azotobacter paspali was first isolated from the roots of the sub-tropical grass, palpium notatum, and added to the clenus in 1996, by Dr. J. Dobereiner (Brazil). It is mentioned that this root association bacteria shows remarkable signs of host-plant specificity to one eco-type of this grass. This specificity is rare in non-symbiotic plant microbe interactions so far identified.

  1. Infestation of Raoiella indica Hirst (Trombidiformes: Tenuipalpidae) on Host Plants of High Socio-Economic Importance for Tropical America.

    PubMed

    Otero-Colina, G; González-Gómez, R; Martínez-Bolaños, L; Otero-Prevost, L G; López-Buenfil, J A; Escobedo-Graciamedrano, R M

    2016-06-01

    The mite Raoiella indica Hirst was recently introduced into America, where it has shown amazing ability to disseminate and broaden its range of hosts. An experiment was conducted in Cancún, Mexico, to determine infestation levels of this mite on plants recorded as hosts: coconut palm (Cocos nucifera) of cultivars Pacific Tall and Malayan Dwarf, oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) hybrids Deli x Ghana and Deli x Nigeria, Dwarf Giant banana (Musa acuminata, AAA subgroup Cavendish), Horn plantain (M. acuminata x Musa balbisiana, AAB subgroup Plantain), lobster claw (Heliconia bihai), and red ginger (Alpinia purpurata). Nursery plants of these host species or cultivars were artificially infested with R. indica in February 2011. In the four replications of 10 plants, each plant was infested with 200 R. indica specimens, and the numbers of infesting mites were recorded for 6 months. A maximum of 18,000 specimens per plant were observed on coconut Pacific Tall and Malayan Dwarf, followed by lobster claw, with a maximum of 1000 specimens per plant. Infestations were minimal for the remaining plants. Mite numbers on all plants declined naturally during the rainy season. All plant materials sustained overlapping mite generations, indicating that they are true hosts. Complementarily, infestation level was determined in backyard bananas and plantains. Correlations of infestation with plant height, distance from coconuts, and exposure to direct sunlight were estimated. Both bananas and plantains were infested by R. indica even when situated far from infested coconut palms. A Spearman correlation was found between infestation and plant height, although it was significant only for Silk plantain.

  2. Tropical myelopathies.

    PubMed

    Román, Gustavo C

    2014-01-01

    A large number of causal agents produce spinal cord lesions in the tropics. Most etiologies found in temperate regions also occur in the tropics including trauma, herniated discs, tumors, epidural abscess, and congenital malformations. However, infectious and nutritional disorders occur with higher prevalence in tropical regions. Among the most common infectious etiologies are tuberculous Pott's disease, brucellosis, and neuroborreliosis. Parasitic diseases such as schistosomiasis, neurocysticercosis, and eosinophilic meningitis are frequent causes of nontraumatic paraplegia. The retrovirus HTLV-1 is a cause of tropical spastic paraparesis. Nutritional causes of paraparesis include deficiencies of vitamin B12 and folate; endemic clusters of konzo and tropical ataxic myeloneuropathy are associated in Africa with malnutrition and excessive consumption of cyanide-containing bitter cassava. Other toxic etiologies of tropical paraplegia include lathyrism and fluorosis. Nutritional forms of myelopathy are associated often with optic and sensory neuropathy, hence the name tropical myeloneuropathies. Acute transverse myelopathy is seen in association with vaccination, infections, and fibrocartilaginous embolism of the nucleus pulposus. Multiple sclerosis and optic myelopathy occur in the tropics but with lesser prevalence than in temperate regions. The advent of modern imaging in the tropics, including computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging, has allowed better diagnosis and treatment of these conditions that are a frequent cause of death and disability.

  3. Litter and nutrient flows in tropical upland forest flooded by a hydropower plant in the Amazonian basin.

    PubMed

    Pereira, Guilherme Henrique A; Jordão, Henos Carlos K; Silva, Vanessa Francieli V; Pereira, Marcos Gervasio

    2016-12-01

    Extensive areas in the Brazilian Amazon have been flooded for the construction of hydroelectric dams. However, the water regime of these areas affects the dynamics of igarapés (streams) in adjacent terra firme (upland forests). When the reservoirs are filled, the water levels of streams rise above the normal levels and upland bank forests are flooded. We investigated how this flooding affects the litterfall and nutrient input in the upland forests upstream of a hydroelectric dam reservoir in the Central Amazonia. When the reservoir was filled, the forests were flooded and produced more than twice the litter (8.80Mg·ha(-1)yr(-1)), with three times more leaves (6.36Mg·ha(-1)yr(-1)) than when they were not flooded (4.20 and 1.92Mg·ha(-1)yr(-1), respectively). During flooding, the decomposition rate was four times lower in flooded forests (0.328g·g(-1)yr(-1)) than in control forests (1.460g·g(-1)yr(-1)). Despite this, the flooding did not favor litter or nutrient accumulation. Therefore, dam construction changes the organic matter and nutrient cycling in upland Amazon rainforests. This may influence the important role that they play in organic matter dynamics and could have consequences for the regional carbon balance and, ultimately, global climate.

  4. Comparing the sensitivity of two in vitro assays to evaluate the anthelmintic activity of tropical tannin rich plant extracts against Haemonchus contortus.

    PubMed

    Alonso-Díaz, M A; Torres-Acosta, J F J; Sandoval-Castro, C A; Hoste, H

    2011-09-27

    The present trial aimed at comparing the sensitivity of two in vitro methods, i.e. the larval migration inhibition assay (LMIA) and the larval exsheathment inhibition assay (LEIA), to evaluate the anthelmintic (AH) properties of tannin-rich plant extracts against Haemonchus contortus infective larvae. The two assays were applied on the same batch of H. contortus infective larvae exposed to water/acetonic extracts obtained from four tropical plants with different tannin contents: Acacia gaumeri, Brosimum alicastrum, Havardia albicans and Leucaena leucocephala. Increasing concentrations (0, 75, 150, 300, 600, 1200 μg/ml PBS) of lyophilized extracts were used in both in vitro assays. A general lineal model test was used to determine the dose-effect in the LMIA or the difference in the percentage of exsheathed larvae between the respective control and treated groups. The LMIA showed a dose-dependent AH effect for H. albicans (P<0.001) and A. gaumeri (P<0.05), but not for L. leucocephala and B. alicastrum. In contrast, the exsheathment process was significantly affected by all doses of H. albicans and A. gaumeri extracts and a significant dose-dependent effect was found for B. alicastrum and L. leucocephala. Calculation of lethal dose (LD) was possible with LEIA using B. alicastrum and L. leucocephala but not with H. albicans and A. gaumeri as the lowest tested concentration was achieving more than 50% inhibition. Calculation of LD with the LMIA results was not feasible. These results suggest that tannin-rich plant extracts are more potent inhibitors of the exsheathment of H. contortus L(3) larvae than their motility. This information underlines the difference of sensitivity between methodological procedures to evaluate the AH properties of plant extracts on the same nematode stage.

  5. The Brazilian Honeybee

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Michener, Charles D.

    1973-01-01

    Discusses the unusually aggressive Brazilian honeybee, which exhibits many of the attributes of its African antecedants. Describes its abundance and distribution, behaviorial characteristics, future spread, and the potential impact of the Brazilian bee in North America. (JR)

  6. The Microbiota and Abundance of the Class 1 Integron-Integrase Gene in Tropical Sewage Treatment Plant Influent and Activated Sludge.

    PubMed

    Paiva, Magna C; Ávila, Marcelo P; Reis, Mariana P; Costa, Patrícia S; Nardi, Regina M D; Nascimento, Andréa M A

    2015-01-01

    Bacteria are assumed to efficiently remove organic pollutants from sewage in sewage treatment plants, where antibiotic-resistance genes can move between species via mobile genetic elements known as integrons. Nevertheless, few studies have addressed bacterial diversity and class 1 integron abundance in tropical sewage. Here, we describe the extant microbiota, using V6 tag sequencing, and quantify the class 1 integron-integrase gene (intI1) in raw sewage (RS) and activated sludge (AS). The analysis of 1,174,486 quality-filtered reads obtained from RS and AS samples revealed complex and distinct bacterial diversity in these samples. The RS sample, with 3,074 operational taxonomic units, exhibited the highest alpha-diversity indices. Among the 25 phyla, Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes represented 85% (AS) and 92% (RS) of all reads. Increased relative abundance of Micrococcales, Myxococcales, and Sphingobacteriales and reduced pathogen abundance were noted in AS. At the genus level, differences were observed for the dominant genera Simplicispira and Diaphorobacter (AS) as well as for Enhydrobacter (RS). The activated sludge process decreased (55%) the amount of bacteria harboring the intI1 gene in the RS sample. Altogether, our results emphasize the importance of biological treatment for diminishing pathogenic bacteria and those bearing the intI1 gene that arrive at a sewage treatment plant.

  7. Effects of four tropical tanniniferous plant extracts on the inhibition of larval migration and the exsheathment process of Trichostrongylus colubriformis infective stage.

    PubMed

    Alonso-Díaz, M A; Torres-Acosta, J F J; Sandoval-Castro, C A; Capetillo-Leal, C; Brunet, S; Hoste, H

    2008-05-06

    The anthelmintic (AH) effect of Acacia pennatula, Leucaena leucocephala, Lisyloma latisiliquum and Piscidia piscipula was evaluated in the infective larvae (L(3)) of Trichostrongylus colubriformis. Different concentrations of lyophilized extracts were tested using the larval migration inhibition (LMI) test. An inhibitor of tannins (the polyvinyl polypyrrolidone [PVPP]) was used to verify whether these compounds were responsible for the AH effects. Then, the effect of extracts on larval exsheathment was examined by observing the exsheathment process at 10-min intervals for 70 min. The LMI test showed a dose-dependant AH effect for A. pennatula, L. leucocephala and L. latisiliquum (P<0.01), but not for P. piscipula. The restoration of L(3) migration to values similar to those of controls after the addition of PVPP, indicates that tannins are involved in AH effects. Trichostrongylus colubriformis exsheathment was partially or totally blocked by the four plants extracts. Tropical tanniniferous plants evaluated in the current study may have potential as AH for the control of T. colubriformis if in vivo investigations indicate useful effects.

  8. Nitrogen input 15N-signatures are reflected in plant 15N natural abundances of N-rich tropical forest in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdisa Gurmesa, Geshere; Lu, Xiankai; Gundersen, Per; Yunting, Fang; Mo, Jiangming

    2016-04-01

    In this study, we tested the measurement of natural abundance of 15N (δ15N) for its ability to assess changes in N cycling due to increased N deposition in two forest types; namely, an old-growth broadleaved forest and a pine forest, in southern China. We measured δ15N values of inorganic N in input and output fluxes under ambient N deposition, and N concentration and δ15N of major ecosystem compartments under ambient and increased N deposition. Our results showed that N deposition to the forests was 15N-depleted, and was dominated by NH4-N. Plants were 15N-depleted due to imprint from the 15N-depleted atmospheric N deposition. The old-growth forest had larger N concentration and was more 15N-enriched than the pine forest. Nitrogen addition did not significantly affect N concentration, but it significantly increased δ15N values of plants, and slightly more so in the pine forest, toward the 15N signature of the added N in both forests. The result indicates that the pine forest may rely more on the 15N-depleted deposition N. Soil δ15N values were slightly decreased by the N addition. Our result suggests that ecosystem δ15N is more sensitive to the changes in ecosystem N status and N cycling than N concentration in N-saturated sub-tropical forests.

  9. The Microbiota and Abundance of the Class 1 Integron-Integrase Gene in Tropical Sewage Treatment Plant Influent and Activated Sludge

    PubMed Central

    Paiva, Magna C.; Ávila, Marcelo P.; Reis, Mariana P.; Costa, Patrícia S.; Nardi, Regina M. D.; Nascimento, Andréa M. A.

    2015-01-01

    Bacteria are assumed to efficiently remove organic pollutants from sewage in sewage treatment plants, where antibiotic-resistance genes can move between species via mobile genetic elements known as integrons. Nevertheless, few studies have addressed bacterial diversity and class 1 integron abundance in tropical sewage. Here, we describe the extant microbiota, using V6 tag sequencing, and quantify the class 1 integron-integrase gene (intI1) in raw sewage (RS) and activated sludge (AS). The analysis of 1,174,486 quality-filtered reads obtained from RS and AS samples revealed complex and distinct bacterial diversity in these samples. The RS sample, with 3,074 operational taxonomic units, exhibited the highest alpha-diversity indices. Among the 25 phyla, Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes represented 85% (AS) and 92% (RS) of all reads. Increased relative abundance of Micrococcales, Myxococcales, and Sphingobacteriales and reduced pathogen abundance were noted in AS. At the genus level, differences were observed for the dominant genera Simplicispira and Diaphorobacter (AS) as well as for Enhydrobacter (RS). The activated sludge process decreased (55%) the amount of bacteria harboring the intI1 gene in the RS sample. Altogether, our results emphasize the importance of biological treatment for diminishing pathogenic bacteria and those bearing the intI1 gene that arrive at a sewage treatment plant. PMID:26115093

  10. The effect of host plant phenology on reproduction of the milkweed bug, Oncopeltus fasciatus, in tropical Florida.

    PubMed

    Miller, Elizabeth Ruth; Dingle, Hugh

    1982-01-01

    A field study of the relationship between host plant phenology and the reproductive pattern of the large milkweed bug, Oncopeltus fasciatus, was conducted in south Florida. Since O. fasciatus need seeds of either milkweed or Nerium oleander plants to reproduce, reproduction takes place on only those host plants that are producing seed pods.Two of four major host plants, Asclepias incarnata and Sarcostemma clausa fruit seasonally, producing pods in early autumn and early winter, respectively. The third milkweed host, Asclepias curassavica, produces almost no pods midsummer (although it flowers abundantly) and few pods midwinter. Nerium oleander (Apocynaceae) produces some pods all year but is only used by O. fasciatus in the summer when milkweeds are not producing pods. Correspondingly, reproduction of O. fasciatus has been observed year round, but relatively few females reproduce in midwinter, coinciding with decreased pod production and low temperatures. This pattern is consistent with the hypothesis that a photoperiodic cue of short day lengths under conditions of cool temperatures may cause adult females to enter diapause and delay reproduction in the field.A comparison of plant phenologies and rainfall between 1976, a very dry year, and 1978, a year with normal rainfall, showed that extreme dryness disrupted the seasonal fruiting of the milkweeds and consequently the reproduction of O. fasciatus.

  11. Heavy metals in water, sediments and wetland plants in an aquatic ecosystem of tropical industrial region, India.

    PubMed

    Rai, Prabhat Kumar

    2009-11-01

    Concentrations of heavy metals (Cu, Cr, Fe, Pb, Zn, Hg, Ni, and Cd) and macronutrients (Mn) were measured in industrial effluents, water, bottom sediments, and wetland plants from a reservoir, Govind Ballabh (G.B.) Pant Sagar, in Singrauli Industrial region, India. The discharge point of a thermal power plant, a coal mine, and chlor-alkali effluent into the G.B. Pant Sagar were selected as sampling sites with one reference site in order to compare the findings. The concentrations of heavy metals in filtered water, sieved sediment samples (0.4-63 microm), and wetland plants were determined with particle-induced X-ray emission. The collected plants were Aponogeton natans, L. Engl. & Krause, Cyperus rotundus, L., Hydrilla verticillata, (L.f.) Royle, Ipomoea aquatica, Forssk., Marsilea quadrifolia, L., Potamogeton pectinatus, L., Eichhornia crassipes, (Mart.) Solms Monogr., Lemna minor, L., Spirodela polyrhiza (L.) Schleid. Linnaea, Azolla pinnata, R.Br., Vallisneria spiralis, L., and Polygonum amphibium, L. In general, metal concentration showed a significant positive correlation between industrial effluent, lake water, and lake sediment (p < 0.01). Likewise, significant positive correlation was recorded with metals concentration in plants and lake ambient, which further indicated the potential of aforesaid set of wetland macrophytes for pollution monitoring.

  12. Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon: A Classroom Project.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nijman, Jan; Hill, A. David

    1991-01-01

    Presents a classroom project dealing with tropical deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. Addresses environmental consequences and economic, social, and political causes. Involves both lectures and individual research and reports by student groups on deforestation causes. Includes a note-playing activity in which students make recommendations for…

  13. Spatial Structure of Seagrass Suggests That Size-Dependent Plant Traits Have a Strong Influence on the Distribution and Maintenance of Tropical Multispecies Meadows

    PubMed Central

    Ooi, Jillian L. S.; Van Niel, Kimberly P.; Kendrick, Gary A.; Holmes, Karen W.

    2014-01-01

    Background Seagrass species in the tropics occur in multispecies meadows. How these meadows are maintained through species co-existence and what their ecological drivers may be has been an overarching question in seagrass biogeography. In this study, we quantify the spatial structure of four co-existing species and infer potential ecological processes from these structures. Methods and Results Species presence/absence data were collected using underwater towed and dropped video cameras in Pulau Tinggi, Malaysia. The geostatistical method, utilizing semivariograms, was used to describe the spatial structure of Halophila spp, Halodule uninervis, Syringodium isoetifolium and Cymodocea serrulata. Species had spatial patterns that were oriented in the along-shore and across-shore directions, nested with larger species in meadow interiors, and consisted of multiple structures that indicate the influence of 2–3 underlying processes. The Linear Model of Coregionalization (LMC) was used to estimate the amount of variance contributing to the presence of a species at specific spatial scales. These distances were <2.5 m (micro-scale), 2.5–50 m (fine-scale) and >50 m (broad-scale) in the along-shore; and <2.5 m (micro-scale), 2.5–140 m (fine-scale) and >140 m (broad-scale) in the across-shore. The LMC suggests that smaller species (Halophila spp and H. uninervis) were most influenced by broad-scale processes such as hydrodynamics and water depth whereas large, localised species (S. isoetifolium and C. serrulata) were more influenced by finer-scale processes such as sediment burial, seagrass colonization and growth, and physical disturbance. Conclusion In this study, we provide evidence that spatial structure is distinct even when species occur in well-mixed multispecies meadows, and we suggest that size-dependent plant traits have a strong influence on the distribution and maintenance of tropical marine plant communities. This study offers a contrast from previous spatial

  14. Fish assemblages associated with Egeria in a tropical reservoir: investigating the effects of plant biomass and diel period

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pelicice, Fernando Mayer; Agostinho, Angelo Antonio; Thomaz, Sidinei Magela

    2005-02-01

    Studies investigating fish/macrophyte associations in the neotropics are rare. Aquatic vegetation enhances structural complexity of the environment, potentially influencing predator-prey relationships. The present work characterizes fish assemblages associated with beds of Egeria, a submerged rooted macrophyte, in Rosana Reservoir, Brazil. The main subject of this study was to investigate effects of plant biomass and diel period on fish assemblage attributes (density, total weight, taxa richness and diversity), testing the hypothesis that macrophyte density and diel period greatly influences fish assemblage structure. Fishes were sampled with a 1-m 2 throw trap at morning, midday and dusk, at six sites. The assemblages were primarily composed of small-sized species (e.g. Characiformes) and juveniles, with few large species (Gymnotiformes and Cichlidae). Around 95% of the individuals were captured in habitats with medium and high vegetation biomass. Fish assemblage attributes differed significantly with respect to macrophyte biomass. Highest values of these attributes were observed in maximum plant biomass, in contrast with trends observed in previous works, where higher values (mainly of fish density) were found in intermediate plant coverage. Oxygen, temperature and pH were within normal ranges, therefore, variation in assemblage attributes is assumed to be explained primarily by plant density. No pattern of diel variation was observed, perhaps reflecting sedentary characteristics of these taxa. Results from this study illustrate that procedures to reduce macrophyte density in reservoirs of the Paraná-Tietê-Paranapanema systems, may cause strong alterations in the fish assemblages, resulting in lower fish density, biomass and species richness of taxa utilizing Egeria beds.

  15. Draft Genome Sequence of Burkholderia ambifaria RZ2MS16, a Plant Growth-Promoting Rhizobacterium Isolated from Guarana, a Tropical Plant.

    PubMed

    Batista, Bruna Durante; Taniguti, Lucas Mitsuo; Monteiro-Vitorello, Claudia Barros; Azevedo, João Lúcio; Quecine, Maria Carolina

    2016-03-17

    Burkholderia ambifaria strain RZ2MS16 was isolated from the rhizosphere of Amazon guarana in Brazil. This bacterium exhibits a remarkable capacity to promote the growth of corn and soybean. Here, we report the draft genome sequence of RZ2MS16 and some genes related to multiple traits involved in plant growth promotion.

  16. Draft Genome Sequence of Burkholderia ambifaria RZ2MS16, a Plant Growth-Promoting Rhizobacterium Isolated from Guarana, a Tropical Plant

    PubMed Central

    Batista, Bruna Durante; Taniguti, Lucas Mitsuo; Monteiro-Vitorello, Claudia Barros; Azevedo, João Lúcio

    2016-01-01

    Burkholderia ambifaria strain RZ2MS16 was isolated from the rhizosphere of Amazon guarana in Brazil. This bacterium exhibits a remarkable capacity to promote the growth of corn and soybean. Here, we report the draft genome sequence of RZ2MS16 and some genes related to multiple traits involved in plant growth promotion. PMID:26988044

  17. Polyphenol Content and Modulatory Activities of Some Tropical Dietary Plant Extracts on the Oxidant Activities of Neutrophils and Myeloperoxidase

    PubMed Central

    Tsumbu, Cesar N.; Deby-Dupont, Ginette; Tits, Monique; Angenot, Luc; Frederich, Michel; Kohnen, Stephane; Mouithys-Mickalad, Ange; Serteyn, Didier; Franck, Thierry

    2012-01-01

    Young leaves of Manihot esculenta Crantz (Euphorbiaceae), Abelmoschus esculentus (Malvaceae), Hibiscus acetosella (Malvaceae) and Pteridium aquilinum (Dennstaedtiaceae) are currently consumed as green vegetables by peoples in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, Asia and their migrants living in Western Europe. Sub-Saharan peoples use Manihot, Abelmoschus and Hibiscus also in the folk medicine to alleviate fever and pain, in the treatment of conjunctivitis, rheumatism, hemorrhoid, abscesses, ... The present study investigates the effects of aqueous extracts of those plants on the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the release of myeloperoxidase (MPO) by equine neutrophils activated with phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA). The ROS production was measured by lucigenin-enhanced chemiluminescence (CL), and the release of total MPO by an ELISA method. The study also investigates the effect of the extracts on the activity of MPO by studying its nitration activity on tyrosine and by using a new technique called SIEFED (Specific Immunological Extraction Followed by Enzymatic Detection) that allows studying the direct interaction of compounds with the enzyme. In all experiments, the aqueous extracts of the plants developed concentration-dependent inhibitory effects. A moderate heat treatment did not significantly modify the inhibitory capacity of the extracts in comparison to not heated ones. Total polyphenol and flavonoid contents were determined with an HPLC-UV/DAD analysis and a spectroscopic method using Folin-Ciocalteu reagent. Some polyphenols with well-known antioxidant activities (caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, hyperoside, rosmarinic acid and rutin) were found in the extracts and may partly explain the inhibitory activities observed. The role of those dietary and medicinal plants in the treatment of ROS-dependent inflammatory diseases could have new considerations for health. PMID:22312276

  18. Land-Use Change, Soil Process and Trace Gas Fluxes in the Brazilian Amazon Basin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Melillo, Jerry M.; Steudler, Paul A.

    1997-01-01

    We measured changes in key soil processes and the fluxes of CO2, CH4 and N2O associated with the conversion of tropical rainforest to pasture in Rondonia, a state in the southwest Amazon that has experienced rapid deforestation, primarily for cattle ranching, since the late 1970s. These measurements provide a comprehensive quantitative picture of the nature of surface soil element stocks, C and nutrient dynamics, and trace gas fluxes between soils and the atmosphere during the entire sequence of land-use change from the initial cutting and burning of native forest, through planting and establishment of pasture grass and ending with very old continuously-pastured land. All of our work is done in cooperation with Brazilian scientists at the Centro de Energia Nuclear na Agricultura (CENA) through an extant official bi-lateral agreement between the Marine Biological Laboratory and the University of Sao Paulo, CENA's parent institution.

  19. Distribution of Carbon Uptake Capacity of Plant Functional Groups Across the Canopy Gradient in Old-Growth Tropical Wet Forest in Costa Rica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oberbauer, S. F.; Cruz, H. O.; Ryan, M. G.; Clark, D. B.; Clark, D. A.; Olivas, P.

    2004-12-01

    Because of the difficulties of accessing leaves within tree crowns, little is known about the photosynthetic capacity of different functional groups within tropical rain forest canopies. To address this deficiency, we measured photosynthetic capacity (Amax) in situ along vertical transects through old-growth forest canopy using a mobile walkup tower at the La Selva Biological Station in Costa Rica. We asked: What groups are responsible for most C-fixation and at what height in the canopy does most C-fixation occur? Photosynthesis (using a LI-COR Li-6400) and total leaf area were measured for all vascular plant species encountered within the tower footprint (4.6 m2). Plants were grouped into trees, palms, ferns, lianas, epiphytes, herbs, Pentaclethra macroloba (the dominant canopy tree), and vines. Amax values differed among functional groups. The ranking of Amax among the groups was trees > P. macroloba > palms > lianas > vines > epiphytes > herbs > ferns. Trees and P. macroloba had the highest photosynthetic rates, but the maximum rates occur at different heights. Amax of P. macroloba increases with canopy height to a maximum 10.3 \\mumol m-2 s-1 at 17.5 m. Amax of trees increases with canopy height (r2 = 0.77) and attains the highest Amax at 32.5 m (10.6 \\mumol m-2 s-1). Palms and lianas presented similar patterns of Amax. However, lianas reach the canopy top whereas palms are shorter and were not observed above 27.5 m. The maximum photosynthetic rates for both groups were: lianas 9.2 \\mumol m-2 s-1 at 27.5 m and palms 9.6 \\mumol m-2 s-1 at 17.5 m. By scaling the functional group Amax values with their leaf area, we estimated that most of the photosynthetic capacity occurs between 17.5 m and 37.5 m and is attributed mainly to trees, followed by P. macroloba and then lianas.

  20. Psidium guajava 'Paluma' (the guava plant) as a new bio-indicator of ozone in the tropics.

    PubMed

    Furlan, C M; Moraes, R M; Bulbovas, P; Domingos, M; Salatino, A; Sanz, M J

    2007-06-01

    Psidium guajava 'Paluma' saplings were exposed to carbon filtered air (CF), ambient non-filtered air (NF), and ambient non-filtered air+40ppb ozone (NF+O(3)) 8h per day during two months. The AOT40 values at the end of the experiment were 48, 910 and 12 895ppbh(-1), respectively for the three treatments. After 5 days of exposure (AOT40=1497ppbh(-1)), interveinal red stippling appeared in plants in the NF+O(3) chamber. In the NF chamber, symptoms were observed only after 40 days of exposure (AOT40=880ppbh(-1)). After 60 days, injured leaves per plant corresponded to 86% in NF+O(3) and 25% in the NF treatment, and the average leaf area injured was 45% in NF+O(3) and 5% in the NF treatment. The extent of leaf area injured (leaf injury index) was explained mainly by the accumulated exposure of ozone (r(2)=0.91; p<0.05).

  1. University of the humid tropics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    The creation of a foundation called the University of the Humid Tropics (UNITROP) was announced by Brazilian atmospheric scientist Luiz Carlos Molion at the AGU Chapman Conference on Global Biomass Burning, held March 23 in Williamsburg, Va. The headquarters for UNITROP is in Manaus, Amazonia, Brazil. UNITROP is not a university in a narrow sense, but an institution created and run by scientists with the purpose of understanding Amazonia and developing it socio-economically in harmony with its environment, Molion said.The scientific objectives of UNITROP are: Research: Promote, organize and fund researchers and research in Amazonia, encompassing all branches of science, from social and aboriginal issues to biogeophysicalchemical processes, and leading to an integrated understanding of the tropical forest environment and its transformation.

  2. Composition, export, and import of drift vegetation on a tropical, plant-dominated, fringing-reef platform (Caribbean Panama)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kilar, John A.; Norris, James N.

    1988-11-01

    For 15 months, the composition and abundance of drift vegetation were determined from a plantdominated fringing reef at Galeta Point, Caribbean Panama. Five nets located downstream of the reef platform continuously sampled 1.0 1.3 ha of reef flat which included 137 202 m of fore reef. Time series and multiple correlation analysis were done to evaluate the dependence of drift biomass on selected physical and biological factors. Export and import rates and turnover times were derived and compared between the dominant species. Floating leaves, branches, and seeds of higher plants were the major components of imported drift with 52% of the dry weight mass, followed by algae and seagrass each with 19%, the water hyacinth Eichhornia with 2%, and floating tar with 8%. Exported biomass from the reef platform was higher in the dry-season (late November March) than in the wet-season (April-early November). Within the 1.0 1.3 ha sampling area, export estimates ranged from 37 294 kg mo-1 for the seagrass Thalassia, 3 171 kg mo-1 for the alga Laurencia, and 3 74 kg mo-1 for the alga Acanthophora. Multiple correlation models indicated that meteorological and hydrographic conditions explained between 31 to 65% of the variance in the drift biomass and that the best predictors of exported biomass were tidal elevation and wind speed (3 week lag). Export rates increased with high tides and strong winds and decreased with elevated water temperatures. Autocorrelations of drift biomass were generally highest at 2 week intervals, suggesting that the quantity of drift removed from the platform was, in part, related to spring and neap tide cycles. Export rates were also affected by the morphology of the vegetation, development of uprights, and location on the reef platform. Import rates of terrestrial-plant debris, the hyacinth Eichhornia, the seagrass Syringodium, and the brown alga Sargassum did not exhibit pronounced seasonal patterns in abundance and averaged 60.2, 1.9, 1.1, and 2.7 g

  3. Pervasive Defaunation of Forest Remnants in a Tropical Biodiversity Hotspot

    PubMed Central

    Canale, Gustavo R.; Peres, Carlos A.; Guidorizzi, Carlos E.; Gatto, Cassiano A. Ferreira; Kierulff, Maria Cecília M.

    2012-01-01

    Tropical deforestation and forest fragmentation are among the most important biodiversity conservation issues worldwide, yet local extinctions of millions of animal and plant populations stranded in unprotected forest remnants remain poorly explained. Here, we report unprecedented rates of local extinctions of medium to large-bodied mammals in one of the world's most important tropical biodiversity hotspots. We scrutinized 8,846 person-years of local knowledge to derive patch occupancy data for 18 mammal species within 196 forest patches across a 252,669-km2 study region of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. We uncovered a staggering rate of local extinctions in the mammal fauna, with only 767 from a possible 3,528 populations still persisting. On average, forest patches retained 3.9 out of 18 potential species occupancies, and geographic ranges had contracted to 0–14.4% of their former distributions, including five large-bodied species that had been extirpated at a regional scale. Forest fragments were highly accessible to hunters and exposed to edge effects and fires, thereby severely diminishing the predictive power of species-area relationships, with the power model explaining only ∼9% of the variation in species richness per patch. Hence, conventional species-area curves provided over-optimistic estimates of species persistence in that most forest fragments had lost species at a much faster rate than predicted by habitat loss alone. PMID:22905103

  4. Impact of the invasive plant Syzigium jambos (Myrtaceae) on patterns of understory seedling abundance in a Tropical Premontane Forest, Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Avalos, Gerardo; Hoell, Kelly; Gardner, Jocelyn; Anderson, Scott; Lee, Conor

    2006-06-01

    Habitat fragmentation, along with other human-induced disturbances, increase the vulnerability of native habitats to be invaded by aggressive, ecologically released, exotic species. Syzigium jambos (L.) Alston (Myrtaceae, Rose Apple) is an important invader still spreading throughout Hawaii, the Antilles, Central and South America. This study examines the effects of S. jambos on plant understory diversity in a 25 ha Tropical Premontane Moist Forest in Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica, a protected watershed that supplies drinking water for several human communities. Our final objective is to develop a management strategy combining water protection with the preservation of a representative sample of the original plant diversity in the area. Thirty 2 x 2 m plots were distributed throughout the Municipal Forest maintaining a minimum of 10 m between plots, and 2 m from trails, to sample all understory seedlings and saplings of S. jambos, Coffea arabica (coffee) and tree seedlings. We found a clear dominance of S. jambos over all other understory plants. Of the total 1,285 sampled plants, S. jambos comprised 51%, coffee seedlings represented 14.78%, being the rest tree seedlings. Syzigium jambos had the highest density (5.46 plants/m2, S.D. = 6.44) compared to tree (3.67 plants/m2, S.D. = 3.44) and coffee seedlings (1.58 plants/m2, S.D. = 2.13). There was a highly significant negative relationship between the relative abundance of S. jambos and tree (r2 = 0.52, p < 0.00001) and coffee seedlings (r2 = 0.28, p < 0.002). The abundance of coffee seedlings did not affect the abundance of tree seedlings (r2 = 0.01, p < 0.58). Since the canopy of the Municipal Forest is relatively closed and composed of a monolayer of trees with almost no overlapping crowns, we found no relationship between canopy cover and the abundance of S. jambos. The height distribution indicated that the majority of S. jambos individuals were seedlings and saplings (height < or = 1.5 m), with only 4

  5. Impacts of Temperature on the Stability of Tropical Plant Pigments as Sensitizers for Dye Sensitized Solar Cells

    PubMed Central

    Yusoff, Aiman; Ekanayake, Piyasiri; Tennakoon, Kushan U.

    2014-01-01

    Natural dyes have become a viable alternative to expensive organic sensitizers because of their low cost of production, abundance in supply, and eco-friendliness. We evaluated 35 native plants containing anthocyanin pigments as potential sensitizers for DSSCs. Melastoma malabathricum (fruit pulp), Hibiscus rosa-sinensis (flower), and Codiaeum variegatum (leaves) showed the highest absorption peaks. Hence, these were used to determine anthocyanin content and stability based on the impacts of storage temperature. Melastoma malabathricum fruit pulp exhibited the highest anthocyanin content (8.43 mg/L) followed by H. rosa-sinensis and C. variegatum. Significantly greater stability of extracted anthocyanin pigment was shown when all three were stored at 4°C. The highest half-life periods for anthocyanin in M. malabathricum, H. rosa-sinensis, and C. variegatum were 541, 571, and 353 days at 4°C. These were rapidly decreased to 111, 220, and 254 days when stored at 25°C. The photovoltaic efficiency of M. malabathricum was1.16%, while the values for H. rosa-sinensis and C. variegatum were 0.16% and 1.08%, respectively. Hence, M. malabathricum fruit pulp extracts can be further evaluated as an alternative natural sensitizer for DSSCs. PMID:24707286

  6. Maize, tropical (Zea mays L.).

    PubMed

    Assem, Shireen K

    2015-01-01

    Maize (Zea mays L.) is the third most important food crop globally after wheat and rice. In sub-Saharan Africa, tropical maize has traditionally been the main staple of the diet; 95 % of the maize grown is consumed directly as human food and as an important source of income for the resource-poor rural population. The biotechnological approach to engineer biotic and abiotic traits implies the availability of an efficient plant transformation method. The production of genetically transformed plants depends both on the ability to integrate foreign genes into target cells and the efficiency with which plants are regenerated. Maize transformation and regeneration through immature embryo culture is the most efficient system to regenerate normal transgenic plants. However, this system is highly genotype dependent. Genotypes adapted to tropic areas are difficult to regenerate. Therefore, transformation methods used with model genotypes adapted to temperate areas are not necessarily efficient with tropical lines. Agrobacterium-mediated transformation is the method of choice since it has been first achieved in 1996. In this report, we describe a transformation method used successfully with several tropical maize lines. All the steps of transformation and regeneration are described in details. This protocol can be used with a wide variety of tropical lines. However, some modifications may be needed with recalcitrant lines.

  7. Tropical forest loss and its multitrophic effects on insect herbivory.

    PubMed

    Morante-Filho, José Carlos; Arroyo-Rodríguez, Víctor; Lohbeck, Madelon; Tscharntke, Teja; Faria, Deborah

    2016-12-01

    Forest loss threatens biodiversity, but its potential effects on multitrophic ecological interactions are poorly understood. Insect herbivory depends on complex bottom-up (e.g., resource availability and plant antiherbivore defenses) and top-down forces (e.g., abundance of predators and herbivorous), but its determinants in human-altered tropical landscapes are largely unknown. Using structural equation models, we assessed the direct and indirect effects of forest loss on insect herbivory in 40 landscapes (115 ha each) from two regions with contrasting land-use change trajectories in the Brazilian Atlantic rainforest. We considered landscape forest cover as an exogenous predictor and (1) forest structure, (2) abundance of predators (birds and arthropods), and (3) abundance of herbivorous arthropods as endogenous predictors of insect leaf damage. From 12 predicted pathways, 11 were significant and showed that (1) leaf damage increases with forest loss (direct effect); (2) leaf damage increases with forest loss through the simplification of vegetation structure and its associated dominance of herbivorous insects (indirect effect); and further demonstrate (3) a lack of top-down control of herbivores by predators (birds and arthropods). We conclude that forest loss favors insect herbivory by undermining the bottom-up control (presumably reduced plant antiherbivore defense mechanisms) in forests dominated by fast-growing pioneer plant species, and by improving the conditions required for herbivores proliferation.

  8. Effect of Tannin and Species Variation on In vitro Digestibility, Gas, and Methane Production of Tropical Browse Plants

    PubMed Central

    Gemeda, B. S.; Hassen, A.

    2015-01-01

    Nineteen tanniferous browse plants were collected from South Africa to investigate their digestibility, gas production (GP) characteristics and methane production. Fresh samples were collected, dried in forced oven, and ground and analyzed for nutrient composition. In vitro GP and in vitro organic matter digestibility (IVOMD) were determined using rumen fluid collected, strained and anaerobically prepared. A semi- automated system was used to measure GP by incubating the sample in a shaking incubator at 39°C. There was significant (p<0.05) variation in chemical composition of studied browses. Crude protein (CP) content of the species ranged from 86.9 to 305.0 g/kg dry matter (DM). The neutral detergent fiber (NDF) ranged from 292.8 to 517.5 g/kg DM while acid detergent fiber (ADF) ranged from 273.3 to 495.1 g/kg DM. The ash, ether extract, non-fibrous carbohydrate, neutral detergent insoluble nitrogen, and acid detergent insoluble nitrogen and CP were negatively correlated with methane production. Methane production was positively correlated with NDF, ADF, cellulose and hemi-cellulose. Tannin decreased GP, IVOMD, total volatile fatty acid and methane production. The observed low methanogenic potential and substantial ammonia generation of some of the browses might be potentially useful as rumen manipulating agents. However, a systematic evaluation is needed to determine optimum levels of supplementation in a mixed diet in order to attain a maximal depressing effect on enteric CH4 production with a minimal detrimental effect on rumen fermentation of poor quality roughage based diet. PMID:25557814

  9. Heterocyte-forming cyanobacteria from Brazilian saline-alkaline lakes.

    PubMed

    Genuário, Diego Bonaldo; Andreote, Ana Paula Dini; Vaz, Marcelo Gomes Marçal Vieira; Fiore, Marli Fátima

    2017-04-01

    Studies investigating the diversity of cyanobacteria from tropical environments are scarce, especially those devoted to the isolation and molecular characterization of the isolated strains. Among the Brazilian biomes, Pantanal has mainly been examined through microscopic observation of environmental samples, resulting in lists of morphotypes without any genetic information. Recently, two studies were conducted evaluating the morphologic and genetic diversity of cultured non-heterocytous cyanobacteria in this biome, which resulted in the separation and description of two novel genera. In order to complement the diversity of cultured cyanobacteria from saline-alkaline lakes in Pantanal, the present study is dedicated to the examination of cultured nitrogen-fixing heterocytous cyanobacteria from this extreme and underexplored environment. A total of fourteen cyanobacterial strains were isolated. According to morphological examination they belong to the order Nostocales and to the subsections IV.I and IV.II, according to the International Code of Nomenclature for Algae, Fungi and Plants and the Bergey's Manual of Systematic Bacteriology, respectively. Phylogenetic evaluation of their 16S rRNA gene sequences resulted in the formation of five clusters. Among them, one is clearly related to the genus Anabaenopsis whilst the remaining clusters may represent new genetic lineages. These novel sequences aid in the delimitation of problematic groups, especially those containing sequences belonging to mixed genera. The application of both morphologic and phylogenetic studies has proven to be an important tool in resolving problematic groups in cyanobacteria systematics. This strategy is essential in order to detect novel cyanobacteria genera from other tropical environments.

  10. Zinc requirements of tropical legume cover crops

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Tropical soils are deficient in essential plant nutrients, including zinc (Zn). Using cover crops in cropping systems is an important option to improve soil fertility for sustainable crop production. However, success of cover crops in highly weathered tropical infertile acid soils is greatly influen...

  11. Tropical Forests. Global Issues Education Packet.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Holm, Amy E.

    Tropical forests provide the world with many products and an incredible diversity of plant and animal life. These forests also provide watershed areas, soil control, climate regulation, and winter homes for migrating birds from North America. It is believed that about 40% of tropical forests have already been destroyed in the last 20-30 years,…

  12. Tropical Deforestation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Raven, Peter H.

    1988-01-01

    Outlines the deforestation problem and some efforts for solving the problem. Considers the impact of population growth, poverty, and ignorance. Includes a discussion of the current rapid decline in tropical forests, the consequences of destruction, and an outlook for the future. (YP)

  13. The ecology of tropical lakes and rivers

    SciTech Connect

    Payne, A.I.

    1986-01-01

    This is self-contained text reviewing tropical limnology. It discusses a number of communities in detail, including plankton, benthic regions, and the water margins. It introduces the characteristic types and assemblies of animals and plants from tropical communities. The measurement and relative magnitude of such quantifiable aspects as abundance, biomass, primary production, secondary production, and decomposition are all outlined, drawing together the diverse threads of freshwater ecology over one of the earth's climatic belts. Deals with use and abuse of water in the tropics and looks at problems of diversity and diversification in tropical waters.

  14. Mineralogical composition and geographical distribution of African and Brazilian periatlantic laterites. The influence of continental drift and tropical paleoclimates during the past 150 million years and implications for India and Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tardy, Y.; Kobilsek, B.; Paquet, H.

    Following the break-up of Pangea at the end of the Jurassic time, the African and South American continents and then India and Australia drifted into the fringes of the equatorial or tropical climatic zone with the humidity varying according to the epochs. India, Brazil and the southern part of East Africa which were previously more arid and probably hotter during the Jurassic, became progressively more humid and cooler. By contrast, West Africa, Central Africa and Australia, formerly subject to very humid climates became subject to warmer and drier climatic conditions. In the first case, the ferricretes were rarely preserved intact but bauxites, generally massive and non pisolitic and essentially formed of gibbsite (Al(OH) 3) are abundant. In the second case, hematite (Fe 2O 3) occurring as nodular ferricretes are extensively developed together with gibbsite-bearing pisolitic bauxites and boehmite (AlOOH). Gibbsite and goethite are hydrated minerals related to humid and rather cool climates, whereas hematite and boehmite are dehydrated minerals related to less humid and warmer climatic conditions. Thus temperature, relative humidity of the atmosphere and the activity of water are the major climatic and thermodynamic parameters controlling the mechanisms of formation, the processes of evolution and the geographical distribution of bauxites and ferricretes. Furthermore, the geographical distribution and the mineralogical composition of ferricretes and bauxites are considered to be controlled not only by the different present-day climates but also and perhaps above all by the succession of paleoclimates during the past 150 million years.

  15. Distribution of prokaryotic organisms in a tropical estuary influenced by sugar cane agriculture in northeast Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Wolf, Lars; Schwalger, Berit; Knoppers, Bastiaan A.; da Silva, Luiz Antonio Ferreira; Medeiros, Paulo Ricardo Petter; Pollehne, Falk

    2010-01-01

    In a joint Brazilian-German case study, distribution patterns of microorganisms were compared with environmental variables in the tropical coastal Manguaba lagoon in northeast Brazil, which is situated downstream of several sugar cane processing plants . 16S rDNA and 16S rRNA single strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) gene fingerprinting were used to follow the composition and distribution of microorganisms throughout the salinity gradient of the lagoon. Potentially abundant microorganisms were identified by sequencing representative SSCP bands. It could be demonstrated that the distribution of microbes was in close relation to the physico-chemical environmental settings and followed a common scheme. In the in- and outlet areas of the lagoon rather transient microbial communities were found, whereas in the central part a stable, diverse community was encountered, that due to the long residence time of the water, had ample time for development and adaptation. PMID:24031568

  16. Introduction to Biology, Tropical Edition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mackean, D. G.

    This pupil's reference book is intended to provide biological information, using plants and animals which are suitable for study over a wide range of tropical countries. Its topics are taken mostly from the biology syllabi for the British General Certification of Education at the Ordinary Level and are written principally for pupils in the last…

  17. Studies on cambial activity: advances and challenges in the knowledge of growth dynamics of Brazilian woody species.

    PubMed

    Callado, Cátia H; Vasconcellos, Thaís J de; Costa, Monique S; Barros, Claudia F; Roig, Fidel A; Tomazello-Filho, Mário

    2014-03-01

    The lack of specific research on the sequence of events that determine plant growth from meristem until wood formation represents a gap in the knowledge of growth dynamics in woody species. In this work, we surveyed published studies concerning cambial activity of Brazilian native species aiming at allowing the comparison of applied methods and obtained results. The annual cambial seasonality was observed in all the investigated species. Nevertheless, we found high heterogeneity in the used methodologies. As a result from this analysis, our opinion points to the need for standardizing sampling protocols and for discussing the suitability of experimental designs. This will help to define with greater precision the factors that determine the radial growth in the different tropical ecosystems.

  18. 2 nd Brazilian Consensus on Chagas Disease, 2015.

    PubMed

    Dias, João Carlos Pinto; Ramos, Alberto Novaes; Gontijo, Eliane Dias; Luquetti, Alejandro; Shikanai-Yasuda, Maria Aparecida; Coura, José Rodrigues; Torres, Rosália Morais; Melo, José Renan da Cunha; Almeida, Eros Antonio de; Oliveira, Wilson de; Silveira, Antônio Carlos; Rezende, Joffre Marcondes de; Pinto, Fabiane Scalabrini; Ferreira, Antonio Walter; Rassi, Anis; Fragata, Abílio Augusto; Sousa, Andréa Silvestre de; Correia, Dalmo; Jansen, Ana Maria; Andrade, Glaucia Manzan Queiroz; Britto, Constança Felícia De Paoli de Carvalho; Pinto, Ana Yecê das Neves; Rassi, Anis; Campos, Dayse Elisabeth; Abad-Franch, Fernando; Santos, Silvana Eloi; Chiari, Egler; Hasslocher-Moreno, Alejandro Marcel; Moreira, Eliane Furtado; Marques, Divina Seila de Oliveira; Silva, Eliane Lages; Marin-Neto, José Antonio; Galvão, Lúcia Maria da Cunha; Xavier, Sergio Salles; Valente, Sebastião Aldo da Silva; Carvalho, Noêmia Barbosa; Cardoso, Alessandra Viana; Silva, Rafaella Albuquerque E; Costa, Veruska Maia da; Vivaldini, Simone Monzani; Oliveira, Suelene Mamede; Valente, Vera da Costa; Lima, Mayara Maia; Alves, Renato Vieira

    2016-12-01

    Chagas disease is a neglected chronic condition with a high burden of morbidity and mortality. It has considerable psychological, social, and economic impacts. The disease represents a significant public health issue in Brazil, with different regional patterns. This document presents the evidence that resulted in the Brazilian Consensus on Chagas Disease. The objective was to review and standardize strategies for diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and control of Chagas disease in the country, based on the available scientific evidence. The consensus is based on the articulation and strategic contribution of renowned Brazilian experts with knowledge and experience on various aspects of the disease. It is the result of a close collaboration between the Brazilian Society of Tropical Medicine and the Ministry of Health. It is hoped that this document will strengthen the development of integrated actions against Chagas disease in the country, focusing on epidemiology, management, comprehensive care (including families and communities), communication, information, education, and research .

  19. Conifers, Angiosperm Trees, and Lianas: Growth, Whole-Plant Water and Nitrogen Use Efficiency, and Stable Isotope Composition (δ13C and δ18O) of Seedlings Grown in a Tropical Environment1[W][OA

    PubMed Central

    Cernusak, Lucas A.; Winter, Klaus; Aranda, Jorge; Turner, Benjamin L.

    2008-01-01

    Seedlings of several species of gymnosperm trees, angiosperm trees, and angiosperm lianas were grown under tropical field conditions in the Republic of Panama; physiological processes controlling plant C and water fluxes were assessed across this functionally diverse range of species. Relative growth rate, r, was primarily controlled by the ratio of leaf area to plant mass, of which specific leaf area was a key component. Instantaneous photosynthesis, when expressed on a leaf-mass basis, explained 69% of variation in r (P < 0.0001, n = 94). Mean r of angiosperms was significantly higher than that of the gymnosperms; within angiosperms, mean r of lianas was higher than that of trees. Whole-plant nitrogen use efficiency was also significantly higher in angiosperm than in gymnosperm species, and was primarily controlled by the rate of photosynthesis for a given amount of leaf nitrogen. Whole-plant water use efficiency, TEc, varied significantly among species, and was primarily controlled by ci/ca, the ratio of intercellular to ambient CO2 partial pressures during photosynthesis. Instantaneous measurements of ci/ca explained 51% of variation in TEc (P < 0.0001, n = 94). Whole-plant 13C discrimination also varied significantly as a function of ci/ca (R2 = 0.57, P < 0.0001, n = 94), and was, accordingly, a good predictor of TEc. The 18O enrichment of stem dry matter was primarily controlled by the predicted 18O enrichment of evaporative sites within leaves (R2 = 0.61, P < 0.0001, n = 94), with some residual variation explained by mean transpiration rate. Measurements of carbon and oxygen stable isotope ratios could provide a useful means of parameterizing physiological models of tropical forest trees. PMID:18599645

  20. Brazilian Cerrado Soil Actinobacteria Ecology

    PubMed Central

    Suela Silva, Monique; Naves Sales, Alenir; Teixeira Magalhães-Guedes, Karina; Ribeiro Dias, Disney; Schwan, Rosane Freitas

    2013-01-01

    A total of 2152 Actinobacteria strains were isolated from native Cerrado (Brazilian Savannah) soils located in Passos, Luminárias, and Arcos municipalities (Minas Gerais State, Brazil). The soils were characterised for chemical and microbiological analysis. The microbial analysis led to the identification of nine genera (Streptomyces, Arthrobacter, Rhodococcus, Amycolatopsis, Microbacterium, Frankia, Leifsonia, Nakamurella, and Kitasatospora) and 92 distinct species in both seasons studied (rainy and dry). The rainy season produced a high microbial population of all the aforementioned genera. The pH values of the soil samples from the Passos, Luminárias, and Arcos regions varied from 4.1 to 5.5. There were no significant differences in the concentrations of phosphorus, magnesium, and organic matter in the soils among the studied areas. Samples from the Arcos area contained large amounts of aluminium in the rainy season and both hydrogen and aluminium in the rainy and dry seasons. The Actinobacteria population seemed to be unaffected by the high levels of aluminium in the soil. Studies are being conducted to produce bioactive compounds from Actinobacteria fermentations on different substrates. The present data suggest that the number and diversity of Actinobacteria spp. in tropical soils represent a vast unexplored resource for the biotechnology of bioactives production. PMID:23555089

  1. First report of anti-Trichomonas vaginalis activity of the medicinal plant Polygala decumbens from the Brazilian semi-arid region, Caatinga.

    PubMed

    Frasson, Amanda Piccoli; dos Santos, Odelta; Duarte, Mariana; da Silva Trentin, Danielle; Giordani, Raquel Brandt; da Silva, Alexandre Gomes; da Silva, Márcia Vanusa; Tasca, Tiana; Macedo, Alexandre José

    2012-06-01

    Trichomonosis, caused by the flagellate protozoan Trichomonas vaginalis, is the most common non-viral sexually transmitted disease worldwide. Actually, the infection treatment is based on 5-nitroimidazole drugs. However, an emergent number of resistant isolates makes important the search for new therapeutic arsenal. In this sense, the investigation of plants and their metabolites is an interesting approach. In the present study, the anti-T. vaginalis activity of 44 aqueous extracts from 23 Caatinga plants used in folk medicine was evaluated. After screening 44 aqueous extracts from 23 distinct plants against two isolates from ATCC and four fresh clinical isolates, only the Polygala decumbens root extract was effective in reducing significantly the trophozoite viability. The MIC value against all isolates tested, including the metronidazole resistant, was 1.56 mg/mL. The kinetic growth assays showed that the extract was able to completely abolish the parasite density in the first hours of incubation, confirmed by microscopy. In summary, this study describes the first report on the activity of P. decumbens from Caatinga against T. vaginalis, being directly related to the popular knowledge and use.

  2. Checklist of aquatic and marshy Monocotyledons from the Araguaia River basin, Brazilian Cerrado

    PubMed Central

    Bove, Claudia

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Background The Araguaia River basin runs through the states of Goiás, Mato Grosso, Tocantins, and Pará, covering 373,000 Km2, mostly within the Brazilian Cerrado. The region has a wide variety of wetlands. The climate is characterized by high temperatures and strongly seasonal precipitation. There are two well defined seasons: the dry season (winter-spring) and the rainy season (summer- fall). The Araguaia River basin is dominated by plinthosoils that are found in low flat areas, poorly drained and prone to flooding, yielding wetland habitats of high plant diversity. Since the 1970s, human activities have led to reduction in both the diversity and area of wetlands. The construction of the Belém-Brasília highway and hydroelectric dams, as well as the expansion of agricultural and mining activities, have had major impacts on the region. New information The flora diversity data of the Araguaia River basin was developed through field work, herbarium research, and use of a database (Species Link). The resulting checklist of 162 aquatic and marshy monocotyledons from the Araguaia River basin represents 20 families and 50 genera. Cyperaceae (51 spp.), Poaceae (39 spp.), and Eriocaulaceae (16 spp.) are the most representative families. Life form analysis indicates that helophytes predominate (98 spp.; 60.5%). One hundred one species are native to tropical and/or subtropical America and twenty one are endemic to Brazil. Ninety-three species are new occurrences for the Araguaia River basin. Among them, three species are reported in the Brazilian Cerrado for the first time. This work contributes to the understanding of aquatic plant diversity in the Cerrado and other savanna-like vegetation physiognomies; environments and habitats poorly understood taxonomically and undercollected generally. PMID:27099550

  3. Tropical forests

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1985-01-01

    Major international aid and nongovernmental groups have agreed on a strategy to conserve tropical forests. Their plan calls for a $5.3 billion, five-year program for the 56 most critically affected countries. This report consists of three parts. The Plan details the costs of deforestation in both developing and industrialized countries, uncovers its real causes, and outlines a five-part action plan. Case Studies reviews dozens of detailed accounts of successful forest management projects from around the world, covering wide-ranging ecological conditions and taking into account the economics of forest products in different marketing situations. Country Investment Profiles spell out country-by-country listings of what should be done, who should do it, and how much it will cost.

  4. Evaluation of the Effects of Some Brazilian Medicinal Plants on the Production of TNF- α and CCL2 by THP-1 Cells.

    PubMed

    Gusman, Grasielle S; Campana, Priscilla R V; Castro, Luciano C; Castilho, Rachel O; Teixeira, Mauro M; Braga, Fernão C

    2015-01-01

    Several plant species are traditionally used in Brazil to treat various inflammatory diseases. Tumor necrosis factor- (TNF-) α and chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2 (CCL2) are key inflammatory mediators in diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and atherosclerosis, respectively; nevertheless, only a few extracts have been assayed against these targets. We herein report the effect of 19 plant extracts on TNF-α and CCL2 release by lipopolysaccharide- (LPS-) stimulated THP-1 cells, a human monocytic leukemia cell line, along with their radical scavenging activity on DPPH. The extracts of Caryocar brasiliense, Casearia sylvestris, Coccoloba cereifera, and Terminalia glabrescens inhibited TNF-α production in a concentration-dependent manner. Fractionation of these extracts potentiated the anti-TNF-α effect, which was shown to concentrate in polar fractions, mainly composed by polyphenols. Significant CCL2 inhibition was elicited by Lippia sidoides and Terminalia glabrescens extracts, whose fractionation resulted in highly active low polar fractions. All assayed extracts showed strong radical scavenging activity, but antioxidant activity did not correlate with inhibition of TNF-α or CCL2 production. Our results allowed identifying extracts with selective capacity to block cytokine production; therefore, further purification of these extracts may yield molecules that could be useful in the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases.

  5. Evaluation of the Effects of Some Brazilian Medicinal Plants on the Production of TNF-α and CCL2 by THP-1 Cells

    PubMed Central

    Gusman, Grasielle S.; Campana, Priscilla R. V.; Castro, Luciano C.; Castilho, Rachel O.; Teixeira, Mauro M.; Braga, Fernão C.

    2015-01-01

    Several plant species are traditionally used in Brazil to treat various inflammatory diseases. Tumor necrosis factor- (TNF-) α and chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2 (CCL2) are key inflammatory mediators in diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and atherosclerosis, respectively; nevertheless, only a few extracts have been assayed against these targets. We herein report the effect of 19 plant extracts on TNF-α and CCL2 release by lipopolysaccharide- (LPS-) stimulated THP-1 cells, a human monocytic leukemia cell line, along with their radical scavenging activity on DPPH. The extracts of Caryocar brasiliense, Casearia sylvestris, Coccoloba cereifera, and Terminalia glabrescens inhibited TNF-α production in a concentration-dependent manner. Fractionation of these extracts potentiated the anti-TNF-α effect, which was shown to concentrate in polar fractions, mainly composed by polyphenols. Significant CCL2 inhibition was elicited by Lippia sidoides and Terminalia glabrescens extracts, whose fractionation resulted in highly active low polar fractions. All assayed extracts showed strong radical scavenging activity, but antioxidant activity did not correlate with inhibition of TNF-α or CCL2 production. Our results allowed identifying extracts with selective capacity to block cytokine production; therefore, further purification of these extracts may yield molecules that could be useful in the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases. PMID:25878716

  6. Tropical Convection's Roles in Tropical Tropopause Cirrus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Boehm, Matthew T.; Starr, David OC.; Verlinde, Johannes; Lee, Sukyoung

    2002-01-01

    The results presented here show that tropical convection plays a role in each of the three primary processes involved in the in situ formation of tropopause cirrus. First, tropical convection transports moisture from the surface into the upper troposphere. Second, tropical convection excites Rossby waves that transport zonal momentum toward the ITCZ, thereby generating rising motion near the equator. This rising motion helps transport moisture from where it is detrained from convection to the cold-point tropopause. Finally, tropical convection excites vertically propagating tropical waves (e.g. Kelvin waves) that provide one source of large-scale cooling near the cold-point tropopause, leading to tropopause cirrus formation.

  7. Seasonal abundance of soil-surface arthropods in relation to some meteorological and edaphic variables of the grassland and tree-planted areas in a tropical semi-arid savanna

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vikram Reddy, M.; Venkataiah, B.

    1990-03-01

    Seasonality of relative population abundance in different groups of soil-surface arthropods was investigated monthly by pit-fall traps during a 2-year period in the grassland and tree-planted areas of a tropical semi-arid savanna at Warangal (south India). Densities of most groups were lowest during summer and highest during the rainy season. They were less abundant during winter. Arthropods were recorded in higher numbers in tree-planted compared to grassland areas. Certain arthropods that were found only during part of the year were recorded for a longer period in the tree-planted area. Formicidae, Monomorium indicum Forel, Crematogaster sp. and Pachycondyla? tesserinoda (Emery), and Coleoptera, Pachycera sp. reached maximum densities in the rainy season and minimum numbers during winter and summer in the grassland area. However, these species had lower densities during the rainy season and reached maximum densities during winter and summer in the tree-planted area. The seasonal abundance of arthropods showed significant linear correlations with different abiotic environmental variables such as rainfall, soil moisture, organic matter, soil and air temperatures, soil pH, relative humidity at the soil surface, and potassium and phosphorus of surface soil. Soil moisture and rainfall were generally the strongest correlates with densities, particularly in the grassland area.

  8. Leaf metabolite profile of the Brazilian resurrection plant Barbacenia purpurea Hook. (Velloziaceae) shows two time-dependent responses during desiccation and recovering.

    PubMed

    Suguiyama, Vanessa F; Silva, Emerson A; Meirelles, Sergio T; Centeno, Danilo C; Braga, Marcia R

    2014-01-01

    Barbacenia purpurea is a resurrection species endemic to rock outcrops, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It tolerates great temperature variations, which are associated to periods of up to 30 days without precipitation. Using a metabolomic approach, we analyzed, under winter and summer conditions, changes in the leaf metabolite profile (MP) of potted plants of B. purpurea submitted to daily watered and water deficit for at least 20 days and subsequent slow rehydration for 5 days. Leaves were collected at different time points and had their MP analyzed by GC/MS, HPAEC, and UHPLC techniques, allowing the identification of more than 60 different compounds, including organic and amino acids, sugars, and polyols, among others. In the winter experiment, results suggest the presence of two time-dependent responses in B. purpurea under water stress. The first one starts with the increase in the content of caffeoyl-quinic acids, substances with strong antioxidant activity, until the 16th day of water suppression. When RWC reached less than 80 and 70%, in winter and summer respectively, it was observed an increase in polyols and monosaccharides, followed by an increment in the content of RFO, suggesting osmotic adjustment. Amino acids, such as GABA and asparagine, also increased due to 16 days of water suppression. During rehydration, the levels of the mentioned compounds became similar to those found at the beginning of the experiment and when compared to daily watered plants. We conclude that the tolerance of B. purpurea to dehydration involves the perception of water deficit intensity, which seems to result in different strategies to overcome the gradient of water availability imposed along a certain period of stress mainly during winter. Data from summer experiment indicate that the metabolism of B. pupurea was already primed for drought stress. The accumulation of phenolics in summer seemed to be more temperature and irradiance-dependent than on the RWC.

  9. Leaf metabolite profile of the Brazilian resurrection plant Barbacenia purpurea Hook. (Velloziaceae) shows two time-dependent responses during desiccation and recovering

    PubMed Central

    Suguiyama, Vanessa F.; Silva, Emerson A.; Meirelles, Sergio T.; Centeno, Danilo C.; Braga, Marcia R.

    2014-01-01

    Barbacenia purpurea is a resurrection species endemic to rock outcrops, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It tolerates great temperature variations, which are associated to periods of up to 30 days without precipitation. Using a metabolomic approach, we analyzed, under winter and summer conditions, changes in the leaf metabolite profile (MP) of potted plants of B. purpurea submitted to daily watered and water deficit for at least 20 days and subsequent slow rehydration for 5 days. Leaves were collected at different time points and had their MP analyzed by GC/MS, HPAEC, and UHPLC techniques, allowing the identification of more than 60 different compounds, including organic and amino acids, sugars, and polyols, among others. In the winter experiment, results suggest the presence of two time-dependent responses in B. purpurea under water stress. The first one starts with the increase in the content of caffeoyl-quinic acids, substances with strong antioxidant activity, until the 16th day of water suppression. When RWC reached less than 80 and 70%, in winter and summer respectively, it was observed an increase in polyols and monosaccharides, followed by an increment in the content of RFO, suggesting osmotic adjustment. Amino acids, such as GABA and asparagine, also increased due to 16 days of water suppression. During rehydration, the levels of the mentioned compounds became similar to those found at the beginning of the experiment and when compared to daily watered plants. We conclude that the tolerance of B. purpurea to dehydration involves the perception of water deficit intensity, which seems to result in different strategies to overcome the gradient of water availability imposed along a certain period of stress mainly during winter. Data from summer experiment indicate that the metabolism of B. pupurea was already primed for drought stress. The accumulation of phenolics in summer seemed to be more temperature and irradiance-dependent than on the RWC. PMID:24672534

  10. Tropical Whitefly IPM Project.

    PubMed

    Morales, Francisco J

    2007-01-01

    whitefly pests in the Tropics are B. tabaci and, in the highlands, T. vaporariorum. Other whitefly species investigated by the TWFP included B. afer and Aleurotrachelus socialis. B. tabaci is the main vector of plant viruses inducing African cassava mosaic disease, sweet potato virus disease, bean golden mosaic disease, and many other diseases of horticultural crops, mainly tomato, hot and sweet peppers, squash, melon, and several other cucurbits. Genetic resistance was identified as the most important component of an IPM programme, followed by phytosanitary, cultural and legal measures. The two most important factors contributing to whitefly/virus epidemics were shown to be pesticide abuse and the use of virus-infected planting materials. Biological control is only effective in cropping systems with minimal or rational use of insecticides, and should be considered only as a complementary IPM strategy. Farmer education and technical assistance are considered the most critical steps toward the implementation of sustainable and economically viable IPM strategies in tropical countries affected by whitefly pests and whitefly-transmitted viruses.

  11. Anthropogenic disturbance in tropical forests can double biodiversity loss from deforestation.

    PubMed

    Barlow, Jos; Lennox, Gareth D; Ferreira, Joice; Berenguer, Erika; Lees, Alexander C; Mac Nally, Ralph; Thomson, James R; Ferraz, Silvio Frosini de Barros; Louzada, Julio; Oliveira, Victor Hugo Fonseca; Parry, Luke; Solar, Ricardo Ribeiro de Castro; Vieira, Ima C G; Aragão, Luiz E O C; Begotti, Rodrigo Anzolin; Braga, Rodrigo F; Cardoso, Thiago Moreira; de Oliveira, Raimundo Cosme; Souza, Carlos M; Moura, Nárgila G; Nunes, Sâmia Serra; Siqueira, João Victor; Pardini, Renata; Silveira, Juliana M; Vaz-de-Mello, Fernando Z; Veiga, Ruan Carlo Stulpen; Venturieri, Adriano; Gardner, Toby A

    2016-07-07

    Concerted political attention has focused on reducing deforestation, and this remains the cornerstone of most biodiversity conservation strategies. However, maintaining forest cover may not reduce anthropogenic forest disturbances, which are rarely considered in conservation programmes. These disturbances occur both within forests, including selective logging and wildfires, and at the landscape level, through edge, area and isolation effects. Until now, the combined effect of anthropogenic disturbance on the conservation value of remnant primary forests has remained unknown, making it impossible to assess the relative importance of forest disturbance and forest loss. Here we address these knowledge gaps using a large data set of plants, birds and dung beetles (1,538, 460 and 156 species, respectively) sampled in 36 catchments in the Brazilian state of Pará. Catchments retaining more than 69–80% forest cover lost more conservation value from disturbance than from forest loss. For example, a 20% loss of primary forest, the maximum level of deforestation allowed on Amazonian properties under Brazil’s Forest Code, resulted in a 39–54% loss of conservation value: 96–171% more than expected without considering disturbance effects. We extrapolated the disturbance-mediated loss of conservation value throughout Pará, which covers 25% of the Brazilian Amazon. Although disturbed forests retained considerable conservation value compared with deforested areas, the toll of disturbance outside Pará’s strictly protected areas is equivalent to the loss of 92,000–139,000 km2 of primary forest. Even this lowest estimate is greater than the area deforested across the entire Brazilian Amazon between 2006 and 2015 (ref. 10). Species distribution models showed that both landscape and within-forest disturbances contributed to biodiversity loss, with the greatest negative effects on species of high conservation and functional value. These results demonstrate an urgent need

  12. A Brazilian Oz?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aiex, Nola Kortner

    Both the American author, L. Frank Baum, and his Brazilian counterpart, Jose Monteiro Lobato, created children's books that featured alternative worlds, peopled by characters who fascinated many generations of young readers. The authors were both born in the second half of the nineteenth century into families of privilege, and both enjoyed idyllic…

  13. Differences in Competitive Ability between Plants from Nonnative and Native Populations of a Tropical Invader Relates to Adaptive Responses in Abiotic and Biotic Environments

    PubMed Central

    Liao, Zhi-Yong; Zhang, Ru; Barclay, Gregor F.; Feng, Yu-Long

    2013-01-01

    The evolution of competitive ability of invasive plant species is generally studied in the context of adaptive responses to novel biotic environments (enemy release) in introduced ranges. However, invasive plants may also respond to novel abiotic environments. Here we studied differences in competitive ability between Chromolaena odorata plants of populations from nonnative versus native ranges, considering biogeographical differences in both biotic and abiotic environments. An intraspecific competition experiment was conducted at two nutrient levels in a common garden. In both low and high nutrient treatments, C. odorata plants from nonnative ranges showed consistently lower root to shoot ratios than did plants from native ranges grown in both monoculture and competition. In the low nutrient treatment, C. odorata plants from nonnative ranges showed significantly lower competitive ability (competition-driven decreases in plant height and biomass were more), which was associated with their lower root to shoot ratios and higher total leaf phenolic content (defense trait). In the high nutrient treatment, C. odorata plants from nonnative ranges showed lower leaf toughness and cellulosic contents (defense traits) but similar competitive ability compared with plants from native ranges, which was also associated with their lower root to shoot ratios. Our results indicate that genetically based shifts in biomass allocation (responses to abiotic environments) also influence competitive abilities of invasive plants, and provide a first potential mechanism for the interaction between range and environment (environment-dependent difference between ranges). PMID:23977140

  14. The impacts of selective logging and clear-cutting on woody plant diversity after 40years of natural recovery in a tropical montane rain forest, south China.

    PubMed

    Ding, Yi; Zang, Runguo; Lu, Xinghui; Huang, Jihong

    2017-02-01

    Historically, clear-cutting and selective logging have been the commercial logging practices. However, the effect of these pervasive timber extraction methods on biodiversity in tropical forests is still poorly understood. In this study, we compared abiotic factors, species diversity, community composition, and structure between ca. 40-year-old clear-cut (MCC); ca. 40-year-old selectively logged (MSL); and tropical old growth montane rain forests (MOG) on Hainan Island, China. Results showed that there were a large number of trees with a diameter at breast height (DBH) <30cm in the two logged forests. Additionally, the two logged forests only had 40% of the basal area of the large trees (DBH≥30cm) found in the old growth forest. The species richness and Shannon-Wiener diversity indices generally showed no difference among the three forest types. MCC had 70% of the species richness of the large trees in the MOG, whereas MSL and MOG had similar species richness. High value timber species had similar species richness among the three forest types, but a lower abundance and basal area of large trees in MCC. The species composition was distinct between the three forests. Large trees belonging to the family Fagaceae dominated in the logged forests and played a more important role in the old growth forest. Huge trees (DBH≥70cm) were rare in MCC, but were frequently found in MSL. Most abiotic factors varied inconsistently among the three forest types and few variables related to species diversity, community structure and composition. Our study indicated that MSL had a relatively faster recovery rate than MCC in a tropical montane rain forest after 40years, but both logged forests had a high recovery potential over a long-term.

  15. PERSPECTIVE: Learning from the Brazilian biofuel experience

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Michael

    2006-11-01

    In the article `The ethanol program in Brazil' [1] José Goldemberg summarizes the key features of Brazil's sugarcane ethanol program—the most successful biofuel program in the world so far. In fact, as of 2005, Brazil was the world's largest producer of fuel ethanol. In addition to providing 40% of its gasoline market with ethanol, Brazil exports a significant amount of ethanol to Europe, Japan, and the United States. The success of the program is attributed to a variety of factors, including supportive governmental policies and favorable natural conditions (such as a tropical climate with abundant rainfall and high temperatures). As the article points out, in the early stages of the Brazilian ethanol program, the Brazilian government provided loans to sugarcane growers and ethanol producers (in most cases, they are the same people) to encourage sugarcane and ethanol production. Thereafter, ethanol prices were regulated to ensure that producers can economically sustain production and consumers can benefit from using ethanol. Over time, Brazil was able to achieve a price for ethanol that is lower than that for gasoline, on the basis of energy content. This lower cost is largely driving the widespread use of ethanol instead of gasoline by consumers in Brazil. In the United States, if owners of E85 flexible-fuel vehicles (FFVs) are expected to use E85 instead of gasoline in their FFVs, E85 will have to be priced competitively against gasoline on an energy-content basis. Compared with corn-based or sugar beet-based ethanol, Brazil's sugarcane-based ethanol yields considerably more favorable results in terms of energy balance and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. These results are primarily due to (i) the dramatic increase of sugarcane yield in Brazil in the past 25 years and (ii) the use of bagasse instead of fossil fuels in ethanol plants to provide the heat needed for ethanol plant operations and to generate electricity for export to electric grids

  16. Explorative study of tropical pitcher plants (Nepenthes sp.) types and insects that trapped inside in Sebangau National Park Palangka Raya Central Kalimantan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lestariningsih, Nanik; Setyaningsih, Denik

    2017-01-01

    Pitcher plants (Nepenthes sp.) is a plant with unique shape either of shades of colors, pouch shape and its capability in catching insects. Pitcher plant (Nepenthes sp.) is one of the plants that protected under Law Number. 5 of 1990 about Conservation of Biological Resources and Ecosystem and Government Regulation Number 7/1999 about Preservation of Plants and Animals. Sebangau National Park is one of representative of peat swamp ecosystem and one of some types of pitcher plants (Nepenthes sp.) habitat. This study aimed to determine the types and diversity levels of pitcher plants (Nepenthes sp.) and the trapped insects inside in Sebangau National and to determine the differences of diversity levels of pitcher plants (Nepenthes sp.) and the trapped insects inside in the opened and closed forest in Sebangau National Park. The research type was conducted descriptive qualitative research. The method used survey method with purpossive sampling technique.The result of the study the number of pitcher plants (Nepenthes sp.) obtained in opened forest were three types consist of Nepenthes mirabilis, Nepenthes rafflesiana and Nepenthes gracilis with two types insects trapped inside those were Diptera ordo and Hymenoptera ordo. While the number of pitcher plants (Nepenthes sp.) obtained in closed forest as many as two types consist of Nepenthes ampullaria and Nepenthes rafflesiana with two type insects trapped inside those were Diptera ordo and Hymenoptera ordo. The results of the analysis calculation pitcher plants (Nepenthes sp.) species diversity index in opened and closed forest showed lower category. The diversity in row were 1 and 0,45 with H’ criteria ≤ 1 low diversity. The results of the study of insects trapped inside of pitcher plants (Nepenthes sp.) obtained in opened and closed forest showed low category. The diversity in a row were 0,63 and 0,52 with the criteria of H’ ≤ 1 low diversity.

  17. Morphological correlates of necromass accumulation in the traps of an Eastern tropical pitcher plant, Nepenthes ampullaria Jack, and observations on the pitcher infauna and its reconstitution following experimental removal.

    PubMed

    Cresswell, James E

    1998-01-01

    I studied the trap morphology, necromass accumulation rates and pitcher infauna of an eastern tropical pitcher plant, Nepenthes ampullaria, that grew in `kerangas' heath forest in the Sungei Ingei Conservation Area, Brunei. I surveyed 164 pitchers distributed among 35 plants and extracted the necromass and larval infauna from the pitchers and then resampled the pitcher contents after 14 days. Plants varied significantly in the morphology of their pitchers, in their rate of necromass accumulation per pitcher and in the abundance and composition of the pitcher infaunas. On average, pitchers accumulated 11.5 mg dry weight over 14 days, but larger pitchers accumulated more necromass than smaller ones. Pitcher morphology explained 45% of the variation in necromass accumulation among plants. On average, pitchers initially contained 26.3 individual larval inquilines. Collectively, the larval infauna was composed of nine taxa of dipteran larvae and infrequent anuran tadpoles. These ten taxa were never found together in a single pitcher and the mean species richness per pitcher was 4.0. Of the six taxa that could be assessed, all except Toxorhynchites spp. had a contagious distribution among the pitchers. Pitcher morphology and necromass accumulation explained only 15% of the variation in inquiline abundance among plants. I found little evidence for the existence of density-dependent interactions between inquiline species: a partial correlation analysis detected only one statistically significant pairwise relationship between the abundances of inquiline taxa, which was a positive association. Fourteen days after being emptied, pitchers contained an average of 9.6 inquilines. There was no evidence that the species composition of the infauna recolonising each pitcher was related to that of its pre-removal infauna.

  18. Major Australian tropical fruits biodiversity: bioactive compounds and their bioactivities.

    PubMed

    Pierson, Jean T; Dietzgen, Ralf G; Shaw, Paul N; Roberts-Thomson, Sarah J; Monteith, Gregory R; Gidley, Michael J

    2012-03-01

    The plant kingdom harbours many diverse bioactive molecules of pharmacological relevance. Temperate fruits and vegetables have been highly studied in this regard, but there have been fewer studies of fruits and vegetables from the tropics. As global consumers demand and are prepared to pay for new appealing and exotic foods, tropical fruits are now being more intensively investigated. Polyphenols and major classes of compounds like flavonoids or carotenoids are ubiquitously present in these fruits, as they are in the temperate ones, but particular classes of compounds are unique to tropical fruits and other plant parts. Bioactivity studies of compounds specific to tropical fruit plants may lead to new drug discoveries, while the synergistic action of the wide range of diverse compounds contained in plant extracts underlies nutritional and health properties of tropical fruits and vegetables. The evidence for in vitro and animal bioactivities is a strong indicator of the pharmacological promise shown in tropical fruit plant biodiversity. In this review, we will discuss both the occurrence of potential bioactive compounds isolated and identified from a selection of tropical fruit plants of importance in Australia, as well as recent studies of bioactivity associated with such fruits and other fruit plant parts.

  19. Brazilian research on extremophiles in the context of astrobiology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duarte, Rubens T. D.; Nóbrega, Felipe; Nakayama, Cristina R.; Pellizari, Vivian H.

    2012-10-01

    Extremophiles are organisms adapted to grow at extreme ranges of environmental variables, such as high or low temperatures, acid or alkaline medium, high salt concentration, high pressures and so forth. Most extremophiles are micro-organisms that belong to the Archaea and Bacteria domains, and are widely spread across the world, which include the polar regions, volcanoes, deserts, deep oceanic sediments, hydrothermal vents, hypersaline lakes, acid and alkaline water bodies, and other extreme environments considered hostile to human life. Despite the tropical climate, Brazil has a wide range of ecosystems which include some permanent or seasonally extreme environments. For example, the Cerrado is a biome with very low soil pH with high Al+3 concentration, the mangroves in the Brazilian coast are anaerobic and saline, Pantanal has thousands of alkaline-saline lakes, the Caatinga arid and hot soils and the deep sea sediments in the Brazilian ocean shelf. These environments harbour extremophilic organisms that, coupled with the high natural biodiversity in Brazil, could be explored for different purposes. However, only a few projects in Brazil intended to study the extremophiles. In the frame of astrobiology, for example, these organisms could provide important models for defining the limits of life and hypothesize about life outside Earth. Brazilian microbiologists have, however, studied the extremophilic micro-organisms inhabiting non-Brazilian environments, such as the Antarctic continent. The experience and previous results obtained from the Brazilian Antarctic Program (PROANTAR) provide important results that are directly related to astrobiology. This article is a brief synopsis of the Brazilian experience in researching extremophiles, indicating the most important results related to astrobiology and some future perspectives in this area.

  20. The spectral changes of deforestation in the Brazilian tropical savanna.

    PubMed

    Trancoso, Ralph; Sano, Edson E; Meneses, Paulo R

    2015-01-01

    The Cerrado is a biome in Brazil that is experiencing the most rapid loss in natural vegetation. The objective of this study was to analyze the changes in the spectral response in the red, near infrared (NIR), middle infrared (MIR), and normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) when native vegetation in the Cerrado is deforested. The test sites were regions of the Cerrado located in the states of Bahia, Minas Gerais, and Mato Grosso. For each region, a pair of Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) scenes from 2008 (before deforestation) and 2009 (after deforestation) was compared. A set of 1,380 samples of deforested polygons and an equal number of samples of native vegetation have their spectral properties statistically analyzed. The accuracy of deforestation detections was also evaluated using high spatial resolution imagery. Results showed that the spectral data of deforested areas and their corresponding native vegetation were statistically different. The red band showed the highest difference between the reflectance data from deforested areas and native vegetation, while the NIR band showed the lowest difference. A consistent pattern of spectral change when native vegetation in the Cerrado is deforested was identified regardless of the location in the biome. The overall accuracy of deforestation detections was 97.75%. Considering both the marked pattern of spectral changes and the high deforestation detection accuracy, this study suggests that deforestation in Cerrado can be accurately monitored, but a strong seasonal and spatial variability of spectral changes might be expected.

  1. The future of tropical forests.

    PubMed

    Wright, S Joseph

    2010-05-01

    Five anthropogenic drivers--land use change, wood extraction, hunting, atmospheric change, climate change--will largely determine the future of tropical forests. The geographic scope and intensity of these five drivers are in flux. Contemporary land use change includes deforestation (approximately 64,000 km(2) yr(-1) for the entire tropical forest biome) and natural forests regenerating on abandoned land (approximately 21,500 km(2) yr(-1) with just 29% of the biome evaluated). Commercial logging is shifting rapidly from Southeast Asia to Africa and South America, but local fuelwood consumption continues to constitute 71% of all wood production. Pantropical rates of net deforestation are declining even as secondary and logged forests increasingly replace old-growth forests. Hunters reduce frugivore, granivore and browser abundances in most forests. This alters seed dispersal, seed and seedling survival, and hence the species composition and spatial template of plant regeneration. Tropical governments have responded to these local threats by protecting 7% of all land for the strict conservation of nature--a commitment that is only matched poleward of 40 degrees S and 70 degrees N. Protected status often fails to stop hunters and is impotent against atmospheric and climate change. There are increasing reports of stark changes in the structure and dynamics of protected tropical forests. Four broad classes of mechanisms might contribute to these changes. Predictions are developed to distinguish among these mechanisms.

  2. Brazilian Trichoptera Checklist II

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Abstract A second assessment of Brazilian Trichoptera species records is presented here. A total of 625 species were recorded for Brazil. This represents an increase of 65.34% new species recorded during the last decade. The Hydropsychidae (124 spp.), followed by the Hydroptilidae (102 spp.) and Polycentropodidae (97 spp.), are the families with the greatest richness recorded for Brazil. The knowledge on Trichoptera biodiversity in Brazil is geographically unequal. The majority of the species is recorded for the southeastern region. PMID:25349524

  3. An AFLP estimation of the outcrossing rate of Spondias tuberosa (Anacardiaceae), an endemic species to the Brazilian semiarid region.

    PubMed

    Fernandes Santos, Carlos Antonio; de Souza Gama, Renata Natália Cândido

    2013-06-01

    The umbu tree (Spondias tuberosa) is one of the most important endemic species to the Brazilian tropical semiarid region. The umbu tree has edible fruits with a peculiar flavor that are consumed in natura or in a semi-industrialized form, such as jams, candies and juices. The majority of endemic species to Brazilian semiarid region have not been studied or sampled to form germ-plasm collections, which increases the risk of losing genetic variability of the adapted species to xerophytic conditions. The aim of this study was to estimate outcrossing rates in S. tuberosa using a multilocus mixed model in order to guide genetic resources and breeding programs of this species. DNA samples were extracted from 92 progenies of umbu trees, which were distributed among 12 families. These trees were planted by seed in 1991 in Petrolina, PE, Brazil. The experimental design was a randomized block, with a total of 42 progenies sampled in three regions. The experimental units were composed by five plants and five replications. The outcrossing rate was estimated by the multilocus model, which is available in the MLTR software, and was based on 17 polymorphic AFLP bands obtained from AAA_CTG and AAA_CTC primer combinations. The observed heterozygotes ranged from 0.147 to 0.499, with a maximum frequency estimated for the AAA_CTC 10 amplicon. The multilocus outcrossing estimation (t(m)) was 0.804 +/- 0.072, while the single-locus (t(s)) was 0.841 +/- 0.079, which suggests that S. tuberosa is predominantly an outcrossing species. The difference between t(m) and t(s) was -0.037 +/- 0.029, which indicates that biparental inbreeding was nearly absent. The mean inbreeding coefficient or fixation index (F) among maternal plants was--0.103 +/- 0.045, and the expected F was 0.108, which indicates that there was no excess of heterozygotes in the maternal population. The outcrossing estimates obtained in the present study indicate that S. tuberosa is an open-pollinated species. Biometrical

  4. Longevity of the Brazilian underground tree Jacaranda decurrens Cham.

    PubMed

    Alves, Ruy J V; Da Silva, Nílber G; Fernandes Júnior, Aluísio J; Guimarães, Alessandra R

    2013-01-01

    Underground trees are a rare clonal growth form. In this survey we describe the branching pattern and estimate the age of the underground tree Jacaranda decurrens Cham. (Bignoniaceae), an endangered species from the Brazilian Cerrado, with a crown diameter of 22 meters. The mean age calculated for the individual was 3,801 years, making it one of the oldest known living Neotropical plants.

  5. Simplicity and Innovation Make This "Green" Brazilian City Work.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Goodstein, Carol

    1993-01-01

    Describes how a Brazilian city, Curitiba, is successfully curbing environmental degradation through recycling efforts, transportation, housing, and land use changes. These projects include tree planting, decreased automobile use, a simple technology that enables buses to run as quickly and efficiently as subways, and increasing city open space…

  6. The Brazilian Twin Registry.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Paulo H; Oliveira, Vinicius C; Junqueira, Daniela R; Cisneros, Lígia C; Ferreira, Lucas C; Murphy, Kate; Ordoñana, Juan R; Hopper, John L; Teixeira-Salmela, Luci F

    2016-12-01

    The Brazilian Twin Registry (BTR) was established in 2013 and has impelled twin research in South America. The main aim of the initiative was to create a resource that would be accessible to the Brazilian scientific community as well as international researchers interested in the investigation of the contribution of genetic and environmental factors in the development of common diseases, phenotypes, and human behavior traits. The BTR is a joint effort between academic and governmental institutions from Brazil and Australia. The collaboration includes the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) in Brazil, the University of Sydney and University of Melbourne in Australia, the Australian Twin Registry, as well as the research foundations CNPq and CAPES in Brazil. The BTR is a member of the International Network of Twin Registries. Recruitment strategies used to register twins have been through participation in a longitudinal study investigating genetic and environmental factors for low back pain occurrence, and from a variety of sources including media campaigns and social networking. Currently, 291 twins are registered in the BTR, with data on demographics, zygosity, anthropometrics, and health history having been collected from 151 twins using a standardized self-reported questionnaire. Future BTR plans include the registration of thousands of Brazilian twins identified from different sources and collaborate nationally and internationally with other research groups interested on twin studies.

  7. Brazilian minister sets global goals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2014-04-01

    Marco Antonio Raupp, the mathematical physicist who is now Brazil's minister of science, technology and innovation, talks to Physics World about the challenges and opportunities for Brazilian research.

  8. Ant-Plant Interaction in a Tropical Savanna: May the Network Structure Vary over Time and Influence on the Outcomes of Associations?

    PubMed Central

    Lange, Denise; Del-Claro, Kleber

    2014-01-01

    Plant-animal interactions occur in a community context of dynamic and complex ecological interactive networks. The understanding of who interacts with whom is a basic information, but the outcomes of interactions among associates are fundamental to draw valid conclusions about the functional structure of the network. Ecological networks studies in general gave little importance to know the true outcomes of interactions and how they may change over time. We evaluate the dynamic of an interaction network between ants and plants with extrafloral nectaries, by verifying the temporal variation in structure and outcomes of mutualism for the plant community (leaf herbivory). To reach this goal, we used two tools: bipartite network analysis and experimental manipulation. The networks exhibited the same general pattern as other mutualistic networks: nestedness, asymmetry and low specialization and this pattern was maintained over time, but with internal changes (species degree, connectance and ant abundance). These changes influenced the protection effectiveness of plants by ants, which varied over time. Our study shows that interaction networks between ants and plants are dynamic over time, and that these alterations affect the outcomes of mutualisms. In addition, our study proposes that the set of single systems that shape ecological networks can be manipulated for a greater understanding of the entire system. PMID:25141007

  9. Ant-plant interaction in a tropical savanna: may the network structure vary over time and influence on the outcomes of associations?

    PubMed

    Lange, Denise; Del-Claro, Kleber

    2014-01-01

    Plant-animal interactions occur in a community context of dynamic and complex ecological interactive networks. The understanding of who interacts with whom is a basic information, but the outcomes of interactions among associates are fundamental to draw valid conclusions about the functional structure of the network. Ecological networks studies in general gave little importance to know the true outcomes of interactions and how they may change over time. We evaluate the dynamic of an interaction network between ants and plants with extrafloral nectaries, by verifying the temporal variation in structure and outcomes of mutualism for the plant community (leaf herbivory). To reach this goal, we used two tools: bipartite network analysis and experimental manipulation. The networks exhibited the same general pattern as other mutualistic networks: nestedness, asymmetry and low specialization and this pattern was maintained over time, but with internal changes (species degree, connectance and ant abundance). These changes influenced the protection effectiveness of plants by ants, which varied over time. Our study shows that interaction networks between ants and plants are dynamic over time, and that these alterations affect the outcomes of mutualisms. In addition, our study proposes that the set of single systems that shape ecological networks can be manipulated for a greater understanding of the entire system.

  10. Extinction risk escalates in the tropics.

    PubMed

    Vamosi, Jana C; Vamosi, Steven M

    2008-01-01

    The latitudinal biodiversity gradient remains one of the most widely recognized yet puzzling patterns in nature. Presently, the high level of extinction of tropical species, referred to as the "tropical biodiversity crisis", has the potential to erode this pattern. While the connection between species richness, extinction, and speciation has long intrigued biologists, these interactions have experienced increased poignancy due to their relevancy to where we should concentrate our conservation efforts. Natural extinction is a phenomenon thought to have its own latitudinal gradient, with lower extinction rates in the tropics being reported in beetles, birds, mammals, and bivalves. Processes that have buffered ecosystems from high extinction rates in the past may also buffer ecosystems against disturbance of anthropogenic origin. While potential parallels between historical and present-day extinction patterns have been acknowledged, they remain only superficially explored and plant extinction patterns have been particularly neglected. Studies on the disappearances of animal species have reached conflicting conclusions, with the rate of extinction appearing either higher or lower in species richness hotspots. Our global study of extinction risk in vascular plants finds disproportionately higher extinction risk in tropical countries, even when indicators of human pressure (GDP, population density, forest cover change) are taken into account. Our results are at odds with the notion that the tropics represent a museum of plant biodiversity (places of historically lowered extinction) and we discuss mechanisms that may reconcile this apparent contradiction.

  11. Variations in ecosystem structure, carbon, and nutrient storage along a fertility gradient in tropical savanna of southern Mato Grosso, Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vourlitis, G. L.; Lobo, F. D.; Lawrence, S.; Holt, K.; Pinto Junior, O. B.; Dalmagro, H. J.; Nogueira, J. D.

    2013-12-01

    Brazilian savanna (cerrado) is composed of vegetation and soil types that are spatially variable, and links between cerrado physiognomy and soil properties are poorly understood. To reduce this uncertainty, we measured the plant community structure and carbon (C) and nutrient (N, P, K, and Ca) stocks in aboveground wood, foliage, and litter, and soil (0-50 cm) pools in a variety of cerrado vegetation types located in the Cuiaba Basin and the Pantanal, Mato Grosso, Brazil. We hypothesized that aboveground and surface soil C and nutrient stocks would be correlated with soil fertility and vegetation structure (including tree species composition, density and tree species diversity). Our results indicate that aboveground woody (AGW), foliage, and soil C stocks were significantly (p < 0.05) correlated with indices of soil fertility but not texture. Since AGWC was the largest C pool, total ecosystem C stocks increase significantly as a function of soil fertility. Similarly, AGWC and foliage C stocks were significantly correlated with tree species diversity (H'), but not soil texture. These data suggest that small-scale (m2-ha) variations in soil fertility are important controls on ecosystem C storage in Brazilian cerrado, and that ecosystem C and nutrient storage is positively related to tree species diversity. These results are qualitatively similar to those reported for tropical forests across regional fertility gradients in the Amazon Basin. These results have implications for the maintenance of soil C storage and fertility and tree species diversity in cerrado.

  12. Repellent plants provide affordable natural screening to prevent mosquito house entry in tropical rural settings--results from a pilot efficacy study.

    PubMed

    Mng'ong'o, Frank C; Sambali, Joseph J; Sabas, Eustachkius; Rubanga, Justine; Magoma, Jaka; Ntamatungiro, Alex J; Turner, Elizabeth L; Nyogea, Daniel; Ensink, Jeroen H J; Moore, Sarah J

    2011-01-01

    Sustained malaria control is underway using a combination of vector control, prompt diagnosis and treatment of malaria cases. Progress is excellent, but for long-term control, low-cost, sustainable tools that supplement existing control programs are needed. Conventional vector control tools such as indoor residual spraying and house screening are highly effective, but difficult to deliver in rural areas. Therefore, an additional means of reducing mosquito house entry was evaluated: the screening of mosquito house entry points by planting the tall and densely foliated repellent plant Lantana camara L. around houses. A pilot efficacy study was performed in Kagera Region, Tanzania in an area of high seasonal malaria transmission, where consenting families within the study village planted L. camara (Lantana) around their homes and were responsible for maintaining the plants. Questionnaire data on house design, socioeconomic status, malaria prevention knowledge, attitude and practices was collected from 231 houses with Lantana planted around them 90 houses without repellent plants. Mosquitoes were collected using CDC Light Traps between September 2008 and July 2009. Data were analysed with generalised negative binomial regression, controlling for the effect of sampling period. Indoor catches of mosquitoes in houses with Lantana were compared using the Incidence Rate Ratio (IRR) relative to houses without plants in an adjusted analysis. There were 56% fewer Anopheles gambiae s.s. (IRR 0.44, 95% CI 0.28-0.68, p<0.0001); 83% fewer Anopheles funestus s.s. (IRR 0.17, 95% CI 0.09-0.32, p<0.0001), and 50% fewer mosquitoes of any kind (IRR 0.50, 95% CI 0.38-0.67, p<0.0001) in houses with Lantana relative to controls. House screening using Lantana reduced indoor densities of malaria vectors and nuisance mosquitoes with broad community acceptance. Providing sufficient plants for one home costs US $1.50 including maintenance and labour costs, (30 cents per person). L. camara mode

  13. Repellent Plants Provide Affordable Natural Screening to Prevent Mosquito House Entry in Tropical Rural Settings—Results from a Pilot Efficacy Study

    PubMed Central

    Mng'ong'o, Frank C.; Sambali, Joseph J.; Sabas, Eustachkius; Rubanga, Justine; Magoma, Jaka; Ntamatungiro, Alex J.; Turner, Elizabeth L.; Nyogea, Daniel; Ensink, Jeroen H. J.; Moore, Sarah J.

    2011-01-01

    Sustained malaria control is underway using a combination of vector control, prompt diagnosis and treatment of malaria cases. Progress is excellent, but for long-term control, low-cost, sustainable tools that supplement existing control programs are needed. Conventional vector control tools such as indoor residual spraying and house screening are highly effective, but difficult to deliver in rural areas. Therefore, an additional means of reducing mosquito house entry was evaluated: the screening of mosquito house entry points by planting the tall and densely foliated repellent plant Lantana camara L. around houses. A pilot efficacy study was performed in Kagera Region, Tanzania in an area of high seasonal malaria transmission, where consenting families within the study village planted L. camara (Lantana) around their homes and were responsible for maintaining the plants. Questionnaire data on house design, socioeconomic status, malaria prevention knowledge, attitude and practices was collected from 231 houses with Lantana planted around them 90 houses without repellent plants. Mosquitoes were collected using CDC Light Traps between September 2008 and July 2009. Data were analysed with generalised negative binomial regression, controlling for the effect of sampling period. Indoor catches of mosquitoes in houses with Lantana were compared using the Incidence Rate Ratio (IRR) relative to houses without plants in an adjusted analysis. There were 56% fewer Anopheles gambiae s.s. (IRR 0.44, 95% CI 0.28–0.68, p<0.0001); 83% fewer Anopheles funestus s.s. (IRR 0.17, 95% CI 0.09–0.32, p<0.0001), and 50% fewer mosquitoes of any kind (IRR 0.50, 95% CI 0.38–0.67, p<0.0001) in houses with Lantana relative to controls. House screening using Lantana reduced indoor densities of malaria vectors and nuisance mosquitoes with broad community acceptance. Providing sufficient plants for one home costs US $1.50 including maintenance and labour costs, (30 cents per person). L. camara

  14. Influence of elevated carbon dioxide and temperature on belowground carbon allocation and enzyme activities in tropical flooded soil planted with rice.

    PubMed

    Bhattacharyya, P; Roy, K S; Neogi, S; Manna, M C; Adhya, T K; Rao, K S; Nayak, A K

    2013-10-01

    Changes in the soil labile carbon fractions and soil biochemical properties to elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) and temperature reflect the changes in the functional capacity of soil ecosystems. The belowground root system and root-derived carbon products are the key factors for the rhizospheric carbon dynamics under elevated CO2 condition. However, the relationship between interactive effects of elevated CO2 and temperature on belowground soil carbon accrual is not very clear. To address this issue, a field experiment was laid out to study the changes of carbon allocation in tropical rice soil (Aeric Endoaquept) under elevated CO2 and elevated CO2 + elevated temperature conditions in open top chambers (OTCs). There were significant increase of root biomass by 39 and 44 % under elevated CO2 and elevated CO2 + temperature compared to ambient condition, respectively. A significant increase (55 %) of total organic carbon in the root exudates under elevated CO2 + temperature was noticed. Carbon dioxide enrichment associated with elevated temperature significantly increased soil labile carbon, microbial biomass carbon, and activities of carbon-transforming enzyme like β-glucosidase. Highly significant correlations were noticed among the different soil enzymes and soil labile carbon fractions.

  15. Brazilian Portuguese Ethnonymy and Europeanisms.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stephens, Thomas M.

    1994-01-01

    Delineates the incorporation and analyzes the impact of European borrowings in Brazilian racio-ethnic terminology. This overview covers French, Italian, Spanish, and English influences. Borrowings from European languages have had a small impact on the calculus of Brazilian racio-ethnic terms. (43 references) (Author/CK)

  16. New products made with lignocellulosic nanofibers from Brazilian amazon forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bufalino, L.; Mendes, L. M.; Tonoli, G. H. D.; Rodrigues, A.; Fonseca, A.; Cunha, P. I.; Marconcini, J. M.

    2014-08-01

    The biodiversity of the Amazon forest is undoubtedly rich; hence there is considerable variety of plant fibers regarding their morphological, chemical and structural properties. The legal exploration of the Brazilian Amazon is based on sustainable management techniques, but the generation of a relevant amount of plant wastes still cant be avoided. The correct destination of such materials is a challenge that Brazilian companies have to face. In this context, the National Council of Science and Technology (CNPq) promoted the creation of investigation nets on sustainability of Brazilian agribusiness. The Brazilian Net on Lignocellulosic Composites and Nanocomposites was then created, with partnership between several national and international research institutions. Until the moment, the results showed that Amazon plant fibers that are discarded as residues have great potential to nanofiber production. Nanopapers with considerable high mechanical and physical strength, proper opacity and great crystalline index were produced by using a clean and simple mechanical method. Those materials are candidates to several uses such as packaging, substrates transparent conductive films, gas barrier films, solar cells and e-papers.

  17. Altitude affects the reproductive performance in monoicous and dioicous bryophytes: examples from a Brazilian Atlantic rainforest

    PubMed Central

    Maciel-Silva, Adaíses S.; Marques Valio, Ivany F.; Rydin, Håkan

    2012-01-01

    Background and aims Short life cycles and trade-offs linked to breeding systems make bryophytes good models for the study of plant reproductive strategies. Our aim was to test if differences in sexual reproductive performance of bryophytes in tropical rainforests are driven by the breeding system of the species (monoicous or dioicous) or are mainly affected by the habitat. Methodology The reproductive performance (sexual branches, gametangia (sex organs), fertilization and sporophyte production) of 11 species was repeatedly monitored and analysed from populations at sea-level and montane sites of a Brazilian Atlantic rainforest over 15 months. Principal results Monoicous species had the highest reproductive performance, particularly for sexual branches, fertilized gametangia and sporophyte production. Species at the sea-level site produced more sexual branches and had more female-biased sex ratios of gametangia than species in the montane site. Fertilizations were more frequent at the montane site, but sporophyte frequency was similar between the two sites. Fertilization tended to occur mostly in the periods of heavy rain (October to December). Conclusions Breeding system is not the only major influence on the reproductive performance of bryophytes. We show that habitat is also an important factor determining life-history differentiation. Female-biased sex ratios and low rates of fertilization are seen to be compensated for by high production of reproductive structures at the initial phases of the reproductive cycle. PMID:22822422

  18. Insecticidal activity of the aqueous extracts of four under-utilized tropical plants as protectant of cowpea seeds from Callosobruchus maculatus infestation.

    PubMed

    Obembe, O M; Kayode, J

    2013-02-15

    The test plants species, namely Crotaria retusa, Hyptis suaveolens, Ricinus communis and Tithonia diversifolia were extracted with water. The extracts were evaluated on Callosobruchus maculatus for mortality, oviposition and adult emergence effects. The long-term protectant ability and viability were also investigated. The results showed that the aqueous extracts from T. diversifolia were most effective on C. maculatus, followed by extract from Ricinus communis. The least potent extracts were those extracted from Crotalaria retusa and Hyptis suaveolens. Also, the extracts considerably reduced oviposition by C. maculatus. Extracts from T. diversifolia and R. communis drastically reduced infestation and subsequence damage of the treated cowpea seeds for a period of three months. Most of the treated seeds germinated after 90 days storage period. The results from this study revealed that aqueous extracts from all the four plants species were effective in controlling cowpea bruchid, C. maculatus and could serve as an alternative to synthetic insecticides for protection of stored cowpea seeds against bruchids.

  19. The Origins of Tropical Rainforest Hyperdiversity.

    PubMed

    Pennington, R Toby; Hughes, Mark; Moonlight, Peter W

    2015-11-01

    Traditional models for tropical species richness contrast rainforests as "museums" of old species or "cradles" of recent speciation. High plant species diversity in rainforests may be more likely to reflect high episodic evolutionary turnover of species--a scenario implicating high rates of both speciation and extinction through geological time.

  20. Nitrogen fixation by phyllosphere bacteria associated with higher plants and their colonizing epiphytes of a tropical lowland rainforest of Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Fürnkranz, Michael; Wanek, Wolfgang; Richter, Andreas; Abell, Guy; Rasche, Frank; Sessitsch, Angela

    2008-05-01

    Leaf surfaces (phyllospheres) have been shown to provide appropriate conditions for colonization by microorganisms including diazotrophic bacteria that are able to fix atmospheric nitrogen (N(2)). In this study, we determined leaf-associated N(2) fixation of a range of rainforest plants in Costa Rica, under different environmental conditions, by tracing biomass N incorporation from (15)N(2). N(2)-fixing bacterial communities of the plant species Carludovica drudei, Grias cauliflora and Costus laevis were investigated in more detail by analysis of the nifH gene and leaf-associated bacteria were identified by 16S rRNA gene analysis. N(2) fixation rates varied among plant species, their growth sites (different microclimatic conditions) and light exposure. Leaf-associated diazotrophic bacterial communities detected on C. drudei and C. laevis were mainly composed of cyanobacteria (Nostoc spp.), whereas on the leaves of G. cauliflora gamma-proteobacteria were dominant in addition to cyanobacteria. The complexity of diazotrophic communities on leaves was not correlated with N(2) fixation activity. 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis suggested the presence of complex microbial communities in association with leaves, however, cyanobacteria showed only low abundance. Our findings suggest that cyanobacteria as well as gamma-proteobacteria associated with leaf-colonizing epiphytes may provide significant nitrogen input into this rainforest ecosystem.

  1. Brazilian Nanotechnology Initiative

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fazzio, Adalberto

    2015-03-01

    In Brazil there is intense research activity in nanotechnology, most of these developed in universities and research institutes. The Brazilian Nanotechnology Initiative (BNI) aims to integrate government actions to promote the competitiveness of the Brazilian industry. This initiative is founded on support for research and development in the laboratories of the National Laboratories for Nanotechnology (SisNANO), starting from an improvement in infrastructure and opening of laboratories for users of academia and business, promoting interaction and transfer knowledge between academia and business. Country currently has 26 thematic networks of nanotechnology, 16 -Virtual-National Institutes of Technology, seven National- Laboratories and 18 Associate Laboratories, which comprise the SisNANO. Seeking to expand and share governance with other government actors, the Interministries Committee for Nanotechnology was set up, composed of 10 ministries, and has the task of coordinating the entire program of the Federal Government Nanotechnology.Cooperation activities are an important part of BNI. Currently Brazil has cooperation programs with U.S., China, Canada and European Union among others. Recently, Brazil decided to join the European NanoReg program where 60 research groups are joining efforts to provide protocols and standards that can help regulatory agencies and governments.

  2. Comparative Chemistry of Propolis from Eight Brazilian Localities

    PubMed Central

    Righi, A. A.; Negri, G.; Salatino, A.

    2013-01-01

    Propolis is a complex honeybee product with resinous aspect, containing plant exudates and beeswax. Their color, texture, and chemical composition vary, depending on the location of the hives and local flora. The most studied Brazilian propolis is the green (alecrim-do-campo) type, which contains mainly prenylated phenylpropanoids and caffeoylquinic acids. Other types of propolis are produced in Brazil, some with red color, others brown, grey, or black. The aim of the present work was to determine the chemical profiles of alcohol and chloroform extracts of eight samples of propolis, corresponding to six Brazilian regions. Methanol and chloroform extracts were obtained and analyzed by HPLC/DAD/ESI/MS and GC/MS. Two chemical profiles were recognized among the samples analyzed: (1) black Brazilian propolis, characterized chiefly by flavanones and glycosyl flavones, stemming from Picos (Piauí state) and Pirenópolis (Goiás state); (2) green Brazilian propolis, characterized by prenylated phenylpropanoids and caffeoylquinic acids, stemming from Cabo Verde (Bahia state), Lavras and Mira Bela (Minas Gerais state), Pariquera-Açu and Bauru (São Paulo state), and Ponta Grossa (Paraná state). The present work represents the first report of prenylated flavonoids in Brazilian propolis and schaftoside (apigenin-8-C-glucosyl-6-C-arabinose) in green propolis. PMID:23690840

  3. Contributions of woody and herbaceous vegetation to tropical savanna ecosystem productivity: a quasi-global estimate.

    PubMed

    Lloyd, Jon; Bird, Michael I; Vellen, Lins; Miranda, Antonio Carlos; Veenendaal, Elmar M; Djagbletey, Gloria; Miranda, Heloisa S; Cook, Garry; Farquhar, Graham D

    2008-03-01

    To estimate the relative contributions of woody and herbaceous vegetation to savanna productivity, we measured the 13C/12C isotopic ratios of leaves from trees, shrubs, grasses and the surface soil carbon pool for 22 savannas in Australia, Brazil and Ghana covering the full savanna spectrum ranging from almost pure grassland to closed woodlands on all three continents. All trees and shrubs sampled were of the C3 pathway and all grasses of the C4 pathway with the exception of Echinolaena inflexa (Poir.) Chase, a common C3 grass of the Brazilian cerrado. By comparing the carbon isotopic compositions of the plant and carbon pools, a simple model relating soil delta 13C to the relative abundances of trees + shrubs (woody plants) and grasses was developed. The model suggests that the relative proportions of a savanna ecosystem's total foliar projected cover attributable to grasses versus woody plants is a simple and reliable index of the relative contributions of grasses and woody plants to savanna net productivity. Model calibrations against woody tree canopy cover made it possible to estimate the proportion of savanna productivity in the major regions of the world attributable to trees + shrubs and grasses from ground-based observational maps of savanna woodiness. Overall, it was estimated that 59% of the net primary productivity (Np) of tropical savannas is attributable to C4 grasses, but that this proportion varies significantly within and between regions. The C4 grasses make their greatest relative contribution to savanna Np in the Neotropics, whereas in African regions, a greater proportion of savanna Np is attributable to woody plants. The relative contribution of C4 grasses in Australian savannas is intermediate between those in the Neotropics and Africa. These differences can be broadly ascribed to large scale differences in soil fertility and rainfall.

  4. Water hyacinth as indicator of heavy metal pollution the tropics

    SciTech Connect

    Gonzalez, H.; Otero, M. ); Lodenius, M. )

    1989-12-01

    The water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) is a common aquatic plant in many tropical countries. Its ability absorb nutrients and other elements from the water has made it possible to use it for water purification purposes. Eichhornia, especially stems and leaves, have been successfully used as indicators of heavy metal pollution in tropical countries. The uptake of heavy metals in this plant is stronger in the roots than in the floating shoots. Metallothionein-like compounds have been found from roots of this species after cadmium exposure. The purpose of this investigation was to study the possibilities of using roots of water hyacinth as a biological indicator of metal pollution in tropical aquatic ecosystems.

  5. MOSQUITOES OF THE CAATINGA: 2. SPECIES FROM PERIODIC SAMPLING OF BROMELIADS AND TREE HOLES IN A DRY BRAZILIAN FOREST.

    PubMed

    Marteis, Letícia Silva; Natal, Delsio; Sallum, Maria Anice Mureb; Medeiros-Sousa, Antônio Ralph; Corte, Roseli La

    2017-03-28

    The Caatinga is a dry tropical forest, located in the Brazilian semiarid region and rich in phytotelmata. This study investigated the culicid fauna of phytotelmata of the caatinga by sampling for 19 consecutive months aquatic immatures from tree holes and bromeliads. A total of 127L of water was taken from the plants, containing 6,764 immature culicids of 16 species, of which 11 (69%) are undescribed and respond to 90% of the total abundance of the specimens collected. Epiphytic bromeliads harbor a large number of immature Culicidae, although terrestrial bromeliads are the most abundant and widely distributed in the region. The richness of culicid species was similar between terrestrial and epiphytic bromeliads and lower in habitats represented by tree hole phytotelmata. There was no similarity in the composition of culicid species that developed in bromeliads or tree holes. Temperature and humidity were the environmental parameters most strongly associated with the proportion of positive plants. The Caatinga has a great number of endemic species that remain unknown to science and many additional culicid species may await discovery from there.

  6. Ozone stomatal flux and O3 concentration-based metrics for Astronium graveolens Jacq., a Brazilian native forest tree species.

    PubMed

    Cassimiro, Jéssica C; Moura, Bárbara B; Alonso, Rocio; Meirelles, Sérgio T; Moraes, Regina M

    2016-06-01

    The current levels of surface ozone (O3) are high enough to negatively affect trees in large regions of São Paulo State, southeastern Brazil, where standards for the protection of vegetation against the adverse effects of O3 do not exist. We evaluated three O3 metrics - phytotoxic ozone dose (POD), accumulated ozone exposure over the threshold of 40 ppb h (AOT40), and the sum of all hourly average concentrations (SUM00) - for the Brazilian native tropical tree species Astronium graveolens Jacq. We used the DO3SE (Deposition of Ozone for Stomatal Exchange) model and calculated PODY for different thresholds (from 0 to 6 mmol O3 m(-2) PLA s(-1)), evaluating the model's performance through the relationship between measured and modelled conductance. The response parameters were: visible foliar injury, considered as incidence (% injured plants), severity (% injured leaves in relation to the number of leaves on injured plants), and leaf abscission. The model performance was suitable and significant (R(2) = 0.58; p < 0.001). POD0 was better correlated to incidence and leaf abscission, and SUM00 was better correlated to severity. The highest values of O3 concentration-based metrics (AOT40 and SUM00) did not coincide with those of POD0. Further investigation may improve the model and contribute to the proposition of a national standard for the protection of native species.

  7. Medical geochemistry of tropical environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dissanayake, C. B.; Chandrajith, Rohana

    1999-10-01

    Geochemically, tropical environments are unique. This uniqueness stems from the fact that these terrains are continuously subjected to extreme rainfall and drought with resulting strong geochemical fractionation of elements. This characteristic geochemical partitioning results in either severe depletion of elements or accumulation to toxic levels. In both these situations, the effect on plant, animal and human health is marked. Medical geochemistry involves the study of the relationships between the geochemistry of the environment in which we live and the health of the population living in this particular domain. Interestingly, the relationships between geochemistry and health are most marked in the tropical countries, which coincidentally are among the poorest in the world. The very heavy dependence on the immediate environment for sustainable living in these lands enables the medical geochemist to observe correlations between particular geochemical provinces and the incidence of certain diseases unique to these terrains. The aetiology of diseases such as dental and skeletal fluorosis, iodine deficiency disorders, diseases of humans and animals caused by mineral imbalances among others, lie clearly in the geochemical environment. The study of the chemistry of the soils, water and stream sediments in relation to the incidence of geographically distributed diseases in the tropics has not only opened up new frontiers in multidisciplinary research, but has offered new challenges to the medical profession to seriously focus attention on the emerging field of medical geochemistry with the collaboration of geochemists and epidemiologists.

  8. Tropical Cyclone Report, 1993

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1993-01-01

    Office of Naval Research (;rant AN00014-914J1721 STAFF JOINT TYPHOON WARNING CENTER LCDR ANTHONY A. MARTINEZ USN TDO. DEPUTY DIRECTOR LCDR TERESA M...OEJFN TDA. GRAPHICS AGAN ANDRESG.GRANT USN TDA, GRAPHICS UNIVERSITY OF GUAM / JTWC RESEARCH LIAISON DR MARK A. LANDER TROPICAL CYCLONE RESEARCH MR...CHARLES P. GUARD TROPICAL CYCLONE RESEARCH * TRANSFERRED DURING 1993 ** ACTIVE DUTY TRAINING S~ii FOREWORD The Annual Tropical Cyclone Report is past four

  9. The Brazilian mineral resources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beurlen, Hartmut; Cassedanne, Jacques Pierre

    1981-04-01

    The activity of the first generation of Brazilian geologists began in the early sixties. Systematic exploration work since then has evidenced some important new mineral reserves in Brazil. The most important examples are the 18 × 10 9 tons of high-grade iron ore (Carajás District), formed by supergene enrichment on iron formations older than 1800 m.y., the 2.5 × 10 9 tons of bauxite and similar reserves of kaolinite as residual enrichment in Cenozoic sediments in the Amazonas Basin (Oriximina, Capim); the potash and magnesium-rich evaporites near Aracajú(Sergipe); the large residual concentrations of phosphate, anatase, pyrochlore and rare earths related to Cretaceous alkaline complexes with carbonatites; and some garnierite and asbestos deposits related to ultramafic rocks in the states of Goiás and Piauí.

  10. Brazilian Eratosthenes Project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Langhi, R.; Vilaça, J.

    2014-10-01

    The objective of Brazilian Eratosthenes Project is the development and application of teaching training actions according the ``docent autonomy" concept to basic Astronomy Education. Argentina coordinates the project in South America, but Brazil works in this project since 2010 with the theme ``Projeto Eratóstenes Brasil" in the homepage: http://sites.google.com/site/projetoerato. Two schools measure a sticks shadow and communicate their results. After, they calculate an average radius of Earth. The stick (gnomon) should stay in vertical position in the leveled ground. Since 2010, the project received hundreds of Brazilian schools with different experiments that were constructed with autonomy, because our site doesn't show some itinerary pre-ready to elaborate the experiments. To collect data for our research, we will use interviews via Skype with the teachers. These data are useful to researches about Science Education area and the Teaching Formation. Teaching professional practice could change and we see modifications in the teachers work, what depends of their realities and context. This project intents to respect the docent autonomy. This autonomy to responsible modifications during continued formation is called ``activist formative model" according Langhi & Nardi (Educação em Astronomia: repensando a formação de professores. São Paulo: Escrituras Editora, 2012). This project discusses about researches in Astronomy Education - still extreme rare in Brazil, when we compare with other areas in Science Education. We believe that actions like this could motivate the students to learn more Astronomy. Furthermore, this national action can be a rich source of data to investigations about teaching formation and scientific divulgation.

  11. Influence of Removal of a Non-native Tree Species Mimosa caesalpiniifolia Benth. on the Regenerating Plant Communities in a Tropical Semideciduous Forest Under Restoration in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Podadera, Diego S; Engel, Vera L; Parrotta, John A; Machado, Deivid L; Sato, Luciane M; Durigan, Giselda

    2015-11-01

    Exotic species are used to trigger facilitation in restoration plantings, but this positive effect may not be permanent and these species may have negative effects later on. Since such species can provide a marketable product (firewood), their harvest may represent an advantageous strategy to achieve both ecological and economic benefits. In this study, we looked at the effect of removal of a non-native tree species (Mimosa caesalpiniifolia) on the understory of a semideciduous forest undergoing restoration. We assessed two 14-year-old plantation systems (modified "taungya" agroforestry system; and mixed plantation using commercial timber and firewood tree species) established at two sites with contrasting soil properties in São Paulo state, Brazil. The experimental design included randomized blocks with split plots. The natural regeneration of woody species (height ≥0.2 m) was compared between managed (all M. caesalpiniifolia trees removed) and unmanaged plots during the first year after the intervention. The removal of M. caesalpiniifolia increased species diversity but decreased stand basal area. Nevertheless, the basal area loss was recovered after 1 year. The management treatment affected tree species regeneration differently between species groups. The results of this study suggest that removal of M. caesalpiniifolia benefited the understory and possibly accelerated the succession process. Further monitoring studies are needed to evaluate the longer term effects on stand structure and composition. The lack of negative effects of tree removal on the natural regeneration indicates that such interventions can be recommended, especially considering the expectations of economic revenues from tree harvesting in restoration plantings.

  12. Influence of Removal of a Non-native Tree Species Mimosa caesalpiniifolia Benth. on the Regenerating Plant Communities in a Tropical Semideciduous Forest Under Restoration in Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Podadera, Diego S.; Engel, Vera L.; Parrotta, John A.; Machado, Deivid L.; Sato, Luciane M.; Durigan, Giselda

    2015-11-01

    Exotic species are used to trigger facilitation in restoration plantings, but this positive effect may not be permanent and these species may have negative effects later on. Since such species can provide a marketable product (firewood), their harvest may represent an advantageous strategy to achieve both ecological and economic benefits. In this study, we looked at the effect of removal of a non-native tree species ( Mimosa caesalpiniifolia) on the understory of a semideciduous forest undergoing restoration. We assessed two 14-year-old plantation systems (modified "taungya" agroforestry system; and mixed plantation using commercial timber and firewood tree species) established at two sites with contrasting soil properties in São Paulo state, Brazil. The experimental design included randomized blocks with split plots. The natural regeneration of woody species (height ≥0.2 m) was compared between managed (all M. caesalpiniifolia trees removed) and unmanaged plots during the first year after the intervention. The removal of M. caesalpiniifolia increased species diversity but decreased stand basal area. Nevertheless, the basal area loss was recovered after 1 year. The management treatment affected tree species regeneration differently between species groups. The results of this study suggest that removal of M. caesalpiniifolia benefited the understory and possibly accelerated the succession process. Further monitoring studies are needed to evaluate the longer term effects on stand structure and composition. The lack of negative effects of tree removal on the natural regeneration indicates that such interventions can be recommended, especially considering the expectations of economic revenues from tree harvesting in restoration plantings.

  13. Divisions S-4 - soil fertility and plant nutrition: residual value of lime and leaching of calcium in a kaolinitic ultisol in the high rainfall tropics

    SciTech Connect

    Friesen, D.K.; Juo, A.S.R.; Miller, M.H.

    1982-01-01

    A long-term experiment was conducted on a highly acidic (pH 4.6), coarse-textured Ultisol in the high rainfall region of southeastern Nigeria in order to evaluate the requirement for and residual value of lime (Ca(OH)/sub 2/) to a continuous crop rotation, and to determine the fate of applied Ca in the soil profile. The initial lime rates used were 0, 0.5, 1, 2, and 4 t of Ca(OH)/sub 2/ per hectare. Maize (Zea mays) was planted in the first season and cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) in the second season under a no-tillage, stubble conservation system. Relatively low rates of lime are adequate to sustain yields in a continuous maize-cowpea rotation system. Liming at a rate of 0.5 t/ha maintained maize yield near maximum for 2 years after application. Sustained maize yields for 5 years or more were possible with a lime rate of 2 t/ha. Cowpeas performed well and showed strong tolerance to soil acidity when planted as a late second-season crop after maize without additional fertilizer application. The critical level of exchangeable Al ranged from 25 to 55% depending upon rate of chemical fertilizer as well as cowpea variety used. Leaching losses of Ca from the surface soil during the first 3 years were <0.5 t/ha of Ca(OH)/sub 2/-equivalents in the 0- to 2-t/ha treatments. Exchangeable-Al saturation in all subsoil layers of all treatments 3 years after liming exceeded 40% and soil pH (H/sub 2/O) was <4.3 indicating that lime was leached as neutral Ca salts and had little effect in ameliorating subsoil acidity. 17 references, 5 figures, 5 tables.

  14. Metal bioaccumulation in consumed marine bivalves in Southeast Brazilian coast.

    PubMed

    Lino, A S; Galvão, P M A; Longo, R T L; Azevedo-Silva, C E; Dorneles, P R; Torres, J P M; Malm, O

    2016-03-01

    This work aimed to investigate metal bioaccumulation by mussels (Perna perna) and Lion's Scallop (Nodipecten nodosus) farmed in tropical bays, in order to estimate spatial and temporal variation in the exposure to these elements, as well as human health risk. The concentration of each measured element was considered for this evaluation, using maximum residue level (MRL) in foods established by the Brazilian (ANVISA), American (USFDA) and European Communities (EC) legislations. Values for estimated daily ingestion (EDI) were determined for metals intake through mussel and scallop consumption. These estimates were compared with the reference value of (PTDI) proposed by World Health Organization (WHO). Trace elements concentration was measured on ninety mussels P. perna (tissue) and ninety Lion's Scallop N. nodosus (muscle and gonad) reared in four different tropical areas of the Southeast Brazilian coast, between 2009 and 2010. Zinc (Zn), Iron (Fe), Copper (Cu), Manganese (Mn), Chrome (Cr), Nickel (Ni), Cadmium (Cd) and Lead (Pb) concentrations were measured by flame atomic absorption spectrometry after acid mineralization. Cd and Mn were more efficiently bioaccumulated by scallops than mussels and the opposite was found for Fe, Cu and Ni. Guanabara Bay and Sepetiba Bay were considered the most impacted between ecosystems studied. Higher Cd values in Arraial do Cabo in the other sites studied were associated with upwelling that occurs in the region. Consumption of both species cannot be considered safe, because the Cu and Cr concentrations, in accordance with the limits established by the Brazilian Agency (ANVISA). On the other hand, any EDI value exceeded the corresponding value of the PTDI, proposed by World Health Organization (WHO).

  15. Unexprected Changes in Soil Phosphorus Dynamics Following Tropical Deforestation to Cattle Pasture

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Townsend, Alan R.; Asner, Gregory P.; Cleveland, Cory C.; Lefer, Margaret E.; Bustamante, Mercedes M. C.

    2001-01-01

    Phosphorus (P) is widely believed to limit plant growth and organic matter storage in a large fraction of the world's lowland tropical rainforests. We investigated how the most common land use change in such forests, conversion to cattle pasture, affects soil P fractions along forest to pasture chronosequences in the central Brazilian Amazon and in southwestern Costa Rica. Our sites represent a broad range in rainfall, soil type, management strategies, and total soil P (45.2 - 1228.0 microng P / g soil), yet we found some unexpected and at times strikingly similar changes in soil P in all sites. In the Brazilian sites, where rainfall is relatively low and pasture management is more intense than in the Costa Rican sites, significant losses in total soil P and soil organic carbon (SOC) were seen with pasture age on both fine-textured oxisol and highly sandy entisol soils. However, P losses were largely from occluded, inorganic soil P fractions, while organic forms of soil P remained constant or increased with pasture age, despite the declines in SOC. In Costa Rica, SOC remained constant across the oxisol sites and increased from forest to pasture on the mollisols, while total soil P increased with pasture age in both sequences. The increases in total soil P were largely due to changes in organic P; occluded soil P increased only slightly in the mollisols, and remained unchanged in the older oxisols. We suggest that changes in the composition and/or the primary limiting resources of the soil microbial community may drive the changes in organic P. We also present a new conceptual model for changes in soil P following deforestation to cattle pasture.

  16. Stranding Events of Kogia Whales along the Brazilian Coast

    PubMed Central

    Moura, Jailson F.; Acevedo-Trejos, Esteban; Tavares, Davi C.; Meirelles, Ana C. O.; Silva, Cristine P. N.; Oliveira, Larissa R.; Santos, Roberta A.; Wickert, Janaína C.; Machado, Rodrigo; Siciliano, Salvatore; Merico, Agostino

    2016-01-01

    The genus Kogia, which comprises only two extant species, Kogia sima and Kogia breviceps, represents one of the least known groups of cetaceans in the global ocean. In some coastal regions, however, stranding events of these species have been relatively common over the last decades. Stranding provides the opportunity to investigate the biology of these cetaceans and to explore the epidemiological aspects associated with the mortality of the organisms found on the beach. A number of disturbances (including pelagic fisheries, chemical pollution, boat strikes, and noise pollution) have been confirmed to pose a particular threat to the Kogia species. However, no study has yet investigated potential relationships between environmental conditions and stranding events. Here we analyse how a collection of environmental, physical, and biological variables, such as wind, sea surface temperature (SST), water depth, and chlorophyll-a, correlate to Kogia stranding events along the Brazilian coast. The results of our statistical analyses suggest that K. sima is more likely found in warm tropical waters, which provide an explanation for the high frequency of stranding in northeastern Brazilian coast. In contrast, K. breviceps appears to have a preference for temperate and productive waters. Wind speed results to be also an important factor for predicting Kogia strandings in Brazilian coast. Additionally, literature information in combination with our own data and analyses of stomach contents confirms that oceanic cephalopods constitute the primary nutritional source of both Kogia species. By using the available information as a qualitative proxy for habitat preference and feeding ecology, our study provides a novel and comprehensive assessment of Kogia stranding data in relation to environmental conditions along the Brazilian coast. PMID:26730951

  17. Stranding Events of Kogia Whales along the Brazilian Coast.

    PubMed

    Moura, Jailson F; Acevedo-Trejos, Esteban; Tavares, Davi C; Meirelles, Ana C O; Silva, Cristine P N; Oliveira, Larissa R; Santos, Roberta A; Wickert, Janaína C; Machado, Rodrigo; Siciliano, Salvatore; Merico, Agostino

    2016-01-01

    The genus Kogia, which comprises only two extant species, Kogia sima and Kogia breviceps, represents one of the least known groups of cetaceans in the global ocean. In some coastal regions, however, stranding events of these species have been relatively common over the last decades. Stranding provides the opportunity to investigate the biology of these cetaceans and to explore the epidemiological aspects associated with the mortality of the organisms found on the beach. A number of disturbances (including pelagic fisheries, chemical pollution, boat strikes, and noise pollution) have been confirmed to pose a particular threat to the Kogia species. However, no study has yet investigated potential relationships between environmental conditions and stranding events. Here we analyse how a collection of environmental, physical, and biological variables, such as wind, sea surface temperature (SST), water depth, and chlorophyll-a, correlate to Kogia stranding events along the Brazilian coast. The results of our statistical analyses suggest that K. sima is more likely found in warm tropical waters, which provide an explanation for the high frequency of stranding in northeastern Brazilian coast. In contrast, K. breviceps appears to have a preference for temperate and productive waters. Wind speed results to be also an important factor for predicting Kogia strandings in Brazilian coast. Additionally, literature information in combination with our own data and analyses of stomach contents confirms that oceanic cephalopods constitute the primary nutritional source of both Kogia species. By using the available information as a qualitative proxy for habitat preference and feeding ecology, our study provides a novel and comprehensive assessment of Kogia stranding data in relation to environmental conditions along the Brazilian coast.

  18. Soil Organic Matter Quality of an Oxisol Affected by Plant Residues and Crop Sequence under No-Tillage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cora, Jose; Marcelo, Adolfo

    2013-04-01

    Plant residues are considered the primarily resource for soil organic matter (SOM) formation and the amounts and properties of plant litter are important controlling factors for the SOM quality. We determined the amounts, quality and decomposition rate of plant residues and the effects of summer and winter crop sequences on soil organic C (TOC) content, both particulate organic C (POC) and mineral-associated organic C (MOC) pools and humic substances in a Brazilian Rhodic Eutrudox soil under a no-tillage system. The organic C analysis in specifics pools used in this study was effective and should be adopted in tropical climates to evaluate the soil quality and the sustainability of various cropping systems. Continuous growth of soybean (Glycine max L. Merrill) on summer provided higher contents of soil POC and continuous growth of maize (Zea mays L.) provided higher soil humic acid and MOC contents. Summer soybean-maize rotation provided the higher plant diversity, which likely improved the soil microbial activity and the soil organic C consumption. The winter sunn hemp (Crotalaria juncea L.), pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp), oilseed radish (Raphanus sativus L.) and pearl millet (Pennisetum americanum (L.) Leeke) enhanced the soil MOC, a finding that is attributable to the higher N content of the crop residue. Sunn hemp and pigeon pea provided the higher soil POC content. Sunn hemp showed better performance and positive effects on the SOM quality, making it a suitable winter crop choice for tropical conditions with a warm and dry winter.

  19. Brazilian Microbiome Project: revealing the unexplored microbial diversity--challenges and prospects.

    PubMed

    Pylro, Victor Satler; Roesch, Luiz Fernando Wurdig; Ortega, José Miguel; do Amaral, Alexandre Morais; Tótola, Marcos Rogério; Hirsch, Penny Ruth; Rosado, Alexandre Soares; Góes-Neto, Aristóteles; da Costa da Silva, Artur Luiz; Rosa, Carlos Augusto; Morais, Daniel Kumazawa; Andreote, Fernando Dini; Duarte, Gabriela Frois; de Melo, Itamar Soares; Seldin, Lucy; Lambais, Márcio Rodrigues; Hungria, Mariangela; Peixoto, Raquel Silva; Kruger, Ricardo Henrique; Tsai, Siu Mui; Azevedo, Vasco

    2014-02-01

    The Brazilian Microbiome Project (BMP) aims to assemble a Brazilian Metagenomic Consortium/Database. At present, many metagenomic projects underway in Brazil are widely known. Our goal in this initiative is to co-ordinate and standardize these together with new projects to come. It is estimated that Brazil hosts approximately 20 % of the entire world's macroorganism biological diversity. It is 1 of the 17 countries that share nearly 70 % of the world's catalogued animal and plant species, and is recognized as one of the most megadiverse countries. At the end of 2012, Brazil has joined GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility), as associated member, to improve the access to the Brazilian biodiversity data in a free and open way. This was an important step toward increasing international collaboration and clearly shows the commitment of the Brazilian government in directing national policies toward sustainable development. Despite its importance, the Brazilian microbial diversity is still considered to be largely unknown, and it is clear that to maintain ecosystem dynamics and to sustainably manage land use, it is crucial to understand the biological and functional diversity of the system. This is the first attempt to collect and collate information about Brazilian microbial genetic and functional diversity in a systematic and holistic manner. The success of the BMP depends on a massive collaborative effort of both the Brazilian and international scientific communities, and therefore, we invite all colleagues to participate in this project.

  20. Contemporary and historic factors influence differently genetic differentiation and diversity in a tropical palm

    PubMed Central

    da Silva Carvalho, C; Ribeiro, M C; Côrtes, M C; Galetti, M; Collevatti, R G

    2015-01-01

    Population genetics theory predicts loss in genetic variability because of drift and inbreeding in isolated plant populations; however, it has been argued that long-distance pollination and seed dispersal may be able to maintain gene flow, even in highly fragmented landscapes. We tested how historical effective population size, historical migration and contemporary landscape structure, such as forest cover, patch isolation and matrix resistance, affect genetic variability and differentiation of seedlings in a tropical palm (Euterpe edulis) in a human-modified rainforest. We sampled 16 sites within five landscapes in the Brazilian Atlantic forest and assessed genetic variability and differentiation using eight microsatellite loci. Using a model selection approach, none of the covariates explained the variation observed in inbreeding coefficients among populations. The variation in genetic diversity among sites was best explained by historical effective population size. Allelic richness was best explained by historical effective population size and matrix resistance, whereas genetic differentiation was explained by matrix resistance. Coalescence analysis revealed high historical migration between sites within landscapes and constant historical population sizes, showing that the genetic differentiation is most likely due to recent changes caused by habitat loss and fragmentation. Overall, recent landscape changes have a greater influence on among-population genetic variation than historical gene flow process. As immediate restoration actions in landscapes with low forest amount, the development of more permeable matrices to allow the movement of pollinators and seed dispersers may be an effective strategy to maintain microevolutionary processes. PMID:25873150

  1. Nodule development on the tropical legume Sesbania virgata under flooded and non-flooded conditions.

    PubMed

    Bomfeti, C A; Ferreira, P A A; Carvalho, T S; De Rycke, R; Moreira, F M S; Goormachtig, S; Holsters, M

    2013-01-01

    The interaction between the Brazilian pioneer legume Sesbania virgata and its microsymbiont Azorhizobium doebereinerae leads to the formation of nitrogen-fixing nodules on roots that grow either in well-aerated soils or in wetlands. We studied the initiation and development of nodules under these alternative conditions. To this end, light and fluorescence microscopy were used to follow the bacterial colonisation and invasion into the host and, by means of transmission electron microscopy, we could observe the intracellular entry. Under hydroponic conditions, intercellular invasion took place at lateral root bases and mature nodules were round and determinate. However, on roots grown in vermiculite that allows aerated growth, bacteria also entered via root hair invasion and nodules were both of the determinate and indeterminate type. Such versatility in entry and developmental plasticity, as previously described in Sesbania rostrata, enables efficient nodulation in both dry and wet environments and are an important adaptive feature of this group of semi-tropical plants that grow in temporarily flooded habitats.

  2. Host specificity of insect herbivores in tropical forests.

    PubMed

    Novotny, Vojtech; Basset, Yves

    2005-06-07

    Studies of host specificity in tropical insect herbivores are evolving from a focus on insect distribution data obtained by canopy fogging and other mass collecting methods, to a focus on obtaining data on insect rearing and experimentally verified feeding patterns. We review this transition and identify persisting methodological problems. Replicated quantitative surveys of plant-herbivore food webs, based on sampling efforts of an order of magnitude greater than is customary at present, may be cost-effectively achieved by small research teams supported by local assistants. Survey designs that separate historical and ecological determinants of host specificity by studying herbivores feeding on the same plant species exposed to different environmental or experimental conditions are rare. Further, we advocate the use of host-specificity measures based on plant phylogeny. Existing data suggest that a minority of species in herbivore communities feed on a single plant species when alternative congeneric hosts are available. Thus, host plant range limits tend to coincide with those of plant genera, rather than species or suprageneric taxa. Host specificity among tropical herbivore guilds decreases in the sequence: granivores > leaf-miners > fructivore > leaf-chewers = sap-suckers > xylophages > root-feeders, thus paralleling patterns observed in temperate forests. Differences in host specificity between temperate and tropical forests are difficult to assess since data on tropical herbivores originate from recent field studies, whereas their temperate counterparts derive from regional host species lists, assembled over many years. No major increase in host specificity from temperate to tropical communities is evident. This conclusion, together with the recent downward revisions of extremely high estimates of tropical species richness, suggest that tropical ecosystems may not be as biodiverse as previously thought.

  3. Deforestation in the Tropics

    SciTech Connect

    Repetto, R. )

    1990-04-01

    Government policies that encourage exploitation--in particular excessive logging and clearing for ranches and farms--are largely to blame for the accelerating destruction of tropical forests. This paper surveys the problem in detail and briefly recommends potential solutions.

  4. Tropical Cyclone Nargis: 2008

    NASA Video Gallery

    This new animation, developed with the help of NASA's Pleiades supercomputer, illustrates how tropical cyclone Nargis formed in the Indian Ocean's Bay of Bengal over several days in late April 2008...

  5. Tropical Storm Faxai

    NASA Video Gallery

    NASA/JAXA's TRMM Satellite provided data of developing Tropical Storm Faxai to make this 3-D image that showed some towering thunderstorms in the area were reaching altitudes of up to 15.5km/~9.6 m...

  6. Tropical Storm Don

    NASA Video Gallery

    GOES-13 data was compiled into an animation by the NASA GOES Project at NASA Goddard that shows the development of Tropical Storm Don in the southern Gulf of Mexico, west of Cuba. The animation run...

  7. Tropical Storm Dolly Develops

    NASA Video Gallery

    This animation from NOAA's GOES-East satellite from Aug. 31-Sept. 2 shows the movement of a low pressure area from the western Caribbean Sea over the Yucatan Peninsula as it becomes Tropical Storm ...

  8. Tropical forests: present status and future outlook.

    PubMed

    Myers, N

    1991-09-01

    Tropical forests still cover almost 8 million km squared of the humid tropics but they are being destroyed at ever-more rapid rates. In 1989, the area deforested amounted to 142,200 km squared, or nearly 90% more than in 1979. Thus, whereas the 1989 amounted total to 1.8% of the remaining biome, the proportion could well continue to rise for the foreseeable future, until there is little forest in just a few decades. Deforestati on patterns are far from even throughout the biome. In much of the Southeast and Southern Asia, East and West Africa, and Central America, there is likely to be little forest left by the year 2000 or shortly thereafter. But in the Zaire basin, western Brazilian Amazonia, and the Guyana highlands, sizeable expanses of forest could persist a good while longer. The main agent of deforestation in the 'shifted cultivator' or displaced peasant, who, responding to land hunger and general lack of rural development in traditional farming areas of countries concerned, feels there is no alternative but to adopt a slash-and-burn lifestyle in forestlands. This person is now accounting for at least 60% of deforestation, a rapidly expanding proportion. However, he receives far less policy attention than the commercial logger, the cattle rancher, and other agents of deforestation.

  9. Tropical Cyclone Report, 1988

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1988-01-01

    TAIWAN NAVPGSCOL LIBRARY CITIES SERVICES OIL GAS CORP NAVPOLAROCEANCEN SUITLAND CIUDAD UNIVERSITARIA , MEXICO NAVAL RESEARCH LAB CIVIL DEFENSE, SAIPAN...The system software has been provided An effort is now underway to develop a to OAO Corporation for inclusion in the JTWC series of examples...winds in the range of 34 to speed, typically within one degree of the center of a 63 kt (17 to 32 m/sec) inclusive . tropical cyclone. TROPICAL UPPER

  10. Geochemistry of Brazilian oil shales

    SciTech Connect

    Neto, C.C.

    1983-02-01

    A general survey of the main brazilian oil shale formations presenting their location, oil reserve, age and stratigraphy introduces this paper. It is followed by a comparative survey of the data on chemical composition (elementary, minerals and organic constituents/biological markers) and of thermal alteration indexes in order to define their maturity. The geochemical phenomena involved with a large diabase intrusion in the Irati formation is particularly stressed. The analytical methods of Solid Phase Extraction and Functional Group Marker developed for the analysis of bitumens and kerogens and the results obtained from the application of these methods to brazilian oil shales are discussed. The paper ends with a brief description of a comprehensive analytical bibliography on brazilian oil shales prepared to serve as a data base for these organites.

  11. The value of trophic interactions for ecosystem function: dung beetle communities influence seed burial and seedling recruitment in tropical forests.

    PubMed

    Griffiths, Hannah M; Bardgett, Richard D; Louzada, Julio; Barlow, Jos

    2016-12-14

    Anthropogenic activities are causing species extinctions, raising concerns about the consequences of changing biological communities for ecosystem functioning. To address this, we investigated how dung beetle communities influence seed burial and seedling recruitment in the Brazilian Amazon. First, we conducted a burial and retrieval experiment using seed mimics. We found that dung beetle biomass had a stronger positive effect on the burial of large than small beads, suggesting that anthropogenic reductions in large-bodied beetles will have the greatest effect on the secondary dispersal of large-seeded plant species. Second, we established mesocosm experiments in which dung beetle communities buried Myrciaria dubia seeds to examine plant emergence and survival. Contrary to expectations, we found that beetle diversity and biomass negatively influenced seedling emergence, but positively affected the survival of seedlings that emerged. Finally, we conducted germination trials to establish the optimum burial depth of experimental seeds, revealing a negative relationship between burial depth and seedling emergence success. Our results provide novel evidence that seed burial by dung beetles may be detrimental for the emergence of some seed species. However, we also detected positive impacts of beetle activity on seedling recruitment, which are probably because of their influence on soil properties. Overall, this study provides new evidence that anthropogenic impacts on dung beetle communities could influence the structure of tropical forests; in particular, their capacity to regenerate and continue to provide valuable functions and services.

  12. Neglected Tropical Diseases outside the Tropics

    PubMed Central

    Norman, Francesca F.; Pérez de Ayala, Ana; Pérez-Molina, José-Antonio; Monge-Maillo, Begoña; Zamarrón, Pilar; López-Vélez, Rogelio

    2010-01-01

    Background The neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) cause significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. Due to the growth in international travel and immigration, NTDs may be diagnosed in countries of the western world, but there has been no specific focus in the literature on imported NTDs. Methods Retrospective study of a cohort of immigrants and travelers diagnosed with one of the 13 core NTDs at a Tropical Medicine Referral Unit in Spain during the period April 1989-December 2007. Area of origin or travel was recorded and analyzed. Results There were 6168 patients (2634 immigrants, 3277 travelers and 257 VFR travelers) in the cohort. NTDs occurred more frequently in immigrants, followed by VFR travelers and then by other travelers (p<0.001 for trend). The main NTDs diagnosed in immigrants were onchocerciasis (n = 240, 9.1%) acquired mainly in sub-Saharan Africa, Chagas disease (n = 95, 3.6%) in immigrants from South America, and ascariasis (n = 86, 3.3%) found mainly in immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa. Most frequent NTDs in travelers were: schistosomiasis (n = 43, 1.3%), onchocerciasis (n = 17, 0.5%) and ascariasis (n = 16, 0.5%), and all were mainly acquired in sub-Saharan Africa. The main NTDs diagnosed in VFR travelers were onchocerciasis (n = 14, 5.4%), and schistosomiasis (n = 2, 0.8%). Conclusions The concept of imported NTDs is emerging as these infections acquire a more public profile. Specific issues such as the possibility of non-vectorial transmission outside endemic areas and how some eradication programmes in endemic countries may have an impact even in non-tropical western countries are addressed. Recognising NTDs even outside tropical settings would allow specific prevention and control measures to be implemented and may create unique opportunities for research in future. PMID:20668546

  13. Tropical Deforestation and Habitat Fragmentation in the Amazon: Satellite Data from 1978 to 1988

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skole, David; Tucker, Compton

    1993-06-01

    Landsat satellite imagery covering the entire forested portion of the Brazilian Amazon Basin was used to measure, for 1978 and 1988, deforestation, fragmented forest, defined as areas less than 100 square kilometers surrounded by deforestation, and edge effects of 1 kilometer into forest from adjacent areas of deforestation. Tropical deforestation increased from 78,000 square kilometers in 1978 to 230,000 square kilometers in 1988 while tropical forest habitat, severely affected with respect to biological diversity, increased from 208,000 to 588,000 square kilometers. Although this rate of deforestation is lower than previous estimates, the effect on biological diversity is greater.

  14. Tropical deforestation and habitat fragmentation in the Amazon - Satellite data from 1978 to 1988

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Skole, David; Tucker, Compton

    1993-01-01

    Landsat satellite imagery covering the entire forested portion of the Brazilian Amazon Basin was used to measure, for 1978 and 1988, deforestation, fragmented forest, defined as areas less than 100 square kilometers surrounded by deforestation, and edge effects of 1 kilometer into forest from adjacent areas of deforestation. Tropical deforestation increased from 78,000 square kilometers in 1978 to 230,000 square kilometers in 1988 while tropical forest habitat, severely affected with respect to biological diversity, increased from 208,000 to 588,000 square kilometers. Although this rate of deforestation is lower than previous estimates, the effect on biological diversity is greater.

  15. Implementation of the Brazilian National Repository - RBMN Project - 13008

    SciTech Connect

    Cassia Oliveira de Tello, Cledola

    2013-07-01

    Ionizing radiation in Brazil is used in electricity generation, medicine, industry, agriculture and for research and development purposes. All these activities can generate radioactive waste. At this point, in Brazil, the use of nuclear energy and radioisotopes justifies the construction of a national repository for radioactive wastes of low and intermediate-level. According to Federal Law No. 10308, Brazilian National Commission for Nuclear Energy (CNEN) is responsible for designing and constructing the intermediate and final storages for radioactive wastes. Additionally, a restriction on the construction of Angra 3 is that the repository is under construction until its operation start, attaining some requirements of the Brazilian Environmental Regulator (IBAMA). Besides this NPP, in the National Energy Program is previewed the installation of four more plants, by 2030. In November 2008, CNEN launched the Project RBMN (Repository for Low and Intermediate-Level Radioactive Wastes), which aims at the implantation of a National Repository for disposal of low and intermediate-level of radiation wastes. This Project has some aspects that are unique in the Brazilian context, especially referring to the time between its construction and the end of its institutional period. This time is about 360 years, when the area will be released for unrestricted uses. It means that the Repository must be safe and secure for more than three hundred years, which is longer than half of the whole of Brazilian history. This aspect is very new for the Brazilian people, bringing a new dimension to public acceptance. Another point is this will be the first repository in South America, bringing a real challenge for the continent. The current status of the Project is summarized. (authors)

  16. [Research in tropical medicine].

    PubMed

    Dumas, Michel; Preux, Pierre-Marie

    2013-10-01

    In France, research in tropical medicine is carried out by the Institute for Research and Development (IRD), university-affiliated institutes, and other research organizations such as INSERM, CNRS and the Pasteur Institute. Currently, this research is highly fragmented and therefore inefficient. As a result, despite significant financial means, French research in this field is not sufficiently competitive. This research activity should be coordinated by creating a "federation ", that would 1) facilitate the sharing of material and human resources, thereby improving efficiency and resulting in cost savings; 2) valorize French research in tropical medicine and its expert know-how, thus favoring the nomination of French experts in large international research programs (French experts in tropical medicine are currently under-recognized); 3) attract young researchers from France and elsewhere; and 4) adapt to the ongoing demographic and economic evolution of tropical countries. The creation of a Federation of French researchers would also make research in tropical medicine more visible. The objectives to which it leads already must include 1) a better understanding of the priorities of countries in the southern hemisphere, taking into account the social, cultural and economic contexts and ensuring the consistency of current and future projects ; 2) strengthening of research networks in close and equal partnership with researchers in the southern hemisphere, with pooling of resources (scientific, human and material) to reach the critical mass required for major projects ; 3) promoting the emergence of centers of excellence for health research in tropical countries ; and 4) contributing more effectively to training, because there can be no training without research, and no research without training This consolidation will help to empower research in tropical medicine, as in other Western countries, and will allow France to recover the place it deserves. The specific

  17. Sustainability in Brazilian Federal Universities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Palma, Lisiane Celia; de Oliveira, Lessandra M.; Viacava, Keitiline R.

    2011-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to identify the number of courses related to sustainability offered in bachelor degree programs of business administration in Brazilian federal universities. Design/methodology/approach: An exploratory research was carried out based on a descriptive scope. The process of mapping federal universities in Brazil…

  18. Gramscian Thought and Brazilian Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dore, Rosemary

    2009-01-01

    In the history of Brazilian education, it is only since the 1980s, during the redemocratization of Brazil, that proposals for public education in a socialist perspective have been presented. The past two decades have been marked by a growing interest in Gramscian thought, mainly in the educational field, making possible the elaboration of…

  19. [Bioethics and Brazilian health policies].

    PubMed

    Zoboli, Elma; Fortes, Paulo Antonio de Carvalho

    2008-01-01

    In Brazil, bioethics has developed within specific social circumstances taking into account public health issues. In addition, this article analyses the ethical principles of the Brazilian healthcare system issued from the 1988 Federal Constitution which made healthcare a universal right for all citizens. The goal of this system is to provide universal care through an equity policy pertaining to the distribution of resources.

  20. Sensitivity Analysis of Remote Sensing Data: Comparing the Response of Vegetation Indices in Tropical Areas.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonifaz, R.

    2005-12-01

    During the past two decades, satellite remote sensing systems possessing high temporal resolution, but typically moderate or coarse spatial resolution, have increasingly been used to characterize and map vegetation dynamics. Assessing the seasonality of tropical vegetation has, however, been especially challenging. Tropical regimes of temperature and precipitation are generally less variable and pronounced than those in other biomes, and variations in plant growth are often more subtle. Using samples from selected tropical land cover types (tropical rain forest, tropical grasses, tropical deciduous forest, mixed forest and agricultural areas), sensitivity analysis will be carried out comparing different 'greenness' indices such as the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), the Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) and the Wide Dynamic Range Vegetation Index (WDRVI) derived from the MODIS/TERRA sensor. This analysis will potentially allow the selection of the best index to describe the particular behavior of tropical vegetation for further characterization of seasonal changes of such areas.

  1. Trichuris trichiura in a post-Colonial Brazilian mummy

    PubMed Central

    Bianucci, Rafaella; Torres, Eduardo J Lopes; Santiago, Juliana MF Dutra; Ferreira, Luis F; Nerlich, Andreas G; de Souza, Sheila Maria Mendonça; Giuffra, Valentina; Chieffi, Pedro Paulo; Bastos, Otilio Machado; Travassos, Renata; de Souza, Wanderley; Araújo, Adauto

    2015-01-01

    Trichuris trichiura is a soil-transmitted helminth which is prevalent in warm, moist, tropical and subtropical regions of the world with poor sanitation. Heavy whipworm can result either in Trichuris dysenteric syndrome - especially in children - or in a chronic colitis. In heavy infections, worms can spread proximally and may cause ileitis. Here we provide first microscopic evidence for a T. trichiura adult worm embedded in the rectum of a post-Colonial Brazilian adult mummy. During Colonial and post-Colonial times, many European chroniclers described a parasitic disease named Maculo whose symptomatology coincides with heavy helminthiasis. Based on our findings and on comparison of ancient textual evidence with modern description of heavy whipworm, we feel confident in considering that the two syndromes are expressions of the same pathological condition. PMID:25742276

  2. Deforestation and Biogenic Trace Emissions from Brazilian Cerrado

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sinha, Ravi; Geol, P.

    1996-01-01

    The overall goal of NASA's SCAR (Smoke, Cloud and Radiation) Program is to obtain physical and chemical properties of the smoke produced by biomass burning and the effects of the smoke on the earth's radiation balance and climate. It is a joint project with the Brazilian government and their organizations, including INPE (Instituto Nacional Pesquisas Espaciais) who actively participate in all activities. Appropriate estimates of the biomass buming in the tropics is therefore essential to determine its effect on the atmosphere and on climate. The SCAR series of experiments is designed with that purpose. The present study of evaluating the burnt-out areas is to augment the data collected to date to help evaluate the effect of biomass burning.

  3. Grey swan tropical cyclones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Ning; Emanuel, Kerry

    2016-01-01

    We define `grey swan’ tropical cyclones as high-impact storms that would not be predicted based on history but may be foreseeable using physical knowledge together with historical data. Here we apply a climatological-hydrodynamic method to estimate grey swan tropical cyclone storm surge threat for three highly vulnerable coastal regions. We identify a potentially large risk in the Persian Gulf, where tropical cyclones have never been recorded, and larger-than-expected threats in Cairns, Australia, and Tampa, Florida. Grey swan tropical cyclones striking Tampa, Cairns and Dubai can generate storm surges of about 6 m, 5.7 m and 4 m, respectively, with estimated annual exceedance probabilities of about 1/10,000. With climate change, these probabilities can increase significantly over the twenty-first century (to 1/3,100-1/1,100 in the middle and 1/2,500-1/700 towards the end of the century for Tampa). Worse grey swan tropical cyclones, inducing surges exceeding 11 m in Tampa and 7 m in Dubai, are also revealed with non-negligible probabilities, especially towards the end of the century.

  4. Measurement of glomerular filtration rate using inulin prepared from Vernonia herbacea, a Brazilian native species.

    PubMed

    Dias-Tagliacozzo, G M; Dietrich, S M; Mello-Aires, M

    1996-10-01

    Vernonia herbacea (Vell.) Rusby (Asteraceae) is a perennial herb native to the cerrado vegetation of tropical areas in Brazil, which accumulates inulin in the underground reserve organs. The aim of this paper was to determine whether the inulin extracted from V. herbacea could replace commercial inulin for the measurement of glomerular filtration rate (GFR). Underground organs of vegetative plants were collected from a preserved area of the Brazilian cerrado. The inulin fraction utilized was obtained by ethanol precipitation after discarding the high molecular mass fructans in the freeze-thawing precipitate. GFR was determined in male Wistar rats anesthetized with inactin (100 mg/kg), which received intravenously commercial inulin obtained from Dahlia sp (Sigma) or Vernonia herbacea inulin (30 mg/100 g) as a priming dose and 0.05 mg min-1 100 g-1 as a sustaining dose in isotonic saline at the rate of 0/055 ml/min. Clearance was determined during 3 periods, with urine collected from the bladder and blood from the carotid artery. There was no significant difference in the GFR measured by clearance in inulin from both sources even when the plasma concentration of inulin from V. herbacea was doubled. The mean arterial pressure did not vary after the application of both inulins, indicating that they do not produce systemic side effects. The filtered load and the excreted amount of inulin from V. herbacea were equal, showing that the substance is not influenced by tubular function. These results demonstrate that the inulin from V. herbacea can substitute for imported inulin for the determination of GFR and in experiments of kidney microperfusion as a marker of tubular water reabsorption.

  5. Mini-review: Brazilian fungi diversity for biomass degradation.

    PubMed

    Valencia, Estela Y; Chambergo, Felipe S

    2013-11-01

    Brazil houses over 10% of the total number of known species on Earth, with a great diversity of plants and fungi. The collection, isolation, identification and conservation of filamentous fungi with relevance to agriculture, pharmaceutical, food and biotechnological industries in Biological Resource Centers (CRBs) is very important to the development of a nation's scientific and technological infrastructure. In Brazil, 36 fungal collections are registered in the database of International Collections. Several federal and state programs have encouraged the formation of a researcher's network in order to study natural resources and the nation's biodiversity. In this context, Brazilian researchers have been on the frontiers of knowledge, investigating the enzymatic systems from native filamentous fungi with potential for biomass degradation and biotechnological application. In this review, we address recent progress in Brazilian fungal research, focusing on the identification and study of fungi and enzymes with potential for biomass degradation and application in bioenergy.

  6. Defaunation affects carbon storage in tropical forests.

    PubMed

    Bello, Carolina; Galetti, Mauro; Pizo, Marco A; Magnago, Luiz Fernando S; Rocha, Mariana F; Lima, Renato A F; Peres, Carlos A; Ovaskainen, Otso; Jordano, Pedro

    2015-12-01

    Carbon storage is widely acknowledged as one of the most valuable forest ecosystem services. Deforestation, logging, fragmentation, fire, and climate change have significant effects on tropical carbon stocks; however, an elusive and yet undetected decrease in carbon storage may be due to defaunation of large seed dispersers. Many large tropical trees with sizeable contributions to carbon stock rely on large vertebrates for seed dispersal and regeneration, however many of these frugivores are threatened by hunting, illegal trade, and habitat loss. We used a large data set on tree species composition and abundance, seed, fruit, and carbon-related traits, and plant-animal interactions to estimate the loss of carbon storage capacity of tropical forests in defaunated scenarios. By simulating the local extinction of trees that depend on large frugivores in 31 Atlantic Forest communities, we found that defaunation has the potential to significantly erode carbon storage even when only a small proportion of large-seeded trees are extirpated. Although intergovernmental policies to reduce carbon emissions and reforestation programs have been mostly focused on deforestation, our results demonstrate that defaunation, and the loss of key ecological interactions, also poses a serious risk for the maintenance of tropical forest carbon storage.

  7. Defaunation affects carbon storage in tropical forests

    PubMed Central

    Bello, Carolina; Galetti, Mauro; Pizo, Marco A.; Magnago, Luiz Fernando S.; Rocha, Mariana F.; Lima, Renato A. F.; Peres, Carlos A.; Ovaskainen, Otso; Jordano, Pedro

    2015-01-01

    Carbon storage is widely acknowledged as one of the most valuable forest ecosystem services. Deforestation, logging, fragmentation, fire, and climate change have significant effects on tropical carbon stocks; however, an elusive and yet undetected decrease in carbon storage may be due to defaunation of large seed dispersers. Many large tropical trees with sizeable contributions to carbon stock rely on large vertebrates for seed dispersal and regeneration, however many of these frugivores are threatened by hunting, illegal trade, and habitat loss. We used a large data set on tree species composition and abundance, seed, fruit, and carbon-related traits, and plant-animal interactions to estimate the loss of carbon storage capacity of tropical forests in defaunated scenarios. By simulating the local extinction of trees that depend on large frugivores in 31 Atlantic Forest communities, we found that defaunation has the potential to significantly erode carbon storage even when only a small proportion of large-seeded trees are extirpated. Although intergovernmental policies to reduce carbon emissions and reforestation programs have been mostly focused on deforestation, our results demonstrate that defaunation, and the loss of key ecological interactions, also poses a serious risk for the maintenance of tropical forest carbon storage. PMID:26824067

  8. Discrimination And Biophysical Characterization Of Brazilian Cerrado Physiognomies With Eo-1 Hyperspectral Hyperion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miura, Tomoaki; Huete, Alfredo R.; Ferreira, Laerte G.; Sano, Edson E.

    2004-01-01

    The savanna, typically found in the sub-tropics and seasonal tropics, are the dominant vegetation biome type in the southern hemisphere, covering approximately 45% of the South America. In Brazil, the savanna, locally known as "cerrado," is the most intensely stressed biome with both natural environmental pressures (e.g., the strong seasonality in weather, extreme soil nutrient impoverishment, and widespread fire occurrences) and rapid/aggressive land conversions (Skole et al., 1994; Ratter et al., 1997). Better characterization and discrimination of cerrado physiognomies are needed in order to improve understanding of cerrado dynamics and its impact on carbon storage, nutrient dynamics, and the prospect for sustainable land use in the Brazilian cerrado biome. Satellite remote sensing have been known to be a useful tool for land cover and land use mapping (Rougharden et al., 1991; Hansen et al., 2000). However, attempts to discriminate and classify Brazilian cerrado using multi-spectral sensors (e.g., Landsat TM) and/or moderate resolution sensors (e.g., NOAA AVHRR NDVI) have often resulted in a limited success due partly to small contrasts depicted in their multiband, spectral reflectance or vegetation index values among cerrado classes (Seyler et al., 2002; Fran a and Setzer, 1998). In this study, we aimed to improve discrimination as well as biophysical characterization of the Brazilian cerrado physiognomies with hyperspectral remote sensing. We used Hyperion, the first satellite-based hyperspectral imager, onboard the Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) platform.

  9. Tropical cyclone formation

    SciTech Connect

    Montgomery, M.T.; Farrell, B.F. )

    1993-01-15

    The physics of tropical cyclone formation is not well understood, and more is known about the mature hurricane than the formative mechanisms that produce it. It is believed part of the reason for this can be traced to insufficient upper-level atmospheric data. Recent observations suggest that tropical cyclones are initiated by asymmetric interactions associated with migratory upper-level potential vorticity disturbances and low-level disturbances. Favored theories of cyclones formation, however, focus on internal processes associated with cumulus convection and/or air-sea interaction. This work focuses on external mechanisms of cyclone formation and, using both a two- and three-dimensional moist geostrophic momentum model, investigates the role of upper-level potential vorticity disturbances on the formation process. A conceptual model of tropical cyclone formation is proposed, and implications of the theory are discussed. 71 refs., 5 figs., 1 tab.

  10. Tropical forecasting - Predictability perspective

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shukla, J.

    1989-01-01

    Results are presented of classical predictability studies and forecast experiments with observed initial conditions to show the nature of initial error growth and final error equilibration for the tropics and midlatitudes, separately. It is found that the theoretical upper limit of tropical circulation predictability is far less than for midlatitudes. The error growth for a complete general circulation model is compared to a dry version of the same model in which there is no prognostic equation for moisture, and diabatic heat sources are prescribed. It is found that the growth rate of synoptic-scale errors for the dry model is significantly smaller than for the moist model, suggesting that the interactions between dynamics and moist processes are among the important causes of atmospheric flow predictability degradation. Results are then presented of numerical experiments showing that correct specification of the slowly varying boundary condition of SST produces significant improvement in the prediction of time-averaged circulation and rainfall over the tropics.

  11. Phylobetadiversity among Forest Types in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest Complex

    PubMed Central

    Duarte, Leandro Da Silva; Bergamin, Rodrigo Scarton; Marcilio-Silva, Vinícius; Seger, Guilherme Dubal Dos Santos; Marques, Márcia Cristina Mendes

    2014-01-01

    Phylobetadiversity is defined as the phylogenetic resemblance between communities or biomes. Analyzing phylobetadiversity patterns among different vegetation physiognomies within a single biome is crucial to understand the historical affinities between them. Based on the widely accepted idea that different forest physiognomies within the Southern Brazilian Atlantic Forest constitute different facies of a single biome, we hypothesize that more recent phylogenetic nodes should drive phylobetadiversity gradients between the different forest types within the Atlantic Forest, as the phylogenetic divergence among those forest types is biogeographically recent. We compiled information from 206 checklists describing the occurrence of shrub/tree species across three different forest physiognomies within the Southern Brazilian Atlantic Forest (Dense, Mixed and Seasonal forests). We analyzed intra-site phylogenetic structure (phylogenetic diversity, net relatedness index and nearest taxon index) and phylobetadiversity between plots located at different forest types, using five different methods differing in sensitivity to either basal or terminal nodes (phylogenetic fuzzy weighting, COMDIST, COMDISTNT, UniFrac and Rao’s H). Mixed forests showed higher phylogenetic diversity and overdispersion than the other forest types. Furthermore, all forest types differed from each other in relation phylobetadiversity patterns, particularly when phylobetadiversity methods more sensitive to terminal nodes were employed. Mixed forests tended to show higher phylogenetic differentiation to Dense and Seasonal forests than these latter from each other. The higher phylogenetic diversity and phylobetadiversity levels found in Mixed forests when compared to the others likely result from the biogeographical origin of several taxa occurring in these forests. On one hand, Mixed forests shelter several temperate taxa, like the conifers Araucaria and Podocarpus. On the other hand, tropical groups

  12. Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    Tropical rainfall affects the lives and economics of a majority of the Earth's population. Tropical rain systems, such as hurricanes, typhoons, and monsoons, are crucial to sustaining the livelihoods of those living in the tropics. Excess rainfall can cause floods and great property and crop damage, whereas too little rainfall can cause drought and crop failure. The latent heat release during the process of precipitation is a major source of energy that drives the atmospheric circulation. This latent heat can intensify weather systems, affecting weather thousands of kilometers away, thus making tropical rainfall an important indicator of atmospheric circulation and short-term climate change. Tropical forests and the underlying soils are major sources of many of the atmosphere's trace constituents. Together, the forests and the atmosphere act as a water-energy regulating system. Most of the rainfall is returned to the atmosphere through evaporation and transpiration, and the atmospheric trace constituents take part in the recycling process. Hence, the hydrological cycle provides a direct link between tropical rainfall and the global cycles of carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur, all important trace materials for the Earth's system. Because rainfall is such an important component in the interactions between the ocean, atmosphere, land, and the biosphere, accurate measurements of rainfall are crucial to understanding the workings of the Earth-atmosphere system. The large spatial and temporal variability of rainfall systems, however, poses a major challenge to estimating global rainfall. So far, there has been a lack of rain gauge networks, especially over the oceans, which points to satellite measurement as the only means by which global observation of rainfall can be made. The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM), jointly sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of the United States and the National Space Development Agency (NASDA) of

  13. Low Carbon Costs of Nitrogen Fixation in Tropical Dry Forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gei, M. G.; Powers, J. S.

    2015-12-01

    Legume tree species with the ability to fix nitrogen (N) are highly diverse and widespread across tropical forests but in particular in the dry tropics. Their ecological success in lower latitudes has been called a "paradox": soil N in the tropics is thought to be high, while acquiring N through fixation incurs high energetic costs. However, the long held assumptions that N fixation is limited by photosynthate and that N fixation penalizes plant productivity have rarely been tested, particularly in legume tree species. We show results from three different experiments where we grew eleven species of tropical dry forest legumes. We quantified plant biomass and N fixation using nodulation and the 15N natural isotope abundance (Ndfa or nitrogen derived from fixation). These data show little evidence for costs of N fixation in seedlings grown under different soil fertility, light regimes, and with different microbial communities. Seedling productivity did not incur major costs because of N fixation: indeed, the average slope between Ndfa and biomass was positive (range in slopes: -0.03 to 0.3). Moreover, foliar N, which varied among species, was tightly constrained and not correlated with Ndfa. This finding implies that legume species have a target N that does not change depending on N acquisition strategies. The process of N fixation in tropical legumes may be more carbon efficient than previously thought. This view is more consistent with the hyperabundance of members of this family in tropical ecosystems.

  14. Lacunarity as a texture measure for a tropical forest landscape

    SciTech Connect

    Su, Haiping; Krummel, J.

    1996-01-01

    Fragmentation and loss of tropical forest cover alters terrestrial plant and animal population dynamics, reduces biodiversity and carbon storage capacity, and, as a global phenomenon could affect regional and global climate patterns. Lacunarity as a texture measure can offer a simple solution to characterize the texture of tropical forest landscape and determine spatial patterns associated with ecological processes. Lacunarity quantifies the deviation from translational invariance by describing the distribution of gaps within a binary image at multiple scales. As lacunarity increases, the spatial arrangement of tropical forest gaps will also increase. In this study, we used the Spatial Modeler in Imagine as a graphic programming tool to calculate lacunarity indices for a tropical forest landscape in Southern Mexico and Northern Guatemala. Lacunarity indices were derived from classified Landsat MSS images acquired in 1974 and 1984. Random-generated binary images were also used to derive lacunarity indices and compared with the lacunarity of forest patterns derived from the classified MSS images. Tropical forest area declined about 17%, with most of the forest areas converted into pasture/grassland for grazing. During this period, lacunarity increased about 25%. Results of this study suggest that tropical forest fragmentation could be quantified with lacunarity measures. The study also demonstrated that the Spatial Modeler can be useful as a programming tool to quantify spatial patterns of tropical forest landscape by using remotely sensed data.

  15. Evidence of Natural Hybridization in Brazilian Wild Lineages of Saccharomyces cerevisiae

    PubMed Central

    Barbosa, Raquel; Almeida, Pedro; Safar, Silvana V.B.; Santos, Renata Oliveira; Morais, Paula B.; Nielly-Thibault, Lou; Leducq, Jean-Baptiste; Landry, Christian R.; Gonçalves, Paula; Rosa, Carlos A.; Sampaio, José Paulo

    2016-01-01

    The natural biology of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the best known unicellular model eukaryote, remains poorly documented and understood although recent progress has started to change this situation. Studies carried out recently in the Northern Hemisphere revealed the existence of wild populations associated with oak trees in North America, Asia, and in the Mediterranean region. However, in spite of these advances, the global distribution of natural populations of S. cerevisiae, especially in regions were oaks and other members of the Fagaceae are absent, is not well understood. Here we investigate the occurrence of S. cerevisiae in Brazil, a tropical region where oaks and other Fagaceae are absent. We report a candidate natural habitat of S. cerevisiae in South America and, using whole-genome data, we uncover new lineages that appear to have as closest relatives the wild populations found in North America and Japan. A population structure analysis revealed the penetration of the wine genotype into the wild Brazilian population, a first observation of the impact of domesticated microbe lineages on the genetic structure of wild populations. Unexpectedly, the Brazilian population shows conspicuous evidence of hybridization with an American population of Saccharomyces paradoxus. Introgressions from S. paradoxus were significantly enriched in genes encoding secondary active transmembrane transporters. We hypothesize that hybridization in tropical wild lineages may have facilitated the habitat transition accompanying the colonization of the tropical ecosystem. PMID:26782936

  16. Evidence of Natural Hybridization in Brazilian Wild Lineages of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    PubMed

    Barbosa, Raquel; Almeida, Pedro; Safar, Silvana V B; Santos, Renata Oliveira; Morais, Paula B; Nielly-Thibault, Lou; Leducq, Jean-Baptiste; Landry, Christian R; Gonçalves, Paula; Rosa, Carlos A; Sampaio, José Paulo

    2016-01-18

    The natural biology of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the best known unicellular model eukaryote, remains poorly documented and understood although recent progress has started to change this situation. Studies carried out recently in the Northern Hemisphere revealed the existence of wild populations associated with oak trees in North America, Asia, and in the Mediterranean region. However, in spite of these advances, the global distribution of natural populations of S. cerevisiae, especially in regions were oaks and other members of the Fagaceae are absent, is not well understood. Here we investigate the occurrence of S. cerevisiae in Brazil, a tropical region where oaks and other Fagaceae are absent. We report a candidate natural habitat of S. cerevisiae in South America and, using whole-genome data, we uncover new lineages that appear to have as closest relatives the wild populations found in North America and Japan. A population structure analysis revealed the penetration of the wine genotype into the wild Brazilian population, a first observation of the impact of domesticated microbe lineages on the genetic structure of wild populations. Unexpectedly, the Brazilian population shows conspicuous evidence of hybridization with an American population of Saccharomyces paradoxus. Introgressions from S. paradoxus were significantly enriched in genes encoding secondary active transmembrane transporters. We hypothesize that hybridization in tropical wild lineages may have facilitated the habitat transition accompanying the colonization of the tropical ecosystem.

  17. Tropical rainforest response to marine sky brightening climate engineering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muri, Helene; Niemeier, Ulrike; Kristjánsson, Jón Egill

    2015-04-01

    Tropical forests represent a major atmospheric carbon dioxide sink. Here the gross primary productivity (GPP) response of tropical rainforests to climate engineering via marine sky brightening under a future scenario is investigated in three Earth system models. The model response is diverse, and in two of the three models, the tropical GPP shows a decrease from the marine sky brightening climate engineering. Partial correlation analysis indicates precipitation to be important in one of those models, while precipitation and temperature are limiting factors in the other. One model experiences a reversal of its Amazon dieback under marine sky brightening. There, the strongest partial correlation of GPP is to temperature and incoming solar radiation at the surface. Carbon fertilization provides a higher future tropical rainforest GPP overall, both with and without climate engineering. Salt damage to plants and soils could be an important aspect of marine sky brightening.

  18. Economic impact of tropical soda apple (Solanum viarum) on Florida cattle production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A written survey administered to 3,500 Florida cattle producers in 2006 documented tropical soda apple, as the most common pasture weed across the state of Florida. Over 80% of the survey respondents reported tropical soda apple on their ranches, and over 65% declared the plant to be a major proble...

  19. Rain Forests: Tropical Treasures.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Braus, Judy, Ed.

    1989-01-01

    Ranger Rick's NatureScope is a creative education series dedicated to inspiring in children an understanding and appreciation of the natural world while developing the skills they will need to make responsible decisions about the environment. The topic of this issue is "Rain Forests: Tropical Treasures." Contents are organized into the…

  20. NRL Tropical Exposure Facilities

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1947-04-01

    canal. To the east, on the opposite side of Limon Bay, lies Cristobal , Coco Solo, and Colon . Travel between Fort Sherman and Cristobal is accomplished...precision equipment. I 4 NRL TROPICAL EXPOSURE FACILITIES 5 Accessibility Proximity of the station to the port of Cristobal and to the Naval Air Station

  1. Effects of plants containing secondary compounds and plant oils on rumen fermentation and ecology.

    PubMed

    Wanapat, Metha; Kongmun, Pongthon; Poungchompu, Onanong; Cherdthong, Anusorn; Khejornsart, Pichad; Pilajun, Ruangyote; Kaenpakdee, Sujittra

    2012-03-01

    A number of experiments have been conducted to investigate effects of tropical plants containing condensed tannins and/or saponins present in tropical plants and some plant oils on rumen fermentation and ecology in ruminants. Based on both in vitro and in vivo trials, the results revealed important effects on rumen microorganisms and fermentation including methane production. Incorporation and/or supplementation of these plants containing secondary metabolites have potential for improving rumen ecology and subsequently productivity in ruminants.

  2. [Brazilian migration to North America].

    PubMed

    Goza, F

    1992-01-01

    "This article is a comparative study of Brazilian immigration to Canada and the United States. Analyses of recently collected data, in Toronto, Ontario, as well as in a medium sized U.S. community permit this study to examine the adaptation and adjustment experiences of a new group of immigrants to North America. This article begins with a discussion of the origins of this recent immigrant group, and its rapid expansion. Next, this study focuses on the labor force activities of Brazilian immigrants and compares and contrasts their experiences in the U.S. and Canada. A final section examines social adaptation in North America by exploring linguistic and cultural dimensions." (SUMMARY IN ENG)

  3. Brazilian immigration to North America.

    PubMed

    Goza, F

    1994-01-01

    "This article is a comparative study of Brazilian immigration to Canada and the United States. Analysis of recently collected data in Toronto, Ontario and in a medium-size U.S. community facilitated the examination of the adaptation and adjustment experiences of a new group of immigrants to North America. This article begins with a discussion of the origins of this recent immigrant group and its rapid expansion. Next, it focuses on the labor force activities of Brazilian immigrants and compares and contrasts their experiences in the United States and Canada. A final section examines social adaptation in North America by exploring linguistic and cultural dimensions. This article closes with a section on the future aspirations of these immigrants."

  4. Dilemmas of Brazilian Grand Strategy

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-08-01

    ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR( S ) 5d. PROJECT NUMBER 5e. TASK NUMBER 5f. WORK UNIT NUMBER 7. PERFORMING ORGANIZATION NAME( S ) AND ADDRESS(ES) U.S. Army War...NAME( S ) AND ADDRESS(ES) 10. SPONSOR/MONITOR’S ACRONYM( S ) 11. SPONSOR/MONITOR’S REPORT NUMBER( S ) 12. DISTRIBUTION/AVAILABILITY STATEMENT Approved... energy . Brazilian officials argue that IBSA carries ex- tra legitimacy because its members are all developing, multicultural democracies, and

  5. Assessing Tropical Cyclone Damage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Done, J.; Czajkowski, J.

    2012-12-01

    Landfalling tropical cyclones impact large coastal and inland areas causing direct damage due to winds, storm-surge flooding, tornadoes, and precipitation; as well as causing substantial indirect damage such as electrical outages and business interruption. The likely climate change impact of increased tropical cyclone intensity, combined with increases in exposure, bring the possibility of increased damage in the future. A considerable amount of research has focused on modeling economic damage due to tropical cyclones, and a series of indices have been developed to assess damages under climate change. We highlight a number of ways this research can be improved through a series of case study analyses. First, historical loss estimates are revisited to properly account for; time, impacted regions, the source of damage by type, and whether the damage was direct/indirect and insured/uninsured. Second, the drivers of loss from both the socio-economic and physical side are examined. A case is made to move beyond the use of maximum wind speed to more stable metrics and the use of other characteristics of the wind field such as direction, degree of gustiness, and duration is explored. A novel approach presented here is the potential to model losses directly as a function of climate variables such as sea surface temperature, greenhouse gases, and aerosols. This work is the first stage in the development of a tropical cyclone loss model to enable projections of losses under scenarios of both socio-economic change (such as population migration or altered policy) and physical change (such as shifts in tropical cyclone activity one from basin to another or within the same basin).

  6. Mapping Brazilian Pepper Infestations in South Texas with Spatial Information Technologies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Brazilian pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius), an evergreen shrub or tree indigenous to Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina, was introduced into the United States as an ornamental. This plant has an aggressive growth habit that allows it to establish, spread, and displace native vegetation, resulting in ...

  7. Urgent need for warming experiments in tropical forests.

    PubMed

    Cavaleri, Molly A; Reed, Sasha C; Smith, W Kolby; Wood, Tana E

    2015-06-01

    Although tropical forests account for only a fraction of the planet's terrestrial surface, they exchange more carbon dioxide with the atmosphere than any other biome on Earth, and thus play a disproportionate role in the global climate. In the next 20 years, the tropics will experience unprecedented warming, yet there is exceedingly high uncertainty about their potential responses to this imminent climatic change. Here, we prioritize research approaches given both funding and logistical constraints in order to resolve major uncertainties about how tropical forests function and also to improve predictive capacity of earth system models. We investigate overall model uncertainty of tropical latitudes and explore the scientific benefits and inevitable trade-offs inherent in large-scale manipulative field experiments. With a Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 analysis, we found that model variability in projected net ecosystem production was nearly 3 times greater in the tropics than for any other latitude. Through a review of the most current literature, we concluded that manipulative warming experiments are vital to accurately predict future tropical forest carbon balance, and we further recommend the establishment of a network of comparable studies spanning gradients of precipitation, edaphic qualities, plant types, and/or land use change. We provide arguments for long-term, single-factor warming experiments that incorporate warming of the most biogeochemically active ecosystem components (i.e. leaves, roots, soil microbes). Hypothesis testing of underlying mechanisms should be a priority, along with improving model parameterization and constraints. No single tropical forest is representative of all tropical forests; therefore logistical feasibility should be the most important consideration for locating large-scale manipulative experiments. Above all, we advocate for multi-faceted research programs, and we offer arguments for what we consider the most

  8. Urgent need for warming experiments in tropical forests

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Calaveri, Molly A.; Reed, Sasha C.; Smith, W. Kolby; Wood, Tana E.

    2015-01-01

    Although tropical forests account for only a fraction of the planet's terrestrial surface, they exchange more carbon dioxide with the atmosphere than any other biome on Earth, and thus play a disproportionate role in the global climate. In the next 20 years, the tropics will experience unprecedented warming, yet there is exceedingly high uncertainty about their potential responses to this imminent climatic change. Here, we prioritize research approaches given both funding and logistical constraints in order to resolve major uncertainties about how tropical forests function and also to improve predictive capacity of earth system models. We investigate overall model uncertainty of tropical latitudes and explore the scientific benefits and inevitable trade-offs inherent in large-scale manipulative field experiments. With a Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 analysis, we found that model variability in projected net ecosystem production was nearly 3 times greater in the tropics than for any other latitude. Through a review of the most current literature, we concluded that manipulative warming experiments are vital to accurately predict future tropical forest carbon balance, and we further recommend the establishment of a network of comparable studies spanning gradients of precipitation, edaphic qualities, plant types, and/or land use change. We provide arguments for long-term, single-factor warming experiments that incorporate warming of the most biogeochemically active ecosystem components (i.e. leaves, roots, soil microbes). Hypothesis testing of underlying mechanisms should be a priority, along with improving model parameterization and constraints. No single tropical forest is representative of all tropical forests; therefore logistical feasibility should be the most important consideration for locating large-scale manipulative experiments. Above all, we advocate for multi-faceted research programs, and we offer arguments for what we consider the most

  9. The underestimated biodiversity of tropical grassy biomes.

    PubMed

    Murphy, Brett P; Andersen, Alan N; Parr, Catherine L

    2016-09-19

    For decades, there has been enormous scientific interest in tropical savannahs and grasslands, fuelled by the recognition that they are a dynamic and potentially unstable biome, requiring periodic disturbance for their maintenance. However, that scientific interest has not translated into widespread appreciation of, and concern about threats to, their biodiversity. In terms of biodiversity, grassy biomes are considered poor cousins of the other dominant biome of the tropics-forests. Simple notions of grassy biomes being species-poor cannot be supported; for some key taxa, such as vascular plants, this may be valid, but for others it is not. Here, we use an analysis of existing data to demonstrate that high-rainfall tropical grassy biomes (TGBs) have vertebrate species richness comparable with that of forests, despite having lower plant diversity. The Neotropics stand out in terms of both overall vertebrate species richness and number of range-restricted vertebrate species in TGBs. Given high rates of land-cover conversion in Neotropical grassy biomes, they should be a high priority for conservation and greater inclusion in protected areas. Fire needs to be actively maintained in these systems, and in many cases re-introduced after decades of inappropriate fire exclusion. The relative intactness of TGBs in Africa and Australia make them the least vulnerable to biodiversity loss in the immediate future. We argue that, like forests, TGBs should be recognized as a critical-but increasingly threatened-store of global biodiversity.This article is part of the themed issue 'Tropical grassy biomes: linking ecology, human use and conservation'.

  10. Variation in the outcomes of an ant-plant system: fire and leaf fungus infection reduce benefits to plants with extrafloral nectaries.

    PubMed

    Pires, L P; Del-Claro, K

    2014-01-01

    Interactions between species are evolutionary malleable and may suffer changes in small timescales. Environmental disturbances, such as fire, can deeply affect species interactions, but how they influence the outcome of a mutualistic interaction has yet to be studied. In order to test the hypothesis that an environmental disturbance, in this case fire, may produce differences in the outcome of the association of ants with the extrafloral-nectaries-bearing plant Qualea multiflora Mart. (Myrtales: Vochysiaceae), a previous study was replicated, but this time after fire incidence, at the same study site and with the same plant species. Eight ant species visited Q. multiflora, and the most abundant genera were Crematogaster, Cephalotes, and Camponotus. Herbivores were found in branches with and without ants with no statistical difference, but foliar herbivory was always higher in branchs where ants were absent. Leaves were infested by fungi, and fungi spots were higher in branches where ants were present. Compared to the previous study, it was clearly observed that ant benefits to Q. multiflora varied over time. The most common ant species still protected leaves against chewing herbivores, but a new kind of leaf damage appeared, namely fungi spots. Data also support that ants may be acting as vectors of fungi spores on plants, as ant visited branches had higher fungus incidence than non-visited branches. Fire is a major source of disturbance in tropical savannas, and we suggest that it can cause strong variation in the outcomes of interactions between ants and plants with extrafloral nectaries in the Brazilian tropical savanna.

  11. Variation in the Outcomes of an Ant-Plant System: Fire and Leaf Fungus Infection Reduce Benefits to Plants with Extrafloral Nectaries

    PubMed Central

    Pires, L. P.; Del-Claro, K.

    2014-01-01

    Interactions between species are evolutionary malleable and may suffer changes in small timescales. Environmental disturbances, such as fire, can deeply affect species interactions, but how they influence the outcome of a mutualistic interaction has yet to be studied. In order to test the hypothesis that an environmental d