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Sample records for conifers

  1. Ecophysiological controls of conifer distributions

    SciTech Connect

    Woodward, F.I.

    1995-07-01

    The boreal forest covers the most extensive worldwide area of conifer-dominated vegetation, with a total global area of about 12 million km{sup 2}. This large area is very species poor; in North America there are only nine widespread and dominant species of trees, of which six are conifers-Picea mariana, Picea glauca, Abies balsamea, Larix laricina, Pinus contorta, and Pinus banksiana. The remaining three angiosperms are Betula papyrifera, Populus tremuloides, and Populus balsamifera. In Fennoscandia and the former Soviet Union, 14 species dominate the boreal forest, 10 of which are conifers-Abies sibirica, Larix gmelinii, Larix sibirica, Larix sukaczewii, Picea abies, Picea ajanensis, Picea obovata, Pinus pumila, Pinus sibifica, and Pinus sylvestris. The dominant angiosperm trees are Betula pendula, Betula pubescens, Chosenia arbutifolia, and Populus tremula. Such species paucity detracts from realizing the remarkable capacity of these species to endure the harshest forest climates of the world. Both the short-term geological history and the current climate are major causes of the species paucity in the boreal forest. In general, the boreal forest has been present in its current distribution only since the Holocene era. In most cases, the dominant species of the boreal forest completed their postglacial expansion to their current distributions only over the past 2000 years. So the ecology of the forest is very young, in comparison with forests in warmer climates. It might be expected that over subsequent millennia, with no climatic change, there could be a slow influx of new species to the boreal zone; however, the extreme climatic, edaphic, and disturbance characteristics of the area are likely to set insurmountable limits on this influx of diversity.

  2. Defense Mechanisms of Conifers 1

    PubMed Central

    Lewinsohn, Efraim; Gijzen, Mark; Savage, Thomas J.; Croteau, Rodney

    1991-01-01

    Cell-free extracts from Pinus ponderosa Lawson (ponderosa pine) and Pinus sylvestris L. (Scotch pine) wood exhibited high levels of monoterpene synthase (cyclase) activity, whereas bark extracts of these species contained no detectable activity, and they inhibited cyclase activity when added to extracts from wood, unless polyvinylpyrrolidone was included in the preparation. The molecular mass of the polyvinylpyrrolidone added was of little consequence; however, polyvinylpolypyrrolidone (a cross-linked insoluble form of the polymer) was ineffective in protecting enzyme activity. Based on these observations, methods were developed for the efficient extraction and assay of monoterpene cyclase activity from conifer stem (wood and bark) tissue. The level of monoterpene cyclase activity for a given conifer species was shown to correlate closely with the monoterpene content of the oleoresin and with the degree of anatomical complexity of the specialized resin-secreting structures. Cyclase activity and monoterpene content were lowest in the stems of species containing only isolated resin cells, such as western red cedar (Thuja plicata D. Don). Increasing levels of cyclase activity and oleoresin monoterpenes were observed in advancing from species with multicellular resin blisters (true firs [Abies]) to those with organized resin passages, such as western larch (Larix occidentalis Nutt.), Colorado blue spruce (Picea pungens Engelm.) and Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii [Mirb.] Franco). The highest levels of cyclase activity and oleoresin monoterpenes were noted in Pinus species that contain the most highly developed resin duct systems. The relationship between biosynthetic capacity, as measured by cyclase activity, monoterpene content, and the degree of organization of the secretory structures for a given species, may reflect the total number of specialized resin-producing cells per unit mass of stem tissue. PMID:16668182

  3. Defense Mechanisms of Conifers 1

    PubMed Central

    Lewinsohn, Efraim; Gijzen, Mark; Croteau, Rodney

    1991-01-01

    Levels of monoterpene cyclase activity were determined in extracts from wounded and unwounded saplings of 10 conifer species to assess whether oleoresin biosynthesis is induced by stem wounding. Species of Abies and Picea, with low to moderate levels of constitutive monoterpene cyclase activity, exhibited a five- to 15-fold increase in cyclase activity 7 days after wounding relative to unwounded controls. In contrast, species of genera such as Pinus, with high levels of constitutive cyclase activity, did not significantly respond to wounding by alteration in the level of cyclase activity. The highest fold increase in monoterpene cyclase activity was consistently observed in Abies grandis, and the time-course of induction of activity following stem wounding in this species demonstrated a threefold increase at 2 days relative to unwounded controls, rising to a maximum increase in the response at 9 days (greater than 10-fold) followed by an apparent decline. The wound response was localized, and both bark (phloem) and wood (xylem) tissues displayed increased cyclase activity at the wound site. The magnitude of the increase in cyclase activity was dependent on the severity of the wound. PMID:16668184

  4. Conifer-Derived Monoterpenes and Forest Walking

    PubMed Central

    Sumitomo, Kazuhiro; Akutsu, Hiroaki; Fukuyama, Syusei; Minoshima, Akiho; Kukita, Shin; Yamamura, Yuji; Sato, Yoshiaki; Hayasaka, Taiki; Osanai, Shinobu; Funakoshi, Hiroshi; Hasebe, Naoyuki; Nakamura, Masao

    2015-01-01

    Conifer and broadleaf trees emit volatile organic compounds in the summer. The major components of these emissions are volatile monoterpenes. Using solid phase microextraction fiber as the adsorbant, monoterpenes were successfully detected and identified in forest air samples. Gas chromatography/mass chromatogram of monoterpenes in the atmosphere of a conifer forest and that of serum from subjects who were walking in a forest were found to be similar each other. The amounts of α-pinene in the subjects became several folds higher after forest walking. The results indicate that monoterpenes in the atmosphere of conifer forests are transferred to and accumulate in subjects by inhalation while they are exposed to this type of environment. PMID:26819913

  5. Enzymes of Glyoxylate in Conifers 12

    PubMed Central

    Firenzuoli, A. M.; Vanni, P.; Mastronuzzi, E.; Zanobini, A.; Baccari, V.

    1968-01-01

    The high level of lipids in seeds of some species of conifers suggested that the glyoxylate cycle might have a role in conifer seed metabolism. Six species (Pinus pinea, Pinus pinaster, Pinus canariensis, Pinus strobus, Abies alba, and Cupressus sempervirens) were investigated for their lipid content and malate synthase and isocitrate lyase level. The fatty acid composition of the triglyceride fraction was also investigated. The correlation between lipid content of germinating seed with the presence of the cycle was confirmed. The enzymes of the glyoxylate cycle were not detected in Cupressus sempervirens where the lipid content is very low. PMID:16656892

  6. Diseases of Pacific Coast conifers. Agriculture handbook

    SciTech Connect

    Scharpf, R.F.

    1993-06-01

    The handbook provides basic information needed to identify the common diseases of Pacific Coast conifers. Hosts, distribution, disease cycles, and identifying characteristics are described for more than 150 diseases, including cankers, diebacks, galls, rusts, needle diseases, root diseases, mistletoes, and rots. Diseases in which abiotic factors are involved are also described. For some groups of diseases, a descriptive key to field identification is included.

  7. Towards decoding the conifer giga-genome.

    PubMed

    Mackay, John; Dean, Jeffrey F D; Plomion, Christophe; Peterson, Daniel G; Cánovas, Francisco M; Pavy, Nathalie; Ingvarsson, Pär K; Savolainen, Outi; Guevara, M Ángeles; Fluch, Silvia; Vinceti, Barbara; Abarca, Dolores; Díaz-Sala, Carmen; Cervera, María-Teresa

    2012-12-01

    Several new initiatives have been launched recently to sequence conifer genomes including pines, spruces and Douglas-fir. Owing to the very large genome sizes ranging from 18 to 35 gigabases, sequencing even a single conifer genome had been considered unattainable until the recent throughput increases and cost reductions afforded by next generation sequencers. The purpose of this review is to describe the context for these new initiatives. A knowledge foundation has been acquired in several conifers of commercial and ecological interest through large-scale cDNA analyses, construction of genetic maps and gene mapping studies aiming to link phenotype and genotype. Exploratory sequencing in pines and spruces have pointed out some of the unique properties of these giga-genomes and suggested strategies that may be needed to extract value from their sequencing. The hope is that recent and pending developments in sequencing technology will contribute to rapidly filling the knowledge vacuum surrounding their structure, contents and evolution. Researchers are also making plans to use comparative analyses that will help to turn the data into a valuable resource for enhancing and protecting the world's conifer forests.

  8. Genetics and the physiological ecology of conifers

    SciTech Connect

    Mitton, J.B.

    1995-07-01

    Natural selection acts on the diversity of genotypes, adapting populations to their specific environments and driving evolution in response to changes in climate. Genetically based differences in physiology and demography adapt species to alternate environments and produce, along with historical accidents, the present distribution of species. The sorting of conifer species by elevation is so marked that conifers help to define plant communities arranged in elevational bands in the Rocky Mountains. For these reasons, a genetic perspective is necessary to appreciate the evolution of ecophysiological patterns in the coniferous forests of the Rocky Mountains. The fascinating natural history and the economic importance of western conifers have stimulated numerous studies of their ecology, ecological genetics, and geographic variation. These studies yield some generalizations, and present some puzzling contradictions. This chapter focuses on the genetic variability associated with the physiological differences among genotypes in Rocky Mountain conifers. Variation among genotypes in survival, growth, and resistance to herbivores is used to illustrate genetically based differences in physiology, and to suggest the mechanistic studies needed to understand the relationships between genetic and physiological variation.

  9. Montane conifer fuel dynamics, Yosemite National Park

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    van Wagtendonk, J.W.; Moore, P.E.

    1997-01-01

    Litter and woody fuel accumulation rates over 7 years for 7 montane Sierra Nevada conifer species, including giant sequoia, ponderosa pine, sugar pine, Jeffrey pine, incense-cedar and white fir. Data are from four sites per size class per species with four size classes each. Nonspatial, georeferenced.

  10. Hygroscopic motions of fossil conifer cones

    PubMed Central

    Poppinga, Simon; Nestle, Nikolaus; Šandor, Andrea; Reible, Bruno; Masselter, Tom; Bruchmann, Bernd; Speck, Thomas

    2017-01-01

    Conifer cones represent natural, woody compliant structures which move their scales as passive responses to changes in environmental humidity. Here we report on water-driven opening and closing motions in coalified conifer cones from the Eemian Interglacial (approx. 126,000–113,000 years BP) and from the Middle Miocene (approx. 16.5 to 11.5 million years BP). These cones represent by far the oldest documented evidence of plant parts showing full functionality of such passive hydraulically actuated motion. The functional resilience of these structures is far beyond the biological purpose of seed dispersal and protection and is because of a low level of mineralization of the fossils. Our analysis emphasizes the functional-morphological integrity of these biological compliant mechanisms which, in addition to their biological fascination, are potentially also role models for resilient and maintenance-free biomimetic applications (e.g., adaptive and autonomously moving structures including passive hydraulic actuators). PMID:28074936

  11. Hygroscopic motions of fossil conifer cones.

    PubMed

    Poppinga, Simon; Nestle, Nikolaus; Šandor, Andrea; Reible, Bruno; Masselter, Tom; Bruchmann, Bernd; Speck, Thomas

    2017-01-11

    Conifer cones represent natural, woody compliant structures which move their scales as passive responses to changes in environmental humidity. Here we report on water-driven opening and closing motions in coalified conifer cones from the Eemian Interglacial (approx. 126,000-113,000 years BP) and from the Middle Miocene (approx. 16.5 to 11.5 million years BP). These cones represent by far the oldest documented evidence of plant parts showing full functionality of such passive hydraulically actuated motion. The functional resilience of these structures is far beyond the biological purpose of seed dispersal and protection and is because of a low level of mineralization of the fossils. Our analysis emphasizes the functional-morphological integrity of these biological compliant mechanisms which, in addition to their biological fascination, are potentially also role models for resilient and maintenance-free biomimetic applications (e.g., adaptive and autonomously moving structures including passive hydraulic actuators).

  12. Hygroscopic motions of fossil conifer cones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poppinga, Simon; Nestle, Nikolaus; Šandor, Andrea; Reible, Bruno; Masselter, Tom; Bruchmann, Bernd; Speck, Thomas

    2017-01-01

    Conifer cones represent natural, woody compliant structures which move their scales as passive responses to changes in environmental humidity. Here we report on water-driven opening and closing motions in coalified conifer cones from the Eemian Interglacial (approx. 126,000–113,000 years BP) and from the Middle Miocene (approx. 16.5 to 11.5 million years BP). These cones represent by far the oldest documented evidence of plant parts showing full functionality of such passive hydraulically actuated motion. The functional resilience of these structures is far beyond the biological purpose of seed dispersal and protection and is because of a low level of mineralization of the fossils. Our analysis emphasizes the functional-morphological integrity of these biological compliant mechanisms which, in addition to their biological fascination, are potentially also role models for resilient and maintenance-free biomimetic applications (e.g., adaptive and autonomously moving structures including passive hydraulic actuators).

  13. Fuel bed characteristics of Sierra Nevada conifers

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    van Wagtendonk, J.W.; Benedict, J.M.; Sydoriak, W.M.

    1998-01-01

    A study of fuels in Sierra Nevada conifer forests showed that fuel bed depth and fuel bed weight significantly varied by tree species and developmental stage of the overstory. Specific values for depth and weight of woody, litter, and duff fuels are reported. There was a significant positive relationship between fuel bed depth and weight. Estimates of woody fuel weight using the planar intercept method were significantly related to sampled values. These relationships can be used to estimate fuel weights in the field.

  14. Carbon allocation and accumulation in conifers

    SciTech Connect

    Gower, S.T.; Isebrands, J.G.; Sheriff, D.W.

    1995-07-01

    Forests cover approximately 33% of the land surface of the earth, yet they are responsible for 65% of the annual carbon (C) accumulated by all terrestrial biomes. In general, total C content and net primary production rates are greater for forests than for other biomes, but C budgets differ greatly among forests. Despite several decades of research on forest C budgets, there is still an incomplete understanding of the factors controlling C allocation. Yet, if we are to understand how changing global events such as land use, climate change, atmospheric N deposition, ozone, and elevated atmospheric CO{sub 2} affect the global C budget, a mechanistic understanding of C assimilation, partitioning, and allocation is necessary. The objective of this chapter is to review the major factors that influence C allocation and accumulation in conifer trees and forests. In keeping with the theme of this book, we will focus primarily on evergreen conifers. However, even among evergreen conifers, leaf, canopy, and stand-level C and nutrient allocation patterns differ, often as a function of leaf development and longevity. The terminology related to C allocation literature is often inconsistent, confusing and inadequate for understanding and integrating past and current research. For example, terms often used synonymously to describe C flow or movement include translocation, transport, distribution, allocation, partitioning, apportionment, and biomass allocation. A common terminology is needed because different terms have different meanings to readers. In this paper we use C allocation, partitioning, and accumulation according to the definitions of Dickson and Isebrands (1993). Partitioning is the process of C flow into and among different chemical, storage, and transport pools. Allocation is the distribution of C to different plant parts within the plant (i.e., source to sink). Accumulation is the end product of the process of C allocation.

  15. Conifer health classification for Colorado, 2008

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cole, Christopher J.; Noble, Suzanne M.; Blauer, Steven L.; Friesen, Beverly A.; Curry, Stacy E.; Bauer, Mark A.

    2010-01-01

    Colorado has undergone substantial changes in forests due to urbanization, wildfires, insect-caused tree mortality, and other human and environmental factors. The U.S. Geological Survey Rocky Mountain Geographic Science Center evaluated and developed a methodology for applying remotely-sensed imagery for assessing conifer health in Colorado. Two classes were identified for the purposes of this study: healthy and unhealthy (for example, an area the size of a 30- x 30-m pixel with 20 percent or greater visibly dead trees was defined as ?unhealthy?). Medium-resolution Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper imagery were collected. The normalized, reflectance-converted, cloud-filled Landsat scenes were merged to form a statewide image mosaic, and a Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and Renormalized Difference Infrared Index (RDII) were derived. A supervised maximum likelihood classification was done using the Landsat multispectral bands, the NDVI, the RDII, and 30-m U.S. Geological Survey National Elevation Dataset (NED). The classification was constrained to pixels identified in the updated landcover dataset as coniferous or mixed coniferous/deciduous vegetation. The statewide results were merged with a separate health assessment of Grand County, Colo., produced in late 2008. Sampling and validation was done by collecting field data and high-resolution imagery. The 86 percent overall classification accuracy attained in this study suggests that the data and methods used successfully characterized conifer conditions within Colorado. Although forest conditions for Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta) are easily characterized, classification uncertainty exists between healthy/unhealthy Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa), Pi?on (Pinus edulis), and Juniper (Juniperus sp.) vegetation. Some underestimation of conifer mortality in Summit County is likely, where recent (2008) cloud-free imagery was unavailable. These classification uncertainties are primarily due to the spatial and

  16. Plant hormones and ecophysiology of conifers

    SciTech Connect

    Davies, W.J.

    1995-07-01

    Over the past 30 years, there have been very substantial fluctuations in the interests of plant scientists in the involvement of plant growth regulators in the control of physiology, growth, and development of plants. In the years following the identification of the five major classes of growth regulators and identification of other groups of compounds of somewhat more restricted interest, an enormous number of papers reported the effects of hormones applied externally to a very wide range of plants. During this period, it became very fashionable to compare effects of hormones with the effects of the environment on developmental and physiological phenomena and to suggest a regulatory role for the hormone(s) in the processes under consideration. Ross et al. (1983) have published a very comprehensive survey of the effects of growth regulators applied externally to conifers, and even 10 years later, it is difficult to improve on what they have done. Nevertheless, in the light of recent changes in our understanding of how growth regulators may work, it is necessary to reexamine this field and ask what we really know about the involvement of growth regulators in the ecophysiology of conifers.

  17. Gondwanan conifer clones imperilled by bushfire

    PubMed Central

    Worth, James R. P.; Sakaguchi, Shota; Rann, Karl D.; Bowman, Clarence J. W.; Ito, Motomi; Jordan, Gregory J.; Bowman, David M. J. S.

    2016-01-01

    Global increases in fire frequency driven by anthropogenic greenhouse emissions and land use change could threaten unique and ancient species by creeping into long-term fire refugia. The perhumid and mountainous western half of Tasmania is a globally important refugium for palaeo-endemic, fire intolerant lineages, especially conifers. Reproductive strategy will be crucial to the resilience of these organisms under warmer, dryer and more fire prone climates. This study analysed clonal versus sexual reproduction in old growth plots dominated by the palaeo-endemic conifer Athrotaxis cupressoides (Cupressaceae), a species that lacks any traits to tolerate frequent landscape fire. Across most of the seven plots the amount of sexually derived individuals was lower than clonally derived with, on average, 60% of all stems belonging to the same multi-locus lineage (MLL) (i.e. were clonal). Some MLLs were large spanning over 10 s of metres and consisted of up to 62 stems. The high mortality after fire and the rarity of sexual regeneration means that the range of this fire-intolerant species is likely to contract under enhanced fire regimes and has a limited capacity to disperse via seed to available fire refugia in the landscape. PMID:27666536

  18. AmeriFlux US-Vcm Valles Caldera Mixed Conifer

    SciTech Connect

    Litvak, Marcy

    2016-01-01

    This is the AmeriFlux version of the carbon flux data for the site US-Vcm Valles Caldera Mixed Conifer. Site Description - The Valles Caldera Mixed Conifer site is located in the 1200 km2 Jemez River basin in north-central New Mexico. Common to elevations ranging from 3040 to 2740 m in the region, the mixed conifer stand, within the entirety of the tower footprint in all directions, provides an excellent setting for studying the seasonal interaction between snow and vegetation.

  19. Conifer Decline and Mortality in Siberia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kharuk, V.; Im, S.; Ranson, K.

    2015-12-01

    "Dark needle conifer" (DNC: Abies sibirica, Pinus sibirica and Picea obovata) decline and mortality increase were documented in Russia during recent decades. Here we analyzed causes and scale of Siberian pine and fir mortality in Altai-Sayan and Baikal Lake Regions and West Siberian Plane based on in situdata and remote sensing (QuickBird, Landsat, GRACE). Geographically, mortality began on the margins of the DNC range (i.e., within the forest-steppe and conifer-broadleaf ecotones) and on terrain features with maximal water stress risk (narrow-shaped hilltops, convex steep south facing slopes, shallow well-drained soils). Within ridges, mortality occurred mainly along mountain passes, where stands faced drying winds. Regularly mortality was observed to decrease with elevation increase with the exception of Baikal Lake Mountains, where it was minimal near the lake shore and increased with elevation (up to about 1000 m a.s.l.). Siberian pine and fir mortality followed a drying trend with consecutive droughts since the 1980s. Dendrochronology analysis showed that mortality was correlated with vapor pressure deficit increase, drought index, soil moisture decrease and occurrence of late frosts. In Baikal region Siberian pine mortality correlated with Baikal watershed meteorological variables. An impact of previous year climate conditions on the current growth was found (r2 = 0.6). Thus, water-stressed trees became sensitive to bark beetles and fungi impact (including Polygraphus proximus and Heterobasidion annosum). At present, an increase in mortality is observed within the majority of DNC range. Results obtained also showed a primary role of water stress in that phenomenon with a secondary role of bark beetles and fungi attacks. In future climate with increased drought severity and frequency Siberian pine and fir will partly disappear from its current range, and will be substituted by drought-tolerant species (e.g., Pinus silvestris, Larix sibirica).

  20. Leaf area dynamics of conifer forests

    SciTech Connect

    Margolis, H.; Oren, R.; Whitehead, D.; Kaufmann, M.R.

    1995-07-01

    Estimating the surface area of foliage supported by a coniferous forest canopy is critical for modeling its biological properties. Leaf area represents the surface area available for the interception of energy, the absorption of carbon dioxide, and the diffusion of water from the leaf to the atmosphere. The concept of leaf area is pertinent to the physiological and ecological dynamics of conifers at a wide range of spatial scales, from individual leaves to entire biomes. In fact, the leaf area of vegetation at a global level can be thought of as a carbon-absorbing, water-emitting membrane of variable thickness, which can have an important influence on the dynamics and chemistry of the Earth`s atmosphere over both the short and the long term. Unless otherwise specified, references to leaf area herein refer to projected leaf area, i.e., the vertical projection of needles placed on a flat plane. Total leaf surface area is generally from 2.0 to 3.14 times that of projected leaf area for conifers. It has recently been suggested that hemisurface leaf area, i.e., one-half of the total surface area of a leaf, a more useful basis for expressing leaf area than is projected area. This chapter is concerned with the dynamics of coniferous forest leaf area at different spatial and temporal scales. In the first part, we consider various hypotheses related to the control of leaf area development, ranging from simple allometric relations with tree size to more complex mechanistic models that consider the movement of water and nutrients to tree canopies. In the second part, we consider various aspects of leaf area dynamics at varying spatial and temporal scales, including responses to perturbation, seasonal dynamics, genetic variation in crown architecture, the responses to silvicultural treatments, the causes and consequences of senescence, and the direct measurement of coniferous leaf area at large spatial scales using remote sensing.

  1. Radiometric measurements of gap probability in conifer tree canopies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Albers, Bryan J.; Strahler, Alan H.; Li, Xiaowen; Liang, Shunlin; Clarke, Keith C.

    1990-01-01

    Measurements of gap probability were made for some moderate-sized, open-grown conifers of varying species. Results of the radiometric analysis show that the gap probability, which is taken as the mean of the binomial, fits well a negative exponential function of a path length. The conifer shadow, then, is an object of almost uniform darkness with some bright holes or gaps that are found near the shadow's edge and rapidly disappear toward the shadows center.

  2. Early genome duplications in conifers and other seed plants.

    PubMed

    Li, Zheng; Baniaga, Anthony E; Sessa, Emily B; Scascitelli, Moira; Graham, Sean W; Rieseberg, Loren H; Barker, Michael S

    2015-11-01

    Polyploidy is a common mode of speciation and evolution in angiosperms (flowering plants). In contrast, there is little evidence to date that whole genome duplication (WGD) has played a significant role in the evolution of their putative extant sister lineage, the gymnosperms. Recent analyses of the spruce genome, the first published conifer genome, failed to detect evidence of WGDs in gene age distributions and attributed many aspects of conifer biology to a lack of WGDs. We present evidence for three ancient genome duplications during the evolution of gymnosperms, based on phylogenomic analyses of transcriptomes from 24 gymnosperms and 3 outgroups. We use a new algorithm to place these WGD events in phylogenetic context: two in the ancestry of major conifer clades (Pinaceae and cupressophyte conifers) and one in Welwitschia (Gnetales). We also confirm that a WGD hypothesized to be restricted to seed plants is indeed not shared with ferns and relatives (monilophytes), a result that was unclear in earlier studies. Contrary to previous genomic research that reported an absence of polyploidy in the ancestry of contemporary gymnosperms, our analyses indicate that polyploidy has contributed to the evolution of conifers and other gymnosperms. As in the flowering plants, the evolution of the large genome sizes of gymnosperms involved both polyploidy and repetitive element activity.

  3. Early genome duplications in conifers and other seed plants

    PubMed Central

    Li, Zheng; Baniaga, Anthony E.; Sessa, Emily B.; Scascitelli, Moira; Graham, Sean W.; Rieseberg, Loren H.; Barker, Michael S.

    2015-01-01

    Polyploidy is a common mode of speciation and evolution in angiosperms (flowering plants). In contrast, there is little evidence to date that whole genome duplication (WGD) has played a significant role in the evolution of their putative extant sister lineage, the gymnosperms. Recent analyses of the spruce genome, the first published conifer genome, failed to detect evidence of WGDs in gene age distributions and attributed many aspects of conifer biology to a lack of WGDs. We present evidence for three ancient genome duplications during the evolution of gymnosperms, based on phylogenomic analyses of transcriptomes from 24 gymnosperms and 3 outgroups. We use a new algorithm to place these WGD events in phylogenetic context: two in the ancestry of major conifer clades (Pinaceae and cupressophyte conifers) and one in Welwitschia (Gnetales). We also confirm that a WGD hypothesized to be restricted to seed plants is indeed not shared with ferns and relatives (monilophytes), a result that was unclear in earlier studies. Contrary to previous genomic research that reported an absence of polyploidy in the ancestry of contemporary gymnosperms, our analyses indicate that polyploidy has contributed to the evolution of conifers and other gymnosperms. As in the flowering plants, the evolution of the large genome sizes of gymnosperms involved both polyploidy and repetitive element activity. PMID:26702445

  4. Resource physiology of conifers: Acquisition, allocation, and utilization

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, W.K.; Hinckley, T.M.

    1995-03-01

    This book focuses on a synthetic view of the resource physiology of conifer trees with an emphasis on developing a perspective that can integrate across the biological hierarchy. This objective is in concert with more scientific goals of maintaining biological diversity and the sustainability of forest systems. The preservation of coniferous forest ecosystems is a major concern today. This volume deals with the topics of resource acquisition, allocation, and utilization in conifers. Selected papers are indexed separately for inclusion in the Energy Science and Technology Database.

  5. Cambium Destruction in Conifers Caused by Pinewood Nematodes

    PubMed Central

    Myers, Ronald F.

    1986-01-01

    Percentage and rate of mortality in 2-4-year-old conifers depended upon the numbers of pinewood nematodes Bursaphelenchus xylophilus inoculated into their stems. In addition, percentage of conifer mortality was greater for spring inoculations when cambial activity was greater than for late summer and fall inoculations. Gross and histological examination of stems revealed destruction of the cambial layer, including fusiform and ray intitials and their derivatives. These data suggest that cambial and ray destruction causes tree death through blockage of tracheids by gas, oleoresin, or metabolites from dying ray tissues. PMID:19294198

  6. A Simple Computer Application for the Identification of Conifer Genera

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Strain, Steven R.; Chmielewski, Jerry G.

    2010-01-01

    The National Science Education Standards prescribe that an understanding of the importance of classifying organisms be one component of a student's educational experience in the life sciences. The use of a classification scheme to identify organisms is one way of addressing this goal. We describe Conifer ID, a computer application that assists…

  7. Conifers have a unique small RNA silencing signature

    PubMed Central

    Dolgosheina, Elena V.; Morin, Ryan D.; Aksay, Gozde; Sahinalp, S. Cenk; Magrini, Vincent; Mardis, Elaine R.; Mattsson, Jim; Unrau, Peter J.

    2008-01-01

    Plants produce small RNAs to negatively regulate genes, viral nucleic acids, and repetitive elements at either the transcriptional or post-transcriptional level in a process that is referred to as RNA silencing. While RNA silencing has been extensively studied across the different phyla of the animal kingdom (e.g., mouse, fly, worm), similar studies in the plant kingdom have focused primarily on angiosperms, thus limiting evolutionary studies of RNA silencing in plants. Here we report on an unexpected phylogenetic difference in the size distribution of small RNAs among the vascular plants. By extracting total RNA from freshly growing shoot tissue, we conducted a survey of small RNAs in 24 vascular plant species. We find that conifers, which radiated from the other seed-bearing plants ∼260 million years ago, fail to produce significant amounts of 24-nucleotide (nt) RNAs that are known to guide DNA methylation and heterochromatin formation in angiosperms. Instead, they synthesize a diverse population of small RNAs that are exactly 21-nt long. This finding was confirmed by high-throughput sequencing of the small RNA sequences from a conifer, Pinus contorta. A conifer EST search revealed the presence of a novel Dicer-like (DCL) family, which may be responsible for the observed change in small RNA expression. No evidence for DCL3, an enzyme that matures 24-nt RNAs in angiosperms, was found. We hypothesize that the diverse class of 21-nt RNAs found in conifers may help to maintain organization of their unusually large genomes. PMID:18566193

  8. The Transcriptomics of Secondary Growth and Wood Formation in Conifers

    PubMed Central

    Carvalho, Ana; Paiva, Jorge; Louzada, José; Lima-Brito, José

    2013-01-01

    In the last years, forestry scientists have adapted genomics and next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies to the search for candidate genes related to the transcriptomics of secondary growth and wood formation in several tree species. Gymnosperms, in particular, the conifers, are ecologically and economically important, namely, for the production of wood and other forestry end products. Until very recently, no whole genome sequencing of a conifer genome was available. Due to the gradual improvement of the NGS technologies and inherent bioinformatics tools, two draft assemblies of the whole genomes sequence of Picea abies and Picea glauca arose in the current year. These draft genome assemblies will bring new insights about the structure, content, and evolution of the conifer genomes. Furthermore, new directions in the forestry, breeding and research of conifers will be discussed in the following. The identification of genes associated with the xylem transcriptome and the knowledge of their regulatory mechanisms will provide less time-consuming breeding cycles and a high accuracy for the selection of traits related to wood production and quality. PMID:24288610

  9. Cone size is related to branching architecture in conifers.

    PubMed

    Leslie, Andrew B; Beaulieu, Jeremy M; Crane, Peter R; Donoghue, Michael J

    2014-09-01

    The relationship between branch diameter and leaf size has been widely used to understand how vegetative resources are allocated in plants. Branching architecture influences reproductive allocation as well, but fewer studies have explored this relationship at broad phylogenetic or ecological scales. In this study, we tested whether pollen-producing and seed-producing cone size scales with branch diameter in conifers, a diverse and globally distributed lineage of nonflowering seed plants. Branch diameter and cone size were analyzed using multiple regression models and evolutionary models of trait evolution for a data set of 293 extant conifer species within an explicit phylogenetic framework. Branch diameter is a strong predictor of cone size across conifer species, particularly for pollen cones and dry seed cones. However, these relationships are complex in detail because leaf morphology and seed dispersal biology influence the specific ways in which they are expressed. The ubiquity and strength of these scaling relationships across conifers suggest that reproductive and vegetative morphologies are coupled in the group, and it is therefore difficult to disentangle the evolution of cone size from the evolution of branching architecture.

  10. The transcriptomics of secondary growth and wood formation in conifers.

    PubMed

    Carvalho, Ana; Paiva, Jorge; Louzada, José; Lima-Brito, José

    2013-01-01

    In the last years, forestry scientists have adapted genomics and next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies to the search for candidate genes related to the transcriptomics of secondary growth and wood formation in several tree species. Gymnosperms, in particular, the conifers, are ecologically and economically important, namely, for the production of wood and other forestry end products. Until very recently, no whole genome sequencing of a conifer genome was available. Due to the gradual improvement of the NGS technologies and inherent bioinformatics tools, two draft assemblies of the whole genomes sequence of Picea abies and Picea glauca arose in the current year. These draft genome assemblies will bring new insights about the structure, content, and evolution of the conifer genomes. Furthermore, new directions in the forestry, breeding and research of conifers will be discussed in the following. The identification of genes associated with the xylem transcriptome and the knowledge of their regulatory mechanisms will provide less time-consuming breeding cycles and a high accuracy for the selection of traits related to wood production and quality.

  11. Branching habit and the allocation of reproductive resources in conifers

    PubMed Central

    Leslie, Andrew B.

    2012-01-01

    Background and Aims Correlated relationships between branch thickness, branch density, and twig and leaf size have been used extensively to study the evolution of plant canopy architecture, but fewer studies have explored the impact of these relationships on the allocation of reproductive resources. This study quantifies pollen cone production in conifers, which have similar basic reproductive biology but vary dramatically in branching habit, in order to test how differences in branch diameter influence pollen cone size and the density with which they are deployed in the canopy. Methods Measurements of canopy branch density, the number of cones per branch and cone size were used to estimate the amount of pollen cone tissues produced by 16 species in three major conifer clades. The number of pollen grains produced was also estimated using direct counts from individual pollen cones. Key Results The total amount of pollen cone tissues in the conifer canopy varied little among species and clades, although vegetative traits such as branch thickness, branch density and pollen cone size varied over several orders of magnitude. However, branching habit controls the way these tissues are deployed: taxa with small branches produce small pollen cones at a high density, while taxa with large branches produce large cones relatively sparsely. Conclusions Conifers appear to invest similar amounts of energy in pollen production independent of branching habit. However, similar associations between branch thickness, branch density and pollen cone size are seen across conifers, including members of living and extinct groups not directly studied here. This suggests that reproductive features relating to pollen cone size are in large part a function of the evolution of vegetative morphology and branching habit. PMID:22782240

  12. Analysis of conifer forest regeneration using Landsat Thematic Mapper data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fiorella, Maria; Ripple, William J.

    1995-01-01

    Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) data were used to evaluate young conifer stands in the western Cascade Mountains of Oregon. Regression and correlation analyses were used to describe the relationships between TM band values and age of young Douglas-fir stands (2 to 35 years old). Spectral data from well regenerated Douglas-fir stands were compared to those of poorly regenerated conifer stands. TM bands 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, and 7 were inversely correlated with the age (r greater than or equal to -0.80) of well regenerated Douglas-fir stands. Overall, the 'structural index' (TM 4/5 ratio) had the highest correlation to age of Douglas-fir stands (r = 0.96). Poorly regenerated stands were spectrally distinct from well regenerated Douglas-fir stands after the stands reached an age of approximately 15 years.

  13. Low-frequency creep in CoNiFe films.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bartran, D. S.; Bourne, H. C., Jr.; Chow, L. G.

    1972-01-01

    Domain wall motion excited by slow rise-time, bipolar, hard-axis pulses in vacuum deposited CoNiFe films from 1500 to 2000 A thick is studied. The results are consistent with those of comparable NiFe films. Furthermore, the wall coercivity is found to be the most significant sample property correlated to the low-frequency creep properties of all the samples.

  14. L-Band Radiometer Measurements of Conifer Forests

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lang, R.; LeVine, D.; Chauhan, N.; deMatthaeis, P.; Bidwell, S.; Haken, M.

    2000-01-01

    Airborne radiometer measurements have been made at L-band over conifer forests in Virginia to study radiometric response to biomass and soil moisture. The horizontally polarized synthetic aperture radiometer, ESTAR, has been deployed abroad a NASA-P3 aircraft which is based at the Goddard Space Flight Center's Wallops Flight Facility. The instrument has been mounted in the bomb bay of the P-3 and images data in the cross track direction. Aircraft and surface measurements were made in July, August and November of 1999 over relatively homogeneous conifer stands of varying biomass. The surface measurements included soil moisture measurements in several stands. The soil moisture was low during the July flight and highest in November after heavy rains had occurred. The microwave images clearly distinguished between the different forest stands. Stand age, obtained from International Paper Corporation which owns the stands, showed a strong correlation between brightness temperature and stand age. This agrees with previous simulation studies of conifer forests which show that the brightness temperature increases with increasing stand biomass. Research is continuing to seek a quantitative correlation between the observed brightness temperature of the stands and their biomass and surface soil moisture.

  15. Geometric-optical bidirectional reflectance modeling of a conifer forest canopy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Li, X.; Strahler, A. H.

    1986-01-01

    A geometric-optical forest canopy model that treats conifers as cones casting shadows on a contrasting background explains the major anisotropies in bidirectional reflectance measurements of a conifer forest canopy. The model uses parallel-ray geometry to describe the illumination and viewing of conifers as three-dimensional cones. Both computer simulation and analytical closed-form expressions are implemented. The results show a good qualitative agreement with the directional reflectance measurements of the conifer stand, indicating that the three-dimensional nature of the canopy is a key factor in determining its directional reflectance.

  16. Ultrasonic emissions from conifer xylem exposed to repeated freezing.

    PubMed

    Mayr, Stefan; Zublasing, Verena

    2010-01-01

    Ultrasonic emission measurements enable the analysis of xylem cavitation induced by drought and freeze-thaw events. Several studies have indicated that ultrasonic acoustic emissions (UAE) in conifers occur upon freezing and not upon thawing, although classical theory has postulated gas bubble formation during freezing and cavitation during thawing. We analyzed the pattern and quality of freeze-thaw-induced UAE in seven conifers (Abies alba, Larix decidua, Juniperus communis, Picea abies, Pinus cembra, Pinus mugo, Pinus sylvestris). Axes samples dehydrated to different water potentials were exposed to repeated frost cycles. The number, amplitude and energy of UAE signals were registered and related to water potential, temperature course and wood characteristics (wood density, tracheid diameter). For P. abies, ultrasonic emission analysis was also performed on bark samples, xylem samples without bark, as well as on stems of young potted trees. In all conifers, UAE were registered in water-stressed samples but not in saturated or dehydrated samples. No signals were emitted by the bark of P. abies. Ultrasonic activity occurred only upon freezing, and identical patterns were observed in axes samples and stems of potted P. abies trees. A weak positive relationship between tracheid diameter and UAE energy was observed, indicating wide tracheids to emit signals with higher energy. The classical bubble formation hypothesis cannot sufficiently explain the occurrence of UAE during freezing and upon repeated temperature cycles, as demonstrated in this study. We suggest that the low water potential of ice induces air-seeding near the ice-water interface, and consequently, causes UAE.

  17. Tipping point of a conifer forest ecosystem under severe drought

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Kaicheng; Yi, Chuixiang; Wu, Donghai; Zhou, Tao; Zhao, Xiang; Blanford, William J.; Wei, Suhua; Wu, Hao; Ling, Du; Li, Zheng

    2015-02-01

    Drought-induced tree mortality has recently received considerable attention. Questions have arisen over the necessary intensity and duration thresholds of droughts that are sufficient to trigger rapid forest declines. The values of such tipping points leading to forest declines due to drought are presently unknown. In this study, we have evaluated the potential relationship between the level of tree growth and concurrent drought conditions with data of the tree growth-related ring width index (RWI) of the two dominant conifer species (Pinus edulis and Pinus ponderosa) in the Southwestern United States (SWUS) and the meteorological drought-related standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index (SPEI). In this effort, we determined the binned averages of RWI and the 11 month SPEI within the month of July within each bin of 30 of RWI in the range of 0-3000. We found a significant correlation between the binned averages of RWI and SPEI at the regional-scale under dryer conditions. The tipping point of forest declines to drought is predicted by the regression model as SPEItp = -1.64 and RWItp = 0, that is, persistence of the water deficit (11 month) with intensity of -1.64 leading to negligible growth for the conifer species. When climate conditions are wetter, the correlation between the binned averages of RWI and SPEI is weaker which we believe is most likely due to soil water and atmospheric moisture levels no longer being the dominant factor limiting tree growth. We also illustrate a potential application of the derived tipping point (SPEItp = -1.64) through an examination of the 2002 extreme drought event in the SWUS conifer forest regions. Distinguished differences in remote-sensing based NDVI anomalies were found between the two regions partitioned by the derived tipping point.

  18. Simulated and empiric wind pollination patterns of conifer ovulate cones

    PubMed Central

    Niklas, Karl J.

    1982-01-01

    Wind tunnel analyses of conifer ovulate cones indicate that the total geometry of the cone enhances the probability of pollen entrapment. Aerodynamic characteristics of cone scale-bract complexes are such that suspended pollen is directed toward the micropyles of attached ovules. Within the taxa examined, there appears to be a preferential entrapment by ovulate cones of pollen of the same species. The data are interpreted as evidence for an aerodynamic reciprocity between wind-suspended pollen and the structure of ovulate cones which increases the frequency of pollination and the potential for fertilization. Images PMID:16593147

  19. Bioactive Secondary Metabolites Produced by the Fungal Endophytes of Conifers

    PubMed Central

    Stierle, Donald B.

    2016-01-01

    This is a review of bioactive secondary metabolites isolated from conifer-associated endophytic fungi from 1990–2014. This includes compounds with antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative or cytotoxic activity towards human cancer cell lines, and activity against plant pathogens or plant insect pests. Compounds that were originally reported without associated activity were included if other studies ascribed activity to these compounds. Compounds were not included if they were exclusively phytotoxic or if they were isolated from active extracts but were not determined to be the active component of that extract. PMID:26669101

  20. Bioactive Secondary Metabolites Produced by the Fungal Endophytes of Conifers.

    PubMed

    Stierle, Andrea A; Stierle, Donald B

    2015-10-01

    This is a review of bioactive secondary metabolites isolated from conifer-associated endophytic fungi from 1990-2014. This includes compounds with antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative and cytotoxic activity towards human cancer cell lines, and activity against either plant pathogens or plant insect pests. Compounds that were originally reported without associated activity were included if other studies ascribed activity to these compounds. Compounds were not included if they were exclusively phytotoxic or if they were isolated from active extracts but were not determined to be the active component of that extract.

  1. Kinetics of tracheid development explain conifer tree-ring structure.

    PubMed

    Cuny, Henri E; Rathgeber, Cyrille B K; Frank, David; Fonti, Patrick; Fournier, Meriem

    2014-09-01

    Conifer tree rings are generally composed of large, thin-walled cells of light earlywood followed by narrow, thick-walled cells of dense latewood. Yet, how wood formation processes and the associated kinetics create this typical pattern remains poorly understood. We monitored tree-ring formation weekly over 3 yr in 45 trees of three conifer species in France. Data were used to model cell development kinetics, and to attribute the relative importance of the duration and rate of cell enlargement and cell wall deposition on tree-ring structure. Cell enlargement duration contributed to 75% of changes in cell diameter along the tree rings. Remarkably, the amount of wall material per cell was quite constant along the rings. Consequently, and in contrast with widespread belief, changes in cell wall thickness were not principally attributed to the duration and rate of wall deposition (33%), but rather to the changes in cell size (67%). Cell enlargement duration, as the main driver of cell size and wall thickness, contributed to 56% of wood density variation along the rings. This mechanistic framework now forms the basis for unraveling how environmental stresses trigger deviations (e.g. false rings) from the normal tree-ring structure.

  2. Integration and macroevolutionary patterns in the pollination biology of conifers.

    PubMed

    Leslie, Andrew B; Beaulieu, Jeremy M; Crane, Peter R; Knopf, Patrick; Donoghue, Michael J

    2015-06-01

    Integration influences patterns of trait evolution, but the relationship between these patterns and the degree of trait integration is not well understood. To explore this further, we study a specialized pollination mechanism in conifers whose traits are linked through function but not development. This mechanism depends on interactions among three characters: pollen that is buoyant, ovules that face downward at pollination, and the production of a liquid droplet that buoyant grains float through to enter the ovule. We use a well-sampled phylogeny of conifers to test correlated evolution among these characters and specific sequences of character change. Using likelihood models of character evolution, we find that pollen morphology and ovule characters evolve in a concerted manner, where the flotation mechanism breaks down irreversibly following changes in orientation or drop production. The breakdown of this functional constraint, which may be facilitated by the lack of developmental integration among the constituent traits, is associated with increased trait variation and more diverse pollination strategies. Although this functional "release" increases diversity in some ways, the irreversible way in which the flotation mechanism is lost may eventually result in its complete disappearance from seed plant reproductive biology.

  3. Antioxidant Potential of Bark Extracts from Boreal Forest Conifers

    PubMed Central

    Legault, Jean; Girard-Lalancette, Karl; Dufour, Dominic; Pichette, André

    2013-01-01

    The bark of boreal forest conifers has been traditionally used by Native Americans to treat various ailments and diseases. Some of these diseases involve reactive oxygen species (ROS) that can be prevented by the consumption of antioxidants such as phenolic compounds that can be found in medicinal plants. In this study, ultrasonic assisted extraction has been performed under various solvent conditions (water:ethanol mixtures) on the bark of seven boreal forest conifers used by Native Americans including: Pinus strobus, Pinus resinosa, Pinus banksiana, Picea mariana, Picea glauca, Larix laricina, and Abies balsamea. The total phenolic content, as well as ORACFL potency and cellular antioxidant activity (IC50), were evaluated for all bark extracts, and compared with the standardized water extract of Pinus maritima bark (Pycnogenol), which showed clinical efficiency to prevent ROS deleterious effects. The best overall phenolic extraction yield and antioxidant potential was obtained with Picea glauca and Picea mariana. Interestingly, total phenolic content of these bark extracts was similar to Pycnogenol but their antioxidant activity were higher. Moreover, most of the extracts did not inhibit the growth of human skin fibroblasts, WS1. A significant correlation was found between the total phenolic content and the antioxidant activity for water extracts suggesting that these compounds are involved in the activity. PMID:26784337

  4. Antioxidant Potential of Bark Extracts from Boreal Forest Conifers.

    PubMed

    Legault, Jean; Girard-Lalancette, Karl; Dufour, Dominic; Pichette, André

    2013-07-11

    The bark of boreal forest conifers has been traditionally used by Native Americans to treat various ailments and diseases. Some of these diseases involve reactive oxygen species (ROS) that can be prevented by the consumption of antioxidants such as phenolic compounds that can be found in medicinal plants. In this study, ultrasonic assisted extraction has been performed under various solvent conditions (water:ethanol mixtures) on the bark of seven boreal forest conifers used by Native Americans including: Pinus strobus, Pinus resinosa, Pinus banksiana, Picea mariana, Picea glauca, Larix laricina, and Abies balsamea. The total phenolic content, as well as ORACFL potency and cellular antioxidant activity (IC50), were evaluated for all bark extracts, and compared with the standardized water extract of Pinus maritima bark (Pycnogenol), which showed clinical efficiency to prevent ROS deleterious effects. The best overall phenolic extraction yield and antioxidant potential was obtained with Picea glauca and Picea mariana. Interestingly, total phenolic content of these bark extracts was similar to Pycnogenol but their antioxidant activity were higher. Moreover, most of the extracts did not inhibit the growth of human skin fibroblasts, WS1. A significant correlation was found between the total phenolic content and the antioxidant activity for water extracts suggesting that these compounds are involved in the activity.

  5. Explaining the distribution of breeding and dispersal syndromes in conifers.

    PubMed

    Leslie, Andrew B; Beaulieu, Jeremy M; Crane, Peter R; Donoghue, Michael J

    2013-11-07

    The evolution of plants exhibiting different sexes, or dioecy, is correlated with a number of ecological and life-history traits such as woody growth form and animal-dispersed seeds, but the underlying causes of these associations are unclear. Previous work in seed plants has suggested that the evolution of fleshy cones or seeds may favour dioecy. In this study, we use a well-sampled molecular phylogeny of conifers to show that although dioecy and fleshiness strongly co-occur at the species level, this relationship has not resulted from numerous separate origins of this trait combination or from differential rates of diversification. Instead, we suggest that two character combinations-the ancestral dry-monoecious condition and the derived fleshy-dioecious condition-have persisted in conifers longer than other combinations over evolutionary time. The persistence of these trait combinations appears to reflect differences in the rate of successful transition into and out of these character states over time, as well as the geographical restriction of species with rare combinations and their consequent vulnerability to extinction. In general, we argue that such persistence explanations should be considered alongside 'key innovation' hypotheses in explaining the phylogenetic distribution of traits.

  6. Explaining the distribution of breeding and dispersal syndromes in conifers

    PubMed Central

    Leslie, Andrew B.; Beaulieu, Jeremy M.; Crane, Peter R.; Donoghue, Michael J.

    2013-01-01

    The evolution of plants exhibiting different sexes, or dioecy, is correlated with a number of ecological and life-history traits such as woody growth form and animal-dispersed seeds, but the underlying causes of these associations are unclear. Previous work in seed plants has suggested that the evolution of fleshy cones or seeds may favour dioecy. In this study, we use a well-sampled molecular phylogeny of conifers to show that although dioecy and fleshiness strongly co-occur at the species level, this relationship has not resulted from numerous separate origins of this trait combination or from differential rates of diversification. Instead, we suggest that two character combinations—the ancestral dry-monoecious condition and the derived fleshy-dioecious condition—have persisted in conifers longer than other combinations over evolutionary time. The persistence of these trait combinations appears to reflect differences in the rate of successful transition into and out of these character states over time, as well as the geographical restriction of species with rare combinations and their consequent vulnerability to extinction. In general, we argue that such persistence explanations should be considered alongside ‘key innovation’ hypotheses in explaining the phylogenetic distribution of traits. PMID:24026822

  7. Geometric-optical modeling of a conifer forest canopy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Li, X.; Strahler, A. H.

    1985-01-01

    A geometric-optical model of a conifer forest canopy was constructed to describe the variance of a remotely-sensed image of a forest stand. The model is driven by interpixel variance generated from three sources: (1) the number of crowns in the pixel; (2) the size of the individual crowns; and (3) the overlapping of crowns and shadows. The illumination of a tree and its shadow is described as a cone using parallel-ray geometry. The model can also be inverted to provide estimates of the size, shape and spacing of the trees using remotely-sensed imagery and a minimum of ground measurements. The results of field tests using 10-meter and 80-meter multispectral imagery of two test conifer stands in northeastern California are presented. It is shown that the model produces reasonable estimates for the geometric parameters of the stand and appears to be sufficiently robust for application to other geometric shapes corresponding to different types of vegetation.

  8. Sequenced genomes and rapidly emerging technologies pave the way for conifer evolutionary developmental biology.

    PubMed

    Uddenberg, Daniel; Akhter, Shirin; Ramachandran, Prashanth; Sundström, Jens F; Carlsbecker, Annelie

    2015-01-01

    Conifers, Ginkgo, cycads and gnetophytes comprise the four groups of extant gymnosperms holding a unique position of sharing common ancestry with the angiosperms. Comparative studies of gymnosperms and angiosperms are the key to a better understanding of ancient seed plant morphologies, how they have shifted over evolution to shape modern day species, and how the genes governing these morphologies have evolved. However, conifers and other gymnosperms have been notoriously difficult to study due to their long generation times, inaccessibility to genetic experimentation and unavailable genome sequences. Now, with three draft genomes from spruces and pines, rapid advances in next generation sequencing methods for genome wide expression analyses, and enhanced methods for genetic transformation, we are much better equipped to address a number of key evolutionary questions relating to seed plant evolution. In this mini-review we highlight recent progress in conifer developmental biology relevant to evo-devo questions. We discuss how genome sequence data and novel techniques might allow us to explore genetic variation and naturally occurring conifer mutants, approaches to reduce long generation times to allow for genetic studies in conifers, and other potential upcoming research avenues utilizing current and emergent techniques. Results from developmental studies of conifers and other gymnosperms in comparison to those in angiosperms will provide information to trace core molecular developmental control tool kits of ancestral seed plants, but foremost they will greatly improve our understanding of the biology of conifers and other gymnosperms in their own right.

  9. Sequenced genomes and rapidly emerging technologies pave the way for conifer evolutionary developmental biology

    PubMed Central

    Uddenberg, Daniel; Akhter, Shirin; Ramachandran, Prashanth; Sundström, Jens F.; Carlsbecker, Annelie

    2015-01-01

    Conifers, Ginkgo, cycads and gnetophytes comprise the four groups of extant gymnosperms holding a unique position of sharing common ancestry with the angiosperms. Comparative studies of gymnosperms and angiosperms are the key to a better understanding of ancient seed plant morphologies, how they have shifted over evolution to shape modern day species, and how the genes governing these morphologies have evolved. However, conifers and other gymnosperms have been notoriously difficult to study due to their long generation times, inaccessibility to genetic experimentation and unavailable genome sequences. Now, with three draft genomes from spruces and pines, rapid advances in next generation sequencing methods for genome wide expression analyses, and enhanced methods for genetic transformation, we are much better equipped to address a number of key evolutionary questions relating to seed plant evolution. In this mini-review we highlight recent progress in conifer developmental biology relevant to evo-devo questions. We discuss how genome sequence data and novel techniques might allow us to explore genetic variation and naturally occurring conifer mutants, approaches to reduce long generation times to allow for genetic studies in conifers, and other potential upcoming research avenues utilizing current and emergent techniques. Results from developmental studies of conifers and other gymnosperms in comparison to those in angiosperms will provide information to trace core molecular developmental control tool kits of ancestral seed plants, but foremost they will greatly improve our understanding of the biology of conifers and other gymnosperms in their own right. PMID:26579190

  10. Anaerobic activities of bacteria and fungi in moderately acidic conifer and deciduous leaf litter.

    PubMed

    Reith, Frank; Drake, Harold L; Küsel, Kirsten

    2002-07-01

    Abstract The litter layer of forest soils harbors high amounts of labile organic matter, and anaerobic decomposition processes can be initiated when oxygen is consumed more rapidly than it is supplied by diffusion. In this study, two adjacent moderately acidic forest sites, a spruce and a beech-oak forest, were selected to compare the anaerobic bacterial and fungal activities and populations of conifer and deciduous leaf litter. Most probable number (MPN) estimates of general heterotrophic aerobes and anaerobes from conifer litter equaled those from deciduous leaf litter. H(2), ethanol, formate, and lactate were initially produced with similar rates in both anoxic conifer and deciduous leaf litter microcosms. These products were rapidly consumed in deciduous leaf but not in conifer litter microcosms. Supplemental ethanol and H(2) were consumed only by deciduous leaf litter and yielded additional amounts of acetate in stoichiometries indicative of ethanol- or H(2)-dependent acetogenesis. The negligible turnover of primary fermentation products in conifer litter might be due to the low numbers of acetogens and secondary fermenters present in conifer litter compared to deciduous leaf litter. Fungi capable of anaerobic growth made up only 0.01-0.1% of the total anaerobic microorganisms cultured from conifer and deciduous leaf litter, respectively. Metabolic product profiles obtained from the highest anoxic, growth-positive MPN dilutions supplemented with antibacterial agents indicated that the dominant population of fungi, apparently mainly yeast-like cells, produced H(2), ethanol, acetate, and lactate both in conifer and deciduous leaf litter. Thus, despite acidic conditions, bacteria appear to dominate in the decomposition of carbon in anoxic microsites of both conifer and deciduous leaf litter.

  11. Low Elevation Riparian Environments: Warm-Climate Refugia for Conifers in the Great Basin, USA?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Millar, C.; Charlet, D. A.; Westfall, R. D.; Delany, D.

    2015-12-01

    The Great Basin, USA, contains hundreds of small to large mountain ranges. Many reach alpine elevations, which are separated from each other by low-elevation basins currently inhospitable to conifer growth. Many of these ranges support montane and subalpine conifer species that have affinities to the Sierra Nevada or Rocky Mountains, and from which these conifers migrated during cool periods of the Pleistocene. Under Holocene climates, the Great Basin geography became a terrestrial island-archipelago, wherein conifer populations are isolated among ranges, and inter-range migration is highly limited. During warm intervals of the Holocene, conifers would be expected to have migrated upslope following favorable conditions, and extirpation would be assumed to result from continued warming. Independent patterns, repeating across multiple species' distributions, however, suggest that refugia were present in these ranges during warm periods, and that low elevation environments below the current main distributions acted as climatic refugia. We hypothesize that cool, narrow, and north-aspect ravines, which during cool climates support persistent or seasonal creeks and deciduous riparian communities, become available as conifer habitat when warming climates desiccate creeks and deplete riparian species. We further speculate that cold-air drainage, reduced solar insolation, lower wind exposure, and higher water tables in these topographic positions support populations of montane and subalpine conifers even during warm climate intervals when high elevations are unfavorable for conifer persistence. On return to cool climates, low elevation refugia become sources for recolonizing higher slopes, and/or continue to persist as relictual populations. We present several lines of evidence supporting this hypothesis, and speculate that low-elevation, extramarginal riparian environments might act as climate refugia for Great Basin conifers in the future as well.

  12. Cyclic voltammetric study of Co-Ni-Fe alloys electrodeposition in sulfate medium

    SciTech Connect

    Hanafi, I.; Daud, A. R.; Radiman, S.

    2013-11-27

    Electrochemical technique has been used to study the electrodeposition of cobalt, nickel, iron and Co-Ni-Fe alloy on indium tin oxide (ITO) coated glass substrate. To obtain the nucleation mechanism, cyclic voltammetry is used to characterize the Co-Ni-Fe system. The scanning rate effect on the deposition process was investigated. Deposition of single metal occurs at potential values more positive than that estimated stability potential. Based on the cyclic voltammetry results, the electrodeposition of cobalt, nickel, iron and Co-Ni-Fe alloy clearly show that the process of diffusion occurs is controlled by the typical nucleation mechanism.

  13. Evidence of Intense Chromosomal Shuffling during Conifer Evolution

    PubMed Central

    de Miguel, Marina; Bartholomé, Jérôme; Ehrenmann, François; Murat, Florent; Moriguchi, Yoshinari; Uchiyama, Kentaro; Ueno, Saneyoshi; Tsumura, Yoshihiko; Lagraulet, Hélène; de Maria, Nuria; Cabezas, José-Antonio; Cervera, María-Teresa; Gion, Jean Marc; Salse, Jérôme; Plomion, Christophe

    2015-01-01

    Although recent advances have been gained on genome evolution in angiosperm lineages, virtually nothing is known about karyotype evolution in the other group of seed plants, the gymnosperms. Here, we used high-density gene-based linkage mapping to compare the karyotype structure of two families of conifers (the most abundant group of gymnosperms) separated around 290 Ma: Pinaceae and Cupressaceae. We propose for the first time a model based on the fusion of 20 ancestral chromosomal blocks that may have shaped the modern karyotpes of Pinaceae (with n = 12) and Cupressaceae (with n = 11). The considerable difference in modern genome organization between these two lineages contrasts strongly with the remarkable level of synteny already reported within the Pinaceae. It also suggests a convergent evolutionary mechanism of chromosomal block shuffling that has shaped the genomes of the spermatophytes. PMID:26400405

  14. In-vitro Antimicrobial Activities of Some Iranian Conifers

    PubMed Central

    Afsharzadeh, Maryam; Naderinasab, Mahboobe; Tayarani Najaran, Zahra; Barzin, Mohammad; Emami, Seyed Ahmad

    2013-01-01

    Male and female leaves and fruits of eleven different taxons of Iranian conifers (Cupressus sempervirens var. horizontalis, C. sempervirens var. sempervirens, C. sempervirens cv. Cereifeormis, Juniperus communis subsp. hemisphaerica, J. excelsa subsp. excelsa, J. excelsa subsp. polycarpos, J. foetidissima, J. oblonga, J. sabina, Platycladus orientalis and Taxus baccata) were collected from different localities of Iran, dried and extracted with methanol. The extracts were tested for their antimicrobial activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and Candida albicans. The extracts were screened qualitatively using four different methods, the disc diffusion, hole plate, cylinder agar diffusion and agar dilution methods, whereas the minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) of each extract were determined by the agar dilution method. The best result was obtained by means of hole plate method in qualitative determination of antimicrobial activities of extracts and the greatest activity was found against S. aureus in all tested methods. PMID:24250573

  15. In-vitro Antimicrobial Activities of Some Iranian Conifers.

    PubMed

    Afsharzadeh, Maryam; Naderinasab, Mahboobe; Tayarani Najaran, Zahra; Barzin, Mohammad; Emami, Seyed Ahmad

    2013-01-01

    Male and female leaves and fruits of eleven different taxons of Iranian conifers (Cupressus sempervirens var. horizontalis, C. sempervirens var. sempervirens, C. sempervirens cv. Cereifeormis, Juniperus communis subsp. hemisphaerica, J. excelsa subsp. excelsa, J. excelsa subsp. polycarpos, J. foetidissima, J. oblonga, J. sabina, Platycladus orientalis and Taxus baccata) were collected from different localities of Iran, dried and extracted with methanol. The extracts were tested for their antimicrobial activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and Candida albicans. The extracts were screened qualitatively using four different methods, the disc diffusion, hole plate, cylinder agar diffusion and agar dilution methods, whereas the minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) of each extract were determined by the agar dilution method. The best result was obtained by means of hole plate method in qualitative determination of antimicrobial activities of extracts and the greatest activity was found against S. aureus in all tested methods.

  16. DNA barcoding the native flowering plants and conifers of Wales.

    PubMed

    de Vere, Natasha; Rich, Tim C G; Ford, Col R; Trinder, Sarah A; Long, Charlotte; Moore, Chris W; Satterthwaite, Danielle; Davies, Helena; Allainguillaume, Joel; Ronca, Sandra; Tatarinova, Tatiana; Garbett, Hannah; Walker, Kevin; Wilkinson, Mike J

    2012-01-01

    We present the first national DNA barcode resource that covers the native flowering plants and conifers for the nation of Wales (1143 species). Using the plant DNA barcode markers rbcL and matK, we have assembled 97.7% coverage for rbcL, 90.2% for matK, and a dual-locus barcode for 89.7% of the native Welsh flora. We have sampled multiple individuals for each species, resulting in 3304 rbcL and 2419 matK sequences. The majority of our samples (85%) are from DNA extracted from herbarium specimens. Recoverability of DNA barcodes is lower using herbarium specimens, compared to freshly collected material, mostly due to lower amplification success, but this is balanced by the increased efficiency of sampling species that have already been collected, identified, and verified by taxonomic experts. The effectiveness of the DNA barcodes for identification (level of discrimination) is assessed using four approaches: the presence of a barcode gap (using pairwise and multiple alignments), formation of monophyletic groups using Neighbour-Joining trees, and sequence similarity in BLASTn searches. These approaches yield similar results, providing relative discrimination levels of 69.4 to 74.9% of all species and 98.6 to 99.8% of genera using both markers. Species discrimination can be further improved using spatially explicit sampling. Mean species discrimination using barcode gap analysis (with a multiple alignment) is 81.6% within 10×10 km squares and 93.3% for 2×2 km squares. Our database of DNA barcodes for Welsh native flowering plants and conifers represents the most complete coverage of any national flora, and offers a valuable platform for a wide range of applications that require accurate species identification.

  17. Uniform versus asymmetric shading mediates crown recession in conifers.

    PubMed

    Schoonmaker, Amanda L; Lieffers, Victor J; Landhäusser, Simon M

    2014-01-01

    In this study we explore the impact of asymmetrical vs. uniform crown shading on the mortality and growth of upper and lower branches within tree crowns, for two conifer species: shade intolerant lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) and shade tolerant white spruce (Picea glauca). We also explore xylem hydraulics, foliar nutrition, and carbohydrate status as drivers for growth and expansion of the lower and upper branches in various types of shading. This study was conducted over a two-year period across 10 regenerating forest sites dominated by lodgepole pine and white spruce, in the lower foothills of Alberta, Canada. Trees were assigned to one of four shading treatments: (1), complete uniform shading of the entire tree, (2) light asymmetric shading where the lower 1/4-1/3 of the tree crown was shaded, (3) heavy asymmetric shading as in (2) except with greater light reduction and (4) control in which no artificial shading occurred and most of the entire crown was exposed to full light. Asymmetrical shading of only the lower crown had a larger negative impact on the bud expansion and growth than did uniform shading, and the effect was stronger in pine relative to spruce. In addition, lower branches in pine also had lower carbon reserves, and reduced xylem-area specific conductivity compared to spruce. For both species, but particularly the pine, the needles of lower branches tended to store less C than upper branches in the asymmetric shade, which could suggest a movement of reserves away from the lower branches. The implications of these findings correspond with the inherent shade tolerance and self-pruning behavior of these conifers and supports a carbon based mechanism for branch mortality--mediated by an asymmetry in light exposure of the crown.

  18. DNA Barcoding the Native Flowering Plants and Conifers of Wales

    PubMed Central

    de Vere, Natasha; Rich, Tim C. G.; Ford, Col R.; Trinder, Sarah A.; Long, Charlotte; Moore, Chris W.; Satterthwaite, Danielle; Davies, Helena; Allainguillaume, Joel; Ronca, Sandra; Tatarinova, Tatiana; Garbett, Hannah; Walker, Kevin; Wilkinson, Mike J.

    2012-01-01

    We present the first national DNA barcode resource that covers the native flowering plants and conifers for the nation of Wales (1143 species). Using the plant DNA barcode markers rbcL and matK, we have assembled 97.7% coverage for rbcL, 90.2% for matK, and a dual-locus barcode for 89.7% of the native Welsh flora. We have sampled multiple individuals for each species, resulting in 3304 rbcL and 2419 matK sequences. The majority of our samples (85%) are from DNA extracted from herbarium specimens. Recoverability of DNA barcodes is lower using herbarium specimens, compared to freshly collected material, mostly due to lower amplification success, but this is balanced by the increased efficiency of sampling species that have already been collected, identified, and verified by taxonomic experts. The effectiveness of the DNA barcodes for identification (level of discrimination) is assessed using four approaches: the presence of a barcode gap (using pairwise and multiple alignments), formation of monophyletic groups using Neighbour-Joining trees, and sequence similarity in BLASTn searches. These approaches yield similar results, providing relative discrimination levels of 69.4 to 74.9% of all species and 98.6 to 99.8% of genera using both markers. Species discrimination can be further improved using spatially explicit sampling. Mean species discrimination using barcode gap analysis (with a multiple alignment) is 81.6% within 10×10 km squares and 93.3% for 2×2 km squares. Our database of DNA barcodes for Welsh native flowering plants and conifers represents the most complete coverage of any national flora, and offers a valuable platform for a wide range of applications that require accurate species identification. PMID:22701588

  19. Uniform versus Asymmetric Shading Mediates Crown Recession in Conifers

    PubMed Central

    Schoonmaker, Amanda L.; Lieffers, Victor J.; Landhäusser, Simon M.

    2014-01-01

    In this study we explore the impact of asymmetrical vs. uniform crown shading on the mortality and growth of upper and lower branches within tree crowns, for two conifer species: shade intolerant lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) and shade tolerant white spruce (Picea glauca). We also explore xylem hydraulics, foliar nutrition, and carbohydrate status as drivers for growth and expansion of the lower and upper branches in various types of shading. This study was conducted over a two-year period across 10 regenerating forest sites dominated by lodgepole pine and white spruce, in the lower foothills of Alberta, Canada. Trees were assigned to one of four shading treatments: (1), complete uniform shading of the entire tree, (2) light asymmetric shading where the lower 1/4–1/3 of the tree crown was shaded, (3) heavy asymmetric shading as in (2) except with greater light reduction and (4) control in which no artificial shading occurred and most of the entire crown was exposed to full light. Asymmetrical shading of only the lower crown had a larger negative impact on the bud expansion and growth than did uniform shading, and the effect was stronger in pine relative to spruce. In addition, lower branches in pine also had lower carbon reserves, and reduced xylem-area specific conductivity compared to spruce. For both species, but particularly the pine, the needles of lower branches tended to store less C than upper branches in the asymmetric shade, which could suggest a movement of reserves away from the lower branches. The implications of these findings correspond with the inherent shade tolerance and self-pruning behavior of these conifers and supports a carbon based mechanism for branch mortality – mediated by an asymmetry in light exposure of the crown. PMID:25136823

  20. Biomass in conifer plantations of northeastern Minnesota. Forest Service research paper

    SciTech Connect

    Ohmann, L.F.

    1985-10-01

    The report provides biomass estimates for vegetative strata and herb-low shrub species for 53 conifer plantations in NE Minnesota. The estimates are analyzed by plantation age and silvicultural practices used to establish and release the plantations.

  1. Morphological and functional stasis in mycorrhizal root nodules as exhibited by a Triassic conifer

    PubMed Central

    Schwendemann, Andrew B.; Decombeix, Anne-Laure; Taylor, Thomas N.; Krings, Michael

    2011-01-01

    Mycorrhizal root nodules occur in the conifer families Araucariaceae, Podocarpaceae, and Sciadopityaceae. Although the fossil record of these families can be traced back into the early Mesozoic, the oldest fossil evidence of root nodules previously came from the Cretaceous. Here we report on cellularly preserved root nodules of the early conifer Notophytum from Middle Triassic permineralized peat of Antarctica. These fossil root nodules contain fungal arbuscules, hyphal coils, and vesicles in their cortex. Numerous glomoid-type spores are found in the peat matrix surrounding the nodules. This discovery indicates that mutualistic associations between conifer root nodules and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi date back to at least the early Mesozoic, the period during which most of the modern conifer families first appeared. Notophytum root nodules predate the next known appearance of this association by 100 million years, indicating that this specialized form of mycorrhizal symbiosis has ancient origins. PMID:21808011

  2. Morphological and functional stasis in mycorrhizal root nodules as exhibited by a Triassic conifer.

    PubMed

    Schwendemann, Andrew B; Decombeix, Anne-Laure; Taylor, Thomas N; Taylor, Edith L; Krings, Michael

    2011-08-16

    Mycorrhizal root nodules occur in the conifer families Araucariaceae, Podocarpaceae, and Sciadopityaceae. Although the fossil record of these families can be traced back into the early Mesozoic, the oldest fossil evidence of root nodules previously came from the Cretaceous. Here we report on cellularly preserved root nodules of the early conifer Notophytum from Middle Triassic permineralized peat of Antarctica. These fossil root nodules contain fungal arbuscules, hyphal coils, and vesicles in their cortex. Numerous glomoid-type spores are found in the peat matrix surrounding the nodules. This discovery indicates that mutualistic associations between conifer root nodules and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi date back to at least the early Mesozoic, the period during which most of the modern conifer families first appeared. Notophytum root nodules predate the next known appearance of this association by 100 million years, indicating that this specialized form of mycorrhizal symbiosis has ancient origins.

  3. Better living through conifer removal: A demographic analysis of sage-grouse vital rates.

    PubMed

    Severson, John P; Hagen, Christian A; Tack, Jason D; Maestas, Jeremy D; Naugle, David E; Forbes, James T; Reese, Kerry P

    2017-01-01

    Sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) obligate wildlife species such as the imperiled greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) face numerous threats including altered ecosystem processes that have led to conifer expansion into shrub-steppe. Conifer removal is accelerating despite a lack of empirical evidence on grouse population response. Using a before-after-control-impact design at the landscape scale, we evaluated effects of conifer removal on two important demographic parameters, annual survival of females and nest survival, by monitoring 219 female sage-grouse and 225 nests in the northern Great Basin from 2010 to 2014. Estimates from the best treatment models showed positive trends in the treatment area relative to the control area resulting in an increase of 6.6% annual female survival and 18.8% nest survival relative to the control area by 2014. Using stochastic simulations of our estimates and published demographics, we estimated a 25% increase in the population growth rate in the treatment area relative to the control area. This is the first study to link sage-grouse demographics with conifer removal and supports recommendations to actively manage conifer expansion for sage-grouse conservation. Sage-grouse have become a primary catalyst for conservation funding to address conifer expansion in the West, and these findings have important implications for other ecosystem services being generated on the wings of species conservation.

  4. Better living through conifer removal: A demographic analysis of sage-grouse vital rates

    PubMed Central

    Hagen, Christian A.; Tack, Jason D.; Maestas, Jeremy D.; Naugle, David E.; Forbes, James T.; Reese, Kerry P.

    2017-01-01

    Sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) obligate wildlife species such as the imperiled greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) face numerous threats including altered ecosystem processes that have led to conifer expansion into shrub-steppe. Conifer removal is accelerating despite a lack of empirical evidence on grouse population response. Using a before-after-control-impact design at the landscape scale, we evaluated effects of conifer removal on two important demographic parameters, annual survival of females and nest survival, by monitoring 219 female sage-grouse and 225 nests in the northern Great Basin from 2010 to 2014. Estimates from the best treatment models showed positive trends in the treatment area relative to the control area resulting in an increase of 6.6% annual female survival and 18.8% nest survival relative to the control area by 2014. Using stochastic simulations of our estimates and published demographics, we estimated a 25% increase in the population growth rate in the treatment area relative to the control area. This is the first study to link sage-grouse demographics with conifer removal and supports recommendations to actively manage conifer expansion for sage-grouse conservation. Sage-grouse have become a primary catalyst for conservation funding to address conifer expansion in the West, and these findings have important implications for other ecosystem services being generated on the wings of species conservation. PMID:28333995

  5. Ungulate exclusion, conifer thinning and mule deer forage in northeastern New Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kramer, David W.; Sorensen, Grant E.; Taylor, Chase A.; Cox, Robert D.; Gipson, Philip S.; Cain, James W.

    2015-01-01

    The southwestern United States has experienced expansion of conifer species (Juniperus spp. and Pinus ponderosa) into areas of semi-arid grassland over the past century. The expansion of conifers can limit palatable forage and reduce grass and forb communities. Conifer species are sometimes thinned through hydraulic mulching or selective cutting. We assessed the effects of these treatments on mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) habitat in northeastern New Mexico to determine if conifer thinning improved cover of preferred forage species for mule deer in areas with and without ungulates. We measured plant cover and occurrence of preferred forage species in the summers of 2011 and 2012. An ongoing regional drought probably reduced vegetation response, with preferred forage species and herbaceous cover responding to conifer thinning or ungulate exclusion immediately following treatment, but not the following year. In 2011, areas that received thinning treatments had a higher abundance of preferred forage when compared to sites with no treatment. Grass coverage exhibited an immediate response in 2011, with ungulate exclosures containing 8% more coverage than areas without exclosures. The results suggest that conifer thinning and ungulate exclusion may elicit a positive response, however in the presence of drought; the positive effects are only short-term.

  6. Evolutionary assembly of the conifer fauna: distinguishing ancient from recent associations in bark beetles.

    PubMed

    Sequeira, A S; Normark, B B; Farrell, B D

    2000-12-07

    Several shifts from ancestral conifer feeding to angiosperm feeding have been implicated in the unparalleled diversification of beetle species. The single largest angiosperm-feeding beetle clade occurs in the weevils, and comprises the family Curculionidae and relatives. Most authorities confidently place the bark beetles (Scolytidae) within this radiation of angiosperm feeders. However, some clues indicate that the association between conifers and some scolytids, particularly in the tribe Tomicini, is a very ancient one. For instance, several fragments of Gondwanaland (South America, New Caledonia, Australia and New Guinea) harbour endemic Tomicini specialized on members of the formerly widespread and abundant conifer family Araucariaceae. As a first step towards resolving this seeming paradox, we present a phylogenetic analysis of the beetle family Scolytidae with particularly intensive sampling of conifer-feeding Tomicini and allies. We sequenced and analysed elongation factor 1alpha and nuclear rDNAs 18S and 28S for 45 taxa, using members of the weevil family Cossoninae as an out-group. Our results indicate that conifer feeding is the ancestral host association of scolytids, and that the most basal lineages of scolytids feed on Aramucaria. If scolytids are indeed nested within a great angiosperm-feeding clade, as many authorities have held, then a reversion to conifer feeding in ancestral scolytids appears to have occurred in the Mesozoic, when Araucaria still formed a major component of the woody flora.

  7. Phylogenetic relationships of conifers inferred from partial 28S rRNA gene sequences.

    PubMed

    Stefanoviac, S; Jager, M; Deutsch, J; Broutin, J; Masselot, M

    1998-05-01

    The conifers, which traditionally comprise seven families, are the largest and most diverse group of living gymnosperms. Efforts to systematize this diversity without a cladistic phylogenetic framework have often resulted in the segregation of certain genera and/or families from the conifers. In order to understand better the relationships between the families, we performed cladistic analyses using a new data set obtained from 28S rRNA gene sequences. These analyses strongly support the monophyly of conifers including Taxaceae. Within the conifers, the Pinaceae are the first to diverge, being the sister group of the rest of conifers. A recently discovered Australian genus Wollemia is confirmed to be a natural member of the Araucariaceae. The Taxaceae are nested within the conifer clade, being the most closely related to the Cephalotaxaceae. The Taxodiaceae and Cupressaceae together form a monophyletic group. Sciadopitys should be considered as constituting a separate family. These relationships are consistent with previous cladistic analyses of morphological and molecular (18S rRNA, rbcL) data. Furthermore, the well-supported clade linking the Araucariaceae and Podocarpaceae, which has not been previously reported, suggests that the common ancestor of these families, both having the greatest diversity in the Southern Hemisphere, inhabited Gondwanaland.

  8. Quantifying carbon budgets of conifer Mediterranean forest ecosystems, Turkey.

    PubMed

    Evrendilek, Fatih; Berberoglu, Suha; Taskinsu-Meydan, Sibel; Yilmaz, Erhan

    2006-08-01

    Aboveground biomass, aboveground litterfall, and leaf litter decomposition of five indigenous tree stands (pure stands of Pinus brutia, Pinus nigra, Cedrus libani, Juniperus excelsa, and a mixed stand of Abies cilicica, P. nigra, and C. libani) were measured in an eastern Mediterranean evergreen needleleaf forest of Turkey. Measurements were converted to regional scale estimates of carbon (C) stocks and fluxes of forest ecosystems, based on general non-site-specific allometric relationships. Mean C stock of the conifer forests was estimated as 97.8 +/- 79 Mg C ha(-1) consisting of 83.0 +/- 67 Mg C ha(-1) in the aboveground and 14.8 +/- 12 Mg C ha(-1) in the belowground biomass. The forest stands had mean soil organic carbon (SOC) and nitrogen (SON) stocks of 172.0 +/- 25.7 Mg C ha(-1) and 9.2 +/- 1.2 Mg N ha(-1), respectively. Mean total monthly litterfall was 376.2 +/- 191.3 kg C ha(-1), ranging from 641 +/- 385 kg C ha(-1) for Pinus brutia to 286 +/- 82 kg C ha(-1) for Cedrus libani. Decomposition rate constants (k) for pine needles were 0.0016 for Cedrus libani, 0.0009 for Pinus nigra, 0.0006 for the mixed stand, and 0.0005 day(-1) for Pinus brutia and Juniperus excelsa. Estimation of components of the C budgets revealed that the forest ecosystems were net C sinks, with a mean sequestration rate of 2.0 +/- 1.1 Mg C ha(-1) yr(-1) ranging from 3.2 +/- 2 Mg C ha(-1) for Pinus brutia to 1.6 +/- 0.6 Mg C ha(-1) for Cedrus libani. Mean net ecosystem productivity (NEP) resulted in sequestration of 98.4 +/- 54.1 Gg CO2 yr(-1) from the atmosphere when extrapolated for the entire study area of 134.2 km2 (Gg = 10(9) g). The quantitative C data from the study revealed the significance of the conifer Mediterranean forests as C sinks.

  9. Detection of aspen/conifer forest mixes from multitemporal LANDSAT digital data. [Bear River Range, Rocky Mountains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Merola, J. A.; Jaynes, R. A.; Harniss, R. O.

    1983-01-01

    Aspen, conifer and mixed aspen/conifer forests were mapped for a 15-quadrangle study area in the Utah-Idaho Bear River Range using LANDSAT multispectral scanner (MSS) data. The digital MSS data were utilized to devise quantitative indices which correlate with apparently stable and seral aspen forests. The extent to which a two-date LANDSAT MSS analysis may permit the delineation of different categories of aspen/conifer forest mix was explored. Multitemporal analyses of MSS data led to the identification of early, early to mid, mid to late, and late seral stages of aspen/conifer forest mixing.

  10. Complete tylosis formation in a latest Permian conifer stem

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Zhuo; Wang, Jun; Rößler, Ronny; Kerp, Hans; Wei, Hai-Bo

    2013-01-01

    Background and Aims Our knowledge of tylosis formation is mainly based on observations of extant plants; however, its developmental and functional significance are less well understood in fossil plants. This study, for the first time, describes a complete tylosis formation in a fossil woody conifer and discusses its ecophysiological implications. Methods The permineralized stem of Shenoxylon mirabile was collected from the upper Permian (Changhsingian) Sunjiagou Formation of Shitanjing coalfield, northern China. Samples from different portions of the stem were prepared by using the standard thin-sectioning technique and studied in transmitted light. Key Results The outgrowth of ray parenchyma cells protruded into adjacent tracheids through pits initially forming small pyriform or balloon-shaped structures, which became globular or slightly elongated when they reached their maximum size. The tracheid luminae were gradually occluded by densely spaced tyloses. The host tracheids are arranged in distinct concentric zones representing different growth phases of tylosis formation within a single growth ring. Conclusions The extensive development of tyloses from the innermost heartwood (metaxylem) tracheids to the outermost sapwood tracheids suggests that the plant was highly vulnerable and reacted strongly to environmental stress. Based on the evidence available, the tyloses were probably not produced in response to wound reaction or pathogenic infection, since evidence of wood traumatic events or fungal invasion are not recognizable. Rather, they may represent an ecophysiological response to the constant environmental stimuli. PMID:23532049

  11. Modeling acclimation of photosynthesis to temperature in evergreen conifer forests.

    PubMed

    Gea-Izquierdo, Guillermo; Mäkelä, Annikki; Margolis, Hank; Bergeron, Yves; Black, T Andrew; Dunn, Allison; Hadley, Julian; Kyaw Tha Paw U; Falk, Matthias; Wharton, Sonia; Monson, Russell; Hollinger, David Y; Laurila, Tuomas; Aurela, Mika; McCaughey, Harry; Bourque, Charles; Vesala, Timo; Berninger, Frank

    2010-10-01

    • In this study, we used a canopy photosynthesis model which describes changes in photosynthetic capacity with slow temperature-dependent acclimations. • A flux-partitioning algorithm was applied to fit the photosynthesis model to net ecosystem exchange data for 12 evergreen coniferous forests from northern temperate and boreal regions. • The model accounted for much of the variation in photosynthetic production, with modeling efficiencies (mean > 67%) similar to those of more complex models. The parameter describing the rate of acclimation was larger at the northern sites, leading to a slower acclimation of photosynthesis to temperature. The response of the rates of photosynthesis to air temperature in spring was delayed up to several days at the coldest sites. Overall photosynthesis acclimation processes were slower at colder, northern locations than at warmer, more southern, and more maritime sites. • Consequently, slow changes in photosynthetic capacity were essential to explaining variations of photosynthesis for colder boreal forests (i.e. where acclimation of photosynthesis to temperature was slower), whereas the importance of these processes was minor in warmer conifer evergreen forests.

  12. Conservative water management in the widespread conifer genus Callitris

    PubMed Central

    Brodribb, Timothy J.; Bowman, David M. J. S.; Grierson, Pauline F.; Murphy, Brett P.; Nichols, Scott; Prior, Lynda D.

    2013-01-01

    Water management by woody species encompasses characters involved in seeking, transporting and evaporating water. Examples of adaptation of individual characters to water availability are common, but little is known about the adaptability of whole-plant water management. Here we use plant hydration and growth to examine variation in whole-plant water management characteristics within the conifer genus Callitris. Using four species that cover the environmental extremes in the Australian continent, we compare seasonal patterns of growth and hydration over 2 years to determine the extent to which species exhibit adaptive variation to the local environment. Detailed measurements of gas exchange in one species are used to produce a hydraulic model to predict changes in leaf water potential throughout the year. This same model, when applied to the remaining three species, provided a close representation of the measured patterns of water potential gradient at all sites, suggesting strong conservation in water management, a conclusion supported by carbon and oxygen isotope measurements in Callitris from across the continent. We conclude that despite its large range in terms of rainfall, Callitris has a conservative water management strategy, characterized by a high sensitivity of growth to rainfall and a delayed (anisohydric) closure of stomata during soil drying.

  13. Effects of acid fog and ozone on conifers. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Bytnerowicz, A.; Olszyk, D.M.; Takemoto, B.K.; McCool, P.M.; Musselman, R.C.

    1989-05-01

    This study evaluated the effects of acidic fog (pH 2.0, 3.0, or 4.0) on the physiological, biochemical, and growth responses of two coniferous tree species (Pinus ponderosa and Abies concolor), and determined if exposure to acidic fog predisposed the tree seedlings to the phytotoxic effects of ozone (O{sub 3}). Results provide evidence that the growth and metabolic responses of two coniferous tree species could be altered by multiple applications of acidic fog, and by exposure to ambient O{sub 3}. In general, the alterations were slight to modest, which may be attributed to the low degree of stress severity, and the slow rate of tree growth. The findings indicate that exposure to acidic fog followed by O{sub 3} does not cause detectable changes in conifer seedling growth within a single-growing season. Nevertheless, it is clear that acidic fog and O{sub 3} cause temporal alterations in seedling physiology and biochemistry.

  14. The Earliest Evidence of Holometabolan Insect Pupation in Conifer Wood

    PubMed Central

    Tapanila, Leif; Roberts, Eric M.

    2012-01-01

    Background The pre-Jurassic record of terrestrial wood borings is poorly resolved, despite body fossil evidence of insect diversification among xylophilic clades starting in the late Paleozoic. Detailed analysis of borings in petrified wood provides direct evidence of wood utilization by invertebrate animals, which typically comprises feeding behaviors. Methodology/Principal Findings We describe a U-shaped boring in petrified wood from the Late Triassic Chinle Formation of southern Utah that demonstrates a strong linkage between insect ontogeny and conifer wood resources. Xylokrypta durossi new ichnogenus and ichnospecies is a large excavation in wood that is backfilled with partially digested xylem, creating a secluded chamber. The tracemaker exited the chamber by way of a small vertical shaft. This sequence of behaviors is most consistent with the entrance of a larva followed by pupal quiescence and adult emergence — hallmarks of holometabolous insect ontogeny. Among the known body fossil record of Triassic insects, cupedid beetles (Coleoptera: Archostemata) are deemed the most plausible tracemakers of Xylokrypta, based on their body size and modern xylobiotic lifestyle. Conclusions/Significance This oldest record of pupation in fossil wood provides an alternative interpretation to borings once regarded as evidence for Triassic bees. Instead Xylokrypta suggests that early archostematan beetles were leaders in exploiting wood substrates well before modern clades of xylophages arose in the late Mesozoic. PMID:22355387

  15. Antioxidant Activity of Leaves and Fruits of Iranian Conifers

    PubMed Central

    Emami, S. A.; Asili, J.; Mohagheghi, Z.

    2007-01-01

    Cupressus semipervirens var. horizontalis, Cupressus semipervirens var. semipervirens, Cupressus semipervirens cv. Cereifeormis, Juniperus communis subsp. hemisphaerica, Juniperus excelsa subsp. excelsa, Juniperus excelsa subsp. polycarpos, Juniperus foetidissima, Juniperus oblonga, Juniperus sabina, Platycladus orientalis and Taxus baccata are Iranian conifers. The antioxidant activity of leaves and fruits of these 11 different taxons were evaluated. The leaves of both male and female, and fruits of these plants were collected from different areas of the country. Methanol extract of leaves and fruits of these taxons were prepared. Antioxidant activity of each extracts was measured using two different tests of the ferric thiocyanate method and thiobarbituric acid. Results indicated that the methanol extracts of leaves, of male and female, and fruits of all these species (27 samples) possessed antioxidant activity when tested with both methods. The antioxidant activity was then compared with those of α-tocopherol (a natural antioxidant) and butylated hydroxytoluene (a synthetic antioxidant). Methanol extract of fruits of C. semipervirens cv. Cereifeormis showed the highest antioxidant activity while the methanol extract of leaves of C. semipervirens var. semipervirens possessed the lowest antioxidant activity. However, our finding showed that most of the tested extracts were showing strong antioxidant activity even higher than α-tocopherol. PMID:17965761

  16. Biosynthesis and Metabolic Fate of Phenylalanine in Conifers.

    PubMed

    Pascual, María B; El-Azaz, Jorge; de la Torre, Fernando N; Cañas, Rafael A; Avila, Concepción; Cánovas, Francisco M

    2016-01-01

    The amino acid phenylalanine (Phe) is a critical metabolic node that plays an essential role in the interconnection between primary and secondary metabolism in plants. Phe is used as a protein building block but it is also as a precursor for numerous plant compounds that are crucial for plant reproduction, growth, development, and defense against different types of stresses. The metabolism of Phe plays a central role in the channeling of carbon from photosynthesis to the biosynthesis of phenylpropanoids. The study of this metabolic pathway is particularly relevant in trees, which divert large amounts of carbon into the biosynthesis of Phe-derived compounds, particularly lignin, an important constituent of wood. The trunks of trees are metabolic sinks that consume a considerable percentage of carbon and energy from photosynthesis, and carbon is finally immobilized in wood. This paper reviews recent advances in the biosynthesis and metabolic utilization of Phe in conifer trees. Two alternative routes have been identified: the ancient phenylpyruvate pathway that is present in microorganisms, and the arogenate pathway that possibly evolved later during plant evolution. Additionally, an efficient nitrogen recycling mechanism is required to maintain sustained growth during xylem formation. The relevance of phenylalanine metabolic pathways in wood formation, the biotic interactions, and ultraviolet protection is discussed. The genetic manipulation and transcriptional regulation of the pathways are also outlined.

  17. Vigor loss in conifers due to dwarf mistletoe

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meyer, M. P.; French, D. W.; Latham, R. P.; Nelson, C. A.

    1970-01-01

    Practical remote sensing techniques were developed for detecting and evaluating vigor loss in forest conifers due to dwarf mistletoe. Eastern dwarf mistletoe (Arceuthobium pusillum) infection of black spruce (Picea mariana) was investigated. A tower-tramway system, 100 feet high, was erected over an infected stand in northeast Minnesota in June and multiband/multidate photography was initiated in July and is continuing. Four 70mm film-filter combinations were used in a multicamera unit: Plus-X/Wratten 58, Plus-X/Wratten 25A, Aero Infrared/Wratten 89B, and Ektachrome Infrared/Wratten 12. The stand of mistletoe-infected black spruce under the tramway was photographed three times per day (0900, 1200 and 1500 local sun time) at approximately 10 day intervals. An extensive test site, several square miles in area, was selected in north-central Minnesota for the purpose of testing photographic specifications developed on the tramway test site. One aerial photographic flight at a variety of altitudes was accomplished over the extensive test site in August. Data analyses are not available at this time.

  18. Biosynthesis and Metabolic Fate of Phenylalanine in Conifers

    PubMed Central

    Pascual, María B.; El-Azaz, Jorge; de la Torre, Fernando N.; Cañas, Rafael A.; Avila, Concepción; Cánovas, Francisco M.

    2016-01-01

    The amino acid phenylalanine (Phe) is a critical metabolic node that plays an essential role in the interconnection between primary and secondary metabolism in plants. Phe is used as a protein building block but it is also as a precursor for numerous plant compounds that are crucial for plant reproduction, growth, development, and defense against different types of stresses. The metabolism of Phe plays a central role in the channeling of carbon from photosynthesis to the biosynthesis of phenylpropanoids. The study of this metabolic pathway is particularly relevant in trees, which divert large amounts of carbon into the biosynthesis of Phe-derived compounds, particularly lignin, an important constituent of wood. The trunks of trees are metabolic sinks that consume a considerable percentage of carbon and energy from photosynthesis, and carbon is finally immobilized in wood. This paper reviews recent advances in the biosynthesis and metabolic utilization of Phe in conifer trees. Two alternative routes have been identified: the ancient phenylpyruvate pathway that is present in microorganisms, and the arogenate pathway that possibly evolved later during plant evolution. Additionally, an efficient nitrogen recycling mechanism is required to maintain sustained growth during xylem formation. The relevance of phenylalanine metabolic pathways in wood formation, the biotic interactions, and ultraviolet protection is discussed. The genetic manipulation and transcriptional regulation of the pathways are also outlined. PMID:27468292

  19. Hydraulic acclimation to shading in boreal conifers of varying shade tolerance.

    PubMed

    Schoonmaker, Amanda L; Hacke, Uwe G; Landhäusser, Simon M; Lieffers, Victor J; Tyree, Melvin T

    2010-03-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine how shading affects the hydraulic and wood-anatomical characteristics of four boreal conifers (Pinus banksiana, Pinus contorta, Picea glauca and Picea mariana) that differ in shade tolerance. Plants were grown in an open field and under a deciduous-dominated overstory for 6 years. Sapwood- and leaf-area specific conductivity, vulnerability curves, and anatomical measurements (light and scanning electron microscopy) were made on leading shoots from six to nine trees of each treatment combination. There was no difference in sapwood-area specific conductivity between open-grown and understory conifers, although two of four species had larger tracheid diameters in the open. Shaded conifers appeared to compensate for small diameter tracheids by changes in pit membrane structure. Scanning electron microscopy revealed that understory conifers had thinner margo strands, greater maximum pore size in the margo, and more torus extensions. All of these trends may contribute to inadequate sealing of the torus. This is supported by the fact that all species showed increased vulnerability to cavitation when grown in the understory. Although evaporative demand in an understory environment is low, a rapid change into fully exposed conditions could be detrimental for shaded conifers.

  20. Conifer genomics and adaptation: at the crossroads of genetic diversity and genome function.

    PubMed

    Prunier, Julien; Verta, Jukka-Pekka; MacKay, John J

    2016-01-01

    Conifers have been understudied at the genomic level despite their worldwide ecological and economic importance but the situation is rapidly changing with the development of next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies. With NGS, genomics research has simultaneously gained in speed, magnitude and scope. In just a few years, genomes of 20-24 gigabases have been sequenced for several conifers, with several others expected in the near future. Biological insights have resulted from recent sequencing initiatives as well as genetic mapping, gene expression profiling and gene discovery research over nearly two decades. We review the knowledge arising from conifer genomics research emphasizing genome evolution and the genomic basis of adaptation, and outline emerging questions and knowledge gaps. We discuss future directions in three areas with potential inputs from NGS technologies: the evolutionary impacts of adaptation in conifers based on the adaptation-by-speciation model; the contributions of genetic variability of gene expression in adaptation; and the development of a broader understanding of genetic diversity and its impacts on genome function. These research directions promise to sustain research aimed at addressing the emerging challenges of adaptation that face conifer trees.

  1. Structure-function constraints of tracheid-based xylem: a comparison of conifers and ferns.

    PubMed

    Pittermann, Jarmila; Limm, Emily; Rico, Christopher; Christman, Mairgareth A

    2011-10-01

    The ferns comprise one of the most ancient tracheophytic plant lineages, and occupy habitats ranging from tundra to deserts and the equatorial tropics. Like their nearest relatives the conifers, modern ferns possess tracheid-based xylem but the structure-function relationships of fern xylem are poorly understood. Here, we sampled the fronds (megaphylls) of 16 species across the fern phylogeny, and examined the relationships among hydraulic transport, drought-induced cavitation resistance, the xylem anatomy of the stipe, and the gas-exchange response of the pinnae. For comparison, the results are presented alongside a similar suite of conifer data. Fern xylem is as resistant to cavitation as conifer xylem, but exhibits none of the hydraulic or structural trade-offs associated with resistance to cavitation. On a conduit diameter basis, fern xylem can exhibit greater hydraulic efficiency than conifer and angiosperm xylem. In ferns, wide and long tracheids compensate in part for the lack of secondary xylem and allow ferns to exhibit transport rates on a par with those of conifers. We suspect that it is the arrangement of the primary xylem, in addition to the intrinsic traits of the conduits themselves, that may help explain the broad range of cavitation resistance in ferns.

  2. Antimicrobial activity of extractable conifer heartwood compounds toward Phytophthora ramorum.

    PubMed

    Manter, Daniel K; Kelsey, Rick G; Karchesy, Joseph J

    2007-11-01

    Ethyl acetate extracts from heartwood of seven western conifer trees and individual volatile compounds in the extracts were tested for antimicrobial activity against Phytophthora ramorum. Extracts from incense and western redcedar exhibited the strongest activity, followed by yellow-cedar, western juniper, and Port-Orford-cedar with moderate activity, and no activity for Douglas-fir and redwood extracts. Chemical composition of the extracts varied both qualitatively and quantitatively among the species with a total of 37 compounds identified by mass spectrometry. Of the 13 individual heartwood compounds bioassayed, three showed strong activity with a Log(10) EC(50) less than or equal to 1.0 ppm (hinokitiol, thymoquinone, and nootkatin), three expressed moderate activity ranging from 1.0-2.0 ppm (nootkatol, carvacrol, and valencene-11,12-diol), four compounds had weak activity at 2.0-3.0 ppm [alpha-terpineol, valencene-13-ol, (+)-beta-cedrene, (-)-thujopsene], and three had no activity [(+)-cedrol, delta-cadinene, and methyl carvacrol]. All of the most active compounds contained a free hydroxyl group, except thymoquinone. The importance of a free hydroxyl was demonstrated by the tremendous difference in activity between carvacrol (Log(10) EC(50) 1.81 +/- 0.08 ppm) and methyl carvacrol (Log(10) EC(50) >3.0 ppm). A field trial in California, showed that heartwood chips from redcedar placed on the forest floor for 4 months under Umbellularia californica (California bay laurel) with symptoms of P. ramorum leaf blight significantly limited the accumulation of P. ramorum DNA in the litter layer, compared with heartwood chips from redwood.

  3. Estimating terpene and terpenoid emissions from conifer oleoresin composition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flores, Rosa M.; Doskey, Paul V.

    2015-07-01

    The following algorithm, which is based on the thermodynamics of nonelectrolyte partitioning, was developed to predict emission rates of terpenes and terpenoids from specific storage sites in conifers: Ei =xoriγoripi∘ where Ei is the emission rate (μg C gdw-1 h-1) and pi∘ is the vapor pressure (mm Hg) of the pure liquid terpene or terpenoid, respectively, and xori and γori are the mole fraction and activity coefficient (on a Raoult's law convention), respectively, of the terpene and terpenoid in the oleoresin. Activity coefficients are calculated with Hansen solubility parameters that account for dispersive, polar, and H-bonding interactions of the solutes with the oleoresin matrix. Estimates of pi∘ at 25 °C and molar enthalpies of vaporization are made with the SIMPOL.1 method and are used to estimate pi∘ at environmentally relevant temperatures. Estimated mixing ratios of terpenes and terpenols were comparatively higher above resin-acid- and monoterpene-rich oleoresins, respectively. The results indicated a greater affinity of terpenes and terpenols for the non-functionalized and carboxylic acid containing matrix through dispersive and H-bonding interactions, which are expressed in the emission algorithm by the activity coefficient. The correlation between measured emission rates of terpenes and terpenoids for Pinus strobus and emission rates predicted with the algorithm were very good (R = 0.95). Standard errors for the range and average of monoterpene emission rates were ±6 - ±86% and ±54%, respectively, and were similar in magnitude to reported standard deviations of monoterpene composition of foliar oils (±38 - ±51% and ±67%, respectively).

  4. A comparison of spectral reflectance properties at the needle, branch, and canopy level for selected conifer species

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, Darrel L.

    1991-01-01

    Radiative transfer data were collected for three conifer species and a northern hardwood species. The data indicate that conifer forests are more absorptive than broadleaved, deciduous hardwood forests. In particular, spruce species have an enhanced capability of absorbing incoming solar radiation in the optical wavelength region.

  5. Simulation of growth of Adirondack conifers in relation to global climate change

    SciTech Connect

    Pan, Y.; Raynal, D.J. )

    1993-06-01

    Several conifer species grown in plantations in the southeastern Adirondack mountains of New York were chosen to model tree growth. In the models, annual xylem growth was decomposed into several components that reflect various intrinsic or extrinsic factors. Growth signals indicative of climatic effects were used to construct response functions using both multivariate analysis and Kalman filter methods. Two models were used to simulate tree growth response to future CO[sub 2]-induced climate change projected by GCMs. The comparable results of both models indicate that different conifer species have individualistic growth responses to future climatic change. The response behaviors of trees are affected greatly by local stand conditions. The results suggest possible changes in future growth and distributions of naturally occurring conifers in this region.

  6. Infrared radiation from hot cones on cool conifers attracts seed-feeding insects

    PubMed Central

    Takács, Stephen; Bottomley, Hannah; Andreller, Iisak; Zaradnik, Tracy; Schwarz, Joseph; Bennett, Robb; Strong, Ward; Gries, Gerhard

    2008-01-01

    Foraging animals use diverse cues to locate resources. Common foraging cues have visual, auditory, olfactory, tactile or gustatory characteristics. Here, we show a foraging herbivore using infrared (IR) radiation from living plants as a host-finding cue. We present data revealing that (i) conifer cones are warmer and emit more near-, mid- and long-range IR radiation than needles, (ii) cone-feeding western conifer seed bugs, Leptoglossus occidentalis (Hemiptera: Coreidae), possess IR receptive organs and orient towards experimental IR cues, and (iii) occlusion of the insects' IR receptors impairs IR perception. The conifers' cost of attracting cone-feeding insects may be offset by occasional mast seeding resulting in cone crops too large to be effectively exploited by herbivores. PMID:18945664

  7. The problem of conifer species migration lag in the Pacific Northwest region since the last glaciation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elias, Scott A.

    2013-10-01

    Multiproxy evidence indicates that warmer-than-present summers became established in Eastern Beringia as early as 14,000-13,000 years ago, but the dispersal of spruces, pines, cedars and hemlocks across the Pacific Northwest (PNW) region of southern Alaska did not begin until at least 1500 years afterwards, and took many thousands of years to be completed. There are many potential reasons for this slow spread of PNW conifers towards their modern range limits. The absence of mycorrhizae in the soils of southern Alaska may have slowed conifer establishment. The availability of soil moisture was another limiting factor. With the exception of Pinus contorta, the other PNW conifers become established most readily from seeds that fall on moist, shaded substrates, thus they are not good pioneering species. Competition with alder and birch played an important role, especially along Prince William Sound and the Kenai Peninsula. Alder or alder and birch dominated these regions until the mid- to late Holocene. The other key element for most PNW conifer species is the precipitation regime. The hemlocks, cedars and Sitka spruce are not drought-hardy. So although the PNW temperature regime may have been warm enough in early postglacial times to support the growth of PNW conifers, it was probably too dry for them to successfully become established in new regions. The conflation of these environmental factors limits our present understanding of the problem, but the recent trend of multi-proxy analysis in Quaternary paleoecology will certainly sharpen our reconstructions. Such proxies as conifer needle stomata and insect fossil remains hold significant promise.

  8. Three centuries of managing introduced conifers in South Africa: Benefits, impacts, changing perceptions and conflict resolution.

    PubMed

    van Wilgen, Brian W; Richardson, David M

    2012-09-15

    Alien conifers, mainly pines, have been planted in South Africa for a range of purposes for over 300 years. Formal plantations cover 660,000 ha of the country, and invasive stands of varying density occur on a further 2.9 million ha. These trees have brought many benefits but have also caused unintended problems. The management of alien conifers has evolved in response to emerging problems such as excessive water use by plantations of conifers, changing values and markets, and the realities of a new ecological order brought about by invasive alien conifers. This paper reviews the history of conifer introductions to South Africa, the benefits and impacts with which they are associated, and the ongoing and evolving research that has been conducted to inform their management. The South African approach has included taking courageous steps to address the problem of highly invasive species that are also an important commercial crop. These interventions have not, however, had the desired effect of both retaining benefits from formal plantations while simultaneously reversing the trend of growing impacts associated with self-sown invasive stands. We suggest that different approaches need to be considered, including the systematic phasing out of commercial forestry in zones where it delivers low returns, and the introduction of more effective, focussed and integrated, region-specific approaches to the management of invasive stands of conifers. These steps would deliver much improved economic outcomes by protecting valuable ecosystem services, but will require political commitment to policies that could be unpopular in certain sectors of society.

  9. Detection of aspen-conifer forest mixes from LANDSAT digital data. [Utah-Idaho Bear River Range

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jaynes, R. A.; Merola, J. A.

    1982-01-01

    Aspen, conifer and mixed aspen/conifer forests were mapped for a 15-quadrangle study area in the Utah-Idaho Bear River Range using LANDSAT multispectral scanner data. Digital classification and statistical analysis of LANDSAT data allowed the identification of six groups of signatures which reflect different types of aspen/conifer forest mixing. Photo interpretations of the print symbols suggest that such classes are indicative of mid to late seral aspen forests. Digital print map overlays and acreage calculations were prepared for the study area quadrangles. Further field verification is needed to acquire additional information about the nature of the forests. Single date LANDSAT analysis should be a cost effective means to index aspen forests which are at least in the mid seral phase of conifer invasion. Since aspen canopies tend to obscure understory conifers for early seral forests, a second date analysis, using data taken when aspens are leafless, could provide information about early seral aspen forests.

  10. Detection of aspen/conifer forest mixes from multitemporal Landsat digital data. [Utah-Idaho Bear River Range

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Merola, J. A.; Jaynes, R. A.; Harniss, R. O.

    1984-01-01

    Aspen, conifer and mixed aspen/conifer forests were mapped for a 15-quadrangle study area in the Utah-Idaho Bear River Range using Landsat multispectral scanner data. Digital classification and statistical analysis of Landsat data allowed the identification of six groups of signatures which reflect different types of aspen/conifer forest mixing. Photo interpretations of the print symbols suggest that such classes are indicative of mid to late seral aspen forests. Digital print map overlayes and acreage calculations were prepared for the study area quadrangles. Further field verification is needed to acquire additional information about the nature of the forests. Single data Landsat analysis should be a cost effective means to index aspen forests which are at least in the mid seral phase of conifer invasion. Since aspen canopies tend to obscure understory conifers for early seral forests, a second data analysis, using data taken when aspens are leafless, could provide information about early seral aspen forests.

  11. Chernobyl Doses. Volume 2. Conifer Stress near Chernobyl Derived from Landsat Imagery

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1992-12-01

    Defense Nuclear Agency Alexandria, VA 22310-3398 AD-A259 085 S.... IiilII|IlH~l D.A-TR-92-3,,.v2 Chernobyl Doses Volume 2-Conifer Stress Near... Chernobyl Derived from Landsat Imagery Gene E. McClellan Terrence H. Hemmer Ronald N. DeWitt Pacific-Sierra Research Corporation 12340 Santa Monica Boulevard...870929 - 920228 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE 5. FUNDING NUMBERS Chernobyl Doses C - DNA 001-87-C-0104 Volume 2- Conifer Stress Near Chernobyl Derived from

  12. Earliest conifers of North America: upland and/or paleoclimatic indicators?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lyons, P.C.; Darrah, W.C.

    1989-01-01

    The oldest conifer compressions and permineralized remains from North America, which are assignable to Walchia Sternberg, are found in strata of Westphalian C and D ages in the central Colorado trough of Colorado, the Nemaha highlands of Oklahoma, and the central Appalachian basin. These early conifer occurrences are consistent with dry conditions in Colorado and less dry or wet-dry, better drained, more oxidizing upland conditions in the central Appalachian basin, possibly tectonically controlled, which may have been a prelude to a widespread climatic change in Stephanian or Permian time in North America. -Authors

  13. Diagenesis of conifer needles in a coastal marine environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hedges, John I.; Weliky, K.

    1989-10-01

    (C/V) of the deepest sedimentary fir/hemlock needles to 20% of the original value and almost tripled the carbon-normalized yield of total vanillyl plus cinnamyl phenols (Λ). The net result of these compositional variations was to make the lignin component of the buried conifer needles resemble lignin in gymnosperm wood, thereby leading to underestimates of needle input and mass.

  14. Stem demography and postfire recruitment of a resprouting serotinous conifer

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keeley, Jon E.; Keeley, Melanie B.; Bond, William J.

    1999-01-01

    The contribution of resprouts and seedling recruitment to post-fire regeneration of the South African fynbos conifer Widdringtonia nodiflora was compared eight months after wildfires in 1990. Stems on all trees were killed by fire but resprouting success was > 90 % at all but one site. A demographic study of burned skeletons revealed that prior to these fires, nearly all plants were multi-stemmed (4–9 stems/plant) and multi-aged, indicating continuous sprout production between fires. All stems were killed by these 1990 fires and at most sites > 90 % of the stems were burned to ground level. All diameter stems were susceptible to such incineration as, at most sites, there was no difference in average diameter of stems burned to ground level and those left standing. Individual genets usually had all ramets incinerated to ground level or all ramets charred, but intact, suggesting certain micro-sites burned hotter, whereas other sites were somewhat protected. Although not true of the 1990 fires, there was evidence that occasionallyWiddring-tonia stems may survive fire. At one site, four of the 16 plants sampled had a burned stem twice as old as the oldest burned stem on the other 12 plants at the site, suggesting some stems had survived the previous fire (ca. 1970) and this conclusion was supported by fire-scars on these four stems that dated to ca. 1970. Based on the highly significant correlation between stem diameter and cone density left standing after the 1990 fires, we calculated that for most sites > 80 % of the initial cone crop was incinerated by fire. This is important because we observed a strong relationship between size of the canopy cone crop surviving fire and post-fire seedling recruitment. Under these conditions we hypothesize that sprouting confers a selective advantage to genets when fires cause heavy losses of seed. The infrequent occurrence of sprouting in theCupressaceae suggests the hypothesis that resprouting is an apomorphic or derived trait

  15. Assessing Conifer Ray Parenchyma for Ecological Studies: Pitfalls and Guidelines

    PubMed Central

    von Arx, Georg; Arzac, Alberto; Olano, José M.; Fonti, Patrick

    2015-01-01

    provided the least accurate PERPAR estimates. This evaluation of ray parenchyma in conifers and the presented guidelines regarding data accuracy as a function of measured wood surface and number of samples represent an important methodological reference for ray quantification, which will ultimately improve the understanding of the fundamental role of ray parenchyma tissue for the performance and survival of trees growing in stressed environments. PMID:26635842

  16. Impact of conifer forest litter on microwave emission at L-band

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This study reports on the utilization of microwave modeling, together with ground truth and L-bank (1.4 GHz) brightness temperatures to investigate the characteristics of conifer forest floor. The microwave data were acquired over natural Virginia pine forest in Maryland by ComRAD, a ground-based mi...

  17. Specific and sensitive detection of the conifer pathogen Gremmeniella abietina by nested PCR

    PubMed Central

    Zeng, Qing-Yin; Hansson, Per; Wang, Xiao-Ru

    2005-01-01

    Background Gremmeniella abietina (Lagerb.) Morelet is an ascomycete fungus that causes stem canker and shoot dieback in many conifer species. The fungus is widespread and causes severe damage to forest plantations in Europe, North America and Asia. To facilitate early diagnosis and improve measures to control the spread of the disease, rapid, specific and sensitive detection methods for G. abietina in conifer hosts are needed. Results We designed two pairs of specific primers for G. abietina based on the 18S rDNA sequence variation pattern. These primers were validated against a wide range of fungi and 14 potential conifer hosts. Based on these specific primers, two nested PCR systems were developed. The first system employed universal fungal primers to enrich the fungal DNA targets in the first round, followed by a second round selective amplification of the pathogen. The other system employed G. abietina-specific primers in both PCR steps. Both approaches can detect the presence of G. abietina in composite samples with high sensitivity, as little as 7.5 fg G. abietina DNA in the host genomic background. Conclusion The methods described here are rapid and can be applied directly to a wide range of conifer species, without the need for fungal isolation and cultivation. Therefore, it represents a promising alternative to disease inspection in forest nurseries, plantations and quarantine control facilities. PMID:16280082

  18. The sage-grouse habitat mortgage: effective conifer management in space and time

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Management of conservation-reliant species can be complicated by the need to manage ecosystem processes that operate at extended temporal horizons. One such process is the role of fire in regulating abundance of expanding conifers that disrupt sage-grouse habitat in the northern Great Basin of the ...

  19. The enigma of effective path length for (18) O enrichment in leaf water of conifers.

    PubMed

    Roden, John; Kahmen, Ansgar; Buchmann, Nina; Siegwolf, Rolf

    2015-12-01

    The Péclet correction is often used to predict leaf evaporative enrichment and requires an estimate of effective path length (L). Studies to estimate L in conifer needles have produced unexpected patterns based on Péclet theory and leaf anatomy. We exposed seedlings of six conifer species to different vapour pressure deficits (VPD) in controlled climate chambers to produce steady-state leaf water enrichment (in (18) O). We measured leaf gas exchange, stable oxygen isotopic composition (δ(18) O) of input and plant waters as well as leaf anatomical characteristics. Variation in bulk needle water δ(18) O was strongly related to VPD. Conifer needles had large amounts of water within the vascular strand that was potentially unenriched (up to 40%). Both standard Craig-Gordon and Péclet models failed to accurately predict conifer leaf water δ(18) O without taking into consideration the unenriched water in the vascular strand and variable L. Although L was linearly related to mesophyll thickness, large within-species variation prevented the development of generalizations that could allow a broader use of the Péclet effect in predictive models. Our results point to the importance of within needle water pools and isolating mechanisms that need further investigation in order to integrate Péclet corrections with 'two compartment' leaf water concepts.

  20. A New Model for Scaling from Leaf Lifespan to Conifer Forest Structure and Function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osborne, C. P.; Beerling, D. J.

    2002-12-01

    Generic relationships between the lifespan, physiology and biochemistry of leaves have recently been quantified for the first time in contrasting biomes and functional groups. These relationships have important consequences for ecosystem biogeochemical cycles, and therefore offer the potential for simulating large-scale forest properties on the basis of leaf lifespan. We have used the scaling mechanisms involved to develop the University of Sheffield Conifer Model (USCM), a tool for simulating conifer carbon, nitrogen, and water fluxes using data on leaf lifespan, climate and soils as inputs. Simulations of net primary production and partitioning, leaf area index, evapotranspiration, nitrogen uptake and land surface energy partitioning show close agreement with observations from sites across a wide climatic gradient. This indicates the generic utility of our model for modern forests, and adequate representation of the key processes involved in forest function. The new development of a technique for estimating leaf lifespan from the anatomical properties of fossil woods provides a secure basis for extrapolating model simulations to conifer forests of the geological past. Future simulations with our model will therefore examine conifer forest feedbacks on paleoclimate during warm intervals in the Mesozoic and early Tertiary.

  1. Seedlings of temperate rainforest conifer and angiosperm trees differ in leaf area display

    PubMed Central

    Lusk, Christopher H.; Pérez-Millaqueo, Manuel M.; Saldaña, Alfredo; Burns, Bruce R.; Laughlin, Daniel C.; Falster, Daniel S.

    2012-01-01

    Background and Aims The contemporary relegation of conifers mainly to cold or infertile sites has been ascribed to low competitive ability, as a result of the hydraulic inefficiency of tracheids and their seedlings' initial dependence on small foliage areas. Here it is hypothesized that, in temperate rainforests, the larger leaves of angiosperms also reduce self-shading and thus enable display of larger effective foliage areas than the numerous small leaves of conifers. Methods This hypothesis was tested using 3-D modelling of plant architecture and structural equation modelling to compare self-shading and light interception potential of seedlings of six conifers and 12 angiosperm trees from temperate rainforests. The ratio of displayed leaf area to plant mass (LARd) was used to indicate plant light interception potential: LARd is the product of specific leaf area, leaf mass fraction, self-shading and leaf angle. Results Angiosperm seedlings self-shaded less than conifers, mainly because of differences in leaf number (more than leaf size), and on average their LARd was about twice that of conifers. Although specific leaf area was the most pervasive influence on LARd, differences in self-shading also significantly influenced LARd of large seedlings. Conclusions The ability to deploy foliage in relatively few, large leaves is advantageous in minimizing self-shading and enhancing seedling light interception potential per unit of plant biomass. This study adds significantly to evidence that vegetative traits may be at least as important as reproductive innovations in explaining the success of angiosperms in productive environments where vegetation is structured by light competition. PMID:22585929

  2. An Improved Protocol for Intact Chloroplasts and cpDNA Isolation in Conifers

    PubMed Central

    Vieira, Leila do Nascimento; Faoro, Helisson; Fraga, Hugo Pacheco de Freitas; Rogalski, Marcelo; de Souza, Emanuel Maltempi; de Oliveira Pedrosa, Fábio; Nodari, Rubens Onofre; Guerra, Miguel Pedro

    2014-01-01

    Background Performing chloroplast DNA (cpDNA) isolation is considered a major challenge among different plant groups, especially conifers. Isolating chloroplasts in conifers by such conventional methods as sucrose gradient and high salt has not been successful. So far, plastid genome sequencing protocols for conifer species have been based mainly on long-range PCR, which is known to be time-consuming and difficult to implement. Methodology/Principal Findings We developed a protocol for cpDNA isolation using three different conifer families: Araucaria angustifolia and Araucaria bidwilli (Araucariaceae), Podocarpus lambertii (Podocarpaceae) and Pinus patula (Pinaceae). The present protocol is based on high salt isolation buffer followed by saline Percoll gradient. Combining these two strategies allowed enhanced chloroplast isolation, along with decreased contamination caused by polysaccharides, polyphenols, proteins, and nuclear DNA in cpDNA. Microscopy images confirmed the presence of intact chloroplasts in high abundance. This method was applied to cpDNA isolation and subsequent sequencing by Illumina MiSeq (2×250 bp), using only 50 ng of cpDNA. Reference-guided chloroplast genome mapping showed that high average coverage was achieved for all evaluated species: 24.63 for A. angustifolia, 135.97 for A. bidwilli, 1196.10 for P. lambertii, and 64.68 for P. patula. Conclusion Results show that this improved protocol is suitable for enhanced quality and yield of chloroplasts and cpDNA isolation from conifers, providing a useful tool for studies that require isolated chloroplasts and/or whole cpDNA sequences. PMID:24392157

  3. Protocol: A high-throughput DNA extraction system suitable for conifers

    PubMed Central

    Bashalkhanov, Stanislav; Rajora, Om P

    2008-01-01

    Background High throughput DNA isolation from plants is a major bottleneck for most studies requiring large sample sizes. A variety of protocols have been developed for DNA isolation from plants. However, many species, including conifers, have high contents of secondary metabolites that interfere with the extraction process or the subsequent analysis steps. Here, we describe a procedure for high-throughput DNA isolation from conifers. Results We have developed a high-throughput DNA extraction protocol for conifers using an automated liquid handler and modifying the Qiagen MagAttract Plant Kit protocol. The modifications involve change to the buffer system and improving the protocol so that it almost doubles the number of samples processed per kit, which significantly reduces the overall costs. We describe two versions of the protocol: one for medium-throughput (MTP) and another for high-throughput (HTP) DNA isolation. The HTP version works from start to end in the industry-standard 96-well format, while the MTP version provides higher DNA yields per sample processed. We have successfully used the protocol for DNA extraction and genotyping of thousands of individuals of several spruce and a pine species. Conclusion A high-throughput system for DNA extraction from conifer needles and seeds has been developed and validated. The quality of the isolated DNA was comparable with that obtained from two commonly used methods: the silica-spin column and the classic CTAB protocol. Our protocol provides a fully automatable and cost effective solution for processing large numbers of conifer samples. PMID:18673554

  4. IDENTIFICATION AND EMISSION FACTORS OF MOLECULAR TRACERS IN ORGANIC AEROSOLS FROM BIOMASS BURNING PART 1. TEMPERATE CLIMATE CONIFERS. (R823990)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Smoke particulate matter from conifers subjected to controlled burning, both under smoldering and flaming conditions, was sampled by high volume air filtration on precleaned quartz fiber filters. The filtered particles were extracted with dichloromethane and the crude extracts...

  5. Leaf wax composition and carbon isotopes vary among major conifer groups

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Diefendorf, Aaron F.; Leslie, Andrew B.; Wing, Scott L.

    2015-12-01

    Leaf waxes (e.g. n-alkanes, n-alkanoic acids) and their carbon isotopes (δ13C) are commonly used to track past changes in the carbon cycle, water availability, and plant ecophysiology. Previous studies indicated that conifers have lower n-alkane concentrations than angiosperms and that 13C fractionation during n-alkane synthesis (εn-alkane) is smaller than in angiosperms. These prior studies, however, sampled a limited phylogenetic and geographic subset of conifers, leaving out many important subtropical and Southern Hemisphere groups that were once widespread and common components of fossil assemblages. To expand on previous work, we collected 43 conifer species (and Ginkgo biloba) from the University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley, sampling all extant conifer families and almost two-thirds of extant genera. We find that Pinaceae, including many North American species used in previous studies, have very low or no n-alkanes. However, other conifer groups have significant concentrations of n-alkanes, especially Southern Hemisphere Araucariaceae and Podocarpaceae (monkey puzzles, Norfolk Island pines, and yellowwoods), and many species of Cupressaceae (junipers and relatives). Within the Cupressaceae, we find total n-alkane concentrations are high in subfamilies Cupressoideae and Callitroideae, but significantly lower in the early diverging taxodioid lineages (including bald cypress and redwood). Individual n-alkane chain lengths have a weak phylogenetic signal, except for n-C29 alkane, but when combined using average chain length (ACL), a strong phylogenetic signal emerges. The strong phylogenetic signal in ACL, observed in the context of a common growth environment for all plants we sampled, suggests that ACL is strongly influenced by factors other than climate. An analysis of εn-alkane indicates a strong phylogenetic signal in which the smallest biosynthetic fractionation occurs in Pinaceae and the largest in Taxaceae (yews and relatives). The

  6. Hydraulic safety margins and embolism reversal in stems and leaves: why are conifers and angiosperms so different?

    PubMed

    Johnson, Daniel M; McCulloh, Katherine A; Woodruff, David R; Meinzer, Frederick C

    2012-10-01

    Angiosperm and coniferous tree species utilize a continuum of hydraulic strategies. Hydraulic safety margins (defined as differences between naturally occurring xylem pressures and pressures that would cause hydraulic dysfunction, or differences between pressures resulting in loss of hydraulic function in adjacent organs (e.g., stems vs. leaves) tend to be much greater in conifers than angiosperms and serve to prevent stem embolism. However, conifers tend to experience embolism more frequently in leaves and roots than angiosperms. Embolism repair is thought to occur by active transport of sugars into empty conduits followed by passive water movement. The most likely source of sugar for refilling is from nonstructural carbohydrate depolymerization in nearby parenchyma cells. Compared to angiosperms, conifers tend to have little parenchyma or nonstructural carbohydrates in their wood. The ability to rapidly repair embolisms may rely on having nearby parenchyma cells, which could explain the need for greater safety margins in conifer wood as compared to angiosperms. The frequent embolisms that occur in the distal portions of conifers are readily repaired, perhaps due to the abundant parenchyma in leaves and roots, and these distal tissues may act as hydraulic circuit breakers that prevent tension-induced embolisms in the attached stems. Frequent embolisms in conifer leaves may also be due to weaker stomatal response to changes in ambient humidity. Although there is a continuum of hydraulic strategies among woody plants, there appear to be two distinct 'behaviors' at the extremes: (1) embolism prevention and (2) embolism occurrence and subsequent repair.

  7. Nutrient leaching from conifer needles in relation to foliar apoplast cation-exchange capacity

    SciTech Connect

    Turner, D.P.; van Broekhuizen, H.J.

    1992-01-01

    Limited evidence to date suggests that acidic precipitation promotes leaching of nutrient cations from conifer foliage. In order to evaluate the relative contribution of the apoplast cation exchange complex and symplast nutrient pools to the leached ions, the magnitude of potential foliar leaching in response to acidic precipitation was compared to foliar apoplast cation exchange capacity (CEC) for two conifer tree species (Pseudotsuga menziesii and Picea engelmanii). Leaching increased with decreasing pH and increasing time of immersion. At pH 2.1 and 3.1, equivalents of H+ depleted from the acidic solutions approximated equivalent of cations gained by the solutions. Maximum amounts leached were less than 40 micro equiv/g dry weight of needles for all ions combined. Measured foliar apoplast CEC for these species was approximately 120 micro equiv/g dry weight of needles. These relative magnitudes indicated that the apoplast provided the leached ions.

  8. Seed plant phylogeny: gnetophytes are derived conifers and a sister group to Pinaceae.

    PubMed

    Hajibabaei, Mehrdad; Xia, Junnan; Drouin, Guy

    2006-07-01

    The phylogenetic position of gnetophytes has long been controversial. We sequenced parts of the genes coding for the largest subunit of nuclear RNA polymerase I, II, and III and combined these sequences with those of four chloroplast genes, two mitochondrial genes, and 18S rRNA genes to address this issue. Both maximum likelihood and maximum parsimony analyses of the sites not affected by high substitution levels strongly support a phylogeny where gymnosperms and angiosperms are monophyletic, where cycads are at the base of gymnosperm tree and are followed by ginkgos, and where gnetophytes are grouped within conifers as the sister group of pines. The evolution of several morphological and molecular characters of gnetophytes and conifers will therefore need to be reinterpreted.

  9. A remotely sensed pigment index reveals photosynthetic phenology in evergreen conifers

    PubMed Central

    Huemmrich, K. Fred; Ensminger, Ingo; Garrity, Steven; Noormets, Asko; Peñuelas, Josep

    2016-01-01

    In evergreen conifers, where the foliage amount changes little with season, accurate detection of the underlying “photosynthetic phenology” from satellite remote sensing has been difficult, presenting challenges for global models of ecosystem carbon uptake. Here, we report a close correspondence between seasonally changing foliar pigment levels, expressed as chlorophyll/carotenoid ratios, and evergreen photosynthetic activity, leading to a “chlorophyll/carotenoid index” (CCI) that tracks evergreen photosynthesis at multiple spatial scales. When calculated from NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer satellite sensor, the CCI closely follows the seasonal patterns of daily gross primary productivity of evergreen conifer stands measured by eddy covariance. This discovery provides a way of monitoring evergreen photosynthetic activity from optical remote sensing, and indicates an important regulatory role for carotenoid pigments in evergreen photosynthesis. Improved methods of monitoring photosynthesis from space can improve our understanding of the global carbon budget in a warming world of changing vegetation phenology. PMID:27803333

  10. A remotely sensed pigment index reveals photosynthetic phenology in evergreen conifers.

    PubMed

    Gamon, John A; Huemmrich, K Fred; Wong, Christopher Y S; Ensminger, Ingo; Garrity, Steven; Hollinger, David Y; Noormets, Asko; Peñuelas, Josep

    2016-11-15

    In evergreen conifers, where the foliage amount changes little with season, accurate detection of the underlying "photosynthetic phenology" from satellite remote sensing has been difficult, presenting challenges for global models of ecosystem carbon uptake. Here, we report a close correspondence between seasonally changing foliar pigment levels, expressed as chlorophyll/carotenoid ratios, and evergreen photosynthetic activity, leading to a "chlorophyll/carotenoid index" (CCI) that tracks evergreen photosynthesis at multiple spatial scales. When calculated from NASA's Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer satellite sensor, the CCI closely follows the seasonal patterns of daily gross primary productivity of evergreen conifer stands measured by eddy covariance. This discovery provides a way of monitoring evergreen photosynthetic activity from optical remote sensing, and indicates an important regulatory role for carotenoid pigments in evergreen photosynthesis. Improved methods of monitoring photosynthesis from space can improve our understanding of the global carbon budget in a warming world of changing vegetation phenology.

  11. A comparative field study of growth and survival of Sierran conifer seedlings

    SciTech Connect

    Kern, R.A.

    1996-12-31

    This study is a comparison of seedling growth and survival of seven species of conifers that make up the mid-elevation Sierra Nevada mixed conifer forest--Abies concolor, Abies magnifica, Calocedrus decurrens, Pinus jeffreyi, Pinus lambertiana, Pinus ponderosa, and Sequoiadendron giganteum. The field experiment was designed to test the hypothesis that seedling demography is affected by the study species` relatively shade and drought tolerances. Six discrete treatments were created in the first experiment by using three elevations (1,600 m, 1,900, m, and 2,200 m) and two natural light levels (closed canopy shade and open gap sun) at each elevation. One or two-year old seedlings were planted in the ground in replicate plots in each treatment and followed for two growing seasons. Four responses were analyzed--survival, height growth, diameter growth, and mass growth (total mass as well as root mass and shoot mass separately).

  12. Agroforestry: Conifers. (Latest citations from the Cab Abstracts database). NewSearch

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1994-10-01

    The bibliography contains citations concerning the use of lands forested with conifers for crop and livestock production. Citations cover the grazing of livestock and the production of crops, including tomatoes, soybeans, lespedeza, wheat, rape, taro, cotton, cabbages, ginger, watermelons, and strawberries. Livestock discussed include cattle, sheep, geese, and horses. Economic analyses and economic models are presented. (Contains a minimum of 147 citations and includes a subject term index and title list.)

  13. Prevalence of allergic sensitization to conifer pollen in a high cypress exposure area

    PubMed Central

    Domínguez-Ortega, Javier; López-Matas, María Ángeles; Alonso, María Dolores; Feliú, Angélica; Ruiz-Hornillos, Javier; González, Emma; Moya, Raquel

    2016-01-01

    Background: Sensitization to Pinales (Cupressaceae and Pinaceae) has increased dramatically in recent years. The prevalence of sensitization in different geographic areas is related to exposure to specific pollens. Objectives: To investigate the prevalence of allergy to different conifer pollens, describe the characteristics of patients with such allergy, and identify the involved allergens. Methods: Patients were recruited at five hospitals near Madrid. Extracts from conifer pollen were prepared and used in skin-prick testing. Wheal sizes were recorded, and serum samples obtained from patients with positive reactions to Cupressus arizonica and/or Pinus pinea. The specific immunoglobulin E value to C. arizonica and Cup a 1 was determined. Individual immunoblots for each patient and with a pool of sera were performed. Allergenic proteins were sequenced by using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Results: Of 499 individuals included in the study, 17 (14%) had positive skin-prick test results to some conifer pollen extracts. Sixty-four patients had positive results to C. arizonica (prevalence 12.8%) and 11 had positive results to P. pinea (2.2%). All the patients had respiratory symptoms (61.4% during the C. arizonica pollination period), and 62.9% had asthma. Approximately 86% of the patients had positive specific immunoglobulin E results to C. arizonica and 92.3% had positive results to Cup a 1. Fourteen different bands were recognized by immunoblot; the most frequent bands were those detected at 43, 18, 16, and 14 kDa. All sequenced proteins corresponded to Cup a 1. Conclusion: Allergy to conifer pollen could be considered a relevant cause of respiratory allergy in central Spain. Asthma was more frequent than in other studies. We only identified Cup a 1 as involved in sensitization.

  14. A Water Budget Approach to Study the Hydrologic Response of Mountain Meadow Restoration Following Conifer Removal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Oosbree, G. F.; Surfleet, C. G.; Jasbinsek, J. J.

    2014-12-01

    Mountain meadows are important ecological habitats that have degraded in quality and distribution due to fire suppression and poor land use practices in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Conifer encroachment in mountain meadows has accelerated and is one of the reasons for the decline of meadow habitat. To date there are few studies which quantify the hydrologic response of meadow restoration due to vegetation or conifer removal. This study is using a before after control intervention (BACI) study design to determine the hydrologic response of restoration to a historic meadow encroached by conifers (study meadow). A water budget approach has been developed to quantify the hydrology of the control and study meadow before and after restoration. Measurements of groundwater depth and soil moisture are currently being taken on the control and study meadows. A total of 14 Odyssey water level capacitance instruments were installed to a 1.5 meter depth and 14 soil moisture instruments were installed to a 30 cm depth using a spatially balanced random sampling approach. Electrical resistivity imaging (ERI) was used to determine soil moisture and depth to groundwater across forest-meadow ecotones present on the meadows. Additionally, ERI was used to extrapolate point measurements of groundwater depth and soil moisture across the study and control areas. The weekly water budget indicates differences between the control meadow and study meadow in the first year prior to conifer removal. The ERI indicated differences in sub surface geology, soil moisture, and groundwater depth both between the control and study meadows and along the forest-meadow ecotones. ERI was demonstrated to improve the spatial extrapolation of soil moisture and groundwater point measurements.

  15. Fine root dynamics and forest production across a calcium gradient in northern hardwood and conifer ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Park, B.B.; Yanai, R.D.; Fahey, T.J.; Bailey, S.W.; Siccama, T.G.; Shanley, J.B.; Cleavitt, N.L.

    2008-01-01

    Losses of soil base cations due to acid rain have been implicated in declines of red spruce and sugar maple in the northeastern USA. We studied fine root and aboveground biomass and production in five northern hardwood and three conifer stands differing in soil Ca status at Sleepers River, VT; Hubbard Brook, NH; and Cone Pond, NH. Neither aboveground biomass and production nor belowground biomass were related to soil Ca or Ca:Al ratios across this gradient. Hardwood stands had 37% higher aboveground biomass (P = 0.03) and 44% higher leaf litter production (P < 0.01) than the conifer stands, on average. Fine root biomass (<2 mm in diameter) in the upper 35 cm of the soil, including the forest floor, was very similar in hardwoods and conifers (5.92 and 5.93 Mg ha-1). The turnover coefficient (TC) of fine roots smaller than 1 mm ranged from 0.62 to 1.86 y-1 and increased significantly with soil exchangeable Ca (P = 0.03). As a result, calculated fine root production was clearly higher in sites with higher soil Ca (P = 0.02). Fine root production (biomass times turnover) ranged from 1.2 to 3.7 Mg ha-1 y-1 for hardwood stands and from 0.9 to 2.3 Mg ha-1 y -1 for conifer stands. The relationship we observed between soil Ca availability and root production suggests that cation depletion might lead to reduced carbon allocation to roots in these ecosystems. ?? 2008 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

  16. Tracheid diameter is the key trait determining the extent of freezing-induced embolism in conifers.

    PubMed

    Pittermann, Jarmila; Sperry, John

    2003-09-01

    We tested the hypotheses that freezing-induced embolism is related to conduit diameter, and that conifers and angiosperms with conduits of equivalent diameter will exhibit similar losses of hydraulic conductivity in response to freezing. We surveyed the freeze-thaw response of conifers with a broad range of tracheid diameters by subjecting wood segments (root, stem and trunk wood) to a freeze-thaw cycle at -0.5 MPa in a centrifuge. Embolism increased as mean tracheid diameter exceeded 30 microm. Tracheids with a critical diameter greater than 43 microm were calculated to embolize in response to freezing and thawing at a xylem pressure of -0.5 MPa. To confirm that freezing-induced embolism is a function of conduit air content, we air-saturated stems of Abies lasiocarpa (Hook.) Nutt. (mean conduit diameter 13.7 +/- 0.7 microm) by pressurizing them 1 to 60 times above atmospheric pressure, prior to freezing and thawing. The air saturation method simulated the effect of increased tracheid size because the degree of super-saturation is proportional to a tracheid volume holding an equivalent amount of dissolved air at ambient pressure. Embolism increased when the dissolved air content was equivalent to a mean tracheid diameter of 30 microm at ambient air pressure. Our centrifuge and air-saturation data show that conifers are as vulnerable to freeze-thaw embolism as angiosperms with equal conduit diameter. We suggest that the hydraulic conductivity of conifer wood is maximized by increasing tracheid diameters in locations where freezing is rare. Conversely, the narrowing of tracheid diameters protects against freezing-induced embolism in cold climates.

  17. The heterogeneous levels of linkage disequilibrium in white spruce genes and comparative analysis with other conifers

    PubMed Central

    Pavy, N; Namroud, M-C; Gagnon, F; Isabel, N; Bousquet, J

    2012-01-01

    In plants, knowledge about linkage disequilibrium (LD) is relevant for the design of efficient single-nucleotide polymorphism arrays in relation to their use in population and association genomics studies. Previous studies of conifer genes have shown LD to decay rapidly within gene limits, but exceptions have been reported. To evaluate the extent of heterogeneity of LD among conifer genes and its potential causes, we examined LD in 105 genes of white spruce (Picea glauca) by sequencing a panel of 48 haploid megagametophytes from natural populations and further compared it with LD in other conifer species. The average pairwise r2 value was 0.19 (s.d.=0.19), and LD dropped quickly with a half-decay being reached at a distance of 65 nucleotides between sites. However, LD was significantly heterogeneous among genes. A first group of 29 genes had stronger LD (mean r2=0.28), and a second group of 38 genes had weaker LD (mean r2=0.12). While a strong relationship was found with the recombination rate, there was no obvious relationship between LD and functional classification. The level of nucleotide diversity, which was highly heterogeneous across genes, was also not significantly correlated with LD. A search for selection signatures highlighted significant deviations from the standard neutral model, which could be mostly attributed to recent demographic changes. Little evidence was seen for hitchhiking and clear relationships with LD. When compared among conifer species, on average, levels of LD were similar in genes from white spruce, Norway spruce and Scots pine, whereas loblolly pine and Douglas fir genes exhibited a significantly higher LD. PMID:21897435

  18. The heterogeneous levels of linkage disequilibrium in white spruce genes and comparative analysis with other conifers.

    PubMed

    Pavy, N; Namroud, M-C; Gagnon, F; Isabel, N; Bousquet, J

    2012-03-01

    In plants, knowledge about linkage disequilibrium (LD) is relevant for the design of efficient single-nucleotide polymorphism arrays in relation to their use in population and association genomics studies. Previous studies of conifer genes have shown LD to decay rapidly within gene limits, but exceptions have been reported. To evaluate the extent of heterogeneity of LD among conifer genes and its potential causes, we examined LD in 105 genes of white spruce (Picea glauca) by sequencing a panel of 48 haploid megagametophytes from natural populations and further compared it with LD in other conifer species. The average pairwise r(2) value was 0.19 (s.d.=0.19), and LD dropped quickly with a half-decay being reached at a distance of 65 nucleotides between sites. However, LD was significantly heterogeneous among genes. A first group of 29 genes had stronger LD (mean r(2)=0.28), and a second group of 38 genes had weaker LD (mean r(2)=0.12). While a strong relationship was found with the recombination rate, there was no obvious relationship between LD and functional classification. The level of nucleotide diversity, which was highly heterogeneous across genes, was also not significantly correlated with LD. A search for selection signatures highlighted significant deviations from the standard neutral model, which could be mostly attributed to recent demographic changes. Little evidence was seen for hitchhiking and clear relationships with LD. When compared among conifer species, on average, levels of LD were similar in genes from white spruce, Norway spruce and Scots pine, whereas loblolly pine and Douglas fir genes exhibited a significantly higher LD.

  19. Conifer tissue culture and how it may impact the pulp and paper industry

    SciTech Connect

    Verma, D.C.; Einspahr, D.W.

    1983-11-01

    This is a report on the state-of-the-art of tissue culture of conifers. Developments in organogenesis and somatic embryogenesis are looked at. This technology is expected to help the pulp and paper industry in achieving its goal of maximum productivity in two principal ways: (a) by providing rapid and efficient in vitro propagation methods for elite trees, and (b) by providing a technology for producing desired hybrids via somatic cell genetics and hybridization.

  20. Biogeography of Pleistocene conifer species from the Ziegler Reservoir fossil site, Snowmass Village, Colorado

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, Dane M.; Miller, Ian M.; Jackson, Stephen T.

    2014-11-01

    Pleistocene biogeography of conifer species is poorly known in much of western North America. We conducted morphological studies on 201 conifer cones and cone fragments recovered from Pleistocene sediments at the Ziegler Reservoir fossil site (2705 m) near Snowmass Village, Colorado. The basin, formed ~ 155-130 ka, contains fossil-bearing lacustrine, palustrine, and colluvial sediments spanning approximately 85 ka. Using a suite of morphological characters, particularly cone-scale bracts, we differentiated species of Abies, Picea, and Pseudotsuga. All fossil Abies specimens were assignable based on bract morphology to Abies concolor, which is currently absent from central Colorado (nearest populations are 160 km southwest of the site). A. concolor occurs only in sediments of MIS 5d and 5c. Pseudotsuga menziesii and Picea engelmannii cones occurred in sediments corresponding to MIS 5e, 5d, 5c, and 5a. A fourth conifer species, occurring in sediments of MIS 5e, 5d, 5c, and 5a, is difficult to assign to any extant species. Bract morphology is similar to Picea pungens, which grows near the site today, but scale morphology is unlike P. pungens. These fossils may represent ancestral P. pungens, an extinct variant, or an extinct sister species.

  1. A comparative study of modern and fossil cone scales and seeds of conifers: A geochemical approach

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Artur, Stankiewicz B.; Mastalerz, Maria; Kruge, M.A.; Van Bergen, P. F.; Sadowska, A.

    1997-01-01

    Modern cone scales and seeds of Pinus strobus and Sequoia sempervirens, and their fossil (Upper Miocene, c. 6 Mar) counterparts Pinus leitzii and Sequoia langsdorfi have been studied using pyrolysis-gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (Py-GC/MS), electron-microprobe and scanning electron microscopy. Microscopic observations revealed only minor microbial activity and high-quality structural preservation of the fossil material. The pyrolysates of both modern genera showed the presence of ligno-cellulose characteristic of conifers. However, the abundance of (alkylated)phenols and 1,2-benzenediols in modern S. sempervirens suggests the presence of non-hydrolysable tannins or abundant polyphenolic moieties not previously reported in modern conifers. The marked differences between the pyrolysis products of both modern genera are suggested to be of chemosystematic significance. The fossil samples also contained ligno-cellulose which exhibited only partial degradation, primarily of the carbohydrate constituents. Comparison between the fossil cone scale and seed pyrolysates indicated that the ligno-cellulose complex present in the seeds is chemically more resistant than that in the cone scales. Principal component analysis (PCA) of the pyrolysis data allowed for the determination of the discriminant functions used to assess the extent of degradation and the chemosystematic differences between both genera and between cone scales and seeds. Elemental composition (C, O, S), obtained using electron-microprobe, corroborated the pyrolysis results. Overall, the combination of chemical, microscopic and statistical methods allowed for a detailed characterization and chemosystematic interpretations of modern and fossil conifer cone scales and seeds.

  2. Conifer stored resources and resistance to a fungus associated with the spruce bark beetle Ips typographus.

    PubMed

    Lahr, Eleanor C; Krokene, Paal

    2013-01-01

    Bark beetles and associated fungi are among the greatest natural threats to conifers worldwide. Conifers have potent defenses, but resistance to beetles and fungal pathogens may be reduced if tree stored resources are consumed by fungi rather than used for tree defense. Here, we assessed the relationship between tree stored resources and resistance to Ceratocystis polonica, a phytopathogenic fungus vectored by the spruce bark beetle Ips typographus. We measured phloem and sapwood nitrogen, non-structural carbohydrates (NSC), and lipids before and after trees were attacked by I. typographus (vectoring C. polonica) or artificially inoculated with C. polonica alone. Tree resistance was assessed by measuring phloem lesions and the proportion of necrotic phloem around the tree's circumference following attack or inoculation. While initial resource concentrations were unrelated to tree resistance to C. polonica, over time, phloem NSC and sapwood lipids declined in the trees inoculated with C. polonica. Greater resource declines correlated with less resistant trees (trees with larger lesions or more necrotic phloem), suggesting that resource depletion may be caused by fungal consumption rather than tree resistance. Ips typographus may then benefit indirectly from reduced tree defenses caused by fungal resource uptake. Our research on tree stored resources represents a novel way of understanding bark beetle-fungal-conifer interactions.

  3. Water sorption-desorption in conifer cuticles: The role of lignin.

    PubMed

    Reina, José J.; Domínguez, Eva; Heredia, Antonio

    2001-07-01

    Current information on the type and amount of biopolymers present in the epidermis of conifer species is still insufficient. This work presents the detailed morphology and chemical composition of Araucaria bidwillii cuticle after selective treatments to remove the different types of biopolymers. After removal of the waxes, cutin and polar hydrolyzable components, a lignin-like fraction, which makes up 25% of the initial cuticle weight, was identified by GC-MS and infrared spectroscopy. The isolated lignin is of G type, mainly formed by guaiacyl units. This composition indicates that the conifer cuticle investigated here has similar composition to other conifer-isolated cuticles. Water sorption and desorption by the isolated cuticle and the different cuticle fractions, including lignin, were studied. The analysis of the isotherms, following distinct physicochemical models, gave useful information on the structural and physiological role of the different biopolymers present in the cuticle. Lignin fraction showed both a high water sorption and capability of retaining it in comparision to other cuticle components. Hysteresis effect on water sorption-desorption cycle and water cluster formations has also been studied, and their physiological role discussed.

  4. The photochemical reflectance index provides an optical indicator of spring photosynthetic activation in evergreen conifers.

    PubMed

    Wong, Christopher Y S; Gamon, John A

    2015-04-01

    In evergreens, the seasonal down-regulation and reactivation of photosynthesis is largely invisible and difficult to assess with remote sensing. This invisible phenology may be changing as a result of climate change. To better understand the mechanism and timing of these hidden physiological transitions, we explored several assays and optical indicators of spring photosynthetic activation in conifers exposed to a boreal climate. The photochemical reflectance index (PRI), chlorophyll fluorescence, and leaf pigments for evergreen conifer seedlings were monitored over 1 yr of a boreal climate with the addition of gas exchange during the spring. PRI, electron transport rate, pigment levels, light-use efficiency and photosynthesis all exhibited striking seasonal changes, with varying kinetics and strengths of correlation, which were used to evaluate the mechanisms and timing of spring activation. PRI and pigment pools were closely timed with photosynthetic reactivation measured by gas exchange. The PRI provided a clear optical indicator of spring photosynthetic activation that was detectable at leaf and stand scales in conifers. We propose that PRI might provide a useful metric of effective growing season length amenable to remote sensing and could improve remote-sensing-driven models of carbon uptake in evergreen ecosystems.

  5. An Ancient Transkingdom Horizontal Transfer of Penelope-Like Retroelements from Arthropods to Conifers.

    PubMed

    Lin, Xuan; Faridi, Nurul; Casola, Claudio

    2016-05-02

    Comparative genomics analyses empowered by the wealth of sequenced genomes have revealed numerous instances of horizontal DNA transfers between distantly related species. In eukaryotes, repetitive DNA sequences known as transposable elements (TEs) are especially prone to move across species boundaries. Such horizontal transposon transfers, or HTTs, are relatively common within major eukaryotic kingdoms, including animals, plants, and fungi, while rarely occurring across these kingdoms. Here, we describe the first case of HTT from animals to plants, involving TEs known as Penelope-like elements, or PLEs, a group of retrotransposons closely related to eukaryotic telomerases. Using a combination of in situ hybridization on chromosomes, polymerase chain reaction experiments, and computational analyses we show that the predominant PLE lineage, EN(+)PLEs, is highly diversified in loblolly pine and other conifers, but appears to be absent in other gymnosperms. Phylogenetic analyses of both protein and DNA sequences reveal that conifers EN(+)PLEs, or Dryads, form a monophyletic group clustering within a clade of primarily arthropod elements. Additionally, no EN(+)PLEs were detected in 1,928 genome assemblies from 1,029 nonmetazoan and nonconifer genomes from 14 major eukaryotic lineages. These findings indicate that Dryads emerged following an ancient horizontal transfer of EN(+)PLEs from arthropods to a common ancestor of conifers approximately 340 Ma. This represents one of the oldest known interspecific transmissions of TEs, and the most conspicuous case of DNA transfer between animals and plants.

  6. Chloroplast genomes of two conifers lack a large inverted repeat and are extensively rearranged.

    PubMed Central

    Strauss, S H; Palmer, J D; Howe, G T; Doerksen, A H

    1988-01-01

    Chloroplast genomes of Douglas-fir [Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco] and radiata (Monterey) pine [Pinus radiata D. Don], two conifers from the widespread Pinaceae, were mapped and their genomes were compared to other land plants. Douglas-fir and radiata pine lack the large (20-25 kilobases) inverted repeat that characterizes most land plants. To our knowledge, this is only the second recorded loss of this ancient and highly conserved inverted repeat among all lineages of land plants thus far examined. Loss of the repeat largely accounts for the small size of the conifer genome, 120 kilobase, versus 140-160 kilobases in most land plants. Douglas-fir possesses a major inversion of 40-50 kilobases relative to radiata pine and nonconiferous plants. Nucleotide sequence differentiation between Douglas-fir and radiata pine was estimated to be 3.8%. Both conifer genomes possess a number of rearrangements relative to Osmunda, a fern, Ginkgo, a gymnosperm, and Petunia, an angiosperm. Among land plants, structural changes of this degree have occurred primarily within tribes of the legume family (Fabaceae) that have also lost the inverted repeat. These results support the hypothesis that the presence of the large inverted repeat stabilizes the chloroplast genome against major structural rearrangements. PMID:2836862

  7. New Insights into the Mechanisms of Water-Stress-Induced Cavitation in Conifers

    PubMed Central

    Cochard, Hervé; Hölttä, Teemu; Herbette, Stéphane; Delzon, Sylvain; Mencuccini, Maurizio

    2009-01-01

    Cavitation resistance is a key parameter to understand tree drought tolerance but little is known about the mechanisms of air entry into xylem conduits. For conifers three mechanisms have been proposed: (1) a rupture of pit margo microfibrils, (2) a displacement of the pit torus from its normal sealing position over the pit aperture, and (3) a rupture of an air-water menisci in a pore of the pit margo. In this article, we report experimental results on three coniferous species suggesting additional mechanisms. First, when xylem segments were injected with a fluid at a pressure sufficient to aspirate pit tori and well above the pressure for cavitation induction we failed to detect the increase in sample conductance that should have been caused by torus displacement from blocking the pit aperture or by membrane rupture. Second, by injecting xylem samples with different surfactant solutions, we found a linear relation between sample vulnerability to cavitation and fluid surface tension. This suggests that cavitation in conifers could also be provoked by the capillary failure of an air-water meniscus in coherence with the prediction of Young-Laplace's equation. Within the bordered pit membrane, the exact position of this capillary seeding is unknown. The possible Achilles' heel could be the seal between tori and pit walls or holes in the torus. The mechanism of water-stress-induced cavitation in conifers could then be relatively similar to the one currently proposed for angiosperms. PMID:19641033

  8. An Ancient Transkingdom Horizontal Transfer of Penelope-Like Retroelements from Arthropods to Conifers

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Xuan; Faridi, Nurul; Casola, Claudio

    2016-01-01

    Comparative genomics analyses empowered by the wealth of sequenced genomes have revealed numerous instances of horizontal DNA transfers between distantly related species. In eukaryotes, repetitive DNA sequences known as transposable elements (TEs) are especially prone to move across species boundaries. Such horizontal transposon transfers, or HTTs, are relatively common within major eukaryotic kingdoms, including animals, plants, and fungi, while rarely occurring across these kingdoms. Here, we describe the first case of HTT from animals to plants, involving TEs known as Penelope-like elements, or PLEs, a group of retrotransposons closely related to eukaryotic telomerases. Using a combination of in situ hybridization on chromosomes, polymerase chain reaction experiments, and computational analyses we show that the predominant PLE lineage, EN(+)PLEs, is highly diversified in loblolly pine and other conifers, but appears to be absent in other gymnosperms. Phylogenetic analyses of both protein and DNA sequences reveal that conifers EN(+)PLEs, or Dryads, form a monophyletic group clustering within a clade of primarily arthropod elements. Additionally, no EN(+)PLEs were detected in 1,928 genome assemblies from 1,029 nonmetazoan and nonconifer genomes from 14 major eukaryotic lineages. These findings indicate that Dryads emerged following an ancient horizontal transfer of EN(+)PLEs from arthropods to a common ancestor of conifers approximately 340 Ma. This represents one of the oldest known interspecific transmissions of TEs, and the most conspicuous case of DNA transfer between animals and plants. PMID:27190138

  9. Biomolecules preserved in ca. 168 million year old fossil conifer wood.

    PubMed

    Marynowski, Leszek; Otto, Angelika; Zatoń, Michał; Philippe, Marc; Simoneit, Bernd R T

    2007-03-01

    Biomarkers are widely known to occur in the fossil record, but the unaltered biomolecules are rarely reported from sediments older than Paleogene. Polar terpenoids, the natural products most resistant to degradation processes, were reported mainly from the Tertiary conifers, and the oldest known are Cretaceous in age. In this paper, we report the occurrence of relatively high concentrations of ferruginol derivatives and other polar diterpenoids, as well as their diagenetic products, in a conifer wood Protopodocarpoxylon from the Middle Jurassic of Poland. Thus, the natural product terpenoids reported in this paper are definitely the oldest polar biomolecules detected in geological samples. The extracted phenolic abietanes like ferruginol and its derivatives (6,7-dehydroferruginol, sugiol, 11,14-dioxopisiferic acid) are produced only by distinct conifer families (Cupressaceae s. l., Podocarpaceae and Araucariaceae), to which Protopodocarpoxylon could belong based on anatomical characteristics. Therefore, the natural product terpenoids are of great advantage in systematics of fossil plant remains older than Paleogene and lacking suitable anatomical preservation.

  10. Biomolecules preserved in ca. 168 million year old fossil conifer wood

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marynowski, Leszek; Otto, Angelika; Zatoń, Michał; Philippe, Marc; Simoneit, Bernd R. T.

    2007-03-01

    Biomarkers are widely known to occur in the fossil record, but the unaltered biomolecules are rarely reported from sediments older than Paleogene. Polar terpenoids, the natural products most resistant to degradation processes, were reported mainly from the Tertiary conifers, and the oldest known are Cretaceous in age. In this paper, we report the occurrence of relatively high concentrations of ferruginol derivatives and other polar diterpenoids, as well as their diagenetic products, in a conifer wood Protopodocarpoxylon from the Middle Jurassic of Poland. Thus, the natural product terpenoids reported in this paper are definitely the oldest polar biomolecules detected in geological samples. The extracted phenolic abietanes like ferruginol and its derivatives (6,7-dehydroferruginol, sugiol, 11,14-dioxopisiferic acid) are produced only by distinct conifer families (Cupressaceae s. l., Podocarpaceae and Araucariaceae), to which Protopodocarpoxylon could belong based on anatomical characteristics. Therefore, the natural product terpenoids are of great advantage in systematics of fossil plant remains older than Paleogene and lacking suitable anatomical preservation.

  11. Nuclear DNA content affects the productivity of conifer forests by altering hydraulic architecture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alday, Josu; Resco de Dios, Víctor

    2014-05-01

    Predictions of future global climate rely on feedbacks between terrestrial vegetation and the global carbon cycle, but the exact mechanisms underlying this relationship are still being discussed. One of the key knowledge gaps lies on the scaling of cellular processes to the ecosystem level. Here we examine whether an under-explored plant trait, inter-specific variation in the bulk amount of DNA in unreplicated somatic cells (2C DNA content), can explain inter-specific variation in the maximum productivity of conifer forests. We expected 2C DNA content to be negatively related to conifer productivity because: 1) it is positively correlated with cell volume (which, in turn, potentially affects structural features such as leaf mass area, a strong predictor of photosynthetic capacity); 2) it is positively correlated with stomatal size (with larger stomata leading to lower overall stomatal conductance and, by extension, lower CO2 uptake); and 3) larger genome sizes may reduce P availability in RNA (which has been hypothesized to slow growth). We present the results of regression and independent contrasts in different monospecific forests encompassing a 52º latitudinal gradient, each being dominated by 1 of 35 different conifer species. Contrary to expectations, we observed a positive correlation between genome size and maximum Gross Primary Productivity (R2 = 0.47) and also between genome size maximum tree height (R2 = 0.27). This correlation was apparently driven by the effects of genome size on stem hydraulics, since 2C DNA was positively correlated with wood density (R2 = 0.40) and also with resistance to cavitation (P50, R2 = 0.28). That is, increased genome sizes have a positive effect on the productivity of conifer forests by affecting the vascular tissues to increase their capacity for water transport. Our results shed a new light on the evolution of the vascular system of conifer forests and how they affect ecosystem productivity, and indicate the potential to

  12. Some conifer clades contribute substantial amounts of leaf waxes to sedimentary archives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Diefendorf, A. F.; Wing, S. L.; Leslie, A. B.; Freeman, K. H.

    2014-12-01

    Leaf waxes (i.e. n-alkanes, n-alkanoic acids) and their carbon isotopes (δ13C) are commonly used to track past changes in the carbon cycle or plant ecophysiology. Previous studies indicated that conifer n-alkane concentrations are lower than in angiosperms and that 13C fractionation during n-alkane synthesis (ɛlipid) is smaller than in angiosperms. These prior studies, however, sampled a limited phylogenetic and geographic subset of conifers, leaving out many important subtropical and Southern Hemisphere groups that were once widespread and common components of fossil assemblages. To expand on previous work, we collected 44 conifer species from the University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley, capturing all extant conifer families and most extant genera. By collecting all specimens at a common site we attempted to minimize the confounding effects of climate, allowing phylogenetic patterns in the δ13C of leaf waxes to be expressed more strongly. We find that Pinaceae, including many North American species used in previous studies, have very low or no n-alkanes. However, other conifer groups have significant concentrations of n-alkanes, especially the Araucariaceae (Norfolk Island pines), Podocarpaceae (common in the Southern Hemisphere), and many species of Cupressaceae (junipers and relatives). Within the Cupressaceae, we find total n-alkane concentrations are high in subfamilies Cupressoideae and Callitroideae, but significantly lower in the early diverging taxodioid lineages (including bald cypress and redwood). Individual n-alkane chain lengths have a weak phylogenetic signal, except for n-C29 alkane, but when combined using average chain length (ACL), a strong phylogenetic signal emerges. The strong phylogenetic signal in ACL reinforces that it is strongly influenced by factors other than climate. An analysis of ɛlipid indicates a strong phylogenetic signal in which the smallest biosynthetic fractionation occurs in Pinaceae and the largest in

  13. Oviposition strategies of conifer seed chalcids in relation to host phenology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rouault, Gaëlle; Turgeon, Jean; Candau, Jean-Noël; Roques, Alain; Aderkas, Patrick

    2004-10-01

    Insects are considered the most important predators of seed cones, the female reproductive structures of conifers, prior to seed dispersal. Slightly more than 100 genera of insects are known to parasitize conifer seed cones. The most diverse (i.e., number of species) of these genera is Megastigmus (Hymenoptera: Torymidae), which comprises many important seed pests of native and exotic conifers. Seed chalcids, Megastigmus spp., lay eggs inside the developing ovules of host conifers and, until recently, oviposition was believed to occur only in fertilized ovules. Ovule development begins just after pollination, but stops if cells are not fertilized. The morphological stage of cone development at the time of oviposition by seed chalcids has been established for many species; however, knowledge of ovule development at that time has been documented for only one species, M. spermotrophus. Megastigmus spermotrophus oviposits in Douglas-fir ovules after pollination but before fertilization. Unlike the unfertilized ovules, those containing a M. spermotrophus larva continue to develop, whether fertilized or not, stressing the need to broaden our understanding of the insect plant interactions for this entire genus. To achieve this task, we reviewed the scientific literature and assembled information pertaining to the timing of oviposition and to the pollination and fertilization periods of their respective host(s). More specifically, we were searching for circumstantial evidence that other species of Megastigmus associated with conifers could behave (i.e., oviposit before ovule fertilization) and impact on female gametophyte (i.e., prevent abortion) like M. spermotrophus. The evidence from our compilation suggests that seed chalcids infesting Pinaceae may also oviposit before ovule fertilization, just like M. spermotrophus, whereas those infesting Cupressaceae seemingly oviposit after ovule fertilization. Based on this evidence, we hypothesize that all species of Megastigmus

  14. Model-based conifer crown surface reconstruction from multi-ocular high-resolution aerial imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheng, Yongwei

    2000-12-01

    Tree crown parameters such as width, height, shape and crown closure are desirable in forestry and ecological studies, but they are time-consuming and labor intensive to measure in the field. The stereoscopic capability of high-resolution aerial imagery provides a way to crown surface reconstruction. Existing photogrammetric algorithms designed to map terrain surfaces, however, cannot adequately extract crown surfaces, especially for steep conifer crowns. Considering crown surface reconstruction in a broader context of tree characterization from aerial images, we develop a rigorous perspective tree image formation model to bridge image-based tree extraction and crown surface reconstruction, and an integrated model-based approach to conifer crown surface reconstruction. Based on the fact that most conifer crowns are in a solid geometric form, conifer crowns are modeled as a generalized hemi-ellipsoid. Both the automatic and semi-automatic approaches are investigated to optimal tree model development from multi-ocular images. The semi-automatic 3D tree interpreter developed in this thesis is able to efficiently extract reliable tree parameters and tree models in complicated tree stands. This thesis starts with a sophisticated stereo matching algorithm, and incorporates tree models to guide stereo matching. The following critical problems are addressed in the model-based surface reconstruction process: (1) the problem of surface model composition from tree models, (2) the occlusion problem in disparity prediction from tree models, (3) the problem of integrating the predicted disparities into image matching, (4) the tree model edge effect reduction on the disparity map, (5) the occlusion problem in orthophoto production, and (6) the foreshortening problem in image matching, which is very serious for conifer crown surfaces. Solutions to the above problems are necessary for successful crown surface reconstruction. The model-based approach was applied to recover the

  15. The Paleocene Eocene carbon isotope excursion in higher plant organic matter: Differential fractionation of angiosperms and conifers in the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schouten, Stefan; Woltering, Martijn; Rijpstra, W. Irene C.; Sluijs, Appy; Brinkhuis, Henk; Sinninghe Damsté, Jaap S.

    2007-06-01

    A study of upper Paleocene-lower Eocene (P-E) sediments deposited on the Lomonosov Ridge in the central Arctic Ocean reveals relatively high abundances of terrestrial biomarkers. These include dehydroabietane and simonellite derived from conifers (gymnosperms) and a tetra-aromatic triterpenoid derived from angiosperms. The relative percentage of the angiosperm biomarker of the summed angiosperm + conifer biomarkers was increased at the end of the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum (PETM), different when observed with pollen counts which showed a relative decrease in angiosperm pollen. Stable carbon isotopic analysis of these biomarkers shows that the negative carbon isotope excursion (CIE) during the PETM amounts to 3‰ for both conifer biomarkers, dehydroabietane and simonellite, comparable to the magnitude of the CIE inferred from marine carbonates, but significantly lower than the 4.5‰ of the terrestrial C 29n-alkane [M. Pagani, N. Pedentchouk, M. Huber, A. Sluijs, S. Schouten, H. Brinkhuis, J.S. Sinninghe Damsté, G.R. Dickens, and the IODP Expedition 302 Expedition Scientists (2006), Arctic's hydrology during global warming at the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum. Nature, 442, 671-675.], which is a compound sourced by both conifers and angiosperms. Conspicuously, the angiosperm-sourced aromatic triterpane shows a much larger CIE of 6‰ and suggests that angiosperms increased in their carbon isotopic fractionation during the PETM. Our results thus indicate that the 4.5‰ C 29n-alkane CIE reported previously represents the average CIE of conifers and angiosperms at this site and suggest that the large and variable CIE observed in terrestrial records may be partly explained by the variable contributions of conifers and angiosperms. The differential response in isotopic fractionation of angiosperms and conifers points to different physiological responses of these vegetation types to the rise in temperature, humidity, and greenhouse gases during the PETM.

  16. The enigma of effective pathlength for 18O enrichment in leaf water of conifers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roden, J. S.; Kahmen, A.; Buchmann, N. C.; Siegwolf, R. T.

    2013-12-01

    The stable isotopes of oxygen (δ18O) in tree ring cellulose provide valuable proxy information about past environments and climate. Mechanistic models have been used to clarify the important drivers of isotope fractionation and help interpret δ18O variation in tree rings. A critical component to these models is an estimate of leaf water enrichment. However, standard models seldom accurately predict 18O enrichment in conifer needles and Péclet corrections often require effective pathlengths (L) that seem unreasonable from the perspective of needle morphology (>0.5 m). To analyze the potential role of path length on the Péclet effect in conifers we carried out experiments in controlled environment chambers. We exposed seedlings of six species of conifer (Abies alba, Larix decidua, Picea abies, Pinus cembra, P. sylvestris, Taxus bacata), that differ in needle morphology, to four different vapor pressure deficits (VPD), in order to modify transpiration rates (E) and leaf water 18O enrichment. Environmental and δ18O data (leaf, stem and chamber water vapor) were collected to parameterize leaf water models. Cross-sections of needles were sampled for an analysis of needle anatomy. Conifer needles have a single strand of vascular tissue making pathlength determinations through anatomical assessments possible. The six species differed in mesophyll distance (measured from endodermis to epidermis) and cell number, with Pinus and Picea species having the shortest distance and Abies and Taxus the longest (flat needle morphology). Other anatomical measures (transfusion distance, cell size etc.) did not differ significantly. A suberized strip was apparent in the endodermis of all species except Taxus and Abies. Conifer needles have a large proportion (from 0.2 to 0.4) of needle cross-sectional area in vascular tissues that may not be subject to evaporative enrichment. As expected, leaf water δ18O and E responded strongly to VPD and standard models (Craig

  17. The evolutionary split of Pinaceae from other conifers: evidence from an intron loss and a multigene phylogeny.

    PubMed

    Gugerli, F; Sperisen, C; Büchler, U; Brunner, I; Brodbeck, S; Palmer, J D; Qiu, Y L

    2001-11-01

    The second intron in the mitochondrial gene nad1 was surveyed using PCR, DNA sequencing, or Southern hybridization in 323 species (313 genera, 212 families) of seed plants. The intron was absent in all 22 species (22 genera, 8 families) of non-Pinaceae conifers studied, in Welwitschia mirabilis, and in seven angiosperms. Whereas absence of the intron in seven angiosperms and Welwitschia is likely due to seven independent losses when evaluated against the recently published multigene phylogenies, the lack of the intron in all non-Pinaceae conifers can be best explained by a single loss. These data suggest that the non-Pinaceae conifers represent a monophyletic group. We also conducted a phylogenetic analysis of seed plants using a combined data set of the partial exon and intron sequences of nad1 generated from this study and published sequences of mitochondrial cox1 and small subunit (SSU) rDNA, chloroplast rbcL, and nuclear 18S rDNA. The results supported the split of conifers into two groups: Pinaceae and non-Pinaceae conifers. The Gnetales were sister to Pinaceae, in agreement with the conclusion from other recent molecular phylogenetic studies that refute the anthophyte hypothesis.

  18. Headwater riparian invertebrate communities associated with red alder and conifer wood and leaf litter in southeastern Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    LeSage, C.M.; Merritt, R.W.; Wipfli, M.S.

    2005-01-01

    We examined how management of young upland forests in southeastern Alaska affect riparian invertebrate taxa richness, density, and biomass, in turn, potentially influencing food abundance for fish and wildlife. Southeastern Alaska forests are dominated by coniferous trees including Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis (Bong.) Carr.), western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla (Raf.) Sarg.), with mixed stands of red cedar (Thuja plicata Donn.). Red alder (Alnus rubra Bong.) is hypothesized to influence the productivity of young-growth conifer forests and through forest management may provide increased riparian invertebrate abundance. To compare and contrast invertebrate densities between coniferous and alder riparian habitats, leaf litter and wood debris (early and late decay classes) samples were collected along eleven headwater streams on Prince of Wales Island, Alaska, during the summers of 2000 and 2001. Members of Acarina and Collembola were the most abundant taxa collected in leaf litter with alder litter having significantly higher mean taxa richness than conifer litter. Members of Acarina were the most abundant group collected on wood debris and alder wood had significantly higher mean taxa richness and biomass than conifer wood. Alder wood debris in more advanced decay stages had the highest mean taxa richness and biomass, compared to other wood types, while conifer late decay wood debris had the highest densities of invertebrates. The inclusion of alder in young-growth conifer forests can benefit forest ecosystems by enhancing taxa richness and biomass of riparian forest invertebrates. ?? 2005 by the Northwest Scientific Association. All rights reserved.

  19. Wildlife species associated with non-coniferous vegetation in Pacific Northwest conifer forests: A review

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hagar, J.C.

    2007-01-01

    Non-coniferous vegetation, including herbs, shrubs, and broad-leaved trees, makes a vital contribution to ecosystem function and diversity in Pacific Northwest conifer forests. However, forest management has largely been indifferent or detrimental to shrubs and trees that have low commercial value, in spite of a paradigm shift towards more holistic management in recent decades. Forest management practices that are detrimental to broad-leaved trees and shrubs are likely to decrease habitat diversity for wildlife, but the number of species that may be affected has not previously been enumerated. I reviewed life history accounts for forest-dwelling vertebrate wildlife species and derived a list of 78 species in Oregon and Washington that are associated with non-coniferous vegetation. The diversity of direct and indirect food resources provided was the primary functional basis for associations of most species with non-coniferous vegetation. Thus, a diversity of herbs and broad-leaved trees and shrubs provides the foundation for food webs that contribute to diversity at multiple trophic levels in Pacific Northwest conifer forests. Given the number of species associated with non-coniferous vegetation in conifer-dominated forests, maintaining habitats that support diverse plant communities, particularly broad-leaved trees and shrubs, will be an important component of management strategies intended to foster biodiversity. Silvicultural practices such as modified planting densities, and pre-commercial and commercial thinning, can be used to control stand density in order to favor the development of understory herbs, shrubs, and a diversity of tree species within managed stands. Allowing shrubs and hardwood trees to develop and persist in early seral stands by curtailing vegetation control also would benefit many species associated with non-coniferous vegetation.

  20. Mapping and monitoring conifer mortality using remote sensing in the Lake Tahoe Basin

    SciTech Connect

    Macomber, S.A.; Woodcock, C.E. )

    1994-12-01

    A prolonged drought in the western US has resulted in alarming levels of mortality in conifer forests. Satellite remote sensing holds the potential for mapping and monitoring the effects of such environmental changes over large geographic areas in a timely manner. Results from the application of a forest canopy reflectance model using multitemporal Landsat TM imagery and field measurements, indicate conifer mortality can be effectively mapped and inventoried. The test area for this project is the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit in the Sierra Nevada of California. The Landsat TM images are from the summers of 1988 and 1991. The Li-Strahler canopy model estimates several forest stand parameters, including tree size and canopy cover for each conifer stand, from reflectance values in satellite imagery. The difference in cover estimates between the dates forms the basis for stratifying stands into mortality classes, which are used as both themes in a map and the basis of the field sampling design. Field measurements from 61 stands collected in the summer of 1992 indicate 15% of the original timber volume in the true fir zone died between 1988 and 1992. The resulting low standard error of 11% for this estimate indicates the utility of these mortality classes for detecting areas of high mortality. Also, the patterns in the estimated mean timber volume loss for each class follow the expected trends. The results of this project are immediately useful for fire hazard management, by providing both estimates of the degree of overall mortality and maps showing its location. They also indicate current remote sensing technology may be useful for monitoring the changes in vegetation that are expected to result from climate change.

  1. A White Spruce Gene Catalog for Conifer Genome Analyses1[W][OA

    PubMed Central

    Rigault, Philippe; Boyle, Brian; Lepage, Pierre; Cooke, Janice E.K.; Bousquet, Jean; MacKay, John J.

    2011-01-01

    Several angiosperm plant genomes, including Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), rice (Oryza sativa), poplar (Populus trichocarpa), and grapevine (Vitis vinifera), have been sequenced, but the lack of reference genomes in gymnosperm phyla reduces our understanding of plant evolution and restricts the potential impacts of genomics research. A gene catalog was developed for the conifer tree Picea glauca (white spruce) through large-scale expressed sequence tag sequencing and full-length cDNA sequencing to facilitate genome characterizations, comparative genomics, and gene mapping. The resource incorporates new and publicly available sequences into 27,720 cDNA clusters, 23,589 of which are represented by full-length insert cDNAs. Expressed sequence tags, mate-pair cDNA clone analysis, and custom sequencing were integrated through an iterative process to improve the accuracy of clustering outcomes. The entire catalog spans 30 Mb of unique transcribed sequence. We estimated that the P. glauca nuclear genome contains up to 32,520 transcribed genes owing to incomplete, partially sequenced, and unsampled transcripts and that its transcriptome could span up to 47 Mb. These estimates are in the same range as the Arabidopsis and rice transcriptomes. Next-generation methods confirmed and enhanced the catalog by providing deeper coverage for rare transcripts, by extending many incomplete clusters, and by augmenting the overall transcriptome coverage to 38 Mb of unique sequence. Genomic sample sequencing at 8.5% of the 19.8-Gb P. glauca genome identified 1,495 clusters representing highly repeated sequences among the cDNA clusters. With a conifer transcriptome in full view, functional and protein domain annotations clearly highlighted the divergences between conifers and angiosperms, likely reflecting their respective evolutionary paths. PMID:21730200

  2. Nitric acid dry deposition to conifer forests: Niwot Ridge spruce-fir-pine study

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sievering, H.; Kelly, T.; McConville, G.; Seibold, C.; Turnipseed, A.

    2001-01-01

    The dry deposition velocity of nitric acid, Vd(HNO3), over a 12-m (mean height) spruce-fir forest at Niwot Ridge, Colorado was estimated during 13 daytime periods using the flux-gradient approach. Turbulence intensity at this site is high (mean u* of 0.65ms-1 with u of 2.9ms-1) and contributed to the large observed Vd(HNO3). The overriding contributor is identified to be the small aerodynamic needle width of the conifer trees. Two cases had inflated Vd(HNO3) due to height-differentiated nitric acid loss to soil-derived particle surfaces. Not considering these cases, the mean Vd(HNO3) was 7.6cms-1. The mean laminar boundary layer resistance (Rb) was found to be 7.8sm-1 (of similar magnitude to that of the aerodynamic resistance, 8.5sm-1). The data-determined Rb is bracketed by two theoretical estimates of the mean Rb, 5.9 and 8.6sm-1, that include consideration of the small canopy length scale (aerodynamic needle width), 1mm or less, at this conifer forest. However, the poor correlation of data-determined Rb values with both sets of theoretical estimates indicates that measurement error needs to be reduced and/or improved formulations of theoretical Rb values are in order. The large observed Vd(HNO3) at this conifer forest site is attributed to high turbulence intensity, and, especially, to small aerodynamic needle width. Copyright ?? 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd.

  3. Dwarf mistletoe-host interactions in mixed-conifer forests in the sierra nevada.

    PubMed

    Maloney, Patricia E; Rizzo, David M

    2002-06-01

    ABSTRACT We determined the spatial pattern of dwarf mistletoe (Arceuthobium spp.) associated with two different conifer hosts, white fir (Abies concolor) and Jeffrey pine (Pinus jeffreyi), in forests around the Lake Tahoe Basin and at the Teakettle Experimental Forest, both located in the Sierra Nevada. We also examined a number of host variables and bark beetle incidence to determine how these factors might be involved in the Arceuthobium-conifer interaction. There was no significant relationship between dwarf mistletoe-infected trees and associated bark beetles. We found the highest incidence of dwarf mistletoe on Jeffrey pine in Lake Tahoe (87%), followed by dwarf mistletoe on white fir in Lake Tahoe (30%), with the lowest incidence on white fir at Teakettle (27%). Dwarf mistletoe incidence on white fir in our Lake Tahoe grid was not correlated to density but the dwarf mistletoe rating (DMR) was positively correlated to host size. At the Teakettle Forest, dwarf mistletoe incidence on white fir was not correlated with host density but the DMR was correlated with host size. Dwarf mistletoe incidence and DMR on Jeffrey pine were correlated with host density. Individuals, of both conifer species, in all diameter size classes were susceptible to dwarf mistletoe, with the lowest infection rate in the seedling-10-cm-diameter class. Arceuthobium on white fir in Lake Tahoe showed spatial dependence to a range of 20 m. However, Arceuthobium on Jeffrey pine in Lake Tahoe and on white fir at Teakettle showed no clear pattern of spatial structuring. The degree of infection and stand history appear to be important in the spatial dynamics of Arceuthobium spp.

  4. Conifer density within lake catchments predicts fish mercury concentrations in remote subalpine lakes.

    PubMed

    Eagles-Smith, Collin A; Herring, Garth; Johnson, Branden; Graw, Rick

    2016-05-01

    Remote high-elevation lakes represent unique environments for evaluating the bioaccumulation of atmospherically deposited mercury through freshwater food webs, as well as for evaluating the relative importance of mercury loading versus landscape influences on mercury bioaccumulation. The increase in mercury deposition to these systems over the past century, coupled with their limited exposure to direct anthropogenic disturbance make them useful indicators for estimating how changes in mercury emissions may propagate to changes in Hg bioaccumulation and ecological risk. We evaluated mercury concentrations in resident fish from 28 high-elevation, sub-alpine lakes in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. Fish total mercury (THg) concentrations ranged from 4 to 438 ng/g wet weight, with a geometric mean concentration (±standard error) of 43 ± 2 ng/g ww. Fish THg concentrations were negatively correlated with relative condition factor, indicating that faster growing fish that are in better condition have lower THg concentrations. Across the 28 study lakes, mean THg concentrations of resident salmonid fishes varied as much as 18-fold among lakes. We used a hierarchal statistical approach to evaluate the relative importance of physiological, limnological, and catchment drivers of fish Hg concentrations. Our top statistical model explained 87% of the variability in fish THg concentrations among lakes with four key landscape and limnological variables: catchment conifer density (basal area of conifers within a lake's catchment), lake surface area, aqueous dissolved sulfate, and dissolved organic carbon. Conifer density within a lake's catchment was the most important variable explaining fish THg concentrations across lakes, with THg concentrations differing by more than 400 percent across the forest density spectrum. These results illustrate the importance of landscape characteristics in controlling mercury bioaccumulation in fish.

  5. Conifer density within lake catchments predicts fish mercury concentrations in remote subalpine lakes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Herring, Garth; Johnson, Branden L.; Graw, Rick

    2016-01-01

    Remote high-elevation lakes represent unique environments for evaluating the bioaccumulation of atmospherically deposited mercury through freshwater food webs, as well as for evaluating the relative importance of mercury loading versus landscape influences on mercury bioaccumulation. The increase in mercury deposition to these systems over the past century, coupled with their limited exposure to direct anthropogenic disturbance make them useful indicators for estimating how changes in mercury emissions may propagate to changes in Hg bioaccumulation and ecological risk. We evaluated mercury concentrations in resident fish from 28 high-elevation, sub-alpine lakes in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. Fish total mercury (THg) concentrations ranged from 4 to 438 ng/g wet weight, with a geometric mean concentration (±standard error) of 43 ± 2 ng/g ww. Fish THg concentrations were negatively correlated with relative condition factor, indicating that faster growing fish that are in better condition have lower THg concentrations. Across the 28 study lakes, mean THg concentrations of resident salmonid fishes varied as much as 18-fold among lakes. We used a hierarchal statistical approach to evaluate the relative importance of physiological, limnological, and catchment drivers of fish Hg concentrations. Our top statistical model explained 87% of the variability in fish THg concentrations among lakes with four key landscape and limnological variables: catchment conifer density (basal area of conifers within a lake's catchment), lake surface area, aqueous dissolved sulfate, and dissolved organic carbon. Conifer density within a lake's catchment was the most important variable explaining fish THg concentrations across lakes, with THg concentrations differing by more than 400 percent across the forest density spectrum. These results illustrate the importance of landscape characteristics in controlling mercury bioaccumulation in fish.

  6. Development of nuclear and chloroplast microsatellite markers for the endangered conifer Callitris sulcata (Cupressaceae)1

    PubMed Central

    Sakaguchi, Shota; Lannuzel, Guillaume; Fogliani, Bruno; Wulff, Adrien S.; L’Huillier, Laurent; Kurata, Seikan; Ueno, Saneyoshi; Isagi, Yuji; Tsumura, Yoshihiko; Ito, Motomi

    2015-01-01

    Premise of the study: Microsatellite markers were developed for Callitris sulcata (Cupressaceae), an endangered conifer species in New Caledonia. Methods and Results: Using sequencing by synthesis (SBS) of an RNA-Seq library, 15 polymorphic nuclear and chloroplast microsatellite markers were developed. When evaluated with 48 individuals, these markers showed genetic variations ranging from two to 15 alleles and expected heterozygosity ranging from 0 to 0.881. Conclusions: These markers will be useful for examining the genetic diversity and structure of remaining wild populations and improving the genetic status of ex situ populations. PMID:26312198

  7. Molecular Characterization of Fusarium oxysporum and Fusarium commune Isolates from a Conifer Nursery.

    PubMed

    Stewart, Jane E; Kim, Mee-Sook; James, Robert L; Dumroese, R Kasten; Klopfenstein, Ned B

    2006-10-01

    ABSTRACT Fusarium species can cause severe root disease and damping-off in conifer nurseries. Fusarium inoculum is commonly found in most container and bareroot nurseries on healthy and diseased seedlings, in nursery soils, and on conifer seeds. Isolates of Fusarium spp. can differ in virulence; however, virulence and colony morphology are not correlated. Forty-one isolates of Fusarium spp., morphologically indistinguishable from F. oxysporum, were collected from nursery samples (soils, healthy seedlings, and diseased seedlings). These isolates were characterized by amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) and DNA sequencing of nuclear rDNA (internal transcribed spacer including 5.8S rDNA), mitochon-drial rDNA (small subunit [mtSSU]), and nuclear translation elongation factor 1-alpha. Each isolate had a unique AFLP phenotype. Out of 121 loci, 111 (92%) were polymorphic; 30 alleles were unique to only highly virulent isolates and 33 alleles were unique to only isolates nonpathogenic on conifers. Maximum parsimony and Bayesian analyses of DNA sequences from all three regions and the combined data set showed that all highly virulent isolates clearly separated into a common clade that contained F. commune, which was recently distinguished from its sister taxon, F. oxysporum. Interestingly, all but one of the nonpathogenic isolates grouped into a common clade and were genetically similar to F. oxysporum. The AFLP cladograms had similar topologies when compared with the DNA-based phylograms. Although all tested isolates were morphologically indistinguishable from F. oxysporum based on currently available monographs, some morphological traits can be plastic and unreliable for identification of Fusarium spp. We consider the highly virulent isolates to be F. commune based on strong genetic evidence. To our knowledge, this is the first reported evidence that shows F. commune is a cause of Fusarium disease (root rot and dampingoff) on Douglas-fir seedlings. Furthermore

  8. Frost drought in conifers at the alpine timberline: xylem dysfunction and adaptations.

    PubMed

    Mayr, Stefan; Hacke, Uwe; Schmid, Peter; Schwienbacher, Franziska; Gruber, Andreas

    2006-12-01

    Drought stress can cause xylem embolism in trees when the water potential (psi) in the xylem falls below specific vulnerability thresholds. At the alpine timberline, frost drought is known to cause excessive winter embolism unless xylem vulnerability or transpiration is sufficiently reduced to avoid critical psi. We compared annual courses of psi and embolism in Picea abies, Pinus cembra, Pinus mugo, Larix decidua, and Juniperus communis growing at the timberline vs. low altitude. In addition, vulnerability properties and related anatomical parameters as well as wood density (D(t)) and wall reinforcement (wall thickness related to conduit diameter) were studied. This allowed an estimate of stress intensities as well as a detection of adaptations that reduce embolism formation. At the alpine timberline, psi was lowest during winter with corresponding embolism rates of up to 100% in three of the conifers studied. Only Pinus cembra and Larix decidua avoided winter embolism due to moderate psi. Minor embolism was observed at low altitude where the water potentials of all species remained within a narrow range throughout the year. Within species, differences in psi50 (psi at 50% loss of conductivity) at high vs. low altitude were less than 1 MPa. In Picea abies and Pinus cembra, psi50 was more negative at the timberline while, in the other conifer species, psi50 was more negative at low altitude. Juniperus communis exhibited the lowest (-6.4 +/- 0.04 MPa; mean +/- SE) and Pinus mugo the highest psi50 (-3.34 +/- 0.03 MPa). In some cases, D(t) and tracheid wall reinforcement were higher than in previously established relationships of these parameters with psi50, possibly because of mechanical demands associated with the specific growing conditions. Conifers growing at the alpine timberline were exposed to higher drought stress intensities than individuals at low altitude. Frost drought during winter caused high embolism rates which were probably amplified by freeze

  9. Measuring near infrared spectral reflectance changes from water stressed conifer stands with AIS-2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Riggs, George; Running, Steven W.

    1987-01-01

    Airborne Imaging Spectrometer-2 (AIS-2) data was acquired over two paired conifer stands for the purpose of detecting differences in spectral reflectance between stressed and natural canopies. Water stress was induced in a stand of Norway spruce and white pine by severing the sapwood near the ground. Water stress during the AIS flights was evaluated through shoot water potential and relative water content measurements. Preliminary analysis with raw AIS-2 data using SPAM indicates that there were small, inconsistent differences in absolute spectral reflectance in the near infrared 0.97 to 1.3 micron between the stressed and natural canopies.

  10. Spatial structure of periodicity in the conifer tree radial increment in the Republic of Komi

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raspopov, O. M.; Lopatin, E. V.; Kolström, T.; Dergachev, V. A.; Dmitriev, P. B.; Kahle, H.-P.; Spiecker, H.

    2013-12-01

    Spectral analysis of tree ring data sets of Siberian spruce ( Picea obovata) and Scots pine ( Pinus sylvestris L.) was carried out to study the effects of climatic factors on the conifer tree radial growth in the territory of the Komi Republic. Analyses were performed for different natural subzones in the Komi Republic: the forest-tundra transition zone and the northern, middle, and southern taiga. The results show that several groups of periodicities can be found in the tree radial growth. One from groups of periodicities is related to internal processes in the atmosphere-ocean system; the other is related to the fluctuations in solar activity.

  11. Quantifying thermal constraints on carbon and water fluxes in a mixed-conifer sky island ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Braun, Z.; Minor, R. L.; Potts, D. L.; Barron-Gafford, G. A.

    2012-12-01

    Western North American forests represent a potential, yet uncertain, sink for atmospheric carbon. Revealing how predicted climatic conditions of warmer temperatures and longer inter-storm periods of moisture stress might influence the carbon status of these forests requires a fuller understanding of plant functional responses to abiotic stress. While data related to snow dominated montane ecosystems has become more readily available to parameterize ecosystem function models, there is a paucity of data available for Madrean sky island mixed-conifer forests, which receive about one third of their precipitation from the North American Monsoon. Thus, we quantified ecophysiological responses to moisture and temperature stress in a Madrean mixed-conifer forest near Tucson, Arizona, within the footprint of the Mt. Bigelow Eddy Covariance Tower. In measuring a series of key parameters indicative of carbon and water fluxes within the dominant species across pre-monsoon and monsoon conditions, we were able to develop a broader understanding of what abiotic drivers are most restrictive to plant performance in this ecosystem. Within Pinus ponderosa (Ponderosa Pine), Pseudotsuga menziesii (Douglas Fir), and Pinus strobiformis (Southwestern White Pine) we quantified: (i) the optimal temperature (Topt) for maximum photosynthesis (Amax), (ii) the range of temperatures over which photosynthesis was at least 50% of Amax (Ω50), and (iii) each conifer's water use efficiency (WUE) to relate to the balance between carbon uptake and water loss in this high elevation semiarid ecosystem. Our findings support the prediction that photosynthesis decreases under high temperatures (>30°C) among the three species we measured, regardless of soil moisture status. However, monsoon moisture reduced sensitivity to temperature extremes and fluctuations (Ω50), which substantially magnified total photosynthetic productivity. In particular, wet conditions enhanced Amax the most dramatically for P

  12. Diversity and seasonal variation of endophytic fungi isolated from three conifers in mt. Taehwa, Korea.

    PubMed

    Kim, Chang-Kyun; Eo, Ju-Kyeong; Eom, Ahn-Heum

    2013-06-01

    The needled leaves of three conifer species were collected in Mt. Taehwa during different seasons of the year. Total 59 isolates and 19 species of endophytic fungi were isolated from the leaves and identified using morphological and molecular characteristics. As a result, Shannon index was different in its host plant; Larix kaempferi had a highest value of species diversity. According to the sampling season, 9 species of 19 species were isolated during fall season. The results suggest that the existing of host plant and sampling season are major factors of distribution of endophytic fungi.

  13. The species of Cortinarius, section Bovini, associated with conifers in northern Europe.

    PubMed

    Niskanen, Tuula; Kytövuori, Ilkka; Liimatainen, Kare; Lindström, Håkan

    2013-01-01

    Cortinarius bovinus and morphologically similar conifer-associated species were studied using material mainly from northern Europe. To stabilize the nomenclature, relevant types were examined. Phylogenetic relationships and species limits were investigated with rDNA ITS and nuclear rpb2 sequences as well as morphological data. We recognize seven species: C. bovinus (neotypified) and six new species, C. anisochrous, C. bovinaster, C. bovinatus, C. fuscobovinus, C. fuscobovinaster and C. oulankaënsis. Their taxonomy, ecology, distribution and relationships are discussed, and a key to species is provided. Based on our phylogeny and morphological data the species were placed in section Bovini.

  14. Diversity and Seasonal Variation of Endophytic Fungi Isolated from Three Conifers in Mt. Taehwa, Korea

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Chang-Kyun; Eo, Ju-Kyeong

    2013-01-01

    The needled leaves of three conifer species were collected in Mt. Taehwa during different seasons of the year. Total 59 isolates and 19 species of endophytic fungi were isolated from the leaves and identified using morphological and molecular characteristics. As a result, Shannon index was different in its host plant; Larix kaempferi had a highest value of species diversity. According to the sampling season, 9 species of 19 species were isolated during fall season. The results suggest that the existing of host plant and sampling season are major factors of distribution of endophytic fungi. PMID:23874130

  15. Specialised emission pattern of leaf trace in a late Permian (253 million-years old) conifer

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Hai-Bo; Feng, Zhuo; Yang, Ji-Yuan; Chen, Yu-Xuan; Shen, Jia-Jia; He, Xiao-Yuan

    2015-01-01

    Leaf traces are important structures in higher plants that connect leaves and the stem vascular system. The anatomy and emission pattern of leaf traces are well studied in extant vascular plants, but remain poorly understood in fossil lineages. We quantitatively analysed the leaf traces in the late Permian conifer Ningxiaites specialis from Northwest China based on serial sections through pith, primary and secondary xylems. A complete leaf traces emission pattern of a conifer is presented for the first time from the late Palaeozoic. Three to five monarch leaf traces are grouped in clusters, arranged in a helical phyllotaxis. The leaf traces in each cluster can be divided into upper, middle and lower portions, and initiate at the pith periphery and cross the wood horizontally. The upper leaf trace increases its diameter during the first growth increment and then diminishes completely, which indicates leaf abscission at the end of the first year. The middle trace immediately bifurcates once or twice to form two or three vascular bundles. The lower trace persists as a single bundle during its entire length. The intricate leaf trace dynamics indicates this fossil plant had a novel evolutionary habit by promoting photosynthetic capability for the matured plant. PMID:26198410

  16. Acid mist and ozone effects on the leaf chemistry of two western conifer species

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Westman, Walter E.; Temple, Patrick J.

    1989-01-01

    The effects of ozone and acid-mist exposures on the leaf chemistry of Jeffrey pine and giant sequoia seedlings grown in filtered-air greenhouses were investigated. Acid-mist treatments (pH 4.1, 3.4, 2.7, or 2.0) were administered for 3 h, and ozone exposures (0, 0.10, and 0.20 microliter/liter), which followed acid-mist treatments, for 4 h, each for three days a week for six to nine weeks. It was found that seedlings were more susceptible to acid-mist and acid mist/ozone combinations, than to ozone alone. Acid mist treatment resulted in higher levels of nitrogen and sulfur (both present in acid mist) as well as Na. Leaves of giant sequoia exhibited increased K and decreased Mn, while Jeffrey pine showed increases in Fe and Mn. In sequoia leaves, concentrations of Ca, Mg, and Ba decreased. Acid treatment also reduced chlorophyll b concentrations in both conifer species. Extensive changes induced by acid mist are consistent with earlier observations of changes in spectral reflectance of conifer seedlings observed after three weeks of fumigation.

  17. Conifer species adapt to low-rainfall climates by following one of two divergent pathways

    PubMed Central

    Brodribb, Timothy J.; McAdam, Scott A.M.; Jordan, Gregory J.; Martins, Samuel C.V.

    2014-01-01

    Water stress is one of the primary selective forces in plant evolution. There are characters often cited as adaptations to water stress, but links between the function of these traits and adaptation to drying climates are tenuous. Here we combine distributional, climatic, and physiological evidence from 42 species of conifers to show that the evolution of drought resistance follows two distinct pathways, both involving the coordinated evolution of tissues regulating water supply (xylem) and water loss (stomatal pores) in leaves. Only species with very efficient stomatal closure, and hence low minimum rates of water loss, inhabit dry habitats, but species diverged in their apparent mechanism for maintaining closed stomata during drought. An ancestral mechanism found in Pinaceae and Araucariaceae species relies on high levels of the hormone abscisic acid (ABA) to close stomata during water stress. A second mechanism, found in the majority of Cupressaceae species, uses leaf desiccation rather than high ABA levels to close stomata during sustained water stress. Species in the latter group were characterized by xylem tissues with extreme resistance to embolism but low levels of foliar ABA after 30 d without water. The combination of low levels of ABA under stress with cavitation-resistant xylem enables these species to prolong stomatal opening during drought, potentially extending their photosynthetic activity between rainfall events. Our data demonstrate a surprising simplicity in the way conifers evolved to cope with water shortage, indicating a critical interaction between xylem and stomatal tissues during the process of evolution to dry climates. PMID:25246559

  18. Causes and consequences of variation in conifer leaf life-span

    SciTech Connect

    Reich, P.B.; Koike, T.; Gower, S.T.; Schoettle, A.W.

    1995-07-01

    Species with mutually supporting traits, such as high N{sub mass}, SLA, and A{sub mass}, and short leaf life-span, tend to inhabit either generally resource-rich environments or spatial and/or temporal microhabitats that are resource-rich in otherwise more limited habitats (e.g., {open_quotes}precipitation{close_quotes} ephemerals in warm deserts or spring ephemerals in the understory of temperate deciduous forests). In contrast, species with long leaf life-span often support foliage with low SLA, N{sub mass}, and A{sub mass}, and often grow in low-temperature limited, dry, and/or nutrient-poor environments. The contrast between evergreen and deciduous species, and the implications that emerge from such comparisons, can be considered a paradigm of modern ecological theory. However, based on the results of Reich et al. (1992) and Gower et al. (1993), coniferous species with foliage that persists for 9-10 years are likely to assimilate and allocate carbon and nutrients differently than other evergreen conifers that retain foliage for 2-3 years. Thus, attempts to contrast ecophysiological or ecosystem characteristics of evergreen versus deciduous life forms may be misleading, and pronounced differences among evergreen conifers may be ignored. Clearly, the deciduous-evergreen contrast, although useful in several ways, should be viewed from the broader perspective of a gradient in leaf life-span.

  19. Spectral changes in conifers subjected to air pollution and water stress: Experimental studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Westman, Walter E.; Price, Curtis V.

    1988-01-01

    The roles of leaf anatomy, moisture and pigment content, and number of leaf layers on spectral reflectance in healthy, pollution-stressed, and water-stressed conifer needles were examined experimentally. Jeffrey pine (Pinus jeffreyi) and giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron gigantea) were exposed to ozone and acid mist treatments in fumigation chambers; red pine (Pinus resinosa) needles were artificially dried. Infrared reflectance from stacked needles rose with free water loss. In an air-drying experiment, cell volume reductions induced by loss of turgor caused near-infrared reflectance (TM band 4) to drop after most free water was lost. Under acid mist fumigation, stunting of tissue development similarly reduced band 4 reflectance. Both artificial drying and pollutant fumigation caused a blue shift of the red edge of spectral reflectance curves in conifers, attributable to chlorophyll denaturation. Thematic mapper band ratio 4/3 fell and 5/4 rose with increasing pollution stress on artificial drying. Loss of water by air-drying, freeze-drying, or oven-drying enhanced spectral features, due in part to greater scattering and reduced water absorption. Grinding of the leaf tissue further enhanced the spectral features by increasing reflecting surfaces and path length. In a leaf-stacking experiment, an asymptote in visible and infrared reflectance was reached at 7-8 needle layers of red pine.

  20. The hydraulic conductivity of the xylem in conifer needles (Picea abies and Pinus mugo).

    PubMed

    Charra-Vaskou, Katline; Mayr, Stefan

    2011-08-01

    Main resistances of the plant water transport system are situated in leaves. In contrast to angiosperm leaves, knowledge of conifer needle hydraulics and of the partitioning of resistances within needles is poor. A new technique was developed which enabled flow-meter measurements through needles embedded in paraffin and thus quantification of the specific hydraulic conductivity (K(s)) of the needle xylem. In Picea abies, xylem K(s) of needle and axes as well as in needles of different age were compared. In Pinus mugo, resistance partitioning within needles was estimated by measurements of xylem K(s) and leaf conductance (K(leaf), measured via 'rehydration kinetics'). Mean K(s) in P. abies needles was 3.5×10(-4) m(2) s(-1) MPa(-1) with a decrease in older needles, and over all similar to K(s) of corresponding axes xylem. In needles of P. mugo, K(s) was 0.9×10(-4) m(2) s(-1) MPa(-1), and 24% of total needle resistance was situated in the xylem. The results indicate species-specific differences in the hydraulic efficiency of conifer needle xylem. The vascular section of the water transport system is a minor but relevant resistance in needles.

  1. Stable Water Use Efficiency under Climate Change of Three Sympatric Conifer Species at the Alpine Treeline

    PubMed Central

    Wieser, Gerhard; Oberhuber, Walter; Gruber, Andreas; Leo, Marco; Matyssek, Rainer; Grams, Thorsten Erhard Edgar

    2016-01-01

    The ability of treeline associated conifers in the Central Alps to cope with recent climate warming and increasing CO2 concentration is still poorly understood. We determined tree ring stable carbon and oxygen isotope ratios of Pinus cembra, Picea abies, and Larix decidua trees from 1975 to 2010. Stable isotope ratios were compared with leaf level gas exchange measurements carried out in situ between 1979 and 2007. Results indicate that tree ring derived intrinsic water-use efficiency (iWUE) of P. cembra, P. abies and L. decidua remained constant during the last 36 years despite climate warming and rising atmospheric CO2. Temporal patterns in Δ13C and Δ18O mirrored leaf level gas exchange assessments, suggesting parallel increases of CO2-fixation and stomatal conductance of treeline conifer species. As at the study site soil water availability was not a limiting factor iWUE remained largely stable throughout the study period. The stability in iWUE was accompanied by an increase in basal area increment (BAI) suggesting that treeline trees benefit from both recent climate warming and CO2 fertilization. Finally, our results suggest that iWUE may not change species composition at treeline in the Austrian Alps due to similar ecophysiological responses to climatic changes of the three sympatric study species. PMID:27375653

  2. Control of resin production in Araucaria angustifolia, an ancient South American conifer.

    PubMed

    Perotti, J C; da Silva Rodrigues-Corrêa, K C; Fett-Neto, A G

    2015-07-01

    Araucaria angustifolia is an ancient slow-growing conifer that characterises parts of the Southern Atlantic Forest biome, currently listed as a critically endangered species. The species also produces bark resin, although the factors controlling its resinosis are largely unknown. To better understand this defence-related process, we examined the resin exudation response of A. angustifolia upon treatment with well-known chemical stimulators used in fast-growing conifers producing both bark and wood resin, such as Pinus elliottii. The initial hypothesis was that A. angustifolia would display significant differences in the regulation of resinosis. The effect of Ethrel(®) (ET - ethylene precursor), salicylic acid (SA), jasmonic acid (JA), sulphuric acid (SuA) and sodium nitroprusside (SNP - nitric oxide donor) on resin yield and composition in young plants of A. angustifolia was examined. In at least one of the concentrations tested, and frequently in more than one, an aqueous glycerol solution applied on fresh wound sites of the stem with one or more of the adjuvants examined promoted an increase in resin yield, as well as monoterpene concentration (α-pinene, β-pinene, camphene and limonene). Higher yields and longer exudation periods were observed with JA and ET, another feature shared with Pinus resinosis. The results suggest that resinosis control is similar in Araucaria and Pinus. In addition, A. angustifolia resin may be a relevant source of valuable terpene chemicals, whose production may be increased by using stimulating pastes containing the identified adjuvants.

  3. Leaf evolution in Southern Hemisphere conifers tracks the angiosperm ecological radiation.

    PubMed

    Biffin, Ed; Brodribb, Timothy J; Hill, Robert S; Thomas, Philip; Lowe, Andrew J

    2012-01-22

    The angiosperm radiation has been linked to sharp declines in gymnosperm diversity and the virtual elimination of conifers from the tropics. The conifer family Podocarpaceae stands as an exception with highest species diversity in wet equatorial forests. It has been hypothesized that efficient light harvesting by the highly flattened leaves of several podocarp genera facilitates persistence with canopy-forming angiosperms, and the angiosperm ecological radiation may have preferentially favoured the diversification of these lineages. To test these ideas, we develop a molecular phylogeny for Podocarpaceae using Bayesian-relaxed clock methods incorporating fossil time constraints. We find several independent origins of flattened foliage types, and that these lineages have diversified predominantly through the Cenozoic and therefore among canopy-forming angiosperms. The onset of sustained foliage flattening podocarp diversification is coincident with a declining diversification rate of scale/needle-leaved lineages and also with ecological and climatic transformations linked to angiosperm foliar evolution. We demonstrate that climatic range evolution is contingent on the underlying state for leaf morphology. Taken together, our findings imply that as angiosperms came to dominate most terrestrial ecosystems, competitive interactions at the foliar level have profoundly shaped podocarp geography and as a consequence, rates of lineage diversification.

  4. Syringyl lignin production in conifers: Proof of concept in a Pine tracheary element system

    PubMed Central

    Wagner, Armin; Tobimatsu, Yuki; Phillips, Lorelle; Flint, Heather; Geddes, Barbara; Lu, Fachuang; Ralph, John

    2015-01-01

    Conifers (softwoods) naturally lack syringyl units in their lignins, rendering lignocellulosic materials from such species more difficult to process than syringyl-rich hardwood species. Using a transformable Pinus radiata tracheary element (TE) system as an experimental platform, we investigated whether metabolic engineering can be used to create syringyl lignin in conifers. Pyrolysis-GC/MS and 2D-NMR analysis of P. radiata TE cultures transformed to express ferulate 5-hydroxylase (F5H) and caffeic acid O-methyltransferase (COMT) from Liquidambar styraciflua confirmed the production and incorporation of sinapyl alcohol into the lignin polymer. Transformation with F5H was sufficient for the production of syringyl lignin in TEs, but cotransformation with COMT improved its formation. In addition, lower levels of the pathway intermediate 5-hydroxyconiferyl alcohol were evidenced in cotransformation experiments, indicating that the introduction of the COMT overcame the inefficiency of the native pine methyltransferases for supporting sinapyl alcohol production.Our results provide the proof of concept that it is possible to generate a lignin polymer that contains syringyl units in softwood species such as P. radiata, suggesting that it might be possible to retain the outstanding fiber properties of softwoods while imbuing them with the lignin characteristics of hardwoods that are more favorable for industrial processing. PMID:25902506

  5. Specialised emission pattern of leaf trace in a late Permian (253 million-years old) conifer.

    PubMed

    Wei, Hai-Bo; Feng, Zhuo; Yang, Ji-Yuan; Chen, Yu-Xuan; Shen, Jia-Jia; He, Xiao-Yuan

    2015-07-22

    Leaf traces are important structures in higher plants that connect leaves and the stem vascular system. The anatomy and emission pattern of leaf traces are well studied in extant vascular plants, but remain poorly understood in fossil lineages. We quantitatively analysed the leaf traces in the late Permian conifer Ningxiaites specialis from Northwest China based on serial sections through pith, primary and secondary xylems. A complete leaf traces emission pattern of a conifer is presented for the first time from the late Palaeozoic. Three to five monarch leaf traces are grouped in clusters, arranged in a helical phyllotaxis. The leaf traces in each cluster can be divided into upper, middle and lower portions, and initiate at the pith periphery and cross the wood horizontally. The upper leaf trace increases its diameter during the first growth increment and then diminishes completely, which indicates leaf abscission at the end of the first year. The middle trace immediately bifurcates once or twice to form two or three vascular bundles. The lower trace persists as a single bundle during its entire length. The intricate leaf trace dynamics indicates this fossil plant had a novel evolutionary habit by promoting photosynthetic capability for the matured plant.

  6. Long-term effects of fire severity on oak-conifer dynamics in the southern Cascades.

    PubMed

    Cocking, Matthew I; Varner, J Morgan; Knapp, Eric E

    2014-01-01

    We studied vegetation composition and structure in a mixed conifer-oak ecosystem across a range of fire severity 10 years following wildfire. Sample plots centered on focal California black oaks (Quercus kelloggii) were established to evaluate oak and neighboring tree and shrub recovery across a gradient of fire severity in the southern Cascade Range, USA. Shrub and oak resprouting was strongest around focal oaks where conifer mortality was greatest. Linear modeling revealed negative relationships between California black oak sprout height or basal area and residual overstory tree survival, primarily white fir (Abies concolor). The two dominant competing species, California black oak and white fir, showed opposite responses to fire severity. Sprouting California black oak and associated shrubs dominated in severely burned areas, while surviving, non-sprouting white fir maintained dominance by its height advantage and shading effects in areas that burned with low fire severity. Our results indicate that high-severity fire promotes persistence and restoration of ecosystems containing resprouting species, such as California black oak, that are increasingly rare due to widespread fire exclusion in landscapes that historically experienced more frequent fire. We present a conceptual model based on our results and supported by a synthesis of postfire resprouting dynamics literature. Our results and conceptual model help illuminate long-term postfire vegetation responses and the potential ability of fire to catalyze formation of alternate vegetation community structures that may not be apparent in studies that evaluate postfire effects at shorter time-since-fire intervals or at coarser scales.

  7. Leaf hydraulic capacity in ferns, conifers and angiosperms: impacts on photosynthetic maxima.

    PubMed

    Brodribb, Tim J; Holbrook, N Michele; Zwieniecki, Maciej A; Palma, Beatriz

    2005-03-01

    * The hydraulic plumbing of vascular plant leaves varies considerably between major plant groups both in the spatial organization of veins, as well as their anatomical structure. * Five conifers, three ferns and 12 angiosperm trees were selected from tropical and temperate forests to investigate whether the profound differences in foliar morphology of these groups lead to correspondingly profound differences in leaf hydraulic efficiency. * We found that angiosperm leaves spanned a range of leaf hydraulic conductance from 3.9 to 36 mmol m2 s-1 MPa-1, whereas ferns (5.9-11.4 mmol m-2 s-1 MPa-1) and conifers (1.6-9.0 mmol m-2 s-1 MPa-1) were uniformly less conductive to liquid water. Leaf hydraulic conductance (Kleaf) correlated strongly with stomatal conductance indicating an internal leaf-level regulation of liquid and vapour conductances. Photosynthetic capacity also increased with Kleaf, however, it became saturated at values of Kleaf over 20 mmol m-2 s-1 MPa-1. * The data suggest that vessels in the leaves of the angiosperms studied provide them with the flexibility to produce highly conductive leaves with correspondingly high photosynthetic capacities relative to tracheid-bearing species.

  8. Temperature effects on nitrogen form uptake by seedling roots of three contrasting conifers.

    PubMed

    Boczulak, S A; Hawkins, B J; Roy, R

    2014-05-01

    Plant species may show a preference for uptake of particular nitrogen (N) forms, but little is known about how N form preference is influenced by soil temperature. Potential future changes in soil N form availability and plant N form preference in warmer soils might shift competitive interactions among forest tree species. We compared the N uptake and growth of three conifer species from contrasting environments grown at rhizosphere temperatures of 10, 16 or 20 °C and supplied with ammonium (NH4 (+)) or nitrate (NO3 (-)) or a mix of arginine and alanine. Short-term N uptake was assessed using ion-selective microelectrodes and application of (15)N, and long-term uptake was assessed by plant N status. Species exhibited preferences for particular N forms, and these preferences related to the N form most available in native soils. Specifically, Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco) showed a preference for nitrate (a N form commonly found in warmer areas), Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis (Bong.) Carr.) preferred ammonium (a N form abundant in cold soils) and Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii Parry ex Engelm.) showed a preference for ammonium and organic N (organic N is often abundant in cold soils). Relative N form preference, as indicated by plant growth, changed with temperature in some species, indicating that these species could acclimate to changing rhizosphere temperatures. Understanding how conifers utilize available soil nutrients at different temperatures can help to predict species' future performance as soil temperatures rise.

  9. Syringyl lignin production in conifers: Proof of concept in a Pine tracheary element system.

    PubMed

    Wagner, Armin; Tobimatsu, Yuki; Phillips, Lorelle; Flint, Heather; Geddes, Barbara; Lu, Fachuang; Ralph, John

    2015-05-12

    Conifers (softwoods) naturally lack syringyl units in their lignins, rendering lignocellulosic materials from such species more difficult to process than syringyl-rich hardwood species. Using a transformable Pinus radiata tracheary element (TE) system as an experimental platform, we investigated whether metabolic engineering can be used to create syringyl lignin in conifers. Pyrolysis-GC/MS and 2D-NMR analysis of P. radiata TE cultures transformed to express ferulate 5-hydroxylase (F5H) and caffeic acid O-methyltransferase (COMT) from Liquidambar styraciflua confirmed the production and incorporation of sinapyl alcohol into the lignin polymer. Transformation with F5H was sufficient for the production of syringyl lignin in TEs, but cotransformation with COMT improved its formation. In addition, lower levels of the pathway intermediate 5-hydroxyconiferyl alcohol were evidenced in cotransformation experiments, indicating that the introduction of the COMT overcame the inefficiency of the native pine methyltransferases for supporting sinapyl alcohol production.Our results provide the proof of concept that it is possible to generate a lignin polymer that contains syringyl units in softwood species such as P. radiata, suggesting that it might be possible to retain the outstanding fiber properties of softwoods while imbuing them with the lignin characteristics of hardwoods that are more favorable for industrial processing.

  10. Lake sedimentary DNA accurately records 20(th) Century introductions of exotic conifers in Scotland.

    PubMed

    Sjögren, Per; Edwards, Mary E; Gielly, Ludovic; Langdon, Catherine T; Croudace, Ian W; Merkel, Marie Kristine Føreid; Fonville, Thierry; Alsos, Inger Greve

    2017-01-01

    Sedimentary DNA (sedDNA) has recently emerged as a new proxy for reconstructing past vegetation, but its taphonomy, source area and representation biases need better assessment. We investigated how sedDNA in recent sediments of two small Scottish lakes reflects a major vegetation change, using well-documented 20(th) Century plantations of exotic conifers as an experimental system. We used next-generation sequencing to barcode sedDNA retrieved from subrecent lake sediments. For comparison, pollen was analysed from the same samples. The sedDNA record contains 73 taxa (mainly genus or species), all but one of which are present in the study area. Pollen and sedDNA shared 35% of taxa, which partly reflects a difference in source area. More aquatic taxa were recorded in sedDNA, whereas taxa assumed to be of regional rather than local origin were recorded only as pollen. The chronology of the sediments and planting records are well aligned, and sedDNA of exotic conifers appears in high quantities with the establishment of plantations around the lakes. SedDNA recorded other changes in local vegetation that accompanied afforestation. There were no signs of DNA leaching in the sediments or DNA originating from pollen.

  11. Expression Divergence Is Correlated with Sequence Evolution but Not Positive Selection in Conifers.

    PubMed

    Hodgins, Kathryn A; Yeaman, Sam; Nurkowski, Kristin A; Rieseberg, Loren H; Aitken, Sally N

    2016-06-01

    The evolutionary and genomic determinants of sequence evolution in conifers are poorly understood, and previous studies have found only limited evidence for positive selection. Using RNAseq data, we compared gene expression profiles to patterns of divergence and polymorphism in 44 seedlings of lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) and 39 seedlings of interior spruce (Picea glauca × engelmannii) to elucidate the evolutionary forces that shape their genomes and their plastic responses to abiotic stress. We found that rapidly diverging genes tend to have greater expression divergence, lower expression levels, reduced levels of synonymous site diversity, and longer proteins than slowly diverging genes. Similar patterns were identified for the untranslated regions, but with some exceptions. We found evidence that genes with low expression levels had a larger fraction of nearly neutral sites, suggesting a primary role for negative selection in determining the association between evolutionary rate and expression level. There was limited evidence for differences in the rate of positive selection among genes with divergent versus conserved expression profiles and some evidence supporting relaxed selection in genes diverging in expression between the species. Finally, we identified a small number of genes that showed evidence of site-specific positive selection using divergence data alone. However, estimates of the proportion of sites fixed by positive selection (α) were in the range of other plant species with large effective population sizes suggesting relatively high rates of adaptive divergence among conifers.

  12. Three causes of variation in the photochemical reflectance index (PRI) in evergreen conifers.

    PubMed

    Wong, Christopher Y S; Gamon, John A

    2015-04-01

    The photochemical reflectance index (PRI) reflects diurnal xanthophyll cycle activity and is also influenced by seasonally changing carotenoid : Chl pigment ratios. Both changing pigment pools and xanthophyll cycle activity contribute to photoprotection in evergreen conifers exposed to boreal winters, but they operate over different timescales, and their relative contribution to the PRI signal has often been unclear. To clarify these responses and their contribution to the PRI signal, leaf PRI, pigment composition, temperature and irradiance were monitored over 2 yr for two evergreen conifers (Pinus contorta and Pinus ponderosa) in a boreal climate. PRI was affected by three distinct processes operating over different timescales and exhibiting contrasting spectral responses. Over the 2 yr study period, the greatest change in PRI resulted from seasonally changing carotenoid : Chl pigment ratios, followed by a previously unreported shifting leaf albedo during periods of deep cold. Remarkably, the smallest change was attributable to the xanthophyll cycle. To properly distinguish these three effects, interpretation of PRI must consider temporal context, physiological responses to evolving environmental conditions, and spectral response. Consideration of the separate mechanisms affecting PRI over different timescales could greatly improve efforts to monitor changing photosynthetic activity using optical remote sensing.

  13. Leaf evolution in Southern Hemisphere conifers tracks the angiosperm ecological radiation

    PubMed Central

    Biffin, Ed; Brodribb, Timothy J.; Hill, Robert S.; Thomas, Philip; Lowe, Andrew J.

    2012-01-01

    The angiosperm radiation has been linked to sharp declines in gymnosperm diversity and the virtual elimination of conifers from the tropics. The conifer family Podocarpaceae stands as an exception with highest species diversity in wet equatorial forests. It has been hypothesized that efficient light harvesting by the highly flattened leaves of several podocarp genera facilitates persistence with canopy-forming angiosperms, and the angiosperm ecological radiation may have preferentially favoured the diversification of these lineages. To test these ideas, we develop a molecular phylogeny for Podocarpaceae using Bayesian-relaxed clock methods incorporating fossil time constraints. We find several independent origins of flattened foliage types, and that these lineages have diversified predominantly through the Cenozoic and therefore among canopy-forming angiosperms. The onset of sustained foliage flattening podocarp diversification is coincident with a declining diversification rate of scale/needle-leaved lineages and also with ecological and climatic transformations linked to angiosperm foliar evolution. We demonstrate that climatic range evolution is contingent on the underlying state for leaf morphology. Taken together, our findings imply that as angiosperms came to dominate most terrestrial ecosystems, competitive interactions at the foliar level have profoundly shaped podocarp geography and as a consequence, rates of lineage diversification. PMID:21653584

  14. Testing of a heterologous, wound- and insect-inducible promoter for functional genomics studies in conifer defense.

    PubMed

    Godard, Kimberley-Ann; Byun-McKay, Ashley; Levasseur, Caroline; Plant, Aine; Séguin, Armand; Bohlmann, Jörg

    2007-12-01

    Large-scale sequencing of conifer cDNAs and targeted molecular cloning have identified many putative conifer defense genes. Expression of many of these genes is induced in response to biotic stress and some may be expressed only in a few specialized tissues or cells. Proven functional genomics approaches to test these genes involve expression of proteins in Escherichia coli or yeast for biochemical characterization or constitutive over-expression in transformed plants. Plant transformation to test functions of insect-, wound- or pathogen-induced conifer defense genes would benefit from the use of an inducible expression system. We describe here the development of a heterologous, wound- and insect-inducible gene expression system for conifers using the potato proteinase inhibitor II (pinII)-promoter. Using pinII::GUS and pinII::(E)-alpha-bisabolene synthase expression constructs we demonstrate localized induced gene expression in white spruce seedlings (Picea glauca). Testing of these constructs in Arabidopsis thaliana and tobacco illustrates the additional potential of the pinII-promoter to be used in tests of gene function that involve cell-specific and systemic induction.

  15. A Catskill Flora and Economic Botany, II: Coniferales. The Conifers. Bulletin No. 441, New York State Museum.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brooks, Karl L.

    This section of the Catskill Flora provides an overview to three families within the Coniferales: the Taxaceae, Pinaceae, and Cupressaceae. Included are keys to the local species of conifers, description of each species, nomenclatural data, botanical illustrations, and a brief discussion of each species which often mentions medical and food uses…

  16. Improved white spruce (Picea glauca) genome assemblies and annotation of large gene families of conifer terpenoid and phenolic defense metabolism.

    PubMed

    Warren, René L; Keeling, Christopher I; Yuen, Macaire Man Saint; Raymond, Anthony; Taylor, Greg A; Vandervalk, Benjamin P; Mohamadi, Hamid; Paulino, Daniel; Chiu, Readman; Jackman, Shaun D; Robertson, Gordon; Yang, Chen; Boyle, Brian; Hoffmann, Margarete; Weigel, Detlef; Nelson, David R; Ritland, Carol; Isabel, Nathalie; Jaquish, Barry; Yanchuk, Alvin; Bousquet, Jean; Jones, Steven J M; MacKay, John; Birol, Inanc; Bohlmann, Joerg

    2015-07-01

    White spruce (Picea glauca), a gymnosperm tree, has been established as one of the models for conifer genomics. We describe the draft genome assemblies of two white spruce genotypes, PG29 and WS77111, innovative tools for the assembly of very large genomes, and the conifer genomics resources developed in this process. The two white spruce genotypes originate from distant geographic regions of western (PG29) and eastern (WS77111) North America, and represent elite trees in two Canadian tree-breeding programs. We present an update (V3 and V4) for a previously reported PG29 V2 draft genome assembly and introduce a second white spruce genome assembly for genotype WS77111. Assemblies of the PG29 and WS77111 genomes confirm the reconstructed white spruce genome size in the 20 Gbp range, and show broad synteny. Using the PG29 V3 assembly and additional white spruce genomics and transcriptomics resources, we performed MAKER-P annotation and meticulous expert annotation of very large gene families of conifer defense metabolism, the terpene synthases and cytochrome P450s. We also comprehensively annotated the white spruce mevalonate, methylerythritol phosphate and phenylpropanoid pathways. These analyses highlighted the large extent of gene and pseudogene duplications in a conifer genome, in particular for genes of secondary (i.e. specialized) metabolism, and the potential for gain and loss of function for defense and adaptation.

  17. Eriosomatine aphids (Hemiptera, Aphididae, Eriosomatinae) associated with moss and roots of conifer and willow in forests of the Pacific Northwest

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Apterous adult morphs of eriosomatine aphids (Hemiptera, Aphididae, Eriosomatinae) associated with moss and/or roots of conifer or willow in forests of the Pacific Northwest including Alaska are described, illustrated, and keyed. In total, seven species (Clydesmithia canadensis Danielsson, Melaphis ...

  18. Effects of thinning, residue mastication, and prescribed fire on soil and nutrient budgets in a Sierra Nevada mixed conifer forest

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The effects of thinning followed by residue mastication (THIN), prescribed fire (BURN), and thinning plus residue mastication plus burning (T+B) on nutrient budgets and resin-based (plant root simulator [PRS] probe) measurements of soil nutrient availability in a mixed-conifer forest were measured. ...

  19. Variation in seed size is structured by dispersal syndrome and cone morphology in conifers and other nonflowering seed plants.

    PubMed

    Leslie, Andrew B; Beaulieu, Jeremy M; Mathews, Sarah

    2017-02-10

    Seed size varies tremendously in plants and its evolution is influenced by multiple ecological and biological factors that are difficult to disentangle. In this study, we focus on understanding the role of seed dispersal by animals in the evolution of seed size in conifers, the most diverse extant nonflowering seed plant group. Relationships among seed size, dispersal syndrome, climate and cone morphology were analyzed across conifers using quantitative models of character evolution and phylogenetic regression techniques. Dispersal syndrome is a more consistent predictor of seed size within major extant conifer clades than climate. Seeds are generally larger in animal-dispersed than wind-dispersed species, and particular cone morphologies are consistently associated with specific ranges in seed size. Seed size and cone morphology evolve in a correlated manner in many animal-dispersed conifers, following a trade-off that minimizes the total size of the dispersal unit. These relationships are also present in other nonflowering seed plant groups, and have been important in the evolution of seeds and cones at least over the Cenozoic and perhaps over much of the later Mesozoic.

  20. Highly rearranged and size-variable chloroplast genomes in conifers II clade (cupressophytes): evolution towards shorter intergenic spacers.

    PubMed

    Wu, Chung-Shien; Chaw, Shu-Miaw

    2014-04-01

    Although conifers are of immense ecological and economic value, bioengineering of their chloroplasts remains undeveloped. Understanding the chloroplast genomic organization of conifers can facilitate their bioengineering. Members of the conifer II clade (or cupressophytes) are highly diverse in both morphologic features and chloroplast genomic organization. We compared six cupressophyte chloroplast genomes (cpDNAs) that represent four of the five cupressophyte families, including three genomes that are first reported here (Agathis dammara, Calocedrus formosana and Nageia nagi). The six cupressophyte cpDNAs have lost a pair of large inverted repeats (IRs) and vary greatly in size, organization and tRNA copies. We demonstrate that cupressophyte cpDNAs have evolved towards reduced size, largely due to shrunken intergenic spacers. In cupressophytes, cpDNA rearrangements are capable of extending intergenic spacers, and synonymous mutations are negatively associated with the size and frequency of rearrangements. The variable cpDNA sizes of cupressophytes may have been shaped by mutational burden and genomic rearrangements. On the basis of cpDNA organization, our analyses revealed that in gymnosperms, cpDNA rearrangements are phylogenetically informative, which supports the 'gnepines' clade. In addition, removal of a specific IR influences the minimal rearrangements required for the gnepines and cupressophyte clades, whereby Pinaceae favours the removal of IRB but cupressophytes exclusion of IRA. This result strongly suggests that different IR copies have been lost from conifers I and II. Our data help understand the complexity and evolution of cupressophyte cpDNAs.

  1. Seed plant phylogeny inferred from all three plant genomes: Monophyly of extant gymnosperms and origin of Gnetales from conifers

    PubMed Central

    Chaw, Shu-Miaw; Parkinson, Christopher L.; Cheng, Yuchang; Vincent, Thomas M.; Palmer, Jeffrey D.

    2000-01-01

    Phylogenetic relationships among the five groups of extant seed plants are presently quite unclear. For example, morphological studies consistently identify the Gnetales as the extant sister group to angiosperms (the so-called “anthophyte” hypothesis), whereas a number of molecular studies recover gymnosperm monophyly, and few agree with the morphology-based placement of Gnetales. To better resolve these and other unsettled issues, we have generated a new molecular data set of mitochondrial small subunit rRNA sequences, and have analyzed these data together with comparable data sets for the nuclear small subunit rRNA gene and the chloroplast rbcL gene. All nuclear analyses strongly ally Gnetales with a monophyletic conifers, whereas all mitochondrial analyses and those chloroplast analyses that take into account saturation of third-codon position transitions actually place Gnetales within conifers, as the sister group to the Pinaceae. Combined analyses of all three genes strongly support this latter relationship, which to our knowledge has never been suggested before. The combined analyses also strongly support monophyly of extant gymnosperms, with cycads identified as the basal-most group of gymnosperms, Ginkgo as the next basal, and all conifers except for Pinaceae as sister to the Gnetales + Pinaceae clade. According to these findings, the Gnetales may be viewed as extremely divergent conifers, and the many morphological similarities between angiosperms and Gnetales (e.g., double fertilization and flower-like reproductive structures) arose independently. PMID:10760277

  2. A process-based model of conifer forest structure and function with special emphasis on leaf lifespan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osborne, Colin P.; Beerling, David J.

    2002-12-01

    We describe the University of Sheffield Conifer Model (USCM), a process-based approach for simulating conifer forest carbon, nitrogen, and water fluxes by up-scaling widely applicable relationships between leaf lifespan and function. The USCM is designed to predict and analyze the biogeochemistry and biophysics of conifer forests that dominated the ice-free high-latitude regions under the high pCO2 "greenhouse" world 290-50 Myr ago. It will be of use in future research investigating controls on the contrasting distribution of ancient evergreen and deciduous forests between hemispheres, and their differential feedbacks on polar climate through the exchange of energy and materials with the atmosphere. Emphasis is placed on leaf lifespan because this trait can be determined from the anatomical characteristics of fossil conifer woods and influences a range of ecosystem processes. Extensive testing of simulated net primary production and partitioning, leaf area index, evapotranspiration, nitrogen uptake, and land surface energy partitioning showed close agreement with observations from sites across a wide climatic gradient. This indicates the generic utility of our model, and adequate representation of the key processes involved in forest function using only information on leaf lifespan, climate, and soils.

  3. Phylogeny of seed plants based on all three genomic compartments: Extant gymnosperms are monophyletic and Gnetales' closest relatives are conifers

    PubMed Central

    Bowe, L. Michelle; Coat, Gwénaële; dePamphilis, Claude W.

    2000-01-01

    Efforts to resolve Darwin's “abominable mystery”—the origin of angiosperms—have led to the conclusion that Gnetales and various fossil groups are sister to angiosperms, forming the “anthophytes.” Morphological homologies, however, are difficult to interpret, and molecular data have not provided clear resolution of relationships among major groups of seed plants. We introduce two sequence data sets from slowly evolving mitochondrial genes, cox1 and atpA, which unambiguously reject the anthophyte hypothesis, favoring instead a close relationship between Gnetales and conifers. Parsimony- and likelihood-based analyses of plastid rbcL and nuclear 18S rDNA alone and with cox1 and atpA also strongly support a gnetophyte–conifer grouping. Surprisingly, three of four genes (all but nuclear rDNA) and combined three-genome analyses also suggest or strongly support Gnetales as derived conifers, sister to Pinaceae. Analyses with outgroups screened to avoid long branches consistently identify all gymnosperms as a monophyletic sister group to angiosperms. Combined three- and four-gene rooted analyses resolve the branching order for the remaining major groups—cycads separate from other gymnosperms first, followed by Ginkgo and then (Gnetales + Pinaceae) sister to a monophyletic group with all other conifer families. The molecular phylogeny strongly conflicts with current interpretations of seed plant morphology, and implies that many similarities between gnetophytes and angiosperms, such as “flower-like” reproductive structures and double fertilization, were independently derived, whereas other characters could emerge as synapomorphies for an expanded conifer group including Gnetales. An initial angiosperm–gymnosperm split implies a long stem lineage preceding the explosive Mesozoic radiation of flowering plants and suggests that angiosperm origins and homologies should be sought among extinct seed plant groups. PMID:10760278

  4. A low diversity, seasonal tropical landscape dominated by conifers and peltasperms: Early Permian Abo Formation, New Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    DiMichele, W.A.; Chaney, D.S.; Nelson, W.J.; Lucas, S.G.; Looy, C.V.; Quick, K.; Jun, W.

    2007-01-01

    Walchian conifers (Walchia piniformis Sternberg, 1825) and peltasperms similar to Supaia thinnfeldioides White and cf. Supaia anomala White dominate floodplain deposits of a narrow stratigraphic interval of the middle Abo Formation, Lower Permian of central New Mexico. The plant fossils occur in thinly bedded units up to two meters thick, consisting of coarse siltstone to very fine sandstone with clay partings. Bedding is primarily tabular, thin, and bears rare ripple marks and trough cross beds. Bedding surfaces display mud cracks, raindrop imprints, horizontal and vertical burrows of invertebrates, and footprints of terrestrial vertebrates. These features indicate intermittent and generally unchannelized stream flow, with repeated exposure to air. Channels appear to have cannibalized one another on a slowly subsiding coastal plain. Conifers are dominant at three collecting sites and at three others Supaia dominates. Although each of these genera occurs in assemblages dominated by the other, there are no truly co-dominant assemblages. This pattern suggests alternative explanations. Landscapes could have consisted of a small-scale vegetational patchwork dominated almost monospecifically in any one patch, meaning that these plants could have coexisted across the landscape. On the other hand, conifer and supaioid dominance could have been temporally distinct, occurring during different episodes of sedimentation; although in the field there are no noticeable sedimentological differences between conifer-dominated and Supaia-dominated channel deposits, they may represent slightly different climatic regimes. The considerable morphological differences between conifers and Supaia suggest that the floristic patterns are not a taphonomic effect of the loss of a significant part of the original biodiversity. In general, the climate under which this vegetation developed appears to have been relatively warm and arid, based on the geology (pervasive red color [oxidation

  5. Holocene vegetation and fire regimes in subalpine and mixed conifer forests, southern Rocky Mountains, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anderson, R. Scott; Allen, C.D.; Toney, J.L.; Jass, R.B.; Bair, A.N.

    2008-01-01

    Our understanding of the present forest structure of western North America hinges on our ability to determine antecedent forest conditions. Sedimentary records from lakes and bogs in the southern Rocky Mountains of Colorado and New Mexico provide information on the relationships between climate and vegetation change, and fire history since deglaciation. We present a new pollen record from Hunters Lake (Colorado) as an example of a high-elevation vegetation history from the southern Rockies. We then present a series of six sedimentary records from ???2600 to 3500-m elevation, including sites presently at the alpine?subalpine boundary, within the Picea engelmannii?Abies lasiocarpa forest and within the mixed conifer forest, to determine the history of fire in high-elevation forests there. High Artemisia and low but increasing percentages of Picea and Pinus suggest vegetation prior to 13 500 calendar years before present (cal yr BP) was tundra or steppe, with open spruce woodland to ???11 900 cal yr BP. Subalpine forest (Picea engelmannii, Abies lasiocarpa) existed around the lake for the remainder of the Holocene. At lower elevations, Pinus ponderosa and/or contorta expanded 11 900 to 10 200 cal yr BP; mixed conifer forest expanded ???8600 to 4700 cal yr BP; and Pinus edulis expanded after ???4700 cal yr BP. Sediments from lake sites near the alpine?subalpine transition contained five times less charcoal than those entirely within subalpine forests, and 40 times less than bog sites within mixed conifer forest. Higher fire episode frequencies occurred between ???12 000 and 9000 cal yr BP (associated with the initiation or expansion of south-west monsoon and abundant lightning, and significant biomass during vegetation turnover) and at ???2000?1000 cal yr BP (related to periodic droughts during the long-term trend towards wetter conditions and greater biomass). Fire episode frequencies for subalpine?alpine transition and subalpine sites were on average 5 to 10 fire

  6. Passive Microwave Measurements Over Conifer Forests at L-Band and C-Band

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    LeVine, D. M.; Lang, R.; Chauhan, N.; Kim, E.; Bidwell, S.; Goodberlet, M.; Haken, M.; deMatthaeis, P.

    2000-01-01

    Measurements have been made at L-band and C-band over conifer forests in Virginia to study the response of passive microwave instruments to biomass and soil moisture. A series of aircraft measurements were made in July, August and November, 1999 over relatively homogenous conifer forests of varying biomass. Three radiometers participated in these measurements. These were: 1) the L-band radiometer ESTAR, a horizontally polarized synthetic aperture radiometer which has been used extensively in past measurements of soil moisture; 2) the L-band radiometer SLFMR, a vertically polarized cross-track scanner which has been used successfully in the past for mapping sea surface salinity; and 3) The ACMR, a new C-band radiometer which operates at V- and H-polarization and in the configuration for these experiments did not scan. All three radiometers were flown on the NASA P-3 aircraft based at the Goddard Space Flight Center's Wallops Flight Facility. The ESTAR and SLFMR were mounted in the bomb bay of the P-3 and imaged across track whereas the ACMR was mounted to look aft at 54 degrees up from nadir. Data was collected at altitudes of 915 meters and 457 meters. The forests consisted of relatively homogeneous "managed" stands of conifer located near Waverly, Virginia. This is a relatively flat area about 30 miles southeast of Richmond, VA with numerous stands of trees being grown for the forestry industry. The stands selected for study consisted of areas of regrowth and mature stands of pine. In addition, a small stand of very large trees was observed. Soil moisture sampling was done in each stand during the aircraft over flights. Data was collected on July 7, August 27, November 15 and November 30, 1999. Measurements were made with ESTAR on all days. The ACMR flew on the summer missions and the SLFMR was present only on the August 27 flight. Soil moisture varied from quite dry on July 7 to quite moist on November 30 (which was shortly after a period of rain). The microwave

  7. Characterization of polymorphic microsatellite markers in Pinus armandii (Pinaceae), an endemic conifer species to China1

    PubMed Central

    Dong, Wan-Lin; Wang, Ruo-Nan; Yan, Xiao-Hao; Niu, Chuan; Gong, Lin-Lin; Li, Zhong-Hu

    2016-01-01

    Premise of the study: Pinus armandii (Pinaceae) is an important conifer tree species in central and southwestern China, and it plays a key role in the local forest ecosystems. To investigate its population genetics and design effective conservation strategies, we characterized 18 polymorphic microsatellite markers for this species. Methods and Results: Eighteen novel polymorphic and 16 monomorphic microsatellite loci of P. armandii were isolated using Illumina MiSeq technology. The number of alleles per locus ranged from two to five. The expected heterozygosity ranged from 0.061 to 0.609 with an average of 0.384, and the observed heterozygosity ranged from 0.063 to 0.947 with an average of 0.436. Seventeen loci could be successfully transferred to five related Pinus species (P. koraiensis, P. griffithii, P. sibirica, P. pumila, and P. bungeana). Conclusions: These novel microsatellites could potentially be used to investigate the population genetics of P. armandii and related species. PMID:27785387

  8. The conifer biomarkers dehydroabietic and abietic acids are widespread in Cyanobacteria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Costa, Maria Sofia; Rego, Adriana; Ramos, Vitor; Afonso, Tiago B.; Freitas, Sara; Preto, Marco; Lopes, Viviana; Vasconcelos, Vitor; Magalhães, Catarina; Leão, Pedro N.

    2016-03-01

    Terpenes, a large family of natural products with important applications, are commonly associated with plants and fungi. The diterpenoids dehydroabietic and abietic acids are defense metabolites abundant in resin, and are used as biomarkers for conifer plants. We report here for the first time that the two diterpenoid acids are produced by members of several genera of cyanobacteria. Dehydroabietic acid was isolated from two cyanobacterial strains and its identity was confirmed spectroscopically. One or both of the diterpenoids were detected in the cells of phylogenetically diverse cyanobacteria belonging to four cyanobacterial ‘botanical orders’, from marine, estuarine and inland environments. Dehydroabietic acid was additionally found in culture supernatants. We investigated the natural role of the two resin acids in cyanobacteria using ecologically-relevant bioassays and found that the compounds inhibited the growth of a small coccoid cyanobacterium. The unexpected discovery of dehydroabietic and abietic acids in a wide range of cyanobacteria has implications for their use as plant biomarkers.

  9. Assessing the anticipated growth response of northern conifer populations to a warming climate.

    PubMed

    Pedlar, John H; McKenney, Daniel W

    2017-03-07

    The growth response of trees to ongoing climate change has important implications for future forest dynamics, accurate carbon accounting, and sustainable forest management. We used data from black spruce (Picea mariana) and jack pine (Pinus banksiana) provenance trials, along with published data for three other northern conifers, to identify a consistent growth response to climate warming in which cold-origin populations are expected to benefit and warm-origin populations are expected to decline. Specifically, populations from across the geographic range of a species appear to grow well at temperatures characteristic of the southern portion of the range, indicating significant potential for a positive growth response to climate warming in cold-origin populations. Few studies have quantified and compared this pattern across multiple species using provenance data. We present a forest regeneration strategy that incorporates these anticipated growth responses to promote populations that are both local to the planting site and expected to grow well under climate change.

  10. Essential Oils Composition and Antimicrobial Activity of Six Conifers Harvested in Lebanon.

    PubMed

    Fahed, Layal; Khoury, Madona; Stien, Didier; Ouaini, Naïm; Eparvier, Véronique; El Beyrouthy, Marc

    2017-02-01

    The chemical composition and antimicrobial activity of the essential oils (EOs) of six conifers harvested in Lebanon, Abies cilicica, Cupressus sempervirens, Juniperus excelsa, Juniperus oxycedrus, Cedrus libani and Cupressus macrocarpa gold crest, were investigated. The EOs were obtained by hydrodistillation using a Clevenger-type apparatus and characterized by GC and GC/MS analyses. A principal components analysis based on Pearson correlation between essential oils chemical analyses was also conducted. The minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of these essentials oils were determined against a range of bacteria and fungi responsible for cutaneous infections in human, using the broth microdilution technique. The EOs showed the most interesting bioactivity on the dermatophytes species (MIC values 32 - 64 μg/ml). Each of the major compounds of C. macrocarpa as well as an artificial reconstructed EO were tested on Trichophyton rubrum showing a contribution of the minor components to the overall activity.

  11. Locational comparison of essential oils from selected conifers of Himachal Pradesh.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Shruti; Bhatt, Vinod; Kumar, Neeraj; Singh, Bikram; Sharma, Upendra

    2017-01-18

    Nine samples of essential oil from needles of three conifers of Pinacea family namely Abies pindrow, Picea smithiana and Cedrus deodara collected from three different locations of Himachal Pradesh (India) were evaluated using gas chromatography and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. A total of 31, 17 and 13 compounds were identified from essential oil of A. pindrow, P. smithiana and C. deodara, respectively. Among the characterised components, monoterpenoid hydrocarbons were predominated. α-Pinene, β-pinene, β-merycene, limonene and camphene were characterised as major components. Oil of C. deodara has significant effect of location on its oil composition. Principle component analysis on gas chromatographic data reveals variation in chemical composition which may be attributed to altitude and environmental conditions.

  12. Assessing the anticipated growth response of northern conifer populations to a warming climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pedlar, John H.; McKenney, Daniel W.

    2017-03-01

    The growth response of trees to ongoing climate change has important implications for future forest dynamics, accurate carbon accounting, and sustainable forest management. We used data from black spruce (Picea mariana) and jack pine (Pinus banksiana) provenance trials, along with published data for three other northern conifers, to identify a consistent growth response to climate warming in which cold-origin populations are expected to benefit and warm-origin populations are expected to decline. Specifically, populations from across the geographic range of a species appear to grow well at temperatures characteristic of the southern portion of the range, indicating significant potential for a positive growth response to climate warming in cold-origin populations. Few studies have quantified and compared this pattern across multiple species using provenance data. We present a forest regeneration strategy that incorporates these anticipated growth responses to promote populations that are both local to the planting site and expected to grow well under climate change.

  13. The conifer biomarkers dehydroabietic and abietic acids are widespread in Cyanobacteria

    PubMed Central

    Costa, Maria Sofia; Rego, Adriana; Ramos, Vitor; Afonso, Tiago B.; Freitas, Sara; Preto, Marco; Lopes, Viviana; Vasconcelos, Vitor; Magalhães, Catarina; Leão, Pedro N.

    2016-01-01

    Terpenes, a large family of natural products with important applications, are commonly associated with plants and fungi. The diterpenoids dehydroabietic and abietic acids are defense metabolites abundant in resin, and are used as biomarkers for conifer plants. We report here for the first time that the two diterpenoid acids are produced by members of several genera of cyanobacteria. Dehydroabietic acid was isolated from two cyanobacterial strains and its identity was confirmed spectroscopically. One or both of the diterpenoids were detected in the cells of phylogenetically diverse cyanobacteria belonging to four cyanobacterial ‘botanical orders’, from marine, estuarine and inland environments. Dehydroabietic acid was additionally found in culture supernatants. We investigated the natural role of the two resin acids in cyanobacteria using ecologically-relevant bioassays and found that the compounds inhibited the growth of a small coccoid cyanobacterium. The unexpected discovery of dehydroabietic and abietic acids in a wide range of cyanobacteria has implications for their use as plant biomarkers. PMID:26996104

  14. Highly Laminated Soft Magnetic Electroplated CoNiFe Thick Films

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, J; Kim, M; Herrault, F; Park, J; Allen, MG

    2013-01-01

    The fabrication and characterization of highly laminated (similar to 40 layers), thick (similar to 40 mu m) films of magnetically soft cobalt-nickel-iron are presented. Thick film fabrication is based on automated sequential electrodeposition of alternating CoNiFe and copper layers, followed by selective copper removal. The film, comprised tens of 1 mu m thick laminations, exhibits saturation flux density of 1.8 T and coercivity of approximately 1.3 Oe. High-frequency film characterization took place in a 36-turn test inductor, which demonstrated constant inductance of 1.6 mu H up to 10 MHz, indicating suppressed eddy-current loss. Quality factor exceeding 40 at 1 MHz, surpassing the performance of similarly fabricated Permalloy (Ni80Fe20) films.

  15. The conifer biomarkers dehydroabietic and abietic acids are widespread in Cyanobacteria.

    PubMed

    Costa, Maria Sofia; Rego, Adriana; Ramos, Vitor; Afonso, Tiago B; Freitas, Sara; Preto, Marco; Lopes, Viviana; Vasconcelos, Vitor; Magalhães, Catarina; Leão, Pedro N

    2016-03-21

    Terpenes, a large family of natural products with important applications, are commonly associated with plants and fungi. The diterpenoids dehydroabietic and abietic acids are defense metabolites abundant in resin, and are used as biomarkers for conifer plants. We report here for the first time that the two diterpenoid acids are produced by members of several genera of cyanobacteria. Dehydroabietic acid was isolated from two cyanobacterial strains and its identity was confirmed spectroscopically. One or both of the diterpenoids were detected in the cells of phylogenetically diverse cyanobacteria belonging to four cyanobacterial 'botanical orders', from marine, estuarine and inland environments. Dehydroabietic acid was additionally found in culture supernatants. We investigated the natural role of the two resin acids in cyanobacteria using ecologically-relevant bioassays and found that the compounds inhibited the growth of a small coccoid cyanobacterium. The unexpected discovery of dehydroabietic and abietic acids in a wide range of cyanobacteria has implications for their use as plant biomarkers.

  16. Assessing the anticipated growth response of northern conifer populations to a warming climate

    PubMed Central

    Pedlar, John H.; McKenney, Daniel W.

    2017-01-01

    The growth response of trees to ongoing climate change has important implications for future forest dynamics, accurate carbon accounting, and sustainable forest management. We used data from black spruce (Picea mariana) and jack pine (Pinus banksiana) provenance trials, along with published data for three other northern conifers, to identify a consistent growth response to climate warming in which cold-origin populations are expected to benefit and warm-origin populations are expected to decline. Specifically, populations from across the geographic range of a species appear to grow well at temperatures characteristic of the southern portion of the range, indicating significant potential for a positive growth response to climate warming in cold-origin populations. Few studies have quantified and compared this pattern across multiple species using provenance data. We present a forest regeneration strategy that incorporates these anticipated growth responses to promote populations that are both local to the planting site and expected to grow well under climate change. PMID:28266577

  17. Bat response to differing fire severity in mixed-conifer forest California, USA.

    PubMed

    Buchalski, Michael R; Fontaine, Joseph B; Heady, Paul A; Hayes, John P; Frick, Winifred F

    2013-01-01

    Wildlife response to natural disturbances such as fire is of conservation concern to managers, policy makers, and scientists, yet information is scant beyond a few well-studied groups (e.g., birds, small mammals). We examined the effects of wildfire severity on bats, a taxon of high conservation concern, at both the stand (<1 ha) and landscape scale in response to the 2002 McNally fire in the Sierra Nevada region of California, USA. One year after fire, we conducted surveys of echolocation activity at 14 survey locations, stratified in riparian and upland habitat, in mixed-conifer forest habitats spanning three levels of burn severity: unburned, moderate, and high. Bat activity in burned areas was either equivalent or higher than in unburned stands for all six phonic groups measured, with four groups having significantly greater activity in at least one burn severity level. Evidence of differentiation between fire severities was observed with some Myotis species having higher levels of activity in stands of high-severity burn. Larger-bodied bats, typically adapted to more open habitat, showed no response to fire. We found differential use of riparian and upland habitats among the phonic groups, yet no interaction of habitat type by fire severity was found. Extent of high-severity fire damage in the landscape had no effect on activity of bats in unburned sites suggesting no landscape effect of fire on foraging site selection and emphasizing stand-scale conditions driving bat activity. Results from this fire in mixed-conifer forests of California suggest that bats are resilient to landscape-scale fire and that some species are preferentially selecting burned areas for foraging, perhaps facilitated by reduced clutter and increased post-fire availability of prey and roosts.

  18. Cenozoic climate change shaped the evolutionary ecophysiology of the Cupressaceae conifers

    PubMed Central

    Pittermann, Jarmila; Stuart, Stephanie A.; Dawson, Todd E.; Moreau, Astrid

    2012-01-01

    The Cupressaceae clade has the broadest diversity in habitat and morphology of any conifer family. This clade is characterized by highly divergent physiological strategies, with deciduous swamp-adapted genera-like Taxodium at one extreme, and evergreen desert genera-like Cupressus at the other. The size disparity within the Cupressaceae is equally impressive, with members ranging from 5-m-tall juniper shrubs to 100-m-tall redwood trees. Phylogenetic studies demonstrate that despite this variation, these taxa all share a single common ancestor; by extension, they also share a common ancestral habitat. Here, we use a common-garden approach to compare xylem and leaf-level physiology in this family. We then apply comparative phylogenetic methods to infer how Cenozoic climatic change shaped the morphological and physiological differences between modern-day members of the Cupressaceae. Our data show that drought-resistant crown clades (the Cupressoid and Callitroid clades) most likely evolved from drought-intolerant Mesozoic ancestors, and that this pattern is consistent with proposed shifts in post-Eocene paleoclimates. We also provide evidence that within the Cupressaceae, the evolution of drought-resistant xylem is coupled to increased carbon investment in xylem tissue, reduced xylem transport efficiency, and at the leaf level, reduced photosynthetic capacity. Phylogenetically based analyses suggest that the ancestors of the Cupressaceae were dependent upon moist habitats, and that drought-resistant physiology developed along with increasing habitat aridity from the Oligocene onward. We conclude that the modern biogeography of the Cupressaceae conifers was shaped in large part by their capacity to adapt to drought. PMID:22628565

  19. Cenozoic climate change shaped the evolutionary ecophysiology of the Cupressaceae conifers.

    PubMed

    Pittermann, Jarmila; Stuart, Stephanie A; Dawson, Todd E; Moreau, Astrid

    2012-06-12

    The Cupressaceae clade has the broadest diversity in habitat and morphology of any conifer family. This clade is characterized by highly divergent physiological strategies, with deciduous swamp-adapted genera-like Taxodium at one extreme, and evergreen desert genera-like Cupressus at the other. The size disparity within the Cupressaceae is equally impressive, with members ranging from 5-m-tall juniper shrubs to 100-m-tall redwood trees. Phylogenetic studies demonstrate that despite this variation, these taxa all share a single common ancestor; by extension, they also share a common ancestral habitat. Here, we use a common-garden approach to compare xylem and leaf-level physiology in this family. We then apply comparative phylogenetic methods to infer how Cenozoic climatic change shaped the morphological and physiological differences between modern-day members of the Cupressaceae. Our data show that drought-resistant crown clades (the Cupressoid and Callitroid clades) most likely evolved from drought-intolerant Mesozoic ancestors, and that this pattern is consistent with proposed shifts in post-Eocene paleoclimates. We also provide evidence that within the Cupressaceae, the evolution of drought-resistant xylem is coupled to increased carbon investment in xylem tissue, reduced xylem transport efficiency, and at the leaf level, reduced photosynthetic capacity. Phylogenetically based analyses suggest that the ancestors of the Cupressaceae were dependent upon moist habitats, and that drought-resistant physiology developed along with increasing habitat aridity from the Oligocene onward. We conclude that the modern biogeography of the Cupressaceae conifers was shaped in large part by their capacity to adapt to drought.

  20. De Novo Transcriptome Assembly and Characterization for the Widespread and Stress-Tolerant Conifer Platycladus orientalis.

    PubMed

    Hu, Xian-Ge; Liu, Hui; Jin, YuQing; Sun, Yan-Qiang; Li, Yue; Zhao, Wei; El-Kassaby, Yousry A; Wang, Xiao-Ru; Mao, Jian-Feng

    2016-01-01

    Platycladus orientalis, of the family Cupressaceae, is a widespread conifer throughout China and is extensively used for ecological reforestation, horticulture, and in medicine. Transcriptome assemblies are required for this ecologically important conifer for understanding genes underpinning adaptation and complex traits for breeding programs. To enrich the species' genomic resources, a de novo transcriptome sequencing was performed using Illumina paired-end sequencing. In total, 104,073,506 high quality sequence reads (approximately 10.3 Gbp) were obtained, which were assembled into 228,948 transcripts and 148,867 unigenes that were longer than 200 nt. Quality assessment using CEGMA showed that the transcriptomes obtained were mostly complete for highly conserved core eukaryotic genes. Based on similarity searches with known proteins, 62,938 (42.28% of all unigenes), 42,158 (28.32%), and 23,179 (15.57%) had homologs in the Nr, GO, and KOG databases, 25,625 (17.21%) unigenes were mapped to 322 pathways by BLASTX comparison against the KEGG database and 1,941 unigenes involved in environmental signaling and stress response were identified. We also identified 43 putative terpene synthase (TPS) functional genes loci and compared them with TPSs from other species. Additionally, 5,296 simple sequence repeats (SSRs) were identified in 4,715 unigenes, which were assigned to 142 motif types. This is the first report of a complete transcriptome analysis of P. orientalis. These resources provide a foundation for further studies of adaptation mechanisms and molecular-based breeding programs.

  1. Impact of Conifer Forest Litter on Microwave Emission at L-Band

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kurum, Mehmet; O'Neill, Peggy E.; Lang, Roger H.; Cosh, Michael H.; Joseph, Alicia T.; Jackson, Thomas J.

    2011-01-01

    This study reports on the utilization of microwave modeling, together with ground truth, and L-band (1.4-GHz) brightness temperatures to investigate the passive microwave characteristics of a conifer forest floor. The microwave data were acquired over a natural Virginia Pine forest in Maryland by a ground-based microwave active/passive instrument system in 2008/2009. Ground measurements of the tree biophysical parameters and forest floor characteristics were obtained during the field campaign. The test site consisted of medium-sized evergreen conifers with an average height of 12 m and average diameters at breast height of 12.6 cm. The site is a typical pine forest site in that there is a surface layer of loose debris/needles and an organic transition layer above the mineral soil. In an effort to characterize and model the impact of the surface litter layer, an experiment was conducted on a day with wet soil conditions, which involved removal of the surface litter layer from one half of the test site while keeping the other half undisturbed. The observations showed detectable decrease in emissivity for both polarizations after the surface litter layer was removed. A first-order radiative transfer model of the forest stands including the multilayer nature of the forest floor in conjunction with the ground truth data are used to compute forest emission. The model calculations reproduced the major features of the experimental data over the entire duration, which included the effects of surface litter and ground moisture content on overall emission. Both theory and experimental results confirm that the litter layer increases the observed canopy brightness temperature and obscure the soil emission.

  2. De Novo Transcriptome Assembly and Characterization for the Widespread and Stress-Tolerant Conifer Platycladus orientalis

    PubMed Central

    Jin, YuQing; Sun, Yan-Qiang; Li, Yue; Zhao, Wei; El-Kassaby, Yousry A.; Wang, Xiao-Ru; Mao, Jian-Feng

    2016-01-01

    Platycladus orientalis, of the family Cupressaceae, is a widespread conifer throughout China and is extensively used for ecological reforestation, horticulture, and in medicine. Transcriptome assemblies are required for this ecologically important conifer for understanding genes underpinning adaptation and complex traits for breeding programs. To enrich the species’ genomic resources, a de novo transcriptome sequencing was performed using Illumina paired-end sequencing. In total, 104,073,506 high quality sequence reads (approximately 10.3 Gbp) were obtained, which were assembled into 228,948 transcripts and 148,867 unigenes that were longer than 200 nt. Quality assessment using CEGMA showed that the transcriptomes obtained were mostly complete for highly conserved core eukaryotic genes. Based on similarity searches with known proteins, 62,938 (42.28% of all unigenes), 42,158 (28.32%), and 23,179 (15.57%) had homologs in the Nr, GO, and KOG databases, 25,625 (17.21%) unigenes were mapped to 322 pathways by BLASTX comparison against the KEGG database and 1,941 unigenes involved in environmental signaling and stress response were identified. We also identified 43 putative terpene synthase (TPS) functional genes loci and compared them with TPSs from other species. Additionally, 5,296 simple sequence repeats (SSRs) were identified in 4,715 unigenes, which were assigned to 142 motif types. This is the first report of a complete transcriptome analysis of P. orientalis. These resources provide a foundation for further studies of adaptation mechanisms and molecular-based breeding programs. PMID:26881995

  3. Seasonal photosynthetic activity in evergreen conifer leaves monitored with spectral reflectance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wong, C. Y.; Gamon, J. A.

    2013-12-01

    Boreal evergreen conifers must maintain photosynthetic systems in environments where temperatures vary greatly across seasons from high temperatures in the summer to freezing levels in the winter. This involves seasonal downregulation and photoprotection during periods of extreme temperatures. To better understand this downregulation, seasonal dynamics of photosynthesis of lodgepole (Pinus contorta D.) and ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa D.) were monitored in Edmonton, Canada over two years. Spectral reflectance at the leaf and stand scales was measured weekly and the Photochemical Reflectance Index (PRI), often used as a proxy for chlorophyll and carotenoid pigment levels and photosynthetic light-use efficiency (LUE), was used to track the seasonal dynamics of photosynthetic activity. Additional physiological measurements included leaf pigment content, chlorophyll fluorescence, and gas exchange. All the metrics indicate large seasonal changes in photosynthetic activity, with a sharp transition from winter downregulation to active photosynthesis in the spring and a more gradual fall transition into winter. The PRI was a good indicator of several other variables including seasonally changing photosynthetic activity, chlorophyll fluorescence, photosynthetic LUE, and pigment pool sizes. Over the two-year cycle, PRI was primarily driven by changes in constitutive (chlorophyll:carotenoid) pigment levels correlated with seasonal photosynthetic activity, with a much smaller variation caused by diurnal changes in xanthophyll cycle activity (conversion between violaxanthin & zeaxanthin). Leaf and canopy scale PRI measurements exhibited parallel responses during the winter-spring transition. Together, our findings indicate that evergreen conifers photosynthetic system possesses a remarkable degree of resilience in response to large temperature changes across seasons, and that optical remote sensing can be used to observe the seasonal effects on photosynthesis and

  4. Antioxidant Activity of Leaves and Fruits of Cultivated Conifers in Iran

    PubMed Central

    Emami, Sayed Ahmad; Shahani, Ali; Hassanzadeh Khayyat, Mohammad

    2013-01-01

    Background Use of antioxidants is a means of reducing rancidity of fats and oils in food stuffs. The commercial synthetic antioxidants in food industry have been suspected to cause negative health effects. Therefore as alternatives, there is a strong need in finding new effective and safe antioxidants from natural sources to prevent deterioration of foods, drugs and cosmetics. Objectives In order to investigate the antioxidant activity from natural sources as alternatives of commercial antioxidants, the antioxidant activity of the extracts of leaves and fruits of six different species of Iranian common conifers: Cupressus arizonica, Pinus halepensis, Pinus nigra, Pinus brutia var. elderica, Pinus wallichiana and Cedrus deodara were investigated in the current study. Materials and Methods The leaves and fruits of these plants were collected from different areas of the country. Methanol extracts of leaves and fruits of Iranian common conifers (six species) were prepared. Antioxidant activity of the samples was measured using ferric thiocyante (FTC) and thiobarbituric acid (TBA) tests. Results The results of the study, using the two methods, showed that all methanol extracts of leaves and fruits of the six species possessed antioxidant activity. The antioxidant activity of the samples was compared with the antioxidant activities of butylatedhydroxytoluene (BHT), as a synthetic antioxidant and α-tocopherol as a natural antioxidant. Methanol extractions of Pinus spp. leaves and fruits showed the highest antioxidant activity (quite higher than α- tocopherol). Among the extracts examined, the leaves of P. halpensis methanol extract showed the lowest activity. Conclusions At this stage it can be concluded that methanol extracts of these plants can be considered as strong antioxidant agents. However more investigation is necessary in order to evaluate the antioxidant activity of the components separate from each extracted sample using several different antioxidant methods

  5. Hydraulic Failure Defines the Recovery and Point of Death in Water-Stressed Conifers[OA

    PubMed Central

    Brodribb, Tim J.; Cochard, Hervé

    2009-01-01

    This study combines existing hydraulic principles with recently developed methods for probing leaf hydraulic function to determine whether xylem physiology can explain the dynamic response of gas exchange both during drought and in the recovery phase after rewatering. Four conifer species from wet and dry forests were exposed to a range of water stresses by withholding water and then rewatering to observe the recovery process. During both phases midday transpiration and leaf water potential (Ψleaf) were monitored. Stomatal responses to Ψleaf were established for each species and these relationships used to evaluate whether the recovery of gas exchange after drought was limited by postembolism hydraulic repair in leaves. Furthermore, the timing of gas-exchange recovery was used to determine the maximum survivable water stress for each species and this index compared with data for both leaf and stem vulnerability to water-stress-induced dysfunction measured for each species. Recovery of gas exchange after water stress took between 1 and >100 d and during this period all species showed strong 1:1 conformity to a combined hydraulic-stomatal limitation model (r2 = 0.70 across all plants). Gas-exchange recovery time showed two distinct phases, a rapid overnight recovery in plants stressed to <50% loss of leaf hydraulic conductance (Kleaf) and a highly Ψleaf-dependent phase in plants stressed to >50% loss of Kleaf. Maximum recoverable water stress (Ψmin) corresponded to a 95% loss of Kleaf. Thus, we conclude that xylem hydraulics represents a direct limit to the drought tolerance of these conifer species. PMID:19011001

  6. Bat Response to Differing Fire Severity in Mixed-Conifer Forest California, USA

    PubMed Central

    Heady, Paul A.; Hayes, John P.; Frick, Winifred F.

    2013-01-01

    Wildlife response to natural disturbances such as fire is of conservation concern to managers, policy makers, and scientists, yet information is scant beyond a few well-studied groups (e.g., birds, small mammals). We examined the effects of wildfire severity on bats, a taxon of high conservation concern, at both the stand (<1 ha) and landscape scale in response to the 2002 McNally fire in the Sierra Nevada region of California, USA. One year after fire, we conducted surveys of echolocation activity at 14 survey locations, stratified in riparian and upland habitat, in mixed-conifer forest habitats spanning three levels of burn severity: unburned, moderate, and high. Bat activity in burned areas was either equivalent or higher than in unburned stands for all six phonic groups measured, with four groups having significantly greater activity in at least one burn severity level. Evidence of differentiation between fire severities was observed with some Myotis species having higher levels of activity in stands of high-severity burn. Larger-bodied bats, typically adapted to more open habitat, showed no response to fire. We found differential use of riparian and upland habitats among the phonic groups, yet no interaction of habitat type by fire severity was found. Extent of high-severity fire damage in the landscape had no effect on activity of bats in unburned sites suggesting no landscape effect of fire on foraging site selection and emphasizing stand-scale conditions driving bat activity. Results from this fire in mixed-conifer forests of California suggest that bats are resilient to landscape-scale fire and that some species are preferentially selecting burned areas for foraging, perhaps facilitated by reduced clutter and increased post-fire availability of prey and roosts. PMID:23483936

  7. Forecasting effects of SO/sub 2/ pollution on growth and succession in a western conifer forest

    SciTech Connect

    Kercher, J.R.; Axelrod, M.C.; Bingham, G.E.

    1980-06-18

    A simulator has been developed for the mixed conifer forest type of the Sierra Nevada, California to forecast the effects of SO/sub 2/ on forest growth and succession. The model simulates recruitment, growth, and death of each tree and is based on a northeastern USA simulator with extensive modifications. These modifications include the introduction of fire ecology, temporal seed crop patterns unique to the Sierra, and water stress. Pollutant stress is modeled as an effect on tree growth. The model simulates the shift from the ponderosa pine dominated forest type to the white fir dominated mixed conifer type as elevation increases from 5000 to 6000 ft. It also simulates the fire-suppression of white fir and the fire-climax of ponderosa pine. For a 10% growth reduction of ponderosa pine from pollutant stress and with growth reductions in other species as determined by their relative sensitivities, standing crops of ponderosa pine were reduced and white fir increased.

  8. Remote sensing of fire severity: linking post-fire reflectance data with physiological responses in two western conifer species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sparks, A. M.; Smith, A. M.; Kolden, C.; Apostol, K. G.; Boschetti, L.

    2014-12-01

    Fire is a common disturbance in forested ecosystems in the western U.S. and can be responsible for long-term impacts on vegetation and soil. An improved understanding of how ecosystems recover after fire is necessary so that land managers can plan for and mitigate the effects of these disturbances. Although several studies have attempted to link fire intensity with severity, direct links between spectral indices of severity and key physiological changes in vegetation are not well understood. We conducted an assessment of how two western conifer species respond to four fire radiative energy treatments, with spectra acquired pre- and up to a month post-burn. After transforming the spectral data into Landsat 8 equivalent reflectance, burn severity indices commonly used in the remote sensing community were compared to concurrent physiological measurements including gas exchange and photosynthetic rate. Preliminary results indicate significant relationships between several fire severity indices and physiological responses measured in the conifer seedlings.

  9. The gut microbiota of the pine weevil is similar across Europe and resembles that of other conifer-feeding beetles.

    PubMed

    Berasategui, Aileen; Axelsson, Karolin; Nordlander, Göran; Schmidt, Axel; Borg-Karlson, Anna-Karin; Gershenzon, Jonathan; Terenius, Olle; Kaltenpoth, Martin

    2016-08-01

    The pine weevil (Hylobius abietis, Coleoptera: Curculionidae) is an important pest of conifer seedlings in Europe. Despite its economic importance, little is known about the composition of its gut microbial community and the role it plays in mediating the weevil's ability to utilize conifers as a food source. Here, we characterized the gut bacterial communities of different populations of H. abietis across Europe and compared them to those of other beetles that occupy similar ecological niches. We demonstrate that the microbial community of H. abietis is similar at higher taxonomic levels (family and genus) across locations in Europe, with Wolbachia as the dominant microbe, followed by Enterobacteria and Firmicutes. Despite this similarity, we observed consistent differences between countries and locations, but not sexes. Our meta-analysis demonstrates that the gut bacterial community of the pine weevil is very similar to that of bark beetles that also exploit conifers as a food source. The Enterobacteriaceae symbionts of both host taxa are especially closely related phylogenetically. Conversely, the microbiota of H. abietis is distinct from that of closely related weevils feeding on nonconifer food sources, suggesting that the microbial community of the pine weevil is determined by the environment and may be relevant to host ecology. Furthermore, several H. abietis-associated members of the Enterobacteriaceae family are known to contain genes involved in terpenoid degradation. As such, we hypothesize that the gut microbial community is important for the utilization of conifer seedlings as a food source, either through the detoxification of plant secondary metabolites or through the supplementation of essential nutrients.

  10. Regeneration patterns of a long-lived dominant conifer and the effects of logging in southern South America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Souza, Alexandre F.; Forgiarini, Cristiane; Longhi, Solon Jonas; Brena, Doádi Antônio

    2008-09-01

    The regeneration ecology of the long-lived conifer Araucaria angustifolia was studied in São Francisco de Paula, southern Brazil. We evaluated the expectations that: (i) size distribution of populations of Araucaria angustifolia, a large conifer that dominates southern Brazil's mixed forests, is left-skewed in old-growth forests but right-skewed in logged forests, indicating chronic recruitment failure in the first kind of habitat as well as a recruitment pulse in the second; (ii) seedlings and juveniles are found under more open-canopy microsites than would be expected by chance; and (iii) reproductive females would be aggregated at the coarse spatial scales in which past massive recruitment events are expected to have occurred, and young plants would be spatially associated with females due to the prevalence of vertebrate and large-bird seed dispersers. Data were collected in the threatened mixed conifer-hardwood forests in southern Brazil in ten 1-ha plots and one 0.25-ha plot that was hit by a small tornado in 2003. Five of these plots corresponded to unlogged old-growth forests, three to forests where A. angustifolia was selectively logged ca. 60 years ago and two to forests selectively logged ca. 20 years ago. For the first time, ontogenetic life stages of this important conifer are identified and described. The first and second expectations were fulfilled, and the third was partially fulfilled, since seedlings and juveniles were hardly ever associated with reproductive females. These results confirm the generalization of the current conceptual model of emergent long-lived pioneer regeneration to Araucaria angustifolia and associate its regeneration niche to the occupation of large-scale disturbances with long return times.

  11. Studies on the structure of the plant wax nonacosan-10-ol, the main component of epicuticular wax conifers.

    PubMed

    Matas, Antonio J; Sanz, María José; Heredia, Antonio

    2003-11-01

    The main component presents in the epicuticular waxes of needles of Pinus halepensis and the most of conifers, the secondary alcohol nonacosan-10-ol, has been investigated by X-ray diffraction and differential scanning calorimetry. The results obtained from these physical techniques permitted to establish a definitive structural model of the molecular arrangement of this wax, basically in good agreement with the model formulated by other authors from theoretical formulations. Biological implications of the proposed structure have been also formulated.

  12. Black-backed woodpecker habitat suitability mapping using conifer snag basal area estimated from airborne laser scanning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Casas Planes, Á.; Garcia, M.; Siegel, R.; Koltunov, A.; Ramirez, C.; Ustin, S.

    2015-12-01

    Occupancy and habitat suitability models for snag-dependent wildlife species are commonly defined as a function of snag basal area. Although critical for predicting or assessing habitat suitability, spatially distributed estimates of snag basal area are not generally available across landscapes at spatial scales relevant for conservation planning. This study evaluates the use of airborne laser scanning (ALS) to 1) identify individual conifer snags and map their basal area across a recently burned forest, and 2) map habitat suitability for a wildlife species known to be dependent on snag basal area, specifically the black-backed woodpecker (Picoides arcticus). This study focuses on the Rim Fire, a megafire that took place in 2013 in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, creating large patches of medium- and high-severity burned forest. We use forest inventory plots, single-tree ALS-derived metrics and Gaussian processes classification and regression to identify conifer snags and estimate their stem diameter and basal area. Then, we use the results to map habitat suitability for the black-backed woodpecker using thresholds for conifer basal area from a previously published habitat suitability model. Local maxima detection and watershed segmentation algorithms resulted in 75% detection of trees with stem diameter larger than 30 cm. Snags are identified with an overall accuracy of 91.8 % and conifer snags are identified with an overall accuracy of 84.8 %. Finally, Gaussian process regression reliably estimated stem diameter (R2 = 0.8) using height and crown area. This work provides a fast and efficient methodology to characterize the extent of a burned forest at the tree level and a critical tool for early wildlife assessment in post-fire forest management and biodiversity conservation.

  13. Molecular Aspects of Conifer Zygotic and Somatic Embryo Development: A Review of Genome-Wide Approaches and Recent Insights.

    PubMed

    Trontin, Jean-François; Klimaszewska, Krystyna; Morel, Alexandre; Hargreaves, Catherine; Lelu-Walter, Marie-Anne

    2016-01-01

    Genome-wide profiling (transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics) is providing unprecedented opportunities to unravel the complexity of coordinated gene expression during embryo development in trees, especially conifer species harboring "giga-genome." This knowledge should be critical for the efficient delivery of improved varieties through seeds and/or somatic embryos in fluctuating markets and to cope with climate change. We reviewed "omics" as well as targeted gene expression studies during both somatic and zygotic embryo development in conifers and tentatively puzzled over the critical processes and genes involved at the specific developmental and transition stages. Current limitations to the interpretation of these large datasets are going to be lifted through the ongoing development of comprehensive genome resources in conifers. Nevertheless omics already confirmed that master regulators (e.g., transcription and epigenetic factors) play central roles. As in model angiosperms, the molecular regulation from early to late embryogenesis may mainly arise from spatiotemporal modulation of auxin-, gibberellin-, and abscisic acid-mediated responses. Omics also showed the potential for the development of tools to assess the progress of embryo development or to build genotype-independent, predictive models of embryogenesis-specific characteristics.

  14. Local adaptation to temperature and precipitation in naturally fragmented populations of Cephalotaxus oliveri, an endangered conifer endemic to China

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Ting; Wang, Zhen; Xia, Fan; Su, Yingjuan

    2016-01-01

    Cephalotaxus oliveri is an endangered tertiary relict conifer endemic to China. The species survives in a wide range from west to east with heterogeneous climatic conditions. Precipitation and temperature are main restrictive factors for distribution of C. oliveri. In order to comprehend the mechanism of adaptive evolution to climate variation, we employed ISSR markers to detect adaptive evolution loci, to identify the association between variation in temperature and precipitation and adaptive loci, and to investigate the genetic structure for 22 C. oliveri natural populations. In total, 14 outlier loci were identified, of which five were associated with temperature and precipitation. Among outlier loci, linkage disequilibrium (LD) was high (42.86%), which also provided strong evidence for selection. In addition, C. oliveri possessed high genetic variation (93.31%) and population differentiation, which may provide raw material to evolution and accelerate local adaptation, respectively. Ecological niche modeling showed that global warming will cause a shift for populations of C. oliveri from south to north with a shrinkage of southern areas. Our results contribute to understand the potential response of conifers to climatic changes, and provide new insights for conifer resource management and conservation strategies. PMID:27113970

  15. Inter-tracheid pitting and the hydraulic efficiency of conifer wood: the role of tracheid allometry and cavitation protection.

    PubMed

    Pittermann, Jarmila; Sperry, John S; Hacke, Uwe G; Wheeler, James K; Sikkema, Elzard H

    2006-09-01

    Plant xylem must balance efficient delivery of water to the canopy against protection from air entry into the conduits via air-seeding. We investigated the relationship between tracheid allometry, end wall pitting, safety from air-seeding, and the hydraulic efficiency of conifer wood in order to better understand the trade-offs between effective transport and protection against air entry. Root and stem wood were sampled from conifers belonging to the Pinaceae, Cupressaceae, Podocarpaceae, and Araucariaceae. Hydraulic resistivity of tracheids decreased with increasing tracheid diameter and width, with 64 ± 4% residing in the end wall pitting regardless of tracheid size or phylogenetic affinity. This end-wall percentage was consistent with a near-optimal scaling between tracheid diameter and length that minimized flow resistance for a given tracheid length. There was no evidence that tracheid size and hydraulic efficiency were constrained by the role of the pits in protecting against cavitation by air-seeding. An increase in pit area resistance with safety from cavitation was observed only for species of the northern hemisphere (Pinaceae and Cupressaceae), but this variable was independent of tracheid size, and the increase in pit resistance did not significantly influence tracheid resistance. In contrast to recent work on angiosperm vessels, protection against air-seeding in conifer tracheids appears to be uncoupled from conduit size and conducting efficiency.

  16. The Ty1-copia LTR retroelement family PARTC is highly conserved in conifers over 200 MY of evolution.

    PubMed

    Zuccolo, Andrea; Scofield, Douglas G; De Paoli, Emanuele; Morgante, Michele

    2015-08-15

    Long Terminal Repeat retroelements (LTR-RTs) are a major component of many plant genomes. Although well studied and described in angiosperms, their features and dynamics are poorly understood in gymnosperms. Representative complete copies of a Ty1-copia element isolate in Picea abies and named PARTC were identified in six other conifer species (Picea glauca, Pinus sylvestris, Pinus taeda, Abies sibirica, Taxus baccata and Juniperus communis) covering more than 200 million years of evolution. Here we characterized the structure of this element, assessed its abundance across conifers, studied the modes and timing of its amplification, and evaluated the degree of conservation of its extant copies at nucleotide level over distant species. We demonstrated that the element is ancient, abundant, widespread and its paralogous copies are present in the genera Picea, Pinus and Abies as an LTR-RT family. The amplification leading to the extant copies of PARTC occurred over long evolutionary times spanning 10s of MY and mostly took place after the speciation of the conifers analyzed. The level of conservation of PARTC is striking and may be explained by low substitution rates and limited removal mechanisms for LTR-RTs. These PARTC features and dynamics are representative of a more general scenario for LTR-RTs in gymnosperms quite different from that characterizing the vast majority of LTR-RT elements in angiosperms.

  17. MADS-box genes reveal that gnetophytes are more closely related to conifers than to flowering plants

    PubMed Central

    Winter, Kai-Uwe; Becker, Annette; Münster, Thomas; Kim, Jan T.; Saedler, Heinz; Theissen, Günter

    1999-01-01

    The evolutionary origin of the angiosperms (flowering plants sensu stricto) is still enigmatic. Answers to the question of angiosperm origins are intimately connected to the identification of their sister group among extinct and extant taxa. Most phylogenetic analyses based on morphological data agree that among the groups of extant seed plants, the gnetophytes are the sister group of the angiosperms. According to this view, angiosperms and gnetophytes are the only extant members of a clade called “anthophytes” to emphasize their shared possession of flower-like reproductive structures. However, most phylogeny reconstructions based on molecular data so far did not support an anthophyte clade, but also could not clarify the case because support for alternative groupings has been weak or controversial. We have isolated 13 different homologs of MADS-type floral homeotic genes from the gnetophyte Gnetum gnemon. Five of these genes fall into monophyletic gene clades also comprising putatively orthologous genes from flowering plants and conifers, among them orthologs of floral homeotic B and C function genes. Within these clades the Gnetum genes always form distinct subclades together with the respective conifer genes, to the exclusion of the angiosperm genes. This provides strong molecular evidence for a sister-group relationship between gnetophytes and conifers, which is in contradiction to widely accepted interpretations of morphological data for almost a century. Our phylogeny reconstructions and the outcome of expression studies suggest that complex features such as flower-like reproductive structures and double-fertilization arose independently in gnetophytes and angiosperms. PMID:10377416

  18. Old Growth Conifer Watersheds in the Western Cascades, Oregon: Sentinels of Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miles, K. M.

    2011-12-01

    In the Pacific Northwest, where the majority of precipitation falls during the winter, mountain snowpacks provide an important source of streamflow during the dry summer months when water demands are frequently highest. Increasing temperatures associated with climate change are expected to result in a decline in winter snowpacks in western North America, earlier snowmelt, and subsequently a shift in the timing of streamflows, with an increasing fraction of streamflows occurring earlier in the water year and drier conditions during the summer. Long-term records from headwater watersheds in old growth conifer forest at the H. J. Andrews Experimental Forest (HJ Andrews), Oregon, provide the opportunity to examine changes in climate, vegetation, and streamflow. Continuous streamflow records have been collected since 1953, 1964, and 1969 from three small (8.5-60 ha) watersheds (WS2, WS8, and WS9). Over the 40- to 50-year period of study, late winter to early summer monthly average minimum temperatures have increased by 1-2°C, and spring snow water equivalent at a nearby Snotel site has declined, but monthly precipitation has remained unchanged. Spring runoff ratios have declined in by amounts equivalent to 0.59-2.45 mm day-1 at WS2, WS8, and WS9, which are comparable to estimated rates of stand-level transpiration from trees in these watersheds. However, winter runoff ratios have not changed significantly at either WS2 or WS9, and have actually decreased at WS8 by 2.43 mm day-1 over the period of record. Furthermore, summer runoff ratios have not changed significantly at either WS8 or WS9, and have increased at WS2 by 0.34 mm day-1 over the period of record. These findings suggest that warming temperatures have resulted in a reduction in spring snowpacks and an earlier onset of evapotranspiration in the spring when soil moisture is abundant, but physiological responses of these conifer forests to water stress and water surplus may mitigate or exceed the expression of a

  19. Hydraulic compensation in northern Rocky Mountain conifers: does successional position and life history matter?

    PubMed

    Sala, Anna

    2006-08-01

    As trees grow tall and the resistance of the hydraulic pathway increases, water supply to foliage may decrease forcing stomata to close and CO2 uptake to decline. Several structural (e.g. biomass allocation) and physiological adjustments, however, may partially or fully compensate for such hydraulic constraints and prevent limitations on CO2 uptake and growth. The degree to which trees compensate for hydraulic constraints as they grow tall may depend on the costs and benefits associated with hydraulic compensation according to their ecology and life history. Because later successional Rocky Mountain conifers are more shade tolerant, optimization of CO2 uptake as trees grow tall and shade increases may confer greater benefits than in earlier successional species. If so, higher compensation for hydraulic constraints is expected in later successional species relative to co-occurring earlier successional species. I have examined height-related changes of crown stomatal conductance on a leaf area basis (G(LA)) and leaf to sapwood ratios (A(L):A(S)) for five conifer species in the northern Rocky Mountains. Species were arranged in pairs, each pair consisting of an early and late successional species. For high elevations I used, respectively, whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) and subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa); for mid-elevations, western larch (Larix occidentalis) and Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii); for lower elevations, ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) and Douglas-fir. A(L):A(S) either decreased (subalpine fir, ponderosa pine), remained constant (Douglas-fir, western larch) or increased (whitebark pine) with tree height. As hypothesized, earlier successional species (ponderosa pine, whitebark pine and western larch) exhibited significantly stronger decreases of G(LA) with tree height relative to their later successional pairs (Douglas-fir and subalpine fir), which fully compensated for height-related hydraulic constraints on G(LA). A life history approach that

  20. Improvements of palaeochemotaxonomy as a palaeofloristic proxy using artificial maturation of extant conifers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Y.; Hautevelle, Y.; Michels, R.

    2012-04-01

    Numerous studies of the molecular composition of terrestrial plants show that many organic compounds have a chemotaxonomic value. This means that these biomolecules are synthesized by a restricted number of taxa and can be used as specific biomarkers. Some of these biomolecules, like terpenoids, are poorly altered and preserved in sediments where they are then transformed into geomolecules. Thus, the distribution of vascular plant biomarkers preserved in sedimentary rocks could serve as proxy for terrestrial palaeoflora assessment. Furthermore, as flora association may reflect climatic conditions, vascular plant biomarkers may also serve as palaeoclimatic proxies. Botanical palaeochemotaxonomy presents some specific attributes compared to palaeobotany and palynology in the reconstruction of palaeofloristic and palaeoclimatic evolutions through geological time : 1) plant biomarkers are more widespread in the stratigraphic record than well preserved plant macrofossils, 2) on the contrary to palynomorphs they can be directly linked to specific plant taxa, 3) biomarkers are readily analyzed by usual organic geochemistry procedures. However, our knowledge in botanical palaeochemotaxonomy, allowing to link geomolecular markers to botanical taxa, is still incomplete. Difficulties are related to 1) extrapolation of information from extant plants to their fossil counterparts, 2) the scarcity of well preserved and identifiable fossils. In order to help fill these gaps, we use an experimental method based on artificial maturation of extant plants by confined pyrolysis (*Hautevelle et al. 2006). This technique allows to simulate conversion of biomolecules into diagenetized compounds. The objective of this study is to clarify the molecular signature of fossil conifer families. 69 species belonging to seven families of extant conifers (Araucariaceae, Cupressaceae, Pinaceae, Podocarpaceae, Sciadopityaceae, Taxaceae and Taxodiaceae) were pyrolyzed. Extractable organic matter is

  1. Quantifying cambial activity of high-elevation conifers in the Great Basin, Nevada, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ziaco, E.; Biondi, F.; Rossi, S.; Deslauriers, A.

    2013-12-01

    Understanding the physiological mechanisms that control the formation of tree rings provides the necessary biological basis for developing dendroclimatic reconstructions and dendroecological histories. Studies of wood formation in the Great Basin are now being conducted in connection with the Nevada Climate-ecohydrological Assessment Network (NevCAN), a recently established transect of valley-to-mountaintop instrumented stations in the Snake and Sheep Ranges of the Great Basin. Automated sensors record meteorological, soil, and vegetational variables at these sites, providing unique opportunities for ecosystem science, and are being used to investigate the ecological implications of xylogenesis. We present here an initial study based on microcores collected during summer 2013 from mountain and subalpine conifers (including Great Basin bristlecone pine, Pinus longaeva) growing on the west slope of Mt. Washington. Samples were taken from the mountain west (SM; 2810 m elevation) and the subalpine west (SS, 3355 m elevation) NevCAN sites on June 16th and 27th, 2013. The SS site was further subdivided in a high (SSH) and a low (SSL) group of trees, separated by about 10 m in elevation. Microscopic analyses showed the effect of elevation on cambial activity, as annual ring formation was more advanced at the lower (mountain) site compared to the higher (subalpine) one. At all sites cambium size showed little variations between the two sampling dates. The number of xylem cells in the radial enlargement phase decreased between the two sampling dates at the mountain site but increased at the subalpine site, confirming a delayed formation of wood at the higher elevations. Despite relatively high within-site variability, a general trend of increasing number of cells in the lignification phase was found at all sites. Mature cells were present only at the mountain site on June 27th. Spatial differences in the xylem formation process emerged at the species level and, within

  2. Interactions of tissue and fertilizer nitrogen on decomposition dynamics of lignin-rich conifer litter

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Perakis, Steven S.; Matkins, Joselin J.; Hibbs, David E.

    2012-01-01

    High tissue nitrogen (N) accelerates decomposition of high-quality leaf litter in the early phases of mass loss, but the influence of initial tissue N variation on the decomposition of lignin-rich litter is less resolved. Because environmental changes such as atmospheric N deposition and elevated CO2 can alter tissue N levels within species more rapidly than they alter the species composition of ecosystems, it is important to consider how within-species variation in tissue N may shape litter decomposition and associated N dynamics. Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii ) is a widespread lignin-rich conifer that dominates forests of high carbon (C) storage across western North America, and displays wide variation in tissue and litter N that reflects landscape variation in soil N. We collected eight unique Douglas-fir litter sources that spanned a two-fold range in initial N concentrations (0.67–1.31%) with a narrow range of lignin (29–35%), and examined relationships between initial litter chemistry, decomposition, and N dynamics in both ambient and N fertilized plots at four sites over 3 yr. High initial litter N slowed decomposition rates in both early (0.67 yr) and late (3 yr) stages in unfertilized plots. Applications of N fertilizer to litters accelerated early-stage decomposition, but slowed late-stage decomposition, and most strongly affected low-N litters, which equalized decomposition rates across litters regardless of initial N concentrations. Decomposition of N-fertilized litters correlated positively with initial litter manganese (Mn) concentrations, with litter Mn variation reflecting faster turnover of canopy foliage in high N sites, producing younger litterfall with high N and low Mn. Although both internal and external N inhibited decomposition at 3 yr, most litters exhibited net N immobilization, with strongest immobilization in low-N litter and in N-fertilized plots. Our observation for lignin-rich litter that high initial N can slow decomposition

  3. Effects of fire and harvest on soil respiration in a mixed-conifer forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dore, S.; Fry, D.; Stephens, S.

    2012-12-01

    Forest ecosystems, and in particular forest soils, constitute a major reservoir of global terrestrial carbon and soil respiration is the largest carbon loss from these ecosystems. Disturbances can affect soil respiration, causing physical and chemical changes in soil characteristics, adding both, above and belowground necromass, and changing microclimatic conditions. This could signify an important and long term carbon loss, even higher than the carbon directly removed by the harvest or during fire. These losses need to be included when quantifying the net carbon balance of forests. We measured the impacts of prescribed fire and clear-cut tree harvest on soil respiration in a mixed-conifer forest in the central Sierra Nevada. The prescribed fire treatment was implemented in 2002 and again in 2009. Four areas were clear-cut harvested in 2010. In half of these units the soils were mechanically ripped to reduce soil compaction, a common practice in the Sierra Nevada industrial forest lands. Soil respiration was measured using two different techniques: the chamber method and the gradient method. Soil respiration was affected by treatments in two different ways. First, treatments changed soil temperature and soil water content, the main abiotic factors controlling soil respiration. The clear cut and the prescribed fire treatments created higher maximum soil temperature and more available soil water content, environmental conditions favorable to soil respiration. However, the loss of trees and thus fine roots, and the decrease of soil litter and organic layers, because of their combustion or removal, had a negative effect on soil respiration that was stronger than the positive effect due to more favorable post disturbance environmental conditions. Soil respiration rates remained steady 1-2 years after treatments and no increase or spikes of soil respiration were measured after treatments. Continuous measurements of CO2 concentrations at different soil depths improved our

  4. A broadleaf species enhances an autotoxic conifers growth through belowground chemical interactions.

    PubMed

    Xia, Zhi-Chao; Kong, Chui-Hua; Chen, Long-Chi; Wang, Peng; Wang, Si-Long

    2016-09-01

    Plants may affect the performance of neighboring plants either positively or negatively through interspecific and intraspecific interactions. Productivity of mixed-species systems is ultimately the net result of positive and negative interactions among the component species. Despite increasing knowledge of positive interactions occurring in mixed-species tree systems, relatively little is known about the mechanisms underlying such interactions. Based on data from 25-year-old experimental stands in situ and a series of controlled experiments, we test the hypothesis that a broadleaf, non-N fixing species, Michelia macclurei, facilitates the performance of an autotoxic conifer Chinese fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata) through belowground chemical interactions. Chinese fir roots released the allelochemical cyclic dipeptide (6-hydroxy-1,3-dimethyl-8-nonadecyl-[1,4]-diazocane- 2,5-diketone) into the soil environment, resulting in self-growth inhibition, and deterioration of soil microorganisms that improve P availability. However, when grown with M. macclurei the growth of Chinese fir was consistently enhanced. In particular, Chinese fir enhanced root growth and distribution in deep soil layers. When compared with monocultures of Chinese fir, the presence of M. macclurei reduced release and increased degradation of cyclic dipeptide in the soil, resulting in a shift from self-inhibition to chemical facilitation. This association also improved the soil microbial community by increasing arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, and induced the production of Chinese fir roots. We conclude that interspecific interactions are less negative than intraspecific ones between non-N fixing broadleaf and autotoxic conifer species. The impacts are generated by reducing allelochemical levels, enhancing belowground mutualisms, improving soil properties, and changing root distributions as well as the net effects of all the processes within the soil. In particular, allelochemical context alters the

  5. Parallel δ 13C and Conifer Physiognomic Trends Across the Triassic-Jurassic Boundary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whiteside, J. H.; Olsen, P. E.; Sambrotto, R. N.; Cornet, B.

    2003-12-01

    The Triassic-Jurassic mass extinction event ( ˜200 Ma) had a profound effect on biotic evolution, and herein we describe trends in cheirolepidaceous conifer leaf physiognomy from the Pangean tropics (present northeastern USA) that at least broadly parallel a negative δ 13C excursion recorded in the same strata. The physiognomic changes appear at an abrupt (<10 ky) negative carbon isotope excursion (1) synchronous with a previously described palynological extinction level, fern spike, and Ir anomaly (2), and continue through a prolonged negative excursion, lasting 900 ky (through all three CAMP basaltic extrusive events), encompassing most of the Hettangian age. The physiognomic changes seen in the cheirolepidaceous conifer leafy shoot forms Brachyphyllum and Pagiophyllum through the δ 13C excursions include primarily the development of microphyllous leaves with thickened cuticle and sunken papillate stomata (3). These floral modifications are consistent with intense thermal stress plausibly due to very high atmospheric CO2 concentrations and corroborate McElwain's (4) thermal damage hypothesis for the Triassic-Jurassic transition that was originally based on different plant taxa from the higher Pangean latitudes in present Greenland and Sweden. Subsequently, a 2- to 5-fold increase in the area of leafy shoots in strata of latest Hettangian age suggest a return to lower thermal stress levels perhaps due to lower CO2, despite the fact that eastern North America continued to drift into more arid latitudes. The floral physiognomic changes associated with the negative δ 13C excursion and likely very elevated CO2 levels is in many ways a microcosm of the Mesozoic in which the dominance of cheiroleps apparently overlaps with the highest CO2 levels of the Mesozoic (5). References. (1) Whiteside JH, Olsen PE, Sambrotto RN. 2003. Geol. Soc. Amer. Abst. Prog. (in press). (2) Olsen PE et al., Science 296:1305-1307 (3) Cornet B. 1989. in Olsen PE, Schlische RW, Gore PJW

  6. Slow but not low: genomic comparisons reveal slower evolutionary rate and higher dN/dS in conifers compared to angiosperms

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Comparative genomics can inform us about the processes of mutation and selection across diverse taxa. Among seed plants, gymnosperms have been lacking in genomic comparisons. Recent EST and full-length cDNA collections for two conifers, Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) and loblolly pine (Pinus taeda), together with full genome sequences for two angiosperms, Arabidopsis thaliana and poplar (Populus trichocarpa), offer an opportunity to infer the evolutionary processes underlying thousands of orthologous protein-coding genes in gymnosperms compared with an angiosperm orthologue set. Results Based upon pairwise comparisons of 3,723 spruce and pine orthologues, we found an average synonymous genetic distance (dS) of 0.191, and an average dN/dS ratio of 0.314. Using a fossil-established divergence time of 140 million years between spruce and pine, we extrapolated a nucleotide substitution rate of 0.68 × 10-9 synonymous substitutions per site per year. When compared to angiosperms, this indicates a dramatically slower rate of nucleotide substitution rates in conifers: on average 15-fold. Coincidentally, we found a three-fold higher dN/dS for the spruce-pine lineage compared to the poplar-Arabidopsis lineage. This joint occurrence of a slower evolutionary rate in conifers with higher dN/dS, and possibly positive selection, showcases the uniqueness of conifer genome evolution. Conclusions Our results are in line with documented reduced nucleotide diversity, conservative genome evolution and low rates of diversification in conifers on the one hand and numerous examples of local adaptation in conifers on the other hand. We propose that reduced levels of nucleotide mutation in large and long-lived conifer trees, coupled with large effective population size, were the main factors leading to slow substitution rates but retention of beneficial mutations. PMID:22264329

  7. Associations of Conifer-Infesting Bark Beetles and Fungi in Fennoscandia

    PubMed Central

    Linnakoski, Riikka; de Beer, Z. Wilhelm; Niemelä, Pekka; Wingfield, Michael J.

    2012-01-01

    Bark beetles (Coleoptera, Scolytinae) have a widespread association with fungi, especially with ophiostomatoid fungi (Ascomycota) that cause blue staining of wood, and in some cases, serious tree diseases. In Fennoscandia, most studies of these fungi have focused on economically important bark beetle species and this is likely to have led to a biased view of the fungal biodiversity in the region. Recently, the associations between fungi and bark beetles in Fennoscandia have been shown to be more diverse than previously thought. Furthermore, they form complex and dynamic associations that are only now beginning to emerge. This review examines the current knowledge of the rather poorly known interactions between bark beetles, fungi and their conifer host trees in Fennoscandia. The diversity of ophiostomatoid species is discussed and the possible factors that influence the assemblages of fungal associates are considered for all species that are known to occur in the region. For many ophiostomatoid species found in Fennoscandia, little or nothing is known regarding their pathogenicity, particularly if they were to be transferred to new environments. We, therefore, draw attention to the possible threats of timber trade and climate change-induced invasions of new habitats by bark beetles and the fungi that can be moved along with them. PMID:26467956

  8. Scaling of phloem structure and optimality of photoassimilate transport in conifer needles

    PubMed Central

    Ronellenfitsch, Henrik; Liesche, Johannes; Jensen, Kaare H.; Holbrook, N. Michele; Schulz, Alexander; Katifori, Eleni

    2015-01-01

    The phloem vascular system facilitates transport of energy-rich sugar and signalling molecules in plants, thus permitting long-range communication within the organism and growth of non-photosynthesizing organs such as roots and fruits. The flow is driven by osmotic pressure, generated by differences in sugar concentration between distal parts of the plant. The phloem is an intricate distribution system, and many questions about its regulation and structural diversity remain unanswered. Here, we investigate the phloem structure in the simplest possible geometry: a linear leaf, found, for example, in the needles of conifer trees. We measure the phloem structure in four tree species representing a diverse set of habitats and needle sizes, from 1 (Picea omorika) to 35 cm (Pinus palustris). We show that the phloem shares common traits across these four species and find that the size of its conductive elements obeys a power law. We present a minimal model that accounts for these common traits and takes into account the transport strategy and natural constraints. This minimal model predicts a power law phloem distribution consistent with transport energy minimization, suggesting that energetics are more important than translocation speed at the leaf level. PMID:25567645

  9. Evidence for foliar endophytic nitrogen fixation in a widely distributed subalpine conifer.

    PubMed

    Moyes, Andrew B; Kueppers, Lara M; Pett-Ridge, Jennifer; Carper, Dana L; Vandehey, Nick; O'Neil, James; Frank, A Carolin

    2016-04-01

    Coniferous forest nitrogen (N) budgets indicate unknown sources of N. A consistent association between limber pine (Pinus flexilis) and potential N2 -fixing acetic acid bacteria (AAB) indicates that native foliar endophytes may supply subalpine forests with N. To assess whether the P. flexilis-AAB association is consistent across years, we re-sampled P. flexilis twigs at Niwot Ridge, CO and characterized needle endophyte communities via 16S rRNA Illumina sequencing. To investigate whether endophytes have access to foliar N2 , we incubated twigs with (13) N2 -enriched air and imaged radioisotope distribution in needles, the first experiment of its kind using (13) N. We used the acetylene reduction assay to test for nitrogenase activity within P. flexilis twigs four times from June to September. We found evidence for N2 fixation in P. flexilis foliage. N2 diffused readily into needles and nitrogenase activity was positive across sampling dates. We estimate that this association could provide 6.8-13.6 μg N m(-2)  d(-1) to P. flexilis stands. AAB dominated the P. flexilis needle endophyte community. We propose that foliar endophytes represent a low-cost, evolutionarily stable N2 -fixing strategy for long-lived conifers. This novel source of biological N2 fixation has fundamental implications for understanding forest N budgets.

  10. Chemical compositions of essential oils of five introduced conifers in Corsica.

    PubMed

    Garcia, Gabriel; Garcia, Adrien; Gibernau, Marc; Bighelli, Ange; Tomi, Félix

    2017-02-13

    The aim of this survey was to determine the chemical composition of essential oils (EO) of five conifers acclimated in Corsica by GC(RI), GC-MS and (13)C NMR. L. decidua needle and wood EOs contained as majors components: α- and β-pinenes, germacrene D (needles) and bornyl acetate (wood). The EOs of needles, wood and cones of P. menziesii were characterised by β- and α-pinenes, terpinen-4-ol, sabinene, terpinolene (needles and wood), Δ-3-carene (wood) and limonene (cones). Needles and wood EOs of P. ponderosa contained as major components: β- and α-pinenes, Δ-3-carene (wood) and estragole (needles). S. giganteum EOs of foliage and wood were rather similar and dominated by α-pinene, and safrole. The EOs of leaf, wood and cones from C. japonica were very similar, and exhibited α-pinene, sabinene, β-elemol and kaurene as major constituents. It appeared that EO compositions of some species were different from reported literature data.

  11. The effect of elevation, light and water availability on the growth of Sierran conifer seedlings

    SciTech Connect

    Kern, R.A.; Dale, V.H.; Beauchamp, J.J. Oak Ridge National Lab., TN )

    1994-06-01

    The composition of many plant communities will be altered with global change, and this will depend on individual species' abilities to reproduce and to survive under new climate conditions. Two experiments are underday to test the hypothesis that seedling demography is affected by the relative drought and shade tolerances of seven co-occurring species of Sierran conifers. The first experiment is being conducted at three sites in Sequoia National Park, California, elevations 1600 m, 1900 m and 2200 m. At each site, closed canopy [open quotes]shade[close quotes] plots and open canopy [open quotes]gap[close quotes] plots are being used. Seedling growth of each species is compared between light levels and elevations. The second experiment also measures seedling growth in low and high levels, but with four levels of water availability at one elevation (1900 m). Microenvironmental monitoring (soil and air temperature, relative humidity, radiation, and soil moisture) by surrounding mature trees are also being measured in order to develop a mechanistic model of seedling growth and survival.

  12. Long-term effect on some chemical parameter and microbial diversity in a conifer forest soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iglesias, T.; Iglesias, M.; Francisco-Álvarez, R.; Ramírez, M.; Fernández-Bermejo, M. C.

    2009-04-01

    Soil microbiota are one of the soil components most affected by wildfires. The data from the present study were obtained from a conifer forest soil at Sierra de Gredos (Ávila, central Spain) twenty years after fire of low-to-moderate intensity. A set of soil characteristics indicated the extent to which the spontaneous recovery of the soil is produced as a result of vegetation regrowth. Ten months after fire a strong increase in soil pH, organic C and N, and exchangeable Ca and K, with respect the control soil. Eighteen years after this fire it was observed a decrease of soil organic C and N, whereas other variables such as pH, exchangeable Ca and K were slightly increased with respect to control soil. Is summe a change in soil microbiota was observed due to wildfire, with a decrease in fungi and bacteria population, Also some changes in microbial community was detected, Key words: Forest Fire, soil microbiology, chemical soil properties

  13. Climate controls on anomalously high productivity in the mixed conifer forests of the Sierra Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelly, A. E.; Goulden, M. L.

    2009-12-01

    The Mediterranean climate of California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains supports a dense conifer forest that contains some of the largest trees in the world. Well-established ecological relationships, such as the Miami Model, predict relatively low NPPs for these forests (~250 g/m2/yr to 1300 g/m2/yr) due to winter cold limitation and summer drought. However, the observed rates of NPPs are quite high (up to 2000 g/m2/yr), raising the question of what environmental conditions and plant adaptations promote such a high NPP. We hypothesize that the trees in these forests are neither as cold-limited nor water-limited as surface weather station data suggest. Eddy covariance observations at the top of a 55 m tall micrometeorological tower located at 2050 m elevation indicate daytime CO2 uptake continues year round, and is not limited by winter cold or summer drought. Comparisons of temperature measurements on the tower with operational balloon soundings indicate that tree canopies are often in the free troposphere, which buffers the temperatures they experience and moderates winter cold limitation and summer evapotranspiration.

  14. Incised channel fills containing conifers indicate that seasonally dry vegetation dominated Pennsylvanian tropical lowlands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Falcon-Lang, H. J.; Nelson, W.J.; Elrick, S.; Looy, C.V.; Ames, P.R.; DiMichele, W.A.

    2009-01-01

    The idea that the Pennsylvanian tropical lowlands were temporally dominated by rainforest (i.e., the Coal Forest) is deeply ingrained in the literature. Here we challenge two centuries of research by suggesting that this concept is based on a taphonomic artifact, and that seasonally dry vegetation dominated instead. This controversial finding arises from the discovery of a new middle Pennsylvanian (Moscovian) fossil plant assemblage in southeast Illinois, United States. The assemblage, which contains xerophytic walchian conifers, occurs in channels incised into a calcic Vertisol below the Baker Coal. These plants grew on seasonally dry tropical lowlands inferred to have developed during a glacial phase. This xerophytic flora differs markedly from that of the typical clubmoss-dominated Coal Forest developed during deglaciation events. Although preserved only very rarely, we argue that such xerophytic floras were temporally as dominant, and perhaps more dominant, than the iconic Coal Forests, which are overrepresented in the fossil record due to taphonomic megabias. These findings require the iconography of Pennsylvanian tropical lowlands to be redrawn. ?? 2009 Geological Society of America.

  15. Contrasting patterns of nucleotide diversity for four conifers of Alpine European forests

    PubMed Central

    Mosca, Elena; Eckert, Andrew J; Liechty, John D; Wegrzyn, Jill L; La Porta, Nicola; Vendramin, Giovanni G; Neale, David B

    2012-01-01

    A candidate gene approach was used to identify levels of nucleotide diversity and to identify genes departing from neutral expectations in coniferous species of the Alpine European forest. Twelve samples were collected from four species that dominate montane and subalpine forests throughout Europe: Abies alba Mill, Larix decidua Mill, Pinus cembra L., and Pinus mugo Turra. A total of 800 genes, originally resequenced in Pinus taeda L., were resequenced across 12 independent trees for each of the four species. Genes were assigned to two categories, candidate and control, defined through homology-based searches to Arabidopsis. Estimates of nucleotide diversity per site varied greatly between polymorphic candidate genes (range: 0.0004–0.1295) and among species (range: 0.0024–0.0082), but were within the previously established ranges for conifers. Tests of neutrality using stringent significance thresholds, performed under the standard neutral model, revealed one to seven outlier loci for each species. Some of these outliers encode proteins that are involved with plant stress responses and form the basis for further evolutionary enquiries. PMID:23144662

  16. The geographical and environmental determinants of genetic diversity for four alpine conifers of the European Alps.

    PubMed

    Mosca, E; Eckert, A J; Di Pierro, E A; Rocchini, D; La Porta, Nicola; Belletti, P; Neale, D B

    2012-11-01

    Climate is one of the most important drivers of local adaptation in forest tree species. Standing levels of genetic diversity and structure within and among natural populations of forest trees are determined by the interplay between climatic heterogeneity and the balance between selection and gene flow. To investigate this interplay, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were genotyped in 24 to 37 populations from four subalpine conifers, Abies alba Mill., Larix decidua Mill., Pinus cembra L. and Pinus mugo Turra, across their natural ranges in the Italian Alps and Apennines. Patterns of population structure were apparent using a Bayesian clustering program, STRUCTURE, which identified three to five genetic groups per species. Geographical correlates with these patterns, however, were only apparent for P. cembra. Multivariate environmental variables [i.e. principal components (PCs)] were subsequently tested for association with SNPs using a Bayesian generalized linear mixed model. The majority of the SNPs, ranging from six in L. decidua to 18 in P. mugo, were associated with PC1, corresponding to winter precipitation and seasonal minimum temperature. In A. alba, four SNPs were associated with PC2, corresponding to the seasonal minimum temperature. Functional annotation of those genes with the orthologs in Arabidopsis revealed several genes involved in abiotic stress response. This study provides a detailed assessment of population structure and its association with environment and geography in four coniferous species in the Italian mountains.

  17. Contrasting patterns of nucleotide diversity for four conifers of Alpine European forests.

    PubMed

    Mosca, Elena; Eckert, Andrew J; Liechty, John D; Wegrzyn, Jill L; La Porta, Nicola; Vendramin, Giovanni G; Neale, David B

    2012-11-01

    A candidate gene approach was used to identify levels of nucleotide diversity and to identify genes departing from neutral expectations in coniferous species of the Alpine European forest. Twelve samples were collected from four species that dominate montane and subalpine forests throughout Europe: Abies alba Mill, Larix decidua Mill, Pinus cembra L., and Pinus mugo Turra. A total of 800 genes, originally resequenced in Pinus taeda L., were resequenced across 12 independent trees for each of the four species. Genes were assigned to two categories, candidate and control, defined through homology-based searches to Arabidopsis. Estimates of nucleotide diversity per site varied greatly between polymorphic candidate genes (range: 0.0004-0.1295) and among species (range: 0.0024-0.0082), but were within the previously established ranges for conifers. Tests of neutrality using stringent significance thresholds, performed under the standard neutral model, revealed one to seven outlier loci for each species. Some of these outliers encode proteins that are involved with plant stress responses and form the basis for further evolutionary enquiries.

  18. Multi-scale predictions of massive conifer mortality due to chronic temperature rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McDowell, N. G.; Williams, A. P.; Xu, C.; Pockman, W. T.; Dickman, L. T.; Sevanto, S.; Pangle, R.; Limousin, J.; Plaut, J.; Mackay, D. S.; Ogee, J.; Domec, J. C.; Allen, C. D.; Fisher, R. A.; Jiang, X.; Muss, J. D.; Breshears, D. D.; Rauscher, S. A.; Koven, C.

    2016-03-01

    Global temperature rise and extremes accompanying drought threaten forests and their associated climatic feedbacks. Our ability to accurately simulate drought-induced forest impacts remains highly uncertain in part owing to our failure to integrate physiological measurements, regional-scale models, and dynamic global vegetation models (DGVMs). Here we show consistent predictions of widespread mortality of needleleaf evergreen trees (NET) within Southwest USA by 2100 using state-of-the-art models evaluated against empirical data sets. Experimentally, dominant Southwest USA NET species died when they fell below predawn water potential (Ψpd) thresholds (April-August mean) beyond which photosynthesis, hydraulic and stomatal conductance, and carbohydrate availability approached zero. The evaluated regional models accurately predicted NET Ψpd, and 91% of predictions (10 out of 11) exceeded mortality thresholds within the twenty-first century due to temperature rise. The independent DGVMs predicted >=50% loss of Northern Hemisphere NET by 2100, consistent with the NET findings for Southwest USA. Notably, the global models underestimated future mortality within Southwest USA, highlighting that predictions of future mortality within global models may be underestimates. Taken together, the validated regional predictions and the global simulations predict widespread conifer loss in coming decades under projected global warming.

  19. Genetic evaluation of the breeding population of a valuable reforestation conifer Platycladus orientalis (Cupressaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Jin, Yuqing; Ma, Yongpeng; Wang, Shun; Hu, Xian-Ge; Huang, Li-Sha; Li, Yue; Wang, Xiao-Ru; Mao, Jian-Feng

    2016-01-01

    Platycladus orientalis, a widespread conifer with long lifespan and significant adaptability. It is much used in reforestation in north China and commonly planted in central Asia. With the increasing demand for plantation forest in central to north China, breeding programs are progressively established for this species. Efficient use of breeding resources requires good understanding of the genetic value of the founder breeding materials. This study investigated the distribution of genetic variation in 192 elite trees collected for the breeding program for the central range of the species. We developed first set of 27 polymorphic EST-derived SSR loci for the species from transcriptome/genome data. After examination of amplification quality, 10 loci were used to evaluate the genetic variation in the breeding population. We found moderate genetic diversity (average He = 0.348) and low population differentiation (Fst = 0.011). Extensive admixture and no significant geographic population structure characterized this set of collections. Our analyses of the diversity and population structure are important steps toward a long-term sustainable deployment of the species and provide valuable genetic information for conservation and breeding applications. PMID:27721449

  20. Scaling of phloem structure and optimality of photoassimilate transport in conifer needles.

    PubMed

    Ronellenfitsch, Henrik; Liesche, Johannes; Jensen, Kaare H; Holbrook, N Michele; Schulz, Alexander; Katifori, Eleni

    2015-02-22

    The phloem vascular system facilitates transport of energy-rich sugar and signalling molecules in plants, thus permitting long-range communication within the organism and growth of non-photosynthesizing organs such as roots and fruits. The flow is driven by osmotic pressure, generated by differences in sugar concentration between distal parts of the plant. The phloem is an intricate distribution system, and many questions about its regulation and structural diversity remain unanswered. Here, we investigate the phloem structure in the simplest possible geometry: a linear leaf, found, for example, in the needles of conifer trees. We measure the phloem structure in four tree species representing a diverse set of habitats and needle sizes, from 1 (Picea omorika) to 35 cm (Pinus palustris). We show that the phloem shares common traits across these four species and find that the size of its conductive elements obeys a power law. We present a minimal model that accounts for these common traits and takes into account the transport strategy and natural constraints. This minimal model predicts a power law phloem distribution consistent with transport energy minimization, suggesting that energetics are more important than translocation speed at the leaf level.

  1. Scaling of phloem structure and optimality of sugar transport in conifer needles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jensen, Kaare H.; Ronellenfitsch, Henrik; Liesche, Johannes; Holbrook, N. Michele; Schulz, Alexander; Katifori, Eleni

    2015-11-01

    The phloem vascular system facilitates transport of energy-rich sugar and signalling molecules in plants, thus permitting long-range communication within the organism and growth of non-photosynthesizing organs such as roots and fruits. The flow is driven by osmotic pressure, generated by differences in sugar concentration between distal parts of the plant. The phloem is an intricate distribution system, and many questions about its regulation and structural diversity remain unanswered. Here, we investigate the phloem structure in the simplest possible geometry: a linear leaf, found, for example, in the needles of conifer trees. We measure the phloem structure in four tree species representing a diverse set of habitats and needle sizes, from 1 cm (Picea omorika) to 35 cm (Pinus palustris). We show that the phloem shares common traits across these four species and find that the size of its conductive elements obeys a power law. We present a minimal model that accounts for these common traits and takes into account the transport strategy and natural constraints. This minimal model predicts a power law phloem distribution consistent with transport energy minimization, suggesting that energetics are more important than translocation speed at the leaf level.

  2. A broad survey of hydraulic and mechanical safety in the xylem of conifers.

    PubMed

    Bouche, Pauline S; Larter, Maximilien; Domec, Jean-Christophe; Burlett, Régis; Gasson, Peter; Jansen, Steven; Delzon, Sylvain

    2014-08-01

    Drought-induced forest dieback has been widely reported over the last decades, and the evidence for a direct causal link between survival and hydraulic failure (xylem cavitation) is now well known. Because vulnerability to cavitation is intimately linked to the anatomy of the xylem, the main objective of this study was to better understand the xylem anatomical properties associated with cavitation resistance. An extensive data set of cavitation resistance traits and xylem anatomical properties was developed for 115 conifer species, with special attention given to the micro-morphology of bordered pits. The ratio of torus to pit aperture diameter, so-called torus overlap, increased with increasing cavitation resistance, while the flexibility of the margo does not seem to play a role, suggesting that air-seeding is located at the seal between the aspirated torus and pit aperture. Moreover, punctured tori were reported in various Pinaceae species. Species resistant to cavitation had thicker tracheid walls, while their lumen diameter (conduit size) was only slightly reduced, minimizing the impact on hydraulic conductance. The results also demonstrated (i) the existence of an indirect trade-off between hydraulic safety and mechanical strength; and (ii) a consistency between species distribution and xylem anatomy: species with a wide torus overlap and high valve effects are found in arid environments such as the Mediterranean region.

  3. Uptake of water via branches helps timberline conifers refill embolized xylem in late winter.

    PubMed

    Mayr, Stefan; Schmid, Peter; Laur, Joan; Rosner, Sabine; Charra-Vaskou, Katline; Dämon, Birgit; Hacke, Uwe G

    2014-04-01

    Xylem embolism is a limiting factor for woody species worldwide. Conifers at the alpine timberline are exposed to drought and freeze-thaw stress during winter, which induce potentially lethal embolism. Previous studies indicated that timberline trees survive by xylem refilling. In this study on Picea abies, refilling was monitored during winter and spring seasons and analyzed in the laboratory and in situ experiments, based on hydraulic, anatomical, and histochemical methods. Refilling started in late winter, when the soil was frozen and soil water not available for the trees. Xylem embolism caused up to 86.2% ± 3.1% loss of conductivity and was correlated with the ratio of closed pits. Refilling of xylem as well as recovery in shoot conductance started in February and corresponded with starch accumulation in secondary phloem and in the mesophyll of needles, where we also observed increasing aquaporin densities in the phloem and endodermis. This indicates that active, cellular processes play a role for refilling even under winter conditions. As demonstrated by our experiments, water for refilling was thereby taken up via the branches, likely by foliar water uptake. Our results suggest that refilling is based on water shifts to embolized tracheids via intact xylem, phloem, and parenchyma, whereby aquaporins reduce resistances along the symplastic pathway and aspirated pits facilitate isolation of refilling tracheids. Refilling must be taken into account as a key process in plant hydraulics and in estimating future effects of climate change on forests and alpine tree ecosystems.

  4. Effects of conifer release with glyphosate on summer forage abundance for deer in Maine

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vreeland, J.K.; Servello, F.A.; Griffith, B.

    1998-01-01

    Effects of conifer release with glyphosate on summer forage availability for large herbivores in northern forests have received relatively little study. We determined effects of glyphosate treatment of clearcuts on abundance of summer foods for white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) at 1 and 7-10 years posttreatment. We measured the abundance (percent cover in a 0- to 1.8-m height stratum) of five forage classes for deer (leaves of deciduous trees, leaves of deciduous shrubs, forbs, grasses, ferns) on 12 clearcuts (six treated, six untreated) to determine 1-year effects and on 10 clearcuts (five treated, five untreated) to determine 7- to 10-year effects. Abundance of leaves of deciduous trees was greater on untreated sites (38 versus 11%) at 1 year posttreatment, but the difference was less (18 versus 12%) at 7-10 years posttreatment (age x treatment interaction, P = 0.005). Leaves of deciduous shrubs exhibited a similar pattern. Abundance of forbs was similar (13-14%) at 1 year posttreatment but greater on treated sites (29 versus 15%) at 7-10 years posttreatment (P = 0.03). Grasses and ferns were less abundant than other forage classes. Overall, glyphosate application initially decreased the abundance of leaves of deciduous trees and shrubs used as food in summer, but the longer term positive effects on forb abundance may result in little net change in overall habitat value.

  5. Fluid mechanics of osmotic pipe flows and limitations on the lengths of conifer needles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bohr, Tomas; Rademaker, Hanna; Jensen, Kaare; Zwieniecki, Maciej

    2016-11-01

    Plant leaves produce sugars, which are exported osmotically through the sieve tubes of the leaf. Leaf sizes vary by more than 3 orders of magnitude, from a few millimeters to over one meter. Conifer leaves (needles), however, are relatively short and the majority of needles are no longer than 6 cm. The reason for this limitation is unknown, but we argue that it can be explained by the linear venation pattern and the narrow sieve tubes, combined with the osmotic flow mechanism. Thus sugars produced near the tip of long needles cannot be exported efficiently, because the pressure required to drive vascular flow would exceed the greatest available pressure (the osmotic pressure). This basic constraint leads to the formation of an inactive region of stagnant fluid near the needle tip, which does not contribute to sugar flow. The active region, emerging from the base of the needle, has the length Leff =r 3 / 2 16 ηLp 1 / 2 , where r is the conduit radius, η is the sap viscosity, and Lp is the cell membrane permeability. It is independent of the needle length and corresponds well with maximal needle lengths observed in nature.

  6. Associations of Conifer-Infesting Bark Beetles and Fungi in Fennoscandia.

    PubMed

    Linnakoski, Riikka; de Beer, Z Wilhelm; Niemelä, Pekka; Wingfield, Michael J

    2012-02-15

    Bark beetles (Coleoptera, Scolytinae) have a widespread association with fungi, especially with ophiostomatoid fungi (Ascomycota) that cause blue staining of wood, and in some cases, serious tree diseases. In Fennoscandia, most studies of these fungi have focused on economically important bark beetle species and this is likely to have led to a biased view of the fungal biodiversity in the region. Recently, the associations between fungi and bark beetles in Fennoscandia have been shown to be more diverse than previously thought. Furthermore, they form complex and dynamic associations that are only now beginning to emerge. This review examines the current knowledge of the rather poorly known interactions between bark beetles, fungi and their conifer host trees in Fennoscandia. The diversity of ophiostomatoid species is discussed and the possible factors that influence the assemblages of fungal associates are considered for all species that are known to occur in the region. For many ophiostomatoid species found in Fennoscandia, little or nothing is known regarding their pathogenicity, particularly if they were to be transferred to new environments. We, therefore, draw attention to the possible threats of timber trade and climate change-induced invasions of new habitats by bark beetles and the fungi that can be moved along with them.

  7. Intraspecific variation in the use of water sources by the circum-Mediterranean conifer Pinus halepensis.

    PubMed

    Voltas, Jordi; Lucabaugh, Devon; Chambel, Maria Regina; Ferrio, Juan Pedro

    2015-12-01

    The relevance of interspecific variation in the use of plant water sources has been recognized in drought-prone environments. By contrast, the characterization of intraspecific differences in water uptake patterns remains elusive, although preferential access to particular soil layers may be an important adaptive response for species along aridity gradients. Stable water isotopes were analysed in soil and xylem samples of 56 populations of the drought-avoidant conifer Pinus halepensis grown in a common garden test. We found that most populations reverted to deep soil layers as the main plant water source during seasonal summer droughts. More specifically, we detected a clear geographical differentiation among populations in water uptake patterns even under relatively mild drought conditions (early autumn), with populations originating from more arid regions taking up more water from deep soil layers. However, the preferential access to deep soil water was largely independent of aboveground growth. Our findings highlight the high plasticity and adaptive relevance of the differential access to soil water pools among Aleppo pine populations. The observed ecotypic patterns point to the adaptive relevance of resource investment in deep roots as a strategy towards securing a source of water in dry environments for P. halepensis.

  8. Patterns of polymorphism resulting from long-range colonization in the Mediterranean conifer Aleppo pine.

    PubMed

    Grivet, Delphine; Sebastiani, Federico; González-Martínez, Santiago C; Vendramin, Giovanni G

    2009-12-01

    *The evolutionary outcomes of range expansion/contraction depend on the biological system considered and the interactions among the evolutionary forces in place. In this study, we examined the demographic history and the local polymorphism patterns of candidate genes linked to drought tolerance of a widespread Mediterranean conifer (Pinus halepensis). *To that end, we used cpSSRs and coalescence modelling of nuclear genes to infer the demographic history of natural populations covering the species range. Ten drought-response candidate genes were then examined for their patterns of polymorphism and tested for selection considering plausible demographic scenarios. *Our results revealed a marked loss of genetic diversity from the relictual Greek population towards the western range of the species, as well as molecular signatures of intense bottlenecks. Moreover, we found an excess of derived polymorphisms in several genes sampled in the western part of the range - a potential result of the action of natural selection on populations confronted with new environments following long-range colonization. *Wide-range expansions-contractions of forest trees are accompanied by strong selective pressures, resulting in distinct evolutionary units. This knowledge is of crucial importance for the conservation and management of forests in the face of climate change.

  9. Bark heat resistance of small trees in Californian mixed conifer forests: Testing some model assumptions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    van Mantgem, Phillip J.; Schwartz, Mark

    2003-01-01

    An essential component to models of fire-caused tree mortality is an assessment of cambial damage. Cambial heat resistance has been traditionally measured in large overstory trees with thick bark, although small trees have thinner bark and thus are more sensitive to fire. We undertook this study to determine if current models of bark heat transfer are applicable to small trees (<20 cm diameter at breast height (dbh)). We performed this work in situ on four common species in the mixed conifer forests of the Sierra Nevada, California.The allometric relationship between bole diameter and bark thickness for each species was linear, even for very small trees (5 cm dbh). Heating experiments demonstrated that bark thickness was the primary determinant of cambial heat resistance. We found only slight, but statistically significant, among species differences in bark thermal properties. Our most significant finding was that small trees were more resistant to heating than expected from commonly used models of bark heat transfer. Our results may differ from those of existing models because we found smaller trees to have a greater proportion of inner bark, which appears to have superior insulating properties compared to outer bark. From a management perspective, growth projections suggest that a 50-year fire-free interval may allow some fire intolerant species to achieve at least some degree of cambial heat resistance in the Sierra Nevada.

  10. Mega-fire Recovery in Dry Conifer Forests of the Interior West

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malone, S. L.; Fornwalt, P.; Chambers, M. E.; Battaglia, M.

    2015-12-01

    Wildfire is a complex landscape process with great uncertainty in whether trends in size and severity are shifting trajectories for ecosystem recovery that are outside of the historical range of variability. Considering that wildfire size and severity is likely to increase into the future with a drier climate, it is important that we understand wildfire effects and ecosystem recovery. To evaluate how ecosystems recover from wildfire we measured spatial patterns in regeneration and mapped tree refugia within mega-fire perimeters (Hayman, Jasper, Bobcat, and Grizzly Gulch) in ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) dominated forest. On average, high severity fire effects accounted for > 15% of burned area and increased with fire size. Areas with high severity fire effects contained 1 - 15% tree refugia cover, compared to 37 - 70% observed in low severity areas . Large high severity patches with low coverage of tree refugia, were more frequent in larger fires and regeneration distances required to initiate forest recovery far exceeded 1.5 canopy height or 200 m, distances where the vast majority of regeneration is likely to arise. Using a recovery model driven by distance, we estimate recovery times between 300 to > 1000 years for these mega-fires. In Western dry conifer forests, large patches of stand replacing fire are likely to lead to uneven aged forest and very long recovery times.

  11. Conifer Green Needle Complex in Patients with Precancerous Gastric Lesions: An Observational Pilot Study

    PubMed Central

    Bespalov, Vladimir; Sherbakov, Alexander; Novik, Viktor; Kalinovsky, Valentin; Shamsi, Kamran

    2016-01-01

    Objectives. Helicobacter pylori infection is common and can lead to precancerous gastric lesions. Standard antibiotic therapy has a failure rate of more than 25% from antibiotic resistance. The primary aim of this observational pilot study was to test the feasibility of a large-scale clinical trial of Conifer Green Needle Complex (CGNC) to treat precancerous gastric lesions. Secondary aims were to investigate H. pylori infection, stomach function, and histopathology of the gastric mucosa. Methods. A tablet form of CGNC (extracted from Pinus sylvestris and Picea abies (L) Karst) was prescribed to 26 patients with precancerous gastric lesions (two tablets, 100 mg CGNC/tablet, three times per day for six months). Another 24 patients received no treatment. Results. Compared with control patients, CGNC-treated patients showed total or partial regression (using the quantitative Rome III diagnostic criteria) of dyspeptic symptoms (92.3%, p < 0.0001), eradication of H. pylori infection (57.1%, p < 0.03), a reduction in endoscopic signs of gastritis (92.3%, p < 0.001), an increase of pepsinogen-pepsin in the gastric juice (57.7%, p < 0.05), and total regression or reduction in the degree of intestinal metaplasia (46.2%, p < 0.05) and lymphoplasmacytic infiltration (53.8%, p < 0.05). Conclusions. This study justifies a randomised-controlled trial with CGNC in patients with atrophic gastritis. PMID:28003849

  12. Recent growth of conifer species of western North America: Assessing spatial patterns of radial growth trends

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McKenzie, D.; Hessl, Amy E.; Peterson, D.L.

    2001-01-01

    We explored spatial patterns of low-frequency variability in radial tree growth among western North American conifer species and identified predictors of the variability in these patterns. Using 185 sites from the International Tree-Ring Data Bank, each of which contained 10a??60 raw ring-width series, we rebuilt two chronologies for each site, using two conservative methods designed to retain any low-frequency variability associated with recent environmental change. We used factor analysis to identify regional low-frequency patterns in site chronologies and estimated the slope of the growth trend since 1850 at each site from a combination of linear regression and time-series techniques. This slope was the response variable in a regression-tree model to predict the effects of environmental gradients and species-level differences on growth trends. Growth patterns at 27 sites from the American Southwest were consistent with quasi-periodic patterns of drought. Either 12 or 32 of the 185 sites demonstrated patterns of increasing growth between 1850 and 1980 A.D., depending on the standardization technique used. Pronounced growth increases were associated with high-elevation sites (above 3000 m) and high-latitude sites in maritime climates. Future research focused on these high-elevation and high-latitude sites should address the precise mechanisms responsible for increased 20th century growth.

  13. Mixed conifer forest mortality and establishment before and after prescribed fire in Sequoia National Park, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mutch, L.S.; Parsons, D.J.

    1998-01-01

    Pre-and post-burn tree mortality rates, size structure, basal area, and ingrowth were determined for four 1.0 ha mixed conifer forest stands in the Log Creek and Tharp's Creek watersheds of Sequoia National Park. Mean annual mortality between 1986 and 1990 was 0.8% for both watersheds. In the fall of 1990, the Tharp's Creek watershed was treated with a prescribed burn. Between 1991 and 1995, mean annual mortality was 1.4% in the unburned Log Creek watershed and 17.2% in the burned Tharp's Creek watershed. A drought from 1987 to 1992 likely contributed to the mortality increase in the Log Creek watershed. The high mortality in the Tharp's Creek watershed was primarily related to crown scorch from the 1990 fire and was modeled with logistic regression for white fir (Abies concolor [Gord. and Glend.]) and sugar pine (Pinus lambertiana [Dougl.]). From 1989 to 1994, basal area declined an average of 5% per year in the burned Tharp's Creek watershed, compared to average annual increases of less than 1% per year in the unburned Log Creek watershed and in the Tharp's watershed prior to burning. Post-burn size structure was dramatically changed in the Tharp's Creek stands: 75% of trees ???50 cm and 25% of trees >50 cm were killed by the fire.

  14. Genetic evaluation of the breeding population of a valuable reforestation conifer Platycladus orientalis (Cupressaceae)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jin, Yuqing; Ma, Yongpeng; Wang, Shun; Hu, Xian-Ge; Huang, Li-Sha; Li, Yue; Wang, Xiao-Ru; Mao, Jian-Feng

    2016-10-01

    Platycladus orientalis, a widespread conifer with long lifespan and significant adaptability. It is much used in reforestation in north China and commonly planted in central Asia. With the increasing demand for plantation forest in central to north China, breeding programs are progressively established for this species. Efficient use of breeding resources requires good understanding of the genetic value of the founder breeding materials. This study investigated the distribution of genetic variation in 192 elite trees collected for the breeding program for the central range of the species. We developed first set of 27 polymorphic EST-derived SSR loci for the species from transcriptome/genome data. After examination of amplification quality, 10 loci were used to evaluate the genetic variation in the breeding population. We found moderate genetic diversity (average He = 0.348) and low population differentiation (Fst = 0.011). Extensive admixture and no significant geographic population structure characterized this set of collections. Our analyses of the diversity and population structure are important steps toward a long-term sustainable deployment of the species and provide valuable genetic information for conservation and breeding applications.

  15. Reclamation of mined organic soils in northern Minnesota to selected conifers

    SciTech Connect

    Schmitt, M.D.C.

    1983-01-01

    In a greenhouse experiment designed to evaluate the capacity of residual organic soils from mined peatland sites to support commercially valuable conifers under various fertilization regimes, the six month height growth and dry weight production of Scotch pine, black, white, and Norway spruce was dependent upon the nature and properties of the residual organic soils to be reclaimed, the species selected to revegetate these sites, the type and amount of fertilizer treatments applied, and interactions between these factors. On a highly acid, nutrient poor Fibrist, only Scotch pine seedlings exhibited adequate growth, but their performance appeared to be limited by natural and fertilizer induced soil acidity. On a Ca rich, near neutral Hemist, Scotch pine growth was adequate and unaffected by fertilization. However, spruce growth was vigorous only under a fertilizer treatment containing micronutrients plus a high rate of NPK. Although there is little doubt that residual organic soils from mined peatland sites can be used for forest production, there are important differences between sites requiring that each be considered individually before reclamation procedures are initiated.

  16. Drought sensitivity of three co-occurring conifers within a dry inner Alpine environment

    PubMed Central

    Schuster, Roman; Oberhuber, Walter

    2013-01-01

    We applied dendroclimatological techniques to determine long-term stationarity of climate-growth relationships and recent growth trends of three widespread coniferous tree species of the central Austrian Alps, which grow intermixed at dry-mesic sites within a dry inner Alpine environment (750 m asl). Time series of annual increments were developed from > 120 mature trees of Picea abies, Larix decidua and Pinus sylvestris. Calculation of response functions for the period 1911 – 2009 revealed significant differences among species in response to climate variables. While precipitation in May – June favoured radial growth of Picea abies and Larix decidua, Pinus sylvestris growth mainly depended on April – May precipitation. P. abies growth was most sensitive to May – June temperature (inverse relationship). Moving response function coefficients indicated increasing drought sensitivity of all species in recent decades, which is related to a decline in soil moisture availability due to increasing stand density and tree size and higher evapotranspiration rates in a warmer climate. While recent trend in basal area increment (BAI) of L. decidua distinctly declined implying high vulnerability to drought stress, moderately shade-tolerant P. abies showed steadily increasing BAI and quite constant BAI was maintained in drought adapted P. sylvestris, although at lowest level of all species. We conclude that synergistic effects of stand dynamics and climate warming increased drought sensitivity, which changed competitive strength of co-occurring conifers due to differences in inherent adaptive capacity. PMID:23976821

  17. Evaluation of secretome of highly efficient lignocellulolytic Penicillium sp. Dal 5 isolated from rhizosphere of conifers.

    PubMed

    Rai, Rohit; Kaur, Baljit; Singh, Surender; Di Falco, Macros; Tsang, Adrian; Chadha, B S

    2016-09-01

    Penicillium sp. (Dal 5) isolated from rhizosphere of conifers from Dalhousie (Himachal Pradesh, India) was found to be an efficient cellulolytic strain. The culture under shake flask on CWR (cellulose, wheat bran and rice straw) medium produced appreciably higher levels of endoglucanase (35.69U/ml), β-glucosidase (4.20U/ml), cellobiohydrolase (2.86U/ml), FPase (1.2U/ml) and xylanase (115U/ml) compared to other Penicillium strains reported in literature. The mass spectroscopy analysis of Penicillium sp. Dal 5 secretome identified 108 proteins constituting an array of CAZymes including glycosyl hydrolases (GH) belonging to 24 different families, polysaccharide lyases (PL), carbohydrate esterases (CE), lytic polysaccharide mono-oxygenases (LPMO) in addition to swollenin and a variety of carbohydrate binding modules (CBM) indicating an elaborate genetic potential of this strain for hydrolysis of lignocellulosics. Further, the culture extract was evaluated for hydrolysis of alkali treated rice straw, wheat straw, bagasse and corn cob at 10% substrate loading rate.

  18. A broad survey of hydraulic and mechanical safety in the xylem of conifers

    PubMed Central

    Bouche, Pauline S.; Larter, Maximilien; Domec, Jean-Christophe; Burlett, Régis; Gasson, Peter; Jansen, Steven; Delzon, Sylvain

    2014-01-01

    Drought-induced forest dieback has been widely reported over the last decades, and the evidence for a direct causal link between survival and hydraulic failure (xylem cavitation) is now well known. Because vulnerability to cavitation is intimately linked to the anatomy of the xylem, the main objective of this study was to better understand the xylem anatomical properties associated with cavitation resistance. An extensive data set of cavitation resistance traits and xylem anatomical properties was developed for 115 conifer species, with special attention given to the micro-morphology of bordered pits. The ratio of torus to pit aperture diameter, so-called torus overlap, increased with increasing cavitation resistance, while the flexibility of the margo does not seem to play a role, suggesting that air-seeding is located at the seal between the aspirated torus and pit aperture. Moreover, punctured tori were reported in various Pinaceae species. Species resistant to cavitation had thicker tracheid walls, while their lumen diameter (conduit size) was only slightly reduced, minimizing the impact on hydraulic conductance. The results also demonstrated (i) the existence of an indirect trade-off between hydraulic safety and mechanical strength; and (ii) a consistency between species distribution and xylem anatomy: species with a wide torus overlap and high valve effects are found in arid environments such as the Mediterranean region. PMID:24916072

  19. Determination of the molecular signature of fossil conifers by experimental palaeochemotaxonomy - Part 1: The Araucariaceae family

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Y.; Hautevelle, Y.; Michels, R.

    2013-03-01

    Twelve species of the conifer family Araucariaceae, including Araucaria (6 species), Agathis (3 species) and Wollemia (1 species) genera, were submitted to artificial maturation by confined pyrolysis. The aim of these experiments is to transform the biomolecules synthesized by these species into their homologous geomolecules in laboratory conditions. Determination of the diagenetic molecular signatures of Araucariaceae through experimentation on extant representatives allows us to complete our knowledge in botanical palaeochemotaxonomy. Such knowledge is relevant to palaeoenvironmental, environmental and archaeology purposes. All artificially diagenetic species of Araucariaceae are firstly characterized by a predominance of saturated tetracyclic diterpenoids including ent-beyerane, phyllocladanes and ent-kauranes. Moreover, Araucaria genus shows a high relative abundance of bicyclic sesquiterpenoids, particularly the cadalane-type compounds accompanied by those of eudesmane and bisabolane types as well as chamazulene and pentamethyl-dihydroindenes. Diterpenoids are of labdane, isopimarane and abietane types (essentially derived from abietanoic acids) as well as isohexyl alkylaromatic hydrocarbons. Compared to the tetracyclic diterpenoids, these compounds show a relatively lower abundance, reaching trace levels in the case of saturated abietanes. Distributions of sesquiterpenoids and diterpenoids of Agathis show some similarities to that of Araucaria, with the exception of one species, in which the tetracyclic compounds are absent and the abietane type (essentially derived from abietanoic acids) predominant. High similarities between the Wollemia and Araucaria genera are observed. Both are characterized by some high relative abundance of tetracyclic compounds with no predominance of other specific diterpenoids.

  20. Abscisic acid mediates a divergence in the drought response of two conifers.

    PubMed

    Brodribb, Timothy J; McAdam, Scott A M

    2013-07-01

    During water stress, stomatal closure occurs as water tension and levels of abscisic acid (ABA) increase in the leaf, but the interaction between these two drivers of stomatal aperture is poorly understood. We investigate the dynamics of water potential, ABA, and stomatal conductance during the imposition of water stress on two drought-tolerant conifer species with contrasting stomatal behavior. Rapid rehydration of excised shoots was used as a means of differentiating the direct influences of ABA and water potential on stomatal closure. Pinus radiata (Pinaceae) was found to exhibit ABA-driven stomatal closure during water stress, resulting in strongly isohydric regulation of water loss. By contrast, stomatal closure in Callitris rhomboidea (Cupressaceae) was initiated by elevated foliar ABA, but sustained water stress saw a marked decline in ABA levels and a shift to water potential-driven stomatal closure. The transition from ABA to water potential as the primary driver of stomatal aperture allowed C. rhomboidea to rapidly recover gas exchange after water-stressed plants were rewatered, and was associated with a strongly anisohydric regulation of water loss. These two contrasting mechanisms of stomatal regulation function in combination with xylem vulnerability to produce highly divergent strategies of water management. Species-specific ABA dynamics are proposed as a central component of drought survival and ecology.

  1. Capturing spiral radial growth of conifers using the superellipse to model tree-ring geometric shape.

    PubMed

    Shi, Pei-Jian; Huang, Jian-Guo; Hui, Cang; Grissino-Mayer, Henri D; Tardif, Jacques C; Zhai, Li-Hong; Wang, Fu-Sheng; Li, Bai-Lian

    2015-01-01

    Tree-rings are often assumed to approximate a circular shape when estimating forest productivity and carbon dynamics. However, tree rings are rarely, if ever, circular, thereby possibly resulting in under- or over-estimation in forest productivity and carbon sequestration. Given the crucial role played by tree ring data in assessing forest productivity and carbon storage within a context of global change, it is particularly important that mathematical models adequately render cross-sectional area increment derived from tree rings. We modeled the geometric shape of tree rings using the superellipse equation and checked its validation based on the theoretical simulation and six actual cross sections collected from three conifers. We found that the superellipse better describes the geometric shape of tree rings than the circle commonly used. We showed that a spiral growth trend exists on the radial section over time, which might be closely related to spiral grain along the longitudinal axis. The superellipse generally had higher accuracy than the circle in predicting the basal area increment, resulting in an improved estimate for the basal area. The superellipse may allow better assessing forest productivity and carbon storage in terrestrial forest ecosystems.

  2. Importance of Aerodynamic Resistance to Water Use Efficiency in Three Conifers under Field Conditions 1

    PubMed Central

    Smith, William K.

    1980-01-01

    The quantitative importance of aerodynamic resistance to H2O vapor and CO2 exchange was determined for shoots from saplings of three conifers (Abies lasiocarpa [Hook] Nutt., Pinus contorta Dougl., Juniperus communis L.) under natural conditions in the field. A combination of relatively low stomatal resistances (<300 seconds per centimeter) and low wind speeds (<30 centimeters per second) led to substantial contributions of the aerodynamic resistance (Rwva) to water use efficiency (WUE = photosynthesis/transpiration) for all three species. For A. lasiocarpa, transpiration was calculated to be 44% less and photosynthesis 17% less due to the presence of Rwva, which led to a predicted increase in WUE of 57% compared to the calculated WUE when Rwva was assumed negligible. Similar increases in WUE were computed for P. contorta (48%) with somewhat smaller values for J. communis (34%). These results are discussed in terms of the estimated importance of Rwva on water and photosynthetic relations of plants that have relatively low stomatal resistances and grow in microhabitats with low winds. PMID:16661128

  3. Influence of Shoot Structure on Light Interception and Photosynthesis in Conifers

    PubMed Central

    Carter, Gregory A.; Smith, William K.

    1985-01-01

    The influence of shoot structure on net photosynthesis was evaluated under field conditions for the central Rocky Mountain (United States) conifers Picea engelmannii (Parry ex Engelm.), Abies lasiocarpa ([Hook] Nutt.), and Pinus contorta (Engelm.). In all species, the greater number of needles per unit stem length on sun shoots correlated with a smaller silhouette leaf area to total leaf area ratio (STAR). Decreased STAR was due primarily to greater needle inclination toward the vertical, plus some needle mutual shading. However, photosynthesis expressed on a total leaf area basis did not decrease in sun shoots (lower STAR) but remained nearly constant at approximately 3 micromoles per square meter per second over a wide range of STAR (0.1 to 0.3). Relatively low light saturation levels of 200 to 1400 microeinsteins per square meter per second and diffuse light to 350 microeinsteins per meter per second maintained photosynthetic flux densities in inclined and/or shaded needles at levels comparable to those in unshaded needles oriented perpendicular to the solar beam. As a result, net CO2 uptake per unit stem length increased as much as 2-fold in sun shoots (low STAR) in direct proportion to increasing needle density. PMID:16664525

  4. Capturing spiral radial growth of conifers using the superellipse to model tree-ring geometric shape

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Pei-Jian; Huang, Jian-Guo; Hui, Cang; Grissino-Mayer, Henri D.; Tardif, Jacques C.; Zhai, Li-Hong; Wang, Fu-Sheng; Li, Bai-Lian

    2015-01-01

    Tree-rings are often assumed to approximate a circular shape when estimating forest productivity and carbon dynamics. However, tree rings are rarely, if ever, circular, thereby possibly resulting in under- or over-estimation in forest productivity and carbon sequestration. Given the crucial role played by tree ring data in assessing forest productivity and carbon storage within a context of global change, it is particularly important that mathematical models adequately render cross-sectional area increment derived from tree rings. We modeled the geometric shape of tree rings using the superellipse equation and checked its validation based on the theoretical simulation and six actual cross sections collected from three conifers. We found that the superellipse better describes the geometric shape of tree rings than the circle commonly used. We showed that a spiral growth trend exists on the radial section over time, which might be closely related to spiral grain along the longitudinal axis. The superellipse generally had higher accuracy than the circle in predicting the basal area increment, resulting in an improved estimate for the basal area. The superellipse may allow better assessing forest productivity and carbon storage in terrestrial forest ecosystems. PMID:26528316

  5. Histology and cell wall biochemistry of stone cells in the physical defence of conifers against insects.

    PubMed

    Whitehill, Justin G A; Henderson, Hannah; Schuetz, Mathias; Skyba, Oleksandr; Yuen, Macaire Man Saint; King, John; Samuels, A Lacey; Mansfield, Shawn D; Bohlmann, Jörg

    2016-08-01

    Conifers possess an array of physical and chemical defences against stem-boring insects. Stone cells provide a physical defence associated with resistance against bark beetles and weevils. In Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis), abundance of stone cells in the cortex of apical shoots is positively correlated with resistance to white pine weevil (Pissodes strobi). We identified histological, biochemical and molecular differences in the stone cell phenotype of weevil resistant (R) or susceptible (S) Sitka spruce genotypes. R trees displayed significantly higher quantities of cortical stone cells near the apical shoot node, the primary site for weevil feeding. Lignin, cellulose, xylan and mannan were the most abundant components of stone cell secondary walls, respectively. Lignin composition of stone cells isolated from R trees contained a higher percentage of G-lignin compared with S trees. Transcript profiling revealed higher transcript abundance in the R genotype of coumarate 3-hydroxylase, a key monolignol biosynthetic gene. Developing stone cells in current year apical shoots incorporated fluorescent-tagged monolignol into the secondary cell wall, while mature stone cells of previous year apical shoots did not. Stone cell development is an ephemeral process, and fortification of shoot tips in R trees is an effective strategy against insect feeding.

  6. Terpene chemodiversity of relict conifers Picea omorika, Pinus heldreichii, and Pinus peuce, endemic to Balkan.

    PubMed

    Nikolić, Biljana; Ristić, Mihailo; Tešević, Vele; Marin, Petar D; Bojović, Srdjan

    2011-12-01

    Terpenes are often used as ecological and chemotaxonomic markers of plant species, as well as for estimation of geographic variability. Essential oils of relic and Balkan endemic/subendemic conifers, Picea omorika, Pinus heldreichii, and P. peuce, in central part of Balkan Peninsula (Serbia and Montenegro), on the level of terpene classes and common terpene compounds were investigated. In finding terpene combinations, which could show the best diversity between species and their natural populations, several statistical methods were applied. Apart from the content of different terpene classes (P. omorika has the most abundant O-containing monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes; P. heldreichii and P. peuce have the largest abundance of sesquiterpene and monoterpene hydrocarbons, resp.), the species are clearly separated according to terpene profile with 22 common compounds. But, divergences in their populations were established only in combination of several compounds (specific for each species), and they were found to be the results of geomorphologic, climatic, and genetic factors. We found similarities between investigated species and some taxa from literature with respect to terpene composition, possibly due to hybridization and phylogenetic relations. Obtained results are also important regarding to chemotaxonomy, biogeography, phylogeny, and evolution of these taxa.

  7. Optimization of the genotyping-by-sequencing strategy for population genomic analysis in conifers.

    PubMed

    Pan, Jin; Wang, Baosheng; Pei, Zhi-Yong; Zhao, Wei; Gao, Jie; Mao, Jian-Feng; Wang, Xiao-Ru

    2015-07-01

    Flexibility and low cost make genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) an ideal tool for population genomic studies of nonmodel species. However, to utilize the potential of the method fully, many parameters affecting library quality and single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) discovery require optimization, especially for conifer genomes with a high repetitive DNA content. In this study, we explored strategies for effective GBS analysis in pine species. We constructed GBS libraries using HpaII, PstI and EcoRI-MseI digestions with different multiplexing levels and examined the effect of restriction enzymes on library complexity and the impact of sequencing depth and size selection of restriction fragments on sequence coverage bias. We tested and compared UNEAK, Stacks and GATK pipelines for the GBS data, and then developed a reference-free SNP calling strategy for haploid pine genomes. Our GBS procedure proved to be effective in SNP discovery, producing 7000-11 000 and 14 751 SNPs within and among three pine species, respectively, from a PstI library. This investigation provides guidance for the design and analysis of GBS experiments, particularly for organisms for which genomic information is lacking.

  8. Abscisic Acid Mediates a Divergence in the Drought Response of Two Conifers1[W][OA

    PubMed Central

    Brodribb, Timothy J.; McAdam, Scott A.M.

    2013-01-01

    During water stress, stomatal closure occurs as water tension and levels of abscisic acid (ABA) increase in the leaf, but the interaction between these two drivers of stomatal aperture is poorly understood. We investigate the dynamics of water potential, ABA, and stomatal conductance during the imposition of water stress on two drought-tolerant conifer species with contrasting stomatal behavior. Rapid rehydration of excised shoots was used as a means of differentiating the direct influences of ABA and water potential on stomatal closure. Pinus radiata (Pinaceae) was found to exhibit ABA-driven stomatal closure during water stress, resulting in strongly isohydric regulation of water loss. By contrast, stomatal closure in Callitris rhomboidea (Cupressaceae) was initiated by elevated foliar ABA, but sustained water stress saw a marked decline in ABA levels and a shift to water potential-driven stomatal closure. The transition from ABA to water potential as the primary driver of stomatal aperture allowed C. rhomboidea to rapidly recover gas exchange after water-stressed plants were rewatered, and was associated with a strongly anisohydric regulation of water loss. These two contrasting mechanisms of stomatal regulation function in combination with xylem vulnerability to produce highly divergent strategies of water management. Species-specific ABA dynamics are proposed as a central component of drought survival and ecology. PMID:23709665

  9. Drought sensitivity of three co-occurring conifers within a dry inner Alpine environment.

    PubMed

    Schuster, Roman; Oberhuber, Walter

    2013-02-01

    We applied dendroclimatological techniques to determine long-term stationarity of climate-growth relationships and recent growth trends of three widespread coniferous tree species of the central Austrian Alps, which grow intermixed at dry-mesic sites within a dry inner Alpine environment (750 m asl). Time series of annual increments were developed from > 120 mature trees of Picea abies, Larix decidua and Pinus sylvestris. Calculation of response functions for the period 1911 - 2009 revealed significant differences among species in response to climate variables. While precipitation in May - June favoured radial growth of Picea abies and Larix decidua, Pinus sylvestris growth mainly depended on April - May precipitation. P. abies growth was most sensitive to May - June temperature (inverse relationship). Moving response function coefficients indicated increasing drought sensitivity of all species in recent decades, which is related to a decline in soil moisture availability due to increasing stand density and tree size and higher evapotranspiration rates in a warmer climate. While recent trend in basal area increment (BAI) of L. decidua distinctly declined implying high vulnerability to drought stress, moderately shade-tolerant P. abies showed steadily increasing BAI and quite constant BAI was maintained in drought adapted P. sylvestris, although at lowest level of all species. We conclude that synergistic effects of stand dynamics and climate warming increased drought sensitivity, which changed competitive strength of co-occurring conifers due to differences in inherent adaptive capacity.

  10. Remote sensing aided procedure for conifer growth modeling in the northeastern Sierra Nevada

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, H. G.; Khorram, S.

    1981-01-01

    The objective of this study was to use remotely-sensed data with ground-acquired data for preparing inputs to a mathematical model for generation of a potential conifer growth map of a wildland area. The study area, jointly selected by the resource managers of the U.S. Forest Service at the Plumas National Forest and researchers, covers approximately 500 sq km in the northeastern scrapment of Sierra Nevada. The approach involved a computerized databank based on both remotely-sensed and ground-acquired data. The remotely-sensed data included Landsat Multispectral Scanner (MSS) data, NOAA-5 Very High Resolution Radiometer (VHRR) data and U-2 Color infrared photography. The ground data included U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) topographic maps, Defense Mapping Agency (DMA)/USGS digital terrain data, soil maps, and vegetation data. The results included a series of maps for the final product as well as the intermediate products. The intermediate products were potential evapotranspiration, aspect, and soil plant available water.

  11. Mitochondrial Genome Recombination in the Zone of Contact Between Two Hybridizing Conifers

    PubMed Central

    Jaramillo-Correa, Juan P.; Bousquet, Jean

    2005-01-01

    Variation in mitochondrial DNA was surveyed at four gene loci in and around the zone of contact between two naturally hybridizing conifers, black spruce (Picea mariana) and red spruce (P. rubens) in northeastern North America. Most of the mtDNA diversity of these species was found in populations next to or into the zone of contact, where some individuals bore rare mitotypes intermediate between the common mitotypes observed in the allopatric areas of each species. Sequence analysis and tests for mtDNA recombination point to this phenomenon, rather than to recurrent mutation, as the most tenable hypothesis for the origin of these rare mitotypes. From the 10 mitotypes observed, at least 4 would be the product of recombination between 4 of the 5 putative ancestral mitotypes. Tests for cytonuclear disequilibrium and geographical structure of the putative recombinant mitotypes suggest that mtDNA recombination is not frequent and relatively recent on the geological time scale. mtDNA recombination would have been promoted by transient heteroplasmy due to leakage of paternal mtDNA since the Holocene secondary contact between the two species. PMID:16118197

  12. The dynamic pipeline: hydraulic capacitance and xylem hydraulic safety in four tall conifer species.

    PubMed

    McCulloh, Katherine A; Johnson, Daniel M; Meinzer, Frederick C; Woodruff, David R

    2014-05-01

    Recent work has suggested that plants differ in their relative reliance on structural avoidance of embolism versus maintenance of the xylem water column through dynamic traits such as capacitance, but we still know little about how and why species differ along this continuum. It is even less clear how or if different parts of a plant vary along this spectrum. Here we examined how traits such as hydraulic conductivity or conductance, xylem vulnerability curves, and capacitance differ in trunks, large- and small-diameter branches, and foliated shoots of four species of co-occurring conifers. We found striking similarities among species in most traits, but large differences among plant parts. Vulnerability to embolism was high in shoots, low in small- and large-diameter branches, and high again in the trunks. Safety margins, defined as the pressure causing 50% loss of hydraulic conductivity or conductance minus the midday water potential, were large in small-diameter branches, small in trunks and negative in shoots. Sapwood capacitance increased with stem diameter, and was correlated with stem vulnerability, wood density and latewood proportion. Capacitive release of water is a dynamic aspect of plant hydraulics that is integral to maintenance of long-distance water transport.

  13. NorWood: a gene expression resource for evo-devo studies of conifer wood development.

    PubMed

    Jokipii-Lukkari, Soile; Sundell, David; Nilsson, Ove; Hvidsten, Torgeir R; Street, Nathaniel R; Tuominen, Hannele

    2017-02-10

    The secondary xylem of conifers is composed mainly of tracheids that differ anatomically and chemically from angiosperm xylem cells. There is currently no high-spatial-resolution data available profiling gene expression during wood formation for any coniferous species, which limits insight into tracheid development. RNA-sequencing data from replicated, high-spatial-resolution section series throughout the cambial and woody tissues of Picea abies were used to generate the NorWood.conGenIE.org web resource, which facilitates exploration of the associated gene expression profiles and co-expression networks. Integration within PlantGenIE.org enabled a comparative regulomics analysis, revealing divergent co-expression networks between P. abies and the two angiosperm species Arabidopsis thaliana and Populus tremula for the secondary cell wall (SCW) master regulator NAC Class IIB transcription factors. The SCW cellulose synthase genes (CesAs) were located in the neighbourhoods of the NAC factors in A. thaliana and P. tremula, but not in P. abies. The NorWood co-expression network enabled identification of potential SCW CesA regulators in P. abies. The NorWood web resource represents a powerful community tool for generating evo-devo insights into the divergence of wood formation between angiosperms and gymnosperms and for advancing understanding of the regulation of wood development in P. abies.

  14. Multi-scale predictions of massive conifer mortality due to chronic temperature rise

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McDowell, Nathan G.; Williams, A.P.; Xu, C.; Pockman, W. T.; Dickman, L. T.; Sevanto, S.; Pangle, R.; Limousin, J.; Plaut, J.J.; Mackay, D.S.; Ogee, J.; Domec, Jean-Christophe; Allen, Craig D.; Fisher, Rosie A.; Jiang, X.; Muss, J.D.; Breshears, D.D.; Rauscher, Sara A.; Koven, C.

    2016-01-01

    Global temperature rise and extremes accompanying drought threaten forests1, 2and their associated climatic feedbacks3, 4. Our ability to accurately simulate drought-induced forest impacts remains highly uncertain5, 6 in part owing to our failure to integrate physiological measurements, regional-scale models, and dynamic global vegetation models (DGVMs). Here we show consistent predictions of widespread mortality of needleleaf evergreen trees (NET) within Southwest USA by 2100 using state-of-the-art models evaluated against empirical data sets. Experimentally, dominant Southwest USA NET species died when they fell below predawn water potential (Ψpd) thresholds (April–August mean) beyond which photosynthesis, hydraulic and stomatal conductance, and carbohydrate availability approached zero. The evaluated regional models accurately predicted NET Ψpd, and 91% of predictions (10 out of 11) exceeded mortality thresholds within the twenty-first century due to temperature rise. The independent DGVMs predicted ≥50% loss of Northern Hemisphere NET by 2100, consistent with the NET findings for Southwest USA. Notably, the global models underestimated future mortality within Southwest USA, highlighting that predictions of future mortality within global models may be underestimates. Taken together, the validated regional predictions and the global simulations predict widespread conifer loss in coming decades under projected global warming.

  15. Responses of leaf structure and photosynthetic properties to intra-canopy light gradients: a common garden test with four broadleaf deciduous angiosperm and seven evergreen conifer tree species.

    PubMed

    Wyka, Tomasz P; Oleksyn, J; Zytkowiak, R; Karolewski, P; Jagodziński, A M; Reich, P B

    2012-09-01

    Spectra of leaf traits in northern temperate forest canopies reflect major differences in leaf longevity between evergreen conifers and deciduous broadleaf angiosperms, as well as plastic modifications caused by within-crown shading. We investigated (1) whether long-lived conifer leaves exhibit similar intra-canopy plasticity as short-lived broadleaves, and (2) whether global interspecific relationships between photosynthesis, nitrogen, and leaf structure identified for sun leaves adequately describe leaves differentiated in response to light gradients. We studied structural and photosynthetic properties of intra-tree sun and shade foliage in adult trees of seven conifer and four broadleaf angiosperm species in a common garden in Poland. Shade leaves exhibited lower leaf mass-per-area (LMA) than sun leaves; however, the relative difference was smaller in conifers than in broadleaves. In broadleaves, LMA was correlated with lamina thickness and tissue density, while in conifers, it was correlated with thickness but not density. In broadleaves, but not in conifers, reduction of lamina thickness was correlated with a thinner palisade layer. The more conservative adjustment of conifer leaves could result from a combination of phylogenetic constraints, contrasting leaf anatomies and shoot geometries, but also from functional requirements of long-lived foliage. Mass-based nitrogen concentration (N(mass)) was similar between sun and shade leaves, and was lower in conifers than in deciduous broadleaved species. Given this, the smaller LMA in shade corresponded with a lower area-based N concentration (N(area)). In evergreen conifers, LMA and N(area) were less powerful predictors of area-based photosynthetic rate (A (max(area))) in comparison with deciduous broadleaved angiosperms. Multiple regression for sun and shade leaves showed that, in each group, A (max(mass)) was related to N(mass) but not to LMA, whereas LMA became a significant codeterminant of A (max(mass)) in

  16. Aberrant Classopollis pollen reveals evidence for unreduced (2n) pollen in the conifer family Cheirolepidiaceae during the Triassic–Jurassic transition

    PubMed Central

    Kürschner, Wolfram M.; Batenburg, Sietske J.; Mander, Luke

    2013-01-01

    Polyploidy (or whole-genome doubling) is a key mechanism for plant speciation leading to new evolutionary lineages. Several lines of evidence show that most species among flowering plants had polyploidy ancestry, but it is virtually unknown for conifers. Here, we study variability in pollen tetrad morphology and the size of the conifer pollen type Classopollis extracted from sediments of the Triassic–Jurassic transition, 200 Ma. Classopollis producing Cheirolepidiaceae were one of the most dominant and diverse groups of conifers during the Mesozoic. We show that aberrant pollen Classopollis tetrads, triads and dyads, and the large variation in pollen size indicates the presence of unreduced (2n) pollen, which is one of the main mechanisms in modern polyploid formation. Polyploid speciation may explain the high variability of growth forms and adaptation of these conifers to different environments and their resistance to extreme growth conditions. We suggest that polyploidy may have also reduced the extinction risk of these conifers during the End-Triassic biotic crisis. PMID:23926159

  17. Aberrant Classopollis pollen reveals evidence for unreduced (2n) pollen in the conifer family Cheirolepidiaceae during the Triassic-Jurassic transition.

    PubMed

    Kürschner, Wolfram M; Batenburg, Sietske J; Mander, Luke

    2013-10-07

    Polyploidy (or whole-genome doubling) is a key mechanism for plant speciation leading to new evolutionary lineages. Several lines of evidence show that most species among flowering plants had polyploidy ancestry, but it is virtually unknown for conifers. Here, we study variability in pollen tetrad morphology and the size of the conifer pollen type Classopollis extracted from sediments of the Triassic-Jurassic transition, 200 Ma. Classopollis producing Cheirolepidiaceae were one of the most dominant and diverse groups of conifers during the Mesozoic. We show that aberrant pollen Classopollis tetrads, triads and dyads, and the large variation in pollen size indicates the presence of unreduced (2n) pollen, which is one of the main mechanisms in modern polyploid formation. Polyploid speciation may explain the high variability of growth forms and adaptation of these conifers to different environments and their resistance to extreme growth conditions. We suggest that polyploidy may have also reduced the extinction risk of these conifers during the End-Triassic biotic crisis.

  18. Seasonal and Perennial Changes in the Distribution of Water in the Sapwood of Conifers in a Sub-Frigid Zone1

    PubMed Central

    Utsumi, Yasuhiro; Sano, Yuzou; Funada, Ryo; Ohtani, Jun; Fujikawa, Seizo

    2003-01-01

    An analysis was made of progressive changes in patterns of cavitation in the sapwood of three species of conifer (Larix kaempferi, Abies sachalinensis, and Picea jezoensis) that were growing in a sub-frigid zone. In all three conifers, all tracheids of the newly forming outermost annual ring were filled with water or cytoplasm during the period from May to August. However, many tracheids in the transition zone from earlywood to latewood lost water in September, presumably through drought-induced cavitation. Cavitated tracheids tended to be continuously distributed in a tangential direction. Subsequently, some earlywood tracheids of the outermost annual ring lost water during the period from January to March. This was associated with freeze-thaw cycles. In the second and third annual rings from the cambium of all three conifers, the lumina of most tracheids in the transition zone from earlywood to latewood contained no water. In contrast, some latewood tracheids near the annual ring boundary and many earlywood tracheids retained water in their lumina. The third annual ring had more cavitated tracheids than the second annual ring. Our observations indicated that cavitation progressed gradually in the tracheids of the conifers and that they were never refilled once cavitation had occurred. The region involved in water transport in conifers did not include the entire sapwood and differed among annual rings. PMID:12692342

  19. Foliar phosphite application has minor phytotoxic impacts across a diverse range of conifers and woody angiosperms.

    PubMed

    Scott, Peter; Bader, Martin Karl-Friedrich; Williams, Nari Michelle

    2016-10-01

    Phytophthora plant pathogens cause tremendous damage in planted and natural systems worldwide. Phosphite is one of the only effective chemicals to control broad-scale Phytophthora disease. Little work has been done on the phytotoxic effects of phosphite application on plant communities especially in combination with plant physiological impacts. Here, we tested the phytotoxic impact of phosphite applied as foliar spray at 0, 12, 24 and 48 kg a.i. ha(-1) . Eighteen-month-old saplings of 13 conifer and angiosperm species native to New Zealand, and two exotic coniferous species were treated and the development of necrotic tissue and chlorophyll-a-fluorescence parameters (optimal quantum yield, Fv /Fm ; effective quantum yield of photosystem II, ΦPSII ) were assessed. In addition, stomatal conductance (gs ) was measured on a subset of six species. Significant necrosis assessed by digital image analysis occurred in only three species: in the lauraceous canopy tree Beilschmiedia tawa (8-14%) and the understory shrub Dodonaea viscosa (5-7%) across phosphite concentrations and solely at the highest concentration in the myrtaceous pioneer shrub Leptospermum scoparium (66%). In non-necrotic tissue, Fv /Fm , ΦPSII and gs remained unaffected by the phosphite treatment. Overall, our findings suggest minor phytotoxic effects resulting from foliar phosphite application across diverse taxa and regardless of concentration. This study supports the large-scale use of phosphite as a management tool to control plant diseases caused by Phytophthora pathogens in plantations and natural ecosystems. Long-term studies are required to ascertain potential ecological impacts of repeated phosphite applications.

  20. A test of the hydraulic vulnerability segmentation hypothesis in angiosperm and conifer tree species

    DOE PAGES

    Johnson, Daniel M.; Wortemann, Remi; McCulloh, Katherine A.; ...

    2016-05-04

    Water transport from soils to the atmosphere is critical for plant growth and survival. However, we have a limited understanding about many portions of the whole-tree hydraulic pathway, because the vast majority of published information is on terminal branches. Our understanding of mature tree trunk hydraulic physiology, in particular, is limited. The hydraulic vulnerability segmentation hypothesis (HVSH) stipulates that distal portions of the plant (leaves, branches and roots) should be more vulnerable to embolism than trunks, which are non-redundant organs that require a massive carbon investment. In the current study, we compared vulnerability to loss of hydraulic function, leaf andmore » xylem water potentials and the resulting hydraulic safety margins (in relation to the water potential causing 50% loss of hydraulic conductivity) in leaves, branches, trunks and roots of four angiosperms and four conifer tree species. Across all species, our results supported strongly the HVSH as leaves and roots were less resistant to embolism than branches or trunks. However, branches were consistently more resistant to embolism than any other portion of the plant, including trunks. Also, calculated whole-tree vulnerability to hydraulic dysfunction was much greater than vulnerability in branches. This was due to hydraulic dysfunction in roots and leaves at less negative water potentials than those causing branch or trunk dysfunction. Leaves and roots had narrow or negative hydraulic safety margins, but trunks and branches maintained positive safety margins. By using branch-based hydraulic information as a proxy for entire plants, much research has potentially overestimated embolism resistance, and possibly drought tolerance, for many species. This study highlights the necessity to reconsider past conclusions made about plant resistance to drought based on branch xylem only. As a result, this study also highlights the necessity for more research of whole-plant hydraulic

  1. A test of the hydraulic vulnerability segmentation hypothesis in angiosperm and conifer tree species.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Daniel M; Wortemann, Remi; McCulloh, Katherine A; Jordan-Meille, Lionel; Ward, Eric; Warren, Jeffrey M; Palmroth, Sari; Domec, Jean-Christophe

    2016-08-01

    Water transport from soils to the atmosphere is critical for plant growth and survival. However, we have a limited understanding about many portions of the whole-tree hydraulic pathway, because the vast majority of published information is on terminal branches. Our understanding of mature tree trunk hydraulic physiology, in particular, is limited. The hydraulic vulnerability segmentation hypothesis (HVSH) stipulates that distal portions of the plant (leaves, branches and roots) should be more vulnerable to embolism than trunks, which are nonredundant organs that require a massive carbon investment. In the current study, we compared vulnerability to loss of hydraulic function, leaf and xylem water potentials and the resulting hydraulic safety margins (in relation to the water potential causing 50% loss of hydraulic conductivity) in leaves, branches, trunks and roots of four angiosperms and four conifer tree species. Across all species, our results supported strongly the HVSH as leaves and roots were less resistant to embolism than branches or trunks. However, branches were consistently more resistant to embolism than any other portion of the plant, including trunks. Also, calculated whole-tree vulnerability to hydraulic dysfunction was much greater than vulnerability in branches. This was due to hydraulic dysfunction in roots and leaves at less negative water potentials than those causing branch or trunk dysfunction. Leaves and roots had narrow or negative hydraulic safety margins, but trunks and branches maintained positive safety margins. By using branch-based hydraulic information as a proxy for entire plants, much research has potentially overestimated embolism resistance, and possibly drought tolerance, for many species. This study highlights the necessity to reconsider past conclusions made about plant resistance to drought based on branch xylem only. This study also highlights the necessity for more research of whole-plant hydraulic physiology to better

  2. Management Impacts on Carbon Dynamics in a Sierra Nevada Mixed Conifer Forest.

    PubMed

    Dore, Sabina; Fry, Danny L; Collins, Brandon M; Vargas, Rodrigo; York, Robert A; Stephens, Scott L

    2016-01-01

    Forest ecosystems can act as sinks of carbon and thus mitigate anthropogenic carbon emissions. When forests are actively managed, treatments can alter forests carbon dynamics, reducing their sink strength and switching them from sinks to sources of carbon. These effects are generally characterized by fast temporal dynamics. Hence this study monitored for over a decade the impacts of management practices commonly used to reduce fire hazards on the carbon dynamics of mixed-conifer forests in the Sierra Nevada, California, USA. Soil CO2 efflux, carbon pools (i.e. soil carbon, litter, fine roots, tree biomass), and radial tree growth were compared among un-manipulated controls, prescribed fire, thinning, thinning followed by fire, and two clear-cut harvested sites. Soil CO2 efflux was reduced by both fire and harvesting (ca. 15%). Soil carbon content (upper 15 cm) was not significantly changed by harvest or fire treatments. Fine root biomass was reduced by clear-cut harvest (60-70%) but not by fire, and the litter layer was reduced 80% by clear-cut harvest and 40% by fire. Thinning effects on tree growth and biomass were concentrated in the first year after treatments, whereas fire effects persisted over the seven-year post-treatment period. Over this period, tree radial growth was increased (25%) by thinning and reduced (12%) by fire. After seven years, tree biomass returned to pre-treatment levels in both fire and thinning treatments; however, biomass and productivity decreased 30%-40% compared to controls when thinning was combined with fire. The clear-cut treatment had the strongest impact, reducing ecosystem carbon stocks and delaying the capacity for carbon uptake. We conclude that post-treatment carbon dynamics and ecosystem recovery time varied with intensity and type of treatments. Consequently, management practices can be selected to minimize ecosystem carbon losses while increasing future carbon uptake, resilience to high severity fire, and climate related

  3. A test of the hydraulic vulnerability segmentation hypothesis in angiosperm and conifer tree species

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, Daniel M.; Wortemann, Remi; McCulloh, Katherine A.; Jordan-Meille, Lionel; Ward, Eric; Warren, Jeffrey M.; Palmroth, Sari; Domec, Jean -Christophe

    2016-05-04

    Water transport from soils to the atmosphere is critical for plant growth and survival. However, we have a limited understanding about many portions of the whole-tree hydraulic pathway, because the vast majority of published information is on terminal branches. Our understanding of mature tree trunk hydraulic physiology, in particular, is limited. The hydraulic vulnerability segmentation hypothesis (HVSH) stipulates that distal portions of the plant (leaves, branches and roots) should be more vulnerable to embolism than trunks, which are non-redundant organs that require a massive carbon investment. In the current study, we compared vulnerability to loss of hydraulic function, leaf and xylem water potentials and the resulting hydraulic safety margins (in relation to the water potential causing 50% loss of hydraulic conductivity) in leaves, branches, trunks and roots of four angiosperms and four conifer tree species. Across all species, our results supported strongly the HVSH as leaves and roots were less resistant to embolism than branches or trunks. However, branches were consistently more resistant to embolism than any other portion of the plant, including trunks. Also, calculated whole-tree vulnerability to hydraulic dysfunction was much greater than vulnerability in branches. This was due to hydraulic dysfunction in roots and leaves at less negative water potentials than those causing branch or trunk dysfunction. Leaves and roots had narrow or negative hydraulic safety margins, but trunks and branches maintained positive safety margins. By using branch-based hydraulic information as a proxy for entire plants, much research has potentially overestimated embolism resistance, and possibly drought tolerance, for many species. This study highlights the necessity to reconsider past conclusions made about plant resistance to drought based on branch xylem only. As a result, this study also highlights the necessity for more research of whole-plant hydraulic physiology

  4. Species richness and stand stability in conifer forests of the Sierra Nevada.

    PubMed

    DeClerck, Fabrice A J; Barbour, Michael G; Sawyer, John O

    2006-11-01

    Theoretical and empirical studies have long suggested that stability and complexity are intimately related, but evidence from long-lived systems at large scales is lacking. Stability can either be driven by complex species interactions, or it can be driven by the presence/absence and abundance of a species best able to perform a specific ecosystem function. We use 64 years of stand productivity measures in forest systems composed of four dominant conifer tree species to contrast the effect of species richness and abundance on three stability measures. To perform this contrast, we measured the annual growth increments of > 900 trees in mixed and pure forest stands to test three hypotheses: increased species richness will (1) decrease stand variance, (2) increase stand resistance to drought events, and (3) increase stand resilience to drought events. In each case, the alternate hypothesis was that species richness had no effect, but that species composition and abundance within a stand drove variance, resistance, and resilience. In pure stands, the four species demonstrated significant differences in productivity, and in their resistance and resilience to drought events. The two pine species were the most drought resistant and resilient, whereas mountain hemlock was the least resistant and resilient, and red fir was intermediate. For community measures we found a moderately significant (P = 0.08) increase in the community coefficient of variation and a significant (P = 0.03) increase in resilience with increased species richness, but no significant relationship between species richness and community resistance, though the variance in community resistance to drought decreased with species richness. Community resistance to drought was significantly (P = 0.001) correlated to the relative abundance of lodgepole pine, the most resistant species. We propose that resistance is driven by competition for a single limiting resource, with negative diversity effects. In contrast

  5. Susceptibility to low-temperature photoinhibition in three conifers differing in successional status.

    PubMed

    Robakowski, Piotr

    2005-09-01

    Susceptibility to photoinhibition of the evergreen conifers Abies alba Mill., Picea abies (L.) Karst. and Pinus mugo Turra was investigated in an unheated greenhouse during winter and spring 2003. Photosynthetic performance of the seedlings was assessed by chlorophyll a fluorescence and analyses of chlorophyll and total carotenoid concentrations in needles. During winter months, maximum quantum yield of PSII photochemistry (ratio of variable to maximum fluorescence, Fv/Fm) was significantly greater in A. alba than in P. abies and P. mugo. Abies alba also sustained higher maximum apparent electron transport rate (ETRmax) than P. abies and P. mugo. Total concentrations of chlorophyll and carotenoids in needles decreased during the winter in P. mugo and P. abies, but remained stable in A. alba. For all species, Fv/Fm decreased from December until February and then increased to a maximum in April. Photoinhibition was greatest (Fv/Fm < 0.80) in all seedlings in February, the month with the lowest mean temperature. Saturating photosynthetic photon flux (PPFsat) and ETRmax were positively related to air temperature. All species had lower values of ETRmax and PPFsat in winter than in spring. Non-photochemical quenching of chlorophyll fluorescence (NPQ) was highest at low air temperatures. Differences among species in susceptibility to winter photoinhibition resulted from their specific light preferences and led to different mechanisms to cope with photoinhibitory stress. The more shade-tolerant A. alba sustained a higher photosynthetic capacity in winter than P. abies and P. mugo. Winter photoinhibition in P. abies, P. mugo and, to a lesser extent, in A. alba may reflect adaptive photoprotection of the photosynthetic apparatus in winter.

  6. Water stress deforms tracheids peripheral to the leaf vein of a tropical conifer.

    PubMed

    Brodribb, Tim J; Holbrook, N Michele

    2005-03-01

    Just as a soggy paper straw is prone to yielding under the applied suction of a thirsty drinker, the xylem tracheids in leaves seem prone to collapse as water potential declines, impeding their function. Here we describe the collapse, under tension, of lignified cells peripheral to the leaf vein of a broad-leaved rainforest conifer, Podocarpus grayi de Laub. Leaves of Podocarpus are characterized by an array of cylindrical tracheids aligned perpendicular to the leaf vein, apparently involved in the distribution of water radially through the mesophyll. During leaf desiccation the majority of these tracheids collapsed from circular to flat over the water potential range -1.5 to -2.8 MPa. An increase in the percentage of tracheids collapsed during imposed water stress was mirrored by declining leaf hydraulic conductivity (K(leaf)), implying a direct effect on water transport efficiency. Stomata responded to water stress by closing at -2.0 MPa when 45% of cells were collapsed and K(leaf) had declined by 25%. This was still substantially before the initial indications of cavitation-induced loss of hydraulic conductance in the leaf vein, at -3 MPa. Plants droughted until 49% of tracheids had collapsed were found to fully recover tracheid shape and leaf function 1 week after rewatering. A simple mechanical model of tracheid collapse, derived from the theoretical buckling pressure for pipes, accurately predicted the collapse dynamics observed in P. grayi, substantiating estimates of cell wall elasticity and measured leaf water potential. The possible adaptive advantages of collapsible vascular tissue are discussed.

  7. Water Stress Deforms Tracheids Peripheral to the Leaf Vein of a Tropical Conifer1

    PubMed Central

    Brodribb, Tim J.; Holbrook, N. Michele

    2005-01-01

    Just as a soggy paper straw is prone to yielding under the applied suction of a thirsty drinker, the xylem tracheids in leaves seem prone to collapse as water potential declines, impeding their function. Here we describe the collapse, under tension, of lignified cells peripheral to the leaf vein of a broad-leaved rainforest conifer, Podocarpus grayi de Laub. Leaves of Podocarpus are characterized by an array of cylindrical tracheids aligned perpendicular to the leaf vein, apparently involved in the distribution of water radially through the mesophyll. During leaf desiccation the majority of these tracheids collapsed from circular to flat over the water potential range −1.5 to −2.8 MPa. An increase in the percentage of tracheids collapsed during imposed water stress was mirrored by declining leaf hydraulic conductivity (Kleaf), implying a direct effect on water transport efficiency. Stomata responded to water stress by closing at −2.0 MPa when 45% of cells were collapsed and Kleaf had declined by 25%. This was still substantially before the initial indications of cavitation-induced loss of hydraulic conductance in the leaf vein, at −3 MPa. Plants droughted until 49% of tracheids had collapsed were found to fully recover tracheid shape and leaf function 1 week after rewatering. A simple mechanical model of tracheid collapse, derived from the theoretical buckling pressure for pipes, accurately predicted the collapse dynamics observed in P. grayi, substantiating estimates of cell wall elasticity and measured leaf water potential. The possible adaptive advantages of collapsible vascular tissue are discussed. PMID:15734905

  8. Determination of the molecular signature of fossil conifers by experimental palaeochemotaxonomy - Part 1: The Araucariaceae family

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Y.; Hautevelle, Y.; Michels, R.

    2012-08-01

    Several extant species of the Araucariaceae family (one of the families of conifers) were invested for the experimental artificial maturation by confined pyrolysis, in order to realize the transformation of biomolecules to geomolecules in laboratory conditions. The experimental study of diagenetized molecular signatures of the Araucariaceae species (common, inter- and infra-generic characteristics) allow to complete our knowledge in botanical palaeochemotaxonomy. Such knowledge is relevant to the reconstitution of palaeoflora and palaeoclimatic reconstruction, archaeology and environmental studies. In this work, major carbon skeleton types of Araucariaceae are detected in the organic solvent extracts of fresh and pyrolyzed plants using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The results show that all species of Araucariaceae are firstly characterized by a predominance of saturated tetracyclic diterpenoids. Moreover, the Araucaria genus shows a high relative abundance of bicyclic sesquiterpenoids, particularly compounds of the cadalane-type compounds accompanied by those of eudesmane-type, bisabolane-type as well as chamazulene, pentamethyl-dihydroindenes. Diterpenoids are of the labdane-type, isopimarane, abietane-type (essentially derived from abietanoic acids) as well as isohexyl alkylaromatic hydrocarbons. Compared to the tetracyclic diterpenoids, these compounds show a relatively lower abundance, reaching trace levels in the case of saturated abietanes. Distribution of sesqui- and diterpenoids of Agathis shows some similarities to that of Araucaria, with the exception of one species, in which the tetracyclic compounds are absent and the abietane-type (essentially derived from abietanoic acids) predominant. High similarities between the Wollemia and Araucaria genera are observed. Both are characterized by some high relative abundance of tetracyclic compounds with no predominance of other specific diterpenoids.

  9. Management Impacts on Carbon Dynamics in a Sierra Nevada Mixed Conifer Forest

    PubMed Central

    Dore, Sabina; Fry, Danny L.; Collins, Brandon M.; Vargas, Rodrigo; York, Robert A.; Stephens, Scott L.

    2016-01-01

    Forest ecosystems can act as sinks of carbon and thus mitigate anthropogenic carbon emissions. When forests are actively managed, treatments can alter forests carbon dynamics, reducing their sink strength and switching them from sinks to sources of carbon. These effects are generally characterized by fast temporal dynamics. Hence this study monitored for over a decade the impacts of management practices commonly used to reduce fire hazards on the carbon dynamics of mixed-conifer forests in the Sierra Nevada, California, USA. Soil CO2 efflux, carbon pools (i.e. soil carbon, litter, fine roots, tree biomass), and radial tree growth were compared among un-manipulated controls, prescribed fire, thinning, thinning followed by fire, and two clear-cut harvested sites. Soil CO2 efflux was reduced by both fire and harvesting (ca. 15%). Soil carbon content (upper 15 cm) was not significantly changed by harvest or fire treatments. Fine root biomass was reduced by clear-cut harvest (60–70%) but not by fire, and the litter layer was reduced 80% by clear-cut harvest and 40% by fire. Thinning effects on tree growth and biomass were concentrated in the first year after treatments, whereas fire effects persisted over the seven-year post-treatment period. Over this period, tree radial growth was increased (25%) by thinning and reduced (12%) by fire. After seven years, tree biomass returned to pre-treatment levels in both fire and thinning treatments; however, biomass and productivity decreased 30%-40% compared to controls when thinning was combined with fire. The clear-cut treatment had the strongest impact, reducing ecosystem carbon stocks and delaying the capacity for carbon uptake. We conclude that post-treatment carbon dynamics and ecosystem recovery time varied with intensity and type of treatments. Consequently, management practices can be selected to minimize ecosystem carbon losses while increasing future carbon uptake, resilience to high severity fire, and climate related

  10. Long-term records of growth and distribution of conifers: Integration of paleoecology and physiological ecology

    SciTech Connect

    Graumlich, L.J.; Brubaker, L.B.

    1995-07-01

    The specter of human-induced alteration of atmospheric composition, and the associated changes in climate, have focused attention on how species, communities, and ecosystems respond to climate change. One source of information concerning this is the paleoecological record. Paleoecology offers insights in the nature of climate-vegetation interactions that derive from the well-documented response of plant communities to environmental changes of the past. The spatial and temporal resolution of paleoecological data sets has increased in recent decades, so that relatively detailed histories of conifer forests are available for much of North America and Europe. In addition, comparisons of records of past vegetation dynamics to paleoclimatic simulations by general circulation models have improved the understanding of the role of climate in governing past vegetation change. Several major findings of paleoresearch have importance to investigations of the effects of future climate change on the Earth`s biota. These include the findings (1) that changing seasonality may result in unexpected vegetation patterns, (2) that climatic and vegetation changes can be rapid, with ecosystem-wide implications, and (3) that short-term, extreme events can have long-term effects on tree population structures. In this chapter, we discuss patterns of coniferous forest response to climatic variation at two temporal scales: the Late Quaternary and the last millennium. Our examples illustrate the wide range of potential responses of coniferous forests to climatic variation, and emphasize opportunities for applying paleoecological findings to questions of ecophysiological research. Although we rely largely on examples from North America, our conclusions are well-supported by parallel research results in Europe and Asia.

  11. Changes to the N cycle following bark beetle outbreaks in two contrasting conifer forest types.

    PubMed

    Griffin, Jacob M; Turner, Monica G

    2012-10-01

    Outbreaks of Dendroctonus beetles are causing extensive mortality in conifer forests throughout North America. However, nitrogen (N) cycling impacts among forest types are not well known. We quantified beetle-induced changes in forest structure, soil temperature, and N cycling in Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) forests of Greater Yellowstone (WY, USA), and compared them to published lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. latifolia) data. Five undisturbed stands were compared to five beetle-killed stands (4-5 years post-outbreak). We hypothesized greater N cycling responses in Douglas-fir due to higher overall N stocks. Undisturbed Douglas-fir stands had greater litter N pools, soil N, and net N mineralization than lodgepole pine. Several responses to disturbance were similar between forest types, including a pulse of N-enriched litter, doubling of soil N availability, 30-50 % increase in understory cover, and 20 % increase in foliar N concentration of unattacked trees. However, the response of some ecosystem properties notably varied by host forest type. Soil temperature was unaffected in Douglas-fir, but lowered in lodgepole pine. Fresh foliar %N was uncorrelated with net N mineralization in Douglas-fir, but positively correlated in lodgepole pine. Though soil ammonium and nitrate, net N mineralization, and net nitrification all doubled, they remained low in both forest types (<6 μg N g soil(-1) NH(4) (+)or NO(3) (-); <25 μg N g soil(-1) year(-1) net N mineralization; <8 μg N g soil(-1) year(-1) net nitrification). Results suggest that beetle disturbance affected litter and soil N cycling similarly in each forest type, despite substantial differences in pre-disturbance biogeochemistry. In contrast, soil temperature and soil N-foliar N linkages differed between host forest types. This result suggests that disturbance type may be a better predictor of litter and soil N responses than forest type due to similar disturbance mechanisms and disturbance legacies

  12. Litter dynamics in two Sierran mixed conifer forests. I. Litterfall and decomposition rates

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stohlgren, Thomas J.

    1988-01-01

    Litterfall was measured for 4 years and leaf litter decomposition rates were studied for 3.6 years in two mixed conifer forest (giant sequoia-fir and fir-pine) in the southern Sierra Nevada of California. The giant sequoia-fir forest (GS site) was dominated by giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum (Lindl.) Buchh.), white fir (Abies concolor Lindl. & Gord.), and sugar pine (Pinus lambertiana Dougl.). The fir-pine forest (FP site) was dominated by white fir, sugar pine, and incense cedar (Calocedrus decurrens (Torr.) Florin). Litterfall, including large woody debris -1•year-1 compared with 4355 kg•ha-1•year-1 at the FP site (3.4:1). In the GS site, leaf litter decomposition after 3.6 years was slowest for giant sequoia (28.2% mass loss), followed by sugar pine (34.3%) and white fie (45.1%). In the FP site, mass loss was slowest for sugar pine (40.0%), followed by white fir (45.1%), while incense cedar showed the greatest mass loss (56.9%) after 3.6 years. High litterfall rates of large woody debris (i.e., 2.5-15.2 cm diameter) and slow rates of leaf litter decomposition in the giant sequoia-fir forest type may result in higher litter accumulation rates than in the fir-pine type. Leaf litter times to 95% decay for the GS and FP sites were 30 and 27 years, respectively, if the initial 0.7-year period (a short period of rapid mass decay) was ignored in the calculation. A mass balance approach for total litterfall (<15.2 cm diameter) decomposition yielded lower decay constants than did the litterbag study and therefore longer times to 95% decay (57 years for the GS site and 62 years for the FP site).

  13. Litter dynamics in two Sierran mixed conifer forests. II. Nutrient release in decomposing leaf litter

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stohlgren, Thomas J.

    1988-01-01

    The factors influencing leaf litter decomposition and nutrient release patterns were investigated for 3.6 years in two mixed conifer forests in the southern Sierra Nevada of California. The giant sequoia–fir forest was dominated by giant sequoia (Sequoiadendrongiganteum (Lindl.) Buchh.), white fir (Abiesconcolor Lindl. & Gord.), and sugar pine (Pinuslambertiana Dougl.). The fir–pine forest was dominated by white fir, sugar pine, and incense cedar (Calocedrusdecurrens (Torr.) Florin). Initial concentrations of nutrients and percent lignin, cellulose, and acid detergent fiber vary considerably in freshly abscised leaf litter of the studied species. Giant sequoia had the highest concentration of lignin (20.3%) and the lowest concentration of nitrogen (0.52%), while incense cedar had the lowest concentration of lignin (9.6%) and second lowest concentration of nitrogen (0.63%). Long-term (3.6 years) foliage decomposition rates were best correlated with initial lignin/N (r2 = 0.94, p r2 = 0.92, p r2 = 0.80, p < 0.05). Patterns of nutrient release were highly variable. Giant sequoia immobilized N and P, incense cedar immobilized N and to a lesser extent P, while sugar pine immobilized Ca. Strong linear or negative exponential relationships existed between initial concentrations of N, P, K, and Ca and percent original mass remaining of those nutrients after 3.6 years. This suggests efficient retention of these nutrients in the litter layer of these ecosystems. Nitrogen concentrations steadily increase in decomposing leaf litter, effectively reducing the C/N ratios from an initial range of 68–96 to 27–45 after 3.6 years.

  14. Growth, allometry and shade tolerance of understory saplings of four subalpine conifers in central Japan.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Koichi; Obata, Yoshiko

    2014-03-01

    The conifers Abies veitchii, A. mariesii, Picea jezoensis var. hondoensis, Tsuga diversifolia dominate in subalpine forests in central Japan. We expected that species differences in shade tolerance and in aboveground and belowground architecture are important for their coexistence. We examined net production and carbon allocation of understory saplings. Although the four species allocated similar amounts of biomass to roots at a given trunk height, the root-zone area of T. diversifolia was greater than that of the three other species. T. diversifolia often dominates shallow soil sites, such as ridge and rocky slopes, and, therefore, a wide spread of lateral roots would be an adaptation to such edaphic conditions. Crown width and leaf and branch mass were greatest for T. diversifolia and A. mariesii, followed in order by A. veitchii and P. jezoensis var. hondoensis. Although leaf mass of P. jezoensis var. hondoensis was lowest among the four species, species differences were not found in the net production per sapling because net production per leaf mass was greatest for P. jezoensis var. hondoensis. The leaf lifespan was longer in the order A. mariesii, T. diversifolia, P. jezoensis var. hondoensis and A. veitchii. The minimum rate of net production per leaf mass required to maintain the current sapling leaf mass (MRNP(LM)) was lowest in A. mariesii and T. diversifolia, and increased in the order of A. veitchii and P. jezoensis var. hondoensis. A. mariesii and T. diversifolia may survive in shade conditions by a lower MRNP(LM) than the two other species. Therefore, species differences in aboveground and belowground architecture and MRNPLM reflected their shade tolerance and regeneration strategies, which contribute to their coexistence.

  15. Pattern of xylem phenology in conifers of cold ecosystems at the Northern Hemisphere.

    PubMed

    Rossi, Sergio; Anfodillo, Tommaso; Čufar, Katarina; Cuny, Henri E; Deslauriers, Annie; Fonti, Patrick; Frank, David; Gričar, Jožica; Gruber, Andreas; Huang, Jian-Guo; Jyske, Tuula; Kašpar, Jakub; King, Gregory; Krause, Cornelia; Liang, Eryuan; Mäkinen, Harri; Morin, Hubert; Nöjd, Pekka; Oberhuber, Walter; Prislan, Peter; Rathgeber, Cyrille B K; Saracino, Antonio; Swidrak, Irene; Treml, Václav

    2016-11-01

    The interaction between xylem phenology and climate assesses forest growth and productivity and carbon storage across biomes under changing environmental conditions. We tested the hypothesis that patterns of wood formation are maintained unaltered despite the temperature changes across cold ecosystems. Wood microcores were collected weekly or biweekly throughout the growing season for periods varying between 1 and 13 years during 1998-2014 and cut in transverse sections for assessing the onset and ending of the phases of xylem differentiation. The data set represented 1321 trees belonging to 10 conifer species from 39 sites in the Northern Hemisphere and covering an interval of mean annual temperature exceeding 14 K. The phenological events and mean annual temperature of the sites were related linearly, with spring and autumnal events being separated by constant intervals across the range of temperature analysed. At increasing temperature, first enlarging, wall-thickening and mature tracheids appeared earlier, and last enlarging and wall-thickening tracheids occurred later. Overall, the period of wood formation lengthened linearly with the mean annual temperature, from 83.7 days at -2 °C to 178.1 days at 12 °C, at a rate of 6.5 days °C(-1) . April-May temperatures produced the best models predicting the dates of wood formation. Our findings demonstrated the uniformity of the process of wood formation and the importance of the environmental conditions occurring at the time of growth resumption. Under warming scenarios, the period of wood formation might lengthen synchronously in the cold biomes of the Northern Hemisphere.

  16. Forest management effects on snow, runoff and evapotranspiration in Sierra Nevada mixed-conifer headwater catchments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ray, R. L.; Saksa, P. C.; Bales, R. C.; Conklin, M. H.

    2012-12-01

    We used intensive field measurements and data-intensive hydro-ecological modeling to investigate the impact of forest vegetation management on the sensitivity of snow accumulation, evapotranspiration and discharge at seven headwater catchments in the Sierra Nevada. Catchments are located in dense mixed-conifer forest, at elevations of 1500 - 2100 m, and receive a mix of rain and snow precipitation. Management scenarios for reducing forest density by uniform thinning and forest clearings were implemented in the Regional Hydro-ecological Simulation System (RHESSys). Results obtained using inherent model equations to separate total precipitation into snow and rain underestimated snow water content in some of the catchments, requiring manual input of snow and rain for accurate simulations. Modeling precipitation phase accurately was critical for the current forest condition, as the change in vegetation has differing effects on rain, snow and snowmelt. Results using RHESSys show that light, uniform thinning alone (<20% canopy) may not be enough to change water yield significantly, but this threshold of canopy reduction is lowered by creating gaps in the forest alone or in combination with uniform thinning, and has potential to measurably increase water yield beyond background variation. Clarifying these specific impacts of forest vegetation on snow processes and water yield is essential for simulating forest management in the Sierra Nevada and it shows the forest structure has significant influence on the catchment water balance. However, modifying forest canopy density and canopy cover to calculate average levels of snow water equivalent at a basin-scale may not be detailed enough to incorporate all the complex forest structure effects on snow processes in mountain watersheds.

  17. Responses of litter invertebrate communities to litter manipulation in a Japanese conifer plantation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoshida, Tomohiro; Takito, Yuki; Soga, Masashi; Hijii, Naoki

    2013-08-01

    We examined how the litter invertebrate communities were affected by the temporal changes in the mass and structural complexity of the litter resources by adding and removing litter on the forest floor of a temperate conifer plantation (Cryptomeria japonica) in Japan. We showed that litter mass and depth in the litter-addition (L+) plots changed rapidly into a steady-state condition similar to those in the control plots, mainly due to accelerated decomposition processes during the rainy season. Higher area-based densities of litter invertebrates in the L+ plots, similar mass-based densities between the L+ and control plots, and significant positive correlations between litter mass and the number of individuals implied that the abundance of litter invertebrates would be governed by litter mass rather than by the litter depth. Many litter invertebrates including detritivores were collected even in the litter-removal (L-) area. The relative abundances of invertebrate predators collecting pitfall traps were higher in the L- plots and lower in the L+ plots compared to those in the control plots, whereas those collecting Tullgren funnels were higher in the L+ plots than in the control plots. In the L+ plots, the range of variation in the community compositions among the samples decreased significantly over time in response to a drastic decrease in litter mass, in contrast to the control plots, which showed a relatively constant community composition during the study period. Our litter manipulation experiment reveals some of the mechanisms responsible for maintaining an equilibrium state of forest-floor litter mass and for the responses of litter invertebrate communities to temporal changes in the litter.

  18. The impact of industrial SO2 pollution on north Bohemia conifers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rydval, M.; Wilson, R.

    2012-12-01

    Conifer forests in the Jizerské Mountains, Czech Republic have experienced widespread and long lasting effects related to industrial SO2 pollution. To explore the spatial and temporal impact of this phenomenon on Norway spruce stands, a transect of sites was sampled to the southeast of the Polish coal-fired power station Turów. Tree-growth at all sites displayed a significant reduction around 1980, which could not be explained by climate alone. However, by incorporating both climate and SO2 variables in multiple regression models, the chronology trends could be explained well. The lowest growth rates were found to coincide with the period of greatest atmospheric SO2 concentrations and the degree of suppression decreased with increasing distance from the power station. The period of growth suppression in a Silver fir site appeared to be more severe and longer in duration than for the spruce, although differing site conditions prevented a direct comparison. Fir trees also appeared to be affected by SO2 pollution earlier in the 20th century compared to spruce. Growth of both species, however, did not return to predicted levels following the reduction of pollution levels in the 1990s. A comparison with spruce and fir data from the Bavarian Forest, a region also affected by pollution in the past, revealed a temporal difference in growth suppression, likely related to different timings and loadings of SO2 emissions between both regions. This study highlights pollution as another potential causal factor for the so-called 'divergence problem' and dendroclimatic reconstructions in polluted regions should be developed with caution.

  19. DNA Barcode Identification of Podocarpaceae—The Second Largest Conifer Family

    PubMed Central

    Little, Damon P.; Knopf, Patrick; Schulz, Christian

    2013-01-01

    We have generated matK, rbcL, and nrITS2 DNA barcodes for 320 specimens representing all 18 extant genera of the conifer family Podocarpaceae. The sample includes 145 of the 198 recognized species. Comparative analyses of sequence quality and species discrimination were conducted on the 159 individuals from which all three markers were recovered (representing 15 genera and 97 species). The vast majority of sequences were of high quality (B30 = 0.596–0.989). Even the lowest quality sequences exceeded the minimum requirements of the BARCODE data standard. In the few instances that low quality sequences were generated, the responsible mechanism could not be discerned. There were no statistically significant differences in the discriminatory power of markers or marker combinations (p = 0.05). The discriminatory power of the barcode markers individually and in combination is low (56.7% of species at maximum). In some instances, species discrimination failed in spite of ostensibly useful variation being present (genotypes were shared among species), but in many cases there was simply an absence of sequence variation. Barcode gaps (maximum intraspecific p–distance > minimum interspecific p–distance) were observed in 50.5% of species when all three markers were considered simultaneously. The presence of a barcode gap was not predictive of discrimination success (p = 0.02) and there was no statistically significant difference in the frequency of barcode gaps among markers (p = 0.05). In addition, there was no correlation between number of individuals sampled per species and the presence of a barcode gap (p = 0.27). PMID:24312258

  20. Biogeographic variation in evergreen conifer needle longevity and impacts on boreal forest carbon cycle projections

    PubMed Central

    Reich, Peter B.; Rich, Roy L.; Lu, Xingjie; Wang, Ying-Ping; Oleksyn, Jacek

    2014-01-01

    Leaf life span is an important plant trait associated with interspecific variation in leaf, organismal, and ecosystem processes. We hypothesized that intraspecific variation in gymnosperm needle traits with latitude reflects both selection and acclimation for traits adaptive to the associated temperature and moisture gradient. This hypothesis was supported, because across 127 sites along a 2,160-km gradient in North America individuals of Picea glauca, Picea mariana, Pinus banksiana, and Abies balsamea had longer needle life span and lower tissue nitrogen concentration with decreasing mean annual temperature. Similar patterns were noted for Pinus sylvestris across a north–south gradient in Europe. These differences highlight needle longevity as an adaptive feature important to ecological success of boreal conifers across broad climatic ranges. Additionally, differences in leaf life span directly affect annual foliage turnover rate, which along with needle physiology partially regulates carbon cycling through effects on gross primary production and net canopy carbon export. However, most, if not all, global land surface models parameterize needle longevity of boreal evergreen forests as if it were a constant. We incorporated temperature-dependent needle longevity and %nitrogen, and biomass allocation, into a land surface model, Community Atmosphere Biosphere Land Exchange, to assess their impacts on carbon cycling processes. Incorporating realistic parameterization of these variables improved predictions of canopy leaf area index and gross primary production compared with observations from flux sites. Finally, increasingly low foliage turnover and biomass fraction toward the cold far north indicate that a surprisingly small fraction of new biomass is allocated to foliage under such conditions. PMID:25225397

  1. Biogeographic variation in evergreen conifer needle longevity and impacts on boreal forest carbon cycle projections.

    PubMed

    Reich, Peter B; Rich, Roy L; Lu, Xingjie; Wang, Ying-Ping; Oleksyn, Jacek

    2014-09-23

    Leaf life span is an important plant trait associated with interspecific variation in leaf, organismal, and ecosystem processes. We hypothesized that intraspecific variation in gymnosperm needle traits with latitude reflects both selection and acclimation for traits adaptive to the associated temperature and moisture gradient. This hypothesis was supported, because across 127 sites along a 2,160-km gradient in North America individuals of Picea glauca, Picea mariana, Pinus banksiana, and Abies balsamea had longer needle life span and lower tissue nitrogen concentration with decreasing mean annual temperature. Similar patterns were noted for Pinus sylvestris across a north-south gradient in Europe. These differences highlight needle longevity as an adaptive feature important to ecological success of boreal conifers across broad climatic ranges. Additionally, differences in leaf life span directly affect annual foliage turnover rate, which along with needle physiology partially regulates carbon cycling through effects on gross primary production and net canopy carbon export. However, most, if not all, global land surface models parameterize needle longevity of boreal evergreen forests as if it were a constant. We incorporated temperature-dependent needle longevity and %nitrogen, and biomass allocation, into a land surface model, Community Atmosphere Biosphere Land Exchange, to assess their impacts on carbon cycling processes. Incorporating realistic parameterization of these variables improved predictions of canopy leaf area index and gross primary production compared with observations from flux sites. Finally, increasingly low foliage turnover and biomass fraction toward the cold far north indicate that a surprisingly small fraction of new biomass is allocated to foliage under such conditions.

  2. Cold stability of microtubules in wood-forming tissues of conifers during seasons of active and dormant cambium.

    PubMed

    Begum, Shahanara; Shibagaki, Masaki; Furusawa, Osamu; Nakaba, Satoshi; Yamagishi, Yusuke; Yoshimoto, Joto; Jin, Hyun-O; Sano, Yuzou; Funada, Ryo

    2012-01-01

    The cold stability of microtubules during seasons of active and dormant cambium was analyzed in the conifers Abies firma, Abies sachalinensis and Larix leptolepis by immunofluorescence microscopy. Samples were fixed at room temperature and at a low temperature of 2-3°C to examine the effects of low temperature on the stability of microtubules. Microtubules were visible in cambium, xylem cells and phloem cells after fixation at room temperature during seasons of active and dormant cambium. By contrast, fixation at low temperature depolymerized microtubules in cambial cells, differentiating tracheids, differentiating xylem ray parenchyma and phloem ray parenchyma cells during the active season. However, similar fixation did not depolymerize microtubules during cambial dormancy in winter. Our results indicate that the stability of microtubules in cambial cells and cambial derivatives at low temperature differs between seasons of active and dormant cambium. Moreover, the change in the stability of microtubules that we observed at low temperature might be closely related to seasonal changes in the cold tolerance of conifers. In addition, low-temperature fixation depolymerized microtubules in cambial cells and differentiating cells that had thin primary cell walls, while such low-temperature fixation did not depolymerize microtubules in differentiating secondary xylem ray parenchyma cells and tracheids that had thick secondary cell walls. The stability of microtubules at low temperature appears to depend on the structure of the cell wall, namely, primary or secondary. Therefore, we propose that the secondary cell wall might be responsible for the cold stability of microtubules in differentiating secondary xylem cells of conifers.

  3. Interactive control of minerals, wildfire, and erosion on soil carbon stabilization in conifer ecosystems of the western U.S.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rasmussen, C.

    2014-12-01

    Answering the question of what controls the fate and stabilization of organic carbon in forest soils is central to understanding the role of western US ecosystems in mitigating climate change, optimizing forest management, and quantifying local and regional terrestrial carbon budgets. Over half of forest soil C is stored belowground, stabilized by a number of separate, but interacting physical, chemical and biological mechanisms. Here we synthesize data from a series of field and laboratory studies focused on identifying mineral, physical, and landscape position controls on belowground C stabilization mechanisms in western U.S. conifer ecosystems. Results from these studies demonstrate an important for role for short-range-order Fe- and Al-oxyhydroxides and Al-humus complexes in C stabilization, and that the soil mineral assemblage moderates C cycling via control on partitioning of C into physical fractions ("free", "occluded", "mineral") with varying MRT and chemistry. Measures of occluded fraction chemical composition by 13C-NMR indicate this fraction is 2-5 times more enriched in pyrogenic C than the bulk soil and that this fraction is on the order of ~25 to 65% charred materials. Radiocarbon analyses of a large set of conifer soil samples from California and Arizona further indicate the occluded fraction is generally older than either the free light or mineral fraction. In particular, soil C in convergent, water and sediment gathering portions of the landscape are enriched in long MRT charred materials. These results indicate an important role for the interaction of soil mineral assemblage, wildfire, and erosion in controlling belowground C storage and stabilization in western conifer forests. Drought and wildfire are expected to increase with climate change and thus may exert significant control on belowground C storage directly through biochemical and physical changes in aboveground biomass, production of charred materials, and indirectly via post

  4. A spruce gene map infers ancient plant genome reshuffling and subsequent slow evolution in the gymnosperm lineage leading to extant conifers

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Seed plants are composed of angiosperms and gymnosperms, which diverged from each other around 300 million years ago. While much light has been shed on the mechanisms and rate of genome evolution in flowering plants, such knowledge remains conspicuously meagre for the gymnosperms. Conifers are key representatives of gymnosperms and the sheer size of their genomes represents a significant challenge for characterization, sequencing and assembling. Results To gain insight into the macro-organisation and long-term evolution of the conifer genome, we developed a genetic map involving 1,801 spruce genes. We designed a statistical approach based on kernel density estimation to analyse gene density and identified seven gene-rich isochors. Groups of co-localizing genes were also found that were transcriptionally co-regulated, indicative of functional clusters. Phylogenetic analyses of 157 gene families for which at least two duplicates were mapped on the spruce genome indicated that ancient gene duplicates shared by angiosperms and gymnosperms outnumbered conifer-specific duplicates by a ratio of eight to one. Ancient duplicates were much more translocated within and among spruce chromosomes than conifer-specific duplicates, which were mostly organised in tandem arrays. Both high synteny and collinearity were also observed between the genomes of spruce and pine, two conifers that diverged more than 100 million years ago. Conclusions Taken together, these results indicate that much genomic evolution has occurred in the seed plant lineage before the split between gymnosperms and angiosperms, and that the pace of evolution of the genome macro-structure has been much slower in the gymnosperm lineage leading to extent conifers than that seen for the same period of time in flowering plants. This trend is largely congruent with the contrasted rates of diversification and morphological evolution observed between these two groups of seed plants. PMID:23102090

  5. Late Miocene lineage divergence and ecological differentiation of rare endemic Juniperus blancoi: clues for the diversification of North American conifers.

    PubMed

    Moreno-Letelier, Alejandra; Mastretta-Yanes, Alicia; Barraclough, Timothy G

    2014-07-01

    Western North America and Mexico contain a large number of conifer species. This diversity could be the product of orographic and climate changes of the late Tertiary and Quaternary. In this study, we focus on the evolutionary history of Juniperus blancoi, in order to determine the impact of climate change and environmental heterogeneity on population differentiation. We estimated the population structure, phylogenetic relationships and historical demography of J. blancoi populations using nuclear genes. We correlated genetic structure with ecological differentiation, divergence times and changes in population size. Populations of J. blancoi are differentiated into three lineages that correspond to low-, mid- and high-altitude populations. The three groups diversified in the late Miocene, early Pliocene, with only a few events of gene flow since then. Two lineages in the north exhibited a pattern of population growth during the Pleistocene that could be linked to climate changes. Populations of J. blancoi experienced significant ecological differentiation and early divergence events, which correspond to periods of global cooling and mountain uplift during the Miocene. This suggests that mountain ranges in tropical and subtropical latitudes play an important role in the speciation and persistence of conifer taxa in diversity hotspots, by providing diverse environmental conditions.

  6. A synchronous increase in hydraulic conductive capacity and mechanical support in conifers with relatively uniform xylem structure.

    PubMed

    Jagels, Richard; Visscher, George E

    2006-02-01

    The dual function provided by longitudinal tracheids in conifers has led to a generally held trade-off concept that increasing wall thickness and/or volume of latewood tracheids improves mechanical support, while increasing cell diameter and/or volume of earlywood tracheids enhances conductive potential. Yet, some conifers have either uniform cell structure across the growth ring or, at most, a small amount of latewood. How do these trees accomplish the needs for increasing support and conduction with height growth? We examined Metasequoia glyptostroboides, a species that we previously demonstrated improves its mechanical properties with increasing age without a change in specific gravity or secondary wall microfibril angle. In this paper, we showed that lignin and extractive contents are not contributing factors, and through composite structure analysis, we eliminated a role for tracheid length. Using micromorphometric analysis, we demonstrated that as cell diameter increases, total primary wall decreases, secondary wall increases, and strength and conductive capacity increase with no change in specific gravity. Meta-analysis using other species of Cupressaceae, Podocarpaceae, and Araucariaceae provided strong corroborative evidence for this design strategy.

  7. Coping with low light under high atmospheric dryness: shade acclimation in a Mediterranean conifer (Abies pinsapo Boiss.).

    PubMed

    Sancho-Knapik, Domingo; Peguero-Pina, José Javier; Flexas, Jaume; Herbette, Stéphane; Cochard, Hervé; Niinemets, Ülo; Gil-Pelegrín, Eustaquio

    2014-12-01

    Plant species living in the understory increase carbon (C) allocation toward leaf production for maximizing light capture at the expense of roots and stems, with negative consequences for the whole-plant hydraulic conductance. Moreover, under some conditions, the high atmospheric evaporative demand occurring in Mediterranean areas may be not well buffered by the canopy, which might be the case for relict conifer Abies pinsapo Boiss. growing in the forest understory. We hypothesized that acclimation to combined understory shade and high atmospheric dryness can be achieved through the adjustment of water losses to cope with the restriction in water transport. The results reveal high structural plasticity in A. pinsapo that allows light harvesting of this species to maximize light capture in the forest understory, and maintain a positive C balance under low light conditions. However, growth in the understory resulted in reduced leaf-specific conductivity, up to approximately four to five times, implying decreased plant capacity to supply water to the leaves. In order to cope with the high atmospheric evaporative demand in the understory, there is an adjustment of the stomatal conductance to the hydraulic conductivity by means of a reduction in the stomatal density in understory individuals, which is due to the almost complete lack of stomata in the adaxial side of the needles. To the extent of our knowledge, such a drastic phenotypic response found in a conifer when growing under shaded conditions had not been previously reported.

  8. Evaluation of potential reference genes for use in gene expression studies in the conifer pathogen (Heterobasidion annosum).

    PubMed

    Raffaello, Tommaso; Asiegbu, Fred O

    2013-07-01

    The basidiomycete Heterobasidion annosum is the causative agent of butt and root rot disease of conifer trees and it's one of the most destructive conifer pathogen in the northern hemisphere. Because of the intrinsic difficulties in genome manipulation in this fungus, most studies have been focused on gene expression analysis using quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). qPCR is a powerful technique but its reliability resides in the correct selection of a set of reference genes used in the data normalization. In this study, we determined the expression stability of 11 selected reference genes in H. annosum. Almost nothing has so far been published about validation of a set of reference genes to be used in gene expression experiments in this fungus. Eleven reference genes were validated in H. annosum which was grown on three different substrates: pine bark, pine heartwood, and pine sapwood. Bestkeeper and NormFinder Excel-based software were used to evaluate the reference gene transcripts' stability. The results from these two programs indicated that three reference genes namely Tryp metab, RNA Pol3 TF, and Actin were stable in H. annosum in the conditions studied. Interestingly, the GAPDH transcript which has been extensively used in qPCR data normalization is not the best choice when a wide reference gene selection is available. This work represents the first extensive validation of reference genes in H. annosum providing support for gene expression studies and benefits for the wider forest pathology community.

  9. Accurate measurement of optical properties of narrow leaves and conifer needles with a typical integrating sphere and spectroradiometer.

    PubMed

    Noda, Hibiki M; Motohka, Takeshi; Murakami, Kazutaka; Muraoka, Hiroyuki; Nasahara, Kenlo Nishida

    2013-10-01

    Accurate information on the optical properties (reflectance and transmittance spectra) of single leaves is important for an ecophysiological understanding of light use by leaves, radiative transfer models and remote sensing of terrestrial ecosystems. In general, leaf optical properties are measured with an integrating sphere and a spectroradiometer. However, this method is usually difficult to use with grass leaves and conifer needles because they are too narrow to cover the sample port of a typical integrating sphere. Although ways to measure the optical properties of narrow leaves have been suggested, they have problems. We propose a new measurement protocol and calculation algorithms. The protocol does not damage sample leaves and is valid for various types of leaves, including green and senescent. We tested our technique with leaves of Aucuba japonica, an evergreen broadleaved shrub, and compared the spectral data of whole leaves and narrow strips of the leaves. The reflectance and transmittance of the strips matched those of the whole leaves, indicating that our technique can accurately estimate the optical properties of narrow leaves. Tests of conifer needles confirmed the applicability.

  10. Areas of Agreement and Disagreement Regarding Ponderosa Pine and Mixed Conifer Forest Fire Regimes: A Dialogue with Stevens et al.

    PubMed Central

    Odion, Dennis C.; Hanson, Chad T.; Baker, William L.; DellaSala, Dominick A.; Williams, Mark A.

    2016-01-01

    In a recent PLOS ONE paper, we conducted an evidence-based analysis of current versus historical fire regimes and concluded that traditionally defined reference conditions of low-severity fire regimes for ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) and mixed-conifer forests were incomplete, missing considerable variability in forest structure and fire regimes. Stevens et al. (this issue) agree that high-severity fire was a component of these forests, but disagree that one of the several sources of evidence, stand age from a large number of forest inventory and analysis (FIA) plots across the western USA, support our findings that severe fire played more than a minor role ecologically in these forests. Here we highlight areas of agreement and disagreement about past fire, and analyze the methods Stevens et al. used to assess the FIA stand-age data. We found a major problem with a calculation they used to conclude that the FIA data were not useful for evaluating fire regimes. Their calculation, as well as a narrowing of the definition of high-severity fire from the one we used, leads to a large underestimate of conditions consistent with historical high-severity fire. The FIA stand age data do have limitations but they are consistent with other landscape-inference data sources in supporting a broader paradigm about historical variability of fire in ponderosa and mixed-conifer forests than had been traditionally recognized, as described in our previous PLOS paper. PMID:27195808

  11. Areas of Agreement and Disagreement Regarding Ponderosa Pine and Mixed Conifer Forest Fire Regimes: A Dialogue with Stevens et al.

    PubMed

    Odion, Dennis C; Hanson, Chad T; Baker, William L; DellaSala, Dominick A; Williams, Mark A

    2016-01-01

    In a recent PLOS ONE paper, we conducted an evidence-based analysis of current versus historical fire regimes and concluded that traditionally defined reference conditions of low-severity fire regimes for ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) and mixed-conifer forests were incomplete, missing considerable variability in forest structure and fire regimes. Stevens et al. (this issue) agree that high-severity fire was a component of these forests, but disagree that one of the several sources of evidence, stand age from a large number of forest inventory and analysis (FIA) plots across the western USA, support our findings that severe fire played more than a minor role ecologically in these forests. Here we highlight areas of agreement and disagreement about past fire, and analyze the methods Stevens et al. used to assess the FIA stand-age data. We found a major problem with a calculation they used to conclude that the FIA data were not useful for evaluating fire regimes. Their calculation, as well as a narrowing of the definition of high-severity fire from the one we used, leads to a large underestimate of conditions consistent with historical high-severity fire. The FIA stand age data do have limitations but they are consistent with other landscape-inference data sources in supporting a broader paradigm about historical variability of fire in ponderosa and mixed-conifer forests than had been traditionally recognized, as described in our previous PLOS paper.

  12. A biophysical gradient analysis of climate for understanding conifer establishment in mountain ecosystems of the western U.S.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Littell, J. S.; Graumlich, L. J.

    2007-12-01

    Establishment of conifer trees at upper treeline is controlled by both physical and ecological phenomena. The physical limitations on tree establishment and growth as well as the ecological and edaphic factors moderating climate vary significantly across western mountain ranges, from the more maritime Cascades through the basin- and-range to the heavily continental central Rockies. In order to understand the factors limiting tree establishment and estimate rates of ecosystem change under future climate change, it is critical to understand the climatic factors limiting tree establishment. We use a multiscale approach to identify climatic patterns associated with upper treeline in nine mountain ranges: the north Cascades, central Cascades, Eagle Cap, Beaverhead, Teton, Beartooth, Wind River, Snowy, and Zirkel mountain ranges. We examined NCDC divisional, SNOTEL, snowcourse, and DAYMET seasonal averages/totals for temperature and precipitation variables to compare the climates at treeline sites identified for conifer establishment research. Divisional data from 1948-2004 indicate a strong geographical gradient in winter precipitation/PDO correlations, but according to SNOTEL data from all mountain ranges, these differences are much weaker in the more recent past. Snow water equivalent at all the sites near the PDO dipole evident in the 1948-2004 correlations appears negatively correlated with PDO. We present DAYMET, SNOTEL, and snowcourse normals for the mountain environments near the treeline sites and relate them to species composition and the nature of recent establishment.

  13. Development of the mixed conifer forest in northern New Mexico and its relationship to Holocene environmental change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anderson, R. Scott; Jass, R.B.; Toney, J.L.; Allen, C.D.; Cisneros-Dozal, L. M.; Hess, M.; Heikoop, Jeff; Fessenden, J.

    2008-01-01

    Chihuahuen??os Bog (2925??m) in the Jemez Mountains of northern New Mexico contains one of the few records of late-glacial and postglacial development of the mixed conifer forest in southwestern North America. The Chihuahuen??os Bog record extends to over 15,000??cal yr BP. An Artemisia steppe, then an open Picea woodland grew around a small pond until ca. 11,700??cal yr BP when Pinus ponderosa became established. C/N ratios, ??13C and ??15N values indicate both terrestrial and aquatic organic matter was incorporated into the sediment. Higher percentages of aquatic algae and elevated C/N ratios indicate higher lake levels at the opening of the Holocene, but a wetland developed subsequently as climate warmed. From ca. 8500 to 6400??cal yr BP the pond desiccated in what must have been the driest period of the Holocene there. C/N ratios declined to their lowest Holocene levels, indicating intense decomposition in the sediment. Wetter conditions returned after 6400??cal yr BP, with conversion of the site to a sedge bog as groundwater levels rose. Higher charcoal influx rates after 6400??cal yr BP probably result from greater biomass production rates. Only minor shifts in the overstory species occurred during the Holocene, suggesting that mixed conifer forest dominated throughout the record. ?? 2008 University of Washington.

  14. Analysis of Freeze-Thaw Embolism in Conifers. The Interaction between Cavitation Pressure and Tracheid Size1

    PubMed Central

    Pittermann, Jarmila; Sperry, John S.

    2006-01-01

    Ice formation in the xylem sap produces air bubbles that under negative xylem pressures may expand and cause embolism in the xylem conduits. We used the centrifuge method to evaluate the relationship between freeze-thaw embolism and conduit diameter across a range of xylem pressures (Px) in the conifers Pinus contorta and Juniperus scopulorum. Vulnerability curves showing loss of conductivity (embolism) with Px down to −8 MPa were generated with versus without superimposing a freeze-thaw treatment. In both species, the freeze-thaw plus water-stress treatment caused more embolism than water stress alone. We estimated the critical conduit diameter (Df) above which a tracheid will embolize due to freezing and thawing and found that it decreased from 35 μm at a Px of −0.5 MPa to 6 μm at −8 MPa. Further analysis showed that the proportionality between diameter of the air bubble nucleating the cavitation and the diameter of the conduit (kL) declined with increasingly negative Px. This suggests that the bubbles causing cavitation are smaller in proportion to tracheid diameter in narrow tracheids than in wider ones. A possible reason for this is that the rate of dissolving increases with bubble pressure, which is inversely proportional to bubble diameter (La Place's law). Hence, smaller bubbles shrink faster than bigger ones. Last, we used the empirical relationship between Px and Df to model the freeze-thaw response in conifer species. PMID:16377751

  15. Evidence from sequence-tagged-site markers of a recent progenitor-derivative species pair in conifers

    PubMed Central

    Perron, Martin; Perry, Daniel J.; Andalo, Christophe; Bousquet, Jean

    2000-01-01

    Black spruce (Picea mariana [B.S.P.] Mill.) and red spruce (Picea rubens Sarg.) are two conifer species known to hybridize naturally in northeastern North America. We hypothesized that there is a progenitor-derivative relationship between these two taxa and conducted a genetic investigation by using sequence-tagged-site markers of expressed genes. Based on the 26 sequence-tagged-site loci assayed in this study, the unbiased genetic identity between the two taxa was quite high with a value of 0.920. The mean number of polymorphic loci, the mean number of alleles per polymorphic locus, and the average observed heterozygosity were lower in red spruce (P = 35%, AP = 2.1, Ho = 0.069) than in black spruce (P = 54%, AP = 2.9, Ho = 0.103). No unique alleles were found in red spruce, and the observed patterns of allele distribution indicated that the genetic diversity of red spruce was essentially a subset of that found in black spruce. When considered in combination with ecological evidence and simulation results, these observations clearly support the existence of a progenitor-derivative relationship and suggest that the reduced level of genetic diversity in red spruce may result from allopatric speciation through glaciation-induced isolation of a preexisting black spruce population during the Pleistocene era. Our observations signal a need for a thorough reexamination of several conifer species complexes in which natural hybridization is known to occur. PMID:11016967

  16. Comparing growth phenology of co-occurring deciduous and evergreen conifers exposed to drought

    PubMed Central

    Swidrak, Irene; Schuster, Roman; Oberhuber, Walter

    2013-01-01

    indicate sink competition for carbohydrates to belowground organs. This is supported by completion of apical growth in mid June in all species, except for needle growth of Pinus sylvestris, which lasted until early August. Phenological observations of conifers exposed to drought revealed that tree water status early during the growing season determines total annual aboveground growth and besides temperature, species-specific endogenous and/or environmental factors (most likely photoperiod and/or different threshold temperatures) are involved in controlling apical and lateral growth resumption after winter dormancy. PMID:24273375

  17. Investigating the impacts of recycled water on long-lived conifers

    PubMed Central

    Nackley, Lloyd L.; Barnes, Corey; Oki, Lorence R.

    2015-01-01

    maintaining healthy verdant landscapes that include coast redwoods and other long-lived conifers. PMID:25876628

  18. Ecological importance of large-diameter trees in a temperate mixed-conifer forest.

    PubMed

    Lutz, James A; Larson, Andrew J; Swanson, Mark E; Freund, James A

    2012-01-01

    Large-diameter trees dominate the structure, dynamics and function of many temperate and tropical forests. Although both scaling theory and competition theory make predictions about the relative composition and spatial patterns of large-diameter trees compared to smaller diameter trees, these predictions are rarely tested. We established a 25.6 ha permanent plot within which we tagged and mapped all trees ≥1 cm dbh, all snags ≥10 cm dbh, and all shrub patches ≥2 m(2). We sampled downed woody debris, litter, and duff with line intercept transects. Aboveground live biomass of the 23 woody species was 507.9 Mg/ha, of which 503.8 Mg/ha was trees (SD = 114.3 Mg/ha) and 4.1 Mg/ha was shrubs. Aboveground live and dead biomass was 652.0 Mg/ha. Large-diameter trees comprised 1.4% of individuals but 49.4% of biomass, with biomass dominated by Abies concolor and Pinus lambertiana (93.0% of tree biomass). The large-diameter component dominated the biomass of snags (59.5%) and contributed significantly to that of woody debris (36.6%). Traditional scaling theory was not a good model for either the relationship between tree radii and tree abundance or tree biomass. Spatial patterning of large-diameter trees of the three most abundant species differed from that of small-diameter conspecifics. For A. concolor and P. lambertiana, as well as all trees pooled, large-diameter and small-diameter trees were spatially segregated through inter-tree distances <10 m. Competition alone was insufficient to explain the spatial patterns of large-diameter trees and spatial relationships between large-diameter and small-diameter trees. Long-term observations may reveal regulation of forest biomass and spatial structure by fire, wind, pathogens, and insects in Sierra Nevada mixed-conifer forests. Sustaining ecosystem functions such as carbon storage or provision of specialist species habitat will likely require different management strategies when the functions are performed primarily by

  19. Investigating the impacts of recycled water on long-lived conifers.

    PubMed

    Nackley, Lloyd L; Barnes, Corey; Oki, Lorence R

    2015-04-15

    healthy verdant landscapes that include coast redwoods and other long-lived conifers.

  20. Factors driving mortality and growth at treeline: a 30-year experiment of 92 000 conifers.

    PubMed

    Barbeito, Ignacio; Dawes, Melissa A; Rixen, Christian; Senn, Josef; Bebi, Peter

    2012-02-01

    Understanding the interplay between environmental factors contributing to treeline formation and how these factors influence different life stages remains a major research challenge. We used an afforestation experiment including 92 000 trees to investigate the spatial and temporal dynamics of tree mortality and growth at treeline in the Swiss Alps. Seedlings of three high-elevation conifer species (Larix decidua, Pinus mugo ssp. uncinata, and Pinus cembra) were systematically planted along an altitudinal gradient at and above the current treeline (2075 to 2230 m above sea level [a.s.l.]) in 1975 and closely monitored during the following 30 years. We used decision-tree models and generalized additive models to identify patterns in mortality and growth along gradients in elevation, snow duration, wind speed, and solar radiation, and to quantify interactions between the different variables. For all three species, snowmelt date was always the most important environmental factor influencing mortality, and elevation was always the most important factor for growth over the entire period studied. Individuals of all species survived at the highest point of the afforestation for more than 30 years, although mortality was greater above 2160 m a.s.l., 50-100 m above the current treeline. Optimal conditions for height growth differed from those for survival in all three species: early snowmelt (ca. day of year 125-140 [where day 1 is 1 January]) yielded lowest mortality rates, but relatively later snowmelt (ca. day 145-150) yielded highest growth rates. Although snowmelt and elevation were important throughout all life stages of the trees, the importance of radiation decreased over time and that of wind speed increased. Our findings provide experimental evidence that tree survival and height growth require different environmental conditions and that even small changes in the duration of snow cover, in addition to changes in temperature, can strongly impact tree survival and

  1. Ecological Importance of Large-Diameter Trees in a Temperate Mixed-Conifer Forest

    PubMed Central

    Lutz, James A.; Larson, Andrew J.; Swanson, Mark E.; Freund, James A.

    2012-01-01

    Large-diameter trees dominate the structure, dynamics and function of many temperate and tropical forests. Although both scaling theory and competition theory make predictions about the relative composition and spatial patterns of large-diameter trees compared to smaller diameter trees, these predictions are rarely tested. We established a 25.6 ha permanent plot within which we tagged and mapped all trees ≥1 cm dbh, all snags ≥10 cm dbh, and all shrub patches ≥2 m2. We sampled downed woody debris, litter, and duff with line intercept transects. Aboveground live biomass of the 23 woody species was 507.9 Mg/ha, of which 503.8 Mg/ha was trees (SD = 114.3 Mg/ha) and 4.1 Mg/ha was shrubs. Aboveground live and dead biomass was 652.0 Mg/ha. Large-diameter trees comprised 1.4% of individuals but 49.4% of biomass, with biomass dominated by Abies concolor and Pinus lambertiana (93.0% of tree biomass). The large-diameter component dominated the biomass of snags (59.5%) and contributed significantly to that of woody debris (36.6%). Traditional scaling theory was not a good model for either the relationship between tree radii and tree abundance or tree biomass. Spatial patterning of large-diameter trees of the three most abundant species differed from that of small-diameter conspecifics. For A. concolor and P. lambertiana, as well as all trees pooled, large-diameter and small-diameter trees were spatially segregated through inter-tree distances <10 m. Competition alone was insufficient to explain the spatial patterns of large-diameter trees and spatial relationships between large-diameter and small-diameter trees. Long-term observations may reveal regulation of forest biomass and spatial structure by fire, wind, pathogens, and insects in Sierra Nevada mixed-conifer forests. Sustaining ecosystem functions such as carbon storage or provision of specialist species habitat will likely require different management strategies when the functions are performed primarily by a

  2. Towards scaling interannual ecohydrological responses of conifer forests to bark beetle infestations from individuals to landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mackay, D. S.; Ewers, B. E.; Peckham, S. D.; Savoy, P.; Reed, D. E.; Frank, J. M.

    2013-12-01

    Widespread epidemics of forest-damaging insects have severe implications for the interconnections between water and ecosystem processes under present-day climate. How these systems respond to future climates is highly uncertain, and so there is a need for a better understanding of the effects of such disturbances on plant hydraulics, and the consequent effects on ecosystem processes. Moreover, large-scale manifestations of such disturbances require scaling knowledge obtained from individual trees or stands up to a regional extent. This requires a conceptual framework that integrates physical and biological processes that are immutable and scalable. Indeed, in Western North America multiple conifer species have been impacted by the bark beetle epidemic, but the prediction of such widespread outbreaks under changing environmental conditions must be generalized from a relatively small number of ground-based observations. Using model-data fusion we examine the fundamental principles that drive ecological and hydrological responses to bark beetles infestation from individuals to regions. The study includes a mid-elevation (2750 m a.s.l) lodgepole pine forest and higher (3190 m a.s.l.) elevation Engelmann spruce - fir forest in southern Wyoming. The study included a suite of observations, comprising leaf gas exchange, non-structural carbon (NSC), plant hydraulics, including sap flux transpiration (E), vulnerability to cavitation, leaf water potentials, and eddy covariance, were made pre-, during-, and post-disturbance, as the bark beetle infestation moved through these areas. Numerous observations tested hypotheses generated by the Terrestrial Regional Ecosystem Exchange Simulator (TREES), which integrates soil hydraulics and dynamic tree hydraulics (cavitation) with canopy energy and gas exchange, and operates at scales from individuals to landscapes. TREES accurately predicted E and NSC dynamics among individuals spanning pre- and post-disturbance periods, with the 95

  3. Fuel deposition rates of montane and subalpine conifers in the central Sierra Nevada, California, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    van Wagtendonk, J.W.; Moore, P.E.

    2010-01-01

    Fire managers and researchers need information on fuel deposition rates to estimate future changes in fuel bed characteristics, determine when forests transition to another fire behavior fuel model, estimate future changes in fuel bed characteristics, and parameterize and validate ecosystem process models. This information is lacking for many ecosystems including the Sierra Nevada in California, USA. We investigated fuel deposition rates and stand characteristics of seven montane and four subalpine conifers in the Sierra Nevada. We collected foliage, miscellaneous bark and crown fragments, cones, and woody fuel classes from four replicate plots each in four stem diameter size classes for each species, for a total of 176 sampling sites. We used these data to develop predictive equations for each fuel class and diameter size class of each species based on stem and crown characteristics. There were consistent species and diameter class differences in the annual amount of foliage and fragments deposited. Foliage deposition rates ranged from just over 50 g m-2 year-1 in small diameter mountain hemlock stands to ???300 g m-2 year-1 for the three largest diameter classes of giant sequoia. The deposition rate for most woody fuel classes increased from the smallest diameter class stands to the largest diameter class stands. Woody fuel deposition rates varied among species as well. The rates for the smallest woody fuels ranged from 0.8 g m-2 year-1 for small diameter stands of Jeffrey pine to 126.9 g m-2 year-1 for very large diameter stands of mountain hemlock. Crown height and live crown ratio were the best predictors of fuel deposition rates for most fuel classes and species. Both characteristics reflect the amount of crown biomass including foliage and woody fuels. Relationships established in this study allow predictions of fuel loads to be made on a stand basis for each of these species under current and possible future conditions. These predictions can be used to

  4. Atmospheric deposition and solute export in giant sequoia: mixed conifer watersheds in the Sierra Nevada, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stohlgren, Thomas J.; Melack, John M.; Esperanza, Anne M.; Parsons, David J.

    1991-01-01

    Atmospheric depostion and stream discharge and solutes were measured for three years (September 1984 - August 1987) in two mixed conifer watersheds in Sequoia National Park, in the southern Sierra Nevada of California. The Log Creek watershed (50 ha, 2067-2397 m elev.) is drained by a perennial stream, while Tharp's Creek watershed (13 ha, 2067-2255 m elev.) contains an intermittent stream. Dominant trees in the area include Abies concolor (white fir), Sequoiadendron giganteum (giant sequoia), A. magnifica (red fir), and Pinus lambertiana (sugar pine). Bedrock is predominantly granite and granodiorite, and the soils are mostly Pachic Xerumbrepts. Over the three year period, sulfate (SO42-), nitrate (NO3-), and chloride (Cl-) were the major anions in bulk precipitation with volume-weighted average concentrations of 12.6, 12.3 and 10.0 μeq/1, respectively. Annual inputs of NO3-N, NH4-N and SO4-S from wet deposition were about 60 to 75% of those reported from bulk deposition collectors. Discharge from the two watersheds occurs primarily during spring snowmelt. Solute exports from Log and Tharp's Creeks were dominated by HCO3-, Ca2+ and Na+, while H+, NO3-, NH4+ and PO43- outputs were relatively small. Solute concentrations were weakly correlated with instantaneous stream flow for all solutes (r2 3- (Log Cr. r2=0.72; Tharp's Cr. r2=0.38), Na+ (Log Cr. r2=0.56; Tharp's Cr. r2=0.47), and silicate (Log Cr. r2=0.71; Tharp's Cr. r2=0.49). Mean annual atmospheric contributions of NO3-N (1.6 kg ha-1), NH4-N (1.7 kg ha-1), and SO4-S (1.8 kg ha-1), which are associated with acidic deposition, greatly exceed hydrologic losses. Annual watershed yields (expressed as eq ha-1) of HCO3- exceeded by factors of 2.5 to 37 the annual atmospheric deposition of H+.

  5. Natural 'background' soil water repellency in conifer forests: its prediction and relationship to wildfire occurrence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doerr, Stefan; Woods, Scott; Martin, Deborah; Casimiro, Marta

    2013-04-01

    Soils under a wide range of vegetation types exhibit water repellency following the passage of a fire. This is viewed by many as one of the main causes for accelerated post-fire runoff and soil erosion and it has often been assumed that strong soil water repellency present after wildfire is fire-induced. However, high levels of repellency have also been reported under vegetation types not affected by fire, and the question arises to what degree the water repellency observed at burnt sites actually results from fire. This study aimed at determining 'natural background' water repellency in common coniferous forest types in the north-western USA. Mature or semi-mature coniferous forest sites (n = 81), which showed no evidence of recent fires and had at least some needle cast cover, were sampled across six states. After careful removal of litter and duff at each site, soil water repellency was examined in situ at the mineral soil surface using the Water Drop Penetration Time (WDPT) method for three sub-sites, followed by col- lecting near-surface mineral soil layer samples (0-3 cm depth). Following air-drying, samples were fur- ther analyzed for repellency using WDPT and contact angle (hsl) measurements. Amongst other variables examined were dominant tree type, ground vegetation, litter and duff layer depth, slope angle and aspect, elevation, geology, and soil texture, organic carbon content and pH. 'Natural background' water repellency (WDPT > 5 s) was detected in situ and on air-dry samples at 75% of all sites examined irrespective of dominant tree species (Pinus ponderosa, Pinus contorta, Picea engelma- nii and Pseudotsuga menziesii). These findings demonstrate that the soil water repellency commonly observed in these forest types following burning is not necessarily the result of recent fire but can instead be a natural characteristic. The notion of a low background water repellency being typical for long- unburnt conifer forest soils of the north-western USA is

  6. Recruitment limitation of long-lived conifers: implications for climate change responses.

    PubMed

    Kroiss, Steve J; Hillerslambers, Janneke

    2015-05-01

    Seed availability and suitable microsites for germination are likely to severely constrain the responses of plant species to climate change, especially at and beyond range edges. For example, range shifts may be slow if seed availability is low at range edges due to low parent-tree abundance or reduced fecundity. Even when seeds are available, climatic and biotic factors may further limit the availability of suitable microsites for recruitment. Unfortunately, the importance of seed and microsite limitation during range shifts remains unknown, since few studies have examined both factors simultaneously, particularly across species' ranges. To address this issue, we assessed seed availability and the factors influencing germination for six conifer species across a large environmental gradient encompassing their elevational ranges. Specifically, we assessed (1) how parent-tree abundance influences annual seed availability; (2) how seed limitation varies across species' ranges; (3) how climatic and biotic factors affect germination; and (4) how seed and suitable microsite availability covary annually within and among species. We found that seed availability declined toward species' upper range edges for most species, primarily due to low parent-tree abundance rather than declining fecundity. Range expansions are thus likely to be lagged with respect to climate change, as long generation times preclude rapid increases in tree density. Negative impacts of canopy cover on germination rates suggest range shifts will further be slowed by competition with existing vegetation. Moreover, years of high seed production were generally correlated among species, but not correlated with the availability of suitable microsites, implying that seedling competition and the interaction between seed and microsite limitation will further constrain recruitment. However, the nature of microsite limitation varied strongly between treeline and low-elevation species due to differing responses

  7. New datasets for quantifying snow-vegetation-atmosphere interactions in boreal birch and conifer forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reid, T. D.; Essery, R.; Rutter, N.; Huntley, B.; Baxter, R.; Holden, R.; King, M.; Hancock, S.; Carle, J.

    2012-12-01

    Boreal forests exert a strong influence on weather and climate by modifying the surface energy and radiation balance. However, global climate and numerical weather prediction models use forest parameter values from simple look-up tables or maps that are derived from limited satellite data, on large grid scales. In reality, Arctic landscapes are inherently heterogeneous, with highly variable land cover types and structures on a variety of spatial scales. There is value in collecting detailed field data for different areas of vegetation cover, to assess the accuracy of large-scale assumptions. To address these issues, a consortium of researchers funded by the UK's Natural Environment Research Council have collected extensive data on radiation, meteorology, snow cover and canopy structure at two contrasting Arctic forest sites. The chosen study sites were an area of boreal birch forest near Abisko, Sweden in March/April 2011 and mixed conifer forest at Sodankylä, Finland in March/April 2012. At both sites, arrays comprising ten shortwave pyranometers and four longwave pyrgeometers were deployed for periods of up to 50 days, under forest plots of varying canopy structures and densities. In addition, downwelling longwave irradiance and global and diffuse shortwave irradiances were recorded at nearby open sites representing the top-of-canopy conditions. Meteorological data were recorded at all sub-canopy and open sites using automatic weather stations. Over the same periods, tree skin temperatures were measured on selected trees using contact thermocouples, infrared thermocouples and thermal imagery. Canopy structure was accurately quantified through manual surveys, extensive hemispherical photography and terrestrial laser scans of every study plot. Sub-canopy snow depth and snow water equivalent were measured on fine-scale grids at each study plot. Regular site maintenance ensured a high quality dataset covering the important Arctic spring period. The data have several

  8. Comparing growth phenology of co-occurring deciduous and evergreen conifers exposed to drought.

    PubMed

    Swidrak, Irene; Schuster, Roman; Oberhuber, Walter

    2013-12-01

    indicate sink competition for carbohydrates to belowground organs. This is supported by completion of apical growth in mid June in all species, except for needle growth of Pinus sylvestris, which lasted until early August. Phenological observations of conifers exposed to drought revealed that tree water status early during the growing season determines total annual aboveground growth and besides temperature, species-specific endogenous and/or environmental factors (most likely photoperiod and/or different threshold temperatures) are involved in controlling apical and lateral growth resumption after winter dormancy.

  9. CO2-induced decrease of canopy stomatal conductance of mature conifer and broadleaved trees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tor-ngern, P.; Oren, R.; Ward, E. J.; Palmroth, S.; McCarthy, H. R.; domec, J.

    2013-12-01

    Together with canopy leaf area, mean canopy stomatal conductance (GS) controls forest-atmosphere exchanges of energy and mass. Expectations for stomatal response to elevated atmospheric [CO2] (CO2E) based on seedling studies range from large decreases of conductance in foliage of broadleaved species to little or no response in conifers. These responses are not directly translatable to forest canopies, and their underlying mechanisms are ill-defined. The uncertainty of canopy-scale stomatal response to CO2E reduces confidence in modeled predictions of future forest productivity and carbon sequestration, and of partitioning of net radiation between latent and sensible heat flux. Thus, debates on the potential effects of CO2E-induced stomatal closure continue. We used a Free-Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) experiment in a 27-year-old, 25 m tall forest, to generate a whole-canopy CO2-response and test whether canopy-scale GS response to CO2E of widely distributed, fast growing shade-intolerant species, Pinus taeda (L.) and co-occurring broadleaved species dominated by Liquidambar styraciflua (L.), was indirectly affected by slow changes such as hydraulic adjustments and canopy development, as opposed to quickly responding to CO2 concentrations in the leaf-internal air space. Our results show indirect CO2E-induced reductions of GS of 10% and 30%, respectively, and no signs of a direct stomatal response even as CO2E was pushed to 685 μmol mol-1 (~1.8 of ambient). Modeling the effect of CO2E on the water, energy and carbon cycles of forests must consider slow-response indirect mechanisms producing large variation in the reduction of GS, such as the previously observed inconsistent CO2E effect on canopy leaf area and plant hydraulics. Moreover, the new generation of CO2E studies in forests must allow indirect effects caused by, e.g., hydraulic adjustments and canopy development, to play out. Such acclimation will be particularly prolonged in slowly developing ecosystems, such

  10. Stem demography and post-fire recruitment of a resprouting serotinous conifer

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keeley, J.E.; Keeley, M.B.; Bond, W.J.

    1999-01-01

    The contribution of resprouts and seedling recruitment to post-fire regeneration of the South African fynbos conifer Widdringtonia nodiflora was compared eight months after wildfires in 1990. Stems on all trees were killed by fire but resprouting success was > 90 % at all but one site. A demographic study of burned skeletons revealed that prior to these fires, nearly all plants were multi-stemmed (4 - 9 stems/plant) and multi-aged, indicating continuous sprout production between fires. All stems were killed by these 1990 fires and at most sites > 90 % of the stems were burned to ground level. All diameter stems were susceptible to such incineration as, at most sites, there was no difference in average diameter of stems burned to ground level and those left standing. Individual genets usually had all ramets incinerated to ground level or all ramets charred, but intact, suggesting certain micro-sites burned hotter, whereas other sites were somewhat protected. Although not true of the 1990 fires, there was evidence that occasionally Widdringtonia stems may survive fire. At one site, four of the 16 plants sampled had a burned stem twice as old as the oldest burned stem on the other 12 plants at the site, suggesting some stems had survived the previous fire (ca. 1970) and this conclusion was supported by fire-scars on these four stems that dated to ca. 1970. Based on the highly significant correlation between stem diameter and cone density left standing after the 1990 fries, we calculated that for most sites > 80 % of the initial cone crop was incinerated by fire. This is important because we observed a strong relationship between size of the canopy cone crop surviving fire and post-fire seedling recruitment. Under these conditions we hypothesize that sprouting confers a selective advantage to genets when fires cause heavy losses of seed. The infrequent occurrence of sprouting in the Cupressaceae suggests the hypothesis that resprouting is an apomorphic or derived trait

  11. Patch to landscape patterns in post fire recruitment of a serotinous conifer

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ne'eman, G.; Fotheringham, C.J.; Keeley, J.E.

    1999-01-01

    Obligate seeding species are highly specialized to fire disturbance and many conifers such as cypress, which are adapted to high intensity stand-replacing fires, have canopy seed banks stored in serotinous cones. Resilience of these trees to fire disturbance is a function of disturbance frequency and one focus of this study was to determine the effect of patch age on postfire recruitment. A second focus was to determine the extent to which fire induced a landscape level change in the location of the forest boundary. Prior to a fire in 1994, a large Cupressus sargentii forest was a mosaic landscape of different aged patches of nearly pure cypress bordered by chaparral. Patches less than 60 years of age were relatively dense with roughly one tree every 1-2 m2 but older patches had thinned to one tree every 3-15 m2. Older trees had substantially greater canopy cone crops but the stand level seed bank size was not significantly correlated with stand age. Fire-dependent obligate seeding species are sensitive to fire return interval because of potential changes in the size of seed banks - facing both a potential 'immaturity risk' and a 'senescence risk'. At our site, C. sargentii regeneration was substantial in stands as young as 20 years, suggesting that fire return interval would need to be shorter than this to pose any significant risk. Reduced seedling recruitment in stands nearly 100 years of age may indicate risk from senescence is greater, however, even the lowest density seedling recruitment was many times greater than the density of mature forests - thus this cypress would appear to be resilient to a wide range of fire return intervals. Changes in landscape patterning of forest and chaparral are unlikely except after fire. Factors that inhibit tree establishment within the shrubland, as well as factors that affect shrub establishment within the forest border likely affect the 'permeability' of this ecotone. After the 1994 fire this boundary appeared to be stable

  12. Zonobiomes, forests, and major forest-forming conifers across Northern Eurasia by the end of the century under climate warming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tchebakova, N.; Parfenova, E. I.; Shvetsov, E.; Soja, A. J.; Conard, S. G.

    2012-12-01

    Simulations of terrestrial ecosystems demonstrated globally the profound effects of the GCM-predicted climate change on their distribution at all hierarchical levels: zonobiomes, forests, and forest-forming tree species. We investigated progressions of potential vegetation cover, forest cover and ranges of forest-forming conifers across Northern Eurasia and Russia in the warming climate during the current century. We developed envelope-type static large-scale bioclimatic models predicting zonobiomes NEBioCliM, forests (ForCliM) and primary forest-forming conifer trees (TreeCliM)) from three bioclimatic indices (1) growing degree-days above 5oC, GDD5; (2) negative degree-days below 0oC, NDDo; and (3) an annual moisture index (ratio of growing degree days above 5oC to annual precipitation), AMI. No soil conditions except presence/absence of permafrost were taken into account in our models. Continuous permafrost was included in the models as limiting the forests and tree species distribution in interior Siberia. Each zonobiome, forest type and conifer distribution was mapped for the basic period 1960-1990 and for 2080 by coupling our bioclimatic models with bioclimatic indices and the permafrost distribution for the 1960-1990 and 2080 simulations. Climatic departures for the 2080 climate were derived from two climate change scenarios, the HadCM3 A2 and B1 (IPCC, 2007). Kappa (K) statistics were used to compare both the modeled vegetation and the conifer distributions in the contemporary climate to actual vegetation and forest maps. K-statistics proved that NEBioCliM accomplished a fair work in modeling zonobiomes across Russia. The tree species distributions also showed good match with the modeled ranges: 41% (Abies sibirica), 46% (Pinus sibirica), 71% (Pinus sylvestris), 75% (Picea spp.) and 78% (Larix spp.). Those matches might be higher because historically part of the primary conifer forests were replaced by secondary birch and aspen forests after large

  13. Effects of thinning, residue mastication, and prescribed fire on soil and nutrient budgets in a Sierra Nevada mixed-conifer forest

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The effects of thinning followed by residue mastication (THIN), prescribed fire (BURN), and thinning plus residue mastication plus burning (T+B) on nutrient budgets and resin-based (plant root simulator [PRS] probe) measurements of soil nutrient availability in a mixed-conifer forest were measured. ...

  14. A 14,000 year vegetation history of a hypermaritime island on the outer Pacific coast of Canada based on fossil pollen, spores and conifer stomata

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lacourse, Terri; Delepine, J. Michelle; Hoffman, Elizabeth H.; Mathewes, Rolf W.

    2012-11-01

    Pollen and conifer stomata analyses of lake sediments from Hippa Island on the north coast of British Columbia were used to reconstruct the vegetation history of this small hypermaritime island. Between 14,000 and 13,230 cal yr BP, the island supported diverse herb-shrub communities dominated by Cyperaceae, Artemisia and Salix. Pinus contorta and Picea sitchensis stomata indicate that these conifers were present among the herb-shrub communities, likely as scattered individuals. Transition to open P. contorta woodland by 13,000 cal yr BP was followed by increases in Alnus viridis, Alnus rubra and P. sitchensis. After 12,000 cal yr BP, Pinus-dominated communities were replaced by dense P. sitchensis and Tsuga heterophylla forest with Lysichiton americanus and fern understory. Thuja plicata stomata indicate that this species was present by 8700 cal yr BP, but the pollen record suggests that its populations did not expand to dominate regional rainforests, along with Tsuga and Picea, until after 6600 cal yr BP. Conifer stomata indicate that species may be locally present for hundreds to thousands of years before pollen exceed thresholds routinely used to infer local species arrival. When combined, pollen and conifer stomata can provide a more accurate record of paleovegetation than either when used alone.

  15. Modularity of Conifer Diterpene Resin Acid Biosynthesis: P450 Enzymes of Different CYP720B Clades Use Alternative Substrates and Converge on the Same Products1[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Yuen, Macaire M.S.; Bohlmann, Jörg

    2016-01-01

    Cytochrome P450 enzymes of the CYP720B subfamily play a central role in the biosynthesis of diterpene resin acids (DRAs), which are a major component of the conifer oleoresin defense system. CYP720Bs exist in families of up to a dozen different members in conifer genomes and fall into four different clades (I–IV). Only two CYP720B members, loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) PtCYP720B1 and Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) PsCYP720B4, have been characterized previously. Both are multisubstrate and multifunctional clade III enzymes, which catalyze consecutive three-step oxidations in the conversion of diterpene olefins to DRAs. These reactions resemble the sequential diterpene oxidations affording ent-kaurenoic acid from ent-kaurene in gibberellin biosynthesis. Here, we functionally characterized the CYP720B clade I enzymes CYP720B2 and CYP720B12 in three different conifer species, Sitka spruce, lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta), and jack pine (Pinus banksiana), and compared their activities with those of the clade III enzymes CYP720B1 and CYP720B4 of the same species. Unlike the clade III enzymes, clade I enzymes were ultimately found not to be active with diterpene olefins but converted the recently discovered, unstable diterpene synthase product 13-hydroxy-8(14)-abietene. Through alternative routes, CYP720B enzymes of both clades produce some of the same profiles of conifer oleoresin DRAs (abietic acid, neoabietic acid, levopimaric acid, and palustric acid), while clade III enzymes also function in the formation of pimaric acid, isopimaric acid, and sandaracopimaric acid. These results highlight the modularity of the specialized (i.e. secondary) diterpene metabolism, which produces conifer defense metabolites through variable combinations of different diterpene synthase and CYP720B enzymes. PMID:26936895

  16. Contrasting trait syndromes in angiosperms and conifers are associated with different responses of tree growth to temperature on a large scale.

    PubMed

    Carnicer, Jofre; Barbeta, Adrià; Sperlich, Dominik; Coll, Marta; Peñuelas, Josep

    2013-01-01

    Recent large-scale studies of tree growth in the Iberian Peninsula reported contrasting positive and negative effects of temperature in Mediterranean angiosperms and conifers. Here we review the different hypotheses that may explain these trends and propose that the observed contrasting responses of tree growth to temperature in this region could be associated with a continuum of trait differences between angiosperms and conifers. Angiosperm and conifer trees differ in the effects of phenology in their productivity, in their growth allometry, and in their sensitivity to competition. Moreover, angiosperms and conifers significantly differ in hydraulic safety margins, sensitivity of stomatal conductance to vapor-pressure deficit (VPD), xylem recovery capacity or the rate of carbon transfer. These differences could be explained by key features of the xylem such as non-structural carbohydrate content (NSC), wood parenchymal fraction or wood capacitance. We suggest that the reviewed trait differences define two contrasting ecophysiological strategies that may determine qualitatively different growth responses to increased temperature and drought. Improved reciprocal common garden experiments along altitudinal or latitudinal gradients would be key to quantify the relative importance of the different hypotheses reviewed. Finally, we show that warming impacts in this area occur in an ecological context characterized by the advance of forest succession and increased dominance of angiosperm trees over extensive areas. In this context, we examined the empirical relationships between the responses of tree growth to temperature and hydraulic safety margins in angiosperm and coniferous trees. Our findings suggest a future scenario in Mediterranean forests characterized by contrasting demographic responses in conifer and angiosperm trees to both temperature and forest succession, with increased dominance of angiosperm trees, and particularly negative impacts in pines.

  17. Contrasting trait syndromes in angiosperms and conifers are associated with different responses of tree growth to temperature on a large scale

    PubMed Central

    Carnicer, Jofre; Barbeta, Adrià; Sperlich, Dominik; Coll, Marta; Peñuelas, Josep

    2013-01-01

    Recent large-scale studies of tree growth in the Iberian Peninsula reported contrasting positive and negative effects of temperature in Mediterranean angiosperms and conifers. Here we review the different hypotheses that may explain these trends and propose that the observed contrasting responses of tree growth to temperature in this region could be associated with a continuum of trait differences between angiosperms and conifers. Angiosperm and conifer trees differ in the effects of phenology in their productivity, in their growth allometry, and in their sensitivity to competition. Moreover, angiosperms and conifers significantly differ in hydraulic safety margins, sensitivity of stomatal conductance to vapor-pressure deficit (VPD), xylem recovery capacity or the rate of carbon transfer. These differences could be explained by key features of the xylem such as non-structural carbohydrate content (NSC), wood parenchymal fraction or wood capacitance. We suggest that the reviewed trait differences define two contrasting ecophysiological strategies that may determine qualitatively different growth responses to increased temperature and drought. Improved reciprocal common garden experiments along altitudinal or latitudinal gradients would be key to quantify the relative importance of the different hypotheses reviewed. Finally, we show that warming impacts in this area occur in an ecological context characterized by the advance of forest succession and increased dominance of angiosperm trees over extensive areas. In this context, we examined the empirical relationships between the responses of tree growth to temperature and hydraulic safety margins in angiosperm and coniferous trees. Our findings suggest a future scenario in Mediterranean forests characterized by contrasting demographic responses in conifer and angiosperm trees to both temperature and forest succession, with increased dominance of angiosperm trees, and particularly negative impacts in pines. PMID

  18. Drought responses of conifers in ecotone forests of northern Arizona: tree ring growth and leaf delta13C.

    PubMed

    Adams, Henry D; Kolb, Thomas E

    2004-07-01

    We sought to understand differences in tree response to meteorological drought among species and soil types at two ecotone forests in northern Arizona, the pinyon-juniper woodland/ponderosa pine ecotone, and the higher elevation, wetter, ponderosa pine/mixed conifer ecotone. We used two approaches that provide different information about drought response: the ratio of standardized radial growth in wet years to dry years (W:D) for the period between years 1950 and 2000 as a measure of growth response to drought, and delta13C in leaves formed in non-drought (2001) and drought (2002) years as a measure of change in water use efficiency (WUE) in response to drought. W:D and leaf delta13C response to drought for Pinus edulis and P. ponderosa did not differ for trees growing on coarse-texture soils derived from cinders compared with finer textured soils derived from flow basalts or sedimentary rocks. P. ponderosa growing near its low elevation range limit at the pinyon-juniper woodland/ponderosa pine ecotone had a greater growth response to drought (higher W:D) and a larger increase in WUE in response to drought than co-occurring P. edulis growing near its high elevation range limit. P. flexilis and Pseudotsuga menziesii growing near their low elevation range limit at the ponderosa pine/mixed conifer ecotone had a larger growth response to drought than co-occurring P. ponderosa growing near its high elevation range limit. Increases in WUE in response to drought were similar for all species at the ponderosa pine/mixed conifer ecotone. Low elevation populations of P. ponderosa had greater growth response to drought than high-elevation populations, whereas populations had a similar increase in WUE in response to drought. Our findings of different responses to drought among co-occurring tree species and between low- and high-elevation populations are interpreted in the context of drought impacts on montane coniferous forests of the southwestern USA.

  19. The annealing temperature dependences of microstructures and magnetic properties in electro-chemical deposited CoNiFe thin films

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suharyadi, Edi; Riyanto, Agus; Abraha, Kamsul

    2016-04-01

    CoNiFe thin films with various compositions had been successfully fabricated using electro-chemical deposition method. The crystal structure of Co65Ni15Fe20, Co62Ni15Fe23, and Co55Ni15Fe30 thin films was fcc, bcc-fcc mix, and bcc, respectively. The difference crystal structure results the difference in magnetic properties. The saturation magnetic flux density (Bs) of Co65Ni15Fe20, Co62Ni15Fe23, and Co55Ni15Fe30 thin films was 1.89 T, 1.93 T, and 2.05 T, respectively. An optimal annealing temperature was determined for controlling the microstructure and magnetic properties of CoNiFe thin films. Depending on annealing temperature, the ratio of bcc and fcc structure varied without changing the film composition. By annealing at temperature of T ≥ 350°C, the intensity ratio of X-ray diffraction peaks for bcc(110) to fcc(111) increased. The increase of phase ratio of bcc(110) to fcc(111) caused the increase of Bs, from 1.89 T to 1.95 T. Coercivity (Hc) also increased after annealing, from 2.6 Oe to 18.6 Oe for fcc phase thin films, from 2.0 Oe to 12.0 Oe for fcc-bcc mix phase thin films, and 7.8 Oe to 8 Oe for bcc phase thin films. The changing crystal structures during annealing process indicated that the thermal treatment at high temperature cause the changing crystallinity and atomic displacement. The TEM bright-field images with corresponding selected-area electron diffraction (SAED) patterns showed that there are strongly effects of thermal annealing on the size of fcc and bcc phase crystalline grain as described by size of individual spot and discontinuous rings. The size of crystalline grains increased by thermal annealing. The evolution of bcc and fcc structures of CoNiFe during annealing is though to be responsible for the change of magnetic properties.

  20. Simulating stand-level water and carbon fluxes in beetle-attacked conifer forests in the Western U.S

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peckham, S. D.; Ewers, B. E.; Mackay, D. S.; Pendall, E. G.; Frank, J. M.; Massman, W. J.

    2013-12-01

    In recent decades, forest mortality due to bark beetle infestation in conifer forests of western North America has reached epidemic levels, which may have profound effects on both present and future water and carbon cycling. The responses of evaporation, transpiration, and net photosynthesis to changing climate and disturbance are a major concern as they control the carbon balance of forests and the hydrologic cycle in a region that relies on water from montane and subalpine forest systems. Tree mortality during bark beetle infestation in this region is due to hydraulic failure resulting from fungal infection spread by the beetles. We modified the terrestrial regional ecosystem exchange simulator (TREES) model to incorporate xylem-occlusion effects on hydraulic conductance to simulate beetle attack over the period 2005-2012 in a subalpine conifer forest at the Glacier Lakes Ecosystem Experiment Site (GLEES) and over 2008-2012 at a lodgepole pine dominated site in southeast Wyoming. Model simulations with and without beetle effects were compared to eddy-covariance and sap-flux data measured at the sites. The simulations were run at a 30-minute time step and covered the pre- to post-beetle infestation period. Simulated NEE at GLEES ranged from 200 to -625 g C m-2 yr-1, annual ET ranged from 250 to 800 mm yr-1 over the seven years and standard error in predicted half-hourly NEE was <3 μmol CO2 m-2 s-1 and <2e-05 mm s-1 for ET. The stand transitioned from a C sink to C source during the beetle attack and our modified model captured this dynamic, while simulations without the beetle effect did not (i.e. continued C sink). However, simulated NEE was underestimated compared to flux data later in the infestation period (2011) by over 100 g C m-2 yr-1. ET decreased during beetle attack in both the observed and simulated data, but the modified model underestimated ET in the later phase of attack (2010-2011). These results suggest that ET and NEE in these conifer forests may

  1. Decomposition of conifer tree bark under field conditions: effects of nitrogen and phosphorus additions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lopes de Gerenyu, Valentin; Kurganova, Irina; Kapitsa, Ekaterina; Shorokhova, Ekaterina

    2016-04-01

    In forest ecosystems, the processes of decomposition of coarse woody debris (CWD) can contribute significantly to the emission component of carbon (C) cycle and thus accelerate the greenhouse effect and global climate change. A better understanding of decomposition of CWD is required to refine estimates of the C balance in forest ecosystems and improve biogeochemical models. These estimates will in turn contribute to assessing the role of forests in maintaining their long-term productivity and other ecosystems services. We examined the decomposition rate of coniferous bark with added nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) fertilizers in experiment under field conditions. The experiment was carried out in 2015 during 17 weeks in Moscow region (54o50'N, 37o36'E) under continental-temperate climatic conditions. The conifer tree bark mixture (ca. 70% of Norway spruce and 30% of Scots pine) was combined with soil and placed in piles of soil-bark substrate (SBS) with height of ca. 60 cm and surface area of ca. 3 m2. The dry mass ratio of bark to soil was 10:1. The experimental design included following treatments: (1) soil (Luvisols Haplic) without bark, (S), (2) pure SBS, (3) SBS with N addition in the amount of 1% of total dry bark mass (SBS-N), and (4) SBS with N and P addition in the amount of 1% of total dry bark mass for each element (SBS-NP). The decomposition rate expressed as CO2 emission flux, g C/m2/h was measured using closed chamber method 1-3 times per week from July to early November using LiCor 6400 (Nebraska, USA). During the experiment, we also controlled soil temperature at depths of 5, 20, 40, and 60 cm below surface of SBS using thermochrons iButton (DS1921G, USA). The pattern of CO2 emission rate from SBS depended strongly on fertilizing. The highest decomposition rates (DecR) of 2.8-5.6 g C/m2/h were observed in SBS-NP treatment during the first 6 weeks of experiment. The decay process of bark was less active in the treatment with only N addition. In this

  2. Spatial and temporal population genetic variation and structure of Nothotsuga longibracteata (Pinaceae), a relic conifer species endemic to subtropical China

    PubMed Central

    Qiu, Yingjun; Liu, Yifei; Kang, Ming; Yi, Guanmei; Huang, Hongwen

    2013-01-01

    Nothotsuga longibracteata, a relic and endangered conifer species endemic to subtropical China, was studied for examining the spatial-temporal population genetic variation and structure to understand the historical biogeographical processes underlying the present geographical distribution. Ten populations were sampled over the entire natural range of the species for spatial analysis, while three key populations with large population sizes and varied age structure were selected for temporal analyses using both nuclear microsatellites (nSSR) and chloroplast microsatellites (cpSSR). A recent bottleneck was detected in the natural populations of N. longibracteata. The spatial genetic analysis showed significant population genetic differentiation across its total geographical range. Notwithstanding, the temporal genetic analysis revealed that the level of genetic diversity between different age class subpopulations remained constant over time. Eleven refugia of the Last Glacial Maximum were identified, which deserve particular attention for conservation management. PMID:24385864

  3. Stem Densities of Trees from Overstocked Mixed Conifer Stands of Western Hemlock, Douglas-fir and Western Redcedar.

    SciTech Connect

    Pong, W.Y.; Waddell, Dale R.; Biomass and Energy Project

    1985-03-15

    This report presents results from a stem density (wood and bark combined) study conducted on trees from overstocked mixed conifer stands of Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla) and western redcedar (Thuja plicata) located on the Quilcene Ranger District, Olympic National Forest in the State of Washington. Information on the density of stem wood that is available in literature generally have been derived from trees growing in stands of normal stocking levels. Stem densities, an essential parameter in the determination of stem biomass, have not been investigated for trees growing in overstocked conditions. Predictive estimators of density based on data derived from studies of normally stocked stands can not be applied to trees growing in an overstocked condition with any reliability. There is need to specifically examine stem densities in trees grown under these adverse conditions. 3 refs., 3 tabs.

  4. Analysis of the dielectric properties of trunk wood in dominant conifer species from New England and Siberia

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ranson, K. J.; Rock, B. N.; Salas, W. A.; Smith, K.; Williams, D. L.

    1992-01-01

    Data were collected for dominant conifer species. Dielectric properties of trunk wood were measured using a C-band dielectric probe. For certain specimens, electrical resistance was also measured using a shigometer. The water status of the trees studies was determined either by use of a Scholander pressure chamber on branch samples collected simultaneously with dielectric measurements or by fresh-weight/dry-weight assessment of wood core samples extracted and analyzed with the dielectric probe and shigometer. Diurnal delectric properties and xylem water column tension are inversely correlated such that real and imaginary dielectric values drop as tension increases. The dielectric properties were positively correlated with wood core moisture content while electrical resistance was poorly correlated with wood core moisture content in one species studied. Results support the view that dielectric properties are strongly correlated with moisture status in trunk wood, and possibly ion concentrations associated with decay processes in damaged specimens.

  5. Spatial and temporal population genetic variation and structure of Nothotsuga longibracteata (Pinaceae), a relic conifer species endemic to subtropical China.

    PubMed

    Qiu, Yingjun; Liu, Yifei; Kang, Ming; Yi, Guanmei; Huang, Hongwen

    2013-12-01

    Nothotsuga longibracteata, a relic and endangered conifer species endemic to subtropical China, was studied for examining the spatial-temporal population genetic variation and structure to understand the historical biogeographical processes underlying the present geographical distribution. Ten populations were sampled over the entire natural range of the species for spatial analysis, while three key populations with large population sizes and varied age structure were selected for temporal analyses using both nuclear microsatellites (nSSR) and chloroplast microsatellites (cpSSR). A recent bottleneck was detected in the natural populations of N. longibracteata. The spatial genetic analysis showed significant population genetic differentiation across its total geographical range. Notwithstanding, the temporal genetic analysis revealed that the level of genetic diversity between different age class subpopulations remained constant over time. Eleven refugia of the Last Glacial Maximum were identified, which deserve particular attention for conservation management.

  6. A simple and rapid method for isolation of high quality genomic DNA from fruit trees and conifers using PVP.

    PubMed Central

    Kim, C S; Lee, C H; Shin, J S; Chung, Y S; Hyung, N I

    1997-01-01

    Because DNA degradation is mediated by secondary plant products such as phenolic terpenoids, the isolation of high quality DNA from plants containing a high content of polyphenolics has been a difficult problem. We demonstrate an easy extraction process by modifying several existing ones. Using this process we have found it possible to isolate DNAs from four fruit trees, grape (Vitis spp.), apple (Malus spp.), pear (Pyrus spp.) and persimmon (Diospyros spp.) and four species of conifer, Pinus densiflora, Pinus koraiensis,Taxus cuspidata and Juniperus chinensis within a few hours. Compared with the existing method, we have isolated high quality intact DNAs (260/280 = 1.8-2.0) routinely yielding 250-500 ng/microl (total 7.5-15 microg DNA from four to five tissue discs). PMID:9023124

  7. Contrasting Spatial Patterns in Active-Fire and Fire-Suppressed Mediterranean Climate Old-Growth Mixed Conifer Forests

    PubMed Central

    Fry, Danny L.; Stephens, Scott L.; Collins, Brandon M.; North, Malcolm P.; Franco-Vizcaíno, Ernesto; Gill, Samantha J.

    2014-01-01

    In Mediterranean environments in western North America, historic fire regimes in frequent-fire conifer forests are highly variable both temporally and spatially. This complexity influenced forest structure and spatial patterns, but some of this diversity has been lost due to anthropogenic disruption of ecosystem processes, including fire. Information from reference forest sites can help management efforts to restore forests conditions that may be more resilient to future changes in disturbance regimes and climate. In this study, we characterize tree spatial patterns using four-ha stem maps from four old-growth, Jeffrey pine-mixed conifer forests, two with active-fire regimes in northwestern Mexico and two that experienced fire exclusion in the southern Sierra Nevada. Most of the trees were in patches, averaging six to 11 trees per patch at 0.007 to 0.014 ha−1, and occupied 27–46% of the study areas. Average canopy gap sizes (0.04 ha) covering 11–20% of the area were not significantly different among sites. The putative main effects of fire exclusion were higher densities of single trees in smaller size classes, larger proportion of trees (≥56%) in large patches (≥10 trees), and decreases in spatial complexity. While a homogenization of forest structure has been a typical result from fire exclusion, some similarities in patch, single tree, and gap attributes were maintained at these sites. These within-stand descriptions provide spatially relevant benchmarks from which to manage for structural heterogeneity in frequent-fire forest types. PMID:24586472

  8. Acaricidal activity of essential oils from five endemic conifers of New Caledonia on the cattle tick Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus.

    PubMed

    Lebouvier, Nicolas; Hue, Thomas; Hnawia, Edouard; Lesaffre, Leïla; Menut, Chantal; Nour, Mohammed

    2013-04-01

    The aim of the present study was to demonstrate acaricidal activity on the cattle tick Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus of essential oils from endemic conifers of New Caledonia in the context of the development of natural alternatives. Acaricidal activity of essential oils extracted from resin and heartwood of five endemic conifers of New Caledonia (Araucaria columnaris, Agathis moorei, Agathis ovata, Callitris sulcata, and Neocallitropsis pancheri) was evaluated on 14- to 21-day-old Rhipicephalus microplus tick larvae using the Larval Packal Test bioassay. A first screening with 5% dilute solution was carried out and the oils with 100% of mortality at this rate were diluted until no activity was shown. The heartwood oils of the two Cupressaceae were the most active with LC50 value of 0.65% for C. sulcata and 0.55% for N. pancheri while resin oil of A. columnaris (LC50=1.62%) was the most active of the Araucariaceae family. Negative control (ethanol) was not toxic to the larvae. The chemical composition of essential oil from resin of A. columnaris was analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The essential oil was characterized by high level of sesquiterpene hydrocarbons and oxygenated sesquiterpenes and was composed mainly of aromadendrene (23.1%) and bicyclogermacrene (16.0%). In order to compare different plant resources in a sustainable program of natural acaricide, an "essential oil efficiency EOE" can be measured as the ratio between the yield of extraction and LC50 value. This study shows that A. columnaris (EOE=2.36) and N. pancheri (EOE=3.51) could provide valuable and effective natural acaricides for control of the cattle tick R. microplus.

  9. Climate sensitivity of reproduction in a mast-seeding boreal conifer across its distributional range from lowland to treeline forests.

    PubMed

    Roland, Carl A; Schmidt, Joshua H; Johnstone, Jill F

    2014-03-01

    Mast-seeding conifers such as Picea glauca exhibit synchronous production of large seed crops over wide areas, suggesting climate factors as possible triggers for episodic high seed production. Rapidly changing climatic conditions may thus alter the tempo and spatial pattern of masting of dominant species with potentially far-reaching ecological consequences. Understanding the future reproductive dynamics of ecosystems including boreal forests, which may be dominated by mast-seeding species, requires identifying the specific cues that drive variation in reproductive output across landscape gradients and among years. Here we used annual data collected at three sites spanning an elevation gradient in interior Alaska, USA between 1986 and 2011 to produce the first quantitative models for climate controls over both seedfall and seed viability in P. glauca, a dominant boreal conifer. We identified positive associations between seedfall and increased summer precipitation and decreased summer warmth in all years except for the year prior to seedfall. Seed viability showed a contrasting response, with positive correlations to summer warmth in all years analyzed except for one, and an especially positive response to warm and wet conditions in the seedfall year. Finally, we found substantial reductions in reproductive potential of P. glauca at high elevation due to significantly reduced seed viability there. Our results indicate that major variation in the reproductive potential of this species may occur in different landscape positions in response to warming, with decreasing reproductive success in areas prone to drought stress contrasted with increasing success in higher elevation areas currently limited by cool summer temperatures.

  10. Differences in the response sensitivity of stomatal index to atmospheric CO2 among four genera of Cupressaceae conifers

    PubMed Central

    Haworth, Matthew; Heath, James; McElwain, Jennifer C.

    2010-01-01

    Background and Aims The inverse relationship between stomatal density (SD: number of stomata per mm2 leaf area) and atmospheric concentration of CO2 ([CO2]) permits the use of plants as proxies of palaeo-atmospheric CO2. Many stomatal reconstructions of palaeo-[CO2] are based upon multiple fossil species. However, it is unclear how plants respond to [CO2] across genus, family or ecotype in terms of SD or stomatal index (SI: ratio of stomata to epidermal cells). This study analysed the stomatal numbers of conifers from the ancient family Cupressaceae, in order to examine the nature of the SI–[CO2] relationship, and potential implications for stomatal reconstructions of palaeo-[CO2]. Methods Stomatal frequency measurements were taken from historical herbarium specimens of Athrotaxis cupressoides, Tetraclinis articulata and four Callitris species, and live A. cupressoides grown under CO2-enrichment (370, 470, 570 and 670 p.p.m. CO2). Key Results T. articulata, C. columnaris and C. rhomboidea displayed significant reductions in SI with rising [CO2]; by contrast, A. cupressoides, C. preissii and C. oblonga show no response in SI. However, A. cupressoides does reduce SI to increases in [CO2] above current ambient (approx. 380 p.p.m. CO2). This dataset suggests that a shared consistent SI–[CO2] relationship is not apparent across the genus Callitris. Conclusions The present findings suggest that it is not possible to generalize how conifer species respond to fluctuations in [CO2] based upon taxonomic relatedness or habitat. This apparent lack of a consistent response, in conjunction with high variability in SI, indicates that reconstructions of absolute palaeo-[CO2] based at the genus level, or upon multiple species for discrete intervals of time are not as reliable as those based on a single or multiple temporally overlapping species. PMID:20089556

  11. Contrasting spatial patterns in active-fire and fire-suppressed Mediterranean climate old-growth mixed conifer forests.

    PubMed

    Fry, Danny L; Stephens, Scott L; Collins, Brandon M; North, Malcolm P; Franco-Vizcaíno, Ernesto; Gill, Samantha J

    2014-01-01

    In Mediterranean environments in western North America, historic fire regimes in frequent-fire conifer forests are highly variable both temporally and spatially. This complexity influenced forest structure and spatial patterns, but some of this diversity has been lost due to anthropogenic disruption of ecosystem processes, including fire. Information from reference forest sites can help management efforts to restore forests conditions that may be more resilient to future changes in disturbance regimes and climate. In this study, we characterize tree spatial patterns using four-ha stem maps from four old-growth, Jeffrey pine-mixed conifer forests, two with active-fire regimes in northwestern Mexico and two that experienced fire exclusion in the southern Sierra Nevada. Most of the trees were in patches, averaging six to 11 trees per patch at 0.007 to 0.014 ha(-1), and occupied 27-46% of the study areas. Average canopy gap sizes (0.04 ha) covering 11-20% of the area were not significantly different among sites. The putative main effects of fire exclusion were higher densities of single trees in smaller size classes, larger proportion of trees (≥ 56%) in large patches (≥ 10 trees), and decreases in spatial complexity. While a homogenization of forest structure has been a typical result from fire exclusion, some similarities in patch, single tree, and gap attributes were maintained at these sites. These within-stand descriptions provide spatially relevant benchmarks from which to manage for structural heterogeneity in frequent-fire forest types.

  12. Spring water deficit and soil conditions matter more than seed origin and summer drought for the establishment of temperate conifers.

    PubMed

    Moser, Barbara; Walthert, Lorenz; Metslaid, Marek; Wasem, Ulrich; Wohlgemuth, Thomas

    2017-02-01

    In anticipation of more severe summer droughts, forestry in temperate Europe is searching for drought-resistant ecotypes of native tree species that might maintain ecosystem services in the future. We investigated how spring precipitation and soil conditions interact with summer drought and affect the establishment of conifer seedlings from different climatic origin. Emergence, establishment and subsequent performance of seedlings originating from autochthonous, Central Alpine, continental Eastern European, and Mediterranean Pinus sylvestris and Picea abies populations were studied in the dry Alpine Rhine valley, Switzerland, at three sites with differing soil water holding capacities and in 3 years with contrasting weather conditions. In addition to this natural inter-annual variation, precipitation was manipulated within sites with throughfall reduction roofs. Seedling establishment and growth were principally affected by the spring weather in the year of emergence. In years with average to positive spring water balance, seedlings grown at the site with the highest water holding capacity had 2-5 times more aboveground biomass than seedlings grown at sites with less favourable soils. Effects of seed origin were marginal and only detectable at the drier sites: contrary to our expectations, seedlings from the Central Alpine Rhone valley, where the climatic spring water deficit is large, outperformed those from the Mediterranean. Consequently, plantation of non-native populations from dryer origin will mitigate the effects of increased summer drought at driest sites only, while the inter-annual variability of spring precipitation will continue to enable temperate conifers to regenerate on a wide range of forest soils independent of seed origin.

  13. A Norway Spruce FLOWERING LOCUS T Homolog Is Implicated in Control of Growth Rhythm in Conifers1[OA

    PubMed Central

    Gyllenstrand, Niclas; Clapham, David; Källman, Thomas; Lagercrantz, Ulf

    2007-01-01

    Growth in perennial plants possesses an annual cycle of active growth and dormancy that is controlled by environmental factors, mainly photoperiod and temperature. In conifers and other nonangiosperm species, the molecular mechanisms behind these responses are currently unknown. In Norway spruce (Picea abies L. Karst.) seedlings, growth cessation and bud set are induced by short days and plants from southern latitudes require at least 7 to 10 h of darkness, whereas plants from northern latitudes need only 2 to 3 h of darkness. Bud burst, on the other hand, is almost exclusively controlled by temperature. To test the possible role of Norway spruce FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT)-like genes in growth rhythm, we have studied expression patterns of four Norway spruce FT family genes in two populations with a divergent bud set response under various photoperiodic conditions. Our data show a significant and tight correlation between growth rhythm (both bud set and bud burst), and expression pattern of one of the four Norway spruce phosphatidylethanolamine-binding protein gene family members (PaFT4) over a variety of experimental conditions. This study strongly suggests that one Norway spruce homolog to the FT gene, which controls flowering in angiosperms, is also a key integrator of photoperiodic and thermal signals in the control of growth rhythms in gymnosperms. The data also indicate that the divergent adaptive bud set responses of northern and southern Norway spruce populations, both to photoperiod and light quality, are mediated through PaFT4. These results provide a major advance in our understanding of the molecular control of a major adaptive trait in conifers and a tool for further molecular studies of adaptive variation in plants. PMID:17369429

  14. Sapling leaf trait responses to light, tree height and soil nutrients for three conifer species of contrasting shade tolerance.

    PubMed

    Lilles, Erica B; Astrup, Rasmus; Lefrançois, Marie-Lou; David Coates, K

    2014-12-01

    We developed models to describe the responses of four commonly examined leaf traits (mass per area, weight, area and nitrogen (N) concentration) to gradients of light, soil nutrients and tree height in three conifer species of contrasting shade tolerance. Our observational dataset from the sub-boreal spruce forests of British Columbia included subalpine fir (Abies lasioscarpa [Hook.] Nutt; high shade tolerance), interior spruce (Picea glauca × Picea engelmannii [Moench] Voss; intermediate shade tolerance) and lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta Dougl. ex Loud. var. latifolia; low shade tolerance) saplings from 0.18 to 4.87 m tall, in 8-98% of total incident light, from field sites with <17.6 kg ha(-1) to >46.8 kg ha(-1) total dissolved N. Leaf weights and areas showed strong positive responses to light and height, but little or no response to soil nutrients. Parameter estimates indicated that the shape of leaf weight and area responses to light corresponded with shade tolerance ranking for the three species; pine had the most linear response whereas spruce and fir had asymptotic responses. Leaf N concentration responded positively to soil nutrients, negatively to light and idiosyncratically to height. The negative effect of light was only apparent on sites of high soil nutrient availability, and parameter estimates for the shape of the negative response also corresponded to shade tolerance ranking (apine = -0.79, aspruce = -0.15, afir = -0.07). Of the traits we measured, leaf mass per area showed the least response to light, soil nutrient and height gradients. Although it is a common practice in comparisons across many species, characterizing these conifers by mean values of their leaf traits would miss important intraspecific variation across environmental and size gradients. In these forests, parameter estimates representing the intraspecific variability of leaf trait responses can be used to understand relative shade tolerances.

  15. Extraction and estimation of the quantity of calcium oxalate crystals in the foliage of conifer and hardwood trees.

    PubMed

    Minocha, Rakesh; Chamberlain, Bradley; Long, Stephanie; Turlapati, Swathi A; Quigley, Gloria

    2015-05-01

    The main goal of this study was to develop a method for the extraction and indirect estimation of the quantity of calcium oxalate (CaOx) in the foliage of trees. Foliar tissue was collected from a single tree of each species (five conifers and five hardwoods) for comparison of extractions in different solvents using 10 replicates per species from the same pool of tissue. For each species, calcium (Ca) and oxalate were extracted sequentially in double deionized water and 2N acetic acid, and finally, five replicate samples were extracted in 5% (0.83N) perchloric acid (PCA) and the other five in 2N hydrochloric acid (HCl); three cycles of freezing and thawing were used for each solvent. Total ions were extracted by microwave digestion. Calcium was quantified with an inductively coupled plasma emission spectrophotometer method and oxalate was eluted and quantified using a high performance liquid chromatography method. This experiment was repeated again with two conifer and two hardwood species using four trees per species, and two analytical replicates for each tree. We report here that, regardless of age of individual trees within a species, time of collection or species type, the third extraction in PCA or HCl resulted in near equimolar quantities of Ca and oxalate (r(2) ≥ 0.99). This method provides an easy estimate of the quantity of CaOx crystals using a small sample of foliar tissue. An additional benefit of PCA is that it precipitates the nucleic acids and proteins, allowing the quantification of several free/soluble metabolites such as amino acids, polyamines, organic acids and inorganic elements all from a single sample extract.

  16. Historical dominance of low-severity fire in dry and wet mixed-conifer forest habitats of the endangered terrestrial Jemez Mountains salamander (Plethodon neomexicanus)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Margolis, Ellis; Malevich, Steven B.

    2016-01-01

    Anthropogenic alteration of ecosystem processes confounds forest management and conservation of rare, declining species. Restoration of forest structure and fire hazard reduction are central goals of forest management policy in the western United States, but restoration priorities and treatments have become increasingly contentious. Numerous studies have documented changes in fire regimes, forest stand structure and species composition following a century of fire exclusion in dry, frequent-fire forests of the western U.S. (e.g., ponderosa pine and dry mixed-conifer). In contrast, wet mixed-conifer forests are thought to have historically burned infrequently with mixed- or high-severity fire—resulting in reduced impacts from fire exclusion and low restoration need—but data are limited. In this study we quantified the current forest habitat of the federally endangered, terrestrial Jemez Mountains salamander (Plethodon neomexicanus) and compared it to dendroecological reconstructions of historical habitat (e.g., stand structure and composition), and fire regime parameters along a gradient from upper ponderosa pine to wet mixed-conifer forests. We found that current fire-free intervals in Jemez Mountains salamander habitat (116–165 years) are significantly longer than historical intervals, even in wet mixed-conifer forests. Historical mean fire intervals ranged from 10 to 42 years along the forest gradient. Low-severity fires were historically dominant across all forest types (92 of 102 fires). Although some mixed- or highseverity fire historically occurred at 67% of the plots over the last four centuries, complete mortality within 1.0 ha plots was rare, and asynchronous within and among sites. Climate was an important driver of temporal variability in fire severity, such that mixed- and high-severity fires were associated with more extreme drought than low-severity fires. Tree density in dry conifer forests historically ranged from open (90 trees/ha) to

  17. Factors affecting distribution of wood, detritus, and sediment in headwater streams draining managed young-growth red alder - Conifer forests in southeast Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gomi, T.; Johnson, A.C.; Deal, R.L.; Hennon, P.E.; Orlikowska, E.H.; Wipfli, M.S.

    2006-01-01

    Factors (riparian stand condition, management regimes, and channel properties) affecting distributions of wood, detritus (leaves and branches), and sediment were examined in headwater streams draining young-growth red alder (Alnus rubra Bong.) - conifer riparian forests (40 years old) remained in channels and provided sites for sediment and organic matter storage. Despite various alder-conifer mixtures and past harvesting effects, the abundance of large wood, fine wood, and detritus accumulations significantly decreased with increasing channel bank-full width (0.5-3.5 m) along relatively short channel distances (up to 700 m). Changes in wood, detritus, and sediment accumulations together with changes in riparian stand characteristics create spatial and temporal variability of in-channel conditions in headwater systems. A component of alder within young-growth riparian forests may benefit both wood production and biological recovery in disturbed headwater stream channels. ?? 2006 NRC.

  18. A Long-Term Assessment of the Variability in Winter Use of Dense Conifer Cover by Female White-Tailed Deer

    PubMed Central

    DelGiudice, Glenn D.; Fieberg, John R.; Sampson, Barry A.

    2013-01-01

    Backgound Long-term studies allow capture of a wide breadth of environmental variability and a broader context within which to maximize our understanding of relationships to specific aspects of wildlife behavior. The goal of our study was to improve our understanding of the biological value of dense conifer cover to deer on winter range relative to snow depth and ambient temperature. Methodology/Principal Findings We examined variation among deer in their use of dense conifer cover during a 12-year study period as potentially influenced by winter severity and cover availability. Female deer were fitted with a mixture of very high frequency (VHF, n = 267) and Global Positioning System (GPS, n = 24) collars for monitoring use of specific cover types at the population and individual levels, respectively. We developed habitat composites for four study sites. We fit multinomial response models to VHF (daytime) data to describe population-level use patterns as a function of snow depth, ambient temperature, and cover availability. To develop alternative hypotheses regarding expected spatio-temporal patterns in the use of dense conifer cover, we considered two sets of competing sub-hypotheses. The first set addressed whether or not dense conifer cover was limiting on the four study sites. The second set considered four alternative sub-hypotheses regarding the potential influence of snow depth and ambient temperature on space use patterns. Deer use of dense conifer cover increased the most with increasing snow depth and most abruptly on the two sites where it was most available, suggestive of an energy conservation strategy. Deer use of dense cover decreased the most with decreasing temperatures on the sites where it was most available. At all four sites deer made greater daytime use (55 to >80% probability of use) of open vegetation types at the lowest daily minimum temperatures indicating the importance of thermal benefits afforded from increased exposure to solar

  19. Review of the genus Hemistola Warren, 1893 in Taiwan with notes on an unusual conifer-feeding larva and descriptions of three new species (Lepidoptera, Geometridae, Geometrinae).

    PubMed

    Chang, Wei-Chun; Wu, Shipher

    2013-11-29

    The genus Hemistola Warren, 1893 in Taiwan is reviewed. Seven species are confirmed, with descriptions of three new species provided: H. piceacola sp. nov., H. fui sp. nov. and H. taiwanensis sp. nov. The immature stages and unusual conifer-feeding behavior of H. piceacola on Taiwan spruce (Picea morrisonicola) are reported. The distribution of H. tenuilinea (Alphéraky, 1897) is discussed and this species is omitted from the Taiwanese fauna.

  20. Examining historical and current mixed-severity fire regimes in ponderosa pine and mixed-conifer forests of western North America.

    PubMed

    Odion, Dennis C; Hanson, Chad T; Arsenault, André; Baker, William L; Dellasala, Dominick A; Hutto, Richard L; Klenner, Walt; Moritz, Max A; Sherriff, Rosemary L; Veblen, Thomas T; Williams, Mark A

    2014-01-01

    There is widespread concern that fire exclusion has led to an unprecedented threat of uncharacteristically severe fires in ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Dougl. ex. Laws) and mixed-conifer forests of western North America. These extensive montane forests are considered to be adapted to a low/moderate-severity fire regime that maintained stands of relatively old trees. However, there is increasing recognition from landscape-scale assessments that, prior to any significant effects of fire exclusion, fires and forest structure were more variable in these forests. Biota in these forests are also dependent on the resources made available by higher-severity fire. A better understanding of historical fire regimes in the ponderosa pine and mixed-conifer forests of western North America is therefore needed to define reference conditions and help maintain characteristic ecological diversity of these systems. We compiled landscape-scale evidence of historical fire severity patterns in the ponderosa pine and mixed-conifer forests from published literature sources and stand ages available from the Forest Inventory and Analysis program in the USA. The consensus from this evidence is that the traditional reference conditions of low-severity fire regimes are inaccurate for most forests of western North America. Instead, most forests appear to have been characterized by mixed-severity fire that included ecologically significant amounts of weather-driven, high-severity fire. Diverse forests in different stages of succession, with a high proportion in relatively young stages, occurred prior to fire exclusion. Over the past century, successional diversity created by fire decreased. Our findings suggest that ecological management goals that incorporate successional diversity created by fire may support characteristic biodiversity, whereas current attempts to "restore" forests to open, low-severity fire conditions may not align with historical reference conditions in most ponderosa

  1. Examining Historical and Current Mixed-Severity Fire Regimes in Ponderosa Pine and Mixed-Conifer Forests of Western North America

    PubMed Central

    Odion, Dennis C.; Hanson, Chad T.; Arsenault, André; Baker, William L.; DellaSala, Dominick A.; Hutto, Richard L.; Klenner, Walt; Moritz, Max A.; Sherriff, Rosemary L.; Veblen, Thomas T.; Williams, Mark A.

    2014-01-01

    There is widespread concern that fire exclusion has led to an unprecedented threat of uncharacteristically severe fires in ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Dougl. ex. Laws) and mixed-conifer forests of western North America. These extensive montane forests are considered to be adapted to a low/moderate-severity fire regime that maintained stands of relatively old trees. However, there is increasing recognition from landscape-scale assessments that, prior to any significant effects of fire exclusion, fires and forest structure were more variable in these forests. Biota in these forests are also dependent on the resources made available by higher-severity fire. A better understanding of historical fire regimes in the ponderosa pine and mixed-conifer forests of western North America is therefore needed to define reference conditions and help maintain characteristic ecological diversity of these systems. We compiled landscape-scale evidence of historical fire severity patterns in the ponderosa pine and mixed-conifer forests from published literature sources and stand ages available from the Forest Inventory and Analysis program in the USA. The consensus from this evidence is that the traditional reference conditions of low-severity fire regimes are inaccurate for most forests of western North America. Instead, most forests appear to have been characterized by mixed-severity fire that included ecologically significant amounts of weather-driven, high-severity fire. Diverse forests in different stages of succession, with a high proportion in relatively young stages, occurred prior to fire exclusion. Over the past century, successional diversity created by fire decreased. Our findings suggest that ecological management goals that incorporate successional diversity created by fire may support characteristic biodiversity, whereas current attempts to “restore” forests to open, low-severity fire conditions may not align with historical reference conditions in most ponderosa

  2. Mutational analysis of white spruce (Picea glauca) ent-kaurene synthase (PgKS) reveals common and distinct mechanisms of conifer diterpene synthases of general and specialized metabolism.

    PubMed

    Zerbe, Philipp; Chiang, Angela; Bohlmann, Jörg

    2012-02-01

    Conifer diterpene synthases (diTPSs) catalyze the multi-step cycloisomerization of geranylgeranyl diphosphate, or copalyl diphosphate, to a variety of diterpenes in general (i.e., primary) and specialized (i.e., secondary) metabolism. Despite their functional diversity, the known conifer diTPSs are structurally closely related, with variations in three conserved domains, α, β and γ. The catalytic specificity of conifer class I and class I/II diTPSs is predominantly determined by the protein environment of the C-terminal class I active site through stabilization of common and unique carbocation intermediates. Using the crystal structure of Taxus brevifolia taxadiene synthase as template, comparative modeling and mutagenesis of the class I diTPS ent-kaurene synthase from Picea glauca (PgKS) was performed to elucidate the catalytic specificity of PgKS relative to spruce diTPSs of specialized metabolism. N-terminal truncations demonstrated a role for the βγ domain in class I enzyme activity for PgKS, facilitating the closure of the class I active site upon substrate binding. Based on position, Arg476 and Asp736 in the C-terminal α domain of PgKS may contribute to this conformational transition and appear critical for catalysis. Consistent with the mechanism of other diTPSs, the subsequent ionization of a copalyl diphosphate substrate and coordination of the diphosphate group is controlled by strictly conserved residues in the DDxxD and NDIQGCKRE motif of PgKS, such as Asn656 and Arg653. Furthermore, Lys478, Trp502, Met588, Ala615 and Ile619 control the enzymatic activity and specificity of PgKS via carbocation stabilization en route to ent-kaurene. These positions show a high level of amino acid variation, consistent with functional plasticity among conifer diTPSs of different functions in general or specialized metabolism.

  3. Transcriptome profiling in conifers and the PiceaGenExpress database show patterns of diversification within gene families and interspecific conservation in vascular gene expression

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Conifers have very large genomes (13 to 30 Gigabases) that are mostly uncharacterized although extensive cDNA resources have recently become available. This report presents a global overview of transcriptome variation in a conifer tree and documents conservation and diversity of gene expression patterns among major vegetative tissues. Results An oligonucleotide microarray was developed from Picea glauca and P. sitchensis cDNA datasets. It represents 23,853 unique genes and was shown to be suitable for transcriptome profiling in several species. A comparison of secondary xylem and phelloderm tissues showed that preferential expression in these vascular tissues was highly conserved among Picea spp. RNA-Sequencing strongly confirmed tissue preferential expression and provided a robust validation of the microarray design. A small database of transcription profiles called PiceaGenExpress was developed from over 150 hybridizations spanning eight major tissue types. In total, transcripts were detected for 92% of the genes on the microarray, in at least one tissue. Non-annotated genes were predominantly expressed at low levels in fewer tissues than genes of known or predicted function. Diversity of expression within gene families may be rapidly assessed from PiceaGenExpress. In conifer trees, dehydrins and late embryogenesis abundant (LEA) osmotic regulation proteins occur in large gene families compared to angiosperms. Strong contrasts and low diversity was observed in the dehydrin family, while diverse patterns suggested a greater degree of diversification among LEAs. Conclusion Together, the oligonucleotide microarray and the PiceaGenExpress database represent the first resource of this kind for gymnosperm plants. The spruce transcriptome analysis reported here is expected to accelerate genetic studies in the large and important group comprised of conifer trees. PMID:22931377

  4. The Complete Chloroplast Genome Sequence of a Relict Conifer Glyptostrobus pensilis: Comparative Analysis and Insights into Dynamics of Chloroplast Genome Rearrangement in Cupressophytes and Pinaceae

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Renhua; Xu, Haibin; Zhou, Yanwei; Li, Meiping; Lu, Fengjuan; Dong, Yini; Liu, Xin; Chen, Jinhui; Shi, Jisen

    2016-01-01

    Glyptostrobus pensilis, belonging to the monotypic genus Glyptostrobus (Family: Cupressaceae), is an ancient conifer that is naturally distributed in low-lying wet areas. Here, we report the complete chloroplast (cp) genome sequence (132,239 bp) of G. pensilis. The G. pensilis cp genome is similar in gene content, organization and genome structure to the sequenced cp genomes from other cupressophytes, especially with respect to the loss of the inverted repeat region A (IRA). Through phylogenetic analysis, we demonstrated that the genus Glyptostrobus is closely related to the genus Cryptomeria, supporting previous findings based on physiological characteristics. Since IRs play an important role in stabilize cp genome and conifer cp genomes lost different IR regions after splitting in two clades (cupressophytes and Pinaceae), we performed cp genome rearrangement analysis and found more extensive cp genome rearrangements among the species of cupressophytes relative to Pinaceae. Additional repeat analysis indicated that cupressophytes cp genomes contained less potential functional repeats, especially in Cupressaceae, compared with Pinaceae. These results suggested that dynamics of cp genome rearrangement in conifers differed since the two clades, Pinaceae and cupressophytes, lost IR copies independently and developed different repeats to complement the residual IRs. In addition, we identified 170 perfect simple sequence repeats that will be useful in future research focusing on the evolution of genetic diversity and conservation of genetic variation for this endangered species in the wild. PMID:27560965

  5. The Complete Chloroplast Genome Sequence of a Relict Conifer Glyptostrobus pensilis: Comparative Analysis and Insights into Dynamics of Chloroplast Genome Rearrangement in Cupressophytes and Pinaceae.

    PubMed

    Hao, Zhaodong; Cheng, Tielong; Zheng, Renhua; Xu, Haibin; Zhou, Yanwei; Li, Meiping; Lu, Fengjuan; Dong, Yini; Liu, Xin; Chen, Jinhui; Shi, Jisen

    2016-01-01

    Glyptostrobus pensilis, belonging to the monotypic genus Glyptostrobus (Family: Cupressaceae), is an ancient conifer that is naturally distributed in low-lying wet areas. Here, we report the complete chloroplast (cp) genome sequence (132,239 bp) of G. pensilis. The G. pensilis cp genome is similar in gene content, organization and genome structure to the sequenced cp genomes from other cupressophytes, especially with respect to the loss of the inverted repeat region A (IRA). Through phylogenetic analysis, we demonstrated that the genus Glyptostrobus is closely related to the genus Cryptomeria, supporting previous findings based on physiological characteristics. Since IRs play an important role in stabilize cp genome and conifer cp genomes lost different IR regions after splitting in two clades (cupressophytes and Pinaceae), we performed cp genome rearrangement analysis and found more extensive cp genome rearrangements among the species of cupressophytes relative to Pinaceae. Additional repeat analysis indicated that cupressophytes cp genomes contained less potential functional repeats, especially in Cupressaceae, compared with Pinaceae. These results suggested that dynamics of cp genome rearrangement in conifers differed since the two clades, Pinaceae and cupressophytes, lost IR copies independently and developed different repeats to complement the residual IRs. In addition, we identified 170 perfect simple sequence repeats that will be useful in future research focusing on the evolution of genetic diversity and conservation of genetic variation for this endangered species in the wild.

  6. Metabolite changes in conifer buds and needles during forced bud break in Norway spruce (Picea abies) and European silver fir (Abies alba)

    PubMed Central

    Dhuli, Priyanka; Rohloff, Jens; Strimbeck, G. Richard

    2014-01-01

    Environmental changes such as early spring and warm spells induce bud burst and photosynthetic processes in cold-acclimated coniferous trees and consequently, cellular metabolism in overwintering needles and buds. The purpose of the study was to examine metabolism in conifers under forced deacclimation (artificially induced spring) by exposing shoots of Picea abies (boreal species) and Abies alba (temperate species) to a greenhouse environment (22°C, 16/8 h D/N cycle) over a 9 weeks period. Each week, we scored bud opening and collected samples for GC/MS–based metabolite profiling. We detected a total of 169 assigned metabolites and 80 identified metabolites, comprising compounds such as mono- and disaccharides, Krebs cycle acids, amino acids, polyols, phenolics, and phosphorylated structures. Untargeted multivariate statistical analysis based on PCA and cluster analysis segregated samples by species, tissue type, and stage of tissue deacclimations. Similar patterns of metabolic regulation in both species were observed in buds (amino acids, Krebs cycle acids) and needles (hexoses, pentoses, and Krebs cycle acids). Based on correlation of bud opening score with compound levels, distinct metabolites could be associated with bud and shoot development, including amino acids, sugars, and acids with known osmolyte function, and secondary metabolites. This study has shed light on how elevated temperature affects metabolism in buds and needles of conifer species during the deacclimation phase, and contributes to the discussion about how phenological characters in conifers may respond to future global warming. PMID:25566281

  7. Generation, functional annotation and comparative analysis of black spruce (Picea mariana) ESTs: an important conifer genomic resource

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background EST (expressed sequence tag) sequences and their annotation provide a highly valuable resource for gene discovery, genome sequence annotation, and other genomics studies that can be applied in genetics, breeding and conservation programs for non-model organisms. Conifers are long-lived plants that are ecologically and economically important globally, and have a large genome size. Black spruce (Picea mariana), is a transcontinental species of the North American boreal and temperate forests. However, there are limited transcriptomic and genomic resources for this species. The primary objective of our study was to develop a black spruce transcriptomic resource to facilitate on-going functional genomics projects related to growth and adaptation to climate change. Results We conducted bidirectional sequencing of cDNA clones from a standard cDNA library constructed from black spruce needle tissues. We obtained 4,594 high quality (2,455 5' end and 2,139 3' end) sequence reads, with an average read-length of 532 bp. Clustering and assembly of ESTs resulted in 2,731 unique sequences, consisting of 2,234 singletons and 497 contigs. Approximately two-thirds (63%) of unique sequences were functionally annotated. Genes involved in 36 molecular functions and 90 biological processes were discovered, including 24 putative transcription factors and 232 genes involved in photosynthesis. Most abundantly expressed transcripts were associated with photosynthesis, growth factors, stress and disease response, and transcription factors. A total of 216 full-length genes were identified. About 18% (493) of the transcripts were novel, representing an important addition to the Genbank EST database (dbEST). Fifty-seven di-, tri-, tetra- and penta-nucleotide simple sequence repeats were identified. Conclusions We have developed the first high quality EST resource for black spruce and identified 493 novel transcripts, which may be species-specific related to life history and

  8. delta13C and water-use efficiency in Australian grasstrees and South African conifers over the last century.

    PubMed

    Swanborough, Perry W; Lamont, Byron B; February, Edmund C

    2003-07-01

    Annual or biannual time courses of plant delta13C (delta13C(p)) over the last century (70-100 years) were recorded for leafbases of four grasstrees (Xanthorrhoea preissii) at four sites in mediterranean Australia and wood of four conifers (Widdringtonia cedarbergensis) at two sites in mediterranean South Africa. There was a strong downward trend of 2-5.5(per thousand ) from 1935 to 1940 to the present in the eight plants. Trends were more variable from 1900 to 1940 with plants at two sites of each species showing an upward trend of 1-2.5 per thousand. Accepting that delta13C of the air (delta13C(a)) fell by almost 2 per thousand over the last century, the ratio of leaf intercellular CO2 to atmospheric CO2 (c(i)/c(a)) rose in five plants and remained unchanged in three over that period. Changes in c(i)/c(a) rather than delta13C(a) were more closely correlated with changes in delta13C(p) and accounted for 6.7-71.8% (22.6 c(i)/c(a)) and 28.2-93.3% (delta13C(a)) of the variation in delta13C(p). We doubt that possible changing patterns of rainfall, water availability, temperature, shade, air pollution or clearing for agriculture have contributed to the overall trend for c(i)/c(a) to rise over time. Instead, we provide evidence (concentrations of Fe and Mn in the grasstree leafbases) that decreasing photosynthetic capacity associated with falling nutrient availability due to the reduced occurrence of fire may have contributed to rising c(i)/c(a). Intrinsic water-use efficiency (W(i)) as a function of (c(a)-c(i)) usually increased linearly over the period, with the two exceptions explained by their marked increase in c(i)/c(a). We conclude that grasstrees may provide equivalent delta13C(p )and W(i) data to long-lived conifers and that their interpretation requires a consideration of the causes of variation in both c(i)/c(a )and delta13C(a).

  9. MADS goes genomic in conifers: towards determining the ancestral set of MADS-box genes in seed plants

    PubMed Central

    Gramzow, Lydia; Weilandt, Lisa; Theißen, Günter

    2014-01-01

    Background and Aims MADS-box genes comprise a gene family coding for transcription factors. This gene family expanded greatly during land plant evolution such that the number of MADS-box genes ranges from one or two in green algae to around 100 in angiosperms. Given the crucial functions of MADS-box genes for nearly all aspects of plant development, the expansion of this gene family probably contributed to the increasing complexity of plants. However, the expansion of MADS-box genes during one important step of land plant evolution, namely the origin of seed plants, remains poorly understood due to the previous lack of whole-genome data for gymnosperms. Methods The newly available genome sequences of Picea abies, Picea glauca and Pinus taeda were used to identify the complete set of MADS-box genes in these conifers. In addition, MADS-box genes were identified in the growing number of transcriptomes available for gymnosperms. With these datasets, phylogenies were constructed to determine the ancestral set of MADS-box genes of seed plants and to infer the ancestral functions of these genes. Key Results Type I MADS-box genes are under-represented in gymnosperms and only a minimum of two Type I MADS-box genes have been present in the most recent common ancestor (MRCA) of seed plants. In contrast, a large number of Type II MADS-box genes were found in gymnosperms. The MRCA of extant seed plants probably possessed at least 11–14 Type II MADS-box genes. In gymnosperms two duplications of Type II MADS-box genes were found, such that the MRCA of extant gymnosperms had at least 14–16 Type II MADS-box genes. Conclusions The implied ancestral set of MADS-box genes for seed plants shows simplicity for Type I MADS-box genes and remarkable complexity for Type II MADS-box genes in terms of phylogeny and putative functions. The analysis of transcriptome data reveals that gymnosperm MADS-box genes are expressed in a great variety of tissues, indicating diverse roles of MADS

  10. DNA barcoding reveals a mysterious high species diversity of conifer-feeding aphids in the mountains of southwest China

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Rui; Jiang, Li-Yun; Chen, Jing; Qiao, Ge-Xia

    2016-01-01

    The mountains of southwest China are one of the hot spots of biodiversity in the world. However, the high-altitude fauna that inhabit these mountains remain a mystery. In this study, the species diversity of the aphids of the genus Cinara from the high-altitude coniferous forests was first assessed, and then the processes and the mechanisms of speciation were discussed. Three hundreds and four aphid samples that contained 3040 individuals were collected during fourteen field surveys. The molecular clusters derived from the DNA barcodes were used to explore the species diversity. Notably, the aphid alpha-diversity was high, with as many as 94 candidate species, and furthermore, 86.2% of the species collected had not been previously recorded. The centers of aphid species richness corresponded to the distributional pattern of the diversity of the host conifer plant species. The divergence time revealed that following the uplift of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau during the Pleistocene, the changes in the climate, ecology and host habitats were likely the most important factors that drove the rapid process of evolutionary radiation in the aphids. Our findings revealed the high species diversity of the aphids with DNA barcoding. PMID:26838797

  11. Paleoecology of late-glacial terrestrial deposits with in situ conifers from the submerged continental shelf of western canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lacourse, Terri; Mathewes, Rolf W.; Fedje, Daryl W.

    2003-09-01

    Extensive portions of the continental shelf off the coast of British Columbia were subaerially exposed during Late Wisconsinan deglaciation due to lowering of relative sea level by as much as 150 m. Paleoecological analyses were conducted at two sites on the emergent continental shelf where terrestrial surfaces with in situ conifers are preserved. The woody plant remains confirm that, during the latest period of subaerial exposure, terrestrial vegetation was established on the continental shelf. Microscopic identification of fossil wood, and analyses of pollen and plant macrofossils from the associated paleosols and overlying shallow pond sediments indicate that productive Pinus contorta-dominated communities with abundant Alnus crispa and ferns grew on the shelf adjacent to and on the Queen Charlotte Islands around 12,200 14C yr B.P. Dwarf shrubs including Salix and Empetrum, and herbaceous plants such as Heracleum lanatum and Hippuris vulgaris, were also important components of the shelf vegetation. Near northern Vancouver Island, mixed coniferous forests dominated by Pinus contorta with Picea, Tsuga spp., Alnus spp., and ferns occupied the shelf at 10,500 14C yr B.P.

  12. Climate, not Aboriginal landscape burning, controlled the historical demography and distribution of fire-sensitive conifer populations across Australia.

    PubMed

    Sakaguchi, Shota; Bowman, David M J S; Prior, Lynda D; Crisp, Michael D; Linde, Celeste C; Tsumura, Yoshihiko; Isagi, Yuji

    2013-12-22

    Climate and fire are the key environmental factors that shape the distribution and demography of plant populations in Australia. Because of limited palaeoecological records in this arid continent, however, it is unclear as to which factor impacted vegetation more strongly, and what were the roles of fire regime changes owing to human activity and megafaunal extinction (since ca 50 kya). To address these questions, we analysed historical genetic, demographic and distributional changes in a widespread conifer species complex that paradoxically grows in fire-prone regions, yet is very sensitive to fire. Genetic demographic analysis showed that the arid populations experienced strong bottlenecks, consistent with range contractions during the Last Glacial Maximum (ca 20 kya) predicted by species distribution models. In southern temperate regions, the population sizes were estimated to have been mostly stable, followed by some expansion coinciding with climate amelioration at the end of the last glacial period. By contrast, in the flammable tropical savannahs, where fire risk is the highest, demographic analysis failed to detect significant population bottlenecks. Collectively, these results suggest that the impact of climate change overwhelmed any modifications to fire regimes by Aboriginal landscape burning and megafaunal extinction, a finding that probably also applies to other fire-prone vegetation across Australia.

  13. Overland flow and sediment delivery five years after timber harvest in a mixed conifer forest, Arizona, U.S.A.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heede, Burchard H.

    1987-06-01

    Timber was harvested for the first time in a mixed conifer forest of the Arǐzona White Mountains in 1978-1979. Trees were harvested by patch cuts and group selection. Logs were yarded by crawler tractors. After harvest, 19 small subdrainages were equipped with runoff and sediment collectors. The forest floors in the subdrainages were classed as undisturbed, moderately disturbed, or severely disturbed. Severe disturbance, caused by logging and monitoring activities, was associated with a pre-existing erosion pavement that had developed for unknown reasons. Although overland flow and sediment delivery differed significantly between the severely disturbed and undisturbed groups during the 5 yr postharvest period, all quantities were practically insignificant. The group severely disturbed by logging had an average of only 0.006 mm yr -1 annual soil loss. Overland flows ranged between 0.7 and 15.4 mm yr -1 and sediment between 5.67 and 268.78 kg ha -1 yr -1. Summer yields of overland flow and sediment delivery were significantly higher than those in winter. Precipitation amounts were about equal for both seasons, but summer precipitation is of monsoon origin. Flow and sediment yields were not significantly different between moderately disturbed and undisturbed forest floor. Recovery from disturbance could not be detected.

  14. Cryptic speciation and community structure of Herpotrichia juniperi, the causal agent of brown felt blight of conifers.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Miriam; Grünig, Christoph R; Holdenrieder, Ottmar; Sieber, Thomas N

    2009-08-01

    Conifer twigs showing brown felt blight were collected along 100-m long transects at the timberline in the Swiss Alps and single-hyphal-tip cultures were prepared. Forty-seven of the sequenced 48 strains were Herpotrichia juniperi based on sequence comparisons of the internal transcribed spacers (ITS). A non-sporulating strain was tentatively identified as another, undescribed Herpotrichia species. Herpotrichia coulteri was not isolated. Most strains were from Juniperus communis var. saxatilis, the rest from Picea abies and Pinus mugo. Each twig was colonized by a different genotype as revealed by ISSR-PCR fingerprinting. More than one clone was present on some needles and twigs. Thus, importance of vegetative mycelial growth for dispersal seems to be limited to the spread of the disease to twigs of the same tree or of immediately adjacent trees, and, consequently, dispersal occurs mainly by ascospores. The H. juniperi strains could be assigned to five distinct groups based on the ISSR-PCR data. The strains from P. abies formed one of these groups but the other groups did not correlate with either host, transect or position along the transects. Multi-locus analysis based on beta-tubulin, elongation factor 1-alpha and ITS sequences confirmed the subdivision into five groups. Population differentiation among groups was distinct with N(ST) values varying between 0.545 and 0.895. H. juniperi seems to be composed of several cryptic species, one of them specific to P. abies.

  15. Conflicting selection from fire and seed predation drives fine-scaled phenotypic variation in a widespread North American conifer

    PubMed Central

    Talluto, Matthew V.; Benkman, Craig W.

    2014-01-01

    Recent work has demonstrated that evolutionary processes shape ecological dynamics on relatively short timescales (eco-evolutionary dynamics), but demonstrating these effects at large spatial scales in natural landscapes has proven difficult. We used empirical studies and modeling to investigate how selective pressures from fire and predispersal seed predation affect the evolution of serotiny, an ecologically important trait. Serotiny is a highly heritable key reproductive trait in Rocky Mountain lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta subsp. latifolia), a conifer that dominates millions of hectares in western North America. In these forests, the frequency of serotiny determines postfire seedling density with corresponding community- and ecosystem-level effects. We found that serotinous individuals have a selective advantage at high fire frequencies and low predation pressure; however, very high seed predation shifted the selective advantage to nonserotinous individuals even at high fire frequencies. Simulation modeling suggests that spatial variation in the frequency of serotiny results from heterogeneity in these two selective agents. These results, combined with previous findings showing a negative association between the density of seed predators and the frequency of serotiny at both landscape and continental scales, demonstrate that contemporary patterns in serotiny reflect an evolutionary response to conflicting selection pressures from fire and seed predation. Thus, we show that variation in the frequency of a heritable polygenic trait depends on spatial variation in two dominant selective agents, and, importantly, the effects of the local trait variation propagate with profound consequences to the structure and function of communities and ecosystems across a large landscape. PMID:24979772

  16. The aspartate aminotransferase family in conifers: biochemical analysis of a prokaryotic-type enzyme from maritime pine.

    PubMed

    de la Torre, Fernando; Suárez, María Fernanda; Santis, Laura de; Cánovas, Francisco M

    2007-09-01

    Plant aspartate aminotransferase (AAT, EC 2.6.1.1) plays a key role in primary nitrogen assimilation, the transfer of reducing equivalents and the interchanges of carbon and nitrogen pools between subcellular compartments. We investigated the AAT family in conifers using maritime pine as the experimental model. Genes for cytosolic, mitochondrial and two plastidic isoenzymes (eukaryotic- and prokaryotic-types) were identified and their deduced amino acid sequences compared. The primary structure of the eukaryotic-type enzymes is quite well conserved, whereas the prokaryotic-type AAT is highly divergent (15% of identity). These molecular data were confirmed by the absence of immunological cross-reactivity between the two types of native AATs. The mature prokaryotic-type polypeptide was overexpressed in Escherichia coli, and the native enzyme was purified to apparent homogeneity and its molecular properties determined. The fully active recombinant holoenzyme showed highest catalytic activity at 50-60 degrees C and was moderately thermostable, retaining about 50% of its activity after incubation at 70 degrees C for 5-10 min. The presence of pyridoxal 5'-phosphate significantly increased the thermostability of the enzyme. These molecular characteristics were exploited to develop a rapid protocol for the purification of this prokaryotic-type enzyme from pine cotyledons. The results will be useful for studying aspartate and amino acid metabolism in trees.

  17. Late Holocene geomorphic record of fire in ponderosa pine and mixed-conifer forests, Kendrick Mountain, northern Arizona, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jenkins, S.E.; Hull, Sieg C.; Anderson, D.E.; Kaufman, D.S.; Pearthree, P.A.

    2011-01-01

    Long-term fire history reconstructions enhance our understanding of fire behaviour and associated geomorphic hazards in forested ecosystems. We used 14C ages on charcoal from fire-induced debris-flow deposits to date prehistoric fires on Kendrick Mountain, northern Arizona, USA. Fire-related debris-flow sedimentation dominates Holocene fan deposition in the study area. Radiocarbon ages indicate that stand-replacing fire has been an important phenomenon in late Holocene ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) and ponderosa pine-mixed conifer forests on steep slopes. Fires have occurred on centennial scales during this period, although temporal hiatuses between recorded fires vary widely and appear to have decreased during the past 2000 years. Steep slopes and complex terrain may be responsible for localised crown fire behaviour through preheating by vertical fuel arrangement and accumulation of excessive fuels. Holocene wildfire-induced debris flow events occurred without a clear relationship to regional climatic shifts (decadal to millennial), suggesting that interannual moisture variability may determine fire year. Fire-debris flow sequences are recorded when (1) sufficient time has passed (centuries) to accumulate fuels; and (2) stored sediment is available to support debris flows. The frequency of reconstructed debris flows should be considered a minimum for severe events in the study area, as fuel production may outpace sediment storage. ?? IAWF 2011.

  18. DNA barcoding reveals a mysterious high species diversity of conifer-feeding aphids in the mountains of southwest China.

    PubMed

    Chen, Rui; Jiang, Li-Yun; Chen, Jing; Qiao, Ge-Xia

    2016-02-03

    The mountains of southwest China are one of the hot spots of biodiversity in the world. However, the high-altitude fauna that inhabit these mountains remain a mystery. In this study, the species diversity of the aphids of the genus Cinara from the high-altitude coniferous forests was first assessed, and then the processes and the mechanisms of speciation were discussed. Three hundreds and four aphid samples that contained 3040 individuals were collected during fourteen field surveys. The molecular clusters derived from the DNA barcodes were used to explore the species diversity. Notably, the aphid alpha-diversity was high, with as many as 94 candidate species, and furthermore, 86.2% of the species collected had not been previously recorded. The centers of aphid species richness corresponded to the distributional pattern of the diversity of the host conifer plant species. The divergence time revealed that following the uplift of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau during the Pleistocene, the changes in the climate, ecology and host habitats were likely the most important factors that drove the rapid process of evolutionary radiation in the aphids. Our findings revealed the high species diversity of the aphids with DNA barcoding.

  19. Long-term effects of prescribed fire on mixed conifer forest structure in the Sierra Nevada, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    van Mantgem, Phillip J.; Stephenson, Nathan L.; Knapp, Eric; Keeley, Jon E.

    2011-01-01

    The capacity of prescribed fire to restore forest conditions is often judged by changes in forest structure within a few years following burning. However, prescribed fire might have longer-term effects on forest structure, potentially changing treatment assessments. We examined annual changes in forest structure in five 1 ha old-growth plots immediately before prescribed fire and up to eight years after fire at Sequoia National Park, California. Fire-induced declines in stem density (67% average decrease at eight years post-fire) were nonlinear, taking up to eight years to reach a presumed asymptote. Declines in live stem biomass were also nonlinear, but smaller in magnitude (32% average decrease at eight years post-fire) as most large trees survived the fires. The preferential survival of large trees following fire resulted in significant shifts in stem diameter distributions. Mortality rates remained significantly above background rates up to six years after the fires. Prescribed fire did not have a large influence on the representation of dominant species. Fire-caused mortality appeared to be spatially random, and therefore did not generally alter heterogeneous tree spatial patterns. Our results suggest that prescribed fire can bring about substantial changes to forest structure in old-growth mixed conifer forests in the Sierra Nevada, but that long-term observations are needed to fully describe some measures of fire effects.

  20. Role of burning season on initial understory vegetation response to prescribed fire in a mixed conifer forest

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Knapp, E.E.; Schwilk, D.W.; Kane, J.M.; Keeley, J.E.

    2007-01-01

    Although the majority of fires in the western United States historically occurred during the late summer or early fall when fuels were dry and plants were dormant or nearly so, early-season prescribed burns are often ignited when fuels are still moist and plants are actively growing. The purpose of this study was to determine if burn season influences postfire vegetation recovery. Replicated early-season burn, late-season burn, and unburned control units were established in a mixed conifer forest, and understory vegetation was evaluated before and after treatment. Vegetation generally recovered rapidly after prescribed burning. However, late-season burns resulted in a temporary but significant drop in cover and a decline in species richness at the 1 m 2 scale in the following year. For two of the several taxa that were negatively affected by burning, the reduction in frequency was greater after late-season than early-season burns. Early-season burns may have moderated the effect of fire by consuming less fuel and lessening the amount of soil heating. Our results suggest that, when burned under high fuel loading conditions, many plant species respond more strongly to differences in fire intensity and severity than to timing of the burn relative to stage of plant growth. ?? 2007 NRC.

  1. Establishing a Wild, Ex Situ Population of a Critically Endangered Shade-Tolerant Rainforest Conifer: A Translocation Experiment

    PubMed Central

    Zimmer, Heidi C.; Offord, Catherine A.; Auld, Tony D.; Baker, Patrick J.

    2016-01-01

    Translocation can reduce extinction risk by increasing population size and geographic range, and is increasingly being used in the management of rare and threatened plant species. A critical determinant of successful plant establishment is light environment. Wollemia nobilis (Wollemi pine) is a critically endangered conifer, with a wild population of 83 mature trees and a highly restricted distribution of less than 10 km2. We used under-planting to establish a population of W. nobilis in a new rainforest site. Because its optimal establishment conditions were unknown, we conducted an experimental translocation, planting in a range of different light conditions from deeply shaded to high light gaps. Two years after the experimental translocation, 85% of plants had survived. There were two distinct responses: very high survival (94%) but very low growth, and lower survival (69%) and higher growth, associated with initial plant condition. Overall survival of translocated W. nobilis was strongly increased in planting sites with higher light, in contrast to previous studies demonstrating long-term survival of wild W. nobilis juveniles in deep shade. Translocation by under-planting may be useful in establishing new populations of shade-tolerant plant species, not least by utilizing the range of light conditions that occur in forest understories. PMID:27403527

  2. Altered Community Flammability in Florida’s Apalachicola Ravines and Implications for the Persistence of the Endangered Conifer Torreya taxifolia

    PubMed Central

    Mola, John M.; Varner, J. Morgan; Jules, Erik S.; Spector, Tova

    2014-01-01

    Plant species and communities often reflect historic fire regimes via ecological and evolutionary responses to recurrent fires. Plant communities of the southeastern USA experience a wide array of fire regimes, perhaps nowhere more marked than the juxtaposition of fire-prone uplands and adjacent mesic ravines along Florida’s Apalachicola River. The ravines contain many endemic and disjunct species, most notably the endangered endemic conifer Torreya taxifolia. A rapid decline in T. taxifolia over the past 60 years has been associated with widespread replacement by other tree species. To understand the changes accompanying the shift in ravine composition, we compared leaf litter flammability of nine historic and contemporary species. We measured maximum flame height, flame duration, smoldering duration, mass loss, absorptive capacity, and drying rate. Ordination and perMANOVA suggest the nine species segregated into three distinct groups: the fire-impeding T. taxifolia and Taxus floridana; an intermediate group of three deciduous angiosperms; and a mixed cluster of four flammable species. Results suggest T. taxifolia and T. floridana were fire-impeding species in these communities, while contemporary dominants burn similarly to the upslope pyric species. The increasing presence of fire-facilitating species may portend a shifting fire regime that further imperils T. taxifolia and other rare species in the formerly fire-safe ravines. PMID:25084166

  3. Primer Sets Developed To Amplify Conserved Genes from Filamentous Ascomycetes Are Useful in Differentiating Fusarium Species Associated with Conifers

    PubMed Central

    Donaldson, G. C.; Ball, L. A.; Axelrood, P. E.; Glass, N. L.

    1995-01-01

    We examined the usefulness of primer sets designed to amplify introns within conserved genes in filamentous ascomycetes to differentiate 35 isolates representing six different species of Fusarium commonly found in association with conifer seedlings. We analyzed restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLP) in five amplified PCR products from each Fusarium isolate. The primers used in this study were constructed on the basis of sequence information from the H3, H4, and (beta)-tubulin genes in Neurospora crassa. Primers previously developed for the intergenic transcribed spacer region of the ribosomal DNA were also used. The degree of interspecific polymorphism observed in the PCR products from the six Fusarium species allowed differentiation by a limited number of amplifications and restriction endonuclease digestions. The level of intraspecific RFLP variation in the five PCR products was low in both Fusarium proliferatum and F. avenaceum but was high in a population sample of F. oxysporum isolates. Clustering of the 35 isolates by statistical analyses gave similar dendrograms for H3, H4, and (beta)-tubulin RFLP analysis, but a dendrogram produced by intergenic transcribed spacer analysis varied in the placement of some F. oxysporum isolates. PMID:16534991

  4. Volatile Organic Compounds Emitted by Fungal Associates of Conifer Bark Beetles and their Potential in Bark Beetle Control.

    PubMed

    Kandasamy, Dineshkumar; Gershenzon, Jonathan; Hammerbacher, Almuth

    2016-09-01

    Conifer bark beetles attack and kill mature spruce and pine trees, especially during hot and dry conditions. These beetles are closely associated with ophiostomatoid fungi of the Ascomycetes, including the genera Ophiostoma, Grosmannia, and Endoconidiophora, which enhance beetle success by improving nutrition and modifying their substrate, but also have negative impacts on beetles by attracting predators and parasites. A survey of the literature and our own data revealed that ophiostomatoid fungi emit a variety of volatile organic compounds under laboratory conditions including fusel alcohols, terpenoids, aromatic compounds, and aliphatic alcohols. Many of these compounds already have been shown to elicit behavioral responses from bark beetles, functioning as attractants or repellents, often as synergists to compounds currently used in bark beetle control. Thus, these compounds could serve as valuable new agents for bark beetle management. However, bark beetle associations with fungi are very complex. Beetle behavior varies with the species of fungus, the stage of the beetle life cycle, the host tree quality, and probably with changes in the emission rate of fungal volatiles. Additional research on bark beetles and their symbiotic associates is necessary before the basic significance of ophiostomatoid fungal volatiles can be understood and their applied potential realized.

  5. Conflicting selection from fire and seed predation drives fine-scaled phenotypic variation in a widespread North American conifer.

    PubMed

    Talluto, Matthew V; Benkman, Craig W

    2014-07-01

    Recent work has demonstrated that evolutionary processes shape ecological dynamics on relatively short timescales (eco-evolutionary dynamics), but demonstrating these effects at large spatial scales in natural landscapes has proven difficult. We used empirical studies and modeling to investigate how selective pressures from fire and predispersal seed predation affect the evolution of serotiny, an ecologically important trait. Serotiny is a highly heritable key reproductive trait in Rocky Mountain lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta subsp. latifolia), a conifer that dominates millions of hectares in western North America. In these forests, the frequency of serotiny determines postfire seedling density with corresponding community- and ecosystem-level effects. We found that serotinous individuals have a selective advantage at high fire frequencies and low predation pressure; however, very high seed predation shifted the selective advantage to nonserotinous individuals even at high fire frequencies. Simulation modeling suggests that spatial variation in the frequency of serotiny results from heterogeneity in these two selective agents. These results, combined with previous findings showing a negative association between the density of seed predators and the frequency of serotiny at both landscape and continental scales, demonstrate that contemporary patterns in serotiny reflect an evolutionary response to conflicting selection pressures from fire and seed predation. Thus, we show that variation in the frequency of a heritable polygenic trait depends on spatial variation in two dominant selective agents, and, importantly, the effects of the local trait variation propagate with profound consequences to the structure and function of communities and ecosystems across a large landscape.

  6. The ectomycorrhizal community of conifer stands on peat soils 12 years after fertilization with wood ash.

    PubMed

    Klavina, Darta; Pennanen, Taina; Gaitnieks, Talis; Velmala, Sannakajsa; Lazdins, Andis; Lazdina, Dagnija; Menkis, Audrius

    2016-02-01

    We studied long-term effects of fertilization with wood ash on biomass, vitality and mycorrhizal colonization of fine roots in three conifer forest stands growing in Vacciniosa turf. mel. (V), Myrtillosa turf. mel. (M) and Myrtillosa turf. mel./Caricoso-phragmitosa (MC) forest types on peat soils. Fertilization trials amounting 5 kg/m(2) of wood ash were established 12 years prior to this study. A total of 63 soil samples with roots were collected and analysed. Ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi in roots were identified by morphotyping and sequencing of the fungal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region. In all forest types, fine root biomass was higher in fertilized plots than in control plots. In M forest type, proportion of living fine roots was greater in fertilized plots than in control plots, while in V and MC, the result was opposite. Fifty ECM species were identified, of which eight were common to both fertilized and control plots. Species richness and Shannon diversity index were generally higher in fertilized plots than in control plots. The most common species in fertilized plots were Amphinema byssoides (17.8%) and Tuber cf. anniae (12.2%), while in control plots, it was Tylospora asterophora (18.5%) and Lactarius tabidus (20.3%). Our results showed that forest fertilization with wood ash has long-lasting effect on diversity and composition of ECM fungal communities.

  7. Large-Scale Comparative Analysis Reveals the Mechanisms Driving Plastomic Compaction, Reduction, and Inversions in Conifers II (Cupressophytes).

    PubMed

    Wu, Chung-Shien; Chaw, Shu-Miaw

    2016-12-29

    Conifers II (cupressophytes), comprising about 400 tree species in five families, are the most diverse group of living gymnosperms. Their plastid genomes (plastomes) are highly variable in size and organization, but such variation has never been systematically studied. In this study, we assessed the potential mechanisms underlying the evolution of cupressophyte plastomes. We analyzed the plastomes of 24 representative genera in all of the five cupressophyte families, focusing on their variation in size, noncoding DNA content, and nucleotide substitution rates. Using a tree-based method, we further inferred the ancestral plastomic organizations of internal nodes and evaluated the inversions across the evolutionary history of cupressophytes. Our data showed that variation in plastome size is statistically associated with the dynamics of noncoding DNA content, which results in different degrees of plastomic compactness among the cupressophyte families. The degrees of plastomic inversions also vary among the families, with the number of inversions per genus ranging from 0 in Araucariaceae to 1.27 in Cupressaceae. In addition, we demonstrated that synonymous substitution rates are significantly correlated with plastome size as well as degree of inversions. These data suggest that in cupressophytes, mutation rates play a critical role in driving the evolution of plastomic size while plastomic inversions evolve in a neutral manner.

  8. Climatic influences on wood anatomy and tree-ring features of Great Basin conifers at a new mountain observatory1

    PubMed Central

    Ziaco, Emanuele; Biondi, Franco; Rossi, Sergio; Deslauriers, Annie

    2014-01-01

    • Premise of the study: A network of mountain observing stations has been installed in the Great Basin of North America. NevCAN (Nevada Climate-ecohydrological Assessment Network), which spans a latitudinal range of 2.5° and two elevation ranges of about 2000 m each, enabled us to investigate tree growth in relation to climate. • Methods: We analyzed wood anatomy and tree-ring characteristics of four conifer species in response to different levels of water availability by comparing a low- and a high-elevation population. Chronologies of earlywood and latewood widths, as well as cellular parameters, were developed from the year 2000 to 2012. • Results: At the southern (drier and warmer) sites, Pinus monophylla had smaller cell lumen, tracheid diameter, and cell wall thickness. Pinus monophylla and P. flexilis showed bigger cellular elements at the higher elevations, whereas the opposite pattern was found in Picea engelmannii and Pinus longaeva. When all species and sites were pooled together, stem diameter was positively related with earlywood anatomical parameters. • Discussion: We have provided a glimpse of the applications that NevCAN, as a new scientific tool, could allow in the general field of botany. In particular, we were able to investigate how differences in water stress related to elevation lead to changes in xylem anatomy. PMID:25309838

  9. Uptake of Water via Branches Helps Timberline Conifers Refill Embolized Xylem in Late Winter1[C][W][OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Mayr, Stefan; Schmid, Peter; Laur, Joan; Rosner, Sabine; Charra-Vaskou, Katline; Dämon, Birgit; Hacke, Uwe G.

    2014-01-01

    Xylem embolism is a limiting factor for woody species worldwide. Conifers at the alpine timberline are exposed to drought and freeze-thaw stress during winter, which induce potentially lethal embolism. Previous studies indicated that timberline trees survive by xylem refilling. In this study on Picea abies, refilling was monitored during winter and spring seasons and analyzed in the laboratory and in situ experiments, based on hydraulic, anatomical, and histochemical methods. Refilling started in late winter, when the soil was frozen and soil water not available for the trees. Xylem embolism caused up to 86.2% ± 3.1% loss of conductivity and was correlated with the ratio of closed pits. Refilling of xylem as well as recovery in shoot conductance started in February and corresponded with starch accumulation in secondary phloem and in the mesophyll of needles, where we also observed increasing aquaporin densities in the phloem and endodermis. This indicates that active, cellular processes play a role for refilling even under winter conditions. As demonstrated by our experiments, water for refilling was thereby taken up via the branches, likely by foliar water uptake. Our results suggest that refilling is based on water shifts to embolized tracheids via intact xylem, phloem, and parenchyma, whereby aquaporins reduce resistances along the symplastic pathway and aspirated pits facilitate isolation of refilling tracheids. Refilling must be taken into account as a key process in plant hydraulics and in estimating future effects of climate change on forests and alpine tree ecosystems. PMID:24521876

  10. Relevance of the Sea Sand Disruption Method (SSDM) for the biometrical differentiation of the essential-oil composition from conifers.

    PubMed

    Dawidowicz, Andrzej L; Czapczyńska, Natalia B; Wianowska, Dorota

    2013-02-01

    Sea Sand Disruption Method (SSDM) is a simple and cheap sample-preparation procedure allowing the reduction of organic solvent consumption, exclusion of sample component degradation, improvement of extraction efficiency and selectivity, and elimination of additional sample clean-up and pre-concentration step before chromatographic analysis. This article deals with the possibility of SSDM application for the differentiation of essential-oils components occurring in the Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) and cypress (Cupressus sempervirens L.) needles from Madrid (Spain), Laganas (Zakhyntos, Greece), Cala Morell (Menorca, Spain), Lublin (Poland), Helsinki (Finland), and Oradea (Romania). The SSDM results are related to the analogous - obtained applying two other sample preparation methods - steam distillation and Pressurized Liquid Extraction (PLE). The results presented established that the total amount and the composition of essential-oil components revealed by SSDM are equivalent or higher than those obtained by one of the most effective extraction technique, PLE. Moreover, SSDM seems to provide the most representative profile of all essential-oil components as no heat is applied. Thus, this environmentally friendly method is suggested to be used as the main extraction procedure for the differentiation of essential-oil components in conifers for scientific and industrial purposes.

  11. Whole genome duplication in coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) and its implications for explaining the rarity of polyploidy in conifers.

    PubMed

    Scott, Alison Dawn; Stenz, Noah W M; Ingvarsson, Pär K; Baum, David A

    2016-07-01

    Polyploidy is common and an important evolutionary factor in most land plant lineages, but it is rare in gymnosperms. Coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) is one of just two polyploid conifer species and the only hexaploid. Evidence from fossil guard cell size suggests that polyploidy in Sequoia dates to the Eocene. Numerous hypotheses about the mechanism of polyploidy and parental genome donors have been proposed, based primarily on morphological and cytological data, but it remains unclear how Sequoia became polyploid and why this lineage overcame an apparent gymnosperm barrier to whole-genome duplication (WGD). We sequenced transcriptomes and used phylogenetic inference, Bayesian concordance analysis and paralog age distributions to resolve relationships among gene copies in hexaploid coast redwood and close relatives. Our data show that hexaploidy in coast redwood is best explained by autopolyploidy or, if there was allopolyploidy, it happened within the Californian redwood clade. We found that duplicate genes have more similar sequences than expected, given the age of the inferred polyploidization. Conflict between molecular and fossil estimates of WGD can be explained if diploidization occurred very slowly following polyploidization. We extrapolate from this to suggest that the rarity of polyploidy in gymnosperms may be due to slow diploidization in this clade.

  12. Suitability of pines and other conifers as hosts for the invasive Mediterranean pine engraver (Coleoptera: Scolytidae) in North America.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jana C; Flint, Mary Louise; Seybold, Steven J

    2008-06-01

    The invasive Mediterranean pine engraver, Orthotomicus erosus (Wollaston) (Coleoptera: Scolytidae), was detected in North America in 2004, and it is currently distributed in the southern Central Valley of California. It originates from the Mediterranean region, the Middle East, and Asia, and it reproduces on pines (Pinus spp.). To identify potentially vulnerable native and adventive hosts in North America, no-choice host range tests were conducted in the laboratory on 22 conifer species. The beetle reproduced on four pines from its native Eurasian range--Aleppo, Canary Island, Italian stone, and Scots pines; 11 native North American pines--eastern white, grey, jack, Jeffrey, loblolly, Monterey, ponderosa, red, Sierra lodgepole, singleleaf pinyon, and sugar pines; and four native nonpines--Douglas-fir, black and white spruce, and tamarack. Among nonpines, fewer progeny developed and they were of smaller size on Douglas-fir and tamarack, but sex ratios of progeny were nearly 1:1 on all hosts. Last, beetles did not develop on white fir, incense cedar, and coast redwood. With loblolly pine, the first new adults emerged 42 d after parental females were introduced into host logs at temperatures of 20-33 degrees C and 523.5 or 334.7 accumulated degree-days based on lower development thresholds of 13.6 or 18 degrees C, respectively.

  13. Why Seedlings Die: Linking Carbon and Water Limitations to Mechanisms of Mortality During Establishment in Conifer Seedlings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reinhardt, K.; Germino, M. J.; Kueppers, L. M.; Mitton, J.; Castanha, C.

    2012-12-01

    BACKGROUND Recent ecophysiological studies aimed at explaining adult tree mortality during drought have examined the carbon (C)-exhaustion compared to the hydraulic-failure hypotheses for death. Prolonged drought leads to durations of stomatal closure (and thus limited C gain), which could result in long periods of negative C balance and fatal reductions in whole-plant C reserves (i.e., available non-structural carbohydrates ["NSC"]). Alternatively, C reserves may not decrease much but could become increasingly inaccessible to sink tissues in long dry-periods due to impediments to translocation of photosynthate (e.g., through disruption of hydrostatic pressure flow in phloem). As C reserves decline or become inaccessible, continued maintenance respiration has been hypothesized to lead to exhaustion of NSC after extended durations of drought, especially in isohydric plant species. On the other hand, hydraulic failure (e.g., catastrophic xylem embolisms) during drought may be the proximate cause of death, occurring before true C starvation occurs. Few studies have investigated specifically the mechanism(s) of tree death, and no published studies that we know of have quantified changes in NSC during mortality. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN AND HYPOTHESES We conducted two studies that investigated whole-tree and tissue-specific C relations (photosynthetic C gain, respiration, dry-mass gain, and NSC pools) in Pinus flexilis seedlings during the initial establishment phase, which is characterized by progressive drought during summer. We measured survival, growth and biomass allocation, and C-balance physiology (photosynthetic C-gain and chlorophyll fluorescence, respiration C-use, and NSC concentrations) from germination to mortality. We hypothesized that 1) stomatal and biochemical limitations to C gain would constrain seedling survival (through inadequate seasonal C-balance), as has been shown for conifer seedlings near alpine treeline; 2) hydraulic constraints (embolisms and

  14. Changes in nitrogen-fixing and ammonia-oxidizing bacterial communities in soil of a mixed conifer forest after wildfire.

    PubMed

    Yeager, Chris M; Northup, Diana E; Grow, Christy C; Barns, Susan M; Kuske, Cheryl R

    2005-05-01

    This study was undertaken to examine the effects of forest fire on two important groups of N-cycling bacteria in soil, the nitrogen-fixing and ammonia-oxidizing bacteria. Sequence and terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) analysis of nifH and amoA PCR amplicons was performed on DNA samples from unburned, moderately burned, and severely burned soils of a mixed conifer forest. PCR results indicated that the soil biomass and proportion of nitrogen-fixing and ammonia-oxidizing species was less in soil from the fire-impacted sites than from the unburned sites. The number of dominant nifH sequence types was greater in fire-impacted soils, and nifH sequences that were most closely related to those from the spore-forming taxa Clostridium and Paenibacillus were more abundant in the burned soils. In T-RFLP patterns of the ammonia-oxidizing community, terminal restriction fragments (TRFs) representing amoA cluster 1, 2, or 4 Nitrosospira spp. were dominant (80 to 90%) in unburned soils, while TRFs representing amoA cluster 3A Nitrosospira spp. dominated (65 to 95%) in fire-impacted soils. The dominance of amoA cluster 3A Nitrosospira spp. sequence types was positively correlated with soil pH (5.6 to 7.5) and NH(3)-N levels (0.002 to 0.976 ppm), both of which were higher in burned soils. The decreased microbial biomass and shift in nitrogen-fixing and ammonia-oxidizing communities were still evident in fire-impacted soils collected 14 months after the fire.

  15. Localized cooling of stems induces latewood formation and cambial dormancy during seasons of active cambium in conifers

    PubMed Central

    Begum, Shahanara; Kudo, Kayo; Matsuoka, Yugo; Nakaba, Satoshi; Yamagishi, Yusuke; Nabeshima, Eri; Rahman, Md Hasnat; Nugroho, Widyanto Dwi; Oribe, Yuichiro; Jin, Hyun-O; Funada, Ryo

    2016-01-01

    Background and Aims In temperate regions, trees undergo annual cycles of cambial growth, with periods of cambial activity and dormancy. Environmental factors might regulate the cambial growth, as well as the development of cambial derivatives. We investigated the effects of low temperature by localized cooling on cambial activity and latewood formation in two conifers, Chamaecyparis obtusa and Cryptomeria japonica. Methods A plastic rubber tube that contained cooled water was wrapped around a 30-cm-wide portion of the main stem of Chamaecyparis obtusa and Cryptomeria japonica trees during seasons of active cambium. Small blocks were collected from both cooled and non-cooled control portions of the stems for sequential observations of cambial activity and for anatomical measurements of cell morphology by light microscopy and image analysis. Key Results The effect of localized cooling was first observed on differentiating tracheids. Tracheids narrow in diameter and with significantly decreased cambial activity were evident 5 weeks after the start of cooling in these stems. Eight weeks after the start of cooling, tracheids with clearly diminished diameters and thickened cell walls were observed in these stems. Thus, localized low temperature induced narrow diameters and obvious thickening of secondary cell walls of tracheids, which were identified as latewood tracheids. Two months after the cessation of cooling, a false annual ring was observed and cambium became active again and produced new tracheids. In Cryptomeria japonica, cambial activity ceased earlier in locally cooled portions of stems than in non-cooled stems, indicating that the cambium had entered dormancy sooner in the cooled stems. Conclusions Artificial cooling of stems induced latewood formation and cessation of cambial activity, indicating that cambium and its derivatives can respond directly to changes in temperature. A decrease in the temperature of the stem is a critical factor in the control of

  16. Is ecological speciation a major trend in aphids? Insights from a molecular phylogeny of the conifer-feeding genus Cinara

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Introduction In the past decade ecological speciation has been recognized as having an important role in the diversification of plant-feeding insects. Aphids are host-specialised phytophagous insects that mate on their host plants and, as such, they are prone to experience reproductive isolation linked with host plant association that could ultimately lead to species formation. The generality of such a scenario remains to be tested through macroevolutionary studies. To explore the prevalence of host-driven speciation in the diversification of the aphid genus Cinara and to investigate alternative modes of speciation, we reconstructed a phylogeny of this genus based on mitochondrial, nuclear and Buchnera aphidicola DNA sequence fragments and applied a DNA-based method of species delimitation. Using a recent software (PhyloType), we explored evolutionary transitions in host-plant genera, feeding sites and geographic distributions in the diversification of Cinara and investigated how transitions in these characters have accompanied speciation events. Results The diversification of Cinara has been constrained by host fidelity to conifer genera sometimes followed by sequential colonization onto different host species and by feeding-site specialisation. Nevertheless, our analyses suggest that, at the most, only half of the speciation events were accompanied by ecological niche shifts. The contribution of geographical isolation in the speciation process is clearly apparent in the occurrence of species from two continents in the same clades in relatively terminal positions in our phylogeny. Furthermore, in agreement with predictions from scenarios in which geographic isolation accounts for speciation events, geographic overlap between species increased significantly with time elapsed since their separation. Conclusions The history of Cinara offers a different perspective on the mode of speciation of aphids than that provided by classic models such as the pea aphid. In this

  17. Effects of high-severity fire drove the population collapse of the subalpine Tasmanian endemic conifer Athrotaxis cupressoides.

    PubMed

    Holz, Andrés; Wood, Sam W; Veblen, Thomas T; Bowman, David M J S

    2015-01-01

    Athrotaxis cupressoides is a slow-growing and long-lived conifer that occurs in the subalpine temperate forests of Tasmania, a continental island to the south of Australia. In 1960-1961, human-ignited wildfires occurred during an extremely dry summer that killed many A. cupressoides stands on the high plateau in the center of Tasmania. That fire year, coupled with subsequent regeneration failure, caused a loss of ca. 10% of the geographic extent of this endemic Tasmanian forest type. To provide historical context for these large-scale fire events, we (i) collected dendroecological, floristic, and structural data, (ii) documented the postfire survival and regeneration of A. cupressoides and co-occurring understory species, and (iii) assessed postfire understory plant community composition and flammability. We found that fire frequency did not vary following the arrival of European settlers, and that A. cupressoides populations were able to persist under a regime of low-to-mid severity fires prior to the 1960 fires. Our data indicate that the 1960 fires were (i) of greater severity than previous fires, (ii) herbivory by native marsupials may limit seedling survival in both burned and unburned A. cupressoides stands, and (iii) the loss of A. cupressoides populations is largely irreversible given the relatively high fuel loads of postfire vegetation communities that are dominated by resprouting shrubs. We suggest that the feedback between regeneration failure and increased flammability will be further exacerbated by a warmer and drier climate causing A. cupressoides to contract to the most fire-proof landscape settings.

  18. Twenty years of ecosystem response after clearcutting and slashburning in conifer forests of central British Columbia, Canada

    PubMed Central

    Feller, Michael; Bradfield, Gary

    2017-01-01

    Forests are being clearcut over extensive areas of western North America, but plant community response to harvesting and slashburning under varying climatic conditions in central British Columbia, Canada is still largely unknown. Evaluation of resilience is hampered by the short history of logging, lack of long-term experiments and methodological limitations. To test the effect of clearcut logging, prescribed burning and reforestation on forest resilience, we recorded vascular plant cover repeatedly after treatment between 1981 and 2008 in 16 permanent research installations in three biogeoclimatic zones: Engelmann Spruce-Subalpine Fir, Interior Cedar-Hemlock and Sub-Boreal Spruce. We created a plant-trait dataset for the 181 recorded species to define plant functional types representing groups of plants that behave in similar ways and/or produce similar ecological outcomes. These plant functional types, along with taxonomic analysis of diagnostic and indicator species, were then used to evaluate plant community response to disturbance. Twenty years post-treatment, species diversity increased in all zones and plant abundance was greatest in the Interior Cedar-Hemlock. Cover of understory plant functional types associated with mature conifer forests increased in all zones, constituting a significant proportion (> 40%) of the vegetation community by year 20. Response patterns varied by zone and with time. Understory species diagnostic of mature forests were present in all zones by year 20, but we identified indicator species sensitive to slashburning or requiring more time for recovery, including white-flowered rhododendron (Rhododendron albiflorum) and devil's club (Oplopanax horridus). Overall, loss of compositional or functional diversity following harvest and site remediation was not detected, suggesting that montane and subalpine forests in British Columbia are resilient to this treatment. However, because these forests can be slow to recover from disturbance

  19. Avian community responses to post-fire forest structure: Implications for fire management in mixed conifer forests

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    White, Angela M.; Manley, Patricia N.; Tarbill, Gina; Richardson, T.L.; Russell, Robin E.; Safford, Hugh D.; Dobrowski, Solomon Z.

    2015-01-01

    Fire is a natural process and the dominant disturbance shaping plant and animal communities in many coniferous forests of the western US. Given that fire size and severity are predicted to increase in the future, it has become increasingly important to understand how wildlife responds to fire and post-fire management. The Angora Fire burned 1243 hectares of mixed conifer forest in South Lake Tahoe, California. We conducted avian point counts for the first 3 years following the fire in burned and unburned areas to investigate which habitat characteristics are most important for re-establishing or maintaining the native avian community in post-fire landscapes. We used a multi-species occurrence model to estimate how avian species are influenced by the density of live and dead trees and shrub cover. While accounting for variations in the detectability of species, our approach estimated the occurrence probabilities of all species detected including those that were rare or observed infrequently. Although all species encountered in this study were detected in burned areas, species-specific modeling results predicted that some species were strongly associated with specific post-fire conditions, such as a high density of dead trees, open-canopy conditions or high levels of shrub cover that occur at particular burn severities or at a particular time following fire. These results indicate that prescribed fire or managed wildfire which burns at low to moderate severity without at least some high-severity effects is both unlikely to result in the species assemblages that are unique to post-fire areas or to provide habitat for burn specialists. Additionally, the probability of occurrence for many species was associated with high levels of standing dead trees indicating that intensive post-fire harvest of these structures could negatively impact habitat of a considerable proportion of the avian community.

  20. Nocturnal transpiration causing disequilibrium between soil and stem predawn water potential in mixed conifer forests of Idaho.

    PubMed

    Kavanagh, Kathleen L; Pangle, Robert; Schotzko, Alisa D

    2007-04-01

    Soil water potential (Psi(s)) is often estimated by measuring leaf water potential before dawn (Psi(pd)), based on the assumption that the plant water status has come into equilibrium with that of the soil. However, it has been documented for a number of plant species that stomata do not close completely at night, allowing for nocturnal transpiration and thus preventing nocturnal soil-plant water potential equilibration. The potential for nighttime transpiration necessitates testing the assumption of nocturnal equilibration before accepting Psi(pd) as a valid estimate of Psi(s). We determined the magnitude of disequilibrium between Psi(pd) and Psi(s) in four temperate conifer species across three height classes through a replicated study in northern Idaho. Based on both stomatal conductance and sap flux measurements, we confirmed that the combination of open stomata and high nocturnal atmospheric vapor pressure deficit (D) resulted in nocturnal transpiration in all four species. Nocturnal stomatal conductance (g(s-noc)) averaged about 33% of mid-morning conductance values. We used species-specific estimates of g(s-noc) and leaf specific conductance to correct Psi(pd) values for nocturnal transpiration at the time the samples were collected. Compared with the unadjusted values, corrected values reflected a significantly higher Psi(pd) (when D > 0.12 kPa). These results demonstrate that comparisons of Psi(pd) among species, canopy height classes and sites, and across growing seasons can be influenced by differential amounts of nocturnal transpiration, leading to flawed results. Consequently, it is important to account for the presence of nocturnal transpiration, either through a properly parameterized model or by making Psi(pd) measurements when D is sufficiently low that it cannot drive nocturnal transpiration. Violating these conditions will likely result in underestimation of Psi(s).

  1. Different growth sensitivity to climate of the conifer Juniperus thurifera on both sides of the Mediterranean Sea.

    PubMed

    DeSoto, Lucía; Varino, Filipa; Andrade, José P; Gouveia, Celia M; Campelo, Filipe; Trigo, Ricardo M; Nabais, Cristina

    2014-12-01

    Mediterranean plants cope with cold wet winters and dry hot summers, with a drought gradient from northwest to southeast. Limiting climatic conditions have become more pronounced in the last decades due to the warming trend and rainfall decrease. Juniperus thurifera L., a long-lived conifer tree endemic to the western Mediterranean region, has a disjunct distribution in Europe and Africa, making it a suitable species to study sensitivity to climate in both sides of the Mediterranean Basin. Tree-ring width chronologies were built for three J. thurifera stands at Spain (Europe) and three in Morocco (Africa) and correlated with monthly temperature and precipitation. The temporal stability of climate-growth relationships was assessed using moving correlations; the drought effect on growth was calculated using the monthly standardized precipitation-evapotranspiration index (SPEI) at different temporal scales. In the wettest stands, increasing spring temperature and summer precipitation enhanced growth, while in the driest stands, growth was enhanced by higher spring precipitation and lower summer temperature. The climate-growth correlations shifted during the twentieth century, especially since the 1970s. Particularly noticeable is the recent negative correlation with previous autumn and winter precipitation in the wettest stands of J. thurifera, probably related with an effect of cloud cover or flooding on carbon storage depletion for next year growth. The driest stands were affected by drought at long time scales, while the wettest stands respond to drought at short time scales. This reveals a different strategy to cope with drought conditions, with populations from drier sites able to cope with short periods of water deficit.

  2. Biogeochemical legacy of prescribed fire in a giant sequoia - Mixed conifer forest: A 16-year record of watershed balances

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Engle, D.L.; Sickman, J.O.; Moore, C.M.; Esperanza, A.M.; Melack, J.M.; Keeley, J.E.

    2008-01-01

    The effects of prescription burning on watershed balances of major ions in mixed conifer forest were examined in a 16-year paired catchment study in Sequoia National Park, California. The objective was to determine whether fire-related changes in watershed balances persist as long as estimated low-end natural fire-return intervals (???10 years), and whether cumulative net export caused by fire could deplete nutrient stocks between successive fires. Inputs (wet + dry deposition) and outputs (stream export) of N, S, Cl-, HCO3-, Ca2+, Mg2+, Na+, K+, H+, and SiO2 were measured for 7 years preceding, and 9 years following, a prescribed burn of one of the catchments. After fire, runoff coefficients increased by 7% (in dry years) to 35% (in wet years). Inorganic N was elevated in stream water for 3 years after fire. Increased export of water, SO42-, Cl-,SiO2, and base cations continued through the end of the study. Pools and processes attributed to fire led to the cumulative loss, per hectare, of 1.2 kg N, 16 kg S, 25 kg Cl-, 130 kg Ca2+, 19 kg Mg2+, 71 kg Na+, 29 kg K+ and 192 kg Si, above that predicted by prefire regression equations relating export in the paired catchments. This additional export equaled <1% of the N, up to one-third of the Ca and Mg, and up to three-fourths of the K, contained in the forest floor prior to combustion. Changes in watershed balances indicated that low-end natural fire-return intervals may prevent complete reaccumulation of several elements between fires. Copyright 2008 by the American Geophysical Union.

  3. Drought, Frost, Rain and Sunshine. Four Years of Sap Flow Measurements for One of the World's Largest Conifers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macinnis-Ng, C.; Taylor, D. T.; Kaplick, J.; Clearwater, M.

    2015-12-01

    Amongst the largest and longest lived conifers in the world, the endemic New Zealand kauri, Agathis australis, provides a proxy-climate record dating back 4000 y. Tree-ring widths provide a strong indicator of the occurrence of El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events. We are measuring physiological processes, including carbon uptake and loss, leaf-scale gas exchange and sap flow together with meteorological data to explore the mechanisms of the climate response of this iconic and culturally significant species. In this continuous 15 min time interval sap flow dataset spanning four years, we have captured very wet and very dry summer periods. Winter flow rates peaked lower than summer flow rates and winter flow also started later and finished earlier in the day, resulting in less water use. Larger, canopy dominant trees (DBH up to 176 cm) had large sapwood area (sapwood depth up to 18 cm) and faster flow rates and therefore dominated stand water use. During dry periods, smaller trees (DBH 20-80 cm) were more responsive to dry soils than larger trees, suggesting access to deeper soil water stores. Leaf-scale gas exchange rates were low with very low stomatal conductance values reflecting known vulnerability to xylem embolism. Night-time refilling of sapwood was particularly evident during the summer drought with evidence that refilling was incomplete as the drought progressed. Photosynthetically active radiation and vapour pressure deficit are strongly correlated with sap flow across all seasons, a promising indicator for future modelling work on this dataset. Water saving strategies and stand-scale water budgets are discussed.

  4. Different growth sensitivity to climate of the conifer Juniperus thurifera on both sides of the Mediterranean Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeSoto, Lucía; Varino, Filipa; Andrade, José P.; Gouveia, Celia M.; Campelo, Filipe; Trigo, Ricardo M.; Nabais, Cristina

    2014-12-01

    Mediterranean plants cope with cold wet winters and dry hot summers, with a drought gradient from northwest to southeast. Limiting climatic conditions have become more pronounced in the last decades due to the warming trend and rainfall decrease. Juniperus thurifera L., a long-lived conifer tree endemic to the western Mediterranean region, has a disjunct distribution in Europe and Africa, making it a suitable species to study sensitivity to climate in both sides of the Mediterranean Basin. Tree-ring width chronologies were built for three J. thurifera stands at Spain (Europe) and three in Morocco (Africa) and correlated with monthly temperature and precipitation. The temporal stability of climate-growth relationships was assessed using moving correlations; the drought effect on growth was calculated using the monthly standardized precipitation-evapotranspiration index (SPEI) at different temporal scales. In the wettest stands, increasing spring temperature and summer precipitation enhanced growth, while in the driest stands, growth was enhanced by higher spring precipitation and lower summer temperature. The climate-growth correlations shifted during the twentieth century, especially since the 1970s. Particularly noticeable is the recent negative correlation with previous autumn and winter precipitation in the wettest stands of J. thurifera, probably related with an effect of cloud cover or flooding on carbon storage depletion for next year growth. The driest stands were affected by drought at long time scales, while the wettest stands respond to drought at short time scales. This reveals a different strategy to cope with drought conditions, with populations from drier sites able to cope with short periods of water deficit.

  5. Carbon fluxes acclimate more strongly to elevated growth temperatures than to elevated CO2 concentrations in a northern conifer.

    PubMed

    Kroner, Yulia; Way, Danielle A

    2016-08-01

    Increasing temperatures and atmospheric CO2 concentrations will affect tree carbon fluxes, generating potential feedbacks between forests and the global climate system. We studied how elevated temperatures and CO2 impacted leaf carbon dynamics in Norway spruce (Picea abies), a dominant northern forest species, to improve predictions of future photosynthetic and respiratory fluxes from high-latitude conifers. Seedlings were grown under ambient (AC, c. 435 μmol mol(-1) ) or elevated (EC, 750 μmol mol(-1) ) CO2 concentrations at ambient, +4 °C, or +8 °C growing temperatures. Photosynthetic rates (Asat ) were high in +4 °C/EC seedlings and lowest in +8 °C spruce, implying that moderate, but not extreme, climate change may stimulate carbon uptake. Asat , dark respiration (Rdark ), and light respiration (Rlight ) rates acclimated to temperature, but not CO2 : the thermal optimum of Asat increased, and Rdark and Rlight were suppressed under warming. In all treatments, the Q10 of Rlight (the relative increase in respiration for a 10 °C increase in leaf temperature) was 35% higher than the Q10 of Rdark , so the ratio of Rlight to Rdark increased with rising leaf temperature. However, across all treatments and a range of 10-40 °C leaf temperatures, a consistent relationship between Rlight and Rdark was found, which could be used to model Rlight in future climates. Acclimation reduced daily modeled respiratory losses from warm-grown seedlings by 22-56%. When Rlight was modeled as a constant fraction of Rdark , modeled daily respiratory losses were 11-65% greater than when using measured values of Rlight . Our findings highlight the impact of acclimation to future climates on predictions of carbon uptake and losses in northern trees, in particular the need to model daytime respiratory losses from direct measurements of Rlight or appropriate relationships with Rdark .

  6. Tree Morphologic Plasticity Explains Deviation from Metabolic Scaling Theory in Semi-Arid Conifer Forests, Southwestern USA

    PubMed Central

    O’Connor, Christopher D.; Lynch, Ann M.

    2016-01-01

    A significant concern about Metabolic Scaling Theory (MST) in real forests relates to consistent differences between the values of power law scaling exponents of tree primary size measures used to estimate mass and those predicted by MST. Here we consider why observed scaling exponents for diameter and height relationships deviate from MST predictions across three semi-arid conifer forests in relation to: (1) tree condition and physical form, (2) the level of inter-tree competition (e.g. open vs closed stand structure), (3) increasing tree age, and (4) differences in site productivity. Scaling exponent values derived from non-linear least-squares regression for trees in excellent condition (n = 381) were above the MST prediction at the 95% confidence level, while the exponent for trees in good condition were no different than MST (n = 926). Trees that were in fair or poor condition, characterized as diseased, leaning, or sparsely crowned had exponent values below MST predictions (n = 2,058), as did recently dead standing trees (n = 375). Exponent value of the mean-tree model that disregarded tree condition (n = 3,740) was consistent with other studies that reject MST scaling. Ostensibly, as stand density and competition increase trees exhibited greater morphological plasticity whereby the majority had characteristically fair or poor growth forms. Fitting by least-squares regression biases the mean-tree model scaling exponent toward values that are below MST idealized predictions. For 368 trees from Arizona with known establishment dates, increasing age had no significant impact on expected scaling. We further suggest height to diameter ratios below MST relate to vertical truncation caused by limitation in plant water availability. Even with environmentally imposed height limitation, proportionality between height and diameter scaling exponents were consistent with the predictions of MST. PMID:27391084

  7. Twenty years of ecosystem response after clearcutting and slashburning in conifer forests of central British Columbia, Canada.

    PubMed

    Chandler, Julia R; Haeussler, Sybille; Hamilton, Evelyn H; Feller, Michael; Bradfield, Gary; Simard, Suzanne W

    2017-01-01

    Forests are being clearcut over extensive areas of western North America, but plant community response to harvesting and slashburning under varying climatic conditions in central British Columbia, Canada is still largely unknown. Evaluation of resilience is hampered by the short history of logging, lack of long-term experiments and methodological limitations. To test the effect of clearcut logging, prescribed burning and reforestation on forest resilience, we recorded vascular plant cover repeatedly after treatment between 1981 and 2008 in 16 permanent research installations in three biogeoclimatic zones: Engelmann Spruce-Subalpine Fir, Interior Cedar-Hemlock and Sub-Boreal Spruce. We created a plant-trait dataset for the 181 recorded species to define plant functional types representing groups of plants that behave in similar ways and/or produce similar ecological outcomes. These plant functional types, along with taxonomic analysis of diagnostic and indicator species, were then used to evaluate plant community response to disturbance. Twenty years post-treatment, species diversity increased in all zones and plant abundance was greatest in the Interior Cedar-Hemlock. Cover of understory plant functional types associated with mature conifer forests increased in all zones, constituting a significant proportion (> 40%) of the vegetation community by year 20. Response patterns varied by zone and with time. Understory species diagnostic of mature forests were present in all zones by year 20, but we identified indicator species sensitive to slashburning or requiring more time for recovery, including white-flowered rhododendron (Rhododendron albiflorum) and devil's club (Oplopanax horridus). Overall, loss of compositional or functional diversity following harvest and site remediation was not detected, suggesting that montane and subalpine forests in British Columbia are resilient to this treatment. However, because these forests can be slow to recover from disturbance

  8. Water-use responses of ‘living fossil’ conifers to CO2 enrichment in a simulated Cretaceous polar environment

    PubMed Central

    Llorens, Laura; Osborne, Colin P.; Beerling, David J.

    2009-01-01

    Background and Aims During the Mesozoic, the polar regions supported coniferous forests that experienced warm climates, a CO2-rich atmosphere and extreme seasonal variations in daylight. How the interaction between the last two factors might have influenced water use of these conifers was investigated. An experimental approach was used to test the following hypotheses: (1) the expected beneficial effects of elevated [CO2] on water-use efficiency (WUE) are reduced or lost during the 24-h light of the high-latitude summer; and (2) elevated [CO2] reduces plant water use over the growing season. Methods Measurements of leaf and whole-plant gas exchange, and leaf-stable carbon isotope composition were made on one evergreen (Sequoia sempervirens) and two deciduous (Metasequoia glyptostroboides and Taxodium distichum) ‘living fossil’ coniferous species after 3 years' growth in controlled-environment simulated Cretaceous Arctic (69°N) conditions at either ambient (400 µmol mol−1) or elevated (800 µmol mol−1) [CO2]. Key Results Stimulation of whole-plant WUE (WUEP) by CO2 enrichment was maintained over the growing season for the three studied species but this pattern was not reflected in patterns of WUE inferred from leaf-scale gas exchange measurements (iWUEL) and δ13C of foliage (tWUEL). This response was driven largely by increased rates of carbon uptake, because there was no overall CO2 effect on daily whole-plant transpiration or whole-plant water loss integrated over the study period. Seasonal patterns of tWUEL differed from those measured for iWUEL. The results suggest caution against over simplistic interpretations of WUEP based on leaf isotopic composition. Conclusions The data suggest that the efficiency of whole-tree water use may be improved by CO2 enrichment in a simulated high-latitude environment, but that transpiration is relatively insensitive to atmospheric CO2 in the living fossil species investigated. PMID:19447810

  9. Tree Morphologic Plasticity Explains Deviation from Metabolic Scaling Theory in Semi-Arid Conifer Forests, Southwestern USA.

    PubMed

    Swetnam, Tyson L; O'Connor, Christopher D; Lynch, Ann M

    2016-01-01

    A significant concern about Metabolic Scaling Theory (MST) in real forests relates to consistent differences between the values of power law scaling exponents of tree primary size measures used to estimate mass and those predicted by MST. Here we consider why observed scaling exponents for diameter and height relationships deviate from MST predictions across three semi-arid conifer forests in relation to: (1) tree condition and physical form, (2) the level of inter-tree competition (e.g. open vs closed stand structure), (3) increasing tree age, and (4) differences in site productivity. Scaling exponent values derived from non-linear least-squares regression for trees in excellent condition (n = 381) were above the MST prediction at the 95% confidence level, while the exponent for trees in good condition were no different than MST (n = 926). Trees that were in fair or poor condition, characterized as diseased, leaning, or sparsely crowned had exponent values below MST predictions (n = 2,058), as did recently dead standing trees (n = 375). Exponent value of the mean-tree model that disregarded tree condition (n = 3,740) was consistent with other studies that reject MST scaling. Ostensibly, as stand density and competition increase trees exhibited greater morphological plasticity whereby the majority had characteristically fair or poor growth forms. Fitting by least-squares regression biases the mean-tree model scaling exponent toward values that are below MST idealized predictions. For 368 trees from Arizona with known establishment dates, increasing age had no significant impact on expected scaling. We further suggest height to diameter ratios below MST relate to vertical truncation caused by limitation in plant water availability. Even with environmentally imposed height limitation, proportionality between height and diameter scaling exponents were consistent with the predictions of MST.

  10. Conifer seedling recruitment across a gradient from forest to alpine tundra: effects of species, provenance, and site

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Castanha, C.; Torn, M.S.; Germino, M.J.; Weibel, B.; Kueppers, L.M.

    2013-01-01

    Background: Seedling germination and survival is a critical control on forest ecosystem boundaries, such as at the alpine–treeline ecotone. In addition, while it is known that species respond individualistically to the same suite of environmental drivers, the potential additional effect of local adaptation on seedling success has not been evaluated. Aims: To determine whether local adaptation may influence the position and movement of forest ecosystem boundaries, we quantified conifer seedling recruitment in common gardens across a subalpine forest to alpine tundra gradient at Niwot Ridge, Colorado, USA. Methods: We studied Pinus flexilis and Picea engelmannii grown from seed collected locally at High (3400 m a.s.l.) and Low (3060 m a.s.l.) elevations. We monitored emergence and survival of seeds sown directly into plots and survival of seedlings germinated indoors and transplanted after snowmelt. Results: Emergence and survival through the first growing season was greater for P. flexilis than P. engelmannii and for Low compared with High provenances. Yet survival through the second growing season was similar for both species and provenances. Seedling emergence and survival tended to be greatest in the subalpine forest and lowest in the alpine tundra. Survival was greater for transplants than for field-germinated seedlings. Conclusions: These results suggest that survival through the first few weeks is critical to the establishment of natural germinants. In addition, even small distances between seed sources can have a significant effect on early demographic performance – a factor that has rarely been considered in previous studies of tree recruitment and species range shifts.

  11. Xylem Embolism in Response to Freeze-Thaw Cycles and Water Stress in Ring-Porous, Diffuse-Porous, and Conifer Species 1

    PubMed Central

    Sperry, John S.; Sullivan, June E. M.

    1992-01-01

    Vulnerability to xylem embolism by freeze-thaw cycles and water stress was quantified in ring-porous (Quercus gambelii Nutt.), diffuse-porous (Populus tremuloides Michx., Betula occidentalis Hook.), and conifer species (Abies lasiocarpa Nutt., Juniperus scopulorum Sarg.). Embolism was measured by its reduction of xylem hydraulic conductivity; it was induced by xylem tension (water-stress response) and by a tension plus a freeze-thaw cycle (freeze response). Conifers showed little (Juniperus) or no (Abies) freeze response even to repeated cycles. In contrast, Quercus embolized more than 90% by freezing at tensions below 0.2 MPa, whereas similar embolism without freezing required tensions above 4.5 MPa. Diffuse-porous trees (Betula, Populus) showed an intermediate freeze response. The magnitude of the freeze response was correlated with conduit volume but occurred at higher tensions than predicted from theory. Large early-wood vessels (2.8 × 10−9 m3) in oak were most vulnerable to embolism by freezing, small vessels in Populus and Betula were intermediate (approximately 7 × 10−11 m3), and tracheids in conifers (about 3 × 10−13 m3) were most resistant. The same trend was found within a stem: embolism by freeze-thawing occurred preferentially in wider conduits. The water-stress response was not correlated with conduit volume; previous work indicates it is a function of interconduit pit membrane structure. Native embolism levels during winter corroborated laboratory results on freezing: Quercus embolized 95% with the first fall freeze, Populus and Betula showed gradual increases to more than 90% embolism by winter's end, and Abies remained below 30%. PMID:16653035

  12. A high-resolution reference genetic map positioning 8.8 K genes for the conifer white spruce: structural genomics implications and correspondence with physical distance.

    PubMed

    Pavy, Nathalie; Lamothe, Manuel; Pelgas, Betty; Gagnon, France; Birol, Inanç; Bohlmann, Joerg; Mackay, John; Isabel, Nathalie; Bousquet, Jean

    2017-04-01

    Over the last decade, extensive genetic and genomic resources have been developed for the conifer white spruce (Picea glauca, Pinaceae), which has one of the largest plant genomes (20 Gbp). Draft genome sequences of white spruce and other conifers have recently been produced, but dense genetic maps are needed to comprehend genome macrostructure, delineate regions involved in quantitative traits, complement functional genomic investigations, and assist the assembly of fragmented genomic sequences. A greatly expanded P. glauca composite linkage map was generated from a set of 1976 full-sib progeny, with the positioning of 8793 expressed genes. Regions with significant low or high gene density were identified. Gene family members tended to be mapped on the same chromosomes, with tandemly arrayed genes significantly biased towards specific functional classes. The map was integrated with transcriptome data surveyed across eight tissues. In total, 69 clusters of co-expressed and co-localising genes were identified. A high level of synteny was found with pine genetic maps, which should facilitate the transfer of structural information in the Pinaceae. Although the current white spruce genome sequence remains highly fragmented, dozens of scaffolds encompassing more than one mapped gene were identified. From these, the relationship between genetic and physical distances was examined and the genome-wide recombination rate was found to be much smaller than most estimates reported for angiosperm genomes. This gene linkage map shall assist the large-scale assembly of the next-generation white spruce genome sequence and provide a reference resource for the conifer genomics community.

  13. Methyl jasmonate-induced ethylene production is responsible for conifer phloem defense responses and reprogramming of stem cambial zone for traumatic resin duct formation.

    PubMed

    Hudgins, J W; Franceschi, Vincent R

    2004-08-01

    Conifer stem pest resistance includes constitutive defenses that discourage invasion and inducible defenses, including phenolic and terpenoid resin synthesis. Recently, methyl jasmonate (MJ) was shown to induce conifer resin and phenolic defenses; however, it is not known if MJ is the direct effector or if there is a downstream signal. Exogenous applications of MJ, methyl salicylate, and ethylene were used to assess inducible defense signaling mechanisms in conifer stems. MJ and ethylene but not methyl salicylate caused enhanced phenolic synthesis in polyphenolic parenchyma cells, early sclereid lignification, and reprogramming of the cambial zone to form traumatic resin ducts in Pseudotsuga menziesii and Sequoiadendron giganteum. Similar responses in internodes above and below treated internodes indicate transport of a signal giving a systemic response. Studies focusing on P. menziesii showed MJ induced ethylene production earlier and 77-fold higher than wounding. Ethylene production was also induced in internodes above the MJ-treated internode. Pretreatment of P. menziesii stems with the ethylene response inhibitor 1-methylcyclopropene inhibited MJ and wound responses. Wounding increased 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC) oxidase protein, but MJ treatment produced a higher and more rapid ACC oxidase increase. ACC oxidase was most abundant in ray parenchyma cells, followed by cambial zone cells and resin duct epithelia. The data show these MJ-induced defense responses are mediated by ethylene. The cambial zone xylem mother cells are reprogrammed to differentiate into resin-secreting epithelial cells by an MJ-induced ethylene burst, whereas polyphenolic parenchyma cells are activated to increase polyphenol production. The results also indicate a central role of ray parenchyma in ethylene-induced defense.

  14. Methyl Jasmonate-Induced Ethylene Production Is Responsible for Conifer Phloem Defense Responses and Reprogramming of Stem Cambial Zone for Traumatic Resin Duct Formation

    PubMed Central

    Hudgins, J.W.; Franceschi, Vincent R.

    2004-01-01

    Conifer stem pest resistance includes constitutive defenses that discourage invasion and inducible defenses, including phenolic and terpenoid resin synthesis. Recently, methyl jasmonate (MJ) was shown to induce conifer resin and phenolic defenses; however, it is not known if MJ is the direct effector or if there is a downstream signal. Exogenous applications of MJ, methyl salicylate, and ethylene were used to assess inducible defense signaling mechanisms in conifer stems. MJ and ethylene but not methyl salicylate caused enhanced phenolic synthesis in polyphenolic parenchyma cells, early sclereid lignification, and reprogramming of the cambial zone to form traumatic resin ducts in Pseudotsuga menziesii and Sequoiadendron giganteum. Similar responses in internodes above and below treated internodes indicate transport of a signal giving a systemic response. Studies focusing on P. menziesii showed MJ induced ethylene production earlier and 77-fold higher than wounding. Ethylene production was also induced in internodes above the MJ-treated internode. Pretreatment of P. menziesii stems with the ethylene response inhibitor 1-methylcyclopropene inhibited MJ and wound responses. Wounding increased 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC) oxidase protein, but MJ treatment produced a higher and more rapid ACC oxidase increase. ACC oxidase was most abundant in ray parenchyma cells, followed by cambial zone cells and resin duct epithelia. The data show these MJ-induced defense responses are mediated by ethylene. The cambial zone xylem mother cells are reprogrammed to differentiate into resin-secreting epithelial cells by an MJ-induced ethylene burst, whereas polyphenolic parenchyma cells are activated to increase polyphenol production. The results also indicate a central role of ray parenchyma in ethylene-induced defense. PMID:15299142

  15. Molecular control of normal and acrocona mutant seed cone development in Norway spruce (Picea abies) and the evolution of conifer ovule-bearing organs.

    PubMed

    Carlsbecker, Annelie; Sundström, Jens F; Englund, Marie; Uddenberg, Daniel; Izquierdo, Liz; Kvarnheden, Anders; Vergara-Silva, Francisco; Engström, Peter

    2013-10-01

    Reproductive organs in seed plants are morphologically divergent and their evolutionary history is often unclear. The mechanisms controlling their development have been extensively studied in angiosperms but are poorly understood in conifers and other gymnosperms. Here, we address the molecular control of seed cone development in Norway spruce, Picea abies. We present expression analyses of five novel MADS-box genes in comparison with previously identified MADS and LEAFY genes at distinct developmental stages. In addition, we have characterized the homeotic transformation from vegetative shoot to female cone and associated changes in regulatory gene expression patterns occurring in the acrocona mutant. The analyses identified genes active at the onset of ovuliferous and ovule development and identified expression patterns marking distinct domains of the ovuliferous scale. The reproductive transformation in acrocona involves the activation of all tested genes normally active in early cone development, except for an AGAMOUS-LIKE6/SEPALLATA (AGL6/SEP) homologue. This absence may be functionally associated with the nondeterminate development of the acrocona ovule-bearing scales. Our morphological and gene expression analyses give support to the hypothesis that the modern cone is a complex structure, and the ovuliferous scale the result of reductions and compactions of an ovule-bearing axillary short shoot in cones of Paleozoic conifers.

  16. Stomatal dynamics are limited by leaf hydraulics in ferns and conifers: results from simultaneous measurements of liquid and vapour fluxes in leaves.

    PubMed

    Martins, Samuel C V; McAdam, Scott A M; Deans, Ross M; DaMatta, Fábio M; Brodribb, Tim J

    2016-03-01

    Stomatal responsiveness to vapour pressure deficit (VPD) results in continuous regulation of daytime gas-exchange directly influencing leaf water status and carbon gain. Current models can reasonably predict steady-state stomatal conductance (gs ) to changes in VPD but the gs dynamics between steady-states are poorly known. Here, we used a diverse sample of conifers and ferns to show that leaf hydraulic architecture, in particular leaf capacitance, has a major role in determining the gs response time to perturbations in VPD. By using simultaneous measurements of liquid and vapour fluxes into and out of leaves, the in situ fluctuations in leaf water balance were calculated and appeared to be closely tracked by changes in gs thus supporting a passive model of stomatal control. Indeed, good agreement was found between observed and predicted gs when using a hydropassive model based on hydraulic traits. We contend that a simple passive hydraulic control of stomata in response to changes in leaf water status provides for efficient stomatal responses to VPD in ferns and conifers, leading to closure rates as fast or faster than those seen in most angiosperms.

  17. Characterization of an AGAMOUS homologue from the conifer black spruce (Picea mariana) that produces floral homeotic conversions when expressed in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Rutledge, R; Regan, S; Nicolas, O; Fobert, P; Côté, C; Bosnich, W; Kauffeldt, C; Sunohara, G; Séguin, A; Stewart, D

    1998-09-01

    Advances in elucidating the molecular processes controlling flower initiation and development have provided unique opportunities to investigate the developmental genetics of non-flowering plants. In addition to providing insights into the evolutionary aspects of seed plants, identification of genes regulating reproductive organ development in gymnosperms could help determine the level of homology with current models of flower induction and floral organ identity. Based upon this, we have searched for putative developmental regulators in conifers with amino acid sequence homology to MADS-box genes. PCR cloning using degenerate primers targeted to the MADS-box domain revealed the presence of over 27 MADS-box genes within black spruce (Picea mariana), including several with extensive homology to either AP1 or AGAMOUS, both known to regulate flower development in Arabidopsis. This indicates that like angiosperms, conifers contain a large and diverse MADS-box gene family that probably includes regulators of reproductive organ development. Confirmation of this was provided by the characterization of an AGAMOUS-like cDNA clone called SAG1, whose conservation of intron position and tissue-specific expression within reproductive organs indicate that it is a homologue of AGAMOUS. Functional homology with AGAMOUS was demonstrated by the ability of SAG1 to produce homeotic conversions of sepals to carpels and petals to stamens when ectopically expressed in transgenic Arabidopsis. This suggests that some of the genetic pathways controlling flower and cone development are homologous, and antedate the 300-million-year-old divergence of angiosperms and gymnosperms.

  18. In silico mining and PCR-based approaches to transcription factor discovery in non-model plants: gene discovery of the WRKY transcription factors in conifers.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jun-Jun; Xiang, Yu

    2011-01-01

    WRKY transcription factors are key regulators of numerous biological processes in plant growth and development, as well as plant responses to abiotic and biotic stresses. Research on biological functions of plant WRKY genes has focused in the past on model plant species or species with largely characterized transcriptomes. However, a variety of non-model plants, such as forest conifers, are essential as feed, biofuel, and wood or for sustainable ecosystems. Identification of WRKY genes in these non-model plants is equally important for understanding the evolutionary and function-adaptive processes of this transcription factor family. Because of limited genomic information, the rarity of regulatory gene mRNAs in transcriptomes, and the sequence divergence to model organism genes, identification of transcription factors in non-model plants using methods similar to those generally used for model plants is difficult. This chapter describes a gene family discovery strategy for identification of WRKY transcription factors in conifers by a combination of in silico-based prediction and PCR-based experimental approaches. Compared to traditional cDNA library screening or EST sequencing at transcriptome scales, this integrated gene discovery strategy provides fast, simple, reliable, and specific methods to unveil the WRKY gene family at both genome and transcriptome levels in non-model plants.

  19. Revision of the Cretaceous fossil plant-assemblage from Gardeshwar (Gujarat, India): A conifer dominated floral association from an Upper Gondwana sequence on the West Coast of India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jana, Brajendra Nath; King, Sarah C.; Hilton, Jason

    2013-09-01

    A small but diverse fossil plant assemblage from Gardeshwar in Gujarat Province of western India is reinvestigated, based on analysis of recently collected specimens that represent previously unrecognised taxa in combination with a critical review of previously reported taxa from the site. The assemblage is dominated by conifers including Brachyphyllum Brongniart, Elatocladus Halle, Pagiophyllum Heer, the cone Conites Sternberg, and ovulate scales of an araucarian conifer. Other plant groups are rare but include notable occurrences of the pteridophytes Lycopodites Lindley and Hutton and Gleichenia Smith, and the seed fern Sphenopteris (Brongniart) Sternberg. This assemblage is important as it represents the only datable fossils available from the Gardeshwar Formation and from the information presented we conclude it belongs to the Lower Cretaceous Allocladus-Brachyphyllum-Pagiophyllum floral biozone. The Gardeshwar assemblage association is unusual as it lacks the distinctive genus Allocladus but includes other taxa more typical of the Lower Cretaceous fern-dominated Weichselia-Onychiopsis-Gleichenia floral biozone, and may represent a transitional assemblage with characters of both biozones. However, this investigation highlights the lack of detailed stratigraphic analyses on the Lower Cretaceous sedimentary sequences of the west coast of India from which it remains uncertain if these two ‘biozones' are of different ages or whether they represent stratigraphically contemporaneous but ecologically distinct environments.

  20. Macro-Particle Charcoal C Content following Prescribed Burning in a Mixed-Conifer Forest, Sierra Nevada, California

    PubMed Central

    Wiechmann, Morgan L.; Hurteau, Matthew D.; Kaye, Jason P.; Miesel, Jessica R.

    2015-01-01

    Fire suppression and changing climate have resulted in increased large wildfire frequency and severity in the western United States, causing carbon cycle impacts. Forest thinning and prescribed burning reduce high-severity fire risk, but require removal of biomass and emissions of carbon from burning. During each fire a fraction of the burning vegetation and soil organic matter is converted into charcoal, a relatively stable carbon form. We sought to quantify the effects of pre-fire fuel load and type on charcoal carbon produced by biomass combusted in a prescribed burn under different thinning treatments and to identify more easily measured predictors of charcoal carbon mass in a historically frequent-fire mixed-conifer forest. We hypothesized that charcoal carbon produced from coarse woody debris (CWD) during prescribed burning would be greater than that produced from fine woody debris (FWD). We visually quantified post-treatment charcoal carbon content in the O-horizon and the A-horizon beneath CWD (> 30 cm diameter) and up to 60 cm from CWD that was present prior to treatment. We found no difference in the size of charcoal carbon pools from CWD (treatment means ranged from 0.3–2.0 g m-2 of A-horizon and 0.0–1.7 g m-2 of O-horizon charcoal) and FWD (treatment means ranged from 0.2–1.7 g m-2 of A-horizon and 0.0–1.5 g m-2 of O-horizon charcoal). We also compared treatments and found that the burn-only, understory-thin and burn, and overstory-thin and burn treatments had significantly more charcoal carbon than the control. Charcoal carbon represented 0.29% of total ecosystem carbon. We found that char mass on CWD was an important predictor of charcoal carbon mass, but only explained 18–35% of the variation. Our results help improve our understanding of the effects forest restoration treatments have on ecosystem carbon by providing additional information about charcoal carbon content. PMID:26258533

  1. Terpenes tell different tales at different scales: glimpses into the Chemical Ecology of conifer - bark beetle - microbial interactions.

    PubMed

    Raffa, Kenneth F

    2014-01-01

    Chemical signaling mediates nearly all aspects of species interactions. Our knowledge of these signals has progressed dramatically, and now includes good characterizations of the bioactivities, modes of action, biosynthesis, and genetic programming of numerous compounds affecting a wide range of species. A major challenge now is to integrate this information so as to better understand actual selective pressures under natural conditions, make meaningful predictions about how organisms and ecosystems will respond to a changing environment, and provide useful guidance to managers who must contend with difficult trade-offs among competing socioeconomic values. One approach is to place stronger emphasis on cross-scale interactions, an understanding of which can help us better connect pattern with process, and improve our ability to make mechanistically grounded predictions over large areas and time frames. The opportunity to achieve such progress has been heightened by the rapid development of new scientific and technological tools. There are significant difficulties, however: Attempts to extend arrays of lower-scale processes into higher scale functioning can generate overly diffuse patterns. Conversely, attempts to infer process from pattern can miss critically important lower-scale drivers in systems where their biological and statistical significance is negated after critical thresholds are breached. Chemical signaling in bark beetle - conifer interactions has been explored for several decades, including by the two pioneers after whom this award is named. The strong knowledge base developed by many researchers, the importance of bark beetles in ecosystem functioning, and the socioeconomic challenges they pose, establish these insects as an ideal model for studying chemical signaling within a cross-scale context. This report describes our recent work at three levels of scale: interactions of bacteria with host plant compounds and symbiotic fungi (tree level

  2. The diagenetic behavior of cutin acids in buried conifer needles and sediments from a coastal marine environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goñi, Miguel A.; Hedges, John I.

    1990-11-01

    Whole green, litter, and sedimentary fir, hemlock, and cedar needles and bulk sediments collected from the Dabob Bay region in Washington state were analyzed for their cutin-derived CuO reaction products. All samples yielded dihydroxyhexadecanoic acid isomers (x,ω-C 16), 16-hydroxyhexa-decanoic acid (ω-C 16), 14-hydroxytetradecanoic acid (ω-C 14), and 18-hydroxyoctadec-9-enoic acid (ω-C 18: 1) as the major cutin acids. Fir/hemlock needle mixtures were characterized by a high abundance of the 9,16-dihydroxyhexadecanoic acid positional isomer, while cedar needles produced primarily the 10,16-dihydroxy counterpart. Cutin acids accounted for ~3% of tissue C in green needles, ~4% in needle litter, 0.5-1.5% in sedimentary needles, and about 0.1% of the organic carbon (OC) in bulk sediments. Approximately 80% of the original cutin acids in fresh green needles were lost from the deepest (~100 years old) sedimentary tissues. Cutin was more reactive than lignin and polysaccharides, but more stable than the cyclitol components of the same needles. Comparative diagenetic losses of the individual cutin acids were not uniform and suggest that additional hydroxy groups and the presence of C double bonds both increase overall reactivity. The relative stability series derived for all the molecular constituents measured is: total vanillyl phenols > total P- hydroxy phenols, ferulic acid, most aldoses, bulk organic matter > mannose, ω-C 14, ω-C 16 ⩾ ω-C 18:1 > glucose, p- coumaric acid, x, ω-C 16 > all cyclitols. Diagenetically induced changes in the various cutin parameters used to characterize nonwoody vascular plant tissues were not large enough to confuse degraded conifer tissues with other cutin sources. Based on these trends, the finely disseminated cutin-bearing tissues in Dabob Bay sediments appear to be comprised approximately of equal amounts of highly degraded fir/hemlock and cedar needle fragments. According to this estimate, nonwoody vascular plant debris

  3. Macro-particle charcoal C content following prescribed burning in a mixed-conifer forest, Sierra Nevada, California.

    PubMed

    Wiechmann, Morgan L; Hurteau, Matthew D; Kaye, Jason P; Miesel, Jessica R

    2015-01-01

    Fire suppression and changing climate have resulted in increased large wildfire frequency and severity in the western United States, causing carbon cycle impacts. Forest thinning and prescribed burning reduce high-severity fire risk, but require removal of biomass and emissions of carbon from burning. During each fire a fraction of the burning vegetation and soil organic matter is converted into charcoal, a relatively stable carbon form. We sought to quantify the effects of pre-fire fuel load and type on charcoal carbon produced by biomass combusted in a prescribed burn under different thinning treatments and to identify more easily measured predictors of charcoal carbon mass in a historically frequent-fire mixed-conifer forest. We hypothesized that charcoal carbon produced from coarse woody debris (CWD) during prescribed burning would be greater than that produced from fine woody debris (FWD). We visually quantified post-treatment charcoal carbon content in the O-horizon and the A-horizon beneath CWD (> 30 cm diameter) and up to 60 cm from CWD that was present prior to treatment. We found no difference in the size of charcoal carbon pools from CWD (treatment means ranged from 0.3-2.0 g m-2 of A-horizon and 0.0-1.7 g m-2 of O-horizon charcoal) and FWD (treatment means ranged from 0.2-1.7 g m-2 of A-horizon and 0.0-1.5 g m-2 of O-horizon charcoal). We also compared treatments and found that the burn-only, understory-thin and burn, and overstory-thin and burn treatments had significantly more charcoal carbon than the control. Charcoal carbon represented 0.29% of total ecosystem carbon. We found that char mass on CWD was an important predictor of charcoal carbon mass, but only explained 18-35% of the variation. Our results help improve our understanding of the effects forest restoration treatments have on ecosystem carbon by providing additional information about charcoal carbon content.

  4. Impacts of forest thinning and climate change on transpiration and runoff rates in Sierra Nevada mixed-conifer headwater catchments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saksa, P. C.; Ray, R. L.; Bales, R. C.; Conklin, M. H.

    2013-12-01

    Using a spatially explicit hydro-ecological model, impacts from forest thinning and climate change on snowpack, evapotranspiration (ET) rates, soil moisture storage, and runoff were investigated in Sierra Nevada headwater catchments spanning elevations of 1,500 to 2,000-m. Along this elevation gradient, precipitation changes from rain-dominated to snow-dominated, so precipitation phase will be strongly impacted by increases in temperature. Mixed-conifer forests in the Sierra Nevada near the 2,000-m elevation band also transpire at a high rate relative to upper elevation forests that are more restricted by colder winter temperatures and lower elevation forests that are more restricted by lower summer soil moisture, increasing the potential of reduced transpiration with vegetation thinning. Forest treatment and climate change scenarios were modeled using the Regional Hydro-Ecological Simulation System (RHESSys), calibrated with two years of snow, soil moisture, and streamflow observations. Simulations of forest thinning at moderate (66% of current vegetation density) and restoration (33% density) levels were combined with precipitation changes up to 20% and temperature increases up to 6οC for projecting impacts on ET and runoff rates. Model results indicated that moderate thinning alone could increase runoff by 3%, but additional temperature increases of 2-4οC could increase runoff rates another 6% - similar to a restoration level thinning. Modifying temperature and precipitation separately showed that the two methods of climate forcing both led to fluctuations in soil moisture, caused by changes in precipitation phase (snow/rain) and final day of snowpack melt. The snowmelt timing affected runoff rates by causing changes in the spring soil moisture recession, and showed that it may be one of the critical processes that affects annual runoff rates, not just runoff timing. Simulations of precipitation and temperature changes together showed that precipitation would

  5. Forest Fuel Reduction and Wildfire Effects on Runoff and Evapotranspiration in Sierra Nevada Mixed-Conifer Forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saksa, P. C.; Bales, R. C.; Conklin, M. H.

    2015-12-01

    Large, high-intensity wildfire risk in the western United States is growing, fueled by increasing vegetation density from a century of fire suppression and climatic shifts resulting in extended dry seasons. Strategically Placed Landscape Treatments (SPLATs) are a fuel reduction method designed to reduce fire risk on the entire landscape by treating only a fraction of the area. During 2011 and 2012, SPLATs were implemented in the mixed-conifer zone of the Tahoe (Last Chance study area, American River Basin) and Sierra (Sugar Pine study area, Merced River Basin) National Forests. Wildfire events were then simulated for both treated and untreated conditions. We integrated the vegetation changes with the Regional Hydro-Ecological Simulation System (RHESSys) to project impacts of fuel treatments and wildfire on runoff and evapotranspiration for the period of observed data, water years 2010-2013. Results from the model simulations show that vegetation treatments in the Last Chance study area, which removed 8.0% of the total biomass by treating 25% of the area, increased mean annual runoff by 12.0% and decreased mean annual evapotranspiration by 4.1%. Vegetation treatments in the Sugar Pine study area, which removed 7.5% of the total biomass by treating 33% of the area, increased runoff by 2.7% and decreased ET by 0.5%. Compared to pre-treatment conditions, wildfire simulations in Last Chance reduced total biomass by 38-50% when fuel treatments were not applied, resulting in a 55-67% runoff increase and a 19-23% evapotranspiration decrease. In Sugar Pine, fire simulation reduced biomass 39-43%, increasing runoff and decreasing ET by 13-15% and 1.8-2.7% respectively. Applying the same magnitude of biomass reductions equally over the entire watershed, in contrast to the localized areas of vegetation reductions due to treatment or fire, resulted in smaller impacts on runoff and evapotranspiration rates. Vegetation effects on hydrologic fluxes are greater in Last Chance than

  6. Projected impacts of 21st century climate change on the distribution of potential habitat for vegetation, forest types and major conifer species across Russia.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tchebakova, Nadezda; Parfenova, Elena; Cantin, Alan; Shvetsov, Eugene; Soja, Amber; Conard, Susane

    2013-04-01

    Global simulations have demonstrated the potential for profound effects of GCM-projected climate change on the distribution of terrestrial ecosystems and individual species at all hierarchical levels. We modeled progressions of potential vegetation cover, forest cover and forest types in Russia in the warming climate during the 21st century. We used large-scale bioclimatic models to predict zonal vegetation (RuBCliM), and forest cover (ForCliM) and forest types. A forest type was defined as a combination of a dominant tree conifer and a ground layer. Distributions of vegetation zones (zonobiomes), conifer species and forest types were simulated based on three bioclimatic indices (1) growing degree-days above 5oC ; (2) negative degree-days below 0oC; and (3) an annual moisture index (ratio of growing degree days to annual precipitation). Additionally, the presence/absence of continuous permafrost, identified by active layer depth of 2 m, was explicitly included in the models as limiting the forests and tree species distribution in Siberia. All simulations to predict vegetation change across Russia were run by coupling our bioclimatic models with bioclimatic indices and the permafrost distribution for the baseline period 1971-2000 and for the future decades of 2011-2020, 2041-2050 and 2091-2100. To provide a range of warming we used three global climate models (CGCM3.1, HadCM3 and IPSLCM4) and three climate change scenarios (A1B, A2 and B1). The CGCM model and the B1 scenario projected the smallest temperature increases, and the IPSL model and the A2 scenario projected the greatest temperature increases. We compared the modeled vegetation and the modeled tree species distributions in the contemporary climate to actual vegetation and forest maps using Kappa (K) statistics. RuBioCliM models of Russian zonal vegetation were fairly accurate (K= 0.40). Contemporary major conifer species (Pinus sibirica, Pinus sylvestris, Larix spp., Abies sibirica and Picea obovata

  7. Direct in situ measurement of Carbon Allocation to Mycorrhizal Fungi in a California Mixed-Conifer Forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allen, M.

    2012-04-01

    Mycorrhizal fungi consume fixed C in ecosystems in exchange for soil resources. We used sensor and observation platforms belowground to quantify belowground dynamics in a California mixed-conifer ecosystem. We directly observed growth and mortality of mycorrhizal fungi in situ on a daily basis using an automated minirhizotron. We measured soil CO2, T and soil moisture at 5-min intervals into the soil profile. These data are coupled with sensors measuring eddy flux of water and CO2, sapflow for water fluxes and C fixation activity, and photographs for leaf phenology. We used DayCent modeling for net primary productivity (NPP) and measured NPP of rhizomorphs, and fungal hyphae. In an arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) meadow, NPP was 141g/m2/y, with a productivity of fine root NPP of 76.5g C/m2/y, an estimated 10 percent of which is AM fungal C (7.7 g/m2/y). Extramatrical AM hyphal peak standing crop was 4.4g/m2, with a lifespan of 46 days, with active hyphae persisting for 240 days per year. The extramatrical AM fungal hyphal C was 22.9g/m2/y, for a total net allocation to AM fungi of 30.5 C/m2/y, or 22 percent of the estimated NPP. In the ectomycorrhizal (EM) forest, root standing crop (200g C/m2/y) and rhizomorph (2mg C/m2/y) was 33 percent of the NPP (600g C/m2/y). EM fungal hyphae standing crop was 18g/m2/y, with a 48day lifespan, persisting throughout the year, or 59 g C/m2/y. EM root tips and rhizomorph life spans were nearly a year. Assuming that EM fungi represent 40 percent of the fine root EM NPP (of 200g C/m2/y) or 80g C/m2/y, most of the rhizomorph (in the mineral soil) mass being EM (or 2mg C), and 57 percent of the soil fungal NPP or 80 g C/m2/y, then the EM NPP is 139 C/m2/y, or 23 percent of the estimated NPP (600g C/m2/y). As an independent check on the allocation of C, we applied the Hobbie and Hobbie isotopic fractionation d15N model to C allocation. Using d15N of Chantarellus sp. (10.6) and Rhizopogon sp. (9.1), with a leaf d15N of -4.9, we estimated

  8. Direct in situ measurement of Carbon Allocation to Mycorrhizal Fungi in a California Mixed-Conifer Forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allen, M. F.

    2011-12-01

    Mycorrhizal fungi represent a large allocation of C to ecosystems, based on indirect measurements (tree girdling) and glasshouse extrapolations. However, we have no direct measures carbon (C) sink, in part because technologies for studying belowground dynamics on time scales at which roots and microbes grow and die have not existed. We initiated new sensor and observation platforms belowground to characterize and quantify belowground dynamics in a California mixed-conifer ecosystem. For the first time, we directly observed growth and mortality of mycorrhizal fungi in situ. We measured soil CO2, T and θ at 5-min intervals into the soil profile. Using our automated minirhizotron (AMR) for hyphal dynamics and the Bartz minirhizotron for longer-term and spatial variation in roots and rhizomorphs, we measured root, rhizomorph, hyphal growth, and belowground phenology up to 4x daily. These data are coupled with sensors measuring eddy flux of water and CO2, sapflow for water fluxes and C fixation activity, and photographs for leaf phenology. Because our data were collected at short intervals, we can describe integrative C exchange using the DayCent model for NPP and measured NPP of rhizomorphs, and fungal hyphae. Here, we focused on an arbuscular mycorrhiza dominated meadow and an ectomycorrhizal pine/oak forest at the James Reserve, in southern California. By daily measuring hyphal growth and mortality, we constructed life-span estimates of mycorrhizal hyphae, and from these, C allocation estimates. In the meadow, the NPP was 141g/m2/y, with a productivity of fine root+internal AM fungi of 76.5g C/m2/y, and an estimated 10% of which is AM fungal C allocation (7.7 g/m2/y). Extramatrical AM hyphal peak standing crop was 10g/m2, with a lifespan of 46 days (with active hyphae persisting for ~240 days per year days). Thus, the annual AM fungal allocation was 7.7g C/m2/y internal and 52g/m2/y external, for a net allocation of 84g C/m2/y, or 60% of the estimated NPP. In the

  9. Combustion efficiency and emission factors for wildfire-season fires in mixed conifer forests of the northern Rocky Mountains, US

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Urbanski, S. P.

    2013-07-01

    In the US, wildfires and prescribed burning present significant challenges to air regulatory agencies attempting to achieve and maintain compliance with air quality regulations. Fire emission factors (EF) are essential input for the emission models used to develop wildland fire emission inventories. Most previous studies quantifying wildland fire EF of temperate ecosystems have focused on emissions from prescribed burning conducted outside of the wildfire season. Little information is available on EF for wildfires in temperate forests of the conterminous US. The goal of this work is to provide information on emissions from wildfire-season forest fires in the northern Rocky Mountains, US. In August 2011, we deployed airborne chemistry instruments and sampled emissions over eight days from three wildfires and a prescribed fire that occurred in mixed conifer forests of the northern Rocky Mountains. We measured the combustion efficiency, quantified as the modified combustion efficiency (MCE), and EF for CO2, CO, and CH4. Our study average values for MCE, EFCO2, EFCO, and EFCH4 were 0.883, 1596 g kg-1, 135 g kg-1, 7.30 g kg-1, respectively. Compared with previous field studies of prescribed fires in temperate forests, the fires sampled in our study had significantly lower MCE and EFCO2 and significantly higher EFCO and EFCH4. The fires sampled in this study burned in areas reported to have moderate to heavy components of standing dead trees and down dead wood due to insect activity and previous fire, but fuel consumption data was not available. However, an analysis of MCE and fuel consumption data from 18 prescribed fires reported in the literature indicates that the availability of coarse fuels and conditions favorable for the combustion of these fuels favors low MCE fires. This analysis suggests that fuel composition was an important factor contributing to the low MCE of the fires measured in this study. This study only measured EF for CO2, CO, and CH4; however, we

  10. Extraction and Chromatographic Determination of Shikimic Acid in Chinese Conifer Needles with 1-Benzyl-3-methylimidazolium Bromide Ionic Liquid Aqueous Solutions

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Fengli; Hou, Kexin; Li, Shuangyang; Zu, Yuangang; Yang, Lei

    2014-01-01

    An ionic liquids-based ultrasound-assisted extraction (ILUAE) method was successfully developed for extracting shikimic acid from conifer needles. Eleven 1-alkyl-3-methylimidazolium ionic liquids with different cations and anions were investigated and 1-benzyl-3-methylimidazolium bromide solution was selected as the solvent. The conditions for ILUAE, including the ionic liquid concentration, ultrasound power, ultrasound time, and liquid-solid ratio, were optimized. The proposed method had good recovery (99.37%–100.11%) and reproducibility (RSD, n = 6; 3.6%). ILUAE was an efficient, rapid, and simple sample preparation technique that showed high reproducibility. Based on the results, a number of plant species, namely, Picea koraiensis, Picea meyeri, Pinus elliottii, and Pinus banksiana, were identified as among the best resources of shikimic acid. PMID:24782942

  11. New data on the stem and leaf anatomy of two conifers from the Lower Cretaceous of the Araripe Basin, northeastern Brazil, and their taxonomic and paleoecological implications

    PubMed Central

    Batista, Maria Edenilce Peixoto; Silva, Delmira da Costa; Sales, Marcos A. F.; Sá, Artur A.; Saraiva, Antônio A. F.; Loiola, Maria Iracema Bezerra

    2017-01-01

    Pseudofrenelopsis and Brachyphyllum are two conifers that were part of the Lower Cretaceous (Aptian) taphoflora of the Crato Formation, Araripe Basin, northeastern Brazil. The former genus includes, so far, P. capillata and indeterminate species, whilst the latter is mainly represented by B. obesum, the most common plant megafossil recovered from that stratigraphic unit. Here, the stem and leaf anatomy of Pseudofrenelopsis sp. and B. obesum specimens is revisited, including the first report of some epidermal and vascular traits for both taxa from the Crato Formation. Along with its paleoecological significance, the new data suggest the presence of more than one Pseudofrenelopsis species in the Aptian taphoflora of the Araripe Basin and further support the taxonomic placement of B. obesum within Araucariaceae. PMID:28257466

  12. Lipid-content-normalized polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the xylem of conifers can indicate historical changes in regional airborne PAHs.

    PubMed

    Kuang, Yuan-wen; Li, Jiong; Hou, En-qing

    2015-01-01

    The temporal variation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) concentrations as well as the lipid content in the xylem of Masson pine trees sampled from the same site were determined and compared with the days of haze occurrence and with the historical PAHs reported in sedimentary cores. The patterns of the lipid content as well as the PAH concentrations based on the xylem dry weight (PAHs-DW) decreased from the heartwood to the sapwood. The trajectories of PAHs normalized by xylem lipid content (PAHs-LC) coincided well with the number of haze-occurred days and were partly similar with the historical changes in airborne PAHs recorded in the sedimentary cores. The results indicated that PAHs-LC in the xylem of conifers might reliably reflect the historical changes in airborne PAHs at a regional scale. The species-specificity should be addressed in the utility and application of dendrochemical monitoring on historical and comparative studies of airborne PAHs.

  13. The induction of apoptosis in human melanoma, breast and ovarian cancer cell lines using an essential oil extract from the conifer Tetraclinis articulata.

    PubMed

    Buhagiar, J A; Podesta, M T; Wilson, A P; Micallef, M J; Ali, S

    1999-01-01

    The cytotoxic effect of conifer Tetraclinis articulata essential oil (TAEO) on a number of human cancer cell lines and peripheral blood lymphocytes was assessed at various concentrations and time exposures. The cytotoxic effect showed the hallmarks of apoptosis confirmed by a variety of techniques including flow cytometry, an apoptosis- specific marker combined to fluorescent staining and DNA laddering. All cell lines tested were inhibited in a dose-dependent fashion and within a contact time of less than eight hours for the higher concentrations. Melanoma, breast and ovarian cancer cells gave IC50s of around 80 micrograms/ml whilst the IC50s on peripheral blood lymphocytes was almost double this value. We conclude that the essential oil contains components that are effective at inducing apoptosis. The advantages of using a mixture of monoterpenes (C10) as present in an EO over a single component, are discussed.

  14. New data on the stem and leaf anatomy of two conifers from the Lower Cretaceous of the Araripe Basin, northeastern Brazil, and their taxonomic and paleoecological implications.

    PubMed

    Batista, Maria Edenilce Peixoto; Silva, Delmira da Costa; Sales, Marcos A F; Sá, Artur A; Saraiva, Antônio A F; Loiola, Maria Iracema Bezerra

    2017-01-01

    Pseudofrenelopsis and Brachyphyllum are two conifers that were part of the Lower Cretaceous (Aptian) taphoflora of the Crato Formation, Araripe Basin, northeastern Brazil. The former genus includes, so far, P. capillata and indeterminate species, whilst the latter is mainly represented by B. obesum, the most common plant megafossil recovered from that stratigraphic unit. Here, the stem and leaf anatomy of Pseudofrenelopsis sp. and B. obesum specimens is revisited, including the first report of some epidermal and vascular traits for both taxa from the Crato Formation. Along with its paleoecological significance, the new data suggest the presence of more than one Pseudofrenelopsis species in the Aptian taphoflora of the Araripe Basin and further support the taxonomic placement of B. obesum within Araucariaceae.

  15. Fire regimes, forest change, and self-organization in an old-growth mixed-conifer forest, Yosemite National Park, USA.

    PubMed

    Scholl, Andrew E; Taylor, Alan H

    2010-03-01

    Fire is recognized as a keystone process in dry mixed-conifer forests that have been altered by decades of fire suppression, Restoration of fire disturbance to these forests is a guiding principle of resource management in the U.S. National Park Service. Policy implementation is often hindered by a poor understanding of forest conditions before fire exclusion, the characteristics of forest changes since excluding fire, and the influence of topographic or self-organizing controls on forest structure. In this study the spatial and temporal characteristics of fire regimes and forest structure are reconstructed in a 2125-ha mixed-conifer forest. Forests were multi-aged, burned frequently at low severity and fire-return interval, and forest structure did not vary with slope aspect, elevation, or slope position. Fire exclusion has caused an increase in forest density and basal area and a compositional shift to shade-tolerant and fire-intolerant species. The median point fire-return interval and extent of a fire was 10 yr and 115 ha, respectively. The pre-Euro-American settlement fire rotation of 13 yr increased to 378 yr after 1905. The position of fire scars within tree rings indicates that 79% of fires burned in the midsummer to fall period. The spatial pattern of burns exhibited self-organizing behavior. Area burned was 10-fold greater when an area had not been burned by the previous fire. Fires were frequent and widespread, but patches of similar aged trees were < 0.2 ha, suggesting small fire-caused canopy openings. Managers need to apply multiple burns at short intervals for a sustained period to reduce surface fuels and create small canopy openings characteristic of the reference forest. By coupling explicit reference conditions with consideration of current conditions and projected climate change, management activities can balance restoration and risk management.

  16. Turnover of (137)Cs in 'soil-tree' system: An experience of measuring the isotope flows in a Siberian conifer forest.

    PubMed

    Gavrikov, Vladimir L; Sharafutdinov, Ruslan A; Mitev, Aleksandr R

    2016-12-01

    Little attention has been paid to the uptake of (137)Cs in natural forests under low levels of the isotope fallout when no immediate ecological danger presents. Here we present the extended assessments of the soil-to-plant and canopy-to-litter flows of (137)Cs recently evaluated in a native Siberian forested area. The area undergoes a typical after-fire long term succession, with light-conifer upper story being followed by undergrowth of Siberian fir and other dark-conifer species. The one-year-old needles of Siberian fir were found to accumulate the largest concentration of the isotope, 4.10 Bq/kg oven-dry weight during the first growth season, as compared with older needles that accumulated 4.67 Bq/kg oven-dry weight in 2-3 years of growth. Based on these data an approach was developed that, hypothetically, can allow one to estimate the (137)Cs activity concentration in soil solutions. Direct activity measurements in the soil solutions were not possible. The isotope activity in soil solutions was estimated to be 0.0061-0.0105 Bq/L. Based on the original data from the litter fall the annual flow of the isotope from the upper canopy to on-ground litter was found to be 0.42-0.84 Bq/m(2). The amount of (137)Cs that returns yearly back from canopy with falling litter was estimated to be 0.012-0.015% of the total soil isotope content. A combination of the estimations obtained in our study with the values of global (137)Cs fallout allowed us to assess the ages (the time of formation) of horizons of the soils in the area.

  17. Ectomycorrhizal Community Structure and Soil Characteristics of Mature Lodgepole Pine (Pinus Contorta) and Adjacent Stands of Old Growth Mixed Conifer in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming USA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Douglas, Robert B.; Parker, V. Thomas; Cullings, Kenneth W.; Sun, Sidney (Technical Monitor)

    2003-01-01

    Forest development patterns following disturbance are known to influence the physical and chemical attributes of soils at different points in time. Changes in soil resources are thought to have a corresponding effect on ectomycorrhizal (ECM) community structure. We used molecular methods to compare below-ground ECM species richness, composition, and abundance between adjacent stands of homogenous lodgepole pine and old growth mixed conifer in Yellowstone National Park (YNP). In each stand-type we collected soil cores to both identify mycorrhizae and assess soil chemistry. Although no statistical difference was observed in the mean number of ECM root tips per core between stand types, the total number of species identified (85 versus 35) and the mean number of species per core (8.8 +/- 0.6 versus 2.5 +/- 0.3) were significantly higher in lodgepole pine. Differences between the actual and estimated species richness levels indicated that these forest types support a high number of ECM species and that undersampling was severe. Species compositions were widely disparate between stands where only four species were shared out of a total of 116. Soil analysis also revealed that mixed conifer was significantly lower in pH, but higher in organic matter, potassium, phosphorus, and ammonium when compared to lodgepole pine stands. Species richness per core was correlated with these chemical data, however, analysis of covariance indicated that stand type was the only statistically significant factor in the observed difference in species richness. Our data suggest that ECM fungal richness increases as homogenous lodgepole pine stands grow and mature, but declines after Engelmann spruce and subalpine fir colonize. Despite difficulties linking species composition with soil chemistry, there are a variety of physical and chemical factors that could be influencing ECM community structure. Future field experiments are necessary to test some of the mechanisms potentially operating

  18. A Blend of Ethanol and (-)-α-Pinene were Highly Attractive to Native Siricid Woodwasps (Siricidae, Siricinae) Infesting Conifers of the Sierra Nevada and the Allegheny Mountains.

    PubMed

    Erbilgin, Nadir; Stein, Jack D; Acciavatti, Robert E; Gillette, Nancy E; Mori, Sylvia R; Bischel, Kristi; Cale, Jonathan A; Carvalho, Carline R; Wood, David L

    2017-02-01

    Woodwasps in Sirex and related genera are well-represented in North American conifer forests, but the chemical ecology of native woodwasps is limited to a few studies demonstrating their attraction to volatile host tree compounds, primarily monoterpene hydrocarbons and monoterpene alcohols. Thus, we systematically investigated woodwasp-host chemical interactions in California's Sierra Nevada and West Virginia's Allegheny Mountains. We first tested common conifer monoterpene hydrocarbons and found that (-)-α-pinene, (+)-3-carene, and (-)-β-pinene were the three most attractive compounds. Based on these results and those of earlier studies, we further tested three monoterpene hydrocarbons and four monoterpene alcohols along with ethanol in California: monoterpene hydrocarbons caught 72.3% of all woodwasps. Among monoterpene hydrocarbons, (+)-3-carene was the most attractive followed by (-)-β-pinene and (-)-α-pinene. Among alcohols, ethanol was the most attractive, catching 41.4% of woodwasps trapped. Subsequent tests were done with fewer selected compounds, including ethanol, 3-carene, and ethanol plus (-)-α-pinene in both Sierra Nevada and Allegheny Mountains. In both locations, ethanol plus (-)-α-pinene caught more woodwasps than other treatments. We discussed the implications of these results for understanding the chemical ecology of native woodwasps and invasive Sirex noctilio in North America. In California, 749 woodwasps were caught, representing five species: Sirex areolatus Cresson, Sirex behrensii Cresson, Sirex cyaneus Fabricius, Sirex longicauda Middlekauff, and Urocerus californicus Norton. In West Virginia 411 woodwasps were caught representing four species: Sirex edwardsii Brullé, Tremex columba Linnaeus, Sirex nigricornis F., and Urocerus cressoni Norton.

  19. Recovery kinetics of photochemical efficiency in winter stressed conifers: the effects of growth light environment, extent of the season and species.

    PubMed

    Verhoeven, Amy S

    2013-02-01

    Evergreens undergo reductions in maximal photochemical efficiency (F(v)/F(m)) during winter due to increases in sustained thermal energy dissipation. Upon removing winter stressed leaves to room temperature and low light, F(v)/F(m) recovers and can include both a rapid and a slow phase. The goal of this study was to determine whether the rapid component to recovery exists in winter stressed conifers at any point during the season in a seasonally extreme environment. Additional goals were to compare the effects of species, growth light environment and the extent of the winter season on recovery kinetics in conifers. Four species (sun and shade needle) were monitored during the winter of 2007/2008: eastern white pine (Pinus strobus), balsam fir (Abies balsamea), Taxus cuspidata and white spruce (Picea glauca). F(v)/F(m) was measured in the field, and then monitored indoors at room temperature and low light for 6 days. The results showed that all species showed a rapid component to recovery in early winter that disappeared later in the season in sun needles but was present in shade needles on most days monitored during winter. There were differences among species in the recovery kinetics across the season, with pine recovering the most slowly and spruce the most quickly. The results suggest an important role for the rapidly reversible form of energy dissipation in early winter, as well as important differences between species in their rate of recovery in late winter/early spring which may have implications for spring onset of photosynthesis.

  20. A meta-analysis of cambium phenology and growth: linear and non-linear patterns in conifers of the northern hemisphere

    PubMed Central

    Rossi, Sergio; Anfodillo, Tommaso; Čufar, Katarina; Cuny, Henri E.; Deslauriers, Annie; Fonti, Patrick; Frank, David; Gričar, Jožica; Gruber, Andreas; King, Gregory M.; Krause, Cornelia; Morin, Hubert; Oberhuber, Walter; Prislan, Peter; Rathgeber, Cyrille B. K.

    2013-01-01

    Background and Aims Ongoing global warming has been implicated in shifting phenological patterns such as the timing and duration of the growing season across a wide variety of ecosystems. Linear models are routinely used to extrapolate these observed shifts in phenology into the future and to estimate changes in associated ecosystem properties such as net primary productivity. Yet, in nature, linear relationships may be special cases. Biological processes frequently follow more complex, non-linear patterns according to limiting factors that generate shifts and discontinuities, or contain thresholds beyond which responses change abruptly. This study investigates to what extent cambium phenology is associated with xylem growth and differentiation across conifer species of the northern hemisphere. Methods Xylem cell production is compared with the periods of cambial activity and cell differentiation assessed on a weekly time scale on histological sections of cambium and wood tissue collected from the stems of nine species in Canada and Europe over 1–9 years per site from 1998 to 2011. Key Results The dynamics of xylogenesis were surprisingly homogeneous among conifer species, although dispersions from the average were obviously observed. Within the range analysed, the relationships between the phenological timings were linear, with several slopes showing values close to or not statistically different from 1. The relationships between the phenological timings and cell production were distinctly non-linear, and involved an exponential pattern Conclusions The trees adjust their phenological timings according to linear patterns. Thus, shifts of one phenological phase are associated with synchronous and comparable shifts of the successive phases. However, small increases in the duration of xylogenesis could correspond to a substantial increase in cell production. The findings suggest that the length of the growing season and the resulting amount of growth could respond

  1. Species-specific and seasonal differences in chlorophyll fluorescence and photosynthetic light response among three evergreen species in a Madrean sky island mixed conifer forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Potts, D. L.; Minor, R. L.; Braun, Z.; Barron-Gafford, G. A.

    2012-12-01

    Unlike the snowmelt-dominated hydroclimate of more northern mountainous regions, the hydroclimate of the Madrean sky islands is characterized by snowmelt and convective storms associated with the North American Monsoon. These mid-summer storms trigger biological activity and are important drivers of primary productivity. For example, at the highest elevations where mixed conifer forests occur, ecosystem carbon balance is influenced by monsoon rains. Whereas these storms' significance is increasingly recognized at the ecosystem scale, species-specific physiological responses to the monsoon are poorly known. Prior to and following monsoon onset, we measured pre-dawn and light-adapted chlorophyll fluorescence as well as photosynthetic light response in southwestern white pine (Pinus strobiformis), ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), and Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) in a Madrean sky island mixed conifer forest near Tucson, Arizona. Photochemical quenching (qp), an indicator of the proportion of open PSII reaction centers, was greatest in P. strobiformis and least in P. menziesii and increased in response to monsoon rains (repeated-measures ANOVA; species, F2,14 = 6.17, P = 0.012; time, F2,14= 8.17, P = 0.013). In contrast, non-photochemical quenching (qN), an indicator of heat dissipation ability, was greatest in P. ponderosa and least in P. menziesii, but was not influenced by monsoon onset (repeated-measures ANOVA; species, F2,12 = 4.18, P = 0.042). Estimated from leaf area-adjusted photosynthetic light response curves, maximum photosynthetic rate (Amax) was greatest in P. ponderosa and least in P. menziesii (repeated-measures ANOVA; species, F2,8= 40.8, P = 0.001). Surprisingly, while the monsoon positively influenced Amax among P. ponderosa and P. strobiformis, Amax of P. menziesii declined with monsoon onset (repeated-measures ANOVA; species x time, F2,8 = 13.8, P = 0.002). Calculated as the initial slope of the photosynthetic light response curve, light

  2. Zeaxanthin-independent energy quenching and alternative electron sinks cause a decoupling of the relationship between the photochemical reflectance index (PRI) and photosynthesis in an evergreen conifer during spring.

    PubMed

    Fréchette, Emmanuelle; Wong, Christopher Y S; Junker, Laura Verena; Chang, Christine Yao-Yun; Ensminger, Ingo

    2015-12-01

    In evergreen conifers, the winter down-regulation of photosynthesis and its recovery during spring are the result of a reorganization of the chloroplast and adjustments of energy-quenching mechanisms. These phenological changes may remain undetected by remote sensing, as conifers retain green foliage during periods of photosynthetic down-regulation. The aim was to assess if the timing of the spring recovery of photosynthesis and energy-quenching characteristics are accurately monitored by the photochemical reflectance index (PRI) in the evergreen conifer Pinus strobus. The recovery of photosynthesis was studied using chlorophyll fluorescence, leaf gas exchange, leaf spectral reflectance, and photosynthetic pigment measurements. To assess if climate change might affect the recovery of photosynthesis, seedlings were exposed to cold spring conditions or warm spring conditions with elevated temperature. An early spring decoupling of the relationship between photosynthesis and PRI in both treatments was observed. This was caused by differences between the timing of the recovery of photosynthesis and the timing of carotenoid and chlorophyll pool size adjustments which are the main factors controlling PRI during spring. It was also demonstrated that zeaxanthin-independent NPQ mechanisms undetected by PRI further contributed to the early spring decoupling of the PRI-LUE relationship. An important mechanism undetected by PRI seems to involve increased electron transport around photosystem I, which was a significant energy sink during the entire spring transition, particularly in needles exposed to a combination of high light and cold temperatures.

  3. Zeaxanthin-independent energy quenching and alternative electron sinks cause a decoupling of the relationship between the photochemical reflectance index (PRI) and photosynthesis in an evergreen conifer during spring

    PubMed Central

    Fréchette, Emmanuelle; Wong, Christopher Y. S.; Junker, Laura Verena; Chang, Christine Yao-Yun; Ensminger, Ingo

    2015-01-01

    In evergreen conifers, the winter down-regulation of photosynthesis and its recovery during spring are the result of a reorganization of the chloroplast and adjustments of energy-quenching mechanisms. These phenological changes may remain undetected by remote sensing, as conifers retain green foliage during periods of photosynthetic down-regulation. The aim was to assess if the timing of the spring recovery of photosynthesis and energy-quenching characteristics are accurately monitored by the photochemical reflectance index (PRI) in the evergreen conifer Pinus strobus. The recovery of photosynthesis was studied using chlorophyll fluorescence, leaf gas exchange, leaf spectral reflectance, and photosynthetic pigment measurements. To assess if climate change might affect the recovery of photosynthesis, seedlings were exposed to cold spring conditions or warm spring conditions with elevated temperature. An early spring decoupling of the relationship between photosynthesis and PRI in both treatments was observed. This was caused by differences between the timing of the recovery of photosynthesis and the timing of carotenoid and chlorophyll pool size adjustments which are the main factors controlling PRI during spring. It was also demonstrated that zeaxanthin-independent NPQ mechanisms undetected by PRI further contributed to the early spring decoupling of the PRI–LUE relationship. An important mechanism undetected by PRI seems to involve increased electron transport around photosystem I, which was a significant energy sink during the entire spring transition, particularly in needles exposed to a combination of high light and cold temperatures. PMID:26386258

  4. Mountain pine beetle-caused mortality over eight years in two pine hosts in mixed conifer stands of the southern Rocky Mountains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    West, Daniel R.; Briggs, Jennifer S.; Jacobi, William R.; Negrón, José F.

    2014-01-01

    Eruptive mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae, MPB) populations have caused widespread mortality of pines throughout western North America since the late 1990s. Early work by A.D. Hopkins suggested that when alternate host species are available, MPB will prefer to breed in the host to which it has become adapted. In Colorado, epidemic MPB populations that originated in lodgepole pine expanded into mixed-conifer stands containing ponderosa pine, a related host. We evaluated the susceptibility of both hosts to successful MPB colonization in a survey of 19 sites in pine-dominated mixed-conifer stands spanning 140 km of the Front Range, CO, USA. In each of three 0.2-ha plots at each site, we (1) assessed trees in the annual flights of 2008–2011 to compare MPB-caused mortality between lodgepole and ponderosa pine; (2) recorded previous MPB-caused tree mortality from 2004–2007 to establish baseline mortality levels; and (3) measured characteristics of the stands (e.g. tree basal area) and sites (e.g. elevation, aspect) that might be correlated with MPB colonization. Uninfested average live basal area of lodgepole and ponderosa pine was 74% of total basal area before 2004. We found that for both species, annual percent basal area of attacked trees was greatest in one year (2009), and was lower in all other years (2004–2007, 2008, 2010, and 2011). Both pine species had similar average total mortality of 38–39% by 2011. Significant predictors of ponderosa pine mortality in a given year were basal area of uninfested ponderosa pine and the previous year’s mortality levels in both ponderosa and lodgepole pine. Lodgepole pine mortality was predicted by uninfested basal areas of both lodgepole and ponderosa pine, and the previous year’s lodgepole pine mortality. These results indicate host selection by MPB from lodgepole pine natal hosts into ponderosa pine the following year, but not the reverse. In both species, diameters of attacked trees within each year

  5. Stable Carbon Isotope Composition and Stomatal Density of the Conifer Genus Frenelopsis: Effect of pCO2, Species and Soil Salinity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aucour, A.; Gomez, B.; Thevenard, F.; Sheppard, S.

    2004-05-01

    Experimental studies indicate that some modern conifers adjust their stomatal numbers in response to variations of atmospheric pCO2, suggesting that fossil conifer leaves may provide a proxy of pCO2. The stable carbon isotope composition of plants provides an additional constraint on the conditions during plant growth as it is known to vary, for a single species, with the δ 13C of the source CO2, and environmental factors such as soil salinity and water content. Our objectives were to document the variation of the stable carbon isotope composition of the fossil Coniferale Frenelopsis through the Cretaceous and to decipher the effect of pCO2, environmental and genetic factors on the fossil record. The leaf cuticles of Frenelopsis present a large variation in δ 13C values from 27 ‰ for F. ugnaensis growing on freshwater lake shores to 21 ‰ for species growing on brackish to marine environments. The species growing on freshwater lake shore presents an increase in 13C through the Barremian that is consistent with an increase in aridity. It presents a low stomatal density (SD) and index (SI: stomates over stomates plus epidermal cells). Comparison of the SD and SI within a single population shows that the variability in SD essentially reflects that of the cellular size and growth rate. The δ 13C values of species growing in brackish to marine environment are all similar but higher than freshwater ones in the late Albian. They decrease in the Cenomanian, with a much larger intra-population variability. This shift can be related to a switch from marine to brackish conditions as well as to more global change. SD and SI are higher for the late Albian-Cenomanian cuticles and appear not sensitive to the environmental change (presumably a switch from marine to more brackish conditions) recorded in the δ 13C. The large variability in both SD and SI within the studied populations in the marine-brackish environment appears to be related to change in the stomates over

  6. Linking wood anatomy and xylogenesis allows pinpointing of climate and drought influences on growth of coexisting conifers in continental Mediterranean climate.

    PubMed

    Pacheco, Arturo; Camarero, J Julio; Carrer, Marco

    2016-04-01

    Forecasted warmer and drier conditions will probably lead to reduced growth rates and decreased carbon fixation in long-term woody pools in drought-prone areas. We therefore need a better understanding of how climate stressors such as drought constrain wood formation and drive changes in wood anatomy. Drying trends could lead to reduced growth if they are more intense in spring, when radial growth rates of conifers in continental Mediterranean climates peak. Since tree species from the aforementioned areas have to endure dry summers and also cold winters, we chose two coexisting species: Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensisMill., Pinaceae) and Spanish juniper (Juniperus thuriferaL., Cupressaceae) (10 randomly selected trees per species), to analyze how growth (tree-ring width) and wood-anatomical traits (lumen transversal area, cell-wall thickness, presence of intra-annual density fluctuations-IADFs-in the latewood) responded to climatic variables (minimum and maximum temperatures, precipitation, soil moisture deficit) calculated for different time intervals. Tree-ring width and mean lumen area showed similar year-to-year variability, which indicates that they encoded similar climatic signals. Wet and cool late-winter to early-spring conditions increased lumen area expansion, particularly in pine. In juniper, cell-wall thickness increased when early summer conditions became drier and the frequency of latewood IADFs increased in parallel with late-summer to early-autumn wet conditions. Thus, latewood IADFs of the juniper capture increased water availability during the late growing season, which is reflected in larger tracheid lumens. Soil water availability was one of the main drivers of wood formation and radial growth for the two species. These analyses allow long-term (several decades) growth and wood-anatomical responses to climate to be inferred at intra-annual scales, which agree with the growing patterns already described by xylogenesis approaches for the same

  7. Comparison of Lichen, Conifer Needles, Passive Air Sampling Devices, and Snowpack as Passive Sampling Media to Measure Semi-Volatile Organic Compounds in Remote Atmospheres

    PubMed Central

    SCHRLAU, JILL E.; GEISER, LINDA; HAGEMAN, KIMBERLY J.; LANDERS, DIXON H.

    2011-01-01

    A wide range of semi-volatile organic compounds (SOCs), including pesticides and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), were measured in lichen, conifer needles, snowpack and XAD-based passive air sampling devices (PASDs) collected from 19 different U.S. national parks in order to compare the magnitude and mechanism of SOC accumulation in the different passive sampling media. Lichen accumulated the highest SOC concentrations, in part because of its long (and unknown) exposure period, while PASDs accumulated the lowest concentrations. However, only the PASD SOC concentrations can be used to calculate an average atmospheric gas-phase SOC concentration because the sampling rates are known and the media is uniform. Only the lichen and snowpack SOC accumulation profiles were statistically significantly correlated (r = 0.552, p-value <0.0001) because they both accumulate SOCs present in the atmospheric particle-phase. This suggests that needles and PASDs represent a different composition of the atmosphere than lichen and snowpack and that the interpretation of atmospheric SOC composition is dependent on the type of passive sampling media used. All four passive sampling media preferentially accumulated SOCs with relatively low air-water partition coefficients, while snowpack accumulated SOCs with higher log KOA values compared to the other media. Lichen accumulated more SOCs with log KOA > 10 relative to needles and showed a greater accumulation of particle-phase PAHs. PMID:22087860

  8. Hormonally regulated overexpression of Arabidopsis WUS and conifer LEC1 (CHAP3A) in transgenic white spruce: implications for somatic embryo development and somatic seedling growth.

    PubMed

    Klimaszewska, Krystyna; Pelletier, Gervais; Overton, Catherine; Stewart, Don; Rutledge, Robert G

    2010-07-01

    Adult conifers are still recalcitrant in clonal propagation despite significant advances in forest tree biotechnology. Plant regeneration through somatic embryogenesis from explants older than mature zygotic embryos is either difficult or impossible to achieve. To investigate if ectopic expression of transcription factors involved in the induction of the embryogenic process would induce somatic embryogenesis in Picea glauca (white spruce) somatic plants, we used the LEAFY-COTYLEDON1 homolog cloned from Picea mariana, CHAP3A, and Arabidopsis thaliana WUS to transform embryonal mass of P. glauca. Ectopic gene expression was induced by 17-beta-estradiol during stages of somatic embryogenesis (early embryogenesis and late embryogenesis) and somatic seedling growth in the transgenics. Of the two transcription factors, only WUS produced severe phenotypes by disrupting the development of somatic embryos on the maturation medium and inhibiting germination. However, none of the transgenes induced ectopic somatic embryogenesis even in the presence of plant growth regulators. Absolute quantitative PCR confirmed the expression of both CHAP3A and WUS in transgenic embryonal mass and in all parts of somatic seedlings. A high expression of the transgenes did not influence expression profiles of any of the ten other transcription factors tested, some of which have been known to be involved in the process of embryogenesis. Implications of these results for further work are discussed.

  9. Pit membrane structure is highly variable and accounts for a major resistance to water flow through tracheid pits in stems and roots of two boreal conifer species.

    PubMed

    Schulte, Paul J; Hacke, Uwe G; Schoonmaker, Amanda L

    2015-10-01

    The flow of xylem sap in conifers is strongly dependent on the presence of a low resistance path through bordered pits, particularly through the pores present in the margo of the pit membrane. A computational fluid dynamics approach was taken, solving the Navier-Stokes equation for models based on the geometry of pits observed in tracheids from stems and roots of Picea mariana (black spruce) and Picea glauca (white spruce). Model solutions demonstrate a close, inverse relationship between the total resistance of bordered pits and the total area of margo pores. Flow through the margo was dominated by a small number of the widest pores. Particularly for pits where the margo component of flow resistance was low relative to that of the torus, pore location near the inner edge of the margo allowed for greater flow than that occurring through similar-sized pores near the outer edge of the margo. Results indicate a surprisingly large variation in pit structure and flow characteristics. Nonetheless, pits in roots have lower resistance to flow than those in stems because the pits were wider and consisted of a margo with a larger area in pores.

  10. Incidence and effects of endemic populations of forest pests in young mixed-conifer forests of the Sierra Nevada. Forest Service research paper (Final)

    SciTech Connect

    Williams, C.B.; Azuma, D.L.; Ferrell, G.T.

    1992-05-01

    Approximately 3,200 trees in young mixed-conifer stands were examined for pest activity and human-caused or mechanical injuries, and approximately 25 percent of these trees were randomly selected for stem analyses. The examination of trees felled for stem analyses showed that 409 (47 percent) were free of pests and 466 (53 percent) had one or more pest categories. Incense-cedar contained the fewest number of pests with 133 out of 193 trees (69 percent) free of pests, and 60 trees or .31 percent with one or more pests. White fir and ponderosa pine trees had the highest percentage of pests and mechanical injuries: 64 percent (252 trees out of 395), and 62 percent (93 trees out of 151), respectively. Top injury and disease were the two most frequent pest/damage categories recorded among all tree species. White fir blister rust and cedar rust were the most frequent disease recorded on sugar pine and incense-cedar. Bark beetles were an important pest category for white fir, ponderosa pine, and incense-cedars.

  11. Relating the temporal change observed by AIRSAR to surface and canopy properties of mixed conifer and hardwood forests of northern Michigan

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dobson, M. Craig; Mcdonald, Kyle; Ulaby, Fawwaz T.; Sharik, Terry

    1991-01-01

    The mixed hardwood and conifer forests of northern Michigan were overflown by a 3-frequency airborne imaging radar in Apr. and Jul. 1990. A set of 10 x 10 km test sites near the University of Michigan Biological Station at Douglas Lake and within the Hiawatha National Forest in the upper peninsula of Michigan contained training stands representing the various forest species typical of forest communities across the ecotone between the coniferous boreal forest and mid-latitude hardwood and coniferous forests. The polarimetric radar data were externally calibrated to allow interdate comparisons. The Apr. flight was prior to bud-break of deciduous species and patchy snowcover was present. The Jul. flights occurred during and 2 days after heavy rain showers, and provide a unique opportunity to examine the differences in radar backscatter attributable to intercepted precipitation. Analyses show that there are significant changes in backscattering between biophysically dissimilar forest stands on any given date and also between dates for a given forest stand. These differences in backscattering can be related to moisture properties of the forest floor and the overlying canopy and also to the quantity and organizational structure of the above-ground biomass.

  12. Improving assessments of tropospheric ozone injury to Mediterranean montane conifer forests in California (USA) and Catalonia (Spain) with GIS models related to plant water relations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kefauver, Shawn C.; Peñuelas, Josep; Ustin, Susan L.

    2012-12-01

    The impacts of tropospheric ozone on conifer health in the Sierra Nevada of California, USA, and the Pyrenees of Catalonia, Spain, were measured using field assessments and GIS variables of landscape gradients related to plant water relations, stomatal conductance and hence to ozone uptake. Measurements related to ozone injury included visible chlorotic mottling, needle retention, needle length, and crown depth, which together compose the Ozone Injury Index (OII). The OII values observed in Catalonia were similar to those in California, but OII alone correlated poorly to ambient ozone in all sites. Combining ambient ozone with GIS variables related to landscape variability of plant hydrological status, derived from stepwise regressions, produced models with R2 = 0.35, p = 0.016 in Catalonia, R2 = 0.36, p < 0.001 in Yosemite and R2 = 0.33, p = 0.007 in Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Parks in California. Individual OII components in Catalonia were modeled with improved success compared to the original full OII, in particular visible chlorotic mottling (R2 = 0.60, p < 0.001). The results show that ozone is negatively impacting forest health in California and Catalonia and also that modeling ozone injury improves by including GIS variables related to plant water relations.

  13. Applying microCT and 3D visualization to Jurassic silicified conifer seed cones: A virtual advantage over thin-sectioning1

    PubMed Central

    Gee, Carole T.

    2013-01-01

    • Premise of the study: As an alternative to conventional thin-sectioning, which destroys fossil material, high-resolution X-ray computed tomography (also called microtomography or microCT) integrated with scientific visualization, three-dimensional (3D) image segmentation, size analysis, and computer animation is explored as a nondestructive method of imaging the internal anatomy of 150-million-year-old conifer seed cones from the Late Jurassic Morrison Formation, USA, and of recent and other fossil cones. • Methods: MicroCT was carried out on cones using a General Electric phoenix v|tome|x s 240D, and resulting projections were processed with visualization software to produce image stacks of serial single sections for two-dimensional (2D) visualization, 3D segmented reconstructions with targeted structures in color, and computer animations. • Results: If preserved in differing densities, microCT produced images of internal fossil tissues that showed important characters such as seed phyllotaxy or number of seeds per cone sc