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Sample records for dwarf shrub seeds

  1. High precipitation and seeded species competition reduce seeded shrub establishment during dryland restoration.

    PubMed

    Rinella, Matthew J; Hammond, Darcy H; Bryant, Ana-Elisa M; Kozar, Brian J

    2015-06-01

    Drylands comprise 40% of Earth's land mass and are critical to food security, carbon sequestration, and threatened and endangered wildlife. Exotic weed invasions, overgrazing, energy extraction, and other factors have degraded many drylands, and this has placed an increased emphasis on dryland restoration. The increased restoration focus has generated a wealth of experience, innovations and empirical data, yet the goal of restoring diverse, native, dryland plant assemblages composed of grasses, forbs, and shrubs has generally proven beyond reach. Of particular concern are shrubs, which often fail to establish or establish at trivially low densities. We used data from two Great Plains, USA coal mines to explore factors regulating shrub establishment. Our predictor data related to weather and restoration (e.g., seed rates, rock cover) variables, and our response data described shrub abundances on fields of the mines. We found that seeded non-shrubs, especially grasses, formed an important competitive barrier to shrub establishment: With every one standard deviation increase in non-shrub seed rate, the probability shrubs were present decreased ~0.1 and shrub cover decreased ~35%. Since new fields were seeded almost every year for > 20 years, the data also provided a unique opportunity to explore effects of stochastic drivers (i.e., precipitation, year effects). With every one standard deviation increase in precipitation the first growing season following seeding, the probability shrubs were present decreased ~0.07 and shrub cover decreased ~47%. High precipitation appeared to harm shrubs by increasing grass growth/competition. Also, weak evidence suggested shrub establishment was better in rockier fields where grass abundance/competition was lower. Multiple lines of evidence suggest reducing grass seed rates below levels typically used in Great Plains restoration would benefit shrubs without substantially impacting grass stand development over the long term. We used

  2. Indirect interactions between browsers and seed predators affect the seed bank dynamics of a chaparral shrub.

    PubMed

    Deveny, Adrian J; Fox, Laurel R

    2006-11-01

    Interactions between herbivores and seed predators may have long-term consequences for plant populations that rely on persistent seed banks for recovery after unpredictable fires. We assessed the effects of browsing by deer and seed predation by rodents, ants and birds on the densities of seeds entering the seed bank of Ceanothus cuneatus var. rigidus, a maritime chaparral shrub in coastal California. Ceanothus produced many more seeds when protected from browsers in long-term experimental exclosures than did browsed plants, but the seed densities in the soil beneath browsed and unbrowsed Ceanothus were the same at the start of an intensive one-year study. The density of seeds in the soil initially increased in both treatments following summer seed drop: while densities returned to pre-drop levels within a few weeks under browsed plants, soil seed densities remained high for 5-8 months beneath unbrowsed plants. Rodent abundance (especially deer mice) was higher near unbrowsed plants than >30 m away, and rodents removed Ceanothus seeds from dishes in the experimental plots. At least in the short term, rodent density and rates of seed removal were inversely related to the intensity of browsing. Our data have management implications for maintaining viable Ceanothus populations by regulating the intensity of browsing and the timing, intensity and frequency of fires.

  3. Rapid revegetation by sowing seed mixtures of shrub and herbaceous species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feng, J. J.; Zhang, C. L.; Zhao, T. N.

    2015-01-01

    Fast revegetation by means of sowing seed mixture of shrub and herbaceous species is a measure to prevent bare soils from wind and water erosion. Field experiment was used to test the effect of species selection and the ratio of shrub to herbaceous species on vegetation formation and shrub growth. Results showed that herbaceous species hastened cover formation and maintained a high coverage for longer period. However, the growth of shrubs was hindered. In North China Plain or where the soil and climate are similar, the ratio of shrub to herbaceous seeds is proposed to be 6:4-7:3 (weight ratio). Among the herbaceous species tested, Festuca arundinacea Schreb. grows relatively slow so it should be mixed with other fast-growing species in the practice of rapid revegetation, and a seeding density lower than 6 g m-2 is proposed when applied; Orychophragmus violaceus O. E. Schulz. wilts when the seeds are ripe, leading to a significant decrease of coverage, so other species with different phenology should be involved when it is applied; Viola philippica Car. is a good ground cover plant, which grows fast and maintains a stable coverage form July to October, and a seeding density of 1.5 g m-2 is proposed for rapid revegetation.

  4. The role of rodents in the seed fate of a thorny shrub in an ancient wood pasture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scheper, Jeroen; Smit, Christian

    2011-03-01

    Thorny shrubs play a crucial role for the diversity and dynamics in wood pastures: they protect non-defended plants from large herbivores and thus facilitate tree establishment in the landscape through associational resistance. How thorny shrubs themselves establish in wood pastures - the main bottleneck for a dynamic shifting of grassland - shrub - woodland mosaics - is an essential unanswered question. We studied post-primary dispersal seed fate - i.e. removal, predation, secondary dispersal and survival of seeds after primary dispersal - of the thorny shrub blackthorn ( Prunus spinosa) in an ancient wood pasture in the Netherlands. Blackthorn seeds are primarily dispersed by frugivorous birds and may secondarily be dispersed by scatter-hoarding rodents. We performed two cafeteria-style experiments with blackthorn seeds placed on dishes in the dominant vegetation types. In the first we monitored seed removal in grassland, swards or blackthorn shrubs and determined rodent species abundance by live-trapping. In the second we followed tagged blackthorn seeds under shrubs and in swards to determine seed removal, predation, survival and secondary dispersal patterns. Tagged seeds were retrieved using a metal detector and by visual means. We recorded dispersal direction and distance, vegetation type, seed handling (burial, consumption) and rodent species responsible via bite marks. Seed removal and number of live-trapped rodents differed between vegetation types, with higher removal and rodent captures under shrubs than in swards and grassland. All retrieved seeds were depredated, predominantly by the wood mouse ( Apodemus sylvaticus). Disproportionally high seed numbers were retrieved in the vegetation type where originally placed (shrubs or swards). Our study suggests that rodents play an important role for blackthorn in wood pastures, predominantly as seed predators rather than secondary seed dispersers. Predation is particularly high under blackthorn shrubs

  5. Phytosociological study of the dwarf shrub heath of Simeonof Wilderness, Shumagin Islands, Southwestern Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Daniels, F.J.A.; Talbot, S. S.; Looman, Talbot S.; Schofield, W.B.

    2004-01-01

    The maritime dwarf shrub heath vegetation of the Northern Pacific, Simeonof Island, Shumagin Islands, Southwestern Alaska, was studied according to the Braun-Blanquet approach. Based on 30 releve??s of 16 m2 that include vascular plants, bryophytes, and lichens, two new associations could be described belonging to the class Loiseleurio-Vaccinietea (order Rhododendro-Vaccinietalia): Rubo-Empetretum nigri and Carici-Empetretum nigri. The wind-sheltered Rubo-Empetretum nigri (alliance Phyllodoco-Vaccinion) mainly occurs in the lowlands on level terrain or sloping sites at lower foot slopes of mountains on deeper, mesic soil; this association is the zonal vegetation of the lowlands. Boreal, widespread and amphi-Beringian species are prominent in the distribution-type spectrum of the vascular plants. Two variants of Rubo-Empetretum nigri are described. A Geranium erianthum variant occurs on south-facing slopes and is rich in vascular plants species. A Plagiothecium undulatum variant is restricted to northern exposures and is rich in bryophytes and lichens. A Carici-Empetretum nigri (alliance Loiseleurio-Diapension) occurs on shallow soil on wind exposed sites at higher elevations in the mountains. It is very rich in lichen species of arctic-alpine distribution. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) suggests that altitude, nutrient content of the soil and exposition are the most important differential ecological factors. Soil depth, total carbon and nitrogen content, plant available phosphorus and all other measured cation contents are higher in Rubo-Empetretum than in Carici-Empetretum. Literature comparisons confirm the occurrence of both associations in other areas on the Southwest Alaska Peninsula and Aleutian Islands. Presumably both associations have an amphi-Beringian distribution. The syntaxonomy of boreal-montane dwarf shrub heaths and synecological aspects are briefly discussed. ?? 2004 Gebru??der Borntraeger.

  6. Rapid revegetation by sowing seed mixtures of shrub and herbaceous species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feng, J.; Zhang, C.; Zhao, T.; Zhang, Q.

    2015-05-01

    Fast revegetation by means of sowing seed mixtures of shrub and herbaceous species is a measure to prevent bare soils from wind and water erosion. A field experiment was used to test the effect of species selection and the ratio of shrub to herbaceous species on vegetation formation and shrub growth. Results showed that herbaceous species hastened cover formation and maintained a high coverage for a longer period. However, the growth of shrubs was hindered. In the North China Plain or where the soil and climate are similar, the ratio of shrub to herbaceous seeds is proposed to be 6 : 4-7 : 3 (weight ratio). Among the herbaceous species tested, Festuca arundinacea Schreb. grows relatively slow, so it should be mixed with other fast-growing species in the practice of rapid revegetation, and a seeding density lower than 6 g m-2 is proposed when applied; Orychophragmus violaceus O. E. Schulz. wilts when the seeds are ripe, leading to a significant decrease of coverage, so other species with different phenology should be involved when it is applied; Viola philippica Car. is a good ground cover plant which grows fast and maintains a stable coverage from July to October, and a seeding density of 1.5 g m-2 is proposed for rapid revegetation. Herbaceous species have different traits. Three different types of herbs were found in our experiment: slow-growing stable species (F. arundinacea), fast-growing unstable species (O. violaceus) and fast-growing stable species (V. philippica). Shrubs, slow-growing stable species and fast-growing unstable species should not be used alone because they cannot cover the ground fast or they cannot maintain a long period of good coverage. A small seeding rate of fast-growing stable species should be used to ensure a fair coverage against erosion. Because natural environmental conditions are heterogeneous and stochastic, more species should be added to enhance the stability of plant community.

  7. Effects of seed origin and irrigation on survival and growth of transplanted shrubs

    SciTech Connect

    Winkel, V.K.

    1995-10-01

    Revegetation is difficult in the Mojave Desert due to limited, erratic precipitation and extreme temperatures. Establishing plant cover by transplanting native shrubs is known to be a promising technique, but many questions still remain regarding its use on a large operational scale. A study was initiated on the US Department of Energy Nevada Test Site (NTS) to determine the effects of seed origin and irrigation on survival and growth of transplanted shrubs. Plants of three species (Larrea tridentata, Ambrosia dumosa, and Atriplex canescens) were grown in a greenhouse and hardened outdoors. Plants of all three species were produced from two seed sources: (1) seed collected from the NTS (Mojave Desert), and (2) commercially available seed collected from outside the NTS. One-year-old containerized plants (180 of each species) were transplanted to a site on the NTS and irrigated with two liters of water at one of the following frequencies: (1) at time of planting only, (2) at time of planting and monthly during the first growing season, and (3) at time of planting and twice monthly during the first growing season. After 16 months, survival of all species was generally greater than 80% and was unaffected by irrigation treatments. Survival of fourwing saltbush was significantly greater from local versus non-local seed. Survival of bursage and creosotebush was generally unaffected by seed origin. Shrub volumes regardless of species or seed origin increased during the first growing season, and then decreased during the second growing season. Shrub volumes for fourwing saltbush were significantly greater for shrubs from local versus non-local seed.

  8. Pre-treating Seed to Enhance Germination of Desert Shrubs

    SciTech Connect

    W. K. Ostler; D. C. Anderson; D. J. Hansen

    2002-06-01

    Creosotebush [Larrea tridentata (D.C.) Cav.] and white bursage [Ambrosia dumosa (A. Gray) W.W. Payne] seeds were subjected to pre-treatments of rinsing and soaking in water and thiourea to enhance germination in laboratory experiments. The effects of darkness, temperature, seed source, and soil moisture were also evaluated in the laboratory. The best pre-treatment from the laboratory experiments, rinsing with water for 36 hours followed by drying, was field-tested at Fort Irwin, California. Two sites and two seeding dates (early March and mid April) were determined for each site. Five mulch treatments (no mulch, straw, gravel, chemical stabilizer, and plastic) were evaluated in combination with the seed pre-treatments. Field emergence was greatly enhanced with the seed pre-treatment for white bursage during the March (18-42% increase in germination) and April seedings (16-23% increase in germination). Creosotebush showed poor germination during March (2-5%) when soil temperatures averaged 15 C, but germination increased during the April trials (6-43%) when soil temperatures averaged 23 C. The seed pre-treatment during the April trials increased germination from 16-23%. The plastic mulch treatment increased germination dramatically during both the March and April trials. The plastic mulch increased soil temperatures (8-10 C)and maintained high humidity during germination. Both the chemical stabilizer and the gravel mulches improved germination over the control while the straw mulch decreased germination. These results suggest that seed pre-treatments combined with irrigation and mulch are effective techniques to establish these two dominant Mojave Desert species from seed.

  9. Soil seed bank, factors controlling germination and establishment of a Mediterranean shrub: Pistacia lentiscus L.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García-Fayos, Patricio; Verdú, Miguel

    1998-08-01

    The recruitment strategy of Pistacia lentiscus, an evergreen sclerophyllous shrub inhabiting the Mediterranean region, was studied in order to identify the key factors controlling seedling establishment and survival. The capacity to develop a seed bank, the loss of seed viability with time, the presence of dormancy mechanisms, the conditions to promote seed germination and the seedling dynamics were investigated. The results show that P. lentiscus has a transient seed bank with rapid seed germination occurring within the year. Dormancy was not present as seeds germinated successfully without light or temperature pretreatments. Only pulp removal and a long and abundant rain event (≥ 7 days; ≥ 100 L·m -2) appeared to be necessary for germination. Seed viability decreased drastically after 1 year. More seedlings emerged under shrub canopy than in open sites, as expected by the seed dispersal pattern and canopy effects on plant establishment. The high mortality observed in the few weeks after establishment indicates that seedling survival is a bottleneck in the recruitment process of P. lentiscus in dense shrublands. Some seedlings survived in a latent mode for at least 4 years.

  10. Growth and community responses of alpine dwarf shrubs to in situ CO₂ enrichment and soil warming.

    PubMed

    Dawes, Melissa A; Hagedorn, Frank; Zumbrunn, Thomas; Handa, Ira Tanya; Hättenschwiler, Stephan; Wipf, Sonja; Rixen, Christian

    2011-08-01

    • Rising CO₂ concentrations and the associated global warming are expected to have large impacts on high-elevation ecosystems, yet long-term multifactor experiments in these environments are rare. • We investigated how growth of dominant dwarf shrub species (Vaccinium myrtillus, Vaccinium gaultherioides and Empetrum hermaphroditum) and community composition in the understorey of larch and pine trees responded to 9 yr of CO₂ enrichment and 3 yr of soil warming at the treeline in the Swiss Alps. • Vaccinium myrtillus was the only species that showed a clear positive effect of CO₂ on growth, with no decline over time in the annual shoot growth response. Soil warming stimulated V. myrtillus growth even more than elevated CO₂ and was accompanied by increased plant-available soil nitrogen (N) and leaf N concentrations. Growth of Vaccinium gaultherioides and E. hermaphroditum was not influenced by warming. Vascular plant species richness declined in elevated CO₂ plots with larch, while the number of moss and lichen species decreased under warming. • Ongoing environmental change could lead to less diverse plant communities and increased dominance of the particularly responsive V. myrtillus in the studied alpine treeline. These changes are the consequence of independent CO₂ and soil warming effects, a result that should facilitate predictive modelling approaches. PMID:21770945

  11. Seed Mucilage Improves Seedling Emergence of a Sand Desert Shrub

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Xuejun; Baskin, Carol C.; Baskin, Jerry M.; Liu, Guangzheng; Huang, Zhenying

    2012-01-01

    The success of seedling establishment of desert plants is determined by seedling emergence response to an unpredictable precipitation regime. Sand burial is a crucial and frequent environmental stress that impacts seedling establishment on sand dunes. However, little is known about the ecological role of seed mucilage in seedling emergence in arid sandy environments. We hypothesized that seed mucilage enhances seedling emergence in a low precipitation regime and under conditions of sand burial. In a greenhouse experiment, two types of Artemisia sphaerocephala achenes (intact and demucilaged) were exposed to different combinations of burial depth (0, 5, 10, 20, 40 and 60 mm) and irrigation regimes (low, medium and high, which simulated the precipitation amount and frequency in May, June and July in the natural habitat, respectively). Seedling emergence increased with increasing irrigation. It was highest at 5 mm sand burial depth and ceased at burial depths greater than 20 mm in all irrigation regimes. Mucilage significantly enhanced seedling emergence at 0, 5 and 10 mm burial depths in low irrigation, at 0 and 5 mm burial depths in medium irrigation and at 0 and 10 mm burial depths in high irrigation. Seed mucilage also reduced seedling mortality at the shallow sand burial depths. Moreover, mucilage significantly affected seedling emergence time and quiescence and dormancy percentages. Our findings suggest that seed mucilage plays an ecologically important role in successful seedling establishment of A. sphaerocephala by improving seedling emergence and reducing seedling mortality in stressful habitats of the sandy desert environment. PMID:22511952

  12. Matorral and reclamation. The contribution of scrubs and dwarf shrubs to soil and water conservation in Spain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cerdà, A.; González Hidalgo, J. C.

    2009-04-01

    The Mediterranean Matorral (scrubs and dwarf shrubs) was seen by John Thornes as a protective vegetative cover of semiarid lands. His studies on matorral triggered the research, vocations and scientific work of researchers and contributed with a relevant knowledge to the environmental studies in Spain. This research reviews the changes in land use and the use of matorral in Spain. A review of the research done on the effect of matorral on soil and water losses is presented. Books, scientific papers, book chapters and research reports are being reviewed to report how matorral control the soil and water losses under different climatic conditions in Spain. The main conclusion is that scrubs and dwarf shrubs are very efficient in controlling the soil and water losses under semiarid climatic conditions were trees are rare. Nevertheless, scrub has been neglected by the Spanish forestry policy-makers and sometimes the shrubs cover is removed to develop afforestations, mainly with Aleppo pine. Palabras clave: Matorral, Soil, Water, Losses, Spain, Land use, Land management.

  13. Talus cone activity recorded by tree-rings of Arctic dwarf shrubs: a study case from SW Spitsbergen, Norway

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Owczarek, Piotr

    2010-12-01

    Dendrochronological methods were used to determine talus cone activity in the Arctic area. Talus cones are one of the most characteristic geomorphological features of the Svalbad Archipelago. Two species of dwarf shrubs, Salix polaris and Salix reticulata, which belong to the Willow family (Salicaceae), were collected from two talus cones located in the SW Spitsbergen Island. These small creeping shrubs (less than 10 cm tall with stem diameters ranging from 0.5 cm to 1.1 cm) have well developed tree-rings which allow them to be used for dendrochronological research. The age of the dwarf shrubs showed the minimum time during which the cones were disturbed by mass movements. Observations and material analysis indicate that currently the talus cones are active, but their development through debris flow, creep and rock particle slide is observed only episodically. An increased rate of vegetation colonization during the 1980s indicates that geomorphic events were less active in the talus cone area during this time.

  14. Relationship between Shoot-rooting and Root-sprouting Abilities and the Carbohydrate and Nitrogen Reserves of Mediterranean Dwarf Shrubs

    PubMed Central

    Palacio, Sara; Maestro, Melchor; Montserrat-Martí, Gabriel

    2007-01-01

    Background and Aims This study analysed the differences in nitrogen (N), non-structural carbohydrates (NSC) and biomass allocation to the roots and shoots of 18 species of Mediterranean dwarf shrubs with different shoot-rooting and resprouting abilities. Root N and NSC concentrations of strict root-sprouters and species resprouting from the base of the stems were also compared. Methods Soluble sugars (SS), starch and N concentrations were assessed in roots and shoots. The root : shoot ratio of each species was obtained by thorough root excavations. Cross-species analyses were complemented by phylogenetically independent contrasts (PICs). Key Results Shoot-rooting species showed a preferential allocation of starch to shoots rather than roots as compared with non-shoot-rooting species. Resprouters displayed greater starch concentrations than non-sprouters in both shoots and roots. Trends were maintained after PICs analyses, but differences became weak when root-sprouters versus non-root-sprouters were compared. Within resprouters, strict root-sprouters showed greater root concentrations and a preferential allocation of starch to the roots than stem-sprouters. No differences were found in the root : shoot ratio of species with different rooting and resprouting abilities. Conclusions The shoot-rooting ability of Mediterranean dwarf shrubs seems to depend on the preferential allocation of starch and SS to shoots, though alternative C-sources such as current photosynthates may also be involved. In contrast to plants from other mediterranean areas of the world, the resprouting ability of Mediterranean dwarf shrubs is not related to a preferential allocation of N, NSC and biomass to roots. PMID:17728338

  15. Annual dormancy cycles in buried seeds of shrub species: germination ecology of Sideritis serrata (Labiatae).

    PubMed

    Copete, M A; Herranz, J M; Ferrandis, P; Copete, E

    2015-07-01

    The germination ecology of Sideritis serrata was investigated in order to improve ex-situ propagation techniques and management of their habitat. Specifically, we analysed: (i) influence of temperature, light conditions and seed age on germination patterns; (ii) phenology of germination; (iii) germinative response of buried seeds to seasonal temperature changes; (iv) temperature requirements for induction and breaking of secondary dormancy; (v) ability to form persistent soil seed banks; and (vi) seed bank dynamics. Freshly matured seeds showed conditional physiological dormancy, germinating at low and cool temperatures but not at high ones (28/14 and 32/18 °C). Germination ability increased with time of dry storage, suggesting the existence of non-deep physiological dormancy. Under unheated shade-house conditions, germination was concentrated in the first autumn. S. serrata seeds buried and exposed to natural seasonal temperature variations in the shade-house, exhibited an annual conditional dormancy/non-dormancy cycle, coming out of conditional dormancy in summer and re-entering it in winter. Non-dormant seeds were clearly induced into dormancy when stratified at 5 or 15/4 °C for 8 weeks. Dormant seeds, stratified at 28/14 or 32/18 °C for 16 weeks, became non-dormant if they were subsequently incubated over a temperature range from 15/4 to 32/18 °C. S. serrata is able to form small persistent soil seed banks. The maximum seed life span in the soil was 4 years, decreasing with burial depth. This is the second report of an annual conditional dormancy/non-dormancy cycle in seeds of shrub species.

  16. A mast-seeding desert shrub regulates population dynamics and behavior of its heteromyid dispersers.

    PubMed

    Auger, Janene; Meyer, Susan E; Jenkins, Stephen H

    2016-04-01

    Granivorous rodent populations in deserts are primarily regulated through precipitation-driven resource pulses rather than pulses associated with mast-seeding, a pattern more common in mesic habitats. We studied heteromyid responses to mast-seeding in the desert shrub blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima), a regionally dominant species in the Mojave-Great Basin Desert transition zone. In a 5-year study at Arches National Park, Utah, USA, we quantified spatiotemporal variation in seed resources in mast and intermast years in blackbrush-dominated and mixed desert vegetation and measured responses of Dipodomys ordii (Ord's kangaroo rat) and Perognathus flavescens (plains pocket mouse). In blackbrush-dominated vegetation, blackbrush seeds comprised >79% of seed production in a mast year, but 0% in the first postmast year. Kangaroo rat abundance in blackbrush-dominated vegetation was highest in the mast year, declined sharply at the end of the first postmast summer, and then remained at low levels for 3 years. Pocket mouse abundance was not as strongly associated with blackbrush seed production. In mixed desert vegetation, kangaroo rat abundance was higher and more uniform through time. Kangaroo rats excluded the smaller pocket mice from resource-rich patches including a pipeline disturbance and also moved their home range centers closer to this disturbance in a year of low blackbrush seed production. Home range size for kangaroo rats was unrelated to seed resource density in the mast year, but resource-poor home ranges were larger (P < 0.001) in the first postmast year, when resources were limiting. Blackbrush seeds are higher in protein and fat but lower in carbohydrates than the more highly preferred seeds of Indian ricegrass (Achnatherum hymenoides) and have similar energy value per unit of handling time. Kangaroo rats cached seeds of these two species in similar spatial configurations, implying that they were equally valued as stored food resources. Blackbrush mast

  17. A mast-seeding desert shrub regulates population dynamics and behavior of its heteromyid dispersers.

    PubMed

    Auger, Janene; Meyer, Susan E; Jenkins, Stephen H

    2016-04-01

    Granivorous rodent populations in deserts are primarily regulated through precipitation-driven resource pulses rather than pulses associated with mast-seeding, a pattern more common in mesic habitats. We studied heteromyid responses to mast-seeding in the desert shrub blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima), a regionally dominant species in the Mojave-Great Basin Desert transition zone. In a 5-year study at Arches National Park, Utah, USA, we quantified spatiotemporal variation in seed resources in mast and intermast years in blackbrush-dominated and mixed desert vegetation and measured responses of Dipodomys ordii (Ord's kangaroo rat) and Perognathus flavescens (plains pocket mouse). In blackbrush-dominated vegetation, blackbrush seeds comprised >79% of seed production in a mast year, but 0% in the first postmast year. Kangaroo rat abundance in blackbrush-dominated vegetation was highest in the mast year, declined sharply at the end of the first postmast summer, and then remained at low levels for 3 years. Pocket mouse abundance was not as strongly associated with blackbrush seed production. In mixed desert vegetation, kangaroo rat abundance was higher and more uniform through time. Kangaroo rats excluded the smaller pocket mice from resource-rich patches including a pipeline disturbance and also moved their home range centers closer to this disturbance in a year of low blackbrush seed production. Home range size for kangaroo rats was unrelated to seed resource density in the mast year, but resource-poor home ranges were larger (P < 0.001) in the first postmast year, when resources were limiting. Blackbrush seeds are higher in protein and fat but lower in carbohydrates than the more highly preferred seeds of Indian ricegrass (Achnatherum hymenoides) and have similar energy value per unit of handling time. Kangaroo rats cached seeds of these two species in similar spatial configurations, implying that they were equally valued as stored food resources. Blackbrush mast

  18. Bird and ant synergy increases the seed dispersal effectiveness of an ornithochoric shrub.

    PubMed

    Camargo, Paulo H S A; Martins, Milene M; Feitosa, Rodrigo M; Christianini, Alexander V

    2016-06-01

    Seed dispersal may involve different vectors of dispersal in two or more sequential phases (i.e., diplochory). However, contributions of each phase to the overall seed dispersal effectiveness (SDE) are poorly understood and hard to evaluate due to post-dispersal processes that affect seed and seedling survival. We investigated the simultaneous bird (phase 1, in plant canopy) and ant (phase 2, on the floor) contributions to SDE with the ornithochoric shrub Erythroxylum ambiguum in a Brazilian Atlantic forest. Twelve species of birds fed on fruit and dispersed approximately 26 % of the seed crop. The remaining seed crop, 90 % of which contained viable seeds, fell to the ground beneath the parental plant. Ants either cleaned seeds in fruits or carried fallen fruit and seeds from bird feces to their nests. Although E. ambiguum has no adaptation for ant dispersal, ants were as quantitatively important as birds. Birds and ants equally increased germination rates compared to controls. However, birds deposited seeds farther from the parent, where seedling survival was higher (78 %) than it was beneath the parent (44 %), whereas ants carried seeds to their nests, where seedling survival was higher (83 %) than in controls away from their nests (63 %). Diplochory allowed a 42 % increase in SDE compared to dispersal in phase 1 alone. High lipid content in the fruit pulp of E. ambiguum may facilitate the inclusion of ants in a second step of dispersal after diaspores reach the floor. Ants can also buffer the dispersal of diplochorous plants against decreases in phase 1 dispersers. PMID:26899481

  19. Soil seed-bank structure and seed-germination dynamics contribute to pulsed shrub encroachment in a grassland-shrubland Chihuahuan ecotone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moreno de las Heras, Mariano; Turnbull, Laura; Wainwright, John

    2015-04-01

    Shrub encroachment is pervasive in many arid and semi-arid landscapes worldwide. Large areas of desert grasslands in southwestern USA have shifted to sparse shrublands dominated by woody species over the last 150 years, accompanied by accelerated soil erosion. A complex range of mechanisms has been suggested to explain the occurrence of this phenomenon, including land-use change, climate variations, and soil erosion feedbacks of vegetation change. An important step to understand patterns in species dominance at desert grassland-shrubland transitions is the understanding of limitations on plant establishment imposed by the shrub-encroachment process. We analyze the structure of soil seed banks and the environmental limitations for seed germination (i.e. soil-water availability and temperature) of dominant species (black grama and creosotebush) across a Chihuahuan grassland-shrubland ecotone (Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico). Seed density in soils across the ecotone is generally low (200-400 seeds m-2), although is largely concentrated in vegetation clumps (reaching peaks up to 800-1200 seeds m-2 in grass and shrub patches). Species composition in the soil seed-bank is strongly affected by shrub encroachment, with seed densities of grass species (and particularly for black grama) sharply decreasing in shrub-dominated areas. Optimal temperature for seed germination of both black grama and creosotebush (20-25°C) suggests synchronization of plant establishment with the summer monsoonal period. Water-level limitations for seed germination are similar for the two species (about 8-10% soil moisture), although creosotebush seeds need a longer time under optimal water-availability conditions for germination (about 12 days) than black grama seeds (about 7 days). Analysis of temporal series of field-based and simulated soil-moisture levels suggests that creosotebush requires very strong monsoonal precipitation for plant establishment, and therefore shrub

  20. Growth and reproduction of the alpine grasshopper Miramella alpina feeding on CO2-enriched dwarf shrubs at treeline.

    PubMed

    Asshoff, Roman; Hättenschwiler, Stephan

    2005-01-01

    The consequences for plant-insect interactions of atmospheric changes in alpine ecosystems are not well understood. Here, we tested the effects of elevated CO(2) on leaf quality in two dwarf shrub species (Vaccinium myrtillus and V. uliginosum) and the response of the alpine grasshopper (Miramella alpina) feeding on these plants in a field experiment at the alpine treeline (2,180 m a.s.l.) in Davos, Switzerland. Relative growth rates (RGR) of M. alpina nymphs were lower when they were feeding on V. myrtillus compared to V. uliginosum, and were affected by elevated CO(2) depending on plant species and nymph developmental stage. Changes in RGR correlated with CO(2)-induced changes in leaf water, nitrogen, and starch concentrations. Elevated CO(2) resulted in reduced female adult weight irrespective of plant species, and prolonged development time on V. uliginosum only, but there were no significant differences in nymphal mortality. Newly molted adults of M. alpina produced lighter eggs and less secretion (serving as egg protection) under elevated CO(2). When grasshoppers had a choice among four different plant species grown either under ambient or elevated CO(2), V. myrtillus and V. uliginosum consumption increased under elevated CO(2) in females while it decreased in males compared to ambient CO(2)-grown leaves. Our findings suggest that rising atmospheric CO(2) distinctly affects leaf chemistry in two important dwarf shrub species at the alpine treeline, leading to changes in feeding behavior, growth, and reproduction of the most important insect herbivore in this system. Changes in plant-grasshopper interactions might have significant long-term impacts on herbivore pressure, community dynamics and ecosystem stability in the alpine treeline ecotone. PMID:15480804

  1. Dense understory dwarf bamboo alters the retention of canopy tree seeds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qian, Feng; Zhang, Tengda; Guo, Qinxue; Tao, Jianping

    2016-05-01

    Tree seed retention is thought to be an important factor in the process of forest community regeneration. Although dense understory dwarf bamboo has been considered to have serious negative effects on the regeneration of forest community species, little attention has been paid to the relationship between dwarf bamboo and seed retention. In a field experiment we manipulated the density of Fargesia decurvata, a common understory dwarf bamboo, to investigate the retention of seeds from five canopy tree species in an evergreen and deciduous broad-leaved mixed forest in Jinfoshan National Nature Reserve, SW China. We found that the median survival time and retention ratio of seeds increased with the increase in bamboo density. Fauna discriminately altered seed retention in bamboo groves of different densities. Arthropods reduced seed survival the most, and seeds removed decreased with increasing bamboo density. Birds removed or ate more seeds in groves of medium bamboo density and consumed fewer seeds in dense or sparse bamboo habitats. Rodents removed a greater number of large and highly profitable seeds in dense bamboo groves but more small and thin-husked seeds in sparse bamboo groves. Seed characteristics, including seed size, seed mass and seed profitability, were important factors affecting seed retention. The results suggested that dense understory dwarf bamboo not only increased seeds concealment and reduced the probability and speed of seed removal but also influenced the trade-off between predation and risk of animal predatory strategies, thereby impacting the quantity and composition of surviving seeds. Our results also indicated that dense understory dwarf bamboo and various seed characteristics can provide good opportunities for seed storage and seed germination and has a potential positive effect on canopy tree regeneration.

  2. Habitat fragmentation and altered fire regime create trade-offs for an obligate seeding shrub.

    PubMed

    Regan, Helen M; Crookston, John B; Swab, Rebecca; Franklin, Janet; Lawson, Dawn M

    2010-04-01

    Habitat loss is widely considered the greatest threat to biodiversity. However, habitat loss brings with it myriad other threats that exacerbate impacts to biodiversity. For instance, altered fire regime is associated with habitat loss and fragmentation with unknown consequences to biodiversity. Plant functional groups that rely on fire to complete their life cycle may be adversely affected by disruptions to the natural fire regime, particularly when coupled with population declines due to habitat loss. We used a spatially explicit stochastic population model linked with fire hazard functions to investigate the cumulative effects of habitat loss, fragmentation, and altered fire regime on the expected minimum abundance of a long-lived obligate-seeding shrub, Ceanothus greggii var. perplexans. This species is endemic to the California Floristic Province, a biodiversity hotspot, and is representative of a functional group of plants found in many fire-prone ecosystems. We tested the impact of a range of different fire frequencies under three different combinations of fuel accumulation and weather. The best average fire return interval for population abundance was consistently in the range of 30-50 years. However, observed average fire return intervals in highly fragmented areas can be approximately 20 years or less, and model results show this to be detrimental to C. greggii populations. Results also show that if fires are uncorrelated across habitat fragments then the impact of altered fire regime on populations is worse than the impact of habitat fragmentation because of spatial and temporal decoupling of fire events across the landscape. However, the negative impacts of altered fire regime are outweighed by habitat loss as fragmentation increases. Our results show that large unplanned fires, operating under an altered fire regime, are ultimately detrimental to perennial obligate-seeding shrubs in fragmented landscapes.

  3. Small-scale patterns in snowmelt timing affect gene flow and the distribution of genetic diversity in the alpine dwarf shrub Salix herbacea.

    PubMed

    Cortés, A J; Waeber, S; Lexer, C; Sedlacek, J; Wheeler, J A; van Kleunen, M; Bossdorf, O; Hoch, G; Rixen, C; Wipf, S; Karrenberg, S

    2014-09-01

    Current threats to biodiversity, such as climate change, are thought to alter the within-species genetic diversity among microhabitats in highly heterogeneous alpine environments. Assessing the spatial organization and dynamics of genetic diversity within species can help to predict the responses of organisms to environmental change. In this study, we evaluated whether small-scale heterogeneity in snowmelt timing restricts gene flow between microhabitats in the common long-lived dwarf shrub Salix herbacea L. We surveyed 273 genets across 12 early- and late-snowmelt sites (that is, ridges and snowbeds) in the Swiss Alps for phenological variation over 2 years and for genetic variation using seven SSR markers. Phenological differentiation triggered by differences in snowmelt timing did not correlate with genetic differentiation between microhabitats. On the contrary, extensive gene flow appeared to occur between microhabitats and slightly less extensively among adjacent mountains. However, ridges exhibited significantly lower levels of genetic diversity than snowbeds, and patterns of effective population size (Ne) and migration (Nem) between microhabitats were strongly asymmetric, with ridges acting as sources and snowbeds as sinks. As no recent genetic bottlenecks were detected in the studied sites, this asymmetry is likely to reflect current meta-population dynamics of the species dominated by gene flow via seeds rather than ancient re-colonization after the last glacial period. Overall, our results suggest that seed dispersal prevents snowmelt-driven genetic isolation, and snowbeds act as sinks of genetic diversity. We discuss the consequences of such small-scale variation in gene flow and diversity levels for population responses to climate change.

  4. Thermogenesis-triggered seed dispersal in dwarf mistletoe

    PubMed Central

    deBruyn, Rolena A.J.; Paetkau, Mark; Ross, Kelly A.; Godfrey, David V.; Friedman, Cynthia Ross

    2015-01-01

    Lodgepole pine dwarf mistletoe (DM), Arceuthobium americanum, is a parasitic flowering plant and forest pathogen in North America. Seed dispersal in DM occurs by explosive discharge. Notably, slight warming of ripe DM fruit in the laboratory can trigger explosions. Previously, we showed that alternative oxidase, a protein involved in endogenous heat production (thermogenesis) in plants, is present in DM fruit. These observations have led us to investigate if thermogenesis induces discharge. Here, infrared thermographs reveal that ripe DM fruits display an anomalous increase in surface temperature by an average of 2.1±0.8 °C over an average time of 103±29 s (n=9, 95% confidence interval) before dehiscence. Furthermore, both non-isothermal and isothermal modulated differential scanning calorimetry consistently show an exothermic event (~1 J g−1) in the non-reversible heat flow just prior to discharge. These results support thermogenesis-triggered seed discharge, never before observed in any plant. PMID:25662062

  5. Seed and vegetative production of shrubs and growth of understory conifer regeneration

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wender, B.; Harrington, C.; Tappeiner, J.C.

    2004-01-01

    We observed flower and fruit production for nine understory shrub species in western Washington and Oregon and examined the relationships between shrub reproductive output and plant size, plant age, site factors, and overstory density to determine the factors that control flowering or fruiting in understory shrubs. In Washington, 50 or more shrubs or microplots (for rhizomatous species) were sampled for each of eight species. The variables examined were more useful for explaining abundance of flowers or fruit on shrubs than they were for explaining the probability that a shrub would produce flowers or fruit. Plant size was consistently the most useful predictor of flower/fruit abundance in all species; plant age was also a good predictor of abundance and was strongly correlated with plant size. Site variables (e.g., slope) and overstory competition variables (e.g., presence/absence of a canopy gap) also helped explain flower/fruit abundance for some species. At two Oregon sites, the responses of five species to four levels of thinning were observed for 2-4 yr (15 shrubs or microplots per treatment per year). Thinning increased the probability and abundance of flowering/fruiting for two species, had no effect on one species, and responses for two other species were positive but inconsistent between sites or from year to year. We believe reducing overstory density or creating canopy gaps may be useful tools for enhancing shrub size and vigor, thus, increasing the probability and abundance of fruiting in some understory shrub species.

  6. Vegetation shift from deciduous to evergreen dwarf shrubs in response to selective herbivory offsets carbon losses: evidence from 19 years of warming and simulated herbivory in the subarctic tundra.

    PubMed

    Ylänne, Henni; Stark, Sari; Tolvanen, Anne

    2015-10-01

    Selective herbivory of palatable plant species provides a competitive advantage for unpalatable plant species, which often have slow growth rates and produce slowly decomposable litter. We hypothesized that through a shift in the vegetation community from palatable, deciduous dwarf shrubs to unpalatable, evergreen dwarf shrubs, selective herbivory may counteract the increased shrub abundance that is otherwise found in tundra ecosystems, in turn interacting with the responses of ecosystem carbon (C) stocks and CO2 balance to climatic warming. We tested this hypothesis in a 19-year field experiment with factorial treatments of warming and simulated herbivory on the dominant deciduous dwarf shrub Vaccinium myrtillus. Warming was associated with a significantly increased vegetation abundance, with the strongest effect on deciduous dwarf shrubs, resulting in greater rates of both gross ecosystem production (GEP) and ecosystem respiration (ER) as well as increased C stocks. Simulated herbivory increased the abundance of evergreen dwarf shrubs, most importantly Empetrum nigrum ssp. hermaphroditum, which led to a recent shift in the dominant vegetation from deciduous to evergreen dwarf shrubs. Simulated herbivory caused no effect on GEP and ER or the total ecosystem C stocks, indicating that the vegetation shift counteracted the herbivore-induced C loss from the system. A larger proportion of the total ecosystem C stock was found aboveground, rather than belowground, in plots treated with simulated herbivory. We conclude that by providing a competitive advantage to unpalatable plant species with slow growth rates and long life spans, selective herbivory may promote aboveground C stocks in a warming tundra ecosystem and, through this mechanism, counteract C losses that result from plant biomass consumption.

  7. A novel system for in situ determination of heat tolerance of plants: first results on alpine dwarf shrubs

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Heat stress and heat damage to plants gain globally increasing importance for crop production and plant survival in endangered habitats. Therefore the knowledge of heat tolerance of plants is of great interest. As many heat tolerance measurement procedures require detachment of plants and protocols expose samples to various heat temperatures in darkness, the ecological relevance of such results may be doubted. To overcome these constraints we designed a novel field compatible Heat Tolerance Testing System (HTTS) that opens the opportunity to induce controlled heat stress on plants in situ under full natural solar irradiation. Subsequently, heat tolerance can be evaluated by a variety of standard viability assays like the electrolyte leakage test, chlorophyll fluorescence measurements and visual assessment methods. Furthermore, recuperation can be studied under natural environmental conditions which is impossible when detached plant material is used. First results obtained on three alpine dwarf - shrubs are presented. Results When heat tolerance of Vaccinium gaultherioides Bigelow was tested with the HTTS in situ, the visual assessment of leaves showed 50% heat injury (LT50) at 48.3°C, while on detached leaves where heat exposure took place in small heat chambers this already happened at 45.8°C. Natural solar irradiation being applied during heat exposure in the HTTS had significantly protective effects: In Loiseleuria procumbens L. (Desv.), if heat exposure (in situ) took place in darkness, leaf heat tolerance was 50.6°C. In contrast, when heat exposure was conducted under full natural solar irradiation heat tolerance was increased to 53.1°C. In Rhododendron ferrugineum L. heat tolerance of leaves was 42.5°C if the exposure took place ex situ and in darkness, while it was significantly increased to 45.8°C when this happened in situ under natural solar irradiation. Conclusions The results obtained with the HTTS tested in the field indicate a

  8. The Formation of the Patterns of Desert Shrub Communities on the Western Ordos Plateau, China: The Roles of Seed Dispersal and Sand Burial

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yange; Yang, Xiaohui; Shi, Zhongjie

    2013-01-01

    The western Ordos Plateau is a key area of shrub diversity and a National Nature Reserve of endangered shrub species in north-west China. Desert expansion is becoming the most important threat to these endangered species. However, little is known about the effects of sand burial on the dynamics of the shrub community. This study aims to investigate how the shrubs as a community and as different individual shrubs respond to the disturbances caused by the desert expansion. The approach used by this study is to separate the seed-dispersal strategy from the sand-burial forces that are involved in structuring the shrub communities at different disturbance stages. Four communities for different disturbance stages were surveyed by using 50×50 m plots. The individual shrubs were classified into coloniser and successor groups at the seed-dispersal stage and strong and weak sand-burial tolerance groups at the sand-expansion stage. We employed spatial point pattern analysis with null models for each community to examine the seed-dispersal strategy and sand-burial forces affecting community distribution patterns. At the seed-dispersal stage, the interactions between the colonisers and the successors showed significant positive correlation at a scale of 0–1 m and significant negative correlation at a scale of 2 m; significant negative correlations between the groups with strong and weak sand-burial tolerance in the early stage of sand expansion at scales of 3–6 m, and significant positive correlation in the later stage of sand expansion at a scale of 13 m, were found. Seed-dispersal strategy is a reasonable mechanism to explain the shrub community pattern formation in the earlier stages, whereas sand burial is the primary reason for the disappearance of shrubs with weak sand-burial tolerance, this irreversible disturbance causes homogenisation of the community structure and produces aging populations of shrub species. This has an important influence on the succession

  9. Two decades of demography reveals that seed and seedling transitions limit population persistence in a translocated shrub

    PubMed Central

    Gross, C. L.; Mackay, D.

    2014-01-01

    Background and Aims Olearia flocktoniae is an endangered shrub that was passively translocated from its natural ecosystem, where it has since gone extinct. This study aimed to determine sensitivities vital to populations persisting in human-created areas. Methods Population colonization, longevity and extinction were investigated over 20 years using 133 populations. Seed-bank longevity was determined from germination trials of seeds exhumed from extinct and extant sites via a 10-year glasshouse trial and by in situ sowing experiments. From 27 populations, 98 cohorts were followed and matrix models of transitions from seeds to adults were used to evaluate the intrinsic rate of population growth against disturbance histories. Ten populations (38 cohorts) with different disturbance histories were used to evaluate sensitivities in vital rates. Key Results Most populations had few individuals (∼30) and were transient (<5 years above ground). The intrinsic population growth rate was rarely >1 and all but two populations were extinct at year 20. Seeds were short-lived in situ. Although >1000 seeds per plant were produced annually in most populations, sensitivity analysis showed that the transition to the seed bank and the transition from the seed bank to seedlings are key vulnerabilities in the life-cycle. Conclusions Seedling establishment is promoted by recent disturbance. Increasing the number of disturbance events in populations, even severe disturbances that almost extirpate populations, significantly increases longer-term population persistence. Only populations that were disturbed annually survived the full 20 years of the study. The results show that translocated populations of O. flocktoniae will fail to persist without active management. PMID:24844983

  10. Consumers limit the abundance and dynamics of a perennial shrub with a seed bank

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kauffman, M.J.; Maron, J.L.

    2006-01-01

    For nearly 30 years, ecologists have argued that predators of seeds and seedlings seldom have population-level effects on plants with persistent seed banks and density-dependent seedling survival. We parameterized stage-based population models that incorporated density dependence and seed dormancy with data from a 5.5-year experiment that quantified how granivorous mice and herbivorous voles influence bush lupine (Lupinus arboreus) demography. We asked how seed dormancy and density-dependent seedling survival mediate the impacts of these consumers in dune and grassland habitats. In dune habitat, mice reduced analytical ?? (the intrinsic rate of population growth) by 39%, the equilibrium number of above-ground plants by 90%, and the seed bank by 98%; voles had minimal effects. In adjacent grasslands, mice had minimal effects, but seedling herbivory by voles reduced analytical ?? by 15% and reduced both the equilibrium number of aboveground plants and dormant seeds by 63%. A bootstrap analysis demonstrated that these consumer effects were robust to parameter uncertainty. Our results demonstrate that the quantitative strengths of seed dormancy and density-dependent seedling survival-not their mere existence-critically mediate consumer effects. This study suggests that plant population dynamics and distribution may be more strongly influenced by consumers of seeds and seedlings than is currently recognized. ?? 2006 by The University of Chicago.

  11. Consumers limit the abundance and dynamics of a perennial shrub with a seed bank.

    PubMed

    Kauffman, Matthew J; Maron, John L

    2006-10-01

    For nearly 30 years, ecologists have argued that predators of seeds and seedlings seldom have population-level effects on plants with persistent seed banks and density-dependent seedling survival. We parameterized stage-based population models that incorporated density dependence and seed dormancy with data from a 5.5-year experiment that quantified how granivorous mice and herbivorous voles influence bush lupine (Lupinus arboreus) demography. We asked how seed dormancy and density-dependent seedling survival mediate the impacts of these consumers in dune and grassland habitats. In dune habitat, mice reduced analytical lambda (the intrinsic rate of population growth) by 39%, the equilibrium number of aboveground plants by 90%, and the seed bank by 98%; voles had minimal effects. In adjacent grasslands, mice had minimal effects, but seedling herbivory by voles reduced analytical lambda by 15% and reduced both the equilibrium number of aboveground plants and dormant seeds by 63%. A bootstrap analysis demonstrated that these consumer effects were robust to parameter uncertainty. Our results demonstrate that the quantitative strengths of seed dormancy and density-dependent seedling survival--not their mere existence--critically mediate consumer effects. This study suggests that plant population dynamics and distribution may be more strongly influenced by consumers of seeds and seedlings than is currently recognized. PMID:17004218

  12. Effects of seed bank disturbance on the fine-scale genetic structure of populations of the rare shrub Grevillea macleayana.

    PubMed

    England, P R; Whelan, R J; Ayre, D J

    2003-11-01

    Dispersal in most plants is mediated by the movement of seeds and pollen, which move genes across the landscape differently. Grevillea macleayana is a rare, fire-dependent Australian shrub with large seeds lacking adaptations for dispersal; yet it produces inflorescences adapted to pollination by highly mobile vertebrates (eg birds). Interpreting fine-scale genetic structure in the light of these two processes is confounded by the recent imposition of anthropogenic disturbances with potentially contrasting genetic consequences: (1) the unusual foraging behaviour of exotic honeybees and 2. widespread disturbance of the soil-stored seedbank by road building and quarrying. To test for evidence of fine-scale genetic structure within G. macleayana populations and to test the prediction that such structure might be masked by disturbance of the seed bank, we sampled two sites in undisturbed habitat and compared their genetic structure with two sites that had been strongly affected by road building using a test for spatial autocorrelation of genotypes. High selfing levels inferred from genotypes at all four sites implies that pollen dispersal is limited. Consistent with this, we observed substantial spatial clustering of genes at 10 m or less in the two undisturbed populations and argue that this reflects the predicted effects of both high selfing levels and limited seed dispersal. In contrast, at the two sites disturbed by road building, spatial autocorrelation was weak. This suggests there has been mixing of the seed bank, counteracting the naturally low dispersal and elevated selfing due to honeybees. Pollination between near neighbours with reduced relatedness potentially has fitness consequences for G. macleayana in disturbed sites. PMID:14576740

  13. Effects of seed bank disturbance on the fine-scale genetic structure of populations of the rare shrub Grevillea macleayana.

    PubMed

    England, P R; Whelan, R J; Ayre, D J

    2003-11-01

    Dispersal in most plants is mediated by the movement of seeds and pollen, which move genes across the landscape differently. Grevillea macleayana is a rare, fire-dependent Australian shrub with large seeds lacking adaptations for dispersal; yet it produces inflorescences adapted to pollination by highly mobile vertebrates (eg birds). Interpreting fine-scale genetic structure in the light of these two processes is confounded by the recent imposition of anthropogenic disturbances with potentially contrasting genetic consequences: (1) the unusual foraging behaviour of exotic honeybees and 2. widespread disturbance of the soil-stored seedbank by road building and quarrying. To test for evidence of fine-scale genetic structure within G. macleayana populations and to test the prediction that such structure might be masked by disturbance of the seed bank, we sampled two sites in undisturbed habitat and compared their genetic structure with two sites that had been strongly affected by road building using a test for spatial autocorrelation of genotypes. High selfing levels inferred from genotypes at all four sites implies that pollen dispersal is limited. Consistent with this, we observed substantial spatial clustering of genes at 10 m or less in the two undisturbed populations and argue that this reflects the predicted effects of both high selfing levels and limited seed dispersal. In contrast, at the two sites disturbed by road building, spatial autocorrelation was weak. This suggests there has been mixing of the seed bank, counteracting the naturally low dispersal and elevated selfing due to honeybees. Pollination between near neighbours with reduced relatedness potentially has fitness consequences for G. macleayana in disturbed sites.

  14. Low Rate of Between-Population Seed Dispersal Restricts Genetic Connectivity and Metapopulation Dynamics in a Clonal Shrub

    PubMed Central

    Merwin, Laura; He, Tianhua; Lamont, Byron B.; Enright, Neal J.; Krauss, Siegfried L.

    2012-01-01

    Clonal species normally have low seed production, low recruitment rates and long lifespans, and it is expected that the rates of long-distance dispersal (LDD) of seeds will be low as well. Banksia candolleana is a clonal shrub in Mediterranean-type, fire-prone sclerophyll shrublands of southwestern Australia, whose reproductive biology and population dynamics contrast with those of co-occurring nonclonal congeneric species, all of which are restricted to a mosaic of sand dunes set within a matrix of inhospitable swales. Using microsatellite markers, we genotyped 499 plants in all 15 populations of B. candolleana within a 12-km2 area, assessed population genetic differentiation, and quantified the effective rate of interpopulation seed dispersal through genetic assignment of individuals to populations. We measured life history, reproductive and demographic attributes, and compared these with two co-occurring Banksia species, a non-clonal resprouter and a nonsprouter. B. candolleana has much higher levels of population genetic differentiation, and one-third the rate of interpopulation seed migration, as the other two species (2.2% vs 5.5−6.8% of genotyped plants inferred to be immigrants), though distances reached by LDD are comparable (0.3−2.3 km). The low rate of interpopulation dispersal was supported by an analysis of the age structure of three populations that suggests a mean interdune migration rate of <800 m in 200 years, and 60% of suitable dunes remain uninhabited. Thus, B. candolleana has poor properties for promoting long-distance dispersal. It is unclear if these are idiosyncratic to this species or whether such properties are to be expected of clonal species in general where LDD is less critical for species survival. PMID:23209839

  15. Differential effects of two explosive compounds on seed germination and seedling morphology of a woody shrub, Morella cerifera.

    PubMed

    Via, Stephen M; Zinnert, Julie C; Young, Donald R

    2015-01-01

    Soils contaminated with explosive compounds occur on a global scale. Research demolition explosive (RDX) (hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine) and trinitrotoluene (TNT) (2-methyl-1,3,5-trinitrobenzene) are the most common explosive compounds in the environment. These compounds, by variably impacting plant health, can affect species establishment in contaminated areas. Our objective was to quantify comparative effects of RDX and TNT on a woody shrub, Morella cerifera, commonly found on bombing ranges along the Atlantic Coast of the United States. Two life stages of M. cerifera, Seeds and juvenile plants, were exposed to soil amended with concentrations of RDX and TNT representative of field levels; RDX up to 1,500 ppm and TNT up to 900 ppm. Percent germination was recorded for 3 weeks; morphological metrics of necrotic, reduced, and curled leaves, in addition to shoot length and number measured at the end of the experiment (8 weeks) for juvenile plants. All concentrations of RDX inhibited seed germination while TNT did not have an effect at any concentration. As contaminant concentration increased, significant increases in seedling morphological damage occurred in the presence of RDX, whereas TNT did not affect seedling morphology at any concentration. Overall the plants were more sensitive to the presence of RDX. Species specific responses to explosive compounds in the soil have the potential to act as a physiological filter, altering plant recruitment and establishment. This filtering of species may have a number of large scale impacts including: altering species composition and ecological succession. PMID:25336045

  16. Differential effects of two explosive compounds on seed germination and seedling morphology of a woody shrub, Morella cerifera.

    PubMed

    Via, Stephen M; Zinnert, Julie C; Young, Donald R

    2015-01-01

    Soils contaminated with explosive compounds occur on a global scale. Research demolition explosive (RDX) (hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine) and trinitrotoluene (TNT) (2-methyl-1,3,5-trinitrobenzene) are the most common explosive compounds in the environment. These compounds, by variably impacting plant health, can affect species establishment in contaminated areas. Our objective was to quantify comparative effects of RDX and TNT on a woody shrub, Morella cerifera, commonly found on bombing ranges along the Atlantic Coast of the United States. Two life stages of M. cerifera, Seeds and juvenile plants, were exposed to soil amended with concentrations of RDX and TNT representative of field levels; RDX up to 1,500 ppm and TNT up to 900 ppm. Percent germination was recorded for 3 weeks; morphological metrics of necrotic, reduced, and curled leaves, in addition to shoot length and number measured at the end of the experiment (8 weeks) for juvenile plants. All concentrations of RDX inhibited seed germination while TNT did not have an effect at any concentration. As contaminant concentration increased, significant increases in seedling morphological damage occurred in the presence of RDX, whereas TNT did not affect seedling morphology at any concentration. Overall the plants were more sensitive to the presence of RDX. Species specific responses to explosive compounds in the soil have the potential to act as a physiological filter, altering plant recruitment and establishment. This filtering of species may have a number of large scale impacts including: altering species composition and ecological succession.

  17. The Response of the Alpine Dwarf Shrub Salix herbacea to Altered Snowmelt Timing: Lessons from a Multi-Site Transplant Experiment

    PubMed Central

    Cortés, Andrés J.; Bossdorf, Oliver; Hoch, Guenter; Lexer, Christian; Wipf, Sonja; Karrenberg, Sophie; van Kleunen, Mark; Rixen, Christian

    2015-01-01

    Climate change is altering spring snowmelt patterns in alpine and arctic ecosystems, and these changes may alter plant phenology, growth and reproduction. To predict how alpine plants respond to shifts in snowmelt timing, we need to understand trait plasticity, its effects on growth and reproduction, and the degree to which plants experience a home-site advantage. We tested how the common, long-lived dwarf shrub Salix herbacea responded to changing spring snowmelt time by reciprocally transplanting turfs of S. herbacea between early-exposure ridge and late-exposure snowbed microhabitats. After the transplant, we monitored phenological, morphological and fitness traits, as well as leaf damage, during two growing seasons. Salix herbacea leafed out earlier, but had a longer development time and produced smaller leaves on ridges relative to snowbeds. Longer phenological development times and smaller leaves were associated with reduced sexual reproduction on ridges. On snowbeds, larger leaves and intermediate development times were associated with increased clonal reproduction. Clonal and sexual reproduction showed no response to altered snowmelt time. We found no home-site advantage in terms of sexual and clonal reproduction. Leaf damage probability depended on snowmelt and thus exposure period, but had no short-term effect on fitness traits. We conclude that the studied populations of S. herbacea can respond to shifts in snowmelt by plastic changes in phenology and leaf size, while maintaining levels of clonal and sexual reproduction. The lack of a home-site advantage suggests that S. herbacea may not be adapted to different microhabitats. The studied populations are thus unlikely to react to climate change by rapid adaptation, but their responses will also not be constrained by small-scale local adaptation. In the short term, snowbed plants may persist due to high stem densities. However, in the long term, reduction in leaf size and flowering, a longer phenological

  18. The Response of the Alpine Dwarf Shrub Salix herbacea to Altered Snowmelt Timing: Lessons from a Multi-Site Transplant Experiment.

    PubMed

    Sedlacek, Janosch; Wheeler, Julia A; Cortés, Andrés J; Bossdorf, Oliver; Hoch, Guenter; Lexer, Christian; Wipf, Sonja; Karrenberg, Sophie; van Kleunen, Mark; Rixen, Christian

    2015-01-01

    Climate change is altering spring snowmelt patterns in alpine and arctic ecosystems, and these changes may alter plant phenology, growth and reproduction. To predict how alpine plants respond to shifts in snowmelt timing, we need to understand trait plasticity, its effects on growth and reproduction, and the degree to which plants experience a home-site advantage. We tested how the common, long-lived dwarf shrub Salix herbacea responded to changing spring snowmelt time by reciprocally transplanting turfs of S. herbacea between early-exposure ridge and late-exposure snowbed microhabitats. After the transplant, we monitored phenological, morphological and fitness traits, as well as leaf damage, during two growing seasons. Salix herbacea leafed out earlier, but had a longer development time and produced smaller leaves on ridges relative to snowbeds. Longer phenological development times and smaller leaves were associated with reduced sexual reproduction on ridges. On snowbeds, larger leaves and intermediate development times were associated with increased clonal reproduction. Clonal and sexual reproduction showed no response to altered snowmelt time. We found no home-site advantage in terms of sexual and clonal reproduction. Leaf damage probability depended on snowmelt and thus exposure period, but had no short-term effect on fitness traits. We conclude that the studied populations of S. herbacea can respond to shifts in snowmelt by plastic changes in phenology and leaf size, while maintaining levels of clonal and sexual reproduction. The lack of a home-site advantage suggests that S. herbacea may not be adapted to different microhabitats. The studied populations are thus unlikely to react to climate change by rapid adaptation, but their responses will also not be constrained by small-scale local adaptation. In the short term, snowbed plants may persist due to high stem densities. However, in the long term, reduction in leaf size and flowering, a longer phenological

  19. Hydrated mucilage reduces post-dispersal seed removal of a sand desert shrub by ants in a semiarid ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Yang, Xuejun; Baskin, Carol C; Baskin, Jerry M; Gao, Ruiru; Yang, Fan; Wei, Lingling; Li, Leilei; He, Hongju; Huang, Zhenying

    2013-12-01

    Post-dispersal seed removal by animals can lead to extensive seed loss and thus is an important factor in structuring plant communities. However, we know much less about post-dispersal seed predation than about other forms of herbivory. Mucilage plays many ecological roles in adaptation of plants to diverse environments; nevertheless, until now the role of mucilage in ant-mediated seed movement remains largely hypothetical. We studied the role of mucilage in seed removal of Artemisia sphaerocephala by ants in Mu Us Sandland in Inner Mongolia, China. Messor aciculatus was the most active seed predator of Artemisia sphaerocephala. Time to first ant collecting (T 1st) of wet intact seeds was longest and significantly different from that for dry intact seeds, wet demucilaged seeds, and dry demucilaged seeds; number of seeds removed to ant nests was lowest for wet intact seeds. After they were collected by ants, 5 % of wet intact seeds were dropped during transport. Our results indicate that seed mucilage of Artemisia sphaerocephala may play a significant role in post-dispersal seed removal by (1) making seeds less attractive to ants, thus resulting in a delay of collection time; (2) forming a strong bond to soil particles, making it difficult for ants to remove seeds; and (3) making seeds more likely to be dropped during transport, thereby allowing them to escape from predation even after collection by ants. This study demonstrates the importance of mucilage in reducing seed removal by ants and thus in anchoring seeds of desert plants in the vicinity of mother plants.

  20. Ice barriers promote supercooling and prevent frost injury in reproductive buds, flowers and fruits of alpine dwarf shrubs throughout the summer☆

    PubMed Central

    Kuprian, Edith; Briceño, Verónica F.; Wagner, Johanna; Neuner, Gilbert

    2014-01-01

    Over-wintering reproductive buds of many woody plants survive frost by supercooling. The bud tissues are isolated from acropetally advancing ice by the presence of ice barriers that restrict ice growth. Plants living in alpine environments also face the risk of ice formation in summer months. Little knowledge exists, how reproductive structures of woody alpine plants are protected from frost injury during episodic summer frosts. In order to address this question, frost resistance of three common dwarf shrubs, Calluna vulgaris, Empetrum hermaphroditum and Loiseleuria procumbens was measured and ice formation and propagation were monitored in twigs bearing reproductive shoots during various stages of reproductive development (bud, anthesis, and fruit) throughout the alpine summer. Results indicated that, in the investigated species, ice barriers were present at all reproductive stages, isolating the reproductive shoots from ice advancing from the subtending vegetative shoot. Additionally, in the reproductive stems ice nucleating agents that are active at warm, sub-zero temperatures, were absent. The ice barriers were 100% effective, with the exception of L. procumbens, where in 13% of the total observations, the ice barrier failed. The ice barriers were localized at the base of the pedicel, at the anatomical junction of the vegetative and reproductive shoot. There, structural aspects of the tissue impede or prevent ice from advancing from the frozen stem into the pedicel of the reproductive shoot. Under the experimental conditions used in this study, ice nucleation initially occurred in the stem of the vegetative shoot at species-specific mean temperatures in the range of −4.7 to −5.8 °C. Reproductive shoots, however, remained supercooled and ice free down to a range of −7.2 to −18.2 °C or even below −22 °C, the lowest temperature applied in the study. This level of supercooling is sufficient to prevent freezing of reproductive structures at the

  1. Ice barriers promote supercooling and prevent frost injury in reproductive buds, flowers and fruits of alpine dwarf shrubs throughout the summer.

    PubMed

    Kuprian, Edith; Briceño, Verónica F; Wagner, Johanna; Neuner, Gilbert

    2014-10-01

    Over-wintering reproductive buds of many woody plants survive frost by supercooling. The bud tissues are isolated from acropetally advancing ice by the presence of ice barriers that restrict ice growth. Plants living in alpine environments also face the risk of ice formation in summer months. Little knowledge exists, how reproductive structures of woody alpine plants are protected from frost injury during episodic summer frosts. In order to address this question, frost resistance of three common dwarf shrubs, Calluna vulgaris, Empetrum hermaphroditum and Loiseleuria procumbens was measured and ice formation and propagation were monitored in twigs bearing reproductive shoots during various stages of reproductive development (bud, anthesis, and fruit) throughout the alpine summer. Results indicated that, in the investigated species, ice barriers were present at all reproductive stages, isolating the reproductive shoots from ice advancing from the subtending vegetative shoot. Additionally, in the reproductive stems ice nucleating agents that are active at warm, sub-zero temperatures, were absent. The ice barriers were 100% effective, with the exception of L. procumbens, where in 13% of the total observations, the ice barrier failed. The ice barriers were localized at the base of the pedicel, at the anatomical junction of the vegetative and reproductive shoot. There, structural aspects of the tissue impede or prevent ice from advancing from the frozen stem into the pedicel of the reproductive shoot. Under the experimental conditions used in this study, ice nucleation initially occurred in the stem of the vegetative shoot at species-specific mean temperatures in the range of -4.7 to -5.8 °C. Reproductive shoots, however, remained supercooled and ice free down to a range of -7.2 to -18.2 °C or even below -22 °C, the lowest temperature applied in the study. This level of supercooling is sufficient to prevent freezing of reproductive structures at the lowest air

  2. Ice barriers promote supercooling and prevent frost injury in reproductive buds, flowers and fruits of alpine dwarf shrubs throughout the summer.

    PubMed

    Kuprian, Edith; Briceño, Verónica F; Wagner, Johanna; Neuner, Gilbert

    2014-10-01

    Over-wintering reproductive buds of many woody plants survive frost by supercooling. The bud tissues are isolated from acropetally advancing ice by the presence of ice barriers that restrict ice growth. Plants living in alpine environments also face the risk of ice formation in summer months. Little knowledge exists, how reproductive structures of woody alpine plants are protected from frost injury during episodic summer frosts. In order to address this question, frost resistance of three common dwarf shrubs, Calluna vulgaris, Empetrum hermaphroditum and Loiseleuria procumbens was measured and ice formation and propagation were monitored in twigs bearing reproductive shoots during various stages of reproductive development (bud, anthesis, and fruit) throughout the alpine summer. Results indicated that, in the investigated species, ice barriers were present at all reproductive stages, isolating the reproductive shoots from ice advancing from the subtending vegetative shoot. Additionally, in the reproductive stems ice nucleating agents that are active at warm, sub-zero temperatures, were absent. The ice barriers were 100% effective, with the exception of L. procumbens, where in 13% of the total observations, the ice barrier failed. The ice barriers were localized at the base of the pedicel, at the anatomical junction of the vegetative and reproductive shoot. There, structural aspects of the tissue impede or prevent ice from advancing from the frozen stem into the pedicel of the reproductive shoot. Under the experimental conditions used in this study, ice nucleation initially occurred in the stem of the vegetative shoot at species-specific mean temperatures in the range of -4.7 to -5.8 °C. Reproductive shoots, however, remained supercooled and ice free down to a range of -7.2 to -18.2 °C or even below -22 °C, the lowest temperature applied in the study. This level of supercooling is sufficient to prevent freezing of reproductive structures at the lowest air

  3. A Novel Cytochrome P450 Is Implicated in Brassinosteroid Biosynthesis via the Characterization of a Rice Dwarf Mutant, dwarf11, with Reduced Seed Length

    PubMed Central

    Tanabe, Sumiyo; Ashikari, Motoyuki; Fujioka, Shozo; Takatsuto, Suguru; Yoshida, Shigeo; Yano, Masahiro; Yoshimura, Atsushi; Kitano, Hidemi; Matsuoka, Makoto; Fujisawa, Yukiko; Kato, Hisaharu; Iwasaki, Yukimoto

    2005-01-01

    We have characterized a rice (Oryza sativa) dwarf mutant, dwarf11 (d11), that bears seeds of reduced length. To understand the mechanism by which seed length is regulated, the D11 gene was isolated by a map-based cloning method. The gene was found to encode a novel cytochrome P450 (CYP724B1), which showed homology to enzymes involved in brassinosteroid (BR) biosynthesis. The dwarf phenotype of d11 mutants was restored by the application of the brassinolide (BL). Compared with wild-type plants, the aberrant D11 mRNA accumulated at higher levels in d11 mutants and was dramatically reduced by treatment with BL, implying that the gene is feedback-regulated by BL. Precise determination of the defective step(s) in BR synthesis in d11 mutants proved intractable because of tissue specificity and the complex control of BR accumulation in plants. However, 6-deoxotyphasterol (6-DeoxoTY) and typhasterol (TY), but not any upstream intermediates before these compounds, effectively restored BR response in d11 mutants in a lamina joint bending assay. Multiple lines of evidence together suggest that the D11/CYP724B1 gene plays a role in BR synthesis and may be involved in the supply of 6-DeoxoTY and TY in the BR biosynthesis network in rice. PMID:15705958

  4. Distribution of three congeneric shrub species along an aridity gradient is related to seed germination and seedling emergence

    PubMed Central

    Lai, Liming; Tian, Yuan; Wang, Yongji; Zhao, Xuechun; Jiang, Lianhe; Baskin, Jerry M.; Baskin, Carol C.; Zheng, Yuanrun

    2015-01-01

    Environmental tolerance of a species has been shown to correlate positively with its geographical range. On the Ordos Plateau, three Caragana species are distributed sequentially along the precipitation gradient. We hypothesized that this geographical distribution pattern is related to environmental tolerances of the three Caragana species during seed germination and seedling emergence stages. To test this hypothesis, we examined seed germination under different temperature, light and water potentials, and monitored seedling emergence for seeds buried at eight sand depths and given different amounts of water. Seeds of C. korshinskii germinated to high percentages at 5 : 15 to 25 : 35 °C in both light and darkness, while those of C. intermedia and C. microphylla did so only at 15 : 25 and 25 : 35 °C, respectively. Nearly 30 % of the C. korshinskii seeds germinated at −1.4 MPa at 20 and 25 °C, while no seeds of the other two species did so. Under the same treatments, seedling emergence percentages of C. korshinskii were higher than those of the other two species. The rank order of tolerance to drought and sand burial of the three species is C. korshinskii > C. intermedia > C. microphylla. The amount of precipitation and sand burial depth appear to be the main selective forces responsible for the geographical distribution of these species. PMID:26139184

  5. Development and Practical Use of RT-PCR for Seed-transmitted Prune dwarf virus in Quarantine

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Siwon; Shin, Yong-Gil

    2014-01-01

    Among imported plants, seeds are the items that have many latent pathogens and are difficult to inspect. Also, they are the import and export items whose market is expected to expand. The biggest problem with seeds is viruses. Prune dwarf virus (PDV) is the virus that is commonly inspected in Prunus cerasifera, P. persica, P. armeniaca, P. mandshurica, P. cerasus, P. avium or P. serotina seeds. In this study, two RT-PCR primer sets, which can promptly and specifically diagnose plant quarantine seed-transmitted PDV, were developed; and nested PCR primers, where products amplify 739 and 673 nucleotides (nt), and an nested PCR-product, 305 nt, can be obtained as these products are amplified again, were developed. Also, a modified-positive control plasmid was developed, where the restriction enzyme XhoI, which can identify the contamination of samples from the control, was inserted. The method developed in this study has detected PDV in 18 cases since 2007, and is expected to continuously contribute to the plant quarantine in Korea. PMID:25289000

  6. Development and Practical Use of RT-PCR for Seed-transmitted Prune dwarf virus in Quarantine.

    PubMed

    Lee, Siwon; Shin, Yong-Gil

    2014-06-01

    Among imported plants, seeds are the items that have many latent pathogens and are difficult to inspect. Also, they are the import and export items whose market is expected to expand. The biggest problem with seeds is viruses. Prune dwarf virus (PDV) is the virus that is commonly inspected in Prunus cerasifera, P. persica, P. armeniaca, P. mandshurica, P. cerasus, P. avium or P. serotina seeds. In this study, two RT-PCR primer sets, which can promptly and specifically diagnose plant quarantine seed-transmitted PDV, were developed; and nested PCR primers, where products amplify 739 and 673 nucleotides (nt), and an nested PCR-product, 305 nt, can be obtained as these products are amplified again, were developed. Also, a modified-positive control plasmid was developed, where the restriction enzyme XhoI, which can identify the contamination of samples from the control, was inserted. The method developed in this study has detected PDV in 18 cases since 2007, and is expected to continuously contribute to the plant quarantine in Korea. PMID:25289000

  7. Shrub tundra snowmelt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pomeroy, J. W.; Bewley, D. S.; Essery, R. L. H.; Hedstrom, N. R.; Link, T.; Granger, R. J.; Sicart, J. E.; Ellis, C. R.; Janowicz, J. R.

    2006-03-01

    Observations of land surface and snowpack energetics and mass fluxes were made over arctic shrub tundra of varying canopy height and density using radiometers, eddy covariance flux measurements, and snow mass changes from snow surveys of depth and density. Over several years, snow accumulation in the shrubs was found to be consistently higher than in sparse tundra due to greater retention of snowfall by all shrubs and wind redistribution of snowfall to tall shrubs. Where snow accumulation was highest due to snow redistribution, shrubs often became buried by the end of winter. Three classes of shrub-snow interactions were observed: tall shrubs that were exposed over snow, tall shrubs that were bent over and buried by snow, and short shrubs buried by snow. Tall shrubs buried by snow underwent spring-up during melt. Though spring-up was episodic for a single shrub, over an area it was a progressive emergence from early to mid melt of vegetation that dramatically altered the radiative and aerodynamic properties of the surface. Short shrubs were exposed more rapidly once snow depth declined below shrub height, usually near the end of melt. Net radiation increased with increasing shrub due to the decreased reflectance of shortwave radiation overwhelming the increased longwave emission from relatively warm and dark shrubs. Net radiation to snow under shrubs was much smaller than that over shrubs, but was greater than that to snow with minimal shrub exposure, in this case the difference was due to downward longwave radiation from the canopy exceeding the effect of attenuated shortwave transmission through the canopy. Because of reduced turbulent transfer under shrub canopies and minimal water vapour contributions from the bare shrub branches, sublimation fluxes declined with increasing shrub exposure. In contrast, sensible heat fluxes to the shrub surface became more negative and those to the underlying snow surface more positive with increasing shrub exposure, because of

  8. A Statistical Analysis of SEEDS and Other High-contrast Exoplanet Surveys: Massive Planets or Low-mass Brown Dwarfs?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brandt, Timothy D.; McElwain, Michael W.; Turner, Edwin L.; Mede, Kyle; Spiegel, David S.; Kuzuhara, Masayuki; Schlieder, Joshua E.; Wisniewski, John P.; Abe, L.; Biller, B.; Brandner, W.; Carson, J.; Currie, T.; Egner, S.; Feldt, M.; Golota, T.; Goto, M.; Grady, C. A.; Guyon, O.; Hashimoto, J.; Hayano, Y.; Hayashi, M.; Hayashi, S.; Henning, T.; Hodapp, K. W.; Inutsuka, S.; Ishii, M.; Iye, M.; Janson, M.; Kandori, R.; Knapp, G. R.; Kudo, T.; Kusakabe, N.; Kwon, J.; Matsuo, T.; Miyama, S.; Morino, J.-I.; Moro-Martín, A.; Nishimura, T.; Pyo, T.-S.; Serabyn, E.; Suto, H.; Suzuki, R.; Takami, M.; Takato, N.; Terada, H.; Thalmann, C.; Tomono, D.; Watanabe, M.; Yamada, T.; Takami, H.; Usuda, T.; Tamura, M.

    2014-10-01

    We conduct a statistical analysis of a combined sample of direct imaging data, totalling nearly 250 stars. The stars cover a wide range of ages and spectral types, and include five detections (κ And b, two ~60 M J brown dwarf companions in the Pleiades, PZ Tel B, and CD-35 2722B). For some analyses we add a currently unpublished set of SEEDS observations, including the detections GJ 504b and GJ 758B. We conduct a uniform, Bayesian analysis of all stellar ages using both membership in a kinematic moving group and activity/rotation age indicators. We then present a new statistical method for computing the likelihood of a substellar distribution function. By performing most of the integrals analytically, we achieve an enormous speedup over brute-force Monte Carlo. We use this method to place upper limits on the maximum semimajor axis of the distribution function derived from radial-velocity planets, finding model-dependent values of ~30-100 AU. Finally, we model the entire substellar sample, from massive brown dwarfs to a theoretically motivated cutoff at ~5 M J, with a single power-law distribution. We find that p(M, a)vpropM -0.65 ± 0.60 a -0.85 ± 0.39 (1σ errors) provides an adequate fit to our data, with 1.0%-3.1% (68% confidence) of stars hosting 5-70 M J companions between 10 and 100 AU. This suggests that many of the directly imaged exoplanets known, including most (if not all) of the low-mass companions in our sample, formed by fragmentation in a cloud or disk, and represent the low-mass tail of the brown dwarfs. Based on data collected at Subaru Telescope, which is operated by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan.

  9. A statistical analysis of seeds and other high-contrast exoplanet surveys: massive planets or low-mass brown dwarfs?

    SciTech Connect

    Brandt, Timothy D.; Spiegel, David S.; McElwain, Michael W.; Grady, C. A.; Turner, Edwin L.; Mede, Kyle; Kuzuhara, Masayuki; Schlieder, Joshua E.; Brandner, W.; Feldt, M.; Wisniewski, John P.; Abe, L.; Biller, B.; Carson, J.; Currie, T.; Egner, S.; Golota, T.; Guyon, O.; Goto, M.; Hashimoto, J.; and others

    2014-10-20

    We conduct a statistical analysis of a combined sample of direct imaging data, totalling nearly 250 stars. The stars cover a wide range of ages and spectral types, and include five detections (κ And b, two ∼60 M {sub J} brown dwarf companions in the Pleiades, PZ Tel B, and CD–35 2722B). For some analyses we add a currently unpublished set of SEEDS observations, including the detections GJ 504b and GJ 758B. We conduct a uniform, Bayesian analysis of all stellar ages using both membership in a kinematic moving group and activity/rotation age indicators. We then present a new statistical method for computing the likelihood of a substellar distribution function. By performing most of the integrals analytically, we achieve an enormous speedup over brute-force Monte Carlo. We use this method to place upper limits on the maximum semimajor axis of the distribution function derived from radial-velocity planets, finding model-dependent values of ∼30-100 AU. Finally, we model the entire substellar sample, from massive brown dwarfs to a theoretically motivated cutoff at ∼5 M {sub J}, with a single power-law distribution. We find that p(M, a)∝M {sup –0.65} {sup ±} {sup 0.60} a {sup –0.85} {sup ±} {sup 0.39} (1σ errors) provides an adequate fit to our data, with 1.0%-3.1% (68% confidence) of stars hosting 5-70 M {sub J} companions between 10 and 100 AU. This suggests that many of the directly imaged exoplanets known, including most (if not all) of the low-mass companions in our sample, formed by fragmentation in a cloud or disk, and represent the low-mass tail of the brown dwarfs.

  10. Expansion of dwarf birch in subarctic Québec: linking radial growth to climate warming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ropars, P.; Boudreau, S.

    2010-12-01

    In subarctic regions of North America, shrub species have been shown to increase in abundance in response to recent climate change. At the forest-tundra ecotone in northern Québec, the shrub layer is dominated by dwarf birch (Betula glandulosa Michx.), a deciduous species that can reproduce sexually via the production of viable seeds or asexually through clonal growth. Its morphological plasticity is often mentioned to explain its high sensibility to experimental warming. In this study, our objectives were to evaluate if recent warming recorded in subarctic Québec has resulted in dwarf birch expansion and densification in the last few decades and in an increase in its radial growth. This study took place in the Boniface river region, Nunavik (57° 45’ N, 76° 20’ W). In order to quantify the change in birch cover, we compared two sets of orthorectified aerial photographs (July 1957 and July 2008; resolution 1.0m and 0.5m, respectively). Fifty sites located on well-drained substrate ranging from 8 000 and 14 400 m2 have been selected. For each site, a 16m2-cell grid was superimposed on both orthoimages and shrub cover class was estimated in each cells. Preliminary results suggest that shrub cover increase ranges from 17.02 to 54.03%. No site showed a decrease of mean shrub cover between 1957 and 2008. On the other hand, we have found a decline in the percentage of cells having no shrub cover, from 46% in 1957 to 17% in 2008. An exhaustive ground truthing exercise confirmed that Betula glandulosa was the major shrub species responsible for the increase in shrub cover in the studied sites. The rapid expansion and densification of the shrub layer could have important ecological consequences in the region. Dense thickets of dwarf birch could actually interfere with future tree establishment and limit the progression of the latitudinal treeline in the short term. The dendrochronological analysis is based on 360 individuals of dwarf birch (40 individuals taken from

  11. Flowering phenology influences seed production and outcrossing rate in populations of an alpine snowbed shrub, Phyllodoce aleutica: effects of pollinators and self-incompatibility

    PubMed Central

    Kameyama, Yoshiaki; Kudo, Gaku

    2009-01-01

    Background and Aims Because of differences in snowmelt time, the reproductive phenologies of alpine plants are highly variable among local populations, and there is large variation in seed set across populations. Temporal variation in pollinator availability during the season may be a major factor affecting not only seed production but also outcrossing rate of alpine plants. Methods Among local populations of Phyllodoce aleutica that experience different snowmelt regimes, flowering phenology, pollinator availability, seed-set rate, and outcrossing rate were compared with reference to the mating system (self-compatibility or heterospecific compatibility with a co-occurring congeneric species). Key Results Flowering occurred sequentially among populations reflecting snowmelt time from mid-July to late August. The visit frequency of bumble-bees increased substantially in late July when workers appeared. Both seed set and outcrossing rate increased as flowering season progressed. Although flowers were self-compatible and heterospecific compatible, the mixed-pollination experiment revealed that fertilization with conspecific, outcrossing pollen took priority over selfing and hybridization, indicating a cryptic self-incompatibility. In early snowmelt populations, seed production was pollen-limited and autogamous selfing was common. However, genetic analyses revealed that selfed progenies did not contribute to the maintenance of populations due to late-acting inbreeding depression. Conclusions Large variations in seed-set and outcrossing rates among populations were caused by the timing of pollinator availability during the season and the cryptic self-incompatibility of this species. Despite the intensive pollen limitation in part of the early season, reproductive assurance by autogamous selfing was not evident. Under fluctuating conditions of pollinator availability and flowering structures, P. aleutica maintained the genetic composition by conspecific outcrossing. PMID

  12. Yield and seed oil content response of dwarf, rapid-cycling Brassica to nitrogen treatments, planting density, and carbon dioxide enrichment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frick, J.; Nielsen, S. S.; Mitchell, C. A.

    1994-01-01

    Effects of N level (15 to 30 mM), time of N increase (14 to 28 days after planting), and planting density (1163 to 2093 plants/m2) were determined for crop yield responses of dwarf, rapid-cycling brassica (Brassica napus L., CrGC 5-2, Genome: ACaacc). Crops were grown in solid-matrix hydroponic systems and under controlled-environment conditions, including nonsupplemented (ambient) or elevated CO2 concentrations (998 +/- 12 micromoles mol-1). The highest seed yield rate obtained (4.4 g m-2 day-1) occurred with the lowest N level (15 mM) applied at the latest treatment time (day 28). In all trials, CO2 enrichment reduced seed yield rate and harvest index by delaying the onset of flowering and senescence and stimulating vegetative shoot growth. The highest shoot biomass accumulation rate (55.5 g m-2 day-1) occurred with the highest N level (30 mM) applied at the earliest time (day 14). Seed oil content was not significantly affected by CO2 enrichment. Maximum seed oil content (30% to 34%, dry weight basis) was obtained using the lowest N level (15 mM) initiated at the latest treatment time (day 28). In general, an increase in seed oil content was accompanied by a decrease in seed protein. Seed carbohydrate, moisture, and ash contents did not vary significantly in response to experimental treatments. Effects of N level and time of N increase were consistently significant for most crop responses. Planting density was significant only under elevated CO2 conditions.

  13. Members of the gibberellin receptor gene family GID1 (GIBBERELLIN INSENSITIVE DWARF1) play distinct roles during Lepidium sativum and Arabidopsis thaliana seed germination

    PubMed Central

    Voegele, Antje; Linkies, Ada; Müller, Kerstin; Leubner-Metzger, Gerhard

    2011-01-01

    Germination of endospermic seeds is partly regulated by the micropylar endosperm, which acts as constraint to radicle protrusion. Gibberellin (GA) signalling pathways control coat-dormancy release, endosperm weakening, and organ expansion during seed germination. Three GIBBERELLIN INSENSITIVE DWARF1 (GID1) GA receptors are known in Arabidopsis thaliana: GID1a, GID1b, and GID1c. Molecular phylogenetic analysis of angiosperm GID1s reveals that they cluster into two eudicot (GID1ac, GID1b) groups and one monocot group. Eudicots have at least one gene from each of the two groups, indicating that the different GID1 receptors fulfil distinct roles during plant development. A comparative Brassicaceae approach was used, in which gid1 mutant and whole-seed transcript analyses in Arabidopsis were combined with seed-tissue-specific analyses of its close relative Lepidium sativum (garden cress), for which three GID1 orthologues were cloned. GA signalling via the GID1ac receptors is required for Arabidopsis seed germination, GID1b cannot compensate for the impaired germination of the gid1agid1c mutant. Transcript expression patterns differed temporarily, spatially, and hormonally, with GID1b being distinct from GID1ac in both species. Endosperm weakening is mediated, at least in part, through GA-induced genes encoding cell-wall-modifying proteins. A suppression subtraction hybridization (SSH) cDNA library enriched for sequences that are highly expressed during early germination in the micropylar endosperm contained expansins and xyloglucan endo-transglycosylases/hydrolases (XTHs). Their transcript expression patterns in both species strongly suggest that they are regulated by distinct GID1-mediated GA signalling pathways. The GID1ac and GID1b pathways seem to fulfil distinct regulatory roles during Brassicaceae seed germination and seem to control their downstream targets distinctly. PMID:21778177

  14. The SEEDS High-Contrast Imaging Survey: Exoplanet and Brown Dwarf Survey for Nearby Young Stars Dated with Gyrochronology and Activity Age Indicators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuzuhara, Masayuki; Tamura, Motohide; Helminiak, Kris; Mede, Kyle; Brandt, Timothy; Janson, Markus; Kandori, Ryo; Kudo, Tomoyuki; Kusakabe, Nobuhiko; Hashimoto, Jun

    2015-12-01

    The SEEDS campaign has successfully discovered and characterized exoplanets, brown dwarfs, and circumstellar disks since it began in 2009, via the direct imaging technique. The survey has targeted nearby young stars, as well as stars associated to star-forming regions, the Pleiades open cluster, moving groups, and debris disks. We selected the nearby young stars that have been dated with age indicators based on stellar rotation periods (i.e., gyrochronology) and chromoshperic/coronal activities. Of these, nearly 40 were observed, with ages mainly between 100 and 1000 Myr and distances less than 40 pc. Our observations typically attain the contrast of ~6 x 10-6 at 1'' and better than ~1 x 10-6 beyond 2'', enabling us to detect a planetary-mass companion even around such old stars. Indeed, the SEEDS team reported the discovery that the nearby Sun-like star GJ 504 hosts a Jovian companion GJ 504b, which has a mass of 3-8.5 Jupiter masses that is inferred according to the hot-start cooling models and our estimated system age of 100-510 Myr. The remaining observations out of the selected ~40 stars have resulted in no detection of additional planets or brown dwarf companions. Meanwhile, we have newly imaged a low-mass stellar companion orbiting the G-type star HIP 10321, for which the presence of companion was previously announced via radial velocity technique. The astrometry and radial velocity measurements are simultaneously analyzed to determine the orbit, providing constraints on the dynamical mass of both objects and stellar evolution models. Here we summarize our direct imaging observations for the nearby young stars dated with gyrochrolorogy and activity age indicators. Furthermore, we report the analysis for the HIP 10321 system with the imaged low-mass companion.

  15. Nutrients intake, performance and nitrogen balance of West African dwarf sheep fed graded levels of toasted Enterolobium cyclocarpum seeds as supplement to Panicum maximum.

    PubMed

    Idowu, O J; Arigbede, O M; Dele, P A; Olanite, J A; Adelusi, O O; Ojo, V O A; Sunmola, A S

    2013-12-01

    A study was conducted to assess the nutritive value of Enterolobium cyclocarpum seeds as supplementary feed for ruminant animals during the dry season when grasses are either not available or of low quality. Matured fruits of E. cyclocarpum were collected, toasted, peeled and then used for the trial. Thirty two West African Dwarf (WAD) sheep aged between 12 +/- 2 months with an average body weight of 10 +/- 2 kg were used in assessing the nutritive value of graded levels of toasted Enterolobium cyclocarpum seed in a concentrate diets as supplement to Panicum maximum basal diet. The percent compositions of the experimental diets were toasted E. cyclocarpum seeds at various levels of inclusion (0, 10, 20 and 30%) for diets 1, 2, 3 and 4. respectively. The diets (1-4) were consecutively fed to each animal at 50 g kg(-1) b.wt. for 12 weeks in a completely randomized design. Parameters taken were weekly body weights, daily feed intake, nutrient utilization and nitrogen balance status for each animal. Diet 2 had the highest significant (p < 0.05) nutrients intake being 871.88, 137.13, 147.59, 33.26 and 69.86 g day(-1) for DM, CP, CF, EE and ASH respectively. The Dry Matter Digestibility (DMD) coefficients decreased significantly (p < 0.05) with increased inclusion levels of toasted E. cyclocarpum seeds supplementation. Sheep fed diet 4 had the lowest feed conversion ratio (8.61) and the highest daily average gain of 58.93 g. However the animals fed Diet 2 had the highest nitrogen retension and converted their feed to flesh.

  16. Sowing the seeds of massive black holes in small galaxies: Young clusters as the building blocks of ultracompact dwarf galaxies

    SciTech Connect

    Amaro-Seoane, Pau; Konstantinidis, Symeon; Freitag, Marc Dewi; Coleman Miller, M.; Rasio, Frederic A. E-mail: simos@ari.uni-heidelberg.de E-mail: miller@astro.umd.edu

    2014-02-20

    Interacting galaxies often have complexes of hundreds of young stellar clusters of individual masses ∼10{sup 4}-10{sup 6} M {sub ☉} in regions that are a few hundred parsecs across. These cluster complexes interact dynamically, and their coalescence is a candidate for the origin of some ultracompact dwarf galaxies. Individual clusters with short relaxation times are candidates for the production of intermediate-mass black holes of a few hundred solar masses, via runaway stellar collisions prior to the first supernovae in a cluster. It is therefore possible that a cluster complex hosts multiple intermediate-mass black holes that may be ejected from their individual clusters due to mergers or binary processes, but bound to the complex as a whole. Here we explore the dynamical interaction between initially free-flying massive black holes and clusters in an evolving cluster complex. We find that, after hitting some clusters, it is plausible that the massive black hole will be captured in an ultracompact dwarf forming near the center of the complex. In the process, the hole typically triggers electromagnetic flares via stellar disruptions, and is also likely to be a prominent source of gravitational radiation for the advanced ground-based detectors LIGO and VIRGO. We also discuss other implications of this scenario, notably that the central black hole could be considerably larger than expected in other formation scenarios for ultracompact dwarfs.

  17. Shrub control by browsing: Targeting adult plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    da Silveira Pontes, Laíse; Magda, Danièle; Gleizes, Benoît; Agreil, Cyril

    2016-01-01

    Reconciling the well known benefits of shrubs for forage with environmental goals, whilst preventing their dominance, is a major challenge in rangeland management. Browsing may be an economical solution for shrubby rangelands as herbivore browsing has been shown to control juvenile shrub growth. Less convincing results have been obtained for adult plants, and long-term experiments are required to investigate the cumulative effects on adult plants. We therefore assessed the impact of different levels of browsing intensity on key demographic parameters for a major dominant shrub species (broom, Cytisus scoparius), focusing on adult plants. We assigned individual broom plants to one of three age classes: 3-5 years (young adults); 5-7 years (adults); and 7-9 years (mature adults). These plants were then left untouched or had 50% or 90% of their total edible stem biomass removed in simulated low-intensity and high-intensity browsing treatments, respectively. Morphological, survival and fecundity data were collected over a period of four years. Browsing affected the morphology of individual plants, promoting changes in subsequent regrowth, and decreasing seed production. The heavily browsed plants were 17% shorter, 32% narrower, and their twigs were 28% shorter. Light browsing seemed to control the growth of young adult plants more effectively than that of older plants. Reproductive output was considerably lower than for control plants after light browsing, and almost 100% lower after heavy browsing. High-intensity browsing had a major effect on survival causing high levels of plant mortality. We conclude that suitable browsing practices could be used to modify adult shrub demography in the management of shrub dominance and forage value.

  18. Contrasting radiation and soil heat fluxes in Arctic shrub and wet sedge tundra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Juszak, Inge; Eugster, Werner; Heijmans, Monique M. P. D.; Schaepman-Strub, Gabriela

    2016-07-01

    Vegetation changes, such as shrub encroachment and wetland expansion, have been observed in many Arctic tundra regions. These changes feed back to permafrost and climate. Permafrost can be protected by soil shading through vegetation as it reduces the amount of solar energy available for thawing. Regional climate can be affected by a reduction in surface albedo as more energy is available for atmospheric and soil heating. Here, we compared the shortwave radiation budget of two common Arctic tundra vegetation types dominated by dwarf shrubs (Betula nana) and wet sedges (Eriophorum angustifolium) in North-East Siberia. We measured time series of the shortwave and longwave radiation budget above the canopy and transmitted radiation below the canopy. Additionally, we quantified soil temperature and heat flux as well as active layer thickness. The mean growing season albedo of dwarf shrubs was 0.15 ± 0.01, for sedges it was higher (0.17 ± 0.02). Dwarf shrub transmittance was 0.36 ± 0.07 on average, and sedge transmittance was 0.28 ± 0.08. The standing dead leaves contributed strongly to the soil shading of wet sedges. Despite a lower albedo and less soil shading, the soil below dwarf shrubs conducted less heat resulting in a 17 cm shallower active layer as compared to sedges. This result was supported by additional, spatially distributed measurements of both vegetation types. Clouds were a major influencing factor for albedo and transmittance, particularly in sedge vegetation. Cloud cover reduced the albedo by 0.01 in dwarf shrubs and by 0.03 in sedges, while transmittance was increased by 0.08 and 0.10 in dwarf shrubs and sedges, respectively. Our results suggest that the observed deeper active layer below wet sedges is not primarily a result of the summer canopy radiation budget. Soil properties, such as soil albedo, moisture, and thermal conductivity, may be more influential, at least in our comparison between dwarf shrub vegetation on relatively dry patches and

  19. Drivers of tall shrub proliferation adjacent to the Dempster Highway, Northwest Territories, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cameron, Emily A.; Lantz, Trevor C.

    2016-04-01

    Arctic ecosystems are undergoing rapid changes as a result of climate warming and more frequent disturbances. Disturbances can have particularly large effects on high-latitude ecosystems when ecosystem structure and function is controlled by strong feedbacks between soil conditions, vegetation, and ground thermal regime. In this study we investigated the impact of road construction and maintenance on vegetation structure and biomass along the Dempster Highway where it crosses the Peel Plateau in the Northwest Territories. To explore drivers of tall shrub proliferation and to quantify shrub proliferation in this region of continuous permafrost, greyscale air photos (1975) and Quickbird satellite imagery (2008) were used to map landcover change within two 0.6 km2 belts next to the road and two 0.6 km2 belts 500 m away from the road. Maps showing areas where: 1) tall shrubs expanded, and 2) dwarf shrub tundra resisted invasion were then used to select field sites where a suite of biophysical variables were measured. Rapid tall shrub proliferation and greater biomass adjacent to the road indicate that disturbance can facilitate vegetation change in tundra environments. Our field data also suggests that increased shrub proliferation adjacent to the road was caused by greater soil moisture. Tall shrub proliferation adjacent to the road occurred at lower elevation sites characterized by wetter soils with thicker organic layers. Areas that resisted tall shrub encroachment were located at higher elevations and had drier soils with thin organic layers. Our observations also support previous work illustrating that tall shrub expansion next to the highway promotes strong positive feedbacks to ongoing shrub growth and proliferation.

  20. Ecological benefits of myrmecochory for the endangered chaparral shrub Fremontodendron decumbens (Sterculiaceae).

    PubMed

    Boyd, R S

    2001-02-01

    Fremontodendron decumbens grows in a single county in central California, USA. Prior research showed that its elaiosome-bearing seeds are dispersed by the harvester ant Messor andrei. I tested several hypotheses regarding the positive role of ant-mediated dispersal to F. decumbens: (1) Does ant-mediated seed dispersal facilitate seed escape from rodent predation?; (2) Does ant processing of seeds stimulate germination?; (3) Are ant middens more suitable microsites for seed or seedling survival in unburned chaparral areas?; and (4) Do survival benefits of dispersal occur post-fire in the form of differences in seedling survival probabilities and, if so, why? Results of tests of each hypothesis were: (1) similar percentages of seeds placed on ant middens and under F. decumbens shrub canopies were destroyed by rodents, but seeds from which elaiosomes had been removed were more likely to escape rodent predation; (2) seeds processed by ants did not germinate more readily than seeds removed directly from shrub branches; (3) seedling predation was a major cause of mortality in unburned chaparral on both ant middens and under shrubs, and overall seedling survival did not differ between the two microsites; (4) post-burn seedling survival was significantly greater for seedlings dispersed away from F. decumbens shrub canopies, because dispersed seedlings were both less likely to be killed by predators and more likely to be growing in a gap created by the fire-caused death of an established shrub. I concluded that the major ecological benefit to F. decumbens of ant-mediated seed dispersal was elevated post-fire seedling survival resulting from enhanced escape by dispersed seedlings from both predation and competition.

  1. Ecological benefits of myrmecochory for the endangered chaparral shrub Fremontodendron decumbens (Sterculiaceae).

    PubMed

    Boyd, R S

    2001-02-01

    Fremontodendron decumbens grows in a single county in central California, USA. Prior research showed that its elaiosome-bearing seeds are dispersed by the harvester ant Messor andrei. I tested several hypotheses regarding the positive role of ant-mediated dispersal to F. decumbens: (1) Does ant-mediated seed dispersal facilitate seed escape from rodent predation?; (2) Does ant processing of seeds stimulate germination?; (3) Are ant middens more suitable microsites for seed or seedling survival in unburned chaparral areas?; and (4) Do survival benefits of dispersal occur post-fire in the form of differences in seedling survival probabilities and, if so, why? Results of tests of each hypothesis were: (1) similar percentages of seeds placed on ant middens and under F. decumbens shrub canopies were destroyed by rodents, but seeds from which elaiosomes had been removed were more likely to escape rodent predation; (2) seeds processed by ants did not germinate more readily than seeds removed directly from shrub branches; (3) seedling predation was a major cause of mortality in unburned chaparral on both ant middens and under shrubs, and overall seedling survival did not differ between the two microsites; (4) post-burn seedling survival was significantly greater for seedlings dispersed away from F. decumbens shrub canopies, because dispersed seedlings were both less likely to be killed by predators and more likely to be growing in a gap created by the fire-caused death of an established shrub. I concluded that the major ecological benefit to F. decumbens of ant-mediated seed dispersal was elevated post-fire seedling survival resulting from enhanced escape by dispersed seedlings from both predation and competition. PMID:11222246

  2. Mechanisms of shrub encroachment into Northern Chihuahuan Desert grasslands and impacts of climate change investigated using a cellular automata model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caracciolo, Domenico; Istanbulluoglu, Erkan; Noto, Leonardo Valerio; Collins, Scott L.

    2016-05-01

    Arid and semiarid grasslands of southwestern North America have changed dramatically over the last 150 years as a result of woody plant encroachment. Overgrazing, reduced fire frequency, and climate change are known drivers of woody plant encroachment into grasslands. In this study, relatively simple algorithms for encroachment factors (i.e., grazing, grassland fires, and seed dispersal by grazers) are proposed and implemented in the ecohydrological Cellular-Automata Tree Grass Shrub Simulator (CATGraSS). CATGraSS is used in a 7.3 km2 rectangular domain located in central New Mexico along a zone of grassland to shrubland transition, where shrub encroachment is currently active. CATGraSS is calibrated and used to investigate the relative contributions of grazing, fire frequency, seed dispersal by herbivores and climate change on shrub abundance over a 150-year period of historical shrub encroachment. The impact of future climate change is examined using a model output that realistically represents current vegetation cover as initial condition, in a series of stochastic CATGraSS future climate simulations. Model simulations are found to be highly sensitive to the initial distribution of shrub cover. Encroachment factors more actively lead to shrub propagation within the domain when the model starts with randomly distributed individual shrubs. However, when shrubs are naturally evolved into clusters, the model response to encroachment factors is muted unless the effect of seed dispersal by herbivores is amplified. The relative contribution of different drivers on modeled shrub encroachment varied based on the initial shrub cover condition used in the model. When historical weather data is used, CATGraSS predicted loss of shrub and grass cover during the 1950 s drought. While future climate change is found to amplify shrub encroachment (∼13% more shrub cover by 2100), grazing remains the dominant factor promoting shrub encroachment. When we modeled future climate

  3. Shrub patterns and surface hydrological fluxes in a semiarid hillslope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Svoray, Tal; Sela, Shai; Assouline, Shmuel

    2010-05-01

    Climate-vegetation interactions and feedbacks are the subject of many studies and recently, the rainfall-plant-soil interplay in the hillslope scale is in the foci of ecohydrology. As most of the models in this scale rely on synthetic environments, there is a need for studies that use remotely sensed and in-situ data to examine the effect of hillslope hydrological processes on ecosystem functioning and plant population spread in a more realistic manner. A major problem is the difficulty encountered in simulating water budget and measuring vegetation at the individual level. In this research, a typical hillslope was chosen offering variations in slope decline and orientation, soil depth and vegetation cover, at the LTER Lehavim site in the center of Israel (31020' N, 34045' E). The annual rainfall is 290 mm, the soils are brown lithosols and arid brown loess and the dominant rock formations are Eocenean limestone and chalk with patches of calcrete. The vegetation is characterized by scattered dwarf shrubs (dominant species Sarcopoterium spinosum) and patches of herbaceous vegetation, mostly annuals, are spread between rocks and dwarf shrubs. Eight areal photographs of the slope, between the years 1978-2005, were acquired, georeferenced and shrub cover was estimated based on supervised classification of the airphotos. An extensive spatial database of soil hydraulic and environmental parameters (e.g. slope, radiation, bulk density, soil depth) was measured in the field and interpolated to continuous maps using geostatistical techniques and physically-based modeling. This spatio-temporal database was used to characterize 1187 spatial cells serving as an input to a numeric hydrological model (Hydrus 1D) solving the flow equations to predict soil water content at the single storm and seasonal scales. The model was verified by sampling soil moisture at 63 random locations at the research site, during three consecutive storms in the 2008-09 rainy seasons. The results show

  4. Dwarf novae

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ladous, Constanze

    1993-01-01

    Dwarf novae are defined on grounds of their semi-regular brightness variations of some two to five magnitudes on time scales of typically 10 to 100 days. Historically several different classification schemes have been used. Today, dwarf novae are divided into three sub-classes: the U Geminorum stars, the SU Ursae Majoris stars, and the Z Camelopardalis stars. Outbursts of dwarf novae occur at semi-periodic intervals of time, typically every 10 to 100 days; amplitudes range from typically 2 to 5 mag. Within certain limits values are characteristic for each object. Relations between the outburst amplitude, or the total energy released during outburst, and the recurrence time have been found, as well as relations between the orbital period and the outburst decay time, the absolute magnitude during outburst maximum, and the widths of long and short outbursts, respectively. Some dwarf novae are known to have suspended their normal outburst activity altogether for a while. They later resumed it without having undergone any observable changes. The optical colors of dwarf novae all are quite similar during outburst, considerably bluer than during the quiescent state. During the outburst cycle, characteristic loops in the two color diagram are performed. At a time resolution on the order of minutes, strictly periodic photometric changes due to orbital motion become visible in the light curves of dwarf novae. These are characteristic for each system. Remarkably little is known about orbital variations during the course of an outburst. On time-scales of minutes and seconds, further more or less periodic types of variability are seen in dwarf novae. Appreciable flux is emitted by dwarf novae at all wavelengths from the X-rays to the longest IR wavelengths, and in some cases even in the radio. Most dwarf novae exhibit strong emission line spectra in the optical and UV during quiescence, although some have only very weak emissions in the optical and/or weak absorptions at UV

  5. Will greater shrub abundance greatly impact tundra surface-atmosphere exchanges of energy and carbon?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Humphreys, E.; Lafleur, P.

    2015-12-01

    Increasing deciduous shrub abundance, productivity, and range in the Arctic comes with the potential for both negative and positive feedbacks to the climate system. This study presents six seasons of eddy covariance measurements of carbon dioxide (CO2) and latent and sensible heat fluxes along a shrub gradient in Canada's Low Arctic. Three flux tower sites with 17, 45, and 64% dwarf birch cover were established within a few kilometers of each other to investigate differences in microclimate, energy and carbon exchanges. As expected, there was greater winter snow depth but less summer soil thaw with greater shrub cover. However, snowmelt timing and speed were usually similar among sites. Despite a reduction in albedo in spring and greater leaf area through summer, latent heat fluxes were consistently lower with greater shrub cover. Offset by small differences in sensible heat fluxes, total seasonal atmospheric heating (combined sensible and latent heat fluxes) was similar among sites. We anticipated greater net uptake of CO2 through the growing season with greater shrub cover. However, that was only the case in some years. There was much more week-to-week and year-to-year variability in CO2 fluxes at the shrubbiest site suggesting photosynthesis and respiration processes were more sensitive to weather variations. Shrub abundance does impact tundra surface-atmosphere exchanges of energy and carbon but these observations also highlight the complexity involved in predicting the net climate feedback effect of current and future Arctic vegetation change.

  6. Canopy storage capacity of xerophytic shrubs in Northwestern China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Xin-ping; Zhang, Ya-feng; Hu, Rui; Pan, Yan-xia; Berndtsson, Ronny

    2012-08-01

    SummaryThe capacity of shrub canopy water storage is a key factor in controlling the rainfall interception. Thus, it affects a variety of hydrological processes in water-limited arid desert ecosystems. Vast areas of revegetated desert ecosystems in Northwestern China are occupied by shrub and dwarf shrub communities. Yet, data are still scarce regarding their rainwater storage capacity. In this study, simulated rainfall tests were conducted in controlled conditions for three dominant xerophytic shrub types in the arid Tengger Desert. Eight rainfall intensities varying from 1.15 to 11.53 mm h-1 were used to determine the canopy water storage capacity. The simulated rainfall intensities were selected according to the long-term rainfall records in the study area. The results indicate that canopy storage capacity (expressed in water storage per leaf area, canopy projection area, biomass, and volume of shrub respectively) increased exponentially with increase in rainfall intensity for the selected shrubs. Linear relationships were found between canopy storage capacity and leaf area (LA) or leaf area index (LAI), although there was a striking difference in correlation between storage capacity and LA or LAI of Artemisia ordosica compared to Caragana korshinskii and Hedysarum scoparium. This is a result of differences in biometric characteristics, especially canopy morphology between the shrub species. Pearson correlation coefficient indicated that LA and dry biomass are better predictors as compared to canopy projection area and volume of samples for precise estimation of canopy water storage capacity. In terms of unit leaf area, mean storage capacity was 0.39 mm (range of 0.24-0.53 mm), 0.43 mm (range of 0.28-0.60 mm), and 0.61 mm (range of 0.29-0.89 mm) for C. korshinskii, H. scoparium, and A. ordosica, respectively. Correspondingly, divided per unit dry biomass, mean storage capacity was 0.51 g g-1 (range of 0.30-0.70 g g-1), 0.41 g g-1 (range of 0.26-0.57 g g-1), and

  7. Tall shrub and tree expansion in Siberian tundra ecotones since the 1960s.

    PubMed

    Frost, Gerald V; Epstein, Howard E

    2014-04-01

    Circumpolar expansion of tall shrubs and trees into Arctic tundra is widely thought to be occurring as a result of recent climate warming, but little quantitative evidence exists for northern Siberia, which encompasses the world's largest forest-tundra ecotonal belt. We quantified changes in tall shrub and tree canopy cover in 11, widely distributed Siberian ecotonal landscapes by comparing very high-resolution photography from the Cold War-era 'Gambit' and 'Corona' satellite surveillance systems (1965-1969) with modern imagery. We also analyzed within-landscape patterns of vegetation change to evaluate the susceptibility of different landscape components to tall shrub and tree increase. The total cover of tall shrubs and trees increased in nine of 11 ecotones. In northwest Siberia, alder (Alnus) shrubland cover increased 5.3-25.9% in five ecotones. In Taymyr and Yakutia, larch (Larix) cover increased 3.0-6.7% within three ecotones, but declined 16.8% at a fourth ecotone due to thaw of ice-rich permafrost. In Chukotka, the total cover of alder and dwarf pine (Pinus) increased 6.1% within one ecotone and was little changed at a second ecotone. Within most landscapes, shrub and tree increase was linked to specific geomorphic settings, especially those with active disturbance regimes such as permafrost patterned-ground, floodplains, and colluvial hillslopes. Mean summer temperatures increased at most ecotones since the mid-1960s, but rates of shrub and tree canopy cover expansion were not strongly correlated with temperature trends and were better correlated with mean annual precipitation. We conclude that shrub and tree cover is increasing in tundra ecotones across most of northern Siberia, but rates of increase vary widely regionally and at the landscape scale. Our results indicate that extensive changes can occur within decades in moist, shrub-dominated ecotones, as in northwest Siberia, while changes are likely to occur much more slowly in the highly continental

  8. Tall shrub and tree expansion in Siberian tundra ecotones since the 1960s.

    PubMed

    Frost, Gerald V; Epstein, Howard E

    2014-04-01

    Circumpolar expansion of tall shrubs and trees into Arctic tundra is widely thought to be occurring as a result of recent climate warming, but little quantitative evidence exists for northern Siberia, which encompasses the world's largest forest-tundra ecotonal belt. We quantified changes in tall shrub and tree canopy cover in 11, widely distributed Siberian ecotonal landscapes by comparing very high-resolution photography from the Cold War-era 'Gambit' and 'Corona' satellite surveillance systems (1965-1969) with modern imagery. We also analyzed within-landscape patterns of vegetation change to evaluate the susceptibility of different landscape components to tall shrub and tree increase. The total cover of tall shrubs and trees increased in nine of 11 ecotones. In northwest Siberia, alder (Alnus) shrubland cover increased 5.3-25.9% in five ecotones. In Taymyr and Yakutia, larch (Larix) cover increased 3.0-6.7% within three ecotones, but declined 16.8% at a fourth ecotone due to thaw of ice-rich permafrost. In Chukotka, the total cover of alder and dwarf pine (Pinus) increased 6.1% within one ecotone and was little changed at a second ecotone. Within most landscapes, shrub and tree increase was linked to specific geomorphic settings, especially those with active disturbance regimes such as permafrost patterned-ground, floodplains, and colluvial hillslopes. Mean summer temperatures increased at most ecotones since the mid-1960s, but rates of shrub and tree canopy cover expansion were not strongly correlated with temperature trends and were better correlated with mean annual precipitation. We conclude that shrub and tree cover is increasing in tundra ecotones across most of northern Siberia, but rates of increase vary widely regionally and at the landscape scale. Our results indicate that extensive changes can occur within decades in moist, shrub-dominated ecotones, as in northwest Siberia, while changes are likely to occur much more slowly in the highly continental

  9. Ecosystem response to removal of exotic riparian shrubs and a transition to upland vegetation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reynolds, Lindsay V.; Cooper, David J.

    2011-01-01

    Understanding plant community change over time is essential for managing important ecosystems such as riparian areas. This study analyzed historic vegetation using soil seed banks and the effects of riparian shrub removal treatments and channel incision on ecosystem and plant community dynamics in Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona. We focused on how seeds, nutrients, and ground water influence the floristic composition of post-treatment vegetation and addressed three questions: (1) How does pre-treatment soil seed bank composition reflect post-treatment vegetation composition? (2) How does shrub removal affect post-treatment riparian vegetation composition, seed rain inputs, and ground water dynamics? and (3) Is available soil nitrogen increased near dead Russian olive plants following removal and does this influence post-treatment vegetation? We analyzed seed bank composition across the study area, analyzed differences in vegetation, ground water levels, and seed rain between control, cut-stump and whole-plant removal areas, and compared soil nitrogen and vegetation near removed Russian olive to areas lacking Russian olive. The soil seed bank contained more riparian plants, more native and fewer exotic plants than the extant vegetation. Both shrub removal methods decreased exotic plant cover, decreased tamarisk and Russian olive seed inputs, and increased native plant cover after 2 years. Neither method increased ground water levels. Soil near dead Russian olive trees indicated a short-term increase in soil nitrogen following plant removal but did not influence vegetation composition compared to areas without Russian olive. Following tamarisk and Russian olive removal, our study sites were colonized by upland plant species. Many western North American rivers have tamarisk and Russian olive on floodplains abandoned by channel incision, river regulation or both. Our results are widely applicable to sites where drying has occurred and vegetation

  10. Seed dispersers, seed predators, and browsers act synergistically as biotic filters in a mosaic landscape.

    PubMed

    Zamora, Regino; Matías, Luis

    2014-01-01

    In this study, we analize the functional influence of animals on the plants they interact with in a mediterranean mountain. We hypothesise that seed dispersers, seed predators, and browsers can act as biotic filters for plant communities. We analyse the combined effects of mutualistic (seed dispersal) and antagonistic (seed predation, herbivory) animal interactions in a mosaic landscape of Mediterranean mountains, basing our results on observational and experimental field. Most of the dispersed seeds came from tree species, whereas the population of saplings was composed predominantly of zoochorous shrub species. Seed predators preferentially consumed seeds from tree species, whereas seeds from the dominant fleshy-fruited shrubs had a higher probability of escaping these predators. The same pattern was repeated among the different landscape units by browsers, since they browsed selectively and far more intensely on tree-species saplings than on the surrounding shrubs. In synthesis, our work identifies the major biotic processes that appear to be favoring a community dominated by shrubs versus trees because seed dispersers, predators, and herbivores together favored shrub dispersal and establishment versus trees. PMID:25233342

  11. Seed Dispersers, Seed Predators, and Browsers Act Synergistically as Biotic Filters in a Mosaic Landscape

    PubMed Central

    Zamora, Regino; Matías, Luis

    2014-01-01

    In this study, we analize the functional influence of animals on the plants they interact with in a mediterranean mountain. We hypothesise that seed dispersers, seed predators, and browsers can act as biotic filters for plant communities. We analyse the combined effects of mutualistic (seed dispersal) and antagonistic (seed predation, herbivory) animal interactions in a mosaic landscape of Mediterranean mountains, basing our results on observational and experimental field. Most of the dispersed seeds came from tree species, whereas the population of saplings was composed predominantly of zoochorous shrub species. Seed predators preferentially consumed seeds from tree species, whereas seeds from the dominant fleshy-fruited shrubs had a higher probability of escaping these predators. The same pattern was repeated among the different landscape units by browsers, since they browsed selectively and far more intensely on tree-species saplings than on the surrounding shrubs. In synthesis, our work identifies the major biotic processes that appear to be favoring a community dominated by shrubs versus trees because seed dispersers, predators, and herbivores together favored shrub dispersal and establishment versus trees. PMID:25233342

  12. Automatic monitoring of the effective thermal conductivity of snow in a low Arctic shrub tundra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Domine, F.; Barrere, M.; Sarrazin, D.; Morin, S.

    2015-03-01

    The effective thermal conductivity of snow, keff, is a critical variable which determines the temperature gradient in the snowpack and heat exchanges between the ground and the atmosphere through the snow. Its accurate knowledge is therefore required to simulate snow metamorphism, the ground thermal regime, permafrost stability, nutrient recycling and vegetation growth. Yet, few data are available on the seasonal evolution of snow thermal conductivity in the Arctic. We have deployed heated needle probes on low Arctic shrub tundra near Umiujaq, Quebec, (56°34´ N; 76°29´ W) and monitored automatically the evolution of keff for two consecutive winters, 2012-2013 and 2013-2014, at 4 heights in the snowpack. Shrubs are 20 cm high dwarf birch. Here, we develop an algorithm for the automatic determination of keff from the heating curves and obtain 404 keff values. We evaluate possible errors and biases associated with the use of the heated needles. The time-evolution of keff is very different for both winters. This is explained by comparing the meteorological conditions in both winters, which induced different conditions for snow metamorphism. In particular, important melting events the second year increased snow hardness, impeding subsequent densification and increase in thermal conductivity. Shrubs are observed to have very important impacts on snow physical evolution: (1) shrubs absorb light and facilitate snow melt under intense radiation; (2) the dense twig network of dwarf birch prevents snow compaction and therefore keff increase; (3) the low density depth hoar that forms within shrubs collapsed in late winter, leaving a void that was not filled by snow.

  13. Automatic monitoring of the effective thermal conductivity of snow in a low-Arctic shrub tundra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Domine, F.; Barrere, M.; Sarrazin, D.; Morin, S.; Arnaud, L.

    2015-06-01

    The effective thermal conductivity of snow, keff, is a critical variable which determines the temperature gradient in the snowpack and heat exchanges between the ground and the atmosphere through the snow. Its accurate knowledge is therefore required to simulate snow metamorphism, the ground thermal regime, permafrost stability, nutrient recycling and vegetation growth. Yet, few data are available on the seasonal evolution of snow thermal conductivity in the Arctic. We have deployed heated needle probes on low-Arctic shrub tundra near Umiujaq, Quebec, (N56°34'; W76°29') and monitored automatically the evolution of keff for two consecutive winters, 2012-2013 and 2013-2014, at four heights in the snowpack. Shrubs are 20 cm high dwarf birch. Here, we develop an algorithm for the automatic determination of keff from the heating curves and obtain 404 keff values. We evaluate possible errors and biases associated with the use of the heated needles. The time evolution of keff is very different for both winters. This is explained by comparing the meteorological conditions in both winters, which induced different conditions for snow metamorphism. In particular, important melting events in the second year increased snow hardness, impeding subsequent densification and increase in thermal conductivity. We conclude that shrubs have very important impacts on snow physical evolution: (1) shrubs absorb light and facilitate snow melt under intense radiation; (2) the dense twig network of dwarf birch prevent snow compaction, and therefore keff increase; (3) the low density depth hoar that forms within shrubs collapsed in late winter, leaving a void that was not filled by snow.

  14. Clonal architecture in an intertidal bed of the dwarf eelgrass Zostera noltii in the Northern Wadden Sea: persistence through extreme physical perturbation and the importance of a seed bank.

    PubMed

    Zipperle, Andreas M; Coyer, James A; Reise, Karsten; Gitz, Eelo; Stam, Wytze T; Olsen, Jeanine L

    2009-01-01

    Genotypic structure and temporal dynamics of the dwarf seagrass, Zostera noltii, were studied in an intertidal meadow that has persisted since prior to 1936 near the Wadden Sea island of Sylt. Samples were collected from two 10 × 10 m plots separated by 250 m from May 2002 to June 2005 and from four 1 × 1 m plots from June 2003 to September 2004. All the samples were genotyped with nine microsatellite loci. No genotypes were shared between the plots separated by 250 m. Genetic diversity was higher in the Wadden Sea than in the other regions of its geographic range. The average clone size (genets) (SD) in the two plots was 1.38 (0.26) and 1.46 (0.4) m², respectively, with a range up to 9 m² and <20% persisted for >4 years. A high genetic and genotypic diversity was maintained by annual recruitment of seedlings despite a dramatic decrease in ramet density that coincided with the severe heat stress event of 2003. Fine-scale (1 m²) analysis suggested that extensive loss of seagrass cover precluded space competition among the genets, while a persistent seed bank prevented local extinction. Long-term persistence of Z. noltii meadows in the intertidal Wadden Sea was achieved by high genet turnover and frequent seedling recruitment from a seed bank, in contrast to the low diversity observed in large and long-living clones of Z. noltii and other seagrasses in subtidal habitats.

  15. Endogenous Gibberellins of a Radiation Induced Single Gene Dwarf Mutant of Bean 1

    PubMed Central

    Proano, V. A.; Greene, G. L.

    1968-01-01

    The distribution of endogenous gibberellins in Dwarf-1, a single gene dwarf mutant of Mexico 80-R red beans, was studied. Parallel extraction and fractionation of seeds of this mutant and those of a normal homozygous line followed by thin layer chromatography and bioassays using Rumex obtusifolius, wheat seed endosperm and dwarf bean plants revealed that a stem elongation control factor was contained in the non-acidic fraction from normal, but not from Dwarf-1, seeds. It was concluded that the single gene mutation causes a block either in gibberellin precursor formation or in production of a non-acidic fraction gibberellin-like substance. Images PMID:16656814

  16. Why Be a Shrub? A Basic Model and Hypotheses for the Adaptive Values of a Common Growth Form.

    PubMed

    Götmark, Frank; Götmark, Elin; Jensen, Anna M

    2016-01-01

    Shrubs are multi-stemmed short woody plants, more widespread than trees, important in many ecosystems, neglected in ecology compared to herbs and trees, but currently in focus due to their global expansion. We present a novel model based on scaling relationships and four hypotheses to explain the adaptive significance of shrubs, including a review of the literature with a test of one hypothesis. Our model describes advantages for a small shrub compared to a small tree with the same above-ground woody volume, based on larger cross-sectional stem area, larger area of photosynthetic tissue in bark and stem, larger vascular cambium area, larger epidermis (bark) area, and larger area for sprouting, and faster production of twigs and canopy. These components form our Hypothesis 1 that predicts higher growth rate for a small shrub than a small tree. This prediction was supported by available relevant empirical studies (14 publications). Further, a shrub will produce seeds faster than a tree (Hypothesis 2), multiple stems in shrubs insure future survival and growth if one or more stems die (Hypothesis 3), and three structural traits of short shrub stems improve survival compared to tall tree stems (Hypothesis 4)-all hypotheses have some empirical support. Multi-stemmed trees may be distinguished from shrubs by more upright stems, reducing bending moment. Improved understanding of shrubs can clarify their recent expansion on savannas, grasslands, and alpine heaths. More experiments and other empirical studies, followed by more elaborate models, are needed to understand why the shrub growth form is successful in many habitats. PMID:27507981

  17. Why Be a Shrub? A Basic Model and Hypotheses for the Adaptive Values of a Common Growth Form

    PubMed Central

    Götmark, Frank; Götmark, Elin; Jensen, Anna M.

    2016-01-01

    Shrubs are multi-stemmed short woody plants, more widespread than trees, important in many ecosystems, neglected in ecology compared to herbs and trees, but currently in focus due to their global expansion. We present a novel model based on scaling relationships and four hypotheses to explain the adaptive significance of shrubs, including a review of the literature with a test of one hypothesis. Our model describes advantages for a small shrub compared to a small tree with the same above-ground woody volume, based on larger cross-sectional stem area, larger area of photosynthetic tissue in bark and stem, larger vascular cambium area, larger epidermis (bark) area, and larger area for sprouting, and faster production of twigs and canopy. These components form our Hypothesis 1 that predicts higher growth rate for a small shrub than a small tree. This prediction was supported by available relevant empirical studies (14 publications). Further, a shrub will produce seeds faster than a tree (Hypothesis 2), multiple stems in shrubs insure future survival and growth if one or more stems die (Hypothesis 3), and three structural traits of short shrub stems improve survival compared to tall tree stems (Hypothesis 4)—all hypotheses have some empirical support. Multi-stemmed trees may be distinguished from shrubs by more upright stems, reducing bending moment. Improved understanding of shrubs can clarify their recent expansion on savannas, grasslands, and alpine heaths. More experiments and other empirical studies, followed by more elaborate models, are needed to understand why the shrub growth form is successful in many habitats. PMID:27507981

  18. Dwarf Galaxies with Active Massive Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reines, Amy E.; Greene, J. E.; Geha, M. C.

    2014-01-01

    Supermassive black holes (BHs) live at the heart of essentially all massive galaxies with bulges, power AGN, and are thought to be important agents in the evolution of their hosts. However, the birth and growth of the first supermassive BH "seeds" is far from understood. While direct observations of these distant BHs in the infant Universe are unobtainable with current capabilities, massive BHs in present-day dwarf galaxies can place valuable constraints on the masses, formation path, and hosts of supermassive BH seeds. Using optical spectroscopy from the SDSS, we have systematically assembled the largest sample of dwarf galaxies hosting active massive BHs to date. These dwarf galaxies have stellar masses comparable to the Magellanic Clouds and contain some of the least-massive supermassive BHs known.

  19. Naming Disney's Dwarfs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sidwell, Robert T.

    1980-01-01

    Discusses Disney's version of the folkloric dwarfs in his production of "Snow White" and weighs the Disney rendition of the dwarf figure against the corpus of traits and behaviors pertaining to dwarfs in traditional folklore. Concludes that Disney's dwarfs are "anthropologically true." (HOD)

  20. Mortality of resprouting chaparral shrubs after a fire and during a record drought: physiological mechanisms and demographic consequences.

    PubMed

    Pratt, R Brandon; Jacobsen, Anna L; Ramirez, Aaron R; Helms, Anjel M; Traugh, Courtney A; Tobin, Michael F; Heffner, Marcus S; Davis, Stephen D

    2014-03-01

    We examined postfire regeneration of chaparral shrubs during an intense drought. This study focused on the demography and physiology of shrub species that resprout from a basal lignotuber following fire. We found significant levels of resprout mortality when intense drought occurred in the year following fire during the period of shrub recovery. Three of the seven sampled resprouting species had the greatest or near greatest levels of mortality ever recorded when compared to previous studies. Most shrub mortality occurred during the drought after individuals had resprouted (i.e. individuals survived fire, resprouted and then subsequently died). Physiological measurements of species with high mortality suggested that resprout stems were highly embolized and xylem hydraulic conductivities were close to zero during the peak of the drought. In addition, lignotubers of two of the three species experiencing high mortality were depleted of starch. Population densities of most shrub species declined after the drought compared with their prefire levels, with the exception of one drought tolerant obligate seeding species. Resprouting shrub species may deplete their carbohydrate reserves during the resprouting process, making them particularly vulnerable to drought because of the need to transpire water to acquire the CO2 that is used to supply energy to a large respiring root system. Drought appears to interact with fire by altering postfire shrub recovery and altering species abundances and composition of chaparral communities.

  1. Modelling the shrub encroachment in a grassland with a Cellular Automata Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caracciolo, D.; Noto, L. V.; Istanbulluoglu, E.

    2014-09-01

    Arid and semi-arid grasslands of southwestern North America have changed dramatically over the last 150 years as a result of shrub encroachment, i.e. the increase in density, cover and biomass of indigenous shrubby plants in grasslands. Numerous studies have documented the expansion of shrublands in the southwestern American grasslands; in particular shrub encroachment has occurred strongly in part of the northern Chihuahuan desert since 1860. This encroachment has been simulated using an ecohydrological Cellular Automata model, CATGraSS. It is a spatially distributed model driven by spatially explicit irradiance and runs on a fine-resolution gridded domain. Plant competition is modelled by keeping track of mortality and establishment of plants; both are calculated probabilistically based on soil moisture stress. For this study CATGraSS has been improved with a stochastic fire module and a grazing function. The model has been implemented in a small area in Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge (SNWR), characterized by two vegetation types (grass savanna and creosote bush shrub), considering as encroachment causes the fire return period increase, the grazing increase, the seed dispersal caused by animals, the role of wind direction and plant type competition. The model is able to reproduce the encroachment that has occurred in SNWR, simulating an increase of the shrub from 2% in 1860 to the current shrub percentage, 42%, and highlighting among the most influential factors the reduced fire frequency and the increased grazing intensity.

  2. FORMATION OF DWARF SPHEROIDAL GALAXIES VIA MERGERS OF DISKY DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Kazantzidis, Stelios; Lokas, Ewa L.; Klimentowski, Jaroslaw; Mayer, Lucio; Knebe, Alexander

    2011-10-10

    We perform collisionless N-body simulations to investigate whether binary mergers between rotationally supported dwarfs can lead to the formation of dwarf spheroidal galaxies (dSphs). Our simulation campaign is based on a hybrid approach combining cosmological simulations and controlled numerical experiments. We select merger events from a Constrained Local Universe simulation of the Local Group (LG) and record the properties of the interacting dwarf-sized halos. This information is subsequently used to seed controlled experiments of binary encounters between dwarf galaxies consisting of exponential stellar disks embedded in cosmologically motivated dark matter halos. These simulations are designed to reproduce eight cosmological merger events, with initial masses of the interacting systems in the range {approx}(5-60) x 10{sup 7} M{sub sun}, occurring quite early in the history of the LG, more than 10 Gyr ago. We compute the properties of the merger remnants as a distant observer would and demonstrate that at least three of the simulated encounters produce systems with kinematic and structural properties akin to those of the classic dSphs in the LG. Tracing the history of the remnants in the cosmological simulation to z = 0, we find that two dSph-like objects remain isolated at distances {approx}> 800 kpc from either the Milky Way or M31. These systems constitute plausible counterparts of the remote dSphs Cetus and Tucana which reside in the LG outskirts, far from the tidal influence of the primary galaxies. We conclude that merging of rotationally supported dwarfs represents a viable mechanism for the formation of dSphs in the LG and similar environments.

  3. DISPERSAL OF SEEDS AS NEST MATERIAL BY THE CACTUS WREN

    EPA Science Inventory

    Cactus wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) nests from the southern Chihuahuan Desert contained viable seeds of grasses, forbs, and shrubs. The most common plants used as construction material in these nests were Muhlenbergia porteri, Boerhavia spicata, and the alien grass Era...

  4. Empty seeds are not always bad: simultaneous effect of seed emptiness and masting on animal seed predation.

    PubMed

    Perea, Ramón; Venturas, Martin; Gil, Luis

    2013-01-01

    Seed masting and production of empty seeds have often been considered independently as different strategies to reduce seed predation by animals. Here, we integrate both phenomena within the whole assemblage of seed predators (both pre and post-dispersal) and in two contrasting microsites (open vs. sheltered) to improve our understanding of the factors controlling seed predation in a wind-dispersed tree (Ulmus laevis). In years with larger crop sizes more avian seed predators were attracted with an increase in the proportion of full seeds predated on the ground. However, for abundant crops, the presence of empty seeds decreased the proportion of full seeds predated. Empty seeds remained for a very long period in the tree, making location of full seeds more difficult for pre-dispersal predators and expanding the overall seed drop period at a very low cost (in dry biomass and allocation of C, N and P). Parthenocarpy (non-fertilized seeds) was the main cause of seed emptiness whereas seed abortion was produced in low quantity. These aborted seeds fell prematurely and, thus, could not work as deceptive seeds. A proportion of 50% empty seeds significantly reduced ground seed predation by 26%. However, a high rate of parthenocarpy (beyond 50% empty seeds) did not significantly reduce seed predation in comparison to 50% empty seeds. We also found a high variability and unpredictability in the production of empty seeds, both at tree and population level, making predator deception more effective. Open areas were especially important to facilitate seed survival since rodents (the main post-dispersal predators) consumed seeds mostly under shrub cover. In elm trees parthenocarpy is a common event that might work as an adaptive strategy to reduce seed predation. Masting per se did not apparently reduce the overall proportion of seeds predated in this wind-dispersed tree, but kept great numbers of seeds unconsumed. PMID:23776503

  5. Empty Seeds Are Not Always Bad: Simultaneous Effect of Seed Emptiness and Masting on Animal Seed Predation

    PubMed Central

    Perea, Ramón; Venturas, Martin; Gil, Luis

    2013-01-01

    Seed masting and production of empty seeds have often been considered independently as different strategies to reduce seed predation by animals. Here, we integrate both phenomena within the whole assemblage of seed predators (both pre and post-dispersal) and in two contrasting microsites (open vs. sheltered) to improve our understanding of the factors controlling seed predation in a wind-dispersed tree (Ulmus laevis). In years with larger crop sizes more avian seed predators were attracted with an increase in the proportion of full seeds predated on the ground. However, for abundant crops, the presence of empty seeds decreased the proportion of full seeds predated. Empty seeds remained for a very long period in the tree, making location of full seeds more difficult for pre-dispersal predators and expanding the overall seed drop period at a very low cost (in dry biomass and allocation of C, N and P). Parthenocarpy (non-fertilized seeds) was the main cause of seed emptiness whereas seed abortion was produced in low quantity. These aborted seeds fell prematurely and, thus, could not work as deceptive seeds. A proportion of 50% empty seeds significantly reduced ground seed predation by 26%. However, a high rate of parthenocarpy (beyond 50% empty seeds) did not significantly reduce seed predation in comparison to 50% empty seeds. We also found a high variability and unpredictability in the production of empty seeds, both at tree and population level, making predator deception more effective. Open areas were especially important to facilitate seed survival since rodents (the main post-dispersal predators) consumed seeds mostly under shrub cover. In elm trees parthenocarpy is a common event that might work as an adaptive strategy to reduce seed predation. Masting per se did not apparently reduce the overall proportion of seeds predated in this wind-dispersed tree, but kept great numbers of seeds unconsumed. PMID:23776503

  6. Effects of surface characteristics on infiltration patterns in an arid shrub desert

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Xin-Ping; Li, Xin-Rong; Xiao, Hong-Lang; Berndtsson, Ronny; Pan, Yan-Xia

    2007-01-01

    Precipitation is often the sole source of water replenishment in arid and semi-arid areas and, thus, plays a pertinent role in sustaining desert ecosystems. Revegetation over 40 years using mainly Artemisia ordosica and Caragana korshinskii at Shapotou Desert Experimental Research Station near Lanzhou, China, has established a dwarf-shrub and microbiotic soil crust cover on the stabilized sand dunes. The redistribution of infiltrated moisture through percolation, root extraction, and evapotranspiration pathways was investigated. Three sets of time-domain reflectometry (TDR) probes were inserted horizontally at 5, 10, 15, 20, 30 and 40 cm depths below the ground surface in a soil pit. The three sets of TDR probes were installed in dwarf-shrub sites of A. ordosica and C. korshinskii community with and without a microbiotic soil crust cover, and an additional set was placed in a bare sand dune area that had neither vegetation nor a microbiotic soil crust present. Volumetric soil moisture content was recorded at hourly intervals and used in the assessment of infiltration for the different surface covers. Infiltration varied greatly, from 7.5 cm to more than 45 cm, depending upon rainfall quantity and soil surface conditions. In the shrub community area without microbiotic soil crust cover, infiltration increased due to preferential flow associated with root tunnels. The microbiotic soil crust cover had a significant negative influence on the infiltration for small rainfall events (10 mm), restricting the infiltration depth to less than 20 cm and increasing soil moisture content just beneath the soil profile of 10 cm, whereas it was not as strong or clear for larger rainfall events (60 mm). For small rainfall events, the wetting front depth for the three kinds of surface cover was as follows: shrub community without microbiotic soil crust > bare area > shrub community with microbiotic soil crust. In contrast, for large rainfall events, infiltration was similar in shrub

  7. What are the patterns of carbon allocation in Arctic shrub tundra: do species differ?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Street, Lorna; Subke, Jens-Arne; Baxter, Robert; Billett, Mike; Dinsmore, Kerry; Lessels, Jason; Wookey, Philip

    2014-05-01

    Arctic "greening" is now a well-accepted phenomenon; multiple lines of evidence suggest that plant productivity has increased, driven by increases in shrub abundance. There is very little understanding, however, of how this "shrubification" will impact biogeochemical cycling, including the allocation and turnover of carbon. Recent research has shown, for example, that greater plant productivity is not necessary associated with greater ecosystem C storage. Proliferation of a number of shrub species has been observed in different regions; for example increased willow growth in Arctic Russia, as opposed to primarily alder expansion in NW Canada, where stem density increased 68 % between 1968 and 2004. The degree to which shrub type will determine the impacts of shrub expansion on the carbon cycle is unknown. We use 13C pulse-labelling to trace the fate of recently photosynthesised carbon in vegetation dominated by two common Arctic shrubs, Betula nana (dwarf birch) and Alnus viridis (green alder) just above the Arctic treeline in NW Canada. We quantify the amount of 13C assimilated, and the proportion of assimilate returned to the atmosphere via respiration versus that allocated to plant tissues. This enables an analysis of the contrasting carbon-use-efficiencies and aboveground versus belowground allocation patterns in the two vegetation types. We use these novel field data to address the hypothesis that belowground C allocation in A. viridis (a symbiotic nitrogen fixing species) is a smaller proportion of total C assimilation, as this species supports less extensive ectomycorrhizal networks compared to B. nana. This is the first tracer study of carbon allocation in N-fixing and non-N-fixing vegetation types in a natural system and provides crucial data for predictive modelling of the Arctic carbon cycle.

  8. Tree and shrub expansion over the past 34 years at the tree-line near Abisko, Sweden.

    PubMed

    Rundqvist, Sara; Hedenås, Henrik; Sandström, Anneli; Emanuelsson, Urban; Eriksson, Håkan; Jonasson, Christer; Callaghan, Terry V

    2011-09-01

    Shrubs and trees are expected to expand in the sub-Arctic due to global warming. Our study was conducted in Abisko, sub-arctic Sweden. We recorded the change in coverage of shrub and tree species over a 32- to 34-year period, in three 50 x 50 m plots; in the alpine-tree-line ecotone. The cover of shrubs and trees (<3.5 cm diameter at breast height) were estimated during 2009-2010 and compared with historical documentation from 1976 to 1977. Similarly, all tree stems (> or =3.5 cm) were noted and positions determined. There has been a substantial increase of cover of shrubs and trees, particularly dwarf birch (Betula nana), and mountain birch (Betula pubescens ssp. czerepanovii), and an establishment of aspen (Populus tremula). The other species willows (Salix spp.), juniper (Juniperus communis), and rowan (Sorbus aucuparia) revealed inconsistent changes among the plots. Although this study was unable to identify the causes for the change in shrubs and small trees, they are consistent with anticipated changes due to climate change and reduced herbivory.

  9. Increasing NDVI values in northern Alaska: studies that mix shrub density, spectral and CO2 exchange measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson-Smith, A.; Lewis, A.; Sullivan, P.; Welker, J. M.

    2010-12-01

    Delineating the mechanisms and consequences of changes in tundra landscapes is central to predicting the functional ecology of Alaska in the 21st Century. Evidence has been mounting during the last decade that shrub communities are expanding in the Arctic and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) values which measure surface greenness are rising. Several studies have suggested that NDVI increases are being driven by increases in shrub abundance. While it is clear that NDVI has increased across vegetation types, it is not clear that NDVI values are increasing in moist acidic tundra (MAT), the most extensive vegetation type in arctic Alaska and the one most likely to be changed by global warming. The MAT is important to large mammal herbivores such as caribou which provide subsistence for indigenous people. The focus of this research was to determine what rising NDVI values actually mean in the MAT. The degree to which tundra community composition affects NDVI is still very poorly understood. In order to clarify the role of shrub encroachment per se as opposed to other functional groups in driving increases in NDVI, we measured functional group composition in moist acidic tundra in conjunction with hand-held measures of NDVI and direct CO2 exchange measurements to explicitly link spectral properties, shrub, graminoid and bryophyte density and trace gas feedbacks to atmospheric chemistry. Point frame data shows a shrub coverage of Betula nana (Dwarf Birch) and Salix pulchra (Diamond Leaf Willow) combined of 5% to 35% in MAT. Our results seem to indicate that high shrub density (>30%) corresponds to peak season NDVI values greater than .75 whereas low shrub density correspond to values below .65 (R2=.66). Furthermore, NDVI is closely correlated with canopy leaf area and greater leaf area is associated with higher rates of gross and net ecosystem CO2 uptake.

  10. Modeling the shrub encroachment in the Northern Chihuahuan desert Grasslands using a Cellular Automata model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caracciolo, Domenico; Istanbulluoglu, Erkan; Noto, Leonardo V.

    2014-05-01

    Arid grasslands of southwestern North America have changed dramatically over the last 150 years as a result of the shrub encroachment, i.e. the increase in density and biomass of indigenous shrubby plants in grasslands. Numerous studies have documented the expansion of shrublands in the southwestern America Grasslands; in particular the encroachment of shrubs in american deserts has strongly occurred in the Chihuahuan deserts from 1860. The Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge (SNWR), located in the northern Chihuahuan desert shows a dramatic encroachment front of creosote bush (i.e., shrub) into native desert grassland. This encroachment has been here simulated using an Ecohydrological Cellular Automata Model, CATGraSS. CATGraSS is a spatially distributed model driven by spatially explicit irradiance and runs on a fine-resolution gridded domain. In the model, each cell can hold a single plant type or can represent bare soil. Plant competition is modeled by keeping track of mortality and establishment of plants, both calculated probabilistically based on soil moisture stress. For this study, the model is improved with a stochastic fire and a grazing function, and its plant establishment algorithm is modified. CATGraSS is implemented in a small area (7.3 km2) in SNWR, characterized by two vegetation types: grass savanna and creosote bush. The causes that have been considered for the encroachment in this case study are: the fire return period increase, the grazing increase, the seed dispersal caused by animals, the role of wind direction and the shrub-grass inhibition effect. The model is able to reproduce the encroachment occurred in the SNWR basin, simulating an increasing of the shrub from 2% in 1860 to 42% (i.e., current shrub percentage) in 2010 highlighting as more influent factors the reduced fire frequency and the increased grazing intensity. For the future management and encroachment control, the reduction of the fire return period and the grazing removal

  11. Shrub canopies influence soil temperatures but not nutrient dynamics: An experimental test of tundra snow-shrub interactions.

    PubMed

    Myers-Smith, Isla H; Hik, David S

    2013-10-01

    Shrubs are the largest plant life form in tundra ecosystems; therefore, any changes in the abundance of shrubs will feedback to influence biodiversity, ecosystem function, and climate. The snow-shrub hypothesis asserts that shrub canopies trap snow and insulate soils in winter, increasing the rates of nutrient cycling to create a positive feedback to shrub expansion. However, previous work has not been able to separate the abiotic from the biotic influences of shrub canopies. We conducted a 3-year factorial experiment to determine the influences of canopies on soil temperatures and nutrient cycling parameters by removing ∼0.5 m high willow (Salix spp.) and birch (Betula glandulosa) shrubs, creating artificial shrub canopies and comparing these manipulations to nearby open tundra and shrub patches. Soil temperatures were 4-5°C warmer in January, and 2°C cooler in July under shrub cover. Natural shrub plots had 14-33 cm more snow in January than adjacent open tundra plots. Snow cover and soil temperatures were similar in the manipulated plots when compared with the respective unmanipulated treatments, indicating that shrub canopy cover was a dominant factor influencing the soil thermal regime. Conversely, we found no strong evidence of increased soil decomposition, CO2 fluxes, or nitrate or ammonia adsorbtion under artificial shrub canopy treatments when compared with unmanipulated open tundra. Our results suggest that the abiotic influences of shrub canopy cover alone on nutrient dynamics are weaker than previously asserted.

  12. Significance of brown dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Black, D. C.

    1986-01-01

    The significance of brown dwarfs for resolving some major problems in astronomy is discussed. The importance of brown dwarfs for models of star formation by fragmentation of molecular clouds and for obtaining independent measurements of the ages of stars in binary systems is addressed. The relationship of brown dwarfs to planets is considered.

  13. Effects of habitat and season on removal and hoarding of seeds of wild apricot (Prunus armeniaca) by small rodents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ji-Qi, Lu; Zhi-Bin, Zhang

    2004-12-01

    The wild apricot (Prunus armeniaca) is widely distributed in the Donglingshan Mountains of Mentougou District of Beijing, China, where its seeds may be an important food resource for rodents. Predation, removal and hoarding of seeds by rodents will inevitably affect the spatio-temporal pattern of seed fate of wild apricot in this area. By marking and releasing tagged seeds of wild apricot, we investigated seeds survival, scatter-hoarding, cache size and seedling establishment, and the preference of micro-habitats used by rodents to store seeds. The results showed that: (1) rodents in this area hoarded food intensively in autumn, as well as in spring and summer. (2) There were significant effects of habitat and season on removal rate of tagged seeds at releasing plots. In both two types of habitats, Low and High shrub, tagged seeds were removed most rapidly by rodents in autumn, at intermediate rates in spring and least rapidly in summer. (3) During three seasons, mean dispersal distance of scatter-hoarded seeds in Low shrub habitat was greater than that in High shrub. Most removed seeds were buried within 21.0 m of the releasing plots. (4) In both two types of habitats, Low and High shrub, rodents tended to carry seeds to US (Under shrub) and SE (Shrub edge) microhabitats for scatter-hoarding or predation. (5) Among the caches made by rodents, most caches contained only one seed, but up to three seeds were observed; caches of 2-3 seeds were common in autumn. (6) By comparing dental marks, we determined that large field mice (Apodemus peninsulae) and David's rock squirrels (Sciurotamias davidianus) contributed to removal and predation of released tagged seeds. However, only the large field mice exerted a pivotal and positive role on the burial of dispersed seeds. (7) Establishment of three seedlings originated from seeds buried by rodents was documented in High shrub habitat.

  14. Breeding Lyonia and Leucothoe, native evergreen shrubs

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Native evergreen shrubs that thrive in shade are typically limited to specific hollies and azaleas. Few evergreen ornamental plants tolerate deep shade and humidity in the south. Several species of Lyonia and Leucothoe thrive in partial to full shade and tolerate a wide variety of soil and environme...

  15. SHRUB BATTLE: Understanding the Making of Landscape

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Depigny, Sylvain; Michelin, Yves

    2007-01-01

    Landscape changes in Europe's rural areas seem to generate a more visible impact. This trend raises new questions on rural management and brings about a conflict between farmers' land-use patterns and public expectations, which are often exclusively based on esthetics. The aim of the SHRUB BATTLE board game is to help tutors make future rural…

  16. Why trees and shrubs but rarely trubs?

    PubMed

    Scheffer, Marten; Vergnon, Remi; Cornelissen, J Hans C; Hantson, Stijn; Holmgren, Milena; van Nes, Egbert H; Xu, Chi

    2014-08-01

    An analysis of the maximum height of woody plant species across the globe reveals that an intermediate size is remarkably rare. We speculate that this may be due to intrinsic suboptimality or to ecosystem bistability with open landscapes favouring shrubs, and closed canopies propelling trees to excessive tallness. PMID:24951396

  17. Weak Evidence of Regeneration Habitat but Strong Evidence of Regeneration Niche for a Leguminous Shrub

    PubMed Central

    Delerue, Florian; Gonzalez, Maya; Michalet, Richard; Pellerin, Sylvain; Augusto, Laurent

    2015-01-01

    The identification of an ecological niche specific to the regeneration phase has mobilised significant attention. However, the importance of the regeneration niche concept remains unclear. Our main objective was to study the existence of such a regeneration niche for a leguminous shrub, Ulex europaeus. This study was carried out in southwest France in the context of water and nutrient stresses (mainly phosphorus limitation) due to the presence of nutrient-poor sandy soils. We analysed the regeneration of the species from the germination of seeds and emergence of new seedlings until the seedlings reached young shrub size. Our design included a P fertilisation treatment. We also investigated microsite characteristics (micro-topography and vegetation development) as they can interact with meteorological conditions and determine water availability for seeds and seedlings. We found that P availability controlled seedling growth and the time necessary to reach young shrub size. Water availability appeared to impact the species germination and seedlings survival. We also found that P and water availability depended on the interactions between microsite characteristics and climatic variations. Finally we found evidence that P and water availability are important ecological factors shaping the regeneration niche of the species, but we found weak evidence that any microsite would be appropriate for the regeneration of the species in the long term. Future studies regarding regeneration niches need to distinguish more clearly the ecological factors important for regeneration (the regeneration niche per se) and the physical world where the seedlings appear and develop (the regeneration habitat). PMID:26098877

  18. Tolerance of an Expanding Subarctic Shrub, Betula glandulosa, to Simulated Caribou Browsing

    PubMed Central

    Champagne, Emilie; Tremblay, Jean-Pierre; Côté, Steeve D.

    2012-01-01

    Densification of the shrub layer has been reported in many subarctic regions, raising questions about the implication for large herbivores and their resources. Shrubs can tolerate browsing and their level of tolerance could be affected by browsing and soils productivity, eventually modifying resource availability for the caribou. Our objective was to assess the compensatory growth potential of a subarctic shrub, Betula glandulosa Michx., in relation with caribou browsing and nutriment availability for the plants. We used a simulated browsing (0, 25 and 75% of available shoots) and nitrogen-fertilisation (0 and 10 g m−2) experiment to test two main hypotheses linking tolerance to resource availability, the Compensatory Continuum Hypothesis and the Growth Rate Hypothesis as well as the predictions from the Limiting Resource Model. We seek to explicitly integrate the relative browsing pressure in our predictions since the amount of tissues removed could affect the capacity of long-lived plants to compensate. Birches fully compensated for moderate browsing with an overall leaf biomass similar to unbrowsed birches but undercompensated under heavy browsing pressure. The main mechanism explaining compensation appears to be the conversion of short shoots into long shoots. The leaf area increased under heavy browsing pressure but only led to undercompensation. Fertilisation for two consecutive years did not influence the response of birch, thus we conclude that our results support the LRM hypothesis of equal tolerance under both high and low nitrogen availability. Our results highlight that the potential for compensatory growth in dwarf birch is surpassed under heavy browsing pressure independently of the fertilisation regime. In the context of the worldwide decline in caribou herds, the reduction in browsing pressure could act synergistically with global climate change to promote the current shrub expansion reported in subarctic regions. PMID:23272191

  19. Dwarf Galaxies with Optical Signatures of Accreting Massive Black Holes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reines, Amy; Greene, J.; Geha, M.

    2014-07-01

    Supermassive black holes (BHs) live at the heart of essentially all massive galaxies with bulges, power AGN, and are thought to be important agents in the evolution of their hosts. Observations of high-redshift quasars demonstrate that supermassive BHs must start out with masses considerably in excess of normal stellar-mass BHs. However, we do not know how the initial ``seed'' BHs formed in the early Universe, how massive they were originally, or what types of galaxies they formed in. While direct observations of distant seed BHs and their hosts in the infant Universe are unobtainable with current capabilities, models of BH growth in a cosmological context indicate that present-day dwarf galaxies can place valuable constraints on seed masses and distinguish between various seed formation mechanisms at early times. Using optical spectroscopy from the SDSS, we have systematically assembled the largest sample of dwarf galaxies hosting AGN to date. These dwarf galaxies have stellar masses comparable to the Magellanic Clouds and contain some of the least-massive supermassive BHs known. I will present results from this study and discuss our ongoing efforts to find additional examples of AGN in dwarfs and help constrain theories for the formation of the first seed BHs at high redshift.

  20. Artemisia tridenata seed bank densities following wildfires

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Big sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) is a critical shrub to such sagebrush obligate species as sage grouse, (Centocercus urophasianus), mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), and pygmy rabbit (Brachylagus idahoensis). Big sagebrush do not sprout after wildfires and big sagebrush seed is generally short-lived a...

  1. Big Sagebrush Seed Bank Densities Following Wildfires

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Big sagebrush (Artemisia sp.) is a critical shrub to such sagebrush obligate species as sage grouse, (Centocercus urophasianus), mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), and pygmy rabbit (Brachylagus idahoensis). Big sagebrush do not sprout after wildfires wildfires and big sagebrush seed is generally sho...

  2. Shrub expansion in tundra ecosystems: dynamics, impacts and research priorities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Myers-Smith, Isla H.; Forbes, Bruce C.; Wilmking, Martin; Hallinger, Martin; Lantz, Trevor; Blok, Daan; Tape, Ken D.; Macias-Fauria, Marc; Sass-Klaassen, Ute; Lévesque, Esther; Boudreau, Stéphane; Ropars, Pascale; Hermanutz, Luise; Trant, Andrew; Siegwart Collier, Laura; Weijers, Stef; Rozema, Jelte; Rayback, Shelly A.; Schmidt, Niels Martin; Schaepman-Strub, Gabriela; Wipf, Sonja; Rixen, Christian; Ménard, Cécile B.; Venn, Susanna; Goetz, Scott; Andreu-Hayles, Laia; Elmendorf, Sarah; Ravolainen, Virve; Welker, Jeffrey; Grogan, Paul; Epstein, Howard E.; Hik, David S.

    2011-12-01

    Recent research using repeat photography, long-term ecological monitoring and dendrochronology has documented shrub expansion in arctic, high-latitude and alpine tundra ecosystems. Here, we (1) synthesize these findings, (2) present a conceptual framework that identifies mechanisms and constraints on shrub increase, (3) explore causes, feedbacks and implications of the increased shrub cover in tundra ecosystems, and (4) address potential lines of investigation for future research. Satellite observations from around the circumpolar Arctic, showing increased productivity, measured as changes in ‘greenness’, have coincided with a general rise in high-latitude air temperatures and have been partly attributed to increases in shrub cover. Studies indicate that warming temperatures, changes in snow cover, altered disturbance regimes as a result of permafrost thaw, tundra fires, and anthropogenic activities or changes in herbivory intensity are all contributing to observed changes in shrub abundance. A large-scale increase in shrub cover will change the structure of tundra ecosystems and alter energy fluxes, regional climate, soil-atmosphere exchange of water, carbon and nutrients, and ecological interactions between species. In order to project future rates of shrub expansion and understand the feedbacks to ecosystem and climate processes, future research should investigate the species or trait-specific responses of shrubs to climate change including: (1) the temperature sensitivity of shrub growth, (2) factors controlling the recruitment of new individuals, and (3) the relative influence of the positive and negative feedbacks involved in shrub expansion.

  3. Seedling establishment in a masting desert shrub parallels the pattern for forest trees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meyer, Susan E.; Pendleton, Burton K.

    2015-05-01

    The masting phenomenon along with its accompanying suite of seedling adaptive traits has been well studied in forest trees but has rarely been examined in desert shrubs. Blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima) is a regionally dominant North American desert shrub whose seeds are produced in mast events and scatter-hoarded by rodents. We followed the fate of seedlings in intact stands vs. small-scale disturbances at four contrasting sites for nine growing seasons following emergence after a mast year. The primary cause of first-year mortality was post-emergence cache excavation and seedling predation, with contrasting impacts at sites with different heteromyid rodent seed predators. Long-term establishment patterns were strongly affected by rodent activity in the weeks following emergence. Survivorship curves generally showed decreased mortality risk with age but differed among sites even after the first year. There were no detectable effects of inter-annual precipitation variability or site climatic differences on survival. Intraspecific competition from conspecific adults had strong impacts on survival and growth, both of which were higher on small-scale disturbances, but similar in openings and under shrub crowns in intact stands. This suggests that adult plants preempted soil resources in the interspaces. Aside from effects on seedling predation, there was little evidence for facilitation or interference beneath adult plant crowns. Plants in intact stands were still small and clearly juvenile after nine years, showing that blackbrush forms cohorts of suppressed plants similar to the seedling banks of closed forests. Seedling banks function in the absence of a persistent seed bank in replacement after adult plant death (gap formation), which is temporally uncoupled from masting and associated recruitment events. This study demonstrates that the seedling establishment syndrome associated with masting has evolved in desert shrublands as well as in forests.

  4. Astrophysics: Illuminating brown dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Showman, Adam P.

    2016-05-01

    Objects known as brown dwarfs are midway between stars and planets in mass. Observations of a hot brown dwarf irradiated by a nearby star will help to fill a gap in our knowledge of the atmospheres of fluid planetary objects. See Letter p.366

  5. WISE and Brown Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirkpatrick, J. Davy; WISE Team

    2009-05-01

    The search for the nearest and coolest brown dwarfs will use WISE's two short-wavelength channels (W1 and W2), which are optimized for brown dwarf detection. W1 samples the methane fundamental absorption band at 3.3 microns, and W2 measures the relatively opacity-free portion of the brown dwarf atmosphere near 4.7 microns. Cool brown dwarfs will thus have very red [W1]-[W2] colors, maximizing our chances of identifying them. Extrapolating preferred mass functions to very low masses and assuming that the star formation rate has been constant over the last 10 Gyr, we can predict the number of brown dwarfs WISE is expected to image. At spectral types later than T7 (Teff > 850K), WISE is expected to find 500 brown dwarfs, which makes WISE uniquely suited among future surveys to measure the low-mass limit of star formation for the first time. This sample will also show whether a new spectral class beyond T, dubbed "Y", is needed at the lowest temperatures. Although the primary six-month WISE mission will cover the entire sky once, WISE should have sufficient cryogen to perform a second, complete pass of the sky. In this case, the identification of nearby brown dwarfs need not rely solely on color selection. Kinematics (proper motion) and geometry (parallax) can also be used to distinguish our closest brown dwarf neighbors, one of which may lie less distant than Proxima Centauri or even fall within our own Oort Cloud.

  6. The dwarf saltwort (Salicornia bigelovii Torr.): Evaluation of breeding populations

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Breeding populations of the dwarf saltwort (Salicornia bigelovii Torr. [Chenopodiaceae]) have been evaluated under high seawater salinity (45 dS m-1) for phenotypic, morphometric, biomass and seed traits in an effort to select suitable families and genotypes within families for breeding purposes and...

  7. Early performance of native shrubs and trees planted on amended Athabasca oil sand tailings

    SciTech Connect

    Fedkenheuer, A.W.; Heacock, H.M.; Lewis, D.L.

    1980-01-01

    The present accepted end land uses for land disturbed by surface mining in the Athabasca oil sands deposit are forestry, wildlife and recreation, in that order of priority. Consistent with government requirements, the main objective of the reclamation program is the establishment of a system at least equal to the predisturbed state in terms of ecological productivity. This system should be consistent with the regional surface hydrology, the natural vegetation and the land use for forestry, wildlife and recreation. In addition, the plant communities in these systems will be permanent, self-supporting and maintenance free. The lack of available information regarding the procedures necessary to permanently reclaim the tailings sand left after extraction of the oil prompted Syncrude to initiate this study in 1977. Four replicated soil amendment treatments were established on a one meter deep experimental area of tailings sand located on the lease area. The plots were subsequently seeded with a grass-legume mix in July 1977. Trees and shrubs were planted in August 1977 and June 1978. Results to date indicate over-winter survival was very satisfactory with most plant species. A dry spell during the 1978 growing season had a pronounced effect on the survival of some of the tree and shrub seedlings. Those species which had the highest survival rates over the range of treatments were Amelanchier alnifolia, Pinus banksiana, Pinus contorta, Potentilla fruticosa, Shepherdia canadensis and Symphoricarpos albus. Performance of the other trees and shrubs was fair to poor, depending on the species and the treatment.

  8. Star Formation in Dwarf-Dwarf Mergers: Fueling Hierarchical Assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stierwalt, Sabrina; Johnson, K. E.; Kallivayalil, N.; Patton, D. R.; Putman, M. E.; Besla, G.; Geha, M. C.

    2014-01-01

    We present early results from the first systematic study a sample of isolated interacting dwarf pairs and the mechanisms governing their star formation. Low mass dwarf galaxies are ubiquitous in the local universe, yet the efficiency of gas removal and the enhancement of star formation in dwarfs via pre-processing (i.e. dwarf-dwarf interactions occurring before the accretion by a massive host) are currently unconstrained. Studies of Local Group dwarfs credit stochastic internal processes for their complicated star formation histories, but a few intriguing examples suggest interactions among dwarfs may produce enhanced star formation. We combine archival UV imaging from GALEX with deep optical broad- and narrow-band (Halpha) imaging taken with the pre- One Degree Imager (pODI) on the WIYN 3.5-m telescope and with the 2.3-m Bok telescope at Steward Observatory to confirm the presence of stellar bridges and tidal tails and to determine whether dwarf-dwarf interactions alone can trigger significant levels of star formation. We investigate star formation rates and global galaxy colors as a function of dwarf pair separation (i.e. the dwarf merger sequence) and dwarf-dwarf mass ratio. This project is a precursor to an ongoing effort to obtain high spatial resolution HI imaging to assess the importance of sequential triggering caused by dwarf-dwarf interactions and the subsequent affect on the more massive hosts that later accrete the low mass systems.

  9. High precipitation and seeded species competition reduce seeded shrub establishment during dryland restoration

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Drylands comprise 40% of Earth’s land mass and are critical to imperiled wildlife species, food security and carbon sequestration. Exotic weed invasions, overgrazing, energy extraction, and other factors have left many of the planet’s drylands in various states of degradation, and this has prompted...

  10. Photosynthetic strategies of two Mojave Desert shrubs

    SciTech Connect

    Kleinkopf, G.E.; Hartsock, T.L.; Wallace, A.; Romney, E.M.

    1980-01-01

    Photosynthetic production of two Mojave Desert shrubs was measured under natural growing conditions. Measurements of photosynthesis, transpiration, resistances to water vapor flux, soil moisture potential, and tissue water potential were made. Atriplex canescens (Pursh) Nutt., a member of the C/sub 4/ biochemical carbon dioxide fixation group was highly competitive in growth rate and production during conditions of adequate soil moisture. As soil moisture conditions declined to minus 40 bars, the net photosynthetic rate of Atriplex decreased to zero. However, the C/sub 3/ shrub species Larrea tridentata (Sesse and Moc. ex DC.) Cov. was able to maintain positive net photosynthetic production during conditions of high temperature and extreme low soil moisture through the major part of the season. The comparative advantages of the C/sub 4/ versus the C/sub 3/ pathway of carbon fixation was lost between these two species as the soil moisture potential declined to minus 40 bars. Desert plants have diffferent strategies for survival, one of the strategies being the C/sub 4/ biochemical carbon fixation pathway. However, many of the plants are members of the C/sub 3/ group. In this instance, the C/sub 4/ fixation pathway does not confer an added advantage to the productivity of the species in the Mojave Desert. Species distribution based on comparative photosynthetic production is discussed

  11. Shrubs tracing sea surface temperature--Calluna vulgaris on the Faroe Islands.

    PubMed

    Beil, Ilka; Buras, Allan; Hallinger, Martin; Smiljanić, Marko; Wilmking, Martin

    2015-11-01

    The climate of Central and Northern Europe is highly influenced by the North Atlantic Ocean due to heat transfer from lower latitudes. Detailed knowledge about spatio-temporal variability of sea surface temperature (SST) in that region is thus of high interest for climate and environmental research. Because of the close relations between ocean and coastal climate and the climate sensitivity of plant growth, annual rings of woody plants in coastal regions might be used as a proxy for SST. We show here for the first time the proxy potential of the common and widespread evergreen dwarf shrub Calluna vulgaris (heather), using the Faroe Islands as our case study. Despite its small and irregular ring structure, the species seems suitable for dendroecological investigations. Ring width showed high and significant correlations with summer and winter air temperatures and SST. The C. vulgaris chronology from the Faroe Islands, placed directly within the North Atlantic Current, clearly reflects variations in summer SSTs over an area between Iceland and Scotland. Utilising shrubs like C. vulgaris as easy accessible and annually resolved proxies offers an interesting possibility for reconstruction of the coupled climate-ocean system at high latitudes.

  12. Shrubs tracing sea surface temperature--Calluna vulgaris on the Faroe Islands.

    PubMed

    Beil, Ilka; Buras, Allan; Hallinger, Martin; Smiljanić, Marko; Wilmking, Martin

    2015-11-01

    The climate of Central and Northern Europe is highly influenced by the North Atlantic Ocean due to heat transfer from lower latitudes. Detailed knowledge about spatio-temporal variability of sea surface temperature (SST) in that region is thus of high interest for climate and environmental research. Because of the close relations between ocean and coastal climate and the climate sensitivity of plant growth, annual rings of woody plants in coastal regions might be used as a proxy for SST. We show here for the first time the proxy potential of the common and widespread evergreen dwarf shrub Calluna vulgaris (heather), using the Faroe Islands as our case study. Despite its small and irregular ring structure, the species seems suitable for dendroecological investigations. Ring width showed high and significant correlations with summer and winter air temperatures and SST. The C. vulgaris chronology from the Faroe Islands, placed directly within the North Atlantic Current, clearly reflects variations in summer SSTs over an area between Iceland and Scotland. Utilising shrubs like C. vulgaris as easy accessible and annually resolved proxies offers an interesting possibility for reconstruction of the coupled climate-ocean system at high latitudes. PMID:25620645

  13. Shrubs tracing sea surface temperature— Calluna vulgaris on the Faroe Islands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beil, Ilka; Buras, Allan; Hallinger, Martin; Smiljanić, Marko; Wilmking, Martin

    2015-11-01

    The climate of Central and Northern Europe is highly influenced by the North Atlantic Ocean due to heat transfer from lower latitudes. Detailed knowledge about spatio-temporal variability of sea surface temperature (SST) in that region is thus of high interest for climate and environmental research. Because of the close relations between ocean and coastal climate and the climate sensitivity of plant growth, annual rings of woody plants in coastal regions might be used as a proxy for SST. We show here for the first time the proxy potential of the common and widespread evergreen dwarf shrub Calluna vulgaris (heather), using the Faroe Islands as our case study. Despite its small and irregular ring structure, the species seems suitable for dendroecological investigations. Ring width showed high and significant correlations with summer and winter air temperatures and SST. The C. vulgaris chronology from the Faroe Islands, placed directly within the North Atlantic Current, clearly reflects variations in summer SSTs over an area between Iceland and Scotland. Utilising shrubs like C. vulgaris as easy accessible and annually resolved proxies offers an interesting possibility for reconstruction of the coupled climate-ocean system at high latitudes.

  14. Meter scale variation in shrub dominance and soil moisture structure Arctic arthropod communities

    PubMed Central

    Hansen, Oskar Liset Pryds; Bowden, Joseph J.; Treier, Urs A.; Normand, Signe; Høye, Toke

    2016-01-01

    The Arctic is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the world. This impacts Arctic species both directly, through increased temperatures, and indirectly, through structural changes in their habitats. Species are expected to exhibit idiosyncratic responses to structural change, which calls for detailed investigations at the species and community level. Here, we investigate how arthropod assemblages of spiders and beetles respond to variation in habitat structure at small spatial scales. We sampled transitions in shrub dominance and soil moisture between three different habitats (fen, dwarf shrub heath, and tall shrub tundra) at three different sites along a fjord gradient in southwest Greenland, using yellow pitfall cups. We identified 2,547 individuals belonging to 47 species. We used species richness estimation, indicator species analysis and latent variable modeling to examine differences in arthropod community structure in response to habitat variation at local (within site) and regional scales (between sites). We estimated species responses to the environment by fitting species-specific generalized linear models with environmental covariates. Species assemblages were segregated at the habitat and site level. Each habitat hosted significant indicator species, and species richness and diversity were significantly lower in fen habitats. Assemblage patterns were significantly linked to changes in soil moisture and vegetation height, as well as geographic location. We show that meter-scale variation among habitats affects arthropod community structure, supporting the notion that the Arctic tundra is a heterogeneous environment. To gain sufficient insight into temporal biodiversity change, we require studies of species distributions detailing species habitat preferences. PMID:27478709

  15. Meter scale variation in shrub dominance and soil moisture structure Arctic arthropod communities.

    PubMed

    Hansen, Rikke Reisner; Hansen, Oskar Liset Pryds; Bowden, Joseph J; Treier, Urs A; Normand, Signe; Høye, Toke

    2016-01-01

    The Arctic is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the world. This impacts Arctic species both directly, through increased temperatures, and indirectly, through structural changes in their habitats. Species are expected to exhibit idiosyncratic responses to structural change, which calls for detailed investigations at the species and community level. Here, we investigate how arthropod assemblages of spiders and beetles respond to variation in habitat structure at small spatial scales. We sampled transitions in shrub dominance and soil moisture between three different habitats (fen, dwarf shrub heath, and tall shrub tundra) at three different sites along a fjord gradient in southwest Greenland, using yellow pitfall cups. We identified 2,547 individuals belonging to 47 species. We used species richness estimation, indicator species analysis and latent variable modeling to examine differences in arthropod community structure in response to habitat variation at local (within site) and regional scales (between sites). We estimated species responses to the environment by fitting species-specific generalized linear models with environmental covariates. Species assemblages were segregated at the habitat and site level. Each habitat hosted significant indicator species, and species richness and diversity were significantly lower in fen habitats. Assemblage patterns were significantly linked to changes in soil moisture and vegetation height, as well as geographic location. We show that meter-scale variation among habitats affects arthropod community structure, supporting the notion that the Arctic tundra is a heterogeneous environment. To gain sufficient insight into temporal biodiversity change, we require studies of species distributions detailing species habitat preferences. PMID:27478709

  16. When White Dwarfs Collide

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hawley, Wendy Phyllis

    2012-01-01

    3D models of white dwarf collisions are used to assess the likelihood of double-degenerate mergers as progenitors for Type Ia supernovae (henceforth SNIa) and to identify observational signatures of double-degenerate collisions. Observations of individual SNIa, SNIa rates in different galaxy types, and double white dwarf binary systems suggest that mergers or collisions between two white dwarfs play a role in the overall SNIa population. Given the possibility of two progenitor systems (single-degenerate and double-degenerate), the sample of SNIa used in cosmological calcula- tions needs to be carefully examined. To improve calculations of cosmological parameters, the development of calibrated diagnostics for double-degenerate progenitor SNIa is essential. Head-on white dwarf collision simulations are used to provide an upper limit on the 56Ni production in white dwarf collisions. In chapter II, I explore zero impact parameter collisions of white dwarfs using the Eulerian grid code FLASH. The initial 1D white dwarf profiles are created assuming hydrostatic equilibrium and a uniform composition of 50% 12C and 50% 16O. The masses range from 0.64 to 0.81 solar masses and have an isothermal temperature of 107 K. I map these 1D models onto a 3D grid, where the dimensions of the grid are each eight times the white dwarf radius, and the dwarfs are initially placed four white dwarf radii apart (center to center). To provide insight into a larger range of physical possibilities, I also model non-zero impact parameter white dwarf collisions (Chapter III). Although head-on white dwarf collisions provide an upper limit on 56Ni production, non-zero impact parameter collisions provide insight into a wider range of physical scenarios. The initial conditions (box size, initial separation, composition, and initial temperature) are identical to those used for the head-on collisions (Chapter II) for the same range of masses. For each mass pair- ing, collision simulations are carried

  17. M dwarfs: Theoretical work

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mullan, Dermott J.

    1987-01-01

    Theoretical work on the atmospheres of M dwarfs has progressed along lines parallel to those followed in the study of other classes of stars. Such models have become increasingly sophisticated as improvements in opacities, in the equation of state, and in the treatment of convection were incorporated during the last 15 to 20 years. As a result, spectrophotometric data on M dwarfs can now be fitted rather well by current models. The various attempts at modeling M dwarf photospheres in purely thermal terms are summarized. Some extensions of these models to include the effects of microturbulence and magnetic inhomogeneities are presented.

  18. Understanding Brown Dwarf Variability

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marley, Mark S.

    2013-01-01

    Surveys of brown dwarf variability continue to find that roughly half of all brown dwarfs are variable. While variability is observed amongst all types of brown dwarfs, amplitudes are typically greatest for L-T transition objects. In my talk I will discuss the possible physical mechanisms that are responsible for the observed variability. I will particularly focus on comparing and contrasting the effects of changes in atmospheric thermal profile and cloud opacity. The two different mechanisms will produce different variability signatures and I will discuss the extent to which the current datasets constrain both mechanisms. By combining constraints from studies of variability with existing spectral and photometric datasets we can begin to construct and test self-consistent models of brown dwarf atmospheres. These models not only aid in the interpretation of existing objects but also inform studies of directly imaged giant planets.

  19. [Predation and removal of rodents on the seeds with different size and pericarp traits].

    PubMed

    Zhou, Li-biao; Yan, Xing-fu; Wang, Jian-li; Zhou, Yun-feng

    2013-08-01

    A field survey was conducted in the Quercus wutaishanica shrubs in Liupan Mountains of Ningxia, Northwest China to study the predation and removal of rodents on the seeds of Q. wutaishanica, Prunus salicina and Pinus armandii, aimed to explore the effects of seed size and pericarp traits on the predation and removal behaviors of rodents. The in situ seed predation rates of smaller Q. wutaishanica seeds and P. armandii seeds were significantly higher than those of larger Q. wutaishanica seeds and P. salicina seeds. The P. salicina seeds with hard and thick pericarp (endocarp) had the highest predation rate and hoarding rate after the removal by rodents. The movement distance of larger Q. wutaishanica seeds during predation events was the longest (3.10 m), and the seed hoarding distance of this species (6.48 m) was significantly longer than that of the three other types of seeds. Over 80% of sites were used as the predation sites by rodents for the seeds, except that the P. salicina seeds contained only a single seed and the cache sites contained a single seed accounted for over 90% for all types of seeds. Few predation and cache sites containing over two seeds were detected. Higher proportion of P. armandii seeds were predated in microhabitats except at the base of shrubs and in the holes after removal by rodent, while the seeds of other three types were predated mainly at the base of shrubs and in the holes after removal by rodents. The seed hoarding patterns after removal by rodents were primarily determined by pericarp traits, and higher proportion of soil burial that the rodents hoarded seeds with hard pericarp (endocarp) was detected.

  20. Seedling Responses to Water Pulses in Shrubs with Contrasting Histories of Grassland Encroachment

    PubMed Central

    Woods, Steven R.; Archer, Steven R.; Schwinning, Susan

    2014-01-01

    Woody plant encroachment into grasslands has occurred worldwide, but it is unclear why some tree and shrub species have been markedly more successful than others. For example, Prosopis velutina has proliferated in many grasslands of the Sonoran Desert in North America over the past century, while other shrub species with similar growth form and life history, such as Acacia greggii, have not. We conducted a glasshouse experiment to assess whether differences in early seedling development could help explain why one species and not the other came to dominate many Sonoran Desert grasslands. We established eight watering treatments mimicking a range of natural precipitation patterns and harvested seedlings 16 or 17 days after germination. A. greggii had nearly 7 times more seed mass than P. velutina, but P. velutina emerged earlier (by 3.0±0.3 d) and grew faster (by 8.7±0.5 mg d−1). Shoot mass at harvest was higher in A. greggii (99±6 mg seedling−1) than in P. velutina (74±2 mg seedling−1), but there was no significant difference in root mass (54±3 and 49±2 mg seedling−1, respectively). Taproot elongation was differentially sensitive to water supply: under the highest initial watering pulse, taproots were 52±19 mm longer in P. velutina than in A. greggii. Enhanced taproot elongation under favorable rainfall conditions could give nascent P. velutina seedlings growth and survivorship advantages by helping reduce competition with grasses and maintain contact with soil water during drought. Conversely, A. greggii's greater investment in mass per seed appeared to provide little return in early seedling growth. We suggest that such differences in recruitment traits and their sensitivities to environmental conditions may help explain ecological differences between species that are highly similar as adults and help identify pivotal drivers of shrub encroachment into grasslands. PMID:24475263

  1. Seedling responses to water pulses in shrubs with contrasting histories of grassland encroachment.

    PubMed

    Woods, Steven R; Archer, Steven R; Schwinning, Susan

    2014-01-01

    Woody plant encroachment into grasslands has occurred worldwide, but it is unclear why some tree and shrub species have been markedly more successful than others. For example, Prosopis velutina has proliferated in many grasslands of the Sonoran Desert in North America over the past century, while other shrub species with similar growth form and life history, such as Acacia greggii, have not. We conducted a glasshouse experiment to assess whether differences in early seedling development could help explain why one species and not the other came to dominate many Sonoran Desert grasslands. We established eight watering treatments mimicking a range of natural precipitation patterns and harvested seedlings 16 or 17 days after germination. A. greggii had nearly 7 times more seed mass than P. velutina, but P. velutina emerged earlier (by 3.0±0.3 d) and grew faster (by 8.7±0.5 mg d⁻¹). Shoot mass at harvest was higher in A. greggii (99±6 mg seedling⁻¹) than in P. velutina (74±2 mg seedling⁻¹), but there was no significant difference in root mass (54±3 and 49±2 mg seedling⁻¹, respectively). Taproot elongation was differentially sensitive to water supply: under the highest initial watering pulse, taproots were 52±19 mm longer in P. velutina than in A. greggii. Enhanced taproot elongation under favorable rainfall conditions could give nascent P. velutina seedlings growth and survivorship advantages by helping reduce competition with grasses and maintain contact with soil water during drought. Conversely, A. greggii's greater investment in mass per seed appeared to provide little return in early seedling growth. We suggest that such differences in recruitment traits and their sensitivities to environmental conditions may help explain ecological differences between species that are highly similar as adults and help identify pivotal drivers of shrub encroachment into grasslands.

  2. Population maintenance of the short-lived shrub Sambucus in a deciduous forest.

    PubMed

    Abe, Shin; Motai, Hideyo; Tanaka, Hiroshi; Shibata, Mitsue; Kominami, Yohsuke; Nakashizuka, Tohru

    2008-04-01

    This study quantitatively clarifies the life history of a shrub, Sambucus racemosa ssp. sieboldiana, in an old-growth forest, the Ogawa Forest Reserve, Japan, by a demographic approach using a projection matrix model that incorporates interactions between demographic parameters and canopy height dynamics. S. racemosa is a common deciduous shrub in central Japan and is known to grow predominantly at forest edges or roadsides. This indicates that it is a highly light-demanding species, and occurrence in gaps in old-growth stands suggests its "fugitive," gap-dependent life history in old-growth forests. We found that one distinctive feature of this species was that its seedlings can survive well in shaded conditions by alternating stems every year like perennial herb species. Matrix model analyses demonstrated that S. racemosa can continuously regenerate under the present disturbance regime of this forest and is highly adaptable to the structural dynamics of the old-growth forest. The maturity of S. racemosa shrubs depends on their size, and nearly all (>90%) of the mature (reproducing) individuals were found in gaps or near gaps. But wide seed dispersal by birds and the ability to form both seed banks and seedling banks, the latter of which has been regarded as a common characteristic of shade-tolerant climax species, probably increase the species' chances to encounter canopy gaps. Dynamic-canopied matrix models showed that the greatest elasticity is with shaded seedling survival. The frequent stem alternation of shaded seedlings often makes the growth rate negative, but the survival rate of seedlings in low light awaiting new gap creation is remarkably high (0.93 yr(-1)). The lower survival rate of the larger individuals and smaller minimum size to start reproduction than other canopy or subcanopy shade-tolerant species indicate that S. racemosa has the potential to reproduce before the closure of the encountered gaps and to complete its life history rapidly.

  3. Dwarfs in ancient Egypt.

    PubMed

    Kozma, Chahira

    2006-02-15

    Ancient Egypt was one of the most advanced and productive civilizations in antiquity, spanning 3000 years before the "Christian" era. Ancient Egyptians built colossal temples and magnificent tombs to honor their gods and religious leaders. Their hieroglyphic language, system of organization, and recording of events give contemporary researchers insights into their daily activities. Based on the record left by their art, the ancient Egyptians documented the presence of dwarfs in almost every facet of life. Due to the hot dry climate and natural and artificial mummification, Egypt is a major source of information on achondroplasia in the old world. The remains of dwarfs are abundant and include complete and partial skeletons. Dwarfs were employed as personal attendants, animal tenders, jewelers, and entertainers. Several high-ranking dwarfs especially from the Old Kingdom (2700-2190 BCE) achieved important status and had lavish burial places close to the pyramids. Their costly tombs in the royal cemeteries and the inscriptions on their statutes indicate their high-ranking position in Egyptian society and their close relation to the king. Some of them were Seneb, Pereniankh, Khnumhotpe, and Djeder. There were at least two dwarf gods, Ptah and Bes. The god Ptah was associated with regeneration and rejuvenation. The god Bes was a protector of sexuality, childbirth, women, and children. He was a favored deity particularly during the Greco-Roman period. His temple was recently excavated in the Baharia oasis in the middle of Egypt. The burial sites and artistic sources provide glimpses of the positions of dwarfs in daily life in ancient Egypt. Dwarfs were accepted in ancient Egypt; their recorded daily activities suggest assimilation into daily life, and their disorder was not shown as a physical handicap. Wisdom writings and moral teachings in ancient Egypt commanded respect for dwarfs and other individuals with disabilities.

  4. Dwarfs in ancient Egypt.

    PubMed

    Kozma, Chahira

    2006-02-15

    Ancient Egypt was one of the most advanced and productive civilizations in antiquity, spanning 3000 years before the "Christian" era. Ancient Egyptians built colossal temples and magnificent tombs to honor their gods and religious leaders. Their hieroglyphic language, system of organization, and recording of events give contemporary researchers insights into their daily activities. Based on the record left by their art, the ancient Egyptians documented the presence of dwarfs in almost every facet of life. Due to the hot dry climate and natural and artificial mummification, Egypt is a major source of information on achondroplasia in the old world. The remains of dwarfs are abundant and include complete and partial skeletons. Dwarfs were employed as personal attendants, animal tenders, jewelers, and entertainers. Several high-ranking dwarfs especially from the Old Kingdom (2700-2190 BCE) achieved important status and had lavish burial places close to the pyramids. Their costly tombs in the royal cemeteries and the inscriptions on their statutes indicate their high-ranking position in Egyptian society and their close relation to the king. Some of them were Seneb, Pereniankh, Khnumhotpe, and Djeder. There were at least two dwarf gods, Ptah and Bes. The god Ptah was associated with regeneration and rejuvenation. The god Bes was a protector of sexuality, childbirth, women, and children. He was a favored deity particularly during the Greco-Roman period. His temple was recently excavated in the Baharia oasis in the middle of Egypt. The burial sites and artistic sources provide glimpses of the positions of dwarfs in daily life in ancient Egypt. Dwarfs were accepted in ancient Egypt; their recorded daily activities suggest assimilation into daily life, and their disorder was not shown as a physical handicap. Wisdom writings and moral teachings in ancient Egypt commanded respect for dwarfs and other individuals with disabilities. PMID:16380966

  5. Post-fire seeding of great basin native plants using conventional and minimum-till rangeland drills

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Objectives of post-fire seeding in the Great Basin include reestablishment of perennial cover, suppression of exotic annual weeds, and increasingly restoration of diverse plant communities. Non-conventional seeding techniques may be required when seeding mixes of grasses, forbs and shrubs containing...

  6. Low functional redundancy among mammalian browsers in regulating an encroaching shrub (Solanum campylacanthum) in African savannah

    PubMed Central

    Pringle, Robert M.; Goheen, Jacob R.; Palmer, Todd M.; Charles, Grace K.; DeFranco, Elyse; Hohbein, Rhianna; Ford, Adam T.; Tarnita, Corina E.

    2014-01-01

    Large herbivorous mammals play an important role in structuring African savannahs and are undergoing widespread population declines and local extinctions, with the largest species being the most vulnerable. The impact of these declines on key ecological processes hinges on the degree of functional redundancy within large-herbivore assemblages, a subject that has received little study. We experimentally quantified the effects of three browser species (elephant, impala and dik-dik) on individual- and population-level attributes of Solanum campylacanthum (Solanum incanum sensu lato), an encroaching woody shrub, using semi-permeable exclosures that selectively removed different-sized herbivores. After nearly 5 years, shrub abundance was lowest where all browser species were present and increased with each successive species deletion. Different browsers ate the same plant species in different ways, thereby exerting distinct suites of direct and indirect effects on plant performance and density. Not all of these effects were negative: elephants and impala also dispersed viable seeds and indirectly reduced seed predation by rodents and insects. We integrated these diffuse positive effects with the direct negative effects of folivory using a simple population model, which reinforced the conclusion that different browsers have complementary net effects on plant populations, and further suggested that under some conditions, these net effects may even differ in direction. PMID:24789900

  7. Small-scale drivers: the importance of nutrient availability and snowmelt timing on performance of the alpine shrub Salix herbacea.

    PubMed

    Little, Chelsea J; Wheeler, Julia A; Sedlacek, Janosch; Cortés, Andrés J; Rixen, Christian

    2016-04-01

    Alpine plant communities are predicted to face range shifts and possibly extinctions with climate change. Fine-scale environmental variation such as nutrient availability or snowmelt timing may contribute to the ability of plant species to persist locally; however, variation in nutrient availability in alpine landscapes is largely unmeasured. On three mountains around Davos, Switzerland, we deployed Plant Root Simulator probes around 58 Salix herbacea plants along an elevational and microhabitat gradient to measure nutrient availability during the first 5 weeks of the summer growing season, and used in situ temperature loggers and observational data to determine date of spring snowmelt. We also visited the plants weekly to assess performance, as measured by stem number, fruiting, and herbivory damage. We found a wide snowmelt gradient which determined growing season length, as well as variations of an order of magnitude or more in the accumulation of 12 nutrients between different microhabitats. Higher nutrient availability had negative effects on most shrub performance metrics, for instance decreasing stem number and the proportion of stems producing fruits. High nutrient availability was associated with increased herbivory damage in early-melting microhabitats, but among late-emerging plants this pattern was reversed. We demonstrate that nutrient availability is highly variable in alpine settings, and that it strongly influences performance in an alpine dwarf shrub, sometimes modifying the response of shrubs to snowmelt timing. As the climate warms and human-induced nitrogen deposition continues in the Alps, these factors may contribute to patterns of local plants persistence.

  8. Quercus ilex L. carbon sequestration capability related to shrub size.

    PubMed

    Gratani, Loretta; Catoni, Rosangela; Varone, Laura

    2011-07-01

    CO(2) sequestration capacity of Quercus ilex L., an evergreen species developing in shrub and forest communities widely distributed in the Mediterranean Basin, was analysed. Experiments were carried out in the period of January to December 2009 on 20 shrubs of different size, growing at the Botanical Garden of Rome. At shrub level, the largest differences concern total photosynthetic leaf surface area per shrub and shrub volume. Shrubs structure significantly contribute to reduce total irradiance and air temperature below the canopy. Leaf mass per area is higher in sun leaves than in shade ones (20 ± 1 and 12 ± 2 mg cm( -2), respectively). Sun leaves are also characterised by the highest leaf thickness (78% higher in sun than in shade leaves), the spongy parenchyma thickness (71% higher in sun than in shade leaves) and the highest adaxial cuticle thickness (7.2 ± 1.2 and 4.7 ± 0.5 μm, respectively). Net photosynthetic rates (P (N)) of sun and shade leaves are the highest in spring, and shade leaves contribute 6% to the whole shrub P (N). Q. ilex CO(2) sequestration depends on shrub size. In particular, the CO(2) sequestration per shrub was 0.20 ± 0.02 Kg CO(2) year( -1) in small shrubs, and it was 75% and 98% lower than in medium and large ones. The highest CO(2) sequestration is measured in spring, decreasing 77% during drought. Q. ilex may play a significant role in mitigating carbon dioxide concentration and lowering air and soil temperature in areas around the Mediterranean Basin.

  9. Does browsing reduce shrub survival and vigor following summer fires?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fulbright, Timothy E.; Dacy, Emily C.; Drawe, D. Lynn

    2011-01-01

    Periodic fire is widely hypothesized to limit woody plant encroachment in semiarid grasslands. In southern Texas, however, most of the woody plants that have invaded grasslands during the past two centuries are resistant to fire. We hypothesized that browsing by Odocoileus virginianus increases mortality of palatable shrubs and reduces vigor of shrubs following fire. We randomly selected ten pairs of each of three shrub species -Condalia hookeri, Acacia farnesiana, and Celtis ehrenbergiana - in each of three locations before prescribed burns during summer 2001. Following burns, we used a wire fence to protect one shrub of each pair from browsing. We estimated intensity of O. virginianus browsing and number and height of sprouts 4, 12, 20, 30, 38, and 47 weeks post-fire. We determined shrub height, survival, and biomass one year post-fire. Averaged across species, browsing intensity on unfenced shrubs was greater (LS Means, P < 0.05) than on fenced shrubs on all sampling dates except four and 30 weeks post-fire. Mortality of unfenced (11 ± 9%) (mean ± SE) and fenced (12 ± 7%, n = 9) shrubs was similar (P = 0.674) one year post-fire, averaged across shrub species. Number of sprouts, sprout height, total plant height, and biomass of protected and browsed plants were similar (P > 0.05) one year post-burn. Browsing by O. virginianus at the intensity in our study does not increase mortality or reduce vigor of C. hookeri, A. farnesiana, and Condalia ehrenbergiana producing new growth following destruction of aboveground tissues by a single fire compared to shrubs that are not browsed following fire.

  10. The changing role of shrubs in rangeland-based livestock production systems: Can shrubs increase our forage supply?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Projected global increases in ruminant numbers and loss of native grasslands will present a number of challenges for livestock agriculture. Escalated demand for livestock products may stimulate interest in using shrubs on western rangelands. A paradigm shift is needed to change the role of shrubs in...

  11. High male fertility in males of a subdioecious shrub in hand-pollinated crosses

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Hui; Matsushita, Michinari; Tomaru, Nobuhiro; Nakagawa, Michiko

    2016-01-01

    Female reproductive success in females versus hermaphrodites has been well documented. However, documenting a potential advantage in male fertility of male versus hermaphrodite individuals in subdioecious species is also essential for understanding the evolutionary pathway toward dioecy from hermaphroditism via gynodioecy. Siring success in terms of fruit set, fruit mass, number of seeds and mean seed mass was compared by hand-pollinated crosses in the subdioecious shrub Eurya japonica. The pollen was from male and hermaphrodite individuals, and the pollen recipients were females and hermaphrodites. Seed quality was also evaluated in terms of seed germination rate, seed germination day and seedling survival. Overall, pollen from males sired more fruits of larger size and more seeds than did pollen from hermaphrodites. The male advantage was observed when pollen recipients were females, whereas no effect was found in hermaphrodite recipients. Pollen from males also produced better quality seeds with higher germination rate and sooner germination day. Although these results could also be explained by a higher pollen load for crosses with male pollen donors, we took care to saturate the stigma regardless of the pollen donor. Therefore, these results suggest that male individuals of E. japonica have advantages in male fertility in terms of both quantity and quality. Our previous studies indicated that females exhibit higher female reproductive success compared with hermaphrodites. Thus, both the female and male functions of hermaphrodites are outperformed by females and males, respectively, raising the possibility that the subdioecious E. japonica at this study site is entering the transitional phase to dioecy along the gynodioecy–dioecy pathway. PMID:27658818

  12. Among-individual variation in pollen limitation and inbreeding depression in a mixed-mating shrub

    PubMed Central

    González-Varo, Juan P.; Traveset, Anna

    2010-01-01

    Background and Aims Variation in inbreeding depression (δ) among individual plants is considered to play a central role in mating system evolution and population genetics. Moreover, such variation could be linked to individual susceptibility to pollen limitation (PL) because those individuals strongly affected by δ for seed production will require more outcross pollen for setting a given number of fruits or seeds. However, no study has tested explicitly for associations between PL and δ at the individual plant level. This study assesses the extent of among-individual variation in PL and δ, the consistency of δ across life stages, and the relationships between individual PL and δ in the mixed-mating shrub Myrtus communis. Methods Controlled hand-pollinations were performed in a natural M. communis population. Marked flowers were monitored until fruit production and a greenhouse experiment was conducted with the seeds produced. Key Results Compared with selfing, outcross-pollination enhanced seed number per fruit, germination rate and seedling growth, but did not enhance fruit-set. Only seed number per fruit was pollen limited and, thus, cumulative pollen limitation depended more on pollen quality (outcross pollen) than on quantity. The effects of δ varied considerably across life stages and individual plants. Cumulative δ was high across individuals (mean δ = 0·65), although there were no positive correlations between δ values at different life stages. Interestingly, maternal plants showing stronger δ for seed production were more pollen limited, but they were also less affected by δ for seedling growth because of a seed size/number trade-off. Conclusions Results show a general inconsistency in δ across life stages and individuals, suggesting that different deleterious loci are acting at different stages. The association between δ and PL at the individual level corroborates the idea that pollen limitation may be ‘genotype-dependent’ regardless of

  13. Shrub Expansion Effects on Soil Carbon Dynamics in the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holden, S. R.; Mortero, G.; Welker, J. M.; Czimczik, C. I.

    2015-12-01

    Shrubs are increasing in abundance in the Arctic in response to climate warming, but the consequences of shrub expansion for the vast soil carbon (C) stocks in the Arctic are poorly understood. Increases in productivity and associated increases in soil C inputs may augment soil C stocks. Alternatively, labile C exudates from shrub roots may stimulate decomposition of existing soil C and decrease C stocks. We used two complementary approaches to characterize the potential impacts of shrub expansion on soil C dynamics in the Arctic. First, in graminoid and shrub tundra near Toolik Lake, AK we surveyed thaw depth, measured depth profiles of %C, %N, δ13C, and Δ14C, and inventoried soil C stocks to 1 m. We found that the thaw depth was 42% shallower under shrubs compared to graminoid tundra. In addition, mineral soils from shrub tundra had a significantly higher C content than graminoid tundra. Similarly, mineral soils from shrub tundra had lower (depleted) δ13C values compared to graminoid tundra, indicating that this soil has undergone less microbial processing. We also found that C under shrub tundra was on average older, and shrub tundra had significantly higher C stocks to 1 m than graminoid tundra. Second, we conducted a priming experiment with graminoid soil from Toolik Lake, AK. We incubated organic soil, the top 10 cm of mineral soil, and the lower 10 cm of active layer mineral soil with supplemental sucrose at 7°C and 22°C. We found that the addition of labile C did not increase microbial decomposition of existing C in mineral soils. Taken together, our findings suggest that shrub expansion may augment soil C storage in the Arctic because a greater proportion of soil C is frozen in permafrost, soil C under shrubs turns over more slowly, and existing C in mineral soil does not appear to be vulnerable to loss via priming. The observed impacts of shrub expansion on soil C stocks should be incorporated into earth system models that predict the carbon

  14. Too Many Is Too Bad: Long-Term Net Negative Effects of High Density Ungulate Populations on a Dominant Mediterranean Shrub

    PubMed Central

    Lecomte, Xavier; Fedriani, José M.; Caldeira, Maria C.; Clemente, Adelaide S.; Olmi, Alessandro; Bugalho, Miguel N.

    2016-01-01

    Plant–animal interactions imply costs and benefits with net balance depending on interacting species and ecological context. Ungulates, in particular, confer costs (e.g., plant leaf consumption, flower bud predation) and benefits (e.g., plant overcompensation, seed dispersal) to plants. Magnitude of costs and benefits may be altered by habitat management or ecological conditions favoring high density ungulate populations. Little is known however on whether plant costs or benefits predominate over the years, or the long-term outcomes of plant-animal interactions in habitat types sustaining high density ungulate populations. We investigated how high density ungulate populations alter plant costs and benefits by quantifying ungulate long-term effects on the shrub Cistus ladanifer (Cistaceae) individual size, seed weight and number, seed bank, and population density, through a 12-year ungulate exclusion experiment in a Mediterranean scrubland. We monitored plant size and flower buds in plants exposed or protected from ungulates and number of developed capsules and seeds consumed (potential seed dispersal) by ungulates during three reproductive seasons. We found that ungulates negatively affected shrub size and led to a dramatically decline of shrub reproductive structures and seed production, affecting the plant reproductive cycle. Number of buds was 27 times higher and number of developed seed 5 times higher in ungulate-excluded as compared to ungulate-exposed plots. After 9 years of ungulate exclusion, the C. ladanifer seed bank was 2.6 times higher in ungulate-excluded plots. The population density of C. ladanifer was 4 times higher in ungulate-excluded plots. Our long-term experiment showed that high density ungulate populations can alter plant-animal interactions by reducing plant benefits and increasing plant costs. PMID:27387134

  15. Too Many Is Too Bad: Long-Term Net Negative Effects of High Density Ungulate Populations on a Dominant Mediterranean Shrub.

    PubMed

    Lecomte, Xavier; Fedriani, José M; Caldeira, Maria C; Clemente, Adelaide S; Olmi, Alessandro; Bugalho, Miguel N

    2016-01-01

    Plant-animal interactions imply costs and benefits with net balance depending on interacting species and ecological context. Ungulates, in particular, confer costs (e.g., plant leaf consumption, flower bud predation) and benefits (e.g., plant overcompensation, seed dispersal) to plants. Magnitude of costs and benefits may be altered by habitat management or ecological conditions favoring high density ungulate populations. Little is known however on whether plant costs or benefits predominate over the years, or the long-term outcomes of plant-animal interactions in habitat types sustaining high density ungulate populations. We investigated how high density ungulate populations alter plant costs and benefits by quantifying ungulate long-term effects on the shrub Cistus ladanifer (Cistaceae) individual size, seed weight and number, seed bank, and population density, through a 12-year ungulate exclusion experiment in a Mediterranean scrubland. We monitored plant size and flower buds in plants exposed or protected from ungulates and number of developed capsules and seeds consumed (potential seed dispersal) by ungulates during three reproductive seasons. We found that ungulates negatively affected shrub size and led to a dramatically decline of shrub reproductive structures and seed production, affecting the plant reproductive cycle. Number of buds was 27 times higher and number of developed seed 5 times higher in ungulate-excluded as compared to ungulate-exposed plots. After 9 years of ungulate exclusion, the C. ladanifer seed bank was 2.6 times higher in ungulate-excluded plots. The population density of C. ladanifer was 4 times higher in ungulate-excluded plots. Our long-term experiment showed that high density ungulate populations can alter plant-animal interactions by reducing plant benefits and increasing plant costs. PMID:27387134

  16. Long-Term Perspectives of Shrub Expansions and Peat Initiation in Arctic Tundra on the North Slope of Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cleary, K.; Yu, Z.

    2014-12-01

    The ongoing climate warming in the Arctic has caused rapid terrestrial ecosystem changes, including shrub expansion and permafrost thaw. Here we used results from a peat-accumulating permafrost tundra in upper Imnavait Creek on the Arctic foothills of Alaska (68° 36' N, 149° 18' W) to investigate ecological responses to recent climate warming in the context of the last millennium. Six peat soil cores were collected from Sphagnum mosaics along an elevational gradient from 906 m to 950 m on a hillslope covered by Eriophorum-dominated tussock tundra. Macrofossil analysis documents a consistent development sequence among all cores from a mineral soil to a minerotrophic sedge peat and finally to an ombrotrophic Sphagnum peat. The 14C dating results show the ages of peat initiation range from about 900 to 140 cal BP, but do not follow the elevation gradient, suggesting the dominant control of local factors. The Sphagnum onset begins at 1820 AD near the ridge top, and subsequently propagates downslope to the floodplain at 2008 AD. This transition (ombrotrophication) was likely in response to Arctic warming, and subsequent permafrost thaw and active layer thickening, leading to drying initiating at the ridge top and facilitating Sphagnum colonization. Pollen analysis of the master core UIC13-3 at 916 m elevation (basal age 700 cal BP) shows that the vegetation was dominated by sedges (up to 84%) during the cool Little Ice Age until 1800 AD, followed by increases in shrubs first from dwarf birch (Betula nana) (up to 57%) and then willows (Salix spp.) up to 62% in the 1960s. These results indicate that shrub expansion of willows, due to accelerated warming in recent decades, was preceded by birch expansion over the last two centuries. Our new results provide a long-term perspective on ecological transformations in the Arctic, in particular the history of recent shrub expansions and the process of peatland initiation and expansion across Arctic tundra.

  17. Burial increases seed longevity of two Artemisia tridentata (Asteraceae) subspecies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wijayratne, Upekala C.; Pyke, David A.

    2012-01-01

    Premise of the study: Seed longevity and persistence in soil seed banks may be especially important for population persistence in ecosystems where opportunities for seedling establishment and disturbance are unpredictable. The fire regime, an important driver of population dynamics in sagebrush steppe ecosystems, has been altered by exotic annual grass invasion. Soil seed banks may play an active role in postfire recovery of the foundation shrub Artemisia tridentata, yet conditions under which seeds persist are largely unknown. Methods: We investigated seed longevity of two Artemisia tridentata subspecies in situ by retrieving seed bags that were placed at varying depths over a 2 yr period. We also sampled naturally dispersed seeds in litter and soil immediately after seed dispersal and before flowering in subsequent seasons to estimate seed persistence. Key results: After 24 mo, seeds buried at least 3 cm below the soil surface retained 30–40% viability whereas viability of seeds on the surface and under litter declined to 0 and Artemisia tridentata has the potential to form a short-term soil seed bank that persists longer than has been commonly assumed, and that burial is necessary for seed longevity. Use of seeding techniques that promote burial of some seeds to aid in formation of a soil seed bank may increase restoration potential.

  18. Distinct temperature sensitivity among taiga and tundra shrubs in Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andreu-Hayles, L.; Anchukaitis, K. J.; D'Arrigo, R.

    2014-12-01

    Shrub expansion into Arctic and alpine tundra ecosystems is well documented, mostly over the last 50 years, based on remote sensing data, aerial photography, and in-situ observations. Warming temperatures are considered the main driver of the observed change in shrub vegetation patterns. Here, we assess the relationship between temperatures and shrub growth from five populations of Salix spp. (willow) and Alnus spp. (alder) in Alaska growing within the tundra and the boreal forest (~taiga) using dendrochronological techniques. The three tundra shrub sites are located on the Dalton Highway north from Toolik Lake (~69ºN 148ºW), whereas the two taiga shrub sites are located closer to Fairbanks at the Twelve Mile Summit site (~65ºN 146ºW). Because shrub ages vary among the studied populations lead to different time spans for the ring-width chronologies generated, a common period with available satellite data spanning from 1982 to 2010 was selected for this study. All tundra shrub chronologies shared a strong positive response to summer temperatures despite growing in heterogeneous site conditions and belonging to different species. In contrast, in the taiga, summer temperatures enhance willow growth, whereas alder growth appears almost insensitive to temperature over the interval studied. Extending the analyses back in time, a very strong positive relationship was found between alder ring-width and June temperatures prior to 1970. This phenomenon, a weakening of the previously existing relationship between growth and temperatures, was also detected in white spruce (Picea glauca) growing at the same site, and it is known in the literature as the 'divergence problem'. Thus, at this taiga location, alder shrubs and trees seem to have similar growth patterns. Summer temperatures no longer seem to enhance taiga alder growth. Shrubs of different species exposed to the same climatic conditions can exhibit varied growth responses. The distinct temperature sensitivities

  19. The search for brown dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stevenson, David J.

    1991-01-01

    The theory of brown dwarfs is summarized and observational findings regarding brown dwarfs are reviewed. The equation of state, the thermal properties, the interior transport properties, the boundary conditions, and the initial conditions are examined. Indirect observations, IR speckle interferometry, IR photometry, and field observations of brown dwarfs are discussed.

  20. Asteroseismology of White Dwarf Stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hansen, Carl J.

    1997-01-01

    The primary purpose of this investigation has been to study various aspects of multimode pulsations in variable white dwarfs. In particular, nonlinear interactions among pulsation modes in white dwarfs (and, to some extent, in other variable stars), analysis of recent observations where such interactions are important, and preliminary work on the effects of crystallization in cool white dwarfs are reported.

  1. The invasive shrub, Lonicera maackii, reduces growth and fecundity of perennial forest herbs.

    PubMed

    Miller, Kara E; Gorchov, David L

    2004-05-01

    Effects of invasive plant species on native plant species are frequently assumed or inferred from comparisons, but rarely quantified experimentally. Such quantification is important to assessing risks and impacts of invasives. We quantified the effects of Lonicera maackii, an exotic shrub invasive in many eastern North American forests, on survival, growth, and reproduction of three perennial herbs: Allium burdickii, Thalictrum thalictroides , and Viola pubescens. We predicted that the spring ephemeral, A. burdickii , would be most impacted, due to early leaf expansion of L. maackii. Field experiments were carried out in two deciduous forest stands, one (Gregg's Woodlot, GW) disturbed and the other (Western Woods, WW) relatively undisturbed. In each stand, individual herbs were transplanted into a blocked design of 60 plots where L. maackii was present, absent, or removed, and monitored for 5 growing seasons. Lonicera maackii did not affect survival of transplants, but reduced growth and final size of individuals of all three species. For two of the species, A. burdickii and V. pubescens, L. maackii reduced the proportion of live plants flowering in both stands, and reduced the seed or fruit number per flowering individual in GW. For T. thalictroides the proportion flowering was not affected, but seed number per flowering plant was reduced by L. maackii in both stands. For all three species, cumulative seed production over the course of the study was reduced by L. maackii. Overall, effects on the spring ephemeral, A. burdickii, were similar to effects on the other herbs. Because mortality of these established individuals was not affected, short-term studies might conclude forest herbs are unaffected by invasive shrubs. However, the growth and reproduction impacts documented here suggest that populations are impacted in the long-term.

  2. Plant and soil surface responses to a combination of shrub removal and grazing in a shrub-encroached woodland.

    PubMed

    Daryanto, Stefani; Eldridge, David J

    2010-12-01

    Shrub encroachment into open woodland is a widespread phenomenon in semi-arid woodlands worldwide. Encroachment or woody thickening, is thought to result from overgrazing, changes in fire regimes and increased atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. Eighteen years after one-off shrub removal by ploughing we assessed the effects of four different land management systems resulting from two levels each of grazing (grazed, ungrazed) with and without ploughing, on the cover of landscape units, soil surface condition, diversity of understorey plants and density of shrubs. We recorded 2-7 times more patches under conventional conservation (unploughed-ungrazed) than the others treatments, and plant cover and diversity were greater on the two conservation (ungrazed) plots, irrespective of ploughing. Soils under shrubs and log mounds had greater indices of infiltration, stability and nutrients. Shrub density under the active pastoral (ploughed-grazed) treatment was two and a half times greater than that in other treatments, but results were not significant. The effects of different treatments on shrubs were largely species-specific. Overall, our results suggest that ploughing does not provide long-term control of encroaching shrubs. PMID:20696514

  3. Hydraulic properties of leaves from desert shrubs

    SciTech Connect

    Schulte, P.J. )

    1991-05-01

    Changes in certain tissue hydraulic properties such as elasticity, capacitance, and resistance to water flow were considered as a function of leaf water content. It has been suggested in the literature that variation in such properties may be of significance during changes in leaf hydration. In addition, the author was interested in the potential role of changes in these same tissue properties for maintaining leaf water status during drought. Two shrubs occurring in the Mojave desert, mesquite and live-oak, were studied. Measurements suggest that over the range of leaf water potential from zero to turgor loss, the elastic modulus varies 5-fold, capacitance varies 2-fold, and the resistance to flow between the xylem and storage in the leaf parenchyma tissues 2 to 3-fold. A model for water flow was developed based on these and other tissue properties. This modeling approach is being used as a hypothesis-generating tool for future experimentation. Results of the modeling are discussed in the context of published speculations on the functional role of changes in properties such as elasticity for plants under water stress.

  4. AIS spectra of desert shrub canopies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Murray, R.; Isaacson, D. L.; Schrumpf, B. J.; Ripple, W. J.; Lewis, A. J.

    1986-01-01

    Airborne Imaging Spectrometer (AIS) data were collected 30 August 1985 from a desert shrub community in central Oregon. Spectra from artificial targets placed on the test site and from bare soil, big sagebrush (Artemesia tridentata wyomingensis), silver sagebrush (Artemesia cana bolander), and exposed volcanic rocks were studied. Spectral data from grating position 3 (tree mode) were selected from 25 ground positions for analysis by Principal Factor Analysis (PFA). In this grating position, as many as six factors were identified as significant in contributing to spectral structure. Channels 74 through 84 (tree mode) best characterized between-class differences. Other channels were identified as nondiscriminating and as associated with such errors as excessive atmospheric absorption and grating positin changes. The test site was relatively simple with the two species (A. tridentata and A. cana) representing nearly 95% of biomass and with only two mineral backgrounds, a montmorillonitic soil and volcanic rocks. If, as in this study, six factors of spectral structure can be extracted from a single grating position from data acquired over a simple vegetation community, then AIS data must be considered rich in information-gathering potential.

  5. Shrub expansion and climate feedbacks in Arctic tundra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loranty, Michael M.; Goetz, Scott J.

    2012-03-01

    Arctic tundra ecosystems stand to play a substantial role in both the magnitude and rate of global climate warming over the coming decades and centuries. The exact nature of this role will be determined by the combined effects of currently amplified rates of climate warming in the Arctic (Serreze et al 2000) and a series of related positive climate feedbacks that include mobilization of permafrost carbon (Schuur et al 2008), decreases in surface albedo (Chapin et al 2005) and evapotranspiration (ET) mediated increases in atmospheric water vapor (Swann et al 2010). Conceptually, these feedback mechanisms are intuitive and readily comprehensible: warming-induced permafrost thaw will make new soil carbon pools accessible for microbial respiration, and increased vegetation productivity, expansion of shrubs in particular, will lower surface reflectance and increase ET. However, our current understanding of these feedback mechanisms relies largely on limited and local field studies and, as such, the quantitative estimates of feedback effects on regional and global climate require spatial upscaling and uncertainty estimates derived from models. Moreover, the feedback mechanisms interact and their combined net effect on climate is highly variable and not well characterized. A recent study by Bonfils et al (2012) is among the first to explicitly examine how shrub expansion in tundra ecosystems will impact regional climate. Using an Earth system model, Bonfils et al find that an idealized 20% increase in shrub cover north of 60°N latitude will lead to annual temperature increases of 0.66 °C and 1.84 °C, respectively, when the shrubs are 0.5 m and 2 m tall. The modeled temperature increases arise from atmospheric heating as a combined consequence of decreased albedo and increased ET. The primary difference between the two cases is associated with the fact that tall shrubs protrude above the snow, thus reducing albedo year round, whereas short shrubs are completely

  6. Supplementing seed banks to rehabilitate disturbed Mojave Desert shrublands: where do all the seeds go?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    DeFalco, Lesley A.; Esque, Todd C.; Nicklas, Melissa B.; Kane, Jeffrey M.

    2012-01-01

    Revegetation of degraded arid lands often involves supplementing impoverished seed banks and improving the seedbed, yet these approaches frequently fail. To understand these failures, we tracked the fates of seeds for six shrub species that were broadcast across two contrasting surface disturbances common to the Mojave Desert—sites compacted by concentrated vehicle use and trenched sites where topsoil and subsurface soils were mixed. We evaluated seedbed treatments that enhance soil-seed contact (tackifier) and create surface roughness while reducing soil bulk density (harrowing). We also explored whether seed harvesting by granivores and seedling suppression by non-native annuals influence the success of broadcast seeding in revegetating degraded shrublands. Ten weeks after treatments, seeds readily moved off of experimental plots in untreated compacted sites, but seed movements were reduced 32% by tackifier and 55% through harrowing. Harrowing promoted seedling emergence in compacted sites, particularly for the early-colonizing species Encelia farinosa, but tackifier was largely ineffective. The inherent surface roughness of trenched sites retained three times the number of seeds than compacted sites, but soil mixing during trench development likely altered the suitability of the seedbed thus resulting in poor seedling emergence. Non-native annuals had little influence on seed fates during our study. In contrast, the prevalence of harvester ants increased seed removal on compacted sites, whereas rodent activity influenced removal on trenched sites. Future success of broadcast seeding in arid lands depends on evaluating disturbance characteristics prior to seeding and selecting appropriate species and seasons for application.

  7. Hares promote seed dispersal and seedling establishment after volcanic eruptions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nomura, Nanae; Tsuyuzaki, Shiro

    2015-02-01

    Although seed dispersal through animal guts (endozoochory) is a process that determines plant establishment, the behaviour of carriers mean that the seeds are not always dispersed to suitable habitats for germination. The germinable seeds of Gaultheria miqueliana were stored in the pellets of a hare (Lepus timidus ainu) on Mount Koma in northern Japan. To clarify the roles of hares in seed dispersal and germination, field censuses and laboratory experiments were conducted. The field observations were conducted on pellets and seeds in four habitats (bare ground, G. miqueliana shrub patch, Salix reinii patch, and Larix kaempferi understory), and the laboratory experiments were conducted on seed germination with different light, water potential and cold stratification treatments. The laboratory experiments confirmed that seed germination began a few weeks after the sowing of seeds, independent of cold stratification, when light was sufficient and the water potential was low. The seeds did not germinate at high water potential. The pellets were gradually degraded in situ. More seeds germinated from crushed than from intact pellets. Therefore, over the long term, seeds germinated when exposed to light due to the degradation of pellets. The pellets were proportionally dispersed among the four studied habitats. More seeds sown in the field germinated more in shaded habitats, such as in the Gaultheria patch and the Larix understory, and seeds did not germinate on bare ground, where drought often occurred. Thus, the hares had two roles in the dispersal and germination of seeds: (1) the expansion of G. miqueliana populations through seed dispersal to various habitats and (2) the facilitation of delayed seed germination to avoid risks of hazards such as drought. The relationships between small mammals represented by the hare and the shrubs that produce berries are likely to be more mutually evolved than was previously thought.

  8. Direct seeding woody species for restoration of bottomlands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Twedt, D.J.; Connor, Kristina F

    2006-01-01

    I direct seeded (broadcast) seeds of 39 species of trees and shrubs using an ATV-mounted rotary spreader to initiate restoration of bottomland forest on retired agricultural sites. Four sites were planted during February, 2000, and 13 additional sites were planted during April and May, 2001. After two growing seasons, stem density of direct-seeded species varied greatly among study plots (range = 0 to 888 stems/ha) but averaged only 110 stems/ha. I recommend that future efforts at direct seeding focus on seven shrub species (Amorpha fruticosa L., Cephalanthus occidentalis L., Cornus spp., Crataegus spp., Ilex decidua Walt., Morus rubra L., and Prunus spp.) and seven tree species (Celtis laevigata Willd., Diospyros virginiana L., Fraxinus spp., Gleditsia triacanthos L., Robinia pseudoacacia L., Taxodium distichum (L.) Rich, and Ulmus spp.) that successfully established in these trials.

  9. IMPACTS ON FLOODPLAINS BY AN INVASIVE SHRUB, BUDDLEJA DAVIDII

    EPA Science Inventory

    Despite its popularity, the ornamental, Buddleja davidii, a woody shrub of Asian origin, is considered problematic because of its ability to rapidly colonize and dominate floodplain and riparian ecosystems. Dominance during early succession may influence community dynamics and ec...

  10. Can shrub cover increase predation risk for a desert rodent?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schooley, R.L.; Sharpe, Peter B.

    1996-01-01

    Previous research indicates that predation risk may influence activity patterns, habitat partitioning, and community structure of nocturnal desert rodents. Shrub microhabitat is typically considered safer than open microhabitat for these small mammals. We investigated predation risk for Townsend's ground squirrels (Spermophilus townsendii), which are diurnal desert rodents that detect predators visually and use burrows for refuge. Our results suggested that shrub cover may increase risk for these squirrels by decreasing their ability to escape from predators. Our field experiment indicated that running speeds of juvenile squirrels were lower in shrub (Ceratoides lanata) habitat than in open areas. Shrub cover was also associated with shorter predator-detection distances (mammalian and avian) and fewer refuges (burrow entrances per hectare) than in open areas in one year but not in another. Our study demonstrated that the visual and locomotive obstruction of vegetative cover may increase predation risk for diurnal desert rodents and that elements of habitat-dependent risk may be temporally dynamic.

  11. Origins, Evolution, and Fate of Brown Dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martin, Eduardo

    2003-01-01

    Research related to the origins, evolution and fate of brown dwarfs is presented. The topics include: 1) Imaging surveys for brown dwarfs; 2) Companion detection techniques; 3) Measurements of fundamental properties of brown dwarfs; 4) Classification schemes for ultracool dwarfs; 5) Origins and evolution of brown dwarfs; 6) Ultracool atmospheres and interiors; 7) Time variable phenomena in brown dwarfs; 8) Comparisons between brown dwarfs and planets; 9) Substellar mass functions; and 10) Future facilities.

  12. Linking Hydrology, Shrub Habitat, and Novel Wildlife in the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tape, K. D.; O'Donnell, J. A.; Christie, K.

    2014-12-01

    Warming during the 20th century changed the Arctic landscape, including aspects of vegetation, permafrost, and glaciers, but effects on wildlife have been difficult to detect. We explored linkages between components of the riparian ecosystem in Arctic Alaska since the 1970s, including streamflow timing, temperature, floodplain shrub habitat, and shrub herbivore distributions. Streamflow records showed that the peak spring snowmelt discharge has occurred 3.4 days per decade earlier, and consistent fall temperatures and snow arrival dates over the same period suggest that earlier peak discharge has prolonged the ensuing period of reduced flow in the floodplain. We used empirical correlations between cumulative summer warmth and riparian shrub height to estimate that the longer and warmer growing seasons since the 1970s have stimulated a 63% increase in the height of riparian shrubs. Earlier spring discharge and the estimated increase in riparian shrub height are consistent with the observed riparian shrub expansion in the region. Our measurements showed that snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus) require a mean riparian shrub height of at least 1.05 to 1.35 m, a threshold which our hindcasting indicates was met between 1977 and 2002. This generally coincides with observational evidence we present suggesting that snowshoe hares became established in 1977 or 1978. Similar relationships are shown for moose, which colonized the region in the 1940s. We also show that Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) inhabited the region in 1998, probably due in part to increasing availability of snowshoe hares. The novel appearance in the Arctic during the 20th century of terrestrial herbivores such as snowshoe hares and moose in response increased shrub habitat is a contrasting terrestrial counterpart to the decline in marine mammals reliant on decreasing sea ice.

  13. Fencing enhances shrub survival and growth for Mojave desert revegetation

    SciTech Connect

    Hunter, R.B.; Romney, E.M.; Wallace, A.

    1980-01-01

    Fourteen species of native shrubs were transplanted to bare areas of the northern Mojave Desert in 1972 and 1973. By 1978 plants surrounded by small fences were larger (0.26 vs 0.11 m/sup 3/ overall average for several species) and survived better (42 percent versus 23 percent) than unfenced plants. These effects are primarily due to reduced grazing of shoots. Loss of shrubs to pocket gophers or other burrowing rodents was not prevented by fencing.

  14. Hunting the Coolest Substellar Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zuckerman, Ben; Rodriguez, David; Song, Inseok; Melis, Carl

    2010-06-01

    The few lowest mass substellar objects discovered in previous imaging surveys are found to have large semi-major axes, typically hundreds of AU. We show that at such large separations and toward old stars one has the best chance to detect the coolest brown dwarf companions, with effective temperatures of <500 K (the so-called 'Y dwarfs''). Effective temperatures of 500 K represent a region of temperature space that is only recently being probed for free floating brown dwarfs. The discovery of such cool objects will illuminate their physics and chemistry and will provide observational data to test planetary models. To discover one or more Y dwarfs, we are conducting a survey of white dwarfs with ages >2 Gyr that lie within 35 pc of Earth. As companions to white dwarfs, we will be able to determine the ages of any cool brown dwarfs we find and thus constrain their masses.

  15. Enhanced precipitation variability decreases grass- and increases shrub-productivity

    PubMed Central

    Gherardi, Laureano A.; Sala, Osvaldo E.

    2015-01-01

    Although projections of precipitation change indicate increases in variability, most studies of impacts of climate change on ecosystems focused on effects of changes in amount of precipitation, overlooking precipitation variability effects, especially at the interannual scale. Here, we present results from a 6-y field experiment, where we applied sequences of wet and dry years, increasing interannual precipitation coefficient of variation while maintaining a precipitation amount constant. Increased precipitation variability significantly reduced ecosystem primary production. Dominant plant-functional types showed opposite responses: perennial-grass productivity decreased by 81%, whereas shrub productivity increased by 67%. This pattern was explained by different nonlinear responses to precipitation. Grass productivity presented a saturating response to precipitation where dry years had a larger negative effect than the positive effects of wet years. In contrast, shrubs showed an increasing response to precipitation that resulted in an increase in average productivity with increasing precipitation variability. In addition, the effects of precipitation variation increased through time. We argue that the differential responses of grasses and shrubs to precipitation variability and the amplification of this phenomenon through time result from contrasting root distributions of grasses and shrubs and competitive interactions among plant types, confirmed by structural equation analysis. Under drought conditions, grasses reduce their abundance and their ability to absorb water that then is transferred to deep soil layers that are exclusively explored by shrubs. Our work addresses an understudied dimension of climate change that might lead to widespread shrub encroachment reducing the provisioning of ecosystem services to society. PMID:26417095

  16. Enhanced precipitation variability decreases grass- and increases shrub-productivity.

    PubMed

    Gherardi, Laureano A; Sala, Osvaldo E

    2015-10-13

    Although projections of precipitation change indicate increases in variability, most studies of impacts of climate change on ecosystems focused on effects of changes in amount of precipitation, overlooking precipitation variability effects, especially at the interannual scale. Here, we present results from a 6-y field experiment, where we applied sequences of wet and dry years, increasing interannual precipitation coefficient of variation while maintaining a precipitation amount constant. Increased precipitation variability significantly reduced ecosystem primary production. Dominant plant-functional types showed opposite responses: perennial-grass productivity decreased by 81%, whereas shrub productivity increased by 67%. This pattern was explained by different nonlinear responses to precipitation. Grass productivity presented a saturating response to precipitation where dry years had a larger negative effect than the positive effects of wet years. In contrast, shrubs showed an increasing response to precipitation that resulted in an increase in average productivity with increasing precipitation variability. In addition, the effects of precipitation variation increased through time. We argue that the differential responses of grasses and shrubs to precipitation variability and the amplification of this phenomenon through time result from contrasting root distributions of grasses and shrubs and competitive interactions among plant types, confirmed by structural equation analysis. Under drought conditions, grasses reduce their abundance and their ability to absorb water that then is transferred to deep soil layers that are exclusively explored by shrubs. Our work addresses an understudied dimension of climate change that might lead to widespread shrub encroachment reducing the provisioning of ecosystem services to society. PMID:26417095

  17. Enhanced precipitation variability decreases grass- and increases shrub-productivity.

    PubMed

    Gherardi, Laureano A; Sala, Osvaldo E

    2015-10-13

    Although projections of precipitation change indicate increases in variability, most studies of impacts of climate change on ecosystems focused on effects of changes in amount of precipitation, overlooking precipitation variability effects, especially at the interannual scale. Here, we present results from a 6-y field experiment, where we applied sequences of wet and dry years, increasing interannual precipitation coefficient of variation while maintaining a precipitation amount constant. Increased precipitation variability significantly reduced ecosystem primary production. Dominant plant-functional types showed opposite responses: perennial-grass productivity decreased by 81%, whereas shrub productivity increased by 67%. This pattern was explained by different nonlinear responses to precipitation. Grass productivity presented a saturating response to precipitation where dry years had a larger negative effect than the positive effects of wet years. In contrast, shrubs showed an increasing response to precipitation that resulted in an increase in average productivity with increasing precipitation variability. In addition, the effects of precipitation variation increased through time. We argue that the differential responses of grasses and shrubs to precipitation variability and the amplification of this phenomenon through time result from contrasting root distributions of grasses and shrubs and competitive interactions among plant types, confirmed by structural equation analysis. Under drought conditions, grasses reduce their abundance and their ability to absorb water that then is transferred to deep soil layers that are exclusively explored by shrubs. Our work addresses an understudied dimension of climate change that might lead to widespread shrub encroachment reducing the provisioning of ecosystem services to society.

  18. Effects of rodent species, seed species, and predator cues on seed fate

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sivy, Kelly J.; Ostoja, Steven M.; Schupp, Eugene W.; Durham, Susan

    2011-01-01

    Seed selection, removal and subsequent management by granivorous animals is thought to be a complex interaction of factors including qualities of the seeds themselves (e.g., seed size, nutritional quality) and features of the local habitat (e.g. perceived predator risk). At the same time, differential seed selection and dispersal is thought to have profound effects on seed fate and potentially vegetation dynamics. In a feeding arena, we tested whether rodent species, seed species, and indirect and direct predation cues influence seed selection and handling behaviors (e.g., scatter hoarding versus larder hoarding) of two heteromyid rodents, Ord's kangaroo rat (Dipodomys ordii) and the Great Basin pocket mouse (Perognathus parvus). The indirect cue was shrub cover, a feature of the environment. Direct cues, presented individually, were (1) control, (2) coyote (Canis latrans) vocalization, (3) coyote scent, (4) red fox (Vulpes vulpes) scent, or (5) short-eared owl (Asio flammeus) vocalization. We offered seeds of three sizes: two native grasses, Indian ricegrass (Achnatherum hymenoides) and bluebunch wheatgrass (Pseudoroegneria spicata), and the non-native cereal rye (Secale cereale), each in separate trays. Kangaroo rats preferentially harvested Indian ricegrass while pocket mice predominately harvested Indian ricegrass and cereal rye. Pocket mice were more likely to scatter hoard preferred seeds, whereas kangaroo rats mostly consumed and/or larder hoarded preferred seeds. No predator cue significantly affected seed preferences. However, both species altered seed handling behavior in response to direct predation cues by leaving more seeds available in the seed pool, though they responded to different predator cues. If these results translate to natural dynamics on the landscape, the two rodents are expected to have different impacts on seed survival and plant recruitment via their different seed selection and seed handling behaviors.

  19. Effects of rodent species, seed species, and predator cues on seed fate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sivy, Kelly J.; Ostoja, Steven M.; Schupp, Eugene W.; Durham, Susan

    2011-07-01

    Seed selection, removal and subsequent management by granivorous animals is thought to be a complex interaction of factors including qualities of the seeds themselves (e.g., seed size, nutritional quality) and features of the local habitat (e.g. perceived predator risk). At the same time, differential seed selection and dispersal is thought to have profound effects on seed fate and potentially vegetation dynamics. In a feeding arena, we tested whether rodent species, seed species, and indirect and direct predation cues influence seed selection and handling behaviors (e.g., scatter hoarding versus larder hoarding) of two heteromyid rodents, Ord's kangaroo rat ( Dipodomys ordii) and the Great Basin pocket mouse ( Perognathus parvus). The indirect cue was shrub cover, a feature of the environment. Direct cues, presented individually, were (1) control, (2) coyote ( Canis latrans) vocalization, (3) coyote scent, (4) red fox ( Vulpes vulpes) scent, or (5) short-eared owl ( Asio flammeus) vocalization. We offered seeds of three sizes: two native grasses, Indian ricegrass ( Achnatherum hymenoides) and bluebunch wheatgrass ( Pseudoroegneria spicata), and the non-native cereal rye ( Secale cereale), each in separate trays. Kangaroo rats preferentially harvested Indian ricegrass while pocket mice predominately harvested Indian ricegrass and cereal rye. Pocket mice were more likely to scatter hoard preferred seeds, whereas kangaroo rats mostly consumed and/or larder hoarded preferred seeds. No predator cue significantly affected seed preferences. However, both species altered seed handling behavior in response to direct predation cues by leaving more seeds available in the seed pool, though they responded to different predator cues. If these results translate to natural dynamics on the landscape, the two rodents are expected to have different impacts on seed survival and plant recruitment via their different seed selection and seed handling behaviors.

  20. Within-population spatial variation in pollinator visitation rates, pollen limitation on seed set, and flower longevity in an alpine species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lundemo, Sverre; Totland, Ørjan

    2007-11-01

    Pollen limitation through insufficient pollen deposition on stigmas caused by too infrequent pollinator visitation may influence the reproductive outcome of plants. In this study we investigated how pollinator visitation rate, the degree of pollen limitation, and flower longevity varied spatially among three sites at different altitudes within a population of the dwarf shrub Dryas octopetala L. in alpine southern Norway. Significant pollen limitation on seed set only occurred at the mid-elevation site, while seed set at the other sites appeared to be mainly resource limited, thus indicating a spatial variation in pollen limitation. There was no association between the spatial variation in the extent of pollen limitation and pollinator visitation rate to flowers. However, pollinator visitation rates were related to flower longevity of Dryas; sites with low visitation rates had long-lived flowers and vice versa. Thus, our results suggest within-population spatial co-variation between pollinator visitation rates, pollen limitation, and a developmental response to these factors, flower longevity.

  1. Freezing resistance in Patagonian woody shrubs: the role of cell wall elasticity and stem vessel size.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yong-Jiang; Bucci, Sandra J; Arias, Nadia S; Scholz, Fabian G; Hao, Guang-You; Cao, Kun-Fang; Goldstein, Guillermo

    2016-08-01

    Freezing resistance through avoidance or tolerance of extracellular ice nucleation is important for plant survival in habitats with frequent subzero temperatures. However, the role of cell walls in leaf freezing resistance and the coordination between leaf and stem physiological processes under subzero temperatures are not well understood. We studied leaf and stem responses to freezing temperatures, leaf and stem supercooling, leaf bulk elastic modulus and stem xylem vessel size of six Patagonian shrub species from two sites (plateau and low elevation sites) with different elevation and minimum temperatures. Ice seeding was initiated in the stem and quickly spread to leaves, but two species from the plateau site had barriers against rapid spread of ice. Shrubs with xylem vessels smaller in diameter had greater stem supercooling capacity, i.e., ice nucleated at lower subzero temperatures. Only one species with the lowest ice nucleation temperature among all species studied exhibited freezing avoidance by substantial supercooling, while the rest were able to tolerate extracellular freezing from -11.3 to -20 °C. Leaves of species with more rigid cell walls (higher bulk elastic modulus) could survive freezing to lower subzero temperatures, suggesting that rigid cell walls potentially reduce the degree of physical injury to cell membranes during the extracellular freezing and/or thaw processes. In conclusion, our results reveal the temporal-spatial ice spreading pattern (from stem to leaves) in Patagonian shrubs, and indicate the role of xylem vessel size in determining supercooling capacity and the role of cell wall elasticity in determining leaf tolerance of extracellular ice formation.

  2. Freezing resistance in Patagonian woody shrubs: the role of cell wall elasticity and stem vessel size.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yong-Jiang; Bucci, Sandra J; Arias, Nadia S; Scholz, Fabian G; Hao, Guang-You; Cao, Kun-Fang; Goldstein, Guillermo

    2016-08-01

    Freezing resistance through avoidance or tolerance of extracellular ice nucleation is important for plant survival in habitats with frequent subzero temperatures. However, the role of cell walls in leaf freezing resistance and the coordination between leaf and stem physiological processes under subzero temperatures are not well understood. We studied leaf and stem responses to freezing temperatures, leaf and stem supercooling, leaf bulk elastic modulus and stem xylem vessel size of six Patagonian shrub species from two sites (plateau and low elevation sites) with different elevation and minimum temperatures. Ice seeding was initiated in the stem and quickly spread to leaves, but two species from the plateau site had barriers against rapid spread of ice. Shrubs with xylem vessels smaller in diameter had greater stem supercooling capacity, i.e., ice nucleated at lower subzero temperatures. Only one species with the lowest ice nucleation temperature among all species studied exhibited freezing avoidance by substantial supercooling, while the rest were able to tolerate extracellular freezing from -11.3 to -20 °C. Leaves of species with more rigid cell walls (higher bulk elastic modulus) could survive freezing to lower subzero temperatures, suggesting that rigid cell walls potentially reduce the degree of physical injury to cell membranes during the extracellular freezing and/or thaw processes. In conclusion, our results reveal the temporal-spatial ice spreading pattern (from stem to leaves) in Patagonian shrubs, and indicate the role of xylem vessel size in determining supercooling capacity and the role of cell wall elasticity in determining leaf tolerance of extracellular ice formation. PMID:27217529

  3. Dwarf Eye Disorder

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Science Teacher, 2005

    2005-01-01

    Johns Hopkins researchers at the Wilmer Eye Institute have discovered what appears to be the first human gene mutation that causes extreme farsightedness. The researchers report that nanophthalmos, Greek for "dwarf eye," is a rare, potentially blinding disorder caused by an alteration in a gene called MFRP that helps control eye growth and…

  4. Shrubs, streamflow, and the paradox of scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilcox, Bradford P.; Owens, M. Keith; Dugas, William A.; Ueckert, Darrell N.; Hart, Charles R.

    2006-10-01

    In this paper, we examine the linkage between woody plants and the water budget for three important woody plant communities in Texas, USA: saltcedar (Tamarix chinensis, Tamarix ramosissima), Ashe juniper (Juniperus ashei Buchholz), and mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa Torr. var. glandulosa). In most cases, these species are found in distinct physiographic and soil settings. Saltcedar is restricted to stream channels and floodplains; Ashe juniper is found mostly on karst limestone outcrops with shallow soils; and mesquite is found on deep soils. Because of these differences, changes in woody plant cover in each community will have a different effect on the water budget. For each type, we review the available literature and explicitly report the scale of observation (tree, stand, catchment, or landscape). A simple framework called the shrub-streamflow framework, which recognizes differences in response due to differences in physiographic setting, climate, and potential for deep drainage or subsurface flow, enables us to generalize the results. The fundamental premise of the framework is simple: for shrublands to be hydrologically sensitive to changes in woody plant cover, soil water or groundwater must be accessible to deep-rooting plants but too deep for shallow-rooting ones. Such a situation exists if groundwater is close to the surface (within 3-5 m and/or if deep drainage occurs (because of either high precipitation input or bypass flow in the soil). We argue that on an area basis, conversion of saltcedar stands to herbaceous plants in riparian regions has a much greater potential for increasing water yield than does conversion of woodlands to grasslands in upland regions where deep drainage does not occur. On upland sites where deep drainage does occur, conversion from woody to herbaceous vegetation may result in a savings of 40-80 mm year-1 of water. But such savings have been observed only up to the small-catchment scale, and until further work is done it is

  5. White Dwarf Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kepler, S. O.

    2014-10-01

    White dwarfs are the evolutionary endpoint for nearly 95% of all stars born in our Galaxy, the final stages of evolution of all low- and intermediate mass stars, i.e., main sequence stars with masses below (8.5± 1.5) M_{odot}, depending on metallicity of the progenitor, mass loss and core overshoot. Massive white dwarfs are intrinsically rare objects, tand produce a gap in the determination of the initial vs. final mass relation at the high mass end (e.g. Weidemann 2000 A&A, 363, 647; Kalirai et al. 2008, ApJ, 676, 594; Williams, Bolte & Koester 2009, ApJ, 693, 355). Main sequences stars with higher masses will explode as SNII (Smartt S. 2009 ARA&A, 47, 63), but the limit does depend on the metallicity of the progenitor. Massive white dwarfs are probably SNIa progenitors through accretion or merger. They are rare, being the final product of massive stars (less common) and have smaller radius (less luminous). Kepler et al. 2007 (MNRAS, 375, 1315), Kleinman et al. 2013 (ApJS, 204, 5) estimate only 1-2% white dwarfs have masses above 1 M_{odot}. The final stages of evolution after helium burning are a race between core growth and loss of the H-rich envelope in a stellar wind. When the burning shell is exposed, the star rapidly cools and burning ceases, leaving a white dwarf. As they cool down, the magnetic field freezes in, ranging from a few kilogauss to a gigagauss. Peculiar type Ia SN 2006gz, SN 2007if, SN 2009dc, SN 2003fg suggest progenitors in the range 2.4-2.8 M_{odot}, and Das U. & Mukhopadhyay B. (2012, Phys. Rev. D, 86, 042001) estimate that the Chandrasekhar limit increases to 2.3-2.6 M_{odot} for extremely high magnetic field stars, but differential rotation induced by accretion could also increase it, according to Hachisu I. et al. 2012 (ApJ, 744, 69). García-Berro et al. 2012, ApJ, 749, 25, for example, proposes double degenerate mergers are the progenitors of high-field magnetic white dwarfs. We propose magnetic fields enhance the line broadening in

  6. The white dwarf luminosity function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García-Berro, Enrique; Oswalt, Terry D.

    2016-06-01

    White dwarfs are the final remnants of low- and intermediate-mass stars. Their evolution is essentially a cooling process that lasts for ∼ 10 Gyr. Their observed properties provide information about the history of the Galaxy, its dark matter content and a host of other interesting astrophysical problems. Examples of these include an independent determination of the past history of the local star formation rate, identification of the objects responsible for the reported microlensing events, constraints on the rate of change of the gravitational constant, and upper limits to the mass of weakly interacting massive particles. To carry on these tasks the essential observational tools are the luminosity and mass functions of white dwarfs, whereas the theoretical tools are the evolutionary sequences of white dwarf progenitors, and the corresponding white dwarf cooling sequences. In particular, the observed white dwarf luminosity function is the key manifestation of the white dwarf cooling theory, although other relevant ingredients are needed to compare theory and observations. In this review we summarize the recent attempts to empirically determine the white dwarf luminosity function for the different Galactic populations. We also discuss the biases that may affect its interpretation. Finally, we elaborate on the theoretical ingredients needed to model the white dwarf luminosity function, paying special attention to the remaining uncertainties, and we comment on some applications of the white dwarf cooling theory. Astrophysical problems for which white dwarf stars may provide useful leverage in the near future are also discussed.

  7. Facilitating the afforestation of Mediterranean polluted soils by nurse shrubs.

    PubMed

    Domínguez, María T; Pérez-Ramos, Ignacio M; Murillo, José M; Marañón, Teodoro

    2015-09-15

    The revegetation of polluted sites and abandoned agricultural soils is critical to reduce soil losses and to control the spread of soil pollution in the Mediterranean region, which is currently exposed to the greatest soil erosion risk in Europe. However, events of massive plant mortality usually occur during the first years after planting, mainly due to the adverse conditions of high irradiance and drought stress. Here, we evaluated the usefulness of considering the positive plant-plant interactions (facilitation effect) in the afforestation of polluted agricultural sites, using pre-existing shrubs as nurse plants. We used nurse shrubs as planting microsites for acorns of Quercus ilex (Holm oak) along a gradient of soil pollution in southwestern Spain, and monitored seedling growth, survival, and chemical composition during three consecutive years. Seedling survival greatly increased (from 20% to more than 50%) when acorns were sown under shrub, in comparison to the open, unprotected matrix. Facilitation of seedling growth by shrubs increased along the gradient of soil pollution, in agreement with the stress gradient hypothesis that predicts higher intensity of the facilitation effects with increasing abiotic stress. Although the accumulation of trace elements in seedling leaves was higher underneath shrub, the shading conditions provided by the shrub canopy allowed seedlings to cope with the toxicity provoked by the concurrence of low pH and high trace element concentrations in the most polluted sites. Our results show that the use of shrubs as nurse plants is a promising tool for the cost-effective afforestation of polluted lands under Mediterranean conditions.

  8. Detection of the White Dwarf Companions of Barium Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gray, Richard O.; Corbally, C. J.; Griffin, E.; McGahee, C. E.

    2010-01-01

    The Barium dwarfs are chemically peculiar F- and G-type stars that show enhanced abundances of s-process elements such as strontium and barium. They are believed to have derived their chemical peculiarities via mass transfer from a former AGB companion, now a white dwarf. These WD companions should be detectable in the far-ultraviolet if their effective temperatures exceed 10,000K. However, despite dedicated IUE searches, no WD companion has been directly detected. We have observed 4 Ba dwarfs with the GALEX ultraviolet space telescope (2 newly discovered Ba dwarfs have archival observations), and report here on the first unequivocal direct detection of a WD companion of a Ba dwarf, HD 15306, the hottest Ba dwarf known (F4 V). This WD companion is detected through a clear far-ultraviolet excess. Detection of the putative WD companions of the other observed Ba dwarfs is somewhat more problematical, as those stars have cooler effective temperatures and chromospheric activity can significantly affect their FUV fluxes. The disentanglement of WD FUV fluxes from FUV emission due to chromospheric activity requires comparison of the observed Ba dwarfs with F- and G-type dwarfs with archival GALEX photometry. We have selected a set of 68 F- and G-type dwarfs from the NStars program (Gray et al. 2003, 2006) that have good quality archival GALEX photometry and show a wide range of chromospheric activity. A comparison of these stars with the 5 remaining GALEX-observed Ba dwarfs suggests that one and perhaps two of these Ba dwarfs have detectable WD companions.

  9. The Geomorphic Effectiveness of a Woody Shrub

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manners, R.; Schmidt, J. C.; Wheaton, J. M.

    2010-12-01

    Vegetation plays a fundamental role in controlling channel form and influencing channel processes. Experimental work has shown that stem density, stem spacing, relative submergence, and stem flexibility are key indicators of the effectiveness of vegetation in altering the flow field. These parameters are likely to be species dependent and change over time as vegetation grows, dies back and is replaced by late successional species. Thus, the role of vegetation is highly variable in both space and time. Capturing this variability is essential in understanding how vegetation controls channel processes. Here, we investigate the spatial and temporal variability of stand characteristics (i.e. stem density and spacing) for the non-native riparian shrub, Tamarix spp. In the Colorado River basin, Tamarix dominates large portions of the riparian corridor. Tamarix is capable of establishing rapidly and in dense stands and as such been implicated in enhancing channel changes observed during the last century. However, questions relating to Tamarix’s role relative to other pervasive environmental changes necessitate a robust way to capture the effectiveness of Tamarix in altering the flow field and inducing deposition. We focus on the stand structure of aging Tamarix stands in order to relate Tamarix life-history to hydrodynamic roughness. High resolution terrestrial laser scans (TLS) were collected for Tamarix patches (10-15 m2) on different geomorphic surfaces (i.e. gravel bar, disconnected floodplain) and ages (5-60 years). Stem frontal area at varying depths was calculated from the scans over the patch and for the patch as a whole. We used Telemac 2D to evaluate how the stem density and spacing influence flow characteristics, such as drag on the stems and Froude number. To do this, the representative stem density and spacing was translated into cylindrical elements on a flat (i.e no topography) mesh. Elevation above the channel influences stand density. For example, a 20

  10. White dwarf heating and the ultraviolet flux in dwarf novae

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pringle, J. E.

    1988-01-01

    The heating of the outer layers of the white dwarf which is likely to occur during a dwarf nova outburst is investigated. It is shown that the decline in IUE flux, observed during quiescent intervals in the dwarf novae VW Hydri and WX Hydri, may be due to the outer layers cooling off once the heat source is removed. The calculations here assume uniformity of the heat source over the white dwarf surface. This is unlikely to be realized from disk accretion, and discussion is made of what further calculations are required.

  11. Deceleration efficiencies of shrub windbreaks in a wind tunnel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Xiaoxu; Zou, Xueyong; Zhou, Na; Zhang, Chunlai; Shi, Sha

    2015-03-01

    Artemisia and Salix are dominant shrub species for windbreaks in arid areas of China, and they show similar features to shrubs in other arid areas of the world. We compared the mean velocity fields and shelter effects of two shrub windbreaks with different layouts. For a single plant of Artemisia, the higher the free airflow velocity is, the more the wind velocity around two sides of the plant increases. The velocity gradient around a single plant of Salix is smaller than that around an Artemisia plant due to the difference in the plant shapes. Seven new velocity zones in the horizontal direction appear when airflow passes through an Artemisia windbreak, including four deceleration zones and three acceleration zones. The mean velocity field that is affected by a Salix windbreak can be divided into a deceleration zone in the front, an acceleration zone above, a vortex zone behind and a restoration zone downwind of the vortex zone. Shelter effects of the shrub windbreaks vary with the wind velocity and are influenced by the construct of the windbreaks. Shrub windbreaks that have a complex construction have better shelter effects than simple ones. The shelter effects of plant windbreaks are also influenced by the growth features of the plants. Considering the plant characteristics and the shelter effects of Salix and Artemisia windbreaks, it is optimal to plant these two windbreaks together in a sand-control system. This research is intended to be useful for sand movement control in arid areas.

  12. Shrubs and Runoff in Semiarid Landscapes: Whats the Linkage?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilcox, B. P.; Owens, M. K.; Knight, R.; Lyons, R. K.

    2001-12-01

    Here we examine linkage between streamflow and shrub cover in semiarid landscapes with a focus on the extensive Texas rangelands covered by mesquite and juniper. The conclusions drawn are consistent with results from field studies and with our understanding of runoff processes from rangelands. Whether and how shrub control will affect streamflow depends on shrub characteristics, precipitation, soils, and geology. Precipitation is perhaps the most fundamental of these factors: there is little if any real potential for increasing streamflow where annual precipitation is below about 500 mm. For areas in which precipitation is sufficient, an excellent indicator that there is potential for increasing streamflow through shrub control is that base flow is an important component of streamflow. Another key indicator is shallow soils underlain by fractured parent material; under such conditions, increased streamflows are possible mainly because water that would otherwise be lost through interception by the canopy instead moves into the soil and quickly travels beyond the root zone. Conversely, where soils are deep there is little evidence that streamflow can be significantly increased by reducing brush cover. Results from a 10 year small watershed study where juniper was selectively removed in the Edwards plateau region of Texas will be summarized in this presentation. In assessing the potential for shrub control to increase streamflow, the runoff generation process should be explicitly identified. Areas in which Horton overland flow is the primary runoff mechanism offer little potential for increasing streamflow via vegetation management.

  13. [Soil moisture dynamics under artificial Caragana microphylla shrub].

    PubMed

    Alamusa; Jiang, Deming; Fan, Shixiang; Luo, Yongming

    2002-12-01

    Applying the methods of deducing time series from vegetation space alignment, we analyzed the spatial and temporal variation features of soil moisture under artificial Caragana microphylla shrubs built in 1984, 1987, 1995, 1999. The results showed that affected by mechanical composition of mobile sandy dunes, the soil of sandy land was mainly composed of sandy particle, and the particles of > 0.01 mm were accounted for 97%. The withered moisture was 1.55%. The field waterhold capacity was 5.5%, and the available moisture storage was 3.95%. With the increase of the dominance of fix-sand vegetation, the moisture content of soil under artificial Caragana microphylla shrubs was decreased. The soil moisture of vegetation built in 1984 was lower than that built in 1999. The soil moisture conditions of four stages vegetation were continued depressing from April to June in a year, the lowest point presenced in June, and then gradually increased from July to October. The vertical change of soil moisture showed the tendency of increasing with soil depth. The soil moisture decreased by the degrees of early built vegetation (1984, 1987). Especially in 70 cm soil depth, the moisture content of soil decreased obviously. Caragana microphylla shrubs absorbed water and aggravated the shortage of soil moisture content near the root system, which affected the component of vegetation in Caragana microphylla shrubs. The species of herbaceous plants and annual plants increased during the growth of Caragana microphylla shrub.

  14. Collapsing white dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baron, E.; Cooperstein, J.; Kahana, S.; Nomoto, K.

    1987-01-01

    The results of the hydrodynamic collapse of an accreting C + O white dwarf are presented. Collapse is induced by electron captures in the iron core behind a conductive deflagration front. The shock wave produced by the hydrodynamic bounce of the iron core stalls at about 115 km, and thus a neutron star formed in such a model would be formed as an optically quiet event.

  15. Local Universe Dwarf Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carignan, Claude

    2015-08-01

    One of the outstanding problems in cosmology is addressing the "small-scale crisis" and understanding structure formation at the smallest scales. Standard Lambda Cold Dark Matter cosmological simulations of Milky Way-size DM halos predict many more DM sub-halos than the number of dwarf galaxies observed. This is the so-called Missing Satellites Problem. The most popular interpretation of the Missing Satellites Problem is that the smallest dark matter halos in the universe are extremely inefficient at forming stars. The virialized extent of the Milky Way's halo should contain ~500 satellites, while only ˜100 satellites and dwarfs are observed in the whole Local Group. Despite the large amount of theoretical work and new optical observations, the discrepancy, even if reduced, still persists between observations and hierarchical models, regardless of the model parameters. It may be possible to find those isolated ultra-faint missing dwarf galaxies via their neutral gas component, which is one of the goals we are pursuing with the SKA precursor KAT-7 in South Africa, and soon with the SKA pathfinder MeerKAT.

  16. Soil Microbial Activity Provides Insight to Carbon Cycling in Shrub Ecotones of Sub-Arctic Sweden

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marek, E.; Kashi, N. N.; Chen, J.; Hobbie, E. A.; Schwan, M. R.; Varner, R. K.

    2015-12-01

    Shrubs are expanding in Arctic and sub-Arctic regions due to rising atmospheric temperatures. Microbial activity increases as growing temperatures cause permafrost warming and subsequent thaw, leading to a greater resource of soil nutrients enabling shrub growth. Increased carbon inputs from shrubs is predicted to result in faster carbon turnover by microbial decomposition. Further understanding of microbial activity underneath shrubs could uncover how microbes and soil processes interact to promote shrub expansion and carbon cycling. To address how higher soil carbon input from shrubs influences decomposition, soil samples were taken across a heath, shrub, and forest ecotone gradient at two sites near Abikso, Sweden. Samples were analyzed for soluble carbon and nitrogen, microbial abundance, and microbial activity of chitinase, glucosidase, and phosphatase to reflect organic matter decomposition and availability of nitrogen, carbon, and phosphate respectively. Chitinase activity positively correlated with shrub cover, suggesting microbial demands for nitrogen increase with higher shrub cover. Glucosidase activity negatively correlated with shrub cover and soluble carbon, suggesting decreased microbial demand for carbon as shrub cover and carbon stores increase. Lower glucosidase activity in areas with high carbon input from shrubs implies that microbes are decomposing carbon less readily than carbon is being put into the soil. Increasing soil carbon stores in shrub covered areas can lead to shrubs becoming a net carbon sink and a negative feedback to changing climate.

  17. Fog Water Use in Coastal California Shrub Species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Emery, N.; D'Antonio, C. M.

    2014-12-01

    Fog strongly influences plant communities along the California coast. Chaparral and California Sage Scrub are no exception. This study identified fog water use in five shrub species from the Santa Barbara region. The authors collected fog, rain and groundwater from several field sites for three years (2011-2013) to establish the source water isotopic signatures. Plant stem tissue was collected periodically throughout the summer months and water was extracted for stable isotope analysis. To account for soil evaporative fractionation, the authors collected soil samples from the field and constructed local evaporative correction lines. Preliminary mixing model analysis suggests fog water use in several shrub species while others utilized rain and groundwater during the late summer. This additional water may buffer the effects of summer drought in only some of the species that live in the shrub-dominated communities along the California coast.

  18. Environmental Limits of Tall Shrubs in Alaska's Arctic National Parks.

    PubMed

    Swanson, David K

    2015-01-01

    We sampled shrub canopy volume (height times area) and environmental factors (soil wetness, soil depth of thaw, soil pH, mean July air temperature, and typical date of spring snow loss) on 471 plots across five National Park Service units in northern Alaska. Our goal was to determine the environments where tall shrubs thrive and use this information to predict the location of future shrub expansion. The study area covers over 80,000 km2 and has mostly tundra vegetation. Large canopy volumes were uncommon, with volumes over 0.5 m3/m2 present on just 8% of plots. Shrub canopy volumes were highest where mean July temperatures were above 10.5°C and on weakly acid to neutral soils (pH of 6 to 7) with deep summer thaw (>80 cm) and good drainage. On many sites, flooding helped maintain favorable soil conditions for shrub growth. Canopy volumes were highest where the typical snow loss date was near 20 May; these represent sites that are neither strongly wind-scoured in the winter nor late to melt from deep snowdrifts. Individual species varied widely in the canopy volumes they attained and their response to the environmental factors. Betula sp. shrubs were the most common and quite tolerant of soil acidity, cold July temperatures, and shallow thaw depths, but they did not form high-volume canopies under these conditions. Alnus viridis formed the largest canopies and was tolerant of soil acidity down to about pH 5, but required more summer warmth (over 12°C) than the other species. The Salix species varied widely from S. pulchra, tolerant of wet and moderately acid soils, to S. alaxensis, requiring well-drained soils with near neutral pH. Nearly half of the land area in ARCN has mean July temperatures of 10.5 to 12.5°C, where 2°C of warming would bring temperatures into the range needed for all of the potential tall shrub species to form large canopies. However, limitations in the other environmental factors would probably prevent the formation of large shrub canopies

  19. A contribution of groundwater to Mojave Desert shrub transpiration

    SciTech Connect

    Hunter, R.B.

    1988-12-31

    Soil moisture was measured to 1-m depths in the northern Mojave Desert on two plots, one of which was denuded of shrubs. The pattern of wetting-drying near the surface and below the depth wet by rainfall suggested roughly 2 mm per month of transpired water was supplied by percolation upward from below the root zone. This deep moisture built up during fall and winter and depleted in spring and summer, which correlates well with local shrub phenology. 10 refs., 3 figs.

  20. Environmental Limits of Tall Shrubs in Alaska's Arctic National Parks.

    PubMed

    Swanson, David K

    2015-01-01

    We sampled shrub canopy volume (height times area) and environmental factors (soil wetness, soil depth of thaw, soil pH, mean July air temperature, and typical date of spring snow loss) on 471 plots across five National Park Service units in northern Alaska. Our goal was to determine the environments where tall shrubs thrive and use this information to predict the location of future shrub expansion. The study area covers over 80,000 km2 and has mostly tundra vegetation. Large canopy volumes were uncommon, with volumes over 0.5 m3/m2 present on just 8% of plots. Shrub canopy volumes were highest where mean July temperatures were above 10.5°C and on weakly acid to neutral soils (pH of 6 to 7) with deep summer thaw (>80 cm) and good drainage. On many sites, flooding helped maintain favorable soil conditions for shrub growth. Canopy volumes were highest where the typical snow loss date was near 20 May; these represent sites that are neither strongly wind-scoured in the winter nor late to melt from deep snowdrifts. Individual species varied widely in the canopy volumes they attained and their response to the environmental factors. Betula sp. shrubs were the most common and quite tolerant of soil acidity, cold July temperatures, and shallow thaw depths, but they did not form high-volume canopies under these conditions. Alnus viridis formed the largest canopies and was tolerant of soil acidity down to about pH 5, but required more summer warmth (over 12°C) than the other species. The Salix species varied widely from S. pulchra, tolerant of wet and moderately acid soils, to S. alaxensis, requiring well-drained soils with near neutral pH. Nearly half of the land area in ARCN has mean July temperatures of 10.5 to 12.5°C, where 2°C of warming would bring temperatures into the range needed for all of the potential tall shrub species to form large canopies. However, limitations in the other environmental factors would probably prevent the formation of large shrub canopies

  1. Satellite dwarf galaxies in a hierarchical universe: the prevalence of dwarf-dwarf major mergers

    SciTech Connect

    Deason, Alis; Wetzel, Andrew; Garrison-Kimmel, Shea

    2014-10-20

    Mergers are a common phenomenon in hierarchical structure formation, especially for massive galaxies and clusters, but their importance for dwarf galaxies in the Local Group remains poorly understood. We investigate the frequency of major mergers between dwarf galaxies in the Local Group using the ELVIS suite of cosmological zoom-in dissipationless simulations of Milky Way- and M31-like host halos. We find that ∼10% of satellite dwarf galaxies with M {sub star} > 10{sup 6} M {sub ☉} that are within the host virial radius experienced a major merger of stellar mass ratio closer than 0.1 since z = 1, with a lower fraction for lower mass dwarf galaxies. Recent merger remnants are biased toward larger radial distance and more recent virial infall times, because most recent mergers occurred shortly before crossing within the virial radius of the host halo. Satellite-satellite mergers also occur within the host halo after virial infall, catalyzed by the large fraction of dwarf galaxies that fell in as part of a group. The merger fraction doubles for dwarf galaxies outside of the host virial radius, so the most distant dwarf galaxies in the Local Group are the most likely to have experienced a recent major merger. We discuss the implications of these results on observable dwarf merger remnants, their star formation histories, the gas content of mergers, and massive black holes in dwarf galaxies.

  2. Kinematics of faint white dwarfs.

    PubMed

    Luyten, W J

    1978-10-01

    An analysis has been made for solar motion for 128 very faint white dwarfs of color class b or a. While about 40% of these stars may be high-velocity objects, it seems definitely indicated that the luminosity of all of them is considerably lower than that for the "normal" white dwarf of the same color. PMID:16592566

  3. Kinematics of faint white dwarfs.

    PubMed

    Luyten, W J

    1978-10-01

    An analysis has been made for solar motion for 128 very faint white dwarfs of color class b or a. While about 40% of these stars may be high-velocity objects, it seems definitely indicated that the luminosity of all of them is considerably lower than that for the "normal" white dwarf of the same color.

  4. Kinematics of faint white dwarfs

    PubMed Central

    Luyten, Willem J.

    1978-01-01

    An analysis has been made for solar motion for 128 very faint white dwarfs of color class b or a. While about 40% of these stars may be high-velocity objects, it seems definitely indicated that the luminosity of all of them is considerably lower than that for the “normal” white dwarf of the same color. PMID:16592566

  5. Demographic patterns of the shrub Ceanothus megacarpus in an old stand of chaparral in the Santa Monica Mountains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Montygierd-Loyba, T. M.; Keeley, J.E.; DeVries, J.J.

    1986-01-01

    Wildfires have had a major influence on the structural and functional adaptations that have evolved in Mediterranean-type ecosystems. Some chaparral shrubs sprout after fires while others produce serotinous cones or seeds refractory to germination until they are cued by a fire. Ceanothus megacarpus is a sclerophylous shrub commonly found in California in either pure of mixed stands which does not survive fires but whose seeds germinate following a fire. Because in recent decades man-made fires have become frequent, few older stands remain, and they have been described as "decadent" or "senescent." Since data on older chaparral stands are scarce, a stand of chaparral in the Santa Monica Mountains of southern California, which last burned in 1929 was studied in an effort to elucidate the survivorship patterns and community structure of Ceanothus megacarpus as it ages. Ceanothus is responsible for 68 percent of the basal coverage at this mixed stand, and one-eighth of the Ceanothus were found to be dead. Over 130 such dead individuals were cut at ground level and aged by ring counts to establish the survivorship curve for this species in this chaparral community in the absence of fires.

  6. Hybrid dwarfness in crosses between wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and rye (Secale cereale L.): a new look at an old phenomenon.

    PubMed

    Tikhenko, N; Rutten, T; Tsvetkova, N; Voylokov, A; Börner, A

    2015-03-01

    The existence of hybrid dwarfs from intraspecific crosses in wheat (Triticum aestivum) was described 100 years ago, and the genetics underlying hybrid dwarfness are well understood. In this study, we report a dwarf phenotype in interspecific hybrids between wheat and rye (Secale cereale). We identified two rye lines that produce hybrid dwarfs with wheat and have none of the hitherto known hybrid dwarfing genes. Genetic analyses revealed that both rye lines carry a single allelic gene responsible for the dwarf phenotype. This gene was designated Hdw-R1 (Hybrid dwarf-R1). Application of gibberellic acid (GA3 ) to both intraspecific (wheat-wheat) and interspecific (wheat-rye) hybrids showed that hybrid dwarfness cannot be overcome by treatment with this phytohormone. Histological analysis of shoot apices showed that wheat-rye hybrids with the dwarf phenotype at 21 and 45 days after germination failed to develop further. Shoot apices of dwarf plants did not elongate, did not form new primordia and had a dome-shaped appearance in the seed. The possible relationship between hybrid dwarfness and the genes responsible for the transition from vegetative to generative growth stage is discussed.

  7. Testing gravity using dwarf stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sakstein, Jeremy

    2015-12-01

    Generic scalar-tensor theories of gravity predict deviations from Newtonian physics inside astrophysical bodies. In this paper, we point out that low mass stellar objects, red and brown dwarf stars, are excellent probes of these theories. We calculate two important and potentially observable quantities: the radius of brown dwarfs and the minimum mass for hydrogen burning in red dwarfs. The brown dwarf radius can differ significantly from the general relativity prediction, and upcoming surveys that probe the mass-radius relation for stars with masses dwarf stars. This places a new and extremely stringent constraint on the parameters that appear in the effective field theory of dark energy and rules out several well-studied dark energy models.

  8. Brown dwarfs detections through microlensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ranc, C.; Cassan, A.

    2014-12-01

    Gravitational microlensing is known to be a powerful method to hunt for extrasolar planets and brown dwarfs. Recently, several brown dwarfs companions to stars have been detected through microlensing, as well as brown dwarfs binaries. We present the discovery of a new ˜ 40 M_{J} brown dwarf orbiting a K-dwarf at ˜ 4 AU, located at ˜ 4 kpc from the Earth. Besides using the standard photometric light curves gathered from different round-the-world observatories, its characterization involved high-resolution adaptative optics measurements from NaCo at VLT which allowed to break the degeneracies between the physical parameters and provide the exact mass and projected separation of the system.

  9. Birch shrub growth in the low Arctic: the relative importance of experimental warming, enhanced nutrient availability, snow depth and caribou exclusion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zamin, Tara J.; Grogan, Paul

    2012-09-01

    Deciduous shrub growth has increased across the Arctic simultaneously with recent climate warming trends. The reduction in albedo associated with shrub-induced ‘greening’ of the tundra is predicted to cause significant positive feedbacks to regional warming. Enhanced soil fertility arising from climate change is expected to be the primary mechanism driving shrub responses, yet our overall understanding of the relative importance of soil nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) availability and the significance of other ecological drivers is constrained by experiments with varying treatments, sites, and durations. We investigated dwarf birch apical stem growth responses to a wide range of ecological factors (enhanced summer temperatures, deepened snow, caribou exclusion, factorial high level nitrogen and phosphorus additions, and low level nitrogen additions) after six years of experimental manipulations in birch hummock tundra. As expected, birch apical stem growth was more strongly enhanced by the substantial increases in nutrient supply than by our changes in any of the other ecological factors. The factorial additions revealed that P availability was at least as important as that of N, and our low N additions demonstrated that growth was unresponsive to moderate increases in soil nitrogen alone. Experimental warming increased apical stem growth 2.5-fold—considerably more than in past studies—probably due to the relatively strong effect of our greenhouses on soil temperature. Together, these results have important implications for our understanding of the biogeochemical functioning of mesic tundra ecosystems as well as predicting their vegetation responses to climate change.

  10. Seeing Baby Dwarf Galaxies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2009-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] [figure removed for brevity, see original site] [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Visible/DSS Click on image for larger version Ultraviolet/GALEX Click on image for larger version Poster Version Click on image for larger version

    The unique ultraviolet vision of NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer reveals, for the first time, dwarf galaxies forming out of nothing more than pristine gas likely leftover from the early universe. Dwarf galaxies are relatively small collections of stars that often orbit around larger galaxies like our Milky Way.

    The forming dwarf galaxies shine in the far ultraviolet spectrum, rendered as blue in the call-out on the right hand side of this image. Near ultraviolet light, also obtained by the Galaxy Evolution Explorer, is displayed in green, and visible light from the blue part of the spectrum here is represented by red. The clumps (in circles) are distinctively blue, indicating they are primarily detected in far ultraviolet light.

    The faint blue overlay traces the outline of the Leo Ring, a huge cloud of hydrogen and helium that orbits around two massive galaxies in the constellation Leo (left panel). The cloud is thought likely to be a primordial object, an ancient remnant of material that has remained relatively unchanged since the very earliest days of the universe. Identified about 25 years ago by radio waves, the ring cannot be seen in visible light.

    Only a portion of the Leo Ring has been imaged in the ultraviolet, but this section contains the telltale ultraviolet signature of recent massive star formation within this ring of pristine gas. Astronomers have previously only seen dwarf galaxies form out of gas that has already been cycled through a galaxy and enriched with metals elements heavier than helium produced as stars evolve.

    The visible data come from the Digitized Sky Survey of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Md. The

  11. Siliceous Shrubs in Yellowstone's Hot Springs: Implications for Exobiological Investigations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Guidry, S. A.; Chafetz, H. S.

    2003-01-01

    Potential relict hot springs have been identified on Mars and, using the Earth as an analog, Martian hot springs are postulated to be an optimal locality for recognizing preserved evidence of extraterrestrial life. Distinctive organic and inorganic biomarkers are necessary to recognize preserved evidence of life in terrestrial and extraterrestrial hot spring accumulations. Hot springs in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, U.S.A., contain a wealth of information about primitive microbial life and associated biosignatures that may be useful for future exobiological investigations. Numerous siliceous hot springs in Yellowstone contain abundant, centimeter-scale, spinose precipitates of opaline silica (opal-A). Although areally extensive in siliceous hot spring discharge channel facies, these spinose forms have largely escaped attention. These precipitates referred to as shrubs, consist of porous aggregates of spinose opaline silica that superficially resemble miniature woody plants, i.e., the term shrubs. Shrubs in carbonate precipitating systems have received considerable attention, and represent naturally occurring biotically induced precipitates. As such, shrubs have great potential as hot spring environmental indicators and, more importantly, proxies for pre-existing microbial life.

  12. Foliar uptake of fog in coastal California shrub species.

    PubMed

    Emery, Nathan C

    2016-11-01

    Understanding plant water uptake is important in ecosystems that experience periodic drought. In many Mediterranean-type climates like coastal California, plants are subject to significant drought and wildfire disturbance. During the dry summer months, coastal shrub species are often exposed to leaf wetting from overnight fog events. This study sought to determine whether foliar uptake of fog occurs in shrub species and how this uptake affects physiology and fuel condition. In a controlled greenhouse experiment, dominant California shrub species were exposed to isotopically labeled fog water and plant responses were measured. Potted plants were covered at the base to prevent root uptake. The deuterium label was detected in the leaves of four out of five species and in the stems of two of the species. While there was a minimal effect of foliar water uptake on live fuel moisture, several species had lower xylem tension and greater photosynthetic rates after overnight fog treatments, especially Salvia leucophylla. Coastal fog may provide a moisture source for many species during the summer drought, but the utilization of this water source may vary based on foliar morphology, phenology and plant water balance. From this study, it appears that drought-deciduous species (Artemisia californica and Salvia leucophylla) benefit more from overnight fog events than evergreen species (Adenostoma fasciculatum, Baccharis pilularis and Ceanothus megacarpus). This differential response to fog exposure among California shrub species may affect species distributions and physiological tolerances under future climate scenarios. PMID:27568025

  13. Shortwave Radiation Transmission Through Tundra Shrub Canopies During Snowmelt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bewley, D.; Pomeroy, J.; Essery, R.; Sicart, J. E.

    2004-05-01

    Shortwave radiation transmission through a canopy represents a major determinant of pre-melt and melt-period energetics, and has received considerable attention in forested catchments for both closed and open-woodland type canopies. Radiation attenuation within deciduous shrub canopies, of much lower foliage density, continuity and height, has yet to receive such attention and forms the focus of the current study. Incoming shortwave radiation through a discontinuous shrub canopy was measured by an array of 9 solarimeters positioned under alder shrubs of variable architecture, and 1 radiometer placed above the vegetation. Half-hourly averaged data were collected for a period of 17 days, which incorporated both clear-sky and overcast diurnal cycles. Plant area index (PAI) was measured over each radiometer using a Licor LAI2000. At each radiometer, a negative linear relationship between transmissivity and LAI was observed (mean R2 = 0.62). The bulk or areal transmissivity, measured as a simple average of all radiometers, ranged diurnally between 0.55 and 0.63, and showed only a small dependence on cloudiness. Diurnal profiles of transmissivity and shortwave radiation extinction effeciencies were noisy, due to the highly heterogenous nature of individual branch orientations. However, the radiation extinction exhibits some dependence on solar angle, and this relationship offers one approach to the modeling of shortwave transmission through shrub canopies.

  14. The Invasive Shrub, Buddleja davidii (Butterfl y Bush)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Buddleja davidii Franchet (Synonym. Buddleia davidii; common name Butterfly bush) is a perennial, semi-deciduous shrub or small multi-stemmed tree that is resident in gardens and disturbed areas in temperate locations worldwide. Since its introduction to the United Kingdom from c...

  15. Foliar uptake of fog in coastal California shrub species.

    PubMed

    Emery, Nathan C

    2016-11-01

    Understanding plant water uptake is important in ecosystems that experience periodic drought. In many Mediterranean-type climates like coastal California, plants are subject to significant drought and wildfire disturbance. During the dry summer months, coastal shrub species are often exposed to leaf wetting from overnight fog events. This study sought to determine whether foliar uptake of fog occurs in shrub species and how this uptake affects physiology and fuel condition. In a controlled greenhouse experiment, dominant California shrub species were exposed to isotopically labeled fog water and plant responses were measured. Potted plants were covered at the base to prevent root uptake. The deuterium label was detected in the leaves of four out of five species and in the stems of two of the species. While there was a minimal effect of foliar water uptake on live fuel moisture, several species had lower xylem tension and greater photosynthetic rates after overnight fog treatments, especially Salvia leucophylla. Coastal fog may provide a moisture source for many species during the summer drought, but the utilization of this water source may vary based on foliar morphology, phenology and plant water balance. From this study, it appears that drought-deciduous species (Artemisia californica and Salvia leucophylla) benefit more from overnight fog events than evergreen species (Adenostoma fasciculatum, Baccharis pilularis and Ceanothus megacarpus). This differential response to fog exposure among California shrub species may affect species distributions and physiological tolerances under future climate scenarios.

  16. Plant Identification Characteristics for Deciduous Trees & Shrubs. Lesson Plans.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burkholder, Kathy

    This manual contains a group of lesson plans designed for use with a slide series (not included here). Its purpose is to introduce students to the basic concepts and terminology used in the identification of deciduous trees and shrubs. The manual is composed of 12 lesson plans. The first lesson is an introduction to plant identification. The…

  17. Cold temperature increases winter fruit removal rate of a bird-dispersed shrub.

    SciTech Connect

    Charles Kwit; Douglas J. Levey; Cathryn H. Greenberg; Scott F. Pearson; John P. McCarty; Sarah Sargent

    2004-01-10

    Kwit, C., D. J. Levey; C. H. Greenberg, S. F. Pearson, J.P. McCarty, and S. Sargent. Cold temperature increases winter fruit removal rate of a bird-dispersed shrub. Oecologia. 139:30-34. Abstract: We tested the hypothesis that winter removal rates of fruits of wax myrtle, Myrica cerifera, are higher in colder winters. Over a 9-year period, we monitored M. cerifera fruit crops in 13 0.1-ha study plots in South Carolina, U.S.A. Peak ripeness occurred in November, whereas peak removal occurred in the coldest months, December and January. Mean time to fruit removal within study plots was positively correlated with mean winter temperatures, thereby supporting our hypothesis. This result, combined with the generally low availability of winter arthropods, suggests that fruit abundance may play a role in determining winter survivorship and distribution of permanent resident and short-distance migrant birds. From the plant's perspective, it demonstrates inter-annual variation in the temporal component of seed dispersal, with possible consequences for post-dispersal seed and seedling ecology.

  18. Sowing the Seeds of Planets? (Artist's Concept)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Planet Clumps and Crystals around Brown Dwarfs

    This artist's concept shows microscopic crystals in the dusty disk surrounding a brown dwarf, or 'failed star.' The crystals, made up of a green mineral found on Earth called olivine, are thought to help seed the formation of planets.

    NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope detected the tiny crystals circling around five brown dwarfs, the cooler and smaller cousins of stars. Though crystallized minerals have been seen in space before -- in comets and around other stars -- the discovery represents the first time the little gem-like particles have been spotted around confirmed brown dwarfs.

    Astronomers believe planets form out of disks of dust that circle young brown dwarfs and stars. Over time, the various minerals making up the disks crystallize and begin to clump together. Eventually, the clumps collide and stick, building up mass like snowmen until planets are born.

    About the Graph: Planet Clumps and Crystals around Brown Dwarfs The graph of data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows the spectra (middle four lines) of dusty disks around four brown dwarfs, or 'failed stars,' located 520 light-years away in the Chamaeleon constellation. The data suggest that the dust in these disks is crystallizing and clumping together in what may be the birth of planets.

    Spectra are created by breaking light apart into its basic components, like a prism turning sunlight into a rainbow. Their bumps represent the 'fingerprints' or signatures of different minerals.

    Here, the light green vertical bands highlight the spectral fingerprints of crystals made up primarily of a green silicate mineral found on Earth called olivine. As the graph illustrates, three of the four brown dwarfs possess these microscopic gem-like particles. For comparison, the spectra of dust between stars (top) and the comet Hale-Bopp (bottom) are shown. The comet has the tiny

  19. Infrared Colors of Dwarf-Dwarf Galaxy Interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liss, Sandra; Stierwalt, Sabrina; Johnson, Kelsey; Patton, Dave; Kallivayalil, Nitya

    2015-10-01

    We request Spitzer Warm Mission IRAC Channel 1 & 2 imaging for a sample of 60 isolated dwarf galaxy pairs as a key component of a larger, multi-wavelength effort to understand the role low-mass mergers play in galaxy evolution. A systematic study of dwarf-dwarf mergers has never been done, and we wish to characterize the impact such interactions have on fueling star formation in the nearby universe. The Spitzer imaging proposed here will allow us to determine the extent to which the 3.6 and 4.5 mum bands are dominated by stellar light and investigate a) the extent to which interacting pairs show IR excess and b) whether the excess is related to the pair separation. Second, we will use this IR photometry to constrain the processes contributing to the observed color excess and scatter in each system. We will take advantage of the wealth of observations available in the Spitzer Heritage Archive for 'normal' non-interacting dwarfs by comparing the stellar populations of those dwarfs with the likely interacting dwarfs in our sample. Ultimately, we can combine the Spitzer imaging proposed here with our current, ongoing efforts to obtain groundbased optical photometry to model the star formation histories of these dwarfs and to help constrain the timescales and impact dwarf-dwarf mergers have on fueling star formation. The sensitivity and resolution offered by Spitzer are necessary to determine the dust properties of these interacting systems, and how these properties vary as a function of pair separation, mass ratio, and gas fraction.

  20. Habitability of planets around red dwarf stars.

    PubMed

    Heath, M J; Doyle, L R; Joshi, M M; Haberle, R M

    1999-08-01

    Recent models indicate that relatively moderate climates could exist on Earth-sized planets in synchronous rotation around red dwarf stars. Investigation of the global water cycle, availability of photosynthetically active radiation in red dwarf sunlight, and the biological implications of stellar flares, which can be frequent for red dwarfs, suggests that higher plant habitability of red dwarf planets may be possible.

  1. White Dwarf Stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    Peering deep inside a cluster of several hundred thousand stars, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has uncovered the oldest burned-out stars in our Milky Way Galaxy, giving astronomers a fresh reading on the age of the universe.

    Located in the globular cluster M4, these small, burned-out stars -- called white dwarfs -- are about 12 to 13 billion years old. By adding the one billion years it took the cluster to form after the Big Bang, astronomers found that the age of the white dwarfs agrees with previous estimates that the universe is 13 to 14 billion years old.

    The images, including some taken by Hubble's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2, are available online at

    http://oposite.stsci.edu/pubinfo/pr/2002/10/ or

    http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/images/wfpc .

    The camera was designed and built by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

    In the top panel, a ground-based observatory snapped a panoramic view of the entire cluster, which contains several hundred thousand stars within a volume of 10 to 30 light-years across. The Kitt Peak National Observatory's .9-meter telescope took this picture in March 1995. The box at left indicates the region observed by the Hubble telescope.

    The Hubble telescope studied a small region of the cluster. A section of that region is seen in the picture at bottom left. A sampling of an even smaller region is shown at bottom right. This region is only about one light-year across. In this smaller region, Hubble pinpointed a number of faint white dwarfs. The blue circles indicate the dwarfs. It took nearly eight days of exposure time over a 67-day period to find these extremely faint stars.

    Globular clusters are among the oldest clusters of stars in the universe. The faintest and coolest white dwarfs within globular clusters can yield a globular cluster's age. Earlier Hubble observations showed that the first stars formed less than 1 billion years after the universe's birth in the big bang. So, finding the

  2. PROPERTIES OF THE COOLEST DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    SAUMON, DIDIER; LEGGETT, SANDY K.; FREEDMAN, RICHARD S.; GEBALLE, THOMAS R.; GOLIMOWSKI, DAVID A.; LODIEU, NICOLAS; MARLEY, MARK S.; STEPHENS, DENISE; PINFIELD, DAVID J.; WARREN, STEPHEN J.

    2007-01-18

    Eleven years after the discovery of the first T dwarf, we have a population of ultracool L and T dwarfs that is large enough to show a range of atmospheric properties, as well as model atmospheres advanced enough to study these properties in detail. Since the last Cool Stars meeting, there have been observational developments which aid in these studies. they present recent mid-infrared photometry and spectroscopy from the Spitzer Space Telescope which confirms the prevalence of vertical mixing in the atmospheres of L and T dwarfs. Hence, the 700 K to 2200 K L and t dwarf photspheres require a large number of parameters for successful modeling: effective temperature, gravity, metallicity, grain sedimentation and vertical mixing efficiency. They also describe initial results of a search for ultracool dwarfs in the UKIRT Infrared Deep Sky Survey, and present the latest T dwarf found to date. They conclude with a discussion of the definition of the later-than-T spectral type, the Y dwarf.

  3. Seed germination of Sierra Nevada postfire chaparral species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keeley, Jon E.; McGinnis, Thomas W.; Bollens, Kim A.

    2005-01-01

    The California chaparral community has a rich flora of species with different mechanisms for cuing germination to postfire conditions. Here we report further germination experiments that elucidate the response of several widespread shrub species whose germination response was not clear and include other species from the Sierra Nevada, which have not previously been included in germination studies. The shrubs Adenostoma fasciculatum and Eriodictyon crassifolium and the postfire annualMentzelia dispersa exhibited highly significant germination in response to smoke treatments, with some enhanced germination in response to heating as well. The shrubs Fremontodendron californicum and Malacothamnus fremontii were stimulated only by heat-shock treatments. Seeds buried in the soil for one year exhibited substantially higher germination for controls and most treatments. In the case of two postfire annuals, Mimulus bolanderi and M. gracilipes, germination of fresh seed was significantly greater with smoke or heating but after soil storage, over two-thirds of the control seeds germinated and treatment effects were not significant. These two annuals are generally restricted to postfire conditions and it is suggested that control germination of soil-stored seed may be a light-response (which was not tested here) as previously reported for another chaparral species in that genus.

  4. Fire cue effects on seed germination of six species of northwestern Patagonian grasslands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gonzalez, S. L.; Ghermandi, L.

    2012-09-01

    Postfire recruitment of seedlings has been attributed to a stimulation of germination by fire-related cues. The germination response to heat shock (80 °C - 5 min), smoke (60 min), the combination of both factors and no heat no smoke (control) was studied in six native species (two dominant grasses, two dominant shrubs and two annual fugitive herbs) of northwestern Patagonian grasslands. Seeds of the grasses Festuca pallescens and Stipa speciosa and the shrub Senecio bracteolatus (Asteraceae) germinated when they were exposed to heat shock, whereas seeds of the other shrub, Mulinum spinosum (Apiaceae), were killed by this fire cue. In grasses, probably the glume of caryopsis protected embryos from heat. Possibly, the seed size could explain the different responses of the two shrubs. Heat combined with smoke reduced seed germination for S. speciosa and S. bracteolatus. The heat could have scarified seeds and the longer exposure to smoke could have been toxic for embryos. The same treatment increased germination of the annual fugitive herb Boopis gracilis (Calyceraceae). We concluded that fire differentially affects the seedling recruitment of the studied species in the northwestern Patagonian grasslands.

  5. Magnetic Field of Strange Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baghdasaryan, D. S.

    2016-03-01

    The generation of a magnetic field in a strange quark star owing to differential rotation of the superfluid and superconducting quark core relative to the normal electron-nuclear crust of the star is examined. The maximum possible magnetic field on the surface is estimated for various models of strange dwarfs. Depending on the configuration parameters, i.e., the mass M and radius R of the star, a range of 103-105 G is found. These values of the magnetic field may be an additional condition for identification of strange dwarfs among the extensive class of observed white dwarfs.

  6. PHL 5038: a spatially resolved white dwarf + brown dwarf binary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steele, P. R.; Burleigh, M. R.; Farihi, J.; Gänsicke, B. T.; Jameson, R. F.; Dobbie, P. D.; Barstow, M. A.

    2009-06-01

    A near-infrared excess is detected at the white dwarf PHL 5038 in UKIDSS photometry, consistent with the presence of a cool, substellar companion. We have obtained H- and K-grism spectra and images of PHL 5038 using NIRI on Gemini North. The target is spatially and spectrally resolved into two components: an 8000 K DA white dwarf, and a likely L8 brown dwarf companion, separated by 0.94 arcsec. The spectral type of the secondary was determined using standard spectral indices for late L and T dwarfs. The projected orbital separation of the binary is 55 AU, so it becomes only the second known wide WD+dL binary to be found after GD 165AB. This object could potentially be used as a benchmark for testing substellar evolutionary models at intermediate to older ages.

  7. Effects of flowering phenology and synchrony on the reproductive success of a long-flowering shrub.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Pérez, Javier; Traveset, Anna

    2016-01-01

    Flowering phenology and synchrony with biotic and abiotic resources are crucial traits determining the reproductive success in insect-pollinated plants. In seasonal climates, plants flowering for long periods should assure reproductive success when resources are more predictable. In this work, we evaluated the relationship between flowering phenology and synchrony and reproductive success in Hypericum balearicum, a shrub flowering all year round but mainly during spring and summer. We studied two contrasting localities (differing mostly in rainfall) during 3 years, and at different biological scales spanning from localities to individual flowers and fruits. We first monitored (monthly) flowering phenology and reproductive success (fruit and seed set) of plants, and assessed whether in the locality with higher rainfall plants had longer flowering phenology and synchrony and relatively higher reproductive success within or outside the flowering peak. Secondly, we censused pollinators on H. balearicum individuals and measured reproductive success along the flowering peak of each locality to test for an association between (i) richness and abundance of pollinators and (ii) fruit and seed set, and seed weight. We found that most flowers (∼90 %) and the highest fruit set (∼70 %) were produced during the flowering peak of each locality. Contrary to expectations, plants in the locality with lower rainfall showed more relaxed flowering phenology and synchrony and set more fruits outside the flowering peak. During the flowering peak of each locality, the reproductive success of early-flowering individuals depended on a combination of both pollinator richness and abundance and rainfall; by contrast, reproductive success of late-flowering individuals was most dependent on rainfall. Plant species flowering for long periods in seasonal climates, thus, appear to be ideal organisms to understand how flowering phenology and synchrony match with biotic and abiotic resources, and

  8. Genome-Scale Transcriptome Analysis of the Desert Shrub Artemisia sphaerocephala

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Lijing; Hu, Xiaowei; Miao, Xiumei; Chen, Xiaolong; Nan, Shuzhen; Fu, Hua

    2016-01-01

    Background Artemisia sphaerocephala, a semi-shrub belonging to the Artemisia genus of the Compositae family, is an important pioneer plant that inhabits moving and semi-stable sand dunes in the deserts and steppes of northwest and north-central China. It is very resilient in extreme environments. Additionally, its seeds have excellent nutritional value, and the abundant lipids and polysaccharides in the seeds make this plant a potential valuable source of bio-energy. However, partly due to the scarcity of genetic information, the genetic mechanisms controlling the traits and environmental adaptation capacity of A. sphaerocephala are unknown. Results Here, we present the first in-depth transcriptomic analysis of A. sphaerocephala. To maximize the representation of conditional transcripts, mRNA was obtained from 17 samples, including living tissues of desert-growing A. sphaerocephala, seeds germinated in the laboratory, and calli subjected to no stress (control) and high and low temperature, high and low osmotic, and salt stresses. De novo transcriptome assembly performed using an Illumina HiSeq 2500 platform resulted in the generation of 68,373 unigenes. We analyzed the key genes involved in the unsaturated fatty acid synthesis pathway and identified 26 A. sphaerocephala fad2 genes, which is the largest fad2 gene family reported to date. Furthermore, a set of genes responsible for resistance to extreme temperatures, salt, drought and a combination of stresses was identified. Conclusion The present work provides abundant genomic information for functional dissection of the important traits of A. sphaerocephala and contributes to the current understanding of molecular adaptive mechanisms of A. sphaerocephala in the desert environment. Identification of the key genes in the unsaturated fatty acid synthesis pathway could increase understanding of the biological regulatory mechanisms of fatty acid composition traits in plants and facilitate genetic manipulation of the

  9. Effects of flowering phenology and synchrony on the reproductive success of a long-flowering shrub

    PubMed Central

    Rodríguez-Pérez, Javier; Traveset, Anna

    2016-01-01

    Flowering phenology and synchrony with biotic and abiotic resources are crucial traits determining the reproductive success in insect-pollinated plants. In seasonal climates, plants flowering for long periods should assure reproductive success when resources are more predictable. In this work, we evaluated the relationship between flowering phenology and synchrony and reproductive success in Hypericum balearicum, a shrub flowering all year round but mainly during spring and summer. We studied two contrasting localities (differing mostly in rainfall) during 3 years, and at different biological scales spanning from localities to individual flowers and fruits. We first monitored (monthly) flowering phenology and reproductive success (fruit and seed set) of plants, and assessed whether in the locality with higher rainfall plants had longer flowering phenology and synchrony and relatively higher reproductive success within or outside the flowering peak. Secondly, we censused pollinators on H. balearicum individuals and measured reproductive success along the flowering peak of each locality to test for an association between (i) richness and abundance of pollinators and (ii) fruit and seed set, and seed weight. We found that most flowers (∼90 %) and the highest fruit set (∼70 %) were produced during the flowering peak of each locality. Contrary to expectations, plants in the locality with lower rainfall showed more relaxed flowering phenology and synchrony and set more fruits outside the flowering peak. During the flowering peak of each locality, the reproductive success of early-flowering individuals depended on a combination of both pollinator richness and abundance and rainfall; by contrast, reproductive success of late-flowering individuals was most dependent on rainfall. Plant species flowering for long periods in seasonal climates, thus, appear to be ideal organisms to understand how flowering phenology and synchrony match with biotic and abiotic resources, and

  10. Limiting inbreeding in disjunct and isolated populations of a woody shrub.

    PubMed

    Sampson, Jane F; Byrne, Margaret; Gibson, Neil; Yates, Colin

    2016-08-01

    Pollen movements and mating patterns are key features that influence population genetic structure. When gene flow is low, small populations are prone to increased genetic drift and inbreeding, but naturally disjunct species may have features that reduce inbreeding and contribute to their persistence despite genetic isolation. Using microsatellite loci, we investigated outcrossing levels, family mating parameters, pollen dispersal, and spatial genetic structure in three populations of Hakea oldfieldii, a fire-sensitive shrub with naturally disjunct, isolated populations prone to reduction in size and extinction following fires. We mapped and genotyped a sample of 102 plants from a large population, and all plants from two smaller populations (28 and 20 individuals), and genotyped 158-210 progeny from each population. We found high outcrossing despite the possibility of geitonogamous pollination, small amounts of biparental inbreeding, a limited number of successful pollen parents within populations, and significant correlated paternity. The number of pollen parents for each seed parent was moderate. There was low but significant spatial genetic structure up to 10 m around plants, but the majority of successful pollen came from outside this area including substantial proportions from distant plants within populations. Seed production varied among seven populations investigated but was not correlated with census population size. We suggest there may be a mechanism to prevent self-pollination in H. oldfieldii and that high outcrossing and pollen dispersal within populations would promote genetic diversity among the relatively small amount of seed stored in the canopy. These features of the mating system would contribute to the persistence of genetically isolated populations prone to fluctuations in size. PMID:27547361

  11. Grass-Shrub Associations over a Precipitation Gradient and Their Implications for Restoration in the Great Basin, USA.

    PubMed

    Holthuijzen, Maike F; Veblen, Kari E

    2015-01-01

    As environmental stress increases positive (facilitative) plant interactions often predominate. Plant-plant associations (or lack thereof) can indicate whether certain plant species favor particular types of microsites (e.g., shrub canopies or plant-free interspaces) and can provide valuable insights into whether "nurse plants" will contribute to seeding or planting success during ecological restoration. It can be difficult, however, to anticipate how relationships between nurse plants and plants used for restoration may change over large-ranging, regional stress gradients. We investigated associations between the shrub, Wyoming big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata ssp. wyomingensis), and three common native grasses (Poa secunda, Elymus elymoides, and Pseudoroegneria spicata), representing short-, medium-, and deep-rooted growth forms, respectively, across an annual rainfall gradient (220-350 mm) in the Great Basin, USA. We hypothesized that positive shrub-grass relationships would become more frequent at lower rainfall levels, as indicated by greater cover of grasses in shrub canopies than vegetation-free interspaces. We sampled aerial cover, density, height, basal width, grazing status, and reproductive status of perennial grasses in canopies and interspaces of 25-33 sagebrush individuals at 32 sites along a rainfall gradient. We found that aerial cover of the shallow rooted grass, P. secunda, was higher in sagebrush canopy than interspace microsites at lower levels of rainfall. Cover and density of the medium-rooted grass, E. elymoides were higher in sagebrush canopies than interspaces at all but the highest rainfall levels. Neither annual rainfall nor sagebrush canopy microsite significantly affected P. spicata cover. E. elymoides and P. spicata plants were taller, narrower, and less likely to be grazed in shrub canopy microsites than interspaces. Our results suggest that exploring sagebrush canopy microsites for restoration of native perennial grasses might

  12. Grass-Shrub Associations over a Precipitation Gradient and Their Implications for Restoration in the Great Basin, USA

    PubMed Central

    Holthuijzen, Maike F.; Veblen, Kari E.

    2015-01-01

    As environmental stress increases positive (facilitative) plant interactions often predominate. Plant-plant associations (or lack thereof) can indicate whether certain plant species favor particular types of microsites (e.g., shrub canopies or plant-free interspaces) and can provide valuable insights into whether “nurse plants” will contribute to seeding or planting success during ecological restoration. It can be difficult, however, to anticipate how relationships between nurse plants and plants used for restoration may change over large-ranging, regional stress gradients. We investigated associations between the shrub, Wyoming big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata ssp. wyomingensis), and three common native grasses (Poa secunda, Elymus elymoides, and Pseudoroegneria spicata), representing short-, medium-, and deep-rooted growth forms, respectively, across an annual rainfall gradient (220–350 mm) in the Great Basin, USA. We hypothesized that positive shrub-grass relationships would become more frequent at lower rainfall levels, as indicated by greater cover of grasses in shrub canopies than vegetation-free interspaces. We sampled aerial cover, density, height, basal width, grazing status, and reproductive status of perennial grasses in canopies and interspaces of 25–33 sagebrush individuals at 32 sites along a rainfall gradient. We found that aerial cover of the shallow rooted grass, P. secunda, was higher in sagebrush canopy than interspace microsites at lower levels of rainfall. Cover and density of the medium-rooted grass, E. elymoides were higher in sagebrush canopies than interspaces at all but the highest rainfall levels. Neither annual rainfall nor sagebrush canopy microsite significantly affected P. spicata cover. E. elymoides and P. spicata plants were taller, narrower, and less likely to be grazed in shrub canopy microsites than interspaces. Our results suggest that exploring sagebrush canopy microsites for restoration of native perennial grasses

  13. Grass-Shrub Associations over a Precipitation Gradient and Their Implications for Restoration in the Great Basin, USA.

    PubMed

    Holthuijzen, Maike F; Veblen, Kari E

    2015-01-01

    As environmental stress increases positive (facilitative) plant interactions often predominate. Plant-plant associations (or lack thereof) can indicate whether certain plant species favor particular types of microsites (e.g., shrub canopies or plant-free interspaces) and can provide valuable insights into whether "nurse plants" will contribute to seeding or planting success during ecological restoration. It can be difficult, however, to anticipate how relationships between nurse plants and plants used for restoration may change over large-ranging, regional stress gradients. We investigated associations between the shrub, Wyoming big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata ssp. wyomingensis), and three common native grasses (Poa secunda, Elymus elymoides, and Pseudoroegneria spicata), representing short-, medium-, and deep-rooted growth forms, respectively, across an annual rainfall gradient (220-350 mm) in the Great Basin, USA. We hypothesized that positive shrub-grass relationships would become more frequent at lower rainfall levels, as indicated by greater cover of grasses in shrub canopies than vegetation-free interspaces. We sampled aerial cover, density, height, basal width, grazing status, and reproductive status of perennial grasses in canopies and interspaces of 25-33 sagebrush individuals at 32 sites along a rainfall gradient. We found that aerial cover of the shallow rooted grass, P. secunda, was higher in sagebrush canopy than interspace microsites at lower levels of rainfall. Cover and density of the medium-rooted grass, E. elymoides were higher in sagebrush canopies than interspaces at all but the highest rainfall levels. Neither annual rainfall nor sagebrush canopy microsite significantly affected P. spicata cover. E. elymoides and P. spicata plants were taller, narrower, and less likely to be grazed in shrub canopy microsites than interspaces. Our results suggest that exploring sagebrush canopy microsites for restoration of native perennial grasses might

  14. Seed germination and life history syndromes in the California chaparral

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keeley, J.E.

    1991-01-01

    Syndromes are life history responses that are correlated to environmental regimes and are shared by a group of species (Stebbins, 1974). In the California chaparral there are two syndromes contrasted by the timing of seedling recruitment relative to wildfires. One syndrome, here called the fire-recruiter or refractory seed syndrome, includes species (both resprouting and non-resprouting) which share the feature that the timing of seedling establishment is specialized to the first rainy season after fire. Included are woody, suffrutescent and annual life forms but no geophytes have this syndrome. These species are linked by the characteristic that their seeds have a dormancy which is readily broken by environmental stimuli such as intense heat shock or chemicals leached from charred wood. Such seeds are referred to as “refractory” and dormancy, in some cases, is due to seed coat impermeability (such seeds are commonly called hardseeded), but in other cases the mechanism is unknown. Seeds of some may require cold stratification and/or light in addition to fire related stimuli. In the absence of fire related cues, a portion or all of a species’ seed pool remains dormant. Most have locally dispersed seeds that persist in the soil seed bank until the site burns. Dispersal of propagules is largely during spring and summer which facilitates the avoidance of flowering and fruiting during the summer and fall drought. Within a life form (e.g., shrub, suffrutescent, etc.), the seeds of these species have less mass than those of species with non-refractory seeds and this possibly reflects the environmental favorableness of the postfire environment for seedling establishment. Regardless of when fire occurs, germination is normally delayed until late winter or early spring. In the absence of fire, or other disturbance, opportunities for population expansion are largely lacking for species with this syndrome. The other syndrome, here called the fire-resister or non

  15. Supplementing seed banks to rehabilitate disturbed Mojave Desert shrublands: Where do all the seeds go?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    DeFalco, L.A.; Esque, T.C.; Nicklas, M.B.; Kane, J.M.

    2012-01-01

    Revegetation of degraded arid lands often involves supplementing impoverished seed banks and improving the seedbed, yet these approaches frequently fail. To understand these failures, we tracked the fates of seeds for six shrub species that were broadcast across two contrasting surface disturbances common to the Mojave Desert-sites compacted by concentrated vehicle use and trenched sites where topsoil and subsurface soils were mixed. We evaluated seedbed treatments that enhance soil-seed contact (tackifier) and create surface roughness while reducing soil bulk density (harrowing). We also explored whether seed harvesting by granivores and seedling suppression by non-native annuals influence the success of broadcast seeding in revegetating degraded shrublands. Ten weeks after treatments, seeds readily moved off of experimental plots in untreated compacted sites, but seed movements were reduced 32% by tackifier and 55% through harrowing. Harrowing promoted seedling emergence in compacted sites, particularly for the early-colonizing species Encelia farinosa, but tackifier was largely ineffective. The inherent surface roughness of trenched sites retained three times the number of seeds than compacted sites, but soil mixing during trench development likely altered the suitability of the seedbed thus resulting in poor seedling emergence. Non-native annuals had little influence on seed fates during our study. In contrast, the prevalence of harvester ants increased seed removal on compacted sites, whereas rodent activity influenced removal on trenched sites. Future success of broadcast seeding in arid lands depends on evaluating disturbance characteristics prior to seeding and selecting appropriate species and seasons for application. ?? 2010 Society for Ecological Restoration International.

  16. Tidal Dwarf Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duc, P.-A.; Mirabel, I. F.; Brinks, E.

    The life and evolution of galaxies are dramatically affected by environmental effects. Interactions with the intergalactic medium and collisions with companions cause major perturbations in the morphology and contents of galaxies: in particular stars and gas clouds may be gravitationally pulled out from their parent galaxies during tidal encounters, forming rings, tails and bridges. This debris of collisions lies at the origin of a new generation of small galaxies, the so-called "tidal dwarf galaxies" (TDGs). The authors have carried out multi-wavelength observations of some 20 TDGs. These systems are made of two stellar components: young stars, formed from the recent collapse of expelled H I clouds, and an older stellar population, tidally pulled out from the disks of their interacting parent galaxies. In the observed TDGs, the current star formation episode is fuelled by a large reservoir of H I gas and is younger than 10 Myr.

  17. White Dwarf Pulsars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Patterson, Joseph

    1998-01-01

    Work on NAG5-3288 ("White Dwarf Pulsars") has been fully integrated with the identically titled project NAG5-4734. The final report below is the same, since the data analysis and interpretative work are integrated, as are the resulting (previous and in-pipeline) publications. The proposal was designed to study pulse and orbital modulations in candidate DQ Herculis stars. Data on 5 stars were obtained. The best results were obtained on YY Draconis, which exhibited a strongly pulsed hard X-ray flux, and even suggested a transition between one-pole and two-pole emission during the course of the observation. This result is being readied for inclusion in a comprehensive study of YY Draconis. A strong pulsation appeared to be present also in H0857-242, but with a period of - 50 minutes, confusion with the first harmonic of the satellite's orbital frequency is possible. So that result is uncertain and is "on ice". A negative result was obtained on 4UO608-49 (V347 Pup), suggesting either that the X-ray identification is incorrect, or that the source is very transient. Finally, data was obtained on V1432 Aql and WZ Sge, respectively the slowest and fastest of these stars. Combined with the ASCA data, the high-energy data demonstrates the latter to contain a white dwarf rotating with P = 27.87 s (Patterson et al. 1998, PASP, 110, 403). Optical photometry contemporaneous with the X-ray data was obtained of V1432 Aql, in order to study the variations in the eclipse waveform. As anticipated, the width and centroid of the eclipse appeared to vary with the 50-day "supercycle".

  18. Climate change: Increasing shrub abundance in the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sturm, Matthew; Racine, Charles; Tape, Kenneth

    2001-05-01

    The warming of the Alaskan Arctic during the past 150 years has accelerated over the last three decades and is expected to increase vegetation productivity in tundra if shrubs become more abundant; indeed, this transition may already be under way according to local plot studies and remote sensing. Here we present evidence for a widespread increase in shrub abundance over more than 320 km of Arctic landscape during the past 50 years, based on a comparison of historic and modern aerial photographs. This expansion will alter the partitioning of energy in summer and the trapping and distribution of snow in winter, as well as increasing the amount of carbon stored in a region that is believed to be a net source of carbon dioxide.

  19. Shrub Abundance Mapping in Arctic Tundra with Misr

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duchesne, R.; Chopping, M. J.; Wang, Z.; Schaaf, C.; Tape, K. D.

    2013-12-01

    Over the last 60 years an increase in shrub abundance has been observed in the Arctic tundra in connection with a rapid surface warming trend. Rapid shrub expansion may have consequences in terms of ecosystem structure and function, albedo, and feedbacks to climate; however, its rate is not yet known. The goal of this research effort is thus to map large scale changes in Arctic tundra vegetation by exploiting the structural signal in moderate resolution satellite remote sensing images from NASA's Multiangle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR), mapped onto a 250m Albers Conic Equal Area grid. We present here large area shrub mapping supported by reference data collated using extensive field inventory data and high resolution panchromatic imagery. MISR Level 1B2 Terrain radiance scenes from the Terra satellite from 15 June-31 July, 2000 - 2010 were converted to surface bidirectional reflectance factors (BRF) using MISR Toolkit routines and the MISR 1 km LAND product BRFs. The red band data in all available cameras were used to invert the RossThick-LiSparse-Reciprocal BRDF model to retrieve kernel weights, model-fitting RMSE, and Weights of Determination. The reference database was constructed using aerial survey, three field campaigns (field inventory for shrub count, cover, mean radius and height), and high resolution imagery. Tall shrub number, mean crown radius, cover, and mean height estimates were obtained from QuickBird and GeoEye panchromatic image chips using the CANAPI algorithm, and calibrated using field-based estimates, thus extending the database to over eight hundred locations. Tall shrub fractional cover maps for the North Slope of Alaska were constructed using the bootstrap forest machine learning algorithm that exploits the surface information provided by MISR. The reference database was divided into two datasets for training and validation. The model derived used a set of 19 independent variables(the three kernel weights, ratios and interaction terms

  20. Revealing Massive Black Holes in Dwarf Galaxies with X-rays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reines, A.

    2014-07-01

    Supermassive black holes (BHs) live at the heart of essentially all massive galaxies, power AGN, and are thought to be important agents in the evolution of their hosts. However, the origin of these monster BHs is largely unknown. While direct observations of the first ``seeds" of supermassive BHs in the infant Universe are unobtainable with current telescopes, finding and studying dwarf galaxies hosting massive BHs today can provide valuable constraints on the masses, host galaxies, and formation mechanism of supermassive BH seeds. We have recently completed the first systematic search for AGN in dwarf galaxies using optical spectroscopy, increasing the number of known dwarfs with massive BHs by more than an order of magnitude (Reines et al. 2013). However, this optical search is biased towards BHs radiating at high fractions of their Eddington limit in galaxies with little on-going star formation. Alternative search techniques and diagnostics at other wavelengths are necessary to make further progress. I will discuss our efforts to find and study massive BHs in dwarf galaxies using observations at X-ray wavelengths. These observations are more sensitive to weakly accreting massive BHs and are already beginning to reveal massive BHs hidden at optical wavelengths in star-forming dwarf galaxies.

  1. Nitrogen oxide pullution may spark seeds` growth

    SciTech Connect

    Malakoff, D.A.

    1997-05-23

    Could a common air pollutant be fooling the seeds of some wild plants into germinating when conditions are deadly to the seedlings? That`s the provocative question raised by a finding reported in this issue. Two ecologists have learned that the seeds of a common California wildflower can be prompted to germinate by exposure to nitrogen oxides, gases produced by both natural wildfires and motor vehicles and power plants. Botanists have long recognized that many plants inhabiting fire-prone areas, such as the and forests of the Southwest and the shrub-choked hillsides of southern California, grow best on freshly burned-over land. Scorched soils are often rich in nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus released from burned vegetation, and they are free of shrubs that can otherwise shade sun-loving seedlings. For many of these phoenix like plants, a fire`s searing heat is what prompts them to rise from the ashes. Heat cracks the hard, outer coat of seeds that can lie dormant in the soil for decades. This allows water to seep in, spurring growth.

  2. Shrub encroachment control by browsing: Targeting the right demographic process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    da Silveira Pontes, Laíse; Magda, Danièle; Jarry, Marc; Gleizes, Benoît; Agreil, Cyril

    2012-11-01

    Exploring key demographic parameters for establishment and growth of shrub populations enables us to identify the life stages or plant organs that browsers need to consume to effectively influence shrub population dynamics. However, there is a lack of concrete knowledge on how browsing can efficiently meet this goal. We therefore tested the impact of different levels of browsing intensity on a key demographic parameter (survival of juveniles) of a major colonizing shrub species (broom, Cytisus scoparius) in order to control population growth, and designed a browsing management strategy focused on this target stage. Three browsing intensities, representing pertinent management practices, were simulated on juveniles (2 years old) in a broom population. Juvenile broom plants were either left untouched (control treatment; n = 126) or had 50% or 90% of their total edible stem biomass removed for "light-intensity browsing" (n = 127) and "high-intensity browsing" (n = 77) treatments, respectively. Survival and fecundity data were collected over 6 years. Standard matrix modeling was used to analyze the impact of browsing on changes in population growth rate (λ), and the results were 6.34 (control), 2.26 (light browsing) and 0.85 (heavy browsing). Therefore, the natural expansion of broom populations may be slowed by light browsing or even reversed by heavy browsing (λ < 1). This multi-year survey confirms that focusing browsing on juveniles is an efficient strategy for controlling broom dominance. Shrub control strategies should therefore target early-growth-stage populations and repeat the browsing strategy at the same intensity over several years to achieve cumulative effects.

  3. Nonlinear responses of desert shrubs to episodic rainfall events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ogle, K.; Reynolds, J. F.

    2001-12-01

    The physiological responses of desert shrubs to rapidly varying soil and atmospheric water status are equivocal. While much of the wide variations in observed responses in gas exchange and plant water potential can be readily attributed to nonlinear plant-soil-atmosphere couplings, there is a paucity of data to quantify these behaviors in the field. This motivated us to conduct an integrated field and modeling study on Larrea tridentata, the dominant shrub of North American warm deserts. We monitored photosynthesis, stomatal behavior, and water potential of 16 individual shrubs exposed to natural and simulated rainfall during two growing seasons at a field site in southern New Mexico. We use these field data to develop a new photosynthesis (A) model that explicitly links internal CO2 (Ci) and stomatal conductance (g). A threshold response is assumed for instantaneous g such that stomata operate at their maximum g (gmax) for low vapor pressure deficits (VPD); thereafter, g decreases nonlinearly with increasing VPD. Predawn water potential and growing temperature interact with VPD to affect g and gmax. Ci is a linear function of g and the intercept is the minimum achievable Ci, which varies with temperature and light intensity. This model is able to reproduce Larrea's responses to episodic soil and atmospheric water availability, capturing the large diurnal and seasonal fluctuations in A, g, and Ci. We use this model to show that the many conflicting conclusions regarding desert shrub responses to rainfall are explained by the lack of sufficient field data and by several key nonlinear plant-soil-atmosphere couplings.

  4. Fire tolerance of a resprouting Artemisia (Asteraceae) shrub

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Winter, S.L.; Fuhlendorf, S.D.; Goad, C.L.; Davis, C.A.; Hickman, K.R.; Leslie, David M.

    2011-01-01

    In North America, most Artemisia (Asteraceae) shrub species lack the ability to resprout after disturbances that remove aboveground biomass. We studied the response of one of the few resprouting Artemisia shrubs, Artemisia filifolia (sand sagebrush), to the effects of prescribed fires. We collected data on A. filifolia density and structural characteristics (height, canopy area, and canopy volume) in an A. filifolia shrubland in the southern Great Plains of North America. Our study sites included areas that had not been treated with prescribed fire, areas that had been treated with only one prescribed fire within the previous 5 years, and areas that had been treated with two prescribed fires within the previous 10 years. Our data were collected at time periods ranging from 1/2 to 5 years after the prescribed fires. Density of A. filifolia was not affected by one or two fires. Structural characteristics, although initially altered by prescribed fire, recovered to levels characteristic of unburned areas in 3-4 years after those fires. In contrast to most non-sprouting North American Artemisia shrub species, our research suggested that the resprouting A. filifolia is highly tolerant to the effects of fire. ?? 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  5. Shrub clearing adversely affects the abundance of Ixodes ricinus ticks.

    PubMed

    Tack, Wesley; Madder, Maxime; Baeten, Lander; Vanhellemont, Margot; Verheyen, Kris

    2013-07-01

    In order to get a better understanding of the importance of vertical forest structure as a component of Ixodes ricinus tick habitat, an experiment was set up in a coniferous forest on sandy soils in northern Belgium. Ticks were sampled in six control and six treatment plots on various sampling occasions in 2008-2010. In the course of the study period, a moderate thinning was carried out in all plots and shrub clearing was performed in the treatment plots. Thinning had no effect on tick abundance, while shrub clearing had an adverse affect on the abundance of all three life stages (larva, nymph, adult) up to 2 years post-clearing. Our findings are especially relevant in the light of the ongoing efforts to improve vertical forest structure in Belgium and many other parts of Europe, which might create suitable habitats for ticks and change the epidemiology of tick-borne diseases. Also, our results indicate that shrub clearing could be applied as a tick control measure in recreational areas where there is a high degree of human-tick contact.

  6. Multi-scale investigation of shrub encroachment in southern Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aplin, Paul; Marston, Christopher; Wilkinson, David; Field, Richard; O'Regan, Hannah

    2016-04-01

    There is growing speculation that savannah environments throughout Africa have been subject to shrub encroachment in recent years, whereby grassland is lost to woody vegetation cover. Changes in the relative proportions of grassland and woodland are important in the context of conservation of savannah systems, with implications for faunal distributions, environmental management and tourism. Here, we focus on southern Kruger National Park, South Africa, and investigate whether or not shrub encroachment has occurred over the last decade and a half. We use a multi-scale approach, examining the complementarity of medium (e.g. Landsat TM and OLI) and fine (e.g. QuickBird and WorldView-2) spatial resolution satellite sensor imagery, supported by intensive field survey in 2002 and 2014. We employ semi-automated land cover classification, involving a hybrid unsupervised clustering approach with manual class grouping and checking, followed by change detection post-classification comparison analysis. The results show that shrub encroachment is indeed occurring, a finding evidenced through three fine resolution replicate images plus medium resolution imagery. The results also demonstrate the complementarity of medium and fine resolution imagery, though some thematic information must be sacrificed to maintain high medium resolution classification accuracy. Finally, the findings have broader implications for issues such as vegetation seasonality, spatial transferability and management practices.

  7. Role of species diversity and secondary compound complementarity on diet selection of Mediterranean shrubs by goats.

    PubMed

    Rogosic, Jozo; Estell, Richard E; Skobic, Dragan; Martinovic, Anita; Maric, Stanislava

    2006-06-01

    Goats foraging on Mediterranean shrubs containing secondary compounds (toxins) may consume a variety of shrubs that contain different phytotoxins, thereby increasing shrub intake and avoiding toxicosis. We conducted eight experiments to examine whether goats offered different mixtures of shrubs containing different phytotoxins (tannins and saponins) would consume more shrub biomass than goats offered one shrub a single phytotoxin (tannin or saponin). In the first three experiments, goats fed a mixture of three tannin-rich shrubs (Quercus ilex, Arbutus unedo, and Pistacia lentiscus) ate more foliage than goats offered only one shrub (23.2 vs. 10.7 g/kg BW; 25.2 vs. 13.4 g/kg BW, and 27.9 vs. 7.9 g/kg BW), regardless of tannin concentration in individual shrub species. Goats also consumed more foliage when offered the same three tannin-rich shrubs than when offered the saponin-rich shrub Hedera helix (25.4 vs. 8.0 g/kg BW). However, goats offered a mixture of the same three tannin-rich shrubs consumed less foliage than goats offered a mixture of two shrubs containing tannins and saponins: Quercus and Hedera (21.6 vs. 27.1 g/kg BW), Arbutus and Hedera (21.8 vs. 27.1 g/kg BW), and Pistacia and Hedera (19.7 vs. 22.0 g/kg BW). Comparison of intake of shrubs containing only tannins or saponins to intake of shrubs containing both tannins and saponins indicated that goats consumed more total biomass when fed with shrubs with both classes of compounds than with either tannins or saponins alone. Our results suggest that goats can increase intake of Mediterranean shrubs high in secondary compounds by selecting those with different classes of phytotoxins. Simultaneous ingestion of shrubs containing tannins and saponins may promote chemical interactions that inhibit toxic effects of these phytotoxins in the intestinal tract. In addition to complementary interactions between tannins and saponins, biological diversity within Mediterranean maquis vegetation also plays a positive

  8. Uncoupling the effects of seed predation and seed dispersal by granivorous ants on plant population dynamics.

    PubMed

    Arnan, Xavier; Molowny-Horas, Roberto; Rodrigo, Anselm; Retana, Javier

    2012-01-01

    Secondary seed dispersal is an important plant-animal interaction, which is central to understanding plant population and community dynamics. Very little information is still available on the effects of dispersal on plant demography and, particularly, for ant-seed dispersal interactions. As many other interactions, seed dispersal by animals involves costs (seed predation) and benefits (seed dispersal), the balance of which determines the outcome of the interaction. Separate quantification of each of them is essential in order to understand the effects of this interaction. To address this issue, we have successfully separated and analyzed the costs and benefits of seed dispersal by seed-harvesting ants on the plant population dynamics of three shrub species with different traits. To that aim a stochastic, spatially-explicit individually-based simulation model has been implemented based on actual data sets. The results from our simulation model agree with theoretical models of plant response dependent on seed dispersal, for one plant species, and ant-mediated seed predation, for another one. In these cases, model predictions were close to the observed values at field. Nonetheless, these ecological processes did not affect in anyway a third species, for which the model predictions were far from the observed values. This indicates that the balance between costs and benefits associated to secondary seed dispersal is clearly related to specific traits. This study is one of the first works that analyze tradeoffs of secondary seed dispersal on plant population dynamics, by disentangling the effects of related costs and benefits. We suggest analyzing the effects of interactions on population dynamics as opposed to merely analyzing the partners and their interaction strength.

  9. Uncoupling the Effects of Seed Predation and Seed Dispersal by Granivorous Ants on Plant Population Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Arnan, Xavier; Molowny-Horas, Roberto; Rodrigo, Anselm; Retana, Javier

    2012-01-01

    Secondary seed dispersal is an important plant-animal interaction, which is central to understanding plant population and community dynamics. Very little information is still available on the effects of dispersal on plant demography and, particularly, for ant-seed dispersal interactions. As many other interactions, seed dispersal by animals involves costs (seed predation) and benefits (seed dispersal), the balance of which determines the outcome of the interaction. Separate quantification of each of them is essential in order to understand the effects of this interaction. To address this issue, we have successfully separated and analyzed the costs and benefits of seed dispersal by seed-harvesting ants on the plant population dynamics of three shrub species with different traits. To that aim a stochastic, spatially-explicit individually-based simulation model has been implemented based on actual data sets. The results from our simulation model agree with theoretical models of plant response dependent on seed dispersal, for one plant species, and ant-mediated seed predation, for another one. In these cases, model predictions were close to the observed values at field. Nonetheless, these ecological processes did not affect in anyway a third species, for which the model predictions were far from the observed values. This indicates that the balance between costs and benefits associated to secondary seed dispersal is clearly related to specific traits. This study is one of the first works that analyze tradeoffs of secondary seed dispersal on plant population dynamics, by disentangling the effects of related costs and benefits. We suggest analyzing the effects of interactions on population dynamics as opposed to merely analyzing the partners and their interaction strength. PMID:22880125

  10. Seed dispersal limitations shift over time in tropical forest restoration.

    PubMed

    Reid, J Leighton; Holl, Karen D; Zahawi, Rakan A

    2015-06-01

    Past studies have shown that tropical forest regeneration on degraded farmlands is initially limited by lack of seed dispersal, but few studies have tracked changes in abundance and composition of seed rain past the first few years after land abandonment. We measured seed rain for 12 months in 10 6-9-year-old restoration sites and five mature, reference forests in southern Costa Rica in order to learn (1) if seed rain limitation persists past the first few years of regeneration; (2) how restoration treatments influence seed community structure and composition; and (3) whether seed rain limitation is contingent on landscape context. Each restoration site contained three 0.25-ha treatment plots: (1) a naturally regenerating control, (2) tree islands, and (3) a mixed-species tree plantation. Sites spanned a deforestation gradient with 9-89% forest area within 500 m around the treatment plots. Contrary to previous studies, we found that tree seeds were abundant and ubiquitous across all treatment plots (585.1 ± 142.0 seeds · m(-2) · yr(-1) [mean ± SE]), indicating that lack of seed rain ceased to limit forest regeneration within the first decade of recovery. Pioneer trees and shrubs comprised the vast majority of seeds, but compositional differences between restoration sites and reference forests were driven by rarer, large-seeded species. Large, animal-dispersed tree seeds were more abundant in tree islands (4.6 ± 2.9 seeds · m(-2) · yr(-1)) and plantations (5.8 ± 3.0 seeds · m(-2) · yr(-1)) than control plots (0.2 ± 0.1 seeds · m(-2) · yr(-1)), contributing to greater tree species richness in actively restored plots. Planted tree species accounted for < 1% of seeds. We found little evidence for landscape forest cover effects on seed rain, consistent with previous studies. We conclude that seed rain limitation shifted from an initial, complete lack of tree seeds to a specific limitation on large-seeded, mature forest species over the first decade

  11. Seed dispersal limitations shift over time in tropical forest restoration.

    PubMed

    Reid, J Leighton; Holl, Karen D; Zahawi, Rakan A

    2015-06-01

    Past studies have shown that tropical forest regeneration on degraded farmlands is initially limited by lack of seed dispersal, but few studies have tracked changes in abundance and composition of seed rain past the first few years after land abandonment. We measured seed rain for 12 months in 10 6-9-year-old restoration sites and five mature, reference forests in southern Costa Rica in order to learn (1) if seed rain limitation persists past the first few years of regeneration; (2) how restoration treatments influence seed community structure and composition; and (3) whether seed rain limitation is contingent on landscape context. Each restoration site contained three 0.25-ha treatment plots: (1) a naturally regenerating control, (2) tree islands, and (3) a mixed-species tree plantation. Sites spanned a deforestation gradient with 9-89% forest area within 500 m around the treatment plots. Contrary to previous studies, we found that tree seeds were abundant and ubiquitous across all treatment plots (585.1 ± 142.0 seeds · m(-2) · yr(-1) [mean ± SE]), indicating that lack of seed rain ceased to limit forest regeneration within the first decade of recovery. Pioneer trees and shrubs comprised the vast majority of seeds, but compositional differences between restoration sites and reference forests were driven by rarer, large-seeded species. Large, animal-dispersed tree seeds were more abundant in tree islands (4.6 ± 2.9 seeds · m(-2) · yr(-1)) and plantations (5.8 ± 3.0 seeds · m(-2) · yr(-1)) than control plots (0.2 ± 0.1 seeds · m(-2) · yr(-1)), contributing to greater tree species richness in actively restored plots. Planted tree species accounted for < 1% of seeds. We found little evidence for landscape forest cover effects on seed rain, consistent with previous studies. We conclude that seed rain limitation shifted from an initial, complete lack of tree seeds to a specific limitation on large-seeded, mature forest species over the first decade

  12. Hunting for Infrared Signatures of Supermassive Black Hole Activity in Dwarf Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hainline, Kevin; Reines, Amy; Greene, Jenny; Stern, Daniel

    2016-08-01

    In order to explore the origin of the relationship between the growth of a galaxy and its central supermassive black hole, evidence must be found for black holes in galaxies at a wide range in masses. Searching for supermassive black holes in dwarf galaxies is especially important as these objects have less complicated merger histories, and they may host black holes that are similar to early proposed ``seed'' black holes. However, this selection is complicated by the fact that star formation in these dwarf galaxies can often mask the optical signatures of supermassive black hole growth and active galactic nucleus (AGN) activity in these objects. The all-sky infrared coverage offered by the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) has been used to great success to select AGNs in more massive galaxies, but great care must be used when using infrared selection techniques on samples of dwarf galaxies. In particular, compact, highly star-forming dwarf galaxies can have infrared colors that may lead them to be erroneously selected as AGNs. In this talk, I will discuss recent work exploring infrared selection of AGN candidates in dwarf galaxies, and present a set of potential IR dwarf-galaxy AGN candidates. I will also outline the importance in these results with respect to future selection of AGNs in low-metallicity galaxies at high-redshift.

  13. The Influence of an Invasive Shrub, Buddleja Davidii on a Native Shrub, Griselinia Littoralis Transplanted into a New Zealand Floodplain Chronosequence

    EPA Science Inventory

    Griselinia littoralis, a native New Zealand shrub, was planted into a chronosequence (0 to 8 yrs since flooding) dominated by the non-indigenous shrub, Buddleja davidii in three New Zealand floodplains to determine to what extent facilitation and competitive inhibition may influe...

  14. Shifts in Aboveground Biomass Allocation Patterns of Dominant Shrub Species across a Strong Environmental Gradient

    PubMed Central

    Kumordzi, Bright B.; Gundale, Michael J.; Nilsson, Marie-Charlotte; Wardle, David A.

    2016-01-01

    Most plant biomass allocation studies have focused on allocation to shoots versus roots, and little is known about drivers of allocation for aboveground plant organs. We explored the drivers of within-and between-species variation of aboveground biomass allocation across a strong environmental resource gradient, i.e., a long-term chronosequence of 30 forested islands in northern Sweden across which soil fertility and plant productivity declines while light availability increases. For each of the three coexisting dominant understory dwarf shrub species on each island, we estimated the fraction of the total aboveground biomass produced year of sampling that was allocated to sexual reproduction (i.e., fruits), leaves and stems for each of two growing seasons, to determine how biomass allocation responded to the chronosequence at both the within-species and whole community levels. Against expectations, within-species allocation to fruits was least on less fertile islands, and allocation to leaves at the whole community level was greatest on intermediate islands. Consistent with expectations, different coexisting species showed contrasting allocation patterns, with the species that was best adapted for more fertile conditions allocating the most to vegetative organs, and with its allocation pattern showing the strongest response to the gradient. Our study suggests that co-existing dominant plant species can display highly contrasting biomass allocations to different aboveground organs within and across species in response to limiting environmental resources within the same plant community. Such knowledge is important for understanding how community assembly, trait spectra, and ecological processes driven by the plant community vary across environmental gradients and among contrasting ecosystems. PMID:27270445

  15. Shifts in Aboveground Biomass Allocation Patterns of Dominant Shrub Species across a Strong Environmental Gradient.

    PubMed

    Kumordzi, Bright B; Gundale, Michael J; Nilsson, Marie-Charlotte; Wardle, David A

    2016-01-01

    Most plant biomass allocation studies have focused on allocation to shoots versus roots, and little is known about drivers of allocation for aboveground plant organs. We explored the drivers of within-and between-species variation of aboveground biomass allocation across a strong environmental resource gradient, i.e., a long-term chronosequence of 30 forested islands in northern Sweden across which soil fertility and plant productivity declines while light availability increases. For each of the three coexisting dominant understory dwarf shrub species on each island, we estimated the fraction of the total aboveground biomass produced year of sampling that was allocated to sexual reproduction (i.e., fruits), leaves and stems for each of two growing seasons, to determine how biomass allocation responded to the chronosequence at both the within-species and whole community levels. Against expectations, within-species allocation to fruits was least on less fertile islands, and allocation to leaves at the whole community level was greatest on intermediate islands. Consistent with expectations, different coexisting species showed contrasting allocation patterns, with the species that was best adapted for more fertile conditions allocating the most to vegetative organs, and with its allocation pattern showing the strongest response to the gradient. Our study suggests that co-existing dominant plant species can display highly contrasting biomass allocations to different aboveground organs within and across species in response to limiting environmental resources within the same plant community. Such knowledge is important for understanding how community assembly, trait spectra, and ecological processes driven by the plant community vary across environmental gradients and among contrasting ecosystems. PMID:27270445

  16. Oil content in seeds of the NPGS jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis) germplasm collection

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Jojoba, Simmondsia chinensis, (Link) Schneider is a shrub native to warm and arid land regions of North and Latin America. Its seeds contain vegetable oil composed of long (C20-22), straight-chain liquid wax of non-glyceride esters. Minute amounts of triglycerides in its composition make the oil a l...

  17. Germination response of Apocynum venetum seeds to temperature and water potential

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Apocynum venetum (commonly known as luobuma or rafuma) is a shrub that is native to Eurasia. It is economically important for sand fixation, forage production, honey production, medicine, fiber and fuel. Rapid and uniform seed germination is critical for successful crop establishment and vegetation ...

  18. Do shrubs reduce the adverse effects of grazing on soil properties?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eldridge, David J.; Beecham, Genevieve; Grace, James B.

    2015-01-01

    Increases in the density of woody plants are a global phenomenon in drylands, and large aggregations of shrubs, in particular, are regarded as being indicative of dysfunctional ecosystems. There is increasing evidence that overgrazing by livestock reduces ecosystem functions in shrublands, but that shrubs may buffer the negative effects of increasing grazing. We examined changes in water infiltration and nutrient concentrations in soils under shrubs and in their interspaces in shrublands in eastern Australia that varied in the intensity of livestock grazing. We used structural equation modelling to test whether shrubs might reduce the negative effects of overgrazing on infiltration and soil carbon and nitrogen (henceforth ‘soil nutrients’). Soils under shrubs and subject to low levels of grazing were more stable and had greater levels of soil nutrients. Shrubs had a direct positive effect on soil nutrients; but, grazing negatively affected nutrients by increasing soil bulk density. Structural equation modelling showed that shrubs had a direct positive effect on water flow under ponded conditions but also enhanced water flow, indirectly, through increased litter cover. Any positive effects of shrubs on water flow under low levels of grazing waned at high levels of grazing. Our results indicate that shrubs may reduce the adverse effects of grazing on soil properties. Specifically, shrubs could restrict access to livestock and therefore protect soils and plants beneath their canopies. Low levels of grazing are likely to ensure the retention of soil water and soil carbon and nitrogen in shrubland soils.

  19. Spatio-temporal patterns of ptarmigan occupancy relative to shrub cover in the Arctic

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schmutz, Joel A.

    2014-01-01

    Rock and willow ptarmigan are abundant herbivores that require shrub habitats in arctic and alpine areas. Shrub expansion is likely to increase winter habitat availability for ptarmigan, which in turn influence shrub architecture and growth through browsing. Despite their ecological role in the Arctic, the distribution and movement patterns of ptarmigan are not well known, particularly in northern Alaska where shrub expansion is occurring. We used multi-season occupancy models to test whether ptarmigan occupancy varied within and among years, and the degree to which colonization and extinction probabilities were related to shrub cover and latitude. Aerial surveys were conducted from March to May in 2011 and April to May 2012 in a 21,230 km2 area in northeastern Alaska. In areas with at least 30 % shrub cover, the probability of colonization by ptarmigan was >0.90, indicating that moderate to extensive patches of shrubs (typically associated with riparian areas) had a high probability of becoming occupied by ptarmigan. Occupancy increased throughout the spring in both years, providing evidence that ptarmigan migrated from southern wintering areas to breeding areas north of the Brooks Range. Occupancy was higher in the moderate snow year than the high snow year, and this was likely due to higher shrub cover in the moderate snow year. Ptarmigan distribution and migration in the Arctic are linked to expanding shrub communities on a wide geographic scale, and these relationships may be shaping ptarmigan population dynamics, as well as rates and patterns of shrub expansion.

  20. White Dwarf Pulsars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Patterson, Joseph

    1999-01-01

    This proposal was designed to study pulse and orbital modulations in candidate DQ Herculis stars. Data on 5 stars were obtained. The best results were obtained on YY Draconis, which exhibited a strongly pulsed hard X-ray flux, and even suggested a transition between one-pole and two-pole emission during the course of the observation. This result is being readied for inclusion in a comprehensive study of YY Draconis. A strong pulsation appeared to be present also in H0857-242, but with a period of about 50 minutes, confusion with the first harmonic of the satellite's orbital frequency is possible. So that result is uncertain. A negative result was obtained on 4UO608-49 (V347 Pup), suggesting either that the X-ray identification is incorrect, or that the source is very transient. Finally, data was obtained on V1432 Aql and WZ Sge, respectively the slowest and fastest of these stars. Combined with the Advanced Satellite for Cosmology and Astrophysics (ASCA) data, the high-energy data demonstrates the latter to contain a white dwarf rotating with P = 27.87 s. Optical photometry contemporaneous with the X-ray data was obtained of V1432 Aql, in order to study the variations in the eclipse waveform. As anticipated, the width and centroid of the eclipse appeared to vary with the 50-day "supercycle". A paper reporting this study is now in preparation.

  1. A greener Greenland? Climatic potential and long-term constraints on future expansions of trees and shrubs

    PubMed Central

    Normand, Signe; Randin, Christophe; Ohlemüller, Ralf; Bay, Christian; Høye, Toke T.; Kjær, Erik D.; Körner, Christian; Lischke, Heike; Maiorano, Luigi; Paulsen, Jens; Pearman, Peter B.; Psomas, Achilleas; Treier, Urs A.; Zimmermann, Niklaus E.; Svenning, Jens-Christian

    2013-01-01

    Warming-induced expansion of trees and shrubs into tundra vegetation will strongly impact Arctic ecosystems. Today, a small subset of the boreal woody flora found during certain Plio-Pleistocene warm periods inhabits Greenland. Whether the twenty-first century warming will induce a re-colonization of a rich woody flora depends on the roles of climate and migration limitations in shaping species ranges. Using potential treeline and climatic niche modelling, we project shifts in areas climatically suitable for tree growth and 56 Greenlandic, North American and European tree and shrub species from the Last Glacial Maximum through the present and into the future. In combination with observed tree plantings, our modelling highlights that a majority of the non-native species find climatically suitable conditions in certain parts of Greenland today, even in areas harbouring no native trees. Analyses of analogous climates indicate that these conditions are widespread outside Greenland, thus increasing the likelihood of woody invasions. Nonetheless, we find a substantial migration lag for Greenland's current and future woody flora. In conclusion, the projected climatic scope for future expansions is strongly limited by dispersal, soil development and other disequilibrium dynamics, with plantings and unintentional seed dispersal by humans having potentially large impacts on spread rates. PMID:23836785

  2. Brown dwarfs as close companions to white dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stringfellow, Guy S.; Bodenheimer, Peter; Black, David C.

    1990-01-01

    The influence of the radiation flux emitted by a white dwarf primary on the evolution of a closely orbiting brown dwarf (BD) companion is investigated. Full stellar evolutionary calculations are presented for both isolated and thermal bath cases, including effects of large variations in the atmospheric grain opacities. High grain opacities significantly increase the radii of the BDs, but the thermal bath does not. The major influence of the thermal bath is to increase substantially the surface temperature and luminosity of the BD at a given age. These results are compared with the observational properties of the possible BD companion of the white dwarf G29-38. Inclusion of both physical effects, high grain opacities and thermal bath, increases the mass range (0.034-0.063 solar masses) of viable models significantly, yet the final determination of whether the object is indeed a BD requires improvements in the observations of the system's properties.

  3. Star formation in dwarf galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dong, Shawfeng

    In this thesis, we examine the star formation history and stellar feedback effects of dwarf galaxies under the influence of extragalactic ultraviolet radiation, as well as the evolution of residual gas within tidally-limited dwarf galaxies and globular clusters. Previous work has indicated that the background UV flux can easily ionize the gas within typical dwarf galaxies, delaying or even preventing cooling and star formation within them. Many dwarf galaxies within the Local Group are, however, observed to contain multiple generations of stars, the oldest of which formed in the early epochs of cosmic evolution, when the background UV flux was intense. In order to address this paradox, we consider the dynamical evolution of gas in dwarf galaxies using a one-dimensional, spherically symmetric, Lagrangian numerical scheme which also computes the effects of radiative transfer and photoionization. We include in the scheme a physically-motivated star formation recipe and consider the effects of feedback. This scheme allows us to follow the history of the gas and of star formation within dwarf galaxies, as influenced by both external and internal UV radiation. Our results indicate that star formation in the severe environment of dwarf galaxies is a difficult and inefficient process. In potentials with total mass less than a few 106 M⊙ , and velocity dispersion less than a few km s-1 , residual gas is efficiently photoionized by cosmic background UV radiation. For intermediate mass systems, such as the dSphs around the Galaxy, star formation can proceed within early cosmic epochs despite the intense background UV flux. Triggering processes such as merger events, collisions, and tidal disturbance can lead to density enhancements, reducing the recombination timescale, allowing gas to cool and star formation to proceed. However, the star formation and gas retention efficiency may vary widely in galaxies with similar dark matter potentials, because they depend on many

  4. The late-M dwarfs

    SciTech Connect

    Bessell, M.S. )

    1991-02-01

    Far-red spectra and VRIJHK photometry have been obtained for a sample of late-M dwarfs selected on the basis of large reduced red magnitudes from the LHS Catalog. Half of the stars in the three faintest 1 mag bins are late-M stars, the other red stars are metallic-hydride subdwarfs. Relations between various colors for the late-M dwarfs are investigated. Of all the colors I - K most reliably correlates with spectral type. FeH bands near 9900 A are clearly seen in the spectra of all dwarf stars later than M5. Two stars cooler than VB10, and similar in temperature to LHS2924 have been identified; both have H-alpha in emission and appear variable in magnitude and R - I color; one is a flare star. The other stars are of earlier spectral type and resemble W359 and VB8. The observed MI, I - K main sequence is in good agreement with the IG theoretical main sequence of Stringfellow, and the faintest stars could be about 0.09 solar mass red dwarfs or lower mass brown dwarfs. 65 refs.

  5. Phenolic metabolites in leaves of the invasive shrub, Lonicera maackii, and their potential phytotoxic and anti-herbivore effects.

    PubMed

    Cipollini, Don; Stevenson, Randall; Enright, Stephanie; Eyles, Alieta; Bonello, Pierluigi

    2008-02-01

    Lonicera maackii is an invasive shrub in North America for which allelopathic effects toward other plants or herbivores have been suspected. We characterized the major phenolic metabolites present in methanol extracts of L. maackii leaves. In addition, we examined the effects of methanol-water extracts of L. maackii leaves on seed germination of a target plant species and on feeding preference and growth rate of a generalist insect herbivore. A total of 13 individual major and minor compounds were detected in crude leaf extracts by high-performance liquid chromatography coupled to electronspray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry (ESI-MS/MS). Extracts were dominated by two major flavones, apigenin and luteolin, and their glucoside derivatives, apigenin-7-glucoside and luteolin-7-glucoside. Quantities of these compounds, along with chlorogenic acid, varied between two sampling points. Leaf extracts that contained these compounds were inhibitory to seed germination of Arabidopsis thaliana. In addition, treatment of artificial diet with leaf extracts deterred feeding of the generalist herbivore, Spodoptera exigua, in choice experiments but had no effect on growth rate in short-term no-choice bioassays. Purified apigenin tended to deter feeding by S. exigua and inhibited seed germination of A. thaliana. We conclude that leaves of L. maackii contain phenolic compounds, including apigenin and chlorogenic acid, capable of having biological effects on other plants and insects. PMID:18213496

  6. Microsatellite diversity and genetic structure of fragmented populations of the rare, fire-dependent shrub Grevillea macleayana.

    PubMed

    England, Phillip R; Usher, Annette V; Whelan, Robert J; Ayre, David J

    2002-06-01

    Recent habitat loss and fragmentation superimposed upon ancient patterns of population subdivision are likely to have produced low levels of neutral genetic diversity and marked genetic structure in many plant species. The genetic effects of habitat fragmentation may be most pronounced in species that form small populations, are fully self-compatible and have limited seed dispersal. However, long-lived seed banks, mobile pollinators and long adult lifespans may prevent or delay the accumulation of genetic effects. We studied a rare Australian shrub species, Grevillea macleayana (Proteaceae), that occurs in many small populations, is self-compatible and has restricted seed dispersal. However, it has a relatively long adult lifespan (c. 30 years), a long-lived seed bank that germinates after fire and is pollinated by birds that are numerous and highly mobile. These latter characteristics raise the possibility that populations in the past may have been effectively large and genetically homogeneous. Using six microsatellites, we found that G. macleayana may have relatively low within-population diversity (3.2-4.2 alleles/locus; Hexp = 0.420-0.530), significant population differentiation and moderate genetic structure (FST = 0.218) showing isolation by distance, consistent with historically low gene flow. The frequency distribution of allele sizes suggest that this geographical differentiation is being driven by mutation. We found a lack mutation-drift equilibrium in some populations that is indicative of population bottlenecks. Combined with evidence for large spatiotemporal variation of selfing rates, this suggests that fluctuating population sizes characterize the demography in this species, promoting genetic drift. We argue that natural patterns of pollen and seed dispersal, coupled with the patchy, fire-shaped distribution, may have restricted long-distance gene flow in the past. PMID:12030976

  7. [Quality level assessment of lowly efficient Tamarix chinensis secondary shrubs in Laizhou Bay of Yellow River Delta].

    PubMed

    Xia, Jiang-Bao; Liu, Yu-Ting; Zhu, Jin-Fang; Xu, Jing-Wei; Lu, Zhao-Hua; Liu, Jing-Tao; Liu, Qing

    2013-06-01

    Taking the Tamarix chinensis secondary shrubs in Laizhou Bay of Yellow River Delta as test objects, and by using synthetic factor method, this paper studied the main factors causing the lowly efficiency of T. chinensis secondary shrubs as well as the main parameters for the classification of lowly efficient T. chinensis secondary shrubs. A total of 24 indices including shrubs growth and soil physical and chemical properties were selected to determine the main affecting factors and parameters in evaluating and classifying the lowly efficient shrubs. There were no obvious correlations between the indices reflecting the shrubs growth and soil quality, and thus, only using shrub growth index to reflect the lowly efficiency level of T. chinensis was not enough, and it would be necessary to combine with soil quality factors to make a comprehensive evaluation. The principal factors reflecting the quality level of lowly efficient T. chinensis shrubs included soil salt content and moisture content, stand age, single tree's aboveground stem, leaf biomass, and basal diameter, followed by soil density, porosity, and soil nutrient status. The lowly efficient T. chinensis shrubs in the Bay could be classified into five types, namely, shrub with growth potential, slightly low quality shrub, moderately lowly efficient shrub, moderately low quality and lowly efficient shrub, and seriously low quality and lowly efficient shrub. The main features, low efficiency causes, and management measures of these shrubs were discussed based on the mean cluster value. PMID:24066539

  8. [Quality level assessment of lowly efficient Tamarix chinensis secondary shrubs in Laizhou Bay of Yellow River Delta].

    PubMed

    Xia, Jiang-Bao; Liu, Yu-Ting; Zhu, Jin-Fang; Xu, Jing-Wei; Lu, Zhao-Hua; Liu, Jing-Tao; Liu, Qing

    2013-06-01

    Taking the Tamarix chinensis secondary shrubs in Laizhou Bay of Yellow River Delta as test objects, and by using synthetic factor method, this paper studied the main factors causing the lowly efficiency of T. chinensis secondary shrubs as well as the main parameters for the classification of lowly efficient T. chinensis secondary shrubs. A total of 24 indices including shrubs growth and soil physical and chemical properties were selected to determine the main affecting factors and parameters in evaluating and classifying the lowly efficient shrubs. There were no obvious correlations between the indices reflecting the shrubs growth and soil quality, and thus, only using shrub growth index to reflect the lowly efficiency level of T. chinensis was not enough, and it would be necessary to combine with soil quality factors to make a comprehensive evaluation. The principal factors reflecting the quality level of lowly efficient T. chinensis shrubs included soil salt content and moisture content, stand age, single tree's aboveground stem, leaf biomass, and basal diameter, followed by soil density, porosity, and soil nutrient status. The lowly efficient T. chinensis shrubs in the Bay could be classified into five types, namely, shrub with growth potential, slightly low quality shrub, moderately lowly efficient shrub, moderately low quality and lowly efficient shrub, and seriously low quality and lowly efficient shrub. The main features, low efficiency causes, and management measures of these shrubs were discussed based on the mean cluster value.

  9. Adaptive responses reveal contemporary and future ecotypes in a desert shrub

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Richardson, Bryce A.; Kitchen, Stanley G.; Pendleton, Rosemary L.; Pendleton, Burton K.; Germino, Matthew J.; Rehfeldt, Gerald E.; Meyer, Susan E.

    2014-01-01

    Interacting threats to ecosystem function, including climate change, wildfire, and invasive species necessitate native plant restoration in desert ecosystems. However, native plant restoration efforts often remain unguided by ecological genetic information. Given that many ecosystems are in flux from climate change, restoration plans need to account for both contemporary and future climates when choosing seed sources. In this study we analyze vegetative responses, including mortality, growth, and carbon isotope ratios in two blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima) common gardens that included 26 populations from a range-wide collection. This shrub occupies ecotones between the warm and cold deserts of Mojave and Colorado Plateau ecoregions in western North America. The variation observed in the vegetative responses of blackbrush populations was principally explained by grouping populations by ecoregions and by regression with site-specific climate variables. Aridity weighted by winter minimum temperatures best explained vegetative responses; Colorado Plateau sites were usually colder and drier than Mojave sites. The relationship between climate and vegetative response was mapped within the boundaries of the species–climate space projected for the contemporary climate and for the decade surrounding 2060. The mapped ecological genetic pattern showed that genetic variation could be classified into cool-adapted and warm-adapted ecotypes, with populations often separated by steep clines. These transitions are predicted to occur in both the Mojave Desert and Colorado Plateau ecoregions. While under contemporary conditions the warm-adapted ecotype occupies the majority of climate space, climate projections predict that the cool-adapted ecotype could prevail as the dominant ecotype as the climate space of blackbrush expands into higher elevations and latitudes. This study provides the framework for delineating climate change-responsive seed transfer guidelines, which are

  10. Modelling basin-scale effects of shrub expansion on snow distribution, turbulent fluxes and soil temperature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ménard, Cécile; Essery, Richard; Pomeroy, John

    2013-04-01

    The interactions between shrubs, snow and soil are at the core of feedback loops affecting the water, energy and carbon budget at high latitude. Many studies, providing evidence from plot scale measurements to pan-Arctic satellite observations, have shown that shrubs are colonizing higher grounds, both latitudinally and altitudinally, in all countries circling the Arctic. It is therefore critical to understand how these changes may affect snow distribution, water equivalent and soil temperature. Given that shrubs colonize bare ground through the expansion of existing shrub patches, the potential effect of shrub expansion was investigated by selecting a site where shrubs are already in the landscape. Modelled snow distribution, water equivalent, turbulent fluxes and soil temperature under the current vegetation cover was compared to those of runs where cover was modified by 1/ removing all vegetation ("no-shrub") 2/ increasing shrub cover and height as a function of their respective neighbouring cell values ("shrub+"). The study was performed in the Granger Basin, Yukon Territory, Canada, which is situated within a sub-alpine ecozone and characterised by a shrub-tundra landscape. A distributed land surface model which calculates the energy balance over three sources (snow - shrub - ground) within each gridbox was used to investigate these processes. Although much of the snow distribution in the basin is topographically driven, increasing shrub cover and height reduced the spatial variability of snow depth and increased the snow cover fraction. Despite the heat advection from shrubs to snow patches, the basin became snow-free earlier in the control run than in the shrub+ run because of the shading effect of denser canopies. Removing shrubs caused higher latent heat fluxes across the basin both on snow and snow-free tiles whereas adding shrubs homogenized latent heat fluxes and soil temperatures across the basin, following the homogenization of the snow depth. The

  11. Secondary Airflow Structure around Clustered Shrubs and Its Significance for Vegetated Dune Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luo, Wanyin; Dong, Zhibao; Qian, Guangqiang; Lu, Junfeng

    2016-04-01

    Shrubs have an important significance in aeolian processes due to their disturbance of the local airflow. In the formation of vegetated dunes, there is an iterative interaction between shrub geometry, the structure of the secondary airflow, and the interaction between neighboring shrubs. Understanding the dynamics of vegetated dunes thus requires an insight into the airflow fields around shrubs. Based on aerodynamic and aeolian sand physics theory, this project measured the complex secondary flow field and aeolian sand deposition pattern around single and cluster shrubs with varied densities (i.e., 0.05, 0.08, 0.15, 0.20) and gap ratios (the ratio of the gap spacing between the shrub models to the center-to-center distance for the shrub models, ranged from 1.1 to 1.8 with side-by-side arrangement and 1.2 to 4.3 with tandem arrangement) using the particle image velocimetry system through wind tunnle simulation. The relationship between the secondary airflow structure and the shrub's porosity and arrangement was analyzed quantitatively. Research results revealed that porosity (density) is the key parameter to affect the flow patterns around single shrub. Compared to solid obstacles, bleed flow through the shrubs has great influence on the secondary airflow patterns around itself. Under cluster modes, the distance between two adjacent shrubs has great influence on flow field structures around them. The flow patterns around two side-by-side arranged shrubs can be classified into three kinds of modes, that is: single-bluff-body, biased flow pattern and parallel vortex streets. The flow patterns around two tandem arranged shrubs can be classified into three regimes, that is: the extended body regime, reattachment regime and co-shedding regime. The "shadow zone" with low velocity in the lee of shrubs is the optimal position for sand deposition, but its form, size and orientation would varied with the shrub porosity and gap ratio between them. With the increase of the gap

  12. Flower size and longevity influence florivory in the large-flowered shrub Cistus ladanifer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teixido, Alberto L.; Méndez, Marcos; Valladares, Fernando

    2011-09-01

    Plants with larger and longer-lived flowers receive more pollinator visits and increase reproductive success, though may also suffer more from antagonistic interactions with animals. Florivores can reduce fruit and seed production, so selection on flower size, floral longevity and/or number of flowers may thus be determined by the relative effects of both pollinators and florivores. In this study flowers of Cistus ladanifer, a large-flowered Mediterranean shrub, were monitored to evaluate the effects of flower size, floral longevity and number of flowers on levels of florivory in four populations. Number of flowers was variable but did not differ among populations. Both flower size and floral longevity of C. ladanifer showed broad variation and significantly differed among populations. Overall, 7% of flowers suffered attack by florivores, which were mainly ants picking the stamens and beetles consuming petals and pollen. Within-populations, larger and longer-lived flowers tended to be affected by florivores more frequently. The low overall incidence of florivores and its lack of between-population variation suggest that florivory may not influence intraspecific variation of these floral traits. However, moderate florivory levels on the largest and longest-lived flowers open the possibility of exerting selection towards smaller and shorter-lived flowers in some of the populations studied.

  13. The neotropical shrub Lupinus elegans, fromtemperate forests, may not adapt to climate change.

    PubMed

    Soto-Correa, J C; Sáenz-Romero, C; Lindig-Cisneros, R; de la Barrera, E

    2013-05-01

    Considering that their distribution is limited to altitudinal gradients along mountains that are likely to become warmer and drier, climate change poses an increased threat to temperate forest species from tropical regions. We studied whether the understorey shrub Lupinus elegans, endemic to temperate forests of west-central Mexico, will be able to withstand the projected temperature increase under seven climate change scenarios. Seeds were collected along an altitudinal gradient and grown in a shade-house over 7 months before determining their temperature tolerance as electrolyte leakage. The plants from colder sites tolerated lower temperatures, i.e. the temperature at which half of the maximum electrolyte leakage occurred (LT50), ranged from −6.4 ± 0.7 to −2.4 ± 0.3 °C. In contrast, no pattern was found for tolerance to high temperature (LT50 average 42.8 ± 0.3 °C). The climate change scenarios considered here consistently estimated an increase in air temperature during the present century that was higher for the maximum air temperature than for the mean or minimum. In particular, the anomaly from the normal maximum air temperature at the study region ranged from 2.8 °C by 2030 to 5.8 °C by 2090. In this respect, the inability of L. elegans to adapt to increasingly higher temperatures found here, in addition to a possible inhibition of reproduction caused by warmer winters, may limit its future distribution.

  14. Sex-specific reproductive components and pollination ecology in the subdioecious shrub Fuchsia microphylla.

    PubMed

    Cuevas, E; Jiménez, R; Lopezaraiza-Mikel, M

    2014-11-01

    In subdioecious populations, functional female, male and hermaphrodite individuals coexist. Subdioecy may be a transitional state towards dioecy or a breakdown of dioecy, although lability in sex expression may maintain subdioecy as a stable condition. To better understand the ecological aspects involved in sex ratio dynamics and breeding system evolution, we studied the pollination and female fitness components of female and hermaphrodite individuals of the subdioecious shrub Fuchsia microphylla. In two natural populations at the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt we estimated female frequency and several reproductive components of female and hermaphrodite plants under natural pollination and experimental pollination treatments. Average female frequency was 42%, and on average, 42.5% of hermaphrodites produced fruits. Female plants showed a 17-fold female fertility advantage over hermaphrodites through increased fruit production, as the number of seeds and germination rates did not differ between morphs. Hermaphrodite flowers were larger, with similar nectar production and concentration to female flowers, and pollinators did not show consistent morph preferences. Some hermaphrodites produced fruits autonomously, and female flowers excluded from pollinators produced fruits putatively by apomixis. Fruit production in hermaphrodites, but not in females, was related to height, suggesting increased investment of hermaphrodites in the female function at higher resource status. For sex ratios to be at equilibrium, the female fertility advantage should be reduced about eightfold. However, it may be that hermaphrodites are maintained by producing fruits at no cost to the male function at higher resource status, as the gender plasticity hypothesis proposes.

  15. Sex-specific reproductive components and pollination ecology in the subdioecious shrub Fuchsia microphylla.

    PubMed

    Cuevas, E; Jiménez, R; Lopezaraiza-Mikel, M

    2014-11-01

    In subdioecious populations, functional female, male and hermaphrodite individuals coexist. Subdioecy may be a transitional state towards dioecy or a breakdown of dioecy, although lability in sex expression may maintain subdioecy as a stable condition. To better understand the ecological aspects involved in sex ratio dynamics and breeding system evolution, we studied the pollination and female fitness components of female and hermaphrodite individuals of the subdioecious shrub Fuchsia microphylla. In two natural populations at the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt we estimated female frequency and several reproductive components of female and hermaphrodite plants under natural pollination and experimental pollination treatments. Average female frequency was 42%, and on average, 42.5% of hermaphrodites produced fruits. Female plants showed a 17-fold female fertility advantage over hermaphrodites through increased fruit production, as the number of seeds and germination rates did not differ between morphs. Hermaphrodite flowers were larger, with similar nectar production and concentration to female flowers, and pollinators did not show consistent morph preferences. Some hermaphrodites produced fruits autonomously, and female flowers excluded from pollinators produced fruits putatively by apomixis. Fruit production in hermaphrodites, but not in females, was related to height, suggesting increased investment of hermaphrodites in the female function at higher resource status. For sex ratios to be at equilibrium, the female fertility advantage should be reduced about eightfold. However, it may be that hermaphrodites are maintained by producing fruits at no cost to the male function at higher resource status, as the gender plasticity hypothesis proposes. PMID:24629010

  16. Induced abnormality in Mir- and Earth grown Super Dwarf wheat

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bubenheim, D. L.; Stieber, J.; Campbell, W. F.; Salisbury, F. B.; Levinski, M.; Sytchev, V.; Podolsky, I.; Chernova, L.; Pdolsky, I.

    2003-01-01

    Super-dwarf wheat grown on the Mir space station using the Svet "Greenhouse" exhibited morphological, metabolic and reproductive abnormalities compared with Earth-grown wheat. Of prominent importance were the abnormalities associated with reproductive ontogeny and the total absence of seed formation on Mir. Changes in the apical meristem associated with transition from the vegetative phase to floral initiation and development of the reproductive spike were all typical of 'Super-Dwarf' wheat up to the point of anthesis. Observation of ruptured anthers from the Mir-grown plants revealed what appeared to be normally developed pollen. These pollen gains, however, contained only one nuclei, while normal viable pollen is tri-nucleate. A potentially important difference in the flight experiment, compared with ground reference studies, was the presence of a high level of atmospheric ethylene (1,200 ppb). Ground studies conducted by exposing 'Super-Dwarf' wheat to ethylene just prior to anthesis resulted in manifestation of the same abnormalities observed in the space flight samples. c2002 Published by Elsevier Science Ltd on behalf of COSPAR.

  17. Induced abnormality in Mir- and earth grown super dwarf wheat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bubenheim, D. L.; Stieber, J.; Campbell, W. F.; Salisbury, F. B.; Levinski, M.; Sytchev, V.; Pdolsky, I.; Chernova, L.

    Super-dwarf wheat grown on the Mir space station using the Svet ``Greenhouse'' exhibited morphological, metabolic and reproductive abnormalities compared with Earth-grown wheat. Of prominent importance were the abnormalities associated with reproductive ontogeny and the total absence of seed formation on Mir. Changes in the apical meristem associated with transition from the vegetative phase to floral initiation and development of the reproductive spike were all typical of `Super-Dwarf' wheat up to the point of anthesis. Observation of ruptured anthers from the Mir-grown plants revealed what appeared to be normally developed pollen. These pollen gains, however, contained only one nuclei, while normal viable pollen is tri-nucleate. A potentially important difference in the flight experiment, compared with ground reference studies, was the presence of a high level of atmospheric ethylene (1,200 ppb). Ground studies conducted by exposing `Super-Dwarf' wheat to ethylene just prior to anthesis resulted in manifestation of the same abnormalities observed in the space flight samples.

  18. Climate change effects on vegetation in Northeastern Siberian tundra - How does shrub growth relate to local climate and what are potential effects of shrub expansion on permafrost thawing?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blok, Daan; Schaepman-Strub, Gabriela; Heijmans, Monique; Sass-Klaassen, Ute; Bartholomeus, Harm; Knyazikhin, Yuri; Berendse, Frank

    2010-05-01

    The Siberian tundra is one of the key permafrost regions in the Arctic because of its large spatial extent and carbon-rich yedoma soils. Changes in permafrost thaw and concomitant carbon losses to the atmosphere can have large impacts on the global climate. Permafrost thaw is believed to strongly increase this century as a result of predicted increasing air temperature. At the same time, Arctic vegetation growth and composition is predicted to respond to future climate change. Deciduous shrubs are expected to benefit most from climate warming by increasing growth and expanding their range to higher latitudes. Evidence for recent increases in deciduous shrub cover in the Arctic region is limited thus far to small areas in Alaska. We examined if deciduous shrubs at our research site in the Indigirka lowlands, Northeastern Siberia, show a growth response to the main climate variables, temperature and precipitation. We constructed tree-ring width chronologies for two key Arctic deciduous shrub species, Betula nana and Salix pulchra, dating back roughly 60 years. The ring widths records are compared to summer-warmth index and summer-precipitation data from the closest climate station, approximately 30 km from our site in order to detect the climate factor that mainly determines shrub growth. On a larger scale, recent increases in Arctic productivity, measured as Arctic greenness (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, NDVI), suggest that shrubs may have expanded during the 80ies and 90ies of the last century. Spectral reflectance data of varying vegetation composition measured at the tundra site were reduced to NDVI to link up with long-term NDVI data. We used a multiple regression analysis to estimate how variation in NDVI is explained by plant fractional cover of different plant functional types (graminoids, deciduous shrubs, evergreen shrubs, forbs, mosses and lichens). Deciduous shrub cover was the only significant explanatory parameter in the model after parameter

  19. Mediterranean shrub vegetation: soil protection vs. water availability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García Estringana, Pablo; Nieves Alonso-Blázquez, M.; Alegre, Alegre; Cerdà, Artemi

    2014-05-01

    Soil Erosion and Land Degradation are closely related to the changes in the vegetation cover (Zhao et al., 2013). Although other factors such as rainfall intensiy or slope (Ziadat and Taimeh, 2013) the plant covers is the main factor that controls the soil erosion (Haregeweyn, 2013). Plant cover is the main factor of soil erosion processes as the vegetation control the infiltration and runoff generation (Cerdà, 1998a; Kargar Chigani et al., 2012). Vegetation cover acts in a complex way in influencing on the one hand on runoff and soil loss and on the other hand on the amount and the way that rainfall reaches the soil surface. In arid and semiarid regions, where erosion is one of the main degradation processes and water is a scant resource, a minimum percentage of vegetation coverage is necessary to protect the soil from erosion, but without compromising the availability of water (Belmonte Serrato and Romero Diaz, 1998). This is mainly controlled by the vegetation distribution (Cerdà, 1997a; Cammeraat et al., 2010; Kakembo et al., 2012). Land abandonment is common in Mediterranean region under extensive land use (Cerdà, 1997b; García-Ruiz, 2010). Abandoned lands typically have a rolling landscape with steep slopes, and are dominated by herbaceous communities that grow on pasture land interspersed by shrubs. Land abandonment use to trigger an increase in soil erosion, but the vegetation recovery reduces the impact of the vegetation. The goal of this work is to assess the effects of different Mediterranean shrub species (Dorycnium pentaphyllum Scop., Medicago strasseri, Colutea arborescens L., Retama sphaerocarpa, L., Pistacia Lentiscus L. and Quercus coccifera L.) on soil protection (runoff and soil losses) and on rainfall reaching soil surface (rainfall partitioning fluxes). To characterize the effects of shrub vegetation and to evaluate their effects on soil protection, two field experiments were carried out. The presence of shrub vegetation reduced runoff by

  20. Differential physiological responses to environmental change promote woody shrub expansion

    PubMed Central

    Heskel, Mary; Greaves, Heather; Kornfeld, Ari; Gough, Laura; Atkin, Owen K; Turnbull, Matthew H; Shaver, Gaius; Griffin, Kevin L

    2013-01-01

    Direct and indirect effects of warming are increasingly modifying the carbon-rich vegetation and soils of the Arctic tundra, with important implications for the terrestrial carbon cycle. Understanding the biological and environmental influences on the processes that regulate foliar carbon cycling in tundra species is essential for predicting the future terrestrial carbon balance in this region. To determine the effect of climate change impacts on gas exchange in tundra, we quantified foliar photosynthesis (Anet), respiration in the dark and light (RD and RL, determined using the Kok method), photorespiration (PR), carbon gain efficiency (CGE, the ratio of photosynthetic CO2 uptake to total CO2 exchange of photosynthesis, PR, and respiration), and leaf traits of three dominant species – Betula nana, a woody shrub; Eriophorum vaginatum, a graminoid; and Rubus chamaemorus, a forb – grown under long-term warming and fertilization treatments since 1989 at Toolik Lake, Alaska. Under warming, B. nana exhibited the highest rates of Anet and strongest light inhibition of respiration, increasing CGE nearly 50% compared with leaves grown in ambient conditions, which corresponded to a 52% increase in relative abundance. Gas exchange did not shift under fertilization in B. nana despite increases in leaf N and P and near-complete dominance at the community scale, suggesting a morphological rather than physiological response. Rubus chamaemorus, exhibited minimal shifts in foliar gas exchange, and responded similarly to B. nana under treatment conditions. By contrast, E. vaginatum, did not significantly alter its gas exchange physiology under treatments and exhibited dramatic decreases in relative cover (warming: −19.7%; fertilization: −79.7%; warming with fertilization: −91.1%). Our findings suggest a foliar physiological advantage in the woody shrub B. nana that is further mediated by warming and increased soil nutrient availability, which may facilitate shrub

  1. How, Now, Brown Dwarfs?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brecher, Kenneth

    2009-01-01

    The vocabulary of astronomy is riddled with colorful names for stars, from red giants to blue stragglers. Objects with masses between roughly .01 and .1 solar masses are called "brown dwarfs". Do they - could they - ever actually appear brown? Color is not a one-dimensional physical parameter like wavelength. It is a complex, psychophysical phenomenon involving not only three degrees of freedom - hue (often incorrectly equated with "color"), saturation and brightness - but also observational context. The perceptual nature of color has been known since Newton wrote in his "Opticks” in 1704: "For the Rays to speak properly are not coloured. In them there is nothing else than a certain Power and disposition to stir up a Sensation of this or that Colour.” To most observers, the 2000 or so naked eye stars observable from the northern hemisphere all appear white, with the half dozen exceptions which look reddish/orange like Betelgeuse, Arcturus and Antares. But what color would Betelgeuse (effective temperature 3600 K) appear at a distance of, say, 100 times the Earth-Sun separation? Not red. In fact, it has a temperature about 40% higher than that of an ordinary incandescent light bulb. It would appear white (or yellowish)! Can a very cool radiating (emissive) object ever appear brown? What is brown anyway? It is not a primary or even secondary color. In this presentation, we will explore the nature and meaning of "brown” by the use of several physical and computer demonstrations developed as part of "Project LITE- Light Inquiry Through Experiments", an educational materials development project. These demonstrations show that an isolated thermally radiating object will never appear brown. Hence the term "Brown Dwarf” is as nonsensical as the phrase "How, Now, Brown Cow?". Project LITE is supported by the NSF through DUE Grant # 0715975.

  2. Pluto: Dwarf planet 134340

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ksanfomality, L. V.

    2016-01-01

    In recent decades, investigations of Pluto with up-to-date astronomical instruments yielded results that have been generally confirmed by the New Horizons mission. In 2006, in Prague, the General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) reclassified Pluto as a member of the dwarf planet category according to the criteria defined by the IAU for the term "planet". At the same time, interest in studies of Pluto was increasing, while the space investigations of Pluto were delayed. In 2006, the New Horizons Pluto spacecraft started its journey to Pluto. On July 14, 2015, the spacecraft, being in fly-by mode, made its closest approach to Pluto. The heterogeneities and properties of the surface and rarified atmosphere were investigated thoroughly. Due to the extreme remoteness of the spacecraft and the energy limitations, it will take 18 months to transmit the whole data volume. Along with the preliminary results of the New Horizons Pluto mission, this paper reviews the basics on Pluto and its moons acquired from the ground-based observations and with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). There are only a few meteorite craters on the surfaces of Pluto and Charon, which distinctly marks them apart from such satellites of the giant planets as Ganymede and Callisto. The explanation is that the surface of Pluto is young: its age is estimated at less than 100 Myr. Ice glaciers of apparently a nitrogen nature were found. Nitrogen is also the main component of the atmosphere of Pluto. The planet demonstrates the signs of strong geologic activity, though the energy sources of these processes are unknown.

  3. Trees, more than shrubs, protect against soil erosion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wendel, JoAnna

    2014-05-01

    Soil erosion and saltation—the transport of ground particles by wind—are significant producers of dust and can damage crops or lead to nutrient-poor soil in semiarid regions. These regions are particularly vulnerable to climate warming and increased human activity, which can exacerbate erosion and induce dust bowl-like conditions. Previous research and observations have shown that vegetation such as shrubs and trees can reduce soil erosion, but existing models do not account for variations in wind direction or strength.

  4. Four new triterpenes from the endemic relict shrub Tetraena mongolica.

    PubMed

    Tang, Sheng-An; Ding, Lin-Lin; Zhai, Hui-Yuan; Qin, Nan; Duan, Hong-Quan

    2012-01-01

    A chemical investigation of the endemic relict shrub Tetraena mongolica led to the isolation of four new triterpenes: 11α,12α:13β,28-diepoxyoleanane-3β-yl trans-caffeate (1), 3β-hydroxy-11α,12α-epoxyoleanane-28-al (2), olean-11-en-28-al-3β-yl trans-caffeate (3), and 28-acetoxy-olean-12-en-3β-yl trans-caffeate (4). Their structures were elucidated by extensive spectroscopic methods. PMID:22873370

  5. Induced Abnormality In Mir- and Earth-Grown Super Dwarf Wheat

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bubenheim, David L.; Stieber, Joseph; Campbell, William F.; Salisbury, Frank B.; Levinski, Margarita; Sytchev, Vladimir; Podolsky, Igor; Chernova, Lola; Ivanova, Irene; Kliss, Mark (Technical Monitor)

    1998-01-01

    Super-dwarf wheat grown on the Mir space station using the Svet "Greenhouse" exhibited morphological, metabolic and reproductive abnormalities compared with normal wheat. Of prominent importance were the abnormalities associated with reproductive ontogeny and the total absence of seed formation on Mir. Changes in the apical meristem associated with transition from the vegetative phase to floral initiation and development of the reproductive spike were all typical of 'Super Dwarf' wheat up to the point of anthesis. Observation of ruptured anthers from the Mir-grown plants revealed what appeared to be normally developed pollen. These pollen grains however, contain only one nucleus, while normal viable pollen is trinucleate. A potentially important difference in the flight experiment, compared with ground reference studies, was identified - a high level of atmospheric ethylene (1200 ppb). Ground studies conducted exposing "Super-dwarf" wheat to ethylene at just prior to anthesis resulted in manifestation of the same abnormalities observed in the space flight samples.

  6. Adapting to alcohol: Dwarf hamster (Phodopus campbelli) ethanol consumption, sensitivity, and hoard fermentation.

    PubMed

    Lupfer, Gwen; Murphy, Eric S; Merculieff, Zoe; Radcliffe, Kori; Duddleston, Khrystyne N

    2015-06-01

    Ethanol consumption and sensitivity in many species are influenced by the frequency with which ethanol is encountered in their niches. In Experiment 1, dwarf hamsters (Phodopus campbelli) with ad libitum access to food and water consumed high amounts of unsweetened alcohol solutions. Their consumption of 15%, but not 30%, ethanol was reduced when they were fed a high-fat diet; a high carbohydrate diet did not affect ethanol consumption. In Experiment 2, intraperitoneal injections of ethanol caused significant dose-related motor impairment. Much larger doses administered orally, however, had no effect. In Experiment 3, ryegrass seeds, a common food source for wild dwarf hamsters, supported ethanol fermentation. Results of these experiments suggest that dwarf hamsters may have adapted to consume foods in which ethanol production naturally occurs.

  7. Invasion of dwarf bamboo into alpine snow-meadows in northern Japan: pattern of expansion and impact on species diversity

    PubMed Central

    Kudo, Gaku; Amagai, Yukihiro; Hoshino, Buho; Kaneko, Masami

    2011-01-01

    Recently, a dwarf bamboo species,Sasa kurilensis; Poaceae, has invaded into alpine snow-meadows in the wilderness area of the Taisetsu Mountains, northern Japan. This dwarf bamboo species has a wide distribution range from lowland to alpine sites of snowy regions. Because of the formation of dense evergreen culms and an extensive rhizome system, other plants are excluded following invasion by this dwarf bamboo, resulting in low species diversity. Dwarf bamboo originally inhabited the leeward slopes of alpine dwarf pine (Pinus pumila) clumps in alpine regions. During the last 32 years, however, dwarf bamboo has expanded its distribution area by up to 47% toward snow-meadows, especially on southeastern facing slopes. This rapid change may be related to the decrease in soil moisture and expansion of the annual growing period caused by the recent acceleration of snowmelt time. A multiyear census revealed that the density of bamboo culms increased 30–150% during 2 years, and the annual expansion of bamboo rhizomes was 39 cm on average. In addition to the expansion of bamboo clumps by vegetative growth, the possibility of migration by seed dispersal was also suggested by a genet analysis. With the increase in culm density, the species richness of snow-meadow vegetation decreased to less than one-quarter of the original level due to intense shading by dwarf bamboo. The rapid vegetation change in these almost pristine alpine environments isolated from the human activity implies that global climate change already influences the alpine ecosystem. PMID:22393485

  8. Invasion of dwarf bamboo into alpine snow-meadows in northern Japan: pattern of expansion and impact on species diversity.

    PubMed

    Kudo, Gaku; Amagai, Yukihiro; Hoshino, Buho; Kaneko, Masami

    2011-09-01

    Recently, a dwarf bamboo species,Sasa kurilensis; Poaceae, has invaded into alpine snow-meadows in the wilderness area of the Taisetsu Mountains, northern Japan. This dwarf bamboo species has a wide distribution range from lowland to alpine sites of snowy regions. Because of the formation of dense evergreen culms and an extensive rhizome system, other plants are excluded following invasion by this dwarf bamboo, resulting in low species diversity. Dwarf bamboo originally inhabited the leeward slopes of alpine dwarf pine (Pinus pumila) clumps in alpine regions. During the last 32 years, however, dwarf bamboo has expanded its distribution area by up to 47% toward snow-meadows, especially on southeastern facing slopes. This rapid change may be related to the decrease in soil moisture and expansion of the annual growing period caused by the recent acceleration of snowmelt time. A multiyear census revealed that the density of bamboo culms increased 30-150% during 2 years, and the annual expansion of bamboo rhizomes was 39 cm on average. In addition to the expansion of bamboo clumps by vegetative growth, the possibility of migration by seed dispersal was also suggested by a genet analysis. With the increase in culm density, the species richness of snow-meadow vegetation decreased to less than one-quarter of the original level due to intense shading by dwarf bamboo. The rapid vegetation change in these almost pristine alpine environments isolated from the human activity implies that global climate change already influences the alpine ecosystem.

  9. Range Expansion of Moose in Arctic Alaska Linked to Warming and Increased Shrub Habitat

    PubMed Central

    Tape, Ken D.

    2016-01-01

    Twentieth century warming has increased vegetation productivity and shrub cover across northern tundra and treeline regions, but effects on terrestrial wildlife have not been demonstrated on a comparable scale. During this period, Alaskan moose (Alces alces gigas) extended their range from the boreal forest into tundra riparian shrub habitat; similar extensions have been observed in Canada (A. a. andersoni) and Eurasia (A. a. alces). Northern moose distribution is thought to be limited by forage availability above the snow in late winter, so the observed increase in shrub habitat could be causing the northward moose establishment, but a previous hypothesis suggested that hunting cessation triggered moose establishment. Here, we use recent changes in shrub cover and empirical relationships between shrub height and growing season temperature to estimate available moose habitat in Arctic Alaska c. 1860. We estimate that riparian shrubs were approximately 1.1 m tall c. 1860, greatly reducing the available forage above the snowpack, compared to 2 m tall in 2009. We believe that increases in riparian shrub habitat after 1860 allowed moose to colonize tundra regions of Alaska hundreds of kilometers north and west of previous distribution limits. The northern shift in the distribution of moose, like that of snowshoe hares, has been in response to the spread of their shrub habitat in the Arctic, but at the same time, herbivores have likely had pronounced impacts on the structure and function of these shrub communities. These northward range shifts are a bellwether for other boreal species and their associated predators. PMID:27074023

  10. Influence of shrub encroachment on the soil microbial community composition of remnant hill prairies.

    PubMed

    Yannarell, Anthony C; Menning, Sarah E; Beck, Alyssa M

    2014-05-01

    Hill prairies are remnant grasslands perched on the bluffs of major river valleys, and because their steep slopes make them unsuitable for traditional row crop agriculture, they have some of the lowest levels of anthropogenic disturbance of any prairie ecosystems in the Midwestern USA. However, many decades of fire suppression have allowed for shrub encroachment from the surrounding forests. While shrub encroachment of grasslands can modify soil respiration rates and nutrient storage, it is not known whether shrubs also alter the community composition of soil microorganisms. We conducted transect sampling of nine different hill prairie remnants showing varying degrees of shrub encroachment, and we used DNA-based community profiling (automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis) to characterize the composition of bacterial and fungal communities in the open prairie habitat, the shrub-encroached border, and the surrounding forest. While both bacterial and fungal communities showed statistically significant variation across these habitats, their predominant patterns were different. Bacterial communities of forest soils were distinct from those of the open prairie and the shrub-encroached areas, while fungal communities of the open prairie were distinct from those of the forest and the shrub-encroached border. Shrub encroachment significantly altered the community composition of soil fungal communities. Furthermore, fungal communities of heavily encroached prairie remnants more closely resembled those of the surrounding forest than those of lightly encroached prairies. Thus, shrub encroachment can cause soil fungi to shift from a "grassland" community to a "woody" community, with potential consequences for soil processes and plant-microbe interactions.

  11. Hydraulic lift through transpiration suppression in shrubs from two arid ecosystems: patterns and control mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Prieto, Iván; Martínez-Tillería, Karina; Martínez-Manchego, Luis; Montecinos, Sonia; Pugnaire, Francisco I; Squeo, Francisco A

    2010-08-01

    Hydraulic lift (HL) is the passive movement of water through the roots from deep wet to dry shallow soil layers when stomata are closed. HL has been shown in different ecosystems and species, and it depends on plant physiology and soil properties. In this study we explored HL patterns in several arid land shrubs, and developed a simple model to simulate the temporal evolution and magnitude of HL during a soil drying cycle under relatively stable climatic conditions. This model was then used to evaluate the influence of soil texture on the quantity of water lifted by shrubs in different soil types. We conducted transpiration suppression experiments during spring 2005 in Chile and spring 2008 in Spain on five shrub species that performed HL, Flourensia thurifera, Senna cumingii and Pleocarphus revolutus (Chile), Retama sphaerocarpa and Artemisia barrelieri (Spain). Shrubs were covered with a black, opaque plastic fabric for a period of 48-72 h, and soil water potential was recorded at different depths under the shrubs. While the shrubs remained covered, water potential continuously increased in shallow soil layers until the cover was removed. The model output indicated that the amount of water lifted by shrubs is heavily dependent on soil texture, as shrubs growing in loamy soils redistributed up to 3.6 times more water than shrubs growing on sandy soils. This could be an important consideration for species growing in soils with different textures, as their ability to perform HL would be context dependent. PMID:20364271

  12. Mammalian herbivores confer resilience of Arctic shrub-dominated ecosystems to changing climate.

    PubMed

    Kaarlejärvi, Elina; Hoset, Katrine S; Olofsson, Johan

    2015-09-01

    Climate change is resulting in a rapid expansion of shrubs in the Arctic. This expansion has been shown to be reinforced by positive feedbacks, and it could thus set the ecosystem on a trajectory toward an alternate, more productive regime. Herbivores, on the other hand, are known to counteract the effects of simultaneous climate warming on shrub biomass. However, little is known about the impact of herbivores on resilience of these ecosystems, that is, the capacity of a system to absorb disturbance and still remain in the same regime, retaining the same function, structure, and feedbacks. Here, we investigated how herbivores affect resilience of shrub-dominated systems to warming by studying the change of shrub biomass after a cessation of long-term experimental warming in a forest-tundra ecotone. As predicted, warming increased the biomass of shrubs, and in the absence of herbivores, shrub biomass in tundra continued to increase 4 years after cessation of the artificial warming, indicating that positive effects of warming on plant growth may persist even over a subsequent colder period. Herbivores contributed to the resilience of these systems by returning them back to the original low-biomass regime in both forest and tundra habitats. These results support the prediction that higher shrub biomass triggers positive feedbacks on soil processes and microclimate, which enable maintaining the rapid shrub growth even in colder climates. Furthermore, the results show that in our system, herbivores facilitate the resilience of shrub-dominated ecosystems to climate warming.

  13. Disentangling the effects of shrubs and herbivores on tree regeneration in a dry Chaco forest (Argentina).

    PubMed

    Tálamo, Andrés; Barchuk, Alicia H; Garibaldi, Lucas A; Trucco, Carlos E; Cardozo, Silvana; Mohr, Federico

    2015-07-01

    Successful persistence of dry forests depends on tree regeneration, which depends on a balance of complex biotic interactions. In particular, the relative importance and interactive effects of shrubs and herbivores on tree regeneration are unclear. In a manipulative study, we investigated if thornless shrubs have a direct net effect, an indirect positive effect mediated by livestock, and/or an indirect negative effect mediated by small vertebrates on tree regeneration of two key species of Chaco forest (Argentina). In a spatial association study, we also explored the existence of net positive interactions from thorny and thornless shrubs. The number of Schinopsis lorentzii seedlings was highest under artificial shade with native herbivores and livestock excluded. Even excluding livestock, no seedlings were found with natural conditions (native herbivores present with natural shade or direct sunlight) at the end of the experiment. Surprisingly, seedling recruitment was not enhanced under thornless shrubs, because there was a complementary positive effect of shade and interference. Moreover, thornless shrubs had neither positive nor negative effects on regeneration of S. lorentzii. Regeneration of Aspidosperma quebracho-blanco was minimal in all treatments. In agreement with the experiment, spatial distributions of saplings of both tree species were independent of thornless shrubs, but positively associated with thorny shrubs. Our results suggest that in general thornless shrubs may have a negligible effect and thorny shrubs a net positive effect on tree regeneration in dry forests. These findings provide a conceptual framework for testing the impact of biotic interactions on seedling recruitment in other dry forests.

  14. Shrub encroachment affects mammalian carnivore abundance and species richness in semiarid rangelands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blaum, Niels; Rossmanith, Eva; Popp, Alexander; Jeltsch, Florian

    2007-01-01

    Shrub encroachment due to overgrazing has led to dramatic changes of savanna landscapes and is considered to be one of the most threatening forms of rangeland degradation e.g. via habitat fragmentation. Mammalian carnivores are particularly vulnerable to local extinction in fragmented landscapes. However, our understanding of how shrub encroachment affects mammalian carnivores is poor. Here we investigated the relative sensitivities of ten native carnivores to different levels of shrub cover ranging from low (<5%) to high shrub cover (>25%) in 20 southern Kalahari rangeland sites. Relative abundance of carnivores was monitored along 40 sand transects (5 m × 250 m) for each site. Our results show that increasing shrub cover affects carnivore species differently. African wild cats, striped polecats, cape foxes and suricates were negatively affected, whereas we found hump-shaped responses for yellow mongooses, bat-eared foxes and small-spotted genets with maximum abundance at shrub covers between 10 and 18%. In contrast, black-backed jackals, slender mongooses and small spotted cats were not significantly affected by increasing shrub cover. However, a negative impact of high shrub cover above 18% was congruent for all species. We conclude that intermediate shrub cover (10-18%) in savanna landscapes sustain viable populations of small carnivores.

  15. Range Expansion of Moose in Arctic Alaska Linked to Warming and Increased Shrub Habitat.

    PubMed

    Tape, Ken D; Gustine, David D; Ruess, Roger W; Adams, Layne G; Clark, Jason A

    2016-01-01

    Twentieth century warming has increased vegetation productivity and shrub cover across northern tundra and treeline regions, but effects on terrestrial wildlife have not been demonstrated on a comparable scale. During this period, Alaskan moose (Alces alces gigas) extended their range from the boreal forest into tundra riparian shrub habitat; similar extensions have been observed in Canada (A. a. andersoni) and Eurasia (A. a. alces). Northern moose distribution is thought to be limited by forage availability above the snow in late winter, so the observed increase in shrub habitat could be causing the northward moose establishment, but a previous hypothesis suggested that hunting cessation triggered moose establishment. Here, we use recent changes in shrub cover and empirical relationships between shrub height and growing season temperature to estimate available moose habitat in Arctic Alaska c. 1860. We estimate that riparian shrubs were approximately 1.1 m tall c. 1860, greatly reducing the available forage above the snowpack, compared to 2 m tall in 2009. We believe that increases in riparian shrub habitat after 1860 allowed moose to colonize tundra regions of Alaska hundreds of kilometers north and west of previous distribution limits. The northern shift in the distribution of moose, like that of snowshoe hares, has been in response to the spread of their shrub habitat in the Arctic, but at the same time, herbivores have likely had pronounced impacts on the structure and function of these shrub communities. These northward range shifts are a bellwether for other boreal species and their associated predators.

  16. Flower and fruit production of understory shrubs in western Washington and Oregon

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wender, B.; Harrington, C.; Tappeiner, J. C.

    2004-01-01

    We observed flower and fruit production for nine understory shrub species in western Washington and Oregon and examined the relationships between shrub reproductive output and plant size, plant age, site factors, and overstory density to determine the factors that control flowering or fruiting in understory shrubs. In Washington, 50 or more shrubs or microplots (for rhizomatous species) were sampled for each of eight species. The variables examined were more useful for explaining abundance of flowers or fruit on shrubs than they were for explaining the probability that a shrub would produce flowers or fruit. Plant size was consistently the most useful predictor of flower/fruit abundance in all species; plant age was also a good predictor of abundance and was strongly correlated with plant size. Site variables (e.g., slope) and overstory competition variables (e.g., presence/absence of a canopy gap) also helped explain flower/fruit abundance for some species. At two Oregon sites, the responses of five species to four levels of thinning were observed for 2-4 yr (15 shrubs or microplots per treatment per year). Thinning increased the probability and abundance of flowering/fruiting for two species, had no effect on one species, and responses for two other species were positive but inconsistent between sites or from year to year. We believe reducing overstory density or creating canopy gaps may be useful tools for enhancing shrub size and vigor, thus, increasing the probability and abundance of fruiting in some understory shrub species.

  17. Demise of spiny hopsage shrubs following summer wildfire: an authentic record

    SciTech Connect

    Rickard, W.H.; McShane, M.C.

    1984-01-01

    Spiny hopsage, Grayia spinosa, shrubs growing in a plant community dominated by greasewood, Sarcobatus vermiculatus, shrubs were destroyed by a summer wildfire. In the first season after the burn, greasewood shrubs sprouted, and by April of the second spring season, greasewood had restored about one-half of its preburn canopy cover. Spiny hopsage shrubs did not sprout and their demise is attributed to stressed growing conditions imposed by an alkaline-sodic rooting substrate. The demise of spiny hopsage would likely have gone unnoticed were it not for the existence of a permanently marked study plot. 11 references, 1 table.

  18. Greater effect of increasing shrub height on winter versus summer soil temperature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paradis, Mélissa; Lévesque, Esther; Boudreau, Stéphane

    2016-08-01

    Shrub expansion is increasingly observed in arctic and subarctic environments. The development of shrub structure may significantly impact the abiotic environment at the local scale. Our objective was to reconstruct the development of the vertical structure of Betula glandulosa Michx. and to evaluate its effects on winter and summer soil temperature and on snow depth. Stratified sampling of the shrub revealed that shrub biomass distribution followed a similar pattern in stands of contrasting heights. Woody biomass was maximal in the lower stratum and relatively stable in the intermediate strata, while the foliar biomass tracked the vertical development of the shrub structure. Dendrochronological analysis revealed that shrub stands are relatively young; most of the dominant stems started their development after 1990. Shrub height was positively associated with both the dominant stem age and its vertical growth rate. Temperature differences among sites were greater during winter (ca 10 °C) than during summer (ca 2 °C), while the sum of freezing degree-days varied from 680 °C to 2125 °C. Shrub height was the most plausible variable explaining snow depth, winter ground level temperature and the sum of freezing degree-days. However, woody biomass in the 30–40 cm strata best explained summer ground level temperature. Our results suggest that the development of a shrub structure will have far-reaching consequences on the abiotic environment of subarctic ecosystems.

  19. Range Expansion of Moose in Arctic Alaska Linked to Warming and Increased Shrub Habitat.

    PubMed

    Tape, Ken D; Gustine, David D; Ruess, Roger W; Adams, Layne G; Clark, Jason A

    2016-01-01

    Twentieth century warming has increased vegetation productivity and shrub cover across northern tundra and treeline regions, but effects on terrestrial wildlife have not been demonstrated on a comparable scale. During this period, Alaskan moose (Alces alces gigas) extended their range from the boreal forest into tundra riparian shrub habitat; similar extensions have been observed in Canada (A. a. andersoni) and Eurasia (A. a. alces). Northern moose distribution is thought to be limited by forage availability above the snow in late winter, so the observed increase in shrub habitat could be causing the northward moose establishment, but a previous hypothesis suggested that hunting cessation triggered moose establishment. Here, we use recent changes in shrub cover and empirical relationships between shrub height and growing season temperature to estimate available moose habitat in Arctic Alaska c. 1860. We estimate that riparian shrubs were approximately 1.1 m tall c. 1860, greatly reducing the available forage above the snowpack, compared to 2 m tall in 2009. We believe that increases in riparian shrub habitat after 1860 allowed moose to colonize tundra regions of Alaska hundreds of kilometers north and west of previous distribution limits. The northern shift in the distribution of moose, like that of snowshoe hares, has been in response to the spread of their shrub habitat in the Arctic, but at the same time, herbivores have likely had pronounced impacts on the structure and function of these shrub communities. These northward range shifts are a bellwether for other boreal species and their associated predators. PMID:27074023

  20. Greater effect of increasing shrub height on winter versus summer soil temperature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paradis, Mélissa; Lévesque, Esther; Boudreau, Stéphane

    2016-08-01

    Shrub expansion is increasingly observed in arctic and subarctic environments. The development of shrub structure may significantly impact the abiotic environment at the local scale. Our objective was to reconstruct the development of the vertical structure of Betula glandulosa Michx. and to evaluate its effects on winter and summer soil temperature and on snow depth. Stratified sampling of the shrub revealed that shrub biomass distribution followed a similar pattern in stands of contrasting heights. Woody biomass was maximal in the lower stratum and relatively stable in the intermediate strata, while the foliar biomass tracked the vertical development of the shrub structure. Dendrochronological analysis revealed that shrub stands are relatively young; most of the dominant stems started their development after 1990. Shrub height was positively associated with both the dominant stem age and its vertical growth rate. Temperature differences among sites were greater during winter (ca 10 °C) than during summer (ca 2 °C), while the sum of freezing degree-days varied from 680 °C to 2125 °C. Shrub height was the most plausible variable explaining snow depth, winter ground level temperature and the sum of freezing degree-days. However, woody biomass in the 30-40 cm strata best explained summer ground level temperature. Our results suggest that the development of a shrub structure will have far-reaching consequences on the abiotic environment of subarctic ecosystems.

  1. Mammalian herbivores confer resilience of Arctic shrub-dominated ecosystems to changing climate.

    PubMed

    Kaarlejärvi, Elina; Hoset, Katrine S; Olofsson, Johan

    2015-09-01

    Climate change is resulting in a rapid expansion of shrubs in the Arctic. This expansion has been shown to be reinforced by positive feedbacks, and it could thus set the ecosystem on a trajectory toward an alternate, more productive regime. Herbivores, on the other hand, are known to counteract the effects of simultaneous climate warming on shrub biomass. However, little is known about the impact of herbivores on resilience of these ecosystems, that is, the capacity of a system to absorb disturbance and still remain in the same regime, retaining the same function, structure, and feedbacks. Here, we investigated how herbivores affect resilience of shrub-dominated systems to warming by studying the change of shrub biomass after a cessation of long-term experimental warming in a forest-tundra ecotone. As predicted, warming increased the biomass of shrubs, and in the absence of herbivores, shrub biomass in tundra continued to increase 4 years after cessation of the artificial warming, indicating that positive effects of warming on plant growth may persist even over a subsequent colder period. Herbivores contributed to the resilience of these systems by returning them back to the original low-biomass regime in both forest and tundra habitats. These results support the prediction that higher shrub biomass triggers positive feedbacks on soil processes and microclimate, which enable maintaining the rapid shrub growth even in colder climates. Furthermore, the results show that in our system, herbivores facilitate the resilience of shrub-dominated ecosystems to climate warming. PMID:25967156

  2. Establishing a missing link: warm summers and winter snow cover promote shrub expansion into alpine tundra in Scandinavia.

    PubMed

    Hallinger, Martin; Manthey, Michael; Wilmking, Martin

    2010-06-01

    *Shrub expansion in alpine and arctic areas is a process with possibly profound implications for ecosystem functioning. The recent shrub expansion has been mainly documented by remote sensing techniques, but the drivers for this process largely remain hypotheses. *Here, we outline a dendrochronological method, adapted to shrubs, to address these hypotheses and then present a mechanism for the current shrub expansion by linking recent climate change to shrub growth performance in northern Sweden. *A pronounced increase in radial and vertical growth during recent decades along an elevational gradient from treeline to shrubline indicates an ongoing shrub expansion. Age distribution of the shrub population indicates the new colonization of shrubs at high elevations. *Shrub growth is correlated with warm summers and winter snow cover and suggests the potential for large-scale ecosystem changes if climate change continues as projected.

  3. Evidence and Implications of Frequent Fires in Ancient Shrub Tundra

    SciTech Connect

    Higuera, P E; Brubaker, L B; Anderson, P M; Brown, T A; Kennedy, A T; Hu, F S

    2008-03-06

    Understanding feedbacks between terrestrial and atmospheric systems is vital for predicting the consequences of global change, particularly in the rapidly changing Arctic. Fire is a key process in this context, but the consequences of altered fire regimes in tundra ecosystems are rarely considered, largely because tundra fires occur infrequently on the modern landscape. We present paleoecological data that indicate frequent tundra fires in northcentral Alaska between 14,000 and 10,000 years ago. Charcoal and pollen from lake sediments reveal that ancient birchdominated shrub tundra burned as often as modern boreal forests in the region, every 144 years on average (+/- 90 s.d.; n = 44). Although paleoclimate interpretations and data from modern tundra fires suggest that increased burning was aided by low effective moisture, vegetation cover clearly played a critical role in facilitating the paleo-fires by creating an abundance of fine fuels. These records suggest that greater fire activity will likely accompany temperature-related increases in shrub-dominated tundra predicted for the 21st century and beyond. Increased tundra burning will have broad impacts on physical and biological systems as well as land-atmosphere interactions in the Arctic, including the potential to release stored organic carbon to the atmosphere.

  4. Landscape heterogeneity controls growth variability of alder, willow, and birch shrubs in response to observed increases in temperature and snow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tape, K. D.; Hallinger, M.; Buras, A.; Wilmking, M.

    2013-12-01

    Over the last decade, evidence has emerged for a circumarctic trend of increasing shrub cover in tundra regions. On the Alaskan tundra, repeat photography has shown spatial differences in shrub patch dynamics: since 1950, most patches expanded while some remained stable. In this study we explore the underpinnings of this landscape heterogeneity by sampling the three dominant shrubs of the Alaskan tundra--alder, willow and birch--and creating shrub ring width chronologies to determine the influence of climate variability on shrub growth. Shrubs of expanding patches of all three species grew at higher rates than shrubs of stable patches. Alder and willow shrubs in expanding patches exhibited mainly positive growth trends, while their counterparts in stable patches exhibited mainly negative growth trends. Birch shrub growth declined in expanding and stable patches. Alder and willow shrub growth rates and responses to climate were controlled more by soil characteristics than by their genus; expanding alder and willow shrubs showed significant positive correlations with spring and summer temperatures, whereas alder and willow shrubs of stable patches were negatively influenced by winter precipitation. The widely-scattered stable shrub patches sampled here are considered ';moist tussock tundra,' which covers 13.4% of the low arctic landscape. In moist tussock tundra, and presumably also wet tussock tundra, the negative influence of deeper snow on shrubs outweighed the positive influence of deeper snow on ground temperature and nutrient stocks articulated by the snow-shrub-microbe hypothesis. Thus, while shrubs of expanding patches have generally profited from warmer summers, shrubs of stable patches have suffered from increased soil moisture resulting from increased snowmelt water. These results underscore the spatial and temporal complexity in shrub-climate dynamics, which will require considerable finesse to appropriately integrate into modeling efforts.

  5. Brown dwarfs as dark galactic halos

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Adams, Fred C.; Walker, Terry P.

    1990-01-01

    The possibility that the dark matter in galactic halos can consist of brown dwarf stars is considered. The radiative signature for such halos consisting solely of brown dwarfs is calculated, and the allowed range of brown dwarf masses, the initial mass function (IMF), the stellar properties, and the density distribution of the galactic halo are discussed. The prediction emission from the halo is compared with existing observations. It is found that, for any IMF of brown dwarfs below the deuterium burning limit, brown dwarf halos are consistent with observations. Brown dwarf halos cannot, however, explain the recently observed near-IR background. It is shown that future satellite missions will either detect brown dwarf halos or place tight constraints on the allowed range of the IMF.

  6. [Contribution of soil seed bank to the regeneration of damaged vegetation on floodplain].

    PubMed

    Wang, Zeng-ru; Xu, Hai-liang; Yin, Lin-ke; Li, Ji-mei; Zhang, Zhan-jiang; Li, Yuan

    2008-12-01

    A field germination experiment of soil seed bank was carried out on two typical floodplains in the lower reaches of Tarim River, and a comparison was made between the soil seed banks and corresponding seedling banks on the two floodplains, aimed to assess the contribution of soil seed bank to the regeneration of damaged vegetation. The results showed that there were 12 plant species in the soil seed banks, and the life forms were mainly perennial herbs and shrubs. The soil seed banks had a density of 282.5 seeds m(-2) and 173.2 seeds x m(-2), and the seeds in top soil (0-2 cm) accounted for 76.9% and 71.0% of the total, respectively. The soil seed banks had significant effects on the seedlings species composition and density, and 84.7% and 99.4% of the seedlings on the two floodplains were emerged from corresponding soil seed banks. The similarity coefficient between soil seed bank and seedling bank of the two floodplains was 0.72 and 0.63, respectively, and there existed significant positive correlation between seedling density and soil seed bank density, illustrating that soil seed bank made important contribution to the natural regeneration of vegetation.

  7. [Contribution of soil seed bank to the regeneration of damaged vegetation on floodplain].

    PubMed

    Wang, Zeng-ru; Xu, Hai-liang; Yin, Lin-ke; Li, Ji-mei; Zhang, Zhan-jiang; Li, Yuan

    2008-12-01

    A field germination experiment of soil seed bank was carried out on two typical floodplains in the lower reaches of Tarim River, and a comparison was made between the soil seed banks and corresponding seedling banks on the two floodplains, aimed to assess the contribution of soil seed bank to the regeneration of damaged vegetation. The results showed that there were 12 plant species in the soil seed banks, and the life forms were mainly perennial herbs and shrubs. The soil seed banks had a density of 282.5 seeds m(-2) and 173.2 seeds x m(-2), and the seeds in top soil (0-2 cm) accounted for 76.9% and 71.0% of the total, respectively. The soil seed banks had significant effects on the seedlings species composition and density, and 84.7% and 99.4% of the seedlings on the two floodplains were emerged from corresponding soil seed banks. The similarity coefficient between soil seed bank and seedling bank of the two floodplains was 0.72 and 0.63, respectively, and there existed significant positive correlation between seedling density and soil seed bank density, illustrating that soil seed bank made important contribution to the natural regeneration of vegetation. PMID:19288712

  8. Microlensing, brown dwarfs and Gaia.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evans, N. W.

    The GAIA satellite can precisely measure the masses of nearby brown dwarfs and lower main sequence stars by the microlensing effect. The scientific yield is maximised if the microlensing event is also followed with ground-based telesecopes to provide densely sampled photometry. There are two possible strategies. First, ongoing events can be triggered by photometric or astrometric alerts by GAIA. Second, events can be predicted using known high proper motion stars as lenses. This is much easier, as the location and time of an event can be forecast. Using the GAIA source density, we estimate that the sample size of high proper motion (>300 mas yr-1) brown dwarfs needed to provide predictable events during the 5 year mission lifetime is surprisingly small, only of the order of tens. This is comparable to the number of high proper motion brown dwarfs already known from the work of the UKIDSS Large Area Survey and the all-sky WISE satellite. Provided the relative parallax of the lens and the angular Einstein radius can be recovered from astrometric data, then the mass of the lens can be found. Microlensing provides the only way of measuring the masses of individual objects irrespective of their luminosity. So, microlensing with GAIA is the best way to carry out an inventory of masses in the solar neighbourhood in the brown dwarf regime.

  9. White dwarfs in cataclysmic variables

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaensicke, Boris

    2016-07-01

    Cataclysmic variables (CVs) provide excellent laboratories to study the effect that the accretion of matter, energy and angular momentum has on the structure of white dwarfs, with important implications on the evolution of these compact binaries, the ignition of thermonuclear surface burning, and potentially their explosion as SNIa. I will provide an overview of our current understanding of CV white dwarfs, with a particular emphasis on the results of a recent large HST program. I will review our knowledge regarding the mass distribution of CV white dwarfs, as well as the secular mean accretion rates that can be inferred from their effective temperatures, and compare those statistics with predictions from CV population models. I will also discuss a sub-set of CVs which underwent thermal-time scale mass transfer, one of the channels that is often discussed as a pathway to SN Ia, and I will illustrate how the study of these "failed SNIa" can contribute to the discussion of SNIa progenitors. Finally, I will discuss the occurrence of non-radial pulsations in white dwarfs, both in CVs and their detached progenitors.

  10. The Physics of White Dwarfs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Van Horn, Hugh M.

    1979-01-01

    Describes the current understanding of the structure and evolution of the white dwarf stars that was gained as a result of the increasingly sensitive and detailed astronomical observations coupled with calculations of the properties of matter under extreme conditions. (Author/GA)

  11. Pulsating Helium Atmosphere White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Provencal, Judith; Montgomery, Michael H.; Bischoff-Kim, Agnes; Shipman, Harry; Nitta, Atsuko; Whole Earth Telescope Collaboration

    2015-08-01

    The overwhelming majority of all stars currently on the main sequence as well as those from earlier generations will or have ended their stellar lives as white dwarf stars. White dwarfs are rich forensic laboratories linking the history and future evolution of our Galaxy. Their structure and atmospheric composition provide evidence of how the progenitors lived, how they evolved, and how they died. This information reveals details of processes governing the behavior of contemporary main sequence stars. Combined with their distribution in luminosity/temperature, white dwarfs strongly constrain models of galactic and cosmological evolution.GD358 is among the brightest (mv =13.7) and best studied of the pulsating white dwarfs. This helium atmoshere pulsator (DBV) has an extensive photometric database spanning 30 years, including nine multisite Whole Earth Telescope campaigns. GD358 exhibits a range of behaviors, from drastic changes in excited pulsation modes to variable multiplet splittings. We use GD358 as a template for an examination of the DBV class, combining photometric results with recent COS spectroscopy. The results present new questions concerning DB formation and evolution.

  12. Mutational effects of space flight on Zea mays seeds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mei, M.; Qiu, Y.; He, Y.; Bucker, H.; Yang, C. H.

    1994-01-01

    The growth and development of more than 500 Zea mays seeds flown on Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF) were studied. Somatic mutations, including white-yellow stripes on leaves, dwarfing, change of leaf sheath color or seedling color were observed in plants developed from these seeds. When the frequency of white-yellow formation was used as the endpoint and compared with data from ground based studies, the dose to which maize seeds might be exposed during the flight was estimated to be equivalent to 635 cGy of gamma rays. Seeds from one particular holder gave a high mutation frequency and a wide mutation spectrum. White-yellow stripes on leaves were also found in some of the inbred progenies from plants displayed somatic mutation. Electron microscopy studies showed that the damage of chloroplast development in the white-yellow stripe on leaves was similar between seeds flown on LDEF and that irradiated by accelerated heavy ions on ground.

  13. Mutational effects of space flight on Zea mays seeds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mei, M.; Qiu, Y.; He, Y.; Bucker, H.; Yang, C. H.

    1994-10-01

    The growth and development of more than 500 Zea mays seeds flown on LDEF were studied. Somatic mutations, including white-yellow stripes on leaves, dwarfing, change of leaf sheath color or seedling color were observed in plants developed from these seeds. When the frequency of white-yellow formation was used as the endpoint and compared with data from ground based studies, the dose to which maize seeds might be exposed during the flight was estimated to be equivalent to 635 cGy of gamma rays. Seeds from one particular holder gave a high mutation frequency and a wide mutation spectrum. White-yellow stripes on leaves were also found in some of the inbred progenies from plants displayed somatic mutation. Electron microscopy studies showed that the damage of chroloplast development in the white-yellow stripe on leaves was similar between seeds flown on LDEF and that irradiated by accelerated heavy ions on ground.

  14. Mutational effects of space flight on Zea mays seeds.

    PubMed

    Mei, M; Qiu, Y; He, Y; Bucker, H; Yang, C H

    1994-10-01

    The growth and development of more than 500 Zea mays seeds flown on LDEF were studied. Somatic mutations, including white-yellow stripes on leaves, dwarfing, change of leaf sheath color or seedling color were observed in plants developed from these seeds. When the frequency of white-yellow formation was used as the endpoint and compared with data from ground based studies, the dose to which maize seeds might be exposed during the flight was estimated to be equivalent to 635 cGy of gamma rays. Seeds from one particular holder gave a high mutation frequency and a wide mutation spectrum. White-yellow stripes on leaves were also found in some of the inbred progenies from plants displayed somatic mutation. Electron microscopy studies showed that the damage of chloroplast development in the white-yellow stripe on leaves was similar between seeds flown on LDEF and that irradiated by accelerated heavy ions on ground.

  15. Short-term effects of experimental fires on a Mojave Desert seed bank

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Esque, Todd C.; Young, James A.; Tracy, C. Richard

    2010-01-01

    A Mojave Desert shrub community was experimentally burned to understand changes in seed bank of desert annual plant species in response to wildfire. Seed mortality ranged from 55 to 80%, and fire caused significant losses of native and alien annual seeds. Schismus arabicus, Schismus barbatus, Bromus madritensis, Bromus tectorum, Erodium cicutarium and Plantago spp. made up >95% of the seed bank. Bromus spp. and Plantago spp. had proportionately greater mortality of seeds than did Schismus spp. and E. cicutarium. Schismus spp. can be lodged into soil cracks thus avoiding lethal temperatures. E. cicutarium has a self-drilling mechanism that places the seeds at greater depth in the soil. Greater seed mortality occurred beneath shrub canopies than interspaces for most species (Plantago, spp., Bromus spp., and E. cicutarium), but microsite had little effect on Schismus spp. Fire reduced the perennial Ambrosia dumosa densities under canopies. Fire reduced the mean number of species found in samples by about one species per plot and no species was extirpated on experimental plots. The relative abundances of common species did not change dramatically as a result of fire or microsite, however; seed densities varied by treatment and affected interpretations of species compositions.

  16. THREE NEW ECLIPSING WHITE-DWARF-M-DWARF BINARIES DISCOVERED IN A SEARCH FOR TRANSITING PLANETS AROUND M-DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Law, Nicholas M.; Kraus, Adam L.; Street, Rachel; Fulton, Benjamin J.; Shporer, Avi; Lister, Tim; Hillenbrand, Lynne A.; Baranec, Christoph; Bui, Khanh; Davis, Jack T. C.; Dekany, Richard G.; Kulkarni, S. R.; Ofek, Eran O.; Bloom, Joshua S.; Cenko, S. Bradley; Filippenko, Alexei V.; Burse, Mahesh P.; Das, H. K.; Kasliwal, Mansi M.; Nugent, Peter; and others

    2012-10-01

    We present three new eclipsing white-dwarf/M-dwarf binary systems discovered during a search for transiting planets around M-dwarfs. Unlike most known eclipsing systems of this type, the optical and infrared emission is dominated by the M-dwarf components, and the systems have optical colors and discovery light curves consistent with being Jupiter-radius transiting planets around early M-dwarfs. We detail the PTF/M-dwarf transiting planet survey, part of the Palomar Transient Factory (PTF). We present a graphics processing unit (GPU)-based box-least-squares search for transits that runs approximately 8 Multiplication-Sign faster than similar algorithms implemented on general purpose systems. For the discovered systems, we decompose low-resolution spectra of the systems into white-dwarf and M-dwarf components, and use radial velocity measurements and cooling models to estimate masses and radii for the white dwarfs. The systems are compact, with periods between 0.35 and 0.45 days and semimajor axes of approximately 2 R{sub Sun} (0.01 AU). The M-dwarfs have masses of approximately 0.35 M{sub Sun }, and the white dwarfs have hydrogen-rich atmospheres with temperatures of around 8000 K and have masses of approximately 0.5 M{sub Sun }. We use the Robo-AO laser guide star adaptive optics system to tentatively identify one of the objects as a triple system. We also use high-cadence photometry to put an upper limit on the white-dwarf radius of 0.025 R{sub Sun} (95% confidence) in one of the systems. Accounting for our detection efficiency and geometric factors, we estimate that 0.08%{sub -0.05%}{sup +0.10%} (90% confidence) of M-dwarfs are in these short-period, post-common-envelope white-dwarf/M-dwarf binaries where the optical light is dominated by the M-dwarf. The lack of detections at shorter periods, despite near-100% detection efficiency for such systems, suggests that binaries including these relatively low-temperature white dwarfs are preferentially found at

  17. Is the inverse leafing phenology of the dry forest understory shrub Jacquinia nervosa (Theophrastaceae) a strategy to escape herbivory?

    PubMed

    Chaves, Oscar M; Avalos, Gerardo

    2006-09-01

    In the dry forest of Santa Rosa National Park, Costa Rica, the understory shrub Jacquinia nervosa presents an inverse pattern of phenology that concentrates vegetative growth and reproduction during the dry season. In this study, we tested the "escape from herbivory" hypothesis as a potential explanation for the inverse phenological pattern of J. nervosa. We monitored leaf, flower and fruit production in 36 adult plants from October 2000 to August 2001. Leaves of six randomly selected branches per plant were marked and monitored every two weeks to measure the cumulative loss in leaf area. To analyze pre-dispersal seed predation we collected 15 fruits per plant and counted the total number of healthy and damaged seeds, as well as the number and type of seed predators found within the fruits. Leaf, flower, and fruit production occurred during the first part of the dry season (end of November to February). The cumulative herbivory levels were similar to those observed in other tropical dry forest tree species that concentrate leaf production during the wet season, and were concentrated on young leaves, which lost an average of 36.77 % of their area (SD = 34.35 %, N = 195). Chewing beetles of the genus Epicauta (Meloidae) were the most important herbivores. In mature leaves, most of the damage was caused by the beetle Coptocycla rufonotata (Chrysomelidae). Fruits took 4 months to develop during the dry season (January-March 2001) but continue increasing in size well into the first 3 months of the wet season (May-July). Average seed number per ripe fruit was 9 (SD = 5, N = 500). Seed predation in mature fruits was 42 % (SD = 47 %, N = 122). Most seeds were damaged by moth larvae of the family Tortricidae. Only 3 % of the flowers became fruits. This was influenced by the low level of flower synchrony (0.38+/-0.26, N = 36 plants), but neither leaf synchrony (0.88+/-0.06, N = 36 plants) nor plant size influenced fruit numbers. The significant damaged produced by insect

  18. Is the inverse leafing phenology of the dry forest understory shrub Jacquinia nervosa (Theophrastaceae) a strategy to escape herbivory?

    PubMed

    Chaves, Oscar M; Avalos, Gerardo

    2006-09-01

    In the dry forest of Santa Rosa National Park, Costa Rica, the understory shrub Jacquinia nervosa presents an inverse pattern of phenology that concentrates vegetative growth and reproduction during the dry season. In this study, we tested the "escape from herbivory" hypothesis as a potential explanation for the inverse phenological pattern of J. nervosa. We monitored leaf, flower and fruit production in 36 adult plants from October 2000 to August 2001. Leaves of six randomly selected branches per plant were marked and monitored every two weeks to measure the cumulative loss in leaf area. To analyze pre-dispersal seed predation we collected 15 fruits per plant and counted the total number of healthy and damaged seeds, as well as the number and type of seed predators found within the fruits. Leaf, flower, and fruit production occurred during the first part of the dry season (end of November to February). The cumulative herbivory levels were similar to those observed in other tropical dry forest tree species that concentrate leaf production during the wet season, and were concentrated on young leaves, which lost an average of 36.77 % of their area (SD = 34.35 %, N = 195). Chewing beetles of the genus Epicauta (Meloidae) were the most important herbivores. In mature leaves, most of the damage was caused by the beetle Coptocycla rufonotata (Chrysomelidae). Fruits took 4 months to develop during the dry season (January-March 2001) but continue increasing in size well into the first 3 months of the wet season (May-July). Average seed number per ripe fruit was 9 (SD = 5, N = 500). Seed predation in mature fruits was 42 % (SD = 47 %, N = 122). Most seeds were damaged by moth larvae of the family Tortricidae. Only 3 % of the flowers became fruits. This was influenced by the low level of flower synchrony (0.38+/-0.26, N = 36 plants), but neither leaf synchrony (0.88+/-0.06, N = 36 plants) nor plant size influenced fruit numbers. The significant damaged produced by insect

  19. Faint dwarfs in nearby groups

    SciTech Connect

    Speller, Ryan; Taylor, James E. E-mail: taylor@uwaterloo.ca

    2014-06-20

    The number and distribution of dwarf satellite galaxies remain a critical test of cold dark matter-dominated structure formation on small scales. Until recently, observational information about galaxy formation on these scales has been limited mainly to the Local Group. We have searched for faint analogues of Local Group dwarfs around nearby bright galaxies, using a spatial clustering analysis of the photometric catalog of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) Data Release 8. Several other recent searches of SDSS have detected clustered satellite populations down to Δm{sub r} ≡ (m{sub r,} {sub sat} – m{sub r,} {sub main}) ∼ 6-8, using photometric redshifts to reduce background contamination. SDSS photometric redshifts are relatively imprecise, however, for faint and nearby galaxies. Instead, we use angular size to select potential nearby dwarfs and consider only the nearest isolated bright galaxies as primaries. As a result, we are able to detect an excess clustering signal from companions down to Δm{sub r} = 12, 4 mag fainter than most recent studies. We detect an overdensity of objects at separations <400 kpc, corresponding to about 4.6 ± 0.5 satellites per central galaxy, consistent with the satellite abundance expected from the Local Group, given our selection function. Although the sample of satellites detected is incomplete by construction, since it excludes the least and most compact dwarfs, this detection provides a lower bound on the average satellite luminosity function, down to luminosities corresponding to the faintest ''classical'' dwarfs of the Local Group.

  20. Dwarf mutations in grass pea (Lathyrus sativus L.): origin, morphology, inheritance and linkage studies.

    PubMed

    Talukdar, Dibyendu

    2009-08-01

    Induction of mutation has been used to create additional genetic variability in grass pea (Lathyrus sativus L.). During the ongoing investigations on different induced-morphological mutants, the author detected three types of dwarf mutants in grass pea. One mutant, designated as dwf1 type was earlier identified in colchicine-induced C2 generation of grass pea variety BioR-231 while the other two, designated as dwf2 and dwf3 were isolated in 250 Gy and 300 Gy gamma ray irradiated M2 progeny of variety 'BioR-231' and 'Hooghly Local', respectively. As compared to their parental varieties (controls), all the three mutants manifested stunted, erect and determinate stem, early maturity and tolerance to pod shattering habit. The mutants differed from each other, as well as with controls, in number of primary branches, nature of stipules and internodes, length of peduncle, leaflet and seed coat colour, seed yield and seed neurotoxin content. The three dwarf mutants were monogenically recessive and bred true in successive generations. F2 segregation pattern obtained from the crosses involving the three mutants indicated that dwarf mutation in grass pea was controlled by two independent non-allelic genes, assigned as df1 (for dwf1 type), df2 (for dwf2 type) and df3 (for dwf3 type), with the df1 locus being multiple allelic. Primary trisomic analyses revealed the presence of df1/df2 locus on the extra chromosome of trisomic type I, whereas df3 was located on the extra chromosome of type III. Linkage studies involving five other phenotypic markers suggested linked association of df1/df2 locus with lfc (leaflet colour) and wgn (winged internode) and df3 locus with cbl (seed coat colour). Both the loci; however, assorted independently with flower colour and stipule character. The dwarf types can be utilized as valuable tools for further cytogenetic research and breeding of grass pea.

  1. Effects of experimental hypogravity on peroxidase and cell wall constituents in the dwarf marigold

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Siegel, S.; Speitel, T.; Shiraki, D.; Fukumoto, J.

    1978-01-01

    Dwarf Marigolds grown from seed under experimental hypogravity are modified in lignin content, hemicellulose composition, and peroxidase activity. The two conditions used, clinostats and flotation, induced changes differing in magnitude but qualitatively similar. Most responses on clinostats required corrections for vertical axis rotational effects, thus limiting the value of these instruments in free-fall simulation. These findings extend earlier observations suggesting that increased peroxidase and decreased lignin are characteristic of growth under experimental hypogravity.

  2. Effects of experimental hypogravity on peroxidase and cell wall constituents in the dwarf marigold

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Siegel, S.; Speitel, T.; Shiraki, D.; Fukumoto, J.

    1977-01-01

    Dwarf marigolds grown from seed under experimental hypogravity are modified in lignin content, hemicellulose composition and peroxidase activity. The two conditions used, clinostats and flotation, induced changes differing in magnitude but qualitatively similar. Most responses on clinostats required correction for vertical axis rotational effects, thus limiting the value of these instruments in free-fall simulation. These findings extend earlier observations suggesting that increased peroxidase and decreased lignin are characteristic of growth under experimental hypogravity.

  3. ``From seed-to-seed'' experiment with wheat plants under space-flight conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mashinsky, A.; Ivanova, I.; Derendyaeva, T.; Nechitailo, G.; Salisbury, F.

    1994-11-01

    An important goal with plant experiments in microgravity is to achieve a complete life cycle, the ``seed-to-seed experiment''. Some Soviet attempts to reach this goal are described, notably an experiment with the tiny mustard, Arabidopsis thaliana, in the Phyton 3 device on Salyut 7. Normal seeds were produced although yields were reduced and development was delayed. Several other experiments have shown abnormalities in plants grown in space. In recent work, plants of wheat (Triticum aestivum) were studied on the ground and then in a preliminary experiment in space. Biometric indices of vegetative space plants were 2 to 2.5 times lower than those of controls, levels of chlorophyll a and b were reduced (no change in the ratio of the two pigments), carotenoids were reduced, there was a serious imbalance in major minerals, and membrane lipids were reduced (no obvious change in lipid patterns). Following the preliminary studies, an attempt was made with the Svetoblock-M growth unit to grow a super-dwarf wheat cultivar through a life cycle. The experiment lasted 167 d on Mir. Growth halted from about day 40 to day 100, when new shoots appeared. Three heads had appeared in the boot (surrounded by leaves) when plants were returned to earth. One head was sterile, but 28 seeds matured on earth, and most of these have since produced normal plants and seeds. In principle, a seed-to-seed experiment with wheat should be successful in microgravity.

  4. RESOLVED SPECTROSCOPY OF A BROWN DWARF BINARY AT THE T DWARF/Y DWARF TRANSITION

    SciTech Connect

    Burgasser, Adam J.; Gelino, Christopher R.; Kirkpatrick, J. Davy; Cushing, Michael C.

    2012-01-20

    We report resolved near-infrared imaging and spectroscopic observations of the T8.5 binary WISEP J045853.90+643452.6AB obtained with Keck/NIRC2, Keck/OSIRIS, and the Keck Laser Guide Star Adaptive Optics system. These data confirm common proper and radial motion for the two components, and we see the first indications of orbital motion (mostly radial) for this system. H-band spectroscopy identifies both components as very late type brown dwarfs with strong H{sub 2}O and CH{sub 4} absorption. The spectrum of WISE J0458+6434B also exhibits a compelling signature of NH{sub 3} absorption over 1.52-1.54 {mu}m when compared to the T9 dwarf UGPS J072227.51-054031.2. Comparison to T8-Y0 spectral standards and H-band spectral indices indicate classifications of T8.5 and T9.5 for these two components, approaching the boundary between the T dwarf and Y dwarf spectral classes.

  5. Role of native shrubs of the Sahel in mitigating water and nutrient stresses of agricultural crops

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bayala, R.; Ghezzehei, T. A.; Bogie, N. A.; Diedhiou, I.; Dick, R.

    2015-12-01

    In the semi arid zone of the Sahel native woody shrubs are present in many farmers' fields. The native density of these shrubs is fairly low at around 200 to 300 individuals per hectare. An ongoing study in the Peanut Basin, Senegal has shown a vast improvement in crop yields when annual food crops are planted with the shrub Guiera senegalensis, especially in years of low or irregular precipitation. Shrubs in field plots established in 2003 where a rotation of peanuts and millet are grown are planted at a much higher density of 1500-1830 individuals per hectare. In order to increase the density of shrubs on the landscape, the shrubs must be cultivated. We monitored soil moisture, soil temperature, and growth of recently transplanted individuals at a field station in Thies, Senegal.This study seeks to determine the growth characteristics and water use of young shrubs in order to inform possible future plantations of the shrubs in a more intensely managed agroecosystem. If this technique of intercropping is to be expanded we must not exceed the carrying capacity of the landscape. In vulnerable ecosystems where natural resources are scarce and farming inputs are low, we must work to determine ways of exploiting the adaptation of local agroecosystems to increase the sustainability of agriculture in the region.

  6. [Water balance of different density artificial Caragana microphylla shrubs in Horqin sand land].

    PubMed

    Lamusa, A; Longjun, C I; Yang, Xiaohui; Jiang, Deming

    2006-01-01

    Employing water balance equation, this paper estimated the evapotranspiration of different density Caragana microphylla shrubs during their growing season. The results showed that during this season, the soil water content under artificial C. microphylla shrubs decreased with their increasing planting density. The average soil water content of 0.5 m x 1 m and 1 m x 2 m density artificial C. microphylla shrubs was below wilting humidity (1.55%), while that of 2 m x 2 m density and natural shrubs was kept above 1.60% which could meet the demand of shrubs growth. The evapotranspiration increased with increasing planting densities, being the highest (297.81 mm) in 0.5 m x 1 m density artificial C. microphylla shrubs, which accounted for 97.90% of the total rainfall during growing season, and the lowest (279.71 mm) in 2 m x 2 m density shrubs. By the end of growth phase, soil water content had a surplus of 24.49 mm. According to the soil water status and water balance theory, the appropriate planting density of C. microphylla shrubs in Horqin sand land should be 2 m x 2 m.

  7. Arctic Shrub Growth Response to Climate Variation and Infrastructure Development on the North Slope of Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ackerman, D.; Finlay, J. C.; Griffin, D.

    2015-12-01

    Woody shrub growth in the arctic tundra is increasing on a circumpolar scale. Shrub expansion alters land-atmosphere carbon fluxes, nutrient cycling, and habitat structure. Despite these ecosystem effects, the drivers of shrub expansion have not been precisely established at the landscape scale. This project examined two proposed anthropogenic drivers: global climate change and local infrastructure development, a press disturbance that generates high levels of dust deposition. Effects of global change were studied using dendrochronology to establish a relationship between climate and annual growth in Betula and Salix shrubs growing in the Alaskan low Arctic. To understand the spatial heterogeneity of shrub expansion, this analysis was replicated in shrub populations across levels of landscape properties including soil moisture and substrate age. Effects of dust deposition on normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and photosynthetic rate were measured on transects up to 625 meters from the Dalton Highway. Dust deposition rates decreased exponentially with distance from road, matching previous models of road dust deposition. NDVI tracked deposition rates closely, but photosynthetic rates were not strongly affected by deposition. These results suggest that dust deposition may locally bias remote sensing measurements such as NDVI, without altering internal physiological processes such as photosynthesis in arctic shrubs. Distinguishing between the effects of landscape properties, climate, and disturbance will improve our predictions of the biogeochemical feedbacks of arctic shrub expansion, with potential application in climate change modeling.

  8. Numerical modeling evapotranspiration flux components in shrub-encroached grassland in Inner Mongolia, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Pei; Li, Xiao-Yan; Huang, Jie-Yu; Yang, Wen-Xin; Wang, Qi-Dan; Xu, Kun; Zheng, Xiao-Ran

    2016-04-01

    Shrub encroachment into arid grasslands occurs around the world. However, few works on shrub encroachment has been conducted in China. Moreover, its hydrological implications remain poorly investigated in arid and semiarid regions. This study combined a two-source energy balanced model and Newton-Raphson iteration scheme to simulate the evapotranspiration (ET) and their components of shrub-encroached(with 15.4% shrub coverage) grassland in Inner Mongolia. Good agreements of ET flux between modelled and measured by Bowen ratio method with relatively insensitive to uncertainties/errors in the assigned models parameters or in measured input variables for its components illustrated that our model was feasible for simulating evapotranspiration flux components in shrub-encroached grassland. The transpiration fraction(T /ET)account for 58±17%during the growing season. With the designed shrub encroachment extreme scenarios (maximum and minimum coverage),the contribution of shrub to local plant transpiration (Tshrub/T) was 20.06±7%during the growing season. Canopy conductance was the main controlling factor of T /ET. In diurnal scale short wave solar radiation was the direct influential factor while in seasonal scale leaf area index (LAI) and soil water content were the direct influential factors. We find that the seasonal variation of Tshrub/T has a good relationship with ratio of LAIshrub/LAI, and rainfall characteristics widened the difference of contribution of shrub and herbs to ecosystem evapotranspiration.

  9. Atlas of United States Trees, Volume 2: Alaska Trees and Common Shrubs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Viereck, Leslie A.; Little, Elbert L., Jr.

    This volume is the second in a series of atlases describing the natural distribution or range of native tree species in the United States. The 82 species maps include 32 of trees in Alaska, 6 of shrubs rarely reaching tree size, and 44 more of common shrubs. More than 20 additional maps summarize environmental factors and furnish general…

  10. HIGH FOLIAR NITROGEN IN DESERT SHRUBS: AN IMPORTANT ECOSYSTEM TRAIT OR DEFECTIVE DESERT DOCTRINE?

    EPA Science Inventory

    Nitrogen concentrations in green and senesced leaves of perennial desert shrubs were compiled from a worldwide literature search to test the validity of the doctrine that desert shrubs produce foliage and leaf litter much richer in nitrogen than that in the foliage of plants from...

  11. Long-term effects of seeding after wildfire on vegetation in Great Basin shrubland ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Knutson, Kevin C.; Pyke, David A.; Wirth, Troy A.; Arkle, Robert S.; Pilliod, David S.; Brooks, Matthew L.; Chambers, Jeanne C.; Grace, James B.

    2014-01-01

    1. Invasive annual grasses alter fire regimes in shrubland ecosystems of the western USA, threatening ecosystem function and fragmenting habitats necessary for shrub-obligate species such as greater sage-grouse. Post-fire stabilization and rehabilitation treatments have been administered to stabilize soils, reduce invasive species spread and restore or establish sustainable ecosystems in which native species are well represented. Long-term effectiveness of these treatments has rarely been evaluated. 2. We studied vegetation at 88 sites where aerial or drill seeding was implemented following fires between 1990 and 2003 in Great Basin (USA) shrublands. We examined sites on loamy soils that burned only once since 1970 to eliminate confounding effects of recurrent fire and to assess soils most conducive to establishment of seeded species. We evaluated whether seeding provided greater cover of perennial seeded species than burned–unseeded and unburned–unseeded sites, while also accounting for environmental variation. 3. Post-fire seeding of native perennial grasses generally did not increase cover relative to burned–unseeded areas. Native perennial grass cover did, however, increase after drill seeding when competitive non-natives were not included in mixes. Seeding non-native perennial grasses and the shrub Bassia prostrata resulted in more vegetative cover in aerial and drill seeding, with non-native perennial grass cover increasing with annual precipitation. Seeding native shrubs, particularly Artemisia tridentata, did not increase shrub cover or density in burned areas. Cover of undesirable, non-native annual grasses was lower in drill seeded relative to unseeded areas, but only at higher elevations. 4. Synthesis and applications. Management objectives are more likely to be met in high-elevation or precipitation locations where establishment of perennial grasses occurred. On lower and drier sites, management objectives are unlikely to be met with seeding alone

  12. RADIAL VELOCITY VARIABILITY OF FIELD BROWN DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Prato, L.; Mace, G. N.; Rice, E. L.; McLean, I. S.; Kirkpatrick, J. Davy; Burgasser, A. J.; Kim, Sungsoo S.

    2015-07-20

    We present paper six of the NIRSPEC Brown Dwarf Spectroscopic Survey, an analysis of multi-epoch, high-resolution (R ∼ 20,000) spectra of 25 field dwarf systems (3 late-type M dwarfs, 16 L dwarfs, and 6 T dwarfs) taken with the NIRSPEC infrared spectrograph at the W. M. Keck Observatory. With a radial velocity (RV) precision of ∼2 km s{sup −1}, we are sensitive to brown dwarf companions in orbits with periods of a few years or less given a mass ratio of 0.5 or greater. We do not detect any spectroscopic binary brown dwarfs in the sample. Given our target properties, and the frequency and cadence of observations, we use a Monte Carlo simulation to determine the detection probability of our sample. Even with a null detection result, our 1σ upper limit for very low mass binary frequency is 18%. Our targets included seven known, wide brown dwarf binary systems. No significant RV variability was measured in our multi-epoch observations of these systems, even for those pairs for which our data spanned a significant fraction of the orbital period. Specialized techniques are required to reach the high precisions sensitive to motion in orbits of very low-mass systems. For eight objects, including six T dwarfs, we present the first published high-resolution spectra, many with high signal to noise, that will provide valuable comparison data for models of brown dwarf atmospheres.

  13. Effects of shrub expansion on the hydrology of the western Canadian Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marsh, P.; Endrizzi, S.; Lantz, T. C.; Marsh, C.; Pomeroy, J. W.

    2011-12-01

    The expansion of tall (or upright) shrubs into tundra areas of the North American arctic has been documented in a few areas, and it has been suggested that this is occurring over a broad area of the arctic and will have an important impact on snow accumulation, surface energy balance, and runoff of these areas. However, there are still considerable unknowns about the details of these effects and our ability to predict future changes in hydrology. In order to help answer these questions, a detailed measurement program has been carried out at the Trail Valley Creek (TVC) research basin located approximately 50 km NE of Inuvik, NWT, Canada. This area is characterized by rolling upland tundra underlain by continuous permafrost, with a mix of tundra, shrub tundra, and forest patches. Field observations aimed at developing an improved understanding of the effect of a transition from tundra to shrub tundra has been carried out over the last 4 years. Observations at both shrub and tundra sites in the TVC basin include: meteorological observations at 3 stations; extensive end of winter snow surveys; eddy covariance observations; changes in LAI at a shrub site during the melt period; aerial photos and satellite images at frequent intervals over the melt season; winter observations of snow depth and soil temperature; aerial photo observations of changes in shrub cover; and high resolution LIDAR based measurements of elevation and vegetation height. In combination with these observations, the GEOtop hydrologic model was used to consider the interacting processes controlling snow accumulation and melt at shrub and tundra sites. Preliminary analysis demonstrates that the shrub cover has increased in the study basin over the last 32 years. At a shrub site, the shrubs were bent over and buried by snow during the winter, with increased snow depth at the shrub site compared to a tundra site. As a result, the soil temperature was higher at the shrub site both during the winter, and

  14. Assessing the Relationship Between Spectral Vegetation Indices and Shrub Cover in the Jornada Basin, New Mexico

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Duncan, Jeff; Stow, D.; Franklin, J.; Hope, A.

    1993-01-01

    We assessed the statistical relations between Spectral Vegetation Indices (SVI's) derived from SPOT multi-spectral data and semi-arid shrub cover at the Jornada LTER site in New Mexico. Despite a limited range of shrub cover in the sample the analyses resulted in r(sup 2) values as high as 0 central dot 77. Greenness SVI's (e.g., Simple Ratio, NDVI, SAVI, PVI and an orthogonal Greenness index) were shown to be more sensitive to shrub type and phenology than brightness SVis (e.g., green, red and near-infrared reflectances and a Brightness index). The results varied substantially with small-scale changes in plot size (60m by 60m to 100m by 100m) as a consequence of landscape heterogeneity. The results also indicated the potential for the spectral differentiation of shrub types, and shrubs from grass, using multi-temporal, multi-spectral analysis.

  15. Rodent-Mediated Interactions Among Seed Species of Differing Quality in a Shrubsteppe Ecosystem

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beard, Karen H.; Faulhaber, Craig A.; Howe, Frank P.; Edwards, Thomas C.

    2013-01-01

    Interactions among seeds, mediated by granivorous rodents, are likely to play a strong role in shrubsteppe ecosystem restoration. Past studies typically consider only pairwise interactions between preferred and less preferred seed species, whereas rangeland seedings are likely to contain more than 2 seed species, potentially leading to complex interactions. We examined how the relative proportion of seeds in a 3-species polyculture changes rodent seed selectivity (i.e., removal) and indirect interactions among seeds. We presented 2 rodent species, Peromyscus maniculatus (deer mice) and Perognathus parvus (pocket mice), in arenas with 3-species seed mixtures that varied in the proportion of a highly preferred, moderately preferred, and least preferred seed species, based on preferences determined in this study. We then conducted a field experiment in a pocket mouse—dominated ecosystem with the same 3-species seed mixtures in both “treated” (reduced shrub and increased forb cover) and “untreated” shrubsteppe. In the arena experiment, we found that rodents removed more of the highly preferred seed when the proportions of all 3 seeds were equal. Moderately preferred seeds experienced increased removal when the least preferred seed was in highest proportion. Removal of the least preferred seed increased when the highly preferred seed was in highest proportion. In the field experiment, results were similar to those from the arena experiment and did not differ between treated and untreated shrubsteppe areas. Though our results suggest that 3-species mixtures induce complex interactions among seeds, managers applying these results to restoration efforts should carefully consider the rodent community present and the potential fate of removed seeds.

  16. Does fire severity influence shrub resprouting after spring prescribed burning?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernández, Cristina; Vega, José A.; Fonturbel, Teresa

    2013-04-01

    Prescribed burning is commonly used to reduce the risk of severe wildfire. However, further information about the associated environmental effects is required to help forest managers select the most appropriate treatment. To address this question, we evaluated if fire severity during spring prescribed burning significantly affects the resprouting ability of two common shrub species in shrubland under a Mediterranean climate in NW Spain. Fire behaviour and temperatures were recorded in tagged individuals of Erica australis and Pterospartum tridentatum during prescribed burning. The number and length of resprouted shoots were measured three times (6, 12 and 18 months) after the prescribed burning. The influence of a series of fire severity indicators on some plant resprouting vigour parameters was tested by canonical correlation analysis. Six months and one year after prescribed burning, soil burn severity (measured by the absolute reduction in depth of the organic soil layer, maximum temperatures in the organic soil layer and the mineral soil surface during burning and the post-fire depth of the organic soil layer) reduced the resprouting vigour of E. australis and P. tridentatum. In contrast, direct measurements of fire effects on plants (minimum branch diameter, duration of temperatures above 300 °C in the shrub crown and fireline intensity) did not affect the post-fire plant vigour. Soil burn severity during spring prescribed burning significantly affected the short-term resprouting vigour in a mixed heathland in Galicia. The lack of effects eighteen months after prescribed burning indicates the high resilience of these species and illustrates the need to conciliate fire prevention and conservation goals.

  17. Quantitative parameters and ecological implications of a specialized tritrophic interaction involving a seed-feeding tortricid, Pseudargyrotoza conwagana, a braconid parasitoid, Bracon otiosus, and the wild privet, Ligustrum vulgare.

    PubMed

    Hernández, Ángel; Falcó, José Vicente

    2014-01-01

    Little is known about tritrophic interactions involving seed-feeding insects, parasitoid wasps, and wild fleshy fruits. Here, we examine relationships between Pseudargyrotoza conwagana (F.) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae), Bracon otiosus Marshall (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), and the wild privet, Ligustrum vulgare L. (Lamiales: Oleaceae), after collecting fruits in a hedgerow habitat in northwest Spain and rearing insects indoors. No other insect species was detected in this trophic system. Each fruit contained one to four seeds, each infested fruit contained only one seed-feeding tortricid caterpillar, and each parasitized caterpillar was affected by a single braconid individual, i.e., B. otiosus was a solitary parasitoid. Almost half of the wild privet shrubs were infested by P. conwagana, and infestation ranged from 2 to 32% of fruits per infested shrub. The general effect of P.conwagana on wild privet dispersal can be considered low, as the overall rate of seed infestation was low (6% of seeds). The infestation rate was higher in wild privet shrubs with a larger number of seeds per fruit, and tortricid caterpillars that left the fruits successfully ate >80% of seeds. In total, the parasitism rate was moderate (25% of caterpillars), but varied considerably (0‒75%) among shrubs where P. conwagana infestation was detected. Parasitism only occurred in shrubs showing high infestation rates (19‒32% infested fruits), i.e., with high host densities; however, the parasitism rate was density-independent in these shrubs. The wild privets benefited from the action of B. otiosus in two ways: the tortricid caterpillar population was partly eliminated, and the caterpillars were prevented from eating more than one seed per fruit. The B. otiosus sex ratio was very balanced (1 male to 1.18 females). Winter diapause and protandry were prevalent in B. otiosus. PMID:25368072

  18. Seed predation and fruit damage of Solanum lycocarpum (Solanaceae) by rodents in the cerrado of central Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Briani and, Denis C., Jr.; Guimarães, Paulo R.

    2007-01-01

    Although neotropical savannas and grasslands, collectively referred to as cerrado, are rich in seed-eating species of rodents, little is known about seed predation and its determinants in this habitat. In this study, we investigated seed predation and damage to fruits of the widespread shrub Solanum lycocarpum. In addition, the influence of two possible determinants (distance from the parental plant and total crop size) on the feeding behaviour of Oryzomys scotti (Rodentia, Sigmodontinae) was also examined. O. scotti were captured more frequently close to the shrubs or on shrub crops, indicating that these rodents were attracted to the shrubs and that seed predation was probably distance-dependent. Moreover, the proportion of damaged fruit on the plant decreased as the total crop size increased; consequently, more productive plants were attacked proportionally less by rodents. This pattern of fruit damage may reflect predator satiation caused by the consumption of a large amount of pulp. Alternatively, secondary metabolites in S. lycocarpum fruits may reduce the pulp consumption per feeding event, thereby limiting the number of fruits damaged.

  19. A Search for Close Red Dwarf-White Dwarf Binaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boyd, Mark R.; Henry, Todd J.; Subasavage, John P.

    2011-08-01

    We propose to observe 59 objects suspected to be red dwarf-white dwarf (RD-WD) binaries with separations < 3 arcsec using the CTIO 1.0m. Our goals are to use images of these objects to both resolve the systems and to obtain accurate BVRI photometry. The systems have been selected based on positions in three different color-color plots using SuperCOSMOS BRI plate photometry and 2MASS JHK photometry in accordance with the positions of known RD-WD binaries. This effort will identify candidates for detailed observations as part of the RECONS astrometric program on the CTIO 0.9m to yield accurate parallaxes and photocentric orbits. The parallaxes will then be used to determine the ages of the systems from WD cooling curves, and the orbits will eventually be used to measure dynamical masses. Ultimately, we aim to increase significantly the number of dynamical masses for white dwarfs because currently only three have been determined to 5% accuracy. The first observational step outlined here will allow us to identify appropriate systems for long-term work. This 1.0m project is likely to become the undergraduate senior thesis work of the PI.

  20. Effects of arctic shrub expansion on biophysical vs. biogeochemical drivers of litter decomposition.

    PubMed

    DeMarco, Jennie; Mack, Michelle C; Bret-Harte, M Syndonia

    2014-07-01

    Climate warming in arctic tundra may shift dominant vegetation from graminoids to deciduous shrubs, whose functional traits could, in turn, alter biotic and abiotic controls over biogeochemical cycling of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N). We investigated whether shrub-induced changes in microclimate have stronger effects on litter decomposition and nutrient release than changes in litter quality and quantity. In arctic tundra near Toolik Lake, Alaska, USA, we incubated a common substrate in a snow-addition experiment to test whether snow accumulation around arctic deciduous shrubs altered the environment enough to increase litter decomposition rates. We compared the influence of litter quality on the rate of litter and N loss by decomposing litter from four different plant functional types in a common site. We used aboveground net primary production values and estimated decay constant (k) values from our decomposition experiments to calculate community-weighted mass loss for each site. Snow addition had no effect on decomposition of the common substrate, and the site with the highest abundance of shrubs had the lowest decomposition rates. Species varied in their decomposition rates, with species from the same functional type not always following similar patterns. Community-weighted mass loss was 1.5 times greater in the high shrub site, and only slightly decreased when adjusted for soil environment, suggesting that litter quality and quantity are the primary drivers of community decomposition. Our findings suggest that on a short time scale, the changes in soil environment associated with snow trapping by shrubs are unlikely to influence litter nutrient turnover enough to drive positive snow-shrub feedbacks. The mechanisms driving shrub expansion are more likely to do with shrub-litter feedbacks, where the higher growth rates and N uptake by shrubs allows them to produce more leaves, resulting in a larger litter N pool and faster internal cycling of nutrients. PMID

  1. Effects of arctic shrub expansion on biophysical vs. biogeochemical drivers of litter decomposition.

    PubMed

    DeMarco, Jennie; Mack, Michelle C; Bret-Harte, M Syndonia

    2014-07-01

    Climate warming in arctic tundra may shift dominant vegetation from graminoids to deciduous shrubs, whose functional traits could, in turn, alter biotic and abiotic controls over biogeochemical cycling of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N). We investigated whether shrub-induced changes in microclimate have stronger effects on litter decomposition and nutrient release than changes in litter quality and quantity. In arctic tundra near Toolik Lake, Alaska, USA, we incubated a common substrate in a snow-addition experiment to test whether snow accumulation around arctic deciduous shrubs altered the environment enough to increase litter decomposition rates. We compared the influence of litter quality on the rate of litter and N loss by decomposing litter from four different plant functional types in a common site. We used aboveground net primary production values and estimated decay constant (k) values from our decomposition experiments to calculate community-weighted mass loss for each site. Snow addition had no effect on decomposition of the common substrate, and the site with the highest abundance of shrubs had the lowest decomposition rates. Species varied in their decomposition rates, with species from the same functional type not always following similar patterns. Community-weighted mass loss was 1.5 times greater in the high shrub site, and only slightly decreased when adjusted for soil environment, suggesting that litter quality and quantity are the primary drivers of community decomposition. Our findings suggest that on a short time scale, the changes in soil environment associated with snow trapping by shrubs are unlikely to influence litter nutrient turnover enough to drive positive snow-shrub feedbacks. The mechanisms driving shrub expansion are more likely to do with shrub-litter feedbacks, where the higher growth rates and N uptake by shrubs allows them to produce more leaves, resulting in a larger litter N pool and faster internal cycling of nutrients.

  2. Throughfall and its spatial variability beneath xerophytic shrub canopies within water-limited arid desert ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Ya-feng; Wang, Xin-ping; Hu, Rui; Pan, Yan-xia

    2016-08-01

    Throughfall is known to be a critical component of the hydrological and biogeochemical cycles of forested ecosystems with inherently temporal and spatial variability. Yet little is understood concerning the throughfall variability of shrubs and the associated controlling factors in arid desert ecosystems. Here we systematically investigated the variability of throughfall of two morphological distinct xerophytic shrubs (Caragana korshinskii and Artemisia ordosica) within a re-vegetated arid desert ecosystem, and evaluated the effects of shrub structure and rainfall characteristics on throughfall based on heavily gauged throughfall measurements at the event scale. We found that morphological differences were not sufficient to generate significant difference (P < 0.05) in throughfall between two studied shrub species under the same rainfall and meteorological conditions in our study area, with a throughfall percentage of 69.7% for C. korshinskii and 64.3% for A. ordosica. We also observed a highly variable patchy pattern of throughfall beneath individual shrub canopies, but the spatial patterns appeared to be stable among rainfall events based on time stability analysis. Throughfall linearly increased with the increasing distance from the shrub base for both shrubs, and radial direction beneath shrub canopies had a pronounced impact on throughfall. Throughfall variability, expressed as the coefficient of variation (CV) of throughfall, tended to decline with the increase in rainfall amount, intensity and duration, and stabilized passing a certain threshold. Our findings highlight the great variability of throughfall beneath the canopies of xerophytic shrubs and the time stability of throughfall pattern among rainfall events. The spatially heterogeneous and temporally stable throughfall is expected to generate a dynamic patchy distribution of soil moisture beneath shrub canopies within arid desert ecosystems.

  3. Analysis of genetic diversity and population structure within Florida coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) germplasm using microsatellite DNA, with special emphasis on the Fiji Dwarf cultivar.

    PubMed

    Meerow, Alan W; Wisser, Randall J; Brown, J Steven; Kuhn, David N; Schnell, Raymond J; Broschat, Timothy K

    2003-02-01

    Using 15 simple sequence repeat (SSR) microsatellite DNA loci, we analyzed genetic variation within Cocos nucifera germplasm collections at two locations in south Florida, representing eight cultivars. The loci were also used in a parentage analysis of progeny of the 'Fiji Dwarf' variety at both locations. A total of 67 alleles were detected, with eight the highest number at any one locus. These loci identified 83 of the 110 individual palms. Gene diversity of the 15 loci ranged from 0.778 to 0.223, with a mean of 0.574. 'Fiji Dwarf', 'Malayan Dwarf', 'Green Niño' and 'Red Spicata' cultivars resolve as distinct clusters in a neighbor joining tree using modified Rogers distance, while the tall varieties form two aggregates. The highest gene diversity was found in the tall cultivars (H = 0.583 cumulatively), and the lowest in the 'Malayan Dwarf' (H = 0.202). After the tall coconuts, the 'Fiji Dwarf' was most genetically diverse (H = 0.436), and had the largest number of unique alleles. Genetic identity is highest among the 'Malayan Dwarf' phenotypes, and between the tall varieties. The 'Red Malayan Dwarf' is genetically distinct from the 'Green' and 'Yellow Malayan Dwarf' phenotypes, which cannot be distinguished with the SSR loci used. Off-type 'Malayan Dwarf' phenotypes (putative hybrids with talls) can be identified genotypically. Parentage analyses of 30 'Fiji Dwarf' progeny propagated from five adults surrounded by other cultivars estimate that only 20% of the progeny were out-crossed to the other varieties, while 40-46% were possible selfs. This suggests that a seed-production orchard of the variety maintained at reasonable distance from other varieties, will likely yield only 'Fiji Dwarf' genotypes. Our data are discussed in the context of hypotheses of coconut dissemination around the world.

  4. Discovery of an Ultracool White Dwarf Companion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farihi, J.

    2004-08-01

    The discovery of a low-luminosity common proper-motion companion to the white dwarf GD 392 at a wide separation of 46" is reported. BVRI photometry suggests a low temperature (Teff~4000 K), while JHK data strongly indicate suppressed flux at all near-infrared wavelengths. Thus, GD 392B is one of the few white dwarfs to show significant collision-induced absorption due to the presence of photospheric H2 and the first ultracool white dwarf detected as a companion to another star. Models fail to explain GD 392B as a normal-mass white dwarf. If correct, the cool companion may be explained as a low-mass white dwarf or unresolved double degenerate. The similarities of GD 392B to known ultracool degenerates are discussed, including some possible implications for the faint end of the white dwarf luminosity function.

  5. Mass Modelling of dwarf Spheroidal Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klimentowski, Jarosław; Łokas, Ewa L.; Kazantzidis, Stelios; Prada, Francisco; Mayer, Lucio; Mamon, Gary A.

    2008-05-01

    We study the origin and properties of unbound stars in the kinematic samples of dwarf spheroidal galaxies. For this purpose we have run a high resolution N-body simulation of a two-component dwarf galaxy orbiting in a Milky Way potential. We create mock kinematic data sets by observing the dwarf in different directions. When the dwarf is observed along the tidal tails the kinematic samples are strongly contaminated by unbound stars from the tails. However, most of the unbound stars can be removed by the method of interloper rejection proposed by den Hartog & Katgert. We model the velocity dispersion profiles of the cleaned-up kinematic samples using solutions of the Jeans equation. We show that even for such a strongly stripped dwarf the Jeans analysis, when applied to cleaned samples, allows us to reproduce the mass and mass-to-light ratio of the dwarf with accuracy typically better than 25%.

  6. [The study of M dwarf spectral classification].

    PubMed

    Yi, Zhen-Ping; Pan, Jing-Chang; Luo, A-Li

    2013-08-01

    As the most common stars in the galaxy, M dwarfs can be used to trace the structure and evolution of the Milky Way. Besides, investigating M dwarfs is important for searching for habitability of extrasolar planets orbiting M dwarfs. Spectral classification of M dwarfs is a fundamental work. The authors used DR7 M dwarf sample of SLOAN to extract important features from the range of 600-900 nm by random forest method. Compared to the features used in Hammer Code, the authors added three new indices. Our test showed that the improved Hammer with new indices is more accurate. Our method has been applied to classify M dwarf spectra of LAMOST. PMID:24159887

  7. Short seed longevity, variable germination conditions, and infrequent establishment events provide a narrow window for Yucca brevifolia (Agavaceae) recruitment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bryant, M.; Reynolds, J.; DeFalco, Lesley A.; Esque, Todd C.

    2012-01-01

    PREMISE OF THE STUDY: The future of long-lived stand-forming desert plants such as Yucca brevifolia (Joshua tree) has come into question in light of climate variation and landscape-scale disturbances such as wildfire. Understanding plant establishment dynamics is important for mitigating the impacts of disturbances and promoting revegetation. • METHODS: We placed Y. brevifolia seeds in shallow caches and manipulated granivore access, nurse shrub effects, and the season of cache placement to determine conditions for seed germination and seedling establishment. • KEY RESULTS: Greatest seedling emergence occurred during spring and summer, when increased soil moisture was accompanied by warm soil temperatures. Late winter-spring emergence for cached seeds was enhanced beneath shrub canopies, but seedling survival declined beneath shrubs as temperatures increased in spring. Germinability of seed remaining in the soil was reduced from 50-68% after 12 mo residence time in soil and declined to <3% after 40 mo. Following dispersal from parent plants, seeds are either removed by granivores or lose germinability, imposing substantial losses of potential germinants. • CONCLUSIONS: Specific germination and establishment requirements impose stringent limits on recruitment rates for Y. brevifolia. Coupled with infrequent seed availability, the return rates to prefire densities and demographic structure may require decades to centuries, especially in light of potential changes to regional desert climate in combination with the potential for fire recurrence. Demographic patterns are predicted to vary spatially in response to environmental variability that limits recruitment and may already be apparent among extant populations.

  8. Diffusion Coefficients in White Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saumon, D.; Starrett, C. E.; Daligault, J.

    2015-06-01

    Models of diffusion in white dwarfs universally rely on the coefficients calculated by Paquette et al. (1986). We present new calculations of diffusion coefficients based on an advanced microscopic theory of dense plasmas and a numerical simulation approach that intrinsically accounts for multiple collisions. Our method is validated against a state-of-the-art method and we present results for the diffusion of carbon ions in a helium plasma.

  9. The Kinematics of Dwarf Carbon Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plant, Kathryn A.; Margon, Bruce H.; Guhathakurta, Puragra; Rockosi, Constance M.

    2015-01-01

    The presence of molecular carbon absorption bands in the spectra of main sequence dwarfs is remarkable, as these stars have not yet evolved through the helium-burning and dredge-up phases that deposit carbon in a stellar photosphere. Dwarf carbon stars are thus generally considered members of post-mass transfer binaries, with the main sequence star polluted by an evolved, often now invisible, companion. For decades only a handful were known. Now it is recognized that carbon dwarfs likely outnumber the better-understood giant carbon stars. Green (2013) has identified more than 700 carbon dwarfs from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). This large sample- distributed nearly evenly throughout the SDSS footprint- makes a study of stellar kinematics possible for dwarf carbon stars as a class.We examine the proper motions and radial velocities of ~700 carbon dwarfs and compare to a sample of 2×104 non-carbon main sequence stars from the SDSS archive. The spectra of carbon dwarfs and giants can appear indistinguishable, and so the relatively faint carbon dwarfs are recognized only if they have a sufficiently large proper motion to exclude the possibility of their being distant giants. We build our non-carbon control sample by the same proper motion criteria and additionally require that the control stars match the carbon dwarf selection with respect to properties such as photometric colors. In order to examine the kinematics of a sample spread across a large portion of sky, we compare each carbon dwarf with a group of control stars separated from it by less than three degrees. Preliminary results suggest that carbon dwarfs' kinematics are similar to the distributions of their neighboring control stars. We will present the results of detailed tests, including an investigation of several carbon dwarfs with atypical radial velocities.

  10. Dwarf spheroidal galaxies and resonant orbital coupling

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kuhn, J. R.; Miller, R. H.

    1989-01-01

    The structural properties of the dwarf spheroidal satellite galaxies of the Milky Way may be strongly affected by their time-dependent interactions with the 'tidal' field of the Milky Way. A low Q resonance of the tidal driving force with collective oscillation modes of the dwarf system can produce many of the observed properties of the Local Group dwarf spheroidal galaxies, including large velocity dispersions that would normally be interpreted as indicating large dynamical masses.

  11. Mediterranean shrub vegetation: soil protection vs. water availability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García Estringana, Pablo; Nieves Alonso-Blázquez, M.; Alegre, Alegre; Cerdà, Artemi

    2014-05-01

    Soil Erosion and Land Degradation are closely related to the changes in the vegetation cover (Zhao et al., 2013). Although other factors such as rainfall intensiy or slope (Ziadat and Taimeh, 2013) the plant covers is the main factor that controls the soil erosion (Haregeweyn, 2013). Plant cover is the main factor of soil erosion processes as the vegetation control the infiltration and runoff generation (Cerdà, 1998a; Kargar Chigani et al., 2012). Vegetation cover acts in a complex way in influencing on the one hand on runoff and soil loss and on the other hand on the amount and the way that rainfall reaches the soil surface. In arid and semiarid regions, where erosion is one of the main degradation processes and water is a scant resource, a minimum percentage of vegetation coverage is necessary to protect the soil from erosion, but without compromising the availability of water (Belmonte Serrato and Romero Diaz, 1998). This is mainly controlled by the vegetation distribution (Cerdà, 1997a; Cammeraat et al., 2010; Kakembo et al., 2012). Land abandonment is common in Mediterranean region under extensive land use (Cerdà, 1997b; García-Ruiz, 2010). Abandoned lands typically have a rolling landscape with steep slopes, and are dominated by herbaceous communities that grow on pasture land interspersed by shrubs. Land abandonment use to trigger an increase in soil erosion, but the vegetation recovery reduces the impact of the vegetation. The goal of this work is to assess the effects of different Mediterranean shrub species (Dorycnium pentaphyllum Scop., Medicago strasseri, Colutea arborescens L., Retama sphaerocarpa, L., Pistacia Lentiscus L. and Quercus coccifera L.) on soil protection (runoff and soil losses) and on rainfall reaching soil surface (rainfall partitioning fluxes). To characterize the effects of shrub vegetation and to evaluate their effects on soil protection, two field experiments were carried out. The presence of shrub vegetation reduced runoff by

  12. Changes in epiphyte communities as the shrub, Acer circinatum, develops and ages

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ruchty, A.M.; Rosso, A.L.

    2001-01-01

    The Pacific Northwest tall shrub Acer circinatum (vine maple) can host diverse and abundant epiphyte communities. A chronosequence approach revealed that these communities gradually shift in composition as the shrub progresses through its life cycle. Different epiphytic life forms occupy different spatial and temporal niches on shrub stems. These life forms generally shift upwards along the shrub stem as the stem ages and develops, in accordance with the similar gradient hypothesis. We postulate the following sequence of events. An initial wave of colonization occurs as new substrate is laid down. Over time, superior competitors gradually engulf and overgrow competitively inferior primary colonizers. Concurrently, shrub stem microclimate changes as shrub stems grow, age, and layer, causing the processes of competition and colonization to shift in favor of different epiphytic life forms during different life stages of the shrub stem. We define four separate shrub stem life stages: life classes 1a??4 describe, respectively, young upright a??whipsa??; vigorous, upright, mature stems; declining stems beginning to bend towards the forest floor; and horizontal, decadent stems. As space on the shrub stem is filled through growth and colonization, interspecific competition intensifies. Successful competitors persist and spread, while poor competitors are increasingly restricted to the stem tips, where interspecific competition is less intense. In these forests, Usnea, green-algal foliose lichens, and moss tufts excel as the primary colonizers and become common on the outer portions of shrub stems over time, as long as the overstory is not too dense. Moss mats are also good primary colonizers, but excel as secondary colonizers, often coming to dominate decadent shrub stems. Although all life forms can be primary colonizers, the remaining forms (cyanolichens, liverworts, and Antitrichia curtipendula) are effective secondary colonizers. Liverworts are also effective

  13. Shrubs as landscape modulators in semiarid shrubland - long-term studies in Park Shaked LTER, Israel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boeken, Bertrand; Shachak, Moshe; Zaady, Eli; Brand, Sol

    2010-05-01

    Small shrubs (Atractylis serratuloides and Noaea mucronata) in semiarid shrublands of the northern Negev of Israel (at 150 to 200 mm of rainfall per year) form shrub patches in the soil crust matrix by multiple changes in their immediate environment. The changes include structural modification by creation of a soil mound and water flow redistribution, which produce enriched soil moisture patches. These changes have far-reaching effects on water regime, soil erosion and biological productivity and diversity in watersheds. Landscape modulation by the shrub patches results from: 1) interactions of the growing shrubs with flows of water, sediment and organic matter by wind and runoff, 2) accumulation of material deposited under the shrub canopy, 3) changes in the topography and structure of the surface and substrate near and under the shrubs, 4) successional replacement of shrub species, and 5) colonization by a herbaceous understory. The patch formation processes are linked, resulting in positive feedback relationships between the growing shrub, the properties of the mound underneath, the interception of resource flows, and the density of the herbaceous understory vegetation. Since the shrub patches intercept resource flows, and form patterns of patches on the slopes, they have larger-scale effects on the functioning of the ecosystem by controlling the retention and leakage of resources in the watershed. At the slope scale this gives rise to positive and negative feedbacks. Accumulation of material causes mound expansion, increasing deposition (positive feedback 1), while increased resource retention enhances shrub and herbaceous growth, also causing more accumulation and retention (positive feedback 2). On the other hand, when mounds increase, soil crust cover that generates runoff decreases, halting the process of shrub patch expansion (negative feedback). We present a conceptual model of a growing shrub patch with its direct and large-scale effects on the

  14. Characterizing Accreting White Dwarf Pulsators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szkody, Paula; Mukadam, Anjum

    2014-02-01

    Understanding the population, mass distribution, and evolution of accreting white dwarfs impacts the entire realm of binary interaction, including the creation of Type Ia supernovae. We are concentrating on accreting white dwarf pulsators, as the pulsation properties allow us a view of how the accretion affects the interior of the star. Our ground- based photometry on 11 accreting pulsators with corresponding temperatures from HST UV spectra suggest a broad instability strip in the range of 10500 to 16000K. Additionally, tracking a post-outburst heated white dwarf as it cools and crosses the blue edge and resumes pulsation provides an independent method to locate the empirical instability strip. Determining a post-outburst cooling curve yields an estimate of the amount of heating and the accreted mass during the outburst. We request additional photometry of 2 objects that present unique properties: GW Lib which has not yet returned to its pre-outburst pulsation spectrum after 6 yrs, and EQ Lyn which returned to its pre- outburst pulsation after 3 yrs but is now turning on and off without ongoing outbursts. Following the pulsation spectrum changes over stretches of several nights in a row will provide specific knowledge of the stability of the observed modes.

  15. Uncovering Blue Diffuse Dwarf Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    James, Bethan; Koposov, Sergey; Stark, Daniel; Belokurov, Vasily; Pettini, Max; Olszewski, Edward W.

    2015-01-01

    Extremely metal-poor galaxies (XMPs) and the star-formation within their chemically pristine environments are fundamental to our understanding of the galaxy formation process at early times. However, traditional emission-line surveys detect only the brightest metal-poor galaxies where star-formation occurs in compact, starbursting environments, and thereby give us only a partial view of the dwarf galaxy population. To avoid such biases, we have developed a new search algorithm based on the morphological, rather then spectral, properties of XMPs and have applied to the Sloan Digital Sky Survey database of images. Using this novel approach, we have discovered ~100 previously undetected, faint blue galaxies, each with isolated HII regions embedded in a diffuse continuum. In this talk I will present the first results from follow-up optical spectroscopy of this sample, which reveals these blue diffuse dwarfs (BDDs) to be young, very metal-poor and actively forming stars despite their intrinsically low luminosities. I will present evidence showing that BDDs appear to bridge the gap between quiescent dwarf irregular (dIrr) galaxies and blue compact galaxies (BCDs) and as such offer an ideal opportunity to assess how star-formation occurs in more `normal' metal-poor systems.

  16. Response of dominant grass and shrub species to water manipulation: an ecophysiological basis for shrub invasion in a Chihuahuan Desert grassland.

    PubMed

    Throop, Heather L; Reichmann, Lara G; Sala, Osvaldo E; Archer, Steven R

    2012-06-01

    Increases in woody vegetation and declines in grasses in arid and semi-arid ecosystems have occurred globally since the 1800s, but the mechanisms driving this major land-cover change remain uncertain and controversial. Working in a shrub-encroached grassland in the northern Chihuahuan Desert where grasses and shrubs typically differ in leaf-level nitrogen allocation, photosynthetic pathway, and root distribution, we asked if differences in leaf-level ecophysiology could help explain shrub proliferation. We predicted that the relative performance of grasses and shrubs would vary with soil moisture due to the different morphological and physiological characteristics of the two life-forms. In a 2-year experiment with ambient, reduced, and enhanced precipitation during the monsoon season, respectively, the encroaching C(3) shrub (honey mesquite Prosopis glandulosa) consistently and substantially outperformed the historically dominant C(4) grass (black grama Bouteloua eriopoda) in terms of photosynthetic rates while also maintaining a more favorable leaf water status. These differences persisted across a wide range of soil moisture conditions, across which mesquite photosynthesis was decoupled from leaf water status and moisture in the upper 50 cm of the soil profile. Mesquite's ability to maintain physiologically active leaves for a greater fraction of the growing season than black grama potentially amplifies and extends the importance of physiological differences. These physiological and phenological differences may help account for grass displacement by shrubs in drylands. Furthermore, the greater sensitivity of the grass to low soil moisture suggests that grasslands may be increasingly susceptible to shrub encroachment in the face of the predicted increases in drought intensity and frequency in the desert of the southwestern USA.

  17. Arid oil-field restoration: native perennial grasses suppress weeds and erosion, but also suppress native shrubs

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    1. Long-lived, drought-tolerant shrubs are dominant components of many arid ecosystems, and shrubs provide multiple ecosystem services (e.g., soil stabilization, herbaceous plant facilitation, carbon storage and wildlife habitat). On denuded sites, shrub restoration is hindered by abiotic (erosion ...

  18. Protection from livestock fails to deter shrub proliferation in a desert landscape with a history of heavy grazing

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Desertification is often characterized by the replacement of mesophytic grasses with xerophytic shrubs. Livestock grazing is considered a key driver of shrub encroachment, although most evidence is anecdotal or confounded by other factors. Mapping of velvet mesquite (Prosopis velutina) shrubs in and...

  19. White Dwarf Critical Tests for Modified Gravity.

    PubMed

    Jain, Rajeev Kumar; Kouvaris, Chris; Nielsen, Niklas Grønlund

    2016-04-15

    Scalar-tensor theories of gravity can lead to modifications of the gravitational force inside astrophysical objects. We exhibit that compact stars such as white dwarfs provide a unique setup to test beyond Horndeski theories of G^{3} type. We obtain stringent and independent constraints on the parameter ϒ characterizing the deviations from Newtonian gravity using the mass-radius relation, the Chandrasekhar mass limit, and the maximal rotational frequency of white dwarfs. We find that white dwarfs impose stronger constraints on ϒ than red and brown dwarfs. PMID:27127952

  20. Brown dwarfs in young stellar clusters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stringfellow, Guy S.

    1991-01-01

    The present calculations of the early evolution of brown dwarfs and very low mass stars (LMSs) yield isochrones spanning 0.01-0.2 solar masses for ages in the 1 to 300 million year range. Since the brown dwarfs remain sharply segregated in T(eff) from LMSs for ages of less than 100 million years, it follows that for coeval populations of known age, a domain exists in the H-R diagram in which only brown dwarfs exist. These theoretical results are compared with recent observations of the Pleiades brown dwarf candidates, using two new sets of color-T(eff) transformations. Both sets yield consistent interpretations.

  1. White Dwarf Critical Tests for Modified Gravity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jain, Rajeev Kumar; Kouvaris, Chris; Nielsen, Niklas Grønlund

    2016-04-01

    Scalar-tensor theories of gravity can lead to modifications of the gravitational force inside astrophysical objects. We exhibit that compact stars such as white dwarfs provide a unique setup to test beyond Horndeski theories of G3 type. We obtain stringent and independent constraints on the parameter ϒ characterizing the deviations from Newtonian gravity using the mass-radius relation, the Chandrasekhar mass limit, and the maximal rotational frequency of white dwarfs. We find that white dwarfs impose stronger constraints on ϒ than red and brown dwarfs.

  2. White Dwarf Critical Tests for Modified Gravity.

    PubMed

    Jain, Rajeev Kumar; Kouvaris, Chris; Nielsen, Niklas Grønlund

    2016-04-15

    Scalar-tensor theories of gravity can lead to modifications of the gravitational force inside astrophysical objects. We exhibit that compact stars such as white dwarfs provide a unique setup to test beyond Horndeski theories of G^{3} type. We obtain stringent and independent constraints on the parameter ϒ characterizing the deviations from Newtonian gravity using the mass-radius relation, the Chandrasekhar mass limit, and the maximal rotational frequency of white dwarfs. We find that white dwarfs impose stronger constraints on ϒ than red and brown dwarfs.

  3. Ingestion and dispersal: direct and indirect effects of frugivores on seed viability and germination of Corema album (Empetraceae)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calviño-Cancela, María

    2004-07-01

    The effect of gulls, blackbirds and rabbits on the viability and germination of Corema album seeds are compared. Frugivores can affect seed viability and germination (1) directly, through the effect of ingestion and (2) indirectly, dispersing seeds to different sites with different conditions. These two major factors in the quality of a seed disperser are not necessarily concordant in direction and magnitude. Gulls and blackbirds have similar direct effects, being much better than those of rabbits, due to the low probability of germination of seeds within rabbit pellets. Seed germination occurs mainly in the open ground, particularly in the sparse scrub, and is very low under vegetation cover. This pattern becomes crucial determining the indirect effects of seed dispersers that will depend on their capacity to carry seeds to the most suitable sites for germination. Gulls and rabbits disperse most of seeds to open ground, exerting a positive indirect effect on germination, whereas blackbirds disperse seeds mainly under shrubs, thus exerting a negative indirect effect. Direct and indirect effects on seed germination are concordant for gulls but discordant for blackbirds and rabbits. Gulls were the best dispersers; the overall probability of germination for a seed dispersed by gulls was 17.59%. The quality of blackbirds and rabbits was relatively low (3.49% and 1.17%, respectively). Frugivores seem to be essential for germination of C. album seeds, not as much for their direct effects but for their ability to carry seeds to suitable sites.

  4. Differences in hoarding behaviors among six sympatric rodent species on seeds of oil tea ( Camellia oleifera) in Southwest China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chang, Gang; Zhang, Zhibin

    2011-05-01

    Seed hoarding is an important behavioral adaptation to food shortages for many rodent species. Sympatric rodents may affect the natural regeneration of large-seeded trees differently as seed dispersers or seed predators. Using seeds of oil tea ( Camellia oleifera), we investigated differences in hoarding behaviors among six sympatric rodent species in semi-natural enclosures in a subtropical forest in southwest of China. We found that all these six species ate seeds of C. oleifera, but only Edward's long-tailed rats ( Leopoldamys edwardsi) were predominantly scatter hoarders; chestnut rats ( Niviventer fulvescens) and white-bellied rats ( Niviventer confucianus) scatter hoarded and larder hoarded few seeds, but were seed predators; South China field mice ( Apodemus draco) exhibited little larder-hoarding behavior; and Chevrier's field mice ( A. chevrieri) as well as Himalayan rats ( Rattus nitidusa) did not hoard seeds at all. The rodents that engaged in scatter hoarding often formed single-seed caches and tended to cache seeds under grass or shrubs. Our findings indicate that sympatric rodents consuming seeds of the same species of plant can have different hoarding strategies, affecting seed dispersal and plant regeneration differently. We conclude by discussing the role of these species in hoarding seeds of C. oleifera and highlight the essential role of Edward's long-tailed rats as predominantly potential dispersers of this plant species.

  5. AIRSAR studies of woody shrub density in semiarid rangeland: Jornada del Muerto, New Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Musick, H.B.; Schaber, G.S.; Breed, C.S.

    1998-01-01

    This study evaluates the use of polarimetric Airborne Synthetic Aperture Radar (AIRSAR) data to assess woody shrub density in a semiarid site where the vegetation consists primarily of varied mixtures of herbaceous vegetation and shrubs. AIRSAR data and field observations of vegetation cover and growth form-composition were obtained for 59 sites in the Jornada del Muerto plain in southern New Mexico. Radar signature measures examined were C-, L- and P-band backscattering coefficients (??0) for HH, HV and W polarizations, ratios of ??0HH and ??0HV to ??0VV, and the HH-VV polarization phase difference and correlation coefficient. The most effective measure for estimation of shrub density was L-band ??0HV, which distinguished among shrub density classes with no misclassification. Sensitivity of this measure to small amounts of shrub cover was indicated by successful separation of sites with <1% shrub cover from sites with 1-5% cover. Separability of shrub density classes was generally least for C-band signature measures. A distinctive radar signature was exhibited by dense stands of Yucca elata, a semitreelike plant with uniformly thick ???10 cm diameter) fibrous stems. Yucca sites were distinguished from others by their high P-band ??0HV relative to L-band ??0HV. The results are largely explained by the greater sensitivity of lounger wavelengths to larger canopy structural elements. L-band ??0HV and other measures responsive to canopy volume scattering were more strongly related to shrub than to herbaceous plant cover because woody shrub canopies have numerous stems of the intermediate size to which L-band is most sensitive, whereas stems of this size are mostly lacking in herbaceous canopies. The uniform-diameter stems of yucca have larger dimensions to which P-band is more sensitive than L-band.This study evaluates the use of polarimetric Airborne Synthetic Aperture Radar (AIRSAR) data to assess woody shrub density in a semiarid site where the vegetation consists

  6. Mapping the ecological dimensions and potential distributions of endangered relic shrubs in western Ordos biodiversity center.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Geng-Ping; Li, Hui-Qi; Zhao, Li; Man, Liang; Liu, Qiang

    2016-01-01

    Potential distributions of endemic relic shrubs in western Ordos were poorly mapped, which hindered our implementation of proper conservation. Here we investigated the applicability of ecological niche modeling for endangered relic shrubs to detect areas of priority for biodiversity conservation and analyze differences in ecological niche spaces used by relic shrubs. We applied ordination and niche modeling techniques to assess main environmental drivers of five endemic relic shrubs in western Ordos, namely, Ammopiptanthus mongolicus, Amygdalus mongolica, Helianthemum songaricum, Potaninia mongolica, and Tetraena mongolica. We calculated niche overlap metrics in gridded environmental spaces and compared geographical projections of ecological niches to determine similarities and differences of niches occupied by relic shrubs. All studied taxa presented different responses to environmental factors, which resulted in a unique combination of niche conditions. Precipitation availability and soil quality characteristics play important roles in the distributions of most shrubs. Each relic shrub is constrained by a unique set of environmental conditions, the distribution of one species cannot be implied by the distribution of another, highlighting the inadequacy of one-fits-all type of conservation measure. Our stacked habitat suitability maps revealed regions around Yellow River, which are highly suitable for most species, thereby providing high conservation value. PMID:27199260

  7. The influence of shrub canopies on soil temperatures across northern Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Myers-Smith, Isla; Lévesque, Esther; Grogan, Paul; Lantz, Trevor

    2013-04-01

    Shrub species are the largest plant life form in tundra ecosystems; therefore, changes in the abundance of shrubs will likely create feedbacks to influence biodiversity, ecosystem function and climate. Shrub canopies have been hypothesized to influence ground temperatures by trapping snow in winter and shading soils in summer. However, generalizable relationships have yet to be identified among species, soil types and regions. We present data from seven shrub tundra sites in the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Northern Quebec. Summer soil temperatures were often cooler under shrub canopies; however, there was no clear relationship with canopy height. In contrast, we found a significant positive relationship between canopy height and winter soil temperatures. The difference in the minimum winter soil temperatures at 5 cm depth under shrub versus open tundra was ~1°C greater for every additional 10cm of canopy height, despite differences in air temperatures, snow pack, soil characteristics and species composition between sites. Our results highlight the important influence of canopy cover on soil temperatures. By combining data in this manner across regions, we will be able to better estimate the relative magnitude of positive and negative feedbacks of shrub increases to climate warming and thus will improve estimates of future vegetation change and permafrost stability.

  8. [Spatial distribution of aboveground biomass of shrubs in Tianlaochi catchment of the Qilian Mountains].

    PubMed

    Liang, Bei; Di, Li; Zhao, Chuan-Yan; Peng, Shou-Zhang; Peng, Huan-Hua; Wang, Chao

    2014-02-01

    This study estimated the spatial distribution of the aboveground biomass of shrubs in the Tianlaochi catchment of Qilian Mountains based on the field survey and remote sensing data. A relationship model of the aboveground biomass and its feasibly measured factors (i. e. , canopy perimeter and plant height) was built. The land use was classified by object-oriented technique with the high resolution image (GeoEye-1) of the study area, and the distribution of shrub coverage was extracted. Then the total aboveground biomass of shrubs in the study area was estimated by the relationship model with the distribution of shrub coverage. The results showed that the aboveground biomass of shrubs in the study area was 1.8 x 10(3) t and the aboveground biomass per unit area was 1598.45 kg x m(-2). The distribution of shrubs mainly was at altitudes of 3000-3700 m, and the aboveground biomass of shrubs on the sunny slope (1.15 x 10(3) t) was higher than that on the shady slope (0.65 x 10(3) t).

  9. Mapping the ecological dimensions and potential distributions of endangered relic shrubs in western Ordos biodiversity center

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Geng-Ping; Li, Hui-Qi; Zhao, Li; Man, Liang; Liu, Qiang

    2016-01-01

    Potential distributions of endemic relic shrubs in western Ordos were poorly mapped, which hindered our implementation of proper conservation. Here we investigated the applicability of ecological niche modeling for endangered relic shrubs to detect areas of priority for biodiversity conservation and analyze differences in ecological niche spaces used by relic shrubs. We applied ordination and niche modeling techniques to assess main environmental drivers of five endemic relic shrubs in western Ordos, namely, Ammopiptanthus mongolicus, Amygdalus mongolica, Helianthemum songaricum, Potaninia mongolica, and Tetraena mongolica. We calculated niche overlap metrics in gridded environmental spaces and compared geographical projections of ecological niches to determine similarities and differences of niches occupied by relic shrubs. All studied taxa presented different responses to environmental factors, which resulted in a unique combination of niche conditions. Precipitation availability and soil quality characteristics play important roles in the distributions of most shrubs. Each relic shrub is constrained by a unique set of environmental conditions, the distribution of one species cannot be implied by the distribution of another, highlighting the inadequacy of one-fits-all type of conservation measure. Our stacked habitat suitability maps revealed regions around Yellow River, which are highly suitable for most species, thereby providing high conservation value. PMID:27199260

  10. Trends in soil erosion and woody shrub encroachment in Ngqushwa district, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa.

    PubMed

    Manjoro, Munyaradzi; Kakembo, Vincent; Rowntree, Kate M

    2012-03-01

    Woody shrub encroachment severely impacts on the hydrological and erosion response of rangelands and abandoned cultivated lands. These processes have been widely investigated at various spatial scales, using mostly field experimentation. The present study used remote sensing to investigate spatial and temporal patterns of soil erosion and encroachment by a woody shrub species, Pteronia incana, in a catchment in Ngqushwa district, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa between 1998 and 2008. The extreme categories of soil erosion and shrub encroachment were mapped with higher accuracy than the intermediate ones, particularly where lower spatial resolution data were used. The results showed that soil erosion in the worst category increased simultaneously with dense woody shrub encroachment on the hill slopes. This trend is related to the spatial patterning of woody shrub vegetation that increases bare soil patches--leading to runoff connectivity and concentration of overland flow. The major changes in soil erosion and shrub encroachment analysed during the 10-year period took place in the 5-9° slope category and on the concave slope form. Multi-temporal analyses, based on remote sensing, can extend our understanding of the dynamics of soil erosion and woody shrub encroachment. They may help benchmark the processes and assist in upscaling field studies.

  11. Stemflow and its significant to the fertilizer islands in desert shrub area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Xinping; Wang, Zhengning; Pan, Yanxia; Zhang, Yafeng

    2010-05-01

    Stemflow is a spatially localized point input of precipitation and fine particles of airborne dust from vegetation canopy at the plant stem and is of hydrological and ecological significance in desert shrub ecosystems, where precipitation is the sole source of water replenishment to sustaining the desert ecosystem. In the present study, stemflow production and the fine particles associated with the stemflow of the two main xerophytic shrubs was quantified by aluminum foil collar method at the desert shrub area of Shapotou Desert Experimental Research Station, Chinese Academy of Sciences. The results indicated that stemflow yield and the thresholds for stemflow occurrence varied within shrub species. The relationship between funnelling ratios and gross precipitation indicated that a certain value of precipitation was required for the shrubs. There was a large variability of funnelling ratio for the rainfall events with intensity of less than 4 mm h-1, and the variability tended to decease when rainfall intensity was greater than 4 mm h-1. Significant positive linear relationships were found between stemflow production and precipitation for the shrubs, statistical analysis showed that stemflow and fine particle yield varies as a function of meteorological conditions, canopy size and structure. An accurate modeling of stemflow water and nutrient inputs into desert soils may result in the understanding of the formation mechanism of fertilizer islands. Keywords: Desert ecosystem; Hydrology; Stemflow; Xerophytic shrub

  12. Season and light affect constitutive defenses of understory shrub species against folivorous insects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karolewski, Piotr; Giertych, Marian J.; Żmuda, Michał; Jagodziński, Andrzej M.; Oleksyn, Jacek

    2013-11-01

    Understory shrubs contribute to overall species diversity, providing habitat and forage for animals, influence soil chemistry and forest microclimate. However, very little is known about the chemical defense of various shrub species against folivorous insects. Using six shrub species, we tested how seasonal changes and light conditions affect their constitutive defense to insect damage. We monitored leaf perforation, concentrations of total phenols, condensed tannins, nitrogen (N), and total nonstructural carbohydrates (TNC). Leaf damage caused by insects was low in Sambucus nigra, Cornus sanguinea, and Frangula alnus, intermediate in Corylus avellana and Prunus serotina, and high in Prunus padus. Leaves of all the species, when growing in high light conditions, had high concentrations of defense metabolites. Except for C. avellana, leaves of the other shrub species growing in full sun were less injured than those in shade. This may be due to higher concentrations of defense metabolites and lower concentrations of nitrogen. Similar patterns of the effects of light on metabolites studied and N were observed for leaves with varying location within the crown of individual shrubs (from the top of the south direction to the bottom of the north), as for leaves from shrubs growing in full sun and shrubs in the shade of canopy trees. A probable cause of the greater damage of more sunlit leaves of C. avellana was the fact that they were herbivorized mostly by Altica brevicollis, a specialist insect that prefers plant tissues with a high TNC level and is not very sensitive to a high level of phenolic compounds.

  13. Moss Mediates the Influence of Shrub Species on Soil Properties and Processes in Alpine Tundra

    PubMed Central

    Williamson, Scott N.; Barrio, Isabel C.; Helgadóttir, Ágústa; HiK, David S.

    2016-01-01

    In tundra ecosystems, bryophytes influence soil processes directly and indirectly through interactions with overstory shrub species. We experimentally manipulated moss cover and measured seasonal soil properties and processes under two species of deciduous shrubs with contrasting canopy structures, Salix planifolia pulchra and Betula glandulosa-nana complex. Soil properties (seasonal temperature, moisture and C:N ratios) and processes (seasonal litter decomposition and soil respiration) were measured over twelve months. Shrub species identity had the largest influence on summer soil temperatures and soil respiration rates, which were higher under Salix canopies. Mosses were associated with lower soil moisture irrespective of shrub identity, but modulated the effects of shrubs on winter soil temperatures and soil C:N ratios so that moss cover reduced differences in soil winter temperatures between shrub species and reduced C:N ratios under Betula but not under Salix canopies. Our results suggest a central role of mosses in mediating soil properties and processes, with their influence depending on shrub species identity. Such species-dependent effects need to be accounted for when forecasting vegetation dynamics under ongoing environmental changes. PMID:27760156

  14. Animal disturbances promote shrub maintenance in a desertified grassland

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Soil disturbance by animals affects the availability of water, nutrients, sediment and seeds, which are critical for the maintenance of functional ecosystems. We examined long-lived faunal structures across six vegetation communities in the northern Chihuahuan desert of New Mexico, USA, testing the ...

  15. Influence of shrub encroachment on the soil microbial community composition of remnant hill prairies.

    PubMed

    Yannarell, Anthony C; Menning, Sarah E; Beck, Alyssa M

    2014-05-01

    Hill prairies are remnant grasslands perched on the bluffs of major river valleys, and because their steep slopes make them unsuitable for traditional row crop agriculture, they have some of the lowest levels of anthropogenic disturbance of any prairie ecosystems in the Midwestern USA. However, many decades of fire suppression have allowed for shrub encroachment from the surrounding forests. While shrub encroachment of grasslands can modify soil respiration rates and nutrient storage, it is not known whether shrubs also alter the community composition of soil microorganisms. We conducted transect sampling of nine different hill prairie remnants showing varying degrees of shrub encroachment, and we used DNA-based community profiling (automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis) to characterize the composition of bacterial and fungal communities in the open prairie habitat, the shrub-encroached border, and the surrounding forest. While both bacterial and fungal communities showed statistically significant variation across these habitats, their predominant patterns were different. Bacterial communities of forest soils were distinct from those of the open prairie and the shrub-encroached areas, while fungal communities of the open prairie were distinct from those of the forest and the shrub-encroached border. Shrub encroachment significantly altered the community composition of soil fungal communities. Furthermore, fungal communities of heavily encroached prairie remnants more closely resembled those of the surrounding forest than those of lightly encroached prairies. Thus, shrub encroachment can cause soil fungi to shift from a "grassland" community to a "woody" community, with potential consequences for soil processes and plant-microbe interactions. PMID:24493462

  16. Range expansion of moose in arctic Alaska linked to warming and increased shrub habitat

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tape, Ken D.; Gustine, David D.; Reuss, Roger W.; Adams, Layne G.; Clark, Jason A.

    2016-01-01

    Twentieth century warming has increased vegetation productivity and shrub cover across northern tundra and treeline regions, but effects on terrestrial wildlife have not been demonstrated on a comparable scale. During this period, Alaskan moose (Alces alces gigas) extended their range from the boreal forest into tundra riparian shrub habitat; similar extensions have been observed in Canada (A. a. andersoni) and Eurasia (A. a. alces). Northern moose distribution is thought to be limited by forage availability above the snow in late winter, so the observed increase in shrub habitat could be causing the northward moose establishment, but a previous hypothesis suggested that hunting cessation triggered moose establishment. Here, we use recent changes in shrub cover and empirical relationships between shrub height and growing season temperature to estimate available moose habitat in Arctic Alaska c. 1860. We estimate that riparian shrubs were approximately 1.1 m tall c. 1860, greatly reducing the available forage above the snowpack, compared to 2 m tall in 2009. We believe that increases in riparian shrub habitat after 1860 allowed moose to colonize tundra regions of Alaska hundreds of kilometers north and west of previous distribution limits. The northern shift in the distribution of moose, like that of snowshoe hares, has been in response to the spread of their shrub habitat in the Arctic, but at the same time, herbivores have likely had pronounced impacts on the structure and function of these shrub communities. These northward range shifts are a bellwether for other boreal species and their associated predators.

  17. Greater deciduous shrub abundance extends tundra peak season and increases modeled net CO2 uptake.

    PubMed

    Sweet, Shannan K; Griffin, Kevin L; Steltzer, Heidi; Gough, Laura; Boelman, Natalie T

    2015-06-01

    Satellite studies of the terrestrial Arctic report increased summer greening and longer overall growing and peak seasons since the 1980s, which increases productivity and the period of carbon uptake. These trends are attributed to increasing air temperatures and reduced snow cover duration in spring and fall. Concurrently, deciduous shrubs are becoming increasingly abundant in tundra landscapes, which may also impact canopy phenology and productivity. Our aim was to determine the influence of greater deciduous shrub abundance on tundra canopy phenology and subsequent impacts on net ecosystem carbon exchange (NEE) during the growing and peak seasons in the arctic foothills region of Alaska. We compared deciduous shrub-dominated and evergreen/graminoid-dominated community-level canopy phenology throughout the growing season using the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI). We used a tundra plant-community-specific leaf area index (LAI) model to estimate LAI throughout the green season and a tundra-specific NEE model to estimate the impact of greater deciduous shrub abundance and associated shifts in both leaf area and canopy phenology on tundra carbon flux. We found that deciduous shrub canopies reached the onset of peak greenness 13 days earlier and the onset of senescence 3 days earlier compared to evergreen/graminoid canopies, resulting in a 10-day extension of the peak season. The combined effect of the longer peak season and greater leaf area of deciduous shrub canopies almost tripled the modeled net carbon uptake of deciduous shrub communities compared to evergreen/graminoid communities, while the longer peak season alone resulted in 84% greater carbon uptake in deciduous shrub communities. These results suggest that greater deciduous shrub abundance increases carbon uptake not only due to greater leaf area, but also due to an extension of the period of peak greenness, which extends the period of maximum carbon uptake.

  18. How will Shrub Expansion Impact Soil Carbon Sequestration in Arctic Tundra?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Czimczik, C. I.; Holden, S. R.; He, Y.; Randerson, J. T.

    2015-12-01

    Multiple lines of evidence suggest that plant productivity, and especially shrub abundance, is increasing in the Arctic in response to climate change. This greening is substantiated by increases in the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, repeat photography and field observations. The implications of a greener Arctic on carbon sequestration by tundra ecosystems remain poorly understood. Here, we explore existing datasets of plant productivity and soil carbon stocks to quantify how greening, and in particular an expansion of woody shrubs, may translate to the sequestration of carbon in arctic soils. As an estimate of carbon storage in arctic tundra soils, we used the Northern Circumpolar Soil Carbon Database v2. As estimates of tundra type and productivity, we used the Circumpolar Arctic Vegetation map as well as the MODIS and Landsat Vegetation Continuous Fields, and MODIS GPP/NPP (MOD17) products. Preliminary findings suggest that in graminoid tundra and erect-shrub tundra higher shrub abundance is associated with greater soil carbon stocks. However, this relationship between shrub abundance and soil carbon is not apparent in prostrate-shrub tundra, or when comparing across graminoid tundra, erect-shrub tundra and prostrate-shrub tundra. Uncertainties originate from the extreme spatial (vertical and horizontal) heterogeneity of organic matter distribution in cryoturbated soils, the fact that (some) permafrost carbon stocks, e.g. yedoma, reflect previous rather than current vegetative cover, and small sample sizes, esp. in the High Arctic. Using Vegetation Continuous Fields and MODIS GPP/NPP (MOD17), we develop quantitative trajectories of soil carbon storage as a function of shrub cover and plant productivity in the Arctic (>60°N). We then compare our greening-derived carbon sequestration estimates to projected losses of carbon from thawing permafrost. Our findings will reduce uncertainties in the magnitude and timing of the carbon-climate feedback from the

  19. Seed Treatment. Bulletin 760.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lowery, Harvey C.

    This manual gives a definition of seed treatment, the types of seeds normally treated, diseases and insects commonly associated with seeds, fungicides and insecticides used, types of equipment used for seed treatment, and information on labeling and coloring of treated seed, pesticide carriers, binders, stickers, and safety precautions. (BB)

  20. Quantitative Parameters and Ecological Implications of a Specialized Tritrophic Interaction Involving a Seed-Feeding Tortricid, Pseudargyrotoza conwagana, a Braconid Parasitoid, Bracon otiosus, and the Wild Privet, Ligustrum vulgare

    PubMed Central

    Hernández, Ángel; Falcó, José Vicente

    2014-01-01

    Little is known about tritrophic interactions involving seed-feeding insects, parasitoid wasps, and wild fleshy fruits. Here, we examine relationships between Pseudargyrotoza conwagana (F.) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae), Bracon otiosus Marshall (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), and the wild privet, Ligustrum vulgare L. (Lamiales: Oleaceae), after collecting fruits in a hedgerow habitat in northwest Spain and rearing insects indoors. No other insect species was detected in this trophic system. Each fruit contained one to four seeds, each infested fruit contained only one seedfeeding tortricid caterpillar, and each parasitized caterpillar was affected by a single braconid individual, i.e., B. otiosus was a solitary parasitoid. Almost half of the wild privet shrubs were infested by P. conwagana, and infestation ranged from 2 to 32% of fruits per infested shrub. The general effect of P.conwagana on wild privet dispersal can be considered low, as the overall rate of seed infestation was low (6% of seeds). The infestation rate was higher in wild privet shrubs with a larger number of seeds per fruit, and tortricid caterpillars that left the fruits successfully ate >80% of seeds. In total, the parasitism rate was moderate (25% of caterpillars), but varied considerably (0–75%) among shrubs where P. conwagana infestation was detected. Parasitism only occurred in shrubs showing high infestation rates (19–32% infested fruits), i.e., with high host densities; however, the parasitism rate was densityindependent in these shrubs. The wild privets benefited from the action of B. otiosus in two ways: the tortricid caterpillar population was partly eliminated, and the caterpillars were prevented from eating more than one seed per fruit. The B. otiosus sex ratio was very balanced (1 male to 1.18 females). Winter diapause and protandry were prevalent in B. otiosus. PMID:25368072

  1. Seed size, fecundity and postfire regeneration strategy are interdependent in Hakea.

    PubMed

    El-ahmir, Sh-hoob Mohamed; Lim, Sim Lin; Lamont, Byron B; He, Tianhua

    2015-01-01

    Seed size is a key functional trait that affects plant fitness at the seedling stage and may vary greatly with species fruit size, growth form and fecundity. Using structural equation modelling (SEM) and correlated trait evolution analysis, we investigated the interaction network between seed size and fecundity, postfire regeneration strategy, fruit size, plant height and serotiny (on-plant seed storage) among 82 species of the woody shrub genus, Hakea, with a wide spectrum of seed sizes (2-500 mg). Seed size is negatively correlated with fecundity, while fire-killed species (nonsprouters) produce more seeds than resprouters though they are of similar size. Seed size is unrelated to plant height and level of serotiny while it scales allometrically with fruit size. A strong phylogenetic signal in seed size revealed phylogenetic constraints on seed size variation in Hakea. Our analyses suggest a causal relationship between seed size, fecundity and postfire regeneration strategy in Hakea. These results demonstrate that fruit size, fecundity and evolutionary history have had most control over seed size variation among Hakea species. PMID:26035821

  2. Seed Size, Fecundity and Postfire Regeneration Strategy Are Interdependent in Hakea

    PubMed Central

    El-ahmir, Sh-hoob Mohamed; Lim, Sim Lin; Lamont, Byron B.; He, Tianhua

    2015-01-01

    Seed size is a key functional trait that affects plant fitness at the seedling stage and may vary greatly with species fruit size, growth form and fecundity. Using structural equation modelling (SEM) and correlated trait evolution analysis, we investigated the interaction network between seed size and fecundity, postfire regeneration strategy, fruit size, plant height and serotiny (on-plant seed storage) among 82 species of the woody shrub genus, Hakea, with a wide spectrum of seed sizes (2–500 mg). Seed size is negatively correlated with fecundity, while fire-killed species (nonsprouters) produce more seeds than resprouters though they are of similar size. Seed size is unrelated to plant height and level of serotiny while it scales allometrically with fruit size. A strong phylogenetic signal in seed size revealed phylogenetic constraints on seed size variation in Hakea. Our analyses suggest a causal relationship between seed size, fecundity and postfire regeneration strategy in Hakea. These results demonstrate that fruit size, fecundity and evolutionary history have had most control over seed size variation among Hakea species. PMID:26035821

  3. An unsuccessful search for brown dwarf companions to white dwarf stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shipman, Harry L.

    1986-01-01

    The results of a survey to detect excess infrared emission from white dwarf stars which would be attributable to a low mass companion are reviewed. Neither a simple comparison of spectroscopically identified white dwarf stars with the IRAS Point Source Catalog nor the coadding of IRAS survey data resulted in a detection of a brown dwarf. The seven nearest stars where the most stringent limits to the presence of a brown dwarf were obtained are listed, and an effort to detect brown dwarfs in the solar neighborhood is discussed.

  4. THE FORNAX DWARF GALAXY AS A REMNANT OF RECENT DWARF-DWARF MERGING IN THE LOCAL GROUP

    SciTech Connect

    Yozin, C.; Bekki, K.

    2012-09-01

    We present results from the first numerical analysis to support the hypothesis, first proposed in Coleman et al., that the Fornax dwarf galaxy was formed from the minor merging of two dwarfs about 2 Gyr ago. Using orbits for the Fornax dwarf that are consistent with the latest proper motion measurements, our dynamical evolution models show that the observed asymmetric shell-like substructures can be formed from the remnant of a smaller dwarf during minor merging. These models also predict the formation of diffuse stellar streams. We discuss how these stellar substructures depend on model parameters of dwarf-dwarf merging, and how the intermediate-age subpopulations found in the vicinity of these substructures may be formed from gas accretion in past merger events. We also suggest that one of Fornax's globular clusters originates from a merged dwarf companion, and demonstrate where as yet undetected tidal streams or H I gas formed from the dwarf merging may be found in the outer halo of the Galaxy.

  5. Contribution of sunflecks is minimal in expanding shrub thickets compared to temperate forest.

    PubMed

    Brantley, Steven T; Young, Donald R

    2009-04-01

    Ecological consequences of shrub encroachment are emerging as a key issue in the study of global change. In mesic grasslands, shrub encroachment can result in a fivefold increase in ecosystem leaf area index (LAI) and a concurrent reduction in understory light and herbaceous diversity. LAI and light attenuation are often higher for shrub thickets than for forest communities in the same region, yet little is known about the contribution of sunflecks in shrub-dominated systems. Our objective was to compare fine-scale spatial and temporal dynamics of understory light in shrub thickets to the light environment in typical forest communities. We used an array of quantum sensors to examine variation in diffuse and direct light and determined the relative contribution of sunflecks during midday in Morella cerifera shrub thickets, a 30-yr-old abandoned Pinus taeda plantation, and a mature, second-growth, deciduous forest. Instantaneous photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) was measured at 1-s intervals at five sites in each community during midday. In summer, understory light during midday in shrub thickets was approximately 0.8% of above-canopy light, compared to 1.9% and 5.4% in pine and deciduous forests, respectively. During summer, PPFD was uncorrelated between sensors as close as 0.075 m in shrub thickets compared to 0.175 m and 0.900 m in pine and deciduous forests, respectively, indicating that sunflecks in shrub thickets were generally small compared to sunflecks in the two forests. Sunflecks in shrub thickets were generally short (all <30 s) and relatively low in intensity (<150 micromol photons x m(-2) x s(-1)) and contributed only 5% of understory light during midday. Sunflecks were longer (up to 6 minutes) and more intense (up to 350 micromol photons x m(-2) x s(-1)) in the two forest communities and Contributed 31% and 22% of understory light during midday in pine and deciduous forest, respectively. The combination of high LAI and relatively short

  6. Browse evaluation of tall shrubs based on direct measurement of a management objective

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keigley, R.B.; Frisina, M.R.; Kitchen, Stanley G.; Pendleton, Rosemary L.; Monaco, Thomas A.; Vernon, Jason

    2008-01-01

    The monitoring of Geyer willow was based on the following management objective: Browsing will prevent fewer than 50 percent of Geyer willow shrubs from growing taller than 3 m . Three questions were addressed: (1) Is browsing a potential factor? (2) If so, can young plants grow taller than 3 meters? (3) If not, is browsing the dominant factor? All shrubs were intensely browsed. With a post-browsing growth rate of 5.0 cm per yr, no shrub could grow 3 m tall. Analyses of stem growth rate excluded dominant roles for climate and plant vigor. Browsing and stem age were the dominant factors that limited growth to 3 m tall.

  7. Seed bank survival of an invasive species, but not of two native species, declines with invasion.

    PubMed

    Orrock, John L; Christopher, Cory C; Dutra, Humberto P

    2012-04-01

    Soil-borne seed pathogens may play an important role in either hindering or facilitating the spread of invasive exotic plants. We examined whether the invasive shrub Lonicera maackii (Caprifoliaceae) affected fungi-mediated mortality of conspecific and native shrub seeds in a deciduous forest in eastern Missouri. Using a combination of L. maackii removal and fungicide treatments, we found no effect of L. maackii invasion on seed viability of the native Symphoricarpos orbiculatus (Caprifoliaceae) or Cornus drummondii (Cornaceae). In contrast, fungi were significant agents of L. maackii seed mortality in invaded habitats. Losses of L. maackii to soil fungi were also significant in invaded habitats where L. maackii had been removed, although the magnitude of the effect of fungi was lower, suggesting that changes in soil chemistry or microhabitat caused by L. maackii were responsible for affecting fungal seed pathogens. Our work suggests that apparent competition via soil pathogens is not an important factor contributing to impacts of L. maackii on native shrubs. Rather, we found that fungal seed pathogens have density-dependent effects on L. maackii seed survival. Therefore, while fungal pathogens may provide little biotic resistance to early invasion by L. maackii, our study illustrates that more work is needed to understand how changes in fungal pathogens during the course of an invasion contribute to the potential for restoration of invaded systems. More generally, our study suggests that increased rates of fungal pathogen attack may be realized by invasive plants, such as L. maackii, that change the chemical or physical environment of the habitats they invade.

  8. Firewood crops: shrub and tree species for energy production

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1980-01-01

    In the face of global concern over the dwindling supply of fuelwood, the rate of forest decimation to provide basic human necessities in developing countries is alarming. We must look upon woody plants as renewable resources that, if effectively managed, could alleviate the problem not only for the present,but for posterity. This report suggests potential significant fuelwood species for introduction to suitable environments, although it does not suggest a solution for the fuelwood crisis. The emphasis is on species suitable for individual crops, but species suited to plantation cultivation for fueling small industrial factories, electric generators, and crop driers are also considered. Most of the plants are little known in traditional forest production. Some are woody shrubs rather than trees, but all are aggressive and quick growing. They should be introduced with care in areas where the climate and soil conditions are not harsh. The substitution of well-designed stoves, kilns, or boilers could improve fuel efficiency. Each species is illustrated with photographs and diagrams. (Refs. 420).

  9. Mutual positive effects between shrubs in an arid ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Tirado, Reyes; Bråthen, Kari Anne; Pugnaire, Francisco I.

    2015-01-01

    One-way facilitation in plants has been found in many harsh environments and their role as structural forces governing species composition in plant communities is now well established. However, reciprocal positive effects benefiting two interacting species have seldom been reported and, in recent reviews, conceptually considered merely as facilitation when in fact there is room for adaptive strategies and evolutionary responses. We tested the existence of such reciprocal positive effects in an arid environment in SE Spain using spatial pattern analysis, a species removal experiment, and a natural experiment. We found that the spatial association between Maytenus senegalensis and Whitania frutescens, two shrub species of roughly similar size intimately interacting in our community, resulted in mutual benefit for both species. Benefits included improved water relations and nutritional status and protection against browsing, and did occur despite simultaneous competition for resources. Our data suggest two-way facilitation or, rather, a facultative mutualism among higher plant species, a process often overlooked which could be a main driver of plant community dynamics allowing for evolutionary processes. PMID:26419958

  10. What Are Chia Seeds?

    MedlinePlus

    ... Men For Women For Seniors What Are Chia Seeds? Published February 05, 2014 Print Email When you ... number of research participants. How to Eat Chia Seeds Chia seeds can be eaten raw or prepared ...

  11. [Growth of wheat from seed-to-seed in space flight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Levinskikh, M. A.; Sychev, V. N.; Derendiaeva, T. A.; Signalova, O. B.; Podol'skii, I. G.; Padalka, G. I.; Avdeev, S. V.; Bingham, G. E.; Campbell, W. F. (Principal Investigator)

    2000-01-01

    In our earlier space experiment with super dwarf wheat we found the spikes developed in space to be barren. The cause of the full crop sterility was sensitivity of this wheat species to the ethylene concentration of 0.3-0.8 mg/m3 during the experiment. The follow-up ground experiments were made to identify species of dwarf wheat that could be raised in space greenhouse Svet and are distinguished by partial tolerance of their reproductive organs to elevated ethylene in air. The choice fell on the USU-Apogee cultivar specially developed for planting in growth chambers as an integral part of various bioregenerative life support systems, including the space ones. An experiment with wheat Apogee was performed in greenhouse Svet on board MIR. The period of the full crop vegetation cycle was not significantly altered under the spaceflight conditions. The experiment yielded 508 seeds from 12 plants, i.e. by 38% less than in laboratory experiments and by 69% more as compared with results of growing crops in ethylene-contaminated atmosphere (1 mg/m3). Mass of the space seeds was low if compared with the laboratory crops. This was the first time when the feasibility of gathering seeds from wheat that had passed the whole vegetation cycle in space flight was demonstrated. The experiment will give mightly impetus to the advancement of research on space biological LSS and gravitational biology.

  12. Vegetation trends in a 31-year-old ponderosa pine plantation: Effect of different shrub densities. Forest Service research paper

    SciTech Connect

    McDonald, P.M.; Abbott, C.S.

    1997-04-01

    On a poor site in northern California, a brushfield community was treated in various ways which left initial densities of no shrubs, light, medium, and heavy shrubs. Density and development (height, foliar cover, crown volume) for three shrub species (alone and combined), one grass, and planted ponderosa pine in these categories were quantified from 1966 to 1992. Successional trends (ascendance and decline) are presented for these species and for forbs from 1962 (the date pines were planted) through 1992. Regression equations that model density and development are presented for the shrubs and pine. In general, greenleaf manzanita prospered during the study; snowbrush initially developed well, but then declined; Sierra plum endured, but was relegated to the understory; needlegrass invaded rapdily, peaked early, and was mostly gone by the end of the study. Only a trace of forb species remained by study end. Needlegrass displayed strong environmental preference, becoming dense and developing well in shrub-free areas, but was scarcely present in heavy shrubs. Ponderosa pine grew well in no-shrub plots, farily well in light-shrub plots, and poorly in medium- and heavy-shrub plots. Extensive testing showed that shrub foliar cover and crown volume per acre explained more variation in several pine parameters than shrub height or density.

  13. Local Group dwarf galaxies: nature and nurture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sawala, Till; Scannapieco, Cecilia; White, Simon

    2012-02-01

    We investigate the formation and evolution of dwarf galaxies in a high-resolution, hydrodynamical cosmological simulation of a Milky Way sized halo and its environment. Our simulation includes gas cooling, star formation, supernova feedback, metal enrichment and ultraviolet heating. In total, 90 satellites and more than 400 isolated dwarf galaxies are formed in the simulation, allowing a systematic study of the internal and environmental processes that determine their evolution. We find that 95 per cent of satellite galaxies are gas free at z= 0, and identify three mechanisms for gas loss: supernova feedback, tidal stripping and photoevaporation due to re-ionization. Gas-rich satellite galaxies are only found with total masses above ˜5 × 109 M⊙. In contrast, for isolated dwarf galaxies, a total mass of ˜109 M⊙ constitutes a sharp transition; less massive galaxies are predominantly gas free at z= 0, more massive, isolated dwarf galaxies are often able to retain their gas. In general, we find that the total mass of a dwarf galaxy is the main factor which determines its star formation, metal enrichment and its gas content, but that stripping may explain the observed difference in gas content between field dwarf galaxies and satellites with total masses close to 109 M⊙. We also find that a morphological transformation via tidal stripping of infalling, luminous dwarf galaxies whose dark matter is less concentrated than their stars cannot explain the high total mass-to-light ratios of the faint dwarf spheroidal galaxies.

  14. Magnetised winds in dwarf galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dubois, Y.; Teyssier, R.

    2010-11-01

    Context. The generation and the amplification of magnetic fields in the current cosmological paradigm are still open questions. The standard theory is based on an early field generation by Biermann battery effects, possibly at the epoch of reionisation, followed by a long period of field amplification by galactic dynamos. The origin and the magnitude of the inter-galactic magnetic field is of primordial importance in this global picture, as it is considered to be the missing link between galactic magnetic fields and cluster magnetic fields on much larger scales. Aims: We are testing whether dwarf galaxies are good candidates to explain the enrichment of the Inter-Galactic Medium (IGM): after their discs form and trigger galactic dynamos, supernova feedback will launch strong winds, expelling magnetic field lines in the IGM. Methods: We have performed magneto-hydrodynamics simulations of an isolated dwarf galaxy, which forms self-consistently inside a cooling halo. Using the RAMSES code, we simulated for the first time the formation of a magnetised supernova-driven galactic outflow. This simulation is an important step towards a more realistic modelling using fully cosmological simulations. Results: Our simulations reproduce well the observed properties of magnetic fields in spiral galaxies. The formation and the evolution of our simulated disc leads to a strong magnetic field amplification: the magnetic field in the final wind bubble is one order of magnitude larger than the initial value. The magnetic field in the disc, essentially toroidal, is growing linearly with time as a consequence of differential rotation. Conclusions: We discuss the consequence of this simple mechanism on the cosmic evolution of the magnetic field: we propose a new scenario for the evolution of the magnetic field, with dwarf galaxies playing a key role in amplifying and ejecting magnetic energy in the IGM, resulting in what we call a “cosmic dynamo” that could contribute to the very

  15. Equilibrium figures of dwarf planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rambaux, Nicolas; Chambat, Frederic; Castillo-Rogez, Julie; Baguet, Daniel

    2016-10-01

    Dwarf planets including transneptunian objects (TNO) and Ceres are >500 km large and display a spheroidal shape. These protoplanets are left over from the formation of the solar System about 4.6 billion years ago and their study could improve our knowledge of the early solar system. They could be formed in-situ or migrated to their current positions as a consequence of large-scale solar system dynamical evolution. Quantifying their internal composition would bring constraints on their accretion environment and migration history. That information may be inferred from studying their global shapes from stellar occultations or thermal infrared imaging. Here we model the equilibrium shapes of isolated dwarf planets under the assumption of hydrostatic equilibrium that forms the basis for interpreting shape data in terms of interior structure. Deviations from hydrostaticity can shed light on the thermal and geophysical history of the bodies. The dwarf planets are generally fast rotators spinning in few hours, so their shape modeling requires numerically integration with Clairaut's equations of rotational equilibrium expanded up to third order in a small parameter m, the geodetic parameter, to reach an accuracy better than a few kilometers depending on the spin velocity and mean density. We also show that the difference between a 500-km radius homogeneous model described by a MacLaurin ellipsoid and a stratified model assuming silicate and ice layers can reach several kilometers in the long and short axes, which could be measurable. This type of modeling will be instrumental in assessing hydrostaticity and thus detecting large non-hydrostatic contributions in the observed shapes.

  16. A white dwarf with an oxygen atmosphere.

    PubMed

    Kepler, S O; Koester, Detlev; Ourique, Gustavo

    2016-04-01

    Stars born with masses below around 10 solar masses end their lives as white dwarf stars. Their atmospheres are dominated by the lightest elements because gravitational diffusion brings the lightest element to the surface. We report the discovery of a white dwarf with an atmosphere completely dominated by oxygen, SDSS J124043.01+671034.68. After oxygen, the next most abundant elements in its atmosphere are neon and magnesium, but these are lower by a factor of ≥25 by number. The fact that no hydrogen or helium are observed is surprising. Oxygen, neon, and magnesium are the products of carbon burning, which occurs in stars at the high-mass end of pre-white dwarf formation. This star, a possible oxygen-neon white dwarf, will provide a rare observational test of the evolutionary paths toward white dwarfs. PMID:27034367

  17. A white dwarf with an oxygen atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kepler, S. O.; Koester, Detlev; Ourique, Gustavo

    2016-04-01

    Stars born with masses below around 10 solar masses end their lives as white dwarf stars. Their atmospheres are dominated by the lightest elements because gravitational diffusion brings the lightest element to the surface. We report the discovery of a white dwarf with an atmosphere completely dominated by oxygen, SDSS J124043.01+671034.68. After oxygen, the next most abundant elements in its atmosphere are neon and magnesium, but these are lower by a factor of ≥25 by number. The fact that no hydrogen or helium are observed is surprising. Oxygen, neon, and magnesium are the products of carbon burning, which occurs in stars at the high-mass end of pre-white dwarf formation. This star, a possible oxygen-neon white dwarf, will provide a rare observational test of the evolutionary paths toward white dwarfs.

  18. Modelling Clouds in Brown Dwarfs and Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marley, Mark

    2007-05-01

    A method of modelling cloud opacity is required to characterize the atmospheres of brown dwarfs and giant planets. In my talk I will review the variety of approaches that have been used to study condensates in L dwarf atmospheres, focusing on the first and second generation models developed by Andy Ackerman and myself. I'll discuss the key physical inputs to the models and describe their application to near and mid-infrared spectra of both normal and atypical L dwarfs. Comparisons of the models to data help to illuminate the role of clouds in the L to T dwarf transition and suggest a possible new mechanism for the transition. One lesson from the study of clouds in L and T dwarfs is certainly that clouds will be a first order uncertainty in characterizing the atmospheres of extrasolar giant planets. Some of the challenges and signatures of clouds in EGPs will be considered.

  19. A white dwarf with an oxygen atmosphere.

    PubMed

    Kepler, S O; Koester, Detlev; Ourique, Gustavo

    2016-04-01

    Stars born with masses below around 10 solar masses end their lives as white dwarf stars. Their atmospheres are dominated by the lightest elements because gravitational diffusion brings the lightest element to the surface. We report the discovery of a white dwarf with an atmosphere completely dominated by oxygen, SDSS J124043.01+671034.68. After oxygen, the next most abundant elements in its atmosphere are neon and magnesium, but these are lower by a factor of ≥25 by number. The fact that no hydrogen or helium are observed is surprising. Oxygen, neon, and magnesium are the products of carbon burning, which occurs in stars at the high-mass end of pre-white dwarf formation. This star, a possible oxygen-neon white dwarf, will provide a rare observational test of the evolutionary paths toward white dwarfs.

  20. Double White Dwarf Merger Rates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toonen, Silvia; Nelemans, Gijs; Portegies Zwart, Simon

    2013-01-01

    Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) are very successfully used as standard candles on cosmological distance scales, but so far the nature of the progenitor(s) is unclear. A possible scenario for SNe Ia are merging carbon/oxygen white dwarfs with a combined mass exceeding the Chandrasekhar mass. We determine the theoretical rates and delay time distribution of these mergers for two different common envelope prescriptions and metallicities. The shape of the delay time distributions is rather insensitive to the assumptions. The normalization is a factor ~3-13 too low compared to observations.

  1. Theories of white dwarf oscillations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vanhorn, H. M.

    1980-01-01

    The current status of theoretical understanding of the oscillations observed in the ZZ Ceti stars and cataclysmic variables is briefly reviewed. Nonradial g-mode oscillations appear to provide a satisfactory explanation for the low amplitude variables such as R548, with periods in the range of approximately 200 to 300 seconds, but for the longer period (800 to 1000 seconds) oscillators, the situation is still unclear. Rotation may play an important role in this problem, and the effects of both slow and fast rotation upon the mode structure are discussed. In the cataclysmic variables, both accretion and thermonuclear burning may act to excite oscillations of the white dwarf.

  2. Watch Out for Your Neighbor: Climbing onto Shrubs Is Related to Risk of Cannibalism in the Scorpion Buthus cf. occitanus

    PubMed Central

    Urbano-Tenorio, Fernando

    2016-01-01

    The distribution and behavior of foraging animals usually imply a balance between resource availability and predation risk. In some predators such as scorpions, cannibalism constitutes an important mortality factor determining their ecology and behavior. Climbing on vegetation by scorpions has been related both to prey availability and to predation (cannibalism) risk. We tested different hypotheses proposed to explain climbing on vegetation by scorpions. We analyzed shrub climbing in Buthus cf. occitanus with regard to the following: a) better suitability of prey size for scorpions foraging on shrubs than on the ground, b) selection of shrub species with higher prey load, c) seasonal variations in prey availability on shrubs, and d) whether or not cannibalism risk on the ground increases the frequency of shrub climbing. Prey availability on shrubs was compared by estimating prey abundance in sticky traps placed in shrubs. A prey sample from shrubs was measured to compare prey size. Scorpions were sampled in six plots (50 m x 10 m) to estimate the proportion of individuals climbing on shrubs. Size difference and distance between individuals and their closest scorpion neighbor were measured to assess cannibalism risk. The results showed that mean prey size was two-fold larger on the ground. Selection of particular shrub species was not related to prey availability. Seasonal variations in the number of scorpions on shrubs were related to the number of active scorpions, but not with fluctuations in prey availability. Size differences between a scorpion and its nearest neighbor were positively related with a higher probability for a scorpion to climb onto a shrub when at a disadvantage, but distance was not significantly related. These results do not support hypotheses explaining shrub climbing based on resource availability. By contrast, our results provide evidence that shrub climbing is related to cannibalism risk. PMID:27655347

  3. Hydraulic integration and shrub growth form linked across continental aridity gradients

    PubMed Central

    Schenk, H. Jochen; Espino, Susana; Goedhart, Christine M.; Nordenstahl, Marisa; Cabrera, Hugo I. Martinez; Jones, Cynthia S.

    2008-01-01

    Both engineered hydraulic systems and plant hydraulic systems are protected against failure by resistance, reparability, and redundancy. A basic rule of reliability engineering is that the level of independent redundancy should increase with increasing risk of fatal system failure. Here we show that hydraulic systems of plants function as predicted by this engineering rule. Hydraulic systems of shrubs sampled along two transcontinental aridity gradients changed with increasing aridity from highly integrated to independently redundant modular designs. Shrubs in humid environments tend to be hydraulically integrated, with single, round basal stems, whereas dryland shrubs typically have modular hydraulic systems and multiple, segmented basal stems. Modularity is achieved anatomically at the vessel-network scale or developmentally at the whole-plant scale through asymmetric secondary growth, which results in a semiclonal or clonal shrub growth form that appears to be ubiquitous in global deserts. PMID:18678893

  4. Bean Seed Imbibition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hershey, David R.

    1998-01-01

    Enables students to examine the time course for seed imbibition and the pressure generated by imbibing seeds. Provides background information, detailed procedures, and ideas for further investigation. (DDR)

  5. [Assemblage effect of ground arthropod community in desert steppe shrubs with different ages].

    PubMed

    Liu, Ren-Tao; Zhu, Fan; Chai, Yong-Qing

    2014-01-01

    Taking the 6-, 15-, 24- and 36-year-old Caragana intermedia shrubs in desert steppe as a subject, an investigation on soil properties and ground arthropod community was carried out under the shrub and in the open to probe into the assemblage effect of ground arthropod community in desert steppe shrubs with different ages. The results were as follows: 1) In the 6-year-old shrubland, significant differences were only found in soil physical properties (soil texture, soil moisture and electrical conductivity) between the microhabitats under shrub and in the open. Beginning from the 15-year-old shrubland, however, soil organic matter and nutrition (N, P) increased significantly. 2) A total of 27 groups were captured in the studied sites which dominated by Carabidae, Tenebrionidae and Formicidae. From 6- to 15-year-old shrubland, the number of dominant groups decreased while that of common groups increased for the ground arthropod community under the shrub. From 15- to 24- and 36-year-old shrubland, the difference between the microhabitats under the shrub and in the open decreased firstly, and then increased. Some special groups appeared under the shrub in the 36-year-old shrubland, and dung beetles became dominant. 3) In the 6- and 24-year-old shrublands, there were no significant differences in group richness, abundance, and diversity index between the microhabitats under the shrub and in the open. As for the 15- and 36-year-old shrublands, however, significant differences were observed. 4) The shrub age had a stronger effect on the distribution of ground arthropods living under the shrubs compared to that in the open. The changes in soil texture, pH and electrical conductivity could significantly influence on the distribution of ground arthropods under the shrub, also in the open to some degree. It was suggested that the development of shrubland had strong impact on assemblage effect of ground arthropods, which was closely correlated with the stand age and would

  6. Variations in the Sensitivity of Shrub Growth to Climate Change along Arctic Environmental and Biotic Gradients

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beck, P. S. A.; Myers-Smith, I. H.; Elmendorf, S.; Georges, D.

    2015-12-01

    Despite evidence of rapid shrub expansion at many Arctic sites and the profound effects this has on ecosystem structure, biogeochemical cycling, and land-atmosphere feedbacks in the Arctic, the drivers of shrub growth remain poorly understood. The compilation of 41,576 annual shrub growth measurements made around the Arctic, allowed for the first systematic evaluation of the climate sensitivity of Arctic shrub growth, i.e. the strength of the relationship between annual shrub growth and monthly climate variables. The growth measurements were taken on 1821 plants of 25 species at 37 arctic and alpine sites, either as annual ring widths or as stem increments. We evaluated climate sensitivity of shrub growth for each genus-by-site combination in this data set based on the performance and parameters of linear mixed models that used CRU TS3.21 climate data as predictors of shrub growth between 1950 and 2010. 76% of genus-by-site combinations showed climate sensitive growth, but climate-growth relationships varied with soil moisture, species canopy height, and geographic position within the species ranges. Shrubs growing at sites with more soil moisture showed greater climate sensitivity, suggesting that water availability might limit shrub growth if continued warming isn't matched by a steady increase in soil moisture. Tall shrub species growing at their northern range limit were particularly climate sensitive causing climate sensitivity of shrubs to peak at the transition between Low and High Arctic, where carbon storage in permafrost is greatest. Local and regional studies have documented matching spatial and temporal patterns in dendrochronological measurements and satellite observations of vegetation indices both in boreal and Arctic regions. Yet the circumarctic comparison of patterns in dendrochronological and remote sensing data sets yielded poor levels of agreement. In much of the Arctic, steep environmental gradients generate fine spatial patterns of vegetation

  7. The luminosities of the coldest brown dwarfs

    SciTech Connect

    Tinney, C. G.; Faherty, Jacqueline K.; Kirkpatrick, J. Davy; Cushing, Mike; Morley, Caroline V.; Wright, Edward L.

    2014-11-20

    In recent years, brown dwarfs have been extended to a new Y-dwarf class with effective temperatures colder than 500 K and masses in the range of 5-30 Jupiter masses. They fill a crucial gap in observable atmospheric properties between the much colder gas-giant planets of our own solar system (at around 130 K) and both hotter T-type brown dwarfs and the hotter planets that can be imaged orbiting young nearby stars (both with effective temperatures in the range of 1500-1000 K). Distance measurements for these objects deliver absolute magnitudes that make critical tests of our understanding of very cool atmospheres. Here we report new distances for nine Y dwarfs and seven very late T dwarfs. These reveal that Y dwarfs do indeed represent a continuation of the T-dwarf sequence to both fainter luminosities and cooler temperatures. They also show that the coolest objects display a large range in absolute magnitude for a given photometric color. The latest atmospheric models show good agreement with the majority of these Y-dwarf absolute magnitudes. This is also the case for WISE0855-0714, the coldest and closest brown dwarf to the Sun, which shows evidence for water ice clouds. However, there are also some outstanding exceptions, which suggest either binarity or the presence of condensate clouds. The former is readily testable with current adaptive optics facilities. The latter would mean that the range of cloudiness in Y dwarfs is substantial with most hosting almost no clouds—while others have dense clouds, making them prime targets for future variability observations to study cloud dynamics.

  8. Lifting DELLA repression of Arabidopsis seed germination by nonproteolytic gibberellin signaling

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    DELLA repression of Arabidopsis seed germination can be lifted through the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway and proteolysis-independent GA signaling. GA-binding to the GID1 (GIBBERELLIN-INSENSITIVE DWARF1) GA receptors stimulates GID1-GA-DELLA complex formation which in turn triggers DELLA protein ubiq...

  9. Greater shrub dominance alters breeding habitat and food resources for migratory songbirds in Alaskan arctic tundra.

    PubMed

    Boelman, Natalie T; Gough, Laura; Wingfield, John; Goetz, Scott; Asmus, Ashley; Chmura, Helen E; Krause, Jesse S; Perez, Jonathan H; Sweet, Shannan K; Guay, Kevin C

    2015-04-01

    Climate warming is affecting the Arctic in multiple ways, including via increased dominance of deciduous shrubs. Although many studies have focused on how this vegetation shift is altering nutrient cycling and energy balance, few have explicitly considered effects on tundra fauna, such as the millions of migratory songbirds that breed in northern regions every year. To understand how increasing deciduous shrub dominance may alter breeding songbird habitat, we quantified vegetation and arthropod community characteristics in both graminoid and shrub dominated tundra. We combined measurements of preferred nest site characteristics for Lapland longspurs (Calcarius lapponicus) and Gambel's White-crowned sparrows (Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii) with modeled predictions for the distribution of plant community types in the Alaskan arctic foothills region for the year 2050. Lapland longspur nests were found in sedge-dominated tussock tundra where shrub height does not exceed 20 cm, whereas White-crowned sparrows nested only under shrubs between 20 cm and 1 m in height, with no preference for shrub species. Shrub canopies had higher canopy-dwelling arthropod availability (i.e. small flies and spiders) but lower ground-dwelling arthropod availability (i.e. large spiders and beetles). Since flies are the birds' preferred prey, increasing shrubs may result in a net enhancement in preferred prey availability. Acknowledging the coarse resolution of existing tundra vegetation models, we predict that by 2050 there will be a northward shift in current White-crowned sparrow habitat range and a 20-60% increase in their preferred habitat extent, while Lapland longspur habitat extent will be equivalently reduced. Our findings can be used to make first approximations of future habitat change for species with similar nesting requirements. However, we contend that as exemplified by this study's findings, existing tundra modeling tools cannot yet simulate the fine-scale habitat

  10. Greater shrub dominance alters breeding habitat and food resources for migratory songbirds in Alaskan arctic tundra.

    PubMed

    Boelman, Natalie T; Gough, Laura; Wingfield, John; Goetz, Scott; Asmus, Ashley; Chmura, Helen E; Krause, Jesse S; Perez, Jonathan H; Sweet, Shannan K; Guay, Kevin C

    2015-04-01

    Climate warming is affecting the Arctic in multiple ways, including via increased dominance of deciduous shrubs. Although many studies have focused on how this vegetation shift is altering nutrient cycling and energy balance, few have explicitly considered effects on tundra fauna, such as the millions of migratory songbirds that breed in northern regions every year. To understand how increasing deciduous shrub dominance may alter breeding songbird habitat, we quantified vegetation and arthropod community characteristics in both graminoid and shrub dominated tundra. We combined measurements of preferred nest site characteristics for Lapland longspurs (Calcarius lapponicus) and Gambel's White-crowned sparrows (Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii) with modeled predictions for the distribution of plant community types in the Alaskan arctic foothills region for the year 2050. Lapland longspur nests were found in sedge-dominated tussock tundra where shrub height does not exceed 20 cm, whereas White-crowned sparrows nested only under shrubs between 20 cm and 1 m in height, with no preference for shrub species. Shrub canopies had higher canopy-dwelling arthropod availability (i.e. small flies and spiders) but lower ground-dwelling arthropod availability (i.e. large spiders and beetles). Since flies are the birds' preferred prey, increasing shrubs may result in a net enhancement in preferred prey availability. Acknowledging the coarse resolution of existing tundra vegetation models, we predict that by 2050 there will be a northward shift in current White-crowned sparrow habitat range and a 20-60% increase in their preferred habitat extent, while Lapland longspur habitat extent will be equivalently reduced. Our findings can be used to make first approximations of future habitat change for species with similar nesting requirements. However, we contend that as exemplified by this study's findings, existing tundra modeling tools cannot yet simulate the fine-scale habitat

  11. AmeriFlux US-Whs Walnut Gulch Lucky Hills Shrub

    SciTech Connect

    Scott, Russ

    2016-01-01

    This is the AmeriFlux version of the carbon flux data for the site US-Whs Walnut Gulch Lucky Hills Shrub. Site Description - A semiarid Chihuahuan Desert shrubland located in the USDA-ARS Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed (WGEW) surrounding the town of Tombstone, AZ. The site vegetation is comprised of a diverse stand of mainly Chihuahuan desert shrub species like acacia constricta, larrea tridentata, and florensia cernua.

  12. Native shrub reestablishment in exotic annual grasslands: do ecosystem processes recover?

    PubMed

    Yelenik, S G; Levine, J M

    2010-04-01

    The impacts of exotic plant species on ecosystem processes are well established, motivating numerous efforts to facilitate native-species recovery. Nonetheless, how the return of native species influences ecosystem processes and how these changes feed back to influence the recovery process are poorly understood. We examined these questions in exotic annual grasslands on Santa Cruz Island, California, USA, where the removal of nonnative herbivores has led to the recovery of the native shrubs Artemisia californica and Eriogonum arborescens. To examine the influence of shrub colonization on nutrient cycling, and the mechanisms by which these changes arise, we measured available nitrogen and phosphorus, and quantified nitrogen mineralization and litterfall rates under shrubs and grasses in the field and in experimental monoculture plots. Both native shrubs altered nitrogen cycling as they colonized the grassland, but they did so in opposite directions. Eriogonum depressed nitrogen pools and mineralization rates via large inputs of nitrogen-poor litter. In contrast Artemisia increased nitrogen and phosphorus pools and nitrogen mineralization rates. Last, to determine if shrub effects on soils favor shrubs or grasses, we conducted a nitrogen and phosphorus fertilization experiment in the field. Only the exotic grass was significantly limited by nitrogen. Thus the depressed nitrogen availability associated with Eriogonum colonization is more harmful to exotic grasses than to the native shrub. By contrast, the elevated nitrogen associated with recovering Artemisia favors grasses over the shrub, possibly hindering recovery of the native. Mechanistic studies of the ecosystem ,impacts of native-plant recovery are useful for managers wishing to predict which native species return ecosystem function, and whether such changes feed back to influence native recovery. PMID:20437958

  13. Scrub-shrub bird habitat associations at multiple spatial scales in beaver meadows in Massachusetts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chandler, R.B.; King, D.I.; DeStefano, S.

    2009-01-01

    Most scrub-shrub bird species are declining in the northeastern United States, and these declines are largely attributed to regional declines in habitat availability. American Beaver (Castor canadensis; hereafter "beaver") populations have been increasing in the Northeast in recent decades, and beavers create scrub-shrub habitat through their dam-building and foraging activities. Few systematic studies have been conducted on the value of beaver-modified habitats for scrub-shrub birds, and these data are important for understanding habitat selection of scrub-shrub birds as well as for assessing regional habitat availability for these species. We conducted surveys in 37 beaver meadows in a 2,800-km2 study area in western Massachusetts during 2005 and 2006 to determine the extent to which these beaver-modified habitats are used by scrub-shrub birds, as well as the characteristics of beaver meadows most closely related to bird use. We modeled bird abundance in relation to microhabitat-, patch-, and landscape-context variables while adjusting for survey-specific covariates affecting detectability using N-mixture models. We found that scrub-shrub birds of regional conservation concern occupied these sites and that birds responded differently to microhabitat, patch, and landscape characteristics of beaver meadows. Generally, scrub-shrub birds increased in abundance along a gradient of increasing vegetation complexity, and three species were positively related to patch size. We conclude that these habitats can potentially play an important role in regional conservation of scrub-shrub birds and recommend that conservation priority be given to larger beaver meadows with diverse vegetation structure and composition. ?? 2009 by The American Ornithologists' Union. All rights reserved.

  14. Panchromatic observations of dwarf starburst galaxies: Infant super star clusters and a low-luminosity AGN

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reines, Amy Ellen

    2011-01-01

    Globular star clusters and supermassive black holes are fundamental components of today's massive galaxies, with origins dating back to the very early universe. Both globular clusters and the seeds of supermassive black holes are believed to have formed in the progenitors of modern massive galaxies, although the details are poorly understood. Direct observations of these low-mass, distant, and hence faint systems are unobtainable with current capabilities. However, gas-rich dwarf starburst galaxies in the local universe, analogous in many ways to protogalaxies at high-redshift, can provide critical insight into the early stages of galaxy evolution including the formation of globular clusters and massive black holes. This thesis presents a panchromatic study of nearby dwarf starburst galaxies harboring nascent globular clusters still embedded in their birth material. Infant clusters are identified via their production of thermal radio emission at centimeter wavelengths, which comes from dense gas ionized by young massive stars. By combining radio observations with complementary data at ultraviolet, optical and infrared wavelengths, we obtain a comprehensive view of massive clusters emerging from their gaseous and dusty birth cocoons. This thesis also presents the first example of a nearby dwarf starburst galaxy hosting an actively accreting massive central black hole. The black hole in this dwarf galaxy is unusual in that it is not associated with a bulge, a nuclear star cluster, or any other well-defined nucleus, likely reflecting an early phase of black hole and galaxy evolution that has not been previously observed.

  15. PREFACE: 16th European White Dwarfs Workshop

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garcia-Berro, Enrique; Hernanz, Margarita; Isern, Jordi; Torres, Santiago

    2009-07-01

    The 16th European Workshop on White Dwarfs was held in Barcelona, Spain, from 30 June to 4 July 2008 at the premises of the UPC. Almost 120 participants from Europe (France, Germany, United Kingdom, Italy, and several others), America (USA, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, and Chile), and other continents (Australia, South Africa, . . . ) attended the workshop. Among these participants were the most relevant specialists in the field. The topics covered by the conference were: White dwarf structure and evolution Progenitors and Planetary Nebulae White dwarfs in binaries: cataclysmic variables, double degenerates and other binaries White dwarfs, dust disks and planetary systems Atmospheres, chemical composition, magnetic fields Variable white dwarfs White dwarfs in stellar clusters and the halo White Dwarfs as SNIa progenitors The programme included 54 talks, and 45 posters. The oral presentations were distributed into the following sessions: Luminosity function, mass function and populations White dwarf structure and evolution White dwarf ages White dwarf catalogs and surveys Central stars of planetary nebulae Supernovae progenitors White dwarfs in novae and CVs Physical processes in white dwarfs and magnetic white dwarfs Disks, dust and planets around white dwarfs Pulsating white dwarfs Additionally we had a special open session about Spitzer and white dwarfs. The Proceedings of the 16th European Workshop on White Dwarfs are representative of the current state-of-the-art of the research field and include new and exciting results. We acknowledge the very positive attitude of the attendants to the workshop, which stimulated very fruitful discussions that took place in all the sessions and after the official schedule. Also, the meeting allowed new collaborations tp start that will undoubtedly result in significant advances in the research field. We also acknowledge the willingness of the participants to deliver their contributions before the final deadline. We sincerely

  16. Abscission Is Regulated by the ESCRT-III Protein Shrub in Drosophila Germline Stem Cells

    PubMed Central

    Matias, Neuza Reis; Mathieu, Juliette; Huynh, Jean-René

    2015-01-01

    Abscission is the final event of cytokinesis that leads to the physical separation of the two daughter cells. Recent technical advances have allowed a better understanding of the cellular and molecular events leading to abscission in isolated yeast or mammalian cells. However, how abscission is regulated in different cell types or in a developing organism remains poorly understood. Here, we characterized the function of the ESCRT-III protein Shrub during cytokinesis in germ cells undergoing a series of complete and incomplete divisions. We found that Shrub is required for complete abscission, and that levels of Shrub are critical for proper timing of abscission. Loss or gain of Shrub delays abscission in germline stem cells (GSCs), and leads to the formation of stem-cysts, where daughter cells share the same cytoplasm as the mother stem cell and cannot differentiate. In addition, our results indicate a negative regulation of Shrub by the Aurora B kinase during GSC abscission. Finally, we found that Lethal giant discs (lgd), known to be required for Shrub function in the endosomal pathway, also regulates the duration of abscission in GSCs. PMID:25647097

  17. Above- and Belowground Biomass Allocation in Shrub Biomes across the Northeast Tibetan Plateau

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Yuanhe; Yang, Lucun; Zhou, Guoying

    2016-01-01

    Biomass partitioning has been explored across various biomes. However, the strategies of allocation in plants still remain contentious. This study investigated allocation patterns of above- and belowground biomass at the community level, using biomass survey from the Tibetan Plateau. We explored above- and belowground biomass by conducting three consecutive sampling campaigns across shrub biomes on the northeast Tibetan Plateau during 2011–2013. We then documented the above-ground biomass (AGB), below-ground biomass (BGB) and root: shoot ratio (R/S) and the relationships between R/S and environment factors using data from 201 plots surveyed from 67 sites. We further examined relationships between above-ground and below-ground biomass across various shrub types. Our results indicated that the median values of AGB, BGB, and R/S in Tibetan shrub were 1102.55, 874.91 g m-2, and 0.85, respectively. R/S showed significant trend with mean annual precipitation (MAP), while decreased with mean annual temperature (MAT). Reduced major axis analysis indicated that the slope of the log-log relationship between above- and belowground biomass revealed a significant difference from 1.0 over space, supporting the optimal hypothesis. Interestingly, the slopes of the allometric relationship between log AGB and log BGB differed significantly between alpine and desert shrub. Our findings supported the optimal theory of above- and belowground biomass partitioning in Tibetan shrub, while the isometric hypothesis for alpine shrub at the community level. PMID:27119379

  18. Warming-Induced Shrub Expansion and Lichen Decline Across the Tuktoyaktuk Coastal Plain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fraser, R.; Lantz, T. C.; Olthof, I.; Kokelj, S. V.; Sims, R. A.

    2014-12-01

    Recent field and remote sensing studies show that shrub expansion has been widespread in low-Arctic ecosystems. However, there are still uncertainties regarding the extent of these changes, the plant functional groups involved, and the relative importance of climate and disturbance as causes of observed changes. Some authors have suggested that shrub expansion may have caused declines in lichens important for caribou forage, but these changes have not been examined at regional scales. Our research on the Tuktoyaktuk Coastal Plain using 30m resolution Landsat satellite imagery from 1985-2011 and high resolution (1:2000) vertical aerial photographs from 1980 and 2013 shows that shrub expansion has been associated with widespread lichen decline . Our analysis shows that the most likely driver of shrub expansion is a 4°C winter temperature increase over the past 30 years, leading to warmer soils and enhanced supply of growth-limiting nutrients. Natural and human-caused disturbances also stimulated increases in shrub cover, but these effects were limited spatially. Our observations are consistent with plot-scale warming experiments showing reductions in lichen cover from shrub growth, and modeling studies predicting large-scale vegetation shifts in the low-Arctic from climate change. These vegetation changes have implications for caribou forage, wildfire regimes, and permafrost conditions.

  19. Photosynthate allocations patterns and mode of postfire reproduction in two shrub species from the California chaparral

    SciTech Connect

    Sparks, S.R.

    1989-01-01

    Age-specific patterns of photosynthate allocation in leaves were investigated for two chaparral shrubs, Adenostoma fasciculatum and Ceanothus greggii, in five stands of various ages. Branches of shrubs were labeled with {sup 14}CO{sub 2}, and seasonal allocation of {sup 14}C-labeled photosynthate to storage, defense, metabolic, and structural compounds was followed. Age-specific allocation patterns were found only in the spring, when older shrubs showed a reduced allocation of photosynthate within leaves to storage compounds. Older shrubs may be less able than younger shrubs to allocate photosynthate to storage compounds when demands on photosynthate for growth are high. The influence of senescence on postfire sprouting was investigated by quantifying the proportion of standing dead biomass in A. fasciculatum, as well as other shrub structural characteristics, before an experimental burn. After the burn, sprout production during the first postfire season was determined and correlated with prefire structural characteristics. Photosynthate allocation to shoots and roots was investigated for seedlings of both species.

  20. Increased temperatures negatively affect Juniperus communis seeds: evidence from transplant experiments along a latitudinal gradient.

    PubMed

    Gruwez, R; De Frenne, P; Vander Mijnsbrugge, K; Vangansbeke, P; Verheyen, K

    2016-05-01

    With a distribution range that covers most of the Northern hemisphere, common juniper (Juniperus communis) has one of the largest ranges of all vascular plant species. In several regions in Europe, however, populations are decreasing in size and number due to failing recruitment. One of the main causes for this failure is low seed viability. Observational evidence suggests that this is partly induced by climate warming, but our mechanistic understanding of this effect remains incomplete. Here, we experimentally assess the influence of temperature on two key developmental phases during sexual reproduction, i.e. gametogenesis and fertilisation (seed phase two, SP2) and embryo development (seed phase three, SP3). Along a latitudinal gradient from southern France to central Sweden, we installed a transplant experiment with shrubs originating from Belgium, a region with unusually low juniper seed viability. Seeds of both seed phases were sampled during three consecutive years, and seed viability assessed. Warming temperatures negatively affected the seed viability of both SP2 and SP3 seeds along the latitudinal gradient. Interestingly, the effect on embryo development (SP3) only occurred in the third year, i.e. when the gametogenesis and fertilisation also took place in warmer conditions. We found strong indications that this negative influence mostly acts via disrupting growth of the pollen tube, the development of the female gametophyte and fertilisation (SP2). This, in turn, can lead to failing embryo development, for example, due to nutritional problems. Our results confirm that climate warming can negatively affect seed viability of juniper.

  1. [Effects of moss crust on soil seed bank at southeast edge of Tengger Desert].

    PubMed

    Su, Yan-gui; Li, Xin-Rong; Jia, Rong-Liang; Pan, Yan-Xie

    2007-03-01

    An investigation was made on the soil seed bank at southeast edge of Tengger Desert with moss crust under natural and artificial vegetations. The results showed that the density of soil seed bank increased with the development of moss crust, which was 3.4 times higher under natural vegetation than under 24 years old artificial vegetation. In the seed bank, a total of 12 species belonging to 6 families were identified, among which, annuals occupied more than 70%. No perennial seeds were found under artificial vegetation, but under natural vegetation, 20% of the seeds were of perennials. As for semi-shrub seeds, they occupied 20% and 10% under artificial and natural, vegetation, respectively. Under artificial vegetation, the species richness index of soil seed bank was relatively lower, being about a half of that under natural vegetation. The species diversity index of the seed bank had a slight decrease with the development of moss crust under artificial vegetation, but increased to the maximum (0. 693) under natural vegetation. The species similarity index was 1 among the seed banks under artificial vegetations, and 0.4 between those under artificial and natural vegetation. The development of moss crust increased the roughness of surface soil and improved soil environment significantly, which could have positive effects on seed entrapment and plant establishment.

  2. Brown dwarf disks with ALMA

    SciTech Connect

    Ricci, L.; Isella, A.; Testi, L.; De Gregorio-Monsalvo, I.; Natta, A.; Scholz, A.

    2014-08-10

    We present Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array continuum and spectral line data at 0.89 mm and 3.2 mm for three disks surrounding young brown dwarfs and very low mass stars in the Taurus star forming region. Dust thermal emission is detected and spatially resolved for all the three disks, while CO(J = 3-2) emission is seen in two disks. We analyze the continuum visibilities and constrain the disks' physical structure in dust. The results of our analysis show that the disks are relatively large; the smallest one has an outer radius of about 70 AU. The inferred disk radii, radial profiles of the dust surface density, and disk to central object mass ratios lie within the ranges found for disks around more massive young stars. We derive from our observations the wavelength dependence of the millimeter dust opacity. In all the three disks, data are consistent with the presence of grains with at least millimeter sizes, as also found for disks around young stars, and confirm that the early stages of the solid growth toward planetesimals occur also around very low-mass objects. We discuss the implications of our findings on models of solids evolution in protoplanetary disks, the main mechanisms proposed for the formation of brown dwarfs and very low-mass stars, as well as the potential of finding rocky and giant planets around very low-mass objects.

  3. Male-biased hermaphrodites in a gynodioecious shrub, Daphne jezoensis.

    PubMed

    Sinclair, J P; Kameyama, Y; Shibata, A; Kudo, G

    2016-09-01

    Gynodioecy, a state where female and hermaphrodite plants coexist in populations, has been widely proposed an intermediate stage in the evolutionary pathway from hermaphroditism to dioecy. In the gynodioecy-dioecy pathway, hermaphrodites may gain most of their fitness through male function once females invade populations. To test this prediction, comprehensive studies on sex ratio variation across populations and reproductive characteristics of hermaphrodite and female phenotypes are necessary. This study examined the variation in sex ratio, sex expression, flower and fruit production and sexual dimorphism of morphological traits in a gynodioecious shrub, Daphne jezoensis, over multiple populations and years. Population sex ratio (hermaphrodite:female) was close to 1:1 or slightly hermaphrodite-biased. Sex type of individual plants was largely fixed, but 15% of plants changed their sex during a 6-year census. Hermaphrodite plants produced larger flowers and invested 2.5 times more resources in flower production than female plants, but they exhibited remarkably low fruit set (proportion of flowers setting fruits). Female plants produced six times more fruits than hermaphrodite plants. Low fruiting ability of hermaphrodite plants was retained even when hand-pollination was performed. Fruit production of female plants was restricted by pollen limitation under natural conditions, irrespective of high potential fecundity, and this minimised the difference in resources allocated to reproduction between the sexes. Negative effects of previous flower and fruit production on current reproduction were not apparent in both sexes. This study suggests that gynodioecy in this species is functionally close to a dioecious mating system: smaller flower production with larger fruiting ability in female plants, and larger flower production with little fruiting ability in hermaphrodite plants.

  4. Phenological observations on shrubs to predict weed emergence in turf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Masin, Roberta; Zuin, Maria Clara; Zanin, Giuseppe

    2005-09-01

    Phenology is the study of periodic biological events. If we can find easily recognizable events in common plants that precede or coincide with weed emergences, these plants could be used as indicators. Weed seedlings are usually difficult to detect in turf, so the use of phenological indicators may provide an alternative approach to predict the time when a weed appears and consequently guide management decisions. A study was undertaken to determine whether the phenological phases of some plants could serve as reliable indicators of time of weed emergence in turf. The phenology of six shrubs (Crataegus monogyna Jacq., Forsythia viridissima Lindl., Sambucus nigra L., Syringa vulgaris L., Rosa multiflora Thunb., Ziziphus jujuba Miller) and a perennial herbaceous plant [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.] was observed and the emergence dynamics of four annual weed species [Digitaria sanguinalis (L.) Scop., Eleusine indica (L.) Gaertner, Setaria glauca (L.) Beauv., Setaria viridis (L.) Beauv.] were studied from 1999 to 2004 in northern Italy. A correlation between certain events and weed emergence was verified. S. vulgaris and F. viridissima appear to be the best indicators: there is a quite close correspondence between the appearance of D. sanguinalis and lilac flowering and between the beginning of emergence of E. indica and the end of lilac flowering; emergences of S. glauca and S. viridis were predicted well in relation to the end of forsythia flowering. Base temperatures and starting dates required to calculate the heat unit sums to reach and complete the flowering phase of the indicators were calculated using two different methods and the resultant cumulative growing degree days were compared.

  5. The effect of plant growth regulators, nitric oxide, nitrate, nitrite and light on the germination of dimorphic seeds of Suaeda salsa under saline conditions.

    PubMed

    Li, Weiqiang; Liu, Xiaojing; Ajmal Khan, M; Yamaguchi, Shinjiro

    2005-06-01

    Suaeda salsa, a leaf succulent shrub in the family Chenopodiaceae, is one of the most important halophytes in China. Suaeda salsa produces dimorphic seeds (soft brown seeds and hard black seeds). Seeds of S. salsa were collected from the coastal salt flats near Huanghua City, China. Experiments were conducted to determine the salinity-alleviating effect of plant growth regulators, nitric oxide, nitrate, nitrite and light on the germination of dimorphic seeds of S. salsa. Brown seeds had a higher germination rate than black seeds in all experiments. Black seeds were more sensitive to salt in the absence of light in comparison to brown seeds. Brown seeds absorbed water more quickly in comparison to black seeds and were found to be more tolerant of salt stress. Our results showed that 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC, the immediate precursor of ethylene), nitrite, GA(4) and BA improved seed germination in the presence of salt. However, nitrate, GA(1), GA(3) failed to alleviate salt stress. ABA inhibited seed germination and seedling growth. Possible mechanisms involved in the alleviation of salt stress in S. salsa seeds and the ecological adaptation of the seeds to the environment are discussed.

  6. THE METALLICITY OF VOID DWARF GALAXIES

    SciTech Connect

    Kreckel, K.; Groves, B.; Croxall, K.; Pogge, R. W.; Van de Weygaert, R.

    2015-01-01

    The current ΛCDM cosmological model predicts that galaxy evolution proceeds more slowly in lower density environments, suggesting that voids are a prime location to search for relatively pristine galaxies that are representative of the building blocks of early massive galaxies. To test the assumption that void galaxies are more pristine, we compare the evolutionary properties of a sample of dwarf galaxies selected specifically to lie in voids with a sample of similar isolated dwarf galaxies in average density environments. We measure gas-phase oxygen abundances and gas fractions for eight dwarf galaxies (M{sub r} > –16.2), carefully selected to reside within the lowest density environments of seven voids, and apply the same calibrations to existing samples of isolated dwarf galaxies. We find no significant difference between these void dwarf galaxies and the isolated dwarf galaxies, suggesting that dwarf galaxy chemical evolution proceeds independent of the large-scale environment. While this sample is too small to draw strong conclusions, it suggests that external gas accretion is playing a limited role in the chemical evolution of these systems, and that this evolution is instead dominated mainly by the internal secular processes that are linking the simultaneous growth and enrichment of these galaxies.

  7. SDSS DR7 WHITE DWARF CATALOG

    SciTech Connect

    Kleinman, S. J.; Nitta, A.; Kepler, S. O.; Pelisoli, Ingrid; Pecanha, Viviane; Costa, J. E. S.; Koester, D.; Krzesinski, J.; Dufour, P.; Lachapelle, F.-R.; Bergeron, P.; Yip, Ching-Wa; Harris, Hugh C.; Eisenstein, Daniel J.; Althaus, L.; Corsico, A.

    2013-01-15

    We present a new catalog of spectroscopically confirmed white dwarf stars from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) Data Release 7 spectroscopic catalog. We find 20,407 white dwarf spectra, representing 19,712 stars, and provide atmospheric model fits to 14,120 DA and 1011 DB white dwarf spectra from 12,843 and 923 stars, respectively. These numbers represent more than a factor of two increase in the total number of white dwarf stars from the previous SDSS white dwarf catalogs based on DR4 data. Our distribution of subtypes varies from previous catalogs due to our more conservative, manual classifications of each star in our catalog, supplementing our automatic fits. In particular, we find a large number of magnetic white dwarf stars whose small Zeeman splittings mimic increased Stark broadening that would otherwise result in an overestimated log g if fit as a non-magnetic white dwarf. We calculate mean DA and DB masses for our clean, non-magnetic sample and find the DB mean mass is statistically larger than that for the DAs.

  8. HI in Local Group Dwarf Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grcevich, Jana; Putman, M. E.; Peek, J. E. G.

    2007-12-01

    The HI content of the newly discovered satellites of the Milky Way has not been previously studied. We use HIPASS (HI Parkes All Sky Survey), LAB (Leiden/Argentine/Bonn), and GALFA (Galactic Arecibo L-band Feed Array) survey data to explore HI in the environment of the newly discovered dwarf galaxies and add this information to what was previously known about HI in the dwarf spheroidal and lower mass dwarf irregular galaxies of the Local Group. All of the new satellites discovered in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey data have limits on their HI masses which range from < 13 M⊙ to 3 x 104 M⊙ except for Leo T, which has an HI mass of approximately 105 M⊙. We find that galaxies within 300 kpc of the Milky Way or Andromeda are all undetected in HI to low limits, or have ambiguous detections, while those further than 300 kpc are predominantly detected with masses > 105 M⊙. The most favored explanation for the lack of HI in dwarf galaxies at small galactocentric distances is ram pressure stripping of the gas in the dwarf galaxy by the larger galaxy's hot halo gas. The HI content will also be discussed in terms of the fuel it provides to the Milky Way and the star formation history of the dwarfs. Finally, we discuss the discovery in the GALFA data of discrete HI clouds with dynamical characteristics similar to known dwarf galaxies.

  9. The origin of low-mass white dwarfs

    SciTech Connect

    Rebassa-Mansergas, A.; Schreiber, M. R.; Gaensicke, B. T.; Girven, J.; Gomez-Moran, A. Nebot

    2010-11-23

    We present white dwarf mass distributions of a large sample of post common-envelope binaries and wide white dwarf main sequence binaries and demonstrate that these distributions are statistically independent. While the former contains a much larger fraction of low-mass white dwarfs, the latter is similar to single white dwarf mass distributions. Taking into account observational biases we also show that the majority of low-mass white dwarfs are formed in close binaries.

  10. Population-level consequences of herbivory, changing climate, and source-sink dynamics on a long-lived invasive shrub.

    PubMed

    van Klinken, R D; Pichancourt, J B

    2015-12-01

    Long-lived plant species are highly valued environmentally, economically, and socially, but can also cause substantial harm as invaders. Realistic demographic predictions can guide management decisions, and are particularly valuable for long-lived species where population response times can be long. Long-lived species are also challenging, given population dynamics can be affected by factors as diverse as herbivory, climate, and dispersal. We developed a matrix model to evaluate the effects of herbivory by a leaf-feeding biological control agent released in Australia against a long-lived invasive shrub (mesquite, Leguminoseae: Prosopis spp.). The stage-structured, density-dependent model used an annual time step and 10 climatically diverse years of field data. Mesquite population demography is sensitive to source-sink dynamics as most seeds are consumed and redistributed spatially by livestock. In addition, individual mesquite plants, because they are long lived, experience natural climate variation that cycles over decadal scales, as well as anthropogenic climate change. The model therefore explicitly considered the effects of both net dispersal and climate variation. Herbivory strongly regulated mesquite populations through reduced growth and fertility, but additional mortality of older plants will be required to reach management goals within a reasonable time frame. Growth and survival of seeds and seedlings were correlated with daily soil moisture. As a result, population dynamics were sensitive to rainfall scenario, but population response times were typically slow (20-800 years to reach equilibrium or extinction) due to adult longevity. Equilibrium population densities were expected to remain 5% higher, and be more dynamic, if historical multi-decadal climate patterns persist, the effect being dampened by herbivory suppressing seed production irrespective of preceding rainfall. Dense infestations were unlikely to form under a drier climate, and required net

  11. Population-level consequences of herbivory, changing climate, and source-sink dynamics on a long-lived invasive shrub.

    PubMed

    van Klinken, R D; Pichancourt, J B

    2015-12-01

    Long-lived plant species are highly valued environmentally, economically, and socially, but can also cause substantial harm as invaders. Realistic demographic predictions can guide management decisions, and are particularly valuable for long-lived species where population response times can be long. Long-lived species are also challenging, given population dynamics can be affected by factors as diverse as herbivory, climate, and dispersal. We developed a matrix model to evaluate the effects of herbivory by a leaf-feeding biological control agent released in Australia against a long-lived invasive shrub (mesquite, Leguminoseae: Prosopis spp.). The stage-structured, density-dependent model used an annual time step and 10 climatically diverse years of field data. Mesquite population demography is sensitive to source-sink dynamics as most seeds are consumed and redistributed spatially by livestock. In addition, individual mesquite plants, because they are long lived, experience natural climate variation that cycles over decadal scales, as well as anthropogenic climate change. The model therefore explicitly considered the effects of both net dispersal and climate variation. Herbivory strongly regulated mesquite populations through reduced growth and fertility, but additional mortality of older plants will be required to reach management goals within a reasonable time frame. Growth and survival of seeds and seedlings were correlated with daily soil moisture. As a result, population dynamics were sensitive to rainfall scenario, but population response times were typically slow (20-800 years to reach equilibrium or extinction) due to adult longevity. Equilibrium population densities were expected to remain 5% higher, and be more dynamic, if historical multi-decadal climate patterns persist, the effect being dampened by herbivory suppressing seed production irrespective of preceding rainfall. Dense infestations were unlikely to form under a drier climate, and required net

  12. The Gobbling Dwarf that Exploded

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2007-07-01

    A unique set of observations, obtained with ESO's VLT, has allowed astronomers to find direct evidence for the material that surrounded a star before it exploded as a Type Ia supernova. This strongly supports the scenario in which the explosion occurred in a system where a white dwarf is fed by a red giant. ESO PR Photo 31a/07 ESO PR Photo 31a/07 Evolution of SN 2006X Spectrum Because Type Ia supernovae are extremely luminous and quite similar to one another, these exploding events have been used extensively as cosmological reference beacons to trace the expansion of the Universe. However, despite significant recent progress, the nature of the stars that explode and the physics that governs these powerful explosions have remained very poorly understood. In the most widely accepted models of Type Ia supernovae the pre-explosion white dwarf star orbits another star. Due to the close interaction and the strong attraction produced by the very compact object, the companion star continuously loses mass, 'feeding' the white dwarf. When the mass of the white dwarf exceeds a critical value, it explodes. The team of astronomers studied in great detail SN 2006X, a Type Ia supernova that exploded 70 million light-years away from us, in the splendid spiral Galaxy Messier 100 (see ESO 08/06). Their observations led them to discover the signatures of matter lost by the normal star, some of which is transferred to the white dwarf. The observations were made with the Ultraviolet and Visual Echelle Spectrograph (UVES), mounted at ESO's 8.2-m Very Large Telescope, on four different occasions, over a time span of four months. A fifth observation at a different time was secured with the Keck telescope in Hawaii. The astronomers also made use of radio data obtained with NRAO's Very Large Array as well as images extracted from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope archive. ESO PR Photo 31b/07 ESO PR Photo 31b/07 SN 2006X, before and after the Type Ia Supernova explosion "No Type Ia

  13. Gaia limits for brown dwarf studies.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sarro, L. M.; Barrado, D.; Carrión, C.; Caballero, J. A.

    In this work we present a study of the expected properties of the Gaia sample of ultracool dwarfs (UCDs). This is defined preliminary (at a stage where we do not have real Gaia data yet) by analysing the detectability by Gaia of known UCDs in the Dwarf Archive. We complement the observations listed in the Dwarf Archive (J-, H-, and K- band magnitudes) with SDSS magnitudes and compare them with the BT-Settl model library in order to assess detectability. We also discuss the fraction of UCDs that will have accompanying RVS spectra in the Calcium triplet wavelength region.

  14. Dwarf spheroidal galaxies: Keystones of galaxy evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gallagher, John S., III; Wyse, Rosemary F. G.

    1994-01-01

    Dwarf spheroidal galaxies are the most insignificant extragalactic stellar systems in terms of their visibility, but potentially very significant in terms of their role in the formation and evolution of much more luminous galaxies. We discuss the present observational data and their implications for theories of the formation and evolution of both dwarf and giant galaxies. The putative dark-matter content of these low-surface-brightness systems is of particular interest, as is their chemical evolution. Surveys for new dwarf spheroidals hidden behind the stars of our Galaxy and those which are not bound to giant galaxies may give new clues as to the origins of this unique class of galaxy.

  15. Morphology and Structures of Nearby Dwarf Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seo, Mira; Ann, H. B.

    2016-08-01

    We applied GALFIT and STARLIGHT to the r-band images and spectra, respectively, of ~1,100 dwarf galaxies to analyze the structural properties and stellar populations. In most cases, single component with n = 1 ~ 1.5 well describes the luminosity distribution of dwarf galaxies. However, a large fraction of dS0, dE bc , and dE blue galaxies show sub-structures such as spiral arms and rings. There is a bimodal distributions of stellar ages in dS0 galaxies. But other sub-types of dwarf galaxies show a single peak in the stellar distributions.

  16. WHITE DWARF/M DWARF BINARIES AS SINGLE DEGENERATE PROGENITORS OF TYPE Ia SUPERNOVAE

    SciTech Connect

    Wheeler, J. Craig

    2012-10-20

    Limits on the companions of white dwarfs in the single-degenerate scenario for the origin of Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) have gotten increasingly tight, yet igniting a nearly Chandrasekhar mass C/O white dwarf from a condition of near hydrostatic equilibrium provides compelling agreement with observed spectral evolution. The only type of non-degenerate stars that survive the tight limits, M{sub V} {approx}> 8.4 on the SN Ia in SNR 0509-67.5 and M{sub V} {approx}> 9.5 in the remnant of SN 1572, are M dwarfs. While M dwarfs are observed in cataclysmic variables, they have special properties that have not been considered in most work on the progenitors of SNe Ia: they have small but finite magnetic fields and they flare frequently. These properties are explored in the context of SN Ia progenitors. White dwarf/M dwarf pairs may be sufficiently plentiful to provide, in principle, an adequate rate of explosions even with slow orbital evolution due to magnetic braking or gravitational radiation. Even modest magnetic fields on the white dwarf and M dwarf will yield adequate torques to lock the two stars together, resulting in a slowly rotating white dwarf, with the magnetic poles pointing at one another in the orbital plane. The mass loss will be channeled by a 'magnetic bottle' connecting the two stars, landing on a concentrated polar area on the white dwarf. This enhances the effective rate of accretion compared to spherical accretion. Luminosity from accretion and hydrogen burning on the surface of the white dwarf may induce self-excited mass transfer. The combined effects of self-excited mass loss, polar accretion, and magnetic inhibition of mixing of accretion layers give possible means to beat the 'nova limit' and grow the white dwarf to the Chandrasekhar mass even at rather moderate mass accretion rates.

  17. White Dwarf/M Dwarf Binaries as Single Degenerate Progenitors of Type Ia Supernovae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wheeler, J. Craig

    2012-10-01

    Limits on the companions of white dwarfs in the single-degenerate scenario for the origin of Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) have gotten increasingly tight, yet igniting a nearly Chandrasekhar mass C/O white dwarf from a condition of near hydrostatic equilibrium provides compelling agreement with observed spectral evolution. The only type of non-degenerate stars that survive the tight limits, MV >~ 8.4 on the SN Ia in SNR 0509-67.5 and MV >~ 9.5 in the remnant of SN 1572, are M dwarfs. While M dwarfs are observed in cataclysmic variables, they have special properties that have not been considered in most work on the progenitors of SNe Ia: they have small but finite magnetic fields and they flare frequently. These properties are explored in the context of SN Ia progenitors. White dwarf/M dwarf pairs may be sufficiently plentiful to provide, in principle, an adequate rate of explosions even with slow orbital evolution due to magnetic braking or gravitational radiation. Even modest magnetic fields on the white dwarf and M dwarf will yield adequate torques to lock the two stars together, resulting in a slowly rotating white dwarf, with the magnetic poles pointing at one another in the orbital plane. The mass loss will be channeled by a "magnetic bottle" connecting the two stars, landing on a concentrated polar area on the white dwarf. This enhances the effective rate of accretion compared to spherical accretion. Luminosity from accretion and hydrogen burning on the surface of the white dwarf may induce self-excited mass transfer. The combined effects of self-excited mass loss, polar accretion, and magnetic inhibition of mixing of accretion layers give possible means to beat the "nova limit" and grow the white dwarf to the Chandrasekhar mass even at rather moderate mass accretion rates.

  18. The role of vegetation-microclimate feedback in promoting shrub encroachment in the northern Chihuahuan desert.

    PubMed

    He, Yufei; D'Odorico, Paolo; De Wekker, Stephan F J

    2015-06-01

    Many arid and semi-arid landscapes around the world are affected by a shift from grassland to shrubland vegetation, presumably induced by climate warming, increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations, and/or changing land use. This major change in vegetation cover is likely sustained by positive feedbacks with the physical environment. Recent research has focused on a feedback with microclimate, whereby cold intolerant shrubs increase the minimum nocturnal temperatures in their surroundings. Despite the rich literature on the impact of land cover change on local climate conditions, changes in microclimate resulting from shrub expansion into desert grasslands have remained poorly investigated. It is unclear to what extent such a feedback can affect the maximum extent of shrub expansion and the configuration of a stable encroachment front. Here, we focus on the case of the northern Chihuahuan desert, where creosotebush (Larrea tridentata) has been replacing grasslands over the past 100-150 years. We use a process-based coupled atmosphere-vegetation model to investigate the role of this feedback in sustaining shrub encroachment in the region. Simulations indicate that the feedback allows juvenile shrubs to establish in the grassland during average years and, once established, reduce their vulnerability to freeze-induced mortality by creating a warmer microclimate. Such a feedback is crucial in extreme cold winters as it may reduce shrub mortality. We identify the existence of a critical zone in the surroundings of the encroachment front, in which vegetation dynamics are bistable: in this zone, vegetation can be stable both as grassland and as shrubland. The existence of these alternative stable states explains why in most cases the shift from grass to shrub cover is found to be abrupt and often difficult to revert. PMID:25581578

  19. The role of vegetation-microclimate feedback in promoting shrub encroachment in the northern Chihuahuan desert.

    PubMed

    He, Yufei; D'Odorico, Paolo; De Wekker, Stephan F J

    2015-06-01

    Many arid and semi-arid landscapes around the world are affected by a shift from grassland to shrubland vegetation, presumably induced by climate warming, increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations, and/or changing land use. This major change in vegetation cover is likely sustained by positive feedbacks with the physical environment. Recent research has focused on a feedback with microclimate, whereby cold intolerant shrubs increase the minimum nocturnal temperatures in their surroundings. Despite the rich literature on the impact of land cover change on local climate conditions, changes in microclimate resulting from shrub expansion into desert grasslands have remained poorly investigated. It is unclear to what extent such a feedback can affect the maximum extent of shrub expansion and the configuration of a stable encroachment front. Here, we focus on the case of the northern Chihuahuan desert, where creosotebush (Larrea tridentata) has been replacing grasslands over the past 100-150 years. We use a process-based coupled atmosphere-vegetation model to investigate the role of this feedback in sustaining shrub encroachment in the region. Simulations indicate that the feedback allows juvenile shrubs to establish in the grassland during average years and, once established, reduce their vulnerability to freeze-induced mortality by creating a warmer microclimate. Such a feedback is crucial in extreme cold winters as it may reduce shrub mortality. We identify the existence of a critical zone in the surroundings of the encroachment front, in which vegetation dynamics are bistable: in this zone, vegetation can be stable both as grassland and as shrubland. The existence of these alternative stable states explains why in most cases the shift from grass to shrub cover is found to be abrupt and often difficult to revert.

  20. Patterns of shrub expansion in Alaskan arctic river corridors suggest phase transition

    PubMed Central

    Naito, Adam T; Cairns, David M

    2015-01-01

    Recent increases in deciduous shrub cover are a primary focus of terrestrial Arctic research. This study examined the historic spatial patterns of shrub expansion on the North Slope of Alaska to determine the potential for a phase transition from tundra to shrubland. We examined the historic variability of landscape-scale tall shrub expansion patterns on nine sites within river valleys in the Brooks Range and North Slope uplands (BRNS) between the 1950s and circa 2010 by calculating percent cover (PCTCOV), patch density (PADENS), patch size variability (CVSIZE), mean nearest neighbor distance (MEDIST) and the multi-scale information fractal dimension (dI) to assess spatial homogeneity for shrub cover. We also devised conceptual models for trends in these metrics before, during, and after a phase transition, and compared these to our results. By developing a regression equation between PCTCOV and dI and using universal critical dI values, we derived the PCTCOV required for a phase transition to occur. All nine sites exhibited increases in PCTCOV. Five of the nine sites exhibited an increase in PADENS, seven exhibited an increase in CVSIZE, and five exhibited a decrease in MEDIST. The dI values for each site exceeded the requirements necessary for a phase transition. Although fine-scale heterogeneity is still present, landscape-scale patterns suggest our study areas are either currently in a state of phase transition from tundra to shrubland or are progressing towards spatial homogeneity for shrubland. Our results indicate that the shrub tundra in the river valleys of the north slope of Alaska has reached a tipping point. If climate trends observed in recent decades continue, the shrub tundra will continue towards homogeneity with regard to the cover of tall shrubs. PMID:25628866

  1. FORMATION OF ULTRA-COMPACT BLUE DWARF GALAXIES AND THEIR EVOLUTION INTO NUCLEATED DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Bekki, Kenji

    2015-10-10

    We propose that there is an evolutionary link between ultra-compact blue dwarf galaxies (UCBDs) with active star formation and nucleated dwarfs based on the results of numerical simulations of dwarf–dwarf merging. We consider the observational fact that low-mass dwarfs can be very gas-rich, and thereby investigate the dynamical and chemical evolution of very gas-rich, dissipative dwarf–dwarf mergers. We find that the remnants of dwarf–dwarf mergers can be dominated by new stellar populations formed from the triggered starbursts and consequently can have blue colors and higher metallicities (Z ∼ [0.2–1]Z{sub ⊙}). We also find that the remnants of these mergers can have rather high mass densities (10{sup 4} M{sub ⊙} pc{sup −3}) within the central 10 pc and small half-light radii (40−100 pc). The radial stellar structures of some merger remnants are similar to those of nucleated dwarfs. Star formation can continue in nuclear gas disks (R < 100 pc) surrounding stellar galactic nuclei (SGNs) so that the SGNs can finally have multiple stellar populations with different ages and metallicities. These very compact blue remnants can be identified as UCBDs soon after merging and as nucleated dwarfs after the young stars fade. We discuss these results in the context of the origins of metal-rich ultra-compact dwarfs and SGNs.

  2. Differences in seed rain composition in small and large fragments in the northeast Brazilian Atlantic Forest.

    PubMed

    Knörr, U C; Gottsberger, G

    2012-09-01

    Tropical forests are seriously threatened by fragmentation and habitat loss. The impact of fragment size and forest configuration on the composition of seed rain is insufficiently studied. For the present study, seed rain composition of small and large forest fragments (8-388 ha) was assessed in order to identify variations in seed abundance, species richness, seed size and dispersal mode. Seed rain was documented during a 1-year period in three large and four small Atlantic Forest fragments that are isolated by a sugarcane matrix. Total seed rain included 20,518 seeds of 149 species of trees, shrubs, palms, lianas and herbs. Most species and seeds were animal-dispersed. A significant difference in the proportion of seeds and species within different categories of seed size was found between small and large fragments. Small fragments received significantly more very small-sized seeds (<0.3 cm) and less large-seeded species (>1.5 cm) that were generally very rare, with only one species in small and eight in large fragments. We found a negative correlation between the inflow of small-sized seeds and the percentage of forest cover. Species richness was lower in small than in large fragments, but the difference was not very pronounced. Given our results, we propose changing plant species pools through logging, tree mortality and a high inflow of pioneer species and lianas, especially in small forest fragments and areas with low forest cover. Connecting forest fragments through corridors and reforestation with local large-seeded tree species may facilitate the maintenance of species diversity.

  3. Differences in seed rain composition in small and large fragments in the northeast Brazilian Atlantic Forest.

    PubMed

    Knörr, U C; Gottsberger, G

    2012-09-01

    Tropical forests are seriously threatened by fragmentation and habitat loss. The impact of fragment size and forest configuration on the composition of seed rain is insufficiently studied. For the present study, seed rain composition of small and large forest fragments (8-388 ha) was assessed in order to identify variations in seed abundance, species richness, seed size and dispersal mode. Seed rain was documented during a 1-year period in three large and four small Atlantic Forest fragments that are isolated by a sugarcane matrix. Total seed rain included 20,518 seeds of 149 species of trees, shrubs, palms, lianas and herbs. Most species and seeds were animal-dispersed. A significant difference in the proportion of seeds and species within different categories of seed size was found between small and large fragments. Small fragments received significantly more very small-sized seeds (<0.3 cm) and less large-seeded species (>1.5 cm) that were generally very rare, with only one species in small and eight in large fragments. We found a negative correlation between the inflow of small-sized seeds and the percentage of forest cover. Species richness was lower in small than in large fragments, but the difference was not very pronounced. Given our results, we propose changing plant species pools through logging, tree mortality and a high inflow of pioneer species and lianas, especially in small forest fragments and areas with low forest cover. Connecting forest fragments through corridors and reforestation with local large-seeded tree species may facilitate the maintenance of species diversity. PMID:22372687

  4. Pluto: Planet or "Dwarf Planet"?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Voelzke, M. R.; de Araújo, M. S. T.

    2010-09-01

    In August 2006 during the XXVI General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union (IAU), taken place in Prague, Czech Republic, new parameters to define a planet were established. According to this new definition Pluto will be no more the ninth planet of the Solar System but it will be changed to be a "dwarf planet". This reclassification of Pluto by the academic community clearly illustrates how dynamic science is and how knowledge of different areas can be changed and evolves through the time, allowing to perceive Science as a human construction in a constant transformation, subject to political, social and historical contexts. These epistemological characteristics of Science and, in this case, of Astronomy, constitute important elements to be discussed in the lessons, so that this work contributes to enable Science and Physics teachers who perform a basic education to be always up to date on this important astronomical fact and, thereby, carry useful information to their teaching.

  5. Magnetars and white dwarf pulsars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lobato, Ronaldo V.; Malheiro, Manuel; Coelho, Jaziel G.

    2016-07-01

    The anomalous X-ray pulsars (AXPs) and soft gamma-ray repeaters (SGRs) are a class of pulsars understood as neutron stars (NSs) with super strong surface magnetic fields, namely B ≳ 1014G, and for that reason are known as magnetars. However, in the last years, some SGRs/AXPs with low surface magnetic fields B ˜ (1012-1013)G have been detected, challenging the magnetar description. Moreover, some fast and very magnetic white dwarfs (WDs) have also been observed, and at least one showed X-ray energy emission as an ordinary pulsar. Following this fact, an alternative model based on WDs pulsars has been proposed to explain this special class of pulsars. In this model, AXPs and SGRs as dense and magnetized WDs can have surface magnetic field B ˜ 107-1010 G and rotate very fast with frequencies Ω ˜ 1rad/s, consistent with the observed rotation periods P ˜ (2-12)s.

  6. Modelling the formation of atmospheric dust in brown dwarfs and planetary atmospheres.

    PubMed

    Helling, Christiane; Fomins, Aleksejs

    2013-07-13

    Atmospheric dust from volcanoes, sand storms and biogenic products provides condensation seeds for water cloud formation on the Earth. Extrasolar planetary objects such as brown dwarfs and extrasolar giant planets have no comparable sources of condensation seeds. Hence, understanding cloud formation and further its implications for the climate requires a modelling effort that includes the treatment of seed formation (nucleation), growth and evaporation, in addition to rain-out, mixing and gas-phase depletion. This paper discusses nucleation in the ultra-cool atmospheres of brown dwarfs and extrasolar giant planets whose chemical gas-phase composition differs largely from the terrestrial atmosphere. A kinetic model for atmospheric dust formation is described, which, in recent work, has become part of a cloud-formation model. For the first time, diffusive replenishment of the upper atmosphere is introduced as a source term into our model equations. This paper further aims to show how experimental and computational chemistry work links into our dust-formation model, which is driven by applications in extraterrestrial environments. PMID:23734048

  7. White Dwarfs, Neutron Stars and Black Holes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Szekeres, P.

    1977-01-01

    The three possible fates of burned-out stars: white dwarfs, neutron stars and black holes, are described in elementary terms. Characteristics of these celestial bodies, as provided by Einstein's work, are described. (CP)

  8. White Dwarf Model for PAMELA Positron Excess

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kashiyama, Kazumi; Ioka, Kunihito

    2010-10-01

    We suggest that white dwarf pulsars can compete with neutron star pulsars for producing the excesses of cosmic ray positrons and electrons (e+/-) observed by the PAMELA, ATIC/PPB-BETS, Fermi and HESS experiments. A double degenerate white dwarf binary mergers into a white dwarf pulsar with rotational energy (~1050 erg) comparable to a neutron star pulsar. The birth rate (~1/100 yr) is also similar, providing the right energy budget. Applying the neutron star theory, we show that the white dwarf pulsars can produce e+/-, up to ~10 TeV for high magnetic fields (>108 G). In contrast to the neutron star case, the adiabatic energy losses of e+/- are negligible since their injection continues after the nebula expansion. The long activity also enhances the nearby sources, potentially dominating the quickly cooled e+/- above TeV energy, detectable by the future CALET experiment.

  9. Merging white dwarfs and thermonuclear supernovae.

    PubMed

    van Kerkwijk, M H

    2013-06-13

    Thermonuclear supernovae result when interaction with a companion reignites nuclear fusion in a carbon-oxygen white dwarf, causing a thermonuclear runaway, a catastrophic gain in pressure and the disintegration of the whole white dwarf. It is usually thought that fusion is reignited in near-pycnonuclear conditions when the white dwarf approaches the Chandrasekhar mass. I briefly describe two long-standing problems faced by this scenario, and the suggestion that these supernovae instead result from mergers of carbon-oxygen white dwarfs, including those that produce sub-Chandrasekhar-mass remnants. I then turn to possible observational tests, in particular, those that test the absence or presence of electron captures during the burning. PMID:23630372

  10. White Dwarfs in Local Star Streams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fuchs, Burkhard; Dettbarn, Christian

    2011-01-01

    We have studied the fine structure of the phase space distribution of white dwarfs in the solar neighborhood. White dwarfs have kinematics that are typical for the stellar population of the old thin disk of the Milky Way. Using a projection of the space velocities of stars onto vertical angular momentum components and eccentricities of the stellar orbits we demonstrate that stellar streams can be identified in the phase space distribution of the white dwarfs. These correspond to the well-known Sirius, Pleiades, and Hercules star streams. Membership of white dwarfs, which represent the oldest population in the Galaxy, in these streams lends support to the interpretation that the streams owe their existence to dynamical resonance effects of the stars with Galactic spiral arms or the Galactic bar, because these indiscriminately affect all stellar populations.

  11. Merging white dwarfs and thermonuclear supernovae.

    PubMed

    van Kerkwijk, M H

    2013-06-13

    Thermonuclear supernovae result when interaction with a companion reignites nuclear fusion in a carbon-oxygen white dwarf, causing a thermonuclear runaway, a catastrophic gain in pressure and the disintegration of the whole white dwarf. It is usually thought that fusion is reignited in near-pycnonuclear conditions when the white dwarf approaches the Chandrasekhar mass. I briefly describe two long-standing problems faced by this scenario, and the suggestion that these supernovae instead result from mergers of carbon-oxygen white dwarfs, including those that produce sub-Chandrasekhar-mass remnants. I then turn to possible observational tests, in particular, those that test the absence or presence of electron captures during the burning.

  12. Neutral Hydrogen in Local Group Dwarf Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grcevich, Jana

    The gas content of the faintest and lowest mass dwarf galaxies provide means to study the evolution of these unique objects. The evolutionary histories of low mass dwarf galaxies are interesting in their own right, but may also provide insight into fundamental cosmological problems. These include the nature of dark matter, the disagreement between the number of observed Local Group dwarf galaxies and that predicted by lambda cold dark matter models, and the discrepancy between the observed census of baryonic matter in the Milky Way's environment and theoretical predictions. This thesis explores these questions by studying the neutral hydrogen (HI) component of dwarf galaxies. First, limits on the HI mass of the ultra-faint dwarfs are presented, and the HI content of all Local Group dwarf galaxies is examined from an environmental standpoint. We find that those Local Group dwarfs within 270 kpc of a massive host galaxy are deficient in HI as compared to those at larger galactocentric distances. Ram-pressure arguments are invoked, which suggest halo densities greater than 2-3 x 10-4 cm-3 out to distances of at least 70 kpc, values which are consistent with theoretical models and suggest the halo may harbor a large fraction of the host galaxy's baryons. We also find that accounting for the incompleteness of the dwarf galaxy count, known dwarf galaxies whose gas has been removed could have provided at most 2.1 x 108 M⊙ of HI gas to the Milky Way. Second, we examine the possibility of discovering unknown gas-rich ultra-faint galaxies in the Local Group using HI. The GALFA-HI Survey catalog is searched for compact, isolated HI clouds which are most similar to the expected HI characteristics of low mass dwarf galaxies. Fifty-one Local Group dwarf galaxy candidates are identified through column density, brightness temperature, and kinematic selection criteria, and their properties are explored. Third, we present hydrodynamic simulations of dwarf galaxies experiencing a

  13. Relative roles of different-sized herbivores and plant-plant interactions in tall shrub tundra vegetation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ravolainen, Virve; Ims, Rolf; Bårdsen, Bård-Jørgen; Stien, Audun; Kollstrøm, Julie; Lægreid, Eiliv; Bråthen, Kari Anne

    2013-04-01

    Tall shrubs play important roles in the ecology of Arctic tundra ecosystems, including support of high shrub-associated biodiversity and regulation of a range of ecosystem processes. Tall shrub patches and herbaceous vegetation surrounding them often form a two-state vegetation mosaic. Such tall shrub tundra vegetation is an important locus for current vegetation changes in the Arctic. Both abiotic and biotic drivers are known to influence the shrub component. However, although expansion of the shrub state has received much focus lately, relative strengths of the multiple drivers of vegetation state are currently not fully understood. We investigated the role of herbivory relative to temperature and relative to plant-plant interactions, conducting a field survey and experimental studies at large spatial scales in riparian tall shrub tundra in Norway. We found both summer temperatures and summer grazing by reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) to affect tall shrub distribution and expansion potential. Furthermore, we found strong and rapid shrub growth change in response to abundance of key arctic herbivores; small rodents. Finally, we quantified the relative importance of neighboring plants and both herbivore types to recruiting tall shrubs. The previously unforeseen rate at which tall shrub tundra responded to altered herbivore pressures further exemplifies its central role in the tundra ecosystems, promoting tall shrub tundra as a bell-whether of change with respect to both abiotic and biotic drivers. While many of the results clearly relate to herbivory, neighboring plants or climate as drivers, some variation remains unexplained warranting future research focus on this highly dynamic part of the tundra ecosystem. Our results suggest that spatially variable biotic interactions are likely to modify forcing by climate, calling for an ecosystem approach when studying change in tundra ecosystems.

  14. The Metamorphosis of Tidally Stirred Dwarf Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayer, Lucio; Governato, Fabio; Colpi, Monica; Moore, Ben; Quinn, Thomas; Wadsley, James; Stadel, Joachim; Lake, George

    2001-10-01

    We present results from high-resolution N-body/SPH (smoothed particle hydrodynamic) simulations of rotationally supported dwarf irregular galaxies moving on bound orbits in the massive dark matter halo of the Milky Way. The dwarf models span a range in disk surface density and the masses and sizes of their dark halos are consistent with the predictions of cold dark matter cosmogonies. We show that the strong tidal field of the Milky Way determines severe mass loss in their halos and disks and induces bar and bending instabilities that transform low surface brightness dwarfs (LSBs) into dwarf spheroidals (dSphs) and high surface brightness dwarfs (HSBs) into dwarf ellipticals (dEs) in less than 10 Gyr. The final central velocity dispersions of the remnants are in the range 8-30 km s-1 and their final v/σ falls to values less than 0.5, matching well the kinematics of early-type dwarfs. The transformation requires the orbital time of the dwarf to be <~3-4 Gyr, which implies a halo as massive and extended as predicted by hierarchical models of galaxy formation to explain the origin of even the farthest dSph satellites of the Milky Way, Leo I, and Leo II. We show that only dwarfs with central dark matter densities as high as those of Draco and Ursa Minor can survive for 10 Gyr in the proximity of the Milky Way. A correlation between the central density and the distance of the dwarfs from the primary galaxy is indeed expected in hierarchical models, in which the densest objects should have small orbital times because of their early formation epochs. Part of the gas is stripped and part is funneled to the center because of the bar, generating one strong burst of star formation in HSBs and smaller, multiple bursts in LSBs. Therefore, the large variety of star formation histories observed in Local Group dSphs arises because different types of dIrr progenitors respond differently to the external perturbation of the Milky Way. Our evolutionary model naturally explains the

  15. L' AND M' Photometry Of Ultracool Dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marley, M. S.; Tsvetanov, Z. I.; Vrba, F. J.; Henden, A. A.; Luginbuhl, C. B.

    2004-01-01

    We have compiled L' (3.4-4.1 microns) and M' (4.6- 4.8 microns) photometry of 63 single and binary M, L, and T dwarfs obtained at the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope using the Mauna Kea Observatory filter set. This compilation includes new L' measurements of eight L dwarfs and 13 T dwarfs and new M' measurements of seven L dwarfs, five T dwarfs, and the M1 dwarf Gl 229A. These new data increase by factors of 0. 6 and 1.6, respectively, the numbers of ultracool dwarfs T (sub eff) dwarfs whose flux-calibrated JHK spectra, L' photometry, and trigonometric parallaxes are available, and we estimate these quantities for nine other dwarfs whose parallaxes and flux-calibrated spectra have been obtained. BC(SUB K) is a well-behaved function of near-infrared spectral type with a dispersion of approx. 0.1 mag for types M6-T5 it is significantly more scattered for types T5-T9. T (sub eff) declines steeply and monotonically for types M6-L7 and T4-T9, but it is nearly constant at approx. 1450 K for types L7-T4 with assumed ages of approx. 3 Gyr. This constant T(sub eff) is evidenced by nearly unchanging values of L'-M' between types L6 and T3. It also supports recent models that attribute the changing near-infrared luminosities and spectral features across the L-T transition to the rapid migration, disruption, and/or thinning of condensate clouds over a narrow range of T(sub eff). The L' and M' luminosities of early-T dwarfs do not exhibit the pronounced humps or inflections previously noted in l through K bands, but insufficient data exist for types L6-T5 to assert that M(Sub L') and M(sub M') are strictly monotonic within this range of typew. We compare the observed K, L', and M' luminosities of L and T dwarfs in our sample with those predicted by precipitation-cloud-free models for varying surface gravities and sedimentation efficiencies.

  16. Accretion Flows in Magnetic White Dwarf Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Imamura, James N.

    2005-01-01

    We received Type A and B funding under the NASA Astrophysics Data Program for the analysis and interpretation of hard x-ray data obtained by the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer and other NASA sponsored missions for Intermediate Polars (IPS) and Polars. For some targets, optical data was available. We reduced and analyzed the X-ray spectra and the X-ray and optical (obtained at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory) timing data using detailed shock models (which we constructed) to place constraints on the properties of the accreting white dwarfs, the high energy emission mechanisms of white dwarfs, and the large-scale accretion flows of Polars and IPS. IPS and Polars are white dwarf mass-transfer binaries, members of the larger class of cata,clysmic variables. They differ from the bulk of the cataclysmic variables in that they contain strongly magnetic white dwarfs; the white dwarfs in Polars have B, = 7 to 230 MG and those in IPS have B, less than 10 MG. The IPS and Polars are both examples of funneled accretion flows in strong magnetic field systems. The IPS are similar to x-ray pulsars in that accretion disks form in the systems which are disrupted by the strong stellar magnetic fields of the white dwarfs near the stellar surface from where the plasma is funneled to the surface of the white dwarf. The localized hot spots formed at the footpoints of the funnels coupled with the rotation of the white dwarf leads to coherent pulsed x-ray emission. The Polars offer an example of a different accretion topology; the magnetic field of the white dwarf controls the accretion flow from near the inner Lagrangian point of the system directly to the stellar surface. Accretion disks do not form. The strong magnetic coupling generally leads to synchronous orbital/rotational motion in the Polars. The physical system in this sense resembles the Io/Jupiter system. In both IPS and Polars, pulsed emission from the infrared to x-rays is produced as the funneled flows merge onto the

  17. Deciduous shrub growth and the greening of the Arctic in West Siberia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forbes, B. C.; Macias Fauria, M.; Zetterberg, P.; Kumpula, T.

    2010-12-01

    Salix lanata and Alnus fruticosa are common and widespread shrub species in the low arctic tundra zone of West Siberia. They often occur in similar local habitats with the live portions of genets up to 100 years old. We have recently established that growth rings of S. lanata provide an excellent proxy for summer temperature. In that study our data were derived from shrubs growing on organic soils near the arctic coast of the Nenets Autonomous Okrug (NAO), west of the Ural Mountains. East of the Urals, in the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Okrug (YNAO), climate is more continental and sandy soils provide a relatively nutrient-poor substrate for plant growth. By sampling two different species side by side on the Yamal Peninsula, we shed light on the relationship between deciduous shrubs and growing season temperatures in the last half century or so, a period of pronounced regional warming. We discern differences in the climate signal within a single species (S. lanata) as well as between it and a neighboring species with a strongly overlapping ecological amplitude (A. fruticosa). July is the main month for temperature correlation in Alnus, whereas Salix responds to June-July-August temperatures in both regions. The high correlations of shrub growth with summer temperature (r > 0.7 over the period 1956-2004) strongly suggest a link between increased shrub growth and recent decadal warming in both regions (~2°C). Both species showed significant correlation with the regional Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), although it was somewhat lower in YNAO compared to NAO, probably due to the relative land cover (10% vs. 20%, respectively) of erect shrubs in both areas, which affects their overall contribution to the NDVI. In both regions Salix lanata biomass peaks in the second half of July. Hand-held leaf area index data from Yamal indicate a significant difference between loamy/clayey and sandy sites. We hypothesized that this same variation would be evident at the

  18. Beneficial Hydrologic Relations Between Evergreen Woody Shrubs and Food Crops In the Peanut Basin, Senegal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bogie, N. A.; Bayala, R.; McCants, T.; Bethel, D.; Diedhiou, I.; Dick, R.; Ghezzehei, T. A.

    2012-12-01

    The soils of the Sahel and surrounding regions are threatened by soil degradation and desertification that can lead to significant reduction in food supply. In Senegal, millet and peanut crops are grown in rotation in fields, where to varying degrees, two native shrubs Piliostigma reticulatum, and Guiera senegalensis are allowed to exist. Previous work established that the presence of shrubs increased moisture content, organic matter, crop yield, and ground water recharge beneath shrub canopies. However, relatively little is known about the mechanism controlling nutrient and water relations between the rhizospheres of the crops and shrubs. Therefore, the objective of this ongoing research is to provide mechanistic explanation for why and how the shrubs aid the crop productivity. This research involves field measurements of: crop yield and physiological responses to water stress, water balance, and meteorological data at two sites in the Peanut Basin of Senegal -- a northern site in Kuer Matar (with annual rainfall of 400-500 mm) for G. senegalensis and a southern site in Nioro du Rip (with 600-800 mm annual rainfall) for P. reticulatum. Although a water balance was performed once in the past, it is important to track water dynamics due to large fluctuations in precipitation and rainfall intensity. Interpretation of current observations is aided by numerical simulations using the HYDRUS 1D model calibrated against field data. Preliminary observations from Nioro du Rip show no significant difference between treatments in leaf area index or leaf water potential throughout the daily cycle (predawn, mid-morning, mid-afternoon, and evening) 30 days after sowing (DAS) and during a period of ample rainfall for crop establishment. There were, however, increases of 12.4mm and 13.0mm in profile moisture storage between sole crop and crop and shrub treatments from 20cm to 250cm depth at Keur Matar and Nioro du Rip, respectively. These profile moisture values come from the

  19. ANS ultraviolet observations of dwarf Cepheids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sturch, C. R.; Wu, C.-C.

    1983-01-01

    Ultraviolet observations of three dwarf Cepheids (VZ Cnc, SX Phe, and AI Vel) are presented. The UV light curves are consistent with those in the visual region. When compared to standard stars, all three dwarf Cepheids exhibit flux deficiencies at the shortest observed wavelengths. The most extreme deficiencies appear for SX Phe; these may be related to the other properties previously noted for this star, including low metallicity, high space motion, and low luminosity.

  20. Formation of Brown Dwarfs LTSA 2001

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oliversen, Ronald J. (Technical Monitor)

    2004-01-01

    The goals of the work funded by this grant are: 1) The measurement of the mass function and minimum mass of free-floating brown dwarfs down to the mass of Jupiter. 2) The measurement of the frequency of wide brown dwarf and planetary companions down to the mass of Jupiter as function of primary mass (0.02-2 Msun), age (1-10 Myr), and environment (clusters vs. dispersed regions).

  1. Effects of shrub encroachment on soil organic carbon in global grasslands.

    PubMed

    Li, He; Shen, Haihua; Chen, Leiyi; Liu, Taoyu; Hu, Huifeng; Zhao, Xia; Zhou, Luhong; Zhang, Pujin; Fang, Jingyun

    2016-01-01

    This study aimed to evaluate the effect of shrub encroachment on soil organic carbon (SOC) content at broad scales and its controls. We conducted a meta-analysis using paired control data of shrub-encroached grassland (SEG) vs. non-SEG collected from 142 studies worldwide. SOC contents (0-50 cm) were altered by shrub encroachment, with changes ranging from -50% to + 300%, with an effect size of 0.15 (p < 0.01). The SOC contents increased in semi-arid and humid regions, and showed a greater rate of increase in grassland encroached by leguminous shrubs than by non-legumes. The SOC content decreased in silty and clay soils but increased in sand, sandy loam and sandy clay loam. The SOC content increment was significantly positively correlated with precipitation and temperature as well as with soil bulk density but significantly negatively correlated with soil total nitrogen. We conclude the main effects of shrub encroachment would be to increase topsoil organic carbon content. As structural equation model revealed, soils properties seem to be the primary factors responsible for the extent of the changes, coarse textured soils having a greater capacity than fine textured soils to increase the SOC content. This increased effect appears to be secondarily enhanced by climate and plant elements. PMID:27388145

  2. Effects of shrub encroachment on soil organic carbon in global grasslands

    PubMed Central

    Li, He; Shen, Haihua; Chen, Leiyi; Liu, Taoyu; Hu, Huifeng; Zhao, Xia; Zhou, Luhong; Zhang, Pujin; Fang, Jingyun

    2016-01-01

    This study aimed to evaluate the effect of shrub encroachment on soil organic carbon (SOC) content at broad scales and its controls. We conducted a meta-analysis using paired control data of shrub-encroached grassland (SEG) vs. non-SEG collected from 142 studies worldwide. SOC contents (0–50 cm) were altered by shrub encroachment, with changes ranging from −50% to + 300%, with an effect size of 0.15 (p < 0.01). The SOC contents increased in semi-arid and humid regions, and showed a greater rate of increase in grassland encroached by leguminous shrubs than by non-legumes. The SOC content decreased in silty and clay soils but increased in sand, sandy loam and sandy clay loam. The SOC content increment was significantly positively correlated with precipitation and temperature as well as with soil bulk density but significantly negatively correlated with soil total nitrogen. We conclude the main effects of shrub encroachment would be to increase topsoil organic carbon content. As structural equation model revealed, soils properties seem to be the primary factors responsible for the extent of the changes, coarse textured soils having a greater capacity than fine textured soils to increase the SOC content. This increased effect appears to be secondarily enhanced by climate and plant elements. PMID:27388145

  3. Divergent variations in concentrations of chemical elements among shrub organs in a temperate desert.

    PubMed

    He, Mingzhu; Song, Xin; Tian, Fuping; Zhang, Ke; Zhang, Zhishan; Chen, Ning; Li, Xinrong

    2016-01-01

    Desert shrubs, a dominant component of desert ecosystems, need to maintain sufficient levels of nutrients in their different organs to ensure operation of various physiological functions for the purpose of survival and reproduction. In the present study, we analyzed 10 elements in leaves, stems, and roots of 24 dominant shrub species from 52 sites across a temperate desert ecosystem in northwestern China. We found that concentrations of all 10 elements were higher in leaves than in stems and roots, that non-legumes had higher levels of leaf Na and Mg than did legumes, and that Na was more concentrated in C4 leaves than in C3 leaves. Scaling relationships of elements between the photosynthetic organ (leaf) and non-photosynthetic organs (stem and root) were allometric. Results of principal components analysis (PCA) highlighted the important role of the elements responsible for osmoregulation (K and Na) in water utilization of desert shrubs. Soil properties and taxonomy explained most variation of element concentrations in desert shrubs. Desert shrubs may not be particularly susceptible to future change in climate factors, because most elements (including N, P, K, Ca, Mn, Zn, and Cu) associated with photosynthesis, osmoregulation, enzyme activity, and water use efficiency primarily depend on soil conditions. PMID:26818575

  4. Effects of shrub encroachment on soil organic carbon in global grasslands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, He; Shen, Haihua; Chen, Leiyi; Liu, Taoyu; Hu, Huifeng; Zhao, Xia; Zhou, Luhong; Zhang, Pujin; Fang, Jingyun

    2016-07-01

    This study aimed to evaluate the effect of shrub encroachment on soil organic carbon (SOC) content at broad scales and its controls. We conducted a meta-analysis using paired control data of shrub-encroached grassland (SEG) vs. non-SEG collected from 142 studies worldwide. SOC contents (0–50 cm) were altered by shrub encroachment, with changes ranging from ‑50% to + 300%, with an effect size of 0.15 (p < 0.01). The SOC contents increased in semi-arid and humid regions, and showed a greater rate of increase in grassland encroached by leguminous shrubs than by non-legumes. The SOC content decreased in silty and clay soils but increased in sand, sandy loam and sandy clay loam. The SOC content increment was significantly positively correlated with precipitation and temperature as well as with soil bulk density but significantly negatively correlated with soil total nitrogen. We conclude the main effects of shrub encroachment would be to increase topsoil organic carbon content. As structural equation model revealed, soils properties seem to be the primary factors responsible for the extent of the changes, coarse textured soils having a greater capacity than fine textured soils to increase the SOC content. This increased effect appears to be secondarily enhanced by climate and plant elements.

  5. Divergent variations in concentrations of chemical elements among shrub organs in a temperate desert.

    PubMed

    He, Mingzhu; Song, Xin; Tian, Fuping; Zhang, Ke; Zhang, Zhishan; Chen, Ning; Li, Xinrong

    2016-01-28

    Desert shrubs, a dominant component of desert ecosystems, need to maintain sufficient levels of nutrients in their different organs to ensure operation of various physiological functions for the purpose of survival and reproduction. In the present study, we analyzed 10 elements in leaves, stems, and roots of 24 dominant shrub species from 52 sites across a temperate desert ecosystem in northwestern China. We found that concentrations of all 10 elements were higher in leaves than in stems and roots, that non-legumes had higher levels of leaf Na and Mg than did legumes, and that Na was more concentrated in C4 leaves than in C3 leaves. Scaling relationships of elements between the photosynthetic organ (leaf) and non-photosynthetic organs (stem and root) were allometric. Results of principal components analysis (PCA) highlighted the important role of the elements responsible for osmoregulation (K and Na) in water utilization of desert shrubs. Soil properties and taxonomy explained most variation of element concentrations in desert shrubs. Desert shrubs may not be particularly susceptible to future change in climate factors, because most elements (including N, P, K, Ca, Mn, Zn, and Cu) associated with photosynthesis, osmoregulation, enzyme activity, and water use efficiency primarily depend on soil conditions.

  6. Divergent variations in concentrations of chemical elements among shrub organs in a temperate desert

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, Mingzhu; Song, Xin; Tian, Fuping; Zhang, Ke; Zhang, Zhishan; Chen, Ning; Li, Xinrong

    2016-01-01

    Desert shrubs, a dominant component of desert ecosystems, need to maintain sufficient levels of nutrients in their different organs to ensure operation of various physiological functions for the purpose of survival and reproduction. In the present study, we analyzed 10 elements in leaves, stems, and roots of 24 dominant shrub species from 52 sites across a temperate desert ecosystem in northwestern China. We found that concentrations of all 10 elements were higher in leaves than in stems and roots, that non-legumes had higher levels of leaf Na and Mg than did legumes, and that Na was more concentrated in C4 leaves than in C3 leaves. Scaling relationships of elements between the photosynthetic organ (leaf) and non-photosynthetic organs (stem and root) were allometric. Results of principal components analysis (PCA) highlighted the important role of the elements responsible for osmoregulation (K and Na) in water utilization of desert shrubs. Soil properties and taxonomy explained most variation of element concentrations in desert shrubs. Desert shrubs may not be particularly susceptible to future change in climate factors, because most elements (including N, P, K, Ca, Mn, Zn, and Cu) associated with photosynthesis, osmoregulation, enzyme activity, and water use efficiency primarily depend on soil conditions.

  7. Divergent variations in concentrations of chemical elements among shrub organs in a temperate desert

    PubMed Central

    He, Mingzhu; Song, Xin; Tian, Fuping; Zhang, Ke; Zhang, Zhishan; Chen, Ning; Li, Xinrong

    2016-01-01

    Desert shrubs, a dominant component of desert ecosystems, need to maintain sufficient levels of nutrients in their different organs to ensure operation of various physiological functions for the purpose of survival and reproduction. In the present study, we analyzed 10 elements in leaves, stems, and roots of 24 dominant shrub species from 52 sites across a temperate desert ecosystem in northwestern China. We found that concentrations of all 10 elements were higher in leaves than in stems and roots, that non-legumes had higher levels of leaf Na and Mg than did legumes, and that Na was more concentrated in C4 leaves than in C3 leaves. Scaling relationships of elements between the photosynthetic organ (leaf) and non-photosynthetic organs (stem and root) were allometric. Results of principal components analysis (PCA) highlighted the important role of the elements responsible for osmoregulation (K and Na) in water utilization of desert shrubs. Soil properties and taxonomy explained most variation of element concentrations in desert shrubs. Desert shrubs may not be particularly susceptible to future change in climate factors, because most elements (including N, P, K, Ca, Mn, Zn, and Cu) associated with photosynthesis, osmoregulation, enzyme activity, and water use efficiency primarily depend on soil conditions. PMID:26818575

  8. Electrostatic Interactions between Elongated Monomers Drive Filamentation of Drosophila Shrub, a Metazoan ESCRT-III Protein.

    PubMed

    McMillan, Brian J; Tibbe, Christine; Jeon, Hyesung; Drabek, Andrew A; Klein, Thomas; Blacklow, Stephen C

    2016-08-01

    The endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT) is a conserved protein complex that facilitates budding and fission of membranes. It executes a key step in many cellular events, including cytokinesis and multi-vesicular body formation. The ESCRT-III protein Shrub in flies, or its homologs in yeast (Snf7) or humans (CHMP4B), is a critical polymerizing component of ESCRT-III needed to effect membrane fission. We report the structural basis for polymerization of Shrub and define a minimal region required for filament formation. The X-ray structure of the Shrub core shows that individual monomers in the lattice interact in a staggered arrangement using complementary electrostatic surfaces. Mutations that disrupt interface salt bridges interfere with Shrub polymerization and function. Despite substantial sequence divergence and differences in packing interactions, the arrangement of Shrub subunits in the polymer resembles that of Snf7 and other family homologs, suggesting that this intermolecular packing mechanism is shared among ESCRT-III proteins. PMID:27452459

  9. Impacts of shrub encroachment on ecosystem structure and functioning: towards a global synthesis

    PubMed Central

    Eldridge, David J.; Bowker, Matthew A.; Maestre, Fernando T.; Roger, Erin; Reynolds, James F.; Whitford, Walter G.

    2013-01-01

    Encroachment of woody plants into grasslands has generated considerable interest among ecologists. Syntheses of encroachment effects on ecosystem processes have been limited in extent and confined largely to pastoral land uses or particular geographical regions. We used univariate analyses, meta-analysis and structural equation modeling to test the propositions that 1) shrub encroachment does not necessarily lead to declines in ecosystem functions, and 2) shrub traits influence the functional outcome of encroachment. Analyses of 43 ecosystem attributes from 244 case studies worldwide showed that some attributes consistently increased with encroachment (e.g. soil C, N), and others declined (e.g. grass cover, pH), but most exhibited variable responses. Traits of shrubs were associated with significant, though weak, structural and functional outcomes of encroachment. Our review revealed that encroachment had mixed effects on ecosystem structure and functioning at global scales, and that shrub traits influence the functional outcome of encroachment. Thus, a simple designation of encroachment as a process leading to functionally, structurally or contextually degraded ecosystems is not supported by a critical analysis of existing literature. Our results highlight that the commonly established link between shrub encroachment and degradation is not universal. PMID:21592276

  10. NLTT 5306: the shortest period detached white dwarf+brown dwarf binary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steele, P. R.; Saglia, R. P.; Burleigh, M. R.; Marsh, T. R.; Gänsicke, B. T.; Lawrie, K.; Cappetta, M.; Girven, J.; Napiwotzki, R.

    2013-03-01

    We have spectroscopically confirmed a brown dwarf mass companion to the hydrogen atmosphere white dwarf NLTT 5306. The white dwarf's atmospheric parameters were measured using the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and X-shooter spectroscopy as Teff = 7756 ± 35 K and log(g) = 7.68 ± 0.08, giving a mass for the primary of MWD = 0.44 ± 0.04 M⊙ at a distance of 71 ± 4 pc with a cooling age of 710 ± 50 Myr. The existence of the brown dwarf secondary was confirmed through the near-infrared arm of the X-shooter data and a spectral type of dL4-dL7 was estimated using standard spectral indices. Combined radial velocity measurements from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, X-shooter and the Hobby-Eberly Telescope's High Resolution Spectrograph of the white dwarf give a minimum mass of 56 ± 3 MJup for the secondary, confirming the substellar nature. The period of the binary was measured as 101.88 ± 0.02 min using both the radial velocity data and i'-band variability detected with the Isaac Newton Telescope. This variability indicates `day' side heating of the brown dwarf companion. We also observe Hα emission in our higher resolution data in phase with the white dwarf radial velocity, indicating that this system is in a low level of accretion, most likely via a stellar wind. This system represents the shortest period white dwarf+brown dwarf binary and the secondary has survived a stage of common envelope evolution, much like its longer period counterpart, WD 0137-349. Both systems likely represent bona fide progenitors of cataclysmic variables with a low-mass white dwarf and a brown dwarf donor.

  11. Spectroscopy of Hyades L dwarf candidates★

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lodieu, N.; Boudreault, S.; Béjar, V. J. S.

    2014-12-01

    We present the results of photometric, astrometric, and spectroscopic follow-up of L dwarf candidates identified in the Hyades cluster by Hogan et al. We obtained low-resolution optical spectroscopy with the Optical System for Imaging and low-intermediate Resolution Integrated Spectroscopy spectrograph on the Gran Telescopio de Canarias for all 12 L dwarf candidates as well as new J-band imaging for a subsample of 8 to confirm their proper motion. We also present mid-infrared photometry from the Wide Field Infrared Survey Explorer for the Hyades L and T dwarf candidates and estimate their spectroscopic distances, effective temperatures, and masses. We confirm the cool nature of several L dwarf candidates and confirm astrometrically their membership, bridging the gap between the coolest M dwarfs and the two T dwarfs previously reported in the Hyades cluster. These members represent valuable spectral templates at an age of 625 Myr and slightly supersolar metallicity (Fe/H = +0.13). We update the Hyades mass function across the hydrogen-burning limit and in the substellar regime. We confirm a small number numbers of very low mass members below ˜0.1 M⊙ belonging to the Hyades cluster.

  12. MICROLENSING BINARIES WITH CANDIDATE BROWN DWARF COMPANIONS

    SciTech Connect

    Shin, I.-G.; Han, C.; Gould, A.; Skowron, J.; Udalski, A.; Szymanski, M. K.; Kubiak, M.; Soszynski, I.; Pietrzynski, G.; Poleski, R.; Ulaczyk, K.; Pietrukowicz, P.; Kozlowski, S.; Wyrzykowski, L.; Sumi, T.; Dominik, M.; Beaulieu, J.-P.; Tsapras, Y.; Bozza, V.; Abe, F.; Collaboration: OGLE Collaboration; MOA Collaboration; muFUN Collaboration; and others

    2012-12-01

    Brown dwarfs are important objects because they may provide a missing link between stars and planets, two populations that have dramatically different formation histories. In this paper, we present the candidate binaries with brown dwarf companions that are found by analyzing binary microlensing events discovered during the 2004-2011 observation seasons. Based on the low mass ratio criterion of q < 0.2, we found seven candidate events: OGLE-2004-BLG-035, OGLE-2004-BLG-039, OGLE-2007-BLG-006, OGLE-2007-BLG-399/MOA-2007-BLG-334, MOA-2011-BLG-104/OGLE-2011-BLG-0172, MOA-2011-BLG-149, and MOA-201-BLG-278/OGLE-2011-BLG-012N. Among them, we are able to confirm that the companions of the lenses of MOA-2011-BLG-104/OGLE-2011-BLG-0172 and MOA-2011-BLG-149 are brown dwarfs by determining the mass of the lens based on the simultaneous measurement of the Einstein radius and the lens parallax. The measured masses of the brown dwarf companions are 0.02 {+-} 0.01 M {sub Sun} and 0.019 {+-} 0.002 M {sub Sun} for MOA-2011-BLG-104/OGLE-2011-BLG-0172 and MOA-2011-BLG-149, respectively, and both companions are orbiting low-mass M dwarf host stars. More microlensing brown dwarfs are expected to be detected as the number of lensing events with well-covered light curves increases with new-generation searches.

  13. Nonlinear Analysis of Pulsating White Dwarf Lightcurves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Provencal, J. L.; Montgomery, M. H.; Shipman, H.; WET TEam

    2015-06-01

    Convection remains one of the largest sources of theoretical uncertainty in our understanding of stellar physics. For example, Bergeron (1995) show that basic parameters such as flux, line profiles, energy distribution, color indices, and equivalent widths are extremely sensitive to the assumed convective parameterization. This is compelling, since we use our knowledge of these basic parameters to calibrate white dwarf cooling sequences, provide detailed estimates for the ages of individual white dwarfs, and determine the age of the Galactic disk. The Whole Earth Telescope (WET) is engaged in a long term project to empirically calibrate the physical properties of convection in pulsating white dwarfs by combining asteroseismology and analysis of nonlinear light curves. Nonsinusoidal distortions, in the form of narrow peaks and wider valleys, are observed in many pulsating white dwarf light curves. These are a reflection of the local depth of the convection zone, a value which varies during a pulsation cycle. Applying asteroseismology and convective light curve fitting to a wide sample of pulsating white dwarfs provides an empirical map of how the convective response time (the convection zone “depth”) varies as a function of effective temperature, and this can be compared with theoretical models, both MLT and hydrodynamic. This project has resulted in a large database of white dwarf lightcurves and pulsation frequencies. We present current results for DA and DB pulsators, and provide a few examples of interesting pulsation behavior seen along the way.

  14. ON THE EVOLUTION OF MAGNETIC WHITE DWARFS

    SciTech Connect

    Tremblay, P.-E.; Fontaine, G.; Brassard, P.; Freytag, B.; Steiner, O.; Ludwig, H.-G.; Steffen, M.; Wedemeyer, S.

    2015-10-10

    We present the first radiation magnetohydrodynamic simulations of the atmosphere of white dwarf stars. We demonstrate that convective energy transfer is seriously impeded by magnetic fields when the plasma-β parameter, the thermal-to-magnetic-pressure ratio, becomes smaller than unity. The critical field strength that inhibits convection in the photosphere of white dwarfs is in the range B = 1–50 kG, which is much smaller than the typical 1–1000 MG field strengths observed in magnetic white dwarfs, implying that these objects have radiative atmospheres. We have employed evolutionary models to study the cooling process of high-field magnetic white dwarfs, where convection is entirely suppressed during the full evolution (B ≳ 10 MG). We find that the inhibition of convection has no effect on cooling rates until the effective temperature (T{sub eff}) reaches a value of around 5500 K. In this regime, the standard convective sequences start to deviate from the ones without convection due to the convective coupling between the outer layers and the degenerate reservoir of thermal energy. Since no magnetic white dwarfs are currently known at the low temperatures where this coupling significantly changes the evolution, the effects of magnetism on cooling rates are not expected to be observed. This result contrasts with a recent suggestion that magnetic white dwarfs with T{sub eff} ≲ 10,000 K cool significantly slower than non-magnetic degenerates.

  15. HI in Local Group Dwarf Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grcevich, Jana; Putman, Mary; Peek, Joshua E. G.

    2008-08-01

    The HI content of the newly discovered satellites of the Milky Way has not been previously studied. We use HIPASS (HI Parkes All Sky Survey), LAB (Leiden/Argentine/Bonn), and GALFA (Galactic Arecibo L-band Feed Array) survey data to explore HI in the environment of the newly discovered dwarf galaxies and add this information to what was previously known about HI in the dwarf spheroidal and lower mass dwarf irregular galaxies of the Local Group. All of the new satellites discovered in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey data have limits on their HI masses which range from <13 Msolar to 3×104 Msolar except for Leo T, which has and HI mass of approximately 105 Msolar. We find that galaxies within 300 kpc of the Milky Way or Andromeda are all undetected in HI to low limits, or have ambiguous detections, while those further than 300 kpc are predominantly detected with masses >105 Msolar. The most favored explanation fo