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Sample records for ecosystem production plant

  1. Higher effect of plant species diversity on productivity in natural than artificial ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Flombaum, Pedro; Sala, Osvaldo E.

    2008-01-01

    Current and expected changes in biodiversity have motivated major experiments, which reported a positive relationship between plant species diversity and primary production. As a first step in addressing this relationship, these manipulative experiments controlled as many potential confounding covariables as possible and assembled artificial ecosystems for the purpose of the experiments. As a new step in this endeavor, we asked how plant species richness relates to productivity in a natural ecosystem. Here, we report on an experiment conducted in a natural ecosystem in the Patagonian steppe, in which we assessed the biodiversity effect on primary production. Using a plant species diversity gradient generated by removing species while maintaining constant biomass, we found that aboveground net primary production increased with the number of plant species. We also found that the biodiversity effect was larger in natural than in artificial ecosystems. This result supports previous findings and also suggests that the effect of biodiversity in natural ecosystems may be much larger than currently thought. PMID:18427124

  2. Drivers of inter-year variability of plant production and decomposers across contrasting island ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Wardle, David A; Jonsson, Micael; Kalela-Brundin, Maarit; Lagerström, Anna; Bardgett, Richard D; Yeates, Gregor W; Nilsson, Marie-Charlotte

    2012-03-01

    Despite the likely importance of inter-year dynamics of plant production and consumer biota for driving community- and ecosystem-level processes, very few studies have explored how and why these dynamics vary across contrasting ecosystems. We utilized a well-characterized system of 30 lake islands in the boreal forest zone of northern Sweden across which soil fertility and productivity vary considerably, with larger islands being more fertile and productive than smaller ones. In this system we assessed the inter-year dynamics of several measures of plant production and the soil microbial community (primary consumers in the decomposer food web) for each of nine years, and soil microfaunal groups (secondary and tertiary consumers) for each of six of those years. We found that, for measures of plant production and each of the three consumer trophic levels, inter-year dynamics were strongly affected by island size. Further, many variables were strongly affected by island size (and thus bottom-up regulation by soil fertility and resources) in some years, but not in other years, most likely due to inter-year variation in climatic conditions. For each of the plant and microbial variables for which we had nine years of data, we also determined the inter-year coefficient of variation (CV), an inverse measure of stability. We found that CVs of some measures of plant productivity were greater on large islands, whereas those of other measures were greater on smaller islands; CVs of microbial variables were unresponsive to island size. We also found that the effects of island size on the temporal dynamics of some variables were related to inter-year variability of macroclimatic variables. As such, our results show that the inter-year dynamics of both plant productivity and decomposer biota across each of three trophic levels, as well as the inter-year stability of plant productivity, differ greatly across contrasting ecosystems, with potentially important but largely overlooked

  3. Arctic foxes as ecosystem engineers: increased soil nutrients lead to increased plant productivity on fox dens.

    PubMed

    Gharajehdaghipour, Tazarve; Roth, James D; Fafard, Paul M; Markham, John H

    2016-04-05

    Top predators can provide fundamental ecosystem services such as nutrient cycling, and their impact can be even greater in environments with low nutrients and productivity, such as Arctic tundra. We estimated the effects of Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) denning on soil nutrient dynamics and vegetation production near Churchill, Manitoba in June and August 2014. Soils from fox dens contained higher nutrient levels in June (71% more inorganic nitrogen, 1195% more extractable phosphorous) and in August (242% more inorganic nitrogen, 191% more extractable phosphorous) than adjacent control sites. Inorganic nitrogen levels decreased from June to August on both dens and controls, whereas extractable phosphorous increased. Pup production the previous year, which should enhance nutrient deposition (from urine, feces, and decomposing prey), did not affect soil nutrient concentrations, suggesting the impact of Arctic foxes persists >1 year. Dens supported 2.8 times greater vegetation biomass in August, but δ(15)N values in sea lyme grass (Leymus mollis) were unaffected by denning. By concentrating nutrients on dens Arctic foxes enhance nutrient cycling as an ecosystem service and thus engineer Arctic ecosystems on local scales. The enhanced productivity in patches on the landscape could subsequently affect plant diversity and the dispersion of herbivores on the tundra.

  4. Arctic foxes as ecosystem engineers: increased soil nutrients lead to increased plant productivity on fox dens

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gharajehdaghipour, Tazarve; Roth, James D.; Fafard, Paul M.; Markham, John H.

    2016-04-01

    Top predators can provide fundamental ecosystem services such as nutrient cycling, and their impact can be even greater in environments with low nutrients and productivity, such as Arctic tundra. We estimated the effects of Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) denning on soil nutrient dynamics and vegetation production near Churchill, Manitoba in June and August 2014. Soils from fox dens contained higher nutrient levels in June (71% more inorganic nitrogen, 1195% more extractable phosphorous) and in August (242% more inorganic nitrogen, 191% more extractable phosphorous) than adjacent control sites. Inorganic nitrogen levels decreased from June to August on both dens and controls, whereas extractable phosphorous increased. Pup production the previous year, which should enhance nutrient deposition (from urine, feces, and decomposing prey), did not affect soil nutrient concentrations, suggesting the impact of Arctic foxes persists >1 year. Dens supported 2.8 times greater vegetation biomass in August, but δ15N values in sea lyme grass (Leymus mollis) were unaffected by denning. By concentrating nutrients on dens Arctic foxes enhance nutrient cycling as an ecosystem service and thus engineer Arctic ecosystems on local scales. The enhanced productivity in patches on the landscape could subsequently affect plant diversity and the dispersion of herbivores on the tundra.

  5. Arctic foxes as ecosystem engineers: increased soil nutrients lead to increased plant productivity on fox dens

    PubMed Central

    Gharajehdaghipour, Tazarve; Roth, James D.; Fafard, Paul M.; Markham, John H.

    2016-01-01

    Top predators can provide fundamental ecosystem services such as nutrient cycling, and their impact can be even greater in environments with low nutrients and productivity, such as Arctic tundra. We estimated the effects of Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) denning on soil nutrient dynamics and vegetation production near Churchill, Manitoba in June and August 2014. Soils from fox dens contained higher nutrient levels in June (71% more inorganic nitrogen, 1195% more extractable phosphorous) and in August (242% more inorganic nitrogen, 191% more extractable phosphorous) than adjacent control sites. Inorganic nitrogen levels decreased from June to August on both dens and controls, whereas extractable phosphorous increased. Pup production the previous year, which should enhance nutrient deposition (from urine, feces, and decomposing prey), did not affect soil nutrient concentrations, suggesting the impact of Arctic foxes persists >1 year. Dens supported 2.8 times greater vegetation biomass in August, but δ15N values in sea lyme grass (Leymus mollis) were unaffected by denning. By concentrating nutrients on dens Arctic foxes enhance nutrient cycling as an ecosystem service and thus engineer Arctic ecosystems on local scales. The enhanced productivity in patches on the landscape could subsequently affect plant diversity and the dispersion of herbivores on the tundra. PMID:27045973

  6. Enhanced seasonal CO2 exchange caused by amplified plant productivity in northern ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forkel, Matthias; Carvalhais, Nuno; Rödenbeck, Christian; Keeling, Ralph; Heimann, Martin; Thonicke, Kirsten; Zaehle, Sönke; Reichstein, Markus

    2016-04-01

    Atmospheric monitoring has shown an increase in the seasonal cycle of carbon dioxide (CO2) in high northern latitudes (> 40°N) since the 1960s. The much stronger increase of the seasonal CO2 amplitude in high latitudes compared to low latitudes suggests that northern ecosystems are experiencing large changes in carbon cycle dynamics. However the underlying mechanisms are not yet fully understood and current climate/carbon cycle models under-estimate observed changes in the seasonal CO2 amplitude. Here we aim to explain the observed latitudinal gradient of seasonal CO2 amplitude trends by contrasting observations from long-term monitoring sites of atmospheric CO2 concentration, satellite observation of vegetation greenness, and global observation-based datasets of gross primary production and net biome productivity, with results from the LPJmL dynamic global vegetation model coupled to the TM3 atmospheric transport model. Our results demonstrate that the latitudinal gradient of the enhanced seasonal CO2 amplitude is mainly driven by positive trends in photosynthetic carbon uptake caused by recent climate change and mediated by changing vegetation cover in boreal and arctic ecosystems. Climate change affects processes such as plant physiology, phenology, water availability, and vegetation dynamics, ultimately leading to increased plant productivity and vegetation cover in northern ecosystems in the last decades. Thereby photosynthetic carbon uptake has reacted much more strongly to warming than respiratory carbon release processes. Continued long-term observation of atmospheric CO2 together with ground and satellite observations of land surface and vegetation dynamics will be the key to detect, model, and better predict changes in high-latitude land/carbon cycle dynamics.

  7. Net ecosystem production in a Little Ice Age moraine: the role of plant functional traits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Varolo, E.; Zanotelli, D.; Tagliavini, M.; Zerbe, S.; Montagnani, L.

    2015-07-01

    Current glacier retreat allows vast mountain ranges available for vegetation establishment and growth. Little is known about the effective carbon (C) budget of these new ecosystems and how the presence of different vegetation communities, characterized by their specific physiology and life forms influences C fluxes. In this study, using a comparative analysis of the C fluxes of two contrasting vegetation types, we intend to evaluate if the different physiologies of the main species have an effect on Ecosystem Respiration (Reco), Gross Primary Production (GPP), annual cumulated Net Ecosystem Exchange (NEE), and long-term carbon accumulation in soil. The NEE of two plant communities present on a Little Ice Age moraine in the Matsch glacier forefield (Alps, Italy) was measured over two growing seasons. They are a typical C3 grassland, dominated by Festuca halleri All. and a community dominated by CAM rosettes Sempervivum montanum L. on rocky soils. Using transparent and opaque chambers, we extrapolated the ecophysiological responses to the main environmental drivers and performed the partition of NEE into Reco and GPP. Soil samples were collected from the same site to measure long-term C accumulation in the ecosystem. The two communities showed contrasting GPP but similar Reco patterns and as a result significantly different in NEE. The grassland acted mainly as a carbon sink with a total cumulated value of -46.4 ± 35.5 g C m-2 NEE while the plots dominated by the CAM rosettes acted as a source with 31.9 ± 22.4 g C m-2. In spite of the NEE being different in the two plant communities, soil analysis did not reveal significant differences in carbon accumulation. Grasslands showed 1.76 ± 0.12 kg C m-2, while CAM rosettes showed 2.06 ± 0.23 kg C m-2. This study demonstrates that carbon dynamics of two vegetation communities can be distinct even though the growing environment is similar. The physiological traits of the dominant species determine large differences in

  8. Responses of plant community composition and biomass production to warming and nitrogen deposition in a temperate meadow ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Tao; Guo, Rui; Gao, Song; Guo, Jixun; Sun, Wei

    2015-01-01

    Climate change has profound influences on plant community composition and ecosystem functions. However, its effects on plant community composition and biomass production are not well understood. A four-year field experiment was conducted to examine the effects of warming, nitrogen (N) addition, and their interactions on plant community composition and biomass production in a temperate meadow ecosystem in northeast China. Experimental warming had no significant effect on plant species richness, evenness, and diversity, while N addition highly reduced the species richness and diversity. Warming tended to reduce the importance value of graminoid species but increased the value of forbs, while N addition had the opposite effect. Warming tended to increase the belowground biomass, but had an opposite tendency to decrease the aboveground biomass. The influences of warming on aboveground production were dependent upon precipitation. Experimental warming had little effect on aboveground biomass in the years with higher precipitation, but significantly suppressed aboveground biomass in dry years. Our results suggest that warming had indirect effects on plant production via its effect on the water availability. Nitrogen addition significantly increased above- and below-ground production, suggesting that N is one of the most important limiting factors determining plant productivity in the studied meadow steppe. Significant interactive effects of warming plus N addition on belowground biomass were also detected. Our observations revealed that environmental changes (warming and N deposition) play significant roles in regulating plant community composition and biomass production in temperate meadow steppe ecosystem in northeast China.

  9. Plant hydraulics as a hub integrating plant and ecosystem function

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Water plays a central role in plant biology and the efficiency of water transport throughout the plant (i.e., “plant hydraulics”) affects both photosynthetic rate and growth, an influence that scales up deterministically to the productivity of terrestrial ecosystems. Moreover, hydraulic traits media...

  10. Trade-offs Between Electricity Production from Small Hydropower Plants and Ecosystem Services in Alpine River Basins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meier, Philipp; Schwemmle, Robin; Viviroli, Daniel

    2015-04-01

    The need for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and the decision to phase out nuclear power plants in Switzerland and Germany increases pressure to develop the remaining hydropower potential in Alpine catchments. Since most of the potential for large reservoirs is already exploited, future development focusses on small run-of-the-river hydropower plants (SHP). Being considered a relatively environment-friendly electricity source, investment in SHP is promoted through subsidies. However, SHP can have a significant impact on riverine ecosystems, especially in the Alpine region where residual flow reaches tend to be long. An increase in hydropower exploitation will therefore increase pressure on ecosystems. While a number of studies assessed the potential for hydropower development in the Alps, two main factors were so far not assessed in detail: (i) ecological impacts within a whole river network, and (ii) economic conditions under which electricity is sold. We present a framework that establishes trade-offs between multiple objectives regarding environmental impacts, electricity production and economic evaluation. While it is inevitable that some ecosystems are compromised by hydropower plants, the context of these impacts within a river network should be considered when selecting suitable sites for SHP. From an ecological point of view, the diversity of habitats, and therefore the diversity of species, should be maintained within a river basin. This asks for objectives that go beyond lumped parameters of hydrological alteration, but also consider habitat diversity and the spatial configuration. Energy production in run-of-the-river power plants depends on available discharge, which can have large fluctuations. In a deregulated electricity market with strong price variations, an economic valuation should therefore be based on the expected market value of energy produced. Trade-off curves between different objectives can help decision makers to define policies

  11. Residues of plant protection products in grey partridge eggs in French cereal ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Bro, Elisabeth; Devillers, James; Millot, Florian; Decors, Anouk

    2016-05-01

    The contamination of the eggs of farmland birds by currently used plant protection products (PPPs) is poorly documented despite a potential to adversely impact their breeding performance. In this context, 139 eggs of 52 grey partridge Perdix perdix clutches, collected on 12 intensively cultivated farmlands in France in 2010-2011, were analysed. Given the great diversity of PPPs applied on agricultural fields, we used exploratory GC/MS-MS and LC/MS-MS screenings measuring ca. 500 compounds. The limit of quantification was 0.01 mg/kg, a statutory reference. A total of 15 different compounds were detected in 24 clutches. Nine of them have been used by farmers to protect crops against fungi (difenoconazole, tebuconazole, cyproconazole, fenpropidin and prochloraz), insects (lambda-cyhalothrin and thiamethoxam/clothianidin) and weeds (bromoxynil and diflufenican). Some old PPPs were also detected (fipronil(+sulfone), HCH(α,β,δ isomers), diphenylamine, heptachlor(+epoxyde), DDT(Σisomers)), as well as PCBs(153, 180). Concentrations ranged between <0.01 and 0.05 mg/kg but reached 0.067 (thiamethoxam/clothianidin), 0.11 (heptachlor + epoxyde) and 0.34 (fenpropidin) mg/kg in some cases. These results testify an actual exposure of females and/or their eggs to PPPs in operational conditions, as well as to organochlorine pollutants or their residues, banned in France since several years if not several decades, that persistently contaminate the environment.Routes of exposure, probability to detect a contamination in the eggs, and effects on egg/embryo characteristics are discussed with regard to the scientific literature.

  12. Is an ecosystem services-based approach developed for setting specific protection goals for plant protection products applicable to other chemicals?

    PubMed

    Maltby, Lorraine; Jackson, Mathew; Whale, Graham; Brown, A Ross; Hamer, Mick; Solga, Andreas; Kabouw, Patrick; Woods, Richard; Marshall, Stuart

    2017-02-15

    Clearly defined protection goals specifying what to protect, where and when, are required for designing scientifically sound risk assessments and effective risk management of chemicals. Environmental protection goals specified in EU legislation are defined in general terms, resulting in uncertainty in how to achieve them. In 2010, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published a framework to identify more specific protection goals based on ecosystem services potentially affected by plant protection products. But how applicable is this framework to chemicals with different emission scenarios and receptor ecosystems? Four case studies used to address this question were: (i) oil refinery waste water exposure in estuarine environments; (ii) oil dispersant exposure in aquatic environments; (iii) down the drain chemicals exposure in a wide range of ecosystems (terrestrial and aquatic); (iv) persistent organic pollutant exposure in remote (pristine) Arctic environments. A four-step process was followed to identify ecosystems and services potentially impacted by chemical emissions and to define specific protection goals. Case studies demonstrated that, in principle, the ecosystem services concept and the EFSA framework can be applied to derive specific protection goals for a broad range of chemical exposure scenarios. By identifying key habitats and ecosystem services of concern, the approach offers the potential for greater spatial and temporal resolution, together with increased environmental relevance, in chemical risk assessments. With modifications including improved clarity on terminology/definitions and further development/refinement of the key concepts, we believe the principles of the EFSA framework could provide a methodical approach to the identification and prioritization of ecosystems, ecosystem services and the service providing units that are most at risk from chemical exposure.

  13. Plant ecology. Anthropogenic environmental changes affect ecosystem stability via biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Hautier, Yann; Tilman, David; Isbell, Forest; Seabloom, Eric W; Borer, Elizabeth T; Reich, Peter B

    2015-04-17

    Human-driven environmental changes may simultaneously affect the biodiversity, productivity, and stability of Earth's ecosystems, but there is no consensus on the causal relationships linking these variables. Data from 12 multiyear experiments that manipulate important anthropogenic drivers, including plant diversity, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, fire, herbivory, and water, show that each driver influences ecosystem productivity. However, the stability of ecosystem productivity is only changed by those drivers that alter biodiversity, with a given decrease in plant species numbers leading to a quantitatively similar decrease in ecosystem stability regardless of which driver caused the biodiversity loss. These results suggest that changes in biodiversity caused by drivers of environmental change may be a major factor determining how global environmental changes affect ecosystem stability.

  14. Plant δ(15) N reflects the high landscape-scale heterogeneity of soil fertility and vegetation productivity in a Mediterranean semiarid ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Ruiz-Navarro, Antonio; Barberá, Gonzalo G; Albaladejo, Juan; Querejeta, José I

    2016-12-01

    We investigated the magnitude and drivers of spatial variability in soil and plant δ(15) N across the landscape in a topographically complex semiarid ecosystem. We hypothesized that large spatial heterogeneity in water availability, soil fertility and vegetation cover would be positively linked to high local-scale variability in δ(15) N. We measured foliar δ(15) N in three dominant plant species representing contrasting plant functional types (tree, shrub, grass) and mycorrhizal association types (ectomycorrhizal or arbuscular mycorrhizal). This allowed us to investigate whether δ(15) N responds to landscape-scale environmental heterogeneity in a consistent way across species. Leaf δ(15) N varied greatly within species across the landscape and was strongly spatially correlated among co-occurring individuals of the three species. Plant δ(15) N correlated tightly with soil δ(15) N and key measures of soil fertility, water availability and vegetation productivity, including soil nitrogen (N), organic carbon (C), plant-available phosphorus (P), water-holding capacity, topographic moisture indices and normalized difference vegetation index. Multiple regression models accounted for 62-83% of within-species variation in δ(15) N across the landscape. The tight spatial coupling and interdependence of the water, N and C cycles in drylands may allow the use of leaf δ(15) N as an integrative measure of variations in moisture availability, biogeochemical activity, soil fertility and vegetation productivity (or 'site quality') across the landscape.

  15. Effects of repeated burning of cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) dominated ecosystems on plant density, biomass and seed production: Implications for restoration

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Restoration of sagebrush ecosystems dominated by cheatgrass depends on both controlling the invader and providing the conditions for native species establishment. Reducing available soil nitrogen (N) decreases cheatgrass growth and reproduction and native species opportunities for establishment. A m...

  16. Biodiversity increases the resistance of ecosystem productivity to climate extremes.

    PubMed

    Isbell, Forest; Craven, Dylan; Connolly, John; Loreau, Michel; Schmid, Bernhard; Beierkuhnlein, Carl; Bezemer, T Martijn; Bonin, Catherine; Bruelheide, Helge; de Luca, Enrica; Ebeling, Anne; Griffin, John N; Guo, Qinfeng; Hautier, Yann; Hector, Andy; Jentsch, Anke; Kreyling, Jürgen; Lanta, Vojtěch; Manning, Pete; Meyer, Sebastian T; Mori, Akira S; Naeem, Shahid; Niklaus, Pascal A; Polley, H Wayne; Reich, Peter B; Roscher, Christiane; Seabloom, Eric W; Smith, Melinda D; Thakur, Madhav P; Tilman, David; Tracy, Benjamin F; van der Putten, Wim H; van Ruijven, Jasper; Weigelt, Alexandra; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Wilsey, Brian; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2015-10-22

    It remains unclear whether biodiversity buffers ecosystems against climate extremes, which are becoming increasingly frequent worldwide. Early results suggested that the ecosystem productivity of diverse grassland plant communities was more resistant, changing less during drought, and more resilient, recovering more quickly after drought, than that of depauperate communities. However, subsequent experimental tests produced mixed results. Here we use data from 46 experiments that manipulated grassland plant diversity to test whether biodiversity provides resistance during and resilience after climate events. We show that biodiversity increased ecosystem resistance for a broad range of climate events, including wet or dry, moderate or extreme, and brief or prolonged events. Across all studies and climate events, the productivity of low-diversity communities with one or two species changed by approximately 50% during climate events, whereas that of high-diversity communities with 16-32 species was more resistant, changing by only approximately 25%. By a year after each climate event, ecosystem productivity had often fully recovered, or overshot, normal levels of productivity in both high- and low-diversity communities, leading to no detectable dependence of ecosystem resilience on biodiversity. Our results suggest that biodiversity mainly stabilizes ecosystem productivity, and productivity-dependent ecosystem services, by increasing resistance to climate events. Anthropogenic environmental changes that drive biodiversity loss thus seem likely to decrease ecosystem stability, and restoration of biodiversity to increase it, mainly by changing the resistance of ecosystem productivity to climate events.

  17. Linking plant and ecosystem functional biogeography

    PubMed Central

    Reichstein, Markus; Bahn, Michael; Mahecha, Miguel D.; Kattge, Jens; Baldocchi, Dennis D.

    2014-01-01

    Classical biogeographical observations suggest that ecosystems are strongly shaped by climatic constraints in terms of their structure and function. On the other hand, vegetation function feeds back on the climate system via biosphere–atmosphere exchange of matter and energy. Ecosystem-level observations of this exchange reveal very large functional biogeographical variation of climate-relevant ecosystem functional properties related to carbon and water cycles. This variation is explained insufficiently by climate control and a classical plant functional type classification approach. For example, correlations between seasonal carbon-use efficiency and climate or environmental variables remain below 0.6, leaving almost 70% of variance unexplained. We suggest that a substantial part of this unexplained variation of ecosystem functional properties is related to variations in plant and microbial traits. Therefore, to progress with global functional biogeography, we should seek to understand the link between organismic traits and flux-derived ecosystem properties at ecosystem observation sites and the spatial variation of vegetation traits given geoecological covariates. This understanding can be fostered by synergistic use of both data-driven and theory-driven ecological as well as biophysical approaches. PMID:25225392

  18. Aquatic Plants and Animals as Ecosystem Engineers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wotton, R. S.

    2005-05-01

    Studies on aquatic plants and animals focus on population dynamics, the structure of communities and the part played by organisms in food webs and other ecosystem processes. As Lawton and Jones point out in "Linking Species and Ecosystems", less attention is given to the role of organisms as ecosystem engineers, modifying the environment in which they live. Yet plants can have a profound effect on their surroundings, altering flow patterns and trapping large amounts of organic and inorganic material. Animals also affect aquatic ecosystems in many ways, both in building structures such as tubes and shelters, and in their feeding. For example, detritus feeders often produce large numbers of faecal pellets (and pseudofaeces in bivalves) and these are very different in size to the materials ingested. Pellets are deposited in masses over the bed of streams, lakes and the sea and therefore effect a translocation of nutrients. The action of plants and animals in altering their environment is likely to be a significant process in all water bodies, from both small to large scale.

  19. Nutrient enrichment, biodiversity loss, and consequent declines in ecosystem productivity.

    PubMed

    Isbell, Forest; Reich, Peter B; Tilman, David; Hobbie, Sarah E; Polasky, Stephen; Binder, Seth

    2013-07-16

    Anthropogenic drivers of environmental change often have multiple effects, including changes in biodiversity, species composition, and ecosystem functioning. It remains unknown whether such shifts in biodiversity and species composition may, themselves, be major contributors to the total, long-term impacts of anthropogenic drivers on ecosystem functioning. Moreover, although numerous experiments have shown that random losses of species impact the functioning of ecosystems, human-caused losses of biodiversity are rarely random. Here we use results from long-term grassland field experiments to test for direct effects of chronic nutrient enrichment on ecosystem productivity, and for indirect effects of enrichment on productivity mediated by resultant species losses. We found that ecosystem productivity decreased through time most in plots that lost the most species. Chronic nitrogen addition also led to the nonrandom loss of initially dominant native perennial C4 grasses. This loss of dominant plant species was associated with twice as great a loss of productivity per lost species than occurred with random species loss in a nearby biodiversity experiment. Thus, although chronic nitrogen enrichment initially increased productivity, it also led to loss of plant species, including initially dominant species, which then caused substantial diminishing returns from nitrogen fertilization. In contrast, elevated CO2 did not decrease grassland plant diversity, and it consistently promoted productivity over time. Our results support the hypothesis that the long-term impacts of anthropogenic drivers of environmental change on ecosystem functioning can strongly depend on how such drivers gradually decrease biodiversity and restructure communities.

  20. Net ecosystem production in a subarctic peatland

    SciTech Connect

    Luken, J.O.

    1984-01-01

    A mass balance approach was used to determine the rates of carbon storage in three areas of a subarctic bog near Fairbanks, Alaska (latitude 64/sup 0/52'N). Aboveground net primary production was 20.3, 74.2, and 77.4 gm/sup -2/yr/sup -1/ for nonvascular plants, the shrub and herb layer, and the tree layer of the bog forest, respectively. Aboveground net primary production was 83.7 and 58.2 g m/sup -2/yr/sup -1/ for nonvascular plants and the shrub and herb layer of the Andromeda bog, respectively, in the Carex lawns, aboveground net primary production was 194.9 and 111.7 g m/sup -2/yr/sup -1/ for nonvascular and vascular plants, respectively. Sphagnum mosses are important components of this peatbog ecosystem due to their high rates of net primary production and slow rates of decomposition. Experimental manipulations of light level, water table level, and nutrient availability indicated that terminal extension rates and volumetric density of the Sphagnum stands are controlled primarily by light and water table levels. An explanation of Sphagnum zonation in hummock-hollow complexes is presented which incorporates aspects of growth rate, stand morphology, and reproductive mode. Soil carbon dioxide efflux rates were measured in a number of different hummock-hollow microhabitats. Approximately 75% of the variance associated with soil respiration could be explained by regression equations with soil moisture and soil temperature as independent variables. Carbohydrate limitation of soil microbial populations was demonstrated in both laboratory and field experiments.

  1. Does competition among ecosystem engineering species result in tradeoffs in the production of ecosystem services?

    EPA Science Inventory

    Production of ecosystem services depends on the ecological community structure at a given location. Ecosystem engineering species (EES) can strongly determine community structure, but do they consequently determine the production of ecosystem services? We explore this question ...

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-13

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

  3. Plant species richness and ecosystem multifunctionality in global drylands

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Experiments suggest that biodiversity enhances the ability of ecosystems to maintain multiple functions, such as carbon storage, productivity, and buildup of nutrient pools (multifunctionality). However, the relationship between biodiversity and multifunctionality has never been assessed globally in natural ecosystems. We report on the first global empirical study relating plant species richness and abiotic factors to multifunctionality in drylands, which collectively cover 41% of Earth’s land surface and support over 38% of the human population. Multifunctionality was positively and significantly related to species richness. The best-fitting models accounted for over 55% of the variation in multifunctionality, and always included species richness as a predictor variable. Our results suggest that preservation of plant biodiversity is crucial to buffer negative effects of climate change and desertification in drylands. PMID:22246775

  4. Plant species richness and ecosystem multifunctionality in global drylands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Maestre, Fernando T.; Quero, Jose L.; Gotelli, Nicholas J.; Escudero, Adrian; Ochoa, Victoria; Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Garcia-Gomez, Miguel; Bowker, Matthew A.; Soliveres, Santiago; Escolar, Cristina; Garcia-Palacios, Pablo; Berdugo, Miguel; Valencia, Enrique; Gozalo, Beatriz; Gallardo, Antonio; Aguilera, Lorgio; Arredondo, Tulio; Blones, Julio; Boeken, Bertrand; Bran, Donaldo; Conceicao, Abel A.; Cabrera, Omar; Chaieb, Mohamed; Derak, Mchich; Eldridge, David J.; Espinosa, Carlos I.; Florentino, Adriana; Gaitan, Juan; Gatica, M. Gabriel; Ghiloufi, Wahida; Gomez-Gonzalez, Susana; Gutie, Julio R.; Hernandez, Rosa M.; Huang, Xuewen; Huber-Sannwald, Elisabeth; Jankju, Mohammad; Miriti, Maria; Monerris, Jorge; Mau, Rebecca L.; Morici, Ernesto; Naseri, Kamal; Ospina, Abelardo; Polo, Vicente; Prina, Anibal; Pucheta, Eduardo; Ramirez-Collantes, David A.; Romao, Roberto; Tighe, Matthew; Torres-Diaz, Cristian; Val, James; Veiga, Jose P.; Wang, Deli; Zaady, Eli

    2012-01-01

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

  5. Engineering a plant community to deliver multiple ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Storkey, Jonathan; Döring, Thomas; Baddeley, John; Collins, Rosemary; Roderick, Stephen; Jones, Hannah; Watson, Christine

    2015-06-01

    The sustainable delivery of multiple ecosystem services requires the management of functionally diverse biological communities. In an agricultural context, an emphasis on food production has often led to a loss of biodiversity to the detriment of other ecosystem services such as the maintenance of soil health and pest regulation. In scenarios where multiple species can be grown together, it may be possible to better balance environmental and agronomic services through the targeted selection of companion species. We used the case study of legume-based cover crops to engineer a plant community that delivered the optimal balance of six ecosystem services: early productivity, regrowth following mowing, weed suppression, support of invertebrates, soil fertility building (measured as yield of following crop), and conservation of nutrients in the soil. An experimental species pool of 12 cultivated legume species was screened for a range of functional traits and ecosystem services at five sites across a geographical gradient in the United Kingdom. All possible species combinations were then analyzed, using a process-based model of plant competition, to identify the community that delivered the best balance of services at each site. In our system, low to intermediate levels of species richness (one to four species) that exploited functional contrasts in growth habit and phenology were identified as being optimal. The optimal solution was determined largely by the number of species and functional diversity represented by the starting species pool, emphasizing the importance of the initial selection of species for the screening experiments. The approach of using relationships between functional traits and ecosystem services to design multifunctional biological communities has the potential to inform the design of agricultural systems that better balance agronomic and environmental services and meet the current objective of European agricultural policy to maintain viable food

  6. Plant functional traits predict green roof ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Lundholm, Jeremy; Tran, Stephanie; Gebert, Luke

    2015-02-17

    Plants make important contributions to the services provided by engineered ecosystems such as green roofs. Ecologists use plant species traits as generic predictors of geographical distribution, interactions with other species, and ecosystem functioning, but this approach has been little used to optimize engineered ecosystems. Four plant species traits (height, individual leaf area, specific leaf area, and leaf dry matter content) were evaluated as predictors of ecosystem properties and services in a modular green roof system planted with 21 species. Six indicators of ecosystem services, incorporating thermal, hydrological, water quality, and carbon sequestration functions, were predicted by the four plant traits directly or indirectly via their effects on aggregate ecosystem properties, including canopy density and albedo. Species average height and specific leaf area were the most useful traits, predicting several services via effects on canopy density or growth rate. This study demonstrates that easily measured plant traits can be used to select species to optimize green roof performance across multiple key services.

  7. Management and fertility control ecosystem carbon allocation to biomass production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campioli, Matteo; Vicca, Sara; Janssens, Ivan

    2015-04-01

    Carbon (C) allocation within the ecosystem is one of the least understood processes in plant- and geo-sciences. The proportion of the C assimilated through photosynthesis (gross primary production, GPP) that is used for biomass production (BP) is a key variable of the C allocation process and it has been termed as biomass production efficiency (BPE). We investigated the potential drivers of BPE using a global dataset of BP, GPP, BPE and ancillary ecosystem characteristics (vegetation properties, climatic and environmental variables, anthropogenic impacts) for 131 sites comprising six major ecosystem types: forests, grasslands, croplands, tundra, boreal peatlands and marshes. We obtained two major findings. First, site fertility is the key driver of BPE across forests, with nutrient-rich forests allocating 58% of their photosynthates to BP, whereas this fraction is only 42% for nutrient-poor forests. Second, by disentangling the effect of management from the effect of fertility and by integrating all ecosystem types, we observed that BPE is globally not driven by the 'natural' site fertility, but by the positive effect brought by management on the nutrient availability. This resulted in managed ecosystems having substantially larger BPE than natural ecosystems. These findings will crucially improve our elucidation of the human impact on ecosystem functioning and our predictions of the global C cycle.

  8. Altered ecosystem carbon and nitrogen cycles by plant invasion: a meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Liao, Chengzhang; Peng, Ronghao; Luo, Yiqi; Zhou, Xuhui; Wu, Xiaowen; Fang, Changming; Chen, Jiakuan; Li, Bo

    2008-01-01

    Plant invasion potentially alters ecosystem carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycles. However, the overall direction and magnitude of such alterations are poorly quantified. Here, 94 experimental studies were synthesized, using a meta-analysis approach, to quantify the changes of 20 variables associated with C and N cycles, including their pools, fluxes, and other related parameters in response to plant invasion. Pool variables showed significant changes in invaded ecosystems relative to native ecosystems, ranging from a 5% increase in root carbon stock to a 133% increase in shoot C stock. Flux variables, such as above-ground net primary production and litter decomposition, increased by 50-120% in invaded ecosystems, compared with native ones. Plant N concentration, soil NH+4 and NO-3 concentrations were 40, 30 and 17% higher in invaded than in native ecosystems, respectively. Increases in plant production and soil N availability indicate that there was positive feedback between plant invasion and C and N cycles in invaded ecosystems. Invasions by woody and N-fixing plants tended to have greater impacts on C and N cycles than those by herbaceous and nonN-fixing plants, respectively. The responses to plant invasion are not different among forests, grasslands, and wetlands. All of these changes suggest that plant invasion profoundly influences ecosystem processes.

  9. Scale Impacts in Net Ecosystem Productivity Estimations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carvalhais, N.; Myneni, R.

    2004-12-01

    Net ecosystem production (NEP) estimations play a key role in the terrestrial carbon cycle assessment, both at regional and global scales studies. The emergence of remote sensing greatly improved NEP estimation methods and analysis domain. Yet, spatial and temporal resolution of sensors and remote sensing products often imply adjustments to NEP calculation methods. The Carnegie Ames Stanford Approach (CASA) terrestrial biogeochemical model (Potter et al., 1993; Friedlingstein et al., 1999) simulates plant and soil processes allowing the estimation of NEP through the difference between net primary productivity and soil respiration. CASA inputs include climatic data: precipitation, temperature and solar radiation; soil texture; vegetation type and percentage cover; as well as leaf area index (LAI), fraction of photosynthetically active radiation absorbed by vegetation (FPAR) and normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI). With a research interest in regional vegetation dynamics in the Iberian Peninsula (IP), estimations of NEP were compared with local measurements over a Quercus ilex and Quercus suber with perennial grassland ecosystem, representing a region characteristic land cover. The CASA calibration process aimed the tuning of efficiency scalars directly related to net primary productivity and soil respiration calculations, maximum light use efficiency (å*) and temperature effect on soil fluxes (Q10). To this end local weather station data was used as climatic inputs, with remotely sensed LAI, FPAR and NDVI products from MODIS sensor. In a first approach the NEP calculations were performed at a finer spatial and temporal resolution of 1 km and 8 days, respectively, for the periods of 2002 and 2003 (years of available NEP measurements). A confident correlation is found, although local extremes tend to differ and affect the annual balance concordance between estimations and measurements of NEP. Consequently, calibrated å* and Q10 values were used at coarser

  10. Decomposer diversity and identity influence plant diversity effects on ecosystem functioning.

    PubMed

    Eisenhauer, Nico; Reich, Peter B; Isbell, Forest

    2012-10-01

    Plant productivity and other ecosystem functions often increase with plant diversity at a local scale. Alongside various plant-centered explanations for this pattern, there is accumulating evidence that multi-trophic interactions shape this relationship. Here, we investigated for the first time if plant diversity effects on ecosystem functioning are mediated or driven by decomposer animal diversity and identity using a double-diversity microcosm experiment. We show that many ecosystem processes and ecosystem multifunctionality (herbaceous shoot biomass production, litter removal, and N uptake) were affected by both plant and decomposer diversity, with ecosystem process rates often being maximal at intermediate to high plant and decomposer diversity and minimal at both low plant and decomposer diversity. Decomposers relaxed interspecific plant competition by enlarging chemical (increased N uptake and surface-litter decomposition) and spatial (increasing deep-root biomass) habitat space and by promoting plant complementarity. Anecic earthworms and isopods functioned as key decomposers; although decomposer diversity effects did not solely rely on these two decomposer species, positive plant net biodiversity and complementarity effects only occurred in the absence of isopods and the presence of anecic earthworms. Using a structural equation model, we explained 76% of the variance in plant complementarity, identified direct and indirect effect paths, and showed that the presence of key decomposers accounted for approximately three-quarters of the explained variance. We conclude that decomposer animals have been underappreciated as contributing agents of plant diversity-ecosystem functioning relationships. Elevated decomposer performance at high plant diversity found in previous experiments likely positively feeds back to plant performance, thus contributing to the positive relationship between plant diversity and ecosystem functioning.

  11. Water release through plant roots: new insights into its consequences at the plant and ecosystem level.

    PubMed

    Prieto, Iván; Armas, Cristina; Pugnaire, Francisco I

    2012-03-01

    Hydraulic redistribution (HR) is the passive movement of water between different soil parts via plant root systems, driven by water potential gradients in the soil-plant interface. New data suggest that HR is a heterogeneous and patchy process. In this review we examine the main biophysical and environmental factors controlling HR and its main implications at the plant, community and ecosystem levels. Experimental evidence and the use of novel modelling approaches suggest that HR may have important implications at the community scale, affecting net primary productivity as well as water and vegetation dynamics. Globally, HR may influence hydrological and biogeochemical cycles and, ultimately, climate.

  12. Modeling the effects of organic nitrogen uptake by plants on the carbon cycling of boreal ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Q.; Zhuang, Q.

    2013-08-01

    Boreal forest and tundra are the major ecosystems in the northern high latitudes in which a large amount of carbon is stored. These ecosystems are nitrogen-limited due to slow mineralization rate of the soil organic nitrogen. Recently, abundant field studies have found that organic nitrogen is another important nitrogen supply for boreal ecosystems. In this study, we incorporated a mechanism that allowed boreal plants to uptake small molecular amino acids into a process-based biogeochemical model, the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (TEM), to evaluate the impact of organic nitrogen uptake on ecosystem carbon cycling. The new version of the model was evaluated at both boreal forest and tundra sites. We found that the modeled organic nitrogen uptake accounted for 36-87% of total nitrogen uptake by plants in tundra ecosystems and 26-50% for boreal forests, suggesting that tundra ecosystem might have more relied on the organic form of nitrogen than boreal forests. The simulated monthly gross ecosystem production (GPP) and net ecosystem production (NEP) tended to be larger with the new version of the model since the plant uptake of organic nitrogen alleviated the soil nitrogen limitation especially during the growing season. The sensitivity study indicated that the most important factors controlling the plant uptake of organic nitrogen were the maximum root uptake rate (Imax) and the radius of the root (r0) in our model. The model uncertainty due to uncertain parameters associated with organic nitrogen uptake at tundra ecosystem was larger than at boreal forest ecosystems. This study suggests that considering the organic nitrogen uptake by plants is important to boreal ecosystem carbon modeling.

  13. Plant diversity effects on ecosystem evapotranspiration and carbon uptake: a controlled environment (Ecotron) and modeling approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Milcu, Alexandru; Roy, Jacques

    2016-04-01

    Effects of species and functional diversity of plants on ecosystem evapotranspiration and carbon fluxes have been rarely assessed simultaneously. Here we present the results from an experiment that combined a lysimeter setup in a controlled environment facility (Ecotron) with large ecosystem samples/ monoliths originating from a long-term biodiversity experiment ("The Jena Experiment") and a modelling approach. We aimed at (1) quantifying the impact of plant species richness (4 vs. 16 species) on day- and night-time ecosystem water vapor fluxes and carbon uptake, (2) partitioning ecosystem evapotranspiration into evaporation and plant transpiration using the Shuttleworth and Wallace (SW) energy partitioning model, and (3) identifying the most parsimonious predictors of water vapor vapor and CO2 fluxes using plant functional trait-based metrics such as functional diversity and community weighted means. The SW model indicated that at low plant species richness, a higher proportion of the available energy was diverted to evaporation (a non-productive flux), while at higher species richness the proportion of ecosystem transpiration (a production-related water flux) increased. This led to an increased carbon gain per amount of water vapor loss (i.e. increased water use efficiency). While the LAI controlled the carbon and water fluxes, we also found that the diversity of plant functional traits, and in particular of leaf nitrogen concentration are potential important predictors of ecosystem transpiration and carbon uptake and consequently significantly contributed to increase in water use efficiency in communities with higher plant diversity.

  14. Ecosystem response to elevated CO(2) levels limited by nitrogen-induced plant species shift.

    PubMed

    Langley, J Adam; Megonigal, J Patrick

    2010-07-01

    Terrestrial ecosystems gain carbon through photosynthesis and lose it mostly in the form of carbon dioxide (CO(2)). The extent to which the biosphere can act as a buffer against rising atmospheric CO(2) concentration in global climate change projections remains uncertain at the present stage. Biogeochemical theory predicts that soil nitrogen (N) scarcity may limit natural ecosystem response to elevated CO(2) concentration, diminishing the CO(2)-fertilization effect on terrestrial plant productivity in unmanaged ecosystems. Recent models have incorporated such carbon-nitrogen interactions and suggest that anthropogenic N sources could help sustain the future CO(2)-fertilization effect. However, conclusive demonstration that added N enhances plant productivity in response to CO(2)-fertilization in natural ecosystems remains elusive. Here we manipulated atmospheric CO(2) concentration and soil N availability in a herbaceous brackish wetland where plant community composition is dominated by a C(3) sedge and C(4) grasses, and is capable of responding rapidly to environmental change. We found that N addition enhanced the CO(2)-stimulation of plant productivity in the first year of a multi-year experiment, indicating N-limitation of the CO(2) response. But we also found that N addition strongly promotes the encroachment of C(4) plant species that respond less strongly to elevated CO(2) concentrations. Overall, we found that the observed shift in the plant community composition ultimately suppresses the CO(2)-stimulation of plant productivity by the third and fourth years. Although extensive research has shown that global change factors such as elevated CO(2) concentrations and N pollution affect plant species differently and that they may drive plant community changes, we demonstrate that plant community shifts can act as a feedback effect that alters the whole ecosystem response to elevated CO(2) concentrations. Moreover, we suggest that trade-offs between the abilities

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Korrensalo, A.

    2015-12-01

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

  16. Fungal life-styles and ecosystem dynamics: biological aspects of plant pathogens, plant endophytes and saprophytes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rodriguez, R.J.; Redman, R.S.

    1997-01-01

    This chapter discusses various biochemical, genetic, ecological, and evolutionary aspects of fungi that express either symbiotic or saprophytic life-styles. An enormous pool of potential pathogens exists in both agricultural and natural ecosystems, and virtually all plant species are susceptible to one or more fungal pathogens. Fungal pathogens have the potential to impact on the genetic structure of populations of individual plant species, the composition of plant communities and the process of plant succession. Endophytic fungi exist for at least part of their life cycles within the tissues of a plant host. This group of fungi is distinguished from plant pathogens because they do not elicit significant disease symptoms. However, endophytes do maintain the genetic and biochemical mechanisms required for infection and colonization of plant hosts. Fungi that obtain chemical nutrients from dead organic matter are known as saprophytes and are critical to the dynamics and resilience of ecosystems. There are two modes of saprophytic growth: one in which biomolecules that are amenable to transport across cell walls and membranes are directly absorbed, and another in which fungi must actively convert complex biopolymers into subunit forms amenable to transportation into cells. Regardless of life-style, fungi employ similar biochemical mechanisms for the acquisition and conversion of nutrients into complex biomolecules that are necessary for vegetative growth, production and dissemination of progeny, organismal competition, and survival during periods of nutrient deprivation or environmental inclemency.

  17. Photosynthetic properties of boreal bog plant species and their contribution to ecosystem level carbon sink

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Korrensalo, Aino; Hájek, Tomas; Alekseychik, Pavel; Rinne, Janne; Vesala, Timo; Mehtätalo, Lauri; Mammarella, Ivan; Tuittila, Eeva-Stiina

    2016-04-01

    Boreal bogs have a low number of plant species, but a large diversity of growth forms. This heterogeneity might explain the seasonally less varying photosynthetic productivity of these ecosystems compared to peatlands with vegetation consisting of fewer growth forms. The differences in photosynthetic properties within bog species and phases of growing season has not been comprehensively studied. Also the role of different plant species for the ecosystem level carbon (C) sink function is insufficiently known. We quantified the seasonal variation of photosynthetic properties in bog plant species and assessed how this variation accounts for the temporal variation in the ecosystem C sink. Photosynthetic light response of 11 vascular plant and 8 Sphagnum moss species was measured monthly over the growing season of 2013. Based on the species' light response parameters, leaf area development and areal coverage, we estimated the ecosystem level gross photosynthesis rate (PG) over the growing season. The level of upscaled PG was verified by comparing it to the ecosystem gross primary production (GPP) estimate calculated based on eddy covariance (EC) measurements. Although photosynthetic parameters differed within plant species and months, these differences were of less importance than expected for the variation in ecosystem level C sink. The most productive plant species at the ecosystem scale were not those with the highest maximum potential photosynthesis per unit of leaf area (Pmax), but those having the largest areal coverage. Sphagnum mosses had 35% smaller Pmax than vascular plants, but had higher photosynthesis at the ecosystem scale throughout the growing season. The contribution of the bog plant species to the ecosystem level PG differed over the growing season. The seasonal variation in ecosystem C sink was mainly controlled by phenology. Sedge PG had a sharp mid-summer peak, but the PG of evergreen shrubs and Sphagna remained rather stable over the growing season

  18. Herbivore regulation of plant abundance in aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Wood, Kevin A; O'Hare, Matthew T; McDonald, Claire; Searle, Kate R; Daunt, Francis; Stillman, Richard A

    2017-05-01

    Herbivory is a fundamental process that controls primary producer abundance and regulates energy and nutrient flows to higher trophic levels. Despite the recent proliferation of small-scale studies on herbivore effects on aquatic plants, there remains limited understanding of the factors that control consumer regulation of vascular plants in aquatic ecosystems. Our current knowledge of the regulation of primary producers has hindered efforts to understand the structure and functioning of aquatic ecosystems, and to manage such ecosystems effectively. We conducted a global meta-analysis of the outcomes of plant-herbivore interactions using a data set comprised of 326 values from 163 studies, in order to test two mechanistic hypotheses: first, that greater negative changes in plant abundance would be associated with higher herbivore biomass densities; second, that the magnitude of changes in plant abundance would vary with herbivore taxonomic identity. We found evidence that plant abundance declined with increased herbivore density, with plants eliminated at high densities. Significant between-taxa differences in impact were detected, with insects associated with smaller reductions in plant abundance than all other taxa. Similarly, birds caused smaller reductions in plant abundance than echinoderms, fish, or molluscs. Furthermore, larger reductions in plant abundance were detected for fish relative to crustaceans. We found a positive relationship between herbivore species richness and change in plant abundance, with the strongest reductions in plant abundance reported for low herbivore species richness, suggesting that greater herbivore diversity may protect against large reductions in plant abundance. Finally, we found that herbivore-plant nativeness was a key factor affecting the magnitude of herbivore impacts on plant abundance across a wide range of species assemblages. Assemblages comprised of invasive herbivores and native plant assemblages were associated with

  19. Can Plant-Based Engineered Ecosystems be made Practical?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bubenheim, D.; Flynn, M.

    Plant-based engineered ecosystems may serve as life support systems for future space exploration and habitation missions. Experience with engineered ecosystem studies on the ground show that, while the concept is sound, the systems are too large, heavy and energy intensive to be considered practical. System performance guidelines are suggested for plant-based engineered ecosystems to achieve practicality. We consider the functional elements of an engineered ecosystem (food, atmosphere, water, waste) operating in a closed-mass envelope and evaluate the potential for technology options within each element to meet the guidelines. We answer the question posed in the title and suggest alternative system configurations and design constraints for future engineered ecosystem testing.

  20. Plant metabolite profiles and the buffering capacities of ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Fester, Thomas

    2015-02-01

    In spite of some inherent challenges, metabolite profiling is becoming increasingly popular under field conditions. It has been used successfully to address topics like species interactions, connections between growth and chemical stoichiometry or the plant's stress response. Stress exerts a particularly clear impact on plant metabolomes and has become a central topic in many metabolite profiling experiments in the fields. In contrast to phytochambers, however, external stress is often at least partially absorbed by the environment when measuring under field conditions. Such stress-buffering capacities of (agro)-ecosystems are of crucial interest given the ever-increasing anthropogenic impact on ecosystems and this review promotes the idea of using plant metabolite profiles for respective measurements. More specifically I propose to use parameters of the response of key plant species to a given stress treatment as proxies for measuring and comparing stress-buffering capacities of ecosystems. Stress response parameters accessible by metabolite profiling comprise for example the intensity or duration of the impact of stress or the ability of the plant organism to recover from this impact after a given time. Analyses of ecosystem stress-buffering capacities may improve our understanding of how ecosystems cope with stress and may improve our abilities to predict ecosystem changes.

  1. A model of global net ecosystem production

    SciTech Connect

    Potter, C.S.; Matson, P.A. ); Field, C.B.; Randerson, J. ); Vitousek, P.M.; Mooney, H.A. )

    1993-06-01

    We present an ecosystem modeling approach to resolve global climate and edaphic controls on seasonal NEP patterns. Global remote sensing, climate and land surface data sets are used as inputs to drive a terrestrial carbon cycle model at 1[degrees]lat/lon resolution. monthly net primary productivity (NPP) is calculated using surface radiation and NDVI to determine photosynthesis, which is subsequently adjusted by temperature, water and nitrogen stress factors. Total nitrogen availability is coupled to net mineralization rates from litter soil carbon pools. Soil respiration and NPP balance one another globally at around 60 Gt C yr[sup [minus]1]. The seasonal amplitude of global NEP is 1.2 Gt C. Although substantial month-to-month variation is observed for tropical forest areas, seasonal amplitude is driven globally by boreal and temperate forest ecosystems between 650 and 30[degrees] N latitude.

  2. Seasonal shift in factors controlling net ecosystem production in a high Arctic terrestrial ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Uchida, Masaki; Kishimoto, Ayaka; Muraoka, Hiroyuki; Nakatsubo, Takayuki; Kanda, Hiroshi; Koizumi, Hiroshi

    2010-01-01

    We examined factors controlling temporal changes in net ecosystem production (NEP) in a high Arctic polar semi-desert ecosystem in the snow-free season. We examined the relationships between NEP and biotic and abiotic factors in a dominant plant community (Salix polaris-moss) in the Norwegian high Arctic. Just after snowmelt in early July, the ecosystem released CO(2) into the atmosphere. A few days after snowmelt, however, the ecosystem became a CO(2) sink as the leaves of S. polaris developed. Diurnal changes in NEP mirrored changes in light incidence (photosynthetic photon flux density, PPFD) in summer. NEP was significantly correlated with PPFD when S. polaris had fully developed leaves, i.e., high photosynthetic activity. In autumn, NEP values decreased as S. polaris underwent senescence. During this time, CO(2) was sometimes released into the atmosphere. In wet conditions, moss made a larger contribution to NEP. In fact, the water content of the moss regulated NEP during autumn. Our results indicate that the main factors controlling NEP in summer are coverage and growth of S. polaris, PPFD, and precipitation. In autumn, the main factor controlling NEP is moss water content.

  3. Plant invasion impacts on the gross and net primary production of the salt marsh on eastern coast of China: Insights from leaf to ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ge, Zhen-Ming; Guo, Hai-Qiang; Zhao, Bin; Zhang, Li-Quan

    2015-01-01

    exotic Spartina alterniflora from North America has been rapidly invading the entire Chinese coast, while the impacts of plant invasion on the gross (GPP) and net primary production (NPP) of the coastal salt marshes were less known. In this study, we investigated the photosynthetic performance, leaf characteristics, and primary production of the exotic C4 grass and the dominant native C3 grass (Phragmites australis) in two marsh mixtures (equipped with eddy covariance systems) in the Yangtze Estuary. The light-saturated photosynthetic rate and annual peak leaf area index (LAI) of S. alterniflora was higher than that of P. australis throughout the growing season. The leaf nitrogen content of P. australis declined sharper during the latter growing season than that of S. alterniflora. The leaf-to-canopy production model with species-specific (C3 and C4 types) parameterizations could reasonably simulate the daily trends and annual GPP amount against the 3 year flux measurements from 2005 to 2007, and the modeled NPP agreed with biomass measurements from the two species during 2012. The percentage contributions of GPP between S. alterniflora and P. australis were on average 5.82:1 and 2.91:1 in the two mixtures, respectively. The annual NPP amounts from S. alterniflora were higher by approximately 1.6 times than that from P. australis. Our results suggested that higher photosynthesis efficiency, higher LAI, and longer growing season resulted in greater GPP and NPP in the exotic species relative to the native species. The rapid expansion rate of S. alterniflora further made it the leading contributor of primary production in the salt marsh.

  4. Biodiversity increases the resistance of ecosystem productivity to climate extremes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    It remains unclear whether biodiversity buffers ecosystems against extreme climate events, which are becoming increasingly frequent worldwide. Although early results suggested that biodiversity might provide both resistance and resilience (sensu rapid recovery) of ecosystem productivity to drought, ...

  5. Noise-induced stability in dryland plant ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    D'Odorico, Paolo; Laio, Francesco; Ridolfi, Luca

    2005-01-01

    Dryland plant ecosystems tend to exhibit bistable dynamics with two preferential configurations of bare and vegetated soils. Climate fluctuations are usually believed to act as a source of disturbance on these ecosystems and to reduce their stability and resilience. In contrast, this work shows that random interannual fluctuations of precipitation may lead to the emergence of an intermediate statistically stable condition between the two stable states of the deterministic dynamics of vegetation. As a result, there is an enhancement of ecosystem resilience and a decrease in the likelihood of catastrophic shifts to the desert state. PMID:16043699

  6. Incorporating plant functional diversity effects in ecosystem service assessments.

    PubMed

    Díaz, Sandra; Lavorel, Sandra; de Bello, Francesco; Quétier, Fabien; Grigulis, Karl; Robson, T Matthew

    2007-12-26

    Global environmental change affects the sustained provision of a wide set of ecosystem services. Although the delivery of ecosystem services is strongly affected by abiotic drivers and direct land use effects, it is also modulated by the functional diversity of biological communities (the value, range, and relative abundance of functional traits in a given ecosystem). The focus of this article is on integrating the different possible mechanisms by which functional diversity affects ecosystem properties that are directly relevant to ecosystem services. We propose a systematic way for progressing in understanding how land cover change affects these ecosystem properties through functional diversity modifications. Models on links between ecosystem properties and the local mean, range, and distribution of plant trait values are numerous, but they have been scattered in the literature, with varying degrees of empirical support and varying functional diversity components analyzed. Here we articulate these different components in a single conceptual and methodological framework that allows testing them in combination. We illustrate our approach with examples from the literature and apply the proposed framework to a grassland system in the central French Alps in which functional diversity, by responding to land use change, alters the provision of ecosystem services important to local stakeholders. We claim that our framework contributes to opening a new area of research at the interface of land change science and fundamental ecology.

  7. Within and between population variation in plant traits predicts ecosystem functions associated with a dominant plant species

    PubMed Central

    Breza, Lauren C; Souza, Lara; Sanders, Nathan J; Classen, Aimée T

    2012-01-01

    Linking intraspecific variation in plant traits to ecosystem carbon uptake may allow us to better predict how shift in populations shape ecosystem function. We investigated whether plant populations of a dominant old-field plant species (Solidago altissima) differed in carbon dynamics and if variation in plant traits among genotypes and between populations predicted carbon dynamics. We established a common garden experiment with 35 genotypes from three populations of S. altissima from either Tennessee (southern populations) or Connecticut (northern populations) to ask whether: (1) southern and northern Solidago populations will differ in aboveground productivity, leaf area, flowering time and duration, and whole ecosystem carbon uptake, (2) intraspecific trait variation (growth and reproduction) will be related to intraspecific variation in gross ecosystem CO2 exchange (GEE) and net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) within and between northern and southern populations. GEE and NEE were 4.8× and 2× greater in southern relative to northern populations. Moreover, southern populations produced 13× more aboveground biomass and 1.4× more inflorescence mass than did northern populations. Flowering dynamics (first- and last-day flowering and flowering duration) varied significantly among genotypes in both the southern and northern populations, but plant performance and ecosystem function did not. Both productivity and inflorescence mass predicted NEE and GEE between S. altissima southern and northern populations. Taken together, our data demonstrate that variation between S. altissima populations in performance and flowering traits are strong predictors of ecosystem function in a dominant old-field species and suggest that populations of the same species might differ substantially in their response to environmental perturbations. PMID:22833791

  8. Chemolithotrophic primary production in a subglacial ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Boyd, Eric S; Hamilton, Trinity L; Havig, Jeff R; Skidmore, Mark L; Shock, Everett L

    2014-10-01

    Glacial comminution of bedrock generates fresh mineral surfaces capable of sustaining chemotrophic microbial communities under the dark conditions that pervade subglacial habitats. Geochemical and isotopic evidence suggests that pyrite oxidation is a dominant weathering process generating protons that drive mineral dissolution in many subglacial systems. Here, we provide evidence correlating pyrite oxidation with chemosynthetic primary productivity and carbonate dissolution in subglacial sediments sampled from Robertson Glacier (RG), Alberta, Canada. Quantification and sequencing of ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (RuBisCO) transcripts suggest that populations closely affiliated with Sideroxydans lithotrophicus, an iron sulfide-oxidizing autotrophic bacterium, are abundant constituents of microbial communities at RG. Microcosm experiments indicate sulfate production during biological assimilation of radiolabeled bicarbonate. Geochemical analyses of subglacial meltwater indicate that increases in sulfate levels are associated with increased calcite and dolomite dissolution. Collectively, these data suggest a role for biological pyrite oxidation in driving primary productivity and mineral dissolution in a subglacial environment and provide the first rate estimate for bicarbonate assimilation in these ecosystems. Evidence for lithotrophic primary production in this contemporary subglacial environment provides a plausible mechanism to explain how subglacial communities could be sustained in near-isolation from the atmosphere during glacial-interglacial cycles.

  9. Chemolithotrophic Primary Production in a Subglacial Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Hamilton, Trinity L.; Havig, Jeff R.; Skidmore, Mark L.; Shock, Everett L.

    2014-01-01

    Glacial comminution of bedrock generates fresh mineral surfaces capable of sustaining chemotrophic microbial communities under the dark conditions that pervade subglacial habitats. Geochemical and isotopic evidence suggests that pyrite oxidation is a dominant weathering process generating protons that drive mineral dissolution in many subglacial systems. Here, we provide evidence correlating pyrite oxidation with chemosynthetic primary productivity and carbonate dissolution in subglacial sediments sampled from Robertson Glacier (RG), Alberta, Canada. Quantification and sequencing of ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (RuBisCO) transcripts suggest that populations closely affiliated with Sideroxydans lithotrophicus, an iron sulfide-oxidizing autotrophic bacterium, are abundant constituents of microbial communities at RG. Microcosm experiments indicate sulfate production during biological assimilation of radiolabeled bicarbonate. Geochemical analyses of subglacial meltwater indicate that increases in sulfate levels are associated with increased calcite and dolomite dissolution. Collectively, these data suggest a role for biological pyrite oxidation in driving primary productivity and mineral dissolution in a subglacial environment and provide the first rate estimate for bicarbonate assimilation in these ecosystems. Evidence for lithotrophic primary production in this contemporary subglacial environment provides a plausible mechanism to explain how subglacial communities could be sustained in near-isolation from the atmosphere during glacial-interglacial cycles. PMID:25085483

  10. Chemical sensing of plant stress at the ecosystem scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karl, T.; Guenther, A.; Turnipseed, A.; Patton, E. G.; Jardine, K.

    2008-06-01

    Significant ecosystem-scale emissions of methylsalicylate (MeSA), a semivolatile plant hormone thought to act as the mobile signal for systemic acquired resistance (SAR) (Park et al., 2006), were observed in an agroforest. Our measurements show that plant internal defence mechanisms can be activated in response to temperature stress and are modulated by water availability on large scales. Highest MeSA fluxes (up to 0.25 mg/m2/h) were observed after plants experienced ambient night-time temperatures of ~7.5°C followed by a large daytime temperature increase (e.g. up to 22°C). Under these conditions estimated night-time leaf temperatures were as low as ~4.6°C, likely inducing a response to prevent chilling injury (Ding et al., 2002). Our observations imply that plant hormones can be a significant component of ecosystem scale volatile organic compound (VOC) fluxes (e.g. as high as the total monoterpene (MT) flux) and therefore contribute to the missing VOC budget (de Carlo et al., 2004; Goldstein and Galbally, 2007). If generalized to other ecosystems and different types of stresses these findings suggest that semivolatile plant hormones have been overlooked by investigations of the impact of biogenic VOCs on aerosol formation events in forested regions (Kulmala et al., 2001; Boy et al., 2000). Our observations show that the presence of MeSA in canopy air serves as an early chemical warning signal indicating ecosystem-scale stresses before visible damage becomes apparent. As a chemical metric, ecosystem emission measurements of MeSA in ambient air could therefore support field studies investigating factors that adversely affect plant growth.

  11. Chemical sensing of plant stress at the ecosystem scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karl, T.; Guenther, A.; Turnipseed, A.; Patton, E. G.; Jardine, K.

    2008-09-01

    Significant ecosystem-scale emissions of methylsalicylate (MeSA), a semivolatile plant hormone thought to act as the mobile signal for systemic acquired resistance (SAR), were observed in an agroforest. Our measurements show that plant internal defence mechanisms can be activated in response to temperature stress and are modulated by water availability on large scales. Highest MeSA fluxes (up to 0.25 mg/m2/h) were observed after plants experienced ambient night-time temperatures of ~7.5°C followed by a large daytime temperature increase (e.g. up to 22°C). Under these conditions estimated night-time leaf temperatures were as low as ~4.6°C, likely inducing a response to prevent chilling injury. Our observations imply that plant hormones can be a significant component of ecosystem scale volatile organic compound (VOC) fluxes (e.g. as high as the total monoterpene (MT) flux) and therefore contribute to the missing VOC budget. If generalized to other ecosystems and different types of stresses these findings suggest that semivolatile plant hormones have been overlooked by investigations of the impact of biogenic VOCs on aerosol formation events in forested regions. Our observations show that the presence of MeSA in canopy air serves as an early chemical warning signal indicating ecosystem-scale stresses before visible damage becomes apparent. As a chemical metric, ecosystem emission measurements of MeSA in ambient air could therefore support field studies investigating factors that adversely affect plant growth.

  12. Modeling the effects of organic nitrogen uptake by plants on the carbon cycling of boreal forest and tundra ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Q.; Zhuang, Q.

    2013-12-01

    Boreal forest and tundra are the major ecosystems in the northern high latitudes in which a large amount of carbon is stored. These ecosystems are nitrogen-limited due to slow mineralization rate of the soil organic nitrogen. Recently, abundant field studies have found that organic nitrogen is another important nitrogen supply for boreal forest and tundra ecosystems. In this study, we incorporated a mechanism that allowed boreal plants to uptake small molecular amino acids into a process-based biogeochemical model, the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (TEM), to evaluate the impact of organic nitrogen uptake on ecosystem carbon cycling. The new version of the model was evaluated for both boreal forest and tundra sites. We found that the modeled organic nitrogen uptake accounted for 36-87% of total nitrogen uptake by plants in tundra ecosystems and 26-50% for boreal forests, suggesting that tundra ecosystem might have more relied on the organic form of nitrogen than boreal forests. The simulated monthly gross ecosystem production (GPP) and net ecosystem production (NEP) tended to be larger with the new version of the model since the plant uptake of organic nitrogen alleviated the soil nitrogen limitation especially during the growing season. The sensitivity study indicated that the most important factors controlling the plant uptake of organic nitrogen was the soil amino acid diffusion coefficient (De) in our model, suggesting that the organic nitrogen uptake by plants is likely to be regulated by the edaphic characteristics of diffusion. The model uncertainty due to uncertain parameters associated with organic nitrogen uptake of the tundra ecosystem was larger than the boreal forest ecosystems. This study suggests that considering the organic nitrogen uptake by plants is important to carbon modeling of boreal forest and tundra ecosystems.

  13. The Coupling of Ecosystem Productivity and Water Availability in Dryland Regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scott, R. L.; Biederman, J. A.; Barron-Gafford, G.

    2014-12-01

    Land cover and climatic change will alter biosphere-atmosphere exchanges of water vapor and carbon dioxide depending, in part, on feedbacks between biotic activity and water availability. Eddy covariance observations allow us to estimate ecosystem-scale productivity and respiration, and these datasets are now becoming sufficiently mature to advance understanding of these ecohydrological interactions. Here we use a network of sites in semiarid western North America representing gradients of water availability and functional plant type. We examine how precipitation (P) controls evapotranspiration (ET), net ecosystem production (NEP), and its component fluxes of ecosystem respiration (Reco) and gross ecosystem production (GEP). Despite the high variability in seasonal and annual precipitation timing and amounts that we expect to influence ecosystem function, we find persistent overall relationships between P or ET and the fluxes of NEP, Reco and GEP across the network, indicating a commonality and resilience in ecosystem soil and plant response to water availability. But we also observe several important site differences such as prior seasonal legacy effects on subsequent fluxes which vary depending on dominant plant functional type. For example, multiyear droughts, episodic cool-season droughts, and hard winter freezes seem to affect the herbaceous species differently than the woody ones. Nevertheless, the overall, strong coupling between hydrologic and ecologic processes at these sites bolsters our ability to predict the response of dryland ecosystems to future precipitation change.

  14. Plant community composition promotes multiple ecosystem functions in grassland at low and high soil fertility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Deyn, Gerlinde; Ostle, Nick; Bardgett, Richard

    2010-05-01

    It is well known that plant species richness can enhance primary productivity through complementarity in resource use by component plant species. Fewer studies have explored the role of plant species diversity and composition for the delivery of other ecosystem services than primary production and its dependency on resource availability. In this study we investigated how carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) stocks in vegetation, soil and soil microbes, the loss of C and N from soil through leaching and ecosystem exchange rates of CO2 are affected by the composition and richness of grassland plant communities and soil fertility. We used two soils of contrasting fertility in which we planted plant communities using a pool of six plant species from one of three functional groups (legumes, forbs and C3 grasses). The levels of plant species richness were one, two, three or six species and were composed of one, two or three functional groups. Soil fertility stimulated pools of C and N in shoots and roots, and the soil microbial biomass, but also increased significantly with increased plant functional group and plant species richness. Moreover, plant diversity suppressed N and water loss via soil leaching. We also found changes in the C and N content in soil, but these were not related to the richness of plant species or functional groups. The changes in soil were rather specifically due to the abundance of the legumes. The leaching of water and N was related negative to plant species richness but also specifically to the abundance of the forb species. Our findings show that the relation between plant community composition and storage of C and N in vegetation is not directly reflected in the changes in C and N storage in soil. These soil based storage functions, and the leaching of N from soil, appeared to be most strongly related to different key plant species. Together these results indicate that the maintenance of plant diversity is important to sustain the multiple functions

  15. Noise-induced stability in dryland plant ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Odorico, Paolo; Laio, Francesco; Ridolfi, Luca

    2005-08-01

    Dryland plant ecosystems tend to exhibit bistable dynamics with two preferential configurations of bare and vegetated soils. Climate fluctuations are usually believed to act as a source of disturbance on these ecosystems and to reduce their stability and resilience. In contrast, this work shows that random interannual fluctuations of precipitation may lead to the emergence of an intermediate statistically stable condition between the two stable states of the deterministic dynamics of vegetation. As a result, there is an enhancement of ecosystem resilience and a decrease in the likelihood of catastrophic shifts to the desert state. Author contributions: P.D., F.L., and L.R. designed research; P.D., F.L., and L.R. performed research; and P.D. wrote the paper.This paper was submitted directly (Track II) to the PNAS office.‡On leave at: Dipartimento di Idraulica, Trasporti ed Infrastrutture Civili, Politecnico di Torino, 10129 Torino, Italy.

  16. Assessing the transferability of ecosystem service production estimates and functions

    EPA Science Inventory

    Estimates of ecosystem service (ES) production, and their responses to stressors or policy actions, may be obtained by direct measurement, other empirical studies, or modeling. Direct measurement is costly and often impractical, and thus many studies transfer ES production estim...

  17. Linking Ecosystem Services Benefit Transfer Databases and Ecosystem Services Production Function Libraries

    EPA Science Inventory

    The quantification or estimation of the economic and non-economic values of ecosystem services can be done from a number of distinct approaches. For example, practitioners may use ecosystem services production function models (ESPFMs) for a particular location, or alternatively, ...

  18. Net ecosystem production: A comprehensive measure of net carbon accumulation by ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Randerson, J.T.; Chapin, F. S.; Harden, J.W.; Neff, J.C.; Harmon, M.E.

    2002-01-01

    The conceptual framework used by ecologists and biogeochemists must allow for accurate and clearly defined comparisons of carbon fluxes made with disparate techniques across a spectrum of temporal and spatial scales. Consistent with usage over the past four decades, we define "net ecosystem production" (NEP) as the net carbon accumulation by ecosystems. Past use of this term has been ambiguous, because it has been used conceptually as a measure of carbon accumulation by ecosystems, but it has often been calculated considering only the balance between gross primary production (GPP) and ecosystem respiration. This calculation ignores other carbon fluxes from ecosystems (e.g., leaching of dissolved carbon and losses associated with disturbance). To avoid conceptual ambiguities, we argue that NEP be defined, as in the past, as the net carbon accumulation by ecosystems and that it explicitly incorporate all the carbon fluxes from an ecosystem, including autotrophic respiration, heterotrophic respiration, losses associated with disturbance, dissolved and particulate carbon losses, volatile organic compound emissions, and lateral transfers among ecosystems. Net biome productivity (NBP), which has been proposed to account for carbon loss during episodic disturbance, is equivalent to NEP at regional or global scales. The multi-scale conceptual framework we describe provides continuity between flux measurements made at the scale of soil profiles and chambers, forest inventories, eddy covariance towers, aircraft, and inversions of remote atmospheric flask samples, allowing a direct comparison of NEP estimates made at all temporal and spatial scales.

  19. Plant hydraulics as a central hub integrating plant and ecosystem function: meeting report for 'Emerging Frontiers in Plant Hydraulics' (Washington, DC, May 2015).

    PubMed

    Sack, Lawren; Ball, Marilyn C; Brodersen, Craig; Davis, Stephen D; Des Marais, David L; Donovan, Lisa A; Givnish, Thomas J; Hacke, Uwe G; Huxman, Travis; Jansen, Steven; Jacobsen, Anna L; Johnson, Daniel M; Koch, George W; Maurel, Christophe; McCulloh, Katherine A; McDowell, Nate G; McElrone, Andrew; Meinzer, Frederick C; Melcher, Peter J; North, Gretchen; Pellegrini, Matteo; Pockman, William T; Pratt, R Brandon; Sala, Anna; Santiago, Louis S; Savage, Jessica A; Scoffoni, Christine; Sevanto, Sanna; Sperry, John; Tyerman, Stephen D; Way, Danielle; Holbrook, N Michele

    2016-09-01

    Water plays a central role in plant biology and the efficiency of water transport throughout the plant affects both photosynthetic rate and growth, an influence that scales up deterministically to the productivity of terrestrial ecosystems. Moreover, hydraulic traits mediate the ways in which plants interact with their abiotic and biotic environment. At landscape to global scale, plant hydraulic traits are important in describing the function of ecological communities and ecosystems. Plant hydraulics is increasingly recognized as a central hub within a network by which plant biology is connected to palaeobiology, agronomy, climatology, forestry, community and ecosystem ecology and earth-system science. Such grand challenges as anticipating and mitigating the impacts of climate change, and improving the security and sustainability of our food supply rely on our fundamental knowledge of how water behaves in the cells, tissues, organs, bodies and diverse communities of plants. A workshop, 'Emerging Frontiers in Plant Hydraulics' supported by the National Science Foundation, was held in Washington DC, 2015 to promote open discussion of new ideas, controversies regarding measurements and analyses, and especially, the potential for expansion of up-scaled and down-scaled inter-disciplinary research, and the strengthening of connections between plant hydraulic research, allied fields and global modelling efforts.

  20. Production of virus resistant plants

    DOEpatents

    Dougherty, W.G.; Lindbo, J.A.

    1996-12-10

    A method of suppressing virus gene expression in plants using untranslatable plus sense RNA is disclosed. The method is useful for the production of plants that are resistant to virus infection. 9 figs.

  1. [Nitric oxide production in plants].

    PubMed

    Małolepsza, Urszula

    2007-01-01

    There are still many controversial observations and opinions on the cellular/subcellular localization and sources of endogenous nitric oxide synthesis in plant cells. NO can be produced in plants by non-enzymatic and enzymatic systems depending on plant species, organ or tissue as well as on physiological state of the plant and changing environmental conditions. The best documented reactions in plant that contribute to NO production are NO production from nitrite as a substrate by cytosolic (cNR) and membrane bound (PM-NR) nitrate reductases (NR), and NO production by several arginine-dependent nitric oxide synthase-like activities (NOS). The latest papers indicate that mitochondria are an important source of arginine- and nitrite-dependent NO production in plants. There are other potential enzymatic sources of NO in plants including xanthine oxidoreductase, peroxidase, cytochrome P450.

  2. Warming and Carbon Dioxide Enrichment Alter Plant Production and Ecosystem gas Exchange in a Semi-Arid Grassland Through Direct Responses to Global Change Factors and Indirect Effects on Water Relations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morgan, J. A.; Pendall, E.; Williams, D. G.; Bachman, S.; Dijkstra, F. A.; Lecain, D. R.; Follett, R.

    2007-12-01

    The Prairie Heating and CO2 Enrichment (PHACE) experiment was initiated in Spring, 2007 to evaluate the combined effects of warming and elevated CO2 on a northern mixed-grass prairie. Thirty 3-m diameter circular experimental plots were installed in Spring, 2006 at the USDA-ARS High Plains Grasslands Research Station, just west of Cheyenne, WY, USA. Twenty plots were assigned to a two-level factorial combination of two CO2 concentrations (present ambient, 380 ppmV; and elevated, 600 ppmV), and two levels of temperature (present ambient; and elevated temperature, 1.5/3.0 C warmer day/night), with five replications for each treatment. Five of the ten remaining plots were subjected to either frequent, small water additions throughout the growing season, and the other five to a deep watering once or twice during the growing season. The watering treatments were imposed to simulate hypothesized water savings in the CO2-enriched plots, and to contrast the influence of variable water dynamics on ecosystem processes. Carbon dioxide enrichment of the ten CO2- enriched plots is accomplished with Free Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) technology and occurs during daylight hours of the mid-April - October growing season. Warming is done year-round with circularly-arranged ceramic heater arrays positioned above the ring perimeters, and with temperature feed-backs to control day/night canopy surface temperatures. Carbon dioxide enrichment began in Spring, 2006, and warming was added in Spring, 2007. Results from the first year of CO2 enrichment (2006) confirmed earlier reports that CO2 increases productivity in semi-arid grasslands (21% increase in peak seasonal above ground biomass for plants grown under elevated CO2 compared to non-enriched controls), and that the response was related to CO2- induced water savings. Growth at elevated CO2 reduced leaf carbon isotope discrimination and N concentrations in plants compared to results obtained in control plots, but the magnitude of changes

  3. Effects of roads on adjacent plant community composition and ecosystem function: An example from three calcareous ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Lee, Mark A; Davies, Linda; Power, Sally A

    2012-04-01

    Roads and exhaust emissions can affect plant communities directly, for example via direct foliar uptake of exhaust products, or indirectly via changes to soil biogeochemistry and hydrology. A transect study adjacent to roads of different traffic densities was carried out at three species-rich calcareous grasslands in south eastern England. Measured annual NO(2) concentrations and modelled NH(3) concentrations increased towards the roads and with higher traffic densities, and there was evidence of increased soil moisture, pH and heavy metal concentrations at roadsides. Increases in the abundance of nitrogen (N) tolerant species and grasses at roadsides were associated with N enrichment from vehicle exhausts at two of the sites. In contrast plant species richness, the abundance of forb and moss species declined at roadside locations. As vehicle usage spreads across the world, it is increasingly important to understand the effects of road traffic on adjacent ecosystems to inform traffic and conservation management policies.

  4. Emerging fungal threats to animal, plant and ecosystem health

    PubMed Central

    Fisher, Matthew C.; Henk, Daniel. A.; Briggs, Cheryl J.; Brownstein, John S.; Madoff, Lawrence C.; McCraw, Sarah L.; Gurr, Sarah J.

    2013-01-01

    The past two decades have seen an increasing number of virulent infectious diseases in natural populations and managed landscapes. In both animals and plants, an unprecedented number of fungal and fungal-like diseases have recently caused some of the most severe die-offs and extinctions ever witnessed in wild species, and are jeopardizing food security. Human activity is intensifying fungal disease dispersal by modifying natural environments and thus creating new opportunities for evolution. We argue that nascent fungal infections will cause increasing attrition of biodiversity, with wider implications for human and ecosystem health, unless steps are taken to tighten biosecurity worldwide. PMID:22498624

  5. Predicting climate change effects on wetland ecosystem services using species distribution modeling and plant functional traits.

    PubMed

    Moor, Helen; Hylander, Kristoffer; Norberg, Jon

    2015-01-01

    Wetlands provide multiple ecosystem services, the sustainable use of which requires knowledge of the underlying ecological mechanisms. Functional traits, particularly the community-weighted mean trait (CWMT), provide a strong link between species communities and ecosystem functioning. We here combine species distribution modeling and plant functional traits to estimate the direction of change of ecosystem processes under climate change. We model changes in CWMT values for traits relevant to three key services, focusing on the regional species pool in the Norrström area (central Sweden) and three main wetland types. Our method predicts proportional shifts toward faster growing, more productive and taller species, which tend to increase CWMT values of specific leaf area and canopy height, whereas changes in root depth vary. The predicted changes in CWMT values suggest a potential increase in flood attenuation services, a potential increase in short (but not long)-term nutrient retention, and ambiguous outcomes for carbon sequestration.

  6. Tradeoffs in ecosystem services of prairies managed for bioenergy production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jarchow, Meghann Elizabeth

    The use of perennial plant materials as a renewable source of energy may constitute an important opportunity to improve the environmental sustainability of managed land. Currently, the production of energy from agricultural products is primarily in the form of ethanol from corn grain, which used more than 45% of the domestic U.S. corn crop in 2011. Concomitantly, using corn grain to produce ethanol has promoted landscape simplification and homogenization through conversion of Conservation Reserve Program grasslands to annual row crops, and has been implicated in increasing environmental damage, such as increased nitrate leaching into water bodies and increased rates of soil erosion. In contrast, perennial prairie vegetation has the potential to be used as a bioenergy feedstock that produces a substantial amount of biomass as well as numerous ecosystem services. Reincorporating prairies to diversify the landscape of the Midwestern U.S. at strategic locations could provide more habitat for animals, including beneficial insects, and decrease nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment movement into water bodies. In this dissertation, I present data from two field experiments that examine (1) how managing prairies for bioenergy production affects prairie ecology and agronomic performance and (2) how these prairie systems differ from corn systems managed for bioenergy production. Results of this work show that there are tradeoffs among prairie systems and between corn and prairie systems with respect to the amount of harvested biomass, root production, nutrient export, feedstock characteristics, growing season utilization, and species and functional group diversity. These results emphasize the need for a multifaceted approach to fully evaluate bioenergy feedstock production systems.

  7. Climate change drives a shift in peatland ecosystem plant community: implications for ecosystem function and stability.

    PubMed

    Dieleman, Catherine M; Branfireun, Brian A; McLaughlin, James W; Lindo, Zoë

    2015-01-01

    The composition of a peatland plant community has considerable effect on a range of ecosystem functions. Peatland plant community structure is predicted to change under future climate change, making the quantification of the direction and magnitude of this change a research priority. We subjected intact, replicated vegetated poor fen peat monoliths to elevated temperatures, increased atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2 ), and two water table levels in a factorial design to determine the individual and synergistic effects of climate change factors on the poor fen plant community composition. We identify three indicators of a regime shift occurring in our experimental poor fen system under climate change: nonlinear decline of Sphagnum at temperatures 8 °C above ambient conditions, concomitant increases in Carex spp. at temperatures 4 °C above ambient conditions suggesting a weakening of Sphagnum feedbacks on peat accumulation, and increased variance of the plant community composition and pore water pH through time. A temperature increase of +4 °C appeared to be a threshold for increased vascular plant abundance; however the magnitude of change was species dependent. Elevated temperature combined with elevated CO2 had a synergistic effect on large graminoid species abundance, with a 15 times increase as compared to control conditions. Community analyses suggested that the balance between dominant plant species was tipped from Sphagnum to a graminoid-dominated system by the combination of climate change factors. Our findings indicate that changes in peatland plant community composition are likely under future climate change conditions, with a demonstrated shift toward a dominance of graminoid species in poor fens.

  8. Reconciling Harvest Intensity and Plant Diversity in Boreal Ecosystems: Does Intensification Influence Understory Plant Diversity?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kershaw, H. Maureen; Morris, Dave M.; Fleming, Robert L.; Luckai, Nancy J.

    2015-11-01

    Overall demand for forest products in the boreal forest is increasing to supply growing bio-energy demands in addition to traditional forest products. As a result, there is a need to refine current forest policies to reconcile production and ecosystem function within the context of ecologically sustainable management. This study assessed understory plants' richness, evenness, and diversity in six harvested boreal black spruce-dominated stands situated on loam, sand, and peat site types 15 years after the application of four harvest treatments of increasing biomass removals. Treatments included uncut, stem-only harvest, full-tree harvest, and full-tree harvest + blading of O horizon. Following canopy removal, species richness and diversity (Shannon's and Simpson's indices) increased on all soil types. The more than doubling of slash loading on the stem-only treatment plots compared to the full-tree plots led to significantly lower species diversity on loam sites; however, the reverse was observed on peat sites where the slash provided warmer, drier microsites facilitating the establishment of a broader array of species. Preexisting ericaceous shrub and sphagnum components continued to dominate on the peat sites. Compositional shifts were most evident for the full-tree + bladed treatment on all soil types, with increases in herbaceous cover including ruderal species. The results suggest that the intensification of harvesting on plant diversity varies with soil type, and these differential results should be considered in the refinement of forest biomass-harvesting guidelines to ensure ecological sustainability and biodiversity conservation over a broad suite of soil types.

  9. Reconciling Harvest Intensity and Plant Diversity in Boreal Ecosystems: Does Intensification Influence Understory Plant Diversity?

    PubMed

    Kershaw, H Maureen; Morris, Dave M; Fleming, Robert L; Luckai, Nancy J

    2015-11-01

    Overall demand for forest products in the boreal forest is increasing to supply growing bio-energy demands in addition to traditional forest products. As a result, there is a need to refine current forest policies to reconcile production and ecosystem function within the context of ecologically sustainable management. This study assessed understory plants' richness, evenness, and diversity in six harvested boreal black spruce-dominated stands situated on loam, sand, and peat site types 15 years after the application of four harvest treatments of increasing biomass removals. Treatments included uncut, stem-only harvest, full-tree harvest, and full-tree harvest + blading of O horizon. Following canopy removal, species richness and diversity (Shannon's and Simpson's indices) increased on all soil types. The more than doubling of slash loading on the stem-only treatment plots compared to the full-tree plots led to significantly lower species diversity on loam sites; however, the reverse was observed on peat sites where the slash provided warmer, drier microsites facilitating the establishment of a broader array of species. Preexisting ericaceous shrub and sphagnum components continued to dominate on the peat sites. Compositional shifts were most evident for the full-tree + bladed treatment on all soil types, with increases in herbaceous cover including ruderal species. The results suggest that the intensification of harvesting on plant diversity varies with soil type, and these differential results should be considered in the refinement of forest biomass-harvesting guidelines to ensure ecological sustainability and biodiversity conservation over a broad suite of soil types.

  10. Analysing global ecosystem CO2 uptake capacity with plant trait data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van de Weg, Martine; Sadat Musavi, Talie; van Bodegom, Peter; Kattge, Jens; Mahecha, Miguel; Reichstein, Markus; Bahn, Michael

    2014-05-01

    Given the modulating role of vegetation in the global carbon cycle, there is a demand for simple and general scaling relationships of vegetation characteristics and ecosystem CO2-uptake and emissions. On a leaf level, is it well established that plant trait foliar nitrogen (N) relates strongly with leaf level CO2. Furthermore, ecosystem productivity or CO2 uptake capacity have been related directly with whole-canopy N concentrations for a variety of ecosystems such as grasslands, and boreal, temporal and tropical forests. However, studies on the global validity of these leaf and ecosystem level relationships have been lacking up to date. The arrival of the large plant trait database TRY database offers the opportunity to link plant trait and ecosystem functioning on a global scale. In this study, we used CO2 flux data from the FLUXNET database, with plant trait (Narea) data from TRY and Narea measurements from a selection of FLUXNET sites as well. For 83 global FLUXNET sites, which had information available on species composition, we derived the light saturated gross primary productivity (GPP1000). We used MODIS LAI and fPAR, together with the species' relative height and abundance data, to up-scale the TRY derived Narea values to a canopy value per site (Ncanopy). For this calculation we assumed that top canopy leaves contribute more to CO2 uptake, and used a Lambert-Beer canopy light extinction principle to weigh the relative contribution per species to the final Ncanopy value. For our analyses, we divided the sites in five different vegetation classes: broad leaved forests, needle leaved forests, grasslands, crops and (sub)arctic non-forest vegetation. Site-measured Nareadata corroborated well with TRY derived Narea data, giving confidence in using a database such as TRY for global analyses like ours. Ncanopy alone explained 18 % of the observed variation in maximum (90th percentile) GPP1000 with a linear model. When adding the different vegetation types as a

  11. The roles of productivity and ecosystem size in determining food chain length in tropical terrestrial ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Young, Hillary S; McCauley, Douglas J; Dunbar, Robert B; Hutson, Michael S; Ter-Kuile, Ana Miller; Dirzo, Rodolfo

    2013-03-01

    Many different drivers, including productivity, ecosystem size, and disturbance, have been considered to explain natural variation in the length of food chains. Much remains unknown about the role of these various drivers in determining food chain length, and particularly about the mechanisms by which they may operate in terrestrial ecosystems, which have quite different ecological constraints than aquatic environments, where most food chain length studies have been thus far conducted. In this study, we tested the relative importance of ecosystem size and productivity in influencing food chain length in a terrestrial setting. We determined that (1) there is no effect of ecosystem size or productive space on food chain length; (2) rather, food chain length increases strongly and linearly with productivity; and (3) the observed changes in food chain length are likely achieved through a combination of changes in predator size, predator behavior, and consumer diversity along gradients in productivity. These results lend new insight into the mechanisms by which productivity can drive changes in food chain length, point to potential for systematic differences in the drivers of food web structure between terrestrial and aquatic systems, and challenge us to consider how ecological context may control the drivers that shape food chain length.

  12. INVASIVE PLANTS HARBOR HUNGRY DETRITIVORES THAT ALTER ECOSYSTEM FUNCTION

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecosystems are expected to function more efficiently in response to a diverse community of inhabitants. However, biological invasions may change expected relationships between ecosystem function and diversity. We observed increased decomposition, a measure of ecosystem function...

  13. Habitat connectivity and ecosystem productivity: implications from a simple model.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cloern, J.E.

    2007-01-01

    The import of resources (food, nutrients) sustains biological production and food webs in resource-limited habitats. Resource export from donor habitats subsidizes production in recipient habitats, but the ecosystem-scale consequences of resource translocation are generally unknown. Here, I use a nutrient-phytoplankton-zooplankton model to show how dispersive connectivity between a shallow autotrophic habitat and a deep heterotrophic pelagic habitat can amplify overall system production in metazoan food webs. This result derives from the finite capacity of suspension feeders to capture and assimilate food particles: excess primary production in closed autotrophic habitats cannot be assimilated by consumers; however, if excess phytoplankton production is exported to food-limited heterotrophic habitats, it can be assimilated by zooplankton to support additional secondary production. Transport of regenerated nutrients from heterotrophic to autotrophic habitats sustains higher system primary production. These simulation results imply that the ecosystem-scale efficiency of nutrient transformation into metazoan biomass can be constrained by the rate of resource exchange across habitats and that it is optimized when the transport rate matches the growth rate of primary producers. Slower transport (i.e., reduced connectivity) leads to nutrient limitation of primary production in autotrophic habitats and food limitation of secondary production in heterotrophic habitats. Habitat fragmentation can therefore impose energetic constraints on the carrying capacity of aquatic ecosystems. The outcomes of ecosystem restoration through habitat creation will be determined by both functions provided by newly created aquatic habitats and the rates of hydraulic connectivity between them.

  14. Soil ecosystem functioning under climate change: plant species and community effects.

    PubMed

    Kardol, Paul; Cregger, Melissa A; Campany, Courtney E; Classen, Aimee T

    2010-03-01

    Feedbacks of terrestrial ecosystems to atmospheric and climate change depend on soil ecosystem dynamics. Soil ecosystems can directly and indirectly respond to climate change. For example, warming directly alters microbial communities by increasing their activity. Climate change may also alter plant community composition, thus indirectly altering the soil communities that depend on their inputs. To better understand how climate change may directly and indirectly alter soil ecosystem functioning, we investigated old-field plant community and soil ecosystem responses to single and combined effects of elevated [CO2], warming, and precipitation in Tennessee (USA). Specifically, we collected soils at the plot level (plant community soils) and beneath dominant plant species (plant-specific soils). We used microbial enzyme activities and soil nematodes as indicators for soil ecosystem functioning. Our study resulted in two main findings: (1) Overall, while there were some interactions, water, relative to increases in [CO2] and warming, had the largest impact on plant community composition, soil enzyme activity, and soil nematodes. Multiple climate-change factors can interact to shape ecosystems, but in our study, those interactions were largely driven by changes in water. (2) Indirect effects of climate change, via changes in plant communities, had a significant impact on soil ecosystem functioning, and this impact was not obvious when looking at plant community soils. Climate-change effects on enzyme activities and soil nematode abundance and community structure strongly differed between plant community soils and plant-specific soils, but also within plant-specific soils. These results indicate that accurate assessments of climate-change impacts on soil ecosystem functioning require incorporating the concurrent changes in plant function and plant community composition. Climate-change-induced shifts in plant community composition will likely modify or counteract the

  15. Diversity, Productivity, and Stability of an Industrial Microbial Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Pei-Zhong; Becker, Scott; Hoang, Tony; Bilgin, Damla; Lim, Yan Wei; Peterson, Todd C.; Mayfield, Stephen; Haerizadeh, Farzad; Shurin, Jonathan B.; Bafna, Vineet; McBride, Robert

    2016-01-01

    Managing ecosystems to maintain biodiversity may be one approach to ensuring their dynamic stability, productivity, and delivery of vital services. The applicability of this approach to industrial ecosystems that harness the metabolic activities of microbes has been proposed but has never been tested at relevant scales. We used a tag-sequencing approach with bacterial small subunit rRNA (16S) genes and eukaryotic internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) to measuring the taxonomic composition and diversity of bacteria and eukaryotes in an open pond managed for bioenergy production by microalgae over a year. Periods of high eukaryotic diversity were associated with high and more-stable biomass productivity. In addition, bacterial diversity and eukaryotic diversity were inversely correlated over time, possibly due to their opposite responses to temperature. The results indicate that maintaining diverse communities may be essential to engineering stable and productive bioenergy ecosystems using microorganisms. PMID:26896141

  16. A synthesis of postfire recovery traits of woody plants in Australian ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Clarke, Peter J; Lawes, Michael J; Murphy, Brett P; Russell-Smith, Jeremy; Nano, Catherine E M; Bradstock, Ross; Enright, Neal J; Fontaine, Joseph B; Gosper, Carl R; Radford, Ian; Midgley, Jeremy J; Gunton, Richard M

    2015-11-15

    Postfire resprouting and recruitment from seed are key plant life-history traits that influence population dynamics, community composition and ecosystem function. Species can have one or both of these mechanisms. They confer resilience, which may determine community composition through differential species persistence after fire. To predict ecosystem level responses to changes in climate and fire conditions, we examined the proportions of these plant fire-adaptive traits among woody growth forms of 2880 taxa, in eight fire-prone ecosystems comprising ~87% of Australia's land area. Shrubs comprised 64% of the taxa. More tree (>84%) than shrub (~50%) taxa resprouted. Basal, epicormic and apical resprouting occurred in 71%, 22% and 3% of the taxa, respectively. Most rainforest taxa (91%) were basal resprouters. Many trees (59%) in frequently-burnt eucalypt forest and savanna resprouted epicormically. Although crown fire killed many mallee (62%) and heathland (48%) taxa, fire-cued seeding was common in these systems. Postfire seeding was uncommon in rainforest and in arid Acacia communities that burnt infrequently at low intensity. Resprouting was positively associated with ecosystem productivity, but resprouting type (e.g. basal or epicormic) was associated with local scale fire activity, especially fire frequency. Although rainforest trees can resprout they cannot recruit after intense fires and may decline under future fires. Semi-arid Acacia communities would be susceptible to increasing fire frequencies because they contain few postfire seeders. Ecosystems dominated by obligate seeders (mallee, heath) are also susceptible because predicted shorter inter-fire intervals will prevent seed bank accumulation. Savanna may be resilient to future fires because of the adaptive advantage of epicormic resprouting among the eucalypts. The substantial non-resprouting shrub component of shrublands may decline, but resilient Eucalyptus spp. will continue to dominate under future

  17. Will Global Change Effect Primary Productivity in Coastal Ecosystems?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rothschild, Lynn J.; Peterson, David L. (Technical Monitor)

    1997-01-01

    Algae are the base of coastal food webs because they provide the source of organic carbon for the remaining members of the community. Thus, the rate that they produce organic carbon to a large extent controls the productivity of the entire ecosystem. Factors that control algal productivity range from the physical (e.g., temperature, light), chemical (e.g., nutrient levels) to the biological (e.g., grazing). Currently, levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide surficial fluxes of ultraviolet radiation are rising. Both of these environmental variables can have a profound effect on algal productivity. Atmospheric carbon dioxide may increase surficial levels of dissolved inorganic carbon. Our laboratory and field studies of algal mats and phytoplankton cultures under ambient and elevated levels of pCO2 show that elevated levels of inorganic carbon can cause an increase in photosynthetic rates. In some cases, this increase will cause an increase in phytoplankton numbers. There may be an increase in the excretion of fixed carbon, which in turn may enhance bacterial productivity. Alternatively, in analogy with studies on the effect of elevated pCO2 on plants, the phytoplankton could change their carbon to nitrogen ratios, which will effect the feeding of the planktonic grazers. The seasonal depletion of stratospheric ozone has resulted in elevated fluxes of UVB radiation superimposed on the normal seasonal variation. Present surface UV fluxes have a significant impact on phytoplankton physiology, including the inhibition of the light and dark reactions of photosynthesis, inhibition of nitrogenase activity, inhibition of heterocyst formation, reduction in motility, increased synthesis of the UV-screening pigment scytonemin, and mutation. After reviewing these issues, recent work in our lab on measuring the effect of UV radiation on phytoplankton in the San Francisco Bay Estuary will be presented.

  18. Bedrock composition limits mountain ecosystem productivity and landscape evolution (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riebe, C. S.; Hahm, W.; Lukens, C.

    2013-12-01

    We used measurements of bedrock geochemistry, forest productivity and cosmogenic nuclides to explore connections among lithology, ecosystem productivity and landscape evolution across a lithosequence of 21 sites in the Sierra Nevada Batholith, California. Our sites span a narrow range in elevations and thus share similar climatic conditions. Meanwhile, underlying bedrock varies from granite to diorite and spans nearly the entire range of geochemical compositions observed in Cordilleran granitoids. Land cover varies markedly, from groves of Giant Sequoia, the largest trees on Earth, to pluton-spanning swaths of little or no soil and vegetative cover. This is closely reflected in measures of forest productivity, such as remotely sensed tree-canopy cover, which varies by more than an order of magnitude across our sites and often changes abruptly at mapped contacts between rock types. We find that tree-canopy cover is closely correlated with the concentrations in bedrock of major and minor elements, including several plant-essential nutrients. For example, tree-canopy cover is virtually zero where there is less than 0.3 mg/g phosphorus in bedrock. Erosion rates from these nearly vegetation-free, nutrient deserts are more than 2.5 times slower on average than they are from surrounding, relatively nutrient-rich, soil-mantled bedrock. Thus by influencing soil and forest cover, bedrock nutrient concentrations may provoke weathering-limited erosion and thus may strongly regulate landscape evolution. Our analysis suggests that variations in bedrock nutrient concentrations can also provoke an intrinsic limitation on primary productivity. These limitations appear to apply across all our sites. To the extent that they are broadly representative of conditions in granitic landscapes elsewhere around the world, our results are consistent with widespread, but previously undocumented lithologic control of the distribution and diversity of vegetation in mountainous terrain.

  19. Nitric Oxide Production in Plants

    PubMed Central

    Planchet, Elisabeth

    2006-01-01

    There is now general agreement that nitric oxide (NO) is an important and almost universal signal in plants. Nevertheless, there are still many controversial observations and opinions on the importance and function of NO in plants. Partly, this may be due to the difficulties in detecting and even more in quantifying NO. Here, we summarize major pathways of NO production in plants, and briefly discuss some methodical problems. PMID:19521475

  20. Plant Diversity Surpasses Plant Functional Groups and Plant Productivity as Driver of Soil Biota in the Long Term

    PubMed Central

    Eisenhauer, Nico; Milcu, Alexandru; Sabais, Alexander C. W.; Bessler, Holger; Brenner, Johanna; Engels, Christof; Klarner, Bernhard; Maraun, Mark; Partsch, Stephan; Roscher, Christiane; Schonert, Felix; Temperton, Vicky M.; Thomisch, Karolin; Weigelt, Alexandra; Weisser, Wolfgang W.; Scheu, Stefan

    2011-01-01

    Background One of the most significant consequences of contemporary global change is the rapid decline of biodiversity in many ecosystems. Knowledge of the consequences of biodiversity loss in terrestrial ecosystems is largely restricted to single ecosystem functions. Impacts of key plant functional groups on soil biota are considered to be more important than those of plant diversity; however, current knowledge mainly relies on short-term experiments. Methodology/Principal Findings We studied changes in the impacts of plant diversity and presence of key functional groups on soil biota by investigating the performance of soil microorganisms and soil fauna two, four and six years after the establishment of model grasslands. The results indicate that temporal changes of plant community effects depend on the trophic affiliation of soil animals: plant diversity effects on decomposers only occurred after six years, changed little in herbivores, but occurred in predators after two years. The results suggest that plant diversity, in terms of species and functional group richness, is the most important plant community property affecting soil biota, exceeding the relevance of plant above- and belowground productivity and the presence of key plant functional groups, i.e. grasses and legumes, with the relevance of the latter decreasing in time. Conclusions/Significance Plant diversity effects on biota are not only due to the presence of key plant functional groups or plant productivity highlighting the importance of diverse and high-quality plant derived resources, and supporting the validity of the singular hypothesis for soil biota. Our results demonstrate that in the long term plant diversity essentially drives the performance of soil biota questioning the paradigm that belowground communities are not affected by plant diversity and reinforcing the importance of biodiversity for ecosystem functioning. PMID:21249208

  1. Evaluation of Environmental Quality Productive Ecosystem Guayas (Ecuador).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pozo, Wilson; Pardo, Francisco; Sanfeliu, Teófilo; Carrera, Gloria; Jordan, Manuel; Bech, Jaume; Roca, Núria

    2015-04-01

    Natural resources are deteriorating very rapidly in the Gulf of Guayaquil and the area of influence in the Guayas Basin due to human activity. Specific problems are generated by the mismanagement of the aquaculture industry affecting the traditional agricultural sectors: rice, banana, sugarcane, cocoa, coffee, and soya also studied, and by human and industrial settlements. The development of industrial activities such as aquaculture (shrimp building for shrimp farming in ponds) and agriculture, have increasingly contributed to the generation of waste, degrading and potentially toxic elements in high concentrations, which can have adverse effects on organisms in the ecosystems, in the health of the population and damage the ecological and environmental balance. The productive Guayas ecosystem, consists of three interrelated ecosystems, the Gulf of Guayaquil, the Guayas River estuary and the Guayas Basin buffer. The objective of this study was to evaluate the environmental quality of the productive Guayas ecosystem (Ecuador), through operational and specific objectives: 1) Draw up the transition coastal zone in the Gulf of Guayaquil, 2) Set temporal spatial variability of soil salinity in wetlands rice, Lower Guayas Basin, 3) evaluate the heavy metals in wetland rice in the Lower Basin of Guayas. The physical and chemical parameters of the soils have been studied. These are indicators of environmental quality. The multivariate statistical method showed the relations of similarities and dissimilarities between variables and parameter studies as stable. Moreover, the boundaries of coastal transition areas, temporal spatial variability of soil salinity and heavy metals in rice cultivation in the Lower Basin of Guayas were researched. The sequential studies included and discussed represent a broad framework of fundamental issues that has been valued as a basic component of the productive Guayas ecosystem. They are determinants of the environmental quality of the Guayas

  2. TRANSGENIC PLANTS: ENVIRONMENTAL PERSISTENCE AND EFFECTS ON SOIL AND PLANT ECOSYSTEMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The genetic engineering of plants has facilitated the production of valuable agricultural and forestry crops. Transgenic plants have been created that have increased resistance to pests, herbicides, pathogens, and environmental stress, enhanced qualitative and quantitative trait...

  3. The Limits of Acclimation of land plants in a Terrestrial Ecosystems Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kothavala, Zavareh

    2014-05-01

    In this study, we examine the role of the terrestrial carbon cycle and the ability of different plant types to acclimate to a changing climate at the centennial scale using a global ecosystems model with updated biogeochemical processes related to moisture, carbon, and nitrogen. Elevated level of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) increases CO2 fertilization, resulting in more CO2 uptake by vegetation, whereas the concomitant warming increases autotrophic and heterotrophic respiration, releasing CO2 to the atmosphere. Additionally, warming will enhance photosynthesis if current temperatures are below the optimal temperature for plant growth, while it will reduce photosynthesis if current temperatures are above the optimal temperature for plant growth. We present a series of ensemble simulations to evaluate the ability of plants to acclimate to changing conditions over the last century and how this affects the terrestrial carbon sink. A set of experiments related to (a) the varying relationship between CO2 fertilization and the half saturation constant, (b) the factors related to gross primary productivity and maintenance respiration, and (c) the variables related to heterotrophic respiration, were conducted with thirteen plant functional types. The experiments were performed using the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (TEM) with a present-day vegetation distribution without the effects of natural or human disturbance, and a closed Nitrogen cycle, at a half-degree resolution over the globe. The experiment design consisted of eight scenarios that are consistent with past and future ecosystem conditions, presented in other scientific studies. The significance of model trends related to runoff, soil moisture, soil carbon, Net Primary Productivity (NPP), crop yield, and Net Ecosystem Productivity (NEP) for different seasons, as well as surface temperature, precipitation, vapor pressure, and photosynthetically active radiation are analyzed for various ecosystems at the global

  4. Soil nutrient heterogeneity modulates ecosystem responses to changes in the identity and richness of plant functional groups.

    PubMed

    García-Palacios, Pablo; Maestre, Fernando T; Gallardo, Antonio

    2011-03-01

    Recent research has shown that biodiversity may has its greatest impact on ecosystem functioning in heterogeneous environments. However, the role of soil heterogeneity as a modulator of ecosystem responses to changes in biodiversity remains poorly understood, as few biodiversity studies have explicitly considered this important ecosystem feature.We conducted a microcosm experiment over two growing seasons to evaluate the joint effects of changes in plant functional groups (grasses, legumes, non-legume forbs and a combination of them), spatial distribution of soil nutrients (homogeneous and heterogeneous) and nutrient availability (50 and 100 mg of nitrogen [N] added as organic material) on plant productivity and surrogates of carbon, phosphorous and N cycling (β-glucosidase and acid phosphatase enzymes and in situ N availability, respectively).Soil nutrient heterogeneity interacted with nutrient availability and plant functional diversity to determine productivity and nutrient cycling responses. All the functional groups exhibited precise root foraging patterns. Above- and belowground productivity increased under heterogeneous nutrient supply. Surrogates of nutrient cycling were not directly affected by soil nutrient heterogeneity. Regardless of their above- and belowground biomass, legumes increased the availability of soil inorganic N and the activity of the acid phosphatase and β-glucosidase enzymes.Our study emphasizes the role of soil nutrient heterogeneity as a modulator of ecosystem responses to changes in functional diversity beyond the species level. Functional group identity, rather than richness, can play a key role in determining the effects of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning.Synthesis. Our results highlight the importance of explicitly considering soil heterogeneity in diversity-ecosystem functioning experiments, where the identity of the plant functional group is of major importance. Such consideration will improve our ability to fully

  5. Soil nutrient heterogeneity modulates ecosystem responses to changes in the identity and richness of plant functional groups

    PubMed Central

    García-Palacios, Pablo; Maestre, Fernando T.; Gallardo, Antonio

    2015-01-01

    Summary Recent research has shown that biodiversity may has its greatest impact on ecosystem functioning in heterogeneous environments. However, the role of soil heterogeneity as a modulator of ecosystem responses to changes in biodiversity remains poorly understood, as few biodiversity studies have explicitly considered this important ecosystem feature. We conducted a microcosm experiment over two growing seasons to evaluate the joint effects of changes in plant functional groups (grasses, legumes, non-legume forbs and a combination of them), spatial distribution of soil nutrients (homogeneous and heterogeneous) and nutrient availability (50 and 100 mg of nitrogen [N] added as organic material) on plant productivity and surrogates of carbon, phosphorous and N cycling (β-glucosidase and acid phosphatase enzymes and in situ N availability, respectively). Soil nutrient heterogeneity interacted with nutrient availability and plant functional diversity to determine productivity and nutrient cycling responses. All the functional groups exhibited precise root foraging patterns. Above- and belowground productivity increased under heterogeneous nutrient supply. Surrogates of nutrient cycling were not directly affected by soil nutrient heterogeneity. Regardless of their above- and belowground biomass, legumes increased the availability of soil inorganic N and the activity of the acid phosphatase and β-glucosidase enzymes. Our study emphasizes the role of soil nutrient heterogeneity as a modulator of ecosystem responses to changes in functional diversity beyond the species level. Functional group identity, rather than richness, can play a key role in determining the effects of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning. Synthesis. Our results highlight the importance of explicitly considering soil heterogeneity in diversity-ecosystem functioning experiments, where the identity of the plant functional group is of major importance. Such consideration will improve our ability to

  6. Irrigation and Maize Cultivation Erode Plant Diversity Within Crops in Mediterranean Dry Cereal Agro-Ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Fagúndez, Jaime; Olea, Pedro P; Tejedo, Pablo; Mateo-Tomás, Patricia; Gómez, David

    2016-07-01

    The intensification of agriculture has increased production at the cost of environment and biodiversity worldwide. To increase crop yield in dry cereal systems, vast farmland areas of high conservation value are being converted into irrigation, especially in Mediterranean countries. We analyze the effect of irrigation-driven changes on the farm biota by comparing species diversity, community composition, and species traits of arable plants within crop fields from two contrasting farming systems (dry and irrigated) in Spain. We sampled plant species within 80 fields of dry wheat, irrigated wheat, and maize (only cultivated under irrigation). Wheat crops held higher landscape and per field species richness, and beta diversity than maize. Within the same type of crop, irrigated wheat hosted lower plant diversity than dry wheat at both field and landscape scales. Floristic composition differed between crop types, with higher frequencies of perennials, cosmopolitan, exotic, wind-pollinated and C4 species in maize. Our results suggest that irrigation projects, that transform large areas of dry cereal agro-ecosystems into irrigated crop systems dominated by maize, erode plant diversity. An adequate planning on the type and proportion of crops used in the irrigated agro-ecosystems is needed in order to balance agriculture production and biodiversity conservation.

  7. Irrigation and Maize Cultivation Erode Plant Diversity Within Crops in Mediterranean Dry Cereal Agro-Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fagúndez, Jaime; Olea, Pedro P.; Tejedo, Pablo; Mateo-Tomás, Patricia; Gómez, David

    2016-07-01

    The intensification of agriculture has increased production at the cost of environment and biodiversity worldwide. To increase crop yield in dry cereal systems, vast farmland areas of high conservation value are being converted into irrigation, especially in Mediterranean countries. We analyze the effect of irrigation-driven changes on the farm biota by comparing species diversity, community composition, and species traits of arable plants within crop fields from two contrasting farming systems (dry and irrigated) in Spain. We sampled plant species within 80 fields of dry wheat, irrigated wheat, and maize (only cultivated under irrigation). Wheat crops held higher landscape and per field species richness, and beta diversity than maize. Within the same type of crop, irrigated wheat hosted lower plant diversity than dry wheat at both field and landscape scales. Floristic composition differed between crop types, with higher frequencies of perennials, cosmopolitan, exotic, wind-pollinated and C4 species in maize. Our results suggest that irrigation projects, that transform large areas of dry cereal agro-ecosystems into irrigated crop systems dominated by maize, erode plant diversity. An adequate planning on the type and proportion of crops used in the irrigated agro-ecosystems is needed in order to balance agriculture production and biodiversity conservation.

  8. Root contact responses and the positive relationship between intraspecific diversity and ecosystem productivity.

    PubMed

    Yang, Lixue; Callaway, Ragan M; Atwater, Daniel Z

    2015-05-19

    High species and functional group richness often has positive effects on ecosystem function including increasing productivity. Recently, intraspecific diversity has been found to have similar effects, but because traits vary far less within a species than among species we have a much poorer understanding of the mechanisms by which intraspecific diversity affects ecosystem function. We explored the potential for identity recognition among the roots of different Pseudoroegneria spicata accessions to contribute to previously demonstrated overyielding in plots with high intraspecific richness of this species relative to monocultures. First, we found that when plants from different populations were planted together in pots the total biomass yield was 30 % more than in pots with two plants from the same population. Second, we found that the elongation rates of roots of Pseudoroegneria plants decreased more after contact with roots from another plant from the same population than after contact with roots from a plant from a different population. These results suggest the possibility of some form of detection and avoidance mechanism among more closely related Pseudoroegneria plants. If decreased growth after contact results in reduced root overlap, and reduced root overlap corresponds with reduced growth and productivity, then variation in detection and avoidance among related and unrelated accessions may contribute to how ecotypic diversity in Pseudoroegneria increases productivity.

  9. Root contact responses and the positive relationship between intraspecific diversity and ecosystem productivity

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Lixue; Callaway, Ragan M.; Atwater, Daniel Z.

    2015-01-01

    High species and functional group richness often has positive effects on ecosystem function including increasing productivity. Recently, intraspecific diversity has been found to have similar effects, but because traits vary far less within a species than among species we have a much poorer understanding of the mechanisms by which intraspecific diversity affects ecosystem function. We explored the potential for identity recognition among the roots of different Pseudoroegneria spicata accessions to contribute to previously demonstrated overyielding in plots with high intraspecific richness of this species relative to monocultures. First, we found that when plants from different populations were planted together in pots the total biomass yield was 30 % more than in pots with two plants from the same population. Second, we found that the elongation rates of roots of Pseudoroegneria plants decreased more after contact with roots from another plant from the same population than after contact with roots from a plant from a different population. These results suggest the possibility of some form of detection and avoidance mechanism among more closely related Pseudoroegneria plants. If decreased growth after contact results in reduced root overlap, and reduced root overlap corresponds with reduced growth and productivity, then variation in detection and avoidance among related and unrelated accessions may contribute to how ecotypic diversity in Pseudoroegneria increases productivity. PMID:25990363

  10. Belowground plant biomass allocation in tundra ecosystems and its relationship with temperature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Peng; Heijmans, Monique M. P. D.; Mommer, Liesje; van Ruijven, Jasper; Maximov, Trofim C.; Berendse, Frank

    2016-05-01

    Climate warming is known to increase the aboveground productivity of tundra ecosystems. Recently, belowground biomass is receiving more attention, but the effects of climate warming on belowground productivity remain unclear. Enhanced understanding of the belowground component of the tundra is important in the context of climate warming, since most carbon is sequestered belowground in these ecosystems. In this study we synthesized published tundra belowground biomass data from 36 field studies spanning a mean annual temperature (MAT) gradient from -20 °C to 0 °C across the tundra biome, and determined the relationships between different plant biomass pools and MAT. Our results show that the plant community biomass-temperature relationships are significantly different between above and belowground. Aboveground biomass clearly increased with MAT, whereas total belowground biomass and fine root biomass did not show a significant increase over the broad MAT gradient. Our results suggest that biomass allocation of tundra vegetation shifts towards aboveground in warmer conditions, which could impact on the carbon cycling in tundra ecosystems through altered litter input and distribution in the soil, as well as possible changes in root turnover.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  12. Plant production systems for vaccines.

    PubMed

    Streatfield, Stephen J; Howard, John A

    2003-12-01

    Plants offer an attractive alternative for the production and delivery of subunit vaccines. Various antigens have been expressed at sufficiently high levels in plants to render vaccine development practical. An increasing body of evidence demonstrates that these plant-produced antigens can induce immunogenic responses and confer protection when delivered orally. Plant-based vaccines are relatively inexpensive to produce and production can be rapidly scaled up. There is also the potential for oral delivery of these vaccines, which can dramatically reduce distribution and delivery costs. Here we describe the technology to develop plant-based vaccines, review their advantages and discuss potential roadblocks and concerns over their commercialization. We also speculate on likely future developments with these vaccines and on their potential impact in the realms of human and animal health.

  13. Production of EPA and DHA in aquatic ecosystems and their transfer to the land.

    PubMed

    Gladyshev, Michail I; Sushchik, Nadezhda N; Makhutova, Olesia N

    2013-12-01

    Most omnivorous animals, including humans, have to some degree relied on physiologically important polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) from food. Only some taxa of microalgae, rather than higher plants can synthesize de novo high amounts of EPA and DHA. Once synthesized by microalgae, PUFA are transferred through trophic chain to organisms of higher levels. Thus, aquatic ecosystems play the unique role in the Biosphere as the principal source of EPA and DHA for most omnivorous animals, including inhabitants of terrestrial ecosystems. PUFA are transferred from aquatic to terrestrial ecosystems through riparian predators, drift of carrion and seaweeds, emergence of amphibiotic insects, and water birds. The essential PUFA are transferred through trophic chains with about twice higher efficiency than bulk carbon. Thereby, PUFA are accumulated, rather than diluted in biomass of organisms of higher trophic levels, e.g., in fish. Mankind is faced with a severe deficiency of EPA and DHA in diet. Although additional sources of PUFA supply for humans, such as aquaculture, biotechnology of microorganisms and transgenic terrestrial oil-seed producing plants are developed, natural fish production of aquatic ecosystems will remain one of the main sources of EPA and DHA for humans. Aquatic ecosystems have to be protected from anthropogenic impacts, such as eutrophication, pollution and warming, which reduce PUFA production.

  14. Impacts of invasive plants on resident animals across ecosystems, taxa, and feeding types: a global assessment.

    PubMed

    Schirmel, Jens; Bundschuh, Mirco; Entling, Martin H; Kowarik, Ingo; Buchholz, Sascha

    2016-02-01

    As drivers of global change, biological invasions have fundamental ecological consequences. However, it remains unclear how invasive plant effects on resident animals vary across ecosystems, animal classes, and functional groups. We performed a comprehensive meta-analysis covering 198 field and laboratory studies reporting a total of 3624 observations of invasive plant effects on animals. Invasive plants had reducing (56%) or neutral (44%) effects on animal abundance, diversity, fitness, and ecosystem function across different ecosystems, animal classes, and feeding types while we could not find any increasing effect. Most importantly, we found that invasive plants reduced overall animal abundance, diversity and fitness. However, this significant overall effect was contingent on ecosystems, taxa, and feeding types of animals. Decreasing effects of invasive plants were most evident in riparian ecosystems, possibly because frequent disturbance facilitates more intense plant invasions compared to other ecosystem types. In accordance with their immediate reliance on plants for food, invasive plant effects were strongest on herbivores. Regarding taxonomic groups, birds and insects were most strongly affected. In insects, this may be explained by their high frequency of herbivory, while birds demonstrate that invasive plant effects can also cascade up to secondary consumers. Since data on impacts of invasive plants are rather limited for many animal groups in most ecosystems, we argue for overcoming gaps in knowledge and for a more differentiated discussion on effects of invasive plant on native fauna.

  15. Biodiversity influences plant productivity through niche-efficiency.

    PubMed

    Liang, Jingjing; Zhou, Mo; Tobin, Patrick C; McGuire, A David; Reich, Peter B

    2015-05-05

    The loss of biodiversity is threatening ecosystem productivity and services worldwide, spurring efforts to quantify its effects on the functioning of natural ecosystems. Previous research has focused on the positive role of biodiversity on resource acquisition (i.e., niche complementarity), but a lack of study on resource utilization efficiency, a link between resource and productivity, has rendered it difficult to quantify the biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationship. Here we demonstrate that biodiversity loss reduces plant productivity, other things held constant, through theory, empirical evidence, and simulations under gradually relaxed assumptions. We developed a theoretical model named niche-efficiency to integrate niche complementarity and a heretofore-ignored mechanism of diminishing marginal productivity in quantifying the effects of biodiversity loss on plant productivity. Based on niche-efficiency, we created a relative productivity metric and a productivity impact index (PII) to assist in biological conservation and resource management. Relative productivity provides a standardized measure of the influence of biodiversity on individual productivity, and PII is a functionally based taxonomic index to assess individual species' inherent value in maintaining current ecosystem productivity. Empirical evidence from the Alaska boreal forest suggests that every 1% reduction in overall plant diversity could render an average of 0.23% decline in individual tree productivity. Out of the 283 plant species of the region, we found that large woody plants generally have greater PII values than other species. This theoretical model would facilitate the integration of biological conservation in the international campaign against several pressing global issues involving energy use, climate change, and poverty.

  16. Biodiversity influences plant productivity through niche–efficiency

    PubMed Central

    Liang, Jingjing; Zhou, Mo; Tobin, Patrick C.; McGuire, A. David; Reich, Peter B.

    2015-01-01

    The loss of biodiversity is threatening ecosystem productivity and services worldwide, spurring efforts to quantify its effects on the functioning of natural ecosystems. Previous research has focused on the positive role of biodiversity on resource acquisition (i.e., niche complementarity), but a lack of study on resource utilization efficiency, a link between resource and productivity, has rendered it difficult to quantify the biodiversity–ecosystem functioning relationship. Here we demonstrate that biodiversity loss reduces plant productivity, other things held constant, through theory, empirical evidence, and simulations under gradually relaxed assumptions. We developed a theoretical model named niche–efficiency to integrate niche complementarity and a heretofore-ignored mechanism of diminishing marginal productivity in quantifying the effects of biodiversity loss on plant productivity. Based on niche–efficiency, we created a relative productivity metric and a productivity impact index (PII) to assist in biological conservation and resource management. Relative productivity provides a standardized measure of the influence of biodiversity on individual productivity, and PII is a functionally based taxonomic index to assess individual species’ inherent value in maintaining current ecosystem productivity. Empirical evidence from the Alaska boreal forest suggests that every 1% reduction in overall plant diversity could render an average of 0.23% decline in individual tree productivity. Out of the 283 plant species of the region, we found that large woody plants generally have greater PII values than other species. This theoretical model would facilitate the integration of biological conservation in the international campaign against several pressing global issues involving energy use, climate change, and poverty. PMID:25901325

  17. DISTRIBUTION OF SELECTED INVASIVE PLANTS IN RIPARIAN ECOSYSTEMS OF THE WESTERN UNITED STATES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Riparian ecosystems typically exhibit high levels of plant species richness, physical disturbance, and interconnectedness; characteristics that may favor establishment and spread of invasive plant species. To assess the magnitude of this invasion, we organized an extensive surve...

  18. Convergence of terrestrial plant production across global climate gradients.

    PubMed

    Michaletz, Sean T; Cheng, Dongliang; Kerkhoff, Andrew J; Enquist, Brian J

    2014-08-07

    Variation in terrestrial net primary production (NPP) with climate is thought to originate from a direct influence of temperature and precipitation on plant metabolism. However, variation in NPP may also result from an indirect influence of climate by means of plant age, stand biomass, growing season length and local adaptation. To identify the relative importance of direct and indirect climate effects, we extend metabolic scaling theory to link hypothesized climate influences with NPP, and assess hypothesized relationships using a global compilation of ecosystem woody plant biomass and production data. Notably, age and biomass explained most of the variation in production whereas temperature and precipitation explained almost none, suggesting that climate indirectly (not directly) influences production. Furthermore, our theory shows that variation in NPP is characterized by a common scaling relationship, suggesting that global change models can incorporate the mechanisms governing this relationship to improve predictions of future ecosystem function.

  19. Measuring and modelling ecosystem productivity: a PhenoCam-based approach.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hufkens, K.; Keenan, T. F.; Flanagan, L. B.; Richardson, A. D.

    2015-12-01

    Phenology controls feedbacks to the climate system through abiotic and biotic forces such as albedo or fluxes of water, energy and CO2. Understanding and modelling these vegetation-climate feedbacks is key to accurately predicting a future climate. For the past 6 years the PhenoCam network, a network of near-surface remote sensing cameras, has consistently monitored vegetation phenology in a wide range of ecoregions, climate zones, and plant functional types. Here we explore the tight coupling between canopy greenness and rates of photosynthesis using two studies. A first study highlights how PhenoCam data can be used to quantify the effect of a late spring frost event on ecosystem productivity, introducing a 7-14% loss in annual gross productivity across 8753 km2 in the northeastern United States. This case study emphasizes the use of the PhenoCam data in estimating productivity loss / the opportunity cost of ecosystem disturbance in areas not covered by ecosystem flux measurement equipment. In a more recent, second, study we developed a PhenoCam data-informed pulse-response model of grassland growth to explore potential responses of grasslands to future climate change across North America. Our findings projected widespread and consistent increase in grassland productivity (for the current range of grassland ecosystems of North American) over the coming century, despite a general increase in aridity projected across most of our study area. Once more PhenoCam data allowed us to inform our modelling efforts with data of a high temporal and spatial resolution. In conclusion, both studies illustrate direct applications of the ever growing PhenoCam network (http://phenocam.sr.unh.edu/webcam/) in scaling the effects of ecosystem disturbances, predicting future ecosystem productivity and underscore the complementary nature of PhenoCam data with ecosystem exchange measurements.

  20. Invasive Plants Rapidly Reshape Soil Properties in a Grassland Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Lekberg, Ylva; Mummey, Daniel L.; Sangwan, Naseer; Ramsey, Philip W.; Gilbert, Jack A.

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Plant invasions often reduce native plant diversity and increase net primary productivity. Invaded soils appear to differ from surrounding soils in ways that impede restoration of diverse native plant communities. We hypothesize that invader-mediated shifts in edaphic properties reproducibly alter soil microbial community structure and function. Here, we take a holistic approach, characterizing plant, prokaryotic, and fungal communities and soil physicochemical properties in field sites, invasion gradients, and experimental plots for three invasive plant species that cooccur in the Rocky Mountain West. Each invader had a unique impact on soil physicochemical properties. We found that invasions drove shifts in the abundances of specific microbial taxa, while overall belowground community structure and functional potential were fairly constant. Forb invaders were generally enriched in copiotrophic bacteria with higher 16S rRNA gene copy numbers and showed greater microbial carbohydrate and nitrogen metabolic potential. Older invasions had stronger effects on abiotic soil properties, indicative of multiyear successions. Overall, we show that plant invasions are idiosyncratic in their impact on soils and are directly responsible for driving reproducible shifts in the soil environment over multiyear time scales. IMPORTANCE In this study, we show how invasive plant species drive rapid shifts in the soil environment from surrounding native communities. Each of the three plant invaders had different but consistent effects on soils. Thus, there does not appear to be a one-size-fits-all strategy for how plant invaders alter grassland soil environments. This work represents a crucial step toward understanding how invaders might be able to prevent or impair native reestablishment by changing soil biotic and abiotic properties. PMID:28289729

  1. Declining plant nitrogen supply and carbon accumulation in ageing primary boreal forest ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Högberg, Mona N.; Yarwood, Stephanie A.; Trumbore, Susan; Högberg, Peter

    2016-04-01

    Boreal forest soils are commonly characterized by a low plant nitrogen (N) supply. A high tree below-ground allocation of carbon (C) to roots and soil microorganisms in response to the shortage of N may lead to high microbial immobilisation of N, thus aggravating the N limitation. We studied the N supply at a Swedish boreal forest ecosystem chronosequence created by new land rising out of the sea due to iso-static rebound. The youngest soils develop with meadows by the coast, followed by a zone of dinitrogen fixing alder trees, and primary boreal conifer forest on ground up to 560 years old. With increasing ecosystem age, the proportion of microbial C out of the total soil C pool from the youngest to the oldest coniferous ecosystem was constant (c. 1-1.5%), whereas immobilised N (microbial N out of total soil N) increased and approached the levels commonly observed in similar boreal coniferous forests (c. 6-7 %), whereas gross N mineralization declined. Simultaneously, plant foliar N % decreased and the natural abundance of N-15 in the soil increased. More specifically, the difference in N-15 between plant foliage and soil increased, which is related to greater retention of N-15 relative to N-14 by ectomycorrhizal fungi as N is taken up from the soil and some N is transferred to the plant host. In the conifer forest, where these changes were greatest, we found increased fungal biomass in the F- and H-horizons of the mor-layer, in which ectomycorrhizal fungi are known to dominate (the uppermost horizon with litter and moss is dominated by saprotrophic fungi). Hence, we propose that the decreasing N supply to the plants and the subsequent decline in plant production in ageing boreal forests is linked to high tree belowground C allocation to C limited ectomycorrhizal fungi (and other soil microorganisms), a strong sink for available soil N. Data on organic matter C-14 suggested that the largest input of recently fixed plant C occurred in the younger coniferous forest

  2. Ecosystem Responses To Plant Phenology Across Scales And Trophic Levels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stoner, D.; Sexton, J. O.; Nagol, J. R.; Ironside, K.; Choate, D.; Longshore, K.; Edwards, T., Jr.

    2015-12-01

    Plant phenology in arid and semi-arid ecoregions is constrained by water availability and governs the life history characteristics of primary and secondary consumers. We related the behavior, demography, and distribution of mammalian herbivores and their principal predator to remotely sensed vegetation and climatological indices across the western United States for the period 2000-2014. Across scales, terrain and topographic position moderates the effects of climatological drought on primary productivity, resulting in differential susceptibility among plant functional types to water stress. At broad scales, herbivores tie parturition to moist sites during the period of maximum increase in local forage production. Consequently, juvenile mortality is highest in regions of extreme phenological variability. Although decoupled from primary production by one or more trophic levels, carnivore home range size and density is negatively correlated to plant productivity and growing season length. At the finest scales, predation influences the behavior of herbivore prey through compromised habitat selection, in which maternal females trade nutritional benefits of high plant biomass for reduced mortality risk associated with increased visibility. Climate projections for the western United States predict warming combined with shifts in the timing and form of precipitation. Our analyses suggest that these changes will propagate through trophic levels as increased phenological variability and shifts in plant distributions, larger consumer home ranges, altered migration behavior, and generally higher volatility in wildlife populations. Combined with expansion and intensification of human land use across the region, these changes will likely have economic implications stemming from increased human-wildlife conflict (e.g., crop damage, vehicle collisions) and changes in wildlife-related tourism.

  3. State power plant productivity programs

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1981-02-01

    The findings of a working group formed to review the status of efforts by utilities and utility regulators to increase the availability and reliability of generating units are presented. Representatives from nine state regulatory agencies, NRRI, and DOE, participated on the Working Group. The Federal government has been working cooperatively with utilities, utility organizations, and with regulators to encourage and facilitate improvements in power plant productivity. Cooperative projects undertaken with regulatory and energy commissions in California, Illinois, New York, Ohio, Texas, North Carolina and Mighigan are described. Following initiation of these cooperative projects, DOE funded a survey to determine which states were explicitly addressing power plant productivity through the regulatory process. The Working Group was formed following completion of this survey. The Working Group emphasized the need for those power plant productivity improvements which are cost effective. The cost effectiveness of proposed availability improvement projects should be determined within the context of opportunities for operating and capital improvements available to an entire utility. The Working Group also identified the need for: allowing for plant designs that have a higher construction cost, but are also more reliable; allowing for recovery and reducing recovery lags for productivity-related capital expenditures; identifying and reducing disincentives in the regulatory process; ascertaining that utilities have sufficient money available to undertake timely maintenance; and support of EPRI and NERC to develop a relevant and accurate national data base. The DOE views these as extremely important aspects of any regulatory program to improve power plant productivity.

  4. Diverging Plant and Ecosystem Strategies in Response to Climate Change in the High Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maseyk, K. S.; Welker, J. M.; Czimczik, C. I.; Lupascu, M.; Lett, C.; Seibt, U. H.

    2014-12-01

    Increasing summer precipitation means Arctic growing seasons are becoming wetter as well as warmer, but the effect of these coupled changes on tundra ecosystem functioning remains largely unknown. We have determined how warmer and wetter summers affect coupled carbon-water cycling in a High Arctic polar semi-desert ecosystem in NW Greenland. Measurements of ecosystem CO2 and water fluxes throughout the growing season and leaf ecophysiological traits (gas exchange, morphology, leaf chemistry) were made at a long-term climate change experiment. After 9 years of exposure to warmer (+ 4°C) and / or wetter (+ 50% precipitation) treatments, we found diverging plant strategies between the responses to warming with or without an increase in summer precipitation. Warming alone resulted in an increase in leaf nitrogen, mesophyll conductance and leaf-mass per area and higher rates of leaf-level photosynthesis, but with warming and wetting combined leaf traits remain largely unchanged. However, total leaf area increased with warming plus wetting but was unchanged with warming alone. The combined effect of these leaf trait and canopy adjustments is a decrease in ecosystem water-use efficiency (the ratio of net productivity to evapotranspiration) with warming only, but a substantial increase with combined warming and wetting. We conclude that increasing summer precipitation will alter tundra ecohydrological responses to warming; that leaf-level changes in ecophysiological traits have an upward cascading consequence for ecosystem and land surface-climate interactions; and the current relative resistance of High Arctic ecosystems to warming may mask biochemical and carbon cycling changes already underway.

  5. Plant-trait-based modeling assessment of ecosystem-service sensitivity to land-use change.

    PubMed

    Quétier, Fabien; Lavorel, Sandra; Thuiller, Wilfried; Davies, Ian

    2007-12-01

    Evidence is accumulating that the continued provision of essential ecosystem services is vulnerable to land-use change. Yet, we lack a strong scientific basis for this vulnerability as the processes that drive ecosystem-service delivery often remain unclear. In this paper, we use plant traits to assess ecosystem-service sensitivity to land-use change in subalpine grasslands. We use a trait-based plant classification (plant functional types, PFTs) in a landscape modeling platform to model community dynamics under contrasting but internally consistent land-use change scenarios. We then use predictive models of relevant ecosystem attributes, based on quantitative plant traits, to make projections of ecosystem-service delivery. We show that plant traits and PFTs are effective predictors of relevant ecosystem attributes for a range of ecosystem services including provisioning (fodder), cultural (land stewardship), regulating (landslide and avalanche risk), and supporting services (plant diversity). By analyzing the relative effects of the physical environment and land use on relevant ecosystem attributes, we also show that these ecosystem services are most sensitive to changes in grassland management, supporting current agri-environmental policies aimed at maintaining mowing of subalpine grasslands in Europe.

  6. The use of a new ecosystem services assessment tool, EPA H2O, for identifying, quantifying, and valuing ecosystem services production.

    EPA Science Inventory

    The task of estimating ecosystem service production and delivery deserves special attention. Assessment tools that incorporate both supply and delivery of ecosystem services are needed to better understand how ecosystem services production becomes realized benefits. Here, we de...

  7. Nitrogen Uptake Preferences by Plants in Arid and Semiarid Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macko, S.; Wang, L.; D'Odorico, P.

    2005-12-01

    In arid and semiarid ecosystems like African savannas, nutrient availability varies spatially and temporally and nutrients are considered to be a major limiting factor for growth in addition to water availability. Preference for different nitrogen forms presumably enhances the survivorship and fitness of plants since the relative abundances of nitrate and ammonium varies between drier and wetter areas. To test the hypothesis that species developing in dry areas will prefer nitrate whereas species growing in wet areas will prefer ammonium, a controlled experiment using a greenhouse was undertaken. Six native African grass species from different precipitation regimes were used in this study. Two species were from relatively wet areas (Pandamatenga, Botswana, precipitation = 698 mm/year), two were from relatively dry areas (Tshane, Botswana, precipitation = 232 mm/year) and other two were from intermediate environments (Ghanzi, Botswana, precipitation = 400 mm/year). The grass seeds were collected in the field during the dry season of 2004 and using germination pans, were grown in a greenhouse. When individuals were mature, they were transferred into plastic pots (one individual per pot) containing commercial sand. After one week period of adjustment, a 15N labeled fertilizer (NH4NO3) was applied. The total N applied as fertilizer was comparable to the mineralized field N based on a calculated rate for the top 15 cm of soil. A pair of individual plants was treated as an experimental unit. Each plant received the same amount of total N fertilizer, but one was 15NO3 labeled and another was 15NH4 labeled. Nutrient uptake preference was determined by the 15N difference between pairs. The preliminary results with three species shows that, the individuals from dry area ( Enneapogon cenchroides from Tshane) has significantly higher foliar 15N signatures in the 15NO3 labeling treatment (p = 0.0103) and no difference in root 15N signatures. Whereas individuals from the wet

  8. Regulating plant/insect interactions using CO2 enrichment in model ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grodzinski, B.; Schmidt, J. M.; Watts, B.; Taylor, J.; Bates, S.; Dixon, M. A.; Staines, H.

    1999-01-01

    The greenhouse environment is a challenging artificial ecosystem in which it is possible to study selected plant/insect interaction in a controlled environment. Due to a combination of ``direct'' and ``indirect'' effects of CO2 enrichment on plant photosynthesis and plant development, canopy productivity is generally increased. In this paper, we discuss the effects of daytime and nighttime CO2 enrichment protocols on gas exchange of pepper plants (Capsicum annuum L, cv Cubico) grown in controlled environments. In addition, we present the effects of thrips, a common insect pest, on the photosynthetic and respiratory activity of these plant canopies. Carbon dioxide has diverse effects on the physiology and mortality of insects. However, our data indicate that thrips and whiteflies, at least, are not killed ``directly'' by CO2 levels used to enhance photosynthesis and plant growth. Together the data suggest that the insect population is affected ``indirectly'' by CO2 and that the primary effect of CO2 is via its effects on plant metabolism.

  9. Ecosystem consequences of enhanced solar ultraviolet radiation: secondary plant metabolites as mediators of multiple trophic interactions in terrestrial plant communities.

    PubMed

    Bassman, John H

    2004-05-01

    The potential role of ultraviolet-B (UV-B)-induced secondary plant metabolites as mediators of multiple trophic responses in terrestrial ecosystems is considered through review of the major classes of secondary metabolites, the pathways for their biosynthesis, interactions with primary and secondary consumers and known UV effects on their induction. Gross effects of UV-B radiation on plant growth and survival under realistic spectral balances in the field have been generally lacking, but subtle changes in carbon allocation and partitioning induced by UV-B, in particular production of secondary metabolites, can affect ecosystem-level processes. Secondary metabolites are important in plant-herbivore interactions and may affect pathogens. They act as feeding or oviposition deterrents to generalists and nonadapted specialists, but adapted specialists are stimulated to feed by these same compounds, which they detoxify and often sequester for use against their predators. This provides a route for tritrophic effects of enhanced UV-B radiation whereby herbivory may be increased while predation on the herbivore is simultaneously reduced. It is in this context that secondary metabolites may manifest their most important role. They can be the demonstrable mechanism establishing cause and effect at higher trophic levels because the consequences of their induction can be established at all trophic levels.

  10. Cold air drainage flows subsidize montane valley ecosystem productivity.

    PubMed

    Novick, Kimberly A; Oishi, A Christopher; Miniat, Chelcy Ford

    2016-12-01

    In mountainous areas, cold air drainage from high to low elevations has pronounced effects on local temperature, which is a critical driver of many ecosystem processes, including carbon uptake and storage. Here, we leverage new approaches for interpreting ecosystem carbon flux observations in complex terrain to quantify the links between macro-climate condition, drainage flows, local microclimate, and ecosystem carbon cycling in a southern Appalachian valley. Data from multiple long-running climate stations and multiple eddy covariance flux towers are combined with simple models for ecosystem carbon fluxes. We show that cold air drainage into the valley suppresses local temperature by several degrees at night and for several hours before and after sunset, leading to reductions in growing season respiration on the order of ~8%. As a result, we estimate that drainage flows increase growing season and annual net carbon uptake in the valley by >10% and >15%, respectively, via effects on microclimate that are not be adequately represented in regional- and global-scale terrestrial ecosystem models. Analyses driven by chamber-based estimates of soil and plant respiration reveal cold air drainage effects on ecosystem respiration are dominated by reductions to the respiration of aboveground biomass. We further show that cold air drainage proceeds more readily when cloud cover and humidity are low, resulting in the greatest enhancements to net carbon uptake in the valley under clear, cloud-free (i.e., drought-like) conditions. This is a counterintuitive result that is neither observed nor predicted outside of the valley, where nocturnal temperature and respiration increase during dry periods. This result should motivate efforts to explore how topographic flows may buffer eco-physiological processes from macroscale climate change.

  11. Using plant traits to evaluate the resistance and resilience of ecosystem service provision

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Marina; Devaux, Caroline; Fontana, Veronika; Grigulis, Karl; Lavorel, Sandra; Leitinger, Georg; Schirpke, Uta; Tasser, Erich; Tappeiner, Ulrike

    2015-04-01

    Mountain grassland ecosystems are a hotspot of biodiversity and deliver a multiplicity of ecosystem services. Due to a long history of well adapted agricultural use and specific environmental conditions (e.g. slope, altitude, or climate), various types of grassland ecosystems have developed. Each of them shows specific attributes in forms of plant communities and abiotic characteristics, which lead to particular ranges of ecosystem service provision. However, ongoing climate and societal changes thread plant community composition and may lead to changes in plant traits, and therefore, the provision of ecosystem services. Currently it is not clear how vulnerable these ecosystems are to disturbances, or whether they have developed a high resilience over time. Thus, it is essential to know the ranges of resistance and resilience of an ecosystem service. We, therefore, developed a static approach based on community weighted mean plant traits and abiotic parameters to measure the boundaries of resistance and resilience of each ecosystem service separately. By calculating actual minimum and maximum amounts of ecosystem services, we define the range of resistance of an ecosystem service. We then calculate the potential amount of an ecosystem services (via simulated plant communities) by assuming that no species is lost or added to the system. By comparing actual and potential values, we can estimate whether an ecosystem service is in danger to lose its resilience. We selected different ecosystem services related to mountain grassland ecosystems, e.g. carbon storage, forage quality, forage quantity, and soil fertility. We analysed each ecosystem service for different grassland management types, covering meadows and pastures of very low land-use intensity through to grasslands of high land-use intensity. Results indicate that certain ecosystem services have a higher resilience than others (e.g. carbon storage) for all management types. The ecosystem may provide steady

  12. Molecules to Ecosystems: Actinomycete Natural Products In situ

    PubMed Central

    Behie, Scott W.; Bonet, Bailey; Zacharia, Vineetha M.; McClung, Dylan J.; Traxler, Matthew F.

    2017-01-01

    Actinomycetes, filamentous actinobacteria found in numerous ecosystems around the globe, produce a wide range of clinically useful natural products (NP). In natural environments, actinomycetes live in dynamic communities where environmental cues and ecological interactions likely influence NP biosynthesis. Our current understating of these cues, and the ecological roles of NP, is in its infancy. We postulate that understanding the ecological context in which actinomycete metabolites are made is fundamental to advancing the discovery of novel NP. In this review we explore the ecological relevance of actinomycetes and their secondary metabolites from varying ecosystems, and suggest that investigating the ecology of actinomycete interactions warrants particular attention with respect to metabolite discovery. Furthermore, we focus on the chemical ecology and in situ analysis of actinomycete NP and consider the implications for NP biosynthesis at ecosystem scales. PMID:28144233

  13. Regional signatures of plant response to drought and elevated temperature across a desert ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Munson, Seth M; Muldavin, Esteban H; Belnap, Jayne; Peters, Debra P C; Anderson, John P; Reiser, M Hildegard; Gallo, Kirsten; Melgoza-Castillo, Alicia; Herrick, Jeffrey E; Christiansen, Tim A

    2013-09-01

    The performance of many desert plant species in North America may decline with the warmer and drier conditions predicted by climate change models, thereby accelerating land degradation and reducing ecosystem productivity. We paired repeat measurements of plant canopy cover with climate at multiple sites across the Chihuahuan Desert over the last century to determine which plant species and functional types may be the most sensitive to climate change. We found that the dominant perennial grass, Bouteloua eriopoda, and species richness had nonlinear responses to summer precipitation, decreasing more in dry summers than increasing with wet summers. Dominant shrub species responded differently to the seasonality of precipitation and drought, but winter precipitation best explained changes in the cover of woody vegetation in upland grasslands and may contribute to woody-plant encroachment that is widespread throughout the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. Temperature explained additional variability of changes in cover of dominant and subdominant plant species. Using a novel empirically based approach we identified "climate pivot points" that were indicative of shifts from increasing to decreasing plant cover over a range of climatic conditions. Reductions in cover of annual and several perennial plant species, in addition to declines in species richness below the long-term summer precipitation mean across plant communities, indicate a decrease in the productivity for all but the most drought-tolerant perennial grasses and shrubs in the Chihuahuan Desert. Overall, our regional synthesis of long-term data provides a robust foundation for forecasting future shifts in the composition and structure of plant assemblages in the largest North American warm desert.

  14. Regional signatures of plant response to drought and elevated temperature across a desert ecosystem

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Munson, Seth M.; Muldavin, Esteban H.; Belnap, Jayne; Peters, Debra P.C.; Anderson, John P.; Reiser, M. Hildegard; Gallo, Kirsten; Melgoza-Castillo, Alicia; Herrick, Jeffrey E.; Christiansen, Tim A.

    2013-01-01

    The performance of many desert plant species in North America may decline with the warmer and drier conditions predicted by climate change models, thereby accelerating land degradation and reducing ecosystem productivity. We paired repeat measurements of plant canopy cover with climate at multiple sites across the Chihuahuan Desert over the last century to determine which plant species and functional types may be the most sensitive to climate change. We found that the dominant perennial grass, Bouteloua eriopoda, and species richness had nonlinear responses to summer precipitation, decreasing more in dry summers than increasing with wet summers. Dominant shrub species responded differently to the seasonality of precipitation and drought, but winter precipitation best explained changes in the cover of woody vegetation in upland grasslands and may contribute to woody-plant encroachment that is widespread throughout the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. Temperature explained additional variability of changes in cover of dominant and subdominant plant species. Using a novel empirically based approach we identified ‘‘climate pivot points’’ that were indicative of shifts from increasing to decreasing plant cover over a range of climatic conditions. Reductions in cover of annual and several perennial plant species, in addition to declines in species richness below the long-term summer precipitation mean across plant communities, indicate a decrease in the productivity for all but the most drought-tolerant perennial grasses and shrubs in the Chihuahuan Desert. Overall, our regional synthesis of long-term data provides a robust foundation for forecasting future shifts in the composition and structure of plant assemblages in the largest North American warm desert.

  15. Maintaining ecosystem services through continued livestock production on California rangelands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barry, S.; Becchetti, T.

    2015-12-01

    Nearly 40% of California is rangeland comprising the largest land type in California and providing forage for livestock, primarily beef cattle. In addition to forage, rangelands provide a host of ecosystem systems services, including habitat for common and endangered species, fire fuels management, pollination services, clean water, viewsheds, and carbon sequestration. Published research has documented that most of these ecosystem services are positively impacted by managed livestock grazing and rancher stewardship. Ranchers typically do not receive any monetary reimbursement for their stewardship in providing these ecosystem services to the public. Markets have been difficult to establish with limited ability to adequately monitor and measure services provided. At the same time, rangelands have been experiencing rapid conversion to urbanization and more profitable and intensive forms of agriculture such as almond and walnut orchards. To prevent further conversion of rangelands and the loss of the services they provide, there needs to be a mechanism to identify and compensate landowners for the value of all products and services being received from rangelands. This paper considers two methods (opportunity cost and avoided cost) to determine the value of Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) for rangelands. PES can raise the value of rangelands, making them more competitive financially. Real estate values and University of California Cooperative Extension Cost Studies, were used to demonstrate the difference in value (lost opportunity cost) between the primary products of rangelands (livestock production) and the products of the converted rangelands (almond and walnut orchards). Avoided costs for vegetation management and habitat creation and maintenance were used to establish the value of managed grazing. If conversion is to be slowed or stopped and managed grazing promoted to protect the ecosystem services rangelands provide, this value could be compensated through

  16. The Flora Mission for Ecosystem Composition, Disturbance and Productivity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Asner, Gregory P.; Knox, Robert G.; Green, Robert O.; Ungar, Stephen G.

    2005-01-01

    Global land use and climate variability alter ecosystem conditions - including structure, function, and biological diversity - at a pace that requires unambiguous observations from satellite vantage points. Current global measurements are limited to general land cover, some disturbances, vegetation leaf area index, and canopy energy absorption. Flora is a pathfinding mission that provides new measurements of ecosystem structure, function, and diversity to understand the spatial and temporal dynamics of human and natural disturbances, and the biogeochemical and physiological responses of ecosystems to disturbance. The mission relies upon high-fidelity imaging spectroscopy to deliver full optical spectrum measurements (400-2500 nm) of the global land surface on a monthly time step at 45 meter spatial resolution for three years. The Flora measurement objectives are: (i) fractional cover of biological materials, (ii) canopy water content, (iii) vegetation pigments and light-use efficiency, (iv) plant functional types, (v) fire fuel load and fuel moisture content, and (vi) disturbance occurrence, type and intensity. These measurements are made using a multi-parameter, spectroscopic analysis approach afforded by observation of the full optical spectrum. Combining these measurements, along with additional observations from multispectral sensors, Flora will far advance global studies and models of ecosystem dynamics and change.

  17. Water use, productivity and interactions among desert plants

    SciTech Connect

    Ehleringer, J.R.

    1992-11-17

    Water plays a central role affecting all aspects of the dynamics in aridland ecosystems. Productivity, stability, and competitive interactions among ecosystem components within aridlands are key processes related directly to water in deserts. The ecological studies in this project revolve around one fundamental premise: that integrated aspects of plant metabolism provide insight into the structure and function of plant communities and ecosystems. While it is difficult to extrapolate from instantaneous physiological observations to higher scales, such as whole plant performance or to interactions between plants as components of ecosystems, several key aspects of plant metabolism are scalable. Analyses of stable isotopic composition in plant tissues at natural abundance levels provide a useful tool that can provide insight into the consequences of physiological processes over temporal and spatial scales. Some plant processes continuously fractionate among light and heavy stable isotopic forms of an element; over time this results in integrated measures of plant metabolism. For example, carbon isotope fractionation during photosynthesis results in leaf carbon isotopic composition that is a measure of the set-point for photosynthetic metabolism and of water-use efficiency. Thus it provides information on the temporal scaling of a key physiological process. In contrast, hydrogen is not fractionated during water uptake through the root. Soil water availability in shallow, deep, and/or groundwater layers vary spatially; therefore hydrogen isotope ratios of xylem sap provide a direct measure of the water source currently used by a plant. The longer-term record of carbon and hydrogen isotope ratios is recorded annually in xylem tissues (tree rings). The research in this project addresses variation in stable isotopic composition of aridland plants and its consequences for plant performance and community-level interactions.

  18. Water use, productivity and interactions among desert plants

    SciTech Connect

    Ehleringer, J.R.

    1992-11-17

    Productivity, stability, and competitive interactions among ecosystem components within aridlands are key processes related directly to water in deserts. This project assumes that integrated aspects of plant metabolism provide insight into the structure and function of plant communities and ecosystems. While it is difficult to extrapolate from instantaneous physiological observations to higher scales, such as whole plant performance or to the interactions between plants as components of ecosystems, several key aspects of plant metabolism are scalable. Analyses of stable isotopic composition in plant tissues at natural abundance levels provide a useful tool that can provide insight into the consequences of physiological processes over temporal and spatial scales. Some plant processes continuously fractionate among light and heavy stable isotopic forms of an element; over time this results in integrated measures of plant metabolism. For example, carbon isotope fractionation during photosynthesis results in leaf carbon isotopic composition that is a measure of the set-point for photosynthetic metabolism and of water-use efficiency. Thus it provides information on the temporal scaling of a key physiological process.

  19. Water use, productivity and interactions among desert plants. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Ehleringer, J.R.

    1992-11-17

    Productivity, stability, and competitive interactions among ecosystem components within aridlands are key processes related directly to water in deserts. This project assumes that integrated aspects of plant metabolism provide insight into the structure and function of plant communities and ecosystems. While it is difficult to extrapolate from instantaneous physiological observations to higher scales, such as whole plant performance or to the interactions between plants as components of ecosystems, several key aspects of plant metabolism are scalable. Analyses of stable isotopic composition in plant tissues at natural abundance levels provide a useful tool that can provide insight into the consequences of physiological processes over temporal and spatial scales. Some plant processes continuously fractionate among light and heavy stable isotopic forms of an element; over time this results in integrated measures of plant metabolism. For example, carbon isotope fractionation during photosynthesis results in leaf carbon isotopic composition that is a measure of the set-point for photosynthetic metabolism and of water-use efficiency. Thus it provides information on the temporal scaling of a key physiological process.

  20. Global evidence on nitrogen saturation of terrestrial ecosystem net primary productivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tian, Dashuan; Wang, Hong; Sun, Jian; Niu, Shuli

    2016-02-01

    The continually increasing nitrogen (N) deposition is expected to increase ecosystem aboveground net primary production (ANPP) until it exceeds plant N demand, causing a nonlinear response and N saturation for ANPP. However, the nonlinear response of ANPP to N addition gradient and the N saturation threshold have not been comprehensively quantified yet for terrestrial ecosystems. In this study, we compiled a global dataset of 44 experimental studies with at least three levels of N treatment. Nitrogen response efficiency (NRE, ANPP response per unit N addition) and the difference in NRE between N levels (ΔNRE) were quantified to test the nonlinearity in ANPP response. We found a universal response pattern of N saturation for ANPP with N addition gradient across all the studies and in different ecosystems. An averaged N saturation threshold for ANPP nonlinearity was found at the N addition rates of 5-6 g m-2 yr-1. The extent to which ANPP approaches N saturation varied with ecosystem type, N addition rate and environmental factors. ANPP in grasslands had lower NRE than those in forests and wetlands. Plant NRE decreased with reduced soil C:N ratio, and was the highest at intermediate levels of rainfall and temperature. These findings suggest that ANPP in grassland or the ecosystems with low soil C:N ratio (or low and high rainfall or temperature) is easier to be saturated with N enrichment. Overall, these results indicate that the beneficial effect of N deposition on plant productivity likely diminishes with continuous N enrichment when N loading surpasses the N saturation threshold for ANPP nonlinearity.

  1. Using ecological production functions to link ecological processes to ecosystem services.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecological production functions (EPFs) link ecosystems, stressors, and management actions to ecosystem services (ES) production. Although EPFs are acknowledged as being essential to improve environmental management, their use in ecological risk assessment has received relatively ...

  2. Soil biota can change after exotic plant invasion: Does this affect ecosystem processes?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Belnap, J.; Phillips, S.L.; Sherrod, S.K.; Moldenke, A.

    2005-01-01

    Invasion of the exotic annual grass Bromus tectorum into stands of the native perennial grass Hilaria jamesii significantly reduced the abundance of soil biota, especially microarthropods and nematodes. Effects of invasion on active and total bacterial and fungal biomass were variable, although populations generally increased after 50+ years of invasion. The invasion of Bromus also resulted in a decrease in richness and a species shift in plants, microarthropods, fungi, and nematodes. However, despite the depauperate soil fauna at the invaded sites, no effects were seen on cellulose decomposition rates, nitrogen mineralization rates, or vascular plant growth. When Hilaria was planted into soils from not-invaded, recently invaded, and historically invaded sites (all currently or once dominated by Hilaria), germination and survivorship were not affected. In contrast, aboveground Hilaria biomass was significantly greater in recently invaded soils than in the other two soils. We attributed the Hilaria response to differences in soil nutrients present before the invasion, especially soil nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, as these nutrients were elevated in the soils that produced the greatest Hilaria biomass. Our data suggest that it is not soil biotic richness per se that determines soil process rates or plant productivity, but instead that either (1) the presence of a few critical soil food web taxa can keep ecosystem function high, (2) nutrient loss is very slow in this ecosystem, and/or (3) these processes are microbially driven. However, the presence of Bromus may reduce key soil nutrients over time and thus may eventually suppress native plant success. ?? 2005 by the Ecological Society of America.

  3. Regional scale prioritisation for key ecosystem services, renewable energy production and urban development.

    PubMed

    Casalegno, Stefano; Bennie, Jonathan J; Inger, Richard; Gaston, Kevin J

    2014-01-01

    Although the importance of addressing ecosystem service benefits in regional land use planning and decision-making is evident, substantial practical challenges remain. In particular, methods to identify priority areas for the provision of key ecosystem services and other environmental services (benefits from the environment not directly linked to the function of ecosystems) need to be developed. Priority areas are locations which provide disproportionally high benefits from one or more service. Here we map a set of ecosystem and environmental services and delineate priority areas according to different scenarios. Each scenario is produced by a set of weightings allocated to different services and corresponds to different landscape management strategies which decision makers could undertake. Using the county of Cornwall, U.K., as a case study, we processed gridded maps of key ecosystem services and environmental services, including renewable energy production and urban development. We explored their spatial distribution patterns and their spatial covariance and spatial stationarity within the region. Finally we applied a complementarity-based priority ranking algorithm (zonation) using different weighting schemes. Our conclusions are that (i) there are two main patterns of service distribution in this region, clustered services (including agriculture, carbon stocks, urban development and plant production) and dispersed services (including cultural services, energy production and floods mitigation); (ii) more than half of the services are spatially correlated and there is high non-stationarity in the spatial covariance between services; and (iii) it is important to consider both ecosystem services and other environmental services in identifying priority areas. Different weighting schemes provoke drastic changes in the delineation of priority areas and therefore decision making processes need to carefully consider the relative values attributed to different services.

  4. Regional Scale Prioritisation for Key Ecosystem Services, Renewable Energy Production and Urban Development

    PubMed Central

    Casalegno, Stefano; Bennie, Jonathan J.; Inger, Richard; Gaston, Kevin J.

    2014-01-01

    Although the importance of addressing ecosystem service benefits in regional land use planning and decision-making is evident, substantial practical challenges remain. In particular, methods to identify priority areas for the provision of key ecosystem services and other environmental services (benefits from the environment not directly linked to the function of ecosystems) need to be developed. Priority areas are locations which provide disproportionally high benefits from one or more service. Here we map a set of ecosystem and environmental services and delineate priority areas according to different scenarios. Each scenario is produced by a set of weightings allocated to different services and corresponds to different landscape management strategies which decision makers could undertake. Using the county of Cornwall, U.K., as a case study, we processed gridded maps of key ecosystem services and environmental services, including renewable energy production and urban development. We explored their spatial distribution patterns and their spatial covariance and spatial stationarity within the region. Finally we applied a complementarity-based priority ranking algorithm (zonation) using different weighting schemes. Our conclusions are that (i) there are two main patterns of service distribution in this region, clustered services (including agriculture, carbon stocks, urban development and plant production) and dispersed services (including cultural services, energy production and floods mitigation); (ii) more than half of the services are spatially correlated and there is high non-stationarity in the spatial covariance between services; and (iii) it is important to consider both ecosystem services and other environmental services in identifying priority areas. Different weighting schemes provoke drastic changes in the delineation of priority areas and therefore decision making processes need to carefully consider the relative values attributed to different services

  5. Elevated carbon dioxide and ozone alter productivity and ecosystem carbon content in northern temperate forests.

    PubMed

    Talhelm, Alan F; Pregitzer, Kurt S; Kubiske, Mark E; Zak, Donald R; Campany, Courtney E; Burton, Andrew J; Dickson, Richard E; Hendrey, George R; Isebrands, J G; Lewin, Keith F; Nagy, John; Karnosky, David F

    2014-08-01

    Three young northern temperate forest communities in the north-central United States were exposed to factorial combinations of elevated carbon dioxide (CO2 ) and tropospheric ozone (O3 ) for 11 years. Here, we report results from an extensive sampling of plant biomass and soil conducted at the conclusion of the experiment that enabled us to estimate ecosystem carbon (C) content and cumulative net primary productivity (NPP). Elevated CO2 enhanced ecosystem C content by 11%, whereas elevated O3 decreased ecosystem C content by 9%. There was little variation in treatment effects on C content across communities and no meaningful interactions between CO2 and O3 . Treatment effects on ecosystem C content resulted primarily from changes in the near-surface mineral soil and tree C, particularly differences in woody tissues. Excluding the mineral soil, cumulative NPP was a strong predictor of ecosystem C content (r(2) = 0.96). Elevated CO2 enhanced cumulative NPP by 39%, a consequence of a 28% increase in canopy nitrogen (N) content (g N m(-2) ) and a 28% increase in N productivity (NPP/canopy N). In contrast, elevated O3 lowered NPP by 10% because of a 21% decrease in canopy N, but did not impact N productivity. Consequently, as the marginal impact of canopy N on NPP (∆NPP/∆N) decreased through time with further canopy development, the O3 effect on NPP dissipated. Within the mineral soil, there was less C in the top 0.1 m of soil under elevated O3 and less soil C from 0.1 to 0.2 m in depth under elevated CO2 . Overall, these results suggest that elevated CO2 may create a sustained increase in NPP, whereas the long-term effect of elevated O3 on NPP will be smaller than expected. However, changes in soil C are not well-understood and limit our ability to predict changes in ecosystem C content.

  6. Molecular Insights into Plant-Microbial Processes and Carbon Storage in Mangrove Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Romero, I. C.; Ziegler, S. E.; Fogel, M.; Jacobson, M.; Fuhrman, J. A.; Capone, D. G.

    2009-12-01

    Mangrove forests, in tropical and subtropical coastal zones, are among the most productive ecosystems, representing a significant global carbon sink. We report new molecular insights into the functional relationship among microorganisms, mangrove trees and sediment geochemistry. The interactions among these elements were studied in peat-based mangrove sediments (Twin Cays, Belize) subjected to a long-term fertilization experiment with N and P, providing an analog for eutrophication. The composition and δ13C of bacterial PLFA showed that bacteria and mangrove trees had similar nutrient limitation patterns (N in the fringe mangrove zone, P in the interior zone), and that fertilization with N or P can affect bacterial metabolic processes and bacterial carbon uptake (from diverse mangrove sources including leaf litter, live and dead roots). PCR amplified nifH genes showed a high diversity (26% nifH novel clones) and a remarkable spatial and temporal variability in N-fixing microbial populations in the rhizosphere, varying primarily with the abundance of dead roots, PO4-3 and H2S concentrations in natural and fertilized environments. Our results indicate that eutrophication of mangrove ecosystems has the potential to alter microbial organic matter remineralization and carbon release with important implications for the coastal carbon budget. In addition, we will present preliminary data from a new study exploring the modern calibration of carbon and hydrogen isotopes of plant leaf waxes as a proxy recorder of past environmental change in mangrove ecosystems.

  7. A dynamic model to assess tradeoffs in power production and riverine ecosystem protection.

    PubMed

    Miara, Ariel; Vörösmarty, Charles J

    2013-06-01

    Major strategic planning decisions loom as society aims to balance energy security, economic development and environmental protection. To achieve such balance, decisions involving the so-called water-energy nexus must necessarily embrace a regional multi-power plant perspective. We present here the Thermoelectric Power & Thermal Pollution Model (TP2M), a simulation model that simultaneously quantifies thermal pollution of rivers and estimates efficiency losses in electricity generation as a result of fluctuating intake temperatures and river flows typically encountered across the temperate zone. We demonstrate the model's theoretical framework by carrying out sensitivity tests based on energy, physical and environmental settings. We simulate a series of five thermoelectric plants aligned along a hypothetical river, where we find that warm ambient temperatures, acting both as a physical constraint and as a trigger for regulatory limits on plant operations directly reduce electricity generation. As expected, environmental regulation aimed at reducing thermal loads at a single plant reduces power production at that plant, but ironically can improve the net electricity output from multiple plants when they are optimally co-managed. On the technology management side, high efficiency can be achieved through the use of natural gas combined cycle plants, which can raise the overall efficiency of the aging population of plants, including that of coal. Tradeoff analysis clearly shows the benefit of attaining such high efficiencies, in terms of both limiting thermal loads that preserve ecosystem services and increasing electricity production that benefits economic development.

  8. Exotic plant traits lead to functional diversity decline in novel ecosystems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Exotic species have become common and even dominant in some grasslands forming novel ecosystems because the species in them have no common evolutionary history. Recent work on these novel ecosystems suggest that exotic species contribute to diversity declines. In order to identify the plant traits...

  9. EXPOSURE OF RIPARIAN ECOSYSTEMS TO NON-INDIGENOUS PLANT SPECIES: A CONCEPTUAL RISK ASSESSMENT MODEL

    EPA Science Inventory

    Biological invasions are one of the foremost threats to the integrity of riparian

    ecosystems worldwide, but little is known regarding the long-term invasion dynamics of

    non-indigenous plant species (NIPS) along rivers. Riparian ecosystems are of great

    importa...

  10. Twelve invasive plant taxa in U.S. western riparian ecosystems

    EPA Science Inventory

    Assessments of stream ecosystems often include an evaluation of riparian condition; a key stressor in riparian ecosystems is the presence of invasive plants. We analyzed the distribution of 12 invasive taxa (common burdock [Arctium minus], giant reed [Arundo donax], cheatgrass [B...

  11. Ecosystem development in roadside grasslands: Biotic control, plant-soil interactions, and dispersal limitations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Garcia-Palacios, P.; Bowker, M.A.; Maestre, F.T.; Soliveres, S.; Valladares, F.; Papadopoulos, J.; Escudero, A.

    2011-01-01

    Roadside grasslands undergoing secondary succession are abundant, and represent ecologically meaningful examples of novel, human-created ecosystems. Interactions between plant and soil communities (hereafter plant-soil interactions) are of major importance in understanding the role of biotic control in ecosystem functioning, but little is known about these links in the context of ecosystem restoration and succession. The assessment of the key biotic communities and interactions driving ecosystem development will help practitioners to better allocate the limited resources devoted to roadside grassland restoration. We surveyed roadside grasslands from three successional stages (0-2, 7-9, and > 20 years) in two Mediterranean regions of Spain. Structural equation modeling was used to evaluate how interactions between plants, biological soil crusts (BSCs), and soil microbial functional diversity (soil microorganisms) affect indicators of ecosystem development and restoration: plant similarity to the reference ecosystem, erosion control, and soil C storage and N accumulation. Changes in plant community composition along the successional gradient exerted the strongest influence on these indicators. High BSC cover was associated with high soil stability, and high soil microbial functional diversity from late-successional stages was associated with high soil fertility. Contrary to our expectations, the indirect effects of plants, mediated by either BSCs or soil microorganisms, were very weak in both regions, suggesting a minor role for plant-soil interactions upon ecosystem development indicators over long periods. Our results suggest that natural vegetation dynamics effectively improved ecosystem development within a time frame of 20 years in the grasslands evaluated. They also indicate that this time could be shortened if management actions focus on: (1) maintaining wellconserved natural areas close to roadsides to enhance plant compositional changes towards late

  12. Considerations on a data-driven approach to identify plant's imprint on ecosystem functioning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Musavi, Talie; Kattge, Jens; Mahecha, Miguel; Reichstein, Markus; Van de Weg, Martine Janet; Van Bodegom, Peter; Bahn, Michael; Migliavacca, Mirco; Wirth, Christian; Reich, Peter

    2015-04-01

    Terrestrial ecosystems strongly determine the exchange of carbon, water and energy between the biosphere and atmosphere. These exchanges are influenced and partly driven by environmental conditions (e.g. local meteorology, soils), but generally mediated by organisms. In commonly used terrestrial biosphere models, this principle is implemented by process-based descriptions of plant functioning at the organ level. In order to validate these model formulations, we need an independent empirical approach to understand the plant's imprint on ecosystem functioning. We use land-atmosphere exchange of fluxes of CO2, H2O and energy in tandem with environmental controls available in FLUXNET to quantify "ecosystem functional properties" (EFPs). The latter are generally time-invariant ecosystem specific properties, for instance process sensitivities or efficiencies that shape ecosystem scale responses. Our crucial question is if plant traits measured at the organ level (available e.g. in the TRY database) can elucidate the characteristics of EFPs. In this study we follow this new avenue and link the two global databases FLUXNET and TRY to study the role of plants for biogeochemical cycles across a large number of different globally distributed ecosystem types. We aim to address emerging difficulties and possible solutions. For instance, we show that using average values of plant traits from TRY that are not necessarily measured at the fluxnet sites is of use but has clear limitations. However having information on the amount of vegetation at the sites derived from remote sensing is needed for weighting the plant traits. In addition, we have to consider that EFPs are not really time-invariant and subject to alterations after disturbance, meteorological extremes, management etc. Overall, we provide an outlook on perspectives and applications of empirical analyses of plants' imprint on ecosystem functioning by combining remote sensing, in situ measured plant traits and ecosystem

  13. Plant Products as Antimicrobial Agents

    PubMed Central

    Cowan, Marjorie Murphy

    1999-01-01

    The use of and search for drugs and dietary supplements derived from plants have accelerated in recent years. Ethnopharmacologists, botanists, microbiologists, and natural-products chemists are combing the Earth for phytochemicals and “leads” which could be developed for treatment of infectious diseases. While 25 to 50% of current pharmaceuticals are derived from plants, none are used as antimicrobials. Traditional healers have long used plants to prevent or cure infectious conditions; Western medicine is trying to duplicate their successes. Plants are rich in a wide variety of secondary metabolites, such as tannins, terpenoids, alkaloids, and flavonoids, which have been found in vitro to have antimicrobial properties. This review attempts to summarize the current status of botanical screening efforts, as well as in vivo studies of their effectiveness and toxicity. The structure and antimicrobial properties of phytochemicals are also addressed. Since many of these compounds are currently available as unregulated botanical preparations and their use by the public is increasing rapidly, clinicians need to consider the consequences of patients self-medicating with these preparations. PMID:10515903

  14. Phytoplankton primary production in the world's estuarine-coastal ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cloern, J. E.; Foster, S. Q.; Kleckner, A. E.

    2014-05-01

    Estuaries are biogeochemical hot spots because they receive large inputs of nutrients and organic carbon from land and oceans to support high rates of metabolism and primary production. We synthesize published rates of annual phytoplankton primary production (APPP) in marine ecosystems influenced by connectivity to land - estuaries, bays, lagoons, fjords and inland seas. Review of the scientific literature produced a compilation of 1148 values of APPP derived from monthly incubation assays to measure carbon assimilation or oxygen production. The median value of median APPP measurements in 131 ecosystems is 185 and the mean is 252 g C m-2 yr-1, but the range is large: from -105 (net pelagic production in the Scheldt Estuary) to 1890 g C m-2 yr-1 (net phytoplankton production in Tamagawa Estuary). APPP varies up to 10-fold within ecosystems and 5-fold from year to year (but we only found eight APPP series longer than a decade so our knowledge of decadal-scale variability is limited). We use studies of individual places to build a conceptual model that integrates the mechanisms generating this large variability: nutrient supply, light limitation by turbidity, grazing by consumers, and physical processes (river inflow, ocean exchange, and inputs of heat, light and wind energy). We consider method as another source of variability because the compilation includes values derived from widely differing protocols. A simulation model shows that different methods reported in the literature can yield up to 3-fold variability depending on incubation protocols and methods for integrating measured rates over time and depth. Although attempts have been made to upscale measures of estuarine-coastal APPP, the empirical record is inadequate for yielding reliable global estimates. The record is deficient in three ways. First, it is highly biased by the large number of measurements made in northern Europe (particularly the Baltic region) and North America. Of the 1148 reported values of

  15. Phytoplankton primary production in the world's estuarine-coastal ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cloern, James E.; Foster, S.Q.; Kleckner, A.E.

    2014-01-01

    Estuaries are biogeochemical hot spots because they receive large inputs of nutrients and organic carbon from land and oceans to support high rates of metabolism and primary production. We synthesize published rates of annual phytoplankton primary production (APPP) in marine ecosystems influenced by connectivity to land – estuaries, bays, lagoons, fjords and inland seas. Review of the scientific literature produced a compilation of 1148 values of APPP derived from monthly incubation assays to measure carbon assimilation or oxygen production. The median value of median APPP measurements in 131 ecosystems is 185 and the mean is 252 g C m−2 yr−1, but the range is large: from −105 (net pelagic production in the Scheldt Estuary) to 1890 g C m−2 yr−1 (net phytoplankton production in Tamagawa Estuary). APPP varies up to 10-fold within ecosystems and 5-fold from year to year (but we only found eight APPP series longer than a decade so our knowledge of decadal-scale variability is limited). We use studies of individual places to build a conceptual model that integrates the mechanisms generating this large variability: nutrient supply, light limitation by turbidity, grazing by consumers, and physical processes (river inflow, ocean exchange, and inputs of heat, light and wind energy). We consider method as another source of variability because the compilation includes values derived from widely differing protocols. A simulation model shows that different methods reported in the literature can yield up to 3-fold variability depending on incubation protocols and methods for integrating measured rates over time and depth. Although attempts have been made to upscale measures of estuarine-coastal APPP, the empirical record is inadequate for yielding reliable global estimates. The record is deficient in three ways. First, it is highly biased by the large number of measurements made in northern Europe (particularly the Baltic region) and North America. Of the 1148

  16. Modeling Hawaiian ecosystem degradation due to invasive plants under current and future climates

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vorsino, Adam E.; Fortini, Lucas B.; Amidon, Fred A.; Miller, Stephen E.; Jacobi, James D.; Price, Jonathan P.; `Ohukani`ohi`a Gon, Sam; Koob, Gregory A.

    2014-01-01

    Occupation of native ecosystems by invasive plant species alters their structure and/or function. In Hawaii, a subset of introduced plants is regarded as extremely harmful due to competitive ability, ecosystem modification, and biogeochemical habitat degradation. By controlling this subset of highly invasive ecosystem modifiers, conservation managers could significantly reduce native ecosystem degradation. To assess the invasibility of vulnerable native ecosystems, we selected a proxy subset of these invasive plants and developed robust ensemble species distribution models to define their respective potential distributions. The combinations of all species models using both binary and continuous habitat suitability projections resulted in estimates of species richness and diversity that were subsequently used to define an invasibility metric. The invasibility metric was defined from species distribution models with 0.8; True Skill Statistic >0.75) as evaluated per species. Invasibility was further projected onto a 2100 Hawaii regional climate change scenario to assess the change in potential habitat degradation. The distribution defined by the invasibility metric delineates areas of known and potential invasibility under current climate conditions and, when projected into the future, estimates potential reductions in native ecosystem extent due to climate-driven invasive incursion. We have provided the code used to develop these metrics to facilitate their wider use (Code S1). This work will help determine the vulnerability of native-dominated ecosystems to the combined threats of climate change and invasive species, and thus help prioritize ecosystem and species management actions.

  17. The mycorrhizal contribution to plant productivity, plant nutrition and soil structure in experimental grassland.

    PubMed

    van der Heijden, Marcel G A; Streitwolf-Engel, Ruth; Riedl, Ralph; Siegrist, Sabine; Neudecker, Angelica; Ineichen, Kurt; Boller, Thomas; Wiemken, Andres; Sanders, Ian R

    2006-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) can influence plant diversity and ecosystem productivity. However, little is known about the effects of AMF and different AMF taxa on other important community properties such as nutrient acquisition, plant survival and soil structure. We established experimental grassland microcosms and tested the impact of AMF and of different AMF taxa on a number of grassland characteristics. We also tested whether plant species benefited from the same or different AMF taxa in subsequent growing seasons. AMF enhanced phosphorus acquisition, soil aggregation and survival of several plant species, but AMF did not increase total plant productivity. Moreover, AMF increased nitrogen acquisition by some plant species, but AMF had no effect on total N uptake by the plant community. Plant growth responses to AMF were temporally variable and some plant species obtained the highest biomass with different AMF in different years. Hence the results indicate that it may be beneficial for a plant to be colonized by different AMF taxa in different seasons. This study shows that AMF play a key role in grassland by improving plant nutrition and soil structure, and by regulating the make-up of the plant community.

  18. Impacts of extreme hydro-meteorological conditions on ecosystem functioning and productivity patterns across Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huete, Alfredo; Ma, Xuanlong; Xie, Zunyi; Restrepo-Coupe, Natalia; Ponce-Campos, Guillermo

    2016-04-01

    As Earth's climate continues to change, the frequency and intensity of warm droughts, extreme precipitation patterns, and heat waves will alter in potentially different ways, ecosystem structure and functioning with major impacts on carbon and water balance, and food security. The extreme hydro-meteorological conditions that are presently impacting Australia approach those anticipated with future climate change and thus provide unique opportunities to study ecological sensitivity and functional responses and cross-biome productivity changes using contemporary, in-situ and satellite observational datasets. Here, we combined satellite vegetation index products from MODIS and AVHRR, total water storage (TWS) from the GRACE twin satellites, precipitation data and in-situ tower flux measurements to characterise ecosystem sensitivity, and analyse climate change impacts on ecosystem productivity and resilience. Recent advances in eddy covariance tower flux measurements and spatially contiguous remote sensing data provide innovative and promising capabilities to extend ecosystem functioning and productivity studies from local to regional and continental scales. In general, Australia exhibited ecosystem-level shifts in water demands with water availability across wet and dry years, and over all biomes analysed (arid grasslands to humid forests). In the drier years, higher ecosystem water use efficiencies (WUEe) enabled plants to maintain higher levels of productivity than would otherwise be expected for the lower amounts of rainfall and available water. Further, there were unique, functional class-specific coping strategies to drought and water availability. With prolonged warm drought conditions, biomes became increasingly water-limited and WUEe continued to increase until reaching a 'dry edge' threshold, a cross biome maximum WUEe, that cannot be sustained with further reductions in water availability and could potentially break down ecosystem resilience and induce

  19. Characterizing isotopic variability of primary production and consumers in Great Plains ecosystems during protracted regional drought

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haveles, A. W.; Fox-Dobbs, K.; Talmadge, K. A.; Fetrow, A.; Fox, D. L.

    2012-12-01

    Over the last few years (2010-2012), the Great Plains of the central USA experienced protracted drought conditions, including historically severe drought during Summer, 2011. Drought severity in the region generally decreases with increasing latitude, but episodic drought is a fundamental trait of grassland ecosystems. Documenting above ground energy and nutrient flow with current drought is critical to understanding responses of grassland ecosystems in the region to predicted increased episodicity of rainfall and recurrence of drought due to anthropogenic climate change. Characterization of biogeochemical variability of modern ecosystems at the microhabitat, local landscape, and regional scales is also necessary to interpret biogeochemical records of ancient grasslands based on paleosols and fossil mammals. Here, we characterize three grassland ecosystems that span the drought gradient in the Great Plains (sites in the Texas panhandle, southwest Kansas, and northwest Nebraska). We measured δ13C and δ15N values of plants and consumers to characterize the biogeochemical variability within each ecosystem. Vegetation at each site is a mix of trees, shrubs, herbs, and cool- and warm-growing season grasses (C3 and C4, respectively). Thus, consumers have access to isotopically distinct sources of forage that vary in abundance with microhabitat (e.g., open grassland, shrub thicket, riparian woodland). Observations indicate herbivorous arthropod (grasshoppers and crickets) abundance follows drought severity, with high abundance of many species in Texas, and low abundance of few species in Nebraska. Small mammal (rodents) abundance follows the inverse pattern with 0.8%, 3.2% and 17.2% capture success in Texas, Kansas and Nebraska, respectively. The inverse abundance patterns of consumer groups may result from greater sensitivity of small mammal consumers with high metabolic needs to lower local net primary productivity and forage quality under drought conditions. As a

  20. Some Perspectives on the Risks and Benefits of Biological Control of Invasive Alien Plants in the Management of Natural Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Wilgen, B. W.; Moran, V. C.; Hoffmann, J. H.

    2013-09-01

    Globally, invasions by alien plants are rapidly increasing in extent and severity, leading to large-scale ecosystem degradation. Weed biological control offers opportunities to arrest or even reverse these trends and, although it is not always effective or appropriate as a management strategy, this practice has an excellent record of safety and many notable successes over two centuries. In recent years, growing concerns about the potential for unintended, non-target damage by biological control agents, and fears about other unpredictable effects on ecosystems, have created an increasingly demanding risk-averse regulatory environment. This development may be counter-productive because it tends to overemphasize potential problems and ignores or underestimates the benefits of weed biological control; it offers no viable alternatives; and it overlooks the inherent risks of a decision not to use biological control. The restoration of badly degraded ecosystems to a former pristine condition is not a realistic objective, but the protection of un-invaded or partial restoration of invaded ecosystems can be achieved safely, at low cost and sustainably through the informed and responsible application of biological control. This practice should therefore be given due consideration when management of invasive alien plants is being planned. This discussion paper provides a perspective on the risks and benefits of classical weed biological control, and it is aimed at assisting environmental managers in their deliberations on whether or not to use this strategy in preference, or as a supplement to other alien invasive plant control practices.

  1. Asymmetric warming significantly affects net primary production, but not ecosystem carbon balances of forest and grassland ecosystems in northern China.

    PubMed

    Su, Hongxin; Feng, Jinchao; Axmacher, Jan C; Sang, Weiguo

    2015-03-13

    We combine the process-based ecosystem model (Biome-BGC) with climate change-scenarios based on both RegCM3 model outputs and historic observed trends to quantify differential effects of symmetric and asymmetric warming on ecosystem net primary productivity (NPP), heterotrophic respiration (Rh) and net ecosystem productivity (NEP) of six ecosystem types representing different climatic zones of northern China. Analysis of covariance shows that NPP is significant greater at most ecosystems under the various environmental change scenarios once temperature asymmetries are taken into consideration. However, these differences do not lead to significant differences in NEP, which indicates that asymmetry in climate change does not result in significant alterations of the overall carbon balance in the dominating forest or grassland ecosystems. Overall, NPP, Rh and NEP are regulated by highly interrelated effects of increases in temperature and atmospheric CO2 concentrations and precipitation changes, while the magnitude of these effects strongly varies across the six sites. Further studies underpinned by suitable experiments are nonetheless required to further improve the performance of ecosystem models and confirm the validity of these model predictions. This is crucial for a sound understanding of the mechanisms controlling the variability in asymmetric warming effects on ecosystem structure and functioning.

  2. Asymmetric warming significantly affects net primary production, but not ecosystem carbon balances of forest and grassland ecosystems in northern China

    PubMed Central

    Su, Hongxin; Feng, Jinchao; Axmacher, Jan C.; Sang, Weiguo

    2015-01-01

    We combine the process-based ecosystem model (Biome-BGC) with climate change-scenarios based on both RegCM3 model outputs and historic observed trends to quantify differential effects of symmetric and asymmetric warming on ecosystem net primary productivity (NPP), heterotrophic respiration (Rh) and net ecosystem productivity (NEP) of six ecosystem types representing different climatic zones of northern China. Analysis of covariance shows that NPP is significant greater at most ecosystems under the various environmental change scenarios once temperature asymmetries are taken into consideration. However, these differences do not lead to significant differences in NEP, which indicates that asymmetry in climate change does not result in significant alterations of the overall carbon balance in the dominating forest or grassland ecosystems. Overall, NPP, Rh and NEP are regulated by highly interrelated effects of increases in temperature and atmospheric CO2 concentrations and precipitation changes, while the magnitude of these effects strongly varies across the six sites. Further studies underpinned by suitable experiments are nonetheless required to further improve the performance of ecosystem models and confirm the validity of these model predictions. This is crucial for a sound understanding of the mechanisms controlling the variability in asymmetric warming effects on ecosystem structure and functioning. PMID:25766381

  3. Can the Results of Biodiversity-Ecosystem Productivity Studies Be Translated to Bioenergy Production?

    PubMed Central

    Dickson, Timothy L.; Gross, Katherine L.

    2015-01-01

    Biodiversity experiments show that increases in plant diversity can lead to greater biomass production, and some researchers suggest that high diversity plantings should be used for bioenergy production. However, many methods used in past biodiversity experiments are impractical for bioenergy plantings. For example, biodiversity experiments often use intensive management such as hand weeding to maintain low diversity plantings and exclude unplanted species, but this would not be done for bioenergy plantings. Also, biodiversity experiments generally use high seeding densities that would be too expensive for bioenergy plantings. Here we report the effects of biodiversity on biomass production from two studies of more realistic bioenergy crop plantings in southern Michigan, USA. One study involved comparing production between switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) monocultures and species-rich prairie plantings on private farm fields that were managed similarly to bioenergy plantings. The other study was an experiment where switchgrass was planted in monoculture and in combination with increasingly species-rich native prairie mixtures. Overall, we found that bioenergy plantings with higher species richness did not produce more biomass than switchgrass monocultures. The lack of a positive relationship between planted species richness and production in our studies may be due to several factors. Non-planted species (weeds) were not removed from our studies and these non-planted species may have competed with planted species and also prevented realized species richness from equaling planted species richness. Also, we found that low seeding density of individual species limited the biomass production of these individual species. Production in future bioenergy plantings with high species richness may be increased by using a high density of inexpensive seed from switchgrass and other highly productive species, and future efforts to translate the results of biodiversity experiments

  4. Can the Results of Biodiversity-Ecosystem Productivity Studies Be Translated to Bioenergy Production?

    PubMed

    Dickson, Timothy L; Gross, Katherine L

    2015-01-01

    Biodiversity experiments show that increases in plant diversity can lead to greater biomass production, and some researchers suggest that high diversity plantings should be used for bioenergy production. However, many methods used in past biodiversity experiments are impractical for bioenergy plantings. For example, biodiversity experiments often use intensive management such as hand weeding to maintain low diversity plantings and exclude unplanted species, but this would not be done for bioenergy plantings. Also, biodiversity experiments generally use high seeding densities that would be too expensive for bioenergy plantings. Here we report the effects of biodiversity on biomass production from two studies of more realistic bioenergy crop plantings in southern Michigan, USA. One study involved comparing production between switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) monocultures and species-rich prairie plantings on private farm fields that were managed similarly to bioenergy plantings. The other study was an experiment where switchgrass was planted in monoculture and in combination with increasingly species-rich native prairie mixtures. Overall, we found that bioenergy plantings with higher species richness did not produce more biomass than switchgrass monocultures. The lack of a positive relationship between planted species richness and production in our studies may be due to several factors. Non-planted species (weeds) were not removed from our studies and these non-planted species may have competed with planted species and also prevented realized species richness from equaling planted species richness. Also, we found that low seeding density of individual species limited the biomass production of these individual species. Production in future bioenergy plantings with high species richness may be increased by using a high density of inexpensive seed from switchgrass and other highly productive species, and future efforts to translate the results of biodiversity experiments

  5. Can the Results of Biodiversity-Ecosystem Productivity Studies Be Translated to Bioenergy Production?

    SciTech Connect

    Dickson, Timothy L.; Gross, Katherine L.

    2015-09-11

    Biodiversity experiments show that increases in plant diversity can lead to greater biomass production, and some researchers suggest that high diversity plantings should be used for bioenergy production. However, many methods used in past biodiversity experiments are impractical for bioenergy plantings. For example, biodiversity experiments often use intensive management such as hand weeding to maintain low diversity plantings and exclude unplanted species, but this would not be done for bioenergy plantings. Also, biodiversity experiments generally use high seeding densities that would be too expensive for bioenergy plantings. Here we report the effects of biodiversity on biomass production from two studies of more realistic bioenergy crop plantings in southern Michigan, USA. One study involved comparing production between switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) monocultures and species-rich prairie plantings on private farm fields that were managed similarly to bioenergy plantings. The other study was an experiment where switchgrass was planted in monoculture and in combination with increasingly species-rich native prairie mixtures. Overall, we found that bioenergy plantings with higher species richness did not produce more biomass than switchgrass monocultures. The lack of a positive relationship between planted species richness and production in our studies may be due to several factors. Non-planted species (weeds) were not removed from our studies and these non-planted species may have competed with planted species and also prevented realized species richness from equaling planted species richness. Also, we found that low seeding density of individual species limited the biomass production of these individual species. Finally, production in future bioenergy plantings with high species richness may be increased by using a high density of inexpensive seed from switchgrass and other highly productive species, and future efforts to translate the results of biodiversity

  6. Can the Results of Biodiversity-Ecosystem Productivity Studies Be Translated to Bioenergy Production?

    DOE PAGES

    Dickson, Timothy L.; Gross, Katherine L.

    2015-09-11

    Biodiversity experiments show that increases in plant diversity can lead to greater biomass production, and some researchers suggest that high diversity plantings should be used for bioenergy production. However, many methods used in past biodiversity experiments are impractical for bioenergy plantings. For example, biodiversity experiments often use intensive management such as hand weeding to maintain low diversity plantings and exclude unplanted species, but this would not be done for bioenergy plantings. Also, biodiversity experiments generally use high seeding densities that would be too expensive for bioenergy plantings. Here we report the effects of biodiversity on biomass production from two studiesmore » of more realistic bioenergy crop plantings in southern Michigan, USA. One study involved comparing production between switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) monocultures and species-rich prairie plantings on private farm fields that were managed similarly to bioenergy plantings. The other study was an experiment where switchgrass was planted in monoculture and in combination with increasingly species-rich native prairie mixtures. Overall, we found that bioenergy plantings with higher species richness did not produce more biomass than switchgrass monocultures. The lack of a positive relationship between planted species richness and production in our studies may be due to several factors. Non-planted species (weeds) were not removed from our studies and these non-planted species may have competed with planted species and also prevented realized species richness from equaling planted species richness. Also, we found that low seeding density of individual species limited the biomass production of these individual species. Finally, production in future bioenergy plantings with high species richness may be increased by using a high density of inexpensive seed from switchgrass and other highly productive species, and future efforts to translate the results of

  7. Effects of productivity on biodiversity in forest ecosystems across the United States and China.

    PubMed

    Liang, Jingjing; Watson, James V; Zhou, Mo; Lei, Xiangdong

    2016-04-01

    In the global campaign against biodiversity loss in forest ecosystems, land managers need to know the status of forest biodiversity, but practical guidelines for conserving biodiversity in forest management are lacking. A major obstacle is the incomplete understanding of the relationship between site primary productivity and plant diversity, due to insufficient ecosystem-wide data, especially for taxonomically and structurally diverse forest ecosystems. We investigated the effects of site productivity (the site's inherent capacity to grow timber) on tree species richness across 19 types of forest ecosystems in North America and China through 3 ground-sourced forest inventory data sets (U.S. Forest Inventory and Analysis, Cooperative Alaska Forest Inventory, and Chinese Forest Management Planning Inventory). All forest types conformed to a consistent and highly significant (P < 0.001) hump-shaped unimodal relationship, of which the generalized coefficients of determination averaged 20.5% over all the forest types. That is, tree species richness first increased as productivity increased at a progressively slower rate, and, after reaching a maximum, richness started to decline. Our consistent findings suggest that forests of high productivity would sustain few species because they consist mostly of flat homogeneous areas lacking an environmental gradient along which a diversity of species with different habitats can coexist. The consistency of the productivity-biodiversity relationship among the 3 data sets we examined makes it possible to quantify the expected tree species richness that a forest stand is capable of sustaining, and a comparison between the actual species richness and the sustainable values can be useful in prioritizing conservation efforts.

  8. Productivity and nutrient cycling in salt marshes: Contribution to ecosystem health

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sousa, Ana I.; Lillebø, Ana I.; Pardal, Miguel A.; Caçador, Isabel

    2010-05-01

    This study aimed to assess the contribution of different salt marsh halophytes ( Spartina maritima, Scirpus maritimus, Halimione portulacoides, Sarcocornia fruticosa, and Sarcocornia perennis) to nutrient cycling and sequestration in warm-temperate salt marshes. Carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus concentration in plant organs and rhizosediment, as well as plant biomass were monitored every two months during one year. Results show that the C retained in the rhizosediment does not seem to be species or site specific. However, some halophytes seem to have a higher contribution to retain C from external sources, namely S. perennis and S. maritima. Regarding N, halophytes colonizing the upper and middle marsh areas had the highest NBPP (net belowground primary production) as well as the retention of N in the rhizosediment. Yet, excluding S. maritimus, all halophytes seem to contribute to the retention of N from external sources. The P retained in the rhizosediment does not seem to be species or site specific. Still, only S. maritima colonizing the lower marsh areas, which also had comparatively lower NBPP, seem to have a higher contribution to retain P from external sources. Additionally, it seems that there is no relation between plants sequestration capacity for nutrients and plant photosynthetic pathway. This work shows that nutrient cycling and accumulation processes by salt marsh halophytes contribute to reduce eutrophication (N and P retention) and also to reduce atmospheric CO 2 (C retention), highlighting salt marsh ecosystems services and the crucial role of halophytes in maintaining ecosystem functions and health.

  9. Response of plants and ecosystems to CO{sub 2} and climate change. Final technical report

    SciTech Connect

    Reynolds, J.F.

    1993-12-31

    In recognition of the important role of vegetation in the bio-geosphere carbon cycle, the Carbon Dioxide Research Program of the US Department of Energy established the research program: Direct Effects of increasing Carbon Dioxide on Vegetation. The ultimate goal is to develop a general ecosystem model to investigate, via hypothesis testing, the potential responses of different terrestrial ecosystems to changes in the global environment over the next century. The approach involves the parallel development of models at several hierarchical levels, from the leaf to the ecosystem. At the plant level, mechanism and the direct effects of CO{sub 2} in the development of a general plant growth model, GEPSI - GEneral Plant SImulator has been stressed. At the ecosystem level, we have stressed the translation Of CO{sub 2} effects and other aspects of climate change throughout the ecosystem, including feedbacks and constraints to system response, in the development of a mechanistic, general ecosystem model SERECO - Simulation of Ecosystem Response to Elevated CO{sub 2} and Climate Change has been stressed.

  10. Direct utilization of human liquid wastes by plants in a closed ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lisovsky, G. M.; Gitelson, J. I.; Shilenko, M. P.; Gribovskaya, I. V.; Trubachev, I. N.

    1997-01-01

    Model experiments in phytotrons have shown that urea is able to cover 70% of the demand in nitrogen of the conveyer cultivated wheat. At the same time wheat plants can directly utilize human liquid wastes. In this article by human liquid wastes the authors mean human urine only. In a long-term experiment on ``man-higher plants'' system with two crewmen, plants covered 63 m^2, with wheat planted to - 39.6 m^2. For 103 days, complete human urine (total amount - 210.7 l) was supplied into the nutrient solution for wheat. In a month and a half NaCl supply into the nutrient solution stabilized at 0.9-1.65 g/l. This salination had no marked effect on wheat production. The experiment revealed the realistic feasibility to directly involve liquid wastes into the biological turnover of the life support system. The closure of the system, in terms of water, increased by 15.7% and the supply of nutrients for wheat plants into the system was decreased. Closedness of biological turnover of matter in a man-made ``man - higher plants'' ecological system might involve, among other processes, direct utilization of human liquid wastes by plants. The amount of urine comprises 15-20% of the total amount of water cycling within the system including water as part of food, household, hygiene and potable water necessary for man. What is more, it they contains most nitrogen-bearing compounds emitted by man, almost all of the NaCl and some other substances involved in the biological turnover. Human liquid wastes can be utilized either by preliminary physical-chemical treatment (evaporating or freezing out the water, finally oxidizing the organic matter, isolating the mineral components required for plants, etc.) and further involvement of the obtained products or by direct application into the nutrient solution for plants. The challenge of direct utilization is that plants have no need of Na^+ and Cl^-, and also the organic forms of nitrogen emitted by man cannot fully meet the demand of

  11. Fine Scale ANUClimate Data for Ecosystem Modeling and Assessment of Plant Functional Types

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hutchinson, M. F.; Kesteven, J. L.; Xu, T.; Evans, B. J.; Togashi, H. F.; Stein, J. L.

    2015-12-01

    High resolution spatially extended values of climate variables play a central role in the assessment of climate and projected future climate in ecosystem modeling. The ground based meteorological network remains a key resource for deriving these spatially extended climate variables. We report on the production, and applications, of new anomaly based fine scale spatial interpolations of key climate variables at daily and monthly time scale, across the Australian continent. The methods incorporate several innovations that have significantly improved spatial predictive accuracy, as well as providing a platform for the incorporation of additional remotely sensed data. The interpolated climate data are supporting many continent-wide ecosystem modeling applications and are playing a key role in testing optimality hypotheses associated with plant functional types (PFTs). The accuracy, and robustness to data error, of anomaly-based interpolation has been enhanced by incorporating physical process aspects of the different climate variables and employing robust statistical methods implemented in the ANUSPLIN package. New regression procedures have also been developed to estimate "background" monthly climate normals from all stations with minimal records to substantially increase the density of supporting spatial networks. Monthly mean temperature interpolation has been enhanced by incorporating process based coastal effects that have reduced predictive error by around 10%. Overall errors in interpolated monthly temperature fields are around 25% less than errors reported by an earlier study. For monthly and daily precipitation, a new anomaly structure has been devised to take account of the skewness in precipitation data and the large proportion of zero values that present significant challenges to standard interpolation methods. The many applications include continent-wide Gross Primary Production modeling and assessing constraints on light and water use efficiency derived

  12. Ecosystem engineering and manipulation of host plant tissues by the insect borer Oncideres albomarginata chamela.

    PubMed

    Calderón-Cortés, Nancy; Uribe-Mú, Claudia A; Martínez-Méndez, A Karen; Escalera-Vázquez, Luis H; Cristobal-Pérez, E Jacob; García-Oliva, Felipe; Quesada, Mauricio

    2016-01-01

    Ecosystem engineering by insect herbivores occurs as the result of structural modification of plants manipulated by insects. However, only few studies have evaluated the effect of these modifications on the plant responses induced by stem-borers that act as ecosystem engineers. In this study, we evaluated the responses induced by the herbivory of the twig-girdler beetle Oncideres albomarginata chamela (Cerambycidae: Lamiinae) on its host plant Spondias purpurea (Anacardiaceae), and its relationship with the ecosystem engineering process carried out by this stem-borer. Our results demonstrated that O. albomarginata chamela branch removal induced the development of lateral branches increasing the resources needed for the development of future insect generations, of its own offspring and of many other insect species. Detached branches represent habitats with high content of nitrogen and phosphorous, which eventually can be incorporated into the ecosystem, increasing nutrient cycling efficiency. Consequently, branch removal and the subsequent plant tissue regeneration induced by O. albomarginata chamela represent key mechanisms underlying the ecosystem engineering process carried out by this stem-borer, which enhances arthropod diversity in the ecosystem.

  13. Direct and indirect effects of invasive plants on soil chemistry and ecosystem function.

    PubMed

    Weidenhamer, Jeffrey D; Callaway, Ragan M

    2010-01-01

    Invasive plants have a multitude of impacts on plant communities through their direct and indirect effects on soil chemistry and ecosystem function. For example, plants modify the soil environment through root exudates that affect soil structure, and mobilize and/or chelate nutrients. The long-term impact of litter and root exudates can modify soil nutrient pools, and there is evidence that invasive plant species may alter nutrient cycles differently from native species. The effects of plants on ecosystem biogeochemistry may be caused by differences in leaf tissue nutrient stoichiometry or secondary metabolites, although evidence for the importance of allelochemicals in driving these processes is lacking. Some invasive species may gain a competitive advantage through the release of compounds or combinations of compounds that are unique to the invaded community—the “novel weapons hypothesis.” Invasive plants also can exert profound impact on plant communities indirectly through the herbicides used to control them. Glyphosate, the most widely used herbicide in the world, often is used to help control invasive weeds, and generally is considered to have minimal environmental impacts. Most studies show little to no effect of glyphosate and other herbicides on soil microbial communities. However, herbicide applications can reduce or promote rhizobium nodulation and mycorrhiza formation. Herbicide drift can affect the growth of non-target plants, and glyphosate and other herbicides can impact significantly the secondary chemistry of plants at sublethal doses. In summary, the literature indicates that invasive species can alter the biogeochemistry of ecosystems, that secondary metabolites released by invasive species may play important roles in soil chemistry as well as plant-plant and plant-microbe interactions, and that the herbicides used to control invasive species can impact plant chemistry and ecosystems in ways that have yet to be fully explored.

  14. Modeled Climate and Disturbance Impacts to Carbon Sequestration of Recent Interior Boreal Alaska Ecosystem Productivity Declines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neigh, C. S.; Carvalhais, N.; Collatz, G. J.; Tucker, C. J.

    2010-12-01

    Terrestrial Higher Northern Latitude Boreal ecosystems over the past half century have and are expected to incur substantial future climate warming altering long-term biophysical processes that mediate carbon sink status. Boreal ecosystems are one of the primary terrestrial pools with high organic and mineral soil carbon concentrations due to reduced decomposition from extended periods below freezing. Direct impacts of changing local to regional climate have altered Interior Alaska disturbance regimes shifting patterns of net primary production (NPP), soil heterotrophic respiration (Rh), net ecosystem production (NEP = NPP - Rh) and net biome production (NBP = NEP - De) which includes disturbance events (De). We investigated ecosystem dynamics with a satellite remote sensing driven model accounting for fine-scale heterogeneous events observed from multi temporal-spectral index vectors derived from Landsat. Our intent was to elucidate local to regional processes which have resulted in negative trends observed from the NOAA series of Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometers (AVHRR) over the past decade. The Carnegie-Ames-Stanford approach (CASA) model was run with changing fractional burned area to simulate bi-monthly patterns of net plant carbon fixation, biomass and nutrient allocation, litterfall, soil nitrogen mineralization, combustion emissions, and microbial CO2 production. Carbon reallocation was based on fire disturbances identified with remote sensing data (Landsat, IKONOS, and aerial photography) and disturbance perimeter maps from land management agencies. Warming coupled with insect and fire disturbance emissions reduced interior Boreal forest recalcitrant carbon pools for which losses greatly exceed the North Slope Tundra sink. Our multi spatial-temporal approach confirms substantial forested NPP declines in Landsat and AVHRR while distinguishing abiotic and biophysical disturbance frequency impacts upon NBP.

  15. The importance of plant genotype and contemporary evolution for terrestrial ecosystem processes.

    PubMed

    Fitzpatrick, Connor R; Agrawal, Anurag A; Basiliko, Nathan; Hastings, Amy P; Isaac, Marney E; Preston, Michael; Johnson, Marc T J

    2015-10-01

    Plant genetic variation and evolutionary dynamics are predicted to impact ecosystem processes but these effects are poorly understood. Here we test the hypothesis that plant genotype and contemporary evolution influence the flux of energy and nutrients through soil, which then feedback to affect seedling performance in subsequent generations. We conducted a multiyear field evolution experiment using the native biennial plant Oenothera biennis. This experiment was coupled with experimental assays to address our hypothesis and quantify the relative importance of evolutionary and ecological factors on multiple ecosystem processes. Plant genotype, contemporary evolution, spatial variation, and herbivory affected ecosystem processes (e.g., leaf decay, soil respiration, seedling performance, N cycling), but their relative importance varied between specific ecosystem variables. Insect herbivory and evolution also contributed to a feedback that affected seedling biomass of O. biennis in the next generation. Our results show that heritable variation among plant genotypes can be an important factor affecting local ecosystem processes, and while effects of contemporary evolution were detectable and sometimes strong, they were often contingent on other ecological, factors.

  16. Plant Species and Functional Group Combinations Affect Green Roof Ecosystem Functions

    PubMed Central

    Lundholm, Jeremy; MacIvor, J. Scott; MacDougall, Zachary; Ranalli, Melissa

    2010-01-01

    Background Green roofs perform ecosystem services such as summer roof temperature reduction and stormwater capture that directly contribute to lower building energy use and potential economic savings. These services are in turn related to ecosystem functions performed by the vegetation layer such as radiation reflection and transpiration, but little work has examined the role of plant species composition and diversity in improving these functions. Methodology/Principal Findings We used a replicated modular extensive (shallow growing- medium) green roof system planted with monocultures or mixtures containing one, three or five life-forms, to quantify two ecosystem services: summer roof cooling and water capture. We also measured the related ecosystem properties/processes of albedo, evapotranspiration, and the mean and temporal variability of aboveground biomass over four months. Mixtures containing three or five life-form groups, simultaneously optimized several green roof ecosystem functions, outperforming monocultures and single life-form groups, but there was much variation in performance depending on which life-forms were present in the three life-form mixtures. Some mixtures outperformed the best monocultures for water capture, evapotranspiration, and an index combining both water capture and temperature reductions. Combinations of tall forbs, grasses and succulents simultaneously optimized a range of ecosystem performance measures, thus the main benefit of including all three groups was not to maximize any single process but to perform a variety of functions well. Conclusions/Significance Ecosystem services from green roofs can be improved by planting certain life-form groups in combination, directly contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies. The strong performance by certain mixtures of life-forms, especially tall forbs, grasses and succulents, warrants further investigation into niche complementarity or facilitation as mechanisms

  17. Can observed ecosystem responses to elevated CO2 and N fertilisation be explained by optimal plant C allocation?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stocker, Benjamin; Prentice, I. Colin

    2016-04-01

    The degree to which nitrogen availability limits the terrestrial C sink under rising CO2 is a key uncertainty in carbon cycle and climate change projections. Results from ecosystem manipulation studies and meta-analyses suggest that plant C allocation to roots adjusts dynamically under varying degrees of nitrogen availability and other soil fertility parameters. In addition, the ratio of biomass production to GPP appears to decline under nutrient scarcity. This reflects increasing plant C export into the soil and to symbionts (Cex) with decreasing nutrient availability. Cex is consumed by an array of soil organisms and may imply an improvement of nutrient availability to the plant. These concepts are left unaccounted for in Earth system models. We present a model for the coupled cycles of C and N in grassland ecosystems to explore optimal plant C allocation under rising CO2 and its implications for the ecosystem C balance. The model follows a balanced growth approach, accounting for the trade-offs between leaf versus root growth and Cex in balancing C fixation and N uptake. We further model a plant-controlled rate of biological N fixation (BNF) by assuming that Cex is consumed by N2-fixing processes if the ratio of Nup:Cex falls below the inverse of the C cost of N2-fixation. The model is applied at two temperate grassland sites (SwissFACE and BioCON), subjected to factorial treatments of elevated CO2 (FACE) and N fertilization. Preliminary simulation results indicate initially increased N limitation, evident by increased relative allocation to roots and Cex. Depending on the initial state of N availability, this implies a varying degree of aboveground growth enhancement, generally consistent with observed responses. On a longer time scale, ecosystems are progressively released from N limitation due tighter N cycling. Allowing for plant-controlled BNF implies a quicker release from N limitation and an adjustment to more open N cycling. In both cases, optimal plant

  18. Modelling of plant-soil carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus cycling in semi-natural terrestrial ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davies, Jessica; Quinton, John; Rowe, Ed; Tipping, Ed

    2013-04-01

    In recent centuries pools and fluxes of C, N and P in natural and semi-natural UK ecosystems have been transformed by atmospheric pollution leading to: acidification; eutrophication of surface waters; loss of biodiversity; and increased greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, climate change now threatens to perturb these systems further. Understanding in this field is vital in determining the consequences of artificial nutrient enrichment and land use and climate change, and mitigating against their effects. The N14CP model has been recently developed to assess the temporal responses of soil C, N and P pools to nutrient enrichment in semi-natural ecosystems, and explore the connections between these nutrients. It is a dynamic, mechanistic model, driven by: climate; CO2, N (fixation and pollutant deposition), and P (weathering and atmospheric deposition) inputs; and plant cover type. It explicitly links C, N, and P in both plants and soils, using plant element stoichiometry as the primary constraint. Net primary production, and plant/soil element pools, are calculated over time, and output fluxes of dissolved organic and inorganic, and gaseous, forms of C, N, and P produced. Radiocarbon data are used to constrain Soil Organic Matter (SOM) turnover. The SOM is represented as three pools, undergoing first-order decomposition reactions with turn-over rates ranging from 2 to 1000 years. The N14CP modelling methodology is discussed and its calibration and verification using observations from 200 northern European sites presented. Whilst the primary period of interest with respect to nutrient enrichment is from the industrial revolution onwards, plant-soil C, N and P are simulated at these sites for a period spanning from the start of the Holocene (to provide a spin-up period) to the present day. Clearly, during this time span land cover and usage will have changed at these sites, and histories of these changes are used as an input to the model. The influence of these land

  19. Gross primary production of global forest ecosystems has been overestimated

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Jianyong; Yan, Xiaodong; Dong, Wenjie; Chou, Jieming

    2015-01-01

    Coverage rate, a critical variable for gridded forest area, has been neglected by previous studies in estimating the annual gross primary production (GPP) of global forest ecosystems. In this study, we investigated to what extent the coverage rate could impact forest GPP estimates from 1982 to 2011. Here we show that the traditional calculation without considering the coverage rate globally overestimated the forest gross carbon dioxide uptake by approximately 8.7%, with a value of 5.12 ± 0.23 Pg C yr−1, which is equivalent to 48% of the annual emissions from anthropogenic activities in 2012. Actually, the global annual GPP of forest ecosystems is approximately 53.71 ± 4.83 Pg C yr−1 for the past 30 years by taking the coverage rate into account. Accordingly, we argue that forest annual GPP calculated by previous studies has been overestimated due to the exaggerated forest area, and therefore, coverage rate may be a required factor to further quantify the global carbon cycle. PMID:26027557

  20. Terrestrial ecosystem production: A process model based on global satellite and surface data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Potter, Christopher S.; Randerson, James T.; Field, Christopher B.; Matson, Pamela A.; Vitousek, Peter M.; Mooney, Harold A.; Klooster, Steven A.

    1993-12-01

    This paper presents a modeling approach aimed at seasonal resolution of global climatic and edaphic controls on patterns of terrestrial ecosystem production and soil microbial respiration. We use satellite imagery (Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer and International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project solar radiation), along with historical climate (monthly temperature and precipitation) and soil attributes (texture, C and N contents) from global (1°) data sets as model inputs. The Carnegie-Ames-Stanford approach (CASA) Biosphere model runs on a monthly time interval to simulate seasonal patterns in net plant carbon fixation, biomass and nutrient allocation, litterfall, soil nitrogen mineralization, and microbial CO2 production. The model estimate of global terrestrial net primary production is 48 Pg C yr-1 with a maximum light use efficiency of 0.39 g C MJ-1PAR. Over 70% of terrestrial net production takes place between 30°N and 30°S latitude. Steady state pools of standing litter represent global storage of around 174 Pg C (94 and 80 Pg C in nonwoody and woody pools, respectively), whereas the pool of soil C in the top 0.3 m that is turning over on decadal time scales comprises 300 Pg C. Seasonal variations in atmospheric CO2 concentrations from three stations in the Geophysical Monitoring for Climate Change Flask Sampling Network correlate significantly with estimated net ecosystem production values averaged over 50°-80° N, 10°-30° N, and 0°-10° N.

  1. Impacts of light shading and nutrient enrichment geo-engineering approaches on the productivity of a stratified, oligotrophic ocean ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Hardman-Mountford, Nick J.; Polimene, Luca; Hirata, Takafumi; Brewin, Robert J. W.; Aiken, Jim

    2013-01-01

    Geo-engineering proposals to mitigate global warming have focused either on methods of carbon dioxide removal, particularly nutrient fertilization of plant growth, or on cooling the Earth's surface by reducing incoming solar radiation (shading). Marine phytoplankton contribute half the Earth's biological carbon fixation and carbon export in the ocean is modulated by the actions of microbes and grazing communities in recycling nutrients. Both nutrients and light are essential for photosynthesis, so understanding the relative influence of both these geo-engineering approaches on ocean ecosystem production and processes is critical to the evaluation of their effectiveness. In this paper, we investigate the relationship between light and nutrient availability on productivity in a stratified, oligotrophic subtropical ocean ecosystem using a one-dimensional water column model coupled to a multi-plankton ecosystem model, with the goal of elucidating potential impacts of these geo-engineering approaches on ecosystem production. We find that solar shading approaches can redistribute productivity in the water column but do not change total production. Macronutrient enrichment is able to enhance the export of carbon, although heterotrophic recycling reduces the efficiency of carbon export substantially over time. Our results highlight the requirement for a fuller consideration of marine ecosystem interactions and feedbacks, beyond simply the stimulation of surface blooms, in the evaluation of putative geo-engineering approaches. PMID:24132201

  2. Impacts of light shading and nutrient enrichment geo-engineering approaches on the productivity of a stratified, oligotrophic ocean ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Hardman-Mountford, Nick J; Polimene, Luca; Hirata, Takafumi; Brewin, Robert J W; Aiken, Jim

    2013-12-06

    Geo-engineering proposals to mitigate global warming have focused either on methods of carbon dioxide removal, particularly nutrient fertilization of plant growth, or on cooling the Earth's surface by reducing incoming solar radiation (shading). Marine phytoplankton contribute half the Earth's biological carbon fixation and carbon export in the ocean is modulated by the actions of microbes and grazing communities in recycling nutrients. Both nutrients and light are essential for photosynthesis, so understanding the relative influence of both these geo-engineering approaches on ocean ecosystem production and processes is critical to the evaluation of their effectiveness. In this paper, we investigate the relationship between light and nutrient availability on productivity in a stratified, oligotrophic subtropical ocean ecosystem using a one-dimensional water column model coupled to a multi-plankton ecosystem model, with the goal of elucidating potential impacts of these geo-engineering approaches on ecosystem production. We find that solar shading approaches can redistribute productivity in the water column but do not change total production. Macronutrient enrichment is able to enhance the export of carbon, although heterotrophic recycling reduces the efficiency of carbon export substantially over time. Our results highlight the requirement for a fuller consideration of marine ecosystem interactions and feedbacks, beyond simply the stimulation of surface blooms, in the evaluation of putative geo-engineering approaches.

  3. Comparing Measures of Estuarine Ecosystem Production in a ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Anthropogenic nutrient enrichments and concerted efforts at nutrient reductions, compounded with the influences of climate change, are likely changing the net ecosystem production (NEP) of our coastal systems. To quantify these changes, scientists monitor a range of physical, chemical, and biological parameters sampled at various frequencies. Water column chlorophyll concentrations are arguably the most commonly used indicator of net phytoplankton production, as well as a coarse indicator of NEP. We compared parameters that estimate production, including chlorophyll, across an experimental nutrient gradient and in situ in both well-mixed and stratified estuarine environments. Data from an experiment conducted in the early 1980s in mesocosms designed to replicate a well-mixed mid-Narragansett Bay (Rhode Island) water column were used to correlate changes in chlorophyll concentrations, pH, dissolved oxygen (O2), dissolved inorganic nitrogen, phosphate, and silicate concentrations, cell counts, and 14C carbon uptake measurements across a range of nutrient enrichments. The pH, O2, nutrient, and cell count measurements reflected seasonal cycles of spring blooms followed by late summer/early fall respiration periods across nutrient enrichments. Chlorophyll concentrations were more variable and rates of 14C productivity were inconsistent with observed trends in nutrient concentrations, pH, and O2 concentrations. Similar comparisons were made using data from a well-mixe

  4. Synoptic events force biological productivity in Patagonian fjord ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daneri, Giovanni

    2016-04-01

    an extremely productive bloom of the dinoflagellate Heterocapsa sp. in July 2014, after the passage of a synoptic low pressure front provided, for the first time, strong evidence that phytoplankton blooming in the Patagonian fjord ecosystems is controlled by synoptic processes and that they are not limited by light as previously reported. This research was funded by COPAS Sur-Austral (PFB-31) and FONDECYT 1131063

  5. Dominant plant taxa predict plant productivity responses to CO2 enrichment across precipitation and soil gradients

    PubMed Central

    Fay, Philip A.; Newingham, Beth A.; Polley, H. Wayne; Morgan, Jack A.; LeCain, Daniel R.; Nowak, Robert S.; Smith, Stanley D.

    2015-01-01

    The Earth's atmosphere will continue to be enriched with carbon dioxide (CO2) over the coming century. Carbon dioxide enrichment often reduces leaf transpiration, which in water-limited ecosystems may increase soil water content, change species abundances and increase the productivity of plant communities. The effect of increased soil water on community productivity and community change may be greater in ecosystems with lower precipitation, or on coarser-textured soils, but responses are likely absent in deserts. We tested correlations among yearly increases in soil water content, community change and community plant productivity responses to CO2 enrichment in experiments in a mesic grassland with fine- to coarse-textured soils, a semi-arid grassland and a xeric shrubland. We found no correlation between CO2-caused changes in soil water content and changes in biomass of dominant plant taxa or total community aboveground biomass in either grassland type or on any soil in the mesic grassland (P > 0.60). Instead, increases in dominant taxa biomass explained up to 85 % of the increases in total community biomass under CO2 enrichment. The effect of community change on community productivity was stronger in the semi-arid grassland than in the mesic grassland, where community biomass change on one soil was not correlated with the change in either the soil water content or the dominant taxa. No sustained increases in soil water content or community productivity and no change in dominant plant taxa occurred in the xeric shrubland. Thus, community change was a crucial driver of community productivity responses to CO2 enrichment in the grasslands, but effects of soil water change on productivity were not evident in yearly responses to CO2 enrichment. Future research is necessary to isolate and clarify the mechanisms controlling the temporal and spatial variations in the linkages among soil water, community change and plant productivity responses to CO2 enrichment. PMID

  6. Dominant plant taxa predict plant productivity responses to CO2 enrichment across precipitation and soil gradients

    DOE PAGES

    Fay, Philip A.; Newingham, Beth A.; Polley, H. Wayne; ...

    2015-03-30

    The Earth’s atmosphere will continue to be enriched with carbon dioxide (CO2) over the coming century. Carbon dioxide enrichment often reduces leaf transpiration, which in water-limited ecosystems may increase soil water content, change species abundances and increase the productivity of plant communities. The effect of increased soil water on community productivity and community change may be greater in ecosystems with lower precipitation, or on coarser-textured soils, but responses are likely absent in deserts. We tested correlations among yearly increases in soil water content, community change and community plant productivity responses to CO2 enrichment in experiments in a mesic grassland withmore » fine- to coarse-textured soils, a semi-arid grassland and a xeric shrubland. We found no correlation between CO2-caused changes in soil water content and changes in biomass of dominant plant taxa or total community aboveground biomass in either grassland type or on any soil in the mesic grassland (P > 0.60). Instead, increases in dominant taxa biomass explained up to 85% of the increases in total community biomass under CO2 enrichment. The effect of community change on community productivity was stronger in the semi-arid grassland than in the mesic grassland,where community biomass change on one soil was not correlated with the change in either the soil water content or the dominant taxa. No sustained increases in soil water content or community productivity and no change in dominant plant taxa occurred in the xeric shrubland. Thus, community change was a crucial driver of community productivity responses to CO2 enrichment in the grasslands, but effects of soil water change on productivity were not evident in yearly responses to CO2 enrichment. In conclusion, future research is necessary to isolate and clarify the mechanisms controlling the temporal and spatial variations in the linkages among soil water, community change and plant productivity responses to CO2

  7. Nematicide impacts on nematodes and feedbacks on plant productivity in a plant diversity gradient

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eisenhauer, Nico; Ackermann, Michael; Gass, Svenja; Klier, Matthias; Migunova, Varvara; Nitschke, Norma; Ruess, Liliane; Sabais, Alexander C. W.; Weisser, Wolfgang W.; Scheu, Stefan

    2010-09-01

    A major issue in current ecological research is the effect of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning. Although several studies reported a positive diversity - productivity relationship, the role of soil animals has been largely neglected. Nematodes are among the most widespread and important herbivores causing substantial yield losses in agriculture; however, impacts of nematodes on the diversity - productivity relationship in semi-natural plant communities have not been investigated until today. In the framework of the Jena Experiment (Thuringia, Germany) we established control and nematicide treated subplots to manipulate nematode densities on plots varying in plant species (1-16) and functional group richness (1-4). We explored the interacting effects of nematicide application and plant diversity on the main trophic groups of nematodes and on aboveground plant productivity. Nematicide application reduced the number of nematodes significantly, particularly that of plant feeders and predators. The negative impact of nematicide application on plant and bacterial feeders depended however on the diversity of the plant community. Total plant shoot biomass tended to decrease in the presence of ambient nematode densities. In detail, nematode effects varied however with plant functional group identity by reducing only the shoot biomass of herbs significantly but not that of legumes. Furthermore, the shoot biomass of grasses tended to decrease in the presence of ambient nematode densities. In contrast to total shoot biomass, nematodes decreased grass shoot biomass only in high diverse but not in low diverse plant communities. Thus, the present study for the first time highlights that nematodes likely modify the community structure und functions of semi-natural plant communities by altering the competition between plant functional groups and by attenuating the diversity - productivity relationship.

  8. Plant productivity in controlled environments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Salisbury, F. B.; Bugbee, B.

    1988-01-01

    To assess the cost and area/volume requirements of a farm in a space station or Lunar or Martian base, a few laboratories in the United States, the Soviet Union, France, and Japan are studying optimum controlled environments for the production of selected crops. Temperature, light, photoperiod, CO2, humidity, the root-zone environment, and cultivars are the primary factors being manipulated to increase yields and harvest index. Our best wheat yields on a time basis (24 g m-2 day-1 of edible biomass) are five times good field yields and twice the world record. Similar yields have been obtained in other laboratories with potatoes and lettuce; soybeans are also promising. These figures suggest that approximately 30 m2 under continuous production could support an astronaut with sufficient protein and about 2800 kcal day-1. Scientists under Iosif Gitelzon in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, have lived in a closed system for up to 5 months, producing 80% of their own food. Thirty square meters for crops were allotted to each of the two men taking part in the experiment. A functional controlled-environment life-support system (CELSS) will require the refined application of several disciplines: controlled-environment agriculture, food preparation, waste disposal, and control-systems technology, to list only the broadest categories. It has seemed intuitively evident that ways could be found to prepare food, regenerate plant nutrients from wastes, and even control and integrate several subsystems of a CELSS. But could sufficient food be produced in the limited areas and with the limited energy that might be available? Clearly, detailed studies of food production were necessary.

  9. Plant productivity in controlled environments.

    PubMed

    Salisbury, F B; Bugbee, B

    1988-04-01

    To assess the cost and area/volume requirements of a farm in a space station or Lunar or Martian base, a few laboratories in the United States, the Soviet Union, France, and Japan are studying optimum controlled environments for the production of selected crops. Temperature, light, photoperiod, CO2, humidity, the root-zone environment, and cultivars are the primary factors being manipulated to increase yields and harvest index. Our best wheat yields on a time basis (24 g m-2 day-1 of edible biomass) are five times good field yields and twice the world record. Similar yields have been obtained in other laboratories with potatoes and lettuce; soybeans are also promising. These figures suggest that approximately 30 m2 under continuous production could support an astronaut with sufficient protein and about 2800 kcal day-1. Scientists under Iosif Gitelzon in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, have lived in a closed system for up to 5 months, producing 80% of their own food. Thirty square meters for crops were allotted to each of the two men taking part in the experiment. A functional controlled-environment life-support system (CELSS) will require the refined application of several disciplines: controlled-environment agriculture, food preparation, waste disposal, and control-systems technology, to list only the broadest categories. It has seemed intuitively evident that ways could be found to prepare food, regenerate plant nutrients from wastes, and even control and integrate several subsystems of a CELSS. But could sufficient food be produced in the limited areas and with the limited energy that might be available? Clearly, detailed studies of food production were necessary.

  10. Plant functional traits and diversity in sand dune ecosystems across different biogeographic regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahdavi, P.; Bergmeier, E.

    2016-07-01

    Plant species of a functional group respond similarly to environmental pressures and may be expected to act similarly on ecosystem processes and habitat properties. However, feasibility and applicability of functional groups in ecosystems across very different climatic regions have not yet been studied. In our approach we specified the functional groups in sand dune ecosystems of the Mediterranean, Hyrcanian and Irano-Turanian phytogeographic regions. We examined whether functional groups are more influenced by region or rather by habitat characteristics, and identified trait syndromes associated with common habitat types in sand dunes (mobile dunes, stabilized dunes, salt marshes, semi-wet sands, disturbed habitats). A database of 14 traits, 309 species and 314 relevés was examined and trait-species, trait-plot and species-plot matrices were built. Cluster analysis revealed similar plant functional groups in sand dune ecosystems across regions of very different species composition and climate. Specifically, our study showed that plant traits in sand dune ecosystems are grouped reflecting habitat affiliation rather than region and species pool. Environmental factors and constraints such as sand mobility, soil salinity, water availability, nutrient status and disturbance are more important for the occurrence and distribution of plant functional groups than regional belonging. Each habitat is shown to be equipped with specific functional groups and can be described by specific sets of traits. In restoration ecology the completeness of functional groups and traits in a site may serve as a guideline for maintaining or restoring the habitat.

  11. Shrubs as ecosystem engineers across an environmental gradient: effects on species richness and exotic plant invasion.

    PubMed

    Kleinhesselink, Andrew R; Magnoli, Susan M; Cushman, J Hall

    2014-08-01

    Ecosystem-engineering plants modify the physical environment and can increase species diversity and exotic species invasion. At the individual level, the effects of ecosystem engineers on other plants often become more positive in stressful environments. In this study, we investigated whether the community-level effects of ecosystem engineers also become stronger in more stressful environments. Using comparative and experimental approaches, we assessed the ability of a native shrub (Ericameria ericoides) to act as an ecosystem engineer across a stress gradient in a coastal dune in northern California, USA. We found increased coarse organic matter and lower wind speeds within shrub patches. Growth of a dominant invasive grass (Bromus diandrus) was facilitated both by aboveground shrub biomass and by growing in soil taken from shrub patches. Experimental removal of shrubs negatively affected species most associated with shrubs and positively affected species most often found outside of shrubs. Counter to the stress-gradient hypothesis, the effects of shrubs on the physical environment and individual plant growth did not increase across the established stress gradient at this site. At the community level, shrub patches increased beta diversity, and contained greater rarified richness and exotic plant cover than shrub-free patches. Shrub effects on rarified richness increased with environmental stress, but effects on exotic cover and beta diversity did not. Our study provides evidence for the community-level effects of shrubs as ecosystem engineers in this system, but shows that these effects do not necessarily become stronger in more stressful environments.

  12. The relation between productivity and species diversity in temperate-Arctic marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Witman, Jon D; Cusson, Mathieu; Archambault, Philippe; Pershing, Andrew J; Mieszkowska, Nova

    2008-11-01

    Energy variables, such as evapotranspiration, temperature, and productivity explain significant variation in the diversity of many groups of terrestrial plants and animals at local to global scales. Although the ocean represents the largest continuous habitat on earth with a vast spectrum of primary productivity and species richness, little is known about how productivity influences species diversity in marine systems. To search for general relationships between productivity and species richness in the ocean, we analyzed data from three different benthic marine ecosystems (epifaunal communities on subtidal rock walls, on navigation buoys in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and Canadian Arctic macrobenthos) across local to continental spatial scales (<20 to >1000 km) using a standardized proxy for productivity, satellite-derived chlorophyll a. Theoretically, the form of the function between productivity and species richness is either monotonically increasing or decreasing, or curvilinear (hump- or U-shaped). We found three negative linear and three hump-shaped relationships between chlorophyll a and species richness out of 10 independent comparisons. Scale dependence was suggested by more prevalent diversity-productivity relationships at smaller (local, landscape) than larger (regional, continental) spatial scales. Differences in the form of the functions were more closely allied with community type than with scale, as negative linear functions were restricted to sessile epifauna while hump-shaped functions occurred in Arctic macrobenthos (mixed epifauna, infauna). In two of the data sets, (St. Lawrence epifauna and Arctic macrobenthos) significant effects of chlorophyll a co-varied with the effects of salinity, suggesting that environmental stress as well as productivity influences diversity in these marine systems. The co-varying effect of salinity may commonly arise in broad-scale studies of productivity and diversity in marine ecosystems when attempting to sample the

  13. Propagation and Production of Native Aquatic Plants

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-09-01

    ERDC/TN APCRP-EA-11 September 2005 Propagation and Production of Native Aquatic Plants by Gary Owen Dick , R. Michael Smart, and Joe R. Snow...small, protected plant colonies at strategic locations within unvegetated reservoirs (Smart and Dick 1999). Once successfully established, these...specific treatment of this information is given in Smart and Dick (1999). FACILITIES FOR OFF-SITE PRODUCTION: Production of aquatic plants requires

  14. Habitat productivity influences root mass vertical distribution in grazed Mediterranean ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rueda, Marta; Rebollo, Salvador; Rodríguez, Miguel Á.

    2010-07-01

    Herbivores are expected to influence grassland ecosystems by modifying root biomass and root spatial distribution of plant communities. Studies in perennial dominated grasslands suggest that grazing intensity and primary productivity may be strong determinants of the vertical distribution of subterranean biomass. However, no studies have addressed this question in annual dominated pastures. In this study we assess the effect of grazing and habitat productivity on the vertical distribution of root mass in an annual dominated Mediterranean pasture grazed by free-ranging sheep and wild rabbits. We evaluate the effects of grazing on total root mass and vertical root distribution (0-4, 4-8 and 8-12 cm depths) in two neighboring topographic sites (uplands and lowlands) with different productivity using a replicated fence experiment which excludes sheep and sheep plus rabbits. We found evidences that grazing affected root biomass and vertical distribution at lowlands (high productivity habitats), where places grazed by sheep plus rabbits exhibit more root mass and a higher concentration of it towards the soil surface than only rabbits and ungrazed places. In contrast, grazing did not affect root biomass and vertical distribution at uplands (low productivity habitats). We suggest that higher nitrogen and organic matter found in lowlands permit a plant adjustment for nitrogen acquisition by increasing biomass allocation to root production which would allow plant regrowth and the quick completion of the annual life cycle. Contrary, soil resources scarcity at uplands do not permit plants modify their root growth patterns in response to grazing. Our study emphasizes the importance of primary productivity in predicting grazing effect on belowground processes in Mediterranean environments dominated by annuals.

  15. Extreme precipitation patterns reduced terrestrial ecosystem production across biomes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Y.; Moran, S. M.; Nearing, M.; Ponce Campos, G. E.; Huete, A. R.; Buda, A. R.; Bosch, D. D.; Gunter, S. A.; Kitchen, S. G.; McNab, W.; Morgan, J. A.; McClaran, M. P.; Montoya, D. S.; Peters, D. P.; Starks, P. J.

    2012-12-01

    Precipitation regimes are predicted to shift to more extreme patterns that are characterized by more intense rainfall events and longer dry intervals, yet their ecological impacts on vegetation production remain uncertain across biomes in natural climatic conditions. This in situ study investigated the effects of novel climatic conditions on aboveground net primary production (ANPP) by combining a greenness index from satellite measurements and climatic records during 2000 to 2009 from 11 long-term experimental sites in multiple biomes and climates. Results showed that extreme precipitation patterns decreased the sensitivity of ANPP to total annual precipitation (PT), at the regional and decadal scales, leading to a mean 20% decrease in rain-use efficiency across biomes. Relative decreases in ANPP were greatest for arid grassland (16%) and Mediterranean forest (20%), and less for mesic grassland and temperate forest (3%). The co-occurrence of more heavy rainfall events and longer dry intervals caused greater water stress that resulted in reduced vegetation production. A new generalized model was developed to improve predictions of the ANPP response to changes in extreme precipitation patterns by using a function of both PT and an index of precipitation extremes. These findings suggest that extreme precipitation patterns have more substantial and complex effects on vegetation production across biomes, and are as important as total annual precipitation in understanding vegetation processes. With predictions of more extreme weather events, forecasts of ecosystem production should consider these non-linear responses to altered precipitation patterns associated with climate change. Figure. Relation of production across precipitation gradients for 11 sites for two groups (Low: R95p% < 20%, High: R95p% ≥ 20%). See Table 2 for R95p% definitions. The relations were significantly different for the two groups (F2, 106 = 18.51, P < 0.0001).

  16. Exploring Third-Grade Student Model-Based Explanations about Plant Relationships within an Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zangori, Laura; Forbes, Cory T.

    2015-12-01

    Elementary students should have opportunities to develop scientific models to reason and build understanding about how and why plants depend on relationships within an ecosystem for growth and survival. However, scientific modeling practices are rarely included within elementary science learning environments and disciplinary content is often treated as discrete pieces separate from scientific practice. Elementary students have few, if any, opportunities to reason about how individual organisms, such as plants, hold critical relationships with their surrounding environment. The purpose of this design-based research study is to build a learning performance to identify and explore the third-grade students' baseline understanding of and their reasoning about plant-ecosystem relationships when engaged in the practices of modeling. The developed learning performance integrated scientific content and core scientific activity to identify and measure how students build knowledge about the role of plants in ecosystems through the practices of modeling. Our findings indicate that the third-grade students' ideas about plant growth include abiotic and biotic relationships. Further, they used their models to reason about how and why these relationships were necessary to maintain plant stasis. However, while the majority of the third-grade students were able to identify and reason about plant-abiotic relationships, a much smaller group reasoned about plant-abiotic-animal relationships. Implications from the study suggest that modeling serves as a tool to support elementary students in reasoning about system relationships, but they require greater curricular and instructional support in conceptualizing how and why ecosystem relationships are necessary for plant growth and development. This paper is based on data from a doctoral dissertation. An earlier version of this paper was presented at the 2015 international conference for the National Association for Research in Science

  17. Elevated carbon dioxide and ozone alter productivity and ecosystem carbon content in northern temperate forests

    PubMed Central

    Talhelm, Alan F; Pregitzer, Kurt S; Kubiske, Mark E; Zak, Donald R; Campany, Courtney E; Burton, Andrew J; Dickson, Richard E; Hendrey, George R; Isebrands, J G; Lewin, Keith F; Nagy, John; Karnosky, David F

    2014-01-01

    Three young northern temperate forest communities in the north-central United States were exposed to factorial combinations of elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) and tropospheric ozone (O3) for 11 years. Here, we report results from an extensive sampling of plant biomass and soil conducted at the conclusion of the experiment that enabled us to estimate ecosystem carbon (C) content and cumulative net primary productivity (NPP). Elevated CO2 enhanced ecosystem C content by 11%, whereas elevated O3 decreased ecosystem C content by 9%. There was little variation in treatment effects on C content across communities and no meaningful interactions between CO2 and O3. Treatment effects on ecosystem C content resulted primarily from changes in the near-surface mineral soil and tree C, particularly differences in woody tissues. Excluding the mineral soil, cumulative NPP was a strong predictor of ecosystem C content (r2 = 0.96). Elevated CO2 enhanced cumulative NPP by 39%, a consequence of a 28% increase in canopy nitrogen (N) content (g N m−2) and a 28% increase in N productivity (NPP/canopy N). In contrast, elevated O3 lowered NPP by 10% because of a 21% decrease in canopy N, but did not impact N productivity. Consequently, as the marginal impact of canopy N on NPP (ΔNPP/ΔN) decreased through time with further canopy development, the O3 effect on NPP dissipated. Within the mineral soil, there was less C in the top 0.1 m of soil under elevated O3 and less soil C from 0.1 to 0.2 m in depth under elevated CO2. Overall, these results suggest that elevated CO2 may create a sustained increase in NPP, whereas the long-term effect of elevated O3 on NPP will be smaller than expected. However, changes in soil C are not well-understood and limit our ability to predict changes in ecosystem C content. PMID:24604779

  18. Modeling Hawaiian ecosystem degradation due to invasive plants under current and future climates.

    PubMed

    Vorsino, Adam E; Fortini, Lucas B; Amidon, Fred A; Miller, Stephen E; Jacobi, James D; Price, Jonathan P; Gon, Sam 'ohukani'ohi'a; Koob, Gregory A

    2014-01-01

    Occupation of native ecosystems by invasive plant species alters their structure and/or function. In Hawaii, a subset of introduced plants is regarded as extremely harmful due to competitive ability, ecosystem modification, and biogeochemical habitat degradation. By controlling this subset of highly invasive ecosystem modifiers, conservation managers could significantly reduce native ecosystem degradation. To assess the invasibility of vulnerable native ecosystems, we selected a proxy subset of these invasive plants and developed robust ensemble species distribution models to define their respective potential distributions. The combinations of all species models using both binary and continuous habitat suitability projections resulted in estimates of species richness and diversity that were subsequently used to define an invasibility metric. The invasibility metric was defined from species distribution models with <0.7 niche overlap (Warrens I) and relatively discriminative distributions (Area Under the Curve >0.8; True Skill Statistic >0.75) as evaluated per species. Invasibility was further projected onto a 2100 Hawaii regional climate change scenario to assess the change in potential habitat degradation. The distribution defined by the invasibility metric delineates areas of known and potential invasibility under current climate conditions and, when projected into the future, estimates potential reductions in native ecosystem extent due to climate-driven invasive incursion. We have provided the code used to develop these metrics to facilitate their wider use (Code S1). This work will help determine the vulnerability of native-dominated ecosystems to the combined threats of climate change and invasive species, and thus help prioritize ecosystem and species management actions.

  19. Modeling Hawaiian Ecosystem Degradation due to Invasive Plants under Current and Future Climates

    PubMed Central

    Vorsino, Adam E.; Fortini, Lucas B.; Amidon, Fred A.; Miller, Stephen E.; Jacobi, James D.; Price, Jonathan P.; Gon, Sam 'Ohukani'ohi'a; Koob, Gregory A.

    2014-01-01

    Occupation of native ecosystems by invasive plant species alters their structure and/or function. In Hawaii, a subset of introduced plants is regarded as extremely harmful due to competitive ability, ecosystem modification, and biogeochemical habitat degradation. By controlling this subset of highly invasive ecosystem modifiers, conservation managers could significantly reduce native ecosystem degradation. To assess the invasibility of vulnerable native ecosystems, we selected a proxy subset of these invasive plants and developed robust ensemble species distribution models to define their respective potential distributions. The combinations of all species models using both binary and continuous habitat suitability projections resulted in estimates of species richness and diversity that were subsequently used to define an invasibility metric. The invasibility metric was defined from species distribution models with <0.7 niche overlap (Warrens I) and relatively discriminative distributions (Area Under the Curve >0.8; True Skill Statistic >0.75) as evaluated per species. Invasibility was further projected onto a 2100 Hawaii regional climate change scenario to assess the change in potential habitat degradation. The distribution defined by the invasibility metric delineates areas of known and potential invasibility under current climate conditions and, when projected into the future, estimates potential reductions in native ecosystem extent due to climate-driven invasive incursion. We have provided the code used to develop these metrics to facilitate their wider use (Code S1). This work will help determine the vulnerability of native-dominated ecosystems to the combined threats of climate change and invasive species, and thus help prioritize ecosystem and species management actions. PMID:24805254

  20. Ecosystems monitoring: MODIS land products generated in CONABIO

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lopez, G.; Cruz, I.; Wickel, A. J.; Acosta, J.; Ressl, R.

    The main goal of CONABIO National commission for biodiversity of Mexico is to promote coordinate support and carry out activities aimed at improving our understanding of biological diversity as well as its conservation and sustainable use for the benefit of society The aim of the ecosystems Monitoring program consists of the analysis of the detected changes -both in quality and quantity- and the analysis of the distribution of vegetation through an enhanced methodology using remote sensing techniques computing and statistics One of the last products of this program is the fire risk propagation map based on NDVI anomalies this product indicate vegetation water stress conditions and therefore a high probability of propagation of a wildfire the availability of the MODIS data has been a crucial factor for the generation of these time-series The generation of VCF Vegetation Continuous Fields for direct broadcast stations receiving MODIS data will be a very useful tool to use in vegetation monitoring due the capabilities of this product to determinate 3 components tree shrub and bare soil for each single pixel The present paper describes the develop of the mentioned applications previously and the future of the programs for the monitoring of the biodiversity in Mexico

  1. There's no place like home? An exploration of the mechanisms behind plant litter-decomposer affinity in terrestrial ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Austin, Amy T; Vivanco, Lucía; González-Arzac, Adelia; Pérez, Luis I

    2014-08-08

    Litter decomposition in terrestrial ecosystems is an important first step for carbon and nutrient cycling, as senescent plant material is degraded and consequently incorporated, along with microbial products, into soil organic matter. The identification of litter affinity effects, whereby decomposition is accelerated in its home environment (home-field advantage, HFA), highlights the importance of plant-soil interactions that have consequences for biogeochemical cycling. While not universal, these affinity effects have been identified in a range of ecosystems, particularly in forests without disturbance. The optimization of the local decomposer community to degrade a particular combination of litter traits is the most oft-cited explanation for HFA effects, but the ways in which this specialized community can develop are only beginning to be understood. We explore ways in which HFA, or more broadly litter affinity effects, could arise in terrestrial ecosystems. Plant-herbivore interactions, microbial symbiosis, legacies from phyllosphere communities and attractors of specific soil fauna could contribute to spatially defined affinity effects for litter decomposition. Pyrosequencing soil communities and functional linkages of soil fauna provide great promise in advancing our mechanistic understanding of these interactions, and could lead to a greater appreciation of the role of litter-decomposer affinity in the maintenance of soil functional diversity.

  2. Effects of plants and plant products on the testis.

    PubMed

    D'Cruz, Shereen Cynthia; Vaithinathan, Selvaraju; Jubendradass, Rajamanickam; Mathur, Premendu Prakash

    2010-07-01

    For centuries, plants and plant-based products have been used as a valuable and safe natural source of medicines for treating various ailments. The therapeutic potential of most of these plants could be ascribed to their anticancer, antidiabetic, hepatoprotective, cardioprotective, antispasmodic, analgesic and various other pharmacological properties. However, several commonly used plants have been reported to adversely affect male reproductive functions in wildlife and humans. The effects observed with most of the plant and plant-based products have been attributed to the antispermatogenic and/or antisteroidogenic properties of one or more active ingredients. This review discusses the detrimental effects of some of the commonly used plants on various target cells in the testis. A deeper insight into the molecular mechanisms of action of these natural compounds could pave the way for developing therapeutic strategies against their toxicity.

  3. Effects of plants and plant products on the testis

    PubMed Central

    D'Cruz, Shereen Cynthia; Vaithinathan, Selvaraju; Jubendradass, Rajamanickam; Mathur, Premendu Prakash

    2010-01-01

    For centuries, plants and plant-based products have been used as a valuable and safe natural source of medicines for treating various ailments. The therapeutic potential of most of these plants could be ascribed to their anticancer, antidiabetic, hepatoprotective, cardioprotective, antispasmodic, analgesic and various other pharmacological properties. However, several commonly used plants have been reported to adversely affect male reproductive functions in wildlife and humans. The effects observed with most of the plant and plant-based products have been attributed to the antispermatogenic and/or antisteroidogenic properties of one or more active ingredients. This review discusses the detrimental effects of some of the commonly used plants on various target cells in the testis. A deeper insight into the molecular mechanisms of action of these natural compounds could pave the way for developing therapeutic strategies against their toxicity. PMID:20562897

  4. Developing microbe-plant interactions for applications in plant-growth promotion and disease control, production of useful compounds, remediation, and carbon sequestration

    SciTech Connect

    Wu, C.H.; Bernard, S.; Andersen, G.L.; Chen, W.

    2009-03-01

    Interactions between plants and microbes are an integral part of our terrestrial ecosystem. Microbe-plant interactions are being applied in many areas. In this review, we present recent reports of applications in the areas of plant-growth promotion, biocontrol, bioactive compound and biomaterial production, remediation and carbon sequestration. Challenges, limitations and future outlook for each field are discussed.

  5. Plant traits and ecosystem effects of clonality: a new research agenda

    PubMed Central

    Cornelissen, Johannes H. C.; Song, Yao-Bin; Yu, Fei-Hai; Dong, Ming

    2014-01-01

    Background Clonal plants spread laterally by spacers between their ramets (shoot–root units); these spacers can transport and store resources. While much is known about how clonality promotes plant fitness, we know little about how different clonal plants influence ecosystem functions related to carbon, nutrient and water cycling. Approach The response–effect trait framework is used to formulate hypotheses about the impact of clonality on ecosystems. Central to this framework is the degree of correspondence between interspecific variation in clonal ‘response traits’ that promote plant fitness and interspecific variation in ‘effect traits’, which define a plant's potential effect on ecosystem functions. The main example presented to illustrate this concept concerns clonal traits of vascular plant species that determine their lateral extension patterns. In combination with the different degrees of decomposability of litter derived from their spacers, leaves, roots and stems, these clonal traits should determine associated spatial and temporal patterns in soil organic matter accumulation, nutrient availability and water retention. Conclusions This review gives some concrete pointers as to how to implement this new research agenda through a combination of (1) standardized screening of predominant species in ecosystems for clonal response traits and for effect traits related to carbon, nutrient and water cycling; (2) analysing the overlap between variation in these response traits and effect traits across species; (3) linking spatial and temporal patterns of clonal species in the field to those for soil properties related to carbon, nutrient and water stocks and dynamics; and (4) studying the effects of biotic interactions and feedbacks between resource heterogeneity and clonality. Linking these to environmental changes may help us to better understand and predict the role of clonal plants in modulating impacts of climate change and human activities on

  6. Solar radiation uncorks the lignin bottleneck on plant litter decomposition in terrestrial ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Austin, A.; Ballare, C. L.; Méndez, M. S.

    2015-12-01

    Plant litter decomposition is an essential process in the first stages of carbon and nutrient turnover in terrestrial ecosystems, and together with soil microbial biomass, provide the principal inputs of carbon for the formation of soil organic matter. Photodegradation, the photochemical mineralization of organic matter, has been recently identified as a mechanism for previously unexplained high rates of litter mass loss in low rainfall ecosystems; however, the generality of this process as a control on carbon cycling in terrestrial ecosystems is not known, and the indirect effects of photodegradation on biotic stimulation of carbon turnover have been debated in recent studies. We demonstrate that in a wide range of plant species, previous exposure to solar radiation, and visible light in particular, enhanced subsequent biotic degradation of leaf litter. Moreover, we demonstrate that the mechanism for this enhancement involves increased accessibility for microbial enzymes to plant litter carbohydrates due to a reduction in lignin content. Photodegradation of plant litter reduces the structural and chemical bottleneck imposed by lignin in secondary cell walls. In litter from woody plant species, specific interactions with ultraviolet radiation obscured facilitative effects of solar radiation on biotic decomposition. The generalized positive effect of solar radiation exposure on subsequent microbial activity is mediated by increased accessibility to cell wall polysaccharides, which suggests that photodegradation is quantitatively important in determining rates of mass loss, nutrient release and the carbon balance in a broad range of terrestrial ecosystems.

  7. Ecosystem-phase interactions: aquatic eutrophication decreases terrestrial plant diversity in California vernal pools.

    PubMed

    Kneitel, Jamie M; Lessin, Carrie L

    2010-06-01

    Eutrophication has long been known to negatively affect aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems worldwide. In freshwater ecosystems, excessive nutrient input results in a shift from vascular plant dominance to algal dominance, while the nutrient-species richness relationship is found to be unimodal. Eutrophication studies are usually conducted in continuously aquatic or terrestrial habitats, but it is unclear how these patterns may be altered by temporal heterogeneity driven by precipitation and temperature variation. The California vernal pool (CVP) ecosystem consists of three distinct phases (aquatic, terrestrial, and dry) caused by variation in climatic conditions. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that resource addition during the aquatic phase results in increased algal abundance, which reduces vascular plant cover and richness of the terrestrial phase upon desiccation. We used mesocosms layered with CVP soil, in which treatments consisted of five levels of nitrogen and phosphorous added every 2 weeks. Resource addition increased available phosphorus levels and algae cover during the aquatic phase. Increased algal crusts resulted in decreased vascular plant percent cover and species richness. Few significant patterns were observed with individual plant species and total biomass. The phosphorus-plant richness relationship was not significant, but species composition was significantly different among the low and high treatment comparisons. These results highlight a neglected effect of eutrophication in seasonal habitats. Interactions among ecosystem phases clearly require more attention empirically and theoretically. Management and restoration of temporally heterogeneous habitat, such as the endemic-rich CVP, need to consider the extensive effects of increased nutrient input.

  8. Carbon allocation in plants and ecosystems - insights from stable isotope studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gessler, Arthur

    2014-05-01

    Trees are large global stores of carbon (C) that will be impacted by increased carbon dioxide levels and climate change. However, at present we cannot properly predict the carbon balance of forests in future as we lack knowledge on how plant physiological processes, the transfer of carbon within the plant, carbon storage, and remobilization in the plant tissues as well as the release of carbon from the roots to the soil interact with environmental drivers and ecosystem-scale processes. This paper will summarise how stable isotope techniques can give new insights in the fate of newly assimilated C in plants and ecosystems on time scales from hours to seasons and it will include studies either characterizing temporal and spatial variation in the natural abundance of carbon and oxygen isotopes or applying isotopically enriched tracers. It comprises the assessment of the mechanisms of C partitioning among specific metabolic pathways, between plant organs and into various ecosystem C pools with different residence times. Moreover stable isotopes are highly suitable tools to characterise the role of the phloem, which is the central long-distance conveyer distributing C from source to sinks and thus plays a central role in linking sites and structures of storage, growth and other metabolic activities. A deeper understanding of these processes and their interaction with environmental drivers is critical for predicting how trees and ecosystems will respond to coming global environmental changes, including increased temperature, altered precipitation, and elevated carbon dioxide concentrations.

  9. Ecohydrology in semiarid urban ecosystems: Modeling the relationship between connected impervious area and ecosystem productivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shields, Catherine; Tague, Christina

    2015-01-01

    In water-stressed, semiarid urban environments, connections between impervious surfaces and drainage networks may strongly impact the water use and ecosystem productivity of neighboring vegetated areas. We use an ecohydrologic model, the Regional Hydro-Ecological Simulation System (RHESSys), to quantify the sensitivity of vegetation water use and net primary productivity (NPP) to fine-scale impervious surface connectivity. We develop a set of very fine-scale (2 m2) scenarios that vary both the percentage of impervious surface and fraction of this impervious surface with direct hydrologic connections to urban drainage systems for a small hillslope. When driven by Mediterranean climate forcing, model estimates suggest that total vegetation water use declines with increasing impervious area. However, when impervious area is hydrologically disconnected from the urban drainage network, declines in water and carbon fluxes with decreased vegetated area can be partially, or in some cases even completely, offset by increased transpiration and NPP in the remaining vegetation. Relative increases in water use and NPP of remaining vegetation are much greater for deeply rooted shrubs and trees and negligible for shallow rooted grasses. We extrapolate our findings to the catchment scale by developing a first-order approximation of fine-scale impervious connection impacts on aggregate watershed water and carbon flux estimates. Our approach offers a computationally and data-efficient method for estimating the impact of impervious area connectivity on these ecohydrologic fluxes. For our only partially urbanized Santa Barbara watershed, estimates of water use and NPP that account for fine-scale impervious connection differed by more than 10% from those that did not.

  10. Plant-herbivore-decomposer stoichiometric mismatches and nutrient cycling in ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Cherif, Mehdi; Loreau, Michel

    2013-03-07

    Plant stoichiometry is thought to have a major influence on how herbivores affect nutrient availability in ecosystems. Most conceptual models predict that plants with high nutrient contents increase nutrient excretion by herbivores, in turn raising nutrient availability. To test this hypothesis, we built a stoichiometrically explicit model that includes a simple but thorough description of the processes of herbivory and decomposition. Our results challenge traditional views of herbivore impacts on nutrient availability in many ways. They show that the relationship between plant nutrient content and the impact of herbivores predicted by conceptual models holds only at high plant nutrient contents. At low plant nutrient contents, the impact of herbivores is mediated by the mineralization/immobilization of nutrients by decomposers and by the type of resource limiting the growth of decomposers. Both parameters are functions of the mismatch between plant and decomposer stoichiometries. Our work provides new predictions about the impacts of herbivores on ecosystem fertility that depend on critical interactions between plant, herbivore and decomposer stoichiometries in ecosystems.

  11. Modeled diversity effects on microbial ecosystem functions of primary production, nutrient uptake, and remineralization.

    PubMed

    Goebel, Nicole L; Edwards, Christopher A; Follows, Michael J; Zehr, Jonathan P

    2014-01-01

    Ecosystem-wide primary productivity generally increases with primary producer diversity, emphasizing the importance of diversity for ecosystem function. However, most studies that demonstrate this positive relationship have focused on terrestrial and aquatic benthic systems, with little attention to the diverse marine pelagic primary producers that play an important role in regulating global climate. Here we show how phytoplankton biodiversity enhances overall marine ecosystem primary productivity and other ecosystem functions using a self-organizing ecosystem model. Diversity manipulation numerical experiments reveal positive, asymptotically saturating relationships between ecosystem-wide phytoplankton diversity and functions of productivity, nutrient uptake, remineralization, and diversity metrics used to identify mechanisms shaping these relationships. Increase in productivity with increasing diversity improves modeled ecosystem stability and model robustness and leads to productivity rates that exceed expected yields primarily through niche complementarity and facilitative interactions between coexisting phytoplankton types; the composition of traits in assemblages determines the magnitude of complementarity and selection effects. While findings based on these aggregate measures of diversity effects parallel those from the majority of experimental outcomes of terrestrial and benthic biodiversity-ecosystem function studies, we combine analyses of community diversity effects and investigations of the underlying interactions among phytoplankton types to demonstrate how an increase in recycled production of non-diatoms through an increase in new production of diatoms drives this diversity-cosystem function response. We demonstrate the important role that facilitation plays in the modeled marine plankton and how this facilitative interaction could amplify future climate-driven changes in ocean ecosystem productivity.

  12. Gloger's rule in plants: The species and ecosystem levels

    PubMed Central

    Lev-Yadun, Simcha

    2015-01-01

    Gloger's rule posits that darker birds are found more often in humid environments than in arid ones, especially in the tropics. Accordingly, desert-inhabiting animals tend to be light-colored. This rule is also true for certain mammalian groups, including humans. Gloger's rule is manifested at 2 levels: (1) at the species level (different populations of the same species have different pigmentation at different latitudes), and (2) at the species assembly level (different taxa at a certain geography have different pigmentation than other taxa found at different habitats or latitudes). Concerning plants, Gloger's rule was first proposed to operate in many plant species growing in sand dunes, sandy shores and in deserts, because of being white, whitish, or silver colored, based on white trichomes, because of sand grains and clay particles glued to sticky glandular trichomes, or because of light-colored waxes. Recently, Gloger's rule was shown to also be true at the intraspecific level in relation to protection of anthers from UV irradiation. While Gloger's rule is true in certain plant taxa and ecologies, there are others where “anti-Gloger” coloration patterns exist. In some of these the selective agents are known and in others they are not. I present both Gloger and “anti-Gloger” cases and argue that this largely neglected aspect of plant biology deserves much more research attention. PMID:26786012

  13. Gloger's rule in plants: The species and ecosystem levels.

    PubMed

    Lev-Yadun, Simcha

    2015-01-01

    Gloger's rule posits that darker birds are found more often in humid environments than in arid ones, especially in the tropics. Accordingly, desert-inhabiting animals tend to be light-colored. This rule is also true for certain mammalian groups, including humans. Gloger's rule is manifested at 2 levels: (1) at the species level (different populations of the same species have different pigmentation at different latitudes), and (2) at the species assembly level (different taxa at a certain geography have different pigmentation than other taxa found at different habitats or latitudes). Concerning plants, Gloger's rule was first proposed to operate in many plant species growing in sand dunes, sandy shores and in deserts, because of being white, whitish, or silver colored, based on white trichomes, because of sand grains and clay particles glued to sticky glandular trichomes, or because of light-colored waxes. Recently, Gloger's rule was shown to also be true at the intraspecific level in relation to protection of anthers from UV irradiation. While Gloger's rule is true in certain plant taxa and ecologies, there are others where "anti-Gloger" coloration patterns exist. In some of these the selective agents are known and in others they are not. I present both Gloger and "anti-Gloger" cases and argue that this largely neglected aspect of plant biology deserves much more research attention.

  14. Contributions of woody and herbaceous vegetation to tropical savanna ecosystem productivity: a quasi-global estimate.

    PubMed

    Lloyd, Jon; Bird, Michael I; Vellen, Lins; Miranda, Antonio Carlos; Veenendaal, Elmar M; Djagbletey, Gloria; Miranda, Heloisa S; Cook, Garry; Farquhar, Graham D

    2008-03-01

    To estimate the relative contributions of woody and herbaceous vegetation to savanna productivity, we measured the 13C/12C isotopic ratios of leaves from trees, shrubs, grasses and the surface soil carbon pool for 22 savannas in Australia, Brazil and Ghana covering the full savanna spectrum ranging from almost pure grassland to closed woodlands on all three continents. All trees and shrubs sampled were of the C3 pathway and all grasses of the C4 pathway with the exception of Echinolaena inflexa (Poir.) Chase, a common C3 grass of the Brazilian cerrado. By comparing the carbon isotopic compositions of the plant and carbon pools, a simple model relating soil delta 13C to the relative abundances of trees + shrubs (woody plants) and grasses was developed. The model suggests that the relative proportions of a savanna ecosystem's total foliar projected cover attributable to grasses versus woody plants is a simple and reliable index of the relative contributions of grasses and woody plants to savanna net productivity. Model calibrations against woody tree canopy cover made it possible to estimate the proportion of savanna productivity in the major regions of the world attributable to trees + shrubs and grasses from ground-based observational maps of savanna woodiness. Overall, it was estimated that 59% of the net primary productivity (Np) of tropical savannas is attributable to C4 grasses, but that this proportion varies significantly within and between regions. The C4 grasses make their greatest relative contribution to savanna Np in the Neotropics, whereas in African regions, a greater proportion of savanna Np is attributable to woody plants. The relative contribution of C4 grasses in Australian savannas is intermediate between those in the Neotropics and Africa. These differences can be broadly ascribed to large scale differences in soil fertility and rainfall.

  15. Plant functional diversity increases grassland productivity-related water vapor fluxes: an Ecotron and modeling approach.

    PubMed

    Milcu, Alexandru; Eugster, Werner; Bachmann, Dörte; Guderle, Marcus; Roscher, Christiane; Gockele, Annette; Landais, Damien; Ravel, Olivier; Gessler, Arthur; Lange, Markus; Ebeling, Anne; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Roy, Jacques; Hildebrandt, Anke; Buchmann, Nina

    2016-08-01

    The impact of species richness and functional diversity of plants on ecosystem water vapor fluxes has been little investigated. To address this knowledge gap, we combined a lysimeter setup in a controlled environment facility (Ecotron) with large ecosystem samples/monoliths originating from a long-term biodiversity experiment (The Jena Experiment) and a modeling approach. Our goals were (1) quantifying the impact of plant species richness (four vs. 16 species) on day- and nighttime ecosystem water vapor fluxes; (2) partitioning ecosystem evapotranspiration into evaporation and plant transpiration using the Shuttleworth and Wallace (SW) energy partitioning model; and (3) identifying the most parsimonious predictors of water vapor fluxes using plant functional-trait-based metrics such as functional diversity and community weighted means. Daytime measured and modeled evapotranspiration were significantly higher in the higher plant diversity treatment, suggesting increased water acquisition. The SW model suggests that, at low plant species richness, a higher proportion of the available energy was diverted to evaporation (a non-productive flux), while, at higher species richness, the proportion of ecosystem transpiration (a productivity-related water flux) increased. While it is well established that LAI controls ecosystem transpiration, here we also identified that the diversity of leaf nitrogen concentration among species in a community is a consistent predictor of ecosystem water vapor fluxes during daytime. The results provide evidence that, at the peak of the growing season, higher leaf area index (LAI) and lower percentage of bare ground at high plant diversity diverts more of the available water to transpiration, a flux closely coupled with photosynthesis and productivity. Higher rates of transpiration presumably contribute to the positive effect of diversity on productivity.

  16. New routes to plant secondary products

    SciTech Connect

    Hamill, J.D.; Parr, A.J.; Rhodes, M.J.C.; Robins, R.J.; Walton, N.J.

    1987-01-01

    For some years, there has been great interest in the exploitation of plant cell cultures to produce fine chemicals. With a few exceptions, progress in commercialization has been slow, largely due to the low and/or unstable productivity of many undifferentiated cultures. Recent developments leading to the production of rapidly growing, organized, 'hairy' root cultures following the genetic transformation of plants with Agrobacterium rhizogenes may revolutionize certain areas of plant cell biotechnology. The application of hairy root technology to the production of plant secondary metabolites are discussed. (Refs. 45).

  17. [Transgenic plants as medicine production systems].

    PubMed

    Okada, Y

    1997-10-01

    Transgenic plants are emerging as an important system for the expression of many recombinant proteins, especially those intended for therapeutic purpose. The production of foreign proteins in plants has several advantages. In terms of required equipment and cost, mass production in plants is far easier to achieve than techniques involving animal cells. Successful production of several proteins in plants, including human serum albumin, haemoglobin, monoclonal antibodies, viral antigens (vaccines), enkephalin, and trichosanthin, has been reported. Particularly, the demonstration that vaccine antigens can be produced in plants in their native, immunogenic forms opens exciting possibilities for the "bio-farming" of vaccines. If the antigens are orally active, food-based "edible vaccines" could allow economical production. In this review, I will discuss the progress that has been made by several groups in what is now an expanding area of medicine research that utilizes transgenic plants.

  18. Ecosystem and physiological controls over methane production in northern wetlands

    SciTech Connect

    Valentine, D.W.; Holland, E.A.; Schimel, D.S.

    1994-01-20

    Peat chemistry appears to exert primary control over methane production rates in the Canadian Northern Wetlands Study (NOWES) area. We determined laboratory methane production rate potentials in anaerobic slurries of samples collected from a transect of sites through the NOWES study area. We related methane production rates to indicators of resistance to microbial decay (peat C:N and lignin:N ratios) and experimentally manipulated substrate availability for methanogenesis using ethanol (EtOH) and plant litter. We also determined responses of methane production to pH and temperature. Methane production potentials declined along the gradient of sites from high rates in the coastal fens to low rates in the interior bogs and were generally highest in surface layers. Strong relationships between CH{sub 4} production potentials and peat chemistry suggested that methanogenesis was limited by fermentation rates. Methane production at ambient pH responded strongly to substrate additions in the circumneutral fens with narrow lignin:N and C:N ratios ({partial_derivative}CH{sub 4}/{partial_derivative}EtOH = 0.9-2.3 mg g{sup {minus}1}) and weakly in the acidic bogs with wide C:N and lignin:N ratios ({partial_derivative}CH{sub 4}/{partial_derivative}EtOH = -0.4-0.02 mg g{sup {minus}1}). Observed Q{sub 10} values ranged from 1.7 to 4.7 and generally increased with increasing substrate availability, suggesting that fermentation rates were limiting. Titration experiments generally demonstrated inhibition of methanogenesis by low pH. Our results suggest that the low rates of methane emission observed in interior bogs during NOWES likely resulted from pH and substrate quality limitation of the fermentation step in methane production and thus reflect intrinsically low methane production potentials. Low methane emission rates observed during NOWES will likely be observed in other northern wetland regions with similar vegetation chemistry. 57 refs., 5 figs., 4 tabs.

  19. Ecosystem and physiological controls over methane production in northern wetlands

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Valentine, David W.; Holland, Elisabeth A.; Schimel, David S.

    1994-01-01

    Peat chemistry appears to exert primary control over methane production rates in the Canadian Northern Wetlands Study (NOWES) area. We determined laboratory methane production rate potentials in anaerobic slurries of samples collected from a transect of sites through the NOWES study area. We related methane production rates to indicators of resistance to microbial decay (peat C: N and lignin: N ratios) and experimentally manipulated substrate availability for methanogenesis using ethanol (EtOH) and plant litter. We also determined responses of methane production to pH and temperature. Methane production potentials declined along the gradient of sites from high rates in the coastal fens to low rates in the interior bogs and were generally highest in surface layers. Strong relationships between CH4 production potentials and peat chemistry suggested that methanogenesis was limited by fermentation rates. Methane production at ambient pH responded strongly to substrate additions in the circumneutral fens with narrow lignin: N and C: N ratios (delta CH4/delta EtOH = 0.9-2.3 mg/g) and weakly in the acidic bogs with wide C: N and lignin: N ratios (delta CH4/delta EtOH = -0.04-0.02 mg/g). Observed Q(sub 10) values ranged from 1.7 to 4.7 and generally increased with increasing substrate availability, suggesting that fermentation rates were limiting. Titration experiments generally demonstrated inhibition of methanogenesis by low pH. Our results suggest that the low rates of methane emission observed in interior bogs during NOWES likely resulted from pH and substrate quality limitation of the fermentation step in methane production and thus reflect intrinsically low methane production potentials. Low methane emission rates observed during NOWES will likely be observed in other northern wetland regions with similar vegetation chemistry.

  20. Feedbacks Between Microenvironment and Plant Functional Type and Implications for CO2 Flux in Arctic Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Squires, E.; Rodenheizer, H.; Natali, S.; Mann, P.

    2013-12-01

    Future climate models predict a warmer, drier Arctic, with resultant shifts in vegetative composition and implications for ecosystem carbon budgets. The impact of vegetation change, however, may depend on which plant functional groups are favored in a warming Arctic. Physiological and functional differences between plant groups influence both the local microenvironment and, on a broader scale, whole-ecosystem CO2 flux. We examined the interactions between plants and their microenvironment, and analyzed the effect of these interactions on both soil microbial communities and CO2 flux across different functional groups. Physical and biological aspects of the microenvironment differed between plant functional groups. Lichen patches were characterized by deeper thaw depths, lower soil moisture, greater thermal conductivity, and a thinner organic layer than mosses. To better understand the development of these plant-environment interactions, we conducted a reciprocal transplant experiment, switching multiple lichen and moss patches. Temporal changes in environmental parameters at these sites will demonstrate how different plants modify their environment and will help identify associated implications for soil microbial communities and CO2 flux. We measured CO2 flux and used Biolog assays to examine soil microbial communities in undisturbed patches of mosses, lichens, and shrubs. Patches of birch shrubs had more negative net ecosystem exchange, signifying a carbon sink. Soils from alder shrubs and mosses hosted more active microbial communities than soils under birch shrubs and lichens. These results suggest a strong link between environment, plant functional type, and C cycling. Understanding how this relationship differs among plant functional types is an important part of predicting ecosystem carbon budgets as Arctic vegetation composition shifts in response to climate change.

  1. Modeling the response of plants and ecosystems to elevated CO{sub 2} and climate change

    SciTech Connect

    Reynolds, J.F.; Hilbert, D.W.; Chen, Jia-lin; Harley, P.C.; Kemp, P.R.; Leadley, P.W.

    1992-03-01

    While the exact effects of elevated CO{sub 2} on global climate are unknown, there is a growing consensus among climate modelers that global temperature and precipitation will increase, but that these changes will be non-uniform over the Earth`s surface. In addition to these potential climatic changes, CO{sub 2} also directly affects plants via photosynthesis, respiration, and stomatal closure. Global climate change, in concert with these direct effects of CO{sub 2} on plants, could have a significant impact on both natural and agricultural ecosystems. Society`s ability to prepare for, and respond to, such changes depends largely on the ability of climate and ecosystem researchers to provide predictions of regional level ecosystem responses with sufficient confidence and adequate lead time.

  2. Modeling the response of plants and ecosystems to elevated CO sub 2 and climate change

    SciTech Connect

    Reynolds, J.F.; Hilbert, D.W.; Chen, Jia-lin; Harley, P.C.; Kemp, P.R.; Leadley, P.W.

    1992-03-01

    While the exact effects of elevated CO{sub 2} on global climate are unknown, there is a growing consensus among climate modelers that global temperature and precipitation will increase, but that these changes will be non-uniform over the Earth's surface. In addition to these potential climatic changes, CO{sub 2} also directly affects plants via photosynthesis, respiration, and stomatal closure. Global climate change, in concert with these direct effects of CO{sub 2} on plants, could have a significant impact on both natural and agricultural ecosystems. Society's ability to prepare for, and respond to, such changes depends largely on the ability of climate and ecosystem researchers to provide predictions of regional level ecosystem responses with sufficient confidence and adequate lead time.

  3. The variable effects of soil nitrogen availability and insect herbivory on aboveground and belowground plant biomass in an old-field ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Blue, Jarrod D; Souza, Lara; Classen, Aimée T; Schweitzer, Jennifer A; Sanders, Nathan J

    2011-11-01

    Nutrient availability and herbivory can regulate primary production in ecosystems, but little is known about how, or whether, they may interact with one another. Here, we investigate how nitrogen availability and insect herbivory interact to alter aboveground and belowground plant community biomass in an old-field ecosystem. In 2004, we established 36 experimental plots in which we manipulated soil nitrogen (N) availability and insect abundance in a completely randomized plot design. In 2009, after 6 years of treatments, we measured aboveground biomass and assessed root production at peak growth. Overall, we found a significant effect of reduced soil N availability on aboveground biomass and belowground plant biomass production. Specifically, responses of aboveground and belowground community biomass to nutrients were driven by reductions in soil N, but not additions, indicating that soil N may not be limiting primary production in this ecosystem. Insects reduced the aboveground biomass of subdominant plant species and decreased coarse root production. We found no statistical interactions between N availability and insect herbivory for any response variable. Overall, the results of 6 years of nutrient manipulations and insect removals suggest strong bottom-up influences on total plant community productivity but more subtle effects of insect herbivores on aspects of aboveground and belowground production.

  4. Exploring Third-Grade Student Model-Based Explanations about Plant Relationships within an Ecosystem

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zangori, Laura; Forbes, Cory T.

    2015-01-01

    Elementary students should have opportunities to develop scientific models to reason and build understanding about how and why plants depend on relationships within an ecosystem for growth and survival. However, scientific modeling practices are rarely included within elementary science learning environments and disciplinary content is often…

  5. Landscape and environmental controls over leaf and ecosystem carbon dioxide fluxes under woody plant expansion

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Many regions of the globe are experiencing a simultaneous change in the dominant plant functional type and regional climatology. We explored how atmospheric temperature and precipitation input control leaf- and ecosystem scale carbon fluxes within a pair of semiarid shrublands that had undergone woo...

  6. Management of Indigenous Plant-Microbe Symbioses Aids Restoration of Desertified Ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Requena, Natalia; Perez-Solis, Estefania; Azcón-Aguilar, Concepción; Jeffries, Peter; Barea, José-Miguel

    2001-01-01

    Disturbance of natural plant communities is the first visible indication of a desertification process, but damage to physical, chemical, and biological soil properties is known to occur simultaneously. Such soil degradation limits reestablishment of the natural plant cover. In particular, desertification causes disturbance of plant-microbe symbioses which are a critical ecological factor in helping further plant growth in degraded ecosystems. Here we demonstrate, in two long-term experiments in a desertified Mediterranean ecosystem, that inoculation with indigenous arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and with rhizobial nitrogen-fixing bacteria not only enhanced the establishment of key plant species but also increased soil fertility and quality. The dual symbiosis increased the soil nitrogen (N) content, organic matter, and hydrostable soil aggregates and enhanced N transfer from N-fixing to nonfixing species associated within the natural succession. We conclude that the introduction of target indigenous species of plants associated with a managed community of microbial symbionts is a successful biotechnological tool to aid the recovery of desertified ecosystems. PMID:11157208

  7. Shifts in plant functional types have time-dependent and regionally variable impacts on dryland ecosystem water balance

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bradford, John B.; Schlaepfer, Daniel R.; Lauenroth, William K.; Burke, Ingrid C.

    2014-01-01

    5. Synthesis. This study provides a novel, regional-scale assessment of how plant functional type transitions may impact ecosystem water balance in sagebrush-dominated ecosystems of North America. Results illustrate that the ecohydrological consequences of changing vegetation depend strongly on climate and suggest that decreasing woody plant abundance may have only limited impact on evapotranspiration and water yield.

  8. Ozone fluxes over various plant ecosystems in Italy: a review.

    PubMed

    Cieslik, S

    2009-05-01

    Among air pollutants, ozone is the most important stressor to vegetation, which undergoes damage and biomass reduction after penetration of ozone molecules into the leaf tissues through the stomata. Stomatal ozone fluxes are considered the governing factor needed to assess risk to plant health due to ozone. Although this parameter may be calculated by modeling, direct measurements are scarce. Moreover, southern European situations, especially regarding Italy, require special attention due to the decoupling between ozone concentrations and fluxes. This work reviews ozone flux measurements made during the last 15 years through Italy.

  9. The Importance of Context in Development and Application of Ecosystem Services Production Functions

    EPA Science Inventory

    The task of estimating ecosystem service production and delivery deserves special attention. When approached as a function of land cover at any given time, context driven facets of ecosystem service production, delivery, and resulting effects on human well-being can be overlooke...

  10. Cascading effects of induced terrestrial plant defences on aquatic and terrestrial ecosystem function.

    PubMed

    Jackrel, Sara L; Wootton, J Timothy

    2015-04-22

    Herbivores induce plants to undergo diverse processes that minimize costs to the plant, such as producing defences to deter herbivory or reallocating limited resources to inaccessible portions of the plant. Yet most plant tissue is consumed by decomposers, not herbivores, and these defensive processes aimed to deter herbivores may alter plant tissue even after detachment from the plant. All consumers value nutrients, but plants also require these nutrients for primary functions and defensive processes. We experimentally simulated herbivory with and without nutrient additions on red alder (Alnus rubra), which supplies the majority of leaf litter for many rivers in western North America. Simulated herbivory induced a defence response with cascading effects: terrestrial herbivores and aquatic decomposers fed less on leaves from stressed trees. This effect was context dependent: leaves from fertilized-only trees decomposed most rapidly while leaves from fertilized trees receiving the herbivory treatment decomposed least, suggesting plants funnelled a nutritionally valuable resource into enhanced defence. One component of the defence response was a decrease in leaf nitrogen leading to elevated carbon : nitrogen. Aquatic decomposers prefer leaves naturally low in C : N and this altered nutrient profile largely explains the lower rate of aquatic decomposition. Furthermore, terrestrial soil decomposers were unaffected by either treatment but did show a preference for local and nitrogen-rich leaves. Our study illustrates the ecological implications of terrestrial herbivory and these findings demonstrate that the effects of selection caused by terrestrial herbivory in one ecosystem can indirectly shape the structure of other ecosystems through ecological fluxes across boundaries.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  12. Plant responses, climate pivot points, and trade-offs in water-limited ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Munson, Seth M.

    2013-01-01

    Plant species in dryland ecosystems are limited by water availability and may be vulnerable to increases in aridity. Methods are needed to monitor and assess the rate of change in plant abundance and composition in relation to climate, understand the potential for degradation in dryland ecosystems, and forecast future changes in plant species assemblages. I employ nearly a century of vegetation monitoring data from three North American deserts to demonstrate an approach to determine plant species responses to climate and critical points over a range of climatic conditions at which plant species shift from increases to decreases in abundance (climate pivot points). I assess these metrics from a site to regional scale and highlight how these indicators of plant performance can be modified by the physical and biotic environment. For example, shrubs were more responsive to drought and high temperatures on shallow soils with limited capacity to store water and fine-textured soils with slow percolation rates, whereas perennial grasses were more responsive to precipitation in sparse shrublands than in relatively dense grasslands and shrublands, where competition for water is likely more intense. The responses and associated climate pivot points of plant species aligned with their lifespan and structural characteristics, and the relationship between responses and climate pivot points provides evidence of the trade-off between the capacity of a plant species to increase in abundance when water is available and its drought resistance.

  13. Characterizing terrestrial ecosystems and productivity from remote sensing data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Peterson, David L.; Running, Steven W.

    1985-01-01

    Predictive relationships were studied between the leaf area index (LAI) of temperate coniferous forests and the canopy of reflective properties as sensed by satellites. Also, the relationship was examined between this sensible variable, LAI, and functional properties such as net primary productivity (NPP) and nitrogen mineralization. Leaf surface area is a locus of many important material and energy exchanges. If LAI can be reasonably estimated from remote sensing measurements, then it could be used with models to predict evapotranspiration, radiation interception, precipitation interception, and other ecosystem processes over large areas. Nineteen mature closed canopy forest stands were measured for leaf area index distributed along a temperature moisture gradient across Oregon. The LAI varies from 15.4 to 0.6. Infrared radiation is strongly scattered by leaves so that it penetrates deeply and its reflectance is proportional to LAI. Red radiation is strongly absorbed by chlorophyll and its reflectance is inversely related to LAI, becoming asymptotic at LAI values of about 3. The ratio of infrared to red radiation compensates for irradiance variations across this transect.

  14. Methane production and consumption in grassland and boreal ecosystems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schimel, David S.; Burke, Ingrid C.; Johnston, Carol; Pastor, John

    1994-01-01

    The objectives of the this project were to develop a mechanistic understanding of methane production and oxidation suitable for incorporation into spatially explicit models for spatial extrapolation. Field studies were undertaken in Minnesota, Canada, and Colorado to explore the process controls over the two microbial mediated methane transformations in a range of environments. Field measurements were done in conjunction with ongoing studies in Canada (the Canadian Northern Wetlands Projects: NOWES) and in Colorado (The Shortgrass Steppe Long Term Ecological Research Project: LTER). One of the central hypotheses of the proposal was that methane production should be substrate limited, as well as being controlled by physical variables influencing microbial activity (temperature, oxidation status, and pH). Laboratory studies of peats from Canada and Minnesota (Northern and Southern Boreal) were conducted with amendments of a methanogenic substrate at multiple temperatures and at multiple pHs (the latter by titrating samples). The studies showed control by substrate, pH, and temperature in order in anaerobic samples. Field and laboratory manipulations of natural plant litter, rather than an acetogenic substrate, showed similarly large effects. The studies concluded that substrate is an important control over methanogenesis, that substrate availability in the field is closely coupled to the chemistry of the dominant vegetation influencing its decomposition rate, that most methane is produced from recent plant litter, and that landscape changes in pH are an important control, highly correlated with vegetation.

  15. Does woody plant encroachment increase ecosystem carbon stocks?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Drylands account for ~30-35% of terrestrial primary production and are an important component of the global carbon cycle. Changes in dryland vegetation thus have implications for carbon uptake and storage. One widely observed change is the conversion of grasslands to shrublands and woodlands. Althou...

  16. Diurnal patterns of productivity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi revealed with the Soil Ecosystem Observatory.

    PubMed

    Hernandez, Rebecca R; Allen, Michael F

    2013-10-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi are the most abundant plant symbiont and a major pathway of carbon sequestration in soils. However, their basic biology, including their activity throughout a 24-h day : night cycle, remains unknown. We employed the in situ Soil Ecosystem Observatory to quantify the rates of diurnal growth, dieback and net productivity of extra-radical AM fungi. AM fungal hyphae showed significantly different rates of growth and dieback over a period of 24 h and paralleled the circadian-driven photosynthetic oscillations observed in plants. The greatest rates (and incidences) of growth and dieback occurred between noon and 18:00 h. Growth and dieback events often occurred simultaneously and were tightly coupled with soil temperature and moisture, suggesting a rapid acclimation of the external phase of AM fungi to the immediate environment. Changes in the environmental conditions and variability of the mycorrhizosphere may alter the diurnal patterns of productivity of AM fungi, thereby modifying soil carbon sequestration, nutrient cycling and host plant success.

  17. Plant diversity and ecosystem multifunctionality peak at intermediate levels of woody cover in global drylands

    PubMed Central

    Soliveres, Santiago; Maestre, Fernando T.; Eldridge, David J.; Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Quero, José Luis; Bowker, Matthew A.; Gallardo, Antonio

    2015-01-01

    Aim The global spread of woody plants into grasslands is predicted to increase over the coming century. While there is general agreement regarding the anthropogenic causes of this phenomenon, its ecological consequences are less certain. We analyzed how woody vegetation of differing cover affects plant diversity (richness and evenness) and multiple ecosystem functions (multifunctionality) in global drylands, and how this changes with aridity. Location 224 dryland sites from all continents except Antarctica widely differing in their environmental conditions (from arid to dry-subhumid sites) and woody covers (from 0 to 100%). Methods Using a standardized field survey, we measured the cover, richness and evenness of perennial vegetation. At each site, we measured 14 ecosystem functions related to soil fertility and the build-up of nutrient pools. These functions are critical for maintaining ecosystem function in drylands. Results Species richness and ecosystem multifunctionality were strongly influenced by woody vegetation, with both variables peaking at relative woody covers (RWC) of 41-60%. This relationship shifted with aridity. We observed linear positive effects of RWC in dry-subhumid sites. These positive trends shifted to hump-shaped RWC-diversity and multifunctionality relationships under semiarid environments. Finally, hump-shaped (richness, evenness) or linear negative (multifunctionality) effects of RWC were found under the most arid conditions. Main conclusions Plant diversity and multifunctionality peaked at intermediate levels of woody cover, although this relationship became increasingly positive under wetter environments. This comprehensive study accounts for multiple ecosystem attributes across a range of woody covers and environmental conditions. Our results help us to reconcile contrasting views of woody encroachment found in current literature and can be used to improve predictions of the likely effects of encroachment on biodiversity and ecosystem

  18. Assessing the potential for algae and macrophytes to degrade crop protection products in aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Kevin A; Hand, Laurence H

    2011-03-01

    Rates of pesticide degradation in aquatic ecosystems often differ between those observed within laboratory studies and field trials. Under field conditions, a number of additional processes may well have a significant role, yet are excluded from standard laboratory studies, for example, metabolism by aquatic plants, phytoplankton, and periphyton. These constituents of natural aquatic ecosystems have been shown to be capable of metabolizing a range of crop protection products. Here we report the rate of degradation of six crop protection products assessed in parallel in three systems, under reproducible, defined laboratory conditions, designed to compare aquatic sediment systems which exclude macrophytes and algae against those in which macrophytes and/or algae are included. All three systems remained as close as possible to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) 308 guidelines, assessing degradation of parent compound in the total system in mass balanced studies using ((14) C) labeled compounds. We observed, in all cases where estimated, significant increases in the rate of degradation in both the algae and macrophyte systems when compared to the standard systems. By assessing total system degradation within closed, mass balanced studies, we have shown that rates of degradation are enhanced in water/sediment systems that include macrophytes and algae. The contribution of these communities should therefore be considered if the aquatic fate of pesticides is to be fully understood.

  19. Importance of Past Human and Natural Disturbance in Present-Day Net Ecosystem Productivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Felzer, B. S.; Phelps, P.

    2014-12-01

    Gridded datasets of Net Ecosystem Exchange derived from eddy covariance and remote sensing measurements provide a means of validating Net Ecosystem Productivity (NEP, opposite of NEE) from terrestrial ecosystem models. While most forested regions in the U.S. are observed to be moderate to strong carbon sinks, models not including human or natural disturbances will tend to be more carbon neutral, which is expected of mature ecosystems. We have developed the Terrestrial Ecosystems Model Hydro version (TEM-Hydro) to include both human and natural disturbances to compare against gridded NEP datasets. Human disturbances are based on the Hurtt et al. (2006) land use transition dataset and include transient agricultural (crops and pasture) conversion and abandonment and timber harvest. We include natural disturbances of storms and fires based on stochastic return intervals. Tropical storms and hurricane return intervals are based on Zheng et al. (2009) and occur only along the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf coasts. Fire return intervals are based on LANDFIRE Rapid Assessment Vegetation Models and vegetation types from the Hurtt dataset. We are running three experiments with TEM-Hydro from 1700-2011 for the conterminous U.S.: potential vegetation (POT), human disturbance only (agriculture and timber harvest, LULC), and human plus natural disturbance (agriculture, timber harvest, storms, and fire, DISTURB). The goal is to compare our NEP values to those obtained by FLUXNET-MTE (Jung et al. 2009) from 1982-2008 and ECMOD (Xiao et al., 2008) from 2000-2006 for different plant functional types (PFTs) within the conterminous U.S. Preliminary results show that, for the entire U.S., potential vegetation yields an NEP of 10.8 gCm-2yr-1 vs 128.1 gCm-2yr-1 for LULC and 89.8 gCm-2yr-1 for DISTURB from 1982-2008. The effect of regrowth following agricultural and timber harvest disturbance therefore contributes substantially to the present-day carbon sink, while stochastic storms and fires

  20. Spectral filtering for plant production

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Young, Roy E.; Mcmahon, Margaret J.; Rajapakse, Nihal C.; Decoteau, Dennis R.

    1994-01-01

    Both plants and animals have one general commonality in their perception of light. They both are sensitive primarily to the 400 to 700 nm wavelength portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. This is referred to as the visible spectrum for animals and as the photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) spectrum for plants. Within this portion of the spectrum, animals perceive colors. Relatively recently it has been learned that within this same spectral range plants also demonstrate varying responses at different wavelengths, somewhat analogous to the definition of various colors at specific wavelengths. Although invisible to the human eye, portions of the electromagnetic spectrum on either side of the visible range are relatively inactive photosynthetically but have been found to influence important biological functions. These portions include the ultraviolet (UV approximately equal to 280-400 nm) and the far-red (FR approximately equal to 700-800 nm). The basic photoreceptor of plants for photosynthesis is chlorophyll. It serves to capture radiant energy which combined with carbon dioxide and water produces oxygen and assimulated carbon, used for the synthesis of cell wall polysaccarides, proteins, membrane lipids and other cellular constituents. The energy and carbon building blocks of photosynthesis sustain growth of plants. On the other hand, however, there are other photoreceptors, or pigments, that function as signal transducers to provide information that controls many physiological and morphological responses of how a plant grows. Known photomorphogenic receptors include phytochrome (the red/far-red sensor in the narrow bands of 655-665 nm and 725-735 nm ranges, respectively) and 'cryptochrome' (the hypothetical UV-B sensor in the 280-320 nm range). Since the USDA team of W. L. Butler, S. B. Hendricks, H. A. Borthwick, H. A. Siegleman and K. Norris in Beltsville, MD detected by spectroscopy, extracted and identified phytochrome as a protein in the 1950's, many

  1. Changes in tundra vascular plant biomass over thirty years at Imnavait Creek, Alaska, and current ecosystem C and N dynamics.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bret-Harte, M. S.; Shaver, G. R.; Euskirchen, E. S.; Huebner, D. C.; Drew, J. W.; Cherry, J. E.; Edgar, C.

    2015-12-01

    Understanding the magnitude of, and controls over, carbon fluxes in arctic ecosystems is essential for accurate assessment and prediction of their responses to climate change. In 2013, we harvested vegetation and soils in the most common plant community types in source areas for fluxes measured by eddy covariance towers located in three representative Alaska tundra ecosystems along a toposequence (a ridge site of heath tundra and moist non-acidic tundra, a mid-slope site of moist acidic tussock tundra, and a valley bottom site of wet sedge tundra and moist acidic tussock tundra) at Imnavait Creek, Alaska. This harvest sought to relate biomass, production, composition, and C and N stocks in soil and vegetation, to estimates of net ecosystem CO2 exchange obtained by micrometeorological methods. Soil C and N stocks in the seasonally unfrozen soil layer were greatest in the wet sedge community, and least in the heath community. In contrast, moist acidic tussock tundra at the valley bottom site had the highest C and N stocks in vascular plant biomass, while nearby wet sedge tundra had the lowest. Overall, soil C:N ratio was highest in moist acidic tussock tundra at the mid-slope site. Aboveground biomass of vascular plants in moist acidic tundra at the mid-slope site was nearly three times higher than that measured thirty years earlier in vegetation harvests of nearby areas at Imnavait Creek. Other harvests from sites near Toolik Field Station suggest that vascular plant biomass in moist acidic tundra has increased in multiple sites over this time period. Increased biomass in the mid-1990s corresponds with a switch from mostly negative to mostly positive spatially-averaged air temperature anomalies in the climate record. All our sites have been annual net sources of CO2 to the atmosphere over nine years of measurement, but in the last two years, the valley bottom site has been a particularly strong source, due to CO2 losses in fall and winter that correspond with a

  2. Can biomass responses to warming at plant to ecosystem levels be predicted by leaf-level responses?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xia, J.; Shao, J.; Zhou, X.; Yan, W.; Lu, M.

    2015-12-01

    Global warming has the profound impacts on terrestrial C processes from leaf to ecosystem scales, potentially feeding back to climate dynamics. Although numerous studies had investigated the effects of warming on C processes from leaf to plant and ecosystem levels, how leaf-level responses to warming scale up to biomass responses at plant, population, and community levels are largely unknown. In this study, we compiled a dataset from 468 papers at 300 experimental sites and synthesized the warming effects on leaf-level parameters, and plant, population and ecosystem biomass. Our results showed that responses of plant biomass to warming mainly resulted from the changed leaf area rather than the altered photosynthetic capacity. The response of ecosystem biomass to warming was weaker than those of leaf area and plant biomass. However, the scaling functions from responses of leaf area to plant biomass to warming were different in diverse forest types, but functions were similar in non-forested biomes. In addition, it is challenging to scale the biomass responses from plant up to ecosystem. These results indicated that leaf area might be the appropriate index for plant biomass response to warming, and the interspecific competition might hamper the scaling of the warming effects on plant and ecosystem levels, suggesting that the acclimation capacity of plant community should be incorporated into land surface models to improve the prediction of climate-C cycle feedback.

  3. Comparing the Net Ecosystem Exchange of Two Cropping Systems for Dairy Feed Production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sulaiman, M. F.; Wagner-Riddle, C.; Brown, S. E.

    2015-12-01

    A three-year study was conducted from 2012 to 2014 to determine the net CO2 fluxes from corn and hay, the two main feed crops used in dairy production. The aim of this study is to better understand the net ecosystem exchange (NEE) in annual and perennial cropping systems used in dairy production to benefit greenhouse gas emission model developments and the life cycle analysis of dairy production. The study was conducted on two 4-ha plots where one plot was a 5-year old hayfield and the other plot was planted in a continuous cycle corn. All plots were continuously monitored using the flux-gradient method deployed with a tunable diode laser trace gas analyzer and sonic anemometers. All plots received dairy manure as fertilizer applied according to common practice. The cumulative NEE for the three years of the study was -873.15 g C m-2 for corn and -409.36 g C m-2 for hay. Differences in respiration between the two cropping systems was found to be the larger factor compared to differences in gross ecosystem production (GEP) that resulted in the contrasting cumulative NEE where cumulative respiration for the three years for hay was 3094.23 g C m-2 as opposed to 2078.11 g C m-2 for corn. Cumulative GEP for the three years was 3503.60 and 2951.31 g C m-2 for hay and corn respectively. Inter-annual and inter-crop variability of the NEE, GEP and respiration will be discussed in relation to biomass production, climatic conditions and crop physiological characteristics.

  4. Iron nutrition, biomass production, and plant product quality.

    PubMed

    Briat, Jean-François; Dubos, Christian; Gaymard, Frédéric

    2015-01-01

    One of the grand challenges in modern agriculture is increasing biomass production, while improving plant product quality, in a sustainable way. Of the minerals, iron (Fe) plays a major role in this process because it is essential both for plant productivity and for the quality of their products. Fe homeostasis is an important determinant of photosynthetic efficiency in algae and higher plants, and we review here the impact of Fe limitation or excess on the structure and function of the photosynthetic apparatus. We also discuss the agronomic, plant breeding, and transgenic approaches that are used to remediate Fe deficiency of plants on calcareous soils, and suggest ways to increase the Fe content and bioavailability of the edible parts of crops to improve human diet.

  5. Trait- and density-mediated indirect interactions initiated by an exotic invasive plant autogenic ecosystem engineer.

    PubMed

    Pearson, Dean E

    2010-10-01

    Indirect interactions are important for structuring ecological systems. However, research on indirect effects has been heavily biased toward top-down trophic interactions, and less is known about other indirect-interaction pathways. As autogenic ecosystem engineers, plants can serve as initiators of nontrophic indirect interactions that, like top-down pathways, can involve both trait-mediated indirect interactions (TMIIs) and density-mediated indirect interactions (DMIIs). Using microcosms, I examined a plant --> predator --> consumer interaction pathway involving the exotic autogenic ecosystem engineer Centaurea maculosa; native Dictyna spiders (which exhibit density and trait [web-building] responses to C. maculosa); Dictyna's insect prey, Urophora affinis; and Urophora's host plant (a secondary receiver species) to quantify DMIIs and TMIIs in an autogenic engineered pathway. Both DMIIs and TMIIs were strong enough to reduce Urophora populations, but only DMIIs, which were 4.3 times stronger than TMIIs, were strong enough to also reduce Urophora's fecundity and increase the fecundity of its host plant. Prior field studies support these results, suggesting that the differences between DMIIs and TMIIs are even stronger in nature. This study illustrates that autogenic ecosystem engineers can initiate powerful indirect interactions that generally parallel predator-initiated interactions but also differ in important functional ways.

  6. AVLIS Production Plant Project Management Plan

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1984-11-15

    The AVLIS Production Plant is designated as a Major System Acquisition (in accordance with DOE Order 4240.IC) to deploy Atomic Vapor Laser Isotope Separation (AVLIS) technology at the Oak Ridge, Tennessee site, in support of the US Uranium Enrichment Program. The AVLIS Production Plant Project will deploy AVLIS technology by performing the design, construction, and startup of a production plant that will meet capacity production requirements of the Uranium Enrichment Program. The AVLIS Production Plant Project Management Plan has been developed to outline plans, baselines, and control systems to be employed in managing the AVLIS Production Plant Project and to define the roles and responsibilities of project participants. Participants will develop and maintain detailed procedures for implementing the management and control systems in agreement with this plan. This baseline document defines the system that measures work performed and costs incurred. This plan was developed by the AVLIS Production Plant Project staff of Martin Marietta Energy Systems, Inc. and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in accordance with applicable DOE directives, orders and notices. 38 figures, 19 tables.

  7. Coupling of soil prokaryotic diversity and plant diversity across latitudinal forest ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Jun-Tao; Zheng, Yuan-Ming; Hu, Hang-Wei; Li, Jing; Zhang, Li-Mei; Chen, Bao-Dong; Chen, Wei-Ping; He, Ji-Zheng

    2016-01-01

    The belowground soil prokaryotic community plays a cardinal role in sustaining the stability and functions of forest ecosystems. Yet, the nature of how soil prokaryotic diversity co-varies with aboveground plant diversity along a latitudinal gradient remains elusive. By establishing three hundred 400-m2 quadrats from tropical rainforest to boreal forest in a large-scale parallel study on both belowground soil prokaryote and aboveground tree and herb communities, we found that soil prokaryotic diversity couples with the diversity of herbs rather than trees. The diversity of prokaryotes and herbs responds similarly to environmental factors along the latitudinal gradient. These findings revealed that herbs provide a good predictor of belowground biodiversity in forest ecosystems, and provide new perspective on the aboveground and belowground interactions in forest ecosystems.

  8. Coupling of soil prokaryotic diversity and plant diversity across latitudinal forest ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jun-Tao; Zheng, Yuan-Ming; Hu, Hang-Wei; Li, Jing; Zhang, Li-Mei; Chen, Bao-Dong; Chen, Wei-Ping; He, Ji-Zheng

    2016-01-19

    The belowground soil prokaryotic community plays a cardinal role in sustaining the stability and functions of forest ecosystems. Yet, the nature of how soil prokaryotic diversity co-varies with aboveground plant diversity along a latitudinal gradient remains elusive. By establishing three hundred 400-m(2) quadrats from tropical rainforest to boreal forest in a large-scale parallel study on both belowground soil prokaryote and aboveground tree and herb communities, we found that soil prokaryotic diversity couples with the diversity of herbs rather than trees. The diversity of prokaryotes and herbs responds similarly to environmental factors along the latitudinal gradient. These findings revealed that herbs provide a good predictor of belowground biodiversity in forest ecosystems, and provide new perspective on the aboveground and belowground interactions in forest ecosystems.

  9. Plant species richness and shrub cover attenuate drought effects on ecosystem functioning across Patagonian rangelands.

    PubMed

    Gaitán, Juan J; Bran, Donaldo; Oliva, Gabriel; Maestre, Fernando T; Aguiar, Martín R; Jobbágy, Esteban; Buono, Gustavo; Ferrante, Daniela; Nakamatsu, Viviana; Ciari, Georgina; Salomone, Jorge; Massara, Virginia

    2014-10-01

    Drought is an increasingly common phenomenon in drylands as a consequence of climate change. We used 311 sites across a broad range of environmental conditions in Patagonian rangelands to evaluate how drought severity and temperature (abiotic factors) and vegetation structure (biotic factors) modulate the impact of a drought event on the annual integral of normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI-I), our surrogate of ecosystem functioning. We found that NDVI-I decreases were larger with both increasing drought severity and temperature. Plant species richness (SR) and shrub cover (SC) attenuated the effects of drought on NDVI-I. Grass cover did not affect the impacts of drought on NDVI-I. Our results suggest that warming and species loss, two important imprints of global environmental change, could increase the vulnerability of Patagonian ecosystems to drought. Therefore, maintaining SR through appropriate grazing management can attenuate the adverse effects of climate change on ecosystem functioning.

  10. Coupling of soil prokaryotic diversity and plant diversity across latitudinal forest ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jun-Tao; Zheng, Yuan-Ming; Hu, Hang-Wei; Li, Jing; Zhang, Li-Mei; Chen, Bao-Dong; Chen, Wei-Ping; He, Ji-Zheng

    2016-01-01

    The belowground soil prokaryotic community plays a cardinal role in sustaining the stability and functions of forest ecosystems. Yet, the nature of how soil prokaryotic diversity co-varies with aboveground plant diversity along a latitudinal gradient remains elusive. By establishing three hundred 400-m2 quadrats from tropical rainforest to boreal forest in a large-scale parallel study on both belowground soil prokaryote and aboveground tree and herb communities, we found that soil prokaryotic diversity couples with the diversity of herbs rather than trees. The diversity of prokaryotes and herbs responds similarly to environmental factors along the latitudinal gradient. These findings revealed that herbs provide a good predictor of belowground biodiversity in forest ecosystems, and provide new perspective on the aboveground and belowground interactions in forest ecosystems. PMID:26781165

  11. Plant species richness and shrub cover attenuate drought effects on ecosystem functioning across Patagonian rangelands

    PubMed Central

    Gaitán, Juan J.; Bran, Donaldo; Oliva, Gabriel; Maestre, Fernando T.; Aguiar, Martín R.; Jobbágy, Esteban; Buono, Gustavo; Ferrante, Daniela; Nakamatsu, Viviana; Ciari, Georgina; Salomone, Jorge; Massara, Virginia

    2014-01-01

    Drought is an increasingly common phenomenon in drylands as a consequence of climate change. We used 311 sites across a broad range of environmental conditions in Patagonian rangelands to evaluate how drought severity and temperature (abiotic factors) and vegetation structure (biotic factors) modulate the impact of a drought event on the annual integral of normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI-I), our surrogate of ecosystem functioning. We found that NDVI-I decreases were larger with both increasing drought severity and temperature. Plant species richness (SR) and shrub cover (SC) attenuated the effects of drought on NDVI-I. Grass cover did not affect the impacts of drought on NDVI-I. Our results suggest that warming and species loss, two important imprints of global environmental change, could increase the vulnerability of Patagonian ecosystems to drought. Therefore, maintaining SR through appropriate grazing management can attenuate the adverse effects of climate change on ecosystem functioning. PMID:25339654

  12. Modifying plants for biofuel and biomaterial production.

    PubMed

    Furtado, Agnelo; Lupoi, Jason S; Hoang, Nam V; Healey, Adam; Singh, Seema; Simmons, Blake A; Henry, Robert J

    2014-12-01

    The productivity of plants as biofuel or biomaterial crops is established by both the yield of plant biomass per unit area of land and the efficiency of conversion of the biomass to biofuel. Higher yielding biofuel crops with increased conversion efficiencies allow production on a smaller land footprint minimizing competition with agriculture for food production and biodiversity conservation. Plants have traditionally been domesticated for food, fibre and feed applications. However, utilization for biofuels may require the breeding of novel phenotypes, or new species entirely. Genomics approaches support genetic selection strategies to deliver significant genetic improvement of plants as sources of biomass for biofuel manufacture. Genetic modification of plants provides a further range of options for improving the composition of biomass and for plant modifications to assist the fabrication of biofuels. The relative carbohydrate and lignin content influences the deconstruction of plant cell walls to biofuels. Key options for facilitating the deconstruction leading to higher monomeric sugar release from plants include increasing cellulose content, reducing cellulose crystallinity, and/or altering the amount or composition of noncellulosic polysaccharides or lignin. Modification of chemical linkages within and between these biomass components may improve the ease of deconstruction. Expression of enzymes in the plant may provide a cost-effective option for biochemical conversion to biofuel.

  13. Fungal production and manipulation of plant hormones.

    PubMed

    Fonseca, Sandra; Radhakrishnan, Dhanya; Prasad, Kalika; Chini, Andrea

    2017-03-14

    Living organisms are part of a highly interconnected web of interactions, characterised by species nurturing, competing, parasitizing and preying on one another. Plants have evolved cooperative as well as defensive strategies to interact with neighbour organisms. Among these, the plant-fungus associations are very diverse, ranging from pathogenic to mutualistic. Our current knowledge of plant-fungus interactions suggests a sophisticated co-evolution to ensure dynamic plant responses to evolving fungal mutualistic/pathogenic strategies. The plant-fungus communication relies on a rich chemical language. To manipulate the plant defence mechanisms, fungi produce and secrete several classes of biomolecules, whose mode-of-action is largely unknown. Upon perception of the fungi, plants produce phytohormones and a battery of secondary metabolites that serve as defence mechanism against invaders or to promote mutualistic associations. These mutualistic chemical signals can be co-opted by pathogenic fungi for their own benefit. Among the plant molecules regulating plant-fungus interaction, phytohormones play a critical role since they modulate various aspects of plant development, defences and stress responses. Intriguingly, fungi can also produce phytohormones, although the actual role of fungal-produced phytohormones in plant-fungus interactions is poorly understood. Here, we discuss the recent advances in fungal production of phytohormone, their putative role as endogenous fungal signals and how fungi manipulate plant hormone balance to their benefits.

  14. Plant diversity effects on grassland productivity are robust to both nutrient enrichment and drought

    PubMed Central

    Isbell, Forest; Manning, Pete; Connolly, John; Bruelheide, Helge; Ebeling, Anne; Roscher, Christiane; van Ruijven, Jasper; Weigelt, Alexandra; Wilsey, Brian; Beierkuhnlein, Carl; de Luca, Enrica; Griffin, John N.; Hautier, Yann; Hector, Andy; Jentsch, Anke; Kreyling, Jürgen; Lanta, Vojtech; Loreau, Michel; Meyer, Sebastian T.; Mori, Akira S.; Naeem, Shahid; Palmborg, Cecilia; Polley, H. Wayne; Reich, Peter B.; Schmid, Bernhard; Siebenkäs, Alrun; Seabloom, Eric; Thakur, Madhav P.; Tilman, David; Vogel, Anja; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2016-01-01

    Global change drivers are rapidly altering resource availability and biodiversity. While there is consensus that greater biodiversity increases the functioning of ecosystems, the extent to which biodiversity buffers ecosystem productivity in response to changes in resource availability remains unclear. We use data from 16 grassland experiments across North America and Europe that manipulated plant species richness and one of two essential resources—soil nutrients or water—to assess the direction and strength of the interaction between plant diversity and resource alteration on above-ground productivity and net biodiversity, complementarity, and selection effects. Despite strong increases in productivity with nutrient addition and decreases in productivity with drought, we found that resource alterations did not alter biodiversity–ecosystem functioning relationships. Our results suggest that these relationships are largely determined by increases in complementarity effects along plant species richness gradients. Although nutrient addition reduced complementarity effects at high diversity, this appears to be due to high biomass in monocultures under nutrient enrichment. Our results indicate that diversity and the complementarity of species are important regulators of grassland ecosystem productivity, regardless of changes in other drivers of ecosystem function. PMID:27114579

  15. AVLIS production plant waste management plan

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1984-11-15

    Following the executive summary, this document contains the following: (1) waste management facilities design objectives; (2) AVLIS production plant wastes; (3) waste management design criteria; (4) waste management plan description; and (5) waste management plan implementation. 17 figures, 18 tables.

  16. Bridging Multiple Lines Of Evidence To Quantify Plant Phenology And Assess Links To Dryland Ecosystem Function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Browning, D. M.; Tweedie, C. E.; Vivoni, E. R.; Maynard, J. J.; Karl, J.

    2015-12-01

    The clear and pressing need to reliably identify and predict shifts in plant phenology at landscape scales requires a critical link between mechanistic understanding of climate drivers and broad scale forecasts of plant responses to climate change. A multi-scale phenology study co-located with two eddy covariance towers was initiated on the Jornada Basin LTER in New Mexico in 2010 to bridge phenology patterns at the plant level with those representing aggregated signals at the landscape level. The study integrates phenology observations collected in the field along with those collected via remotely using imagery from phenocams, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and satellite sensors along with estimates of carbon flux. We applied the Breaks for Additive Seasonal and Trend (BFAST) time series algorithm to MODIS 250-m NDVI greenness index values to partition the NDVI signal into components representing the long-term trend, seasonal periodicity, and residuals and identified significant shifts in the NDVI signal (i.e., "breaks"). Previous work verified breaks representing significant deviations from the BFAST seasonal and trend models using field-estimated plant biomass collected between 2000 and 2014. We subsequently examine estimates of fractional cover by functional group derived from UAV images acquired 2010 through 2015. At a mixed grassland site, the BFAST algorithm detected four breaks in the trend model denoting significant increases in NDVI in May 2004, July 2006, and March 2010 and a significant decrease in May 2012. The 2004 and 2006 breaks corresponded to herbaceous vegetation responses to rainfall following prolonged periods of drought. The 2012 decrease in NDVI corresponded to the marked reduction of herbaceous biomass following an exceptionally dry period in late 2010-2011. Seasonal breaks representing changes in the timing and magnitude of NDVI identified in July 2006 and September 2008 coincide with rapid increases in production of annual species in

  17. Rising sea level, temperature, and precipitation impact plant and ecosystem responses to elevated CO2 on a Chesapeake Bay wetland: review of a 28-year study.

    PubMed

    Drake, Bert G

    2014-11-01

    An ongoing field study of the effects of elevated atmospheric CO2 on a brackish wetland on Chesapeake Bay, started in 1987, is unique as the longest continually running investigation of the effects of elevated CO2 on an ecosystem. Since the beginning of the study, atmospheric CO2 increased 18%, sea level rose 20 cm, and growing season temperature varied with approximately the same range as predicted for global warming in the 21st century. This review looks back at this study for clues about how the effects of rising sea level, temperature, and precipitation interact with high atmospheric CO2 to alter the physiology of C3 and C4 photosynthetic species, carbon assimilation, evapotranspiration, plant and ecosystem nitrogen, and distribution of plant communities in this brackish wetland. Rising sea level caused a shift to higher elevations in the Scirpus olneyi C3 populations on the wetland, displacing the Spartina patens C4 populations. Elevated CO2 stimulated carbon assimilation in the Scirpus C3 species measured by increased shoot and root density and biomass, net ecosystem production, dissolved organic and inorganic carbon, and methane production. But elevated CO2 also decreased biomass of the grass, S. patens C4. The elevated CO2 treatment reduced tissue nitrogen concentration in shoots, roots, and total canopy nitrogen, which was associated with reduced ecosystem respiration. Net ecosystem production was mediated by precipitation through soil salinity: high salinity reduced the CO2 effect on net ecosystem production, which was zero in years of severe drought. The elevated CO2 stimulation of shoot density in the Scirpus C3 species was sustained throughout the 28 years of the study. Results from this study suggest that rising CO2 can add substantial amounts of carbon to ecosystems through stimulation of carbon assimilation, increased root exudates to supply nitrogen fixation, reduced dark respiration, and improved water and nitrogen use efficiency.

  18. Ecosystem services and plant physiological status during endophyte-assisted phytoremediation of metal contaminated soil.

    PubMed

    Burges, Aritz; Epelde, Lur; Blanco, Fernando; Becerril, José M; Garbisu, Carlos

    2017-04-15

    Mining sites shelter a characteristic biodiversity with large potential for the phytoremediation of metal contaminated soils. Endophytic plant growth-promoting bacteria were isolated from two metal-(hyper)accumulator plant species growing in a metal contaminated mine soil. After characterizing their plant growth-promoting traits, consortia of putative endophytes were used to carry out an endophyte-assisted phytoextraction experiment using Noccaea caerulescens and Rumex acetosa (singly and in combination) under controlled conditions. We evaluated the influence of endophyte-inoculated plants on soil physicochemical and microbial properties, as well as plant physiological parameters and metal concentrations. Data interpretation through the grouping of soil properties within a set of ecosystem services was also carried out. When grown together, we observed a 41 and 16% increase in the growth of N. caerulescens and R. acetosa plants, respectively, as well as higher values of Zn phytoextraction and soil microbial biomass and functional diversity. Inoculation of the consortia of putative endophytes did not lead to higher values of plant metal uptake, but it improved the plants' physiological status, by increasing the content of chlorophylls and carotenoids by up to 28 and 36%, respectively, indicating a reduction in the stress level of plants. Endophyte-inoculation also stimulated soil microbial communities: higher values of acid phosphatase activity (related to the phosphate solubilising traits of the endophytes), bacterial and fungal abundance, and structural diversity. The positive effects of plant growth and endophyte inoculation on soil properties were reflected in an enhancement of some ecosystem services (biodiversity, nutrient cycling, water flow regulation, water purification and contamination control).

  19. An ecosystem simulation model for methane production and emission from wetlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Potter, Christopher S.

    1997-12-01

    Previous experimental studies suggest that methane emission from wetlands is influenced by multiple interactive pathways of gas production and transport through soil and sediment layers to the atmosphere. The objective of this study is to evaluate a new simulation model of methane production and emission in wetland soils that was developed initially to help identify key processes that regulate methanogenesis and net flux of CH4 to the air but which is designed ultimately for regional simulation using remotely sensed inputs for land cover characteristics. The foundation for these computer simulations is based on a well-documented model (Carnegie-Ames-Stanford Approach, CASA) of ecosystem production and carbon cycling in the terrestrial biosphere. Modifications to represent flooded wetland soils and anaerobic decomposition include three new submodels for (1) layered soil temperature and water table depth (WTD) as a function of daily climate drivers, (2) CH4 production within the anoxic soil layer as a function of WTD and CO2 production under poorly drained conditions, and (3) CH4 gaseous transport pathways (molecular diffusion, ebullition, and plant vascular transport) as a function of WTD and ecosystem type. The model was applied and tested using climate and ecological data to characterize tundra wetland sites near Fairbanks, Alaska, studied previously by Whalen and Reeburgh [1992]. Comparison of model predictions to measurements of soil temperature and thaw depth, water table depth, and CH4 emissions over a 2-year period suggest that intersite differences in soil physical conditions and methane fluxes could be reproduced accurately for selected periods. Day-to-day comparison of predicted emissions to measured CH4 flux rates reveals good agreement during the early part of the thaw season, but the model tends to underestimate production of CH4 during the months of July and August in both test years. Important seasonal effects, including that of falling WTD during

  20. An Ecosystem Simulation Model for Methane Production and Emission from Wetlands

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Potter, C. S.; Peterson, David L. (Technical Monitor)

    1997-01-01

    Previous experimental studies suggest that methane emission from wetland is influenced by multiple interactive pathways of gas production and transport through soil and sediment layers to the atmosphere. The objective of this study is to evaluate a new simulation model of methane production and emission in wetland soils that was developed initially to help identify key processes that regulate methanogenesis and net flux of CH4 to the air, but which is designed ultimately for regional simulation using remotely sensed inputs for land cover characteristics. The foundation for these computer simulations is based on a well-documented model (CASA) of ecosystem production and carbon cycling in the terrestrial blaspheme. Modifications to represent flooded wetland soils and anaerobic decomposition include three new sub-models for: (1) layered soil temperature and water table depth (WTD) as a function of daily climate drivers, (2) CH4 production within the anoxic soil layer as a function of WTD and CO2 production under poorly drained conditions, and (3) CH4 gaseous transport pathways (molecular diffusion, ebullition, and plant vascular transport) as a function of WTD and ecosystem type. The model was applied and tested using climate and ecological data to characterize tundra wetland sites near Fairbanks, Alaska studied previously by Whalen and Reeburgh. Comparison of model predictions to measurements of soil temperature and thaw depth, water-table depth, and CH4 emissions over a two year period suggest that inter-site differences in soil physical conditions and methane fluxes could be reproduced accurately for selected periods. Day-to-day comparison of predicted emissions to measured CH4 flux rates reveals good agreement during the early part of the thaw season, but the model tends to underestimate production of CH4 during the months of July and August in both test years. Important seasonal effects, including that of falling WTD during these periods, are apparently

  1. Plant functional traits in relation to fire in crown-fire ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pausas, Juli G.; Bradstock, Ross A.; Keith, David A.; Keeley, Jon E.

    2004-01-01

    Disturbance is a dominant factor in many ecosystems, and the disturbance regime is likely to change over the next decades in response to land-use changes and global warming. We assume that predictions of vegetation dynamics can be made on the basis of a set of life-history traits that characterize the response of a species to disturbance. For crown-fire ecosystems, the main plant traits related to postfire persistence are the ability to resprout (persistence of individuals) and the ability to retain a persistent seed bank (persistence of populations). In this context, we asked (1) to what extent do different life-history traits co-occur with the ability to resprout and/or the ability to retain a persistent seed bank among differing ecosystems and (2) to what extent do combinations of fire-related traits (fire syndromes) change in a fire regime gradient? We explored these questions by reviewing the literature and analyzing databases compiled from different crown-fire ecosystems (mainly eastern Australia, California, and the Mediterranean basin). The review suggests that the pattern of correlation between the two basic postfire persistent traits and other plant traits varies between continents and ecosystems. From these results we predict, for instance, that not all resprouters respond in a similar way everywhere because the associated plant traits of resprouter species vary in different places. Thus, attempts to generalize predictions on the basis of the resprouting capacity may have limited power at a global scale. An example is presented for Australian heathlands. Considering the combination of persistence at individual (resprouting) and at population (seed bank) level, the predictive power at local scale was significantly increased.

  2. Potential ecosystem service delivery by endemic plants in New Zealand vineyards: successes and prospects.

    PubMed

    Shields, Morgan W; Tompkins, Jean-Marie; Saville, David J; Meurk, Colin D; Wratten, Stephen

    2016-01-01

    Vineyards worldwide occupy over 7 million hectares and are typically virtual monocultures, with high and costly inputs of water and agro-chemicals. Understanding and enhancing ecosystem services can reduce inputs and their costs and help satisfy market demands for evidence of more sustainable practices. In this New Zealand work, low-growing, endemic plant species were evaluated for their potential benefits as Service Providing Units (SPUs) or Ecosystem Service Providers (ESPs). The services provided were weed suppression, conservation of beneficial invertebrates, soil moisture retention and microbial activity. The potential Ecosystem Dis-services (EDS) from the selected plant species by hosting the larvae of a key vine moth pest, the light-brown apple moth (Epiphyas postvittana), was also quantified. Questionnaires were used to evaluate winegrowers' perceptions of the value of and problems associated with such endemic plant species in their vineyards. Growth and survival rates of the 14 plant species, in eight families, were evaluated, with Leptinella dioica (Asteraceae) and Acaena inermis 'purpurea' (Rosaceae) having the highest growth rates in terms of area covered and the highest survival rate after 12 months. All 14 plant species suppressed weeds, with Leptinella squalida, Geranium sessiliforum (Geraniaceae), Hebe chathamica (Plantaginaceae), Scleranthus uniflorus (Caryophyllaceae) and L. dioica, each reducing weed cover by >95%. Plant species also differed in the diversity of arthropods that they supported, with the Shannon Wiener diversity index (H') for these taxa ranging from 0 to 1.3. G. sessiliforum and Muehlenbeckia axillaris (Polygonaceae) had the highest invertebrate diversity. Density of spiders was correlated with arthropod diversity and G. sessiliflorum and H. chathamica had the highest densities of these arthropods. Several plant species associated with higher soil moisture content than in control plots. The best performing species in this context

  3. Potential ecosystem service delivery by endemic plants in New Zealand vineyards: successes and prospects

    PubMed Central

    Saville, David J.; Meurk, Colin D.; Wratten, Stephen

    2016-01-01

    Vineyards worldwide occupy over 7 million hectares and are typically virtual monocultures, with high and costly inputs of water and agro-chemicals. Understanding and enhancing ecosystem services can reduce inputs and their costs and help satisfy market demands for evidence of more sustainable practices. In this New Zealand work, low-growing, endemic plant species were evaluated for their potential benefits as Service Providing Units (SPUs) or Ecosystem Service Providers (ESPs). The services provided were weed suppression, conservation of beneficial invertebrates, soil moisture retention and microbial activity. The potential Ecosystem Dis-services (EDS) from the selected plant species by hosting the larvae of a key vine moth pest, the light-brown apple moth (Epiphyas postvittana), was also quantified. Questionnaires were used to evaluate winegrowers’ perceptions of the value of and problems associated with such endemic plant species in their vineyards. Growth and survival rates of the 14 plant species, in eight families, were evaluated, with Leptinella dioica (Asteraceae) and Acaena inermis ‘purpurea’ (Rosaceae) having the highest growth rates in terms of area covered and the highest survival rate after 12 months. All 14 plant species suppressed weeds, with Leptinella squalida, Geranium sessiliforum (Geraniaceae), Hebe chathamica (Plantaginaceae), Scleranthus uniflorus (Caryophyllaceae) and L. dioica, each reducing weed cover by >95%. Plant species also differed in the diversity of arthropods that they supported, with the Shannon Wiener diversity index (H′) for these taxa ranging from 0 to 1.3. G. sessiliforum and Muehlenbeckia axillaris (Polygonaceae) had the highest invertebrate diversity. Density of spiders was correlated with arthropod diversity and G. sessiliflorum and H. chathamica had the highest densities of these arthropods. Several plant species associated with higher soil moisture content than in control plots. The best performing species in this

  4. Modelling impacts of second generation bioenergy production on Ecosystem Services in Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henner, Dagmar N.; Smith, Pete; Davies, Christian; McNamara, Niall P.

    2015-04-01

    Bioenergy crops are an important source of renewable energy and are a possible mechanism to mitigate global climate warming, by replacing fossil fuel energy with higher greenhouse gas emissions. There is, however, uncertainty about the impacts of the growth of bioenergy crops on ecosystem services. This uncertainty is further enhanced by the unpredictable climate change currently going on. The goal of this project is to develop a comprehensive model that covers as many ecosystem services as possible at a Continental level including biodiversity, water, GHG emissions, soil, and cultural services. The distribution and production of second generation energy crops, such as Miscanthus, Short Rotation Coppice (SRC) and Short Rotation Forestry (SRF), is currently being modelled, and ecosystem models will be used to examine the impacts of these crops on ecosystem services. The project builds on models of energy crop production, biodiversity, soil impacts, greenhouse gas emissions and other ecosystem services, and on work undertaken in the UK on the ETI-funded ELUM project (www.elum.ac.uk). In addition, methods like water footprint tools, tourism value maps and ecosystem valuation tools and models (e.g. InVest, TEEB database, GREET LCA Model, World Business Council for Sustainable Development corporate ecosystem valuation, Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and the Ecosystem Services Framework) will be utilised. Research will focus on optimisation of land use change feedbacks on ecosystem services and biodiversity, and weighting of the importance of the individual ecosystem services. Energy crops will be modelled using low, medium and high climate change scenarios for the years between 2015 and 2050. We will present first results for GHG emissions and soil organic carbon change after different land use change scenarios (e.g. arable to Miscanthus, forest to SRF), and with different climate warming scenarios. All this will be complemented by the presentation of a matrix

  5. Self-organization of plants in a dryland ecosystem: Symmetry breaking and critical cluster size.

    PubMed

    Meyra, Ariel G; Zarragoicoechea, Guillermo J; Kuz, Victor A

    2015-05-01

    Periodical patterns of vegetation in an arid or semiarid ecosystem are described using statistical mechanics and Monte Carlo numerical simulation technique. Plants are characterized by the area that each individual occupies and a facilitation-competition pairwise interaction. Assuming that external resources (precipitation, solar radiation, nutrients, etc.) are available to the ecosystem, it is possible to obtain the persistent configurations of plants compatible with an equitable distribution of resources maximizing the Shannon entropy. Variation of vegetation patterns with density, critical cluster size, and facilitation distance are predicted. Morphological changes of clusters are shown to be a function of the external resources. As a final remark, it is proposed that an early warning of desertification could be detected from the coefficient of variation of the mean cluster size together with the distribution of cluster sizes.

  6. Biological Production in Lakes. Physical Processes in Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems, Ecological Processes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Walters, R. A.; Carey, G. F.

    These materials were designed to be used by life science students for instruction in the application of physical theory to ecosystem operation. Most modules contain computer programs which are built around a particular application of a physical process. Primary production in aquatic ecosystems is carried out by phytoplankton, microscopic plants…

  7. Do ecohydrology and community dynamics feed back to banded-ecosystem structure and productivity?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Callegaro, Chiara; Ursino, Nadia

    2016-04-01

    Mixed communities including grass, shrubs and trees are often reported to populate self-organized vegetation patterns. Patterns of survey data suggest that species diversity and complementarity strengthen the dynamics of banded environments. Resource scarcity and local facilitation trigger self organization, whereas coexistence of multiple species in vegetated self-organizing patches, implying competition for water and nutrients and favorable reproduction sites, is made possible by differing adaptation strategies. Mixed community spatial self-organization has so far received relatively little attention, compared with local net facilitation of isolated species. We assumed that soil moisture availability is a proxy for the environmental niche of plant species according to Ursino and Callegaro (2016). Our modelling effort was focused on niche differentiation of coexisting species within a tiger bush type ecosystem. By minimal numerical modelling and stability analysis we try to answer a few open scientific questions: Is there an adaptation strategy that increases biodiversity and ecosystem functioning? Does specific adaptation to environmental niches influence the structure of self-organizing vegetation pattern? What specific niche distribution along the environmental gradient gives the highest global productivity?

  8. Plant biotechnology for lignocellulosic biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Li, Quanzi; Song, Jian; Peng, Shaobing; Wang, Jack P; Qu, Guan-Zheng; Sederoff, Ronald R; Chiang, Vincent L

    2014-12-01

    Lignocelluloses from plant cell walls are attractive resources for sustainable biofuel production. However, conversion of lignocellulose to biofuel is more expensive than other current technologies, due to the costs of chemical pretreatment and enzyme hydrolysis for cell wall deconstruction. Recalcitrance of cell walls to deconstruction has been reduced in many plant species by modifying plant cell walls through biotechnology. These results have been achieved by reducing lignin content and altering its composition and structure. Reduction of recalcitrance has also been achieved by manipulating hemicellulose biosynthesis and by overexpression of bacterial enzymes in plants to disrupt linkages in the lignin-carbohydrate complexes. These modified plants often have improved saccharification yield and higher ethanol production. Cell wall-degrading (CWD) enzymes from bacteria and fungi have been expressed at high levels in plants to increase the efficiency of saccharification compared with exogenous addition of cellulolytic enzymes. In planta expression of heat-stable CWD enzymes from bacterial thermophiles has made autohydrolysis possible. Transgenic plants can be engineered to reduce recalcitrance without any yield penalty, indicating that successful cell wall modification can be achieved without impacting cell wall integrity or plant development. A more complete understanding of cell wall formation and structure should greatly improve lignocellulosic feedstocks and reduce the cost of biofuel production.

  9. Leaf and life history traits predict plant growth in a green roof ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Lundholm, Jeremy; Heim, Amy; Tran, Stephanie; Smith, Tyler

    2014-01-01

    Green roof ecosystems are constructed to provide services such as stormwater retention and urban temperature reductions. Green roofs with shallow growing media represent stressful conditions for plant survival, thus plants that survive and grow are important for maximizing economic and ecological benefits. While field trials are essential for selecting appropriate green roof plants, we wanted to determine whether plant leaf traits could predict changes in abundance (growth) to provide a more general framework for plant selection. We quantified leaf traits and derived life-history traits (Grime's C-S-R strategies) for 13 species used in a four-year green roof experiment involving five plant life forms. Changes in canopy density in monocultures and mixtures containing one to five life forms were determined and related to plant traits using multiple regression. We expected traits related to stress-tolerance would characterize the species that best grew in this relatively harsh setting. While all species survived to the end of the experiment, canopy species diversity in mixture treatments was usually much lower than originally planted. Most species grew slower in mixture compared to monoculture, suggesting that interspecific competition reduced canopy diversity. Species dominant in mixture treatments tended to be fast-growing ruderals and included both native and non-native species. Specific leaf area was a consistently strong predictor of final biomass and the change in abundance in both monoculture and mixture treatments. Some species in contrasting life-form groups showed compensatory dynamics, suggesting that life-form mixtures can maximize resilience of cover and biomass in the face of environmental fluctuations. This study confirms that plant traits can be used to predict growth performance in green roof ecosystems. While rapid canopy growth is desirable for green roofs, maintenance of species diversity may require engineering of conditions that favor less

  10. Leaf and Life History Traits Predict Plant Growth in a Green Roof Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Lundholm, Jeremy; Heim, Amy; Tran, Stephanie; Smith, Tyler

    2014-01-01

    Green roof ecosystems are constructed to provide services such as stormwater retention and urban temperature reductions. Green roofs with shallow growing media represent stressful conditions for plant survival, thus plants that survive and grow are important for maximizing economic and ecological benefits. While field trials are essential for selecting appropriate green roof plants, we wanted to determine whether plant leaf traits could predict changes in abundance (growth) to provide a more general framework for plant selection. We quantified leaf traits and derived life-history traits (Grime’s C-S-R strategies) for 13 species used in a four-year green roof experiment involving five plant life forms. Changes in canopy density in monocultures and mixtures containing one to five life forms were determined and related to plant traits using multiple regression. We expected traits related to stress-tolerance would characterize the species that best grew in this relatively harsh setting. While all species survived to the end of the experiment, canopy species diversity in mixture treatments was usually much lower than originally planted. Most species grew slower in mixture compared to monoculture, suggesting that interspecific competition reduced canopy diversity. Species dominant in mixture treatments tended to be fast-growing ruderals and included both native and non-native species. Specific leaf area was a consistently strong predictor of final biomass and the change in abundance in both monoculture and mixture treatments. Some species in contrasting life-form groups showed compensatory dynamics, suggesting that life-form mixtures can maximize resilience of cover and biomass in the face of environmental fluctuations. This study confirms that plant traits can be used to predict growth performance in green roof ecosystems. While rapid canopy growth is desirable for green roofs, maintenance of species diversity may require engineering of conditions that favor less

  11. Freshwater aquatic plant biomass production in Florida

    SciTech Connect

    Reddy, K.R.; Sutton, D.L.; Bowes, G.

    1983-01-01

    About 8% (1.2 million ha) of the total surface area of Florida is occupied by freshwater. Many of these water bodies are eutrophic. Nutrients present in these water bodies can be potentially used to culture aquatic plants as a possible feedstock for methane production. This paper summarizes the results of known research findings on biomass production potential of freshwater aquatic plants in Florida and identifies key research needs to improve the quality and quantity of biomass yields. Among floating aquatic plants, biomass yield potential was in the order of water-hyacinth > water lettuce > pennywort > salvinia > duckweed > azolla. Pennywort, duckweed, and azolla appear to perform well during the cooler months compared to other aquatic plants. Among emergent plants, biomass yield potential was in the order of southern wild rice > cattails > soft rush > bulrush. Cultural techniques, nutrient management, and environmental factors influencing the biomass yields were discussed. 68 references.

  12. Production of recombinant allergens in plants

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    A large percentage of allergenic proteins are of plant origin. Hence, plant-based expression systems are considered ideal for the recombinant production of certain allergens. First attempts to establish production of plant-derived allergens in plants focused on transient expression in Nicotiana benthamiana infected with recombinant viral vectors. Accordingly, allergens from birch and mugwort pollen, as well as from apple have been expressed in plants. Production of house dust mite allergens has been achieved by Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of tobacco plants. Beside the use of plants as production systems, other approaches have focused on the development of edible vaccines expressing allergens or epitopes thereof, which bypasses the need of allergen purification. The potential of this approach has been convincingly demonstrated for transgenic rice seeds expressing seven dominant human T cell epitopes derived from Japanese cedar pollen allergens. Parallel to efforts in developing recombinant-based diagnostic and therapeutic reagents, different gene-silencing approaches have been used to decrease the expression of allergenic proteins in allergen sources. In this way hypoallergenic ryegrass, soybean, rice, apple, and tomato were developed. PMID:21258627

  13. Vegetation component of geothermal EIS studies: Introduced plants, ecosystem stability, and geothermal development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1994-10-01

    This paper contributes new information about the impacts from introduced plant invasions on the native Hawaiian vegetation as consequences of land disturbance and geothermal development activities. In this regard, most geothermal development is expected to act as another recurring source of physical disturbance which favors the spread and maintenance of introduced organisms throughout the region. Where geothermal exploration and development activities extend beyond existing agricultural and residential development, they will become the initial or sole source of disturbance to the naturalized vegetation of the area. Kilauea has a unique ecosystem adapted to the dynamics of a volcanically active landscape. The characteristics of this ecosystem need to be realized in order to understand the major threats to the ecosystem and to evaluate the effects of and mitigation for geothermal development in Puna. The native Puna vegetation is well adapted to disturbances associated with volcanic eruption, but it is ill-adapted to compete with alien plant species in secondary disturbances produced by human activities. Introduced plant and animal species have become a major threat to the continued presence of the native biota in the Puna region.

  14. Vegetation component of geothermal EIS studies: Introduced plants, ecosystem stability, and geothermal development

    SciTech Connect

    1994-10-01

    This paper contributes new information about the impacts from introduced plant invasions on the native Hawaiian vegetation as consequences of land disturbance and geothermal development activities. In this regard, most geothermal development is expected to act as another recurring source of physical disturbance which favors the spread and maintenance of introduced organisms throughout the region. Where geothermal exploration and development activities extend beyond existing agricultural and residential development, they will become the initial or sole source of disturbance to the naturalized vegetation of the area. Kilauea has a unique ecosystem adapted to the dynamics of a volcanically active landscape. The characteristics of this ecosystem need to be realized in order to understand the major threats to the ecosystem and to evaluate the effects of and mitigation for geothermal development in Puna. The native Puna vegetation is well adapted to disturbances associated with volcanic eruption, but it is ill-adapted to compete with alien plant species in secondary disturbances produced by human activities. Introduced plant and animal species have become a major threat to the continued presence of the native biota in the Puna region of reference.

  15. Restoration and management for plant diversity enhances the rate of belowground ecosystem recovery.

    PubMed

    Klopf, Ryan P; Baer, Sara G; Bach, Elizabeth M; Six, Johan

    2017-03-01

    The positive relationship between plant diversity and ecosystem functioning has been criticized for its applicability at large scales and in less controlled environments that are relevant to land management. To inform this gap between ecological theory and application, we compared recovery rates of belowground properties using two chronosequences consisting of continuously cultivated and independently restored fields with contrasting diversity management strategies: grasslands restored with high plant richness and managed for diversity with frequent burning (n = 20) and grasslands restored with fewer species that were infrequently burned (n = 15). Restoration and management for plant diversity resulted in 250% higher plant richness. Greater recovery of roots and more predictable recovery of the active microbial biomass across the high diversity management strategy chronosequence corresponded with faster recovery of soil structure. The high diversity grasslands also had greater nutrient conservation indicated by lower available inorganic nitrogen. Thus, mesic grasslands restored with more species and managed for high plant diversity with frequent burning enhances the rate of belowground ecosystem recovery from long-term disturbance at a scale relevant to conservation practices on the landscape.

  16. Ecosystem carbon stock influenced by plantation practice: implications for planting forests as a measure of climate change mitigation.

    PubMed

    Liao, Chengzhang; Luo, Yiqi; Fang, Changming; Li, Bo

    2010-05-27

    Uncertainties remain in the potential of forest plantations to sequestrate carbon (C). We synthesized 86 experimental studies with paired-site design, using a meta-analysis approach, to quantify the differences in ecosystem C pools between plantations and their corresponding adjacent primary and secondary forests (natural forests). Totaled ecosystem C stock in plant and soil pools was 284 Mg C ha(-1) in natural forests and decreased by 28% in plantations. In comparison with natural forests, plantations decreased aboveground net primary production, litterfall, and rate of soil respiration by 11, 34, and 32%, respectively. Fine root biomass, soil C concentration, and soil microbial C concentration decreased respectively by 66, 32, and 29% in plantations relative to natural forests. Soil available N, P and K concentrations were lower by 22, 20 and 26%, respectively, in plantations than in natural forests. The general pattern of decreased ecosystem C pools did not change between two different groups in relation to various factors: stand age (< 25 years vs. > or = 25 years), stand types (broadleaved vs. coniferous and deciduous vs. evergreen), tree species origin (native vs. exotic) of plantations, land-use history (afforestation vs. reforestation) and site preparation for plantations (unburnt vs. burnt), and study regions (tropic vs. temperate). The pattern also held true across geographic regions. Our findings argued against the replacement of natural forests by the plantations as a measure of climate change mitigation.

  17. Ecosystem Carbon Stock Influenced by Plantation Practice: Implications for Planting Forests as a Measure of Climate Change Mitigation

    PubMed Central

    Liao, Chengzhang; Luo, Yiqi; Fang, Changming; Li, Bo

    2010-01-01

    Uncertainties remain in the potential of forest plantations to sequestrate carbon (C). We synthesized 86 experimental studies with paired-site design, using a meta-analysis approach, to quantify the differences in ecosystem C pools between plantations and their corresponding adjacent primary and secondary forests (natural forests). Totaled ecosystem C stock in plant and soil pools was 284 Mg C ha−1 in natural forests and decreased by 28% in plantations. In comparison with natural forests, plantations decreased aboveground net primary production, litterfall, and rate of soil respiration by 11, 34, and 32%, respectively. Fine root biomass, soil C concentration, and soil microbial C concentration decreased respectively by 66, 32, and 29% in plantations relative to natural forests. Soil available N, P and K concentrations were lower by 22, 20 and 26%, respectively, in plantations than in natural forests. The general pattern of decreased ecosystem C pools did not change between two different groups in relation to various factors: stand age (<25 years vs. ≥25 years), stand types (broadleaved vs. coniferous and deciduous vs. evergreen), tree species origin (native vs. exotic) of plantations, land-use history (afforestation vs. reforestation) and site preparation for plantations (unburnt vs. burnt), and study regions (tropic vs. temperate). The pattern also held true across geographic regions. Our findings argued against the replacement of natural forests by the plantations as a measure of climate change mitigation. PMID:20523733

  18. The value of livestock production systems and ecosystem services

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    As humans, we are obligated to ensure that our methods to achieve and maintain a food-security infrastructure are compatible with the landscapes that we use. We are aware and reminded daily that carelessly implemented agricultural practices can permanently harm landscapes and the inherent ecosystem ...

  19. Building relationships between plant traits and leaf spectra to reduce uncertainty in terrestrial ecosystem models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lieberman-Cribbin, W.; Rogers, A.; Serbin, S.; Ely, K.

    2015-12-01

    Despite climate projections, there is uncertainty in how terrestrial ecosystems will respond to warming temperatures and increased atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. Earth system models are used to determine how ecosystems will respond in the future, but there is considerable variation in how plant traits are represented within these models. A potential approach to reducing uncertainty is the establishment of spectra-trait linkages among plant species. These relationships allow the accurate estimation of biochemical characteristics of plants from their shortwave spectral profiles. Remote sensing approaches can then be implemented to acquire spectral data and estimate plant traits over large spatial and temporal scales. This paper describes a greenhouse experiment conducted at Brookhaven National Laboratory in which spectra-trait relationships were investigated for 8 different plant species. This research was designed to generate a broad gradient in plant traits, using a range of species grown in different sized pots with different soil type. Fertilizer was also applied in different amounts to generate variation in plant C and N status that will be reflected in the traits measured, as well as the spectra observed. Leaves were sampled at different developmental stages to increase variation. Spectra and plant traits were then measured and a partial least-squares regression (PLSR) modeling approach was used to establish spectra-trait relationships. Despite the variability in growing conditions and plant species, our PLSR models could be used to accurately estimate plant traits from spectral signatures, yielding model calibration R2 and root mean square error (RMSE) values, respectively, of 0.85 and 0.30 for percent nitrogen by mass (Nmass%), R2 0.78 and 0.75 for carbon to nitrogen (C:N) ratio, 0.87 and 2.39 for leaf mass area (LMA), and 0.76 R2 and 15.16 for water (H2O) content. This research forms the basis for establishing new and more comprehensive spectra

  20. Cascading effects of induced terrestrial plant defences on aquatic and terrestrial ecosystem function

    PubMed Central

    Jackrel, Sara L.; Wootton, J. Timothy

    2015-01-01

    Herbivores induce plants to undergo diverse processes that minimize costs to the plant, such as producing defences to deter herbivory or reallocating limited resources to inaccessible portions of the plant. Yet most plant tissue is consumed by decomposers, not herbivores, and these defensive processes aimed to deter herbivores may alter plant tissue even after detachment from the plant. All consumers value nutrients, but plants also require these nutrients for primary functions and defensive processes. We experimentally simulated herbivory with and without nutrient additions on red alder (Alnus rubra), which supplies the majority of leaf litter for many rivers in western North America. Simulated herbivory induced a defence response with cascading effects: terrestrial herbivores and aquatic decomposers fed less on leaves from stressed trees. This effect was context dependent: leaves from fertilized-only trees decomposed most rapidly while leaves from fertilized trees receiving the herbivory treatment decomposed least, suggesting plants funnelled a nutritionally valuable resource into enhanced defence. One component of the defence response was a decrease in leaf nitrogen leading to elevated carbon : nitrogen. Aquatic decomposers prefer leaves naturally low in C : N and this altered nutrient profile largely explains the lower rate of aquatic decomposition. Furthermore, terrestrial soil decomposers were unaffected by either treatment but did show a preference for local and nitrogen-rich leaves. Our study illustrates the ecological implications of terrestrial herbivory and these findings demonstrate that the effects of selection caused by terrestrial herbivory in one ecosystem can indirectly shape the structure of other ecosystems through ecological fluxes across boundaries. PMID:25788602

  1. Natural products - modifying metabolite pathways in plants.

    PubMed

    Staniek, Agata; Bouwmeester, Harro; Fraser, Paul D; Kayser, Oliver; Martens, Stefan; Tissier, Alain; van der Krol, Sander; Wessjohann, Ludger; Warzecha, Heribert

    2013-10-01

    The diversity of plant natural product (PNP) molecular structures is reflected in the variety of biochemical and genetic pathways that lead to their formation and accumulation. Plant secondary metabolites are important commodities, and include fragrances, colorants, and medicines. Increasing the extractable amount of PNP through plant breeding, or more recently by means of metabolic engineering, is a priority. The prerequisite for any attempt at metabolic engineering is a detailed knowledge of the underlying biosynthetic and regulatory pathways in plants. Over the past few decades, an enormous body of information about the biochemistry and genetics of biosynthetic pathways involved in PNPs production has been generated. In this review, we focus on the three large classes of plant secondary metabolites: terpenoids (or isoprenoids), phenylpropanoids, and alkaloids. All three provide excellent examples of the tremendous efforts undertaken to boost our understanding of biosynthetic pathways, resulting in the first successes in plant metabolic engineering. We further consider what essential information is still missing, and how future research directions could help achieve the rational design of plants as chemical factories for high-value products.

  2. Heavy metal pollution in aquatic ecosystems and its phytoremediation using wetland plants: an ecosustainable approach.

    PubMed

    Rai, Prabhat Kumar

    2008-01-01

    This review addresses the global problem of heavymetal pollution originating from increased industrialization and urbanization and its amelioration by using wetland plants both in a microcosm as well as natural/field condition. Heavymetal contamination in aquatic ecosystems due to discharge of industrial effluents may pose a serious threat to human health. Alkaline precipitation, ion exchange columns, electrochemical removal, filtration, and membrane technologies are the currently available technologies for heavy metal removal. These conventional technologies are not economical and may produce adverse impacts on aquatic ecosystems. Phytoremediation of metals is a cost-effective "green" technology based on the use of specially selected metal-accumulating plants to remove toxic metals from soils and water. Wetland plants are important tools for heavy metal removal. The Ramsar convention, one of the earlier modern global conservation treaties, was adopted at Ramsar, Iran, in 1971 and became effective in 1975. This convention emphasized the wise use of wetlands and their resources. This review mentions salient features of wetland ecosystems, their vegetation component, and the pros and cons involved in heavy metal removal. Wetland plants are preferred over other bio-agents due to their low cost, frequent abundance in aquatic ecosystems, and easy handling. The extensive rhizosphere of wetland plants provides an enriched culture zone for the microbes involved in degradation. The wetland sediment zone provides reducing conditions that are conducive to the metal removal pathway. Constructed wetlands proved to be effective for the abatement of heavymetal pollution from acid mine drainage; landfill leachate; thermal power; and municipal, agricultural, refinery, and chlor-alkali effluent. the physicochemical properties of wetlands provide many positive attributes for remediating heavy metals. Typha, Phragmites, Eichhornia, Azolla, Lemna, and other aquatic macrophytes are some

  3. Post-mortem ecosystem engineering by oysters creates habitat for a rare marsh plant.

    PubMed

    Guo, Hongyu; Pennings, Steven C

    2012-11-01

    Oysters are ecosystem engineers in marine ecosystems, but the functions of oyster shell deposits in intertidal salt marshes are not well understood. The annual plant Suaeda linearis is associated with oyster shell deposits in Georgia salt marshes. We hypothesized that oyster shell deposits promoted the distribution of Suaeda linearis by engineering soil conditions unfavorable to dominant salt marsh plants of the region (the shrub Borrichia frutescens, the rush Juncus roemerianus, and the grass Spartina alterniflora). We tested this hypothesis using common garden pot experiments and field transplant experiments. Suaeda linearis thrived in Borrichia frutescens stands in the absence of neighbors, but was suppressed by Borrichia frutescens in the with-neighbor treatment, suggesting that Suaeda linearis was excluded from Borrichia frutescens stands by interspecific competition. Suaeda linearis plants all died in Juncus roemerianus and Spartina alterniflora stands, regardless of neighbor treatments, indicating that Suaeda linearis is excluded from these habitats by physical stress (likely water-logging). In contrast, Borrichia frutescens, Juncus roemerianus, and Spartina alterniflora all performed poorly in Suaeda linearis stands regardless of neighbor treatments, probably due to physical stresses such as low soil water content and low organic matter content. Thus, oyster shell deposits play an important ecosystem engineering role in influencing salt marsh plant communities by providing a unique niche for Suaeda linearis, which otherwise would be rare or absent in salt marshes in the southeastern US. Since the success of Suaeda linearis is linked to the success of oysters, efforts to protect and restore oyster reefs may also benefit salt marsh plant communities.

  4. Symbiont dynamics during ecosystem succession: co-occurring plant and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities.

    PubMed

    García de León, David; Moora, Mari; Öpik, Maarja; Neuenkamp, Lena; Gerz, Maret; Jairus, Teele; Vasar, Martti; Bueno, C Guillermo; Davison, John; Zobel, Martin

    2016-07-01

    Although mycorrhizas are expected to play a key role in community assembly during ecological succession, little is known about the dynamics of the symbiotic partners in natural systems. For instance, it is unclear how efficiently plants and arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi disperse into early successional ecosystems, and which, if either, symbiotic partner drives successional dynamics. This study describes the dynamics of plant and AM fungal communities, assesses correlation in the composition of plant and AM fungal communities and compares dispersal limitation of plants and AM fungi during succession. We studied gravel pits 20 and 50 years post abandonment and undisturbed grasslands in Western Estonia. The composition of plant and AM fungal communities was strongly correlated, and the strength of the correlation remained unchanged as succession progressed, indicating a stable dependence among mycorrhizal plants and AM fungi. A relatively high proportion of the AM fungal taxon pool was present in early successional sites, in comparison with the respective fraction of plants. These results suggest that AM fungi arrived faster than plants and may thus drive vegetation dynamics along secondary vegetation succession.

  5. Using plants for hydrogen production

    SciTech Connect

    Greenbaum, E.

    1981-01-01

    The objective of this program is to make a quantitative assessment of the potential for using marine algae for producing hydrogen and oxygen from sea water. The approach is to screen selected species of green algae for simultaneous photoproduction of hydrogen and oxygen. Six marine green algae have been identified as having this property. The limiting step of algal hydrogen production is turnover time. This report contains data on the first simultaneous measurement of the turnover times of steady-state photosynthetic hydrogen and oxygen production. An instrument for measuring the absolute yield of hydrogen or oxygen per saturating single-turnover flash of light has been designed and built as part of this research program.

  6. Comparing Measures of Estuarine Ecosystem Production in a Temperate New England Estuary

    EPA Science Inventory

    Anthropogenic nutrient enrichments and concerted efforts at nutrient reductions, compounded with the influences of climate change, are likely changing the net ecosystem production (NEP) of our coastal systems. To quantify these changes, scientists monitor a range of physical, che...

  7. Plant cell culture strategies for the production of natural products

    PubMed Central

    Ochoa-Villarreal, Marisol; Howat, Susan; Hong, SunMi; Jang, Mi Ok; Jin, Young-Woo; Lee, Eun-Kyong; Loake, Gary J.

    2016-01-01

    Plants have evolved a vast chemical cornucopia to support their sessile lifestyles. Man has exploited this natural resource since Neolithic times and currently plant-derived chemicals are exploited for a myriad of applications. However, plant sources of most high-value natural products (NPs) are not domesticated and therefore their production cannot be undertaken on an agricultural scale. Further, these plant species are often slow growing, their populations limiting, the concentration of the target molecule highly variable and routinely present at extremely low concentrations. Plant cell and organ culture constitutes a sustainable, controllable and environmentally friendly tool for the industrial production of plant NPs. Further, advances in cell line selection, biotransformation, product secretion, cell permeabilisation, extraction and scale-up, among others, are driving increases in plant NP yields. However, there remain significant obstacles to the commercial synthesis of high-value chemicals from these sources. The relatively recent isolation, culturing and characterisation of cambial meristematic cells (CMCs), provides an emerging platform to circumvent many of these potential difficulties. [BMB Reports 2016; 49(3): 149-158] PMID:26698871

  8. Plant cell culture strategies for the production of natural products.

    PubMed

    Ochoa-Villarreal, Marisol; Howat, Susan; Hong, SunMi; Jang, Mi Ok; Jin, Young-Woo; Lee, Eun-Kyong; Loake, Gary J

    2016-03-01

    Plants have evolved a vast chemical cornucopia to support their sessile lifestyles. Man has exploited this natural resource since Neolithic times and currently plant-derived chemicals are exploited for a myriad of applications. However, plant sources of most high-value natural products (NPs) are not domesticated and therefore their production cannot be undertaken on an agricultural scale. Further, these plant species are often slow growing, their populations limiting, the concentration of the target molecule highly variable and routinely present at extremely low concentrations. Plant cell and organ culture constitutes a sustainable, controllable and environmentally friendly tool for the industrial production of plant NPs. Further, advances in cell line selection, biotransformation, product secretion, cell permeabilisation, extraction and scale-up, among others, are driving increases in plant NP yields. However, there remain significant obstacles to the commercial synthesis of high-value chemicals from these sources. The relatively recent isolation, culturing and characterisation of cambial meristematic cells (CMCs), provides an emerging platform to circumvent many of these potential difficulties. [BMB Reports 2016; 49(3): 149-158].

  9. Dual role of lignin in plant litter decomposition in terrestrial ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Austin, Amy T.; Ballaré, Carlos L.

    2010-01-01

    Plant litter decomposition is a critical step in the formation of soil organic matter, the mineralization of organic nutrients, and the carbon balance in terrestrial ecosystems. Biotic decomposition in mesic ecosystems is generally negatively correlated with the concentration of lignin, a group of complex aromatic polymers present in plant cell walls that is recalcitrant to enzymatic degradation and serves as a structural barrier impeding microbial access to labile carbon compounds. Although photochemical mineralization of carbon has recently been shown to be important in semiarid ecosystems, litter chemistry controls on photodegradative losses are not understood. We evaluated the importance of litter chemistry on photodegradation of grass litter and cellulose substrates with varying levels of lignin [cellulose-lignin (CL) substrates] under field conditions. Using wavelength-specific light attenuation filters, we found that light-driven mass loss was promoted by both UV and visible radiation. The spectral dependence of photodegradation correlated with the absorption spectrum of lignin but not of cellulose. Field incubations demonstrated that increasing lignin concentration reduced biotic decomposition, as expected, but linearly increased photodegradation. In addition, lignin content in CL substrates consistently decreased in photodegradative incubations. We conclude that lignin has a dual role affecting litter decomposition, depending on the dominant driver (biotic or abiotic) controlling carbon turnover. Under photodegradative conditions, lignin is preferentially degraded because it acts as an effective light-absorbing compound over a wide range of wavelengths. This mechanistic understanding of the role of lignin in plant litter decomposition will allow for more accurate predictions of carbon dynamics in terrestrial ecosystems. PMID:20176940

  10. Linking Belowground Plant Traits With Ecosystem Processes: A Multi-Biome Perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iversen, C. M.; Norby, R. J.; Childs, J.; McCormack, M. L.; Walker, A. P.; Hanson, P. J.; Warren, J.; Sloan, V. L.; Sullivan, P. F.; Wullschleger, S.; Powell, A. S.

    2015-12-01

    Fine plant roots are short-lived, narrow-diameter roots that play an important role in ecosystem carbon, water, and nutrient cycling in biomes ranging from the tundra to the tropics. Root ecologists make measurements at a millimeter scale to answer a question with global implications: In response to a changing climate, how do fine roots modulate the exchange of carbon between soils and the atmosphere and how will this response affect our future climate? In a Free-Air CO2 Enrichment experiment in Oak Ridge, TN, elevated [CO2] caused fine roots to dive deeper into the soil profile in search of limiting nitrogen, which led to increased soil C storage in deep soils. In contrast, the fine roots of trees and shrubs in an ombrotrophic bog are constrained to nutrient-poor, oxic soils above the average summer water table depth, though this may change with warmer, drier conditions. Tundra plant species are similarly constrained to surface organic soils by permafrost or waterlogged soils, but have many adaptations that alter ecosystem C fluxes, including aerenchyma that oxygenate the rhizosphere but also allow direct methane flux to the atmosphere. FRED, a global root trait database, will allow terrestrial biosphere models to represent the complexity of root traits across the globe, informing both model representation of ecosystem C and nutrient fluxes, but also the gaps where measurements are needed on plant-soil interactions (for example, in the tropical biome). While the complexity of mm-scale measurements may never have a place in large-scale global models, close collaboration between empiricists and modelers can help to guide the scaling of important, yet small-scale, processes to quantify their important roles in larger-scale ecosystem fluxes.

  11. Dual role of lignin in plant litter decomposition in terrestrial ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Austin, Amy T; Ballaré, Carlos L

    2010-03-09

    Plant litter decomposition is a critical step in the formation of soil organic matter, the mineralization of organic nutrients, and the carbon balance in terrestrial ecosystems. Biotic decomposition in mesic ecosystems is generally negatively correlated with the concentration of lignin, a group of complex aromatic polymers present in plant cell walls that is recalcitrant to enzymatic degradation and serves as a structural barrier impeding microbial access to labile carbon compounds. Although photochemical mineralization of carbon has recently been shown to be important in semiarid ecosystems, litter chemistry controls on photodegradative losses are not understood. We evaluated the importance of litter chemistry on photodegradation of grass litter and cellulose substrates with varying levels of lignin [cellulose-lignin (CL) substrates] under field conditions. Using wavelength-specific light attenuation filters, we found that light-driven mass loss was promoted by both UV and visible radiation. The spectral dependence of photodegradation correlated with the absorption spectrum of lignin but not of cellulose. Field incubations demonstrated that increasing lignin concentration reduced biotic decomposition, as expected, but linearly increased photodegradation. In addition, lignin content in CL substrates consistently decreased in photodegradative incubations. We conclude that lignin has a dual role affecting litter decomposition, depending on the dominant driver (biotic or abiotic) controlling carbon turnover. Under photodegradative conditions, lignin is preferentially degraded because it acts as an effective light-absorbing compound over a wide range of wavelengths. This mechanistic understanding of the role of lignin in plant litter decomposition will allow for more accurate predictions of carbon dynamics in terrestrial ecosystems.

  12. Relationship Between Forage Allowance and Grazing Efficiency in the Great Plains: Implications for Managing Rangelands for Both Livestock Production and Desired Ecosystem Goods and Services

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Emergence of desired ecosystem goods and services from rangelands as a societal benefit and a potential income source for land managers has implications regarding the management of plant communities traditionally used primarily for livestock production. Contemporary decision-making on rangelands in ...

  13. Plant cell cultures: bioreactors for industrial production.

    PubMed

    Ruffoni, Barbara; Pistelli, Laura; Bertoli, Alessandra; Pistelli, Luisa

    2010-01-01

    The recent biotechnology boom has triggered increased interest in plant cell cultures, since a number of firms and academic institutions investigated intensively to rise the production of very promising bioactive compounds. In alternative to wild collection or plant cultivation, the production of useful and valuable secondary metabolites in large bioreactors is an attractive proposal; it should contribute significantly to future attempts to preserve global biodiversity and alleviate associated ecological problems. The advantages of such processes include the controlled production according to demand and a reduced man work requirement. Plant cells have been grown in different shape bioreactors, however, there are a variety of problems to be solved before this technology can be adopted on a wide scale for the production of useful plant secondary metabolites. There are different factors affecting the culture growth and secondary metabolite production in bioreactors: the gaseous atmosphere, oxygen supply and CO2 exchange, pH, minerals, carbohydrates, growth regulators, the liquid medium rheology and cell density. Moreover agitation systems and sterilization conditions may negatively influence the whole process. Many types ofbioreactors have been successfully used for cultivating transformed root cultures, depending on both different aeration system and nutrient supply. Several examples of medicinal and aromatic plant cultures were here summarized for the scale up cultivation in bioreactors.

  14. Temperature response of methane oxidation and production potentials in peatland ecosystems across Finland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Welti, Nina; Korrensalo, Aino; Kerttula, Johanna; Maljanen, Marja; Uljas, Salli; Lohila, Annalea; Laine, Anna; Vesala, Timo; Elliott, David; Tuittila, Eeva-Stiina

    2016-04-01

    It has been suggested that the ecosystems located in the high latitudes are especially sensitive to warming. Therefore, we compared 14 peatland systems throughout Finland along a latitudinal gradient from 69°N to 61°N to examine the response of methane production and methane oxidation with warming climate. Peat samples were taken at the height of the growing season in 2015 from 0 - 10cm below the water table depth. The plant communities in sampling locations were described by estimating cover of each plant species and pH of water was measured. Upon return to the lab, we made two parallel treatments, under anoxic and oxic conditions in order to calculate the CH4 production and consumption potentials of the peat and used three temperatures, 4°C, 17.5°C, and 30°C to examine the temperature effect on the potentials. We hypothesized that there will be an observable response curve in CH4 production and oxidation relative to temperature with a greater response with increasing latitude. In general, increasing temperature increased the potential for CH4 production and oxidation, at some sites, the potential was highest at 17.5°C, indicating that there is an optimum temperature threshold for the in situ methane producing and oxidizing microbial communities. Above this threshold, the peat microbial communities are not able to cope with increasing temperature. This is especially noticeable for methane oxidation at sites above 62°N. As countries are being expected to adequately account for their greenhouse gas budgets with increasing temperature models, knowing where the temperature threshold exists is of critical importance.

  15. Top predators, mesopredators and their prey: interference ecosystems along bioclimatic productivity gradients.

    PubMed

    Elmhagen, B; Ludwig, G; Rushton, S P; Helle, P; Lindén, H

    2010-07-01

    1. The Mesopredator Release Hypothesis (MRH) suggests that top predator suppression of mesopredators is a key ecosystem function with cascading impacts on herbivore prey, but it remains to be shown that this top-down cascade impacts the large-scale structure of ecosystems. 2. The Exploitation Ecosystems Hypothesis (EEH) predicts that regional ecosystem structures are determined by top-down exploitation and bottom-up productivity. In contrast to MRH, EEH assumes that interference among predators has a negligible impact on the structure of ecosystems with three trophic levels. 3. We use the recolonization of a top predator in a three-level boreal ecosystem as a natural experiment to test if large-scale biomass distributions and population trends support MRH. Inspired by EEH, we also test if top-down interference and bottom-up productivity impact regional ecosystem structures. 4. We use data from the Finnish Wildlife Triangle Scheme which has monitored top predator (lynx, Lynx lynx), mesopredator (red fox, Vulpes vulpes) and prey (mountain hare, Lepus timidus) abundance for 17 years in a 200 000 km(2) study area which covers a distinct productivity gradient. 5. Fox biomass was lower than expected from productivity where lynx biomass was high, whilst hare biomass was lower than expected from productivity where fox biomass was high. Hence, where interference controlled fox abundance, lynx had an indirect positive impact on hare abundance as predicted by MRH. The rates of change indicated that lynx expansion gradually suppressed fox biomass. 6. Lynx status caused shifts between ecosystem structures. In the 'interference ecosystem', lynx and hare biomass increased with productivity whilst fox biomass did not. In the 'mesopredator release ecosystem', fox biomass increased with productivity but hare biomass did not. Thus, biomass controlled top-down did not respond to changes in productivity. This fulfils a critical prediction of EEH. 7. We conclude that the cascade

  16. Ecosystem engineers on plants: indirect facilitation of arthropod communities by leaf-rollers at different scales.

    PubMed

    Vieira, Camila; Romero, Gustavo Q

    2013-07-01

    Ecosystem engineering is a process by which organisms change the distribution of resources and create new habitats for other species via non-trophic interactions. Leaf-rolling caterpillars can act as ecosystem engineers because they provide shelter to secondary users. In this study, we report the influence of leaf-rolling caterpillars on speciose tropical arthropod communities along both spatial scales (leaf-level and plant-level effects) and temporal scales (dry and rainy seasons). We predict that rolled leaves can amplify arthropod diversity at both the leaf and plant levels and that this effect is stronger in dry seasons, when arthropods are prone to desiccation. Our results show that the abundance, richness, and biomass of arthropods within several guilds increased up to 22-fold in naturally and artificially created leaf shelters relative to unaltered leaves. These effects were observed at similar magnitudes at both the leaf and plant scales. Variation in the shelter architecture (funnel, cylinders) did not influence arthropod parameters, as diversity, abundance, orbiomass, but rolled leaves had distinct species composition if compared with unaltered leaves. As expected, these arthropod parameters on the plants with rolled leaves were on average approximately twofold higher in the dry season. Empty leaf rolls and whole plants were rapidly recolonized by arthropods over time, implying a fast replacement of individuals; within 15-day intervals the rolls and plants reached a species saturation. This study is the first to examine the extended effects of engineering caterpillars as diversity amplifiers at different temporal and spatial scales. Because shelter-building caterpillars are ubiquitous organisms in tropical and temperate forests, they can be considered key structuring elements for arthropod communities on plants.

  17. Modelling the influence of ectomycorrhizal decomposition on plant nutrition and soil carbon sequestration in boreal forest ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Baskaran, Preetisri; Hyvönen, Riitta; Berglund, S Linnea; Clemmensen, Karina E; Ågren, Göran I; Lindahl, Björn D; Manzoni, Stefano

    2017-02-01

    Tree growth in boreal forests is limited by nitrogen (N) availability. Most boreal forest trees form symbiotic associations with ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi, which improve the uptake of inorganic N and also have the capacity to decompose soil organic matter (SOM) and to mobilize organic N ('ECM decomposition'). To study the effects of 'ECM decomposition' on ecosystem carbon (C) and N balances, we performed a sensitivity analysis on a model of C and N flows between plants, SOM, saprotrophs, ECM fungi, and inorganic N stores. The analysis indicates that C and N balances were sensitive to model parameters regulating ECM biomass and decomposition. Under low N availability, the optimal C allocation to ECM fungi, above which the symbiosis switches from mutualism to parasitism, increases with increasing relative involvement of ECM fungi in SOM decomposition. Under low N conditions, increased ECM organic N mining promotes tree growth but decreases soil C storage, leading to a negative correlation between C stores above- and below-ground. The interplay between plant production and soil C storage is sensitive to the partitioning of decomposition between ECM fungi and saprotrophs. Better understanding of interactions between functional guilds of soil fungi may significantly improve predictions of ecosystem responses to environmental change.

  18. Heavy metal pollution in aquatic ecosystems and its phytoremediation using wetland plants: An ecosustainable approach

    SciTech Connect

    Rai, P.K.

    2008-07-01

    This review addresses the global problem of heavy metal pollution originating from increased industrialization and urbanization and its amelioration by using wetland plants both in a microcosm as well as natural/field condition. This review mentions salient features of wetland ecosystems, their vegetation component, and the pros and cons involved in heavy metal removal. Wetland plants are preferred over other bio-agents due to their low cost, frequent abundance in aquatic ecosystems, and easy handling. Constructed wetlands proved to be effective for the abatement of heavy metal pollution from acid mine drainage; landfill leachate; thermal power; and municipal, agricultural, refinery, and chlor-alkali effluent. the physicochemical properties of wetlands provide many positive attributes for remediating heavy metals. Typha, Phragmites, Eichhornia, Azolla, Lemna, and other aquatic macrophytes are some of the potent wetland plants for heavy metal removal. Biomass disposal problem and seasonal growth of aquatic macrophytes are some limitations in the transfer of phytoremediation technology from the laboratory to the field. However, the disposed biomass of macrophytes may be used for various fruitful applications. An ecosustainable model has been developed through the author's various works, which may ameliorate some of the limitations. The creation of more areas for phytoremediation may also aid in wetlands conservation. Genetic engineering and biodiversity prospecting of endangered wetland plants are important future prospects in this regard.

  19. Ecosystem productivity is associated with bacterial phylogenetic distance in surface marine waters.

    PubMed

    Galand, Pierre E; Salter, Ian; Kalenitchenko, Dimitri

    2015-12-01

    Understanding the link between community diversity and ecosystem function is a fundamental aspect of ecology. Systematic losses in biodiversity are widely acknowledged but the impact this may exert on ecosystem functioning remains ambiguous. There is growing evidence of a positive relationship between species richness and ecosystem productivity for terrestrial macro-organisms, but similar links for marine micro-organisms, which help drive global climate, are unclear. Community manipulation experiments show both positive and negative relationships for microbes. These previous studies rely, however, on artificial communities and any links between the full diversity of active bacterial communities in the environment, their phylogenetic relatedness and ecosystem function remain hitherto unexplored. Here, we test the hypothesis that productivity is associated with diversity in the metabolically active fraction of microbial communities. We show in natural assemblages of active bacteria that communities containing more distantly related members were associated with higher bacterial production. The positive phylogenetic diversity-productivity relationship was independent of community diversity calculated as the Shannon index. From our long-term (7-year) survey of surface marine bacterial communities, we also found that similarly, productive communities had greater phylogenetic similarity to each other, further suggesting that the traits of active bacteria are an important predictor of ecosystem productivity. Our findings demonstrate that the evolutionary history of the active fraction of a microbial community is critical for understanding their role in ecosystem functioning.

  20. Farming for Ecosystem Services: An Ecological Approach to Production Agriculture

    PubMed Central

    Philip Robertson, G.; Gross, Katherine L.; Hamilton, Stephen K.; Landis, Douglas A.; Schmidt, Thomas M.; Snapp, Sieglinde S.; Swinton, Scott M.

    2014-01-01

    A balanced assessment of ecosystem services provided by agriculture requires a systems-level socioecological understanding of related management practices at local to landscape scales. The results from 25 years of observation and experimentation at the Kellogg Biological Station long-term ecological research site reveal services that could be provided by intensive row-crop ecosystems. In addition to high yields, farms could be readily managed to contribute clean water, biocontrol and other biodiversity benefits, climate stabilization, and long-term soil fertility, thereby helping meet society's need for agriculture that is economically and environmentally sustainable. Midwest farmers—especially those with large farms—appear willing to adopt practices that deliver these services in exchange for payments scaled to management complexity and farmstead benefit. Surveyed citizens appear willing to pay farmers for the delivery of specific services, such as cleaner lakes. A new farming for services paradigm in US agriculture seems feasible and could be environmentally significant. PMID:26955069

  1. Farming for Ecosystem Services: An Ecological Approach to Production Agriculture.

    PubMed

    Philip Robertson, G; Gross, Katherine L; Hamilton, Stephen K; Landis, Douglas A; Schmidt, Thomas M; Snapp, Sieglinde S; Swinton, Scott M

    2014-05-01

    A balanced assessment of ecosystem services provided by agriculture requires a systems-level socioecological understanding of related management practices at local to landscape scales. The results from 25 years of observation and experimentation at the Kellogg Biological Station long-term ecological research site reveal services that could be provided by intensive row-crop ecosystems. In addition to high yields, farms could be readily managed to contribute clean water, biocontrol and other biodiversity benefits, climate stabilization, and long-term soil fertility, thereby helping meet society's need for agriculture that is economically and environmentally sustainable. Midwest farmers-especially those with large farms-appear willing to adopt practices that deliver these services in exchange for payments scaled to management complexity and farmstead benefit. Surveyed citizens appear willing to pay farmers for the delivery of specific services, such as cleaner lakes. A new farming for services paradigm in US agriculture seems feasible and could be environmentally significant.

  2. Alginate Production by Plant-Pathogenic Pseudomonads

    PubMed Central

    Fett, William F.; Osman, Stanley F.; Fishman, Marshall L.; Siebles, T. S.

    1986-01-01

    Eighteen plant-pathogenic and three non-plant-pathogenic pseudomonads were tested for the ability to produce alginic acid as an exopolysaccharide in vitro. Alginate production was demonstrated for 10 of 13 fluorescent plant-pathogenic pseudomonads tested with glucose or gluconate as the carbon source, but not for all 5 nonfluorescent plant pathogens and all 3 non-plant pathogens tested. With sucrose as the carbon source, some strains produced alginate while others produced both polyfructan (levan) and alginate. Alginates ranged from <1 to 28% guluronic acid, were acetylated, and had number-average molecular weights of 11.3 × 103 to 47.1 × 103. Polyfructans and alginates were not elicitors of the soybean phytoalexin glyceollin when applied to wounded cotyledon surfaces and did not induce prolonged water soaking of soybean leaf tissues. All or most pseudomonads in rRNA-DNA homology group I may be capable of synthesizing alginate as an exopolysaccharide. PMID:16347146

  3. Charcoal production in the Mopane woodlands of Mozambique: what are the trade-offs with other ecosystem services?

    PubMed Central

    Baumert, Sophia; Vollmer, Frank; Grundy, Isla; Fisher, Janet; Fernando, Jone; Luz, Ana; Lisboa, Sá N.

    2016-01-01

    African woodlands form a major part of the tropical grassy biome and support the livelihoods of millions of rural and urban people. Charcoal production in particular is a major economic activity, but its impact on other ecosystem services is little studied. To address this, our study collected biophysical and social datasets, which were combined in ecological production functions, to assess ecosystem service provision and its change under different charcoal production scenarios in Gaza Province, southern Mozambique. We found that villages with longer histories of charcoal production had experienced declines in wood suitable for charcoal, firewood and construction, and tended to have lower perceived availabilities of these services. Scenarios of future charcoal impacts indicated that firewood and woody construction services were likely to trade-off with charcoal production. However, even under the most extreme charcoal scenario, these services were not completely lost. Other provisioning services, such as wild food, medicinal plants and grass, were largely unaffected by charcoal production. To reduce the future impacts of charcoal production, producers must avoid increased intensification of charcoal extraction by avoiding the expansion of species and sizes of trees used for charcoal production. This is a major challenge to land managers and policymakers in the area. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Tropical grassy biomes: linking ecology, human use and conservation’. PMID:27502380

  4. Application of nanoelements in plant nutrition and its impact in ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berenice Morales-Díaz, América; Ortega-Ortíz, Hortensia; Juárez-Maldonado, Antonio; Cadenas-Pliego, Gregorio; González-Morales, Susana; Benavides-Mendoza, Adalberto

    2017-03-01

    Agriculture stands to benefit from nanotechnology in areas such as combating pests and pathogens, regulating the growth and quality of crops, and developing intelligent materials and nanosensors. The objective of this paper is to provide an overview of the use of nanomaterials (NMs) and nanoparticles (NPs) in plant nutrition, highlighting their advantages and potential uses, but also reviewing their possible environmental destination and effects on ecosystems and consumers. NPs and NMs have been shown to be an attractive alternative for the manufacture of nanofertilizers (NFs), which are more effective and efficient than traditional fertilizers. Because of their impact on crop nutritional quality and stress tolerance in plants, the application of NFs is increasing. However, there are virtually no studies on the potential environmental impact of NPs and NMs when used in agriculture. These studies are necessary because NPs and NMs can be transferred to ecosystems by various pathways where they can cause toxicity to organisms, affecting the biodiversity and abundance of these ecosystems, and may ultimately even be transferred to consumers.

  5. Resource dependence in a new ecosystem: A host plant and its colonizing community

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lakatos, K. Tímea; László, Zoltán; Tóthmérész, Béla

    2016-05-01

    The introduced black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) has become an invasive plant species in Europe. The introduction of alien plants such as the black locust may modify ecosystem composition and functioning. In response to the presence of a potential host plant, herbivores can adapt and shift to the consumption of the new host plant. In Eastern-Central Europe, the seed predator Bruchophagus robiniae (Hymenoptera: Eurytomidae) is an important consumer of black locust seeds which presumably shifted from its formerly host species to black locust. We tested the influence of host plant abundance on a seed predator - parasitoid community. We found that the seed predator B. robiniae was present in higher numbers in woodlots than in small patches of black locust. The density of the specialist parasitoid Mesopolobus sp. was lower in woodlots than in small patches, while the generalist parasitoid Eupelmus urozonos was evenly distributed between woodlots and small patches of black locust. We found that parasitoid species are influenced by the patch size of host plants, thus characteristics of introduced host plants can also manifest in higher trophic levels.

  6. Vascular plants as regulators of methane emissions from a subarctic mire ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Öquist, M. G.; Svensson, B. H.

    2002-11-01

    Vascular plant functions as controlling mechanisms of methane emissions were investigated at two contrasting habitat types at a subarctic peatland ecosystem in northern Sweden. One of the habitats was ombrotrophic (vegetation dominated by Eriophorum vaginatum and Carex rotundata), while the other was minerotrophic (vegetation dominated by Eriophorum angustifolium). Through shading manipulations we successfully reduced the gross photosynthetic rates of the vascular plant communities. At the ombrotrophic site a 25% reduction in gross photosynthesis lead to a concomitant 20% reduction in methane emission rates, indicating a strong substrate-based coupling between the vascular plant community and the methanogenic populations. At the minerotrophic site, methane emission rates were unaffected, although plant photosynthesis was reduced by almost 50%. However, the methane emission rates at the minerotrophic site were significantly correlated with the number of vascular plants. We conclude that at the minerotrophic site the vegetation influences methane emission rates by facilitating methane transportation between the soil and the atmosphere, while at the ombrotrophic site the relationship between the vascular plant community and methane emissions is mediated by substrate-based interactions regulated by plant photosynthetic activity.

  7. Plant products as protective agents against cancer.

    PubMed

    Aruna, K; Sivaramakrishnan, V M

    1990-11-01

    Out of various spices and leafy vegetables screened for their influence on the carcinogen-detoxifying enzyme, glutathione-S-transferase (GST) in Swiss mice, cumin seeds, poppy seeds, asafoetida, turmeric, kandathipili, neem flowers, manathakkali leaves, drumstick leaves, basil leaves and ponnakanni leaves increased GST activity by more than 78% in the stomach, liver and oesophagus, - high enough to be considered as protective agents against carcinogenesis. Glutathione levels were also significantly elevated in the three tissues by these plant products. All of them except neem flowers, significantly suppressed (in vivo) the chromosome aberrations (CA) caused by benzo(a)pyrene in mouse bone marrow cells. Multiple CA and exchanges reflecting the severity of damage within a cell were significantly suppressed by these nine plant products. The results suggest that these nine plant products are likely to suppress carcinogenesis and can act as protective agents against cancer.

  8. Anticarcinogenic effects of some Indian plant products.

    PubMed

    Aruna, K; Sivaramakrishnan, V M

    1992-11-01

    The anticarcinogenic properties of some commonly consumed spices and leafy vegetables were investigated. The effects of feeding the plant products on the induction of squamous cell carcinomas in the stomachs of Swiss mice by feeding benzo[a]pyrene(B[a]P) and on the induction of hepatomas in Wistar rats by feeding 3'-methyl-4-dimethylaminoazobenzene (3'MeDAB) were investigated. Among the nine plant products tested, cumin seeds (Cuminum cyminum Linn) and basil leaves (Ocimum sanctum Linn) significantly decreased the incidence of both B[a]P-induced neoplasia and 3'MeDAB-induced hepatomas. Poppy seeds (Papaver somniferum Linn) significantly inhibited B[a]P-induced neoplasia alone, while the other plant products, asafoetida, kandathipili, turmeric, drumstick leaves, solanum leaves and alternanthera leaves were ineffective. These results suggest that cumin seeds, basil leaves and to a lesser extent poppy seeds, which are all widely used in Indian cooking, may prove to be valuable anticarcinogenic agents.

  9. Rapid top-down regulation of plant C:N:P stoichiometry by grasshoppers in an Inner Mongolia grassland ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Guangming; Han, Xingguo; Elser, James J

    2011-05-01

    Understanding how food web interactions alter the processing of limiting nutrient elements is an important goal of ecosystem ecology. An experiment manipulating densities of the grasshopper Oedaleus asiaticus was performed to assess top-down effects of grasshoppers on C:N:P stoichiometry of plants and soil in a grassland ecosystem in Inner Mongolia (China). With increased grasshopper feeding, plant biomass declined fourfold, litter abundance increased 30%, and the plant community became dominated by non-host plant taxa. Plant stoichiometric response depended on whether or not the plant was a grasshopper host food species: C:N and C:P ratios increased with increasing grasshopper density (GD) for host plants but decreased in non-host plants. These data suggest either a direct transfer of grasshopper-recycled nutrients from host to non-host plants or a release of non-host plants from nutrient competition with heavily grazed host plants. Litterfall C:N and C:P decreased across moderate levels of grasshopper density but no effects on C:N:P stoichiometry in the surface soil were observed, possibly due to the short experimental period. Our observations of divergent C:N:P stoichiometric response among plant species highlight the important role of grasshopper herbivory in regulating plant community structure and nutrient cycling in grassland ecosystems.

  10. Mo99 Production Plant Layout

    SciTech Connect

    Woloshun, Keith Albert; Dale, Gregory E.; Naranjo, Angela Carol

    2015-06-25

    The NorthStar Medical Technologies 99Mo production facility configuration is envisioned to be 8 accelerator pairs irradiating 7 100Mo targets (one spare accelerator pair undergoing maintenance while the other 7 pairs are irradiating targets). The required shielding in every direction for the accelerators is initially estimated to be 10 feet of concrete. With the accelerator pairs on one (ground) level and spaced with the required shielding between adjacent pairs, the only practical path for target insertion and removal while minimizing floor space is vertical. The current scheme then requires a target vertical lift of nominally 10 feet through a shield stack. It is envisioned that the lift will be directly into a hot cell where an activated target can be removed from its holder and a new target attached and lowered. The hot cell is on a rail system so that a single hot cell can service all active target locations, as well as deliver the ready targets to the separations lab. On this rail system, coupled to the hot cell, will be a helium recovery and clean-up system. All helium coolant equipment is located on the upper level near to the target removal point.

  11. Woody-plant ecosystems under climate change and air pollution-response consistencies across zonobiomes?

    PubMed

    Matyssek, R; Kozovits, A R; Wieser, G; King, J; Rennenberg, H

    2017-03-14

    Forests store the largest terrestrial pools of carbon (C), helping to stabilize the global climate system, yet are threatened by climate change (CC) and associated air pollution (AP, highlighting ozone (O3) and nitrogen oxides (NOx)). We adopt the perspective that CC-AP drivers and physiological impacts are universal, resulting in consistent stress responses of forest ecosystems across zonobiomes. Evidence supporting this viewpoint is presented from the literature on ecosystem gross/net primary productivity and water cycling. Responses to CC-AP are compared across evergreen/deciduous foliage types, discussing implications of nutrition and resource turnover at tree and ecosystem scales. The availability of data is extremely uneven across zonobiomes, yet unifying patterns of ecosystem response are discernable. Ecosystem warming results in trade-offs between respiration and biomass production, affecting high elevation forests more than in the lowland tropics and low-elevation temperate zone. Resilience to drought is modulated by tree size and species richness. Elevated O3 tends to counteract stimulation by elevated carbon dioxide (CO2). Biotic stress and genomic structure ultimately determine ecosystem responsiveness. Aggrading early- rather than mature late-successional communities respond to CO2 enhancement, whereas O3 affects North American and Eurasian tree species consistently under free-air fumigation. Insect herbivory is exacerbated by CC-AP in biome-specific ways. Rhizosphere responses reflect similar stand-level nutritional dynamics across zonobiomes, but are modulated by differences in tree-soil nutrient cycling between deciduous and evergreen systems, and natural versus anthropogenic nitrogen (N) oversupply. The hypothesis of consistency of forest responses to interacting CC-AP is supported by currently available data, establishing the precedent for a global network of long-term coordinated research sites across zonobiomes to simultaneously advance both

  12. Multiple Resource Use Efficiency (mRUE): A New Concept for Ecosystem Production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, Juanjuan; Chen, Jiquan; Miao, Yuan; Wan, Shiqiang

    2016-11-01

    The resource-driven concept, which is an important school for investigating ecosystem production, has been applied for decades. However, the regulatory mechanisms of production by multiple resources remain unclear. We formulated a new algorithm model that integrates multiple resource uses to study ecosystem production and tested its applications on a water-availability gradient in semi-arid grassland. The result of our experiment showed that changes in water availability significantly affected the resources of light and nitrogen, and altered the relationships among multiple resource absorption rate (ε), multiple resource use efficiency (mRUE), and available resource (Ravail). The increased water availability suppressed ecosystem mRUE (i.e., “declining marginal returns”) The changes in mRUE had a negative effect on ε (i.e., “inverse feedback”). These two processes jointly regulated that the stimulated single resource availability would promote ecosystem production rather than suppress it, even when mRUE was reduced. This study illustrated the use of the mRUE model in exploring the coherent relationships among the key parameters on regulating the ecosystem production for future modeling, and evaluated the sensitivity of this conceptual model under different dataset properties. However, this model needs extensive validation by the ecological community before it can extrapolate this method to other ecosystems in the future.

  13. Multiple Resource Use Efficiency (mRUE): A New Concept for Ecosystem Production

    PubMed Central

    Han, Juanjuan; Chen, Jiquan; Miao, Yuan; Wan, Shiqiang

    2016-01-01

    The resource-driven concept, which is an important school for investigating ecosystem production, has been applied for decades. However, the regulatory mechanisms of production by multiple resources remain unclear. We formulated a new algorithm model that integrates multiple resource uses to study ecosystem production and tested its applications on a water-availability gradient in semi-arid grassland. The result of our experiment showed that changes in water availability significantly affected the resources of light and nitrogen, and altered the relationships among multiple resource absorption rate (ε), multiple resource use efficiency (mRUE), and available resource (Ravail). The increased water availability suppressed ecosystem mRUE (i.e., “declining marginal returns”); The changes in mRUE had a negative effect on ε (i.e., “inverse feedback”). These two processes jointly regulated that the stimulated single resource availability would promote ecosystem production rather than suppress it, even when mRUE was reduced. This study illustrated the use of the mRUE model in exploring the coherent relationships among the key parameters on regulating the ecosystem production for future modeling, and evaluated the sensitivity of this conceptual model under different dataset properties. However, this model needs extensive validation by the ecological community before it can extrapolate this method to other ecosystems in the future. PMID:27869149

  14. Impact of global climate change on ecosystem-level interactions among sympatric plants from all three photosynthetic pathways. Terminal report

    SciTech Connect

    Nobel, P.S.

    1997-12-17

    The proposed research will determine biochemical and physiological responses to variations in environmental factors for plants of all three photosynthetic pathways under competitive situations in the field. These responses will be used to predict the effects of global climatic change on an ecosystem in the northwestern Sonoran Desert where the C{sub 3} subshrub Encelia farinosa, the C{sub 4} bunchgrass Hilaria rigida, and the CAM succulent Agave deserti are co-dominants. These perennials are relatively short with overlapping shallow roots facilitating the experimental measurements as well as leading to competition for soil water. Net CO{sub 2} uptake over 24-h periods measured in the laboratory will be analyzed using an environmental productivity index (EPI) that can incorporate simultaneous effects of soil water, air temperature, and light. Based on EPI, net CO{sub 2} uptake and hence plant productivity will be predicted for the three species in the field under various treatments. Activity of the two CO{sub 2} fixation enzymes, Rubisco and PEPCase, will be determined for these various environmental conditions; also, partitioning of carbon to various organs will be measured based on {sup 14}CO{sub 2} labeling and dry weight analysis. Thus, enzymatic and partitioning controls on competition among sympatric model plants representing all three photosynthetic pathways will be investigated.

  15. Plant hydraulic controls over ecosystem responses to climate-enhanced disturbances

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mackay, D. S.; Ewers, B. E.; Reed, D. E.; Pendall, E.; McDowell, N. G.

    2012-12-01

    Climate-enhanced disturbances such as drought and insect infestation range in severity, contributing minor to severe stress to forests including forest mortality. While neither form of disturbance has been unambiguously implicated as a mechanism of mortality, both induce changes in water, carbon, and nutrient cycling that are key to understanding forest ecosystem response to, and recovery from, disturbance. Each disturbance type has different biophysical, ecohydrological, and biogeochemical signatures that potentially complicate interpretation and development of theory. Plant hydraulic function is arguably a unifying control over these responses to disturbance because it regulates stomatal conductance, leaf biochemistry, carbon (C) uptake and utilization, and nutrient cycling. We demonstrated this idea by focusing on water and C, including non-structural (NSC), resources, and nitrogen (N) uptake across a spectrum of forest ecosystems (e.g., northern temperate mixed forests, lodgepole pine forests in the Rocky Mountains, and pinon pine - juniper woodlands in New Mexico) using the Terrestrial Regional Ecosystem Exchange Simulator (TREES). TREES is grounded in the biophysics of water movement through soil and plants, respectively via hydraulic conductivity of the soil and cavitation of xylem. It combines this dynamic plant hydraulic conductance with canopy biochemical controls over photosynthesis, and the dynamics of structural and non-structural carbon through a carbon budget that responds to plant hydraulic status. As such, the model can be used to develop testable hypotheses on a multitude of disturbance and recovery responses including xylem dysfunction, stomatal and non-stomatal controls on photosynthesis and carbon allocation, respiration, and allocation to defense compounds. For each of the ecosystems we constrained and evaluated the model with allometry, sap flux and/or eddy covariance data, leaf gas exchange measurements, and vulnerability to cavitation data

  16. Productivity and species richness across an environmental gradient in a fire-dependent ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Kirkman, L K; Mitchell, R J; Helton, R C; Drew, M B

    2001-11-01

    The fire-dependent longleaf pine-wiregrass (Pinus palustris Mill.-Aristida beyrichiana Trin. & Rupr.) savannas of the southeastern United States provide a unique opportunity to examine the relationship between productivity and species richness in a natural ecosystem because of the extremely high number of species and their range across a wide ecological amplitude (sandhills to edges of wetlands). We used a natural gradient to examine how plant species richness and plant community structure vary with standing crop biomass (which in this system is proportional to annual net productivity) as a function of soil moisture and nitrogen mineralization rates in a frequently burned longleaf pine-wiregrass savanna. Highest ground cover biomass and highest species richness were found at the same position along the gradient, the wet-mesic sites. Relative differences in species richness among site types were independent of scale, ranging from 0.01 m(2) to 100 m(2). Nitrogen availability was negatively correlated with species richness. Dominance of wiregrass (in terms of biomass) was consistent across the gradient and not correlated with species richness. Regardless of site type, the community structure of the savannas was characterized by many perennial species with infrequent occurrences, a factor in the low temporal heterogeneity (percent similarity between seasons and years) and high within-site spatial heterogeneity (percent dissimilarity of vegetation composition). The coexistence of numerous species is likely due to the high frequency of fire that removes competing hardwood vegetation and litter and to the suite of fire-adapted perennial species that, once established, are able to persist. Our results suggest that soil moisture is an important factor regulating both the number of species present and community production within the defined gradient of this study.

  17. Laser production for NASA's Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) lidar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stysley, Paul R.; Coyle, D. Barry; Clarke, Greg B.; Frese, Erich; Blalock, Gordon; Morey, Peter; Kay, Richard B.; Poulios, Demetrios; Hersh, Michael

    2016-05-01

    The Lasers and Electro-Optics Branch at Goddard Space Flight Center has been tasked with building the Lasers for the Global Ecosystems Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) Lidar Mission, to be installed on the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) on the International Space Station (ISS)1. GEDI will use three NASA-developed lasers, each coupled with a Beam Dithering Unit (BDU) to produce three sets of staggered footprints on the Earth's surface to accurately measure global biomass. We will report on the design, assembly progress, test results, and delivery process of this laser system.

  18. Fast-cycling unit of root turnover in perennial herbaceous plants in a cold temperate ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Kai; Luke McCormack, M.; Li, Le; Ma, Zeqing; Guo, Dali

    2016-01-01

    Roots of perennial plants have both persistent portion and fast-cycling units represented by different levels of branching. In woody species, the distal nonwoody branch orders as a unit are born and die together relatively rapidly (within 1–2 years). However, whether the fast-cycling units also exist in perennial herbs is unknown. We monitored root demography of seven perennial herbs over two years in a cold temperate ecosystem and we classified the largest roots on the root collar or rhizome as basal roots, and associated finer laterals as secondary, tertiary and quaternary roots. Parallel to woody plants in which distal root orders form a fast-cycling module, basal root and its finer laterals also represent a fast-cycling module in herbaceous plants. Within this module, basal roots had a lifespan of 0.5–2 years and represented 62–87% of total root biomass, thus dominating annual root turnover (60%–81% of the total). Moreover, root traits including root length, tissue density, and biomass were useful predictors of root lifespan. We conclude that both herbaceous and woody plants have fast-cycling modular units and future studies identifying the fast-cycling module across plant species should allow better understanding of how root construction and turnover are linked to whole-plant strategies.

  19. Environmental and community controls on plant canopy chemistry in a Mediterranean-type ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Dahlin, Kyla M; Asner, Gregory P; Field, Christopher B

    2013-04-23

    Understanding how and why plant communities vary across space has long been a goal of ecology, yet parsing the relative importance of different influences has remained a challenge. Species-specific models are not generalizable, whereas broad plant functional type models lack important detail. Here we consider plant trait patterns at the local scale and ask whether plant chemical traits are more closely linked to environmental gradients or to changes in species composition. We used the visible-to-shortwave infrared (VSWIR) spectrometer of the Carnegie Airborne Observatory to develop maps of four plant chemical traits--leaf nitrogen per mass, leaf carbon per mass, leaf water concentration, and canopy water content--across a diverse Mediterranean-type ecosystem (Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, CA). For all four traits, plant community alone was the strongest predictor of trait variation (explaining 46-61% of the heterogeneity), whereas environmental gradients accounted for just one fourth of the variation in the traits. This result emphasizes the critical role that species composition plays in mediating nutrient and carbon cycling within and among different communities. Environmental filtering and limits to similarity can act strongly, simultaneously, in a spatially heterogeneous environment, but the local-scale environmental gradients alone cannot account for the variation across this landscape.

  20. Fast-cycling unit of root turnover in perennial herbaceous plants in a cold temperate ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Kai; Luke McCormack, M.; Li, Le; Ma, Zeqing; Guo, Dali

    2016-01-01

    Roots of perennial plants have both persistent portion and fast-cycling units represented by different levels of branching. In woody species, the distal nonwoody branch orders as a unit are born and die together relatively rapidly (within 1–2 years). However, whether the fast-cycling units also exist in perennial herbs is unknown. We monitored root demography of seven perennial herbs over two years in a cold temperate ecosystem and we classified the largest roots on the root collar or rhizome as basal roots, and associated finer laterals as secondary, tertiary and quaternary roots. Parallel to woody plants in which distal root orders form a fast-cycling module, basal root and its finer laterals also represent a fast-cycling module in herbaceous plants. Within this module, basal roots had a lifespan of 0.5–2 years and represented 62–87% of total root biomass, thus dominating annual root turnover (60%–81% of the total). Moreover, root traits including root length, tissue density, and biomass were useful predictors of root lifespan. We conclude that both herbaceous and woody plants have fast-cycling modular units and future studies identifying the fast-cycling module across plant species should allow better understanding of how root construction and turnover are linked to whole-plant strategies. PMID:26791578

  1. Fast-cycling unit of root turnover in perennial herbaceous plants in a cold temperate ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Sun, Kai; McCormack, M Luke; Li, Le; Ma, Zeqing; Guo, Dali

    2016-01-21

    Roots of perennial plants have both persistent portion and fast-cycling units represented by different levels of branching. In woody species, the distal nonwoody branch orders as a unit are born and die together relatively rapidly (within 1-2 years). However, whether the fast-cycling units also exist in perennial herbs is unknown. We monitored root demography of seven perennial herbs over two years in a cold temperate ecosystem and we classified the largest roots on the root collar or rhizome as basal roots, and associated finer laterals as secondary, tertiary and quaternary roots. Parallel to woody plants in which distal root orders form a fast-cycling module, basal root and its finer laterals also represent a fast-cycling module in herbaceous plants. Within this module, basal roots had a lifespan of 0.5-2 years and represented 62-87% of total root biomass, thus dominating annual root turnover (60%-81% of the total). Moreover, root traits including root length, tissue density, and biomass were useful predictors of root lifespan. We conclude that both herbaceous and woody plants have fast-cycling modular units and future studies identifying the fast-cycling module across plant species should allow better understanding of how root construction and turnover are linked to whole-plant strategies.

  2. Environmental and community controls on plant canopy chemistry in a Mediterranean-type ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Dahlin, Kyla M.; Asner, Gregory P.; Field, Christopher B.

    2013-01-01

    Understanding how and why plant communities vary across space has long been a goal of ecology, yet parsing the relative importance of different influences has remained a challenge. Species-specific models are not generalizable, whereas broad plant functional type models lack important detail. Here we consider plant trait patterns at the local scale and ask whether plant chemical traits are more closely linked to environmental gradients or to changes in species composition. We used the visible-to-shortwave infrared (VSWIR) spectrometer of the Carnegie Airborne Observatory to develop maps of four plant chemical traits—leaf nitrogen per mass, leaf carbon per mass, leaf water concentration, and canopy water content—across a diverse Mediterranean-type ecosystem (Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, CA). For all four traits, plant community alone was the strongest predictor of trait variation (explaining 46–61% of the heterogeneity), whereas environmental gradients accounted for just one fourth of the variation in the traits. This result emphasizes the critical role that species composition plays in mediating nutrient and carbon cycling within and among different communities. Environmental filtering and limits to similarity can act strongly, simultaneously, in a spatially heterogeneous environment, but the local-scale environmental gradients alone cannot account for the variation across this landscape. PMID:23569241

  3. Pinellas Plant facts. [Products, processes, laboratory facilities

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1986-09-01

    This plant was built in 1956 in response to a need for the manufacture of neutron generators, a principal component in nuclear weapons. The neutron generators consist of a miniaturized linear ion accelerator assembled with the pulsed electrical power supplies required for its operation. The ion accelerator, or neutron tube, requires ultra clean, high vacuum technology: hermetic seals between glass, ceramic, glass-ceramic, and metal materials: plus high voltage generation and measurement technology. The existence of these capabilities at the Pinellas Plant has led directly to the assignment of the lightning arrester connector, specialty capacitor, vacuum switch, and crystal resonator. Active and reserve batteries and the radioisotopically-powered thermoelectric generator draw on the materials measurement and controls technologies which are required to ensure neutron generator life. A product development and production capability in alumina ceramics, cermet (electrical) feedthroughs, and glass ceramics has become a specialty of the plant; the laboratories monitor the materials and processes used by the plant's commercial suppliers of ferroelectric ceramics. In addition to the manufacturing facility, a production development capability is maintained at the Pinellas Plant.

  4. Net Ecosystem Production (NEP) of the Great Plains, United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Howard, Daniel; Gilmanov, Tagir; Gu, Yingxin; Wylie, Bruce; Zhang, Li

    2012-01-01

    Flux tower networks, such as AmeriFlux and FLUXNET, consist of a growing number of eddy covariance flux tower sites that provide a synoptic record of the exchange of carbon, water, and energy between the ecosystem and atmosphere at various temporal frequencies. These towers also detect and measure certain site characteristics, such as wind, temperature, precipitation, humidity, atmospheric pressure, soil features, and phenological progressions. Efforts are continuous to combine flux tower network data with remote sensing data to upscale the conditions observed at specific sites to a regional and, ultimately, worldwide scale. Data-driven regression tree models have the ability to incorporate flux tower records and remote sensing data to quantify exchanges of carbon with the atmosphere (Wylie and others, 2007; Xiao and others, 2010; Zhang and others, 2010; Zhang and others, 2011). Previous study results demonstrated the dramatic effect weather has on NEP and revealed specific ecoregions and times acting as carbon sinks or sources. As of 2012, more than 100 site-years of flux tower measurements, represented by more than 50 individual cropland or grassland sites throughout the Great Plains and surrounding area, have been acquired, quality controlled, and partitioned into gross photosynthesis (Pg) and ecosystem Re using detailed light-response, soil temperature, and vapor pressure deficit (VPD) based analysis.

  5. Drought effects on above- and belowground production of a grazed temperate grassland ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Frank, Douglas A

    2007-05-01

    The effect of climatic variation on terrestrial aboveground productivity (ANPP) has been well studied. However, little is known about how variable climate, including drought, may influence belowground productivity (BNPP), which constitutes most of the annual primary production of grasslands. The objectives of this study were to (1) examine how a 3-year period of declining moisture, which began as climatically wet to average across Yellowstone National Park (YNP) and ended in drought, affected ANPP and BNPP in grasslands of YNP and (2) how herds of grazing ungulates, which were shown previously to stimulate grassland shoot and root growth in YNP, may have interacted with climatic conditions to influence grassland production. ANPP and 0-20 cm BNPP, representing the bulk of the root dynamics, were measured in grazed and ungrazed (fenced) grassland at nine sites ranging widely in elevation, soil conditions and plant production during the 3-year study. Results revealed that 0-20 cm BNPP was strongly influenced by drought (P = 0.0005) and declined from 1999 to 2001 among ungrazed and grazed grasslands by 39 and 49%, respectively. The greater reduction in 0-20 cm BNPP among grazed grasslands was due, in part, to a decline (P = 0.07) in the stimulatory effect of grazing, i.e., the ratio g BNPP stimulated: g shoot consumed. In contrast, ANPP was unaffected by drought in either type of grassland. Thus, the effect of this drought in YNP was a large reduction in BNPP, which was a function of (1) a direct negative influence of increased moisture stress on root growth and (2) a weak interaction between drought and herbivory that led to a decline in the positive feedback from grazers to BNPP. These findings highlight the need to better understand factors that control root growth and to study the effects of climatic variation on grasslands within an ecosystem framework to include potentially important climate-consumer interactions.

  6. Production of monoclonal antibodies to plant pathogens.

    PubMed

    Thornton, Christopher R

    2009-01-01

    The use of monoclonal antibodies in plant pathology has improved the quality and specificity of detection methods for diseases. Hybridoma technology allows the limitless production of highly specific antibodies which can be used to identify pathogens to the species or even sub-species level.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1996-12-01

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

  8. Isoscapes resolve species-specific spatial patterns in plant-plant interactions in an invaded Mediterranean dune ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Hellmann, Christine; Rascher, Katherine G; Oldeland, Jens; Werner, Christiane

    2016-12-01

    Environmental heterogeneity and plant-plant interactions are key factors shaping plant communities. However, the spatial dimension of plant-plant interactions has seldom been addressed in field studies. This is at least partially rooted in a lack of methods that can accurately resolve functional processes in a spatially explicit manner. Isoscapes, that is, spatially explicit representations of stable isotope data, provide a versatile means to trace functional changes on spatial scales, for example, related to N-cycling (foliar δ(15)N) and water use efficiency (WUEi, foliar δ(13)C). In a case study in a nutrient-depleted Mediterranean dune ecosystem, we analysed the spatial impact of the invasive N2-fixing Acacia longifolia on three native species of different functional types using δ(15)N and δ(13)C isoscapes and spatial autocorrelation analyses. Isoscapes revealed strong spatial patterns in δ(15)N and δ(13)C with pronounced species-specific differences, demonstrating distinct spatial ranges of plant-plant interactions. A coniferous tree and an ericaceous dwarf shrub showed significant enrichment in δ(15)N within a range of 5-8 m surrounding the canopy of A. longifolia, indicating input of N originating from symbiotic N2-fixation by the invader. In the dwarf shrub, which was most responsive to invader influence, enrichment in δ(13)C additionally demonstrated spatially explicit changes to WUEi, while a native N2-fixer was unresponsive to the presence of the invader. Furthermore, δ(15)N and δ(13)C isoscapes yielded different patterns, indicating that plant-plant interactions can have distinct spatial distributions and ranges based on the process measured. Additionally, the magnitude of the effect differed between field situations with high and low invasion pressure. This study highlights that the spatial scale must be accounted for when assessing the effects and outcome of species interactions. Functional tracers such as stable isotopes enable us to

  9. δ 13C of ecosystem-respired CO2 along a gradient of C3 woody-plant encroachment into C4 grassland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, W.; Scott, R. L.; Resco, V.; Cable, J. M.; Huxman, T. E.; Williams, D. G.

    2006-12-01

    Woody plant encroachment into grassland has the potential to affect net primary production, in part by changing the sensitivities of photosynthesis and respiration to precipitation. Encroachment of mesquite (Prosopis) into floodplain sacaton (Sporobolus) grassland along the San Pedro River in southeastern Arizona has altered the magnitude and seasonal pattern of net ecosystem carbon exchange and ecosystem respiration. We hypothesized that because mesquite accesses ground water in these floodplain environments, its advancement and dominance in former grassland reduces the sensitivities of photosynthesis and autotrophic respiration to inputs of growing season precipitation. The observed elevated rates of ecosystem respiration following rainfall inputs are likely to result from microbial decomposition of labile organic matter derived from the highly productive mesquite trees. We used the Keeling plot method to monitor carbon-13 composition of nocturnal ecosystem-respired CO2 (δ 13CR) during the growing seasons of 2005 and 2006 at three sites spanning a gradient of mesquite invasion: C4 sacaton grassland, mixed mesquite/grass shrubland and C3 mesquite woodland. δ 13CR in the C4 grassland increased from -18.8‰ during the dry premonsoon period to -16.7‰ after the onset of summer rains, whereas δ 13CR in the mixed shrub/grass and woodland ecosystems declined from -20.9‰ to - 24‰ and from -20.8‰ to -24.7‰, respectively, following the onset of summer rains. The δ 13CR of respired CO2 was collected separately from soil, roots, leaves and surface litter to evaluate the contribution of each of these components to ecosystem respiration. Partitioning of ecosystem respiration using these isotope end-members and responses to short-term (days) changes in shallow (0-5cm) soil moisture content suggest that in former grassland now occupied by mesquite woodland, rainfall inputs primarily stimulate microbial decomposition and have little effect on autotrophic respiration

  10. Effects of shifting seasonal rainfall patterns on net primary productivity and carbon storage in tropical seasonally dry ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rohr, T.; Manzoni, S.; Feng, X.; Menezes, R.; Porporato, A. M.

    2013-12-01

    Although seasonally dry ecosystems (SDEs), identified by prolonged drought followed by a short, but intense, rainy season, cover large regions of the tropics, their biogeochemical response to seasonal rainfall and soil carbon (C) sequestration potential are not well characterized. Both productivity and soil respiration are positively affected by seasonal soil moisture availability, creating a delicate balance between C deposition through litterfall and C losses through heterotrophic respiration. As climate change projections for the tropics predict decreased annual rainfall and increased dry season length, it is critical to understand how variations in seasonal rainfall distributions control this balance. To address this question, we develop a minimal model linking the seasonal behavior of the ensemble soil moisture, plant productivity, the related soil C inputs through litterfall, and soil C dynamics. The model is parameterized for a case study from a drought-deciduous caatinga ecosystem in northeastern Brazil. Results indicate that when altering the seasonal rainfall patterns for a fixed annual rainfall, both plant productivity and soil C sequestration potential are largely, and nonlinearly, dependent on wet season duration. Moreover, total annual rainfall plays a dominant role in describing this relationship, leading at times to the emergence of distinct optima in both primary production and C sequestration. Examining these results in the context of climate-driven changes to wet season duration and mean annual precipitation indicate that the initial hydroclimatic regime of a particular ecosystem is an important factor to predict both the magnitude and direction of the effects of shifting seasonal distributions on productivity and C storage. Although highly productive ecosystems will likely experience declining C storage with predicted climate shifts, those currently operating well below peak production can potentially see improved C stocks with the onset of

  11. Sustainable utilization and conservation of plant biodiversity in montane ecosystems: the western Himalayas as a case study

    PubMed Central

    Khan, Shujaul Mulk; Page, Sue E.; Ahmad, Habib; Harper, David M.

    2013-01-01

    Background Conservation of the unique biodiversity of mountain ecosystems needs trans-disciplinary approaches to succeed in a crowded colloquial world. Geographers, conservationists, ecologists and social scientists have, in the past, had the same conservation goals but have tended to work independently. In this review, the need to integrate different conservation criteria and methodologies is discussed. New criteria are offered for prioritizing species and habitats for conservation in montane ecosystems that combine both ecological and social data. Scope Ecological attributes of plant species, analysed through robust community statistical packages, provide unbiased classifications of species assemblages and environmental biodiversity gradients and yield importance value indices (IVIs). Surveys of local communities’ utilization of the vegetation provides use values (UVs). This review suggests a new means of assessing anthropogenic pressure on plant biodiversity at both species and community levels by integrating IVI and UV data sets in a combined analysis. Conclusions Mountain ecosystems are hot spots for plant conservation efforts because they hold a high overall plant diversity as communities replace each other along altitudinal and climatic gradients, including a high proportion of endemic species. This review contributes an enhanced understanding of (1) plant diversity in mountain ecosystems with special reference to the western Himalayas; (2) ethnobotanical and ecosystem service values of mountain vegetation within the context of anthropogenic impacts; and (3) local and regional plant conservation strategies and priorities. PMID:23825353

  12. 9 CFR 355.21 - Products entering inspected plants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 2 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Products entering inspected plants... Products entering inspected plants. All products of a kind certified under this part or materials to be used in the preparation of such products when brought into an inspected plant shall be identified...

  13. 9 CFR 355.21 - Products entering inspected plants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 2 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Products entering inspected plants... Products entering inspected plants. All products of a kind certified under this part or materials to be used in the preparation of such products when brought into an inspected plant shall be identified...

  14. 9 CFR 355.21 - Products entering inspected plants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 2 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Products entering inspected plants... Products entering inspected plants. All products of a kind certified under this part or materials to be used in the preparation of such products when brought into an inspected plant shall be identified...

  15. 9 CFR 355.21 - Products entering inspected plants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 2 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Products entering inspected plants... Products entering inspected plants. All products of a kind certified under this part or materials to be used in the preparation of such products when brought into an inspected plant shall be identified...

  16. 9 CFR 355.21 - Products entering inspected plants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 2 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Products entering inspected plants... Products entering inspected plants. All products of a kind certified under this part or materials to be used in the preparation of such products when brought into an inspected plant shall be identified...

  17. Habitat, not resource availability, limits consumer production in lake ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Craig, Nicola; Jones, Stuart E.; Weidel, Brian C.; Solomon, Christopher T.

    2015-01-01

    Food web productivity in lakes can be limited by dissolved organic carbon (DOC), which reduces fish production by limiting the abundance of their zoobenthic prey. We demonstrate that in a set of 10 small, north temperate lakes spanning a wide DOC gradient, these negative effects of high DOC concentrations on zoobenthos production are driven primarily by availability of warm, well-oxygenated habitat, rather than by light limitation of benthic primary production as previously proposed. There was no significant effect of benthic primary production on zoobenthos production after controlling for oxygen, even though stable isotope analysis indicated that zoobenthos do use this resource. Mean whole-lake zoobenthos production was lower in high-DOC lakes with reduced availability of oxygenated habitat, as was fish biomass. These insights improve understanding of lake food webs and inform management in the face of spatial variability and ongoing temporal change in lake DOC concentrations.

  18. Do biotic interactions modulate ecosystem functioning along stress gradients? Insights from semi-arid plant and biological soil crust communities

    PubMed Central

    Maestre, Fernando T.; Bowker, Matthew A.; Escolar, Cristina; Puche, María D.; Soliveres, Santiago; Maltez-Mouro, Sara; García-Palacios, Pablo; Castillo-Monroy, Andrea P.; Martínez, Isabel; Escudero, Adrián

    2010-01-01

    Climate change will exacerbate the degree of abiotic stress experienced by semi-arid ecosystems. While abiotic stress profoundly affects biotic interactions, their potential role as modulators of ecosystem responses to climate change is largely unknown. Using plants and biological soil crusts, we tested the relative importance of facilitative–competitive interactions and other community attributes (cover, species richness and species evenness) as drivers of ecosystem functioning along stress gradients in semi-arid Mediterranean ecosystems. Biotic interactions shifted from facilitation to competition along stress gradients driven by water availability and temperature. These changes were, however, dependent on the spatial scale and the community considered. We found little evidence to suggest that biotic interactions are a major direct influence upon indicators of ecosystem functioning (soil respiration, organic carbon, water-holding capacity, compaction and the activity of enzymes related to the carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus cycles) along stress gradients. However, attributes such as cover and species richness showed a direct effect on ecosystem functioning. Our results do not agree with predictions emphasizing that the importance of plant–plant interactions will be increased under climate change in dry environments, and indicate that reductions in the cover of plant and biological soil crust communities will negatively impact ecosystems under future climatic conditions. PMID:20513714

  19. Convergence of potential net ecosystem production among contrasting C3 grasslands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peichl, Matthias; Sonnentag, Oliver; Wohlfahrt, Georg; Flanagan, Lawrence B.; Baldocchi, Dennis D.; Kiely, Gerard; Galvagno, Marta; Gianelle, Damiano; Marcolla, Barbara; Pio, Casimiro; Migliavacca, Mirco; Jones, Michael B.; Saunders, Matthew

    2013-04-01

    Metabolic theory and body size constraints on biomass production and decomposition suggest that differences in the intrinsic potential net ecosystem production (NEPpot) should be small among contrasting C3 grasslands and therefore unable to explain the wide range in the annual apparent net ecosystem production (NEPapp) reported by previous studies. We estimated NEPpot for nine C3 grasslands under contrasting climate and management regimes using multi-year eddy covariance data. NEPpot converged within a narrow range suggesting little difference in the net carbon dioxide uptake capacity among C3 grasslands. Our results indicate a unique feature of C3 grasslands compared to other terrestrial ecosystems and suggest a state of stability in NEPpot due to tightly coupled production and respiration processes. Consequently, the annual NEPapp of C3 grasslands is primarily a function of seasonal and short-term environmental and management constraints, and therefore especially susceptible to changes in future climate patterns and associated adaptation of management practices.

  20. Quantifying and mapping the human appropriation of net primary production in earth's terrestrial ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Haberl, Helmut; Erb, K. Heinz; Krausmann, Fridolin; Gaube, Veronika; Bondeau, Alberte; Plutzar, Christoph; Gingrich, Simone; Lucht, Wolfgang; Fischer-Kowalski, Marina

    2007-01-01

    Human appropriation of net primary production (HANPP), the aggregate impact of land use on biomass available each year in ecosystems, is a prominent measure of the human domination of the biosphere. We present a comprehensive assessment of global HANPP based on vegetation modeling, agricultural and forestry statistics, and geographical information systems data on land use, land cover, and soil degradation that localizes human impact on ecosystems. We found an aggregate global HANPP value of 15.6 Pg C/yr or 23.8% of potential net primary productivity, of which 53% was contributed by harvest, 40% by land-use-induced productivity changes, and 7% by human-induced fires. This is a remarkable impact on the biosphere caused by just one species. We present maps quantifying human-induced changes in trophic energy flows in ecosystems that illustrate spatial patterns in the human domination of ecosystems, thus emphasizing land use as a pervasive factor of global importance. Land use transforms earth's terrestrial surface, resulting in changes in biogeochemical cycles and in the ability of ecosystems to deliver services critical to human well being. The results suggest that large-scale schemes to substitute biomass for fossil fuels should be viewed cautiously because massive additional pressures on ecosystems might result from increased biomass harvest. PMID:17616580

  1. Variation in peak growing season net ecosystem production across the Canadian Arctic.

    PubMed

    Lafleur, Peter M; Humphreys, Elyn R; St Louis, Vincent L; Myklebust, May C; Papakyriakou, Tim; Poissant, Laurier; Barker, Joel D; Pilote, Martin; Swystun, Kyle A

    2012-08-07

    Tundra ecosystems store vast amounts of soil organic carbon, which may be sensitive to climatic change. Net ecosystem production, NEP, is the net exchange of carbon dioxide (CO(2)) between landscapes and the atmosphere, and represents the balance between CO(2) uptake by photosynthesis and release by decomposition and autotrophic respiration. Here we examine CO(2) exchange across seven sites in the Canadian low and high Arctic during the peak growing season (July) in summer 2008. All sites were net sinks for atmospheric CO(2) (NEP ranged from 5 to 67 g C m(-2)), with low Arctic sites being substantially larger CO(2) sinks. The spatial difference in NEP between low and high Arctic sites was determined more by CO(2) uptake via gross ecosystem production than by CO(2) release via ecosystem respiration. Maximum gross ecosystem production at the low Arctic sites (average 8.6 μmol m(-2) s(-1)) was about 4 times larger than for high Arctic sites (average 2.4 μmol m(-2) s(-1)). NEP decreased with increasing temperature at all low Arctic sites, driven largely by the ecosystem respiration response. No consistent temperature response was found for the high Arctic sites. The results of this study clearly indicate there are large differences in tundra CO(2) exchange between high and low Arctic environments and this difference should be a central consideration in studies of Arctic carbon balance and climate change.

  2. Quantifying and mapping the human appropriation of net primary production in earth's terrestrial ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Haberl, Helmut; Erb, K Heinz; Krausmann, Fridolin; Gaube, Veronika; Bondeau, Alberte; Plutzar, Christoph; Gingrich, Simone; Lucht, Wolfgang; Fischer-Kowalski, Marina

    2007-07-31

    Human appropriation of net primary production (HANPP), the aggregate impact of land use on biomass available each year in ecosystems, is a prominent measure of the human domination of the biosphere. We present a comprehensive assessment of global HANPP based on vegetation modeling, agricultural and forestry statistics, and geographical information systems data on land use, land cover, and soil degradation that localizes human impact on ecosystems. We found an aggregate global HANPP value of 15.6 Pg C/yr or 23.8% of potential net primary productivity, of which 53% was contributed by harvest, 40% by land-use-induced productivity changes, and 7% by human-induced fires. This is a remarkable impact on the biosphere caused by just one species. We present maps quantifying human-induced changes in trophic energy flows in ecosystems that illustrate spatial patterns in the human domination of ecosystems, thus emphasizing land use as a pervasive factor of global importance. Land use transforms earth's terrestrial surface, resulting in changes in biogeochemical cycles and in the ability of ecosystems to deliver services critical to human well being. The results suggest that large-scale schemes to substitute biomass for fossil fuels should be viewed cautiously because massive additional pressures on ecosystems might result from increased biomass harvest.

  3. Deep Atomic Binding (DAB) Approach in Interpretation of Fission Products Behavior in Terrestrial and Water Ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Ajlouni, Abdul-Wali M.S.

    2006-07-01

    A large number of studies and models were established to explain the fission products (FP) behavior within terrestrial and water ecosystems, but a number of behaviors were non understandable, which always attributed to unknown reasons. According to DAB hypothesis, almost all fission products behaviors in terrestrial and water ecosystems could be interpreted in a wide coincidence. The gab between former models predictions, and field behavior of fission products after accidents like Chernobyl have been explained. DAB represents a tool to reduce radio-phobia as well as radiation protection expenses. (author)

  4. Multiple plant-wax compounds record differential sources and ecosystem structure in large river catchments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hemingway, Jordon D.; Schefuß, Enno; Dinga, Bienvenu Jean; Pryer, Helena; Galy, Valier V.

    2016-07-01

    The concentrations, distributions, and stable carbon isotopes (δ13C) of plant waxes carried by fluvial suspended sediments contain valuable information about terrestrial ecosystem characteristics. To properly interpret past changes recorded in sedimentary archives it is crucial to understand the sources and variability of exported plant waxes in modern systems on seasonal to inter-annual timescales. To determine such variability, we present concentrations and δ13C compositions of three compound classes (n-alkanes, n-alcohols, n-alkanoic acids) in a 34-month time series of suspended sediments from the outflow of the Congo River. We show that exported plant-dominated n-alkanes (C25-C35) represent a mixture of C3 and C4 end members, each with distinct molecular distributions, as evidenced by an 8.1 ± 0.7‰ (±1σ standard deviation) spread in δ13C values across chain-lengths, and weak correlations between individual homologue concentrations (r = 0.52-0.94). In contrast, plant-dominated n-alcohols (C26-C36) and n-alkanoic acids (C26-C36) exhibit stronger positive correlations (r = 0.70-0.99) between homologue concentrations and depleted δ13C values (individual homologues average ⩽-31.3‰ and -30.8‰, respectively), with lower δ13C variability across chain-lengths (2.6 ± 0.6‰ and 2.0 ± 1.1‰, respectively). All individual plant-wax lipids show little temporal δ13C variability throughout the time-series (1σ ⩽ 0.9‰), indicating that their stable carbon isotopes are not a sensitive tracer for temporal changes in plant-wax source in the Congo basin on seasonal to inter-annual timescales. Carbon-normalized concentrations and relative abundances of n-alcohols (19-58% of total plant-wax lipids) and n-alkanoic acids (26-76%) respond rapidly to seasonal changes in runoff, indicating that they are mostly derived from a recently entrained local source. In contrast, a lack of correlation with discharge and low, stable relative abundances (5-16%) indicate that

  5. Ecosystem responses to warming-induced plant species loss and increased nitrogen availability in a Rocky Mountain subalpine meadow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Molly Elizabeth

    Climate change is predicted to be an important driver of future biodiversity changes, especially in mountainous environments. Climate warming-induced plant species loss is likely to be non-random and based on species-specific susceptibility to rising temperatures. Experimental warming results from a subalpine meadow in Colorado suggest that warming adversely affects shallow-rooted forb species in this ecosystem. To examine the ecological consequences of losing this warming-sensitive species group, I experimentally removed all shallow-rooted forb species from otherwise intact subalpine meadow plots. Since experimental warming also resulted in increased soil nitrogen availability, I crossed the removal treatment with a nitrogen addition treatment to determine whether the loss of shallow-rooted forbs altered the community's response to a perturbation in nitrogen availability. After three years of experimental species removal, tap-rooted forbs and grasses were able to fully compensate for the loss of shallow-rooted forbs with increased biomass production. Moreover, the remaining plant community yielded a larger biomass response to nitrogen addition when shallow-rooted forbs were removed, possibly because removal led to increased soil moisture. The loss of shallow-rooted forbs and addition of nitrogen did not have strong effects on nitrogen cycling beyond increases in the amount of nitrate moving down through the soil profile. Uptake of nitrogen into plant tissue was also not affected by either the shallow-rooted forb removal or nitrogen addition treatments, suggesting that nitrogen may not have been the most limiting resource during the experiment. I found that spatial heterogeneity generally had a greater influence on soil microbial community composition than any of the experimental treatments. I conclude that the warming-induced loss of shallow-rooted forbs did not affect biomass production, nitrogen cycling, or soil microbial community composition, but did increase

  6. AVLIS production plant project schedule and milestones

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1984-11-15

    An AVLIS Production Plant Deployment Schedule for the engineering, procurement, and construction for both the Initial Increment of Production and the fully Activated Plant, has been developed by the project team consisting of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Martin Marietta Energy Systems, Inc. with architect-engineer support from Bechtel National, Inc., Stone and Webster Engineering Corporation, and Westinghouse Corporation. The initial deployment phase consists of six separators modules and the three laser power amplifier modules consistent with the FY84 reference design with a name plate capacity of 5 million separative work units/yr followed by a full plant activation to approximately 13 million separative work units/yr. The AVLIS Production Plant project team's strategy for deployment schedule analysis focused on three schedule options: engineering limited schedule; authorization limited schedule; and funding limited project schedule. The three deployment schedule options developed by AVLIS project team have been classified in ranges such as an optimistic, rapid/moderate, or moderate/pessimistic based on the probability of meeting the individual schedule option's major milestones or program objectives of enriching uranium by the AVLIS process in an effective cost and schedule manner. 47 figures, 7 tables.

  7. Considerations for Sustainable Biomass Production in Quercus-Dominated Forest Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bruckman, Viktor; Yan, Shuai; Hochbichler, Eduard

    2013-04-01

    Our current energy system is mainly based on carbon (C) intensive metabolisms, resulting in great effects on the earth's biosphere. The majority of the energy sources are fossil (crude oil, coal, natural gas) and release CO2 in the combustion (oxidation) process which takes place during utilization of the energy. C released to the atmosphere was once sequestered by biomass over a time span of millions of years and is now being released back into the atmosphere within a period of just decades. In the context of green and CO2 neutral Energy, there is an on-going debate regarding the potentials of obtaining biomass from forests on multiple scales, from stand to international levels. Especially in the context of energy, it is highlighted that biomass is an entirely CO2 neutral feedstock since the carbon stored in wood originates from the atmospheric CO2 pool and it was taken up during plant growth. It needs systems approaches in order to justify this statement and ensure sustainability covering the whole life-cycle from biomass production to (bio)energy consumption. There are a number of Quercus woodland management systems focussing solely on woody biomass production for energetic utilization or a combination with traditional forestry and high quality timber production for trades and industry. They have often developed regionally as a consequence of specific demands and local production capacities, which are mainly driven by environmental factors such as climate and soil properties. We assessed the nutritional status of a common Quercus-dominated forest ecosystem in northern Austria, where we compared biomass- with belowground C and nutrient pools in order to identify potential site limits if the management shifts towards systems with a higher level of nutrient extraction. Heterogeneity of soils, and soil processes are considered, as well as other, growth-limiting factors (e.g. precipitation) and species-specific metabolisms and element translocation.

  8. Exchange of carbonyl sulfide (COS), a potential tracer of gross primary productivity, between grassland ecosystem components and the atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whelan, M.; Rhew, R. C.

    2013-12-01

    Recently, measurements of carbonyl sulfide (COS) exchange have been used as an independent constraint for estimates of gross primary productivity over terrestrial ecosystems and continents. CO2 is both taken up and released by plants, whereas COS is usually only consumed and at a predictable ratio to CO2. Most of the underlying theoretical assumptions of this method have been verified, however the problem of parsing leaf exchange from other terrestrial sources and sinks of COS is still under investigation. In ecosystems that experience distinct periods of growing and senescence, it is possible to assess COS fluxes in situ when no green plants are present and compare to measurements during the growing season. Taking advantage of this seasonal pattern, we have investigated COS exchange from March 2012 to March 2013 in a Mediterranean grassland outside of Santa Cruz, CA, U.S.A (37.0°N, 122°W). Through lab-based incubation experiments, we found that net COS uptake of grassland soil can be reduced by increased soil moisture. We evaluated this claim in the field with monthly field deployments of static flux chambers over the in-tact soil and plant system. In the dry summer, artificial rain amendments caused COS net uptake to decrease, sometimes leading to overall net production to the atmosphere, in agreement with lab experiments. During the wet growing season, water additions caused over 2x increase in COS uptake from the atmosphere. Contrary to what has been previously claimed, soil exchange of COS is not negligible in grassland ecosystems.

  9. Wastewater treatment as an energy production plant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Samela, Daniel A.

    The objective of this research was to investigate the potential for net energy production at a Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP). Historically, wastewater treatment plants have been designed with the emphasis on process reliability and redundancy; efficient utilization of energy has not received equal consideration. With growing demands for energy and increased budgetary pressures in funding wastewater treatment plant costs, methods of reducing energy consumption and operating costs were explored in a new and novel direction pointed towards energy production rather than energy consumption. To estimate the potential for net energy production, a quantitative analysis was performed using a mathematical model which integrates the various unit operations to evaluate the overall plant energy balance. Secondary treatment performance analysis is included to ensure that the energy evaluation is consistent with plant treatment needs. Secondary treatment performance was conducted for activated sludge, trickling filters and RBCs. The equations for the mathematical model were developed independently for each unit operation by writing mass balance equations around the process units. The process units evaluated included those for preliminary treatment, primary treatment, secondary treatment, disinfection, and sludge treatment. Based on an analysis of both energy reduction and energy recovery methods, it was shown that net energy production at a secondary WWTP is possible utilizing technologies available today. Such technologies include those utilized for plant operations, as well as for energy recovery. The operation of fuel cells using digester gas represents one of the most significant new opportunities for energy recovery at wastewater facilities. The analysis predicts that a trickling filter WWTP utilizing commercial phosphoric acid fuel cells to recover energy from digester gas can provide for facility energy needs and have both electrical and thermal energy available for

  10. Multi-year estimates of plant and ecosystem 13C discrimination at AmeriFlux sites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dang, X.; Lai, C.; Hollinger, D. Y.; Bush, S.; Randerson, J. T.; Law, B. E.; Schauer, A. J.; Ehleringer, J.

    2011-12-01

    We estimated plant and ecosystem 13C discrimination continuously at 8 AmeriFlux sites (Howland Forest, Harvard Forest, Wind River Forest, Rannells Prairie, Freeman Ranch, Chestnut Ridge, Metolius, and Marys River fir) over 8 years (2002-2009). We used an observation-based approach from weekly measurements of eddy covariance CO2 fluxes and their 13C/12C ratios to estimate photosynthetic 13C discrimination (△A) and respiration (δ13CR) on seasonal and interannual time scales. The coordinated, systematic flask sampling across the AmeriFlux subnetwork were used for cross-site synthesis of monthly flux estimates [Dang et al. Combining tower mixing ratio and community model data to estimate regional-scale net ecosystem carbon exchange by boundary layer inversion over 4 flux towers in the U.S.A., Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences, in press]. Here, we evaluated environmental factors that also influenced temporal variability in △A and δ13CR from daily to interannual time scales, comparing atmospheric 13C/12C measurements, leaf and needle organic matter, and tree ring cellulose. Across these major biomes that dominate the continent, we show differential ecophysiological responses to environmental stresses, among which water availability appeared to be a dominant factor. Our decadal measurement period provided robust estimates of atmospheric 13C discrimination by terrestrial ecosystems, but also suggest regions where enhanced monitoring efforts are required (e.g., 13C/12C emission from fire and urban metabolism; increased temporal resolution of 13C measurements in stress-sensitive ecosystems) to make atmospheric 13C/12C measurements an effective constraint for continental-scale assessments of the terrestrial carbon cycle.

  11. Effects of an invasive plant transcend ecosystem boundaries through a dragonfly-mediated trophic pathway.

    PubMed

    Burkle, Laura A; Mihaljevic, Joseph R; Smith, Kevin G

    2012-12-01

    Trophic interactions can strongly influence the structure and function of terrestrial and aquatic communities through top-down and bottom-up processes. Species with life stages in both terrestrial and aquatic systems may be particularly likely to link the effects of trophic interactions across ecosystem boundaries. Using experimental wetlands planted with purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria), we tested the degree to which the bottom-up effects of floral density of this invasive plant could trigger a chain of interactions, changing the behavior of terrestrial flying insect prey and predators and ultimately cascading through top-down interactions to alter lower trophic levels in the aquatic community. The results of our experiment support the linkage of terrestrial and aquatic food webs through this hypothesized pathway, with high loosestrife floral density treatments attracting high levels of visiting insect pollinators and predatory adult dragonflies. High floral densities were also associated with increased adult dragonfly oviposition and subsequently high larval dragonfly abundance in the aquatic community. Finally, high-flower treatments were coupled with changes in zooplankton species richness and shifts in the composition of zooplankton communities. Through changes in animal behavior and trophic interactions in terrestrial and aquatic systems, this work illustrates the broad and potentially cryptic effects of invasive species, and provides additional compelling motivation for ecologists to conduct investigations that cross traditional ecosystem boundaries.

  12. Dynamics of microbial communities during decomposition of litter from pioneering plants in initial soil ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Esperschütz, J.; Zimmermann, C.; Dümig, A.; Welzl, G.; Buegger, F.; Elmer, M.; Munch, J. C.; Schloter, M.

    2013-07-01

    In initial ecosystems, concentrations of all macro- and micronutrients can be considered as extremely low. Plant litter therefore strongly influences the development of a degrader's food web and is an important source for C and N input into soil in such ecosystems. In the present study, a 13C litter decomposition field experiment was performed for 30 weeks in initial soils from a post-mining area near the city of Cottbus (Germany). Two of this region's dominant but contrasting pioneering plant species (Lotus corniculatus L. and Calamagrostis epigejos L.) were chosen to investigate the effects of litter quality on the litter decomposing microbial food web in initially nutrient-poor substrates. The results clearly indicate the importance of litter quality, as indicated by its N content, its bioavailability for the degradation process and the development of microbial communities in the detritusphere and soil. The degradation of the L. corniculatus litter, which had a low C / N ratio, was fast and showed pronounced changes in the microbial community structure 1-4 weeks after litter addition. The degradation of the C. epigejos litter material was slow and microbial community changes mainly occurred between 4 and 30 weeks after litter addition to the soil. However, for both litter materials a clear indication of the importance of fungi for the degradation process was observed both in terms of fungal abundance and activity (13C incorporation activity)

  13. Dynamics of microbial communities during decomposition of litter from pioneering plants in initial soil ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Esperschütz, J.; Zimmermann, C.; Dümig, A.; Welzl, G.; Buegger, F.; Elmer, M.; Munch, J. C.; Schloter, M.

    2012-10-01

    In initial ecosystems concentrations of all macro- and micronutrients can be considered as extremely low. Plant litter therefore strongly influences the development of a degraders' food web and is an important source for C and N input into soil in such ecosystems. In the present study, a 13C litter decomposition field experiment was performed for 30 weeks in initial soils from a post-mining area near the city of Cottbus (Germany). Two of this regions' dominant but contrasting pioneering plant species (Lotus corniculatus L. and Calamagrostis epigejos L.) were chosen to investigate the effects of litter quality on the litter decomposing microbial food web in initially nutrient-poor substrates. The results clearly indicate the importance of litter quality, mainly the amount of N stored in the litter material and its bioavailability for the degradation process and the development of microbial communities in the detritusphere and bulk soil. Whereas the degradation process of the L. corniculatus litter which had a low C/N ratio was fast and most pronounced changes in the microbial community structure were observed 1-4 weeks after litter addition, the degradation of the C. epigejos litter material was slow and microbial community changes mainly occurred at between 4 and 30 weeks after litter addition to the soil. However for both litter materials a clear indication for the importance of fungi for the degradation process was observed both on the abundance level as well as on the level of 13C incorporation (activity).

  14. Ecosystem development after mangrove wetland creation: plant-soil change across a 20-year chronosequence

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Osland, Michael J.; Spivak, Amanda C.; Nestlerode, Janet A.; Lessmann, Jeannine M.; Almario, Alejandro E.; Heitmuller, Paul T.; Russell, Marc J.; Krauss, Ken W.; Alvarez, Federico; Dantin, Darrin D.; Harvey, James E.; From, Andrew S.; Cormier, Nicole; Stagg, Camille L.

    2012-01-01

    Mangrove wetland restoration and creation efforts are increasingly proposed as mechanisms to compensate for mangrove wetland losses. However, ecosystem development and functional equivalence in restored and created mangrove wetlands are poorly understood. We compared a 20-year chronosequence of created tidal wetland sites in Tampa Bay, Florida (USA) to natural reference mangrove wetlands. Across the chronosequence, our sites represent the succession from salt marsh to mangrove forest communities. Our results identify important soil and plant structural differences between the created and natural reference wetland sites; however, they also depict a positive developmental trajectory for the created wetland sites that reflects tightly coupled plant-soil development. Because upland soils and/or dredge spoils were used to create the new mangrove habitats, the soils at younger created sites and at lower depths (10-30 cm) had higher bulk densities, higher sand content, lower soil organic matter (SOM), lower total carbon (TC), and lower total nitrogen (TN) than did natural reference wetland soils. However, in the upper soil layer (0-10 cm), SOM, TC, and TN increased with created wetland site age simultaneously with mangrove forest growth. The rate of created wetland soil C accumulation was comparable to literature values for natural mangrove wetlands. Notably, the time to equivalence for the upper soil layer of created mangrove wetlands appears to be faster than for many other wetland ecosystem types. Collectively, our findings characterize the rate and trajectory of above- and below-ground changes associated with ecosystem development in created mangrove wetlands; this is valuable information for environmental managers planning to sustain existing mangrove wetlands or mitigate for mangrove wetland losses.

  15. Stable carbon isotopic evidence of methane consumption and production in three alpine ecosystems on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kato, Tomomichi; Yamada, Keita; Tang, Yanhong; Yoshida, Naohiro; Wada, Eitaro

    2013-10-01

    To understand the mechanisms of soil CH4 consumption and production in alpine ecosystems, we for the first time examined the stable carbon isotope ratio of CH4 (δ13C-CH4) at three major grassland vegetation types, alpine meadow, alpine shrub, and alpine wetland, on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. The alpine meadow and shrub showed net CH4 absorption in their vertical profiles of CH4 concentration in summer, but a difference in their processes. Whereas the alpine shrub was dominated by CH4 consumption in its soil profile, CH4 production in the alpine meadow could slightly cancel consumed CH4 in shallow soil from -0.3 to -0.1 m. This potential CH4 production can be attributed to the relatively wet soil type of that ecosystem, which might allow methanogenesis to act in moist soil lumps in the shallow layer. The alpine wetland differed in methane production, consumption, and transport pathways between hummock and hollow plots. In summer, both plots were enriched in 13C-CH4 in dissolved CH4 in soil pore water, suggesting that CH4 production was conducted mainly by acetate fermentation. In autumn, CH4 production was shifted toward CO2/H2 reduction. Furthermore, in hummocks, plant-mediated transport of CH4 by vascular plants appeared to perform passive CH4 flow from deep soil to atmosphere, which allowed the produced CH4 to bypass the oxidation zone in shallow soil. In hollows, however, CH4 produced in shallow soil was subject to simultaneous oxidation. The fractional oxidation rate on gross CH4 production in hollows was estimated by simple mass balance model at 7-17% in summer and 35-36% in autumn.

  16. Spectral composition of light and plant productivity.

    PubMed

    Tikhomirov, A A

    1996-01-01

    Among other problems the Institute of Biophysics is working on the development of physiological and fundamental aspects of intensive light cultivation of higher plants. These technologies can be used in life support systems for stationary space station such as a Lunar base, a planetary base or a large orbital station. The source of energy may be the Sun or a nuclear reactor. In certain conditions, such sources of energy allow the use of a very broad range of irradiance of plants, in particular in the light energy range up to 2-3 times the solar energy (up to 100-1200 W/m2 PAR). Our Institute was the first to show that under such a high irradiance, some plants (radish, wheat, for example) can actively photosynthesize and exhibit high productivity on a sowing area basis. These results were later confirmed in the laboratory of Prof. Salisbury (USA).

  17. A plant factory for moth pheromone production.

    PubMed

    Ding, Bao-Jian; Hofvander, Per; Wang, Hong-Lei; Durrett, Timothy P; Stymne, Sten; Löfstedt, Christer

    2014-02-25

    Moths depend on pheromone communication for mate finding and synthetic pheromones are used for monitoring or disruption of pheromone communication in pest insects. Here we produce moth sex pheromone, using Nicotiana benthamiana as a plant factory, by transient expression of up to four genes coding for consecutive biosynthetic steps. We specifically produce multicomponent sex pheromones for two species. The fatty alcohol fractions from the genetically modified plants are acetylated to mimic the respective sex pheromones of the small ermine moths Yponomeuta evonymella and Y. padella. These mixtures are very efficient and specific for trapping of male moths, matching the activity of conventionally produced pheromones. Our long-term vision is to design tailor-made production of any moth pheromone component in genetically modified plants. Such semisynthetic preparation of sex pheromones is a novel and cost-effective way of producing moderate to large quantities of pheromones with high purity and a minimum of hazardous waste.

  18. Does natural selection organize ecosystems for the maintenance of high productivity and diversity?

    PubMed Central

    Leigh, Egbert Giles; Vermeij, Geerat Jacobus

    2002-01-01

    Three types of evidence suggest that natural ecosystems are organized for high productivity and diversity: (i) changes not previously experienced by a natural ecosystem, such as novel human disturbances, tend to diminish its productivity and/or diversity, just as 'random' changes in a machine designed for a function usually impair its execution of that function; (ii) humans strive to recreate properties of natural ecosystems to enhance productivity of artificial ones, as farmers try to recreate properties of natural soils in their fields; and (iii) productivity and diversity have increased during the Earth's history as a whole, and after every major biotic crisis. Natural selection results in ecosystems organized to maintain high productivity of organic matter and diversity of species, just as competition among individuals in Adam Smith's ideal economy favours high production of wealth and diversity of occupations. In nature, poorly exploited energy attracts more efficient users. This circumstance favours the opening of new ways of life and more efficient recycling of resources, and eliminates most productivity-reducing 'ecological monopolies'. Ecological dominants tend to be replaced by successors with higher metabolism, which respond to more stimuli and engage in more varied interactions. Finally, increasingly efficient predators and herbivores favour faster turnover of resources. PMID:12079531

  19. Evaporation, transpiration, and ecosystem water use efficiency in a multi-annual sugarcane production system in Hawai'i, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, R. G.; Tirado-corbala, R.; Wang, D.; Ayars, J. E.

    2013-12-01

    Food and biofuel production will require practices that increase water use efficiency in order to have future sustainability in a water-constrained environment. One possible practice is the use of food and energy crops with multi-annual growing periods, which could reduce bare soil evaporation. We integrated field water budgets, micrometeorology, and plant sampling to observe plant growth and evapotranspiration (ET) in two sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum L.) fields in Hawai'i, USA in contrasting environments with unusually long (18-24 month) growing periods. We partitioned observed ET into evaporation and transpiration using a flux partitioning model and calculated ecosystem water use efficiency (EWUE=Net Ecosystem Productivity/ET) and harvest WUE (HWUE=Aboveground Net Ecosystem Productivity/ET) to assess sugarcane water use efficiency. After the start of the mid-period, our higher elevation, less windy field ('Lee') had a slightly higher mean EWUE (31.5 kg C ha-1 mm-1) than our lower elevation, windier ('Windy') field (mean EWUE of 30.7 kg C ha-1 mm-1). HWUE was also very high (HWUE >27 kg C ha-1 mm-1) in both fields due to aboveground biomass composing >87% of total biomass. Transpiration, as a fraction of total ET, increased rapidly with canopy cover in both fields; during the mid-period, transpiration was an average of 84% of total ET in Windy and 80% in Lee, with Lee showing greater variation than Windy. As expected, daily EWUE increased with canopy cover during the initial growing stages; more significantly, EWUE showed no substantial decrease during the 2nd year with an aging crop. The results illustrate the potential for longer-rotation crop cycles for increasing water use efficiency, particularly in tropical regions.

  20. Response of photosynthetic carbon gain to ecosystem retrogression of vascular plants and mosses in the boreal forest.

    PubMed

    Bansal, Sheel; Nilsson, Marie-Charlotte; Wardle, David A

    2012-07-01

    In the long-term absence of rejuvenating disturbances, forest succession frequently proceeds from a maximal biomass phase to a retrogressive phase characterized by reduced nutrient availability [notably nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P)] and net primary productivity. Few studies have considered how retrogression induces changes in ecophysiological responses associated with photosynthetic carbon (C) gain, and only for trees. We tested the hypothesis that retrogression would negatively impact photosynthetic C gain of four contrasting species, and that this impact would be greater for vascular plants (i.e., trees and shrubs) than for non-vascular plants (i.e., mosses). We used a 5,000-year-old chronosequence of forested islands in Sweden, where retrogression occurs in the long-term absence of lightning-ignited wildfires. Despite fundamental differences in plant form and ecological niche among species, vascular plants and mosses showed similar ecophysiological responses to retrogression. The most common effects of retrogression were reductions in photosynthesis and respiration per unit foliar N, increases in foliar N, δ(13)C and δ(15)N, and decreases in specific leaf areas. In contrast, photosynthesis per unit mass or area generally did not change along the chronosequence, but did vary many-fold between vascular plants and mosses. The consistent increases in foliar N without corresponding increases in mass- or area-based photosynthesis suggest that other factor(s), such as P co-limitation, light conditions or water availability, may co-regulate C gain in retrogressive boreal forests. Against our predictions, traits of mosses associated with C and N were generally highly responsive to retrogression, which has implications for how mosses influence ecosystem processes in boreal forests.

  1. Latitudinal variation of leaf stomatal traits from species to community level in forests: linkage with ecosystem productivity

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Ruili; Yu, Guirui; He, Nianpeng; Wang, Qiufeng; Zhao, Ning; Xu, Zhiwei; Ge, Jianping

    2015-01-01

    To explore the latitudinal variation of stomatal traits from species to community level and their linkage with net primary productivity (NPP), we investigated leaf stomatal density (SDL) and stomatal length (SLL) across 760 species from nine forest ecosystems in eastern China, and calculated the community-level SD (SDC) and SL (SLC) through species-specific leaf area index (LAI). Our results showed that latitudinal variation in species-level SDL and SLL was minimal, but community-level SDC and SLC decreased clearly with increasing latitude. The relationship between SD and SL was negative across species and different plant functional types (PFTs), but positive at the community level. Furthermore, community-level SDC correlated positively with forest NPP, and explained 51% of the variation in NPP. These findings indicate that the trade-off by regulating SDL and SLL may be an important strategy for plant individuals to adapt to environmental changes, and temperature acts as the main factor influencing community-level stomatal traits through alteration of species composition. Importantly, our findings provide new insight into the relationship between plant traits and ecosystem function. PMID:26403303

  2. Latitudinal variation of leaf stomatal traits from species to community level in forests: linkage with ecosystem productivity.

    PubMed

    Wang, Ruili; Yu, Guirui; He, Nianpeng; Wang, Qiufeng; Zhao, Ning; Xu, Zhiwei; Ge, Jianping

    2015-09-25

    To explore the latitudinal variation of stomatal traits from species to community level and their linkage with net primary productivity (NPP), we investigated leaf stomatal density (SDL) and stomatal length (SLL) across 760 species from nine forest ecosystems in eastern China, and calculated the community-level SD (SDC) and SL (SLC) through species-specific leaf area index (LAI). Our results showed that latitudinal variation in species-level SDL and SLL was minimal, but community-level SDC and SLC decreased clearly with increasing latitude. The relationship between SD and SL was negative across species and different plant functional types (PFTs), but positive at the community level. Furthermore, community-level SDC correlated positively with forest NPP, and explained 51% of the variation in NPP. These findings indicate that the trade-off by regulating SDL and SLL may be an important strategy for plant individuals to adapt to environmental changes, and temperature acts as the main factor influencing community-level stomatal traits through alteration of species composition. Importantly, our findings provide new insight into the relationship between plant traits and ecosystem function.

  3. Hyperspectral remote sensing application for monitoring and preservation of plant ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krezhova, Dora; Maneva, Svetla; Zdravev, Tomas; Petrov, Nikolay; Stoev, Antoniy

    Remote sensing technologies have advanced significantly at last decade and have improved the capability to gather information about Earth’s resources and environment. They have many applications in Earth observation, such as mapping and updating land-use and cover, weather forecasting, biodiversity determination, etc. Hyperspectral remote sensing offers unique opportunities in the environmental monitoring and sustainable use of natural resources. Remote sensing sensors on space-based platforms, aircrafts, or on ground, are capable of providing detailed spectral, spatial and temporal information on terrestrial ecosystems. Ground-based sensors are used to record detailed information about the land surface and to create a data base for better characterizing the objects which are being imaged by the other sensors. In this paper some applications of two hyperspectral remote sensing techniques, leaf reflectance and chlorophyll fluorescence, for monitoring and assessment of the effects of adverse environmental conditions on plant ecosystems are presented. The effect of stress factors such as enhanced UV-radiation, acid rain, salinity, viral infections applied to some young plants (potato, pea, tobacco) and trees (plums, apples, paulownia) as well as of some growth regulators were investigated. Hyperspectral reflectance and fluorescence data were collected by means of a portable fiber-optics spectrometer in the visible and near infrared spectral ranges (450-850 nm and 600-900 nm), respectively. The differences between the reflectance data of healthy (control) and injured (stressed) plants were assessed by means of statistical (Student’s t-criterion), first derivative, and cluster analysis and calculation of some vegetation indices in four most informative for the investigated species regions: green (520-580 nm), red (640-680 nm), red edge (690-720 nm) and near infrared (720-780 nm). Fluorescence spectra were analyzed at five characteristic wavelengths located at the

  4. MODIS vegetation products as proxies of photosynthetic potential: a look across meteorological and biologic driven ecosystem productivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Restrepo-Coupe, N.; Huete, A.; Davies, K.; Cleverly, J.; Beringer, J.; Eamus, D.; van Gorsel, E.; Hutley, L. B.; Meyer, W. S.

    2015-12-01

    A direct relationship between gross ecosystem productivity (GEP) measured by the eddy covariance (EC) method and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) vegetation indices (VIs) has been observed in many temperate and tropical ecosystems. However, in Australian evergreen forests, and particularly sclerophyll woodlands, MODIS VIs do not capture seasonality of GEP. In this study, we re-evaluate the connection between satellite and flux tower data at four contrasting Australian ecosystems, through comparisons of ecosystem photosynthetic activity (GEP) and potential (e.g. ecosystem light use efficiency and quantum yield) with MODIS vegetation satellite products, including VIs, gross primary productivity (GPPMOD), leaf area index (LAIMOD), and fraction of photosynthetic active radiation (fPARMOD). We found that satellite derived greenness products constitute a measurement of ecosystem structure (e.g. leaf area index - quantity of leaves) and function (e.g. leaf level photosynthetic assimilation capacity - quality of leaves), rather than productivity. Our results show that in primarily meteorological-driven (e.g. photosynthetic active radiation, air temperature and/or precipitation) and relatively aseasonal vegetation photosynthetic potential ecosystems (e.g. evergreen wet sclerophyll forests), there were no statistically significant relationships between GEP and satellite derived measures of greenness. In contrast, for phenology-driven ecosystems (e.g. tropical savannas), changes in the vegetation status drove GEP, and tower-based measurements of photosynthetic activity were best represented by VIs. We observed the highest correlations between MODIS products and GEP in locations where key meteorological variables and vegetation phenology were synchronous (e.g. semi-arid Acacia woodlands) and low correlation at locations where they were asynchronous (e.g. Mediterranean ecosystems). Eddy covariance data offer much more than validation and/or calibration of

  5. Provenance for actionable data products and indicators in marine ecosystem assessments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beaulieu, S. E.; Maffei, A. R.; Fox, P. A.; West, P.; Di Stefano, M.; Hare, J. A.; Fogarty, M.

    2013-12-01

    Ecosystem-based management of Large Marine Ecosystems (LMEs) involves the sharing of data and information products among a diverse set of stakeholders - from environmental and fisheries scientists to policy makers, commercial entities, nonprofits, and the public. Often the data products that are shared have resulted from a number of processing steps and may also have involved the combination of a number of data sources. The traceability from an actionable data product or indicator back to its original data source(s) is important not just for trust and understanding of each final data product, but also to compare with similar data products produced by the different stakeholder groups. For a data product to be traceable, its provenance, i.e., lineage or history, must be recorded and preferably machine-readable. We are collaborating on a use case to develop a software framework for the bi-annual Ecosystem Status Report (ESR) for the U.S. Northeast Shelf LME. The ESR presents indicators of ecosystem status including climate forcing, primary and secondary production, anthropogenic factors, and integrated ecosystem measures. Our software framework retrieves data, conducts standard analyses, provides iterative and interactive visualization, and generates final graphics for the ESR. The specific process for each data and information product is updated in a metadata template, including data source, code versioning, attribution, and related contextual information suitable for traceability, repeatability, explanation, verification, and validation. Here we present the use of standard metadata for provenance for data products in the ESR, in particular the W3C provenance (PROV) family of specifications, including the PROV-O ontology which maps the PROV data model to RDF. We are also exploring extensions to PROV-O in development (e.g., PROV-ES for Earth Science Data Systems, D-PROV for workflow structure). To associate data products in the ESR to domain-specific ontologies we are

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-04-01

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

  7. Invasive plant alters community and ecosystem dynamics by promoting native predators.

    PubMed

    Smith-Ramesh, Lauren M

    2017-03-01

    Placing invasion in a more complete food web context expands our understanding of species invasions to reflect the inherent complexity of ecological networks. Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) has traditionally been predicted to dominate native communities through mechanisms embodied in popular hypotheses such as direct plant-plant interactions (allelopathy) and plant-herbivore interactions (enemy escape). However, garlic mustard also interacts directly with native predators by providing habitat for web-building spiders, which colonize the dry fruit structures (siliques) that garlic mustard leaves behind after it senesces. This interaction may lead to altered food web structure, resulting previously unexamined invasion consequences. This idea was tested in a field experiment including three treatments in which garlic mustard siliques were left intact (S+), removed (S-), or native species dominated and garlic mustard was absent (N). When siliques were intact, estimated insect abundance was locally reduced in invaded plots compared to native plots, but this relationship disappeared when siliques were removed. Phosphorus availability and the growth of one native plant species were both elevated in invaded plots where siliques were intact compared to plots where siliques were removed. Results indicate that garlic mustard's close association with web-building spiders initiates cascading invader impacts on the native community and ecosystem properties. This work supports recent theory suggesting that taking a broader food web perspective may help predict invasion impacts in different environmental contexts.

  8. Tocopherol production in plant cell cultures.

    PubMed

    Caretto, Sofia; Nisi, Rossella; Paradiso, Annalisa; De Gara, Laura

    2010-05-01

    Tocopherols, collectively known as vitamin E, are lipophilic antioxidants, essential dietary components for mammals and exclusively synthesized by photosynthetic organisms. Of the four forms (alpha, beta, gamma and delta), alpha-tocopherol is the major vitamin E form present in green plant tissues, and has the highest vitamin E activity. Synthetic alpha-tocopherol, being a racemic mixture of eight different stereoisomers, always results less effective than the natural form (R,R,R) alpha-tocopherol. This raises interest in obtaining this molecule from natural sources, such as plant cell cultures. Plant cell and tissue cultures are able to produce and accumulate valuable metabolites that can be used as food additives, nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals. Sunflower cell cultures, growing under heterotrophic conditions, were exploited to establish a suitable in vitro production system of natural alpha-tocopherol. Optimization of culture conditions, precursor feeding and elicitor application were used to improve the tocopherol yields of these cultures. Furthermore, these cell cultures were useful to investigate the relationship between alpha-tocopherol biosynthesis and photomixotrophic culture conditions, revealing the possibility to enhance tocopherol production by favouring sunflower cell photosynthetic properties. The modulation of alpha-tocopherol levels in plant cell cultures can provide useful hints for a regulatory impact on tocopherol metabolism.

  9. Saving the sagebrush sea: An ecosystem conservation plan for big sagebrush plant communities

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Vegetation change and anthropogenic development are altering ecosystems and decreasing biodiversity. Successful management of ecosystems threatened by multiple stressors requires development of ecosystem conservation plans rather than single species plans. We selected the big sagebrush (Artemisia ...

  10. Terrestrial plant production and climate change.

    PubMed

    Friend, Andrew D

    2010-03-01

    The likely future increase in atmospheric CO(2) and associated changes in climate will affect global patterns of plant production. Models integrate understanding of the influence of the environment on plant physiological processes and so enable estimates of future changes to be made. Moreover, they allow us to assess the consequences of different assumptions for predictions and so stimulate further research. This paper is a review of the sensitivities of one such model, Hybrid6.5, a detailed mechanistic model of terrestrial primary production. This model is typical of its type, and the sensitivities of the global distribution of predicted production to model assumptions and possible future CO(2) levels and climate are assessed. Sensitivity tests show that leaf phenology has large effects on mean C(3) crop and needleleaved cold deciduous tree production, reducing potential net primary production (NPP) from that obtained using constant maximum annual leaf area index by 32.9% and 41.6%, respectively. Generalized Plant Type (GPT) specific parameterizations, particularly photosynthetic capacity per unit leaf N, affect mean predicted NPP of higher C(3) plants by -22.3% to 27.9%, depending on the GPT, compared to NPP predictions obtained using mean parameter values. An increase in atmospheric CO(2) concentrations from current values to 720 ppm by the end of this century, with associated effects on climate from a typical climate model, is predicted to increase global NPP by 37.3%. Mean increases range from 43.9-52.9% across different C(3) GPTs, whereas the mean NPP of C(4) grass and crop increases by 5.9%. Significant uncertainties concern the extent to which acclimative processes may reduce any potential future increase in primary production and the degree to which any gains are transferred to durable, and especially edible, biomass. Experimentalists and modellers need to work closely together to reduce these uncertainties. A number of research priorities are suggested

  11. Grazing responses in herbs in relation to herbivore selectivity and plant traits in an alpine ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Evju, Marianne; Austrheim, Gunnar; Halvorsen, Rune; Mysterud, Atle

    2009-08-01

    Herbivores shape plant communities through selective foraging. However, both herbivore selectivity and the plant's ability to tolerate or resist herbivory may depend on the density of herbivores. In an alpine ecosystem with a long history of grazing, plants are expected to respond to both enhanced and reduced grazing pressures, and the interaction between plant traits and changes in species abundance are expected to differ between the two types of alteration of grazing regime. To understand the mechanisms behind species response, we investigated the relationship between sheep selectivity (measured in situ), plant traits and experimentally derived measures of change in species abundance as a response to the enhancement (from low to high density) or cessation (from low to zero density) of sheep grazing pressure over a six-year time period for 22 abundant herb species in an alpine habitat in south Norway. Sheep selected large, late-flowering herbs with a low leaf C/N ratio. Species that increased in abundance in response to enhanced grazing pressure were generally small and had high root/shoot ratios, thus exhibiting traits that reflect both resistance (through avoidance) and tolerance (through regrowth capacity) strategies. The abundance of selected species remained stable during the study period, and also under the enhanced grazing pressure treatment. There was, however, a tendency for selected species to respond positively to cessation of grazing, although overall responses to cessation of grazing were much less pronounced than responses to enhanced grazing. Avoidance through short stature (probably associated with increased light availability through the removal of tall competitors) as well as a certain amount of regrowth capacity appear to be the main mechanisms behind a positive response to enhanced grazing pressure in this study. The plant trait perspective clearly improves our insight into the mechanisms behind observed changes in species abundance when the

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2012-01-01

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

  14. Riparian plant species loss alters trophic dynamics in detritus-based stream ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Lecerf, Antoine; Dobson, Michael; Dang, Christian K; Chauvet, Eric

    2005-12-01

    Riparian vegetation is closely connected to stream food webs through input of leaf detritus as a primary energy supply, and therefore, any alteration of plant diversity may influence aquatic ecosystem functioning. We measured leaf litter breakdown rate and associated biological parameters in mesh bags in eight headwater streams bordered either with mixed deciduous forest or with beech forest. The variety of leaf litter types in mixed forest results in higher food quality for large-particle invertebrate detritivores ('shredders') than in beech forest, which is dominated by a single leaf species of low quality. Breakdown rate of low quality (oak) leaf litter in coarse mesh bags was lower in beech forest streams than in mixed forest streams, a consequence of lower shredder biomass. In contrast, high quality (alder) leaf litter broke down at similar rates in both stream categories as a result of similar shredder biomass in coarse mesh bags. Microbial breakdown rate of oak and alder leaves, determined in fine mesh bags, did not differ between the stream categories. We found however aquatic hyphomycete species richness on leaf litter to positively co-vary with riparian plant species richness. Fungal species richness may enhance leaf litter breakdown rate through positive effects on resource quality for shredders. A feeding experiment established a positive relationship between fungal species richness per se and leaf litter consumption rate by an amphipod shredder (Gammarus fossarum). Our results show therefore that plant species richness may indirectly govern ecosystem functioning through complex trophic interactions. Integrating microbial diversity and trophic dynamics would considerably improve the prediction of the consequences of species loss.

  15. Nutrient limitation on ecosystem productivity and processes of mature and old-growth subtropical forests in China.

    PubMed

    Hou, Enqing; Chen, Chengrong; McGroddy, Megan E; Wen, Dazhi

    2012-01-01

    Nitrogen (N) is considered the dominant limiting nutrient in temperate regions, while phosphorus (P) limitation frequently occurs in tropical regions, but in subtropical regions nutrient limitation is poorly understood. In this study, we investigated N and P contents and N:P ratios of foliage, forest floors, fine roots and mineral soils, and their relationships with community biomass, litterfall C, N and P productions, forest floor turnover rate, and microbial processes in eight mature and old-growth subtropical forests (stand age >80 yr) at Dinghushan Biosphere Reserve, China. Average N:P ratios (mass based) in foliage, litter (L) layer and mixture of fermentation and humus (F/H) layer, and fine roots were 28.3, 42.3, 32.0 and 32.7, respectively. These values are higher than the critical N:P ratios for P limitation proposed (16-20 for foliage, ca. 25 for forest floors). The markedly high N:P ratios were mainly attributed to the high N concentrations of these plant materials. Community biomass, litterfall C, N and P productions, forest floor turnover rate and microbial properties were more strongly related to measures of P than N and frequently negatively related to the N:P ratios, suggesting a significant role of P availability in determining ecosystem production and productivity and nutrient cycling at all the study sites except for one prescribed disturbed site where N availability may also be important. We propose that N enrichment is probably a significant driver of the potential P limitation in the study area. Low P parent material may also contribute to the potential P limitation. In general, our results provided strong evidence supporting a significant role for P availability, rather than N availability, in determining ecosystem primary productivity and ecosystem processes in subtropical forests of China.

  16. MODIS vegetation products as proxies of photosynthetic potential along a gradient of meteorologically and biologically driven ecosystem productivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Restrepo-Coupe, Natalia; Huete, Alfredo; Davies, Kevin; Cleverly, James; Beringer, Jason; Eamus, Derek; van Gorsel, Eva; Hutley, Lindsay B.; Meyer, Wayne S.

    2016-10-01

    A direct relationship between gross ecosystem productivity (GEP) estimated by the eddy covariance (EC) method and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) vegetation indices (VIs) has been observed in many temperate and tropical ecosystems. However, in Australian evergreen forests, and particularly sclerophyll and temperate woodlands, MODIS VIs do not capture seasonality of GEP. In this study, we re-evaluate the connection between satellite and flux tower data at four contrasting Australian ecosystems, through comparisons of GEP and four measures of photosynthetic potential, derived via parameterization of the light response curve: ecosystem light use efficiency (LUE), photosynthetic capacity (Pc), GEP at saturation (GEPsat), and quantum yield (α), with MODIS vegetation satellite products, including VIs, gross primary productivity (GPPMOD), leaf area index (LAIMOD), and fraction of photosynthetic active radiation (fPARMOD). We found that satellite-derived biophysical products constitute a measurement of ecosystem structure (e.g. leaf area index - quantity of leaves) and function (e.g. leaf level photosynthetic assimilation capacity - quality of leaves), rather than GEP. Our results show that in primarily meteorological-driven (e.g. photosynthetic active radiation, air temperature, and/or precipitation) and relatively aseasonal ecosystems (e.g. evergreen wet sclerophyll forests), there were no statistically significant relationships between GEP and satellite-derived measures of greenness. In contrast, for phenology-driven ecosystems (e.g. tropical savannas), changes in the vegetation status drove GEP, and tower-based measurements of photosynthetic activity were best represented by VIs. We observed the highest correlations between MODIS products and GEP in locations where key meteorological variables and vegetation phenology were synchronous (e.g. semi-arid Acacia woodlands) and low correlation at locations where they were asynchronous (e

  17. Increased plant productivity and decreased microbial respiratory C loss by plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria under elevated CO2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nie, Ming; Bell, Colin; Wallenstein, Matthew D.; Pendall, Elise

    2015-03-01

    Increased plant productivity and decreased microbial respiratory C loss can potentially mitigate increasing atmospheric CO2, but we currently lack effective means to achieve these goals. Soil microbes may play critical roles in mediating plant productivity and soil C/N dynamics under future climate scenarios of elevated CO2 (eCO2) through optimizing functioning of the root-soil interface. By using a labeling technique with 13C and 15N, we examined the effects of plant growth-promoting Pseudomonas fluorescens on C and N cycling in the rhizosphere of a common grass species under eCO2. These microbial inoculants were shown to increase plant productivity. Although strong competition for N between the plant and soil microbes was observed, the plant can increase its capacity to store more biomass C per unit of N under P. fluorescens addition. Unlike eCO2 effects, P. fluorescens inoculants did not change mass-specific microbial respiration and accelerate soil decomposition related to N cycling, suggesting these microbial inoculants mitigated positive feedbacks of soil microbial decomposition to eCO2. The potential to mitigate climate change by optimizing soil microbial functioning by plant growth-promoting Pseudomonas fluorescens is a prospect for ecosystem management.

  18. Increased plant productivity and decreased microbial respiratory C loss by plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria under elevated CO₂.

    PubMed

    Nie, Ming; Bell, Colin; Wallenstein, Matthew D; Pendall, Elise

    2015-03-18

    Increased plant productivity and decreased microbial respiratory C loss can potentially mitigate increasing atmospheric CO₂, but we currently lack effective means to achieve these goals. Soil microbes may play critical roles in mediating plant productivity and soil C/N dynamics under future climate scenarios of elevated CO₂ (eCO₂) through optimizing functioning of the root-soil interface. By using a labeling technique with (13)C and (15)N, we examined the effects of plant growth-promoting Pseudomonas fluorescens on C and N cycling in the rhizosphere of a common grass species under eCO₂. These microbial inoculants were shown to increase plant productivity. Although strong competition for N between the plant and soil microbes was observed, the plant can increase its capacity to store more biomass C per unit of N under P. fluorescens addition. Unlike eCO₂ effects, P. fluorescens inoculants did not change mass-specific microbial respiration and accelerate soil decomposition related to N cycling, suggesting these microbial inoculants mitigated positive feedbacks of soil microbial decomposition to eCO₂. The potential to mitigate climate change by optimizing soil microbial functioning by plant growth-promoting Pseudomonas fluorescens is a prospect for ecosystem management.

  19. Increased plant productivity and decreased microbial respiratory C loss by plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria under elevated CO2

    PubMed Central

    Nie, Ming; Bell, Colin; Wallenstein, Matthew D.; Pendall, Elise

    2015-01-01

    Increased plant productivity and decreased microbial respiratory C loss can potentially mitigate increasing atmospheric CO2, but we currently lack effective means to achieve these goals. Soil microbes may play critical roles in mediating plant productivity and soil C/N dynamics under future climate scenarios of elevated CO2 (eCO2) through optimizing functioning of the root-soil interface. By using a labeling technique with 13C and 15N, we examined the effects of plant growth-promoting Pseudomonas fluorescens on C and N cycling in the rhizosphere of a common grass species under eCO2. These microbial inoculants were shown to increase plant productivity. Although strong competition for N between the plant and soil microbes was observed, the plant can increase its capacity to store more biomass C per unit of N under P. fluorescens addition. Unlike eCO2 effects, P. fluorescens inoculants did not change mass-specific microbial respiration and accelerate soil decomposition related to N cycling, suggesting these microbial inoculants mitigated positive feedbacks of soil microbial decomposition to eCO2. The potential to mitigate climate change by optimizing soil microbial functioning by plant growth-promoting Pseudomonas fluorescens is a prospect for ecosystem management. PMID:25784647

  20. Increasing donor ecosystem productivity decreases terrestrial consumer reliance on a stream resource subsidy.

    PubMed

    Davis, John M; Rosemond, Amy D; Small, Gaston E

    2011-11-01

    Because nutrient enrichment can increase ecosystem productivity, it may enhance resource flows to adjacent ecosystems as organisms cross ecosystem boundaries and subsidize predators in recipient ecosystems. Here, we quantified the biomass and abundance of aquatic emergence and terrestrial spiders in a reference and treatment stream that had been continuously enriched with nitrogen and phosphorus for 5 years. Because we previously showed that enrichment increased secondary production of stream consumers, we predicted that aquatic emergence flux would be higher in the treatment stream, subsequently increasing the biomass and abundance of terrestrial spiders. Those increases were predicted to be greatest for spiders specializing on aquatic emergence subsidies (e.g., Tetragnathidae). By adding a (15)N stable isotope tracer to both streams, we also quantified nitrogen flow from the stream into the riparian community. Emergence biomass, but not abundance, was higher in the treatment stream. The average body size of emerging adult insects and the relative dominance of Trichoptera adults were also greater in the treatment stream. However, spider biomass did not differ between streams. Spiders also exhibited substantially lower reliance on aquatic emergence nitrogen in the treatment stream. This reduced reliance likely resulted from shifts in the body size distributions and community composition of insect emergence that may have altered predator consumption efficiency in the treatment stream. Despite nutrient enrichment approximately doubling stream productivity and associated cross-ecosystem resource flows, the response of terrestrial predators depended more on the resource subsidy's characteristics that affected the predator's ability to capitalize on such increases.

  1. Modelling impacts of second generation bioenergy production on Ecosystem Services in Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henner, Dagmar; Smith, Pete; Davies, Christian; McNamara, Niall

    2016-04-01

    Bioenergy crops are an important source of renewable energy and are a possible mechanism to mitigate global climate warming, by replacing fossil fuel energy with higher greenhouse gas emissions. There is, however, uncertainty about the impacts of the growth of bioenergy crops on ecosystem services. This uncertainty is further enhanced by the unpredictable climate change currently going on. The goal of this project is to develop a comprehensive model that covers high impact, policy relevant ecosystem services at a Continental scale including biodiversity and pollination, water and air security, erosion control and soil security, GHG emissions, soil C and cultural services like tourism value. The technical distribution potential and likely yield of second generation energy crops, such as Miscanthus, Short Rotation Coppice (SRC) with willow, poplar, eucalyptus and other broadleaf species and Short Rotation Forestry (SRF), is currently being modelled using ECOSSE, DayCent, SalixFor and MiscanFor, and ecosystem models will be used to examine the impacts of these crops on ecosystem services. The project builds on models of energy crop production, biodiversity, soil impacts, greenhouse gas emissions and other ecosystem services, and on work undertaken in the UK on the ETI-funded ELUM project (www.elum.ac.uk). In addition, methods like water footprint tools, tourism value maps and ecosystem valuation tools and models (e.g. InVest, TEEB database, GREET LCA Model, World Business Council for Sustainable Development corporate ecosystem valuation, Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and the Ecosystem Services Framework) will be utilised. Research will focus on optimisation of land use change feedbacks on above named ecosystem services, impact on food security, land management practices and impacts from climate change. We will present results for GHG emissions and soil organic carbon change after different land use change scenarios (e.g. arable to Miscanthus, forest to SRF), and

  2. Building a better foundation: improving root-trait measurements to understand and model plant and ecosystem processes.

    PubMed

    McCormack, M Luke; Guo, Dali; Iversen, Colleen M; Chen, Weile; Eissenstat, David M; Fernandez, Christopher W; Li, Le; Ma, Chengen; Ma, Zeqing; Poorter, Hendrik; Reich, Peter B; Zadworny, Marcin; Zanne, Amy

    2017-03-13

    Trait-based approaches provide a useful framework to investigate plant strategies for resource acquisition, growth, and competition, as well as plant impacts on ecosystem processes. Despite significant progress capturing trait variation within and among stems and leaves, identification of trait syndromes within fine-root systems and between fine roots and other plant organs is limited. Here we discuss three underappreciated areas where focused measurements of fine-root traits can make significant contributions to ecosystem science. These include assessment of spatiotemporal variation in fine-root traits, integration of mycorrhizal fungi into fine-root-trait frameworks, and the need for improved scaling of traits measured on individual roots to ecosystem-level processes. Progress in each of these areas is providing opportunities to revisit how below-ground processes are represented in terrestrial biosphere models. Targeted measurements of fine-root traits with clear linkages to ecosystem processes and plant responses to environmental change are strongly needed to reduce empirical and model uncertainties. Further identifying how and when suites of root and whole-plant traits are coordinated or decoupled will ultimately provide a powerful tool for modeling plant form and function at local and global scales.

  3. Extreme precipitation patterns reduced terrestrial ecosystem production across biomass

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Precipitation regimes are predicted to shift to more extreme patterns that are characterized by more intense rainfall events and longer dry intervals, yet their ecological impacts on vegetation production remain uncertain across biomes in natural climatic conditions. This in situ study investigated ...

  4. Fact Sheet - Phosphate Fertilizer Production Plants and Phosphoric Acid Manufacturing Plants NESHAP

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Fact sheet summarizing National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for Phosphate Fertilizer Production Plants and Phosphoric Acid Manufacturing Plants (40 CFR 63 Subparts AA and BB).

  5. Water content differences have stronger effects than plant functional groups on soil bacteria in a steppe ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ximei; Barberán, Albert; Zhu, Xunzhi; Zhang, Guangming; Han, Xingguo

    2014-01-01

    Many investigations across natural and artificial plant diversity gradients have reported that both soil physicochemical factors and plant community composition affect soil microbial communities. To test the effect of plant diversity loss on soil bacterial communities, we conducted a five-year plant functional group removal experiment in a steppe ecosystem in Inner Mongolia (China). We found that the number and composition type of plant functional groups had no effect on bacterial diversity and community composition, or on the relative abundance of major taxa. In contrast, bacterial community patterns were significantly structured by soil water content differences among plots. Our results support researches that suggest that water availability is the key factor structuring soil bacterial communities in this semi-arid ecosystem.

  6. Community production modulates coral reef pH and the sensitivity of ecosystem calcification to ocean acidification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeCarlo, Thomas M.; Cohen, Anne L.; Wong, George T. F.; Shiah, Fuh-Kwo; Lentz, Steven J.; Davis, Kristen A.; Shamberger, Kathryn E. F.; Lohmann, Pat

    2017-01-01

    Coral reefs are built of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) produced biogenically by a diversity of calcifying plants, animals, and microbes. As the ocean warms and acidifies, there is mounting concern that declining calcification rates could shift coral reef CaCO3 budgets from net accretion to net dissolution. We quantified net ecosystem calcification (NEC) and production (NEP) on Dongsha Atoll, northern South China Sea, over a 2 week period that included a transient bleaching event. Peak daytime pH on the wide, shallow reef flat during the nonbleaching period was ˜8.5, significantly elevated above that of the surrounding open ocean (˜8.0-8.1) as a consequence of daytime NEP (up to 112 mmol C m-2 h-1). Diurnal-averaged NEC was 390 ± 90 mmol CaCO3 m-2 d-1, higher than any other coral reef studied to date despite comparable calcifier cover (25%) and relatively high fleshy algal cover (19%). Coral bleaching linked to elevated temperatures significantly reduced daytime NEP by 29 mmol C m-2 h-1. pH on the reef flat declined by 0.2 units, causing a 40% reduction in NEC in the absence of pH changes in the surrounding open ocean. Our findings highlight the interactive relationship between carbonate chemistry of coral reef ecosystems and ecosystem production and calcification rates, which are in turn impacted by ocean warming. As open-ocean waters bathing coral reefs warm and acidify over the 21st century, the health and composition of reef benthic communities will play a major role in determining on-reef conditions that will in turn dictate the ecosystem response to climate change.

  7. Design of a lunar oxygen production plant

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Radhakrishnan, Ramalingam

    1990-01-01

    To achieve permanent human presence and activity on the moon, oxygen is required for both life support and propulsion. Lunar oxygen production using resources existing on the moon will reduce or eliminate the need to transport liquid oxygen from earth. In addition, the co-products of oxygen production will provide metals, structural ceramics, and other volatile compounds. This will enable development of even greater self-sufficiency as the lunar outpost evolves. Ilmenite is the most abundant metal-oxide mineral in the lunar regolith. A process involving the reaction of ilmenite with hydrogen at 1000 C to produce water, followed by the electrolysis of this water to provide oxygen and recycle the hydrogen has been explored. The objective of this 1990 Summer Faculty Project was to design a lunar oxygen-production plant to provide 5 metric tons of liquid oxygen per year from lunar soil. The results of this study describe the size and mass of the equipment, the power needs, feedstock quantity and the engineering details of the plant.

  8. Dynamics of medicinal plants knowledge and commerce in an urban ecosystem (Pernambuco, Northeast Brazil).

    PubMed

    Monteiro, Julio Marcelino; Ramos, Marcelo Alves; Araújo, Elcida de Lima; Amorim, Elba Lúcia Cavalcanti; Albuquerque, Ulysses Paulino

    2011-07-01

    Given the importance of markets and fairs for the commerce of medicinal plants, an ethnobotanical study was undertaken at the Caruaru Fair (Pernambuco, northeastern Brazil) to compare the richness of species sold and their values of relative importance (RI) using two datasets collected with a 4-year interval. The seasonality of these plants' supplies was also analyzed. The Caruaru Fair is located in the 18 de Maio Park. It covers an area 40,000 m(2) and is used by merchants who sell several types of products, such as supplies, handicrafts, clay and aluminum utensils, shoes, clothes and medicinal plants. Semistructured interviews were carried out with the vendors who agreed to take part in the study in order to record which plants were sold and their respective indications. The plants were collected, and the species were determined. The information was analyzed with quantitative tools. A total of 169 plants were identified from both surveys, which were significantly different with regard to species richness (p < 0.05) but did not vary in relation to species' Relative Importance (p > 0.05). In relation to the seasonality of the plant supply, habit may explain the lack of some species during certain periods of the year, as most of the absent plants are herbaceous. In terms of the species most sold locally, it was found that spontaneous tree species are well known and extensively commercialized.

  9. Effect of an invasive plant and moonlight on rodent foraging behavior in a coastal dune ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Matthew D; De León, Yesenia L

    2015-01-01

    Understanding how invasive plants may alter predator avoidance behaviors is important for granivorous rodents because their foraging can trigger ripple effects in trophic webs. Previous research has shown that European beach grass Ammophila arenaria, an invasive species in coastal California, affects the predation of other seeds by the rodents Microtus californicus, Peromyscus maniculatus, and Reithrodontomys megalotis. This may be due to lower perceived predation risk by rodents foraging in close proximity to the cover provided by Ammophila, but this mechanism has not yet been tested. We examined the perceived predation risk of rodents by measuring the 'giving up density' of food left behind in experimental patches of food in areas with and without abundant cover from Ammophila and under varying amount of moonlight. We found strong evidence that giving up density was lower in the thick uniform vegetation on Ammophila-dominated habitat than it was in the more sparsely and diversely vegetated restored habitat. There was also evidence that moonlight affected giving up density and that it mediated the effects of habitat, although with our design we were unable to distinguish the effects of lunar illumination and moon phase. Our findings illustrate that foraging rodents, well known to be risk-averse during moonlit nights, are also affected by the presence of an invasive plant. This result has implications for granivory and perhaps plant demography in invaded and restored coastal habitats. Future research in this system should work to unravel the complex trophic links formed by a non-native invasive plant (i.e., Ammophila) providing cover favored by native rodents, which likely forage on and potentially limit the recruitment of native and non-native plants, some of which have ecosystem consequences of their own.

  10. Forecasting spatial plant dynamics under future climate change in a semiarid savanna ecosystem with complex topography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, X.; Fatichi, S.; Istanbulluoglu, E.; Vivoni, E. R.

    2011-12-01

    The space and time dynamics of savanna ecosystems in semiarid regions is tightly related to fluctuations and changes in the climate, and the competition strategies of individual plants for resources. In most parts of the southwest U.S., various General Circulation Models (GCMs) predict general warming trends with reduced annual precipitation amounts, and increased frequency of extreme droughts and wet periods in the 21st century. Despite the potential risks posed by climate change on vegetation patterns and hydrology, our ability to predict such changes at the catchment and regional scales is limited. In this study, we used a recently developed spatially explicit Cellular Automata Tree-Grass-Shrub Simulator (CATGraSS) to investigate the impacts of climate change on plant dynamics in a semiarid catchment (>3km2) located in the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge (SNWR) in central New Mexico, USA. In the catchment north-facing slopes are characterized by a juniper-grass savanna, and south-facing slopes by creosote bush and grass species. Initialized by LIDAR-derived tree locations and simulated grass and shrub patterns obtained from model calibration, CATGraSS is forced by a weather generator, AWE-GEN, used to downscale an ensemble of eight different GCM outputs at the study basin, producing multiple stochastic realizations of a transient climate scenario for the next hundred years. The ensemble simulations are used to examine the uncertainty in vegetation response and develop probabilistic plant distribution maps in relation to landscape morphology. This study highlights the importance of understanding local scale plant-to-plant interactions and the role of climate variability in determining climate change impacts on vegetation dynamics at varying spatial scales.

  11. Temperature as a determinant of plant productivity.

    PubMed

    Grace, J

    1988-01-01

    Quite small variations in temperature such as those that exist between the north and south of Britain, or on a local scale between north and south aspects of a hill, may cause large variations in plant productivity. An attempt is made to assess the effect of a 1 degree C increase in the mean temperature of the growing season by using published data from various sources. The conclusion reached is that a 1 degree C increase in a north temperate climate may be expected to increase plant productivity by about 10%, providing that other factors like water or nutrients do not become limiting. But, for annual crops, a negative effect of temperature has sometimes been observed. This may be because temperature speeds up the development of the crop and thus reduces the duration of photosynthesis. In the natural environment variations in solar radiation and wind speed may often exert an effect on growth because they influence the energy balance, altering the temperature of meristems and other plant tissues in subtle ways which have a significant impact on the pattern of carbon utilization. A more precise understanding of the relationship between growth and weather variables is unlikely to be achieved unless models are developed which enable integration of component processes of growth with what is known about the spatial and temporal variation in the weather variables.

  12. Antibody Production in Plants and Green Algae.

    PubMed

    Yusibov, Vidadi; Kushnir, Natasha; Streatfield, Stephen J

    2016-04-29

    Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have a wide range of modern applications, including research, diagnostic, therapeutic, and industrial uses. Market demand for mAbs is high and continues to grow. Although mammalian systems, which currently dominate the biomanufacturing industry, produce effective and safe recombinant mAbs, they have a limited manufacturing capacity and high costs. Bacteria, yeast, and insect cell systems are highly scalable and cost effective but vary in their ability to produce appropriate posttranslationally modified mAbs. Plants and green algae are emerging as promising production platforms because of their time and cost efficiencies, scalability, lack of mammalian pathogens, and eukaryotic posttranslational protein modification machinery. So far, plant- and algae-derived mAbs have been produced predominantly as candidate therapeutics for infectious diseases and cancer. These candidates have been extensively evaluated in animal models, and some have shown efficacy in clinical trials. Here, we review ongoing efforts to advance the production of mAbs in plants and algae.

  13. A biome-scale assessment of the impact of invasive alien plants on ecosystem services in South Africa.

    PubMed

    van Wilgen, B W; Reyers, B; Le Maitre, D C; Richardson, D M; Schonegevel, L

    2008-12-01

    This paper reports an assessment of the current and potential impacts of invasive alien plants on selected ecosystem services in South Africa. We used data on the current and potential future distribution of 56 invasive alien plant species to estimate their impact on four services (surface water runoff, groundwater recharge, livestock production and biodiversity) in five terrestrial biomes. The estimated reductions in surface water runoff as a result of current invasions were >3000 million m(3) (about 7% of the national total), most of which is from the fynbos (shrubland) and grassland biomes; the potential reductions would be more than eight times greater if invasive alien plants were to occupy the full extent of their potential range. Impacts on groundwater recharge would be less severe, potentially amounting to approximately 1.5% of the estimated maximum reductions in surface water runoff. Reductions in grazing capacity as a result of current levels of invasion amounted to just over 1% of the potential number of livestock that could be supported. However, future impacts could increase to 71%. A 'biodiversity intactness index' (the remaining proportion of pre-modern populations) ranged from 89% to 71% for the five biomes. With the exception of the fynbos biome, current invasions have almost no impact on biodiversity intactness. Under future levels of invasion, however, these intactness values decrease to around 30% for the savanna, fynbos and grassland biomes, but to even lower values (13% and 4%) for the two karoo biomes. Thus, while the current impacts of invasive alien plants are relatively low (with the exception of those on surface water runoff), the future impacts could be very high. While the errors in these estimates are likely to be substantial, the predicted impacts are sufficiently large to suggest that there is serious cause for concern.

  14. Use of Remote Sensing Products in a Terrestrial Ecosystems Verified Full Carbon Account: Experiences from Russia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shvidenko, Anatoly; Schepaschenko, Dmitry; McCallum, Ian; Santoro, Maurizio; Schmullius, Christine

    2011-01-01

    The paper considers the specifics, strengths and weaknesses of available remote sensing products within major steps and modules of a verified terrestrial ecosystems full carbon account (FCA) of Russia’s land. The methodology used is based on system integration of all available information sources and major methods of carbon accounting using IIASA’s landscape-ecosystem approach for overall designing of the account. A multi-sensor remote sensing concept is a corner stone of the methodology being substantially used for (1) georeferencing and parametrization of land cover and its change, (2) assessment of important biophysical and ecological parameters of ecosystems and landscapes, and (3) assessment of the impacts of environmental conditions on ecosystem productivity and disturbance regimes. System integration and mutual constraints of remote sensing and ground information allow for substantially decreasing uncertainty of the FCA. In the Russian case-study, the net ecosystem carbon balance of Russia for an individual year (2009) is estimated with uncertainty at 25-30% (CI 0.9), that presumably should satisfy current requirements to the FCA at the national (continental) scale.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Disturbance, complexity, and succession of net ecosystem production in North America’s temperate deciduous forests

    SciTech Connect

    Gough, Christopher; Curtis, Peter; Hardiman, Brady; Scheuermann, Cynthia; Bond-Lamberty, Benjamin

    2016-06-29

    Century-old forests in the U.S. upper Midwest and Northeast power much of North Amer- ica’s terrestrial carbon (C) sink, but these forests’ production and C sequestration capacity are expected to soon decline as fast-growing early successional species die and are replaced by slower growing late successional species. But will this really happen? Here we marshal empirical data and ecological theory to argue that substantial declines in net ecosystem production (NEP) owing to reduced forest growth, or net primary production (NPP), are not imminent in regrown temperate deciduous forests over the next several decades. Forest age and production data for temperate deciduous forests, synthesized from published literature, suggest slight declines in NEP and increasing or stable NPP during middle successional stages. We revisit long-held hypotheses by EP Odum and others that suggest low-severity, high-frequency disturbances occurring in the region’s aging forests will, against intuition, maintain NEP at higher-than- expected rates by increasing ecosystem complexity, sustaining or enhancing NPP to a level that largely o sets rising C losses as heterotrophic respiration increases. This theoretical model is also supported by biological evidence and observations from the Forest Accelerated Succession Experiment in Michigan, USA. Ecosystems that experience high-severity disturbances that simplify ecosystem complexity can exhibit substantial declines in production during middle stages of succession. However, observations from these ecosystems have exerted a disproportionate in uence on assumptions regarding the trajectory and magnitude of age-related declines in forest production. We conclude that there is a wide ecological space for forests to maintain NPP and, in doing so, lessens the declines in NEP, with signi cant implications for the future of the North American carbon sink. Our intellectual frameworks for understanding forest C cycle dynamics and resilience need to

  17. Plant productivity and heavy metal contamination

    SciTech Connect

    Guidi, G.V.; Petruzzelli, G.; Vallini, G.; Pera, A.

    1990-06-01

    This article describes the potential for use of composts from green waste and from municipal solid wastes for agricultural use in Italy. The accumulation of heavy metals in compost-amended soils and crops was evaluated and the influence of these composts on plant productivity was studied. Green compost was obtained from vegetable organic residues; municipal solid waste derived compost was obtained from the aerobic biostabilization of a mixture of the organic biodegradable fraction of municipal solid waste and sewage sludge. The two composts had good chemical characteristics and their use caused no pollution to soil and plants. The overall fertilizing effect was higher for green compost even though green compost and municipal solid waste derived compost had similar contents of primary elements of fertility.

  18. [Efficacy of plant products against herpetic infections].

    PubMed

    Schnitzler, P; Reichling, J

    2011-12-01

    Essential oils from various aromatic medicinal plants are highly active against some viral infections, e.g. labial herpes caused by herpes simplex virus type 1. Balm oil, tea tree oil and peppermint oil demonstrate in vitro a significant antiherpetic activity, mainly related to a direct drug-virus particle interaction, some essential oils also act directly virucidal. Interestingly, these essential oils are also highly active against acyclovir-resistant herpes simplex virus strains. In clinical studies, tea tree oil has been shown to possess antiherpetic, anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, as well as to accelerate the healing process of herpes labialis. Applying diluted essential oils three to four times daily for the antiherpetic treatment of affected areas is recommended. Some companies have marketed plant products, e.g. from Melissa, for the treatment of recurrent herpetic infections.

  19. Critical soil water period for primary production in Chihuahuan Desert ecosystems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In desert ecosystems where water is the main limiting factor, it is expected that net primary production (NPP) is largely determined by precipitation. However, precipitation alone often explains only a small portion of the variation in NPP, and the critical precipitation period for NPP varies by pla...

  20. Consumers regulate nutrient limitation regimes and primary production in seagrass ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Allgeier, Jacob E; Yeager, Lauren A; Layman, Craig A

    2013-02-01

    Consumer-mediated nutrient supply is increasingly recognized as an important functional process in many ecosystems. Yet, experimentation at relevant spatial and temporal scales is needed to fully integrate this bottom-up pathway into ecosystem models. Artificial reefs provide a unique approach to explore the importance of consumer nutrient supply for ecosystem function in coastal marine environments. We used bioenergetics models to estimate community-level nutrient supply by fishes, and relevant measures of primary production, to test the hypothesis that consumers, via excretion of nutrients, can enhance primary production and alter nutrient limitation regimes for two dominant primary producer groups (seagrass and benthic microalgae) around artificial reefs. Both producer groups demonstrated marked increases in production, as well as shifts in nutrient limitation regimes, with increased fish-derived nutrient supply. Individuals from the two dominant functional feeding groups (herbivores and mesopredators) supplied nutrients at divergent rates and ratios from one another, underscoring the importance of community structure for nutrient supply to primary producers. Our findings demonstrate that consumers, through an underappreciated bottom-up mechanism in marine environments, can alter nutrient limitation regimes and primary production, thereby fundamentally affecting the way these ecosystems function.

  1. Role of Osmotic Adjustment in Plant Productivity

    SciTech Connect

    Gebre, G.M.

    2001-01-11

    Successful implementation of short rotation woody crops requires that the selected species and clones be productive, drought tolerant, and pest resistant. Since water is one of the major limiting factors in poplar (Populus sp.) growth, there is little debate for the need of drought tolerant clones, except on the wettest of sites (e.g., lower Columbia River delta). Whether drought tolerance is compatible with productivity remains a debatable issue. Among the many mechanisms of drought tolerance, dehydration postponement involves the maintenance of high leaf water potential due to, for example, an adequate root system. This trait is compatible with productivity, but requires available soil moisture. When the plant leaf water potential and soil water content decline, the plant must be able to survive drought through dehydration tolerance mechanisms, such as low osmotic potential or osmotic adjustment. Osmotic adjustment and low osmotic potential are considered compatible with growth and yield because they aid in the maintenance of leaf turgor. However, it has been shown that turgor alone does not regulate cell expansion or stomatal conductance and, therefore, the role of osmotic adjustment is debated. Despite this finding, osmotic adjustment has been correlated with grain yield in agronomic crop species, and gene markers responsible for osmotic adjustment are being investigated to improve drought tolerance in productive progenies. Although osmotic adjustment and low osmotic potentials have been investigated in several forest tree species, few studies have investigated the relationship between osmotic adjustment and growth. Most of these studies have been limited to greenhouse or container-grown plants. Osmotic adjustment and rapid growth have been specifically associated in Populus and black spruce (Picea mariuna (Mill.) B.S.P.) progenies. We tested whether these relationships held under field conditions using several poplar clones. In a study of two hybrid poplar

  2. Ammonium as a Driving Force of Plant Diversity and Ecosystem Functioning: Observations Based on 5 Years' Manipulation of N Dose and Form in a Mediterranean Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Dias, Teresa; Clemente, Adelaide; Martins-Loução, Maria Amélia; Sheppard, Lucy; Bobbink, Roland; Cruz, Cristina

    2014-01-01

    Enhanced nitrogen (N) availability is one of the main drivers of biodiversity loss and degradation of ecosystem functions. However, in very nutrient-poor ecosystems, enhanced N input can, in the short-term, promote diversity. Mediterranean Basin ecosystems are nutrient-limited biodiversity hotspots, but no information is available on their medium- or long-term responses to enhanced N input. Since 2007, we have been manipulating the form and dose of available N in a Mediterranean Basin maquis in south-western Europe that has low ambient N deposition (<4 kg N ha−1 yr−1) and low soil N content (0.1%). N availability was modified by the addition of 40 kg N ha−1 yr−1 as a 1∶1 NH4Cl to (NH4)2SO4 mixture, and 40 and 80 kg N ha−1 yr−1 as NH4NO3. Over the following 5 years, the impacts on plant composition and diversity (richness and evenness) and some ecosystem characteristics (soil extractable N and organic matter, aboveground biomass and % of bare soil) were assessed. Plant species richness increased with enhanced N input and was more related to ammonium than to nitrate. Exposure to 40 kg NH4+-N ha−1 yr−1 (alone and with nitrate) enhanced plant richness, but did not increase aboveground biomass; soil extractable N even increased under 80 kg NH4NO3-N ha−1 yr−1 and the % of bare soil increased under 40 kg NH4+-N ha−1 yr−1. The treatment containing less ammonium, 40 kg NH4NO3-N ha−1 yr−1, did not enhance plant diversity but promoted aboveground biomass and reduced the % of bare soil. Data suggest that enhanced NHy availability affects the structure of the maquis, which may promote soil erosion and N leakage, whereas enhanced NOx availability leads to biomass accumulation which may increase the fire risk. These observations are relevant for land use management in biodiverse and fragmented ecosystems such as the maquis, especially in conservation areas. PMID:24695101

  3. Use of Plant Hydraulic Theory to Predict Ecosystem Fluxes Across Mountainous Gradients in Environmental Controls and Insect Disturbances

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ewers, B. E.; Pendall, E.; Reed, D. E.; Barnard, H. R.; Whitehouse, F.; Frank, J. M.; Massman, W. J.; Brooks, P. D.; Biederman, J. A.; Harpold, A. A.; Naithani, K. J.; Mitra, B.; Mackay, D. S.; Norton, U.; Borkhuu, B.

    2011-12-01

    While mountainous areas are critical for providing numerous ecosystem benefits at the regional scale, the strong gradients in environmental controls make predictions difficult. A key part of the problem is quantifying and predicting the feedback between mountain gradients and plant function which then controls ecosystem cycling. The emerging theory of plant hydraulics provides a rigorous yet simple platform from which to generate testable hypotheses and predictions of ecosystem pools and fluxes. Plant hydraulic theory predicts that plant controls over carbon, water, energy and nutrient fluxes can be derived from the limitation of plant water transport from the soil through xylem and out of stomata. In addition, the limit to plant water transport can be predicted by combining plant structure (e.g. xylem diameters or root-to-shoot ratios) and plant function (response of stomatal conductance to vapor pressure deficit or root vulnerability to cavitation). We evaluate the predictions of the plant hydraulic theory by testing it against data from a mountain gradient encompassing sagebrush steppe through subalpine forests (2700 to 3400 m). We further test the theory by predicting the carbon, water and nutrient exchanges from several coniferous trees in the same gradient that are dying from xylem dysfunction caused by blue-stain fungi carried by bark beetles. The common theme of both of these data sets is a change in water limitation caused by either changing precipitation along the mountainous gradient or lack of access to soil water from xylem-occluding fungi. Across all of the data sets which range in scale from individual plants to hillslopes, the data fit the predictions of plant hydraulic theory. Namely, there was a proportional tradeoff between the reference canopy stomatal conductance to water vapor and the sensitivity of that conductance to vapor pressure deficit that quantitatively fits the predictions of plant hydraulic theory. Incorporating this result into

  4. Can plant phloem properties affect the link between ecosystem assimilation and respiration?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mencuccini, M.; Hölttä, T.; Sevanto, S.; Nikinmaa, E.

    2012-04-01

    Phloem transport of carbohydrates in plants under field conditions is currently not well understood. This is largely the result of the lack of techniques suitable for measuring phloem physiological properties continuously under field conditions. This lack of knowledge is currently hampering our efforts to link ecosystem-level processes of carbon fixation, allocation and use, especially belowground. On theoretical grounds, the properties of the transport pathway from canopy to roots must be important in affecting the link between carbon assimilation and respiration, but it is unclear whether their effect is partially or entirely masked by processes occurring in other parts of the ecosystem. One can also predict the characteristic time scales over which these effects should occur and, as consequence, predict whether the transfer of turgor and osmotic signals from the site of carbon assimilation to the sites of carbon use are likely to control respiration. We will present two sources of evidence suggesting that the properties of the phloem transport system may affect processes that are dependent on the supply of carbon substrate, such as root or soil respiration. Firstly, we will summarize the results of a literature survey on soil and ecosystem respiration where the speed of transfer of photosynthetic sugars from the plant canopy to the soil surface was determined. Estimates of the transfer speed could be grouped according to whether the study employed isotopic or canopy soil flux-based techniques. These two groups provided very different estimates of transfer times likely because transport of sucrose molecules, and pressure-concentration waves, in phloem differed. Secondly, we will argue that simultaneous measurements of bark and xylem diameters provide a novel tool to determine the continuous variations of phloem turgor in vivo in the field. We will present a model that interprets these changes in xylem and live bark diameters and present data testing the model

  5. Model-based analysis of environmental controls over ecosystem primary production in an alpine tundra dry meadow

    DOE PAGES

    Fan, Zhaosheng; Neff, Jason C.; Wieder, William R.

    2016-02-10

    We investigated several key limiting factors that control alpine tundra productivity by developing an ecosystem biogeochemistry model. The model simulates the coupled cycling of carbon (C), nitrogen (N), and phosphorus (P) and their interactions with gross primary production (GPP). It was parameterized with field observations from an alpine dry meadow ecosystem using a global optimization strategy to estimate the unknown parameters. The model, along with the estimated parameters, was first validated against independent data and then used to examine the environmental controls over plant productivity. Our results show that air temperature is the strongest limiting factor to GPP in themore » early growing season, N availability becomes important during the middle portion of the growing season, and soil moisture is the strongest limiting factors by late in the growing season. Overall, the controls over GPP during the growing season, from strongest to weakest, are soil moisture content, air temperature, N availability, and P availability. This simulation provides testable predictions of the shifting nature of physical and nutrient limitations on plant growth. The model also indicates that changing environmental conditions in the alpine will likely lead to changes in productivity. For example, warming eliminates the control of P availability on GPP and makes N availability surpass air temperature to become the second strongest limiting factor. In contrast, an increase in atmospheric nutrient deposition eliminates the control of N availability and enhances the importance of P availability. Furthermore, these analyses provide a quantitative and conceptual framework that can be used to test predictions and refine ecological analyses at this long-term ecological research site.« less

  6. Model-based analysis of environmental controls over ecosystem primary production in an alpine tundra dry meadow

    SciTech Connect

    Fan, Zhaosheng; Neff, Jason C.; Wieder, William R.

    2016-02-10

    We investigated several key limiting factors that control alpine tundra productivity by developing an ecosystem biogeochemistry model. The model simulates the coupled cycling of carbon (C), nitrogen (N), and phosphorus (P) and their interactions with gross primary production (GPP). It was parameterized with field observations from an alpine dry meadow ecosystem using a global optimization strategy to estimate the unknown parameters. The model, along with the estimated parameters, was first validated against independent data and then used to examine the environmental controls over plant productivity. Our results show that air temperature is the strongest limiting factor to GPP in the early growing season, N availability becomes important during the middle portion of the growing season, and soil moisture is the strongest limiting factors by late in the growing season. Overall, the controls over GPP during the growing season, from strongest to weakest, are soil moisture content, air temperature, N availability, and P availability. This simulation provides testable predictions of the shifting nature of physical and nutrient limitations on plant growth. The model also indicates that changing environmental conditions in the alpine will likely lead to changes in productivity. For example, warming eliminates the control of P availability on GPP and makes N availability surpass air temperature to become the second strongest limiting factor. In contrast, an increase in atmospheric nutrient deposition eliminates the control of N availability and enhances the importance of P availability. Furthermore, these analyses provide a quantitative and conceptual framework that can be used to test predictions and refine ecological analyses at this long-term ecological research site.

  7. Mortality gradients within and among dominant plant populations as barometers of ecosystem change during extreme drought.

    PubMed

    Gitlin, Alicyn R; Sthultz, Christopher M; Bowker, Matthew A; Stumpf, Stacy; Paxton, Kristina L; Kennedy, Karla; Muñoz, Axhel; Bailey, Joseph K; Whitham, Thomas G

    2006-10-01

    Understanding patterns of plant population mortality during extreme weather events is important to conservation planners because the frequency of such events is expected to increase, creating the need to integrate climatic uncertainty into management. Dominant plants provide habitat and ecosystem structure, so changes in their distribution can be expected to have cascading effects on entire communities. Observing areas that respond quickly to climate fluctuations provides foresight into future ecological changes and will help prioritize conservation efforts. We investigated patterns of mortality in six dominant plant species during a drought in the southwestern United States. We quantified population mortality for each species across its regional distribution and tested hypotheses to identify ecological stress gradients for each species. Our results revealed three major patterns: (1) dominant species from diverse habitat types (i.e., riparian, chaparral, and low- to high-elevation forests) exhibited significant mortality, indicating that the effects of drought were widespread; (2) average mortality differed among dominant species (one-seed juniper[Juniperus monosperma (Engelm.) Sarg.] 3.3%; manzanita[Arctostaphylos pungens Kunth], 14.6%; quaking aspen[Populus tremuloides Michx.], 15.4%; ponderosa pine[Pinus ponderosa P. & C. Lawson], 15.9%; Fremont cottonwood[Populus fremontii S. Wats.], 20.7%; and pinyon pine[Pinus edulis Engelm.], 41.4%); (3) all dominant species showed localized patterns of very high mortality (24-100%) consistent with water stress gradients. Land managers should plan for climatic uncertainty by promoting tree recruitment in rare habitat types, alleviating unnatural levels of competition on dominant plants, and conserving sites across water stress gradients. High-stress sites, such as those we examined, have conservation value as barometers of change and because they may harbor genotypes that are adapted to climatic extremes.

  8. Plant carbon-nutrient interactions control CO{sub 2} exchange in Alaskan wet sedge tundra ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, L.C.; Shaver, G.R.; Cades, D.H.; Rastetter, E.; Nadelhoffer, K.; Giblin, A.; Laundre, J.; Stanley, A.

    2000-02-01

    The authors explored the long-term (8-yr) effects of separate field manipulations of temperature and nutrient availability on carbon balance in wet sedge tundra near the Arctic Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) site at Toolik Lake, Alaska. Their goals were (1) to assess the relative importance of chronic warming (with field greenhouses) and increased N and P availability (by fertilization) in controlling gross ecosystem photosynthesis, ecosystem respiration, and ultimately ecosystem C balance; and (2) to attempt to partition ecosystem responses to these treatments between plant and soil contributions. The authors present results of the effects of these manipulations on whole-system CO{sub 2} exchange over seasonal and duel cycles, and on nonrhizosphere soil microbial respiration using in situ soil incubations.

  9. Elevated atmospheric CO2 stimulates soil fungal diversity through increased fine root production in a semiarid shrubland ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Lipson, David A; Kuske, Cheryl R; Gallegos-Graves, La Verne; Oechel, Walter C

    2014-08-01

    Soil fungal communities are likely to be central in mediating microbial feedbacks to climate change through their effects on soil carbon (C) storage, nutrient cycling, and plant health. Plants often produce increased fine root biomass in response to elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2 ), but the responses of soil microbial communities are variable and uncertain, particularly in terms of species diversity. In this study, we describe the responses of the soil fungal community to free air CO2 enrichment (FACE) in a semiarid chaparral shrubland in Southern California (dominated by Adenomstoma fasciculatum) using large subunit rRNA gene sequencing. Community composition varied greatly over the landscape and responses to FACE were subtle, involving a few specific groups. Increased frequency of Sordariomycetes and Leotiomycetes, the latter including the Helotiales, a group that includes many dark septate endophytes known to associate positively with roots, was observed in the FACE plots. Fungal diversity, both in terms of richness and evenness, increased consistently in the FACE treatment, and was relatively high compared to other studies that used similar methods. Increases in diversity were observed across multiple phylogenetic levels, from genus to class, and were distributed broadly across fungal lineages. Diversity was also higher in samples collected close to (5 cm) plants compared to samples in canopy gaps (30 cm away from plants). Fungal biomass correlated well with soil organic matter (SOM) content, but patterns of diversity were correlated with fine root production rather than SOM. We conclude that the fungal community in this ecosystem is tightly linked to plant fine root production, and that future changes in the fungal community in response to elevated CO2 and other climatic changes will be primarily driven by changes in plant belowground allocation. Potential feedbacks mediated by soil fungi, such as soil C sequestration, nutrient cycling, and

  10. Interactive effects among ecosystem services and management practices on crop production: pollination in coffee agroforestry systems.

    PubMed

    Boreux, Virginie; Kushalappa, Cheppudira G; Vaast, Philippe; Ghazoul, Jaboury

    2013-05-21

    Crop productivity is improved by ecosystem services, including pollination, but this should be set in the context of trade-offs among multiple management practices. We investigated the impact of pollination services on coffee production, considering variation in fertilization, irrigation, shade cover, and environmental variables such as rainfall (which stimulates coffee flowering across all plantations), soil pH, and nitrogen availability. After accounting for management interventions, bee abundance improved coffee production (number of berries harvested). Some management interventions, such as irrigation, used once to trigger asynchronous flowering, dramatically increased bee abundance at coffee trees. Others, such as the extent and type of tree cover, revealed interacting effects on pollination and, ultimately, crop production. The effects of management interventions, notably irrigation and addition of lime, had, however, far more substantial positive effects on coffee production than tree cover. These results suggest that pollination services matter, but managing the asynchrony of flowering was a more effective tool for securing good pollination than maintaining high shade tree densities as pollinator habitat. Complex interactions across farm and landscape scales, including both management practices and environmental conditions, shape pollination outcomes. Effective production systems therefore require the integrated consideration of management practices in the context of the surrounding habitat structure. This paper points toward a more strategic use of ecosystem services in agricultural systems, where ecosystem services are shaped by the coupling of management interventions and environmental variables.

  11. Direct effects of atmospheric CO/sub 2/ enrichment on plants and ecosystems: a bibliography with abstracts

    SciTech Connect

    Strain, B.R.; Cure, J.D.

    1986-06-01

    This bibliography contains 1032 references, with authors abstracts or summaries where possible, on the subject of direct effects of atmospheric CO/sub 2/ enrichment on plants and ecosystems. The references are indexed by keywords, which appear in the title or abstract of the reference or describe the subject of the paper. The bibliography is preceded by an Introduction, which summarizes the possible global consequences of increased atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide with emphasis on the direct effects on plants and their responses.

  12. 7 CFR 302.2 - Movement of plants and plant products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Movement of plants and plant products. 302.2 Section 302.2 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA; MOVEMENT OF PLANTS AND PLANT...

  13. 7 CFR 302.2 - Movement of plants and plant products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Movement of plants and plant products. 302.2 Section 302.2 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA; MOVEMENT OF PLANTS AND PLANT...

  14. 7 CFR 302.2 - Movement of plants and plant products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Movement of plants and plant products. 302.2 Section 302.2 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA; MOVEMENT OF PLANTS AND PLANT...

  15. 7 CFR 302.2 - Movement of plants and plant products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Movement of plants and plant products. 302.2 Section 302.2 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA; MOVEMENT OF PLANTS AND PLANT...

  16. 7 CFR 302.2 - Movement of plants and plant products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Movement of plants and plant products. 302.2 Section 302.2 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA; MOVEMENT OF PLANTS AND PLANT...

  17. Plant litter chemistry and microbial priming regulate the accrual, composition and stability of soil carbon in invaded ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Tamura, Mioko; Tharayil, Nishanth

    2014-07-01

    Soil carbon (C) sequestration, as an ecosystem property, may be strongly influenced by invasive plants capable of depositing disproportionately high quantities of chemically distinct litter that disrupt ecosystem processes. However, a mechanistic understanding of the processes that regulate soil C storage in invaded ecosystems remains surprisingly elusive. Here, we studied the impact of the invasion of two noxious nonnative species, Polygonum cuspidatum, which produces recalcitrant litter, and Pueraria lobata, which produces labile litter, on the quantity, molecular composition, and stability of C in the soils they invade. Compared with an adjacent noninvaded old-field, P. cuspidatum-invaded soils exhibited a 26% increase in C, partially through selective preservation of plant polymers. Despite receiving a 22% higher litter input, P. lobata-invaded Pinus stands exhibited a 28% decrease in soil C and a twofold decrease in plant biomarkers, indicating microbial priming of native soil C. The stability of C exhibited an opposite trend: the proportion of C that was resistant to oxidation was 21% lower in P. cuspidatum-invaded soils and 50% higher in P. lobata-invaded soils. Our results highlight the capacity of invasive plants to feed back to climate change by destabilizing native soil C stocks and indicate that environments that promote the biochemical decomposition of plant litter would enhance the long-term storage of soil C. Further, our study highlights the concurrent influence of dominant plant species on both selective preservation and humification of soil organic matter.

  18. Plant colonization, succession and ecosystem development on Surtsey with reference to neighbouring islands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Magnússon, B.; Magnússon, S. H.; Ólafsson, E.; Sigurdsson, B. D.

    2014-10-01

    Plant colonization and succession on the volcanic island of Surtsey, formed in 1963, have been closely followed. In 2013, a total of 69 vascular plant species had been discovered on the island; of these, 59 were present and 39 had established viable populations. Surtsey had more than twice the species of any of the comparable neighbouring islands, and all of their common species had established on Surtsey. The first colonizers were dispersed by sea, but, after 1985, bird dispersal became the principal pathway with the formation of a seagull colony on the island and consequent site amelioration. This allowed wind-dispersed species to establish after 1990. Since 2007, there has been a net loss of species on the island. A study of plant succession, soil formation and invertebrate communities in permanent plots on Surtsey and on two older neighbouring islands (plants and soil) has revealed that seabirds, through their transfer of nutrients from sea to land, are major drivers of development of these ecosystems. In the area impacted by seagulls, dense grassland swards have developed and plant cover, species richness, diversity, plant biomass and soil carbon become significantly higher than in low-impact areas, which remained relatively barren. A similar difference was found for the invertebrate fauna. After 2000, the vegetation of the oldest part of the seagull colony became increasingly dominated by long-lived, rhizomatous grasses (Festuca, Poa, Leymus) with a decline in species richness and diversity. Old grasslands of the neighbouring islands Elliđaey (puffin colony, high nutrient input) and Heimaey (no seabirds, low nutrient input) contrasted sharply. The puffin grassland of Elliđaey was very dense and species-poor. It was dominated by Festuca and Poa, and very similar to the seagull grassland developing on Surtsey. The Heimaey grassland was significantly higher in species richness and diversity, and had a more even cover of dominants (Festuca

  19. Plant colonization, succession and ecosystem development on Surtsey with reference to neighbouring islands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Magnússon, B.; Magnússon, S. H.; Ólafsson, E.; Sigurdsson, B. D.

    2014-06-01

    Plant colonization and succession on Surtsey volcanic island, formed in 1963, have been closely followed. In 2013, a total of 69 vascular plant species had been discovered on the island; of these 59 were present and 39 had established viable populations. Surtsey had more than twice the species of any of the comparable neighbouring islands and all their common species had established on Surtsey. The first colonizers were dispersed by sea, but after 1985 bird-dispersal became the principal pathway with the formation of a seagull colony on the island and consequent site amelioration. This allowed wind-dispersed species to establish after 1990. Since 2007 there has been a net loss of species on the island. A study of plant succession, soil formation and invertebrate communities in permanent plots on Surtsey and on two older neighbouring islands (plants and soil) has revealed that seabirds, through their transfer of nutrients from sea to land, are major drivers of development of these ecosystems. In the area impacted by seagulls dense grassland swards have developed and plant cover, species richness, diversity, plant biomass and soil carbon become significantly higher than in low-impact areas, which remained relatively barren. A similar difference was found for the invertebrate fauna. After 2000, the vegetation of the oldest part of the seagull colony became increasingly dominated by long-lived, rhizomatous grasses (Festuca, Poa, Leymus) with a decline in species richness and diversity. Old grasslands of the neighbouring islands Elliðaey (puffin colony, high nutrient input) and Heimaey (no seabirds, low nutrient input) contrasted sharply. The puffin grassland of Elliðaey was very dense and species-poor. Dominated by Festuca and Poa, it it was very similar to the seagull grassland developing on Surtsey. The Heimaey grassland was significantly higher in species richness and diversity, and had a more even cover of dominants (Festuca/Agrostis/Ranunculus). We forecast that

  20. Gene expression profiling--Opening the black box of plant ecosystem responses to global change

    SciTech Connect

    Leakey, A.D.B.; Ainsworth, E.A.; Bernard, S.M.; Markelz, R.J.C.; Ort, D.R.; Placella, S.A.P.; Rogers, A.; Smith, M.D.; Sudderth, E.A.; Weston, D.J.; Wullschleger, S.D.; Yuan, S.

    2009-11-01

    The use of genomic techniques to address ecological questions is emerging as the field of genomic ecology. Experimentation under environmentally realistic conditions to investigate the molecular response of plants to meaningful changes in growth conditions and ecological interactions is the defining feature of genomic ecology. Since the impact of global change factors on plant performance are mediated by direct effects at the molecular, biochemical and physiological scales, gene expression analysis promises important advances in understanding factors that have previously been consigned to the 'black box' of unknown mechanism. Various tools and approaches are available for assessing gene expression in model and non-model species as part of global change biology studies. Each approach has its own unique advantages and constraints. A first generation of genomic ecology studies in managed ecosystems and mesocosms have provided a testbed for the approach and have begun to reveal how the experimental design and data analysis of gene expression studies can be tailored for use in an ecological context.

  1. Very-high-resolution time-lapse photography for plant and ecosystems research1

    PubMed Central

    Nichols, Mary H.; Steven, Janet C.; Sargent, Randy; Dille, Paul; Schapiro, Joshua

    2013-01-01

    • Premise of the study: Traditional photography is a compromise between image detail and area covered. We report a new method for creating time-lapse sequences of very-high-resolution photographs to produce zoomable images that facilitate observation across a range of spatial and temporal scales. • Methods and Results: A robotic camera mount and software were used to capture images of the growth and movement in Brassica rapa every 15 s in the laboratory. The resultant time-lapse sequence (http://timemachine.gigapan.org/wiki/Plant_Growth) captures growth detail such as circumnutation. A modified, solar-powered system was deployed at a remote field site in southern Arizona. Images were collected every 2 h over a 3-mo period to capture the response of vegetation to monsoon season rainfall (http://timemachine.gigapan.org/wiki/Arizona_Grasslands). • Conclusions: A technique for observing time sequences of both individual plant and ecosystem response at a range of spatial scales is available for use in the laboratory and in the field. PMID:25202588

  2. The new flora of northeastern USA: quantifying introduced plant species occupancy in forest ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Schulz, Bethany K; Gray, Andrew N

    2013-05-01

    Introduced plant species have significant negative impacts in many ecosystems and are found in many forests around the world. Some factors linked to the distribution of introduced species include fragmentation and disturbance, native species richness, and climatic and physical conditions of the landscape. However, there are few data sources that enable the assessment of introduced species occupancy in native plant communities over broad regions. Vegetation data from 1,302 forest inventory plots across 24 states in northeastern and mid-western USA were used to examine and compare the distribution of introduced species in relation to forest fragmentation across ecological provinces and forest types, and to examine correlations between native and introduced species richness. There were 305 introduced species recorded, and 66 % of all forested plots had at least one introduced species. Forest edge plots had higher constancy and occupancy of introduced species than intact forest plots, but the differences varied significantly among ecological provinces and, to a lesser degree, forest types. Weak but significant positive correlations between native and introduced species richness were observed most often in intact forests. Rosa multiflora was the most common introduced species recorded across the region, but Hieracium aurantiacum and Epipactus helleborine were dominant in some ecological provinces. Identifying regions and forest types with high and low constancies and occupation by introduced species can help target forest stands where management actions will be the most effective. Identifying seemingly benign introduced species that are more prevalent than realized will help focus attention on newly emerging invasives.

  3. Estimating daytime ecosystem respiration to improve estimates of gross primary production of a temperate forest.

    PubMed

    Sun, Jinwei; Wu, Jiabing; Guan, Dexin; Yao, Fuqi; Yuan, Fenghui; Wang, Anzhi; Jin, Changjie

    2014-01-01

    Leaf respiration is an important component of carbon exchange in terrestrial ecosystems, and estimates of leaf respiration directly affect the accuracy of ecosystem carbon budgets. Leaf respiration is inhibited by light; therefore, gross primary production (GPP) will be overestimated if the reduction in leaf respiration by light is ignored. However, few studies have quantified GPP overestimation with respect to the degree of light inhibition in forest ecosystems. To determine the effect of light inhibition of leaf respiration on GPP estimation, we assessed the variation in leaf respiration of seedlings of the dominant tree species in an old mixed temperate forest with different photosynthetically active radiation levels using the Laisk method. Canopy respiration was estimated by combining the effect of light inhibition on leaf respiration of these species with within-canopy radiation. Leaf respiration decreased exponentially with an increase in light intensity. Canopy respiration and GPP were overestimated by approximately 20.4% and 4.6%, respectively, when leaf respiration reduction in light was ignored compared with the values obtained when light inhibition of leaf respiration was considered. This study indicates that accurate estimates of daytime ecosystem respiration are needed for the accurate evaluation of carbon budgets in temperate forests. In addition, this study provides a valuable approach to accurately estimate GPP by considering leaf respiration reduction in light in other ecosystems.

  4. Production and food web efficiency decrease as fishing activity increases in a coastal ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anh, Pham Viet; Everaert, Gert; Goethals, Peter; Vinh, Chu Tien; De Laender, Frederik

    2015-11-01

    Fishing effort in the Vietnamese coastal ecosystem has rapidly increased from the 1990s to the 2000s, with unknown consequences for local ecosystem structure and functioning. Using ecosystem models that integrate fisheries and food webs we found profound differences in the production of six functional groups, the food web efficiency, and eight functional food web indices between the 1990s (low fishing intensity) and the 2000s (high fishing intensity). The functional attributes (e.g. consumption) of high trophic levels (e.g. predators) were lower in the 2000s than in the 1990s while primary production did not vary, causing food web efficiency to decrease up to 40% with time for these groups. The opposite was found for lower trophic levels (e.g. zooplankton): the functional attributes and food web efficiency increased with time (22 and 10% for the functional attributes and food web efficiency, respectively). Total system throughput, a functional food web index, was about 10% higher in the 1990s than in the 2000s, indicating a reduction of the system size and activity with time. The network analyses further indicated that the Vietnamese coastal ecosystem in the 1990s was more developed (higher ascendancy and capacity), more stable (higher overhead) and more mature (higher ratio of ascendancy and capacity) than in the 2000s. In the 1990s the recovery time of the ecosystem was shorter than in 2000s, as indicated by a higher Finn's cycling index in the 1990s (7.8 and 6.5% in 1990s and 2000s, respectively). Overall, our results demonstrate that the Vietnamese coastal ecosystem has experienced profound changes between the 1990s and 2000s, and emphasise the need for a closer inspection of the ecological impact of fishing.

  5. The effects of grassland degradation on plant diversity, primary productivity, and soil fertility in the alpine region of Asia's headwaters.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xuexia; Dong, Shikui; Yang, Bing; Li, Yuanyuan; Su, Xukun

    2014-10-01

    A 3-year survey was conducted to explore the relationships among plant composition, productivity, and soil fertility characterizing four different degradation stages of an alpine meadow in the source region of the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers, China. Results showed that plant species diversity, productivity, and soil fertility of the top 30-cm soil layer significantly declined with degradation stages of alpine meadow over the study period. The productivity of forbs significantly increased with degradation stages, and the soil potassium stock was not affected by grassland degradation. The vegetation composition gradually shifted from perennial graminoids (grasses and sedges) to annual forbs along the degradation gradient. The abrupt change of response in plant diversity, plant productivity, and soil nutrients was demonstrated after heavy grassland degradation. Moreover, degradation can indicate plant species diversity and productivity through changing soil fertility. However, the clear relationships are difficult to establish. In conclusion, degradation influenced ecosystem function and services, such as plant species diversity, productivity, and soil carbon and nitrogen stocks. Additionally, both plant species diversity and soil nutrients were important predictors in different degradation stages of alpine meadows. To this end, heavy degradation grade was shown to cause shift of plant community in alpine meadow, which provided an important basis for sustaining ecosystem function, manipulating the vegetation composition of the area and restoring the degraded alpine grassland.

  6. Application of Plants as Bio-markers to Assess Wetland Ecosystem Health

    SciTech Connect

    Yankovich, T.L.; Kupferschmidt, D.A.; Sharp, K.J.; Benz, M.L.; Kim, S.B.; Shultz, C.; Audette-Stuart, M.; Carr, J.

    2008-01-15

    Exposure of non-human biota to radionuclides or other contaminants depends upon a number of factors, which relate to the distribution of a given contaminant in the environment relative to the utilization of the environment by resident biota. Potential effects to biota following contaminant exposure must then be assessed based on the development of defensible linkages between the probability of exposure and the probability of corresponding effects. In many cases, contaminants, such as radionuclides, can show highly localized distributions in natural systems, covering relatively small spatial extents. Despite this, however, in the case of sedentary organisms, such as plants, it is possible for individuals to live in areas with relatively high contaminant levels throughout their lives. Plants represent integral components of ecosystems due to their capacity to use solar energy to convert CO{sub 2} into digestible organic molecules, due to their position at the base of terrestrial and aquatic food chains, and due to their importance as habitat and refuges for terrestrial and aquatic biota. As a result, the integrity of ecosystems is dependent upon plant health. The objective of this study was to determine whether significant changes in parameters reflecting plant photosynthetic capacity occurred with significant differences in {sup 14}C exposure in a wetland ecosystem. The study was conducted in Duke Swamp, a wetland ecosystem that receives {sup 14}C through groundwater influx. Sampling was conducted at 4 locations with varying {sup 14}C concentrations. These locations were selected based on a detailed survey of the swamp that was conducted in 2001 to evaluate the spatial distribution of {sup 14}C in surface vegetation, relative to concentrations reported in Sphagnum moss and soil in the swamp in the early 1990's. Locations were also selected to assess the impacts of both {sup 14}C exposure and the degree of incident solar radiation on plant photosynthetic parameters

  7. Effect of ecosystem retrogression on stable nitrogen and carbon isotopes of plants, soils and consumer organisms in boreal forest islands.

    PubMed

    Hyodo, Fujio; Wardle, David A

    2009-07-01

    In the prolonged absence of catastrophic disturbance, ecosystem retrogression occurs, and this involves increased nutrient limitation, and reduced aboveground and belowground ecosystem processes rates. Little is known about how the nitrogen and carbon stable isotope ratios (delta(15)N and delta(13)C) of plants, soils and consumer organisms respond to retrogression in boreal forests. We investigated a 5000 year chronosequence of forested islands in the boreal zone of northern Sweden, for which the time since lightning-induced wildfire increases with decreasing island size, leading to ecosystem retrogression. For this system, tissue delta(15)N of three abundant plant species (Betula pubescens, Vaccinium myrtillus and Pleurozium schreberi) and humus all increased as retrogression proceeded. This is probably due to enhanced ecosystem inputs of N by biological fixation, and greater dependency of the plants on organic N during retrogression. The delta(13)C of B. pubescens and plant-derived humus also increased during retrogression, probably through nutrient limitation increasing plant physiological stress. Unlike the plants, delta(15)N of invertebrates (lycosid spiders and ants) did not increase during retrogression, probably because of their partial dependence on aquatic-derived prey that had a variable delta(15)N signature. The delta(13)C of the invertebrates increased as retrogression proceeded and converged towards that of an aquatic prey source (chironomid flies), suggesting increased dependence on aquatic-derived prey during retrogression. These results show that measurement of delta(15)N and delta(13)C of plants, soils, and consumers across the same environmental gradient can provide insights into environmental factors that drive both the aboveground and belowground subsystems, as well as the linkages between them.

  8. Selection of candidate aquatic high plants as producer of closed aquatic ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Gaohong; Hao, Zongjie; Liu, Yongding

    Controlled Ecological Life Support Systems (CELSS) is very important for long-term manned space flight. Aquatic organism was regarded to be suitable for this study because of their great adaptation to the weightless condition which approximate to their wild condition in water. In order to study of operation of CELSS in space, the first step is to choose good candidate species for study. In this report, we compared the characteristics of nutrient content, growth and suitability with animals among five types of aquatic high plants including Ceratophyllum demersum L., Vallisneria spiralis L., Hydrilla verticillata Royle, Brasenia schreberi, Wolfia arrhiza under control condition. It was found that B. schreberi had the best nutrients content, but it growth depended on gas interface which may be a big problem in microgravity. C. demersum and W. arrhiza had the better nutrient content than other types, and V. spiralis and H. verticillata had the worst nutrient content. The closed aquatic system can provided condition for the growth of other plants than B. schreberi. So we selected C. demersum and W. arrhiza as the candidate of producer for establish Closed Aquatic Ecosystem. We also established a simple system& by housing three small freshwater snails (Bulinus australianus) and C. demersum in a 500mL box with light and temperature control. The values about pH, oxygen concentration, temperature and light had been acquired by sensors in real time for about 3 month. It was found that plant's biomass increased for several days and then leveled off and the snails survive, and the atmosphere and biomass for food met snails' requirement during experiments.

  9. Project AProWa: a national view on managing trade-offs between agricultural production and conservation of aquatic ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dietzel, Anne; Rahn, Eric; Stamm, Christian

    2014-05-01

    Swiss agriculture is legally committed to fulfill several, partially conflicting goals such as agricultural production on the one hand and the conservation of natural resources on the other hand. In the context of the research project AProWa ("Agricultural Production and Water"), the relationships between the production aspect and the conservation of aquatic ecosystems is analyzed with a holistic approach. Agricultural production and the protection of water resources have high potential for conflicts: Farmers use ground and surface water to irrigate their fields. On the other hand, drainage systems enable the production on otherwise unfavorably wet soils. These in turn often affect ground water recharge and divert precipitation directly into surface waters, which changes their hydrological regime. Typically, drainage systems also elevate the input of nutrients and pesticides into the water bodies. In general, applied fertilizers, plant protection products, veterinary drugs and phytohormones of cultivated plants are introduced into the ground and surface waters through different processes such as drift, leaching, runoff, preferential flow or erosion. They influence the nutrient cycles and ecological health of aquatic systems. The nutrient and pesticide loss processes themselves can be altered by tillage operations and other agricultural practices. Furthermore, the competition for space can lead to additional conflicts between agriculture and the protection of aquatic ecosystems. For example, channelized or otherwise morphologically changed rivers do not have a natural discharge pattern and are often not suitable for the local flora and fauna; but naturally meandering rivers need space that cannot be used for agriculture. In a highly industrialized and densely populated country like Switzerland, all these potential conflicts are of importance. Although it is typically seen as a water-rich country, local and seasonal overexploitation of rivers through water extraction

  10. Phototoxicity of herbal plants and herbal products.

    PubMed

    Fu, Peter P; Xia, Qingsu; Zhao, Yuewei; Wang, Shuguang; Yu, Hongtao; Chiang, Hsiu-Mei

    2013-01-01

    Plants are used by humans in daily life in many different ways, including as food, herbal medicines, and cosmetics. Unfortunately, many natural plants and their chemical constituents are photocytotoxic and photogenotoxic, and these phototoxic phytochemicals are widely present in many different plant families. To date, information concerning the phototoxicity and photogenotoxicity of many plants and their chemical constituents is limited. In this review, we discuss phototoxic plants and their major phototoxic constituents; routes of human exposure; phototoxicity of these plants and their constituents; general mechanisms of phototoxicity of plants and phototoxic components; and several representative phototoxic plants and their photoactive chemical constituents.

  11. Production of Monoclonal Antibodies in Plants for Cancer Immunotherapy

    PubMed Central

    Moussavou, Ghislain; Ko, Kisung; Lee, Jeong-Hwan; Choo, Young-Kug

    2015-01-01

    Plants are considered as an alternative platform for recombinant monoclonal antibody (mAb) production due to the improvement and diversification of transgenic techniques. The diversity of plant species offers a multitude of possibilities for the valorization of genetic resources. Moreover, plants can be propagated indefinitely, providing cheap biomass production on a large scale in controlled conditions. Thus, recent studies have shown the successful development of plant systems for the production of mAbs for cancer immunotherapy. However, their several limitations have to be resolved for efficient antibody production in plants. PMID:26550566

  12. Inclusion of Additional Plant Species and Trait Information in Dynamic Vegetation Modeling of Arctic Tundra and Boreal Forest Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Euskirchen, E. S.; Patil, V.; Roach, J.; Griffith, B.; McGuire, A. D.

    2015-12-01

    Dynamic vegetation models (DVMs) have been developed to model the ecophysiological characteristics of plant functional types in terrestrial ecosystems. They have frequently been used to answer questions pertaining to processes such as disturbance, plant succession, and community composition under historical and future climate scenarios. While DVMs have proved useful in these types of applications, it has often been questioned if additional detail, such as including plant dynamics at the species-level and/or including species-specific traits would make these models more accurate and/or broadly applicable. A sub-question associated with this issue is, 'How many species, or what degree of functional diversity, should we incorporate to sustain ecosystem function in modeled ecosystems?' Here, we focus on how the inclusion of additional plant species and trait information may strengthen dynamic vegetation modeling in applications pertaining to: (1) forage for caribou in northern Alaska, (2) above- and belowground carbon storage in the boreal forest and lake margin wetlands of interior Alaska, and (3) arctic tundra and boreal forest leaf phenology. While the inclusion of additional information generally proved valuable in these three applications, this additional detail depends on field data that may not always be available and may also result in increased computational complexity. Therefore, it is important to assess these possible limitations against the perceived need for additional plant species and trait information in the development and application of dynamic vegetation models.

  13. The effect of increased temperature and altered precipitation on plants in an arid ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wertin, T. M.; Reed, S.; Belnap, J.

    2011-12-01

    Projected changes in climate are expected to strongly affect arid and semi-arid landscapes where plant communities are assumed to already experience high temperatures and low water availability. Here we investigated the effect of elevated temperature and altered precipitation regimes on plant physiology, community composition, phenology and growth on the Colorado Plateau. The ecosystem is dominated by the native perennial grasses Pleuraphis jamesii and Achnatherum hymenoides and the shrub Atriplex confertifolia and has well-formed biological soil crusts. The invasive annual grass Bromus tectorum is also present. In 2005, five blocks of four 2m by 2.5m plots were established, and within each block plots were randomly assigned to ambient or elevated temperature (soil surface temperature of +2°C above ambient) and ambient or elevated precipitation (1.5 mm precipitation pulses applied three times weekly during summer) in full-factorial. In 2009 the temperature treatment was increased to +4°C. Additionally, five new blocks were established with the plots randomly assigned ambient or elevated temperature (again, +2°C was used) and ambient or elevated precipitation (summertime large bi-weekly watering to counteract negative effects the lamps may have had on soil moisture) in full-factorial. Throughout 2010 and 2011 the phenological state of the dominate plant species was recorded weekly. At the end of May 2010 and 2011 biomass accumulation, reproductive output and vegetative cover were assessed. Additionally, diurnal foliar gas exchange, foliar fluorescence and xylem pressure potential were measured on the dominant plant species three times throughout the spring and summer of 2011. Elevated temperature had no effect on carbon fixation or foliar physiology of A. confertifolia or P. jamesii, though A. hymenoides carbon fixation was negatively affected by elevated temperature with the +4°C treatment causing a greater reduction in fixation than the +2°C treatment. The

  14. Plant community responses to precipitation and spatial pattern of nitrogen supply in an experimental grassland ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Xi, Nianxun; Carrère, Pascal; Bloor, Juliette M G

    2015-06-01

    Recent work suggests that soil nutrient heterogeneity may modulate plant responses to drivers of global change, but interactions between N heterogeneity and changes in rainfall regime remain poorly understood. We used a model grassland system to investigate the interactive effects of N application pattern (homogeneous, heterogeneous) and precipitation-magnitude manipulation during the growing season (control, +50 % rainfall, -50 % rainfall) on aboveground biomass and plant community dominance patterns. Our study resulted in four major findings: patchy N addition increased within-plot variability in plant size structure at the species level, but did not alter total aboveground biomass; patchy N addition increased community dominance and caused a shift in the ranking of subordinate plant species; unlike community-level biomass, plant species differed in their biomass response to the rainfall treatments; and neither aboveground biomass nor community dominance showed significant interactions between N pattern and rainfall manipulation, suggesting that grassland responses to patchy N inputs are insensitive to water addition or rainfall reduction in our temperate study system. Overall, our results indicate that the spatial pattern of N inputs has greater effects on species biomass variability and community dominance than on aboveground production. These short-term changes in plant community structure may have significant implications for longer-term patterns of vegetation dynamics and plant-soil feedbacks. Moreover our results suggest that the magnitude of precipitation during the growing season plays a limited role in grassland responses to heterogeneous organic N inputs, emphasizing the need to consider other components of precipitation change in future heterogeneity studies.

  15. Species-diversified plant cover enhances orchard ecosystem resistance to climatic stress and soil erosion in subtropical hillside*

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Xin; Yang, Yi-song; Tang, Jian-jun

    2004-01-01

    Naturally occurring plants in agroecosystem evidently play an important role in ecosystem stability. Field studies on the ecological effects of native plants conserved in orchard and their resistance to adverse climatic stress, and soil erosion were conducted from 1998 to 2001 in a newly developed Changshan-huyou (Citrus changshan-huyou Y.B. Chang) orchard. The experimental area covered 150 ha in typical red soil hilly region in southeastern China. The experimental design was a randomized complete block with six combinations of twelve plant species with four replications. All species used were native in the orchard. Plots were 15×8 m2 and separated by 2 m buffer strips. Precipitation, soil erosion in rainstorm days and aboveground biomass of plant community when rainstorm days ended, soil temperature and moisture under various plant covers during seasonal megathermal drought period, antiscourability of soil with different root density under various simulated rainfalls were measured. Plant cover significantly decreased the daily highest and mean soil temperature and its daily variation in hot-drought season, but there was no significant difference of the alleviation among various plant covers. Plant covers significantly increased the soil moisture in seasonal megathermal drought period. Better moisture maintenance and soil erosion reduction was found when the plant species numbers in cover plant communities increased from one to eight. Higher root density in plant communities with higher species richness increased significantly the antiscourability of the soil. It was suggested that conserving plant communities with diversified native species could produce the best positive ecological effects on citrus orchard ecosystem stability. PMID:15362189

  16. Impact of herbaceous understory vegetation to ecosystem water cycle, productivity and infiltration in a semi arid oak woodland assessed by stable oxygen isotopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dubbert, Maren; Piayda, Arndt; Silva, Filipe Costa e.; Correia, Alexandra C.; Pereira, Joao S.; Cuntz, Matthias; Werner, Christiane

    2015-04-01

    Water is one of the key factors driving ecosystem productivity, especially in water-limited ecosystems. Thus a separation of these component fluxes is needed to gain a functional understanding on the development of net ecosystem water and carbon fluxes. Oxygen isotope signatures are valuable tracers for such water movements within the ecosystem because of the distinct isotopic compositions of water in the soil and vegetation. Here, a novel approach was used (Dubbert et al., 2013), combining a custom build flow-through gas-exchange branch chamber with a Cavity Ring-Down Spectrometer in a Mediterranean cork-oak woodland where two vegetation layers respond differently to drought: oak-trees (Quercus suber L.) avoid drought due to their access to ground water while herbaceous plants survive the summer as seeds. We used this approach to quantify the impact of the understory herbaceous vegetation on ecosystem carbon and water fluxes throughout the year and disentangle how ET components of the ecosystem relate to carbon dioxide exchange. Partitioning ecosystem ET and NEE into its three sources revealed that understory vegetation contributed markedly to ecosystem ET and gross primary production (GPP; max. 43 and 51%, respectively). It reached similar water-use efficiencies (WUE) as cork-oak trees and significantly contributed to the ecosystem sink-strength in spring and fall. The understory vegetation layer further strongly inhibited soil evaporation (E) and, although E was large during wet periods, it did not diminish ecosystem WUE during water-limited times (Dubbert et al., 2014a). Although, during most of the year, interactions with trees neither facilitated nor hampered the development of the understory vegetation, strong competition for water could be observed at the end of the growing period, which shortened the life-cycle of understory plants and significantly reduced the carbon uptake of the ecosystem in spring (Dubbert et al., 2014b). Finally, herbaceous understory

  17. Extrinsic controls on inter-basaltic plant ecosystems in the Columbia River Flood Basalt Province, Washington State, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ebinghaus, Alena; Jolley, David W.; Hartley, Adrian J.

    2015-04-01

    The impact Large Igneous Province (LIP) volcanism may have had on paleoclimate, fauna and flora is still controversy. Inter-lava field plant ecosystems have the potential to record in detail the effects LIPs had on the environment in the immediate vicinity of volcanic activity. The Miocene Columbia River Flood Basalt Province (CRBP), Washington State, USA, provides excellent exposure of an entire LIP stratigraphy and offers a detailed record of inter-basaltic plant ecosystems throughout LIP evolution. The CRBP lava field comprise numerous basaltic lava flows that are intercalated with fluvial and lacustrine sediments which formed during phases of volcanic quiescence. The LIP volcanic evolution is characterised by an initial phase of high eruption volumes and eruptions rates, which is followed by waning volcanism associated with longer interbed intervals. Inter-lava field plant ecosystems are expected to correlate with phases of volcanic evolution: short interbed intervals should be dominated by early seral succession, while longer intervals should record more mature seral successions. The palynological record of the sedimentary interbeds however indicates a decline in successional status within the long interbed intervals of CRBP stratigraphy. An integrated analysis of sedimentary facies and geochemistry suggests intense volcanic ash fall derived from the adjacent Yellowstone hot spot as a major trigger for repetitive successional re-setting. This implies that inter-lava field ecosystem maturity was controlled by extrinsic forcing, and argues against environmental changes solely driven by LIPs of similar scale and magnitude to that of the CRBP.

  18. Mechanistic insights on the responses of plant and ecosystem gas exchange to global environmental change: lessons from Biosphere 2.

    PubMed

    Gonzalez-Meler, Miquel A; Rucks, Jessica S; Aubanell, Gerard

    2014-09-01

    Scaling up leaf processes to canopy/ecosystem level fluxes is critical for examining feedbacks between vegetation and climate. Collectively, studies from Biosphere 2 Laboratory have provided important insight of leaf-to-ecosystem investigations of multiple environmental parameters that were not before possible in enclosed or field studies. B2L has been a testing lab for the applicability of new technologies such as spectral approaches to detect spatial and temporal changes in photosynthesis within canopies, or for the development of cavity ring-down isotope applications for ecosystem evapotranspiration. Short and long term changes in atmospheric CO2, drought or temperature allowed for intensive investigation of the interactions between photosynthesis and leaf, soil and ecosystem respiration. Experiments conducted in the rainforest biome have provided some of the most comprehensive dataset to date on the effects of climate change variables on tropical ecosystems. Results from these studies have been later corroborated in natural rainforest ecosystems and have improved the predictive capabilities of models that now show increased resilience of tropics to climate change. Studies of temperature and CO2 effects on ecosystem respiration and its leaf and soil components have helped reconsider the use of simple first-order kinetics for characterizing respiration in models. The B2L also provided opportunities to quantify the rhizosphere priming effect, or establish the relationships between net primary productivity, atmospheric CO2 and isoprene emissions.

  19. The response of tundra plant biomass, above-ground production, nitrogen, and CO{sub 2} flux to experimental warming

    SciTech Connect

    Hobbie, S.E.; Chapin, F.S. III

    1998-07-01

    The authors manipulated air temperature in tussock tundra near Toolik Lake, Alaska, and determined the consequences for total plant biomass, aboveground net primary production (ANPP), ecosystem nitrogen (N) pools and N uptake, and ecosystem CO{sub 2} flux. After 3.5 growing seasons, in situ plastic greenhouses that raised air temperature during the growing season had little effect on total biomass, N content, or growing-season N uptake of the major plant and soil pools. Similarly, vascular ANPP and net ecosystem CO{sub 2} exchange did not change with warming, although net primary production of mosses decreased with warming. Such general lack of response supports the hypothesis that productivity in tundra is constrained by the indirect effects of cold temperatures rather than by cold growing-season temperatures per se. Despite no effect on net ecosystem CO{sub 2} flux, air warming stimulated early-season gross photosynthesis (GP) and ecosystem respiration (ER) throughout the growing season. This increased carbon turnover was probably associated with species-level responses to increased air temperature. Warming increased the aboveground biomass of the overstory shrub, dwarf birch (Betula nana), and caused a significant net redistribution of N from the understory evergreen shrub, Vaccinium vitis-idaea, to B. nana, despite no effects on soil temperature, total plant N, or N availability.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  1. Salt marsh-mangrove ecotones: using structural gradients to investigate the effects of woody plant encroachment on plant-soil interactions and ecosystem carbon pools

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Yando, Erik S.; Osland, Michael J.; Willis, Jonathan M; Day, Richard H.; Krauss, Ken W.; Hester, Mark W.

    2016-01-01

    Synthesis: Our results indicate that the ecological implications of woody plant encroachment in tidal saline wetlands are dependent upon precipitation controls of plant–soil interactions. Although the above-ground effects of mangrove expansion are consistently large, below-ground influences of mangrove expansion appear to be greatest along low-rainfall coasts where salinities are high and marshes being replaced are carbon poor and dominated by succulent plants. Collectively, these findings complement those from terrestrial ecosystems and reinforce the importance of considering rainfall and plant–soil interactions within predictions of the ecological effects of woody plant encroachment.

  2. Managing wastewater effluent to enhance aquatic receiving ecosystem productivity: a coastal lagoon in Western Australia.

    PubMed

    Machado, Daniel A; Imberger, Jörg

    2012-05-30

    Large amounts of waste are generated in urban centers that if properly managed could promote ecological services. In order to promote nutrient cycling and productivity without endangering aquatic ecosystems, management of wastewater treatment and effluent discharges to receiving waters must be assessed on a case-by-case basis. We applied this premise to examine a municipal wastewater treated effluent discharge in a shallow oligotrophic coastal lagoon in Western Australia. Three-dimensional hydrodynamic-ecological modeling (ELCOM-CAEDYM) was used to assess the reaction of ecosystem for effluent quality. Two scenarios were evaluated for the summer 2000-2001 period, the actual or "current" (conventional secondary treatment) and an "alternative" (involving substitution of biological nutrient removal by advanced treatment). The residence time of the simulated numerical domain averaged 8.4 ± 1.3 days. For the current scenario the model successfully estimated phytoplankton biomass, as chlorophyll-a concentration (Chl-a), that is within field-measured ranges and previously recorded levels. The model was able to reproduce nitrogen as the main limiting nutrient for primary production in the coastal ecosystem. Simulated surface Chl-a means were 0.26 (range 0.19-0.38) μg Chl-a/L for the current scenario and 0.37 (range 0.19-0.67) μg Chl-a/L for the alternative one. Comparison of the alternative scenario with field-measured Chl-a levels suggests moderate primary production increase (16-42%), within local historical variability. These results, suggest that such a scenario could be used, as part of a comprehensive wastewater management optimization strategy, to foster receiving ecosystem's productivity and related ecological services maintaining its oligotrophic state.

  3. Dominant plant taxa predict plant productivity responses to CO2 enrichment across precipitation and soil gradients

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The responses of water-limited ecosystems to rising atmospheric CO2 concentration (eCO2) depend on the supply and availability of soil moisture and on change in abundance of dominant plant taxa. Soil moisture supply and availability depends primarily on precipitation amount and soil texture. Respo...

  4. Pulse-drought atop press-drought: unexpected plant responses and implications for dryland ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hoover, David L.; Duniway, Michael C.; Belnap, Jayne

    2015-01-01

    In drylands, climate change is predicted to cause chronic reductions in water availability (press-droughts) through reduced precipitation and increased temperatures as well as increase the frequency and intensity of short-term extreme droughts (pulse-droughts). These changes in precipitation patterns may have profound ecosystem effects, depending on the sensitivities of the dominant plant functional types (PFTs). Here we present the responses of four Colorado Plateau PFTs to an experimentally imposed, 4-year, press-drought during which a natural pulse-drought occurred. Our objectives were to (1) identify the drought sensitivities of the PFTs, (2) assess the additive effects of the press- and pulse-drought, and (3) examine the interactive effects of soils and drought. Our results revealed that the C3 grasses were the most sensitive PFT to drought, the C3shrubs were the most resistant, and the C4 grasses and shrubs had intermediate drought sensitivities. Although we expected the C3 grasses would have the greatest response to drought, the higher resistance of C3 shrubs relative to the C4 shrubs was contrary to our predictions based on the higher water use efficiency of C4 photosynthesis. Also, the additive effects of press- and pulse-droughts caused high morality in C3 grasses, which has large ecological and economic ramifications for this region. Furthermore, despite predictions based on the inverse texture hypothesis, we observed no interactive effects of soils with the drought treatment on cover or mortality. These results suggest that plant responses to droughts in drylands may differ from expectations and have large ecological effects if press- and pulse-droughts push species beyond physiological and mortality thresholds.

  5. Pulse-drought atop press-drought: unexpected plant responses and implications for dryland ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Hoover, David L; Duniway, Michael C; Belnap, Jayne

    2015-12-01

    In drylands, climate change is predicted to cause chronic reductions in water availability (press-droughts) through reduced precipitation and increased temperatures as well as increase the frequency and intensity of short-term extreme droughts (pulse-droughts). These changes in precipitation patterns may have profound ecosystem effects, depending on the sensitivities of the dominant plant functional types (PFTs). Here we present the responses of four Colorado Plateau PFTs to an experimentally imposed, 4-year, press-drought during which a natural pulse-drought occurred. Our objectives were to (1) identify the drought sensitivities of the PFTs, (2) assess the additive effects of the press- and pulse-drought, and (3) examine the interactive effects of soils and drought. Our results revealed that the C3 grasses were the most sensitive PFT to drought, the C3 shrubs were the most resistant, and the C4 grasses and shrubs had intermediate drought sensitivities. Although we expected the C3 grasses would have the greatest response to drought, the higher resistance of C3 shrubs relative to the C4 shrubs was contrary to our predictions based on the higher water use efficiency of C4 photosynthesis. Also, the additive effects of press- and pulse-droughts caused high morality in C3 grasses, which has large ecological and economic ramifications for this region. Furthermore, despite predictions based on the inverse texture hypothesis, we observed no interactive effects of soils with the drought treatment on cover or mortality. These results suggest that plant responses to droughts in drylands may differ from expectations and have large ecological effects if press- and pulse-droughts push species beyond physiological and mortality thresholds.

  6. Productivity, Disturbance and Ecosystem Size Have No Influence on Food Chain Length in Seasonally Connected Rivers

    PubMed Central

    Warfe, Danielle M.; Jardine, Timothy D.; Pettit, Neil E.; Hamilton, Stephen K.; Pusey, Bradley J.; Bunn, Stuart E.; Davies, Peter M.; Douglas, Michael M.

    2013-01-01

    The food web is one of the oldest and most central organising concepts in ecology and for decades, food chain length has been hypothesised to be controlled by productivity, disturbance, and/or ecosystem size; each of which may be mediated by the functional trophic role of the top predator. We characterised aquatic food webs using carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes from 66 river and floodplain sites across the wet-dry tropics of northern Australia to determine the relative importance of productivity (indicated by nutrient concentrations), disturbance (indicated by hydrological isolation) and ecosystem size, and how they may be affected by food web architecture. We show that variation in food chain length was unrelated to these classic environmental determinants, and unrelated to the trophic role of the top predator. This finding is a striking exception to the literature and is the first published example of food chain length being unaffected by any of these determinants. We suggest the distinctive seasonal hydrology of northern Australia allows the movement of fish predators, linking isolated food webs and potentially creating a regional food web that overrides local effects of productivity, disturbance and ecosystem size. This finding supports ecological theory suggesting that mobile consumers promote more stable food webs. It also illustrates how food webs, and energy transfer, may function in the absence of the human modifications to landscape hydrological connectivity that are ubiquitous in more populated regions. PMID:23776641

  7. Productivity, disturbance and ecosystem size have no influence on food chain length in seasonally connected rivers.

    PubMed

    Warfe, Danielle M; Jardine, Timothy D; Pettit, Neil E; Hamilton, Stephen K; Pusey, Bradley J; Bunn, Stuart E; Davies, Peter M; Douglas, Michael M

    2013-01-01

    The food web is one of the oldest and most central organising concepts in ecology and for decades, food chain length has been hypothesised to be controlled by productivity, disturbance, and/or ecosystem size; each of which may be mediated by the functional trophic role of the top predator. We characterised aquatic food webs using carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes from 66 river and floodplain sites across the wet-dry tropics of northern Australia to determine the relative importance of productivity (indicated by nutrient concentrations), disturbance (indicated by hydrological isolation) and ecosystem size, and how they may be affected by food web architecture. We show that variation in food chain length was unrelated to these classic environmental determinants, and unrelated to the trophic role of the top predator. This finding is a striking exception to the literature and is the first published example of food chain length being unaffected by any of these determinants. We suggest the distinctive seasonal hydrology of northern Australia allows the movement of fish predators, linking isolated food webs and potentially creating a regional food web that overrides local effects of productivity, disturbance and ecosystem size. This finding supports ecological theory suggesting that mobile consumers promote more stable food webs. It also illustrates how food webs, and energy transfer, may function in the absence of the human modifications to landscape hydrological connectivity that are ubiquitous in more populated regions.

  8. Responses of terrestrial ecosystems' net primary productivity to future regional climate change in China.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Dongsheng; Wu, Shaohong; Yin, Yunhe

    2013-01-01

    The impact of regional climate change on net primary productivity (NPP) is an important aspect in the study of ecosystems' response to global climate change. China's ecosystems are very sensitive to climate change owing to the influence of the East Asian monsoon. The Lund-Potsdam-Jena Dynamic Global Vegetation Model for China (LPJ-CN), a global dynamical vegetation model developed for China's terrestrial ecosystems, was applied in this study to simulate the NPP changes affected by future climate change. As the LPJ-CN model is based on natural vegetation, the simulation in this study did not consider the influence of anthropogenic activities. Results suggest that future climate change would have adverse effects on natural ecosystems, with NPP tending to decrease in eastern China, particularly in the temperate and warm temperate regions. NPP would increase in western China, with a concentration in the Tibetan Plateau and the northwest arid regions. The increasing trend in NPP in western China and the decreasing trend in eastern China would be further enhanced by the warming climate. The spatial distribution of NPP, which declines from the southeast coast to the northwest inland, would have minimal variation under scenarios of climate change.

  9. The contribution of harvest residue to ecosystem carbon balance over the production cycle of managed forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noormets, A.; McNulty, S.; Domec, J.; Gavazzi, M. J.; Treasure, E.; Sun, G.; King, J. S.; Chen, J.

    2010-12-01

    It has been proposed that forests could be managed for carbon sequestration to mitigate the increase in atmospheric CO2. However, intensive management tends to deplete ecosystem resources (e.g. nutrients and soil organic matter) that make high productivity possible, thus potentially undermining the sustainability of such practices. In forest ecosystems, we have seen soil carbon loss exceed new litter inputs. While the cause of this loss is not clear, the increased frequency of disturbance associated with harvests and management practices likely contributes to the accelerated decomposition rates. Furthermore, the additional pulse of harvest residue of leaves, branches, roots, and coarse woody debris is likely to contribute to enhanced CO2 emissions. Here we evaluate the magnitude of emissions from post-harvest debris in relation to total ecosystem C budget in two loblolly pine plantations in SE-US, and compare our results to three other pine harvest chronosequences in North America. The initial magnitude of ecosystem respiration decreased and the duration of the source phase increased with latitude such that the integrated source phase emissions were proportional (130-140%) to the amount of CWD left at the site following the harvest. However, this relationship may vary by existing soil carbon and moisture availability. The results will be evaluated in the context of potential sources of uncertainty.

  10. Inferring differential evolutionary processes of plant persistence traits in Northern Hemisphere Mediterranean fire-prone ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pausas, J.G.; Keeley, J.E.; Verdu, M.

    2006-01-01

    1 Resprouting capacity (R) and propagule-persistence (P) are traits that are often considered to have evolved where there are predictable crown fires. Because several indicators suggest a stronger selective pressure for such traits in California than in the Mediterranean Basin, we hypothesize that plant species should have evolved to become R+ and P+ more frequently in California than in the Mediterranean Basin. 2 To test this hypothesis we studied the phylogenetic association between R and P states in both California and the Mediterranean Basin using published molecular phylogenies. 3 The results suggest that R and P evolved differently in the two regions. The occurrence of the states differs significantly between regions for trait P, but not for trait R. The different patterns (towards R+ and P+ in California and towards R+ and P- in the Mediterranean Basin) are reflected in the higher abundance and the wider taxonomic distribution of species with both persistence traits (R+P+ species) in California. 4 The differential acquisition of fire persistence mechanisms at the propagule level (P+) supports the idea that fire selective pressures has been higher in California than in the Mediterranean Basin. 5 Our comparative phylogenetic-informed analysis contributes to an understanding of the differential role of the Quaternary climate in determining fire persistence traits in different Mediterranean-type ecosystems and, thus, to the debate on the evolutionary convergence of traits. ?? 2006 British Ecological Society.

  11. Sensitivity of Spruce/Moss Boreal Forest Net Ecosystem Productivity to Seasonal Anomalies in Weather

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frolking, Steve

    1997-01-01

    Abstract. A process-oriented, daily time step model of a spruce/moss boreal ecosystem simulated 1994 and 1995 productivity for a Boreal Ecosystem-Atmosphere Study site near Thompson, Manitoba. Simulated black spruce net primary productivity (NPP) was 139 g C m(exp -2) in 1994 and 112 in 1995; feathermoss NPP was 13.0 g C m(exp -2) in 1994 and 9.7 in 1995; decomposition was 126 g C m(exp -2) in 1994 and 130 in 1995; net ecosystem productivity (NEP) was an uptake of 26.3 g C m(exp -2)in 1994 and 2.5 in 1995. A very dry period for the first half of the 1995 summer was the major cause of that year's lower productivity. Sensitivity simulations explored the impact of 2-month long warmer, cooler, wetter, and drier spells on ecosystem productivity. Warmer summers decreased spruce NPP, moss NPP, and NEP; cooler summers had the opposite effect. Earlier snowmelt (due to either warmer spring temperatures or reduced winter precipitation) increased moss and spruce NPP; later snowmelt had the opposite effect. The largest effect on decomposition was a 5% reduction due to a drier summer. One-month droughts (April through October) were also imposed on 1975 base year weather. Early summer droughts reduced moss annual NPP by -30-40%; summer droughts reduced spruce annual NPP by 10%; late summer droughts increased moss NPP by about 20% due to reduced respiration; May to September monthly droughts reduced heterotrophic respiration by about 10%. Variability in NEP was up to roughly +/- 35%. Finally, 1975 growing season precipitation was redistributed into frequent, small rainstorms and infrequent, large rainstorms. These changes had no effect on spruce NPP. Frequent rainstorms increased decomposition by a few percent, moss NPP by 50%, and NEP by 20%. Infrequent rainstorms decreased decomposition by 5%, moss NPP by 50% and NEP by 15%. The impact of anomalous weather patterns on productivity of this ecosystem depended on their timing during the year. Multiyear data sets are necessary to

  12. Comparisons of diazotrophic communities in native and agricultural desert ecosystems reveal plants as important drivers in diversity.

    PubMed

    Köberl, Martina; Erlacher, Armin; Ramadan, Elshahat M; El-Arabi, Tarek F; Müller, Henry; Bragina, Anastasia; Berg, Gabriele

    2016-02-01

    Diazotrophs provide the only biological source of fixed atmospheric nitrogen in the biosphere. Although they are the key player for plant-available nitrogen, less is known about their diversity and potential importance in arid ecosystems. We investigat