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  1. Rhizosphere engineering: Enhancing sustainable plant ecosystem productivity

    DOE PAGES

    Ahkami, Amir H.; White, III, Richard Allen; Handakumbura, Pubudu P.; ...

    2017-04-21

    Here, the rhizosphere is arguably the most complex microbial habitat on earth, comprising an integrated network of plant roots, soil and a diverse microbial consortium of bacteria, archaea, viruses, and microeukaryotes. Understanding, predicting and controlling the structure and function of the rhizosphere will allow us to harness plant-microbe interactions and other rhizosphere activities as a means to increase or restore plant ecosystem productivity, improve plant responses to a wide range of environmental perturbations, and mitigate effects of climate change by designing ecosystems for long-term soil carbon storage. Here, we review critical knowledge gaps in rhizosphere science, and how mechanistic understandingmore » of rhizosphere interactions can be leveraged in rhizosphere engineering efforts with the goal of maintaining sustainable plant ecosystem services for food and bioenergy production in an ever changing global climate.« less

  2. Rhizosphere engineering: Enhancing sustainable plant ecosystem productivity

    DOE PAGES

    Ahkami, Amir H.; White, III, Richard Allen; Handakumbura, Pubudu P.; ...

    2017-04-21

    The rhizosphere is arguably the most complex microbial habitat on earth, comprising an integrated network of plant roots, the soil and a diverse microbial consortium of bacteria, archaea, viruses, and microeukaryotes. Understanding, predicting and controlling the structure and function of the rhizosphere will allow us to harness plant-microbe interactions and other rhizosphere activities as a means to increase plant ecosystem productivity, improve plant responses to a wide range of environmental perturbations, and mitigate effects of climate change by designing ecosystems for long-term soil carbon storage. Furthermore, we review critical knowledge gaps in rhizosphere science, and how mechanistic understanding of rhizospheremore » interactions can be leveraged in rhizosphere engineering efforts with the goal of maintaining sustainable plant ecosystem services for food and bioenergy production in an ever changing global climate.« less

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Plant diversity maintains long-term ecosystem productivity under frequent drought by increasing short-term variation.

    PubMed

    Wagg, Cameron; O'Brien, Michael J; Vogel, Anja; Scherer-Lorenzen, Michael; Eisenhauer, Nico; Schmid, Bernhard; Weigelt, Alexandra

    2017-09-04

    Increasing frequency of extreme climatic events can disrupt ecosystem processes and destabilize ecosystem functioning. Biodiversity may dampen these negative effects of environmental perturbations to provide greater ecosystem stability. We assessed the effects of plant diversity on the resistance, recovery and stability of experimental grassland ecosystems in response to recurring summer drought over seven years. Plant biomass production was reduced during the summer drought treatment compared with control plots. However, the negative effect of drought was relatively less pronounced at high than at low plant diversity, demonstrating that biodiversity increased ecosystem resistance to environmental perturbation. Furthermore, more diverse plant communities compensated for the reduced productivity during drought by increasing spring productivity compared to control plots. The drought-induced compensatory recovery led to increased short-term variations in productivity across growing seasons in more diverse communities that stabilized the longer-term productivity across years. Our findings show that short-term variation between seasons in the face of environmental perturbation can lead to longer-term stability of annual productivity in diverse ecosystems compared to less diverse ecosystems. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Responses of Plant Community Composition and Biomass Production to Warming and Nitrogen Deposition in a Temperate Meadow Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:25874975

  12. 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.

  13. Antecedent Moisture and Biological Inertia as Predictors of Plant and Ecosystem Productivity in Arid and Semiarid Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ogle, K.

    2011-12-01

    Many plant and ecosystem processes in arid and semiarid systems may be affected by antecedent environmental conditions (e.g., precipitation patterns, soil water availability, temperature) that integrate over past days, weeks, months, seasons, or years. However, the importance of such antecedent exogenous effects relative to conditions occurring at the time of the observed process is relatively unexplored. Even less is known about the potential importance of antecedent endogenous effects that describe the influence of past ecosystem states on the current ecosystem state; e.g., how is current ecosystem productivity related to past productivity patterns? We hypothesize that incorporation of antecedent exogenous and endogenous factors can improve our predictive understanding of many plant and ecosystem processes, especially in arid and semiarid ecosystems. Furthermore, the common approach to quantifying the effects of antecedent (exogenous) variables relies on arbitrary, deterministic definitions of antecedent variables that (1) may not accurately describe the role of antecedent conditions and (2) ignore uncertainty associated with applying deterministic definitions. In this study, we employ a stochastic framework for (1) computing the antecedent variables that estimates the relative importance of conditions experienced each time unit into the past, also providing insight into potential lag responses, and (2) estimating the effect of antecedent factors on the response variable of interest. We employ this approach to explore the potential roles of antecedent exogenous and endogenous influences in three settings that illustrate the: (1) importance of antecedent precipitation for net primary productivity in the shortgrass steppe in northern Colorado, (2) dependency of tree growth on antecedent precipitation and past growth states for pinyon growing in western Colorado, and (3) influence of antecedent soil water and prior root status on observed root growth in the Mojave

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  15. 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

  16. Attenuation of pharmaceuticals and their transformation products in a wastewater treatment plant and its receiving river ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Aymerich, I; Acuña, V; Barceló, D; García, M J; Petrovic, M; Poch, M; Rodriguez-Mozaz, S; Rodríguez-Roda, I; Sabater, S; von Schiller, D; Corominas, Ll

    2016-09-01

    Pharmaceuticals are designed to improve human and animal health, but may also be a threat to freshwater ecosystems, particularly after receiving urban or wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluents. Knowledge on the fate and attenuation of pharmaceuticals in engineered and natural ecosystems is rather fragmented, and comparable methods are needed to facilitate the comprehension of those processes amongst systems. In this study the dynamics of 8 pharmaceuticals (acetaminophen, sulfapyridine, sulfamethoxazole, carbamazepine, venlafaxine, ibuprofen, diclofenac, diazepam) and 11 of their transformation products were investigated in a WWTP and the associated receiving river ecosystem. During 3 days, concentrations of these compounds were quantified at the influents, effluents, and wastage of the WWTP, and at different distances downstream the effluent at the river. Attenuation (net balance between removal and release from and to the water column) was estimated in both engineered and natural systems using a comparable model-based approach by considering different uncertainty sources (e.g. chemical analysis, sampling, and flow measurements). Results showed that pharmaceuticals load reduction was higher in the WWTP, but attenuation efficiencies (as half-life times) were higher in the river. In particular, the load of only 5 out of the 19 pharmaceuticals was reduced by more than 90% at the WWTP, while the rest were only partially or non-attenuated (or released) and discharged into the receiving river. At the river, only the load of ibuprofen was reduced by more than 50% (out of the 6 parent compounds present in the river), while partial and non-attenuation (or release) was observed for some of their transformation products. Linkages in the routing of some pharmaceuticals (venlafaxine, carbamazepine, ibuprofen and diclofenac) and their corresponding transformation products were also identified at both WWTP and river. Finally, the followed procedure showed that dynamic

  17. Exotic plants as ecosystem dominants

    Treesearch

    Julie S. Denslow; R. Flint Hughes

    2004-01-01

    Dominant species have long been appreciated for their role in determining ecosystem attributes such as vegetation structure, successional patterns, soil characteristics, hydrology, and productivity. Exotic species may reach such high densities that they become community dominants, and it is in this role that exotics pose the greatest threat to native ecosystems. Four...

  18. 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.

  19. Plant materials for novel ecosystems

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The preservationist approach to restoration plant materials has 'local' as its centerpiece, emphasizing taxonomic and genetic patterns (in space). This view can be seen to be at odds with an alternative interventionist point of view that emphasizes the 'processes' (across time) of ecosystem functio...

  20. 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.

  1. Forests planted for ecosystem restoration or conservation.

    Treesearch

    Constance A. Harrington

    1999-01-01

    Although the phrase, "planting for ecosystem restoration," is of recent origin, many of the earliest large-scale tree plantings were made for what we now refer to as "'restoration" or "conservation" goals. Forest restoration activities may be needed when ecosystems are disturbed by either natural or anthropogenic forces. Disturbances...

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  5. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

    2015-10-01

    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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Long-term effects of dormant-season prescribed fire on plant community diversity, structure and productivity in a longleaf pine wiregrass ecosystem

    Treesearch

    Dale G. Brockway; Clifford E. Lewis

    1997-01-01

    A flatwoods longleaf pine wiregrass ecosystem, which regenerated naturally following wildfire in 1942, on the Coastal Plain of southern Georgia was treated over a period of four decades with prescribed fire at annual, biennial and triennial intervals during the winter dormant season. Burning caused substantial changes in the understory plant community, with significant...

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23818582

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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 ...

  17. 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 ...

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Legume Plants Enhance the Resistance of Soil to Ecosystem Disturbance

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Dandan; Wang, Xiaoling; Fu, Shenglei; Zhao, Jie

    2017-01-01

    Cultivation of legume plants is well known to improve soil N level and net primary productivity; besides, it may deliver other ecosystem benefits such as increasing soil carbon sequestration and soil food web complexity. However, little is known about whether legumes can improve the resistance of soils to ecosystem disturbances. In the present study, we compared the resistance of soils to an ecosystem disturbance (understory removal) in the presence or absence of a legume species (Cassia alata) in mixed tree species plantations in southern China. Soil physico-chemical and biotic properties were employed to quantify the resistance of soils to understory removal. Our results showed that the resistance indices of soil water content, omnivorous-predacious nematode abundance and nematode channel index to understory removal were greater in the presence of legumes than those without legumes in wet season. The resistance indices of fungal to bacterial ratio, fungivorous nematode abundance and total arthropod abundance were greater in the presence of legume than those without legume species in dry season. Our results indicate that legumes may enhance the resistances of soil physico-chemical and biological properties to the ecosystem disturbance. Our findings could provide a better understanding of the myriad ways in which legumes can positively affect ecosystem functioning. PMID:28785277

  1. Legume Plants Enhance the Resistance of Soil to Ecosystem Disturbance.

    PubMed

    Gao, Dandan; Wang, Xiaoling; Fu, Shenglei; Zhao, Jie

    2017-01-01

    Cultivation of legume plants is well known to improve soil N level and net primary productivity; besides, it may deliver other ecosystem benefits such as increasing soil carbon sequestration and soil food web complexity. However, little is known about whether legumes can improve the resistance of soils to ecosystem disturbances. In the present study, we compared the resistance of soils to an ecosystem disturbance (understory removal) in the presence or absence of a legume species (Cassia alata) in mixed tree species plantations in southern China. Soil physico-chemical and biotic properties were employed to quantify the resistance of soils to understory removal. Our results showed that the resistance indices of soil water content, omnivorous-predacious nematode abundance and nematode channel index to understory removal were greater in the presence of legumes than those without legumes in wet season. The resistance indices of fungal to bacterial ratio, fungivorous nematode abundance and total arthropod abundance were greater in the presence of legume than those without legume species in dry season. Our results indicate that legumes may enhance the resistances of soil physico-chemical and biological properties to the ecosystem disturbance. Our findings could provide a better understanding of the myriad ways in which legumes can positively affect ecosystem functioning.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Plant community feedbacks and long-term ecosystem responses to multi-factored global change.

    PubMed

    Langley, J Adam; Hungate, Bruce A

    2014-07-14

    While short-term plant responses to global change are driven by physiological mechanisms, which are represented relatively well by models, long-term ecosystem responses to global change may be determined by shifts in plant community structure resulting from other ecological phenomena such as interspecific interactions, which are represented poorly by models. In single-factor scenarios, plant communities often adjust to increase ecosystem response to that factor. For instance, some early global change experiments showed that elevated CO2 favours plants that respond strongly to elevated CO2, generally amplifying the response of ecosystem productivity to elevated CO2, a positive community feedback. However, most ecosystems are subject to multiple drivers of change, which can complicate the community feedback effect in ways that are more difficult to generalize. Recent studies have shown that (i) shifts in plant community structure cannot be reliably predicted from short-term plant physiological response to global change and (ii) that the ecosystem response to multi-factored change is commonly less than the sum of its parts. Here, we survey results from long-term field manipulations to examine the role community shifts may play in explaining these common findings. We use a simple model to examine the potential importance of community shifts in governing ecosystem response. Empirical evidence and the model demonstrate that with multi-factored change, the ecosystem response depends on community feedbacks, and that the magnitude of ecosystem response will depend on the relationship between plant response to one factor and plant response to another factor. Tradeoffs in the ability of plants to respond positively to, or to tolerate, different global change drivers may underlie generalizable patterns of covariance in responses to different drivers of change across plant taxa. Mechanistic understanding of these patterns will help predict the community feedbacks that determine

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Ecosystem simplification, biodiversity loss and plant virus emergence.

    PubMed

    Roossinck, Marilyn J; García-Arenal, Fernando

    2015-02-01

    Plant viruses can emerge into crops from wild plant hosts, or conversely from domestic (crop) plants into wild hosts. Changes in ecosystems, including loss of biodiversity and increases in managed croplands, can impact the emergence of plant virus disease. Although data are limited, in general the loss of biodiversity is thought to contribute to disease emergence. More in-depth studies have been done for human viruses, but studies with plant viruses suggest similar patterns, and indicate that simplification of ecosystems through increased human management may increase the emergence of viral diseases in crops. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Meaningful traits for grouping plant species across arid ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Bär Lamas, Marlene Ivonne; Carrera, A L; Bertiller, M B

    2016-05-01

    Grouping species may provide some degree of simplification to understand the ecological function of plants on key ecosystem processes. We asked whether groups of plant species based on morpho-chemical traits associated with plant persistence and stress/disturbance resistance reflect dominant plant growth forms in arid ecosystems. We selected twelve sites across an aridity gradient in northern Patagonia. At each site, we identified modal size plants of each dominant species and assessed specific leaf area (SLA), plant height, seed mass, N and soluble phenol concentration in green and senesced leaves at each plant. Plant species were grouped according with plant growth forms (perennial grasses, evergreen shrubs and deciduous shrubs) and plant morphological and/or chemical traits using cluster analysis. We calculated mean values of each plant trait for each species group and plant growth form. Plant growth forms significantly differed among them in most of the morpho-chemical traits. Evergreen shrubs were tall plants with the highest seed mass and soluble phenols in leaves, deciduous shrubs were also tall plants with high SLA and the highest N in leaves, and perennial grasses were short plants with high SLA and low concentration of N and soluble phenols in leaves. Grouping species by the combination of morpho-chemical traits yielded 4 groups in which species from one growth form prevailed. These species groups differed in soluble phenol concentration in senesced leaves and plant height. These traits were highly correlated. We concluded that (1) plant height is a relevant synthetic variable, (2) growth forms adequately summarize ecological strategies of species in arid ecosystems, and (3) the inclusion of plant morphological and chemical traits related to defenses against environmental stresses and herbivory enhanced the potential of species grouping, particularly within shrubby growth forms.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Whole-system nutrient enrichment increases secondary production in a detritus-based ecosystem

    Treesearch

    W.F. Cross; J.B. Wallace; A.D. Rosemond; S.L. Eggert

    2006-01-01

    Although the effects of nutrient enrichment on consumer-resource dynamics are relatively well studied in ecosystems based on living plants, little is known about the manner in which enrichment influences the dynamics and productivity of consumers and resources in detritus-based ecosystems. Because nutrients can stimulate loss of carbon at the base of detrital food webs...

  18. Meeting the challenge: invasive plants in Pacific Northwest ecosystems.

    Treesearch

    Timothy B. Harrington; Sarah H. Reichard

    2007-01-01

    During September 19-20, 2006, a conference was held at the University of Washington Botanic Gardens, Seattle, WA, with the title "Meeting the challenge: invasive plants in Pacific Northwest Ecosystems." The mission of the conference was to create strategies and partnerships to understand and manage invasions of non-native plants in the Pacific Northwest. The...

  19. Spectral properties of subarctic plants for remote ecosystem assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Golubeva, Elena; Tutubalina, Olga; Rees, Gareth; Zimin, Mikhail; Mikheeva, Anna

    2014-05-01

    Multispectral and hyperspectral satellite images are increasingly used to identify properties of vegetation, its state, dynamics and productivity. Arctic vegetation is sensitive to changing habitat conditions related to both natural causes (in particular climatic trends), and human impact (both direct and indirect, e.g. associated with air, soil and water pollution). Change in the state of individual plants and of vegetation cover in general enables their use as indicators of natural and anthropogenic processes, manifested in satellite images through change of their spectral reflectance properties. These processes can be studied by identifying significant links between spectral properties of objects in satellite images and corresponding properties of plants, recorded in situ. We focus on the spectral signatures of subarctic plants dominating treeline ecotone ecosystems to assess the feasibility of mapping the spatial structure and dynamics of vegetation using multispectral and hyperspectral satellite imagery. Our model objects are tundra plants and ecosystems in both natural and technogenically disturbed environments in the central part of the Kola Peninsula, Russia. We conducted ground spectroradiometry with two spectroradiometers: ASD FieldSpec 3 Hi-res (350-2500 nm range with resolution from 3 to 10 nm) and SkyeInstruments SpectroSense 2+ (bands centred at 480, 550, 680, 840 nm, 50-130 nm wide) for samples of different species: Betula pubescens S.L., B. tortuosa, Picea abies, Betula nana, Ledum palustre, Vaccinium uligimosum, V. myrtillus, V. vitis-idaea, Empetrum hermaphroditum, Cetraria islandica (L), Flavocetraria nivalis (Cetraria nivalis), Alectoria ochroleuca, Cladonia arbuscula S.L., Hylocomium splendens and Pleurozium Shreberi. The results demonstrate the ability of green vegetation to selectively reflect solar radiation, depending on the species composition and state of the plants. Our results will be included in a spectral library of northern plants

  20. 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

    The 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.

  1. 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. © 2012 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2012 New Phytologist Trust.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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, ...

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. A review of impacts by invasive exotic plants on forest ecosystem services

    Treesearch

    Kevin Devine; Songlin. Fei

    2011-01-01

    Many of our forest ecosystems are at risk due to the invasion of exotic invasive plant species. Invasive plant species pose numerous threats to ecosystems by decreasing biodiversity, deteriorating ecosystem processes, and degrading ecosystem services. Literature on Kentucky's most invasive exotic plant species was examined to understand their potential impacts on...

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  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.

    2008-09-01

    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.

  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.

    2008-06-01

    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.

  12. The origins of plant pathogens in agro-ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Stukenbrock, Eva H; McDonald, Bruce A

    2008-01-01

    Plant pathogens can emerge in agricultural ecosystems through several mechanisms, including host-tracking, host jumps, hybridization and horizontal gene transfer. High-throughput DNA sequencing coupled with new analytical approaches make it possible to differentiate among these mechanisms and to infer the time and place where pathogens first emerged. We present several examples to illustrate the different mechanisms and timescales associated with the origins of important plant pathogens. In some cases pathogens were domesticated along with their hosts during the invention of agriculture approximately 10,000 years ago. In other cases pathogens appear to have emerged very recently and almost instantaneously following horizontal gene transfer or hybridization. The predominant unifying feature in these examples is the environmental and genetic uniformity of the agricultural ecosystem in which the pathogens emerged. We conclude that agro-ecosystems will continue to select for new pathogens unless they are re-engineered to make them less conducive to pathogen emergence.

  13. Nitrogen deposition weakens plant-microbe interactions in grassland ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Wei, Cunzheng; Yu, Qiang; Bai, Edith; Lü, Xiaotao; Li, Qi; Xia, Jianyang; Kardol, Paul; Liang, Wenju; Wang, Zhengwen; Han, Xingguo

    2013-12-01

    Soil carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) stoichiometry is a main driver of ecosystem functioning. Global N enrichment has greatly changed soil C : N ratios, but how altered resource stoichiometry influences the complexity of direct and indirect interactions among plants, soils, and microbial communities has rarely been explored. Here, we investigated the responses of the plant-soil-microbe system to multi-level N additions and the role of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and inorganic N stoichiometry in regulating microbial biomass in semiarid grassland in northern China. We documented a significant positive correlation between DOC and inorganic N across the N addition gradient, which contradicts the negative nonlinear correlation between nitrate accrual and DOC availability commonly observed in natural ecosystems. Using hierarchical structural equation modeling, we found that soil acidification resulting from N addition, rather than changes in the plant community, was most closely related to shifts in soil microbial community composition and decline of microbial respiration. These findings indicate a down-regulating effect of high N availability on plant-microbe interactions. That is, with the limiting factor for microbial biomass shifting from resource stoichiometry to soil acidity, N enrichment weakens the bottom-up control of soil microorganisms by plant-derived C sources. These results highlight the importance of integratively studying the plant-soil-microbe system in improving our understanding of ecosystem functioning under conditions of global N enrichment. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. 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.

  15. Plant community controls on short-term ecosystem nitrogen retention.

    PubMed

    de Vries, Franciska T; Bardgett, Richard D

    2016-05-01

    Retention of nitrogen (N) is a critical ecosystem function, especially in the face of widespread anthropogenic N enrichment; however, our understanding of the mechanisms involved is limited. Here, we tested under glasshouse conditions how plant community attributes, including variations in the dominance, diversity and range of plant functional traits, influence N uptake and retention in temperate grassland. We added a pulse of (15) N to grassland plant communities assembled to represent a range of community-weighted mean plant traits, trait functional diversity and divergence, and species richness, and measured plant and microbial uptake of (15) N, and leaching losses of (15) N, as a short-term test of N retention in the plant-soil system. Root biomass, herb abundance and dominant plant traits were the main determinants of N retention in the plant-soil system: greater root biomass and herb abundance, and lower root tissue density, increased plant (15) N uptake, while higher specific leaf area and root tissue density increased microbial (15) N uptake. Our results provide novel, mechanistic insight into the short-term fate of N in the plant-soil system, and show that dominant plant traits, rather than trait functional diversity, control the fate of added N in the plant-soil system. © 2016 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2016 New Phytologist Trust.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. The role of fish, wildlife, and plant research in ecosystem management

    Treesearch

    Susan C. Loeb; Michael R. Lennartz; Robert C. Szaro

    1998-01-01

    This paper examines the concepts of ecology, ecosystems, and ecosystem management and then further examines the role of fish, wildlife, and plant ecology research in ecosystem management, past, present, and future. It is often assumed that research in support of ecosystem management will entail comprehensive studies of entire ecosystems, whereas research programs that...

  19. Predators have large effects on ecosystem properties by changing plant diversity, not plant biomass.

    PubMed

    Schmitz, Oswald J

    2006-06-01

    Cascading effects of predators on total plant trophic-level biomass tend to be weaker in terrestrial than in aquatic systems. Accordingly, it is hypothesized that top predator effects on terrestrial plant diversity and on ecosystem function should likewise be weak or unimportant. This report presents a test of this hypothesis using data from a long-term field experiment. The five-year experiment manipulated the trophic structure of an old field ecosystem by excluding either predators or predators and herbivores relative to an unmanipulated, natural control. Long-term manipulations led to systematic treatment effects on community properties (plant trophic-level biomass, plant species biomass, plant species evenness) and on ecosystem properties (supply rate of solar radiation, N mineralization rate). The strengths of top predator effects on community properties were modest compared with nonterrestrial systems. But, predator-caused changes in plant community structure via alteration of plant dominance, and hence plant species evenness, strengthened effects on ecosystem properties. Counter to the hypothesis, weak trophic cascades do not necessarily lead to weak indirect effects of predators on ecosystem properties.

  20. Monitoring Trends in Productivity to Identify Vulnerable Ecosystems: Measuring Ecosystem Condition and Drought Resistance Across California Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malone, S. L.; Tulbure, M. G.; Pérez-Luque, A. J.; Ryan, M. G.; Joyce, L. A.

    2016-12-01

    Terrestrial ecosystems are vital for their role in fixing and storing carbon and recycling water and nutrients. Ecosystems buffer the atmosphere from large changes in carbon dioxide through processes (i.e. photosynthesis, respiration, evapotranspiration, and nutrient cycling) that are both driven by and an important feedback to climate and disturbance regimes. Although we understand the carbon value provided by ecosystems, the persistence of carbon sinks is a concern because the processes promoting carbon storage change overtime, shift with climate, and are heavily influenced by disturbance regimes. Combined with the diversity of natural ecosystems, the recent occurrence of drought make California an important case study to examine variations in productivity and drought resistance. We used a time series (2002-2014) of climate and productivity indices to identify drivers of ecosystem condition and drought resistance. Our results show distinct patterns in water use efficiency (WUE) in resilient and vulnerable ecosystems. Under normal conditions WUE varied across California (0.08 to 3.85 g C mm-1 H2O) and WUE generally increased under severe drought conditions in 2014 (p< 0.001; R2 = 0.83). Only 18% of the study area exhibited a decline in WUE (i.e. vulnerable ecosystems) and <1% of the study area experienced no change under drought conditions. Strong correlations between changes in WUE, precipitation and leaf area index (LAI) indicate that ecosystems with a lower average LAI (i.e. grasslands) also had greater C uptake rates and higher rates of carbon uptake efficiency (CUE = NPP/ LAI) under severe drought conditions. Drought severity, precipitation and WUE were identified as important drivers of shifts in ecosystem classes over the study period. These findings have important implications for understanding climate change effects on primary productivity and C sequestration across ecosystems and how this may influence ecosystem resistance in the future.

  1. Explaining plant-soil diversity in Alpine ecosystems: more than just time since ecosystem succession started

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lane, Stuart; Baetz, Nico; Borgeaud, Laure; Verrecchia, Eric; Vittoz, Pascal

    2014-05-01

    Ecosystem succession in Alpine environments has been a focus of research for many decades. Following from the classic ideas of Jenny (1941, 1961), following perturbation, an ecosystem (flora, fauna and soil) should evolve as a function of time at a rate conditioned by external variables (relief, climate, geology). More recently, biogeomorphologists have focused upon the notion of co-evolution of geomorphic processes with ecosystems over very short through to very long (evolutionary) time-scales. Alpine environments have been a particular focus of models of co-evolution, as a means of understanding the rate of plant colonization of previously glaciated terrain. However, work in this field has tended to adopt an over simplified view of the relationship between perturbation and succession, including: how the landform and ecosystem itself conditions the impact of a perturbation to create a complex spatial impact; and how perturbations are not simply ecosystem destroyers but can be a significant source of ecosystem resources. What this means is that at the within landform scale, there may well be a complex and dynamic topographic and sedimentological template that co-evolves with the development of soil, flora and fauna. In this paper, we present and test conceptual models for such co-evolution for an Alpine alluvial fan and an Alpine piedmont braided river. We combine detailed floristic inventory with soil inventory, survey of edaphic variables above and below ground (e.g. vertical and lateral sedimentological structure, using electrical resistance tomography) and the analysis of historical aerial imagery. The floristic inventory shows the existence of a suite of distinct plant communities within each landform. Time since last perturbation is not a useful explanatory variable of the spatial distribution of these communities because: (1) perturbation impacts are spatially variable, as conditioned by the extent distribution of topographic, edaphic and ecological

  2. 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.

  3. Forest Ecosystem Services As Production Inputs

    Treesearch

    Subhrendu Pattanayak; David T. Butry

    2003-01-01

    Are we cutting down tropical forests too rapidly and too extensively? If so, why? Answers to both questions are obscured in some ways by insufficient and unreliable data on the economic worth of forest ecosystem services. It is clear, however, that rapid, excessive cutting of forests can irreversibly and substantively impair ecosystem functions, thereby endangering the...

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 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, ...

  8. 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, ...

  9. Decadal trends in net ecosystem production and net ecosystem carbon balance for a regional socioecological system

    Treesearch

    David P. Turner; William D. Ritts; Zhiqiang Yang; Robert E. Kennedy; Warren B. Cohen; Maureen V. Duane; Peter E. Thornton; Beverly E. Law

    2011-01-01

    Carbon sequestration is increasingly recognized as an ecosystem service, and forest management has a large potential to alter regional carbon fluxes, notably by way of harvest removals and related impacts on net ecosystem production (NEP). In the Pacific Northwest region of the US, the implementation of the Northwest Forest Plan (NWFP) in 1993 established a regional...

  10. Bottom-up regulation of plant community structure in an aridland ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Báez, Selene; Collins, Scott L; Lightfoot, David; Koontz, Terri L

    2006-11-01

    We conducted a long-term rodent exclosure experiment in native grass- and shrub-dominated vegetation to evaluate the importance of top-down and bottom-up controls on plant community structure in a low-productivity aridland ecosystem. Using multiple regressions and analysis of covariance, we assessed how bottom-up precipitation pulses cascade through vegetation to affect rodent populations, how rodent populations affect plant community structure, and how rodents alter rates of plant community change over time. Our findings showed that bottom-up pulses cascade through the system, increasing the abundances of plants and rodents, and that rodents exerted no control on plant community structure and rate of change in grass-dominated vegetation, and only limited control in shrub-dominated vegetation. These results were discussed in the context of top-down effects on plant communities across broad gradients of primary productivity. We conclude that bottom-up regulation maintains this ecosystem in a state of low primary productivity that constrains the abundance of consumers such that they exert limited influence on plant community structure and dynamics.

  11. 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. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. Comparative analysis of marine ecosystems: international production modelling workshop.

    PubMed

    Link, Jason S; Megrey, Bernard A; Miller, Thomas J; Essington, Tim; Boldt, Jennifer; Bundy, Alida; Moksness, Erlend; Drinkwater, Ken F; Perry, R Ian

    2010-12-23

    Understanding the drivers that dictate the productivity of marine ecosystems continues to be a globally important issue. A vast literature identifies three main processes that regulate the production dynamics of such ecosystems: biophysical, exploitative and trophodynamic. Exploring the prominence among this 'triad' of drivers, through a synthetic analysis, is critical for understanding how marine ecosystems function and subsequently produce fisheries resources of interest to humans. To explore this topic further, an international workshop was held on 10-14 May 2010, at the National Academy of Science's Jonsson Center in Woods Hole, MA, USA. The workshop compiled the data required to develop production models at different hierarchical levels (e.g. species, guild, ecosystem) for many of the major Northern Hemisphere marine ecosystems that have supported notable fisheries. Analyses focused on comparable total system biomass production, functionally equivalent species production, or simulation studies for 11 different marine fishery ecosystems. Workshop activities also led to new analytical tools. Preliminary results suggested common patterns driving overall fisheries production in these ecosystems, but also highlighted variation in the relative importance of each among ecosystems.

  13. 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.

  14. Ecosystem services of woody crop production systems

    Treesearch

    Ronald S. Zalesny Jr.; John A. Stanturf; Emile S. Gardiner; James H. Perdue; Timothy M. Young; David R. Coyle; William L. Headlee; Gary S. Ba??uelos; Amir Hass

    2016-01-01

    Short-rotation woody crops are an integral component of regional and national energy portfolios, as well as providing essential ecosystem services such as biomass supplies, carbon sinks, clean water, and healthy soils. We review recent USDA Forest Service Research and Development efforts from the USDA Biomass Research Centers on the provisioning of these ecosystem...

  15. [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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Ecosystem engineers modulate exotic invasions in riparian plant communities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Corenblit, D.; Tabacchi, E.; Steiger, J.; Gonzales, E.; Planty-Tabacchi, A. M.

    2012-04-01

    The relationship between biodiversity and invasibility of exotic plant species within different environments and at different spatial scales is still being discussed amongst scientists. In this study, patterns of native and exotic plant species richness and cover were examined in relation with ecosystem engineer effects of pioneer vegetation within the active tract of the Mediterranean gravel bed river Tech, South France. The floristic composition was characterized according to two distinct vegetation types corresponding to two habitats with contrasted conditions: (i) open and exposed alluvial bars dominated by herbaceous communities and (ii) islands and river margins partly stabilized by ecosystem engineer plants, disconnected from annual hydrogeomorphic disturbances, and covered by woody vegetation. A significant positive correlation between exotic and native plant species richness and cover was observed for the herbaceous and the woody types, indicating that both native and exotic richness benefit from the prevailing environmental conditions. However, significant differences in native and exotic specific richness and cover were found between these two vegetation types. Higher values of total species richness and Shannon diversity of native and exotic species were attained within the herbaceous vegetation type compared to the woody type. These differences may be related to changes in local exposure to hydrogeomorphic disturbances driven by engineer plant species, and to vegetation succession. A lower exotic cover within the woody vegetation type compared to the herbaceous type suggested an increase of resistance to invasion by exotic species during the biogeomorphic succession. The engineer effects of woody vegetation resulted in a decrease of alpha (α) diversity at patch scale but, in parallel, caused an increase in gamma (γ) diversity at the scale of the studied river segment. Our study corroborates recent investigations that support the theory of biotic

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Ecosystem productivity and dynamics issued from multispectral and hyperspectral satellite imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kyparissis, Aris; Markos, Nikos; Stagakis, Stavros; Levizou, Efi; Sykioti, Olga

    2007-10-01

    Low resolution images from MODIS multispectral sensor are used for extracting indices correlated with major parameters of productivity, for two deciduous forests (Fagus sylvatica, Quercus sp.) and one shrubland dominated by the semi-deciduous Phlomis fruticosa. Ground ecophysiological measurements were conducted for three growing periods (2005-2007) and are used for indices evaluation as well as input parameters for an ecosystem productivity model. The results of the ground-based productivity model are compared to the 8day MODIS GPP product, showing that MODIS algorithm underestimates productivity and does not closely follow ecosystem dynamics. In an attempt for a more precise productivity product a new light-use efficiency model based on satellite and meteorological data is designed and presented. Moreover, hyperspectral images from CHRIS/PROBA are used for a more detailed study of the semi-decidual Phlomis fruticosa ecosystem. Ground ecophysiological measurements from two growing periods (2006-2007) are used for evaluation purposes. Images are geometrically corrected and atmospherically adjusted. The reflectance spectra obtained are used for extracting indices related to numerous plant physiological parameters. Fast responsive plant processes, such as the function of the photosynthetic apparatus, the photoprotective response to stress factors (low or high temperature, lack of precipitation) and the detailed pigment content of leaves (chlorophyll a, chlorophyll b, carotenoids) may well be followed by such indices issued from hyperspetral data, offering great advantage over multispectral images for ecosystem remote sensing.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Ecosystem restoration: a systems approach to exotic plant control

    Treesearch

    Karl D. Smith

    1998-01-01

    Ecosystem restoration is a systems approach because it relates to all of the thousands of interrelated and interacting systems within the ecosystem. Ecosystem restoration also changes your role in the forest from observer to participant. Some of the goals of ecosystem restoration are to improve the health, vigor, and diversity of the ecosystem--and these goals can and...

  10. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-01-01

    Feedbacks of terrestrial ecosystems to 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 microbial communities that feed 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 water availability. 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 activities, and soil nematodes. Multiple climate change factors can interact to shape ecosystems, but in this case, those interactions were largely driven by changes in water availability. 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. In sum, 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 direct

  12. 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.

  13. Plant responses to precipitation in desert ecosystems: integrating functional types, pulses, thresholds, and delays.

    PubMed

    Ogle, Kiona; Reynolds, James F

    2004-10-01

    The 'two-layer' and 'pulse-reserve' hypotheses were developed 30 years ago and continue to serve as the standard for many experiments and modeling studies that examine relationships between primary productivity and rainfall variability in aridlands. The two-layer hypothesis considers two important plant functional types (FTs) and predicts that woody and herbaceous plants are able to co-exist in savannas because they utilize water from different soil layers (or depths). The pulse-reserve model addresses the response of individual plants to precipitation and predicts that there are 'biologically important' rain events that stimulate plant growth and reproduction. These pulses of precipitation may play a key role in long-term plant function and survival (as compared to seasonal or annual rainfall totals as per the two-layer model). In this paper, we re-evaluate these paradigms in terms of their generality, strengths, and limitations. We suggest that while seasonality and resource partitioning (key to the two-layer model) and biologically important precipitation events (key to the pulse-reserve model) are critical to understanding plant responses to precipitation in aridlands, both paradigms have significant limitations. Neither account for plasticity in rooting habits of woody plants, potential delayed responses of plants to rainfall, explicit precipitation thresholds, or vagaries in plant phenology. To address these limitations, we integrate the ideas of precipitation thresholds and plant delays, resource partitioning, and plant FT strategies into a simple 'threshold-delay' model. The model contains six basic parameters that capture the nonlinear nature of plant responses to pulse precipitation. We review the literature within the context of our threshold-delay model to: (i) develop testable hypotheses about how different plant FTs respond to pulses; (ii) identify weaknesses in the current state-of-knowledge; and (iii) suggest future research directions that will

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Modelling the Influence of Ectomycorrhizal Decomposition on Plant Nutrition and Carbon Sequestartion in Boreal Forst Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baskaran, P.; Hyvönen, R.; Agren, G. I.; Clemmensen, K.; Lindahl, B.; Manzoni, S.

    2016-12-01

    Tree growth in boreal forests is limited by nitrogen availability (N). Most boreal forest trees form symbiotic association with ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi, that improve uptake of inorganic N and also have the capacity to decompose soil organic matter and to mobilize organic N (`ECM decomposition'). To mechanistically understand the effect of `ECM decomposition' on ecosystem C and N balances, we formulated a model of C and N flows to and from plants, SOM, saprotrophs, ECM fungi, and inorganic N stores. Our predictions indicate that the optimal C allocation to ECM fungi, above which the symbiosis switches from mutualism to parasitism, depends strongly on the partitioning of soil organic matter decomposition between ECM fungi and saprotrophs. At high relative ECM decomposition and low N availability, optimal C allocation was estimated to 15% of NPP. The model also predicts a negative correlation between plant production and soil C sequestration, as increased plant belowground C allocation increases ECM mining of organic N which promotes tree growth but decreases soil C storage. In conclusion, our model provides a tool for studying ecosystem productivity and C storage, where ECM decomposition acts as a potential driver of both decomposition of soil organic matter and plant N uptake.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. Plant and arthropod community sensitivity to rainfall manipulation but not nitrogen enrichment in a successional grassland ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Lee, Mark A; Manning, Pete; Walker, Catherine S; Power, Sally A

    2014-12-01

    Grasslands provide many ecosystem services including carbon storage, biodiversity preservation and livestock forage production. These ecosystem services will change in the future in response to multiple global environmental changes, including climate change and increased nitrogen inputs. We conducted an experimental study over 3 years in a mesotrophic grassland ecosystem in southern England. We aimed to expose plots to rainfall manipulation that simulated IPCC 4th Assessment projections for 2100 (+15% winter rainfall and -30% summer rainfall) or ambient climate, achieving +15% winter rainfall and -39% summer rainfall in rainfall-manipulated plots. Nitrogen (40 kg ha(-1) year(-1)) was also added to half of the experimental plots in factorial combination. Plant species composition and above ground biomass were not affected by rainfall in the first 2 years and the plant community did not respond to nitrogen enrichment throughout the experiment. In the third year, above-ground plant biomass declined in rainfall-manipulated plots, driven by a decline in the abundances of grass species characteristic of moist soils. Declining plant biomass was also associated with changes to arthropod communities, with lower abundances of plant-feeding Auchenorrhyncha and carnivorous Araneae indicating multi-trophic responses to rainfall manipulation. Plant and arthropod community composition and plant biomass responses to rainfall manipulation were not modified by nitrogen enrichment, which was not expected, but may have resulted from prior nitrogen saturation and/or phosphorus limitation. Overall, our study demonstrates that climate change may in future influence plant productivity and induce multi-trophic responses in grasslands.

  5. Biodiversity and ecosystem processes: lessons from nature to improve management of planted forests for REDD-plus

    Treesearch

    Ian D. Thompson; Kimiko Okabe; John A. Parrotta; David I. Forrester; Eckehard Brockerhoff; Hervé Jactel; Hisatomo. Taki

    2014-01-01

    Planted forests are increasingly contributing wood products and other ecosystem services at a global scale. These forests will be even more important as carbon markets develop and REDD-plus forest programs (forests used specifically to reduce atmospheric emissions of CO2 through deforestation and forest degradation) become common. Restoring degraded and deforested...

  6. 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.

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

    Gibbons, Sean M; Lekberg, Ylva; Mummey, Daniel L; Sangwan, Naseer; Ramsey, Philip W; Gilbert, Jack A

    2017-01-01

    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.

  9. 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

  10. Trends in ecosystem water use efficiency are potentially amplified by plasticity in plant functional traits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mastrotheodoros, Theodoros; Pappas, Christoforos; Molnar, Peter; Burlando, Paolo; Keenan, Trevor F.; Gentine, Pierre; Fatichi, Simone

    2017-04-01

    Increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations stimulate photosynthesis and reduce stomatal conductance, modifying plant water use efficiency. We analyzed eddy covariance flux tower observations from 20 forested ecosystems across the Northern Hemisphere. For these sites, a previous study showed an increase in inherent water use efficiency (IWUE) five times greater than expectations. We used an updated dataset and robust uncertainty quantification to analyze these contemporary trends in IWUE. We found that IWUE increased in the last 15-20 years by roughly 1.4% yr-1, which is less than previously reported, but still 2.8 times greater than theoretical expectations. Numerical simulations by means of an ecosystem model based on temporally static plant functional traits (i.e. model parameters) do not reproduce this increase. We tested the hypothesis that the observed increase in IWUE could be attributed to changes in plant functional traits, potentially triggered by environmental changes. Simulation results accounting for trait plasticity (i.e. by changing model parameters such as specific leaf area and maximum Rubisco capacity) match the observed trends in IWUE, with an increase in both leaf internal CO2 concentration and gross ecosystem production (GEP), and with a negligible trend in evapotranspiration (ET). This supports the hypothesis that changes in plant functional traits of about 1.0% yr-1 can explain the observed IWUE trends and are consistent with observed trends of GEP and ET at larger scales. Our results highlight that at decadal or longer time scales trait plasticity can considerably influence the water, carbon and energy fluxes with implications for both the monitoring of temporal changes in plant traits and their representation in Earth system models.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Integrating forest products with ecosystem services: a global perspective

    Treesearch

    Robert L. Deal; Rachel. White

    2012-01-01

    Around the world forests provide a broad range of vital ecosystem services. Sustainable forest management and forest products play an important role in global carbon management, but one of the major forestry concerns worldwide is reducing the loss of forestland from development. Currently, deforestation accounts for approximately 20% of total greenhouse gas emissions....

  15. Estimating aboveground net primary productivity in forest-dominated ecosystems

    Treesearch

    Brian D. Kloeppel; Mark E. Harmon; Timothy J. Fahey

    2007-01-01

    The measurement of net primary productivity (NPP) in forest ecosystems presents a variety of challenges because of the large and complex dimensions of trees and the difficulties of quantifying several components of NPP. As summarized by Clark et al. (2001a), these methodological challenges can be overcome, and more reliable spatial and temporal comparisons can be...

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Emerging Fungal Threats to Plants and Animals Challenge Agriculture and Ecosystem Resilience.

    PubMed

    Fones, Helen N; Fisher, Matthew C; Gurr, Sarah J

    2017-03-01

    While fungi can make positive contributions to ecosystems and agro-ecosystems, for example, in mycorrhizal associations, they can also have devastating impacts as pathogens of plants and animals. In undisturbed ecosystems, most such negative interactions will be limited through the coevolution of fungi with their hosts. In this article, we explore what happens when pathogenic fungi spread beyond their natural ecological range and become invasive on naïve hosts in new ecosystems. We will see that such invasive pathogens have been problematic to humans and their domesticated plant and animal species throughout history, and we will discuss some of the most pressing fungal threats of today.

  12. Effects of Plant Traits on Ecosystem and Regional Processes: a Conceptual Framework for Predicting the Consequences of Global Change

    PubMed Central

    CHAPIN, F. STUART

    2003-01-01

    Human activities are causing widespread changes in the species composition of natural and managed ecosystems, but the consequences of these changes are poorly understood. This paper presents a conceptual framework for predicting the ecosystem and regional consequences of changes in plant species composition. Changes in species composition have greatest ecological effects when they modify the ecological factors that directly control (and respond to) ecosystem processes. These interactive controls include: functional types of organisms present in the ecosystem; soil resources used by organisms to grow and reproduce; modulators such as microclimate that influence the activity of organisms; disturbance regime; and human activities. Plant traits related to size and growth rate are particularly important because they determine the productive capacity of vegetation and the rates of decomposition and nitrogen mineralization. Because the same plant traits affect most key processes in the cycling of carbon and nutrients, changes in plant traits tend to affect most biogeochemical cycling processes in parallel. Plant traits also have landscape and regional effects through their effects on water and energy exchange and disturbance regime. PMID:12588725

  13. The allocation of ecosystem net primary productivity in tropical forests

    PubMed Central

    Malhi, Yadvinder; Doughty, Christopher; Galbraith, David

    2011-01-01

    The allocation of the net primary productivity (NPP) of an ecosystem between canopy, woody tissue and fine roots is an important descriptor of the functioning of that ecosystem, and an important feature to correctly represent in terrestrial ecosystem models. Here, we collate and analyse a global dataset of NPP allocation in tropical forests, and compare this with the representation of NPP allocation in 13 terrestrial ecosystem models. On average, the data suggest an equal partitioning of allocation between all three main components (mean 34 ± 6% canopy, 39 ± 10% wood, 27 ± 11% fine roots), but there is substantial site-to-site variation in allocation to woody tissue versus allocation to fine roots. Allocation to canopy (leaves, flowers and fruit) shows much less variance. The mean allocation of the ecosystem models is close to the mean of the data, but the spread is much greater, with several models reporting allocation partitioning outside of the spread of the data. Where all main components of NPP cannot be measured, litterfall is a good predictor of overall NPP (r2 = 0.83 for linear fit forced through origin), stem growth is a moderate predictor and fine root production a poor predictor. Across sites the major component of variation of allocation is a shifting allocation between wood and fine roots, with allocation to the canopy being a relatively invariant component of total NPP. This suggests the dominant allocation trade-off is a ‘fine root versus wood’ trade-off, as opposed to the expected ‘root–shoot’ trade-off; such a trade-off has recently been posited on theoretical grounds for old-growth forest stands. We conclude by discussing the systematic biases in estimates of allocation introduced by missing NPP components, including herbivory, large leaf litter and root exudates production. These biases have a moderate effect on overall carbon allocation estimates, but are smaller than the observed range in allocation values across sites. PMID

  14. Restoration of Degraded Salt Affected Lands to Productive Forest Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, Yash; Singh, Gurbachan; Singh, Bajrang; Cerdà, Artemi

    2017-04-01

    time but it appears to be driven by two parallel sets of ameliorative mechanisms like (i) fertility building process associated with organic matter addition, nitrogen accretion and nutrient recycling (ii) sodicity alleviation process driven by improved leaching that lead to reduced soil dispersion and less sodium toxicity. The index of these changes in the soil depends on the age of the forest. The present paper is based on the 15 years field study conducted to find out the rate and time that is required to achieve the status at par with a reference site of natural forest of the region, a stage where aim of degraded salt affected soils may be diverted to productive forest ecosystem. Changes in soil properties were recorded under canopy of various aged plantations. Most of the leguminous species raised on degraded sodic soils rendered an appreciable reduction in soil pH and exchangeable sodium (ESP), decrease in bulk density and increasing in soil porosity and water holding capacity. Exchangeable K, Ca, Mg and organic carbon content increased with plant growth and age. As a result of afforestation, a significant increase in soil organic matter (4 times) and decrease in pH from 10.2 to 8.6 were recorded. Total available N was increased 2-4 times in forested soil in comparison to barren soil. Acknowledgements. The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° 603498 (RECARE project) References. Brevik, E. C., Cerdà, A., Mataix-Solera, J., Pereg, L., Quinton, J. N., Six, J., and Van Oost, K. 2015. The interdisciplinary nature of SOIL, SOIL, 1, 117-129, doi:10.5194/soil-1-117-2015 Celentano, D., G. X. Rousseau, V. L. Engel, M. Zelarayán, E. C. Oliveira, A. C. M. Araujo, and E. G. de Moura. 2016. Degradation of Riparian Forest Affects Soil Properties and Ecosystem Services Provision in Eastern Amazon of Brazil. Land Degradation and Development. doi:10.1002/ldr.2547

  15. Decadal trends in net ecosystem production and net ecosystem carbon balance for a regional socioecological system

    SciTech Connect

    Turner, David P.; Ritts, William D.; Yang, Zhiqiang; Kennedy, Robert E.; Cohen, Warren B.; Duane, Maureen V.; Thornton, Peter E.; Law, Beverly E.

    2011-07-14

    Carbon sequestration is increasingly recognized as an ecosystem service, and forest management has a large potential to alter regional carbon fluxes notably by way of harvest removals and related impacts on net ecosystem production (NEP). In the Pacific Northwest region of the U.S., the implementation of the Northwest Forest Plan (NWFP) in 1993 established a regional socioecological system focused on forest management. The NWFP resulted in a large (82%) decrease in the rate of harvest removals on public forest land, thus significantly impacting the regional carbon balance. Here we use a combination of remote sensing and ecosystem modeling to examine the trends in NEP and Net Ecosystem Carbon Balance (NECB) in this region over the 1985 to 2007 period, with particular attention to land ownership since management now differs widely between public and private forestland. In the late 1980s, forestland in both ownership classes was subject to high rates of harvesting, and consequently the land was a carbon source (i.e. had a negative NECB). After the policy driven reduction in the harvest level, public forest land became a large carbon sink driven in part by increasing NEP whereas private forest lands were close to carbon neutral. In the 2003-2007 period, the trend towards carbon accumulation on public lands continued despite a moderate increase in the extent of wildfire. The NWFP was originally implemented in the context of biodiversity conservation, but its consequences in terms of carbon sequestration are also of societal interest. Furthermore, management within the NWFP socioecological system will have to consider trade-offs among these and other ecosystem services.

  16. 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.

  17. Ecological impacts of invasive alien plants: a meta-analysis of their effects on species, communities and ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Vilà, Montserrat; Espinar, José L; Hejda, Martin; Hulme, Philip E; Jarošík, Vojtěch; Maron, John L; Pergl, Jan; Schaffner, Urs; Sun, Yan; Pyšek, Petr

    2011-07-01

    Biological invasions cause ecological and economic impacts across the globe. However, it is unclear whether there are strong patterns in terms of their major effects, how the vulnerability of different ecosystems varies and which ecosystem services are at greatest risk. We present a global meta-analysis of 199 articles reporting 1041 field studies that in total describe the impacts of 135 alien plant taxa on resident species, communities and ecosystems. Across studies, alien plants had a significant effect in 11 of 24 different types of impact assessed. The magnitude and direction of the impact varied both within and between different types of impact. On average, abundance and diversity of the resident species decreased in invaded sites, whereas primary production and several ecosystem processes were enhanced. While alien N-fixing species had greater impacts on N-cycling variables, they did not consistently affect other impact types. The magnitude of the impacts was not significantly different between island and mainland ecosystems. Overall, alien species impacts are heterogeneous and not unidirectional even within particular impact types. Our analysis also reveals that by the time changes in nutrient cycling are detected, major impacts on plant species and communities are likely to have already occurred. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  18. 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.

  19. Effects of climate change on mountain ecosystems -- upward shifting of alpine plants

    SciTech Connect

    Pauli, H.; Gottfried, G.; Grabherr, G.

    1996-12-31

    Ecosystems at high latitudes and altitudes are particularly sensitive to climate change. As an effect of global warming, upward shifting of plant species or entire vegetation belts in high mountain systems like the European Alps are predicted for the near future. Less productive mountain plants might become overgrown by more productive species from lower vegetation belts. The habitats of alpine and nival vegetation would be restricted dramatically, which might result in extinctions, particularly of summit floras. Evidence of upward movement of vascular plants in high mountains was recently empirically determined in the Austrian and Swiss Alps. During the summers of 1992 and 1993, data on the flora of 30 high summits was collected. A comparison of the recent investigations with historical records from the same peaks, which were researched between 1895 and 1953, indicated a distinct increase of species richness at 70% of the summits. This evidence of upward shifting of high mountain plants may already be a measurable result of global warming since the mid-19th century.

  20. 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 ...

  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. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Biodiversity impacts ecosystem productivity as much as resources, disturbance, or herbivory.

    PubMed

    Tilman, David; Reich, Peter B; Isbell, Forest

    2012-06-26

    Although the impacts of the loss of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning are well established, the importance of the loss of biodiversity relative to other human-caused drivers of environmental change remains uncertain. Results of 11 experiments show that ecologically relevant decreases in grassland plant diversity influenced productivity at least as much as ecologically relevant changes in nitrogen, water, CO(2), herbivores, drought, or fire. Moreover, biodiversity became an increasingly dominant driver of ecosystem productivity through time, whereas effects of other factors either declined (nitrogen addition) or remained unchanged (all others). In particular, a change in plant diversity from four to 16 species caused as large an increase in productivity as addition of 54 kg · ha(-1) · y(-1) of fertilizer N, and was as influential as removing a dominant herbivore, a major natural drought, water addition, and fire suppression. A change in diversity from one to 16 species caused a greater biomass increase than 95 kg · ha(-1) · y(-1) of N or any other treatment. Our conclusions are based on >7,000 productivity measurements from 11 long-term experiments (mean length, ~ 13 y) conducted at a single site with species from a single regional species pool, thus controlling for many potentially confounding factors. Our results suggest that the loss of biodiversity may have at least as great an impact on ecosystem functioning as other anthropogenic drivers of environmental change, and that use of diverse mixtures of species may be as effective in increasing productivity of some biomass crops as fertilization and may better provide ecosystem services.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Pharmaceuticals and Personal-Care Products in Plants.

    PubMed

    Bartrons, Mireia; Peñuelas, Josep

    2017-03-01

    Pharmaceuticals and personal-care products (PPCPs) derived from agricultural, urban, and industrial areas accumulate in plants at concentrations (ng to μg kg(-1)) that can be toxic to the plants. Importantly, the dietary intake of these PPCP-contaminated plants may also pose a risk to human health, but currently little is known about the fate of PPCPs in plants and their effect on or risk to the ecosystem. In this Opinion article we propose that in-depth research on the use of plants as a monitoring device for assessing the use and environmental presence of PPCPs is warranted. The toxicity of PPCPs to plants and their microbiota needs to be established, as well as any toxic effects on herbivores including humans. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  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. Predictors, spatial distribution, and occurrence of woody invasive plants in subtropical urban ecosystems

    Treesearch

    Christina L. Staudhammer; Francisco J. Escobedo; Nathan Holt; Linda J. Young; Thomas J. Brandeis; Wayne Zipperer; Other

    2015-01-01

    We examined the spatial distribution, occurrence, and socioecological predictors of woody invasive plants (WIP) in two subtropical, coastal urban ecosystems: San Juan, Puerto Rico and Miami-Dade, United States. These two cities have similar climates and ecosystems typical of subtropical regions but differ in socioeconomics, topography, and urbanization processes. Using...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. Non-native plants and adaptive collaborative approaches to ecosystem restoration [Chapter 8

    Treesearch

    John Schelhas; James H. Miller; Jeanne C. Chambers

    2012-01-01

    Non-native invasive plant species (NNIPS) pose a serious socio-ecological challenge due to their potential to replace and damage critical human-sustaining ecosystems (OTA 1993; Mack et al. 2000; Pimentel 2002). The impacts of non-native species are widespread and significant - altering ecosystem structure and function, threatening other species, and imposing human...

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

  17. Using a multi-trait approach to manipulate plant functional diversity in a biodiversity-ecosystem function experiment.

    PubMed

    Schittko, Conrad; Hawa, Mahmoud; Wurst, Susanne

    2014-01-01

    A frequent pattern emerging from biodiversity-ecosystem function studies is that functional group richness enhances ecosystem functions such as primary productivity. However, the manipulation of functional group richness goes along with major disadvantages like the transformation of functional trait data into categories or the exclusion of functional differences between organisms in the same group. In a mesocosm study we manipulated plant functional diversity based on the multi-trait Functional Diversity (FD)-approach of Petchey and Gaston by using database data of seven functional traits and information on the origin of the species in terms of being native or exotic. Along a gradient ranging from low to high FD we planted 40 randomly selected eight-species mixtures under controlled conditions. We found a significant positive linear correlation of FD with aboveground productivity and a negative correlation with invasibility of the plant communities. Based on community-weighted mean calculations for each functional trait, we figured out that the traits N-fixation and species origin, i.e. being native or exotic, played the most important role for community productivity. Our results suggest that the identification of the impact of functional trait diversity and the relative contributions of relevant traits is essential for a mechanistic understanding of the role of biodiversity for ecosystem functions such as aboveground biomass production and resistance against invasion.

  18. Using a Multi-Trait Approach to Manipulate Plant Functional Diversity in a Biodiversity-Ecosystem Function Experiment

    PubMed Central

    Schittko, Conrad; Hawa, Mahmoud; Wurst, Susanne

    2014-01-01

    A frequent pattern emerging from biodiversity-ecosystem function studies is that functional group richness enhances ecosystem functions such as primary productivity. However, the manipulation of functional group richness goes along with major disadvantages like the transformation of functional trait data into categories or the exclusion of functional differences between organisms in the same group. In a mesocosm study we manipulated plant functional diversity based on the multi-trait Functional Diversity (FD)-approach of Petchey and Gaston by using database data of seven functional traits and information on the origin of the species in terms of being native or exotic. Along a gradient ranging from low to high FD we planted 40 randomly selected eight-species mixtures under controlled conditions. We found a significant positive linear correlation of FD with aboveground productivity and a negative correlation with invasibility of the plant communities. Based on community-weighted mean calculations for each functional trait, we figured out that the traits N-fixation and species origin, i.e. being native or exotic, played the most important role for community productivity. Our results suggest that the identification of the impact of functional trait diversity and the relative contributions of relevant traits is essential for a mechanistic understanding of the role of biodiversity for ecosystem functions such as aboveground biomass production and resistance against invasion. PMID:24897501

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Climate change effects on plant biomass alter dominance patterns and community evenness in an experimental old-field ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Kardol, Paul; Campany, Courtney E; Souza, Lara; Norby, Richard J; Weltzin, Jake; Classen, Aimee T

    2010-01-01

    Atmospheric and climatic change can alter plant biomass production and plant community composition. However, we know little about how climate change-induced alterations in biomass production affect plant community composition. To better understand how climate change will alter both individual plant species and community biomass we manipulated atmospheric [CO2], air temperature and precipitation in a constructed old-field ecosystem. Specifically, we compared the responses of dominant and subdominant species to our treatments, and explored how changes in plant dominance patterns alter community evenness over two years. Our study resulted in four major findings: 1) All treatments, elevated [CO2], warming and increased precipitation, increased plant biomass and the effects were additive rather than interactive, 2) Plant species differed in their response to the treatments, resulting in shifts in the proportional biomass of individual species, which altered the plant community composition; however, the plant community response was largely driven by the responses of the dominant species, 3) Precipitation explained most of the variation in plant community composition among treatments, and 4) Changes in precipitation caused a shift in the dominant species proportional biomass that resulted in higher community evenness in the dry relative to wet treatments. Interestingly, compositional and evenness responses of the subdominant community to the treatments did not always follow the responses of the whole plant community. Our data suggest that changes in plant dominance patterns and community evenness are an important part of community responses to climate change, and generally, that compositional shifts can have important consequences for the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems.

  2. Fractionation of Nitrogen Isotopes by Plants with Different Types of Mycorrhiza in Mountain Tundra Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buzin, Igor; Makarov, Mikhail; Maslov, Mikhail; Tiunov, Alexei

    2017-04-01

    We studied nitrogen concentration and nitrogen isotope composition in plants from four mountain tundra ecosystems in the Khibiny Mountains. The ecosystems consisted of a toposequence beginning with the shrub-lichen heath (SLH) on the ridge and upper slope, followed by the Betula nana dominated shrub heath (SH) on the middle slope, the cereal meadow (CM) on the lower slope and the sedge meadow (SM) at the bottom of the slope. The inorganic nitrogen concentration of the soils from the studied ecosystems were significantly different; the SLH soil was found to contain the minimum concentration of N-NH4+ and N-NO3- , while in the soils of the meadow ecosystems these concentrations were much higher. The concentration of nitrogen in leaves of the dominant plant species in all of the ecosystems is directly connected with the concentration of inorganic nitrogen in the soils, regardless of the plant's mycorrhizal symbiosis type. However, such a correlation is not apparent in the case of plant roots, especially for plant roots with ectomycorrhiza and ericoid mycorrhiza. The majority of plant species with these types of mycorrhiza in the SH and particularly in the CM were enriched in 15N in comparison with the SLH (such plants were not found within the SM). This could be due to several reasons: 1) the decreasing role of mycorrhiza in nitrogen consumption and therefore in the fractionation of isotopes in the relatively-N-enriched ecosystems; 2) the use of relatively-15N-enriched forms of nitrogen for plant nutrition in meadow ecosystems. This heavier nitrogen isotope composition in plant roots with ectomycorrhiza and ericoid mycorrhiza in ecosystems with available nitrogen enriched soils doesn't correspond to the classical idea of mycorrhiza decreasing participation in nitrogen plant nutrition. The analysis of the isotope composition of separate labile forms of nitrogen makes it possible to explain the phenomenon. Not all arbuscular mycorrhizal species within the sedge meadow

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Host-plant genotypic diversity mediates the distribution of an ecosystem engineer.

    PubMed

    Crawford, Kerri M; Crutsinger, Gregory M; Sanders, Nathan J

    2007-08-01

    Ecosystem engineers affect ecological communities by physically modifying the environment. Understanding the factors determining the distribution of engineers offers a powerful predictive tool for community ecology. In this study, we examine whether the goldenrod bunch gall midge (Rhopalomyia solidaginis) functions as an ecosystem engineer in an old-field ecosystem by altering the composition of arthropod species associated with a dominant host plant, Solidago altissima. We also examine the suite of factors that could affect the distribution and abundance of this ecosystem engineer. The presence of bunch galls increased species richness and altered the structure of associated arthropod communities. The best predictors of gall abundance were host-plant genotype and plot-level genotypic diversity. We found positive, nonadditive effects of genotypic diversity on gall abundance. Our results indicate that incorporating a genetic component in studies of ecosystem engineers can help predict their distribution and abundance, and ultimately their effects on biodiversity.

  7. Quantifying Ecological Memory of Plant and Ecosystem Processes in Variable Environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ogle, K.; Barron-Gafford, G. A.; Bentley, L.; Cable, J.; Lucas, R.; Huxman, T. E.; Loik, M. E.; Smith, S. D.; Tissue, D.

    2010-12-01

    Precipitation, soil water, and other factors affect plant and ecosystem processes at multiple time scales. A common assumption is that water availability at a given time directly affects processes at that time. Recent work, especially in pulse-driven, semiarid systems, shows that antecedent water availability, averaged over several days to a couple weeks, can be just as or more important than current water status. Precipitation patterns of previous seasons or past years can also impact plant and ecosystem functioning in many systems. However, we lack an analytical framework for quantifying the importance of and time-scale over which past conditions affect current processes. This study explores the ecological memory of a variety of plant and ecosystem processes. We use memory as a metaphor to describe the time-scale over which antecedent conditions affect the current process. Existing approaches for incorporating antecedent effects arbitrarily select the antecedent integration period (e.g., the past 2 weeks) and the relative importance of past conditions (e.g., assign equal or linearly decreasing weights to past events). In contrast, we utilize a hierarchical Bayesian approach to integrate field data with process-based models, yielding posterior distributions for model parameters, including the duration of the ecological memory (integration period) and the relative importance of past events (weights) to this memory. We apply our approach to data spanning diverse temporal scales and four semiarid sites in the western US: leaf-level stomatal conductance (gs, sub-hourly scale), soil respiration (Rs, hourly to daily scale), and net primary productivity (NPP) and tree-ring widths (annual scale). For gs, antecedent factors (daily rainfall and temperature, hourly vapor pressure deficit) and current soil water explained up to 72% of the variation in gs in the Chihuahuan Desert, with a memory of 10 hours for a grass and 4 days for a shrub. Antecedent factors (past soil water

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Climate change decreases aquatic ecosystem productivity of Lake Tanganyika, Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Reilly, Catherine M.; Alin, Simone R.; Plisnier, Pierre-Denis; Cohen, Andrew S.; McKee, Brent A.

    2003-08-01

    Although the effects of climate warming on the chemical and physical properties of lakes have been documented, biotic and ecosystem-scale responses to climate change have been only estimated or predicted by manipulations and models. Here we present evidence that climate warming is diminishing productivity in Lake Tanganyika, East Africa. This lake has historically supported a highly productive pelagic fishery that currently provides 25-40% of the animal protein supply for the populations of the surrounding countries. In parallel with regional warming patterns since the beginning of the twentieth century, a rise in surface-water temperature has increased the stability of the water column. A regional decrease in wind velocity has contributed to reduced mixing, decreasing deep-water nutrient upwelling and entrainment into surface waters. Carbon isotope records in sediment cores suggest that primary productivity may have decreased by about 20%, implying a roughly 30% decrease in fish yields. Our study provides evidence that the impact of regional effects of global climate change on aquatic ecosystem functions and services can be larger than that of local anthropogenic activity or overfishing.

  16. 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. © 2016 Society for Conservation Biology.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. A conceptual ecosystem model of microbial communities in enhanced biological phosphorus removal plants.

    PubMed

    Nielsen, Per Halkjaer; Mielczarek, Artur Tomasz; Kragelund, Caroline; Nielsen, Jeppe Lund; Saunders, Aaron Marc; Kong, Yunhong; Hansen, Aviaja Anna; Vollertsen, Jes

    2010-09-01

    The microbial populations in 25 full-scale activated sludge wastewater treatment plants with enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR plants) have been intensively studied over several years. Most of the important bacterial groups involved in nitrification, denitrification, biological P removal, fermentation, and hydrolysis have been identified and quantified using quantitative culture-independent molecular methods. Surprisingly, a limited number of core species was present in all plants, constituting on average approx. 80% of the entire communities in the plants, showing that the microbial populations in EBPR plants are rather similar and not very diverse, as sometimes suggested. By focusing on these organisms it is possible to make a comprehensive ecosystem model, where many important aspects in relation to microbial ecosystems and wastewater treatment can be investigated. We have reviewed the current knowledge about these microorganisms with focus on key ecophysiological factors and combined this into a conceptual ecosystem model for EBPR plants. It includes the major pathways of carbon flow with specific organic substances, the dominant populations involved in the transformations, interspecies interactions, and the key factors controlling their presence and activity. We believe that the EBPR process is a perfect model system for studies of microbial ecology in water engineering systems and that this conceptual model can be used for proposing and testing theories based on microbial ecosystem theories, for the development of new and improved quantitative ecosystem models and is beneficial for future design and management of wastewater treatment systems. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Discriminating plant species across California's diverse ecosystems using airborne VSWIR and TIR imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meerdink, S.; Roberts, D. A.; Roth, K. L.

    2015-12-01

    Accurate knowledge of the spatial distribution of plant species is required for many research and management agendas that track ecosystem health. Because of this, there is continuous development of research focused on remotely-sensed species classifications for many diverse ecosystems. While plant species have been mapped using airborne imaging spectroscopy, the geographic extent has been limited due to data availability and spectrally similar species continue to be difficult to separate. The proposed Hyperspectral Infrared Imager (HyspIRI) space-borne mission, which includes a visible near infrared/shortwave infrared (VSWIR) imaging spectrometer and thermal infrared (TIR) multi-spectral imager, would present an opportunity to improve species discrimination over a much broader scale. Here we evaluate: 1) the capability of VSWIR and/or TIR spectra to discriminate plant species; 2) the accuracy of species classifications within an ecosystem; and 3) the potential for discriminating among species across a range of ecosystems. Simulated HyspIRI imagery was acquired in spring/summer of 2013 spanning from Santa Barbara to Bakersfield, CA with the Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) and the MODIS/ASTER Airborne Simulator (MASTER) instruments. Three spectral libraries were created from these images: AVIRIS (224 bands from 0.4 - 2.5 µm), MASTER (8 bands from 7.5 - 12 µm), and AVIRIS + MASTER. We used canonical discriminant analysis (CDA) as a dimension reduction technique and then classified plant species using linear discriminant analysis (LDA). Our results show the inclusion of TIR spectra improved species discrimination, but only for plant species with emissivities departing from that of a gray body. Ecosystems with species that have high spectral contrast had higher classification accuracies. Mapping plant species across all ecosystems resulted in a classification with lower accuracies than a single ecosystem due to the complex nature of

  1. 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.

  2. A conceptual model of plant responses to climate with implications for monitoring ecosystem change

    Treesearch

    C. David. Bertelsen

    2013-01-01

    Climate change is affecting natural systems on a global scale and is particularly rapid in the Southwest. It is important to identify impacts of a changing climate before ecosystems become unstable. Recognizing plant responses to climate change requires knowledge of both species present and plant responses to variable climatic conditions. A conceptual model derived...

  3. The role of planting in ecosystem restoration--pros and cons

    Treesearch

    Jim Guldin

    2016-01-01

    The role of planting in the restoration of southern pine ecosystems that are underrepresented on the landscape is simple to the point of being rudimentary--when a seed source of the desired species is absent from a stand, planting is the only way to re-establish the desired species in the stand being restored. The advantages are obvious, especially when application of...

  4. Where to plant urban trees? A spatially explicit methodology to explore ecosystem service tradeoffs

    Treesearch

    E.W. Bodnaruk; C.N. Kroll; Y. Yang; S. Hirabayashi; David Nowak; T.A. Endreny

    2017-01-01

    Urban trees can help mitigate some of the environmental degradation linked to the rapid urbanization of humanity. Many municipalities are implementing ambitious tree planting programs to help remove air pollution, mitigate urban heat island effects, and provide other ecosystem services and benefits but lack quantitative tools to explore priority planting locations and...

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Remote sensing of the energetic status of plants and ecosystems: optical and odorous signals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Penuelas, J.; Bartrons, M.; Llusia, J.; Filella, I.

    2016-12-01

    The optical and odorous signals emitted by plants and ecosystems present consistent relationships. They offer promising prospects for continuous local and global monitoring of the energetic status of plants and ecosystems, and therefore of their processing of energy and matter. We will discuss how the energetic status of plants (and ecosystems) resulting from the balance between the supply and demand of reducing power can be assessed biochemically, by the cellular NADPH/NADP ratio, optically, by using the photochemical reflectance index and sun-induced fluorescence as indicators of the dissipation of excess energy and associated physiological processes, and "odorously", by the emission of volatile organic compounds such as isoprenoids, as indicators of an excess of reducing equivalents and also of enhancement of protective converging physiological processes. These signals thus provide information on the energetic status, associated health status, and the functioning of plants and ecosystems. We will present the links among the three signals and will especially discuss the possibility of remotely sense the optical signals linked to carbon uptake and VOCs exchange by plants and ecosystems. These signals and their integration may have multiple applications for environmental and agricultural monitoring, for example, by extending the spatial coverage of carbon-flux and VOCs emission observations to most places and times, and/or for improving the process-based modeling of carbon fixation and isoprenoid emissions from terrestrial vegetation on plant, ecosystemic and global scales. Considerable challenges remain for a wide-scale and routine implementation of these biochemical, optical, and odorous signals for ecosystemic and/or agronomic monitoring and modeling, but its interest for making further steps forward in global ecology, agricultural applications, global carbon cycle, atmospheric science, and earth science warrants further research efforts in this line.

  12. Increased productivity in wet years drives a decline in ecosystem stability with nitrogen additions in arid grasslands.

    PubMed

    Wang, Junfeng; Knops, Johannes M H; Brassil, Chad E; Mu, Chunsheng

    2017-07-01

    Adding nutrients to nutrient-limited ecosystems typically lowers plant diversity and decreases species asynchrony. Both, in turn, decrease the stability of productivity in the response to negative climate fluctuations such as droughts. However, most classic studies examining stability have been done in relatively wet grasslands dominated by perennial grasses. We examined how nutrient additions influence the stability of productivity to rainfall variability in an arid grassland with a mix of perennial and annual species. Of the nutrients, only nitrogen increased productivity, and only in wet years. In addition, only nitrogen decreased the stability of productivity. Thus, nutrient addition makes ecosystem productivity less stable in both wet and arid grasslands. However, the mechanism is very different. In contrast to wet grasslands, adding nitrogen to an arid grassland did not decrease diversity. Rather, stability decreased with nitrogen addition due to an increase in annual species that increased productivity. In other words, in our arid grassland, nitrogen addition decreased ecosystem stability because of increased ecosystem responsiveness to positive climate fluctuations. These climate fluctuations were facilitated by annual species that take advantage of wet years and can escape dry years as seeds. Our data support the conclusion that nutrient additions decrease the stability of productivity in both wet and arid grasslands. Nutrient enrichment increases the sensitivity of productivity to low rainfall years in wet grasslands, whereas nutrient enrichment in arid grasslands increases the sensitivity of productivity to high rainfall years. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Plant species and functional group combinations affect green roof ecosystem functions.

    PubMed

    Lundholm, Jeremy; Macivor, J Scott; Macdougall, Zachary; Ranalli, Melissa

    2010-03-12

    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. 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. 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 governing biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships in green

  3. 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

  4. Wildland fire in ecosystems: fire and nonnative invasive plants

    Treesearch

    Kristin Zouhar; Jane Kapler Smith; Steve Sutherland; Matthew L. Brooks

    2008-01-01

    This state-of-knowledge review of information on relationships between wildland fire and nonnative invasive plants can assist fire managers and other land managers concerned with prevention, detection, and eradication or control of nonnative invasive plants. The 16 chapters in this volume synthesize ecological and botanical principles regarding relationships between...

  5. Invasive exotic plant species in Sierra Nevada ecosystems

    Treesearch

    Carla M. D' Antonio; Eric L. Berlow; Karen L. Haubensak

    2004-01-01

    The Sierra Nevada is a topographically and floristically diverse region of the western United States. While it comprises only a fifth of the total land area of California, half of the native plant species in the state occur within the range. In addition, more than 400 plant species are endemic to the Sierra Nevada and many of these are listed as threatened or have...

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Agricultural ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Kindscher, K.

    1984-01-01

    The agricultural ecosystem concept promotes a distinctive set of ecological principles that give diversity and stability to the food production process. This system allows people to work more closely with nature and to feel a spiritual connection with the earth. Agricultural ecosystems can be designed to provide numerous advantages. They can be energy conserving, more permanent, make better use of space, reduce and eliminate the need for pesticides, tillage, and chemical fertilizers, and provide food for the local community. The agricultural ecosystem model presented is most suitable for a small-scale farmer or market gardener, but the principles can also be applied on a larger or smaller acreage. The agricultural ecosystem concept is a model-building process that will go through successional stages to a more mature food-producing plant community. The agricultural ecosystem concept expresses permanence and ecology, and is a step toward sustainable agriculture. 55 references, 4 figures.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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).

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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. © 2014 The Authors Global Change Biology Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. 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

  8. 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; '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 <0.7 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Virus like particles production in green plants

    PubMed Central

    Santi, Luca; Huang, Zhong; Mason, Hugh

    2007-01-01

    Viruses like particles (VLPs), assembled from capsid structural subunits of several different viruses, have found a number of biomedical applications such as vaccines and novel delivery systems for nucleic acids and small molecules. Production of recombinant proteins in different plant systems has been intensely investigated and improved upon in the last two decades. Plant derived antibodies, vaccines, and microbicides have received great attention and shown immense promise. In the case of mucosal vaccines, orally delivered plant produced VLPs require minimal processing of the plant tissue, thus offering an inexpensive and safe alternative to more conventional live attenuated and killed virus vaccines. For other applications which require higher level of purification, recent progress in expression levels using plant viral vectors have shown that plants can compete with traditional fermentation systems. In this review the different methods used in the production of VLPs in green plants are described. Specific examples of expression, assembly, and immunogenicity of several plant-derived VLPs are presented. PMID:16997715

  11. 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).

  12. [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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. The phenology of gross ecosystem productivity and ecosystem respiration in temperate hardwood and conifer chronosequences

    Treesearch

    A. Noormets

    2009-01-01

    The relative duration of active and dormant seasons has a strong influence on ecosystem net carbon balance and its carbon uptake potential. While recognized as an important source of temporal and spatial variability, the seasonality of ecosystem carbon balance has not been studied explicitly, and still lacks standard terminology. In the current chapter, we apply a...

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Nitrogen limitation of net primary productivity in terrestrial ecosystems is globally distributed.

    PubMed

    LeBauer, David S; Treseder, Kathleen K

    2008-02-01

    Our meta-analysis of 126 nitrogen addition experiments evaluated nitrogen (N) limitation of net primary production (NPP) in terrestrial ecosystems. We tested the hypothesis that N limitation is widespread among biomes and influenced by geography and climate. We used the response ratio (R approximately equal ANPP(N)/ANPP(ctrl)) of aboveground plant growth in fertilized to control plots and found that most ecosystems are nitrogen limited with an average 29% growth response to nitrogen (i.e., R = 1.29). The response ratio was significant within temperate forests (R = 1.19), tropical forests (R = 1.60), temperate grasslands (R = 1.53), tropical grasslands (R = 1.26), wetlands (R = 1.16), and tundra (R = 1.35), but not deserts. Eight tropical forest studies had been conducted on very young volcanic soils in Hawaii, and this subgroup was strongly N limited (R = 2.13), which resulted in a negative correlation between forest R and latitude. The degree of N limitation in the remainder of the tropical forest studies (R = 1.20) was comparable to that of temperate forests, and when the young Hawaiian subgroup was excluded, forest R did not vary with latitude. Grassland response increased with latitude, but was independent of temperature and precipitation. These results suggest that the global N and C cycles interact strongly and that geography can mediate ecosystem response to N within certain biome types.

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

    PubMed

    Lev-Yadun, Simcha

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Fire management and woody invasive plants in oak ecosystems

    Treesearch

    Joanne. Rebbeck

    2012-01-01

    The use of prescribed fire to sustain oak forests has increased rapidly in the last decade as the threat of poor regeneration and increased dominance of shade tolerant or fire sensitive tree species grows. While prescribed fire can favor oak regeneration, it may also increase the invasion and expansion of nonnative invasive plant species (NNIS). Little is known about...

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Decreased plant productivity resulting from plant group removal experiment constrains soil microbial functional diversity.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ximei; Johnston, Eric R; Barberán, Albert; Ren, Yi; Lü, Xiaotao; Han, Xingguo

    2017-10-01

    Anthropogenic environmental changes are accelerating the rate of biodiversity loss on Earth. Plant diversity loss is predicted to reduce soil microbial diversity primarily due to the decreased variety of carbon/energy resources. However, this intuitive hypothesis is supported by sparse empirical evidence, and most underlying mechanisms remain underexplored or obscure altogether. We constructed four diversity gradients (0-3) in a five-year plant functional group removal experiment in a steppe ecosystem in Inner Mongolia, China, and quantified microbial taxonomic and functional diversity with shotgun metagenome sequencing. The treatments had little effect on microbial taxonomic diversity, but were found to decrease functional gene diversity. However, the observed decrease in functional gene diversity was more attributable to a loss in plant productivity, rather than to the loss of any individual plant functional group per se. Reduced productivity limited fresh plant resources supplied to microorganisms, and thus, intensified the pressure of ecological filtering, favoring genes responsible for energy production/conversion, material transport/metabolism and amino acid recycling, and accordingly disfavored many genes with other functions. Furthermore, microbial respiration was correlated with the variation in functional composition but not taxonomic composition. Overall, the amount of carbon/energy resources driving microbial gene diversity was identified to be the critical linkage between above- and belowground communities, contrary to the traditional framework of linking plant clade/taxonomic diversity to microbial taxonomic diversity. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Forest health in the Blue Mountains: an plant ecologist's perspective on ecosystem processes and biological diversity.

    Treesearch

    Charles G. Johnson

    1994-01-01

    Natural disturbances are important to ecosystem processes. Disturbances historically have occurred in the vegetation of the Blue Mountain area of northeastern Oregon and southeastern Washington. The primary modifying events that historically have cycled through most of its plant communities are fire, grazing and browsing, insect and disease epidemics, windthrow,...

  18. Patterns of Genetic Variation in Woody Plant Species in the Missouri Ozark Forest Ecosystem Project

    Treesearch

    Victoria L. Sork; Anthony Koop; Marie Ann de la Fuente; Paul Foster; Jay. Raveill

    1997-01-01

    We quantified current patterns of genetic variation of three woody plant species—Carya tomentosa (Juglandaceae), Quercus alba (Fagaceae), and Sassafras albidum (Lauraceae)—distributed throughout the nine Missouri Ozark Forest Ecosystem Project (MOFEP) study sites and evaluated the data in light of the MOFEP...

  19. The new flora of the northeastern USA: quantifying introduced plant species occupancy in forest ecosystems

    Treesearch

    Bethany K. Schulz; Andrew N. Gray

    2013-01-01

    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...

  20. 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…

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

    Treesearch

    Dean E. Pearson

    2010-01-01

    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...

  2. 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…

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  4. 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.

  5. Cross-ecosystem comparisons of in situ plant uptake of amino acid-N and NH4+

    Treesearch

    Jack W. McFarland; Roger W. Ruess; Knut Kielland; Kurt Pregitzer; Ronald Hendrick; Michael. Allen

    2010-01-01

    Plant and microbial use of nitrogen (N) can be simultaneously mutualistic and competitive, particularly in ecosystems dominated by mycorrhizal fungi. Our goal was to quantify plant uptake of organic and inorganic N across a broad latitudinal gradient of forest ecosystems that varied with respect to overstory taxon, edaphic characteristics, and dominant mycorrhizal...

  6. Non-native plant invasion along elevation and canopy closure gradients in a Middle Rocky Mountain ecosystem

    Treesearch

    Joshua P. Averett; Bruce McCune; Catherine G. Parks; Bridgett J. Naylor; Tim DelCurto; Ricardo Mata-Gonz??lez; RunGuo Zang

    2016-01-01

    Mountain environments are currently among the ecosystems least invaded by non-native species; however, mountains are increasingly under threat of non-native plant invasion. The slow pace of exotic plant invasions in mountain ecosystems is likely due to a combination of low anthropogenic disturbances, low propagule supply, and extreme/steep environmental gradients. The...

  7. Net Ecosystem Production and Actionable Negative Emissions Strategies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeCicco, J. M.; Heo, J.

    2016-12-01

    Negative emissions strategies, designed to increase the rate at which carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases are removed from the atmosphere, are an important aspect of broader strategies for mitigating climate change. Not only is CO2 the dominant greenhouse gas and the one most intimately tied to existing commercial energy use, but it is also part of the global carbon cycle. On the order of 200 PgC•yr-1 circulates between the atmosphere and the major carbon stocks of the terrestrial biosphere, oceans and geosphere. Anthropogenic flows of roughly 10 PgC•yr-1 from fossil fuel use and 1 PgC•yr-1 from land-use change significantly exceed the Earth's natural carbon sink, and this imbalance causes the buildup of carbon in the atmosphere. In addition to strategies for reducing CO2 emissions, increasing negative emissions through carbon dioxide removal (CDR) is crucial for reducing carbon cycle imbalance in the near term as well as meeting long-term goals such as a 2°C limit. Terrestrial carbon management is important for both reducing emissions and enhancing sinks. Photosynthesis in terrestrial ecosystems is the form of CDR that is now most actionable, referring to mechanisms that can be economically implemented at meaningful scales without technology breakthroughs. Net ecosystem production (NEP) is a crucial metric for guiding CDR involving the terrestrial biosphere, including options such as bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and other forms of bio-based mitigation. We derive the necessary conditions for effective implementation of this category of negative emissions measures, emphasizing the importance of NEP measurement, baselines and appropriate methods of carbon accounting. We present a method for quantitative spatio-temporal analysis of land-use and land-cover changes for estimating landscape-scale NEP; provide a preliminary baseline NEP estimate for the continental United States; apply the method to reveal a cautionary tale

  8. 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

  9. Spectral filtering for plant production

    SciTech Connect

    Young, R.E.; McMahon, M.J.; Rajapakse, N.C.; Becoteau, D.R.

    1994-12-31

    Research to date suggests that spectral filtering can be an effective alternative to chemical growth regulators for altering plant development. If properly implemented, it can be nonchemical and environmentally friendly. The aqueous CuSO{sub 4}, and CuCl{sub 2} solutions in channelled plastic panels have been shown to be effective filters, but they can be highly toxic if the solutions contact plants. Some studies suggest that spectral filtration limited to short EOD intervals can also alter plant development. Future research should be directed toward confirmation of the influence of spectral filters and exposure times on a broader range of plant species and cultivars. Efforts should also be made to identify non-noxious alternatives to aqueous copper solutions and/or to incorporate these chemicals permanently into plastic films and panels that can be used in greenhouse construction. It would also be informative to study the impacts of spectral filters on insect and microbal populations in plant growth facilities. The economic impacts of spectral filtering techniques should be assessed for each delivery methodology.

  10. 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.

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. Cold air drainage flows subsidize montane valley ecosystem productivity

    Treesearch

    Kimberly A. Novick; Andrew C. Oishi; Chelcy Ford Miniat

    2016-01-01

    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...

  14. Alternative silvicultural practices in Appalachian forest ecosystems: implications for species diversity, ecosystem resilience, and commercial timber production

    Treesearch

    Thomas R. Fox; Carola A. Haas; David W. Smith; David L. Loftis; Shepard M. Zedaker; Robert H. Jones; A.L. Hammett

    2007-01-01

    Increasing demands for timber and non-timber forest products often conflict with demands to maintain biodiversity and ecosystem processes. To examine tradeoffs between these goals, we implemented six alternative management systems using a stand-level, replicated experiment. The treatments included four silvicultural regeneration methods designed to sustain timber...

  15. 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.

  16. Uncovering the contribution of epigenetics to plant phenotypic variation in Mediterranean ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Balao, F; Paun, O; Alonso, C

    2017-06-21

    Epigenetic signals can affect plant phenotype and fitness and be stably inherited across multiple generations. Epigenetic regulation plays a key role in the mechanisms of plant response to the environment, without altering DNA sequence. As plants cannot adapt behaviourally or migrate instantly, such dynamic epigenetic responses may be particularly crucial for survival of plants within changing and challenging environments, such as the Mediterranean-Type Ecosystems (MTEs). These ecosystems suffer recurrent stressful events (warm and dry summers with associated fire regimes) that have selected for plants with similar phenotypic complex traits, resulting in similar vegetation growth forms. However, the potential role of epigenetics in plant adaptation to recurrent stressful environments such as the MTEs has generally been ignored. To understand the full spectrum of adaptive processes in such contexts, it is imperative to prompt study of the causes and consequences of epigenetic variation in natural populations. With this purpose, we review here current knowledge on epigenetic variation in natural populations and the genetic and epigenetic basis of some key traits for plants in the MTEs, namely those traits involved in adaptation to drought, fire and oligotrophic soils. We conclude there is still much to be learned about 'plant epigenetics in the wild' and, thus, we propose future research steps in the study of natural epigenetic variation of key traits in the MTEs at different scales. © 2017 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  17. 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

  18. A global database of sap flow measurements (SAPFLUXNET) to link plant and ecosystem physiology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poyatos, Rafael; Granda, Víctor; Flo, Víctor; Molowny-Horas, Roberto; Mencuccini, Maurizio; Oren, Ram; Katul, Gabriel; Mahecha, Miguel; Steppe, Kathy; Martínez-Vilalta, Jordi

    2017-04-01

    Regional and global networks of ecosystem CO2 and water flux monitoring have dramatically increased our understanding of ecosystem functioning in the last 20 years. More recently, analyses of ecosystem-level fluxes have successfully incorporated data streams at coarser (remote sensing) and finer (plant traits) organisational scales. However, there are few data sources that capture the diel to seasonal dynamics of whole-plant physiology and that can provide a link between organism- and ecosystem-level function. Sap flow measured in plant stems reveals the temporal patterns in plant water transport, as mediated by stomatal regulation and hydraulic architecture. The widespread use of thermometric methods of sap flow measurement since the 1990s has resulted in numerous data sets for hundreds of species and sites worldwide, but these data have remained fragmentary and generally unavailable for syntheses of regional to global scope. We are compiling the first global database of sub-daily sap flow measurements in individual plants (SAPFLUXNET), aimed at unravelling the environmental and biotic drivers of plant transpiration regulation globally. I will present the SAPFLUXNET data infrastructure and workflow, which is built upon flexible, open-source computing tools within the R environment (dedicated R packages and classes, interactive documents and apps with Rmarkdown and Shiny). Data collection started in mid-2016, we have already incorporated > 50 datasets representing > 40 species and > 350 individual plants, globally distributed, and the number of contributed data sets is increasing rapidly. I will provide a general overview of the distribution of available data sets according to climate, measurement method, species, functional groups and plant size attributes. In parallel to the sap flow data compilation, we have also collated published results from calibrations of sap flow methods, to provide a first quantification on the variability associated with different sap

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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. © 2013 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2013 New Phytologist Trust.

  2. 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.

  3. Plants cause ecosystem nutrient depletion via the interruption of bird-derived spatial subsidies.

    PubMed

    Young, Hillary S; McCauley, Douglas J; Dunbar, Robert B; Dirzo, Rodolfo

    2010-02-02

    Plant introductions and subsequent community shifts are known to affect nutrient cycling, but most such studies have focused on nutrient enrichment effects. The nature of plant-driven nutrient depletions and the mechanisms by which these might occur are relatively poorly understood. In this study we demonstrate that the proliferation of the commonly introduced coconut palm, Cocos nucifera, interrupts the flow of allochthonous marine subsidies to terrestrial ecosystems via an indirect effect: impact on birds. Birds avoid nesting or roosting in C. nucifera, thus reducing the critical nutrient inputs they bring from the marine environment. These decreases in marine subsidies then lead to reductions in available soil nutrients, decreases in leaf nutrient quality, diminished leaf palatability, and reduced herbivory. This nutrient depletion pathway contrasts the more typical patterns of nutrient enrichment that follow plant species introductions. Research on the effects of spatial subsidy disruptions on ecosystems has not yet examined interruptions driven by changes within the recipient community, such as plant community shifts. The ubiquity of coconut palm introductions across the tropics and subtropics makes these observations particularly noteworthy. Equally important, the case of C. nucifera provides a strong demonstration of how plant community changes can dramatically impact the supply of allochthonous nutrients and thereby reshape energy flow in ecosystems.

  4. Plants cause ecosystem nutrient depletion via the interruption of bird-derived spatial subsidies

    PubMed Central

    Young, Hillary S.; McCauley, Douglas J.; Dunbar, Robert B.; Dirzo, Rodolfo

    2010-01-01

    Plant introductions and subsequent community shifts are known to affect nutrient cycling, but most such studies have focused on nutrient enrichment effects. The nature of plant-driven nutrient depletions and the mechanisms by which these might occur are relatively poorly understood. In this study we demonstrate that the proliferation of the commonly introduced coconut palm, Cocos nucifera, interrupts the flow of allochthonous marine subsidies to terrestrial ecosystems via an indirect effect: impact on birds. Birds avoid nesting or roosting in C. nucifera, thus reducing the critical nutrient inputs they bring from the marine environment. These decreases in marine subsidies then lead to reductions in available soil nutrients, decreases in leaf nutrient quality, diminished leaf palatability, and reduced herbivory. This nutrient depletion pathway contrasts the more typical patterns of nutrient enrichment that follow plant species introductions. Research on the effects of spatial subsidy disruptions on ecosystems has not yet examined interruptions driven by changes within the recipient community, such as plant community shifts. The ubiquity of coconut palm introductions across the tropics and subtropics makes these observations particularly noteworthy. Equally important, the case of C. nucifera provides a strong demonstration of how plant community changes can dramatically impact the supply of allochthonous nutrients and thereby reshape energy flow in ecosystems. PMID:20133852

  5. 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.

  6. Does woody plant encroachment increase ecosystem carbon stocks?

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  7. 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

  8. 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. © 2014 Society for Experimental Biology, Association of Applied Biologists and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  9. 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.

  10. Controls on the ratio of mesozooplankton production to primary production in marine ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stock, Charles; Dunne, John

    2010-01-01

    An ecosystem model was used to (1) determine the extent to which global trends in the ratio of mesozooplankton production to primary production (referred to herein as the " z-ratio") can be explained by nutrient enrichment, temperature, and euphotic zone depth, and (2) quantitatively diagnose the mechanisms driving these trends. Equilibrium model solutions were calibrated to observed and empirically derived patterns in phytoplankton biomass and growth rates, mesozooplankton biomass and growth rates, and the fraction of phytoplankton that are large (>5 μm ESD). This constrained several otherwise highly uncertain model parameters. Most notably, half-saturation constants for zooplankton feeding were constrained by the biomass and growth rates of their prey populations, and low zooplankton basal metabolic rates were required to match observations from oligotrophic ecosystems. Calibrated model solutions had no major biases and produced median z-ratios and ranges consistent with estimates. However, much of the variability around the median values in the calibration dataset (72 points) could not be explained. Model results were then compared with an extended global compilation of z-ratio estimates (>10 000 points). This revealed a modest yet significant ( r=0.40) increasing trend in z-ratios from values ˜0.01-0.04 to ˜0.1-0.2 with increasing primary productivity, with the transition from low to high z-ratios occurring at lower primary productivity in cold-water ecosystems. Two mechanisms, both linked to increasing phytoplankton biomass, were responsible: (1) zooplankton gross growth efficiencies increased as their ingestion rates became much greater than basal metabolic rates and (2) the trophic distance between primary producers and mesozooplankton shortened as primary production shifted toward large phytoplankton. Mechanism (1) was most important during the transition from low to moderate productivity ecosystems and mechanism (2) was responsible for a relatively

  11. Production and emission of phosphine gas from wetland ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Han, Chao; Gu, Xueyuan; Geng, Jinju; Hong, Yuning; Zhang, Rui; Wang, Xiaorong; Gao, Shixiang

    2010-01-01

    Phosphine is a part of an atmospheric link of phosphorus cycle on earth, which could be an important pathway for phosphorus transport in environment. Wetland ecosystems are important locations for global biogeochemical phosphorus cycle. In this study, production and emission fluxes of free phosphine from four wetlands types in southern China were observed in different seasons. The results showed that the concentration of phosphine liberated from wetlands was at pg/m3-ng/m3 level. The emission concentrations of different wetlands followed the sequence: paddy field (51.83 +/- 3.06) ng/m3 > or = marsh (46.54 +/- 20.55) ng/m3 > lake (37.05 +/- 22.74) ng/m3 > coastal wetland (1.71 +/- 0.73) ng/m3, the positive phosphine emission flux occurred in rice paddy field (6.67 +/- 5.18) ng/(m2 x hr) and marsh (6.23 +/- 26.9) ng/(m2 x hr), while a negative phosphine flux of (-13.11 +/- 35.04) ng/(m2 x hr) was observed on the water-air interface of Lake Taihu, suggesting that paddy field and marsh may be important sources for phosphine gas in atmosphere, while lake may be a sink of atmospheric phosphine gas during the sampling period. Atmospheric phosphine levels and emission flux from Yancheng marsh and rice paddy field varied in different seasons and vegetational zones. Both diffusion resistance in aqueous phase and temperature were dominating factors for the production and transportation of phosphine to atmosphere.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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... INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA; MOVEMENT OF PLANTS AND PLANT PRODUCTS § 302.2 Movement of plants and plant products. Inspection or documentation of the plant health status of...

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Timber productivity of seven forest ecosystems in southeastern Alaska.

    Treesearch

    Willem W.S. van Hees

    1988-01-01

    Observations of growth on Alaska-cedar (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis), mountain hemlock (Tsuga mertensiana), Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis), western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla), and western redcedar (Thuja plicata) on seven forest ecosystems in southeastern Alaska...

  1. 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. © 2014 Society for Experimental Biology, Association of Applied Biologists and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. The importance of individuals: intraspecific diversity of mycorrhizal plants and fungi in ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Johnson, David; Martin, Francis; Cairney, John W G; Anderson, Ian C

    2012-05-01

    A key component of biodiversity is the number and abundance of individuals (i.e. genotypes), and yet such intraspecific diversity is rarely considered when investigating the effects of biodiversity of mycorrhizal plants and fungi on ecosystem processes. Within a species, individuals vary considerably in important reproductive and functional attributes, including carbon fixation, mycelial growth and nutrient utilization, but this is driven by both genetic and environmental (including climatic) factors. The interactions between individual plants and mycorrhizal fungi can have important consequences for the maintenance of biodiversity and regulation of resource transfers in ecosystems. There is also emerging evidence that assemblages of genotypes may affect ecosystem processes to a similar extent as assemblages of species. The application of whole-genome sequencing and population genomics to mycorrhizal plants and fungi will be crucial to determine the extent to which individual variation in key functional attributes is genetically based. We argue the need to unravel the importance of the diversity (especially assemblages of different evenness and richness) of individuals of both mycorrhizal plants and fungi, and the need to take a 'community genetics' approach to better understand the functional significance of the biodiversity of mycorrhizal symbioses. © 2012 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2012 New Phytologist Trust.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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).

  14. The SMAP Level 4 Carbon PRODUCT for Monitoring Terrestrial Ecosystem-Atmosphere CO2 Exchange

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, L. A.; Kimball, J. S.; Madani, N.; Reichle, R. H.; Glassy, J.; Ardizzone, J/

    2016-01-01

    The NASA Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission Level 4 Carbon (L4_C) product provides model estimates of Net Ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) incorporating SMAP soil moisture information as a primary driver. The L4_C product provides NEE, computed as total respiration less gross photosynthesis, at a daily time step and approximate 14-day latency posted to a 9-km global grid summarized by plant functional type. The L4_C product includes component carbon fluxes, surface soil organic carbon stocks, underlying environmental constraints, and detailed uncertainty metrics. The L4_C model is driven by the SMAP Level 4 Soil Moisture (L4_SM) data assimilation product, with additional inputs from the Goddard Earth Observing System, Version 5 (GEOS-5) weather analysis and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) satellite data. The L4_C data record extends from March 2015 to present with ongoing production. Initial comparisons against global CO2 eddy flux tower measurements, satellite Solar Induced Canopy Florescence (SIF) and other independent observation benchmarks show favorable L4_C performance and accuracy, capturing the dynamic biosphere response to recent weather anomalies and demonstrating the value of SMAP observations for monitoring of global terrestrial water and carbon cycle linkages.

  15. Modeling Production Plant Forming Processes

    SciTech Connect

    Rhee, M; Becker, R; Couch, R; Li, M

    2004-09-22

    Engineering has simulation tools and experience in modeling forming processes. Y-12 personnel have expressed interest in validating our tools and experience against their manufacturing process activities such as rolling, casting, and forging etc. We have demonstrated numerical capabilities in a collaborative DOE/OIT project with ALCOA that is nearing successful completion. The goal was to use ALE3D to model Alcoa's slab rolling process in order to demonstrate a computational tool that would allow Alcoa to define a rolling schedule that would minimize the probability of ingot fracture, thus reducing waste and energy consumption. It is intended to lead to long-term collaboration with Y-12 and perhaps involvement with other components of the weapons production complex. Using simulations to aid in design of forming processes can: decrease time to production; reduce forming trials and associated expenses; and guide development of products with greater uniformity and less scrap.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Terrestrial ecosystems response to climate and climate change: plant migration and the future of forested systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flanagan, S.; Hurtt, G. C.; Fisk, J.; Sahajpal, R.

    2013-12-01

    Climate change alters ecosystem structure and type. A robust understanding of climate-ecosystem relationships can be used to forecast ecosystem structure and distribution from climate change. However, current efforts to forecast future carbon sequestration rates often oversimplify or overlook the role of plant migration and focus on potential vegetation. The difficulty in accounting for landscape complexity, disturbance rates, species-specific interactions, and dispersal properties leads to this oversimplification or non-inclusion of migration when forecasting. Forest gap models can capture many of these processes, but are limited in the size of the domain they simulate because of computational time. For large scale simulations a gap model is often used to represent a much larger domain, potentially failing to capture a number of ecosystem processes as a 30m by 30m gap model may be used to represent a 0.5 x 0.5 degree site. Another method to model migration is to simply leave a fraction of every seed type in every site, which only generates scenarios that represent maximum migration rates. As a solution to these problems we introduced a migration function to the Ecosystem Demography (ED) model. ED is an individual tree based model that uses a size and age-structured approximation for the first moment of the stochastic ecosystem model. Hence it can simulate large domains without being too computational intensive. However, explicit locations of individual trees in a site are unknown, just the total number of trees in the site. Therefore, we developed a method to pseudo-spatially model migration. A simple simulator was built and it was shown that over a large number of runs expected migration rates can be reproduced. The simulator was placed into ED and climate change scenarios run. With fitted species-specific dispersal kernels the role that plant migration will play in the future of forested systems in North America was identified. Issues that still need to be

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Plant spatial patterns identify alternative ecosystem multifunctionality states in global drylands.

    PubMed

    Berdugo, Miguel; Kéfi, Sonia; Soliveres, Santiago; Maestre, Fernando T

    2017-01-09

    The response of drylands to environmental gradients can be abrupt rather than gradual. These shifts largely occur unannounced and are difficult to reverse once they happen; their prompt detection is of crucial importance. The distribution of vegetation patch sizes may indicate the proximity to these shifts, but the use of this metric is hampered by a lack of large-scale studies relating these distributions to the provision of multiple ecosystem functions (multifunctionality) and comparing them to other ecosystem attributes, such as total plant cover. Here we sampled 115 dryland ecosystems across the globe and related their vegetation attributes (cover and patch size distributions) to multifunctionality. Multifunctionality followed a bimodal distribution across our sites, suggesting alternative states in the functioning of drylands. Although plant cover was the strongest predictor of multifunctionality when linear analyses were used, only patch size distributions reflected the bimodal distribution of multifunctionality observed. Differences in the coupling between nutrient cycles and in the importance of self-organizing biotic processes characterized the two multifunctionality states observed. Our findings support the use of vegetation patterns as indicators of ecosystem functioning in drylands and pave the way for developing effective strategies to monitor desertification processes.

  4. 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. Copyright © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  5. Managing invasive aquatic plants in a changing system: strategic consideration of ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Hershner, Carl; Havens, Kirk J

    2008-06-01

    Climate change is projected to increase stress for many coastal plant communities. Along large portions of the North American coast, habitat degradation from anthropogenic changes to the environment already threaten the community structure of tidal marshes and submerged aquatic grass beds. The potential loss of ecological services historically provided by these communities has been a long-standing rationale for aggressive control of invading plants such as Phragmites australis and Hydrilla verticillata. Increasing evidence of ecological services provided by invasive species such as P. australis and H. verticillata suggest that, in the face of increasing stress, it may be prudent to take a more pragmatic approach regarding the effect of these species on coastal ecosystems. The notable resilience of these species to control efforts and their competitive success and comparative vigor in stressed systems and capacity to provide at least some beneficial services combine to suggest some invasive species may have a useful role in managed coastal ecosystems.

  6. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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?

  13. 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…

  14. Ecosystem services: foundations, opportunities, and challenges for the forest products sector

    Treesearch

    Trista M. Patterson; Dana L. Coelho

    2009-01-01

    The ecosystem service concept has been proposed as a meaningful framework for natural resource management. In theory, it holds concomitant benefit and consequence for the forest product sector. However, numerous barriers impede practitioners from developing concrete and enduring responses to emerging ecosystem service markets, policies, and initiatives. Principal among...

  15. Plant Functional Group Composition Modifies the Effects of Precipitation Change on Grassland Ecosystem Function

    PubMed Central

    Fry, Ellen L.; Manning, Pete; Allen, David G. P.; Hurst, Alex; Everwand, Georg; Rimmler, Martin; Power, Sally A.

    2013-01-01

    Temperate grassland ecosystems face a future of precipitation change, which can alter community composition and ecosystem functions through reduced soil moisture and waterlogging. There is evidence that functionally diverse plant communities contain a wider range of water use and resource capture strategies, resulting in greater resistance of ecosystem function to precipitation change. To investigate this interaction between composition and precipitation change we performed a field experiment for three years in successional grassland in southern England. This consisted of two treatments. The first, precipitation change, simulated end of century predictions, and consisted of a summer drought phase alongside winter rainfall addition. The second, functional group identity, divided the plant community into three groups based on their functional traits- broadly described as perennials, caespitose grasses and annuals- and removed these groups in a factorial design. Ecosystem functions related to C, N and water cycling were measured regularly. Effects of functional groupidentity were apparent, with the dominant trend being that process rates were higher under control conditions where a range of perennial species were present. E.g. litter decomposition rates were significantly higher in plots containing several perennial species, the group with the highest average leaf N content. Process rates were also very strongly affected by the precipitation change treatmentwhen perennial plant species were dominant, but not where the community contained a high abundance of annual species and caespitose grasses. This contrasting response could be attributable to differing rooting patterns (shallower structures under annual plants, and deeper roots under perennials) and faster nutrient uptake in annuals compared to perennials. Our results indicate that precipitation change will have a smaller effect on key process rates in grasslandscontaining a range of perennial and annual species

  16. Plant functional group composition modifies the effects of precipitation change on grassland ecosystem function.

    PubMed

    Fry, Ellen L; Manning, Pete; Allen, David G P; Hurst, Alex; Everwand, Georg; Rimmler, Martin; Power, Sally A

    2013-01-01

    Temperate grassland ecosystems face a future of precipitation change, which can alter community composition and ecosystem functions through reduced soil moisture and waterlogging. There is evidence that functionally diverse plant communities contain a wider range of water use and resource capture strategies, resulting in greater resistance of ecosystem function to precipitation change. To investigate this interaction between composition and precipitation change we performed a field experiment for three years in successional grassland in southern England. This consisted of two treatments. The first, precipitation change, simulated end of century predictions, and consisted of a summer drought phase alongside winter rainfall addition. The second, functional group identity, divided the plant community into three groups based on their functional traits- broadly described as perennials, caespitose grasses and annuals- and removed these groups in a factorial design. Ecosystem functions related to C, N and water cycling were measured regularly. Effects of functional groupidentity were apparent, with the dominant trend being that process rates were higher under control conditions where a range of perennial species were present. E.g. litter decomposition rates were significantly higher in plots containing several perennial species, the group with the highest average leaf N content. Process rates were also very strongly affected by the precipitation change treatmentwhen perennial plant species were dominant, but not where the community contained a high abundance of annual species and caespitose grasses. This contrasting response could be attributable to differing rooting patterns (shallower structures under annual plants, and deeper roots under perennials) and faster nutrient uptake in annuals compared to perennials. Our results indicate that precipitation change will have a smaller effect on key process rates in grasslandscontaining a range of perennial and annual species

  17. 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].

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Pollution of Nigerian Aquatic Ecosystems by Industrial Effluents: Effects on Fish Productivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nwagwu, S. N.; Kuyoro, E. O.; Agboola, D. M.; Salau, K. S.; Kuyoro, T. O.

    2016-02-01

    Nigeria is uniquely endowed with vast water resources. The near-shore, estuaries, rivers, lakes and pond all taken together, offer tremendous opportunities for fish production. Globally, water bodies are primary means for disposal of waste especially the effluents from industrial, municipal, sewage and agricultural practices near the water body. Studies carried out in most cities in Nigeria has shown that industrial effluent is one of the main sources of water pollution in Nigeria and less than 10% of industries in Nigeria treat their effluents before discharging them into the water bodies. This effluent can alter the physical, chemical and biological nature of the receiving water body resulting in the death of the inhabiting organisms including fish. Untreated industrial waste discharged into water bodies have resulted in eutrophication of aquatic ecosystem as evidence by substantial algal bloom leading to dissolve oxygen depletion and eventually massive mortality of fish and other organisms. Industries like textile producing factory, paper manufacturing plants, oil refinery, brewery and fermentation factory and metal producing industries discharge their wastes into the aquatic ecosystem. These industrial wastes contain pollutants like acids, heavy metals, oil, cyanide, organic chemicals, pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls, dioxins etc. Some of these pollutants are carcinogenic, mutagenic and teratogenic while some are poisonous depending on the level of exposure and intake by aquatic organisms and man. These pollutants affect the biological growth and reproduction of fishes in the aquatic ecosystem thereby reducing the amount of captured fishes. Fish and other aquatic lives face total extinction due to destruction of aquatic lives and natural habitats by pollution of water bodies. Effluents and wastes produced by industries should be minimised by using low and non-waste technologies; and effluents should be properly treated before they are discharged into

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Effects of biodiversity and plant community composition on productivity in semiarid grasslands of Hulunbeir, Inner Mongolia, China.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Xiao-Xuan; Liu, Guo-Hua; Fu, Bo-Jie; Jin, Tian-Tian; Liu, Zhan-Feng

    2010-05-01

    Many recent studies have focused on the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, such as investigations into the productivity of experimental plant communities. One of the central issues affecting the functioning of ecosystems is the diversity of resident species richness and the composition of the plant community. However, one challenge to experimental studies is that results from artificial ecosystems may have little value for predicting loss of diversity and function degradation in natural ecosystems. Thus, recent studies have focused more on investigations of natural ecosystems; these studies have found that species diversity and ecosystem productivity usually correlate with various abiotic factors including environmental effects, such as soil nutrition and precipitation, as well as anthropic activities, such as grazing and agricultural yield. In this study, we aimed to test the validity of biotic factors reported in experimental studies to be major factors affecting the productivity of ecosystems, and then to determine whether the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem function is confounded by environmental factors. We investigated the effects of plant biodiversity and community composition on ecosystem function (productivity) in semiarid grassland in Inner Mongolia, China that contained three vegetation types: arid steppe, steppe, and meadow steppe. Our results show that both diversity and community composition significantly affect productivity and are better predictors of productivity than environmental factors, such as soil conditions. Our findings are consistent with the assumptions of niche complementarity. This study suggests that both biodiversity and community composition are important biotic factors in the functioning of ecosystems located in semiarid grasslands. In addition, environmental parameters, such as soil conditions influence productivity indirectly by affecting both biotic factors at the same time.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. The value of livestock production systems and ecosystem services

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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 ...

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Soil and plant changing after invasion: the case of Acacia dealbata in a Mediterranean ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Lazzaro, Lorenzo; Giuliani, Claudia; Fabiani, Arturo; Agnelli, Alessandro Elio; Pastorelli, Roberta; Lagomarsino, Alessandra; Benesperi, Renato; Calamassi, Roberto; Foggi, Bruno

    2014-11-01

    Acacia dealbata Link (Fabaceae) is one of the most invasive species in the Mediterranean ecosystems of Europe, Africa and America, where it has been proved to exert strong effects on soil and plant communities. In Italy A. dealbata has been largely used for ornamental and forestry purpose and is nowadays spreading in several areas. The present study was addressed to evaluate the impacts on soil chemical properties, soil microbial communities and understory plant communities and to assess the relationships among these compartments after the invasion of A. dealbata in a typical Mediterranean shrubland. Towards these aims, a soil and vegetation sampling was performed in Elba Island where A. dealbata is invading the sclerophyllous native vegetation. Three levels of invasion status were differentiated according to the gradient from invaded, to transitional and non-invaded vegetation. Quantitative and qualitative alterations of soil chemical properties and microbial communities (i.e. bacterial and fungal communities) and above-ground understory plant communities were found. In particular, the invaded soils had lower pH values than both the non-invaded and transitional ones. High differences were detected for both the total N and the inorganic fraction (NH4(+) and NO3(-)) contents, which showed the ranking: invaded>transitional>non-invaded soils. TOC and C/N ratio showed respectively higher and lower values in invaded than in non-invaded soils. Total plant covers, species richness and diversity in both the non-invaded and transitional subplots were higher than those in the invaded ones. The contribution of the nitrophilous species was significantly different among the three invasion statuses, with a strong increase going from native to transitional and invaded subplots. All these data confirm that A. dealbata modifies several compartments of the invaded ecosystems, from soil chemical properties to soil and plant microbial communities determining strong changes in the

  16. 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.

  17. 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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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 ...

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Power plant productivity improvement in New York

    SciTech Connect

    1981-03-01

    The New York Public Service Commission (PSC), under contract with the US Department of Energy (DOE), began a joint program in September 1978 to improve the productivity of coal and nuclear electric generating units in New York State. The project had dual objectives: to ensure that the utilities in New York State have or develop a systematic permanent, cost-effective productivity improvement program based on sound engineering and economic considerations, and to develop a model program for Power Plant Productivity Improvement, which, through DOE, can also be utilized by other regulatory commissions in the country. To accomplish these objectives, the program was organized into the following sequence of activities: compilation and analysis of power plant performance data; evaluation and comparison of utility responses to outage/derating events; power plant productivity improvement project cost-benefit analysis; and evaluation of regulatory procedures and policies for improving productivity. The program that developed for improving the productivity of coal units is substantially different than for nuclear units. Each program is presented, and recommendations are made for activities of both the utilities and regulatory agencies which will promote improved productivity.

  6. 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.

  7. 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. © 2016 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2016 New Phytologist Trust.

  8. 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

  9. An assessment of restoration success to forests planted for ecosystem restoration in loess plateau, Northwestern China.

    PubMed

    Yang, Zhanbiao; Jin, Hongxi; Wang, Gang

    2010-05-01

    Using ecosystem attributes identified by the Society of Ecological Restoration International, we assessed three restoration projects in the loess plateau, northwestern China, including planting Larix principis-rupprechtii (LS) and Pinus tabulaeformis (PS) on shrubland, and planting L. principis-rupprechtii on open forest land (LO). The reestablishment of native species in LS and PS was poorer than LO because of the excessive stand density. Species diversity, seedling number, and seedling diversity were significantly higher in LO than in LS and PS. Soil nutrient was also significantly higher in the LO treatment. The vegetation composition, species diversity, and soil nutrient in LO, however, were more similar to these in the reference. Our results indicate that planting L. principis-rupprechtii on open forest land had accelerated the succession of the ecosystem for approximately 30 years. But the poor natural regeneration of L. principis-rupprechtii suggests that post-planting activities in LO are required after timber harvesting or the natural mortality of the L. principis-rupprechtii. Management operation such as selective thinning will be required in LS and PS to promote the true restoration of native species diversity in the future.

  10. 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.

  11. Technogenesis and the main levels of soil ecosystems' transformation in oil production areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buzmakov, Sergey

    2017-04-01

    The obtained experimental data, the results of field studies and the analysis of references make it possible to describe peculiarities of technogenic transformation of ecosystems. Experimental data allow to determine the main levels of oil pollution on the basis of changes in biotope properties and reaction of a biota. Background level. Pollution is absent. Biotope corresponds to natural zonal sequence. The content of oil products is up to 0,11 g/kg. First level: the dose of pollution is 0,8-1g of oil on 1 kg of soil. Conditions for plants' growth are optimum. Initially plants gain gross weight, and then lose it to the background level. The number of saprotrophes and oil oxidizing microorganisms rises. Second level: the pollution dose is up to 15 g per 1 kg of soil. The capillary moisture capacity increases reaching the maximum. The number of saprophytes and oil oxidizing microorganisms rises. Third level: the pollution dose is 15-21g per 1 kg of soil. Capillary capacity of soils decreases to background level. Time of filtration and absorption of moisture is increased. Fourth level: the pollution dose is 21-32g per 1 kg of soil. Anaerobic and hydrophobic conditions develop. The number of saprophytes and oil oxidizing microorganisms rises. Fifth level: the dose of pollution is 32 - 50g per 1 kg of soil. Formation of 3,4 benzpyrene increases sharply. The number of saprophytes and oil oxidizing microorganisms is at maximum level. Sixth level: the dose of pollution is 50 - 91g per 1 kg of soil. Formation of 3,4 benzpyrene is dangerous for biota. Time of absorption and filtration of water through the soil reaches its maximum. The number of saprophytes and oil oxidizing microorganisms decreases, but remains higher than at background level. Seventh level: the pollution dose is 91-150g per 1 kg of soil. The number of saprophytes and oil oxidizing microorganisms decreases to background level. Eighth level: the pollution dose is of 150-300 g per 1 kg of soil. The substratum

  12. 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

  13. Transfer parameters for ICRP's Reference Animals and Plants in a terrestrial Mediterranean ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Guillén, J; Beresford, N A; Baeza, A; Izquierdo, M; Wood, M D; Salas, A; Muñoz-Serrano, A; Corrales-Vázquez, J M; Muñoz-Muñoz, J G

    2017-09-14

    A system for the radiological protection of the environment (or wildlife) based on Reference Animals and Plants (RAPs) has been suggested by the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP). To assess whole-body activity concentrations for RAPs and the resultant internal dose rates, transfer parameters are required. However, transfer values specifically for the taxonomic families defined for the RAPs are often sparse and furthermore can be extremely site dependent. There is also a considerable geographical bias within available transfer data, with few data for Mediterranean ecosystems. In the present work, stable element concentrations (I, Li, Be, B, Na, Mg, Al, P, S, K. Ca, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Se, Rb, Sr, Mo, Ag, Cd, Cs, Ba, Tl, Pb and U) in terrestrial RAPs, and the corresponding whole-body concentration ratios, CRwo, were determined in two different Mediterranean ecosystems: a Pinewood and a Dehesa (grassland with disperse tree cover). The RAPs considered in the Pinewood ecosystem were Pine Tree and Wild Grass; whereas in the Dehesa ecosystem those considered were Deer, Rat, Earthworm, Bee, Frog, Duck and Wild Grass. The CRwo values estimated from these data are compared to those reported in international compilations and databases. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  14. 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. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Woody plants of North America [product review

    Treesearch

    Don C. Bragg; Hope A. Bragg

    2001-01-01

    The authors review a 2-CD set created to aid in identifying woody plants. The product is intended to supplement (rather than replace) field instruction for identifying 470 of the most common native and introduced trees and shrubs in North America.

  3. 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.

  4. Decreases in net primary production and net ecosystem production along a repeated-fires induced forest/grassland gradient

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheng, C. H.; Huang, Y. H.; Chung-Yu, L.; Menyailo, O.

    2016-12-01

    Fire is one of the most important disturbances in ecosystems. Fire rapidly releases stored carbon into atmosphere and also plays critical roles on soil properties, light and moisture regimes, and plant structures and communities. With the interventions of climate change and human activities, fire regimes become more severe and frequent. In many parts of world, forest fire regimes can be further altered by grass invasion because the invasive grasses create a positive feedback cycle through their rapid recovery after fires and their high flammability during dry periods and allow forests to be burned repeatedly in a relatively short time. For such invasive grass-fire cycle, a great change of native vegetation community can occur. In this study, we examined a C4 invasive grass () fire-induced forest/grassland gradient to quantify the changes of net primary production (NPP) and net ecosystem production (NEP) from an unburned forest to repeated fire grassland. Our results demonstrated negative effects of repeated fires on NPP and NEP. Within 4 years of the onset of repeated fires on the unburned forest, NPP declined by 14%, mainly due to the reduction in aboveground NPP but offset by increase of belowground NPP. Subsequent fires cumulatively caused reductions in both aboveground and belowground NPP. A total of 40% reduction in the long-term repeated fire induced grassland was found. Soil respiration rate were not significantly different along the forest/grassland gradient. Thus, a great reduction in NEP were shown in grassland, which shifted from 4.6 Mg C ha-1 yr-1 in unburnt forest to -2.6 Mg C ha-1 yr-1. Such great losses are critical within the context of forest carbon cycling and long-term sustainability. Forest management practices that can effectively reduce the likelihood of repeated fires and consequent likelihood of establishment of the grass fire cycle are essential for protecting the forest.

  5. Flux of aquatic insect productivity to land: comparison of lentic and lotic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Gratton, Claudio; Vander Zanden, M Jake

    2009-10-01

    Recently, food web studies have started exploring how resources from one habitat or ecosystem influence trophic interactions in a recipient ecosystem. Benthic production in lakes and streams can be exported to terrestrial habitats via emerging aquatic insects and can therefore link aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. In this study, we develop a general conceptual model that highlights zoobenthic production, insect emergence, and ecosystem geometry (driven principally by area-to-edge ratio) as important factors modulating the flux of aquatic production across the ecosystem boundary. Emerging insect flux, defined as total insect production emerging per meter of shoreline (g C x m(-1) x yr(-1)) is then distributed inland using decay functions and is used to estimate insect deposition rate to terrestrial habitats (g C x m(-2) x yr(-1)). Using empirical data from the literature, we simulate insect fluxes across the water-land ecosystem boundary to estimate the distribution of fluxes and insect deposition inland for lakes and streams. In general, zoobenthos in streams are more productive than in lakes (6.67 vs. 1.46 g C x m(-2) x yr(-1)) but have lower insect emergence to aquatic production ratios (0.19 vs. 0.30). However, as stream width is on average smaller than lake radius, this results in flux (F) estimates 2 1/2 times greater for lakes than for streams. Ultimately, insect deposition onto land (within 100 m of shore) adjacent to average-sized lakes (10-ha lakes, 0.021 g C x m(-2) x yr(-1)) is greater than for average-sized streams (4 m width, 0.002 g C x m(-2) x yr(-1)) used in our comparisons. For the average lake (both in size and productivity), insect deposition rate approaches estimates of terrestrial secondary production in low-productivity ecosystems (e.g., deserts and tundra, approximately 0.07 g C x m(-2) x yr(-1)). However, larger lakes (1300 ha) and streams (16 m) can have average insect deposition rates (approximately 0.01-2.4 g C x m(-2) x yr(-1

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Multiple resource use efficiency (mRUE): A new concept for ecosystem production

    SciTech Connect

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

    2016-11-21

    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. Furthermore, this model needs extensive validation by the ecological community before it can extrapolate this method to other ecosystems in the future.

  11. Multiple resource use efficiency (mRUE): A new concept for ecosystem production

    DOE PAGES

    Han,