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Sample records for ecosystem production plant

  1. The unseen majority: soil microbes as drivers of plant diversity and productivity in terrestrial ecosystems.

    PubMed

    van der Heijden, Marcel G A; Bardgett, Richard D; van Straalen, Nico M

    2008-03-01

    Microbes are the unseen majority in soil and comprise a large portion of life's genetic diversity. Despite their abundance, the impact of soil microbes on ecosystem processes is still poorly understood. Here we explore the various roles that soil microbes play in terrestrial ecosystems with special emphasis on their contribution to plant productivity and diversity. Soil microbes are important regulators of plant productivity, especially in nutrient poor ecosystems where plant symbionts are responsible for the acquisition of limiting nutrients. Mycorrhizal fungi and nitrogen-fixing bacteria are responsible for c. 5-20% (grassland and savannah) to 80% (temperate and boreal forests) of all nitrogen, and up to 75% of phosphorus, that is acquired by plants annually. Free-living microbes also strongly regulate plant productivity, through the mineralization of, and competition for, nutrients that sustain plant productivity. Soil microbes, including microbial pathogens, are also important regulators of plant community dynamics and plant diversity, determining plant abundance and, in some cases, facilitating invasion by exotic plants. Conservative estimates suggest that c. 20 000 plant species are completely dependent on microbial symbionts for growth and survival pointing to the importance of soil microbes as regulators of plant species richness on Earth. Overall, this review shows that soil microbes must be considered as important drivers of plant diversity and productivity in terrestrial ecosystems.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-03-01

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

  3. 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

  4. Ecosystem allometry: the scaling of nutrient stocks and primary productivity across plant communities.

    PubMed

    Kerkhoff, Andrew J; Enquist, Brian J

    2006-04-01

    A principal challenge in ecology is to integrate physiological function (e.g. photosynthesis) across a collection of individuals (e.g. plants of different species) to understand the functioning of the entire ensemble (e.g. primary productivity). The control that organism size exerts over physiological and ecological function suggests that allometry could be a powerful tool for scaling ecological processes across levels of organization. Here we use individual plant allometries to predict how nutrient content and productivity scale with total plant biomass (phytomass) in whole plant communities. As predicted by our model, net primary productivity as well as whole community nitrogen and phosphorus content all scale allometrically with phytomass across diverse plant communities, from tropical forest to arctic tundra. Importantly, productivity data deviate quantitatively from the theoretically derived prediction, and nutrient productivity (production per unit nutrient) of terrestrial plant communities decreases systematically with increasing total phytomass. These results are consistent with the existence of pronounced competitive size hierarchies. The previously undocumented generality of these 'ecosystem allometries' and their basis in the structure and function of individual plants will likely provide a useful quantitative framework for research linking plant traits to ecosystem processes.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-07-01

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

  8. The response of aboveground plant productivity to earlier snowmelt and summer warming in an Arctic ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Livensperger, C.; Steltzer, H.; Darrouzet-Nardi, A.; Sullivan, P.; Wallenstein, M. D.; Weintraub, M. N.

    2012-12-01

    Plant communities in the Arctic are undergoing changes in structure and function due to shifts in seasonality from changing winters and summer warming. These changes will impact biogeochemical cycling, surface energy balance, and functioning of vertebrate and invertebrate communities. To examine seasonal controls on aboveground net primary production (ANPP) in a moist acidic tundra ecosystem in northern Alaska, we shifted the growing season by accelerating snowmelt (using radiation absorbing shadecloth) and warming air and soil temperature (using 1 m2 open-top chambers), individually and in combination. After three years, we measured ANPP by harvesting up to 16 individual ramets, tillers and rhizomes for each of 7 plant species, including two deciduous shrubs, two graminoids, two evergreen shrubs and one forb during peak season. Our results show that ANPP per stem summed across the 7 species increased when snow melt occurred earlier. However, standing biomass, excluding current year growth, was also greater. The ratio of ANPP/standing biomass decreased in all treatments compared to the control. ANPP per unit standing biomass summed for the four shrub species decreases due to summer warming alone or in combination with early snowmelt; however early snowmelt alone did not lead to lower ANPP for the shrubs. ANPP per tiller or rhizome summed for the three herbaceous species increased in response to summer warming. Understanding the differential response of plants to changing seasonality will inform predictions of future Arctic plant community structure and function.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  13. 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

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-12

    Atmospheric monitoring of high northern latitudes (above 40°N) has shown an enhanced seasonal cycle of carbon dioxide (CO2) since the 1960s, but the underlying mechanisms are not yet fully understood. The much stronger increase in high latitudes relative to low ones suggests that northern ecosystems are experiencing large changes in vegetation and carbon cycle dynamics. We found that the latitudinal gradient of the increasing CO2 amplitude is mainly driven by positive trends in photosynthetic carbon uptake caused by recent climate change and mediated by changing vegetation cover in northern ecosystems. Our results underscore the importance of climate-vegetation-carbon cycle feedbacks at high latitudes; moreover, they indicate that in recent decades, photosynthetic carbon uptake has reacted much more strongly to warming than have carbon release processes.

  16. 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. PMID:26841780

  17. Plant materials for novel ecosystems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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. PMID:26466564

  1. Consistent drivers of plant biodiversity across managed ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Minden, Vanessa; Scherber, Christoph; Cebrián Piqueras, Miguel A; Trinogga, Juliane; Trenkamp, Anastasia; Mantilla-Contreras, Jasmin; Lienin, Patrick; Kleyer, Michael

    2016-05-19

    Ecosystems managed for production of biomass are often characterized by low biodiversity because management aims to optimize single ecosystem functions (i.e. yield) involving deliberate selection of species or cultivars. In consequence, considerable differences in observed plant species richness and productivity remain across systems, and the drivers of these differences have remained poorly resolved so far. In addition, it has remained unclear if species richness feeds back on ecosystem functions such as yield in real-world systems. Here, we establish N = 360 experimental plots across a broad range of managed ecosystems in several European countries, and use structural equation models to unravel potential drivers of plant species richness. We hypothesize that the relationships between productivity, total biomass and observed species richness are affected by management intensity, and that these effects differ between habitat types (dry grasslands, grasslands, and wetlands). We found that local management was an important driver of species richness across systems. Management caused system disturbance, resulting in reduced productivity yet enhanced total biomass. Plant species richness was directly and positively driven by management, with consistently negative effects of total biomass. Productivity effects on richness were positive, negative or neutral. Our study shows that management and total biomass drive plant species richness across real-world managed systems.

  2. Consistent drivers of plant biodiversity across managed ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Minden, Vanessa; Scherber, Christoph; Cebrián Piqueras, Miguel A; Trinogga, Juliane; Trenkamp, Anastasia; Mantilla-Contreras, Jasmin; Lienin, Patrick; Kleyer, Michael

    2016-05-19

    Ecosystems managed for production of biomass are often characterized by low biodiversity because management aims to optimize single ecosystem functions (i.e. yield) involving deliberate selection of species or cultivars. In consequence, considerable differences in observed plant species richness and productivity remain across systems, and the drivers of these differences have remained poorly resolved so far. In addition, it has remained unclear if species richness feeds back on ecosystem functions such as yield in real-world systems. Here, we establish N = 360 experimental plots across a broad range of managed ecosystems in several European countries, and use structural equation models to unravel potential drivers of plant species richness. We hypothesize that the relationships between productivity, total biomass and observed species richness are affected by management intensity, and that these effects differ between habitat types (dry grasslands, grasslands, and wetlands). We found that local management was an important driver of species richness across systems. Management caused system disturbance, resulting in reduced productivity yet enhanced total biomass. Plant species richness was directly and positively driven by management, with consistently negative effects of total biomass. Productivity effects on richness were positive, negative or neutral. Our study shows that management and total biomass drive plant species richness across real-world managed systems. PMID:27114585

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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 ...

  9. Plant growth-rate dependence of detrital carbon storage in ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Cebrian, J.; Duarte, C.M.

    1995-06-16

    Detrital carbon accumulation accounts for most of an ecosystem`s capacity to store organic carbon because the carbon contained as plant detritus exceeds that stored in living plants by about threefold. A comparative analysis of the mass and turnover of detrital carbon in ecosystems demonstrates that these properties are strongly related to the turnover rate of the dominant primary producers and are poorly related to ecosystem primary production. These results contribute to an understanding of the factors that control carbon storage in ecosystems and the role of carbon storage in the global carbon budget. 24 refs., 3 figs.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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. PMID:25599106

  16. 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.

  17. Positive feedback between increasing atmospheric CO2 and ecosystem productivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gelfand, I.; Hamilton, S. K.; Robertson, G. P.

    2009-12-01

    Increasing atmospheric CO2 will likely affect both the hydrologic cycle and ecosystem productivity. Current assumptions that increasing CO2 will lead to increased ecosystem productivity and plant water use efficiency (WUE) are driving optimistic predictions of higher crop yields as well as greater availability of freshwater resources due to a decrease in evapotranspiration. The plant physiological response that drives these effects is believed to be an increase in carbon uptake either by (a) stronger CO2 gradient between the stomata and the atmosphere, or by (b) reduced CO2 limitation of enzymatic carboxylation within the leaf. The (a) scenario will lead to increased water use efficiency (WUE) in plants. However, evidence for increased WUE is mostly based on modeling studies, and experiments producing a short duration or step-wise increase in CO2 concentration (e.g. free-air CO2 enrichment). We hypothesize that the increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration is having a positive effect on ecosystem productivity and WUE. To investigate this hypothesis, we analyzed meteorological, ANPP, and soil CO2 flux datasets together with carbon isotopic ratio (13C/12C) of archived plant samples from the long term ecological research (LTER) program at Kellogg Biological Station. The datasets were collected between 1989 and 2007 (corresponding to an increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration of ~33 ppmv at Mauna Loa). Wheat (Triticum aestivum) samples taken from 1989 and 2007 show a significant decrease in the C isotope discrimination factor (Δ) over time. Stomatal conductance is directly related to Δ, and thus Δ is inversely related to plant intrinsic WUE (iWUE). Historical changes in the 13C/12C ratio (δ13C) in samples of a perennial forb, Canada goldenrod (Solidago canadensis), taken from adjacent successional fields, indicate changes in Δ upon uptake of CO2 as well. These temporal trends in Δ suggest a positive feedback between the increasing CO2 concentration in the

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

    PubMed Central

    Langley, J. Adam; Hungate, Bruce A.

    2014-01-01

    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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. A model of global net ecosystem production

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-06-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Plant Productivity and ESM

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rygalov, V.; Drysdale, A.; Bartsev, S.; Wheeler, R.; Fowler, P.

    An approach for relating Plant Productivity (PP) and Equivalent System Mass (ESM) has been formulated. On this basis, possible reductions of ESM have been analyzed in relation to:-the general mission scenario;-the physiology and cultivation of mixed plant crops;-natural and modified environmental conditions for plant cultivation;-benefits of management approaches;-degree of closure of the artificial support system;-improved plant chamber design. This approach is applied to estimates of minimal ESM for Martian Deployable Greenhouse (MDG).

  7. 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. PMID:26897637

  8. How plant functional traits cascade to microbial function and ecosystem services in mountain grasslands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lavorel, S.; Grigulis, K.; Krainer, U.; Legay, N.; Turner, C.; Dumont, M.; Kastl, E.; Arnoldi, C.; Bardgett, R.; Poly, F.; Pommier, T.; Schloter, M.; Tappeiner, U.; Bahn, M.; Clément, J.-C.

    2012-04-01

    1. There is growing evidence that plant functional diversity and microbial communities of soil are tightly coupled, and that this coupling influences a range of ecosystem functions. Moreover, it has been hypothesized that changes in the nature of interactions between plant functional diversity and microbial communities along environmental gradients contributes to variation in the delivery of ecosystem services. Although there is empirical support for such relationships using broad plant and microbial functional classifications, or from studies of plant monocultures, such relationships and their consequences for ecosystem services have not been quantified under complex field conditions with diverse plant communities. 2. We aimed to provide an explicit quantification of how plant and microbial functional properties interplay to determine key ecosystem functions underlying ecosystem services provided by grasslands. At three mountain grassland sites in the French Alps, Austrian Tyrol and northern England, we quantified, along gradients of management intensity, (i) plant functional diversity, (ii) soil microbial community composition and parameters associated with nitrogen cycling, and (iii) key ecosystem processes related to the carbon and nitrogen cycles including aboveground biomass production, standing litter, litter decomposition, soil organic matter and nitrate and ammonium leaching . Considering that plants strongly determine microbial communities, we used a hierarchical approach that considered first direct effects of plant traits and then effects of soil microorganisms on processes, to determine the relative effects of plant and microbial functional parameters on key ecosystem properties. 3. We identified a gradient of relative effects of plant and microbial traits from properties controlled mostly by aboveground processes, such as plant biomass production and standing litter, to properties controlled mostly by microbial processes, such as soil leaching of

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  10. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Biomass production efficiency controlled by management in temperate and boreal ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campioli, M.; Vicca, S.; Luyssaert, S.; Bilcke, J.; Ceschia, E.; Chapin, F. S., III; Ciais, P.; Fernández-Martínez, M.; Malhi, Y.; Obersteiner, M.; Olefeldt, D.; Papale, D.; Piao, S. L.; Peñuelas, J.; Sullivan, P. F.; Wang, X.; Zenone, T.; Janssens, I. A.

    2015-11-01

    Plants acquire carbon through photosynthesis to sustain biomass production, autotrophic respiration and production of non-structural compounds for multiple purposes. The fraction of photosynthetic production used for biomass production, the biomass production efficiency, is a key determinant of the conversion of solar energy to biomass. In forest ecosystems, biomass production efficiency was suggested to be related to site fertility. Here we present a database of biomass production efficiency from 131 sites compiled from individual studies using harvest, biometric, eddy covariance, or process-based model estimates of production. The database is global, but dominated by data from Europe and North America. We show that instead of site fertility, ecosystem management is the key factor that controls biomass production efficiency in terrestrial ecosystems. In addition, in natural forests, grasslands, tundra, boreal peatlands and marshes, biomass production efficiency is independent of vegetation, environmental and climatic drivers. This similarity of biomass production efficiency across natural ecosystem types suggests that the ratio of biomass production to gross primary productivity is constant across natural ecosystems. We suggest that plant adaptation results in similar growth efficiency in high- and low-fertility natural systems, but that nutrient influxes under managed conditions favour a shift to carbon investment from the belowground flux of non-structural compounds to aboveground biomass.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Climate change, plant traits, and invasion in natural and agricultural ecosystems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Invasive species and climate change, each of which is likely to influence agricultural productivity and biological diversity, are also likely to interact. This chapter explores characteristics of both invasive plants and invaded ecosystems to search for generalizations that may allow us to predict w...

  18. 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.

  19. Plant communities: ecosystem stability in Inner Mongolia.

    PubMed

    Wang, Shiping; Niu, Haishan; Cui, Xiaoyong; Jiang, Shu; Li, Yonghong; Xiao, Xiangming; Wang, Jinzhi; Wang, Guojie; Huang, Dehua; Qi, Qiuhui; Yang, Zonggui

    2005-06-23

    Bai et al. suggest that in China's Inner Mongolia steppe, community-level stability arises from compensatory effects among the principal components at both the species and plant functional group (PFG) levels. By analysing a consistent 19-year data set (1980-98), we show here that their analysis of a 24-year field data set (1980-2003) is called into question by inconsistencies in sampling location and numbers after 1998; the authors' findings are further undermined because they do not distinguish temporal variation from spatial heterogeneity in analysing compensatory effects among species or PFGs. We believe that rigorous reanalysis is needed for a better understanding of grassland stability. PMID:15973359

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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, ...

  3. 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...

  4. 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

  5. Calcium constrains plant control over forest ecosystem nitrogen cycling.

    PubMed

    Groffman, Peter M; Fisk, Melany C

    2011-11-01

    Forest ecosystem nitrogen (N) cycling is a critical controller of the ability of forests to prevent the movement of reactive N to receiving waters and the atmosphere and to sequester elevated levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). Here we show that calcium (Ca) constrains the ability of northern hardwood forest trees to control the availability and loss of nitrogen. We evaluated soil N-cycling response to Ca additions in the presence and absence of plants and observed that when plants were present, Ca additions "tightened" the ecosystem N cycle, with decreases in inorganic N levels, potential net N mineralization rates, microbial biomass N content, and denitrification potential. In the absence of plants, Ca additions induced marked increases in nitrification (the key process controlling ecosystem N losses) and inorganic N levels. The observed "tightening" of the N cycle when Ca was added in the presence of plants suggests that the capacity of forests to absorb elevated levels of atmospheric N and CO2 is fundamentally constrained by base cations, which have been depleted in many areas of the globe by acid rain and forest harvesting.

  6. 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.

  7. Plant rooting strategies in water-limited ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Collins, D. B. G.; Bras, R. L.

    2007-06-01

    Root depth and distribution are vital components of a plant's strategy for growth and survival in water-limited ecosystems and play significant roles in hydrologic and biogeochemical cycling. Knowledge of root profiles is invaluable in measuring and predicting ecosystem dynamics, yet data on root profiles are difficult to obtain. We developed an ecohydrological model of environmental forcing, soil moisture dynamics, and transpiration to explore dependencies of optimal rooting on edaphic, climatic, and physiological factors in water-limited ecosystems. The analysis considers individual plants with fixed biomass. Results of the optimization approach are consistent with profiles observed in nature. Optimal rooting was progressively deeper, moving from clay to loam, silt and then sand, and in wetter and cooler environments. Climates with the majority of the rainfall in winter produced deeper roots than if the rain fell in summer. Long and infrequent storms also favored deeper rooting. Plants that exhibit water stress at slight soil moisture deficiencies consistently showed deeper optimal root profiles. Silt generated the greatest sensitivity to differences in climatic and physiological parameters. The depth of rooting is governed by the depth to which water infiltrates, as influenced by soil properties and the timing and magnitude of water input and evaporative demand. These results provide a mechanistic illustration of the diversity of rooting strategies in nature.

  8. Productivity and biomass of trematode (Digenea) parasites in lake ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Yurlova, N I

    2016-01-01

    The first estimation of the annual production and biomass of cercariae (free swimming transmission stage of digenetic trematodes) in a lake ecosystem has been performed. The biomass of cercariae is comparable with that of free-living invertebrates and may make a significant contribution to the energy flow in lake ecosystems. PMID:27021366

  9. Tundra disturbance and ecosystem production: Implications for impact assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Truett, Joe C.; Kertell, Kenneth

    1992-07-01

    Environmental regulations governing industrial activities in tundra environments stem largely from the expected ecological effects of the activities. One of the major ecological effects of industrial activities is the surface subsidence associated with thermokarst, which can result in changes in primary and secondary production. The primary production changes associated with thermokarst are strongly governed by three ecosystem properties—soil temperature, water regime, and nutrient availability. Most disturbances set in motion a more-or-less predictable sequence of landscape change related to these properties: soil warming, thermokarst, surface flooding, accelerated organic matter decomposition, and increased nutrient availability. The warmed soil and the enhanced nutrient availability typically lead to increased annual primary production, increased dominance by graminoids, and reduced plant species diversity. These vegetational changes may in turn potentially enhance secondary production, but in general these second-level responses have yet to be quantified. More information is needed about the food-chain effects of tundra landscape disturbances before regulators can make well-informed predictions of impacts or plan useful habitat rehabilitation.

  10. 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.

  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. PMID:27037757

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Cascading effects of long-term land-use changes on plant traits and ecosystem functioning.

    PubMed

    Laliberté, Etienne; Tylianakis, Jason M

    2012-01-01

    There is much concern that the functioning of ecosystems will be affected by human-induced changes in biodiversity, of which land-use change is the most important driver. However, changes in biodiversity may be only one of many pathways through which land use alters ecosystem functioning, and its importance relative to other pathways remains unclear. In particular, although biodiversity-ecosystem function research has focused primarily on grasslands, the increases in agricultural inputs (e.g., fertilization, irrigation) and grazing pressure that drive change in grasslands worldwide have been largely ignored. Here we show that long-term (27-year) manipulations of soil resource availability and sheep grazing intensity caused marked, consistent shifts in grassland plant functional composition and diversity, with cascading (i.e., causal chains of) direct, indirect, and interactive effects on multiple ecosystem functions. Resource availability exerted dominant control over above-ground net primary production (ANPP), both directly and indirectly via shifts in plant functional composition. Importantly, the effects of plant functional diversity and grazing intensity on ANPP shifted from negative to positive as agricultural inputs increased, providing strong evidence that soil resource availability modulates the impacts of plant diversity and herbivory on primary production. These changes in turn altered litter decomposition and, ultimately, soil carbon sequestration, highlighting the relevance of ANPP as a key integrator of ecosystem functioning. Our study reveals how human alterations of bottom-up (resources) and top-down (herbivory) forces together interact to control the functioning of grazing systems, the most extensive land use on Earth.

  15. Stability of production and plant species diversity in managed grasslands

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plant biodiversity theory suggests that increased plant species diversity contributes to the stability of ecosystems. In managed grasslands, such as pastures, greater stability of herbage production would be beneficial. In this retrospective study, I used data from three reports from the 1930s, 1940...

  16. [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. PMID:18399354

  17. 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.

  18. Structural equation modelling reveals plant-community drivers of carbon storage in boreal forest ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Jonsson, Micael; Wardle, David A

    2010-02-23

    Boreal forest ecosystems are important drivers of the global carbon (C) cycle by acting as both sinks and sources of atmospheric CO(2). While several factors have been proposed as determining the ability of boreal forest to function as C sinks, little is known about their relative importance. In this study, we applied structural equation modelling to a previously published dataset involving 30 boreal-forested islands that vary greatly in their historic fire regime, in order to explore the simultaneous influence of several factors believed to be important in influencing above-ground, below-ground and total ecosystem C accumulation. We found that wildfire was a major driver of ecosystem C sequestration, and exerted direct effects on below-ground C storage (presumably through humus combustion) and indirect effects on both above-ground and below-ground C storage through altering plant-community composition. By contrast, plant diversity influenced only below-ground C storage (and even then only weakly), while net primary productivity and decomposition had no detectable effect. Our results suggest that while boreal forests have great potential for storing significant amounts of C, traits of dominant plant species that promote below-ground C accumulation and the absence of wildfire are the most important drivers of C sequestration in these ecosystems. PMID:19755530

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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. PMID:26092048

  9. The imprint of plants on ecosystem functioning: A data-driven approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Musavi, Talie; Mahecha, Miguel D.; Migliavacca, Mirco; Reichstein, Markus; van de Weg, Martine Janet; van Bodegom, Peter M.; Bahn, Michael; Wirth, Christian; Reich, Peter B.; Schrodt, Franziska; Kattge, Jens

    2015-12-01

    Terrestrial ecosystems strongly determine the exchange of carbon, water and energy between the biosphere and atmosphere. These exchanges are influenced by environmental conditions (e.g., local meteorology, soils), but generally mediated by organisms. Often, mathematical descriptions of these processes are implemented in terrestrial biosphere models. Model implementations of this kind should be evaluated by empirical analyses of relationships between observed patterns of ecosystem functioning, vegetation structure, plant traits, and environmental conditions. However, the question of how to describe the imprint of plants on ecosystem functioning based on observations has not yet been systematically investigated. One approach might be to identify and quantify functional attributes or responsiveness of ecosystems (often very short-term in nature) that contribute to the long-term (i.e., annual but also seasonal or daily) metrics commonly in use. Here we define these patterns as "ecosystem functional properties", or EFPs. Such as the ecosystem capacity of carbon assimilation or the maximum light use efficiency of an ecosystem. While EFPs should be directly derivable from flux measurements at the ecosystem level, we posit that these inherently include the influence of specific plant traits and their local heterogeneity. We present different options of upscaling in situ measured plant traits to the ecosystem level (ecosystem vegetation properties - EVPs) and provide examples of empirical analyses on plants' imprint on ecosystem functioning by combining in situ measured plant traits and ecosystem flux measurements. Finally, we discuss how recent advances in remote sensing contribute to this framework.

  10. Belowground biodiversity effects of plant symbionts support aboveground productivity.

    PubMed

    Wagg, Cameron; Jansa, Jan; Schmid, Bernhard; van der Heijden, Marcel G A

    2011-10-01

    Soil microbes play key roles in ecosystems, yet the impact of their diversity on plant communities is still poorly understood. Here we demonstrate that the diversity of belowground plant-associated soil fungi promotes plant productivity and plant coexistence. Using additive partitioning of biodiversity effects developed in plant biodiversity studies, we demonstrate that this positive relationship can be driven by complementarity effects among soil fungi in one soil type and by a selection effect resulting from the fungal species that stimulated plant productivity the most in another soil type. Selection and complementarity effects among fungal species contributed to improving plant productivity up to 82% and 85%, respectively, above the average of the respective fungal species monocultures depending on the soil in which they were grown. These results also indicate that belowground diversity may act as insurance for maintaining plant productivity under differing environmental conditions.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  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. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  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. 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. PMID:23500063

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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. PMID:25110630

  9. 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

  10. Managing for ecosystem services and livestock production: Are there tradeoffs?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Most all rangelands have traditionally been managed to provide food and fiber through management practices to achieve sustainable forage and livestock production (Dunn et al. 2010). Yet, society is desiring that these lands also be managed for multiple ecosystem services (defined as provisioning, re...

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. 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

  15. Biodiversity influences plant productivity through niche-efficiency.

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

    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.

  16. Biodiversity influences plant productivity through niche–efficiency

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Biodiversity influences plant productivity through niche-efficiency.

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

    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

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

    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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Quantifying carbon dioxide fluxes from photodegrading plant litter in arid ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brandt, L. A.; Bohnet, C.; King, J. Y.

    2007-12-01

    litter production, our estimates suggest that photochemical mineralization to CO2 could account for as much as 20% of annual litter mass loss in arid ecosystems. Therefore, abiotic CO2 production through photodegradation may be a major process by which carbon is lost from plant litter.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  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. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Rapid ecosystem shifts in peatlands: linking plant physiology and succession.

    PubMed

    Granath, Gustaf; Strengbom, Joachim; Rydin, Håkan

    2010-10-01

    Stratigraphic records from peatlands suggest that the shift from a rich fen (calcareous fen) to an ombrotrophic bog can occur rapidly. This shift constitutes a switch from a species-rich ecosystem to a species-poor one with greater carbon storage. In this process, the invasion and expansion of acidifying bog species of Sphagnum (peat mosses) play a key role. To test under what conditions an acidifying bog species could invade a rich fen, we conducted three experiments, contrasting the bog species S. fucsum with the rich-fen species S. warnstorfii and S. teres. We first tested the effect of calcareous water by growing the three species at different constant height above the water table (HWT; 2, 7, and 14 cm) in a rich-fen pool and measured maximum photosynthetic rate and production and difference in length growth as an indicator of competition. In none of the species was the photosynthetic capacity negatively affected when placed at low HWT, but S. fuscum was a weaker competitor at low HWT. In our second experiment we transplanted the three species into microhabitats with different and naturally varying HWT in a rich fen. Here, S. fuscum nearly ceased to photosynthesize when transplanted to low HWT (brown moss carpet), while it performed similarly to the two rich-fen species at the intermediate level (S. warnstorfii hummock level). In contrast to S. fuscum, the rich-fen sphagna performed equally well in both habitats. The brown moss carpet was seasonally flooded, and in our third experiment we found that S. fuscum, but not S. teres, was severely damaged when submerged in rich-fen water. Our results suggest two thresholds in HWT affecting the ecosystem switch: one level that reduces the risk of submergence and a higher one that makes bog sphagna competitive against the rich-fen species. PMID:21058564

  12. The theoretical limit to plant productivity.

    PubMed

    DeLucia, Evan H; Gomez-Casanovas, Nuria; Greenberg, Jonathan A; Hudiburg, Tara W; Kantola, Ilsa B; Long, Stephen P; Miller, Adam D; Ort, Donald R; Parton, William J

    2014-08-19

    Human population and economic growth are accelerating the demand for plant biomass to provide food, fuel, and fiber. The annual increment of biomass to meet these needs is quantified as net primary production (NPP). Here we show that an underlying assumption in some current models may lead to underestimates of the potential production from managed landscapes, particularly of bioenergy crops that have low nitrogen requirements. Using a simple light-use efficiency model and the theoretical maximum efficiency with which plant canopies convert solar radiation to biomass, we provide an upper-envelope NPP unconstrained by resource limitations. This theoretical maximum NPP approached 200 tC ha(-1) yr(-1) at point locations, roughly 2 orders of magnitude higher than most current managed or natural ecosystems. Recalculating the upper envelope estimate of NPP limited by available water reduced it by half or more in 91% of the land area globally. While the high conversion efficiencies observed in some extant plants indicate great potential to increase crop yields without changes to the basic mechanism of photosynthesis, particularly for crops with low nitrogen requirements, realizing such high yields will require improvements in water use efficiency. PMID:25069060

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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. PMID:24604779

  20. 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

  1. 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. PMID:23636670

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Large Uncertainties in Estimating Grassland Carbon Fluxes: Can Net Ecosystem Production Be Inferred?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cahill, K. N.; Foley, J. A.; Kucharik, C. J.

    2003-12-01

    Despite interest in estimating ecosystem carbon budgets based on easily collected field data, no previous study to our knowledge has compared various methods of estimating total above- and belowground net primary production (NPP) and net ecosystem production (NEP, the annual carbon accumulated by an ecosystem) from commonly measured biomass and soil surface CO2 flux data in grasslands. Here we used field data from two grassland restorations and a row-crop agriculture treatment enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program as a model for an analysis of methodological uncertainty in estimating ecosystem carbon budgets over a short time period. The goal of this study was to investigate how a range of methods for estimating NPP and NEP suggested in the literature might be used to predict ecosystem carbon budgets based on short-term field measurements. We conclude that it is extremely difficult to close the carbon budget of a temperate grassland using flux-based methods that account for plant-derived carbon inputs and soil surface CO2 losses. Current uncertainties in (1) estimating aboveground NPP, (2) determining belowground NPP, and (3) splitting soil respiration into heterotrophic and autotrophic components strongly affect the magnitude, and even the sign, of NEP. A comparison of these estimates, across a treatment of different plant species mixes and land management, cannot reliably distinguish differences in NEP, nor the absolute sign of the overall carbon budget. These uncertainties likely exist in all grassland carbon budget studies using this approach, so conclusions about whether these systems are truly carbon sinks, or how they should be managed to sequester carbon, must be made with extreme care. Longer-term stocks methods, periodically linked to flux-based measurements of individual processes, may be the only way to close the carbon budget in these systems with any reasonable degree of certainty at the present time.

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Economic valuation of plant diversity storage service provided by Brazilian rupestrian grassland ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Resende, F M; Fernandes, G W; Coelho, M S

    2013-11-01

    The rupestrian grassland ecosystems provide various goods and services to society and support a significant amount of biological diversity. Notably the rich plant diversity has high levels of endemism and a variety of uses among the local communities and general society. Despite the socio-ecological importance of these ecosystems, they are subjected to significant anthropogenic pressures. The goal of this study is to perform economic valuation of the plant diversity storage service provided by rupestrian grassland ecosystems to provide grounds for the development of conservation policies and encourage sustainable practices in these ecosystems. Given the intense human disturbances and unique flora, the Serra do Cipó (southern portion of the Espinhaço Range in southeast Brazil) was selected for the study. We estimate the monetary value related to the plant diversity storage service provided by the study area using the maintenance costs of native plants in the living collections of the botanical garden managed by the Zoobotanical Foundation - Belo Horizonte (located 97 km from Serra do Cipó). The plant diversity storage value provided by Serra do Cipó ecosystems is significant, reaching US$25.26 million year-1. This study contributes to the development of perspectives related to the conservation of rupestrian grassland ecosystems as well as others threatened tropical ecosystems with high biodiversity.

  10. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    García-Palacios, Pablo; Bowker, Matthew A; Maestre, Fernando T; Soliveres, Santiago; Valladares, Fernando; Papadopoulos, Jorge; Escudero, Adrián

    2011-10-01

    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 well-conserved natural areas close to roadsides to enhance plant compositional changes towards late

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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. PMID:24897501

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-08-14

    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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

    2015-01-01

    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

  20. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

    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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Linking remote sensing and ecosystem modeling for management of invasive plants in the Western United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bubenheim, David; Potter, Christopher; Carruthers, Raymond; Johnson, Lee

    A combination of remote sensing, mapping, modeling, and visualization technology is being adapted to quantify the impact of invasive species on ecosystems. Several prominent invasive species such as saltcedar (Tamarix spp.), yellow starthistle (Centaurea solstitialis), cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) and important aquatic weeds, such as waterprimrose (Ludwigia hexapetala), are targeted due to their environmental, social and economic importance in the Western United States. Remote sensing imagery (both airborne and satellite) is being used to assess invasive species distribution and spread, as well as to determine biological control agent impact and control success. Linking the remote sensing with ecosystem simulation models such as the Soil Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) and NASA-CASA provides significant improvement in representation of important ecosystem processes. Current emphasis is placed on characterizing cover and spread of invasive plant species and predicting potential ecosystem impact, and quantifying the impact and effectiveness of conservation practices aimed at reducing ecosystem vulnerability to invasive plant species.

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

    In the global campaign against biodiversity loss in forest ecosystems, land managers need to know the status of forest biodiversity, but practical guidelines for conserving biodiversity in forest management are lacking. A major obstacle is the incomplete understanding of the relationship between site primary productivity and plant diversity, due to insufficient ecosystem-wide data, especially for taxonomically and structurally diverse forest ecosystems. We investigated the effects of site productivity (the site's inherent capacity to grow timber) on tree species richness across 19 types of forest ecosystems in North America and China through 3 ground-sourced forest inventory data sets (U.S. Forest Inventory and Analysis, Cooperative Alaska Forest Inventory, and Chinese Forest Management Planning Inventory). All forest types conformed to a consistent and highly significant (P < 0.001) hump-shaped unimodal relationship, of which the generalized coefficients of determination averaged 20.5% over all the forest types. That is, tree species richness first increased as productivity increased at a progressively slower rate, and, after reaching a maximum, richness started to decline. Our consistent findings suggest that forests of high productivity would sustain few species because they consist mostly of flat homogeneous areas lacking an environmental gradient along which a diversity of species with different habitats can coexist. The consistency of the productivity-biodiversity relationship among the 3 data sets we examined makes it possible to quantify the expected tree species richness that a forest stand is capable of sustaining, and a comparison between the actual species richness and the sustainable values can be useful in prioritizing conservation efforts. PMID:26954431

  8. 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

  9. 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. PMID:25224801

  10. 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

  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 PAGESBeta

    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 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

  14. Some perspectives on the risks and benefits of biological control of invasive alien plants in the management of natural ecosystems.

    PubMed

    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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

    2013-12-01

    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.

  6. 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

    2013-12-01

    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

  7. 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

  8. 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. PMID:26649385

  9. Effectiveness of protected areas in maintaining plant production.

    PubMed

    Tang, Zhiyao; Fang, Jingyun; Sun, Jinyu; Gaston, Kevin J

    2011-01-01

    Given the central importance of protected area systems in local, regional and global conservation strategies, it is vital that there is a good understanding of their effectiveness in maintaining ecological functioning. Here, we provide, to our knowledge, the first such global analysis, focusing on plant production, a "supporting" ecosystem function necessary for multiple other ecosystem services. We use data on the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) as a measure of variation in plant production in the core, boundary and surroundings of more than 1000 large protected areas over a 25 year period. Forested protected areas were higher (or similar), and those non-forested were lower (or similar), in NDVI than their surrounding areas, and these differences have been sustained. The differences from surrounding areas have increased for evergreen broadleaf forests and barren grounds, decreased for grasslands, and remained similar for deciduous forests, woodlands, and shrublands, reflecting different pressures on those surroundings. These results are consistent with protected areas being effective both in the representation and maintenance of plant production. However, widespread overall increases in NDVI during the study period suggest that plant production within the core of non-forested protected areas has become higher than it was in the surroundings of those areas in 1982, highlighting that whilst the distinctiveness of protected areas from their surroundings has persisted the nature of that difference has changed.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Influence of productivity on the stability of real and model ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Moore, J.C. ); Ruiter, P.C. de ); Hunt, H.W. )

    1993-08-13

    The lengths of food chains within ecosystems have been thought to be limited either by the productivity of the ecosystem or by the resilience of that ecosystem after perturbation. Models based on ecological energetics that follow the form of Lotka-Volterra equations and equations that include material (detritus) recycling show that productivity and resilience are inextricably interrelated. The models were initialized with data from 5- to 10-year studies of actual soil food webs. Estimates indicate that most ecological production worldwide is from ecosystems that are themselves sufficiently productive to recover from minor perturbations.

  13. Plant phylodiversity enhances soil microbial productivity in facilitation-driven communities.

    PubMed

    Navarro-Cano, José Antonio; Goberna, Marta; Valiente-Banuet, Alfonso; Montesinos-Navarro, Alicia; García, Carlos; Verdú, Miguel

    2014-03-01

    The classical relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning can be better understood when the phylogenetic component of biodiversity is considered. We linked plant phylodiversity and ecosystem functioning in a water-limited gypsum ecosystem driven by plant facilitation. We tested whether (1) plant facilitation relaxes the abiotic filter imposed by gypsum, allowing the establishment of non-gypsophyte plant species, and consequently increasing plant phylodiversity, and (2) plant phylodiversity influences soil microbial productivity. Our data revealed that the gypsophyte Ononis tridentata spatially determines a macrophytic mosaic, ameliorates the microenvironment, and maximizes plant richness and phylodiversity through facilitating non-gypsophyte species. Beyond the direct effect of the nurse plant on soil microbial biomass, activity, and respiration, the analyses suggest a direct effect of plant phylodiversity (MPD) on these general indicators of soil microbial productivity. Plant diversity (Shannon index) neither correlated with the mentioned parameters nor with specific indicators of C, N and P cycling. This is the first report of a relationship between producer phylodiversity and decomposer productivity, which supports phylogenetic diversity as a relevant player of the ecosystem functioning.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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. PMID:24805254

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  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. 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.

  1. 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.

  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. PMID:18171668

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Light production by green plants.

    PubMed

    STREHLER, B L; ARNOLD, W

    1951-07-01

    1. Green plants have been found to emit light of approximately the same color as their fluorescent light for several minutes following illumination. This light is about 10(-3) the intensity of the fluorescent light, about one-tenth second after illumination below saturation or 10(-6) of the intensity of the absorbed light. 2. The decay curve follows bimolecular kinetics at 6.5 degrees C. and reaction order 1.6 at 28 degrees C. 3. This light saturates as does photosynthesis at higher light intensities and in about the same intensity range as does photosynthesis. 4. An action spectrum for light emitted as a function of the wave length of exciting light has been determined. It parallels closely the photosynthetic action spectrum. 5. The intensity of light emission was studied as a function of temperature and found to be optimal at about 37 degrees C. with an activation energy of approximately 19,500 calories. Two-temperature studies indicated that the energy may be trapped in the cold, but that temperatures characteristic for enzymatic reactions are necessary for light production. 6. Illumination after varying dark periods showed initial peaks of varying height depending on the preceding dark period. 7. 5 per cent CO(2) reversibly depresses the amount of light emitted by about 30 per cent. About 3 minutes are required for this effect to reach completion at room temperatures. 8. Various inhibitors of photosynthesis were tested for their effect on luminescence and were all inhibitory at appropriate concentrations. 9. Irradiation with ultraviolet light (2537A) inhibits light production at about the same rate as it inhibits photosynthesis. 10. This evidence suggests that early and perhaps later chemical reactions in photosynthesis may be partially reversible.

  9. 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

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

  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. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Relation between methanogenic archaea and methane production potential in selected natural wetland ecosystems across China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, D. Y.; Ding, W. X.; Jia, Z. J.; Cai, Z. C.

    2011-02-01

    Methane (CH4) emissions from natural wetland ecosystems exhibit large spatial variability at regional, national, and global levels related to temperature, water table, plant type and methanogenic archaea etc. To understand the underlying factors that induce spatial differences in CH4 emissions, and the relationship between the population of methanogenic archaea and CH4 production potential in natural wetlands around China, we measured the CH4 production potential and the abundance of methanogenic archaea in vertical soil profiles sampled from the Poyang wetland in the subtropical zone, the Hongze wetland in the warm temperate zone, the Sanjiang marsh in the cold temperate zone, and the Ruoergai peatland in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau in the alpine climate zone. The top soil layer had the highest population of methanogens (1.07-8.29 × 109 cells g-1 soil) in all wetlands except the Ruoergai peatland and exhibited the maximum CH4 production potential measured at the mean in situ summer temperature. There is a significant logarithmic correlation between the abundance of methanogenic archaea and the soil organic carbon (R2 = 0.72, P < 0.001, n = 13) and between the abundance of methanogenic archaea and the total nitrogen concentrations (R2 = 0.76, P < 0.001, n = 13) in wetland soils. This indicates that the amount of soil organic carbon may affect the population of methanogens in wetland ecosystems. While the CH4 production potential is not significantly related to methanogen population (R2 = 0.01, P > 0.05, n = 13), it is related to the dissolved organic carbon concentration (R2 = 0.31, P = 0.05, n = 13). This suggests that the methanogen population might be not an effective index for predicting the CH4 production in wetland ecosystems. The CH4 production rate of the top soil layer increases with increasing latitude, from 273.64 μg CH4 kg-1 soil d-1 in the Poyang wetland to 664.59 μg CH4 kg-1 soil d-1 in the Carex lasiocarpa marsh of the Sanjiang Plain. We conclude

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  17. 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…

  18. 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.

  19. Changes in the flux of carbon between plants and soil microorganisms at elevated CO{sub 2}: Physiological processes with ecosystem-level implications. Progress report

    SciTech Connect

    Zak, D.R.; Pregitzer, K.S.

    1994-05-15

    Our ability to interpret ecosystem response to elevated atmospheric CO{sub 2} is contingent on understanding and integrating a complex of physiological and ecological processes. However, we have a limited understanding of the combined effects of changes in plant carbon (C) allocation, microbial activity, and nitrogen (N) dynamics on the long-term response of terrestrial ecosystems to elevated CO{sub 2}. Individually, these factors are potent modifiers of C and N dynamics, and an in depth understanding of their interactions should provide insight into ecosystem-level responses to global climate change. Our research is aimed at quantifying the physiological mechanisms leading to increased fine root production, microbial biomass and rates of N cycling at elevated atmospheric CO{sub 2}. More specifically, we will experimentally manipulate soil nitrogen availability and atmospheric CO{sub 2} to understand how changes in plant resource availability influence the cycling of carbon between plants and soil microorganisms.

  20. 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

  1. A geomorphic perspective on terrain-modulated organization of vegetation productivity: Analysis in two semiarid grassland ecosystems in Southwestern United States

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Spatial patterns of ecosystem productivity arise from the terrain-modulated wetting and drying of the landscape. Using a daily relative greenness (rG) index we explore the relations between spatial variability of plant productivity and landscape morphology, and how these relations change over time...

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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).

  6. 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. PMID:21298708

  7. 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

  8. Use of an ecosystem model for testing ecosystem response to inaccuracies of root and microflora productivity estimates

    SciTech Connect

    Petersen, H.; O'Neill, R.V.; Gardner, R.H.

    1984-01-01

    A seventy-compartment model for a Danish beech forest ecosystem is described in outline. The unmodified model predicts considerable accumulation of wood litter and decreasing accumulation through secondary to final decomposition products. Increment rates are similar for all components of the detritus based food chain. Modification of fine root production rate produces strong, positive response for root litter, and less, but still significant, response for detritus, humus and the components of the decomposer food chain. Increase of microbial biomass with adjustments of metabolism and production causes reduced accumulation of detritus and humus. The soil organisms respond according to food source. The use of the model for testing the sensitivity of the ecosystem to inaccuracies of rroot- and microflora estimates is discussed. 21 references, 3 figures, 1 table.

  9. 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.

  10. Alien roadside species more easily invade alpine than lowland plant communities in a subarctic mountain ecosystem.

    PubMed

    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.

  11. Exotic plants contribute positively to biodiversity functions but reduce native seed production and arthropod richness.

    PubMed

    Cook-Patton, Susan C; Agrawal, Anurag A

    2014-06-01

    Although exotic plants comprise a substantial portion of floristic biodiversity, their contributions to community and ecosystem processes are not well understood. We manipulated plant species richness in old-field communities to compare the impacts of native vs. exotic species on plant biomass, seed production, and arthropod community structure. Plants within diverse communities, regardless of whether they were native or exotic, had higher biomass and seed production than in monocultures and displayed positive complementarity. Increasing native or exotic plant richness also enhanced the richness of arthropods on plants, but exotics attracted fewer arthropod species for a given arthropod abundance than did natives. Additionally, when exotic and native plants grew together, exotics suppressed seed production of native species. Thus, exotic plants appear to contribute positively to some biodiversity functions, but may impact native communities over longer time frames by reducing native seed production and recruiting fewer arthropod species.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

    2010-02-01

    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

  14. 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

  15. Ecosystem Productivity Responses to Saltwater Intrusion and P Loading As a Result of Future Sea Level Rise in the Coastal Everglades

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, B.; Troxler, T.; Gaiser, E.; Kominoski, J. S.; Richards, J.; Servais, S.; Stachelek, J.; Kelly, S.; Sklar, F.; Coronado-Molina, C.; Madden, C.; Davis, S. E., III; Mazzi, V.; Schulte, N.; Bauman, L.

    2014-12-01

    Coastal wetlands, which have immense potential to store carbon (C) in vegetation and sediments, are a vital part of the global C cycle. How C storage in coastal wetlands will be affected by accelerated sea level rise as a result of a warming climate, however, is uncertain. In oligotrophic wetlands such as the Everglades in the southeastern USA, saltwater intrusion will bring ions (Cl-, SO42-) and phosphorus (P), a limiting nutrient for ecosystem productivity. It is hypothesized that shifts in stressors and subsidies can shift the soil carbon balance from a net C sink to a source, stimulating peat collapse, which will, in turn, accelerate the effects of sea level rise. The objective of this study is to investigate how simulated saltwater intrusion into freshwater and oligohaline wetlands will change net ecosystem productivity and affect the soil C balance. Using coupled field and mesocosm experiments beginning in August 2014, we are examining how plant gross primary production, plant respiration, ecosystem respiration, and net ecosystem exchange in freshwater and oligohaline wetlands will change when exposed to saltwater and an increase in P loading. We predict that a higher saltwater load will increase ecosystem respiration while decreasing ecosystem productivity, possibly shifting the C balance of these marshes from a net sink to a source. In contrast, increased P loading has been shown to increase ecosystem productivity in oligotrophic wetlands; sawgrass, the dominant macrophyte in Everglades marshes, increases productivity with increased P, but periphyton decreases productivity. Therefore, it is still unknown how the interaction of an increased P subsidy coupled with saltwater intrusion will affect overall net ecosystem productivity and the C balance. Results from this study will reveal how the soil C balance in freshwater and oligohaline wetlands changes with saltwater intrusion due to sea level rise.

  16. 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

  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. The effect of higher plant microflora on the microbial landscape of a closed ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tirranen, Lyalya; Gitelson, Josef; Borodina, Elena

    2012-07-01

    Having summarized certain data obtained earlier, we defined the aim of this work as an estimation of the effect of higher plant microflora on the microbial landscape of a closed ecosystem (CES). The microflora of such a component as higher plants can influence other system components not only by way of transfer with air and water flows, but also through the direct contact of the crew with the crops cultivated within CES when harvesting, thrashing, using them for food. Involving the higher plant component into the closed system the microorganism diversity and occurrence of microscopic fungi in other components of the closed ecosystem increased. The presence of microscopic fungi, especially on plants and in the air, is potentially dangerous for the health of the system residents. Since the contribution of the higher plant microflora (especially mycoflora) to the microbial landscape of a CES is significant, it is necessary to reduce the microbial flora of the higher plant component and limit its dispersion to other system components. One of the possible measures to limit the higher plant microflora colonization is air purification between components. Reducing the number of microscopic fungi by decreasing the humidity in the system's atmosphere should also be considered.

  19. Dioecy Impacts on Plant Water Fluxes in Riparian Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hultine, K. R.; Bush, S. E.; West, A. G.; Ehleringer, J. R.

    2005-12-01

    Dioecious plants are frequently associated with different spatial distributions of the two sexes across resource gradients. Segregation between sexes might be expected to occur if the cost of reproduction is greater in females than in males. If so, females would be under stronger selection to increase rates of resource uptake. Acer negundo is a dioecious riparian tree species that show spatial segregation among sexes: females are typically more common along streamside (high resource) environments than males. The spatial segregation of the sexes leads to the hypothesis that male and female individuals have varying influence on ecohydrological processes. To address this, we measured sap flux, water relations and hydraulic architecture of mature streamside (less than 1 m from stream channel) male and female Acer negundo trees occurring near Salt Lake City, Utah, USA during the 2004 growing season. Despite similar predawn and midday leaf water potentials, sap flux density ( Js) was 40 percent higher in female trees than in male trees during the 2004 growing season (n = 42 days, F = 73.56, P < 0.0001). Both genders showed a similar relationship between conducting sapwood area to stem diameter ratio suggesting that differences in Js scale to the whole tree level. Sap flux data from Acer negundo trees was compared to five other co-occurring riparian tree species. Female Acer negundo trees showed the highest Js among all species while Js in male Acer negundo trees was lower than all other species except one ( Acer grandidentatum). These data demonstrate that individual female Acer negundo trees have the capacity remove water at higher rates than males in high resource environments. The spatial segregation of the sexes along streamside environments may therefore have profound impacts on ecohydrological processes such as stream discharge, groundwater recharge, and nutrient cycling.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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…

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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. PMID:25339654

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. 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. PMID:20012097

  9. 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?

  10. 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.

  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. PMID:24820033

  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. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Effect of vegetation-water table feedbacks on the stability and resilience of plant ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-01-01

    The interaction of vegetation with the groundwater is one of the key mechanisms affecting the dynamics of wetland plant ecosystems. The main feature of these interactions is the feedback between the downward shift of the water table caused by riparian vegetation and the emergence of soil aeration conditions favorable to plant establishment, growth, and survival. We develop a conceptual framework to explain how vegetation-water table feedbacks may lead to the emergence of multiple stable states in the dynamics of wetland forests and riparian ecosystems. This framework is used to investigate the sensitivity of these ecosystems to vegetation disturbances and changes in water table depth. As a result of these feedbacks, such ecosystems are prone to catastrophic shifts to an unvegetated state. Because of their competitive advantage, water-tolerant and shallow-rooted species can replace the original vegetation, contributing to the occurrence of vegetation succession in riparian zones and to the existence of alternative vegetation states between areas with shallow and deep water tables.

  16. The value of livestock production systems and ecosystem services

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed

    Craven, Dylan; 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

    2016-05-19

    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.

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

    Craven, Dylan; 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

    2016-05-19

    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

  20. 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.

  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. 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

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

    Periodical patterns of vegetation in an arid or semiarid ecosystem are described using statistical mechanics and Monte Carlo numerical simulation technique. Plants are characterized by the area that each individual occupies and a facilitation-competition pairwise interaction. Assuming that external resources (precipitation, solar radiation, nutrients, etc.) are available to the ecosystem, it is possible to obtain the persistent configurations of plants compatible with an equitable distribution of resources maximizing the Shannon entropy. Variation of vegetation patterns with density, critical cluster size, and facilitation distance are predicted. Morphological changes of clusters are shown to be a function of the external resources. As a final remark, it is proposed that an early warning of desertification could be detected from the coefficient of variation of the mean cluster size together with the distribution of cluster sizes. PMID:26066215

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Human excreta for plant production.

    PubMed

    Heinonen-Tanski, Helvi; van Wijk-Sijbesma, Christine

    2005-03-01

    Human excreta are a natural resource which is always available in all societies. Unfortunately, their value is highly underestimated in present agriculture and horticulture including in many tropical developing countries. Especially human urine is rich in nitrogen. This "free" fertiliser should be used as much as possible and needed. In many cases, human urine and composted human faeces could be fortified with wood ash and kitchen and garden waste to meet the potassium and phosphorus needs of plants and to improve soil structure. Avoiding health risks and dosage requirements are also discussed. The ideas presented here can be used even with the cheap pit latrines that are common in the rural and peri-urban areas of developing countries. They do not require electricity and/or tap water. They may also fit conditions in areas of Eastern Europe where piped water and sewerage are absent and/or people lack money for fertilisers and maintenance of wastewater treatment plants.

  9. 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

  10. 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...

  11. Complexity of multitrophic interactions in a grassland ecosystem depends on plant species diversity.

    PubMed

    Rzanny, Michael; Voigt, Winfried

    2012-05-01

    1. We studied the theoretical prediction that a loss of plant species richness has a strong impact on community interactions among all trophic levels and tested whether decreased plant species diversity results in a less complex structure and reduced interactions in ecological networks. 2. Using plant species-specific biomass and arthropod abundance data from experimental grassland plots (Jena Experiment), we constructed multitrophic functional group interaction webs to compare communities based on 4 and 16 plant species. 427 insect and spider species were classified into 13 functional groups. These functional groups represent the nodes of ecological networks. Direct and indirect interactions among them were assessed using partial Mantel tests. Interaction web complexity was quantified using three measures of network structure: connectance, interaction diversity and interaction strength. 3. Compared with high plant diversity plots, interaction webs based on low plant diversity plots showed reduced complexity in terms of total connectance, interaction diversity and mean interaction strength. Plant diversity effects obviously cascade up the food web and modify interactions across all trophic levels. The strongest effects occurred in interactions between adjacent trophic levels (i.e. predominantly trophic interactions), while significant interactions among plant and carnivore functional groups, as well as horizontal interactions (i.e. interactions between functional groups of the same trophic level), showed rather inconsistent responses and were generally rarer. 4. Reduced interaction diversity has the potential to decrease and destabilize ecosystem processes. Therefore, we conclude that the loss of basal producer species leads to more simple structured, less and more loosely connected species assemblages, which in turn are very likely to decrease ecosystem functioning, community robustness and tolerance to disturbance. Our results suggest that the functioning

  12. 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

  13. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

    1994-10-01

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

  15. Plant-microbe interactions as drivers of ecosystem functions relevant for the biodegradation of organic contaminants.

    PubMed

    Fester, Thomas; Giebler, Julia; Wick, Lukas Y; Schlosser, Dietmar; Kästner, Matthias

    2014-06-01

    The plant organism and associated microbial communities can be seen as a sunlight driven hotspot for the turnover of organic chemicals. In such environments the fate of a chemical will not only depend on its intrinsic structural stability toward (bio-)chemical reactions and its bioavailability but also on the functional effectiveness and stability of natural microbial communities as main drivers of natural attenuation of chemicals. Recent research demonstrates that interactions between plants and microorganisms are crucial for the biotransformation of organic chemicals, for various processes affecting the bioavailability of such compounds, and for the stability of the affected ecosystem. Practical bioremediation approaches, therefore, should encompass integrated measures targeting functional vegetation as well as functional microbial communities. Good examples for a successful practical approach are constructed wetlands, where an artificial, simplified ecosystem is used for the detoxification of organic contaminants. While such systems have considerable practical success, they are often treated as a black box and a sound mechanistic understanding of functional resilience and of the 'reactive power' of such plant-microbe ecosystems is poor. This situation has to change, if progress in the application of bioremediation is to be made.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

    2010-01-01

    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. > 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.

  20. 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.

  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. PMID:25330253

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Are boreal ecosystems susceptible to alien plant invasion? Evidence from protected areas.

    PubMed

    Rose, Michael; Hermanutz, Luise

    2004-05-01

    Although biological invasion by alien species is a major contributor to loss of indigenous biological diversity, few studies have examined the susceptibility of the boreal biome to invasion. Based on studies of other ecosystems, we hypothesized that alien plants will be restricted to disturbed areas near human activity and will not be found in natural areas of boreal ecosystems in Gros Morne National Park (Canada), a protected area experiencing a wide range of disturbance regimes. The distribution of alien plants in the region was evaluated using surveys, and study sites were established in naturally and anthropogenically disturbed habitats that had been invaded. Within study sites, randomization tests evaluated the importance of disturbance to alien plant invasion by examining changes in environmental conditions and species abundance within various disturbance regimes, while the importance of site characteristics limiting the distribution of alien plants were examined using Canonical Correspondence Analysis. Consistent with studies in a variety of biomes, areas of high disturbance and human activity had the greatest abundance of resources and the highest percentage of alien species. However, contrary to our hypothesis, natural areas of boreal ecosystems were found susceptible to alien plant invasion. Vegetation types vulnerable to invasion include forests, riparian areas, fens, and alpine meadows. Natural disturbance occurring in these vegetation types caused increases in bare ground and/or light availability facilitating alien plant invasion. Although high soil pH was associated with alien plants in these areas, disturbance was not found to cause changes in soil pH, suggesting susceptibility to invasion is pre-determined by bedrock geology or other factors influencing soil pH. Moose (Alces alces), a non-native herbivore, acts as the primary conduit for alien plant invasion in GMNP by dispersing propagules and creating or prolonging disturbance by trampling and

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

    PubMed

    Jackrel, Sara L; Wootton, J Timothy

    2015-04-22

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

    Woollen, Emily; Ryan, Casey M; Baumert, Sophia; Vollmer, Frank; Grundy, Isla; Fisher, Janet; Fernando, Jone; Luz, Ana; Ribeiro, Natasha; Lisboa, Sá N

    2016-09-19

    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

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

    PubMed

    Woollen, Emily; Ryan, Casey M; Baumert, Sophia; Vollmer, Frank; Grundy, Isla; Fisher, Janet; Fernando, Jone; Luz, Ana; Ribeiro, Natasha; Lisboa, Sá N

    2016-09-19

    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'.

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

    Austin, Amy T; Ballaré, Carlos L

    2010-03-01

    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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Arbuscular mycorrhizal community composition associated with two plant species in a grassland ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Vandenkoornhuyse, P; Husband, R; Daniell, T J; Watson, I J; Duck, J M; Fitter, A H; Young, J P W

    2002-08-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi are biotrophic symbionts colonizing about two-thirds of land plant species and found in all ecosystems. They are of major importance in plant nutrient supply and their diversity is suggested to be an important determinant of plant community composition. The diversity of the AM fungal community composition in the roots of two plant species (Agrostis capillaris and Trifolium repens) that co-occurred in the same grassland ecosystem was characterized using molecular techniques. We analysed the small subunit (SSU) ribosomal RNA gene amplified from a total root DNA extract using AM fungal-specific primers. A total of 2001 cloned fragments from 47 root samples obtained on four dates were analysed by restriction fragment length polymorphism, and 121 of them were sequenced. The diversity found was high: a total of 24 different phylotypes (groups of phylogenetically related sequences) colonized the roots of the two host species. Phylogenetic analyses demonstrate that 19 of these phylotypes belonged to the Glomaceae, three to the Acaulosporaceae and two to the Gigasporaceae. Our study reveals clearly that the AM fungal community colonizing T. repens differed from that colonizing A. capillaris, providing evidence for AM fungal host preference. In addition, our results reveal dynamic changes in the AM fungal community through time.

  3. Novel In Vitro Antioxidant and Photoprotection Capacity of Plants from High Altitude Ecosystems of Colombia.

    PubMed

    Mejía-Giraldo, Juan C; Henao-Zuluaga, Kelly; Gallardo, Cecilia; Atehortúa, Lucia; Puertas-Mejía, Miguel A

    2016-01-01

    Currently, plants have gained widespread interest as a source of natural sunscreen. Specifically, plants from high altitude ecosystems are exposed to high UVR levels; therefore, they must produce an adaptive chemical response. The aim of this study was to evaluate the photo-protection and antioxidant capacity in vitro of nine plants from high altitude ecosystems in Antioquia, Colombia (Sphagnum meridense, Calamagrostis effusa, Lycopodiella alopecuroides, Morella parvifolia, Baccharis antioquensis, Pentacalia pulchella, Castilleja fissifolia, Hesperomeles ferruginea and Hypericum juniperinum). B. antioquensis and P. pulchella extracts showed the best results over a broad spectrum UVA-UVB with antioxidant capacity in vitro. However, B. antioquensis extracts presented the highest absorption coefficient in UVB-UVA range among plants under study. Furthermore, the gel formulation containing the crude extract of B. antioquensis showed significant values of UVAPF, UVA/UVB ratio, critical wavelength (λc ) and SPF (3, 0.78 380 nm and 4.73 ± 0.26; respectively), indicating interesting photostability and antiradical capacities. All of these properties could be improve in order to satisfy the requirements for broad-spectrum UVB/UVA protection. Finally, P. pulchella and B. antioquensis extracts could be a potential source of a new natural sunscreen compounds with photostable and antiradical properties. PMID:26481216

  4. 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. PMID:19373438

  5. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  7. Green biofactories: recombinant protein production in plants.

    PubMed

    Ahmad, Adil; Pereira, Eridan O; Conley, Andrew J; Richman, Alex S; Menassa, Rima

    2010-11-01

    Until recently, low accumulation levels have been the major bottleneck for plant-made recombinant protein production. However, several breakthroughs have been described in the past few years allowing for very high accumulation levels, mainly through chloroplast transformation and transient expression, coupled with subcellular targeting and protein fusions. Another important factor influencing our ability to use plants for the production of recombinant proteins is the availability of quick and simple purification strategies. Recent developments using oleosin, zein, ELP and hydrophobin fusion tags have shown promise as efficient and cost-effective methods for non-chromatographic separation. Furthermore, plant glycosylation is a major barrier to the parenteral administration of plant-made biopharmaceuticals because of potential immunogenicity concerns. A major effort has been invested in humanizing plant glycosylation, and several groups have been able to reduce or eliminate immunogenic glycans while introducing mammalian-specific glycans. Finally, biosafety issues and public perception are essential for the acceptance of plants as bioreactors for the production of proteins. Over recent years, it has become clear that food and feed plants carry an inherent risk of contaminating our food supply, and thus much effort has focused on the use of non-food plants. Presently, Nicotiana benthamiana has emerged as the preferred host for transient expression, while tobacco is most frequently used for chloroplast transformation. In this review, we focus on the main issues hindering the economical production of recombinant proteins in plants, describing the current efforts for addressing these limitations, and we include an extensive list of recent patents generated with the intention of solving these limitations. PMID:21171961

  8. 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

  9. Net Ecosystem Production of Polar Desert and Wetland Landscapes in the Rapidly Changing Canadian High Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Emmerton, C. A.; St Louis, V. L.; Humphreys, E.; Barker, J. D.; Gamon, J. A.; Pastorello, G.

    2014-12-01

    A rapidly warming and wetting Arctic climate is changing the net ecosystem production (NEP) of northern landscapes and subsequent exchange of carbon dioxide (CO2) with the atmosphere. Assessments of northern terrestrial NEP have focused mostly on the rich peatland landscapes of the low Arctic, with far fewer studies from expansive, but sparse, high Arctic polar landscapes. Consequently, how these ecosystems may respond to a warming and wetting climate is still a key gap in our understanding of global carbon feedbacks. We used multi-season eddy covariance measurements to quantify growing season (June to September) NEP on contrasting polar desert and meadow wetland landscapes near Lake Hazen on northern Ellesmere Island (81ºN), in Canada's high Arctic. We also used variation in contemporary NEP and weather to improve our understanding of potential future carbon cycling in a warmer and wetter high Arctic climate. During a typical growing season, we found that a dry polar desert landscape accumulated only 6.6±1.2 g C m-2 similar to other high Arctic sites and consistent with cold, barren soils with weak plant growth. Desert NEP coincided strongest with landscape moisture, rather than heating, with increased NEP occurring during drier conditions when soil heterotrophic rates were lowest. With a nearly constant but varying supply of water, the productive meadow wetland accumulated 13 times more carbon (86.1±16.9 g C m-2) than the desert during the growing season. NEP at the wetland was similar to comparable landscapes much further south, owing to continuous 24-hour daylight and typically clear-skies surrounding Lake Hazen. Wetland soils showed a consistent strong burst of CO2 to the atmosphere each spring (min. NEP: -2.5 µmol CO2 s-1 m-2) and a well-defined peak in July productivity (3.9-4.4 µmol CO2 s-1 m-2). Wetland NEP associated positively and strongly with both landscape heating and moisture, suggesting that autotrophic limitations other than water or heat

  10. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2012-01-01

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

  12. Links between plant litter chemistry, species diversity, and below-ground ecosystem function.

    PubMed

    Meier, Courtney L; Bowman, William D

    2008-12-16

    Decomposition is a critical source of plant nutrients, and drives the largest flux of terrestrial C to the atmosphere. Decomposing soil organic matter typically contains litter from multiple plant species, yet we lack a mechanistic understanding of how species diversity influences decomposition processes. Here, we show that soil C and N cycling during decomposition are controlled by the composition and diversity of chemical compounds within plant litter mixtures, rather than by simple metrics of plant species diversity. We amended native soils with litter mixtures containing up to 4 alpine plant species, and we used 9 litter chemical traits to evaluate the chemical composition (i.e., the identity and quantity of compounds) and chemical diversity of the litter mixtures. The chemical composition of the litter mixtures was the strongest predictor of soil respiration, net N mineralization, and microbial biomass N. Soil respiration and net N mineralization rates were also significantly correlated with the chemical diversity of the litter mixtures. In contrast, soil C and N cycling rates were poorly correlated with plant species richness, and there was no relationship between species richness and the chemical diversity of the litter mixtures. These results indicate that the composition and diversity of chemical compounds in litter are potentially important functional traits affecting decomposition, and simple metrics like plant species richness may fail to capture variation in these traits. Litter chemical traits therefore provide a mechanistic link between organisms, species diversity, and key components of below-ground ecosystem function.

  13. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Metabolic theory and body size dependent constraints on biomass production and decomposition suggest that differences in the intrinsic potential net ecosystem production (NEPPOT) should be small among contrasting C3 grasslands and therefore unable to explain the wide range in the annual apparent net ecosystem production (NEPAPP) reported by previous studies. We estimated NEPPOT for nine C3 grasslands under contrasting climate and management regimes using multi-year eddy covariance data. NEPPOT converged within a narrow range suggesting little difference in the net carbon dioxide uptake capacity across C3 grasslands. Our results indicate a unique feature of C3 grasslands compared to other terrestrial ecosystems and suggest a state of stability in NEPPOT due to tightly coupled production and respiration processes. Consequently, the annual NEPAPP of C3 grasslands is primarily a function of seasonal and short-term environmental and management constraints, and therefore especially susceptible to changes in future climate patterns and associated adaptation of management practices. PMID:23346985

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-07-31

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

  2. Deep Atomic Binding (DAB) Approach in Interpretation of Fission Products Behavior in Terrestrial and Water Ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Ajlouni, Abdul-Wali M.S.

    2006-07-01

    A large number of studies and models were established to explain the fission products (FP) behavior within terrestrial and water ecosystems, but a number of behaviors were non understandable, which always attributed to unknown reasons. According to DAB hypothesis, almost all fission products behaviors in terrestrial and water ecosystems could be interpreted in a wide coincidence. The gab between former models predictions, and field behavior of fission products after accidents like Chernobyl have been explained. DAB represents a tool to reduce radio-phobia as well as radiation protection expenses. (author)

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-23

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. Modeling gross primary production and ecosystem respiration for terrestrial ecosystems in North China and Tibet Plateau using MODIS imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Y.; Yu, G.; Yan, H.; Zhu, X.; Li, S.; Wang, Q.; Zhang, J.; Wang, Y.; Li, Y.; Zhao, L.; Shi, P.

    2013-12-01

    Gross primary production (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (Re) are two large components in the studying of regional and global carbon cycles. Accurate quantification of spatio-temporal variations of GPP and Re for terrestrial ecosystems is of great importance to research carbon budget on regional and global scales. In this study, we proposed two satellite-based models, i.e. Photosynthetic Capacity Model (PCM) and Ecosystem Respiration Model (ERM), to simulate GPP and Re of terrestrial ecosystems, respectively. Multi-year eddy CO2 flux data from five vegetation types in North China (temperate mixed forest, temperate steppe) and Tibet Plateau (alpine shrubland, alpine marsh and alpine meadow-steppe) were used for assessing the model performances. The PCM model was driven by the Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) and the Land Surface Water Index (LSWI) from MODIS imagery. In most cases, the PCM-simulated GPP and the observed GPP displayed very consistent seasonal and inter-seasonal variability regardless of vegetation types. The PCM predicted versus observed GPP performed better than the MODIS GPP products, and was compatible with the Vegetation Photosynthesis Model (VPM). Moreover, the model parameter of the PCM could be gained from the linear function of mean annual remote sensing data. Based on this linear function, the PCM model simulated 93% variations of the observed GPP across all five vegetation types. The ERM model was developed based on both GPP and temperature, and was driven by EVI, LSWI and the Land Surface Temperature (LST) from MODIS imagery. In most cases, the seasonal and interannual variations of the simulated Re matched well with the observed Re. Compared with the model driven by temperature, and the model further added GPP in the reference respiration, the ERM model was optimal in each vegetation type. The model parameters of the ERM could also be presented by the liner functions of mean annual remote sensing data. Based on these linear functions, 90

  10. Stochastic resonance and coherence resonance in groundwater-dependent plant ecosystems.

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-21

    Several studies have shown that non-linear deterministic dynamical systems forced by external random components can give rise to unexpectedly regular temporal behaviors. Stochastic resonance and coherence resonance, the two best known processes of this type, have been studied in a number of physical and chemical systems. Here, we explore their possible occurrence in the dynamics of groundwater-dependent plant ecosystems. To this end, we develop two eco-hydrological models, which allow us to demonstrate that stochastic and coherence resonance may emerge in the dynamics of phreatophyte vegetation, depending on their deterministic properties and the intensity of external stochastic drivers.

  11. Considerations for Sustainable Biomass Production in Quercus-Dominated Forest Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bruckman, Viktor; Yan, Shuai; Hochbichler, Eduard

    2013-04-01

    Our current energy system is mainly based on carbon (C) intensive metabolisms, resulting in great effects on the earth's biosphere. The majority of the energy sources are fossil (crude oil, coal, natural gas) and release CO2 in the combustion (oxidation) process which takes place during utilization of the energy. C released to the atmosphere was once sequestered by biomass over a time span of millions of years and is now being released back into the atmosphere within a period of just decades. In the context of green and CO2 neutral Energy, there is an on-going debate regarding the potentials of obtaining biomass from forests on multiple scales, from stand to international levels. Especially in the context of energy, it is highlighted that biomass is an entirely CO2 neutral feedstock since the carbon stored in wood originates from the atmospheric CO2 pool and it was taken up during plant growth. It needs systems approaches in order to justify this statement and ensure sustainability covering the whole life-cycle from biomass production to (bio)energy consumption. There are a number of Quercus woodland management systems focussing solely on woody biomass production for energetic utilization or a combination with traditional forestry and high quality timber production for trades and industry. They have often developed regionally as a consequence of specific demands and local production capacities, which are mainly driven by environmental factors such as climate and soil properties. We assessed the nutritional status of a common Quercus-dominated forest ecosystem in northern Austria, where we compared biomass- with belowground C and nutrient pools in order to identify potential site limits if the management shifts towards systems with a higher level of nutrient extraction. Heterogeneity of soils, and soil processes are considered, as well as other, growth-limiting factors (e.g. precipitation) and species-specific metabolisms and element translocation.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-12-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Soil ecosystem function under native and exotic plant assemblages as alternative states of successional grasslands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spirito, Florencia; Yahdjian, Laura; Tognetti, Pedro M.; Chaneton, Enrique J.

    2014-01-01

    Old fields often become dominated by exotic plants establishing persistent community states. Ecosystem functioning may differ widely between such novel communities and the native-dominated counterparts. We evaluated soil ecosystem attributes in native and exotic (synthetic) grass assemblages established on a newly abandoned field, and in remnants of native grassland in the Inland Pampa, Argentina. We asked whether exotic species alter soil functioning through the quality of the litter they shed or by changing the decomposition environment. Litter decomposition of the exotic dominant Festuca arundinacea in exotic assemblages was faster than that of the native dominant Paspalum quadrifarium in native assemblages and remnant grasslands. Decomposition of a standard litter (Triticum aestivum) was also faster in exotic assemblages than in native assemblages and remnant grasslands. In a common garden, F. arundinacea showed higher decay rates than P. quadrifarium, which reflected the higher N content and lower C:N of the exotic grass litter. Soil respiration rates were higher in the exotic than in the native assemblages and remnant grasslands. Yet there were no significant differences in soil N availability or net N mineralization between exotic and native assemblages. Our results suggest that exotic grass dominance affected ecosystem function by producing a more decomposable leaf litter and by increasing soil decomposer activity. These changes might contribute to the extended dominance of fast-growing exotic grasses during old-field succession. Further, increased organic matter turnover under novel, exotic communities could reduce the carbon storage capacity of the system in the long term.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  17. Does natural selection organize ecosystems for the maintenance of high productivity and diversity?

    PubMed

    Leigh, Egbert Giles; Vermeij, Geerat Jacobus

    2002-05-29

    Three types of evidence suggest that natural ecosystems are organized for high productivity and diversity: (i) changes not previously experienced by a natural ecosystem, such as novel human disturbances, tend to diminish its productivity and/or diversity, just as 'random' changes in a machine designed for a function usually impair its execution of that function; (ii) humans strive to recreate properties of natural ecosystems to enhance productivity of artificial ones, as farmers try to recreate properties of natural soils in their fields; and (iii) productivity and diversity have increased during the Earth's history as a whole, and after every major biotic crisis. Natural selection results in ecosystems organized to maintain high productivity of organic matter and diversity of species, just as competition among individuals in Adam Smith's ideal economy favours high production of wealth and diversity of occupations. In nature, poorly exploited energy attracts more efficient users. This circumstance favours the opening of new ways of life and more efficient recycling of resources, and eliminates most productivity-reducing 'ecological monopolies'. Ecological dominants tend to be replaced by successors with higher metabolism, which respond to more stimuli and engage in more varied interactions. Finally, increasingly efficient predators and herbivores favour faster turnover of resources. PMID:12079531

  18. Does natural selection organize ecosystems for the maintenance of high productivity and diversity?

    PubMed Central

    Leigh, Egbert Giles; Vermeij, Geerat Jacobus

    2002-01-01

    Three types of evidence suggest that natural ecosystems are organized for high productivity and diversity: (i) changes not previously experienced by a natural ecosystem, such as novel human disturbances, tend to diminish its productivity and/or diversity, just as 'random' changes in a machine designed for a function usually impair its execution of that function; (ii) humans strive to recreate properties of natural ecosystems to enhance productivity of artificial ones, as farmers try to recreate properties of natural soils in their fields; and (iii) productivity and diversity have increased during the Earth's history as a whole, and after every major biotic crisis. Natural selection results in ecosystems organized to maintain high productivity of organic matter and diversity of species, just as competition among individuals in Adam Smith's ideal economy favours high production of wealth and diversity of occupations. In nature, poorly exploited energy attracts more efficient users. This circumstance favours the opening of new ways of life and more efficient recycling of resources, and eliminates most productivity-reducing 'ecological monopolies'. Ecological dominants tend to be replaced by successors with higher metabolism, which respond to more stimuli and engage in more varied interactions. Finally, increasingly efficient predators and herbivores favour faster turnover of resources. PMID:12079531

  19. Montane ecosystem productivity responds more to global circulation patterns than climatic trends

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Desai, A. R.; Wohlfahrt, G.; Zeeman, M. J.; Katata, G.; Eugster, W.; Montagnani, L.; Gianelle, D.; Mauder, M.; Schmid, H.-P.

    2016-02-01

    Regional ecosystem productivity is highly sensitive to inter-annual climate variability, both within and outside the primary carbon uptake period. However, Earth system models lack sufficient spatial scales and ecosystem processes to resolve how these processes may change in a warming climate. Here, we show, how for the European Alps, mid-latitude Atlantic ocean winter circulation anomalies drive high-altitude summer forest and grassland productivity, through feedbacks among orographic wind circulation patterns, snowfall, winter and spring temperatures, and vegetation activity. Therefore, to understand future global climate change influence to regional ecosystem productivity, Earth systems models need to focus on improvements towards topographic downscaling of changes in regional atmospheric circulation patterns and to lagged responses in vegetation dynamics to non-growing season climate anomalies.

  20. Multiple plant-wax compounds record differential sources and ecosystem structure in large river catchments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hemingway, Jordon D.; Schefuß, Enno; Dinga, Bienvenu Jean; Pryer, Helena; Galy, Valier V.

    2016-07-01

    The concentrations, distributions, and stable carbon isotopes (δ13C) of plant waxes carried by fluvial suspended sediments contain valuable information about terrestrial ecosystem characteristics. To properly interpret past changes recorded in sedimentary archives it is crucial to understand the sources and variability of exported plant waxes in modern systems on seasonal to inter-annual timescales. To determine such variability, we present concentrations and δ13C compositions of three compound classes (n-alkanes, n-alcohols, n-alkanoic acids) in a 34-month time series of suspended sediments from the outflow of the Congo River. We show that exported plant-dominated n-alkanes (C25-C35) represent a mixture of C3 and C4 end members, each with distinct molecular distributions, as evidenced by an 8.1 ± 0.7‰ (±1σ standard deviation) spread in δ13C values across chain-lengths, and weak correlations between individual homologue concentrations (r = 0.52-0.94). In contrast, plant-dominated n-alcohols (C26-C36) and n-alkanoic acids (C26-C36) exhibit stronger positive correlations (r = 0.70-0.99) between homologue concentrations and depleted δ13C values (individual homologues average ⩽-31.3‰ and -30.8‰, respectively), with lower δ13C variability across chain-lengths (2.6 ± 0.6‰ and 2.0 ± 1.1‰, respectively). All individual plant-wax lipids show little temporal δ13C variability throughout the time-series (1σ ⩽ 0.9‰), indicating that their stable carbon isotopes are not a sensitive tracer for temporal changes in plant-wax source in the Congo basin on seasonal to inter-annual timescales. Carbon-normalized concentrations and relative abundances of n-alcohols (19-58% of total plant-wax lipids) and n-alkanoic acids (26-76%) respond rapidly to seasonal changes in runoff, indicating that they are mostly derived from a recently entrained local source. In contrast, a lack of correlation with discharge and low, stable relative abundances (5-16%) indicate that

  1. MODIS vegetation products as proxies of photosynthetic potential: a look across meteorological and biologic driven ecosystem productivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Restrepo-Coupe, N.; Huete, A.; Davies, K.; Cleverly, J.; Beringer, J.; Eamus, D.; van Gorsel, E.; Hutley, L. B.; Meyer, W. S.

    2015-12-01

    A direct relationship between gross ecosystem productivity (GEP) measured by the eddy covariance (EC) method and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) vegetation indices (VIs) has been observed in many temperate and tropical ecosystems. However, in Australian evergreen forests, and particularly sclerophyll woodlands, MODIS VIs do not capture seasonality of GEP. In this study, we re-evaluate the connection between satellite and flux tower data at four contrasting Australian ecosystems, through comparisons of ecosystem photosynthetic activity (GEP) and potential (e.g. ecosystem light use efficiency and quantum yield) with MODIS vegetation satellite products, including VIs, gross primary productivity (GPPMOD), leaf area index (LAIMOD), and fraction of photosynthetic active radiation (fPARMOD). We found that satellite derived greenness products constitute a measurement of ecosystem structure (e.g. leaf area index - quantity of leaves) and function (e.g. leaf level photosynthetic assimilation capacity - quality of leaves), rather than productivity. Our results show that in primarily meteorological-driven (e.g. photosynthetic active radiation, air temperature and/or precipitation) and relatively aseasonal vegetation photosynthetic potential ecosystems (e.g. evergreen wet sclerophyll forests), there were no statistically significant relationships between GEP and satellite derived measures of greenness. In contrast, for phenology-driven ecosystems (e.g. tropical savannas), changes in the vegetation status drove GEP, and tower-based measurements of photosynthetic activity were best represented by VIs. We observed the highest correlations between MODIS products and GEP in locations where key meteorological variables and vegetation phenology were synchronous (e.g. semi-arid Acacia woodlands) and low correlation at locations where they were asynchronous (e.g. Mediterranean ecosystems). Eddy covariance data offer much more than validation and/or calibration of

  2. Provenance for actionable data products and indicators in marine ecosystem assessments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beaulieu, S. E.; Maffei, A. R.; Fox, P. A.; West, P.; Di Stefano, M.; Hare, J. A.; Fogarty, M.

    2013-12-01

    Ecosystem-based management of Large Marine Ecosystems (LMEs) involves the sharing of data and information products among a diverse set of stakeholders - from environmental and fisheries scientists to policy makers, commercial entities, nonprofits, and the public. Often the data products that are shared have resulted from a number of processing steps and may also have involved the combination of a number of data sources. The traceability from an actionable data product or indicator back to its original data source(s) is important not just for trust and understanding of each final data product, but also to compare with similar data products produced by the different stakeholder groups. For a data product to be traceable, its provenance, i.e., lineage or history, must be recorded and preferably machine-readable. We are collaborating on a use case to develop a software framework for the bi-annual Ecosystem Status Report (ESR) for the U.S. Northeast Shelf LME. The ESR presents indicators of ecosystem status including climate forcing, primary and secondary production, anthropogenic factors, and integrated ecosystem measures. Our software framework retrieves data, conducts standard analyses, provides iterative and interactive visualization, and generates final graphics for the ESR. The specific process for each data and information product is updated in a metadata template, including data source, code versioning, attribution, and related contextual information suitable for traceability, repeatability, explanation, verification, and validation. Here we present the use of standard metadata for provenance for data products in the ESR, in particular the W3C provenance (PROV) family of specifications, including the PROV-O ontology which maps the PROV data model to RDF. We are also exploring extensions to PROV-O in development (e.g., PROV-ES for Earth Science Data Systems, D-PROV for workflow structure). To associate data products in the ESR to domain-specific ontologies we are

  3. Microbial community dynamics and transformation of vascular plant detritus in two wetland ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Moran, M.A.

    1987-01-01

    The microbial ecology of two wetland ecosystems in southeastern Georgia, USA, was studied with respect to microbial community dynamics and microbially-mediated transformations of vascular plant detritus. In the Okefenokee Swamp, biomass of microorganisms in the water column and sediments was generally lower in winter months and higher during spring and summer. Biomass and activity (measured as /sup 14/C-lignocellulose mineralization) differed significantly among five habitats within the Okefenokee, and also among locations within each habitat. Significant heterogeneity in the structure of Okefenokee microbial communities was found at scales from 30 cm to 150 m. In field and laboratory studies of vascular plant decomposition in the Okefenokee and a salt marsh on Sapelo Island, the mathematical model which best describes decomposition kinetics is the decaying coefficient model.

  4. Multi-year estimates of plant and ecosystem 13C discrimination at AmeriFlux sites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dang, X.; Lai, C.; Hollinger, D. Y.; Bush, S.; Randerson, J. T.; Law, B. E.; Schauer, A. J.; Ehleringer, J.

    2011-12-01

    We estimated plant and ecosystem 13C discrimination continuously at 8 AmeriFlux sites (Howland Forest, Harvard Forest, Wind River Forest, Rannells Prairie, Freeman Ranch, Chestnut Ridge, Metolius, and Marys River fir) over 8 years (2002-2009). We used an observation-based approach from weekly measurements of eddy covariance CO2 fluxes and their 13C/12C ratios to estimate photosynthetic 13C discrimination (△A) and respiration (δ13CR) on seasonal and interannual time scales. The coordinated, systematic flask sampling across the AmeriFlux subnetwork were used for cross-site synthesis of monthly flux estimates [Dang et al. Combining tower mixing ratio and community model data to estimate regional-scale net ecosystem carbon exchange by boundary layer inversion over 4 flux towers in the U.S.A., Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences, in press]. Here, we evaluated environmental factors that also influenced temporal variability in △A and δ13CR from daily to interannual time scales, comparing atmospheric 13C/12C measurements, leaf and needle organic matter, and tree ring cellulose. Across these major biomes that dominate the continent, we show differential ecophysiological responses to environmental stresses, among which water availability appeared to be a dominant factor. Our decadal measurement period provided robust estimates of atmospheric 13C discrimination by terrestrial ecosystems, but also suggest regions where enhanced monitoring efforts are required (e.g., 13C/12C emission from fire and urban metabolism; increased temporal resolution of 13C measurements in stress-sensitive ecosystems) to make atmospheric 13C/12C measurements an effective constraint for continental-scale assessments of the terrestrial carbon cycle.

  5. Evaporation, transpiration, and ecosystem water use efficiency in a multi-annual sugarcane production system in Hawai'i, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, R. G.; Tirado-corbala, R.; Wang, D.; Ayars, J. E.

    2013-12-01

    Food and biofuel production will require practices that increase water use efficiency in order to have future sustainability in a water-constrained environment. One possible practice is the use of food and energy crops with multi-annual growing periods, which could reduce bare soil evaporation. We integrated field water budgets, micrometeorology, and plant sampling to observe plant growth and evapotranspiration (ET) in two sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum L.) fields in Hawai'i, USA in contrasting environments with unusually long (18-24 month) growing periods. We partitioned observed ET into evaporation and transpiration using a flux partitioning model and calculated ecosystem water use efficiency (EWUE=Net Ecosystem Productivity/ET) and harvest WUE (HWUE=Aboveground Net Ecosystem Productivity/ET) to assess sugarcane water use efficiency. After the start of the mid-period, our higher elevation, less windy field ('Lee') had a slightly higher mean EWUE (31.5 kg C ha-1 mm-1) than our lower elevation, windier ('Windy') field (mean EWUE of 30.7 kg C ha-1 mm-1). HWUE was also very high (HWUE >27 kg C ha-1 mm-1) in both fields due to aboveground biomass composing >87% of total biomass. Transpiration, as a fraction of total ET, increased rapidly with canopy cover in both fields; during the mid-period, transpiration was an average of 84% of total ET in Windy and 80% in Lee, with Lee showing greater variation than Windy. As expected, daily EWUE increased with canopy cover during the initial growing stages; more significantly, EWUE showed no substantial decrease during the 2nd year with an aging crop. The results illustrate the potential for longer-rotation crop cycles for increasing water use efficiency, particularly in tropical regions.

  6. Evolutionary history and the effect of biodiversity on plant productivity.

    PubMed

    Cadotte, Marc W; Cardinale, Bradley J; Oakley, Todd H

    2008-11-01

    Loss of biological diversity because of extinction is one of the most pronounced changes to the global environment. For several decades, researchers have tried to understand how changes in biodiversity might impact biomass production by examining how biomass correlates with a number of biodiversity metrics (especially the number of species and functional groups). This body of research has focused on species with the implicit assumption that they are independent entities. However, functional and ecological similarities are shaped by patterns of common ancestry, such that distantly related species might contribute more to production than close relatives, perhaps by increasing niche breadth. Here, we analyze 2 decades of experiments performed in grassland ecosystems throughout the world and examine whether the evolutionary relationships among the species comprising a community predict how biodiversity impacts plant biomass production. We show that the amount of phylogenetic diversity within communities explained significantly more variation in plant community biomass than other measures of diversity, such as the number of species or functional groups. Our results reveal how evolutionary history can provide critical information for understanding, predicting, and potentially ameliorating the effects of biodiversity loss and should serve as an impetus for new biodiversity experiments.

  7. Latitudinal variation of leaf stomatal traits from species to community level in forests: linkage with ecosystem productivity.

    PubMed

    Wang, Ruili; Yu, Guirui; He, Nianpeng; Wang, Qiufeng; Zhao, Ning; Xu, Zhiwei; Ge, Jianping

    2015-09-25

    To explore the latitudinal variation of stomatal traits from species to community level and their linkage with net primary productivity (NPP), we investigated leaf stomatal density (SDL) and stomatal length (SLL) across 760 species from nine forest ecosystems in eastern China, and calculated the community-level SD (SDC) and SL (SLC) through species-specific leaf area index (LAI). Our results showed that latitudinal variation in species-level SDL and SLL was minimal, but community-level SDC and SLC decreased clearly with increasing latitude. The relationship between SD and SL was negative across species and different plant functional types (PFTs), but positive at the community level. Furthermore, community-level SDC correlated positively with forest NPP, and explained 51% of the variation in NPP. These findings indicate that the trade-off by regulating SDL and SLL may be an important strategy for plant individuals to adapt to environmental changes, and temperature acts as the main factor influencing community-level stomatal traits through alteration of species composition. Importantly, our findings provide new insight into the relationship between plant traits and ecosystem function.

  8. Latitudinal variation of leaf stomatal traits from species to community level in forests: linkage with ecosystem productivity.

    PubMed

    Wang, Ruili; Yu, Guirui; He, Nianpeng; Wang, Qiufeng; Zhao, Ning; Xu, Zhiwei; Ge, Jianping

    2015-01-01

    To explore the latitudinal variation of stomatal traits from species to community level and their linkage with net primary productivity (NPP), we investigated leaf stomatal density (SDL) and stomatal length (SLL) across 760 species from nine forest ecosystems in eastern China, and calculated the community-level SD (SDC) and SL (SLC) through species-specific leaf area index (LAI). Our results showed that latitudinal variation in species-level SDL and SLL was minimal, but community-level SDC and SLC decreased clearly with increasing latitude. The relationship between SD and SL was negative across species and different plant functional types (PFTs), but positive at the community level. Furthermore, community-level SDC correlated positively with forest NPP, and explained 51% of the variation in NPP. These findings indicate that the trade-off by regulating SDL and SLL may be an important strategy for plant individuals to adapt to environmental changes, and temperature acts as the main factor influencing community-level stomatal traits through alteration of species composition. Importantly, our findings provide new insight into the relationship between plant traits and ecosystem function. PMID:26403303

  9. Latitudinal variation of leaf stomatal traits from species to community level in forests: linkage with ecosystem productivity

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Ruili; Yu, Guirui; He, Nianpeng; Wang, Qiufeng; Zhao, Ning; Xu, Zhiwei; Ge, Jianping

    2015-01-01

    To explore the latitudinal variation of stomatal traits from species to community level and their linkage with net primary productivity (NPP), we investigated leaf stomatal density (SDL) and stomatal length (SLL) across 760 species from nine forest ecosystems in eastern China, and calculated the community-level SD (SDC) and SL (SLC) through species-specific leaf area index (LAI). Our results showed that latitudinal variation in species-level SDL and SLL was minimal, but community-level SDC and SLC decreased clearly with increasing latitude. The relationship between SD and SL was negative across species and different plant functional types (PFTs), but positive at the community level. Furthermore, community-level SDC correlated positively with forest NPP, and explained 51% of the variation in NPP. These findings indicate that the trade-off by regulating SDL and SLL may be an important strategy for plant individuals to adapt to environmental changes, and temperature acts as the main factor influencing community-level stomatal traits through alteration of species composition. Importantly, our findings provide new insight into the relationship between plant traits and ecosystem function. PMID:26403303

  10. Propagule supply controls grazer community structure and primary production in a benthic marine ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Sarah C.; Bruno, John F.

    2009-01-01

    Early theories of species diversity proposed that communities at equilibrium are saturated with species. However, experiments in plant communities suggest that many communities are unsaturated and species richness can be increased by adding propagules of new species. We experimentally tested for community saturation and measured the effects of propagule supply on community structure in a benthic marine system. We manipulated propagule supply (arrival of individuals of numerous species) of mobile grazers in experimental mesocosms over multiple generations and, unlike previous tests, we examined the cascading effects of propagule supply on prey (macroalgae) biomass. We found little evidence for saturation, despite the absence of processes such as disturbance and predation that are thought to alleviate saturation in nature. Increasing propagule supply increased the total number of species and made rare species more abundant. Perhaps surprisingly, given the strong effect of propagule supply on species richness, supply-related changes in body size and composition suggest that competitive interactions remained important. Grazer supply also had strong cascading effects on primary production, possibly because of dietary complementarity modified by territorial behavior. Our results indicate that propagule supply can directly influence the diversity and composition of communities of mobile animals. Furthermore, the supply of consumer propagules can have strong indirect effects on prey and fundamental ecosystem properties. PMID:19359487

  11. Ecosystem development after mangrove wetland creation: plant-soil change across a 20-year chronosequence

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Osland, Michael J.; Spivak, Amanda C.; Nestlerode, Janet A.; Lessmann, Jeannine M.; Almario, Alejandro E.; Heitmuller, Paul T.; Russell, Marc J.; Krauss, Ken W.; Alvarez, Federico; Dantin, Darrin D.; Harvey, James E.; From, Andrew S.; Cormier, Nicole; Stagg, Camille L.

    2012-01-01

    Mangrove wetland restoration and creation efforts are increasingly proposed as mechanisms to compensate for mangrove wetland losses. However, ecosystem development and functional equivalence in restored and created mangrove wetlands are poorly understood. We compared a 20-year chronosequence of created tidal wetland sites in Tampa Bay, Florida (USA) to natural reference mangrove wetlands. Across the chronosequence, our sites represent the succession from salt marsh to mangrove forest communities. Our results identify important soil and plant structural differences between the created and natural reference wetland sites; however, they also depict a positive developmental trajectory for the created wetland sites that reflects tightly coupled plant-soil development. Because upland soils and/or dredge spoils were used to create the new mangrove habitats, the soils at younger created sites and at lower depths (10-30 cm) had higher bulk densities, higher sand content, lower soil organic matter (SOM), lower total carbon (TC), and lower total nitrogen (TN) than did natural reference wetland soils. However, in the upper soil layer (0-10 cm), SOM, TC, and TN increased with created wetland site age simultaneously with mangrove forest growth. The rate of created wetland soil C accumulation was comparable to literature values for natural mangrove wetlands. Notably, the time to equivalence for the upper soil layer of created mangrove wetlands appears to be faster than for many other wetland ecosystem types. Collectively, our findings characterize the rate and trajectory of above- and below-ground changes associated with ecosystem development in created mangrove wetlands; this is valuable information for environmental managers planning to sustain existing mangrove wetlands or mitigate for mangrove wetland losses.

  12. Biological invasion by Myrica faya in Hawaii: Plant demography, nitrogen fixation, ecosystem effects

    SciTech Connect

    Vitousek, P.M.; Walker, L.R. )

    1989-09-01

    Myrica faya, an introduced actinorhizal nitrogen fixer, in invading young volcanic sites in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. We examined the population biology of the invader and ecosystem-level consequences of its invasion in open-canopied forests resulting from volcanic cinder-fall. Although Myrica faya is nominally dioecious, both males and females produce large amounts of fruit that are utilized by a number of exotic and native birds, particularly the exotic Zosterops japonica. In areas of active colonization, Myrica seed rain under perch trees of the dominant native Metrosideros polymorpha ranged from 6 to 60 seeds m{sup {minus}2} yr{sup {minus}1}; no seeds were captured in the open. Planted seeds of Myrica also germinated an established better under isolated individuals of Metrosideros than in the open. Diameter growth of Myrica is > 15-fold greater than that of Metrosideros, and the Myrica population is increasing rapidly. Rates of nitrogen fixation were measured using the acetylene reduction assay calibrated with {sup 15}N. Myrica nodules reduced acetylene at between 5 and 20 {mu}mol g{sup {minus}1} h{sup {minus}1}, a rate that extrapolated to nitrogen fixation of 18 kg ha{sup {minus}1} in a densely colonized site. By comparison, all native sources of nitrogen fixation summed to 0.2 kg ha{sup {minus}1} yr{sup {minus}1}, and precipitation added < 4 kg ha{sup {minus}1} yr{sup {minus}1}. Measurements of litter decomposition and nitrogen release, soil nitrogen mineralization, and plant growth in bioassays all demonstrated that nitrogen fixed by Myrica becomes available to other organisms as well. We conclude that biological invasion by Myrica faya alters ecosystem-level properties in this young volcanic area; at least in this case, the demography and physiology of one species controls characteristics of a whole ecosystem.

  13. Dynamics of microbial communities during decomposition of litter from pioneering plants in initial soil ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Esperschütz, J.; Zimmermann, C.; Dümig, A.; Welzl, G.; Buegger, F.; Elmer, M.; Munch, J. C.; Schloter, M.

    2013-07-01

    In initial ecosystems, concentrations of all macro- and micronutrients can be considered as extremely low. Plant litter therefore strongly influences the development of a degrader's food web and is an important source for C and N input into soil in such ecosystems. In the present study, a 13C litter decomposition field experiment was performed for 30 weeks in initial soils from a post-mining area near the city of Cottbus (Germany). Two of this region's dominant but contrasting pioneering plant species (Lotus corniculatus L. and Calamagrostis epigejos L.) were chosen to investigate the effects of litter quality on the litter decomposing microbial food web in initially nutrient-poor substrates. The results clearly indicate the importance of litter quality, as indicated by its N content, its bioavailability for the degradation process and the development of microbial communities in the detritusphere and soil. The degradation of the L. corniculatus litter, which had a low C / N ratio, was fast and showed pronounced changes in the microbial community structure 1-4 weeks after litter addition. The degradation of the C. epigejos litter material was slow and microbial community changes mainly occurred between 4 and 30 weeks after litter addition to the soil. However, for both litter materials a clear indication of the importance of fungi for the degradation process was observed both in terms of fungal abundance and activity (13C incorporation activity)

  14. Dynamics of microbial communities during decomposition of litter from pioneering plants in initial soil ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Esperschütz, J.; Zimmermann, C.; Dümig, A.; Welzl, G.; Buegger, F.; Elmer, M.; Munch, J. C.; Schloter, M.

    2012-10-01

    In initial ecosystems concentrations of all macro- and micronutrients can be considered as extremely low. Plant litter therefore strongly influences the development of a degraders' food web and is an important source for C and N input into soil in such ecosystems. In the present study, a 13C litter decomposition field experiment was performed for 30 weeks in initial soils from a post-mining area near the city of Cottbus (Germany). Two of this regions' dominant but contrasting pioneering plant species (Lotus corniculatus L. and Calamagrostis epigejos L.) were chosen to investigate the effects of litter quality on the litter decomposing microbial food web in initially nutrient-poor substrates. The results clearly indicate the importance of litter quality, mainly the amount of N stored in the litter material and its bioavailability for the degradation process and the development of microbial communities in the detritusphere and bulk soil. Whereas the degradation process of the L. corniculatus litter which had a low C/N ratio was fast and most pronounced changes in the microbial community structure were observed 1-4 weeks after litter addition, the degradation of the C. epigejos litter material was slow and microbial community changes mainly occurred at between 4 and 30 weeks after litter addition to the soil. However for both litter materials a clear indication for the importance of fungi for the degradation process was observed both on the abundance level as well as on the level of 13C incorporation (activity).

  15. Effects of an invasive plant transcend ecosystem boundaries through a dragonfly-mediated trophic pathway.

    PubMed

    Burkle, Laura A; Mihaljevic, Joseph R; Smith, Kevin G

    2012-12-01

    Trophic interactions can strongly influence the structure and function of terrestrial and aquatic communities through top-down and bottom-up processes. Species with life stages in both terrestrial and aquatic systems may be particularly likely to link the effects of trophic interactions across ecosystem boundaries. Using experimental wetlands planted with purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria), we tested the degree to which the bottom-up effects of floral density of this invasive plant could trigger a chain of interactions, changing the behavior of terrestrial flying insect prey and predators and ultimately cascading through top-down interactions to alter lower trophic levels in the aquatic community. The results of our experiment support the linkage of terrestrial and aquatic food webs through this hypothesized pathway, with high loosestrife floral density treatments attracting high levels of visiting insect pollinators and predatory adult dragonflies. High floral densities were also associated with increased adult dragonfly oviposition and subsequently high larval dragonfly abundance in the aquatic community. Finally, high-flower treatments were coupled with changes in zooplankton species richness and shifts in the composition of zooplankton communities. Through changes in animal behavior and trophic interactions in terrestrial and aquatic systems, this work illustrates the broad and potentially cryptic effects of invasive species, and provides additional compelling motivation for ecologists to conduct investigations that cross traditional ecosystem boundaries.

  16. MODIS vegetation products as proxies of photosynthetic potential along a gradient of meteorologically and biologically driven ecosystem productivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Restrepo-Coupe, Natalia; Huete, Alfredo; Davies, Kevin; Cleverly, James; Beringer, Jason; Eamus, Derek; van Gorsel, Eva; Hutley, Lindsay B.; Meyer, Wayne S.

    2016-10-01

    A direct relationship between gross ecosystem productivity (GEP) estimated by the eddy covariance (EC) method and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) vegetation indices (VIs) has been observed in many temperate and tropical ecosystems. However, in Australian evergreen forests, and particularly sclerophyll and temperate woodlands, MODIS VIs do not capture seasonality of GEP. In this study, we re-evaluate the connection between satellite and flux tower data at four contrasting Australian ecosystems, through comparisons of GEP and four measures of photosynthetic potential, derived via parameterization of the light response curve: ecosystem light use efficiency (LUE), photosynthetic capacity (Pc), GEP at saturation (GEPsat), and quantum yield (α), with MODIS vegetation satellite products, including VIs, gross primary productivity (GPPMOD), leaf area index (LAIMOD), and fraction of photosynthetic active radiation (fPARMOD). We found that satellite-derived biophysical products constitute a measurement of ecosystem structure (e.g. leaf area index - quantity of leaves) and function (e.g. leaf level photosynthetic assimilation capacity - quality of leaves), rather than GEP. Our results show that in primarily meteorological-driven (e.g. photosynthetic active radiation, air temperature, and/or precipitation) and relatively aseasonal ecosystems (e.g. evergreen wet sclerophyll forests), there were no statistically significant relationships between GEP and satellite-derived measures of greenness. In contrast, for phenology-driven ecosystems (e.g. tropical savannas), changes in the vegetation status drove GEP, and tower-based measurements of photosynthetic activity were best represented by VIs. We observed the highest correlations between MODIS products and GEP in locations where key meteorological variables and vegetation phenology were synchronous (e.g. semi-arid Acacia woodlands) and low correlation at locations where they were asynchronous (e

  17. 9 CFR 355.21 - Products entering inspected plants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

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

  18. 9 CFR 355.21 - Products entering inspected plants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

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

  19. 9 CFR 355.21 - Products entering inspected plants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

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

  20. 9 CFR 355.21 - Products entering inspected plants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

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

  1. 9 CFR 355.21 - Products entering inspected plants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henner, Dagmar; Smith, Pete; Davies, Christian; McNamara, Niall

    2016-04-01

    Bioenergy crops are an important source of renewable energy and are a possible mechanism to mitigate global climate warming, by replacing fossil fuel energy with higher greenhouse gas emissions. There is, however, uncertainty about the impacts of the growth of bioenergy crops on ecosystem services. This uncertainty is further enhanced by the unpredictable climate change currently going on. The goal of this project is to develop a comprehensive model that covers high impact, policy relevant ecosystem services at a Continental scale including biodiversity and pollination, water and air security, erosion control and soil security, GHG emissions, soil C and cultural services like tourism value. The technical distribution potential and likely yield of second generation energy crops, such as Miscanthus, Short Rotation Coppice (SRC) with willow, poplar, eucalyptus and other broadleaf species and Short Rotation Forestry (SRF), is currently being modelled using ECOSSE, DayCent, SalixFor and MiscanFor, and ecosystem models will be used to examine the impacts of these crops on ecosystem services. The project builds on models of energy crop production, biodiversity, soil impacts, greenhouse gas emissions and other ecosystem services, and on work undertaken in the UK on the ETI-funded ELUM project (www.elum.ac.uk). In addition, methods like water footprint tools, tourism value maps and ecosystem valuation tools and models (e.g. InVest, TEEB database, GREET LCA Model, World Business Council for Sustainable Development corporate ecosystem valuation, Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and the Ecosystem Services Framework) will be utilised. Research will focus on optimisation of land use change feedbacks on above named ecosystem services, impact on food security, land management practices and impacts from climate change. We will present results for GHG emissions and soil organic carbon change after different land use change scenarios (e.g. arable to Miscanthus, forest to SRF), and

  3. Increasing donor ecosystem productivity decreases terrestrial consumer reliance on a stream resource subsidy.

    PubMed

    Davis, John M; Rosemond, Amy D; Small, Gaston E

    2011-11-01

    Because nutrient enrichment can increase ecosystem productivity, it may enhance resource flows to adjacent ecosystems as organisms cross ecosystem boundaries and subsidize predators in recipient ecosystems. Here, we quantified the biomass and abundance of aquatic emergence and terrestrial spiders in a reference and treatment stream that had been continuously enriched with nitrogen and phosphorus for 5 years. Because we previously showed that enrichment increased secondary production of stream consumers, we predicted that aquatic emergence flux would be higher in the treatment stream, subsequently increasing the biomass and abundance of terrestrial spiders. Those increases were predicted to be greatest for spiders specializing on aquatic emergence subsidies (e.g., Tetragnathidae). By adding a (15)N stable isotope tracer to both streams, we also quantified nitrogen flow from the stream into the riparian community. Emergence biomass, but not abundance, was higher in the treatment stream. The average body size of emerging adult insects and the relative dominance of Trichoptera adults were also greater in the treatment stream. However, spider biomass did not differ between streams. Spiders also exhibited substantially lower reliance on aquatic emergence nitrogen in the treatment stream. This reduced reliance likely resulted from shifts in the body size distributions and community composition of insect emergence that may have altered predator consumption efficiency in the treatment stream. Despite nutrient enrichment approximately doubling stream productivity and associated cross-ecosystem resource flows, the response of terrestrial predators depended more on the resource subsidy's characteristics that affected the predator's ability to capitalize on such increases.

  4. AVLIS production plant project schedule and milestones

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1984-11-15

    An AVLIS Production Plant Deployment Schedule for the engineering, procurement, and construction for both the Initial Increment of Production and the fully Activated Plant, has been developed by the project team consisting of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Martin Marietta Energy Systems, Inc. with architect-engineer support from Bechtel National, Inc., Stone and Webster Engineering Corporation, and Westinghouse Corporation. The initial deployment phase consists of six separators modules and the three laser power amplifier modules consistent with the FY84 reference design with a name plate capacity of 5 million separative work units/yr followed by a full plant activation to approximately 13 million separative work units/yr. The AVLIS Production Plant project team's strategy for deployment schedule analysis focused on three schedule options: engineering limited schedule; authorization limited schedule; and funding limited project schedule. The three deployment schedule options developed by AVLIS project team have been classified in ranges such as an optimistic, rapid/moderate, or moderate/pessimistic based on the probability of meeting the individual schedule option's major milestones or program objectives of enriching uranium by the AVLIS process in an effective cost and schedule manner. 47 figures, 7 tables.

  5. Nutrient limitation on ecosystem productivity and processes of mature and old-growth subtropical forests in China.

    PubMed

    Hou, Enqing; Chen, Chengrong; McGroddy, Megan E; Wen, Dazhi

    2012-01-01

    Nitrogen (N) is considered the dominant limiting nutrient in temperate regions, while phosphorus (P) limitation frequently occurs in tropical regions, but in subtropical regions nutrient limitation is poorly understood. In this study, we investigated N and P contents and N:P ratios of foliage, forest floors, fine roots and mineral soils, and their relationships with community biomass, litterfall C, N and P productions, forest floor turnover rate, and microbial processes in eight mature and old-growth subtropical forests (stand age >80 yr) at Dinghushan Biosphere Reserve, China. Average N:P ratios (mass based) in foliage, litter (L) layer and mixture of fermentation and humus (F/H) layer, and fine roots were 28.3, 42.3, 32.0 and 32.7, respectively. These values are higher than the critical N:P ratios for P limitation proposed (16-20 for foliage, ca. 25 for forest floors). The markedly high N:P ratios were mainly attributed to the high N concentrations of these plant materials. Community biomass, litterfall C, N and P productions, forest floor turnover rate and microbial properties were more strongly related to measures of P than N and frequently negatively related to the N:P ratios, suggesting a significant role of P availability in determining ecosystem production and productivity and nutrient cycling at all the study sites except for one prescribed disturbed site where N availability may also be important. We propose that N enrichment is probably a significant driver of the potential P limitation in the study area. Low P parent material may also contribute to the potential P limitation. In general, our results provided strong evidence supporting a significant role for P availability, rather than N availability, in determining ecosystem primary productivity and ecosystem processes in subtropical forests of China.

  6. Nutrient Limitation on Ecosystem Productivity and Processes of Mature and Old-Growth Subtropical Forests in China

    PubMed Central

    Hou, Enqing; Chen, Chengrong; McGroddy, Megan E.; Wen, Dazhi

    2012-01-01

    Nitrogen (N) is considered the dominant limiting nutrient in temperate regions, while phosphorus (P) limitation frequently occurs in tropical regions, but in subtropical regions nutrient limitation is poorly understood. In this study, we investigated N and P contents and N:P ratios of foliage, forest floors, fine roots and mineral soils, and their relationships with community biomass, litterfall C, N and P productions, forest floor turnover rate, and microbial processes in eight mature and old-growth subtropical forests (stand age >80 yr) at Dinghushan Biosphere Reserve, China. Average N:P ratios (mass based) in foliage, litter (L) layer and mixture of fermentation and humus (F/H) layer, and fine roots were 28.3, 42.3, 32.0 and 32.7, respectively. These values are higher than the critical N:P ratios for P limitation proposed (16–20 for foliage, ca. 25 for forest floors). The markedly high N:P ratios were mainly attributed to the high N concentrations of these plant materials. Community biomass, litterfall C, N and P productions, forest floor turnover rate and microbial properties were more strongly related to measures of P than N and frequently negatively related to the N:P ratios, suggesting a significant role of P availability in determining ecosystem production and productivity and nutrient cycling at all the study sites except for one prescribed disturbed site where N availability may also be important. We propose that N enrichment is probably a significant driver of the potential P limitation in the study area. Low P parent material may also contribute to the potential P limitation. In general, our results provided strong evidence supporting a significant role for P availability, rather than N availability, in determining ecosystem primary productivity and ecosystem processes in subtropical forests of China. PMID:23284873

  7. Terrestrial plant methane production and emission.

    PubMed

    Bruhn, Dan; Møller, Ian M; Mikkelsen, Teis N; Ambus, Per

    2012-03-01

    In this minireview, we evaluate all experimental work published on the phenomenon of aerobic methane (CH(4) ) generation in terrestrial plants and plant. Clearly, despite much uncertainty and skepticism, we conclude that the phenomenon is true. Four stimulating factors have been observed to induce aerobic plant CH(4) production, i.e. cutting injuries, increasing temperature, ultraviolet radiation and reactive oxygen species. Further, we analyze rates of measured emission of aerobically produced CH(4) in pectin and in plant tissues from different studies and argue that pectin is very far from the sole contributing precursor. In consequence, scaling up of aerobic CH(4) emission needs to take into consideration other potential sources than pectin. Due to the large uncertainties related to effects of stimulating factors, genotypic responses and type of precursors, we conclude that current attempts for upscaling aerobic CH(4) into a global budget is inadequate. Thus it is too early to draw the line under the aerobic methane emission in plants. Future work is needed for establishing the relative contribution of several proven potential CH(4) precursors in plant material.

  8. Hyperspectral remote sensing application for monitoring and preservation of plant ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krezhova, Dora; Maneva, Svetla; Zdravev, Tomas; Petrov, Nikolay; Stoev, Antoniy

    Remote sensing technologies have advanced significantly at last decade and have improved the capability to gather information about Earth’s resources and environment. They have many applications in Earth observation, such as mapping and updating land-use and cover, weather forecasting, biodiversity determination, etc. Hyperspectral remote sensing offers unique opportunities in the environmental monitoring and sustainable use of natural resources. Remote sensing sensors on space-based platforms, aircrafts, or on ground, are capable of providing detailed spectral, spatial and temporal information on terrestrial ecosystems. Ground-based sensors are used to record detailed information about the land surface and to create a data base for better characterizing the objects which are being imaged by the other sensors. In this paper some applications of two hyperspectral remote sensing techniques, leaf reflectance and chlorophyll fluorescence, for monitoring and assessment of the effects of adverse environmental conditions on plant ecosystems are presented. The effect of stress factors such as enhanced UV-radiation, acid rain, salinity, viral infections applied to some young plants (potato, pea, tobacco) and trees (plums, apples, paulownia) as well as of some growth regulators were investigated. Hyperspectral reflectance and fluorescence data were collected by means of a portable fiber-optics spectrometer in the visible and near infrared spectral ranges (450-850 nm and 600-900 nm), respectively. The differences between the reflectance data of healthy (control) and injured (stressed) plants were assessed by means of statistical (Student’s t-criterion), first derivative, and cluster analysis and calculation of some vegetation indices in four most informative for the investigated species regions: green (520-580 nm), red (640-680 nm), red edge (690-720 nm) and near infrared (720-780 nm). Fluorescence spectra were analyzed at five characteristic wavelengths located at the

  9. Using Plant Functional Traits to Explain Diversity–Productivity Relationships

    PubMed Central

    Roscher, Christiane; Schumacher, Jens; Gubsch, Marlén; Lipowsky, Annett; Weigelt, Alexandra; Buchmann, Nina; Schmid, Bernhard; Schulze, Ernst-Detlef

    2012-01-01

    identification of relevant traits and the relative impacts of functional identity of dominant species and functional diversity are essential for a mechanistic understanding of the role of plant diversity for ecosystem processes such as aboveground biomass production. PMID:22623961

  10. Response of photosynthetic carbon gain to ecosystem retrogression of vascular plants and mosses in the boreal forest.

    PubMed

    Bansal, Sheel; Nilsson, Marie-Charlotte; Wardle, David A

    2012-07-01

    In the long-term absence of rejuvenating disturbances, forest succession frequently proceeds from a maximal biomass phase to a retrogressive phase characterized by reduced nutrient availability [notably nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P)] and net primary productivity. Few studies have considered how retrogression induces changes in ecophysiological responses associated with photosynthetic carbon (C) gain, and only for trees. We tested the hypothesis that retrogression would negatively impact photosynthetic C gain of four contrasting species, and that this impact would be greater for vascular plants (i.e., trees and shrubs) than for non-vascular plants (i.e., mosses). We used a 5,000-year-old chronosequence of forested islands in Sweden, where retrogression occurs in the long-term absence of lightning-ignited wildfires. Despite fundamental differences in plant form and ecological niche among species, vascular plants and mosses showed similar ecophysiological responses to retrogression. The most common effects of retrogression were reductions in photosynthesis and respiration per unit foliar N, increases in foliar N, δ(13)C and δ(15)N, and decreases in specific leaf areas. In contrast, photosynthesis per unit mass or area generally did not change along the chronosequence, but did vary many-fold between vascular plants and mosses. The consistent increases in foliar N without corresponding increases in mass- or area-based photosynthesis suggest that other factor(s), such as P co-limitation, light conditions or water availability, may co-regulate C gain in retrogressive boreal forests. Against our predictions, traits of mosses associated with C and N were generally highly responsive to retrogression, which has implications for how mosses influence ecosystem processes in boreal forests.

  11. Effects of climate change on mountain ecosystems -- Upward shifting of alpine plants

    SciTech Connect

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

    1996-09-01

    Ecosystems at high latitudes and altitudes are particularly sensitive to climate change. As an effect of global warming, upward shifting of plant species in high mountain systems was predicted for the near future. In consequence the habitats of the alpine and nival vegetation could be restricted drastically, which might result in extinctions, particular of summit floras. Evidence of upward movement of vascular plants in high mountains was recently empirically determined in the European Alps. In 1992 and 1993, data on the flora of 30 high summits were collected. A comparison of the recent investigations with historical records from the same peaks indicated a distinct increase of species richness at 70% of the summits. A stagnation or a slight decrease of species richness was recorded at 9 summits, but one of them showed an increase in species abundance. The change of species richness is correlated with the geomorphological situation, whereas no significant difference could be found by comparing siliceous and carbonate summits. Approximate moving rates for common alpine plants were calculated to be between 0 and 4 meters per decade. This evidence of upward shifting of high mountain plants may already be a measurable result of global warming since the 19th century.

  12. 7 CFR 613.4 - Special production of plant materials.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 6 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Special production of plant materials. 613.4 Section... production of plant materials. NRCS can produce plant materials in the quantity required to do a specific conservation job if this production will serve the public welfare and only if the plant materials are...

  13. Production of interspecific hybrid plants in Primula.

    PubMed

    Kato, Juntaro; Mii, Masahiro

    2006-01-01

    The methods of production of inter-specific hybrids in Primula are categorized into four steps: (1) emasculation, (2) pollination, (3) rescue culture of immature embryo, and (4) confiration of hybridity and ploidy level of the regenerated plants. Although most of the Primula pecies have a heteromorphic self-incompatibility system, an emasculation step is usually needed to avoid self-pollination since self-incompatibility is not always complete. At the resue culture step, addition of plant hormones (e.g., auxin, cytokinin, and gibberellin) to the culture medium is proved to be effective. The hybridity of the plants is efficiently confirmed at seedling stage by DNA analysis in addition to the comparison of morphological characters. The analysis of relative DNA contents by flow cytometry is easy and rapid technique to confirm hybridity and to estimate ploidy level and genomic combination.

  14. A plant factory for moth pheromone production.

    PubMed

    Ding, Bao-Jian; Hofvander, Per; Wang, Hong-Lei; Durrett, Timothy P; Stymne, Sten; Löfstedt, Christer

    2014-02-25

    Moths depend on pheromone communication for mate finding and synthetic pheromones are used for monitoring or disruption of pheromone communication in pest insects. Here we produce moth sex pheromone, using Nicotiana benthamiana as a plant factory, by transient expression of up to four genes coding for consecutive biosynthetic steps. We specifically produce multicomponent sex pheromones for two species. The fatty alcohol fractions from the genetically modified plants are acetylated to mimic the respective sex pheromones of the small ermine moths Yponomeuta evonymella and Y. padella. These mixtures are very efficient and specific for trapping of male moths, matching the activity of conventionally produced pheromones. Our long-term vision is to design tailor-made production of any moth pheromone component in genetically modified plants. Such semisynthetic preparation of sex pheromones is a novel and cost-effective way of producing moderate to large quantities of pheromones with high purity and a minimum of hazardous waste.

  15. A plant factory for moth pheromone production

    PubMed Central

    Ding, Bao-Jian; Hofvander, Per; Wang, Hong-Lei; Durrett, Timothy P.; Stymne, Sten; Löfstedt, Christer

    2014-01-01

    Moths depend on pheromone communication for mate finding and synthetic pheromones are used for monitoring or disruption of pheromone communication in pest insects. Here we produce moth sex pheromone, using Nicotiana benthamiana as a plant factory, by transient expression of up to four genes coding for consecutive biosynthetic steps. We specifically produce multicomponent sex pheromones for two species. The fatty alcohol fractions from the genetically modified plants are acetylated to mimic the respective sex pheromones of the small ermine moths Yponomeuta evonymella and Y. padella. These mixtures are very efficient and specific for trapping of male moths, matching the activity of conventionally produced pheromones. Our long-term vision is to design tailor-made production of any moth pheromone component in genetically modified plants. Such semisynthetic preparation of sex pheromones is a novel and cost-effective way of producing moderate to large quantities of pheromones with high purity and a minimum of hazardous waste. PMID:24569486

  16. Riparian plant species loss alters trophic dynamics in detritus-based stream ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Lecerf, Antoine; Dobson, Michael; Dang, Christian K; Chauvet, Eric

    2005-12-01

    Riparian vegetation is closely connected to stream food webs through input of leaf detritus as a primary energy supply, and therefore, any alteration of plant diversity may influence aquatic ecosystem functioning. We measured leaf litter breakdown rate and associated biological parameters in mesh bags in eight headwater streams bordered either with mixed deciduous forest or with beech forest. The variety of leaf litter types in mixed forest results in higher food quality for large-particle invertebrate detritivores ('shredders') than in beech forest, which is dominated by a single leaf species of low quality. Breakdown rate of low quality (oak) leaf litter in coarse mesh bags was lower in beech forest streams than in mixed forest streams, a consequence of lower shredder biomass. In contrast, high quality (alder) leaf litter broke down at similar rates in both stream categories as a result of similar shredder biomass in coarse mesh bags. Microbial breakdown rate of oak and alder leaves, determined in fine mesh bags, did not differ between the stream categories. We found however aquatic hyphomycete species richness on leaf litter to positively co-vary with riparian plant species richness. Fungal species richness may enhance leaf litter breakdown rate through positive effects on resource quality for shredders. A feeding experiment established a positive relationship between fungal species richness per se and leaf litter consumption rate by an amphipod shredder (Gammarus fossarum). Our results show therefore that plant species richness may indirectly govern ecosystem functioning through complex trophic interactions. Integrating microbial diversity and trophic dynamics would considerably improve the prediction of the consequences of species loss.

  17. Hyperspectral remote sensing tools for quantifying plant litter and invasive species in arid ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nagler, Pamela L.; Sridhar, B.B. Maruthi; Olsson, Aaryn Dyami; Glenn, Edward P.; van Leeuwen, Willem J.D.; Thenkabail, Prasad S.; Huete, Alfredo; Lyon, John G.

    2012-01-01

    Green vegetation can be distinguished using visible and infrared multi-band and hyperspectral remote sensing methods. The problem has been in identifying and distinguishing the non-photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) landscape components, such as litter and soils, and from green vegetation. Additionally, distinguishing different species of green vegetation is challenging using the relatively few bands available on most satellite sensors. This chapter focuses on hyperspectral remote sensing characteristics that aim to distinguish between green vegetation, soil, and litter (or senescent vegetation). Quantifying litter by remote sensing methods is important in constructing carbon budgets of natural and agricultural ecosystems. Distinguishing between plant types is important in tracking the spread of invasive species. Green leaves of different species usually have similar spectra, making it difficult to distinguish between species. However, in this chapter we show that phenological differences between species can be used to detect some invasive species by their distinct patterns of greening and dormancy over an annual cycle based on hyperspectral data. Both applications require methods to quantify the non-green cellulosic fractions of plant tissues by remote sensing even in the presence of soil and green plant cover. We explore these methods and offer three case studies. The first concerns distinguishing surface litter from soil using the Cellulose Absorption Index (CAI), as applied to no-till farming practices where plant litter is left on the soil after harvest. The second involves using different band combinations to distinguish invasive saltcedar from agricultural and native riparian plants on the Lower Colorado River. The third illustrates the use of the CAI and NDVI in time-series analyses to distinguish between invasive buffelgrass and native plants in a desert environment in Arizona. Together the results show how hyperspectral imagery can be applied to

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

  19. Use of Remote Sensing Products in a Terrestrial Ecosystems Verified Full Carbon Account: Experiences from Russia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shvidenko, Anatoly; Schepaschenko, Dmitry; McCallum, Ian; Santoro, Maurizio; Schmullius, Christine

    2011-01-01

    The paper considers the specifics, strengths and weaknesses of available remote sensing products within major steps and modules of a verified terrestrial ecosystems full carbon account (FCA) of Russia’s land. The methodology used is based on system integration of all available information sources and major methods of carbon accounting using IIASA’s landscape-ecosystem approach for overall designing of the account. A multi-sensor remote sensing concept is a corner stone of the methodology being substantially used for (1) georeferencing and parametrization of land cover and its change, (2) assessment of important biophysical and ecological parameters of ecosystems and landscapes, and (3) assessment of the impacts of environmental conditions on ecosystem productivity and disturbance regimes. System integration and mutual constraints of remote sensing and ground information allow for substantially decreasing uncertainty of the FCA. In the Russian case-study, the net ecosystem carbon balance of Russia for an individual year (2009) is estimated with uncertainty at 25-30% (CI 0.9), that presumably should satisfy current requirements to the FCA at the national (continental) scale.

  20. Terrestrial plant production and climate change.

    PubMed

    Friend, Andrew D

    2010-03-01

    The likely future increase in atmospheric CO(2) and associated changes in climate will affect global patterns of plant production. Models integrate understanding of the influence of the environment on plant physiological processes and so enable estimates of future changes to be made. Moreover, they allow us to assess the consequences of different assumptions for predictions and so stimulate further research. This paper is a review of the sensitivities of one such model, Hybrid6.5, a detailed mechanistic model of terrestrial primary production. This model is typical of its type, and the sensitivities of the global distribution of predicted production to model assumptions and possible future CO(2) levels and climate are assessed. Sensitivity tests show that leaf phenology has large effects on mean C(3) crop and needleleaved cold deciduous tree production, reducing potential net primary production (NPP) from that obtained using constant maximum annual leaf area index by 32.9% and 41.6%, respectively. Generalized Plant Type (GPT) specific parameterizations, particularly photosynthetic capacity per unit leaf N, affect mean predicted NPP of higher C(3) plants by -22.3% to 27.9%, depending on the GPT, compared to NPP predictions obtained using mean parameter values. An increase in atmospheric CO(2) concentrations from current values to 720 ppm by the end of this century, with associated effects on climate from a typical climate model, is predicted to increase global NPP by 37.3%. Mean increases range from 43.9-52.9% across different C(3) GPTs, whereas the mean NPP of C(4) grass and crop increases by 5.9%. Significant uncertainties concern the extent to which acclimative processes may reduce any potential future increase in primary production and the degree to which any gains are transferred to durable, and especially edible, biomass. Experimentalists and modellers need to work closely together to reduce these uncertainties. A number of research priorities are suggested

  1. Influence of spring and autumn phenological transitions on forest ecosystem productivity.

    PubMed

    Richardson, Andrew D; Black, T Andy; Ciais, Philippe; Delbart, Nicolas; Friedl, Mark A; Gobron, Nadine; Hollinger, David Y; Kutsch, Werner L; Longdoz, Bernard; Luyssaert, Sebastiaan; Migliavacca, Mirco; Montagnani, Leonardo; Munger, J William; Moors, Eddy; Piao, Shilong; Rebmann, Corinna; Reichstein, Markus; Saigusa, Nobuko; Tomelleri, Enrico; Vargas, Rodrigo; Varlagin, Andrej

    2010-10-12

    We use eddy covariance measurements of net ecosystem productivity (NEP) from 21 FLUXNET sites (153 site-years of data) to investigate relationships between phenology and productivity (in terms of both NEP and gross ecosystem photosynthesis, GEP) in temperate and boreal forests. Results are used to evaluate the plausibility of four different conceptual models. Phenological indicators were derived from the eddy covariance time series, and from remote sensing and models. We examine spatial patterns (across sites) and temporal patterns (across years); an important conclusion is that it is likely that neither of these accurately represents how productivity will respond to future phenological shifts resulting from ongoing climate change. In spring and autumn, increased GEP resulting from an 'extra' day tends to be offset by concurrent, but smaller, increases in ecosystem respiration, and thus the effect on NEP is still positive. Spring productivity anomalies appear to have carry-over effects that translate to productivity anomalies in the following autumn, but it is not clear that these result directly from phenological anomalies. Finally, the productivity of evergreen needleleaf forests is less sensitive to phenology than is productivity of deciduous broadleaf forests. This has implications for how climate change may drive shifts in competition within mixed-species stands.

  2. Effect of an Invasive Plant and Moonlight on Rodent Foraging Behavior in a Coastal Dune Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Matthew D.; De León, Yesenia L.

    2015-01-01

    Understanding how invasive plants may alter predator avoidance behaviors is important for granivorous rodents because their foraging can trigger ripple effects in trophic webs. Previous research has shown that European beach grass Ammophila arenaria, an invasive species in coastal California, affects the predation of other seeds by the rodents Microtus californicus, Peromyscus maniculatus, and Reithrodontomys megalotis. This may be due to lower perceived predation risk by rodents foraging in close proximity to the cover provided by Ammophila, but this mechanism has not yet been tested. We examined the perceived predation risk of rodents by measuring the ‘giving up density’ of food left behind in experimental patches of food in areas with and without abundant cover from Ammophila and under varying amount of moonlight. We found strong evidence that giving up density was lower in the thick uniform vegetation on Ammophila-dominated habitat than it was in the more sparsely and diversely vegetated restored habitat. There was also evidence that moonlight affected giving up density and that it mediated the effects of habitat, although with our design we were unable to distinguish the effects of lunar illumination and moon phase. Our findings illustrate that foraging rodents, well known to be risk-averse during moonlit nights, are also affected by the presence of an invasive plant. This result has implications for granivory and perhaps plant demography in invaded and restored coastal habitats. Future research in this system should work to unravel the complex trophic links formed by a non-native invasive plant (i.e., Ammophila) providing cover favored by native rodents, which likely forage on and potentially limit the recruitment of native and non-native plants, some of which have ecosystem consequences of their own. PMID:25679785

  3. Forecasting spatial plant dynamics under future climate change in a semiarid savanna ecosystem with complex topography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, X.; Fatichi, S.; Istanbulluoglu, E.; Vivoni, E. R.

    2011-12-01

    The space and time dynamics of savanna ecosystems in semiarid regions is tightly related to fluctuations and changes in the climate, and the competition strategies of individual plants for resources. In most parts of the southwest U.S., various General Circulation Models (GCMs) predict general warming trends with reduced annual precipitation amounts, and increased frequency of extreme droughts and wet periods in the 21st century. Despite the potential risks posed by climate change on vegetation patterns and hydrology, our ability to predict such changes at the catchment and regional scales is limited. In this study, we used a recently developed spatially explicit Cellular Automata Tree-Grass-Shrub Simulator (CATGraSS) to investigate the impacts of climate change on plant dynamics in a semiarid catchment (>3km2) located in the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge (SNWR) in central New Mexico, USA. In the catchment north-facing slopes are characterized by a juniper-grass savanna, and south-facing slopes by creosote bush and grass species. Initialized by LIDAR-derived tree locations and simulated grass and shrub patterns obtained from model calibration, CATGraSS is forced by a weather generator, AWE-GEN, used to downscale an ensemble of eight different GCM outputs at the study basin, producing multiple stochastic realizations of a transient climate scenario for the next hundred years. The ensemble simulations are used to examine the uncertainty in vegetation response and develop probabilistic plant distribution maps in relation to landscape morphology. This study highlights the importance of understanding local scale plant-to-plant interactions and the role of climate variability in determining climate change impacts on vegetation dynamics at varying spatial scales.

  4. Effect of an invasive plant and moonlight on rodent foraging behavior in a coastal dune ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Matthew D; De León, Yesenia L

    2015-01-01

    Understanding how invasive plants may alter predator avoidance behaviors is important for granivorous rodents because their foraging can trigger ripple effects in trophic webs. Previous research has shown that European beach grass Ammophila arenaria, an invasive species in coastal California, affects the predation of other seeds by the rodents Microtus californicus, Peromyscus maniculatus, and Reithrodontomys megalotis. This may be due to lower perceived predation risk by rodents foraging in close proximity to the cover provided by Ammophila, but this mechanism has not yet been tested. We examined the perceived predation risk of rodents by measuring the 'giving up density' of food left behind in experimental patches of food in areas with and without abundant cover from Ammophila and under varying amount of moonlight. We found strong evidence that giving up density was lower in the thick uniform vegetation on Ammophila-dominated habitat than it was in the more sparsely and diversely vegetated restored habitat. There was also evidence that moonlight affected giving up density and that it mediated the effects of habitat, although with our design we were unable to distinguish the effects of lunar illumination and moon phase. Our findings illustrate that foraging rodents, well known to be risk-averse during moonlit nights, are also affected by the presence of an invasive plant. This result has implications for granivory and perhaps plant demography in invaded and restored coastal habitats. Future research in this system should work to unravel the complex trophic links formed by a non-native invasive plant (i.e., Ammophila) providing cover favored by native rodents, which likely forage on and potentially limit the recruitment of native and non-native plants, some of which have ecosystem consequences of their own.

  5. Dynamics of medicinal plants knowledge and commerce in an urban ecosystem (Pernambuco, Northeast Brazil).

    PubMed

    Monteiro, Julio Marcelino; Ramos, Marcelo Alves; Araújo, Elcida de Lima; Amorim, Elba Lúcia Cavalcanti; Albuquerque, Ulysses Paulino

    2011-07-01

    Given the importance of markets and fairs for the commerce of medicinal plants, an ethnobotanical study was undertaken at the Caruaru Fair (Pernambuco, northeastern Brazil) to compare the richness of species sold and their values of relative importance (RI) using two datasets collected with a 4-year interval. The seasonality of these plants' supplies was also analyzed. The Caruaru Fair is located in the 18 de Maio Park. It covers an area 40,000 m(2) and is used by merchants who sell several types of products, such as supplies, handicrafts, clay and aluminum utensils, shoes, clothes and medicinal plants. Semistructured interviews were carried out with the vendors who agreed to take part in the study in order to record which plants were sold and their respective indications. The plants were collected, and the species were determined. The information was analyzed with quantitative tools. A total of 169 plants were identified from both surveys, which were significantly different with regard to species richness (p < 0.05) but did not vary in relation to species' Relative Importance (p > 0.05). In relation to the seasonality of the plant supply, habit may explain the lack of some species during certain periods of the year, as most of the absent plants are herbaceous. In terms of the species most sold locally, it was found that spontaneous tree species are well known and extensively commercialized.

  6. Increased plant productivity and decreased microbial respiratory C loss by plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria under elevated CO2

    PubMed Central

    Nie, Ming; Bell, Colin; Wallenstein, Matthew D.; Pendall, Elise

    2015-01-01

    Increased plant productivity and decreased microbial respiratory C loss can potentially mitigate increasing atmospheric CO2, but we currently lack effective means to achieve these goals. Soil microbes may play critical roles in mediating plant productivity and soil C/N dynamics under future climate scenarios of elevated CO2 (eCO2) through optimizing functioning of the root-soil interface. By using a labeling technique with 13C and 15N, we examined the effects of plant growth-promoting Pseudomonas fluorescens on C and N cycling in the rhizosphere of a common grass species under eCO2. These microbial inoculants were shown to increase plant productivity. Although strong competition for N between the plant and soil microbes was observed, the plant can increase its capacity to store more biomass C per unit of N under P. fluorescens addition. Unlike eCO2 effects, P. fluorescens inoculants did not change mass-specific microbial respiration and accelerate soil decomposition related to N cycling, suggesting these microbial inoculants mitigated positive feedbacks of soil microbial decomposition to eCO2. The potential to mitigate climate change by optimizing soil microbial functioning by plant growth-promoting Pseudomonas fluorescens is a prospect for ecosystem management. PMID:25784647

  7. Increased plant productivity and decreased microbial respiratory C loss by plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria under elevated CO2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nie, Ming; Bell, Colin; Wallenstein, Matthew D.; Pendall, Elise

    2015-03-01

    Increased plant productivity and decreased microbial respiratory C loss can potentially mitigate increasing atmospheric CO2, but we currently lack effective means to achieve these goals. Soil microbes may play critical roles in mediating plant productivity and soil C/N dynamics under future climate scenarios of elevated CO2 (eCO2) through optimizing functioning of the root-soil interface. By using a labeling technique with 13C and 15N, we examined the effects of plant growth-promoting Pseudomonas fluorescens on C and N cycling in the rhizosphere of a common grass species under eCO2. These microbial inoculants were shown to increase plant productivity. Although strong competition for N between the plant and soil microbes was observed, the plant can increase its capacity to store more biomass C per unit of N under P. fluorescens addition. Unlike eCO2 effects, P. fluorescens inoculants did not change mass-specific microbial respiration and accelerate soil decomposition related to N cycling, suggesting these microbial inoculants mitigated positive feedbacks of soil microbial decomposition to eCO2. The potential to mitigate climate change by optimizing soil microbial functioning by plant growth-promoting Pseudomonas fluorescens is a prospect for ecosystem management.

  8. Increased plant productivity and decreased microbial respiratory C loss by plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria under elevated CO₂.

    PubMed

    Nie, Ming; Bell, Colin; Wallenstein, Matthew D; Pendall, Elise

    2015-03-18

    Increased plant productivity and decreased microbial respiratory C loss can potentially mitigate increasing atmospheric CO₂, but we currently lack effective means to achieve these goals. Soil microbes may play critical roles in mediating plant productivity and soil C/N dynamics under future climate scenarios of elevated CO₂ (eCO₂) through optimizing functioning of the root-soil interface. By using a labeling technique with (13)C and (15)N, we examined the effects of plant growth-promoting Pseudomonas fluorescens on C and N cycling in the rhizosphere of a common grass species under eCO₂. These microbial inoculants were shown to increase plant productivity. Although strong competition for N between the plant and soil microbes was observed, the plant can increase its capacity to store more biomass C per unit of N under P. fluorescens addition. Unlike eCO₂ effects, P. fluorescens inoculants did not change mass-specific microbial respiration and accelerate soil decomposition related to N cycling, suggesting these microbial inoculants mitigated positive feedbacks of soil microbial decomposition to eCO₂. The potential to mitigate climate change by optimizing soil microbial functioning by plant growth-promoting Pseudomonas fluorescens is a prospect for ecosystem management.

  9. Genetic variation changes the interactions between the parasitic plant-ecosystem engineer Rhinanthus and its hosts

    PubMed Central

    Rowntree, Jennifer K.; Cameron, Duncan D.; Preziosi, Richard F.

    2011-01-01

    Within-species genetic variation is a potent factor influencing between-species interactions and community-level structure. Species of the hemi-parasitic plant genus Rhinanthus act as ecosystem engineers, significantly altering above- and below-ground community structure in grasslands. Here, we show the importance of genotypic variation within a single host species (barley—Hordeum vulgare), and population-level variation among two species of parasite (Rhinanthus minor and Rhinanthus angustifolius) on the outcome of parasite infection for both partners. We measured host fitness (number of seeds) and calculated parasite virulence as the difference in seed set between infected and uninfected hosts (the inverse of host tolerance). Virulence was determined by genetic variation within the host species and among the parasite species, but R. angustifolius was consistently more virulent than R. minor. The most tolerant host had the lowest inherent fitness and did not gain a fitness advantage over other infected hosts. We measured parasite size as a proxy for transmission ability (ability to infect further hosts) and host resistance. Parasite size depended on the specific combination of host genotype, parasite species and parasite population, and no species was consistently larger. We demonstrate that the outcome of infection by Rhinanthus depends not only on the host species, but also on the underlying genetics of both host and parasite. Thus, genetic variations within host and parasite are probably essential components of the ecosystem-altering effects of Rhinanthus. PMID:21444312

  10. Genetic variation changes the interactions between the parasitic plant-ecosystem engineer Rhinanthus and its hosts.

    PubMed

    Rowntree, Jennifer K; Cameron, Duncan D; Preziosi, Richard F

    2011-05-12

    Within-species genetic variation is a potent factor influencing between-species interactions and community-level structure. Species of the hemi-parasitic plant genus Rhinanthus act as ecosystem engineers, significantly altering above- and below-ground community structure in grasslands. Here, we show the importance of genotypic variation within a single host species (barley-Hordeum vulgare), and population-level variation among two species of parasite (Rhinanthus minor and Rhinanthus angustifolius) on the outcome of parasite infection for both partners. We measured host fitness (number of seeds) and calculated parasite virulence as the difference in seed set between infected and uninfected hosts (the inverse of host tolerance). Virulence was determined by genetic variation within the host species and among the parasite species, but R. angustifolius was consistently more virulent than R. minor. The most tolerant host had the lowest inherent fitness and did not gain a fitness advantage over other infected hosts. We measured parasite size as a proxy for transmission ability (ability to infect further hosts) and host resistance. Parasite size depended on the specific combination of host genotype, parasite species and parasite population, and no species was consistently larger. We demonstrate that the outcome of infection by Rhinanthus depends not only on the host species, but also on the underlying genetics of both host and parasite. Thus, genetic variations within host and parasite are probably essential components of the ecosystem-altering effects of Rhinanthus.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-15

    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 permanent plot data, available forest inventory protocols and statistical analyses of geographic and socioeconomic spatial predictors, we found that landscape level distribution and occurrence of WIPs was not clustered. We also characterized WIP composition and occurrence using logistic models, and found they were strongly related to the proportional area of residential land uses. However, the magnitude and trend of increase depended on median household income and grass cover. In San Juan, WIP occurrence was higher in areas of high residential cover when incomes were low or grass cover was low, whereas the opposite was true in Miami-Dade. Although Miami-Dade had greater invasive shrub cover and numbers of WIP species, San Juan had far greater invasive tree density, basal area and crown cover. This study provides an approach for incorporating field and available census data in geospatial distribution models of WIPs in cities throughout the globe. Findings indicate that identifying spatial predictors of WIPs depends on site-specific factors and the ecological scale of the predictor. Thus, mapping protocols and policies to eradicate urban WIPs should target indicators of a relevant scale specific to the area of interest for their improved and proactive management.

  12. A biome-scale assessment of the impact of invasive alien plants on ecosystem services in South Africa.

    PubMed

    van Wilgen, B W; Reyers, B; Le Maitre, D C; Richardson, D M; Schonegevel, L

    2008-12-01

    This paper reports an assessment of the current and potential impacts of invasive alien plants on selected ecosystem services in South Africa. We used data on the current and potential future distribution of 56 invasive alien plant species to estimate their impact on four services (surface water runoff, groundwater recharge, livestock production and biodiversity) in five terrestrial biomes. The estimated reductions in surface water runoff as a result of current invasions were >3000 million m(3) (about 7% of the national total), most of which is from the fynbos (shrubland) and grassland biomes; the potential reductions would be more than eight times greater if invasive alien plants were to occupy the full extent of their potential range. Impacts on groundwater recharge would be less severe, potentially amounting to approximately 1.5% of the estimated maximum reductions in surface water runoff. Reductions in grazing capacity as a result of current levels of invasion amounted to just over 1% of the potential number of livestock that could be supported. However, future impacts could increase to 71%. A 'biodiversity intactness index' (the remaining proportion of pre-modern populations) ranged from 89% to 71% for the five biomes. With the exception of the fynbos biome, current invasions have almost no impact on biodiversity intactness. Under future levels of invasion, however, these intactness values decrease to around 30% for the savanna, fynbos and grassland biomes, but to even lower values (13% and 4%) for the two karoo biomes. Thus, while the current impacts of invasive alien plants are relatively low (with the exception of those on surface water runoff), the future impacts could be very high. While the errors in these estimates are likely to be substantial, the predicted impacts are sufficiently large to suggest that there is serious cause for concern.

  13. Interactive effects among ecosystem services and management practices on crop production: Pollination in coffee agroforestry systems

    PubMed Central

    Boreux, Virginie; Kushalappa, Cheppudira G.; Vaast, Philippe; Ghazoul, Jaboury

    2013-01-01

    Crop productivity is improved by ecosystem services, including pollination, but this should be set in the context of trade-offs among multiple management practices. We investigated the impact of pollination services on coffee production, considering variation in fertilization, irrigation, shade cover, and environmental variables such as rainfall (which stimulates coffee flowering across all plantations), soil pH, and nitrogen availability. After accounting for management interventions, bee abundance improved coffee production (number of berries harvested). Some management interventions, such as irrigation, used once to trigger asynchronous flowering, dramatically increased bee abundance at coffee trees. Others, such as the extent and type of tree cover, revealed interacting effects on pollination and, ultimately, crop production. The effects of management interventions, notably irrigation and addition of lime, had, however, far more substantial positive effects on coffee production than tree cover. These results suggest that pollination services matter, but managing the asynchrony of flowering was a more effective tool for securing good pollination than maintaining high shade tree densities as pollinator habitat. Complex interactions across farm and landscape scales, including both management practices and environmental conditions, shape pollination outcomes. Effective production systems therefore require the integrated consideration of management practices in the context of the surrounding habitat structure. This paper points toward a more strategic use of ecosystem services in agricultural systems, where ecosystem services are shaped by the coupling of management interventions and environmental variables. PMID:23671073

  14. Interactive effects among ecosystem services and management practices on crop production: pollination in coffee agroforestry systems.

    PubMed

    Boreux, Virginie; Kushalappa, Cheppudira G; Vaast, Philippe; Ghazoul, Jaboury

    2013-05-21

    Crop productivity is improved by ecosystem services, including pollination, but this should be set in the context of trade-offs among multiple management practices. We investigated the impact of pollination services on coffee production, considering variation in fertilization, irrigation, shade cover, and environmental variables such as rainfall (which stimulates coffee flowering across all plantations), soil pH, and nitrogen availability. After accounting for management interventions, bee abundance improved coffee production (number of berries harvested). Some management interventions, such as irrigation, used once to trigger asynchronous flowering, dramatically increased bee abundance at coffee trees. Others, such as the extent and type of tree cover, revealed interacting effects on pollination and, ultimately, crop production. The effects of management interventions, notably irrigation and addition of lime, had, however, far more substantial positive effects on coffee production than tree cover. These results suggest that pollination services matter, but managing the asynchrony of flowering was a more effective tool for securing good pollination than maintaining high shade tree densities as pollinator habitat. Complex interactions across farm and landscape scales, including both management practices and environmental conditions, shape pollination outcomes. Effective production systems therefore require the integrated consideration of management practices in the context of the surrounding habitat structure. This paper points toward a more strategic use of ecosystem services in agricultural systems, where ecosystem services are shaped by the coupling of management interventions and environmental variables.

  15. Design of a lunar oxygen production plant

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Radhakrishnan, Ramalingam

    1990-01-01

    To achieve permanent human presence and activity on the moon, oxygen is required for both life support and propulsion. Lunar oxygen production using resources existing on the moon will reduce or eliminate the need to transport liquid oxygen from earth. In addition, the co-products of oxygen production will provide metals, structural ceramics, and other volatile compounds. This will enable development of even greater self-sufficiency as the lunar outpost evolves. Ilmenite is the most abundant metal-oxide mineral in the lunar regolith. A process involving the reaction of ilmenite with hydrogen at 1000 C to produce water, followed by the electrolysis of this water to provide oxygen and recycle the hydrogen has been explored. The objective of this 1990 Summer Faculty Project was to design a lunar oxygen-production plant to provide 5 metric tons of liquid oxygen per year from lunar soil. The results of this study describe the size and mass of the equipment, the power needs, feedstock quantity and the engineering details of the plant.

  16. Photosynthesis and light-use efficiency by plants in a Canadian boreal forest ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Whitehead, D; Gower, S T

    2001-08-01

    Measurements of the photosynthetic response to midsummer irradiance were made for 11 species representing the dominant trees, understory shrubs, herbaceous plants and moss species in an old black spruce (Picea mariana (Mill.) B.S.P.) boreal forest ecosystem. Maximum rates of photosynthesis per unit foliage area at saturating irradiance, A(max), were highest for aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.), reaching 16 micromol m(-2) s(-1). For tamarack (Larix laricina (Du Roi) K. Kock) and P. mariana, Amax was only 2.6 and 1.8 micromol m(-2) s(-1), respectively. Values of A(max) for understory shrubs and herbaceous plants were clustered between 9 and 11 micromol m(-2) s(-1), whereas A(max) of feather moss (Pleurozium schreberi (Brid.) Mitt.) reached only 1.9 micromol m(-2) s(-1). No corrections were made for differences in shoot structure, but values of photosynthetic light-use efficiency were similar for most species (70-80 mmol CO2 mol(-1)); however, they were much lower for L. laricina and P. mariana (15 mmol CO2 mol(-1)) and much higher for P. schreberi (102 m;mol CO2 mol(-1)). There was a linear relationship between Amax and foliage nitrogen concentration on an area basis for the broad-leaved species in the canopy and understory, but the data for P. mariana, L. laricina and P. schreberi fell well below this line. We conclude that it is not possible to scale photosynthesis from leaves to the canopy in this ecosystem based on a single relationship between photosynthetic rate and foliage nitrogen concentration. PMID:11498339

  17. Ammonium as a Driving Force of Plant Diversity and Ecosystem Functioning: Observations Based on 5 Years' Manipulation of N Dose and Form in a Mediterranean Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Dias, Teresa; Clemente, Adelaide; Martins-Loução, Maria Amélia; Sheppard, Lucy; Bobbink, Roland; Cruz, Cristina

    2014-01-01

    Enhanced nitrogen (N) availability is one of the main drivers of biodiversity loss and degradation of ecosystem functions. However, in very nutrient-poor ecosystems, enhanced N input can, in the short-term, promote diversity. Mediterranean Basin ecosystems are nutrient-limited biodiversity hotspots, but no information is available on their medium- or long-term responses to enhanced N input. Since 2007, we have been manipulating the form and dose of available N in a Mediterranean Basin maquis in south-western Europe that has low ambient N deposition (<4 kg N ha−1 yr−1) and low soil N content (0.1%). N availability was modified by the addition of 40 kg N ha−1 yr−1 as a 1∶1 NH4Cl to (NH4)2SO4 mixture, and 40 and 80 kg N ha−1 yr−1 as NH4NO3. Over the following 5 years, the impacts on plant composition and diversity (richness and evenness) and some ecosystem characteristics (soil extractable N and organic matter, aboveground biomass and % of bare soil) were assessed. Plant species richness increased with enhanced N input and was more related to ammonium than to nitrate. Exposure to 40 kg NH4+-N ha−1 yr−1 (alone and with nitrate) enhanced plant richness, but did not increase aboveground biomass; soil extractable N even increased under 80 kg NH4NO3-N ha−1 yr−1 and the % of bare soil increased under 40 kg NH4+-N ha−1 yr−1. The treatment containing less ammonium, 40 kg NH4NO3-N ha−1 yr−1, did not enhance plant diversity but promoted aboveground biomass and reduced the % of bare soil. Data suggest that enhanced NHy availability affects the structure of the maquis, which may promote soil erosion and N leakage, whereas enhanced NOx availability leads to biomass accumulation which may increase the fire risk. These observations are relevant for land use management in biodiverse and fragmented ecosystems such as the maquis, especially in conservation areas. PMID:24695101

  18. Estimating daytime ecosystem respiration to improve estimates of gross primary production of a temperate forest.

    PubMed

    Sun, Jinwei; Wu, Jiabing; Guan, Dexin; Yao, Fuqi; Yuan, Fenghui; Wang, Anzhi; Jin, Changjie

    2014-01-01

    Leaf respiration is an important component of carbon exchange in terrestrial ecosystems, and estimates of leaf respiration directly affect the accuracy of ecosystem carbon budgets. Leaf respiration is inhibited by light; therefore, gross primary production (GPP) will be overestimated if the reduction in leaf respiration by light is ignored. However, few studies have quantified GPP overestimation with respect to the degree of light inhibition in forest ecosystems. To determine the effect of light inhibition of leaf respiration on GPP estimation, we assessed the variation in leaf respiration of seedlings of the dominant tree species in an old mixed temperate forest with different photosynthetically active radiation levels using the Laisk method. Canopy respiration was estimated by combining the effect of light inhibition on leaf respiration of these species with within-canopy radiation. Leaf respiration decreased exponentially with an increase in light intensity. Canopy respiration and GPP were overestimated by approximately 20.4% and 4.6%, respectively, when leaf respiration reduction in light was ignored compared with the values obtained when light inhibition of leaf respiration was considered. This study indicates that accurate estimates of daytime ecosystem respiration are needed for the accurate evaluation of carbon budgets in temperate forests. In addition, this study provides a valuable approach to accurately estimate GPP by considering leaf respiration reduction in light in other ecosystems.

  19. Antibody Production in Plants and Green Algae.

    PubMed

    Yusibov, Vidadi; Kushnir, Natasha; Streatfield, Stephen J

    2016-04-29

    Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have a wide range of modern applications, including research, diagnostic, therapeutic, and industrial uses. Market demand for mAbs is high and continues to grow. Although mammalian systems, which currently dominate the biomanufacturing industry, produce effective and safe recombinant mAbs, they have a limited manufacturing capacity and high costs. Bacteria, yeast, and insect cell systems are highly scalable and cost effective but vary in their ability to produce appropriate posttranslationally modified mAbs. Plants and green algae are emerging as promising production platforms because of their time and cost efficiencies, scalability, lack of mammalian pathogens, and eukaryotic posttranslational protein modification machinery. So far, plant- and algae-derived mAbs have been produced predominantly as candidate therapeutics for infectious diseases and cancer. These candidates have been extensively evaluated in animal models, and some have shown efficacy in clinical trials. Here, we review ongoing efforts to advance the production of mAbs in plants and algae. PMID:26905655

  20. Antibody Production in Plants and Green Algae.

    PubMed

    Yusibov, Vidadi; Kushnir, Natasha; Streatfield, Stephen J

    2016-04-29

    Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have a wide range of modern applications, including research, diagnostic, therapeutic, and industrial uses. Market demand for mAbs is high and continues to grow. Although mammalian systems, which currently dominate the biomanufacturing industry, produce effective and safe recombinant mAbs, they have a limited manufacturing capacity and high costs. Bacteria, yeast, and insect cell systems are highly scalable and cost effective but vary in their ability to produce appropriate posttranslationally modified mAbs. Plants and green algae are emerging as promising production platforms because of their time and cost efficiencies, scalability, lack of mammalian pathogens, and eukaryotic posttranslational protein modification machinery. So far, plant- and algae-derived mAbs have been produced predominantly as candidate therapeutics for infectious diseases and cancer. These candidates have been extensively evaluated in animal models, and some have shown efficacy in clinical trials. Here, we review ongoing efforts to advance the production of mAbs in plants and algae.

  1. Plant nitrogen uptake drives responses of productivity to nitrogen and water addition in a grassland

    PubMed Central

    Lü, Xiao-Tao; Dijkstra, Feike A.; Kong, De-Liang; Wang, Zheng-Wen; Han, Xing-Guo

    2014-01-01

    Increased atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition and altered precipitation regimes have profound impacts on ecosystem functioning in semiarid grasslands. The interactions between those two factors remain largely unknown. A field experiment with N and water additions was conducted in a semiarid grassland in northern China. We examined the responses of aboveground net primary production (ANPP) and plant N use during two contrasting hydrological growing seasons. Nitrogen addition had no impact on ANPP, which may be accounted for by the offset between enhanced plant N uptake and decreased plant nitrogen use efficiency (NUE). Water addition significantly enhanced ANPP, which was largely due to enhanced plant aboveground N uptake. Nitrogen and water additions significantly interacted to affect ANPP, plant N uptake and N concentrations at the community level. Our observations highlight the important role of plant N uptake and use in mediating the effects of N and water addition on ANPP. PMID:24769508

  2. Elevated atmospheric CO2 stimulates soil fungal diversity through increased fine root production in a semiarid shrubland ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Lipson, David A; Kuske, Cheryl R; Gallegos-Graves, La Verne; Oechel, Walter C

    2014-08-01

    Soil fungal communities are likely to be central in mediating microbial feedbacks to climate change through their effects on soil carbon (C) storage, nutrient cycling, and plant health. Plants often produce increased fine root biomass in response to elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2 ), but the responses of soil microbial communities are variable and uncertain, particularly in terms of species diversity. In this study, we describe the responses of the soil fungal community to free air CO2 enrichment (FACE) in a semiarid chaparral shrubland in Southern California (dominated by Adenomstoma fasciculatum) using large subunit rRNA gene sequencing. Community composition varied greatly over the landscape and responses to FACE were subtle, involving a few specific groups. Increased frequency of Sordariomycetes and Leotiomycetes, the latter including the Helotiales, a group that includes many dark septate endophytes known to associate positively with roots, was observed in the FACE plots. Fungal diversity, both in terms of richness and evenness, increased consistently in the FACE treatment, and was relatively high compared to other studies that used similar methods. Increases in diversity were observed across multiple phylogenetic levels, from genus to class, and were distributed broadly across fungal lineages. Diversity was also higher in samples collected close to (5 cm) plants compared to samples in canopy gaps (30 cm away from plants). Fungal biomass correlated well with soil organic matter (SOM) content, but patterns of diversity were correlated with fine root production rather than SOM. We conclude that the fungal community in this ecosystem is tightly linked to plant fine root production, and that future changes in the fungal community in response to elevated CO2 and other climatic changes will be primarily driven by changes in plant belowground allocation. Potential feedbacks mediated by soil fungi, such as soil C sequestration, nutrient cycling, and

  3. Can plant phloem properties affect the link between ecosystem assimilation and respiration?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mencuccini, M.; Hölttä, T.; Sevanto, S.; Nikinmaa, E.

    2012-04-01

    Phloem transport of carbohydrates in plants under field conditions is currently not well understood. This is largely the result of the lack of techniques suitable for measuring phloem physiological properties continuously under field conditions. This lack of knowledge is currently hampering our efforts to link ecosystem-level processes of carbon fixation, allocation and use, especially belowground. On theoretical grounds, the properties of the transport pathway from canopy to roots must be important in affecting the link between carbon assimilation and respiration, but it is unclear whether their effect is partially or entirely masked by processes occurring in other parts of the ecosystem. One can also predict the characteristic time scales over which these effects should occur and, as consequence, predict whether the transfer of turgor and osmotic signals from the site of carbon assimilation to the sites of carbon use are likely to control respiration. We will present two sources of evidence suggesting that the properties of the phloem transport system may affect processes that are dependent on the supply of carbon substrate, such as root or soil respiration. Firstly, we will summarize the results of a literature survey on soil and ecosystem respiration where the speed of transfer of photosynthetic sugars from the plant canopy to the soil surface was determined. Estimates of the transfer speed could be grouped according to whether the study employed isotopic or canopy soil flux-based techniques. These two groups provided very different estimates of transfer times likely because transport of sucrose molecules, and pressure-concentration waves, in phloem differed. Secondly, we will argue that simultaneous measurements of bark and xylem diameters provide a novel tool to determine the continuous variations of phloem turgor in vivo in the field. We will present a model that interprets these changes in xylem and live bark diameters and present data testing the model

  4. Use of Plant Hydraulic Theory to Predict Ecosystem Fluxes Across Mountainous Gradients in Environmental Controls and Insect Disturbances

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ewers, B. E.; Pendall, E.; Reed, D. E.; Barnard, H. R.; Whitehouse, F.; Frank, J. M.; Massman, W. J.; Brooks, P. D.; Biederman, J. A.; Harpold, A. A.; Naithani, K. J.; Mitra, B.; Mackay, D. S.; Norton, U.; Borkhuu, B.

    2011-12-01

    While mountainous areas are critical for providing numerous ecosystem benefits at the regional scale, the strong gradients in environmental controls make predictions difficult. A key part of the problem is quantifying and predicting the feedback between mountain gradients and plant function which then controls ecosystem cycling. The emerging theory of plant hydraulics provides a rigorous yet simple platform from which to generate testable hypotheses and predictions of ecosystem pools and fluxes. Plant hydraulic theory predicts that plant controls over carbon, water, energy and nutrient fluxes can be derived from the limitation of plant water transport from the soil through xylem and out of stomata. In addition, the limit to plant water transport can be predicted by combining plant structure (e.g. xylem diameters or root-to-shoot ratios) and plant function (response of stomatal conductance to vapor pressure deficit or root vulnerability to cavitation). We evaluate the predictions of the plant hydraulic theory by testing it against data from a mountain gradient encompassing sagebrush steppe through subalpine forests (2700 to 3400 m). We further test the theory by predicting the carbon, water and nutrient exchanges from several coniferous trees in the same gradient that are dying from xylem dysfunction caused by blue-stain fungi carried by bark beetles. The common theme of both of these data sets is a change in water limitation caused by either changing precipitation along the mountainous gradient or lack of access to soil water from xylem-occluding fungi. Across all of the data sets which range in scale from individual plants to hillslopes, the data fit the predictions of plant hydraulic theory. Namely, there was a proportional tradeoff between the reference canopy stomatal conductance to water vapor and the sensitivity of that conductance to vapor pressure deficit that quantitatively fits the predictions of plant hydraulic theory. Incorporating this result into

  5. Plant carbon-nutrient interactions control CO{sub 2} exchange in Alaskan wet sedge tundra ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, L.C.; Shaver, G.R.; Cades, D.H.; Rastetter, E.; Nadelhoffer, K.; Giblin, A.; Laundre, J.; Stanley, A.

    2000-02-01

    The authors explored the long-term (8-yr) effects of separate field manipulations of temperature and nutrient availability on carbon balance in wet sedge tundra near the Arctic Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) site at Toolik Lake, Alaska. Their goals were (1) to assess the relative importance of chronic warming (with field greenhouses) and increased N and P availability (by fertilization) in controlling gross ecosystem photosynthesis, ecosystem respiration, and ultimately ecosystem C balance; and (2) to attempt to partition ecosystem responses to these treatments between plant and soil contributions. The authors present results of the effects of these manipulations on whole-system CO{sub 2} exchange over seasonal and duel cycles, and on nonrhizosphere soil microbial respiration using in situ soil incubations.

  6. Plant productivity and heavy metal contamination

    SciTech Connect

    Guidi, G.V.; Petruzzelli, G.; Vallini, G.; Pera, A.

    1990-06-01

    This article describes the potential for use of composts from green waste and from municipal solid wastes for agricultural use in Italy. The accumulation of heavy metals in compost-amended soils and crops was evaluated and the influence of these composts on plant productivity was studied. Green compost was obtained from vegetable organic residues; municipal solid waste derived compost was obtained from the aerobic biostabilization of a mixture of the organic biodegradable fraction of municipal solid waste and sewage sludge. The two composts had good chemical characteristics and their use caused no pollution to soil and plants. The overall fertilizing effect was higher for green compost even though green compost and municipal solid waste derived compost had similar contents of primary elements of fertility.

  7. Mortality gradients within and among dominant plant populations as barometers of ecosystem change during extreme drought.

    PubMed

    Gitlin, Alicyn R; Sthultz, Christopher M; Bowker, Matthew A; Stumpf, Stacy; Paxton, Kristina L; Kennedy, Karla; Muñoz, Axhel; Bailey, Joseph K; Whitham, Thomas G

    2006-10-01

    Understanding patterns of plant population mortality during extreme weather events is important to conservation planners because the frequency of such events is expected to increase, creating the need to integrate climatic uncertainty into management. Dominant plants provide habitat and ecosystem structure, so changes in their distribution can be expected to have cascading effects on entire communities. Observing areas that respond quickly to climate fluctuations provides foresight into future ecological changes and will help prioritize conservation efforts. We investigated patterns of mortality in six dominant plant species during a drought in the southwestern United States. We quantified population mortality for each species across its regional distribution and tested hypotheses to identify ecological stress gradients for each species. Our results revealed three major patterns: (1) dominant species from diverse habitat types (i.e., riparian, chaparral, and low- to high-elevation forests) exhibited significant mortality, indicating that the effects of drought were widespread; (2) average mortality differed among dominant species (one-seed juniper[Juniperus monosperma (Engelm.) Sarg.] 3.3%; manzanita[Arctostaphylos pungens Kunth], 14.6%; quaking aspen[Populus tremuloides Michx.], 15.4%; ponderosa pine[Pinus ponderosa P. & C. Lawson], 15.9%; Fremont cottonwood[Populus fremontii S. Wats.], 20.7%; and pinyon pine[Pinus edulis Engelm.], 41.4%); (3) all dominant species showed localized patterns of very high mortality (24-100%) consistent with water stress gradients. Land managers should plan for climatic uncertainty by promoting tree recruitment in rare habitat types, alleviating unnatural levels of competition on dominant plants, and conserving sites across water stress gradients. High-stress sites, such as those we examined, have conservation value as barometers of change and because they may harbor genotypes that are adapted to climatic extremes.

  8. Mortality gradients within and among dominant plant populations as barometers of ecosystem change during extreme drought.

    PubMed

    Gitlin, Alicyn R; Sthultz, Christopher M; Bowker, Matthew A; Stumpf, Stacy; Paxton, Kristina L; Kennedy, Karla; Muñoz, Axhel; Bailey, Joseph K; Whitham, Thomas G

    2006-10-01

    Understanding patterns of plant population mortality during extreme weather events is important to conservation planners because the frequency of such events is expected to increase, creating the need to integrate climatic uncertainty into management. Dominant plants provide habitat and ecosystem structure, so changes in their distribution can be expected to have cascading effects on entire communities. Observing areas that respond quickly to climate fluctuations provides foresight into future ecological changes and will help prioritize conservation efforts. We investigated patterns of mortality in six dominant plant species during a drought in the southwestern United States. We quantified population mortality for each species across its regional distribution and tested hypotheses to identify ecological stress gradients for each species. Our results revealed three major patterns: (1) dominant species from diverse habitat types (i.e., riparian, chaparral, and low- to high-elevation forests) exhibited significant mortality, indicating that the effects of drought were widespread; (2) average mortality differed among dominant species (one-seed juniper[Juniperus monosperma (Engelm.) Sarg.] 3.3%; manzanita[Arctostaphylos pungens Kunth], 14.6%; quaking aspen[Populus tremuloides Michx.], 15.4%; ponderosa pine[Pinus ponderosa P. & C. Lawson], 15.9%; Fremont cottonwood[Populus fremontii S. Wats.], 20.7%; and pinyon pine[Pinus edulis Engelm.], 41.4%); (3) all dominant species showed localized patterns of very high mortality (24-100%) consistent with water stress gradients. Land managers should plan for climatic uncertainty by promoting tree recruitment in rare habitat types, alleviating unnatural levels of competition on dominant plants, and conserving sites across water stress gradients. High-stress sites, such as those we examined, have conservation value as barometers of change and because they may harbor genotypes that are adapted to climatic extremes. PMID:17002765

  9. Production of interspecific hybrids in ornamental plants.

    PubMed

    Kato, Juntaro; Mii, Masahiro

    2012-01-01

    In breeding of ornamental plants, interspecific hybridization and polyploidization have successfully been used to produce novel cultivars with blended traits of both parents and to introgress useful traits of one species to another. Embryo rescue techniques and molecular cytogenetic methods have successfully been used to produce and characterize interspecific hybrids in various genera. In this paper, recent advances in interspecific hybridization are described based on the results obtained in Primula, Cosmos, and Kalanchoe with special references to the use of embryo culture techniques for rescuing the abortive hybrid embryos. The methods for production and characterization of interspecific hybrids are categorized into three steps, i.e., (1) pollination, (2) rescue culture of immature embryo, and (3) confirmation of hybridity and ploidy level of the plants obtained. For interspecific crosses, emasculation step is usually needed to avoid self-pollination even in the genera with self-incompatibility system, such as Primula and Cosmos, since self-incompatibility is not always complete. Since interspecific crosses are usually hindered by various cross-incompatibility mechanisms, successful production of interspecific hybrids could be achieved only from limited crosses among those using many cultivars/strains of both parents, suggesting the importance of the selection of the compatible genotypes. Unilateral cross incompatibility is commonly observed in interspecific cross combinations, so reciprocal crosses should be conducted as an indispensable step. At the rescue culture step, addition of plant hormones, e.g., auxin cytokinin and gibberellin, to the culture medium at the appropriate concentrations is proved to be effective and necessary. The hybridity of the plants is efficiently confirmed at the seedling stage by DNA analysis in addition to the observation of morphological characters. The analysis of relative DNA contents by flow cytometry is an easy and rapid means

  10. Production of interspecific hybrids in ornamental plants.

    PubMed

    Kato, Juntaro; Mii, Masahiro

    2012-01-01

    In breeding of ornamental plants, interspecific hybridization and polyploidization have successfully been used to produce novel cultivars with blended traits of both parents and to introgress useful traits of one species to another. Embryo rescue techniques and molecular cytogenetic methods have successfully been used to produce and characterize interspecific hybrids in various genera. In this paper, recent advances in interspecific hybridization are described based on the results obtained in Primula, Cosmos, and Kalanchoe with special references to the use of embryo culture techniques for rescuing the abortive hybrid embryos. The methods for production and characterization of interspecific hybrids are categorized into three steps, i.e., (1) pollination, (2) rescue culture of immature embryo, and (3) confirmation of hybridity and ploidy level of the plants obtained. For interspecific crosses, emasculation step is usually needed to avoid self-pollination even in the genera with self-incompatibility system, such as Primula and Cosmos, since self-incompatibility is not always complete. Since interspecific crosses are usually hindered by various cross-incompatibility mechanisms, successful production of interspecific hybrids could be achieved only from limited crosses among those using many cultivars/strains of both parents, suggesting the importance of the selection of the compatible genotypes. Unilateral cross incompatibility is commonly observed in interspecific cross combinations, so reciprocal crosses should be conducted as an indispensable step. At the rescue culture step, addition of plant hormones, e.g., auxin cytokinin and gibberellin, to the culture medium at the appropriate concentrations is proved to be effective and necessary. The hybridity of the plants is efficiently confirmed at the seedling stage by DNA analysis in addition to the observation of morphological characters. The analysis of relative DNA contents by flow cytometry is an easy and rapid means

  11. Role of Osmotic Adjustment in Plant Productivity

    SciTech Connect

    Gebre, G.M.

    2001-01-11

    Successful implementation of short rotation woody crops requires that the selected species and clones be productive, drought tolerant, and pest resistant. Since water is one of the major limiting factors in poplar (Populus sp.) growth, there is little debate for the need of drought tolerant clones, except on the wettest of sites (e.g., lower Columbia River delta). Whether drought tolerance is compatible with productivity remains a debatable issue. Among the many mechanisms of drought tolerance, dehydration postponement involves the maintenance of high leaf water potential due to, for example, an adequate root system. This trait is compatible with productivity, but requires available soil moisture. When the plant leaf water potential and soil water content decline, the plant must be able to survive drought through dehydration tolerance mechanisms, such as low osmotic potential or osmotic adjustment. Osmotic adjustment and low osmotic potential are considered compatible with growth and yield because they aid in the maintenance of leaf turgor. However, it has been shown that turgor alone does not regulate cell expansion or stomatal conductance and, therefore, the role of osmotic adjustment is debated. Despite this finding, osmotic adjustment has been correlated with grain yield in agronomic crop species, and gene markers responsible for osmotic adjustment are being investigated to improve drought tolerance in productive progenies. Although osmotic adjustment and low osmotic potentials have been investigated in several forest tree species, few studies have investigated the relationship between osmotic adjustment and growth. Most of these studies have been limited to greenhouse or container-grown plants. Osmotic adjustment and rapid growth have been specifically associated in Populus and black spruce (Picea mariuna (Mill.) B.S.P.) progenies. We tested whether these relationships held under field conditions using several poplar clones. In a study of two hybrid poplar

  12. Macroalgal blooms alter community structure and primary productivity in marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Lyons, Devin A; Arvanitidis, Christos; Blight, Andrew J; Chatzinikolaou, Eva; Guy-Haim, Tamar; Kotta, Jonne; Orav-Kotta, Helen; Queirós, Ana M; Rilov, Gil; Somerfield, Paul J; Crowe, Tasman P

    2014-09-01

    Eutrophication, coupled with loss of herbivory due to habitat degradation and overharvesting, has increased the frequency and severity of macroalgal blooms worldwide. Macroalgal blooms interfere with human activities in coastal areas, and sometimes necessitate costly algal removal programmes. They also have many detrimental effects on marine and estuarine ecosystems, including induction of hypoxia, release of toxic hydrogen sulphide into the sediments and atmosphere, and the loss of ecologically and economically important species. However, macroalgal blooms can also increase habitat complexity, provide organisms with food and shelter, and reduce other problems associated with eutrophication. These contrasting effects make their overall ecological impacts unclear. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to estimate the overall effects of macroalgal blooms on several key measures of ecosystem structure and functioning in marine ecosystems. We also evaluated some of the ecological and methodological factors that might explain the highly variable effects observed in different studies. Averaged across all studies, macroalgal blooms had negative effects on the abundance and species richness of marine organisms, but blooms by different algal taxa had different consequences, ranging from strong negative to strong positive effects. Blooms' effects on species richness also depended on the habitat where they occurred, with the strongest negative effects seen in sandy or muddy subtidal habitats and in the rocky intertidal. Invertebrate communities also appeared to be particularly sensitive to blooms, suffering reductions in their abundance, species richness, and diversity. The total net primary productivity, gross primary productivity, and respiration of benthic ecosystems were higher during macroalgal blooms, but blooms had negative effects on the productivity and respiration of other organisms. These results suggest that, in addition to their direct social and

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

    PubMed

    Schulz, Bethany K; Gray, Andrew N

    2013-05-01

    Introduced plant species have significant negative impacts in many ecosystems and are found in many forests around the world. Some factors linked to the distribution of introduced species include fragmentation and disturbance, native species richness, and climatic and physical conditions of the landscape. However, there are few data sources that enable the assessment of introduced species occupancy in native plant communities over broad regions. Vegetation data from 1,302 forest inventory plots across 24 states in northeastern and mid-western USA were used to examine and compare the distribution of introduced species in relation to forest fragmentation across ecological provinces and forest types, and to examine correlations between native and introduced species richness. There were 305 introduced species recorded, and 66 % of all forested plots had at least one introduced species. Forest edge plots had higher constancy and occupancy of introduced species than intact forest plots, but the differences varied significantly among ecological provinces and, to a lesser degree, forest types. Weak but significant positive correlations between native and introduced species richness were observed most often in intact forests. Rosa multiflora was the most common introduced species recorded across the region, but Hieracium aurantiacum and Epipactus helleborine were dominant in some ecological provinces. Identifying regions and forest types with high and low constancies and occupation by introduced species can help target forest stands where management actions will be the most effective. Identifying seemingly benign introduced species that are more prevalent than realized will help focus attention on newly emerging invasives.

  14. Gene expression profiling--Opening the black box of plant ecosystem responses to global change

    SciTech Connect

    Leakey, A.D.B.; Ainsworth, E.A.; Bernard, S.M.; Markelz, R.J.C.; Ort, D.R.; Placella, S.A.P.; Rogers, A.; Smith, M.D.; Sudderth, E.A.; Weston, D.J.; Wullschleger, S.D.; Yuan, S.

    2009-11-01

    The use of genomic techniques to address ecological questions is emerging as the field of genomic ecology. Experimentation under environmentally realistic conditions to investigate the molecular response of plants to meaningful changes in growth conditions and ecological interactions is the defining feature of genomic ecology. Since the impact of global change factors on plant performance are mediated by direct effects at the molecular, biochemical and physiological scales, gene expression analysis promises important advances in understanding factors that have previously been consigned to the 'black box' of unknown mechanism. Various tools and approaches are available for assessing gene expression in model and non-model species as part of global change biology studies. Each approach has its own unique advantages and constraints. A first generation of genomic ecology studies in managed ecosystems and mesocosms have provided a testbed for the approach and have begun to reveal how the experimental design and data analysis of gene expression studies can be tailored for use in an ecological context.

  15. A Simplified Closed Artificial Ecosystem - Recycling of Organic Matter into Wheat Plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lamotte, L.; Saugier, B.; Smernoff, D. T.; André, M.

    1999-01-01

    A simplified closed system consisting of a plant growth chamber coupled to a decomposition chamber was used to study carbon exchange dynamics. The CO2 produced via the decomposition of wheat straw was used for photosynthetic carbon uptake by wheat plants. The atmosphere of the two chambers was connected through a circuit of known flow rate. Thus, monitoring the CO2 concentrations in both compartments allowed measurement of the carbon exchange between the chambers, and estimation of the rate of respiration processes in the decomposition chamber and photosynthetic rate in the producer chamber. The objective for CELSS research was to simulate a system where a compartment producing food via photosynthesis, would be supplied by CO2 produced from respiration processes. The decomposition of biomass by the decomposer simulated both the metabolism of a crew and the result of a recycling system for inedible biomass. Concerning terrestrial ecosystems, the objective was to study organic matter decomposition in soil and other processes related to permanent grasslands.

  16. Gene Expression Profiling - Opening the Black Box of Plant Ecosystem Responses to Global Change

    SciTech Connect

    Ainsworth, Elizabeth A.; Bernard, Stephanie M.; Markelz, R.J. Cody; Ort, Donald R.; Placella, Sarah A.; Rogers, Alistair; Smith, Melinda D; Sudderth, Erika A.; Weston, David; Wullschleger, Stan D; Yuan, Shenghua

    2009-01-01

    The use of genomic techniques to address ecological questions is emerging as the field of genomic ecology. Experimentation under environmentally realistic conditions to investigate the molecular response of plants to meaningful changes in growth conditions and ecological interactions is the defining feature of genomic ecology. Since the impact of global change factors on plant performance are mediated by direct effects at the molecular, biochemical and physiological scales, gene expression analysis promises important advances in understanding factors that have previously been consigned to the black box of unknown mechanism. Various tools and approaches are available for assessing gene expression in model and non-model species as part of global change biology studies. Each approach has its own unique advantages and constraints. A first generation of genomic ecology studies in managed ecosystems and mesocosms have provided a testbed for the approach and have begun to reveal how the experimental design and data analysis of gene expression studies can be tailored for use in an ecological context.

  17. Very-high-resolution time-lapse photography for plant and ecosystems research1

    PubMed Central

    Nichols, Mary H.; Steven, Janet C.; Sargent, Randy; Dille, Paul; Schapiro, Joshua

    2013-01-01

    • Premise of the study: Traditional photography is a compromise between image detail and area covered. We report a new method for creating time-lapse sequences of very-high-resolution photographs to produce zoomable images that facilitate observation across a range of spatial and temporal scales. • Methods and Results: A robotic camera mount and software were used to capture images of the growth and movement in Brassica rapa every 15 s in the laboratory. The resultant time-lapse sequence (http://timemachine.gigapan.org/wiki/Plant_Growth) captures growth detail such as circumnutation. A modified, solar-powered system was deployed at a remote field site in southern Arizona. Images were collected every 2 h over a 3-mo period to capture the response of vegetation to monsoon season rainfall (http://timemachine.gigapan.org/wiki/Arizona_Grasslands). • Conclusions: A technique for observing time sequences of both individual plant and ecosystem response at a range of spatial scales is available for use in the laboratory and in the field. PMID:25202588

  18. Project AProWa: a national view on managing trade-offs between agricultural production and conservation of aquatic ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dietzel, Anne; Rahn, Eric; Stamm, Christian

    2014-05-01

    Swiss agriculture is legally committed to fulfill several, partially conflicting goals such as agricultural production on the one hand and the conservation of natural resources on the other hand. In the context of the research project AProWa ("Agricultural Production and Water"), the relationships between the production aspect and the conservation of aquatic ecosystems is analyzed with a holistic approach. Agricultural production and the protection of water resources have high potential for conflicts: Farmers use ground and surface water to irrigate their fields. On the other hand, drainage systems enable the production on otherwise unfavorably wet soils. These in turn often affect ground water recharge and divert precipitation directly into surface waters, which changes their hydrological regime. Typically, drainage systems also elevate the input of nutrients and pesticides into the water bodies. In general, applied fertilizers, plant protection products, veterinary drugs and phytohormones of cultivated plants are introduced into the ground and surface waters through different processes such as drift, leaching, runoff, preferential flow or erosion. They influence the nutrient cycles and ecological health of aquatic systems. The nutrient and pesticide loss processes themselves can be altered by tillage operations and other agricultural practices. Furthermore, the competition for space can lead to additional conflicts between agriculture and the protection of aquatic ecosystems. For example, channelized or otherwise morphologically changed rivers do not have a natural discharge pattern and are often not suitable for the local flora and fauna; but naturally meandering rivers need space that cannot be used for agriculture. In a highly industrialized and densely populated country like Switzerland, all these potential conflicts are of importance. Although it is typically seen as a water-rich country, local and seasonal overexploitation of rivers through water extraction

  19. Plant colonization, succession and ecosystem development on Surtsey with reference to neighbouring islands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Magnússon, B.; Magnússon, S. H.; Ólafsson, E.; Sigurdsson, B. D.

    2014-10-01

    Plant colonization and succession on the volcanic island of Surtsey, formed in 1963, have been closely followed. In 2013, a total of 69 vascular plant species had been discovered on the island; of these, 59 were present and 39 had established viable populations. Surtsey had more than twice the species of any of the comparable neighbouring islands, and all of their common species had established on Surtsey. The first colonizers were dispersed by sea, but, after 1985, bird dispersal became the principal pathway with the formation of a seagull colony on the island and consequent site amelioration. This allowed wind-dispersed species to establish after 1990. Since 2007, there has been a net loss of species on the island. A study of plant succession, soil formation and invertebrate communities in permanent plots on Surtsey and on two older neighbouring islands (plants and soil) has revealed that seabirds, through their transfer of nutrients from sea to land, are major drivers of development of these ecosystems. In the area impacted by seagulls, dense grassland swards have developed and plant cover, species richness, diversity, plant biomass and soil carbon become significantly higher than in low-impact areas, which remained relatively barren. A similar difference was found for the invertebrate fauna. After 2000, the vegetation of the oldest part of the seagull colony became increasingly dominated by long-lived, rhizomatous grasses (Festuca, Poa, Leymus) with a decline in species richness and diversity. Old grasslands of the neighbouring islands Elliđaey (puffin colony, high nutrient input) and Heimaey (no seabirds, low nutrient input) contrasted sharply. The puffin grassland of Elliđaey was very dense and species-poor. It was dominated by Festuca and Poa, and very similar to the seagull grassland developing on Surtsey. The Heimaey grassland was significantly higher in species richness and diversity, and had a more even cover of dominants (Festuca

  20. Plant colonization, succession and ecosystem development on Surtsey with reference to neighbouring islands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Magnússon, B.; Magnússon, S. H.; Ólafsson, E.; Sigurdsson, B. D.

    2014-06-01

    Plant colonization and succession on Surtsey volcanic island, formed in 1963, have been closely followed. In 2013, a total of 69 vascular plant species had been discovered on the island; of these 59 were present and 39 had established viable populations. Surtsey had more than twice the species of any of the comparable neighbouring islands and all their common species had established on Surtsey. The first colonizers were dispersed by sea, but after 1985 bird-dispersal became the principal pathway with the formation of a seagull colony on the island and consequent site amelioration. This allowed wind-dispersed species to establish after 1990. Since 2007 there has been a net loss of species on the island. A study of plant succession, soil formation and invertebrate communities in permanent plots on Surtsey and on two older neighbouring islands (plants and soil) has revealed that seabirds, through their transfer of nutrients from sea to land, are major drivers of development of these ecosystems. In the area impacted by seagulls dense grassland swards have developed and plant cover, species richness, diversity, plant biomass and soil carbon become significantly higher than in low-impact areas, which remained relatively barren. A similar difference was found for the invertebrate fauna. After 2000, the vegetation of the oldest part of the seagull colony became increasingly dominated by long-lived, rhizomatous grasses (Festuca, Poa, Leymus) with a decline in species richness and diversity. Old grasslands of the neighbouring islands Elliðaey (puffin colony, high nutrient input) and Heimaey (no seabirds, low nutrient input) contrasted sharply. The puffin grassland of Elliðaey was very dense and species-poor. Dominated by Festuca and Poa, it it was very similar to the seagull grassland developing on Surtsey. The Heimaey grassland was significantly higher in species richness and diversity, and had a more even cover of dominants (Festuca/Agrostis/Ranunculus). We forecast that

  1. Plant litter chemistry and microbial priming regulate the accrual, composition and stability of soil carbon in invaded ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Tamura, Mioko; Tharayil, Nishanth

    2014-07-01

    Soil carbon (C) sequestration, as an ecosystem property, may be strongly influenced by invasive plants capable of depositing disproportionately high quantities of chemically distinct litter that disrupt ecosystem processes. However, a mechanistic understanding of the processes that regulate soil C storage in invaded ecosystems remains surprisingly elusive. Here, we studied the impact of the invasion of two noxious nonnative species, Polygonum cuspidatum, which produces recalcitrant litter, and Pueraria lobata, which produces labile litter, on the quantity, molecular composition, and stability of C in the soils they invade. Compared with an adjacent noninvaded old-field, P. cuspidatum-invaded soils exhibited a 26% increase in C, partially through selective preservation of plant polymers. Despite receiving a 22% higher litter input, P. lobata-invaded Pinus stands exhibited a 28% decrease in soil C and a twofold decrease in plant biomarkers, indicating microbial priming of native soil C. The stability of C exhibited an opposite trend: the proportion of C that was resistant to oxidation was 21% lower in P. cuspidatum-invaded soils and 50% higher in P. lobata-invaded soils. Our results highlight the capacity of invasive plants to feed back to climate change by destabilizing native soil C stocks and indicate that environments that promote the biochemical decomposition of plant litter would enhance the long-term storage of soil C. Further, our study highlights the concurrent influence of dominant plant species on both selective preservation and humification of soil organic matter. PMID:24720813

  2. Plant litter chemistry and microbial priming regulate the accrual, composition and stability of soil carbon in invaded ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Tamura, Mioko; Tharayil, Nishanth

    2014-07-01

    Soil carbon (C) sequestration, as an ecosystem property, may be strongly influenced by invasive plants capable of depositing disproportionately high quantities of chemically distinct litter that disrupt ecosystem processes. However, a mechanistic understanding of the processes that regulate soil C storage in invaded ecosystems remains surprisingly elusive. Here, we studied the impact of the invasion of two noxious nonnative species, Polygonum cuspidatum, which produces recalcitrant litter, and Pueraria lobata, which produces labile litter, on the quantity, molecular composition, and stability of C in the soils they invade. Compared with an adjacent noninvaded old-field, P. cuspidatum-invaded soils exhibited a 26% increase in C, partially through selective preservation of plant polymers. Despite receiving a 22% higher litter input, P. lobata-invaded Pinus stands exhibited a 28% decrease in soil C and a twofold decrease in plant biomarkers, indicating microbial priming of native soil C. The stability of C exhibited an opposite trend: the proportion of C that was resistant to oxidation was 21% lower in P. cuspidatum-invaded soils and 50% higher in P. lobata-invaded soils. Our results highlight the capacity of invasive plants to feed back to climate change by destabilizing native soil C stocks and indicate that environments that promote the biochemical decomposition of plant litter would enhance the long-term storage of soil C. Further, our study highlights the concurrent influence of dominant plant species on both selective preservation and humification of soil organic matter.

  3. Application of Plants as Bio-markers to Assess Wetland Ecosystem Health

    SciTech Connect

    Yankovich, T.L.; Kupferschmidt, D.A.; Sharp, K.J.; Benz, M.L.; Kim, S.B.; Shultz, C.; Audette-Stuart, M.; Carr, J.

    2008-01-15

    Exposure of non-human biota to radionuclides or other contaminants depends upon a number of factors, which relate to the distribution of a given contaminant in the environment relative to the utilization of the environment by resident biota. Potential effects to biota following contaminant exposure must then be assessed based on the development of defensible linkages between the probability of exposure and the probability of corresponding effects. In many cases, contaminants, such as radionuclides, can show highly localized distributions in natural systems, covering relatively small spatial extents. Despite this, however, in the case of sedentary organisms, such as plants, it is possible for individuals to live in areas with relatively high contaminant levels throughout their lives. Plants represent integral components of ecosystems due to their capacity to use solar energy to convert CO{sub 2} into digestible organic molecules, due to their position at the base of terrestrial and aquatic food chains, and due to their importance as habitat and refuges for terrestrial and aquatic biota. As a result, the integrity of ecosystems is dependent upon plant health. The objective of this study was to determine whether significant changes in parameters reflecting plant photosynthetic capacity occurred with significant differences in {sup 14}C exposure in a wetland ecosystem. The study was conducted in Duke Swamp, a wetland ecosystem that receives {sup 14}C through groundwater influx. Sampling was conducted at 4 locations with varying {sup 14}C concentrations. These locations were selected based on a detailed survey of the swamp that was conducted in 2001 to evaluate the spatial distribution of {sup 14}C in surface vegetation, relative to concentrations reported in Sphagnum moss and soil in the swamp in the early 1990's. Locations were also selected to assess the impacts of both {sup 14}C exposure and the degree of incident solar radiation on plant photosynthetic parameters

  4. Selection of candidate aquatic high plants as producer of closed aquatic ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Gaohong; Hao, Zongjie; Liu, Yongding

    Controlled Ecological Life Support Systems (CELSS) is very important for long-term manned space flight. Aquatic organism was regarded to be suitable for this study because of their great adaptation to the weightless condition which approximate to their wild condition in water. In order to study of operation of CELSS in space, the first step is to choose good candidate species for study. In this report, we compared the characteristics of nutrient content, growth and suitability with animals among five types of aquatic high plants including Ceratophyllum demersum L., Vallisneria spiralis L., Hydrilla verticillata Royle, Brasenia schreberi, Wolfia arrhiza under control condition. It was found that B. schreberi had the best nutrients content, but it growth depended on gas interface which may be a big problem in microgravity. C. demersum and W. arrhiza had the better nutrient content than other types, and V. spiralis and H. verticillata had the worst nutrient content. The closed aquatic system can provided condition for the growth of other plants than B. schreberi. So we selected C. demersum and W. arrhiza as the candidate of producer for establish Closed Aquatic Ecosystem. We also established a simple system& by housing three small freshwater snails (Bulinus australianus) and C. demersum in a 500mL box with light and temperature control. The values about pH, oxygen concentration, temperature and light had been acquired by sensors in real time for about 3 month. It was found that plant's biomass increased for several days and then leveled off and the snails survive, and the atmosphere and biomass for food met snails' requirement during experiments.

  5. Impact of herbaceous understory vegetation to ecosystem water cycle, productivity and infiltration in a semi arid oak woodland assessed by stable oxygen isotopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dubbert, Maren; Piayda, Arndt; Silva, Filipe Costa e.; Correia, Alexandra C.; Pereira, Joao S.; Cuntz, Matthias; Werner, Christiane

    2015-04-01

    Water is one of the key factors driving ecosystem productivity, especially in water-limited ecosystems. Thus a separation of these component fluxes is needed to gain a functional understanding on the development of net ecosystem water and carbon fluxes. Oxygen isotope signatures are valuable tracers for such water movements within the ecosystem because of the distinct isotopic compositions of water in the soil and vegetation. Here, a novel approach was used (Dubbert et al., 2013), combining a custom build flow-through gas-exchange branch chamber with a Cavity Ring-Down Spectrometer in a Mediterranean cork-oak woodland where two vegetation layers respond differently to drought: oak-trees (Quercus suber L.) avoid drought due to their access to ground water while herbaceous plants survive the summer as seeds. We used this approach to quantify the impact of the understory herbaceous vegetation on ecosystem carbon and water fluxes throughout the year and disentangle how ET components of the ecosystem relate to carbon dioxide exchange. Partitioning ecosystem ET and NEE into its three sources revealed that understory vegetation contributed markedly to ecosystem ET and gross primary production (GPP; max. 43 and 51%, respectively). It reached similar water-use efficiencies (WUE) as cork-oak trees and significantly contributed to the ecosystem sink-strength in spring and fall. The understory vegetation layer further strongly inhibited soil evaporation (E) and, although E was large during wet periods, it did not diminish ecosystem WUE during water-limited times (Dubbert et al., 2014a). Although, during most of the year, interactions with trees neither facilitated nor hamp