Ribeiro, Pâmella C D; Menendez, Esther; da Silva, Danielle L; Bonieck, Douglas; Ramírez-Bahena, Martha Helena; Resende-Stoianoff, Maria Aparecida; Peix, Alvaro; Velázquez, Encarna; Mateos, Pedro F; Scotti, Maria Rita
The Serra do Rola Moça State Park (PESRM) in Minas Gerais State, Brazil is a preserved site representative of the campo rupestre biome over an ironstone outcrop that has a high level of plant diversity. Almost 60% of this grassy field has been invaded by the exotic molasses grass (Melinis minutiflora), which constitutes a severe threat to the biodiversity and survival of this biome, particularly due to the impacts of annual fires and inappropriate restoration interventions. Many invasive species exhibit a high demand for nitrogen (N). Hence, this work aimed to study the N cycle alterations promoted by M. minutiflora in a site of the campo rupestre, where the leguminous species Mimosa pogocephala was prevalent. The biome's soils exhibited a high natural N fertility and low C:N ratio. The main N source in this biome resulted from the biological N fixation performed by M. pogocephala associated with Burkholderia nodosa, as evidenced by the total leaf N content, leaf δ(15)N signature, nodule occupation and bacterial molecular identification analyses. The displacement of native species by molasses grass was associated with changes in the soil N forms, namely the nitrate increased as the ammonium decreased. The latter was the dominant N form in the native species plots, as observed in the soil analysis of total N, ammonium and nitrate contents. The dominant ammonium form was changed to the nitric form by the stimulation of ammonia-oxidising bacteria populations due to the invasive species. Therefore, the key mechanism behind the invasiveness of the exotic grass and the concomitant displacement of the native species may be associated with changes in the soil N chemical species. Based on this finding and on the high N-based soil fertility found in the campo rupestre N fertilisation procedures for restoration of invaded areas should be strictly avoided in this biome.
Ma, Zhonghui; Su, Zhiwei
Abstract Although the specific epithet of Callicarpa minutiflora Y. Y. Qian has been revised for many times, during the study of the genus Callicarpa, we find that Callicarpa minutiflora Y. Y. Qian is identical to Callicarpa longifolia Lamarck by a series of morphologic characters. In order to avoid more confusion, here Callicarpa minutiflora Y. Y. Qian is reduced as a synonym of Callicarpa longifolia Lamarck. PMID:28127241
D'Antonio, Carla M; Hughes, R F; Tunison, J T
Invasive nonnative grasses have altered the composition of seasonally dry shrublands and woodlands throughout the world. In many areas they coexist with native woody species until fire occurs, after which they become dominant. Yet it is not clear how long their impacts persist in the absence of further fire. We evaluated the long-term impacts of grass invasions and subsequent fire in seasonally dry submontane habitats on Hawai'i, USA. We recensused transects in invaded unburned woodland and woodland that had burned in exotic grass-fueled fires in 1970 and 1987 and had last been censused in 1991. In the unburned woodlands, we found that the dominant understory grass invader, Schizachyrium condensatum, had declined by 40%, while native understory species were abundant and largely unchanged from measurements 17 years ago. In burned woodland, exotic grass cover also declined, but overall values remained high and recruitment of native species was poor. Sites that had converted to exotic grassland after a 1970 fire remained dominated by exotic grasses with no increase in native cover despite 37 years without fire. Grass-dominated sites that had burned twice also showed limited recovery despite 20 years of fire suppression. We found limited evidence for "invasional meltdown": Exotic richness remained low across burned sites, and the dominant species in 1991, Melinis minutiflora, is still dominant today. Twice-burned sites are, however, being invaded by the nitrogen-fixing tree Morella faya, an introduced species with the potential to greatly alter the successional trajectory on young volcanic soils. In summary, despite decades of fire suppression, native species show little recovery in burned Hawaiian woodlands. Thus, burned sites appear to be beyond a threshold for "natural recovery" (e.g., passive restoration).
Winter, E; Midega, C; Bruce, T; Hummel, H E; Langner, S S; Leithold, G; Khan, Z; Pickett, J
"Push-Pull" is an inexpensive and eminently practical strategy designed for developing countries in order to exploit sound principles of chemical ecology for agricultural pest management. This strategy is specifically suitable for small holder farmers. Their experience can easily be integrated into existing farming practices in their immediate environment. "Push-pull" within one and a half decades became widely established and meanwhile is greatly beneficial to practitioners in East Africa, mainly Kenya. The classical push-pull approach used for applied plant-insect management was pioneered by Khan and Pickett (2000) and subsequent papers of Pickett (2003) and Khan et al. (2006, 2008). Relevant plant species explored so far were maize or sorghum intercropped with other East African plants (Desmodium spp. resp. Melinis minutiflora) possessing natural chemicals repellent resp. attractive for stem borer moths Chilo partellus (Lepidoptera), whereby Desmodium spp. was grown inside the maize rows while M. minutiflora surrounded it. Both simultaneous actions combined resulted in a significant decrease of stem borers in the area to be protected. A benefit to cost ratio of 2.5 was realized. Within a period of 15 years the number of subscribing farmers substantially increased from a few dozen to more than 80,000 in 2014. Two experiments along the paths of chemical ecology were undertaken between Sept 2012 and Feb 2013: One was designed to investigate if the legume D. intortum known to produce repellent volatiles against stem borer moths induces defence in Zea mays varieties. We looked at two open-pollinated farmers' varieties and two commercial hybrid varieties suspecting the farmers' varieties to be responsive rather than the hybrids. However, no defence induction was detected in this study so far. This could be explained by an insufficient production of defence inducing volatiles in leaves of D. intortum whereas flowers might produce a sufficient response. More detailed
Chaïr, H; Perrier, X; Agbangla, C; Marchand, J L; Dainou, O; Noyer, J L
The Dioscorea cayenensis - Dioscorea rotundata species complex is the most widely cultivated yam in West Africa. This species complex has been described as deriving from wild yams belonging to the Enanthiophyllum section through domestication by African farmers. To study patterns of yam evolution and to establish phylogenetic relationships existing between wild and cultivated species sampled in Benin, we investigated changes in chloroplast DNA simple sequence repeats (cpSSR) in 148 yam accessions selected to cover the wider possible genetic diversity existing in the country. Dioscorea cayenensis and D. rotundata share the same haplotype. The morphotype "abyssinica" appeared to be subdivided into 2 haplotypes. One of these haplotypes shares the same haplotype with the Dioscorea cayenensis - Dioscorea rotundata species complex and with morphotypes praehensilis, suggesting that they might belong to the same species. Relationships among sections Lasiophyton, Macrocapaea, Opsophyton, and Enanthiophyllum were clarified, and some taxonomic changes within the Enanthiophyllum section were suggested. Dioscorea minutiflora, D. smilacifolia, and D. burkilliana might be considered as 1 single genetic group, and they are suspected of belonging to the same species.
Baker, Anthony L.; Ezzahir, Jessica; Gardiner, Christopher; Shipton, Warren; Warner, Jeffrey M.
Factors responsible for the spatial and temporal clustering of Burkholderia pseudomallei in the environment remain to be elucidated. Whilst laboratory based experiments have been performed to analyse survival of the organism in various soil types, such approaches are strongly influenced by alterations to the soil micro ecology during soil sanitisation and translocation. During the monsoonal season in Townsville, Australia, B. pseudomallei is discharged from Castle Hill (an area with a very high soil prevalence of the organism) by groundwater seeps and is washed through a nearby area where intensive sampling in the dry season has been unable to detect the organism. We undertook environmental sampling and soil and plant characterisation in both areas to ascertain physiochemical and macro-floral differences between the two sites that may affect the prevalence of B. pseudomallei. In contrast to previous studies, the presence of B. pseudomallei was correlated with a low gravimetric water content and low nutrient availability (nitrogen and sulphur) and higher exchangeable potassium in soils favouring recovery. Relatively low levels of copper, iron and zinc favoured survival. The prevalence of the organism was found to be highest under the grasses Aristida sp. and Heteropogon contortus and to a lesser extent under Melinis repens. The findings of this study indicate that a greater variety of factors influence the endemicity of melioidosis than has previously been reported, and suggest that biogeographical boundaries to the organisms’ distribution involve complex interactions. PMID:26398904
Sikes, Benjamin A; Hawkes, Christine V; Fukami, Tadashi
Differences in the arrival timing of plants and soil biota may result in different plant communities through priority effects, potentially affecting the success of native vs. exotic plants, but experimental evidence is largely lacking. We conducted a greenhouse experiment to investigate whether the assembly history of plants and fungal root endophytes could interact to influence plant emergence and biomass. We introduced a grass species and eight fungal species from one of three land-use types (undisturbed, disturbed, or pasture sites in a Florida scrubland) in factorial combinations. We then introduced all plants and fungi from the other land-use types 2 weeks later. Plant emergence was monitored for 6 months, and final plant biomass and fungal species composition assessed. The emergence and growth of the exotic Melinis repens and the native Schizacharyium niveum were affected negatively when introduced early with their "home" fungi, but early introduction of a different plant species or fungi from a different site type eliminated these negative effects, providing evidence for interactive priority effects. Interactive effects of plant and fungal arrival history may be an overlooked determinant of plant community structure and may provide an effective management tool to inhibit biological invasion and aid ecosystem restoration.
After the big 2004 Sumatra earthquake, the tsunami threat posed by large earthquakes occurring in the Mediterranean sea was formally taken into account by many countries around the Mediterranean basin. In the past, large earthquakes that originated significant tsunamis occurred nearly once per century (Maramai et al., 2014, Annals of Geophysics). The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO) received a mandate from the international community to coordinate the establishment of the ICG/NEAMTWS (http://neamtic.ioc-unesco.org) through Resolution IOC-XXIII-14. Since then, several countries (France, Turkey, Greece) have started operating as candidate Tsunami Watch Provider (cTWP) in the Mediterranean. Italy started operating as cTWP on October 1st, 2014. The Italian cTWP is formed by INGV ("Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia)", DPC ("Dipartimento di Protezione Civile") and ISPRA ("Istituto Superiore per la Protezione e la Ricerca Ambientale"). INGV is in charge of issuing the alert for potentially tsunamigenic earthquakes, ISPRA provides the sea level recordings and DPC is in charge of disseminating the alert. INGV established the tsunami alert center (CAT, "Centro di Allerta Tsunami") at the end of 2013. CAT is co-located with the INGV national seismic surveillance center operated since many years. In this work, we show the technical and personnel organization of CAT, its response to recent earthquakes, and the new procedures under development for implementation. (*) INGV-CAT WG: Amato A., Basili R., Bernardi F., Bono A., Danecek P., De Martini P.M., Govoni A., Graziani L., Lauciani V., Lomax, A., Lorito S., Maramai A., Mele F., Melini D., Molinari I., Nostro C., Piatanesi A., Pintore S., Quintiliani M., Romano F., Selva J., Selvaggi G., Sorrentino D., Tonini R.
Cheuiche Pires, Gabriela; Camboim Rockett, Fernanda; Abrahão Salum Júnior, Giovanni; Gus Manfro, Gisele; Bosa, Vera Lúcia
Introducción: Evidencias sugieren que la ansiedad es una prediciente independiente de los eventos cardiovasculares adversos. Entretanto, pocos estudios evaluaron la presencia de factores de riesgo (FR) para estas enfermedades en ninos y adolescentes. Objetivos: Identificar la prevalencia de FR cardiovasculares en ninos y adolescentes diagnosticados con disturbio de ansiedad y su asociacion con la gravedad de la enfermedad. Metodología: Estudio transversal que avaluo FR nutricional, antropometricos, % de gordura corporal (CG), presion arterial (PA), nivel de actividad fisica y escalas de sintomas y gravedad de la ansiedad. Resultados: 65 ninos y adolescentes (8.6 } 1.7 anos) fueron incluidos en el estudio. Cuanto a los FR, el consumo excesivo de acidos grasos saturados (52.3%), indice de masa corporal alto (50.8%), PA alterada (50.8%) y la falta de ejercicio fisico (50.0%) fueron los mas prevalecientes. Hubo asociacion significativa entre la mayor gravedad del disturbio y el acumulo de ≥ 6 FR (p=0,026), exceso de gordura abdominal medida por la circunferencia de cintura (p=0.019) y por el indice de conicidad (p=0.053) y exceso en el % GC (p=0.044). Conclusión: Los resultados encontrados indican que hay una alta prevalencia de FR cardiovascular en la amuestra estudiada y los pacientes mas graves presentaron mayor riesgo. La caracterizacion del perfil de riesgo en las poblaciones con predisposicion a las enfermedades cardiovasculares es crucial para la elaboracion de estrategias de intervencion que oportunicen la reduccion en la prevalencia de estas enfermedades.
Firmo, J O; Lima Costa, M F; Guerra, H L; Rocha, R S
During 1991-1992 in the Gorduras district of Belo Horizonte, the capital of Minas Gerais State in Brazil, data on 451 persons over 2 years old who carried Schistosoma mansoni eggs, as detected on at least 1 of 4 slides, were compared with data on 465 same-age persons who were free of such eggs to describe the epidemiology of schistosomiasis in this urban area. The schistosome host, Biomphalaria glabrata, was present at all 11 monitored points along streams. Snails infected with S. mansoni were found at 6 points. Sewerage was entering the streams at 2 points. 92.7% of households had a piped water supply. 89.4% had a sewerage system. 20% of the 3049 sampled peoples had schistosomiasis. The geometric mean of S. mansoni eggs stood at 70.8 eggs/gram. Only 4.7% of persons infected with S. mansoni eggs had bloody stools. Less than 3% had a hardened enlarged liver. No one had splenomegaly or splenectomy. Signs and symptoms independently associated with S. mansoni infection included bloody stools (odds ratio [OR] = 8), palpable hardened liver at the middle clavicular line (OR = 5.5), and palpable hardened liver at the middle sternal line (OR = 8). Sociodemographic variables and reasons for water contact independently associated with S. mansoni infection were age (OR = 7.1 for 10-19 years; OR = 3.3 for =or + 20 years), being male (OR = 3.1), swimming and/or playing in water (OR = 2.2 for =or- 2 times/month; OR = 3 for 2 times/month), and living in Belo Horizonte (OR = 2.5). There was no association between infection and water supply. These findings suggest a need for schistosomiasis control measures centering on water contacts for leisure in this area.